Sunday, June 14, 2015

Chapter 99 : The Most Important Man in my Life

It's been a week, 7 whole days since his passing.

I wrote this chapter in bits and pieces throughout the whole of last week and I thought I ought to jot down my thoughts and put them together so that I can always have something to remember him by. I won't delve into the man he was before I knew him but focus on the man I grew up with till his very last day. 

As a kid I dreaded of 'the day' that everyone has to go through. I'd always ask my Mom what happens to a person when they pass on and she'll tell me that they'll be gone from this world that we live in forever. Next, I'd ask if the same would happen to Ah Kong (Grandfather) and Ah Ma (Grandmother) one day? She'll keep quiet but I'd already known the answer and just cry myself to sleep. Call me silly but that was how much I loved my Grandparents.

As a man with a heart of gold, he always chose to see the good in people even when everyone around him said they weren't. He'd make friends with strangers from just about anywhere and trust them so easily. I could never understand why but I guess it was just him being chatty. He'd have some random conversation on just about anything and you'll find that hours have passed since they started. He'd always be the friendly one and the representative of the family to approach others as my Ah Ma and Mom would normally avoid small talks. However, it was because of  almost all our neighbours knew him as Uncle Khoo cause of his casual conversations he had with them in the lift or during his walks around the neighbourhood.

Ah Kong was a tough man to love, I won't lie but he had one of the purest hearts and wanted nothing but the best for his own family. He rarely showed his softer sides but when he did you'd know for sure. As a true man who dedicated himself to bringing up his family and making sure he'd give them the most comfortable life possible, he kept his end of the bargain. Although there were times that I was being a difficult child, he'll still try to give in no matter how ridiculous my demands were. For example, we would always bicker on what channel to watch, I'd always want to watch my cartoons on Disney while he'll always want to watch his WWE wrestling match or catch up on the news. I still remember there was this one night that I kept asking to see my baby photos but they were stored in some box in the corner and it was too hard to get. I remember I kept whining to see them or I wouldn't sleep that night and the whole house ended up in a complete mess just to get those baby photos just to stop my whining. He'd also loved to spoil me by bringing me to McDonald's as kid and order my favourite burger. Since I was a difficult child, I was also picky with my food too. I would always ask for the mayonnaise and veggie to be removed (That's how picky I was back then). He would always order for a special order and if he forgot, he'll physically remove them and place it on a tissue. It was little thoughtful acts like this and many more that still make me feel even more heart broken. Besides my family, I doubt there'll ever be anyone who could love me more than they could. 

As an adopted child, it didn't hit me till I was praying during the wake that the most important lesson my Ah Kong taught me was the ability to love someone unconditionally. He was able to treat someone who wasn't even related to him by blood and loved and accepted me as his grandson. As tough as he may seem on the outside, this is something that I'll never forget. I used to always question myself, how could anyone ever love me and just a few months back I was asking myself how could I understand something that I never had but the truth is, I already did. I guess in life, we get thrown a curveball to realise the things that really matter to us.

I'm glad that I got the chance to be there with him during his final moments. At least I got to say my last words to him which was really hard for me cause I knew it'd hurt me even more if I did but I knew I would have regretted if I didn't.

It's been a week and now that all has been said and done, what does this mean for me? It means I'm left with one less family member who I truly ever loved and loved me back. But I know he's watching us from above and hoping that we live a life as fulfilling as his.

May you rest in peace, to the most important man in my life, Ah Kong. Love you.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Chapter 98 : The Art of Dubsmash-ing

About 2 weeks ago, a friend introduced me to an app which most of you may have heard of by now, Dubsmash and I've pretty much been annoying my friends with it because it's just that... amusing?!

To describe dubsmash in my own words; it is an addictive app that draws you into making short 10 second videos of yourself dubbing to audio recordings of almost anything you can imagine. Not only can you find recordings uploaded by others, you can upload your own recordings too (just in case you can't find what you're exactly looking for). From there, you can upload your videos on social media platforms or send it to friends for them to have a laugh and hope that they don't upload your silly antics to the world without your permission.

The fact of the matter is that as fun and silly the app allows you to be, there is more to dubsmash than meets the eye.

Dubsmash allows room for creativity and individual self expression. Coming up with a dubsmash video is as easy as 1.2.3 but to do a good dub is something else. Getting your audience entertained is much harder than it may actually seem in the video because not only do you have to dub it right, you have few attempts to figure out how you're gonna act out the dub to make it believable or funny. It's all about hitting the right notes and making it believable/relatable for yourself and your audience.

Although you may feel a little awkward when you first start out looking at yourself acting, you'll slowly start to get use to it after you realize how fun it actually is. For me, I'd have to admit dubsmash brings a side of me that I never knew existed, where I can express myself through silly videos and even act as a stress reliever. After awhile, I realize that it can get pretty boring, and on the top of my bucket list is to have a dubsmash-off with someone, just anyone.

Here's a compilation of my own dubsmash videos for your entertainment, I might regret this in the future but who cares, I live for the moment. (Be warned, contains strong language!)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Chapter 97 : GLEE-ful Goodbye

Not sure how many of you are still reading this blog but if you've been constantly reading, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of this show called Glee. 

Recently, the promotional trailer for its sixth and final season is out and the feels I just get from watching it every single time just overwhelms me that my favourite show is coming to an end. Can you believe that it's been 5 years since the first episode was released?! I still remember like it was only just yesterday I was watching Channel 5 on a weekday night and I came across this wonderful and marvellous little show called Glee and I was instantly hooked by its beauty.

Although some might argue that the plots and storylines of the show have been rather wacky in the later seasons and they give up watching, I still believe that Glee is still about the whole underdog rising to the top story. Maybe along the way the writers really love complicating things and making all sorts of nonsensical storylines but if you think about it, life is full of complications and nonsensical stuff happening so I'm just going to let that slide and enjoy the final season to the show that brought me lots of joy, hope and songs that I keep replaying on iTunes.

Since this will be the last season, it also means the chance of having a Glee Tour in Singapore is like impossible now... Guess it's time to look for another show to fanboy about?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Chapter 96 : Back to School + Video

Just like most poly kids, I'm sure most of us have gotten use to waking up early, squeezing in crowded buses and sleeping (paying attention) during lectures. I for one have to say that I'm still trying to keep my head above the water cause I don't want to be one of those drowning when it's still the first week of school. Although I've heard a lot of things so far about this semester being the killer sem, I'm still trying to be optimistic about things since it's all about perspectives and looking at things from different angles. I'm sure I'll survive, but I don't want to be too certain about that statement.

So just about a year ago, my friend Hijanah and I decided to do go around asking people in school really random questions that could revolve just about anything and making it into a video. During the holidays I finally got down to editing the footages just to see how it'll be like and this is just a 30 second sneak preview of what you can expect! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Chapter 95 : Giving back #forRMHC

5 cents. It might seem like loose change that you want to get rid, but most of us might not realize that 5 cents can actually go a long way into helping others.

Many of you might not know this but every time you buy a Happy Meal from McDonald's, 5 cents out of that Happy Meal purchase goes to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).

Now you might be wondering, what exactly can that 5 cents do? It's true, 5 cents may not seem like a lot but when you put the other 5 cents that come from every other individual who buys a Happy Meal, that's a lot to help families in need of financial assistance, along with donations from the general public.

Throwback to one of my earlier posts where I talked about giving back to the community through volunteering, you can read it here. Donations are another alternative to giving back to the community if you don't have the time to spare. Usually when I donate, I try to find out the cause, if it's something that I support, the purpose of the charity and whether or not my donation would be put into good use and benefit others.

Just to share a little on what I found out about RMHC during their lovely blogger's sharing dinner last Wednesday, the aim of RMHC is to help families in Singapore with children that need intensive medical care such as treatment for cancer, trauma or undergoing organ transplants.

 Just last year, they set up Ronald McDonald House (RMH), working alongside with National University Hospital Paediatric Department to bring families closer to their hospitalised children by housing them at the RMH which is something I never knew until the dinner. During the dinner session, a family that benefitted from RMH was there to share her experience at the House and how it really helped her by bringing her closer to her youngest daughter who was hospitalized for 6 weeks and at the same time trying to look after her elder daughter who was in secondary school back then. You can read more about Joyce's story here.

This is what the House looks like, Joyce describes it as better than a chalet. Without a doubt, I couldn't even tell it was part of RMH cause it looks so modern.

Photo Courtesy of RMHC.

The fact that McDonald's is more than just a fast food chain that we grew up with and finding out that they are helping families going through a difficult time makes buying a Happy Meal even more meaningful.

In lieu of celebrating RMHC's 40th Anniversary, McDonald's Singapore has lined-up 3 things in which you take part and show your support for this global movement:

1. Donate and get a pair of Ronald McDonald's socks!
With effect from 15 October all the way to 28 October, you can make your donations to the charity by purchasing the exact same pair of socks that Ronald McDonald's has. You can purcahse them on Groupon and you have the option of purchasing it at $10, $20 or $50 and it's only limited to this period so I don't think they'll be up for grabs after the 28th!

Photo Credit:

Not only that, McDonald's would like to thank you for your donation by offering a complimentary Strawberry Sundae that can be redeemed at any McDonald's restaurant throughout Singapore.

2. Spread the Word and Share your Stripes on your Social Media platforms!
After you get your pair of cute Ronald McDonald's socks, post a picture on Instagram or tweet about it with these hashtags #forRMHC #RMHCSG to raise awareness. BUT It's perfectly fine if you don't get the socks as well, you can still show your support for the cause, just dress in red and white stripes or even come up with your own creative way that can still incorporate the colors red and white!

3. Take part in McHappy Day 2014 on 16 November!
Normally, every year McDonald's would have a carnival of sorts to commemorate McHappy Day. However, this year is special as they are celebrating RMHC's 40th anniversary and they're going all out. Join in the fun at McHappy Day Walk and Sale where there'll be volunteers selling the Ronald McDonald's socks across the island. Also happening on McHappy Day 2014 would be the #forRMHC Party at Tampines Mall's McDonald's!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chapter 94 : Thoughts on Turning 19

You know there's this saying:

"If you're always battling against getting older, you're always going to be unhappy, because it's going to happen anyhow."
- Mitch Albom

Which is pretty much what I'm going through in my life right now. So I just turned 19 not long ago, say 3 weeks back? I know some people will still say you're still a teenager/young adult but if you think about it, I'm hitting my twenties next year. Frankly speaking, it's kind of scary to think about, especially when you spent your life as a helpless baby to a cute toddler and evolving to that annoying kid phase to being a rebellious teen and you're somewhat going into your next phase, adulthood. It's just like a welcome slap in a face and welcome to real world where no one's going to guide you or treat you as a kid/teen anymore, but expect a lot from you. It's common for people to think that at this age you should know what you should do with your life and where you're going to go.

You could say that I didn't live as much for the past 18 years or I wouldn't be writing this post or how negative it's starting to sound turning older. As a kid I've always wanted to be independent and I guess I somewhat did, especially since I was an only child and didn't really had anyone else around my age to look up to or rely on. Thus, I took on a lot from my mom. For a kid, wanting to be independent and thinking maturely didn't really match up to my age, I've constantly felt that I don't behave like my age at all which is kind of hilarious when you think about it. For instance, when I was 10 I had an obsession with shirts cause I thought it'd make me look older and more mature so for like a period of time I would only wear shirts at home and out and shun from T-Shirts. I was a weird kid thinking about it now.

I have to admit that as much as I'm not optimistic about turning 19, another part of me wants to be older and get through life and the significant milestones like getting my driver's license, graduating from poly and uni, moving out and living on my own and finding the one and I had this mentality that once I pass through these moments, my life will somewhat "begin" but I was so wrong after seeing this on Twitter. (Who says you can't learn anything meaningful from Twitter right?) 

What's the point of going through these milestones if I don't remember or stopped to see how I got pass it in the first place, it'll be like I'm running a meaningless marathon in this rat race we call life.

Perhaps it's still that I'm trying to sink in the fact that I've turned 19 and the responsibilities will start to pile with every passing year. I shall end off this post the way I started, "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." I guess in my case, it does matter, just a tad bit?

[ *Don't let my post be a spoiler for those of you growing older or turning 19 as well, this is just simply how I feel right now and I believe we're all different. I've had friends who really enjoyed turning 19! :) ]