SG2014 Day 2: Where are Singaporeans buried?

(May 7, 2014)

We’re here mainly for the Startup Asia 2014 conference. So entire whole day we’re just inside the conference hall at Biopolis. 

So we sneaked in a quick trek to a nearby trail early in the morning. We stayed somewhere in Lornei Road which is across MacRitchie Trail, and the back of the house we stayed in was the Bukit Brown Cemetery, according to a written guide given by the owner of the house we stayed in, a very old cemetery which is known to be home of the some great Singaporeans. 

It was just actually beside the highway. But unless you know that it’s a cemetery, it’s not obvious that it’s a cemetery.

It makes me wonder so where are now the cemeteries for the later generation of Singaporeans? With the high value of every inch of lot in SG, you must be filthy rich to own a slot for a dead body.
So where was I? We’re here for the startup asia, and honestly, I was really having a hard time getting excited about startup. I mean, I love the startup mindset but sometimes there’s a bit of too much hype around it, and we know that the reality is not at all rainbow-colored fluffy cotton candy.

But nevertheless, being surrounded by these passionate people never fails to rekindle or kindle a fire in you.
You know you’re in a startup conference when you would see all these “revolutionary” “change the world” kind of words plastered left and right.
I was happy to see someone from
Philippines in the exhibit — guestlist.ph! Lez download their app!
One of the things I really looked forward to was to see if there are other tech startup / business doing any thing related to aktib.ph or anything about sports, and this was the closest I could find. I mean there are lot of tech apps / web services that are similar to aktib,  but I was looking for new players, a more consumer kind of approach.
Another thing I looked forward to is to listen to ecommerce — the undying ecommerce topic. Whatever new web tech would come up, ecommerce will never get old.

It was interesting to listen that their struggles are: payment, logistics, and trust. And, it’s nothing really different from Philippines, I believe.

There were a lot of interesting encouraging topics. 
We visited Honey of codetoki.com at JFDI after the conference. She and ademar for codetoki.com are part of the incubation program of jFDI. It’s where you’ll be given money, mentorship, working space so you can build your product / business for 3 months++ then you’ll pitch it to investors after.
Exciting times!

And, I always long to write again about PH startups after I got to this kind of events.

SG2014 Day 1: “foods”

Quite a last minute plan for me to come here to SG because Mark (for startup asia conference) needed someone to order “foods” for him. And, I was just happy to oblige. I’m also looking forward to what are the updates in the tech startup. It’s been a long time that i don’t really get updated, and I want to know how it is now because of aktib.

Having been here many times like twice :), the “surprise” factor is no longer there. There’s the huge airport which looks way better over our malls, the very efficient train which looked familiar already. Plus the weather is just like Cebu, it seems I pretty know myself around here… 
Until I ordered food from Anana’s Cafe, which was like our go-to “fastood / carenderia” the first
Time I was here, the struggle to communicate with the food attendant tells me that i’m still not really familiar at all with SG. 
So I picked Anana’s for our first meal here because I felt like it’s my way of “re-setting” my mind to being here in SG — the affordable chicken rice with the kopi-c served by “strict” attendants called “uncle” or “auntie” by the locals, who are also serving the construction workers from different neighboring countries.
chicken rice
Kopi-c

So the adventure begins, Mark at its best — checking how to go around our wat here.

We ended up staying in some “suburb” kind of place with more trees than buildings. 🙂
We stayed across MacRitchie Trail and beside Bukit Brown Cemetery, which is one of the few remaining “forest” / trails in SG.
And it seems no hawker station or Anana’s Cafe anywhere near. 🙂

Profiling Myself

I’ll be presenting in the May edition of Pechakucha, at Gilt. Date is May 13,  2014.

So I need to give a bio profile of myself. This is hardwork.

Owkei.

In the running community, I’m known to the blogger. Sometimes, they call me reporter, writer, journalist.

But when I get to the blogging / writing community, with the friends / relatives, tech community, I’m known as the “runner.”

The occupation field in any forms is really a nightmarish for me.

The RDSAMC Taxi of Cebu Incident

(Dear google, my title is, I hope, a good SEO keyword.)

I was from a talk in Minglanilla and decided to take a cab going to IT Park because it was 9pm+, and the jeepney system of minglanilla now is complicated for someone not a resident there. I had 2 friends who were living somewhere in Tabunok, Talisay so I thought of letting them hitch.
Since the friends are from Tabunok, we did not go thru SRP
Female Hunch
When we got into the taxi, I right away felt uncomfortable with the driver. He talked like he was drunk. And there’s that sweat drops in his face as the lights inside the taxi was on the whole time. It’s either he was “nakasuyop” or “kalibangon.” But he was just parking when we got him.
Plus the Plate Number printed on the sides of the taxi’s interior is blank. Anyhoo, i let it all escape.
I was thinking of getting off with the friends but I guess I always try to see the goodness of people. *ehem* So i reasoned to myself that I was just being overreacting.
He was a bit chatty. Sometimes he talked to me, but most of the time he’s interacting with someone on his radio. He was proud of his radio because he said that not all drivers have it. He said that it was his way of entertaining his self from the boredom of driving. He even mentioned phone sex. He said he like being a driver over a radio actor, which I suggested because he was good in changing his voices while interacting on his radio.
So riding with him was like normal to creepy and back. So everytime I felt he’s getting creepy, I’d try to talk to myself that I was just overacting because he’d go back talking normal.
But the gave-away was when we reached the gasoline station after the Capitol Church, he said he would stop for a few minutes to have the air in his tires adjusted. A part of me was annoyed because we’re just like 2km away from IT Park, he could do it after I got off. But, i thought, stop whining because other people may have it worse.
Anyway, while we had our stop in gasoline station, he also went down, got a water from hia trunk, then open the fromt hood and pour the water on the car’s machine or whatever you call it.
I felt it was for awhile because when we stopped at the gas station, the meter was 218, when we left the station it was already P222.
And it was after that I sensed something more wrong so I got scared. He was now sweating profusely like he just ran a fast 5k. I tried to reason that maybe because pouring water on the car’s hood was hardwork. 
Denial
In my mind, I was telling myself to calm down and that I’m just over-reacting.
But I felt getting weak. And, I was again tellong myself that maybe because I got scared, my heart beat fast that I got weak.
But then I also thought that I should not be feeling weak because adrenaline rush would keep me pumping.  But Instead, I could feel my body starting to get weaker, like “mawala ang umoy.” The weak feeling was like when I was given anesthesia when I got CS operation that I could feel my strength slowly leaving.
Read too much FB stories

But I don’t want to act stupid, and told myself that I’m just near. I very well know this route, it’s the last stretch to the CCM finish line. It’s just 2km.
In my mind, I kept telling myself that I was over-reacting because I read too many “taxi incident” stories on facebook. 
I reasoned out that if he really had bad plans, he could have done it when wemre still far from my destination.
But then I was also sensing that a few more meters, and I would really pass out.  So I asked the taxi driver that I’d get off at the Koa bar (kukuk’s nest before), which we were just probably 300 meters away. I chose Koa Bar because at least, there were lots of people there.

I opened the windows because I was really feeling off, maybe the air would help. 

Defensive driver

He asked me if i was okay. I told him that maybe I got seasick from the long drive. I did not want him to feel threatened or something becuase he might have a gun or something. 

Then he told me that He did not put any powder in the air that would make people   Go pass out. And, I was like how did he know that was what I was feeling?

I did not feel nauseated. It was just generally felt like my strength was leaving me.

But the traffic light turned red at the intersection, before we could cross to Koa Bar. And, I was thinking that if I would wait until Koa, I would no longer have any strength to move so i told him that i’d just get off right then and there.

I gave him 500, and asked him to just give me 250 (with tip pa ha). Annoyingly, it took him so much time looking for change. And, he gave me less than 200. But i don’t care any more about my change!

I was just glad to get off that RDSAMC taxi whose driver was goodlooking but such a waste!

Anyhoo, his trunk was open when I got down so I closed it. 
It took him long to drive away that I was able to take a photo of the taxi. Unfortunately, it was blurred. I tried to
Memorize the plate number but with my mind going haywire, i forgot about it. 

I’m really not the type of person who take notes of taxi’s plate numbers.


Looking back, I still could not say if I was “scammed” or I just read too much fb taxi incident stories.

But lesson learned is that if it does not feel right, there’s no problem in getting off right away. This perfectly applies on taxis, but maybe not in real life.