Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Little Princess is 4!!

Ok, let's take a break from my Cebu entry for a while ;)

My little princess turns 4 early of this January! How fast time flies. Unlike last year, I didn't throw any party for her due to time constraint. Oh ya, last year I buat party quite besar jugak, panggil all my friends and family because I consider macam makan-makan. But this year so busy, so I don't really plan anything. And dah lepas pun, so macam tak buat terus la kot :(

The thing is, she still remembers last year's party and keep telling me "Mommy, Zahra nak cake castle and princess Rapunzel". Last year cake dia Barbie.

Then I just said, "ok, nanti mommy carikan" 

Sorry Zahra..mommy memang tak sempat :(

We didn't throw any party but we were invited for birthday bash at the ex-babysitter's. There is another kid that shares the same birthdate so macam double celebration la. 

She was sooo happy, get to see all her old friends. They've been running, naik tingkat 8 turun balik tingkat 7. I can see how much fun she had, time ni she still not adjusting well at the new school and has no new friend.

Another small celebration, not her birthday though, it was a luncheon and we bring a homemade cake (which is a bit burned) and let her blow the candle hehe

I don't know how to tell her about the cake...but I think she understands that there is no party this year. She got a few nice present though from relatives..mommy and daddy didn't give anything hehehe. Again, I don't think it's necessary sebab dia dah banyak gila kot toys! Macam spoilt pulak. All she need now is time with her mommy. So I'll try my best to spend as much as quality time with her.

So what she's up to at 4 (dah lama tak tulis perkembangan macam ni hehe). Well, I'll say she's kinda mature for her age. Speaks well and has empathy. She understands all my emotions even though when I tried to hide it, like when I am so angry and I just answer "hmmm" she will say "mommy jangan la marah", then I said, "mana marah?" and she will point out, "tu mommy cakam hmm macam tu"

Quite opinionated. Will tell me what she feels/thinks and firm about what she wants. But in some situation, I still can reason with her, provided I get to answer all her questions. Like is she wants something and I said no, i must give a solid reason why she can't have that.

Love craft related activity especially drawing. Ahhh I forgot the snap her drawings..quite well I'll say.

Love acting with her own dialogue and making faces. Love being a princess and like to wear tutus. Most of the dress mesti ada simple tulle for daily wear.

Hate vegetables but still loves broccoli. Pretty much a fussy eater but her appetite getting better these days, after she goes to school.

Potty trained but I still let her wear diaper during the night because I'm lazy to train her, but most of the nights she keeps it dry, unless she was very tired.

And the biggest achievement recently is, she's already making friends at school! I'm sooo happy for her. This is a crucial and big adjustment in her childhood that part of me want her to stay at the babysitter's forever but she has to face this.. changing and being flexible. It took her sometimes but she's making a progress so Alhamdulillah.

I didn't know about her friends until she keeps on mentioning few names and I was thinking, ok, maybe that's a few yg nice towards her..then 2 days ago, we were packing up goodies bag for relatives for coming CNY when she said;

"Mommy, Zahra nak dua boleh? Zahra nak bagi dekat Yasmina and Falihah"

I swear I almost cry little princess is not so little anymore. She manages to make friends, she understand the feeling of adoring other people and the value of being nice to people she likes.

Happy 4th birthday sayang. Mommy loves you so much. That you have no idea :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cebu - Lapu-Lapu Island and Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa

Previous stories here:

We went to Lapu-Lapu Island (part of Mactan Island) via van. There is a connecting bridge to that place. 

Lapu-Lapu Island is the exact place where Lapu-Lapu killed Ferdinand Magellan (I've written about it in Part I where we visited the Heritage statue)

 Here on 27 April 1521 Lapu-Lapu and his men repulsed the Spanish invaders killing their leader Ferdinand Magellan. Thus Lapu-Lapu became the first Filipino to have repelled European aggression.

 On this spot Feridnand Magellan died on April 27, 1521, wounded in an encounter with the soldiers of Lapu-Lapu, chief of Mactan Island. One of Magellan's ships the Victoria under the command of Juan Sebastian Elcano sailed from Cebu on May 1, 1521 and anchored at San Lucar of Barrameda on September 6,1522. Thus completing the first circumnavigation of the earth.

The exact place where Lapu-Lapu storm in and collide with Magellan and killed him.

Lapu-Lapu statue

Then we off to Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, the most expensive hotel in Mactan (it's 5 stars!). And tell you what, the place is mes-me-ri-zing! Seriously, I considered having a second honeymoon there!! Fly to Cebu just to stay at this hotel.

The place is huge!! We didn't cover everything but we went to the beach.

Too bad I didn't snap the hotel's interior. It was drizzling that time and I was busy handling my handbag because I spilled the mineral water in there. Such a klutz :-/

The coral area

big ass playroom for your kids

Outdoor spa on top of the slope. It was windy and I can imagine how soothing that will be to be massaged up there.

The beach is amazing too! The sand, the water. It's crystal clear and secluded. Very relaxing. After I went back to Malaysia, I keep on saying to MrComot that we should go to this place! Maybe when we are older..and the kids are bigger hehe.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cebu - Yap Sandiego Ancestral House & Fort San Pedro

Previous story here:

We went to Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House after the visited the Lapu-Lapu and Magellan statue. It's somewhere in the Chinese Street as well. The house is originally owned by a Chinese merchant, Don Juan Yap and Dona Maria Florido. It is one of the oldest existing residential structure in Philippines, built around 17th century. One of the unique characteristic it that it is built from coral stone.

The moment I stepped inside, I can see a lot of antique stuff and a lot of religious statues like Virgin Mary and the angels. In some corner, the house a little bit spooky, maybe due to the light, or the religion stuff. I mean, we Muslims don't have any statue right, and in the house statues are everywhere. Nasib baik takde muka scary.

The house from outside

One of Cebu heritage

The family pictures are everywhere

I'm not sure which generation of Yap/Sandiego is this

The religious statues

Wooden stairs leading up

Jesus plate at the window

The ancestors

Wishing well. Some tourist will throw coins and wish for something they want

It is a wooden boat lift up at the second floor, if you can see it closely. It has become a pot for some plants.

This is the original seat for their women to give birth

The hall on second level

The wall is conencted directly to the next building. The original wall was damaged and they plastered it with cement. The handpainting was added to make it look nicer.

The Yap and Sandiego family. I forgot which generation. I jot down the info but my not lost :( 

Another table decor

The dining hall.

The master bedroom. The current Yap and Sandiego family don't live here on daily basis, but they still come and sleep in this room like once a month. Somehow this room gives me a's like "alive". Maybe sebab banyak patung kot.

Another corner in the master bedroom.

Their wedding picture

What do you think about the house? Spooky isn't it? Masa masuk tu dah baca macam2 doa and I didn't touch anything hehe.

Then we went to Fort San Pedro. It's the smallest and oldest fort in Philippines and built in triangular shape, with 2 shapes facing the sea and the 3rd one facing fronting the land. It is labored under Spanish commander Lopez Miguel in 1938. I didn't take much picture pun sbb dalam tu is their normal deco - baby Jesus. They have very strong belief in Christianity and our tour guide suka bercerita so, most of the stories mesti ada cerita pasal baby Jesus. Macam derang adore sangat baby Jesus ni.. a symbol of purity to them. Walaupun kitaorg ni pakai tudung bagai..they keep on saying baby Jesus is God etc.. I pun angguk2 senyum je la. Nak argue tak berani, tand don't know how to say it pun.

Fort San Pedro from the front

Some part is build from coral

Another coral design

Typical pose hehehe

"The Fort San Pedro Restoration was a tedious, time and labor consuming project. To restore the fort as close to the original as possible, coral stones which were hauled from under the sea along Cebu coastal towns were utilized. Delivered crudely cut to the restoration site, the fort laborers did the final cutting and polishing to make the blocks fit each other. - wikipedia"

Another interesting situation I found in Cebu..most of the road has this signage at their turning point.

A few metres before the junction "TURN RIGHT AT ANY TIME WITH CARE"

But when then the put this at the junction "NOR RIGHT TURN". It's contradicting and I find it funny. Maybe it has different meaning that I don't understand.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cebu - Quest Hotel and Magellan & Lapu-Lapu Monument

Ok continuance from my Cebu visits. Oh forget to tell, Cebu is one of small Islands in Philippines and their main religion is Christian, about 99% in fact. You can read part I here.

We stayed in Quest Hotel and conference centre which is located smacked in the middle of Cebu town. There is a big shopping mall right opposite of the hotel - Ayala Mall and we can just walk there by crossing the street. Anyway, the street is a 2 ways with 4 lanes, so it's quite dangerous actually considering their traffic is craaazy (but somehow we manage to do it - they might mistaken us for locals hehe)

A 3-star hotel but it's neat.

Table decor

At lobby, while waiting to check in

Another view of the lobby

My room. Unshared.

The gift basket from the company. Cebu is well known for their homegrown mango.

The free tidbits - mineral water and their famous dried mango.

Normal stuff in the mini fridge. Chargeable.

The bathroom. Separate shower and toilet. No bathtub.

The sink and basic amenities. And yes, I brought my pump!

Which I religiously used, and dump in the sink. Because I am too lazy to pack it and freeze it. Too much hassle for me since there is no direct route to KL, need to take the interconnecting flight. Anyway I pump 2-3 times and dump everything. Looking back at this picture reminds me that Emir was heavily depended on me that time. Kesian dia :(

After freshen up, we wend for short tour to see Heritage of Cebu Monument at Chinese Street. That area is the first trading centre for Cebu.

Street view - their cab

Another view. The town looks kinda old right..remind me of Teluk Intan (Perak) and Besut (Terengganu) city.

The heritage of Cebu Monument, or Magellan & Lapu-Lapu Monument as the local calls it.

It's about the native - some big ass man (Lapu-lapu) killed Ferdinand Magellan (with his spear). Ferdinand is the one who conquers Cebu and the native is not satisfied. Then they fight in the water (in one of the river) and Lapu-Lapu is almost naked (hey! they are native) and Ferdinand man is wearing the kick-ass metal armor so they lost in the battle because they can't stand the water with that kind costume resistance. Something like that.

Statue of Ferdinand Magellan

The ships and some storyline

Another view from the statue
It was a very hot day so I barely can focus on the story hehe. Oh ya, their climate is more or less like us but they are cooler most of the time. Slightly cooler.

Next to it is the fire station.

Their yummilicious mango. I didn't have a knife so I asked the hotel to cut the mango for me. Juicy and sweet but I still prefer the Indian mango as it's more fragrance and sweeter.