The Coldplay Concert

It was 31st March, a big day for many. If you live in Singapore, you should know that Coldplay’s here! They would be holding a concert (Head full of Dreams Tour) at the National Stadium on 31th March and 1st April!! Well, we would be watching them on 31st, which was on a Friday.

So immediately after school, I scurried home with excitement shown all over my face. I had a quick and good refreshing shower before leaving our doorstep for Singapore’s national stadium!

We took public transport, ready for a whale of a time amongst the crowd. But before that, we obviously had to have dinner first. We arrived at the Stadium’s iconic Kallang Wave Mall which was just outside Stadium MRT. There is a considerable abundance of food and beverage in the mall. However, we decided to have a typical dinner at the mall’s Foodfare food court.

After our dinner, we headed to the stadium gates! Kallang Wave Mall is near our gate, which was gate 19. We took numerous photos together outside the stadium before heading to the gate itself. We got our tickets ready and successfully went through security. We were officially inside the stadium premises as we continue striding to our seats which were quite far and high from the stage.

Though our category was meant to be restricted, our seats weren’t too bad after all! Aside minor obstructions, we were still able to see the band perform.

Anyways, with still an hour left before the concert began, we took our seats as my dad bought some refreshments in case we became hungry or thirsty in the midst of all the fun.

Opening performance

There were many benefits of taking the sides on the high ground:

1: You could see when the band is coming in through the back of the stage.

2: How the crew works behind the scenes.

3: You don’t feel hot and perspire like all those in the standing pen!

As we adored the chaotic surroundings the final announcements were made to take to your seats as the concert began! From the back, we saw the longing and anticipated Coldplay stars!

Once they took the stage, you could expect the utmost best from them!!!

They played all their famous hits everyone knew, such as Paradise, Hymn of the Weekend, Adventure of a Lifetime, Yellow and much more. Every song they played, I felt I was drunk as I was having too much fun, I didn’t feel like sleeping at all! With the help of the LED lights produced by xyloband, the stadium was like glittered with thousands of stars!!

Xyloband colors

As the concert ended, the band said their thanks they played a great grand finale!

Overall, I enjoyed Coldplay’s style of sing-along with their popular hits and the fact there was no intermission! My favourite performance throughout the concert was Paradise, which is also my favourite Coldplay song!

As the concert has ended, we left the stadium and went to Starbucks for a good dessert with smiles on everyone’s faces. It was a concert worth watching as we took a late train home!!!!

Videos from the concert:

Expedition to Mount Kinabalu

We woke up at 5am for an arduous adventure. We were in the city of Kota Kinabalu, and after 2 days in the bustling streets, it was time for a getaway to the highest peak in Malaysia. You should have guessed it. We would be climbing Mount Kinabalu. And I really have to admit it was already quite a difficult challenge. In fact, it pushed my body to its limits.

After a quick and light breakfast, we changed into our comfortable hiking wear and headed to the big shuttle bus that would bring us to the base camp of the mountain. Though there were more people to fetch from neighboring hotels, we were out of town by 7am and were ready to begin our journey by 10am, after filling all the important documents. That day, it was raining intermittently, which was going to make us struggle a lot as the ground was going to be slippery and wet.

Our guide was called Roy, and was a very nice guide. He gave us our packed lunch before we began our trek. We would be walking to a guest house called Laban Rata, which is 6km from the base, but not a flat 6km. It was an uphill 6km walk, which would be a totally tiring and different story.

As the first 2km were as easy as pie, I overexerted in strength so that we could get away with them quickly. However, the difficulty increased, and I started to feel fatigued.

Types of paths

Though we had plenty of time to rejuvenate at each stop, the pressure was overwhelming and we got little energy back for the next kilometer or so to the next stop. Despite that, we pushed forward, only to encounter rough boulders which were a huge obstacle for the last 2km. I had to stop like every 100m or so as I had little energy left. Although there was only a kilometer left to go, we could not hasten the pace. It was already 3.30pm.

I kept on drinking gulps of water as the guest house  begins to be in our site. We did not give up as we remained positive. Soon enough, our perseverance paid off and I felt like kissing the ground. It was paradise to finally arrive at the dorm.

However, the bloodbath was not over yet as we still had about 3km left to go which we would cover the next day early morning provided the weather conditions were fine. So first things first, we ate a heavy dinner and went to bed early as we, particularly my dad, looked like living zombies!

Photo credit Lim Kai Xiang Facebook

The next day, we were woken up by the sound of the alarm at 1.30am, not lightning from the outside! We were very jolly for this miracle as it had been raining for the past 3 days before our arrival! Quickly with enthusiasm, we dressed up after a short rinse before heading downstairs for a light, in fact too light supper! By 2.30am, we were up and about with our guide who fetched us for another 4 hours…of death!

It’s 2:30 am and we’re going there to the peak under the moon!

The first part of the 2nd course was mostly made up of man-made wooden flights of stairs, which were certainly my area of expertise. From now to the peak was 3km away! So near yet so far, and every breath you take counts! The checkpoint is approximately 1km from the guest house. There, you have the last proper break and toilet before you are all on your own for the race against time to reach the peak by 6am! The next half almost killed me! As we were above 3900 meters from sea level, I had a higher chance of getting altitude sickness, which I unfortunately got…

However, despite that, we made it after overcoming a lot of steep slopes with only a white rope in handy. The view from the peak, which is called Low’s Peak, was breathtaking, I couldn’t take my eyes of the lower mountains around us and the blazing hot and cool orange sun…it seemed to be like a fantasy!

Anyways, with all the selfies and photos taken we scurried at a faster rate for the guest house so I could go back to bed and have power nap.

We arrived back at the guest house at around 8.30am, where I had a quick nap to rejuvenate my energy levels, before having another light meal, which was breakfast, with Coke! We packed our bags, took breakfast, check-out and begin another big descent back to the base camp!

Before long, we had all our things packed and were ready to get going to base camp, which was another 6 excruciating kilometers downhill, at least. Before we left the dorm, we decided to take a photo with Roy as a remembrance.

As we strode down, we realized that our rate was a kilometer per hour. So, we tried to hasten the pace across the rough ground. Unfortunately, my mom was soon in trouble when her knees started aching…

As the distance decreased, it seemed it was just increasing. Our bodies started complaining as my mom started to become fatigued. Her body seemed to be giving up but even with only a kilometer left to cover, she was like thumping the trekking sticks to the ground. Soon enough though, she was on the same boat as me. I was also facing the problem. However, we eventually arrived there at 3pm! We were so elated that in the bus, we were dumbfounded. And that was the end of the journey. We had a simple buffet lunch before getting our certificates for this honorable achievement!

Overall, our trek had a lot of countless challenges. We overcame all of them and had an enjoyable trip with nature as we concluded the climb with a lot of pain, memories, photographs and stories to tell!

I made it! We made it!

 

Leaving Mt Kinabalu

Our First Whole Day in Bohol

My parents were early birds and woke quite early for a good jog by the sea at the beach while I was asleep. At 7am, they woke me up for breakfast. There breakfast had everything I wanted. (Scrambled egg, Pandesal, Filipino dishes, etc.) And indeed, it was sumptuous.

 

For that day, we would be staying at the hotel. So, it would be visits to the recreation center and the beach, but would still have adventure, though.

After my heavy breakfast, with the help of my mom, I had to recall on how to properly control a bike as I never drove a bike for a long time already. I was certainly afraid to fall as I rode the vehicle once again. In fact, this unique bikes have bamboo body frames.

After changing into my swimming outfit, I got the hang of the bike and suddenly liked cycling. I decided to cycle to their 2nd deluxe swimming pool which has no beach views unfortunately but is distinctly bigger. However, I still prefer the first pool to this one as it is surrounded by many rooms!

There, I started swimming a few laps with daddy from one end to the other. We then did a few laps of cycling so that I could get full control of the bike. And well…back to swimming for a few more rounds before making a pace to the beach barefooted which was a little painful.

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Once again, I tried there kayaking services solo and also tried there stand up paddles. Though a little scary, it was challenging as the controls are complicated. I had a great time figuring and mastering the controls of this boat. Using my knowledge, I helped my mom get the paddles under control.

For lunch, I had a delicious Four Cheese Pizza with a thin crust once I had a fresh bath.

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Napping

With our tummies full, me and my dad went to the recreation area for another game of table tennis before having a long nap all the way till 4pm. We then had a quick swim before having a rushed bath as we had to catch a jeep sending us to Alona Beach where we would have a sumptuous dinner.

When we arrived there, we made a wrong turn and went to the wrong direction where there were fewer restaurant options. For dinner, I ate pork barbeque. At the right side, we had Halo-Halo for dessert before buying some snacks to eat back at the hotel.

As the time to take the ride back came, we waited for the jeep patiently as we went back to the hotel to sleep. The next day would be a day tour which would have many ups and downs.

Our Start in Bohol

After checking in, we headed down a path made out of small stones to our room. The room was actually by itself like a villa. Its roof was made from native materials which my dad said was a kind of palm tree. We just had a delicious lunch and were ready to start fresh with some physical activities. We changed and started the afternoon off with a game of table tennis with my dad. My dad easily won a straight 2-0 though I gave him a tough match. We also played a game of futsal where dad won through luck, literally.

 

With that done in the recreation center, we walked down to the beach which gave me a sense of calm and serenity though the tide was high.

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For a good start, I myself decided to try the hotel’s kayaking services alone. Well…not for long. Anyways, I had to take a few seconds to remember the maneuvers of a kayak when paddling it along the beach. However, I soon got it and was on my way to exploration of the shores.

As I said, I wasn’t alone for long, my dad joined me on my kayaking spree as we kayaked by the beach at a distance. At the end of it, I really felt the tone in my muscles.

With that done, me and my dad put on snorkeling gears on our faces as we swam for the distant waters. We were cautious at the same time as there are sea urchins lurking in the ‘not so friendly waters.’ We snorkeled and bumped into numerous starfishes and other sea creatures.

We also had a quick swim in their first small pool which was facing the calm beach. (There are 2 pools in this hotel)

As that was completed, we ended the great day. We had a quick shower before eating a sumptuous dinner at the same restaurant we ate for lunch. Oh, and the hotel restaurant’s name is Oceania Restaurant.

For the day was closing, we had another quick visit to the recreation center to play ping-pong once again along with billiard. In my opinion, I like this hotel as it has many facilities. And, much  more was about to come…20161213_194659-our-start-in-bohol

The Ride to Bohol

It’s time to say goodbye to Cebu as we start our voyage to the wonderful island of Bohol.

In the morning, we went to the hotel’s gym for some morning exercise. At 8am, we immediately went for a quick breakfast. We had to be fast as we were worried we would not reach the ferry terminal on time. Despite our worries, the opposite happened.

After checking out, the ride to Cebu Port was quick, so we were an hour early! After going through security, we checked in our luggage and our tickets were given slots in the ferry at 10.40am! (We were supposed to leave at 11.40am)

In glee, we got ready for a two-hour journey to the small island of Bohol. At around 12.40pm, we arrived at the small port of Tagbilaran City. To get things going, we went to the exit, searching for a cabbie to send us to our hotel, South Palm Resort.

Within minutes, we found the perfect driver. He drove us go through the small city of Tagbilaran, across a bridge to a smaller island called Panglao Island. Though the journey was long, it was all worth it. When we finally arrived at the hotel itself, we checked in and learnt all about the hotel’s facilities.

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To my amazement, they have a gym, a recreation center with a variety of sports such as table tennis and billiard, 2 swimming pools, an office room, kayaking, stand up paddling, snorkeling and diving services, an area to play beach volleyball and a vast beach. They also have gazebos and a vast restaurant. In my opinion, this hotel was almost perfect and I was already ready to try all their services in store for us with my parents.

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The second day in Cebu

We woke up early for breakfast as the breakfast time in the hotel is very short. We got our tummies full as we got sufficient food to satisfy ourselves with.

For starters, we went to a bank in the center of Cebu City to withdraw cash as we were starting to be short of it. It was quite tedious as we couldn’t withdraw from the bank’s ATMs. However, we were soon on our heels at around 9am.

Nearby was a small farmer’s carnival to celebrate Farmers’ Day in Cebu. We walked through it and saw a variety of decorated stalls of fruits and veggies. The scene was really colourful. There were reporters rushing everywhere, having their chances to interview the stall owners. Behind all the stalls were beautifully decorated cars with fruits and veggies covering the original layer of the vehicle, just like the food stalls.

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We then started a short 5 minute journey to the Heritage of Cebu Monument, a monument with all the events of the Spanish and the natives clumped in one statue. Our guide there told us that the artist took three years to develop this piece of hard work. We were really amazed by his efforts as it’s a masterpiece. It was made by Eduardo Castrillo from 1997 to 2000.

Next, we went to the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, the oldest house in Cebu. It was built at around the 1700s. We had a different guide there. The house was first owned by a Spanish family, as generations gone by, other rich people owned the lot. However, the house soon became old. So, it became a landmark of Cebu. We explored the house from different angles and came across a wishing well, 2 dining rooms, 2 bedrooms and a living room. The house is two levels and is quite huge, our guide took some great shots and I definitely enjoyed exploring the place.

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When that was done, we rode a taxi to a popular restaurant called CNT House of Lechon. There, as you reckoned, we ate Lechon. I also drank a native drink called Calamansi Juice. Thankfully, the Lechon here was very crispy, and I enjoyed my meal a lot.

We a fantastic meal adjourned, we had a nap at the hotel before taking another cab to Tops Lookout, which is located at one of the vast and steep hills of Cebu. Though, there was a jam along the way, we arrived there just in time to take some good shots.

The views there were spectacular, even when the sun goes down. When the lights go up, the city looks very dynamic.

For dinner, we ate at Lantaw, a restaurant on a hill by the vast city, and the view there was awesome to. Halfway through our meal, we were entertained by fireworks, which lightened the view.

When dinner ended, we bid farewell to the views of Cebu as we got back to our hotel and ended the day.

The first day in Cebu City

We woke up, fresh and renewed. We were ready for an exciting day ahead. After a quick bath, we made our way to the hotel’s breakfast hotel which was actually a café called Café Breeze. As the breakfast availability time is really cramped, there was little food spared for us to enjoy with, unfortunately. So, we had tons of space for more of it in our tummies.

After our light breakfast, we made our way to the city center, where the famous and historic Magellan’s Cross was located. When we arrived at the historic landmark, which was through a wide alley way with two major and gargantuan cathedrals along it, we took many shots. I was surprised he was Christian, as all I knew about him was he was a Portuguese Explorer that proved that the Earth was round but was killed in Philippines by Lapu-lapu. Lapu-lapu was a tribe leader in Mactan when Magellan came.

 

With those moments over, we went to a fast food restaurant called Chowking where we tried a traditional Filipino ice-cream called halo-halo, which was a combination of ice-cream-jelly and other sweets.

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With that, we took to the cathedral for mass. It is called Basilica del Santo Nino. There were statues of him and other saints. I took some photos with them.

There was also a painting which talked about a blood compact between the Spanish and the natives of Cebu at that time. A blood compact is a treaty where the people involved sign with their blood, which was shocking and weird in my opinion.

With the mass adjourned, we had lunch, eating sumptuous barbeque at a restaurant called AA BBQ. Along the way to the restaurant, we met homeless folks which made me feel very pitiful and appreciative that we have all the necessities that most humans need.

With that, we advanced on for a ticket center to buy tickets for our ferry to Bohol Island, an island with breathtaking beaches.

Before going there, we went through San Pedro Fort, a fort built by the Spanish in the 1800s, then used as a barracks by the US Army in WWII, and now a famous landmark in the city of Cebu. There, we had a glimpse of old photos of the fort from different angles and learnt the history of this small space. There were many cannons and other fortifications to despite its small size.

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After getting those tickets, we headed back to the hotel to take a nap.

For dinner, with ate at an eatery which serves Lechon. Lechon is a crispy Filipino pork. To our dismay, the Lechon was not crispy, meaning we did not enjoy dinner.

With dinner over, we bought some basic stuff from the shopping mall nearby before ending the day.