The Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2011 is my first run outside Manila. And it takes months to prepare. I knew that this marathon opens its registration online around June 2011, but I cannot register then because my passport expired, and I need to get one. I immediately apply for a passport renewal in DFA so that I can register in the next 30 days (Passport # is a requirement in the registration if you are non-SG resident).
After I have my renewed passport, I immediately enroll online for the half marathon (21K) category. It’s a little expensive if you compare it to Philippine Peso, but my decision is final—I want to join an international race at least once this 2011. After the online registration, the next step is to buy plane tickets. I decided to purchase that of Air Philippines Express, the budget carrier of Philippine Airlines. It is the only budget carrier that flies directly into Changi Airport Terminal 2. The rest of the budget carriers (like Cebu Pacific, Tiger, Air Asia) dock in Budget Terminal Airport in Singapore. Yes, even the airport is being put into consideration. My plane ticket costs me roughly P8,000 roundtrip (net). That is exactly the same fare as, say, you want to go to Davao. Plane tickets going to nearby countries are affordable now.
So on a good Friday afternoon (December 02), I pack my bag and running shoes and go to Singapore. This will be a short trip (just the weekend), and I want to spend it as much meaningful as possible. I arrived in Singapore around 8.30pm of Friday, after a 3 hours and 20 minutes flight time. Immigration is a breeze, and I was not even ask by the officer. She just stamp my passport with a tourist pass. I immediately get my luggage then headed out of the airport.
I stayed with my friend there so accommodation expenses is not a problem. After we check out of the airport, we hop into the taxi and went straight to Makan Sutra Gluttons Bay for late dinner. It’s a hawkers area, but the food are just sumptuous and really good. We ordered fried rice, garlic shrimp, squid, and kangkong. Wash them all with sugarcane juice, which I must say is a newfound discovery (at least for me).
But I just have to say that there are a lot of Filipinos now there than two years ago. It’s like you never left Manila.
More of Singapore on my next blog entry.