I have been in a couple of times perhaps vocal about being ‘not that interested’ in living in Singapore. I know it is much better than where I live now, Makati, Metro Manila. However, it would take more than state-of-the-art urban facilities to make me leave my beloved country. Naks! Feeling-patriotic kuno.
Kidding aside, I admire Singapore and I regard the city-state very highly. In fact, I was very disappointed (even up to this day) that I was not able to take the scholarship exams for Nanyang University, just because my parents thought it would be very costly for them to send me to college abroad — if I know, the greater reason is that they cannot bear to be very far away from their only son *grin*. Thus, I sometimes feel bad about not gaining the bodies of knowledge that I would have learned from a world-renowned university. However, I do not see myself working/living there in the future. “But why not? There are a lot of Filipinos is SG, you wouldn’t feel alienated,” asks some people. Well, that’s exactly one of the reasons “why not”. It would feel very much like home. And I don’t want that.
What makes me excited about going to a new city is the thought of experiencing new culture, tasting new food, seeing new architecture, hearing new dialects, et cetera. If it would feel very much like where I live, then it would not excite me so much. Perhaps this is also the reason why I fell in love with Korea (unexpectedly) when we went there last year. The language was new, alphabet was different, the infrastructure was very advanced, and above all those are two things: culture and climate. Maybe I could emphasize about this in a different entry. For now, let us shift back our focus to Singapore.
Well, to summarize my lengthy intro above, I am not really keen about going to Singapore. HOWEVER… yes, I intend those letters to shout – However, when we had this trip to Singapore last summer, I surprisingly had the time of my life!
And here is the story of my trip…
I was from a dizzying schedule right before the trip because we were having our office team building activity in a far resort in Batangas. I was supposed to leave the beach at dinnertime, then drop by my house and prepare my luggage quickly, and then meet my trip-mates in Cubao before midnight. That’s where we were ought to take a bus, Clark-bound, to catch our Zest Air flight.
But of course there were challenges along the way. First, there was no mobile network signal in the resort, ergo, I was practically disconnected to the world for the entire day. And then, my 6pm schedule to leave the resort became past dinnertime because I had to wait for the shuttle. I would have walked my way out of the resort and commuted if not for the fact that I’ll be walking a few miles of dirt road, without lampposts, and with a cemetery somewhere in the middle. Freaky! So, okay, while we were on the road to the city my roommate was already in a foul mood because I was running late – he had been very excited about the trip because it was his first time to go abroad. Fast forward – When we were in Clark, my roommate almost did not make it through Immigration, making us all worried and me almost forgoing the trip. But anyways, he made it just in the nick of time.
And so, few hours later… Hello Singapore!
That is the exact same thing I wore in the beach in Batangas the previous day. Yeap, I was that distressed that I did not manage to change clothes. And since we had a long day ahead, I had to “change costumes” right there in the airport for the “SG pictorial”. *evil grin*
Romina, Richard, Tope and Glenn, who happened to be based in Singapore fetched us at the airport. It was really lucky that we have close friends who work in SG. It meant we did not have to be hassled about our itinerary plus we got instant tourist guides! Plus, we can ask them to pay for some goodies sometimes, e.g. ice cream sandwich, some parts of our meals, etc. since their salaries are twenty million times bigger than ours. (hahaha)
We first had a quick lunch somewhere in Expo station (right next to the airport), and that’s where we realized that electronics can come really cheap in Singapore! (Mental note: bring lots of moolah on my next trip here). Then we looked for our hotel, or was it a hostel? Of course, we are cheapos, we’re not rich. At least not yet. 🙂 We were booked in 98SG and it was a fine place to stay, sits right next to Aljunied MRT station, has clean rooms, with complete facilities, and has a dondondon… massage chair! That massage chair, I promise, was the cherry-on-top. We were hogging on it whenever we’re in the hostel.
Our Day 1 schedule involved going around the city, particularly the Orchard Road, the Esplanade, the Merlion, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, a spicy dinner at Makansutra, and a quick hello to Clarke Quay before hitting the sack.
The Suntec fountain was closed for renovation. What a downer. But hey, we did get to do and see lots of other stuff – so I ain’t complaining.
And that was our Day 1 in SG. Wait? Why did I have only few pictures in my “For Upload” folder? Hrmmm… I swear I had pictures of us eating street food twice (dumplings and ice cream sandwich), pics with the Merlion, Clarke Quay, et cetera. We even had a gorgeous, meaty picture in Abercrombie & Fitch (lol).
Wait… maybe I’ll just create another SG post containing only those pictures. (Mutters to self: I swear I have those pics… hrmmm… where could those be?)
Day two was devoted solely for Universal Studios Singapore. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS!!! Did you hear me? USS! Woohoo!
As a kid, I knew little about Universal Studios (theme park), but I have always been curious whenever I see people on TV giddily taking a picture with this globe. At this very moment, I understood how they felt. Excitement un-contained!
And who would want to miss the Parade?! Not us, definitely.
It was an extremely humid but nonetheless fun-filled day. I promise to visit USS every time I will go to SG.
On our third day in SG, some of us went back to Sentosa to explore the other activities in the island. Xan, Lucky, TJ, and I decided to get some more sleep and then head to Chinatown and search for that place called Mustafa. Before departing for SG I read some blogs as part of my research, and when I encountered this place called Mustafa, I swore to myself that we MUST-SHOULD-WOULD go to this place. You will know why after seeing these pics.
And then we went to Chinatown to purchase souvenirs. 🙂
What? Is this the only pic I got? I swear I’ll create separate posts about this.
And to cap the day, we had a cook-off at Romina’s place. We grilled pork and fish right beside the pool. 🙂
I wanna do this again and again. 🙂
Day 4 was uneventful, except for our last-minute shopping at an outlet store in Expo, and a KL-sidetrip-turned-long-sitting-hours-at-the-airport.
All in all, I had sooooo much fun in SG! I did not expect it, honestly, since I always regard this place as a country without its own identity (Doh! Prejudice). But mostly, I am very thankful for those who were part of the trip, and more especially to our SG-based friends. I imagined it wouldn’t be as fun without them.
Bye for now, Singapore! Until we meet again.
Remember I told you about how haggard I was right before the trip? I did not get to have enough rest, thus, if you were there with us, you would notice me always doing this…