Tell us more about where you’re from, and how long you’ve been in Singapore?
I’m from Manila’s Chinatown—the oldest Chinatown in the world. Fun fact: it was established in 1594, and predominantly housed the Catholic Chinese community back then, so signages in the area used to be a mixture of Spanish, Chinese, and English words.
I’ve been living in Singapore for 15 years, so I’d say that this is my second home,. That said, I do miss the authenticity, audacity, warm smiles, and lechon from my hometown.
What do your weekends typically look like?
They start off with a cup of coffee, as any day—weekend or weekday—would, followed by an extended period of yoga and meditation.
There’s no specific type of yoga that I do. In fact, I’ve actually crafted my own permutation of it by taking bits and pieces that I enjoy most from the different courses that I’ve taken. But if I had to describe it, I’d say it’s a combination of Hatha and Anapanasati (mindful breathing).
Apart from that, I typically stay home to read a book or host friends for tea-time.
What is the best book you’ve read this year?
Hands down a tie between Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold by Stephen Fry and Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari. The Cicero Trilogy by Robert Harris is a close runner-up though.
How would you describe your personal style?
I dress myself either to express how I already feel, or to manipulate how I intend to feel.
When I’m calm and serious, I dress in earthy tones and clean patterns, but when I want to be unpredictable, I include splashes of colour and asymmetric designs.
Most of my clothings are gifts from friends. They usually come back from their travels bearing gifts of what they say reminds them of me. I’m thankful for being on the receiving end of their gifts, but also that they have good taste!
What are three countries you’d most like to visit?
My top three are Venezia, Mumbai, and Stellenbosch. Respectively, because of their history, vibrancy, and resilience.
What is one piece of advice you live by?
This is a piece of advice from 1,870 years ago, found in Meditations 3:12 by Marcus Aurelius.
“If you set yourself to your present task along the path of true reason, with all determination, vigour, and good will; if you admit no distraction, but keep your own divinity pure and standing strong, as if you had to surrender it right now; if you grapple this to you, expecting nothing, shirking nothing, but self-content with each present action taken in accordance with nature, and a heroic truthfulness in all that you say and mean, then you will lead a good life. And nobody is able to stop you.”
To me, it’s applicable to anything and everything.