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


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...

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!


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?

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!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 14...

Five celebrity crushes.

Alright, so these are my top 5. Haha!

Angelina Jolie. I admire her for her compassion and belief in the need to do something for others.

Gisele Bundchen. Even before she was Mrs. Brady, I have already been a major Gisele fan!

David Duchovny. He's a Princeton graduate. Sexy and brains. Enough said.

Kerr Smith. I had a crush on his character Jack McPhee rather than Kerr Smith. Haha!

Nicole Kidman. I want to be best friends with her and Angie.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 13...

Tonight's writing assignment is something that will meet MkSurf8's comment in my previous post. Haha!

Three confessions of my choice. That's what I'm supposed to write about tonight.

First confession: I almost entered the seminary after secondary school. Being an altar boy for six years, I really felt that I had a calling to the religious vocation. It was just a matter of choosing the religious order to join. First option was the Franciscan Capuchins. It would have been the obvious choice since I was educated and heavily influenced by the Franciscan order. The other option I considered was to join the Benedictines. I seriously believed I could live behind a life of ora et labora, of prayer and work. The third option, and the one that I almost joined, was the Claretian order. A Tita knew someone from the Claretians, I think, and linked me up with the vocation director. I went for an interview. I went for the three-day search-in seminar. I got accepted to the Claretian seminary.

What happened? UP happened. The university entrance examination I only took was the UPCAT. No other university. It sounds stupid, I guess. But at that time, I was decided and I have accepted that if I didn't pass the UPCAT, I was meant to be part of the religious world. It seems like the Big Guy had other plans for me. I passed UP. My Dad put down his foot. I was to go to the country's best university. The rest was history. Sort of.

Second confession: I go to confession every time I commit a mortal sin. Blame it on 7 years of Catholic education, 6 years of being an altar boy, 3 years of attending activities at an Opus Dei study centre. All these experiences have made me into a practicing (and I guess, devout) Catholic. Hmm, I'm not a fanatic though. Lol! I'm far from being one. Haha! I do believe in a lot of the Catholic doctrine and I'm ready to defend my faith (if needed), but I still choose which arguments to get into. Lol! I still think that the church needs some reformation. But despite all the faults of the clergy/religious, I will continue to keep my Catholic faith.

Third confession: I went on a date yesterday afternoon. It was completely unplanned. After my museum guiding duties, my plan was just to head back, rest for a bit then head to church. Since the train ride heading back will pass by one particular station, I thought I'd message this guy I've been chatting with for a few weeks now to see if he's free for late lunch. We've been trying to set a meet up for a few times, but it had to take a third time before we finally got a chance to meet in person.

It turned out to be a good date, a very good date. We met up for dessert followed by a walk around the mall. He suggested we watch a movie, but there was nothing good showing at the mall where we were. I asked him whether he wanted to go to another mall. He was up for it. We took the train closer to my territory and ended up going to a bigger mall. Haha! We checked if there was a movie that we liked. Fail again. We walked around again. We went to the neighbouring library. The whole time we just talked and talked and talked. Conversation flowed naturally as if we already knew each other for some time.

Come 5PM, I told him that I needed to go to Mass. Yes, I'm not going to skip Mass for a guy. Baka bawiin ni Lordy. Charot. So I told him he can either already go home if he wanted to or if he wanted to have dinner, he could wait. I was hoping he would choose the latter. He did. Haha! I left him at the library and I went to church. After fulfilling my Catholic obligations, I went back to the library. We had dinner, followed by coffee and dessert.

It was getting late so I told him it was time to head back. Since he waited for me, I thought I'd ride with him back to his MRT station and then I can take the train going back to my place. Yeah, I'm sweet like that. LOL! Kidding.

When my train arrived, it was quite packed. I went in to the middle section and found a spot. I thought he'd left already. Just as the doors were closing, I saw him peek inside the train and waved at me and smiled before walking away. That was the last image I had. It was quite nice. It felt good.

I'll call him HB Boy. The reason behind the name is he hails from the country which currently has a sour relationship with my own country. Haha! HB = Hunnan/Beijing. Well, I guess we just have to skip any talk on politics. Haha!

Okay, to be honest, I have no expectations on where this would go. The guy's a total newbie and me being me, I'm already thinking about why it won't work. Haha! However, I must say I had a goooood time! It was an awesome date! Whether this leads to something or not, I am just happy to have been able to experience another good date. Yay!

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 12...

Thankfully, the writing challenge for today is easy - a screenshot of my desktop.

So, above is the current wallpaper I have. I know, I know. It's from an ad campaign a million years ago. Haha! But I really, really loved this ad campaign of Dolce & Gabbana. Amazing photography. Amazing styling.

The other layouts from this campaign are also just as brilliant and edgy. Haha!

On another note, I just got home. What was going to be a routine Sunday afternoon/evening turned into an awesome afternoon/evening thanks to a Whatsapp message.

Too tired to write about it. Plus, it's way past my bedtime. Haha!

For now, I'll just say it was worth missing my 1030PM Sunday night sleep time. Haha!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 11...

Today's topic is to write about a favourite quote.

Hmm, I would say that I have quite a number of favourite quotes from a number of both real people and fictional characters.

Hmm, for example, "The sexiest thing someone can wear are a white shirt and a pair of jeans." from Calvin Klein. And then there's "I think I got left behind somewhere because I'm, you know, still a romantic." from Grace Coddington. For fictional characters, there is "If we don't respect the past, we'll find it harder to build our future," which is from Downton Abbey. Haha!

But I guess my favourite quote would be from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6 verse 34.

It goes, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

The passage is a favourite because it constantly reminds me to put all my faith in the Big Guy up there. Faith plays an significant role in my life, I have to admit that. If not for the faith in the Lord, I am not sure how I would have faced some of the trials that life has thrown at me. Hehe!

So, every time I feel that things are not going my way, I just recall this Bible verse and I feel better. I am not a fan of tattoos. I don't think I will ever get one. But in a parallel world where I would get myself inked, I think I would definitely have Matthew 6:34 as my tatt.

What's your favourite quote?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 10...

If you could only live off of one food and one beverage for the rest of your days, what would they be?

Above is the question for today’s writing challenge.

It may appear to be a difficult question to answer. One, I love to eat. That explains the reason why I weighed almost 200 lbs and had to wear size 38” pants at one point in my life. Two, my Mom’s side hails from Pampanga, a province known for sinfully delicious dishes. Haha! Growing up, I’ve always enjoyed family gatherings with relatives from my Mom’s side because it is always guaranteed to be a feast!

Going back to the question, I think the one food I can live off of is my Mom’s chicken and pork adobo. I am not sure how she does it but her adobo really is my fave. When she visited Singapore last year, I asked her to prep adobo which I brought with me to the office and shared with two Singaporean colleagues. They both loved it! (Either that or they were being polite! Haha!) In any case, I’ve tried to copy her adobo but sadly, I am a failure. Haha!

As for a drink, that’s also easy. Coke Zero. Bad for the health, I know. But if I were to die tomorrow and I had one last drink, it would be Coke Zero. Hehe!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 9...

The writing challenge for today is to write about pet peeves.

It's nothing really new since the post a few days ago was very much similar.

My number one pet peeve I guess is latecomers. I really get annoyed with late people. Haha! I think that my punctuality goes back to the days when I was an altar boy. We were required to be at the church 15-20 minutes before the Mass. By doing so, we are able to check that everything that’s needed are there. That 15-minutes before the Mass was something I brought with me til now. Haha!

I noticed though that I’m becoming more impatient. When I was in uni, I could wait for people who are late for an hour or even more. Now that I’m nearing my midlife, my fuse is getting shorter with latecomers. Most recently, after being made to wait for 45 minutes, I sent a text message to the people I was supposed to meet up with that I was going home. Lol! 45 minutes waiting time was my max. Tbh, I felt good that I went ahead and didn’t wait. Haha!

That’s my major pet peeve, I guess.

Some other major pet peeves:

- people who have no compassion/concern for others
- people who don’t know how to say thank you
- churchgoers who chat loudly before the Mass starts
- people who jump the queue
- loudmouths and crass persons

Not so major pet peeves:
- incorrect use of your/you’re; its/it’s; there/they’re/their, among many others
- people who don’t know how to sneeze correctly
- the word “okay”
- book covers that have a fold
- messy desks

Enough... hahaha...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 8...

Just a quick post for today.

Day 8 is about Three Things You Want to Say to Different People.

Since I do not have any specific person in mind, I'll just go with three things which I think people should say to someone every day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 7....

Today's writing challenge is one subject I've written about repeatedly - books.

The question for today is "Do you read? What are your favourite books?"

A few weeks ago, a friend tagged me to write bout ten favourite books. It was a difficult task but I was able to do it.

The list can be found here.

For this post, I'm not going to write about my favourite books. Instead, I'll just write a little about how I became a book fan and what my favourites are so far.

Two people who influenced me a lot in falling in love with the written world were my Lola Chimang and Tita Rosie. The former was the mom of my late father, while the latter was my late father's late eldest sister. Both my Lola Chimang and my Tita Rosie were teachers. Lola taught at a primary school in Manila, while Tita Rosie taught at my own university, the Ateneo de Manila University and I'm not sure in which school/university in Boston when she moved there with her American husband, Uncle Roger.

It was them who encouraged me, as well as my younger brother Raymond and our cousins, to read, read, ready. My Lola had huge collection of Mills & Boon titles, while Tita Rosie was always reading some book, too.

Then, of course, in primary school at my beloved Lourdes School, we had a Reading class. The Language lessons were different from the Reading lessons. I spent a good deal of my primary school years reading, reading, reading. Haha!

Also, I'm lucky to be surrounded by friends who liked to read. When I was still in Primary 6, a fellow altar boy who was a few years older than me introduced me to some good Filipino authors - Lualhati Bautista and Tony Perez. The latter got me into trouble with my mom because of the book Cubao 1980. I regret tearing the book to pieces after my mom saw my copy of the book. :-/

Saveral years later, I would discover the wonderful genre of LGBT fiction. My favourite authors are Andrew Tobias, Alex Sanchez, Michael Thomas Ford, Timothy James Beck, Noel Alumit, Jay Bell, to name a few. I also became addicted to other genres. I realise that I have a thing for books that are part of a series. Perhaps because it eliminates the need to think of what book to read next. Haha!

Recently, I've also been putting some of my hard earned cash into coffee table books. In particular, I've been buying hardbound books on fashion. Haha! If you have the books, the condo with a library/reading room will come? Haha! Thankfully, I discovered Book Depository and the used books shops at Bras Basah Complex. Both are pieces of heaven to any book lover.

Just how much do I love books? I'm willing to sacrifice a good meal, in order to add to my book fund. Hahaha! I still have a few titles I want to buy - Tom Ford, The Little Black Jacket, among others.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 6....

Just got home from the movies. I don't usually like to have a late evening if there is work the following day. Tonight was a very rare moment. Haha!

Since I only have 30 minutes left to my self-imposed deadline for zzz-ing, I should make this post really short and quick.

Day 6: What band or musician is most important to you?

This is another toughie.

Instead of naming just one band or musician, I think I'll just name one genre I really love - show tunes. Haha! Could I be more stereotypical?

Blame it on The Sound of Music. When I was growing up, the entire family and relatives from my Mom's side would always, always watch Maria and the Von Trapp children every Christmas. This became some kind of tradition. It didn't take long before I started to know all the songs by heart. Hahah!

In addition to this, I have been blessed to be surrounded by friends who also love musicals and friends who are in the theatre industry.

As a result, I frequently watched musicals produced by Philippine production companies. It's tough to name just one favourite musical. Haha! But I guess I would have to say that I'm a Renthead. Jonathan Larson is a genius and it's just sad that he was gone too soon. In any case, I thank him for Rent and tick... tick... BOOM.

And then of course, there are all the other great minds who came up with the best musicals ever. I'm really glad to have had the opportunity to see many of these shows.

However, I must admit I am still dreaming of watching a musical in New York. Hopefully, that will happen next year. Haha!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 5....

Sheesh... time really does fly fast.

I can't believe it's already Day 5 for this 30-day writing challenge. Haha!

The assignment today is quite a toughie. That's because it touches on a subject that I like very much - travel.

Today's task involves naming 5 places I want to visit.

Hmm, I have a lot of places I would like to visit and explore. To help me trim down the list to just five, I decided to add a little twist to the challenge.

I have one month to visit 5 places. After that, it will take several years before I can get on a plane again and explore the world.

Below are the 5 places that came to mind:

Paris - I definitely, most certainly want to visit this city of love. Aside from paying homage to the houses at Avenue Montaigne, Rue Cambon 31 and Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, I would like to visit the Louvre, the Musee d' Orsay, Versailles and Tuileries Garden.

Machu Picchu - no explanation needed.

New York and San Francisco - New York for the museums, Broadway and a photo op at the Conde Nast building; San Francisco because friends are raving about it.

Taiwan - for reasons better left unwritten. Hahaha!

Boracay - hahaha! Yes, though I've traveled much of the Philippines - from Isabela up north to Jolo in Mindanao, I've yet to set foot in Boracay. Hard to believe, eh?

That's my list. What's yours?

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 4....

Day 4: The meaning behind your Tumblr name.

As can be seen from the previous sentence, today's writing challenge is quite easy.

I may have written about it in a previous entry, but anyway...

Clayman79 is my third online name. The original one was from a teen drama series I watched a million years ago. That was the time when IRC was all the rage. The second online name I had was "greenjack." It was a marriage of my online name and the online name of my first partner.

When we parted ways, I chose to end my previous blog, which was three years old during that time. It can still be accessed here.

During those times, one of the books I read was Michael Chabon's "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay." It was during the ICON days. One of our friends, Cheacherchowee, lent me the book (and eventually gave it to me!!!). Sam Clay was one of the protagonists. He earned the nickname Clayman in the novel. I felt I could relate to him as his character was a writer and also an AJ. Haha!

So that's the story of "clayman."

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 3....

Day 3: How the day went in full detail.

This is a late blog entry for Day 3. Thanks to the writing assignment for day 3, the next few paragraphs will explain why this post is only written this Saturday morning.

Friday morning, I got up at 520. Since I didn't go for Pump the other night, I decided to attend the Friday morning Pump class. I'm going to be honest. There was a bit of debating in my head whether I was going to stay glued to the bed and sleep more or get up and go to the gym.

Thankfully, I went with the latter. Haha!

Pump was uneventful. It was a full class, surprisingly. Unsurprisingly, I continue to struggle with the biceps track. Haha!

The rest of the day at the office went as usual. My counterparts in India are on leave because of a public holiday. That meant less emails.

After work, the original plan was to head back. I was going to meet an online seller before heading to Tipz's to drop my stuff before we head to MkSurf8's place. There was a change of plans since Tipz wasn't feeling well.

Instead of heading back, I messaged Richie and Mon to check if they were still free for dinner. We agreed to meet at Paragon and ended up having dinner at the ramen place across Din Tai Fung. It was the only place with a short queue. Haha! The food was actually enjoyable.

Following dinner, I joined Mon and Richie at Cold Storage for a bit of grocery shopping. We then parted ways. They headed for the taxi stand, while I joined the Friday night crowd at Orchard and walked to Somerset MRT.

I reached RKGreg and MkSurf8's place at half past nine. Chris was already there and they were already having a convo over wine, cheese and chocolates. I brought peanuts from Indonesia. Haha! I should've bought more since apparently, it tastes good. For the next hour or so, we just talked about our recent travels.

Next to arrive was Chiz. An hour later, the rest of the gang arrived. I am on a resolution to significantly cut my alcohol intake, in the name of my quest to lower my uric acid levels. So as much as I would've wanted to have another class of JB/Coke and even with the prodding of RKGreg, I said no. Haha!

I took my leave around 1AM. Otherwise I might have ended up having Saturday as recovery day. Hehe!

It was an exhausting day as I was falling asleep in the cab on the way back. I didn't know how long I was asleep for until the Uncle asked me whether he was supposed to turn right at CCK 5. To my delightful surprise, we were two minutes away from home. Haha!

As soon as I entered my home, I went straight to my room, took off my clothes and rested for a bit before taking a shower.

After that, it didn't take long before I was in bed and zzzing... Haha!

That explains why this blog post is late.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 2....

Day 2 of the birthday month 30-day writing challenge. Haha!

Before I do today's assignment, a bit of how the day went. For breakkie, I went to the neighbouring Starbucks at one-north. I'm really a CBTL guy but since the nearest CBTL is either Kent Ridge or Holland V, I have no choice but to settle for SB.

Thursday mornings at SB is starting to become somewhat of a routine. It's not very good because I'm spending way too much for breakkie. Haha! I could get a very tasty char kway teow for $3 at the nearby kopitiam. But no, I'm throwing away $10.20 to be exact for a turkey ham/egg white sandwich paired with my signature drink, a grande non-fat caramel macchiato.

Afterwards, it was just a busy day at the office. I took on some new projects and as I may have written a previous post, I am still learning the ropes of the processes of the new projects.

If Thursday mornings is usually breakkie at Starbucks, Thursday nights these past few months is Pump + Combat with Tipz.

These past two weeks, we've been missing our routine though. Last week, I was in Yogya with Mom. Tipz's family was in town. Tonight, we were set to go to the gym until I got a message that he had the sniffles. Instead of the gym, we ended up having dinner and dessert. Lol!

Moving on to today's writing assignment... it's quite easy. 10 Likes & 10 Dislikes:

Here you go:


Punctual people; Books; Cheesy movies; Brunch with friends; Nature walks; Travel; Volunteer work; Museums; Musicals; Beautiful sunrise.

10 Dislikes

Latecomers; People who have no compassion for others; Heavy metal music; Cleaning the toilet; Scary movies; Wasting food; Liars; Bittergourd; The need to press clothes; Congested and dirty cities. Lol!

That was easy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Birthday month 30-day writing challenge: Day 1....

It's October! :)

It's the start of the final quarter of the year. It's my favourite of the month of the year. It's my birthday month! Haha!

October being a special month to me, I thought I'd challenge myself and write a blog entry every day.

Thankfully, a simple Google of 30-day blog challenges ideas and I was led to this site that has a bunch of blog/writing challenges. Haha!

I chose one, which I thought was easy to do.

So now, we begin with Day 1: Write some basic things about yourself.

That's easy.

I was born in the late 70s. Haha! My birthday is 22 October. That makes me a Libra. But since my birthday is on the cusp of Libra/Scorpio, I believe I also tend to display characteristics of the latter. I'm the eldest son. I have two younger brothers, who are both living in the Philippines. I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. I've spent three decades of my life living in our home in Quezon City. In 2011, I decided to do a radical change with my life so I moved to Singapore after I got a job. For the past four years, I have been working in the publishing industry. Prior to that, I've spent more than a decade in Corporate Communications/Public Relations. I've had two exes. Each relationship lasted for four years. I love where I am right now. I just wish I could make long-term plans and not have to worry about where I'll be every two years. Hehe!

A huge part of me believes in volunteerism/social responsibility/being involved. I believe that if people had a bit more of compassion for the next person, the world will be a better place. I know it's tough but I hope. That being said, I'm an idealistic realist.

What else? I like musicals. I like cheesy movies. I like desserts. I like the beach.

I want to get married one day.