Christmas Dinner at Pura Brasa

My Filipino colleagues and I don’t meet often for lunch or merienda these days. But we made it a tradition (at the very least) to catch up every year-end over good grub. This year we made reservations at a Spanish restaurant named Pura Brasa, which opened right across from our building. It’s at Tanjong Pagar Centre (park).

We ordered paella, wagyu beef, cheese pizza, and a slab of pork ribs barbecue. Every thing on the menu we ordered was tasty. I loved the al-dente rice in the paella. The beef was medium rare so it was soft and juicy. The slab of pork ribs was a delight. Seasoned beautifully. The meat falls off the bone. YUM!

The paella, wagyu beef, cheese pizza, and pork ribs.
My Filipino colleagues from various departments and divisions.

Pura Brasa Singapore

Wallich Street #01-16, Tanjong Pagar Centre, Singapore 078883

Monday drinks with Arjae

Spent some time earlier this evening to catch-up with another college buddy of mine– Arjae. We had MidEastern food at Arab Street before going to The Singupura Club for some happy hour beer. Good times. And… I could use a drink.

The meat at House of Kebab.
A sumptuous Shish Taouk at House of Kebab.
Arjae got this from his visit to Paris.
Stone Cold.
Monday night at the Lane.
All sorts of feelings.
Thanks for the time, Arjae!
Thirsty AF.
A nightcap.


Explore SG: Changi Beach

I took some time to visit Changi Beach and do some planespotting. However, the planes were descending from the south. This meant my vantage point were the departures. By the time the planes were above Changi Beach, they would be pretty high up.

Waiting at the bus stop. A view of the school across the street.
Taking the bus from Simei MRT station.
Eastpoint Mall in Simei.
Taking Bus 9 to get to Changi Beach.
Alighting and feeling the breeze on my face.
Only three buses call here.
Nice and easy at the beach.
I love the sound of the waves.
Changi Beach wall.


An SQ flight departing Singapore.
It disappears up into the horizon.
The sea wall at Changi Beach.
Low Aircraft Flying Nearby.
Another flight that just departed Singapore.
OBikes in the vicinity.
Looking out to sea.
Towards the sea.
Quiet parts.
On the radar.


Fences at the edge of Changi Airport.
Parking area.
#MobikeSG at Changi Beach
Peace and Quiet.
Where is everybody else?
Another flight departing from Singapore.
An SQ flight takes to the air.
Changi Beach Park.
A way out.
Looking up at a 747.
A park bench for you and I.
Above and higher than.

Changi Beach was surprisingly very calm and beautiful. Not at all crowded. There was a cool breeze coming from the shore. You can spot Pulau Tekong where the SAF do training. It’s lovely to bike along this route. It’s an extreme opposite of the Christmas crowds in Orchard Road.

One Year in Aljunied

I moved to Aljunied exactly a year ago. It’s an airy 12th floor HDB flat in one of the older estates. The surrounding neighborhood is pretty quiet. There are lots of older generations here. There’s nothing too exciting about the nearby food courts. The action is all in Geylang which is five minutes away.

I’ve enjoyed my time living here for the past year. I had come from a challenging accommodation before moving here. I’m staying with friends so it always feels safe to come home to a “chill” setting. No landlord. No pesky main tenant. It’s a safe space and probably one of the few highlights of 2017. Coming home is always a good thing and a good feeling.

I’ve kept my own room since I broke up with my boyfriend. I’m paying about SGD 800.00++ on my rent. Almost SGD 900.00 if you include utilities usage and wi-fi. My flatmate’s baby is keeping the house feeling “alive”. Baby AZ is the most adorable and most precious little one. And, mahilig magpa-cute lagi.


The view of the neighborhood on the day I moved in: December 17, 2016

I want to slowly decrease the amount of belongings I have. My sixth anniversary in the island city is in three months. I’ve accumulated more things than what I need. I also want to make it easier for myself if I move out again or migrate to another country.

I am thinking of doing a vlog episode about my life in Aljunied. At least it could be a simple memento of the time I lived in this quiet part of Singapore. x

Department Year-Ender

At one point this year, I didn’t expect I would make it to the end of 2017 with the same job. It was my most difficult year in the corporate world. My confidence in my work was shattered. Have you ever felt like you just didn’t fit in? Like a circular peg trying to fit into a square hole? Without a doubt I have the creativity and vision– but if it’s in the right place… it became a question this year.

I’m happy I made it. I wanted to survive. And survive I did.

But I want to change the tone of my career narrative. I don’t want to “just survive” but I want to deliver meaningful content. It has never been just a job for me. This is a life’s passion. I was reminded recently by a friend that I do have great skills and talent in what I do. I just have to find a new way to share that with the world.


Earlier we had our year-end team building and lunch. The team building activity was at an escape room in Dhoby Ghaut. I was skeptical at first. Why would anyone want to lock themselves into a dark, tiny room with their colleagues at 9 o’clock in the morning?

But I had a surprisingly great time. In fact, I want to recommend this escape room to some of my friends if they are up for it.

Happy Christmas from our creative team.

Lunch was at the Marina Mandarin. It was a great buffet spread. Far better than what we had the previous year which was just near our office.

I handled the “Secret Santa” activity and I got what I wished for. A light box. 🙂

Got my gift from Sarah… our graphics and video editing intern.
Cinematic light box as a Christmas gift. Thank you.

A challenging year for me on various levels. But I refuse to remember 2017 as just that. I was still working with great people. And for that I am grateful. Thank you.

A photo with the team at the dinner and dance.

Why am I doing this again?

We had a turnover of duties earlier for my dragon boat team. I’ve been elected again as the creative officer (after taking one year off to focus on my paddling technique).

I was looking for a passion project and I thought helping out one more time with my dragon boat team would be fun. It will be challenging. But I have a year’s experience already as an officer so I’m entering it calmly. Not overly ambitious over anything. I just want to get to work. Get some creative stuff done. Work with teammates in documenting what will be our team’s tenth year.

You can say that I’m chill about it.

I feel the stakes are obviously higher with the other roles in the management committee. I’m here to support where and when I can. And to focus on individual strength and endurance next year. I’ll be paddling less. I think three years paddling has been okay.

The 2018 Management Committee of FDS.
Turnover with the outgoing officers.
The 2017 and 2018 management committees.

I am thankful for those who elected me into the position for a 2nd time.

I hope I won’t let you down.

Marco’s Restaurant Opening + HF Reunion

My friend Marco opened his restaurant last week. It’s actually a famous burger chain back in his native Germany. They made him a general manager. The restaurant serves up pretty good burgers! And the ambiance… brings out the birch in you. 🙂

He invited us to the restaurant’s opening night. You can see it in the first set of photos. We went back two days later when college orgmates (Heraldo Filipino, the school paper) were visiting Singapore.

Such an inviting interior.
Condiments and herbs.
Love the ceiling.
Joanna, Paul, and JC.
Look how crowded it got.
Like… really crowded. Congrats Marco!
Trying out the burgers.
Sumptuous bite-sized burgers.
Birch betta have my money.
Aged cheddar cheese and REAL bacon.
This potato salad was interesting…
Kay married Kuya Marthy. Kuya Marthy was my first editor in university.
A Heraldo Filipino reunion indeed. We span the 2002-2005 era.
Ate Leona, Joanna, and Kay.
The features section.
Catching up with Jaynie!


Hans Im Gluck is now open at 362 Orchard Road (next to Shaw Lido). They will be opening in Boat Quay and Raffles Place soon. 🙂

I have to restart my potatoes

I did something really, really terrible. I picked a fight with someone very important to me. Now I feel like shit. As if the year hasn’t been tough itself versus anxiety, challenges in the workplace, on my dragon boat team, in love, and even in a permanent residency application. Add to that an offer that was cancelled. Like seriously WTH. 😦

Rejection seems to be the theme!

I have friends who have had it much worse though. And I feel for them. I can’t compare my struggles with a friend who lost her mom. Or another friend who’s father is in the hospital. But we all have our own struggles.

So what am I rambling on about?

  • An anti-climatic conclusion to a year I initially thought was fantastic in dragon boating. Grabe, I really gave it my best. Three years of dragon boating and this was THE YEAR. My stats improved in Land and Water time trials. Nevermind that I am the most industrious male paddler for 2017  Eh… kamusta naman ang stats when that gets tossed out into the water without a fucking life vest. Left to drown in a whirlpool of someone else’s key performance index. Dismayed. Disappointed. You name it. But the boat continues and people will continue to paddle… trust the friggin’ process. Pagod na ako diyan. There was a process. Worse, ilan lang kami nakapansin. Everyone else seems to be like the lego people in Lego City singing that Lego song that everything is awesome. New captains next year. I believe in them but I also believed in the ones this year. I am DONE. I am taking myself out of the equation muna to focus on my personal strength development. What can I contribute to the team? My creativity.
  • The man I’m most interested in is… on the other side of the planet. He’s the one I can already imagine wearing a barong and I’m in a suit… and we’re driving a mini cooper feelin’ super-duper. But how… he’s in San Jose, California!
  • Oo may bumawi ng offer sa akin. *Insert Kris Aquino nakakaloka face*

There’s some other shit too but for now…