We met some people in Singapore. We even encountered ourselves. 🙂

After we took a bus from Bencoolen Street and alighted at One Fullerton, we made a decision in a heart beat that we need to postpone the plan of strolling at Merlion Park, Esplanade and enjoy the view of Marina Bay Sands to a later time because the sun was scorching hot that morning.  We opted to go ahead of schedule to Universal Studios.

And so I led my family to walk towards the waiting shed and with an outstretched right arm, I waived for a taxi cab. Clueless that we were waiting in the wrong side, I wondered why cabs without top lights that say ‘hired’ would not stop and pick us up (read: taxi cabs should take passengers from the side street and not from the main road–logical enough!).

Until one of the cab drivers on the main road signaled me to wait at the back of the bus stop and took us in.

Meet Andrew, the Singaporean taxi driver who sounded like more Filipino than we are…

Singaporean taxi cab driver, Andrew with Gabby

At first, I didn’t know how he easily spotted that we’re Filipinos, it must be how we speak. As the unusual friendly taxi-driver-and-passenger-conversation started and went on, Tina and I found ourselves so engaged with Andrew’s little stories about our own country.

My cynical brain initially thought that this guy’s cheap words about his passengers’ home country were just randomly uttered to tourists’ fascination for time being but I was completely wrong.  Andrew really knows and likes the Philippines not only because his money could buy more for him in our country but he fell in love with almost everything back home.He mentioned he has been to the Philippines several times and that his travels already took him to Iloilo, Cebu, Davao and Makati City.  Tina, with so much amusement told him, “You’ve been to a lot places in the Philippines than we do.”

He described how he felt when he bought an entire lechon (roasted pig) somewhere in Cebu and shared it to the locals, mostly kids of various ages that he found along the beach.

Andrew’s also aware of unpleasant news back home. He also recalled being with his cousin in a Korean restaurant in Greenbelt Mall in Makati and suddenly was shocked upon hearing gun shots during the time that the Rolex watch store in the said mall was robbed. He also mentioned that he knows the tragic tourist bus hostage drama that involved Hong Kong nationals in Rizal Park in Manila. For a moment, I sanked in my seat; I cringed. But despite all those, he still spoke highly of the Philippines.

Apparently, Andrew fell in love with the Philippines. He elaborated that he likes the freshest and affordable seafoods, pristine beaches and simplicity of rural life in Iloilo, he remembered how he enjoyed his stay in Shangri La Mactan Hotel in Cebu and was so fascinated with Davao. Then, Andrew professed his desire to buy a condo unit in Makati City someday.
While some of us, Filipinos feel that the Philippines is hopeless, we met a Singaporean who plans to retire in our own country someday.
Upon reaching USS, he even instructed us where to go to find its entrance. I gave him S$50 because I didn’t have smaller bill; I was expecting him to get a tip on top of the taxi rate but he did not. It was one of the most fascinating taxi cab rides that Tina, Gabby and I experienced. The trip from One Fullerton to USS was short, but definitely extraordinary.


Beyond Toxicity’s Singapore Blog series includes:




  1. Sad but true: foreigners would rather stay here in the Philippines while we Filipinos just want to pack up and leave. Then again, they have good reasons to come even as we have good reasons to go.

    1. i don’t know with the others but we still want to go back and retire someday in pinas. maybe not now, not too soon but work abroad is temporary. our hearts remain in the philippines.

  2. How wonderful to hear foreigners love our Country. Although I have traveled a lot of places in the Phils, but that was so many years ago when we did not have a lot of upgraded tourists spots.

    P.S. The waves of flags were taken In Malibu and they do this every year. I have yet to visit this year, hopefully this weekend.

  3. This is an inspiring tale indeed! it makes me feel happy that someone who comes from an orderly and well-developed neighbor like Singapore can say really good words about the Philippines. He’ll make a good neighbor to anyone once he finally retires in the Philippines.

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