Wednesday, August 27, 2014

[Random] A Curation of Words

Ardent, Amorous
Quiescent, Querulous
Vapid, Vitriolic
Zany, Zealous

Monday, August 25, 2014

CH236: A Packed Weekend with Friends

Saturday started off early with me needing to come to the west of Singapore to attend a gym class - Body Pump with Ange and Jon. Last Saturday was different in that Jon couldn't come to Pump because he was out drinking late! (He's got drinking problems. LOL JK. He's so behaved. NOT. Now Jon has become ambiguous and let's leave it at that). They went to the gym around 1pm to attend the Body Combat class which I skipped for swimming. We were joined by Jon's friend Lara.

Planking pains.


I got back home to a house party hosted by my lovable housemate and fag hag Louisa. She cooked pancit, kwek kwek and squid balls! She even concocted her own mix of dipping sauces ala Manong Fishball!

She also ordered a cake called Choco Leche which had a chocolate cake base (super moist!) and a Leche flan top!

Soon after munching, I retired to my bedroom to try and take a nap. But after devouring 15 (a conservative estimate) kwek kwek pieces and cake and ... Lol lets not enumerate, I was pretty much tired from waking early and gym. I couldn't sleep though! I had a dinner meetup with former work colleagues to catch up. So soon after I just went to get ready and danced in the shower to my favorite tunes care of spotify premium! I find that it's an effective means to wake up and shake the sleep off - shower + dance music and karaoke lol.

After the meetup with colleagues, I went to meet Ange and Jon and friends for the Singapore night festival. Although I only saw the exhibits in SAM and the bit of the night festival they had at the facade of SAM. The group went ahead without me to see the other night installations while I caught up with former colleagues.

After which, you might have thought I went back home to sleep. NO rest for the wicked! We went clubbing afterwards. Lol. I met some friends Louisa and Ivan in the pub beside the club and went back dancing - coming out back and forth as other friends came into the Pub lol.

Finally got home around 5am, showered then slept. 5 hours later... I was awoken by my alarm for brunch! Paella brunch at Pasarbella!

A very delicious side of honey roast pork and crackling roast pork! (Combo cost 15 dollars. The paella + chicken + iced lemon earl grey tea was 20 dollars).

After a filling meal, we went to Botanic Gardens for a picnic. We bought wine, and since I was feeling generous and wanted to celebrate the 10th monthsary of a couple friends, I bought us cupcakes!

As soon as I got home, I just had to charge my phone, wash my face and then go to Novena to attend mass with Ange and Jon. They came by my place to have a taste of the squid balls and pancit and the delectable cake after mass! Yum!

It might be taken as strange for me to attend mass, but I do believe in God. Just not religion and I feel closer to God in a place other people consider a place of worship - which since I don't believe in religion may not be entirely what I believe in. But I wanted to find the quiet and space to thank God for all the blessings that he's given to me, my family and ... Well other private conversations :)

I had squid ball in my mouth lol. That's not the new way I smile.

And then after that, I helped clean up, watched a bit of tennis (US OPEN 2013) while waiting for my laundry to finish. I hung up my clothes, ironed my shirts for the week...and now I'm typing this entry in bed while waiting for sleep to come!

It was surely a packed weekend! Looking at the transitions in between each happening, I only had time to freshen up! I couldn't ask for more though. In the company of great friends, food, drinks, art, I couldn't really ask for more. 3 months from now and a few days from this writing, I'll be off to Manila for a few days before my travel begins around Europe then US! I'm so happy to have met these real people in Singapore. There are others of course who I may not have managed to get around to writing, but well, I just figured myself #blessed (I couldn't resist the pretentious hashtag lol) that I have these people in Singapore I can be myself with and just have fun #nodrama. Some people may not have the same luxury of the kinds of friends I have and for that I'm thankful. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

CH235: Life Lessons at 28

A listicle of sorts.

1. Everyone needs to experience a heartbreak.
- It helps us mature and understand what we truly want and need in a relationship. It teaches us about compromise, commitment and the lines we need to draw so as not to lose ourselves

2. Travelling and seeing the world is enriching.
- it gives us perspective on the lives other people live. We get to see other cultures that may be similar or entirely different from our own. We get an appreciation of diversity. We learn respect and understanding. We open our minds.

3. Travelling alone will change you.
- I've travelled by myself on a handful of occasions and I know the experience has changed me for the better. I've learned to cope with the unexpected. I've learned to plan and organize better (sometimes a bit obsessive compulsive). I've learned to embrace the fears travelling alone can bring. I've learned how to be independent and learned as well how to be dependent when the need arises (like asking for directions in a broken Spanish-English when I got lost for a short while in Madrid).

4. Family is a blessing that keeps on giving.
- having blood ties is important. Cherish them. Value them. I feel for the most part of my life, I've overlooked the value and love a family can bring into one's life. I guess having huge age gaps from my two other siblings and my dad mostly working abroad can be considered as causes, but well, I've become independent because of the circumstances.

5. You don't need a lot of friends, just a handful of close important ones is enough.
- it is important in the shaping of our being to have REAL friends we can be true to ourselves with. Like family, cherish them. Make the relationships with them grow. Foster them.

6. Career is important.
- we need to have work and have goals. A careers and it's development gives us purpose. And the obvious fact - it gives us money to become economically independent. It funds our endeavors, hobbies, interests and passion.

7. Having a sufficient number of sexual experiences changes you.
- it's up to you how you make of it. But for me, it's been a positive experience. Monogamy is still important for me, but through sexual experiences, we can discover things about ourselves and our body that will have been otherwise undiscovered. We also can learn social skills, and build our confidence. We become more secure of ourselves and the cloud that fogs sex and the mysticism that sometimes surrounds it are unmasked. We figure out what we like and how we like it done (hahaha). We realize, sex isn't really how pornography makes it out to be. We get our own opinion of sex through the experiences we've had.

8. Reading books, news, literature is important for a holistic development.
- Lord knows how much news I read each day. From current affairs, to tech news, to business, to stocks, etc, it is important as citizens of the world to become aware. It is like travelling in a sense - only your mind and its imagination go to places. Being informed is a necessity to making the right decisions.

9. Appearances matter.
- the other day I was thinking (after seeing my nephews and nieces' pictures), thank God they're cute. And to myself, thank you Lord for I'm not bad looking. Not to be vain or narcissistic, but it's a fact and reality of life where people can be discriminated based on appearance. Physical features can get you to places, but it is also a matter of taking care of yourself and wearing the right clothing etc. Fitness is not overrated!

10. Learn to appreciate museums, arts and theater.
- it's not just for the rich. Knowing a bit about art and giving ourselves time to appreciate them is worth every second. Discovering Koons, pollock, Van Gogh, monet, Picasso, dali, etc gives us depth and character. It enriches our souls. Watching musicals and theater allows us to appreciate diversity and talents that exist in the world.

11. Self acceptance ushers in an evolution of character.
- it's like a line that goes "how can you love others, when you don't know how to love yourself." I'm not being specific here as it should apply in general (based on observation), but people who have accepted themselves for who they are tend to be less stuck up. For my experience, I've learned to be more open to the people who matter - close friends and family. I've become happier. We may be poor and going through hardships, but self acceptance is the first step to moving forward. Yes, we may be poor now, but we're not going to be miserable. I accept that I'm poor or struggling now and make the most of it to ensure I get myself to somewhere, someplace better.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CH234: Permutations

Yesterday afternoon, I got an SMS out of the blue from my dad.

"Hi, Tipz. Now that you have your Australian PR, you need to start prioritizing job, home and car. Set some aside for these. Take care. God Bless. Love you."

My simple reply: "Yes pa, that's the plan once I get to AU. Mortgage, car, and insurance."

There's only so much iterations one can go through to get things right. I've always been undecided about where I wanted to settle before. I had the opportunity to move to New Zealand with a job search visa, but decided not to risk everything and move. The earthquake that happened in Christchurch caused a saturation in the job market for my field in IT - SAP consultancy when the people living in Christchurch were displaced and had to relocate to Auckland / Wellington - the places which had the demand for my field of work when I applied for the SilverFern Job Search visa.

Singapore was never in my mind to be a long term prospect. I realized that after a year of living and working in it. It has always been a stepping stone for something better - AU or NZ. I don't mean that in the negative way - I mean, it's a give or take relationship. I've contributed in one form or the other that may just not be physically tangible as to what other foreign talents have contributed (construction, health care, etc) so I don't feel guilty saying that because I'm thankful.

So, getting back to my dad's message. Sometimes, I do feel that I don't share enough of my plans to everyone in my family, that maybe they think I'm just being the wild child who's off to travel Europe and the US come December and January then move to Australia by February. But the thing is, I am aware of what needs to be done in Australia, like I've told to some of my friends, it's finally my entry to adulthood - the world of mortgages, insurance, loans, and other worries. But I have passion in travelling. From the planning, to booking stuff (flights, accommodations, etc), to looking for the best deals, to organizing routes and itineraries and to finally experiencing the trip, I enjoy each and every one of those moments. I have a feeling that I won't be able to do as much of those things once I get to Australia. In fact, one thing crossed my mind last night: "The next time I'll probably get to see Europe is when I no longer need a visa to see it." For benchmark purposes, I've noted that my sister and husband got a house (more like a mansion considering it's LA and they have a pool and a big backyard) age 38, and my brother and wife got a house age 31-32.

The timing of my dad's message I believe was right in sync when I booked my New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco to Manila flight. Maybe they haven't realized, but the early purchases are not a means to splurge, but rather save. Advance all the finances forward in time to create savings later. I thought it was quite obvious going about it, how my plans are obvious to a third person living outside my experience.

There's only a certain number of permutations in the given amount of time I have left for me to plan, act and to make things right. Only time will tell whether I chose the right sequence or not.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

CH233: Amalgamate

Going on a sabbatical and travelling around Europe has always just been a secondary consideration in terms of my plans to leave Singapore. The so-called plan was to be December - Europe, December-January - USA then February - Australia. In terms of monetary situation, it does seem the least bit feasible of all possibilities to pull off considering that I will be needing my savings to survive in Australia.

But, last week, out of impulse, I used my KrisFlyer miles for a ticket going to Amsterdam. It was confirmed almost immediately after paying for the taxes only (which was about a PAL flight to Manila). My impulse to purchase the ticket was partly in consideration that 1. SQ flights to Paris were all wait listed for the day I wanted to go and 2. I only had Amsterdam in my mind for this Europe trip. (I had no intention yet to go to Frankfurt).

Come last Monday, while trying to distract myself from the realities of life and trying to inject some excitement into my otherwise boring corporate life, I booked a flight from Brussels to Milan. I have in part initially only considered the below itinerary:

Netherlands - Dec 5-11
Belgium - Dec 12-16
Luxembourg - Dec 17-20
France (only Paris) - Dec 21-27
New York - Dec 28-Jan 1
Los Angeles - Jan 2-10
San Francisco - Jan 11-14
Manila - Jan 15-31
Australia (For Good) - Feb 1 - Indefinite

After speaking to some friends and mulling on it (again, distracting myself), I realized if this was meant to be travelling to see much more of Europe, then it does not follow that I restrict myself to how much of Europe I'll be seeing. Well, to be honest, I allotted more days than usual in the cities mostly because I know it will be winter and walking around seeing the sites may not really be that ... hmm warm. So, yeah, I decided to fly from Brussels to Milan after browsing for flights and saw that it was one of the cheapest cities you can fly to from Brussels - also in part because the direct flights to Nice, France were very expensive. (I've recently discovered to assist in this endeavor of flight scouring.). So, the tentative itinerary now looks like:

Netherlands (Dec 5-9)
----Amsterdam, Dec 5, 6, 7, 8
----Amsterdam, Dec 9 - bus to Bruges
Belgium (Dec 9-13)
----Brussels, Dec 9, 10,
----Bruges, Dec 11
----Ghent, Dec 12
----Brussels, Dec 13 - fly to Milan
Italy (Dec 13-16)
----Milan, Dec 13, 14, 15
----Milan, Dec 16 (train/bus to Nice)
France (Dec 16-28)
----Nice, Dec 16, 17, 18, 19
----Lyon, Dec 20, 21, 22, 23
----Paris, Dec 24, 25, 26, 27
----Paris, Dec 28 - Fly to New York
USA (Dec 28-Jan 14)
----New York, Dec 28, 29, 30, Jan 1
----New York, Jan 2 - fly to Los Angeles
----Los Angeles, Jan 2-10 (visit family and niece's Christening)
----San Francisco - Jan 10-14

I could have stayed in San Francisco a bit longer but my mom said she needed me to be in Manila on the 17th of January for my cousin's wedding. Since it's my cousin from my favorite uncle, I said yes. It was funny how my mom's concern when I told her my plans was when I will be arriving back in Manila to attend the wedding which coincidentally is when the Pope visits the Philippines.

The itinerary is not final yet but it should be as my thoughts and planning on the matter amalgamate. Like for instance, I am considering shortening the days in Nice, Lyon and Milan to include a trip to Rome. But then again, I'm considering travel burn out and the uncertainties of travelling in Winter (this will be my first Winter experience). Well, I've experienced cold weather but never nearing levels of negative.

In other news, I only have 10 episodes left from finishing the 5 seasons of Breaking Bad. If you do the math, if each episode averages 47 minutes, having watched 49 episodes then I've lost 2303 minutes of my life. All in all, that translates to 38.38 hours I've spent watching it since Saturday. I've never seen anything so addictive to just binge watch. I very much like and enjoy seeing how they portray humanity and the consequences of actions. Anyway, that's for a different entry all together if I get around to it.

Monday, August 4, 2014

[Random] Unencumbered

Unencumbered (04/08/2014)

At the precipice of contemplation,
I realized with striking clarity,
that I have moved on from you,
From us, from my loss.

My heart has been mended.
The despair and confusion,
Antiquated feelings like spindly cobwebs,
Swiped clean as frail as they are.

I stared out onto the night.
The neighboring buildings blinking,
On and Off, On and off -
Signs of life and movement.

I spin with the world
As it rotates and orbits around the sun.
Immobility by emotional distress -
A somber concept by romantics and poets.

I hear the distant breeze.
I inhale deep and breathe out,
A sigh of freedom and relief.
The burden is completely gone.

I recall seeing your picture together.
No envy, no jealousy, no remorse, no anger
There was nothing. Absolutely nothing.
"Oh, they look good together."

My phone sounds as a message comes in.
I smile. "It's you. What a coincidence."
I do not bother to reply.
Swipe to the left, delete. Time for bed.