Filipino Expat Living in Singapore - Interview with Honey

Published: 13 Mar at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Singapore
Honey is a medical doctor and a lifestyle blogger. She was born in the Philippines, lived her high school life in Saudi Arabia and moved to Singapore in 2012. She is a self-proclaimed travel junkie, a foodie and a bookworm. She views life as an adventure and continues to explore life's surprises together with her husband and 8-months old baby. She chronicles her adventures, realizations and inspirations in her blog: LITTLE MISS HONEY Honey's expat blog is called Little Miss Honey (see listing here)

Tea time
Tea time

Here's the interview with Honey...

Where are you originally from?
I am born in Manila, Philippines, grew up in a beautiful city in Philippines called Iloilo and moved to Saudi Arabia with my parents and sibling when I was 14 years old.

In which country and city are you living now?
The Lion City -- Singapore!

How long have you lived in Singapore and how long are you planning to stay?
I have been here for more than two years. We are not sure yet. We might stay a couple more years or we might relocate again... We will see...

Trip to Johor Bahru
Trip to Johor Bahru
Why did you move to Singapore and what do you do?
I moved to Singapore because I was offered a job to work as a medical doctor in a clinic.

Did you bring family with you?
I was not married when I moved here. My fiancé was back in the Philippines. We managed to survive the long-distance relationship and plan a wedding inspite being far from each other. We got married in the Philippines in 2013 and I got pregnant a few months after the wedding. I brought my fiancé-now husband and my baby with me here in Singapore.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
Quite easy. I have lived in a foreign country (Saudi Arabia) before so it was not a problem for me. The climate here is similar to the Philippines. Transportation here is easy breezy. I have an adventurous palate so I try lots of local food here and find foods that will agree to my taste. Most people here speaks English so that is a plus and at work, I manage to learn some words in Mandarin and Malay to talk to my patients.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
Yes. I was the only Filipino in my workplace but I have amazing colleagues. It helps to be open and approachable to other people. I would socialise with other expats whom I know back home who also relocated here. I also meet other expats through workshops and blog events.

Me-time with coffee, cake and magazine
Me-time with coffee, cake and magazine
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Definitely the food! Singapore is a food haven. So you can a lot of different types of foods due to its multi-cutural influences.Try their chilli cab , chicken rice, hokkien meet, satays and curry puff. For touristy stuff, go to Universal Studios, Gardens by the Bay, Night & River Safari, Jurong Birdpark, SEA Aquarium, Trick Eye Museum, Singapore Zoo, and the list goes on. If you like to relax and unwind, go to East Coast Park. If you want the night life, go to Clarke Quaye or 1 Altitude.

What do you enjoy most about living in Singapore?
My hubby and I are city people so the urbanisation of Singapore fits our lifestyle. We enjoy the food here. We like that the transportation is easy . It is great that everything here is accessible and we find everything that we need here. It is great that its just a few hours flight away from our home country and we get to easily travel to neighbouring countries as well.

How does the cost of living in Singapore compare to home?
Cost of living is rather high in Singapore compared to home. Housing rent and childcare are definitely the biggest expenditure here.

Little Miss Honey
Little Miss Honey
What negatives, if any, are there to living in Singapore?
Cost of living and the occasional haze

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Singapore, what would it be?
Respect and be humble. Singapore is populated by a wide range of races and religion. It is important to respect the country that welcomed you and allowed you to live here. Respect their rules, respect their people and their beliefs and be humble always.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
It was initially learning Singlish to communicate well to my patients and for them to understand me.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I think we will be okay.

Pad Thai
Pad Thai
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Be Flexible. Don’t complain that these things doesn’t happen or never happens back home. Remind yourself that you are living in a different country so this is not your turf. In Singapore, I have to learn to use google map to navigate the city and walk a lot rather than grab a taxi because I don’t want to pay expensive cab charges.
  2. Have a sense of adventure.You must look at living in another country as an adventure. Never think of something new as an inconvenience or discard it as unacceptable. Life is an adventure and living in another country is a way to court that adventure into your life.
  3. Be Respectful. You must look at living in another country as an adventure. Never think of something new as an inconvenience or discard it as unacceptable. Life is an adventure and living in another country is a way to court that adventure into your life.
  4. Don’t be clannish and don't only just stick to friends of your same race. Try to make friends outside your circle of comfort. Be friends with the beautiful friendly locals. Get to know them. Don’t be intimidated. Flash that pearly whites and learn more about them & their country. I have gained lovely friends here in Singapore who gone out of their way to show me around the city and gave me tips on the great food places their city has to offer. The foodie in me is screaming with so much gratefulness and happiness.
  5. Learn a little bit of Singlish to help you communicate with locals. Makan means eat. Tapao means take-away or take-out. Tahan means tolerate. Also they use British English rather than American English. So they use lift instead of elevator or car park instead of parking lot, lorry instead of truck, petrol instead of gasoline, etc.
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
LITTLE MISS HONEY is a Lifestyle Blog about Living an Inspired Life Through Food, Travel, Books & Movies. My blog is my way of chronicling these inspirations in my life. And in the process I would also hope to INSPIRE, EMPOWER & SHARE BEAUTIFUL STORIES to like-minded people out there. In my blog, I also feature Fellow Expats twice monthly who are exploring life’s adventures just like me..

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
You can follow my blog LITTLE MISS HONEY where you will also find links to my social networks. You can also email me at [email protected] if you have any questions or if you just want to chat, get in touch.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingHoney is a Filipino expat living in Singapore. Blog description: A Lifestyle Blog about Living an Inspired Life Through Food, Travel, Books & Movies. This Blog encourages to explore life's surprises. This blog will chronicle my life here in Singapore.
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