Monday, October 12, 2009

An Unusual Weekend

Last weekend was a busy time. I had to take care of my OWWA documents together with my cousin, and send money home.

As I was on my way to church from Orchard, I came across a Two Dollar Movie parade. Chicken Little, the Warcraft dude, a storm trooper, Storm Shadow, and Wolverine passed by the sidewalk.

One guy in a Transformers SG t-shirt asked me a survey question while pointing his cellphone camera at my face, "What do you think of a two-dollar movie?" I answered "It's good, what's the catch?". "No catch.", he replied. No, he didn't give me a two-dollar ticket (what was that all about?) Hey dude, if you're reading this, I'd like to know where you got your Transformers polo shirt, I'd like to get one myself. Click here to view more pictures.

Sunday night I had dinner aboard Doulos with my girlfriend's aunt Daisy, and with Kuya Manny's family. Kuya Manny and his family adopted me during my first stay in Singapore. I lived in their house for a month.

Click here to view more pictures.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Circumnavigation 2: A Second Chance

In my previous post, I wrote about how God led me back to my home city. But slowly God revealed to me that I would be going back to the very place where things seemingly did not work out.

May 7, 2009. My second trip to Singapore.

Let me just say that I believe God still leads us through dreams and visions (Acts 2:17) as well as open doors (Revelation 3:8). To accept one and reject the other may cause us to miss out on things.

God did open the door back to Singapore. And He gave me a job so I'm able to stay here a long time. God is truly the God of second chances.

Singapore is a wonderful place. I came back to the church of Calvary Chapel Singapore and rejoined the fellowship. There was an opportunity to serve on Saturday night Bible studies so I took on a new ministry.

Later on a new door opened to serve in youth ministry, so I joined in as well. I feel humbled and privileged to be able to minister to a group of Christian youth of a different culture and nationality.

In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, Filipino or Singaporean, but all are one family.

My thanks to Pastor John and his wife Evelyn, Ron and Jenny, and Chris and Swee San. You guys know how much you've been a blessing to me already.

I've made a few friends at work as well. They've shown me around Singapore and I have learned a lot from them.

I've met old friends from high school who also visited Singapore. They are an encouragement to me. Thanks, Roman and Jei.

My cousin came over to visit me, and I was so happy to see her.

I enjoyed touring Singapore with her in places I myself have never been before.

My girlfriend came over to visit me here last month, and we celebrated our first year anniversary as a couple.

It was a refreshing time for me, and Twinx really made the effort to come. That was truly the Lord's working.

As I'm in my fifth month here, I've learned more about the culture, the places, and the differences we have as different nations.

I think God has truly blessed in Singapore in allowing it to become what it is now.

I've had the privilege of meeting believers from other places.

And it seems that every nationality has a representation in this country.

Another privilege I've had was to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit.

It was an awesome experience to see the ancient texts of the Bible throughout the centuries.

Although I have read about them, it's a totally different encounter when I saw them. The Dead Sea Scrolls is proof that the Bible has been faithfully copied over the centuries without tampering.

I posted a photo album on Facebook about that. Click here to view it.

And if you're wondering if there are mountains in Singapore, there's not much elevation. But I went to a place that's high enough for a good hike - Bukit Timah.

I posted a photo album on Facebook about that as well. Click here to view it.

To all Jesus radicals, KEEP PRESSING ON!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


It's been a while since I've posted anything here. But in the last five months things have changed for me. In my last post I said that I was in Manila. I accumulated an almost two-month stay there looking for work and spending Christmas with family. But this second venture turned out to be something I didn't expect.

For a while I thought that the job climate in Manila would be better than that in Singapore due to the recession that hit Singapore harder than it did the Philippines. But I wasn't prepared for the job culture that was in place. In Manila, people were not compensated based on their education and skills. Those two things are a minimum requirement to get you shortlisted. Companies hire you and try to compensate you for as low as possible. This would be based on your previous salary. They don't want to raise it too far in your next job. This is my opinion but I think I've had enough interviews to draw such a conclusion. Let me say one more thing -- for those probinsyanos like myself who have worked in other places in the Philippines outside Metro Manila have experienced a low-cost of living. Our low salaries in the provinces count for more than they do in Manila. That's why Manila companies should not base your salary on the previous one alone, especially if it was given in a place with a lower cost of living. Given the adjustments of relocating -- traffic, pollution, high crime rate, and in light of the low compensation given in Manila, I decided not to pursue my career there, at least for now.

To backtrack a bit, I visited Iloilo City in November for my girlfriend's birthday and our third month celebration as a couple. It was a time of refreshing for me after a month of living in Singapore and almost a month living in Manila. I was also able to meet an old friend, Neil, again.

I was also able to teach two midweek Bible studies at Calvary Chapel of Iloilo.

Two weeks later in December I flew back to Manila for a job interview in Makati. I almost got hired, except that I wouldn't budge from my stance in favor of open source software. This was a Microsoft-oriented company, and they didn't hire me because of my software philosophy.

I continued my job hunt in Manila and had interviews with companies such as IBM. I stayed longer than expected since it was very difficult to fly back to Iloilo in time for Christmas. I spent Christmas with family in Manila and not with my parents back in Iloilo. I was also able to celebrate my niece's 2nd birthday, as well as my cousin's wedding, in Manila. So I was in Manila for almost a month on my second trip.

On January 1, my birthday, I flew back to Iloilo. I celebrated it with my parents, my girlfriend, and the Suñaz family (the family of Dr. Mark, one of my closest friends).

I stayed in Iloilo as a freelance programmer working online for projects overseas. I've been here for more than three months now, and I was blessed to see certain things take place.

For one thing, I was able to relax and reduce my stress level careerwise. Second, I was able to spend more time with my girlfriend. We continue to celebrate God's goodness in our relationship every month.

I was able to celebrate our first Valentine's Day together.

And I met two old friends from elementary, TJ and Orange, whom I haven't met in more than 15 years. TJ (the guy) is now based in New Jersey, USA. We spent time together. They were able to visit our church, and we also visited our old school and our old teachers.

And my sister and my niece came over for a short visit. I was able to spend time with them.

And my mom celebrated her birthday. I'm glad I was here for it.

Our church celebrated its 7th year anniversary. We celebrated God's faithfulness to us. We had worship, special presentations, the preaching of the Word of God, a baby dedication, a lunch fellowship, and water baptism. You can read more about it if you click here.

We were able to do two youth outreaches in West Visayas (click for more details) and our church sanctuary (click for more details).

Visitors from MV Doulos, the world's largest floating bookstore, also came to our church. Plus, we were able to visit their ship that docked in Bacolod in the neighboring island of Negros.

God has been faithful to sustain me back in my home city. Until when I'll be here I don't know. I believe God is not yet done with expanding my borders. Till next time...