Singapore: Cheap Hostels, Restaurants, Lodging, Places to Go
It’s been a week now since I took the challenge to save money while outside the country - without the help of my mom. For the first time in my whole life, I went out of the country, armed with my courage, a few savings and my faith, I have embarked into a journey to become an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) in Singapore, which happens to have ranked 9th in the most expensive cities in the world.
(From left to right): Me, Sister Dulce and Jein
Perhaps the most common misconception of Filipinos when it comes to OFWs is that once their loved ones leave the country, they could depend on generous monthly allowance because the salary will be bigger than what they earn in the Philippines. Soon, the kids will ask for shoes of different sizes, colors and designs. The families and extended families left behind will soon ask for various gifts in the forms of gadgets, chocolates and what-nots. I remember so vividly when my I would ask my father (now deceased) for a pair of shoes because he used to work as a welder in Saudi Arabia. Everyone back in the Philippines would think that once someone works abroad, everything will become abundant. My friends, that is not always the case.
When I arrived at the Changi Airport, I immediately got myself ready for the high cost of living in Singapore. While OFWs may earn Singaporean dollars (and other currencies for those in other countries), we also spend in that same currency. It’s not like we earn dollars and expect us to spend in peso (We so damn well wish that was the case too!)
There’s a lot of things I want to share with you like the WoW Hostel in Aljunied is probably one of the most affordable hostel that’s easily accessible (since it’s just 2-3 minutes walk from the MRT). The administrators are doing a great job in maintaining and keeping the place neat and tidy. Also, I love the fact that they let us have breakfast (read between the lines – loaf of bread cereal, a choice of spread and choice of morning drink). Price ranges from Singaporean $12 – $38 depending on which accommodation you choose. I suggest you choose the cheapest as you would not be spending a lot of time in the hostel but exploring the city or processing your documents, right? The rate also includes enjoying the TV, air conditioned rooms and I guess the selling point was the massaging chair.
Foods in Singapore are cheap. When you get past the high cost of groceries and accommodation, Singapore actually has some of the cheapest foods. You can have a meal starting from $2.80 depending on which area you are and what type of food you’re buying. Drinks start from $1 – again depending on which part of the city you are.
Yesterday, I purposely got myself lost in the city, took the path I haven’t been and found myself at the Marina Bay Sands. It’s beautiful. It’s like every lady’s haven – Chanel, Miu Miu, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, etc etc.
The best thing about being lost in small city that like is you easily get to find people with big hearts. Yesterday, I’ve met with fellow Filipinas – Jein Imperial, Sister Dulce and Christie Llanera. From the Marina Bay Sands, we went to the East Coast – Goldkist Beach Resort where we met with their other friends and enjoyed a lot of Filipino foods like tuyo, isda (sinugba), pancit, etc.
(From left to right): Me, Jein and Christie at the Goldkist Beach Resort, Singapore
Me, Jein and Christie, no matter how unique our stories may be, all have one thing in common. We want to experience how it’s like to be independent and prove that we can survive and still manage to save money in one of the most expensive cities in the world.