Photo Walk: 13 August 2017

We had a photo walk along the Singapore River earlier. It was organized by our dragon boat team’s creative committee. I used my Canon G7X Mark II (same as my teammate Dan). Other participants brought their DSLRs.

The flowers of Singapore.
Jordan.
The flags are up in August.
Hey Shiela!
The pigeons of UOB Plaza.
Harold giving me a refresher on aperture.
A random assortment where the bushes are manicured.
Kaptian and Nel talking about exposure.
The weather was a bit gloomy.
The steps leading down to the river.
The fountains outside The Fullerton.
Our friend the Merlion.
Photo walk participants from the team.
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Downton Abbey: The Exhibition (Singapore)

Scored free tickets to the Downton Abbey exhibit. Thanks to a corp perk.

Omg. Downton Abbey. It’s so 2015 but the show is LOVE.

They opened an exhibit here in Singapore (which ended BTW soon after my visit). It was pretty neat and immersive. I only wish the show would go on for at least two more seasons. Sigh.

My favorite part of the exhibit were the costumes and the library simulation. You can enjoy the rest in photos!

 

I am 32 years old.

The past few days have been tough.

I wouldn’t know how to start. I’ll probably do it Dunkirk style where you are thrown right in the middle of it.

***

Career

My career has been a personal cornerstone for the past ten years. I’ve recently started asking myself questions about where my future in television is. I’ve loved my job and I’ve dealt with challenges having to work in a much quieter environment compared to the bustles of Philippine free-to-air. I believe I’ve done a good job.

But now the demands are to be great and not just good.

I’ve no doubt in my creative soul. I have loved creating content since I was in elementary school. Writing fan fiction in my notebooks. Documenting events. Seeing shapes and stories where people see sandboxes.

But at 32 years old I’m start to ask questions like… am I meant for the big corporate world? Is my creativity fit for this? Without flinching an eye I am excited about all the products we have to offer. No doubt about that. But do I want more? Where can I get better? And who or where can I get better direction that fits with my creative style?

I don’t think these questions could be answered overnight. But they are questions I am asking myself. I know I am damn good if I could escape the clutches of the rat race. Especially when I am in the right environment to create the most wonderful of things.

***

Sports

I’m still making up for the two decades where sports and athleticism was not in my blood. I love paddling and running. I can see that my interest for this is beyond what geographical location I’m at. Throw me to Hong Kong or San Francisco and I will still be looking for a dragon boat club to join. I will be looking for a gym. I’ll be lifting and running.

I think I look and feel better now at 32 than I was five years ago. I can only hope to continue on this path for the purpose of good health and looking good in a speedo.

***

Love

I am 32 and I am single. I was in a long term relationship when I was 23 years old to 30 years old. Looking at it that way, I shouldn’t be in a hurry to enter a relationship again.

I’ve dated a handful in the past few months and I’ve met interesting people. But the more interesting ones seem to be from faraway places like Manila or… drum roll please… San Jose, California. Akalain mo? The last time I imagined living in the States, Britney Spears was still dancing in a high school uniform.

I don’t think it would be wise to use your heart as an excuse to move to another part of the world. But the thought is beautiful. There is life outside Singapore if that day comes.

***

How did I spend my 32nd birthday?

This year my birthday was on a Thursday. I didn’t file leave so I went to work. I was depressed by an issue that came to me two days before my birthday. But I was lifted up by the greetings of friends. And even hugs from the sweetest of colleagues. Truly touched.

I had a “Seafood in a Bag” dinner with my closest friends at The Boiler in Tai Seng. I co-celebrated with Arleen who also ordered a bag. There were lobsters. Thank you Arleen, Karla, Emman, and Dons.

On the day after my birthday, my college friends who work in Singapore surprised me with a birthday cake. They were the sweetest. Thank you JC, Cass, Joanna, Paul, and Marco.

My birthday weekend was spent in Hong Kong. I needed some time off to escape Singapore for a weekend. It was a short trip. Thank you Emman for sharing with me an irresistible deal via your company excursion.

Thanks everyone for the greetings.

2 mins 12 seconds

So you know where I started, my first 200m water time trial (WTT) was 4 mins 13 seconds back in 2015. Subsequent WTTs, I was still at the bottom of the pile. I wanted to give up so many times. Bakit ko ba pinapahirapan ang sarili ko? But I didn’t give up. Sayang. I love the sport. Growing physically is only one thing. The hardest is developing the correct mindset: accept criticism from those with sincere intentions (most cases it comes out harsh or prone to misunderstanding, but if it’s sincere db?), filter out noise “self doubt” (i touch the water to calm my anxiety), most important is the mindset of “not giving up” no matter what shape or size you are. It’s a friggin boat. You hold the paddle.


This is the first WTT I managed a result in the upper half of those that took the trials. Hindi mo maiiwasan yung comparisons when you started at rock bottom. I’ll continue training and breaking personal barriers. I’ll make the experience worthwhile not just for myself, but for the people on the same journey as me.

#motivation #inspiration #training

Carry on.

My Uncle Henny passed away last week.

He was the uncle who had a house by the river at my parents’ ancestral barangay. I remember going there to have lunch together with my family. I would look out the windows and see the river below. Calm but murky waters. I couldn’t fathom how that river looked like during a typhoon. Treacherous and unnerving, perhaps.

Rest in peace, uncle.

***

Last training weekend before our HK race

We had two days of intense training for the HK race. We’ve now increased our default distance to 400/500 meters (up from 200 meters for the SAVA Sprints). I think I’ve done well. It seems the corrections these days are more on my legwork. Endurance is fine (I feel like I’m still at 80-90% towards the end of a program… meaning… I don’t fucking lose composure).

My 2Q time trial result is my personal best at 2 mins and 12 seconds. I feel good, yes. I’m seeing the improvements. I don’t think it’s enough for some people. But I’ll carry on training. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

***

Videos

I’m trying to wrap up my Penang and KL videos before the end of May. But it’s starting to look impossible because of work load. I’ll do my best to get these out.

Random tidbits

I ordered a passion planner.

The killjoy would describe a passion planner as a S$50.00 fancy notebook. I would rather look at it as a desperate stab at organisation. I want to write again. Physically write. I want to invest in pens and highlighters. I want to see my handwriting turn from slop into something legible. I want to put down my thoughts and dreams into a diary and a life planner. I’m a 31 year-old homosexual man who is about to do this.

***

I’m going to Hong Kong, soon.

The “city of life” inspires me. The vibrant and raw vibe of Hong Kong excite me. And this time I’m not going there to ride the Star Ferry. I’m going to paddle in a dragon boat in the rough and murky waters of the famous harbour. I am so fucking excited. I’m not thinking about the gold medal. I’m looking for the experience. I want to win but I don’t want to be an asshole. With 4,000 paddlers attending, this is looking to be the largest dragon boat race I’ve ever signed up for.

***

Ch-ch-ch-changes at work

Eh, what’s new? I’m no longer surprised by shifts at work. I’ve been in corporate long enough to embrace changes. I’m taking in more work load. I’m taking in a reasonable amount of responsibility. And I’m not kicking myself if shit seemingly fails. In most cases, shit does NOT fail. It gets done differently when I’m on it. And I still get it done. And I do it with heart.

***

Our house is a living room

My flatmate is always inviting teammates over. It’s fantastic to have my teammates come over. I think it keeps my flatmate Emman happy and busy… (when I was newly single, I needed my own distractions in the form of a PS4). The thing is… when there’s 15 people in your living room, I tend to keep to myself in my own room. Some may say it’s being “anti-social”… I would rather put it as “selectively social”. I’m happy to have mostly great teammates, but that doesn’t mean I have to be chief entertainer. I can’t keep up with my flatmate Emman sometimes. But he’s amazing at it. Cue applause.

***

Dating

I won’t talk about it in detail but I’ll mention it. I’ve started dating again recently (after a few months break). It’s daunting. But it feels great. It’s like getting back on a bicycle and slowly moving forward. I’ve no ambition to be a serial dater like some guys out there. But I’ll humbly take what I can get. No expectations. Just good times. And who knows.

***

Solo trip to Melaka

I’m heading to Melaka in mid-June for my first solo trip in a long time. I’ve booked a room at a boutique hotel which is a fusion of old and new. I want to walk along Jonker Street, have chicken rice, try street foods… perhaps run into strangers and make friends.

***

Family

I received sad news the other day that one of my uncles had passed away. I come from two large families (with virtual relationships with cousins/distant relatives). I’m not close to them but I feel for them. I feel for my mom. I spoke with her over the phone when I learned about it. Time is precious. I want to spend more time with my immediate family. That means more travels and more visits.

***

What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?

Kiss someone I really like. Take him home? Give him the world.

***

Write about the losses you’ve experienced.

I’ve joined three dragon boat races this year and I haven’t won a medal yet.

***

What are you saying goodbye to?

Some colleagues.

***

My faith is…

Intact? I still have my “anti-anxiety” rosary on my bedside table.

***

What’s the best that can happen?

I get promoted at work. Or, I break into the top 5 of time trial performers. I meet someone who loves me back.

***

Five places I would like to visit are:

Bagan, Yogyakarta, Hanoi, Phuket, and Bali.

***

Look out the window. Write about what you see.

Neighbouring HDB blocks. A vast parking lot that is half empty.

***

My favourite movies right now are…

Not much into movies lately. But I still recall the WTF moment at the end of X-Men Apocalypse. When Jean started walking on air. Like… wtf!

***

When I’m upset…

I normally speak my mind. Because I’m likely hungry!

***

What was a good high school memory?

80% of high school was NOT a good memory. But I would have to look back and remember fondly the time I spent with Rom. He was excellent at math. He was openly gay (and got talked about). But it never bothered me. He was out and open. He was full of life and potential. He is a happy thought from high school.

May his soul rest in peace.

Birthday Wishlist

It’s a mad list. I should be able to get at least one lol.

Osmo Mobile

Philips Hue Light Strip

GoPro HERO5 Black

The new MacBook Pro

Beats wireless headphones for gym

Nintendo Switch

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Ang dami ko pala gusto!

Photos: 11th Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival

No medals. But I did not go home empty-handed!

My teammates won gold, silver, and bronze at this year’s Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival. You should have seen the look on our faces when it was confirmed we won gold. I don’t remember us winning a gold medal in a long time! We would always clinch silver or bronze.

IMG_5429

The organisers didn’t create a separate category this year for international paddlers. We were pretty sure we would have gotten something if that were the case. I think some of our other boats made the semifinals.

No medals. But I go home with plenty of happy memories.

Continue reading “Photos: 11th Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival”