Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Something to look forward to...



Over lunch, my conversation with a good friend at work dwelled on the fact that I'm going to turn 35 in less than two months.

I can't really remember how our convo was steered into that direction.

My guess is because we were talking about how her life was going to change in a few months time. Aside from the fact that she is going to tie the know, this friend is also going to move to the other side of the world. Two major changes in one go.

I think that was how I got started in talking about my upcoming birthday. I told my friend how it is sort of a big deal for me since I consider it to be a milestone. It is a milestone because I consider 35 to be my mid-life. Haha!

Somewhere along the conversation, I told my friend, "Not to be morbid, but if I returned to our Creator tomorrow, I would actually be fine. I feel like I've accomplished quite a lot in my life these past three decades. Sure, there are other dreams but really, I can't think of having any regrets if the Lord suddenly decides it's time to go."

Then, I told her, "The difference between you and me is this. After you get married, you're going to have kids. After you have kids, you're going to have to keep on working because you have to send the kids to school, and so on and so forth. I don't have that. We don't have that - that set path in life that most straight people can easily choose to take."

My friend replied, "I don't know how to put it into words, but I know what you're saying."

Then she added, "I read somewhere that three things in life are essential - someone to love; something to do; something to look forward to."

We agreed that for her, all three boxes are ticked. In my case, I have number two. I may have number one in the near future (I hope). Or maybe not, but I know I'll still be fine. What I'm kind of missing is the number three. I do have plans but they're still up in the air.

In a previous post, I've written about how the constant message I've been getting from Him is, "Wait." That I've been patiently doing. In fact, one of my prayers every Sunday is to tell Him what my plans are but ending it with "Your will be done."

I guess I would rather that I really know what to look forward to. Right now, it's still a gray area. It adds pressure to the weird feeling I'm having about turning 35. Haha!

The three things considered as essentials in life sound too simplistic, but there is some truth to it. Maybe things should be less complicated from 35 onwards. Haha!

There are a list of things to look forward to, but the ones I have are all short term.

For now, I look forward to finding some place that leads to citizenship. I need something permanent. I look forward to getting back into a relationship and eventually, getting married. Yes, it dawned upon me that I do want to get married. And I'm talking about a wedding that includes my family and my partner's family plus friends. I look forward to a few holiday trips, including the US and a return to my favourite cities in Europe. I look forward to attending the weddings of a few loved ones.

These are all good, but I need something more major to look forward to for the next 35 years of my life.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A night at the museums...




If Saturday daytime was a workout overload, much of Saturday night was an overload on arts and culture.

It was the second night of the Singapore Night Festival. Jon asked us if we wanted to go check it out. I have really been meaning to go to the festival, and I was doubly happy that a bunch of friends were also keen to go.

The evening started with dinner with Richie and NB Boy. Unfortunately, Mon couldn't join us because he already had prior commitments. NB Boy and I met up with Richie at Cathay to have dinner at one of the restaus.

From Cathay, we walked over to the green space across Cathay, whereby food booths, a mini flea market, a performance stage and some kind of light installation were set up.

While waiting for Jon and Lara, we checked out the different booths and the light installation, had some mini-pancakes for dessert and watched a bit of the onstage performance.

Afterwards, we started our museum pilgrimage starting with the National Museum, followed by the Peranakan Museum and finally, the Singapore Art Museum where we met up with Tipz.

Hmm, I enjoyed the most the "Divine Trees" setup at the National Museum as well as the various exhibits at the Singapore Art Musuem. Divine Trees, done by a French artist, features surreal light projections onto the towering trees outside NMS. The result: faces of divine figures on the trees as if they were looking down on us mortals.

Meanwhile, the different exhibits at SAM never fail to tickle the senses. I must admit. After guiding for an art exhibit last year, I became more receptive towards Contemporary Art. Haha! It was also pleasant to see the works of a number of Filipino artists showcased at SAM.

There were still several other setups to visit but it was already close to midnight. I, personally, was already starting to have art fatigue. Haha! I would definitely want to go back again to check out the setup at the Armenian Church and some of the other galleries at SAM.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pump + Combat Saturdays...




As Tipz mentioned in his blog, it turned out to be a weekend packed with activities.

First order of the weekend was a grueling Body Combat and Body Pump class.

Initially, I was doing the Combat/Pump Saturday combo solo. After awhile, Jon was finally convinced (coerced?) into spending a few hours of Saturday morning at the gym. Then, Tipz also started to make the trip to the West to join us for classes.

Last Saturday, there was another addition to our triumvirate - Jon's housemate Lara. Congratulations are in order for her because she survived the insane Combat class and managed to walked out of the class in one piece. Haha!

As much as I enjoy the classes, what I don't like is the time spent queueing to register for classes. The official policy is that registration for class is 20 minutes before it starts. However, people start forming a queue 30/40 minutes before class to ensure that they can get a spot.

I feel like it's a lot of time wasted on queueing. Good thing I have my trusted Kindle, which keeps me company during queueing. Haha!

I wish there was an app that allows gym members to register for a class. Registration for a class would only be available 30 minutes before each class. This way, no one will be signing up his/her name for all the Pump, Combat or whatever class for the entire year. I dunno how feasible this is, but I'm sure it's doable.

The Saturday routine is really something I always look forward to. One, I like the instructors for both classes. They can really motivate the class to do well. Two, I am able to put in more effort in class becase I don't have to wake up at 530AM the following day. Ergo, I don't mind uploading the weights at Pump and kicking higher at Combat.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Anna, Gisele and Bee do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge...







Three people I'm surprised to see do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - Gisele Bundchen, Anna Wintour and Anna's daughter Bee Shaffer.

Wtg, girls!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Looking forward to James Jean print in a few weeks...




Some time last week, I received an email that James Jean was going to release a print some time this week.

I took note of the date and set a reminder on my phone. Yesterday and this morning, the alarm for the note went off.

Once I had proper access to a computer, I went online and checked the print that was for sale - Tiger III.

No doubt it was a James Jean. The print was hauntingly beautiful.

I debated for a short while whether I should get the print or not.

What helped me start clicking "Add to Cart" and processing the order were the following: 1.) It's a signed and numbered time-limited edition; 2.) Never to be re-printed; 3.) Who knows when James Jean will release a print again; 4.) The price, including shipping, was affordable considering it's a James Jean.

In less than 5 minutes, I placed an order for a James Jean print. I checked the site again just now and the sale has now been closed. I'm really glad that I decided to grab the opportunity to get my own James Jean print.

The sale was just for twenty-four hours. I don't know yet what the edition size will be. I'm crossing my fingers it won't be more than 100, or at the most, 250. Haha!

I first learned of the Taiwanese American artist when he collaborated with Prada a few years ago. Fully Booked invited the artist to Manila in 2009. I was grateful to have had an opportunity to meet the artist, have two books autographed and have a souvenir photo with him. Thankfully, I have a youngest brother who was willing to accompany his Kuya.

I remember that I was in awe of his prints that were on exhibit at Fully Booked. Who would've thought that I would one day have the opportunity to have my very own James Jean? Early birthday pressie. Haha!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Random lunch convos...




Over lunch last Saturday, the conversation with Jon and Tipz touched on the topic of people we date.

We were talking about a friend who was dating someone new and about another friend who also started dating someone new.

Somewhere along the discussion, I said, "I think I'd go for someone who's smart and I can converse with over someone who has a pretty face."

The statement was of course followed by a caveat - that the person still has to be pleasant looking. The person has to be someone I can present to my friends and maybe, even my family.

During lunch today, the conversation with my usual lunch kaki dwelled on the same topic as above. Only this time, the statement came from him.

He said, "I want someone I can connect with. Everything else is just a bonus."

Having heard this, I told him that I have the same thoughts. I said, "I don't know if it has something to do with maturity. But yeah, I do someone I can talk with and connect with rather than someone who has a very pretty face and nice body."

This was then followed by, "I was going to say I wonder whether it has something to do with age. However, you and I both know that there are those in our age range who are still immature, while there are those who are still in their early twenties who have a more adult way of thinking."

So I'm guessing it is a level of maturity? Or maybe it's not even about maturity. It is about knowing what one wants.

We all have our own checklist of what we want in our partner. I guess this is true. After PG Boy and after the first ex, I would evaluate my checklist and see if any of the things on my checklist needed to be revised or updated. I would find that there are a few characteristics that I would want to remove or add.

Edit as we move on along the way. Hehe!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Same reservoir, different trail...





The morning walk today proved my though that Mr. Lim and I have covered all possible trails at Macritchie Reservoir.

Initially, Mr. Lim suggested we do a new trail that he hasn't done before. His message said, "Let's get lost with this new trail." The words "Let's get lost..." didn't settle very well with me as I only prepared for a half-day walk today.

Still tired from last night and with a bunch of errands to do, I told Mr. Lim that I had to be home by 1PM.

Thankfully, he had another trail in mind.

From our usual breakkie place, we drove over to Bukit Brown cemetery. I thought we had to go to walk again within the cemetery. The idea again didn't sit very well with me as it is Hungry Ghost month. Haha!

Turns out we would just park at the usual parking area and from there, cross over to the side of the Singapore Island Country Club.

The trail we took this morning leads to Jelutong Tower, which I have not been to.

I must say that this trail is one of my favourites because at one point, I was able to have two beautiful sceneries at the same time.

To the left, it was the well-manicured fairways and greens of the SICC. Immediately to the right is the natural, wonderful landscape created by God or Mother Nature or some higher being.

It was a really lovely view.

The walk to Jelutong Tower was close to 3 kilometres. Upon reaching the tower, we stayed for a few minutes and just enjoyed the fresh air and the surrounding natural beauty.

Whoever said Singapore is all towering condominiums and skyscrapers is definitely wrong. Hehe!

If I wasn't so tired from Saturday's activities, I would have continued with our nature walk to HSBC Tree Top. It was just 1.4 kilometres from Jelutong Tower.

However, it was already close to 11. Thankfully, Mr. Lim agreed when I suggested that we start heading back to his car. We just agreed that we will set aside a day for a much longer walk.

I have to organise one nature walk for the guys. I should bring them to the HSBC Tree Top Walk one of these days...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Boys in the Band at Alliance Francaise...




My plans for Friday night were just to attend the Body Pump and Body Combat classes at Cathay. Since I missed the Thursday night routine with Tipz, I was decided to hit the gym to end the work week and officially start the weekend.

However, I woke up to a tweet mention from Orallyours saying that the off-Broadway production The Boys in the Band is playing this week at Alliance Francaise and that it is worth watching.

As soon as I got to work in the morning, I messaged both Tipz and Richie and so the scrambling for tickets began. Haha!

I went to the Sistic website to check for tix. At first, I thought that tickets were already sold out because I couldn't get the site to work. (It turns out there was a bug in the morning).

Close to noontime, I received a message from Richie - a photo of our tickets for the Friday night 8PM show. Yay!

It was my first time to watch a production at Alliance Francaise. I didn't even know they have their own theatre. It was a small theatre which was quite suited for the production. The cast didn't have their individual mice (I think) so it was definitely impressive how they were able to project their voice into the somewhat huge space. The production design was very simple. There were no stage changes. But it worked. The setting felt like watching a play at a university. The difference was in the actors. We were watching professional actors, who I'm guessing have had extensive theatre experience. How they managed to remember close to two hours worth of script and with no intermissions, I have no idea!

The story itself was amusing and entertaining! It was very close to home since it talked about topics that my evening companions and I could relate to. There were a lot of laugh out loud moments, but there were also the shift to a more serious tone. Google The Boys in the Band for the summary.

The Boys in the Band was certainly the better way to end the work week and to start the weekend, rather than hitting the gym. Haha! It's a very good thing that Orallyours alerted us about the production. Otherwise, we wouldn't know about it. I'm really glad that he keeps me informed about all the productions that are currently playing in town. It's great to know a fellow theatre lover. Haha! Thank you, Orallyours!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fun weekend in KL...




So I spent the long weekend in Kuala Lumpur with one of my very close friends from Manila.

A month ago or so, my friend told me that he is planning to take a job in KL. I wasn't sure if he was joking. When he started asking about living overseas and I started doing some research for him about the income tax in Malaysia, that's when I thought that he was really serious about it. When he sent me his papers from the company so I can take a look at it, that confirmed that he was going to take the job.

I'm unable to divulge his identity because he still hasn't resigned from his current workplace. His trip, in fact, was very hush hush. I could relate because I did the same thing when I was planning to move to Singapore a few years ago. I would fly over the weekend without telling anyone. Hehe!

The news that this friend decided to take a job overseas is a big surprise. I've always thought he is too attached to his family. I know that he is doing well with his career in the Philippines. I know that he is actually financially stable. Plus, there's also the fact that he is in a relationship. One more big surprise is the fact that he accepted in a city he has never been to. Lol! Talk about leap of faith.

The trip over the weekend was his look-see of the city. He was also going to have a meeting with his would-be new boss.

Since I had nothing planned in Singapore, I told him that I will join him if I can find cheap airfare. Luckily, I did. I was able to get a return flight for just $103 via TigerAir. For a less than hour flight, it was actually okay.

I was very excited to see this friend. We agreed that we would just meet at the airport. I think the trip was really meant to happen because our arrival times were so close to each other. My plane was scheduled to land 10 minutes ahead of his. Is that a sign or what? Haha!

If it were up to me, I would have filled the weekend with activities for him to be a bit more familiar with the city. However, he told me that the point of the trip was "to fall in love with Kuala Lumpur." After he said that, we just decided to stay within KLCC and Bukit Bintang area. Hahaha!

Though this is my nth trip to KL, this is still one of the most memorable ones because I still managed to do a lot of things for the first time. Who would've thought? I'll write about that in a separate post.

Also, this is the first time that I have a decent photo with the Petronas Towers. The first time I went to KL, I was on my own. I worried for my camera being stolen so I didn't really get to have a decent photo with the towers. The other time I went was with my Mom. Unfortunately, she cannot take a proper photo to save her life. Another instance was just me again but I didn't have enough time to roam around the city.

This time, I knew I was going to get a good photo because this friend knows what he's doing. And because I was going to be with this friend, I knew I had to pack my Comme des Garcons with me. Lol! I decided I'd go for the red one to pair it with my white shorts. It'll be my Happy Birthday, Singapore attire. Haha!

It was a good trip indeed. More details in the next post. Looks like I will be flying quite often to KL soon. Or maybe he'll be flying frequently to Singapore... especially during the Club 21 Mega Sale. Haha!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Happy 49th birthday, Singapore...


2008

2010

2011

2011
Happy 49th birthday, Singapore!!!

I fell in love with you in 2008 for a holiday with my friend Richie and Mon, who you already adopted then. Three other friends, Jean, Joi and Lloyd, were also here. I remember telling Richie I want to move here one day. I remember him telling me to come move.

It would take a few years though before the dream becomes a reality.

Two years later, I visited you again and I am still very much in love with you. December 2010. It was a very special occasion. Together with a bunch of friends from Manila, we all flew in to join the Standard Chartered Marathon. I did the 21K and it was such a memorable run for me. The trip was also made more memorable by the fact that I had met more friends who lived in Singapore - Sarge, Ian, Joann, Rej, Kym, Jon, Cyprus, Miguel. Chris moved to Singapore a few months earlier. I still remember that night I left Richie and Mon's place. I was really determined to come to Singapore and make you my home.

It turns out that I wouldn't have to wait long. Four months later, I would be boarding a flight to Singapore to start my new life.

The past four years have been really amazing. Like any romantic relationship, there are a few times that we may have had arguments. But you know that my love and gratitude for you will always be there.

I've been blessed to meet friends from different backgrounds - Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian, Indian, Filipino, and so on. I've experienced several opportunities. Opportunities which although I believe are achievable even if I were still in the Philippines, it became more accessible when I was here.

You've taught me a lot, Singapore. You've taught me that I'm a Filipino and that I am also a part of a bigger home, Southeast Asia. I'm not just from the Philippines. I am from the Nanyang region. You've expanded my point of view on how I see things.

So whether you'll still have me in 2016 (when work pass renewal time comes again) or not, you will always hold a special place in my heart, my dear adopted country.

Happy birthday, Singapore!