Sunday, October 31, 2010

SSP82s@40 Reunion And Birthday Party

Months of planning by the organising committee, over in one night. But what a worthwhile endeavour it was. The last such major exercise was 7 years ago where we managed to round up 150 or so of our Standard 6 schoolmates. This time around, we got 50. The organising committee were a wee bit disappointed at first when we concluded the ticket sales; we should have managed more, but perhaps age and the passing of time had played a role in the smaller turnout? Over many sessions of food and banter at Nina's as well as Nik Azhan's and Shazlina's homes, and nasi lemak at Khairul's and Zamri's at Forum 19, we looked back at our time in school, we lamented at those who did not seem to be as enthusiastic as we were, we rejoiced at those who confirmed their attendance, all these over a couple of months. And in the end, we pulled off a mighty awesome birthday and reunion bash. In a sense, the smaller numbers made the party more intimate, where we could mingle better, reminisce more fervently, tease to our hearts' content, laugh and cackle without a care for the world, sing with much gusto, snap photos as though the cameras were our first, and most importantly rekindle the bonds that held us together as childhood friends.

We caught up with some whom we had not seen in 28 years, showered appreciation on those who were just as supportive when we last held such a party 7 years ago. And for those who have been meeting up and keeping in touch more regularly, we still shared in the excitement of those who were swept up by the euphoria of meeting long lost friends. So precious are these moments, so cherished are these emotions. For the organising committee, this is why we do what we do. Time passes so quickly - decades have flown by - and we don't see each other as often as we should, for most of us anyway. A milestone such as this is a catalyst to remind us of those we may not have thought of for many a time, to jog our memory of the wonderful memories we had as primary school kids, to prompt us to re-establish friendships with those who were once our best mates, our pre-teen crushes (as was evident with all the teasing that took place last evening during the karaoke duets), our friends with no pre-conditions.

As we bade our farewells at the end of the evening, we promised each other that we would do teh tarik, perhaps hang out at Khairul's and Zamri's 'Nasi Lemak Mak Lang'. The enthusiasm was infectious, the challenge is to maintain the momentum. More often than not, we hit a high at such reunions only to see the passion wane thereafter. I know for one that those of us in the organising committee will continue to get together often. Here is an open invitation to join us whenever such an opportunity arises. Think of the fun you had last night, reflect on the rush you felt when greeting your friends. That's reason enough for you to stay in touch, don't you think?

Photo shot at the Terrace of Saddle Coffee House in Bukit Kiara Club, Kuala Lumpur.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur

I was at the launch of ExKLusively Yours, Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur's announce-ment of its bridal month in November.

With me at the event on Tuesday were members of the weddingsmalaysia family who are participating partners for the bridal month. They include Kid Chan Studio, My Colorful Memories, Bridal Glam, That Special Occasion, Pretty In White, Acadia Card, Wicked Wax, Wishing Tree and TrulyScrumptious! among others.

It's going to be an exciting month come November, particularly for the soon-to-be-weds who are still looking for a venue to host their wedding banquet. Upgraded wedding packages, weekly wedding workshops and the chance to win a free banquet with the inaugural Brides Race - these will certainly add to the excitement.

Photo of participating partners with Ian Barrow, General Manager of Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Crowne Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur

The season for wedding fairs has started and we co-organised the first one this past Sunday at Crowne Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur. There will be more to come as each of our hotel partners (by 'our' I mean weddingsmalaysia) vie for banquet bookings for weddings in 2011.

It is always a challenge organising such events. There is lots to do but thankfully, we have a large pool of industry vendors to work with, most of whom are quick to respond to invites to participate. And we are always appreciative of their support.

There are more interesting things to come, in particular in November. I'll save that for another post.

Photo shot at the Grand Nirwana Ballroom, Crowne Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Saturday evening was the culmination of Leticia's and Tjun Hong's wedding festivities. Stretched over 2 weeks or a year if we were to include the ROM luncheon last year, and straddling 2 countries, I would have to say that it has been a thrilling experience. So much attention to detail, so well orchestrated, so much emotion, so many surprises, so many well executed plans, so many unexpected twists and turns, but most importantly, so much love - passionate love, romantic love, family ties and friendship.

I suspect that having put so much effort into celebrating this milestone in their lives, Leticia and Tjun Hong may experience some withdrawal symptoms soon enough, but having said that, I think all those so lucky to have been part of the experience would feel privileged to have been included in the journey.

To have been a couple for 18 years, and now officially Mr & Mrs, gives many hope, myself included, that love is definitely here to stay. I, like so many of their other good friends, look forward to the good times that lie ahead and the many anniversary celebrations that are to come.

Photo of Leticia and Tjun Hong at their Chinese wedding banquet at Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Feelin' Good

The past few weeks have been pretty good. A great holiday with good friends and witnessed the wedding of Leticia and Tjun Hong in Bali. A relaxing 6 days definitely. Here's Eileen's day by day account of the trip :

I've also been reconnecting with childhood friends of mine as we plan a reunion party, scheduled for next week, for our primary schoolmates. Although we only see each other more often as events such as the upcoming one approach, we still have everyone in our thoughts every now and then. The challenge is to rekindle and strengthen such bonds over time.

On the work front, things are going relatively smoothly. Being in Bali has cleared my head somewhat of irrational sentiments, perhaps the giant waves of Double Six beach knocked some sense into me. I have decided on what lies ahead as the new year beckons. And once I have made a firm decision, I am normally in a better frame of mind to tackle what is to come. It's exciting times. What needs to be done, has to be done. It's been a few good weeks yes.

Photo with Leticia and Tjun Hong after our rendition of 'The Moon Represents My Heart' at their wedding in Bali, Indonesia, courtesy of Lester Hsu.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Work Hard, Play Hard

By most accounts I work pretty hard. In fact, some would say that I am a workaholic. That's true to a certain extent. One tends to work longer hours when one is self-employed. I've learnt one very important lesson the past few years and that is to reward oneself when it is deserving.

Work hard, play hard. The latter for the most part would mean travel, sometimes a meal in a good restaurant, often retail therapy, from time to time a massage or reflexology. What is life without little pleasures along the way? Some would liken it to 'stop and smell the roses'.

I caught 'Eat, Pray, Love' the other night. How nice would it be to be able to take a year off work. I guess it is important to be contented with one's lot. I should not have much to complain. Having said that, human nature would have us want more, to fill the missing pieces so to speak. I came across this quote in a travel magazine ... 'He who seeks does not find, but he who does not seek will be found' - Franz Kafka, born in Prague.

Photo of me, Leticia, Debra, Tze Han, Tjun Hong, Richard and Eileen in Bali, Indonesia.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


When travelling in a group, I try to adopt the 'whatever' attitude. Too many cooks spoil the broth as they say and as such, if I am not responsible for the itinerary, I normally just go with the flow.

Lately, for the past 2 years to be exact, I've taken a liking to travelling with Tjun Hong, Leticia, Debra, Richard and Eileen, good friends of mine who happen to be in the same industry in which I work. We share similar interests, a wicked sense of humour, good taste; we all love to spa, though Eileen would need some cajoling to join the rest of us.

I've done Bali with all of them, twice. I've done Phnom Penh with Eileen and Richard too. I look forward to more sojourns. No firm plans as yet ... after all, Leticia's and Tjun Hong's wedding celebrations ain't over yet, there's still the big party in KL on 23 October. A possibility would be June next year for the Bali Triathlon. No, I am not competing, but Eileen may be, and we'll be there to cheer her on ... an excuse for the rest of us to go eat, go spa and go shop, in the guise of being supportive friends!

Photo of Tjun Hong, Leticia, Eileen, Richard and I at Ibu Oka in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dressing The Part

I think it is important to dress the part when one is invited to a wedding. The couple would have spent much time deciding on a theme, spent much funds creating an appropriate ambience to reflect the chosen theme, spent considerable fuss over their bridal party's attire to ensure that they too complement the setting. In short, most couples want a perfect wedding, and as a reminder of this milestone in their lives, perfect photos as well.

Which is why, we as guests should dress the part too. I do not mean having to splurge on attire. What I do mean is making an effort to look as best as one can be, in the spirit of the wedding one is attending.

I always feel privileged to be invited and if I make it a point to attend, then I embrace the role of a good guest wholeheartedly, and that means appreciating the good, ignoring the not so good, be willing to go the extra mile for the couple if requested to do so. Only then do we really become part of the wedding. And as for the dressing part ... well, a little vanity goes a long way!

Photo of me shot by Eileen at Leticia's and Tjun Hong's wedding in Bali, Indonesia.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Leticia & Tjun Hong 10.10.10

What a fab wedding it was. There was much anti-cipation, there was much suspense. And boy were emotions running high. All amidst the beautiful backdrop of Villa Pushpapuri in Ketewel, Sanur, on the beautiful island of Bali.

I came away from the wedding with one thought in particular, and that is, regardless of the circumstances, whether within our control or out of our hands, a wedding is really all about the power of love and friendship. Nothing else really matters. It is the experience for the newlyweds and how they share it with all present that makes a wedding memorable.

I take my hat off to Leticia, Tjun Hong and their planning team. The attention to detail was impressive. Their effort to make all of us feel comfortable and part of their big day was clearly evident. And I'd like to think that all of us also reciprocated in our own little way in making it a little bit extra special for the couple too. Much congratulations again Leticia and Tjun Hong. And yes, it was a truly wonderful experience.

Photo of Richard, Eileen, Debra, Leticia, Tjun Hong and I.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sate Lilit

Arrived in Bali yesterday where Eileen, Richard and I are spending a few days eating our way round Ubud before heading back to Seminyak for Leticia and Tjun Hong's wedding this weekend.

Here we are savouring sate lilit at the Gianyar Night Market. Yup, we can go high end, we can also do street food, plus everything else in between. Same thing for accommodation. We've been in Ubud for two days and we've stayed at two different resorts. Ubud Inn which is more affordable and the luxe Maya Ubud Resort & Spa.

A few more friends arrive tomorrow. And more eating beckons, in particular Seafood BBQ at Jimbaran Bay tomorrow evening.

Photo of Eileen, Richard and I at Gianyar Night Market, Bali, Indonesia.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

R & R

I am heading to Bali for some rest and recreation, and of course to attend a wedding as well. Some of us are arriving ahead of the wedding in order to have a little holiday ... laze by the pool, do a spa session or two, indulge in the food, some shopping perhaps.

Leticia and Tjun Hong's wedding? On 10.10.10. It'll be exciting and it'll all begin with the rehearsal dinner the night before. Definitely looking forward to that.

Post wedding? I'll be staying on for a couple more days for more rest and relaxation. Bali here I come.

Photo of the Gulf of Antalya, Turkey.

Monday, October 4, 2010


A friend just lost a loved one to an accident yesterday. Another reminder that we should live life to the fullest. This sad news is compounded by the fact that my uncle also left us last month in an accident. Fate shocks us without any warning.

We always remind ourselves to make every minute count. In reality, we seldom do that. Most times, we get bogged down with work, with the schedules we have to adhere to, with the deadlines we have to meet. Only when we receive shocking news do we take a step back and reflect.

My friend Lee Kuen posted this on my Facebook wall in response to my reminder to live life to the fullest ... to make time for people whom we hold dear in our hearts, and to pursue dreams that we have long cherished. Hear ye, hear ye.

Photo of a minaret of the Aya Sofya in Istanbul, Turkey.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I am pretty decisive by nature. Be it in business or my personal life, I seldom pro-crastinate, I generally am quick to take a stand. I make firm decisions and don't normally waver.

These past few months however, I have been going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth about one particular issue. It's business-related and I think I am guilty of letting sentiment get to me. Mixing sentiment with business is not what I normally advocate and therein lies the dilemma now that I've let it creep into my decision making process. I now seem to have conflicting emotions about which route to take. It varies depending on my state of mind at a particular instant. Which is why I am going to make it a point to take some more time to think it over.

Perhaps Bali will knock some sense into me ... while lazing by the pool, watching a sunset perhaps or maybe during a relaxing massage, common sense will prevail I hope.

Waiting for dinner to be served in Istanbul, Turkey.