Monday, March 28, 2011

CH38: Life changes

While waiting for my Mrt ride home, I only realized now that there are a lot of things I can live without. Like driving a car for instance, now in sg, I only miss driving. But it doesn't feel much as a necessity compared to when I was in the Philippines.

Some formerly perceived needs become wants.

And tasks previously not actioned become necessity - laundry, ironing of clothes etc.

Which brings me to the point that, the government can dictate on what society perceives as needs and wants. Commercialism has little effect on wants as again, governments can create policies to shape how society thinks and reacts.

Singapore has done a lifestyle change for me. Although a stark contrast from the Philippine setting, discipline and way of life can change through government action and policies.

I'm rambling here or perhaps getting sentimental, but I hope I brought up and drove through a point here

[Random] Hair Cut

Yesterday, I got my first 'trimming' here in Singapore. Well, as I am not as vain as other people, don't expect me to put out what I look like with my new hair style.

All I can say are the following:
1. I still like how meticulous my stylist was in the Philippines, in terms of cutting my hair. I do not generalize for all stylist though, just one in Acqua Trinoma. Maybe because I've been getting my hair cut by him since right before my graduation rites in UP. Here in SG, the time it took for my hair to get cut is about the same time it took for my hair to be shampooed as well as conditioned plus the chit chats.

My stylist is not very adept to speaking and hearing the English language I think, so he has to stop to hear/understand me before he continues cutting. The stylist I got, was Malay-Chinese. Very young at 23 years old. He shares that he has been working in a salon for almost 5 years. He studied while doing work so blah blah blah. A lot of the details elude me right now with all the noise in a salon and of course, the obvious language barrier.

2. My haircut cost about ~S$33. The haircut I get in the Acqua cost about ~S$13 (430 pesos, 280 for haircut, 100 for tip to stylist, 50 for the person who does the shampoo, conditioning, scalp massage, and the clearing off the cut hair from shoulders and face. - That was a mouthfull!). The stylist in Singapore does everything, wash, cut, blowdry etc etc.

There are QBhouses or other places of the same sort but a different name which sells haircuts for S$10. But, I classified those places as "Barber Shops" based on how similar they look with barber shops in the Philippines. I've already had bad experiences with barber shops in the Philippines, so I opted not to go and try. Although cheaper, the same flow of logic applies here in SG. Price difference is almost propotional as well, I think.

3. Style wise, well, I have to say that mine looks authentically Chinese/Singaporean/Japanese/Korean - whichever trend is being followed. Hahaha, my stylists boasts of his training in Malaysia and his upcoming training in Taipei with regards to styling hair...But I think I'll get another haircut once I get back to the Philippines, it's pretty expensive here. I imagine that the haircut I got is already worth about 4 days of 2 meals.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

CH37: Day off

Having just visited the Singapore Arts Museum, I can safely say that this country values its art pieces and patron more than the Philippines.

The museum was retrofitted to centralize airconditioning. The whole of the museum was enclosed in glass to preserve the contents (I guess) of the pieces of art as well as provide a very comfortable atmosphere for the patrons. I recall the visit my friends and I had a museum of a similar effect somewhere in Manila. Although, yes, the experience was pleasurable, but I must say, the publicity to encourage people to visit the place was lacking.

It felt as though in the Philippines, art is packaged to be consumed only by a certain stratosphere of society. Not very accessible as well, I wouldn't know how to commute were we went, it was only a matter of convenience that we drove there.

Anyway, getting out of topic. What I wanted to post about was my liking and appreciation for the arts. I took the time from my day off to research on what art galleries I can visit, and well, what better place to visit, than the Singapore Arts Museum.

Pictures posted here.

You need to be a friend of a friend or my friend in facebook though in order to view.

So, yes, going around about the town soaking in different cultural arts and displays, is one of my idea of relaxation. I especially like going through the silent corridors and hallways soaking in the arts.

Friday, March 18, 2011

CH36: Independence

There's not much to being independent.

You do your own laundry, iron your clothes ... well, for my cause, I don't need to clean the CR/toilet or wash the dishes - the landlord seems to volunteer himself to.

But, well, like I said, there's not much to living by yourself. I feared before of having to go through major adjustments, but, nothing of the sort really came my way.

Before, when I miss having to wake up or turning my alarm off, my mom would be there to make sure I was out of bed. But, well that's not really a major adjustment, but a minor convenience. Of that sort, well, I haven't had any trouble with it. Well, waking up on time, can be a problem, but only when I'm not on shift ... blah blah ... i don't want to go into the details of work. But let's get back on the topic.

The thing about independence though that struck me, is the kind of discipline living independently teaches you. There's something to learn about having to wash your clothes, iron them, budget your time, budget your money. I don't regret my decision one bit of going to Singapore to work. I believe, that so far that I have stayed here, well, there have been a lot of learnings - both with career and personal growth.

There are a lot of things I miss in the Philippines, but I just attribute those to changes that we need to adapt to.

So yes, I can safely say, that by the time I turn a quarter of a century old, that, I am fully satisfied with how my life is going, and I can only be more than happy to look forward to what's next to come.

I mentioned in a previous post, that I don't know or can't even begin to imagine where I'll be 5 years from now, but those are variables, that need not be fussed over. Like I told a friend, we're still young and there's a lot to look forward to.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

[Random] Mrs. Chong

I almost forgot to post this. This is by far one of the most touching advertisements I've ever seen on TV.
The message is there. The story line is great. It drives the message through.

CH36: Japan Japan!

I'm quite saddened with what has happened in Japan.
I am happy though that my friends are safe.

I hope that the nuclear scare dies down soon, so relief efforts can be organized for the more important matters - that is - relief and rehabilitation for people affected by the tsunami. So many families without homes, so many people who lost their livelihood, etc etc.

I can't even begin to imagine if such situation happened to the Philippines...

Aside from the concern over Japan, well, I can't allow myself to become spent worrying for and empathizing with the people in Japan. I have my own struggles to deal with ... first and foremost is of course, my mom.

I'm so happy that a couple of my friends were at least able to visit her after her surgery - on my behalf.
Although, haha, as I called my mom last night, she still wasnt able to open the card my friends gave her.

So anyway, life must move on, money needs to be earned. The world continues spinning.

PS: I don't believe in 2012. ,

Sunday, March 13, 2011

CH35: Panic

Just a few minutes ago, my sister popped me a message in YM.

She started it off by saying, "Mom got in an accident, she's currently in the ER of St. Lukes," and the font of her message was like usual, bold comic sans i think size 15. So, it was pretty alarming to hear the news...she typed on about things while I called my mom immediately.

Scenes flashed through my mind, and I was imagining so many things - the things that you see on movies and tv. Thank God my mom is safe. Although, the story of it is that, she slipped on wet cement on a sidewalk and fell to her knee. End of the story is that she fractured her knee and may need to go through surgery.

I dont know the full details of what happened yet, so you can say that this is some sort of hot scoop or something. But, well, the panic has come and gone. Now, the lingering feeling is just concern. I wish I could fly back to Manila ASAP and help her out, but I cant. I have my obligations here and, well, it's a job.

I am just now imagining how things would have been if I was in Manila and not in Singapore. My thought of it is that, well, accidents happen. I will pray for my mom's safety and recovery.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

[Random] Fast

Time really flies here in Singapore. I never really doubted the relativity of time with respect to the speed of light, but, seriously, 1 month and 1 week would have already gone by in a few hours.

The funny thing is that a lot of things are going on, but I have the sensation when I realize what time or date it is, that like, how did i get here?

Is it because Singapore is a 1st world country? Or because I havent encountered traffic (given that I dont drive here)? Really.

Next thing, I'll have been here for 1 year already.

Friday, March 11, 2011

[Review] Jack's Place

So, while staying late in the office, my friends: Trixie, Benjo and Simoun, decided to eat out. Trixie picked out a place at Century Square Mall. The place is mid-end by Singapore standards the way I see it.

**prices quoted below are before service charge (10%) as well as GST - SG's version of VAT (7%).
The price range is from $16-40(SGD). Steaks are its main offer. Upon the recommendation of the waiter, I tried the Jack's Special Steak 25SGD. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of before eating it. Hahaha, so sadly enough, below is a picture of what's been half devoured.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

[Random] I remember

I just remembered how November of last year, I decided to clean up my wallet and found the ezlink card I bought from my first visit to Singapore...

I threw it away or perhaps even cut it in half, I don't remember...

I find it funny that a month after, I get a job in Singapore, and after a little over a month after that, I find myself living in Singapore...indefinitely.

[Random] Swamped

Well, here I go again, ranting work and life.

Yet again as well, I'm busy for the week. The following tasks are expected to be completed:
1. SMD installation on 1 Java system ... may need Wily for this
2. DSI (solman dev) refresh ... kind of new to me since Java will be refreshed as well. New learnings.
3. Oracle SBP Patching (4/5 SIDs to work on) ... another new encounter

It seems though, to be honest that my stay in TSFI has brought more good than should be expected. The work environment I guess, cultured the 'working-independently' attitude. Before, if these tasks were assigned to me, I would have groaned in frustration as well as fright at the thought of not being able to meet certain expectations - given that, well, I am not aware of how to do the said activities.

But now, I find myself, well, feeling like hmm ... how should I phrase it, happy go lucky I guess, in a way. The activities are there, so, theres nothing else to do but get them over with.

With the matter for number 1, I have to discuss with my boss first that installation may not be completed by Friday given that I have the Refresh to perform, and I may also need to have root access on the system in order to finish the there are tons of other configuration items to consider.

Anyway, WTFupdate.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

[Random] $_$

I've been in Singapore a little over (by a few hours) a month.

And the salary just came in last night - prorated though.

The first thing I did with my salary was top up my transportation card with money. 50sgd should last me 3-weeks to a month I think, more if I use taxis more often.

I don't really plan to buy much of anything just to celebrate.
There's nothing around really that I want ... or it's they're still too expensive more my salary range.

So anyway, I was planning at least to go to the city center (Ngee Ann City Mall) to check out a belt from Kenneth Cole, but as it happens, an issue came up so I had to set up my laptop to troubleshoot the issue, and then it started raining. Too bad.

So after finishing the issue a few minutes ago, I decided to go stroll around the malls here in the tampines area, and I was happy to find a Swatch outlet. With this in stock:

So, now while working again on an issue (im on call as well for the weekend), i'm contemplating on whether i should get the watch or not.

And on the side I guess, buy more long sleeve polos so I have more options to clothe myself with an of course, reduce the hassle of having to do regular laundry so I will actually have something to wear.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

CH34: Downpour

The photo above was taken while I was in a taxi on my way to work.

March 3, 2011 - was the day I woke up, well, late. It was already 1:50 PM when I woke up. And I had work at 2.
There really was no problem setting up my laptop at home, connecting, and proceeding to work on anything that may need immediate attention. Thankful there wasnt any serious matters at first, just a few transport, so I was able to get into the shower and get ready for work.

At about 2:30 pm, I was ready to leave for the office. But then I got a call from the DCOPS team regarding a certain customer's problem with Control-M job. Argh. Jaffar is his name and he's quite the customer.

Anyway, I was able to leave the house by around 3pm and left thinking that hopefully this time, I won't have as much trouble getting a taxi. Oh boy, was I wrong.

It was about 10 minutes of desperate standing and calling for taxis, I don't know, I'm starting to think our place is not an ideal hub to wait for taxis. Then suddenly, there was a downpour! After about 20-30 minutes, I still wasnt able to get a taxi. I tried calling twice for a taxi pickup, but I think there was a mix up on my address or perhaps the fact that there was extremely low visibility that I was not able to get a taxi.

Sometime after about 40 minutes of waiting, I was deciding to get back to the house to check on some issues that came in during my wait. Lo and behold, there was a taxi waiting near the lobby of the house, it was just dropping off some Napis. I rushed and ran and got soaking wet! But when I got to the taxi, the driver tells me that his shift is over so I can't ride along.

In frustration, I went back home. Undressed, and worked for a bit. After about 10-15 minutes, I realized that I havent eaten anything for the day and I will need to get out of the house and preferrably work in the office. So I did, I got dressed again, new polo, new pants... what a waste of laundry. This time I called for the third taxi.

While dressing up, I got a call that the taxi has arrived. I rushed and got another call from the driver himself. How embarassing, I was about to be reprimanded that it shouldnt be the case of a driver following up with a customer, but I explained my situation jokingly, and he understood thankfully enough.

I gave him a tip once I got to the office. Life.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

CH33: Can't Fight This Feeling

And I'm getting close than I ever thought I might

And I can't fight this feeling anymore
I've forgotten what I started fighting for
It's time to bring this ship into the shore
And throw away the oars
Baby, I can't fight this feeling anymore

 Excerpts from the song "Can't Fight This Feeling."

I find myself drawn to it (the song) every time I start up Ipod on my Iphone.
I can't really explain why.
I figure it might be because I'm turning 25 in about a month's time. Quarter life crisis?

Like I said in my previous entry, I only dreamed of making it in Singapore after 5 years of work experience.
But, as luck may have it, the dream has turned to reality, after only about 2.5 years of experience.

I don't kinow ... I'm really thankful and grateful for making it here. Salary-wise, there's so much to be thankful for. From my computation, I'm quite amazed how my career salary-wise has grown leaps and bounds.
From my salary in HP, after nearly 2 years of experience, I joined TSFI and experienced a salary-growth/increase of almost 100%. And now, here in SG, as I am about to gain 3 years of experience (more or less), I find that my salary has increased by almost 700% from HP.

But somehow, well, now that I've made it here in Singapore, there's something amiss.
I'm thinking that it must be because dreams were realized far too early and fast.
I find that I don't really know where to go next. What dream to dream of now ...

I know for fact, that as a stepping stone, Singapore now may quite possibly be Europe or perhaps Australia or New Zealand in 2 years time (5th year of work experience). There's a lot of possibility and choices as long as I play my cards right.

And, there it is, another conundrum as I like to consider it. Too many choices. I like having choices to choose from, but I don't like having too many choices to make. Take for example when shopping, I limit my choices to certain stores so as not to complicate a simple matter as buying clothes or shoes. Simple.

But life, as they say, is generally complicated. I'm starting to go blah blah right now, so getting back to the song. I don't really know what I'm feeling. I don't think I'm feeling homesick ... unless what I am feeling is a precursor to one. I've never really longed for the Philippines since working here. There are somethings I miss from home and from the regularity of things I have been used to the Philippines, but not really to the point of brooding or crying or whining about missing home. I'm happy here, with that uncertain feeling I am feeling.

I can't see for myself nor even imagine what I want to do or where I want to be 5 more years from now (10 years of work experience). I usually tell my friends that perhaps I will try applying for PR in Australia where most of my friends have risked it, or perhaps New Zealand where my brother has already migrated.

But, then, I realize, PR, permanent residency, sounds something like settling down. Living there for good. But, I haven't explored that dream yet as I have no intention of settling down yet. There's so much more to explore and places to travel to.

I guess, I should conclude this by just satisfying myself by saying that perhaps I should just take life one day at a time. Which doesn't quite cut it for me, but given the limited choices I have right now - seeing that I don't have any idea where to take my life next - I'll just bide my time.

CH32.5: I'm back and it's a start.

[Cross posted from my Livejournal with a few minor edits]

Finally, after what, almost 2-3 years, I'm back to blogging.

So many things have happened in my life over the past years.
From working with HP and becoming exposed to SAP - and becoming a SAP Basis Consultant...
To leaving HP due to personal reasons like conflict with a manager and the looming fear of stagnation...
To becoming a bum for about 3 months thinking things through, evaluating whether to change career paths to something very much ECE...
To thinking that if I did shift careers, then that will mean lower pay, and effectively derailing other plans in my life...
Like a target salary for one, or the fact that eventually, my family will migrate elsewhere....
I still dont even know if the eventuality of things is in the US where my sister is staying ... or perhaps New Zealand where my brother is.

But, I don't want to spat out religious stuff, but I believe God has led me the way and I was able to land a job with The Software Factory, Inc...
Where, a lot was learned, and I was back on track to a career, that I didnt really initially choose for myself ... but HP presented.
And well, I was supposed to have typed next that zooming forward to the future...but then I realized that there are things I wish to mention first with regards to TSFI...

It's a great company, under my boss Leo's leadership, there really is a lot to learn and gain from the company if you are pursuing an SAP Basis Career...
Sadly, not everything is perfect, and I think the HR and management could learn to model the operations such that employees benefit in the long term...think of it as loyalty and tenure and stuff like that....
I wouldnt have left TSFI if the current opportunity and project i have did not come along...
TSFI, in my ~10 months of stay there has nurtured my knowledge on the produc that I am supporting, as obvious as it is, SAP.

But, now zooming forward and cutting the blah blahs short, December of last year (2010), an opportunity presented itself when one of my colleagues in HP, now in IBM SG, told me there was an opening in IBM.

Not many people know of this, but in all honesty, I have plotted it in my career that on my 5th year of working (back then it was like: on my 5th year of working whichever career, I want to work in Singapore or anywhere abroad, but when I landed in an IT work - SAP Basis Engineer/Consultant, I've plotted to work with IBM SG).

Dreams are just that, dreams. Mostly a cynic, I did not really expect to land the job and now work for IBM SG.
But I did. And so here I am, back to blogging.

But I feel awful not having updated my livejournal blog for so long, so I've decided to move a new blog.
Cliche, a new beginning.