What Filipinos can do at home during Singapore’s circuit breaker

In this post, I write about what Filipinos can do in Singapore during the circuit breaker.

Many places around the world are in lockdown due to the pandemic. Singapore is no exception since it began the circuit breaker period on April 7, 2020. As of this writing, circuit breaker will end on June 1, 2020 with the re-opening of business in phases.

First of all, stay home!

With exception to going out for exercise from your household solo, stay at home. Stay at home. Stay at home. Be safe. Here are some suggestions on what you can do.

Learn new recipes with Panlasang Pinoy

Since circuit breaker began, I’ve brushed up on my cooking skills by watching my favorite Filipino cook on YouTube, Vanjo Merano. The way he explains recipes is clear and easy to understand. Subscribe to his YouTube channel here if you haven’t yet.

If you must exercise, do it at the nearest park.

Of course, with all the food you’ll be cooking and eating… keeping healthy means keeping fit with exercise. We’re lucky that during circuit breaker, we’re still allowed to leave our homes for essentials and solo exercise. Remember to follow all government rules during this period like wearing a mask if you’re not exercising. Jog solo and NOT with your housemates (yes, we Filipinos tend to live together in houses). Bring your mask with you and your EZ-Link card in case you somehow jog too far. At best, please try to stay within your neighborhood. If you’re going to the park, you can check if it’s crowded using this NParks safe distancing tracker.

Connect with friends and family back home

During this circuit breaker period, I’ve connected with my friends and family in the Philippines. I recently had a call with my college friends, high school friends, and family. My brother even organized a virtual lunch one Sunday so my partner and I can eat together with my family.

Put together a balikbayan box to send stuff back home

With the downtime, it’s also a period you can declutter things you’ve accumulated over the years in Singapore. If you have shoes, bags, and articles of clothing you can send back to the Philippines… use this period to assemble a balikbayan box and have it shipped. Shipping is an essential service. You can learn more on the LBC website.

Support a charity or charitable organisation

Many of us in Singapore are blessed to have jobs and a work pass. While we provide for our loved ones, let’s not forget we can also provide help for charitable organizations both in the Philippines and Singapore. In Singapore, you can look at supporting HOME or give.asia which provides assistance to migrant workers. In the Philippines, ABS-CBN Foundation has a donation drive called “Pantawid ng Pag-ibig” (Bridge of Love) which is calling for donations in the fight against Covid-19. Learn more about ABS-CBN’s initiative here.

It’s important to stay healthy and safe during the circuit breaker. As a Filipino on an employment pass in Singapore, there’s an added layer of stress of not wanting to make the simple mistake of being in a crowded place or being caught without a mask. Please follow all government advisories and stay updated. During circuit breaker, stay home and only go out for essentials. Don’t forward unverified news. Stick to reliable sources of information.

My sources of information: Singapore’s Ministry of Health website on Covid-19 and the Philippine Embassy in Singapore.

The health of all depends on each one of us.

One of my favorite quotes from the gov’t daily WhatsApp reminders

How are you keeping sane during lockdown or circuit breaker?

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4 favorite places to do Filipino groceries in Singapore

In this post, I’ll share with you my top four favorite places to buy Filipino groceries in Singapore. If you enjoy this content, please don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get notified when there are new posts.

Many years ago, I would load my luggage with groceries from SM Hypermart. I would pack Pancit Canton, Century Tuna, and bottles of Green Cross rubbing alcohol into my luggage to bring to Singapore for personal consumption. Why? Back then, I really didn’t know where to do Filipino groceries.

Today, it’s much easier to find and buy Filipino groceries when in Singapore. Here are my top three places where I’ll go to buy:

  • Lucky Plaza – spoilt for choices
  • Your neighborhood Filipino stores – dedicated
  • ValuDollar – limited selections
  • Major grocery store – your Fairprice and Giant

Lucky Plaza

The obvious place to grab Filipino groceries is at Lucky Plaza. I’ve shopped for sardines and Green Cross alcohol while sending remittances at Lucky Plaza. There is a large selection at Lucky Plaza and you will be spoilt for choice. Many of stores carry the basic necessities. You can also throw in peanuts, grab a cheap haircut, remit cash, and eat Filipino food. Lucky Plaza is your one-stop shop.

Neighborhood Filipino stores

One of the most convenient places to quickly grab Filipino groceries is the neighborhood Filipino store. An example of this is the Katipunan store at Tampines Bus Interchange. Here you can find quick groceries.

ValuDollar

You might be able to spot some Filipino groceries at ValuDollar which is popular among Filipinos. The exact selection for Filipino products at these cram-packed stores might be limited. But it’s worth a look.

Major groceries stores

Major grocery stores in Singapore like FairPrice and Giant carry Filipino items in their International Section. You have to keep your eyes peeled because they are often just a few shelves. But once you spot the Mama Sita’s seasoning and bottles of Mang Tomas, you know you’re in business.

Doing Filipino groceries is easier today than it was several years ago. I’ll be writing about where are the better value places to get Filipino groceries and I’ll run a comparison on price points.

Let me know where you go to get your Filipino groceries!

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