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Filipino American Expat in Singapore

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I never really bothered to enter Far East Plaza because at first glance it reminds me of Lucky Plaza (not that Lucky Plaza is bad, it is just a crowded place with souvenir stores). N and I finally had time to explore some parts of Orchard that we hadn’t been to yet (or perhaps, just skimmed through previously). We headed straight for Far East Plaza because I read somewhere that it has a really good Japanese hole-in-the-wall type of resto.

The basement of Far East Plaza reminded me of a fun shopping market in Bangkok! So many cute boutiques. Parang Greenhills na rin. They also have a diverse set of food stalls at the basement level. On the upper levels of Far East Plaza you could find Indonesian restaurants and plenty of salons. I mean, seriously, PLENTY of salons. Is this the salon capital district of Singapore? I’m thinking of getting my next haircut somewhere there.

After doing a bit of exploring we couldn’t really decide where we wanted to eat. Outside we found this cute place called “5 Little Bears” which serves authentic Tai chung cuisine (Taiwan).

The ambiance played a big factor to why we strolled inside to try some of their dishes. Well honestly I just went straight for the generic Chicken Cutlet set… but the seasoning was good. The red iced tea that came along with the set reminded me of Thai milk tea which I love.

Surprisingly it wasn’t that crowded at all. In fact, Far East Plaza is a fair distance from Orchard MRT and the perennial crowds at ION. I’d like to come back here and try other things on their menu.

Visit their website: http://www.5littlebears.com

5 Little Bears – 14 Scotts Road, #01-07 Far East Plaza (S) 228213

(You can spot 5 Little Bears out facing the front from Far East Plaza)

Later that day we did a little stroll around Orchard to visit Wheelock Place, Marks & Spencer (for the groceries), Zara (barely any people were there, why is that) and Takashimaya (for St. Leaven pastries, yum!).

His third birthday in Singapore.

Location: Beer Market, Clarke Quay

In the company of his dearest friends.

Neil suited up for the occasion.

Neil with Suzie.

Neil sang “Superman” by Five for Fighting.

Beer Market is unique because the prices of beer change every 30 minutes depending on demand.

The snacks were also amazing. The dips were outstanding!

With Arleen, Carlo, Bajo, Dessie, and Bee.

Got a little tipsy myself after trying a couple of different beers. Woohoo. 😛

Let’s speed up the Throwback Thursday rule. Originally, all photos have to be revived from 10 years back. Let’s make it 3 years back na lang... kasi I’m getting sawa na sa college photos.

In this edition: My first visit to Singapore!

In 2005, Singapore was just a destination for me and my family. I took time off from summer college classes to visit the Lion City and experience it. Eventually it became more than just a holiday destination. I fell in love with Singapore.

Here are some random snaps taken from that trip.

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If it were not for this family vacation to Singapore, I probably wouldn’t be working here today.

It’s nice to see how Singapore looked like almost nine years ago. 🙂

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Earlier…

  • It rained again after a nearly month-long dry spell over Singapore.
  • A haircut at Kimage (Junction 8).

Every Flashback Friday I’ll share photos that were taken at some point in the past two years during my blogging hiatus.

Moving to Singapore meant leaving behind my mom and dad’s home-cooked meals. In the past two years my diet consists of fast food, hawker fare, and our own home-cooked food. I’ve learned how to cook some dishes. I know I could do more but groceries cost so much + you have to clean up. Home-cooked is healthier and I should be taking pride in it. I hope I learn to cook more dishes this year.

My weight in Singapore has been consistent. I think it’s the ageing process that is adding the fattiness on my cheeks and mid-section. With all the food that is available in Singapore, you can’t help but gain some weight.

Doing the groceries with D. Yishun in 2012.

At the Singapore Zoo in 2012. My stomach bulge!

I say to myself, IT’S TIME TO LIVE HEALTHY. Who am I kidding? It never works.

I hope I can change that this year.

To qualify for #ThrowbackThursday, photos or videos must be taken 10 or more years ago.

I was not able to post last week so I made this week’s set a bit more… well… you see for yourself.

2004. As a student in Cavite, I wanted to expose myself to stories that happened outside the verdant green campus of St. La Salle. My editor assigned me to go on an immersion at the coastal areas of Bacoor, Cavite. The area was going to be affected by the construction of the Cavitex (completed five years later in 2009).

The objective of the immersion was to get insights from the people who lived and worked along that coast. How an unstoppable urban development such as a highway slicing through the waters they tread daily… would affect them (if at all).

My editor had managed to turn our publication’s magazine into a beacon of community activism (in the previous year it had contained reviews of Avril Lavigne’s latest CD). I was apprehensive to write as if the only audience would be the College Editors Guild of the Philippines… but heck, this was an immersion and there were stories that needed to be told.

We spent the night sleeping at a house near the coast. The only meal I had before that was a burger from Tropical Hut. The area was filled with a mix of informal settlers and half-finished houses. Telenobelas and karaoke pierced the silence. All of this was just a 20 minute ride away from the international airport.

I saw what could be one of the origins of the tahong (mussels) I loved to pair with my virginal San Mig Light… it came from here… from the waters of Manila Bay. My best friend T, who was with me on this immersion and also a writer of the paper, signalled to me to skip the tahong. Because by golly it came from MANILA BAY. The once gorgeous but now polluted waters of Manila Bay (the sunsets are still gorgeous though).

So much for an immersion. Skipping the Manila Bay tahong, I had canned sardines instead. But I listened to Manong’s stories. About how their way of life will change. The Cavitex will block their way to the sea. At the time, I was thinking along the lines of what the greater public would get with the opening of Cavitex. It would reduce travel time from my hometown to Manila from an hour and a half to just under thirty minutes. It would decongest traffic along Aguinaldo Highway.

Photos:

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TODAY

The design of the Cavitex has these bridges which allow access for fishermen to go out to sea. It did not block their access. Though I don’t know any issues today like right-of-way or something that is bound to crop up.

Travel from Tanza to the international airport now takes about 30 minutes without the traffic along MIA Road. When the NAIA Expressway connects to Coastal Road / Cavitex in the next few years, getting to the airport will be a breeze. No longer a two or three hour traffic route through Paranaque, Las Pinas, Bacoor… etc.

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Today marked a milestone. 🙂

Some of my goals in the next two years:

  1. Emergency fund.
  2. Insurance.
  3. Real estate investment.
  4. Solid remittance to family.
  5. Travel to more Asian countries.
  6. Turn 30 in the most fabulous way possible.