SSA Family Day 2012 – SNCO and Crayon Parade

About a month ago Pinwen asked if I would like to perform at SSA Family Day with him and some of his friends so I said yes! The whole process after that was pretty blurry, but we roped in Audrey and Sihan, who I’d played before.

Still remember that first day when PW, Sihan, Eugene and I met up to practice! I didn’t know Eugene was coming at all. So I was waiting with PW when Sihan turned up and he was talking about another guy, who turned out to be Eugene!!

I watched Eugene play in Riley before. And was just totally awed!! I got an immediate panic attack at the moment Eugene turned up. I was so worried that I told PW to give a disclaimer before I play lol. And he ended up joking about it. Hahaha.

Anyway, it’s just so awesome how things turned out, now we’re all like good friends, and it’s just quite cool that Eugene stays so near my place, so after every session I have someone to accompany me home. Hahhaa.

It’s the first time that I performed without being that nervous on stage in SSA!!

Made some really good friends throughout these weeks too.
Learnt a few lessons in life too… Bit upsetting to talk about, but it’s just good to learn about difficulties so that I can grow!!

Here are some pictures!


Us on stage

BFF and me!

SNCO performed too!! Here’s our group photo!! Big band woots!

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Genuine vs fake.

Was listening to the song that I listen to a lot recently (see previous post), and I suddenly thought of something.

I hang out with various people throughout these few years in my life, and I somehow can feel when someone is treating me nice genuinely or when they treat me nice because I am their friend. Trust me, all these makes a difference.

I used to have a crush on this guy in secondary school for years (refer to one of the older posts), and I knew that he treated me nice because he’s my friend. Even in recent years when we met up, I could feel that it was the sake of meeting up and not anything more. I wondered why I had a crush on him then. It’s like, nothing would totally have come out of it.

And then in recent years, I met new people who are truly genuinely happy to see me and chat with me, not for the sake of anything. They tell me to be careful because they are truly worried about me. They advise me not to look back because they can feel my pain. They send me pictures because they want to share their happiness with me.

You may think that I may be kidding myself with all these stuff and that these people don’t exist anymore. But they do, I have a really good sixth sense and instinct. Sometimes I may just ignore them but I can feel it. And today as I received another picture from a friend (if you follow me on twitter you’ll know what it is), I realised who these group of people are. I’m not saying that these people don’t exist outside these camp of people, maybe I just haven’t met them yet, but I’m just saying that majority come from these group.

They are people I know from Gakkai. 🙂

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NUSSD Graduation.

So I graduated from SD yesterday…

Wow, I remembered how 1 year ago after O&G 2010, I was walking around, feeling pretty upset and sore because my DSLR had dropped. And then Sharon and Derui came to me (at different times) and gave me 2 gifts. Sharon gave me a card that had Sensei’s guidance, and Derui, a notebook from SGI Japan. I will always treasure these gifts and will never forget the feeling when I received them.

I gave out my own postcards yesterday. Really glad that my friends love them! 😀 Based on their feedback that I got, it’s that the cards are pretty. I don’t think many of them know that the pictures were taken by me. haha. But anyways, yea.

Quite sad that a few of my friends weren’t able to attend the meeting. Would be great to have them there to share the joy and my testimonial.

I didn’t attend the day event this year, and even missed out on some stuff at the night event, but I had fun! Really loved how they involved us graduates this year, instead of us being participants only.

Anyway, I felt really honoured to be able to share my testimonial. First time!! I had always felt that my life was going well and that unless something really big happens, then I would be able to share. So now my chance came!

I thought back how 1 year ago I had only just became CIC (can you believe it?!) and now I’ve graduated! With so much more experience than I ever had in 3 years in poly. Haha. I suddenly thought of Sally’s perspective about my situation then and she explained that there was a possibility that because I had made a decision to be more active in Gakkai and also helped others more (something to that effect), I had changed my karma and polished my life. I really think so too now! 😀

I realised that life’s a series of parallel projects to be honest! So what’s next for me? I’m seriously thinking of joining Chingay next year. I had actually decided not to join this one when they announced it a few weeks ago, until they reminded us that next year is the year of the dragon!!! OMG!!! I performed at Chingay in the year 2000. Hahaha. So now it’s one cycle of the horoscope and I get the chance to join again!! Why shouldn’t I take it? haha. Trainings will start in October, so I have about a month to “relax” after the concert this week, before being busy again. I am going to make sure the month of September will allow me to settle down into learning the cello and some other long term plans that I have made for myself.

Cello… Finally I am learning it. I have been talking so many times about wanting to learn it but have been pushing it constantly away. My reasons? No money, no time. I realised that if I really want something to be a priority, I will have the money and time regardless. Even if it means my bank account being quite empty. And I was reading the book “Something Borrowed” in which the narrator was saying how she regretted having a prim and proper life up until then. Now that i have gotten school out of the way, I am going to live an exciting life! Sure I will keep a 9-5(6) job, I will still be strong in my faith, but it doesn’t mean I can’t do the many things that are out there for me. I want to learn cello, I want to be good at percussion, I want to travel, I want to have fun with my friends at Timbre, I can do that.

Nothing is impossible. 🙂

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June 2010 Projects: SD Peace Carnival (20 June)

About 2 months ago, I was asked if I would like to help out at the SD Peace Carnival. To be honest, when I first agreed, I thought it was like a “whole of NUSSD will participate” event. Yes, they did participate in various ways, but I didn’t know I would be placed in the planning team.

Anyway, Doris and I were selected as NUSSD’s YWD (young women division) representatives for this peace carnival. I missed my first meeting and attended the 2nd one, where we further discussed on what the carnival would be like for the “Economics” section where NUSSD was part of.

It was a really tough few meetings as such ideas were difficult.

Anyway, for those who aren’t sure what the peace carnival was about, ever year, the student division (SD) of Singapore Soka Association will come up with a “June Project”. Last year was the Rufu-Run (which I couldn’t attend due to SNCO) and this year, they decided (they meaning the excos) to do something based on Ikeda Sensei’s Peace Proposal (2009, which can be found here: ). The three topics are “Nuclear Weapons”, “Environment” and “Economics”. The goal was to let more people especially teenagers be more aware about the 3 topics.

I fell sick the week before the carnival and missed like 2 meetings that week. Not to mention, on the day of the carnival, SNCO had a rehearsal with the brass band for the upcoming performance. The day before, i was just so stressed I had no idea what to do but chant. Luckily, I smsed Melissa and Meow Ling who encouraged me and assured that such problems are common and that I should do my best in whichever meeting/event I choose to go.

So, in the morning, I went to SNCO to help them with their instruments and then went to HQ for the peace carnival after that.

Upon reaching there, I was tasked to help out with the “Retrench or Retain” booth. Basically, the whole section was a combined effort from NP, ITAC and NUS Student divisions. Our booths are all combined efforts (heard that the other levels were individual institution booths. Everyone did a great job though). There were 2 parts to the booths, a scenario and a game section. The scenarios are economics based (for our section) with no right answer for any choice you make at the scenario.

As I had just recovered, I was still quite weak that day. Kept coughing after trying to speak louder while explaining the scenario to the visitors. Luckily Melissa helped me take over the booth for a while and Ann Nee gave me a packet of Hacks sweets to make my throat feel a bit better (Thanks!) The trick I found was that I should speak at a comfortable volume and they will lean forwards to listen to you.

Oh yes. I was told off indirectly by the SD YMD chief (=x) coz I didn’t greet the visitors (which were the chiefs basically). So paiseh. 🙁 But yea, I was still not in the right state of mind. Need to train properly too.

I had fun on that day though. Thanks to Huzaen who came down. He’s like the only person whom I invited who went down. Haha. He said he enjoyed the panel sharing (me too, as it was super informative).

I didn’t take much pictures as I was busy the whole day. However, my sis tagged me in one of the photos taken by a fellow Gakkai member. Haha. Quite nice.

Alright. This was my first “June Project”. Learnt a lot, gained a lot of knowledge and whole new friends as well. I thought this was a really good idea and maybe every year we should do something related to Sensei’s peace proposal. 🙂

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SSA Youth Musical 2010 (SYM 2010)

29 March 2010 – I watched the above musical over the last 2 weekends – first one with Huzz 2 Sundays ago at 10am, with Yi Long at 1pm yesterday and with Eve 4pm yesterday.

I took my 2 twins along (separately) because Jia Hao who plays the Chinese cast’s Toda Sensei reminded me strongly of Yi Long ever since I knew him through NUSSD. As for Eve, it was a kind of meetup after a really long time and my sis is an English cast.

Anyway, a short background about why there’s the SYM this year. Ok not really a background but some history. Every 5 years, SSA will organize a Youth Cultural Festival (YCF) which is actually a performance by youths in SSA. This year, as the year coincides with SGI’s 80th anniversary and _______ hence they put up a musical instead.

I participated in pasts YCF before. First one was with SD back in 2001.

Source: SYM 2010’s Picasa

And the next one was 2005’s:

I admit that I’m a bit disappointed that SNCO wasn’t involved in this year’s. The next one’s like 5 years later! But anyway, I’m pretty proud of my sis as she’s a cast in it! So I wasn’t that sad anymore. Haha.

I’d originally bought a pair of ticket for English cast (for Huzz and I) to watch my sis, but in the end wanted to watch the Chinese show after knowing that I know quite a few friends from NUSSD who are part of the Chinese cast. So I went around searching for tickets to the Chinese show. THEN, Eve contacted me and I decided to ask her along for another English show.

All 3 shows were awesome. I cried the most for the first show, mainly because it was near perfect and the story touched me. Almost cried for the Chinese one, because it was just as touching. But there was a sound glitch I believe that scared me into NOT tearing. The last show was almost teary as well. I think Lionel (I don’t know him but my sis told me his name), is a really consistent actor as young Shin’ichi. The actor as Toda (English cast) was excellent as well. It’s as though he channelled Toda Sensei’s spirit.

For the Chinese cast, Jiahao was OMG! How did he make that hoarse voice? Yi Long commented that his acting was good. 🙂 Oh ya Yi Long likes the voice of the young Mineko (not sure of the actress’ name).

Eve almost teared if not for the fast change of scenes. My twin shared my same sentiments and felt that Lionel’s an excellent actor.

I still cannot believe that none of them are professional actors, dancers, etc if not for the fact that I know some of them personally (and know that they have skills in other areas as well). They should all go into PT acting!!!! 😀 Damn good!

But well, I think we should just get the DVD when it comes out (heard from my sis that they have to go through the censorship review board and everything before it can be distributed).

I bought the soundtrack btw and my sis was just singing along with it this morning. Haha 🙂
Money well spent. 🙂

It’s been a few weeks since SYM. Last week my sis and the rest of the cast received the SSA Culture Award! It’s one of the highest award that SSA gives. So proud of her! 🙂

At times as such, I cannot be weak.

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SD Kenshu 2010 (30-31 Jan).

NUSSD on the 2nd day of kenshu

Meant to blog this last week but I was just too busy! Life has been interesting lately.

Kenshu, or 研修 basically means training in Bahasa Japanese (hahaha). Every year I believe SD has a kenshu for all members and friends to participate and learn.

So this year, I agreed to go for kenshu but didn’t take the exam. Basically, throughout the lessons, I was OT-ing. I went for the first lesson (learnt about SSA’s SD history for that one) and the subsequent ones I couldn’t make it.

So on the morning of the first day, I was feeling a little freaked out as I didn’t really know what to bring and pack. After packing, I realised that I had to bring a lot of stuff and was wondering why (it was a 2D 1N thing). Haha.

Then, on my way there, my shirt had this string that decided to unroll from nowhere. I had to break the string using my hands on the train and it looked pretty awful. All these bad demons attacking me huh?

By the time I reached CCK LRT (the kenshu was at Senja Soka Centre) I was freaking out, wondering if my outfit was ok as they said we have to wear at least 3/4 pants. I was wearing a pants that reached my knees.

Regress a bit, I know I’m a bit paranoid but I’m scared not knowing what the 2 days was going to be like. I think I’m kinda weird in some way. Wonder if there’s a syndrome for it. If I don’t know the schedule for a meeting or stuff, I’ll just freak out. My day has to be planned out if I’m out with others. Only with family and myself then I won’t be scared.

So I reached there and was greeted by Evelyn who handed me my SD T-shirt (after I paid) and the booklet for Kenshu. Saw Wang Lee as well. Evelyn then brought me upstairs and looked for Jingsi who I knew from NYPSD. She couldn’t recognize me at first until she stared at me for 1 second. haha. She was like “I recognise you from your eyes!” 😀 I have big eyes. Lol.

We started updating on what we were doing and all, and Evelyn brought a girl, Jia Neng and joined us. Jia Neng’s major is Medicine. When she told us, we were like “Whoa!!” and she looked a bit paiseh. haha. She’s nice and end for the next 2 days I hung out with her.

I realised that there were some people whom I’d never seen in any of the NUSSD meetings (Jia Neng included) and they told me that they seldom attended. But I’m quite glad that they came for kenshu!

For the 2 days, we had sharings, study, testimonials, games and an 80 sec to fame thing.

Which reminds me. I saw Boon Han and he didn’t recognise me at all. He even asked if I’m “Candy or Jasmine”. Was totally annoyed then but not now. My sis told me, “Well done, your friend of so many years don’t recognise you.” Haha

Didn’t really sleep well at night coz it was pretty noisy and people kept walking in and out of the room. Plus, the door hinge was super squeeky and it just wake me up everytime. NUSSD was placed near the door btw. Shirley (Lam) was pretty funny. She lay down on the floor and was like “Huh!! The floor is so hard!!” then she covered her head using her sleeping bag and said “Wah my sleeping bag is smelly!!” Lol.

Had loads of fun at the morning exercise thingy at the 2nd day. There was this lady who taught us some aerobics exercise and the SD guys made lots of sound effects for it. It made the mood more fun and reminded me a lot about YCF 2001! A table where the trainers will stand on top to teach us moves, exercises, and also the mass exercises and loads of people doing the same moves, etc.

The picture above was taken after the exercise and games on the 2nd day.

Oh ya, we had Lee Wee Bros beehoon breakfast on the 2nd day!! I was super excited when I saw the van driving into Senja Soka Centre. HAHA. Love their Otah! And the chilli that came with the beehoon and otah was excellent! It wasn’t too spicy (or maybe it’s me) but it was pretty sweet and complemented the beehoon nicely! 😀

Didn’t think of taking pictures throughout the 2 days. 🙁 So the above was taken from Qiuyi‘s facebook.

Learnt a lot throughout the camp and I just wondered why I didn’t strive as hard for SSA/SGI/Sensei before. 🙁 Must jia you!

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Vernon Lek’s Birthday Weekend

Had a weekend filled with activities!

Played Warcraft 3 with Huzz. Let’s just say that too easy isn’t fun. But too difficult isn’t fun either you know?

Met Huzz in the morning to watch Transformers 2. Megan Fox isn’t that hot guys… Please stop swooning over her body! At most, she looks like a thinner version of Angelina Jolie but that’s all!

Then went over to Telok Blangah Soka Centre (TBSC) for NUSSD Institution meeting. It’s my first time attending one! Met Qiuyi on the bus and we were both late together. Haha. Learnt about dialogue and also about some dialogues that Ikeda Sensei made with a few leaders overseas. Made a new friend Kimberly (LAW). She said she’d seen me around somewhere but I don’t really know where anyway. =x

After that, rushed down Bugis to meet Huzz and we went to Eunos to meet up with Teck Hwee, Yi Long and Hwa Swee and we went to ECP to Vernon‘s chalet party. Walked a rather long distance and saw NDP planes and helicopters and the SG flag! There was an NDP rehearsal. Hm, in that case, I should be able to see the flag from my home too huh?

When we finally reached, we saw many people whom we don’t know and also Jasmine Teh and Chin Leng. Ate the buffet stuff (love the fried rice!) and then we basically just stood around and talked to each other and all that. Jia Hui came after that and we proceeded to sign the birthday card that she’d bought and drew in it! 🙂 Jia Hui should design birthday cards!! It looks almost like she’d printed on the card instead of drawing in it! So pretty la! I also want! Haha.

Vernon was very busy coz he has so many friends. But he still took the time to pause and talk to everyone of us and thanked us for coming.

A few of us sat down and played Uno and then Munchkins that Vernon brought along. I basically lost my voice because it was too noisy to talk in my normal voice. hahaha. But the music was great. 🙂

We cut the cake around 10.15pm, and the cake was HUGE! But the chocolate was super rich! 🙂

Anyway, enough about the talking, below are the pictures (I didn’t take them btw, pictures courtesy of Vernon Lek though I’d photoshopped them of course :P).

Group pic 1: Before Jia Hui and HS left and Yan Qin came. Vernon’s the one on the extreme left (stripped wet shirt)

Huzz was figuring some card games out while I was chatting with HS and Edmund.

Sitting huddled in a circle playing Uno…

This time playing Munchkins… Noticed anyone missing?

Group pic 2: This time with Yan Qin

Cake cutting time!

I had a great time and we all left around 11pm. Took but home with Edmund, Yan Qin, Jasmine, Chin Leng and their friend (I don’t know his name but i’ve seen him around in school last time) who was pretty shocked that Huzz lives in Jurong East and he “HUH?!” so loud at the bus stop that everyone on the bus that Huzz boarded turned out and looked. LOL.

Reached home around 12plus and Dad fetched me from the bus stop otherwise I have to walk about 20mins back home.

Went for SNCO and basically was trying hard not to fall asleep there. =x

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My Story: SNCO, KK, BB performance at Botanic Gardens (22/2/09)

I learnt a lot during the course of this concert. As a percussionist, my main instruments are usually and most of the time the mallet and timpani instruments but this time, I get to play the drumset! Okay. it’s not the first time I play a drumset during a concert, but it’s the first time I play only the drumset.

For those who don’t know, SNCO (Soka New Century Orchestra), Koteiketai (Fife & Drum Corp) and YMD Brass Band are part of the 3 band branches in the Music & Culture (M&C) branch in Singapore Soka Association (SSA). The other groups under the M&C are the Chinese Orchestra, the Choir, some dance groups etc. There are so many that I may not even know some of it. 🙂

So anyway, we were told last year that we’ll be having a combined performance to let people know that we have such groups in SSA. This is partly to prepare for our recruitment drive coming soon.

When I first heard about the parts & pieces that we were going to play for this performance, I thought I’m in for a tough time. Coz I was the only one left in percussion at that point of time (long story), so I decided that for this performance, I am going to 1) get as many percussionists back as possible 2) improve in my drumset playing.

I have to admit, I was rather slack for the first or second practices that I attended (with regards to this performance), but afterwards, I went to look for the music and basically listened to them all the time until it got to a point of obsession. It’s like, “I can’t listen to other stuff except Love Love Love.”

So when we had one combined and I was told not to play, I basically just broke down and got terribly upset with myself.

I don’t blame anyone else for me not being able to play, I just felt that perhaps I didn’t put in enough effort or wasn’t good enough.

But then again, what I really want was (and still is) a percussion tutor to help me.

Then, I got to know the Koteiketai percussion girls and we went to Uncle Jack‘s place for just one day of help (Wei Fen also came along). That day just inspired me greatly la.

Anyway, I remembered the following week’s practice came by and it was actually a combine rehearsal (I was so doomed) and Wei Fen’s friend, Keith came. Keith’s the guest player playing the bass guitarist and I think he performs a lot outside, so he knew a lot about playing pop songs, where the cymbals must come in and all and he helped me a lot. So I learnt a lot this time from him and Uncle Jack! Thank you both! 😀

Kat also came back from Saudi and I got her and Audrey back!! Happy! Haha. Audrey also brought her friend Lynn to perform with us 🙂 Thank you both Audrey and Lynn! *note to self, send an sms to all of them

Okay, so that was the background story. Now about today.


It rained when we reached Botanic Gardens, as we were all shuffling backstage.

And the culture of Soka is that if you ever have an outdoor performance and it rains, you chant. Haha. it happens for NDP, Chingay, YCF, etc. I’ve done so for the latter 2 kinds of performances and I will never forget about stuff like this. Especially when you see proof that your prayers will be answered.

So we all chanted backstage and it just kept raining and raining until it came to a light drizzle and about 30mins before the performance was about to start, the rain stopped.
How cool is that huh? =)

The performance itself was quite alright. I screwed up a bit but after listening to the video recording of bits that my sis took, i felt it was pretty well done for me. Haha. Thanks to all who encouraged me, especially my dearest bf. 🙂 THANK YOU!

Also thanks to all who came though I don’t really know exactly who, I know some YWD from NUSSD came, my parents, my sis, Huzz, Huzz’s mum 🙂 THANK YOU ALL!

And now, for the pictures. I was the unofficial photographer of the day. The official one was Ji Sheng I believe, coz I realised he was on stage walking around only at the last piece.

Before the performance (Lynn took this)

Me, Lynn and Audrey

The koteiketai percussion girls I was talking about… Erm I only remember Carol‘s name. =x

Weili, Kat, Alice, Shini and Keith. Keith didn’t want his photos online actually but I convinced him to allow me to upload them on fb! haha.

YMD Chief Leonard giving words of encouragement.

haha. Leonard’s son. Haha. He was like dismantling stuff around him.

My sis did some video recordings of bits of our performance (heng she didn’t record my mistake) and I’ll post a link of it when she uploads it. 🙂

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First Youth Peace Symposium.

Went to Expo Hall 4 today for the first ever Youth Peace Symposium organised by SSA.
Quite proud to be a Soka member honestly.

It was a really interesting and meaningful event. Especially to hear from representatives from different religions, Baha’i, Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholic and Sikhism (I enjoyed the speech by the Sikh representative the most). I thought this was a very good event for youths to learn more about the different religious beliefs and all in a more relaxed kind of way.

Saw Benjamin Hum, Wei Fen, Shini, Chui Ling and Kiwi. Had dinner with my sis and Yun Fong after that at Pasir Ris and walked around White Sands a bit.

Channel News Asia was there too:

*Update: MP George Yeo who was the VIP there, blogged about it too:

Article from ST:

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SNCO BBQ (10 March)

Guang Yi came to restring my sister’s violin. Her violin’s pegs were like super tight and Guang Yi had a hard time with it. It was interesting watching him “re-stringing” it though. Learnt that there’s such a thing called the violin peg chalk. 🙂

Went for SNCO’s first BBQ at SYC yesterday. It’s the first time I went to SYC after it’s been renamed. The last time I went there was for YCF 2001 rehearsal. I remember that place and day because of someone. haha. But doubt that someone will remember. Quite a cool place anyway. I love the fact that it has free wi-fi. haha.

Not many people went for the BBQ though. Let me name those who went: Nikee, Wei Fen, Vanessa, Kenneth, Guang Yi, my sis, Weili, Meow Ling, Chui Ling, Yi Lian, Shi Ni, Kat, Shazwan, Mei Ling, Yew Kay, Louis, Mr & Mrs Chua and their daughter and Jacomo.

Super paiseh Shini remembered what I’d told her on concert night which goes something like that:

Me: Where’s Jacomo?
Shini: Oh, he left a long time ago. Why?
Me: Oh, I wanted to take a picture with him.

So when Jacomo arrived on his scooter, Shini was like, “Hey, I brought my camera today. You can take a picture with him later!”
I totally forgot about the whole conversation on the concert night until then. Anyway, the reason why I’d wanted to take a picture with him was
because he’s a guest conductor and I’d sort
of regretted not taking a picture with Terence Teow. Plus the fact that my sister brought her camera there.
(Click on the images to enlarge it)

Notice the height difference? In my head I was like, “OMG I will look short in the picture!” haha.While waiting for Shini to prepare her camera, I told Jacomo about my upcoming trip to China. And his reply was
expected (because of something I’d read). Not long later, when I was eating a satay, I heard:”Hey China girl!”

-_-” I am not a China girl.

From Left: My sis, Kenneth, Shazwan, Kat and Me.

From Left: Vanessa, my sis, Shi Ni and I.

From Left: Shazwan, Guang Yi, Kenneth, Vanessa, Kat, me, Weili, my sis and Shini. Taken at the roof top. Keppel Harbour is right behind! 🙂

Guang Yi, Vanessa and any SNCO members who are reading this, the rest of the images can be downloaded here: 😀

More pics which I’d just transferred from my phone:

View from SYC roof top. Lights are from the harbour.

Me in graduation gown taken by Zhong.

Something which I’d spotted in HS. It has been there for more than 2 years already…

Look closely:

Sotong rice! At the famous BBQ stall at PS Kopitiam. LOVE THE GRAVY! 😀 Yum!

Audrey and I (taken from Audrey’s blog). Picture taken on 11/2/07. 😀 (I think I look good in this picture. 😛 )

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