Friday, October 30, 2009

Michael Jackson's This Is It

Film Title: Michael Jackson's This Is It
Director: Kenny Ortega
Running Time: 112 minutes

It has finally arrived. The film that all Michael Jackson's fans have been long awaiting for. With the tragic passing of MJ on 25 June 2009 unfortunately dropping the guillotine on what had been rumoured to be not just the best concert MJ would have EVER put out, but the best of ALL concerts PERIOD, the film "Michael Jackson's This Is It" is now looked upon to be The Next Best Thing for all MJ fans to experience the joys, thrills and exhilaration of what it WOULD have felt like to be at the concert had it been a reality - not that this film can EVER come close to the real thing. It is truly, as what the brief text introduction at the start of the film spells out, "for the fans".

The film charts the entire progress of the concert, from its dazzling entrance whereby a life-size figurine made up of footage-flashing film screens opens up to reveal the emergence of MJ onto the stage, all the way up to the end when MJ concludes the show with "Man In The Mirror" as the finale song. Along the way, the audience is treated to spectacular specially-filmed sequences of what would have been the concert's numerous background settings and vignettes! These include...
1) A green screen sequence where MJ's 11 principle dancers are multiplied by CGI into an army of infinite number of soldiers dancing to the tune of "Bad" and "They Don't Really Care About Us"
2) A black and white vignette to be played in the backdrop of the "Smooth Criminal" performance which features MJ in the 70s era dodging gangsters and machine guns
3) A sunset background illuminating the stage which has been set up as a construction site complete with MJ's principal male dancers shirtless or clad in greased-up wife-beaters backing him up while he serenades one of his babelicious female dancers with "The Way You Make Me Feel"
4) A mock up 70s soundstage, with psychedelic pastel colors, reminiscent of his Jackson 5 performance days, serves as the setting for MJ's medley of "I Want You Back", "The Love You Save", "I'll Be There" and "Shake Your Body"
5) Specially shot in 3-D technology, for the "Thriller" segment, a short film that features all MJ's principal dancers complete with zombie, vampire, ghost and other supernatural make-up and costume, accompanied by puppeteers running through the aisles hoisting ghost puppets streaming above audiences' heads, as well as the introduction of a gigantic spider robot from which MJ surfaces from its belly, is one of the most talked about highlights of the concert!
6) And finally, serving as the lead-in for "Earth Song", a video is shown where a young girl wanders through a forest, fascinated by its lush, gorgeous greenery and beautiful creatures within (such as a flurry of pretty butterflies), falls asleep, only to wake up horrified to witness the forest being destroyed by man - and at the end of the video, the bulldozer "crashes" out from the screen, only to be halted by MJ at the front of the centerstage!

The film also delves into the many mechanisms and aspects that pushes the envelope of what COULD be done in a concert that would heighten the overall concert experience. These include:
1) The "toaster" device used to "pop" out the dancers onto the stage for the "Jam" act
2) Aerialists, in glittering costumes, performed amazing acrobatic acts while suspended within dazzling metal fixtures hung above mid-air, adding a "Cirque de Soleil" feel to "Who Is It"
3) Costume designs featured a whole array of pants and gloves studded with hundreds of Swarovski crystals
4) MJ also revealed his intention to burn his jacket on stage at the end of his "Beat It" number!

Through the course of the film, it isn't hard to imagine why it was widely speculated that MJ's death could have been indirectly caused by overt stress from the preparation of this concert. His overwhelming need for perfectionism could be observed at every turn within the film with him being particular and meticulous to a fault with every single key, note, shot and movement in his direction of Kenny Ortega and the band's music (although he always does so constructively with the nicest of words). It was also heartbreaking to see how thin and haggard he appeared next to his line of muscular dancers (they must be at least twice his size and/or weight!), even though MJ proved that even with his slender built, he was more than capable of dancing circles thousand times better than any of them.

I've always been a HUGE fan of flamboyant and colorful concerts. After all, if all you get at a concert was just the artiste singing behind a mic stand, you might as well just buy the CD. So one of my criterias in deciding whether or not to buy tickets for a concert and/or buy its DVD would be how much value I'd be getting out of the dollars I'd be paying - whether or not there would be umpteen costume changes, how much the artiste had invested in the concert's settings, backdrops, vignettes, special performances, etc., and the number of all-time hits he/she would be performing for the concert. The last artiste who more than satisfied me with her concert was the fabulous Cher with her farewell concert! But now after watching this film, I have been convinced that should Michael have succeeded in making his run of this worldwide concert tour, no one else would be able to come close at having the best concert in the world.

One minor flaw about the film though is that it being originally not meant for public viewing purposes, and was supposed to be kept for MJ's private collection, therefore there were some of the times when he chose not to give it his all during his filmed performances - as he had wanted to preserve his voice and stamina for the actual show. In addition, it was a great pity that we did not get to see him dorn many of the costumes made for the concert. But all in all, the film was still well worth the wait and watch. And I'm saying that despite not even being a HUGE MJ fan to begin with.

Film-goers, take note, DO NOT leave the cinema when the credits start rolling. Stay till the end because after the credits are done, there are still some bonus footages from the "Earth Song" performance.

So what's my rating?

4 out of 5 stars

Which means? There's no other concert better than this. THIS IS IT. GO WATCH IT.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Duck And Dive

After returning home from work at 10am in the morning, and having a nice, long, rested sleep, I scurried down to the National Library, Drama Centre (100 Victoria Street, Level 3), where I met one of my best gal pals Caron for my birthday treat from her - to watch the local musical "Duck And Dive"!

I had purposedly avoided reading any publicity material about the show at all before this, so as to keep my expectations low, because having previously gone to some musicals with overly high expectations and then coming out feeling let down and disappointed in the end, I realized it would be best if I go in with next to zero expectations about a show and just let myself be surprised by it. And indeed I was! "Duck And Dive" was cute, funny, heartwarming and effervescent all at the same time!

The storyline was simple yet innovative. It combined two of our well-loved fairy tales (The Ugly Duckling and The Frog Prince) into one amazing journey of two youngsters who did not bear conventional beauty by societal standards who braved all odds in their journey through life and discovered in the end that happiness comes from embracing what is within oneself and following one's heart in pursuing your own chosen path in life, not one the you assumed in destined for you.

Yet again, another local musical production amazes me at just how close we come in terms of quality compared to musicals from Broadway or London's West End. Well-made costumes, songs that keep you humming along long after leaving the theatre (I just wished they had a complete soundtrack CD to sell, instead of just one song that came in a compilation CD which I still bought - LOVED that Bobbidi song), hilarious jokes, engaging storyline and distinct characters (I was astounded by the fact that the plentiful characters within were reprised by the same actors/actresses which just shows how good they are at taking on the portrayal of TOTALLY different characters in just a blink of an eye), and that transformation sequence which involved luminated cloths and black light was just jaw-droppingly fabulous!

I've previously seen Isabelle Chiam's performance in "The Swimming Instructor" (which I pretty much went for the male flesh parade, heh heh heh...pardon me for being so superficial...ha ha ha!!!) which I thought she stole that show from the guys then! Her portrayal of Cygna The Ugly Duckling last night was excellent too! The awkwardness, comic timing and endearing quality of the character all shone through. I'm beginning to think I should look out for her future productions - yes, I think she's THAT good! Tan Shou Chen did a good job too with Prince Anura The Frog Prince. But I thought it was more the flamboyant supporting characters that stole the show from the two main leads! Dwayne Lau (whom I remembered from the first season of Singapore Idol) was a REAL HOOT in his dual roles of Edina Chukkabutti (the haughty duck who looked down upon Cygna for her "ugliness", LOVED the Indian accent) and Herodias (the villianous heron, who reminded me of "Dr. Evil" from "Austin Powers"...ha ha ha!!!). I also ADORED Lester and Chester Mustella (played by Hang Chian Chou and Trey Ho), the two bungling weasel sidekicks who thought the world of themselves, who never failed to tickle the audience throughout the entire play. Candice De Rozario, Rayann Condy and Renee Chua also delivered commendable performances as the ever-loving mother duck Anna Merganser, the shy yet fiesty hedgehog guardian Erin Herisson, and the proud kitty Felinda Splay (whom I actually loved more than Ambigua Trellis the witch).

All in all, it was a most enjoyable evening. Ok, I must admit that you cannot compare it to The Phantom of The Opera, Chicago, Wicked, etc, but for a production of its budget, it absolutely surpassed my expectations and was definitely above average. My personal rating?

& 1/2 stars (That's 3.5 stars - Very Good!)

I was even lucky enough to get photographs taken with some of the cast! (Oh yes, and I saw Edmund Chen coming out from the theatre with his kids at the end! Yup, this show even attracted the stars!)

Thanks again Caron for the extravagant treat for my birthday!!! Really LOVED it!!!

So, do go down and support the show if you have the time ok? You can get tickets from here:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My 32nd Birthday

I was seriously depressed before today arrived. It's not so much about getting older, but more about feeling that I seemed to have accomplished nothing much in the span of the twelve months from my previous birthday.

Despite having gotten my degree certificate earlier this year, I ended up facing quite a number of setbacks this year:
1) Sofia and Wanting both chose to "downgrade" their friendship with me to becoming only a friendly acquaintance
2) None of my job applications came through for me (they didn't even want a meeting with me!)
3) Even though I got contacted by a few chub chasers who expressed interest in me, their interest faded even before we got to meet up for the first time, and two of them even stood me up!
4) I got issued with a written warning letter at work, which is really risky for me, cos one more mistake, and I could lose my job!
5) Finances have been really tight for me this year so far
6) Despite my lucky charms, I've no luck so far previously at 4D, TOTO or the Singapore Sweep.
7) And because of my tight budget, I couldn't afford any good presents for my relatives, family and friends, so I wasn't expecting them to do anything for me in return for my birthday.
8) When I went to my Grandma's place this year, they almost didn't even remember my birthday! Thankfully my 2nd Aunt treated me to Chiew Kee's dark soy sauce braised chicken noodles for lunch and she and my Grandma gave me an ang pow each for good luck. And that was it. Sigh...I didn't even get a birthday present or red packet from my youngest Aunt and my cousins whom I previously bought quite extravagent presents for in the previous years. It was all quite disappointing.

So as you can see, I was kinda dreading this year's birthday and just wanted to get it over and done with as low profile as I could get.

Therefore, when I woke up this morning, I didn't expect anything fancy from anyone, not even my own family. So I was REALLY pleasantly surprised when I got like a whole series of well wishes sent by sms from my friends! And then in the evening, before I went to work, my parents and brothers brought me out to dinner at Pu Dong Kitchen at Balmoral Plaza to treat me to my fav dish of Shanghainese stir-fried eel paste!








And my middle bro Rodney bought me one of my fav cakes - Chocolate Cherry Cake from "Awfully Chocolate"! Then, when I arrived at work, I was even more surprised to find that my colleagues had gotten together and bought me a birthday card with a pair of Golden Village Gold Class tickets, and $30 HMV vouchers! You should've seen me when I opened the envelope! I was grinning from ear to ear and couldn't help kissing the envelope out of joy!
And last but not least, my Gung Ho Angel Caron gave me the thrill of my life when she told me she's treating me to this musical "Duck and Dive" on this coming Thursday!!!

WOOHOO!!! I've not been to a musical for months to cut down on my budget and now one of my best and dearest gal pals is ACTUALLY treating me to one!!! You can just imagine the joy and excitement I was filled with when she first told me the news! Caron, you ROCK, babe!

Like what you've read so far? Wanna know how to get in touch?

So that’s me in a nutshell (ok, not really so much in a nutshell, ha, ha, ha…). If you’re new to my blog and like what you’ve learnt about me, and would like to befriend me or **gasp** date me **blush**, you can contact me via the following means:
Call or sms me at 92713065 (I’m not very alert to hearing the ringing of my phone, so if you cannot reach me by call, just sms me)
Email me at
Locate me via Facebook and/or Friendster through this email address
Add me to MSN via this email address -

Ok then. Till my next blog entry…Ciao!

Personal Ambition

I currently work in StarHub as a call centre consultant. It’s my first stable job (since the ones I had previously were either temp positions or lasted less than six months) and I’ve been here coming to six years now. I initially took up the job because I needed a job that would allow me time to pursue my freelance journalism (for LIME magazine) and enough stability in its schedule so as to commence and complete my part-time University degree course with MDIS in Mass Communications. And now, in the blink of an eye, I finally graduated last year in the top 10% of the entire faculty, earning me a place in the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society in the United States! But due to the dire financial situation now, I’m kinda stuck in this job now, and have been fruitless in my job search in something more related to my field of study.

To be honest, my dream ambition is to be an entrepreneur. Like Walt Disney, Charles Lazarus (Toys R Us), Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel, & Gordon Bowker (Starbucks), Jim Henson, I want to develop my career, focusing on my areas of interests, and eventually with lots of hard work, and plenty of perseverance, be able to build a family business empire that would not only benefit myself but also my family too in the years to come.

At this moment, I see five areas that I would like to focus on:
1) Starting up a DVD rental & sale and entertainment events management business that would eventually be developed into a lifestyle brand
2) Working on a partnership with MediaCorp and/or Scorpio East Entertainment Pte Ltd to produce high-quality DVD box sets of vintage SBC classic dramas
3) Inventing a fast food outlet that serves our traditional family dish of “Peking Pockets”
4) Coming up with an apparel and accessories store locally that caters specifically to the plus sized community of Singapore, both male and female, allowing them to look good even if they do not possess model-like physiques
5) Putting together a dating and lifestyle service for gay clientele, who are no longer interested in one night stands and are seeking to settle down with the right partner, and would be interested in events such as speed dating, dinner for six to meet potential partners, and for attached couples, maybe the planning of commitment ceremony, or possibly overseas trips for weddings in states that recognizes gay marriages, or perhaps just fun trips to Mardi Gras or Key West for couples and/or singles?

For now, it’s all just ideas. I seriously need to get my finances in order before I can work on any of these ideas concretely. So wish me luck! Hopefully I can get started REAL SOON!

Unconventional Care Bear Characters!!!

I need you all to promise not to laugh too loudly when I say this. One of the most precious things in my room is my Care Bear Plush Toy Collection. Yes, you’ve heard me right. I collect Care Bear plush toys. To date, I have collected 23 of them, with some of them being two of the same kind too! As you can probably tell from the photo, my favorite one would be “Share Bear” since I’m sure you can spot I’ve got two of her in the vintage edition (with the milkshake on her tummy), one of her in the new series edition (with two lollipops on her tummy) and one mini beanbag vintage version – that’s four of the same kind!!! Now maybe I’ve watched too many Muppet TV shows (e.g. Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, etc.) when I was a kid, but since young, I’ve always pretended my plush toys to be “real characters” and could walk and talk to me (even though I would be the one coming up with the conversations and movements). And being the imaginative and cheeky person that I am, I’d often “reinvent” the personality of these plush toys to be quite different from what most kids would have their toy animals behave typically. No, no, for me, my toy animals would take after characters I see from TV (mostly soaps like “Dynasty” or “Falcon Crest”, etc). So there would be bitches, sluts, philandering playboys, toy boys, stern matriarchs / patriarchs, kids born out of wedlock, Down Syndrome victims, just to name a few of the characters I created in my toy collection. I’d even stage catfights between the slutty bears (the “Share Bears”) and the bitchy bears (the “America Cares Bears”) just for fun. Ha, ha, ha…no prizes for guessing which side I support (hint: my fav color is purple).

Where Is My "Super-Daddy-Bear"?

Now that you’ve read about my self discovery journey of my sexuality, let me just share in brief about the type of guys I am attracted to. Essentially, it can be summed up into three keywords: Superman, Daddy, and Bear.

Don’t ask me why but I found that I’ve always been attracted to guys in glasses. In fact, the nerdier the glasses, the better. I especially like those with the thick, black, plastic frames. My attraction doesn’t just stop at the glasses though. I’d like the wearer to be someone who is relatively well-built in terms of his physique, but yet likes to dress up in clothes that keep his body a mystery. I call this my “Clark Kent/Superman complex”, i.e. I like my guy to look like the ultra nerdy Clark Kent in public, but when he takes off his glasses and shirt, he’s actually possesses a “Superman” physique underneath.

In addition, I’m not sure if it’s because of my Dad’s frequent absences from home due to being stuck at work for the majority of his younger years at work, but I seemed to have developed quite a “Daddy complex” as well! I tend to seek out guys who are quite a fair bit older than me, i.e. eight to fifteen yrs older, because I perceive that they would be more mature, more established in their careers (so they would not be such a workaholic and have more time to spend with me) and that they have a tendency to take care of me (not so much in terms of financial means, but more of an emotional stability).

Now, about “Bears”, there is just something virile about them that magnetically pull me towards them. Not that I don’t find a smooth, young stud attractive (I can appreciate Brad Pitt, Zac Efron, Ethan Ruan, Vincent Ng, Adam Chen, etc.), I just being unable to resist the charms of a bear more. I guess if you looked back at my growing up years, you’d find hints of how I could be a bear lover. I mean, my male celeb idols throughout my growing up years included Sean Connery, Tom Selleck, Pierce Brosnan, Mark Harmon, Treat Williams – all belonging to the bear category. And even today, I’d actually prefer a hunky celeb who’d let his chest hair grow out, rather than waxing or shaving it off. And the one guy that I dated that I miss the most to date – he’s a bear too! Sigh…I sure miss his scratchy moustache…

But enough about appearances. That’s really not all I look for in a guy (despite how shallow I may appear at times – Yes, I watch “Polo Boys” just for the eye candy factor alone). Interest, intellect and linguistic abilities are equally important to me as well. He’s got to share my passion for TV, movies, food and stage musicals, be able to carry on a proper conversation with me without us boring each other and able to converse coherently in moderately proper English or Mandarin. I remember dating this guy once whose idea of a conversation was to report to me the repetitions and weights of his gym training regime, and the details of his personal grooming, skin and hair care! ***roll eyes*** Next, please!!!

Proud To Be Queer

Now for those of you who do not already know this already (although I don’t really think that there’s actually that many of you who are THAT clueless)…I’m gay, yes, gay, with a capital G-A-Y. Now, I know there’s that whole global debate about Nature Vs Nurture going on, but for me, I think it’s more of nature than nurture. I mean, as far as I can remember, I’ve NEVER been really been attracted by the opposite sex in that sexual way. I mean, sure I can appreciate beauty in the female form, but it’s more like wanting to have them strut around a runway in pieces you pick out for them, like playing dress-up with your vintage Barbie, not so much like wanting to “bonk” them. Since a young age, even when I went to the movies or watched TV, I was never really that drawn to the female leads. For instance, I was glued to “Magnum P.I.”, “Remingston Steele” and “The Saint” cos of Tom Selleck and Pierce Brosnan, I was fixated on Sean Connery instead of the Bond girls in the James Bond movies, I was drooling over Tom Cruise in “Top Gun” and Patrick Swayze in “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost” rather than their leading ladies in those films. But the thing is, I never knew why I felt the way I did, and because I was the first born child in the family, my parents and relatives more or less chose to “shield” me in some sort of “protective bubble”, away from all vulgarities, sex-related topics and “the dark side of life”. Believe it or not, I did not even know what sexual intercourse or masturbation or erection was, or how babies were made until I was 17 years old!

But even with all that shielding and protecting, I still ended up discovering about sex on my own, in a harrowing incident. When I was nine years old, reading by myself in Times Bookstore on Level 3 of Plaza Singapura (while my parents were shopping in Yaohan supermarket downstairs), I did not understood why I was overwhelmingly drawn to this muscular teenage guy in a white tank top and red shorts. I just felt this uncontrollable urge to want to follow him out of the bookstore. I ended up being led by him to the restrooms where he tried to molest my privates at the urinals. If not for someone else entering the restroom at that precise moment, and the guy splitting from the scene, god knows what he might have done to me then! As the guy didn’t manage to get very far, and I just stood there at the urinal in a stunned daze in the usual urinating position, the guy who came in didn’t noticed anything amiss and just went into one of the toilet stalls to “do his business”. After I composed myself, I then left the restroom and went back to Times Bookstore again. I never told my parents or anyone about that incident until years later as an adult, when I could come to terms about it.

That incident became some sort of a wake-up call to me. Even though it still terrifies the hell out of me when I think back to it, even to this day, the whole ordeal strangely also had another effect on me. I found that this touch by an attractive, well-toned male against my naked skin turned me on and made me very excited. Because I did not know what heterosexual sex was all about back then, much less gay sex, I became very confused as to all these strange emotions that were flooding my mind. I only knew that reading those erotic gay stories scribbled on the back of the toilet stall doors back, when I was at that age, gave me the same thrill as the guy did when he touched me.

Because I didn’t understand what being gay meant during those younger years, I always assumed it to be something dirty or monstrous or freakish and didn’t want to be regarded as that. So when I had crushes on my male classmates then (a band major, a NPCC sergeant and a field hockey captain), it was all very pure and innocent – as in, I honestly never thought of them, not even for a second, in a sexual way, I only admired them for their positions as leadership figures in their ECAs and wanted to be their friend. Physically speaking, I was more mesmerized by three of our hunky P.E. teachers back then.

So anyway, nothing major happened for the next couple of years. And then I turned 17 and entered junior college and then polytechnic, and discovered the internet! From the internet, I stumbled accidentally upon gay websites while searching for pictures of hunky male celebrities, and FINALLY discovered and understood what being the word “gay” really meant and what both heterosexual and homosexual sex were all about. But as I was scared of venturing into the unknown, and of being ostracized by society and rejected by my family and friends for being different, so instead of following my heart, I went into serious denial of my true sexual identity. So I started convincing myself I got to start dating girls and pursued three of them in the next three years (coincidentally, they all had medium length hair, were rather slender in built, conservative by nature, kind of demure, and had names ending with “ee”, ha, ha, ha… I guess I thought that was the conventional stereotype of “the good girl”). Anyway, as can be expected, I found myself not being even remotely being physically attracted to these three ladies, even though they were really quite attractive. In the end, when the three of them rejected me, I didn’t even feel that dejected, only perhaps a little disappointed at the notion of someone rejecting me that’s all.

At the same time, my interest in members of the same sex began to burgeon as the days, months and years gone by. And I became bolder, venturing into the internet more and more to browse on websites on this subject matter, jotting down telephone and pager numbers off toilet doors and even attempting to contact a few of them, but chickening out in the end!

It wasn’t until I turned 21 and finished my BMT training did I finally found the inner courage to come out of the closet and declared my sexuality to the psychiatrist in camp. Naturally, she was skeptical about my inclination and went through an in-depth and thorough assessment to see if I was lying or not. The result was that she decided I was genuine and gave me a “302” status (i.e. homosexual soldier) and granted me stay-out privileges as a clerk for the rest of my National Service.

And it was after my declaration in NS, did I meet my very first group of gay friends (Enoch Chee, Jon Lee and Dex Ng). Through their guidance, I began to explore my own sexuality more honestly. I discovered IRC and its local gay chat rooms, met up guys for dates and even went to local gay pubs and clubs occasionally e.g. Taboo, Venom, Inner Circle, etc. Of course, all of this was done in secret, because at that time (during the late 90s), it was almost unheard of to be openly gay, everything was very hush hush. So I often ended up locking myself in the room with my PC to surf gay webpages, or chat on the phone with the guys I was dating, and l’d lie to my parents that I was going for late night movies or meeting up old friends, when I was actually meeting up guys for dates or the few times that I went to gay pubs and clubs.

Eventually, my lies began catching up with me, because I lost track of all the lies I had to spin just to cover another lie which was again used to cover yet another lie. So, after years of lying umpteen times to my parents, I finally decided to come clean with them, or at least one of them. I picked my Mum because I figured, since she was a fan of gay singers by the likes of Roman Tam, Leslie Cheung and always told me she was opened to the idea that they were gay, so I figured maybe she wouldn’t react too adversely to the fact that I too am gay. So four years after coming out in NS, I sat my Mum down during lunch and came clean to her about me being gay. I told her everything, from the molestation incident in Plaza Singapura when I was nine, to my coming out during NS, to the guys that I dated from IRC and that I have already gone through two boyfriends by then. Surprisingly, my Mum didn’t react too badly to my confession. Instead, she calmly told me that she kind of expected it for some time now. She only asked me if I had engaged in anal sex yet? When I told her I have not, as I have yet to establish enough trust in a boyfriend yet to go through with that, she seemed relieved and did not ask me any more questions after that. That night, she went home and told my Dad about what I told her. They then asked my middle brother whom I had come out to four years ago, after declaring my sexuality in NS (I had to tell someone in the family, otherwise holding a secret from everyone at home for that long would have driven me nuts!) and confirmed that I really was gay. Since then, the question of when I’d be getting married or having kids stopped miraculously, but being Asian parents after all, they’re still conservative at heart and despite how open they claim to be, they chose to be in denial about my orientation and thus, since that day, they too never chatted with me about my gay lifestyle or talked about the guys I was dating after that. I’m fine with it, I guess. It’s their decision and I respect it. It definitely is better than having me exiled from home right?

However, it is my personal wish that one day my parents would be open enough to accept me openly about my sexuality and would stand beside me when I get married to my Mr. Right in a state that legally recognizes gay marriages (we’d fly overseas if we have to for the ceremony), and would love me, my husband and my future kids, if we do have any (whether through adoption or surrogacy).

Musicals, Musicals, Musicals

Besides TV, movies and food, I also am an avid follower of stage musicals! Regardless of whether it’s local (“Beauty World”, “Sing To The Dawn”, “Chang and Eng”, “Forbidden City”), Asian (“雪狼湖 Snow Wolf Lake”) or from Broadway (“The King And I”, “We Will Rock You”, “Roger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella”) or London West End (“The Phantom of The Opera”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”), I’d be first in line to secure a ticket for a good seat with an excellent view to these shows, so as to pamper myself to an unbeatable experience of hearing the songs and dances performed ‘live’ with riveting emotions by the cast first hand, being thrilled by the unbelievable mechanism of the set design which also often has plenty of surprises in store for the audiences, and of course, nothing quite beats watching something ‘live’ on stage (instead of being pre-recorded on film)! It is therefore one of my plans that I’d be able to fly to New York and/or London once a year just to get my annual fix of their stage musicals there.

I Live To EAT

I’m sure we all know the saying that some people eat to live while others live to eat. No prizes for guessing which group I belong to. Ha, ha, ha… Yeah, I definitely am someone who lives to eat! Topping the list of my All-Time Favorite Foods would of course be my Mum’s and my two Grandmas’ home-cooked family dishes (北京薄饼 or 春饼, 炸酱面, 白肉饭, 白菜/韭菜饺子锅贴, 烙盒子, 五花卤肉, 黑木耳炒蛋, 番茄炒蛋, 番茄酱马铃薯炒青豆虾, 榨菜炒黄瓜青豆, 黑酱油卤肉豆腐包卤蛋, 酱油鸡焖冬菇蘑菇, 麻油鸡, 榨菜豆腐汤, 番茄酸菜猪肉丸汤, 黑鸡汤, 白果腐竹糖水, just to name a few of my personal favs.)

Now, of course I don’t just eat at home like ALL THE TIME. I mean, I do enjoy going out for a good meal, whether be it at a hawker centre or a food outlet or restaurant. One thing stays constant though. I like foods that are strong not mild in taste (重口味), i.e. I prefer thick to thin sauce and I don’t like a hint of something, it better come in volumes for me. I’m also not really a desserts and sweets kinda person (although I do have a few occasionally), I’ve got more of a savory tooth/craving. Oh, and my younger brothers and Mum noticed something else about me too. I LOVE “black” foods – e.g. char siew rice that are a bit on the burnt side with a generous dollop of the dark gravy (my personal all-time fav is the one at “Eng Kee” at Realty Food House, 15 Enggor Street #01-01), fried “black” carrot cake that has a bit of a crisp (I am a die-hard loyal to the one at “Fried Kway Teow Mee” at Seah Im Food Centre” #01-26), char siew noodles smothered in dark soy sauce that strikes a good balance between sweet and savory taste (love the one at “Happy Wanton Noodle” at Bukit Timah Food Centre #02-197, and also the one from “Parklane Delihouse Wanton Mee“ at Parklane Shopping Centre too!), soy sauce braised chicken noodles drenched in dark sauce (at Chew Kee Eating House, 8 Upper Cross Street – the elder sister’s stall, NOT the brother’s one further down, which is not black enough in my opinion), claypot rice drizzled with dark soy sauce and with a good helping of burnt rice at the bottom (Ooh…just the thought of the ones served at “New Lucky Claypot Rice” at Block 328 Clementi Avenue 2 #01-220 and “Uncle Sam’s Claypots” is enough to make me drool!), well-cooked duck rice, with the duck meat well-marinated in dark sauce, tender and juicy (my Dad treated me once to this “Sia Kee Duck Rice” at 659-661 Geylang Road, Lorong 35 and since then I’ve been dreaming about only that place when I crave duck rice…YUM!), ok, ok…you kinda get the picture lah.

In terms of restaurant or eatery cuisine, I would probably rank Italian pasta (“Spageddies” and “Sketches” are two of my personal favs) first on my list. Next would be Japanese food fare (I am quite a regular customer of “Waraku”, “Tampopo”, “Tonkichi” and “Ohsumi Shabu Shabu”). Following that would be…
- American Diner favorites (I still think nobody can top “Dan Ryan Chicago Grill”… “Tony Romas” follows quite a fair distance behind along with “Kenny Rogers”)
- Dim Sum (nothing tops the push cart nostalgic experience at “Red Star”, but if you’re looking at a more leisurely paced and less hustle-bustle-ly atmosphere, “Xin Cuisine” serves up top-notched dim sum dishes that are still pretty budget friendly)
- Indonesian spicy Nasi Padang (for the ultimate indulgence, “Rendezvous Restaurant Hock Lock Kee” is a MUST-TRY! And “Riverside Indonesian Restaurant” whips up quite a delicious array of very yummy Indo dishes too!)
- Thai cooking (Nowhere else quite compares to “Parkway Thai Restaurant”, but “Lemongrass Thai Restaurant” does a commendable job in coming pretty close to matching it in taste)
- And of course, Chinese restaurants (my family and relatives are longtime patrons of 小红楼 Red House Seafood Restaurant, 潮州城Teochew City Seafood Restaurant and often go there for special occasions such as Lunar New Year reunion dinners or birthdays. We also enjoy going to鼎泰丰Din Tai Fung or翡翠小厨Crystal Jade Kitchen for lunch or dinner time to time)

My Passion for Movies

Following close behind my passion for TV would be my adoration of movies. As far as I can remember, it all started when I was a preschool kid and my Dad used to bring me to these midnight screenings of movies after he and my Mum finished work back then. He would pick me up from my Grandma’s place where she was babysitting me and then whisk me off to Lido or Orchard or Cathay cinema where we’d, as a family of three, be transfixed to the silver screen as classics like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”, the latest James Bond movie back then or Christopher Lee’s “Dracula” films played out on it.

Initially, I enjoyed going to the movies, because it was a time that I could share being in the company of my family and friends, with good cinema snacks (e.g. kachang puteh served in newspaper/magazine rolled up cones, or Orange Julius burgers, hot dogs and blended Pina Colada from the Cathay and Orchard cinemas) and we’d all have to sit down together and watch the film from beginning to the end without interruptions and then afterwards be able to talk about it with each other! In fact, I enjoyed the experience so much, that even at home, I’d sit everyone down in front of the telly and do a mock up movie experience, with fake tickets (I doubled up as a cinema “usher”), lights all switched off and everything! But as I grew older, got into secondary school and discovered English Literature, I realized that there was more to a movie than just sitting down, watching it for one and a half hour and that’s it. Through English Lit, I uncovered a whole array of analysis tools that could be applied not just to novels, plays and poetry, but also to movies as well! Suddenly, I was digging into the themes, character psyches, storyline developments and discovering meanings to films that I previously never even noticed during prior viewings of them (e.g. “The Sound of Music” sure showed me how one show could be viewed differently to me when I watched it when I was five, and when I watched it again with better appreciation when I was sixteen, and again when I was in my twenties)!

Even though I make it a point not to shun or exclude any form of film (because I feel that as a film aficionado, I should watch ALL movies in ALL genres, whether they may appear to be good or bad from trailers or based on opinions of other film critics), I do admit I have my personal favorite genres of film. At the top of my list would be musical movies or dance-themed films. Close behind in 2nd place would be horror – whether be it supernatural, slasher or thriller based ones. Being forever a child at heart, my third favorite genre would be the animated features and kid-oriented films. And of course, the hopeless romantic in me pushes me to fall in love with chick flicks and tearjerkers. Now that is not to say I do not enjoy films that do not fall into my top four fav film categories. I still have a smashing good time watching plenty of other films of all kinds, e.g. action, comedies, arthouse, indie, epics, blockbusters, etc, and even collect quite a number of them on DVD too!

My Love for TV

To say that I love TV is an understatement. TV IS my Number 1 Passion in life! From the first time I laid my eyes on a color television set, I was hooked for good. In fact, I’d say that the best moments of my life were spent sitting in front of the TV!!!

My childhood years were filled with good memories of growing up in the company of “Care Bears”, “M.A.S.K.”, “He-Man”, “She-Ra”, “Glo-Friends”, “Smurfs”, “Alvin & The Chipmunks”, “Gummi Bears”, “Dungeons & Dragons”, “Visionaries”, “Voltron”, “Thundercats”, “Centurions”, “The Flintstones”, “The Jetsons”, “Scooby-Doo”, “Button Moon”, “Rainbow”, “The Electric Company”, “Sesame Street”, “The Curiosity Show”, “3-2-1 Contact”, “Square One TV”, “Polka Dot Door”, “The Elephant Show”, “The Muppet Show”, “Fraggle Rock”, “Lamb Chop’s Play Along”, “Kidsongs”, etc.

As a teen, I was fascinated by the likes of US TV soaps, fantasy/mystery dramas and sit-coms such as “Falcon Crest”, “Wonder Woman”, “The Six Million Dollar Man”, “The Bionic Woman”, “Shazam”, “Misfits of Science”, “Manimal”, “The Incredible Hulk”, “Charmed”, “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”, “Knight Rider”, “Magnum P.I.”, “Murder, She Wrote”, “Moonlighting”, “The Saint”, “Remington Steele”, “V”, “Small Wonder”, “Blossom”, “Who’s The Boss”, “Brotherly Love”, “Friends”, “American Gladiators”, and yes, I’ll admit it, I used to be a HUGE fan of “Solid Gold”. I remembering actually piling up the sofa cushions so that they’d resemble the podium steps and then mimicking the moves of the dancers as they sashayed down the stairs in the shows!

Of course, like most Singapore kids, I too was drawn to and followed the many top-quality SBC (新广) mandarin drama serials on Channel 8 during my upper primary and secondary school days. Till today, I can still remember my beloved theme songs and classic scenes of 小飞鱼, 红头巾, 飞跃巅峰, 绿水英姿, 壮志骄阳, 逆风天使, 飞越银河, 亲心唤我心, 金兰结, 一代双骄, 早安老师, 迷离夜, 奇缘 I & II, 舞榭歌台, 浮沉, 青春123, 四代同堂, 芝麻绿豆, 咖啡乌, 我爱芳邻, just to name a few of my favourites amongst many others.

Even till today, my first choice of relaxation would still be sitting in front of the TV set, escaping from the harsh reality of the world for just that little while, indulging myself following the engaging storylines of numerous TV series. Whether be it US drama series (“Bones”, “Brothers and Sisters”, “Cold Case”, “Criminal Minds”, “CSI”, “CSI: NY”, “Desperate Housewives”, “Ghost Whisperer”, “Gossip Girl”, “Greek”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Law & Order: SVU”, “Medium”, “Smallville”, “Supernatural”, etc), sitcoms (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”, “The Big Bang Theory”, etc) or reality series (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”, “America’s Next Top Model”, “American Idol”, “Project Runway”, “So You Think You Can Dance”, “The Biggest Loser”, “The Amazing Race”, “Hell’s Kitchen”, “Top Chef”, “Big Brother”, “The Bachelor & The Bachelorette”, etc), TVB series, Taiwanese, J-Pop or K-Pop idol dramas, the choices are so far and wide that I actually say that “there are just too many good shows out there, but just so little time for me to finish them all!”


Friendship has always been one of the top priorities in my life. If I was asked to rank it, then it would be in 2nd place, following right behind family, and before love, health, career/ambition, etc. Throughout the 32 years of my life so far, I have gotten acquainted with many individuals whom I thought I could grow old as friends with, well into our twilight years, but sadly, things were just not meant to be between me and many of them. Some drifted apart while other chose to sever our friendship due to personal differences. As a tribute to those good ole years we shared as bosom buddies previously, here’s a shout out to all of you (Chen Ze’en, Eugene/Ignatius Pang Yew Yang, Yap Chun Woei, Kenny Lim Tang Ngee, Rohana Bte Ariffin, Wong Mun Yee, Jacqueline Chua Peiling, Sim Sok Wee, Fong Wai Kean, Ganymede Lim, Jonathan Lee Hin Wah, Robin/Dexter Ng, Miki Ang, Sylvia Koh, Sarina Bte Kassim, Joyce Tan Lay Yian, Jacelyn Lin, Sofia Ibrahim and Chan Wan Then) from me - Wherever you are, I wish you all well. Our friendships may not have worked out for the best, but it still brings a smile to my face when I recall the good times we shared together as friends, and I hope you too would fondly look back to those happy days too.

But in spite of all the friendship losses I have experienced thus far, I do recognize that I am still very blessed to still have a precious group of friends who have chosen to stick by me through weal and woe throughout these years, despite our personal differences. So I’d like to take this opportunity to say a very big THANK YOU to you all for being there for me with your unyielding support, encouragement, care and tolerance (yes, I’m sure you all needed a lot of that) towards me throughout these years. It really is a relief that I need not mask my true food-loving, neurotic, whiney, drooling-over-hunks and whimsical self in front of you and you’d all still love me the way I am. You know, sometimes I feel a little guilty about whether or not I am as good a friend as you all are to me… I try my best, so if I fall short in any way, I do hope you all could understand and forgive my shortcomings as a friend to you. Looking to the future, here’s hoping that our friendships will continue to thrive and grow in the years to come!!!

Hello and welcome to my brand new blog site!

I decided to abandon the old one because, well let’s face it…it’s seriously outdated, plus honestly, I don’t think that 3 or 4 posts would even qualify it to be regarded as a blog (yeah, I know I know, it’s disgraceful…heh). Anyway, I figured that with a new year comes a new me (I just turned 32 today), so I decided why not revisit the idea of a starting and SUSTAINING a personal blog again, and that’s how THIS blog is “reborn” again.

Like the previous expired blog, I’ll be starting off this new blog with an introduction about myself. So here goes…

First off, here’s my basic bio:
Name: Sung Yao Zong, Jonathan 宋耀宗
(As you can tell, my parents had high hopes when they named me - to bring glory and honor to my ancestors (光宗耀祖)? Whoa! That’s some pressure right? I don’t think I quite lived up to their expectations yet to date. But hopefully in time to come, I would be able to do that? At least to some kinda degree lah)

Notable nicknames: 小宗 or Jon (This is generally how my family addresses me at home), Jon Jon (I was given this nickname by Miss Mabel Chee, my Nanyang Junior College form teacher, whom I only knew for three months before transferring out to Temasek Polytechnic – she calls me by this nickname when she is pleased with me, and calls me by Jonathan when she is angry with me – needless to say, my NYJC classmates teased me non-stop about this), 搖搖宗 (literally translated as Shaking or Jiggling Zong, which is a play on my Mandarin name), 大白鲨 (this was my nickname during National Service when I was a clerk in Stagmont Camp, because of me being fair skinned and large sized), Killer Rabbit (another nickname I had in National Service, this time when I was a clerk in Pasir Laba Camp, because of my “demure demeanor” and when I got angry, they said I was like an angry rabbit, hardly threatening or scary)

Race: Chinese
(Duh! Surely you can tell by just looking at my photos right?)

Date of Birth: 27 October 1977
(You should be able to calculate how old I am from this on your own, and should also be able to derive from this that I am a Scorpio and born in the Lunar Year of the Snake - very poisonous combination (蛇蠍心腸) right? Ha, ha, ha… No lah, I’m seriously quite docile, unless provoked.)

Height: 1.78m or 5 foot 10 inches
Weight: Approximately 160kgs the last time I checked more than 6 month ago
Waistline: Approximately 62 inches or so
(Yes, I know I am what people would refer to as a “superchub”, i.e. obscenely and grossly overweight. But before you decide to discount me just based on my size and appearance, ponder this – I have known plenty of those so-called gorgeous babes and handsome hunks out there who may be fantastic to look at on the surface, but if you delve further beneath that attractive coating, you might find that there are quite a number of them who have abhor-able character and ugly behavior on the inside! And they think they are entitled to or can get away with being condescending and/or outright cruel and nasty to others just because of their looks! Anyway, it’s not as if I didn’t try to lose weight before, but it’s just not as easy as one may think. But I’d leave that story till another day to post about it.)

Area of Residence: West Coast Drive, Singapore
(I stay with my parents and two younger brothers)

Dialect Group: Mandarin
(Yup, that’s my actual dialect group as printed on my birth certificate! Reason being that my grandparents hail from Beijing, so my Dad’s dialect group is Mandarin and as such, so is mine, and my brothers’. This would also explain why I am not proficient in other dialects, because I was brought up being exposed to English and Mandarin predominantly with only a meager spattering of Cantonese occasionally heard when I visit my maternal grandparents’ home.)

Religion: Free Thinker
(No, I’ve not been baptized. I don’t attend church mass or Sunday school on regular basis, except when I studied in a Methodist primary and secondary school and had to go to Monday chapel just like all the rest of my schoolmates. I don’t go to the temple either on ALL their religious festivals and events. Basically, I am open to all ideology of faith, am respectful of their teachings, and would follow some of their customs and practices such as following my parents in paying respects to our ancestors during Qing Ming, but don’t think I would be adopting any one of them exclusively, at least not for now.)