The Most Mundane Things for an 8-to-5 Office Employee

Posted in Diary, Inglisero, Mga Tula with tags , , , , , , , , on Agosto 31, 2020 by R. P. Pineda

The five o’clock alarm he has set on his phone

Goes off loud with his favorite song as ringtone

Grudgingly, he drags himself out of his foam bed

His lucid fantasy world still stuck in his head

He sets the electric kettle with tap water

He goes inside the tiny bathroom to shower

He prepares his things and self for the work ahead

He wears his uniform—another day of dread

Another struggle to catch the shuttle service

If unlucky, patiently wait for the UVs

To cramp himself again with fellow commuters

Who all think that their daily bread is what matters

Arrives at the cubicle, a long to-do list

To survive the onslaught of work to accomplish

To endure the endless upbraiding, shouts, and blame

From those who care not about his feelings or shame

This cycle of office engagements seems torture

Now for years more than he could think he would endure

Day in, day out, time ticking, punch in the Bundy—

Eight hours daily, and the bag is in the ready.

But then, an unprecedented moment happened to the world

His generation experiencing it firsthand,

That it would go down in the annals of history.

The virus that caused this pandemic

Caught the country unprepared for many things:

Lives of the infected are lost

            to lack of medical facilities and personnel

Livelihoods of the small people are lost

            to the haphazard lockdowns imposed

Priorities of the authorities are focused

            not on the suppression of the disease

            but of the voices of the masses, of the constructive opinions, of critical thinking.

Thus, this ordinary employee has his sense of normalcy scattered

In his sleep

                                                            In his routine

            In his goals

                                                                                                            In his dreams

                                    In his life

As he still forces himself to work from his apartment, alone

As he sees faces all covered with masks whenever he shops for essentials

As he reads the news in all levels of oppressing and devastating

As he witnesses the divide among his country people

As he breaks his heart with all the suffering around

While realizing that the most mundane things he had detested before

Have been privilege all along.

How long would he wait for everything to return to the way he was used to?

Would he actually survive from all of these trials to humankind?

Who knows. #

I Chose Spotify over Apple Music Tonight

Posted in Diary, Inglisero, Rebyu, Snapshots with tags , , , , , , , , , , on Agosto 19, 2020 by R. P. Pineda

As part of my austerity measures, I had to check and cancel a few of my subscriptions to various content platforms. Among these subscriptions that I had to make a decision are my Spotify and my Apple Music accounts, which I both have for the longest time.

 

After deliberating on the pros and cons of my situation, I decided that I would cancel my Apple Music account subscription, even if I am now using an iPhone XR. My decision to retain my Spotify account is due to the following:

 

  1. I have been using Spotify since 2015. I have seen numerous improvements to the interface and other technical aspects of this streaming application over the years, making my experience in using it easier compared to Apple Music. For instance, Spotify seems to grasp my interests more easily with its recommendations compared to what I get from Apple Music. Even if Apple Music is more accessible with Siri, I think Spotify still offers the convenience I look for whenever I browse for content.

 

  1. The addition of a large quantity of podcast channels makes Spotify a great platform to listen to a variety of content, whatever suits your interests at the moment. I mostly use Spotify to listen to the albums of the artists I follow. I also use it to listen to Portuguese podcasts to improve my listening skills in that language. Moreover, there are times when a friend recommends a podcast channel about interesting stories of various genres, diversifying my listening experience.

IMG_2114

This is one of the Portuguese podcast channels I access to improve my listening skills.

IMG_2113

An awesome podcast my friend recommended to me. This is a true crime documentary about the Bear Brook murders in New Hampshire, USA.

IMG_2116

My favourite band, Bastille, is always available on Spotify! Their latest single is “What You Gonna Do?”, a song about the relevance of social media influence and how one must wield it.

  1. As of this writing, I spend less on my Spotify premium account subscription than my Apple Music subscription. My current Spotify account is just PHP 194.00 (~USD 4.00 or ~EUR 3.35) for a family subscription of 6 members (which is just PHP 32.33 or ~USD 0.67 or ~EUR 0.56 per premium account). My individual Apple Music account costs PHP 129.00 (~USD 2.66 or ~EUR 2.23), with the option of making it a family account for PHP 199.00 (~USD 4.09 or ~EUR 3.44). However, Spotify is more popular than Apple Music among my family and friends, so I do not have someone to share the expenses of an Apple Music family account subscription.

If I recall it correctly, I only subscribed to my Apple Music account because of a few artists I love like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé not immediately releasing their albums on Spotify. But their recent releases have been available on Spotify, so I do not really have much use for my Apple Music account. Perhaps in the future, when there are Apple Music-exclusive content I really want to access, I would resubscribe to it.

Overall, Spotify still satisfies my consumption of music and other streaming content. Sorry Apple Music, time to cut you off for now. #

Weekend Home Cooking: My Own Version of a White-Sauce Pasta

Posted in Diary, Inglisero, Rebyu, Snapshots with tags , , , , on Agosto 17, 2020 by R. P. Pineda

I have been spending a lot of my days at home lately due to the pandemic. Because I could not dine out at my favourite restaurants alone or with friends, I have cooked my own food more often now than I ever did before.

 

I particularly miss eating Italian dishes at a favourite restaurant in the Maginhawa area. I know that Friuli Trattoria still operates now for takeaway orders, but I think the dining experience is way different if I eat the food right away while inside the restaurant.

 

So, pasta dishes have been regular in my home cooking schedule for the past few months. For this weekend, I prepared my own version of tuna and mushroom pasta, my favourite food from the menu of Friuli Trattoria. I only used the ingredients readily available in my kitchen here.

IMG_2050

Ingredients I used in cooking the dish. Not in picture: canola oil, salt, and pepper

Even if I have cooked this pasta dish often, I discovered that using Nestlé cream gives a creamier result compared to just using evaporated milk, which I use mainly to economise.

My travel pet also enjoyed the pasta dish! Hahaha. 🙂

With good food, at least I could still “travel” through my taste buds.

Um texto de prática em português

Posted in Akademik, Diary with tags , , , , on Agosto 11, 2020 by R. P. Pineda

Isto e uma prática em escrever português. Agora mesmo, não estou seguro na minha escrita por que sempre esqueço as palavras de vocabulario. Kkkk.

 

Sou grato pelo novo amigo que só conheceu recentemente. Ele me inspira para produzir mais entradas de blog aqui. Muito obrigado também pelo outro amigo que fala português e me deixa praticar meu terceiro idioma.

 

Estou já sentindo sono agora. Boa noite e bom descanso para mim!

Happy 55th Independence Day, Singapore!

Posted in Akademik, Diary, Inglisero, Snapshots, Travel with tags , , , , on Agosto 11, 2020 by R. P. Pineda

Singapore just celebrated its 55th Independence Day on August 9. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong posted photos of the parade commemorating the event on his official Facebook page. Because I had seen his photos, I was reminded of my previous trips to this tiny yet wealthy island city-state. I visited Singapore in 2016 with my mom and my aunt, and in 2019 with my siblings, and both journeys gave me such great memories. I have witnessed how developed this neighbouring Southeast Asian country is, as evidenced by its impressive infrastructure, efficient transport system, and effective governance.

 

Even if I am an outsider, I would like to commemorate this occasion by sharing a few of my favourite snapshots I had there in 2019.

IMG_6236

A panorama shot I took at Merlion Park on June 26, 2019. The Merlion is the national symbol of Singapore.

Happy 55th National Day, Singapore! I hope to visit you again, soon.