Roelle Football Version 39

I am typing this post with aches and pains all over my body. Yesterday I played in the inter-company 7-a-side football tournament. 5 games under extreme conditions. We didn't reach the semis since we finished 5th.  Still, not bad for a team that had just met 2 months prior to the tournament.

As I mentioned in my previous post, age is really starting to show. By the 3rd game onwards, I couldn't get myself to run or kick the ball hard. It was like km32 of the marathon wherein I've bonked and resorted to walking to the finish line.

Still, not bad for a football comeback as I was able to score two goals.

Yup, I'll still play the beautiful game by age 40 onwards.

That's me with the ball. Really! :-)


Feeling It

At age 39, I have come to confirm/realize that my body is not the way it used to be. As an athletic person who's into running, cycling, basketball, and recently, a resurrected football "career," my body is showing signs that is telling me to slow down or, worse, retire from contact sports.

Two and a half weeks ago I had a bad mid air collision with a team mate, nonetheless, during a pick-up basketball game with our department team. I got hit in the ribs so hard that it took me forever to recover from it. Today, there's still about 20-30% of the pain there, especially when I wake up in the morning. If this happened to me 10 or 15 years ago, I would probably shrug it off as just a minor injury. But I guess Father Time had other plans. I guess I will have to quit the basketball entirely, and limit myself to just watching it from the tube.

Over eating, another one of my favorite "sports," has started to take a backseat since 2012 as I have been (very) conscious of my weight. Started at 175lbs in 2009, I'm now at 157lbs, even reached 155lbs during my marathon training last year, although I'm still 10lbs away from the upper normal BMI limit. The battle has been tough, especially with KFC, Dairy Queen, and Burger King just a few minutes' walk from my office.

I accidentally(?) went on an eating binge last Wed night with my officemates and ex-officemates at Yabu, a hit Japanese resto located at a mall near my house. The unli rice and salad was very inviting and I mixed all the possible salad sauces (all three!) and loved (loved!) their signature Tonkatsu 90g. The unli Iced Tea was there to push everything into my 39 year old digestive system as well.

The result? Since Thursday morning up to today (Monday), I've not been well. I have now become well versed when it comes to the use of Diatabs and Imodium, and the importance of rehydration.

Yes, I am now LeBroM James.

Now, just the thought of the Yabu food I (over) ate makes me want to vomit.

I hope the situation improves before Wednesday since that is my first executive checkup. I hate to see myself running around the hospital looking for toilets once in a while as this may make the whole checkup thing longer. Stool samples will be a challenge as well. I think they won't allow liquid stool samples. Ugh, just the thought of it makes me puke.

After this whole LeBroM situation improves, I hope my mind finally gets it that my body is not its 18 year old football playin' extra-rice-eatin' self anymore. I have to adjust my expectation towards sports and food so that I can have a healthier body.

Besides, I'm more of a Kobe fan.


Singapore: My One True Love

It has been years since I arrived in Changi Airport. The smell of the Singapore air, soothing with a hint of flavour, is all around as I stepped out of the airport onto the awaiting bus transport.

Unlike 2001, this particular visit was not by my lonesome. After 11 years, I'm back in Singapore with the missus and my two boys, Lucas and Matteo, for a brief 4 day, 3 night stay for a Christmas vacation and to reminisce on what would've been my life as an OFW in Singapore.


Despite the progress of new buildings and new MRT lines, Singapore has remained the same with it's people, and most especially, its food. Our "merienda" upon arrival at the Raffles City food court was mee goreng for the missus and roasted chicken rice for me. The boys are not familiar with the taste so they had to content themselves with the ever reliable tempura.

An hour or so later, we found ourselves in Takashimaya, Orchard, where the missus had been patiently waiting for her feet to take her to the muachi stand, serving that peanut flavored taffy-like dessert that she so always loved and craved for.

Dinner had to be light so I ordered "take away" roti prata, kopi, and kaya toast to cap the evening.

By some unfortunate chain of events, the missus ended up eating only mee goreng for the whole trip, except of course of the daily hotel breakfast and the dinner with my ex-roommate Alan.

We were on a roll, food wise.


The next day was our planned trip to Universal Studios. This theme park has really put Singapore on the map (in Asia particularly) as this is a must for tourists. The place is great, filled with rides and all sorts of amusements that my kids absolutely loved it there.

On the third day, we brought the kids to the Singapore Zoo which they loved as well.

For the two places above, my only complain is the long queue for rides (Zoo has the Elephant ride) which, when a parent carries a 35lb 3 year old, can be very exhausting if lined up for 30 or so minutes.


I stood outside the hotel room balcony on our last night and just looked over the Singapore landscape. "I used to 'own' this!" I said to myself. The feeling of having reunited with my beloved Singapore can be likened to one finding his/her one true love. I worked here for 4.5 months and if I could bring back the time, I would've stayed for more. 4.5 months is not enough for a stay with such a lovely (but expensive) place such as Singapore.

Singapore was my one true love but had only lasted as a fling.

I guess Singapore 2001 came in the right time as it was not only my first stint abroad, but it was also my first time to detach from my parents. In Singapore, I lived independently and with no care for anyone for curfews. I had friends, hobbies (played football for the company team and played guitar for a band) ---my life was about to take shape.

Sadly, the limitations of having a contractual job and my longing for my girlfriend then (which turned out to be my missus) had to stop all that. Of course, everything turned out well after getting work in Malaysia, getting married, working back in Manila, and having two kids.

I guess I needed this Singapore trip to remind me again on how blessed I am throughout these past 11 years.

And yes, I will be coming back again to Singapore to savour her food, places, and ambience. To reignite my love for her even just for a "quickie."

For there will always be time for chicken rice and mee goreng.