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Our Long, Short Space A Trip 12 – The End

Our Long, Short Space A Trip 12 – The End

Finally getting to the end of our journey we find ourselves in Singapore.  It is our first time in Singapore, so we are really pretty lost.  Thankfully we met a pretty nice guy named Harry Judge that has been to Singapore many times (20+).  He’s been there so many times he knows the people at the terminal and they know him.  The lady that I spoke with in Sinapore was a very nice lady.  She answered my questions I had about the Space A schedule between them and Yokota AB in Japan, which is normally the only place that they have flights.  I was sure to write that information down.

They have computer to use at the terminal, I think there were 3 of them.  They were having an internet problem when we arrived though and had some technicians working on it.  We needed to make some airline reservations and it’s usually less expensive to do that online.  We were hoping to use either Tiger Air or Cebu Pacific because they are the only airlines I saw from Singapore going to Clark.  Air Asia and JetStar also have flights to the Philippines, but only to Manila.  Anyway we could not use the computers so decided to head for the airport and see if they had computers we could use.

in-singapore-1

They do not have computers for you to use until you are already through security.  That does us no good.  So not wanting to pay the higher prices for the tickets and also wanting to see a little more of Singapore, we decided to spend the night.  We were going to spend the night in the terminal at first, but Harry said he knew of a hostel that he has used quite often.  We did eat at the Burger King before we left.  Neither Lita or I have ever stayed in a hostel, so we figured, “What the heck”.  It was only like $17 each per night, although all you get is a bed with a community restroom.  We took a taxi there and I don’t remember the price, but it wasn’t so bad.  The city is beautiful, with flowers and trees all along the highways.  The taxi driver was very helpful pointing out different things, just giving us a little tour.

Upon arrival we had to press a button to get them to buzz us in.  Of course there were stairs since we had more luggage than we normally do flying Space A.  Lucky enough the ‘mixed’ bedrooms were at the first landing we came to and that’s where we would be staying.  I believe the next landing up was all females and the next after that all males.  The day room, where most people hung out was pretty nice.  It had its little kitchen, which is where we would get our free continental breakfast, some couches, chairs, a pool table, a TV and some coolers with food and drink in them.  They also sold food items and other things at the front desk in there.  The name of the hostel is Betelbox.  It also had a nice Vietnamese restaurant right next door.

in-singapore-2

They didn’t turn the air conditioner on until 7 pm, but that turned out to be okay.  They also had a fan, but only 1 for the whole room.  It was pointed away from us during the night, but it was cool enough for us.  There are bunk beds there and Harry and I got one (him on the top bunk) and Lita was right across from us on the bottom bunk.  We were the closest to the restroom, which was good for Lita because she frequents it during the night.

The next morning we used the computers in the day room to get our flight reservations.  The first 30 minutes per customer is free and after that you are charged in 30 minute increments.  I got it all done with the 30 minutes though and even a little Facebook time.  After our little breakfast and a game of pool (which I lost), we decided to head back to the airport and hang out there.  They have a Subway at the airport with pretty reasonable prices.  We exchanged a little bit more of our pesos to Singapore dollars first.  There are several exchanges places around there in the terminal.

We hung around, walked and talked until we were able to check in.  It was still several hours until our flight, but at least we were at the right gate and all the long walking was over with.  Lita hates walking.  Me, I walked around some more after getting Lita settled.  I found some of the computers they were talking about and did some more Facebook and fantasy football time.

in-singapore-3

Finally they start calling for our flight to process.  We wait in there for awhile and then get to board the plane, Cebu Pacific.  Tiger Air had many more flights, and earlier, so I think next time we’ll do Tiger Air.  The flight to Clark was pretty uneventful but it was really late when we arrived and the only taxis available were P500, versus the P350-P400 we normally paid.  It’s okay, lets just get to the hotel.  We actually spent 2 nights in Angeles to prepare ourselves for the long bus ride back.  I told Lita that this will be my last time taking this bus ride.  I don’t know how anyone can stand it so many times.  I suffered through it, but not anymore.

We did make it home safe and sound.  It was the longest short vacation that we ever took and I wouldn’t want to do it like that again.  At least we did learn some things.  Things I hope we will remember to apply to our next trip, so things may just go a little bit smoother.

Salamat Y’all

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13 Comments

  1. Just read about your trip. Definitely sounds like it was an adventure. Took my wife on our first space a in 2004 and figured she would hate the experience (cold planes, waiting and hoping for flights, and being disappointed when things did not go right). WRONG…. after the first one she said flying commercial was her second choice.. go figure. Last April we flew from the PI straight into Hawaii (got stuck there for 6 days), got to the east coast and back to Hawaii (got stuck there for a week). Yes, it was expensive, but the impromptu experiences worth it, we would not have experienced it if we had flown commercial. Planning another trip this Mar/Apr back to the US. Hope to see you, when you come back through Clark.

    • Sounds like you got yourself a keeper for a wife. Mine also prefers Space A over commercial flights. Being stuck in Hawaii for 6 days is not so bad. It probably still came out less expensive than buying commercial tickets. If not, well you had a little mini-vacation. Also the camaraderie among the Space A passengers and even the terminal staff is wonderful.
      I am the member of a lot of Space A groups if you’d like to join any of those. They are all free. I even have my own Space A website and several Space A Pages, also all free. I support my Space A website like I do this blog, getting people to click on the ads and also through donations. I’d be happy to get you connected with any or all of them. We have a group for, I think, every Space A location in the world.
      It’s nice to meet new people, most of the time, but I don’t live anywhere near Clark. I live in Calbayog City down in Samar. If you passing by this way though, I’d like to meet you. I could even get another guy or two to be around when you do, if you want.

  2. UJ,

    Sorry to hear your trip back to Belton didn’t work out. I was just there last month and stopped in Belton for lunch at Crow’s Burger joint just off Waco Rd., wow brought back a flood of memories growing up in the central Texas area. One thing that has changed is the traffic on 190…omg almost as bad as Manila traffic going 90 miles an our non stop. Went by the oriental store in Killeen on 190 and still the same..not much has changed still small with limited stock. Topped it all off with a Whataburger stop and a few beers in Harker Heights. Was good to visit but couldn’t live there anymore…it’s no longer the place I knew growing up. So back to oklahoma we came…yea we live in tornado alley but what the hell..we got insurance and a hole in the ground to hide in if one hits..hahaha

    • Yeah, we really wanted to visit there, but what could we do. Next time we’ll be more prepared and hope that things will go smoother. I love Crow’s Burger, especially the one in Belton. The one in Temple is less desirable to me because they messed up my only order I had there. You went to Whataburger also .. cool. As for the traffic, well when we go to Nolanville, Harker Heights or Killeen, we normally go the back way, so we do not have to deal with the traffic. It only takes like 5-10 minutes longer and hardly any traffic. I’d still live there and often think about it. It’s definitely not the place that I grew up either, because it has grown so much, but a lot of the old things are still there. Enough for me to remember those good old days. Besides I can’t deal with tornadoes.

      • The Crow’s Burger Joint in Belton is the one we stopped at for lunch. Also took the asawa to see Cochran Blair & Potts Dept store there in Belton, just love the old school feel of that place..pretty neat place. I bought round trip tickets a couple years ago from United Airlines from Oklahoma city to manila and back and the cost for the asawa and I both was right at $2200. I bought the tickets like 6 or 7 months ahead of when had planned to go to Cavite, so after comparing all the other airlines, United was the cheapest and fastest. From Manila, trip was to guam, honolulu then houston, and on to okc. Plus I know they also fly from houston to killeen so that may be a better option for you next year instead of space ‘A’. Wish you luck for next year and hope you make it back. Crow’s Burgers are still the best for sure..haha Stay safe partner!!

  3. Reading your space A experience trying to get to the states from the Philippines was informative.

    As I mentioned I believe. I’m in the Seattle area and the weekly flights out of SEATAC airport to Yokota seem easy to do.

    Friends have used many times and then onto Singapore for a commercial flight to the Philippines.

    They do the same returning back to Seattle.

    My wife and I talk about trying this, but it always comes down to getting back and forth fast.

    Paying the $750.00 each RT or less out of Seattle is better for us.

    Wife on the island now for a few more weeks.

    June 2017 I hope next trip.

    • I’m glad it was informative. From Sea-Tac to Yokota is a pretty easy trip so I’d be doing that one often. Of course I don’t need to get back and forth “fast”. It’s an experience in itself and I enjoy meeting the other Space A travelers. I have told my wife that even if we win the lottery, I think we should still travel Space A. Of course we wouldn’t have to worry about a place to stay in that case.

  4. Sorry to hear the outcome was not what you wanted. Seriously, you should track all your expenses of hotels, taxi, food, etc as compared to buying a r/t ticket to the US. If you do some research, can usually find a cheap fare to LA or SF for under $700. I dont know how much a Southwest ticket would be to get you to Texas.

    Anyway, rest up and do some more planning for next year.

    By the way, did you hear or see about 7 harleys ride through your area last week> We did a ride all the way down through Cebu and back.

    • That $700 you’re speaking of is for just 1 person, we’d have to double that. Plus the tickets on Southwest, which IS who we would use. We’d still have to eat something, maybe a taxi or 2 and even a night in a hotel is possible in your scenario. So $1400 plus maybe $300 for Southwest and any other extras it would be what, maybe $1900. I know we did not spend anywhere near that because we don’t have anywhere near that kind of money. Maybe around $1000 is all we spent for the whole trip, and that was only because it was so bad. Normally we get a flight with no where near that kind of problem, but also you just never know. This is only the 2nd time we have had any real problem with Space A. This one was the worst. Last time we got stuck at Kadena coming back, for 9 days. That would not be a problem anymore though because if that happens again, we’d just head for Yokota and a flight to Singapore, then commercial to the PI, like we did this last time. I’ve already started saving for next year so hopefully it will be a lot smoother next time around.
      We live right next to the highway. There is always traffic going by. A lot of the vehicles do not have mufflers and make loud sounds all the time. I could have heard y’all and not even know it. I did not however see any group of Harley’s going by, but that would have been nice. I hope that if you do it again, and see me out there, you’ll stop for a meet, greet and chat.

  5. Wow, thanks for such a complete story. I wish the trip had gone better for you. Kinda confirms my previous impressions and experiences, using Dace-A when I was stationed at Yokota. The “free” flights just aren’t worth it any more when the costs of waiting, even at military facilities, have grown so much.

    But you gave it a try and you learned a lot, experienced a lot which I never will when I simply buy a ticket and go.

    Be well

    • Howdy Dave. You still reading here? You don’t comment much, but glad you’re still here. Usually the Space A flights go a lot smoother, but it’s dang near impossible to figure out when will be a good time and when things will go all wrong. We did learn some things and if we would have saved more money before leaving, we could have actually made it to Texas a lot faster than just coming back to the Philippines. Of course we would have spent more money in Texas and we still have a few things we need to pay here in the PI, so we would have just been digging a deeper hole for ourselves. We are glad we got to see Singapore though, and experience a hostel. We’re actually thinking that when we take our non-Texas trip out of the PI next time, to go to Singapore. The flights are cheap and that hostel is cheap, so maybe we can take some of the tours that they offered at that hostel (which I forgot to mention in the post). Our next trip out (I’ve already started saving) will definitely be all the way to Texas.

      • Oh I’m still around. Always interesting to hear real world experiences. Keep writing and keep enjoying life.

        • I like sharing the experiences hoping that people will learn from them.

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