Monday, 19 September 2011

coke family day

I admire companies that tries to involve the families of the workers in one way or another.   I am quite a veteran of Family Days.  Every year,  we drag our kids (when we were still single, we borrow nephews / nieces) to Family Days.

When hubby was still with San Miguel, they close-off Star City at the CCP Complex in Manila, usually during Christmas Season, and we have great time, with the simple carnival rides, being introduced to Titos, Titas  and children of my husband's colleagues.   It's done every year, so you get to see how the kids grow up in the course of time.  You get to meet your husband's bosses, not the ogres, you thought they would be.  :)  Hahaha

Now, I'm happy that the company my husband joined, Coca-Cola Singapore is also doing this tradition. So, off we trooped to Tanjong Beach in Sentosa Island on an early saturday morning.  Early because, my husband is the chairman of this shindig.  :)  He has to oversee things.

There were plenty of activities to occupy the little ones.   Water soccer, pinata, face painting,  two huge inflatables to expend their energies, balloon sculpting, volleyball, games and my favorite, Photo-booth :) Food was generous. Lunch. Nachos, popcorn, cotton candies, ice popscicles and as usual,  the company open the taps ... Coke products flow like water.

My Rania.
She's slowly getting rid of stranger anxiety.

cotton candies to further decay teeth

water soccer.. too hot though.

yaya ling & ivan wait for their turn for popcorn

Keeping herself from crying because the
artist has a scary face paint.

Hans is the best "dunker" there is.   He was able to dunk the guy 2x, and the girl 1x, in the water drum.  I think he can be a good pitcher.  Hmmm..

There was a raffle for Macbook Air, ipad2, iphones, ipods... I coveted the Macbook Air but we won a gift check :) Token amount, really.  It's ok. Much appreciated. 

Souvenir was a special commemorative bottle of the 1st coca-cola SEXY bottle.   They recently reproduce only about 80,000 worldwide. If you collect bottles, or you've worked for a bottling plant, you will appreciate this.

We met Ted's good-looking American boss Damir from Coke Atlanta, USA.  

Malvin & Ramil,  Pinoy colleagues under hub's
Manufacturing department

Coke CEO gave a heartfelt message about gratitude and family, being a part of company's success. Of course, since we allow our husbands to stay at the office more than the required hours, we relieve his stress brought about by the pressures of work,  and  I tolerate the buzzing of the Blackberry even at weird hours.  "Don't you Coke people ever sleep?!"  :)

Kidding aside,  Oh yes.  I am sucker for words of appreciation. Of course, we all love to receive bonuses and all but sometimes, acknowledgement works wonderfully, too.  (On top of the bonuses) Ha ha ha ha.

Ted & his Team who organized the event

Till next adventure!


Thursday, 15 September 2011

hollywood magic


Don't you just marvel how US Conglomerates impose the American culture to us?  Everything comes in Huge, with a Bang, and guaranteed to make  Big Bucks.  You love Disney? You love Hollywood?  But can't afford going to USA?  We will bring Disneyland and Universal Studios to you.

That is, if your country can guarantee we will make money ... and so, you wonder why in Asia, only Japan,  Hongkong, Singapore have either Disneyland or Universal Studios..... and Philippines can only afford Enchanted Kingdom.

Nevertheless, Pinoys, hindi tayo papahuli 'di ba?  We have to be updated. So, as soon as these themeparks opens, Takbo tayo sa Hongkong. Takbo tayo sa Singapore.  Why not?  It's always nice to see a world outside your own backyard.  So many new things to learn.

Unfortunately, going abroad is expensive. Thankfully, budget airlines sprouted up. Suddenly, the world is now a smaller place.  Budget airlines is not just a trend in the Philippines, even here in Singapore. The locals like getting travel deals (they have such a small country, most of them vacation abroad) usually Australia, New Zealand, Bali and exotic places like Turkey & Greece.

Of course, even if you get cheap airfare tickets, you have to think of your  Accommodations. Food. Transpo around.  Entrance to the Sights.  Travel is expensive.  But if you really want something... pwedeng pag-ipunan kahit even a droplet at a time.  Forego that Bag! Forego that birthday blow-out! Put that bonus in your alkansya ... then treat yourself to an adventure of a lifetime!

Lastly, re-connect with old friends and relatives who are based in the country you dream of going. :)

And so,  don't wonder my facebook and blogger is teeming with LIKEABLE friends from various parts of the globe.

Canada ( Herby and Jenny Elma, Nelia Ngo, Mike Ladines, Cherry Chang, Arlene Caballero,  Rea Belarmino)  Dubai (Benjie San Juan, Marnie Camungol), Milan, Italy (Kristina Maaliw),  New Zealand (Melanie Migallos, Grace Chan, Mannix Lopez, Brenda Yumul), Japan (Joan Palines, Ochie Rhea, Myra Valentin),  Qatar (Cathy Velasco), Australia (Cielo Boncodin, Bon Carlo Latuga, Kim Sanchez)  and syempre, good old USA (Sanfo - Mayla Chang, Shelby & Joseph Evasco,  LA- Melody Migallos, Angel Amores, Winkle & Danette Ngujo, Marissa Sicat. Mia Martinez. Las Vegas - Erwin Chan. Miami -- Xyrel Sale- Taberno.  Atlanta- Jheng Escuadra.  Oregon- Bambi Ybarsabal. New York- Tina Jao, Marilyn Shurick) South Korea (Jonalyn Choi). Spain (Cristina Sadural).  Hongkong/ China (my elder brother Edward).

Friends & relatives are the best persons to show you around.  I consider them my Genies who will come out if I rub my Magic Lamp.  :) In the same way, I am their Genie here in Singapore or in Manila.  So, Connect, Connect rather than Burn Bridges!

Now, where was I ?  What was this entry all about?  Oh yes, Universal Studios Singapore :) Sorry, I usually linger with a topic I'm passionate about... in this case, travel and friendships.  I will utilize pics here from our family trip nov 2010 and my recent visitor, Mrs. Dorothy Daniel's visit Aug2011.

Universal Studios' soft-opening in Singapore was May 2010,  my kids and I were there, 6months after. But the real big opening was only this May 2011.  By then, already 9Million guests from all over the world has seen the park.

Entrance is 72 SGD (2,520 php) for adults,  52 SGD (1,820 php) for kids, and 36 SGD  (1,250 php) for senior citizens.  I wonder why they need to charge big for senior citizens.  I bet not one of them will even attempt those rides.  A few seniors may have the patience to fall-in line to have a picture with the mascots. :) Well, maybe, one or two.  That's me, when i turn 65 :)

My friend Samantha who always have visitors here, bought an annual pass worth 338 SGD per pax (11,830 php) for her family of 3, that's around 30K+ pesos.  She wanted to kick herself.  She had to make a minimum of 5 visit a year, to make the pass "sulit" (worth the money).  It's already September, she's just made 2.  It's non-transferable :)  You can guess where she will be every weekend.

If you've been to Universal Studios Hollywood in LA.  This one in Singapore might not be Exciting for you. It's like eating McDonald's in the US, and then visiting China & eating McDonald's, as well.  But regardless, you still do it, right?! :) Because you want to know the difference. How pale the other one compares to the original.

Universal Studios Hollywood is Ginormous.  If  I really want to enjoy every show, nook & cranny, (in my usual pace),  I would need 2-3days.  Plus, I wanted to hang-around just in case,  the cast of Desperate Housewives might have a filming along Westeria Lane.  :)

USS (Universal Studios Singapore) can be enjoyed for a little more than a day, starting 10am, and you still have extra time to have dinner somewhere at the Resorts World Casinos.  It's just a theme-park.  Rides, Mascot, Facades, Restaurants & Souvenir shops.  Universal Studios Hollywood is the real thing... shots,  locations, actors, costumes, props, effects.

Get the perspective?  No comparison, really.

It says in the brochure they have 24 attractions.  Actually, you can probably enjoy just about 7-10 of them. Either because the lines are too long,  or you're shy you might be too old for the ride, or you are just plain scared that you might throw up or pee in your pants.   hihihihi

The Park is divided into zones, and each zone has it's own attractions, dining areas and their characters go around for photo-ops at any moment of the day.

The Madagascar Zone has a huge cargo ship which houses the Crate Adventure Ride.  It's a smooth "enclosed" boat ride which takes you to the adventures of Alex the showman Lion, Gloria the voluptous Hippo, Melman, the Hypochondriac Giraffe and Marty, the chatterbox Zebra as they try to fly-out of Madagascar back to New York.

The kiddos will go crazy once they encounter the characters Live!
Dancing to the maka-LSS (last song syndrome) "I like to Move it. Move It.  I like to... Move It!"
Your brain will get wired to that song, until the end of the day.

King Julien XIII's  carousel is perfect for the little kids.

We got hungry at this junction, so we had lunch at Marty the Zebra's Tropical Refreshments.  When there's only the two of you,  almost always, you take SOLO pictures.  But Dothy and I have a strategy. We usually look for the person lugging a huge SLR camera, and request him/ her to take our photo. More often than not,  that person takes great photo.  As as result, all the pics, that we're together looks fabulous!

If Disneyland has Sleeping Beauty's castle, USS has Kingdom Far, Far Away.  It's the castle of evil diminutive Lord Farquaad, with his minions.  Inside the castle is a fun 4D Theater featuring Shrek trying to rescue Princess Fiona from the Ghost of Lord Farquaad.  Your seats will gallop with the horses, you will be sprayed with the saliva of donkey, and smell the fart of that ass.  (ass is synonym of donkey. Pun intended!).  

Shrek's huge Swamp was there complete with his outdoor toilet.  They still haven't thought of what to do with it. It's just there for photo-ops.  But my teacher got curious....

We met Shrek & Fiona last year.
Sci-Fi City is a zone themed after the age technologies, robots, even the modern populace look different and i loooove their outfit and amazing make-up. The zone also contains the craziest ride, called Battlestar Galactica.  My camera couldn't quite capture the twists and turns of the huge roller coaster. It's 360degrees turn-around of your being.  The same thing with the Accelerator.  It's like a dizzying hi-tech Madhatter's Tea Party.

I'm not really a fan of Roller Coasters.  I feel  my soul will be left behind, with all that speed.  But I love to push friends to go.... "Kaya mo yan! Sige na. I'll wait for you, ok?"  Then, I will watch them, and enjoy a stupid vicarious thrill.  (Don't get your dictionary. Vicarious means,  experience by proxy). :)  Dothy and I were both scared of going on the ride. So, we just content ourselves to watch the brave souls.

One of my favorite blockbuster movies, a real Hollywood-in-your-face epic production during the 90s reign of Steven Spielberg is Jurassic Park.  I loved it when I was still an easy-going college student. Now, I have 3 kids, they also love the movie.  It's a movie that will not grow old... because the theme is old already :))

The Jurassic Park Adventure Ride, is wild river experience hat guarantees to soak your outfit for the day. The storyline is the same as the one in the movie,  you are guests in the Jurassic theme Park  when the dinosaurs suddenly escaped... from then, the boat goes up and down the river, and one encounters all sorts of robotic creatures, and the penultimate T-Rex. It's a short ride, but worth it.

The last time I was there, I rode it twice.  Love it so much! There are usually shorter lines because the others don't want to get wet.  Unfortunately, it's now under renovation, and won't be open until 2012 :(  My guests missed it.

Two other rides Dino-Saoring and Canopy Ride.  The former is for kids, they ride a ptyrodactyl which goes up and down & around like the usual Dumbo ride in Disney.  The Canopy ride is, much like a tamed roller coaster, except that your feet are suspended on air.  It's something I want to try.  The line was 80minutes wait! Next time!

I'm a scare-dy cat, when it comes to roller coasters, but there are times, that I do swallow my fear, because I want my guest to enjoy :)  Like today.   I've heard so much about this Revenge of the Mummy Ride.  It's a roller coaster inside a dark and cavernous room, filled with old Egyptian artifacts, and LED effects, & hair-raising music.  I didn't ride this last time, because I was chicken.  Well, my teacher is not. So, no choice. :) hahahaha

In the end, it wasn't so bad at all.  It was actually a short ride, and the twists weren't death-defying.  I kept shouting and laughing to release my tension. It was so much fun, I think I will ride it again, next time. Anyone, wanna join me?

The New York Zone features icons of the city, the public library, neon lights, sidewalks, bistros. 

As much as I love to put in everything here... I wanted to leave you with more things to see for yourself, when your turn to visit Singapore comes. 

Just don't ever, missed this particular attraction ... Waterworld.   

It's based on the movie which starred Kevin Costner.  Flopped in the box office but the attraction became the most sought after in all Universal Studios theme parks. 

It's a sensational live drama, with water as a stage, teeming with stunts and fireworks... sooo Hollywood!  The experience will leave with you. My words are not enough.  Thanks to You Tube ytgrasshk for this video:

And it was worth it... my guest totally agree...

'Till next adventure....