From The Lakes to the Lion City: A Filipino Swiftie’s Experience Watching The Eras Tour in Singapore

From The Lakes to the Lion City: A Filipino Swiftie’s Experience Watching The Eras Tour in Singapore

Our “Wildest Dreams” came true



Dear reader, it’s been a long time coming, but Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour in Singapore finally came and went! Join me as I talk about my experience having my Wildest Dreams come true and how I had the time of my life on March 8, 2024. 


In the ever-competitive landscape of live entertainment, there’s no other cultural phenomenon that commands fervor and anticipation quite like Taylor Swift. The most coveted, once in a lifetime experience of attending her concert has been a lifelong dream for all Swifties across the world. 


Aptly named The Eras Tour, spanning 18 years of her music and albums, it promised to be the ultimate concert experience. No matter which of her albums you stan the most, every era of Taylor Swift's discography is given a moment to shine during the show. While Filipino Swifties may have gotten the short end of the rope—since the Philippines was not one of the stops for her 2024 leg—we were still given the opportunity to participate in the Great War by traveling to our neighboring country, Singapore. 


As I reflect on my experience of extreme elation, from the show announcements and ticket selling last July 2023 to counting days and counting miles until showtime, Taylor Swift made my whole anticipation and excitement worth it.


From The Lakes to the Lion City: A Filipino Swiftie’s Experience Watching The Eras Tour in Singapore


I was one of the Lucky Ones who were able to snag a ticket via Klook’s pre-sale for the Night 5 show on March 8, and you can say I booked the ticket faster than you can say sabotage. Even before considering all the other details, like planning the itinerary, booking flights and arranging accommodations, I already felt like a winner. Then finally, I had the chance to see her perform live. 


For a bit of context, I'm one of those Swifties who became a fan when she released her Red album back in 2012. It had a profound connection to her raw expression of falling in love, heartbreak and introspection that deeply resonated with me. In an era dominated by carefree anthems, Taylor’s willingness to open up and share her vulnerabilities was quite refreshing. As a fan, you can’t help but feel proud of how much she’s grown as an artist.



As the concert date draws nearer, you can just feel the magic in the air. And so I grabbed my passport with tickets in hand, walked fast through traffic lights with busy streets full of people with busy lives in a place I had never been. Singapore felt like it was currently in its Taylor’s Version; everywhere you went, you'd see activities, posters and tributes to her music blasting in the background.. One could not simply ignore her presence and the Singaporean appreciation for having her in their country.



At the Marina Bay Sands, the iconic façade of its infrastructure was illuminated with the official colors of The Eras Tour. There was also a trail exhibition at The Shoppes where you could visit different installations to experience immersive booths and curated playlists, each representing her different eras and aptly titled Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Trail. If that weren't enough, there was a retail pop-up shop at the Sands Expo & Convention center, where you could buy official TS merch and, to top it all off, they hosted a free lights and water show at the Boardwalk area.



The crowded streets of Haji Lane were also no exception, as most shops had their unique way of showcasing Taylor and attracting Swifties. From photo studios offering exclusive photo frames and backdrops to unofficial merchandise plastered with different Taylor eras and offering discounts to Swifties wearing their concert fit; there was even one shop selling bags with large friendship bracelet straps—it was truly a unique experience.


Getting to the stadium was easy since Singapore offered several options for transportation. Whether opting for the sleek efficiency of their MRT or indulging in the complimentary bus services, each mode of transit offers convenience to everyone.



The atmosphere at the National Stadium crackled with energy as fans from various corners of the globe came together, united by their shared adoration for Taylor's music. Each passing moment brought us closer to the main event, igniting a feeling that transcended mere fandom. Everywhere you could look, there was someone feeling Fearless in their best dress, as they paid homage to Taylor’s different costumes and eras.



While waiting for the show to start, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow Filipinos, many of whom greeted me warmly and engaged in the Swiftie tradition of bracelet trading—a delightful nod to Taylor's lyric in You're on Your Own Kid. It struck me how these friendly exchanges were a rarity back home, where such spontaneous connections are less common.


What’s unique about Singapore is how some Swifties opted to giveaway “ampaos,” the Chinese tradition of giving away money in red envelopes to signify good luck and fortune, but in classic Swiftie fashion—they gave away Taylor bills. Whether it was the euphoria of the stadium atmosphere or simply living in the moment of this unforgettable experience, it left me feeling hopeful and uplifted.



Sabrina Carpenter, the opening act for the night, started promptly at 6PM. She recently went to the Philippines for her Emails I Can’t Send Tour and has since been accompanying Taylor at the Asian leg of The Eras Tour. Performing her hits for an enthusiastic 45 mins, Sabrina Carpenter perfectly hyped up the crowd. And if you know anything about her, you know her Nonsense outro is always something people eagerly await for.



Finally, the lights dimmed, and a hush fell over the crowd—baby, let the games begin! In the moment Taylor took to the stage, a vision of grace and poise, everyone was Enchanted. From her opening line, her performance was nothing short of mesmerizing. With every lyric sung, she transported us to the depths of emotion, weaving a tapestry of stories that resonated with each individual in the audience throughout the years.



At each mention of Singapore's name, it’s hard not to find it all a little bittersweet. I couldn't shake off the wishful thought that perhaps she should have been calling out “Manila” instead. Amidst the sea of Pinoys in the stadium throughout the six shows, I'm certain I wasn't alone in feeling this pang of hometown pride. However, as the concert progressed and Taylor's familiar tunes filled the air, any hint of longing quickly dissolved, replaced by the sheer joy and solidarity with everyone in the stadium who were capturing and remembering the moment.



As the final notes faded into the night, I couldn't help but feel a profound sense of gratitude for the opportunity to be part of such a momentous occasion. Taylor Swift's music had not only provided a soundtrack to my life but also served as a source of solace and inspiration during the most trying times. I carried with me not just memories, but a renewed appreciation for the power of authentic storytelling through music—for me and countless others. 


Taylor Swift's legacy as an artist extends far beyond the confines of a concert hall; it is a testament to the enduring impact of vulnerability and honesty in artistry. And as I journeyed back home, I knew that the experience would forever hold a cherished place in my heart, a reminder of the transformative power of music and the unbreakable bond between artist and listener.


There's a common jest that Taylor Swift is the sole individual capable of uniting people and instigating positive change in the current landscape. “Taylor for president!” they quip. Yet, perhaps there's some truth to this. Consider Taylor hosting a show in a nation renowned for its multicultural fabric, where she manages to amalgamate these diverse cultures, encouraging bracelet exchanges, photo opportunities and mutual support as fans flaunt their finest The Eras Tour attire. Taylor demonstrates that amidst the vast sea of humanity, including many Filipinos, there exists an innate capacity for goodwill towards one another.


Who knows? If we absorb the lessons from this Singaporean experience and continue to foster such unity, perhaps we can eventually welcome Taylor on her next tour to our shores, whenever that moment arrives.



Words and Photos Charles Boswell

Art Alexandra Lara


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