Row row row your boat

7 02 2015

“LIFE IS short.  Paddle hard.”  I see that on graphic tees all over Singapore.  I believe it to be true – like the duck, I’m calm and collected on the surface while paddling furiously underneath – so it was nice to be too literal with the metaphor, for a change, and take my first shot at dragon boating.

"Are we paddling yet?  You calling out to me?", the thought bubble above my head said.  Then they took this shot.  I love love love it.

“Are we paddling yet? You calling out to me?”, the thought bubble above my head said. Then they took this shot. I love love love it.

So I picked up a training paddle at the Kallang Water Sports Centre and took my first ever crack at breaking the waves.

This first time was brought by my company’s Sports and Recreation Committee, of which I’m a part.  But I am seriously considering to pick it up as my sport – not “weather permitting” but “my schedule permitting.”

I thought that this event was perfect to finally  take my official Philippine Dragon Boat Federation out for a spin.  Or a row.

I thought that this event was perfect to finally take my official Philippine Dragon Boat Federation jersey out for a spin. Or more appropriately, a row.  This was my country’s official jersey to the World Dragon Boat Championships in Szeged, Hungary.

 

 

My housemate snapped this shot before I went on my way.  She thought this was an awesome #OOTD.  Haha!

My housemate snapped this shot before I went on my way. She thought this was an awesome #OOTD. Haha!

 

 

Not that I doubted the first #OOTD comment I got, but I made it early at the meeting point so I just got to take one more snap, the duo of urinals notwithstanding.

Not that I doubted the first #OOTD comment I got, but I made it early at the meeting point so I just got to take one more snap, the duo of urinals notwithstanding.

 

 

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I’m not a rubber flip-flops person. But I’d got to get one. This pair of fipper© classics, bought the night before, cost me only S$ 9.99 and turned out to be perfect!

 

 

 

Kallang Water Sports Centre...  home of the action!

Kallang Water Sports Centre… home of the action!

 

 

It was an awesome day to paddle!

It was an awesome day to paddle!

 

 

A professional gave a short talk on Dragon Boat for Beginners, and later led the requisite stretching.  This guy was so so so cool and funny!  And really an authority on the subject matter.

A professional gave a short talk on Dragon Boat for Beginners, and later led the requisite stretching. This guy was so so so cool and funny! And really an authority on the subject matter.

 

 

My fellow first-time paddlers against the backdrop of the awesome Singapore skyline at daylight, anchored on to the image of the Singapore Flyer.  This is my favorite from all the photos taken.

My fellow first-time paddlers against the backdrop of the awesome Singapore skyline at daylight, anchored on to the image of the Singapore Flyer. This is my favorite from all the photos taken.

 

 

My Team won the race!  Haha!  That's one of my three Malaysian #BFFs, Michael, getting his award, a token wooden paddle.

My Team won the race! Haha! That’s one of my three Malaysian #BFFs, Michael, getting his award, a token wooden paddle.

 

 

That was a tiring, but really invigorating experience!

That was a tiring, but really invigorating experience!

 

 

From the water to dry land.  I find that the Stadium MRT station is one of the picturesque !  I love the play of blue hues.

From the water to dry land. I find that the Stadium MRT station is one of the picturesque ! I love the play of blue hues.

 

 

From one sport to yet another – shopping on Orchard Road!  Haha!  Gotta take a #selfie at the earliest convenience.

From one sport to yet another – shopping on Orchard Road! Haha! Gotta take a #selfie at the earliest convenience.

Copyright © 2015 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

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Almost home

1 04 2013
Darryl_Departure_18_Darryl_Solo

Best friend Darryl on the phone with his wife, Brenda, right after checking in all his luggage. No excess baggage!

I’M NOTHING if not fiercely loyal to my family and my friends (who are actually quite few).  I find that to be very Filipino, having grown up on Social Studies classes that always associated the words “family” and “closely knit” to no end.

A couple other things that I do find to be very Filipino are – as I have always said on this space – welcoming loved ones at the airport or sending them off.  Trust me, stop by the NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) at any given time and you will find throngs gathered as if they are there to topple a dictatorship.

I use this as one of two excuses to either pick up or send off friends at the airport.  The other excuse is that Changi International Airport is just so beautiful.  I call it an urban oasis where the tummy can be filled, the senses satiated, and where serious retail therapy can be had.  And I actually only need to hop on the Purple Line and take a couple of short interchanges before I soon find myself within the halls of Terminal 3, imposing with its cavernous, cathedral ceilings that render the place nothing short of hallowed.  I emerge to a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf shop to my right, ask for their Red Velvet Cake, sit back, and feel that I wouldn’t want to be someplace else.

Yesterday, I was back.  This time, to see best friend Darryl off.

Darryl_Departure_00_Control_Tower

“I see the tower! I see the tower!” “Fast approaching Changi International Airport. Darryl, a stickler for keeping schedules, told me that he had to be at the airport at exactly 4:00 AM.

 

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Darryl arrives at Changi International Airport Terminal 1.

 

Darryl_Departure_04_T1_Arrival

Long-standing friends eventually develop patience for me. Because as you can see, I will keep on asking them to… pose for second here, here, here. Hahaha!

 

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“It should just be here somewhere.” Darryl, though quite sure that every piece of luggage meets the airline standards, still wanted to have a final weigh-in.

 

Darryl_Departure_05_Audemars_Piguet

On the way to the industrial-grade weighing scale by Door No. 5, I saw this Audemars Piguet wall clock. See, we were able to beat our goal!

 

Darryl_Departure_06_Weigh_In

Darryl soon realized that I was actually of no use. Hahaha! Yes, I accompanied him to the airport but I just let him do the heavy lifting all by himself. Haha! Sorry about that. You know me and my camera, we sometimes have a world all our own.

 

Darryl_Departure_07_Weigh_In

Everything was weighing in according to Darryl’s expectations. Good job!

 

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Note to self for future reference – that’s how much a 40-inch flatscreen in its original packaging weighs. All of 20.55 kilograms!

 

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The stroller for the TV was checked in separately. It’s what airlines call as “irregularly shaped” items (for check-in).

 

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Now that the weigh-in is done, It’s time to head off to Row 07 for Darryl’s check-in.

 

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We couldn’t walk past this very “old school”-looking information counter and not take a snap. At some point I had to mention to Darryl that Singapore should seriously consider lobbying for Terminal 1 to be made into a UNESCO Heritage Site. The place just feels so historical in all its well-preserved glory. I couldn’t say the same for the NAIA, sadly.

 

Darryl_Departure_13_Check_In

“Hold it right there! Say cheese…” (Ok, not really a very popular word right now. Hahaha!)

 

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Darryl goes through his papers while he waits for his turn at the counter.

 

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It was not a long wait. But of course I still managed to squeeze in a self-portrait session. Hahaha!

 

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Row 07 check-in counters are right beside the entrance to the departure area. Time check after clearing check-in? 4:10 AM! Everything’s going on smoothly.

 

Darryl_Departure_17_Breakfast

Time in one’s hands is a good enough excuse to… eat! Hahaha!

 

Darryl_Departure_19_Breakfast

I love it when a place speaks my language!

 

Darryl_Departure_20_KFC

We decided on KFC for breakfast! Very important reminder: Outside food is not allowed.

 

Darryl_Departure_22_KFC

My platter of a breakfast! The eggs were nice. I particularly loved the crust on the original recipe chicken (fillet). Quite peppery. Some like it hot!

 

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Darryl had Blueberry Pancakes and a side of Scrambled Eggs.

 

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Something to slather on to the pancakes

 

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Breakfast was on Darryl. Thanks a lot!!!

 

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KFC has this sweeping view of the airport check-in area. Notice how this scene is beautifully awash in blue.

 

Darryl_Departure_27_Boarding_Pass

I really like the orange-and-white color combination on the Jetstar Boarding Pass.

 

Darryl_Departure_28_Boarding_Pass

For some reason, I find the Jestar logo design to be quite smart, catchy, and with good recall. Speaking of recall, the logo brings to mind a skinny tie I had eons ago. It’s black silk, with – you guess it right – a star subtly embroidered on it. I would wear it to gigs to give me an instant boost of… stardom. Hahaha!

 

Darryl_Departure_29_Darryl

At the airport, a traveler checks and checks again his stuff.

 

Darryl_Departure_30_Darryl

On the way to the Departure Area, guess what Darryl saw? A tarp for QANTAS, the flag carrier of Australia!

 

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We just had to take one last selfie before we hit the road – I mean, before I hit the road and Darryl hit the sky at 30-plus-thousand feet up in the air.

 

Darryl_Departure_32_Darryl

Buh-bye!

It was practically his last day in the Lion City, en route to a place where the opera house by the water is considered to be one of the first marvels of modern architecture.  The route he is taking is by way of a week-long break in the Philippines, then an hours-long layover in Singapore to pick up his remaining luggage, before it would be time to scoot to the Great Outback.

There, his wife Brenda – along with their plans for a new life – awaits.

I know it is still a matter of a few more days to the day.  But it is so close that best friend Darryl can already smell the kangaroos.

All the best, Darryl & Brenda.  You know I will miss you!

Darryl_Departure_33_Flight_Info

I love looking at the Flight Information Board at airports!

 

Darryl_Departure_34_eNTeNG

I would’ve wanted to wear a DLSU shirt in honor of the traveler. But I realized that I don’t have one. HAHAHA! I thought a green shirt would do. But then I saw this “UC DAVIS” shirt and just put it on.

 

Darryl_Departure_35_Skytrain

After seeing best friend Darryl off, it was time to hop on the Skytrain to Terminal 3.

 

Darryl_Departure_36_Skytrain

Inside the Skytrain, I got transfixed on to this ad. Nice visuals. Hahaha! Oh, the key message bears repeating – you get 7% savings on the GST if you shop at the Changi International Airport.

 

Darryl_Departure_38_Skytrain

Gotta have another shot of me in my “bagong gising” (just-out-of-bed) look. Conceited much??? Hahaha!

 

Darryl_Departure_39_Times_Travel

I can buy my month’s worth of magazines at Times Travel in one go! I had to come back later because it was still quite early and they don’t open until 7:00 AM.

 

Darryl_Departure_40_Fascinating_Russia

Changi Airport presents “Fascinating Russia” from 16 Mar – 7 Apr 2013!

 

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Prepare to be fascinated by Russia!

 

Darryl_Departure_42_Red_Square

Welcome to Red Square!

 

Darryl_Departure_43_Red_Square

I saw this part of the “Fascinating Russia” setup framed in my Canon IXUS 860IS and I knew right there and then that I want it printed on a shirt and I’d wear it!

 

Darryl_Departure_44_T3

I can’t help but feel so tiny whenever I’m inside Changi Airport Terminal 3. And I’ve always loved the ceiling treatment. I’m not sure if those panels serve a specific, important purpose. Better ask my brother!

 

Darryl_Departure_45_T3_Dining

I can get stuck in Terminal 3 and never want for anything. Haha! This board has my name written all over it.

 

Darryl_Departure_46_Feedback

I love giving feedback. So when I saw this terminal, I knew I just had to write something for all the amazing people behind Changi Airport. Besides, I had plenty of time to kill while I wait for the shops to open.

 

Darryl_Departure_47_Feedback

The keyboard has a very Apple feel to it. Though one of the keys clearly says otherwise.

 

Darryl_Departure_48_Feedback

Didn’t take me long to fill out the online form.

 

Darryl_Departure_49_Red_TOMS

Of all my TOMS, this one in red corduroy has racked up the most mileage. One of my brothers got this for me as a send-off gift on the day I left for Singapore. On the wya to the airport, we stopped by Alabang Town Center. There, he asked me to try on TOMS (he was the first one to go crazy over these shoes) ans whichever I liked, he said he would get for me. The sales people ended packing up what I had on as I decided to wear this pair on my flight.

 

Darryl_Departure_50_Longchamp

Accompanying me while I waited for the shops to fling open their doors was my Longchamp Parisi in lambskin leather. It’s not as obvious given that it is in black, but I can tell by the feel of the supple leather that this bag has been developing a lovely patina.

 

Darryl_Departure_51_T3_Information

Again, given that I had a lot of time in my hands, I decided to go to the Information desk and clarify what time the shops will open. Impatient much?!?! Hahaha!

 

Darryl_Departure_54_T3_Elevator

From the Skytrain/Departure Area on Level 2, the Information personnel recommended that I check out the shops on the Arrival floor.

 

Darryl_Departure_55_JiaJia

I saw this panda at a promotional booth and wanted to buy it. Hahaha! “Jia Jia” is the name.

 

Darryl_Departure_57_Slide@T3

See, there’s recreation at Changi Airport. This one is called The Slide @ T3.

 

Darryl_Departure_56_Slide@T3

I don’t think I’ll survive this slide. I got nauseous just staring at it.

 

Darryl_Departure_58_Shorts

Just about anywhere there is a mirror. Hahaha!

 

Darryl_Departure_59_Gelateria_Italia

I took this photo as a shout-out to my Italian big brother Kuya Michele!

 

Darryl_Departure_60_Elevator

I really find the elevators at Terminal 3 to be such marvels of architecure, or in a simpler term, construction. This for me is a conversation piece with my youngest brother.

 

Darryl_Departure_61_Magazines

Yey! Times Travel had finally opened! I immediately hit the magazine racks that occupy almost two walls.

 

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I picked up all the titles you see on this photo. Obviously, I’m a believer of Style, silver linings, and Oz The Great and The Powerful!

 

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These wall clocks hang above the men’s magazine section. i looked up and saw them as if they were my shining stars. Hahaha!

 

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I saw that the Robb Report’s latest edition features wristwatches so I’ve just got to have it! It was a pleasant last-second addition to my already heavy stash.

 

Darryl_Departure_65_Lonely_Planet

First the wall clocks. Now these editions of The Lonely Planet. Singapore and Australia side-by-side. What are these, portents of things to come?

 

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“Ring up my purchases please!” Notice that the sales associate was kind enough to double up my carrier. It was THAT heavy. It would be a considerable journey by train so I figured that all these reading materials would come in handy. It was still quite early so there should be plenty of seats on the train on the route back.

 

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Even this escalator ride to the MRT station just has an air of grandeur and elegance that speaks of a budget that didn’t allow for any corners to be cut.

 

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Changi Airport MRT Station

 

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The last text. See, only a real best friend can make a reference to a nonexistent lovelife. Hahaha! Notice that Darryl’s number is still recorded on my mobile under his wife’s name (who used to use this number). Darryl would keep on reminding me to update my records. I didn’t get around to doing it. Hahaha!

Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





The Dark Knight Rises

28 05 2012

THE DARK Knight Rises, the movie, is yet to hit cinemas this coming July 2012.  But the real Dark Knight in my life, my best friend Batman, has risen above all others in his latest endeavor in life.

The Dark Knight and I, somewhere in Greenbelt 5!

He just finished his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at the University of the Philippines Diliman, arguably my country’s foremost educational institution.  He graduated with a general grade point average of 1.1548!  As a student I’m used to getting “flat ones” – grades of “1.00” – myself, but that kind of average is just beyond my wildest dreams.  I graduated at the top of my class.  But not with that kind of grade.

What is more remarkable to me is that he did this while keeping a full-time job, and at a time when he welcomed his and his wife’s first bundle of joy into their lives.  How he juggled all of those aspects of his life, I really couldn’t imagine.

Some say you can’t have it all.  But I guess, in Batman’s case, you can almost.  He does almost have it all – if not already.

Congratulations, best friend.  I’m so proud of you!

One of my send-off lunches before coming to Singapore was with Batman.

 

He presented me with yet another one of the toys from his personal collection. This one was specifically tasked to watch over me in the Lion City. Haha!

 

eNTeNG and Batman. For the record, that’s my happy face. Hahaha!

 

See, he was already doing what he was tasked to do. Watch over me! Haha!

 

Batman, waiting for boarding at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, 29 June 2011

 

Batman, a collage…

 

Batman, ION Orchard, Orchard Road, Singapore

 

Batman, in Black & White, Kinokuniya, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Orchard Road, Singapore

 

Classic Batman, painted on Chucks, Converse, Mustafa Department Store, Farrer Park, Singapore

 

The Dark Knight Rises, move poster, Golden Village Cinemas, Marina Square, Singapore

 

See Batman, you’re even the image on my MRT card! Haha! (Photo taken by Yong Run, who has always been so patient and gracious to snap my likeness whenever I strike a pose… and not scream at the top of his lungs at me and say, “eNTeNG, would you please get yourself an iPhone4?! Geez!”)

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





An emcee for all seasons

17 05 2012

ONE OF the notes I have received from friends whose wedding receptions I emceed said, “eNTeNG, you really are the emcee for all seasons.”  To me that’s one of the best compliments anybody has ever given me.

Tonight, over dinner of a couple of bowls of Master Sham Pork Ribs and Lotus Root Soup, a couple of bowls of piping hot steamed white rice, a couple of honey-glazed roasted chicken wings, and a couple of mugs of iced milk tea – all mine, I have to make clear – one of the closest friends I have made in the past 10 months I’ve been here in Singapore, asked of me what he said was a “huge favor.”

Of course I said yes.  And I sealed it with a gentleman’s handshake.  I’ll be emceeing his wedding reception here in Singapore, end of this year.  To be asked to do this is always such an honor.  And this being my first ever non-Filipino event, I feel so trusted.

He asked further, “Would you like to sing?”

Now there’s no turning back.  Hahaha!

Walking from the train station to my flat, I got reminded of the many wedding receptions I have emceed for friends, all the way back in the day when mobile communication was still a figment of my imagination.

I have managed to chronicle on this blog some of these memorable events.  I’d like to reminisce a little and share them with you as well.  (Click on the links below to read more)

Bom & Rizzie’s Wedding

Bom & Rizzie, 10 January 2009

 

Ian & Marie’s Wedding

Ian & Marie, 15 August 2009

 

Jossel & Vel’s Wedding

Jossel & Vel, 10 December 2010

 

Tom & Jen’s Wedding

Tom & Jen, 02 January 2012

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





The Photography Enthusiast

2 05 2012

I’M NOT resorting to self-deprecating humor whenever I claim that I don’t think I photograph well.  I really don’t.  I know of some whose faces know no angles.  I’m not one of them.  So clearly I need someone who can go manual with his or her camera, play with the aperture and shutter settings, and snap an image of my likeness that won’t be hazardous to be beheld by the human eye.

Just that.  I’m not going for someone who would capture me bathed in the light of the hot Singaporean sun, suffused with an ethereal glow reminiscent of subjects in medieval art.  Just someone who would render my image fit for human visual consumption.

One such photographer – or photography enthusiast, as I love to refer to them – is Adam, both a trusted friend and formerly an engineer in the team I managed in the Philippines.  In this blog, I’ve referred to him in previous posts as The Tycoon.  He has also moved here in Singapore but is part of a group different from mine.  He took this shot of me at the Soccer Carnival a couple of weeks back and I’m loving it.

eNTeNG, as captured by Adam. ...Vintage Mickey Mouse T-shirt, a HK flea market find; Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarers in white, fitted with Crizal transition lens; TechnoMarine Apnea Sport wristwatch in red; SONY NEX-5D Digital Bridge Camera; Oxygen shorts (not seen in photo); purple Bossini socks (not seen in photo); Classic Black and White Adidas Samba shoes (not seen in photo).

I have to say, it’s got to be my favorite from any photo of mine from that day.  I seriously am considering having this on my wall.

Thanks, Adam!

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





AquaTecK 3+1

22 04 2012

Amazing Maritime Challenge, Singapore Maritime Week, Resorts World Sentosa, Sunday, 22 April 2012

AT THE rate I’m exposing myself to the elements, most especially the sun, it seems  that – even to me – I’m working against a deadline to achieve a tan three shades darker than my natural skin tone.

But it’s not like I’m in Alaska, where there may be only four weeks of summer a year.  For crying out loud, I’m in Singapore where there is sun the whole year round.

So what’s the rush?

Actually, there is no rush.  It just so happens that most of the activities I signed up for to either support or participate in are spaced quite near apart.  Case in point?  Only three hours of sleep separated my cheering for Team WHATEVER at the Soccer Carnival and my participation in today’s Amazing Maritime Challenge, the opening salvo of the festivities of the Singapore Maritime Week 2012.

The event kicked off at the Bull Ring near the Universal Studios globe.

The challenge was open to teams of four members each.  I was invited by three Singaporean colleagues and friendsChiang, Kim, and Tze Yoke – to be the fourth member of their group.  These people have been very good to me at work so I was just too happy to say yes.

The first order of business on challenge day – today – was to come up with a team name, and around it create and make a design incorporating the “five maritime elements” (say what?!).

They asked me if I had a team name in mind.  It just occurred to me, “3+1.”  We’re Team 3+1 – three Singaporeans and one Filipino!  And then I played with the initials of our names and thought that given the industry where we come from, the resulting acronym sounded apropos – TeCK.  So we became Team “TeCK 3+1.”

But besides committing to our blank canvass of bibs the images of very-primary school-artwork-caliber fish, seaweed, jellyfish and starfish, Tze Yoke suddenly floated the idea of prefixing the decided team name with the word “Aqua.”  My immediate reaction was that he was going for an explicit expression of affinity to water, probably the only maritime element we’re certain of (out of the possible five).  Then I wrote the name down on the bib and it made so much more sense to me.

AquaTeCK 3+1.  Now I get it.  Haha!

My Team and I, waiting for the Resorts World Sentosa bus.

 

Let's try that group photo one more time. Here I am with Kim, Chiang, and Tze Yoke.

 

The shoes!

 

Starting to work on our challenge bibs

 

Our challenge bibs are done! Team "AquaTeCK 3+1" is now raring to go!

 

(To be continued…)

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Whatever

21 04 2012

"Will the rain stop?"... My colleague and friend, Heng Yie, on the sidelines, Team WHATEVER vs. Team SYNERGY League Match, Soccer Carnival, St. Wilfrid Sports Complex, St. George's Road, Singapore, 21 April 2012

IT IS not my nature to commit in halves.  It is either I commit, or I don’t.  So when I pledged my support to my colleagues and friends that I would be there to see them bend it like Beckham, I meant to be there for all of them – for the guys last Sunday and for the girls earlier today.

Though I don’t think I’d hear the end of it from Kiddo.  She pointed out how shamelessly late I was.  I blamed it on the rain.  I don’t remember her actual reaction.  But from the looks of it, she could have very well just told me, “WHATEVER!”

Soccer has never been my spectator sport of choice.  Track and field is my favorite, having toyed with the illusion of becoming a world-famous sprinter.  But a couple of weekends spent watching these brainy individuals – I’ve already declared how much I look up to most of them – morph into goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and strikers, gave me a deeper appreciation of the sport.

Not to mention a higher level of respect for colleagues and friends who clearly are so much more than computer programs, data analysis, resource allocation, and fault isolation that, in the nature of their jobs, often goes to dimensions in the order of tens of thousandths of the thickness of human hair.

The fact that soccer is quite a physically demanding sport; these girls – much like their Head Coach Kelvin and the rest of the guys in Sunday’s matches – were willing to risk limb and flawless skin in the name of the game.  Pulling a muscle the wrong way, tumbling several times on the green artificial turf, and sustaining cuts and bruises were all just part of their end goal in mind – to win this year’s championship crown.

It was no easy feat.  It took all of seven matches – five league, one semi-final, and the final – and a lot of goal-creating opportunities, actual shots taken, passes, interceptions, and quite a number of tackles before the Team clinched victory.  And the defending champions, who clearly came in to the field with targets on their back from just about every other participating team, didn’t make it easy either.  Every match always turned out to be one good fight.

Each was so good that not even the rain that came pouring down very early in the morning – which for hours didn’t show any signs of letting up – was enough to put a dent on the day.  Sure, it drenched the field and soaked the players in their jerseys.  But that was all that it dampened – definitely not the spirits.

I went to the soccer carnival excited to see my friends play, and by the time the program was through, I took away with me a truth so clear, it was in sharp contrast to the overcast sky.

Whatever your language, whatever your nationality, whatever you do, when you work with your team and you put your heart into it, together you can all win.  Remember, WHATEVER.

Congratulations to Team WHATEVER for winning this year’s Soccer Carnival!  I’m so proud of all of you!

"We Are The Champions"... Mitch, Shan Shan, Kia Leh, Marge, Bee Lian, Evone, Joyce, Cheng Cheng, Suk Li, and Team Captain, Kwai Han.

Getting ready for one big fight!

One... Two... Three... WHATEVER!!!

"Of course, we can win this next one!"

A smile to the camera from Shan Shan. Her delicate frame and sweet smile belie how much of an aggressive striker she could be on the field!

Shan Shan in action

Shan Shan dribbles.

Maneuvering some more

Shan Shan kicks the ball in.

"The ball is mine!"

Shan Shan sees an opening and scores!

Cheng Cheng rejoices!

 

One Ball to rule them all, One Ball to fight over. One Ball to bring them all, and in the pouring rain on the field, bind them.

Kiddo, patiently waiting in the wings.

Kia Leh and Kwai Han. I saw them form "91" with their jersey numbers. That was the year I graduated from high school... at the top of my class. Har har har!

Winning five straight matches (so far) could take its toll. The girls would take very quick power breaks in between.

Kia Leh is a fireball of energy on the green.

This photo of Kwai Han has the feel of a shampoo or a beauty soap ad. Seriously!

I told her about it and the self-effacing person that I've always known her to be made this cute face. Of course that's Kiddo Kia Leh in the background.

As Kwai Han proved, they are more than just pretty faces. They are fun, fab, but at the same time fearless. And in this shot, kind of fierce. Rawrrrrr!

Joyce, Kia Leh and Kwai Han battle it out for control of the ball.

Shan Shan, Kia Leh and Michelle charge to convert this goal-creating moment.

Goooaaal!!! Team WHATEVER scores!

Joyce, Kwai Han, Eone, Kia Leh and Cheng Cheng protect the goal.

A head butt interception from Eone saves the day! Haha!

Mitch!

Michelle, Cheng Cheng and Shan Shan charge forward!

Michelle is determined to meet the blues head on.

Score!!!

Bee Lian rejoices!

Cheng Cheng looks at the ball as if telling it, "Cooperate or else. Either way, you'll get good kicking from me!"

Cheng cheng intercepts and successfully stops the ball on its tracks.

Now, it is mine!

"If you want it, come and get it." Cheng cheng prepares to fight over the ball.

Cheng Cheng is one of the girls who sustained some injury during the games. Here, she is attended by both Bee Lian and a staff of the Medical Team.

Be Lian said that she has a built-in camera detector. She knows whenever she needs to flash her megawatt smile. Here, she realizes I was covering the moment and beams, some of the players and the supporters, including the injured Cheng Cheng couldn't help but smile as well.

A fleet of supporters is important to any sports team. Or sometimes, that ONE SUPPORTER is all that matters.

11 + 3 = 1

Don't be afraid. You can play this game.

Team WHATEVER enjoyed the loyal support of colleagues and friends like Kok Wah, Chee Hou, and Heng Yie.

Not even the non-stop rain could keep Jellyn and everybody else from supporting the team.

The team could definitely count on Eric, Heng Yie, Chee Hou, Way Hung, Ee Xyan, and Jellyn to be there.

All the pretty ladies! Who run the world?! Girls! Hehe...

Some of the guys jumped in - Chee Sian, Assistant Coach Der Zhan, and Chee Hou.

Yu Ting was clowning around and finally made it to the group shot. Haha!

Let's hear it for the boys!

Once more with the girls

There's a Team WHATEVER because there's a Head Coach Kelvin.

Kelvin, the cool coach, here wearing his cool Oakley sunnies.

Coach Kelvin keeps a close watch on the team's moves.

Kelvin is quite the cool coach. I think I was more hyper than he was. Haha!

Coach Kelvin and Team PE Player, Wee Hee.

Coach Kelvin confers with Wee Hee while Adam captures the action in still.

 

This is Adam, who used to be one of my engineers in the Philippines. Here, he comes across to me as the photography enthusiast that he really is!

 

The Sunday prior, these guys, Timothy, Kelvin and Wee Hee, went to the field to play. They came back to officially officiate in the matches. Though I guess a part of them was silently cheering for Team WHATEVER. Haha!

 

One of the supporters who came was my good friend Way Hung, who I learned, through this shirt, to be Team WHATEVER's Kwai Han's secondary school classmate in Perak, Malaysia. Friendships do last.

 

See there, Kwai Han!

 

And that's his, Way Hung!

 

While I did assume that Kelvin will just be all too happy to teach me how to play, I won't mind being coached by this guy. I call this photo, "Way Hung and his Power Kick". I first saw just what he could unleash with one kick of that ball on the practice field at Kallang Community Center. You wouldn't want to be at the receiving end of that kick. Haha!

 

Okay, let's try something else fancy.

 

A dribble here...

 

...and there.

 

See that?!

 

And that's how you play.

 

Of course I attempted...

 

But my best contribution would be to pick up the balls after the real athletes!

 

So I just went on to have my photos taken with some of these lovely, beautiful, interesting people I saw on the field. Here, with Shan Shan.

 

With Coach Kelvin!

 

With Kwai Han

 

With my own coach (haha!), Way Hung. And oh, I haven't acknowledged yet the special participation of Mickey Mouse. Haha!

 

Me and someone else's umbrella which I picked up from the pile on the green. Don't worry, I made sure I returned it.

 

Way Hung, Yong Run, eNTeNG

 

With Karen who was doing emceeing duties for the second time around. Good job, Karen!

 

With one of the nicest and loveliest people in the office, Joey! See that on her arm? Artwork! People do have a fun side to them. Body painting looked great on her.

 

A few more action shots. Here with Shan Shan, Cheng Cheng and Mitch. Good deflection by Shan Shan!

Shan Shan and Kwai Han team up to show their opponents just how it is done.

 

 

See what I mean!

 

Shan Shan is now in control.

 

Sports Superstars have a veritable fan base. Here, Team WHATEVER poses with their very own!

 

Let's try that one more time!

 

There would be a number of cameras flashing all at the same time everytime these girls and their supporters strike pose that we sometimes wouldn't know if we were done or not. Haha!

 

Bee Lian said that she has a "built-in camera detector". She knows when the lens is being trained upon her sight. I have to say it is true. Here, she knew exactly I was trying to steal a shot. (Way Hung, why so serious?! Hehe...)

 

Ladies and gentlemen, Beyonce!!! "All the single ladies... All the single ladies..."

 

Kwai Han, Kia Leh, Assistant Coach Der Zhan, and Joyce

 

How can the really gloomy sky bring anyone's spirits down when smiles are this bright?!

 

Shan Shan... Milo should be paying you for this photo. You could very well be their new endorser!

 

I have to say, Team WHATEVER had the hugest loyal following that day!

 

After 17 matches on the field, everything boiled down to these final two matches.

 

Team WHATEVER takes on last year's champions, Synergy. Go Team WHATEVER!!!

 

The road to victory...

 

They even clinched a special title, that of the highest-scoring team!

 

What is their hands saying? Oh yeah, number one!!!

 

Here they are joined by the two guys who really helped make this all happen, Assistant Coach Der Zhan, and Head Coach, the Kelvin!

 

Everybody now joins in on the celebration!

 

Celebrate good times. Come on!

 

Presenting this year's Soccer Carnival Champions, Team WHATEVER!

 

On top of their medals, the girls received a special award for being the highest-scoring team.

 

The taste of victory!

 

Der Zhan, Timothy, and Kelvin

 

Clearly, a part of this victory is offered by the girls to their friends and supporters.

 

The girls get movie vouchers for scoring the highest!

 

Suk Lee even won a lucky draw prize!!! She got the 10th in an array of 15 prizes.

 

Kwai Han and her medal

 

Can you handle this?!

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