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Filipino American Expat in Singapore

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It’s windy.

And it’s unusual. Because normally when you exit the building you’d go from crisp cool air to tropical humidity. But this evening it’s windy. You sort of wish that it were this windy or cool as permanent as a corrupt Philippine official. It adds to the mood. Like Christmas without the trees and the lights. A cool breeze that wraps around your body gently. Maybe even giving you some chills as the sweat from your jog runs down your back.

***

You’re by the bay and it feels like you’re one small pixel in a simulation. Everything looks perfect. The grey-blue of the sky before it turns dark. The different groups of runners that flock around the waterfront. The way the lights are uniformed across several floors of different buildings all around. They are towers of glass and in colors of blue and darker blue.

***

It feels perfect. But is it, really?

You’re standing or sitting. You’re staring. You have a couple dollar bills of a foreign currency in your wallet. Pieces of plastic and square-shaped business cards. You’re easily identifiable. You walk with the confidence you can afford all the basic things and then some. But you’re also uncertain and highly cautious.

Even with an abundance of positive fortune you worry that it will never be enough.

It’s almost the end of January 2019.

I set a goal of achieving 50km in kilometers run for this month. I think it’s a conservative distance compared to some of my fellow dragon boat teammates. I bet they record three or four times more than that in a month. With three days left this month, I’m about 10km shy of hitting the goal. I think I’ve done good and set a personal record for consistent running.

That consistency in running (3x weekly) really helped out during my first Spartan experience last Saturday. There were 20 obstacles along the 5km route around Singapore National Stadium. I think I did fairly well in all portions involving endurance. However, if it had to do with upper body strength and legwork… I could use some improvement. It was memorable because years and years of racing (running and paddling)… I hadn’t experienced an obstacle course yet. I want to do it again and see how I measure up.

Measurement is a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE factor with my current role at a tech company. I’m excited about learning new things but I will admit it’s a steep learning curve. Here I go again. It’s about silencing any doubt I have about myself. I’m doing what I can to understand and improve. I really want to get to writing again. I feel I don’t write enough.

What I have enough of lately are blessings in love and in home affairs. I’m stable there and I kinda have two places to live at. One in Bukit Merah. And another at my boyfriend’s house in Tampines West. Things are steady on that front. We recently travelled to Ho Chi Minh City and Ipoh. Two very different cities. I enjoy every minute I have with PJ.

Now what obstacles are we talking about?

Savings. This is crucial this year as I am not in a permanent position. How do I overcome this? By cutting costs. By tracking every dollar spent.

Dragon boating. I’ve decided at the end of January that I will be taking a step back. I love paddling so much. How do I overcome quitting? I will take this time to step back and step away so I can focus on learning new skills. Perhaps I can develop my body through other disciplines like canoeing, weightlifting, dancing… I don’t know. Basta new.

Career stability. It’s not a permanent role and I will definitely seek or fight for something that is stable. I love my new and current role. But I also have to prepare for that #nextplay should it happen. I have to think forward. How do I overcome? Preparation and savings.

Here are five areas I want to work on in 2019.

  • Fitness and Attitude.
  • Career Progression.
  • Best Savings Ever.
  • Best Partner Ever.
  • Family.

I think each of them are self-explanatory. Maybe the fifth one “family” is more on being available to listen or help out when my immediate family needs it. Every year, we visit a different southeast Asian country. Remaining on our list would be Laos and Indonesia. We might skip those and try Taiwan this year.

***

I spent the new year at home in Cavite. I wasn’t planning to go home for the holiday season in 2018 since I just started a new job. I’m still in recovery mode for expenses during my time between jobs. I’m thankful I have a new job (a kick-ass one)… but I’m also very cautious of expenses since there are many uncertainties. It’s not a permanent role and it’s a new area for me that I’m still learning more about. I love it so much and I’ll save that for another post.

PJ and I went to Vietnam for Christmas. I know it sounds weird that I’m talking about saving money and here we are spending it overseas. Ho Chi Minh City was a far cheaper alternative to Bangkok which was what I wanted to do originally. I felt we deserved to end the year somewhere foreign. It’s like a celebration of sorts. That somehow in 2018 I picked up the pace. I didn’t just survive the year. I managed to thrive.