Travel Journal: Singapore 2011

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:

Marina bay, marina bay sands, marina bay at night
Marina Bay at night
marina bay, marina bay sands, singapore, wonder full
Waiting for Wonder Full Light and Water Spectacular show
buildings in singapore, singapore at night
I took this picture and consider it as the best photo I’ve ever taken
fullerton hotel, fullerton hotel in singapore, fullerton hotel at night, river taxi in singapore
On a river taxi on our way to Clarke Quay
clarke quay, clarke quay singapore
Clarke Quay with Che
marina bay, marina bay sands, singapore flyer
While on a double-decker bus, I took this photo of Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer
gardens by the bay, singapore
Gardens by the Bay
orchard road, orchard road in singapore, shopping in singapore
Ready for some action… I mean shopping on Orchard Road
orchard road, orchard road singapore, shopping in singapore
It’s all about the money money money
Wandering aimlessly on Orchard Road then came across this street art
Wandering aimlessly on Orchard Road then came across this
giordano singapore, h&m singapore, h&m, shopping in singapore
Love love love Giordano and H&M
little india singapore, happy deepavali in singapore
Little India

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.

sentosa station, sentosa, vivo city, sentosa in singapore
Sentosa Station, connecting Sentosa to Mainland Singapore
vivo city, sentosa, singapore
Vivo City
fountain, singapore, sentosa fountain
Foun’in
lake of dreams sentosa, sentosa
Water and fire
sentosa, merlion, merlion in singapore, sentosa in singapore
Merlion number 1 in Sentosa
merlion, merlion in singapore, universal studios
Merlion number 2, this time a more colorful one near the entrance to Universal Studios
universal studios, universal studios singapore, universal studios entrance
An obligatory shot in front of the famous Universal Studios globe
hersheys, universal studios singapore, chocolates in singapore
Death by chocolate
universal studios singapore, universal studios
Where to?
frankenstein, universal studios singapore
Scared or kinikilig?!
shrek castle, universal studios, universal studios singapore, shrek's castle
Castle Far, Far Away. Where’s Shrek?
marilyn monroe, universal studios singapore
Marilyn Monroe and the Paredes Family
madagascar, universal studios singapore, madagascar universal studios
I like to move it, move it
ancient egypt, universal studios singapore
I want to be an Egyptian
ancient egypt, universal studios singapore
Ancient Egypt
map, universal studios singapore, universal studios
A must-have shot – map reading
the lost world, jurassic park, universal studios singapore
The Lost World
waterworld, universal studios singapore
Prepare to get wet at the Waterworld
lights camera action, steven spielberg, universal studios
At the Lights, Camera, Action – another must visit attraction in USS
battlestar galactica, universal studios singapore
Two intertwined roller coasters and one girl with vertigo who was so scared to try ’em
hats, universal studios singapore
Having fun with hats
crown, universal studios singapore
Ze princess with an over-sized crown

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 weΒ shared a few beer bottles, chicken satay, and lots of laughter and stories.

graffiti, singapore
Happy birthday to me! Graffiti by Irene
birthday in singapore, newton food center, singapore, hawkers
These people made my 26th birthday extra special!
birthday girl, 26th, universal studios singapore
Cheers!

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. πŸ™‚

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

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