Tuesday, February 20, 2007


There are so many good airline deals now. Cebu Pacific are now offering budget flights to Singapore. I tried it one-way and it was quite okay. Just the same as a Jetstar Asia flight, though the stewardesses were friendlier (siyempre Pinoy!). One lesson learned though – it’s a budget flight, no food! Landing at the budget terminal wasn’t really that much different from the main terminals. Just no shopping places and it’s quite far from the MRT.

For the first 2 nights of my adventure I stayed with one of my best friends, Tappy. She now lives with her husband in Singapore and is currently working for an advertising agency as a copywriter. Her claim to fame? Copywriting the famous Piolo-Toni commercial “I love you Piolooooo!!!” To this day I remember how that actually happened in real life (not with Piolo and Toni) back in college, but that’s another story to tell.

Since I arrived past one in the morning we just caught up a bit and I gave my pasalubongs and slept. Anyway, I was happy to be the first to “bless” (binyagan) their brand new couch from Ikea. It was really cool. Just a few pulls and wallah a big bed to sleep on. Let me just say I slept really well.

A trip to Singapore is not complete without visiting Orchard Road. I just love going to Kinokuniya (please don’t make me say that name out loud!). Ooohing and ahhhing over all the books I went crazy and bought several (so I’d meet my book reading target for the year). Even with all the pretty, classy malls at Orchard I still keep going to Lucky Plaza. It’s where all the Pinoys are actually (I would say then it’s a Pinoy mall). Got myself a “casual” cheongsam (been holding off buying one for 2 years now) from a Pinay shop keeper, managed to find an OFW magazine for a friend and Tappy bought a bottle of Silver Swan toyo (she refused to have me buy one for her in Manila).

It’s so easy to get around Singapore. I’ve managed to do some in-city hopping in my past trips just by riding the MRT. And it’s not even scary to go around alone. Anyway, after going through several malls at Orchard we went to Bugis to meet up with Mabel and eat my favorite mee-goreng. Since I’ve been there several times already we just ended up chatting and teasing Mabel about her newly married status.

I don’t think I would’ve managed to get around that much if it wasn’t convenient to get around. Tappy and I took a bus back to her flat. She adamantly refused to take a cab and forced me to walk and walk and walk to get me back in shape. (Just a bit more control and I’ll be ready for the beach soon). After dropping off the stuff we bought and eating a yummy home-cooked meal, we were off to Ikea.

Everything you need for your home is in Ikea. Ikea was one of our case studies in graduate school and my Ate would send catalogues from the US, that’s why I really looked forward to visiting the store. Much as I wanted to get a lot of things I was constrained by the fact that my luggage should only weigh 30 kilograms on the way back (and I had already bought several books!). Arrrghhh! Anyway, Tappy believes I managed to get important stuff and my visit to Ikea was sulit.

Unbelievable, I was asleep by 11 p.m.! The next day we woke up early to visit the Singapore Zoo. I thought we were just going to the Jurong Bird something. Too bad the Hog (piggy piggy!) Show would only start by next week. In the zoo we walked and walked and walked. Good thing we got tickets that included the tram and we managed to see the whole park by hopping from one tram to another. A zoo is a zoo and a zoo. What I found funny though was most of the animal photos I took had their backs to me – I have photos of kangaroo butts, bear backs, zebra behinds! Only the giraffe posed for me. (Now I know I’ll never make it as a National Geographic photographer!). I still wish though they had the hog show open already.

After a fabulous day in the zoo I had to bid Tappy and Jolet goodbye and move to the Raffles Plaza Hotel. Spent the rest of the afternoon with Mabel and then I had to go meet the other country consultants for dinner. The next few days was a whirlwind of activities and all I could remember is I worked and worked and worked! Well, of course we had lunch and dinner, here and there and One Raffles Quay was absolutely cool!