Department of Tourism Philippines and MTV Asia has a joint project soon to be launched first thing in October. We were fortunate enough to get an exclusive preview of their collaboration with renowned Filipino-American Apl.de.ap (Allan Pineda Lindo) of Black Eyed Peas called “Take U to the Philippines”
I wanted to continue on the blow-by-blow account of my day at Singapore, but I also kind of wanted to fast track it a little just to end the series. Taking off from Little India I headed to Orchard Road, Singapore’s famous shopping district to beat the afternoon heat. I checked out Kinokonuya Bookstore to pass time and later, ate one of those Waffle Ice Creams at the streets.
Serangoon Road in LIttle India
After my walk in China Town, I took an MRT to Singapore’s Little India. Immediately after stepping out of the MRT station up in the streets, I was greeted by a faint scent of incense and unknown spices in the air. I walked towards the Serangoon Road, the main road which intersects the community, is also one of Singapore’s oldest roads.
Thian Hock Keng Temple and surrounding buildings
Moving along from the Sri Miriamman Temple I headed towards Cross St. where I would take a right turn towards the Thian Hock Keng Temple. It was only 5 minutes to 10 minutes walk and on your right along Telok Ayer St. you’ll find the temple passing by a small oasis park. The temple is a small typical Taoist Temple, said to be built by Seamen in 1821 for safe passage. The material construction of the temple boast of international origins, with ironwork from Scotland, tiles from England and the Netherlands, and towering granite pillars entwined with dragons from China. There was a small tour group there with a mixture of foreign tourist from Europe and some Koreans as well.
Sri Miriamman Temple Gopuram
“Do you know how I could get to Roosevelt road?” a middle aged man asked me while I was waiting on a bus stop in Geylang. He was wearing those large fashion sun-glasses and I could see the noticeable streaks of gray in his hair while he pointed on a location on his map. I was smiling and told him “Sorry. No. I’m also new here.”
I’m actually so new in Singapore that I was about to venture into the city that Monday morning. My friend has gone to work that day so I’m left by my lonesome to explore its nooks and crannies. And here I am on my walking shorts, horizontal striped polo shirt with my mini-bag on my back lugging my camera and cheap tripod along with a handy tourist map and a copy of Let’s Go Southeast Asia which a friend back home lent me before I left the country. Fear never got into me as my brief venture along its streets a few days ago gave a familiar feel of a modern city of Manila due to the numbers of Filipinos I encounter along the way.
Singapore’s Clark Quay
I must admit that it was my first time visiting Singapore. Thanks to my friend Jaz who let me squatter at his apartment during my sojourn at this famed “Fine” city, it sure lowered my travel expenses since Singapore’s cost of living is quite high. It sure was exciting seeing those myriad pastel colored houses, double decked buses and sanitized streets when the MRT got out of the tunnel from Changi Airport.
Dynamic lighted umrella roofs with phallic inspired(?) air ducts
I only have a limited time to truly explore the city after we got back from Vietnam. My impression of Singapore is really a small country where everything is in place or order. It’s an architect’s playground with dynamic designed buildings. Everything really is well presented here. I mean, the river isn’t that good looking, it even looks like the “Bagong Ilog” in Pasig, but they somehow managed to make it “Look Good,” which is clever actually. They don’t have much of a major heritage here, but they make it a point to make it well known by putting informative markers which makes them more interesting.
The Imperial Citadel of Hue, Central Vietnam
It’s so nice to go back home after a very long and far away travel. Though it may be tiring but the excitement and rewards of traveling to different places is incomparable. Somehow, every time you go back, you are a different person. You bring back all the experience, the culture and the people you’ve encountered on your recent travel. The sights and sounds, whether you it exceeded your expectations or not, are forever engraved in your memories.
In my recent travel to Central Vietnam, I was literally blown away by the excitingly wild city streets of Vietnam. Riding on the back of a motorcycle from city to city to visit ancient heritage sights is quite an experience to remember.
Singapore’s Central Business District
In a major contrast, Singapore’s modern city, despite its overly-sanitized environs still holds some cultural treasures under its fast-growing urban façade.
For now its time to rest these weary feet and be ready for another round of travel. 😛