Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Will the real Jay Chou please stand-up?

As you guys know, I pride myself on having an ecletic taste in music and popular culture- everthing from Linkin Park to Era, reading 风云comics to Warhammer 40,000 Sci-fi.

And yes, Jay Chou ranks number 1 on my cool dude list...

Here's his latest duet with Fei Yu Qing, <千里之外> - "A Thousand Miles Away"

The above is the original MTV- cool and without a doubt the best male paired duet in the decade.

BUT, but, but..... the following video takes the cake. Same tune, similar voices, but OMG ROFL. Sorry Jay, you got punk'ed !

Laugh until fall on the floor man!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Veloci-T 2007 (Victoria Enhanced Leadership & Outdoor Camp Instructors Training)

Yup, our official mascots- Big Fad and Lil Jo!
The offcial Veloci-T brudder-hood mascots!

After a gruelling 5 Days locally and oversea, students and teachers have returned and survived from Veloci-T 2007. Veloci-T stands for Victorian Enhanced Leadership and Outdoor Camp Instructors Training. It is an amalgamation of 2 formerly seperate programs: the LTC-Leadership Training Course for CCA leaders and the CIC- Camp Instructors Course for volunteer Camp Instructors.

During the Confidence Ropes Courses, the boys showed that they could tackle the high elements courageously. Kasidet inspired us by his rendition of Thai songs while crossing the Broken Bridge

Apart from the usual Confidenence Ropes Course and Kayaking, we had our Combat Medic, Mr Amir conduct a First-Aid Familiarisation course for the boys. (Next year, I think we'll teach them how to deliver babies :)

Another, new activity was the Night Mission game 'Hostile Take-over' which required our leaders to learn how to negotiate and trade playing cards to score the most amount of points.

Even during our early morning PT, we tried to push the boundaries.
The boys were tasked to do 10 counts of jumping jacks- silently, without counting.
Not an easy task with 80 boys. Here we see one of their early attempts:

No satisfied, they tried again:

This time they really succeeded!

Even the camp planning committee was pushing our limits by meeting to discuss our Leadership Framework for SEM during our lunch break! Steady lah! Mdm Tang and Mr Maran!

On Sunday, we made our way to Mawai, in Kota Tinggi, Malaysia.
Unlike the Jalan Bahtera campsite which was still relatively modern, this was a back to basic, all natural and organic campsite. We had to cross a river to even get to it!

Here we see the boys loaded and crossing the river:

On arrival, the boys were introduced to the campsite by Mr Leung Kok Peng, one of the trainers from Edu-Outdoor. Kok Peng himself is an ex-Victorian and he shared many fascinating insights with us on nature and wild life- like the legend of the Mawas (Malaysian Big foot) and how the place became known as Mawai:

After unpacking, we were introduced by the one and only Uncle Sutari to the jungle lore and hunting skills of the Orang Asli

Uncle Su, showed us how the various traps were placed and how they worked.

His infectious humor continued into the section where he introduced us to the medicinal properties of the Singapore Rhododendron:

Uncle Su also gave us an intimate introduction to the friendliest creature in the forest- the brown leech!

After my trek with the boys, we returned to play some games. You've heard of beach volleyball with the gorgeous babes but I bet you've never heard of swamp volleyball with our muddy hunks!

On Mon, we took our Challenge Climb up Gunong Arong. A 300m vertical climb that took us close to 3 hours to reach the summit.
The view at the top was simply breath-taking. During our VS PE study trip to UK, we visited Old Trafford stadium, there Mr Sng made a video dedication to his good friend Mr Maran. This time it was Mr Maran's turn to return the favour-

Sometimes words just cannot capture the experience but I believe Wilnard and Tarang summed it up beautifully.

By the time, I reached the beach, I was exhausted but looking at the faces of the boys and seeing the view, I know that this is what I live for.

This is the first Veloci-T camp and I am sure that we will grow from strength to strength.

Nil Sine Labore

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Linkin Park- 'Live' in Concert at Indoor Stadium

It has been a gruelling month, with me having to cope with reservist, school videos, running camps, etc.

But there was no way in the world I would have missed Linkin Park when they were scheduled to perform live at the Indoor Stadium- Not when I got 2 tickets to go to the free standing area.

Yup, Ah Beng teacher and lovely wife headed down to mosh pit to rock the night away-- Never mind the fact that I just came back hot, sweaty and tired from the jungles of Mawai.

At first, the long queue to get in and my fatigued from the camp got to me, but when the concert started, the energy of the crowd just took it all away. Check out the opening sequence, man. Simply mind-blowing!

When the opening bars of 'Somewhere I belong' came out, the crowd when wild and it was reliving my post-grad days all over again

I've used 'Shadow of the Day' from their latest album "Minutes to Midnight" for our Victoria Challenge video this year. But hearing it live was awesome! You can hear me screeching along with Chester Bennington.

Chester Bennigton's vocals were pitch perfect- I believe he's the only guy on the planent that can scream, growl and rap with perfect diction and voice clarity.
If there was doubt, "Numb" proved once and for all that Chester has the power AND control of his voice.The beautiful surprise came when they transition flawlessly from Numb into an acoustic set of "Pushing Me Away".

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What bugs me...

If you guys go to STOMP, you find the following story of an old trishaw rider taking 3 Caucasian passengers.
The 3 of them ridicule him for his slow speed, make fun of him and Singapore. In the end when he asks for $10 for ferrying the 3 of them, they don't even want to pay him the money claiming that he only took them round the corner.
(See full story on at STOMP)

In response to this article, an outporing of support for the old rickshaw rider came on-line (see other article here)

Victorians, the educated Singaporeans that we are now, bi-lingual and versatile in the traditions of the East as well as the technologies of the West- all this came about through the blood, sweat and tears of our lowly educated fore-fathers who toiled in menial labour so that you and I would never have to walk their path.

At his age, the old Uncle is making something more of himself- earning his own living, however meagre that is. No one has a right to take away that dignity.

Victorians, we must give our elders their due- especially the elderly who are poor and alone.
For in time, we will be old too.
As for the actions of the 3 passengers, well... The title of the youtube video posted on STOMP sums it up nicely. See it here.

Evening of Music and Drama " A Simple Affair"

Thu 1st Nov was our Evening of Music and Drama. This years theme was "A Simple Affair"

which sought to "underline and accentuate the very basics of a play and the very fundamentals that are key for each and every individual act"

The performance began with a sort of Alumni band- Armchair Critic (sort of 'cos Visa and Boon are from VS while Ryan's not, but then nevermind :P)

Having played with the boys during EMD in 2005, it was good to see them mature as musicians and become much tighter in their music (Although, Visa should spend more time engaging with the audience rather than flirting with Boon on stage and showing us all his backside)
Here's two of their songs for you:

The next song, "It's not too late" was dedicated to our Victorian who's passed on. I was touched that the boys have become self-reflective as muscians and people.

It's good to see that they've actually started writing their own songs and materials. A tighter sound and development of stronger vocal presence and you guys will be on your way. For more on the band, check out

The next performance, "Madman on the Roof" featured some very familiar faces to me. Most of the cast were comprised of boys from my 2A and 2C classes, whom I KNOW very well (heh heh... all your mischief put to good use at last)
I must say that all of you were cast perfectly for the role.
Darryl was absolutely adorable as Mistress, Yoshitaro's mother. Check out his performance here:

Timothy Koh and Mark Thambiah were perfectly cast- It was simply hilarious watching the 2 of them with Timothy acting as the fraudulant priest and Mark as the loony Yoshitaro. Mark's portrayal of loony bliss was just hilarious. Check it out:

After our play, we were serenaded by the choir with 2 songs:

and Love Changes Everyhing:

Our guest performers from Crescent Girls put up and entertain play about the vagarities of love and cultural sterotypes:

Complete with J-Lo MTV Segment:

They were followed by our Chinese Orchestra, that gave us a refreshing renditions of A Mei's "我要快乐"

We had a Victorian rendition of Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night'. However, my Nokia N95 no batt, so couldn't capture videos of it.
But kudos to Gareth- you make a beautiful girl :)

We concluded EMD with a selection of songs played by the Concert Band. Here we see, the various soloists take centrestage:

It was indeed an entertaining night. See you all next year