A visit to Singapore is always something to look forward to, in my case visiting it for the third time is really a charm. I was invited to attend a summit in Singapore and as a traveler, I would of course plan ahead to make sure that I will never commit the mistakes I did the last time I was there. Little did I know that although I planned ahead I might have avoided committing previous mistakes, I created new ones.
From Baguio To NAIA
Since I will be coming from Baguio I booked my bus ticket via JoyBus, booking was easy, just one tip if you will return to Baguio after your trip you can book your ticket ahead of time. So I planned my travel time going to Manila for my flight up to my travel time from Manila to Baguio. Tip is to always allow at least four hours lead time before your scheduled bus ride to Baguio, this will account for the travel time from the Airport to the Bus Station. JoyBus provides direct travel from Baguio to NAIA Terminal 3.
Traveling Around The Airport
Joybus only allow disembarkation at NAIA Terminal 3, the Airline however is situated at NAIA Terminal 1 so I had to travel from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1. Since I had several negative experiences riding a taxi in Manila, I opted to book for a Grab Car. Part of me planning ahead, I topped up my GrabPay Credits via Gcash. Why do I bother using GrabPay? Well i recently enjoyed the benefits of getting rewards points, and if you pay via GrabPay you get twice the points.
Upon arriving at NAIA Terminal 3 I immediately grabbed a car that took me to Terminal 1, wait was so easy, I always think that most Grab cars are hanging around near the airport.
Philippines To Singapore
Going through the NAIA Airport was a breeze, the flight was also very convenient. I arrived in Singapore around 10PM and the immigration process was also so easy!
The Challenge Begins
So a little back story, I did not want to bring any money with me so I placed everything in my Bank debit card and my GCash account. Unfortunately, I used up most of my Gcash money in topping up my grab credits, I did this, thinking that I can also use my grabpay credits in Singapore when I grab a car. Thanks to the Singapore airport’s super fast and free wifi, I was able to access the Grab Taxi app, unfortunately, to my horror the app doesn’t convert the grabpay credits from Peso to SGD. Which means the app does not accept my GrabPay Credits when booking a car in Singapore.
Well I do have my Bank Debit Card, no problem right? Wrong! when I used an ATM Machine at the Changi Airport, the ATM did not allow the transaction. So I have no cash on hand and GrabPay Credits not working, I am unable to travel from the Airport to the Hotel.
Calling A Friend An Gcash To the Rescue
Thanks again to the super fast wifi connection at the Changi Airport, I was able to chat with my friend and told her of my predicament. She mentioned that she was able to withdraw money from her Gcash Card using an ATM in Singapore during her stay. Unfortunately, my Gcash balance was maxed out, being a true friend, she told me that she will be sending me some money which I will be paying it back when I get to withdraw my money from my Bank debit card.
Sending Money Through Gcash is Free
Good thing my friend also has a Gcash account, because who would be able to help me out at that time of the night, i think it was already 11pm. So she sent me the money I needed from her Gcash to my Gcash account and In just a matter of seconds the money was already in my Gcash account, now the really nerve-wracking part, testing out if my Gcash Card will work withdrawing money from the ATM at Changi Airport. I was so nervous I just queued in front of an ATM machine, and when it was my time to withdraw my hands were shaking, it was my last resort, different scenarios running in my mind, I might have to walk to the hotel which is really far from Airport or maybe hitchhike? Before I even start to think of other scenarios, the ATM machine dispensed the amount I withdrew. Whew! I am saved! I can now book a grab car and pay in cash!
Thanks to my friend who lent me the money and her valuable information I was able to escape that predicament.
My stay in Singapore went on without any further problem, and when I got the chance, I transferred some of my money into Gcash because it was so easy to do withdrawal and money transfer.
Some Snaps I Got while enjoying my stay in Singapore