A theme park, a bookstore and food hawkers were what showbiz royalty Kris Aquino enjoyed best during her recent “family-slash-working vacation” in Singapore.
Kris—who visited the culture- and tourism-diverse country for more than a week with her sons Josh and Bimby—shared all these and more at a tête-à-tête at the Holiday Inn and Suites Makati, hosted by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
Snippets of the family vacation has been featured all this week as an anniversary celebration special on the celebrity’s morning talk show Kris TV on ABS-CBN, with a grand finale tomorrow, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
“I really enjoyed my working vacation in Singapore,” Kris enthused as Sherina Chan, STB’s area director for the Philippines and Brunei sat by her side.
Asked what qualifies a place to become a holiday destination for her and her boys, Kris quickly replied, “Now that I have Josh and Bimby, I choose our vacations based on theme parks.”
In Singapore, the family of three thoroughly enjoyed Universal Studios with its endless rides and attractions—a sure delight for kids and kids at heart.
“Two years ago, when we first went to Universal Studios, Madagascar was not yet open, and Bimby was still too small to ride the daring roller coasters so I promised them we’ll go back,” the doting mom chatted. “So when we went back a week and a half ago, they got to try everything. They were so happy; they can literally live in Universal Studios! For parents like me, a major factor why we would choose Singapore is definitely Universal Studios.”
According to Kris, Josh’s favorite attraction is the Elmo Spaghetti Chase, while the younger Bimby is a fan of the roller coaster, which he rode six times in total.
As a useful tip to would-be first timers to Universal Studio’s, Kris offered, “I suggest you get the VIP pass, which is just a little more [in cost]but you won’t need to line up at the rides anymore.”
A true blue foodie, Kris also delighted in the flavors of Singapore. She fell in love with the rows of hawker stalls in the city, which sells authentic local delicacies.
“We went to Tiong Baru Market, and it’s really a food paradise. The food was so delicious yet affordable,” she exclaimed.
To this Chan added, “People might have this impression that Singaporean food is expensive. That is true if you eat at hotels and restaurants. But our hawker food stalls is really where the locals eat. So we brought Kris there to experience the Singaporean local life.”
“We spent four Singaporean dollars for a whole meal per person. So that’s only [equivalent to]P140, and you can have Hainanese Chicken Rice and Prawn Noodles already,” Kris attested. “Super busog ka na with that. Another Tiong Bahru must-try is the Kaya Toast [coconut egg jam on toast]and it’s only P40 when you do the conversion.”
Moreover, Kris also appreciated the cleanliness of Tiong Baru. “Palengke nila yon pero walang langaw! Pangarap kong magkaroon ng ganoon dito sa Pilipinas,” related the President’s youngest sister who is rumored to be running for a government seat in the 2016 elections.
A voracious reader, Kris further shared that for her, the best destination in Singapore is the Kinokuniya Bookstore in Ngee Ann City, Takashimaya.
Just like a little girl in a toy store, she gushed, “It’s an entire floor filled with books. It was so heavenly. The books are arranged in such a way that it’s so easy to find what you’re looking for, and they have a complete selection. I can spend a whole day there. I even told them, ‘Iwan niyo na lang ako ditto, maligaya na ‘ko.’”
Kris and family’s Singapore vacation was also filled with other adventures like the Duck Tour and Singapore Flyer, as well as trips to the Gardens by the Bay visit, the Adventure Cove Water-park and Sentosa.
It was truly a well spent five days for the famous mother and sons who always look forward to getaways from celebrity life in the Philippines.