The Filipino/Singapore Spirit

The best airport - Changi

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Today is the start of my 2-year sabbatical. I call it a sabbatical even though a friend of mine said to me while we were in a pub that the term is only appropriate if I have a confirmed position … Continue reading

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The journey begins in 30 days

The months of anticipation has now been reduced to days. As of today, the calendar on the right hand side of my blog started counting down my final days in Singapore before flying to Germany. I have been reading a couple of blogs lately regarding Erasmus. My master’s degree isn’t really part of an Erasmus program but I wasn’t able to get a better comparison of what I am feeling to any other genre of blog. Doing a masters degree outside of your home country in my mind is like surrendering yourself to herd of wildebeest. You just have to let it happen, you just have to do it and you just let the herd take you to where it will mindlessly go. There is nothing more that I can do to prepare myself for the experience. All my tickets are booked, my visa sorted out, my dorm finally confirmed and the only thing that I need to resolve is my luggage. Come on, what can you significantly put in 23 kg of luggage space?

The feeling that I have now, “A bag of emotions” as Jose aptly described it, is so complex I can’t seem to get my head around it. I am trying to compare this feeling with my initial move to Singapore half a decade ago but yet, it seems too alien, too different to even compare it with this journey. Leaving Manila before was a sort of an evolutionary progression, there was no question about it was just a matter of intellectual, experiential and financial pursuit. Going to Germany is something like that too I guess (without the financial pursuit, more like financial sabotage) but my feelings are so much more vast and complex. So many things to ponder on, so many questions asked, so many memories to remember.

In a way, I feel that this move will make me a global citizen. I no longer will have the excuse that I am unaware individual with only a limited amount of experience and life choices. The joy and the burden of leaving the comforts of my old life, as a student in Manila, as a landscape architect in Singapore means that my choices, my path in life is now departing from the usual route, my path is now diverging to a less mainstream way of thinking. My perception of reality will be deeply personal and my commonality with my friends and contemporaries will be less and less. This is a good thing, in a way. I will emerge in two years with a different understanding of the world, learning cultures and heritage, of people and places but at the same time  I maybe alone in this path to knowledge? What a strange feeling this really is. I am intellectualizing something that has not yet happened and which I am unsure of myself.

30 days and counting down, where does the journey lead to?

A pause in the journey


I read a story of a lonely traveler that I want to ponder and reflect on:

The Power of Awe

An Awe Inspiring SceneryStudies done by researchers at Stanford University and the University of Minnesota found that people who experienced the feeling of awe felt less impatient, more willing to volunteer their time to help others, strongly preferred experiences over material products and had more life satisfaction.

According to the report,”These changes in decision making and well-being were due to awe’s ability to alter the subjective experience of time. Experiences of awe bring people into the present moment, which underlies awe’s capacity to adjust time perception, influence decisions, and make life feel more satisfying than it would otherwise.”

In other words, time slows down when we have a (literally) awesome experience. As a result, we feel as though we have more time to give to others, are more satisfied with the state of our own lives and we prefer this deeper sense of satisfaction to how we might feel after a marathon shopping spree.

What is awe? The researchers define it as “the emotion that arises when one encounters something so strikingly vast that it provokes a need to update one’s mental schemas.” Basically, you see something so cool that you have to rethink everything that you thought you knew about anything.

Let us search for moments of awe that will inspire us and make us better individuals.


The report is found here:

*** Excerpt from an article written by ***