My Love-Hate Relationship With Technology, And The One Thing That Changed My Mind

Now and again, I will post excerpts of my published works and link them back to the original post. As the title clues you in on it, this was about how I came to accept the important role of tech in my life.


Technology and I have a love-hate relationship. This was made clear the time my cousin announced a change in her phone number. Within seconds, my other relatives had whipped out their phones to key in the new digits. I, on the other hand, pulled out my thick planner, flipped to the address tab and clicked my pen. My cousins burst out laughing, and I was the brunt of jokes for a while.

The thing is, I did have a phone in my bag. But though I had that — and a laptop — that were functioning perfectly, I was always slow to adopt the latest gadget or digital trend. A case in point would be the many times in university when I had to field questions on why I didn’t have WhatsApp.

My relationship with tech was not clear-cut. I loved Google; I couldn’t live with a question unanswered. Yet, I still took notes on paper and had physical folders for almost everything. Friends had to nag me into joining social networks, using a new app, or playing the latest game.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Travel Notes: Subic Bay, Philippines


Sunset at Subic Bay // CHARMAIN SIM

It was late afternoon, but the sun was still high in the sky. Walking allayed the sense of heat, but I soon tired and sat on a driftwood. Squinting against the glare reflected off the waters, I watched grownups and children take turns on hired jet skis, laughter and the roar of the skis breaking the quiet. A group of teenage boys meandered along the beach. Occasionally, they stopped and hunched over the sands, poking and digging. They’d straighten up with something in hand, delve into deep discussion, then move on. It looked like they were working on a project.

At the turn of 2016, Sailorboy and I were in the Philippines. It was his work trip but I tagged along, my first visit to the nation. We flew into Manila and headed straight for Subic Bay, some 2 hours away on a good traffic day.


A bay for water sports

The bay was once a US naval base from 1899 until 1991. So it carries a unique kind of history, a blend of Western and Asian. The spacious lots, squared off streets and buildings no taller than six storeys high are in stark contrast to the high-decibel crowds and narrow streets of the neighboring town Olongapo. Today, it is a tax- and duty-free zone, and still carefully guarded and cordoned. That’s why it’s still a quiet area.

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5 Lessons We’ve Learned from 2 Years of Marriage


More than a week ago, my husband and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. As we reflected on two wonderful years, we got to talking about what we’ve learned in that time. Some were about each other’s traits. Others were life lessons in general.

I thought I’d share a bit of what we learned. Granted, I’m fully aware that two years is nothing compared to the 10, 25, 50, even 70 years of many other couples. But young as we are, I’d wager it important to record the important moments of every stage. Who knows, maybe these lessons need to be reaffirmed in our lives one day in the future.

Hence, here are five nuggets of truth from two years of marriage.

1. It takes a lifetime to know someone

When I married Sailorboy, we’d known each other for some 15 years. But it was only after marriage that I learned how good he is with impersonating accents. ‘Twas a delightful discovery, especially when he’s telling me about his day at work. He also came to learn traits of mine I didn’t even know I had.

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Meeting Marilee, Ambassador of World Vision

A year ago, I had the honor of meeting Marilee Pierce Dunker. She’s the daughter of Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision. Yes, World Vision, that international giant of an NGO well known for its child sponsorship program, 30-Hour Famine camps, and countless community development projects.

A public entity like World Vision is no stranger to criticism and controversy. Yes, there may be flaws. But one cannot deny their good work in transforming lives and livelihoods over the decades.

Marilee is such an inspiring woman! The encounter left an indelible mark on me and my colleague. You’ll see why in this reprint of the article published in mid 2015.

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New Year, New Site, New Purpose

Since our courting days, my husband and I often discuss how we hope our lives will play out. Ultimately, our life theme is this: To live with an eternal mindset.

We also have annual one-word resolutions. This 2016, the word is “Better“.

If we are honest, my husband and I are relatively “good” people. Or rather, we’re good-natured, not prone to mischief. That’s not a bad thing. But that also means there is danger of getting by with mediocrity, when it can be excellence.

After our personal journeys in 2015, we are persuaded that we can be and do better. “Good enough” shouldn’t be good enough. The status quo shouldn’t be the measuring stick.

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