Celebrating Singapore’s 50th

I was fortunate to be able to watch this year’s National Day Parade thrice. It was my first time watching the National Day Parade live too. I was only given one ticket for each time I attend the rehearsals or the real thing so… I kinda went to watch the entire thing without my friends. However, I did make some new friends when we were waiting for the long queues and stuff.

Anyways, not relating to the parade itself, I kinda compiled some random pictures I took during this period, kinda related to the whole ‘SG50’ stuff. Most of them were taken around the Bugis and Little India area.

Chinese Medicine Man
Chinese Medicine Man
People Trying Make A Living Performing In Public
People Trying Make A Living Performing In Public
“Auntie Uncle” Tissue Paper
TOTO 4D Tickets
TOTO 4D Tickets
Another Fortune Teller
Another Fortune Teller
Man feeding pigeons.
Man feeding pigeons.
Rochor Hallway
Rochor Hallway
Selling fruits in the rain.
Selling fruits in the rain.
Bras Basah MRT
Bras Basah MRT
Construction worker rain.
A construction worker working in the rain.
Old Man Little India
A man walking somewhere in Little India
WOOHOO Hung The Flag Proudly On My Front Porch!
WOOHOO Hung The Flag Proudly On My Front Porch!

On the parade day itself, Team Nila volunteers (SEA Games Volunteers) meet up to collect tickets at the National Stadium first before making our way to The Float. That was where I met new people and made new friends!

This was the NDP Preview Ticket actually
This was the NDP Preview Ticket actually

Now, to the parade itself. At the Float, we were given a Fun Pack which consisted of a few nostalgic items like the “stick thing” (I had forgotten what it’s called sorry), a few country erasers that I used to like to collect when I was in Primary School, and also snacks that I loved to spend my pocket money on back in the day.

Nostalgia!!!
NDP Nostalgia

Well, the parade started with some sing-along session to some old National Day songs, and also some performances by Grassroots’ Performing Arts groups. There were also these cute Nila mascots to entertain us. At all corners of the audience, motivators were there to encourage the audience to stand up and start dancing to the music. Really appreciate their effort to get the audience on their feet under the hot sun. (:

A Motivator (:
A Motivator (:

Afterwards, the official parade starts. The parade this year is held at The Padang so we kinda have to watch the entire thing on a big screen. However the best part of the parade, the fireworks, is going to be lighted up in front of us at Marina Bay. So like every other National Day Parade, there was marching and more marching, it’s beginning to become a mundane thing you know, but I really do appreciate the people who were involved in it. Next comes the second best part after the fireworks. The airshow. This year, they made it extra special. There was an A380 with the SG50 livery fly-past, fighter pilots doing dangerous stunts around the city, and also fighter planes forming the number “50” in the sky!

Fighter Pilots engage their boosters
Fighter Pilots engage their boosters
Fighter Pilots in a
Fighter Pilots in a “50” formation
5-Star Salute
5-Star Salute

People started waving their flags in excitement when the planes came thundering in, shaking the ground beneath us. I saw some parents who covered their children’s ears too. Haha.

Wave your flags in the air!
Wave your flags in the air!

If I remembered correctly, afterwards, the President came in, and all of us had to rise to sing to the National Anthem. It was also the cue for the chopper with the Singapore Flag to come in.

The Singapore City Skyline
The Singapore City Skyline

Then there were a couple of different performances of all sorts by different schools and stuff.  …And I’ll just fast forward to the Fireworks bit. This year’s fireworks are supposed to be twice bigger than last year’s. They lighted up the fireworks at two different locations, one at the mouth of the Singapore River, and one at the Marina Bay. I must say this year’s fireworks was spectacular! It was blinding at some points but still, great.

FIREWORKS!
Fireworks!!!
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Lights At The Bay

I took part in the One-SG Pledge Moment so all of the Team Nila participants, including me, had to go down to the float to do the pledge… and I was happy to be among the hundreds to reaffirm our loyalty to this country. (:

Supporting Contingents For The Parade
Supporting Contingents For The Parade
Doing The Pledge Together, As A Nation
Doing The Pledge Together, As A Nation

Overall it was a fun experience! Partly… because it was my first time seeing the Parade live. Anyways, Happy Belated SG50 Singapore!

MORE FIREWORKS!
MORE FIREWORKS!

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Aidilfitri 1436 A.H.

Aidilfitri! The happiest time of the year! Well my family and I did lots of stuff to prepare for this occasion. Recently, I got a job so I had some independence on the use of my money. Might as well use it to decorate my bare room. Got a bunch of wine boxes from a nearby wine store, gathered all of my souvenirs from my travels, and mounted a little display on the wall. I also had painted some black acrylic paint at the side of my workstation and did some chalk art.

Mounted some new stuffz!
Mounted some new stuffz!
My new chalk art!
My new chalk art!

Afterwards, I went to the store room to help my grandmother to sort out some stuff. I found this old keyboard that can’t be used no more so I kinda made good use of it.

Turned my room into a mini music studio haha!
Turned my room into a mini music studio haha!

On Aidilfitri, mostly, I look forward to tasting the food. On the eve of that day, my grandmother started cooking loads of dishes from Rendang to Ketupat. As for the Ketupat, before we can actually steam it, we have to weave the “shell” of it first using some sort of leaves-which-I-don’t-really-know-what-it’s-called.

A box full of weaved Ketupat
A box full of weaved Ketupat
Some vegetables for the dishes
Some vegetables for the dishes
Leaves used to weave the Ketupat
Leaves used to weave the Ketupat
Rendang!
Rendang!
Rice grains used to fill the Ketupat
Rice grains used to fill the Ketupat
More Ketupat!
More Ketupat!

It was like 11pm at night but our house wasn’t ready yet. We still had to paint the living room white and do some gardening. Traditionally, we would hang colorful lights in our backyard.

“Lampu kelap-kelip”
My younger sister painting the living room :)
My younger sister painting the living room 🙂

Haha I slept at 3am the following day. Arranging books, dusting the living room, et cetera.

At a nearby mosque, we started Aidilfitri prayers at about 8:15am. The mosque was kinda packed with people so we actually had to pray in the middle of the road.

Aildilfitri Prayers
Aildilfitri Prayers
Haha right in the middle of the road.
Haha right in the middle of the road

Actually the best part of Aidilfitri is that we get to spend time, and ask for forgiveness from other family members. Honestly, I hadn’t cried for a long time.

Eid Mubarak!

Selamat Hari Raya!
Selamat Hari Raya!

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Cycling Through Balinese Hillsides

It was my second day in Bali. Woke up and prepared myself at about 7:00am in the morning for a two-hour drive to the mountains. My family and I were planning to go for a cycling tour in a few of the villages there. As we went up the mountains, our sightseeing landscapes were basically a bunch of paddy fields after another.

Balinese Rice Paddy Fields
Balinese Rice Paddy Fields
Bali Rice Paddy Field
More Paddy Fields!

We started our cycling tour at the peak of Mount. Kintamani, also known as Kintamani Volcano. At the peak, we were greeted by a breathtaking view.

Another view of Mount. Agung
View of Mount. Agung
Not gonna fall off!
Not gonna fall off!
You can find Mount Agung in the background.
Another view of Mount. Agung, Bali’s highest point, in the background.
That's me!
That’s me!

The temperature at Denpasar, the “main” city in Bali was about 30 degrees Celsius. At our current location, it was about 15 degrees, kinda a shock to me, but luckily we didn’t need jackets since the Sun was keeping us warm.

Anyways we had our delicious breakfast in this little restaurant. Simple fried rice, and some tea. Afterwards, we immediately started our biking journey!

Our yummy Breakfast!
Our yummy Breakfast!
Lol I'm all the way at the back.
Lol I’m all the way at the back.

Our first stop was at a Primary School. It was a holiday so there weren’t any students there. There were a couple of teachers there though. Awkwardly staring at us outside their staff rooms, each holding a cup of tea, as we trespassed the school’s boundaries. The Primary School had about 2 small blocks; one for the staff rooms, and one for the student block, which only consisted of about four classrooms. The tour guide told us that a normal school curriculum had about 3 recess times (haha I wished I had that in my school), and students are allowed to go home to have their lunch (I got even more jealous).

Flag post in front of the classroom block
The Indonesian flag flies proudly in front of the classroom block
Classroom entrance with Balinese-style features
A classroom entrance with Balinese-style features

The tour guide also told us that before school starts, normally, the students would pray – according to their beliefs. In a typical Balinese community, there are Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists living together in harmony. Normally, the Hindus would pray in a nearby temple, which was a stone throw’s away from the school.

A Hindu shrine in the school compound
A Hindu shrine in the school compound
A nearby Hindu temple
A nearby Hindu temple
Hindu temple entrance
Hindu temple entrance
A 'Candi' with beautiful patterns
A ‘Candi’ with beautiful patterns

Well there was a small village nearby and I did a very brief look-around.

A street in the nearby village
A street in the nearby village
A tuckshop in the village
A tuckshop in the village

Afterwards, we continued cycling downhill passing a couple more villages. It’s interesting how there’s a temple every few minutes.

A typical Balinese Hindu temple
A typical Balinese Hindu temple

Along the pathways, as we were going downhill, we could find villagers carrying on with their own normal lives. And on top of that, the villagers whom we passed by were friendly too! Almost very single villager waved their hands frantically in the air, and shouted “Hello” with their wide smiles. It was as if they knew us personally.

A villager taking a walk
A villager taking a stroll
A lady villager carrying stuff over
A lady villager carrying stuff over
A farmer pushing a cart
A farmer pushing a cart filled with banana leaves
Probably resting after a few hours of work
Probably resting after a few hours of work
Some of the children who greeted us
Some of the children who greeted us
This child happens to be taking a walk outside his home
This child happens to be taking a walk outside his home

Our next stop was a paddy field. The farmers there let us give a taste of what is like beating the rice grains.

Farmers working hard in the fields
Farmers working hard in the fields

Afterwards, we visited a Balinese home which was under-construction. We explored the different parts of a Balinese home; which included the kitchen, bedroom, guest area, and a family praying area.

Family praying area
Family praying area
Baskets on the shelves of the kitchen
Baskets on the shelves of the kitchen
Wall patterns of the kitchen
Wall patterns of the kitchen
A child playing with planks of wood in the Balinese house
A child playing with planks of wood in the Balinese house
Villager working on the roof
Villager working on the roof
Villager constructing the bedroom
Villager constructing the bedroom

We ended our tour at another village. There was a busy market in the village with loads of villagers shouting out offers for what they were selling. We closed with a dance by a bunch of young Balinese girls and had some authentic Balinese cuisine.

Wrapping up dried seeds
Wrapping up dried seeds
A kid playing with a kite near the market
A kid playing with a kite near the market
Oone of the Balinese dancers
Oone of the Balinese dancers
An elderly woman takes a break outside the market
An elderly woman takes a break outside the market
Our lunch! Nomnomnom
Our lunch! Nomnomnom
Balinese village 'skyline'
Balinese village ‘skyline’

Hope to revisit here again. 🙂

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Ubin Day 2015

It was Ubin Day, and I volunteered for a coastal cleanup of the beaches on Pulau Ubin, an island in the north-east, still trapped in time. It was the first time in a few years I revisited this island. It’s an interesting place to go to since it is one of the last few villages we have here in this country. In just a 10-minute boat ride away, you are taken to a completely different environment and place. Well I finished my duties helping out with logistics and stuff, and there was a 2-hour break before the coastal cleanup starts. So, I decided to take the time to explore the island’s main village. Here are some of the photos I took during my time there.

Bum Boat to Pulau Ubin
Bum Boat to Pulau Ubin
Pulau Ubin Main Village
Pulau Ubin Main Village
A Temple In Pulau Ubin
A Temple In Pulau Ubin
Another View Of The Main VIllage
Another View Of The Main VIllage
One Of The Drink Stalls In The Main Village
One Of The Drink Stalls In The Main Village
Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset
A Typical Kampong House
A Typical Kampong House
A Bike Rental Shop
A Bike Rental Shop
Alleyways In Between The Shops
Alleyways In Between The Shops
A Bike Rental Shop Owner Looking Out For Customers
A Bike Rental Shop Owner Looking Out For Customers
An Underused Pier
An Underused Pier
Taxi Service
Taxi Service

Sadly, my phone kinda died halfway through so I didn’t really get a chance to take more pictures of the village. Anyways, see you again Ubin! :’)

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My First 5 Weeks At Temasek Polytechnic

Well after a 6-month long holiday, orientation for my new school started. And so I got my stuff ready.

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Preparing for Week 0!

I was kinda excited since I didn’t keep in touch with friends in a very long time. And also, it was going to be my first time cycling to school. Thankfully, on the first day, the skies were clear, and there weren’t any signs of the weather raining anytime soon. My grandfather told me the easiest way to cycle to school was this park connector which runs through a canal, and that I have to cross three junctions.

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Greeted with this sunrise!

Of course, I took a couple of photos on my journey to school.

On the first few weeks of school, I would usually park my bicycle in the void deck opposite school, then eat my favourite Egg Prata with a glass of Milo in the coffee shop nearby.

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Breakfast!

After Breakfast, if I have the time, I would sit in the benches in front of the block of flats and stare blankly at the traffic.

Actually after a few weeks, I found a much faster route to my school, which was through another canal which runs behind this forested area. Sometimes you can find monitor lizards and snakes and stuff. In the canal, you can find otters too!

 

By the time school ends, it would be like around 6 in the evening. So, I kinda have to cycle in the dark sometimes.

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Oh look! It’s the highway!

If I choose not to cycle home immediately after school ends, I would stay in school until 9 at night and probably do fun stuff with my friends.

I remember that Friday on Week 0, when I made really good friends with a guy named Jian Shun. We sat together during a School Olympiad and we did all the sneaky photo-taking and cheering together.

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One engine!

Our recess times are like, on average, 3 hours long. In the three hours, normally we would go to the library to study.

Haha there were times we would also goof around in the library like the time he broke my watch.

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Watch looks cooler now though…

I remember there was this Co-Curricular Activity fair and the both of us signed up together for like 7CCAs. One of them was Music Vox. I signed up as a vocalist. Actually, I didn’t know what I was thinking. I have never performed in front of people before, neither do I have any vocal experience. So during the auditions, I screwed up here and there, and as a result, I didn’t go through the first round.

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Mungkin by Anuar Zain HAHA

Every Friday, at 1 in the afternoon I would have to go to a nearby Mosque to do my prayers.

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Praying in the rain

Thankfully in the school campus there are spaces where we can do our obligatory prayers too.

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HAHA, spooky, right?

So far after my 5 weeks here, this school’s amazing. You have awesome classmates (who are like soccer fanatics), and little kittens that run around the corridor.

This school’s huge too. There are a lot of hidden rooms and passages to explore. My seniors would also share spooky ghost stories. Like that time tables and chairs turned over and stuff. Actually, the more I explored the school, the more fascinated I am with the school’s architecture.

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I’m actually afraid of heights

Like the seniors, many of the staff here too have lots of stories to tell on their experiences here in this school.

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Janitors need rest too (:

Haha so those were my 5 weeks of school so far here in Temasek Polytechnic. Sadly I’m going to be transferring into a University in a few weeks so I’m definitely going to miss all of this. 😦

Well, just recently I set up a Twenty20 account to see if it can help me with my university fund hahaha :p. https://www.twenty20.com/mddanial100

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Returning To Bugis

Had lots of fun at SJI carnival. Got to keep up with past teachers, friends and got to do loads of activities there! So afterwards, I invited my friend, Monico to follow me to Bugis to get a new screen protector for my phone (the one that I ordered online didn’t arrive yet grrrr). I thought we were only going to be there for 10 minutes or so but haha, there were many interesting things that were going on there that stretched our trip for an hour or so.

Anyways, after getting my screen protector at Sim Lim Square, we walked back to the MRT Station through Albert Street. We kinda stumbled upon some fascinating stuff at Albert Street that we have never seen before. Like there was this sort of “art-kind-of-thing” happening in the middle of the square, where artists were fully dressed, and they perform skits that I think, intend to spread a message. Of course, there were people gathering around to see what it was about, children leaning forward, curious to see what’s going on, people rushing in to take photographs, and I was one of them hehe. There were three artists having fun with a few props, an artist in black taking selfies with random passers-by, and at the side, I saw cute little children giving dried leaves to an artist in red. The red artist kinda begged for leaves (well he didn’t speak a word) and then line them along a crack on the ground.

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Artist receives a dead leaf from a girl

Just beside this square, there was this small shop selling some sort of insect bite ointment. It wasn’t clear since everything was written in Chinese. So there was this elderly uncle continuously saying stuff into the microphone, while the lady sorts the stuff on the table. I was surprised when I looked closer on the table to find actual live insects. The uncle who was selling the ointment actually invited the insects which included centipedes and even scorpions, to crawl all over his arm. It was scary but cool. Haha. I have never seen anything like this in Singapore, well, except for the Zoo.

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Uncle promoting his ointment at his stall

Down the street, we found some Trishaw Uncles waiting for passengers to pick up and tour around the city. Never had a ride on one of these things before but hopefully, in the future :).

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Beca uncle reading newspaper

It was getting late and we decided to go home. Off we went into the MRT. Oh and there was this part of the MRT Station where we can see passengers moving in and out of the station from above.

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Passengers on travelators

I also wanted to try something new. Like right before the train door closes, take a picture of passengers entering and exiting the train from in between the platform screen doors, and the train doors. So here’s the result:

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Passengers entering the train

Hehe I remembered what my Mom used to tell me, “Don’t stick your head out of the MRT train doors like that!”

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Waiting Around the National Stadium

My friends and I decided to go out together for a bowling session. Well, on that day I came quite early so I took the opportunity to explore the Stadium area. I can say is that the buildings here have some interesting architecture. I so do believe that the main architectural theme here is something to do with waves. There were many curves and bends along pathways and even the subway station is a little but curvy. What’s awesome is that even thought the subway station is underground, it has glass panels as the roof to let the sunlight in so that it doesn’t look as gloomy or dark.

Another interesting feature about this station’s architecture is that one side of the station has a straight corridor, and that the other has a curve.

As I exit the station, I could have an awesome view of the stadium itself.

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The stadium itself

This was my first time entering the stadium compound. It was larger than what I thought it actually was. There is this outer running circuit that runs along the circumference of the stadium. I believe it also serves as a waiting area for spectators. Just like the subway station, part of the shelter also uses glass panels to let the sunlight in.

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Inside the stadium

Thanks for reading!

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A Trip Around Bugis

Well, I actually I came here to submit my university application. Chinese New Year was around the corner and usually the business district of Bugis would be filled with people. I rarely go into the city so I might as well hang around for an hour or two.

Actually the district of Bugis holds a very special place in my heart. To get to school, I had to exit the subway and then wait for a bus from there. My dad would usually wait for the bus with me and then he resumes his journey on the subway to his workplace. It was also where I made a lot of friendship memories buying computer parts at Sim Lim Square and eating at Burger King opposite the plaza.

During my secondary school days, half the time, I was late for school. There were even times when the buses were late. At times like this, my dad would give me extra money and I would flag down a Taxi. But here’s the next problem – Taxis were hard to get.

Here, there are lots of interesting people to see too as I wait for the bus. I think there were a few times I saw this guy with a huge tumor on his head who worked around there. Each time I saw him passing by the bus stop I really do pity his condition. There were also a few elderly aunties parking bicycles and setting up a few shops nearby. In the bus stop itself, Chinese and Bangladeshi foreign workers listen to music and it made my day when they were laughing together.

 

I’m not sure why but ever since I started Secondary School I started to be afraid of the roaring engine noises coming from buses. Maybe because I didn’t like to go to school and when I knew the bus was coming, I start to feel fear.

A bus approaching
A bus approaching

Well, based on my opinion, Bugis is home to some interesting cultures and probably eye-popping architecture. There were malls that stood out and places of worship that attracted lots of tourists. I didn’t really had time to visit them when I was in school but now I had the chance to.

It was Chinese new year so things were a little bit more lively.

A shopping district in Bugis
A shopping district in Bugis

Thanks for reading!

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