Faces of KE – Justin Collera

Written by: Shabira

Edited by: Sarah Cheng

On a peaceful Friday night, I caught up with GH’s block head– Justin Collera– to talk about his hall experiences, his faculty (FASS) experiences and his roots in the Philippines in this week’s edition of Faces of KE.

Justin, GH Block Head

Justin, GH Block Head

In my understanding, you did not join KE when you were in Year 1. So when exactly did you join KE and what made you decide to pick KE, out of all the halls and RCs available?

I joined KE when I was in Year 2 Sem 2. Well, ever since Year 1, I’ve always wanted to stay in school because I stay in the east (Marine Parade). But I got my acceptance offer late so I didn’t get the chance to apply for a hall that sem. Then, in Year 1 Sem 2, I missed the application deadline (*laughs*), so I stayed with a friend at Clementi. Year 2 Sem 1 came and I was offered a place in PGP but I rejected it, because I just have a very bad impression of PGP and I don’t really like it. That was the most horrible semester in my life, though, because I had to travel back and forth every day. The travelling was crazy. In that same semester, I had a friend who knew someone staying here so I was master’s-listed into KE in Sem 2. Yeah, so that’s how I came to staying in KE in my second year – with the help of my friend.

So how was your hall life experience so far?

It’s been great! It’s been fun!

Is that all you can say? Come on, tell us more!

As in, I’ve met quite a close group of people in hall last semester. You’ll usually see me eat dinner and play foosball with them at the dining hall. That’s the reason why I continued to stay on in this semester, since most of my friends from last sem stayed on too. My roommate last year was awesome! He was very friendly, and he basically introduced me to his group of friends. I’m quite lucky because even though I joined hall in Sem 2, I did not have such a hard time assimilating into hall life and into his clique of friends because they are a friendly bunch of people and they welcomed me with open arms. My new roomie is also from the same clique, so yeah it has been very fun.

He loves the foosball table very, very much

He loves the foosball table very, very much

You’re from the Philippines right?


When did you decide to move to Singapore and how is it like here in Singapore as compared to in your home country?

I moved here when I was 10 years old because my dad was transferred here for work purposes. So my whole family moved here and I experienced the whole secondary school and JC education, except I didn’t go through the entire NS system since I’m not a PR nor a Singaporean citizen. Here in Singapore, especially in terms of academic life, it’s more stressful. It was a lot more laid-back and chill in the Philippines. I don’t really get much sleep. I’ll only go to bed at around 2am to 3am? I think it’s normal for every student here, so it’s not too bad actually. But definitely more stressful and fast-paced here than in my home country.

If you could go back in time to your first year in uni, would you change anything? Or would you have done things differently?

Hmmm, I feel I’ve made the most out of the opportunities presented to me in uni. I joined OCIPs. I participated in OCIP twice – once as a member, and once as a Project Director. Also, during my first summer in uni, I went a bit crazy and I joined two O’Comms – I joined Arts Camp and Arts O Week! I learned a lot from these experiences and I met a lot of interesting people while working on these projects. I’m a firm believer that ‘experience is the best teacher in life’, more than the lessons you have in the tutorials or lectures. As such, I try to immerse myself in a lot of new experiences.

So you wouldn’t change anything at all?

Ok, maybe I should’ve spent a little bit more time studying…

But that’s quite cool that you joined two OCIPs and two O’comms in FASS!

Yeah, so hall life is still a new experience for me, because I was so actively involved in the events in NUS and in FASS prior to being in hall. But now that I’m in KE, I try to partake in as many activities I can here as well. I mean, I’m GH Block Head, in soccer, touch rugby and SMC! Simply because the experience one gains from being a part of activities and events is just invaluable. I guess I’m also quite fortunate in the sense that I got to experience both non-hall life by being very involved in my faculty and now I get to experience hall life so I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds.

Ok, last question, are you hoping to meet someone here in KE?

Oh I met a lot of good friends here. (*laughs*)

You know what I mean…

Uhhmmmm, okay. I mean I guess I’m still looking cos’ I’m still single haha. If it comes, it’ll come la. I mean I have a type, and I think if you know me personally, you’ll know my type of girl.

“I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds.” (Collera, 2015)

“I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds.” (Collera, 2015)

Credits to KE Vision for the photos.



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