Thursday, February 25, 2016

Punggol Waterway Park

Our visit in the northeast will not be complete without seeing the Punggol Waterway Park. The stretch of this park is amazing at best.

Discovering this place can start at Waterway Point in Punggol. But in our case, we started at the farthest end near Coney Island.

The magnificent bridge blends well with the architecture
of the buildings in the background.

It is good to walk along this park as it is refreshing and you can see a lot of greens blending well with works of art in its bridges, seats and apartment blocks.   

Sights along the trail to the Waterway Park

Me at one of the bridges of the Waterway Park 

An elegantly designed bridge at the park

It is also good to cycle along this trail on a leisurely Sunday afternoon to invigorate oneself for the next day's work.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My Coney Island Adventure

If you want to unwind amidst the hustle and bustle of the metropolis, a visit to Coney Islands in the northeastern part of Singapore is the best thing to do.

Coney Island as it name suggest is an island where cone tress abound. Various species of cone trees can be found there. 

It is not too far from mainland Singapore and it is connected to the mainland via bridges to its east and west entrance.  

Me with Sofia at the West Entrance of Coney Island

Its lush vegetation sustain every life form which inhabits the island. During our visit there, we saw colorful butterflies, small reptiles, birds and wild boar.
  
View of the forest on the island

There are also beach areas around the island where one can enjoy the sea breeze or a dip in the water.  

Me dipping in the waters of Johor Strait

This was what we saw when we go out of the
East Entrance to Coney Island

My picture in the woods

In its natural form, Coney Island is an adorable place which can help invigorate a weary soul.   

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Of History and Horizon @ Punggol Beach

Singapore comes to mind as a place of skyscrapers. But unknown to many tourists who set foot on Singapore soil, it has more to offer when it comes to nature.

Forget about the zoo, bird park, night safari, river safari and the fancy gardens around the city because along its shores in the northeast you can find the best place for communion with nature.

One of the places there which I admire is the Punggol Beach. In there, you can find cow boy themed cabins for a relaxing stay. Also within that compound is a food place with the same theme.            

A cabin to stay in "rural" Singapore

Not so far into the horizon is Johore and its industrial complexes. It also seems that Johore Straits is a busy maritime lane with the many ships passing there. 

View of Johor Strait with  industrial complexes in Johor

Good view of the busy maritime lane

Punggol Beach is also considered a historical place as fierce fighting took place there during World War II. As was said, its white sand beaches were stained with heroes blood.    

Me at Punggol Beach, a historical site where fierce
fighting happened during World War II

A visit to this area will give one a glimpse of what is lovable in Singapore in its enchantingly subtle way...    

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Shrouded in Veil

Unfathomed myst’ry,
So exquisite and lovely,
Sublime modesty.

Hidden preciousness,
Of charm and gorgeous finesse,
Truthful earnestness.

Pikachu's cuteness,
A spoonful of cleverness,
Poet's tenderness.

Dazzling character,
Inspiring and none better,
Making deeds kinder.

Woman of substance,
Modesty of importance,
Simple elegance.

Funny companion,
Conscience source of compassion,
My mind in halcyon.

Love of blissfulness,
Omnipotence astuteness,
A longing no less.

Noble in loving,
Values so tantalizing,
Making my heart sing!

Me with Sofia at Singapore Botanic Gardens Bandstand

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Ayam Penyet Ria : Getting Tender by Smashing

As a Filipino, my taste is attuned to Malay foods. Malay foods such as nasi lemak, nasi goreng, satay, otah, ayam penyet, etc. are too good to the palate.

There is this good restaurant in Singapore which serves Malay foods and its specialty is ayam penyet. The name of the restaurant is Ayam Penyet Ria. It is an Indonesian restaurant and the foods on the menu are superb.     

Ayam Penyet Ria branch at Jurong Point

The ayam penyet as I learned about it is prepared by smashing the chicken to make the meat tender. Indeed, it is too good to chew together with a special kind of sambal

The main course is completed with a serving of kerepek (udang and emping) and fried chicken liver as appetizers.    

On the left is ayam penyet served with crispy kerepek 
and delicious fried chicken liver (on the right).

The gastronomy of Malay foods prepared in Indonesian way speaks then of a great dining experience in this part of the world!   

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Appreciating Foods in the Desert

On my flight to and from Europe, I had my stop over in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. To taste the local flavors, I looked for restaurants inside the airport serving local foods. 

On my flight to Europe, I found the restaurant serving this food. The serving comprised of Arabian green salad, bread and delicious dips. I expected the dips were spicy but to my surprise they were sweet.   

Delicious local foods

On my return to Singapore, my stop over at Dubai was in early morning. On finding a good restaurant to have breakfast, I happened to see a very attractive advertisement featuring a Turkish coffee. So, I looked for the restaurant and finally settled there for breakfast. I ordered the Turkish coffee and when I sipped it, I found the taste exotic. It is indeed one kind of a brew and "must taste" for visitors to the Middle East. 

Turkish coffee at Dubai International Airport

This taste of the Middle East made me wonder, "Perhaps there are more good foods out there which need to be discovered?" 

Friday, February 5, 2016

How to Write an Essay and Join the Peter Drucker Challenge?

Joining the Peter Drucker Challenge is one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. Meaningful in a sense that along the process, I learned so much, from drafting my essay to visa application then finally to my stint in Vienna.

My journey for essay writing started by visiting the Peter Drucker Challenge website. In there, you can find relevant information about the contest: the theme, the mechanics, criteria for judging and process for essay submission. The website also contains a repository of winning essays.   

Before you start writing the essay, know the theme of the contest which is announced on April 1. It is also advisable to read the winning essays of the previous years so that you can gain insights. In so doing, you can construct a working model from which you can develop your thoughts in tackling the current theme. It will also give you an idea of the best style to adopt for your essay.  

It is advisable to write first an outline and that it should have a clear focus. Generally in writing, you have to assume that your readers are intelligent and that there is no need to define or expound on the meaning of the technical terms you use. Remember, you are only limited to 3000 words, so you have to optimize your use of words to convey strategically your message.     

I suggest that in writing the essay, you should not start with a model. Even with case analysis, we are advised to refrain from starting with a model because it shows lack of creativity. Models are just tools which we can pull off later in the analysis.   

A story can be a good starting point as it sets the tone for the entire essay. Stories are also more interesting than more serious stuffs such as the model or highly technical discourse.

Writing the essay also entails enormous research in which case Google finds utmost use (including online dictionary). The good references you can tap are Harvard Business Review, McKinsey Quarterly, Insights by Stanford Business as well as the works of renowned management authors, of course Dr. Drucker himself, Dr. Henry Mintzberg, Charles Handy, etc.

Also, do not forget to cite your references and provide the list at the end of your essay. It is also better to put in some creative work so that your entry will have an aesthetically appealing look.    

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Here are my pictures during the Peter Drucker Challenge Winners Reception at Austrian National Library. I met there Ms. Deepa Prahalad, the Head of the Judging Panel who happened to be the daughter of my most favorite HBR author C.K. Prahalad.                  
With Ms. Deepa Prahalad, Head of the Judging
Panel for the contest. 

With Ms. Namita Narkar, a fellow AIM alumni who garnered the first place
in the Entrepreneurs/Managers Category of the contest  

During the gala night at Marx Halle, the winners were once again recognized and awarded with a certificate.

The certificate I received for being on top 10 of
the Peter Drucker Challenge 2015 

Overall, the experience required a lot of effort but rewarding in the end. There's really more value to gain from joining the Peter Drucker Challenge. It's just up to you to take on the challenge!  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Roman Ruins: The Grandeur That Was...

Within the Schonbrunn Palace complex, you can find this Roman ruins. In visiting this magnificent tourist spot, you will have an experience of "the grandeur that was Rome"

While the structure is not really a ruin from of old, it exudes the best of style in the ancient world. This was a creation of Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg and was built in 1778.

The Roman ruins in its full grandeur

In the picture above, the statues at the center depicts the gods of the rivers Danube and Enns. The elaborate columns and reliefs were made under the supervision of the court architects. 

Remnants of the left wing

Remnants of the right wing

The stone decorations you can see above were executed by the sculptors Beyer, Henrici and Franz Zacherle.

Me posing in front of the ruins

The archway 

All I can say is that, the ruins in its subtle existence completed the picturesque landscape of Schonbrunn Hill. It is a structure which compliments other structures dotting the regal landscape.