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This blog is pretty dead – but there is also beauty in it, considering how it has come one full circle. I started a blog when it felt natural to move on from my written journals (since I could add photos and it’ll be forever on the internet). Now that no one reads personal blogs anymore, it does feel like it’s come a full circle, no?

I am still here, though I regrettably don’t have that same dedication and mental space to pen down my feelings as often as I did before.

Saw an old comment posted by a reader in 2017 by chance earlier – it said, “I’m so happy that you started writing again. One dies when one stops writing.” That resonated with me. Well one does not die, per se, when one stops writing. But the constant conversation with oneself has to always be there. So I am writing again tonight.

1 a.m. Perfect time to reflect. The world is quiet and my head is also kinda quiet. I had a busy day doing “nothings” and I’m dying to decompress.

I have been doing alright, even though I’m still bumping my head around with some stuff. There has been more stability and clarity in some aspects of my life, but I am still figuring out the bigger picture, which is why I can never Y.O.L.O. I think and worry too much. Worse thing is, I do all that with no action that follows. Haha.

I’ve been thinking about work – like what I’m going to do to make a decent income kind of “work”. I’ve always believed in having multiple sources of income, and I am still striving to get that in my life. I’ve tried a bunch of different things (and am still doing so), but I hope to attain more clarity and conviction on that. (Need to invest more) I’m often torn between “slogging half my life away to save for retirement” vs “live within your means, with prudence, and have the capacity to savour every single day”. I hope to strike a balance with that and find something which allows me to have both.

Still searching. Wish I had a rich Dad. (kidding)

Life has been stable with Jesse. We steal time amidst our schedules to have fun together. That man is working very hard at work and I respect that. I envy how his work allows him to be anywhere in the world – all he needs is his pair of hands. I think I’d like to have work that allows me to be anywhere in the world too.

It is an art living with another person, but I think we are doing okay. Perhaps a little better than okay – we have harmony at home. I think we are both appreciative of what the other do for the house, and we have a good synergy when it comes to keeping up with chores and mundane everyday things. We make time for fun and pleasure. Most times, we are both understanding and accommodating towards each other’s needs. We try to meet at the middle ground with our differences. That, I am grateful for.

The future though. I think about it a lot. I always catch myself wondering about how it’ll be like. We’ve had multiple conversations about how things might be like five or ten years down the road – will we still be in Singapore? Or, where will we be? Will we be shuffling around different cities? I also fear the day when Jesse would have leave (for various reasons). Will I be ready to be there for him physically? What does that entail and how do I make sure I am ready? If not, what does it mean? And.. I would like to be ready for that. How do I get there?

However, one of the most heartening thing I have is how he makes me feel like we have what it takes to take on whatever that’s coming at us in time. I pray for us to always have the grit and conviction to stick together through the storms. I know that takes work and constant work and checking in, and I am willing to do my part.

Also, I need to work on getting my divorce procedure done. Not for any fancy reasons but because I ought to do things properly. It would be a good closure for everyone.

Carpe Noctem

I love the night, especially quiet ones like tonight. It is so still that I can almost hear the dialogues I have with myself in my head.

Carpe noctem.

I wondered why I didn’t get off the car tonight. Because I cared. And maybe a little too much. Oh well. I enjoyed going out tonight, it was nice to see people, friends, acquaintances. It was just nice to see familiar faces and to get into a bit of action. Unhappy stuff aside, it was good. And to be honest, I have full control of MY emotions. I have full control of MY choices. I have full control of my decisions and my actions. I actually have a lot of power. And it really doesn’t make sense to validate the negative feelings from things that are out of my control and power. I have control of my emotions and if it gives me unpleasant feelings, I can just walk away from it. And then learn from it, and learn more about myself.

I was really happy to see my friends today, despite it being in a nicely curated social setting (not my home ground). I get so socially awkward at times. But I felt especially at ease tonight, because Jesse was with me.

Maybe I should just give less of a shit. That may be a very uncultured way of putting things, but what I meant to say is – perhaps I should ‘take a chill pill’ or, essentially don’t take things to heart so much.

I mean.. the heart can only take that much.

(Listening to The Blaze live on Youtube now. So. Good.)

And just put on some perfume. It’s 3:16am. But I deserve to smell like Mimosa and Cardamom even at unearthly hours.

I miss travelling. I miss that rush when you first step out of the airport into a city that looks and feels completely unfamiliar. I miss being pleasantly surprised at the unexpected. Darn, I even miss the frantic mental exchange rate conversion calculations when I’m out shopping.

I miss the drive; that insatiable hunger and curiosity! I miss eyebrow-raising moments, those gasps of disbelief in retrospect of something you never thought you would or could do. I miss sincere conversations with complete strangers. I love it the most when I can feel like I’m at home, albeit fleeting, in a foreign country. I miss the quirky, the misunderstood, the misrepresented, the fringes, the unseemings, and the stray cats of every place I’ve been and haven’t been to. I miss being happy to be proven wrong. I miss that breath of fresh air – in a place, an experience, or a person. I miss adventure.

That’s right, I think I miss adventure.

I miss adventure and this adventure is a mental state.

I am also looking forward to the America trip because I see it as a real break for me, one that I really need. I’m also thrilled to meet Jesse’s family and friends, and experience the country where he grew up in with him. I think I really do need to get away and shut my mind off from everything that is happening at home too. Work, money, career, future. Pfft. It really gets me down sometimes. I feel like I’ve lost my fucking soul and the worst part is, I don’t even really recognise it so I don’t know how to get it back. Perhaps I just got to make up a new one. Realign and collect myself, and my mental state. Nothing more ideal than throwing myself right into the eye of the unexpected to trigger some kind of mental stimulation and get new perspectives. Perhaps this could be an adventure in an adventure.

Aren’t we all looking for an adventure?

Coping with Anxiety Attacks

I had an anxiety attack yesterday.

It happened out of nowhere and for no apparent reason. I was just feeling “nervous” and felt pins and needles and numbness in strange parts of my body – on my upper lip, the area between my eyebrows on my forehead and nose bridge, my ears, outer areas of my arms just right above the elbows, back of my head. I was sweating. Felt a little dizzy and nauseous, felt like a diarrhoea was coming. Thankfully, it was quite a low-key (but long drawn) one and I was, in a strange way, calm enough to remember what to do when I start feeling this way – distract myself, talk to myself, observe the surroundings, get comfortable, BREATHE. And most importantly, tell myself that this is temporary and it will soon pass.

I think a lot of people could confuse regular stress or fear with an attack of this sort. Until you’ve felt it before, I don’t really know how to explain the difference. I once had an anxiety attack WHILE eating wanton noodles at Holland Village food centre, no apparent triggers or anything, and I was actually having a good time but it just happened out of the blue.

I read somewhere that once you’ve had an anxiety/panic attack before, chances are, it will happen again. There is also this fear of it happening again (and this does not help at all). I thought it’ll be good to share how it feels like so people know how it’s like to have an anxiety attack, or, if you are around someone having an anxiety attack, how you can help.

There had been times when it happened and my friends got really worried about me because I suddenly just wanted to lie down in a cafe (I put a few chairs together and did lie down, and started a video on my phone and started watching it). People would tell me to “Relax” or “Don’t think so much”, “Don’t worry” or kept asking “Are you ok? Are you ok?”. All were done with good intentions, but sometimes they’d just make me feel worse. I knew I would’ve done the same for a friend if I am unfamiliar with what he/she is going through.

I remember the first time I felt this way. I travelled alone to Dublin on a media trip; jetlagged, tired, all was good until I headed out at the destination for a little walk and got coffee, and then it hit me. This irrational fear of “I am alone in a foreign city”, suddenly thinking about the many things to do, thinking about home. The more these thoughts come, the more nervous I felt, and psychological state started to present itself physically – I had to take deep, big breaths like yawns to take in more air, my hands started shaking, heart racing.

It got really bad at the first dinner during the trip, I excused myself to return to the hotel on my own first. Called Emma over the phone and she spoke to me for quite a while. I remember watching Project Runway on the television too. I knew I just needed to distract myself. Eventually, I slept it off.

1 to 2 years later, I encountered the worst bout of a panic attack I ever gotten. I woke up in the middle of the night covered in cold sweat, gasping for air. My heart was pounding so hard, it felt like it was going to pop out of my chest. Numbness in my limbs and face. I thought I was having a heart attack and I was very close to waking my mother up (in hindsight, I am glad I did not because she would have freaked out and that would’ve definitely made matters worse). I stumbled into the kitchen to get a snack and water, put on something random on Netflix and started talking to myself out loud:

“There are 5 people in this scene. The table is round, she is eating a dessert.”

I look around my room, touched the things around me and verbalised how every item felt physically.

I was eating (I remember it was a lo po peng) and my hands were shaking so hard the flakes ended up all over the place. I honestly thought I was going to die, with lo po peng in my hand, on my bed, “in my sleep”.

The important thing for me is recognising that it is temporary. I WILL NOT DIE.

It had always been helpful for me to start distracting myself and quit thinking about what’s happening in my head. Afterall, our body, mind and breath has a close relationship – your thoughts, your breathing, your physical state all affect each other directly – that’s why you might “feel cold” when you are meditating, or, breathe faster when you are having angry thoughts.

There are many articles online that recommends ways to get over a an anxiety or panic attack, or also some lifestyle changes that one can look into – less alcohol, less caffeine, practise mindfulness, meditate, regular exercises.

I am grateful for people who stay calm FOR me when I am obviously losing my shit inside my head. Sometimes, talking to me helps, other times, I just want to be left alone. Sometimes, I like to be touched physically, sometimes I don’t. I think it’s important to ask what the other person needs. BUT, being around that person and assuring him/her that you will be around is crucial, for me at least.

There are many articles online that explains some possible causes and coping mechanisms for anxiety and panic attacks.


Change is the only constant, but change is not always easy.

The pandemic has affected all of us in one way or another, some of us had experienced it in ways greater than others. It is a time filled with uncertainties and helplessness, frustration, fear. It is important for us to realise that this too will eventually pass, to hold on to grit and hope, and more importantly be prepared for the post-pandemic world.

I hope all of you are doing okay.

We make the best out of what we have. That is the attitude I held on to since the beginning. This pandemic is almost like having a panic attack – let’s cope – come to terms with reality, stay calm, be smart about it, learn from it, and know that it will come to an end eventually. And then prepare ourselves for the next big wave after we come out of this. Make the best out of what we have.

2020/2021 is just chock-full of big changes for me – in work, in relationships and in my general outlook on life. All these were also inevitably amplified by the pandemic, from small changes like not being able to head out for that much-needed drink with close friends, to real issues like watching people whom I hold close to heart leave the country without knowing when they can return. I feel grateful that the people around me are healthy, and that we still have the resources to cope with the adversities as they come at us.

“You are talented, you have a lot in life”, is what many close friends will say to me when I tell them that I feel lost with my future. I reckoned that everyone MUST feel like this every once in a while. Like I’ve said before, I might not know what I want in life, but I know what I don’t want – so that is still a good guide to my next step in life. I feel that there are a lot of things I can do and want to do (or maybe this is just the ENFP in me), I am the Campaigner and I sure have a lot of campaigns I have for myself albeit them being just ideas or grandiose daydreams with no concrete game plans.

In 2020, I officially walked away from one of the most important relationships I had in my life. The end of that relationship was difficult, filled with sadness, anger, blame, disappointment, and in an almost-twisted way, love. It was also a cathartic release. I look back upon it now with nothing but gratitude.

I have made mistakes along the way and realised the times when I could have handled things in a better way, been a bigger person, communicated better. Esther Perel said that we are all going to have more than one marriage in our lifetimes, and it is up to us to decide if we want to do it to be with the same person or not. The ship had sailed. She and I did not make it.

Time only moves in one direction. Accept the past, learn, and move on. I have gained a lot, and these are things that will be with me for life. Sadness is transient, gratitude lasts forever.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future. I think the pandemic did this to me. It’s not a bad thing. I had been living day-to-day, just cruising for too darn long. Why? Because it has been easy. I almost cannot decide whether “easy” is a good or a bad thing. There has to be some sort of comfort we get from “easy”. Is comfort a good or bad thing? How do we chase after ease and comfort knowing that those are not exactly the best for us?

Everything is in transition right now. I’ve lost friends. My marriage failed. As a result, I also feel unsure about my so-called career. I feel old. I feel fat. I bought a flat under the HDB Singles Scheme (can’t they come up with a better name?) and I am unsure how long the renovations will take because of the pandemic restrictions. On bad days, I just blame the pandemic for everything. I cannot have dine-in at the cafe because of the pandemic, I have lost all of my tourist-customers, I feel responsible towards my staff to make sure no one loses their job because of COVID-19. In a nutshell, I blame. And I try to catch myself.

Like now.

I caught myself.

There is a silver lining. Goddammit I bought a flat. I am employed. I am an entrepreneur; Aileen and I built a brand that had been through quite a bit of shit but still loved by many. We did not lay off a single employee throughout this pandemic. We have the resources and knowledge to make adjustments to business operations to cope. My family is healthy. I am healthy. I have the means to book a staycation even when I cannot travel. I am able-bodied and can exercise any time I want. I have people who care for and love me for who I am. And I found Jesse. I have hope for the future. The future still excites me.

My life is a novel and I’d like to believe that we haven’t even reached the best chapters yet. The past is history, the future has yet to come. Today is a gift, and that’s why we call it the present. Make the best out of what we have.

It started with me wanting to write an encouraging letter to myself, but it quickly became another journal entry of me lamenting about my life. When is this going to end – this cyclical bullshit of me settling, realising that I am unhappy, seeking a way out, feeling defeated, and settling again.

I had read books. Music. Travel. Opened up, shut down. Gone away, escaped, fucked around, let people in, drove people out. How and where do people find peace, grace, faith, strength? I feel so broken and incompetent. Where do I go to learn how to untangle the knots? It is so noble to call these scars my badges of honour, but the truth is I am changed, I don’t feel like the same person I was, I am still getting used to this new person.

I wonder everyday if I would be okay. And it feels almost like a sin to put these thoughts online. I don’t want to burden people who care for me with my never-ending moping. My indecisiveness tires me and the people around me out. I feel weary. I feel old and heavy. I don’t feel pretty. I feel like the spark is gone. How does one deal with loneliness? The fear of abandonment? Was it my childhood?

I am not sure if I still deserve to be happy, or whether I will be fine in future. I am hopeful at times, and at other times the future just seems so, so bleak. I know it is all “in my head”; I am standing in my own doorway getting in the way of every darn thing.

It hasn’t stopped raining

The floor glistened. It is quiet and there is no one around. It started to drizzle shortly after I left home. I flustered for a while, worried that the rain might get heavier on me. Then I realised that I didn’t mind getting drenched afterall, it’s almost like some kind of baptism. Can’t remember the last time I allowed myself to embrace the rain.

There is always that point of time when one is worried about getting caught in a downpour before deciding “fuck it”.

I am not that alone. There are people who are still up not because they’re feeling a little off tonight – the people still at work at the sleepy gas station, the underpaid and overworked foreign workers filling cartons at the fruits and vegetables store, young men zipping around on their bikes delivering food to other hungry people (who are still awake) amongst other lone people walking/jogging at 2:30am.

Every huge tree I stroll by offered some kind of solace, similar to what those occasional nice thoughts I had about my not-so-bad life offered. The journey out always feels a little longer than the walk back home.

I have my insecurities sometimes. I measure myself up to people around me subconsciously, and unnecessarily. I am aware that transitions are difficult, these feelings I have are normal and they are my natural defences to prepare me for the changes that are to come.

Blessing in Disguise

“Cause if you’re happy in your head then solitude is blessed and alone is okay. If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it.”
I love this line from that Youtube video that I watched many years ago when I was on a frantic search of a solution to cope with that immense feeling of loneliness.

I’m proud to say that, as of right now, I feel like I’ve really come a long way from that old Peggy. I can vividly remember myself feeling a lump in my throat while having lunch alone in Hong Kong on my first solo trip. And that anxiety attack I suffered while on the media trip in Dublin. It was irrational and ridiculous how those situations would make me feel so vulnerable, insecure, and more importantly, alone.

I am in Phuket currently and it has been the third week now. This freedom is sweet. Honestly, I had big plans and visions about how this trip is going to turn out (it hasn’t been 100% accurate based on what I’ve desired) but one thing is for sure – I am still feeling fine and on this trip, I realised that it really isn’t so bad being on my own; it can be more torturing being with another person you don’t really want to be with. There is nothing wrong with feeling lonely once in a while, then the next step is to find something fulfilling to do, not mope around. I mean, even dating couples get bored sometimes no? And I’ve known myself for so long, it’s understandable that it can be harder to find something new and interesting to do. (I don’t know that makes sense, at least it made sense when that thought was still in my head).

I was at this bar alone, studying. The bar was empty when I got there, and by the time I left, it was 80% full. I got to admit, at some point of time, the thought crossed my mind – “Will people think I’m a loser because I’m out on my own on a Saturday night?”
And then I realised how silly and outrageous that fleeting thought was. Wtf do I wanna care about what others think? It’s not within my control. In fact, I should feel happy that I was out alone. Is every person around me, out with their friends or loved ones, truly happy about being right there at that moment? Not necessarily. I had the freedom to decide where I want my legs to take me. I should be grateful that I had the choice to be out, and I should be happy that *I* made that decision to take myself out.

Foiled plans and failures have taught me a lot; opened my eyes to things I’d have otherwise not known about myself. I’ve changed over the years, but I know the crux of me is still the same. I still struggle with being on my own, I’m just dealing with it better now. But I believe that I’ll just get better and better over time, hopefully it doesn’t take too long. Circumstances made me learn too. I don’t want to allow myself to feel less important or less outstanding because of another person’s opinion. I also want to learn (better) to speak my mind – tell people what I want exactly, tell people what I don’t want. Unfortunately, I think I’m still a bit of a people-pleaser.

A few days back, at Sofia’s class, I learnt that almost every emotion we have is on the scale of Craving VS Aversion. To truly get to your “self”, one has to get out of being on this scale. But that said, even the desire to be freed from the system is a kind of craving on its own. Mind-fuck right? I know. Hahaha.

I gotta go easy on myself man. It’s fucking cliche, but really, I am enough.

Moonlight Sea

When Perci first emailed me about travelling to Taiwan again to visit Taiwan East Coast, my heart skipped a beat. I recalled the first time visiting Yilan with them and how I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, the idea of visiting a new region of Taiwan with the locals really thrilled me.

I’ve never been much of a solo traveller, in fact, I’d even call myself quite an anxious solo traveller. It is something that I’m still trying to work on. The idea of being on my own in a foreign land is intimidating, probably because I’m a worry wart who constantly thinks about all the things that might go wrong while being on my own in an unfamiliar place. (What if I fall sick? What if the turbulence is bad? What if I get robbed? What if I lose my way?) I sometimes get anxiety from feeling obligated to interact with strangers too, I think that boils down to me being a little too self-conscious. *shrugs* Anyways!

I’ve never heard much about Taiwan East Coast before the trip. Up until Yilan happened, my impression of Taiwan is pretty much all gathered from Taipei. When people asked if I’ve been to Taiwan, I almost feel like I’m giving people the wrong impression when I reply, “Yes, 3 to 4 times” because there really is so much to the country that I’ve yet to experience and see.

Like a lot of fellow Singaporean travellers, I am unfamiliar with Taiwan East Coast and what it has to offer. This three-day tour with the locals really opened my eyes to Taiwan East Coast’s nature, culture and beauty.

Our first stop was to Lalaulan Tribe (拉劳兰部落)located at the eastern coastal area of Taimali Township. I had previously visited one of the aboriginal tribes in Taiwan before (pretty touristy one), but this one was really different. I vaguely remember that particular visit that happened when I was 9:  photo-taking with their traditional costumes, lunch in a hall carefully decorated with their crafts, and ending the tour at their big and air-conditioned gift shop. Nowhere as personal as this. From what I understood, this place is not exactly open to public and is not a tourist destination. I feel very honoured to be able to pay them a visit because they are our guides’ personal friends.

We were given a little introduction to the Paiwan Tribe (排湾族) and the village before going through a simple “cleansing ritual” for non-tribe members.

I do not know much about the indigenous people of Taiwan – I have a mental image of traditional-costume-donning people… I know a lot of them are great singers! I assume that they probably aren’t city-dwellers, that they live in the mountains, and do not wear “modern clothes”. They hunt and farm and do crafts. They have their own languages/dialects. Do they even use technology?

I was SO ignorant.
Many indigenous people of Taiwan pretty much lead lives like you and I. They can have what you and I have, AND they also have a rich culture and history on top of it!

One of the highlights of my entire trip was to be able to meet Mr Sakinu (撒可努).
(Mr Sakinu was formerly a policeman by profession in Taipei)

A little excerpt I got from the internet:
Living on Taiwan more than 8,000 years before the first arrival of the Han Chinese in the 17th century, the Taiwanese aborigines (原住民) are Austronesian people, with linguistic and genetic ties to the people of the Philippines and other Polynesian groups. They are estimated to constitute about 2% of the population of Taiwan.

As a distinct ethnic group from Han Chinese, aborigines face many economic and social barriers, stemming from substandard education quality by comparison and language and cultural barrier. The majority of aboriginal people live in mountainous regions, primarily along the east coast nearby Hualien and Taiwan East Coast. Some communities located high up in the mountains may rarely visit the cities, and live by hunting and subsistence farming growing high mountain agriculture and produce such as vegetables and high mountain tea, some of which is sold to the cities to generate revenue for the tribe.

There are currently 16 different aboriginal tribes recognised by the Taiwan government.

Mr Sakinu‘s story truly touched my heart; his love for his tribe, country and its people is evident in the way he leads his life and how he is constantly pushing frontiers to promote and preserve the Paiwan tribe’s culture and way of life. In fact, the love that he has goes beyond that for Paiwan and Taiwan, it’s obvious that Mr Sakinu is a lover of mankind and the entire world. I was told by the guides that Mr Sakinu’s father is also known as “The Wind Hunter” – he moves around the jungle like the wind, leaving his trace, and everything else unchanged.

People would usually slash the vegetation in the jungle to make a path when they go out to hunt, but not these people. “There is on need to do that,” they said. Small things like that… I was touched and they had totally commanded my respect! I was enthralled by Mr Sakinu and his stories. One hour went by just like that.

He said Taiwan, and in fact the whole of mankind, is like a rainbow. We are different beautiful colours that will only be spectacular if we can coexist in harmony. ❤ MAI HEART.

Here is a movie called The Sage Hunter (2005) which is about the life of Mr Sakinu, who is also author of a book with the same name (山藸.飛鼠.撒可努 in Chinese). Do check it out if you are interested to find out more.

What a treat for my soul.

Home for the first night – Traveler Inn, 旅人驛站.

Day 2 was exciting – Standup Paddling and Moonlight Sea Concert!

I’ve only done standup paddling once before Taiwan East Coast. I’m not quite a water baby (can’t swim and pretty damn hydrophobic) and I usually have to coax myself a fair bit before I involve myself in any water activities. For some strange reasons, I felt comfortable doing SUP here, prolly because I trust that the rest of the team would take good care of me and that my balance is quite good so I won’t fall. Haha! (And I really didn’t fall, thank God)

The view was awesome! Well worth the sweat and all that paranoia! :p

Meet Ah Fei, the coolest dog ever! (In the far right end of the photo, there is also me looking like a mess heh!)

For those of you who are also looking for a little bit of such activities in Taiwan East Coast area, we were at 馬武窟溪 (Ma Wu Ku).
Visit 都歷海洋教室 T.O.S Torik Ocean Surf n Rent’s Facebook Page to get started!
Tel: +886-911-903-052

I got the opportunity to get my hands dirty cleaned at a soap-making workshop with 足渡蘭手工皂. They have got some really interesting flavours/scents for their soaps here; I remember tobacco, rice wine and betel nuts amongst many others. These three items hold a special significance to the aboriginal people. During our first visit to the Paiwan tribe, the guide told us that it is important for visiting guests to prepare three items as gifts/offerings during the welcoming rituals. Those are the three items.

I learnt that all the ingredients used in the soap making process were organically and ethically obtained. I tried the soap and it was REALLY good (it was as if I had body lotion on after washing/leaving lather on etc. Fo real.), I came home with a whole bag of soaps. :p

The very jovial and humorous owner cum soap-making maestro hehe.

AND of course!!!

The main reason I was in Taiwan East Coast was actually for the Taiwan East Coast Land Arts Festival 东海岸大地艺术节

Organised by the Ministry of National Landscape Management Office East Coast, the festival brings together the natural environment, tribal life, habitat residence of East Taiwan and showcases it in a festival that spans a period of more than three month. This is the 5th year of the festival and I was captivated from the first moment I watched the promotional video – culture, music, arts and a lot, a lot of heart. Just like how they have described Taiwan’s east coast in their website, the spirit of the festival really successfully encapsulates the essence of Taiwan East Coast, its people and beauty – quiet but wild, mysterious and sometimes loud, fascinating with a lot of soul.

There is an entire list of artworks commissioned by the festival throughout the years littered all over Taiwan east coast. I was honoured to be able to visit a few of them on this trip, along with my new friends! Can I just say for the record how I utterly LOVE ❤ Taiwanese people?

The lady in red is Muni. And she is the heart of every single party because she is SO MUCH fun, constantly brimming with positivity and energy. I just love her so much! On the last day of the trip when we had to travel back to Taipei (she had to leave us earlier because she was from Taiwan East Coast), she sang us a song in the bus, with her eyes closed. She said it is a song about parting, and her mother taught her that song. I don’t know of any other way to describe how I felt but it brought a tear to my eyes. That energy I felt was impalpable. It was really beautiful.

Ok back to the festival. The main festival grounds was kinda hippie heh! There was a lot of food stores and lots of crafts store to shop at! And since the festival was all about sustainability too (I ate my pasta dinner out of a pita bread that night!), I bought a beautiful handmade ceramic cup and used it for coffee right away.

Something else that caught my attention at this year’s festival was the exhibition by Rahic Talif who is also from one of Taiwan’s aboriginal tribes Amei. It started with him picking up trash on the beaches when he discovered the obscene amount of slippers that were being discarded along the coasts. (That’s how this particular exhibition I saw was born) The sheer amount of rubbish he gathered was appalling. Here is a snippet about Rahic Talif. You should really watch it!

Moonlight Sea Festival got its name because of the beautiful location that it is held year after year.
Call me a hopeless romantic, but when one of the guides called the location we were at 天涯海角 (loosely translates to… edge of the world?). We were at the eastern-most edge of Taiwan and what lies ahead was an endless Pacific Ocean. It will be this same ocean all the way until it reaches the polynesian islands. Omg 天涯海角。好浪漫哦! :p I swooned (not openly, because people will judge). Hahaha!

It was a full moon night when I was there (Moonlight Sea Concerts only happen during full moon nights!) and everyone was stoked when the clouds parted. That bright, round moon casting its light onto the boundless Pacific Ocean – it looked so shimmery and glittery. I remember standing there with a beer in my right hand, with live indigenous tribal music in the background, feeling really moved and glad that I was there at that very moment, doing absolutely nothing except to admire the moon. It was truly cathartic.

It was a beautiful night made even better with kind people, wondrous indigenous music and delightful conversations.

If you are planning to include Taiwan East Coast in your next trip to Taiwan, do plan it around the next Moonlight Sea Festival!
Here are the festival dates for 2020:

We squeezed in a bit of time to visit the Ca’wi tribe 静浦部落 in Hualien on Day Three! They’re Amei people, the biggest indigenous group in Taiwan. I had a nice tan on my arms and some good fun there rafting and picking up a trick or two on how to cast a fishing net from our athletic and friendly guides. We also had a shot at archery (no pun intended) which I really sucked at. :p

They’ve got some real sick views there!

These activities are also available for booking if you’re in the area. Do note that prior reservation is required. Swing by their Facebook Page for more deets! THE HIGHLIGHT OF THIS PLACE tho, has got to be 陶甕百合春天. Over here, you’ll get to savour the taste of the Amei Tribe. A unique thing about this restaurant is how they do not have a menu; you’ll have whatever the team manages to gather from the sea and from the mountains that very day. How cool is that! I like how they served our group 8 fishes in total and all the fishes are different. Haha!

The food was divine! It works out to be about 80 SGD/pax.

The trip was perfect; I cannot ask for anyone better to see Taiwan East Coast with. I’ve made friends and there was laughter and heartfelt conversations even when we had only known each other for a couple of days. Special thanks to Perci and Ken who took great care of me and always making sure I’m alright, and to the wonderful tour guides Da Yi 大益 and Rita who truly, truly went far beyond a tour guide’s duties and became more like a friend to us. You know how you can feel someone because there is always an exchange of energy when you’re interacting with somebody? I’ve got nothing but good vibes from them. 🙂

With Dayi, Rita and the adorable Dong Suan! ❤

Thank you Taiwan East Coast and all the wonderful I met on this trip, it is a memory that I will always look back upon fondly. 🙂

Tian Yuan Xiang 田原香滴鸡精

We are what we eat. As I grow older, I realised the importance of making good choices when it comes to food, supplements and other nourishments. As a child, chicken essence almost always meant the exams are coming. My Mom would often prepare chicken essence for me the night before a major paper or in the morning before I headed to the exam hall. To be honest, I really liked the taste of chicken essence as well (always hoped it comes in a bigger portion because it’s such a tasty soup!).

Today’s post is all about premium chicken essence brand from Taiwan, Tian Yuan Xiang 田原香滴鸡精.

I think what commanded my respect from this brand is their belief of how poultry farming should be kept natural and ethical, keeping their products strictly free of drug and antibiotics, and the hard work put into refining the process from free range chickens to top-quality products.

And the Tian family has been doing this for three generations!

When I first received the products, I was told that I need to keep the chicken essence in the freezer. So it turns out that the chicken essence that I had picked contains no preservatives, so it needs to be stored in freezer until ready for consumption.

The chicken essence comes in little sachets like this, storage is easy as it really doesn’t take up too much space in the freezer.

The one I had chosen is Chicken Essence with Nourishments.

It comes in 20 separate packets 60cc each, and is retailing at S$230.
Fun fact: They used 3.5 chickens to prepare this 20 packets!

One of the main Chinese herb in this choice is Dendrobium Nobile.
(I Googled – it is really just a very pretty orchid)
Dendrobium Nobile is also called 石斛 (shi hu) in Chinese, and in TCM, it is known for a plethora of benefits including and not limited to:
– Nourishing Yin and body fluid [Good for us girls!]
– Enhancing physical fitness [YAS!]
– Strengthening tendons and lowering lipid
– Nourishing the skin [YAAAAASSS!!!]
– Prolonging life
(Information courtesy of the world wide web)

See more information about this specific choice of chicken essence I picked here.

It contains several nourishing-yin herbs that are believed to replenish your body fluids, relieve internal heat and help you sleep better at night. Oh! And it is also Halal certified!


Just a reminder that Chicken Essence with Nourishments needs to be stored in the freezer.

1. Cut aluminium bag while essence is still frozen

I managed to empty the contents into the bowl easily.

2. Put into a bowl and throw on a lid
3. Microwave or double boil to 100°C

* Do not store or re-freeze chicken essence that you cannot finish
(Aiya but sure can finish because it’s very tasty, guys!) :p

– – –

The furkids liked it and wanna steal it from me. :p

The Singapore flagship can also be found in United Square –
101 Thomson Road, #B1-24A United Square, Singapore 307591

They are holding their Customer Appreciation Sale (30/5-16/6):

1 Box- 5% OFF
3 Boxes- 9% OFF + $10 Takashimaya Voucher
6 Boxes- 12% OFF + $20 Takashimaya Voucher
10 Boxes- 15% OFF + $50 Takashimaya Voucher

Tian Yuan Xiang also provides partial delivery service. So it’ll be super convenient as a choice for the upcoming Father’s Day!

Tian Yuan Xiang is also participating in 2019 Food Fiesta at Takashimaya (Takashimaya Square B2), so besides purchasing online or in their store at United Square B1, you can also find them there. 🙂


As I was taking a shower earlier, with Time After Time covered by Iron and Wine playing in the background on repeat, I decided that I needed to document what was running through my head as the shower happened.

Forgiveness. I’d like to talk about forgiveness.

I think there hasn’t been too many instances in my life where I had to (really) forgive someone. I am not talking about petty wrongs that people had done unto me, but rather, grievances that I had to live with for a matter of months and years. I had a little moment of epiphany earlier – letting go of that anger and hate was also me letting that part of me holding on to that negativity free. It does not come with any conditions; it does not matter what the relationship between me and that person is like, it does not matter whether that person is still in my life, it does not matter what that person thinks of me. Letting that anger and animosity go, is me setting myself free.

I think it is almost selective amnesia in action. I’ve always thought that selective amnesia must be the body’s natural defence against unhappiness. “Is it delusional then – if you are just choosing to forget whatever “wrong” people had done unto you?” You might ask.

Are those who had “wronged” always entirely at fault? How often had we really put our selves aside and be in other’s shoes instead? There is always two sides to every story, isn’t it? And we’re always more drawn to that side that puts us in the good light. Perhaps we were misled. Perhaps we were mistaken. Perhaps it was ego. Perhaps it was a moment of folly. Perhaps it was curiosity. Perhaps it was greed. Perhaps because we were all human and it is human to err.

I will look pass your anger. I will look pass your negligence. I will look pass your absence. I will look pass your silence. I will look pass your wrongs.

I do not even wish for you to forgive my anger, negligence, absence, silence and wrongs. All I wish for you is peace. And love. Really. And all these are done in love. I do not know how to love in all its righteousness, but I do know that love keeps no record of wrongs.