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It’s my turn on the ‘What Singapore Means To Me’ blog train, hosted by Finally Mama!

Before I begin, let me say that today is a very special day.   Because it is my BIRTHDAY!! Woohoo!!! Hence, it is extremely significant to publish this post on this very day, and I thank B.C.D.E That’s Us! for swapping dates with me on the blog train so that I can do this on my birthday.  Thanks babe!

So let’s begin… What does Singapore mean to me? It’s a bit hard to pen it down in words.  (Blame it on my limited vocabulary.)  So I am going to show you what Singapore means to me in pictures.

On this day, 17 August, approximately 21 years ago, I was born!


Me, not too long after I was born.


Singapore is a place my siblings and I grew up in.  We lived in a HDB flat and played at HDB playgrounds.

SIngapore Pelican Playground 1982

Hanging out at a HDB playground when I was 1 year old.

Singapore Pelican Playground 1983

Still at the same playground at 2 years old.


When I was a young child, Singapore did not even have MRTs.  I remember feeling the excitement, going for an exhibit to learn more about the upcoming MRT trains that we were going to have, and sitting in a model at the exhibit.  That was my first time on an MRT.

Singapore MRT exhibit 1984 (1)

Exhibit for launch of Singapore MRT in 1984

Singapore MRT exhibit 1984 (2)

This was the first MRT I ever sat on.


As I was growing up, Sentosa had a monorail that brought us around the island.  And it was soooo slooooowwwwwww….. But of course, that meant we had more than enough time to admire the scenery around us.  And nobody was really in a hurry at that time.

Sentosa Monorail 1986

Sentosa monorail.


There was a theme park there called Asian Village, which provided the thrill rides for kids then.

Sentosa Asian Village 1993

Asian Village at Sentosa.


And family staycations revolved around tacky chalets at Sentosa island with few activities.

Sentosa 1984

At a chalet in Sentosa with my cousins.


Back then, there were limited places of interest in Singapore. The Zoo and Bird Park were our few excursion options.

Jurong Bird Park Tram 1986

Riding on a tram around Jurong Bird Park.


And as you would expect from the lack of attractions, Singapore did not have many tourists then.  Hence, our airport only had 1 terminal.  And taking a plane was not something very common.

Singapore Changi Airport SG50 46

Posing with my brother at Changi Airport’s then only terminal.


Singapore was where I received my education.

Singapore Pre Primary 1987

My first day in Pre-Primary.  Nowdays, there is no more pre-primary.


Going through a pretty run-of-the-mill life through Primary School, Secondary School, Junior College, University, finding my first job, all of which I shall fast forward because it is all kind of mundane,  I eventually entered adulthood, got married and had my kids, all right here in Singapore.  I am 100+1% born and bred Singaporean!

My first born.


It was only after I had my own children and watched them grow, that it struck me that as I grew, Singapore was also growing.

My kids continue to live in a HDB flat and play at HDB playgrounds.  Though HDB playgrounds have grown bigger.

A typical HDB playground today.

A typical HDB playground today.


Now, we have MRTs criss-crossing 5 different lines to bring us to just about anywhere we want to go quickly.


The boys on a typical MRT ride.


Not only that, we even have LRTs now!


The boys riding the LRT at Bukit Panjang.


Sentosa is totally unrecognizable from its past.  With Sentosa Express replacing the monorail, Universal Studios Singapore are replacing Asian Village, and Resorts World Sentosa and numerous luxurious hotels replacing tacky old chalets.


Sentosa today.


On top of Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Zoo, we now have River Safari, Night Safari and S.E.A Aquarium.

river safari

Outing to River Safari.


Singapore Changi Airport now has 3 terminals (going on 4).

Singapore Changi Airport today.


And plane travel has become commonplace.

On the plane with the kids, SQ no less.

Cannot resist this photo, because it was MY’s only time in a bassinet, and it even has the SQ label!


In short, Singapore is the place I was born and grew up, while watching Singapore growing together.   musicnote2 We’ve come so far together, our common destiny musicnote2 sums up what Singapore means to me I guess.

And since we’re singing, let’s end it with a song!

musicnote2 This is my country, this is my flag  musicnote2

musicnote2 This is my future, this is my life  musicnote2


musicnote2 This is my family, these are my friends  musicnote2

Singapore Pelican Playground 1984

musicnote2 We are Singapore, Singaporeans!  musicnote2


This post is part of the ‘What Singapore Means To Me’ blog train, hosted by Finally Mama.

Finally Mama

Up Next!

Next up on the blog train is Danessa from Prayerfull Mum.  Hop over to Prayerfullmum Blog tomorrow to read about what Singapore means to her!

the author

Supposed to be a stay-home mom, but hates staying home. Definition of parenting is bringing the boys out for 'experiential learning' in Singapore, Japan and wherever else in the world her husband can afford to pay for.


  1. Mummy Ed says:

    Those photos of your childhood are cute! I totally don’t remember the Asia thing at Sentosa.. Actually come to think of it I don’t remember going to Senotsa much haha.

  2. mmlittlee says:

    I love the past and present comparison. Singapore has changed a lot and yet not a lot. This is home!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      I’ve always wanted to do a blog post to compare my childhood with my kids’. There are actually quite a lot of similarities, despite all of Singapore’s changes. I guess that’s what it means to be home!

  3. Ai Sakura says:

    Wow your childhood photos are still so well-kept!! Must rammage through my mum’s place to find mine now haha. Happy belated birthday!!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  4. mumseword says:

    unrelated, but I was in Pre-Primary too!! My uniform was Red… so I thought yours looked a little familiar! 🙂 and happy belated birthday!

  5. yAnn says:

    These photos are amazing. I love the nostalgia and I can identify with so many things. Like you, I am also 21 (uhhmm).

  6. Claudia says:

    This makes me want to dig out my childhood photos too! But they are so deep inside our storeroom, it’ll take lots of energy to bring everything out and then put them back again. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Debs G says:

    I love that photo in front of the wall showing all the different time zones! I used to love that wall at the airport – never ceased to captivate my imagination as I wondered what people on the other side of the world were doing.

    • bumblebeemum says:

      YES! That wall was how I learned that the time in different countries was all different as a kid! And you’re right, it made me ponder how people in other countries are sleeping while we are wide awake.

  8. Waiwai says:

    Happy belated birthday! I also kept some childhood photos, hard copy. Think I should find one day to scan them before I lose them / they decolourise.

  9. Angie.S says:

    I love your recount of how true blue ‘Singaporean’ you are…the old photos are so nostalgic! Happy belated birthday to you. How special to have birthday in August, a celebratory month with fireworks!

  10. enitsuj says:

    Your photos are so nostalgic!! I can associate with so many of them! Childhood then..was so simple yet so wonderful. Remind me of neighbours constantly looking out for each other and the kids (can always pop over for a meal if mom is not home!) Thank you for igniting those memories!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Yes, childhood was so simple! Which is why I try to keep it as simple as possible for my kids.. Want to play then play.. No enrichment whatsoever. (Actually it’s more because I have no money for enrichment. LOL!)

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