How’s this for a throwback!? Let’s rewind to 1991 shall we? Here are some photos from our family’s very first trip to Singapore. Check out my dad’s gigantic Handy Cam! Hahaha, classic 🙂 And would you believe my mom was only 28 in this photo? That’s two years younger than my current age and she had two grade schoolers already! Whoa. Memories of this trip are still so fresh in my brain bank. I still remember chasing peacocks in the Singapore Zoo, my dad carrying my sister on several flights of stairs just so we could ride the cable car (our first time ever!), and my mom telling us to keep all the tickets and brochures in Sentosa as souvenirs (we still have all these 22 year old memorabilias attached in our photo albums!).
Indeed, A LOT has changed since then! I’ve been shuttling to Singapore about 6-7-8 times (I’ve actually lost count, I obviously love Singapore! hihihi) within those 20++ years—and yet I never ever get tired of visiting this welcoming and vibrant city. Whether I come for a quick getaway or for work, there’s always something NEW to look forward to in Singapore.
We got a thoughtful invitation from our friends at The Singapore Tourism Board (with the help of Ogilvy&Mather) to go on a romantic holiday and I gave them a big “YES!!!!!” without even letting Maricar finish her sentence. I was actually in a meeting when I got the call and I was just too excited to actually process it—so the YES came out of my mouth out of sheer excitement. Hahaha!! It was only an hour after when I grab hold of my calendar that I realized I had a crazy work month ahead..and a doubly hellish month for Pat’s office. But I was determined to make time for this because I knew this was really a big blessing for me and Patrick especially since we were celebrating our first year togethaaaaaa!!! What an amazing anniversary gift from STB 🙂 🙂 They were so wonderful throughout the planning process, calling me from time to time to make sure that the itinerary that they plotted out suited our needs and preferences. It was such an action packed itinerary and I can’t wait to share it with all of you, feel free to copy this 4 day IT! Fun&Romance guaranteed, naks!
For most working couples like me and Pat, I’m sure squeezing in a decent holiday into your busy work sched is close to impossible. Trust me, I can relate. But with a bit of effort and proper planning, you can make that vacay a reality. And with the influx of affordable flights from Manila, Davao, and Cebu– it’s much more accessible for Pinoys to visit our SE Asian neighbour. Singapore is all but a quick 3 hour journey (that’s just like traveling from Manila to Batangas, if you add the airport wait that’s still less than traveling to Baguio!). And since it’s a relatively small country, everything is just 5-15 minutes away from each other—allowing you to do 5 or more activities in a day! We arrived on a Thursday morning and flew out on Sunday—just barely 4 days total but managed to squeeze in a lot of foodie trips, sightseeing, and even a bit of shopping too! Plus with their ever efficient and safe MTR, BUS, and taxi system, you can breeze through the city with no hassles at all.
After our Singapore Airlines flight, we landed in Changi and started our Singapore adventure with a hearty lunch at Candlenut. I’ve always been a fan of Singaporean cuisine—but now that we’ve tried Candlenut, I think Peranakan cuisine is inching it’s way to the top. Peranakan culture is a mix of Chinese and Baba Nyo-nya influences (Malay/Indonesian roots) which traces all the way back to the 15th/16th century. Their food resembles a lot of Filipino and Chinese dishes—but with a bit more exotic spices involved. I asked for “just a little chilli” and my mouth was on fire haflway through lunch. Their “moderately spicy”” is “someone get me a water hose now” in my tongue’s dictionary. But chilli-ing aside, the food was very tasty and I would definitely return to Candlenut on my next visit.
After the happy food coma at Candlenut, we checked in at Park Royal on Pickering. Hands down, the most beautiful hotel I’ve ever stayed at in Singapore. The architecture and interiors of this hotel was just mind blowing. I will post more photos of this hotel in my next entry 🙂
After a quick shower and siesta, we made our way to the Skypark of Marina Bay Sands Hotel to bask in the glorious sunset view of Singapore. If we do visit again, I’ll definitely make time to take a dip and sip by the infinity pool. It’s so spectacular, I could definitely picture James Bond sipping a (manly) martini here.
After the Skypark, we made our way to another romantic spot: The Singapore Flyer. The best time to get on The Singapore Flyer would have to be at night to get a clear view of the Singapore skyline. We were lucky enough to try the world’s first full butler sky dining service on the flyer. It was soooooooooo wonderful, definitely an experience to remember! It’s a bit of a splurge but if you’re trying to impress your sweetheart, this will seal the deal 🙂 This dinner experience is proposal worthy indeed! Or if you’re married, this is perfect for a “Get You Out of Jail” pass for future screw ups. When your wife nags you about the dishes you could always say “BUT I took you to the Singapore Flyer for dinner…remember???!” and just like that, all is forgiven. Hahahaha!
The sweetness did not end there. We dropped by 2AM Dessert Bar after dinner, a popular chill out spot for yuppies and expats in Holland Village. They have taken desserts to a whole new level. Think Gaudi, Miro and Dali all decided to hang out and oh… I don’t know, randomly set up a desserts cafe together. Far from your “pretty” cheesecake and cupcake joint—these are the artsy fartsy kind of desserts that are instagram worthy. Though the desserts resemble abstract paintings, the flavors are far from pretentious. They are easy on the palette and pair well with cocktails and wine too 🙂
photo from 2am desserts website
Thanks again to Suiteblanco for our clothes. Yes, Patrick was wearing Suiteblanco Men too 🙂 The beautiful (and more professional looking) photos featured in this post were provided by Singapore Tourism Board and the official STB photographer, Mr. Andrew Chua. Andrew followed us around for the first two days of our trip. The other shots are from my trusty Smart iPhone 5s 🙂 I will be sharing Days 2,3,4 in the coming days so stay tuned. If you need more help in planning your Singapore holiday, drop by www.yoursingapore.com 🙂