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Feeling Like A First Time Traveler All Over Again | Singapore Day Zero

Friday, June 03, 2022



It all started with getting assigned to the dreaded airplane middle seat.


Or maybe it was even days prior the trip, when all my tours were cancelled because the agency didn't get the minimum number of participants. Or was it a week prior, when the weather app warned me of thunderstorms for the whole duration of my trip? πŸ˜†


This Singapore trip did not exactly got off to a good start, but I was soooo optimistic and overly excited to travel internationally again that not even bad calls and ruined plans can drench my mood.


Back in 2019, when traveling had become a part of my life, there came a time when I prepare for the next trip like a robot just following a routine. I was exhausted, and it wasn't as exciting anymore. But the 2+ years taught me to appreciate that boarding a plane is a luxury, and we are lucky every time we get the chance to explore the world outside of our country. 


From airport line to relaxing in the Seattles Best in the middle of Terminal 3 Departure area... Oh how I missed these!



Now why Singapore? When I was planning for my first solo international trip since the pandemic, most countries were not open for tourists yet. I was willing to wait for South Korea to some extent, but I have an expiring Cebu Pacific Travel Fund from a supposed Vietnam summer trip with Ava in 2020. Pressure is real to use it up right away!


So I booked for Singapore with eyes closed, thinking that even though Korea opens now, I still have to fix my visa before a trip can come to fruition. True enough, South Korea just announced that they are opening their borders again on the day that I'll be coming back from my Singapore trip! πŸ˜† Nakakainis talaga hahaha!


But anyway, I still think I needed this short trip, and I still think Singapore was the perfect choice. Para akong nangapa uli sa pag travel. With all the mishaps I went through for this trip, my sister described me best in our group chat: "Luh. Para kang first time traveler uli!" πŸ˜‚


DAY ZERO: FLIGHT DAY


At the moment, Cebu Pacific only offers red eye flights from Manila to Singapore (vice versa). Our 8:30pm flight got delayed by an hour because of the rains, so we landed in Singapore at around 1:30am already.


I had a good stretch while waiting in line at the immigration, seating for about 4 hours in the dreaded airplane middle seat. Full flight kami, btw! While in line, I decided to check the location of the airport lounge I booked so I can spend the night there, when I suddenly felt weird and cold realizing that the lounge is INSIDE the immigration. I felt so uneasy, that when I was about 5 persons away from the immigration counter, I decided to get out of line and go back to look for any information counter.


Tama ang hinala ko, I cannot go back inside to avail the lounge that I already paid for at Php 3000+ if I went out na of the immigration. Buti nalang din, I had the chance to choose. But the dilemma is, if I stayed inside to avail the lounge, I will leave my luggage rotating on the bag carousel. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜“ Maloloka talaga ako!


The staff at the information counter wasn't much of a help (feel ko naweirduhan din sakin haha), so I decided to just go to the lounge na mismo and ask them if they can help me get my bag--which they said they weren't allowed to do so. They gave me two options, it's either I just let go of the lounge (refunds not allowed) so I can get my bag outside. OR to just stay at the lounge for the night, and look for my bag at the lost and found the next day. Ewan ko ba mas mahal naman value ng maleta ko kesa sa lounge lol, but I took the risk and just stayed!



Btw, I already blogged about this lounge during a 2019 trip. It was really meant for those with connecting flights, and hindi ko sya naisip when I booked it for this trip huhu. You can read more about my Singapore airport lounge experience here.


So finally, I was inside the lounge again after 3 years. I had my late dinner (kimchi rice) at a semi private cubicle, and made sure to charge my powerbank and phone. I also attempted to sleep. Pagod na pagod na ako, but my mind can't rest coz I was really worried about my luggage outside the immigration. Iniisip ko nalang, wala naman laman yung maleta ko kundi clothes and Boy Bawang (lol) that I will give to cousins I'm meeting in SG. Kinondisyon ko na sarili ko that it's okay if hindi ko na makuha ang bag, I can always shop for new clothes--ganun na ka-lala. πŸ˜‚





NOTE: So if ever you're going to Singapore via red eye flight, best nadin pala talaga to just book a hotel na ok lang ang late check-in, and then take a taxi kahit madaling araw na. Mas makakarest ka padin pala talaga pag sa hotel room, and same din naman ang ginastos ko for booking the lounge. As for safety kahit mag-isa ka like me, I think best bet is to take a Grab.


I was messaging our groups at that time, and buti nalang gising pa si Ava and she gave me the best advice to just rest, wala naman na ako magagawa. And then go out nalang early to claim my bag habang hindi pa busy ang airport. My lounge booking is for 6 hours so till 7:30am pa sya talaga, but since uneasy naman na din ako, I went out nadin at around 5am after showering. True enough, my bag was still there along with other luggages! Haha! Ang dami namin nag-iwan! Sabi ng sister ko sakin, swerte mo sa Singapore nanyari yan! Ay talaga nga naman, ang swerte ko padin hahaha. 


Nagtataka yun immigration officer pag labas ko, from what flight daw ako? Haha I said I arrived earlier, but slept in the lounge. πŸ˜‚ Natuwa ako when I went out and saw other luggages left next to the bag carousels:


Thank you maleta for waiting for me! Lol.


With no hotel room to stay in, okay nadin pala nag lounge ako that night. So hard to look for a quiet spot to sit and rest outside immigration while waiting for the sun to rise:


To be continued...

1 comment

  1. Excited for our future trip! Thanks for the tips πŸ’•

    ReplyDelete

Your turn! Always excited to read your comments! :)