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.





In this context pronounced with an H

8 10 2012

I GREW up knowing that my brothers and I need to put on our Sunday best – no matter how simple they actually were.  I mean, they were clearly looks that couldn’t claim affinity with the Ralph Lauren double-page spread-of-the-moment or feel like they have just leapt off of the pages of GQ.  I mean, we just had to dress up to make ourselves presentable to God.  Like, we wanted to be on His good side.  Not that He ever looked at how we looked.

But wait, I did spend my afternoons off from school playing chess or writing my pieces for the school paper in Ralph Lauren Classic Pique Polo Shirts.  Oh well, the perks of having a grandmother based in Northern America.  But I digress.

So now that I’m old – notice that I say “old” and not “older” – it’s one thing I think I still do.  When I go to a store and do intend to seriously spend time going through their wares, I put on an item of theirs – granted I do have such.  I find that it helps build goodwill with the Sales Associates.

For dinner on Saturday, I changed into my Water Cube DRI–FIT shirt from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games because we made the plan to accompany Bin (who’s from China).

And so for breakfast on Sunday, I put on my Adidas UEFA EURO 2008 shirt with the colors of the Italian flag.  Not only does it state the obvious that Kiddo’s guest, Claudio, is from Italy but it also always reminds me of food.  I’m not referring to the obvious – Italy is to pasta.  I’m calling attention to what the colors of the flag bring to mind – Insalata Caprese.

You can say I did put on appropriate shirts.  It’s just like paying… what’s the word for it?…  Oh, in this context it is pronounced with an H.

Now that is stating the obvious.

Wearing my Adidas UEFA EURO 2008 Italy shirt, on board the Green Line, on my way to Bedok.

 

Easily one of my favorite shirts

 

I’ve got the bag too. Haha!

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





From all over

5 10 2012

This is a tin of special tea that traveled the seas from the mouth of the Yangtze River to the straits of the Lion City. With a lovely note to boot!

YOU STAY on a job long enough and chances are you will have figured out for yourself the things that do matter.  Or at least, the perks.  I’ve been on my job for over 16 years now and I guess I’ve gotten a good handle on that thing that, in the midst of the daily placid mundane scenes or the grind of complexities, has kept me going.

My job allows me to contribute in a convolutedly matrixed, highly integrative, and deeply collaborative effort, sometimes without having to really leave the familiar comforts of my desk.  That also means having to work with someone you don’t necessarily have to meet in person.  I guess this is true for most of us in today’s workforce.

In the course of years, you get to know your colleagues better.  When you work together through enough challenges and really tough situations; and when you open your eyes wide and tune your ears to the finer, salient points that break through tumultuous discourse, you’d be lucky to find in some of them role models to look up to.  To emulate.

And – for lack of a better, less sentimental term – you start to care.  Care that other people do exist in this world besides yourself.

When 9/11 happened, I found myself frantically going online – insert the sound of dial-up connectivity here (haha!) – and checking on all my US–based friends.  I couldn’t care less that all the people I was worried about were on the West Coast.  It’s one of those knee-jerk reactions that seemed to make sense when your heart is pounding through your rib cage.

Whenever my place – or the whole Philippines for that matter – gets submerged after a heavy deluge of apocalyptic proportions, I do hear from them.  They ask how my family is and if they still have a roof over their heads – and not actually standing on one.  When my special day comes along, I get the best birthday wishes from all over.

And as if the Universe has been conspiring lately to grant me some of my own wishes, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of them in person – some of them for the first time ever, some of them, again.

And in of all places – Singapore!  Ain’t life unexpectedly, unexplainably beautiful sometimes?

That’s Ms. Lynda on the left, with Denice and Xu Dong. I took this photo so I’m out of the frame.

 

With Andy

 

With Melissa. She and her husband have been nice to me since I met them over nine years ago. On the card that came with the gift they gave me on the last day of my assignment in the States, they wrote about remembering me for my… songs. Haha!

 

With Melissa again and here, with Junwyn.

 

With Bin

 

With The ShenJun

 

eNTeNG, the Chilli Crab, and The ShenJun

 

Bin, The ShenJun, the Chilli Crab, eNTeNG, and Kia Leh

 

This is my good good friend of over nine years, Michael. This was taken during one of his daughter’s soccer matches. He coaches the team! Whatever fanaticism I have for the Adidas Samba, I got from him.

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Cesare and Kiddo would approve

15 05 2012

WITH AN armful of items so cheap it felt like I was getting them for a steal – yes, not just a “bargain” – my eyes radar-locked on something that I have long lusted after.  The dilation of my pupils was warranted, as I approached what caught my eye.  It has been a long four-year wait.

The Adidas UEFA Euro 2008 Italy shirt

There it was, the Adidas UEFA Euro 2008 Italy shirt in the appropriate shade of azure blue.  I first got the matching laptop bag a quadrennial back.  But where I did so in the Philippines, the entire range of the merchandise wasn’t available.

The laptop bag

It took all this time, in a different place.  And right ‘round Kiddo’s departure for Agrate and the English Premier League season’s conclusion.

“Here’s looking at you, kid.” …A snap of me wearing the shirt for the first time. (Photo taken by Shan Shan with her iPhone.)

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Whatever

21 04 2012

"Will the rain stop?"... My colleague and friend, Heng Yie, on the sidelines, Team WHATEVER vs. Team SYNERGY League Match, Soccer Carnival, St. Wilfrid Sports Complex, St. George's Road, Singapore, 21 April 2012

IT IS not my nature to commit in halves.  It is either I commit, or I don’t.  So when I pledged my support to my colleagues and friends that I would be there to see them bend it like Beckham, I meant to be there for all of them – for the guys last Sunday and for the girls earlier today.

Though I don’t think I’d hear the end of it from Kiddo.  She pointed out how shamelessly late I was.  I blamed it on the rain.  I don’t remember her actual reaction.  But from the looks of it, she could have very well just told me, “WHATEVER!”

Soccer has never been my spectator sport of choice.  Track and field is my favorite, having toyed with the illusion of becoming a world-famous sprinter.  But a couple of weekends spent watching these brainy individuals – I’ve already declared how much I look up to most of them – morph into goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and strikers, gave me a deeper appreciation of the sport.

Not to mention a higher level of respect for colleagues and friends who clearly are so much more than computer programs, data analysis, resource allocation, and fault isolation that, in the nature of their jobs, often goes to dimensions in the order of tens of thousandths of the thickness of human hair.

The fact that soccer is quite a physically demanding sport; these girls – much like their Head Coach Kelvin and the rest of the guys in Sunday’s matches – were willing to risk limb and flawless skin in the name of the game.  Pulling a muscle the wrong way, tumbling several times on the green artificial turf, and sustaining cuts and bruises were all just part of their end goal in mind – to win this year’s championship crown.

It was no easy feat.  It took all of seven matches – five league, one semi-final, and the final – and a lot of goal-creating opportunities, actual shots taken, passes, interceptions, and quite a number of tackles before the Team clinched victory.  And the defending champions, who clearly came in to the field with targets on their back from just about every other participating team, didn’t make it easy either.  Every match always turned out to be one good fight.

Each was so good that not even the rain that came pouring down very early in the morning – which for hours didn’t show any signs of letting up – was enough to put a dent on the day.  Sure, it drenched the field and soaked the players in their jerseys.  But that was all that it dampened – definitely not the spirits.

I went to the soccer carnival excited to see my friends play, and by the time the program was through, I took away with me a truth so clear, it was in sharp contrast to the overcast sky.

Whatever your language, whatever your nationality, whatever you do, when you work with your team and you put your heart into it, together you can all win.  Remember, WHATEVER.

Congratulations to Team WHATEVER for winning this year’s Soccer Carnival!  I’m so proud of all of you!

"We Are The Champions"... Mitch, Shan Shan, Kia Leh, Marge, Bee Lian, Evone, Joyce, Cheng Cheng, Suk Li, and Team Captain, Kwai Han.

Getting ready for one big fight!

One... Two... Three... WHATEVER!!!

"Of course, we can win this next one!"

A smile to the camera from Shan Shan. Her delicate frame and sweet smile belie how much of an aggressive striker she could be on the field!

Shan Shan in action

Shan Shan dribbles.

Maneuvering some more

Shan Shan kicks the ball in.

"The ball is mine!"

Shan Shan sees an opening and scores!

Cheng Cheng rejoices!

 

One Ball to rule them all, One Ball to fight over. One Ball to bring them all, and in the pouring rain on the field, bind them.

Kiddo, patiently waiting in the wings.

Kia Leh and Kwai Han. I saw them form "91" with their jersey numbers. That was the year I graduated from high school... at the top of my class. Har har har!

Winning five straight matches (so far) could take its toll. The girls would take very quick power breaks in between.

Kia Leh is a fireball of energy on the green.

This photo of Kwai Han has the feel of a shampoo or a beauty soap ad. Seriously!

I told her about it and the self-effacing person that I've always known her to be made this cute face. Of course that's Kiddo Kia Leh in the background.

As Kwai Han proved, they are more than just pretty faces. They are fun, fab, but at the same time fearless. And in this shot, kind of fierce. Rawrrrrr!

Joyce, Kia Leh and Kwai Han battle it out for control of the ball.

Shan Shan, Kia Leh and Michelle charge to convert this goal-creating moment.

Goooaaal!!! Team WHATEVER scores!

Joyce, Kwai Han, Eone, Kia Leh and Cheng Cheng protect the goal.

A head butt interception from Eone saves the day! Haha!

Mitch!

Michelle, Cheng Cheng and Shan Shan charge forward!

Michelle is determined to meet the blues head on.

Score!!!

Bee Lian rejoices!

Cheng Cheng looks at the ball as if telling it, "Cooperate or else. Either way, you'll get good kicking from me!"

Cheng cheng intercepts and successfully stops the ball on its tracks.

Now, it is mine!

"If you want it, come and get it." Cheng cheng prepares to fight over the ball.

Cheng Cheng is one of the girls who sustained some injury during the games. Here, she is attended by both Bee Lian and a staff of the Medical Team.

Be Lian said that she has a built-in camera detector. She knows whenever she needs to flash her megawatt smile. Here, she realizes I was covering the moment and beams, some of the players and the supporters, including the injured Cheng Cheng couldn't help but smile as well.

A fleet of supporters is important to any sports team. Or sometimes, that ONE SUPPORTER is all that matters.

11 + 3 = 1

Don't be afraid. You can play this game.

Team WHATEVER enjoyed the loyal support of colleagues and friends like Kok Wah, Chee Hou, and Heng Yie.

Not even the non-stop rain could keep Jellyn and everybody else from supporting the team.

The team could definitely count on Eric, Heng Yie, Chee Hou, Way Hung, Ee Xyan, and Jellyn to be there.

All the pretty ladies! Who run the world?! Girls! Hehe...

Some of the guys jumped in - Chee Sian, Assistant Coach Der Zhan, and Chee Hou.

Yu Ting was clowning around and finally made it to the group shot. Haha!

Let's hear it for the boys!

Once more with the girls

There's a Team WHATEVER because there's a Head Coach Kelvin.

Kelvin, the cool coach, here wearing his cool Oakley sunnies.

Coach Kelvin keeps a close watch on the team's moves.

Kelvin is quite the cool coach. I think I was more hyper than he was. Haha!

Coach Kelvin and Team PE Player, Wee Hee.

Coach Kelvin confers with Wee Hee while Adam captures the action in still.

 

This is Adam, who used to be one of my engineers in the Philippines. Here, he comes across to me as the photography enthusiast that he really is!

 

The Sunday prior, these guys, Timothy, Kelvin and Wee Hee, went to the field to play. They came back to officially officiate in the matches. Though I guess a part of them was silently cheering for Team WHATEVER. Haha!

 

One of the supporters who came was my good friend Way Hung, who I learned, through this shirt, to be Team WHATEVER's Kwai Han's secondary school classmate in Perak, Malaysia. Friendships do last.

 

See there, Kwai Han!

 

And that's his, Way Hung!

 

While I did assume that Kelvin will just be all too happy to teach me how to play, I won't mind being coached by this guy. I call this photo, "Way Hung and his Power Kick". I first saw just what he could unleash with one kick of that ball on the practice field at Kallang Community Center. You wouldn't want to be at the receiving end of that kick. Haha!

 

Okay, let's try something else fancy.

 

A dribble here...

 

...and there.

 

See that?!

 

And that's how you play.

 

Of course I attempted...

 

But my best contribution would be to pick up the balls after the real athletes!

 

So I just went on to have my photos taken with some of these lovely, beautiful, interesting people I saw on the field. Here, with Shan Shan.

 

With Coach Kelvin!

 

With Kwai Han

 

With my own coach (haha!), Way Hung. And oh, I haven't acknowledged yet the special participation of Mickey Mouse. Haha!

 

Me and someone else's umbrella which I picked up from the pile on the green. Don't worry, I made sure I returned it.

 

Way Hung, Yong Run, eNTeNG

 

With Karen who was doing emceeing duties for the second time around. Good job, Karen!

 

With one of the nicest and loveliest people in the office, Joey! See that on her arm? Artwork! People do have a fun side to them. Body painting looked great on her.

 

A few more action shots. Here with Shan Shan, Cheng Cheng and Mitch. Good deflection by Shan Shan!

Shan Shan and Kwai Han team up to show their opponents just how it is done.

 

 

See what I mean!

 

Shan Shan is now in control.

 

Sports Superstars have a veritable fan base. Here, Team WHATEVER poses with their very own!

 

Let's try that one more time!

 

There would be a number of cameras flashing all at the same time everytime these girls and their supporters strike pose that we sometimes wouldn't know if we were done or not. Haha!

 

Bee Lian said that she has a "built-in camera detector". She knows when the lens is being trained upon her sight. I have to say it is true. Here, she knew exactly I was trying to steal a shot. (Way Hung, why so serious?! Hehe...)

 

Ladies and gentlemen, Beyonce!!! "All the single ladies... All the single ladies..."

 

Kwai Han, Kia Leh, Assistant Coach Der Zhan, and Joyce

 

How can the really gloomy sky bring anyone's spirits down when smiles are this bright?!

 

Shan Shan... Milo should be paying you for this photo. You could very well be their new endorser!

 

I have to say, Team WHATEVER had the hugest loyal following that day!

 

After 17 matches on the field, everything boiled down to these final two matches.

 

Team WHATEVER takes on last year's champions, Synergy. Go Team WHATEVER!!!

 

The road to victory...

 

They even clinched a special title, that of the highest-scoring team!

 

What is their hands saying? Oh yeah, number one!!!

 

Here they are joined by the two guys who really helped make this all happen, Assistant Coach Der Zhan, and Head Coach, the Kelvin!

 

Everybody now joins in on the celebration!

 

Celebrate good times. Come on!

 

Presenting this year's Soccer Carnival Champions, Team WHATEVER!

 

On top of their medals, the girls received a special award for being the highest-scoring team.

 

The taste of victory!

 

Der Zhan, Timothy, and Kelvin

 

Clearly, a part of this victory is offered by the girls to their friends and supporters.

 

The girls get movie vouchers for scoring the highest!

 

Suk Lee even won a lucky draw prize!!! She got the 10th in an array of 15 prizes.

 

Kwai Han and her medal

 

Can you handle this?!

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





From the sidelines: Moments at a soccer carnival

17 04 2012

My good friend Kelvin was particularly inspired in all five matches. Anyone can see that it was with very good reason.

THE VICARIOUS THRILL of a spectator sport like soccer is the kind of rush that can shoot right through your cerebellum convolutions, form an upsurge of emotion in your arterial system, and make you clench your fist as you prepare to release your brewing manifestation of plain and unequivocal support and pride for one team, in one unbridled cry, “Go Team PE-E-E-E-E-E!!!

Quite obviously, you can tell I went to the Soccer Carnival to show my support.  That, and my fierce loyalty.  And you can tell for which team.

Those who can, do.  Those who cannot – like me – spectate.  I love being a spectator.

Or in the case of some of these wonderful people, just show not only their support but also their love.  (Wow!)

Or, still for others, just wait for their own time on the field.

This was where it all happened - St. Wilfrid Sports Complex, St. George's Road, Singapore.

 

A spectator can't go around running and screaming at the top of his lungs on an empty stomach! Since St. Wilfrid didn't have a cafeteria, I had to cross the street to the nearest 7-11 and get my fill. A bowl of instant noodles and jasmine green tea. Good enough for me. Five minutes and I was back on the field.

 

My trusty Adidas Samba, having stood on puddles of muddy water and grass on the sidelines, was in on all the action!

 

Present to support their friends are these lovely, brainy ladies - Chiet Yen, Cheng Cheng, and Ee Xyan.

 

A closer shot with the girls.

 

Yu Ting, Way Hung, Cheng Cheng and Chiet Yen

 

Stepping out of the white line: Yong Run, Way Hung, Kok Wah, Jeck, and Yu Ting (at the back)

 

As fields became free as teams got eliminated one by one, I had the chance to make some kicks of my own.

 

I was told to make a direct free kick.

 

Getting last minute instructions from Yong Run

 

eNTeNG makes the approach...

 

...delivers the kick...

 

...and scores! The crowd goes wild!!!

 

With Karen

 

With Yong Run

 

With Rohit and his medal

 

With very good friend Wee Sern. For this day at the soccer field, I wore a T-Shirt by Topman, khaki shorts by Topman, dark brown genuine cowhide leather belt by Esprit, Adidas Samba in classic black and white, Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarers in Black, Style in Play eau de toilette by Lacoste, and Incursore Automatic Swiss Made wristwatch by Glycine.

 

Gotta stretch in between!

 

Such a beautiful couple!

 

Someone sure is proud of that medal.

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Bend it like Team PE

16 04 2012

Adidas StarLancer Soccer Ball, on the soccer field at St. Wilfrid Sports Complex, St. George's Road, Singapore, 15 April 2012

SPORTS BUILDS character.  It encourages the quest for personal excellence, nurtures one’s talents, and allows one to develop an appreciation for teamwork towards a common goal.  In a game of sports, one who has trained hard, persevered, and is never afraid to dream with his team, wins.  The game of life is not so different.

Team PE!

 

Some of the members of Team PE include Wee Hee, Bryan, Suan Bin, Nick Chee, Timothy, Wee Sern and Shuai.

 

Finally, Kelvin made it to the group shot!

 

Kelvin is fifth from the left.

That is why I have the utmost respect and admiration for those who do excel in sports.  And in the case of these guys I just watched today – who all donned jerseys that brought to mind the home colours of Manchester City F.C. – I couldn’t help but be in awe.  I kept reminding myself that most of them, if not all, are colleagues I look up to at work.  They come from a group whose value to the organization is undeniable technical expertise in their field.

And today, I got to see them bend it like Beckham.  I cheered them on, while silently, a part of me wanted to scratch my head, look up in the great blue sky – Mother Nature cooperated! – and wonder, “Why am I not as good as these people?!”

Or, not as well-rounded.  That’s yet another thing that sports gives to a person – many wonderful, amazing sides, quite a number of enviable facets.

And undoubtedly, a maturity to see past penalty kicks.  Celebrate the camaraderie.  Celebrate one another.

Congratulations, Team PE!  You didn’t make me want to bend it like Beckham.  You made me want to bend it like you.

This is also a team from our group!

 

In Action: Wee Hee

 

Surveying the scene and strategizing: Kelvin

 

Wee Sern, the goalkeeper!

 

Team PE protects the goal then charges!

 

Suan Bin makes this goal!

 

Timothy makes one too!

 

Shuai makes an attempt too!

 

Yong Run

 

Shuai, in between matches.

 

Nick Chee

 

Suan Bin

 

Nick Chee

 

Kelvin is down! (His minutes in the field were so action-packed, I would call him Action King, Kelvin!)

 

A minute at the sidelines: Suan Bin, Shuai, and Bryan.

 

Timothy makes a go for it!

 

Kelvin does too!

 

Suan Bin sees an opening!

 

Wee Hee swooshes past the red shirts!

 

This yellow cone marks the spot.

 

A field of dreams

 

Timothy, Bryan, Shuai

 

Suan Bin, Wee Sern, Wee Hee

 

Bryan

 

Orange cone marks another spot.

 

It's the final match!

 

Go Team PE!

 

A corner kick from Suan Bin!

 

Blue and red trying to win the ball

 

Getting ready for their medals!

 

Good job, guys! Congratulations!

 

eNTeNG with good friend Wee Sern

 

eNTeNG with good friends Wee Sern and Kelvin

 

eNTeNG with hawker center buddy and good friend, Yong Run, and of course, Kelvin!

 

eNTeNG with good friend, Rohit! Their team copped the championship. Happy for them too.

 

With the lovely Karen who emceed the event.

 

Again, C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S to Team PE! I'm so proud of you guys!!!

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved