I am not Alone

I don’t think anyone knows how alone I feel.

Same way that I don’t understand how alone others feel when they say they are.

Others have siblings, they have parents within reach whom they can console and ask for advice anytime.

They have complete family photos.

They have close relatives they can confide with.

They have friends they can reach to anytime.

I have issues with my parents.

My friends have issues of their own.

My partner doesn’t know how to console me.

I don’t know what I’m going through. I don’t know what kind of depression this is or why I am even going through this.

There are lots of people going through something way worse I know.

I know I can always pray. I always do, but the feeling just lingers. The emotions are just here for now.

I am writing this to make myself feel better. I don’t know if I will feel better after this.

I mask myself with smiles and laughter, jokes and positivity, optimism and meditation, but the feeling of loneliness just doesn’t go away.

We’ll see about this in the future.

 

 

In Singapore

I vowed to myself to have at least one out of the country flight every single year so 2016’s travel pick is the wonderful Lion City… SINGAPORE!

We realized that Singapore is a common travel destination for almost everyone aside from Hong Kong. We’ve been to major destinations like USA and Middle East so why not explore one of the nearest ones around Philippines?

So I planned a 3-day itinerary that wouldn’t cost us much. My husband has this thing of not wanting to go through expensive entrance fees so I accept the challenge of only going to places where we wouldn’t spend as much but will still be able to visit the major attractions.

Our first day…

  • Arrival at Changi Airport
  • MRT ride to Aljunied Station where our booked hotel(via Agoda.com) was located
  • Got lost for a while looking for our hotel, checked in at 2:00pm, Fragrance Hotel-Pearl. Rested for a while. It was so hot! Even though we were warned by friends and family who have been there but damn was it hot!
  • Back to the MRT going to Marina Bay Sands via Bayfront Station.
  • By the way, Bayfront station ends you up inside the actual Marina Bay Sands mall, we thought it would end us up looking at it from the popular Merlion statue, but it was a discovery that lead us to Gardens By The Bay, another popular attraction.
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At least we got to see the Marina Bay Sands Hotel up close. Tee Hee!

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They were really pretty.

  • Go down via Raffles Place or Marina Bay station if you want to end up at the Merlion Statue with the Marina Bay Sands as your background or view.
  • We had a short stop at the Chinatown area, we got to see the busy street with lots of tourists, restaurants, bars and stores, but my research said that Bugis street is the cheaper option for souvenirs.
  • Last stop was the famed Bugis Street. This is where we ate dinner but we got there pretty late so we weren’t able to have that many food choices. I ate Carrot cake and my husband ate noodles of some sort.
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    Saw this was a must eat according to my research. Carrot Cake

    Second Day…

  • Went to Bakut Timah Railroad from King Albert Park Station, it’s an unused old railroad that some backpackers or tourists try to visit. We  got lost looking for it but saw it the moment we gave up. lol! Easy tip to find it is that it kinda looked like an overpass. The Ngee An Poly Park was where we ended up when we decided to give up. Another tip, you’re not supposed to reach King Albert Park either. The railroad is all before those so-called parks.

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  • Botanic Gardens – nothing too grand to see here but it was a good walking exercise.
  • Sentosa – I guess this is the only place where we paid for an entrance fee. We didn’t go to Universal Studios though, just the ticket for the train. We just did a walking tour around Sentosa. It was well worth it but really hot. There were so many Indian tourists. One big group even had a red t-shirt as their uniform and my husband blended in. lol!
  • Clark Quay. Might as well visit this place.

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  • To sum up our day, we met up with Steve’s old friend  Mac and his wife Noreen who lives there and we ate at this hawker center by the marina bay called Makansutra. This is where we got to eat the chili crab and cereal prawns.

Third and Last Day…

  • After check out time at Fragrance Hotel: Pearl, we decided to go to the other popular places like Orchard Road and Little India. It was midday so the sun was up and about! We tried to walk around Little India for a while but found that it was too ordinary, perhaps it’s more colorful in the evening, but in the morning, no thank you.

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  • At Orchard Road, we didn’t bother going out of the station anymore, so that’s one more place we have to go back to.

Waiting for out flight. Double thumbs up on Singapore’s waiting areas and really fast internet!

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OVERALL EXPERIENCE

Ideally, going out in Singapore should either be early in the morning or late in the afternoon until the evening because it is just really hot during midday and you can’t even feel the wind. We were kinda lucky it rained a little on our second day so it wasn’t THAT hot the whole day but it shows otherwise for my ever sweaty partner. I bet during Summer months it’s killin’ just like back home in Bahrain where it hits 40 degrees celsius at times.

What I think about the city is that it’s like a world inside a bubble. Like a modern city inside a bubble. You can feel it’s a small city and everything is accessible with public transportation. I would come back again though, I know there are still lots of places we haven’t explored. Singapore has one of the best looking airports I have ever been to as well.

See you again SG!

 

 

Dear 15yrold Self

Hi, it’s you 15 years in the future.

You’re in your 4th year of high school now, you’re about to enter college in a few months, you’re going to bid your beloved school and friends goodbye because you won’t be seeing each other for a long time or maybe never. You will be moving to the Philippines from your Bahrain comfort zone.

I just want to say that adjusting life in the Philippines won’t be easy. Studying and living out of your comfort zone will require a lot of patience and perseverance on your end. You will go through a lot.

One thing I wish you would do though, is not to be easily swayed or influenced by the new people you meet. Learn not to be gullible and easily influenced by those who just want to enjoy life and skip classes and smoke and drink.

I hope you focused more on your studies and didn’t get affected that much with your parents’ issues. I hope you had the guts to make decisions for yourself, that you don’t want to stop studying. That you like the course you chose. That you want to keep studying and be successful at that.

I would probably be writing this letter differently when all that I hoped for happened but this is how life took its place. There’s no chance for erasures but there will always be space for improvement.

Things we planned for ourselves don’t necessarily happen especially if you are not bent on making them come true.

Just take it as it is and be grateful instead.

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It’s February already!

Whoah! How time flies by soooo fast! It was just December the other day and now it’s February going on Valentine’s Day again.

Anyway, I feel like time is running out on me. I just have this feeling like I want to do so many things but I’ve got very little time and I’m actually wasting all of it. I don’t know.

This month, I might go back to working again. After quitting my last job in 2015, I thought I won’t ever apply for a job again. But somehow I did, I originally didn’t expect them to contact me for an interview but they did. I passed two interviews now and just waiting when I’m going to start.

The job post said it is project based and that I will have to do most of it home-based but during the interviews, they were subtly asking that they would prefer if I report to the office as often as possible and that I should be ready in 6 months to a year’s time for a regular scheduled job.

The company’s a stable one, I’m sure of it. It’s not a start-up with a provincial rate, nor is it a pioneer company managed by one family and it’s not in publishing this time.

It’s one of the top insurance companies in the world and I doubt they’ll run out of money. I just hope their offer to me is good. Good enough for me to stay and save money for my future plans. That’s all I ask. Then again, for opportunities like these coming my way, I’m forever grateful.

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Utterly Engaged

Found this in the drafts.

October 20, 2013

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The Proposal

Steve is sweet but not mushy sweet. He’s not the kind with awesome well-planned surprises. He will just surprise you the simplest way he could or maybe even not, but that’s the way he is.

Anyway, the proposal happened on my birthday, while celebrating at my friend Paulo’s house, I was eating chicken from a YellowCab delivery with my hands and there he knelt and asked the question.

So I was there, sitting and dumbfounded, asking if he’s serious and immediately looked at my greasy fingers and figured how would he put that ring with my hands all greasy?! Oh well, so he did and I said Yes.

He looked nervous alright because he intended to actually ask while celebrating at the house with most of his siblings around. Guess his shyness got the better of him.

The Ring

The ring is really pretty, not your typical one stone white gold ring. I was surprised that it was gold and had little stones on the side. Steve said he designed it himself. Though the actual diamond is smaller than a karat, it was just appropriate for me to wear in the Philippines, not too flashy but still elegant. I love it!

Thoughts

Never in my life did I think I would be engaged, let alone get married someday. I always pictured myself growing old single, an old maid or probably have a child from a failed relationship then struggling to survive and put my child to school or travel if I didn’t have any child but have a good enough career and then live with lots of dogs.

Truly, God wants my life the other way around. Instead, I got into a long term relationship and here we are engaged to be married. Certainly He gave me much more than what I expected my life to be. God blessed me so much to actually have a normal life, not the kind that still turns heads one way or the other.

I know there will be struggles along the way but I’m sure glad to have someone and be someone’s other half so we can get through life’s ups and downs. Celebrate life and be each other’s wall when things don’t go as well.

Again, Forever Grateful

My Cheesy Tuna Baked Macaroni Recipe

I’m no expert in cooking so I didn’t get to include the exact measurements of the ingredients, I just really love baked mac and my mom who usually makes this lives far from me so I have no choice but to make it myself. Plus the bakedmacs in restaurants just don’t give me those giddy cheesy feels. The pasta filling can vary from elbow macaroni to penne or even spaghetti and the tuna filling can be minced beef or chicken or even vegetables, whatever you like is A okay!

Macaroni Filling

Ingredients:

I pack elbow macaroni (about 800g)

Two cans of tuna (in oil or water, doesn’t matter)

1 can sliced mushrooms (just wanted to add another ingredient)

1 pack Tomato Sauce

Tomato Paste

Chopped Onions

Chopped Garlic

Mixture of different herbs (basil, oregano etc.)

Salt and Pepper

Olive oil and Vegetable oil

Procedure:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in pan, add in chopped onions and garlic and wait till onions become translucent, then add in the mushrooms and the canned tunas. I used one spicy tuna in can to add a kick to the otherwise overwhelming cheese flavor later on.
  3. After adding the canned tunas, you can then add in the tomato sauce and let it simmer for about 3mins then add in the tomato paste to make the sauce look more put-together. You know it.
  4. You can now add your different herbs and salt and pepper for flavor.
  5. Before your pasta fully cooks or reaches its al dente state, get it out from the heat as it will still continue to cook, plus it will get baked anyway. Put it in your baking pan/dish and drizzle a little olive oil on top so the pasta won’t stick to each other. You can then mix in your sauce mixture in the baking dish.

 

Creamy Cheesy Topping

Ingredients:

1 can evaporated milk

1 pack heavy cream (I used Nestle cream)

1  8oz block of cream cheese

Grated cheese

Procedure:

  1. Mix all three ingredients in a saucepan on low heat, these are the evaporated milk, heavy cream and your block of cream cheese.
  2. When the creams and cheeses are well mixed you can now spread it on top of your pasta in the baking dish and sprinkle grated cheese for as much as you like.

 

FINISH PRODUCT!