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!