Meanwhile, at the music wing of the humongous bookstore Borders, look who's prominently displayed under the Mind, Body & Spirit and Easy Listening sections...
It's Imelda Papin--side by side with Engelbert Humperdinck, Josh Groban, Linda Eder. Britney Spears is here, too; has the girl gone mellow?
At the third big music outlet, Gramophone, again under Jazz and Easy Listening, is... Kris Aquino. Cheek by jowl with one of my favorite young jazz artists, Jamie Cullum (that new album of his, The Pursuit, has totally disorienting, which is to say must-listen, versions of If I Ruled the World and Sondheim's Not While I'm Around). Lola mo, lumelevel!
Over at Lucky Plaza, amid the profusion of Filipino shops, merchandise and faces--an eatery that proudly proclaims its hoi polloi roots.
And then there's this shop, the owner of whom clearly wants to cover all the bases, just in case you don't get it. The gaudiness is quintessentially, reassuringly Pinoy.
A great sight at the mall--not the boy, silly--a kiosk that offers free information and literature about upcoming shows, performances, cultural events. It's run by Sistic, Singapore's equivalent of TicketWorld. You can buy tickets here and get flyers/brochures of productions showing or about to show in the city. (The Broadway musical Chicago is coming to Singapore this year!) Why can't we have something similar here--a one-stop station in malls where everyone from PETA to Rep to Gantimpala to Tanghalang Pilipino to Ballets Manila and Philippines and all other performing arts companies can display free information about their shows, instead of the audience getting hold of one, if any, only at the venue itself?
One more thing I wish to see in 'Pinas: the 100 Plus energy drink offered at fast-food places, like this one at McDonald's.
An arresting sight--towering condominiums festooned with laundry on a sunny day. Singapore's mass housing arm, the Housing Development Board, is responsible for clusters of buildings like these, which offer low-cost housing amid pleasant, well-maintained surroundings. As usual, the Singaporeans went about designing the housing projects with efficiency and foresight: the areas have adequate playgrounds, trees, covered walkways, access to public transport, etc., and are impressively clean at any time of day. In short, nothing haphazard or substandard. Joey says hanging laundry outside of windows is allowed only in HDB sites; the high-end condos nearer the city cannot, um, air their dirty linen in public, literally.
Whoa, Singapore now has a sex shop--this one along Orchard Road.
A Salvation Army depot near Joey's place, where people can leave belongings they no longer have use for but are often still perfectly usable. Note the sign warning against stealing the goods--apparently quite enough admonition in Singapore, since there's no visible police presence in the area (cameras, perhaps?). In any case, at the condo where Joey lives, quite a number of Pinoys have managed to furnish their apartments with old but very serviceable furniture and home items they'd retrieved from the common area downstairs, where local homeowners too busy to go to the Salvation Army depot would dump them. Ah, the ways of affluent society. I am so envious.