After a month of planning, our 8-day Singapore and Thailand trip (4 days in Singapore, 3 days in Bangkok and 1 day in Pattaya, Thailand), arranged with Mondial Tours, was pushing through this April 5.  Joining me were my sisters Salve and Tellie and our mom Carol.  We were to leave Manila 8:30 AM, a Sunday, and we ll arrived at the NAIA Terminal I very early in the morning only to find out that our flight was cancelled due to a wildcat strike by the airport’s flight controllers.  We were told to await further announcements regarding our new departure time.

That being the case, I returned home to a very surprised Grace, heard the 10 AM Sunday mass at Merville and met up with friend Raymond Dayrit, all in the morning.  Later, we learned that our departure to Singapore was moved to 5:30 PM and we all returned to NAIA I.  We departed Manila on a Singapore Airlines Boeing 747 (my first time to ride such a huge plane), with former presidential daughter Imee Marcos also on board (she was in first class though).

Arrival at Changi International Airport

We arrived at Singapore’s Changi International Airport by 10 PM and waited an hour for our tour guide and pick up.  It never came.  We decided to take a taxi to Hotel Grand Central along Orchard Rd., our designated hotel.  The Front Desk Manager told us that our booking has been cancelled due to the strike and, even worst, there were no available rooms for us in the hotel, it being a holiday (Qing Ning).

However, the manager was king enough to check with the other hotels for available rooms.  The only room available, a penthouse suite, was at the nearby Cockpit Hotel.  Tired and sleepy, we decided to take it.  It was a good thing that we brought some US dollars with us.  Thought near, walking to the hotel wasn’t easy as I was carrying my mom’s luggage as well as my own.  Aside from her Luggage, Salve was also toting a new bowling ball she bought at NAIA which she, unwisely, decided to bring with her to Singapore.

Thus, we were all dead tired and irritable when we arrived at the hotel and checked in at our suite.  What a way to start a vacation, losing precious time, energy and our booking at the hotel.