Monday, December 7, 2015

In Singapore: Run Cring Run

Time flew so fast and suddenly it was already December 4, time for me to fly to Singapore.

A clear view of the Marina

I had unpredictable schedules these days being a freelance consultant. I just got an invite from DA Region 2 to be the Resource Person in the conduct of the PRDP's I-REAP component's Financial Analysis and Management, with some DA personnel and community groups' representatives attending. The final schedule was from December 1 to 4, held at Hotel Venezia in Subic Bay, Zambales, but I declined the last day as it would fall on my departure date to Singapore. Another engagement was entered with the same project, but this time with Region 5, to act as Resource Person in the conduct of the Simplified Financial Management System Training-Workshop on December 7-11 at Villa Caceres Hotel in Naga City. Again, the first day of the latter training would be in conflict with my return trip schedule. I will be arriving at 10pm of December 7.

Good morning, Singapore

This was my fourth time in Singapore and so I had hoped I would have different experience this time around. The first time that I was traveling alone I just dropped the garden city in June 2008 and then crossed the border to Malaysia. The second time in August 2010 (if I'm not mistaken) was with three other friends and we went to Universal Studios before crossing through the border to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The third time which happened in December 2012 was with the whole family of my good friends, Ruth and Samson Go. We experienced the whole of Universal Studios and Sentosa Island and then experienced a day at Legoland Park in Johor Baruh, Malaysia.

Got my finisher's medal

At the starting line for the 7th wave of 10km runners

True enough, I visited Singapore mainly to join the Standard Chartered Fun Marathon. I had booked my flight since July 2015, so I adjusted the dates of my facilitation engagements to accommodate it. I attended the Subic batch on December 1-3 and the Naga batch on December 8-11.

Meeting Ann-Ann, Michelle, and Lynette at the Forum along Orchard Road

Lunch with Ann-Ann and friends at a Korean Resto inside the Raffles City

It was a unique experience of Singapore this time around. I arrived in Singapore on the fourth of December at 7pm. Learning that the claiming of the Fun Run singlet will still be opened until 9pm, I decided to drop by the Singapore Expo before heading towards my hostel reservation. This was also my first time to check in a hostel in Singapore and found the Bunc@Radius, Clarke Quay very satisfactory. Best feature of the hostel is that it is close to prime locations in the garden city - a walking distance to Boat Quay, Fullerton Hotel, Merlion Park, Victoria Museum, St. Andrews Cathedral, Raffles City, Esplanade, Marina Bay, Singapore Flyer, and even Bugis Street.

Taking the cable car

On my first day, December 5, I woke up at 5am and decided to walk around to familiarize the South Bridge Street then walked towards the Merlion Park and made a 360-degree turn around the river, from Fullerton Hotel to Esplanade and back to the hostel. It was a picturesque Singapore I got in my lenses. Then I took the subway to Vivo City and rode the Cable Car, which I missed last time. I loved the bird's eyeview of the city's harbor. My day tour closed at the SEA Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa.

With new friends, Joyrel and Anna

I met Ann-Ann Canoy on December 6. I joined her group of friends and coworkers who reserved a room at Fairmont Hotel within the Raffles City Mall. Up there, the view of Singapore City, with Esplanade Mall, Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands on a landscape, from the poolside was one of a kind, so priceless! We dined at a Thai restaurant, talked about preps for the following day's fun run, and retired early for the night...

We then reunited on the run day at the same hotel and headed together to the assembly area at Padang grounds. The four of us, Anna, Joyrel, Ann-Ann and myself, ran the 10km race. Ann-Ann who earlier suffered a fall in her bathroom was still feeling pain on her right leg, so we ran in slow pace until we completed the first 5 kilometers. Then we walked the remaining 5km until we neared the finish line, then jogged up to the end. We both finished the race within 1 hour and 50 minutes - an accomplishment already for our kind of fun-walkers.

SW7 Exhibits

With HS friends Michelle and Lynette

After a few hours of relaxation after the run, Ann and I decided to meet up again at Orchard Road along with some more hometown friends and my classmates from grade schools, Lynette Sajol and Michelle Maniwang. I lately heard that they were working now in Singapore. And before that, I also had a meet-up with a former coworker way back in 1999 whom I lost contact for more than a decade and just reconnected through facebook, Beth Chai. She was the househelp of my former boss who operated a sea vessel where I was the accountant.

Singapore meetup: It's a small world afterall

Meeting Beth Chai for the first time in a long time

The added bonus to my visit to this expensive city was the Star Wars' exhibits everywhere, with lifesized Stormtroopers and Empire Aircrafts. In fact, there mascots joined the fun run alongside us.

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