[April 26, 2007]

EXILED FROM PARADISE 
 
(WMP playing Voices by Dario G… we sailed over seven seas, searching for that missing key, unlock a new world harmony… climb the highest mountain range, then we took the longest train, looking for our perfect refrain…)
 
Everything is almost like a routine for me now so I’m not that active in posting anymore. Nothing really significant has happened unlike my first few days of my stay here. Last Sunday I went to church but wasn’t able to make it to mass. Last mass at St. Joseph Church is set at 5:30pm. Blame it on me; I never thought it was already 6:30pm when I left, well, the sun shines here up to almost 7:30pm. So I just prayed outside the church.
 
Monday I got my hands on some ingredients for Nilagang Baboy, only thing is I didn’t find any fish sauce so I had to make do with the local salt. Good thing it still tasted good. I and John ate and feasted on it. And I would feast on it in the coming days. Andame ng kalahating kilo hehehe! I’m planning to cook Sinigang this coming Sunday; I just hope that I find some Kangkong and Tamarind Soup base at West Mall or BPP. I was told that I can buy all the ingredients for Pinoy dishes at LP but I don’t think that it’s a good idea to travel that far just to buy fish sauce or any ingredients for my cooking. Unless I’m going to buy a new cellphone again or if I get a sign from heaven that “singkit” is gonna be there. 
 
(WMP playing Breathe by Michelle Branch…if I just breathe, let it fill the space in between, I’ll know everything is all right…breathe, every little piece of me, you’ll see, everything is alright, if I just breathe…) 
 
Tuesday we went to East Coast Park. Picture yourself in Eastwood City but with an added attraction—a beach. Imagine Manila Bay minus the thrash, well then it wouldn’t be Manila Bay if you remove the trash anyway. And do not ever misunderstand me that I like Singapore better than my own country; I’m just kind of like ‘sour-graping’ why we do not have a country like this. There is still no place like home. I’ll be getting political here so I think I’ll just save my whining for another post. East Coast was good. Travel time is longer than what it takes going to Orchard. There’s a rollerblade park. Tangina kasi eh! Kung di lang ako sumemplang dati sa roller-skates; I would have tried rollerblades back home till I’m X-games calibre.
 
Wednesday is D-Day. My cousin agreed to subscribe to M1 Mobile broadband. She would have to do it for me. I don’t have the necessary papers which are required for approval. Another favor I’ll be forever grateful. We ate at this place called Pastamania. And I got to taste the best Lasagna I’ve ever had. Almost after eating we received a call that the laptop’s ready. At last! An internet connection at home! No more trips to McDonalds. No more draining batteries. It was like I can walk again! 
 
(WMP playing Kingdom of Pretty by Bonnie Bailey… every day is our first time for something new, as compelling as you are to me I am to you, curiosity has me peeking to your kingdom of pretty…a formless flow, a magical symphony consumed by the fragrant possibilities; curiosity has got me peeking to through your kingdom of pretty…) 
 
Let me assess myself for what I’ve learned this past week.
 
  1. 50SGD is different from 50PHP, always remember that, especially when you’re drunk and riding the cab back to your place.
  2. Learn to cover your mouth with an always available hanky when you cough, especially the smoker’s kind of cough and especially when you can’t take the smell of what they call “anaps” that’s sitting beside you (Polo Black pales in comparison!)
  3. To be right you have to keep left in everything, unless you’re in a hurry in using the escalators. Singapore is an RHD country and everything else follows suit.
  4. Do try those food houses that abound everywhere. It’s like our carinderias but here they are much more sanitary and much more appealing to eat in.
  5. As much as possible bring your own 2X2 pictures from the Philippines with your hard copy to boot. 20SGD is just way too expensive for a CD copy and four pieces of 2X2 pictures. Also bring with you as many resumes as you can.
  6. If you’re bringing your own cellphone, make sure to have it “open-lined” before you go here. You don’t want to have to transact with another one of those “singkits”
  7. A 100SGD Absolut is better than four 6-packs.
  8. Again, always remember 50SGD is different from 50PHP lalo na pag lasing ka na hehe!
 
(WMP repeats Voices… Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Yey-E-Yeh, Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Yeh…There are hidden rhythms in the sun, in the sun, I hear voices in the sky, in the sky) 
 
A lot of my friends are asking me why I chose to leave. Aside from the fact that I want to be independent and my version of self-rehabilitation for my vices back at home, I really have no idea. I guess I really won’t have the answer for that anytime soon. No one forced me to leave; I didn’t even force myself to. It’s just that when I woke up that Wednesday morning it all dawned upon me that I’m leaving. It never really hit me until, well it hit me. It’s been a week since then and by now I should be showing a sign of home-sickness but it’s not showing, yet. I’m not sure, maybe in a month or two I’ll be like desperate to go back home again. It’s not that I don’t miss my loved-ones back home, it’s just that I have to learn on my own. Paraphrasing a Filipino hero, if not now, when? If not us, who? I’m beginning to like it here and after that one week which I told everyone that I’ll familiarize myself to this place which is now done. I have to pursue my other plans. Though there is still so much more that I don’t know of. I’ll just learn to familiarize that as I go on. For the mean time I have to sustain myself here.
 
My blogs might become dormant again unless I find something that I would really want to share with you. It may not be as life-changing as a cure for cancer or some political scandal that could topple governments. I’ll post something that really interests me or made me ponder on life and what is in store for me, even if it’s as simple as a bird I saw while waiting for a bus. For now, I park my pen err close my laptop. The hunt for the job begins.
 
I would like to reiterate what I told everyone just when I was about to board the plane last week. Also, just in case you’re thinking that I titled this chapter of Singapura Diaries wrong, well it’s not. I really exiled myself from paradise. I may have grown to like this place a lot. But this is just a phase or an encounter. I’ll be back home again because just like what Di Caprio said near the ending of The Beach, “I still believe in paradise but now I know it’s not some place you can look for because it’s not where you go, it’s how you feel for a moment in your life and if you find that moment, it lasts forever.”
 
I left those “moments” back at my country, my home—the Philippines.