Tell us more about where you’re from and what brings you to Singapore.
I’m originally from Manila, Philippines, but I’ve been living in Singapore for more than 15 years.
I’m currently a PR, but I’m working on my application to become a Singaporean. My whole family is here with me—we moved here and settled down when my dad got a job here, so I studied here and am now working here too, so I’m pretty much a Singaporean at this point!
Was there anything that came as a culture shock to you when you first moved to Singapore?
English! I had to learn the language on my own, and had to pick it up as I grew up, and as I studied. That, and also the fact that the national anthem is aired live every morning—I wasn’t aware of that (laughs). I thought it was pretty cool when I first heard it.
Another big thing is that things are definitely more expensive here, but on the plus side, in terms of safety, you can come home really late at night here without anything happening to you. In the Philippines, you can’t go home at 3AM without company.
How do you enjoy spending your free time?
I love reading and watching films—basically anything that I’m able to do on my own. I enjoy having time to myself, it’s very therapeutic.
I’m currently reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s taking a while because I’m aware of the trigger warnings and stuff that happens throughout the book, but I’m not mentally strong enough to get through the whole thing just yet.
I also enjoy visiting exhibitions on my own. I think it’s more flexible for me because I don’t really have friends who are into art—most of them are homebodies—so it’s nice to be able to go around and admire pieces at my own pace.
What are some of your favourite spots to visit during your alone time?
I usually head to Suntec or Funan—I love buying POP MART blind boxes and little trinkets in general! I also really like anime and collecting little figurines.
If not, then you can probably find me at Kinokuniya.