Is this the site for a future SM Tanza?

Hello from the year 2020!

I’m starting to notice the vacant land across McDonalds and Jollibee in Tanza. I remember it used to have some structures or minor buildings. It seems like a prime spot for a future shopping mall. Given that this intersection involves roads leading to Trece Martires, Naic, and Tanza Proper.

Could it be a future SM Tanza?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Don’t forget to follow or subscribe to my page!

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A Christmas in Tampines.

Happy Christmas! I spent it at PJ’s in Tampines. He and his flatmates invited some of their workmates. We had a nice Noche Buena spread which was purely home-cooked… MMMM! I made my own charcuterie board and we played Switch, jenga, and some classic party games.

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Spending Christmas Eve with PJ, his flatmates, and friends.

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Our noche buena made by Dell, Gel, Jan, and Ace.

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I made my own charcuterie board!

I feel grateful that my eighth Christmas in Singapore was spent with some good people. I feel safe in this house, in this group, and with the people I choose to surround myself with.

Have a wonderful holiday season! ❤

 

Underneath the trees.

Traditionally, putting up a Christmas tree is done with family. But when you’re one of 2.3 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), putting up a Christmas tree takes on a new meaning.

Let’s face it, paying rent abroad is pretty expensive. Practicality encourages many OFWs to share living spaces. Often that means we end up seeking houses with strangers. People we meet along the way who post an online ad “room for rent”. If we’re lucky, we get referrals “my schoolmate wants to view the room”.

Eventually, strangers become housemates. Housemates over time can become friends. And friends can become makeshift family when abroad. Lalo na pag Pasko.

Putting up a Christmas tree is our way of bringing home to where we live.

Cue lightsaber sound.

Midnight cravings

You’re binging on Netflix. You suddenly get hungry. You grab some garlic and olive oil. Fry bacon slices. Boil pasta. So you can fulfil a craving.

Nothing fancy about the recipe as it’s pretty straightforward. ❤

I’m on Instagram: bekpackr.sg 😀

well, this is me.

This one is a more personal entry. I’ve been sharing about travels lately. It’s nice to see but I’m also at a point in my career where I feel vulnerable. I’ll take a break to share this.

The past few weeks I have shown how strong I can be. (Completely rephrased from my original thought process of “I feel scared”).

In my role at work, I have been navigating a space of both uncertainty and promise. Uncertainty since it’s a contract role and promise because I’ve invested time to learn. There’s a lot I still don’t know but I try each day. Really, I try.

There are times I feel vulnerable and easily disenchanted. How is success measured in the role? Is it based on a set of metrics? Are these metrics accurate? Is it fair to be measured or compared to another person… say, a high-performing colleague or team? Is the role actually a challenging one when it comes to measurement in general? Am I getting a fair evaluation?

It’s a role thing. I’m enjoying the company I get to work for. I’m doing soul-searching. And I’m trying to take every learning and applying it. I have to accept I won’t be able to please everyone. I’m trying each day to focus on what matters. To prioritise. But I don’t want to suffer mentally just to fit in. I care for myself and I love myself enough to stop, breathe, and relax.

I put myself on this journey and I’m going to see it through. I won’t look at things as a failure but rather as an opportunity to optimise. Or realise. Really now… I’ve picked up new tricks. Amazing new ways of thinking. I now know how to tie projects and creatives to business needs. My manager taught me this and it’s the biggest takeaway.

And it’s okay if it’s not something I want to end up pursuing in the long term. I am aware of my strengths and skills. If I could somehow combine all the creativity and all the analytics.

I won’t be tied down to a ticking clock. To a time limit. I’ve lived quite fortunate the past thirteen or fourteen years. I’ve had it pretty good.

Funny to write this to myself. But hang in there! You’re 35 in 2020. It’s a new decade and you have the liberty and power to do whatever you want. Hindi na kailangan sumiksik sa mga lugar kung san ka nahihirapan or napipilitan lamang. It’s your path to take, your own path. Not the same path as those around you.

What advice would you give your younger self when it comes to failing forward or learning?

In the studio. On the stage.

I have a friend who’s a hairstylist. His name is Johan. I had no idea his hairstylist nickname was simply, Han. I also had no idea he was working at the hair salon that I enthusiastically booked last Thursday. I wanted to try a new place to get a haircut.

It’s the first time I get my hair done by someone I actually know.

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Running into Johan at the hair salon.

During the hair washing portion, it felt like 10 minutes of gossiping about each other’s lives. I enjoyed it because… well… Han was one of a handful of people who were there for me when I was struggling in early 2018. I remember getting invited to watch him perform in drag. He’d share videos of his performances at a church event. Then, he competed in Drag Wars. Today, he’s part of a drag house in Singapore.

And last Saturday, he landed a gig which was to perform as part of RIOT! drag revue by Becca D’Bus. I feel like I’ve seen him grow and find his art.

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Watching Opal perform at Hard Rock Cafe.

He’s been through quite a bit in his life. But he’s turned that into art. He fixes hair and makes people happy. He performs on stage to express himself as Opal… contributing to the growing modern drag scene in Singapore.

Inspiring.

A year later.

Bondi Lookout in Sydney, Australia (September 2019).

October 15, 2019 marks my first year at LinkedIn.

Honestly, I don’t know how long I’ll have an opportunity to work at this great company. I’m just grateful it’s taught me SO much. On various levels! On a professional level, I’m learning about content marketing, reporting, measurement, optimisation, and truckloads of acronyms (which sum up even more learnings) across two business lines. On a personal level, I’m learning how to manage stakeholders, develop a stronger voice, and other interpersonal skills that have me at my farthest from my comfort zone.

Quite a number of challenges but I’ve learned from them. And we look at challenges as opportunities at growth. I have that growth mindset and I’m using it to overcome any doubts I have as I try new things.

Thankful in one year I’ve seen Dublin twice, San Francisco, and Sydney. Through those business trips I’ve had stopovers in London, Tokyo, Paris, and Frankfurt. I’ve met loads of amazing people from diverse backgrounds. I get to work with a team that’s young and eager to teach me new things.

Our trip to the Botanic Gardens.

Ah, yes. The Singapore Botanic Gardens. It’s probably the very heart of the garden city. Sadly, I’ve almost forgotten about it. I frequent Marina Bay, Tiong Bahru, the Singapore River, and places like Fort Canning. But the Botanic Gardens? It’s slightly further away.

We had a couple of reasons to visit the Botanic Gardens this past weekend. But the reasons weren’t really urgent or compelling. Maybe we just wanted some fresh air. Maybe we wanted to spend time doing something different and… well, free.

The Botanic Gardens was a little dry this time around. There hasn’t been much rain recently and you can see it in the greenery. They look a little thirsty! Still beautiful… the space dedicated to plant life.

The rest in photos. 🙂

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Love, G