The MP3 Experiment (Singapore)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

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Hello everyone :-) 

As promised, I will be blogging about The MP3 Experiment: Singapore's Soundtrack in this post and it's an event that I participated in last Saturday (27 July). Before that though, if you are clueless about what this event is all about, hop over to the website HERE to read more about it if you'd like. Essentially, it is sort of like a flash mob but cooler - all participants download the same track, gather at the same venue, press play at the same time, and do what the voice on the MP3 instructs us to do. It is all in the name of spreading kindness and raising awareness; breaking the boundaries of strangers and doing something nice, especially in the context of our conservative and cold Singapore society. 

Improveverywhere, the New York based group is one that first came up with this idea of the MP3 Experiment - it's really cool because unlike flash mobs, there is no need to rehearse! I have been following their Youtube videos for a long while now and I've always wanted to be part of it, pity they were based in the US. When I first heard that The Hidden Good was going to team up with Improveverywhere to organize one in Singapore, I jumped into it immediately. It was a coincidence that this event was publicized in my school as well, under Peer Support Board's Singapore Kindness Movement. 

On Saturday, after watching The Addam's Family (see previous post!), and walking around Resorts World Sentosa for a bit, I headed to meet Tiffany, Hui Ying and Minglu as we planned to go for this together. We saw tons of RGS girls though, so it was pretty cool :-) 

Tiff, Huiying, myself & Minglu! :-) 

The website link which I provided in the earlier part of this post has the track that anyone can listen to and it'll give a clearer idea of what we did exactly at the event but it was quite a success. Although it was super obvious to all of us at the start (because we all had earphones on and were acting rather suspiciously), it was amazing when all of us pressed play at 6.00PM sharp. 

We attracted so much attention, especially when we froze on the spot and did jumping jacks - mass activities like these were very effective. Not so much for the things where we found fellow participants to play games like rock, paper, scissors and thumb war, though those were fun as well. It was really funny because I was playing with this dude and he was somehow really bad at thumb war and I kept winning and he gave up. I would never have walked up to strangers and tell them jokes or play with them or simply wishing them a good day but I did because of this experiment and it felt truly amazing. 

The balloon war was quite exciting too, but I thought it defeated the purpose of the entire thing - it became more of an exclusive event rather than reaching out and breaking down boundaries of the people not in the know of this event! It was fun though, so much creativity and thought must have been put into it. I was drenched in sweat by the end of it because we all huddled so tightly together but it was worth it, really. 

Yay caught Jiaying there :-) 

When the event officially ended and when balloon scraps were left on the floor, it touched me that most, if not some people actually stayed to clear up and place because that, I believe, is the true meaning of kindness - taking action without being instructed by "Ah Meng", as the voice called himself/ itself. 

Minglu, Nadia & Huiying being amazing :-) 

This cool hovering camera was capturing videos of us :')  I am very exciting to see the final compiled video which will be released tomorrow if I'm not wrong!

After everything was over, I went around to find all the people I knew and it was so heartening to see so many RGS girls supporting this event!

With Swan! :-) 

With Shermaine! :-) 

Shermz, myself & Nicole! :-) 

Yay 4/6 of boings - Phionna, Wang, Swan & myself! 

I had dinner with Phionna, Wang You & Swan and it was one of the most insane nights ever - we were just at McCafe laughing like maniacs and it felt amazing :') I wish we had more of such gatherings because it truly makes me feel so carefree and happy to let go of everything and just laugh. We were doing the craziest things and making so much noise but we didn't really bother and no one really bothered with us as well!

Phionna & Swan! :-) 

Wang & myself! :-) 

Ma dinner yoz (I wasn't feeling very hungry at that time and was dying for something sweet) To be perfectly honest, I think one shouldn't eat the brownie by themselves, even if it's for dinner - it's crazy sweet and too thick for one person to consume, really! 


The three of them have actually already eaten before coming so they just got drinks or in Swan's case, a few McWings (which looks really good, just look!) 

C H I C K E N!!!! 

Profile picture worthy shot of Phionna :-)

Wang You insisted that I filter this in black and white - here you go m'am! 

And Swan was super annoyed with all of us (as she usually is) because we kept saying she was Wolverine (long story, but yes)

Group photo! :-) No one normally takes photos in McDonalds of worse, ask the staff to help us take photos but we did (we were all drunk on sugar and salt, in Swan's case) 

When we walked out, we realized that the sky was super duper dark and wanted to pretend to be super badass so we took this photo to show that we stayed out late (HAHA) 

We couldn't stay for too late either though, so we took the monorail back to Vivocity after our hysterical visit to McDonalds!

When we got to Vivocity, Wang You went to meet her parents (they were there eating too how scary!) and Phionna, Swan and myself didn't feel like going home immediately because it wasn't very often that we got to spend time together. Plus, the night sky was so perfect for chit chatting :') So we headed to the open air water park place and sat around a lamp and had nice little "bonfire"!

Another profile pic worthy shot, Phionna! :-) I am so good at this HAHA

Final shot of the day :-) 

Yes :-) That was part 2 of my very lovely Saturday, made amazing by wonderful company and meaningful events! I do wish for more of such things happening because these are the things that makes my life fulfilling and I'm so fortunate to have been able to go through such experiences. I say this a lot (and I still mean it everytime I say this), but I'm truly blessed and I'm so thankful for everything in my life at the moment. 

I do think that The MP3 Experiment focused too much on the fun aspect than the reaching out part, but considering that this is the first time it is organized in Singapore, I truly respect those in the organizing team and for even thinking of bringing such a concept to Singapore because it must have taken a lot of courage and faith to think that Singapore, the increasingly cold society will have people as spontaneous enough to support and execute the event. Indeed, this might not have been perfect but it is a wonderful start to a more gracious Singapore, though cynic me thinks that there is really a long long way to go and there is a need to make such a mindset a sustainable one and not simply a one-off thing. However, at the moment, I don't have any suggestions for improvement so I shall keep my mouth zipped and appreciate what has been carried out and done because it was truly an honour to be a part of this :-) 

Here's the video if you'd like to see it! 

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Addams Family Musical

Sunday, July 28, 2013

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Hello there :-) 

Yesterday (27 July) was such an amazing amazing day with great company - I watched The Addams Family Musical with Melissa Tang and Isabelle Neo (I don't really know her actually) and went for the MP3 experiment! I shall split my day into two posts though, the musical (which would be this post) and the MP3 experiment which I will be blogging about later on this week.

Mel invited me to watch The Addams Family musical with her and her dad because her dad had extra tickets! :') I'm so blessed to have friends who actually think of me in such situations and it was an incredible musical, thank you so much Mel! 

The musical was held at the Festive Grand Theatre at Resorts World Sentosa and I've never been to this theatre before (only been to the the Marina Bay Sands one) so this was quite an eye-opening experience for me. We caught the matinee show and we had VIP seats - ahh I really cannot thank Mel and her dad enough; the seats were really spacious and comfy and we had such a great view of the stage! 

Mel :-)

(I look horrible in this photo HAHA but it was the only photo we took so sacrifices have to be made)
Isabelle, Mel and myself! :-) 

Overall, I thought that it was a pretty entertaining show and personally, it was quite a nice blast to my own past because I used to watch The Addams Family series on television a lot. It was quite an iconic part of my childhood though I can't exactly remember the characteristics of the show - the only thing I remembered of it was that Gomez Addams (the dad of the family) always kissed Morticia Addams (the mum) up her arm in a very humorous and dramatic fashion. 

As with every musical I watch, I was blown away by the live singing, dancing and acting that these theatre artistes are able to do. Honestly, how do they do it? Actresses focus on just acting, singers focus on just singing and dancers focus on just dancing but these people are able to do all three at the same time. I think it's crazy how talented they are and I'm always so envious at what these people can do though at the same time they must have a crazy amount of determination - so much respect for them!

The musical was a great experience but I thought that it deviated a bit from the original television series - the themes of the show are still there but I thought that the plot was written solely for the sake of the musical because it wasn't quite like a story that would be made into a television show (which is probably the case) and it irked me a little that Wednesday Addams (the daughter of the family) has grown up and fallen in love because when I watched the TV series, she was just a little girl. 

Then again, I saw myself in her and it hit me in a heart-wrenching way as well; the idea of growing up is so difficult to accept but is always so real and it is happening to all of us. Seeing how Gomez Addams was trapped between his daughter and his wife also struck a chord with me because I saw my family within theirs and it's funny to think how my parents would react when I find love outside of my family :') 

After the musical, I spent a while walking around Resorts World Sentosa waiting for another event to start - the MP3 experiment, which I will blog about another day :-) It was another wonderful experience and I'm so blessed for such an incredible Saturday! 

Once again, thank you Mel! :-) 

(If any of you are interested in watching The Addams Family musical, I'm sorry to tell you that it has very unfortunately ended its run in Singapore's Festive Grand Theatre today - they will still be touring other parts of Asia though, if I'm not wrong :-))

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Nic's Sixteenth!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

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Hello there :-)

I know I shouldn't be feeling like this, but somehow I've been having a very "Hakuna Matata" mindset recently and I'm not too sure if it's something good or bad. On one hand, it makes me a lot more relaxed and I finally feel like I'm truly living a life that gives justice to my youth but on the other hand, I feel like I'm way too carefree to be living in a society like ours and that I'm not living up to society's expectations of me. Then again, I'm only sixteen and I think I should actually be given the freedom to have the time of my life while I still can. That being said, I'm not completely ignoring or abandoning my responsibility as a student :-) I'm still trying my best, just not putting too much stress on myself and I really like the pace which I'm going!

Life has been pretty interesting, with many events happening both in school (It's Really Arty Week at RGS this week!) and outside :-) I have so many things to look forward to this weekend and last weekend has been quite nice too and one of the key events would be Nicole's birthday party! 

Turning sixteen seems to be quite a milestone for many, and this year I've been invited to at least four birthday parties, which is quite a large number, compared to a grand total of zero for the past three years :') Planning a birthday party must be such a nerve-wrecking experience though, what if no one comes? Also, it's incredibly difficult to plan activities for a crowd of teenagers - kids would be so much easier to entertain!

So yes this gorgeous girl turned sixteen officially yesterday (we celebrated it with her last Sunday though) - thank you for inviting me and for being an amazing friend :') 

There isn't that much to blog about - just know that the party was pretty fun (though quite awkward because there were dudes whom we were not familiar with) with nice food, games and music! :-) And of course, we took lots of photos (that's what girls do) so I hope the visuals will serve to beef up this short blog post!

 Richelle, Jerrie, Shermaine (She helped Nicole plan this entire party and I'm so very proud of her!), myself and Sarah! :-) The props are so cute and lovingly made by Sherm! 

Jaclyn, Beatrice, Cheryl, Bei Jun, Qian Wei, Myself & Sarah! 

Yay I have no idea why I am so attention-seeking and climbed onto the ladder HAHA I think it runs in my blood (sorry Nicole!!!) Actually no we all got to climb the ladder I just chose this photo cos this is my blog :'D 

(not enjoying the party at all - just look at our expressions!) 

This photo was accidental but I think it's quite cute that our heads decrease in size so nicely! I love these two girls :') 

Yay :-)

Had such an amazing amazing time - I love parties! 

That aside, life is getting quite crazy for everyone and although I might not be the best person to give advice, I truly believe that a positive mindset is all you need to get through all the crap happening and that's what I'm doing and so far, it really seems to be working. So please, keep smiling, keep swimming and go be amazing, all of you! Because you truly are :-)
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Guides Striping 2013

Friday, July 19, 2013

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It's just goodnight and not goodbye; 
credits to Mich Zhu 

Tying my Guides scarf into a reef knot and pinning the trefoil on in my classroom, the surreal thought hit me. This was the last time I'd be donning this scarf. The same exact mustard yellow scarf that got me through my Brownie days since Primary three when I was nine up till the end of my Guiding days now, at the "ripe" old age of sixteen. Seven years of being a part of this Guiding movement and it was finally time to bid farewell. From the messy knot I first did, fondly called a "cabbage" by my primary school friend and fellow Brownie, to the neat, ironed knot I am able to tie now, it was funny how it reflected growth and development, person and scarf knot alike.

Truth be told, I am not an outdoors person - I do not particularly enjoy all the activities we do as Guides - outdoor cooking, tent pitching, axemanship, gadgets, the list goes on. These activities are not enjoyable, but that's exactly why I like them. Tackling challenging tasks together as a batch, as a Guides company or as a patrol is what brings us closer, what ties us together, what makes us more bonded. I make some of the most amazing friends through my Brownie days and the same applies being in Guides. 

What exactly do Girl Guides do? To be honest, I never really knew. We are truly much more than a Uniformed Group or a co-curricular activity. A lot of us fail to realize this, and perhaps more so for the juniors and we tend to question why we do certain things we do in Guides sessions. Sometimes it seems stupid memorizing say, emergency telephone numbers and getting tested for it but through it all, Guides is indeed a worldwide movement to develop young girls into great people with qualities such as leadership and self-confidence. We don't do things that focus exactly on such things, but the activities we have do actually build up these qualities in us, really. 

I remember someone asking me why Guides somehow produces so many leadership holders in school and though I don't see positions as a testament to one's leadership abilities, it was true how Guides did indeed do that. Laura in 2011, Aye Mon in 2012 and of course Shannon, Minghui and Agatha in 2013 (the head prefect streak kinda got busted by my batch but we have two House Captains haha I hope that works too?). Though I can't quite answer that question, but for me, being a part of this Guides movement has shaped a huge part of my life and the way I do certain things. 

So, I have finally stepped down officially with the Striping Ceremony held on Thursday, 18 July 2013 :') It was bittersweet but it was an amazing day. 

My very last patrol corner with 02 Ixora after four years :')

(this photo is actually quite a good example of what goes on during patrol corners for the past year - me being ridiculous trying to entertain them and them laughing!)

Patrol corners are one of the best parts of being in Guides - you get to hang out with Guides from different levels and it's really a family within a family. 

We then proceeded with the Striping Ceremony and it was very heartening to see the Year Twos and Threes get into their new roles. I passed on my Patrol Leader position to Rachel and I'm so so so proud of her. She was so scared and nervous during patrol corner, worried that she'd be transferred to another patrol but I'm so happy to pass on this responsibility to her. Jiayou Rachel! :-) 

After the Striping Ceremony, we had Farewell for Year Fours in the AVA room :') 



The new Company Leaders for 2014! :') I'm very sure that they'll bring Guides to amazing amazing heights and I'm so proud of them, Tricia, Ching Wei and Shiyun! Congratulations guys :') 

We then proceeded to performances - this year the batches all sang for us HAHA and it was really strange being in the position of the Year Four at last! I didn't really know how to react but thank you kids! 

Year Ones! 

Year Twos! 

Year Threes! 

"Ella ella ella aey aey aey under my umbrella" 

From 13atch, we screened this video for the whole of Guides :') Which made me tear up quite a bit and here it is; thank you for all the memories. The message from 13atch starts from 07:15 of the video if you're interested!

CAM - CLs of 2013, Minyie, Ailica and Mae, who have done such a wonderful wonderful job leading Guides this year - I'm so proud of the three of you and I really couldn't ask for better CLs! Thank you for making the entire batch so so so happy to work with the three of you, now go take a rest please (these three kids did an all-nighter the day before Striping sigh they are amazing)

02 Ixora :') 
Sam, Rasyiqah, Rachel, Me, Jessica, Tricia, Wei Xuan & Misha being sane...

... and slightly insane (or maybe it's just me!)

Yay with Rachel and Tricia :') Shall let 02 Ixora thrive under their new PL, Rachel and of course, the entire Guides family will look up to Tricia, their new CL! So proud of these two little kids from my patrol - they have finally grown up! 

J E S S I C A!!! This ridiculous girl, we've gotten so much closer this year through Annual Assembly and 02 Ixora and even though I don't see you all the time during Guides, you are quite amazing :') Thanks for always being there, through Math, through Guides and through retarded times. 

B14ATCH! :') This is such a candid but nice photo! 

Mynah 2011 :') 03 Mynah was the patrol that first welcomed me and is the patrol that I stayed in for three good years in Guides before transferring to 02 Ixora in Year Four. There are really no words to describe the amazing times I've spent in this patrol because is holds such a special place in my heart. 
Yulin, Sabrina, myself and Michelle! :') 

Michelle, Fatima, Jessica, Vanessa, myself and Shar! 

After Striping, a few of 13atch headed to Dhoby Ghaut for dinner together! :') It was supposed to be a batch dinner but so many couldn't make it and it was reduced to six people. It was cozy and felt amazing though. We ate at Just Acia at Dhoby Ghaut Xchange YAY for free-flow ice cream and drinks heh. 

Pan Wen, Shar and Michelle! :') 

Jing En, myself and Valerie! :')
By coincidence, we sat by House (on one side we had Waddlians and the other Tarbetians!)

Artistic (; 

And here are some photos of the food we had! 

Look at that ice cream! The top looks like it's going to drip anytime soon. 

Last photo of us for the beautiful night. 

03 Mynah and 02 Ixora :') 
They will always hold a special palace in my heart. 

Finally, thank you everyone who wrote letters and cards to me and got me gifts :') It is truly heartening and I appreciate every single one of you. There were so many amazing things written in it and I can't believe that I've made such a huge impact on all of you. It means so much to me and it truly makes this entire journey so worthwhile and fulfilling, knowing that I have impacted someone else other than myself. 

For the last time, 

I promise to do my best
To do my duty to God 
To serve my country 
And help other people
And to keep the Guides/ Brownie Law 

Thank you for the memories, thank you for the experience and thank you for the growth. The Guiding movement and spirit will be one that stays with me forever, really. 
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