I may or may not have spent the year traveling almost every other month. Believe it or not, I started 2018 with no flight bookings at all. It just happened. Amiciness had used up all his VLs.
LWOP (Leave without Pay) or not, I have no regrets. 2018 was a trying year but traveling made it more meaningful. More experiences to learn from, more people to meet and more stories to tell. I had six major travels this year but the most memorable was my recent Singapore trip. Why? Duh. *wink*.
The Back Story
Early in the year, I stumbled on an a1 concert ad on Twitter. It was for the British boyband’s 20th Anniversary Tour that would be held in Singapore. It was the first time in years that a1 would perform as quintet since Paul Marazzi left the group. By experience, I knew that Manila would be part of the tour but what got me interested in the SG leg was the chance for a “meet and greet”. I weighed everything, consulted some friends and by the time ticket selling opened, I was already decided. I was going to Singapore.
I first saw a1 with Blue and 98 Degrees during their joint concert at the Araneta Coliseum in Manila. I’d be honest. I was a bigger fan of Blue then. When a1 was at its peak, I was still really young but with Blue, I was already in high school and more exposed to the radio and MTV. Regardless, in 2012, I was blown away by a1’s performance. The boys brought the whole coliseum down. Really. No kidding. Ask anyone who was there. No way, Blue or a one man-98 Degrees could have topped them. Needless to say, I became a fan. I also flew to Cebu just to watch their concert there but that’s a different story.
The Crazy-Not-So-Rich Asian Life
Traveling solo was not new to me. I already tried it in Osaka, Busan and in Dumaguete. However, the downside was that all fixed expenses would only be shouldered by me, myself and I. Singapore is one expensive country. I needed to be prepared! Booked the cheapest lodging I could find for just Php700++ per night (dormitory type), got Universal Studios Singapore, Gardens by the Bay and Adventure Cove tickets online and scavenged for long lost Singapore dollars in my room from my last Singapore trip in 2014. AND more importantly, I watched Crazy Rich Asians because I was planning to be a crazy-not-so-rich asian visiting the filming locations (similar to what I did in Seoul).
I really enjoyed SG from the moment I got there. The transportation system was so refreshingly efficient. I felt like I could get anywhere I want to in the city without being pressed for time. My first stop was Gardens by the Bay. The huge futuristic park was a marvel, day or night. Inside it were Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. I wish we have something like that at home. I saw different kinds of flowers from all over the world and the best part was… may aircon. Sobrang init kasi sa labas! Haha! I also went to the Halloween Horror Nights in Universal Studios Singapore only to go home earlier than expected because of the crowd and the long queues.
a1 2oth Anniversary Tour
I had to get a super expensive Grab to the concert venue because I was already so tired of walking and I didn’t want to meet the boys of a1 all sweaty and all. For some reason, I became really thirsty when I arrived. I went to the bar and asked for a bottled water. Guess what? They only had a Evians for sale. WTH!? I still bought one of course kahit labag sa kalooban. The venue (MES Theater) was very intimate. I was about six rows from the stage and I could see everything. The acoustics of the venue was good. I could still hear the music amidst the screaming fans. That or the screaming was not as loud as in the Philippines.
The concert felt surreal. I was with fans from all walks of life but we were singing the same songs out loud. Songs we listened to when we were young. Songs we knew from the heart. I felt like I was literally in the music video of Living The Dream. I could only wonder how a1 was feeling especially Paul who wasn’t part of the 2016 tour. The boys received the same warm welcome asian fans gave 20 years ago. Nothing’s changed. We just got older.
Meet and Greet with a1
The meet and greet was done after the concert. Everyone with the VIP pass sat on their seats patiently waiting for their turn to go up the stage. The rules were simple. Fall in line. Pose. Take your photo. Walk out the stage. Fans from the first few batches took their time “meeting and greeting” each member of a1, delaying the schedule so management eventually requested that we strictly follow the rules.
Of course, madami pa ring pasaway. During my turn, I quickly shook Christian and Paul’s hands. Made akbay to them and posed for the picture above. Afterwards, I thanked them and immediately hugged Ben who was on my left. #priorities The staff then started pulling and leading me off the stage. *bow*
Booking the Cheapest flights with Skyscanner
Being a crazy-not-so-rich asian, I always need to book the cheapest flight possible. Especially for my SG trip, I already had concert tickets so my travel dates weren’t that flexible. Each time, I just go to my Skyscanner app. Select the dates and my destination. Et voila. All the cheapest and available flights are listed down. Select a flight and book! It’s that easy. Download the app now.
Make 2019 your travel year and book your flights now. Can’t wait to go back to Singapore and travel again!