Jaybird Freedom Wireless Buds Review

This pair of wireless buds are the smallest in the music earphones world, they may look small yet we cannot judge them just by its size. Inside this pair of wireless buds, it is packed with pretty awesome music sound power and strength, with style, design and secure fit features. Let me introduce the Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Earphones.

First and foremost, let me start off with the package, the nice looking box when it first arrived. The Jaybird Freedom box has a nice feel with a well thought out design and layout. Take a look as I started to unbox and displayed all the items that were packed inside the box. One nice feature of this package is that Jaybird gives customers a small pouch to keep the Jaybird Freedom wireless earphones, charger and cable.

There are two aesthetics aspects of Jaybird Freedom wireless bluetooth earphones that makes it stand out and unique for the music lovers. They are the

  • All-metal housing
  • Silicone ear fins

(1) All-metal housing

The Jaybird Freedom wireless earphones is made up of elegant and premium sand-blasted metal material. This not only gives this pair of Jaybird Freedom wireless buds its unique style, it also improves its durability to its special micro-sized wireless ear buds. With all the top engineering processes, innovation and design, the Jaybird Freedom is a premium, iconic, sturdy, small, lightweight yet powerful wireless earphones to suit almost every music lover. Last but not least, the all-metal housing removes all distortion, giving music lovers the experiences of not just an incredible sound, the noise isolation feature sometimes feels like a noise cancellation feature at times!

(2) Silicone ear fins

In my personal humble opinion, the silicone ear fins are another feature that makes the Jaybird Freedom wireless earphones unique. For a start, users might take some time before they get used to the design and fit inside the ear. You can choose to wear your Jaybird Freedom over-ear sport-fit with fins or over-ear sport-fit without fins or under-ear with fins or under-ear without fins. It’s your personal choice whether you want to have the ear-fins or without ear-fins. There are 4 different ear fins sizes (XS, S, M, L) inside the package and they fit in nicely for sporty/outdoors lifestyle e.g. running, biking, trekking. From a personal perspective, put on the silicone ear fins when you are doing sports/outdoors. Do take note on how to attach the ear fins, look out for the letters R (right) and L (left) on the top side of the circle.

Let me continue on with the other components that come with the Jaybird Freedom.

Silicone ear tips and Comply ear tips

There are 2 types of ear tips, they come in 3 different sizes for each type of ear tips, to suit your needs and requirements.

Cable

The length of the Jaybird Freedom wireless earphones cable is just nice in my opinion, not too long in length if not it would dangle down and get caught on to other objects. There are cord clips available to shorten the cable behind the neck, you can adjust the length to your liking and preference. Jaybird also gives customers another additional accessory option, a shirt clip is inside the package, that allows the user to attach the cable to their shirt, ideal when going for sports/outdoor activities.

Bluetooth connection

The bluetooth connection between the earphones and devices are smooth, easy to setup and connect.

Battery life

The battery life of the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds is 4 hours with additional 4 hours if the charger clip is attached to the earphones (with on the go charging).

Functionalities of the Jaybird Freedom

  • Music + Calls , easy to use and connects easily
  • Share 1 device with 2 buds
  • Pairing – remember up to 8 devices
  • Multipoint – connect the buds to 2 devices simulatanously
  • MySound App
  • Smartwatch – pair with your smartwatch and leave your phone behind

Announcements/Updates

  • Inform user of battery life percentage when switched on
  • Inform user to charge battery when it reaches 10%

For all the techies, music lovers, the next two areas would be of great interest to you –

Sound

First and foremost, I do not claim to be an audiophile, as much as I love listening to my different types of music on my Spotify with my earphones while traveling between places or during my sports activities. What I am sharing here would be my personal thoughts, views and experiences on the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds.

The Jaybird Freedom wireless produces a clear and sharp treble, with solid and strong bass without being overwhelming. One key and very interesting unique feature is that the user is able to utilise the MySound App, choose, adjust and customise the low, mid range and high range of their sound/music preset to their music/hearing preference.

MySound App

When I first heard of an app for the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds, to be honest with everybody here, I wasn’t sure how good it can be or how useful it would be. You have to try the MySound app, I was told and reminded.

Since I am reviewing this pair of Jaybird Freedom wireless buds, I have to try it. Once I started using it, I was completely blown away by its features, functionalities and capabilities. This MySound app is a must use for Jaybird Freedom owners!

  • Nice and easy to user user interface
  • Presets available for you to choose and add to the app dashboard
  • Customise your own preset
  • Battery life indicator on app

The sound quality of the Jaybird Freedom by itself is already pretty solid and awesome. With this MySound app, you can tune it, to your own hard rock mega bass musician style or the soothing and clear classical music style.

I would just like to highlight some observations when I was using the MySound app with the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds

  • Discrepancy between earphone announcement of battery life versus battery life indicator on the app
  • Jaybird Freedom earphones are paired, connected and playing music but MySound app says no earphones connected

I would like to emphasis that these observations DO NOT affect the excellent and powerful sound quality produced by the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds nor does it affect your listening and usage experience.

Overall, the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds are a remarkable pair of wireless bluetooth earphones. They are small, lightweight and powerful bluetooth wireless earphones. It is secure and fits into your ears. The noise blocking / noise isolation is very good, the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds owner is in a music world of their own! The design is trendy, bright and colourful, suitable for sporty, outdoors, leisure and daily usage earphones. It is sweat proof , they would be suitable for a number of sports/outdoor activities.

In my personal humble opinion, the Jaybird Freedom is an ideal choice for your pair of wireless bluetooth earphones, a worthy investment for music fans who are sporty/outdoors and also for their daily leisure usage. Visit my photography and travel interest site article, on how the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds fits into two different people lifestyles! Power Your Passion with Jaybird Freedom!

The Jaybird Freedom is now available at authorised resellers at the retail price of SGD $259. The Jaybird Freedom wireless buds come in four fresh colors: Gold, Carbon (Black), Blaze (Red) and Ocean (Blue). For more information, please visit JaybirdSport.com or connect with them on Facebook.

* I would like to thank Jaybird for the opportunity to review the Jaybird Freedom wireless bluetooth earphones. *

A short reflection and getting ready to push forward ahead

Time flies pretty fast, it’s almost 2 weeks since the 1st day of Chinese Lunar New Year 2017. While I couldn’t really celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year, I had more of a rest time, gathering and bonding time.

Things are starting to pick up again, hopefully, I can get it stabilised by next week and concentrate fully on marketing my photography sole proprietorship business. It had been a hectic and busy time to get my things up and running. Soon, I would announce and introduce it, currently facing a heavy backlog of articles and things to do. I am clearing them as soon as possible in order for me to concentrate on new business, projects and assignments, while juggling other work too.

In 2017, I am entering into a new area, putting my photography and writing, incorporating into my tech gadgets review along with a lifestyle product shoot with my story telling.

This is something interesting and exciting for me, an area that I would like to expand on for the year 2017 and beyond. My maiden personal project is on the Jaybird Wireless where my areas of tech, photography and writing are combined together.

Till things get a bit more stabilised, my articles sharing might slow down as I build more on partnerships and collaborations for the near future, hoping that all these would eventually bring in the additional revenue for me.

I hope and I want to build stronger working/collaboration relationship and also on a more personal basis with brands, agencies and institutions that benefit both parties. One of my personal and professional philosophy is think and work on Win-Win for both parties.

There are so many challenges ahead for Singapore and the world. I can write a lengthy article on this topic, that’s another few articles to write in the near future. Change and innovate now or get ready to be disrupted and left behind, no matter how high your education level that you have obtained.

I don’t post thesis length thoughts, writing, ranting and sharing “don’t know what kind of news” on Facebook. My thoughts and feelings can be very private, what you see and read here, are what you can see and read, I don’t (rarely) write personal thoughts/complains/ranting on my Facebook wall everyday, except photography and travel articles/sharing on my Facebook page.

The journey ahead is like building a Lego city, currently building the base, bricks by bricks, making a stable foundation first before going to the next level.

I have no time, no space, no heart for those people (even if you are a relative) who look down on me.

I will continue to work extra hard, extra smart, mindful of the changes, disruptions and surroundings, to adapt as fast as I can for whatever endeavours that I have taken on.

 

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year 2017!

The Year of the Rooster has officially started, on the 28th January 2017. Saying goodbye to the Year of the Monkey, we all welcome a new year ahead in a period of economic slowdown and political uncertainty.

First and foremost, I would like to wish everybody Happy Lunar New Year, good health, wealth and prosperity for the Year of the Rooster!

For the year of the Rooster, I am not celebrating as much like previous years because of my matriarch, my paternal grandmother’s passing in November 2016.  However, we have our small reunion gatherings and dinners too! While this is going to be a quiet Chinese Lunar New Year, it’s also a time to reflect and treasure family, relatives (maybe with some exception for some particular ones) and friends. A time for bonding and rekindling relationships during the Chinese Lunar New Year period and beyond.

The year 2017 is going to be another (more) difficult year, the slowdown in the economy and the political uncertainty. Lots of changes and disruptions in work and life. We must not let all these defeat us, in our quest for our own goals and objectives. We must innovate, change and adapt for all these upcoming disruptions and changes.

Let’s all work hard together and make the Year of the Rooster a success!

Thank Your Driver this CNY with Grab’s Digital Ang Baos

The Year of the Rooster is arriving soon, marking the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year on Saturday 28th January 2017. Many of you would be doing house visits, enjoying the festivities and food! Some of you might be choosing other forms of transport apart from the trains and buses.

If you are planning to use Grab during this Chinese Lunar New Year festive holiday period to visit your relatives and friends, why not take this opportunity to thank your Grab driver with their digital ang baos?

Time to pay it forward and pass it on! Spread and share some of the Chinese Lunar New Year festive mood and celebrations!

More information below from the press release information below –

Chinese New Year, Grab invites passengers to show their appreciation for Grab drivers through heartfelt thank you messages and digital ang baos – all funded by Grab.

In the midst of all our Chinese New Year celebrations, it is often easy to forget to thank the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to help you celebrate the festivities. Last year, our GrabCar and GrabTaxi drivers clocked a total of 83,120 hours on the road during the first two days of Chinese New Year. However, this also means that they spend time away from their loved ones during the festive period.

This year, as part of our ongoing commitment to driver care, we encourage all passengers to join us in thanking their Grab drivers for taking care of their travel during the festive period. From 26 – 27 January, all passengers are welcome to gift an unlimited number of digital ang baos worth S$8.88 each – fully sponsored by Grab – along with a thank you message to their drivers. The digital ang baos and thank you messages can be sent via the Grab app (1) by following these steps:

1. Book a GrabTaxi or GrabCar ride using the Grab app

2. Key in the promo code “XIEXIE” and a thank you note for your driver

3. Your assigned driver will pick you up and be notified of your red packet and thank you note

4. Your digital red packet of S$8.88 will be credited to your driver– this amount will be paid in full by Grab. Passengers do not need to pay anything more than the trip fare.

Kick off the Year of the Rooster auspiciously with these tips

Using last year’s Chinese New Year transport data, Grab shares three predictions for a smooth-sailing and rewarding journey on the first two days of Chinese New Year:

1. Auspicious time to travel: The luckiest time to travel is between 8 – 9am and at 6pm on both days of Chinese New Year.

2. Auspicious destinations for last-minute Chinese New Year shopping: The most visited places during Chinese New Year are Mustafa Centre, VivoCity, and Nex.

3. Auspicious direction to meet someone new: The odds of meeting a benefactor or growing your network are highest when you GrabShare to Bedok, Tampines and Hougang.

Grab wishes everyone a joyful, prosperous and blessed Chinese New Year!

(1) The total number of ang baos is capped at 5,500 per day.

* Information and picture courtesy of Grab Singapore and Golin *

Singtel harnesses eSIM technology to Samsung Gear S3 frontier (LTE)

Making crystal clear voice calls using your smartwatch over a 4G LTE mobile network is now possible in Singapore with Singtel harnessing eSIM technology. This would be great news for those technology enthusiasts! At this current juncture, the compatible device is the Samsung Gear S3 frontier (LTE), I reckon the other technology brands are already embarking on embedding eSIM into their future smartwatches.

More information on the eSIM technology and Samsung Gear S3 frontier (LTE) are highlighted below –

Singtel today announced the availability of the Samsung Gear S3 frontier (LTE) on its 4G LTE network. Embedded with an eSIM, the next generation smart watch boasts standalone 4G LTE connectivity which enables customers to make calls, send texts and surf the internet, independently of a smartphone. Customers on Singtel’s network will enjoy a bonus – Singtel is the only operator outside of US and South Korea to offer 4G ClearVoice or VoLTE on the wearable to support crystal-clear voice calls.

Gear S3 frontier (LTE) is available at all Singtel Shops for S$598 and will come with a complimentary strap worth S$681. To enable connectivity on their wearable, existing Singtel mobile postpaid customers can sign up for a Mobileshare plan at a promotional launch price of S$5.35 monthly. New customers can get connected with Singtel’s SIM Only starter pack which includes 5GB of data (3GB local mobile data and 2GB Singtel Premium WiFi) for just S$20. Once their wearable’s eSIM is activated with a QR code, they can enjoy Singapore’s fastest LTE mobile data speeds and 4G ClearVoice calls on Singtel’s network.

More information on eSIM and Gear S3 frontier (LTE) can be found at www.singtel.com/esim.

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Touche – World’s 1st Biometric Loyalty & Payment Solution

Imagine one day in the very near future, you are out dining with your friends, having a great time at the restaurant, awesome food, drinks and company. At the end of dinner gathering, you called for the bill.

The staff at the restaurant asked “Would you like to pay for the bill just by the touche of your fingers?”. You replied, “Yes, sure!” The staff brings out a small tablet device, showing you the total bill to confirm that it is verified and correct before you place your fingers to process the payment. The next moment, you received an email informing you of your confirmed bill payment at the restaurant.

Is this possible? Yes, it is now possible, a fintech product made in Singapore, making her debut and official appearance recently and I had the opportunity to view it for the first time and had a short hands on experience on the process and payment, from a customer perspective.

Let me introduce Touche, the world’s full fledged biometric loyalty and payment solution platform –

“ … Touché is proud to present the world’s first biometric loyalty and payment platform, which is activated by just your fingers. In Singapore, within a span of three months, 150 restaurants, 15 local hotels and 5 private social clubs have shown interest in implementing this solution. The homegrown company aims to foray into Japan, with a market size in excess of US$200 million.

“Touché is a world first. It is not a better mousetrap, but a brand-new idea,” says Sahba Saint-Claire, CEO of Touché. “At its core, it aims to make people’s lives easier by removing the need to carry things such as credit cards, loyalty and membership cards, vouchers, coupons, etc. while ensuring they get all the benefits to which they are entitled. You register on Touché once at anywhere that offers the service and you can use it globally.” … “ 

(Via Press Release information)

I would like to share some of my personal views from both sides, an end user/customer and a business perspective

For end user/customer

This Touche biometric loyalty and payment platform is probably going towards a boom and rise in convenient, fast cashless and card-less payment system in the near future. With the proposed integration of loyalty rewards program in the near future, the customer payment and rewards experience would be enhanced in this area in the future (in my personal humble opinion).

Security and privacy are definitely concerns by the end users/customers when using the Touche platform. I had these questions at the back of my mind too when I attended their presentation. From their presentation, I am satisfied and glad to hear from them on the aspects of security and privacy procedures in place for the Touche platform.

For a business entity

I worked in the retail and hospitality industries previously, therefore, I had the experiences of the payment system commonly used, the machines for the electronic funds payment e.g. NETS, VISA, MasterCard, Diners, AMEX, JCB. I understood and knew about the costs involved in those machines.

While I do not have the costs and numbers from the business operation side of the Touche system, my personal view is that adopting the Touche platform device is definitely a worthy consideration, not just in terms of cost savings, there would be time savings (e.g. from the service staff printing out the bill, brining it to you, take your credit card, process the payment and back to you for your signature) and administrative time (change the roll of paper, change the ink cartridge)

The integration of this fintech with the entity’s own loyalty/reward system might be a good stepping stone for growing customer relationship management system, rewards and loyalty points system.

If you are in the hotel, hospitality, food and beverage industries, take a look at the Touche platform, have a chat with them.

The following information below were provided via the press release information, that explained my thoughts on Touche –

Efficient Loyalty and Payment through A Simple Device, Made in Singapore

Made in Singapore, the hardware of Touché is an elegant rectangular device that is certified and capable of multiple payment options including a magnetic stripe reader, chip reader, and 2.2-inch (diagonal measurement) biometric sensor with the highest resolution in the market to detect two fingers for efficient payments. Most customers will choose to pay with just two fingers after a simple registration, but they may also choose to pay with their physical credit cards. The device works over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.

Convenience is key

You will no longer need to carry anything around when shopping — this includes your cards, phones, vouchers or wallets! Look forward to fast transactions, as there is no need to look for your payment or loyalty cards, count dollar notes or wait for paper receipts and signatures to be processed. Imagine checking your bill on the device, placing your fingers on the Touché device and you’re out of the restaurant in just a few minutes. You will then receive an email detailing your experience. No more paper!

Security is at the core of Touché

The company’s brainchild scans any two of your fingers to extract around 40 to 45 specific points of each fingerprint. It does not store images of your fingerprints. The information is encrypted on a cloud system. It is virtually impossible to create a replica of your fingerprints with this information. The anti-spoofing and live detection technology at Touché also ensures that the fingerprints are real. Credit card information is tokenised, and the card details are not stored in the database. No information is stored on the device, and it communicates with the server using the highest encryption levels to protect our users’ privacy.

With one simple registration, users can use the system globally

The first time you visit a merchant, you can pay with your credit card and use Touché’s solution to link the card to your fingers. You then update your particulars online, and even add your profile picture! For subsequent visits to any merchant that uses Touché, there is no need for further registration, and you can even choose between multiple credit cards in your Touché wallet to make payment.

Smart shopping and increased savings with Touché

The Touché wallet offers you more than just payment methods. Wherever you go, your favourite offers, loyalty programmes, vouchers, coupons and memberships follow. Access to your shopping or dining experiences and expenditure history is readily available via the Touché journal. Touché ensures that your entitlements are applied automatically at every interaction. You will also be notified of the loyalty benefits or credit card promotional offers at one glance, making it easier for you to choose your preferred payment method for greater savings.

Supercharging businesses with a gentle touch

For businesses, this platform is time saving and efficient. It adapts to existing technology and process environments, so integration is a cinch. It can be utilised to create long-term relationships with their customers. They can tailor loyalty programmes and create unique offers for different customers. Businesses can also curate data about their customers, and the insights can be used to create moments that wow at every turn.

(Press Release Information)

Personally, in my personal humble opinion, I believe this Touche platform has a huge growth and expansion potential in the whole world. If the opportunity arises in the future, I hope that I can write and share more on both sides of the story, customer/end user and business.

I would like to thank Touche and Brand Cellar for the invitation to Touche launch event in Singapore.

* Photos and information courtesy of Touche and Brand Cellar *

Journey to 5G: Singtel is a step closer to 5G

In August 2016, I shared an article on Singtel and Ericsson leading the way in Singapore and Southeast Asia, being the first to showcase 5G technology. Today, in January 2017, Singtel is now a step closer to 5G with the launch of nationwide 450Mbps mobile data speeds. With a step closer to 5G, it’s going to change how we work and live with our mobile data usage.

Having to work on the move and outside, the high speed 5G networks in the near future would help us a lot when we are working outside away from the office. The 5G networks are now a step closer to us in Singapore with Singtel’s launch of the 450Mbps mobile data speeds.

Let me share with you more information on the launch of nationwide 450Mbps mobile data speeds by Singtel from the press release information below –

Singtel launched Singapore’s fastest mobile network with the nationwide deployment of a 450Mbps 4G LTE-Advanced service. Delivering up to 50% faster download speeds than prevailing LTE services, this enhanced peak speed will allow customers to download a full length HD movie in less than two minutes1 over mobile data. The 450Mbps service is available to all Singtel 4G customers at no additional charge.

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “Singtel is investing ahead to deliver faster speeds and wider connections with the steady deployment of innovative technologies on our live network. With more customers consuming and sharing mobile videos, 450Mbps speeds will enable them to download movies in a flash and give them a better entertainment experience while on the go.”

This speed enhancement is made possible by Singtel’s nationwide LTE network upgrade to support 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, or 256 QAM. A pre-5G technology, 256 QAM increases the number of unique radio waveform shapes to carry up to 33.33% higher data and elevates spectral efficiency.

Customers with Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge can enjoy 450Mbps speeds starting today. LG V20 users will also be able to harness the higher speeds with a soon-to-be released software update. More compatible smartphone models are expected to be launched by early 2017.

Singtel and Ericsson demonstrate up to 1Gbps LTE downlink data speeds on live network

Singtel and Ericsson have also demonstrated download speeds of up to 1Gbps in a live 4G network pilot at two sites in Pasir Ris. This ultra-fast download speed was achieved by deploying 256 QAM downlink, 4×4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (4×4 MIMO) and triple carrier aggregation technologies. 4×4 MIMO doubles the number of data paths between a cellular base station and mobile phones, delivering a speed boost of up to two times normal speeds.

Singtel will progressively rollout 4×4 MIMO technology on its network starting next year to deliver up to 1Gbps speeds at selected high-traffic locations. Supporting mobile devices are expected to be ready by end 2017.

Mr Yuen added, “Achieving 1Gbps speeds on our live network marks a significant milestone in our journey to 5G. We’re focused on driving further network innovation to extend our leadership and deliver the benefits of the latest technological advances to meet our customers’ digital lifestyle needs.”

Mr Martin Wiktorin, Country Manager of Ericsson Singapore and Brunei, said, “As user expectations for high speed internet and the ability to use apps on the move increase, network innovations with new advanced technologies are required to enable superior network performance. Ericsson, as a long-standing strategic partner of Singtel for over 20 years, is pleased to collaborate with Singtel to deliver innovative and advanced services to their customers and to further explore the opportunities that will arise with 5G.”

Singtel and Ericsson are leading the way for 4G and 5G in the country, in support of Singapore’s “Smart Nation” vision and the anticipated four-fold growth2 in connected devices. Recently, Singtel and Ericsson jointly won the “Advancing the Road to 5G” accolade at the Global Telecoms Awards 2016 for Singtel’s nationwide IoT-ready 4G LTE network.

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Remembrance – A 99 year old matriarch of 5 generations

She might be small in size, however, don’t ever underestimate her. She was a fierce and commanding figure, the head of the extended family for 36 years since her husband’s passing in 1980. Her awareness of situations and meticulous to details, numbers and things gave her a reputation of – don’t try to pull any tricks or cheat me. Growing vegetables at the side of her home, tending to her ducks and hens in her backyard, climbing up the starfruit tree in her front porch to pluck fruits. She was full of life, energy and zest till doing all the above things until she was in her 70s to 80s.

Having to take charge of the family, she was fierce and protective at times because she loved her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and a great great grandchild. Being the eldest grandson of the family probably has its perks, extra pressure and responsibilities. I do get quite a lot of nagging and scoldings from her, all in the name of love, care and concern for me.

I remembered an incident very clearly when I was a young kid, probably during my early primary school school days. I was back home in Malaysia, celebrating Chinese New Year festival. I was running around and playing in the village, I encountered a wild dog bigger in size than me, barking and chasing me. Since I was just a small young boy, I got scared, turned and ran back to my grandmother’s home, I dropped a slipper behind. My grandmother asked me what happened, I replied that a wild dog chased me at the corner of the road down from the house. She held my hand, walked with me to the place where I encountered the wild dog. She chased and scolded the wild dog with my other slipper, helping me to retrieve my other half of my slipper back. That’s my grandmother in action!

Her travel wanderlust was just as amazing and inspiring, traveling to many different countries. In the village, she would probably be one of the most well traveled seniors! I have yet to match her travel feats at this point in time! She traveled down regularly to visit my family in Singapore during my childhood and teenage years.

My paternal grandmother was an amazing role model, I think I got some of her traits from her – hardworking, not giving up, travel wanderlust and very meticulous.

At her 90th birthday celebrations, I still had many fond memories of her big birthday bash and those photographs will be wonderful memories for the entire extended family when they all came together to celebrate a milestone for her.

As she started to age over the past few years since entering into the 90s age band, old age and deterioration of the body was inevitable, every human being will face it some day in the future. Her movement became slower and she required walking aid. Yet, she was also very amazing, still being alert of her surroundings and people when she was in her 90s.

She was planning to celebrate her 100th birthday in the month of May 2017. Sometimes, things in life don’t go as planned like we all want it to be. She passed away peacefully on 20th November 2016 at a ripe old age of 99. I was very shocked, not expecting it to happen even though I was pre-empt by my parents a few weeks ago to be ready in case it happens. I had it really hard because I attended my university junior funeral wake on the night of 19th November 2016, she was just 36 years old. Their passing, were like “back to back”, this was a double blow that shook me really hard and to be honest, I was lost for three weeks – pain, shock, agony and sadness penetrated inside me heart, mind and soul, you can read all of them here.

I did not visit my Grandmother as often as I should and could, over the past few years. I would like to confess that I am very sad and disappointed that I did not get to see her alive for one last time before she left us. I was still having hopes that I can do something special for you on your 100th birthday celebration in 2017 with my photography and story telling. This is not going to take place at this point in time and I am planning of another photography channel to remember and honour your life.

During her funeral, it only dawned upon me on my role and status in the extended family since I was the eldest grandson in the family. I had to perform some of the rituals along side with my dad and uncle.

Reaching a ripe old age of 99, she’s the big mother of the extended family of five generations under her. That’s another remarkable feat that not many people can meet up to. She led a good life with a big extended network of descendants under her, guided and taught by her authority, teachings and lessons. She may not have live a life of rich and wealth during her life time, she definitely live a great and good life with many filial descendants of good upbringing and teachings.

Our dear matriarch is now watching all over us from the sky above, taking care and blessing us, just like before, nothing much has changed. I have a personal photography project (on my grandmother and the 5 generations under her) in my mind that I hope that I can produce and show it to you when the time is ripe. This will be a testimonial and tribute to your matriarch status as well a legacy for the current and future generations to remember you.

Goodbye and farewell to my beloved Grandmother, I will always remember you in my heart. Yes, I do miss your scoldings and nagging on me.

Remembrance of a junior from Uni

I can still remember when I first met her, it was during our University days at The University of Queensland (UQ). I was in my final semester and she arrived to start her first semester. Being a smaller campus (Ipswich Campus) than her other main (a.k.a big sister) St. Lucia campus, the international students community were a lot smaller in size and it was easier to recognise and know who were fellow international students, as well as those who were from our home country, Singapore.

As I was one of the seniors there on the campus during that time, I tried to help in whatever possible for the juniors who just arrived from overseas preparing to enter university life. My first impression of her, as a junior from UQ, was very friendly and bubbly, full of life and enthusiasm. Her personality and character made her well liked among the international students community in the campus.

Upon my graduation and return back to Singapore, our paths did not cross again until a few years back, I met her again at one of our local alumni gathering events in Singapore, organised by University of Queensland Alumni Association of Singapore (UQAAS). Thereafter, she got more involved and active with UQ alumni as well as UQAAS events. Her energy, enthusiasm, friendly and bubbly character and personality, are like a shining light for the rest of the UQAAS community. She made many more new alumni friends that would also give her the same and even higher level of testimonial and recognition that I wrote here.

She was an amazing young lady entrepreneur, helping out in her family business, driving new ideas and innovation forward. Her leverage and usage of marketing in all different aspects and channels, combining old and new, made me respect and admire her a lot. She’s a very good role model for young entrepreneurs, as well as giving back to society too. She’s not just the brains, she also had the skills and hands on experience in running a business. When I saw her documentary feature on Channel 8, Tuesday Report, a Tuesday night documentary on local stories in Singapore and they were covering on local home grown businesses, she showed it all, with great confidence and pride. She was a trained and skilled butcher, oh yes, I sometimes introduced her as the “lady butcher boss”, to my friends, it might sound crude, yet this described her perfectly.

Her warm hospitality and friendship never fails to amaze me, as well as our local UQAAS community. Whenever I met her at UQ or UQAAS events, or event going down to her warehouse and purchase goods from her company. I would always have a chat with her whenever I can. Life goes on as usual, chatting and gossiping, exchanging stories and future plans.

Suddenly, on a Saturday afternoon in November 2016, I received a shocking message from a fellow UQAAS friend that Linda had passed on suddenly while overseas. Upon receiving that message, I was totally shell shocked, wondering what had happened to her. A few days later, the local newspapers picked the news and more information started to come out from the press. I decided not to talk too much about her sudden passing and just kept it inside. At her funeral wake, I saw her for the last time, a beautiful and capable young lady, gone too soon.

It took me some time for me to recover from her passing (and dealing with another passing right after) and pen out this short story sharing, to remember her and a testimonial to her character, personality, achievements and friendship.

Life is so unpredictable, she was still young. I (and we all) lost a good friend of our alumni community, a great role model.

Goodbye Linda, so long and farewell, you will always be remembered.

Entering into the 40s band

The time now is 10:01 am or 10:01pm on the 10th January – 10/01.

Today marks the day, whereby I officially enter into the 40 age band. The last time I entered into a new age band was 10 years ago, entering the 30-39 age band. The thoughts and feelings were so different from then 30 years old and now 40 years old. I had mellowed down over the past 10 years, slowly getting myself away from nonsense and rubbish on the social media platforms.

There were times when you can see and feel, that you are getting older, just by looking at the people around you. My nephews and nieces have all grown bigger and older, my friends children had grown and some of them had more children in their family.

Entering into the 40s age band is like the new era of 30s, there are still many opportunities and great things to achieve ahead for me. Although I would not be as fast and energised like when I had the health and body energy of a 30 year old.

Age is truly a number, no doubt about that and you cannot run away from it! While I can never run away from getting old, my heart, mind and soul can still be forever young with a higher and increased level of maturity, thinking, experience from the life journeys. While I may not run as fast as before, I am still learning and growing, exploring and setting new goals and objectives. A person’s life learning journey must always be ongoing, no matter how big or small the lessons are.

Oh yes, in Singapore, when we reach 40 years old, we are automatically enrolled into this health insurance program known as ElderShield, you can read up more about this program here. I have a feeling my younger friends are going to give me the short end of the stick again for getting inside this program. Alright, this is also a huge and constant reminder to take good care of my health, keep and stay fit, exercise more!

While I am having mixed feelings of hitting the 40s, I am excited of the new journeys and adventures ahead that I embarked upon at the start of the year 2017.

Oh yes, welcome to the 40s club!