Text and Photos by Euden Valdez
IF you’re out to discover Singapore’s diverse cultures, there’s one neighborhood you should not miss.
This is Kampong Glam known for its “rich history, living traditions, excellent eateries, and trendy shops,” according to visitsingapore.com.
Located right at the mouth of Rochor River, Kampong Glam was originally a fishing kampung (or village) where the gelam tree (Paperbark tree), used for building ships and boats, grew—thus, the neighborhood’s name.
During the occupation of the British in the 18th century, key Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of modern Singapore, allocated the area to the Malays, the original settlers of the Singapore led by Sultan Hussain Mohammed Shah, along with other Muslim communities including the Arabs and Bugis. As such, a grand Sultan Mosque was built at the heart of the neighborhood.
Its dome gleaming in gold to this very day, the mosque serves both as a historic landmark and an icon of heritage. Surrounding it is a hodgepodge of Asian and Mediterranean cultures present in shops, restaurants, and the istana or sultan’s palace, which now houses the Malay Heritage Center.
So vibrant is Kampong Glam that even in a gloomy, rainy day, it splashes colors to the surrounding.
Text and photos by Euden Valdez
WHENEVER a Filipino visits Singapore, whether as a first or a return visitor, he/she can’t help but compare it to the Philippines and inevitably, feel envious. How can a country as young as SG be so progressive, orderly, safe and clean?
Let’s not rack our brains. Instead, let’s just appreciate Singapore’s spotless nightscapes.
Open, wide and traffic-free roads
is a former dyarista,