Travel light. Let go of unnecessary connections. Discover the world. Make every individual count.


New Blog Site!

Time for a cool change.

Future entries will be posted at :

Hope you continue to join me in my adventures within and beyond Singapore.


Congratulations to the New Miss Universe

Another Miss Universe pageant is over and done with. This is my 21st consecutive year viewing the telecast (Donald Trump should award me a good seat in Vegas next year when MU is held there).

Among the Top 15, I found Miss Colombia the fairest of them all (Taliana Vargas)

It's really a shame Miss USA slipped during the evening gown competition. This is the 2nd consecutive year that this happened to a Miss USA candidate. Photo of what happened in 2007 here

I was still shaking my head so I could not join her in applauding herself for the stunt.

Top 5: Colombia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Russia

Final Q&A -- try answering these :

1) If you can go back in time and change a moment in your past, what would that be and why?

2) Do you believe men or women have easier life and why?

3) What is the biggest sacrifice you had to make and how did you handle it?

4) When is a woman truly satisfied?

5) Is there still discrimination against women and what can be done about it?

Riyo Mori (Japan; Miss Universe 2007). I've never seen an outgoing winner do her farewell walk in such an attire. Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today... New York, New York.

Voice over: And the first runner-up is...

Miss Colombia (silently) : "Miss Venezuela"
Miss Venezuela (silently) : "Miss Colombia"

New Miss Universe - Dayana Mendoza (Venezuela)

Photo Source:

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12 to 12

I watched "12 to 12" this weekend with Fanni, Kristy, Vincent J, Wee Siong, and Vincent at the Esplanade.

From the PA website + official programme:

Soundwaves 2008 (12 to 12) is an evocative blend of dance, drama, music and songs and is jointly created by Cultural Medallion recipient Dick Lee and PA's resident artistic producer Fan Dong Kai.

It tells an intriguing tale of a lone traveller named Bryan, who returns to Singapore after a long time. Bryan encounters a beautiful muse named Bella who is trapped by a powerful spell. She can be freed if she regains three songs stolen from her, but only if she does it within 24 hours! Bella enlists Bryan's help for this quest. Mystery, adventure and romance unfold as they go through the streets of Singapore, chasing time in search of the songs of Singapore.

The concert features the PA Talents Dance Ensemble, Singapore Pop Orchestra and the best of professional and community artistes in Singapore.

Cast :

Bryan (George Chan)
Bella (Elena Wang)
Suri (Cara Whitehouse)
Ghost 1 (Chai Yao)
Ghost 2 (Lan Yu)

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Random Bus Ride to the East

I have officially resumed my random bus rides around Singapore.

This weekend, I decided to head over to the east (Pasir Ris). It's a scenic journey passing through Kallang, Eunos, Bedok, Tampines.

The journey took slightly over an hour from Novena so before I truly heated my bus seat, I alighted across Downtown East and took a cab to Changi Airport Terminal 3.
I've used this airport for a few times only so I thought I'd walk around as a non-passenger. While it's no match to the heaps of malls I've gone to, the area in Changi Terminal 3 that is accessible to the general public offers a wide range of choices for dining.

I grabbed a seat in the first restaurant I saw -- Crystal Jade Shanghai Restaurant on the 2nd level. Good food but small serving (but then I again I may just have been terribly hungry).

Seafood fried rice with XO sauce and shredded meat with vegetables

Glutinous rice balls with peanut. (I only finished 2 pieces)

I took the train back to the city.

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Mid Year Review

How far have I gone in meeting my goals for 2008?

As of 1st week July

On track
- Meet at least 80 new friends from diverse backgrounds within and outside of Singapore ; update contact list based on people you met over the past 3 years (Very satisfied with the friendships I've maintained and pleased with the new friendships I've formed since I thought about this target)
- Document your life - update blog more regularly, take more photos, track expenses, maintain various personal lists (Still need to track expenses, maintain various personal lists, and connect the scanner that I bought ages ago to get rid of paper in my house) - Support independent artists ; develop a higher appreciation for the arts (music, film, theater, design) (This is the bit I've spent the most time and money on. So far so good. I never run out of events to catch here in Singapore)
- Best effort to take the bus or MRT when traveling on your own but don't punish yourself for taking a cab on a need basis (Finally I began exerting effort to take the bus to and from work except when I'm carrying my heavy office bag and when my foldable umbrella won't be able to handle a sudden downpour. I could still get away with several cab rides but this year has been a big improvement vs last year)
- Decide what you want to happen in 2009 and 2010 and take drastic measures to ensure you have a clear view by October 2008 (While unpublished, disguised in this goal is my intention to apply for permanent residency in Singapore which fortunately was granted in May. This is the first step to having a clearer idea of what happens in the next few years.)

Likely to improve ; be pleased with the results by yearend
- Hit target weight and body fat % by end March and maintain these for the rest of the year; develop upper body strength (Hit my lowest weight in recent years in May. Pants are a bit loose and my belt has moved by one slot. This remains a priority. I really have to jog and lift weights sooner rather than later)
- Strengthen regular prayer and worship life (Have not been able to attend prayer meetings as often as I want to due to business travel, family/friend visits, and a goal mentioned above -- developing better appreciation for the arts. I joined a church choir though. This helps me to not only attend mass regularly but have a higher form of worship thru music)
- Continue to discover Singapore by checking out a new bar/restaurant/ food center per weekend and by exploring the vicinity of the MRT stations you haven't exited from during the past 1.5 years (I have not been tracking this but I need to be more conscious of MRT stations to exit from for the first time. Also need to re-establish my Sunday random bus rides around Singapore)

At risk or already behind (might spillover to 2009)
- Join a swimming school and survive the water on your own when lessons are over (If I dont look fit, I can't swim. If I cant find a good swimming instructor, I won't learn how to swim. I have the trunks/boardshorts and goggles though -- ready to be used; need to shake off the dust from the goggles).
- Take calculated risks in learning how to cook including the use of the oven (I really couldnt figure the degree equivalent of my oven whose controls are in watts! I've been watching cooking shows which have begun inspiring me to cook)
- Volunteer time and effort each quarter to develop the youth or give happiness to the sick or elderly (I havent been exerting much effort to find relevant information to realise this goal. Should do so very soon)
- Spend more time browsing business, finance and IT-related sites and be able to discuss basic/recent topics intelligently where appropriate (I spend more time looking at Straits Times and Facebook than Business, Finance, and IT sites)


New Gadget

I bought a Panasonic DVD recorder on impulse last weekend. The roadshow in Vivo City was giving it at a discount of $150 so I felt it was a good deal. The Starhub cable box internal hard drive was getting full I needed a back up in time for the Beijing Olympics.

Only problem : I'm not good at connecting cables so I had to wait for additional help c/o one of electronic shop's staff who had to come over to my place tonight and check what gadgets I actually have. When he had sorted out the cable connection , I then had to familiarise myself with the operating instructions he gave me.

The configuration of my Starhub cable box does not promote easy installation of any DVD recorder. At least that's what the staff said.

What does he exactly mean? If I'm recording a program from a cable channel, I cannot watch another cable channel otherwise, the recording will go haywire. However, I can still watch Mediacorp channels via another remote control. It turned out to be very complex that I was nursing a headache after!

Anyway, the instructions are now written down on a sheet of paper for me to practice when I am more patient. The DVD recorder also doubles up as a DVD player so I will need to get rid of my extra DVD player over the coming weeks.

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New Specs

After 1.5 years, I decided to change my current Oakley specs to a new one. Still Oakley but for the first time since I began wearing specs (around 2000), I got a half frame.

Some of my friends wonder why I don't like wearing contact lenses. My standard answer: "Eyeglasses change the way I look. I will consider wearing contact lenses only when I need to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain"

Unfortunately, getting a branded pair results in the postponement of at least one overeas trip. But since I really don't have an overseas holiday planned for this year, the purchase didn't make me feel too guilty.

Let's do some math.

SGD 663 (cost of the new pair inclusive of lenses) / 547 days (1.5 years before the next replacement date) = SGD 1.21 per day

With the additional benefit of making me look different by wearing specs, that average daily cost is so justified. :p

My current pair which has traveled with me to several places goes on "reservist"; shall be activated when the need arises.

Old pair

New pair

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Miss Universe 2008

I almost forgot that the Miss Universe pageant is just around the corner (never missed a telecast since 1997) so I thought I'd check the official website and see if there's anything interesting.

I'd like to generate additional publicity for some delegates by featuring them on my blog.

Philippines (Home Country)

Singapore (Current & Future Country of Residence)

Japan (Country of Last Year's Winner)

Vietnam (Pageant Host Country - likely to make it due to homecrowd advantage)

Other Countries that usually do well in the preliminary round and land in the semifinals.



Singapore's national costume drew some interest when it was first shown to the public several weeks ago (Merlion-inspired)


Miss Universe 2008 finals

Sun, 13 July, 9pm (Eastern time)

Mon, 14 July, 9am (Singapore)



A group of students from MIT learn the art of card counting and walk away from Las Vegas with millions of dollars.


Art in 24 Hours

Fri, 13 June
8.00 to 10.30 pm

Saturday, 14 June
10.30am to 12.30pm

Me, Boo Junfeng (Director, center), Ann


Saturday, 14 June

3.00 to 4.30 pm

With two of the performers from Korea