[April 20, 2007]

As I sat by the window, I saw the buildings and houses getting smaller; next was the islands until my vision of my country literally morphed to that of a bird. There were butterflies constantly fluttering in my stomach to say the least. Now I know how my family felt when they left for the United States. Here I am, bound to a destination, three hours away while my family endures 12-14 hours of skies. The only difference is when they land they have almost all of my paternal side of the family with them. Where I’m going, I have but one of my maternal side of the family waiting for me.
Have you ever known how it feels like when you’re going to another country and not knowing when you’re coming back? It feels like hell! Hell! Worst than hell! I thought of every one I’m leaving behind and I began to really think of going back once we land. It was sunny skies all the way with some turbulence that some passengers really mind which for me was nothing compared to the sadness that had suddenly wrapped all over me. And this is coming from someone who had always loved adventures; exploring the unknown; experimenting with what mix feels and hits good. I guess the very quote that I tell everyone has boomeranged on me–"there’s always a first time.”
The majestic view above the clouds and the movie starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz (I forgot the title) has both lost their value to entertain me. The feeling is far worse than the greatest “crashing” I’ve gone through in my entire life. Sad, it was all that all the way—sad.
It was 6:15 pm when we landed. I contemplated of my plan to go back and decided that I should give it a shot to try it here. If I lasted three hours of sadness along the way maybe I could last a day and if I last a day maybe I could last a week and so on.
You have got to love Changi Airport. But don’t just take my word for it. Try to experience it yourself by vacationing here and not like what I planned to do here. The custom officials and airport police are way more polite than what we have back at the Philippines especially the immigration officers. I even declared the cigarettes I have because of how kind the immigration officers are. Too bad I had to pay 30SGD for duties. Turns out the cigarettes I’ve brought with me plus the 30SGD I paid for is cheaper compared to 11SGD a pack sold locally.
I finally got out of the airport after I paid duties for my smokes. Che, my cousin fetched me and we rode the cab, we passed thru the expressway all the way to “West Singapore.” She complained about the traffic because of the rush hour. I said “what traffic?” dang! If this is rush hour in Singapore then I wouldn’t mind driving a cab! After a couple of minutes, we met Koy, her boyfriend at Century Mansions where he introduced me to my new housemates.
I got introduced to Jayson and was shown my room. It was bigger than I expected of a master’s bedroom. Good thing also is I have my own T&B. I left my luggage which just by looking at would put an impression that it was 10 kilos excess of the allowed weight. (That’s 5KPHP I’m talking about) After that Che, Koy and I rode the bus to BPP. My first bus ride in Singapore though someone guided me, inside my head I said, I’ll do this tomorrow on my own. I’ll try to explore Singapore ala The Beach which starred Leonardo Di Caprio.
We ate at the food court of BPP I forgot what I Che ordered me but it was delicious and also it was my first to eat that…err whatever it is called. Bottom line, it was delicious and so was the carrot cake which according to Che contains no carrots at all. After dining we went to Che’s house where she lent me pillows and beddings (Amp! Talk about preparing, I even put the beddings on the top of my list when I was packing at home. Yet still I forgot, damn parties! Koy and I then took the cab back to Century where and he introduced me to my other housemate—John.
I asked them if they want to bend elbows and they said yes. So off we went to 7-11, syet! Walang San Mig Light, so I settled for Heineken. Wow! 20SGD for a six-pack, you do the math. Potah! Ang mahal ng bisyo dito! I bought two six-packs and some Sprite for the Absolut Raspberry. Overall I had a fun night, drinking with new friends. Thank God they all have IT-related jobs; I had no effort blending in. It was around 1:00 am when we decided to call it a day. My first 40 winks in Singapore… (To be continued)