What Dementia Reveals About Us As Children

NTUC Health Silver Circle

Nurse He Li Jun (center) chatting with one of the clients at NTUC Health’s Silver Circle Senior Care Centre [Pictures courtesy of Hearted Moments Photography]

Dementia has memorably been portrayed in Channel 8 dramas by actors playing the pitiful-looking senior who repeatedly says “给我一点吃的吧” (“Give me something to eat”) even though he/she has already eaten, who goes missing after wandering out of the family home, or who views family members as unrecognizable strangers. But what is dementia, really? And if you are unable to care for your family member who has dementia, who can you “outsource” the care-giving to?

Dementia cases are on the rise in Singapore (by 2030, some 80,000 people aged 60 and above would suffer from it) and so, when I was offered the opportunity to ‘job shadow’ a nurse who works with elderly clients (some of whom have been diagnosed with dementia), I jumped at the opportunity to find out more about this illness which 1 in 10 of our elderly folks suffer from. Nurse He Li Jun shared more than just tips for caregivers, but also gave me an insight into her job and the importance of maintaining healthy parent-child relationships.

I was told that some people send their parents to these centres and when the nurses ask them about their parents’ likes, dislikes and hobbies, the children are clueless. Some might say “My mother is a housewife; she has no hobbies” and the nurses go on to discover that the elderly lady loves to sing and write, etc. And the children get a surprise when they discover their parent’s beautiful singing or stunning penmanship. What does this say about the state of our parent-child relationships these days? Would YOU be one of these clueless children?😉

By the way, if you think dementia is a “normal” part of ageing, think again. Nurse Li Jun emphatically pointed out to me that dementia is anything but normal – it is a brain-related illness, and it leads to memory loss, changes in personality and even a decline in intellectual ability. An early diagnosis can be very helpful in combating (but not curing, sadly) this illness.

Nurse Li Jun is one of many outstanding individuals who are employed by NTUC Health to care for the seniors at their various centres. NTUC Health runs 12 Silver Circle day and senior care centres in Singapore. I visited the centre in Jurong West which has just over 60 clients and was greeted by a sight I did not expect:

NTUC Health Silver Circle Jurong

The centre was very well-lit with ample sunlight coming in from the windows. The sofas and dining area chairs are in bright, cheery colors and there were makeshift ‘stalls’ with items the elderly would recall from their youth. On the walls are sensory boards with items like cooking utensils and various kinds of fabric. New clients often gravitate to these sensory boards with items that are familiar to them, and this helps them settle into the ‘new’ environment. Those who like caring for their grandchildren will also take to the dolls prepared for them – apparently cradling these dolls in their arms help calm them.

And if you’re wondering, nope I did not encounter anyone who came up to us with the plea of “给我一点吃的吧” but I did meet one gentleman who kept asking me “how many brothers and sisters you have at home?” – I would provide him my answer, he’d talk about something else, and then he’d ask me the same question again. Nurse Li Jun told me that he is known for having a bad temper (which I did not get to experience, thankfully), likes to sit on the same sofa everyday and not participate in group activities, likes to tell her that he wants to marry her (and yes, I witnessed that happen), and that he might sometimes watch people walk past him and critique their appearance (oh dear).

Throughout it all, the nurse was full of good cheer, very patient and it was clear to me that keeping their clients happy and healthy is of utmost importance to the staff at Silver Circle. Watching the supposedly-fiery gentleman looking almost bashful as Nurse told him “I treat you to lunch, ok?”, I realized that it is possible to provide good care to people who suffer from dementia. You just need lots of patience, a good sense of humor, and the ability to cajole, comfort and convince them you have their best interests at heart. One elderly lady was invited to help out in the pantry to towel-dry some already very clean and dry cutlery because she will say she wants to go home if she’s not occupied with a task. Of course, when they return home, they may have forgotten what went on during the day, and tell their family members that the centre provided neither food nor activities for them.😀 (This is why the centre has to sometimes take photographs to show ‘proof’ that their clients are fed, engaged and generally well cared for)

During my half-day at the centre, I watched some seniors play mahjong, sing 月亮代表我的心 (a Teresa Teng classic), and participate in various activities. Some of them are suspected to have dementia, but the condition is not formally diagnosed.


Nurse Li Jun shared with me 5 tips for people with elderly folks at home who have either been diagnosed with dementia or who are suspected to be showing early signs of dementia…

Silver Circle

  1. Get an early diagnosis. Treatment can help slow down the progress of dementia.
  2. Validate feelings, not facts. Even if the patient is saying something which doesn’t make sense, it’s ok as long as he/she is happy.
  3. Be patient and spend time with your parents. Get to know their likes and dislikes, their hobbies, etc.
  4. Keep your home safe for the elderly. For those who like to cook, it can be dangerous if they leave the cooking unattended.
  5. Caregivers need rest too. In a week, schedule 2 to 3 days for breaks. Even a half-day respite would be most beneficial. Thus, Silver Circle centres provide ‘respite care’ for seniors who come in two to three times a week; during this time, their caregivers can take a break.

Silver Circle Jurong

In the picture above, you see the elderly folks participating in a group song / exercise activity. Many of these seniors are wheelchair-bound, and they reach the centre via a van which can take up to 6 wheelchairs at a time. Starting from 7.15am, the van ferries batch after batch of these elderly clients to the centre and work begins for Nurse Li Jun and her colleagues. There are about 16 staff at this centre and only 2 of them are foreigners. Nurse Li Jun herself hails from Hubei, China, and she has been working and living in Singapore for 18 years. I was particularly impressed by how proficient she is at reading and conversing in English. English language proficiency is definitely a prerequisite for her job as she has to do an assessment for each client, and the assessment can be 30 to 40 pages long. It’ll cover the client’s medical history, “life story”, etc in detail.

Silver Circle Day Care

Patients with dementia might have trouble with various aspects of daily living. Here, the nurse helps him button his shirt correctly.

Nurse Li Jun used to work at NUH (she spent 8 years there) and her current job at Silver Circle can involve anything from assisted feeding, diaper changing, to dressing of wounds. And even though each client has a nametag with his/her name, picture and other details, the nurses know them all by name, and regularly communicate among themselves regarding which clients to particularly look out for each day.

For instance, there is a client with dementia who is prone to hoarding. He would frequently attempt to bring items from the centre home. Nurses have found him taking toilet paper as well as food home in the bag he brings with him to the centre. And when he arrives at the centre, he’ll look for newspaper. I asked if it’d be a good idea to simply prepare a copy for him. But the nurse told me that it’s better that he walks around looking for newspaper and in the process, communicate with the staff.

All in all, I think Silver Circle staff are very creative in the way they engage their elderly clients (with or without dementia) and appear to be a special breed of people who have superhuman patience. Looking after 1 person with dementia is tough enough. But they care for over 60 seniors in one centre. Thankfully, they also have a passionate group of volunteers who help in the day-to-day operations.

To support the efforts of the staff, their employer also has to be understanding towards their needs. For instance, Nurse Li Jun shared with me that working at NTUC Health has been a joy and a relief for her as she was allowed to work part-time, half-day or 4-day weeks when she has to take care of her two young children. These flexi-work arrangements are definitely helpful for those with kids, and even for those without kids but who simply require adequate breaks to rest and recharge.


Do you have friends who lament about how tired they constantly are now that they have kids? If you have children of your own, do you remember how taxing it is to care for them and how prone they are to asking certain questions incessantly? I think there are similarities when it comes to caring for children and caring for elders with dementia. And in both cases, you have to be extra patient while being very observant as their moods, and even their likes and dislikes can change from day to day. And above all, take some time out of your busy schedule to really get to know your parents as people. Because there is a possibility that one day, they may not remember you due to dementia, but you should be able to recall what their hobbies are, what life experiences they’ve shared with you, and when the nurse has to complete the 30 to 40 page assessment with your input, it should be a breeze and not a bother.

How Singaporeans React To Children Behaving Badly In Public

When kids behave badly in Singapore

At the polyclinic yesterday, I observed a mother with infant strapped in front, trying to pacify her other child who was creating quite a ruckus with his crying, whining, and incessant pleas to “go home”. The mother tried to explain to him that they were there simply to pick up some medicine and creams but the boy, who looked to be about 5 or 6 years old, just went on and on. The mother finally got him into a seat and she slumped down into the next one, utterly exhausted. After a bit, she looked as if she had spaced out but the boy was not done yet, constantly crying and pleading to go home. Interestingly enough, people around them displayed a variety of reactions…


The majority of people within the clinic simply went about their own business. A teenage girl seated next to the mother even continued with her reading! How one reads a novel near a child who’s crying, I don’t know. But hats off to her.


Stink eye

Other people were less kind. I watched as one middle-aged woman strode past the mother-and-child and gave them the ‘stink eye’. She seemed absolutely disgusted at the mother and out-of-control child. And she went off in a huff as if she couldn’t stand being in the same space with them anymore.


Judgemental guy

There’s a group which would just watch and wait to see what happens. Would the kid just shut up on his own? Would the mother lose her cool and scream at him? Would they eventually just up and leave before seeing the doctor? Others would silently judge the mother’s inability to control her child. Admittedly, I was wondering why the mother didn’t simply respond with a threat since patient explaining didn’t work. Do parents no longer keep canes at home to ensure obedience? Hmm.


Lady giving out candy

Something happened yesterday which took me by surprise: one smiling lady walked up to the mother and offered her some candy for the child. Interestingly enough, I noticed that the child stopped crying when the lady offered this sweet distraction. But once she was gone, he picked up the pace and continued where he had left off. Bummer. Seems like he was simply kicking up a fuss and wasn’t crying because he was hungry, genuinely in pain or truly distressed. Still, that lady’s kind gesture taught me this: we can choose to react in disgust, or respond with empathy.

All too often, we meet parents whose kids are behaving “badly” in public and we are quick to “blame” the parents for not being able to control their kids’ behavior. Unfortunately, sometimes children have meltdowns in public because of autism, for example. Read this post written by my pal. Whenever possible, we can reach out with a smile, some candy, or a few kind words. Ultimately, I believe no parent wishes to be embarrassed in public by their own offspring.


Read too: How Singaporeans Reject Credit Card Promoters

RUN 350: How I Ran A Half-Marathon With Barely Any Training

Run 350

Today’s RUN 350 was especially memorable for me. It’s my 9th race so far, and my first half-marathon. I’ve been rather busy lately and haven’t trained for the race, so I did what I knew how to do, i.e. read a book on running, scored some tips and used them today. *Of course, I do not advocate your trying the same thing because I was lucky it worked for me today, and I cannot guarantee what will happen if you attempt to do the same.😛

Let me just share about how I’m feeling right now. I did take some precautions such as putting on plasters on my feet even before the race started BUT it’s still not 100% foolproof. For one, I still ended up with one blister in an awkward place; the 2nd toe on my left foot. Apparently the 2nd toe had been rubbing up against the big toe, and a blister formed on the side. How weird! Otherwise, I have no other blisters. The chafing, though, is horrible. My chest felt like it was on fire during the shower. I think my sports bra might have been a little too snug so it cut into my skin. Argh.

Interestingly, the race went very well for me and him. Yes, our legs are sore right now, but we sustained zero injury even though we had not trained for this half marathon. What I did was:

  1. Regular breaks. After the first 30 minutes of running, I stopped for a 5 minute (walking) break. Thereafter, I took 5-minute breaks after every 15 minutes of running. It REALLY helps!
  2. Instead of stopping at all the hydration points, I had my own (squeeze) water bottle with me so I could take sips as and when I felt a little tired or thirsty. I’d filled the bottle with 100plus😀 The area around each hydration point is very wet and littered with paper cups so it’s best to avoid it if you have your own bottle with you. You won’t want to slip and hurt yourself.
  3. We did stretching exercises before, during and after the race.
  4. We went for a massage after the race. It definitely helped.
  5. Mindset: I was there not to win the race, but to complete the race. So even when people were running past me while I was on my scheduled 5-minute walking break, I honored that break and did not feel the need to compete. We made it to the finish line hand-in-hand and yes, 2hr 45min is not a timing to shout about, but hey, we did it without sprains, pulled muscles or worse, any injury that required an ambulance ride.😀

There were some interesting sights during the race. For one, there were THREE people who donned shark costumes for the run. The first guy I met was perspiring profusely. I didn’t get to see the other two. Or maybe I’d mistaken them for the first one I saw. Running a half marathon is very difficult in itself. But running one while wearing a costume that covers most parts of your body except for your face and feet must feel like torture. But those guys did it to send a message loud and clear: stop consuming sharks fin.

I also spotted other runners in Captain America and Spiderman outfits. But what was really mindboggling was one female runner’s tee with an image of a hand showing the middle finger. It IS kind of offensive when she’s running just in front of you. But… what to do?

Towards the end of my race, one male runner took off his shoes, and told the race marshal that he did so because of blisters. Ahhh… thankfully I’d already put plasters on the back of my heels and on the sides of my feet where blisters tend to form.

Running Medals

If you haven’t already attempted a half marathon, I’d highly recommend that you try one, assuming you’re in good health and have been exercising regularly. It’s truly a test of willpower and discipline. And yes, please train before you go for one, ok?🙂

Rats Did Not Just Appear In Punggol


[ Image source: http://www.funny-animalpictures.com/ ]

If you haven’t already read, rat activity has been detected at Waterway Point at a “food shop” and in the false ceilings within the mall. A diner had been waiting for her food at The Coffee House at Waterway Point when a rat fell from the ceiling. Are you shocked that there are rats in Punggol? I’m not. In fact I watched a rat dash across a field on my way home today.

Me: “There’s a rat!”

E: “Are you sure? Look for the tail.”

Me: “Yes, it’s a rat. There’s that long tail. Where’s it going though?”

*rat scampers into drain by the side of a road*

There have been rats in Punggol for the longest time ever. It’s not uncommon to see them hanging out in my neighborhood, sometimes near the lift lobbies too.

A friend of mine who owns a stall in a coffeeshop somewhere in Singapore said that many coffeeshops have rats. And that is why stall owners keep their canned food and canned drinks upside down. Why? So that rats can walk across them at night. But you can still flip the drink right side up, and drink from them or open the lid of the can. Items like eggs also have to be wrapped and stored in the fridge because rats will eat them if they are left out in the open!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Rats (Especially Those In Singapore)

  • Last year, NEA received over 6,700 complaints about rats (Source: ST)
  • The NEA also found over 10,000 rat burrows across the island (Source: AsiaOne)
  • Rats can potentially cause fires if they chew through electrical cables (Source: Rentokill)
  • The gestation period for rats is about 3 weeks and they give birth to many young rats per litter. So rats can have up to 60 “babies” a year! In short, it’s VERY difficult to rid Singapore of rats.
  • Rats are a “delicious delicacy” in some countries! In India, Cameroon, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, etc, people eat rats even when there are other meats available because they like the taste of rats (Source: BBC)

Well, if we run out of food one day due to war or famine, we can always look for our friendly neighborhood rats.😉

RUN 350: Free Snacks, Free Insurance And Free Foot Scan :D

RUN 350 Race Pack Collection

RUN 350’s race pack collection has to be one of the best I’ve encountered so far.🙂 When I popped by on Friday, there was no queue at all as the staff were really very efficient in processing all documents and handing out the race packs. And the fringe activities can be summed up as being every freebie-loving Singaporean’s dream come true. Haha!😀

I guess everyone wanted to win the fitness tracker (worth S$198), but only 2 were given out each day and they were all fully redeemed by the time I got onto the bike. You can choose to pedal using your feet (left) or hands (right) and generate enough electricity to make the bulbs light up and the wheel spin. Such fun! We should have bicycles at home which we can cycle to power up our TVs, washing machines, fans, etc! Wouldn’t that be absolutely brilliant?

RUN 350 games

After some (quick) pedaling, we won granola bars, cashew nuts and coconut water *yay*

RUN 350 freebies

And we also received 1-month free personal accident insurance *no cycling required*

RUN 350 free insurance

I’m not sure why the NTUC agents were wearing shirts which stated ‘READY FOR BATTLE’ on the back, but erm… I’m happy there’s free 1-month insurance to cover any accidents during the race period!😀

And there was a long and slow-moving queue for the free foot scan. I didn’t queue for this because it seemed like it’d take forever.

Nice Nike shoes and socks though:

RUN 350 Free Foot Scan

At another booth, I got to know more about my carbon footprint, and what contributes to the total score (things like travel, meat consumption, transport mode, etc), and that my carbon footprint is below Singapore’s national average BUT way above the world’s average. Like, how can that be possible? I don’t even have air-conditioning at home! And no car! And I’ve been cutting down on plastic bag usage! Conclusion: I need to do more.

My Carbon Footprint

Participants were also invited to make a pledge… Mine’s about using fewer plastic bags. One way I do this is by avoiding double-bagging. And when I buy fruits at NTUC Fairprice, I just place the fruit (those with skin I don’t eat, e.g. avocados) directly into the shopping basket instead of putting them into a transparent plastic bag first. And whenever possible, I bring my own recyclable bags, and save 10 cents in the process.😀

350 Singapore

RUN 350 must be Singapore’s most eco-friendly race – we are even encouraged to recycle our medals. It’s something that, admittedly, I’m having trouble doing, because I really worked very hard in order to get every single medal I now own. Maybe, just maybe, when I stop running one day, I’ll send all my medals for recycling. For now, it’s part of my small medal collection. If you have a lot of medals at home and they’re not adding joy to your life and are simply collecting dust, why not consider bringing them down to Marina Square today and giving them a new lease of life via recycling?🙂

RUN 350 Recycle Medals

And oh! RUN 350 participants can also claim NTUC Fairprice vouchers if their utility usage is below the national average!😀 My household utility bills are paid by my folks at home so I don’t think I qualify for this.

And frankly, my heart skipped a beat when I saw the race route. Who knew that a half marathon would involve such a LONG distance. *sweat* Oh dear… have to go train now!😀

RUN 350 Route Map

Inflatable Underwater World Display @ West Coast Plaza

Balloon Mermaid

Is it purely a coincidence or what? There was the Fairytale Garden Balloon Exhibition at Marina Square and also the Inflatable Underwater World Display at West Coast Plaza last weekend! A case of ‘great minds think alike’? Anyway, both balloon exhibitions ended yesterday. I guess balloons get deflated pretty quickly, and it’s too much of a hassle getting the public to keep their hands off the fragile balloons.😀 I think kids these days are really wayyyy more fortunate than kids in my time. There are all these wonderful exhibitions to enjoy, and best of all, parents can just use their handphones to snap pictures and record videos of these beautiful moments.

I found Nemo:

Balloon Nemo

He looks like a cross between a clownfish and a flowerhorn cichlid (or luohan fish) with that protruding forehead.😀 And I thought I saw some teenage mutant ninja turtles too:

Underwater World Balloon Exhibition

Underwater World

West Coast Plaza

Would You Encourage Your Child’s Dreams To Be A Balloon Artist / Sculptor ? 

Both parents and children alike LOVED the balloon sculptures at Marina Square and at West Coast Plaza. In fact, I even spotted Celebrity DJ Jamie Yeo and her daughter at Marina Square yesterday, taking part in the balloon sculpting workshop. (Jamie was sitting in the audience instead of emceeing, for once)😀 And I wondered…

If those kids demonstrate a passion for balloon sculpting, and aspire to be balloon artists, would their parents support them or shut down their dreams?

After all, it IS a legitimate career choice, and best of all, it brings joy to people – both the young and the young-at-heart. I guess the main factor that would make parents frown on their kid’s career choice would be the $$$ factor. There’s possibly not much money to be made unless you are an award-winning balloon sculptor who gets commissioned to put together these large-scale exhibitions. Even then, it will not be a solo effort. Many artists have to work side-by-side. It would be too taxing for just one individual to accomplish.

Of course, I think there are those who make a living by performing at kids’ birthday parties and other events. But competition is fierce in that space too. Go search for ‘balloon artist Singapore’ on Google and you’ll find quite a number of ads (I counted 7 of them).

 If you’re a parent, my question to you is: Will you encourage your child’s dreams to be a balloon sculptor? Assuming nothing delights your kid more than crafting balloon sculptures that bring joy to people and which enliven and beautify any space?😀

Mediacorp’s Celebrity Sports Day

Celebrity Sports Day

I went to the OCBC Arena yesterday to attend Mediacorp’s Celebrity Sports Day and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The sports day started off with a bang, with the basketball game which featured Mr Unbelievable, Chen Tianwen. The scoreboard had the names of the players in each team for basketball; for everyone else, it was their real names, but for Chen, it was his moniker ‘Unbelievable’. The Most Valuable Player for the blue team wasn’t Unbelievable though. It was Chase Tan who, for most of the game, was the one who scored all the points for his team. I watched Mr Unbelievable attempt to score during 4 free throws, but he missed them all. Yao Wenlong managed to score 2 three-pointers though, which was as amazing as it was unexpected. Zhang Zhenhuan and Shane Pow helped the red team sail to the win. The final score for the basketball match? 38 v 26.

Then there was the all-ladies 400m race, which involved running 4 rounds within the OCBC Arena. Travelogue host Belinda Lee fell during her race – I think the flooring is just really slippery… and perhaps her choice of footwear played a part too. Sonia Chew won the 400m race with an impressive timing of 1 minute 29 seconds. Fellow DJ Jamie Yeo came in second. For the men’s 100m race, Chase Tan won gold with a record 15 seconds, beating Romeo Tan by just 1 second! Before this event, I’d no idea who Chase was, but after checking out his Instagram and Facebook pages, I realized he actually plays basketball professionally. No wonder he was MVP at the Celebrity Sports Day lah! I actually asked my pal if Chase has a fan club – this one can join ah!😀

Captain’s Ball was yet another exciting match. The two teams were neck-to-neck, and eventually went into an ‘extra time’ round for 2 minutes. The score was tied yet again, and finally in ‘golden goal’ time, the blue team with Hong Huifang won the match! Well played indeed. The teams also came round to thank the fans, which was a gesture I think we all appreciated. For most of the event though, the celebrities faced the stands on the opposite side (which was not entirely filled) while the fans (where I was seated) filled most of the seats on our side. I would have thought the celebrities should have faced US instead. But I guess it looks better for the camera; to have us all ‘behind’ them.🙂

Mediacorp Celebrity Sports Day

There was also a 4 x 100m relay, in which radio DJs again demonstrated their athletic prowess. Simone Heng amazed us all with how fast she ran.😀

The event ended after the three-legged race (in which Caldecott queen Zoe Tay replaced Belinda Lee) and the tug-of-war in which Hong Huifang’s blue team beat hubby Zheng Geping’s red team. I’d have put my money on the red team winning, ‘cos of the obvious edge (muscle men and all, under chief Tay Ping Hui’s leadership). Thankfully no money was involved. HENG AH! LOL!

All in all, it was a (near) nail-biting, adrenaline-pumping Sports Day, in which fans cheered as hard as their celebrity idols played. I think it was well worth the S$10 ticket price, and especially since the funds raised go to NTUC Income’s OrangeAid program which helps children and youth from underprivileged backgrounds. The next time this event is organized again, I’ll be sure to attend. It’s well worth the time and money.🙂

National Cancer Centre Singapore: Heartlands Roadshows With Cool Prizes

National Cancer Centre Singapore roadshow

I was having lunch at Kovan today when I noticed there was a National Cancer Centre Singapore roadshow between Heartland Mall and the hawker center.🙂 Little did I know that I’d meet Nurse Audrey once again. I interviewed her last year for an article on the National Cancer Centre Singapore (click on the link to read). It was wonderful meeting her again – she couldn’t quite recognize me but she remembers (doing) the kungfu pose. Hahaha!

I was told that the roadshow was held at Toa Payoh last week, then Kovan today, and Hougang next week. So folks, if you’re staying in Hougang, look forward to this pretty fun event!🙂 Check out the prizes we won from the various booths at the roadshow:

National Cancer Centre Singapore roadshow freebies

Plushies, tissue packs, notepads, and “syringes” that are actually highlighters and pens🙂 I think those syringes are so cool😄

I enjoyed this game the most:

National Cancer Centre Singapore roadshow game

And in this blogpost, I’ll share with you what I’ve learnt from this roadshow. If you have any queries regarding cancer, call the Helpline at 6225 5655.

What Is Cancer?

Cancer begins when cells divide and grow beyond control and no longer function normally.

*Metastatic refers to the migration of cancer cells from the original tumor site through the blood and lymph vessels to produce cancers in other parts of the body. When this happens, the cancer is classified as stage 4 cancer.

What Causes Cancer?

“The exact cause of cancer is unknown but there are some factors that increase the risk”

  1. Lifestyle: Smoking causes nearly 9 out of 10 lung cancer deaths. Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, larynx (voicebox) and liver.
  2. Diet: High-fat diet. Obesity increases risk of cancer of the prostate, pancreas, uterus, colon and ovary.
  3. Environment: Chemicals, Ultraviolet rediation, Infectious agents
  4. Family history: Usually skin, breast, ovary and colon cancers.

Take note of these signs:

Signs of Cancer

In Singapore, the most common cancer for males is colorectal cancer, and for females, breast cancer. However, more men die from lung cancer than from colorectal cancer (see next board).

Most Common Cancers in Singapore

Cancer Deaths in Singapore

How To Reduce Risk Of Cancer?

Adopt a healthier lifestyle: at least 150 minutes of physical activity weekly, reduce salt and sugar intake, avoid deep-fried food and choose foods of plant origin, quit smoking and limit consumption of alcohol, and eat at least 2 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.


Prevention and early detection is key, so do go for regular health screenings, ok? If you find yourself coming up with excuses like “I don’t have the time”, well, I’ve recently read in a book that you can change this excuse to “Health is not my priority” and tell other people this instead. It just might prompt you to take that step you’ve been unwilling to take. *wink*


My Little Pony Friendship Run 2016: A Stunning Success!

My Little Pony Run 2016

I think I enjoyed today’s My Little Pony Friendship Run more than the previous two installments of the Hello Kitty Run even though I’m a Kitty fan! It’s because of the various race categories. It ensures that those who are serious about running can sign up for the competitive 6km race, while those who want to walk can sign up for either 4km or 1km. So the people I ran with this morning were largely made up of participants who were keen on setting a good personal best timing for the 6km and I did not actually see anyone ahead of me stop mid-race to take a selfie or photo. LOL. But I did get a photo of the ‘rainbow balloons’ as you can see above. Oops. Hehe!

The MLP Friendship Run was held at the area near Sentosa’s Palawan Beach. All participants received free entry into Sentosa so I guess many families must have stayed behind to enjoy all that Sentosa has to offer.🙂 Some came all dressed up. I recognize this mother-and-daughter pair from the previous Hello Kitty Run.

My Little Pony Friendship Run 2016

Before the 6km race began, we also got to take photos of a mascot – Twilight Sparkle.

My Little Pony Twilight Sparkle Mascot

Like the Hello Kitty races, I think the runner entitlements are pretty awesome. I LOVE the plushies! They even come with these colored clip-ons which I saw some runners pinning to their own hair. And the lanyard, towels, and other merchandise are too pretty!

My Little Pony Plushies

Here’s a look at the medal:

My Little Pony Friendship Run Medal

It’s my 8th medal so far, since I started taking part in races a few years’ back.

I’m so glad he agreed to join me for the 6km Bestie Run today.🙂 Runners had to cross the Finish line while holding hands.🙂 Because he ran faster than I did, he gave me the encouragement I needed. When he said that it’s almost the 35 minute mark, I glanced at the timer (it read 34: 27) and I sprinted all the way for the last 50 metres or so. I think we made it before the 35-minute mark. But I’ll await the race timing results to confirm this. Hehe!🙂

I didn’t actually train for this 6km race, so it was really exhausting, especially when we had to run up the slope (like, twice). I’m actually pretty happy if we completed the race under 35 minutes. So it’s now one down, and a few more races to go!~

Things To Do In Singapore In 1-Day: My Indonesian Friend’s Visit :D

I’ve been SO BUSY recently. Among the many things I’ve been doing is taking my pals around Singapore. Previously, my Vietnamese friends came by (read the blogpost here), then a Cambodian (*no time to blog about his trip yet*) and my Indonesian pal just left Singapore today. One day is definitely NOT SUFFICIENT for visiting Singapore, as it will be a crazy rush from attraction to attraction, so please do not attempt this unless you have absolutely no choice. In any case, here are some suggestions for things to do in Singapore. Whether you are a tourist planning a trip to Singapore, or a Singaporean wondering where you should take your pals to when they come here to visit you, I hope this blogpost is useful to you.🙂


I met my pal at the airport in the morning around 8am, and we popped by Tampines Swimming Complex thereafter (it opens at 8am). A shower plus swim would be a delight for most tourists, I guess. In fact, I want nothing more than a hot shower after a flight to get rid of tiredness and to feel refreshed.🙂 Tampines Swimming Complex on a Friday morning is not very crowded at all, and we sure did enjoy the swim.

Then it was a quick (and light) brunch at Century Square before we headed to Hotel Grand Pacific for a buffet lunch. At Tampines Mall, my pal also bought a tin of cookies from Bengawan Solo. When I’d visited him in Surabaya previously, I brought him a gift of cookies from Bengawan Solo, and he and his family liked the cookies so much that he (also) came here for more.😀

The dessert corner at Sun’s Cafe in Hotel Grand Pacific:

Hotel Grand Pacific Sun's Cafe lunch buffet

I’ll do a more detailed post regarding the buffet later. Suffice to say now that it’s good value for money if you’ve bought a Groupon voucher. The staff are pretty friendly too.

The view from level 10 of the National Library:

Singapore National Library

After lunch, we visited the National Library which was around the corner, and we also went to Bugis+, Bugis Junction, Bugis Street, etc.

Maple Lodge (hostel) is right outside Exit A of Chinatown MRT station (on the left) –

Singapore Chinatown Maple Lodge

Then we went to his hostel at Chinatown – Maple Lodge – which is SO conveniently located just a few steps away from Exit A of Chinatown MRT station. If you’re a ‘backpacker’ visiting Singapore, here’s a good place to stay for just S$15 a night. Check-in time is at 3pm, or so I was told.

With check-in completed, and luggage deposited, we headed to Merlion Park, which is like the MUST-VISIT place for most tourists who want to get that obligatory photo with one of the merlions. We spotted a couple in full wedding attire getting their photoshoot done. The weather was SO hot then! Bless their souls. The bride did not seem to mind at all – no complaints heard – so I guess the groom made a fantastic choice. Hehe! Happy marriage, y’all!

Singapore Merlion Park

Thankfully, I’d thought of buying ice cream when we exited Raffles Place MRT station. If you’re walking towards Exit H, you’ll see a Mr Bean outlet. I bought ice cream for all 3 of us (me, my Indonesian pal, and another Malaysian pal currently studying in Singapore). Thus, there were few complaints about the weather when we stepped out of the air-conditioned premises to make our way to Merlion Park. We were too busy enjoying the ice cream. Haha!

A few quick snaps of the Merlion and we were off to MBS:

Singapore Marina Bay Sands

* I love those clouds *

We took a really long walk to get to Marina Bay Sands. For your information, visiting the Observation Deck of MBS requires a fee of S$23 for adults and S$17 for children (between 2 and 12 years old). Find out more about the fees here: http://www.marinabaysands.com/sands-skypark/observation-deck.html

*The Infinity Pool at MBS is reserved for hotel guests*

We had dinner at the foodcourt at Marina Bay Sands. The prices are much higher than in many other places in Singapore.

Post-dinner snack and chit-chat time:

DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe

We also visited the DC Comics Super Heroes themed cafe at MBS (level 1). I ordered some nuggets & fries, plus a yuzu drink (which was SO sweet). The chirpy waiter gave us some water served in the cutest caped super hero mugs. Service was excellent, despite what some reviewers said on the cafe’s facebook page. The decor of the place is simply awesome. You can find Batman, Catwoman, and many other super heroes. And there’s the Batmobile, the fancy bike (I don’t know what it’s called) and so many photo-worthy spots. Of course, the food’s also superhero-themed so snap away if you’re ordering the burgers, lattes or desserts, etc.

After an enjoyable chat, I sent him back to his hostel. He told me that he fell asleep very quickly because he was so tired. And it’s no wonder too. I clocked over 20,000 steps yesterday, just touring Singapore with him! LOL.


Nana’s Green Tea at Plaza Singapura. Lunch sets (inc. of a drink) are at S$13.90.

Nana's Green Tea Plaza Singapura

ION Orchard:

Singapore ION Orchard

As for today, we had lunch at Nana’s Green Tea at Plaza Singapura before popping by Orchard Road. We went to ION, Ngee Ann City, Kinokuniya, etc.🙂 Then we were off to Woodlands where we bought sushi from my favorite sushi takeaway place. He also bought Old Chang Kee’s curry puffs and other snacks.

And then he’s off to Malaysia.🙂

I’m gonna miss him. He’s a really fun guy to chat with and hang out with. And he also brought me presents… AWWW…


Gifts from Surabaya

My generous pal from Surabaya brought me some goodies. There’s Kue Blinjo (which I assume is some kind of cookie), (the famous) Livana’s Lapis Surabaya (which I’ve tried previously during my trip to Surabaya) and Bandeng Asap (Smoked Milkfish).

I do wish I’d thought of bringing him to visit a cat cafe earlier. Will certainly include that in the itinerary the next time he visits. Till then!~🙂