On the 27th February 2017, this was the 100th day since you left us.
In the blink of an eye, 100 days had gone by. You have left behind a legacy that few people can match up to, your best testimonial is the unity and bonding of the extended family tree of five generations under your matriarch leadership over the past few decades, beyond the times when you are no longer around us.
I wrote a tribute to you and your legacy as the matriarch of the extended family, after we marked the 49th day, this testimonial to you took a bit longer than what I had initially planned to write. I am glad and relieved that it was off my chest, into my own tribute and testimonial article for you and on you.
As we marked the 100th day, the extended family come together again to remember you, your wisdom, stories and adventures. Walking up the hill on a beautiful Monday morning, paying a visit to your final resting place, we saw nice little plants growing on top of your little garden. I personally think it is a fitting tribute to you, I still remember you growing vegetables and crops in the garden beside your home.
Dearest Grandma, you may not longer be physically around us, your presence, aura, legacy, divine protection and blessings will always be among us, looking after us , all five generations under your charge, from above the sky.
Lest We Forget. Your memories and legacy lives forever. I will and we will always remember your teachings and wisdom.
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.
In an unprecedented move, I split my reflection of the year into two parts for year 2016, with Part 1 written on 30th December 2016. How this actually came about was that I started writing Part 2 first before I saw a number of various articles on my social media channels that struck a very deep chord inside me that were part of my reflection process for the year 2016.
For part 2, this would be more about more personal, more in-depth, inside my heart and soul. The life lessons will be some of the most invaluable life lessons that society is going to teach and impart to me. A friend mentioned to me that taking stock of the life lessons, take comfort in the trials that ended and focus on a greater year ahead.
Around the world, the year 2016 had taken away quite a long list of people from Earth to another world out there. Personally, I had to deal with the painful loss of three people close to me, a senior scout master, my university junior and my paternal grandmother. I would handle my own closure of the loss of my university junior and paternal grandmother in remembrance posts, similarly to the post that I wrote for my senior scout master in September 2016.
Amidst all the painful life lessons, picking myself up and getting myself back again. I am also very thankful and truly appreciative of all those people who helped me, encouraged and picked me up from the fall, walking with me through the storm, with my head held up high. This is a very humbling experience for me too.
This is also the time to put aside all those horrible memories somewhere behind and also to exile some people away from my life into space.
As I round up my year 2016, slightly earlier than the usual New Year Eve countdown to year 2017, this youtube video by Stephen Colbert & Michael Stipe during the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, a very interesting and slightly remixed REM song to “celebrate” the end of the year 2016.
I totally agree with this song “It’s the end of the year as we know it and I feel fine”
Goodbye year 2016, you had taught me many valuable life lessons, many painful and disappointing lessons during this difficult year.
Hello year 2017! It’s A New Hope! A brand new year, a brand new and fresh start!
Today, is the 27th November 2016, it’s a Sunday. This is just like any other Sunday except that it is a day whereby I start to recover from a period of pain, shock, worry, anxiety, agony and sadness over the past three weeks. The year 2016 had already been a very difficult year for me with all the things that happened. The life events that took place over the past three weeks from 27th November 2016 just piled it up even further and higher.
In September 2016, I lost a senior Scout Master from Hawaii who passed away due to an illness. He was somebody that I respected and learned a lot from, his passing was a big loss to me. Two months later in November, I lost 2 more people, 1 is my university junior that I knew when she first arrived for her first semester and I was in my final year. The other is the head of my extended family, the matriarch, my paternal grandmother. This was a huge blow to me, receiving news of two people’s passing one after another.
Three weeks ago from today, I was feeling very worries and anxious over my Grandmother’s condition after my parents came back from Malaysia visiting hero over the weekend. I wasn’t able to come along due to a clash of schedule. I am going to live with this regret forever in my life when I wasn’t able to see my Grandmother for one last time before she passed on.
My university junior passed away suddenly in Hong Kong on 12th November and I was probably one of the earlier group of friends that received this heart breaking news first from my fellow university friends. I kept quiet and didn’t want to say anything on social media. Her passing was eventually reported by the newspapers. I attended her funeral wake on 19th November night, it was painful and sad to see a young lady, with full of zest and energy, a role model, lady entrepreneur, being taken away to another place in the sky above.
On 20th November early morning, I was awaken abruptly by parents that my Grandmother passed on. My biggest fear came true, it was very shocking and I had to make arrangements to cancel and postpone my scheduled things for the week. After that, our family quickly rushed into Malaysia for her funeral that was held for five days. Being the eldest grandson in the extended family carry some responsibilities and I went through them during the rituals performed during my Grandmother’s funeral.
My paternal Grandmother passed away at a ripe old age of 99. While everyone of us in the extended family were very sad and heartbroken, we were also celebrating the life of our matriarch, 5 generations under her, at a ripe old age of 99, a legacy and a role model for the 5 generations to follow under her. My Grandmother lived a good life with good fortune at a ripe old age.
I am going to write more about them in the coming weeks ahead. The past three weeks had been very very difficult for me, mentally and emotionally. The pain, shock, worry, anxiety, agony and sadness over the past three weeks. I was heartened by the messages, support and encouragement from relatives and friends.
Today, I begin another round of recovery process and journey, totally different from the situations that took place in the first quarter of the year 2016. I am very grateful and appreciative of the support and encouragement from relatives and friends. My emotional, mental and state of mind wasn’t exactly in the best of shape for the past three weeks
You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Lest We Forget, my matriarch Grandmother and my university junior Linda.
In August 2016, I shared an article earlier on my site that Singtel Group launched a competition to drive content innovation in all its markets that they operates in. The name of the competition organised by Singtel Group is “The 5-Min Video Challenge”.
For the Singapore leg of Singtel Group’s “The 5-Min Video Challenge”, a winner has emerged! The title of the video is “When We Are Old” directed by Mr Koh Chong Wu. The runner up is “Calling Home” directed by Mr Tang Kang Sheng. They will be competing with entries from other countries for the grand prize at the regional finals to be held in Singapore on 21st November.
Let me share more information on this news below –
Singtel has announced that “When We are Old”, directed by Mr Koh Chong Wu, has won the Singapore leg of Singtel Group’s inaugural video competition, “The 5-Min Video Challenge.” The runner-up spot went to Mr Tang Kang Sheng’s entry, “Calling Home”. Both videos will compete with 10 other entries from Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Tanzania and Thailand, for the grand prize at the Regional Finals to be held in Singapore on 21 November.
Supported by Singtel to nurture and provide talent with a platform to showcase their creativity, the Singapore leg of the Challenge attracted more than 55 submissions from film professionals, as well as students. The theme, “Connecting Lives”, was narrated in 5-minute videos that grappled with topics ranging from the light-hearted such as travel and youth romance, to more serious societal concerns such as aging.
A stellar cast of judges including Mr Eric Khoo, Mr K. Rajagopal and Mr Brian Gothong Tan considered criteria such as relevance to theme, storytelling, originality, cinematography and quality of production, in choosing the winning entries.
Mr Brian Gothong Tan said, “The films that we have selected reflect our human need to connect. We gravitated towards films that portrayed the complexity of communication in a simple, clear yet profound manner. We were moved and touched by their honest storytelling that expressed the human condition with all its ups and downs, and showed us how all our lives are inextricably linked.”
Inspired by a true story, “When We Are Old” offers a glimpse into the life of a son living with his dementia-suffering mother.
Mr Koh said, “I am very happy and excited about winning. Making films is my passion and I have made it my lifelong pursuit. To be able to help others share their stories and create films that touches the heart of others means a lot to me. Winning this competition will spur me to continue to make more films and reach out to more people.”
The runner-up, “Calling Home” depicts how a migrant worker’s call home connects two strangers at a bus stop.
“It is such an honour to have our short film chosen as the first runner up and we are absolutely psyched about the win! The film was made based on our own experiences on connecting with strangers. What came through to us most in this production was how both the actors had channelled their own personal experiences into their performances.” said Mr Tang.
Mr Koh will be awarded S$15,000 in prize money for winning the local challenge and runner-up, Mr Tang will receive S$10,000. Their videos, along with two other top local submissions can be viewed on Singtel TV, the official 5-Min Video Challenge website and Singtel’s YouTube Channel.
Mr Koh and Mr Tang will also join finalists from Singtel Group’s regional associates to vie for the Grand Winner spot and cash prize of US$30,000 at the Regional Finals later this month.
The 5-Min Video Challenge – Audience voting
Conceptualised to drive content innovation and engage audiences in all of Singtel’s markets, “The 5- Min Video Challenge” is a joint initiative by associates within the Group, comprising Singtel, Optus, AIS, Airtel, Globe and Telkomsel.
The Challenge garnered close to 600 entries from Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Tanzania and Thailand. The videos, submitted by a demographic of students, aspiring filmmakers and award-winning directors, featured various languages and a gamut of genres, ranging from comedy, romance to drama and slice of life.
Local judges were tasked to choose a winner and runner-up from the submissions. Twelve finalists – two from each of the six countries will be competing in the Regional Finals.
These finalists, as well as regional judges, Mr Eric Khoo (Singapore), Mr Monty Tiwa (Indonesia), Mr Simon Joyce (Australia), Mr Philbert Ortiz Dy (the Philippines), Mr Pratthana Leelapanang (Thailand), and Mr Hanscana (Tanzania) will convene at the Grand Hyatt Singapore on 21 November for the final judging session and awards event.
Besides the regional judges, audiences will also have a say in choosing the Grand Winner – public votes will count for 30 percent of overall scores at the finals. The public can view and then cast their votes for their favourite videos at www.the5minvideo.com/finalists. Voting is open until 18 November 2016, 2359hrs, SGT.
* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *
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Share this warehouse sale news with your family and friends!
9th August, the day where Singapore celebrates her birthday. Today in 2016, she is 51 years old, crossing her 50th Golden Jubilee year with many big celebrations and events throughout the year. Celebrating 51st birthday seems to be toned down after a massive Golden Jubilee celebration year, that is totally understandable, just like a ball reaching its peak at the top, it would drop down and bounce up again.
Many things can happen in a 1 year time frame, year 2016 has been a turbulent year till date, on a personal basis and Singapore is facing some challenging economic times currently and times ahead. SG50 was an achievement and also a reflection on how much Singapore had grown, changed and transformed in the past 50 years, sometimes too fast and furious, putting a lot of strain on our many different infrastructures and society. We had also seen the good, in people coming forward to be the change and make the changes for society.
Year 2016, SG51 is like a turning point for Singapore. We are facing more challenges, domestically and internationally. The economy is slowing down, not just in Singapore, around the whole world too. This might be the time for everybody to reflect and look ahead, how we can change as an individual, as a society and as a country, to prepare, change, innovate and adapt for the future? We might have transformed from version 1.0 to 2.0 in 50 years of modern Singapore history. However, are we doing the necessary things for our future? The decisions, the actions that we must and need to do, for us to reach version 3.0 and beyond? Or have we become too complacent, comfortable and lazy, totally bo-chup?
The rise and growth of social media has allow us to read, see and learn a lot more about the good and bad of Singapore, sometimes on the extreme ends of the spectrum. Hopefully, this would allow us to move away from the ugly and working towards more of the good.
In Prime Minister Lee National Day 2016 Message, he spoke about unity, we have to unite together and meet the upcoming challenges and difficulties that Singapore face. This is a message that I resonate with deeply. We have to unite together for the future growth of the country, we need to innovate and change.
As we embark on another new chapter in our modern history, another new journey has begun since we turned 50 during our Golden Jubilee year. We are still a very young nation in the world today and it’s up to everyone of us, to help write the new chapters, the new version 3.0 of modern Singapore.
We still have a long way to go, if we make the changes, innovate and adapt for a new era ahead.
In life, we meet many different kinds and types of people from all walks of life, from all over the world. There are really nice ones, really nasty ones. Some of these people come and cross into your life, they are here for a reason, for a purpose and they impact you in some ways or another through their actions, words and things that they do.
There was this bloke that I got myself acquainted on social media, his name is Fernando Gros. Over time, chatting with him on Twitter regularly, following his photography works and articles on his blog. He is an inspiration, a very talented artist, musician, photographer and writer. I managed to meet Fernando in person and had kopi when he was based/living in Singapore, yes, we talked a lot about photography, more on the art and craft of photography than the technological advancements of cameras.
Being a photographer (serious amateur/freelance), I looked upon fellow photographers for inspirations and advice from their photography works and sharing. Through Fernando’s networks and sharing, I got to know more photographers, their works and sharing. All of them were immensely talented and skilful, yet something stands out among them in common, it’s their practice on the creativity, the art and craft of photography as a beautiful form of artwork, the photographer as an artist. Through this process and journey, I learned and explored more in-depth about my photography that I might have lost touch with, the themes, the art work and most importantly, why I want to photograph this. All this might have just helped me to unlock the creativity inside me.
We would love to meet up more and go out on photography walks, however, Fernando moved to Japan and we couldn’t do photography walks here in Singapore. I have to plan a meet up and photography walkabout in Tokyo when I am visiting! A few months ago, I read on his progress and updates via his articles on the book that he was writing. This got me excited and I was looking forward to the launch of his book and I waited patiently (while busy handling day job matters and lesser time for my photography).
Soon the book was launched, titled “No Missing Tools”. There were 50 limited edition hard cover books with the author’s autograph and I thought I missed getting 1 of them! Amazingly, I managed to secure a limited edition hard cover “No Missing Tools”!!
Collecting it from my local post office, unboxing and opening up the book, the feel of a hardcover book, opening up the book, flipping through the pages, the aroma of the paper print. It’s an amazing feeling, that artists and publishers can feel it and understand. This was what I went through when I collected my Hokkaido Black and White Landscapes Photo Books from my printer company. It’s priceless.
I had a quick read through the introduction and acknowledgements page. I was in awe when I spotted my name inside on the acknowledgements page!! This was a very humbling and very happy life experience for me, never in my life did I expect that I am (and can be) a creative person to my friend Fernando who is an immensely talented and creative artist, musician, writer and photographer. Never did I expect that I can be of such an impact to my friend Fernando Gros!! It’s a really a great honour and I can learn so much more from you and your wonderful book!!
If you like to follow the works and writings of a very talented friend, artist, musician, photographer and writer. Fernando Gros, here are the links to his works
Congratulations Fernando, on the launch of your book “No Missing Tools” !! I did a quick flip through and some topics immediately strike a chord inside me, my heart, my soul, my creativity.
Thank you for believing in me and my creativity!! When I am reading “No Missing Tools”, I will learn from your teachings, share my thoughts and experiences with my photographs with you and my readers!!
It’s time to Pay-It-Forward and Impact the life of others through “Creativity In An Age of Abundance” !
With half time for year 2015 coming soon, the year 2015 had been a very interesting 6 months, some pretty challenging moments/situations, sometimes very emotionally drained from work and people, there were times I did not know whom I can turn to and talk about, due to some very sensitive and private matters. On the other hand, there were also some key pinnacles that I reached and conquered. Reaching the top of the mountain, I looked back and reflected on the journey climbing up towards the peak. The journey was full of ups and downs, the view at the top is gorgeous and priceless.
We were also part of Promising SME 500 2015 this year as a Business Luminary, I was tasked to front as the spokesperson for my company, featuring in the Straits Times on 24th June 2015. The company’s history, write up and profile would be featured in the upcoming Promising SME 500 2015 book, coming soon in September 2015.
Many of us set goals and objectives at the start of the year, for their profession/work or personal life. To be honest, I confessed that I set goals and objectives for profession/work and personal life, and I failed many times over many years. On 3rd January 2015, I set out my goals and objectives for my photography (from a personal and professional perspective) with my photography resolutions for Year 2015. For the year 2015, I achieved and completed #4 – Produce my own photography books with the birth of my first personal photography book over a period of 6 months – My 1st Photo Book – Hokkaido Black and White Landscapes! The most humbling moments were my friends support and encouragement, it’s very heartwarming, very touching and I am very blessed.
With the blessings in life from my family, relatives and friends, it motivates and encourages me to continue striving and moving forward, climbing to greater heights and achieving higher pinnacles in life and working profession. These are the hidden powerful positive Force that keeps you going, learning and improving, in our fast and furious, relentless unforgiving capitalist society today.
Blessing by friends and having the capabilities and abilities to bless friends, they are both priceless. When we are able to bless and help friends, we MUST NOT and SHOULD NOT expect something in return. Our human nature, our greed, sometimes override our thoughts and systems, when we help people and expect something in return. I am a human being, I erred too and I am guilty of this too.
This started off as my personal photography projects, with the purpose of continuously improving my photography, helping to write and share about fellow friends who are entrepreneurs who are operating in various industries and businesses. One of them was Keith Crackling Roast, you can read more about the story here when they opened their second branch! When I saw my photographs that I took for Keith Crackling Roast, proudly printed and displayed at their second branch, it was a proud moment, for me and my photography journey. As a photographer, when you see your photography works printed and displayed, it’s definitely a proud and happy moment. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to see it up like this and I am very happy that photography works was able to create an impact.
Many beautiful things happened in the past two months of May and June 2015, over the past 6 months of 2015, the ups and downs of life and work. This is something like a reflection time for me, counting my blessings, staying humble and down to earth, to keep learning and improving, to continue striving towards my professional and personal goals and objectives.
Father’s Day 2014 is on 15th June and if you are planning to get something for your Father’s Day gift, I would like to share with you Father’s Day 2014 Gift Guide from Canon!
For the DAD of Style and Substance
CANON PowerShot G1 X Mark II (RRP: $1,099, Optional Accessories: Electronic Viewfinder ($379), Custom Grip ($59), Underwater case ($399))
The PowerShot G1 X Mark II is the embodiment of style meets substance, delivering excellent image quality in a compact framed camera.
Known as the most premium of compact cameras, the PowerShot G1 X Mark II is a high-performance, power-packed 12.8 megapixel camera that comes with the specially-developed large 1.5” type CMOS sensor and the latest DIGIC 6 image processor. A nifty feature of this camera is that the built-in lens comes with dual rotating rings, allowing for full-time manual focus. In addition, the camera is capable of capturing Full High Definition (HD) video so that no little detail will be missed out. Finally, it comes equipped with a host of special features such as the Hybrid Auto mode, a whole range of creative filters, and is Wi-Fi and Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled! Now your dad won’t just take great photographs, but he will look great while doing it too!
Scaling mountains, exploring ruins or taking nose-dives off a cliff into the ocean – if this describes anything like what your dad does on his holiday itinerary, there’s no better choice than this camera to document his adventures.
The PowerShot D30 is the world’s deepest underwater camera, and is able to handle deep plunges to a depth of up to a whopping 25 metres without any underwater housing or protective casing. Accidental knocks or drops? No sweat. The PowerShot D30 can withstand drops of up to 2 metres, which means it will even survive a drop from head level. The New Sunlight mode allows for easy viewing of the 3-inch LCD monitor even against the sun, so there won’t be a need to cup the screen or to strain your eyes to view the screen. Finally, the 32-scene Smart Auto mode automatically detects scenes and applies the appropriate algorithms and/or subject-tracking to produce true-to-the-eye colours in the photos. To top it off, you can even geotag the location of where your photos were taken via the in-built GPS function, down to the altitude and latitude!
Show your dad how amazing he is by giving him a camera that complements his accolades and achievements. The EOS 70D comes jam-packed with numerous bells and whistles, empowering your dad to capture nothing short of the most beautiful moment whether by photographs or by video.
For starters, the EOS 70D features the revolutionary Dual Pixel CMOS technology to enable faster, smoother and more consistent auto-focus. It delivers brilliant 20.3 megapixel images and is capable of delivering high quality full-HD video. Additionally, it possesses the Movie Servo AF, enabling the user to keep moving subjects in focus even with changing distances from the camera. To top it off, the EOS 70D is Wi-Fi-enabled, allowing your dad to share images and videos easily and directly onto social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
If your dad loves capturing precious family moments on video, empower him with the LEGRIA Mini X. The LEGRIA Mini is a lightweight and compact camcorder, which means it can be conveniently slipped into the pocket and carried around effortlessly for shooting on-the-go.
The LEGRIA Mini X comes with a built in stand, effectively allowing for hands-free shooting and shooting from various creative angles. Equipped with wide angle lens and full-HD recording capabilities, you can be sure that the finest of details and the subtlest of facial expressions will never be missed.
For the DAD of Fine Details
CANON PIXMA iP8770 (RRP: $569)
If your dad enjoys fine details apart from the finer things in life, grant him the power to print and enjoy unparalleled, refined images with the PIXMA iP8770.
The PIXMA iP8770 is a modestly-priced printer that delivers on professional quality, be it monochrome or in colour. This is made possible with the innovative, additional gray ink cartridge incorporated into the individual ink cartridge system, resulting in stunning shades of grey and reduced graininess in images. The PIXMA iP8770 also comes equipped with built-in wireless connectivity and cloud printing support, enabling your dad to print from any spot in the house, or even while away from home.
Digital Cameras, DSLR, photo printers and cam recorder make great and ideal Father’s Day Gifts! Do check them out and buy them for your Father for Father’s Day 2014! Happy Shopping!
* Information and Pictures Courtesy of Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations *