Summer Friday 2016 – No. 10

Seeds.

Yeah, they are these little things that you plant. You’re supposed to plant them in fertile places so they can grow strong and beautiful. But sometimes people don’t have that choice or that option. But you still have to plant them. Because you’re a gardener and you need to level up.

Do I sound like Meredith Grey?

You plant seeds. But you have to plant them in places where they are useful.

***

Presenting to you… Summer Friday No. 10

Farewell Lunch for a Colleague

Our production manager is leaving us. So sad to see her go!

It would be correct to say that the yummy tonkutsu above is NOT my production manager. We just don’t like taking photos much as a team. We’re like that.

 

Singapore Garden Festival at Gardens by the Bay

I filmed a new episode for my vlog. Wait for it soon!

The installations were incredible!

Impromptu Lau Pa Sat Dinner with College Friends

Great to catch-up with my college friends! It’s been awhile.

Here we are answering Miss Earth Q&A.

Finally, a Geylang late night food trip

Discovering a few new places down the road. So happy!

Geylang food trip with my neighbours.

***

Only a handful of Summer Fridays left. Let’s hustle.

Reserve.

It’s not where I want to be. It’s not where I want to sit. But it’s where I’m at.

At one point I was the only one looking after all the bags!

 

I train. I hit the gym to supplement. I run even if I hate it sometimes. I bring my brand of enthusiasm. I am committed. I’m not the strongest or fastest. But I put in my part and my piece.

But somehow reserve remains my place in the dragon boat universe.

Just putting it out there because one day I hope to look back at this blog entry and laugh at it. I’ll shut up and continue training. Cutting off everything that takes me off of training.

Kaya ko ‘to!

THE BEST THING I OVERHEARD DURING THE RACE THIS PAST WEEKEND WAS “RUN YOUR OWN RACE”. THE COXSWAIN OF A NEIGHBOURING BOAT AT THE STARTING LINE SAID THIS TO HIS TEAMMATES.

RUN YOUR OWN RACE, GEORGE.

And not literally of course because it’s a team sport. But the idea that you are competing against all the doubt that builds up inside of yourself. 🙂

Making myself comfortable on the air couch.

My paddle batchmates.

Everyone sporting the new FDS drinking shirt.

Summer Friday 2016 – No. 9

It was a gloomy Friday. But it was unique because my colleagues and I went to Tiong Bahru market and food centre for lunch.

After lunch I rushed to Bishan to help a former housemate find new housemates.

And that was it.

The process of creating things.

giphy

I’ve published two video blogs recently!

I have hoards of things to do at work and with dragon boating. But I’ve come under a dry spell. Finding ways to “create new things” seems to be helping! Like suddenly I’m excited about working on mini-projects. Hopefully these will contribute to something much bigger. Or, I could just be wasting internet space. LOL.

(At least the content is… original!)

More and more ideas are coming in for future video blogs.

Summer Friday 2016 – No. 8

Bar hopping with my colleagues.

***

Twitter asks: What’s happening?

No “half day” experienced earlier. But the amount of work I managed to get done in the afternoon had improved dramatically from the pace of things earlier in the week. I seem to work better when it’s quiet in the office.

There are only a few remaining summer Fridays left. So here’s a new checklist:

  • Start processing papers for Filipino dual citizenship at the PH embassy.
  • Experience two other Fitness First gym locations. Those with swimming pools that have a great view of the city below.
  • Visit a new park or try a heritage trail. I’m looking at Coney Island, Haw Par Villa, West Coast Park, parks at Sembawang or Woodlands.
  • Go for an annual physical exam to gauge improvements and address health status since joining a dragon boat team.

Birthdays.

There are things you already expect to happen and then there are also unexpected things. You relish in the unexpected. But you are also not so sure how to handle it.

Receiving notifications from Facebook when a friend, former colleague, relative, or even a stranger greets you is an example of what’s expected. We do it all the time when we greet our friends and family. It’s basic really. Facebook reminds you it is someone’s birthday and it even provides a screen where you can send your wishes wholesale to all the celebrants of that day.

My mom sent me photos of a birthday card she picked out for me from National Bookstore. At first the cards look “Hallmark” generic, but somehow the message inside is always strikingly relevant. She signs her name on it, my dad’s name, my brother’s name… adds the date and the year. It’s the same every year and I love it. It’s just that I’m not there physically to receive the letter. I felt the love.

***

This was my first birthday in years as a single guy. It’s challenging not having a partner to take you out. But I had plenty of surprises this year.

I went to Yishun the night before my birthday on a premise I would be watching RuPaul’s Drag Race season 8 with two of my friends. I arrive at the flat to this scene:

And not just that… but my colleague Greg is there. Wow. Surprise!

A night of food, karaoke, and board games. And yes, we still did get to watch RuPaul.

***

The afternoon of my birthday was spent lying in my bed in Geylang. Everyone else was at work since it was a Wednesday. I had my office laptop with me… intending to finish a few more edits from home. But I couldn’t. I just lay on my back when I had another episode.

Why did I cry again? I don’t really know. I suppose I was imagining an alternate reality where I’m still together with him and we are spending a whole day travelling somewhere or cooking barbecue at a beachside chalet.

***

In the evening I met up with a former colleague who was visiting Singapore with her boyfriend. The two are glowing. You can switch off the lights at Song Fa bak kut teh and still be able to eat your food with the glow coming from these two lovebirds.

I brought them to Chinatown for some bingsu. We talked about ABS-CBN. They are an office romance. I was in an office romance. In that same building. Or sometimes underneath the massive antenna tower where he took my hand, shook it firmly, and introduced himself formally. “I’m Danilo Emmanuel…” Obama became the first black president of the United States a few days after.

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Thank you for sharing bak kut teh and bingsu with me, Lara and Rap. While I loved giving you a street tour from Clarke Quay to Chinatown, it was me who enjoyed the company.

***

Birthday conclusion?

Starbucks at The Cathay was were we decided to meet.

He was running late and I was halfway through a ridiculously expensive cup of passionfruit iced tea. I tried to imagine it differently. If this was the guy I met in KL in April… would there be butterflies in my tummy after hearing again his deep, dark voice? Or if this was “Leo of River Valley”— arms on the table… his squint, his shy smile in tow.

He arrived and he got me a slice of a Starbucks cheesecake. This was the first time we met with the intention of having a decent conversation again. For most of it, we were like friends catching up.

But it ended on a somber note. Because I was put in my place again as a villain. That I played the role of quitter or deserter.

***

The very circle of friends that matter to me in Singapore… well, they fell into the WhatsApp generic greeting of “happy birthday!” to which elicited my reply “thank you”. They’re busy with their own lives.

Two people I reconnected with recently invited me over to Yishun were the sweetest.

Greg, my officemate, surprised me in the office (along with the team) + surprised me again when he was in Yishun for the birthday salubong. Thank you.

🙂

Summer Friday 2016 – No. 7

A former colleague commented “adulting” when she saw a photo of me shopping for bedsheets. Yup! What a beautiful day to purchase new bedsheets for my new flat in Geylang. After work, Greg and I went to Bugis to hunt down the MUJI bedsheets I really wanted.

Damn it these are pricey! I-MUJI mo mukha mo, George. $$$

 

Womp womp. A MUJI bedsheet without pillow cases costs about SGD 80.00. Add the pillow cases and the total would be about SGD 100.00. Now, get this… the MUJI bedsheets are in gorgeous Earth tones with a chic, simple striped design. They would look awesome on my bed, right?

SO IN LOVE WITH MY DEPARTMENT STORE BEDSHEETS said no one in the history of mankind until I had this photo taken. PAK GANERN.

 

Ten minutes later I was checking out at a department store counter at BHG. I went for the cheaper “baduy” bedsheets you can find at every department store. Total cost was SGD 29.00 for the queen-sized sheet, two pillow cases, and a bolster case. Kasi naka-budget ako. Budget, budget, budget.

After scrimping on bedsheets, I end up splurging with Greg at the Clinton Street Bakery a few kantos away. He orders one of the all-day breakfast platters while I go for a “Black and White Cake” with a cup of mocha. Perfect.

So funny the magazine I bought earlier in the day was a premonition of my afternoon snack!

I return home to Geylang just before sunset.

And spend sweet time sweeping the living room floor with a half-broken broom.

The bathroom needs cleaning too. I gave it a good scrub to bring the cleanliness level up to 60% at least. Better than 20%, eh?

The balcony is a hodgepodge of broken chairs, dead plants, three laundry racks, and some fitness equipment. Basically it’s an eyesore that everyone is too busy to fix. But I was feeling my groove so I re-arranged some of the things on the balcony. It needs a good sweep and some mopping.

The last thing I did for Summer Friday was complete my first full video blog. While doing it, notions of “why the fuck am I even bothering to do this?” came up again.

But this time I stayed true to myself.

I did it. Shot, edited, uploaded, and published.

 

Video blogging is a pet project of mine. And if I can tie together my writing skills, my editing skills, my producing skills… and include a bit of honest (though sometimes awkward) personality… who knows where I can take it one day.

But it all begins somewhere.

xoxo

UPAAS Alumnite 2016

I looked at my friend Philip and giggled. “How did we end up here?!” LOL. Thank you UPAAS for the kindness. 😛

I had an opportunity to drop by the UP Alumni Association (UPAA) Singapore “Alumnite” earlier. It was a night of music and dance to celebrate a common thread among different batches and professions.

It was enlightening to hear about UPAA Singapore’s initiatives like providing scholarships for students back home. Graduates from the UP College of Music performed on their instruments. Lovely to hear that they are music teachers in Singapore. The venue host, Jazzistic Society, serenaded the gathering with “Fly Me to the Moon”. Dancers from Filipino Dance Club SG shared some of their moves. VocaBlends performed a trio of OPM hits.

It was all beautiful, really.

Nice of UPAA Singapore to promote our artistic culture.