Friday, October 31, 2014

Mang Kiko's, P.S. Cafe, walk around the CBD...



Since I had to quickly meet up with a fellow museum volunteer/friend at Raffles Place last night to get some cookies he was selling for charity, HB Boy and I agreed to meet up for dinner.

I met up with my museum volunteer/friend around 630PM. I knew that HB Boy usually gets out of work around 7PM. For that reason, I decided to set our meeting time at 730PM.

After getting the cookies, I decided to walk around Raffles Square before heading back to the station to wait for HB Boy. I messaged him that I was already at the station and would wait just outside the gantries.

His reply was, "This is a swimming pool situation again! Haha!"

Last Sunday, I went for Pump class. He went for a swim. Since he got to the gym late, I figured I would just wait by the gym reception til he's done. After 40 minutes, I was ready to go look for him. He then messaged that he was also waiting for me, as well. Lol!

That is "the swimming pool situation."

A few more minutes of waiting and HB Boy finally arrived. I was already starving.

Being a newbie in town, he asked me to bring him to some place he's never been to. That was easy - Lau Pa Sat. Thankfully, he's never been to LPS. Otherwise, I would have needed to think of another place. Haha!

When going to LPS, I usually just head straight to Mang Kiko's so I can indulge in some good lechong manok and liempo.

I expected HB Boy to go have a look at the other food stalls. Instead, we just both headed straight to Mang Kiko's for a sinful liempo dinner. Haha! Too bad they were already out of chicken.

HB Boy enjoyed the liempo. He found the taste to be interesting. He liked how it looked similar to the Cantonese roast pork belly but the taste was different.

Following dinner, I asked him what he wanted to do. I was certainly up for dessert or coffee. He didn't have anything in mind.

So, from LPS, we headed towards Chinatown. I made a wrong turn somewhere and we ended up in Tanjong Pagar area. It was a good mistake though because that gave us a chance to walk along Maxwell Road so we passed the Red Dot Design Museum and Maxwell Food Centre. We walked further and I told him where Neil Road was.

A little more walking and we reached our coffee place destination - P.S. Cafe at Ann Siang Hill. I like the cafe for the coffee, cakes and the atmosphere. I am not much of a fan of the food. But in any case, P.S. Cafe is always a good place to go to for a date.

I got myself a latte, while HB Boy went for a key lime pie. It was amusing watching his reaction after having a first taste of the pie. That's one of the things to like about HB Boy I guess. He gets excited over the littlest of things. Haha! I should change his name to CDG instead. Lol!

Seeing that it was almost 10PM, we left PS Cafe and walked towards Chinatown to take the MRT to head back.

One of the activities with HB Boy that I really enjoy doing is going for aimless walks while just talking. Obviously, I've seen the places that we usually pass by on our walks. It's a different experience this time though. Haha!

Nice Thursdate night.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Officially....



I told myself that turning "28" will have to be memorable.

It cannot be just another birthday. This particular age is a milestone as I see it as hitting midlife. Hahaha!

With this thought in mind, I thought of how I could make turning "28" a really memorable one.

First on my mind was the decision to stop wearing jeans. Yup, I only have two pairs of jeans in my closet and those two pieces will now be donated. Hmm, it wasn't that difficult to give up the jeans. In fact, I stopped wearing jeans a few months ago so I can condition myself. Haha!

Why give up jeans? Hmm, the simple answer is this. Grace Coddington gave up wearing jeans at a particular age. I've decided I don't have to hit 60 before I make the same decision that she did. Maybe when I hit 50, I'll start wearing just blacks, grays and maybe whites. I'm not too keen on white as I feel it makes me fat. Haha! Anyway, I still have a "22" more years to decide on that.

The other things that I wanted to do were these - start editing the wardrobe and start building a collection of a particular line. Lol! If I can wear just that line for the rest of my life, I will be very happy. In relation to this, the other decision is to start thinking, really start thinking, about retirement. I recently got some investment advice from a good friend. I am planning to heed his advice once I get a little more extra cash. His first advice is turning out well for me. I'm glad that he shared his knowledge once again.

I'm not even aspiring to having millions... of Singapore dollars. Millions of pesos, maybe. Hahaha! But seriously, I just want to be able to live comfortably when I hit 60 or so. The last thing I want is for me to go through what my old man went through. Eeep!

Okay, the major thing that I did that made turning "28" very memorable is this - I came out to my Mom and my two brothers.

I wrote a letter and sent it via email and via FB. I could have done it verbally, but I thought it would be better to put my thoughts into the computer screen.

When I told my close friends that I came out, the question I often received (after the "Congratulations!") was, "What was the trigger?"

To me, it was quite simple. I see turning "28" as a period of really starting the adult life. I felt that the time was right for my family to know who I am. Whatever their reaction would be, I was ready to face it. They are my family and they should know who I am.

The other trigger was an incident that happened last year. After that particular incident, I told myself that I want my Mom and my brothers to know my partner as my partner and not as my "special friend," or "best friend," or "buddy." Nope. If their girlfriends get to be recognized as girlfriends, I should have the same right. Also, because I want them to be there when I finally tie the knot (which I hope would happen before I turn 40!). Seriously.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

About the birthday...

The birthday celebration was simple but a very good one.

I wanted to be memorable and it did turn out to be memorable.

Though it was a public holiday (because of Deepavali), I still got out of bed early as I agreed to have lunch with Kok Kuan and Norman. The former is going through a cooking phase at the moment. He asked Norman for a chicken rendang cooking lesson. It was a special chicken rendang, since it was to be cooked the Peranakan way given that Norman is a Peranakan.

Prior to heading to Norman's beautiful home, Kok Kuan and I drove first to to Kovan to pass by the wet market to buy the ingredients. After a quick breakfast, Kok Kuan headed to the fresh meat section while I looked for one corner where I could wait for him. Haha!

From Kovan, it was a quick drive to Norman's home in Tampines. It was my first time at Norman's place and I was absolutely amazed at how beautifully done it was. The flat was decorated with beautiful Peranakan pieces.

Close to noontime, Kok Kuan and I headed to Tampines Mall. He needed to buy some drinks. I wanted to buy my birthday cake (LOL!) and fetch HB Boy from the MRT station. HB Boy had no idea it was my birthday. Lol! I dunno, I wanted him to be surprised I suppose.

Once Kok Kuan bought his things and I got my cake, the three of us headed back to Norman's place to have our yum lunch!

It was a wonderful lunch as we listened to Norman talk about his family and his interesting hobby of tracing the family's Peranakan line. Being in his home felt like visiting a private museum. In fact, Norman gave me and HB Boy a tour of his home and talked about the pieces on display, how he acquired them, what the story was about each piece.

The only other agenda for the day was to meet up my gang for dinner at Char along Guillemard Road.

Since I had a few hours of free time before dinner, HB Boy and I went on a mini-date. Haha! From Tampines, I took him to The Coastal Settlement for coffee and to try out the cookies that Kok Kuan baked for me. After that, we boarded a bus not knowing where it was going. It led us back to Tampines. The next hour or so, we walked around Tampines area. Our last stop was Bedok Reservoir, which is one of my favourite spots in the entire island.

By the time we left the reservoir, it was almost 7. Thankfully, it was easy to get a cab and I made it to Char just in time for the 730 dinner reservation. HB Boy, on the other hand, headed back.

The cast at the dinner included Richie, Mon, Tipz, Ian, Chris and RKGreg. MkSurf8 and Jon were both in Manila. It would have been great if they were there, too. Maybe next year? Hehe!

We all enjoyed the famous Triple Roast platter - roast pork, char siew and roast duck, as well as a few other dishes. The guys gave me pressies and birthday cards, which I really liked! Haha!

Stuffed from dinner, we headed to Richie and Mon's place for dessert and more chitchat. Finally called it a night around 10PM.

It was a very simple birthday celebration. I'm really glad though to have spent it with good friends. I'm always grateful for the friendships formed in Singapore and the friendships that started way back in Manila.

Oh, my Mom and my two bros also had a celebration at our home in Manila. That was really thoughtful of them!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 21...



What a long day!

Since it was the eve of a public holiday, our office was on half-day today. I decided to take the morning off as well since I wanted to take care of some OFW- and personal-related errands.

First on my original list of things-to-do was to go for my annual health screening. However, I think there's a bug going around these past few days and I may have caught it. I've got the sniffles. Hence, I decided to postpone my medical screening.

It turned out that postponing the screening was good as well since it gave me time to do more things. Haha!

By the end of the day, I was able to fix my PhilHealth, SSS and PAGIBIG records. I was able to go for fingerprinting which was a requirement for the NBI clearance. I got to collect my OEC docus. I was able to verify that I am eligible to vote in the 2016 elections. Yay!

Afterwards, it was some jalan jalan time before heading to dinner and drinks with two of my closest friends. We decided to call it a night by 1030PM. Haha! That was fine because I got home not too long ago. Hehe!

Going to today's challenge, I am supposed to write about my turn ons and turn offs. Hmm, I'm not really in the mood to write about this topic. I'll just do a quick reply with the first things that come to mind.

Turn on - smart, funny, has compassion for others, can laugh at himself, thoughtful.

Turn off - anyone who's rude, arrogant, apathetic, and has no respect for the elderly.

Lol! Yes, it's so obvious I'm not keen to give a long reply.

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 20...





These past few years that I've been living in Singapore, I was able to attend concerts by a few of the most popular artists

In 2011, it was Kylie Minogue. The following year, I was also able to watch concerts by Lady Gaga and JLo.

Hmm, I think my favourite concert would still be Kylie Minogue's. Haha!

I wonder if I'll ever get to watch a Madonna concert...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 19...

The topic for today is a bit bleh.

A list of all the places I've lived at.

This is very easy since I've only lived in two places these past 34... soon, 35... years of my life. Haha!

For three decades, I lived in Metro Manila. To be specific, in Quezon City. To be even more specific, our house is in Quezon City but if I crossed the main street, that's already the City of Manila. Haha!

Since 2011, I have been living in Singapore. Almost everyone knows how much I love Singapore. Almost everyone knows that if it were up to me, I'd choose to live in Singapore. However, things aren't how they used to be. It's becoming more and more difficult for foreigners to get a permanent resident status. I've even heard of stories of PR holders not having their PR status renewed.

This is the main reason why I need to consider moving to somewhere more permanent. Where that place is, I've yet to finalise.

If I could do so, I would love to live in Brussels, Amsterdam, Auckland or Melbourne (maybe because I've heard good stories about the QoL in both cities). If in the Philippines, I would love to live in Iloilo or maybe, Palawan. I'm quite certain I'd like to skip Manila. I'm a true-blue Manileño, born and raised in Metro Manila, but I feel the QoL is better outside of Manila.

Anyway, this is another topic. Haha!

Where do you want to live?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 18...




I'm following a few TV series right now. Downton Abbey. Scandal. Gotham. How to Get Away with Murder. The Walking Dead. Arrow. Looking.

Of these, the two shows I'm really addicted to are Downton Abbey and Scandal.

Yup, that's what I'm supposed to write about tonight. Which TV shows am I addicted to at the moment?

Scandal. Though I really am not a big fan of Fitz, I can't seem to let go of the series. The main reasons are the protagonist and the writing. Kerry Washington's character Olivia Pope is someone I've fallen in love with. I love everything about her. I love how she can be a powerful woman at one point and then, she becomes this needy, lonely girl the next moment. Haha! And as I have just mentioned, the writing is just plain awesome! Seriously, I am a fan of the episode writers of the series! They're brilliant, whoever they are!

Downton Abbey. The way I feel towards Scandal is the same way I feel towards Downton Abbey. I am a huge fan of the show! I love everything about it - from the characters to the storyline to the writing (again!) to the location to the costumes (!!!). Season 5 has just started and a lot of changes are happening at Downton. I'm curious to find out how much more life the series has.

Thankfully, these are the only series that I follow. I don't know how other people are able to follow more than 5 series. Haha! Earlier, HB Boy and I were talking about shows we follow. He shared that at one point, he would start watching series on a Friday night and finish by Saturday night. WTF?! Lol! I can't do that. I can never do that. Even if I could do it, I would never do it. Hahaha!

Anyway, back to watching my other new episodes...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 17...



Just got back a few minutes ago.

With no firm plans for tonight, I just messaged Richie and Mon if they were free for dinner tonight. As I expected, both were game to meet up.

I didn't want to go to Orchard since we've been going there the past few times that we met up. Marina Square was an option although it is also quite a frequented place. I suggested we have dinner somewhere at City Hall. Richie then suggested we go to the somewhat newly renov'd Chijmes for drinks and chit chat post-dinner.

The three of us met around 730 and had dinner at Comnam, which was right beside Nam Nam at the basement of Raffles City. I had a curry chicken on broken rice. Hmmm, it was so so. I think I'll try something else next time.

What I enjoyed most about tonight was the chillax time at Chijmes. We settled for one of the wine bars in the inner courtyard. Richie and Mon shared a bottle of wine. I'm staying away from alcohol, given that I'm going for a health screening next week. I will admit that I miss drinking. Haha! I miss having that tipsy feeling. I don't miss waking up with excruciating pain on my left ankle. Haha!

Anyway, while Richie and Mon enjoyed their wine, I went for ice cream and a glass of non-alcoholic mojito. The mojito was actually enjoyable. I think I'll have it again next time.

HB Boy had a company event at Marina Bay Sands. We didn't make any plans tonight, but we did agree to touch base with each other in case both our commitments finish early. That way, we can take the train heading back together. However, I was ready to head back a little past 10. He was still at his company event. Ergo, I went ahead of him. Hopefully, he and I can catch up this weekend.

It's an enjoyable Friday night. Mon and I agreed that it was great we were out on a Friday night, instead of being at home doing laundry. That was both our plans for tonight. Lol!

#TitasofSG

To end this post, I'm going to give a brief answer to today's writing assignment: What do you want to be when you get older?

Hmm, given that I already feel old, I guess I have to write about me 30 or 40 years from now. Hmm, I want to be a happily retired man, preferably partnered, who spent the last 4 decades of his life working hard, seeing different parts of the world, doing good deeds to the people around him and the society he belongs to, and just enjoying the last few years of life on earth. Lol! How about that?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 16...

The world is going to end tomorrow. What are you going to do with the remaining time on earth?

Hmm, a bit of a morbid question, isn't it? Haha! It would probably be more interesting if the question was raised among a group of people. I would be curious to hear the responses of other people.

Since that is not possible in the current scenario, I will just answer the question myself. Haha!

If the world were to end tomorrow at 11:59PM, these are the things that I will do:

1. Fly back to Manila via Singapore Airlines Business Class. It's on my bucket list to fly SQ and experience how awesome the airline is. If the world were to end tomorrow, when else would I do that? Haha! Besides, what else will I do with my savings?! Haha!

2. Upon arrival in Manila, I will visit my closest friends. That is if the jam will allow me to do that. I would visit a few people in particular to tell them that I love them and to thank them for being a significant part of my life.

3. I will meet up with my Mom and my two brothers. I will take them shopping. If we're going to go, we are going to go in style. Haha! We'll head to Greenbelt or Rustan's and buy ourselves some nice clothes.

4. After shopping, I'll bring my fam to one of the nice buffet places in Manila. Sofitel perhaps? Or Circles? We'll have a good meal.

5. Our final stop would be the church. In particular, we will go to Our Lady of Lourdes Church in QC. That church is dear to our entire family. It makes sense that we spedn the last few hours in that sanctuary. I would go for confession. And after that, we would attend the Mass. (Surely, there will be a Mass.) The last few hours will then be spent reminiscing about the good life and praying the rosary.

Well, that wasn't too difficult. Hahaha!

What would you do?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 15...



Today, I'm supposed to post a photo of someone I fancy at the moment.

Haha! How timely!

But nope, sorry. I'm not going to post a photo of HB Boy. Maybe some other time, but certainly not today.

I will, however, paint a picture of him using words and using the very little information I know about him since we started chatting several weeks ago.

His initials are WR. I call him by a Western name he has adopted. He chose to adopt this name because it was the closest pinyin translation to his Chinese name, if I'm not mistaken. He was named by his grandmother. His name has a beautiful meaning - the rising sun or something like that. (I've been very vocal about how I love the sunrise. And now, I meet a guy whose name means the rising sun. MFEO?! Just kidding.)

He's a total newbie in Singapore. He moved here two months ago. He stays a few MRT stations away from me. His workplace is on the other side of the island though. The only reason he chose his current place is that he only had two days to find a place to move in to.

Things that I've been liking about him, so far. I like it that we can talk for hours. On the first meetup, we hung out for about five hours. There was not a single moment that I felt bored. I find it cute how he gets surprised about how things are done in Singapore. Recently, we watched a movie. He saw some people bringing in food. He then told me about some funny anecdote involving him and a noodle-slurping moviegoer back in his hometown. I like the honesty and the thoughtfulness. I like how he waits and just as the train doors start to close, he will quickly look inside the train and wave at me before walking towards the escalator.

I was so excited when he told me that he loves to read! I got even more excited when he told me that he has a Kindle and that he brings his Kindle with him so he can read during his commute to work! I like it that he's also a Mac user. Lol!

I like it that he remembers to say good night and that, even if he's already sleepy, he would be thoughtful to ask how far I was from home and that he'd wait until I reach home. Hehe!

Just like tonight.

Again, I'm not exactly sure what's going on. All I know is that I'm enjoying and that I'm having a great time. Whether this leads to something or not, just see how. Haha!