Went to Bintan from the 8th to 10th May 2010 together with 4 other friends. Just a short getaway from the busy Singapore life.

We stayed at the Indra Maya villas of Nirwana Gardens. From what I understand, Nirwana Gardens consists of beach clubs, villas, resorts, and we chose to stay at the villas.

While my friends were checking in, I went out to the nearby beach. It’s the first time I’ve seen a blue sea. In Singapore, it’s a dirty green color.


At the beach, you can hear nothing but the sound of the waves. No children screaming, no cars, no boat motors. Very peaceful. We went during a non-holiday period so there’s not a lot of other people.

The waters are clear. If you try, you can see small fishes swimming around your feet.


This is where we stayed at, a private villa of our own.


With our own private pool!


And a buggy to drive around the place in! I had my turn to drive everyone around the place in this and it made me want to learn driving.


We ate, played in the pool, beaches, had karaoke, drank at a kelong style pub out in the middle of the ocean.


On the last day, we woke up early to go see the sunrise.


Each of us paid like SG$500 (USD$355. Includes food/transport) for the whole 3 days 2 nights trip. I feel it’s worth it.

There’s a few more photos in my flickr set here.


A friend of mine is pregnant.

She had a checkup at the hospital and was having her weight taken and it turned out to be 55.55kg. She seemed amused.

So one day during lunch, she told me about this and said she’s going to buy 4D for 5555.
(4D is a form of legal gambling in Singapore where you choose 4 digit numbers).

I said with a smile, “If you really win, I’ll give you another $10”. I didn’t sound like I was challenging her, or making fun of her choice of buying this number which has a very low chance of opening.

She said “Ok!” with a big grin.

I checked her ticket to see if she really bought it and she did.

I never thought of it as a stupid idea or a waste of money. I only found it surprising that she would really buy it.

One week later,

It was a small win, she won $50 for that number. Nevertheless, I kept my word.

Final Fantasy XIII

It’s been 5 months. I rushed and bought the PlayStation 3 Slim, Lightning Edition the day it was released.

Because this  is my first PS3 game, it has set very high standards for me. I’ve borrowed games like Virtua Fighter and Tekken 6 from friends and none of the 2 match up to FF13’s graphics. I got sort of turned off at the graphics I couldn’t find myself playing them any longer.

A friend pointed out that it’s because the games are developed in 720p whereas FF13 is 1080p and this made sense.

After completing the story for FF13, which I find satisfying (the storyline), I didn’t see the need to continue playing to complete all the missions and get all the trophies. Then after a while, I decided to work on unlocking Lightning’s PS3 theme.

Since my PS3 has a cool picture of Lightning on it, wouldn’t it be perfect to install the Lightning theme you get from unlocking a certain trophy in the game as well?

So I began working on it. I started off by grinding for CP. And to do that, I would need the Growth Egg that doubles CP received.

To get Growth Egg, I would have to fight Neochu. It’s a tough fight as it has 5-6 smaller underlings that attacks you very fast.

So I tried Vanille – Fang – Hope, SAB-SEN-MED, and spammed Death on Neochu till he dies. Won on second try. I forgot to setup RAV/COM in my paradigms and so I had to slowly kill all the underlings with Death. Took me almost 20 minutes, lol

I went through a few more difficult missions and it’s these difficult missions that got me hooked onto FF13 for the past few weeks. I love the whole system.

I didn’t know until recently that having a SEN in your setup boosts the defence capabilities of your other 2 members and having 3 SEN makes it even better than 1. Same goes for the other jobs. There are times when you need to quickly switch to a 3 SEN setup to greatly reduce the damage from an enemy’s attack.

Because of previous FF games, I had this impression that the summons would be useless in this game as well. It turned out to be not too bad in 13.

When it seems that you’re about to wipe, you can summon and at the end, your party’s HP will be restored. You can also dish out a pretty good amount of damage during the summon. And when fighting Adamantoise type monsters, summoning will somehow cripple them for an easy kill. (゜Д゜)

And to make each difficult hunt easier, you have a range of accessories and hidden abilities (hidden traits that you can unlock based on a combination of weapons and accessories) at your disposal. Also, each of the 6 characters have their own unique weapons, abilities and traits which you’ll need to consider when aiming for a 5-star win on a mission.

Each time I failed a battle, I would go through my character and paradigm setup and equipment, upgrading when neccesary and keep trying until I won. This process is quite enjoyable and the feeling of achievement when you clear a difficult mission is there.

As of now, I only have 3 more trophies (defeat long gui, obtain 5 star on all missions, obtain all items) left to acquire to totally “win” the game!