Summer in Singapore

4 years ago, I went on a trip with my best friend in Singapore that lasted for 12 days. We were freshly out from college then so we were bums. It was one of my most spontaneous trips ever, for we did not have any itineraries. We just knew that we will be there for a couple of days, and we will just go with the flow.

Singapore in a glimpse of 12 days and 11 nights (08.08.13-08.19.13)

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It was a smooth 3-hour flight from Manila to Singapore on a fine-sunny Thursday morning of August 8, 2013. Upon arrival at Changi Airport in Singapore, we were fetched by the friend of my friend’s mom, and headed to Yew Tee to drop-off our luggage at her flat. We took a bus around the area, and alight at Choa Chu Kang before taking a cab going to Orchard Rd. We went to Takashimaya, and stroll around before having our dinner at Crystal Jade. After dinner, we headed to the grocery, and fill our carts that can suffice our cravings for about a week. We didn’t go to the Marina area on that day because it was Singapore’s National Day, and the area must be really crowded.

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Search for xiao long bao

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grocery supplies for one week

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view from our room

Day 2- 08.09.13

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It was a day to to meet up old friends. First, we went to Buona Vista, then to Holland Village. It was a day of catching-up, walking around, and eating at Hawkers.

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waiting for bus ride

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a mall in Buona Vista

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Day 3- 08.10.13

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A view of Marina Bay Sands Hotel

We explored the Marina Bay area on our 3rd day. We took the train, and walk towards the city coming from Raffles. We had dinner with friends at the Newton Food Place,  where I had a chicken satay dipped in peanut butter sauce and a Vietnamese-type of rice for dinner.

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Fullerton Hotel

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Singapore Flyer

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After eating and walking around, we went to the infamous bridge at Clarke Quay. When we were there, booze were still allowed to be consumed while police officers are roaming around. I had a free Singapore sling in exchange of a picture. They were promoting the drink at that time, and who wouldn’t want a free drink ( especially that booze are pretty expensive in Singapore). It was also my first time to see a convenience store with a very long line outside. I think they are the richest 7-eleven store in the world. Packed with long lines outside, people were there to buy beers, liquors and other beverages.

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Newton Food Place

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Chicken satay with peanut butter sauce

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Singapore sling for free!

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Day 4- 08.11.13

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Shoes at Little India

We went a little out of way that day, and headed to Little India. I am not really sure what to see in there, but we gave it a try. We ended up getting henna tattoos, designed by an Indian woman. Aside from us, there were also other foreigners, then I started bargaining the price. The Indian woman hushed me and said she’ll give us discount.

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Getting a henna tattoo

After our adventure in Little India, we went back to Orchard to watch movie with our friends. Who would love to see Conjuring in Singapore? Well, that’s us.

Day 5- 08.12.13

We woke up very late on our 5th day. So our day started in the late afternoon already. We explored the Gardens at the Bay at night, and I don’t think I could walk on those very high bridges in the morning. Thankfully, we did it at night. After being tourist-y, we had dinner at TCC in the Marina mall, and moved to Clarke Quay bridge for another night of booze.

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Gardens at the Bay

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Tourist-y vibe with the BFF

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Day 6- 08.13.13

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China town

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For today’s adventure, we visited the China Town, and ate at Toast Box. Wandered around the Raffles Place going to the Merlion Park and we saw the ice cream sandwich guy. Never leave Singapore without trying the ice cream sandwich, and it only costs SGD 1.20 At night, we passed by the Singapore flyer, but opted not to take it, and save it for another time.

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Goofing around the Merlion Park

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The famous Singapore landmark

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Ice cream sandwich for SGD 1.20

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Day 7- 08.14.13

Finally, we had a chance to go clubbing at Avalon. It was packed by foreign exchange students, and I was looking for my fellow Filipinos, but I guess they were busy studying. After-all it was a Tuesday night. We capped off the night by eating at one of the hawkers.

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Day 8- 08.15.13

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Resort’s World Sentosa

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After one week, we finally stepped into Sentosa Island, and chilled by the Siloso Beach. We met the lifeguard, who’s in the same age as ours. By night time, no one is allowed to camp out by the shore, but of course, we have the access. We did camp at night by the beach.

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Siloso Beach

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Sunset in Sentosa

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with the local lifeguards

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zipline from one end to another

Day 9- 08.16.13

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People waiting for the Songs of the Sea to start

We went back to Sentosa, and watched the Songs of the Sea for only SGD 12 per head. It was very entertaining and kids will love it, just as much as I did.

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We had to go back to our flat early to prepare for our dinner night with our host and her tenants. We had dinner at an Australian cuisine, Salt Grill and Sky Bar, located at the 56th floor in ION Orchard with a good view of Singapore’s skyline. I enjoyed the meal, and I was also surprised of our total bill, which cost around PHP 11000.

Day 10- 08.17.13

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Universal Studios Singapore

This day was dedicated for Universal Studios Singapore. I felt like being a kid again. I enjoyed it, but sadly not all rides were open that time or some have super long lines that I cannot afford to wait. Definitely, will come back for this.

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Exploring USS

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After our USS adventure, we passed by Bugis Junction to shop for souvenirs. I found a lot of affordable items and quirky gifts. You will love the place especially if you are a shopaholic. Towards early evening, we had dinner at Fandango in Chijmes district. I love this part of Singapore because of the ambiance.

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Day 11- 08.18.13

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This was our last night in Singapore, and we cannot miss a night at Marina Bay Sands hotel. Our host was very generous and sweet, and she gave it as a gift- overnight stay at MBS hotel. Who wouldn’t want to stay in this luxurious hotel, and plunge into the roof deck infinity pool.

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Day 12- 08.19.13

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We took a dip into the pool in the early morning of our last day before we checked out at lunch. We ate somewhere in Marina mall, but I cannot really recall where exactly it was. In the afternoon, we went to Changi Airport to catch our 5:00pm flight to Manila, and hola, back to reality.

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If given time, I will come back to Singapore, and try out things I haven’t visited, and will try to make a Singapore-Malaysia trip this time.

Beautiful Bohol

Another beauty of Mother Earth has been showcased in the province of Bohol. The island is blessed with natural beauty; from the chocolate hills and lush green forests to the crystal clear river and white powdery shores of Panglao Island. Let’s not forget that it is also the home of the world’s smallest primate, the tarsier. It does not only boast its natural beauty, but also its historical value. Bohol houses century-old churches, ancestral homes, etc. The first blood compact between a Filipino and a foreigner took place in Bohol too. If you will recall from our history class, Rajah Sikatuna made a blood compact with Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the first Spanish governor-general of the Philippines to symbolize their alliance.

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Panglao Beach

Bohol in a glimpse of 2 days and 1 night. (11.26.16-11.27.16)

Bohol is an island located in Central Visayas. Should you wish to visit this beautiful paradise, you may have Manila or Cebu as your entry point. Bohol is 2 hours away from Cebu City via fast craft and an hour away from Manila via domestic flight to Tagbilaran. Scheduled trips are available daily from Manila and Cebu. Be sure to book in advance your ticket because most of the time the trips are full. From Cebu City’s pier 2, we took a 2 hour ride via Oceanjet fast craft. We availed the earliest at 6:00am and costs 920PHP roundtrip economy per person. Add 25PHP terminal fee per person. We reached Tagbilaran at 8:00am, and we were picked-up by our tour guide.

11.26.16 Countryside Tour

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Our driver and guide at the port.

Our tour began after our driver, Lito, picked us up from the port. I have availed a Countryside Tour from Incredible Bohol by Sir Tatsky Cubero because, first, I don’t want the hassle of commuting. We will be visiting different sites, and if we choose the road less traveled, we have to take different rides too. Second, I am not familiar with the schedule of public transpo, and if we ended our tour at night, rides may not be available too. I highly recommend Sir Tatsky if you wish to get a tour. The tour includes pick-up from port, countryside tour (except entrance fee for each), and drop off at resort in Panglao for only Php 2100. I think the rate is good for 4 persons already since you really pay the car rental and service.

  •  Blood Compact Site
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Rajah Sikatuna & Miguel Lopez de Legaspi blood compact site.

Again, if you listen to your history teacher you will know that the blood compact between Rajah Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi took place in Bohol. In honor of that event, a monument has been created by a fellow Boholano, and can be visited for free.

Entrance Fee: Free

  •  Baclayon Church

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This is one of Bohol’s century-old church. It was badly devastated when an earthquake hit the province in 2013. Right now, it’s under construction. A museum is open for tour at the side of the church for a minimal fee.

Entrance Fee: Free

  • Butterfly Haven

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It’s just a bonsai garden filled with butterflies. A souvenir shop is also conveniently located there.

Entrance Fee: 45PHP per person

  • Loboc River Cruise and Floating Restaurant
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River cruise & lunch for two

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Loboc River

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A view of lush green forests and crystal clear water while you’re on board and eating your Filipino lunch buffet. To make it more lovely, some good old songs are played by a live band. The trip lasts for about an hour. Our guide told us that we should have the river cruise first to avoid waiting for so long and it will consume so much time for our trip.

Entrance Fee: 450PHP per person

  • Chocolate Hills

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This is the most famous landmark of Bohol. It takes about some 200 steps to reach the viewing deck, and you get a spectacular 360 degree view. It’s worth all the steps because the view is breathtaking. I’m not so sure how many hills are really in there, but it’s quite plenty.

Entrance Fee: 50PHP per person

  • Tarsier Conservation Center

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Hello there tiny one!

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Yes, they are out in the forest in this protected conservation center. When we visited, most of them are asleep, and you just see their back. They are so tiny, that the center’s staff has to point where the tarsier is exactly at. A friendly reminder to our fellow guests, please turn off the flash of your cameras for this may stress the tarsier and please do not touch them. Tarsiers can be suicidal if they are stressed out.

Entrance Fee: 60PHP per person

  • Bamboo Hanging Bridge

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It’s the oldest of its kind in the province. A twin bamboo hanging bridge to cross the river. After crossing the bridge, you may opt to buy souvenirs and refreshments. In order to go back, you have to take another bamboo bridge.

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Entrance Fee: 20PHP per person

  • Man-made Mahogany Forest

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According to our guide, back in the Marcos era, students from public schools were required to plant trees. The mahogany forest along the highway was the result of this tree planting project. It’s more than a kilometer stretch of mahogany trees making the surrounding beautiful.

Entrance Fee: Free

  • Shiphauz

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There is a famous house in Bohol that was patterned from a ship and it instantly became a landmark. It is said to be owned by a sailor. Tours stop by the house for photo op.

Entrance Fee: Free

  • Hinagdanan Cave

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After our tour in Tagbilaran, we moved to Panglao Island, and visited the Hinagdanan Cave. In the center of it is a mini lake, which is about 10 feet deep or more with fishes in it.

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Entrance Fee: 115PHP for 2 pax including parking fee

  • Bohol Bee Farm

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Aside from offering organic choices, Bohol Bee Farm is a resort as well. However, it is not located along the shores of Alona. You get to tour around the farm, and see how they process their products. We bought home the pesto spread, which I really give a thumbs up. Don’t forget to try their organic ice cream. It’s so good and it comes in different flavors.

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Famous organic ice cream

Entrance Fee: 30PHP per person

Now our tour has ended, and we were dropped off at our hotel, Scent of Green Papaya Resort, near the Alona beach side. Our hotel is not in the beach front, but they have tricycle rides that can drop and pick you up from the shore and it’s free. I have availed a room for 1 night good for 2 persons and it exceeded my expectations. Our room is so big for us with a good view of the pool plus free breakfast and a strong wifi connection. I have booked our hotel through Booking.com and just pay the remaining balance upon arrival.

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After we have left our things at the resort, we strolled along the shores of Alona and looked for a place to eat dinner. We found a Thai restaurant named Isis. Food was great, although I am not a fan of spicy food. Budget-wise, decent enough for a sumptuous meal of two. Of course we cannot skip dessert- it’s a must every after meal. There was a stall of Bohol Bee Farm’s ice cream. We got to taste the rare finds like malunggay, guyabano, etc.

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Thai food for dinner

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11.27.16 Alona Beach

When the sun is finally out, we had our breakfast by the terrace before we jumped into the pool then head to the beach. It was a good day to get a tan. In fact, I think I was extra tanned that day. We were asked if we would like to avail the island hopping and snorkeling package. I declined bec. most of the online articles I’ve read stated that it was a tourist trap and second, i’m not into snorkeling.

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We spent midday in Panglao beach. We were enjoying the sun and the waters, and ignored getting dark. There were many foreigners around, and soaking themselves in the sun to get the perfect tan as well. It was a little bit past lunch when we left the beach and returned to our hotel and prepare to leave.

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When we were all set to leave, we hired the resort’s transfer service going to the port, and cost us Php 600. It wasn’t bad at all because some could even be pricier.

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For itinerary, directions, food places and budget, feel free to click the Itinerary-_Bohol_2016[1] link.

Bohol is indeed a beautiful place, and I’m planning to come back after a few years.

Explore Bohol. https://chasingworlds.net/2017/03/30/beautiful-bohol/

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