Thursday, April 20, 2017

Backdated post of 3 days....

On 17 April I finally took my last University paper.

Goodbye to Murdoch University, thank you for the 1.5 years learning about PR and familiarising myself with the Marketing electives. Although it has been a tedious period, I have grown and learnt, while seeking new perspectives, understanding more about myself, making new friends and learning fresh knowledge.

The academic element of PR gives me hope of the industry. That PR is not an arm of Marketing or Business or Communications. But it stands as an individual component that is a rising star. The only obstacle now is that in the corporate world, it is seen as less important than profit-earning units, like Marketing and Advertising. See how Digital Marketing is shooting high up and you would know.

Coming to the topic of Digital Marketing, I used to have strong faith in Bloggers and Social Influencers, but now I begin to have doubts of the strategic use of these channels. Sure they have their following (popularity) and buzz, but how effective is it? Almost everyone is jumping on the bandwagon of new media, but is it suitable for everyone?

The same goes for television advertising. It is very strange to see some brands coming on board to take up commercial for visibility or whatsoever. Of course your brand becomes more noticeable and perhaps give you some kind of revenue, but the popularity of television itself has gone down. Therefore it feels like people are more desperate in filling their pockets. So what is the value then?

Going back to the importance of PR... with the accessibility of technology and rise in citizen journalism, people hold freedom and rights to publish anything over the Internet. There is a lack of control in the cyberspace, which can be detrimental to the corporate fellas and mankind in general. Because people are so quick to judge, so quick to take a picture/video and put a negative caption over it. And PR comes into play as a mediator and relationship intermediary that helps to bridge gaps across people of the world, people of a country, people of a community. It is a long-standing effort that should never cease and continue to engage people in order to build a better organisation, society and world.
That is the power of Public Relations. And it cannot be replaced by any other Marketing channels.

//midnight rant, do pardon my thoughts if it differs from yours//

Now as I revise my LinkedIn profile and start my job search, I pray that a future of colours and light awaits me.

Monday, January 2, 2017

1 January 2017, Sunday.

2016 has gone past in a flash, every year seem to be passing even faster than before. When I was younger, all I wanted was to grow up but now growing up encompasses more than just ageing in years.

2016 was a year filled with a handful of happy moments, some surprises, some sad, some frustration/resentment but mostly thankful for everything that God has provided me with.

It was a year where i moved on from corporate work after two years, and got back into the world of books. Being a university student has been a wonderful time of new knowledge, experience and friends. I have enjoyed every bit of studying, despite its challenges, because it is going to be awhile or perhaps the last phase of my life studying on full-mode.

This year i caught up with old friends whom I have missed out for yearsss; renewing memories and creating new ones. Thankful for them who are there and take the initiative to meet up despite busy schedules.
This year was also about taking chances, there may not always be a second chance in life, so always reach out to whatever that makes you happy. At least you won't regret for not taking the opportunity, and for all you know it may turn out great.
In June, I also lost my paternal grandfather (previous post) who returned to Heaven to be with God. It made me treasure my family even more, because age is catching up and life is fragile.

I concluded the year, by myself with music drowning my soul.

2017, please be awesome to me.
Since it is my year (rooster), I wish for true happiness in whatever that comes my way, good health for everyone, finding an ideal job with good prospects, prosperity and peace.

God Bless.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

For he whom is asleep, on a journey, home with the Lord

Part One
In remembrance of my beloved greatfather, Mr Wong Seik Kum, aged 82,  born on 04-04-1934. Called home to be with the Lord on 04-06-2016, 5.12am.

He was so very much lively just a few weeks ago. Despite with difficulty breathing and irregular condition, he hung on till the very last. Whenever I visited him at the hospital, I would massage his hands and legs, urging him do some light exercises while on bed. His hands were soft to the touch, his smile as gentle and sweet. He was happy every time we visited him.
Growing up, I remember grandpa as a caring figure yet a strong-willed father to my dad, uncles and aunts..
He would often remind us to work hard in our studies or work, not to stay out late, to listen to our parents, be good kids, and not to drink and smoke. His teachings played a part in shaping who I am today.
Grandpa was a fabulous chef, specialising in Cantonese cuisine. On festive occasion like Chinese New Year and Dragonboat Festival, he would prepare guo jing zong, (dumplings), fattchoy donggu, lotus leaf rice, lotus root soup and more. I was told that his dimsum (siew mai) was excellent too, but I was probably too young to remember.
We will miss you very dearly Grandpa. Thank you for loving us to your best and always been so doting.

"13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep."
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Part Two
An overcast sky and heavy heart filled this morning.  It was raining as we sent yeye off his last journey from earth. Tears of sadness poured down from our eyes. He had a lifetime of 82 years, of which 23 years he was in mine.

I will always remember the feeling we all had. Those swollen eyes, uncontrollable tears,screams of farewell at Hall 3. That moment when his body was wheeled in and out. And that feeling of not being able to touch and feel him anymore. I will miss the feeling of his warm soft hands, albeit being swollen.

As we leave mandai, the clear blue sky greets us. I think of it as a sign that God has all things planned.

The Bible shares three metaphor of death. As fallen asleep, a journey and going back home with the Lord.
Now that he has gone to a better place. I pray that he is now with the Lord and has found peace, happiness and comfort in the land above. No sickness or pain again.
I believe he is smiling down at us, that he shall watch over his children and grandchildren.

I will always miss you yeye... 08-06-2016, 2.29pm.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Living in a HDB in Singapore means that you're closer to your community, you are exposed to what people are doing daily and often you see/hear things that attracts your attention. This afternoon I was distracted by a loud commotion coming from the void deck.

It sounded like there was a fight going on between a male and female. The female was screaming madly as though she was badly injured with each blow. I assumed this as I didn't see it first hand.

Coming to my point, how many of you have witnessed/heard a fight going on and actually stepped in to help? I am glad my neighbourhood has people who are helpful. Many men came down to help/call the police. The screamings stopped after people stepped in. Shortly after the police came. 

Often enough in today's society, we see that people are beginning to lose a sense of humanity in them. Such as photographing an accident/fight instead of helping the victims first. What is the priority? Getting online virality isn't the focus. As a human, we should be conscious of what's happening around us and seek help for others if need to or simply lend a helping hand.

That said, if the situation is dangerous, you would definitely need to wait for help to arrive or distract attackers. In the meantime, try to recognise the attackers so that you can be a witness to the crime. 

Regardless the root of the problem, we should all help each other. We should not be quick to judge, for example: the victim may have done something wrong to anger the attacker, or simply ignore the situation. For instance, you don't know them so you don't have to help / someone else will help...
This my friend, is the incorrect attitude that we should not be nurturing. It is the role of the police who investigates and the judge to sentence. 

Someone who has lived 37 years more than me could actually tell me not to bother because I don't know the full story and the parties involved is not my neighbor (in her exact term). 

Let me share with you other real life situations that has happened around Singapore: 
1) Boy A does not like Boy B. Boy A and his gang of friends beat up Boy B. 
Anyone who witness the situation should call the police first.

2) Fire breaks out at an opposite block. 
Anyone who sees a fire/thick smoke, should call the police first. 

Always put yourself in others' shoe. If (1) or (2) happened to you or people you know, what would you do? As a victim what would you want others to do if they see such things happening? I end with a quote, Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. (Luke 6:31)  and I hope that you, who have read this, will always extend a hand to anyone in need. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Open Water Dive Course

At some point of growing up, you'd probably had to go through swimming lessons. Be it primary or secondary enrichment class or that your parents wanted you to take up the skill as a sport. I recall rushing to swimming lessons held at Bedok Swimming Complex when I was just 7 years old (primary one), right after my afternoon classes.

So fast-forward the years, I was awarded with basic swimming cert after all those lessons. You know swimming is a just word until you put physical action to give it a meaning. I still fear about not being able to reach the bottom of the pool but I am not alone.

Despite that, I signed up for Open Water Dive course at ADEX 2015 earlier this year, after persuasion from B. To be honest I wasn't keen about diving except to visit those beautiful waters. My first scuba diving experience was in Boracay in mid-2014. It was amazing and the waters were so clear and pretty.

Back to Open Water Dive course. There's 3 parts to it - Theory, Practical (Pool session), Practial (Sea).

For Theory, there'd be 2 weeknight lessons at your chosen dive company. Mine was at Eko Divers. I managed the theory fairly ok because I spent months going through the contents/questions inside the book, before attending the classes. During the classes (3.5hrs), you'd have to sit through videos and revising questions. On the 2nd session, the dive instructor would teach you how to read the Dive Table. Afterwhich, you'll be tested with a series of questions. The papers will be marked and you will know whether you pass or fail.

For Practical, you'll have to attend a dive practice at a swimming pool, which should be at Outram Secondary School. During the practices you'd have to swim 200m (no time limit) and tread water for 10 mins. Both I did horribly. I think if you don't do too well, you'd have to do it once more, either at the end of the practice or the next day/weekend.
The pool session (est 6 hrs) at 2m depth, will equip you with the skills that will be tested in the sea. There will be a dive instructor assigned to a group. Depending on the number of sign-ups, but I had 6 in my group including myself. My French dive instructor was heavily accented so we had to be extra attentive.

Here's a list of skills that you will learn (in no particular order):
1. Mask clearance - partial and full
2. Mask removal and clearance. Tip: if water enter your nose. Press it and blow. It should clear!!
3. Recover regulator + Clear regulator
4. Alternate Air Source (means for you and your buddy to share air as one of you have ran out of air)
5. CESA - Controlled Emergency Safety Ascend (You'd also require to inflate your BCD orally)
6. Pre-dive safety check - BWARF. Stands for BCD, Weights, Air, Releases, Final ok
7. 5 point descend - SORTED. Stands for Signal, Orientate, Regulator, Time, Equalise, Descend
8. Assemble, put on, adjust and dissemble scuba gear
9. Clear water from your regulator
10. Use your SPG (Submersible Pressure Gauge) and signal your remaining air
11. Recognise and respond to hand signals underwater
12. Demonstrate neutral buoyancy / hovering
13. Take off scuba gear and wear back on at surface.
14. Swim and navigate with a compass at surface and at depth (tried this during the sea session. I think it varies from instructors & whether your group have more than enough time)
15. Remove and replace weights at surface
16. Cramp release on buddy and on yourself at surface.
17. BCD oral inflation at surface and at depth
18. Tired diver tow for 25 metres
19.Remove weights, scuba unit and fins in water too deep in which to stand and exit
20. Post-dive care of scuba gear

That sounds like a whole lot of skills didn't it? Fret not and keep a happy positive learning attitude. This session is really essential for you to learn. However you may tend to forget if you dont practice the skills, plus there'll be a gap period (weeks or month) from your pool and sea session. So do watch videos as well to help you understand and recall the skills. There are plenty available on YouTube.

Find out how to execute certain skills here.

I chose Bintan for my Practical (Sea session) because it is 1 hour ferry ride away. Compared to Tioman which one have to take a ultra long bus ride and then a boat ride to reach. Anyone with motion sickness should also bring along your pills.

We were tested with the above skills in under seawater. The visibility wasn't fantastic, about 2-3m, and not that clear. But it was a pleasant experience. I am contented that I am completed this course. Achievement Unlocked! :)