Saturday, April 30, 2011

Long live the newlyweds!!!

My random thoughts on the royal wedding:
I love watching royal weddings, who doesn't?

In July of 1981 when Prince William's parents, Prince of Wales Charles Windsor married Diana Spencer, we cut our European vacation short to return to Brussels where we were based to watch the wedding on TV.

I've been a long time fan of the former Princess of Wales, Diana. I bought all the magazines where she was the cover. I even clipped newspaper articles about her. And I read her book authored by Andrew Morton.

In fact, I even sported her famous hairdo. Only thing is my hair is thick and wavy so most of the time I had unruly curls which ruined my Princess Diana effect. Ha!

When she perished in that horrific car crash in 1997, I had just returned to Dubai (where we were based then) from the Maldives. I had a week long vacation in one of the tiny islands that form the nation of Maldives.

I was devastated and cried my heart out. I was glued to the TV covering her funeral rites and was gutted when I saw her two sons looking so forlorn without their beloved mother.

Life got in the way so I wasn't really updated on the romance between Prince William and Kate Middleton but I did see glimpses of them together on TV, the Internet and newspapers.

I'm glad they have settled down despite all the ups and downs they went through as a couple. They look good together and share many common interests. I watched the wedding live on Sky News here in Singapore.

Prince William was truly a dashing groom in his military uniform. He did look a bit nervous at the Westminster Abbey.

Catherine now the Duchess of Cambridge was a lovely bride!. Her simple yet elegant gown was beautiful. I like how the train wasn't too long, her hair worn down added a glamorous touch to the whole ensemble.

I wasn't too pleased though with the 'pointed' part of the gown in her chest area. It seemed like Madonna's pointed bra outfit hahaha.

The wedding ceremony was subtle and understated without much of the pomp and pageantry required of all royal ceremonies. The well heeled guests in their finest with the ladies in a variety of hats were so lovely to admire and gawk at.

Overall, everything went as planned except for that runaway horse that untoppled its rider during the carriage ride back to Buckingham Palace. The horse must have freaked out from the din of the crowds who gathered to cheer the newlyweds.

A dashing prince marries the love of his life in a solemn ceremony with their family, relatives and friends present.

It reminds me of my own wedding 3 years ago. It was simple, elegant with a small gathering of close relatives to witness our union. I married my own dashing prinsipe who remains till this day quite charming in every sense! =)

Yes I know it is silly to compare it with a royal wedding but hey this is my blog so zip it! :D

Mabuhay ang bagong kasal! Here's hoping their union will be blissfully blessed! =)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Orchard Road

One's visit to Singapore would never be complete unless one sets foot on Orchard Road. The famous street that is filled with malls is quite ideal for shopping aficionados but for the rest of us with no savings to spare for shopping, just taking a walk along this long stretch of asphalt would suffice. hehe!

There are always new malls that sprout up on this street and although one mall is slightly similar to the next one beside it, the architecture and the design of the establishment gives the mall its prominence.

My main purpose of walking all the way to the Orchard Central mall was to take its very long and high escalators all the way up to the rooftop garden. It is located on the 12th level of this glass enclosed building.

I was a bit disappointed that once you get up to the rooftop garden, you cannot move closer to the edge to have a bird eye's view of Orchard Road. Nevertheless riding the long escalators up was quite a thrill!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

I had a valid excuse to go out and take a break from my caregiving activities - it is Easter Sunday, after all! It was a very hot and humid day. The 10am Mass lasted until 11:30am. By then, I was drenched in sweat (despite being seated under a ceiling fan and a side fan!), quite hungry and my knees were hurting because the 'luhuran' didn't have any padding. Major ouch!

Nevertheless, join me as I walk from the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd to the City Hall MRT. The MRT station is connected to the Raffles City Mall cum convention center. On the way, you would pass by the Chijmes (a compound that encloses restaurants and quaint shops), the Carlton Hotel and the majestic Raffles Hotel.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Normally, we would visit different churches on Maundy Thursday after hearing the Last Supper mass. Then on Good Friday, we would listen to the Seven Last Words.

But this year I'm in Singapore, obviously. With everything that has been going on, I've been in a daze this Holy Week. I've been cooped up inside my sister's flat making sure she was comfortable and in minimal pain as much as possible. It has only been a week (time does fly by so fast) since she had surgery so her wounds are still pretty sore.

Tons of meds are fed into her weak body. From antibiotics, painkillers to vitamin supplements and gastric meds which prevent gastric pains from too many toxins. It is a vast amount and for someone like me who rather not take any pills even for a headache, it is nauseting to think about it. But it is necessary ... so be it.

Besides she is pretty used to taking loads of meds since she has had many ailments in such a short time. Imagine she has only been here 2 years yet her health has deteriorated rapidly and it is quite alarming. Most if not all I blame on her toxic workload, her travels and her blinding dedication to her career.

Anyhow, it rains alot here so I don't mind being stuck in her apartment. So I decided to amuse myself by taking pictures of her light fixtures of all things! They are quite elaborate, elegant and their brightness contribute towards making this flat quite cozy and homey.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chronicles of a 'caregiver'

I boarded the Cebu Pacific flight last week with a heavy heart. My most favorite person in the whole world has been severely sick for some time now. Finally after several postponement and long delays mostly due to work which entails that she travels most of the year, she took a hiatus from work to attend to her medical woes.

I was really apprehensive about the operation even though it is a standard medical procedure for women - the removal of fibroids from the uterus. Mostly the fear came from the fact that there was a possibility a hysterectomy would be performed. But I was also glad that this procedure will contribute towards making her healthier. It was the first step in a long journey to get her back to normal.

April 15, 2011 - we were at the KK Women's and Children's Hospital before 7 am. The procedure was scheduled at 8:30 am.

After 3 long agonising hours waiting outside the operating theaters, my sister was taken to her private room at the 7th level Ward 72 room 12. A big private room with an attached bathroom, a sofa bed (where I slept) and a nice view of the main street and a park located nearby.

The operation was successful, all 12 fibroids were removed with the uterus intact. But the wounds were pretty sore as they were extracted aggressively and the incision was pretty deep. She was in so much pain. Despite being hooked up to a morphine drip and having painkillers round the clock, the pain was quite intense.

She couldn't move much and just sitting up to take her meals was quite a strain. Her meals were served 3 times a day and looked like room service food in hotels but they were quite tasteless. Blah!

For 5 days I was her 'caregiver'. I did everything from feeding her, helping her go to the toilet, dressing her and each time she moved she would wince in pain. It was heartbreaking but I had to be strong for her sake. Every day I would accompany my parents to the bus stop after they visited and pass by the park, nearby. I would sit on a bench and just let my mind wander as I stared into the lily pond. It was serene and quite reflective and I admit I got pretty emotional several times. But it felt good to just let my inner fears flood out in tears.

But I managed. There was this mall just downstairs where everything was available. From baby supplies, pharmacy, a bakery, food court and a 7/11. The food court had stalls which served delicious food. Plus you can take them away and eat at the room. My fave was this fish ball noodles soup which I overdosed on for 5 days.

It is tough to be a caregiver especially for a patient who cannot move much and is in constant pain. It was also difficult to be stuck in a hospital room without much entertainment except for a cable less TV and a book which I hardly had time naman to read. Yet I relished the role because I would do anything for my sister.

We just got back to her apartment today. It feels good to be back in the comforts of home but the long path of healing has just commenced. She was given roughly 6 weeks to get back to normal. The hospital stay was quite an experience. A mild confusion of stern doctors issuing various medications and a whole gamut of nurses of different races administering them. Everything felt so clinical and methodical without the extra nurturing we usually are used to back home. But after all is said and done, I'm just glad this ordeal is over. Time to move onwards to a healthier path!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I'm off to Singapore for 3 weeks.

My sister is having surgery.

So we (my parents and I) will be there for moral support.

A bientot!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Cyprus: June 12-16, 1999

It was a scorching summer both in Dubai and in Cyprus when my sister and I decided to visit this Mediterranean nation. It is the 3rd largest island on the Mediterranean sea.

After a 4 hour flight from Dubai, we landed in Limassol, a city known for its pristine clean beaches. Cyprus has a rich history dating back to the Roman empire so archaeological digs can be found everywhere. Since we were not beach lovers, we went on tours that featured all sorts of ruins.

The next day we checked out from our Limassol hotel and made our way to Paphos, a coastal city in the southwestern part of Cyprus. We hired a taxi for the 1 hour drive. It turns out that it wasn't exclusively ours so we ended up picking some locals who alighted at different points during the journey. The aircon of the taxi wasn't functioning well so you can just imagine how unpleasant it was!

He drops us off at the center of the town on a very warm, humid day. We had to make our own way to our hotel which unfortunately was located on the farthest side of the long row of hotels. In fact, it was the very last hotel on that block.

The next day, we joined a tour bus that took us to all the famous sights in Paphos such as the Paphos Castle, the Pillars of Saint Paul and the Melina Hotel pictured below which is said to be the most expensive hotel in Paphos.

Aphrodite's Rock is the birthplace of the goddess of love and fertility, Aphrodite. It is alleged that she rose from the waves of the sea right behind those rocks pictured below. If I knew back then that I would be having infertility problems later on in life, I would have soaked my entire body in those waters just like the other female tourists did back then. Oh well!

The one good thing about our hotel (Kissos Hotel) being the last on the block is that it was just walking distance from a UNESCO World Heritage site, The Tombs of the Kings. A vast expanse of an ancient necropolis. The many tombs which have been cut out of the soft rock are an impressive sight. Several of the most tombs have steps descending to a sunken courtyard surrounded with Doric style columns.

Our last night in Cyprus was spent in Nicosia, the capital. It is also known as Larnaca. In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus and it is now divided into 2 sections, the Greek side and the Turk side. Towns like Famagusta are now ghost cities and traces of the damage inflicted from the invasion are still evident.

Even though it was very hot during the entire trip, we had a lot of fun. We feasted on local fare, drank their local beer and soaked in the archaeological ruins. But I distinctly remember that the highlight of that Cypriot adventure was seeing my name D-A-P-H-N-E plastered everywhere. After all, it is a very common name in the Greek culture. Somehow it seems I wasn't able to scan the pictures which will prove this but believe me, it was all over the place! =)

Monday, April 04, 2011

The Story

I finally got the chance to watch the latest 2 episodes of Grey's Anatomy season 7. One of my favorite TV shows. It's been parked in my laptop for some time now. The last one was musically themed. It had some of the doctors singing as they had to deal with a crucial surgery on one of their beloved colleagues. They sang songs which were featured in previous episodes.

It was strange to see these stern doctors suddenly burst into song. At times, it was distracting. But overall, I figure the belting out of the songs diffused the serious tone of the episode, which is a good thing. Otherwise it would have turned into a heavy tearjerker where tears stained tissues would pile up like a small hill. Although I did shed a few tears towards the end specifically the elevator scene with Derek and Meredith.

The nice thing about this episode is that I discovered a lovely song which resonated well with my psyche. Brandi Carlile's THE STORY especially the first part which I've highlighted in bold.

THE STORY by Brandi Carlile

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am

But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true...I was made for you

I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But baby I broke them all for you

Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
You do
I was made for you

You see the smile that's on my mouth
It's hiding the words that don't come out
And all of my friends who think that I'm blessed
They don't know my head is a mess

No, they don't know who I really am
And they don't know what
I've been through like you do
And I was made for you...

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am

But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true...I was made for you

Sunday, April 03, 2011

The world cannot be wrong.
If in this world, there is YOU

This week, I feature the songs of Engelbert Humperdinck. The Anglo Indian singer who is known for melodic ballads like "Release Me", "After the Lovin'", "Am I that easy to forget", "A Man without Love", "The Last Waltz".

I almost had the chance to watch him in concert when he performed here sometime in I believe 2007 on Valentine's Day. But I chose to just buy concert tickets for my parents as their wedding anniversary gift. They went, were awed by his voice and totally enjoyed themselves.

After all, their theme song is sang by Engelbert Humperdinck. Well, he has a version of the song which was originally recorded in 1967 by Petula Clark. The lyrics were written by the great genius Charlie Chaplin for his movie, "A Countess from Hong Kong" which he also directed.

The lyrics are hauntingly beautiful and yes quite mushy. Perfect for a theme song, right?

This is my Song

Why is my heart so light?
Why are the stars so bright?
Why is the sky so blue
Since the hour I met you?

Flowers are smiling bright,
Smiling for our delight,
Smiling so tenderly
For all the world, you and me

I know why the world is smiling,
Smiling so tenderly
It hears the same old story
Through all eternity

Love, this is my song
Here is a song, a serenade to you
The world cannot be wrong
If in this world, there is you

I care not what the world may say
Without your love, there is no day
So, love, this is my song
Here is a song, a serenade to you

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Hospital visits

This past week, I had to go for my OB Ultrasound for 4 straight days. Specifically a procedure known as follicle monitoring. It was totally draining and quite exhausting for me both physically and mentally. Yet I persevere with unwavering faith and abundant support from my family.

Since I practically 'lived' there, I noticed the nursing scrubs and the uniform of the hospital staff varied every day. It also came in different colors each day. It consisted mostly of short sleeved pants suits for the secretaries of the doctors as well as the staff of the admissions office. While the nurses wore either printed top or plain scrubs with sky blue scrub pants.

They always provided their services with a genuine smile and were extremely polite and courteous to everyone. Now that made the endless task of waiting (sometimes it seemed forever) for my turn at the ultrasound and for the consultation with my OB GYNE a lot more easier to endure!