Monday, September 8, 2014

Traveling To Asia

By Alon Calinao Dy: Before proceeding to my long time dream and final destination country, I have a chance to travel to Singapore once more. I remember I promised myself to come back to Singapore a couple of months ago. I am happy I live up to this oath, so here I am. 

I'm strongly against to the expression that says "Promises are made to be broken." For me, it should be answered accordingly. It is simple — don't make promises you feel you can't keep.

       Welcome to Singapore

You've probably read about my article entitled Spending Time in Singapore two years back. I was told that a visit in Singapore was incomplete if you couldn't take a photo from a well-known Universal Studio in Sentosa.

Yes, in many cases it is true. Although there are popular tourist attraction sites on Sentosa Island, Universal Studios™ Singapore is regarded to be the first and only theme park in Southeast Asia. Luckily for me, I had some photos when I first visited Singapore.

This time, my second visit is wholly different from the first one. I travelled with my family from Woodlands to Orchard by a speedy train and spent the entire day there, canvassing the price of a Louis Vuitton bag. 

Unfortunately, we did not buy this signature item from the LV store as it was too expensive. If you are interested to buy an LV bag, then it would cost you roughly 60,000 to 80,000 Philippine pesos. There is no point spending that kind of money. No way!

Shopping is one of the most common ways that travelers love to do when they are outside the country, especially among Filipinos. They have the opportunity to buy all their favorite things and chance to explore unfamiliar places. 

However, others would say that shopping is one way to unwind and spend your hard earned money. After all, what's the use of money if you are not going to enjoy it? If it's for the future savings, then spend some and keep the rest in the bank. Sometimes you need to spoil yourself.

My wife bought me 10 underwears. She knew exactly what I'd like to wear and my favorite brands. Because there were big discounts at that moment, I purchased two pairs of shoes made by Vietnam (Addidas and Nike) for only 189 Singapore dollars in total expenses. That would typically cost around 6, 615 Philippine pesos. Not bad for Adidas and Nike signature shoes!

With so much love, Mommy Pearl bought an Oakley glass for Daddy Greg at the Capitol Optical in Causeway Point Mall, Woodlands. Even though photography is strictly prohibited inside the store, I still manage to take photos since the Filipino Sale Manager is so kind, as she could understand the need for souvenir pictures. 

In Ion Orchard, there are many prominent botiques such as Tory Burch, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, and many more. These signature items would definitely drain all your money out, so better bring large amounts of money in order to buy any of these costly products. Gucci and Abercrombie & Fitch shops are also in front of these stores.

You know what's the best part about shopping, it is when you want an item but you couldn't afford it and told yourself 'I'd buy this later on and wait for sales.' But the worst part is, it's no longer available when you need it as it was owned by someone else. Well, have a nice day! hehehe... Whether it's best or worst part, it's still wonderful to be with your family at all times. Happiness is something that money can't buy.

For me, family should come first before anything else. Although I like family outing a lot, I truly enjoy cooking food at home more than eating in a cozy restaurant. I'm not a stingy person, but I am just a health-conscious one. Let's be realistic!

Aside from shopping, it's also usual for tourists to dine in fine restaurants and try a cuisine that's new to the mouth. After a busy time sightseeing, we have been to many restaurants. So far, it's unforgettable experience for all of us. The food is so great!  

If you want to listen a free music in Orchard, then this gentleman is a must see. I have heard his instrumental music Pearly Shells. It made me smile as I always sang this song when I was a child. The lyrics goes this way "Pearly shells, from the ocean. Shining in the sun, covering up the shore..." It was written like a poem by John Kalapana-Leopobar and recorded by Hank Snow.

In fact, when I listened to his instrumental tentatively, it reminded me that song artists are everywhere in the world. I believe people need to stop and listen for a while despite busy days. People should understand that there's no such word "so busy" if you know how to handle your time properly. 

What's so touching in Singapore is to see hardworking old people. There is no excuse not to work as you age. Life here is not very simple. You have to work in order to survive. It's inspiring to realize that many elderly people (65 and up), can still manage to work productively mostly in different fast food chains. It's really a heartbreaking reality. 

It really amazed me despite of their physical limitations, they can still do something prolific about their life. In the Philippines, we called them seniors (60 & above) and most of them are retirees. But in Singapore it's other way round, the goverment encourages and helps elders to find decent jobs in order to become more independent from their children and grandchildren. 

As you probably know that people become sensitive as they age, that's why they need enough time for themselves, deep understanding about their physical limitations, and respect from the society. That's what really matters for them.

Going Back To The Philippines

Saying goodbye to loved ones is difficult. I will forever remember all the good times we've had, including the family gatherings. I will miss all the things we did in Singapore and all the laughter we had during our short stay. I won't promise anything but if I have another chance, I will come back. That's for sure.

Welcome To Malaysia

Before you head from Singapore to Malaysia, be sure to keep your embarkation or a paper-based exit and plane ticket from the origin country to Singapore because Immigration Officer might ask you about these things. 

This information is necessary for those tourists who want to experience the authentic getaway in Malaysia.

If you are a shopaholic, also known as a shopping addict, you would enjoy the shopping centers in Malaysia. But my best advice, don't make a frivolous purchase now and then. Shopping malls are always there, but money is hard to find and earn.

If you want some fun, then play hook a duck. The rules are: (a) Each customer has a chance to win 3 times only per day. (b) Do not lean over while you hook a duck. It's as simple as that.

  • 0= No Prize
  • 1= Small Prize
  • 2= Medium Prize
  • 3= Jumbo Prize

If you are a person who loves food and eating, then we are on the same page. It's so comfortable eating delicious food while having fun with your family. Here are some photos of the restaurants I have taken when I was in Malaysia.

In reality, there are a lot of outstanding restaurants in Johor Bahru, offering the best Malaysian cuisine. However, due to the high demands of customers, international restaurants are also accessible in the country.

My experience at Seoul Garden in Malaysia last two years was awesome. In case you do not know, Seoul Garden is one of the most popular Korean restaurants worldwide. As a matter of fact, we waited for approximately 30 minutes to let other diners finish their meals. Best of all, I really like how the whole dish is served in this restaurant because it is tidy and the price is fair.