Serangoon Rd.

I needed to work on some paperwork in Singapore over the weekend and so I left before dawn last Saturday. It was quick-turn-around vacation because I have to get back in Manila by Monday. That means I only have a day to spare!

While I look forward to such trips (even if it’s this short) I don’t enjoy going to the old Manila airport terminal (NAIA 1). That it still stands is an insult to all of us. Even war torn country’s like Cambodia and Vietnam managed to build decent airports. Why can’t we do the same?

Clear skies all the way

But there’s one thing I like about NAIA 1— it’s a time machine! They should start playing Bee Gee’s, Donna Summers and all those 70’s hits over the PA system. The whole place is a freaking 70’s throwback!

Makes me wonder, where does the 1600 plus pesos local tourists pay go?

What bothers me is that all the highest officials in the land uses this decrepit airport. And if they’re not doing anything to fix it, then there’s not much they can do for the rest of the country.

OK, enough of that airport.

Australia’s ABC TV has produced a 10 episode drama, Serangoon Road, which stars Joan Chen and Aussie Don Hany. I’m sure the main networks here (Singapore) would pick up this promising detective drama. I’m curious how it would be received by local Singaporeans.

The production was shot in Singapore and Batam, Indonesia, which still has some communities that resembles the 1970’s Singapore (the setting of the series) before it made it  great economic leap.

Serangoon Road is the main thoroughfare of  Old Singapore. Unlike our systemic way of erasing history by changing the names of our roads and streets, here they regard historical places with great reverence. The northeast portion of this road is a stones throw away from where we reside. The old compacted dirt road are now paved, expanded, with under pass and over pass built on it but the name stays, and so is its history.

I failed to catch the “ilo ilo” movie while I was in Singapore. I ran out of time (I don’t even know if it’s still on). I find it strange that it had a lukewarm reception among Filipinos. Is it because the person being glorified is a maid?

Remember, Filipina maids were the first to come here in Singapore. Long before the professionals started swarming the island. They’ve made their invaluable contributions, not only to our remittance-dependent-country but also to Singaporean families. This film reminds us of their sacrifice, and the difference they’ve made in the lives of those they were paid to serve.

One word for these wonderful human beings who left their homeland so they could provide for their families – RESPECT.

I’ve been away from the island for a couple of months. The first thing I usually do after a stretch of absence this long is eat the chows that I missed. And this being a short stop, I had to eat fast. My days were short but my meals a-plenty!

A generous serving of hot bak-kut-teh. Singapore’s spicy answer to bulalo!


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