Category Archives: au natural

Most Yummilicious taste in the World: Honey

I have a craving for honey, and its curious how it started with Patty’s casual question over the cubicle (that’s our style at work), “eh what do you usually have for breakfast?”

I love it when people ask me breakfast questions. I just think it is so gorgeously sincere! When you ask me about what I’d like for breakfast, is like asking an intimate question to really get to know me, because breakfast is a sacred time for many.

 

For night owls, breakfast is spent in deep knock-out slumber on the bed; a private escape to dreams.

For morning people like me, breakfast is a world of amazing possibilities: milk? cereal? cookies? dunk them in tea? or hot chocolate? maybe bread? maybe bread with butter? and even honey?

 

Honey. Oh boy. When I die, drench me in honey. It is a sure way to get into heaven…

I can’t adequately describe how this sticky chewy, aromatic substance is in so many ways my best mealtime companion. It IS sacred. Sigh. The love goes on.

 

Anyway, the reason why I am writing is this: I just returned from a holiday to India, and I have so many thoughts and feelings inside me.

1. I can’t believe I spent a good 7 days without spam-checking my iPhone. I did it! I was dropped from 3G for a good week, with no good reception and no way of accessing Facebook and whatsapp on the move and it has only done me good. Like SO MUCH good. Gone were the times of checking incessantly for messages that would not be coming in anyway, or mindlessly flicking the screen looking for nothing. Instead, i set my gaze to the beautiful (and sometimes hectic) surroundings, and try to drown myself in all the colors and sounds.

Did you know India is beautiful? Some things I loved were the way cows and little goats frolicked in the sunny streets with no care, like regular pets. I loved the traditional garbs of the Indian women, I loved the occasional spectacular saris and punjabi outfits gracing the streets. I love the street hawkers, and the big juicy fruits they peddled only for a few rupees.

 

2. I enjoyed being free. During my entire trip, the only object I pursued was pleasure. I was completely at leisure to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I could make a choice to stuff myself with masala, or laze out in the sun and contemplate life. I could read, listen to my music, or write in my diary.  I didn’t check my emails, and I didn’t get in touch with anyone who was not around me. I had to make conversations with my travel buddies, and I do so when i felt like it. In the end, we knew each other so much better than we ever could, and the friendships I’ve made in the easy times are things I will cherish forever.

 

3. My senses were invigorated by immense beauty. I had the chance to visit the Big Temple in Thanjavur, the scale of the temple and its beauty awed me. I was in Kodaikanal, and the mountainous scenes, steep cliffs and rocks were so gorgeous. I find myself in love again.

 

 

The funny thing is that to me, no matter now beautiful are the things I see, man made or natural, they all don’t come close to the beauty of relationships. One of the biggest takeaway I have out of my India trip is the message that: live your life to the utmost every single minute.

I don’t mean you have to now rush like a mad thing trying to accomplish something every second. In fact I mean the opposite. I mean that we can try to be at peace with ourselves, and still our mind to concentrate on the present, because each moment is different, and if you are always living in the future or for the past, you are just wasting your time away.

I mean that we should be deeply conscious of our existence and be grateful for that. I mean that each day we can perhaps come closer to understanding ourselves and drawing our full potential, and enjoy the process of growing and learning. We are not perfect, and the last thing to do is to try to be someone else just to be perfect. But how about being the best of me? I think that’s a worthy pursuit for this life.

And ironically as it sounds, I see that the best way to be perfectly us, is to think about others. We have come a full circle back down to relationships. The act of giving something good and pleasing to someone else, so that both parties can share something beautiful, a kind of grace that is invisible and intangible.

I don’t know, but I truly think that we are born to be in relationships with each other. A single person alone is nothing much, what joy can be derived out of enjoying nature’s beauty by oneself? We are all mirrors for each other, what we do to others define ourselves.

What a heavy lessons for such a light-hearted holiday huh! I don’t know what’s gotten to me. My sore throat must be burning up my head. Time to snuggle (:

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Things that make you Cry and Laugh at the same time

One thing is life for sure.

I hope your life is funny, sunny, bitter and sweet at the same time. That’s a life worth living.

But other than Life, there are moments littered in our every day that possess the same powerful effect, that could make you laugh and cry at the same time:

A Good Read. A book that speaks to you through its volumes of a past experience, a deep ache within. Or maybe one that offers a window to someone else’s life, a life so helpless and fragile, and yet you could not reach out to help in any way. You laugh because you can imagine its simple sweetness, and you cry for all the unfairness suffered.

A Decade-old Photo. When you see your smooth, oval face and the spotless laugh that knew no troubles; oh how you hate and love at the same time! Love for the moment you had, and hate that it is long over. Pleaseeee get over the bitterness and be grateful that you were enriched by such beautiful experiences! (:

A Cup of Coffee. You could be having it alone, or perhaps as a friendly brew with an old acquaintance; anyhow, caffeine is a great brain stimulant, and at times it could work just as well even for the tear ducts! Say if you were sharing a private joke (even just to yourself) and you burnt your tongue while chuckling quietly.

Very likely.

An Unwilling Lesson Learnt. That was what happened to me today. I was bringing my parents out for a day trip, our usual food-hunt, and I envisioned a relaxing stroll after a delicious meal.

To my own grievous fault (heh), it became a stressful roundabout walk, long hours of getting lost, and a set of tired and grumpy parents, carrying two pairs of feet that were more tired and grumpy than anything ):

It was really my fault. Not only did I walk too fast, I was way too impatient in finding my way around, indecisive about what to do, and too stubborn to take any advice.

You know I thought I changed! I used to be a panicky drowning-duck-in-the-pond type of person, and I really, really thought I shook that off already. I thought that I have learnt to carry myself in a confident, relaxed way. I was so wrong! I am still the worried little girl trying so hard to prove myself. 

After all these years, I am still the same in so many ways. What a downer.

I guess one improvement is that I don’t sulk out loud and pretend nothing’s wrong anymore. I shed a few quiet tears, and as I thought back about the frantic walking we did, I actually managed to laugh out. AT myself.

There you go, crying and laughing at the same time!

How could I be so wrong, thinking that I’m all good and grown now. How you surprise me, oh G.

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You will always be a one hit wonder

Don’t you think that we can be such stubborn creatures always?

Our itchy hearts always, always want something new.

Not that they are bad, but maybe we are disillusioned about their benefits. Sometimes they are not good for us.

Or maybe it is simply not the right time.

“I shall not want.”

It is so much easier said than done, but to call it quits before trying is a coward. Don’t b e like that! Face the music and carry on. Try to be patient and kind, and wait for it to come to you, all in good time (:

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The longer I run

I have grown to like running again! It is a feeling that was long lost to me.

Back in 2010 I used to really run quite a lot. LOL it scares me that the mention of years of the new millennium actually sounds like old news. (WHAT KIND OF AGE ARE WE LIVING IN? An age that ages too fast, me thinks.)

I could do 10 at a whim, and I was hooked to the thrill of breathlessness. I wasn’t crazy fast, but I wasn’t slow, I was damn tired, but I so loved it. I loved the feel of my carbs burning away (I’ll admit as much!) and I loved the scream in my legs, because back then I needed to feel intensely before I could recognise my worth. If it doesn’t hurt I wasn’t doing enough.

And of course it didn’t last long, this act of living life half-alive. Soon I was getting too comfortable with myself all over again, and those memories of “die running” no longer attracted me. In fact it sent shivers down my spine!

But now I am back! And it feels so good to be sane and motivated at the same time. I think I am really, really rickety and old now, but I no longer need to proof a point. Sure I run to lose weight, but also because I want to be healthy and feel alive. I want to live at the tip of my toes! So I run.

I ran and as I did, I shed all troubles of the day, the what ifs and what nots. I ran as fast as I would like, without worrying how much there was to go before I could stop, without thinking if I have arrived.

Right now what mattered most was being present. So just bring one leg forward,

and the other,

and you go!

P.S. This is a random incident that happened after the run. I title it THE TEXTURE OF SIN: I promise I didn’t feel like eating anything at all. But it turns out it was a futile promise :\ if not for the retainers, I would have sunk my front teeth right into the heart of the creamy, yummy brown cube. Chocolates are defenseless against my enamel prison!! And it all came about from just one touch. A tentative finger prodding the smooth, mahogany surface of the chocolate dome. A touch can kill. A touch can move waves of desireeeee…!

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A strange feeling we have met before.

I was standing at the junction listlessly  fiddling my phone when I noticed a strange, broad hand waving in my face. Not thinking anything at all I looked up and saw – Dass! He was back from London!

I know it is very strange, but I couldn’t say how glad I was to see him. Of course I didn’t know that feeling inside me was gladness at first. I said a surprised “hey!” and started removing my ear piece, and rolling them together neatly. I looked at him and asked him where did he come from, while he asked me if I just got off the train at the same time. The best way to start a conversation was by asking mundane questions.

He had small, bleary eyes, and I could tell he needed sleep badly, or is it is old problem coming back again? I felt like his caretaker thinking about such everyday things! He replied that he just got off the bus, and that he was at the learning centre. I asked him when did he arrive in Singapore, he said on the First, and yes he brought his wife and daughter back home as well. I asked about his house in London, and his place in Khatib, if it was empty. A friend stays there now, he said.

The green man flashed, and we started crossing the road. I said he looked thinner, which pleased him and he asked skeptically if it was true. Ok not tremendously thinner like I envisioned when Patty said so, but yes slightly slimmer. (OK but he was actually much slimmer when he first joined, ha!) He said he took a nap on the bus, and was still trying to adjust to local time. I asked if he took a longer nap during the lesson. He said he was at the verge of giving up towards the end of the class, and that others who just came back from the US didn’t fare any better.

We were standing and talking like that for a while at the corner of the crossing, and I waited for his green man with him. When the green man started walking, I waved goodbye to him, and we said we would see each other in the office again on Friday.

I know it was really stupid, but I couldn’t help smiling to myself as I walked the rest of the way home. Dass is back! Maybe I didn’t realize it but I do miss my boss. My nit-picking-micro-controlling-impatient-silly-laugh-introverted-intelligent boss.

But maybe it is because he has yet answered an important question, therefore seeing him makes me feel glad that some sort of an answer was near?

Whatever, I was glad to see him. Happy actually. Happy that he was doing well, that his family seemed well and good.

It is a strange yet wonderful feeling, to see an old friend face to face, in times unexpected.

What a way to start a week! : D

xoxo, G

P.S. strange things happened. The wind was really huge yesterday morning when I went out for yoga class; it sent the dry, yellow leaves flying in the air. A man on a bicycle moving towards me had a shocked expression on his face when a leaf dropped into his front basket which almost made me laugh. He was such a lucky guy! I have tried so hard on so many occasions to catch falling leaves, they say it is good luck, but I never did. And lo’behold, one lone leaf simply floated into his basket! He is going to have a good year, surely!

P.P.S I remembered that something strange happened today as well, but I can’t remember what. I love remembering whimsical stories, I would tell myself to note that and write it down when I get the chance, but most of the time I didn’t. I hope secretly inside I have stashed these stories in a safe corner, and one day they can come to me again, and I shall review them at leisure.

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Tips for a Boracay Escape 1

I have experienced it personally, and now I am more sure than ever, that Boracay is one of the world’s bestest beach destination to escape to. But because it is such a tough place to get to, I consider it my civic duty to share as much helpful information to realise the dream holidays of many. Feels like santa!

Cheers to free information on the net:

 

TIPS FOR A BORA HOLA – how to holiday in boracay. Strictly for guidance only.

#101 – 3 ways to get to boracay that end up being the same

You will definitely need to take a Caticlan Jetty ferry ride to get into Boracay, unless you feel extravagant enough to fly in on a propeller plane.

How to get to this mysterious Caticlan Jetty?

Route 1: SIN > CEBU > CATICLAN. The most expensive way, as it is expensive to fly into Cebu compared to Manila.

Route 2: SIN > MNL > CATICLAN. The second-most expensive way, as it is expensive to fly into Caticlan compared to Kalibo. However it is the most cost-effective and convenient route.

Route 3: SIN > MNL > KALIBO + VAN. The cheapest way. It is not difficult, just tiring, because of the long van ride you have to endure.

How i got there

Route 3.

SIN > MNL 3.5h, MNL > KLB 45min, KLB > CAT via van 2h. Total travel time: 10-13h.

Why so long? Delays and waiting time and silly travelling time

SIN > MNL, Tiger Airways, $416. MNL > KLB, Zest Air, $130. KLB > CAT, Random van, $10 each way. Ferry ride to Boracay, $5 each way.

I got an expensive ticket to MNL cos 2 days after I bought the $416 ticket the fare went on sale.

For domestic flights you can use to fly zest air or seair, we chose zest air as it had more flight timings. The internal flight to KLB was about $150, while flying to CAT would be $250, so we chose the  cheaper and more inconvenient option.

DO note that the domestic and 3 international terminals in MNL are about 100Pesos a taxi ride from each other. There is no use waiting for inter-terminals shuttles because they never come.

DO note that domestic flights, especially by zest air, are always being delayed. If you are lucky, it is just 1h, but usually it should be about 1.5h delayed.

DO note that the ferry to Boracay operates from 6am-10pm. It is quite flexible actually, if there are still flights and a pack of tourists waiting to go, the ferry will still run.

DO NOT book your domestic flight online. There are so many available flights, if you miss one you can just wait for the next one in an hour. If you book, and miss it, (which is very possible given the delays and traffic condition) you are just going to waste your money.

DO NOT check in bags if possible. This will cause even more delays I think. It is better to travel light, and buy anything you need in Boracay.

 

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GJB: Girls Jump Boracay/ 3rd Letter from a Filipina Island

BORACAY, 21DEC — I didn’t say much on the previous day, and the second half of today, because we basically spent it doing nothing at the beach. It wasn’t so bad, just that I am a fidgety thing and can’t sit still in the hot hot sun for long! Sweaty plastic chairs and me don’t go together. I went into the water a lot; it was really, really clear! I could see schools of fishes swimming about. I could see all the way to the sandy sea bed, which makes beautiful wave patterns. The water was so cooling that it freshens anyone up instantly!

But the most brilliant part of the day is definitely from 5pm onwards. I could not describe how beautiful the sunsets were. It was gold, red, purple, orange and blue at the same time. And each sunset is different. Yesterday it was a rich lustrous purple that filled the sky.

But today, I think the sunset is much more beautiful. It could be because of the two cute little girls playing sand by the shore that makes the beach scene much more picture perfect, it could be because we had the best seat in the house for a full-blown sunset view, or it could simply be because it just was.

  

The sunset today was orange. A burning, fierce orange gold, with a tinge of flaming pink at the edge. The curious thing was that a slash of blue-green penetrated the sky right where it should have been the deepest orange. The shocking blend created what I called a paddle pop effect: creamy, orange, purple, gold, gold, orange, orange, ORANGE SKY.

My goodness. After Boracay I see that there are so many more sunsets I have to catch in this lifetime, in different parts of the world. Thank you God for this beauty.

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GJB: Girls Jump Boracay/ 2nd Letter from a Filipina Island

BORACAY, 21DEC — We did horse-back riding! It is the last full day we will spend in Boracay, so we signed ourselves up for som galloping fun in the morning. I am half-sad that we were not canoeing in the jungle, half-sad we were not headed for Ariel Point for cliff jumping, half-sad that we did not zorb down a steep hill into the sea, and half-sad we couldn’t do some last bit of snorkeling ):

But cantering on horses is fun too! We were at fairway banks, and two very beautiful pony awaited us at the lobby entrance. Jo & I couldn’t decide who should choose the horse first, so I did, and I picked the velvety black one, Black Jones. he was a spritely one! He loved cantering on fast pace, and is extremely obedient to every command. it was very easy to guide and lead him, to make him run and to ask him to stop. I’m not sure why but I wasn’t scared at all!

it was a scenic golf course route we took, the beautiful view included the sea, rolling greens and lovely picket fences.

My favourite part was at the private beach in fairways. Black Jones galloped across the beach! I love the feel of the smooth rhythm of his body rising and falling, and I was just flowing along. I loved to touch his smooth and clean fur (: And rub his hair (: and tease his ears (: Juan my guide says that he eats carrots and grass and sleeps a lot every day. Black Jones is only 13 years old! Such a pretty pony. It was a special feeling, connecting to the beast that is so beautiful and yet so strong. It was an experience i didn’t think I would get from my Boracay holiday!

Filipinas in Boracay can sell you anything.

 

In mornings: “island hopping, ma’am?”

When you are walking along the beach: “shades, ma’am?”

When you are wearing shades: “hat ma’am?”

When you are wearing a hat: “braid hair, ma’am? Massage ma’am? manicure ma’am?”

In the late afternoon: “sunset sailing ma’am?”

Nighttime: “tomorrow island hopping ma’am?”

 

MY GOODNESS! lols. (:

 

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GJB: Girls Jump Boracay/ Letters from a Filipina Island

And so would you. Trust me.

19DEC, BORACAY — AMAZING DAY. We started off with a delicious bacon breakfast. I almost didn’t make it out of the room for my forgetfulness. I went in and out of the hotel room like seventeen hundred times to get missed breakfast coupons, misplaced cameras and forgotten meds. Joanne called me “fail” so many times today that I lost count. It is her favourite sarcastic word :\

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The day tour was GORGEOUS. We had <font color=pink> JHON RAFT </font> (Note: it is not a misprint) to ourselves for the whole afternoon. The aqua-coloured boat took us from the white beach, to the crystal cove and finally to puka beach. Realised I am a can’t-sit-still monkey, I walked up and down the boat, which was really cool, cos the view is so different and awesome, and it makes you feel like Capt’n Sparrow! My favourite thing to do was to sit at the front deck with my legs hanging loose, and my toes skimming the waters! 🙂

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The crystal cove was <font color=azure>cool.</font> We explored cavernous crystal caves that faced the sea so that gushes of waves slapped hard against the rock walls. The roars of the waves were amplified within the cove. We took some really awesome photos there!

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One of the caves had tunnels we could climb. We kept our heads low while we clamored into the narrow tunnel. I felt slightly claustrophobic thinking about the spiders and many-legged sea creatures hiding in the darkness. I thought about being trapped here and dying slowly as I ran out of air. Scary!

By the way the crystal cove is a lone island in the middle of the sea, and it has an amazing view. There were so many scenic spots were we took pretty shots, but no matter what nothing came close to what the eyes could see. It was vast seas stretched out to the left and to the right with no end.

For the first time i snorkeled. First lesson learnt: corals were painful to step on! I hurt my feet, and Jo too, but she had it worse, because her big toe was bleeding ): At first both of us were like scaredy cats in our life jackets gingerly lowering ourselves to the water. But when I first put our heads underwater I squealed loudly immediately. There were so many fishes!! Shiny ones, dark ones, colorful ones, dull ones. And the corals! They were beautifully swaying with the current! When Jo dipped her head in she shortly came up and squealed too! We just couldn’t believe our eyes. What looked like a clean, clear but lifeless sea was actually teeming with life! Soon I decided that the life sssjacket was more of an obstruction than anything else, and I removed it and jumped in, eager for more. The fishes are so cute. They are so amazingly slippery and fast! I tried to reach out by hand to touch them but I was slow like a turtle while they skimmed away smoothly at the speed of lightningA to evade my clumsy fingers. i felt like a little baby boy who just started learning how to walk. Swimming was for the fishes! Not man.

But still I had a fun time chasing after the slippery folks. I saw a school of cute grey-blue fishes with the most typical fish-shape swimming in schools, and they looked so leisurely. I saw brain-like corals which swayed stately in the water like an important landmark of some sort. I saw small colorful fishes that shot forward so fast that they looked like a colour-blur. As I am typing this in head I feel mildly dizzy, as if I am on the sea. I think I am too tired.

Anyway we had a really fulfilling day. The tour was really cheap and yet so good, I am so thankful for the excellent experience. It didn’t dampen our spirits a single bit when it started to pour like crazy at night, because we had a great day out, fabulous greek dinner and happy photos to remember our trip with.

I will always treasure this!

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The Agony of a Patience Wearing Thin

Slippers. It is truly agnosing to wear thing slippers and pad around cold, hard floors, but right now I can easily think of something that is much more agonising.

Waiting.

And not just waiting for anything, but specifically waiting for a

Possibilty.

And not just the possibility of anything, but of the important

Future.

So I try to be Patience in slippers, and I try not to pace around so much on the cold hard floor.

I shall go about meddling with daily duties that cry for my attention, and I shall not cast my thoughts too far away from the present.

I will stay here and trust that I will get what is mine to get in good time. It is never my time but yours to come, not my will but yours be done.

In the meantime, I’ll get a drink.

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