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Filipino American Expat in Singapore

Posts from the Flashback Friday Category

Every Flashback Friday I’ll share photos that were taken at some point in the past two years during my blogging hiatus.

Moving to Singapore meant leaving behind my mom and dad’s home-cooked meals. In the past two years my diet consists of fast food, hawker fare, and our own home-cooked food. I’ve learned how to cook some dishes. I know I could do more but groceries cost so much + you have to clean up. Home-cooked is healthier and I should be taking pride in it. I hope I learn to cook more dishes this year.

My weight in Singapore has been consistent. I think it’s the ageing process that is adding the fattiness on my cheeks and mid-section. With all the food that is available in Singapore, you can’t help but gain some weight.

Doing the groceries with D. Yishun in 2012.

At the Singapore Zoo in 2012. My stomach bulge!

I say to myself, IT’S TIME TO LIVE HEALTHY. Who am I kidding? It never works.

I hope I can change that this year.

Every Flashback Friday I’ll share photos that were taken at some point in the past two years during my blogging hiatus.

In my two years in Singapore I’ve already lived in five different areas on the little red dot! Eunos, Lavender, Yew Tee, Yishun and Bishan. Before we settled in Bishan (which is 15-20 mins from downtown), we lived in Yishun where we had our first taste of HDB life.

Things I enjoyed at Yishun:

  • The 24/7 FairPrice supermarket at Khatib Central
  • The Japanese-themed food court at the top level of Northpoint.
  • Wendy’s at GV Yishun… late night snacking!
  • GV Yishun, the super eco-friendly facility… and tiny tiny screen
  • Jogging around the community park near our block
  • Bus 860! When it was introduced… the scent of a newly-commissioned SMRT bus.
  • The Sembawang Shopping Centre (SSC) shuttle bus that used to pass by the bus stop near our flat
  • Visiting my friend and going swimming with her at Orchid Park condos.
  • Chasing after Bus 852 or 855 going to work. I don’t know why I miss this but it’s just funny.
  • McDonald’s Khatib Central… listening to a live CNN broadcast announcing that Barack Obama secured his second term as President… I was so happy and giddy I devoured my french fries so quickly.
  • Introduction to HDB life… we lived in a landed property in Eunos, a backpackers’ hostel in Lavender, and a condo in Yew Tee… before living in an HDB flat with iconic void decks, etc. 🙂

We lived in Yishun from October 2012 to July 2013.

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Every Flashback Friday I’ll share photos that were taken at some point in the past two years during my blogging hiatus.

(Photos taken from Valentine’s Day in 2012.)

Valentine’s 2012 was a work day.

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Playing with the tapes at work.

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Unlike this year’s dry spell over Singapore… Valentine’s Day 2012 was WET. 😛

We headed to a Korean resto nearby. No wine and stuff. Just a good dinner.

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My boyfriend and I had Korean for Valentine’s dinner.

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At Auntie Kim’s Korean Resto

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We were seated outdoors.

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Auntie Kim’s Korean Resto is located at Upper Thomson.

After dinner at a Korean resto, we had a simple chocolate fondue back home in Yishun.

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We kept Valentine’s simple. I hate the commercialism. We know how to make it feel like Valentine’s Day everyday so okay na yun. Haha! Mashado madilim ang photos namin last Valentine’s (duh, it was night time)… so naghanap ako ng photo na last February din ang kuha…

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Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers!

Plans this year? We just got back from watching My Fair Lady (at the Mastercard Theatres of Marina Bay Sands) which were complimentary tickets I got from the office. Nagtitipid kami ngayon. For Valentine’s evening… siguro ilalabas ko uli ang fondue set. We will keep it simple again this year. 🙂

Every Flashback Friday I’ll share photos that were taken at some point in the past two years during my blogging hiatus.

I haven’t shared any SG Flashback Friday yet involving my colleagues. So here’s one photo!

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Neil has since moved on to a new job. My colleague Sa and her husband have moved back to the states. Shreedhee, an intern at the time, is now a regular staff. And my lunch buddy Tammy (next to me in the photo) is still around. 🙂

Photo was taken in December 2012 at United Square, Novena.

Every Flashback Friday I’ll share photos that were taken at some point in the past two years during my blogging hiatus.

Happy Lunar New Year! For Flashback Friday lemme share some photos from last year’s Lunar New Year.

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Chinatown during CNY 2013.

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IKEA Alexandra’s CNY lamps in 2013.

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Resorts World Sentosa and their Year of the Snake motif.

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IKEA’s Lunar New Year decor at Chinatown MRT in 2013.

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We spent the 2013 Lunar New Year at our friends’ condo in Normanton Park. It was raining that weekend so Suzie, Ramel, and Neil took advantage of it.

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I didn’t want to get wet.

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I remember we walked to the nearest church to Normanton Park.

Happy LNY!

Every Flashback Friday I'll share photos that were taken at some point in the past two years during my blogging hiatus.

My parents are visiting town this weekend so I’ll just dump a few photos here for SG Flashback Friday. Last week I shared my first few days in Singapore and living in a backpackers’ hostel. This week on Flashback, I’m sharing photos from my August 2012 folder.

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We lived in Yew Tee which is almost in Malaysia. lol. Lovely quiet neighborhood though!

 

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I imported my shark from the Philippines. He was like 40% of my checked luggage!

 

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I still had colour in my hair.

 

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Wanting to integrate into Singapore further, I bought swim trunks. Nobody wears those basketball-sized swim shorts that’s so common at Philippine swimming pools. Mahigpit dito!

 

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We frequented our friend’s condo at Normanton Park. Parang 2nd home na rin!

 

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How much the initial fare for the cheapest type of cab is. August 2012.

 

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Yew Tee to Orchard took one hour on the MRT! Grabe. I finished a book on those long rides.

 

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HDB love. This one was taken near downtown already. Modern HDB love.

 

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Some Japanese takeaway + The King’s Speech with Mandarin subtitles.

 

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Cotton On days.

 

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SG Nextbus App.

 

All photos were taken in August 2012 in Singapore.

Every Flashback Friday I'll share photos that were taken at some point in the past two years during my blogging hiatus.

In today’s edition I’ll share photos from our first week in Singapore which was in March 2012. Grabe, parang last month lang kami dumating sa Singapore ang feeling. Time flies!

Some of my friends already had job offers in Singapore. So for them it was more like just taking a plane to the Lion City and worrying about what to wear on their first day. It was a different case for me, my boyfriend, and two of our friends. We flew to Singapore within the same week with nothing but hopes, dreams… and CVs. lol

Exciting times! I remember Singapore feeling so massive then. Like, when you would mention places like “Woodlands” or “Jurong” I would imagine forests like those in Twilight or windmills over scenic valleys. Okay, exaggerating. But seriously, my eyes were wide-open. I was excited to be in Singapore. It was a concept or an idea that was materializing. The thrill of not knowing what was next. Questions in my mind lingered… was I going to use that return ticket to Manila? Was I going to get a call back from my desired employer? Will I have enough cash to enjoy a decent burger at Wendy’s?

We stayed at a nice backpackers’ hostel along historic Joo Chiat Road during our first week in Singapore. The name of the hostel is Betel Box and it was a great place to stay. Free wi-fi, free breakfast, and lots of interesting travellers sitting around.

Other photos in this set include some taken from our first visit to Sentosa.

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Every Flashback Friday I'll share photos that were taken at some point in the past two years during my blogging hiatus.

This week we flashback to April 2012. I was living in a backpackers’ hostel in Lavender during my job hunting period. At the time these photos were taken, I had already accepted a job offer. 🙂

Since my future office was just a bus stop away from MacRitchie Reservoir, I invited my friend Bau, and three other friends I met at the hostel, to join me and my boyfriend on a little hike at the MacRitchie trails.

First, we needed to store up on some energy so we headed over to the Wendy’s near our hostel. At the time, I was unemployed for about six months already so eating at Wendy’s where a burger meal is SGD 12.00 (PHP 400.00+) was almost impractical. I ate like mixed veggie rice (yung parang turo-turo) so much that I feel like throwing up when I think about it now. Grabe ang tipid days namin when we were looking for a job.

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I love my boyfriend’s photo here.

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(L to R) Neil, Douglas and Eric (friends from the hostel), and Bau

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Buses that call at 51071 MacRitchie Reservoir.

MacRitchie Reservoir is almost at the center of the island of Singapore. It is an ideal place for jogging, hiking, and appreciating tropical nature. Honestly, it’s amazing that a highly urbanised island city-state like Singapore manages to maintain these beautiful nature reserves.

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Neil, Douglas, and Eric

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We shared bunks with seven other backpackers at a time. This happened for two months!

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Eric was also hunting for a job during those days.

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We still looked fresh here.

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Ate Marichu (the girl there) was the receptionist at the hostel. Super friendly. I miss her!

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Ate Marichu and Neil would have coffee sessions every night. While Mandy.com was on.

It was a gorgeous sunny day in Singapore. It was nice to see so much landscape in Singapore. At the time, all I had been exposed to was Singapore’s urban side. I had to take this sight in and breathe a little. Maybe even pinch myself… “I’m in Singapore!”

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The part of MacRitchie Reservoir that sits closest to the park and bus stop.

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Douglas and Ate Marichu.

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Dessie also joined us for our little hike.

From the bus stop you can enter the MacRitchie Reservoir park which has manicured lawns, running paths, benches and exercise equipment. There are various trails at MacRitchie that depend on how far or how much time you wish to spend there. We took one of the smaller trails.

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Here we go!

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We had just started our hike. Look at our enthusiasm!

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The trail was pretty laid out already.

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Occasionally a runner would pass by us.

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There were lots of monkeys!

After only a kilometre into the 8 or 9-km trail, we were already feeling beat by the tropical humidity. Grabe di ba! Kain agad.

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Pagod na agad?!

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Useful trail markers.

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Beware.

The weather started to change slightly as we went deeper into the MacRitchie trail. It started to become a bit cloudy.

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Douglas

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We were excited to visit the TreeTop Walk but didn’t realise how far inside it was.

We wanted to give up since we weren’t prepared for the heat and humidity. Most of us didn’t bring enough water and snacks. Eventually, with a little push, we made it to the TreeTop Walk. What a relief!

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TreeTop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir.

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Is Dessie afraid? 😛

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Ate Marichu didn’t realise we were going on a long hike hahahaha.

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Letting my hair down ‘yo.

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Best. Pic. Everrrr.

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Ate don’t.

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I think dog’s weren’t allowed on the bridge. But madam managed to let it pass.

Afer the bridge we were worried it would start raining and we would get stuck in the middle of the MacRitchie trails. Worse, I was afraid of lightning because lightning is CRAZY in Singapore.

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Wooden paths. You get the idea that these trails are pretty much laid out. hehe

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Ayan basa na ang pathway

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The first two hours it was like a yellow brick road. Now I’m hungry but no food!

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I don’t want to be here at night.

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I’m getting hungrrrryyy

The following photos were taken about three hours into our 8 or 9 kilometre walk into the MacRitchie trails. We wanted to get out na by this point kasi gutom na kami lahat.

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Okay this is getting too real.

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Deep inside Singapore.

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No snakes. Bet they are watching football or something. (Gutom na ako!)

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Pagod na!

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Suddenly in the middle of nowhere a map… followed by a shed with bathrooms, a vending machine, water fountains… goodness how convenient. This is Singapore.

Yes we wanted out. Kasi ‘di kami prepared. If you flashback this Flashback Friday you’d notice again that we were wearing casual clothes! As if we were headed to City Square Mall instead of the jungle. LOL.

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What we wore in the jungle. Haha! Yung bag mo Ate Marichu. Jungle day.

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Yes let us out!

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You can get prosecuted for feeding the monkeys.

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But the monkeys have already found a way to help themselves. (Malamang.)

Looking back… we took the funniest exit ever. We walked towards the service road which brought us past a military facility (!!). Parang no one was walking around that area. Mala-Lost ang itsura namin.

Venus Road… where the hell is that?!

This service road snaked its way around a golf course before it spit us out along Upper Thomson Road. Having enjoyed the first two hours of the hike… followed by two agonising hours trying to find our way out of MacRitchie trails… we hopped onto a bus that took us to nearby Ang Mo Kio. Haha.

Nakakaloka ang ma-lost ka sa MacRitchie. With big maps and well-maintained trail paths… who the hell gets lost there haha. Parang tanga lang but it was real fun to bond with ze friends from the hostel.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t use GPS or something… this is the reason why:

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That’s my phone model when I started out in Singapore. OMG. But that’s also the phone model where I received a call from HR telling me about a job offer. Happy days!

Next week on Flashback Friday: The intrigues living inside a backpackers’ hostel.

MacRitchie Reservoir is a fun place for nature lovers. Learn more about it by visiting this website.

My blogging hiatus over the past two years didn’t mean I stopped documenting the things around me.  I’ll try not to bore you with photos of stuffed toys and selfies with my boyfriend.  Instead, every Friday let me introduce you to some of the more interesting things I’ve encountered since I shifted to Singapore. Stuff I haven’t shared yet.

So for the inaugural ohGeorgyy “Flashback Friday”… I’m revisiting the experiences I’ve had in Singapore while in the company of my friend Selda. She is leaving Singapore for good since she’s getting married soon.

A Singaporean barbecue?

Selda is the girl  with a cup covering half her face. Wait, uhm… let me look for a better photo…

Helping with the marinade. Photo taken in July 2012.

Whenever we were with Selda, it felt like we were tourists in our own backyard.

For example the time she brought us to the “Southernmost point of Continental Asia”. Can you imagine this is actually in Singapore not off the southern tip of Malaysia?

This photo was taken sometime in 2012.

The platform those people are standing on is the “Southernmost Point of Continental Asia”.

The Straits of Singapore

It screams tourist attraction but it was still thrilling to set foot on this little islet. It is connected to Siloso Beach by a rope bridge. We enjoyed a simple picnic while waiting for the sun to set.

Pinoy snacks!

More than half my visits to the art galleries and museums in Singapore have involved being with Selda.  We visited the Maritime Experiential Museum in Sentosa.

Those clothes used to fit me.

Ships galore.

By experiential we mean this:

Look I’m an ethnic dancer from Indonesia.

What?

I’m such a dork at museums. I actually go read every word on all the panels.  One time at the National Museum of Singapore I took all my damn time and hadn’t realised that Selda and Neil were already waiting at the exit.

Right outside the National Museum of Singapore.

In Singapore the transportation system and infrastructure is amazing. But it also involves much walking to get between places.  During one of our barkada walkathons, we found ourselves at Keppel Bay district where the crème de la crème reside. I mean look at this building…

From the distance it looks like broken shards of glass.

Suzie and Selda.

One funny moment we had while walking was a debate on which would be better to own: a helicopter or a yacht. Most of us picked the  yacht over the helicopter.

A few minutes later we encountered…

If you look closely, there’s a helicopter parked on a yacht.

Here’s a photo of us “getting lost” right outside Marina Bay MRT.

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Somewhere in Dhoby Ghaut.

Selda loves visiting Clarke Quay every September during the Autumn Lantern Festival.

Pretty lanterns are everywhere in Clarke Quay.

Different companies in Singapore sponsor the lanterns.

“Singapore Turf Club supports Chinese Culture” a simple message like that.

Thanks Selda for introducing us to some interesting spots and eateries in Singapore. She took us to Just Acia (where you can get bottomless drinks and desserts for a decent price) and Professor Brawn Cafe (great food, and it is a “social enterprise” that employs Persons with Disabilities or PWDs). There’s also Cafe Cartel which is a go-to place for comfort food.

Selda, will you miss Singapore?

Just Acia has unlimited ice cream.

We didn’t always have to go out in town with Selda. Sometimes we just invited her to go swimming with us. Like when we stayed at a condo in Yew Tee back in 2012.

This photo is a bit more dated #FlashbackFriday lol

Selda is the queen of fondue.

Neil and I would also cook for Selda. Here is a photo us at our HDB flat in Yishun in early 2013.

A Sunday lunch in Yishun.

A picnic at Siloso Beach.

4 Pics 1 Word at our chalet at Downtown East.

Selda, we’ll miss you! Congratulations to you and Tracy. 🙂

Next week on Flashback Friday: My story in Singapore began when I was job hunting and living in a backpackers’ hostel for three months. I’ll share  photos from a trip to MacRitchie Reservoir with friends I made at the hostel.