Sunday, May 06, 2007

Singapore Day 2: Design and Arts

Sat, May 5, 2007

We got home at 12MN last night and were awake till 2AM. Janice and I decided not to go hardcore and just enjoy what we can for the next two days. (I woke up pretty early, just thinking about my way back to the airport. XD) We're set on a walking tour.

Anyway, I love Janice's place. The kitchen's so spacious, I can hardly believe that this is one of the cheapest places in Singapore. If I had a kitchen this big (for a small apartment), I'd really enjoy cooking. And the oven works, too! Janice also said that you can drink straight out of the tap here; Singapore advertises that the water is filtered/purified/clean.

Oh,'s surprisingly not hot here in Singapore. I was expecting it to be twice as hot as Pinas, being closer to the equator than our country, but it's not. Janice says it must be the trees. There are lots and lots and lots of trees here, which is ironic because their soil isn't nearly as rich as ours.

The Architecture.
The moment I left the airport I realized that the new SDA building had heavy Singaporean architectural influences. This country is so immersed in digital arts that I'm all worked up. I also got to learn about their architectural inspirations later, in the Singapore City Gallery.

Sun, May 6, 2007

This is where I felt the heat, although I didn't really mind because I was able to do my shopping here. I also enjoyed taking pictures of the structures because...well, it's like the cleanest Chinatown I have ever seen. The buildings were obviously restored and I think they did a pretty good job of it.

Eating at hawkers.
Was quite an experience. While you do share tables with the rest of the population (unthinkable for the Philippine j-haters), the meals are surprisingly flavorful! The Haianese chicken rice is nothing like the pale stuff they serve you on the airplane, that's for sure. Even plain soup tasted yummy just by virtue of adding that herb (whose name escapes me). You also can't help but smile at everybody else. Or maybe that's just me.

Singapore City Gallery
Wasn't actually part of the itinerary but we passed by it on the way to Red Dot Design Museum. What was supposed to be just a sneak peek turned out to be a full-blown gallery tour for us. On the first floor were photographs and installations of different architectural wonders by some of the best design awardees. Upstairs is where you find the government's plans of improving Singapore further. My favorite part was where they explained how to properly do a restoration. I took a picture of it, although it's a pity it can't be read. I wanted to show it to those "artists" that have been seriously botching up Philippine church restorations.

What I also like about this gallery is the way nearly everything is interactive, so that visitors can have fun learning more about Singapore's history.

Red Dot Design Museum
This was what I wanted to visit the moment I saw those brochures at the airport. Wow, the building is I was also lucky enough to see that they're having the Red Dot Design Awards today and tomorrow. When I saw what was being featured inside, I realized that the place is heaven for HCI practitioners, designers and engineers. I'm now hoping to raise awareness about this museum to my students. Who knows? Maybe one day, some of them make it to the awards.

There's also this artist whose works intrigued me. Her name is Neo Ann Gee and Janice and I asked her if she blogs. We just really wanted to link to her so that other people can appreciate her works even after the exhibit is over. Anyway, she gave this link:

It had been years since I swore to myself that I'd go and see this bookstore if I ever do land on Singaporean or Japanese soil. When I asked Janice if she knew a Japanese bookstore, I had already forgotten the name Kinokuniya. She mentioned Takashimaya and although it didn't sound like the bookstore I was looking for, I thought that it might be worth a look. Turns out that Takashimaya's the name of the building and Kinokuniya is inside it.

Can you say book empire? I could see aisles and aisles of manga. Not only that, they're categorized! If you want English-translated manga, look for the section with the word "Manga" (yup, it's in Romaji). If you want the original Japanese ones, look for the section with the word "Comic" written in Katakana (コミック). If you want the Chinese versions, look for the ones written in purely kanji.

I was looking for the book that Nicco wanted but they only had the previous edition, which was strange because the place is easily twice the size of Rockwell's Fully Booked. Oh and...they have lots of Photography books that I've never seen anywhere, including various publications of Ansel Adams' works!

Vivo City
We were joined by her friend Boney. Having him around is pretty neat because he's Chinese and he speaks like a local. By this time, however, our feet nearly did us in. But Janice had already booked tickets for Spider-Man 3 long before I told her of my plans for visiting Singapore. Since I had already seen Spidey 3 (courtesy of Rowena's free passes), I opted to watch this Chinese movie entitled Summer Palace. It was probably the stupidest, most ill-paced sorry excuse for a movie I had ever seen. The plot was pointless and the actors were just banging away at each other like a bunch of horny rabbits. It can't even be called porn! Porn would have been more entertaining. It was about 3 hours long and the only thing that kept me from sleeping was the fact that I had already paid $10 for it. I was a bit shocked that it had frontal nudity, though. And not just any frontal nudity; you can actually see the guy's pututuy! I'm shocked because...Singaporeans are supposed to be more conservative, right?

The one good thing I can say about it was that Janice had been asked for her ID, since the movie rating was NC-17. They actually thought she was under 17! When she couldn't provide an ID with her picture, I went over and presented my passport. I was aghast when the counter dude asked me what my age was. I pointed to the year on my passport and said, "Um, born 1977. I think I'm allowed to watch this movie."

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1 comment :

  1. Hi ms. Bea!


    Treb Kawaii (Facebook)


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