My blog. My class.

April 30, 2006

Rain And More Rain

Technically, it's summer season back in the Philippines. But I discovered here in Singapore that rains often occur almost everyday (if not, at least once a week). A Singaporean friend told me that April is usually a rainy month. The dry seasons starts at July while the wettest months are from November to December (wet Christmas, anyone?). The sunniest month was February (that's why when I first came here, I experienced hot and humid weeks and rarely rainy days).

I would wake up early in the morning, still dark outside at six, only to hear the soft patter of raindrops against the window pane. Sometimes it would rain hard in the early afternoon. At other times, late in the afternoon, just before dusk creeps out over the city. Overall, I could say no one could predict precisely when rain would occur. I have to be observant of the distant dark skies before I leave the apartment without an umbrella.

Speaking of umbrellas, I was surprised that anyone can borrow one at some Hang Ten shops that rent umbrellas for $6 each. Up to 90 days one can use these umbrellas. To refund your dollar, return these umbrellas at any Hang Ten store (showcasing these rentable umbrellas) including the plastic casing, the price tag, and also show your receipt.

You may not return it of course. If you do, then you have bought one.

April 23, 2006

Training Days And Languages

I had been busy attending training for six days since last week, so I wasn't able to catch up on my blogging habits lately.

Just like in my former job, I got to be trained this time with a new set of reporting tools that my current employer has been utilizing. I was glad to be trained first instead of immersing myself at once at the beginning of my work week.

During the training, I got to meet and interact with people of different nationalities. I find it amusing and at the same time challenging to communicate with them. Luckily, English is widely used here in Singapore. But just like Taglish back in the Philippines, most use Singlish - English mixed with Singaporean local terminologies in between. Some pronunciations and accents make it at first difficult for me to understand what my colleagues would say. But eventually, I got the hang of it. Along with other colleagues, during the training days, we got to meet with two instructors. One was a French woman and the other a Swiss man. Both could communicate well in English, though I sometimes mistake a word or two from them because of the difference in English accents that I'm used to back in the Philippines.

Just yesterday, while playing a card game with a Singaporean local, he asked me the country I came from. But before I could tell him, he asked me if I was from the Philippines. Astonished of course, I replied back on how he guessed it right. He told me that I got this distinct accent that Filipinos have when speaking in English clearly.

I guess that tells it all (with a hidden smile on my face).

April 14, 2006

Friday, My Goodness

Being a Catholic, it's one of my duties to attend mass especially this Good Friday. But I observed here in Singapore, even though today is a holiday, everyone seems to be enjoying and doing things normally. I should not be surprised since being a multi-cultural place, those few Catholic citizens will be the one who would solemnly celebrate this day while the rest of the population would go out and enjoy the holiday with friends, families and loved ones.

Good thing there was a nearby church a few bus stops away (the handy bus terminal book I bought was so helpful that instead of utilizing the MRT trains I usually ride the bus to go places more frequently). Good to see that there are many Singaporean Catholics (and even obvious expats) of other races who visited the church.

What I like about in Singapore is the religious tolerance the country practices to unite all people of different races. It makes this country more fascinating and more challenging for me, especially when I relate to other Singaporeans - Chinese, Malays, Indians, other fellow Filipinos and the Americans or Europeans.

Currently, I only know two languages - Tagalog/Filipino and English. I plan to study Chinese language (like Mandarin) someday just like what my friend is doing nowadays. I know this would help me further in understanding and blending with the locals.

April 12, 2006

Nine To Six Here

So how's my first day of work here in Singapore last Monday? Well, the usual stuffs when one new employee gets to be introduced to his new work co-employees. But this time it's totally different for me since I go to introduce myself before a panel of Singaporeans (bosses and other staffs). One should have been there but was out in an MC (term used here to indicate one was on a "sick leave"). That person turns out to be a fellow Filipino.

Overall, my day one was more of introductions and preparations of my ID card, computer login name, network access, and documentation previews.

Nine to six. That is the usual period of work here in the bank I am currently working under contract. Back home, I'm used to getting myself prepared to start the working day at eight in the morning till five or six in the evening. And still, I don't need an alarm clock to wake myself up - I had already developed a bodyclock that automatically alerts me to open my eyes at around six to six-thirty in the morning. Make me sleep late in the evening or early in the morning and mysteriously I would make up at around six to six-thirty (unless of course I'm dead tired the previous day; I would eventually slept longer and wake up later at around seven till eight).

April 08, 2006

Near The Shoreline

I was surprised to see in the map of the current place I am residing that Singapore's shoreline is just a few blocks away. Meaning, our place is quite near the edge of this country. And this morning, I went down to see the bay view; I was quite impressed to see a long stretch of pale beige colored sand along the shoreline and a few locals where either camping along the shoreline or swimming in the waters. (To reach there, I had to pass a short route inside a park full of trees and exotic plants). Beyond the bay are many large cargo ships lining the horizon of the sea. This reminds me of the Philippines' baywalk along Roxas Boulevard minus the sea stench and floating debris. Still, nothing beats the awesome burning red sunset we have back home along baywalk. I do miss that sunset scenery. I miss home already.

April 04, 2006

Safe Landing Once Again

I'm back here in Singapore (Note: For an economy trip, Singapore Airlines has an excellent service). I've been momentarily staying at a friend/ex-officemate's apartment somewhere in Tampines, Singapore. But tomorrow, I'll be moving out to a new room in a small apartment in Paya Lebar area. That room has the complete basic amenities, more importantly my own bathroom inside my room. That is a plus point. The view outside of my room's window opens out to a nearby garden where various plantlife are tended for landscaping use. This reminds of somewhat of the disturbing short story Secret Window, Secret Garden by Stephen King.

I have about almost half of this week left to explore places, relax, and familiarize myself (more) of the MRT stations and bus routes of Singapore. It's important for any stranger in a foreign land to be familiar with the transportation system of the country, lest you'll never be (literally) going places and just be stuck in one's sanctuary fearful of strangers and unfamiliar things outside.

I'll cut things short for a while. I'm busy again preparing my things for the eventual move out. Till next blogging day.

* * * *

It's raining cats and dogs, hurling ball lightnings and booming high decibel thunders for two days now. And I thought I'll be expecting long weeks of summer heat here in Singapore.

April 01, 2006

Preparing To Say Sayonara

Ain't no fool today on April Fool's. I'm doing some last minute preparations before I leave the Philippines tomorrow afternoon to my new place in Singapore. I will start working on April 10, so I've got about a week left before I strut my cranial stuffs back at work.

I know... I will be leaving many memorable things about my country - especially the people I cherish, both my family and friends. I guess I could say, that this would temporarily be my farewell. I am not sure if I could blog soon once I arrive in Singapore. If I'm lucky, I might find an internet kiosk and start blogging my activities. It will be a long while before I could save up and buy my own laptop complete with an internet connection. Well, that's one of my plans during my work contract in Singapore.

Wish me luck. I know I'll be treading into unchartered regions (only in my case).

See you soon, guys.

About Me

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Known to be the webmaster of the defunct Taym Matsing website (well, that's old news now...)