Posted on July 22, 2013


This month I travelled to Singapore to attend a family reunion.  This year happened to see my mom’s 70th birthday, my niece Erika’s and my nephew’ Jeremy’s graduations.  Two of my sisters, Ayen and Ishy, decided these were very good reasons  for a get-together.  They both planned 8 months in advance.  Yes!  That much foresight was needed since we live in different countries now.  The slideshow would give you bits and pieces of the highlights of the trip.  Bonus on this trip:  on the way to Singapore, we get to lay-over at Helsinki for 10 hours both ways!  Of course, we looked around downtown Helsinki and sampled the food.  See next post for Helsinki’s highlights.

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1.  Day 1 in Singapore, Ishy brought us right away by the harbor front of Marina Bay Sands to see a light show.  Singapore has definitely changed from what I remember.  It became more impressive than the last time I was there in 1999.  A panorama of its towering skyline shone brightly at the background as the water fountains danced in sync with its lively music.  I was perfectly contented just sitting by the boardwalk, inhaling the salty breezy air.

2. Hawker bars peddling street food 24/7!  What really whets my appetite was the idea of tasty food cooked from scratch and doesn’t break the bank.  It reminded me so much of how my eating habits were back in Manila: constantly snacking, constantly tasting tidbits of this and that.  It was pure indulgence to try so many things and not to hurt the bottom-line.

3. Loved all the quirky junk food of Singapore – Cadbury Milk Chocolate with Popping Candy and Jellybeans to Pringles Salt & Seaweed flavor.  I also paid homage to my childhood favorite Jollibee.  I couldn’t resist indulging in Filipino spaghetti and cheeseburger when I came to know that the popular Filipino franchise opened a branch in Singapore.  Things like that could easily make me giddy.

4. I don’t remember the last time I had so much fun in an amusement park as for when I was in Universal Studios.  I was beyond words after the Transformers 4D ride.  It was sure worth the loooong wait!  Kudos to the architects to also have the foresight to install roofs even on the pathways.  That sudden pouring of rain would have dampened the moment if we were drenched while waiting in line.  Biggest regret was that I didn’t run and gave Cookie Monster a superdupertighthuggle.  LOL.

5.  While my sisters were indulging on swimming at the Infinity Pool on the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, I found the grove of gigantic man-made trees by the Gardens by the Bay most photogenic.  The super trees were actually vertical gardens.  I warmed up to the idea of synthetic trees when I saw the height and the accessibility to walk by its hanging walkways.  The width of the canopies gave so many patterns, I just had to lie down on the pavement to take some pictures.  I finally put to good use the panorama function of my iPhone.  See the collage and tell me what you think.  We stayed long enough to see the light show that happened by twilight.  Let’s just say, this night was the most I clicked on my whole stay in Singapore. :)

6. My cousin Carlo invited us to have dinner at Yu Cuisine.  What I most remembered from this night was my sister Ayen’s comment, “Finally quiet”.   It was distinctly calm and seemingly tranquil in comparison to the usual chaotic flurry of hawker stands.  The dining space was fixture d with glass chandeliers, white round tables and plush, tufted, silver seats.  I can actually hear my mom sitting across me.  This was also where we discovered we loved black pepper crab more than chili crab.  This place was pure seafood indulgence.

7. Crossing the border to go to Legoland Malaysia.  A day trip from Singapore, we all rekindled our love for anything Lego.  Being with my family, we found it easy to find our inner giddy child, always seeing some form of amusement with every turn in the park.  There were several rides for “older” kids (this is what we pretended to be…LOL) and my most favorite was Dino Island.  Akin to Timber Wolf of Canada’s Wonderland, we ended up totally drenched.  I did not really mind as it was a good way to cool down.

8.  Final dinner with the Manago’s on our last night in Singapore.  This get-together reminded me of those Sundays we used to spend at my parent’s house.  We used to start before lunch and all visitors would leave after dinner.  The banter between cousins were just as boisterous and vibrant.  All we really needed was a karaoke to complete the memory.  This was really what I miss most with my family.

Thank you Ayen and Ish for toiling over the trip.  It was good to see you all once again.  I will miss you all until Australia?  ;)