Singapore Again

April 1st, 2015 No comments

Since we weren’t able to go to Singapore for New Year’s Eve, we decided to get out of the Philippines while the Pope came to visit in January and head to Singapore. We were able to be there for four nights and booked a tour guide. Last time we went to Singapore, Matt had to work and I just found things to do with the kids on my own. Unlike other SE Asian countries, Singapore is relatively easy to navigate without a tour guide. But, it is just stress-free if there is a tour guide telling you where you are going and the history and they know the best time to be at certain areas. Again we booked through Viator.com and this time ended up with two different tour guides for the two days we were there. Both guides were very good with our children and easy to work with. And then we spent our last day on our own exploring Sentosa Island, although we didn’t take many photos of all the fun activities that we crammed in (iFly, Luge ride, Adventure Cove).

Inside the Fullerton where we stayed and had this amazing view while going to the elevators

Inside the Fullerton where we stayed and had this amazing view while walking to the elevators

The Fullerton staff spoiled our children and gave them their own plate of sweets. We love how friendly the Asian people are to our family.

The Fullerton staff spoiled our children and gave them their own plate of sweets. One of Matt’s co-workers has a sister who works at the hotel and played a part in this. We love how friendly people are throughout Asia.

Day 1

Our first destination was Jurong Aviary where we watched 2 different bird shows and got to see lots of different birds.

Our first destination was Jurong Bird Park where we watched two different bird shows and got to see lots of different birds.

We ate lunch like locals at the hawker stations

We ate lunch like locals at the hawker stations

Kalani got a henna tattoo that lasted about a week

Kalani got a henna tattoo that lasted about a week

We spent the afternoon at Gardens by the Bay

We spent the afternoon at Gardens by the Bay

Cloud Forest with the tallest "indoor man-made waterfall"

Cloud Forest with the tallest “indoor man-made waterfall”

The Flower Garden was decorated for the upcoming Chinese New Year

The Flower Dome was decorated for the upcoming Chinese New Year

Day 2

The "wet market" in Singapore is found in one building in Chinatown

The “wet market” in Singapore is found in one building in Chinatown

We visited a Hindu temple called Sri Mariamman Temple. The outside roof is full of character

We visited a Hindu temple called Sri Mariamman Temple. The outside roof is full of characters

The ceiling inside Sri Mariamman Temple is full of paintings

The ceiling inside Sri Mariamman Temple is covered in paintings

Our tour guide took us to this model of SIngapore. It shows what developments they plan on making in the next 5,10, & 50 years!

Our tour guide took us to this model of Singapore. It shows what developments they plan on making in the next 5,10, & 50 years!

We got to ride in the Singapore Flyer and get a different point of view of the country

We got to ride in the Singapore Flyer and get a different point of view of the country

We all were able to fly a plane with a real pilot in "Flight Experience". We chose what airport we wanted to fly to and then were given different flying experiences (daytime, night time, bad weather, engine out)

We all were able to fly a plane with a real pilot in “Flight Experience”. We chose what airport we wanted to fly to and then were given different flying experiences (daytime, night time, bad weather, engine out)

To end our 2nd day we took a ferry boat ride and did the River Explorer

To end our 2nd day we took a ferry boat ride and did the River Explorer

View of the Merlion of Singapore that we saw on from the ferry boat

View of the Merlion of Singapore that we saw on from the ferry boat

Day 3

We spent the last day on Sentosa Island

We spent the last day on Sentosa Island

iFly Skydiving Experience was awesome. It is for 7 year olds and older, so Matt, Tia & Kalani participated.

iFly Skydiving experience was awesome. It is for 7 year olds and older, so Matt, Tia & Kalani participated.

Our last night we went over to Fullerton on the Bay hotel and had some snacks and drinks at "The Lantern".  The brother-in-law of Matt's co-worker is the manager and spoiled us.

Our last night we went over to Fullerton on the Bay hotel and had some snacks and drinks at “The Lantern”. We had a wonderful view of the Marina Bay Sands light show and were spoiled by the restaurant manager who is Matt’s co-worker’s brother-in-law.

More photos of Singapore here.


December/Christmas 2014

March 30th, 2015 No comments

We were lucky enough to convince my brother to come back to the Philippines for Christmas and New Years. It was wonderful to have him around again and he remains Mason’s favorite uncle. And he went back to Siquijor with us for Christmas and got to experience Coco Grove Resort. It was great to see family again, but our time in Siquijor was extended 3 extra days since a typhoon came through and we couldn’t leave the island! Ironically, this happened to us 2 years ago when we visited the same place with the same brother. The island just loves him too much to let him leave! However since we got stuck in Siquijor for 3 extra days, we missed our flight and reservations to Singapore for New Years. (but we were able to reschedule that trip for February)

We made hygiene kits at church and then Matt and Robbie delivered them with other members from our church.

We made hygiene kits at church and then Matt and Robbie delivered them to the city jail with other members from our church.

We went to the province to celebrate our cousin's 1st birthday party and all of these guys wanted a photo with Matt and Robbie before we left.

We went to the province to celebrate our cousin’s 1st birthday party and all of these guys wanted a photo with Matt and Robbie before we left.

Mason with the 1 year old birthday girl.

Mason with the 1 year old birthday girl.

Annual Light Show at Ayala Triangle

Annual Light Show at Ayala Triangle

Life-size gingerbread house at the Peninsula Hotel

Life-size gingerbread house at the Peninsula Hotel

Manila Airport was a mess on Christmas Eve. Luckily we found a place to wait to board the plane on the floor in front of a TV

Manila Airport was a mess on Christmas Eve. Luckily we found a place to wait to board the plane on the floor in front of a TV

We were able to ride on the Coco Princess from Dumeguete to Siquijor. It is Coco Grove's private boat that goes straight to the resort.

We were able to ride on the Coco Princess from Dumeguete to Siquijor. It is Coco Grove’s private boat that goes straight to the resort.

We enjoyed our time at Salagdoong with cousins

We enjoyed our time at Salagdoong with cousins

Mason got dropped off the platform at Salagdoong. Later he ran and jumped off on his own while other adults were too nervous to do the same.

Mason got dropped off the platform at Salagdoong. Later he ran and jumped off on his own while other adults were too nervous to do the same.

Because it rained the day before, Cambugahay Falls wasn't as clear as it normally is. But still beautiful and we enjoyed our time there.

Because it rained the day before, Cambugahay Falls wasn’t as clear as it normally is. But still beautiful and we enjoyed our time there.

We explored more of Siquijor and found another waterfall after walking through the "jungle"

We explored more of Siquijor and found another waterfall after walking through the “jungle”

While hanging out with family, the kids played in this "tree house" that was built for our 5 year old cousin.

While hanging out with family, the kids played in this “tree house” that was built for our 5 year old cousin.

The children who live near our cousins welcome our children to play with them whenever we arrive.

The children who live near our cousins welcome our children to play with them whenever we arrive.

The boys always seem to go to a cock-fight in Siquijor

The boys always seem to go to a cock-fight in Siquijor

We got to listen to Island Melody Band on Christmas Eve. Due to the rain they had to move the show indoors.

We got to listen to Island Melody Band on Christmas Eve. Due to the rain they had to move the show indoors.

We arranged to have our family to Coco Grove to have dinner with us. This is the first group of people to arrive to the resort.

We arranged to have our family come to Coco Grove to have dinner with us. This is the first group of people to arrive to the resort.

We tried to see how many cousins could fit on the circular bed at the Penthouse.

We tried to see how many cousins could fit on the circular bed at the Penthouse.

All of our cousins and 2 sister missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who came over to have a catered dinner with us at Coco Grove.

All of our cousins and 2 sister missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who came over to have a catered dinner with us at Coco Grove.

We were able to attend church in Siquijor with our friends from Manila.

We were able to attend church in Siquijor with our friends from Manila.

Finally on December 30th, we were able to return home and the kids could open their Christmas presents.

Finally on December 30th, we were able to return home and the kids could open their Christmas presents.

Matt and Robbie went out dancing with friends 2 nights.

Matt and Robbie went out dancing with some of our Filipino friends

2014 was a wonderful year for us and we are looking forward to 2015 and all the adventures it holds for us.

2014 was a wonderful year for us and we are looking forward to 2015 and all the adventures it holds for us.


Farleys visit – Manila & Boracay

March 1st, 2015 1 comment

The beginning of September we finally got Matt’s parents out here to the Philippines to visit us and to meet their newest grandson, Blake. Matt’s brother Drew also came out to visit as well for a week during his school break. Then the second week his older sister Angela and her husband Peter joined the party. The first week we stayed in Manila and showed his parents around while Matt still had to work for a few days.

We ate at People's Palace a few times

We ate at People’s Palace a few times

We watched Matt play basketball

We watched Matt play basketball

Rosalyn found the grandmother of her co-worker selling vegetables at a local wet-market

Rosalyn found the grandmother of her co-worker selling vegetables at a local wet-market

We walked around the neighborhood of that local market and received many stares since foreigners aren't normally seen in that area

We walked around the neighborhood of that local market and received many stares since foreigners aren’t normally seen in that area

Matt and Drew spent some brother time wakeboarding

Matt and Drew spent some brother time wakeboarding

The boys also took their parents to Sky Ranch in Tagaytay so they can see life outside of Manila

The boys also took their parents to Sky Ranch in Tagaytay so they can see life outside of Manila

Grandpa magic with Blake to keep him happy

Grandpa magic with Blake to keep him happy

We waited to have Blake blessed until his grandparents arrived. 3 generations of Farleys in one photo.

We waited to have Blake blessed until his grandparents arrived. 3 generations of Farleys in one photo.

Drew convinced Peter to get a suit tailored made by the same tailor who made the 1980's James Bond suits

Drew convinced Peter to get a suit tailored made by the same tailor who made the 1980’s James Bond suits

Peter was able to do a presentation at The Medical City hospital that Angela and Matt were able to attend.

Peter was invited to do a presentation at The Medical City hospital that Angela and Matt were able to attend

After a week in Manila, we took a plane ride and then a boat ride and arrived in Boracay! We stayed at the Shangri-La in Boracay and rented 2 villas that connected. It was a perfect set-up for our families and we felt like royalty with our own personal butler on call. We have never been disappointed with any of the Shangri-La hotels, and our experience at Boracay was the best.

Our private pool at one of the villas which the kids really enjoyed.

Our private pool at one of the villas which the kids really enjoyed.

Beautiful ocean view as seen from the Shangi-La with wonderful weather while we were there.

Beautiful ocean view as seen from the Shangri-La with wonderful weather while we were there.

Farleys in the ocean and enjoying the white sand at the public beach.

Family in the ocean and enjoying the white powder sand at the public beach.

We had our own private dinner at our villa where enjoyed a 3 course meal and had some good conversations.

We had our own private dinner at our villa where enjoyed a 3 course meal and had some good conversations.

The whole Farley gang that went to Boracay!

Lost in paradise!

More photos of Boracay here.


Announcing AutoPager – An Android SMS Tool

November 4th, 2014 No comments

Download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.farleyfamily.pagemydriver

Last month I published my first Android app to the Google Play Store: Duly Noted. Which was something I had created for myself long ago and finally got around to publishing. Today, I’m publishing another app that I wrote for our family about two years ago and has proven very handy.

AutoPager, originally called “Page My Driver”, allows a user to specify 1-2 phone numbers as recipients of predefined custom SMS texts; which are sent by simply touching the launcher icon (no other user action is required).

Two icons are shown in your launcher: [5] and [0]. The [5] icon is used to send a custom message which normally gives a heads up about something 5-10 minutes in advance.

The second icon [0] would be used to send a different custom message regarding a more immediate notification.

For example, Tia and I set the 2 phone number recipients as the 2 phones of our family driver.

When a pickup / departure will be needed in 5-10 minutes, the [5] icon is pressed to page the driver on both phone numbers to give him a heads up and prepare for pickup. Later, the [0] icon is pressed to page the driver (again on both phone numbers) that a pickup is now required in the next 0-1 minutes.

This app was designed to page two phone numbers at once because in many countries people carry two phones or have dual-SIM phones. Paging them on both phones helps ensure they get the message.

AutoPager could also be used to provide heads up canned messages to significant others / children / co-workers, etc.

The custom text messages sent by the [0] and [5] icons can be changed in the settings.

This application has the potential to save a significant amount of time for anyone employing a personal driver or has a similar need of sending the same SMS to the same person multiple times a day.

Download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.farleyfamily.pagemydriver

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AutoPager

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Crescent Moon Cafe & Pottery

November 2nd, 2014 No comments

A few months back a friend told me about a place that she found that you can buy dishes and other pottery pieces called Crescent Moon. Then another friend went and I saw her dishes and wanted to go see for myself what they have. You have to make reservations for lunch. The lunch was tasty and filling and cost about 400 pesos. We were able to explore the grounds, see people making the pottery at different stages and then got to purchase either direct from the store, or in the back were there are pieces that are slightly damaged and you pay 220 pesos per kilo.  I think I may need to take another trip to Crescent Moon!

Warehouse area where the pottery is put into molds and inspected

Warehouse area where the pottery is put into molds and inspected

A bunch of pottery after it has been in the kiln and before painted

A bunch of pottery after it has been in the kiln and before painted

Hand painting each bowl

Hand painting each bowl

This bathroom pottery set I almost bought for just over $40, but it doesn't match my bathroom so I passed

This bathroom pottery set I almost bought for just over $40, but it doesn’t match my bathroom so I passed

We saw items being made for The Spa, Cafe France, Shangri-La Boracay, and other resorts. Maybe I’ll go back again and buy plates for the future…after we are out of the infant/toddler stage of life where things just get broken.