of firsts and seconds…

It was one of those waking moments when I thought I was still trapped in la-la land because the text message that woke me up read something like, “we are being invited to guest on a TV show. Get your ass online.” So I staggered in the middle of the night and checked our email. Lo and behold, it was true. But then as I scanned the message, the taping dates fell on the dates Ron and I will celebrate his birthday in God-knows-where. I contacted the researcher and our chance of making ourselves the cam whores that we are went kaput faster than the director can say “lights-camera-ACTION!”

So what did we do? NO it was not one of the Turkish holidays we have always been planning (not yet), but we simply resorted to the first plan and traveled the way we’ve always traveled. First stop: Singapore (for the nth time this year). I don’t actually know why I even go there in the second place. The first reason is of course to visit Ron and other friends who decided to give government stability and efficient transportation a chance as opposed to the chaotic lives we lead here in the Philippines, or pick up Ron before going to another place, or eat at I <3 f*cking Taime down at Bugis Village! I love eating there so much I should be a shareholder by now. But I did get the recognition I deserve. Last June 16th of this glorious year, I was customer number 1. Haha!

Anyways, the vacation whizzed by uncontrollably. First, because of the alcohol. Ron and I have created a tradition that is the gift of giving Absolute Vodkas in colorful bottles every time we see each other. Second, crossing international borders seven times in four days can really tip my frame of reference (of course, this is only second to math. Math is terrible).

Second stop: Sumatra, Indonesia. After finding sense and reason tucked in between garbles of sentences spewed by the reservation agent in Bintan, we finally secured our ferry tickets and hotel stay in the island.

Flip Tips: From the city center, hop on the MRT and go down Tanah Merah station. Good luck in finding Nessie’s cousin, Bus 35. When you get super desperate, take the cab for about S$7 to get to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. Ferry transfer ranges from S$25-S$30 one-way and S$50-S$60 round trip. The boat ride, they say, only lasts 45minutes to an hour. After tearing the hair from our heads, we got to Bintan after 2.5 hours. Depending on the resort you chose, land travel time can last between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours.

We spent the entire stay eating and getting wasted on the shores of Agro Resort. The place is huge! The wide beach area is where visitors can find water and sand sports. I saw an insane number of people on top of a banana boat getting dragged in circles. Also, Ron claimed to have seen a volleyball court, an ATV and a pony.

Enjoying Indonesian cuisine was heightened by the two amazing resort restaurants facing the ocean. First is the Sun Moon Restaurant and Bar where visitors can have the most flattering view of, well, the moon whilst getting drunk (first, by the alcohol and second, by the wailing of vacationers from the not-so-sound-proofed karaoke room). Second is the the Asiana Beach Bistro where I got reunited with the sinful Martabak.

As soon as we licked the last drop of Stella Artois, we were Singapore bound once more. My friend Jill and I disappeared for a day in Malacca and we are down to the last day of our vacation. How was it spent? Cramming.

First, shopping. We were going to have a debut watching of a full-scale musical but alas, all my clothes were, well, normal. With only drawstring pants and sleeveless shirts, Ron would’ve killed me to watch the kick-ass musical looking like a gypsy lost in the glass walls of Marina Bay Sands. The most logical thing to do was to suppress the coffee I had earlier and buy a complete ensemble of persona-altering wardrobe.

And to cap it all off, the Lion King: my next favorite (second to Mulan, which in recent Filipino version became Praybeyt Benjamin) of all Disney productions.  We were lucky to have seen it before the play stopped running (October 31st). News flash: Wicked is not far behind. The musical is to start showing on December 7 so I guess it’s hello Singapore again. 

It would’ve been really nice to guest on a show in one of the country’s biggest networks and go to a place Ron and I have never been to but I guess the second option (which was really the first plan) was not too bad after all.