When touring with a group of people of different ages and interests, premeditated plan or itinerary is impossible to follow. That’s what I’ve learnt long time ago in traveling countries. Ate Bang, tita Eve, Lek and her boyfriend Pete were in town for vacation and to pay me a visit. I didn’t file any leave from work as I’m saving it for April vacation. So I spent my before or after work free time to be with them and here is how it goes:
Day 1 – I met them at the airport then we head straight to a hotel in Paya Lebar so that they can leave their things. We ate lunch at Geylang Serai – a known hawker centre from what I’ve read somewhere way back long ago. Since they don’t know what to expect they agreed to have their first taste of Singapore food there. The Geylang Serai Market lies in the heart of the Singapore Malay community and has been recently remodelled to embrace the rustic quality of the old Malay kampong houses. The second floor has a hawker centre and a market on the other end. We choose food based on how they look on photos as nobody is familiar with Malay and Indian food. Pinoys love to eat western food thus my attempt to welcome them with Singapore local food is not successful. We did like the Chap Chay though which is like Chop Seuy in Philippines. We spent the afternoon at Art Science Museum to catch the exhibition ‘The Art of the Brick’ by Nathan Suwaya. We were surprised to see how creative is the artist; he was able to make sculptures, miniatures and even painting-like artworks using Lego bricks. A touch of modern technology is always present in every exhibition of Art Science Museum, we spent almost half an hour in area wherein you can take a photo of yourself and make the image legolized. Apart from The Art of the Brick, Outside In: A Magnum Photos Showcase – Photography exhibition of works by three distinguished photographers – Stuart Franklin, Mark Power and Jacob Aue Sobol. I was able to attend the Darkroom Developments workshop though I was in the waiting list; they let me join by just watching and observing. We finished touring the exhibition early so we went to attend mass at St. Joseph’s Church in Victoria Street. We ended the day with a dinner at Zebra in Bugis + instead of the original plan of dining at Din Tai Fung, Marina Bay Sands.
Day 2 – I met them at the nearest MRT station from their hotel then we head to Singapore Zoo. Have to be at work before 2pm so I just join them for lunch and then went to work. I came to MBS early, I managed to drop by the I.T. Show thinking I can just buy a service warranty for my laptop but they only sell servicing and warranty as extras for those who bought laptops. Anyway, I was able to take nap in the changing room for a few minutes before work. I had a hard time doing the room check in as I am working and MBS is so strict now for staff’s room reservations. Len and Yo helped me in doing so on my behalf. It was late afternoon when they came back from the zoo and they all look tired from a rain and shine weather of Singapore. Lek and Pete went to the I.T. Show while tita Eve just stayed in the room and took care of the sick ate Bang. I spent my break time there playing with Tiffany – Len’s baby whom I finally met after several months.
Day 3 – Woke up early and brought Lek and Pete to my house so that they can put their things and be familiar with the place. We came back to Marina Bay Sands just in time for me to go to work. They went to China Town and Sentosa. My one hour break turned into a siesta in our huge hotel room. They went shopping at the Marina Bay Shoppes and watched the Lightshow just from the room’s window, tsk tsk tsk. Day 4 – I woke up too early for sunrise, so I slept again and woke up again with the sun already high up in the sky. It’s always been like this. Lek, Pete and I went for a swim and took some photos from Sky Park. I checked out before going to work and was thinking I could still see ate and tita before their flight but no since I was working in the museum. Lek and Pete accompany them to the airport and stayed in a hotel in Geylang for the night. Finally slept in my bed again but didn’t had a decent rest as I have to wake up early to attend Len’s wedding.
Day 5 – Lek and Pete went to my house, prepared our things for the wedding then head to Registry of Marriages. I find their travel to Singapore in good timing; there’s an ongoing I.T. Show in Marina Bay Exhibition Halls and now they can witness a ROM. Since I have to take some photos for the couple, Lek and Pete went to Philately exhibition in the nearby Peranakan Museum. I had a hard time using Yan’s Tamron 70-300mm Macro lens for the wedding. I know I’m not suppose to use this lens on this kind of occassion but my Tamron 18-270mm is still under repair. We had lunch buffet at Sakura after the wedding, the tourists were so happy with the food. We visited tita Letty and her family at Punggol after; their new house is nice and spacious. Lolo and lola are there as well for vacation. We only stayed then for more than an hour then went to Cielyn’s house for Madam and Marissa’s farewell party. Lek and Pete went to meet some friends for dinner. Anyway, it was a good blast of eating Pinoy food and Videoke singing at Cielyn’s house. Day 6 – I had a hard time opening my eyes at work. We went to Lucky Plaza and Ion in Orchard then head to Ikea to shop and unquestionably to dine!!! I love the food there but that time the salmon don’t taste that good, hhmmm. Anyway, Lek and Pete like the food.
Day 7 – We head to Singapore Flyer for a Ducktour – an hour tour in the central roads and bay. Then Singapore Flyer, which I didn’t enjoy because we were in a cabin together with a big group and my Olympus TG2 is out of battery, thanks to my hard headed sister. I should not forget to mention that she lost my Olympus TG2 lens ring and the accessory is not available in the market, gggrrrrrhh. Local food like Laksa, Fried Egg and Oyster, Roasted Chicken Rice and smoothies from Each a Cup for late lunch at Singapore Trail. They went shopping for souvenirs at China Town while I wait for them at home. Then for dinner we met up with ate Camille and Ronald at Dempsey Hill. We ate at Chang Korean Charcoal BBQ, the food is just ok but the service is superb. We sleep over at tita Letty’s house. I like their new house – huge sala, 2 mins. Walk from train station and the building is all new.
Day 8 – I went to work in the morning and leave the two bakasyonistas sleeping. This is my favourite day because we went to meet Leah. A Filipina who does tattooing for a cause, I’ve wanted to write a feature story about her. Lek got inked, please don’t tell my mom, let my sister do the talking, haha. I was not able to ask Lea all the things I want to know about her charity works, thinking some information are confidential so I’ll just ask her by email. Long John Silver for dinner, I’m not a fan of this food chain but just for them to try local food chain. Is it a local food chain? We head to Clarkquay after and instead of having a drink, we ended up shopping as there are stalls there selling affordable clothes, accessories, bags and shoes. Day 9 – Lek and Pete’s last day in Singapore. We are so tired yesterday night we woke up late to do nothing than me cooking for lunch then accompanying them to the airport. When my sister hugged me tight before going to the departure area, it felt sad. Anyway, I’ll be spending vacation there on April. I crawled straight to my bed when I came home. Turned on my laptop to check our photos in Singapore and discover that memory card is nowhere to find. Lek!!! aarrgghh, ahahaha. She forgot it in her laptop, haayyzz. I ended up editing some photos from Kelvin and Len’s wedding instead.