Two years ago, I had an unforgettable vacation slash 26th birthday celebration in Singapore. Singapore is one of the countries that is on my must-visit list. I got to see Marina Bay, Clarke Quay, Orchard and Bugis, Little India, and of course, Universal Studios. To top it off, I got to see my good friends Jeff and Kim, Louie and Che (who offered their place so I won’t need to check in at a hotel) and spend a really great time with two of my best friends from college.
What’s to love about Singapore? My top answer would be the transport system. During my stay there, I got to try riding their buses, taxis, and their MRT. Yes, they also call their rail transport system MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). Despite the similar name, the MRT in Singapore is a complete opposite of the crowded and slow train that we have here. Their MRT has 102 stations and it’s so easy to navigate. I just love how I can go from one place to another in Singapore, and still feel fresh and energetic once I get to my destination. There are designated bus stops and scheduled trips which are observed and followed by the public. Everything is just fast and hassle-free. You can use the EZ link card (like Hong Kong’s octopus card) in buses and the MRT.
The next best thing – three S’s! Sights. Sounds. Shopping. The tall and spectacular buildings and the big shopping malls are a feast for the eyes. Here are some snapshots of the places and people who made my Singapore trip uber fun and memorable:
A Singapore trip would be incomplete without spending a day in Universal Studios. It was my 26th birthday, but I felt like a kid as we explored Sentosa and the theme park. For about 74SGD (Php2000+), you can enjoy all the rides and attractions in Universal Studios Singapore. It was one of my best birthday celebrations, ever.
It was my first time to celebrate my birthday out of the country, and I couldn’t ask for a better one because I was with my good friends. My best college buds also had a little surprise for me. I didn’t know that one of my friends would be there to celebrate with us because I thought he was in Manila at that time. After an exhausting but exciting day at USS, we headed off to Newton Center where we shared a few beer bottles, chicken satay, and lots of laughter and stories.
I am just in awe of Singapore. Residents are so disciplined, and that makes the country so highly-urbanized. The usual eye sore composed of garbage, plastics, and graffiti on the streets of Manila are not a welcome sight in Singapore. In fact, the roads are not congested because of the restriction in the number of privately-owned cars exercised by the government. However, my short stay there made me miss the laid back life here in the Philippines. People there seemed to be always in a hurry, always rushing to work or to whatever destination they have. I kind of wanted to ask them, “When was the last time you stopped and smelled the flowers?” While I envy their very systematic and convenient transport system and the orderliness and self-control that everyone seemed to have, it’s still nice to be carefree. I guess that’s what makes us Filipinos unique. Nonetheless, I still dream of having that rail system here in the Philippines. Oh, and the litter-free streets. 🙂
I plan on going back to Singapore maybe next year or in two years. I have yet to explore other tourist attractions that I wasn’t able to include in my itinerary. For those of you who are planning to experience Singapore, don’t forget to check out their tourism website: www.yoursingapore.com