Here and back

31 10 2011

TWO OF the smoothest landings I’ve ever experienced in my life as a traveler framed four and a half days I got to spend back home in the Philippines.  The landings were smooth that I felt the urged to applaud the pilot.  So smooth and actually, quite ironic.  I gazed out of the airplane window and recognized that inside I was a tumult of emotions.  Now on my fourth month in Singapore, I didn’t realize that on the third time of visiting home, I would find it quite difficult to come back.

I miss my family.  I always do.  We may have friendships that could last or have actually lasted us over a decade.  But it will always be only family who can love us unconditionally and make us feel that we do matter.  And because of that, everything that I do, I do for them.





















Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

Time off

20 10 2011

I KNOW exactly the point when I’ve become friends with someone.

I know it, when, upon bidding the cashier and cook at Formosa Delights a fond farewell right after devouring yet another bowl of their signature Tomato Noodle Soup (U-Mian), I had to tell them that they wouldn’t be seeing much of me for the next few days as I’m flying home for a few days’ respite.

The guy at the adjacent Fried Prawn Noodles stall couldn’t help but overhear our conversation that sounded very much like the kind between friends.  The cashier looked at him and said, “He’s my friend.”

She didn’t actually have to declare that in my presence or within my earshot.  I’ve known it all along.  I knew it from the very first time she called me “Darling” when I showed up at the end of the line at their storefront.

She can call me darling any time.  Anybody who shares with me great food and heartwarming conversation can call me darling any time.

Quite obviously, a bowl of my favorite Tomato Noodle Soup by Formosa Delights.


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

Turning back the clock

16 10 2011

Casio Aluminum Solar Wristwatch

“TURN BACK The Clock” by Johnny Hates Jazz is one of those songs that I would sing everytime we’d have a program in school.  Or when I would be simply asked to entertain the class.  Now you know that I spent my cognitive and formative years drowned in highly synthesized music.

It’s the one song that instantly played in my head when I took one look at the Casio Aluminum Solar wristwatch at the very busy display of this unassuming store in Lucky Plaza.  It transported me to the time when I was juggling three Casio wristwatches – a Solar, a Data Bank, and a Classic – all the way through high school.  I stood there unmoved in front of the display but it felt like I had traveled through time.  The pun is intended.

The only reasonable thing to do was to get the watch.  For all the good times it could remind me of – not that I really needed something tangible to get reminded of a happy past – I’d got to have it.  I did.  And for the first time here in Singapore, I haggled my way to a purchase.

One of the wristwatches that bring me back.


Lovin' the all-stainless steel bracelet!


This is my "I-don't-give-a-damn" wristwatch.

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

Two princes and a pauper

16 10 2011

Two Princes! The TISSOT Heritage Prince I – the "Swirl" and the "Classic".

FROM THE moment I first laid eyes upon its face, I knew all my defenses had melted.  All it took was love at first sight, a one-stop train ride, and an overnight shipment to Eastern Watch at 313@somerset, for me to get my hands on the Tissot Heritage Prince I.

Tissot Heritage Prince I, the first dial design that I fell in love with.

Since then, whenever I would find myself in front of a Tissot counter at fine wristwatch stores, I would ask if I could look at the Heritage Prince I, coy about my intentions to buy.  I knew I wouldn’t end up in a compromising situation (wherein I would have to buy) because the watch model is not one that distributors have put on display.  It’s not one of their more popular styles.  But me, I love the curved body and the bold numbers on the dial.

I love the curved body and the bold numerals!

So when one finally did turn up to be “in store,” I had to tell my beating heart to be still.  One look at the face – this one has the numbers all in a “swirl” – and I knew I would lose sleep over making the decision to buy or not to buy.

The second dial design that I saw... and yes, loved too!


Lean on me...

I took my sweet time thinking.  But fascination and infatuation did win in the end.  If I had even the slightest iota of indecision – or the portent of the faintest hint of regret looming in the horizon – I would’ve surely pulled back my outstretched card-bearing hand.  I searched deep inside me for the words, “Sorry, but I changed my mind,” and the mortification that never came.

This wristwatch was first released in 1916.  In 1991, it was issued as a “re-edition” and called Tissot Classic Prince.  Now, it has incarnated to be the Tissot Heritage Prince I.

I'm definitely stacking these two on my wrist.


...And I did! My new Tissot Heritage Prince I debuted today.

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

Art at the train station

16 10 2011

Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games Mural

A THING of beauty is a joy forever.  Or, the cause for a momentary pause.

One evening, in yet another one of my relay-race moments, changing lines within the Singapore MRT system, I saw a mural that made me totally forget that I was, just minutes prior, running like crazy to make it to my appointment at the Esplanade Mall.

The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Mural is just so beautiful – breathtaking even.  It reminded me that even a mundane scene in everyday life, like chancing upon this mural on my first ever time on the Circle Line, could put a smile on your face.  And make you take your sweet time.

The Marker


The Olympic rings


The mural is all about friendship.




Some of the train stations here have amazing architecture.


I loved even this escalator ride.


I've been waiting for this!


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

A concrete jungle and the windy city

16 10 2011

My trusty, years-old, leather wallet from one of my brothers.

I DON’T think I’ll ever replace my leather wallet.  Ever.  I mean, until it really literally falls apart.  Right now, it has broken apart at the seams.  But as long as it could still hold my cards, my little cash, and the many receipts I accumulate, it’s just as perfect as when it was gifted to me by my brother.

I think this wallet has been with me to at least four countries.

I may have gotten a brand new Blackberry Bold 9780 from my youngest brother.  But my other brother, at the attempt to get me a new leather wallet got this from me, “But the last one you gave me has given me good luck.”

Well, he wouldn’t argue with that.  It’s like a huge compliment.  Like telling him that he is majorly responsible for most of the good things in my life.

But since moving here in Singapore, I’ve felt the need to keep a couple more wallets with me, not really for holding money, but for holding so many cards.  It seems like every establishment here offers some kind of membership, rewards, or privilege card.  The first “extra” wallet I had to put together was for all the restaurant cards.  After going through three new leather (long) wallets, I said I was done.

Then one turn along the aisles of Harris made me realize that I had spoken too soon.  I hit a rack, and got introduced to mighty wallet®, the Original Tyvek® Wallet – mighty thin, mighty strong, mighty green.  100% eco-friendly.  100% recyclable.

Mighty Wallet!


I'm loving the colors on the NYC Subway Map, folded perfectly into a wallet! Who knew!


I had to think it through if I wanted to actually use the wallet. This happens to be the only remaining piece with the "NYC Subway Map" print among hundreds in the store!


"It's not a paper wallet. It's a Mighty Wallet!"

While the fact that it is composed of 25% post-consumer materials made into a single folded sheet of tear-resistant, water-resistant wallet in an innovative expandable design didn’t escape my eye; it is the myriad prints available that really captured my attention.

There were classic canned food label, comic strip, superhero designs but I didn’t agonize over which to choose.  I got the NYC Subway Map, an actual map featuring over 80 stops in Manhattan, and The ‘L, a licensed imagery of Chicago’s famous elevated train with a focus on the “Loop.”

The packaging explains a lot about the actual product and the print... that I wouldn't want to throw it away.


A concrete jungle and the Windy City

Sentiment drove my easy choices, especially with Chicago, one of my favorite cities in the world.  And where in 2003, I spent Christmas and enveloped in joy, slumped – more like jumped – onto every mound of snow I came across on the Magnificent Mile.

I could still hear my brother and sister-in-law screaming in horror, “Get up, that’s dirty!”  Haha!

I heart Chicago...




Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

Awfully dark, awfully bitter, awfully good chocolate

15 10 2011

Rich Chocolate Cupcake (in an "exhibition" solo box), Awfully Chocolate, Ion Orchard, Singapore

CHOCOLATE HASN’T really stood a chance to make me weak in the knees.

Okay, I guess there must’ve been at least one wobbling on record somewhere.  But for the most part, chocolate has never really made me hardly speak or lose my self-control.

And then I came across Awfully Chocolate at Ion Orchard.

Their very straightforward menu – just cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, truffles. It's the "cold poached chocolate" that caught my eye.


So the bestsellers are the "Super Stacked Chocolate Cake" and the ice cream.


Kahlua Bars


Dark Chocolate Truffles


Cold Poached Chocolate

Now I’m speechless and knocked right off of my feet.

I’m big on cupcakes.  That’s one of the things I miss most about home.  And seeing “Rich Chocolate Cupcakes” staring back at me at Awfully Chocolate’s stark counter top display, I couldn’t help but hear, “Bite me.”

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes


There are White Chocolate Cupcakes too.


I haven't tried this one yet!

Going along with the dialogue developing in my head – believe me, that almost always happens when I wait in line – I fixed the cupcake with a stare, quite obviously taking the bait, and telepathically snapped back, “Why so lonely in the window?”

Don't they look so pretty?! Pretty scrumptious.

I asked the pretty counter girl about their cupcakes and she said, “They’re moist chocolate cake with a rich dark chocolate frosting.”  I don’t think I need to add to that.

This cupcake is such a tease...

But standing right in front of a tub of their Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, I knew I needed to add to my order of 10 of their luscious-looking cupcakes.  I just had to have a scoop to see me through the wait.  Intense pleasures.

Their boxes and packaging could very well be at home at Chanel.


Awfully Chocolate has these laminated "Chinese takeout boxes" to scoop their ice cream in.



The same boxes are perfect for their Kahlua Bars and Dark Chocolate Truffles.


But as I've said, they're perfect for the ice cream.


This was my first one!


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.