Sunday, January 31, 2010

Korean Drama Trial - The lure of Hangang River

From The Sundaytimes, Jan 24, 2010, Special Project Unit, Marketing Division, SPH, Page 5
By Hikorei Hayashi

The lure of Hangang River
Get immersed in the picturesque spots where Korean movie-makers shoot their dramas of romance and history.

PHOTO: The lure of Hangang River - Korean Drama Trial
From The Sundaytimes, Jan 24, 2010, Special Project Unit, Marketing Division, SPH, Page 5

In a land where girls who go on dates can expect to get hundred of roses on the 100th day of their "couple-hood", such drama is part of Korean pop culture and daily life.

But the popularity of Korean dramas also lies in the country's rich architectural heritage and beautiful scenery, which often form the backdrops of these stories.

PHOTO: It is really cooler there than other areas. There are always tons of people enjoying the outdoors in the middle of the city. Performances and festivals are always happening. Artwork is displayed. Kids are splashing in the water.

Seeing Korea through its film locations is a fun way to explore the country's scenic attractions.


For movie-makers, The Hangang River is one of the top filiming spots in the capital,Seoul.


PHOTO: Hangang Park is beautiful in the evenings as well, filled with the lights from Hangang River, the surrounding city buildings, streets, and the traffic. The sound of the river waves blend well with the city’s nightscape. It is especially good to use the ferry cruise in the evening as well, viewing the river area and scenery in the pleasant river breeze.

In the spring when the air is nice and chilly, you can stroll among cherry blossoms, apricot flowers, forsythias, and royal azaleas set against the backdrop of the Hangang River.


The Hangang Yeouido Spring Flower Festival in March is one of the most famous festivals in Seoul. Every year, nearly four million people are at the event to soak in the festivities.

PHOTO: Summer Sun & Fun at Han River Swimming Pools

In the warmer summer months of July and August, the clean and crisp air of Korea's lavish forests makes for a lovely retreat.


Take the opportunity to explore the beautiful valleys surrounded by forests and see the abundant wildlife in their natural habitat. If you are lucky, you might also catch some film stars in action.


PHOTO: THE EYE OF THE STORM”On the 31st december 2010, we came from Paris to attend a magnificent Corean festival on the Nodeul Island, a small artificial island located along the Hangang River, for the inauguration of the New Performing Arts Centre in Seoul. We walk on the new wide wooden pavements of the Hangang Bridge, one of the oldest bridges connecting the North and the South of the River. This bridge, true main road for pedestrians, cars and trains, bisects the Island dividing it into two approximaly equal halves at the west and the east. Vincent Callebaut

PHOTO: With its famous boat restaurants and a great variety of leisure and sports facilities including a swimming pool, the Hangang Riverside Park of Seoul Forest is one of the most favored leisure attractions among families in the capital. It is a great destination for water sports lovers, offering them a wide choice of activities including wind surfing, water skiing, and speed boat rides, and people's adventurous water play in the park presents a delightful scene.



PHOTO: 8D Korean Drama Trial (KDT8) - Explore the world with OCBC Titanium
The lure of Hangang River - Korean Drama Trial

From The Sundaytimes, Jan 24, 2010, Special Project Unit, Marketing Division, SPH, Page 5


Introducing the 1st Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG)


Introducing Lyo and Merly - Mascots for the first Youth Olympic Games


With just 266 days to go before Singapore hosts the world's first Youth Olympic Games (YOG), Lyo (pronounced as Leo) and Merly are ready to blaze the trail. The official mascots for the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (Singapore 2010) were unveiled by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports today.

As mascots for Singapore 2010, Lyo, a lion cub, embodies the values of Excellence and Friendship, while Merly, a merlion, personifies the values of Excellence and Respect. Through their acts and stories, they will promote the Olympic Values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect.


Lyo is short for "Lion of the Youth Olympics". A sports lover, he is fun-loving and hopes to inspire young people to keep fit and enjoy sports for life. He symbolises youths' boundless energy, their determination to live life to the fullest and zeal to strive for Excellence.

Merly got her name from "mer" (meaning the sea) and "l y" stand for liveliness and youthfulness. A passionate advocate of environment protection, Merly believes that everyone has a role to play in working towards a sustainable future. She also wants to encourage young people to play an active role in their communities and promote respect for one another.


More details at


Singapore YOG 2010 – Blazing the Trail

Singapore will be hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) from 14 to 26 August 2010. The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games will receive some 5,000 athletes and officials from the 205 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), along with an estimated 1,200 media representatives, 20,000 local and international volunteers, and more than 500,000 spectators. Young athletes - aged between 14 and 18 years - will compete in 26 sports and take part in a Culture and Education Programme.

The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games aims to inspire youth around the world to embrace, embody and express the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect. It will create a lasting sports, culture and education legacy for Singapore and youths from around the world, as well as enhance and elevate the sporting culture locally and regionally.

For more information, please visit,

By Amanda Zhang

Light the way for the Youth Olympic Flame

Before the first Youth Olympic Games in August 2010, the Youth Olympic Flame will blaze the trail across the world to one city each on the continents of Europe, Africa, the Americas, Oceania and Asia.

The Flame will be lit in Greece before traveling to Berlin (Germany), Dakar (Senegal), Mexico City (Mexico), Auckland (New Zealand) and Seoul (Republic of Korea).

The Flame will arrive in Singapore for a six-day round-island torch relay before it lights the cauldron at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.





Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tiger Year 2010 (2)


SINGAPORE: According to Singapore famous Feng Shou Master Tan Khoon Yong in facebook, in the Year of Tiger 2010, all of the 12 Chinese Zodiacs are not good, If not cautious enough, may land in lawsuits, also need to beware of health problems.

PHOTO: Greetings from Hisoft

In tiger year, Everybody's is quite hot tempered and emotional impulse, easy to affront other people, some people possibly will get rid to fight with others, therefore, everybody may land in lawsuits.” Tan told the reporter.

In addition, Tan pointed out “Tiger Compete with Wind”. Therefore in the Year of Tiger, people will appear frequently in “wind” related indisposition, especially with skeleton related illness.

In brief, everybody needs to be more careful in the Year of Tiger, also beware of health problems.

PHOTO: 2010 - The Year of the Metal/White Tiger, (which begins auspiciously on February 14th when Valentine's Day is also celebrated.)

Tiger has a bad fortune because of direct conflict with the God of Year (犯太岁).

Among the zodiacs, the one who was born in year of tiger has a bad fortune, because of direct conflict with the God of Year. 1950 is the Year of the God, therefore the people who born in that year are even worst.


Zodiac of Rooster has better fortune among all the zodiacs.

The Zodiac of Dog and Dragon have a higher risk to land in lawsuits.

Everybody is not so good in 2010, everybody need to put more efforts in order to get return.” Famous Feng Shui Master Chan said.

People from some of the zodiacs may land in lawsuits and falling ill."

However, he mentioned that the fortune is quite good for people who born in Year of Pig and Goat.

In Feng Shui Master Gwee’s opinion, different individual has a different fortune. “The fortune only can be predicted after viewing the individual’s Ba Zi (八字)”

Rabbit easy to falling ill because of followed by Star of Sickness, is the same thing for the Monkey which has Indirect Conflict with the God of Year (沖太岁)” He explained.

However, Gwee has the same opinion that the Zodiac of Dog and Dragon have a higher risk to land in lawsuits.


Prediction of next year fortune of 12 Zodiacs by Master Tan Khoon Yong

The Rat:
Beware of villains. Guard against rumors.

The Ox:
Avoid marriage or it may cause you to lose the determination in achieving something. Also absent minded in doing thing, affect the routine life.

The Tiger:
Will having difficulties in coming 2 years. Next year will be a bad year, need to beware in everything.

The Rabbit:
Have Luck of Peach Blossom, need to beware of Inexorable fate bring by Peach Blossom.

The Dragon:
Surrounded by contingencies and make you feeling helpless.

The Snake:
Have Luck of Peach Blossom, may affect your reputation.

The Horse
Beware of health problems. Avoid disputes caused by words and guard against lawsuits. Need to be careful when handle any document.

The Goat:
Do not visit the sick and observe mourning, otherwise there are obstacles in career and human relationships.

The Monkey:
Fortune is not favorable this year. Need to be careful in driving, exercise and travel.

The Rooster:
Beware of villains and being framed. Be cautious of villains around you as they may lead you to make wrong decision.

The Dog:
The auspicious star is absence and full with villains. Luck and future is not favorable. Possessing a heart of righteousness will help you to overcome this year.

The Pig:
Beware of health problems. Beware of health of spouse too. There will be disputes between husband and wife.
MySinchew 2009.11.09

(2003) Lisa Franzetta, campaign coordinator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), wears the Tiger Lady costume to protest the wearing of furs.


Girl Power - Female singer-songwriters come to the fore

TODAY, Friday January 29, 2010, PLUS MUSIC, PAGE 1

Female singer-songwriters come to the fore

PHOTO: TODAY, Friday January 29, 2010, PLUS MUSIC, PAGE 1

WHETHER it’s Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Suzanne Vega, Tori Amos, Alicia Keys or Rachael Yamagata, female singer-songwriters have somehow always managed to fire our imagination more so than their male counterparts (barring, perhaps, Bob Dylan).

Maybe it’s the way they can somehow evoke more emotion in their delivery, or the way they make their voice as malleable as their musical styles; or maybe they just write better songs.

Whatever the case may be, there’ll always be a place in our hearts for the woman who’s not afraid to eviscerate her innermost feelings and put them into song. Which is why we at Today were more than happy to speak to women who have made a mark in the music scene both overseas and in Singapore.

Born in New Zealand, Alarice (pronounced air-lerreese) Thio is truly a “woman of the world”, having grown up in various countries around the world including India, UAE, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Australia, where she’s lived for eight years now.

She says she still feels Singaporean though — “My parents are Singaporean and my extended family is all here, only my brother is in Australia,” she said — and hopes to be able to play her music all around the region.

Her first EP, Songs For A Season (2008) was released to fair reviews and now she’s upped the ante with her second release, Sunday Afternoon, which was launched earlier this month. So far, the reception has been positive.

Her gig at the Esplanade last night was sold out, but fans can still catch her at Oosh this Sunday afternoon — no pun intended.

So what are the songs about?
The single Sunday Afternoon, I call my Jason Mraz-y, Colbie Caillat-y song — a happy, upbeat, cheeky song about a girl liking a guy but him not getting it. The other songs are about my life experiences and about my faith as well.

Some singer-songwriters need a ‘cabin in the woods’ to write. What about you?
Er, a lot of my songwriting usually takes place in the bathroom — but not when I’m doing any business! It’s because the bathroom acoustics are great for natural reverb, it’s almost like a karaoke room. And I think it sounds good, you tend to sing better and get better songs. At least I think so. I choose to write when I have a feeling that I need to get out.

You’re not comfortable on stage. True?
I still have stage fright. Yes, I’ve been doing this for a few years but it’s always good to have a bit of butterflies in the stomach, right? It motivates you. You need a bit of adrenaline, right? But no, it’s not easy for me to be onstage. Yes, I know it’s a contradiction, like why am I singing when I don’t like being onstage, right?

So, why should someone watch your show?
People say I sound a lot better live than on CD. When you do live, you get to share your stories with the audience, which you don’t get on the CD.


PHOTO: Catch Alarice Thio this Sunday, 3pm at Oosh (22 Dempsey Road). Tickets at $15 ($20 at the door),
order them at
TODAY, Friday January 29, 2010, PLUS MUSIC, PAGE 1



Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spring Celebration - The Legend of the Nian Monster


Chinese people held the first New Year Festival more than 3,000 years ago. Farmers gave thanks for the harvest and prayed. They asked the gods for good crops in the coming year.


But there is a story behind all the celebration, below is the legend of how the Chinese New Year celebration began.


According to legend, there was a man-eating wild monster "Nian" with an extremely large mouth, capable of swallowing several people in a single bite. This beast appeared in a country village, towards the end of winter when there was nothing to eat it would visit the villages and attack and eat whatever it could. The villagers would live in terror over the winter.


The next year it returned and the same thing happened. The monster seemed too strong to be defeated. So all the villagers would take their old and young deep into the mountains to hide from Nian.

One day, a wise old man passed through the village and told an old woman, "I will teach you how to scare Nian away!"

That evening when Nian arrived at the village, he saw that all the houses were dark except the house in which an old woman lived. Nian approached the house, licking his lips in anticipation. Suddenly, the deafening noise of firecrackers sounded endlessly.


The monster was startled and jumped. Suddenly he realized that the house was covered in red paper. This scared him even more and it ran off into the mountains. When the villagers returned they saw that the old woman was unharmed!

People later learned that "nian" was afraid of loud noises and the color red, The villagers came together and agreed that when it was time for Nian's annual visit towards the end of winter they would start a fire in front of every door and not go to sleep but rather make noise.


The following year, the villagers were ready for it. They set off firecrackers, lit all their lamps and decorated their houses in red, they paste red paper on the doors, wear red clothing, hang up red lanterns. They made loud music, play the gong and drums and they dance and burn the fireworks whenever Nian was about to arrive, to scared away the beast.

Nian had not come down the mountain to cause any trouble thereafter.


This eventually become a tradition of China and leads to the celebration for another year of safe life. Chinese people celebrate in remembrance of this legend and still continues till today!

PICTURE: Beautiful garden full of flowers and plants - By City Square Mall
TODAY, Thursday January 21, 2010, PLUS PAGE 35

PHOTO: Chinese New Year Concerts By Nai-Ni Chen Co.

PHOTO: On the days before the New Year celebration, Chinese families give their home a complete and through cleaning. It’s believed that the cleaning sweeps away any bad luck and makes their home ready for good luck to arrive. The night before New Year’s Day, all brooms are stored away so that good luck cannot be swept away.

PHOTO: Sydney's Chinese New Year Festival is the largest celebration of the Lunar New Year outside Asia.

PICTURE: WEEKEND TODAY, Thursday January 23-24, 2010, WORLD PAGE 20 - By Social Development Network (SDN)

PHOTO: Celebrated in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese, Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbours, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction.

PICTURE: TODAY, Thursday January 21, 2010, PLUS PAGE 35
Celebrate Valentine and Chinese Lunar New Year together for Year 2010 - By City Square Mall