Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mom + Dad's Singapore Trip

Mom and Dad just got back from Singapore today! We were supposed to go with them, but Richard's schedule won't allow it so we had to stay in BKK. Here are some pics of mom and dad's trip...

We sent them off at Suvarnabhumi (pronounced su-wa-na-poom) airport last Sunday. Alyannah didn't want to say goodbye to lolo and lola. She cried when we left them. What more pa kaya when they fly back to Manila? I'm sure it will be a bigger drama kasi kasama pa ako sa iiyak. Haha!

The honeymooners (naks!) with Alyannah at BKK airport.

They stayed at dad's cousin, tita Lea's house in Singapore. I call her tita but she's just about my age. For their first pasyal, tita Lea brought them to IKEA. Mom said the items at IKEA were super cheap daw. She bought me a shoe rack and another rack with a nice design where we can put socks, neckties, etc. She bought a couple of stuff for her house as well. Mom wanted to buy more stuff sana pero mahihirapan lang daw siya mag-uwi nun sa Manila.

Gosh, look at all the pots and pans! And the canisters! Nakakagigil! Richard says I buy too much stuff for the house. Some of them we don't really need naman daw. But I'm a housewife, hello! It's my job to buy stuff for the house! When mom was making kwento about the stuff that she saw in IKEA, I was super jealous! Parang I wanted to book a flight to Singapore right away just to go to IKEA. Hehe!

Dad with his cousins (left to right) tita Lea and tita Kristine.

Lovers in Singapore. Hehe!

Mom and dad were very lucky to catch the ongoing sale at Singapore -- 50% at most items! So nag-shopping na naman sila.

Dad bought mom new bags: Limited Editon Burberry Tote at SGD400 (50% off) and Ferragamo Fiera Print Bag at SGD900 (50% off again!). Gosh, that's a super crazy sale! I'm so drooling over mom's new bags! Kakainggit!
Mom and dad also bought us pasalubong...
A new stuffed toy and chocolates for Alyannah.
Four new Marks & Spencer long-sleeved shirts for Richard.
And a new Guess Shadow Tote Bag for me! Yipee!! Perfect timing because I was thinking of buying a new bag the other day.
Thank you, mom and dad for the pasalubongs!

Alyannah's First Contest

Meet the new jigsaw puzzle world champion -- Alyannah!!

Actually, she won third place but as proud parents (not to mention stage parents, haha!), we call her the jigsaw puzzle champ! To us, she's #1 :)
The contest was held last Sunday at Toys "R" Us in Central World Mall. Richard and Yan went to the mall to buy books -- sadly, I wasn't there to see my dear daughter's momentous feat because I was at the Platinum Mall shopping for pasalubongs, but my husband filled me in; describing the event with such passion that it almost felt like I was also there. He spotted the contest and quickly signed her up. Lakasan lang talaga ng loob for both Richard and Alyannah because she was the only foreigner among the contestants and she was the youngest! They barely understood the instructions so Richard told Yan what to do based na lang on what he understood. Well, it's a contest for kids five to 11 years old so how hard can it be, right?
There were four elimination rounds and our little champ won in all four that's why she made it to the finals. According to Richard, the locals were also cheering for our girl because they noticed that she was the youngest. Pero syempre yung daddy ang pinakamalakas mag-cheer. Seems like the locals were impressed with our little big girl.
Here's our champ in action...

Here's our girl receiving her prize from the mascot...

Alyannah's loot...

She won a new toy plus a gift certificate worth THB3,000 at the Ramkhamhaeng Advent International School.

My description might look exaggerated to some -- world champion pero third place naman pala -- but to the people who know our little girl, they will agree with us 100% that joining this contest is indeed a big leap for Alyannah. She used to be shy, quiet and introverted, but now she has completely changed. She's now friendly, very talkative, very brave (although she cried a bit when she found out that she was only in third place!) and outgoing. Before, you can't make her join contests like these; you can't even force her. But now, she didn't even hesitate! She is very competitive -- sometimes to a fault, that's why she cried when she didn't get first place (paging teacher Dee and teacher Pat, how can we work around this? Hehe!).
Every night, before we sleep, my husband and I would talk and our topic is usually about Alyannah. I'd share with him the things that she did during the day, the new things that she learned, etc. I am happy to be part of Alyannah's growing years, and I am happier to be loved by this little girl who brings so much joy in our life. She has this certain something that makes everyone around her crazy about her. My parents are crazy about Alyannah, even my relatives! They shower her with gifts and they all just want to hug and kiss her when they see her. Sometimes, when I tell Richard about Yan's achievements, I would get teary-eyed. You see, she may be my stepdaughter but I treat her as if she were my own. She may not be born from my tummy, but she was born from my heart.
Last night, when Richard and Yan went to 7-11 to buy some groceries for the house, she bought me chocolates. She told her dad to buy me Cadbury Roasted Almond kasi daw it's my favorite. How sweet is that? I never told her about my favorites. She probably just observed it. That's how smart our little girl is! And that's how malambing she is. Everytime we'd go out, she wants to buy pasalubong for everyone. Even for our family in Manila.
To our jigsaw puzzle world champion: your daddy and I are extremely proud of you! We love you, Alyannah!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ancient City

The Ancient City, or Muang Boran, is the Thai version of our very own Nayong Pilipino. This 320-acre property is roughly the shape of Thailand, with 116 replicas of Thai monuments positioned relative to their exact location in the country. Muang Boran is located in Samut Prakan (same area as the Crocodile Farm), 40 minutes to one hour away from Bangkok. Entrance fee is THB300 for adults and THB200 for children. We paid an additional THB100 for our car and THB80 for the driver. You can join the tram tour or rent a bike or golf cart, but with additonal fee.

First, we visited the Floating Market.

Naaliw sila mommy sa calamansi plant na to kasi ang daming bunga.

The first vendor that we spotted. The real floating market probably has more vendors than the Ancient City.

For THB25 per person, you can take a boat ride where you will see not just the floating market, but different monuments located along the canal as well. The boatman is very nice even if he doesn't understand English. He was particularly fond of Alyannah because she was singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" throughout the trip! He probably did not understand what she was singing, but he was amused with the fact that she was singing non-stop.

Mom didn't want to ride the boat kasi baka daw tumaob. I was a bit scared too so I tried not to move too much and hung on for dear life. Hehe!

After the boat ride, we bought fish food for THB10. Alyannah enjoyed feeding them because they were scrambling for the pellets and some of the fish would even jump from the water.

From the Floating Market, we drove around the park. Sorry I won't be able to give the names of the monuments because the info on their website is not complete. I can't understand the map either.

Muang Boran is a nice place to take pictures. Be prepared to be exposed under the sun though and for a lot of walking. If you really want to look at all the monuments and replicas one by one, then allot half a day for your trip. It only took us a couple of hours because we just drove through some of the areas, stopping only at the ones that we thought were picture worthy. Hehe!