1. access to breastfeeding rooms/family/parents room, kiddie toilets
breastfeeding rooms are a luxury in malls in Manila.. in singapore, it's the norm. all malls have breastfeeding rooms, sometimes even multiple cubicles in one room so you dont have to queue. they also call them family room or parents room, where there's a diaper changing station and a cubicle for nursing moms. some malls even have kiddie toilets, where they have mini-sized toilets and sinks where your toddler can easily do their businesses in. (like the one above, this was in Compasspoint in Sengkang) I also like cubicles in the ladies room where there is a high chair beside the normal toilet where you can put your baby in while you pee hehe. soooo convenient, so well thought of.
2. the neighborhood bread shop
gavin enjoying his sugar donut on stick
i miss the apple worm already. (baked bread with apple and grapes inside) If i want great bread, i can just walk to the neighborhood bread shop in the hawker centers. unlike here, where you have to go to a mall (Bread talk) to enjoy great bread. sure there's the pandesal, but that's it. i'm not really into spanish bread or those red colored ones. (whyyyy do they always put food coloring in breads here in philippines?) Sometimes there are even multiple breadshops competing in one hawker center, so the choices are unlimited. I think i ate bread every day when we were there. my favorites were the apple bread, and bread with some slivers of almond on top. Gavin's was their sugar donut on stick.
3. Waffle stand
these are usually inside bread shops too. I love their waffles. My yaya, was eating these waffles for one straight week. It's huuuge and it's usually just a dollar each. (add some 10 cents if you want them to spread it with jam or peanut butter) They say they put coconut milk in it, which probably what makes it so yummy.
4. Playgrounds / fitness equipment everywhere
They have these for every block. It's great that you can just go down from your flat and enjoy these with your kids. They also have one for adults, my mother-in-law got a kick out of it, trying the different equipments.
5. neighborhood parks
its great that in the midst of these high rise buildings, they preserve some land and build town parks. they usually have running tracks, or sand pits for the kids and playground equipment too. these are stuff that a third world country girl like me will surely miss.
6. organized transportation system
i wish our bus drivers were paid a monthly salary instead of thru commission. there will surely be no more buses 'parked' in highways, waiting for passengers when that happens. i wish taxis where as accessible here as in singapore, and i wish they also give your exact change and not always expect a tip! i wish may ez link din. (bus/mrt debit card) lol. oh well. wishful thinking.
why oh why is there STILL no ikea in philippines? prices are super cheap, talo nila presyo ng SM or ng wilcon, lol. please, rich business tycoons, bring ikea to us soon. malaysia has IKEA for gawds sake. (they have formula 1 too, but thats a different story)
8. singapore zoo
i love this zoo. the open concept, (no cages) the Kids World. love it!
9. community swimming pools/splash park
splash park at sembawang shopping center
sengkang swimming complex
where in manila will you pay just 30 bucks to enjoy a well-maintained set of pools. In sengkang and jurong east, they even have huuuuge kiddie play equipments and long slides! In splash park in Sembawang Shopping Center, Splash Park is free!
where in the world do they have slogans like "LOW CRIME does not mean NO CRIME". when i first read it, i was like.. "wow. i wonder when philippines will have THAT slogan". When my mom visited us in Yishun, we went to the movies at 9pm, and WALKED home at 12 midnight. i will miss walking around in my stroller, with tsugtsug, worry free. (or at least not having to make my back pack a 'front pack', if you know what i mean). the first time i stepped in singapore, i walked thru a mall entrance and literally paused. i was looking for a guard to search my bag. and i was thinking .."oh my gawd... i can just waltz inside a building without anyone checking my bag if i'm carrying a bomb or a deadly weapon? ama-zing". LOL.
11. the cleaners
when i was sent to singapore in training, i thought singaporeans where all disciplined. because there was not a cigarette butt to be found on the roads of the entire CBD. later, when we lived there, i found out all about the cleaning brigade. throw your trash somewhere, believe me, it'll be gone that afternoon. (or you will get FINED for it harhar). hindi pala sila disciplinado, marami lang silang taga-linis. hehe.
12. big yakult
yakult in sg are about 40% bigger and comes with straws!
13. stroller friendly sidewalks/covered walkways
its actually for the people in wheelchairs, but we benefit all the same. everywhere there are ramps and lifts, rarely do i need to carry a stroller past some stairs.
*sigh* this post is beginning to get long. i'd have to think positively about our decision now. right now, i can think of (besides staying close to your family) , Jollibee, driving our own car, living in a landed home, fabulous road trips, tax-free books (yey! beat that amazon), gavin not needing to learn Chinese, as some of the perks in living in philippines. (talagang kasama Jollibee eh lol).
well, worst case is, we'll go back. but not until all of my IKEA balikbayan boxes get here. haha.
please arrive home safely!