During some time in November 2010, I was alerted about one of Cebu Pacific's half off sales. (But aren't they ALWAYS on sale?) It was perfect timing too, because Rina's sister Chaikka, had stayed over the house and got excited at the thought of going out of the country for the first time. Our first target was Hong Kong again, but since we had already been there for our honeymoon, Rina and I thought it make more sense to go to a country we had both never been to before. Rina has one requirement when traveling out of the country: there HAS to be a theme park, while me, my only requirement is that there has to be awesome food.
Given our criteria, there was really only one other obvious choice- Singapore.
Universal Studios in Sentosa would more than fill her need for the theme park, while, as I would eventually find out, every street corner of Singapore would fill mine.
No matter where you go for vacation, I'm a firm believer that four days and three nights is the ideal amount of time to spend at your vacation spot. Anything less would be too short. It's important to take the early morning flight so you get to maximize your first day. Then after that, having at least two full days of vacation without rushing is the best feeling in the world.I usually don't take the last flight back to Manila because I don't like getting back too late, not to mention, after you've checked out from your hotel, there isn't much to do.
I almost didn't make the flight, because immigration wanted to hold me back because I have a hold order departure. Correction: Someone with my exact name has a hold order departure. Good thing I got my NBI Clearance for travel just a few weeks earlier, otherwise I would not have been allowed to leave. (So to the Other Richie Z that is convicted of Illegal Recruitment and is on the run, you can go suck it) I used my convincing powers to get me through (These are not the droids you are looking for), but our other companion, Chaikka's boyfriend Don, was a victim of the inefficiency of our Department of Foreign Affairs. His passport wasn't renewed on time because - in what is probably the lamest excuse in the history of government service - their printer was broken, and could not print passports. I wish they just said their dog ate their homework. Sadly, he was left behind.
My poor, dear, theme Park/adrenaline junkie Rina, who was eight weeks pregnant at the time of our departure, would not be able to go on any of the roller coasters she had been so eagerly waiting to ride for two months now, leaving Chaikka and I as the only ones who would be able to enjoy the full awesomeness of Universal Studios.
We unintentionally stayed in Geylang, the Red Light District of Singapore. Our Hotel, Fragrance Hotel Ruby, was clean (as is pretty much everything in Singapore), but really small. I could literally talk a shower while sitting on the toilet. Unfortunately though, Hotels in Singapore aren't cheap, but since we were just going to use the place to sleep, I thought it was fine. Rina not so much. It's weird because there were prostitutes hanging out on the street at 10am. I couldn't help but think to myself.. you'd have to be a horny mutha F@#%#r to hire a hooker at 10am. But the funny part is.. most of the dudes there hang around the prostitutes just to stare at them. Weird.
One of the things I'll miss from Singapore is the ability to hop into a cab and instruct the cab driver where to go and be taken there immediately. That sounds like such a simple joy, don't it? But in the Philippines, you cannot just hop into a cab without the permission of the cab driver. He will only grant you permission if he's ok with the location where you want to go. If he's not, watch him rudely shake his head and slam the door on you. In the Philippines, if you want to take a cab, you have to go where the cab driver wants to go. You're basically just hitching a ride. I heard in Singapore, it's illegal for the cab driver to not give you back your change, down to the very last cent.
I'll also miss those Hawker food courts!! We were supposedly staying in the seediest area of Singapore, right? But the food court nearest us, was cleaner than any SM food court you'd ever find here!
Singapore is a food lover's heaven, and I was only able to go to around half of the pig out spots that I originally planned. Which is ok, because it gives me more reason to go back... some day..
This is a preview video of what you can expect to see in the upcoming weeks!
You're going to have to forgive the cheesy ending, because I really didn't have a memorable parting shot for. (Well I didn't but there was cursing involved, so I decided to go in another, albeit cheesier, direction. There's a chance I'll re-edit it in the future hehe)