What The DrownProofing Test Teaches Our Naval Divers

My friend, Samy Rajoo, shared this post on Facebook and I found it so good that I just had to share it with you. Here’s the original post uploaded by Liow Zhong Fa:


“One of the skills acquired during my NS stint as a Naval Diver is this – drown proofing. It is a test still practised by the US navy seals whereby we are thrown into 3m deep water with our hands bound behind our back and legs tied at the ankle. With that, we are to take a breath, release it completely such that we would sink to the bottom of the pool, and then kick ourselves up to the surface to catch another breath – and then repeat it for about 10 times.

Following which, we are to use our lungs as “floats” and trap water for about the same number of breaths, following which, we would have to swim a distance “dolphin style” – and yes, with hands and legs still bound.

Last but not least, we have to sink to the bottom of the pool after the swim, perform a front somersault underwater followed by another back somersault, pick up a dive mask from the bottom of the pool with our teeth and bring it back to the surface.

Upon completion, that’s when we are considered to have passed the test.

Bringing it into context with real life, I think some important lessons I have picked up through this training:

1. Reacting vs responding – When we are caught up in an unfavourable situation, our first instinct is always to react. Singaporeans just love to complain over the most minute thing – just look at FB, Instagram and Twitter.
Always choose to respond – ask yourself how you can tackle the problem, put yourself in the other person’s shoes. More often than not, when we react, we think the worst of others – which reflects a lot about ourselves.

2. Stop, think, breathe – One of the things that caused divers to fail the drown proofing test is that we tense up. When you are tensed, you tend to sink.
That’s the fact of life too.
Always stop, think and take a breather. Being tensed will not diffuse an already tensed situation.

3. You have it within you to resolve an issue – This drown proofing test taught us to use our lungs to help keep us afloat, without the use of flotation devices.
Some of us think that we don’t have it within us to resolve certain issues. More often than not, there’s always a silver lining – and our perspective matters. When we are too single minded towards a certain bias, we take on a passive posture of “Nah, nothing I do will matter”.
That’s not true – how we deal with failure matters!

4. Which brings me to my last point – For most of us, we usually take more than 2 tries before we could pass the test.
Failure doesn’t define us. Identifying what went wrong and then trying again can be a fearful thing – but the important thing is to keep trying. Making improvement is as important, if not, more important than succeeding – for some of us stop trying to improve once we have succeeded.

That said, after having passed the test, the water confidence we have has rocketed a few notches. And I’m sure in life, that’s the case too – we become more resilient.

So the next time when something unfavourable happens or you are at the end of some criticism or you are shrouded with negativity -

Stop. Think. Breathe
Respond, instead of react”

Video: What If You Were Invited To Your Own Funeral?

I watched this video once, when the sound on my computer wasn’t working. I cried. Then I got the sound fixed, and watched it again. Cried again. LOL. Your turn:

I guess this video is so powerful because it forces people to think about how their actions have consequences which are sometimes so disastrous that there’s no turning back.

We should do such videos for compulsive smokers, repeat drug offenders, gangsters… you get the drift. ;)

Our People, Our Home – Art Exhibition

Mooncake by Tan Chong Hui Charles [ One of the featured paintings - Mooncake by Tan Chong Hui Charles]


“This painting depicts the legend behind the moon cake festival. I painted this as my family and I used to make our own mooncakes and that was our only time we spent together. This mooncake, to me, represents ‘family’. It is also a time for the Chinese to celebrate the day which I believe most people know about, (involving) ‘Chang Er and Hou Yi.”


Young Local Artists Celebrate National Day in A Meaningful Way

The ‘Our People, Our Home’ Art Exhibition is supported by Business Times Budding Artists Fund and Ode to Art Gallery, and presented by five young artists from The Little Arts Academy.

Celebrated artist, Hong Zhu An, has also lent his support to this exhibition. He personally
mentored the young and passionate artists during the grand opening event.

“Our People, Our Home Art Exhibition” will feature five artworks by these young artists
supported by BT BAF. The Exhibition runs until 15 August 2014 at Ode to Art Platform located at the 4th Floor of Raffles City Convention Centre. It is open to the public and admission is free.

All sales proceeds from the paintings by these young artists will be contributed
back to BT BAF to help others in the organization.

About the Business Times Budding Artist Fund:

The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF) is managed by The RICE Company
Limited. It was initiated by the then-The Old Parliament House Limited (2002 to 2014) and
adopted by The Business Times in 2005. BT BAF originated from a conviction that no child
with strong interest and potential in the arts should be denied the opportunity to develop his
or her talents due to a lack of financial resources. Since 2005, BT BAF has reached out to
more than 13,000 disadvantaged children and youths between the ages of five and nineteen years through a variety of programmes including a systematic arts education programme, arts camps, workshops, and signature performance events.

Ladies, If Someone Impersonates You, Will Your Man Notice?

According to this hilarious ad, no. Your man might not notice at all if someone else who looks like you, dresses like you and smells like you is walking about the house or sleeping on the same bed. Oh dear.

Watch the video and you’ll realize it does start by asking some important questions – “If you bought a new dress, will your husband notice? If you told him about your day, will he still pay attention? If someone impersonates you, can he tell the difference?”

It reminds me of that joke: If you see a guy opening a car door for a girl, it’s one of two things – either the girl is new or the car is new. :D

When a man gets too comfortable with having you around, he might tend to neglect you and overlook certain things – your new haircut, that new dress you bought, etc.

But Downy is recommending you shake things up by trying their new Parfum Collection range which gives you a new scent each time by just rubbing the fabric of the clothes you have washed with this range. :)

Downy Parfum Range

How It Works:

“With Downy’s new Dolce Parfum Collection – Mystique, Passion, Innocence and Happiness – each variant now contains Two Different Perfume Micro Capsules (PMCs) on top of the neat perfume oil in each bottle. The dual ingredients of PMCs deposits on your clothes when you wash them and stay on dry fabric during storage. When clothes are worn, the natural friction of the fabric being touched or rubbed will release bursts of fresh, fragrant experiences. Because there are dual PMCS, your scent keeps evolving slightly every time. It’s as if you’re getting new refreshing scents throughout the day.

With Downy’s scent-switching experience, you just might bypass your vanity table and its tray of perfume bottles. Why spritz when you already smell good just by wearing your clothes?”

I definitely want to test this range and see if it indeed changes scent just like that!

If your marriage is getting stale / boring / predictable, here are 3 simple steps to inject some fun into married life:

1) Wash your clothes with Downy Parfum with Scent Switcher:

Downy Parfum

2) To bring on a new scent, just rub the fabric:

Downy Parfum

3) Give your man a pleasant surprise (And a hug after. LOL)

Downy Parfum

That expression on the men’s faces – Priceless! :D

Blogger-stalking: Who Is Sherry Ho?

When I won the Luxury City contest last month, someone named ‘Sherry Ho’ left an idiotic comment on the advertiser’s facebook page (which you can read about here), and this month she is back. This time, she has left me three blog comments in a row.

Sherry Ho

Apparently she is both confused and upset.

Confused because she tells me to “stop buying votes” in one comment then in about 18 minutes’ time, tells me to “buy more votes”. I suspect she needs psychiatric help.

I don’t know who gave her the right to be upset about this voting campaign anyway. She’s likely not a blogger. SO it is stupid for her to be commenting.

But I will explain.

(1) It is not new

Bloggers conduct giveaways from time to time to boost the number of page likes, increase the number of followers, help promote an advertiser’s page or product, and also to garner votes for contests.

If “Sherry” is being upset about this, she is obviously not a blogger, or a real newbie.

(2) There is nothing wrong with doing giveaways to get votes

I am a HUGE believer of following ‘WIIFM’ when it comes to dealings with anyone. I don’t ask for a favor from you unless I tell you what’s in it for YOU. Fair?

How can I ask people to vote for my students (it’s a long signup process) without telling them what’s in it for them? And they have to vote every single day till end July!!!

I see absolutely NOTHING WRONG with offering people prizes that my students and I paid for. Please don’t demonstrate your stupidity with such comments.

(3) If it is anyone’s fault, it is the organizer’s fault

The fact that this voting component is involved means the organizer wants as many eyeballs and voters as possible. Coupled with a long voting period, it is OBVIOUS that the organizer wants us to get as many people to vote as possible.

Bloggers can (A) try to mobilize their fan base, (B) set up fake accounts to vote for themselves or (C) get other people to vote for them by offering prizes. Also, they can form an alliance with other bloggers BUT results are not guaranteed.

If Sherry is adamant that votes should not be bought (in which case, I respectfully ask that she donates all pre-election goodies she receives to charity), she should speak with the organizers.

If Luxury City wanted to stop people from buying votes, they should have told contestants to just send in a paragraph or two about how much they love Luxury City. And the best entry wins the prize; no votes needed.

If the Singapore Blog Awards organizers wanted to stop bloggers from garnering votes from fans and yet-to-be-fans, then they should not attribute 30% of the final score to the voting segment!

Who Is Sherry Ho?

I suspect her facebook profile is fake. So I shall not post her pictures here. But check her out if you will: https://www.facebook.com/sherryling2

Thanks to her blogpost comments, I now know her IP address:

[Recording all correspondence for submission to the police as evidence of cyber-stalking]

Barbie Cafe: Menu (Part Two)

[Check out Part One here]barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan

We ordered the chicken breast and baked potato appetizers this time. Will likely be back again for the other two! :)

Barbie Cafe menu 3

Then he had the cuttlefish risotto while I went for the scallops shrimp pasta. Both tasted pretty good.

He did not think very highly of this cafe at the start, and who can blame him? It’s pink and frilly all over. But he did agree in the end that this cafe is worth a second visit!

Barbie Cafe menu 4 Barbie Cafe menu 5

It was definitely tough trying to pick a dessert. All of them looked so cute and picture-worthy! But as for the drinks, I simply asked which came with the Barbie design on top. :D

barbie cafe taiwan

*The cafe requires you to spend a minimum of NT300 per person.

Free Pap Smear Screening for Singaporean & PR Females Aged 25 & Above

Pap Smear Screening

[ Photo source: Zurina Bryant Photography / Singapore Cancer Society website ]

*The Pap Smear Screening is offered free from 1 Jul to 30 Sep 2014

*For female Singaporeans and PRs aged 25 and above

*Wear a two-piece outfit when you go for your Pap smear screening

*Participants must meet the following criteria to undergo free Pap smear screening
Female participants must:
 Either be Singaporeans or Permanent Residents who are 25 years and above and
who have had sexual intercourse before.
 Be non-menstruating or have not had menses over the past 7 days.
 Not have engaged in sexual intercourse 48 hours before the screening test.
 Not have used spermicides, vaginal medications, vaginal creams, lubricant jellies, or
tampons 48 hours before the screening test.

Find the list of participating GP clinics here.

NDP 2014 Tickets: WIN 4 tickets in a Fun #IYFSG Photo Caption Contest

In celebration of the International Year of the Family (IYF), NDP 2014 organizers have collaborated with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) for a fun yet simple caption #IYFSG contest. Lucky winners will get a set of 4 NDP 2014 tickets EACH!

NDP 2014

Don’t bother with balloting, try winning the NDP 2014 tickets with your own efforts! :D

From 4 to 24 July, a different NDP Family Photo will be posted up each week for 3 weeks on MSF’s FamilyMatters Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/FamilyMatters.sg). You just have to put on your thinking cap and come up with creative captions for the photos.

Each week, the top 3 winners will take home a set of 4 NDP actual day tickets each, while 2 lucky participants will be picked from a random draw to win a set of 4 preview tickets each. WOW! :D

I have already submitted my entry!

NDP 2014["Marmeeeeee, I want an upsized gun for my birthday! Prissss!" :D #IYFSG]

*Remember to include the #IYFSG hashtag in your entry, otherwise it doesn’t count! ;)

Submit your entry now! And tell your family members to submit theirs too! The more entries, the more chances to win! :D https://www.facebook.com/FamilyMatters.sg

IYF logo

Singapore will be celebrating families in 2014 in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family (IYF). Singaporeans can look forward to numerous engaging family-oriented events, activities and special deals, as the Ministry of Social and Family Development works with like-minded partners to celebrate and promote family bonding in joyful and heart-warming ways.

IYF was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994 to celebrate the importance of the family. IYF is officially celebrated once in ten years and 2014 is its twentieth anniversary. The core values underpinning IYF 2014 are love and respect, commitment and big-heartedness. These values help strengthen the foundation for a strong and closely knit family.

National Council on Problem Gambling ad – Memefied!



[pic source: SGAG's facebook page]

I got knocked out cold by, well, cold medication last night and did not catch what must have been a really painful match for Brazil’s fans to watch. 7-1? Really?!

I hope the National Council on Problem Gambling doesn’t run similar World Cup ads again as it is, according to one netizen, “more accurate than all the animals add together [sic]“

Netizens are clearly having a field day trying to memefy the NCPG’s ad. Ironically, instead of getting the message that we should “stop problem gambling”, punters seem to be turning to the NCPG for future predictions of match winners. Hmm.

Perhaps, before the next World Cup, the NCPG can say “Waiting for our prediction on winner again? Don’t bet on it!” :D


I don’t engage in soccer betting as the ball really could go either way. A friend also shared that recently, he was actually winning some money at the start of the World Cup, then he got greedy, and his wins became losses – I didn’t ask him how much.

Yet another friend’s wife says she doesn’t buy 4D at all, though my friend does, and so, she “wins” money every week that she doesn’t bet. A penny saved is a penny gained, as they say.

Well, there is admittedly a thrill, or ‘gambler’s high’ that some people enjoy. I think there is nothing wrong with buying the occasional lottery ticket. By occasional, I mean I buy a lottery ticket once every few months, and don’t spend more than S$10 each time. It is money I can live without and I will not lose sleep over it even if I lose every cent.

Problem gambling can ruin lives and, memes aside, we need to ensure that the people close to us don’t fall into that trap.

To seek help from the National Council on Problem Gambling, head to their website or call 1800-6-668-668. Just don’t ask for any “gambling prediction”, ok? :P

Luxury City: Premium Brands At More Affordable Prices

I buy branded bags only at the airport, or when I am overseas. Because, let’s face it, our strong currency means the same bag could cost more in boutiques here than overseas. So when Luxury City invited me to verify its claim that it is selling the same (current season) bags that are sold in boutiques, but at lower prices due to parallel importing, I was impressed. Current season? Really? Challenge accepted!

That was how I found myself at Marina Bay Sands, at the Saint Laurent store, to check out the pricing of the Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour.

Saint Laurent MBS

Saint Laurent MBS

Saint Laurent MBS

Then I was off to Luxury City at Chinatown Point (B1-11) to look for the exact same bag (in red, to match my heels).

Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

And find it I did! :D

Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

And I was blown away by the price difference!

In the Saint Laurent store, the same bag was priced at S$3790. In Luxury City, it’s only S$3248. That is a price difference of S$542 for a current season bag! Gosh! With that kind of savings, I can buy another wallet.

Also, Luxury City stocks the bag in more colors too, such as a vibrant orange!

But that’s not all. Luxury City’s store at Chinatown Point is HUGE, and they are expanding too! Renovation works should be done by month’s end, and you will get EVEN MORE shopping space and great deals.

I love how they stock classic handbags that I can no longer find in the boutiques. And at equally enticing discounts too! :)

Ferragamo, anyone?


{ Was: S$2860, Now: S$1998, VIP: S$1898 }


{ Was: S$1690, Now: S$1398, VIP: S$1298 }


In Luxury City, with classic handbags from past seasons too, there is definitely something for everyone.

But what I love most has to be the friendly and comfortable shopping environment they provide. Customers are allowed to touch and feel the products, do a little mix and match (Add a scarf? Pick a matching wallet), and pick only the most suitable products for purchase without being pestered by salespeople. You get to take as much time as you’d like to browse and you never have to queue outside a boutique again.

Luxury City Chinatown Point

Kate Spade

Luxury City Chinatown Point

Luxury City is truly a hidden gem in Chinatown. If you like pretty wallets, clutches, purses and handbags like I do, then you have to pop by Luxury City! :) Luxury City Chinatown Point

Also, participate in their Luxe Snap Contest (http://l.inkto.it/439s8) and stand to win a Burberry Haymarket Small Salisbury Tote! Just ‘Like’ their facebook page, upload a photo of you carrying a branded bag, and share the photo and get your friends to ‘like’ it! :)

Luxury City

I’ve uploaded my photo – remember to ‘like’ it, ok? :D

Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

Visit Luxury City:

Chinatown Point, B1-11