Bring the twang in

19 10 2014

MY TEXAS twang – the shirt, that is – just has to be put on as I send my HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes to one of my best friends in the whole wide world – the Michael Fisher!  The 18TH of October marks his special day.


Don't mess with Texas!  Or with BFF Michael, the Birthday Boy, for that matter.

Don’t mess with Texas! Or with BFF Michael, the Birthday Boy, for that matter.

He is the original BFF – Best Folsom Friend – and has been for 11 years now.  (Not to be confused with the BBF – Best Boise Friend.)

“I know I still owe you an e–Mail response.  Just really swamped lately.  But if ever I am averaging days to reply, you should know that it’s always less when it’s you.”

“I hope you had a good one!  I shall see you again.”

The ADIDAS Samba, Michael Fisher's trademark shoes, his biggest influence on me.

The ADIDAS Samba, Michael Fisher’s trademark shoes, his biggest influence on me.


All things Michael!  An homage to a most awesome, cool guy!

All things Michael! An homage to a most awesome, cool guy!

Copyright © 2014 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

The Summit rises

14 05 2013

I LOVE surrounding myself with people who are far smarter than I am – or ever could be.  That way, if I’m very lucky, one could be a teacher to me.

I love the company of my female friends because while I may be so close to a female first cousin, I still technically do not have a sister.

I love that no matter how much you feel like you already have all the people you need in your life, there will always be room for someone new.  And how you meet this someone new could be the stuff of stories worth looking back to.

I love that even with all the oceans and seas geography puts between people, there is always a way to get in touch.  And keep in touch.

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One of the definitive farewell dinners I had before leaving for Singapore was of course with the Summit. This was at The Podium, June 2011.


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She handled the extensive buffet spread in style.

Last year, one of my closest friends left the Philippines as one of the principal scholars of the Fulbright Classic Program.  She was one of only three PhD students in a fellowship of nine – how so Lord of the Rings! – and was the only one in Communication.  Specifically, she is taking up her PhD in Rhetorics, Communication and Information Design.

She told me that she is working on “a research that will focus on web video, the politics of the everyday, and the cultural identities we embed, create, and recreate as our mundane interactions become more and more mediated.  This is true especially among diasporic Filipinos.”  Her fascination has always been with the web and visual communication.  And she wants “to be able to author studies that will be of use to societies, especially among Filipinos.”  I remember these to be her words.  I recall these now and I feel that I’m at the mercy of Meclizine HCl.  I get nauseous just attempting to fathom her depth.

But before I could even launch into a dizzying spin, I get reminded that this is the same person who, at one point in the past, orchestrated a shopping day for us by first presenting me with a formal, well-written “project proposal” – the kind that gets presented to venture capitalists.  Depth, a sense of humor, and yes, biting sarcasm are a lethal combination.

I look forward to the right time when we’d share a lazy day in the sun, shop ‘til we drop, have coffee, and trade stories.  Nothing does beat surrounding myself with people smarter than I am.  I’ve found one teacher.  And what’s actually better – I’ve found in this teacher yet another real friend who has my welfare at heart.

Today, the 14th of May is her birthday.  Happy birthday, Data!  I can’t wait to call you Data, MA, PhD!


Data, my friend who I fondly call as “The Summit”, recently participated in the Twin Cities Fulbright Enrichment Seminar. (Photos are hers unless otherwise stated.)



The Twin Cities Fulbright Enrichment Seminar is a melding of cultures and the brightest minds of today. Who says that intellect is not akin to having fun? Here are Data and her fellow participants in a seeming “telenovela” pose. I see the Patriarch of a rich clan caught in the midst of his three warring daughters. Haha!



This photo brings South East Asia and Central America in one frame.



Group Dynamics is one reason to engage in a lively discussion. Or argument. Haha! From left to right: The Philippines, Spain, Germany, and Indonesia. This photo is owned by Patrick Muhire of the Twin Cities Fulbright Enrichment Seminar Group.



Data in another group photo. Again, Data… HAPPY BIRTHDAY! It’s such a vicarious thrill to see you living your dreams. And not stopping to learn more in this world. I already feel smarter just by my association with you. Take care!


Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

Happy birthday, Trisha!

12 05 2013

SOME OF the best people I’ve ever met in my life I met and became friends with in the States 10 years ago.  Thanks to all that technology affords us now, meeting in person seems to have become not a necessity anymore.  Well, until you find out that you would be spending some “real” face time and you realize that nothing beats seeing these great friends once again.  What did that song say?  Oh, “ain’t nothin’ like the real thing.”

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eNTeNG and his good good friend Mama Trisha, Singapore, 2013

I was in the States to work on a project.  And as with most projects in my line of work, it was highly matrixed, highly collaborative, and highly integrative.  That’s where I first met Trisha in person.  I emphasize “in person” because prior that, I have known her by her name – one which has long been synonymous with leadership in her team.

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I accompanied Trisha to get a new compact digital camera. She lost the one she brought with her.


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There’s no doubt where I later brought Trisha for our version of a “walking” tour of the city. I told her that my version has only my favorite places. Hahaha! Side note, don’t you just love that sculpture of a candy wrapped in the colors of the Singaporean flag? (Actually, the Singapore flag!)



On the day of the team lunch in honor of Trisha, I chose to wear my shirt that has the colors of the American flag. Also in the photo is Kuya Mike.

Like Alka-seltzer you dissolve in water to give an effervescent solution, Trisha is the kind of colleague who can neutralize highly stressful personalities and situations with her bubbly personality and her witticisms.  And meeting her once again – in of all places, the Lion City – just proved a couple of points.  The years have been kind to her.  And she has lost none of her charms – the very same things that led me and my Filipino colleagues to lovingly refer to her as “Mama Trisha.”  (Fortunately for us, Trisha was one of two “Mamas” we found in California.)

And true to her natural nourishing nature, she is quite the home cook and baker.  Her banana nut bread was the stuff my Folsom years were made of.  I would slather lots of butter on slices she would send my way.  The notes that would accompany the food she shared are still with me.  I would read them when I need reminding of good times.

Thursday, the 9th of May, was her birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TRISHA!


As you may well know, it’s been my tradition to send my friends off at the airport. Trisha’s flight out was quite early. But as promised, I was at the lobby of the hotel by 4:00 AM.



Trisha at Changi Airport. I hope to see you again soon!

Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

Happy birthday, Brenda!

4 02 2013
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One of my most favorite photos! We all like this one because it shows we really look great even when “bagong gising”. Hahaha! Morning Run Breakfast, McDonald’s, 03 December 2011, Singapore.

THE WORLD has shrunk.  Technology made that happen.  While that is true, nowadays it is normal to not share the same country code with people closest and dearest to your heart and to your life.  But that is no excuse to forget – and charge memory gaps to brain cells being fried as old age sets in.  Trust me, I am old.

Old but not yet that forgetful.

Today, the fourth of February marks the birth of someone with whom I have always been close to from prior our own moves to Singapore.  But now, I think of her as someone I didn’t expect I could still manage to be closer to just when I thought we were already as close as we could be.

Together with her husband, they’ve become just two of the very few people who I don’t need to impress – people with whom I can just be myself and know that I am loved and well taken care of.  I have to say that emphasis is on being “well taken care of”.

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Cookout at Brendarryl’s Place, 01 August 2012, Singapore.


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The requisite wacky shot. Haha!

Even I miss their “home” here in the Lion City.  It had always meant to be a place to share with friends; to celebrate in; whose walls had always reverberated with hearty laughter; and whose kitchen has become both hearth and heart of a home where food was never considered only as nourishment but also – if not more importantly – an expression of love.

Happy birthday, Brenda!  I miss you.


Brenda and eNTeNG, Morning Run Breakfast, 24 February 2012, McDonald’s, Singapore.



Darryl & Brenda, with eNTeNG, Community Sports Center, Singapore.


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Loradel and Brenda, Singapore Zoo Fun Run, 05 February 2012, Singapore.


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Darryl & Brenda, Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2011, 04 December 2011, Esplanade Starting Point, Singapore.



Brenda & Darryl, with eNTeNG, Brenda’s Birthday Dinner, TODAI, The Shopped at Marina Bay Sands, 02 February 2012, Singapore.

Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved