Saturday, August 9, 2014

Happy 49th birthday, Singapore...




Happy 49th birthday, Singapore!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy birthday, Singapore!

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