Rice Please: Treating Our Mom to a Singapore-Malaysia Trip

My brothers and I treated our mom to a trip to Singapore and Malaysia. It has always been my dream to take our mother outside of the country. I know in my heart that she dreams of traveling too. My mother is the type of person who always has something to do. She is also the type of person who has wheels on her feet and wings on her back like a fly. She can go hopping from one place to the other for the sake of going out.

Because she married relatively early at the age of 24 and had four kids after, our mother never had an opportunity to travel abroad because she focused on raising us up. Now it is our time to pay her back.

It was May 2012.

When we arrive early in the morning in Singapore. To save on our accommodation. I asked her that we sleep in the airport for a few hours before heading to our first destination. No problem for her. But since Changi Airport is so beautiful, she can’t resist marveling at the gardens inside the airport terminal.

My mother cold and tired and sleepy but can't resist the sight.
My mother cold and tired and sleepy but can’t resist the sight.

It was almost six in the morning when we arrived at the Botanical Garden. It was still dark but there were already people doing their morning exercise. We waited for the sunrise for what seemed like eternity.

Green, Rubbish bins, trash cans, singapore, botanical garden
It was dark yet so I amused myself by taking pictures of their trash bins at the Singapore’s Botanical Garden.

We left our bags at a counter and walked around. She complained it was dark. I told her it’s already seven in the morning. It was my mistake, I didn’t know their sun shines at past seven.

Vanda Miss Joaquim, singapore, flower bed, circular
Circular plant beds of Vanda Miss Joaquim the national flower of Singapore.

I think that mother enjoyed the part where there were orchids. She likes orchids, we have orchids back home but she never gets to keep most of them far longer because they die. Back home she buys orchids with flowers and waters them herself until all the flowers have withered and with it the death of the plant.

National Orchid Garden, Singapore, flowers

We ate at a basement restaurant, hidden behind tall walls and creeping vines. My mother who is not and never a food adventurer chose an American Breakfast and enjoyed it. I got a dish foreign to my tongue and ended up confused but nevertheless filled for the day.

egg, noodles, Food for Thought, SIngapore
I only managed to eat the eggs and the soup and got myself filled even before consuming the rest of the bowl.

I brought my mother to the zoo and explored the whole place by foot. It was more efficient that way because we get to see the nooks and crannies where there where birds and penguins and all sorts of animals. By walking we were assured that we never missed any sights. My mother is a champion hiker.

monkey, tree, singapore zoo
There are chimps hanging from tree to tree and if you are lucky they shower you with their pee.

If mother is cool for walking, food is not. Mother does not even eat anything but Filipino food and there was just nothing on our vicinity that would come close to it. She does not eat Singaporean food, Thai food and Thai rice. She refused to eat anything but siopao. I worried because I think that she is really starving. When we were in Malacca, she would not eat Malaysian. Everyday, we have to go to Aldy Hotel to eat “real” food with rice.

food, malacca, aldy hotel
Food has to at least come close to the taste of the Philippines for my mother.

But the good thing about mother is that she would not complain about walking. In Malacca, we walk everyday, in fact, all day and all night, climb hills, go to the park, the mall and walk and shop at their historic Jonker Walk and she is good with it. It was just nothing to her. So I brought her to a massage shop at Jonker Street.

foot massage, jonker walk, malacca
Food massage treat for my mother and I at Jonker Walk. No, I think this is my feet. She had hers beside me.

Our next tour which is not yet planned will be different, knowing her tastes. A good hotel will be reserved and restaurants should serve Filipino food or at least something close to it and there has to be rice. Yes, rice.

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