LEE KUAN YEW, 1923–2015

23 03 2015

TODAY MARKS the end of an era.  Today, at 3:18 AM, Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore, died.

I remember telling my family yesterday how uncharacteristically it rained so hard in Singapore.  Not a ray of summer sunshine could pierce through the dark clouds.  And the heavens cried for hours on end.  Now I think I know why.  The heavens seemed to have wept with the people of this city state.

As a Filipino living in Singapore, all I know about the late Lee Kuan Yew, I had heard from my father who is outstanding in Math and World History; read about in books; and, heard from a Philippine Presidential candidate who promised to rule my country after how Lee Kuan Yew took Singapore from Third World to First.

His accomplishments and all the odds he had to overcome aside, I feel that what he possessed – which is the hallmark of any great leader – was charisma.  All things being equal, that unspeakable quality set him apart.  It is palpable from even the black and white photographs that have flooded the internet at the news of his passing.

Walking back to the office from lunch at the market, I passed by groups dressed in somber tones of black, grey, and navy blue, engaged in pocket discussions extolling the exemplary man that was Lee Kuan Yew.  It almost felt like the Little Red Dot is his one big family mourning his loss.  Having lost my own dearest grandmother a couple of years back, I couldn’t begin to imagine how today’s event must feel for the seven grandchildren left behind.  I’m an outsider and I do feel particularly sad too.

Singapore marks its 50TH birthday this year.  With its founding Prime Minister’s passing in the same year, it just further underscores what Lee Kuan Yew had helped make possible.  He left – and will always be remembered – as a most accomplished and beloved man.

I would never be able to lay claim to originality with this line: “Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore.”  But I think this is one of those things that transcend the boundaries of mortality.  I think Lee Kuan Yew is and will always be Singapore.

 

Farewell to Singapore's Founding Father, Prime Minister LEE KUAN YEW, September 16, 1923 – March 23, 2015.

Farewell to Singapore’s Founding Father, Prime Minister LEE KUAN YEW, September 16, 1923 – March 23, 2015.

Copyright © 2015 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

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Making a list, checking it twice

16 11 2014

I’VE BEEN searching the Christmas shop window displays so much lately that I must have seen more windows than a Medieval artist working on stained glass.  Not that I’m complaining.  I guess the phrase “the most wonderful time of the year” also does apply to the visual feast that is the vitrines.  Besides, whatever retail therapy I do is in the pursuit of making someone happy, my contribution to a little more altruism in this world.

And I couldn’t think of any other better way to wait out an hour–long torrential downpour than in the confines of well–appointed shops, ensconced and out of the rain.

Blue is indeed the warmest color.  Louis Vuitton always does an excellent job dressing up their windows.  For this holiday season, it coincides with the Delphine Arnault–Nicolas Ghesquiere–initiated project dubbed “Celebrating Monogram,’ in commemoration of the house’s 160TH founding.  This is my favorite – “F.G.” stands for the iconoclast, THE Frank Gehry.

Blue is indeed the warmest color. Louis Vuitton always does an excellent job dressing up their windows. For this holiday season, it coincides with the Delphine Arnault–Nicolas Ghesquiere–initiated project dubbed “Celebrating Monogram,’ in commemoration of the house’s 160TH founding. This is my favorite – “F.G.” stands for the architecture iconoclast, THE Frank Gehry.

 

If there is ever any doubt as to who is paying homage to the monogram at this display.

If there is ever any doubt as to who is paying homage to the monogram at this display.

 

Frank Gehry's celebration of the monogram is structured, contemporary, cutting edge.  Much like the Fondation Louis Vuitton, this bag is a "cathedral of light" and a "miracle of intelligence, creativity, and technology."

Frank Gehry‘s celebration of the monogram is structured, contemporary, cutting edge. Much like the Fondation Louis Vuitton, this bag is a “cathedral of light” and a “miracle of intelligence, creativity, and technology.”

 

I know someone very close to me who will love everything on this display.  I’ve never been one to fall head over heels over Louis Vuitton.  But these, I’m feeling like I could love these too.  Okay, “like,” I mean I could like these too.

I know someone very close to me who will love everything on this display. I’ve never been one to fall head over heels over Louis Vuitton. But these, I’m feeling like I could love these too. Okay, “like,” I mean I could like these too.

 

This is Comme de Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo’s interpretation of the Louis Vuitton monogram, seen on someone who obviously doesn’t have any qualms snapping it up for the US$ 2790 price tag it commands.

This is Comme de GarçonsRei Kawakubo’s interpretation of the Louis Vuitton monogram, seen on someone who obviously doesn’t have any qualms snapping it up for the US$ 2790 price tag it commands.

 

Frank Gehry’s works dominate print media.  The Twisted Box monogram bag, which retails at US$ 4400, on a magazine ad, vis-à-vis Fondation Louis Vuitton, that “spaceship” that was dropped on to Paris.  Both of these are new testaments to Frank Gehry’s status as a truly legendary architect – small– and big–scale.

Frank Gehry’s works dominate print media. The Twisted Box monogram bag, which retails at US$ 4400, on a magazine ad, vis-à-vis Fondation Louis Vuitton, that “spaceship” that was dropped on to Paris. Both of these are new testaments to Frank Gehry’s status as a truly legendary architect – small– and big–scale.

 

The Mulberry Men’s signature Brynmore Tote in Black, Evergreen & Midnight Blue Reverse Small Grain bovine leather tote.  Someone on my list wants this for Christmas.  Haha!  It comes with an adjustable woven cross–body strap and a set of three of the brand’s signature postman’s locks.

The Mulberry Men’s signature Brynmore Tote in Black, Evergreen & Midnight Blue Reverse Small Grain bovine leather tote. Someone on my list wants this for Christmas. Haha! It comes with an adjustable woven cross–body strap and a set of three of the brand’s signature postman’s locks.

 

I love that the Mulberry Brynmore Tote has a buffed up (“finished”) inner leather.  It can be worn across the body, or carried by the leather handles.  Really in love with this one.

I love that the Mulberry Brynmore Tote has a buffed up (“finished”) inner leather. It can be worn across the body, or carried by the leather handles. Really in love with this one.  I should be.  It costs almost S$ 3000!

 

The Mulberry Brynmore – in the Tote and Slim Messenger incarnations – in Grey Soft Grain leather.  Be still my heart.

The Mulberry Brynmore – in the Tote and Slim Messenger incarnations – in Grey Soft Grain leather. Be still my heart.

 

I have no complaints with my decades–old carry–on luggage, but then I saw this Mulberry Oversized Bayswater in Oak Natural Leather.  I am seriously considering to switch.  This has got to be the perfect weekend duffel or business trip bag!  You can’t help but love the antique toned metal components and that iconic postman’s lock closure!

I have no complaints with my decades–old carry–on luggage, but then I saw this Mulberry Oversized Bayswater in Oak Natural Leather. I am seriously considering to switch. This has got to be the perfect weekend duffel or business trip bag! You can’t help but love the antique toned metal components and that iconic postman’s lock closure!

 

This year’s Takashimaya S.C. Christmas Tree is brought to you by Cartier!  To me, Takashimaya’s is arguably one of the best – if not the best – on Orchard Road.  Its lighting up is an event on its own.

This year’s Takashimaya S.C. Christmas Tree is brought to you by Cartier! To me, Takashimaya’s is arguably one of the best – if not the best – on Orchard Road. Its lighting up is an event on its own.

 

If there is ever any doubt as to who’s in charge with this year’s tree, all you need to do is look closely to see the signature red boxes or the brand’s monogram in gold.

If there is ever any doubt as to who’s in charge with this year’s tree, all you need to do is look closely to see the signature red boxes or the brand’s monogram in gold.

 

…Or, you can simply look up to see the storeys–high scroll that brandishes a signature timepiece from, yes, Cartier.  Look, up in the sky.  It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  No, it’s the Ballon Bleu de Cartier!

…Or, you can simply look up to see the storeys–high scroll that brandishes a signature timepiece from, yes, Cartier. Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s the Ballon Bleu de Cartier!

 

The other eye–catching Christmas tree is all–pink, also located at Takashimaya S.C., and is by Laduree.  Yes, purveyors of some of the most scrumptious Macarons De Paris!

The other eye–catching Christmas tree is all–pink, also located at Takashimaya S.C., and is by Laduree. Yes, purveyors of some of the most scrumptious Macarons De Paris!

 

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





#18 Risa Hontiveros

8 05 2013
Departure - Risa Hontiveros Baraquel 00

That’s me and Ms. Risa Hontiveros, candidate for Philippine Senate in Monday’s national elections. This was taken at the NAIA, on the day of my departure for Singapore in 2011. Ms. Hontiveros was on her way to the States for a speaking engagement, if I remember it correctly. We shared the waiting area and a hearty conversation. She was so nice!

THOUGH THEY do have it on recorded history, the United States doesn’t have a monopoly on the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Nor do they have exclusive rights on how these rights are secured – the governments instituted among men derive their “just powers from the consent of the governed.”  This is why we have elections.

In a world that has long stood as witness to people’s rights being trampled upon, I’m quite proud of those moments – yes, they may be far between – when my country has breathed life to a democracy that is alive, well and kicking.  The 2010 elections was the last testament to this.

On Monday, my countrymen will again go to the polls to elect leaders to national posts.  Politics has always been a topic for healthy discussion at home.  We’ve never been a “more divided” household than in the 2010 elections – though everybody’s opinions were heard and respected – but this year, we’ve come to agree on one name.  (“Agree” is the operative word.  And it is relative.)

Risa Hontiveros deserves to be in the Philippine Senate.  She is principled and independent with her thoughts, her words buoyed by the characteristic gentleness and affectedly modest demeanor of a true Ilongga.  But to me she is more.  She is Roosevelt’s words incarnate – she speaks softly but she carries a big stick.  Oh, make that her magic purplealampay” (scarf).

The power of the people is on the ballots.  May the force be with her on Election Day.

Risa Hontiveros is #18 on the ballot.  Let’s take her all the way to the Magic 12.

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





For Boston

20 04 2013

THOUGH I’VE put a cap to my passion for distance running at 10 kilometers, my love for the sport and my appreciation for the men and women who are part of it extends far beyond the 42.195 kilometers set as the standard distance for the modern-day marathon.

When I don’t run, this love and appreciation take the incarnation of a spectator awash with vicarious thrill for his friends.  I would be there at the exact spot when the starting pistol is fired, and then I would be with the huddled masses – usually with a placard in hand – ready to scream my cheers at the finish line.

It has taken me the whole week to process what happened at the 2013 Boston Marathon.  And I am still in shock and disbelief.  My heart goes out to all whose lives were taken away or affected by this tragedy.

Boston, the Cradle of Liberty, and its people shall rise above the plume of smoke.

Standard_Chartered_2011_eNTeNG_Go_For_It_00

Nothing like this placard to show my support for my friends at the 2011 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon.

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





Of a lady, iron and a speech

11 04 2013
Margaret_Thatcher_Headline_00

The headline. 09 April 2013. Singapore time.

A CHILDHOOD spent in the 80’s meant hearing quite a lot about Mrs. Margaret Thatcher – mostly from the evening news and the national broadsheets.  Mommy, my maternal grandmother, would often talk to us about her.  Usually, in the same breath, she would make references to the Marcoses and the Reagans whenever she mentioned the 11–year resident of Number 10 Downing Street.

The headlines a couple of days back read, “’Iron Lady’ of Britain dies of stroke at 87.”

Love her or loathe her, her impact to her country’s politics, not to mention the world, cannot be denied.  Personally, I had made one direct reference to her by way of that speech I delivered at that United Nations conference for students that I went to as a 16–year–old high school student.

The speech opened with a direct quote from the lady herself.  Up to this point, 22 years from when I first delivered that speech, it is something that I can recite, culled purely from memory.

Rest in peace, Mrs. Thatcher.

Speech - Asian Children's Summit 01

The opening part of my now 22-year-old speech. I opened with a quote from the Iron Lady herself. My eldest brother helped me with this speech.

 

Speech - Toastmasters International Best Speaker 00

Three surviving “Best Speaker” pins from Toastmasters International. I must’ve amassed a total of at least five. All these were won for impromptu speaking. You’d draw lots (“your topic or subject matter”) just before you go up to the front to speak. Everything is timed. So you’ve got to have an opening, a body and a closing… all under strict time pressure.

 

Margaret_Thatcher_Headline_01

Thank you, Mrs. Thatcher. May you rest in eternal peace.

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





Today on dates

14 02 2013

SPOTTED AT Royce’ at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.  And then at Montblanc.

Royce' - Valentines_021413_00

Blushing pink with joy at Royce’

 

 

Montblanc - Valentines_021413_00

There’s a ribbon in the sky – or at the window display at Montblanc – for our love.

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





Xīnnián kuàilè!

2 02 2013
Chinese New Year 2013 - Paragon Mall Ceiling Decor

Ceiling decor, Paragon Mall, Singapore

I LOOKED up the ceiling of Paragon Mall and realized that the Chinese Lunar New Year is upon us once again.  I took my sight back to eye level and swore that I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself on the steps of The Great Wall instead of at the doorstep of Gucci.

This season – for all the obvious reasons – brings to mind all things wonderful and Chinese.  And as I was poring over thousands of shots snapped in the past 19 months, I came across one photo of who could arguably be my Chinese best friend.  It’s set right in front of the Ferrari store at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and with all the red in this photo, it does feel very ‘Xīnnián kuàilè!

Here’s to another great year in the Lion City!  And in Shanghai where best friend is!

100912_Bin&eNTeNG_Ferrari

eNTeNG and his Chinese best friend Bin! Ferrari Store, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

 

Chinese New Year 2013 - Marc by Marc Jacobs 00

Speaking of all things red, I liked this styling on the window display of Marc Jacobs on Orchard Road, Singapore.

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