1000th Post: In memory of my Big Auntie

This is my 1,000th post on my personal website/blog, a milestone for me, in my writing journey here, mainly in the topics of technology news and reviews, personal stories, personal development, business topics and areas of personal interest. Initially, I wasn’t sure what topic or theme would suit my milestone 1,000th post because for the past 4-5 months, I was hiding a lot of emotions, hurt and despair behind my normal looking face.

My milestone 1,000th post is dedicated to the memory of my Big Auntie (da jiu mu), my mother’s eldest sister-in-law. Today marks the 35th day since her passing, who lost her fight to cancer. My Big Auntie was a family member that I am very close to, she took care of me when I was just a 1+ months old toddler until I finished secondary 4. She was just like another mother to me, who loved me, nagged at me and of course, the occasional quarrels due to differences in opinions, views and what I wanted to do.

My Big Auntie will definitely have an influence on me over the years that she took care of me, I do pick up some of her traits and style. While I may not cook as skilful and delicious cuisines like my Big Auntie, her cooking skills and knowledge helped me in my cooking when I was studying in Australia.

She also like her things and home to be neat and tidy, I am probably a big culprit, messy and full of things at home. Her nagging and scolding of my home and room will now only be a distant memory in my heart and soul. Over time, my room did change and it’s much better in terms of tidy and neatness, I am speaking the truth here!

When I heard the shocking news from my cousin a few months back that she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer, I was totally devastated and totally shell-shocked. Deep inside me, I know it’s going to be a very very difficult stage with probably of 6 months time left, maybe shorter than 6 months, maybe a chance of a longer period than 6 months.

During the past 4 months, I was going through a very very difficult time, the emotions, hurt, despair and I wasn’t able to do much more for her. This period was also very very difficult for my uncle, cousins and nieces. No words can describe this journey, no words, enough said.

Very few friends, only a very select few know about what was happening, I just looked normal like always, maybe just more moody and bad tempered. I was hiding a lot of emotions, sadness and hurt behind my face. That was also a period whereby there were not many articles being published here on my website/blog.

My Big Auntie lost her fight to cancer, about 4 months after her diagnosis. It was so painful to watch her suffer and while I am very sad and hurt that she is no longer around, it’s also a relief for her that she doesn’t have to suffer pain anymore.

35 days have passed since her passing. I finally managed to pen down my thoughts and feelings, without going into too much details of the past 4 months. This was also a kind of relief for me, while I am still hurting inside my heart., writing and sharing it out here, helps to relieve some of the pain, hurt and sadness.

I lost my paternal grandmother to old age in November 2016, the matriarch of my family, I also lost another senior relative, my grand-auntie in July 2017 and also a cousin in May 2017. This had been a very tough and emotionally draining period since November 2016 while I was building/starting up a small photography business.

To my da jiu mu, my Big Auntie, you will never be forgotten, for everything that you did for me since I was born. I hereby promise you that I am going to make my room and home (along with my parents taking action to clean up the home also) even more clean, neat and tidy, on top of getting my business stable and on track, then you do not to worry about me from the heavens above.

For this special 1,000th milestone on my personal website/blog, I dedicate this post to you, my Big Auntie, in your memory and legacy that you leave behind for us.

999th Post: Happy SG52

I was initially planning to write this post after SG52 National Day Parade on 9th August 2017. Things didn’t go to plan with work, planning and disruptions for the month of August, I am also reaching my own personal milestone for my personal blog/website here, this is my 999th post and it has a special theme to it.

Celebrating SG52, Singapore’s 52nd birthday in 2017, I was looking back at our growth, changes and challenges as far as I can remember. In most recent years, the world is facing some huge, fast and furious disruptions and changes to how they work and live. There were times whereby the pace was so relentless that some segments of the community might not be able to catch up. Running a small photography business at the start of year 2017, coupled with my reading, observance and analysis of business, finance, economics topics, I had a big taste of the difficulties in doing a small business in a highly competitive world faced with market saturation.

There are a number of areas/topics that are affecting and impacting us, from economics, industrial, business, technology, sociology, the following topics are just close to my heart and brains.

Technology Innovation and Disruptions

As an avid consumer of technology products, a tech lover, I have seen first hand on how innovation and disruptions took place over the past ten years, been there and still inside there. These two matters are really huge, it can help us to grow or it have (if not might) replace us (partially and hopefully not totally replacing us) in what we are currently doing, in our work, in our leisure life.

Technology innovations have also make us more lazy and stupid, that is not good and it’s dangerous for us.

Complacency

This issue to me is something that strikes a deep concern and fear. Complacency affects everyone of us at least some points in our life/studies/career, a very dangerous situation to be in. Once we fall from it, we have to pick ourselves up and make a come back again.

It is a very worrying issue when we seem (or are already very) complacent from where we are right now, oblivious of the regional and world situations.

More graciousness or more selfish?

This topic was brought up recently during a kopitiam lah kopi session a.k.a coffeeshop chit chat with a very old classmate from my primary school days. I have seen more groups and societies starting and doing many initiatives for different groups/causes in the society.

At the same time, I have also observed more selfish and rude actions/behaviours in society, happening all around us.

Are we more graciousness or more selfish? Are we growing more towards on both extreme ends of this spectrum?

Situational awareness – microeconomics and macroeconomics

How are of our situational awareness in our domestic front (microeconomics) and regional/international front (macroeconomics)? Do we know the competition and challenges that we are facing domestially and internationally?

Or we having a don’t care, don’t want to know mindset?

Stagnation

Have we stagnated? Looking at the various industries, this is not going to be a clear cut answer, probably some industries have stagnated, some are doing pretty alright, which are the ones to expand and grow for the future of Singapore?

On a personal basis, have we gone on to improving ourselves in our skills and knowledge? Do we want to cross learn other subject areas to improve our overall self, not just for professional career, for your own personal self improvement and enrichment? Having a paper qualification might not account for too much after some time in the workforce.

Final thoughts and views

What I shared and written above, are just the tip of the iceberg. We are facing many many more issues in other different areas that are not brought up here in my article.

It takes two hands to clap, the entire Singapore has to stand up and be part of the change, innovation and action. There are many many many things to do and it must not be done by one side or group of people only. Only when everybody is united together can we ensure the future of Singapore. The theme for National Day Parade 2017 is One Nation Together, is perfect for the article that I have written here.

While I count my blessings and be thankful for what we have here in Singapore, I also reflect, think and plan for the future of Singapore. We need to innovate, adapt and change for the future of Singapore. By everyone of us coming together to do the above, innovate, adapt and change, in their own respective fields, expertise and interests, we can continue to grow for the future of Singapore.

Time to find opportunities/growth in an era of lesser opportunities/growth.

Happy 52nd Birthday Singapore!

1,000th post and Not Out

1,000th post and not out! Sounds like a cricket match runs score achievement! While it is not a cricket match runs score, this was a very special milestone for me, my photography, photojournalism, documentation and writing journey that started in April 2006. Over the years, I grew and matured along with my photojournalist site, sharing my passion, interests, photography, travel and writing together. The journey was never smooth sailing, there were many ups and downs, there were times, I was lost, searching for my photography directions and growth.

I continued photographing, documenting, writing and sharing my photojournalism adventure stories, the statistics of the number of posts was never in my mind until I saw the number nearing to 1,000th and it perfectly coincides with the Hokkaido Photographers Invitation Program 2014 travel posts that I was scheduling to write and share!

My 1,000th milestone post was dedicated to the introduction of the Hokkaido Photographers Invitation Program 2014 – familiarisation trip and overview. This was one of biggest photography and travel portfolio till date and I was very proud and happy to be part of the Hokkaido Photographers Invitation Program 2014! At my photojournalist site, I was able to play the roles of a photographer, writer, traveller and poet, all in one, writing and sharing my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I was never a formally trained poet, writer, traveller and photographer and I must thank everyone of you here who supported and followed me throughout my journey!

My Hokkaido trip One Tree Hill post (also inspired by One Tree Hill by U2) could probably be one of my best (emotional/pull heart strings post) till date that has the elements of photography, writing, travel and poet coming all together.

There is still so much to learn, so much to photograph, document, write and share. As I continued and took the next step to start on new, different and special photojournalism adventures, the journey ahead looks wide, bright, colourful and going beyond the horizon. Where does this bring me to?

I do not have a magical crystal ball to see what the future lies for me. I dream, I plan and I prepare for my photography journeys ahead, it can be travel photography, it can be documentary (heritage related), it can be something else. Come walk with me, via my photography eyes, with my heart and soul, as I bring you more photography exploration and adventures here on my Photojournalist site!

Reaching my 1,000th post was a big achievement for me, it can only get bigger and further. This will not be possible without the support of my family, relatives, friends, supporters and followers. Thank you so much for walking this journey with me!