Monthly Archives: June 2010

Singing and Swimming in the Singapore Shower

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My feet are fishes currently splashing in an aquarium called my shoes.

When I say my shoes are like aquarium, these are not what I meant.

Woke up and thought it would be one of those normal Singapore rains that would end in just an hour, or two at least. And now, just look at where the assumption got me: wet jacket, wet hair, wet half of my pants, wet shoes which I think wouldn’t last for another torrential rain considering price, and last but not the least, wet me.

Having been in Singapore for two years (in the next ten days to be precise), I am not that used to heavy rains happening here. Well, except the last time I went in the Philippines last September to experience the typhoon that put the country in all the history books regarding calamity, Ondoy. (You can read about it/see pictures from one of my favorite writer’s blog, Jessica Zafra, at http://www.jessicarulestheuniverse.com/2009/09/28/when-disaster-relief-coordination-is-the-disaster/).

The rains this morning just reminded me of old days where the usual question upon seeing the heavy downpour, dark clouds, and ear-splitting thunder are: Are the classes suspended? or Is the roof leaking already?

It most probably is flooding in some streets right now and my guess is that Singaporeans, unused with strong weather disturbances and familiar with them only through the tube, are in some sort of panic.

I remember the news some few days ago about the Orchard Road turning into Orchard River after a day-long rain. Many have gone from thinking that it is the end of the world to blaming foreigners for the flood, based on the comments I read from a blog (http://singapore-lighthouse.blogspot.com/2010/06/freak-flood-again-now-at-orchard-road.html) that posted pictures that day.

Why they were able to think of these two, I honestly have no idea. Though the latter affects me very much, to dwell on that topic is simply a waste of time. I mean, you can go on a debate forever and not even change the mindset of some, no matter how hard you try. It’s their choice anyway.

Moving on. I have put a small electric fan on the floor to dry up my soaked pants, my jacket is hanged at the back of my chair, and my shoes – poor shoes – are at the back of the office’s air conditioning unit. Which reminds me: I have just accomplished one goal!

Goal number 2. Buy ballet shoes – clash of the non-sensical and worldly desires.

Great. I just realised it at a time I am ready to part with them. They’re cute, they’re black, they’re flat, and most of all, they were on sale. In less than three weeks, using these type of shoes six times a week can take its toll. Good thing I just bought a new pair: red, pointed, and flat.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain! But please have them downpours when I am at home and cozily watching movies as opposed to running after buses and running away from cars that might drench me as they pass by.


Nope, not this Rain. Haha!

Happy birthday to the most wonderful woman of all time: Mama Bear!

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At about the same date some 24 years ago, you were still healing your, er, wounds, from delivering me. 24 hours of panting and pain is no simple feat, especially with a big headed me (literally).

To Mrs. Elizabeth Enriquez Muyot, so many things to thank you for:

  • all the times you haven’t given up on us,
  • locking us up on the toilet without any lights back when we were kids so that we will be forced to reconcile and hug each other after a fight,
  • well, shielding us always both physically and in terms of support should there be any harm,
  • teaching us how to survive in tough times and be humble during good times,
  • remembering the little things we wish for, though subconsciously, and having us surprised with the thoughtfulness the next day,
  • constantly putting us first in your priority before yourself, to the point that you deprive yourself too much,
  • shedding tears when I left yet never held me back from my own discovery 😦 ,
  • being the positive force and our inspiration whenever depression tries to dissuade me from being strong, (jeez I’m already crying).
  • being “on of the youngsters” and always understanding enough to accept that her five kids are retards,
  • singing “Heart of Jesus” with us beside you in the bed to lull us into sleep,
  • teaching us how to pray the rosary and that Jesus is only a heartbeat away,
  • teaching me that every time I extend my hand and help pass the payment of a fellow commuter inside the jeepney/fx, I earn one goodie point in heaven,
  • teaching me how to look after my siblings, though I have seem to instilled it too much: be it against another kid bully (I don’t really care what age mwahahaha) or the corrupt school teacher (no need now, though, as they know their rights already)
  • for tolerating the tantrums of a sleepless and cranky me during my callcenter days,
  • for being strong for us, although I know that you are also crumbling inside,
  • for thinking ten steps ahead of us in anticipating our needs,
  • for being the top most person who will love us unconditionally, no matter how bad we seem to think we are,
  • for being everything we need and more.

There are so many things to thank you for, but before I break down, I hope it’s okay to stop for a while. I know that if you will be reading this, you’d be crying as well. Enough drama. I just want to thank you Mama. I love you so much. Your gift will come soon, I promise. 🙂 I’ve asked my own angel to look after you as well 🙂

Scoring Goals for the Long Term

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Nervous. Excited. Worried. Happy. Pressured. Confident. Scared. Exhilarated.

I can go on listing all emotions possible and yet these wouldn’t be enough to describe what I am about to do: make long term goals. Currently palpitating, I imagine the words listed above madly rotating in a seeming blender inside my stomach, bringing my insides in confusion and anticipation. Okay, enough postponing the inevitable by writing nonsense introductions. I guess I will have to try to do one goal at a time, each with its own time frame.

Note: This blog should and will be edited from time to time. Either for adding up new goals, or to reflect upon accomplishing them. 😀

SUMMARY:

GOAL #1: Blue hair and a visit to my 2nd most dreaded four-cornered room – the dentist. Check for the latter! 06.07.10. Blue hair to come!

GOAL #2: Learn, learn, learn!

GOAL #3: Back to writing!


Let’s get it on!

GOAL #1: Blue hair and a visit to my 2nd most dreaded four-cornered room – the dentist.

Deadline: 04th July, 2010 (weekend after the salary haha!)

I have been wanting to ice up my hair in the cool shade of blue. Not totally, mind you. Dress to express, not to impress, as the saying goes.

Hedonism is a school of ethics which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good.

-definition from Wikipedia


In some aspects of life, we should also consider about being pleased with ourselves in order to manifest that positivism and goodness, if I may say so. Example, how are you to console your daughter or sister about her looks, if deep inside, you are not comfortable with your own skin?

Hedonism is good to such an extent that you do not use this as an excuse to justify maligning other people’s positivism or goodness. Just like that quote “your right ends when another’s begin.” These two statements are admittedly, debate-worthy. So, I will just leave it to the rational species of the earth to use and understand it with all the might of their brain cells. Okay, I’ve drifted off the topic and have quoted a lot for the simple purpose of coloring my hair. So now, it’s
the dreaded dentist talk.

Hospital and dental fees are way to expensive here in Singapore as compared to the Philippines, which (strongly stressed) do not necessarily  mean that the former outweighs the latter in terms of service (definitely not), safety, and quality. Everything in Singapore is expensive, even a single token’s worth at Timezone is expensive. Promising myself to take care of my biters, I’ll schedule a visit in the next two weeks.


GOAL #2: Learn, learn, learn!

Deadline: Until November 2010

If you find yourself bored and thinking that you have experienced everything possible in life, then sister, it’s time to bang your head on the wall for a good reality check. Never be satisfied with what you currently know. Life is, aside from love, all about learning. I admit that I am not an active student and I do not believe much that schools can equip you for everything. What I do know is that these institutions provide you groundwork and the rest – application, additional learning, facing life! – is up to you.

So, since I enjoy photography, I am currently scouting for good Photoshop/Dreamweaver/any other software applications that will not only enhance my interest for the arts, but might also come in handy for my future job. 🙂 (Please let this come soon!)


GOAL #3: Back to writing!

Deadline: ASAP!

Perhaps nothing is more gratifying than letting your nose bleed and cracking your head hard – career-wise at least. Pressure and stress are definitely the office hazards, but just think of the rewards after accomplishing such tasks makes you feel – to borrow the lines of Leonardo DiCaprio from the movie Titanic – like the “king of the world.”

Since I should be starting to accept the fact that the term “youth” might soon be irrelevant to me and that each second that ticks by is unique, I have to “dust myself off and try again” (song by Aaliyah from the movie, Romeo Must Die) and look forward to having a long term career as one of my long term goals.

Hard but uber gratifying, it always should be a pleasure to take a task head on which is one step above what you think you can do. Be confident and not conceited. This is the rollercoaster ride I am looking forward to. I am praying with all my might for the accomplishment of this. I’ll give myself 3 months to make this change, else I will probably go ballistic.


Goal number 14: Achieved!

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Goal number 14. Buy for me a perfume. I would gladly trade up my goals 2 to 5 for a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Woe is me.

Who needs Chanel No. 5 when you can have a Salvatore Ferragamo as your number 1? Okay that sounds lame, but I’m happy with my little bottle of cuteness and fragrance.

Cuteness? I admit that the bottle design sort of cut short the buying process and the scent was the sealing factor. I guess it must be the other way round. Anyway.

In 2009, Salvatore Ferragamo released Incanto Bliss, a girly perfume that smells of fruits and flowers for women (probably both physically and psychologically). Earlier versions were the Dreams, Charms, Shine and Heaven all under the Incanto series. Now that I am reading about it, it is said to be made from the fusion of yuzu, kumquat, apple, freesia, water lily, rose, musk, and woods.

Frankly, I don’t care about the brand of the perfume. So long as they are not too powerful enough to repel mosquitoes or smell of an ancient grandma, I am happy with it. What I love about this scent, aside from the cutesy bottle, is that it is subtle but charming.

Okay, one less goal down. But again, these are all short term goals that when I reflect about it, lack the following keywords: direction, purpose, life-changing achievement (except for that one goal I am still currently praying for).

Next stop: Long term Goals. Scary, but definitely exciting! 😉

Tree of the Blog:

Tree from East Coast Park, Singapore

On Michael Jackson and raging hormones (not because of him)

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More than just the high pitched ooh’s and uhh’s, Michael Jackon’s songs are notable for the poetic and rich messages capable of being transmitted to a wide range of audience straight on.

Forget that this is a post mortem tribute to the King of Pop. It’s actually one of those hormonal days wherein slight wave frequencies or disturbances in the whatsoevers of daily living can greatly affect your mood. Every once in a while I find it healthy to talk to myself, either a pep talk or some good slapping about the course my life is going through.

Just like what I said previously, the older I get, the less sense I make. Ain’t that right. So I figured today on my way to work that I needed a good kick in the butt from no less than the most influential person on my decisions – me. It should probably be true to all. Anyway, happiness is subjective, and on some parts of life I figured I am not finding this. Well:

Happiness and sadness run parallel to each other.  When one takes a rest, the other one tends to take up the slack.  ~Hazelmarie Elliott (“Mattie”)

Won't be too hard to choose between the two.

So, maybe this “happiness” is taking the back seat today, I figured. I stuffed my ears with the headsets from my Mickey Mouse MP3 (which is so cute by the way) and tried to forget I can’t sing on my 15-minute walk to work. First song: Man in the Mirror. After acknowledging that it’s me who make the decisions in my life, of course others just tend to influence it in varying degrees, I was poignantly struck with MJ belting:

I’m Gonna Make A Change,
For Once In My Life
It’s Gonna Feel Real Good,
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right . . .

That’s Why I Want You To Know
I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change
(Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change)

Well, not that I look like a man, for crying out loud. It’s just that the words couldn’t have come at a better and opportune time. This song was followed by This Is It and I quote:

This is it, Here I stand

I’m the light of the world

I’ll feel grand

Okay, so I am taking it out of context from a song which is actually written and sung about love. But in my ears this morning, it seemed as if MJ was making a conversation through his song – don’t think paranormal please. Gloomy clouds, being a girl today (scientifically translated as having dysmenorrhea), and all other factors I normally wouldn’t care about – i.e. uncle picking his nose in public – won’t seem to matter much.

Menses: to be taken seriously or else...

Think happy thoughts. Optimism. When the world seems to turn its back on you, maybe it’s just rotating in its axis to be the driving force behind you.  Boy, I can’t wait for that to happen soon. Hello World.

Special: Tree for the Blog:

On my way to work, from Boon Keng Station

I nearly ate a cockroach

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You got that right. My chop sticks were already poised to pick up the shrimp from last night’s dinner when Kuya Jojo luckily spotted the little creeper snuggled from the shrimp’s curled body.

Yes, I will be advertising their name – Bugis Street. It is a stall with the same name after a real place here, probably branched out after the original one claimed its fame. Never mind what they say that “bad publicity is still publicity.” I am getting my revenge in my own small little way, thus emphasizing on the “bad.”

Since we were staying late yesterday, me and my officemates decided to go for a break before continuing with our work. I was craving the entire day for my new found favorite, the fried hokkien mee, particularly at the hawker stall just a short distance from our office. Two of them were there, one Chinese uncle frying away on the front wok and a Chinese auntie who cooked my supposed meal at the back.

So, upon noticing the god-forsaken little devil making a graveyard out of my dish, I immediately returned the plate to the stall attendant. Uncle simply used his bare fingers, scooped the damn pest from the shrimp’s embrace, and dangled the six-legged beast in the face of auntie, then nonchalantly took my plate after throwing the creep away.

Then that’s it. No sorry, no remorse, no nothing. Fair enough. Probably they weren’t just accustomed to talking in English as most uncles and aunties in the hawkers expectedly are.

I returned to our table – Kuya Jojo visibly shaken and traumatized with the event – and prepared myself to wait for another ten minutes before they prepare my cockroachless dinner. This makes me wonder, though. Kuya Jojo seems to eat just about anything, so this might just be a facade.

Anyway, as soon as I sat down, I was surprised that a second auntie followed me and brought over another set of hokkien mee. If you think the service was just fast, think again. It was from the same wok that the terror meal was taken from.

From what I notice here in Singapore, they only prepare the food as per serving required and don’t make any extra in the hopes that another customer will queue right after you order.

I should be angry. I should complain. I should throw terrible tantrums that will scare the living daylights (or nightlights in this case) out of them. But I’m really hungry. Kuya Jojo said it was cooked anyway, and that you are not eating the cockroach itself, so might as well dig in. And so I did. I watched my office mates’ faces turn animated with the horror of our story, but I was full anyway.

Dang I should have taken pictures! Least I had was the picture of the stall, which I plan to vandalize someday with an absurd graffiti of a cockroach and big bold letters saying “Be Warned!” on their logos. If still unsatisfied, I would like to pin the auntie and the uncle beside the big cockroach graffiti and stuff them with shrimps.

Needless to say, I will never ever ever eat there again ever (redundancy is deeply intentional). I am just consoling myself with the thought that there are a lot of people all over the world who are starving and will eat just about anything, or worse, nothing at all.

But one reply was slammed at my attempt of a self pep talk: But you are staying in a rich country – Singapore. Cockroaches?!

1, 2, 3 Shopping!

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I woke up with a smile on my face. Admittedly, I can’t wait for the day to just about end even though the sun just shone. Reason is, I’ll be fulfilling the best goal I have set for myself before my birthday which was:

Goal number 6. Get a balikbayan box, fill it up with nice, inexpensive, expensive, edible, and usable things to send home.

I’ll be going later at the Mustafa Centre (yes, it’s centre because they are following British English here) to complete the chocolates and perfumes which are actually the highlights of the package for my vain and sweet-tooth siblings. Mustafa Centre is known for it’s Divisoria-cheap products from just about everything you can think of. Best of all, it’s open 24/7. Alongside its economic prices, Mustafa is also notoriously known as the get-together place for Indians, which you can actually tell by its name. Lucky Plaza is to Pinoys as Mustafa Centre is to Indians. Of course, being as diverse as Singapore is, the shopping center (no, this is an intentional use of the American English) is open to all.

(photo grabbed from http://www.asiaexplorers.com/singapore/mustafacentre.htm)

As happy as I am to go later, I will probably be alone. Well, no choice on that as loner as it sounds. Just look at the bright side, at least I won’t have to constantly worry that I am boring someone all while I take my time to traipse around tinkering and inspecting.  Hell, that sounds worse. Hope nobody’s going to follow me all the way to my house, unlike the last time.