mistaken “nationality”?

After eating a mouthwatering lunch at Yip Hong, a famous Chinese Restaurant in this side of the world, we decided to go to Superstore to buy weekly food supplies. With my nephew in tow, I was grinning while pushing the cart when I saw a Chinese lady looking and smiling at me.

I thought she’s the same lady that I often had a chance encounter whenever I go to work but I was wrong. All of a sudden, she stopped near our cart and asked me something. The brief conversation went this way:

Lady:      Hi! Are you from Huangzhong?
Me:          Sorry?
(I had a clueless expression on my face… I did not quite catch what she said)

Lady:    Huangzhong, China.
(Smiling with a twinkle in her eyes)

Me:          No. Do I look like a Chinese?
(I was laughing while talking.)
Lady:      Yes.

I just smiled and then we went separate ways. I still have that smirk on my face when I turned to my nephew, James.

Me:        Do I look like a Chinese?
James: No. You look like a Canadian.
(Looking at me with an incredibly serious expression on his face)

That did it. I can’t stop laughing while pushing the cart. Merci Beaucoup James! You’re such a sweetheart.

One last note, it’s really strange because I got that all the time…wherever I go, whoever I meet. Ha! I’ve been asked if I’m a Dutch, French, Latin American, Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai, and Chinese.

I must be a human chameleon? What do you think? 🙂

Proud to be a Filipino 🙂


I’ve always thought that if you have good command of the English language, it will be enough to make you “global”. Hence, I did everything within my mighty power to learn English even though I abhor the intricacies of its “technical” aspect.

A lot of people say I speak and write English well… Hmm.… I might have succeeded in a certain way but I know in my heart that I still have a long way to go.

My accent turned topsy-turvy after communicating with people having various mother tongue such as:

  • Filipino (Ilokano, Tagalog, Bisaya, Ilonggo, etc)
  • Dutch
  • German
  • French
  • Singaporean Mandarin
  • Chinese Mandarin
  • Cantonese
  • Hokien
  • Bhurmese
  • Bhutanese
  • Nepalese
  • Indonesian
  • Malay
  • Arabic
  • Ethiopian Language
  • Hindi
  • Tamil

I usually adapt the most prominent accent but my tongue seemed be confused on what accent to follow. Strange huh? Even so, I did manage to improve my accent  slowly and it got better when I worked at HSBC. We were dealing with American clients, so, we were taught to neutralize our accent to minimize communication barrier. After a few months, I can already speak English with that American twang.

However, when I went to work in Singapore, I needed to unlearn that American twang and speak English the “local” way inorder to get the message across and minimize receiving blank stares. (See related article -> Singlish).

Now, I need to unlearn the Singlish and bring back the North American way of speaking English. It’s a work in progress and it’s a bit difficult because I’ve also adapted the unresponsive nature of Singaporeans. It’s a total struggle!

Looking at the brighter side of things, I know things will work well in the next couple of months. The naturally bubbly, giggly. and chatty me will soon surface.

How to think English is also added in my to do list. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not removing Ilokano and Tagalog in my system. I’m a Filipino and will always be. I just want to improve myself and make my Mama proud (wherever she is now).   (Note: Writing is given. :p)

Thus, my mantra now is:
“I must speak English and think English.”

Why don’t we do this together? Aja! 🙂


courtesy of dreamstime.com
love triangle

(Note: Check out the article “baffled?” for a sneak preview of this article.)

Mitch (served as the moderator)

  • Pro Yno
  • believed that Yno can take care of the relationship better than Alex.


  • made an effort to be neutral but obviously Pro Alex
  • hoped that Yno is the type who’s there even if how many years have passed like Alex


  • clearly Pro Alex


  • cautiously Pro Yno

Below are insights of the “relationship council” about the issue:
(Just a heads up, Mitch and Scott preferred to throw more facial expressions than comments.)

In the end, what’s important the most is the guy who accepts Buffy’s imperfections and will move the earth just to be with her. And of course, the love should be mutually shared by both parties.(found in cool vs class)

Darn! Be it Korean, Taiwanese, Singaporean, Filipino and American TV Series… it seems like this is even better than all the TV Series that I’ve watched!  Whoa!  I wonder what will be the ending of this intricate love story?

  • Will Buffy end up with Alex? or
  • Will Buffy end up with Yno? or
  • Will Buffy end up with someone else?
  • Will Buffy end up unattached?

What’s your take on this? 😉

situation 1

“The communication between the guy and the lady resurrected after few months. An opportunity paved the way for them to be in the same time zone in which gave the guy a chance to visit  the lady and “propose”. Is it happily ever? 😉 Think again… Last minute, the guy chicken out due to petty (childish) reason. O_O  ”  (found in my thoughts… exactly!)

courtesy of dreamstime.com
rolling eyes

Scott: It will make anyone wonder what Yno would have done.

Robert: Imagine how boyish it would be to approach the girl and the guy is already pissed. Of course, he will most probably blurt out in front of other people “what are you doing and who is this guy?”
Considering the fact that Alex is more of a serious type person and a lawyer, if I were him, I would have probably taken things literally.

TheCuriousMe: Thats the point, he’s a lawyer. He should very well know that there’s always the other side of the coin. You cannot give a verdict based on a circumstancial evidence. You have to see both sides.

go back to viewpoint

situation 2

  • Alex is expressing his intent to reunite with Buffy after several years of being “apart”.
  • Yno yearns to be a part of Buffy’s life
  • Buffy is somewhat growing closer to Yno but trying to restrain herself because things seem to be bizarre at the moment.



I have ended a relationship before and I’m a man. I could simply move on real quick because it didn’t affect me or I cannot move on and can’t let go because I still want the girl back.

Buffy is being too hard to herself. She is driving Alex away because of bitterness or anger. And there’s a bit of denial on that.

May the best man wins! Obviously Alex and Yno are just more on hype. No concrete action. They should buck up!

 go back to viewpoint

situation 3

Why don’t just Alex muster up the courage to go to Buffy’s place directly talk to her?

courtesy of http://www.animalclipart.net
bok bok bok!

Robert: How will Alex do that now when it shows that Buffy is already entertaining Yno? I’m a guy, I would be crushed.

TheCuriousMe: Alex chickens out easily. Possibly, Yno is also a chicken in the making.

go back to viewpoint

situation 4

What should Buffy do?

courtesy of http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/emoticon%3B.html
think Buffy….

Perhaps, think things through, know if her heart is in the right place in terms of anger, giving a chance, denial, what does she really want, etc

Remember, there are things, places, people or events that act as the path – they could direct her to where she should be.

It does not and never always meant that she stays there.
Maybe Buffy met Yno to bring back Alex to her.
(TheCuriousMe: or the other way around?)

They don’t always tell you that they are the right one.
Remember, you meet several guys before you meet the right person.

Buffy should be wise enough to discern to follow her heart and her mind.
Both guys should prove their sincerity by talking to Buffy directly. Moreover, the guy who deserves Buffy is someone who’s willing to be with her (wherever she is) and help fulfill her mission.

go back to viewpoint


Singlish a.k.a Singapore English is widely used in Singapore (haha…but of course. :p ) and you have to be very alert in order to understand what it means. At first, I had no clue (usually, my blank stare gave it away) on the meaning of the majority of the words and statements used. Thankfully, my new found friends are patient enough to explain the meaning of the commonly used Singlish.

Below are some of the words and statements that I’ve heard (the meaning is as explained to me by my new found Singaporean friends):

1. lah, leh, loh, mah, meh
These are expressions commonly used at the end of a statement or sentence. But it can’t be used all at once.
e.g. “ok lah!”

2. ang moh – refers to Caucasians
e.g. “So many ang mohs in East Coast park leh.”

3. blurblur
Meaning: not clear or can’t understand
e.g. “The ang moh talk so fast, I was blurblur mah”

4. wait long long
Meaning: it takes forever.
e.g. “So stingy, we need to wait long long for him to buy us lunch meh.”

5. busybody
Meaning: not busy or nosy.
e.g. “Kenkoy’s so busybody loh, kept talking about his client’s marriage life.”

6. eat snake
Meaning: Go gallivanting
e.g. “After training, let’s go and eat snake leh.”

7. cook yourself
Meaning: you cook your own food
e.g. “You cook yourself mah?”

8. can
Meaning: yes
e.g. “Let’s watch Shrek? Can!”

9. cannot
Meaning: no
e.g. “You go kopitiam? Cannot!”

10. borrow me
Meaning: lend me
e.g. “Borrow me money can? I’ll pay tomorrow”

Very interesting eh? You can “bring” these singlish terms with you when you visit Singapore.

Don’t wait long long, can? Aja!


It was around 6 p.m. when I noticed that the floor was shaking while taking a breather in the building lobby on the 30th of September 2009. I shrugged it off thinking that it was a result of lightheadedness due to empty stomach. However, I heard a commotion along the hallway and I saw that the people from other offices were evacuating including my colleagues.

It was crazy! As calmly as I could, I returned to my area, shutdown my workstation, and then took the staircase from 19th floor down to the main floor. It was quite a scene on the main floor because for the first time in my stay in Singapore, I witnessed panic!

I find it surprising because the earthquake that we felt was just like the tail end of an earthquake (aftershock) in the Philippines.  Yet, the Singaporeans reaction looked like it’s already the end of the world; it’s pretty obvious that they are not used to facing calamities. No pun intended! 🙂

Being brought up in the calamity stricken country like the Philippines give Filipinos like me an edge because we learn how to deal with the worst scenarios at a very young age. So, the “little” shake or “little” flood feels like it’s just a light pinch on the cheeks.

After an amusing and earth shaking day, on my way home, surprisingly the bus driver happily greets everyone that boarded the bus and he also bids his bubbly goodbye with a wave and smile on his face for passengers who alights.

That’s one positive way to end the day. Aja!


One morning, a French gentleman was expected in our office for a business meeting with my two gorgeous chiefs (F and S). Out of the blue, F gave me a “crash course” on preparing a “long” nespresso and requested me to  prepare one  for the visitor.

Although, it’s considered a very simple task, I was still a bit jittery because I don’t belong to the coffee world. Yup… I’m more of a tea person and if ever I drink coffee (which happens once in a blue moon), I can only take 1 or 2 sips because my stomach can’t stand it.

Anyway, the French gentleman asked for nespresso “short” (I have no idea what “short” means) and when I used the machine, it just filled one fourth (1/4) of the cup. I was already in a panic mode and nearly added hot water into the cup to make it full.


In order to signal my predicament, I tried to catch S’ attention but to no avail. I approached my other co-worker to help me out but she also doesn’t know how. Nonetheless, my co-worker suggested to transfer the coffee in a small glass but I can’t find any. Moreover, I was not comfortable giving a very small portion of coffee because I felt that its not enough for a gentleman like him. :p

While figuring out what to do next, F seemed to sense my little problem and she came to my rescue. I was so relieved when she took over. I went back to my desk as if nothing happened. Although, at that point I was hoping that the floor will just open up and swallow me. I was so embarrassed! Until now, I still laugh whenever I remember that incident.

Lessons Learned:
Learn from bloopers.
Let out that hearty laugh to lighten up a not so good situation.