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Filipino American Expat in Singapore

Posts tagged pinoySG

I’m so proud of myself.

I’m starting to cook something other than pork adobo. Clap! I mentioned in a previous post that my boyfriend and I will cook ‘something new’ every Wednesday and feature it in my blog. Last week we had pork steak. This week we listed down butter garlic shrimps, Filipino-style. Like where I get most of my current instructions… I learned this recipe from the ever-reliable Panlasang Pinoy. ❤

Here’s the finished result:

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It’s a very easy dish to make. You buy shrimps and you soak them in lemon soda for about 10 minutes at least. I picked out 7-up.

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Then you melt half a cup of butter and heat that up. Pouring in minced garlic (the fresh ones are probably way better, but this one in PJ’s kitchen wasn’t too bad). You wait for the bits to turn golden brown before you pour in the shrimp.

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This is one of the fun ones to cook. Waiting for the shrimps to turn orange. Watching them soak up the butter and garlic. Then you sprinkle in two tablespoons of parsley. I’m not going to get the credit for this recipe so I’ll point you again to Panlasang Pinoy this time. What would I do as an OFW without Panlasang Pinoy. ❤

Click here to see Mr. Vanjo’s recipe for Butter Garlic Shrimp.

And voila… you’re set! Delicious butter garlic shrimps ready within 30 minutes basically. I blanched some broccoli to serve as sides.

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My boyfriend PJ loved it! Can’t wait to cook again next Wednesday. 😀

Couldn’t help ourselves to some cups of rice.

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I had a great time editing this one. Taking you through 8 reasons why I loved the Singapore Garden Festival… which BTW… CONCLUDED BACK IN JULY. It’s a wonderful festival that brings together the community (students, elderly, towns in Singapore, etc…)

Don’t mind some of my sarcasm in the video but to me the festival was a treat. It’s something I’d like to take my parents to. Bring your kids, your parents, bring your relatives. LOL.

Learn more about the event here:
https://www.singaporegardenfestival.com/

Click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel. Thanks!

During lunch or afternoon snacks I like to head down to Maxwell Food Centre to grab a bite. My route from International Plaza to Maxwell passes by The URA Centre which contains the Singapore City Gallery. It’s a free gallery which showcases the city’s physical transformation over the past decades. It also shows upcoming plans and concepts.

I learned they are planning to move the container port from Tanjong Pagar to Tuas. This will free up a huge amount of space for a new waterfront development after the 2030s. Amazing. I can imagine it to be similar to Hong Kong’s wider waterfront.

The City Gallery website: http://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/citygallery/

Photos below 🙂

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I used to stuff half of my luggage with Filipino groceries before flying back to Singapore. I had no idea that most of the Filipino groceries I wanted were already available at several locations in Singapore. They are up to three times the price but it’s not like I’m able to fly to Manila every other week.

Several grocery store chains in Singapore carry Filipino products. It just takes a bit of patience and searching. Most stores feature them prominently in their international sections, while some you’ll find squeezed between non-Filipino products (like seeing Century Tuna next to Ayam Brand.)

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I never really bothered to enter Far East Plaza because at first glance it reminds me of Lucky Plaza (not that Lucky Plaza is bad, it is just a crowded place with souvenir stores). N and I finally had time to explore some parts of Orchard that we hadn’t been to yet (or perhaps, just skimmed through previously). We headed straight for Far East Plaza because I read somewhere that it has a really good Japanese hole-in-the-wall type of resto.

The basement of Far East Plaza reminded me of a fun shopping market in Bangkok! So many cute boutiques. Parang Greenhills na rin. They also have a diverse set of food stalls at the basement level. On the upper levels of Far East Plaza you could find Indonesian restaurants and plenty of salons. I mean, seriously, PLENTY of salons. Is this the salon capital district of Singapore? I’m thinking of getting my next haircut somewhere there.

After doing a bit of exploring we couldn’t really decide where we wanted to eat. Outside we found this cute place called “5 Little Bears” which serves authentic Tai chung cuisine (Taiwan).

The ambiance played a big factor to why we strolled inside to try some of their dishes. Well honestly I just went straight for the generic Chicken Cutlet set… but the seasoning was good. The red iced tea that came along with the set reminded me of Thai milk tea which I love.

Surprisingly it wasn’t that crowded at all. In fact, Far East Plaza is a fair distance from Orchard MRT and the perennial crowds at ION. I’d like to come back here and try other things on their menu.

Visit their website: http://www.5littlebears.com

5 Little Bears – 14 Scotts Road, #01-07 Far East Plaza (S) 228213

(You can spot 5 Little Bears out facing the front from Far East Plaza)

Later that day we did a little stroll around Orchard to visit Wheelock Place, Marks & Spencer (for the groceries), Zara (barely any people were there, why is that) and Takashimaya (for St. Leaven pastries, yum!).

Every Flashback Friday I'll share photos that were taken at some point in the past two years during my blogging hiatus.

This week we flashback to April 2012. I was living in a backpackers’ hostel in Lavender during my job hunting period. At the time these photos were taken, I had already accepted a job offer. 🙂

Since my future office was just a bus stop away from MacRitchie Reservoir, I invited my friend Bau, and three other friends I met at the hostel, to join me and my boyfriend on a little hike at the MacRitchie trails.

First, we needed to store up on some energy so we headed over to the Wendy’s near our hostel. At the time, I was unemployed for about six months already so eating at Wendy’s where a burger meal is SGD 12.00 (PHP 400.00+) was almost impractical. I ate like mixed veggie rice (yung parang turo-turo) so much that I feel like throwing up when I think about it now. Grabe ang tipid days namin when we were looking for a job.

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I love my boyfriend’s photo here.

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(L to R) Neil, Douglas and Eric (friends from the hostel), and Bau

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Buses that call at 51071 MacRitchie Reservoir.

MacRitchie Reservoir is almost at the center of the island of Singapore. It is an ideal place for jogging, hiking, and appreciating tropical nature. Honestly, it’s amazing that a highly urbanised island city-state like Singapore manages to maintain these beautiful nature reserves.

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Neil, Douglas, and Eric

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We shared bunks with seven other backpackers at a time. This happened for two months!

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Eric was also hunting for a job during those days.

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We still looked fresh here.

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Ate Marichu (the girl there) was the receptionist at the hostel. Super friendly. I miss her!

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Ate Marichu and Neil would have coffee sessions every night. While Mandy.com was on.

It was a gorgeous sunny day in Singapore. It was nice to see so much landscape in Singapore. At the time, all I had been exposed to was Singapore’s urban side. I had to take this sight in and breathe a little. Maybe even pinch myself… “I’m in Singapore!”

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The part of MacRitchie Reservoir that sits closest to the park and bus stop.

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Douglas and Ate Marichu.

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Dessie also joined us for our little hike.

From the bus stop you can enter the MacRitchie Reservoir park which has manicured lawns, running paths, benches and exercise equipment. There are various trails at MacRitchie that depend on how far or how much time you wish to spend there. We took one of the smaller trails.

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Here we go!

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We had just started our hike. Look at our enthusiasm!

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The trail was pretty laid out already.

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Occasionally a runner would pass by us.

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There were lots of monkeys!

After only a kilometre into the 8 or 9-km trail, we were already feeling beat by the tropical humidity. Grabe di ba! Kain agad.

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Pagod na agad?!

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Useful trail markers.

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Beware.

The weather started to change slightly as we went deeper into the MacRitchie trail. It started to become a bit cloudy.

Neil

Neil

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Douglas

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We were excited to visit the TreeTop Walk but didn’t realise how far inside it was.

We wanted to give up since we weren’t prepared for the heat and humidity. Most of us didn’t bring enough water and snacks. Eventually, with a little push, we made it to the TreeTop Walk. What a relief!

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TreeTop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir.

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Is Dessie afraid? 😛

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Ate Marichu didn’t realise we were going on a long hike hahahaha.

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Letting my hair down ‘yo.

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Best. Pic. Everrrr.

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Ate don’t.

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I think dog’s weren’t allowed on the bridge. But madam managed to let it pass.

Afer the bridge we were worried it would start raining and we would get stuck in the middle of the MacRitchie trails. Worse, I was afraid of lightning because lightning is CRAZY in Singapore.

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Wooden paths. You get the idea that these trails are pretty much laid out. hehe

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Ayan basa na ang pathway

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The first two hours it was like a yellow brick road. Now I’m hungry but no food!

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I don’t want to be here at night.

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I’m getting hungrrrryyy

The following photos were taken about three hours into our 8 or 9 kilometre walk into the MacRitchie trails. We wanted to get out na by this point kasi gutom na kami lahat.

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Okay this is getting too real.

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Deep inside Singapore.

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No snakes. Bet they are watching football or something. (Gutom na ako!)

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Pagod na!

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Suddenly in the middle of nowhere a map… followed by a shed with bathrooms, a vending machine, water fountains… goodness how convenient. This is Singapore.

Yes we wanted out. Kasi ‘di kami prepared. If you flashback this Flashback Friday you’d notice again that we were wearing casual clothes! As if we were headed to City Square Mall instead of the jungle. LOL.

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What we wore in the jungle. Haha! Yung bag mo Ate Marichu. Jungle day.

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Yes let us out!

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You can get prosecuted for feeding the monkeys.

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But the monkeys have already found a way to help themselves. (Malamang.)

Looking back… we took the funniest exit ever. We walked towards the service road which brought us past a military facility (!!). Parang no one was walking around that area. Mala-Lost ang itsura namin.

Venus Road… where the hell is that?!

This service road snaked its way around a golf course before it spit us out along Upper Thomson Road. Having enjoyed the first two hours of the hike… followed by two agonising hours trying to find our way out of MacRitchie trails… we hopped onto a bus that took us to nearby Ang Mo Kio. Haha.

Nakakaloka ang ma-lost ka sa MacRitchie. With big maps and well-maintained trail paths… who the hell gets lost there haha. Parang tanga lang but it was real fun to bond with ze friends from the hostel.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t use GPS or something… this is the reason why:

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That’s my phone model when I started out in Singapore. OMG. But that’s also the phone model where I received a call from HR telling me about a job offer. Happy days!

Next week on Flashback Friday: The intrigues living inside a backpackers’ hostel.

MacRitchie Reservoir is a fun place for nature lovers. Learn more about it by visiting this website.

Ang daming gastos lately so I have been trying to save where I can. Unfortunately, that means scrimping on restaurants for the past few weeks. Leslie’s Tagaytay was an exception last Christmas… but back in Singapore… puro hawker food kinakain ko lately. Ang mahal mahal kasi ng pagkain dito. Actually lahat naman ng bagay dito ay mas-mahal compared sa Manila.

But I couldn’t help it.

Papayag na sana ako mag KFC na lang (haha!) but it was a Sunday and kating kati na ako mag-restaurant uli. We ended up at a cute place called BangkokJam (no space) at the new wing of Plaza Singapura. What sold me was the “Thai Milk Tea” on the menu at the entrance. I love Thai milk tea so much I could practically bathe in it!

Winning menu design. Contemporary and not trying hard.

Like 98% of the restaurants in Singapore at 7:00pm, the place was  full of people. I noticed families, businessmen (huh, Sunday?), couples gay and straight all enjoying their meals. Appears this place has a following. The pleasant restaurant manager (I presume, he was in smart casual) allowed us to sit at a larger table.

Immediately you’ll notice the quirky interior. Like street posts with road signs of familiar Bangkok streets. They had pseudo power lines with pink birds (an interpretation I guess of Bangkok’s hot pink taxis). Even the drink coasters were cute!

Bangkok I love you!

It took us a few minutes to look through the menu (which is strange because it’s just two sides and not a family album like Thai Express). Nakakaloka kasi ang in-order lang namin was the basic stuff like Thai milk tea and noodles.

Huwag niyo na pansinin yung mga galing CR.

I ordered the Stir-fried egg noodle with crab meat and bacon (SGD 11.90 or PHP 420.00) while Neil tried the seafood pad thai (SGD 11.90 or PHP 420.00).  Both of us had Thai milk tea (SGD 4.80 or PHP 170.00). The 7% GST not included. Bale umabot din kami ng tig-SGD 20.00 or PHP 720.00. Yes, normal mall restaurant price ‘yan!

Stir-fried egg noodle with bacon and crab meat. (Notice the green chilis mixture.)

The boyfriend ordered pad thai. Healthy colour!

Usually I’m skeptic with how Thai food tastes at a “concept” restaurant. But the noodles we had at BangkokJam AND the thai milk tea all get pretty good marks! My stir-fried egg noodle had just the right portion na hindi ka mauumay. My boyfriend’s pad thai was just right… not too spicy and the ingredients were fresh.  The Thai milk tea was like 90% how I remembered it to the ones I tried in Bangkok last year.

I know it looks like I was playing around and blowing bubbles. Thai milk tea was great!

The other Thai fast food restaurants I’ve tried in Singapore are Thai Express (uhm, sorry no but not impressed… very commercial), BaliThai (pricy and not too memorable), and this one dedicated hawker stall at  Bugis Junction (SGD 5.00 or PHP 176.00, cheapest pad thai I’ve discovered so far)… oily pad thai.

BangkokJam at Plaza Singapura is really worth another visit. I’ll go for the rice meals and curries. They have a good menu too (just click here to see).

BangkokJam Website: http://www.bangkokjam.com.sg