I was finally on my way back to Singapore. My first trip to Singapore and Malaysia overland was quite hectic, which made me look forward to a more leisurely tour of Singapore … and an even more relaxing cruise to Malaysia. Our whole trip was set for 4 days and 3 nights (4 nights if you count the late-night flight back to Manila). Since we were flying to Singapore via AirPhil Express, we decided to meet at NAIA Terminal 3 at 2:00PM (almost 3 hours before our scheduled departure).

AirPhil Express A320-200 plane at the passenger bridge of NAIA T3

Check-in for AirPhil Express Flight 2P800 at Manila International Airport (NAIA Terminal 3)

All AirPhil Express flights fly in/out the terminal 3 (T3) of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City, Metro Manila. Around 1:40PM, I just finished packing/getting ready. I was really worried knowing how hard it is to move around Metro Manila … I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I missed my flight to Singapore. Since I was running out of time, I decided to ditch my regular MRT-Shuttle commute to NAIA T3 and take the more expensive taxi. From Padre Faura St. (near UN Ave) in Manila City to T3, it usually takes an average of 30 minutes to get to the airport in Pasay via Roxas Boulevard. Good thing my taxi driver took the (relatively) new Metro Manila Skyway. Despite the midday rush hour, the taxi ride to the airport only took 25 minutes (P200.50 taxi fare). Didn’t pay the skyway toll fee since the toll gates at the NAIA T3 exit weren’t operational yet ^_^

After waiting for the other members of our tour group and securing our plane tickets (incl. payment for the P750 airport terminal fee and P1,620 Philippine travel tax), we lined up at the immigration counters for clearing. Going through Philippine Immigations has always been my most dreaded step whenever I go on an international flight. I just hate hate it! I was the last one to get out since the immigration officer was being too unnecessarily “stringent.” I put “blogger” as my occupation on my white departure card and ended up giving the “how a blog works” speech, which I always have trouble explaining to non-techie people. He told me to line up again since I forgot to bring the printed itinerary for my return flight to Singapore. After preparing my travel documents (and turning up “the charm”), he eventually put the departure stamp on my passport and let me through.

The boarding gate was opened shortly after. We departed Manila earlier than scheduled at 4:20PM. AirPhil Express (flight# 2P800) utilizes Airbus A320-200 plane for their flight from Manila to Singapore (and vice versa). The flight takes 3 hours and 30 minutes. Since I brought my handy (Samsung nf310) netbook with me, I passed the time by reviewing travel guides about Singapore and Malaysia. I needed to brush up on Singaporean and Malaysian dishes that I have to try while I’m there.

One thing  I really loved during our late afternoon flight was being able to witness the sunset thousands of feet in the air.

Loved how the clouds broke up the golden glow of the sunset and the ever creeping dark blues of dusk.

Arrival at Changi International Airport (Terminal 2)

We arrived in Singapore at around 7:30PM, almost an hour ahead of schedule. One thing I looked forward to flying with AirPhil Express was landing at the terminal 2 of Changi International Airport in Singapore. Our experience at the Changi budget terminal last time wasn’t an inconvenience but I really wanted to see the other (less utilitarian-looking) airport terminals of Singapore also.

Although Terminal 2 was built more than two decades ago, it still looked decent. I liked the carpeted flooring and the small pocket gardens … next time, my I’d also love to visit Changi’s t3, undoubtedly its premiere passenger terminal.

Passing through Singapore Immigration was easy for most of us except Roch. I was actually lined-up just before her. When the immigration officer asked her to go to the immigration office for questioning, I initially didn’t think her situation would turn out into a really dreadful experience. If you’re a Filipino holding a Taiwanese passort, you might want to checkout her blog to avoid hassles traveling to Singapore.

Arrival photo in Changi Airport. Thanks to my travel blogger idol Ferdz for taking this shot.

Common areas at Changi Terminal 2

Check-in counters

There’s a lot of food shops at the terminal two suited for all budgets

Dinner at Pasta de Waraku

While waiting for news about Roch, we had dinner at the airport. Pasta de Waraku is a Japanese fusion restaurant located at the third level of terminal 2 departure check-in hall in Changi Airport. Their set meals, which comes complete with starters, pasta, main course, dessert, and drinks, start at S$24.80 (S$1 = PHP35.12; S$1 = US$1.021).

Soup of the Day and Vegetable Salad

Hannah’s order of Soft Shell Crab / Bacon and Potato Pasta with Wafu Cream Sauce was served first. When the appetizing crab landed on our table, all of us had the same question in mind … How do you eat that thing?

You can eat the whole crab because the the shell is soft and crispy (as its name suggests). Hannah let us sample a portion of it since all of us were curious. It tasted just like deep fried crablets we have in the Philippines, YUMMY!

Then my order came up: Smoked Duck and Spicy Shrimp Carbonara (topped with soft boiled egg)

The smoked duck was tasty. So was the spicy shrimp carbonara. You can’t go wrong when serving me fresh shrimp … I LOVE shrimp! The carbonara wasn’t too spicy. I really liked the soft consistency of the tofu cubes also.

Hannah’s dessert: black sesame ice cream came first. I ordered the safe vanilla ice cream :) but Hannah let me taste her dessert. It had a nice smoked sesame aftertaste, which was an interesting flavor.

Over-all, my plateful dinner at Pasta de Waraku was delicious, interesting, and fulfilling.

After dinner, it was time to check-in at Hotel Fragrance Selgie in Little India. At the back of my mind, I was thinking about taking the MRT to Little India Station but then I remembered, I wasn’t on a do-it-yourself trip (DIY) anymore, we had our own shuttle transfer to Hotel Fragrance Selgie :D