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Filipino American Expat in Singapore

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I already wrote a few paragraphs about how terrible the past few months were. I couldn’t find it in me to publish it. It came out as a lethal rant. A burning ball of negativity.

So here’s a better way to look at 2016,

I’m ending the year in the presence of my family. All fresh from visiting me this past christmas in Singapore. I also got to see our newly-renovated bathroom (with rain shower!) and a new kubo. It’s our new place to eat together as a family.

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My teammates gave me an award I did not expect to receive. I was already up in front and holding my camera up ready to take photos of the awardees. Ako pala yung i-aawardan. Salamat. Working on the team’s branding was a sweet distraction from some of the rough waters I’ve had to navigate this past year.

Of course, happiness = dragon boating.

Bridging my personal advocacy, my company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, and Singapore’s LGBT rights movement with participation (and observance) at this year’s Pink Dot. I tend to overlook this because I don’t seek attention (I am more comfortable working in the background). But it is what it is. And it’s what we have done together.

Hong Kong with Toni and Ryan!

Boracay with my teammates!

KL for a Standard Chartered 10km!

Penang for food tripping!

Attending gym regularly and keeping fit. Next to regular trainings with my dragon boat team, I attended gym where and when I could.

Finding the right place to stay. It wasn’t easy because for the first 49 weeks of the year I was living in the wrong places. But I am ending it with the greatest company. A house full of love and potential. Yes, this is what I’m most excited about in 2017. Creating a space for myself and my flatmates on the top floor of an HDB flat… sitting on the fringes of one of safest and cleanest cities on this planet.

And a PS4. Yes. A video game console. And personal entertainment like Netflix.

The biggest event of this year was ending my relationship and moving on from someone. It meant at times I had to walk alone. Eat alone. It meant doubting myself in times my friends were too busy.

But what’s the better way to look at it?

  • I appreciate and value my personal time MORE.
  • I don’t depend on others to do my laundry.
  • I allow myself to make mistakes. I learn from them.

The year was a nightmare. But come to think of it, I gained MORE EXPERIENCE from this past year. From living alone to being wiser in my choice of friends.

I didn’t lose!

With love,

George

It’s that time of the year when the lights are up and people start dressing up for things. Two parties this past weekend. Our company “Dinner and Dance” (D&D) and our dragon boat team’s year-end party.

Our D&D’s theme was “A Night of Treasures”. I really wanted to dress up for it… kaso, with my lipat bahay this weekend AND my family visiting me in Singapore next week… I can’t afford to rent a full costume. LOL. Imagine that, I’ll dress up at the D&D.

I wanted to be Jafar from Aladdin or I wanted to be Bianca Del Rio during the Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 7 finale when he crowned Violet Chacki. You know… glimmering silver… head to toe and all over.

Scrap that.

A colleague accompanied me to the Tekka Centre in Little India. It’s a whole floor of more traditional Indian clothing (and don’t get me started I don’t know the particular ones OK… I’m not pretentious lol). It just looked nice and colorful. Some stuff were cheap like $20 and below. Others were in the hundreds. These were the ready-to-wear ones.

Eventually went for a black top for about SGD 30.00. It was a short-sleeve one. Kishan lended me his scarf.

The venue of this year’s D&D was Aryaa. Love the place… but I don’t know how the hell I got home afterwards. Uber I think.

**

The next party was the FDS Year-Ender. We had it at Boat Quay.

Because I was nursing a hangover from the D&D, I decided it wasn’t in my best interest to go home drunk again. I didn’t drink much. I was mostly just chilling in the corner or taking videos or whatever. 🙂

Oh, and I picked up an award! I’ve never won anything like it with FDS in my two years with the team. I didn’t expect it at all but THANK YOU.

Good times. And better times ahead!

Now the focus shifts to my lipat bahay this weekend. And prepping for my family’s arrival in Singapore. ❤

Important Note: I love my ex. I will always care about his well-being.

Earlier this year I ended my relationship with him.

Nothing can compare to the amount of difficulty happening in his life after the center of his universe (his mom) passed away in November. I was there for him and with him during the days and weeks that followed. It was done with sincerity and compassion (and not obligation). My heart embraced every word he said during the eulogies he lovingly gave.

There were sparks, yes.

But in the end I felt our relationship was beyond saving.

I have not really spoken about it or written about it. But in my 17 years of keeping a journal in one form or another, the events of this past year has affected me greatly. He was my first boyfriend. Living “independently” since May has had a profound effect both scary and enticing, dreadful and uplifting.

I recorded this video when I was in Kuala Lumpur back in August.

***

I’m doing much better now. And I believe he is doing much better too.

Let’s start with a pep talk. So you’ve been single forever and a day. So you’ve had more breakups than Liz Taylor. So the mere thought of another rejection makes you queasy. That’s your past. Don’t drive by staring into the rearview mirror. Watch the road ahead. Refuse to let the past crowd out the future.

from “The Gay Guys Guide to Love” by Ken Hanes (1997)

I want this in my journal.

Okay it’s time to be materialistic AF. Here’s my wishlist… (keyword: WISH):

  1. Apple Watch.
  2. Final Fantasy XV (in the disc format with a box)
  3. Someone to do my ACR I-Card renewal paperwork. Because renewal is *BLEEEEEP*.
  4. GoPro / Action Camera. I’m active in sports so I deserve some love.
  5. Stuff for my new bedroom.
    1. A brand new Queen-sized bed. (My sheets are Queen-sized.)
    2. Comfortable rug to warm up the space.
    3. Pink and blue mood lighting.
    4. A chandelier or disco ball.
    5. A minimalist TV stand.
    6. Curtains.
  6. Ten new shirts. Yes, at least ten.
  7. Five new pants in a mix of khaki, chinos, and raw denim jeans.
  8. Ped socks. Because it’s 2017 already and I still have to fold my ankle-length ones.
  9. A booked flight on a true solo trip in 2017. True = no “friends” at the destination.
  10. Everyone I care about has a safe and happy holiday season.

If it helps, here are my actual goals this holiday season:

  • Serious de-cluttering. Four years in Singapore and I’ve gathered lots of almost useless junk coming from race kits, conferences, and whatnot.
  • Donate to a charitable organisation. Like Oogachaga.
  • Give my family another memorable vacation in Singapore.
  • Finish my work on time.
  • Fold my clothes.
  • At the age of 31… I noticed we kind of have fewer friends for some reason! So, it would mean much to tell these “few friends” how much I love them. And when I say “I love them”, it’s to mean it.

Crazy year. #pfft

WAIT FOR THE VIDEO.