Saturday, August 30, 2008

Event of the year

Last post, I've mentioned that it was coincidentally Chee Foo's birthday, but there wasn't any cake or present for him because we have bigger plans for him...

We have been secretly planning this day for months, emails was flying all over the cyber-world 24-7. Ideas contributed, discussed and modified.

On this faithful day, everyone came earlier to prepare and wait for our VIP, Chee Foo's arrival

After Jennifer's opening speech, Angeline took over and started with the first game... The Dress-up Game.

It starts by passing the bag from hand to hand in a circle as long as the music keeps playing, but when it stops, the person holding the bag will have to pull out an item from it and put it on.

The first "victim" was Sienny, who pulled out a skirt and decided to spot it on her head.

Our friend Joseph somehow managed to pull out a dress, and Angeline shouted from across the room saying "Its mine, it's stretchable... PUT IT ON!" Took him a while to decide if it should go thru from the head or from the feet. Obviously he hasn't got much experience with it. But I think he don't look bad in it at all. ha ha...

The rest of the game, more people got different items to wear while the rest had a good laugh at them.

"We are the Super Cool"


Angeline introduced a new game... it requires unity, agility, cooperation, strategy and a lot of screaming.

It requires us to tear up a whole lot of newspaper, using them as ammunition to throw at the other team. But the objective is not to hit someone with it or put out his eye... but rather by the end of stipulated time, winner is the side with the least newspaper on the floor.

Adult and children alike, each gave all out to keep their side clear of newspaper. The scene was absolutely hilarious.

This is Newspaper War!

The highlight of the games is this Animal Game whereby everyone is blindfolded and they have to find their partner by making the sound. Or rather pretend to find...

The real intention was to get Chee Foo blindfolded while we prepare the cake and hand out the poppers.

And when he took the blind fold off...


I wish...

Next is Chow Time!!!

Of course, it isn't the end of the celebration...

As the night falls and the lights in the pool lighted up, Jennifer cheerfully gathered everyone for the Grand-Finale. Not splashes of fire-works across the sky but rather splashes of water in the pool.

Chee Foo's jaw was reaching his feet when we showed him his real present... which was floating in the middle of the pool tied to a dumbbell at the bottom.

We helped empty his pockets and nudged him go. He was reluctant to remove his top when A GREAT AND MIGHTY FORCE CAME AND...

(Video will be uploaded soon)

I was in the pool filming the process.

"(pant...pant...) This... is the most Shiong present I've ever received"

Neatly wrapped in the layers of plastic are 2 garments... first is a black jacket from"Skin"

2nd is a T-shirt from Ed Hardy.

"Its about my size... ha ha ha ha"

We also gave a small token to show our appreciation

Chee Foo: "Aiya... shouldn't have la... people come good enough la..."

Very nice T-shirt

"Come eat drink and be merry."

Everyone chipped in to make this day a successful celebration.


By the way... There are already talks on his next birthday, committees has been formed to look into it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Can you smell what the cook is cooking??

If you have attended cg on 28 Aug 08, you'll not miss Dorin's special pasta refreshment!

(Our refreshment ICs said - "If you want to get the full recipe, you'll have to join the refreshment team." - of course in a jokingly manner.)

After all the praises for the pasta, and much pestering by our members, Dorin has kindly emailed us the recipe - the very same night!

here goes:-

(According to Dorin, she calls it the Oriental Seafood Pasta)

By the way, if you are unsure of what's the ginger flower, here's a pic:

Cold Seafood Pasta

  1. Spaghetti - 500g pack
  2. Squid - 1kg
  3. Prawn (remove shell) - 1kg
  4. Romaine lettuce - 1pk cut strips
  5. Tomatoes - 2-3 big ones, remove seed, cut into cubes
  6. Onion - ½ cut into strips
  7. Rojak flower (*also known as ginger flower) - 2 stalks, diced thinly
  8. Capsicum (3 assorted color) - remove seed and diced
  1. Fish sauce (golden boy brand) - 4 tbsp
  2. Plum sauce - 4 tbsp
  3. Sugar - 3 tbsp
  4. Lemon - 2
  5. Lime - 6-7

Preparation of squid Preparation of prawn
boiling water boiling water
lower fire then pour in squid pour in prawan
cook for 1 min cook for 1-2 min (depend on size)
turn off fire turn off fire
leave to cook for another 2min leave to cook for another 1 min
remove & soak into ice cold water remove & soak into ice cold wate

1. Spaghetti - boil with some salt until cooked, run under tap water, drain dry and mix with olive oil immediately

2. All ingredients must be drained dry before mixing together, before mixing together. Then pour in the sauce.

3. Mix well and refrigerate.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Its Yenny's Birthday coming up next, and we are so happy to celebrate for her.
We know she likes those cakes that Daniel has been making for the members, so our dear chief, despite his late night work and tight schedule for wedding preparation, made a very nice birthday cake specially for her.
(Sorry Daniel, I forgot to take a photo of the cake before they cut it, but I really love the rich flavor of it)

Everyone listened attentively as Yubing went on to speak of good words about Yenny, how she has grown in the Spirit for the past few months

When its Dorin's turn to speak...

Dorin: "Yubing! Why you said everything that I want to say? Now what am I going to say?"

Yubing: "Yes Ma'am... Sorry Ma'am..."

But nonetheless, she still have much things to mention as Yenny is a very nice and pleasant girl who has brought us lots of contagious laughter and brighten our Cell Group atmosphere with her beautiful smile and cheerful personnality.

Coincedentally... It Chee Foo's birthday too.

Our "Shopping Ministry" has bought a blouse which she can wear for her job interviews.

We are all happy that she is part of our Cell Group.


Forfeit of the week:-

Friday, August 15, 2008

Book Review: "I Dare You" by Joyce Meyer

Price: S26.00

Do you feel lethargic? Do you sense yourself dragging your feet to your work everyday? Do you feel that you are not doing what you are supposed to do and not where you are supposed to be?

"I Dare You" to change all that!

Joyce Meyer teaches a variety of subjects and she is very prolific in publishing books to teach Christians about the Word of God and most importantly, how to apply the principles of God practically in your everyday life.

One of Joyce Meyer's strongest convictions is to challenge Christians to rise up and to live a not just a purposeful but bold and passionate life for Jesus.

Just as the title spells out so starkly, she explained what passion is, the foremost ingredient which really gets us motivated to live everyday life full of enthusiasm and zeal for God.

Her clear message in this book charged readers that we have the responsibility to make this life count as God did not place us here for no purpose; everyone has one but we each has to take the baton of our own life to boldly step out and embrace our God-given, God-inspired dreams and visions.

Indeed, we have the ability and grace of God to change. In this book, you will understand the areas that we should be stirred up and engage our whole hearts to be passionate with, challenged to let your dreams and desires that were placed in your hearts to go forth and try out and also, there is a chapter informing you the eight ways to waste your time, so that we are aware and be a good steward of managing our time.

Let God speak to you through Joyce Meyer's frank and straightforward messages that will inspire us not just live mediocre lives but fervent ones.

I dare you!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Special Feature - Johnny

Although Maxwell Market doesn't seem to be the most ideal place for an interview comparing to hotel lobbies, but the place has it appeal of the finest local delicacies it has to offer.

Johnny Villaverde Ibarrola, my interviewee, bounced down the ally of green tables smiling from ear to ear, offered a short apology although he was hardly considered as late. He sat at the table catching his breath, offered to save the seat while I went to get my favourite food which usually my wife would not have approved of me eating, but the appeal is too strong to resist...

Dressed in his trademark long-sleeves blue shirt, our good friend Johnny ate his Chicken rice with much care... taking his time to chew and savouring the taste of the famous authentic Hainanesse delicacy. He told me that this is his son Isaac's favourite food. The boy will choose chicken rice over MacDonald any time. Which I believe, cos its my children's favourite food too.

In between sips of Soya bean milk with grass-jelly, I started the interview...

Johnny and his youngest son Stephen

Johnny was born into a big family in Quezon province, Philippine, with 5 older brothers and 2 elder sisters.

Teen Years
During his teenage years, like any other teens who has not realized his destiny, he had a hard time realizing his dreams, he wanted to be a priest, but he loved tourism, yet he also had the passion for designing buildings.

Although his passion overwhelmed and he took Architecture as a major during his college years, but the same passion did not carry him all the way to Board Exam for a license to practise architecture after he has completed the course.


Instead, he got a job as a Draftsman which he worked for 6 months, after which he worked in a purchasing firm for 5 years.

During these years he also pursued another dream... his dream girl Marichu.

They lived in the same town, met in the same Church. But it wasn't that easy as there were other suitors too... Obviously, our handsome Johnny touched the heart of beautiful Marichu with his sincerity and love. And after nearly 3 years, they were married.

During the year 95', Johnny was offered to be a paint salesman, which he stayed in the company for 2 years. But the 97' recession came and he was badly affected. This got him to reconsider his options of his career path, which the obvious choice was to be professionally inclined in order to have a market value.

He started to hit the books and went for refresher courses before taking the board exam for the license to practise architecture as a professional. Although it has been 9 years since he left school, he took the exam only once and passed! Praise the Lord!

For the next 4 years he work freelanced.

Working Oversea

But the live changing point came in 2001 when he was offered to work in Singapore... At that time, his daughters were only 6 and 3 years old, wife was pregnant with Isaac... As a father, I can imagine his pain of leaving the family to work in other countries. But his decision was for the better of his family. Most important is, he trusted God with his family.

When he first arrived in Singapore, he was financially very stretched... but no matter how difficult it may seemed, he would send home more than enough, trusting God with what he has.

I love what he said. He told me: "But I am very faithful with my tithing." He has never short-changed God in this aspect.

And in 6 years, he was offered jobs after jobs... sorted after, head-hunted... he changed 6 jobs, and every job offered was a greater blessing for him and his family. Now he no longer stay in the rented flat but bought over the entire house.

In 2006, his family moved over to reunite with him in Singapore . I remember when he first told me about the success of his application for his family to come over, I was so happy for him, I was near tears.


When we talked about his family, his face will beam.

Children has always been challenging but yet fulfilling to him. All these years of marriage, and being a parent, he has not depended on his own parents for help. They want to be a responsible and mature parents bringing them up, taking care of them by themselves.

Dreams and Vision

In terms of the family, he would like to see his children be successful and healthy in the aspects of financial, spiritual, emotional and physical.

As for his career, he plan to stop working as an employee by 55 years old and start his own architecture firm back in Manila, Philippine by then.

Part of his plan to be back in Philippine is also because he knows he has a calling that God wants him to minister to the people there. He has passion and love for the people of his hometown and want to reach out to those who are in poverty and help them.

He may be quiet, meek and mild, but he has a very big heart. He is an amazing person, who truly loving God whole heartedly, loving people fervently.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Forest Adventure

On 26 July, we had the ET adult zone outing at the Forest Adventure.

The group of 15 of us, with 6 supporters represented n116 and we there at Bedok Reservoir at 2pm in the afternoon.


The hot, sunny, humid weather of Singapore, nor the risk of getting sun-burnt did not deter us from having fun at this place, made up of 4 sites and 32 obstacles, and 4 zip-lines ("Flying Fox").

We had a time of praise and worship, and a short sharing of testimony.

As our team would be the 2nd wave, we had a short game of n116's favourite "Captain's Ball" while waiting for our turn to sign the indemnity forms and get the safety briefing.

For safety, each participant is issued a harness (the belt-thingy you would see in the photos that goes round our waist and thighs) and helmet, participants are to wear them at all times.

As modeled by Zhifu

There are karabiners which we will have to hook to the safety line at all times, and one track pulley that will roll along the safety line while going through the course.

The instructor next explains and demonstrates the steps.



When we are up on the obstacle course, we are individually responsible for hooking up the safety lines.

The instructor ensures that each participant is familiar with the process of hooking up and un-hooking ourselves, before allowing anyone to start on the obstacle course. (As demonstrated below..)

Step 1: Hook the karabiner to the red line..



Step 2: Hook the pulley to safety line..


Step 3: Release the karabiner off the red line and hook it to the pulley...




Step 4: Free to go

We were still stuck on ground while waiting for the previous group to clear the Base, so we had plenty of opportunity to take photos.

(We have completed the briefing....Those at the background haven't..)



The beginning for some..






(The "Last Men")


As a outdoor-ish person (I would declare), and been through the Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) Course, this obstacle course which stands at 5 metres, would be chicken-feet, I thought - until reality proved me otherwise.

The beginning was easy, and was the trial run and warming-up for all the participants to get started with the course.

However, the initial jump off from the platform to zip to the 2nd site wasn't that easy. It took some faith and courage.


photo from Forest Adventure Website

And as we zipped to the next site, challenges waits ahead of us, while we wait for the previous wave of people.

Soon, was the first challenge to me, the "Trapeze" dangle in front of me, held by 2 ropes, and swinging in the air. It is steps in the air that keeps swinging and requires balancing to take each step.

Wida takes it in her stride tho..


Some of the sites will provide 2 routes, the easy and more difficult obstacles (as indicated by color codes at the information plates of the obstacle). Of course we are free to decide which route to take.

(There is a green signage, and on the bottom-right-hand corner has this black round sticker. It indicates Difficult)

The easy route may not be the shorter route, and the harder route may not be that hard afterall.

I was really encouraged to see most of the people in our group challenging the more difficult route. Indeed, the adults will not necessary lose out to the younger ones.

After clearing the 2nd site, we zipped onto the the 3rd site. But even before we got started, we realise that most of us lands on the sand pit butt first and soon we were discussing how better we can make the landing, without getting so much sand on our butt and backs.

The Forest Adventure is situated along the bank of Bedok Reservoir and at the tree-tops, we can enjoy the breeze and the view of Bedok Reservoir Park.

So while waiting, we find our own entertainment.


Joyce and her friend.


"Whose HEAD is it anyway"

(Gab says there's tadpoles in this drain)


By the time we were at the 3rd site, we would have gotten the hang of transversing through the obstacles, hooking and un-hooking from the safety line.

Mine and Wida's conclusion was - the most tiring and tedious process is actually climbing up the rope ladder at the beginning of each site.


After 1.5hr to 2hr of swinging in the trees, we finally come to the end of the obstacle course. I find myself having difficulty crawling through a barrel that was hanged. I even wonder if I would get stuck and can't get my legs out. (which is why you won't see that photo of me struggling to get out of that barrel.)

Photo taken from Forest Adventure
(Of course it's not me..)

The last challenge of the day was to jump off the Tarzan Swing. The safety rope which we had to hook on is suspended mid-way between us and the safety net. (pardon my lousy sketch.)

I was wondering why there were screams from the group before ours. And I realised that the reason is for you (who had not tried it) to experience it. My heart skipped a beat, there was an adrenaline rush, when I took that leap and experience free-fall, before I caught the net.








The ending was much easier..







And with this, we completed the 4 sites and zipped back to the "Base camp".


Before we close the day, we voted and gave out the "Tarzan Award". The one participant among us that had been the most encouraging of all.

And the award belongs to...


none other than Yubing of N116!!!

We were so proud of her, and that N116 has once again, bagged home an award for our ET zone outing.

Congratulations Yubing!


Wondering what the supporters did while we were swinging from place to place?

(The photographer)



They too had a good time fellowshipping and catching up with each other.


More about Forest Adventure.


There is 2 courses available: The Grand Course and Kids Course.

Grand Course - For adults and Juniors, minimum height 1.4m. Under 18's must be accompanied by an participating adult.

Young adults aged between 18 - 21 need not be accompanied by a parent but must bring the disclaimer form signed by a parent to participate in Forest Adventure.

Kids Course - minimum height is 1.1m – maximum 1.45 m

Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 6pm, with the last departure at 4:30 pm

The Kids Course is open on weekends, school and public holidays only.

(Closed on Mondays)