My Stories About Singapore


Singapore: The Most Honest & Disciplined Country In The World

Sometime in November 1999, Ernie B, Jun, E and I had a chance to visit Brunei and Singapore on official capacity. We were part of an Official Delegation of the Philippine Army to attend the ASEAN Armies Rifle Meet in Brunei. On our way back to Manila, we dropped by Singapore for two days on the invitation of one of our classmates who was then the Defense Attache of the Philippines to Singapore.

On our second day, our host invited us to play a round of golf at the Sembawang Golf Course which is a military golf course run by the Singapore Air Force. The golf course is very accessible from the city and main thoroughfares. We were in one golf flight and started playing after lunch. I can still recall that the golf course was clean and well-maintained. After playing five holes, the siren or horn sounded off at the golf course which served as warning that plays should be stopped due to thunderstorm and lightning. It started to rain and we had to go immediately to the clubhouse.

At that time, we were using golf carts and we did not had any caddies. We had to carry our selected clubs in approaching the putting green. On the last hole that we played before the rain and thunsderstorm, I carried my putter and my pitching wedge towards the green. I just finished putting my ball to the hole when the horn/siren sounded. I immediately ran towards the golf cart as the rainfall became stronger. We proceeded to the Clubhouse to wait for the rain to stop.

For almost one hour, the rains and lightning did not stop and we just waited and spent time at the clubhouse resting and talking with one another over a glass of beer. We finally decided not to pursue with our game and went back to our hotel. On the following day, we were on our way back to Manila.

After a few days in Manila, I played a round of golf with Ernie E and to my surprise my pitching wedge was missing from my golf bag. I immediately tried to recall the last time I used my golf set and it came to my mind that I left my pitching wedge at the fifth hole at Sembawang Golf Course in Singapore.

With the hope of recovering my Hirohomna Pitching Wege from Singapore, I called my classmate in Singapore telling him that I left my pitching wedge at the golf course where we played when we were there. After a day, he gave me a positive feedback that he was able to recover my “lost” pitching wedge.

I finally got back my pitching wedge when the Commanding General of the Phlippine Army and his Party visited Singapore in an official visit three months after I played golf in Singapore. The Aide-de-Camp of the Commanding General hand-carried my pitching wedge during the plane flight from Singapore to Manila.

This is an experience to prove that the Singaporean are the most honest people in the world. I was very thankful to my classmate who was then the Defense Attache in Singapore. Military officers who were assigned and took their military “schooling” in Singapore would attest to the honesty and discipline of the Singaporeans. How I wish Filipinos are as disciplined and honest as the Singaporeans.

My Insights About Running In Singapore 

The population of Singapore is approximately 5 Million (to be exact 4.85 Million) which is almost the same population of Metro Manila but let us leave such comparison up to that point.

Are you wondering why the 2008 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon  has a record-breaking  48,000 runners to include the lesser distance routes as compared to the Philippines Marathon Races (like Pasig River Heritage & Milo Marathon Elimination Race) which each race can only muster a maximum of 5,000 runners for the marathon? Talking about population, the Philippines has a population of almost 85 Million while Singapore has a population as big as Metro Manila of about 5 Million. How come that the Philippines’ biggest marathon event could only muster a maximum of 5,000 runners to include foreign runners?

The safest answer to this question is because we are a poor country and Manila’s majority population belongs to the poor and these people could not afford to buy running shoes and other running needs. But then again, if you think of Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and other African countries, Manila and Philippine economy and living conditions are far better off than these countries. And these African countries have better runners and most of them had garnered numerous Gold Medals in the Olympics.

So, what seems to be the problem why we could not entice the populace to run? It seems that the MILO running program, the government’s program “Sports For All”, and other Physical Fitness Programs of the Government and Corporate world are not enough to increase the number of runners?

Please leave your comment/s  or idea why Singapore could muster a bigger crowd of runners than the Philippines in a single marathon race?

My Last Trip To Singapore

On my official visit to Indonesia in 2004, Singapore’s Changi Airport was our “jumped-off” point after coming from Manila bound to Jakarta. It was a short wait at the airport for our flight to Jakarta. However, on our way back to Manila after coming from Jakarta, our party had an 8-hour waiting time for our connecting flight back to Manila.

It was a time to visit and shop at Orchard Road. I bought DVDs and CDs not available in Manila in the biggest video/audio store I’ve ever seen and books about military history and books written by former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in one of the biggest bookstores in Singapore.

We ate lunch in one of the Chinese Restaurants along the Orchard Road and bought some Ashworth Golf shirts in one of the department stores.

Singapore is clean and orderly. Smoking in public is strictly prohibited. Vehicular traffic is no problem and and everybody is following the traffic rules and signs. Their main streets have wide sidewalks where you could not find any vendors.

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