Boracay without hotels

The power of positive thinking

Frequent Flier Christine Cunanan Travelife Magazine Publisher

AT ITB Asia 2016 in Singapore
with the lovely ladies of Spain Tourism Board

This post is about the power of positive thinking and about 36 hours in Singapore. 



The Qatar booth
at ITB Asia 2016 in Singapore
at Marina Bay Sands

In Singapore until yesterday for ITB Asia 2016, the biggest travel industry event in Asia, I received some happy news on my phone early in the morning.

I can’t elaborate on this as it’s personal but it was certainly wonderful enough for me to walk through the halls of Marina Bay Sands with a smile in my heart as I greeted friends and contacts all day, during this short but happy 36 hours in Singapore, living a #Travelife.


With tour operators from Russia and Scandinavia
at the Sette Travel Booth
at ITB Asia 2016 in Singapore
at Marina Bay Sands

Then as I had a dinner appointment at a Chinese restaurant in Paragon and an early flight back to Manila on Philippine Airlines the following day, I left ITB at about 5 pm to try and find a particular shop in Singapore

After my major shopping sprees in exotic countries like Russia, Estonia and Turkey just last week, I had nothing else to buy for myself. But someone had asked me to bring something home so this was my main task before dinner.


The Plaza Premium Group booth
at ITB Asia 2016 in Singapore
at Marina Bay Sands

I stood in the driveway of the Marina Bay Sands conference center completely helpless as to how to get a taxi in Singapore when dozens of others were trying to do the same and every taxi that drove past had “hired” in bright lights.

Suddenly, a kind man about to get into a taxi he had obviously somehow pre-hired said to me: “Where are you going? Let me take you.

The Incredible India boothat ITB Asia 2016 in Singapore
at Marina Bay Sands
How nice of him. For all he knew, I could have been looking for a taxi to Changi Airport, after all.

When I told — and still continue to tell — my friends this story, they burst out laughing and said: “He was trying to pick you up.”

But it wasn’t at all like that. We didn’t even exchange names, information or business cards, so all I could say when he dropped me off was: “I owe you for this.”

He simply smiled, ever the Good Samaritan.  And talk about the power of positive thinking at work here during my 36 hours in Singapore.

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After finding the store and making my purchases, my next challenge was getting back to the hotel to drop my bags before dinner.

 The man at the store said to me: “Everyone wants a taxi now, la. Lines are long. Subway is just there and it goes near your hotel.”

The Turkish Tourism Board boothat ITB Asia 2016 in Singapore
at Marina Bay Sands

I usually don’t take subways simply because I like to see the views outside, but this time I was desperate to get back to the hotel and make it in time for dinner.

Again, the power of positive thinking came into play. My biggest challenge was I had no Singapore dollars whatsoever as this was a quick in-and-out trip that involved spending most of my time in a conference center, and I thought I could survive on my credit cards and cash cards if needed.


The Cambodia Tourism Boothat ITB Asia 2016 in Singapore
at Marina Bay Sands

What do you know? Apparently I could not use my Visa credit card to buy a subway ticket, and I’d left all my other credit cards in my hotel room safe. Fortunately, there was an ATM machine nearby and I had an international cash card; but the machine wasn’t working.

So I went back to the subway lady to tell her the ATM wasn’t working and to ask where the nearest bank was. It was past banking hours and I was dangerously close to being late for dinner, when another guy came up to me.


Angelica Bayona of Travelife Magazine
with Santa Claus
at ITB Asia 2016 in Singapore
at Marina Bay Sands

I didn’t even realize he was listening to my tales of woe.

But just like that, he said: “Would you like $2 for a ticket?

Yes, how ironic. I have practically everything I want in this world, but the one thing I needed and didn’t have at that very moment was 2 Singapore dollars. And this stranger was standing next to me, pressing $2 in my hand.

“I must pay you back,” I said. I’m a stickler for money matters and I so dislike taking advantage of others. But he just smiled at me and said: “Don’t worry about it.” And then he just disappeared into the crowds. The second Good Samaritan in Singapore in an hour of going around the city.


Morale of the story?

I don’t want to sound preachy but I think good things and luck occur in a domino effect.

You need to start the day with happy thoughts and a sense of gratitude and the forces of the universe will just align and take care of you.

There were a couple more Good Samaritan stories that day, but this post will just get too long. For now, it’s enough to say that good fortune can be a state of mind.

And thus ended my 36 hours in Singapore.