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11 Books I recommend to newcomers in Singapore

Saturday, October 22, 2011

11 Books I recommend to newcomers in Singapore

Obvious, but inevitable choice: Lonely Planet Singapore City Guide.
Handy for tourists and expats alike and good for exploring the city.

The one and only bible;-)

Singapore VIP Fashion Night 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Location: The Shoppes @ Marina Bay Sands
Date: thursday 13 october 2011
Event: Singapore VIP Fashion Night 2011
Partner in crime: my friend Sylvia from '40+Style'
Crime: none what so ever, apart from taking fashion pictures, networking and sipping champagne;-)

There were some spectacular haute couture dresses on display.

Manila part 12; Miscellanious

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Most of my time in Manila I spent alone, plus some stolen moments with Frits and a few dinners with Frits' colleagues:

Frits, Voon Wong and Alfred

Manila part 11: Intramuros, ancient Manila

One thing that I would have loved to see in Manila was the Coconut Palace, one of Imelda's creations. Unfortunately it was closed:-(.

So we ended up visiting Intramuros: the ancient walled fortress part of Manila.
The weather was not too good, so the light conditions were not really nice.
It was still interesting to walk around there, take a peak in some churches and in some of the historic buildings. Here is an impression in pictures:

Manila part 10: murals in Intramuros

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Unexpectedly I ran into another spot with murals and graffity. A skater's place in Intramuros. I had read that there was some street art in Intramuros, the historic walled part of Manila. But since I had no idea where exactly I did not expect to find it.
Walking through this area though, we suddenly saw this skater's hang-out spot; very cool!

Manila part 9: Filling Station

The day before we left, Frits finally had half a day off, so we went for lunch and sightseeing together.

Our first stop was an American diner called Filling Station. A 24 hr restaurant filled  from floor to ceiling with american paraphernalia. Outrageous, beautiful, lots of stuff to admire and look at. Very cool!
Huge menu and the food is good. Go check it out for yourself! It's on P.Burgos.

Manila part 8: The Shangri-La's of Manila: best hotels ever!!!

Our last hours in Manila and in the Makati Shangri-La are here. We are flying back to Singapore this afternoon.
Normally I do not give this much attention to the hotels we are staying in, but both of the Shangri-La's in Manila are so fantastic.

The rooms and the hotel lobby's are very good. But the best of the hotels are the staff. Not only do they look nice and perfect, their service is great! Professional, personal, friendly and even sweet. We were really, really impressed and enjoyed the service and attention very much. Thank you all, again!

This band made me singing and swinging along. Well....on my couch in the lobby;-). But still, they were very good. 

Manila part 7: Bringing light to the slums in Manila

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shocked by the poverty I have seen here in Manila, I started reading about that and about the slums here on the internet. What a hard life these people have! Just horrible.

Manila part 6: Manila Murals

Being a huge lover of street art and murals I was hoping to find some of that in Manila. But that was not all that simple. The city is huge, with 12 million people. And it does not really come across as a safe city to wander and explore freely. Driving around in taxis and walking around I was almost always the one and only caucasian around. And I can assure you that that made me feel uncomfortable most of the time. I felt very tall, blonde and rich. All eyes were on me, wherever I walked. Often I did not dare to take out my camera.

So I tried to find info about murals on the web, so that I could go to certain spots directly. But there was not much info on street art in Manila available. I knew there definitely was some, since Ariel Santillan published a book about it: "Art Avenue. The Manila Street Art Revolution.".

Another way I thought of (to find murals), was to simply keep my eyes open during my taxirides and try to remember where I saw something interesting. Not so easy, because it was not always clear on what street we were driving. But I managed to find back one streetblock that I saw when passing by. It was around San Marcelino. They were done by art students, and there were nice ones amongst them. My favourites are more towards the end of this post.

Manila part 5: mind your own business!

The streets of Manila are aligned with small businesses. It's amazing and fascinating to see the hustle and bustle of all these mini-commerces.

Candies can be sold one by one. Not one package, no, one piece of candy only.
You can sell plastic bugs, like centipedes. Balloons, used magazines, mango on a stick, wigs for cosplay, Santa Claus and fake xmas trees, toy machineguns, you can fry food on the street and what not....

Here are some examples:

Manila part 4: the streets of Manila

As I wrote in one of my previous posts about Manila, they seem to use whatever comes to hand as a platform for advertising. Be it the inside or outside of a taxi, jeepney or whatever, just paint, whatever you want to bring across, directly on the surface. No need for fancy and expensive stickers or techniques, just use some paint.

Like so:

Manila, part 3: a country of believers.

I ended my last post saying that signs of religion are everywhere in Manila. 

80% of the Philippines is catholic, so I read. And they practice, carry out and show their belief everywhere and in any way they can.

My parents are catholics and I went to catholic schools. Nevertheless I am an atheist and humanist, not a catholic.
But probably due to my upbringings I have an aesthetic weakness for religious artefacts, like statues and images of Maria, crucifixes and so on. So I like to have a look in a church or temple whenever I come across one.

Walking along Roxas Boulevard, I ran into an open air mass mass. "Jesus saves". There was continuous singing, waving arms, and I was greeted as a long lost friend. "Here, sister, take this pamflet. One day you may need it.".

Manila part 2: another Shangri La, another storm.

A few days after typhoon Pedring had left, we left Shangri La Edsa and moved to Makati Shangri La. Closer to Frits' office.

In the taxi from one hotel to the other, you could see that the billboards were still empty; the huge posters rolled up. Reason for this was, that right after Pedring anoher typhoon was coming: Quiel.

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