Sunday, October 1, 2017

Filipino Foreign Worker in Singapore - Part 2

From where I sit, I see a Singaporean society that has matured. Gone are the unstable political conditions that characterized its post-independence years. There is no more struggle for survival that their founders had to contend with as described in Lee Kuan Yew’s autobiography “A Singapore Story”. Although the yearning for something better is still there, people are well-adapted. They have the resources to make a good life for themselves and their offsprings. And they seem to relish the fruits of their struggle from a generation ago. Their short history tells of a society that has emerged from difficult circumstances to the one they enjoy today. And for this, they are the envy of those countries that are trying to do the same but kept failing - including the Philippines.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Filipino Foreign Worker in Singapore - Part 1

What is it like to live in Singapore? This was a question that has been answered for me since moving here the start of 2017 for work. I am now officially an Overseas Filipino Worker or OFW for short. Although I have only been here for a short time to give a really comprehensive assessment, I believe my short experience so far has given me a lot of insights as to what I can reasonably expect in the long run.


I have to say that it was not a totally new experience when I moved here. I was coming over every now and then for about two years prior to my permanent transfer. My trips were rather short since I was based in the Philippines and still reported to our Clark office. Still, several one-month trips had served as preludes to my eventual residency. I knew what I was getting into and I knew what Singapore had to offer.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

How to Solve Difficult Problems Using a Simple Engineering Design Process

Being able to solve difficult problems or even easy ones for that matter is crucial to our survival. It’s beyond important. It’s what our lives depend on.

Imagine for instance the problem of food. When you are hungry or thirsty, you should know how to solve that problem. You should know that you have to eat or drink. If not, you will die.
But not all problems are as easy to solve. In fact, some are quite difficult to figure out. And when they are difficult to figure out, there is a tendency for us to try to ignore them or wish they would go away.

How do we raise our kids properly for example is not so easy to answer. Or how do we ease traffic in the city is a huge challenge for public officials.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Surgery for a First-Timer: Mastoidectomy and Tympanoplasty

March 5 of this year (2016), I underwent a medical operation called Mastoidectomy and Tympanoplasty at the De Lasalle University Medical Center (DLSUMC) in Dasmarinas, Cavite. It was the first surgery that I ever had. Prior to it, I was still able to claim that I have not been subjected to any medical operation in my life. It was a bragging right proving that I was as fit as can be. Not anymore.
Photo Credit: oldgreentree (Creative Commons)
Now, I can no longer say that. All I can brag about is having the courage to have gone through a major surgery that most are not willing to do out of fear. And who can blame these people, really. Going under the knife can be terrifying. If you think about it, not only will your body be opened up, they will do risky stuff inside of it that you can’t even begin imagine.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Being Content vs. Striving to Improve - Why We Need Both

Most people want to live as happily as they can. They want to get the most out of life because they realize that our time is finite and short. And because of that, we better do what’s right.

But there are certain ideas that can confound us as we search for happiness. One of which is the concept of contentment versus improvement.

There is an often-stated maxim that says to be happy is to be content. And I would bet that you’ve heard this mentioned more than a few times before. Maybe it was told to someone who’s trying to do too much but still can’t find satisfaction. Or to overachievers who can’t seem to get enough of what they want in life and therefore always need to have just a little bit more.


On the other hand, there is also a totally contrarian view that can be found in the heap of self-help books available today. This philosophy is based on the premise of self-improvement. People are being goaded to continually strive for betterment. To not be satisfied with what they’ve got but to aspire and work for something better.