Monthly Archives: March 2015

Singapore: Merlion Park and Views from One Fullerton at Night

Merlion 01

Two of Singapore’s most iconic symbols: the Merlion and Marina Bay Sands

You might have noticed by now that most of my previous posts about Singapore were nightscapes, and that’s because we went there primarily for training so we were free only at night.

On our last day of classes, we decided to go to One Fullerton where the iconic  Merlion Park is located.

Again, because we were there during the Formula 1 Race, it was difficult to move around since they closed off some of the roads.  We also had no choice but to get off at a farther train station than the usual and walk.

Porsche

where we exited, plus Porsches on display near One Fullerton

Singapore is a very tourist friendly country because there were signs all around to guide map-challenged tourists like me.  When I saw the Fullerton Hotel, I knew we were near our destination.

Fullerton
Notice the bridge, which is called Cavenagh Bridge, the only suspension and one of the oldest bridges in Singapore.  It was opened in 1870 and to this day, exists in its original form.

Fullerton Hotel + Cavenagh Bridge

Finally at One Fullerton, I was treated to views of the Singapore River and the iconic Marina Bay Sands.

Singapore River
Here’s a close-up shot of Marina Bay Sands, where I watched a light and water show the previous night.

Marina Bay Sands
I could also see the Singapore Flyer from where we were.  Pardon the photo quality since this was a zoomed-in shot.

Singapore Flyer
And here’s a photo of the Esplanade, Theatres by the Bay from our vantage point.

Esplanade
I would have wanted to visit this that same night, but the roads going there were closed off for the race.

From where we were, I could also see the Pan Pacific and Mandarin Oriental Hotels.

SG River
I don’t know what these buildings are called, but I loved their lights and the way this cluster of buildings made a nice backdrop against a cruising boat.

SG River 02

Finally, we reached Merlion Park and because it is perhaps Singapore’s most famous landmark, it was full of people.

Merlion 04

Here are some of my photos of the Merlion that are taken at different angles.

Merlion 03Merlion 05
The main photo is from this set and this one is an almost similar shot, except for the backdrop since this one features the Esplanade.

Merlion 0
A trivia.  Did you know that there’s a merlion cub located just near this iconic statue?

Merlion Cub

By the way, river cruises are available at One Fullerton.  I don’t know how much it costs, though since we did not try it.

Singapore River Cruise
Going home, we again passed by the Fullerton Hotel, and I couldn’t help but be amazed at how magnificent it looked.

Fullerton at Night

We also passed by this statue when we accessed the train station near the hotel.

The Thinker

This is a version of French artist Rodin’s “The Thinker,” which is based on Dante’s “Divine Comedy.”

Lastly, here are photos of ION Orchard, one of Singapore’s upscale malls.

ION 02

ION
This was our last stop for the night since we got off at this station, which is near our hotel.  I just couldn’t help snapping photos when I saw its facade because it looked so uniquely futuristic.

Photo+Text: Metamorphosis

Butterfly

I can only imagine how scary it might have been to be enveloped in total darkness as the cocoon wraps itself around the caterpillar’s entire body.

The caterpillar would just lay there – helpless and wishing for a life outside – as seconds turn into minutes, minutes into hours, and hours into days.  The helpless waiting would be such an agony death would have been a welcome respite.

And then, just when utter desolation takes over, the now-butterfly caterpillar emerges from the cocoon, all colorful and beautiful.  Not only is it prettier, it can fly too!  And as it flutters its wings then flits from one flower to the next, it looks at the world in wonder, and with new-found appreciation for the darkness that paved the way to its transformation.

Life’s just the same.  Darkness is bound to come, and we either curse it, or live through and learn from it.

Photo taken in Siquijor’s Butterfly Garden. Contrast edited via Snapseed.  Border courtesy of Photo Grid. Lights/Mask added using PicsArt.  Text courtesy of Phonto.

Brave Tales #1: Finding our Savannah

Brave 01

Does this look like Africa? Nah, this was taken in our favorite biking trail.

Last week, I introduced Brave, my new Merida mountain bike in this post. Since then, we’ve been cruising around Lapu-Lapu in search of our preferred biking trail.

Yesterday, I discovered our favorite. It’s the Suba Basbas Road-Guerrillero-Marigondon Beach Road route. It instantly appealed to me because Suba Basbas and Guerrillero are not main roads so there were fewer cars and tricycles to contend with. There are just so many crazy drivers in the Philippines that it’s always a struggle to drive along its roads, especially when onboard a bike. I wish someday all roads will have bike lanes…

Anyway, this route became an instant favorite because it also afforded me beautiful views of the sunset. The main photo of this post was taken there.  It was such a beautiful spot and the sky looked so colorful it looked unreal. One friend even commented it looked like I was in some savannah or safari in Africa.

Here’s another photo from that same spot.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Singapore: Marina May Sands’ Wonder Full Light and Water Show

Light Show Main Photo

According to its official website, Marina Bay Sands’ Wonder Full Light and Water Show is Southeast Asia’s largest light and water show.

I watched this show on my 4th night in Singapore. By this time, I had explored much of the city so when I found out about this on TripAdvisor, my colleague and I decided to check it out. It’s a free activity, anyway.

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands as viewed from one of its entrances

The place was packed, but despite the notice that says show times start at 8 PM, the show did not start until past 9 PM.

Light Show 02

the crowded Event Plaza at the Promenade, where the show is best seen

Light Show Schedule

the schedule

To while away time, I roamed around the Promenade to take photos.

Singapore is so pretty at night, don’t you think?

Louis Vuitton SGLight Show 01
While I had an enjoyable time taking photos, the wait was so long that we got hungry and had no choice but to eat at nearby Bazin (detailed review to follow).

Finally, the show began.  Based on the voice-over, this almost 15-minute show was about a drop of water representing the birth of life.

Light Show Collage 04

It then showed the important stages of a person’s life such as childhood, adulthood, and old age.

Light Show Collage 02

The colorful lights were really nice to look out.  The colors were just so vivid and they contrasted nicely against the dark sky.

Light Show Collage 03
They said the show incorporates some of the most advanced and the latest Laservision technology ever created.   No wonder the light show aspect of this show was impressive.

The water fountains were less impressive, though. I had seen the Dancing Waters of Bellagio when I visited Las Vegas, and this paled in comparison to it.

Light Show Collage 01

Wonder Full Light and Water Show is touted as an amazing convergence of light, music, and sound.  I was disappointed, however, because the images inside the lights were blurry and the narration was difficult to understand.  Honestly, this was even more disappointing than Hong Kong’s A Symphony of Lights.

Though this show is shown nightly, weather permitting, shows and show times are subject to change or cancellation at the discretion of Marina Bay Sands’ management, so do check this out when you happen to see it. I was disappointed, yes, but it’s still something worth seeing if only for seeing the beautiful Singapore skyline at night.

Light Show 03

For more information about the show, please click HERE to get to Marina Bay Sands’ Wonder Full page.

Chasing the Sun Onboard Brave

today's sunset

today’s sunset

Two weeks ago, I bought a mountain bike. It was another impulsive buy, but it’s something I don’t regret.

Meet Brave, my Ferrari Red Merida mountain bike. I bought it in Bikecology in Banilad.

brave-bike

To be honest, I don’t know anything about bikes. Good thing the shopkeepers were so helpful and accommodating. The owner herself recommended this and said it’s good value for money considering its being a 9-speed bike.

Now, my after-work routine revolves around Brave. Yup, as shared here many times, I name all my gadgets and toys and because my bike’s brand is Merida who is the heroine of the Disney movie Brave, I named my bike Brave. Come to think of it, Merida’s a redhead too.

Every afternoon, I take her on a spin as a form of exercise. I love how she takes me places.  Usually, I visit a friend’s house and let her daughter amuse me with her antics. Sometimes, Brave and I just chase the setting sun, taking simple pleasure in watching the sky turn into a myriad of colors.

Here’s another photo from today’s ride.

sunset.2

Photos taken in Cordova, Cebu.

Until I had Brave, I never realized how relaxing biking is. These past days, I have been very busy, even stressed, but the moment I’m off biking, I forget my cares in the world.