Skip to main content

"Singaporing" Manila – Reversing the Reality Part 1

I stayed in Singapore as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) for one year and half. To be honest, I like staying in this country. However, I don’t love working in this country, the main reason why I only worked that long. But I could definitely say that I’ve done my mission of working abroad for good. I saved some. I helped some. Now, I am with my wife and my dogs, plants, and living and working in my own house. Simple life is the result of my short patience and sacrifices while working in Singapore.



I am a kind of OFW who is very thrifty when it comes to travel and leisure. If it’s about spending for fun, I could definitely say that I am at the bottom of the list. Instead, what I like to do is explore those places where I will spend less or almost nothing and during off season when fares and cost of tickets are low. I am talking about places in Singapore. As you know, this country is very small in terms of land area. It ranks 190th(out of 249) in terms of total land area. With excellent transport system, you can be at the other end or corner of Singapore in just one hour or even less. So what I am doing is plan my trip, allocate some budget for transportation and snack, and then go explore the places that are of interest to me. At the end of each travel day, I go back home happy and without so much expenses. This is how I used to live in Singapore.

There are lots of interesting places in Singapore if it’s about the tourist attractions. On my perspective, yes they are indeed interesting. But for me, there are places that are even more interesting than these tourist spots. These places are probably the least viewed or photographed places in this country if I am to assess it. There are two important things on why I want to share with you these very interesting places. First, I want to share with you Singapore’s beauty from a different perspective. Second, I want to reveal some things that could be useful to someone else’s country. On my case, it’s the Philippines which I want to benefit from these useful things that I will share on this blog post. As you continue reading this blog, you will observe some things that are not only beautiful but are also useful to the Filipinos if they adapt it this country. Why I entitled this as "Singaporing Philippines", you will find out.

Singapore’s Beauty
I wrote about “When Philippines Becomes Singapore, What Would it be Like” in 2013. On this post, you will see the way of life in Singapore. On the streets, parks, MRT stations, malls and offices, I shared some photos on how people spend their everyday life in Singapore. In the later part of the post, I did a slight comparison with the way of life in the Philippines. I also added that “there seems to be no effective system at all on our roads, offices and cities. There is nothing wrong with benchmarking our country with Singapore if the objective is for ours to become a more progressive country someday”. To further support these claims, here is another batch of photos that will reveal more of Singapore’s beauty.













You've just seen some of Singapore’s beauty through these photos. On the later part of these blog, I am going to share the beauty which I am referring to as "places that are even more interesting than these tourist spots". Now, let me post this question. Compared to the Philippines, do you think the beauty of our country is close to becoming Singapore or are there still more improvements needed?

Let me share with you this time some story about the National Capital Region of the Philippines – Metro Manila. What beauty are inside this region and what are those that are not. That story would be on Part 2 of this blog post.

Continue reading Part 2 of this post: "Singaporing" Manila – Reversing the Reality Part 2


About the Author
Noriel Panganiban is a Filipino blogger who's like any other ordinary Filipino, has experienced the real way of life in the Philippines. Noriel has a mission and that is to bring positive changes in this beautiful country. With blog posts like this, he believes that he is able to carry out that mission even in little ways; that if someone has read his post, that triggers the start of an awakening. You can read more posts about the Filipinos and the Philippines from this blog site. For more information about Noriel and his vision in life, you may also visit www.knowriel.com.

Comments

Most-Read Posts of the Month

“I Love Baguio City” - My Travel Story in the Summer Capital of the Philippines

The Strawberry Farm, Burnham Park, Mines View Park, the Mansion, Wright Park, Lourdes Grotto, and Session Road; these are among of the popular landmarks in the more commonly known “Summer Capital of the Philippines” – Baguio City. Why so? Well, the temperature here seldom exceeds 26 degree centigrade. During the cold season of December to February, the temperature falls down to even below 10 degree centigrade. The record low temperature was 6.3 degree and that was on January 18, 1961.

How to Travel to Baguio City?
Going to this cold city in the mountainous province of Benguet, Philippines is a six to seven hours travel by passenger utility bus from Manila. Starting from EDSA, traversing the NLEX, entering SCTEX, exiting the province of Tarlac and going through the neighbouring provinces of Pangasinan and La Union, and then exploring the zigzag road of either the Marcos Highway, the Kennon Road or the Naguilian Road, the coldest place in the Philippines will be reached. Baguio is about 2…

"Business as Usual" as the Filipinos Define It (Vulcanizing Shop, Sari-Sari Store, Bakery) – Part 1

I asked the shop owner about these old unused tires on what are they doing with it. The Vulcanizing shop owners says, “Oh, someone will pick up those tires and pay us 5 or 10 pesos each. Sometimes they just take it for free”.


Vulcanizing Shop - A Classic Example of Filipino Business
You’ve most probably seen and been into a local, typical vulcanizing shop like this one in the photo. The business concept is very simple. Here’s a customer with his flat or deflated tire and the vulcanizing boy will repair it using a rubber compound patch, a heating tool, and an air pump. If it’s a regular car or van tire, repairing one may only take 10 minutes the cost of which is around 30 to 60 pesos. If it’s a tire from a truck or bus, it could be around 30 minutes and the repair would cost the vehicle owner around 100 to 150 pesos.

Here’s the thing. A shop like this one could potentially earn a revenue of 1000 up to 2000 per day just by repairing a flat tire. Why? Well, with thousands of vehicles like j…

Filipinos! Here is My Free Education Advocacy that I Want You to Know

In the Philippines, we often hear this statement from the Filipinos about education:


“Hindi hadlang ang kahirapan para makatapos ng pag-aaral.” Poverty is not a hindrance to finish education.
I completely disagree! Allow me to explain my side.





Millions of Filipinos are unable to step highschool and even college because of the hardships in life we have in our country. Many are poor and therefore cannot afford the cost of education in the Philippines. If paying 5,000 to 20,000 pesos per semester in a Philippine college is already tough, then how about more the daily baon, school projects, transportation allowance, boarding house, and extra expenses?


Wake up! This is the truth. That Filipino statement with all respect, if I were you, forget it. Accept the fact that you cannot just earn your education in the Philippines because you are poor.

This is not an insult to anyone. I am from a poor family but I was able to complete a college degree despite of that. If you really want to find a solution…

Who are These OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) and Why are They the Modern Heroes of the Philippines

At the turn of the millennium, the Philippine government launches this campaign program calling the overseas Filipino workers or OFWs as “Mga Bagong Bayani ng Bayan” (Modern Heroes of the Nation). From then onwards, different organizations established programs giving awards and recognitions to selected OFWs who did a remarkable contribution or action to their family, friends, work or in general, to the country.


OFW ka ba?Bakit?Eh kasi dating mo pa lang, mayaman ka na. Boom! 
(Are you an OFW? Why? Because with just the way look, it seems that you’re rich. Boom!)

My Cousin Dado as an OFW in South Korea 

At present, OFWs around the world are estimated to be around 12 – 14 million. This is approximately 10 – 12 percent of the Philippines total population. These OFWs are distributed on many countries all over the globe majority of whom are in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Singapore, Hongkong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Italy. Immigrant workers in the United States, Australia and Eu…

2019 Philippines National and Local Election - Could this be the Politics that Will Save Us All?

Re-post: As the Philippines National/Senatorial and Local elections will be held on May 13, 2019, I think it is good to remind Filipinos once again the essence and flow of elections in the country. Local or national elections, not much of a difference if its about our culture of voting. Choose the right candidate, vote him or her. And with this post, you can be guided.

Today is the right time to again exercise our rights as a Filipino. Candidates have already introduced themselves. You roughly have the ideas who tells the truth and who's giving the lies. Your today and your future depends on these officers who will take the seat in the senate, municipal office and the house. Vote buying may feed you today or in a week, but remember you will live in 3 to 6 years while the people you voted is in the seat. Remember, corruption kills Filipino people. So think! Will you be still alive 3 or 6 years from now?

Vote wisely Filipinos!

Suffrage is the right to vote. With over 54 million voters,…

MONTEMARIA

Catholicism from another perspective – this is how I understand the pilgrimage site of MonteMaria in Batangas City, Philippines. It was a huge site development project with the 96-meter tall Mary, Mother of All Asia statue as the centerpiece. You have to see it for yourself to believe!

What (not Who) is MONTEMARIA? Just for clarity, MONTEMARIA is the name of the 130-hectare township or development site project. Also, Montemaria is a place in Batangas City to which the site more likely is named after. The statue or monument or tower is called "Mother of All Asia - Tower of Peace". You may simply call it Tower of Mary or Statue of Mary. The surrounding place meanwhile is known as the Mother of All Asia Shrine.

Holy Week in the Philippines
We visited this place during the Holy Week of 2018. During this week, many Filipino Catholics are visiting religious places which is part of what they call "Visita Iglesia". It is not uncommon for a pilgrimage site like the MonteMaria…

BAYANIHAN – Filipinos’ Last and Only Hope in Beating the Odds of Times

Illegal drugs, criminality, corruption in the government – these are the evil things killing the Filipino people for many decades. The government and its armed forces alone are not enough to cure the bleeding wound of our generation. The hope of a better Philippines will come from us – the people.

As a Filipino, what really went wrong with us? Why are we living in this society full of hatred, bias, inequality, and divisiveness?


This blog is meant to uncover the truth behind a distinct Filipino culture that got hidden in the dark for decades - BAYANIHAN. I had been blogging for about a decade and I have shared a lot of the stories telling why Filipinos are divided in terms of political and religious beliefs, ignorant in the many aspects of the society, denied of our rights and privileges over many things, and betrayed by a few elites running the political and economic systems of the land. It could be only two things: we were being fooled yet we are not aware of it or we were fooling o…

What Filipinos Truly Miss About the Philippines

Filipinos are known to have strong family ties. That despite of the fact that we have to leave our families and friends behind to work somewhere far, we still choose to pay a visit them whenever the time allows. In a way, these fiesta tradition, Christmas holidays, holy week, election day, and other occasion days are what brings Filipinos together. During these days, bus terminals, seaports, and airports are full of Filipinos queuing up for their rides heading home.

It’s in a Filipino wish list - to go back home no matter what.

When I got my first job in the city back in 2005, there’s always this feeling that I wanted to go back in my home province and see how things go on there. You know that feeling of missing home and you’re too far away. You really need patience, more of it. Back then, I want to see my parents, my friends, and relatives whom I had grown up with. I want to see the green environment, that place that made me a person that I am today. Since then, I tried making ways o…

Filipinos Very Own Jeepney is in Manila and Everywhere in the Philippines

Jeepney symbolizes the culture of the Philippines. This is the primary means of transportation of the Filipino people. This vehicle can be seen anywhere in the country. There is no city, town or barangay that has no jeepneys to represent them. Jeepney is the life of the people in the Philippines.

On the Photo: Jeepney Blessing Ceremony
Children and adults in this photo are excited about the blessing of this new jeepney. Coins were thrown on top of the jeepney and they scrambled for it. For the jeepney owner, this is the start of a new day, a new business venture. Jeepney like this one, which has a stainless body costs around P300,000 to Php400,000 and is mainly used as a passenger utility vehicle.


How many jeepneys can you see here?


How about here?

Riding a Jeepney - How it Feels to be in It
Riding on the jeepney might not be that comfortable and convenient to all. If you are tall, you have no other choice but to bend your neck a little. If you are fat, worst case that the driver will charg…

Great Reasons Why You Should be Proud to be Pinoy Today

Yes, we live in a poor country. We walk up and sleep in a country with high unemployment rate, low quality of life, high crime incidence, rampant corruption in the government, unsolved traffic issues, high poverty and so on and so forth. We are residing in a country where there are New People’s Army, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Abu Sayyaf Group and plenty of other leftists doing harm to the nation’s freedom and sovereignty. Many of our rivers, oceans and lands are totally polluted – some are dead. Our streets are flooded with criminals, kidnappers, snatchers, drug addicts, drug pushers and tons of other bad elements invading our liberty. In remote areas around the country, there are children walking barefoot, on their empty stomach and with unconditioned mind and body just to taste the education which their parents were forced to believe that “poverty is not a hindrance to education” – but is not. We experience over and over again the fury of strong typhoons leaving us billion-wort…

Talk to Us

Name

Email *

Message *