Thursday, May 22, 2014

Throwback: My First Singapore Trip 2010

The year was 2010. I was with my team in Fraser Place Makati, conducting a training session for our resellers. Then a ring.....a second after I pick up the call, my boss says, "O Madel, you're going to Singapore." And then I asked, "Sir, when would it be?" To which he answered, "Next week na."


And so began my solo travels abroad! :)

Welcome to Sentosa Resort & Spa! The Cisco team kicked off the Distributor Summit with some cocktails by the hall near the golf field. I remember feeling out of place as it was my first time but I'm glad there were a lot of friendly people, both from the Cisco APAC team and the other disti teams. There was a kind lady who was telling me all about Sentosa, mountain climbing and the other tourist destinations in the area. And I had to make my memory work double time to remember the names and faces of people to my left, right, front and back...mostly Chinese sounding names pa naman.

If I were more adventurous, I probably would have trekked there by myself but I had to focus on the reason I was there - it's about work and I don't want to give my employer reason to think I'm only there for fun. Whenever I'm given the time away and resources to be in another country, I always try my best to make sure that my company is able to maximize their investment :) 

This was also the first time I saw the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and Universal Studios and I was in awe of Sentosa's beauty (I almost didn't want to leave!) but I just added them to my bucket list, of places to visit and enjoy someday.

I had to make sure my doors were always shut scared of the peacocks and monkeys roaming around FREELY around the hotel premises! Shikes!! And they say that random knocking at night could be the monkeys. I wonder if that's true, though.

I'm numero uno takot being alone but I had to survive for 3 or 4 days being holed up in isn't that bad, right? This was when I discovered about different Star shows like Master Chef to make sure there's some other noise. Otherwise, I might start imagining things! Night time TV watching meant having cartoons in the background, until I dozed off.

Work area for the week. When you're on a trip and no one's watching, it's soo easy to just slip off from work - enjoy the scenery, get much needed sleep, scan the channels - but remember, there are still people waiting to be answered, issues eager to get resolved back home! And the clincher - tons of e-mail to read, sort, answer, resolve, delegate. So it's best to set-up your office away from your real office as soon as you get to your room. If anything, I'm only okay to be distracted by a little jog or swim (but the monkeys!!). 

Well-appointed rooms with very nice interiors. If only I had my family with me to enjoy this very big room!!

No? Alright, I bought a milk bath pouch and Ferrero Rocher chocolates to enjoy while relaxing in the tub!

Once upon a time, I was a "Ms. Baljon" :)

After a whole day of listening to different keynote presentations and product updates, what else is there to do? As the standee says - indulge, uplift, detoxify, pamper, re-invigorate, relax, rejuvenate...renew your senses!

After the summit's close, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a wonderful gift...what could it be?

A Flip Mino HD video!! Such a generous present for all disti representatives :D

After the summit, it was time to go visit some Singapore partners we had. Barely knowing the streets, bus schedules and my way around SG, I braved to go to the AT&T office by cab. After a fruitful meeting, it was time to go back to the hotel but I was sorta lost!! I only knew that if a cab or bus will bring me somewhere close to Vivo City Mall, I'd be okay. I decided to cross this over pass, inconspicuously following some people to make sure pedestrians are allowed in the area.

And luckily...a bus station!!! Well, there's nothing like it in Manila (you know, a neat bus station, scheduled buses and pretty much organized traffic!) but Singapore made it easy for me to learn on the fly! I was able to "connect the dots" and find my way to Vivo City Mall..hurraaaayy!!! :)

Last dinner in Singapore. We're going for cheap thrills so off to the lower floors of Vivo City Mall we go!

On the last day, we had an early flight to catch at the Changi airport. I often hear it's one of the nicest airports in the world but I didn't dare venture out on my first visit. I just wanted to chill and enjoy my Killiney coffee, soft-boiled eggs and kaya toast...yum!! :D

Up in the air I was almost guffawing at the funny videos being shown in the plane! The worst part is I was seated beside my boss, who was as helpless in calming me down I did what I can to distract me from the funnies..close my eyes, find my center, reach out for my cam and take this wing + cloud shot! :)


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