Happy New Year!

Year 2013 ended with a bang, thanks to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay for the special arrangement to allow Michelle (Michhysaurous) and I to view the fireworks from the rooftop of Esplanade.

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Michhysaurous and I met around 7.30pm on 31 December 2013, perhaps due to the rain, Raffles City and Marina Square were packed with diners and party-goers. Thankfully we managed to find empty seats in Yoshinoya and settle for a quick dinner before meeting the organizer to collect our media passes.

When we reached Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, local band Singapore Char Siew Baos was already entertaining the Colosseum of merry-makers. The amphitheatre was full to the brim with an overflow of audience standing at the back. We managed to elbow through the crowd and find a space large enough for two of us to squeeze in. Michhysaurous loved the band’s version of What Does the Fox Say? and Roar, you can check out their catchy tunes via her Instagram.

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The other performing group, Cat Ong & Sheila De Niro sang the jazz version of popular songs such as When You Believe, You to Me Are Everything, I Will Always Love You, etc. Unfortunately, Tiffany was unable to join us that day due to road blocks. (Here’s a word of caution for next year’s countdown: please arrive at Marina Bay before 9pm.)

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At 10.30pm, we headed up to Esplanade rooftop. Orgo Bar & Lab was having a private event but we were privilege to be given the prime viewing spot as our media corner. The highlight for the night was the 8-minute long fireworks display, here’s a clip from URA:

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After the mesmerizing fireworks display, I bumped into my friend, Ron who was a staff of Esplanade. For the good of the community, he was on duty to help usher the party goers to the nearest exit. A salute to all the unsung heroes who had to work on New Year Eve to ensure that the masses got to enjoy this special joyous occasion.

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However, the journey back to the MRT station was met with lots of road blocks and detours. This was also my greatest fear when attending such mass events. To make matter worse, the security officers were not communicating with each other, we were made to go up the escalator to be told that the exit was blocked. But we managed to make it to City Hall MRT station after 30 minutes of jolting with the crowd. Thankfully the train was not as crowded as we thought it would be.

Did you manage to snap an awesome photo of the countdown festivities at Marina Bay? Send in your photo and you may win the top prize worth S$5,488 from OSIM! For more information about Marina Bay Countdown 2014 Photo Competition, check out the link here. Submission deadline is 6 January 2014 extended to 10 January 2014, so hurry and act now!

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Also remember to vote for me and to check out the coverage by the rest of the official bloggers here.

I’m going Esplanade for Countdown 2014!

Initially, I was skeptical. In fact, it took me awhile before agreeing to be one of the five official blogger ambassadors for Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2014. To be honest, I prefer spending New Year eve away from crowd but with the comfort of my bed, my sparkling Moscato and telly set.

In all true of the matter, I’m a laid-back guy and being with the big crowd gives me claustrophobia. Sometimes I see myself as a hermit, preferring to spend same major festivals like New Year at home, chilling with friends over wine.

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Esplanade is the best place to visit the fireworks and light display for Marina Bay Countdown 2014

But my exclusive invitation to preview the light installation on Sunday night at Esplanade had turned this non-believer into an evangelist. Standing the roof top of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay at 11.30pm to get a glimpse of the rehearsal of the light display for the celebration is a magical feeling. Someone must have sparkle mystical powder over those amazing lights which make me fell in love.

This 31st Dec 2013, I will be heading to Esplanade for the countdown celebration. Are you joining me?

Lead by event host, Vivien Tan, come join Cat Ong & Sheila De Niro and the Singapore Char Siew Baos as they use their powerful vocal harmonies and positive tunes to help us reflect on 2013 and usher in the new year.

Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, 7pm to 1am

7.00pm – 7.40pm: Cat Ong & Sheila De Niro

7.40pm – 8.05pm: Short Film – Beautiful Life

8.05pm – 8.45pm: Singapore Char Siew Baos

8.45pm – 9.10pm: Short Film – Beautiful Life

9.10pm – 9.50pm: Cat Ong & Sheila De Niro

9.50pm – 10.15pm: Short Film – Beautiful Life

10.15pm – 10.55pm: Singapore Char Siew Baos

10.55pm – 11.20pm: Short Film – Beautiful Life

11.20pm – 11.50pm: Singapore Char Siew Baos

11.50pm – 12.00am: Lead up to Countdown

12.00am – 12.10am: Fireworks + Music

12.10am – 1.00 am: Singapore Char Siew Baos

Programme may be subjected to change. For more information: Visit Esplanade’s page here or Marina Bay Countdown 2014 page here.

I saw a familiar name and realized that my friend, Jacob Teo is actually a Char Siew Bao! I mean part of the local band, Singapore Char Siew Baos. I hope I get a chance to catch up with him on New Year eve.

The highlight of this year’s celebration is the 40-second LED countdown display on the façade of the Ocean Financial Centre. If Time Square in New York can have their mega LED display, so can we right? After all, we are Singapore and we always can find our own way of doing an international gig in a local fashion.

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Ocean Financial Centre – the building with the red LED lights will be transformed into a large countdown timer for the celebration at Marina Bay

Warning! Please take note the road closure on 31 December 2013.

Lane Closures

Raffles Avenue, extreme left and right lane (from Temasek Avenue Junction to Esplanade Drive Junction) – From 6pm to 2am.

Road Closures

Esplanade Drive (Both carriageways) – From 11.30pm to 1.30am.

Connaught Drive (All lanes closed) – From 11.30pm to 1.30am.

Raffles Avenue (All lanes closed) – From 11.30pm to 1.30am.

Esplanade’s Vehicular Access Advisory

Esplanade’s Basement Carpark entrances and exits will be closed from 11.30pm to 1.30am.

Esplanade’s Waterfront Carpark will be closed from 27 December to 1 Jan 2014.

Esplanade Mall’s driveway entry and exit will be closed from 6pm to 2am.

Taxi Stand at Esplanade’s Mall Driveway will be closed from 6pm to 2am.

For a more detailed advisory on road closure around Marina Bay, please refer to this site.

Those attending Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2014 need not worry about how to get home as SMRT trains and bus services will be extended. Yeah!

Last trains towards Joo Koon, Pasir Ris and Jurong East will depart City Hall Station at 2.15am, and the last train towards Marina Bay at 2.01am.

Those heading towards HarbourFront and Dhoby Ghaut can catch the last trains at Circle Line terminals at 1.38am.

Tiffany Yong and Michhysaurous will be joining me for the countdown. What say you?

Happy New Year! See you in 2014.

Best Moments of 2013

Counting down to the remaining of 2013, I bet your Facebook and Instagram have been generating your best moments of the year. Here are 12 of my best moments in 2013…

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My year started with the continuation of my 2-month backpacking trip across the North and South Island of New Zealand. Here’s me in Waiheke Island, off the coast of Auckland, enjoying a glass of red. Watch out for my travel blog on New Zealand next month!

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Being the student ambassador for SIM University, I appeared on my university’s website, student recruitment video, prospectus and annual report. It actually feels weird seeing photos of myself in school.

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Also, I finally make it to the cover of DUET Magazine (April – June 2013)

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Special thanks to Sentosa for arranging the Run Like Mad challenge which my team fought against the DJs from Power 98FM. (We didn’t win but it was a good experience.)

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Having fun doing yoga at 165m inside Singapore Flyer and appearing in Barita Harian’s story. Thanks Christina for the pic!

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Caught in a scandalous photo with Tiffany Yong by some paparazzi!

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With Tiffany at the top of the canopy in Brunei. It’s such an amazing feeling to be surround by the lush greenery. This picture has the most “likes” on Instagram. Thanks OMY.SG and Royal Brunei Airlines for the trip!

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Once again, thanks to my friend, Daniel. I was able to show my love (once a year) to my country on National Day!

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Meeting the legendary Eric Tsang 曾志偉 in Hong Kong!

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Face to face to one of Japan’s top 5 female competitive eater, Tomoko Miyake when she was in Singapore

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Reuniting with my army buddies from BMT after almost a decade!

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Being one of Domino’s Singapore Top 10 Bloggers!

What is your best moment in 2013?

Also, remember to take part in Marina Bay Countdown 2014 Wishagram contest. Simply share the festive cheer by snapping and posting a photo and stand a chance to win an OSIM product!

Step 1: Using the Instagram App, snap a picture related to the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2014.

Step 2: Write a caption for the picture, along with your New Year’s wish and email address, hashtag #mbsc2014, and share.

Your picture will appear as a Wishagram on this page and on Marina Bay Facebook page too.

Five lucky winners will receive an OSIM uVision and uBuzz Latte worth more than $100! One winner will be selected each week between 27 November 2013 and 1 January 2014. Winners will be notified by email.

Wishes for the New Year

After multiple failed attempts at logging in to SIM University (UniSIM) due to high volume of nervous students trying to figure out the results of their exams, I managed to squeeze my way through to access my grades.

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I did better than I expected – scored B for Consumer Behaviour module. It didn’t really come as a surprise, after all I worked hard for it, though it took a lot of discipline, commitment and time management to juggle between organising a major event for work and such a theory heavy paper. But hey, the nightmare is over.

And to sum it up, all I want for 2014 is simply to Be Happy.

Last weekend, we passed by the Wish Upon A Sphere station at Marina Square and CityLink Mall, couldn’t help but to pen down our New Year hopes on the wishing spheres. Each wishing sphere is a representation of heartfelt hope and belief that 2014 will bring upon new possibilities, brighter tomorrow and better beginnings.

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You can join in the Wishing Sphere Project at the following locations:

Marina Bay District: CityLink Mall, Esplande Concourse, Esplande Outdoor Theatre, DBS@MBFC, Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay City Gallery, Marina Bay Link Mall, Marina Square, Ocean Financial Centre, One Fullerton, Singapore Flyer, Suntec City Mall, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, The URA Centre

Central: Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, Central Public Library, Chinatown Visitors Centre, The Cathay

East: Bedok Point, Changi Airport Terminal 1, Changi City Point, Tampines Regional Library

North/North-East: Compass Point Shopping Centre, Nanyang Polytechnic, Repulic Polytechnic, Serangoon Public Library, Woodlands Regional Library

West: JCube, Jurong Regional Library, Tiong Bahru Plaza

Walking past One Fullerton that day, I was able to have a glimpse of the Wishing Sphere installation. I’m really looking forward to 31 December 2013 where all 20,000 wishing spheres will be transformed with colourful lights and turned the area into the Bay of Hope and Light.

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All the tiny white bubbles in the background are the thousands of wishing spheres fill with hopes for the New Year

But if you are unable to be physically present to write down you wish at the Wishing Sphere Stations across the island, you can also do so by making a virtual wish here.

Personally I feel that this may be a better way, after all I’m an environmentalist at heart. In case you are wondering what happens to the wishing spheres after the countdown, they will be sent to a recycling plant overseas where they will be reprocessed into raw materials that can be recycled into new products. Read more on their FAQ page.

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What’s your wish for the New Year?

Marina Bay Countdown 2014!

This is probably the first time I’m writing a blog post with mixed feelings. On one hand, I’m really excited and honoured to be selected as one of the 5 official bloggers for Marina Bay Countdown 2014.

And on the other, I’m fairly upset that I have to rush out this post by tonight due to a slight miscommunication with the organisers and my busy work schedule. I have originally intended to integrate tomorrow’s gathering pictures for this purpose. But well, miscommunication is not uncommon so no hard feeling. I’m always known as “the sunny guy” so let’s move on to the happy stuff.

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Check out the other bloggers: https://www.marinabaycountdown.sg/blogs.html

Like I mentioned, I will be featuring more about the Marina Bay Countdown 2014 activities and hopefully I get to have some exclusive behind-the-scene experiences to share. Talking about sharing, you can capture the spirit of this year’s countdown and enter the photo competition and stand a chance to win the grand prize, OSIM uDivine (worth S$5,488)!

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Merit Prize winner for Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2013 Photo Competition

The theme for this year’s Marine Bay Singapore Countdown 2014 Photo Competition is “Beautiful Life” and all Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and foreigners residing in Singapore are eligible to take part. Simply submit an entry based on the theme to showcase happy moments with family members and beautiful time with loved ones against the scenic backdrop of Marina Bay area.

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2nd Prize winner for Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2013 Photo Competition

You may include (but not limited to) Marina Bay skyline, fireworks display or Wishing Spheres installation and display, including penning of wishes on the Wishing Spheres at Wishing Station. For submission, all files must be less than 3MB, within 2048 pixels by 1536 pixels.

All it takes is just 3 simple steps to enter this photo competition:

Step 1: Fill up your personal particulars 

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Step 2: Choose your file and upload it

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Step 3: Ensure your selected file is within the submission requirements 

For more information, terms & conditions please visit:  https://www.marinabaycountdown.sg/photo-competition.php

I will be sharing more again soon so keep a look out for it!

Yoga in the Sky at Mind-Body-Spirit Festival 2013

Last Sunday 12 May 2013, I attended the Mind-Body-Spirit Festival organised by Singapore Flyer in conjunction with Mother’s Day celebration. With the day-pass ticket, there are various classes to choose from and at different venues to provide unique experience for all.

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Yoga, pilates, fitness marathon and  mass workout are some of the selection available. Eventually I decided to train my abs and headed for the yoga class held at Bayview Room at level 2.

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The YogaDivas CORE workshop was presented by yoga instructor, Sarah Powell from YogaDivas. Yoga is not just about gentle stretching, during the one-hour session, we learned to discover our inner strength and also had fun with arm balances. If you think yoga is just for girls, don’t be misled by the YogaDivas name, there were a couple other guys attending the class with me.

Sarah started the class with relaxation breathing exercise before proceeding to stretching and balancing on our core muscles and arms. Most of the poses were manageable except for a few which were rather challenging. Sarah also demonstrated varied versions of the pose to achieve the desired result without hurting ourselves. After the one hour, I could really feel my abs again!

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As I was recovering from my previous yoga class, I met up with the organisers who gladly informed me that they had specially arranged for a workout in the sky for me. Although I was feeling slightly tired but the idea of doing yoga in the sky excited me (click here to read my previous experience with doing yoga inside the capsule).

The special class of Hatha Yoga was presented by Master Ankan Kumar Sarkar from Sky Fitness. Hatha Yoga is the most ancient, complete and popular system of yoga for mental and physical health. It is a science of breathing, purification and synchronization on the physical and mental dimensions. During the two rotations of one hour, we learned the ancient techniques of esanas (postures) and pranayama – good health, peace prosperity, longevity and self-realization.

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Doing yoga inside the capsule is an amazing experience. Imagine seeing the Marina Bay district 165 metres above the ground in an upside-down position. The beautiful scenery makes enduring the more challenging postures so much more enjoyable. It is an experience that is not offered everyday.

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I would like to thank Singapore Flyer for the lovely invitation and I really hope that can make the Mind-Body-Spirit Festival a yearly event or have more classes of yoga, pilates or fitness workout in the sky so many others can enjoy the unique experience.

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[Glowing with glee and a touch of wellness after two sessions of yoga in one day.]

Check out Singapore Flyer’s website at www.singaporeflyer.com for their next exciting event and upcoming promotions.

Sarah conducts regular outdoor yoga classes. Find out more about YogaDivas at http://www.yogadivas.biz/

Sky Fitness offers a variety of fitness classes at their venue in HarbourFront and Serangoon Gardens. Visit www.skyfitness.com.sg for more information.

Happy Three Friends

One of the benefits of working in central is the joy of having to different friends to company us for lunch everyday. This is definitely a better appreciated change from my previous workplace in an ulu industrial part on the eastern shore. However, lunch is also more pricey in town as compared to other parts of the island.

Today, I went to Ramen Nantsuttei at PARCO Marina Bay @ Millenia Walk. My bowl of Golden Curry Ramen ($15) is a mash-up of the their famous ramen soup based and the unique minced meat curry sauce. The other two had the normal ramen at $12 and add-on an egg at $1.

I know Choon Liang from Katong Toastmasters Club. A jovial guy who often cracks humorous speech during our public speaking club meetings, he works at the office building next to mine. Often seem in his metrosexual chic dressing, sorry boys and girls, he is engaged and getting married next year.

Alyssa Rae works as a consultant near Beach Road. I got to know her when we were both volunteer panelists with Young Changemakers. These days, she is a food porn star, you can follow her and find out what she is having for lunch or dinner at @petrarae on Instagram.

 

I’ll miss having our Threesome Tuesday lunch together. Hur hur.

The Bay Celebrates Singapore’s 47th Birthday

Men, women, workers, soldiers gather together with performers from schools and other grassroots organisations. It’s that time of that year that we remember and celebrate the independence of our nation. This year, the National Day Parade (NDP) returns once more to The Float@Marina Bay, turning the entire bay area into the focal point of celebration this August.

  

Commanders and soldiers work together as a team to prepare for one of Singapore’s biggest celebration event. “This year’s parade is the first time since 2007 that an NSman, 45-year-old Lieutenant Colonel (NS) Clarence Tan, has been selected to be the parade commander.” (Channel News Asia, 2012)

 

Being the focus point of the celebration, the Marina Bay transforms itself into a larger stage where partnering organisations such as Singapore Flyer, Young NTUC, HomeTeamNS and National Youth Council join in for locals and visitors to soak the joyous occasion.

 

Over at Singapore Flyer, renowned Singaporean artist, Akira Takahashi, has transformed Yeo’s Tetra drink packets into a stunning display recycled art with iconic landmarks on the Singapore map.

 

 

“The schools have also lead a fundraising effort – for every $1 donation made, the donor will be given a special Yeo’s sticker, to write or draw to express his love for Singapore on the art display. The donations raised will be channelled back to CDCs to support their welfare programmes for the needy.” (Singapore Flyer, 2012)

 

 

While at Singapore Flyer, go on a riveting ride with the latest 6D motion experience at XD Theater located at level 2 of their retail terminal. Introductory rate tickets go for $16 for adult and $14 for child and seniors. For more information, visit their website here.

 

 

Go behind the scenes and see how the parade unfolds, the Colour Guards will execute a detailed drill to uncase and case the national flag and other army flags on 4 August and 9 August. The uncasing of Colours will be between 5.25 pm to 5.50 pm and the casing will be between 7.30 pm to 7.50 pm (Note: timing may be subject to change).

 

 

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet Singapore Flyer’s cutesy character, Furball and take photos with him on 9 August from 5 pm to 9 pm!

 

Hop over across the Marina Reservoir where HomeTeamNS joint forces with National Youth Council to organise National Day Celebrations @ Marina Bay Sands 2012. “Audiences young and old will be able to immerse themselves in the joyous atmosphere with an exciting family-themed carnival featuring an array of F&B booths, game stalls and stage performances” (HomeTeamNS, 2012).

 

There will be a “live” coverage on a large LED screen and the venue offers a magnificent view of the State Flag flypast, the aerial and naval displays, and the all-time crowd favourite – the fireworks finale. Those at the event will also get to experience a slice of NDP 2012 as they recite the National Pledge during the Pledge moment, together with City March contingents from the Float.

 

For the 6th year running, Young NTUC will be organizing the annual National Day celebrations on behalf of the Labour Movement. This flagship event has grown from strength to strength, from a turnout of 8,667 in 2007 to about 13,000 last year at the Padang.

This year, Young NTUC Celebrates! National Day 2012 will be held at The Promontory at Marina Bay. Participants be prepare to immersed in the biggest celebrations for our nation by getting entertained by talents from Young NTUC’s very own performing arts group – p.L.a.Y!, while enjoying the panoramic view of the fireworks along the waterfront promenade.

So, are you ready to come and celebrate everything that we love about Singapore?

“Loving Singapore, Our Home”!

STAR by the Bay

 

 

Close to 20,000 people turned out for the Straits Times Appreciates Readers (STAR) Concert held at Gardens by the Bay last Sunday. Readers of Singapore’s daily paper were treated to a concert with popular bands like Korean group 4Minute, American rock band Boys Like Girls as well as Singapore Idol champions Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza.

 

 

 

 

 

Early birds were rewarded with a carnival treat of stilt walkers, jugglers, unicyclists, door gifts from sponsors. One of the highlights for the STAR Carnival was the cosplay costume with characters like Loki (Avengers), Chun Li (Street Fighters), Digimons and other popular anime characters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite contestants that day were the mother-daughter team dressed up as Chun Li and mini Chun Li. They won 3rd in the group category. Digimons team was crowned winner of the group category. Another hot favorite, Loki, won the best individual category character.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As one of the main sponsors for the STAR Concert, we were invited to be on site to promote our upcoming event. As you can see from our smiley faces, we had a hell lot of fun promoting our Halloween packages.