Kuala Lumpur on a Whim

We were dining at Nando’s in Bugis when my spontaneous fiancé asked, “Do you want to go to KL tonight?” Yes was not my automatic reply. I am sort of a planner so I said, “Let me check the schedule of the bus first.” Luckily, we still had 3 hours before the last bus for the night leaves at 11:59pm. So we hurriedly went back to our place in Aljunied, packed our bags, booked a bus ticket online and went to Lavender which was 2 stations away via the Green Line.

We booked through Bus Online Ticket Website. From what we’ve read, pick-up was at Golden Mile Complex so we alighted at Lavender Station. However, we were told that for Golden Coach Express Bus, we still had to get actual tickets and will be picked up from Key Point in Beach Road. So you see, it was quite a walk!

Follow the purple line.

Follow the purple line.

So that you wouldn’t get lost like us, refer to the map above and details below:

Golden Coach Express Bus

Address:  371, Beach Road, $01-25, Key Point, Singapore 199597

Bus Pickup Point:  Key Point Tel No:  +65 6392 3623

Website:  http://www.busonlineticket.com (online booking available)

They have daily trips to KL that leave at 9:15AM, 7:30PM and 11:59PM. I think we paid 40SGD per person for the tickets.

It was a long ride which I didn’t have a problem with since I am much of a sleeper but I was awakened from time to time when we had to exit Singapore and enter Malaysia’s immigration.

We arrived at Berjaya in KL at around 6am. Since this was such an impulsive trip, we had to look for a hotel. Being a cheapskate that I am, I didn’t want us to spend so much on accommodation. So we had to aimlessly walk around the city ditching Marriott and The Ritz Carlton of course. Good thing we found a Filipina who helped us out! 🙂 Hello, kababayans!

We arrived at Victory 2 Boutique Hotel. It is located at No 114 (Mezzanine Floor), 114-1 – 114-3, Jalan Imbi, Bukit Bintang right at the heart of Kuala Lumpur. It’s a budget hotel so we kept our expectations to a minimum: a standard queen bed room with AC, flat screen TV with cable channels, shower and WiFi. I can say that it’s pretty decent. The staff were helpful too. If you want to see the photos, you might want to check this link to Agoda. We paid 30SGD per night plus additional 10SGD since we checked in early. Breakfast wasn’t included.

We didn’t really have an itinerary to follow so here are some of the things we did:

Look for the Petronas Towers

There it is!

There it is!

They say it’s best to view it at time so we saved it for later. We just had to figure out early on where it was.

Try Malaysia’s Bak Kut Teh

With the help of the hotel staff and our cabbie, we were directed to Kedai Makanan Ban Lee. They say it’s one of the best Bak Kut Teh in town. It is at 222, Jalan Ipoh, 51200 Kuala Lumpur, next to Hotel Dynasty. Being Bak Kut Teh suckers that we are, we couldn’t miss this for the world!

Bak Kut Teh

Malaysia’s Bak Kut Teh

From Singapore to Malaysia, our stomachs crave for Bak Kut Teh

From Singapore to Malaysia, our stomachs crave for Bak Kut Teh

It was also good but I felt the broth of Song Fa’s was thicker and tasted meatier. Kedai Makanan Ban Lee’s version had vegetables and the taste of herbs was a bit strong for me. Still, I am happy I got to try this here. You cannot be in Malaysia and not try their Bak Kut Teh, right?

Sugar Rush at Beryl’s Chocolate Kingdom

This one wasn’t really part of the plan but our cabbie insisted we try it out since they give freebies to tourists. We were a bit adamant since we’ve had a similar experience while in Bangkok. Thank heavens, our cabbie was right this time. We were greeted with smiles when we alighted at this house-turned-museum. There were various kinds of chocolates from milk, dark, tiramisu and even coated potato chips. They were generous enough to give bite size pieces to us and even gave us a cup of chocolate drink to try. Lucky for us, sad for them because we went out empty-handed. We didn’t buy anything! Hahaha! Lovers on a budget here!

Chocolates and more chocolates

Chocolates and more chocolates

The Petronas Towers, Up Close

We didn’t really have much to do so we went to Petronas Towers. It was a beautiful sight. I never thought I’d be in awe to see a building! Wait ’til I lay eyes on The Eiffel Tower! 🙂

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Us, trying to squeeze in

What they say is true, it’s really hard to get a good shot, much more a selfie with the towers. So the picture above was the best we could get (or so we thought).

Shopping and Eating Galore

My love affair with the Petronas Towers was cut short when I saw the big H&M across the street. I can’t help it! The flashing red colours were hypnotising! After rummaging through the piles, I suddenly felt hungry so this is what happened next:

Our mandatory corn in a cob shot. Don't ask me why. Haha

Our mandatory corn in a cob shot. Don’t ask me why. Haha

A giant cone of Haagen Dazs for dessert

A giant cone of Haagen Dazs for dessert

Sky’s the Limit Drinking 

That’s me trying to be PUNny. (Get it? Get it?) Hahaha. So with a lot of walking and asking, we found the Trader’s Hotel which was home to the Sky Bar. Yes, that’s where I was leading to. It was quite packed since it was a Saturday night but looook! It’s got the best view of the Towers! No more acrobatic, hip bending stunt to get the perfect shot.

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After a drink (it was a bit expensive there), we decided to go to The Pavilion. We actually just walked from there to here for 10-15 minutes and found a strip of bars. Such a senior moment because I can’t remember the name of the bar! Sorry! But we were so happy to have the best nachos, try out the dark beer and be welcomed by a Filipino kababayan. I think this is the first time in a long time that I shared a beer with my fiancé since I am not really much of a drinker.

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Love at First Bite with Bakwa

This Bakwa shop was just right across our hotel. I tasted one and it kind of reminded me of ham. I liked it more because it came fresh from the grill. So to my friends visiting Malaysia anytime soon, grab a bag of Bakwa for me!

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Ramen Fever

We don’t have Ippudo in the Philippines yet and being the ramen lover that I am, I dragged my fiancé to try it. I got my usual tonkotsu based broth paired with gyoza. Heavenly! My fiancé like it too, good thing because he’s paying! 🙂

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Since we didn’t have return tickets yet, we went to Berjaya Times Square early, like 2pm. There is a booth right outside Berjaya where you can buy a ticket. However, the earliest slot available was at 7pm so we had no choice but to kill time. That’s why we just decided to watch a movie! 🙂 The Berjaya Times Square was like a maze! It was a hotel, a mall and an indoor theme park in one. Eventually, we found the cinema and watched the Police Story by Jackie Chan. It’s action packed like any Jackie Chan movie. It was dubbed in Chinese with an English subtitle.

So that ended our quick, spontaneous and very affordable Kuala Lumpur getaway 🙂

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Preparing Your Wedding Requirements

Just when you thought all you need to get married is a groom and the Church, you realize that the road to forever is a work in progress. And it all starts with your wedding requirements – both legal and Catholic Church documents. I tell you, there are quite a lot! I have been in your shoes and I had to skim through various websites and call numerous hotlines just to help me get everything done. Apart from the checklist and the cost, be sure to note the validity of the documents because timing is really key.

Here’s my attempt to make it become more bearable for you, lovely bride. Good luck!

Oh, these crazy fools.

Oh, these crazy fools.

Legal Requirements:

1. Birth Certificate – Thank God for the Internet! Documents you needed to line up for before are now available with one click and will be delivered right at your doorstep. I think it’s more expensive to have it shipped but I would rather pay than go through the hassle of going to NSO since I live in the South.

For online application, go here.

For payment, go here.

You will receive your document 3-9 working days after payment, depending on your address

Cost is at P315 per copy.

2. Certificate of No Marriage Records (CENOMAR) – Another walk in the park if you have not been married in the past. For online application, payment and delivery, refer to the links above. Cost is at P415 per copy. Fees are inclusive of processing, delivery and government taxes. To be safe, get this 6 months prior your wedding.

3. Marriage License – A Marriage License is different from a Marriage Contract. (I wish I’d known that back then!) You apply for a Marriage License so you will be granted permission to get married while the Contract gets signed during the ceremony which will then be submitted to NSO for certification. Your Church will take care of your Marriage Contract. The Marriage License is valid for 120 days so make sure to get it 4 months prior your wedding date.

Where to get it:

Both you and your partner should be present. Go to you or your groom’s municipal hall and get an application form from the local registry office.

Requirements:

– NSO Certified Birth Certificate

– Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)

– Cedula

– 1×1 ID Picture for the groom and bride

There are instances when you still have to undergo a family planning seminar before you are granted a license. In our case, the city hall of Las Pinas honored our Pre-Cana Seminar Attendance Certificate in lieu of this. You will get your License after 10 working days.

Church Requirements (patterned from San Antonio De Padua, Silang Cavite):

1. Baptismal Certificate and Confirmation Certificate stamped as “For Marriage Purposes” – Certificates are valid for 6 months from the date of issue. These should be submitted to your Church 2 months prior the wedding.

2. Pre-Cana Seminar Certificate of Attendance – Ask your church if they will allow you to get a Pre-Cana Seminar elsewhere. There are a lot of parishes holding this seminar but I think the most famous is the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) Discovery Weekend. It’s a 2-day seminar which costs P6,000/couple. I would’ve loved to try this out but since my husband-to-be is an OFW, time really is of the essence. Know more about CEFAM through their website.

We had our seminar in San Agustin, Manila. It costs P1,500 for a half-day session (8am-12nn) with snacks. 🙂

3. Canonical Interview – This will be done by the parish priest. These are questions on your values, plans as a couple and as future parents. It lasts for around 10 minutes only since most of the time, other couples are lining up as well.

4. Marriage Banns – The church where you’ll be getting married will give you forms which you need to give to your respective parish. Lucky for us, we lived in the same village so our marriage banns were posted in the same parish. The banns will be up for 3 consecutive Sundays. The banns serve as a community announcement to make sure that nobody comes unannounced at your wedding and ask the priest to stop the ceremony. Haha! 🙂 After this, you will get a certificate from your parish as proof that the banns have been posted. You need to give this to your wedding church after.

5. Certificate of Registration. Authority to Solemnize – This is applicable if you will bring your own priest to officiate your wedding ceremony. This basically grants the priest the authority to wed couples. Check its validity since this document has an expiration too.Make sure that it is beyond your wedding date.

6. Confession – To be done ideally a week before your wedding. Check with your Church if they allow you to get a confession elsewhere.

For requirements alone, the couple needs to shell out this much:

REQUIREMENTS COST
Birth Certificate (for groom and bride) 630.00
CENOMAR (for groom and bride) 830.00
Cedula 10.00
Marriage License Application Fee 100.00
Marriage License Fee 50.00
Baptismal and Confirmation Certificate (Bride) 100.00
Baptismal and Confirmation Certificate (Groom) 100.00
Pre-Cana Seminar 1,500.00
Marriage Banns 500.00
TOTAL 3,820.00

Now, you can get legally married! 🙂 Hooray!