Singapore 2010

20 Nov

Singapore. Singapura. SG.

The 23rd item on my 1000 things to do before I kick the bucket is done. I’ve visited Singapore during the last week of July this year. Though I spent only 3 days there with my cousin LJ, I enjoyed my short stay. LJ, my cousin is there for her internship as a HRM student, so I just followed 3 months after she got there. It was good that I visited because she was home sick and it’s her first time to be away from her family. I could tell how much she misses having us around, but she still have to endure a few more months. Well good thing there is a JIL Church there she could attend to fellowship with them, keeps her busy too as she joined the church dance group 🙂

Anyway, SG. Such a beautiful place. Very cosmopolitan. Very urban.

It was my first overseas trip so I was really excited. My first overseas trip and my first plane ride, and I was alone. My first time for a lot of things… like going to airport, checking in, going through the immigration, custom, etc… almost everything was first time so I was pretty excited. But I have to admit I was nervous.

It was good the airline (Cebu Pacific) gave me the window seat so I could take a look at the scenery (mostly clouds….never ending clouds…lol and water…. ). It was good I booked an early flight, like 6am, just almost in time for the sunrise, a great way to appreciate God’s creation so I was really thankful for that experience. Makes me wonder how some people can claim that God does not exist. Who can make these awesome and magnificent creations? No man can ever do this.

Leaving Manila

The beautiful sunrise in Manila. Now who would claim that there is no God? See the beauty of his creation.

Even though I barely slept the night before I left not because I was too excited but because I packed my bags late…( yes, cramming!) I still survived the 3-hour flight. I think I slept only for an hour because I got bored looking at the clouds and the sea. So there, arriving at the beautiful Changi Airport with my cousin already waiting for me. So I am in a foreign soil already. We went to the foreign exchange for some Singaporean dollars. Then we stayed a bit roaming the Changi Airport, took a few pictures and had our lunch. My first SG meal? – Burger King! LOL. And it became my official restaurant for my SG trip, well almost. 🙂

Changi Airport

My typical meal in SG that made me miss the rice. Yes, no rice for 3 days.

We took the MRT ride to reach my hotel in Novena, which is quite far. I think it took us about an hour or so.  Getting off in Novena station, we were clueless how to go to Value Thomson Hotel so we asked a local, who was nice enough to tell us our way.  Most of the locals we encountered were nice I have to say. Since the vehicles are left-hand drive, the traffic flow was different from what I’m used to.  We had to walk  to get to my hotel because it will be a waste of time and money to get into a cab given that the hotel was just a few blocks away . Good thing though that  I only have one luggage but packed with clothes good for a week (I’m not a light traveler) but we didn’t have much trouble pulling my suitcase around 🙂

My cousin asked me, “So do you already feel the SG atmosphere?” I answered, “Not really. I kind of feel like I’m in a business district of Makati City,  Forbes Park and Global City combined.” Yes, that was the feeling.  Plus, there were lots of Filipinos around.

So we reached the hotel, which looks nice but the room is a bit small, well very small actually but nice looking. We didn’t waste anymore time so after I changed my clothes for the 2nd time  (I already changed while I was at the airport because I felt a lil uncomfortable with the top I was wearing), we hopped into the MRT again to go to the famous Marina Bay.

Me on our way to Marina Bay (yes the picture is blurred.)

Some random people in SG

The cosmopolitan area of Singapore.

Marina Bay was packed. There were lots of people that afternoon, first because Singaporean students were practicing for the National Day of Parade and because of the fireworks display. We took a few pictures of us then headed to The Flyer, the World’s biggest observation wheel to take a look at the whole SG from above.  I have fear of heights but who cares? I want to be on that wheel. It cost us SGD 30 each. It was cool that we also witnessed some military plane exhibition while we were up there.

The Flyer.

The Flyer.

Tube.

A view from the giant observation wheel – The Flyer.

A closer shot (view from The Flyer)

Singapore sunset as seen from the Flyer.

I was craving for some rice meal so I was looking for KFC or Mcdonalds thinking maybe they serve rice there, but there’s nothing around. I was actually afraid to try Singaporean food thinking it might ruin my short trip if in case I get some stomach problems, so I thought I’d stick to fast food even though it is very unhealthy, but at least I’m familiar with them.  But I tried their version of  ‘dirty ice cream’, that only cost a dollar. That’s the only Singaporean food I’ve ever tried I think while I was there. (I already have dinned in a Singaporean restaurant in Manila, and to be honest, I didn’t like it ).

Ice cream wrapped in a bread.

Then, we decided to take a few more walks around Marina Bay before dinner. Took a few more pics. Our feet hurts so bad for the walks but for the sake of the trip, we didn’t mind walking a few more.  Of course we took some pictures with the Merlion, Marina Bay Sands and the Esplanade. 🙂

Marina Bay Sands

Durian. (The Esplanade)

Merlion through my lens.

The Merlion.

Some more Merlion picture.

Then we decided to head home but before that, to some fast food first for dinner. It was already past 10pm, I think almost 11pm and most stores going to the MRT are starting to close.  We passed by BREAD TALK and decided to buy some bread for our breakfast the next day and then hopped into the MRT.  Upon reaching Novena, we hurried up to go to, guess what? Burger King! But to our disappointment, it was already closed. huhuhuhu…. We were so hungry and no stores were open anymore except for the 7/11 that sells ramen noodles and the hawkers that are not quite appealing to me really.  We just bought water, went back to our hotel and had the bread for dinner, watched some movies, planned for what were going to do the next day and slept.

2nd DAY

We woke up quite late than we planned so we got ready and left as quickly as we can. This day, we’re going to India! 🙂

Well, just a taste of India.

The Little India.

This is actually a must-visit place on my list for that SG trip. I will not go back to the Philippines unless I go to Little India . hahaha… Well, don’t blame me, India is one of my dream destinations and getting a  little of India in Little India was incredible. 🙂

The moment we got there, I told my cousin, “Now I feel I’m in a foreign land.” LOL. I didn’t feel like I was in Singapore anymore. I felt really like I’m in a different country. The smell of the curry, the Indian music (I think it was in Tamil) being played in some stores we passed, the people, it’s just very foreign! And I’m enjoying it.  However we got a lot of stares from people, particularly from men. I don’t know maybe we have dirt in our faces? LOL. But really, they look as if it was their first time to see such creatures. (I’m sure we’re not ugly. lol) So I took the stares as compliments, as long as they won’t harm us. Others would even say hello and ask for our names. We didn’t answer back for the fear of sending them wrong signals. It’s actually not the first time, at the airport we got some stares from men too (some were even Filipinos trying to make pa-cute, hindi naman cute. lol. ), then in the MRT  and in Marina Bay, but mostly from Indian-looking men and mind you, they are good looking Indian men, well most are… hahaha… But I didn’t bother.

So there, walk walk walk around Little India. Took a few pictures of the architectural designs in the establishments. Then headed to the Mustafa shopping center. And it was a chaos there! Well not really. But I’m just not used to that kind of shopping center. I bought a few things as my take home present/souvenir for family and some friends back home. And found the “After Eight” chocolate there too! Cool! I even bought a tea for our Indian senior officer in my company, as he asked me if I could buy him a box or two after he learned I’m flying to SG. Apparently, that tea (the brand name is Dilmah and that is his favorite tea) can only be bought in India, Sri Lanka and SG (I am not sure where else but it’s not available in Manila that’s why.)

A street in Little India

Some street in Little India.

British school in Little India

Prince of Wales, Singapore Backpackers Pub

The Little India Arcade building.

Some nice building.

Hinduism.

Bombay Cafe.

Then we roamed a bit more to find some temples and mosques. We thought the famous “Sri Mariammam Temple” was there but not. Though we found another temple called “Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple“.  We didn’t have much time to go to China Town where “”Sri Mariammam Temple” is located, so we settled for this.

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.

Little India 🙂

Masjid Angullia

So we headed back to Novena, ate lunch, went back to our hotel to change and off to JIL Church in Orchard to attend the Sunday afternoon service. We were late but still went there to fellowship.  We passed by the busy Orchard Road and noticed a lot of Filipinos. My cousin said there’s a place there where most Filipinos gather to spend their rest day from work.

JIL Church in SG. It was nice to fellowship with them.

After that, we decided to visit my friend in her work who is a manager in one of the pizza companies in Bedok. So we had some free dinner courtesy of my friend. 🙂 It was great seeing her after a long time. Then we went back to Orchard to spend the rest of the night before going home. It was a bit late so most stores were closed and we can’t shop anymore. So we just took some pictures of the famous Orchard Road and had coffee at Starbucks.  It was great to end the night with some coffee. 🙂

At Wheelock Place

Orchard Road.

Orchard Road.

Fashionista in Orchard Road (my cousin LJ)

I’m not crazy about shoes, but I love this ad. LOL

I saw Wayne Rooney in SG! LOL (I still have the world cup fever that time.)

Starbucks in Orchard Rd.

3rd DAY

Time to go home. My cousin needs to go to her work and I have to prepare also for my flight in the afternoon.  It was sad that I’m leaving her but we had no choice. So since I am like her older sister, I talked to her and gave her a few advices and instructions to keep herself safe there. She got no family there but at least the JIL family is there so I told her to stick with them and always pray. It grips my heart leaving her.  She told me she won’t just take me to the airport because she would just cry, plus she also have a work that day.  So she left the hotel and I packed my things to get ready. But then I went to Orchard Road again by myself to some last minute shopping. Well luckily, The Great Singapore Sale was still on that time I was there.  So who can say no to shopping? LOL.

And while having breakfast at Mc Donalds, I decided to go online through my mobile phone. Then I saw his offline message on  yahoo that he sent a few hours back.  Whew! (Anyway, that’s another story.)

Went back to my hotel,  grabbed my luggage, checked out, hopped into the bus (btw, I like most of their buses) then  to the MRT and to the airport.  I don’t know but that time I really wanted to go home. I know it was a very short stay but that moment I felt so alone. My cousin is at work and I have no one to talk to except for the cab driver that took me back to the hotel from Novena station.

At the airport, I checked in my luggage just in time and decided to just kill my time there, reading the book and writing on my journal. I felt sad that afternoon and I knew the reason.

My cousin kept on sending me text messages telling she would miss me and that she feels like crying.  I told her to always remember what I said to her and she’ll be alright.

I roamed around the airport while waiting to board the plane when they called the passengers for the last time. I thought I still have time, so I hurried up and boarded the plane. However after a few minutes, the captain announced that the flight will be delayed as there is some fixing they need to do in the plane and he can’t fly us back home unless everything is fixed. So we were back to the airport lounge, good thing there are few computers that were set up there to let delayed passengers like us surf the net while waiting. I stayed in one of the seats, pondering about my whole trip,  the beautiful SG, my cousin being alone in a foreign land, my family back home, my friends, my delayed flight and him. I was exhausted, both my body and mind. I fell asleep for about an hour in that chair. Then at around 7pm, we were called to board the plane again to go home.

“Finally” , I said to myself. I can’t wait to be home.

I missed my family so much. Even though I live alone in Manila (I have my own place) I still go to my family’s house most of the time which is just a 10-20 minute drive. And since I was  in SG for only 3 days, it should just feel like I’m at my place, however it was still different, I didn’t feel at home and I felt so alone. I wonder what my cousin must be feeling.

I took out my journal to write some thoughts about my trip like I did on my flight going there.  And as I write, I cried.  Good thing I was in window seat again and the passengers beside me (a mom and her grade school daughter) were already sleeping.  I need to be home I know.

I cried not because I was missing my family. It’s for a different reason that has nothing to do with Singapore really.  So I  thought, ‘what a way to end my first international trip’. *sigh*

Oh well …

SG is a fine place. It’s beautiful. It’s an icon of economic power in the Far East. It was a pleasure being there really. To sum it up,  I will say it again, although there are still a lot of differences, Singapore is just like a huge business district of Makati City combined with the posh Forbes Park Village and Global City in Taguig. One major difference though is that, people are more disciplined.

But still like they said, “there’s no place like home.”

So thank you SG for the experience.  I will be back for sure. 🙂

Thank you SG. Until next time. I will be back for sure. 🙂

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Singapore 2010”

  1. mct88 November 30, 2010 at 5:27 am #

    AWESOME images. Makes me want to visit!!

    • y December 4, 2010 at 4:23 am #

      yup, why dont you? It’s nice there. I’m going back next year.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 10 Significant Things Of My 2010 « Y writes whatever! - December 31, 2010

    […] Singapore Trip, July – It was my first overseas trip. It was my short but great. My well-deserved vacation as my best friend Idy said. (Read the story here.) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: