Friday, December 30, 2016

Thanks, 2016!

You were awesome! :D

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Quick post...

Can't believe the year is almost over.

The past few days have been crazy. Work this week is a bit slow. I think it's because a lot of the clients are on winter vacation mode.

Meanwhile, I had my first Christmas in Tokyo. Yay!

I'm glad good friend I-van planned a trip to Tokyo around this time. What would have mostly likely been a solo Christmas became a super fun one!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

What a year it's been... 1 of xxx

Sheesh, I can't believe it's almost the end of 2016.

What a year it has been. There are so many things to be thankful for.

In the next few posts, I'd like to have a look back at this wonderful year before I welcome 2017.

Lord Grantham did say, "If we don't respect the past, we'll find it harder to build a future"

The year started with me staying in Bangkok for about a month. Some time last year, I started thinking about what to do moving forward. I love Singapore. I really do. What I wasn't comfortable about was having to renew my work visa every two years. So after having my application for Permanent Residency rejected for four times, I thought it was time to consider my next move.

That's how I thought about teaching. I believed it was something I could do. It is something I think I can do for a long time.

I looked for some English language teaching courses to beef up my credentials. Initially, I found a few courses in Singapore. Continuous research led me to a blog post about CELTA. I got in touch with the blogger to ask some questions. I read some more about CELTA. I was convinced that it was going to be useful.

The next step was deciding where to take it - Singapore or a neighboring country like Thailand. I could take the course in SG but it cost an arm and a leg. I decided to take it in Bangkok. I found two centers that offered the course. In May 2015, I sent my application to IH Bangkok. I did the Skype interview. I got accepted. The next few months were spent preparing for the course. I bought English language teaching books. I signed up for an online grammar course for a refresher. I prepped as much as I could for six months.

Come January this year, I felt ready for the course. It was a good one month in Bangkok. I made some good friends. It was a foretaste of living alone in a country where I don't know anyone. Above all, it was an enriching experience. I'm glad I did the course. I was also happy that I decided to indulge in books and online courses. They were most helpful.

By the time I returned to Singapore in the first week of February, I already had a plan in mind.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Grammar Stuff: Past Perfect

Late last year, I bought a book entitled "Practical English Usage" by Michael Swan. It's one very useful reference book. It's my go-to for a lot of grammar questions. I was told that I don't have to know grammar since that's not the focus of my current company. However, I'm glad that I have the book because I've had a number of students ask some grammar-related questions.

So, on my free time, I've been jugling between Japanese grammar and English grammar. I thought it might be useful to write down some of the things I have trouble with... for easy reference. All these are from Practical English Usage: New International (student's edition Revised) by Michael Swan (ISBN: 9780194420969)

Today, it's about an Aspect I'm often confused about - the Perfect aspect. In particular, the Past Perfect.

Form: had + past participle ( I HAD FORGOTTEN.)

Meaning and Use: Earlier Past
Something had already happened at the time we are talking about.

When I arrived at the club, Jon HAD already GONE home.

Used to talk about things that had happened before the saying/thinking took place:

I TOLD her that I HAD finished... (NOT that I HAVE finished)


Used for unreal events

Used to talk about how long something had continued up to a pat moment.

When they got married, they HAD KNOWN each other for 10 years (NOT... they knew each other for 10 years)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Fun Sunday night...

The highlight of today was meeting up with friend Dean.

I've been wanting to go to Shake Shack and find out what all the fuss was about. My original plan was to go with Tey. Unfortunately, her trip got canceled. I asked Dean if he wanted to go to the place. Surprise, surprise. It turned out he's never been.

We were very lucky because the branch we went to was not crowded tonight. Maybe because it's a Sunday? I dunno. The last time I was at Meiji Jingu Gaien, Shake Shack was packed. There was a looooong queue.

Tonight, we were blessed. Omg, the burgers were really good. Juicy, savory, heavenly. Haha! The cheese fries were also nice. However, it got cold fast because of the weather. The shakes were sinfully delicious! I tried one of the Christmas flavors and it was awesome!

After dinner, Dean suggested we go to a nearby batting cage. I've never been so I was up for it. It was actually funnnn! One round was 21 batting tries. I managed to do 3 rounds. Hmm, surprisingly I did hit the ball a few times. Haha! I definitely want to try it again!

It was a super Sunday night thanks to Dean!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas is almost here...

But I don't really feel it...


I need to find time to sit down and write a proper blog post. Ugh!

Today was a pretty good day.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Let's practice Japanese writing...

5じはんにおきました。 それから、 シャワーをあびて、かいしゃにいきました。9じにしごとのあさをおわりました。おおてまちから、ほりきりしょぶえんにかえりました。きょうのごご 1じかんぐらいドトール カフェで にほんごをべんきょうしました。

Friday slow day...

Today was a bit of a slow day at work.

It's somewhat okay though. I managed to do other things that I wanted to do.

This morning, I only had two lessons. I headed back home around 9AM. I did some house chores and I also spent an hour studying the た-form. The conjugation is similar to the て-form but a bit challenging.

I thought about going for a lunch time jog, but I really couldn't stand the weather. I need to find a way to get some exercise done inside my room. Hmm, if I'm able to do Combat in my room in Singapore, I should be able to do Combat in my room here since it's a bit more spacious. Hehe!

Around 2PM, I went back to Otemachi. I spent about an hour preparing for tomorrow's and Sunday's lessons. It's a slow day so I decided to go to a nearby cafe so I can continue studying Japanese. I would really, really like to get better.

It's getting tougher and tougher, but it's not like I have a choice, right? Lol!

When I went back to the office, my one lessons for the night turned into 3 lessons. The second lesson was thanks to a co-instructor who gave me his lessons. The third lesson was with another client, who booked just now. I don't remember the client so this should be interesting.

Hmm, I could really, really use some ハイ ボール but I don't think I could since I'll finish work at 10PM. We'll see, I can still have it at my house I guess...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


It's been a slow day... at work and in general.

I only had two lessons this morning. After my lessons, I went to Shinjuku to do some bank transfer services. I am seriously missing the ease and convenience of DBS Internet banking. I've yet to figure how to do a direct bank transfer to my account in SG. This time, I had to trouble Jon to get the money from a Moneygram counter and deposit it to my account.

Anyway, after finishing my bank errands, I headed back to my office area. Since I only decided to open my evening lessons this morning, I don't think I'll get any lesson bookings.

Feeling a bit down, I decided to go first to my happy place in Ginza to see if there's any pick-me-up. There were almost a few. LOL! Since I had time to kill, I decided to walk from Ginza all the way to Otemachi. The weather was lovely and Otemachi is just a little over a kilometer away from Ginza.

It was a good walk.

Now, I'm just here in my cube chilling. Tomorrow, I'm only teaching in the morning and I've already prepped for those lessons so I'm good. In the afternoon, I only have to go to the earthquake evacuation drill. I decided to skip teaching in the evening so that I can meet up with friend Makoto.


So, my best friend from the Philippines did not push through with her trip.

I know she did everything she could to make the trip happen but, yeah...

Hmm, I'm really saddened by the situation because I've been looking forward to seeing her. I already made reservations at restaurants, I thought about where we could go, I made dinner arrangements with one of our Japanese friends. I don't really care about having to cancel the reservations.

But I've just been slightly low-spirited yesterday and the other day.

Before the trip was canceled, I fixed my work schedule so that I can take the afternoon of today, tomorrow and Friday off. I also took Thursday off so I could hang out a full day with her.

Now, I decided to open my evening lessons for today and Friday. I could defo use the work.

I chose to keep the Thursday off. Hmm, I haven't had a proper off day since I first started working. I should start having one in my weekly schedule or else, I'll burn myself out fast... even though I enjoy the job. Hehe!

So, I think I'll just do something nice on Thursday and still pretend that the trip pushed through.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Dumpling party...

It was a fun Saturday night.

One of my new friends, Jack, hosted a dumpling party at his place and he was kind enough to invite me.

I thought I'd invite Dean to be my plus one. It would be a good opportunity to catch up with Dean. Thankfully, he didn't have any appointments last night.

The night turned out to be absolutely fun! We made dumplings from scratch. And maybe the fact that there was good music playing in the background, people were having drinks made the atmosphere really fun. Or maybe, it was just really a party full of fun people!

It was a perfect ending to my tiring Saturday. Haha! Thanks, Jack, for the invite!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

It's December....

I can't believe it's already December!!! Time flies!

What a year it's been! 2016 is definitely one of the best years of my life. Haha!

Today, I went to the Philippine embassy because I need to renew my passport. Initially, I made an appointment to have it renewed in Singapore. But then, the whole move to Tokyo happened.

The biggest difference is that it's sooo much easier to get a passport renewal appointment here in Tokyo than in Singapore. I dunno. Maybe I'm just lucky. In Singapore, I didn't have time to renew my passport because the next available appointment date was two months (or was it a month?) later. Here, I made the appointment online two days ago and voila, there was an available date today.

The online appointment can be done --

The second biggest difference is the required documents. I only had to bring my old passport, a printout of the application form, a self-addressed letter pack, a copy of my IC, and that was it. (I've to find out though how to register with POEA/OWWA and also how to pay my SSS and PhilHealth).

My appointment was between 1:30 and 3:30. Singapore taught me to be kiasu so I was in Roppongi by 12. Haha! That gave me enough time to grab a quick bite before heading to the embassy.

The whole thing took about 90 minutes or so.

Looking forward to get my new passport.... in a month or two.