Revisiting The Merlion

PauTravels with family in Singapore at the Merlion

After more than a couple of years, I have again had the opportunity of visiting Singapore for Christmas and this time with my family. We have thought of taking the trip this year while Janine is still a one-year old and still have free tickets on the plane and most of the parks.

We again booked our flights through our favorite airline, Cebu Pacific Air for their midnight flights. We departed Manila on 22nd at 10pm and arrived in Singapore at 1am. And went home on the 29th at 1:30am and arriving Manila at 5am. Like our trip to Hong Kong, we once more brought quite a luggage, mostly for Janine’s needs plus gifts for our family in Singapore.We arrived at the Budget Terminal of Changi Airport around 1am. It was my first time to use this terminal since it was not yet built the last time I visited Singapore. From the terminal, we just took a cab to my brother’s new HDB flat in the Hougang area. My brother, Kuya Mark, was not able to meet us at the airport that night but he met us at the ground floor of their building. But since it was already late, we started our itinerary the next day.

The next day on the 23rd, we first made our way to the Singapore Zoo which is about 1 hour away from Hougang by 2 buses. Kuya, Joy (his wife) and my two nephews Nathan and Joshua with their nanny joined us for this trip. We spent the whole afternoon in the park which was very exhausting due to the Singapore heat and the vastness of the park. Anyways, I’ll write up another post regarding our complete trip at the Singapore Zoo.

We went back to Hougang around 5pm for a short rest before going to a dinner appointment with our friend Faith who used to be our colleague in WeServ. Faith told us to meet them at the East Coast Park restaurant strip at No Signboard Seafood. From Hougang we took a cab to the East Coast which costed us around S$15. We passed through a traffic congested avenue which was the first time I saw in Singapore and this is due to a road construction. We arrived at our meeting place around past 7pm and the sun was just setting down. Something different since the sun sets around 6pm in Manila.

Revisiting Singapore

With Faith and family in East Coast Beach

Revisiting Singapore

Janine with Jeremy and Jewel

And so Faith’s husband Jim, and her two kids Jeremy and Jewel met us for dinner. They ordered one of Singapore’s trademark dishes, the Chili Crab, a squid dish and a crispy buttered shrimp dish, plus some tofu. During dinner we just chatted for a while but I had to leave them while I watch over Janine who was having fun running around the lawn in front of the restaurant which by the way faces the East Coast Beach where dozens of cargo ships lights up the horizon. Jeremy and Jewel played with Janine as they pose in the different artworks on the lawn area. Janine also kept running around and this tired her down after sweating a lot in running. She had a great time. Just before 11 we separated and headed home after a great dinner.

The next day on the 24th, I woke up around 6am and it was still dark and it was raining. It rained all morning, something I never experienced in my previous trips. I was told by Kuya that it was the rainy season that’s why. Our plan this day was to visit Sentosa but due to the rain we were not able to leave the house earlier. But with the bad weather we still proceeded on heading to Sentosa but I will talk about this on another separate post later.

That night we went back home exhausted that’s why Jen and Janine had slept over the Noche Buena on Christmas Eve. But still we had some meal to share on to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.

On Christmas morning, we all went for the Christmas Mass at 9am at the Church of St. Vincent de Paul. We took a cab to get to the church since we were almost late getting there though it is just a few bus stops from the flat. This church like other Catholic churches in Singapore is air-conditioned and this one has a children room where parents with kids are advised to stay during the mass so that their kids’ noises would not disturb others.

Revisiting Singapore

At the St. Vincent de Paul Parish near Hougang

Revisiting Singapore

With Kuya and His Family and In-Laws

Revisiting Singapore

my brother’s HDB Complex in Hougang

Revisiting Singapore

The Christmas Feast

After mass, we had a sumptuous lunch for Christmas and Lauren’s (Joy’s sister) birthday. We had some spaghetti, barbeque, cake, mixed vegetables, and turkey. Joy’s sisters and their family arrived that day. After lunch, we exchanged Christmas gifts and of course the kids got most of the gifts. Nathan had a bunch and so did Janine.

That afternoon, we packed our things in preparation for our short trip to Kuala Lumpur. But before heading to the train station, we first made a short trip to the Merlion Park and the Esplanade, each is among Singapore’s top attractions. My cousin’s relative and Janine’s godfather, Reynald joined us by guiding our path to both places. So we just had our photos taken with the Merlion before heading to the KTM train station. Again, I’ll create another post for our short trip to Kuala Lumpur which is over the weekend where we return to Singapore on the 27th.

Revisiting Singapore

The Esplanade and the Singapore Flyer

Revisiting Singapore

Lobby of Raffles City Mall

Revisiting Singapore

The Merlion of Singapore

On the 28th, our last day in Singapore, we spent the morning at the flat for the house blessing. Kuya had scheduled the house blessing that day but since it was already a workday, they scheduled another day for the house warming party.

After lunch, we headed out to the city again to go to the Fountain of Wealth and some shopping time. Kuya and family joined us again this day on our stroll. So from Hougang we took the bus and transferred to the MRT to City Hall station for a long stroll through Suntec City to its center where the Fountain of Wealth lies. And like my usual trip to Singapore, we headed there to make a wish. They say that wishing at the fountain makes it come true. Well I guess I usually wish to be able to get back to Singapore and well, I’ve been there 7 times already.

Revisiting Singapore

Vivo City

Revisiting Singapore

Inside Vivo City

Revisiting Singapore

Janine with the Chipmunks in Vivo City

Revisiting Singapore

Dinner with Paulo and family and Serge in Vivo City

Then after, we took a bus to Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping strip where different luxurious malls line this posh road. Well, we headed for Lucky Plaza, a mall known by most Filipinos in Singapore as most tenants of the 5 storey mall are owned by Filipinos, selling Filipino products and Singapore souvenirs.

Then around 5pm, we headed for VivoCity, a new mall that leads to Sentosa. Here we meet our friend Paulo and his family. Serge, another friend joined us for dinner at the Asian Kitchen. It was a great dinner and it has been a long time not seeing them. After dinner, we walked to a nearby area where some coin rides are located where Janine and Paulo’s kids played.

Revisiting Singapore

Inside Changi’s (former) Budget Terminal

Revisiting Singapore

Janine on board the Cebu Pacific

That same evening, we had our flight back to Manila scheduled where we again headed for Changi’s Budget terminal for our Cebu Pacific flight back home. It was a short vacation but it was great. We were just happy to get back to Manila where it is cooler compared to Singapore which was hot and very humid during our stay. Hope we can get back soon. 😀

14 thoughts on “Revisiting The Merlion

  1. Hello friend,

    Very nice story of your experience at Sentosa island.
    It has been several years since I last visited Singapore.
    Plan to go there this year, I’ll make sure to visit Sentosa Island.

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