(Mis)Adventure September 2012: Legoland Malaysia

Finally my first post for 2012. More than halfway through the year. I’ve always wanted to post a lot of my (mis)adventures for this year but laziness among other things got ahead of me. But this recent trip we went to shouldn’t be left unblogged. *Drumroll* The newly-opened Legoland Malaysia! Located in Nusujaya, Johor, Malaysia, it opened last September 15. Roughly 30 minutes from Singapore via bus, Legoaland Malaysia, is the First Lego-themed themepark in Asia. First built in  its hometown in Billund, Denmark, Legoland has several other parks in Europe (Germany and UK) and two in US (Florida and California).

Our adventure started last week, when my friend, Bullet, from the Philippines came to Singapore for a vacation to celebrate his birthday. Luckily, I was on leave that Tuesday so instead of showing him around Singapore, we decided to go to Legoland. From Singapore, there are two ways to reach Legoland. One is from Johor Bahru Sentral, located at the northern part of Singapore and the other one which is closer to my place, CIQ (Customs, Immigration & Quarantine Complex) 2nd Link on the west side. Bullet stayed at my place on Monday night, just a station away from Jurong East where we will be taking the bus to CIQ 2nd link. Bus departures from CIQ to Legoland are limited (6 trips per day) so I advise you to plan your timing.

From Singapore to CIQ 2nd Link:

– Jurong East Bus Interchange: CW3 & CW4

– Boon Lay: CW6

Bus departure CIQ 2nd Link to Legoland: 08:30, 10:30, 12:30, 15:00, 17:00, 19:30

LEGOLAND Malaysia (Return): 10:05, 12:05, 14:35, 16:35, 19:05, 21:35

We were supposed to take the 1030 am bus from CIQ, but the CW3 bus from Jurong East to CIQ arrived late. We cleared immigration around 1045 and missed the 1030 bus. Worried that we will be wasting time waiting for the 1230 pm bus, I asked around for an alternate route. We were advised to take the bus to Gelang Patah, then from there, wait for the JPO2 bus stopping by Legoland.

We arrived at around 1130. Just outside Legoland, we ate our lunch at the Medini Mall. Most shops are still under construction. Another ongoing project is the Legoland hotel, estimated to be completed by 2014. Despite the sweltering heat of the midday sun on that cloudless day, we got our tickets (MYR 140 for a day pass, mine is an annual pass valued at MYR 270) and entered the massive compound of Legoland. The park is initially divided into 7 distinctly-themed areas.

Legoland Malaysia Map from http://www.legoland.com.my

The park is mostly decorated with countless different Lego designs ranging from small rats to the gigantic Egyptian mummy and bust of Albert Einstein! Most of the rides were really suited for the kids, but these won’t stop the young-at-heart to experience the thrill of the attractions. My personal favorites were the Project X (Lego Technic zone), The Dragon (Lego Kingdom Zone), and The Dino Island (Land of Adventure).

Lego Castle

Albert Einstein and the Lego Academy

What really caught my attention is the Miniland area. The centerpiece attraction of Legoland Malaysia where several Asian landmarks are presented at scale built ENTIRELY using LEGO bricks. Complete with animatronic people, trains, buses, and ships, the experience is simply unexplainable. I was surprised more when they also featured Philippines in one of their displays. One can really be amazed at the complexity and the closest resemblance (including color) at all the structures.

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Taj Mahal, India

Wat Arun, Thailand

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Forbidden City and Great Wall of China

Bolinao, Philippines


Overall, the experience was one-of-a-kind. I would definitely go back there soon with my wife, other friends or family. It’s a recommended place for families to bond.

Categories: Adventure, Relaxation | Leave a comment

Back from Hiatus

I just realized that it has been almost a year since my last post. One year! It has been that long! I really don’t know why I (or most people here) feel that time passes by so fast here in Singapore. I’ve been living here for more than a year already (OFW life…) It is hard beeing busy mostly with my job having a 6-day workweek. The year 2010 was even busier because of the wedding preparations. See?! I wasn’t able to post even about the wedding! Partly because I’ve been also busy maintaining our wedsite. Check it out here:

Time flew by so fast. I’ve gotten married and of course my beautiful wife and I shared the same passion… traveling. I promise to post a series  of flashback write-ups on the places we’ve been since my last post. I just want to get back in the mood of writing again and share the experience about our mis(adventures).

Stay tuned. It’s nice to be back…

Our last adventure: May 2-5, 2001

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My instrumentalist idols!

I belong to a musically-inclined family. My mom was a MAPE teacher (note: terror) and can really sing those high notes who can be compared to Pilita Corales. All my sisters played the piano and had performed at least a piano recital. My dad… well, he likes listening to the tune of Ol’ Blue Eyes, Neil Young, and Neil Sedaka. I was only 6 years old when I started liking classical music listening and playing on the piano the works of Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev among others. I’ve also learned to play widow and mastered popular TV tunes like Macgyver, Simpsons, and even the Mario Bros. Theme.

For years, I have idolized the Croatian pianist, Maksim Mrvica. He gave classical music a twist of rock. I admire the great dexterity of his fingers playing the piano as if they were just gliding those ivory keys. I bought all his albums and got the chance to meet him in person and had my CDs signed when he visited Manila several times.

Three years ago, I discovered Zack KimYong Woon, commonly known as Zack Kim in youtube. He is a Korean guitarist who became known for his “Free Hands” technique, playing 2 guitars  at the same time, just like playing piano. His first video garnered 28 million hits to date, his rendition of the Mario Bros. theme. Then just recently, he uploaded a “newly improved” Mario Bros. version. Here are my favorite Zack Kim videos.

And here’s a great surprise! I’ve been regularly visiting Zack Kim’s blog for his latest renditions. I just found out he will be in Singapore from May 28-30 for a series of free shows at The Esplanade. His shows are part of a series called Flipside. I’ll finally be able to meet him in person. You can check out further details at his blog: www.zackkim.com. Esplanade show schedules can be found here.

How to be GREEN

It’s not that type of “green” I’m talking about. This is about how we can help save Mother Earth… Eco-friendly greenness. We just celebrated the 40th Earth Day yesterday. Our world is in a greater danger than ever. We should do our part no matter how little or insignificant it may seem. Someone shared this video and I find it cool how a cute little pug was used to convey the message. Let’s all be green.

Categories: Miscellaneous, Music and Video | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Extreme Sports (and traffic) – Tagaytay/Taal Edition

It feels great when you and your significant other’s birthdays are only days apart. You can just celebrate both birthdays with just one blowout. Ours usually land during the Holy Week. For the past three years, Macel and I have been celebrating them out of town. Two years before, I was invited by her family at Eagle Point in Anilao, Batangas and last year, a long road trip to Ilocos. This year, since her parents were on a 2-week pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I invited Macel to come with us for a short vacation. Somewhere near. Tagaytay.

I booked for an overnight stay for the 5 of us (including my sister and 2 nieces) at Tagaytay Cool Breeze Hotel. Early Maundy Thursday, me and my niece left our house in Fairview to fetch my sister and my other niece at their house in Pasig. I left my car there, changed vehicles then headed off to Alabang to fetch Macel before going to Tagaytay.

When we arrived in Tagaytay, traffic was horrible. Vehicles were barely moving. It was the first time to experience standstill in Tagaytay among the countless times I’ve been there. We checked-in after lunch and decided to rest for a while before heading back to the tumultuous conditions of Aguinaldo highway.

It was past 330 pm when we left the hotel and headed off to People’s Park/Picnic grove. But traffic turned from worse to worst as multitudes of people seem to flock to Tagaytay as their nearest vacation spot. It took us almost an hour to reach our destination. I texted our contact for the boat ride to the island of Taal but he was still with another group. We had to settle with another guide who turned out to be the mom of our original guide. We took our van for another 25-minute drive down through the seemingly endless twists and turns, zigzagging roads towards the shore. Luckily though, there weren’t any traffic along the way. We still had to travel around 30 minutes by boat to the island. By the time we got there, it was almost dark.

MV stands for Motorized Vanca or if you want it... Mamang Vancero

Taal Volcano

If the adventure of going through the traffic, driving down the steep slopes like Baguio, then riding a boat with no lifejacket provisions weren’t enough, we still had to go (extreme) horseback riding going to the mountain summit so we can see the crater. It’s been a long time since I’ve last rode a horse but not riding in the dark along a rocky dirt path on the mountain with cliffs on both sides. But there’s no turning back now. Our safety and most especially our lives now depend on our guide and the horse that carried us. We rode in the darkness only to be illuminated by the stars shining above and some occasional brightness from the cigarette lighters of our guides. On the way up, we could barely see the outline of the trees that lined the mountainside. Below, cavernous depths that you can only pray that you only suffer broken bones should you fall. It was a huge sigh of relief when we arrived at the summit but only to be frustrated because we could not see the crater. Even the brightest of flashes from the SLRs and digicams failed to catch a glimpse of what we were supposed to be doing up there… appreciating the crater of Taal Volcano.


Looking at the brightside, we experienced stargazing in the clarity of the cloudless night sky.

Hiyaaa! Tigidig-tigidig!

Dirt Trail and cliffs galore

This is what we were after! (c/o johnmelvinrobles.com)

It was a tiring yet memorable experience as we were laughing our hearts out recalling our own moments. I’d definitely go back there for sure. Next time, it’ll be during the day.

Categories: Adventure, Relaxation | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

(Mis)Adventure of the Day: 03-04-10

Fellow Rusher Rina aka Elen.P and her officemate Aileen went to Singapore for a 2-day training. Whenever I’m free, I’d take them around the city, eat variety of dishes, try the daring stuff, and of course, take a lot of pictures. Our pictures during their 5-day stay here can be seen here. But there was this particularly funny (if you’re green-minded) name when we went to Sentosa. I forgot to post this on the day I took this pic.

Kore wa senpuuki desu. (This is an electric fan!)

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(Mis)Adventure of the Day: 02-19-10

I was in Bugis with my housemate enjoying our foodtrip of fishball, fried kway teow and water chestnut juice when we stumbled upon this sign on a store:

Mmmmm… Buhok pa lang, amoy panggisa na. Sarap sa sinangag!

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Welcome the Year of the Metal (and lonely) Tiger (that’s me)

Greeting everybody a festive Gong Xi Fa Cai / Kung Hei Fat Choi and a romantic Valentine’s day! Though it’s a little sad for me because my beautiful fianceé is not with me to celebrate not just the day of hearts but our 4th anniversary! (how cheesy can you get). It could have been a 3-in-1 celebration. So not to dwell so much on sadness and missing her so much, I planned on going around the city on New Year’s eve, feel the mood of the festivities, and of course being the pyromaniac that I am, FIREWORKS! I texted some of my friends and housemates to meet up after work so we can hang out somewhere… the perfect spot? Chinatown, of course! I bought a bag of goodies for $5, a good deal at that for a heaping bag of various sweets mostly present only during the Chinese New Year celebration.

Eu Tong Sen St. in Chinatown closed to traffic

Prepping the fireworks
Getting ready for the festivities
Colorful display

I then went to Burger King at Central Mall to meet my housemate. I met a Filipino family who just came from Clarke Quay to see the fireworks. They said that there will be a 5-minute fireworks display at the floating platform in Marina Bay. Of course who would want to miss that?  I only wish that I have a decent DSLR camera for more beautiful shots. Soon! *wink*wink*

I was 2 minutes late when the fireworks display began


When the people rejoicing subsided, I called Macel up and greeted her a happy new year, happy Valentines day, and happy 4th anniversary. I miss her so much and I can’t wait to be with her soon. Haaaay…

Managed to capture the final minutes of the fireworks using my ever reliable Nokia 6120c.

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Singapore Life and the first ever International EB.

I am now on my 3rd week living here in Singapore and so far I am getting the hang of  it. Even though I haven’t started working yet, I’m enjoying here. Strictly following my budget, I seldom eat out or splurge on something unnecessary. I’ll do that when I start earning my paycheck here. I buy produce at the nearest market, go grocery shopping, prepare my own food (though sometimes, me and my housemates share), do my own laundry, and iron my clothes… just like back in college when I first had my first experience of total independence. To kill boredom, I go out and jog in the morning trying out different routes, go to church, meet friends, or go to the countless malls here and just do some window shopping (not to mention ogling). But most of the time, I just stay at home and watch TV or use my ever reliable laptop and enjoy the wifi at our flat.

I do miss my family, my beautiful fiancée, and my friends back home. At least I get to talk or chat with them via YM almost every day. The last thing on my mind is to feel homesick so that they don’t have to worry about me. And just last weekend, I met a lot of new people here thanks to the common passion of listening to the tandem during our weekday mornings, Chico and Delamar. They went to an official business trip here in Singapore to promote Sentosa back in the Philippines. When I first learned of the plan that the two will be going here back in December, I really really need to gather as many rushers I can based in Singapore to have a one-of-a-kind EB… the first International Rushers’ EB. How sossy can you get?

Utilizing the wonders of Twitter, as early as two weeks before, I was able to get in touch with at least 10 people and my Singapore number has been busy ever since. I thought that it would be an easy task just to gather people then meet with C&D. But it was so difficult because I still had to coordinate with the schedule of C&D. On Saturday, I was sure that they would arrive around lunch time, but I was still clueless on their itinerary. I just decided to inform the rushers to meet after lunch at Vivo City. The first people I met were Melay and Joy. We had coffee while waiting what to do. I finally got a text from Delle and told me that they really had a tight schedule that day and we can only meet them at the hotel after 8 pm. Feeling sorry for Melay, Joy, and Gio for being there so early and making them wait, I informed them that Chico and Delle will only be available after 8 pm.I texted the others of the situation and agreed to meet up again later around 7 pm. The others decided to head off to Sentosa directly. Our group who met again at Vivo arrived at Rasa Hotel a little past 9, did some meet and greet with C&D and the rest of the group, then took a short stroll until we finally settled at bar named Cafe del Mar. We ordered drinks, chatted and bonded instantly. Of course, a lot of picture taking took place. We parted ways around midnight.

I felt tired, but the efforts were all for the love of The Morning Rush. The best thing was I gained a lot of new friends. To the TMR legends Cecil and Shay; to my future sister-in-law, Cathy, and her boyfriend Drew, and friend Tine; to the new faces: Emmylou, Chuck, Melay, Joy, Fay, Kent, Ezel, Iven, Ryan, Gio, Ron, Bebe/Daylene, Rochelle, Sonny, and to those who met us on the 2nd day: Marlon, Jun and wife Richelle, Nates, Junith and the Sentosa winners Joenil andRashell, nice meeting you. Thanks to all of you for making the Singapore EB a huge success. Whew! I hope I didn’t miss anybody! Till the next EB!

First night at Cafe Del Mar in Sentosa. If my memory serves me correctly... SITTING FROM L-R: Kent, Emmylou, Joy, Melay, Delle, Chico, Shay, Iven, Tine, Cathy, Drew. STANDING L-R: Fay, Chuck, Ryan, Rochelle, Sonny, Gio, Ron, Cecil, Me, Ezel, and Daylene

At Coffee Bean in Changi Airport. From L-R: Chuck, Jun, Marlon, Joenil , Chico, Delle, Emmylou, Rashell, Richelle, and Sonny

Categories: Adventure | Tags: | 5 Comments

The Year that was 2009.

This post is going to be short, sweet, and simple.

The year 2009 was a splendid year for me. It was a year of big changes and unexpected twists and turns. I’ve met new people. Most were fellow Rushers like me. But of the countless people I’ve acquainted, only a few have been promoted to  be included in my inner circle I call friends. Special mentions  to Edzcel, Helki, Ron, Stephen, Noel, and Jobert who I got to really bond with towards the latter part of the year.

I had a great birthday party last April. It was the first time I organized such gathering and I realized how stressful (and expensive) it could get. But it was a blast. One of the most memorable birthdays I ever had.

I became an “unexpected father” to my niece when her dad died last July.

I got engaged to my beautiful and lovely girlfriend of more than three years on the night of November, Friday the 13th.

And to cap off the major events in my life for the year 2009… I’ve resigned from my first job where I’ve been working for almost 8 years to pursue a new endeavor abroad.

I’m looking forward to the challenges that await me in 2010. In 2 weeks, I’ll be leaving for Singapore to pursue a new career and by the end of 2010, I’ll be getting married. A big leap in life as we enter the new decade. Time to face new challenges ahead.

Welcome 2010. Carpe diem!

Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: | 3 Comments

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