Sunday, May 31, 2015

A 9KM trail walk, a guided tour and a good Mass...

It was such a tiring Sunday. Thankfully, tomorrow is a holiday because of Vesak Day.

I had three things on my agenda today - 1.) nature walk with Mr. Lim, Des and Justin; 2.) join the guided tour of fellow museum guide Lionel at the newly-opened Indian Heritage Centre and; 3.) Mass at St. Ignatius.

The morning walk with the three guys was at the Green Corridor trail. The trail was where the former KTM railway tracks used to be. It was rather an easy trail because it was very flat terrain. The main concern really was the scorching heat of the sun. As I mentioned in a previous post, the hot and humid weather these past few days was close to unbearable. This morning though, I think the weather was better compared to yesterday's and Friday's.

Some parts of the trail had no shade, but most parts did have some tree shade. Anyone who wonders whether Singapore has any greens simply has to hit the Green Corridor trail. At certain sections, it feels like being transported to the countryside of some other country because there are only trees and greeneries in sight. No skyscrapers. No HDB flats.

The walk was really relaxing. There were other groups of people who were also doing a Sunday morning walk. There were others who were on their mountain/trail bikes. I enjoyed seeing a lot of birds and different types of butterflies. Other sightings were a water hen and its four chicks, a squirrel, a snake crossing the path. Yikes! Haha!

The whole walk we did was just about close to 9K. It was rather nice. I dun mind going back to do the trail.

From Rifle Range area, Mr. Lim drove to Little India. Des and Justin, on the other hand, bid us farewell. They didn't join us in the afternoon activity since they had their own plans.

It was my first time to visit the Indian Heritage Centre. The building is beautiful. I'd love to see it at night. The guided tour was at 2PM. Because it's free entrance at the museum this April, there were a lot, a lot of people. Lionel's tour started with just about 10 of us. When we went in the galleries, the number of people swelled to about 20 to 30. Hehe! I still followed the tour but I let the other people get a better spot. Anyway, I can always join the next tour of Lionel. I loved the fourth level of the museum. That was where most of the old artefacts were. I'm definitely returning for a longer appreciation time of the artefacts. Hehe!

After his guided tour, Mr. Lim headed back while I had a snack with Lionel at a nearby cafe. He introduced me to an Indian dessert called appam and ladoo. Both nice. I prefer the appam though. Haha!

By 430, I said buhbye to Lionel and walked over to the bus stop at Bukit Timah Road. I took Bus 48 to get to the church of St. Ignatius. I really like the church because the priests, just like the priests at St Mary of the Angels and at St. Anthony, give very good homilies. The homilies given are something people can relate to and are not very doctrinal at all. The Jesuits and the Franciscans really know how to give good homilies. Hehe!

The Mass ended a little after 7. I then headed back because I was just dead tired and aching for a hot shower and an early night. Richie invited to go tugs tonight but I'm really beat. Other than that, I have things I plan to do tomorrow. These include writing my museum paper, studying my Japanese lessons and other house chores.

So now, I'll just finish this post and call it a night. Thank you, Lordy, for a nice weekend.

Packed weekend, as usual...

It's a long weekend. Most of my friends are overseas for a holiday trip. RKGreg and MkSurf8 are in Perth. Tian3x is in Bandung. Even Mon is out of town for the weekend. Hehe. We were messaging each other yesterday and he said that he was on his way to JB with colleagues for an overnight stay.

It really didn't occur to me to plan an overseas trip as I am saving for the trip to Cambodia with Mom by end of June. Yeah, Cambodia is very budget-friendly but I'm buying plane tickets for two, hotel accomms for two, tour packages for two. Hehe! Not that I'm complaining. I'm really looking forward to the trip because 1.) Mom has no idea that we're going to Siem Reap (I just told her that I'll meet her in KL); 2.) it's her birthday on the third day of the trip and she has always wanted to visit Siem Reap.

Anyway, Friday and Saturday were still busy (as expected). Friday late afternoon, I made the trip to the East to join the send-off dinner for Rej. Her best gal pals hosted an intimate dinner at Jackie's place in Tampines. Initially, I told Rej to meet me at the airport for dinner since we didn't get to spend a lot of time chatting last Tuesday. Plans changed because of the dinner. A lot of food, of course! Good food! Hehe! After dinner, Jackie and her fam drove Rej to the airport. It was really nice seeing her. She'll be back in August so there's not enough time to miss this friend. Haha!

Yesterday, I went to Pump with Jon in the morning. We went for the usual class at Westgate. Jon thankfully made it in the nick of time to secure the last slot for the class. Yahoo! Again, because of the energy-draining heat, I found Pump to be quite tough. Gym was followed by a well-deserved lunch at Din Tai Fung.

In the afternoon, I headed to the museum for volunteer work. I had a big diverse group. About 22 people - Americans, Indians, Singaporeans, Indonesian, Malaysian and Irish! Interesting group to guide. The last agenda for the day was dinner with Richie and Ian. It was a rather impromptu dinner. Since Mon was out of town, I figured Richie might want to have dinner. The three of us just had a simple dinner at The Asian Kitchen in Raffles Link before parting ways.

When I got home, there was still time to FaceTime with Tipz. Hehe! Surprisingly, he was still awake. Well, not really surprisingly, since he usually sleeps late. I was complaining of the hot weather. He was complaining of the cold weather in Sydney. Hehe! We had a good chitchat for close to an hour before saying buh bye. Good catchup. I can't wait to visit Sydney!

Moving on, the weather these past few days has been close to unbearable. I really shouldn't be complaining given that India is experiencing 50 degrees lately and a thousand lives were already lost. I'm just saying that it has been very hot in the island lately. It's the kind of heat that saps the energy out of you. It's no wonder then that I've been sleeping very early (10PM, 1030PM). Hehe!

Alright, I have to end this post as I am going for a nature walk this morning. God help us with the heat. Hehe! It's a packed Sunday as well - nature walk, museum visit and Mass.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Friday, May 29, 2015

It was a happy Thursday...

Image from here

Today was a good day.

I woke up at 5:30AM, got up fifteen minutes later and then changed into running clothes. Around 6, I headed out and made my way to the park connector. It was still dark when I reached the park connector and when I started my run.

Since I had a bunch of things to do today, I decided I'll just do a short 3K run. Having run a few times at the park connector, I'm slowly getting an idea of how far I should go to hit a 3K. Hehe! I started early today so I missed having a view of the sun rays bringing colour to the sky. Still, it was a good start for the day.

Afterwards, it was work as usual. From today until next Friday, it will be quite busy for me as I am covering for a colleague who was called to serve the nation for close to two weeks. I'm hoping that his counterparts will not give me a headache. Hehe!

Around noontime, I had a meeting which had good results. I thought it wasn't going well but I was pleased to hear good feedback afterwards.

In the evening, I had my Japanese class. In a previous post, I think I wrote how I do well in the first half of the class and how I get a headache by the second half of the class. Well, I'm happy to share that tonight I did well even in the second half of the class.

What was different?

It involved self-motivation and realigning my mindset. The past few weeks, I've been struggling with the second half of the class, yes. But on top of that, I kept thinking that this class is so difficult or that this teacher does not adopt to the learning level of the students. The result is I shut out whatever the teacher was saying.

Tonight, I really prepped myself for the class. I studied the lessons days ahead of the class. I did my practice. But the most important thing I did differently tonight was to really open my mind and tell myself, "Never mind if the teacher speaks the natural pace, I will try my very best to listen and understand what was being said."

It worked. I was able to understand almost 85% of what the teacher was saying. The remaining 15% I had to raise my hand and ask the teacher to repeat or clarify. What was also different about tonight was I enjoyed the class. I may have dreaded the start of the second half. But after doing a self-check, I found myself feeling better and really enjoying.

So yeah, no headache when I left school today and on my way home. Yay!

Today was a good day....

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

About tonight and last night...

I just got home not too long ago. I came from the library to do some school work.

Sheesh, almost three hours at the library and I didn't even finish half of the things that I wanted to do. Yes, I finished my assignments for tomorrow. Yes, I finished reading and prepping for tomorrow's lesson. However, there are still some other things I wanted to work on.

Before I know it, the PA announcement went on saying that the library was closing in 30 mins. Then came the fifteen minute announcement. The last was a five minute announcement. And finally, at exactly 9PM, the announcement that the library was closed came on. Hehe!

I really, really, really love the libraries in Singapore! I sometimes wish though that there was a library that's open until 11PM. Or even better, how about a library that's open for 24 hours? There's a gym that's open round the clock for people who want to work out at 2 or 3 in the morning. There's a department store that's open 24 hours in case one wants to do his/her grocery during the wee hours of the morning. Why not a 24 hour library then? Hehe!


The other thing I wanted to write about was a spontaneous get-together with former Singapore- now Dubai-based friend Rej. She surprised all of her friends when she messaged yesterday morning that she was in town for work. Her close girl friends then organised a surprise get-together for her.

I was originally planning to go to the library last night so I can go to the gym tonight. But when a friend is in town, you drop certain things for them. No questions asked. Hehe! So along with all her other friends, we surprised Rej when we showed up at the karaoke place in Cathay Cineleisure.

It's always good to see old friends. Last night was also extra special because it was also a reunion of sorts for former Smartees PA people. CorpComm = Rej and I. MedRel = Arlyn. ComParts = Joann. We just had to take a photo and I sent it to our dear boss, RRI. Hehe!

This entry will be rather short as I really want to get up early tomorrow to have a short run around the neighbourhood before I start my day. Just before I started to write this post, my Japanese friend called me via Facebook (I didn't know there's such a feature) to confirm that he and his family will be in town this August. We chatted for a bit before he went back to his colleagues as they were out drinking on a Wednesday night. Hehe! Looking forward to see him and the fam this August.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Uneventful Monday, or so I thought....

Today was quite an uneventful Monday.

It did start on a very good note though. I have two very efficient colleagues to thank for this. Long story short, some people screwed up the order of a very important client. How these people managed to screw up such very simple instructions just baffles me. Technically, I should not be involved in the situation because the issue is outside of my department. However, the client copied me in the email since we worked together previously.

So, last Friday, I reached out to these colleagues desperately asking them to move mountains just to meet the request of the client. Our biggest hurdle was time. The client needed some copies of his work delivered to a specific location by today. My two colleagues told me they could not guarantee anything. We just hope for the best.

This morning, when I checked my email, I was extremely, extremely happy to see that the materials reached the client on time. Yahoooo!

I told my manager about the whole incident. I also told her that technically, this was outside of my job scope. It wasn't because I was complaining. I understood how serious the errors were. I understood that the mistake can have implications on our company's relationship with the client's organisation. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't to be blamed for anything because I was the one the client emailed. My manager just said, "Well, it's because we always solve things!"

In a way, it's true. I'm just really glad that the crisis was resolved! Phew! This morning, I made sure that I thanked my two colleagues over and over! Hehe!

Hmm, what else happened during the day? I started the day by going to the grocery to buy items for the week. There is something therapeutic about doing the grocery on an early morning. I find it relaxing because the supermarket is not crowded at all. I also enjoy doing the self-checkout. I like scanning my items and bagging them. Hehe!

I also had to pass by an AXS machine to pay for SG-KL-SG flight I booked for my holiday with Mama this end of June. I'm sooooo looking forward to it.

Noontime, I spent an hour talking with a new Japanese teacher on italki. I stopped my italki sessions with my previous teacher because work got extremely busy. I decided to try a new teacher just to see if he's any better. I really like my previous language teacher but I also like this current one. First, he uses the book that I have so we can work on exercise together. Second, he uses a headset so conversation is clearer. Third, he can adjust his speech pace to a pace I can understand. Since the session today went well, I decided to book another session with him for next week. Let's see how it'll go.

In the evening, I just went to the gym for Pump. I did Pump yesterday, but I thought I'll do it again today. Hehe! Before going to the gym, I passed by the bookstore because I wanted to buy some nice pens and a mechanical pencil. I saw the Kuru Toga pencils I've been looking for. My mistake was I didn't check the "Made in..." section of the packaging because I was too excited. On my way home, I was inspecting the pencil and to my disappointment, it wasn't the pencil I was looking for. Sigh. Need to continue looking. Haha!

Now, I'm updating the iOS on my phone while I blog. My phone keeps getting the No SIM installed error message. I read some articles on this error and one recommendation was to do an iOS update. Let's hope it solves the issue. Haha!

Oh, lastly, the Kindle is back to life. After a two-month break from reading, I finally found the time and the title to read again. A fellow museum guide reco'd Sarah Thornton's Seven Days in the Art World. It's very fitting since I'm going through the training for an art museum. Lol! Last night, I found the time to top up my Amazon card balance so I can purchase the ebook. This evening, I started to read while waiting for Pump registration. I'm enjoying it so far.

Whew! Reading this post now, it seems like a lot happened during today. Haha!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Thank you, Lea Salonga, for a great Saturday night...

Well, Saturday night was definitely the highlight of this weekend.

More than the Katy Perry concert, I was more excited to see Lea Salonga's concert. I may have mentioned in a previous post how I was slightly crushed when I learned that all tickets for the concert were already sold out. I was on the verge of being desperate to get my hands on tickets that I scoured the Internet for ticket resellers. There was one guy who was selling me tickets at a ridiculous price. A day or two before I was going to confirm buying the tickets, not one, not two but three friends messaged me on Facebook to inform me that the concert will have a second performance night.

Wooohooo! The heavens have heard my prayers. Hehe!

Without wasting any time, I booked the ticket and forgot about it for the next few weeks until last week.

I was soooo excited for the concert that I made sure there would be no other activities for the day. There was one, museum volunteer training, but it was something I really wanted to do.

Other than that, the afternoon was just spent resting and having a siesta.

Before going to the concert, I met up with Mon at City Hall for dinner. Richie originally planned to join us but he forgot that he had another appointment he couldn't get out of. So, Mon and I just met up with him around 7 and we all walked to nearby Esplanade.

The tickets were the cheapest, I think. It was less than $60. We figured that since it was a concert, what mattered more was that we could hear her sing rather than see her up close. Hehe!

The concert promptly started at 730 and for the next two hours or so, Lea just captivated the audience with her vocal prowess. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Her repertoire for the night was a good mix of pop, classic, Disney, musical theatre, and of course, OPM. There was no doubt that the Filipinos in the audience, including me, were expecting a few Filipino songs. Hehe! She got the audience to sing "Let It Go" with her, as well as get up from our seats to sing and dance to an ABBA medley.

On several instances, I found myself saying, "Oh my god! Oh my god!" because of how beautifully she sang a song. Even the international guests (does it sound more politically correct?) were enthralled by her voice. (The Singaporean lady seated next to me asked for the titles of the two Filipino songs - Freddie Aguilar's Anak and George Canseco's/Louie Ocampo's Ikaw). We came. We saw. Lea definitely conquered.

After the show, I dragged Jon to queue with me to get an autograph from Lea. I was hoping that we can get a photo with her, but she didn't have photographs with fans taken. To my really delightful surprise, we saw a long queue of Filipinos, Singaporeans and I suppose other nationalities queueing to get an autograph and to say hello to Lea.

By the time Lea signed the photos we bought, it was almost close to midnight. I checked the last train departing for Joo Koon from City Hall. It was at 1155PM. And so, with only a few minutes to spare, Jon and I made a mad dash to reach City Hall MRT station. When we reached the station, there was already an announcement calling passengers to board the train as it was the last train to Joo Koon. I, on the other hand, decided to take the last Red Line train all the way to Kranji. From Kranji, I will just take a cab to my place. But thankfully, thankfully, I was also able to catch the last train to Jurong East via Woodlands. That meant I was able to alight at my station. Yay!

What a fantastic Saturday night at Lea Salonga's concert! :-) I felt super proud to be Asian, Southeast Asian and siyempre, Filipino! :)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Random hello...

A few days ago, I decided to go for Pump at one of the gyms not too far from the office. To get to the gym, I had to take a short train ride.

Once the train doors opened, I went in, walked over to a not so crowded spot and did a quick scan of the people around. I had quick eye-to-eye contact with one guy and nonchalantly looked elsewhere. Then I found myself looking at the guy again and blurting out, "Hello." Lol!

It was the instructor of the Pump class I planned to attend. I've attend a few of his classes. I think he's a good instructor. But as with most of the gym instructors, I would usually just say a quick "Thank you for the class!" after the session and I wouldn't really engage in a real conversation.

This time, I found myself in a conversation because 1.) I already acknowledged his presence and he saw me acknowledging him; 2.) I just found myself saying "Hello!" and; 3.) I thought it would be weird that I ignored him in the train only to see me at the front row of his class later on. Lol!

So yeah, I ended up having a friendly chat with him.

The price I had to pay for this was having my name called out during the class. Lol! The tracks I always find challenging are Biceps and Chest. Throughout those tracks, the instructor called out my name two or three times. It felt awkward because that has never really happened before. Haha!

As expected though, it was a good class. Immediately after, I just said thanks and headed to the lockers to shower and get ready to go home.

Last night, I had a difficult Japanese class and I was feeling frustrated. On the way home, I was just too focused on reading some articles on difficulties encountered by language learners. When the train doors opened, I was on auto-pilot mode so I just stepped in, looked for a not-so-crowded area with my eyes locked on the article I was reading.

I was really disconnected from my surrounding so I was a bit surprised when I saw someone get up from his seat and walk over to where I was. It was the instructor. Lol. I think he mentioned where he stays but it escaped my mind. Hehe!

Anyway, I apologised that I didn't say hello and it was because I really didn't see him. I also used as an excuse that I just came from a challenging class that gave me a headache. Haha! Again, we ended up chatting until the train arrived at the station where he usually alights.

I just thought I'd write about this because I was amused by the whole incident. I'm amused because I usually just keep to myself when I'm in the train. I read a book or the news or I stare out the window and just take in the Singapore view. Hehe. The only incident I would maybe strike a conversation with a random stranger is when I'm on holiday overseas or when I'm really buzzed. Haha! But in this case, because of an unplanned blurting out of "Hello," it seems I made a friend at the gym. Hehe.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Nice view during this morning's run...

Since I slept at 1030 last night, I managed to wake up this morning and do what I planned - to go for a short run.

Because of museum training tonight and Japanese class tomorrow night, I won't be able to go to the gym at all. Last night, I was not able to go to the gym as well as I spent a few hours at the library studying for the class this Thursday.

That's why I decided to sleep early so that I can wake up for a run this morning. I'll be honest. I rarely go for runs at 630 in the morning. In fact, it was still dark when I stepped out of the house. Hehe!

Surprisingly, I didn't feel like I was going to faint when I started my slow run. 3K. That's the distance I decided to do today as I did not want to feel so tired after the run. According to Runkeeper, I did 3.66K. Not bad, eh?

Omw back to my starting point, I had to stop because I couldn't help but notice the beautiful sky. I had to take a photo. For morning views like the one above, I will gladly wake up early.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Busy Sunday but not as tiring as Saturday...

Saturday was very packed with activities, very tiring and left me very much wanting my bed by the day ended. Sunday was equally packed with activities but without the fatigue. Hehe!

Thanks to 7 hours of sleep, I managed to still wake up early. Around 630AM, if I remember correctly. I wanted to hit the gym to do cardio. Instead, I decided to go for a run at the nearby park connector. It was rather late when I stepped out of the house, around 8AM. The sun was already high up and it was starting to get really hot. There were still quite a number of joggers, cyclists who were going for their morning fitness activity. I was quite happy with my run. I managed to finish a full 5K without any stops. The pace was also good, I thought, for someone who rarely runs.

I finished my run and reached my house a little after 9AM. I decided to not have breakkie since I was meeting a friend for lunch. Instead, I just settled for iced Milo that I made myself. Hehe!

Close to 11, I left the house. First stop was Chili's. Good thing my friend agreed to have lunch at Chili's. I didn't mind eating at the food court at Tanglin Mall. However, I do try to eat better during weekends. Since I had a wonderful dinner last Saturday at Sakunthala, I was happy that the "eat well" weekend continued the day after.

From Tanglin Mall, we walked over to St. Regis. The first time I went to St. Regis was during @RKGreg's birthday bash a few months ago. The lobby was already impressive, but what I really found jaw-dropping was the art pieces showcase at the hotel's lobby. I couldn't resist taking photos. This time, I went back to take photos of the art pieces as part of training for museum guiding. My groupmates wanted to practice "guiding" using the art pieces at St. Regis as an example. I volunteered to go to St. Regis to take the photos.

I completely enjoyed myself as I was able to spend quite some time with the pieces. I took photos of 2 works by Cheong Soo Pieng, 2 works by Chen Wen Hsi, 1 piece by Liu Kang, 1 piece by Georgette Chen. These are the superstars of early Singapore art scene. I also took photos by works of second-gen artists such as Ong Kim Seng, Eng Tow, Chua Ek Kay, and Chen Kezhan. I was definitely one happy boy.

The last agenda for the day was hearing Mass at the Church of St. Ignatius in Farrer Road. I'm really liking the church because the priests can give a very good homily.

After Mass, I just headed back home, spent a few hours prepping for Monday and then finally called it a night.

What a good weekend! Thank you, Lordy!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tired, really tired, lol...

What a looong Saturday it was! How I am still able to operate at this hour, I have no idea. Hehe!

Just a quick recap of the day, and then I'm going to hit the sack.

After closing the issue (finally!) at 1AM, I turned off the lights and jumped into bed. The problem was it took me some time before I finally got to sleep. I'm not sure if it was because of the coffee I drank or because my mind was still awake. Even with my sound machine that played chirping birds, crickets and evening rain (seriously!), I only fell asleep after 15 minutes. I was hoping I would get at least 6 hours of sleep. Well, no surprise, I was up at 6.

Aware that there was no way I can go back to sleep, I just decided to get up and start the day. First stop was Jollibee at Lucky Plaza. I've been craving for tocilog or tapsilog. Jollibee was the only Filipino food place open when I reached LP. I was that early. Haha!

From LP, I took the bus to go to YMCA. The first agenda for the day was a continuation of the museum training. For three hours, I sat through a lecture on Chinese ink and calligraphy, and a bit about the artist named Wu Guanzhong. Tipz should know the man because we visited his exhibit ages ago.

After museum training, I grabbed a quick bite with my fellow docents before heading to the National Museum. I volunteered to help man the Museum Volunteers booth for two hours. There's a call for volunteers for next year. I hung out with fellow docent and good friend Lionel. We managed to get a few signups and I was also interviewed by a Thai student on the Philippine national anthem and flag. By 4PM, I was so sleepy.

I was tempted to go home but I had plans to go to the library. So.... from Dhoby Ghaut, I took the train to Bishan. There were books I meant to borrow and they were located in Bishan. Also, I asked PG Boy to help me borrow the books. I really should consider getting a library card and pay the annual $50 membership fee since I spend so much time at the library, anyway. We'll see.

While waiting for PG Boy, I managed to do some of my extracurricular work. Around 5 plus, Richie messaged to ask for dinner. He initially suggested The Rice Table. I was craving for Indian food. He suggested Sakunthala in Farrer Park. I asked PG Boy if he had plans. After telling me that dinner was with his best friend WC, I just told him to join us instead. Thankfully, WC was okay with it.

From Bishan, we took the train to Serangoon. At Serangoon, we changed to the Purple Line and headed to Farrer Park. I felt like I've been on my feet the entire day and I was just really tired. Lol!

It was a gooooood diner at Sakunthala! I will admit that I ate more than usual. I figured since I'm at a good Indian food place, I might as well eat the food that I want. After dinner, we passed by Mustafa where Richie hoarded several bags of different types of nuts. From Mustafa, PG Boy and WC headed to City Square to catch Mad Max, Richie went his own way to catch a cab, and I made my way to the MRT to head back.

What a tiring but productive day!

...anything or everything for the picture

Image from here

In the documentary "In Vogue: The Editor's Eye," fashion designer/ex-Vogue sittings editor Vera Wang said, "...anything or everything for the picture!"

I completely understand what she means and I can relate to those words, having been in the magazine industry for two (or was it three?) years. That was the time when some friends and I just went "crazy" and said, "Let's put up our own LGBT magazine!" The next thing we know, ICON was born.

Tonight, I am having that "...anything or everything for the picture!" moment. The only difference is this time is that I'm working on a complete issue and not just one photo.

This past two (or three?) months, I've been working with editors, typesetters, copyeditor, proofreader and authors putting a special issue together for one of the journals I handle.

It has been quite a challenge to shepherd this particular issue because we have a very short working period to complete the issue.

Tonight is a very crucial point because the issue needs to be sent to press by this weekend in order to meet its publication deadline. I have never had an issue miss its deadline and I don't want to tarnish that record. Lol!

This past week has been extremely challenging as I have been repeatedly hounding my editors for their final set of corrections for the issue. Up until this evening, I was corresponding with one of the editors. The thing is two editors are in the US, one editor is in Amsterdam, the series editor is in the US. Add to that a typesetter who is in another timezone and then there's me in another timezone. Thank goodness for the World clock feature of iPhone. I had to find out the local time for everyone so I can properly set deadlines. Haha!

Right now, I am waiting for the typesetter to send the final files of the issue so that I can have one final look. Hopefully, hopefully, there are no more corrections because the issue already needs to go to press. I can't afford to have a late night as well because I have a morning training tomorrow for the museum. Need my proper sleep.

But at this particular moment, "...anything or everything for the issue!"

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Superhero Fight Club...

Two series I'm really addicted to at the moment are Arrow and The Flash.

It started with Arrow. Later on, I got addicted to The Flash as well. Hehe!

I love how in some episodes, characters from both shows cross over to the other show.

Anyway, the show's producers put together this Fight Club-inspired promo for the final episodes of the two series.

I love it.

Monday, May 11, 2015

I'm going to tell you a secret...

I'm going to tell you a secret.

From late January/early February of this year up until yesterday, I was dating someone.

JKT Boy is two years short of turning 30, graduate from one of Singapore's top university, holds a PhD degree (and he's not even 30!), and works for a health sciences-related government agency.

But I guess one of the best things I like about JKT Boy is that he is also a practicing Catholic. Yup, a practicing Catholic. In fact, I think he is even more devout than I am. Hehe!

So, for the past three months, I've been seeing him regularly. We've been attending Sunday Mass together. We talk to each other everyday. We do pretty much what couples usually do...

except we don't have the title of a couple.

Right from the start, I made it clear that I'm not ready for a commitment, that I'm not sure I'm ready for a relationship.

Yesterday, that became extremely clear. I told him we should just be friends.

He asked me if it had something to do with him or if it was because of my current situation--the lack of a sense of permanence. I told him it was a mix of both. I told him I need to work on my own situation first before I get myself into a relationship or some kind of serious commitment. To him, he felt that I was pushing people away from being too close. He was adamant about keeping things going, saying that two people can help each other out with each other's issues. But I know myself. And I know I don't want to drag someone into my own issues because I would end up thinking about my issues and I would end up worrying about the other person thinking about my issues.

He had his own issues as well. At first, I was hesitant to tell him about it because it was his own issue and it's better for him to work on it and figure it out on his own. But he was persistent. Basically, I told him that I don't want to get into a relationship or any commitment whereby I will be introduced as the "best friend," the "friend from the Philippines," or worse, where I will be the secret. I don't want to the double life of the person whereby he has a life with his friends, and then he has his life with me. I don't want to not be known by the family. I know that I am now capable and ready to introduce someone to my own family, to friends in Manila, in Singapore or anywhere. I somewhat expect something similar.

Bottomline: I have my own issues that I want to sort out on my own. He has his own issues to sort out as well.

Looking back at our conversation right now and the past three months, I am confident to say that JKT Boy is a keeper. He and I don't have a lot of things in common but the past three months have been working because we meet halfway. And under different circumstances, I would be happy be in a relationship with him. Ours was really just a case of "right emotions at the wrong timing."

Last night, omw home, we were still chatting lightly over WhatsApp. He sent the above message. That made it even more clear that yeah, this guy is a keeper. And who knows? Maybe when I hit 42, things would be better for both of us and if we're bound to meet again, it will happen.

On another note, another lesson learned from all of this is that I really should just take a break from dating or at the very least, not get myself into serious dating. Although I am leaning more towards the former. This is the second time since PG Boy that I almost got myself into a relationship. First there was NB Boy, then there's JKT Boy. In both cases, including PG Boy's, I got out because of the same reasons. Sp yeah, I think I should just stop dating for now.

Anyway, as it is, my plate is already full with work, gym, volunteer work, Japanese lessons, to name a few things. It gets lonely at times, yeah, but I have faith that I have been blessed with enough good friends to keep me happy and sane. Haha!

Last night, I messaged Richie and Mon, "I'm going to tell you a secret." I gave them a gist of the JKT Boy story.

Richie asked, "Why did you keep it from us, friend?" I said, "Hmm, I wanted to spare you guys or any other friends from another 'almost a relationship' story."

I can write about it now because it is over. I will maybe hang on that WhatsApp message above.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

What a Saturday night...

What an insane night last night was! Haha!

One hotel room, 30 plus people, a mix of Malaysians, Singaporeans, HongKongers, Filipinos, good food, good booze, lots of laughter and good conversations.

That's basically a very short and very simplified description of how the birthday party was.

There were crazy moments as well. Let's just say that the number of Merlions the island has doubled. Lol! I dunno how I ended up playing Nurse Jackie to a few, haha!

It was a really fun and memorable night! I guess my favourite was the when we sang for the birthday boy. It started out in English. By the time the song was coming to an end, I yelled, "Okay, in Mandarin!" Followed by, "In Tagalog!" Then it was, "In Cantonese!" Followed by, "In Malay!" It was just amazing how everyone was game! Haha!

Congrats to Tian3X for the success of the birthday party!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Both tiring and relaxing Saturday so far...


It's been a tiring week, both because of work and my extra curricular activities.

This afternoon, I had some sort of break. By that, I mean I was able to stay at home and just take a nap for the past two hours. Haha!

Before that, I was already out of the house at 7AM and was in the city up until 2PM. My agenda this morning were museum volunteer training and brunch with PG Boy.

Museum training continues to be exciting and interesting. I definitely cannot wait for the opening of the museum later this year. At the same time, I'm a bit anxious because I have to write two papers before I become an official docent. Hehe!

After museum training, which thankfully finished on time, I walked over to the nearby Kith cafe. Since it was still before 12 noon, I didn't have to wait long to get a table for two.

It was good seeing PG Boy. The last time I saw him was during lunch with him, his best friend and Mon at a Peranakan place. I'm happy that things seem to be going okay with him and I'm happy to hear the updates about him, his fam and his circle of friends who I also know. Though there was a particular topic where he raised his voiced at me. Lol! It caught me by surprise. Lol!

Brunch with PG Boy was because I had to borrow a shirt for the birthday party I'm going to in a few hours. The birthday boy's favourite colour is green and he requested that people wear green. Hehe! More on that party tonight or tomorrow morning.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Tanoshii kurasu...

I just got home from Japanese class.

Tonight was one of those nights whereby I had a headache by the time the class ended. Haha!

Every class is three hours, but divided into two sessions. Each 90-minute session is handled by a different teacher.

The first 90-minute session is handled by my favourite Japanese teacher. She was also my teacher during the first 10 classes of the course and I must say that she is really good. I am able to follow her lessons well and I am able to fully understand the lesson.

My headache starts once the second teacher comes in. Haha! That is because she speaks in Japanese 80-85% of the time. The challenge is not that she speaks in Japanese. The challenge is that she speaks in the usual pace that Japanese pace = read: very fast. Lol!

On one hand, I think it's a good opportunity to improve my listening skills and get used to the natural Japanese pace. On the other hand, I can't help but sometimes feel stupid during the second half of the class as I am really struggling to understand what the teacher is saying. I have somehow figured out how to do better in the second-half. And that is to study, study, study days before the class. It has been working well because I am able to participate better in class. At the same time, I think some of my other classmates also struggle with the second-half. I know this because "Wakaranai" is uttered several times during the second-half. Lol! Sometimes, I am tempted to just skip the second half of the class because I do know the activities for the second half. I can just study on my own.

But I stay back and persevere because I paid for the class. Lol!

Just got to keep telling myself, "がんばって ね!" Haha!

Whoever said that Nihongo is a simple A wa B desu is fooling everyone. It gets complicated as you learn more. Lol!

It is tanoshii but also muzukashii!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Adobo et al for tonight's dinner....

Didn't eat much this morning and noontime since I Knew I was going to pig out during dinner. Haha!

Richie flew back to Singapore today. With him were dishes prepped by his Mom - pinakbet with bagnet, adobo, sinigang and monggo.

Weeks before his trip to Manila, he already told me to reserve tonight for dinner at his place.

I was, of course, extremely happy when I found out what dishes he was going to bring back! Haha!

Good start of the week. I'm one happy OFW.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Long Saturday...

It's a tiring Saturday.

To make up for a booboo last April, I volunteered to do three guiding shifts for the month of May. Hehe. Usually, volunteers are only asked to give one guided tour per month.

In any case, it was good that I volunteered to do three shifts for May as there seems to be not enough volunteers for the month. I dunno, perhaps people were or are planning to go on hols.

My first shift today was at 1130. Whenever I do this time slot, almost always I would get about just five to six visitors. Maybe it's too early for museum guests, maybe museum guests prefer to have lunch first. So I was pleasantly surprised when I had a group of about 15 people for the 1130 tour! 7 Singaporeans, 2 British, 2 Americans, 4 Indians.

The tour lasted for about an hour and a half. The main reason was I was overlapping with another guided tour. Hehe. At some points, I had to stop and wait for the other group to move forward. At some points, they had to wait for me to move forward.

My first tour ended a little past one. It gave me enough time to have coffee. I walked over to the neighbouring SMU where I got myself a kopi si and just sat down at one of the uni's benches to relax for a bit.

Close to 2PM, I headed back to the museum for my second shift.

The second shift was rather surprising because I started with a small group (for a 2PM time slot). As I expected though, more people would join once we went into the galleries. I wasn't able to get a proper count of the number of people who joined the tour. I do remember that my group included 1 Thai, 1 Taiwanese, 1 Japanese, 2 Americans, and 8 Singaporeans.

This lasted just a little over an hour, which was also good. I think both tours went well because 1.) there was an applause as I gave my closing lines and 2.) some people walked up to me to say thank you for the tour.

The last agenda for the day was anticipated Mass at St. Ignatius. I wasn't feeling very well but I went for the Mass anyway since I want to have a slow Sunday. I enjoyed the Mass! The priest was vgoood! I have to say that the Jesuits really do know how to engage the crowd, just like the Franciscans. Hehe!

Quite a busy Saturday...

Friday, May 1, 2015

May is here...

Sheesh, I can't believe I only have 9 posts for April. Haha! What's up with that? I should try to do more this May.

Let me start this month's post by writing about how the first day of May went.

It's a long weekend, and I didn't really have any out-of-town plans. I need to save for an upcoming holiday with my Mom. I need to save for another holiday later this year. Meanwhile, most of my friends headed out of the country. Hehe!

But me being me, I know I will find ways to keep myself busy, to tire myself this long weekend. Haha!

Okay, so I really wanted to hit the gym today. There was a Pump class at Fusionopolis that will be handled by two of my fave Pump instructors. However, I won't be able to go as I have another appointment at the same time as the class. So, I thought I'd just go to Westgate and hit the treadmill.

As I was prepping my stuff, I thought to myself, "Why not just run around the neighbourhood?" It's close to home and it would give me enough time to do the other things I want to do before heading out. Besides, the Park Connector close to my home is a great jogging/running/cycling path.

So, the plan to go to the gym was scrapped. Instead, I looked for my running belt which I have not used in so long. After finding it and after stashing my IC, ATM, EZ Link, some cash, my phone and earphones in it, I left the house and made my way to the park connector.

Well, it turned out to be a very good decision to run in my neighbourhood. What I initially planned to be just a 30-minute run had it been at the gym became a 51-minute run/jog. What I initially thought would be a 3.5KM run/jog became a 6.6KM run. Hahaha! Even I myself was surprised with the outcome of my morning plan. Lol!

It was definitely a good start for the month.

This afternoon, I went to NUS because I read that the Natural History Museum is now open. I was interested to go because I want to see the dinosaur skeletons. Hehe! I was able to find the museum. Sadly, all tickets for the day were already sold out. Oh well, some other time.

I decided to just use the time to walk around the almost empty NUS campus. I love the feeling of being in a university. It really brings back good memories of my own university experience.

So, that's it for 1 May.