Monday, January 28, 2008

How did I fall in LOVE? (with badminton)

Inspired by this girl... who is the best volleyball female player I've ever seen (i am not bluffing, coz I've never watched professional volleyball match on TV).

Badminton is my first love, and still my only true love in sports (I've ever said, if badminton is a girl, i will marry her.)

...The Childhood, when the love started to blossom...
I started to play badminton bcoz my father loved to play this sport and at that time, he often played badminton with the children at our garage or at our storeroom near the house. Everytime the television broadcasted Thomas&Uber cup (which is the most prestigious event in badminton), we watched it together as a family. We shouted as if we were watching at the stadium and we even prayed together for Indonesia's victory. Sweet family isn't that?

However, imagining myself to be a professional badminton player has never appeared even in my wildest dream. I know I was and I am above average player, but I play totally for fun. When I was young (which is not so long ago), I used to play for 6 hours non-stop and if not because it was 3 o'clock in the morning, I would continue playing. Moral of the story? You've got to do what you love, and you can do it for a long time without feeling tired, not a bit.

... My School Life ... The Courtship.
In my junior high school (secondary school equivalent), I won my first match ever in my school after beating my younger brother. As the president of my school's Students' Union then, I was clearly crowd's favourite to win the match. Moral of the story? Don't play against a Students' Union president, you are not against him only, you are against the crowd :P

In my senior high school, I almost never played badminton for the first 2 years, before I picked up that sport again in my last year. Played for fun, I'd beaten some of our school's best players, although I was not even in the school's team due to my laziness to practice. My philoshopy at that time... badminton is a skill, you either have it or not. I was not entirely wrong.

... University Days ... Our Honeymoon! :D
During my university days, I played badminton more often than ever. In my second year of study, I was inside my hall's team, contributing to, maybe, the best achievement for our hall's history. Just not so long ago, I was inside my school's team, and we did win bronze medal. Currently, I am still the captain of Indonesian badminton team in my university, and we are still unbeatable in International Games (!!!)

... What had I learnt along the journey? ...
Badminton had taught me many things I would probably never learn in the academic world or anywhere. It taught me team work, the importance of discipline and hard work, and self mental talk. Everytime I stepped my feet inside the badminton court, I always said to myself that I will win. I don't come to play a badminton match to lose, even if I were to play against world's number 1 player. When you say to yourself you will win or lose, either way, you are most probably right.

As Maria Sharapova (who is unbelievably talented and unbelievably beautiful) said.. "I don't reach this level by waking up everyday and eating ice cream." Hard work paid off, huh?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I was the Emcee today... Mr. Teo was our GOH and Channel News Asia came!!! OMGosh!!!

I don't usually get very nervous when doing public speaking.. BUT. Today, I have to be the MC for NTU International Games, and Mr. Teo Ser Luck was our Guest of Honour! (Btw, if you are not Singaporean, or you had not read newspaper since 1995, he is parliamentary secretary of MCYS). AND.. At least I spotted four media people including Channel News Asia and Channel U.

NTU Students' Union Pres, Mr. Teo Ser Luck, IG Chairperson

Yup, the media person interviewed a participant who is an exchange student I think

I was FAINTING on the stage!!!!!! CAN OR NOT!!!

Luckily I did the emcee job with a girl, who is a professional MC and having her beside me can reduce my heartbeat a bit, because I knew we wouldn't run out of words to say. That's the advantage of having a professional as our partner.

Everything went well (well, I don't say it's fantastic, but I suppose, for someone who is not a professional, that's considered a decent achievement.)

We, the emcees

After the opening ceremony... I was SO relieved! And proud of course.

NTU is so sweet. We print a big banner to support Singapore's 2010 Youth Olympic Games Bid. When we, the MCs asked people to write down their best wishes for Singapore.. you know what.. more than 50% wrote "Best Wishes!!!" My Dear, we ask you to write YOUR best wishes, not exactly that phrase. But please understand, we are cute engineers-to-be and we are very practical.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What does it take to be a Roger Federer?

Everything. You need powerful shots, fast movement, mountain-sized ambition, just to mention a few.

What it takes to be Roger Federer's opponent in court? Nothing, sometimes you just need a bit of sense of humour. This guy is waaayyy too good and unless he is hit by truck or struck by lightening, he is going to be world's number 1 for a long time.

WTF??!!! He is definitely not human.

Join us at NTU International Games 2008!

One year had passed by after I stepped down as VP of IG2007 which was last year. I cherished every single second in that committee, and it's always emotional to watch our successors continuing the work.

In this year IG, I am not inside the committee. No more organizing, no more calling companies to sponsor our event, no more getting scolded by unhappy participants. I am now a participant, and I have every right to complain. (haha.. but I don't usually complain too much).

Beside that, I volunteered myself as MC (Master of Ceremony) of the opening ceremony (and maybe closing ceremony as well). Learning from my past experience, the committee will be super busy during opening ceremony and appointing a committee member to be the MC (Yes, I was the MC for last year's), is not a good idea. So here I am.

Anyway.. the committee has been working very hard to make the IG a very successful event and if you are a NTU student, please show your support by coming to this event. Be it as a player, or as a supporter, or just come to say hi. There will be lots of free goodies around including our famous canteen 2's waffle. There will also be torch relay, which is the first time in NTU if I am not mistaken. So, please come join us :)

When? 26-27 Jan, and 2-3 Feb
Where? NTU SRC
Please direct all the questions to the committee. It's not that I don't want to help, but I am not the right person to answer those questions :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Advertorial : I give bahasa Indonesia tuition!

If you like to talk (but not talking non-sense), and you can explain difficult theorem or concept so that your grandma can understand, maybe you should consider teaching.

Everytime I give tuition, I always get the same look from the students and/or their parents. Boy, you are too young to be a teacher. How old are you? 17?

I am almost 22, and I will graduate this year from university. I don't think age got something to do with my teaching quality. I might be young, but I am matured, and I can handle the same situation as the teacher who is twice my age. They will know those statements are true after I say my first few sentences.

Although It was not my first time teaching, I had an emotional feeling in the last lesson with my student. I taught him bahasa Indonesia and he is going to fly to Australia tomorrow. OK before you start asking me what bahasa Indonesia got to do with Australia... Because he has got some basic in Malay and in his future school, there's no Malay, so he intends to take bahasa Indonesia which is similar with Malay.

Although the language school gave me textbooks to teach, I basically researched my own teaching material, made it really customized with my student's needs and interest. I think to be a good teacher, you need to be a good listener. You need to listen to your student's concerns, needs, and interest. More often than not, I prepared some materials beforehand and changed the material completely to suit his condition. In the future, he can contact me through E-mail to consult about any academic problem in the future, free of charge.

I offer Indonesian lesson to anyone. I don't care what is your current level, I taught student from zero before. Whether your purpose to learn that language is to work in Indonesia, to speak to Indonesian clients, or just for fun, I can customize my teaching material for you. The fee won't cost you arm and leg, and if you want to save money further, try to form a group of 2 or 3. You can leave a message through E-mail and leave your contact number there.

I would be surprised if he doesn't score 75% or above in his bahasa Indonesia test in the future.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sometimes, mistake is a blessing.

I was searching for a unit number at level 4 when I realized that I was in the wrong block. "Oh.. again! How come I can be so careless."

I had to take that super-slow lift to go down to level 1 of that block, then went to the correct block. Then I pressed the lift of that block. Just after I pressed the button, there was a writing in the lift "Someone is trapped inside the lift. Please call the operator." (I did call the operator)

I grumbled again. I intended to go to level 4, and going to that level by using stairs is not fun, at least for someone who was tired after giving tuition.

But then I realized. Hey, IF I WERE in the correct block just now, I would be the one who is trapped inside. And I guess, to be trapped inside non-aircon lift is much worse than having to climb the stairs to level 4.

There are many little events happen in our life. Usually we call them "accidents", "unlucky events" or other bad names. However, if we can see the big picture of them, and we try to connect the dots, I believe those which look like unfortunate events can be God's blessing to us. Positive thinking is the key.

Someone said... "God is not boring, He won't tell us what will happen. However, as we grow up, we will be able to see, how and why those miracles are created."

I have shared my little miracle today. What is yours? :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Soeharto, My Dear Former President, Get Well Soon.

I don't want to debate whether Soeharto is right or wrong. The answer is obvious, he is dead wrong. Tens of billions of dollar of corruption. Needless to say, that's a HUGE amount of money for a country whose per-capita income is less than US$2000 per year.

And everytime people ask me in chinese and I can't understand it, they will say "You are a chinese right? How come you can't speak chinese?" I want to shout "Don't blame me, blame my former president!"

And thanks to him, we students have to memorize hundreds of pages of history lesson.... which is nothing but fiction.

And the list goes on...


If someone ask me who is the best among Indonesian presidents... I will undoubtedly answer... Soeharto. He had the vision to build Indonesia (Well, not all his plans were successful, but whose plan is perfect anyway...). Last time everytime I went to Jakarta after one year never went there, I always saw it to have something different. Be it new building, or better road.

Our education was one of the best in the region. We even sent our teachers to Malaysia to teach. Now, my younger brother goes to Malaysia to study.

Our economy was satisfying. 1 US$ = 2000 rupiah. Now, 1 US$ = 9000 rupiah. After Soeharto stepped down, many Indonesian students who studied overseas went back to Indo because their parents could no longer afford the living cost there.

My standing is clear. No leader is perfect. JFK is not. LKY is not. So what's the purpose of speaking evil to a president whose health condition is in a very critical stage... Let's trust our Court to make decision on his past mistakes, and let anyone who is sinless throw the stone first. No matter how big his mistakes are, he is our former president for 32 years, and he deserves a respect, a big one.

My dear former president, get well soon.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Emotional Marketing

If you read Singapore newspapers daily (be it Straits Times, Today, etc), you will notice that everyday there are more and more advertisements. These are some of the advertisements which appear often:

- Education (be it forex and stock picking seminar, foreign universities which offer MBA and such, or simply motivational talk). The kiasu Singaporeans and people who live in Singapore including me know how important it is to upgrade ourselves (thanks to Government to popularize that term). Even UNSW which is famous for the wrong reason dares to put advertisement again. I applaud their courage. Wow.

- How to lose weight.. 10 kg in 3 months. Yes, that Olinda, 2nd runner-up of Singapore Idol. I am wondering why Osim picks Fiona Xie to be its spokesperson. I have never seen Fiona Xie to be fat, anyone? And after Moses Lim consumed Xando, I don't see him getting slimmer. If you want to be slim, don't consume slimming pills, ask Xiaxue... how to use photoshop perfectly.

- How to stay young and have better face complexion. Nugeno is the front runner. I admit that Nugeno product works. I am the living proof.

Hermawan Kartajaya in his book, Marketing in Venus said, with hundreds or thousands similar products in the market, we just don't have time to compare everything. Last time, we bought something because it's good, or cheaper. But now, who the heck know the difference between Nivea, Nugeno, Neutrogena, Biore, Follow Me, Loreal, just to name a few. We just don't know, and if you like me, we don't care. We are getting more and more emotional. If I can summarize the reason we buy something, it's to make us feel good. I am a man, straight (yes, I am single and happy, but I am not gay.). However, I buy Nugeno face lift cream because I envy Pierre Png who looks like in his 26 when he is almost 40. Btw, I am almost 22, and people always guess I am 16 or 18.

And look at job advertisements. Same job, similar pay. I subscribe to Jobscentral daily job updates. Today I received 18 new job postings, some are from insurance company, some are from big MNCs. Guess which advertisement I opened first? The one from First Meta Pte Ltd (I need to google it first)

You’ll learn more here in a year that you would 5 years at a
corporate job.And of course, you’ll be doing something that would change the
world. (I’ll explain why if you buy me coffee.)If all these sound
exciting to you, send your resume to
Tell us in not more than 3 sentences how you’re exceptional.

They dare to be different. So what if you are a start-up and you are fighting against big players whose waiting room is larger than your entire office? This world favours the brave. When other people send their particulars to those tuition agency and hope they will call (and never get tuition assignment), I called the language center (they didn't even advertise that they need tutor). I asked them "How to apply as bahasa Indonesia tutor?" And I got tuition assignment, 4 days after that.

As conclusion, in marketing, we need to be extraordinary. We can be extraordinarily good, or extraordinarily funny, or extraordinarily disgusting (people are disgusted with Steven Lim, but who disagree with me that he is at least more famous than half the ministers). When a marketing message is ordinary, it is out. We already have textbooks to cure our insomnia.
When everyone says "We sell the best pizza in the world" (who believes that, seriously!), I bet a pizza stall in Australia who writes "We sell the worst pizza in town" will get more sales... or at least it attracts more eyes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2008 Resolutions. I know I am late =P

Inspired by some bloggers, I finally decided to write my own New Year Resolutions (it's already 14 Jan, and I guess I am a bit late. But that's okay)

- Finish my study ON-TIME. I have to, otherwise SembCorp will terminate my scholarship, and I am not too rich (nor too generous) to pay them back a lump-sum $65,000.
- Get at least a second-upper honours (which means, at least A- for my FYP)

I haven't signed any job contract yet until now although the biggest bank in Singapore has already offered me a job. I will think through it carefully... I am usually a bold risk-taker, but I guess, any good investor would agree that investing a few months to think through a career choice is one of the wisest investments we could ever make.

I am probably going to enroll some distance-learning study. I am particularly interested in this journalism course. And no need to mention, studying Chinese has always been my goal since I was 16 years old. I ask this girl to teach me Mandarin, but she always said her Mandarin is not that good (If I can speak 1/2 as good as her, I will travel to Beijing without tour guide)

Have signed up for yoga course, and I think I am gonna love it. I don't care what exercise I must do, but I must weigh 68 kg before starting my first job, full stop.

10 minutes of Bible reading a day will make all the difference I would probably need.

A girlfriend by graduation? Haha.. I am kidding.

Call my family more often.

Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei, Shanghai and some other cities in southern China - 9 days 8 nights.
Bali, Lombok - 4 days 3 nights

Able to handle stress better, become a better listener.

10. OTHERS (These are not really resolutions, more like wishes, thank you Daphne)
- Barack Obama for president (I am a big fan of Mr. Clinton, but not Mrs. Clinton)
- China to win 2008 Beijing Olympics (make Asians proud)
- Singapore to host 2010 Youth Olympics
- Roger Federer to step down as world number one please, after I don't know how many years
- and finally... Juventus to win the Italian League.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Hey, City Harvest Church is NOT so bad!!

Is it only me or am I spotting the correct "trends"?

After I wrote a post titled Why am I Catholic.. and will always be?, several posts at seems to attack City Harvest Church like this one.

And before you start to ask my standing, I have make it very clear since long time ago, I am not against any church. City Harvest has revolutionized Christianity in Singapore, taking it to a higher level. Proof? My roommate. He is a member of CHC, and everyday he prays and reads bible longer than what I usually do for 3 days, and with more thought and commitment.

However, there are some people who are not very comfortable with the church and its teaching. I guess it's just a matter of preference, some people like to drink a hot coffee and some like to add ice to it. No matter what's your preference, coffee (served hot or cold) is scientifically proven to freshen your body if taken moderately.

Come on guys, Instead of attacking other churches or christian denominations, and doing research what are the not-so-good things about them, why not picking up the bible and reading it. Instead of correcting other churches' style of worship, why not making this world a bit friendlier by doing our bit. I guess God won't ask which church we are going, He will ask how many people have known God better because of us.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Why am I Catholic.... and will always be?

You're a roman catholic but why do u attend city harvest? have you heard of
their brand of gospel that they preach? the prosperity gospel is blatantly
heretical. You can do a search in google on it. You say the expensive decor and
lights at orchard rd do not reflect the true xmas spirit. do u have any idea how
extravagant and materialistic megachurches like city harvest are? I dont even
want to begin on this. you can also do a research on it. I too am roman catholic
and pray u do not get sucked in by their constant extremity in evangelisation.
Stay with the traditional church and stay away from the superficial.

That is a comment made by Jarvis, someone who happened to visit my blog. Thank you very much for the comment.

My comment :

Firstly, I am not against expensive decorations at Orchard Road or such cliche celebration, I only feel a bit sad that the true meaning of Christmas somehow get lost. I think Christmas is a perfect day for us to reflect that we are indeed, very lucky. God send His only son to this world to be our saviour.

By the way, I only attended City Harvest Church (CHC) a few times, and I felt they did fantastic job. They had fantastic Christmas party and I believed a lot of people were blessed by attending the party.

I am a Roman Catholic and I pray constantly everyday that I will still be Catholic until I die (and I also pray that my parents can be Catholic one day). My church is a simple church near my campus. Despite those "boring" songs, and even "more boring" reflection by our priests who speak not-so-perfect English, I feel God's presence there. I can experience God's love and peace there. Something that I can't experience at megachurches like CHC. I mean, not to that extent.

However, people have their own way to praise God. Some people like to sit at quiet place and pray. Some people like to sing and shout. In my opinion, it doesn't matter. I believe God will be able to see through our heart and not merely our mouth.

That's why, I have great respect for my fellow Christian who travel 2 hours to CHC everyweek, and 2 hours back home to NTU (compared to me who only need 20 minutes to reach my church).

God bless you always.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

2005 Playboy Playmate to contest in The Apprentice!

What do Lennox Lewis (yes, that famous boxer), Piers Morgan (the mean America's Got Talent judge), and Tiffany Fallon (2005 Playboy Playmate) have in common? They are among The Celebrity Apprentice Candidates.

Contestants will not be vying for a job with Donald Trump, but the
business-savvy celebrity contestants will be working towards a greater goal --
as they raise over a million dollars for their various charities throughout the
season. Not only will the final winner be crowned the first 'Celebrity
Apprentice,' but he or she will also have the honor of delivering a $250,000
bonus check to their designated charity.

All 14 celebrities will be competing in business-driven tasks around
New York City, using their fame along with their proven business acumen to win
challenges, while ultimately raising money and awareness for their respective

Just as in the regular "Apprentice," the celebrities will be subjected
to long hours, grueling mental challenges, personality clashes, and intense
scrutiny -- all without the help of their regular support system of agents,
managers, and personal assistants.

Certain tasks encourage the contestants to reach out to their network
of celebrity contacts for assistance or donations -- making for entertaining
surprise visits by some of the world's biggest stars along the way.