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Hello, Singapore

Wednesday, June 8, 2016
I'm a firm believer in saying "See you later" instead of "Goodbye" especially to wonderful places. Three years ago, I left Singapore with a bitter heart, not wanting to leave, but I promised the Lion City that I would see her again. Unexpectedly, an opportunity to return to Singapore came, and I took that as my ticket to fulfill my promise. The thing is, I knew I would see Singapore again. What I didn't anticipate was to stay there for three weeks.  

Last time,  I checked out Singapore and its very touristy destinations (Hello, Universal Studios). I didn't get to experience everyday life as a Singaporean back then -- but during this recent trip, I sort of did. And having experienced all that, all I want to do now is to go back. 

My trip was sponsored by Temasek Foundation (thank you, heart you) and among the places we visited was Chinatown. I've been to Hong Kong once, so I already had expectations, but Chinatown in Singapore surprised me. It was pretty clean and organized, and the streets full of shops weren't as hot as I expected. Shopping at Chinatown felt pretty relaxed, which was something I liked, since I hate being rushed during traveling. I just wanna chill out, okay? Okay.

I talked about experiencing everyday life, and that might have been an exaggeration, teehee. I guess what I mean to say is that I got to see Singapore life without the glitter and the glamour. I got to see real people at real jobs, at real homes, and at real situations. Singapore is presented as this rich city with tall buildings and beautiful places (which is true!), but often the rawness of life is forgotten, and I think the best way to appreciate a culture is to see it for what it truly and entirely is. That there are problems underneath and that not everything is perfect -- which is normal for every city, developed or not. 


But of course, I went to all the touristy places again. (How can you not? You're already there, why not, right?) I revisited Gardens by the Bay and found new improvements to their domes. The domes were undergoing renovation when I went there, but still, everything looked stunning. Can you stare at flowers for three hours and not get bored? Yes, you can. That's what happened to me. 

Singapore might be full of gardens, but honestly, you won't get tired of them. That's probably one of the things I admire most about Singapore: their love for nature and its conservation. A round of high fives for you, Singapore. 

Another part of the trip that I enjoyed was our visit to Woodlands, a residential area. I don't have pictures (jeez, sorry) so I'll try my best and describe it to you. Basically it's a cluster of tall residential buildings, with schools and food courts and shopping centers squeezed in between them. If you didn't have to go to work (or if you could live with WiFi and food alone), you could totally stay there forever. It was interesting to see how people lived there, since in my home country, we're used to living in ordinary houses far from most urban features. 

Shout-out to Kas for inviting us to her home for a Filipino dinner! 

Anyway, in those three weeks, I went around Singapore using the MRT. It's the most convenient and easy transportation system that I've ever seen, no exaggeration. The stations are so clean, plus you can get around without hassle. In a day, I was already confident that I could ride the MRT alone. (Thanks to Google Maps too, haha)  I am looking forward to the day that my country has a train like that! 

With all that said, I think my trip to Singapore was a success, in terms of my actual duties for going there, and in terms of my enjoyment as a tourist. I might have gone to more places in my last trip, but I definitely experienced more of Singapore this time. Hopefully, I'll return and experience more. I might have stayed that long, but I still haven't had enough of that beautiful place!

So no goodbyes, Singapore. Just see you soon. 

And thanks for everything.
2 comments on "Hello, Singapore"
  1. Everything looks so beautiful!


    1. Thank you! I'm glad you think so. :)



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