Monday, December 29, 2014

Nice Sunday...



Sunday was pretty much a repeat of what I've been doing since I arrived in Manila last Thursday.

First, I went back to the house in QC. It's the house where I grew up. It was where I stayed for the a little over 3 decades. It is home.

I decided to head to QC early since I thought of going to Mass with Mom. As expected, she was already up and about when I arrived at our home. My two brothers were both still in deep slumber. It's not surprising because it is a Sunday after all. Haha!

Mom and I went to Lourdes Church for the 8AM Mass. The church and the school hold a very special place in my heart as those places played a significant role in my growing up years. It was just nice to be back at my "old playground."

Following Mass, we went back home to prep for lunch. Well, the preps was done by my Mom and my second brother Raymond. I requested for Filipino food and they were more than happy to grant my request. Haha!

It was quite a feast - pansit Malabon, lumpiang ubod, barbecue, Andok's litsong manok, pancit bihon, inihaw na bangus, halayang ube. Yep, Filipino fiesta it is.

My cousin, some nephews and nieces also joined us for lunch resulting in a very happy meal!

In the afternoon, I met up with two ex-colleagues - Bernice and Shy. We decided to just meet up at Gateway since the said mall is somewhat nearest to us three. Haha!

I can't remember the last time I saw Shy. Haha! It was really great seeing her again and meeting her eldest son - Kyle! The boy is now 4 years old and he is such a cutie! He's sure to be a heartbreaker when he grows up. Haha! We spent a few hours just chatting and chatting with some dessert and drinks on the side.

In the evening, I met up with another very good friend - Carlo. We had dinner at Cafe Adriatico, where I had callos again! Haha! I dun think I've ever had callos in Singapore. That is why when I saw callos on the menu of Lorenzo's Way, I immediately ordered it.

Usually, dinner will be followed by coffee at Coffee Bean where we would stay for hours and just have an exchange of ideas on anything and everything. Last night though, I asked Carlo if we could go have a karaoke session instead. I was quite sure Carlo would be up for it. He's also the perfect person to be invited to a karaoke session as he is one gifted guy when it comes to singing.

So, from Gateway, we headed to nearby Timog to go to one of the karaoke bars. Carlo told me we had four choices. See, he's the perfect guy to go karaoke with. And for two hours, we just sang our hearts out. Wahahaha!

By 10, I bid Carlo buhbye and headed back home. I knew Mom would still be awake when I get back so that's some more time with her no matter how short.

Definitely a good Sunday!

Meet. Eat. Chitchat. Repeat.

Meet. Eat. Chitchat. Repeat.

The above is basically a good description of what I have been doing since I arrived in Manila on Thursday night.

I have not had a chance to see a lot of friends as I've been spending most of my time with my Mom. I have my work colleague/friend Alexie to thank for making me make a trip to Manila on December. I was blessed enough to be invited on what is probably one of the most important days in a woman's life - getting married.

If not for the wedding, I would have probably stayed in Singapore for Christmas and New Year for the nth time. Hehe!

25 December

What was supposed to be a surprise for my Mom ended up being a semi-surprise. My flight arrived on time. I breezed through immigration (thank God for no horrible queues!). What took so long were baggage claim and getting to Makati from the airport. I was in cahoots with my brother in trying to get to surprise my Mom. In the end, my brother had to tell her that I was in town as my Mom was starting to bug my brother as to why they were still at Greenbelt when it was already almost 9PM. Hehe!

When I finally arrived at Greenbelt, I gave both of them a hug. And as Filipinos, my next question was, "Have you guys eaten? Where do you want to eat?" We walked a bit to Greenbelt 5 and had a late dinner at Lorenzo's Way. I'm not sure if I've had a meal at this restau but I have to say the food is awesome! In particular, I loved the callos! I got all excited when I saw the callos on the menu. I suddenly remembered it's a favorite! Haha! It was definitely a good welcome back dinner and an even more awesome Christmas dinner. Unfortunately, my youngest brother Andre was not able to join us since he had work.

26 December

The day after Christmas was just as exciting as the 25th because of two things. First, I met up again with my best friend/sibling from another mom Tey and two of my very good friends/ex-colleagues Monet and Rhyz. Second, 26 December was the big day for Alexie and Jasper. The wedding was to be held at Tagaytay Highlands. Because of this, Tey, Monet, Rhyz and I decided to include a road trip to Tagaytay for lunch and dessert.

As expected, there was a jam heading to Tagaytay. It seemed like everyone had the bright idea of heading to Tagaytay for lunch and dessert. We initially planned to Antonio's Grill but decided to change our plans when we saw how bad the jam was. Monet suggested we go to Pamana instead. More Filipino food! Yay! I was definitely not going to complain. Similar to Lorenzo's Way, the meal at Pamana was just awesome. We ordered nilagang baka, seafood kare kare, Bicol express, crispy pata, and pancit bihon! It can't get more Filipino than that! Haha! Actually, it can but anyway, we were extremely happy with the dishes we ordered.

After a quick dessert at Starbucks, the girls then drove me to Tagaytay Highlands. On the way to Highlands, it drizzled for a bit. I thought there would be no sun as the clouds looked very ominous. To my extreme delight, it was very sunny over at Highlands. I was slightly late to the Mass but I arrived just in time before Alexie and Jasper said their vows and exchanged rings.

It was a very beautiful wedding. Almost everything was just perfect. If there was anything that didn't go as planned, I wouldn't know what it was. The chapel was beautiful. The priest was good. The reception venue was great. The food, awww, the food was fantastic. The wedding singers could have been contestants of The Voice Philippines (They were that awesome!). Above all, the couple looked very much in love. I am truly happy to have been invited to such a joyous occasion.

27 December

Today, the only plan was to meet up again with Tey. We agreed to bring out our Moms (#WidowsofManila) to lunch. At the same time, we thought of having lunch with one of our good friends from university, Ella and her hubby Gino, and their kids Soleil and Estelle. We had brunch at Early Bird Breakfast Club in Century (I forgot the name). The food was again yummy! I had chicken salpicao, while Tey had longganisa. Good friends and a great meal always results in a lively conversation and get-together. It is always a joy to see Ella and Gino and their kids. For some people, they got their friends-for-life friends in high school. Without a doubt, I got mine from university. I will always be grateful to have known these girls. Our friendship goes way back to 1996. Hahaha!

After lunch, Tey dropped off my Mom and I at Greenbelt. Mom and I spent some time just walking around and buying presents for her sister, Tita Didi. Tired from the walking, we went to Cafe Breton for some dessert. It's great that Breton is still around. The size of the crepes are not like what they used to be. I am happy though that the taste is still as good as during the days I went to Breton in Nakpil.

Mom and I then parted ways. She headed back while I went back to Tey's place, which is where I usually stay when I'm in town.

Today, I am at our home for lunch with Mom, my second brother as well as my youngest brother. I'm looking forward to the food...naturally. I am also looking forward to see my grand nieces - Arianne and Hannah. Lastly, I am also looking forward to having wifi all day!

It is so difficult to find wifi areas in Makati CBD. What is up with that?! Chris told me that he got a sim with data services for just P1K. It is good enough for 30 days. I was initially tempted to get one but decided not to do so anymore since I'll be flying back to my adopted home in a few days.

Seriously though, I've realised how dependent I've become on mobile Internet. I'm so crippled without it. Argh!

HB Boy and I have not been able to have our usual Whatsapp exchange. The few times that I managed to go online, I was happy to see messages from him asking how I was doing. He's still a gray area, that one. I like it that he's been checking up on me. I just dunno if he's doing it as a friend or as a person I'm dating. I really hope for clarity on our situation soon. Haha! If he's just interested to be friends, that's fine. Don't go showing extra care and attention to me as I will read those gestures the wrong way. Anyway...

The other thing to look forward to today is meeting up ex-colleagues Bernice and Shy and good friend/brother Carlo!

It'll be another day of... Meet. Eat. Chitchat. Repeat. Haha!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Sunday night...



Just got back home a few minutes ago.

Sunday night was good. The rest of the day was so so.

As usual, I woke up early today. Undecided whether to go to the gym or do some Christmas shopping, I went to the 9AM Mass at St. Anthony's first. As Fr. Terence gave the final blessing, I decided that I would skip gym and just head to Ikea. Tey is a big fan of the hazelnut chocolates and I always make it a point to bring a few bars for her and Moneigh on the very rare occasions that I fly back to Manila.

I messaged HB Boy if he was free to accompany me to Ikea. His reply came around 1PM and I was already on my way back. Haha! As I expected, he was asleep the entire morning... and asleep again the whole afternoon. He has been indisposed the past week. His situation only started to improve last Friday. Good that he's recovering.

In the evening, I met up with PG Boy...yes, PG Boy, for dinner. He went to Portugal just recently and he wanted to meet up so he can give me a souvenir that he got from the trip. Awww... Haha! He got me a handpainted tile from Portugal. He still knows the things that I like. Haha!

We agreed to meet up at 7PM at Plaza Singapura. I must admit. Omw back from Ikea, I was feeling lazy to make the trip to the city. I wasn't tempted to craft some lame excuse to postpone the meeting. I was just lazy to make a trip. Period. Haha!

We had a quick but nice dinner at Papparich. We didn't talk much about each other's lives, except for work. We talked a lot about our friends. Hahahaha! What's up with his friends, what's up with my friends. Lol! I dunno if it was a conscious effort on both our parts. I didn't want to ask him whether he's dating anyone. I didn't want him to ask me whether I'm dating anyone. I'm ready to be friends and to hang out. I'm just not sure I'm ready to talk about that aspect of our lives just yet. Haha!

From Dhoby Ghaut, I passed by Yishun first to meet up with HB Boy. I messaged him to ask if I could pass by, to which he replied yes. Yesterday, he gave me his present. He made me guess what it is. I guessed correctly. He told me specifically what it was. I haven't opened the present yet even if I know what it is. Yeah, I have a high EQ like that. LOL! I told him I'll open the present on the 25th so that I have something to unwrap on Christmas day.

It was good though that I knew what his present for me is. That made it easier for me to get a present for him. My gift ideas were either a bag or wireless speakers. I knew he needed both. On a number of occasions, he told me that he needed a new bag and that he would like to get wireless speakers. On one of those nights that we were taking the train back home from gym, he mentioned that he already bought online the Tumi bag that he likes. That meant I should just get him the wireless speakers. I already have an idea what speakers to get him. I asked Tipz's speakers are. Bloody ex! Lol! I would buy it... maybe for a partner, not for someone I'm dating. Hahaha!

In the end, I got him the speakers same as Tipz's. I think it was meant to be given to him. I went to one shop and when I saw how much it cost, I decided to just go with my original choice. I went to another shop and I saw that the speakers were priced a lot, a lot lower than the first shop. Thank goodness for promotions! Hence, I decided to just get the UE Boom speakers.

It was a good decision. I put the box in a wine bottle gift bag. When HB Boy pulled out the box out of the bag, he thought it was wine or some alcoholic drink since I told him that's what I got him. Luckily, the packaging of the speakers does make it look like it's some alcoholic drink. When he realised what it is, he just turned speechless. Hahaha! I videoed his reaction and I wish I could post it... but cannot, cannot.

Seeing his reaction and how extremely happy he was with his present made the present really worth it. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Get-together with a fellow FT and friends...



FT. That's what the locals call people from overseas who come to work in Singapore. FT. Foreign Talent.

Tonight, I met up with the only Singaporean FT I know, Alvin. Hehe! I met Alvin through some volunteer friends a year ago. When I met him, he was about to leave for Japan in a few months time to work there.

While we didn't get to hang out a lot when he was here, we did manage to keep in touch via Facebook. Also, I intro'd him to my friend Dean who's been living in Japan for a few years now. Glad to hear from Alvin that he got to meet up with Dean.

What I thought would be a small group of four turned out to be a party seven. Haha!

Alvin was with his two friends. Later on, we were joined by Bernard (who invited me to tonight's gathering for Alvin), Hui Chen, Ted and Jacky.

It was a nice evening just having chitchat with the guys. For the first two hours, Bernard, Hui Chen, Alvin and I just talked about Alvin and his life in Japan. When Alvin and his two friends had to leave to go to another gathering, the next few hours continued to be great chitchat time with the ones left behind.

If it weren't for the fact that it was already 11PM and that we all had to catch our trains to head back, I'm pretty sure we would have stayed further and talked some more.

I dunno. It must be because I haven't been seeing people on a daily basis, but I was genuinely, genuinely happy to see and talk to friends tonight! Haha!

On my way back, I messaged Bernard to thank him again for inviting me to tonight's gathering. I think it was really thoughtful of him to do so, even if Alvin and I didn't really get to bond when he was here.

It's the weekend before Christmas. I'm getting more and more excited as the 25th approaches.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Our own version of Looking...



If schadenfreude is the happiness in the misfortune of others, what is a word for happiness in the good fortune of others?

Things could have gone better in the relationship department this year.

First, there was the parting of ways with PG Boy. We still remain as friends, and that's something to be thankful for. Next, there was NB Boy. Good guy, great guy. It seemed something was missing. Next, there was HB Boy. Good guy, great guy. It seemed something is missing. The past few days have been a gray area. Surprisingly, I've been handling things well. I'm just waiting to see how things will pan out.

When I found out that a friend back in Manila recently met someone and that things are going great between them, I really felt extremely happy for my friend.

I enjoyed listening to my friend how the person he just met brings the so-called butterflies in the stomach. I was genuinely happy listening to how the first date went. I get excited when my friend suddenly message me to say, "Omg! Look at this message!"

Weirdly, there is also this happiness inside for my own self. Hmm, maybe it's because I'm happy that even though things aren't working well in my own relationship department, it is a lot better for my other friends. I have a list of few people in my "Lord, please lead this friend to his/her partner" prayer list. Hehe! Hence, I'm really glad that this friends crossed paths with the person he's currently dating.

During one of our convos, my friend kept telling me, "It's too early to say anything. Let's just how this goes." I replied, "Yeah, just enjoy!" I added, "It's funny how people say 'just enjoy' but it's not that easy. One tends to think." My friend couldn't agree more. Haha!

I dunno if being "28" has anything to do with it, but we both agreed, "Hey, if it works out, that's great. If it doesn't work out, thank you for reminding me that I am still capable of feeling this way."

That I guess is the attitude I'm trying to adopt with HB Boy. Instead of going down the "Where did I go wrong" road, I'm leaning towards the "Thanks for the kilig!"

All the best to you, my friend!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Combat tonight...



Today was not very busy at "work."

I'm done with things on my to-do list. The other things can wait until tomorrow. Anyway, I started working before 8AM today.

Since I didn't get to go to the gym last night, I'm making the trip to Buona Vista to attend a Combat class. Hehe!

Other than that, no other plans... yet. Just head back, have a light dinner and watch more eps of The Good Wife.

Rich sent me a link to an LGBT film, which he said I should watch. The story revolves around an inter-racial couple (Cambodian Chinese and Brit guys) and the Cambodge guy's Mom. Hmm, should be interesting. Hehe! I know one other person who can relate to this. Haha! His name is... Lol!

Anyway, it's almost 530PM. The rain clouds look ominous. Haha! Thankfully, there's a covered walk from my block to the train station. From Buona Vista, the building where the gym is also has a covered walk. Yay, no need to bring a brolly. (Speaking of brollies, I do need to get a new one. My trusted Uniqlo brolly I got several years ago finally gave way. :-/)

Auntie, my Mom's landlord, is at the common area of the house keeping herself busy with chores. My landlord is very lucky. I'm very lucky. Haha! Earlier, she knocked on my already open door and gave me a mug with some tea in it. I have no idea what's in the tea. She just told me, "No sugar." She's either saying I'm fat or I need to cut down on sugar. Haha! Eitherway, I'm enjoying the tea while I ramble.

I should cut this short and get ready for the gym.

Above is one of the nice Combat tracks. This was from a gym in Indonesia, I believe. Jakarta, maybe? Cute group instructor on the viewer's right. Haha!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Looking for new volunteer opps...



I feel better today. It must be the prayer. It must be the change in perspective. It must be the acceptance. Whatever it is, I am feeling a lot better today.

It was a busy Monday. With my holiday trip approaching, I am trying to finish as much as I can. Last Friday, the VPN was acting up. Hence, a lot of time was spent disconnecting, rebooting the laptop, waiting for the network folders to connect, and so on. I had to take care of Friday tasks this morning.

I started work at 730AM today. That's the thing about having access to your work files 24/7. One is tempted to go online early to work. Is that good? I dunno. Haha! I just want to get my work done.

By 6PM, I made my way out of the house to go to the gym. I was planning to go all the way to the city to attend the Pump class in Paragon. I decided against it when I remembered that I have to wake up early tomorrow as I planned to work from the office.

Instead, I just headed to the gym closest to my home. It turned out to be a good choice as the instructor was good and the class was not packed (surprisingly!). There was much room to do the routine.

Post-Pump, I headed to the salad place at the neighbouring mall. I haven't had salad for more than two weeks now. I miss Fresh+ very much! Haha!

Done with dinner, I headed back.

Before I started writing this post, I did a search for new volunteer opportunities. I already ended my volunteer work with the Chinatown NGO. My museum volunteer work is still manageable. I figured I can still volunteer with another group.

Actually, I recently got accepted to another volunteer position. It's a very good one! However, I'm now having second thoughts as to whether I should push through with it. I'm thinking maybe it's time to join a volunteer group catering to another particular group.

There are a few groups that I've been eyeing. I sent an application email to one of the groups I'm familiar with. Hopefully, I will get a reply within the week. Otherwise, I'll take it as a sign that I should go for the volunteer position I got accepted to. Hehe!

Whatever the results, I'm looking forward to new volunteer experiences.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Senti Sunday...



Earlier, good friend Jon and I had a random conversation on relationships while waiting in line for Pump class registration.

I told my friend, "Friend, I want to settle down. I feel I'm ready for something more permanent." Jon, on the other hand, replied, "I feel I'm ready to be in a relationship again, friend."

Our next shared sentiment was, "I wonder where we that other person is."

This morning, this feeling common to most OFWs crept in again like a thief in the night. It's a familiar feeling I encounter every now and then. Good thing I have the sense to force myself to snap out of it as quickly as possible.

Thankfully, there is the gym. I can spend an hour or so working out to good music. Afterwards, I feel much better. I'm even more thankful that Jon was free to join me in class today. While I don't mind going for class on my own, it's always fun to have a good friend as a companion.

After Pump, Jon and I headed to the food court at the neighbouring mall for a quick bite. We agreed to meet again two hours later for Mass at the church near his place. Prior to that, he had to head back. Meanwhile, I needed to pass by IMM to pick up some shirts that I sent for dry cleaning.

When I got home, it was almost 3:30. Time went by so fast today. I didn't have a lot of time to do other things as I needed to prep for church.

The Mass was also very good today. Sometimes, my faith is put to a test. And yet, when I go to Mass, the Big Guy up there always has an answer to what I have in my head. Today, His answer came via the Second Reading. After Mass, I stayed behind for a few minutes as I wanted to spend a little more time in prayer while Jon made his way back home.

On the way home, there was more clarity and less worrying. I stumbled upon a nice prayer while randomly going through my Instagram feed. It's a short but very beautiful prayer on faith, trust and hope. Recently, this prayer has been uttered quite a number of times.

I really feel I am ready to settle down. I'm ready for the whole "Honey, I'm home" every night. I'm ready for the "Oh, we love this... and we love that...," which would annoy others. Lol! I'm ready for petty fights over the most nonsensical things. Haha! I'm ready to say "Night, night" to just one person. I'm ready to wake up to the same person over and over again.

Maybe the person meant for me, wherever that person is, is not yet ready. Maybe that person is still being prepared. That's why our paths haven't crossed yet. Maybe.

Somewhere in the world, that person is there... I hope.

Long but mostly good Saturday...

It was a very long and mostly good Saturday.

The day started at 10AM. I had a 1230 appointment with my dentist in JB. In my mind, I was quite confident that leaving at 10AM was enough lead time to get over the other side of the Causeway.

Man, did I think wrong?!

I cleared Malaysian immigration at 2PM. Yep, a total of 4 hours to get from one side of the Causeway to the other side. It is unclear to me what has changed. Previously, it only took an hour or so. The last two times I went to JB, it has always taken 3 to 4 hours. Crazy. Haha!

While I was patiently queueing in Malaysian immigration, I have accepted the fact thatI missed my dental appointment... again. I decided to call them just to apologise and to ask if they could accommodate me still. Hey, it never hurts to ask. The lady on the phone asked if I could be at the clinic by 230PM. I checked my watch and it was 215. Yay! I confirmed that I can be there in a few minutes.

When I got off the phone, I made my way straight to the taxi stand. Thankfully, there's always a good queue of cabs just across the immigration building.

I finished my dental appointment at 310. Thinking that I deserved to pamper myself after the 4-hour ordeal, I walked to nearby Jalan Keris for a foot reflexology session at my fave place. Initially, I thought of getting a 30-minute session but ended up going for the 60-minute back and foot massage. How could I not? It was only $30!!!

It was a good session. I know because I fell asleep on the couch while having my feet massaged. Lol!

There was a big surprise though when I stepped out of the reflexology place. It was pouring... heavily. We're talking a la Manila typhoon levels. Good thing there was a shelter outside of the massage place and its neighbouring shops. I walked a bit to the nearest corner and patiently waited for a cab.

Thankfully, this one cab picked me up. He said he had to go around another block to fetch me because he was on the other side of the road. Thank God for human kindness... or he just needs to earn. Hehe! Whatever, I am grateful.

The trip back to Singapore took only about an hour. Immigration was fast. Getting a bus was fast. The only slow portion was crossing the Causeway. Still, it wasn't as horrible as the morning trip.

From Kranji where I got off, I took the train to Yishun to quickly meet HB Boy. He was stuck at home the entire day doing work. He agreed to meet up for dinner though so it was a good one hour of quality time with him.

Following Yishun was a trip to Clementi. Jon invited me to a house party and I said yes. It was a good one. The theme was 80s and I was really glad to see almost all of the guests in costume. I stuck out like a sore thumb in my shirt, shorts and boat shoes. So did the boyfriend of one of the girls who was also in shirt and shorts. Hehe!

I left Jon's place at 1130 and reached my place just before midnight. Couldn't wait to hit the bed. Haha!

Except for the morning jam, it was definitely a good Saturday.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Exhausting day, happy day...



Today was a rather exhausting day.

Not physically, but mentally. When I ended my work at 630PM and as I was making my way to the gym, I felt really tired. Haha! That gave me more reason to want to go to the gym.

Most of the day was spent figuring out how to resolve an issue with an external supplier. The thing is, with my position, I am sort of acting as the middle man between partners and suppliers. There were some serious issues that came up with one supplier and that has given partners and me a major headache.

The good thing about these problems is that they break the monotony of work. At the end of the day, it all boils down to perspective. Either you see the problem as a headache or as an opportunity. Lols!

For now, I am seeing it as the latter.

Today was also a good day. I spent the day at the office since I had to take care of some papers. Aside from that, there was an arranged lunch with a few of the fellow Filipinos working with the company.

It was nice to be back at the office. It was nice to have lunch with people. It was just nice to be surrounded by people. Period. Lol!

While working from home grants me a nice working environment of working in peace, I definitely want to see other people. I definitely want to talk to other people.

Thanks to technology, I also got to catch up with a bunch of other friends. Last night, I attempted to Facetime with Tey since she was having dinner with Ella and Trish. Today, Trish flies back to the US. We didn't get to have a decent Facetime call but we managed to have one photo taken.

This morning, I had a brief chat with Coly and Tipz via Facebook messenger. Tipz called via Facetime but I didn't get to pick up as I was on my way to the office. In the evening, while waiting for Combat class, Tipz and I were chatting via Facebook. He is spending the day in Bruges and I'm pestering him to get me a statue of the Bruges Madonna. Haha!

I couldn't be more thankful for technology as it connects me to friends who are in some place else.

Tomorrow, I'm back to working at my home office. That's fine. I just wish that the supplier issue will already be resolved. I just wish I can finish all the things I want to do.

The thing to look forward to is the evening and Monday next week. Arranged to meet some people for dinner. Hehe!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Random blah during lunch hour...



Lunch break!

Since I'm working from home, I already ate my lunch while checking some emails earlier. I'm just going to use the official lunch hour for blogging. Hehe!

Today is the 5th day that I am telecommuting.

So far, it has been going quite well. There was never a moment that I jumped back to bed to get more zzz. There was not a moment when I spent more than 90 minutes for lunch. Work is still the same. The entire day is occupied replying to emails, analysing problems, checking manuscripts, and so on and so forth.

In fact, having access to work files 24/7 now tempts me to get some work done even outside of office hours. That's what I did last night. I checked some manuscripts that were due for publication. Since it didn't involve communicating with counterparts in the US, UK or India, I figured I can do the work and not give the impression that I'm available outside of official working hours.

A colleague's comment was right. "Telecommuting can even be more productive."

Nothing has changed with the wake up time. Okay, maybe a little. I now wake up at 6AM instead of 530AM. Haha! I still shower. I wear a nice work shirt but paired with berms and flipflops. I still go out in the morning, either to go to the gym or to go for a walk around the neighbourhood, before heading back to my home office to start the day.

By the time I reach home, my landlord and my other flatmate would have left the house/ or are about to leave the house for work. The rest of the day, the house belongs to me. On certain days, Auntie drops by to clean and to say her prayers. Usually, it's just me. I keep the door to my room open as leaving it closed gave the feeling of being caged. Lol!

My current home office has its pros and cons. The pro is that I have the house to myself and I can have a work environment that I want. (e.g. I can listen to the radio, play some loud music, or just work in a quiet space). I have complete command of my time and activities. The major con, which I'm starting to observe, is that there's a feeling of being alone. Lol! I should be thankful I guess. When I spoke with some other colleagues, they have to deal with housemates, or kids of their housemates, or noise. I am in a better home office setup, I suppose. To deal with the lonesome feeling, I head out after work just to be surrounded by people. I go to the gym. Once I get more used to the schedule, I'll probably head to the city for dinners with friends. The thing is most of my friends are Central or East dwellers. Hehe!

Earlier, I messaged Tian3x via Office Communicator, "My takeaway from telecommuting. I need love. I don't want to live in an empty 3-BR flat." Hehe!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Uneventful Sunday it is...

A rather uneventful Sunday. Haha!

In the morning, I went to the 9AM Mass at St. Anthony's. I could've gone to the 11AM one but I felt like it would be a waste of time to stay at home. LOL!

Also, I had a few errands that I wanted to take care of. First was to drop by the dry cleaners. The thing about the Rei's pieces is that I'm afraid to machine wash and I'm also afraid to entrust the care to just any dry cleaner. Thankfully, there is a branch of Presto at IMM.

At first, I thought of going to IMM after Pump class. However, I reached Westgate at 1115. That gave me enough time to catch a shuttle to IMM, drop the pieces and brisk walk back to Westgate for the 1230 Pump class.

Because of the new work setup, I now need to figure out a new gym schedule. I'm not unable to go to 7AM classes because I have to be logged on our system by 830 or earlier. Travel time from Westgate to my place takes about 18 or so minutes. I can still go to the gym in the morning but only to run on the treadmill and then head back again. Looks like I'll have to do evening classes now.

Pump, as usual, was fun. The instructor is one of my fave instructors. He had a good lineup of tracks today. I feel like I'm getting better with the biceps track but there is still a lot of room for improvement. I have to say though that my core is stronger. I can do better side planks now and I can last for a longer period of time. Hehe!

Following Pump, I went around JEM to look for pressies for Tey's nephew and Moneigh's son. Moneigh also asked me to get a book for her. I didn't find any nice items. Hence, I just decided to postpone the Xmas shopping to next weekend.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at home. I watched a few episodes of Gotham, Arrow and The Good Wife. HB Boy intro'd me to the last TV series and I am hooked. I'm almost halfway through the first season. Five more seasons to go. Lol! Good luck with that.

HB Boy and I agreed to have dinner tonight. I have no idea what time that will be as the kid has a headache on his way back from the gym earlier. I just told him to let me know what time he wants to meet up.

Speaking of HB Boy, Saturday evening was chillax time with him. I bought takeaway dinner. He brought the movies. We just spent a few hours watching the movie, talking, and just relaxing. Tipz, you'll be happy to know that the living room setup you passed on to me has been treating me well. Hehe!

That's it so far for this Sunday. I think I'll watch an ep of The Good Wife later before zzz...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Get-together with UP friend Trish...



It was a rather relaxed Friday.

From noontime until late afternoon, I was at a restau in Bugis for our department's Christmas get-together. In a span of 4 years, the department has undergone so many changes. We're now a small size of 30 plus people. I'm grateful for the job and for the life here in Singapore.

In the evening, I met up with a university classmate Trish, her partner and her ex-colleague. I don't remember the last time we saw each other though it's sure to be almost a decade ago. She's now based in the US and it was great of her to pass by Singapore on this trip to the Philippines.

When I asked her where/what she wanted to eat, I was surprised that she mentioned she wanted to go to Violet Oon's Kitchen. Apparently, she read that the local celebrity chef is described to be the Julia Child of Singapore. I've only been to Violet Oon's once. I don't go there that often as it is a bit out of way. So last night was not just a reunion with Trish, it was also a reunion with Violet Oon.

I'm glad that she enjoyed the food. She had the dry laksa. On the other hand, I had the Buah Keluak Ayam. Harold, her Dutch partner, had the Beef Rendang. The other friend had a meatless pasta. For dessert, we had a cake and my favourite pulut hitam with vanilla ice cream.

It was a really nice evening of catching up over good food. Hopefully, next year I can visit the US to see Trish and Harold, and our other classmates.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

First day of telecommuting...



Today, I started working from home. Wait, let me correct that. Today, I started telecommuting.

One of our big bosses told us that the correct term is telecommuting since technically, we can work from anywhere in the world as long as we have our laptops and there's a good Internet connection.

Well, surprisingly, it was better than I expected.

I dunno if it was the company's resources or if it's because of the good Internet connection I have at home, but I didn't have too much of a problem accessing the company's systems, shared drives, etc. via VPN. The bed was a foot away from me, but not a single moment was I tempted to jump into bed and sleep the afternoon off.

In fact, not much changed with my schedule. I still woke up the same time. Instead of showering to commute, I showered because I headed out to buy breakkie and also, do some grocery. Twenty minutes before 830, I was already logged into the system and starting to work. It was quite a busy day.

Productivity is not an issue.

The main change that I did was to set up a home office in one corner of my tiny room. The desk that used to be my home desk now serves as my home office desk. I moved it to the side of the room so that I am facing my "Success" and "Personal Development" directions as per my Geomancy app. Hahaha!

Where my home desk used to be is now my new "home" corner. Tipz sold me his desk, carpet and a cushion seat. I set up my Angelo area beside the home office area. The fantastic James Jean print I recently purchased is now beautifully leaning against the well. I know, I know. I should have it framed. I will definitely.

The Angelo area setup has such a homey feel because of the low table and that fact that I'm on the floor sitting comfortably on the seat cushion. Hehe! The laptop I use is my own personal Mac. There is really that distinction between work and home. Nice!

Alright, this is it for tonight. Going to watch an ep of The Good Wife first before going to zzz... Tomorrow is another work day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

No need to get up at 530AM tomorrow...

Today is the last day of working in an office environment.

Tomorrow, my office shall be one corner of my room.

But that also means I need not get up at 530AM and leave for the gym before 6. That also means missing the Wednesday morning Pump class I usually attend. Hmm, I have to rethink my gym schedule as well.

I wonder how this whole thing will pan out. Haha!

December is bringing a lot of changes...




The first of December is ushering in a number of changes.

Tomorrow, for example, is going to be my last day of working in an office environment. Come Wednesday, our department will be starting a telecommuting setup. In fact, I am currently using the new laptop issued for the telecommuting assignment. Haha! Tomorrow, I will have to bring back all my stuff from the office. Eeeeppp!

Tonight, I went for Pump at Paragon and the main difference is that my usual Monday night Pump buddy is no longer around as he is soon starting a new journey in another part of the world. The instructor was the same guy we "stalk" on IG. (Tonight, he actually smiled and said "Take care" when I was on my way out of the gym and he was on the way to the locker room. Lol, Tipz!). The class was good, as always. After gym, I took the same route Tipz and I always took going back, even before HB Boy came into the picture. Haha!

Last Saturday, Tipz closed a chapter of his life and in the next few days, will start another one. In February, an even newer chapter is going to start. It's definitely exciting times for him and I couldn't be more happier.

His last few hours in Singapore were spent just hanging around. We went for brunch, then went to the mall to window shop. We went to a coffee shop for coffee and chitchat. Had we gone to the gym for Pump, it would have been pretty much our usual Saturday routine. Hehe!

But last Saturday was different because it concludes the SG years in his life story. Three years and 10 months (if I remember correctly).

We've only known each other for a short time but in such a short span of time, he definitely became my usual companion in almost everything. Haha!

When the time to bid each other farewell finally arrived, I had the same feeling as Lady Grantham when she found out that Mrs. Crawley was considering to get married again. Hehe!

I am definitely very happy for Tipz though and I am very excited for him. We may be living in different continents soon but I'm quite confident the friendship will remain thanks to all the technology available. Haha! The friendship will go on.

In the meantime, all the best, Tipz!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hi, I like your belt...

Something amusing happened in the train yesterday.

I was on my way to Tiong Bahru to get Tipz's power bank.

There I was, by the train door, minding my own business, quietly reading the news on my phone when I heard someone say hi.

I looked up from my phone and there was this guy standing about a feet away. He smiled at me and said, "Hi, I like your belt."

Lol! I wasn't sure if I was going to laugh or what.

He then continued, "It goes very well with your shoes."

The funny thing was I was wearing a belt that is more than 5 years old! I got it a million years ago back in Manila from a shop called Samuel & Kevin. I'm not even sure if the store still exists in Manila.

I told this to the guy and I just thanked him for his kind words. He said he thought I just bought it so I guess he was going to as where I got it.

Thankfully, the train was approaching Tiong Bahru station. I was running out of things to say. I about to pick up my bag when I noticed that he was also heading towards the door. Shoot!

The train reached Tiong Bahru, he extended his hand to me and introduced himself. I shook his hand and told him my name, too. His last words were, "See you around."

The doors closed and the train headed to Outran Park. At Outram Park, I alighted and then waited for two trains before going back to Tiong Bahru. Hahaha!

Amusing train ride.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

One more time...




The second half of Saturday night extended until the early hours of Sunday. Haha!

After the heritage walk in the morning, I went back to get some sleep because I knew it was going to be quite a long night.

It was Tipz's last Saturday nightout in Singapore and we agreed that we should go clubbing.

The night began with catching the 815PM screening of Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 at Plaza Singapura. I absolutely enjoyed the film. I can watch it again, to be honest. My favourite character this time was Effie Trinket. She had the best lines and I wish she had more scenes! Haha!

It was past 10PM when the movie ended. My friend E organised a photo exhibit of sorts at his gym to showcase a few photos from his recent trip to Nepal with a group of folks. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to the exhibit as it was already late.

From Smith St, we took the short walk to our main destination for the night - Neil Rd.

One last hurrah for Tipz at that road that is filled with mostly (?) good memories.

Out Bar. Taboo. Tantric. Taboo.

One last night of clubbing with the three of us altogether. One last time of us three having the yum gyoza and beef dried noodles at Maxwell post-clubbing.

Next time the three of us are together to have a night light this one, I wonder if it will be in Aus, NZ or some other part of the world.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

First half of Saturday...




Saturday started very early for me... as usual. Haha!

Today, I had to wake up much earlier though as I arranged an activity for me and HB Boy.

How early was it? It was so early that Tipz was just about to go to bed while I was already starting my day by doing my laundry and watching episodes of Arrow. Haha! My sister from another mother, Tey, was also up so we got to chat and talk on the phone a bit. Turns out she was up early because she was going to take Mama Ching to Laguna

By 7:30, with no message yet from HB Boy, I knew I had to call him already. After tapping on the call button and hearing 5 rings, I hung up. Still no reply. Ten minutes later, I called again and no HB Boy on the other line. Third try. Fourth try. Fifth try. This was already 8AM. Finally, I received a WhatsApp message. Lol!

Hmm, I have been vocal that I really hate late and I will admit that I was starting to get annoyed that we were late again with our agreed meetup time. But then, I've also been getting good at quickly kicking away the annoyed feeling that the other person is late. Haha! Plus, I guess I cut HB Boy more slack since we're dating. Lol!

Moving on, the activity I signed us up for a heritage walk along Telok Ayer St. organised by the Preservation of Sites and Monuments Board (I think). The heritage walk we joined, Home Away from Home, covers two of the most important Chinese temples in Singapore. Along the way, we also passed by two other heritage buildings.

The temples are Thian Hock Keng and Yueh Hai Ching Temple, while the heritage buildings covered are Ying Fo Fui Kun and Fuk Tak Chi. All these heritage sites are located along Telok Ayer St. and are worth a visit.

The tour lasted for close to two hours and was led by a PMB Volunteer Guide. I've visited all four heritage sites before but as museum volunteers would say, "Each tour is a different tour." There is always something new to learn.

That, I have to say, is true. I learned a few new things today from the guide. HB Boy, on the other hand, also enjoyed the tour. I thought it was a good way for him to learn more about the country and its heritage.

After our heritage walk, we walked over to China Square Food Centre for lunch at The Rotisserie. Then, we walked to Chinatown for traditional desserts at Mei Heong Yuen Dessert, which was thankfully not packed.

By the time we finished dessert, we were just both ready to zzz... Lol! So we headed back for some afternoon nap before heading out again tonight for a movie and a last hurrah with Tipz. Huhuhu!

Today is a good Saturday. It started very early. And it is going to end very late. Haha!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Just kidding, Lord...



Calvin, Calvin. LOL! How do you know what's in my head right now? Hahaha!

Kidding, Lord.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Everyone's moving on..



Everyone seems to be leaving...or just moving to somewhere else.

Everyone... including one of my favourite Body Pump/Body Combat instructors. Boo!

Before the class started tonight, he made the announcement that tonight was his last Combat class for that particular sched. He added that his last day with the gym was on Monday, 24 Nov. Afterwards, he will be packing his bags and going overseas.

Where he is headed, he didn't mention.

It's just a bit sad because he is one of my fave instructors.

I intended to thank him and wish him well on his new adventure after the class ends. However, I didn't get to do it because of bad timing. Usually, he lingers in the GX studio after class. By the time I head out of the gym, that's the only time he would be heading back to the locker room.

Tonight, however, he was early at the locker room. Either that or I was moving at such a glacial pace. When I was about to head out, he was just about to hit the shower half-naked with only a towel wrapped around his waist. It felt awkward to stop him and chitchat. Haha!

There goes my chance to say buh bye and good luck! Oh, well... maybe I'll just message him on FB.

In other news, the guy replacing him is also a good one. The guy is also a confirmed... double confirmed. Lol! Quite a chatty guy. We'd say hi/hello in the gym. So now, looks like I'll be seeing more of him.

Anyway, good luck to you, RC! Thanks for being such an awesome instructor!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bintan getaway...





I don't remember how it was brought up, but HB Boy and I agreed to go on a weekend getaway.

Since he arrived in Singapore, I don't think he has actually gone on a trip to any of the neighbouring countries.

On the other hand, I've been wanting to go on a beach getaway. I miss the beach very much but I don't think TBC will do it for me.

Having lived here for a longer time, I told HB Boy our options. We could either go to Batam or to Bintan. If we were to go to the former, I was thinking of Turi Beach since MkSurf8, Chris, Ian and I had a great day trip to the place and I wouldn't mind going back. The other option was to go to the spa resort Tempat Senang. A few colleagues have given the resort a thumbs up so I believe that it is actually good.

For Bintan, I was initially thinking of going back to Angsana since MkSurf8, RKGreg, Chris, PG Boy and I went there on a weekend trip and I thought the place was really great! I would definitely want to visit again. The other option was Nirwana Resort, which Tipz visited with CP not too long ago.

After checking the rates and consulting with each other, we ended up booking with Nirwana. Alright, one reason I skipped Angsana was because it's already associated with PG Boy. LOL! I dun want my first trip with HB Boy to be to a place the ex and I went to. Haha!

I wasn't sure what to expect about the resort because I've been reading mixed reviews.

We booked a room with the Nirwana Gardens (I think). Overall, I thought the resort is worth a second visit. The room was nice and clean. The shower and toilet had no weird smell. The food at the bistro and the coffee shop were so so, but it's still good enough. I liked the pool very much. The beach was also good enough to satisfy my craving for the beach. Haha! Just gotta be careful of some tar balls. Bleh! We also got a massage at the health club. I fell asleep during the massage, so that's a good sign. Haha!

HB Boy and I also booked a dinner at a kelong place outside of the hotel. Kid that he is, he also wanted to go for the firefly tour. Haha! Hmm, the firefly tour was a unique experience. It was my first time to do it and I'm glad that there were actually fireflies to be seen. Haha! What I didn't like was that there was a light drizzle and I got a bit scared that we were traversing the river in complete darkness. I wasn't afraid of the dark. I was more afraid of capsizing in the middle of nowhere and drowning there and then. Lol! HB Boy got excited seeing the fireflies that looked like Christmas lights on a tree. I enjoyed the sight, too, except I was just thinking of how I will float in case the boat does hit some floating log or something. Haha!

It was a good short getaway. Definitely memorable since I did two new things during this trip.

I found another day spa that's in the middle of the mangroves. I think that's worth a visit. Maybe next time.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hair emergency...

For the first time since I moved to Singapore, I spent $40 for a haircut. Wtf?! Haha!

I'm due for a visit to the salon. I had the idea of getting a different haircut this time since I always sport the same cut - clean, neat, short. Lol!

Tipz looked for some pegs that I can have the stylist imitate. I found one that I really liked. It was the short haircut of male model Marios Lekkas.

So, after work today, I went to the 12-minute haircut place near my home. I've been going to the 12-minute haircut place for as long as I can remember. I like it because it's cheap, fast and the cut has always been good... even if it's always a different person who cuts my hair on every visit.

Hence, I was expecting no problems. I brought out the photo of Marios, showed it to the stylist. Somewhere along our conversation, something got lost in translation. I knew things were going wrong because I was not liking how my hair was turning out to look like. Haha!

To make things worse, I sensed some trepidation in the stylist while she continued to cut my hair. By the time it was over, I just thanked her and quickly left the place.

Instead of heading back, I rushed to the "real" salon that was also near my place. I went in and asked for anyone who was free.

When the guy came over, I told him as I pointed to my head, "Please fix this."

After prepping his stuff, he began to work his magic. He asked when the last time I got a haircut was. He was so suprrised when I told him that I actually just came from another haircut place.

Forty minutes later, things were looking much better. I even got a shampoo treatment. It's something that I used to have all the time when I was still going to my guy at Piandre Greenbelt. I was reminded of how good it felt to get a shampoo with a head massage. Haha!

I thanked the stylist for saving my hair. This weekend is not the weekend to have a bad haircut. Haha! Thankfully, the stylist was able to do something.

Crisis solved. #FirstWorldProblems.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Twinsies on a Thursday night...



Just a quick post before I hit the sack. Haha!

It was a rather uneventful day at the office once again. Not much happening with the journal package I'm handling except for the one on behavioural analysis and another journal on physiology. Haha! To be honest, I'm thankful that these journals are extra busy.

Anyway... I was supposed to only go for Combat tonight. Tipz said he couldn't make it to Pump so I initially thought of skipping Pump.

Good thing I didn't. Haha! When I was already at the gym, Tipz messaged to say that he had a headache. Ergo, he wouldn't be able to do Combat.

We just agreed to meet up after Pump since I had to get something from him. Plus, I wanted to give him a CDG tee that I haven't worn yet. (Too bad it was a little big for him. Hehe!)

From Cathay, we took the train to Somerset without any clear purpose of what we were going to do at Somerset. Tipz felt like having cake. I felt like having roast chicken or Tori-Q. Thankfully, almost all the food stores were closed. We, well, he, ended up getting bread from Breadtalk.

The other objective was to look for cheapo sunnies. Tipz needed it for his upcoming long holiday, while I needed it for an upcoming weekend getaway. Haha! We started our search at H&M. Fail. We went to Takashimaya. Fail. Success was achieved at one of the stores in Wisma Atria. The sunnies were ultra cheapo. One friend, upon seeing the photo above, Whatsapped to ask if the sunnies were from H&M x Alexander Wang. Haha! I should've just said yes.

And since we both got the same sunnies and we were both wearing gray shirts... a selfie was in order. Yeah, right. Like we need that excuse to take a selfie. Haha!

Twinsies!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Smooth sailing so far...



Things have been moving forward with HB Boy.

By moving forward, I mean that we're still dating. We have no agreement to exclusively date. Even so, I haven't chatted nor met up with anyone new for quite some time now. Same thing with HB Boy. As far as I know (and from what he said), he is also not seeing any other guy besides me.

Recently, I told Tipz that I noticed some change in HB Boy. I felt like he wasn't as interested as he used to be. Turns out I was just reading too much into things. Haha! The way things are going, it is safe to say that the mutual interest is there.

Hmm, we've spending quite a lot of time lately. There was the dinner and movie last Friday with our two chaperones. There was the gym session last Saturday with another two chaperones. There was the Sunday afternoon to evening hangout. On Monday nights, we head back together with Tipz since he also goes to the gym next door. Last night, we were planning to get a haircut but ended up just going for dinner since it was a bit late.

Also, by moving forward, I've been walking with him back to his place on nights that we get back early or if there is no work the following day.

Then there's the Whatsapp convos and the Facetime calls on nights that we don't see each other.

I will admit this. I do like him a lot. I like it how he can be both a kid and an adult at the same time. It's nice to find someone who can be silly as well. Haha!

Will things keep moving forward? Who knows? Right now, again I'm enjoying the gray area. And I'm enjoying the time spent together. Let's see whether things will continue to move forward.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Really productive Sunday...

Today was a productive Sunday.

Started the day with a second batch of laundry. While waiting for the laundry to be done, I managed to watch an episode of Arrow. Haha! Afterwards, I prepped myself to get to church for the 915AM Mass. Initially, I was thinking of attending the 11AM Mass. However, I thought about my plans for the day and figured it'll be better to attend the earlier service.

It turned out to be a good idea. The Mass ended around 1030 or so. It was perfectly alright because the priest Fr. Terence Pereira is such a good priest. He makes a lot of sense when he gives his homily. He talks about things that people can relate to. I think other priests can learn a lot from him. He definitely is one of my favourite priests, together with Fr. Derrick from another parish, another priest from St. Bernadette, and another priest from Holy Trinity.

Done with Mass, I made my way to the city for a few things on my to-do list. The first one was a visit to the new exhibit Singapura: 700 years. While I did attend the curator walkthrough, I wanted to go through the exhibit once more to familiarise myself more. It took me about three hours to finish my walkthrough as I was taking down notes along the way. Hehe!

Next stop was Bugis Junction. I had to go to Adidas to have the shirt given by Chris, RKGreg and MkSurf8 exchanged for a bigger size. I was thrilled that they think (?) I'm a size S but I'm more comfortable in a medium. Hehe! Thank you again, Chris, RKGreg and MkSurf8 for the birthday pressies!

From Bugis, I had to go to Orchard. First, I needed to go to the dry cleaners in Takashimaya to drop off a shirt. I thought it was the only branch. Well, well, I found out that the shop also has a branch in IMM. Hahah! I also wanted to buy some new undershirts since the ones I'm using are due for replacement. Hehe!

But before that, I met up first with HB Boy who came from the gym. Another reason why I was in the city. Lol! I was looking for undershirts, while he was looking for watches for his mom and dad. I happened to spot the brand his Dad wanted in one of the stores in Ngee Ann and we were able to get the piece for HB Boy's dad. We then crossed over to the other side, Paragon, to get my undershirts at Metro. I went to Metro since Tipz's Bae (Lol!) announce in class that there was a Metro sale.

Orchard on a Sunday is a circus. I wanted to get away from the crowd and thankfully, HB Boy was also getting hungry. I suggested we head over to Forum for dinner at CPK. How circa late 90s/early 2000! Haha! Well, it was a good choice since he certainly enjoyed the food - pizza and salad.

Full from dinner, we headed back before 8. He needed to register for TRX classes tomorrow while I wanted to get home to do my most hated chore - pressing clothes.

Before heading back, I figured I had enough time to pass by HB Boy's MRT station and walk him to his place. So that's what I did. The funny thing was he asked me to wait for him to finish signing up for the class so that he can walk me back to the MRT station. Lol!

It was a long but definitely productive and happy day. Looking forward to start the week so that the next weekend can already come...

Uneventful eventful Saturday...



Quite an uneventful eventful Saturday.

Confusing, eh? Haha! What I mean is that the Saturday was filled with activities, but all the activities were things I usually do on Saturdays.

As is the case most of the time, I woke up ahead of my alarm. I went to bed a little past midnight. Since there was no work the following day, I was hoping I would get up by 7AM. Guess what? I was up an hour before the alarm went off. Damn body clock! There is probably nothing that can be done about it anymore. Hehe!

Unable to go to sleep again, I decided to just get up, head to the kitchen with my bag of dirty clothes and do my laundry. While waiting for laundry, I ate my cereals while watching an episode of Arrow.

By 10AM, I made my way to Jurong East for the gym. One "new" thing about this Saturday is that Mon decided to join me and Tipz for our crazy class combo of Pump x Combat. Haha! It was really nice of Mon to join since it was literally a journey to the West for him. HB Boy joined us at the gym much later. He went for his swim, while Mon, Tipz and I punched and kicked in Combat.

By the time we left the gym, it was already 3PM. We headed to eggs n' berries for a very late lunch/breakfast/brunch. The good thing about going to restaus at that time is that there are no queues. Yay! egg n' berries is a good brunch place. Their first branch is at Expo. PG Boy and I used to go to that place when he was still living in Tampines. I was more than pleased when I saw that another branch was opened in Westgate.

Time really just does fly so fast. It was already 4PM when HB Boy and I said buh bye to Tipz and Mon. Tips stayed behind at Westgate to check out Tokyo Hands. Mon headed back to the city to run some errands. HB Boy and I had our own unplanned plans.

Further proof that time moves so fast? Our unplanned plans lasted until 1030, I think. Lol! Having made the trip to Jurong East, I thought I'd accompany HB Boy back to his place in the north. Usually, we part ways at the MRT station. Last night, I walked him back to his place. It wasn't far from the MRT. But by Singapore standards, I would say it is far. LOL!

I'm not complaining. It's one more "walk" that can be added to the list of "walks" that we usually do. Richie once said, referring to me and HB Boy, "That's your thing, no? Going for walks." Hmm, I guess it is. I dunno. That's one of the things I like to do I guess. I'm glad that HB Boy seems to like to do the same thing.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Some random things...



1.) Things at work are a bit slow. Most of the journals I'm currently handling are published either quarterly or bi-monthly. This means that there may be very slow days at the office, especially when no journal issues in production. Thankfully, I have one journal that is under a continuous publication business model.That's been keeping me busy. I do plan to check with my team lead if there are new journals that may be assigned to me. I want to be busier. Haha!

2.) Recently, I found out that one journal I handle is included in the Top 40 (or 45) scholarly journals list of the Financial Times. A little more digging about the journal and I learned that Nobel Prize winners have actually written and been published in the journal. Whoa! I'm one proud prod editor!

3.) Ariana Grande has been on repeat these past few days. Haha! It started with Break Free, followed by Bang Bang. Now, Love Me Harder is on repeat, repeat, repeat. Haha! Obviously, the last song is a current fave. The words, the music. So damn sexy to listen to. Haha!

4.) After so long, Tipz and I went again for Pump x Combat classes at Cathay. Just how long have we been away from what used to be our weekly Thursday night routine? The very friendly instructor walked over to Tipz and then me to ask, "Where have you been, ah?"

5.) I'm more than halfway through with The Death Cure, the third installation of James Dashner's The Maze Runner trilogy. Hmm, I am starting to get annoyed with it. Poor Thomas, Minho and Newt. I feel sorry for the misfortune after misfortune that the trio has been going through. At one point, I wonder why they just don't end their lives and put themselves out of misery! Lol! I'm determined to finish the book though for one main reason - closure. TMR is giving me the same feeling as I had with the Divergent trilogy. At one point, I just wanted to give up reading the book. Thankfully, I haven't. All I'm saying is the book better have a good ending.

Oh, I also got an extra phone. Just got a 5S as work phone. It's part of the whole Work From Home setup. Hmm, tbh, I dun need another phone. Lol! But it's there sooo... hehe!

Weekend is almost upon us. Let it be an awesome one!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Could use some change right now...



Change is in the air again.

Two major changes are bound to happen by the end of November.

First off, I can start working in my PJs or in my boxers or even naked come December. Haha! Nope, I haven't decided to be part of some nudist cult. The department I belong to is implementing a work-from-home setup. It is part of the major transformation that the company is going through and will continue to go through until 2017.

Initially, I was a bit hesitant about the Work-from-Home setup. Believe it or not, I do love waking up in the morning, prepping for work, getting dressed and going to an actual office. Now that I'll be working from home, I wonder how that will be like. I wake up at my usual 545AM, turn on the light in my room, head over to my desk and start working. Haha!

No lah. I plan to keep the office/home feel. I still plan to shower before starting my day. I still plan to wear nice office clothes. I would probably wear shorts, but I do plan to continue wearing my long-sleeved shirts.

Also, I'm going to set up a small home-office corner in my already tiny room. The current desk I have will be moved to one corner of the room and will be converted to be my office desk. The table I got from Tipz, as well as the cushion and the carpet, will be used for the home section of the room.

I'm more concerned about not seeing people and working in a solo environment. I hope I don't end up being a recluse. Haha! If I do end up being one, please let me be like Martin Margiela.

After a bit more thinking, I'm now looking forward to the new setup. It's quite exciting, I suppose. It'll be a new experience. At the moment, I'm just open to things. There is no point in being reactionary. Change might be good.

This year also saw a few friends leaving and moving on. Coly moved to Brussels. Gemma moved from Brussels to Washington. Adrian is back in the Philippines. Paula is going back to the Philippines for a few months before moving to California early next year. Tipz is leaving Singapore by end of the month and will be moving to Australia. I'll certainly miss the guy... maybe for a day or two. Haha! Kidding!

There's another thing I'm waiting for/I've been praying for. It'll be this November, too. Another chance for change. If it's meant for me, I pray that it will happen. If other plans are in store for me, I pray for patience and more faith. Hehe!

Change. Could use some in my life right now.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy Hoholloween...



Friday night was HOHOL time at MkSurf8 and RKGreg's place.

I thouhgt it was going to be the usual get-together until talk about what costume to wear started.

I don't recall the last time I wore a costume for Halloween.

The only vivid recollection I have was some time in mid-2000 when a bunch of friends - Richie, Suki, Xoch, Edsel, Omar - and I wore somewhat religious garb and walked the streets of Malate and Makati.

Suki was then driving a station wagon type of car with no tint. Just imagine the reaction of people in the cars next to us seeing 5 men dressed as nuns and one man in a bishop's attire. Haha!

That was one memorable night.

This time, I did not have the chance to really prep for Halloween. I had a costume in mind. However, I had to rethink the costume as I could not meet up with the friend who was supposed to lend me a costume. With not a lot of time in my hands before the party, I just decided to buy a crown and wear one of my black tops. Initially, I was just thinking of wearing one of my normal long/sleeved shirts. Then I realised this was a good opportunity to bring out one of the CDG Shirt pieces I got. Hehe!

It was a good decision to make a tiny effort to dress up because everyone else did the same - Mon had a skull head gear, Tipz had a tiger mask, Richie had a werewolf's paw. Chris was a hippie, while RKGreg and MkSurf8 were characters from those horror movies. A few other guests made a ll the effort to dress up as someone. Well done, K and A!

Thanks mucho MkSurf8 and RKGreg for hosting yet another great party! :D

Monday, November 3, 2014

Walks, talks, gray areas...




November had a rather interesting start.

For the first time, HB Boy and I spent 80% of Saturday and Sunday together.

It was only 80% because I had my museum commitment on Saturday morning, while HB Boy had his dragonboat commitment in the afternoon.

Our weekend started with dinner at The Wine Connection at Robertson Quay. I figured the area would be a nice place, in case we do go for a walk after dinner.

My usual order at Wine Connection is the bolognese. It's my favorite and it has never disappointed. Over the weekend though, I tried something else on the menu. It was a good decision as I did enjoy the dish that I ordered.

Just like my favorite bolognese, The Wine Connection didn't disappoint. HB Boy enjoyed the food and the wine. Hmm, I felt the serving portion was just right but I have to admit I felt stuffed after finishing our yum dinner.

We agreed on having dessert, but we decided to go for a walk around the area first. Lol! Going for walks really seems to be "our" thing.

Walks and talks. Haha!

Sunday morning, the day started with a little sun and going to the pool. I'm learning that he really likes the pool or maybe swimming. I like the pool and the sea, too. But I'd rather be under the sun, with a cold drink and a good book. Lol! I did join him in the pool though. Thankfully, the only other people using the pool were three boys and a father and son tandem. No one had to see that I can't swim. Haha!

Visit to the pool was then followed by a visit to a ramen place in Liang Court. I haven't been to Liang Court in a long time since there's nothing to see there. I was really happy to learn that Marutama Ramen had a branch in the sleepy mall. The best thing was we didn't have to queue. Yay!

From Clarke Quay, we had to drop by Paya Lebar to get something from Mon. This was already around 230PM. Before reaching Richie and Mon's place, HB Boy asked if we could go to IMM afterwards.

For a while, I thought we would be heading back separately but the manboy still had energy left in him. Lol! Good thing the train ride from Paya Lebar to Jurong East was close to an hour. I managed to get a short nap, while HB Boy was glued to his Kindle.

The next four to five hours were spent shopping and having dinner. I didn't buy anything as I really didn't need anything. There was also nothing interesting at IMM for me. Lol! HB Boy, on the other hand, ended up buying three pairs of shoes and clothes for him and his Dad. He wanted to get something for his Mom as well, but I think the shop is in Ion or somewhere in Orchard. Haha!

By the time we finished dinner and headed to the MRT, I have to admit that I was already dead tired. As soon as I reached my place, the sight of my bed in my room has never been so inviting.

It was one of those nights when I knew I was going to crash way before my usual bedtime. As expected, I was already in deep slumber by 930.

The short weekend with HB Boy was good. I may have said in a previous post that it was only in Singapore that I began to fully understand the concept of "dating." I'm going to say it again now.

Also, I have always been clear about hating the gray area. Well, surprise, surprise. For HB Boy and NB Boy, the gray area was sort of comfortable. I never thought I would say that ever. Haha!

Curious to see where this will go.

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!

Wednesday, October 22, 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.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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...

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...