Friday, November 30, 2012

The Lion City

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sender: My twin, Wan
Sent from Singapore, Singapore, Sent on 11 June 2012
Received on 20 June 2012, Traveled 2,392 km in 9 days

I got this as a 'welcome back to Asia' card after an almost one month visit to Scotland and the United Kingdom. I fell in love with the places I visited there. Edinburgh and Stratford-upon-Avon were my favorites. I told myself I would love to live in any of these two places. It was like being inside a fairy tale with the ambiance there.

Then, exactly one month ago, at this very same hour, I was preparing for my early morning flight for Singapore. I had a four-day experience of Singapore, the 'Lion City' and I told myself, I want to relocate and would love to work and find advancement with my profession there. Singapore is more a reality to me than living in Edinburgh and/or Stratford-upon-Avon. It's almost industrial and commercial landscape all over the place, but it still remains clean and green. Despite the busyness, one can still find zen in the midst of tall buildings and continuously buzzing people and transportation because there are nice and relaxing gardens and lots of tress everywhere. I think it's a really nice place to make professional dreams coming true while being able to stay healthy inside and out as a person. The biggest considerations, the western competitive vibe for continuously working hard for a good quality of life is there but, this place is less expensive than US/UK/Europe, very much closer to home, and the weather is very similar to the Philippines.

Chinatown Food Street dining experience with my twin / bestfriend Wan 
(who sent the postcard and who invited me to visit Singapore).

I am a 'can-never-tolerate-the-cold' person having been raised and lived in a tropical country for 20+ years. An airconditioning temperature lower than 18 degrees Celcius makes me shiver already! I realized it would be an extreme torture for me to permanently live and work in the cold western countries, especially during the during winter. Plus I would be too far from my family and friends here in the Philippines. Family is very important for me and also my most trusted friends are staying here in the Philippines (like my bestfriend who would be a lawyer here and she can't be a practicing lawyer somewhere else without additional years of studies and qualifying exams).

Given the chance to live and work outside the Philippines, I realized I would prefer another country which is closer to home (read: where plane ticket to fly back to Manila whenever necessary is a lot cheaper :p ). 

One simple realization but it taught me some things which are substantial. Sometimes, we imagine ourselves in fairy tale dreams. We love these dreams because of course, fairy tales are always beautiful and are always coupled with 'happily ever after'. But then, how about our personal realities? Are they fit to let us truly enjoy a 'happily ever after' in the fairy tales we dream and imagine for ourselves?

It also taught me that yes, sometimes it helps to wander far to discover where the heart truly belongs. But in that quest, we should always remember who we truly are and what will truly and completely make us profoundly happy at the end of the day. And with that, I wish everyone a nice Friday and a relaxing weekend ahead! 


p.s. I still dream about Edinburgh and Stratford-upon-Avon. Not the thoughts of relocating there anymore, just that it would be nice to experience being in a fairy tale place once again for a few days in this lifetime! :p


  1. I love this post! I think we all have had those "fairy tale dreams" (mine includes living near an ocean - ANY ocean - and yet I am landlocked). Your last statement about who we truly are and what makes us profoundly happy at the end of the day ... well it hit close to home. I can visit the ocean I love anytime. But THIS is home - on the edge of town, next to the forests of my childhood.
    Thank you!

    1. You're welcome Clytie! Home for me is with the people I love the most :)

  2. I have a habit of falling in love with many places that I have travelled to and have spent many happy hours daydreaming about living there. but it would be lonely without my family and friends. And as you say, it is often more expensive to live in some of those fantasy places, which means that I wouldn't be able to enjoy all it had to offer.
    Thank you for your insight into Singapore - I have never been there and only imagined far too many buildings and people and frantic shopping!

  3. My husband and I married in 9teen87 and I told him I will be at his side in health, sickness, poor, rich, I don't care, just don't move me where it is cold. :D 25 years later, I love him even more, and he still has not moved me where it is cold. :D

    great post - love the postcard

  4. I'm glad you liked the post Brenda...and that you're staying warm! :)

  5. I miss you at Sunday Stamps. We are up to week 100!

  6. Krissa,

    I know that you may not approve this comment...nonetheless, I wanted you to read it.

    I realized upon reading your latest blog updates that it's been more than six months since I last looked at your blog. I'm glad to see you're still writing, and writing a lot. I feel it's always been, and will continue to be, your escape from whatever life throws at you.

    I am commenting here because I wanted to thank you for saying the positive things about Stratford-Upon-Avon. I will remember one of the greatest things you did for me was to share something that was a dream come true for me.

    As for my other dreams, Fulbright is not in the cards for me. However, the elusive teaching job, after some wrangling, is within reach.

    In the end, I guess our breakup served to let us pursue our passions, with whomever...and wherever, our passions will take us.

    I'll limit myself to this short message. I think we can both agree that any extended colloquy is not in the cards at this time. Ingat ka lagi.



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