Singapore: Universal Studios and Kallang Road (Days4&5)

Singapore: Universal Studios and Kallang Road (Days4&5)

September 6

Ever since I was a child I have always been fascinated with the ancient civilization of Egypt. I’ve often imagined myself exploring the pyramids and experiencing the scorching heat of the desert. I have also watched The Mummy 1 and 2 movies, it has always been my dream to see its set. This is why I was really excited to explore Singapore’s Universal Studios because one of its attractions is the set of the said movies.

Upon entry, first we visited the set of Madagascar, Shrek’s swamp cottage and the Castle of the Kingdom of Far Far Away.

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We also watched Water World, Shrek 4D where we experienced the eerie sense of spiders crawling on our feet, Donkey’s Knight Club, and watched Lights, Camera, Action by Steven Spielberg where we have seen the simulation of a Category 5 hurricane which hit the New York City harbor. It was a thrilling experience.

Then, my niece and her dad went inside Jurassic Park to experience its rides.

But, I decided that I’ll be enjoying Egypt and the sights in the Mummy movies :). There, we boarded an indoor high-speed roller coaster. It’s like passing through one of the pyramids and encountering the Mummy from the movie. I kept closing my eyes every time the roller coaster approaches the mummy coffins. I had goosebumps when a virtual mummy appeared in front of us and tried to swallow us. It was indeed a scary and thrilling ride. We were screaming from start to end.

Then, we visited Sci-Fi City, Galactica,  New York and the Hollywood Walk of Fame where I saw the star of Julie Andrews 🙂

We enjoyed taking a lot of photos and buying souvenirs from the shops. Then, we had our picture taken at the Lake of Dreams before leaving Sentosa and heading to our hotel.

It was really nice to unleash the “child in me” and just enjoy the activities and sights in the Universal Studios Theme Park. I was carefree and I felt like I just want to live in the moment. Seeing those movie sets made me experience stuffs which  make up our dreams – for me it was the highlight of our tour.

September 7

Due to some unexpected events, our flight was re-scheduled and we have to stay in Singapore for another day. So we decided to pack our things and then take a stroll in the park at Kallang Road near our hotel in the afternoon.

The air was hot and humid, but strolling outdoors was able to lift our spirits. And whenever there are trees, there’s also a light refreshing breeze that blows.

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Another thing, I was able to appreciate in Singapore is their sense of discipline. People are diligently following street signs. They go to bus stops and strictly follow traffic rules. You don’t have to worry about pick pockets and thieves stealing your phone, purse or other belongings. I felt secure while I was there.

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Lastly, everywhere you look, they are able to maintain order.

All in all, it was a fun and enjoyable trip. I was with the best persons I can be with during my first international flight and overseas tour. It changed the way I view life and what I’m capable of doing and achieving. I became a different person after the trip. Experiencing a different culture and seeing a different way of living made me realize that I still want to visit more places and know more cultures and broaden my horizon. So I promised myself that in the years to come – I’ll make it a goal to visit other places within the Philippines and other countries in Asia.

Photos (c) Te Leah and KuJo

Singapore: The Merlion, Sentosa and Songs of the Sea (Day 3)

Singapore: The Merlion, Sentosa and Songs of the Sea (Day 3)

September 5

Because we were really tired the previous day, we woke up late the following day. We started our tour at 10am. Our schedule is to explore the vicinity near the Merlion adjacent to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

While exploring the vicinity, I was able to appreciate the architecture of buildings and bridges. We have seen a lot of tourists in the area, and we also took a lot of photos with the Cavenagh bridge, Fullerton Hotel, Sands Sky Park, Singapore Flyer and Esplanade as our backdrop.

We had late lunch at 2pm – and it was may first time to eat broiled duck. I had a hard time eating since I’m not used to the texture of the meat as well at the sauce poured over, but my cousins really enjoyed the meal.

At past 5pm, we went to Vivo City and met my niece so we can watch the Songs of the Sea at Sentosa Resorts World.

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I really enjoyed watching this tale. It was a combination of lights and image projection on water, with a very good set of background music and talented actors and actresses. I had fun watching the show and taking pictures of the amazing effects.

Afterwards, we also had our pictures taken with the scale model of the Taj Mahal.

Then we had our dinner at Vivo City where I have seen senior citizens still working as restaurant crews. How I wish we also have that in the Philippines since older people who are used to working find worth and fulfillment even in simple jobs especially if they think that they still want to work and they still have the strength to be productive. I think Singaporeans have a really high regard for work and productivity.

Then, we went back to our hotel and another dreamless sleep followed.

Photos (c) Te Leah

Singapore: My First Overseas Trip (Days1&2)

Singapore: My First Overseas Trip (Days1&2)

Right now, I’m feeling somewhat blue so I decided to read my previous journals. One of them was about my first overseas trip way back 2010. Maybe it’s time to share my first overseas adventure.

During that time, I was teaching in the university for 10 years already and I know that my life will continue just the way it is. My life have fallen into a rut – I’ll go to class, deliver my lessons, go home and during the weekends enjoy my ministry. There were times when I’m always looking forward to those two-week semestral breaks so I can change my environment and visit places in the Philippines with my cousins – these trips are those enjoyable times when I can break free from my routine.

It was the month of September, three months before I turned thirty – a life-changing event happened. One of my cousins invited me to accompany him to Singapore to fetch his daughter after she finishes her on-the-job training. I was really excited. Maybe because, I already told myself that I will have no chance of going outside the Philippines. That’s why I’m really grateful for this opportunity.

Here’s a detailed record of my first international trip:

September 3

5:00AM Boarded a Victory Liner bus bound to Caloocan.

10:00AM Arrived at Dau Station, where we ate brunch at Jollibee and rented a van going to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), checked-in our luggage and paid the following fees: Terminal and Security fee =600php and the Travel Tax=1,620php. Went to the immigration for verification of identity docs and stayed at the Departure lounge.

12:50PM Boarded our flight – we used Tiger Airways.

5:00PM Arrived at the Changi Budget Terminal, Singapore, boarded a taxi and checked-in at Regin Hotel, unpacked our things and explored the vicinity. At the back of our hotel is the Geylang district. I have seen a lot of shops and roadside eateries or hawker food stalls.

We decided to try 3  big bowls of spicy noodles as our dinner which amounted to 8SGD. Then we went back to our hotel to rest.

September 4

Boarded a bus and used the EZ link card for the first time, we have to fetch my niece and her things at 95 Student Hostels where she stayed during the months of her training at Coffee Club. Then in the afternoon we went to Mustafa to change our Php bills to SGD and bought some souvenirs.

Then we roamed the streets of Singapore. Explored Plaza Singapura and had our lunch at Just Acia. Our luch was served with unlimited ice cream, coffee and soda.

Next, we visited Orchard Plaza and Orchard Central. There I experienced going up a very high escalator. Somehow, I got really nervous and my palms started perspiring – that’s when I realized that I also have fear of heights.

At past 4:00 in the afternoon, we boarded the tourist bus to see Marina Bay Sands Hotel where we bought tickets so we can go up the Sands Sky Park – a view deck shaped like a luxury ship where you can see the view overlooking the city.

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The lobby of Marina Bay Sands Hotel
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At the Sky Park
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The city looked somewhat dull in the afternoon
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Then …  it became a city of lights.

We had fun looking at the view, had a lot of photos taken. As the sky becomes dark, the city transformed into a city of lights. It was an amazing sight to behold. As we explored the sky park, we also saw the infinity pool.

Upon leaving Marina Bay Sands, we passed through the Double helix bridge and visited the Youth Olympic park.

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“I was up there a while ago.” ^0^
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The lights are really mesmerizing …

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Afterwards, we boarded the train, then bus #64 and bought fruits at the wet market near our hotel. We were really exhausted since we were walking most of the time to see and appreciate different sights so we took a much needed rest.

Photos (c) of Te Leah.