Extreme Sailing Series Singapore – 22nd Feb 2014

A bright, sunny and gusty windy Saturday, 22nd February 2014 at the Marina Bay Singapore, where Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 1 is happening during this weekend. Having covered part of the Extreme Sailing on Friday 21st February, Saturday’s Extreme Sailing highlights proved to be even more exciting and fun to watch, along with an unfortunate crash between 2 of the Elite Extreme Sailing boats that happened in the late afternoon to evening time.

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The crowds were in today to gather and watch the Extreme Sailing Series action and before the main competition started, there was a first ever novelty drag race of its kind in Singapore, the Breast Cancer Foundation’s dragon boat team ‘Paddlers in the Pink’ will take on Team Aberdeen Singapore in the bay before the main racing gets underway. It was great to show support to the heroines of “Paddlers in the Pink”, the Breast Cancer Foundation’s Dragon Boat Team, drawing great cheers from the spectators at The Promontory @ Marina Bay.

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The Extreme Sailing Series kickstarted their competition at around 3pm and the 12 Elite Extreme Sailing boats were in high speed adrenaline action around the waters of Marina Bay Singapore. I was able to get closer to the sailors in action on the media boat for one of the races (with my media accreditation access) and you can spot their concentration, commitment, precision and teamwork during the Extreme Sailing races. This was also my maiden experience on a media boat photographing competitive sports sailing action and it was definitely a great learning experience that gave me close up Extreme Sailing Series sailing action!

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Thereafter, I walked to the Marina Bay Sands area to photograph the Extreme Sailing Series from another location, angle and perspective of the  Extreme Sailing Series action that is close to the public in a Stadium Sailing setting and how Marina Bay Singapore fits it perfectly. I wasn’t disappointed at all and with the gusty winds, it provided a good platform for the 12 Elite Extreme Sailing teams to showcase their skills, tactics and sailing.

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At around the late afternoon, there was an unfortunate crash between Team Aberdeen Singapore and Groupama sailing team. Team Aberdeen Singapore caught one of the biggest gusts of the day as they came into the finish line struggling to hold off the pace and ploughing into the back of France’s Groupama sailing team. I was on the other side of the Marina Bay Sands when I heard the crash and I was glad that there were no major injuries to the sailors from Team Aberdeen Singapore and Groupama sailing teams. Safety was the first and foremost concern of the organisers, the safety boats were seen moving into the area immediately to provide assistance and rescue the sailors. The damaged sailing boats were escorted to The Float@Marina Bay for assessment and repairs and let’s hope both boats can return in time tomorrow for Sunday’s Extreme Sailing Series competition in the afternoon!

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Groupama sailing team skipper, Franck Cammas, explained what happened: “We had big gusts and as we were finishing a gybe we saw Aberdeen come really fast from behind and that’s the moment when they came over us breaking the mast. Besides the broken mast the damage is not too serious and it is mainly on the mast, the mainsail, the jib and a hole on the trampoline so I think we will be able to race tomorrow with another mast. Tanguy Cariou is the only crew member hurt but it’s only superficial injuries. He was in the middle of the trampoline where the boat fell, which was the worst spot. Three crew members jumped off the boat. It’s the risk of racing. What is tricky here is that the wind is quite strong and very gusty which is difficult to anticipate. It’s not easy.” – (Source: Extreme Sailing Series and Full Circle Public Relations)

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At the end of Saturday 22nd February 2014, Day 3 of Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 1 Singapore, here are the results –

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Act 1, Singapore standings after Day 3, 21 races (22.02.14)

Position / Team / Points

1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 163 points.

 2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 132 points.

 3rd Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Sebastien Stephant 130 points.

 4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Haylee Outteridge 117 points.

 5th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 117 points.

 6th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 104 points.

 7th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell 103 points.

 8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 95 points.

 9th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 89 points.

 10th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 88 points.

 11th GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, Alexandra South 49 points.

 12th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Nick Moloney, Adam Beashel, Scott Glen Sydney, Tom Dawson, Justin Wong 47 points.

(Results Courtesy of Extreme Sailing Series and Full Circle Public Relations)

It had been a exciting Saturday 22nd February 2014 at the Extreme Sailing Series Act 1 in Singapore! The Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 1 Singapore is now going to its final day on Sunday 23rd February, do drop by Marina Bay and The Promontory @ Marina Bay to catch the Extreme Sailing Series action!


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Extreme Sailing Series Singapore – 21st Feb 2014

The Extreme Sailing Series 2014 is back in Singapore with a big bang in the heart of Marina Bay Singapore! With strong winds blowing in the Marina Bay area and under the intense hot tropical sunshine, the Extreme 40 sailing boats are providing great excitement and sports action to the spectators around the Marina Bay Stadium! The Extreme Sailing Series is an international sailing event since 2007,  visiting different countries around the world and Singapore is Act 1 for Extreme Sailing Series 2014! High speed and adrenaline sporting action on the water by the Extreme 40 sailing boats whereby the action is close to the public in a Stadium Sailing, Marina Bay Singapore fits the bill perfectly!

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This is my 2nd year covering and photographing Extreme Sailing Series, here’s a recap of the Extreme Sailing Series that I went in 2013! If you like to know about the Extreme Racing, the starting procedure, the course, what happens during the race and the finishing, do check out their link here on Extreme Sailing Series website for more details! Here’s a photograph that I took at the Race Village that shows the Extreme Sailing Series course route!

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There were 6 races on 21st February and the Extreme 40 sailing teams had to handle winds ranging form three knots to gusty winds peaking at twenty-four knots! Watching the races from the Marina Bay area, it’s an ideal Stadium arena setting to watch the Extreme 40 sailing boats in close action, you can see them “flying” across the water! Our Marina Bay is not only a beautiful bay area with many different buildings surrounding it, they provide interesting challenges with the unpredictable winds and breezes in the Marina Bay area, giving the 12 Elite Extreme Sailing Teams a handful to handle during the racing competition!

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After Day 2 of Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 1 in Singapore, here are the results and standings of the Extreme 40 teams –

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Act 1, Singapore standings after Day 2, 15 races (21.02.14)

Position / Team / Points 

1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 111 points.

2nd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 90 points.

3rd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 84 points.

4th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 81 points.

5th Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Sebastien Stephant 81 points.

6th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell 80 points.

7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 73 points. 

8th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Haylee Outteridge 71 points.

9th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 61 points.

10th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 56 points. 

11th GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, Alexandra South 32 points. 

12th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Nick Moloney, Adam Beashel, Scott Glen Sydney, Tom Dawson, Justin Wong 31 points.

(Results Courtesy of Extreme Sailing Series and Full Circle Public Relations)

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On 22nd February 2014, there will be exciting programs and line up of activities at Extreme Sailing Series Singapore! There is a very special event, the first of its kind! The first ever novelty drag race of its kind in Singapore, the Breast Cancer Foundation’s dragon boat team ‘Paddlers in the Pink’ will take on Team Aberdeen Singapore in the bay before the main racing gets underway. Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information, Lawrence Wong will also be on board the Team Aberdeen Singapore boat as the sixth man sailor. Catch this exciting event as the Promontory turns into a sea of pink with Aberdeen joining forces with Breast Cancer Foundation to raise awareness amongst the crowds (Information Courtesy of Extreme Sailing Series and Full Circle Public Relations)

Event: Paddlers in the Pink vs Team Aberdeen Singapore 
Date: Saturday, 22 February 2014
Time: 2.00pm
Venue: The Promontory @ Marina Bay

Do come down and support this special race at the Marina Bay at 2pm! Share it with your friends about Extreme Sailing Series happening right here in the heart of Marina Bay Singapore for the next two days, Saturday 22nd February and Sunday 23rd February!


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Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter Heritage Tour

In one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates, Tiong Bahru, there lies a very interesting place/trail that not many Singaporeans know about that is right beneath their homes. Located at Blk 78 Guan Chuan Street lies an air raid shelter that is 1,500 sqm in floor size! The Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter was first opened to the public for guided tours in 2013, I didn’t manage to join the guided tour and visit the Air Raid Shelter. When National Heritage Board (NHB) organised guided tours for February 8th and 15th 2014, I managed to sign up for the last tour on 15th February 2014 and it was an eye opener to learn and know more about Singapore’s past, and explored a significant part of Singapore’s history that not many knew about.

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The Air Raid Shelter at Blk 78 Guan Chuan Street is of great importance and significance because it is the only public housing building by the Singapore Improvement Trust to have an Air Raid Shelter built as part of its design and it is also the last remaining pre-war civilian Air Raid Shelter still in existence today (Source: National Heritage Board)

Joining a group of heritage enthusiasts in the guided heritage walk inside the Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter, I got to see what it could be like during World War 2 when the bombs were dropping on Singapore. Our heritage guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable in sharing her research and stories about the Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter with the participants. Walking inside the Air Raid Shelter can be pretty stuffy and perspiring, due to the limited ventilation outlets, this allowed the participants to have a feel and idea of how the people felt when they were hiding inside the Air Raid Shelter during World War 2 when the Japanese bombed Singapore. It wasn’t comfortable and with the bombing above them, those were indeed very tough and dark times during Singapore’s history that we must not forget.

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As the guided tour finished, I added another tick to my list of Old Places Exploration in Singapore. The guided tour was enriching and an eye-opener to the history and heritage of Singapore that we must preserve and conserve. Joining heritage tours organised by NHB gave me more details and knowledge beyond history books and websites, the tours gave me a feel of our history, heritage and stories behind them.

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For more information on Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter, you can check out the link here to NHB website. Do keep a look out on NHB and I Love Museum websites when they announce guided tours for Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter in the future!


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SAF Total Defence Day Commemoration Event 2014

15th February is just like any other day in our calendar. For Singapore, 15th February is an important date for us to remember in our history, it’s the day when Singapore entered into a period of darkness 72 years ago on the 15th February 1942, when Singapore surrendered to the Japanese during World War 2, plunging Singapore into a dark period from 15th February 1942 to 12th September 1945.

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15th February is an important date for all of us to solemnly remember and not to forget our history and what happened to Singapore in 1942. Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) held a Total Defence Day Commemoration Event at the War Memorial Park in City Hall area, with a weapons presentation ceremony to the new recruits of 3rd Battalion, Singapore Guards. The weapons presentation is an important milestone in the life of a recruit becoming a soldier in their National Service.

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The War Memorial Park is of great and important significance for Total Defence Day and the weapons presentation ceremony. The 61m tall memorial monument comprises of 4 columns, representing the 4 races and it is joined at the base to signify the unity of all races. It was built to remember the civilians of all races who lost their lives during World War 2. Having the weapons presentation at the War Memorial Park reminds our soldiers on the ultimate purpose that they have been training for, to defend Singapore.

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The Total Defence Day Commemoration Event started with the laying of the wreath by the selected recruit from 3rd Battalion, Singapore Guards along with the Chief of Defence Force.  The Last Post was played (and for those who understand the significance of the Last Post) it was a sombre moment to remember those who had fallen, followed by the 1 minute of moment of silence.  The playing of the Rouse was followed after the moment of silence.

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At 1820hrs, the time when General Percival surrendered to the Japanese in 1942, the weapons presentation commenced and it brought me back memories, to my days of serving National Service and receiving my weapon in the ceremony. The Recitation of Weapon Pledge and the SAF Pledge followed after that, with the National Anthem being played at the end of the SAF Pledge.

Let’s take this time to remember our fallen, our history, and progress and not take things for granted. Everybody plays a part in Total Defence.

Lest We Forget

* I would like to thank Mindef Public Relations for the invitation to attend SAF Total Defence Day Commemoration Event 2014 at the War Memorial Park at City Hall *


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Singapore Biennale Closing Weekend

Singapore Biennale is drawing to a close this coming weekend of Saturday 15th February and Sunday 16th February. The Singapore Biennale journey had been a fun and interesting adventure for me, with many different photographs over the various unique, artistic, abstract and wonderful artworks by many different artists. If you haven’t visited the Singapore Biennale yet or haven’t visited all of the Singapore Biennale artworks, do come down to the various venues this coming weekend of 15th and 16th February 2014!

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There are many exciting programs lined up for the Singapore Biennale Closing Weekend, check out their Facebook Events page for more details here! For the Singapore Biennale Closing Weekend, it is Free Admission and Extended Opening Hours!

Here are some quick details attached below (from Singapore Biennale Facebook Events Page) –

Fri, 14 Feb – Sat, 15 Feb: 10am – 9pm
Sun, 16 Feb: 10am – 7pm

1. From 14 – 15 Feb, gallery opening hours will be extended to 9pm for SB exhibits at the following venues: SAM, SAM at 8Q, NMS and TPM.

2. From 14 – 16 Feb, there will be free admission to the SB exhibits at the following venues: SAM, SAM at 8Q, NMS and TPM.

3. To sweeten the deal for SB visitors, there will be free admission for all from 14 – 16 Feb to the SB parallel exhibition, “A Changed World: Singapore Art 1950s – 1970s”. This gallery will also offer extended opening hours to 9pm for both 14 and 15 Feb.

For more information on the Singapore Biennale Closing Weekend and its programmes, please visit www.singaporebiennale.org

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This is my 3rd Singapore Biennale that I attended, the memories from my three Singapore Biennale adventures can be found here in my Flickr collection! Do take the chance to visit Singapore Biennale during this closing weekend, have a fun time, viewing and enjoying the many artworks on display there at Singapore Biennale!


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Sony Introduces Alpha 6000

Sony Electronics recently announced new digital imaging products at CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show 2014 and one of them was the Sony cid:image004.jpg@01CBAE9C.0564E2A06000 and I would like to share with all my readers here the latest news and information for the Sony Alpha 6000.

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The speedy new ILCE-6000 from Sony boasts the quickest AF performance of any interchangeable lens digital camera, snapping subjects into sharp focus in just 0.06 seconds. From spontaneous smiles to towering tennis serves, you’ll capture those fleeting moments that other cameras miss. And thanks to the 24.3 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor, every frame is crammed with rich detail and texture. Boosting Sony’s mirrorless line-up, the ILCE-6000 comes in two iconic designs, black and titanium, sure to inspire jealous glances from other photographers. For users who have been thinking about taking advantage of size and weight advantages of a mirrorless camera but don’t want to sacrifice super-quick autofocus, the ILCE-6000 now renders that conversation moot.

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Even quicker than most professional DSLRs, the phenomenal autofocus speed of the ILCE-6000 is powered by Sony’s advanced Fast Hybrid AF system. A 179-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor is teamed with high-precision contrast-detection AF. This potent combination delivers the world’s fastest1 AF performance of any interchangeable lens camera, plus continuous shooting at a blazing 11fps with highly accurate autofocus tracking. Nothing gets past the ILCE-6000 – even fast-moving subjects like athletes and acrobatic pets – and the Fast Hybrid AF system is also available in movie mode.  There are plenty more premium features packed into the camera’s compact, purposeful body. Composing scenes is a pleasure through the new clear, bright OLED Tru-Finder™ which consists of four double aspherical lenses. Preview the effects of adjusting focus, exposure and other settings: what you see is exactly what you get.

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Intuitively-placed mode and control dials on top of the camera allow effortless adjustment of shooting settings while you’re focused on the scene in front of you. A total of 7 customisable buttons – including two dedicated custom buttons – give swift access to any one of 43 assignable functions to satisfy any photo enthusiast. And for extra flexibility in any situation, there’s a built-in flash to brighten up portraits or gloomy indoor shots.  It’s easy to share shots on your mobile: on-board Wi-Fi allows one-touch connection with your Xperia™, NFC-compatible Android smartphones, tablets and VAIO. A single touch also activates Smart Remote Control, linking the camera to fire the shutter from a distance and view photos on your mobile.

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The ILCE-6000 interchangeable lens digital camera from Sony will be available in Singapore at all Sony stores and selected authorised dealers from the second quarter of 2014.

* Information, Details and Photographs Courtesy of Sony Singapore and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide *

Specifications Sheet

Model ILCE-6000
Lens compatibility Sony E-mount lenses
Image sensor Type APS-C type (23.5 x 15.6mm) “Exmor” APS HD CMOS sensor
Number of pixels (effective) Approx. 24.3 megapixels
Record

system (still image)

Recording format JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver.2.3, MPF Baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format)
Record system (movie) Recording format AVCHD format Ver. 2.0 compliant/ MP4
Media Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, SD memory card, SDHC memory card (UHS-I compliant), SDXC memory card (UHS-I compliant)
Focus system Type Fast Hybrid AF (phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF)
Focus points 179 points (phase-detection AF) / 25 points (contrast-detection AF)
Exposure control Metering type 1200-zone evaluative metering
ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index) Still images: ISO 100-25600 equivalent (1/3 EV step),

AUTO (ISO 100-25600, selectable lower limit and upper limit)

Movies: ISO 100-12800 equivalent (1/3 EV step) / AUTO (ISO 100-12800 equivalent, selectable lower limit and upper limit)

Viewfinder Type 1.0 cm (0.39 type) electronic viewfinder (colour)
Number of dots 1,440,000 dots
Field coverage 100%
Magnification Approx. 1.07x (35mm camera equivalent: Approx. 0.70x) with 50mm lens at infinity -1m-1)
LCD screen Type 7.5cm (3.0-type) type TFT, WhiteMagic
No. of dots 921,600 dots
Adjustable angle Up by approx. 90 degrees, Down by approx. 45 degrees
Wi-Fi View on smartphone Yes
Send to computer Yes
View on TV Yes
NFC Yes (NFC Forum Type 3 Tag compatible,

One-touch remote, One-touch sharing)

PlayMemories Camera Apps Yes
Audio Microphone Built-in stereo microphone
Speaker Built-in, monaural
Dimensions (excluding protrusions) Approx. 120.0mm x 66.9mm x 45.1mm
Weight Approx. 285g (body only)

Approx. 344g (with battery and Memory Stick PRO Duo included)

Sony Introduces White Cyber-shot DSC-QX10

The Sony CyberShot DSC-QX10 is now available in classy, pearlescent white! The Sony CyberShot DSC-QX10 was announced some time back in September 2013 and I shared the arrival of the DSC-QX10 here! I was also given the opportunity to review the QX10 and had a fun time with it, here’s my review of Sony DSC-QX10 and the photographs taken with the QX10 on my Flickr collection!

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Sony Electronics will be running an in-store promotion, that is also available in all authorised outlets, to launch the new white Cyber-shot™ DSC-QX10 lens-style camera. During the promotional period of 7th to 28th February, each camera will come bundled with a free QX exclusive carrying case (worth S$50), as well as a 8GB Micro SD Card.

The white Cyber-shot™ DSC-QX10 is available for retail at all Sony stores and authorised outlets from 7th February 2014 at S$349.

* Information and Photographs courtesy of Sony Singapore and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide *

Chingay 2014 – Knit As One

Chingay Parade, Asia’s largest street performance and float parade, the history of the first Chingay Parade dates back to 4th February 1973, over the past 40years, Chingay Parade has transformed and grown so much during this period of time. From a local flavour to a multi-cultural flavour, with international groups and performers arriving in Singapore and giving the Chingay Parade the fun and excitement of both local and international flavours. Watching Chingay Parade over my years of growing up in Singapore, my first experience getting close to Chingay was in 2009, watching the parade from the side and during 2012 when I attended the media preview of Chingay Parade 2012. Chingay Parade today in Singapore is a uniquely Singaporean Chinese Lunar New Year Tradition, usually held during the first weekend of the Chinese Lunar New Year. The unique flavour of both local multi-cultural and international performers make Chingay Parade one of the brightest and colourful street parade and performances in Asia.

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Chingay Parade 2014 was officially my first Chingay Parade inside the main parade event ground, in the thick of the action. I was seated in the Green Sector, with friends DK, Joe, Huishan and Nelson, enjoying the festivities and performances. Chingay 2014 has a extensive list of different performances and parade, the pre-parade segment was the grandest opening in the history of Chingay Parade. One of the key pre-parade segment that I am impressed with was the “Paint With ONE Heart”, showcasing a 360m Batik fabric that flow through the Chingay Parade route, accompanied by multi-cultural performers.

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Upon the arrival of the Guest of Honour, Prime Minister Lee on Friday 7th February, the Chingay Parade 2014 kicked off to a roaring start. The performers and floats entered the Parade ground/route, from acts/performances from our local multi-cultural communities. You can’t miss the colourful floats of Chingay Parade, their size, colourful light up and design! I always look forward to the different floats driving through the Chingay Parade ground/route. There is one performance during Chingay Parade that I always like, that’s the Dragon dance performance and the spectators get to see the “Fire” from the Dragons!

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One of the exciting local performances that caught my attention was the Singapore Getai “新加坡歌台” with celebrity artistes Liu Ling Ling, Wang Lei, Lee Pei Fen and Rawi Hamin being featured at the Chingay Parade. The Community Puppetry Art with the huge mobile structure and huge puppets was popular with the spectators too! For those spectators close to the parade ground/route, they were able to touch and be up close and personal to the puppets! The Mass Children Ballet Display definitely caught my eye and attention, along with the other spectators too! This was the first time in Chingay Parade history that the Mass Children Ballet made their maiden debut performance! They were beautiful, gorgeous and very graceful to watch in their ballet performances at Chingay Parade 2014.

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International performers had been an integral part of Chingay Parade and for Chingay Parade 2014, we were graced and honoured by performers from China, Italy, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. With their costumes and performances, they also caught the eyes of the spectators.

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Leading and building up to the Grand Finale, performers returned back into the Chingay Parade ground. There were 1,500 Pieces of Community-Knitted Tapestries, big and small, contributed by Constituencies and more than 30 Schools, Organisations and Corporations, along with 2 x 360m long knitted art pieces that signifies a closely-knitted Singapore community. Chingay Parade 2014 – Knit As One, with the spectators standing up and holding the One People scarf above them, a sea of One People community, with the scarfs can be seen and felt, along with the Grand Finale singing and dancing.

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Our local multi-cultural and international performers gave Chingay Parade 2014 a memorable time with all their flavours, performances, dances, costumes and singing. They all played a significant and important role to make Chingay Parade fun and colourful. While I may not be able to cover all the different performers and their performances, I will let my photography coverage to showcase the diversity and flavours of the different performers at Chingay Parade 2014. Thank you to all the performers from both local and international communities that grace Chingay Parade 2014, making it spectacular, colourful and fun!

I would like to say a Big Thank You to Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth for the invitation to Chingay Parade 2014! It was a fun time at Chingay Parade 2014, enjoying the performances and photography!


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Discovering the Marsiling Tunnels

In the northern part of Singapore, near to the Causeway that leads across to Malaysia, there lies beautiful, tranquil and quiet lush greenery and a waterfront park that plays a significant part of Singapore’s history. The Woodlands Waterfront Park was part of the British Naval Base and a few of us explored the history and landmarks behind it, check out Jerome’s post when we went exploring together. Behind the waterfront where the British Naval Base once stood, there is a hill behind it where they also plays a significant part of Singapore’s history that would be shared here today – Marsiling Tunnels. The Marsiling Tunnels had been a destination on my places to visit and explore in Singapore.

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The National Heritage Board is organizing events and heritage walks in the month of February 2014 to commemorate the Battle for Singapore, to raise public awareness about the significant part of Singapore’s history. I was very honoured to be invited along to the media preview of the Marsiling Tunnels guided tour (that I took time off from work in the morning to attend). There will be guided tours of the Marsiling Tunnels that will be happening on 8th and 15th February 2014 and you can check out the link here for more details on timings and registration!

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During the walk and exploration of the Marsiling Tunnels, I learned a lot more about the history and significance behind the Marsiling Tunnels during the guided tour from the volunteer guides with their vast research and experiences. There had been a few posts on the Marsiling Tunnels by groups such as Asia Paranormal Investigators, Urban Explorers of Singapore and One North Explorers some years ago and I include their links below for your interest and reading reference.

–       Asia Paranormal Investigators

–       Urban Explorers of Singapore

–       One North Explorers

–       Explore by Joy Loh

The findings and discoveries by the different groups have shared their views on the history and significance of the purpose and builder of the structure. They cite an old map that marked the land as the Asiatic Petroleum Company’s (APC) Woodlands Depot, and drew the conclusion that the structure belonged to the company and the structure had something to do with fuel storage. The structure’s proximity to the British naval base led them to believe that the fuel stored was meant for the British navy. (Source: National Heritage Board)

National Heritage Board has conducted extensive research into the history, significance and usage of the Marsiling Tunnels that shared new light and perspectives on the Marsiling Tunnels. National Heritage Board obtained highly reliable sources such as the British Wartime Intelligence Reports, specifically declassified documents from UK’s War Office that were obtained from UK’s National Archives through the National Archives of Singapore. (Source: National Heritage Board)

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One of the findings and discoveries that I learned during this guided tour was that the Marsiling Tunnels were originally a Royal Air Force fuel reserve depot built in 1942 and not as a fuel storage facility for the British Royal Navy (Source: National Heritage Board).

Since the former British Naval Base was right in front of the hill where the Marsiling Tunnels stood (that stretched from Woodlands to Sembawang Park). I was wondering and thinking ahead, the British Air Force was using Seletar Air Base (now Seletar Airport) during the World War II, did they have pipelines from Marsiling Tunnels to Seletar Air Base or were they using trucks to transport the fuel for the airplanes? This question that came into my mind during the guided tour, it might be something for me to learn more about this interesting finding!

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Another interesting finding and discovery about the Marsiling Tunnels was that the Japanese used it too when they conquered and occupied Singapore! In November 1944, British intelligence reports on Japanese defences on Singapore reported that the Japanese was modifying the facility. In fact, according to these reports, the site now had “5 tanks, semi-sunk and earth covered, with storage capacity of some 5250 water tons.”[1]. The Japanese invasion forces therefore used the facility as an oil storage facility. A 1944 air surveillance photo exists showing the layout of the structure and it is unchanged till today.[2] (Source: National Heritage Board)

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The Marsiling Tunnels guided tour had some challenging and hilly terrain to trek before you can discover them. Do wear sturdy shoes and bring water along! The tunnel entrances are now sealed and no longer accessible, nevertheless, you will be able to discover where the Marsiling Tunnels stood and how big the whole facility is! The whole structure is still pretty much intact and well preserved in the post World War II period.

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At the end of the guided tour, I learned a lot more about the Marsiling Tunnels, their whereabouts, historical significance and I am able to tick “Marsiling Tunnels” as one of my successful Old Places exploration! This is not just as explorer outing, it’s also a time to learn more in-depth about the history of Singapore, let us not forget about our past, our history, the journey Singapore took to reach her achievements today after the Second World War. We must all learn to appreciate and be thankful for what we have today; then we can all grow together for the future to newer heights! There are 23 guided heritage walks with an additional 2 Mandarin tours organised by National Heritage Board on 8th and 15th February 2014, do check out the link here for more information!

I would like to say a Big Thank You to National Heritage Board for inviting me along to the media preview of the Marsiling Tunnels guided tours in commemoration of the Battle for Singapore.


[1] WO 203/7: Operation ‘Zipper’, Intelligence Dossier, Top Secret, National Archives of Singapore

[2] WO 208/1554: War Office: Directorate of Military Operations and Intelligence, National Archives of Singapore


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70 Million Canon EOS Series Cameras

On 6th February 2014, Canon announced an achievement for the Canon EOS Series interchangeable lens cameras when they surpass the 70 million production mark on 5th February 2014. A previous landmark for Canon was in 2013 when they crossed the production mark for 90 million Canon EF lenses that I shared last time!

Production of Canon EOS SLR cameras began in 1987 at Canon Inc.’s Fukushima Plant (now Fukushima Canon Inc.) with the EOS 650, later moving to such production bases as Oita Canon Inc. and Canon Inc., Taiwan. Following the spread of digital SLR cameras in the early 2000s, production rapidly increased, surpassing the 60-million-unit mark in October 2012 and now, approximately one year and four months later, reaching the 70-million-unit threshold.

EOS, which stands for “Electro Optical System,” also carries the name of the Greek goddess of the dawn. Introduced in March 1987 as a new generation of AF SLR cameras, EOS cameras were the world’s first to incorporate an electronic mount system enabling complete electronic control not only between the lens and body, but throughout the entire camera system.

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Among the new Canon cameras that contributed to the realization of the 70-million-unit production milestone were the EOS 70D, featuring innovative Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocus technology, and the entry-level EOS Kiss X7 (EOS Rebel SL1 or EOS 100D in other regions), which combines a ground-breaking compact, lightweight body design with advanced basic performance. Additionally, in September 2012, Canon added the EOS M compact-system camera to its product lineup and, at the end of 2013, launched the EOS M2, featuring significantly enhanced AF performance, which has been warmly received by the market.

I was given the opportunity to review some of the best Canon EOS DSLRs in their family such as the following Canon EOS DSLRs

Canon EOS 1DX

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 100D

Currently using the Canon EOS 1D Mark III with a setup consisting of Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM and Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM as my main setup, while my Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L USM  is for my sports and wildlife photography shoot. Along with essential accessories Canon EF Extender 1.4x I and Canon Speedlite 580EXII, this setup has been a very good to me in my photography adventures! Looking forward ahead, I hope to get the Canon EOS 1DX!

* Information Courtesy of Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations *