Posts Tagged ‘Universal Studios

14
Oct
15

West Coast Chronicles: Universal Studios Hollywood

My first amusement park visit during this trip would be Universal Studios Hollywood.  It’s also my first ever Universal Studios experience anywhere so I was naturally excited!  Join me as I look back on one of the best amusement park experience I’ve ever had so far!

Welcome to Universal Studios Hollywood!

Continue reading ‘West Coast Chronicles: Universal Studios Hollywood’

21
May
10

More than a Name Change: Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) 2010

Last year was my first ever marathon outside the Philippines during what was then called Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM).  This year, Standard Chartered, the event’s title sponsor, decided to give it some makeover by having a name change.  But the changes with this year’s event is more than superficial—new sponsors, Race Director, routes, and event are being introduced.

ASICS would be the official outfitter of this year’s SCMS under the three-year sponsorship agreement (until 2012) and as such will be offering 15% discount off regular merchandise at ASICS Concept Stores, located at Paragon, #04-44A and Marina Square, #03-110 for participants of SCMS 2010 from August 01 to December 04, 2010.  Singapore Sports Council (SSC), the organizer of SCMS, appointed Dave McGillivray, the person behind Boston Athletic Association’s (BAA) Boston Marathon, as this year’s Race Director, but the two major changes that would be introduced this year are the new routes and the new Ekiden relay.

Full marathon runners will run down Orchard Road, Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts building, followed by bustling Chinatown and the grand Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.  Half marathon runners will start on Sentosa Bridge through Universal Studios and 10K runners will start off at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and will run past Singapore’s Financial District before moving over to the new Helix Bridge.

The Ekiden (long distance relay) is the new addition to SCMS where six runners form a team to cover the entire 42.195K.  The first runner will flag off with the full marathon runners while the rest of the participants will be allocated to their respective stations.

I would’ve wanted to set a new course record with SCSM but it seems that with SCMS that’s no longer possible, but it does offer the charm of a new route (I think I’m more excited with 21K route, unless the marathon route covers it too) and the promise of a better race.

Registration for this year’s SCMS is already open and if you register between May 20 and June 04, 2010 you get at least 45% discount.  There’s also a 15% discount if you use Standard Chartered Credit or Debit Card.  This year’s race would be on December 05, 2010.  More details of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2010 will be released within the next few months.

24
Dec
09

Singapore Special: Sentosa (Day 03, Post-Race)

Everyone’s races are over, most got a new “personal best” (as how they refer to a “personal record” in Singapore), it’s time to celebrate!  We haven’t gone all out to save our strengths for our respective races and now, we can!  And where do adventure-seekers in Singapore go?  Sentosa!

The ladies…

…and the Gents…

…off to Sentosa! (Me behind the camera)

Sentosa is the southernmost territory of Singapore and as such has the southernmost coast of continental Asia (since Singapore is connected by land to the Asian mainland via bridges to Malaysia).  You may think of Sentosa as Singapore’s playground as it centralizes a lot of attractions here like Underwater World, Tiger Sky Tower, Palawan beach, and Southeast Asia’s first Universal Studios theme park (opening first quarter 2010) among others.

Sentosa

From the mainland you may get to Sentosa via a cable car (under repair) or the monorail.  The obvious choice for us was the monorail and interestingly its station was inside a mall (like many MRT stations in Singapore), Vivo City.  Getting to Sentosa (Imbiah Station) takes only a few minutes from Vivo City Station as it really wasn’t that far away—from a Filipino’s perspective you may compare it to crossing a slightly wider (and much deeper) Pasig River.

Here comes the monorail to Sentosa

As much as we want to explore this entire island and enjoy everything it had to offer time was not on our side as we only had less than half a day!  Some of our friends would also return to Manila later that night so all we had was the entire afternoon.  Without spending much time thinking we started with the obvious: the Luge and Skyride.

The gang at Sentosa with Singapore’s biggest Merlion at the background

Tiger Sky Tower

Luge

Skyride

Travel Tip: As many who have tried the Luge would tell you, “once is not enough.”  Take our word for it, get the combo!

At first the Skyride doesn’t look intimidating; I mean it’s just an open cable car, right?  But later on it proved to be a “screamer” for the ladies—it gets really high so it isn’t exactly for those who are afraid of heights.  It was quite enjoyable though as you get to see the island from a high spot but it’s a little too short (get the combo!).

View from the above

An even higher view!

Weee!

…what do we do next?

After the rides we settled to touring the area on foot as it was also getting too late for us to visit other attractions.  But before we left we were visited by the free-roaming peacock that just walks about the place.  Interesting.

The roaming peacock

Nice gate

Imbiah Station

A monorail stopping at the station

Upon returning to Vivo City I was quite tired to roam around the mall’s rooftop garden (I just did a marathon earlier so it was reasonable) so I just settled with lying on the grass.  I realized that our Singapore trip was coming to its conclusion so we had to maximize the time we had remaining.  All three of my “housemates” would be leaving that night and for our last activity together we decided to have a somewhat fancy dinner, back near our hostel in Bugis.

Getting some rest at Vivo City’s garden

Vivo City’s garden Christmas tree

Finally that night I had to say goodbye to my friends.  I was so tired that I didn’t even had the chance to think that I was alone in my room and just fell to sleep without trouble.  Tomorrow I’ll be checking out and be returning home, alone.  I wasn’t even able to think about that before I got to sleep…

Hotel InterContinental’s Christmas tree, just across our hostel

Meatball Spaghetti, always a favorite

Spicy Pasta, although it didn’t say so in the menu

Travel Tip: Watch out for the word “spicy” if you’re not used to it.

Last dinner in Singapore for this trip

Our hostel

Special thanks to Carina for some of the pictures that appeared here.

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