Glow In The Dark

It was getting late that night, but my sister and I just had to see the Merlion. Finally, we got to see it at Sentosa - the gigantic Merlion with its eyes glowing in the dark. Yoohoo!!!

Happy Holidays !!!

Lovely Lanterns

Bright colors greeted us at the streets of Singapore. T'was Lantern time. The Lantern Festival made our visit a feast to our eyes and to our camera lenses.

Loved the colors, loved the atmosphere. We got that "up" feeling. I momentarily forgot that my feet were a bit aching (that's putting it lightly of course) from walking for a couple of days due to my new bright blue-and-silver sandals. So that's a tip, wear footwear ready for walking battle.

Go, go lanterns!


There are many different beliefs about the origin of the Lantern Festival, however, it is certain that it had something to do with celebrating and cultivating positive relationships between people, families, nature and the higher beings that were believed to be responsible for bringing or returning the light each year.

Early Practices

Young people were chaperoned in the streets in hopes of finding love. Matchmakers acted busily in hopes of pairing couples. The brightest lanterns were symbolic of good luck and hope. As time passed, the festival no longer has such implications.

Source: Wikipedia

Merlion-Moments-Memory Clips

The Merlion at Sentosa at night time has its eyes glowing in the dark.

I saw a couple of people in its mouth having a great view of the place.

The Merlion at the Merlion Park is gorgeous both at day time and at night time. It is located at the Marina Bay near "One Fullerton". We had fun at its bottom while feeling the sunshine and splashes of tiny drops of water on our faces.

Fascination with The Merlion

And so the search for "The Merlion" began . . .

Since Day 1, we were looking for the original Merlion that my sister used to remember. Hahah, after so many discussions and miles of walking, we were able to locate it, fortunately, before we left beautiful Singapore.

This is the 2-m cub statue, behind is the original statue at Merlion Park.

This is the original (8.6-m) statue at Merlion Park at marina Bay. It's a must that I get a shot of it.

This is the 37-m gigantic replica, at the bottom, the Merlion shop plus my sister (5 ft), ecstatic at her find.

The Merlion at Sentosa Island has viewing decks at its mouth and at the top of its head.

The 3-m poly marble Merlion statue at Mount Faber.

The Merlion (Malay: Singa-Laut) is an imaginary creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, used as a mascot of Singapore. Its name combines "mer" meaning the sea and "lion". The fish body comes from Singapore's ancient name back when it was a fishing village — Temasek — meaning "sea town" in Javanese. The lion head represents Singapore's original name — Singapura — meaning "lion city" or "kota singa".

The symbol was designed by Fraser Brunner, a member of the Souvenir Committee and curator of the Van Kleef Aquarium, for the logo of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in use from 26 March 1964 to 1997. The Merlion continues to be its trademark symbol since 20 July 1966.

These five (5) Merlions in Singapore are the only ones recognized by the STB::

(1) The original (8.6-m tall) statue at Merlion Park
(2) The 2-meter tall cub statue standing behind the original statue
(3) The 37-meter tall gigantic replica - with Mouth Gallery Viewing Deck on the ninth storey, another viewing gallery on its head and The Merlion Shop at Sentosa Island
(4) The three-meter tall glazed poly marble statue at Tourism Court (near Grange Road) completed in 1995
(5) The three-meter tall poly marble statue placed
on Mount Faber's Faber Point

In addition a recognized Merlion statue is found at the Merlion Restaurant in Cupertino in California, USA.

Source: Wikipedia

Where To In Singapore?

Before leaving the Philippines, I asked my sister "what place should we not miss going to" in Singapore. She used to work in Singapore way back in 1996, if I am not mistaken.

She was still single then. Lots of work, lots of extra money (should I add lots of Singapore gold?), lots of freedom, lots of time (compared to married women), but kinda needing lots of solid direction, that's how single ladies are then, in my opinion (strictly mine).

Back to the question of "the where in Singapore". Her response was "Sentosa". Of course, we have to see "The Merlion", it is Singapore.

I read that Singapore has recently opened the "Sky Park at Marina Bay" to the public. We heard that Sentosa has a new tourist spot, the "Universal Studios".

So we had two target sites : the Sky Park and Sentosa.

P.S. She was insisting that I see the "Songs of the Sea", a dancing-water-laser-lights show. I wanted to go on a Quay boat ride. Wait, she has to see the "old Singapore". As the list went on, we had definite things we agreed on - mass on Sunday and "super Singaporean food" at the hawkers (delicious, authentic and cheap, heheh).

Merlion Park on Video

Evidence that we did get there as planned and see Mr. Merlion, hahah, a joyous moment.

We were even blessed with a rainbow (look at the video clip at the left of the screen). This calls for a "a dance for joy".

This is the Day the Lord Has Made

"What a great day it is." This is what I said today when I woke up. It's good to be saying this to myself. I remember not wanting to even wake up in the morning just last month because of a seemingly super heavy burden.

Anyway, I just got back from my trip to Israel and started noting my travel adventures in a new blog . . .

My Holy Land Pilgrimage

I previous pilgrimage was a Marian pilgrimage was a "Marian Pilgrimage" in Europe. I had the time of my life there for we went in Autumn and I just love the colorful sight of Autumn leaves. Do visit this site, thanks . . .

Europe Travel Blog

I also visited Malaysia, a place where nature and modern buildings blend. My travel blog on this one is . . .

Holidays in Malaysia

Have a happy day!!!

A Temple at Temple Street

Included in the list of my many requests from my sister was the visit to a temple and a church. Early the day after our arrival, we walked the streets of Singapore towards Chinatown. We were fortunate to have come to this place where a temple was built, a Hindu temple.

People were removing their footwear before entering the temple. It is Singapore's oldest Hindu temple, the Sri Mariamman Temple. One can enter the temple without any fee unless you will be using your camera, for you will have to pay 3 Singapore dollars (but it's worth going inside to take photos or video footages).

It was such a lovely day, a day to give thanks to our Maker. I was truly grateful just being there in a wonderful country with my wonderful kid sister whom I haven't been with like this for ages.

The Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore's oldest Hindu temple. It is an agamic temple, built in the Dravidian style. Located at No. 244 South Bridge Road, in the downtown Chinatown district, the temple serves mainly South Indian Tamil Hindu Singaporeans in the city-state. Due to its architectural and historical significance, the temple has been gazetted a National Monument and is a major tourist attraction. Sri Mariamman Temple is managed by the Hindu Endowments Board, a statutory board under the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.

The Sri Mariamman Temple was founded in 1827 by Naraina Pillai, eight years after the British East India Company established a trading settlement in Singapore.

Pillai was a government clerk from Penang who arrived in Singapore with Stamford Raffles on his second visit to the island in May 1819. He went on to set up the island's first construction company. He also entered the textile trade. Pillai rapidly established himself in business and was identified as a leader of the Indian community.

Once every 12 years, in keeping with Hindu tradition, the temple is reconsecrated. The unique annual fire-walking ceremony is held about a week before Deepavali -- the Festival of Lights.

Source: Wikipedia

Back To Where She Used To Belong

"Hey, let's stop for a while and have a souvenir photo in front of the Raffles Hotel."

Yup, this was what I suggested to my kid sister during one of our strolling moments. Too bad we were not able to go inside the Raffles Hotel Museum which I searched to be open 10 am to 7 pm, with no admission charge. To check-in to this hotel was not in our list for just about then. Room rates? 600 to 900 Singapore dollars.

My sister used to work in Singapore more than a decade ago. It was her idea to go visit the new Singapore, now bigger in size due to more reclaimed land plus lots and lots of state-of-the-art structures (SkyPark).

It was a wonder to me why she wanted to go back. She said she saw old photos of her friends during their working stint at Singapore plus new ones which she found awesome.

As what we saw in the new photos, mostly in the internet, we were not disappointed for Singapore was a great place to be. Eyes and tummies at feast.

Raffles Hotel is a colonial-style hotel in Singapore dating from 1887, named after Singapore's founder Sir Stamford Raffles. Managed by Raffles International, it is known for its luxurious accommodation and superb restaurants. The hotel houses a tropical garden courtyard, museum and Victorian-style theater.

The hotel was founded by the 4 Armenian Sarkies Brothers (Martin, Tigran, Aviet, and Arshak Sarkies). They opened the 10-room colonial bungalow at Beach Road and Bras Basah Road owned by an Arab trader and philanthropist Syed Mohamed Alsagoff on 1 December 1887.

Designed by architect Regent Alfred John Bidwell of Swan and Maclaren, the current main building of Raffles Hotel was completed in 1899. The hotel continued to expand over the years with the addition of wings, a verandah, a ballroom, a bar and billiards room, and further buildings and rooms.

It re-opened on 16 September 1991; while the hotel was restored to the grand style of its heyday in 1915, significant changes were made. All rooms were converted to suites with teak-wood floors, handmade carpets, and 14-foot ceilings. The storied Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling cocktail drink was invented was relocated from the lobby to a new adjoining shopping arcade.

On 8 April 2010, The Straits Times reported that a Qatar sovereign wealth fund has bought Raffles Hotel.


Sky Park Hotel

Before going to Singapore, I went surfing the internet for tourist attractions that I can go to. And viola, I got to know of this awesome spot I just have to see, the Marina Sands SkyPark.

My sister is an architect and I am an engineer, so being able to see this grand structure is a real treat for both of us.

As a bonus, we were even fortunate to see a rainbow atop the building, as we gazed in wonder at this beautiful sight, God's creation at the background of man's artwork. Wow!

The Sands SkyPark is an awe-inspiring engineering wonder. This unique structural masterpiece, designed by visionary architect Moshe Safdie, floats atop the three soaring Marina Bay Sands hotel towers 200m in the sky.

Stretching longer than the Eiffel tower laid down or four and a half A380 Jumbo Jets, with an impressive 12,400 square meters of space, the Sands SkyPark can host up to 3900 people. The gravity-defying cantilever is one of the largest of its kind in the world. From this privileged observation deck, hundreds of visitors at a time can feast their eyes on the unforgettable panorama view.

With the Sands SkyPark pool and Observation Deck open, take in the astounding features!

The Sands SkyPark is an architectural masterpiece sitting on top of the three hotel towers at Marina Bay Sands. This 1.2 hectare tropical oasis is longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall and large enough to park four-and-a-half A380 jumbo jets. It extends to form the one of the world’s largest public cantilevers.

Source: Official Site Marina Bay Sands Singapore

Fine, Fine

Singapore is an interesting place to visit.

Roaming around, looking for some souvenir items, I saw T-shirts with the print "Singapore is a fine city." With the print were the dont's so that you don't get to pay a significant fine.

No durian?

Stick to the rules so your money goes to your shopping spree and not to paying of any fine. Yo!

Sunshine and Smiles

Come on, let's conquer this part of the world today!

This was our mindset, as my sister and I woke up that morning, not minding that we slept late the night before after our tour at the Universal Studios in Sentosa Island.

So we got up in a breeze and went walking at the still nearly empty streets of Singapore. The air was cool though the sunshine was starting its way to be felt, not wanting to be ignored.

Then, I saw these young girls in bright-colored dresses. I had to meet them. My goal was to add new friends whenever I travel.

And viola! Got a photo opportunity (thanks sis). Good item for my memory box.

Smile ladies!

To Marina

Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort fronting Marina Bay in Singapore. Developed by Las Vegas Sands, it is billed as the world's most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion, including cost of the prime land.

With the casino complete, the resort features a 2,560-room hotel, a 120,000 sq.m. convention-exhibition center, The Shoppes mall, an Art & Science museum, two Sands Theaters, six "celebrity chef" restaurants, two floating pavilions, a casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines. The complex is topped by a 340m-long SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150m infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world's largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67m. The resort was officially opened with a two-day celebration on 23 June 2010 at 3:18 pm, after a partial opening earlier in April.

Marina Bay Sands is a magnificent destination for entertainment, business and shopping, delivering once-in-a-lifetime experiences. This landmark building is situated in the heart of Singapore’s central business district. With a luxury hotel, state-of-the art convention and exhibition facilities, theaters, and some of the best shopping and dining in the region, this is the place to go for world-class entertainment.

At the heart of it all will be three 55-storey hotel towers offering over 2,500 luxurious rooms. This structural masterpiece will stand tall and proud in the center of city, redefining Singapore’s skyline.

Once inside the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, you’ll enter a world of luxury and exclusivity. Be greeted by personalized and intuitive service that seeks to make your stay a truly unforgettable experience. For entertainment and leisure, there are restaurants, bars and lounges for you to choose from or simply retreat to one of the many spa facilities for some heavenly pampering.

The three hotel towers are crowned by the Sands Sky Park on the 57th story, which offers a 360-degree view of Singapore's skyline. This one-hectare sky oasis will feature lush greenery, beautifully sculptured gardens, restaurants and even an infinity pool. There is no greater feeling like standing at the top of the world.

Luxury fashion fans will have more to cheer about. With a wide array of high-end boutiques alongside niche designer labels.

Besides offering the best in retail shopping, there will also be an eclectic mix of gourmet restaurants and cool cafes.

Arts lovers will have plenty of options too. The resort's two state-of-the-art theaters. Live music fans can also get their fix with a smorgasbord of concerts, while film buffs can expect exclusive gala premiers. At the Marina Bay Sands Art Path, you’ll be amazed by the unprecedented collection of art installations.

Finally, don't miss the museum where blockbuster artworks from the world over will be displayed. The museum's lotus-inspired design lends a powerful presence to the waterfront area and will be a sight to behold.

The Marina Bay Sands integrated resort is going to be a city within a city, offering a vibrant collage of entertainment and lifestyle choices. This impressive wonder will truly inspire the cosmopolitan landscape of Singapore.

Source: Wikepedia

Discovering Singapore, A Day At A Time

At Tanjong Pagar, I started shooting photos of Singapore (well, the old Singapore according to my sister guide).

We happily walked along Tanjong pagar Road, Craig Road and Duxton Hill (hopefully I got that one right). She also keeps on sharing about the HDB housing.

Tanjong Pagar is a historic district located within the Central Business District in Singapore, straddling the Outram Planning Area and the Downtown Core under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's urban planning zones.

Tanjong Pagar Plaza, the site of a complex of which replaced pre-war shophouses along Tanjong Pagar Road, was formerly Cheng Cheok Street after Khoo Cheng Cheok. It was once an important crossroads for traffic between the warehouses along the Singapore River and the wharves. Bullock carts and hand carts streamed through the area carrying goods from one point to the other.

Tanjong Pagar Plaza refers to the shop houses which is built to accommodate businesses by HDB (Housing and Development Board). The food center is notable for its local dishes such as nasi lemak and fish soup, and there are as many as four stalls selling nasi lemak, and five stalls selling fish soup.

Part of HDB's plan in early urban planning was to integrate housing near businesses within the CBD area. However, the offices and shop houses there are separate from HDB housing.

The Maxwell Food Center dates back to pre-war days as a fresh food market and food center. In 1986, it was converted into a food center, housing hawkers from the vicinity. The present existing hawker center was renovated in 2001. Stallholders are mainly those from the essentially Cantonese neighborhood, with many from the famed food street, China Street. A wide variety of authentic local favorites are available at Maxwell Food Center, with a Cantonese bent. Popular dishes include hum chim peng (a crusty fried pancake), ngor hiang or Hokkien meat roll, and herbal broths made from home-brewed recipes.

Source: Wikipedia

Arriving at the Singapore Airport

Upon arrival at the Changi Airport, we tried to figure out if we were to proceed with our plans our revised it.

There was internet access at the airport, information counters and a number of airport staff ready to address your concerns, or at least answer your queries.

We were fortunate to have availed of a promotional ticket sale, at about 25 to 30 % discount. However, our flight schedule was changed. It was okay since it was a better schedule, earlier than the original one.

It was a couple of days before the great event. It was the racing season in Singapore. People would be coming in for the Formula One Car Race. To add to that, Mariah Carey was having a concert of her own as well.

At the airport, we booked a hotel for one night, pretty cool, for we were assisted by the staff there. "No problemo", it was another promo offer, so it was affordable.

Since we made a 360-degree change in our plans, we decided to go to Sentosa. Again, we started asking a young airport staff regarding directions, transportation and possible activities. We got partial information. It was from the lady at the "customer service" counter where we got very good tips.

So off we went to "Resorts World" via taxi.

Too bad, I missed the swimming pool at Terminal 1, the indoor garden and rooftop garden at Terminal 2, the five-meter high "Green Wall" with hanging creepers plus a waterfall and the butterfly garden at Terminal 3 of the Changi airport.

About the Airport:

Singapore Changi Airport, Changi International Airport, or simply Changi Airport, is the main airport in Singapore. It is located at Paya Lebar.

Changi Airport also continued to improve the security systems such as access controls and surveillance systems to make the airport safer for travelers.

The 78 m (256 ft) high control tower is built on reclaimed land, with its design becoming an icon for the airport.Changi Airport currently has five terminals, T1, T2, T3, JetQuay CIP Terminal and Budget Terminal, with a total handling capacity of 73 million. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are directly connected with a common transit area, with air side passengers being able to freely move between the terminals without going through immigration. Transport within and between these three terminals is provided by people movers and the sky train system, although it is also possible to walk between the terminals on foot for land side visitors. Situated beside Terminal 2 is JetQuay, which has its own check-in facilities for premium passengers and where transportation to aircraft in any of the other terminals is by personal buggy. The Budget Terminal, purpose-built for low-cost carriers, is physically separated from the main terminals towards the south, where connections are possible via a zero-fare shuttle bus service to Terminal 2.

Source: Wikipedia

New Singapore, Here We Come

When I went to Malaysia, I was all alone appreciating the beautiful views of the place. Now, visiting Singapore, I have a super guide (just a little out dated, I guess), my younger sister. She used to work there like ages ago. We were off to see the "new" Singapore. Yoohoo!

Discovering Another Beautiful Asian Nation

"Selamat Hari Raya."

The term "Hari Raya" literally means "Day of Celebration" — it is also occasionally used to refer to Eid ul-Adha in the form of "Hari Raya Aidiladha".

"Selamat Hari Raya" which means "Happy Eid" in Malay is the main greeting used by Muslims in Malaysia and Singapore.

Soon, I will be writing more about Singapore as I steadily make plans for my trip there this year, and that will be soon.

Singapore is a city-state in Southeast Asia. Founded as a British trading colony in 1819, since independence it has become one of the world's most prosperous countries and sports the world's busiest port. Combining the skyscrapers and subways of a modern, affluent city with a medley of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences and a tropical climate, with tasty food, good shopping and a vibrant nightlife scene, this Garden City makes a great stopover or springboard into the region.

Singapore is a small country on a small island, but with just over five million people it is a fairly crowded city and in fact second only to Monaco as the world's most densely populated country. The center of the city — consisting roughly of Orchard Road, the Riverside and a chunk of Chinatown — is known in acronym-loving Singapore as the CBD (Central Business District).

o Riverside (Civic District) — Singapore's colonial core, with museums, statues and theaters, not to mention restaurants, bars and clubs.
o Orchard Road — Miles and miles of shopping malls.
o Marina Bay — The newest bit of Singapore, dominated by the enormous Marina Bay Sands casino complex.
o Bugis and Kampong Glam — Bugis and Kampong Glam are Singapore's old Malay district, now largely taken over by shopping
o Chinatown — The area originally designated for Chinese settlement by Raffles, now a Chinese heritage area popular with tourists.
o Little India — A piece of India to the north of the city core.
o Balestier, Newton, Novena and Toa Payoh — Budget accommodations and Burmese temples within striking distance of the center.
o North and West — The northern and western parts of the island, also known as Woodlands and Jurong respectively, form Singapore's residential and industrial hinterlands.
o East Coast — The largely residential eastern part of the island contains Changi Airport, miles and miles of beach and many famous eateries. Also covers Geylang Serai, the true home of Singapore's Malays.
o Sentosa — A separate island once a military fort developed into a resort, Sentosa is the closest that Singapore gets to Disneyland, now with a dash of gambling and Universal Studios thrown in.

Source: Wikitravel