Posts in Category: Travel

Travelogue: Taking the Train in Singapore


I can only wish that the transport system here in the Philippines was as efficient as that of Singapore’s. The trains are on time, spacious, clean, alighting and getting off the trains are much more orderly (despite the massive crowds during rush hour), and all the stations go all around Singapore using interconnected terminals and interchanges. And for areas further out, there are buses (with designated bus stops) and those cool unmanned light rail transit systems.

We were able to borrow two EZ passes (good for most, if not all transportation in Singapore – not sure with taxis though, since we never rode one) so we were able to save the initial purchase price for the reloadable cards. And while there’s also a special EZ card for tourists, our calculations showed that buying the regular kind would be a slightly cheaper option, plus you get to have a souvenir of sorts.

You pretty much take the train to go anywhere, so don’t be stingy when you reload – SGD10 is the minimum, and a train ride will set you more or less somewhere between SGD1.50 to SGD2.00.


It seems to be fairly common for tourists to get somewhat overwhelmed by the train system, which seems complicated at first – I know we were intimidated – but it’s actually pretty easy to figure out, and you’ll soon find yourself plotting the best train route to wherever you want to go. Most of the signs are also in English, so you won’t have too hard of a time.

While the system isn’t entirely perfect, in the way that nothing in the world can ever be perfect, it’s a pretty darned good system. I never felt the need to ride a cab (as opposed to here in the Philippines) and everything was efficient and safe. I really wish that someday, Filipinos can experience something similar.

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Celebrating Chinese New Year in Binondo

Back from the dead.

It’s been awhile. What can I say — life got in the way.

And while I do have a couple of stuff on the backburner that I can put up, I can’t think of a more appropriate post to revive this space with.

So without further ado.



The Chinese morning news.

February 19, 2015 saw me take a half-day leave from my night shift work, trudging half-awake to Shell Tiendesitas to hitch a ride with some friends to catch some of the Chinese New Year festivities in Manila Chinatown — and maybe sample some authentic Chinese food as well.

We arrived in what is the oldest Chinatown in the world — yes, you read that right, OLDEST IN THE WORLD — at the crack of down. The district was largely quiet, with most of the shops still closed for business. So we did what we always did what we always did — wait.


Year of the Goat good luck charms.

Before we knew it, the place was awash with people milling about. Vendors, most of whom were selling good luck charms, popped up along the sides of the road, and customers were lined up outside popular (mostly food) stores like Eng Bee Tin and Wai Ying. TV crews took up places all around Binondo church and all sorts of entertainers were going around, performing for anybody who could be bothered to throw in a few pesos in their direction.


Dragon Dance


Firecrackers to ward off evil spirits that bring ill fortune.

Despite being half-Chinese, I’ve never celebrated Chinese New Year in any shape or form, nor have I been to Chinatown to watch the festivities. I was surprised at how many non-Chinese folks turned up to spectate and participate — I noticed that even in an incense altar (albeit with a sort of crucifix, a testament to how Filipinos are wont to mix stuff in with Catholic traditions, dogma be damned), more Pinoys were waving incense sticks about and mumbling prayers compared to their Chinoy fellows.


Praying to the ancestors.

It was an interesting experience to say the least, one I’d like repeat should I get the chance. Many thanks to friends and folks — most of them members of the Framed Shots Camera Club — who let me tag along.

Sunset at Payong Point

Well, it’s good to be back. Had to be away for awhile due to some personal matters like getting married and stuff, but here’s something to start the ball rolling – some images from Payong Point, Nasugbu, Batangas.

Lines in the Sea

Walking to the Sun

Night Parking