Department Year-Ender

At one point this year, I didn’t expect I would make it to the end of 2017 with the same job. It was my most difficult year in the corporate world. My confidence in my work was shattered. Have you ever felt like you just didn’t fit in? Like a circular peg trying to fit into a square hole? Without a doubt I have the creativity and vision– but if it’s in the right place… it became a question this year.

I’m happy I made it. I wanted to survive. And survive I did.

But I want to change the tone of my career narrative. I don’t want to “just survive” but I want to deliver meaningful content. It has never been just a job for me. This is a life’s passion. I was reminded recently by a friend that I do have great skills and talent in what I do. I just have to find a new way to share that with the world.


Earlier we had our year-end team building and lunch. The team building activity was at an escape room in Dhoby Ghaut. I was skeptical at first. Why would anyone want to lock themselves into a dark, tiny room with their colleagues at 9 o’clock in the morning?

But I had a surprisingly great time. In fact, I want to recommend this escape room to some of my friends if they are up for it.

Happy Christmas from our creative team.

Lunch was at the Marina Mandarin. It was a great buffet spread. Far better than what we had the previous year which was just near our office.

I handled the “Secret Santa” activity and I got what I wished for. A light box. 🙂

Got my gift from Sarah… our graphics and video editing intern.
Cinematic light box as a Christmas gift. Thank you.

A challenging year for me on various levels. But I refuse to remember 2017 as just that. I was still working with great people. And for that I am grateful. Thank you.

A photo with the team at the dinner and dance.

Why am I doing this again?

We had a turnover of duties earlier for my dragon boat team. I’ve been elected again as the creative officer (after taking one year off to focus on my paddling technique).

I was looking for a passion project and I thought helping out one more time with my dragon boat team would be fun. It will be challenging. But I have a year’s experience already as an officer so I’m entering it calmly. Not overly ambitious over anything. I just want to get to work. Get some creative stuff done. Work with teammates in documenting what will be our team’s tenth year.

You can say that I’m chill about it.

I feel the stakes are obviously higher with the other roles in the management committee. I’m here to support where and when I can. And to focus on individual strength and endurance next year. I’ll be paddling less. I think three years paddling has been okay.

The 2018 Management Committee of FDS.
Turnover with the outgoing officers.
The 2017 and 2018 management committees.

I am thankful for those who elected me into the position for a 2nd time.

I hope I won’t let you down.

Marco’s Restaurant Opening + HF Reunion

My friend Marco opened his restaurant last week. It’s actually a famous burger chain back in his native Germany. They made him a general manager. The restaurant serves up pretty good burgers! And the ambiance… brings out the birch in you. 🙂

He invited us to the restaurant’s opening night. You can see it in the first set of photos. We went back two days later when college orgmates (Heraldo Filipino, the school paper) were visiting Singapore.

Such an inviting interior.
Condiments and herbs.
Love the ceiling.
Joanna, Paul, and JC.
Look how crowded it got.
Like… really crowded. Congrats Marco!
Trying out the burgers.
Sumptuous bite-sized burgers.
Birch betta have my money.
Aged cheddar cheese and REAL bacon.
This potato salad was interesting…
Kay married Kuya Marthy. Kuya Marthy was my first editor in university.
A Heraldo Filipino reunion indeed. We span the 2002-2005 era.
Ate Leona, Joanna, and Kay.
The features section.
Catching up with Jaynie!


Hans Im Gluck is now open at 362 Orchard Road (next to Shaw Lido). They will be opening in Boat Quay and Raffles Place soon. 🙂

I have to restart my potatoes

I did something really, really terrible. I picked a fight with someone very important to me. Now I feel like shit. As if the year hasn’t been tough itself versus anxiety, challenges in the workplace, on my dragon boat team, in love, and even in a permanent residency application. Add to that an offer that was cancelled. Like seriously WTH. 😦

Rejection seems to be the theme!

I have friends who have had it much worse though. And I feel for them. I can’t compare my struggles with a friend who lost her mom. Or another friend who’s father is in the hospital. But we all have our own struggles.

So what am I rambling on about?

  • An anti-climatic conclusion to a year I initially thought was fantastic in dragon boating. Grabe, I really gave it my best. Three years of dragon boating and this was THE YEAR. My stats improved in Land and Water time trials. Nevermind that I am the most industrious male paddler for 2017  Eh… kamusta naman ang stats when that gets tossed out into the water without a fucking life vest. Left to drown in a whirlpool of someone else’s key performance index. Dismayed. Disappointed. You name it. But the boat continues and people will continue to paddle… trust the friggin’ process. Pagod na ako diyan. There was a process. Worse, ilan lang kami nakapansin. Everyone else seems to be like the lego people in Lego City singing that Lego song that everything is awesome. New captains next year. I believe in them but I also believed in the ones this year. I am DONE. I am taking myself out of the equation muna to focus on my personal strength development. What can I contribute to the team? My creativity.
  • The man I’m most interested in is… on the other side of the planet. He’s the one I can already imagine wearing a barong and I’m in a suit… and we’re driving a mini cooper feelin’ super-duper. But how… he’s in San Jose, California!
  • Oo may bumawi ng offer sa akin. *Insert Kris Aquino nakakaloka face*

There’s some other shit too but for now…

Here are some things I want to do

Here are some things I want to do

  • Go on a solo trip to Taiwan or Japan.
  • Explore opportunities in other major Asian cities.
  • Less dragon boating and more time with individual fitness.
  • Buy a Nintendo Switch.
  • Move to a new place.
  • Produce more video blogs.
  • Write, direct, or edit a short film or documentary.
  • To tell people as it is. You’re an asshole? You are an asshole.
  • Write and perform a rap song.
  • Buy a vacuum cleaner.
  • Hire a cleaner to fix my room and clean the bathroom.
  • Learn how to top.
  • Donate to charity.
  • Volunteer for an organisation that embraces LGBTs.
  • Double my savings.
  • Throw out half of my stuff.

Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy (Singapore)

I get my creativity from the music I listen to.

Music plays an especially meaningful role behind Final Fantasy. The story behind each installment of Final Fantasy is unique. But the music in each installment binds different stories together. They are epic, driving and triumphant. It’s good rising over evil.

Earlier, the live orchestra was helmed by composer Arnie Roth. They played sentimental songs like the delicate “Aerith’s Theme” from FFVII and the chilling “Liberi Fatali” from FFVIII.

For new gamers to the series, they played “Apocalypsis Noctis” and “Somnus” from FFXV. The music didn’t remind me about the game per se but rather the experience of coming home after work and switching off the real world.

I haven’t played every single game in Final Fantasy. But listening to music from older games makes you appreciate the lore of the thirty-year series. For a moment you can erase that “midi sound” and re-imagine FFIV, FFV, and FFVI with orchestra versions of “Theme of Love” (FFIV) and “Maria & Draco” (FFVI). The latter was performed with a trio of opera singers.

The emotional tunes of the night were the duo of “To Zanarkand” and “Hymn of the Fayth” from FFX. But the fan favorite (and perhaps, one of the best songs in the entire Final Fantasy series) remains to be the menacing “One-Winged Angel” from FFVII.

Thank you Nobuo Uematsu (who was in attendance today in Singapore!) for bringing Final Fantasy to life with your music. It has inspired creativity since 1997. 😉

Just checkin’ in! Changi Airport T4 Open House

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 opens October 31, 2017! They built it in under three years. It’s situated where the old Budget Terminal used to be. Terminal 4 or T4 is not connected to Terminals 1 to 3 via the Skytrain service. But shuttles will be provided.

If the video won’t play, you can click to see it on YouTube here.

The open house was a wonderful opportunity to check out the Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) feature. These include the self check-in (already available at the other terminals), automated Bag-Drop and Boarding Gates with facial recognition technology, and new centralised screening areas.

It is a sparkling new compact terminal that will service budget carriers like AirAsia and Cebu Pacific. It will also cater to Cathay Pacific and Korean Air. Changi Airport is Skytrax World’s Best Airport for five consecutive years. Business Insider describes it as having “received praise from flyers for its beautiful architecture, efficient operation, luxurious amenities, and dining and shopping options.”

Other upcoming megastructures include Project Jewel, a lustrous facility with vortex waterfalls that will bridge the first three terminals together. And a fifth terminal megastructure with a new runway set to open in the next decade.