Saturday Currently #2 and 2018 Goals

This will be a quick one! It’s 2:38 AM, and I’m wide awake because I fell asleep right after I got home. I’m currently..

..listening to: or more appropriately, watching the new Japanese Breakfast video for Boyish. This is one of my favorites out of the two or three songs that I know lol. Please watch!!!

..reading: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. OK, first of all, I didn’t know that this book was going to be too… literal. I mean I was expecting something else than a love story that is literally set during a time of cholera outbreaks. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it isn’t that.

Anyway, I don’t regret going in blind, because I don’t think I would’ve picked up this book if I knew what the plot was. The primary feeling that I get when reading this is that of discomfort, because of the racism, infidelity, social prejudice, and especially because I’m now at the part where (spoiler alert!) Florentino Ariza starts sleeping with a 12 year-old. I can’t wait to finish this book this weekend.

..watching: Well, I didn’t watch anything today, but a couple of days ago we tried watching Hyori’s Home Stay. I had to stop because the captions are blocking the subtitles, making it very hard to read.

..thinking: of all the things I want to do this weekend. I want to continue my 3d for designers course, and maybe one skillshare course, too. I want to go to the gym, and go to a flea market and meet up with a friend. I want to clean up our room, and finish my book. Two days is just not enough! I need 3 or 4-day weekends lol.

I’m also thinking of the goals that I’ve written for the year. I know, I only have 10 months left, but I think most of these are still doable:

  1. Read 12 books. I miss the days when I could read up to 60 books a year. This year I humbly and hopefully aim for 1 book a month (so far, so good).
  2. Learn basic nihonggo. K and I have been talking about taking nihonggo classes since we started watching Terrace House and I think it’s a good skill to have.
  3. Get life insurance. For someone who frequently thinks about what might happen after death, I sure am not preparing well for it. Ideally, I want to have paid off my life insurance before I turn 30.
  4. Try investing in mutual funds and/or bonds. I definitely have an emergency fund (6 months worth of expenses), and I’m also saving for my brother’s college education, but even then I think I’ll still have some left that will depreciate if I don’t invest them somewhere. I think mutual funds & bonds are a good place to start investing (aside from the house & lot that I started paying for last year). I will probably read up a bit, start on one that is low-risk, low-return, short-term, and another one that is longer term. Eventually (maybe in the next year or two), I’m hoping to try other investments such as stocks, land, a business, etc. The higher risk, and higher return ones. But not this year just yet.
  5. Get braces. This is a different kind of investment lol. But it’s also something that I’ve been wanting to do, because if I get married I want to have nice teeth in my photos ok!!
  6. Finish a project. I’ve made this super vague because it doesn’t matter what I finish, as long as I do finish it. It could be a zine, an e-commerce shop, or the 100 Day UI challenge.
  7. Finish my online classes (3d for designers, web accessibility, drupal, web dev. courses, and saved skillshare courses). Last year I bought two classes on udemy (one on drupal and one on web development), and early this year I joined 3D for Designers (which I am loving). A few weeks ago I joined Skillshare (I have a promo for 2 months, and I hope I can finish 1 or 2 classes a week), and earlier today I signed up for a course on web accessibility. I’m really happy that I have the money to pay for those courses, but now I have to actually finish them. Should be fun!
  8. Maintain a capsule wardrobe. I used to be super obsessed with thrifting, back in my college days (I sound so old when saying that wtf). I upgraded to fast fashion (H&M, Forever21, Cotton On, etc.) when I started earning money, but I find that the quality is usually poor (because it’s cheap), and that I even prefer my thrifted clothes over the newer ones. So I’m thinking, since thrifting leaves me with not enough closet space, and shopping leaves me with clothes I get sick of quickly, might as well invest on a few good quality pieces that I can just mix and match, then get rid of the other clothes that I don’t really like. I’ll have cleaner closet space, without sacrificing quality. Or maybe I’m just looking for reason to buy clothes in Uniqlo and Muji, I don’t know.
  9. Run a 5k/Learn jiu jitsu. What is a goals list without fitness goals! I can lock down 3.5-3.8 km+ in 30 mins, but I want to push myself to do a full 5k. On the treadmill or in a marathon, it doesn’t matter. Although, a marathon medal sure feels like a more tangible proof of achievement. Meanwhile, jiu jitsu is something that K wants to do, but I’m open to it too, as long as we’re both trying to stay healthy by exercising regularly and eating well. I read that one must clock in 100-150 hrs of exercise a day, and I hope I can do that through running or jiu jitsu.
  10. Maintain healthy eating and exercise habits. I am still so much in love with fast food and junk food (shame!!) But I think as long as I try to sneak in some veggies every now and then, I’m good. I’m just 24, after all. If there’s a good time to eat all the unhealthy food that I want, it’s now lol. People who naturally love salads and tofu and other healthy foods are so lucky!

It’s now 3:36 AM! I’m feeling a bit optimistic (and naive, maybe), but I have a good feeling about 2018. In any case, I hope I have enough strength & wisdom to deal with things that don’t go as planned. Bye!



Life Lately: Jan – Feb 2018

We are now almost half-way into the second month of 2018, and things have been pretty good lately.

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Holidays at Home

K & I celebrated the New Year at home in the Philippines. Leaving and going back to Singapore was a bit harder this time around, mostly because it’s sad to leave my family, relatives, and friends behind. But it’s nice to see everyone early in the year. I didn’t realize how much I missed them. I even got teary-eyed while boarding the flight. Homesickness kicked in a year late.

Saying Goodbye to Another Home

When we got back, we had to say another good bye, because we are moving out of Boon Keng. I still remember the first time I laid my eyes on that place. It was literally love at first sight. I must’ve viewed around ~10 units prior to that.

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I came home to this one day for lunch. I asked K to get us chicken rice & yong tau foo from a nearby hawker food court. But he went above & beyond my expectations lol.

Anyway, I made the most out of our remaining time there by going home for lunch, and having our dinners there. Then we had to go through this whole ordeal of moving in to another place.

Nothing could’ve prepared us (well, our agent could’ve done it, if he did his job) for the stress and frustration that ensued. It’s a good thing I got to read ‘The Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo prior to moving, because at least we got to discard some (not all – YET) of our rubbish.

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Our new place in Upper Thomson is just lovely, despite the long 5-minute uphill walk (and an hour+ bus ride) to get there. We are sharing it with my friend from high school and her boyfriend. It’s been great so far. They have better cooking skills than us, and they are always game to go the gym!

Started a Ritual

Speaking of going to the gym, K & I signed up for an 2-week HIIT trial in the middle of January. I stumbled upon Ritual on Instagram, and their whole ’30-minute gym’ and ‘just bring yourself’ gimmick is super attractive. They literally addressed the main things that are keeping people (read: me) from going to the gym regularly: 1. lack of time, and 2. the hassle of having to pack gym clothes, shoes, and towel.


I finished the trial early last week (I suspended it for a week because of a trip), and I got to say, I’m still seriously considering signing up for a full membership. K absolutely loved it as well. Even if we have our own gym in the condo, I would still prefer to go to Ritual.

The facilities are just A++, the routines are pretty flexible (in that there are variations for people who are more advanced), the instructors are friendly and attentive. The only thing that is keeping us now is the price. It is not cheap! Just to give you an idea: if I suddenly get a SGD 300-400 increase in my monthly salary, then I will feel less guilty signing up.

Trip to Batam

We signed up for the gym because we wanted to prepare for an upcoming vacation! Well, 1/2 vacation, and 1/2 team building for me. My second team building with SMU is in Batam! I asked for an extension for the weekend, so my mom and K can join me.


Batam seems to be a quiet island that reminds me of the provinces in the Philippines. There are some areas that are more developed than others, and you can see the influences of nearby tourists in the form of hipster cafes (of course I went to one lol).

Since Batam is a big island, the places of interest can be quite far from each other, so I opted to just go on a day trip to a beach resort. We hired a driver service from Carousell. This proved to be a really good call because some of the places we went to don’t have taxis readily available, and if there are, expect the rates to be expensive. The service we got was around 45 sgd for the day.


We went to Turi Beach (I think the day trip is around 40sgd per pax), ate at Rezeki and Bella Italia Ristorante, shopped around Mega Mall. It was a well-deserved weekend getaway for us, and I’m happy we went for it!

NN/g Conference

Prior to our Batam trip, I attended 2 days of the NN/g Conference in Singapore. My first day is a workshop on ‘Measuring UX’, and the second is a talk on ‘User Interface Principles Every Designer Has to Know‘. The first one leans toward statistics, while the second has hints of psychology.


Both are conducted by the same speaker (Raluca Budiu) and I’m pretty satisfied with my choices! I’ve completed the exams this weekend (obviously the Measuring UX questions were a bit tougher for me than the theories/principles). I’m grateful for the opportunity and I look forward to attending 3 more classes next year to get my UX Certification.

ONE OK ROCK in Singapore

There’s one more highlight of last January: K watching his favorite band play live, and me discovering a new band to like!


I did not know any OOR song prior to attending the concert (it was my Christmas gift to K), but I was completely blown away by their live performance. They were so good that towards the end I asked K if we can join the guys who are standing and dancing to the music (we were way up the stadium, and almost everyone else is just sitting). The lights, the music, the band’s stage presence, it’s something else.

Weekend & Valentine’s Dates

We got to check out new places & activities the past few weeks. We went to a new burger place in Cathay called B Burger, we watched Vince & Kath & James in an outdoor cinema in Sentosa, and for Valentine’s we checked out the Capitol and watched Black Panther. We also got to try the dinner buffet at The Fullerton Hotel!

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That is all, folks. I’m looking forward to going home for the Paramore concert (I AM STOKED!!!!!!), and completing a 3D for Designers course. Bye!




2017, The Year of Growing Up

2017 was the year I finally felt like I’m no longer the teenager that I was. It’s three years late, I know. I moved to a new country, started working for a new company, found a new place to live in with my mom and my boyfriend. I had the most freedom in my 23+ years of existence and if you have read my posts this year, you’ll know that it was both an interesting yet frustrating experience, to see how I’ll get by when left to (almost) my own devices.

The Bad

Feeling burnt out and getting the ‘impostor syndrome’: 2017 was just not what my ambitious self was expecting. I wasn’t as productive as I wanted to be. I felt really burnt out, demotivated, and stressed, day in and day out. I felt like an impostor, career-wise.

Relationships: I didn’t make as much friends as I wanted to. Adult friendships are excruciatingly difficult for me, it turns out. Additionally, living away from my social circles, my cousins, brothers, relatives, and most of all, my best friend, was more difficult than I anticipated.

Personal goal and hobbies: I didn’t manage my newfound free time well and I ended up not doing any personal work at all. Heck, I didn’t even get to finish my reading challenge (which was set at an all-time low of only 10 books for the year). I didn’t realize how much of my energy could get sucked in to work and housekeeping (and, fine, mobile games).

I’m aware, though, that I had really high expectations and had set up unrealistic goals for myself. It’s like I’m setting myself up for failure. Obviously, if there’s anything to learn from this, it’s to learn how to set up realistic, attainable goals, and to cut myself some goddamn slack.

The Good

New living and working situations: Fortunately, every other part of my life (parts that are not me, if that makes sense, lol) are great. My boyfriend has been really supportive (to a fault, even). My new workplace and new colleagues are great. This new country and our new place, albeit both small, is amazing. And with this work-life balance, I get to spend my weekends attending conferences, watching movies and shows on Netflix, playing games, trying new places to eat at, etc.

Travelling with friends: For me, the biggest highlight of 2017 is probably when we went to South Korea and Thailand. I never really had any interest of going to Seoul until we booked a flight last November 2015, so I didn’t have any expectations.

As the flight schedule approached, we started watching Goblin and I started listening to a couple of K-pop bands. That’s when I really got excited to go, and oh boy, South Korea did not disappoint. I am seriously in love. We stayed in a quaint little Airbnb hostel in Myeongdong and we had a jampacked itinerary and we did so much shopping and oh my god just looking back gives me butterflies.

Our short weekend trip to Thailand is amazing as well. When I was younger I always dreamt of going to Bangkok, for some reason. My friends and I had a great time going to museums and temples, shopping, getting massages, and, above all, eating good (and drinking milk tea lol).

Managing my finances: Okay, maybe that’s an overstatement. But I’ve started investing on our own house now, after renting and living with relatives since forever. I also got to save a lot of my earnings this year and completed an emergency fund worth 6 months of our expenses. Some of my relatives also borrowed money from me and I’m still lucky that I’m now in a position to help.

I’m comfortable that if, God forbid, anything happens, we won’t be completely helpless. I’m always worried about bad things that could happen to our family, and the way I manage my finances is just an endless cycle of preparing for That Bad Thing.

For 2018, I hope I can finally get over my fear of starting a business. I’m going to start by selling my old clothes and other stuff on Carousell or a garage sale. Then hopefully I can branch out to something slightly bigger.

Exercising: One of my proudest achievements for 2017 is that I actually stuck to doing yoga once a week! I haven’t done any exercise since I finished with PE classes in college, and I’m glad to have made a small step (and stuck to it!!!) this year. Aside from yoga, there are also times when I run for 30 minutes in the gym. IN THE GYM. I WENT TO THE GYM.

I did gain 3kg towards the end of the year, but for 2018 I hope to lose those 3kg + my belly fat lol.

For 2018

2018 is going to be all about venturing out of my comfort zones and making myself vulnerable.

Whether it’s in making new friends, creating bad art & design, selling my stuff online or in person, trying a new physical activity, travelling alone, expressing my feelings and appreciation to others, etc! I will prioritize my relationships (with family, friends, lover, my self, the community, A Higher Being, etc.) first. I will also strive to take care of the only body that I was given.

Career and professional growth-wise, I will lighten up and become more humble. I am an amateur, but I am also very willing to learn and have fun. I can fail so many times, and it’s all right. I’m free to fail spectacularly, as long as I give it a shot.

2018 is going to be the year of still having fun!


Tuesday, 26th December


Christmas ain’t over until we’ve finished the leftovers from the 25th. That’s an unspoken rule. So we are still in a very festive mood today!

Today was a pleasantly tiring day. We started at around 9AM with a breakfast buffet. I had the usual – cereal, bacon and eggs, potatoes, rice, juice, yogurt! After eating, we went back to bed and watched some TV. We don’t have cable at home so it was quite an indulgence. We watched some travel show on Niseko and Yamagata prefecture in Japan, and we decided we’d go to those places in the future. One of our hobbies is dreaming about going to Japan lol. We also watched an odd cooking show that has Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart cooking beside each other wtf. It was… enjoyable.

At around noon we checked out at the hotel to go home. All these hotel rooms are nice, but nothing really beats the comfort of your own bed.

I showered and prepared for today’s plans which really is just one thing: buy gifts for my officemates. You see, it’s not last minute shopping if you do it after Christmas. Right? Right. So after showering we went to Bugis, and shopped until around 5 PM. It was a HUGE relief to tick some items off my list!


My mom joined us and we headed to Marina Bay to check out the Marina Bay Carnival. We were under the impression that there’s going to be some shops, but it turns out it was all a bunch of rides and games (like an actual carnival, duh). So we just walked around until we got to the Gardens by the Bay. We saw a giant baby, pictured below:


When we were done resting on my new picnic mat (hell yea!), we headed home. And now I’m in bed listening to Chet Baker (I Get Along Without You Very Well [Except Sometimes]) and writing this.

December 23

Today we tried kickboxing at the Evolve MMA gym. It seems quite easy to pick up, but the plans that they have are way over our budget. We’re going to look at a different place to try it again.

December 24

Spent the entire morning looking for a good and affordable airfryer as a gift to my mom. We tried two malls before we ended up in Harvey Norman in Millenia Walk. We also bought a small gift for our landlord. At around 3 PM we checked in at the Park Hotel in Alexandra. We just spent the day lazying by the pool, eating wedges and wings. It was just nice. We can see The Interlace from where we were sitting.

At around dinnertime we had our noche buena – some really good steak and instant mashed potatoes – in our hotel room. Love Actually was on so we watched it. At around 12AM we went for a mass. When we got back I was too sleepy to open gifts so I suggested we do it tomorrow morning.

December 25

The first thing we did upon waking up was to open gifts in bed, of course.

I had some really nice gifts from my officemates, and from K and my mom. Afterwards, we had a lovely breakfast buffet by the pool, and then we swam until noon. At around 2pm we checked out and went home.We received a log cake from our landlord. It seems like it’s a popular food for Singaporeans to have during Christmas. We videocalled a couple of our relatives from the US and PH for the entire afternoon, until it was time to go to a different hotel. Then we had dinner at our favorite place, Lao Yu Ji. I am so glad the stars aligned (read: my mom had a duplicate booking) and we got to have dinner there for Christmas.

We spent the rest of the night watching Batman vs Superman, which was still awful in the second viewing lol. Great day, overall!


Monday, 18th December

Li Ka Shing Library

Today was a pretty perfect day. I woke up at 7 AM, quickly got out of bed, and felt really well-rested. It was the third time in a row that I woke up early, and I guess my main motivation was that I like having extra time in the morning to do stuff.

After forcing K to come with me, we went for breakfast at the McDonald’s across the street. We had the usual – egg mcmuffin for me, sausage mcmuffin (with egg) for him. I also tried something new with my commute to work.

When I got to the office, I picked up work on some of the pending things from last week:

  • one masthead design for School of Law’s event,
  • documentation of a usability evaluation that I did for a Password Reset service, and
  • the prototype for the Professional & Continuing Education course template.

Then we had discussion on the next steps for the usability evaluation, and before I knew it, it was way past lunch time. I had some chicken pie & green tea latte at Starbucks for lunch.


When I got back, I met a new colleague who is going to work on the copy for an upcoming major website redesign. After that, I just polished up the documentation, applying the changes from our discussion, and then emailed it off.

At around 6PM I rode the bus to Choa Chu Kang, where I’m meeting a seller from Carousell to buy a really cute picnic basket. It’s my most prized possession now. It’s my Christmas present to myself and I’m really happy that I bought it! We had some dinner at a nearby food court, where we had salted egg chicken and a really tasty mixed rice.

The only sad part of today is that we had to tell our landlord that we are planning to move out by February next year. I’ve grown really fond of our place already, and he is such a nice guy. He had just put up some tiny Christmas decorations and it breaks our hearts to have to look at them when we know we are going to say goodbye soon 😦

Boon Keng 😦

I’m feeling anxious about the new place we are moving into. On one hand, the place has unbelievably nice amenities (pool, gym, sauna, grill place, events area, karaoke place), it’s a condo, and the rent is going to be a little cheaper than what we are currently paying.

On the other hand, the location is a bit far from the city, and the place is super small, considering that there’s going to be five of us living together. That’s another thing. We are getting flatmates. It has to be handled really carefully or our friendships will be at risk. I hope it all goes well. We have to take care of cleaning up this place, and applying for electricity, water, and wifi. Above all, I don’t want to leave our current place and our landlord. 😦 I love our place, I just think it’s a waste to spend too much of our money in rent. Oh well. We’ll just see what happens.

Aside from this bit, I think today was great! I’m looking forward to tomorrow.


Wait it Out

Pretty artwork at the new Bendemeer train station

Title is completely unrelated to the post. I’m listening to that Imogen Heap song right now.

Okay, it’s December. Time for my weekly(ish) recap. First, the weekend. The weekend flew by too fast. It’s all because we spent all weekend playing games. If I were to estimate it:

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The most disappointing chart of all time.

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New things

Another week has passed. I tried to start the week by logging down what happened each day, but I didn’t manage to write anything after Tuesday, so this would be a slightly lopsided account of the week that was! Top highlights from last week:

  1. Started a new blog (! It’s a place where I’ll write about design, UI/UX, and other career/work-related things. I think it’s more organised to keep it separate from this blog. Please follow if it sounds like the kind of thing you’d be into! My second post is a recap of the Design Bootcamp Asia event that I attended last Thursday.
  2. Met Lauren Tsai from Terrace House AS! ❤ She’s so nice and pretty IRL
  3. Started playing Pocket Animal Crossing (Add me: 6353 1735 183)

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Twenty Four

So I turned 24 last week! I don’t know what to do with that info, and I’m sure the same goes with you. I just wanted to quickly share some events that happened last week:

The Day Before

November 13 was a Monday, so I had work. By 11AM though, some of my officemates and I left the office because we signed up to volunteer for a soup kitchen.

Pictures were not allowed so this is the only one that I got.

It was a pretty fulfilling experience. I know it was just a couple of hours (and all I did was chop vegetables for 4 hours) and they do that sort of thing in almost a daily basis, but it’s good to know that we helped relieve some of the other volunteers of their work for half the day.

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Winning Streak


Highlight of our weekend: 10x winning streak at AOV! (Yes, I’m still messing around with that game. I’ve played more than 200 games since I started about a month ago. HELP!) Other highlights:

  • Read Seconds by Bryan O’Malley (of the Scott Pilgrim fame) – I really enjoyed this! I finished it in one sitting and it gave me some fuzzy feelings.
  • I’ve been listening to Christmas songs now! Christmas is my most favorite time of the year, okay.
Speaking of Christmas, we’ve put up our tiny Christmas tree c/o Daiso!

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Let it Happen


I’m on sick leave today (it’s Tuesday). My head, nape, and left shoulder are experiencing some numb, pulsing pain, which, combined with my feeling down and burnt out, just doesn’t make me fit for work today (in my own judgment, at least).

On a completely unrelated note, I’m turning 24 exactly a week from now. 24! I don’t know what to think about that, to be honest. On the surface, I would gather that I’m kinda mature enough to be 24. Sure, I still eat junk most of the time, and sure, I spend most of my free time playing mobile games, but I do have a job that pays well and challenges me (a little too much, sometimes), I have sufficient emergency savings (and I am investing on our own house), I do yoga and go to the gym semi-regularly, and I’m on a great & stable relationship… I’m not doing so bad for someone who is turning 24.

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