• ‘Barkada’ time in Singapore

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    Marc Nelson, Rovilson Fernandez and CJ Jaravata take on the Lion City

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    Celebrities, travel enthusiasts and  The Amazing Race Asia and Philippines alumni Marc Nelson, Rovilson Fernandez and CJ Jaravata are back from what they call “a dynamic weekend” experience in Singapore.

    At the SeaBreeze Water-Sports Center in Wavehouse, Sentosa

    At the SeaBreeze Water-Sports Center in Wavehouse, Sentosa

    Sharing their stories during a sit-down at the Singapore Tourism Board’s Manila office, the trio of adventurers said they highly recommend the three-hour trip to the neighboring Lion City to any barkada like theirs looking for a quick yet jam-packed getaway.

    Few places in the world offer the kind and range of experiences like Singapore, they agree.

    Want to go on an epic food trip? Hawker centers, celebrity-chef and Michelin-star restaurants are within walking distance from each other, allowing foodies to start a meal with a bowl of spicy, savory laksa and a plate of hearty chicken rice before indulging in artfully crafted and sophisticated desserts by a celebrity chef.

    The barkada tours the hippest neighborhood in Singapore, Tiong Bahru

    The barkada tours the hippest
    neighborhood in Singapore, Tiong Bahru

    Want to redefine what it really means to “shop ‘till you drop?” Iconic shopping malls packed to the brim with cutting-edge fashion from homegrown designers and refined haute couture from international labels sit comfortably alongside quirky, almost bohemian bazaars, so even the most sartorially obsessed traveler will find an outfit or two to take home.

    Offering more than these, Singapore is also home to literally thousands of concerts, shows and artistic performances every year. From concerts and music festivals by chart-topping superstars to legendary musicals and plays, from avant-garde art installations to A-list parties that end only when the sun is up, the country has no shortage of things to see or do any time of the year.

    Singapore just has so many layers there’s always something unique to buy. Rovilson Fernandez, CJ Jaravata, Marc Nelson pose with their purchases from Keepers: Singapore Designer Collective

    Singapore just has so many layers there’s always something unique to buy. Rovilson
    Fernandez, CJ Jaravata, Marc Nelson pose with their purchases from Keepers: Singapore Designer Collective

    This dynamic range is exactly what Nelson, Fernandez and Jaravata came to rave upon their return.

    “It’s cosmopolitan but traditional, modern but timeless, laid-back but high-energy. Singapore is a study of contrasts,” said model, sportsman, and television host Nelson. His list of activities included flying 30 feet into the air with the JetLev Water-Propelled JetPack at SeaBreeze Water-Sports @ WavehouseSentosa; appreciating the vibrant Singaporean art scene at the Arnoldii Art Club; to savoring an authentic Italian lunch by the waterfront at SolePomodoro Trattoria Pizzeria in Quayside Isle, a new dining and lifestyle destination atinsert Sentosa Cove.

    “Singapore is many things, but boring is the last thing anyone would call it,” he added.

    Television host and media personality Fernandez, in turn, related, “There’s really so much to do in Singapore, but the great thing about it is that even over a weekend, you’ll be able to experience so many things.”

    Counting Singapore as one of his favorite places to visit, he raved about Hidden Finds, an annual three-day pop-up market by Public Garden featuring over 120 local vendors.

    Fernandez’ must-visits on every trip to Singapore also include feasting on a delicious spread of hawker fare at Makansutra Glutton’s Bay while taking in a fantastic view of the Marina Bay skyline; knocking back drinks at the world’s highest rooftop bar and multi-experience lifestyle joint, 1-Altitude; and, exploring the interactive Alive Museum Singapore.

    Model and actress Jaravata listed as her top four experiences, “Food, shopping, art, entertainment.”

    “What more could you want?,” she asked. “Singapore just has so many layers that you’re sure to find interesting places to go and things to do that you’ll inevitable fall in love with the city.”

    One of her favorite stops is Keepers: Singapore Designer Collective, a diverse showcase of local designers for artisanal furniture, fragrance, fashion, food, and drinks. Also on her list are shop-hopping at Haji Lane and Arab Street for the unique mix of fashion-forward designs and authentic restaurants; and being awed with nature with the various displays in the beautiful conservatories at Gardens by the Bay.

    With days filled with exciting adventures, a nightcap is always a must and the trio recommends exploring some of Singapore’s trendiest places such as The Library for serious drinks care of world-renowned mixologist Nicholas Quattroville; and 2am:dessertbar for artfully decadent desserts created by celebrity chef Janice Wong.

    Whether it’s for the top-notch shopping, world-class dining, high-energy nightlife options, or the wide spectrum of musical and artistic performances, Singapore manages to offer travelers a vast array of experiences, no matter what their interests are.

    “It doesn’t really matter what kind of gimmick your barkada wants because Singapore is sure to have something everyone would agree to see or do. There’s no shortage of options in Singapore and that’s why we all love it so much,” ended Fernandez.

    Log on to www.yoursingapore.com/ph for more information on Singapore.

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