Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Singapore Spirit - Part 2: NDP!!!!!!!!

Those of you following my tweets would know that I went for National Day Parade NE Show about 2 weeks back!

Thanks to Nuffnang and the organizers of NDP, I even got a chance to go backstage and see what happens behind the scenes!!!!! *squeals!*
In case you wonder why I got so excited, you may like to know that I was once a participant in NDP back in year 1999 - 12 years ago! My school was involved, and I was a dancer. I remember those loooooong tiring days of training and rehearsals, and waiting backstage and doing the routines over and over and over again, and the soggy KFC chicken which was supplied almost every rehearsal. *bleah* It’s not that the chicken was soggy, I’m sure they came fresh. It’s just that by the time we get the chance to break for our meals, it’s almost always hours after they first arrived. -.-”
Nostalgic nevertheless....
Behind every NDP is a staggering number of props. Be it the sets, the costumes, everything that you’ll get to see that one single night for a couple of hours? Equates to a scary load of things which will all contribute to the success of the performance. 

Teacups, teapot, and chilli???

Those are for wearing!!! They aren’t exactly comfortable, so please do show your appreciation to the performers if you know any okay?
And yes, I visited the backstage with the couple, Zhiqiang and Tingyi from!


 They're typewriter keys!!!!! The performers will be wearing this and bop up and down on a life-sized typewriter!!! So cute!!!

 This is the first time in 12 years that I'm going to another NDP...and gosh, this is so different from Kallang Stadium~!!! I know I know, I'm from a different era...

And for those of you who have booked hotels around the "float" just so you can watch NDP, make sure you're getting the bang for your buck. If you think that MBS will have the best view, think again...

 I'm pretty sure rooms ae fully-booked by now, but you can always still try.

Those of you lucky ones who HAVE got rooms for NDP or any preview, be prepared to be wowed~

 These represent the different aspects of national defence. To be very honest, I have never really been interested in the marching contingents, nor have I paid much attention to what they represent and their purpose in the NDP. I've always been more of a song and dance (later part of the show) kinda girl.

But this year, look out for this year's parade RSM (Regimental Sergeant Major) yeah? That person's a SHE!!!! 

Majulah! The Singapore Spirit is the theme for this year's NDP. "Majulah" means onward, as I hope you already know. It represents our strength, energy and dynamism to continually strive towards building a better Singapore. It is a word with deep roots in our history that also connects with our National Anthem – a familiar touch point that is close to every Singaporean’s heart.

"Majulah! The Singapore Spirit is a rally cry that calls on all Singaporeans to move forward together to bring Singapore to greater heights, to excel in our diverse fields of work and play and to realise our fullest potential. Through the theme, we hope Singaporeans will pause to reflect and discover what the Singapore Spirit means to them. In sharing and passing on the Singapore Spirit to our children, and our grandchildren, we seek to strengthen our roots and at the same time inspire future generations to build a better home, a better Singapore." -

A little background about the logo: 
The five figures symbolise brightly burning flames whose soaring motion reflects Singaporeans’ constant drive for higher levels of success as a nation. 

The two central figures form the shape of a heart which represents our love for Singapore and the compassion in our society as we celebrate 46 years of independence.  

The five stars stand for our nation’s ideals of democracy, justice, equality, peace and progress.

The shades of red reflect Singaporeans from all walks of life.  The overall vivid red colour signifies our unity, determination and can-do spirit that bond us in times of success and adversity.

 I like the new logo. ^.^

More props!!!
 Omg got larger than life-sized MRT!!!

 And who can forget these... Once upon a time, these were a common sight along the streets of Singapore. Nowadays you can only see them in shopping malls as pushcart stalls selling nitty gritty things like iPhone covers, and perhaps selected food places like MakanSutra beside Esplanade, and Food Republic. 

Those old can almost never find them in developed-so-quickly Singapre now. These props were from Thailand~ And I do remember seeing them in Cambodia, and Vietnam, and Indonesia...nope, not a common sight here anymore.

 The original drink cart. This was in Siem Reap, Cambodia, taken about a month ago. These carts were EVERYWHERE in Siem Reap.

 Thinking I might never see these again, I took a picture then.

 Never would I have thought I'd get to see another so soon! LOL!!!

Omg do you guys remember these things??? I bet many of u use the Magiclean and ScotchBrite mops and that some of you have NEVER used any of these brooms. (I actually forgot the word for it until I googled "sweep floor"...kns...that's how long it has been since I've used one...)

 Ah~ Fit young men... *drools* Okok I'm not THAT humsup lah~ But you know, the older you get, the lower your chances of getting a fit young man. Because er...well, I guess the army has trained them well. Most men have the BEST bodies in their army days... Agree?

So if you're a babe in your mid-twenties onwards, be prepared to settle for less. Of course, we as more mature women tend to look for something more substantial than...erm...seemingly-photoshopped-but-they're-real 6 packs, yes?

Then how come some men leave their partners for sweet young things??????? #$%@#%^!

Anyway, sidetracked...

 The boys preparing to rapple down the cubes!

 Yah...those cubes! 24 of them. They're amazing, they can swivel and there'll be pretty lights and dancers and other performers will be in them!!! Dancers have to be harnessed though, and I really wonder how they dance with the harness attached... 

Oh! The rapplers will be rappling down from one of those~! Cool~~~

I didn't manage to take a picture of them rappling down because I wasn't harnessed and thus not allowed to go near the edge of the cube...

 See the strings they were attached to? Yeah that was how high they came down. It may seem like nothing to you, but it must have been challenging for them. =)

 Unless I get to participate in another NDP as a performer, I may never get this chance to stand in the middle of the stage and do this again. 有机会就要把握啊!!! *hiao*

 Oh gosh, what is this prop???

 Steamers and buns!!!!!!!!!

 Performers will be wearing the buns and jumping on trampolines on the steamers so it'll look like piping hot buns! So creative!!!!!!!!!

 包 I/Cs! LOL!!!!!
Eh don't laugh, they're REALLY in charge of the baos!

Everything has to be accounted for, even seemingly trivial things like the buns. =)

 The typewriter! Remember the typewriter keys I wrote about at the top of the post?

 Silver Ang and PassportChop!!!
I look at them and I envy this couple. They both have day jobs, but they've the same passion for blogging. Zhiqiang is the so-called Editor of their blog and Tingyi the Creative Director. I always look at couples who can work together with awe. May they continue to leave footprints everywhere, together. =D

 Below the seats. They actually bothered to dress this area up~

Even the walls have this Majulah! logo projection! I'm actually happy that our country takes pride in celebrating its birthday. We have come a long way from where we once were, and yes, every of our achievements is worth celebrating. 

 The Presidential Car!!!!!!!!!! You know, that vehicle which will take the President around to wave at everyone at each NDP?

 I couldn't resist.

I wanted to get on, but they wouldn't let me. And when I was taking this picture someone shouted "Don't touch hor! Just polish one!"


 The funpacks!!!!!! What do they remind you of? 

Internal country joke. Friends from overseas, take no offence yah? *giggles*

Suddenly the national anthem came on for rehearsal....

 And everyone stood still...

 I really meant everyone. Okay other than one Bangla who was walking around...he's not Singaporean, so I forgive him.

 Yah okay me too, but that was because I wanted to take pictures of this and convey a message to all Singaporeans to respect our country, its pledge, and the national anthem. Hear the song anywhere, stand still and sing it out proudly as you would any Lady Gaga/Katy Pery song!

 Remember the days when you were late for school and the school prefects wouldn't let you in until after the pledge and national anthem's over? You had to stand outside, stand still, and sing the national anthem and say the pledge right? I know because I have been a latecomer as well as a prefect on duty. (Yes I was a prefect.) We didn't understand why then, but now I do. =))

We then proceeded to the holding area of the performers...

 OMG the Milo van!!! The last time I saw these was during Cross-Country run back in 2001!!!!!!

 Old Chang Kee was also a sponsor for this year's NDP. No fair how come last time we don't have????? Free flow somemore leh....FREE ONE HOR!!!

They were also doing a market testing on their drinks! YES Old Chang Kee is coming out with their own drinks!!!! There were Peach Oolong Tea, Mango Passion Fruit Green Tea, Four Seasons Green Tea, and Tropical Fruit Black Tea. My favourite is this:

 Because it was oh-oh-oh-oh-so-aromatic~~~ I hope this one gets selected to be launched!

 I walked past one of these, and I was thrilled because I was looking for one of these recycling bins to dispose of my plastic bottle.

Then again, I always wondered how this particular bin worked, because it didn't segregate plastics, glasses, metal and paper. It was just one disposal hole for us to throw our rubbish in right? 

Plus, what does "No Disposable Items" mean?

Curious, I snuck a peek...

 I think I know what are "Disposable Items" already...things like used tissue paper...

Still, this looks like a messy bunch of rubbish, though most of them recyclable. But if we really have different bins for different materials, will our people know how to use them properly? This is something we need to work towards.

And I suppose if the container is recyclable, it has to be dry, or at least, tried to be emptied before being dumped here, including plastic cups with half-finished bubble-tea.

 Fooling around with their jellyfish umbrella prop. Eh this is actually quite heavy~

 All the "seafood"!

 Putting makeup on, in case the camera decides to come to you and do a close-up during the show. You gotta look the part yah, even though the audience wouldn't really get to see your makeup nor your face. This is Professionalism.

Happy participants. ^.^

 How could I not take pictures with my favourite seafood of all time? The CRAB!!!!!!! OMG!~~!!!!!

 Right. Actually from behind it doesn't really look crab-ish anymore. I thought it was a lobster, but then lobsters have more legs...

 Assuming it's a crab, many people's favourite part is the gong! I'm a crab-leg person, but I can't grab the guy and pretend to bite him. *shy la~*

Hang hur!!!! (Stingray) Also something not to be missed in our local seafood scene.

 The dancers who will be harnessed and dancing in the cube!

 That's their instructor teaching them how to do their own makeup. Knowing how to do your own makeup is a skill every performer must have. Only you will know your features best, so if you know how to do makeup, you can save time (from queueing up for the makeup artist), protect your skin (you don't share makeup and brushes and sponges), and paint your face the way you like it (I've had my fair share of makeup done by makeup artists which made me want to hide my face.)

 These guys have the best view in the house. Supposedly. If they're not too stressed out. This is the control room, and they oversee the whole performance and make sure everything is supposed to come out the way it was planned - lights, cues, fireworks, what happens when...

Your NDP smses and tweets? They go these guys too, who will be responsible for screening the messages and then displaying them on the big screen on the stage.

 It's Fun Pack time!!! Kopi-OoOoOooooO~~~ WAHHAHAAH!!!!
Okay sorry, I can't help it. =P

 My 2 handsome escorts. They have to accompany me EVERYWHERE I go. Security issues. But I feel like I have bodyguards. Or escorts. Or an entourage. Lol~

 The Merlion, our national icon which symbolises courage and pride.

Left: The HDB and MRT represents our progress regardless of language, race or religion.
Right: Changi Airport represents home (to me at least), and our innovativeness and aspirations for greater heights!

The Fun Pack bag comes in 4 designs. I didn't manage to get hold of pictures of the one with our national flower - Vanda Miss Joaquim, which symbolises perseverance and endurance.

 The back design of all Fun Packs. I love the fact that very Singaporean words piece together to form the shape of our island country.

Whoa~ Look at the crowd~~~ I'm starting to feel the NDP spirit!!!!
FYI: The gallery can seat 30,000 people, and it was FULL that day, and you know it's going to be full on 9th August too, if you've EVER tried balloting for NDP tickets. =)

Know what touched me the most? 

That most Singaporeans turn up wearing Red and/or White, the colours of our flag, even though it's only NDP Preview and not 9th August itself. This is the Singapore Spirit!!!

Eh it's not that I don't have the Singapore Spirit's just that I don't own anything red. No, not at the moment... I'd given away my only red Coca Cola T-shirt to my sister who wanted it. get the picture. But I'm very very Singaporean one hor!

You can send a tweet to #NDP2011, and it'll be shown on this big screen!

SMSes too!

They told us to take the shaker out from the Fun Pack to sing along with, and I found this. Cute kan!!! Got leaf-hair somemore!
Unfortunately my leaf broke because I was holding it by the leaf when I took it out of my FP. -.-

What else is in the Fun Pack?

 Loads of stuff! 
Clockwise from top: 
  • The NDP Booklet
  • 1 "Stories of the Singapore Spirit" book
  • 1 Rain poncho
  • 1 NDP brooch
  • 1 battery-operated Lightstick (batteries included separately in a pack of 3)
  • The Shaker
  • Stick-on Tattoos
  • 1 Mobile Strap
  • 1 Postcar
  • 1 Visor cap
  • 1 booklet of Discount Coupons
  • 1 Singa the Lion Pen
  • 1 Wet Tissue
  • Lots and lots and lots of drinks (1 btl of water, 1 btl of Newater, 1 pack of Lemon Barley, 1 pack of H2O)
  • 2 packs of Keropok
  • 1 Sunshine Chocolate and Cream bun
  • The Singapore Flag; and 
  • A Flag Stand
Also included are the Fun Pack bag itself with Multiple Smaller Inner Compartments, and a bag tag. =D

Not bad right? Quite a lotta stuff!

My favourite is the Discount Coupons!!! #soaunty

Alright sing along Singaporeans!!!!! 

The oddball in Blue who's happy to soak in the atmosphere as a Singa-Porean~~~

Eh I found my match...behind got one guy in blue checks too (on the left)...then right at the back of the picture if you can spot it, is ANOTHER blue checks shirt! And I thought I stood out. Cheh.

The motivators. Or the ice-breaking team. They really put in their best to get the crowd warmed up, despite how sheepish they may actually feel about doing this in front of thousands of people. Good job guys! Keep it up!!!

Cutie spotted! With young pretty babe Mummy! Okay maybe sister...or aunt. Doesn't matter cos...
They look so happeeeee~~~~

=D \ /

Look! Meteorite shower!!!!! Make a wish!!!

Okok I know my readers are not so stupid.... Lol~ 
Yup they're our parachuters~! I've always been amazed at how they manage to land where they're supposed to. I'm sure they land all over the place when they first started parachuting. Imagine them landing on trees or water bodies or worse, shit ponds, and then the parachute comes later and covers them and they have to struggle to get out of the mess...Pardon me, I'm a visual creature by birth, with a too-active imagination...

I was so scared (though I'm sure there was really no need to) that this guy would crash into the SkyPark. (That's what that place is right?) Anyways, that submarine thing above the twin towers at know what I mean. He probably did that on purpose maybe because his girlfriend was sipping cocktail there and he wanted to "swing by" and say hi. 

I told you I have an active imagination liao lor!

Precision landing probably takes at least 50 to 100 jumps to perfect, so they have my salutation for being able to land exactly on that track.

More of them...

Alright! Spot-on!!!! *whistles*

I was fishing the FP for the batteries (super hard to find....look in ALL compartments okay)...and I found this!

They give plastic bags for throwing our rubbish leh! How thoughtful!!!

And it's an Oxo-Biodegradable Plastic Bag!!!! I know biodegradable la...means it will rot and decompose into the soil kind...but Oxo-Biodegradable means what??? That it will evaporate in 2 years???

This was what I wiki-ed:

" OXO plastic if discarded in the environment, will fragment and degrade to oxygenated low molecular weight (typically MW 5-10.000 amu) within 2–18 months depending on the material (resin, thickness, anti-oxidants, etc.) and the temperature and other factors in the environment.

OXO plastics will not degrade in a landfill environment due to insufficient oxygen present below a depth of approximately 15 cm. A PE plastic bag for example 30 µm thick with 2% prodegradant additive degrades within 3 months if left exposed in an open air environment in Thailand and a 150 µm thick PP container or sheet will degrade within 3–6 months.

Oxo treated products do not degrade rapidly because they are stabilized to control the service-life of the product. They will nevertheless degrade more quickly than nature's wastes such as twigs and straw (c10 years) and much more quickly than ordinary plastic (many decades)." smart!!!! Just leave it exposed in the air and it will degrade in months!!!!! They serve their purpose as a rubbish bag which won't leak, but they'll degrade after their lifespan as a rubbish bag! They should sell this kinda plastic bags for us to use at home with our rubbish bins! My house has a serious shortage of plastic bags because we always think "green" when we go shopping and use reusable bags. Then we realized we got no more plastic bags to line our rubbish bins with... -.- consider making this available to the average households. I'm sure they don't come cheap, but in time to come more people will get the idea. 
Increased demand --> Increased supply --> Decreased prices!

The parade this year's pretty exciting (maybe my impressions of NDP have been stuck at Kallang Stadium days) - there will be a Defence Dynamic Display where the SAF and Home Team will showcase their hardware and capabilities, and 4 new types of hardware will be showcased for the very first time~!

Kk I know the girls are going to be lost for a while here...bear with me while I share this with the guys okay? ^.^

Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)’s Sikorsky S-70B Naval Helicopter, aka the Seahawk helicopter, in action.

 The Army’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) 
 The SCDF’s Multi-Utility Vehicle.
 I didn't manage to get a picture of the Protector Unmanned Surface Vessel, which is also one of the 4 new hardware showcased. I find it the COOLEST, because it's a weapon vessel which can be controlled on ground, which means it can literally be "unmanned". Kind of like a remote control speedboat. 
It has a stabilised gun and is able to conduct a critical missions while eliminating unnecessary risk to personnel or capital assets. Stealthy, fast and highly manoeuvrable, this unmanned vehicle identifies its targets through an electro-optical (EO) system and has day and night strike capabilities. 
Impressive or what???

 I'm a noob when it comes to tanks and military vehicles. They look the same to me. #sotypicalzabor

 And we say the pledge.

 And we rise to sing the first song we'll sing in school - Our National Anthem, Majulah Singapura

 It's amazing how back in school the flag never seems to be able to move, let alone fly, but here, it flies beautifully on the flag pole~

 Did you know that The Float @ Marina Bay, aka the Marina Bay Floating Platform, was modelled after this thing? =D

The platform is actually made up of  15 pontoons, interlocked like a jigsaw puzzle, and made ENTIRELY of steel. The structure of the float can be relocated and reconfigured to meet the requirements of different events.
It's meant to be an interim venue for NDP in place of the National Stadium until 2014, when the Singapore Sports Hub in Kallang would be completed, but I hope they use it more. NDPs have never looked more spectacular than when held at The Float, against the amazing skyline. Don't you agree?

 Oh, for all Singaporeans to feel proud - This is the  

Proud or not? ^.^

 The Parade Proper. Never fails to amaze me how every single contingent marches in perfect synchrony.

This year you can expect something different from the parade. Other than the female Parade RSM, MWO (that translates to Parade Regimental Sergeant Major Master Warrant Officer) Jennifer Tan, you can also look forward to the "Onward March"

The “Onward March” is a visual manifestation of the 2011 National Day Parade theme – “Majulah! The Singapore Spirit”. With rows of personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Home Team marching into the midst of NDP audiences, it represents the commitment, energy and dynamism of Singaporeans striving onwards together, to build a better home and a better Singapore.

 Here they come!

I was just sitting RIGHT next to the aisle!!!

After the parade, sit back, relax, and enjoy the song and dance musical lined up for you. Prepare some tissue paper hor. Some acts were so touching I cried like a donkey... (don't ask me how a donkey cries...figure of speech influenced by Cheryl Tay)

Snippets from the rest of the parade~


 And the bobbing typewriter "keys"!

 Giant roti pratas! They're so lovably cute!!!

 It's the dancers in their cubes. Looked pretty amazing huh? And no tell-tale sign of the harness. ;)

 Mother Sharon!!!!

 So very proud of her leh. She's my senior from Hwachong. Smart right? Left Singapore at the peak of her career to further her studies in Japan, and is back in Mediacorp as Manager, Strategy. This girl can go very very far~~~ 学姐加油!!!

 The jellyfish and crabs! They look so different onstage all lighted up and with proper lighting done~
 So pretty!

 Halfway through the show, expect bubbles and balloons to suddenly appear~


 2 guys suddenly came in front of me to set this thing up. The guy on the right started covering his ear while preparing to launch whatever it it must be something that's going to be loud...and they are RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME CAN???!!! ARGH!!!!!


 Confetti!!! I was just clearing my bag the day before (that's 2 weeks after the show), and I'm still finding confetti bits in different compartments and pockets.... -.-

After the show I saw people picking confetti up from the floor and putting them into plastic bags!!!!! bring home and reuse... Can save money leh, party dunnid to buy this, just go pick up from NDP shows... Lol~

What's a National Day Parade without the FIREWORKS? ;)

I know! Amazing right? I have my S95 to thank. ^.^

 Happy Birthday Mummy Singapore!!!!  

And who joined me in this joyous pre-celebration?
 Ah Row!!! Met her during Your Hand in Mine - she was the Assistant Producer. ^.^ And she's the Producer for 绿色假期 Little Wwoofers (airing every Sunday on Channel 8 at 11:30am).

 Me n my baby sis! Okay she's not baby already la...she's Sec 4 this year~

 And the official Mummy! The 3 Female Musketeers Family!!! LOL!

Just look at Mummy Singapore~ ^.^
Majulah! May the Singapore Spirit live on, and on and on and on and on and on~



  1. Why no have photo of me? :(

  2. you must be one of the most hardworking bloggers ever. this blog post is insanely long!

  3. Silver,

    Thank you for the look behind the scenes of SGs National Day celebration. National day is for SG what July 4th is for the United States.

    Thanks to you I learned a great deal about SGs special day.

    BTW, I have worked on support for SGs HIMAR's on my side of the Pacific.