In the kitchen, more

What’s a subtle benefit of staying at home and avoiding restaurants? I’ve never cooked this much in my life. My partner and I created a meal plan which I document using a Google sheet. Recently I’ve learned how to bake salmon (which is fairly simple). I’ve also improved the time it takes to make cheesy tuna pasta. I’ve made improvised tacos. Simple really. We placed some pita bread in the oven since our preferred grocery store nearby doesn’t seem to have taco shells in stock.

Am I proud? Of course I am. I’m graduating from Singapore’s circuit breaker and phase 1 knowing that I can also cook a Filipino staple like sinigang. I’ve never baked fish in my life until now. I can even chop garlic cloves faster. My brother is doing more cooking as well. He shares photos in our WhatsApp family chat group.

We count the things we’re thankful for.

What have you cooked recently?

Freedom should never be taken for granted

June 12 is Philippine Independence Day. It’s when the Philippines declared itself independent from Spain in 1898. It’s taken different meanings through the decades. In 2020, it’s a potent reminder to never take the freedoms we enjoy for granted. We can’t afford to be silent if we see injustices happening. Speak up. The Philippines is not for sale to those more powerful. We are our own country.

It’s mid-June in the year of the coronavirus. Four and a half months later, Singapore leads Southeast Asia in total pandemic cases which is short of 40,000. Neighbouring Indonesia is past 36,000 with daily increases reaching new highs. Singapore’s circuit breaker and phase 1 have seen cases that reveal a gradual drop in cases. It used to be in the 800-1,000 a few weeks ago. We’re now seeing 400-500. The country is observing community transmission since circuit breaker ended on June 1. The Philippines is seeing 25,000 and that number is increasing too – with protests happening on Philippine Independence Day and quarantine measures being lifted by the government.

I’ve started my new job working for a media intelligence company. I’ve completed my first training week. I’m eager to quickly learn the ropes. I have an affinity towards media professionals and journalists. I studied broadcast journalism in university and I’d jump on any opportunity to provide support to media professionals and journalists back home.

Weather in Singapore has been a mix of humid afternoons and fierce thunderstorms. You can spot the tops of buildings across the length of Bedok Reservoir from our living room window in Tampines. In the distance, you can see the Singapore skyline. This includes Singapore’s tallest buildings like Guoco Tower, One Raffles Place, and the UOB Building. I’ve sat in the living room long enough to notice when the sunlight reflects off some of the downtown buildings or when the water at Marina Bay bounces light onto one of the hotels there. Wild.

I try to jog at least three times a week. On alternate days, I’m exercising at home with the help of these videos and Just Dance 2020. I’ve noticed I’m getting larger in the belly area — likely due to being stationary at home the past three months. The new job I have means I’ll potentially be client-facing. I want to ensure I look sharp. 🙂

Music I’m listening to…

Lady Gaga’s Chromatica album is a blessing for 2020. Every song is a hit. I love Free Woman, Plastic Doll, and Sour Candy (her collab with Blackpink). Since 2018, I’ve been listening to more K-pop. It’s bubbly, upbeat, and well-produced. I’m obsessed with SUNMI – who drops music like tap water that was switched off 10 minutes ago. TWICE, I thought was a duo. BTS, an explosion of creativity and inspiration (really, if you haven’t caught up with BTS, listen to their music… there’s so much heart in it and in their performances). Then there’s ITZY, adding color to the monsoon season.

Shows I’m watching…

PJ and I completed The Good Fight — meaning we’re CURRENT. Legit we subscribed to Amazon Prime to watch The Good Fight but the fourth season wasn’t available so we had get creative. I completed Westworld season 3, which has numerous scenes filmed in Singapore. The season’s rehoboam supercomputer sits in Marina One which was next to my old office. Marina One houses the offices of Facebook and Netflix in Singapore.

Speaking of Westworld, I’m confused by it lol. But I keep watching. Weird.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 was a highlight of the past two months. The season is lighthearted and the stories are inspiring. It’s different from some of the drama of past seasons. I understand some fans live for that drama. But with the coronavirus, we needed a season that doesn’t feel too petty.

We’ve moved onto RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 5 which brings us back to some drama. Derrick Berry, who I thought was a questionable addition to RPDR All Stars 5 initially… is gold. Absolutely proven wrong. He brings reality drama back to the show. Spoiler alert coming up. He is the first to be eliminated from All Stars 5.

I’m taking two online writing courses on Udemy. I’m hoping to finally complete at least one of them today.

I’m working on launching a website called Singapore Kuya. It’s a resource for Filipinos living and working in Singapore. Do visit and follow. 🙂

We made it to the end of the circuit breaker

In about 30 minutes, Singapore’s circuit breaker is coming to an end. Hoping that the next few days and weeks the country won’t see a spike in cases. Realistically, I think there will still be cases. But I’m hoping it’s manageable and that the cases count in the migrant worker dormitories will continue to decline.

The idea of staying home for almost two months sounds like a vacation. Honestly, the anxiety and the isolation isn’t good. I’m one of the fortunate ones who could work from home. But my heart pours out to the frontliners from the hospitals to the delivery folks. Those who worked in essential services like my partner. Those who are in supermarkets and clinics. Those in hawkers. Those who lost their jobs in the travel industry.

With the end of the circuit breaker comes a new role I’m starting in. I’ve had to offboard from my previous company, remotely. Now, I’m going to onboard remotely. It’s bizarre but this is the time we live in. I’ll have to make the most of it. I’m thrilled at the possibilities. I’m letting go of the worries. I’ve taken new learning courses. I’ve increased my professional network by 82% in the past two months. I’ve assembled an emergency fund and will continue to add into it in the weeks and months to come.

From Today Online

Let’s see what happens tomorrow when Singapore re-opens with Phase 1. 🙂