Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

It's that time of the year again where I do a quick summary of the year that has passed.

2016 was definitely a great year to remember because it was the year Jhon and I got married. If you've been following up, my blog was filled 98% of nothing but wedding related stuff even after our wedding on April because of reviews and such.

Sure, 2016 has it's ups and downs but it was a year with mostly ups and I am forever grateful with that.

There were a few other things that had happened in the year but these are the highlights of mine.
The year had started with our pre-wedding photoshoot, welcomed a new member of the family and I nursed and fell in love with a bird.

I turned 32 which was cool since aging never perturbs me, at least not mentally or emotionally.

Soon after that, our families officially met up for the first time which of course, lead to our wedding. We had more family bonding with the entire family and sight-seeing with the Tolentinos before sending them off to the Phillippines.

We spent almost a week at Cambodia which was amazing as we climbed the temples and soaked at the beach. We managed to squeezed in some of our normal routines of firework and picnics and concerts after celebrating Jhon's 34th birthday at Batam.

I know 2016 was terrible for the world 'out there' but for my little own world, for the first time in many years, I can happily say that it's pretty much awesome. I hope it will continue on to the years to come. I hope you had a great year too and even if it's not, I hope it had made you grew wiser.

Happy New Year, everyone!


Balik Kampung.... Oohhh... Balik Kampung...

We had booked for our trip to Philippines! Every year, Jhon would go back to hometown for a week or so for family bonding and since we are married, it's a trip for 2.

The last time I visited Philippines was 4 years ago and 5 years next year when our trip will be; late January to be exact.

We always liaise with Fil Air Travel and Tours (not sponsored ah lol) because it's less stressful. Plus, sometimes travel agents have special promotions so we got S$100 off which we wouldn't if we had bought online.

It is to also coincide with his grandma's big birthday party.
Mak was greatly invited to follow but due to unforeseen circumstances, she can't which is unfortunate especially after watching her and Ma got so close.

I simply can't wait because I've officially been bitten by the travel bug since Cambodia and if I have plenty of excess cash, there's where I would splurge on!

I crave for adventure and exploration even if it's a tiny one.


Penguruan Pencak Sendeng Camp 2016

My two nephews, Shibly and Syihab are currently are participating in a silat group called Penguruan Pencak Sendeng since early this year. Even Abg had joined as a fighter for while until he tore off his ligament on his bicep so it was just his 2 boys while he and Kak Yana joined as a team managers.

I've watched them practiced and had fought before and it was so amazing to see the young ones strutting their stuff. That was why we were more than happy when Abg and Kak Yana asked us to be the photographer and personal videographer for their camp. It was so last minute and we only had time for 2 of the 3 days. Since they were okay with it, then okay lah. Plus, a little moolah on the side was great too. hehe

The camp was held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and as much as I enjoy camping once in a blue moon, I don't think I could survive 2 nights of camping with such a big group, no less. On top of that, it was a rainy weekend which was fun to experience (oh boy, did we all got muddy) but clean up must be so leceh. Jhon and I were glad we get to go home since we needed to charge our stuff.

We missed day 1 but it was mostly silat training, camp chit-chat of goals, discussions, night walks and such. Day 2 was the interesting day because it was that's when they had their matches among themselves. There was also supposed to be team performances too but the day was getting late plus, one team was exceedingly in the lead for their best overall team that it would be fruitless.

I am going to post only some of the photos because there were tonnes.

After their morning walk and reflections, everyone had their breakfast.

Morning warm up.

And the inter-teams matches starts!

I can't resist the cute kiddos.

Father and daughter moment.

Random eagle photo because it happened to soar above us and even call cried out which was amazingly, was a first time for me to hear in real life. Usually, I would hear eagle cries on NatGeo or Assassins Creed.

This boy was excepted from silat but he better buck up next year. He is going to be in Primary 1 and that cute boy act is not working as well as before.

Shibly won his first official fight here. I'm biased so I'm going to bombard many photos of him.

War/ fighting face is never pretty huh? haha

Daddy as his corner man. Abg was beaming with pride that day.

We didn't have any photos of it but after the constant rain, there were plenty of mud all around. The big boys used a tarp for a mini slip and slide. Before we knew it, everyone joined and what supposed to be dumping people on the soapy water tarp, everyone started to dump people on the mud!

Everyone ended up muddy like swamp people! It was fun to watch and probably fun to experience but the thought of cleaning up in a public toilet was horrendous, wasn't it?

Next day, after breakfast and end of camp reflections, it was award ceremony.

Final verdict, it was a successful camp with entertaining moments almost every part of the day and I got really tanned, even more tanned when Jhon and I visited to Cambodia. Go figure!

Thanks to Abg and family for allowing is to be a part of the camp.

Oh yeah!

It was so hilarious when they were doing the lost and found segment where there were unclaimed towels and underwear! Typical camping moments!


Maher Zain Concert in Singapore

Remember when I would go to so many concerts? Yeah, I miss that lifestyle. The last time I went to a concert was actually in 2012 performed by Garbage. Every since then, financial things and wedding planning happened and that was it. We did go to several shows in between but never a concert.

I digress.

Maher Zain's concert was one of Jhon's birthday presents. He is quite a fan and he had mentioned a few times that Maher Zain's songs touched his heart strings.

Naturally, we headed to Kallang early to jalan-jalan and had an early dinner. We found ourselves at Ayam Penyet President, a first time besides the 'normal' Ayam Penyet restaurant. It was the best decision we ever made because we realized that they served grilled milk fish!!

I only discovered milk fish when I visited Philippines and had Relyenong Bangus which was basically stuffed milk fish. I love the meat but this fish has ridiculously amount of tiny bones! So when I saw they had de-boned grilled milk fish, I knew I got to have it.

We had some spare time after a while so we sat around enjoying the beautiful sunset.

You know what? It's been a while since we dated like this. Don't get me wrong, we do go out, watch movies and such but what I meant was sitting around and watching the sunsets. The only difference was me playing Pokemon hahaha but don't worry, I was never the one plastered on the handphone 24/7. (unless we are in the bus because gotta get all those pokestops)

If you had followed me on Instagram Stories, you would also know that we wore matchy-match outfits and I was feeling DREADFUL! I truly despise wearing matchy-match outfits (no offence to those who loves it, whatever makes you happy). I am okay with somewhat similar such as similar color groups but never matchy-match. In the past, we would always accidentally match in terms of color and Jhon would enjoy it or maybe enjoys watching me freak out.

Obviously, now that we are living together, you would think I can control and avoid that but Jhon insisted! I thought I could deal with it but as soon as we were down stairs, I felt so crappy and lame! sighs! NEVER AGAIN!

But the golden hour light was really good and cannot resist some photo taking.

ANYWAYS! I do digress a lot today huh?
Back to the concert story.

So being the cheapskate thrifty person I am, I did bought the cheapest seats since we just wanted to hear Maher Zain live and that fact that I've spent money on other presents and outings. To our happy surprise, our seats got upgraded. It's probably because the concert was not sold out and they wanted to fill in the seats below but WHO CARES? I saved $100 for each ticket! I saved $200 baby! haha

The opening act was Harris J which honestly, I have no idea who he was. He is like the Muslim Justin Beiber and his song 'Salam Alaikum' was really nice and catchy!

Again, if you follow my or Jhon's IG Stories, you would get to watch snippets of the concert.
Maher Zain's voice was perfection and that includes the band. He sang plenty songs from his latest album 'One' and many mashups from his previous ones, you know like InsyaAllah, Number One for Me, Ya Nabi Salam Alaika and more.

We thoroughly enjoyed the concert and the upgrade was just the cherry on top. Not only that, the date in general was wonderful. Perhaps minus the matching outfits....


Birthday at Batam

I had been cracking my head thinking what could I plan for Jhon's birthday. We don't usually do big special surprises but I was in the mood even though I had bought him 2 gifts in advance.

On top of several other gift surprises, I told Jhon we are going to Batam for the first time (I know right?) for a 3hr massage from head to toe. He has always been complaining back pains for the longest time and I can only massage him 15-30 mins every night. So I figured, send him for it so I don't have to for a while and yes, I also kaypoh and joined in for a couple massage.

As mentioned before, it was a virgin trip for the both of us which was weird because Singaporeans love to go to and fro to Batam and here we are like mountain tortoises. Good thing was we are always up for 'adventure'.

I had booked the ferry tickets via BatamFast months in advance so when we reached Vivo, we had breakfast and simply waited...... at the wrong queue. hahaha Luckily we realized it on time but by that time, we were the last group to board even though we were 1-2 hours early. We didn't even had seats and kinda wanted to submit to just standing until one of the crew spread cushioned seat and we had a window view with seats where we can stretch our legs.

I had liased with Ngayon Hotel & Mansion for a pick up so it would be less stressful for us. Just alight and straight away to the hotel. We settled down for a while before headed to the nearby Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall for lunch before our massages at Spa Secret.

Since there was a delay upon arrival at Batam (mostly at the immigration centre), we didn't have much time to jalan-jalan. The mall has 2 areas, outer mall where people can smoke (yucks) and the inner mall where smoking is not allowed and the air-conditioning was cooler.

After our quick lunch at A&W, we crossed the street to Spa Secret. Thanks to Fizah for her suggestions of hotel, mall and massage parlor. hehe I was nervous lah because I don't like the idea of a stranger touching me while half-naked but after our massage at Cambodia (although I get to keep my bra), I was willing to go for it. Plus, I wanted to be with Jhon while he gets a massage.

Our full body massage was wonderful. It made our muscles relaxed. It could've been better if I didn't feel so exposed with my boobs out for the ladies to see and the masseuse to massage. haha As for Jhon, a more focused massage would be helpful.

Up next was our head and feet massages. I was so in loved with the head massages. The guys put a cooling and minty concoction on our scalp and hair while they massaged. I tell you, DAMN SYIOK! (Not only that, even after our hair was washed, the tingling feeling lingers) After the head massage, they moved on with our feet as our head was marinated. Unfortunately, only male masseuses for the head and feet massages so if you are uncomfortable, you have to give it a miss.

The feet/calves massages were okay lah. You know, they tend to do pressure point that hurt but you know it's good for you? It was a weird experience for me. The fact that it was a man handling my feet and that it was a roller coaster of tickles, pain and comfort for me. For Jhon, it was an unexpected delight for him. He never had his feet and calves massaged that way before so he was quite hyped about it.

After we got our hair washed, we still got treated with a quick shoulder massage. We got our hair blow dried. Just a heads up for the ladies, don't expect a blow out but they do provide hair styling services at a separate cost.

After our bodies felt all jiggly and refreshed, we crossed the road back to Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall for jalan-jalan and dinner. We bought a few stuff there, specifically, Jhon. There was a sale going on while we were there so Jhon managed to get an Adidas shoe for half it's price.

Eventually, we went back to the hotel, had our long deep sleep until the next morning.

For the first time in our holiday experiences, we woke up late for breakfast and it was the worst thing because buffet was almost empty and there weren't any ample seats to occupy. We ate what we could and spent the rest of the morning on our beds until check out time.

Since our ride home was at 4+pm we managed to jalan-jalan at Mega Mall Batam Centre which was literally opposite Batam Centre, the place we will be departing from. We ate 2 Roti O each and played at the arcade.

Before we knew it, it was time to check in and prepare for departure. This time, we were slightly wiser and tried to learn the kiasu ferry ways and try to adapt. We got great seats which in turned gave me great going home shots for the vlog.

Overall, we had a wonderful time. The spa was satisfying, the food was pretty good and albeit some mishaps here and there mostly due to our inexperience, it was an interesting mini adventure. We would definitely go again!