How Much 100% Singapore Do You Remember?

I haven’t been writing down here for quite some time, especially those from my deep thoughts and feelings on topics that are close to my heart. Today, after watching the first episode of 100% Singapore – ?????? on Channel U Singapore, it was like going back in time again, whereby Royston Tan Old Places and Old Romances coming together to invoke my nostalgic childhood memories growing up in Singapore.

What are the unique and special things/memories that make us 100% Singapore that a fellow Singaporean can identify themselves with together, a common bonding and understanding? How much of these memories were lost? How much can we remember or even recover? Will this provide the spark again to encourage Singaporeans of young and old to strive forward together and build a stronger common bonding and togetherness in memories, history, heritage and culture? Is it too late? Or is this cross-road that Singapore is now currently going through, a good timing to start coming together even stronger and recollecting our history, heritage, culture and memories?

I believe everybody can plays a part, regardless of how big or small. With my fellow photography enthusiasts and heritage buffs, we have embarked on our own personal documentation journeys of our memories and history, at times bringing fellow enthusiasts along to share our adventures together. This gives me a good time to reflect as well, with my Old Playgrounds Personal Project completing in the near future, I am looking back, thinking, reflecting and planning on my Old Places Personal Projects that I have personally embarked upon. I am asking myself, where and which area of Singapore’s Old Places, Old Romances, History, Heritage, Culture and Old Memories can I embark on next?

Maybe I will keep on watching 100% Singapore every Monday from 8pm to 9pm on Channel U, it might just give me the spark/inspiration that I will choose for my next Personal Project. It’s an ideal time for us to take stock of our lives, at a cross-road and stopping to look at the directions, ahead, left, right and before/behind. The pace of life at times is crazily fast and furious and we have lost a lot of our wonderful childhood memories and fun. While we continue to strive and create the wealth and prosperity for a better living in the future, we must not throw our memories, our history, heritage and culture behind and away into books/social media platforms/digital backups.

Alright, time to also ask myself, how much 100% Singapore do I remember too?

Old Playgrounds – Personal Project & Adventure

My personal project and adventure with the Old Playgrounds started around August 2010 when I first watched Royston Tan first documentary titled Old Places on Okto channel. After watching it, the memories came coming back to me, it was very nostalgic and heart warming. It seems like that was something missing inside me and I was searching for it, searching for the purpose somewhere. The Old Places documentary inspired me to do something different with my photography shooting and story writing. I wanted to go and explore all the locations listed in the Old Places documentary, photograph them, document, tell and share my photo stories to everybody. In the process of searching for all the Old Places, the journey took me over 3 years and still counting, making new friends who loved the nostalgia and wanting to explore their childhood memories or growing up memories of the Singapore they knew and looked back fondly upon.

My main Old Places adventure trail got me more into writing about our history, heritage, conservation and preservation matters, I dare not profess that I am an expert nor an historian or even a specialist in them. I am doing my small part to document, photograph and share my photo stories and my adventures to be part of a bigger memory pool by fellow enthusiasts to remember our Singapore Memory. The Old Playgrounds was part of the a few locations inside the Old Places list of locations and it was part of my bigger adventure to explore Singapore all over again. During my adventure and exploring Old Places, I started to discover my Old Playgrounds and they were iconic cultural locations that shaped Singapore in her early independent years, a place where children had their fun, leisure, recreation and play time, long before the arrival of the internet and IT gadgets. I always remembered playing at the Old Playgrounds, the joys, the laughters, the tears, the sweat, the pain if we fell down or knocked ourselves. Our memories of playing at the Old Playgrounds were priceless and pulls many heart strings inside me, that got me more in-depth into discovering the Old Playgrounds that are still remaining in Singapore’s history.

I confessed that I slacked off and deviated away from Old Playgrounds Personal Project and Adventure, it was very embarrassing for me considering how much I wanted to do it and complete this particular adventure. I was around the half-way mark based on my research and reading up of the Old Playgrounds in Singapore, through Singapore Memory ProjectMosaic Memories ~ Remembering the Playgrounds Singapore Grew Up In and the Google map showing the Old Playgrounds locations produced by Justin Zhuang. There were a few more Old Playgrounds that were not inside the Google map, that I discovered when I was exploring other Old Places and areas with my friends and spotting them. As the time gap got bigger, I woke up and decided, it’s time to complete my Old Playgrounds, I want to and I will finish where I started and left off. I will first finish up visiting, photographing and documenting the remaining Old Playgrounds on my list. The selected photographs will be uploaded into my Flickr Collection on my Old Playgrounds first. Every Old Playground in Singapore is unique and special therefore, I will dedicate and write for each Old Playground location on my list. The older photographs that I took will reappear from my hard disk database and prepare them for the recognition that the Old Playgrounds deserve. Their photo stories are already on my Photography website/blog!

While it may be easier for readers (and Search Engine Optimisation) to read and find all the Old Playgrounds in one lengthy post, I want to give each and every Old Playground that is on my list a unique post/page on her own. This is my Old Playgrounds Personal Project and Adventure.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Rekindling Old Romances

My journey in photographing and documenting Old Places in Singapore was inspired a lot by Royston Tan first documentary, Old Places. While watching Old Places, it got me thinking a lot about my photography, the society that I am currently living in and reminiscing my good old days when I was young, stress free and carefree. A lot of history, heritage and culture were slowly fading away into history or were already into history archives of photos, books, blogs etc etc. Therefore, when Old Places was first released, this sparked me off on a new photojournalism journey that I never looked back since the day I took the first step in photographing Old Places, cultures, history and heritage in Singapore.  There was a section on my photoblog dedicated to Old Places and you can find my photographs of Old Places that I explored here on my Flickr.

All these never fail to amaze me that we had our own history, heritage and culture that we sometimes never knew about it or we all had forgotten about it. This journey is not something that is one day or one year, it’s always ongoing and continuing. When I was at National Museum of Singapore to watch the premiere of Old Romances, the stories, the love behind their business, old places, cultures. You can feel the love and nostalgic about something that holds dearly to our hearts, especially for those who tasted and enjoyed the lifestyle during their days, whether as a young teenager or adult. For me, a lot of my memories were through my childhood and teenager days. Those were the days; those were my own Old Romances.

Singapore had transformed very fast in the past century, the landscape, culture and environment had changed tremendously. It’s no longer a sleepy fishing village; it’s now an international city hub. The pace of life today is so much faster than before. While watching Old Romances, the provision shops, traditional kopitiam, KTM Railway etc etc, I was glad that I was covering and documenting some of them down into photographic and photojournalism memories. Moving ahead into the future, Singapore faces more challenges in this current climate, to protect and preserve history, heritage and culture while expanding the needs for growth and development whereby some land/Old Places might have to give way for the future expansion.

We all can do a part, no matter how big or small, to make a difference and create an impact to preserve our history, heritage and culture. I am currently active with mini-projects and was happy to be part of these few heritage works (personal and participating with organisations e.g National Heritage Board)

–       Void Decks ~ Our Cultural Communal Space

–       Motoring Heritage Weekend and Community Exhibition

–       The Art and Profession of a Knife Sharpener

–       Regenerating Communities – Regenerating Puppetry in Singapore – Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe

–       Regenerating Communities – Dang Anum: A Bangsawan Performance

–       The Green Corridor

–       Old Places Collection

Do support Old Romances, it’s not just for you to rekindle your love and memories, it’s also something to share with your children and grandchildren about the good old days that you lived in and how different compared to the modern lifestyle that we are living in. With all the success and wealth, we must not forget our roots, history, heritage, culture, ethics and hard work that brought us from humble beginnings to what we have today in Singapore.