I came across Inter-Ed while looking for a culinary school (At-Sunrice Academy). A reply from an inquiry to the culinary school led me to Inter-Ed (At-Sunrice suggested I have a talk with the company as Inter-Ed was their Philippine representative).

Aside from the processing of papers and my visa, the company also offered a lot of advice about matters like what life in Singapore was like, what the expected living expenses were, etc.

Probably the best thing about the company is the fact that they were honest with me about everything. They lay out all the options that I have, tell me of the pro’s and con’s of each option; and then when I make a decision, they really, really strive to do their best to help me achieve it.

My most memorable moments were during my year’s worth of apprenticeship in professional kitchens. I’ve experienced being screamed at, cursed at, getting burned, and working 12-14 hour shifts on a regular basis.

It was there though that I learned how to work efficiently under a lot of pressure and how to multitask (which really becomes important when I’m balancing ten different duties which the chef insists all have to be done at the same time, that time being, “right now”).

Studying abroad has taught me how live on my own, make decisions all by myself and basically arrange for all the many details of living the life of a bachelor in Singapore, something that I didn’t really get to do on a regular basis back in Manila.

It’s a cliché, but living abroad really is an amazing experience. Doing my own grocery shopping for the first time, eating freshly flown sashimi from Japan, showing up for work with a hangover (just because a cook is supposed to never be absent), singing in the kitchen during service, these are just a few of the memories I took away from the time I spent there.

 

Make-up by Dianne Bernardo-Castillo. Photography and styling by Karen Versoza – hapiwasabi.tumblr.com.

 

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