Thursday, March 5, 2015

Feliz Ano 2015, Singapore!

I was walking down the MRT station at Marina on my way to see the new year’s fireworks, or what’s left of it, anyway. My hope and sweet anticipation flew out of the window the very second I saw crowds streaming down my way in the station’s tunnel. Translation: IT’S OVER. My first reaction was to forget them all, the what and why I was there for, walked back to the train with them and go home. The most sensible thing to do, wouldn’t you say? But I was all but sensible that night, which apparently had just turned into morning ten seconds ago. It’s the freakin’ new year anyway, people get high or drunk on it. Some even write a resolution! So I was not just gonna let go. I was already there, so I decided to make the best out of whatever’s left. It’s ME for Vendetta!

So I painfully (and shamefully) kept walking against the crowds, while singing Phil Collins’ Against All Odds, no, not out loud (what do you think I’m crazy?), in my heart.  When I finnaly got out of the station building, I naively, some would prefer ‘stupidly’, looked up to the sky. Where the fireworks had been. Fine, I missed it. Big deal. The ambience was still there. Lots of people were still flooding the street. Some were partying, which from the look of things, would last till daylight. So eventhough I was going solo, there were tons to keep me company. So in the spirit of vengeance, I decided to live in the moment. Carpe diem. I was going to do something cool and classy. Something worthy of my lifetime memory. Moments later, I finally did something not meant for the faint-hearted, munching a vegetarian sandwich at Subway. I people watched too, mind you.

That was years ago. When Marina Bay was just was just a marina, without Bay Sands.

So when I got the chance to revisit the place near the end of 2014, I was all game. Instead of going blind, I did some research about the year end events. I even printed the map detailing the vantage points. As it turned out, there were seven strategic spot to end the year fireworks gazing.

On D-Day, I left earlier around 10 pm so history wouldn’t repeat itself. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against sandwich munching while people watching, but I have something different in mind this year. From the map, I learned that I could reach the vantage points from either of these MRT stations: Raffles Place, Esplanade, Downtown, or Bayfront. The Marina Bay station I took years back was not even specifically drawn in the map. Obviously it’s a bit far out compared to those four. The plan was to visit Merlion Park first, and since Raffles Place is the nearest point, there I started.

After some walk from the station, the night view of Cavenagh Bridge just couldn’t be missed. It’s lighted with ever-changing colorful lights. A must take. The nearby Fullerton Hotel and Anderson Bridge were equally snap worthy. But my excitement didn’t continue for long. The access to Merlion Park was already over crowded and blocked. I was left with the option to hang out somewhere near the bridge and wait for the count down, or try must luck elsewhere. Didn’t take long to decide, I was there to explore. So I kept walking, towards Marina Bay Sands, but only managed to get as far as somewhere in ‘The Promontory @ Marina Bay’, with the Bay Sands before my eyes already unreachable because of the crowd. It was almost midnight so I waited there. Groovy beat from the live music concert not too far from where I was standing definitely made up for the not too cool spot. I would still able to see the fireworks without question, just not take quality pictures.       

Cavenagh Bridge

Boat cruising under Anderson Bridge

Marina Bay Sands

So when the MC announced the countdown, and seconds later the fireworks started painting Singapore’s sky, I hopelessly tried to immortalize the moment and failed miserably. Worse, I was not completely capturing the moment with my eyes either. I was distracted, needless to say, eventhough I’ve watched Rachel McAdams’ About Time whole heartedly. I messed up. I hope you’ll never make such a human error. Recording or taking your own pictures is cool, but not when you have to compensate for the “is ness”, the “NOW” that is really happening in front of your artificial lens. The beauty of internet era, is we can always relive the moment through other’s craft. Exactly what I’ll do in this post.

Minutes later, when it’s all over, I hung around for a little bit just to enjoy more of the atmosphere. And to avoid plunging into the first batch of human sea. Not for too long cause I couldn’t afford to miss the last train. But with thousands of people in the area, the fact that I waited almost half an hour didn’t quite matter. From the moment I decided to walk back to the station, to the second I actually stepped into the Raffles Place MRT, it was almost always shoulder to shoulder. Wait, scrap that. There was no leeway even in the train! So when the MRT passed a bumpy spot, in the spirit of new year, all the passengers without seats and straphangers “had each other’s back” :)

@ Marina Boulevard

Crowdsharing Raffles Place MRT

Feliz Ano Nuevo 2015, Singapore!

- SW -

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