7 Studio Ghibli films I’m watching to help me stay calm in a pandemic

Today, a record 120 new cases of COVID-19 was reported in Singapore. That’s a daily record and it’s the first time since the first case in late January where we’ve seen more than 100 cases in one day. Many of the new cases are unlinked. This means the virus is spreading without any known links to existing clusters or positive individuals.

As if we’re not already deeply concerned, today’s news seems to be another cherry on top of this situation. I learned earlier that PJ’s flat will be taken back by the owners. Which means, PJ and his flatmates will need to relocate to a new flat soon. That’s on top of me moving in with them temporarily as I’ve had to let go of my Bukit Merah flat due to tightening my finances.

Non-essential businesses are closing on Tuesday. They will remain closed for a month. This is the closest Singapore has now to a lockdown. Nobody is calling it a lockdown. But it feels like we are inching towards it day by day. I still feel Singapore is one of the safest places on Earth to ride out an outbreak. But I feel for Singapore. It needs to protect its citizens. Every measure must be put in place to “break the circuit”.

More sentiments in my previous posts here and here.

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Because I’m mentally drained by news after news of COVID-19, my looming unemployment situation, my status in Singapore, etc… I’ve been binge-watching Studio Ghibli with PJ the past three days. We’ve covered seven films so far.

  1. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
  2. The Cat Returns (2002)
  3. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  4. Ponyo (2008)
  5. The Wind Rises (2013)
  6. When Marnie was There (2014)
  7. Spirited Away (2001)

The films are an ESCAPE. It feels like entering one of those really beautiful postcard drawings. The stories are out of this world… which is fine… because everything happening in the real world feels out of this world. The characters are charming and inspired. I would recommend Studio Ghibli films for those who haven’t seen any yet. They are a welcome distraction from the bad news out there.

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If the cases in the next few days don’t simmer down, I’m expecting even more drastic measures to be in place. Will we start seeing military on the streets? Will the buses and MRT lines be closed? Will there be a curfew?

We’re already in unprecedented territory with the closing of Singapore’s zoos, schools, and malls (except for essential services). At times like these, I miss being irritated by the simplicity of the haze.

Trip to the groceries

Non-essential businesses will close from Tuesday. The new measures will be in effect over a month. People are advised to stay home and avoid meeting with friends. People are to stick to immediate family members.

Except for us non-Singaporeans, we’ll be staying home. But not with family. We live with flatmates, partners. I get a little anxious if the government will monitor S or E-pass holders. Or if Aunt Lydia will be waiting at the void deck. There are many things I appreciate and admire about Singapore’s response to this crisis. But I’ve seen too many episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale. The scenes in the Gilead grocery store… felt that earlier. Like CCTVs, social distance ambassadors in plainclothes. Lol.

Absolutely horrible time to do the groceries earlier. We went to the Fairprice at Bukit Ho Swee which is 24/7. We went around 7:00pm. The vegetables are sold out. The meat sections were almost empty. The mood inside the store was sombre.

Here’s the thing. You enter the grocery store with a list of ingredients you need to complete a meal plan. However, with empty shelves… you end up scrambling discreetly (aka looking calm but screaming inside) to grab whatever is left and then while you’re queuing to pay… you’re wondering “okay, what I am going to do with this minced pork without onions or vegetables”.

We ended up cooking pork adobo.

8 years on a work pass: What’s next?

The 1st of March is my anniversary in Singapore. Yes, I’m cheesy as I celebrate that each year. I moved here in 2012 to chase a dream of living and working in the Lion City. I’ve gained unforgettable life experiences and I’ve proudly contributed my own keep in the past eight years. But after my permanent residency application was rejected in 2016, PLUS, growing anxiety that no matter how naturally I integrate and love Singapore my home, *truly*… I remain a statistic.

Eight years on an S-Pass has had its many highs for which I’m thankful for. But at 34, is it time to start thinking about where I want to permanently settle down? It’s easy for me to settle down in the States or in the Philippines. But where do I want to go next? What am I thinking about? What did I wish I knew when I first started here?

Enjoy the video!

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Today’s Southern Ridges walk

After days of being cooped up working from home! Walked to the Southern Ridges nearby which has Mt. Faber, Henderson Waves, and Forest Walk. I’ve noticed we’ve had beautiful sunsets the past few days. Or maybe I’ve only noticed it lately since I’m at home during the golden hour. Next week marks my 8th anniversary in Singapore. I’m reflecting on my time here. Enjoy my squares.

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On the Road: Scooting off to Bali!

Going through Changi Airport (which is like my fave place on Earth) was a bit more stressful this morning because of the Covin-19 outbreak.

It was pretty seamless. There are temperature screenings. Otherwise it was nicely organised. Good job Changi Airport.

We’re on a Scoot flight to Denpasar (Bali). I rarely book an early morning flight (7:00 AM on TR280) but PJ and I wanted to fly together with his flatmates.

I’ll be blogging on-the-road. ❤️