The main problem that I've encountered visiting my family in Philippines is the financial matters. I need to have lots of "bala" money to enjoy with them and bring "pasalubong" presents. Then we go on shopping and lots of dining.
To solve my money matters, I allotted a budget for this. Usually, my budget includes airfare, taxi from airport to my house in Singapore and entertainment (shopping and dining).
Every week, the five airlines serving Philippines to Singapore are giving away discounted fares ranges from S$121.00 to S$160.00 round trip. But this booking will be done 2 months in advance from the flight schedule. So I have to make sure that the date is final and had filed my company leave before availing the ticket.
The usual annual leave given to a worker in Singapore is 14 days. When a holiday falls to a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday will be a holiday or they will add it to our annual leave days.
But Singapore don't have holidays that much. The longest holiday is only for 2 days, which is the Chinese New Year.
Every time a holiday falls on Wednesday, I will go on leave on Thursday and Friday. This will deduct 2 days on my annual leave and I could stay in Philippines from Wednesday morning to Sunday evening.
As soon as a holiday falls on Wednesday, I will book a ticket that is scheduled at 12:05am, Wednesday. I will arrive in the Philippines at around 4:00am the same day. Singapore to Philippines trip only takes 3 hours plus, but it also depends on the airline. There might be few delays but still bearable.
So after my work, which is 6:30pm, I still have time to pack up things and travel to Changi Airport. I have to make sure that I'll be at the airport 2 hours before my flight.
My return ticket from Philippines will always be at around 9:30pm on Sundays and arrives at Changi Airport at 12:05am the following day. This time, I have to ride a taxi since MRT are not available at this time.
To give you an idea on how much I spend every visit in the Philippines. I'll list down the expenses in details for you.
Airfare - S$150.00 (Average, but not including Christmas Day fare)
MRT - S$ 2.50 (estimate)
Taxi - S$ 42.00 (I'm at the opposite end of Singapore)
Shopping & Dining - S$300.00
TOTAL - S$494.50 (S$ 500 rounded off)
So my budget every month will be S$250.00. But December is expensive, I will add S$500 alone for my airfare ticket and another S$500 for entertainment and Christmas gifts.
This is the cost of my happiness, excitement and self fulfillment. It might be expensive but it's worth it....