Sunday, August 10, 2014

Happy 49th National Day, Singapore!!!

As the clock ticks away towards midnight, I heard a slow music coming from the radio inside my room. The song was so soothing and warmth my heart. It's 'Home', a song composed by Dick Lee in 1998 and sung by Kit Chan.

Whenever I am feeling low, 
I look around me and I know
There's a place that will stay within me
Wherever I may choose to go

I will always recall the city
Know every street and shore
Sail down the river which brings us life
Winding through my Singapore

This is home, truly...
where I know I must be
Where my dreams wait for me, 
where the river always flow...

This is home, surely...
as my senses tell me
This is where I won't be alone,
for this is where I know it's home...

Then I realized, how time flies and yesterday Singapore celebrated its 49th National Day.

Singapore has been my home now since almost nine years ago. But not once I ever watch the yearly national day celebration. I have only applied for its ticket in these past few years, but I never get it at all. They use the ballot system to distribute the ticket and as populations grow, the chance has become much more difficult. Even many my true blue Singaporean friends and family members don't get the ticket as well and all that they can do is watching the live show on their TV at home. 

A month before the day, they usually hold the rehearsal once every Saturday evening, inviting every Primary 5 school students all around Singapore to become the viewers and audiences, giving them a chance to see how the national day celebration looks and feels like. They receive goodies bag filled with many things sponsored by many companies. In each celebration, there is firework displayed and it has become the additional entertainment and enjoyment for everyone who are in nearby area.

My bestie watches it every year from afar. She always spends her Saturday evening at nearby area and waits there until the firework is over. And for my 13 years here, never once I purposely go to nearby area to watch the firework despite there is always an intention to go and watch. Why? Because of the crowds.

The celebration usually starts at about 5.30pm but people will reach the nearby area hours before that to 'chop' a good place to sit and view. After that they have to wait until it starts.

This year they held it at the Float @Marina Bay. They have been holding it since 2007 when the usual place, Padang, or National Stadium, underwent the major renovation. Since the Stadium's renovation had finally done this June, they may hold the next year celebration back to where it belongs. Therefore, while it's still held at the Float @Marina Bay, where there were more places to sit through, more accessible and with a beautiful surrounding view, I decided to see the firework once, this year.

I dragged my hubby along there. All through his life, he never had an intention to view, even once as he hated crowd. And as you know, the final celebration day would surely invite a massive crowd. 

Both of us wore red shirts just like the rest of Singaporean and Permanent Residents who attended the NDP or National Day Parade and we reached Marina Bay Sands in the evening time. We browsed around the area before deciding where to sit.

Mixture of people filled up the place - NDP 2014

At 5pm, the place had been so crowded filled with so many people around the world. It was holiday so you could see many Chinese and Indian construction workers, foreign talent workers, tourists from many different countries filled up the place. For once, I was wondering in which country where I was as I felt like a minority in my own country. 

Now I could fully understand what and how Singaporean feels toward the recent development and population growth that packed up their small red dot and the reason why they were unsatisfied with government's move and how it went out of control.

Anyway, hubby and I were taking turn chopping the place. Before it started, we made sure we had emptied out our bladder (as we had to walk very far to reach the full and long queue toilet), and filled our stomach with food and drink purchased nearby the area to make sure we had enough energy to stand up for the rest of the time hahaha.... :D

Luckily the weather was good. The sun came down soon, the wind blew and the cloudy rain just walked past above us, therefore, no rain. We could hear the opposite's excitement from where we sat down.

The view of Singapore NDP 2014 at night

There were more people coming in as the sky turned dark and everyone tried to get the good place to catch a good view. Various lights illuminated the surrounding area beautifying the whole places.

Fireworks - Singapore NDP 2014

There were lots of small fireworks blown up in between of the performance and it was right in front of us. How lucky we were!!!

When the bigger fireworks came reaching the end of the celebration, we all ran to another side to get a better view. Click here to watch the video (pardon me for the poor quality). They were flown in two different areas and we had to simply be aware with both directions. Mixture of sweat smell filled up the air as the crowds getting in, and this, signed the realness of being there, witnessing the celebration for all of us.

Thank you Singapore for everything. For the joy and hardship, happiness and sorrow. It has become part and parcel of our life in this Universe but nevertheless, it's been one of the great places to live on earth. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!! Happy Birthday to you once again!!!


Choki Gyeltshen said...

Beautiful lyrics. Happy 49th National Day!!!

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you Choki! It's indeed the song that melted Singaporean's heart :)

Sangay Phuntsho said...

Enjoyed the lyrics. And Singapore deserves it.

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you Sangay! Have a wonderful evening! :)

Anonymous said...

wow...the photographs are amazing...hope you had a great time Rima :-)
thanks for that awesome comment on my blog....

Rima Reyka said...

I was indeed enjoying the fireworks and really had a great time with my hubby :)

Thank you Athira and welcome back! :)

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