"May Day! May Day! PR503 Emergency Landing at the... Pacific Ocean?!
06.12.2010 - 10.12.2010
...words that I would not ever "AS IN NEVER" want to hear from Mr. Pilot. I can no longer remember the reason why I woke up after unconsciously fallen asleep. Uhmmm... Maybe because of Mr. Pilot saying that we're almost at Singapore, or because of the woman beside me who is busy powdering her nose (TOO BUSY TO NOTICE THAT SHE'S INVADING MY PERSONAL SPACE), or simply because I opened my eyes! Period! Case closed! *winks*
After opening my eyes, i hurriedly looked out the window... Woooaaaahhh!! After the numerous clouds awhile ago and endless body of water, EUREKA! Land! Woohhooo!
Me: Uhhhmmmm... Mindanao, Ikaw na ba yan? (CHAROT)
Me: Hi Singapore! My name is Orange! Finally! Finally! *all smile*
SG -->> NR as in No Reaction! Nyahahaha!
I really wanted to take pictures from up and above however my phone will just ruin the good view because of it's low resolution.
PA Voice System: "The Seat Belt sign is Lighted."
Automatically, I put on my seat belt, and looked out the window.
PA Voice System: "Approaching Changi Airport any moment now"
As I've looked out the window, I was amazed how green Singapore is. It's like we are going to land in one big golf course with fully landscape surroundings. Now, I'm thorn between the scenery out of the window and fixing my stuff, I decided to go with the latter...
- combed my hair
- freshen up
- travel documents
- fixed my stuff
Bam! Boogssh! Bam!
Touch Down Singapore! Uhhhmmm... I mean TOUCHDOWN SINGAPORE LAH!
I was giddy and ready to jump out from the aircraft, imagine after 26 years of my feet on the Pearl of the Orient, I'll be setting my feet-with-gingery-toes (BOOOYYAAAH!!) in a foreign land, exciting isn't?! However with all this idea running in my head, I noticed that we are circling the Changi Airport run way for about five minutes already. I peeked again through my window only to find out that we're still far from the alighting area.
Are we there yet?!
Are we there yet?!
Are we there yet?!
Batang Makulit! Makulit na Bata!
Throwing tantrums wasn't applicable at that time since i was alone so i settled watching the airport scenery... "hhhmmm, they have grass, trees, and it's all green... Same thing with Pinas ren pala!" CHAROT!
After 10 years (exxageration!!), the giddy-ready-to-jump-me became uneasy (like having butterflies in the tummy :b) when we finally alighted the aircraft.
Me: Where to go?! Where to go?! (Panic Mode!)
I managed to calm down myself in awhile. In order to survive on my life next challenge (CHALLENGE:TO GET OUT IN ONE PIECE FROM CHANGI AIRPORT! BOOO!), I applied what I've learned from kindergarten. Uhmmm... Aside from "Get one and Pass", and "Finish or not Finish, Pass your Papers!", and for the golden rule "Follow the Leader!" or the game "SHAGIDI" (where you have to copy the movements of the people in the game) CHAROT! ... but i think you got the picture ayt?!
Right after I got off the plane, I was dead worried with my checked-in luggage. I don't know where I can get them!!! I looked around but there's no bag/luggage conveyor to be seen. Most of my CO-PR503 are walking in a rush, more like running to me. Suddenly I noticed that Changi Terminal II is an empty airport (FAR DIFFERENT FROM NAIA), it seems that we're the first flight landed their run way.
Spacious, Clean, Classy Changi... Far, Far, Fire Away NAIA! CHAROT!
So much for observation, time for my follow-the-leader application!
Leader?! Leader?! Ms. Teresita Ang See (the founding president of Kaisa Para Sa Kaunlaran Inc., an organization of Chinese Filipinos actively promoting the integration of the ethnic Chinese into mainstream Philippine society), SPOTTED! I hurriedly followed her (Literal, leader! hahaha!). She took the escalator so i automatically hopped in after her... There you go! Singapore Immigration for my next stop... Thank you Ms. See!
There are several counters in the immigration, it seems that the counter for Ms. See are for special people or VIP. It's more of an express lane And as i see it, it's like Ms See is a regular visitor of Singapore based on how the Immigration Office talked to her. uhhmm... Like long lost friend?! hehehe!
I decided to get in line on a different counter. Again, I was third in line and another man-with-backpack in front me. Still anxious with my luggage, I reluctantly ask the man-with-backpack...
Me: Hello Sir! Where can we get our checked-In Luggage?
MB: Aaaahhh... After nitong immigration, andon ung luggage oohh! --sabay turo sa baggage conveyor--
Me: hehehe! Salamat po! --effort english pa ko! ummfft--
It's my time to shine!
The Immigration Officer is a middle aged man, looking fierce and scary and without a doubt he's an Indian national. The way Indian looks and speak can't hide where they come from. They have this distinct demeanor, accent and especially... the scent! :b Going back... So I approached the officer with a big smile plastered on my face... In all fairness with the officer, I didn't smell anything at all! Or maybe i'm just to nervous to smell the area... (Canine Bomb Sniffing Dog?! CHAROT!)
ME: Good Morning Sir --perkiness at its finest--
IO: Good Morning. May I please have your passport and Disembarkation card?
---it was given to us back in the plane, to fill up obviously--
IO: You are staying for five days, are you travelling alone? --with their popular accent! JAI HO!--
ME: No sir, I'm travelling with two of my colleagues who will be arriving later tonight.
IO: And where will you be staying?
ME: -pulled out my hotel accommodation print out-- Sir, i'll be staying with IHG hotels uhmm i mean intercontinental hotels group hotel chains.
IO: aaahhh the intercontinental, the one near bugis? --looking at me, smiling this time--
ME:Actually Sir, i'll be staying to our four hotels here in Singapore for leisure and hotel familiarization as well. For tonight it's holiday in atrium, my second night at the intercontinental, third is holiday inn orchard city centre and for my last stop it's crowne plaza changi. Those hotels are under one hotel chain sir! --have you stayed with us before?! LOL--
IO: I see... (still browsing my documents) Welcome to Singapore! --then stamped my passport--
Wooohoooo!!! Thanks Bro for that one!! Chicken Feed! Hehehe! After around 5 minutes of interview, i was finally reunited with my luggage! woowooot!!
After getting my luggage from the baggage conveyor, i quickly find the loo because... I need to pee! swiish! shish! Singapore Restroom we're kept clean, definitely it's a room where you can rest. kumot please! CHAROT! Although a friend told me that there are some loo's in SG that is intended for poop call of nature, you have this cubicle then a hole on the floor, where you poopsie! Just like the old days?! "Batalan" for our ancestors! Remember?! Weird that SG still have it...
After taking a pee... I looked for the taxi stand, my fingers and toes are crossed hoping i'll get the ordinary metered cab. A friend told that cabs in Singapore are pretty new and clean unlike MNL cabs and there are some limo cab or like bmw cab that charge higher than the ordinary. It's like airport cabs in MNL. Busy with my thinking, I grab my mobile and saw my wallet in my bag.. Paaak!! I almost get in the cab without any Singapore dollars in my pocket! ahihi! I totally forgot ei! Exchange rate then was 1 SGD=34 PHP
I jump in to the next cab available, the airport staff confirmed to me that the cab that I have is a metered taxi! wiih! thanks, i don't want to spend my allowance on a cab fare alone :D
I forgot the good name (indian?!) of the cab driver who welcomed me in Singapore and gave me a partial tour of the city. We passed Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer, The Esplanade then I asked how far Universal Studio is, he said the word "far" isn't in their dictionary. It was like 20 minutes drive from Airport to Holiday Inn Atrium, Mr. Cab Driver entertained me of different stories about Singapore, economy, festivities (especially that time was christmas season), attractions.
I was soo aliw with the cab driver when i noticed that the Holiday Inn Atrium Singapore is just on the other end... Time check. It's only 1100am! Hotel standard check in time is not until 0200pm... What am I doing here so early?! Gaaah! Deads!