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.
Advertisements

Paddler Update: 5 August 2017

What makes paddling difficult for you is the mental game behind it. You’ve seen improvements in strength and endurance. But the voices in your head are what distract you from going further. You doubt yourself sometimes. It’s unnecessary. It’s also aided by observing the smallest things: not getting into the line-up you wanted, seeing someone with less training end up on the stronger boat, not being corrected (are you worth “being corrected”), or being corrected (works both ways)

But you forgot this: You’ve had your best time trials yet. You shattered personal bests in push-ups, sit-ups, and dumbbell rows. You’re within striking distance of becoming one of the faster runners on the team. Your water time trial is improving each and every time.

So what can you do? You keep going.

Next Race: Singapore River Regatta (November 2017)

Attendance Photo of the men’s crew taken on 5 August 2017.

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.

Something New: Outrigger Canoeing

I recently signed up for the Singapore Country of Origin outrigger canoe (OC) race.

Wait, outrigger canoeing? O_O

It’s likely incorrect to say that OC is like the sister of dragon boating. That’s just the funny way I see it. Both involve paddling in the water. Plus, other expat teams like the Australians and Americans have OC components.

I signed up because I am curious to learn outrigger canoeing. Two acquaintances reached out to me when they saw my registered name for the Singapore CoO. I was invited to a rookie session they held under Team Kidlat. Thank you Ryan and Mdm Mickee for letting me try OC with Team Kidlat.

***

HULI DRILL

The first thing they taught us was what to do in the event of a capsize. They call this the “Huli Drill” where they purposely capsize the boat. The five or six people on the boat each have a particular role to turn the boat back on the upside and to bail out water.

Because I had gotten used to wearing my personal floatation device (PFD) during dragon boating, I was a little apprehensive to jump into a boat and then have it capsized over open water. Parang… WTH! I’m so not ready for this. According to Ryan, PFDs aren’t usually worn during OC. WOW. Open water and no PFDs? While in the calm waters of Kallang, required ang PFDs. I’ll just follow what’s taught.

But I decided to strap on the PFD that was available underneath the seat. We started the “Huli Drill” and we fall into the water. I go underwater (but with my PFD). I float back up. And my job at position 5 was to hold onto the wooden bridge that connects the hull to the “ama” (outrigger part of the canoe). Basically, 2 and 5 stabilise the boat. 1 and 6 are in-charge of collecting the paddles that are “drifting away”. While 3 and 4 work to turn the boat back upright.

In the exercise, 3 and 4 jump back into the boat and start bailing out the water.

I realised that wearing the PFD actually slowed things down. I was instructed to swim underneath the boat to get to the other side. I struggled because of the PFD but I made it to the other side and started to hold the “ama” to stabilise the boat.

I decided to remove the PFD altogether and face my fear.

It wasn’t bad pala. In fact, adrenaline started to kick in once I removed the vest. Parang, this is the real shit George. Get your act together and do as told.

Eventually the water was bailed out. And we had to climb back up onto the boat and head to shore. We were only about 20 or 30 meters from the shore anyway!

HULI DRILL – success! However, it was a bit slow! We were being timed pala. I had no idea (siguro kinakabahan sa pagbagsak sa tubig). I want to do the huli drill again and do it faster. Competitive lang.

***

OUT TO SEA

We transferred to a double hull setup and then ventured out to sea. Good thing I paddled in Boracay before so paddling in open water wasn’t so daunting. Plus, everyone in the session were experienced dragon boat paddlers as well coming from DBS, Singapore Paddle Club (SPC), Canadian Dragons, Spanish Armada, etc. — so, I have faith in them!


This is where it got interesting. Every few strokes a command would be called to signal shifting your paddling to the opposite side. In dragon boating, I paddle on the right side. So when it was time to paddle on my left… it felt really funny! I wasn’t confident in my reach or stroke. Para naging “easy paddle” lang but I didn’t want to paddle softly… duh. I tried to paddle equally but my right side had more aggression.


The waves were choppy at times. But the boat was pretty stable. With the repetitive commands to swap paddling side… it was good practice. I struggled with how to change the hand position on the paddle from left to right and right to left. But I don’t think I missed a stroke.

We paddled along the southern coast of Sentosa. We started off at Siloso Beach, passed by Palawan Beach, and then stopped at Tanjong Beach for stroke correction.

We paddled out to sea again towards Sentosa Cove. There were yachts and tugboats (i think). The water was choppy along this side of the island. The views were gorgeous. You can see the elite condominiums of Sentosa’s private side. You had cargo ships in the distance. The skies at 5:00 pm were beautiful.

Returning back to Siloso felt like forever. I felt I had the endurance naman thanks to dragon boating and running. I was more concerned about my form. Trying to familiarize myself with the kind of stroke they were teaching for OC. It’s a bit different from dragon boating. I can’t explain since I’ve only had one session so far.


Back at the beach we lifted the double hull boat up from the shore and to a parking area. No debriefing or huddle. Just cleaning and tidying up the boat before everyone hit the showers.

***

OVERALL EXPERIENCE

I love the water. I’m happy to say I now have experience with both dragon boating and paddling in an outrigger canoe. I think there’s still so much to learn. But at least I’ve removed the kaba from OC and paddling in open water. I remember that feeling of removing my PFD during the huli drill and throwing it onto the boat.


I’m registered under Team USA for the upcoming Singapore Country of Origin race in August. But while I wait for instructions or a training schedule with Team USA, I’m happy to paddle and make new friends with Team Kidlat (who also happen to be Filipino paddlers from other expat teams).

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