Why Should You Be at the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2015?

With the last day of the year approaching in less than 3 days, the question posed to you by friends is “How are you spending your countdown?”

Here is one of your best options if you are still uncertain. Be a part of the Marina Bay Singapore countdown.

1. Bask in a night of lights, camera and action.

By lights we mean 3D projection on buildings such as the Fullerton Hotel Singapore. Titled “Reflections of our Past, Present and Future”, it features a montage of sketches and graphics depicting scenes of Singapore’s history as well as present-day Singapore.

Be prepared to whip our your phone and take photographs or video of the projection as the three minute extended version of it plays every half hourly from 8.15pm to 11.15pm on New Year’s Eve and a final run at 11.55pm.

Enjoyed watching the video clip of the projection? Nothing beats watching it live for yourself, so grab your friends and family and head down to Marina Bay on the 30th.

2. Themed Lighting on Selected Buildings

If you think that you will enjoy the 3D projection on the Fullerton Hotel, 5 buildings in Marina Bay will also feature a synchronized themed lighting in our national colours.

The Ocean Financial Centre, OCBC Centre, Maybank Tower, One Raffles Place and Millenia Tower will be lit in red and white and feature the number ‘50’, lasting 5 minutes every half hourly from 8pm to 11.30pm.

3. Lighted Wishing Spheres

Do you observe red and white spheres floating in the Bay? Wonder what they are for? No, they are not just part of the decoration. For the first time, 5,000 red spheres have been added to the usual white spheres to form a giant number ‘50’ in the Bay. They are wishing spheres because they carry more than 600,000 wishes from members of the public.

4. Fireworks with Music

Photo Credit: Darren Soh

The firework display this time round will last 8 minutes and this display is specially choreographed to a score composed by local talents Julian Wong and Riduan Zalani. Think fireworks with music, like a music video. A segment of the Music will feature 400 drummers performing ‘live’ at the lower boardwalk in front of the Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza.

5. Events and More Events for Everyone

A map of the activities around the Bay:

Celebrate December will include a range of activities including music performances, craft workshops and other activities for all ages. Entry is free.

Drumgaia feature drum performances as part of the firework display.

Marina Waterfront Bazaar offers a shopping experience for the public and there will be tidbits and drinks available for sale.

Celebrate with the World 2015 is a ticketed concert that features local artistes and both international and local DJs. There will be a carnival zone with games for families.

Celebrate SG50 features superstars and celebrities such as Stefanie Sun, Kit Chan and Dick Lee and an outdoor party with DJ Tinc. 

Go Chinese This CNY Season with Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant

Does the traditional Chinese food you know of bore you? Perhaps the best dishes are still those cooked by your grandparents. While this may be so, give them a treat this Chinese New Year and let the chefs at award-winning Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant cook up a storm for all of you.

At Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant, you will step in hungry and leave with a satisfied, full tummy. While the food may be traditional, the ingredients used are of high quality and the flavor of the various dishes will not disappoint you.

So when you think of Chinese New Year, the first thing that comes to mind is the Yu Sheng. Look at the design of the Yu Sheng. It says 2015 and even shows a goat, if you are fast to observe.  Have fun tossing Yu Sheng as a family and enjoy a time of family bonding.

We, as Chinese, love soups.  It’s not all about the ingredients but most importantly, it is about the way the soup is brewed. Good soups usually take many hours to brew and with one sip you can tell how flavorful it is.  That is the case for the Double-Boiled Supreme Bird’s Nest in Whole Chicken.  The thing about this soup is that it doesn't consist of your shark fin soup which all older generations rave about but at the same time, I am certain they will have nothing but compliments. It is so good that if my grandma was there to taste it, I am sure she will agree with me.

One special dish that was offered at this restaurant was the Wan Hao Deluxe Abalaone Pen Cai. Before this, I knew not about the existence of this dish but it has its origins in China and Chinese New Year would not be what it is if this dish was not prepared during the festive season.

It includes 3-head fresh abalone, conpoy, sea cucumber, fish maw, dried oyster, mushroom, live prawn, roasted pork belly with yam, roasted duck, chinese cabbage, sea moss, fried bean curd sheet, mustard green and radish. Yes, that’s a lot of ingredients and seafood lovers will definitely enjoy this dish.  We had a great time indulging in this dish and were pretty much full after this.

Perhaps I should mention that I have a lot of complaints about Chinese restaurants simply because I am a picky eater. I don't eat spicy food, can't stand the smell of fish and due to a drug allergy, I can't take herbal food. So I must say that the food served at Wan Hao was overall rather pleasing to my taste buds and I didn't face any of these issues. Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant is the place you should head to if you are looking for a restaurant which serves tasty Chinese food that appeals to family members of all ages.

Visit www.singaporemarriott.com/CNY for more information.
Dining reservation hotline: 6831 4605

Are Theatrical Productions Just Meant to Entertain?

As I write this blog post, I have watched three productions, namely Frozen, Mamma Mia and Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story. I never thought I would say so but each production has thrown me into a contemplative state of mind as I watched them play out in front of me. Each of them had something for me to think about.

Frozen was a production by Pangdemonium.

One sunny morning 10-year-old Rhona goes missing. Her mother Nancy (Karen Tan), retreats into a state of frozen hope...for the next twenty years. Does “closure”, mean forgiveness? Or revenge? Agnetha (Janice Koh) is a pioneering psychiatrist with a controversial theory on serial killers. Does she really believe what she preaches, even as she fights her own demons? And then there’s Ralph (Adrian Pang), a loner with a fractured history and a deadly obsession...Is he a monster? Or a misunderstood man-child? Drawn together by horrific circumstances, these three individuals embark upon a tangled, twisted journey, uncovering one another’s skeleton.

It was a play which was morally grey in the sense that there was no right or wrong. The audience would come to their own conclusions. To me as a Linguistics major, the nature vs nurture debate was all I could think about. If Ralph wasn't abused as a kid, would he have become the person he was now? I stand on the side of nurture, meaning I blame his environment. Why? I believe that all of us, our nature, are similar in the sense that we are selfish beings, prone to making mistakes and we need law and order to be in place. The environment, on the other hand, is what is different for every kid. The environment in which a kid grows up is super important in my opinion; his parents, the way they teach their kid, that determines the people they grow up to be. The principles, the habits, they live by, all these have to be taught. 

On that note, let's move on to Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story, a Music Hall Production. 

It tells the enchanting story of Peter Pan, a mischievous boy, with the ability to fly and refuses to grow up. One night, he visits Wendy, John, and Michael Darling in their London nursery and takes them on an unforgettable flight where the Lost Boys, Indians, mermaids and pirates await them at Neverland. In adventures beyond their wildest imaginations, the villainous Captain Hook hatches an evil scheme that crescendos to a dramatic swordfight with Peter.

Photo credits: Leslie Artamonow

I saw Peter Pan in a different light. Watching the play unfold before me, it suddenly struck me that this was one fairy tale I would definitely want to tell children about. No, not your Disney princes and princesses, there are enough of these lousy personalities in real life; kids who are spoiled rotten and think they are 'above' everyone else in terms of looks. It is a story of friendship, of sacrifice. Tinkerbell, the fairy in the story, was more human than she seemed. She experienced jealousy when a close friend neglected her and ultimately sacrificed herself for Peter, prioritising friendship above all. While there are many Chinese wuxia novels which speak of loyalty and sacrifice, Peter Pan seems to be one of the few fairy tales that convey these values. That scene whereby she nearly died, was one that really touched me there. Sacrifice. 

Besides that, it once again reminds me of the innocence of children. Lets not be in a hurry for them to grow up. They should have the right to enjoy their childhood, to be unburdened by the troubles and responsibilities of the adult world. Let children be children. You will be surprised by how fast they grow up. 

Talking about the adult world, it brings me to the next musical production, Mamma Mia.

Inspired by the story-telling magic of ABBA's timeless hits, this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship tells the story of a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father on the eve of her wedding, bringing three men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.  

Although this musical doesn't seem to have a serious note to it, the beginning and end of the musical seem to suggest that we should chase our dreams. It tells us that we shouldn't let tradition hold us back. That despite the harsh reality of the world, how we are expected to marry at a certain age and hold a stable job, we shouldn't give up our dreams, not while we have a shot at fulfilling them. 

Hope that you enjoy reading my thoughts inspired by these various productions. If you haven't watched them, what's stopping you?

Movie Review of 《單身男女2》

So what better movie to watch on 11th of November (Single's Day) than 《單身男女2》? Ok, it's past but that doesn't mean you can't catch this movie.

Here's the trailer:

演員: 古天樂,楊千嬅,周渝民,高圓圓,吳彥祖

Just a disclaimer before I begin that this movie review is purely my opinions and they have not been written to favor any clients, whatsoever (that's why I don't have a ton of photos to go with it).

Well, this movie is of a romantic comedy genre and I wasn't expecting a lot out of it. I mean how interesting can the plot be right? Guy breaks up with girl over another girl or its the courtship scene. Apparently it was more than that. There was a whole series of coincidences in the movie which is totally unbelievable but hey, that's what makes it comical. Ex-boyfriend's company is across the road, mistaken identity of boyfriend when it was brother and these are just a few of those coincidences.

What made the movie really entertaining besides the plot? I guess it was the atmosphere created by the romantic Chinese songs that were blasting away and songs which were so easily identifiable too.

At the end of the day, who would win the hand of their beloved? Does effort pay off in a relationship? These are some questions we would have and ultimately, how much do we treasure our relationships?


At least not in our society where it is always about money, the rat race, the benefits of marrying up. Getting into a relationship is one thing, maintaining that relationship is another.

Listen and you will hear how everything's wrong

Before I start off with today's blog entry, I would like to thank a few special people who have taken the time to compliment me on my blog. You guys know who you are, thank you so much! It's you people who encourage me to keep on blogging.

The issue I would like to talk about has been on my mind for a while now but I only got to blogging about it now. What issue? How parents bring up their kids.

Look around you, listen and you will be able to pick up what is wrong with society. Just the other day, I was on the MRT and it's the best place to observe people. People watching. It's pretty interesting really, if only I had the ability of deduction just like Sherlock.

So first, what I saw. I saw a kid sitting cross legged on a reserved seat, with his shoes off and he was playing with his phone. His mum, sitting next to him, looked extremely weary and was entertaining herself with an iPad. Yes, I judged immediately. C'mon lah, if you as a mum let your kid do that, next time when he grows up, he is going to think it is fine. It's the small things that you accept that eventually becomes overlooked. Have you seen people on the train or the bus with drinks or even ice cream cones in their hands? I have. They aren't dapaoing them, that's for sure. Ok, I get it, this may be a small thing, maybe the mum is really tired and this is an exception.

Now guess what I heard? Out of a bunch of girls, really loud ones, one girl was speaking to her mum over the phone and asking her out for dinner. Why? She had no money after spending it all on two meals (pretty expensive ones from what I inferred). Isn't that just sad? If you listened to her tone of voice as she 'asked' her mum out, you would be like, what has her mum taught her? It's not about the money but rather the fact that parents are asked out for meals when their kids run out of money. If got money then the girl will eat with friends instead?

I attribute all these to the way parents bring up their kids. Habits and upbringing are things that have to be taught. A few weeks back, my friends were discussing about how they bring up their kids and they came to a consensus that when they were young, hitting them was the fastest way to teach them and when they became of age, only then would reasoning become more effective. I for one agree.

Kids grow up with or without their parents. How is it though that sometimes there is no difference? Are parents chucking their kids aside with iPhones and iPads to entertain themselves? Bringing up a child is never easy. If you aren't prepared, if you would choose the easy way, your child will suffer and because of that, you may eventually too.

If my blog entry made you think just a little and you are interested to know about Steve Job's take on this read: http://theunboundedspirit.com/why-steve-jobs-didnt-let-his-kids-use-ipads/

And if you are really keen on watching how parents raise kids you should totally check out the Korean variety show The Return of Superman. You will just fall in love with the kids and in the process of it subconsciously learn how to best raise your future kids.

The Story of a Boy and His Watch

It all began with a boy who wanted a watch that was both digital and analog. He wanted a casual one, he didn't care about the brand but he was quite particular about the design. It was looking for a needle in a haystack but he knew when he saw it, he would recognise it. And he did.

It was a Takane watch and it cost $50. It wasn't branded but he was so in love with it.

Unfortunately, good things don't last long. During his daily activities, the boy was careless. After brushing past a hand rail in the bus, he scratched it pretty bad. His heart hurt more than anything. More and more scratches surfaced over time. On his trip to Poland, the buckle broke. When he came back he went to get it fixed and very fortunately, the seller told him she managed to get spare parts despite the watch being no longer in production. He was thankful. He went on exchange to Taiwan not long later. Guess what? The strap broke. It was as if life itself didn't want him to keep track of time whenever he was overseas having fun. He came back and used whatever was left of the spare parts. The watch was whole again. Despite the many batteries which ran dead, the watch still operated with a change of batteries.

Yet only recently, for some reason the minutes hand on the watch went loose and it stopped. It was time for another repair. During the process, the boy witnessed how it was being taken apart and thoughts surfaced.

The watch was like the boy. He was unique in his own way, loved by his Father. Yet his many experiences during his daily life worn him out. Broke him down. Again and again his Father tried to put him together, to make him whole, to repair the damage. However, some damages cannot be repaired. Some of the experiences encountered cannot be undone. The boy would have to live with them. This his Father understood and He still loved the boy just like how the boy loved his watch.

The same can also be said with the boy's relationships with his friends. Some of the broken relationships can be repaired, some will never be the same. Only time can tell.

The boy would continue to grow and experience new things. His body would age just like how the watch would. What would happen to him in the future? Only God knows.

PS: I just realised that due to a change in widgets and stuff that some of the images on the blog cannot be seen and am in the process of restoring them.

Back to School

I have been pretty busy lately. This might be one post before I go on a break to deal with school. Busy with what huh? Well, I've been attending a few media events, trying to juggle them with school.
FYP is waving its daunting hand at me, daring me to take on the challenge and start working on it before it appears as huge tidal waves seeking to consume me.

Credit: Psxextreme

I really don't want to have to give up any media events because of school, since they are so much more fun and there's the exposure.Yet the truth is a student's priority should be to study so... it's pretty obvious what's the right thing to do. I agree that not everyone's priority is their studies but so far, it's been mine and will remain mine. Trying very hard to do so at least. Readings are just agonizing.

In my free time I have been watching a couple of movies and variety shows. Let me introduce some of them.

If I have been bugging you about playing badminton, it's because I have been hooked to Cool Kiz on the Block, their badminton series. See, their shows do motivate people to play sports, not like ours, cui until cannot cui that I don't even switch on the TV. I have played badminton since young but have never undergone formal training. Watching some of the training the celebrities had motivated me to pick up the racket again BUT unfortunately Singapore's system of booking badminton facilities is so good, I can't get a court without booking 2 weeks in advance. Really a damper. Active SG my foot lah. Give free money, Singaporeans waste only. If only Singapore could come up with something similar. Not happening anytime soon I guess.

Besides that, I must say that this variety show is really good. It's original in the sense that it's not scripted, at least I don't think it is. Once again, I value originality a lot. If it's not original, the plot isn't much. Everything that happens look real, the teamwork, the emotions the players had and it really appeals to you. It's not your usual broadcasting. You can sense the players' eagerness and determination to win. I can only say that the production team were quite mean to them by pitting them against players who are much more experienced. 

I just watched God's Not Dead and it's just awesome! So much feelz. Even at the beginning I was having goosebumps. Would you risk your grades to defend God? When your future, your partner all hinged on that one decision? I found that if it was me, I would be struggling to write that. I would probably be thinking about dropping it and all but then again, somethings that happen, happen for a reason. That moment when all 80 students in his class stood up in support that God's not dead...it was just tear jerking. Touching moment. All his effort paid out.

It reminded me of how fleeting life it. You may have a successful career and find yourself busy with work, having a very productive life and suddenly sickness strikes you. What then? It encourages me that doing the right thing for God is what counts, what matters. My time, my efforts are best spent doing what He wants for me. 

In line with this thought sometime back, I chanced upon my whatsapp status which I changed by accident to 'low battery'. The common status was 'available'. It just hit me to edit it to something slightly longer. 'Available when you need a listening ear'. Sometimes in life, you need just one close friend to listen to you, to hear you out and among that 1000 Facebook friends, you wonder who you feel most comfortable with and you ask who will listen to you. I may not be a good speaker but the least I can do is listen and I was prompted to make that change in status. We, Christians are not that different from the average person without God. The main difference is that we believe. Do you? 

Learning to be Thankful

What sparked this post?

It was about the new IPPT system implemented.

I saw this comment in reply to the changes made in the IPPT system. It said "So.... ippt have became something that everyone can pass..." Well, I should put out this disclaimer first, it was from a friend's friend whom I am not acquainted with and on checking, should be of at least poly education and age. Yet it doesn't make me feel any better. I still feel damn angry about it.
Apparently you have no idea how NSmen feel not being able to pass IPPT. If you have slugged it out on the track doing RT during your weekends or have to travel to that camp just for RT when you have a hectic school or work schedule, you will know how it feels. Fine, you can argue why wait till the last minute then do RT? There are people who train for it and still have difficulty passing, like SBJ and it is by no means their fault. It's the technique which they weren't taught.

Credits: Mothership
Who doesn't want to pass IPPT in one attempt and forget about it for a year? Not everyone can do it though. This change in the IPPT system is meant to help them. They are the target audience. If you can't pass, you will probably agree with me that this is a blessing. It gives NSmen some hope that training will show results and that IPPT is passable (some NSmen have it engrained in their mindsets that IPPT is bao fail).

If you can pass IPPT in the past (means you have certain fitness), this new system shouldn't affect you much, in fact it makes it easier for you to get your gold. So why do I hear people from this group complaining? Only think about yourself, that you are affected is it?

If you aren't, good, I salute you. I know everyone doesn't like changes but changes like these are for the good of NSmen in general and I ask you to bear with it.

Sometimes Singaporeans have to learn to be thankful and think from the perspectives of others. So what if you can't get your gold and lose out on that little bit of reward when so many others have benefited from it? Can't you just see past that line of ME and MYSELF and see how it affects others?

Was IPPT meant to be exclusive? Everyone pass cannot ah? Everyone pass, got offend you is it? Gosh. I don't know what kids these days are thinking but no, not only you are entitled to passing and getting your gold. It's not like there is a limit to the number of gold rewards they are giving out.

Do refer to my article written with regards to the news of the new IPPT system here:

While I am on the topic of how Singaporeans should learn to be thankful, let's also take a look at

My colleague wrote this article and there has been a lot of comments. Basically, people either agree with him that we ought to be thankful for how Singapore is overall but there are people who also criticse it. No, he is not pro-government. Do we need to be pro-government to be thankful for the country we reside in now? It's just weighing the pros and cons and how you want to compare it. If you compare with the best, of course Singapore may not be much but be fair in your comparison, don't take it out of context.

It is always easy to criticize things, policies, the government. Yet, we need to recognize the facts for what they are and see what they show or where they lead. It is a fact that undergraduates or graduates expect jobs with certain salaries. No, it is not wrong. After all, there has been investments made on us, through the form of education fees. We also expect internships to have a reasonable allowance even though the company may be reputable. Hello? We also need to feed ourselves and even our families right? All these facts show us there we have a certain mindset and I won't say it is wrong but there is a cause and effect relationship. The effect is that foreigners are willing to take these jobs with lower salaries.

I don't agree with every choice or decision made by the government or like everything that Singapore is now but still, let's be thankful for what we have. Count our blessings. Do not take things for granted. If you don't know what we take for granted, look to other countries, their poverty, their education, their security, their jobs. Let's treasure all these that we do have and not regret when we lose them. The Singapore today may not be the same Singapore we know of a few hundred years down the road.