Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Reunited in Singapore

Among my HS barkada, I'm the only one still living in Manila. The rest of them are either already based in other parts of the world or are working in several different desirable local destinations. We usually get to see each other only in December, when they come home to visit their loved ones. During one of those get-togethers, it was suggested that we should have our next reunion in Singapore (where some of us are based) but nothing ever transpired. So, imagine how excited we all were when we finally agreed to book a flight and meet this August! I mean, come on, this trip has been in the works since foreveeeer (most of us were still here in Manila when the plan was conceived).

Our main goals were simple. We wanted to have some bonding time, to do some of the touristy stuff, and to experience what the locals did for fun. Spending all our nights catching up on each other's lives, we made sure that our days were filled with activities.
 The first thing we ticked off our list was Universal Studios Singapore! We went on a weekday but USS was still packed so we decided to stay until closing. After USS, we headed straight to Siloso beach to watch the Songs of the Sea.

One of the things I loved about Singapore was the food! I was so excited to try two things, authentic hainanese chicken and kaya toast. It was good to know that the stuff I've tried in the Philippines are close to the authentic ones. For pasalubong, we scoured the grocery for Old Town coffee and Teh Tarik milk tea.
Another place we visited was Orchard Road. Aside from the luxury brands, this is where you can find the famous ice cream sandwich and wafer ice cream. We ordered some but gobbled them up before realizing that we still haven't taken pictures of it. Two shops in Orchard that I thoroughly enjoyed were Kikki.K and Typo (CottonOn's stationery store).

Since we stayed at a friend's house, we were exposed to how Singaporean residents lived. We were able to ride the MRT, the bus and the cab (I was secretly hoping to catch the Cash Cab.. Haha). Our Singapore-based friends also mentioned that the various nationalities of the people living in Singapore meant a mix of cultures with different distinct personalities. As someone who's fond of observing people, I was actually elated to see the differences.

On our last night, our SG-based friends decided to take us to Makansutra Gluttons Bay. It's an alfresco hawker food center that offers a wide array of cuisines. Makansutra is slightly more expensive than the usual hawker food centers but since one of our friends was celebrating her birthday, we decided to have a feast! Our friends made us try the much-celebrated barbecued chicken wings among other things. True enough, it was superb (especially with the rice). While waiting for our food, I was pleasantly surprised to spot a Filipino stall, Gerry's Grill.

We left Singapore with bigger bellies, tons of fun stories to share back at home, and even bigger luggage! It's true what they say about visiting a foreign country, making you feel humbled and blessed and super appreciative. This trip will forever be close to my heart not only because of the conversations (no matter how shallow or profound) we had or the quirky hashtags we blurted out but because of the people I shared it with. :) So, this is me encouraging you to travel and explore the world (or even the Philippines!). Despite all the negative news we hear, it is heartening to see that it's actually a wonderful world that we live in. :)

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