When you’re a Filipino ogling at how nice Singapore is, it’s easy to spew out wishes and could-be’s for the Philippines. Babe and I went to Singapore for a seven-day vacation (as it turned out to be) last week. It was a trip planned months in advance. 🙂
On our first day, I was amazed by the orderliness and cleanliness that abound. But of course, there were certain areas that disproves the fact that Singapore is spotlessly clean. Plastic cups, cigarette butts and whatnot still littered certain alleys and corners. So there goes putting Singapore on the highest pedestal there is in terms of cleanliness.
Even the whole hullabaloo about smoking being prohibited in public places is dodgy. Spending majority of our time walking around the city and even the outskirts of the city, people were smoking. In public. While walking. What everybody has been raging about seems to be another great advertising strategy. Oh well.
Around two to three days after we landed in Singapore, I couldn’t help comparing Singapore to The Truman Show. Remember that Jim Carrey movie? It’s just that everything in that country seems mechanical, perfectly timed. You know exactly what time the next train or bus is arriving. Heck, even restaurants will mildly shoo you away if it’s closing time.
Babe’s Singaporean uncle (he denounced his Filipino citizenship after living for 20 years in Singapore) even mentioned over dinner that he feels locals live in a box. That they’re not as free as what they think. A lot of Babe’s friends we met up with in Singapore even attests to the locals’ favorite hobby–mag-reklamo. It’s true what Babe’s uncle said that the locals don’t know that in their country, they have it better.
Then again, each country has its own set of negatives. When compared with the Philippines, Singapore will win by a landslide based solely on government performance, public service and transportation efficiency. And that’s not even taking into consideration their respect for the law.
On a brighter note, I found Singapore to be a peaceful country albeit the absence of out-of-control fun or whatever you want to call it. If you’re earning SGD, then it wouldn’t be that bad of a place to live in. But with 1SGD valued at 35-36PHP, it was pretty stressful financially. 🙂