Shenanigans in Singapore

View of Marina Bay Sands

May is an eventful month for me. Right after my Senior Highschool graduation ceremony, we packed our bags and went straight to the airport for a trip again. This time, it’s Singapore. Our flight’s 9:40 in the evening (May 21, 2018) and we were at NAIA Terminal 3 around 6:30 pm. We immediately checked in our luggages but it took us approximately 2 hours just to reach the boarding gate since there are 17 of us travelling. I forgot to mention that Cebu Pacific is our carrier this time and I can’t help but compare how I like Philippine Airline’s in-flight meal better. Why? Because PAL’s food has appetizer, main course, desert, and unlimited drinks. Cebu Pacific, on the other hand, only has main course. You’ll also have to pay separately for the water which is kind of annoying. Fast forward to when we arrived Changi Airport, it was around 2:00 in the morning (May 22, 2018) and everybody has no energy left in their system only to find out that 2 of our suitcases were left in Manila and it was solely Cebu Pacific’s fault so because of this, we told ourselves we’re never going to ride Cebu Pacific again. It’s not just the first time they did this to us. Moving on, I didn’t bother taking pictures in Changi Airport since my hair’s a total mess, I have no makeup on and I was only wearing a tank top and sweats (Hahaha imagine!). After getting our luggages from the carousel, we went to the arrival lobby of the airport to buy MRT passes and tickets for different attractions. There’s a stall called Changi Recommends where you can rent a pocket wifi, purchase sim cards and attraction tickets (like Universal Studios Singapore pass, Safari pass, Sentosa Island fun pass, etc.). We hailed a taxi outside the airport and in just 15 minutes, we reached our hotel which is 30 Bencoolen Hotel located in Bencoolen, Singapore. It’s a 3-star hotel located in the heart of the city. So many stores and shopping malls are surrounding our hotel and I really recommend it if you’re planning for a vacation in Singapore.


I first showered before going to bed and it was 4:30 am in the morning that time. I set an alarm at 8:00 am so we could eat our complimentary buffet breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant which is just beside the lobby. I had sausages, bacon, potato wedges, rotti, chicken curry, pancakes, lemak rice, seafood rolls, croissant, and more Singaporean food. Basically, I took a little bit of everything. Surprisingly, Singaporean food tastes delicious than what I expected it to be. We left the hotel at around 1 pm. We first went to National Museum of Singapore which is just like a 2-minute walk from our hotel. We spent approximately PHP 8,000 just for the entrance fee and we explored the place afterwards. I’m a museum-type of person so visiting museums is fun for me. Then, we walked to Orchard Road which is the home of shopping malls in Singapore. We ate at a Thai restaurant for our late lunch and we rode the MRT going to Little India. Also, can I just say that escalators in Singapore, just like in Hong Kong, are dangerously fast? One time in HK, my grandma tripped and fell in the escalator causing her to have a huge bump in her head so everyone, be careful when riding it because it does move very fast. We got lost on our way to Night Safari because we missed our transfer stop so we had to get off the bus to prevent further damage hahahaha! However, we kinda got tired so we just booked Grab and to be honest, it’s been very useful throughout our Singapore trip since it’s always there to rescue us whenever we’re lost or something hahaha! Back to the topic, it was around 8:40 pm when we arrived at Night Safari. The whole attraction consists of riding a tram where a guide will be talking about the different nocturnal animals. I’m not really an animal lover so I didn’t appreciate the attraction much but I really feel bad for the animals caged in the zoo. It’s making me so sad because they should be out in the wild living freely. After the 40-minute tram ride, we went straight home and arrived the hotel at 10:40 pm.


Day 2 of our trip (May 23, 2018), we went to Merlion Park, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and Bugis Street. The first 3 that I mentioned were close to each other so going to each place wasn’t difficult. It was a hot humid day and it we decided to walk around Merlion Park to take pictures of Merlion and the view of Marina Bay Sands. We took a ferry boat going to Marina Bay Sands and it costs SGD 15 per person. The ride was short, approximately 5 minutes we reached Marina Bay Sands. We strolled for a bit then we walked our way towards Gardens by the Bay. We were only able to go to Flower Dome and Cloud Forest but I like the latter better because it’s more picturesque and there’s lesser people. We were supposed to go to SuperTree Grove but we didn’t have tickets for it so we ended up just going to Bugis Street. Bugis Street is a place where you can buy cheap souvenirs and cheap but delicious streetfood. We spent a lot of time there and it was around 9 pm when we got to the hotel.


The following day (May 24, 2018), our plan was to go to the remaining 3 zoos which are Singapore Zoo, River Safari, and Jurong Bird Park. We spent too much time in River Safari so we weren’t able to go Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park anymore. To be honest though, I didn’t fully enjoy the zoos because as I’ve said, I’m not really an animal lover. Probably, the Panda attraction was the only one that caught my eye but other than that, nothing more. I wish we could’ve just spent the day in Sentosa Island or Universal Studios Singapore—which I think is more fun. So after River Safari, we went to IMM Mall, an outlet mall located in Jurong, to buy some stuff. It was actually a luxurious mall but all stores, like Coach, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, etc., were on sale so the family decided to stop by there before going home. We got home pretty late and I really had no energy left I decided to stay at our hotel room to watch Netflix while the others went again to Bugis Street. I even asked my Dad to do a late convenience store-run to buy me food and holy moly, they have Onigiri! Eating it honestly made me feel like I was in Japan. After eating my midnight snacks, I packed my bags—but I’m still not yet ready to go home.


Last day in our Singapore came (May 25,2018), I was too lazy to get up from my bed knowing I won’t be able to cuddle our hotel’s fluffy and comfy sheets anymore. My Dad and I proceeded to the restaurant to eat breakfast and I just can’t leave the table because the food was too good I couldn’t stop from eating hahaha! So anyway, we finished packing our bags and we proceeded to the hotel lobby to check out. Good thing, the hotel attendant booked us a Grab Coach so we can easily go the airport. It was a short 20-minute ride going to Changi Airport and did I mention our flight is still 6:00 pm? Hahaha. We arrived at Terminal 4 at around 2 pm and we honestly don’t know what to do since we have 4 hours left in the airport so I asked my cousin to take pictures of me. Time came when we have to check in our suitcases. Just a random thought, I love how Changi Airport is designed. They have enough seats for everyone and their waiting area looks like a V.I.P. lounge except there’s no free food. Overall, our Singapore trip was one of those “chill” trips I’ve had. Everywhere you look, there’s trees and plants making me feel fresh even though it’s hot and humid (you get me? Hahaha). Although the people are not as polite as the Japanese, it’s a country I would consider living in. Navigating through the country was also easy and conversing with people is surprisingly not difficult. I would really love to go back since there were places we missed out on. I’ll see you soon, Singapore!


Getting Lost in Japan: Osaka

Osaka Castle

Finally, I had the time to write about my Osaka trip– the second part of my Japan blog post. Just like Tokyo, I had tons of fun in Osaka but frankly, I like Tokyo better. I dont know maybe because we only had 3 full days to explore the city that’s why I wasn’t able to appreciate Osaka more? But now, let me tell you about our 3 days in Osaka.

We took the shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station. It took us 2 hours and 30 minutes but ok let me tell you first how hard it is to navigate through Tokyo Station with our 12 suitcases. Yeah, you heard it right. We have 12 suitcases and imagine how difficult it is to walk around the station with that many luggages. It took us 2 hours to buy 12 shinkansen tickets not because the queue is long (there’s none actually) but because we got lost on our way to the ticket counter. Tickets were approximately 13, 260 yen (around Php 7,000) per person as we picked the Nozomi Shinkansen Train, the fastest bullet train. The train just arrived when we passed through the gates so we were rushing towards car number 3– car for non-reserved seats (we were in front of car 16 that time lol). When we got inside the train, I was amazed because it didn’t look like a train at all. It looks more of an airplane to be honest. What I also really like about it is that it has a huge leg room (wayyyy better than a plane’s leg room). It can fit my huge luggages and my legs without feeling uncomfortable at all. We took few stops at different stations before arriving in Osaka. We hailed a van and a taxi going to our Airbnb house and it only took us around 15 minutes. Our Airbnb host is very friendly and the interior of the house is also cute since it’s full of pastel furnitures and decors. What I like about the house that we stayed at is it’s very close from Dotonbori. By just 2 minutes of walking, you’ll be able to get there.


We just spent the whole day relaxing in the house. The next day (May 9, 2018), we decided to go to Osaka Castle and explore Dotonbori, Namba, and Shinsaibashi. We took the train going to Osaka castle and I just have to say that it’s easier to navigate in Osaka more than Tokyo probably because you can see more signages in Osaka. We hike our way going to Osaka Castle and we took A LOT of pictures on our way to the top. We stroll inside Miraiza Osaka-jo, a shopping mall just beside Osaka Castle. We ate Takoyaki (for the nth time) because we were starving! Afterwards, we made our way to Namba and stroll along the shopping areas until we reached Shinsaibashi where we bought and ate Pablo Cheesecake. I forgot the name that I bought but it was a cheese tart with an ice cream beside it. It was so delicious that I was able to finish it in less than 3 minutes. We went to different stores in Shinsaibashi until we found McDonald’s along the way and spent probably an hour there. ALSO, I was so happy when I saw that their McNuggets is on SALE. YES! ON SALE!! I forgot how much exactly it is but ugh, my McNuggets heart is so happy! After some time, we went to Dotonbori and explored the place. My brother and I also tried the gigantic clams which costs 500 yen each (around Php 250). It’s expensive but we didn’t regret spending our money because it was soooooo delicious! After buying another set of Takoyaki and Onomiyaki, my mom and I went to Forever21. I spent an hour there just sulking in one corner. Why? Let’s not talk about it hahaha. After an hour of giving my mom an attitude, I went to the third floor of Forever21 and dang! Everything there was on clearance! It was 9:00 pm that time and I wished I didn’t sulk in the corner an hour ago. Everything was 50-75% off and I scored a looooot of items. A lot, really! What’s also good about it is we got some items for free because they had a promo going on. We were the last customer to pay that time because I took so much time picking stuff.


The following day (May 10, 2018), we woke up early to go to Universal Studios. I was very hyped while walking along the City Walk. We took quite a few pictures in front of the Universal Studios Globe. After some time, we went straight to the entrance since we already bought our tickets from Klook. It was my first time going to Universal Studios and dang, all rides were beyond my expectations! It’s unique and very far from Disney. I would say it’s more adult-friendly since most rides are extreme. We first tried the 4D Minion Ride. The queue was very long and it took us an hour before getting on the actual ride. We thought it’s kid-friendly but we thought wrong hahaha! My 4-year-old cousins ended up whining and crying throughout the ride. What is it about? Just see for yourself! Hahaha. Anyway, so we proceeded to Jurassic World and my brother, sister, and parents decided to ride the Flying Dinosaur in to which I declined because I’m a scaredy cat. I waited for around an hour for them to finish but while I was waiting, I bought myself some caramel popcorn. I was quite disappointed there’s no other choice but caramel because I hate that flavor, swear! After the Flying Dinosaur ride, we went to eat at Discovery Restaurant. I picked Korean BBQ just because I’m craving for Korean food that time. While we were eating, a dinosaur came out of nowhere! Hahaha. It scared the hell out of my little cousins but it was really entertaining to watch. After eating, we tried the Jaws ride then The Dream Ride Rollercoaster. Hell, I almost fainted while we were on the queue. My parents forced me into that ride and when we got into the actual ride, I’m already at the verge of vomiting (because of too much anxiety! hahaha). Good thing, I didn’t. I just kept my eyes closed throughout the entire ride and I can’t help but scream everytime there’s a drop. I didn’t regret trying that ride, though! It was fun and it literally took me out of my comfort zone hahaha! After that life-threatening (it really is!) ride, we went to try Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Of course, I can’t leave USJ without trying their famous butter beer! I was craving for it prior to this trip and so I can really say, cravings satisfied! I’m not really a fan of Harry Potter and to be honest, I don’t know what it is about (I haven’t watched the movie nor read the book yet, forgive me) but I enjoyed the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. I won’t spoil you on what it is about. The Flight of Hippogriff ride was short but amusing. It’s basically a rollercoaster but not an extreme one, it’s something I would enjoy. Afterwards, we took a few pictures and then we went home early. I would love to go back to USJ if given the chance. I also like their rides better than Disney since they’re more inclined to adults but they also have kid-friendly attractions. The others went to Dotonbori while I stayed home to eat my convenience store-bought food. I had Gyoza, Onigiri, and Tonkatsu. I packed my stuff and went to bed since we have an early flight the next morning.


Morning came (May 11, 2018) and I felt very sad leaving Japan. I went on a last-minute run to Lawson and spent my remaining money to buy Onigiri. I realized I bought way too many Onigiris while I was in Japan and I’m really going to miss it. It was a cold morning (around 13 degrees celsius) and I just don’t want to leave Japan yet. Osaka was good to us. We didn’t get lost while we were navigating our way through the city. There were also a lot of cheap finds compared to Tokyo. It’s so sad we only got to spend 3 full days on such amazing city. I completely have no words for Japan. Hands down! It was an unforgettable trip, indeed. Mata ne, Japan!