Labrador, not the dog, the historic Singapore park

January 24, 2021

I’ve passed by Labrador (back when I was working in the area) never bothered to explore it. And it’s strange because the place is a historical site and I’m supposed to be a history buff.

I have corrected this error.

My plan was to do some bird watching the entire morning then proceed to WWII sites and other places of historical interest. Recording videos was not part of the itinerary but I realized why not. I ended up spending almost the entire day.

These days it’s cold in the mornings, it’s not too hot the rest of the day. Even equatorial and tropical Singapore gets some mild, even cold, weather during this time of the year.

Labrador really has no historical links to us Filipinos. Or at least, that’s what I know. But there will always be connections. Direct or indirect, there will be. The nature reserve was where the British built a battery to protect the island from the marauding Japanese. We all know how it went down.

Even America knew they were not prepared to take on Japan then. I wonder if the Singapore people then had confidence that their British protectors would repel the Japanese. I remember stories of how the majority of Filipinos felt secured and confident that the Japanese would not even dare touch the Philippines.

The Japanese made easy work of the defenses in front of them. Against the best the west had to offer. I could imagine that this made them feel invincible.

But what if both the British empire and US invested heavily in defending their South East Asian colonies? Would have that made a difference if the Japanese knew they’re not going to win around here? Or were they willing to risk it all? Like a kamikaze, ready to die and never come back.

I had some personal memories around the area. I worked nearby. But what I remember most doing every day, during my breaks, is watching these huge cruise ships passing by. Maybe I was dreaming of having a cruise holiday myself? I love seeing those ships. Today, it’s very quiet. The pandemic has really affected all of our lives in one way or another.

There’s another British battery nearby where I live. Maybe I should see it. Like that song that say, “we’re surrounded by debris of the past,” this is very true. It’s on us to make an effort to reconnect with history.

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