Inspired by that, I have decided to write about the 28 notable things that has happened in the past one year since my last birthday. 28 may not be a huge milestone on the calendar (unlike 18 or 21 or even 30), but I’m at a quite interesting and fledgling stage of my life and finding a direction after the pageant.
First on the list…
1. Started running Greedy Chimp.
My first business venture came about by chance. I was presented with this opportunity to take over the day to day running of business just a couple of months ago and it has been nothing but exciting. I have had limited experience with running my own business so stepping into this role has been challenging and very interesting; the learning curve to running a start-up has been very steep. As I have to do everything myself, it can feel like I’m being buried under with work sometimes…. Literally! Just look at the picture!
But I really enjoy the fact that I learn something new every day. On top of that, I have met so many inspiring people who are great at what they do and they constantly inspire me. It’s still settling in when I tell people I’ve started my own business, but I know this won’t be my last.
2. Coached and shared about grooming and deportment on a LIVE cable show.
Thanks to my experience with pageants, I was invited by StarHub and Ocean Butterflies to help train a group of budding singers in a reality TV show. Academy Fantasia is very much like Big Brother, America’s Next Top Model and American Idol rolled into one. The contestants stay in a house for about a month and train on a daily basis for singing, dancing, personal presentation, styling etc. Every week they perform in a concert in front of an audience and judges who determine if they will stay for another week. Because they are on camera 24/7 and the show is live, the pressure can be quite high.
I came in once a week to help them with their catwalks, stage presentation, makeup and styling. It was also the first time I had to teach all of that in Mandarin.
3. Hosted the SK-II It Guy and It Girl event.
Aside from coaching on LIVE TV, I also got the opportunity to host. This again was a new experience and adventure for me. Not only was it one of my first few times hosting, I had to host and present veterans in the industry like former MTV VJ Utt and lead singer of 53A, Sara Wee. Can you say pressure already?!
The It Guy and It Girl, however, were very nice and encouraging and the event went off without a hitch.
4. Walked with a fashion runway with notable models including Vivian Ong, Sheila Sim, Ivy Chung and Viola Tan.
Working with SK-II has presented loads of opportunities. Thanks to my involvement with SK-II in the Foundation Got or Not Challenge and Clozette x SK-II video tutorials, I was invited back to walk in the fashion runway for the launch of the anti-aging SK-II Stempower Essence.
Love, Bonito was the fashion sponsor and all the models were decked out in their stylish wardrobe. I have had the pleasure of working closely with the Love, Bonito team who kindly sponsor my daily outfits and I have nothing but love for their clothing. <3
5. Attended the first ever Social Star Awards held in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands.
Social Star Awards was a celebration of all social media platforms. Being a social media addict *ahem user of social media – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook – it was quite amazing to see stars of social media fame being celebrated. It was also signaled the fact that social media has now become an integral part of our lives and how we can harness its power to amplify our reach.
It was also mind-blowing to see Jeremy Piven, Jessica Alba, Ryan Higa, Carly Rae Jepsen and LEGENDARY PSYYYYY perform LIVE on stage! /mind-blown
6. Featured in the newspapers with my lovely family for the National Family Council’s Family Day In.
My family has always been very close. Whether it’s family staycations, National Family Celebrations at the Singapore Flyer, or regular dinners, we enjoy doing things together.
7. Appeared in Seventeen Magazine for a beauty tutorial feature.
8. Celebrated our one year anniversary with a very special man. <3
9. Traveled to California and visited the Huntington Library, Laguna beach, Malibu, Pepperdine University and Santa Monica for the first time in my adult life.
I also got the opportunity to spend time with the darling-est little boy who calls me “Ah-yi”.
10. Attended Labour Day in Boracay
Labour Day in Boracay is absolute madness. There are non-stop parties and loads of hotties. But Boracay is also known for their stunning scenery. Their beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters are a must-see!
Biggest public water fight in Thailand. The only opportunity to randomly shoot people with water guns and get away with it. I’m glad I survived it and definitely want to go back for more!
12. Visited Bohol and their signature chocolate hills
13. Re-visited the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.
I can’t even remember the last time I was there at the Grand Palace. This time I got to pay respects to the Jade Buddha.
14. Attended the engagement party of a fellow Miss Universe contestant, Shamcey Supsup, in Manila.
I also got to meet the other Miss Universe Philippines winners from previous years. It was a little fan girly to meet Venus Raj, Janine Tugonon and Ariella Arida.
15. New York with Miss Earth Scotland 2009, Sarah Finlay.
Despite distance and time differences, I met up with one of my fellow contestants from the Miss Earth pageant in 2009. We both traveled halfway across the world to meet in the middle. When I met her and caught up with her, it was as though we had never left each other’s side. Miss Earth friendships last forever.
16. Got swanky in Long Island, New York.
Swan Club on Long Island was soooo pretty! We attended a wedding there in Spring.
17. Fired a live carbine/rifle.
The experience was earth shattering and soul shaking. The recoil and sound from the AR-15 was enough to unnerve me for the first couple of hours. But it also made me realise how fragile life is and how we really have the ability to choose between life and death.
18. And then shot clay pigeons in skeet shooting.
The skills required of skeet shooting is entirely different from firing at a static target. The takeaway lesson from skeet shooting was this: when the trigger is in your control, focus and trust your instinct. When you know it’s time to fire, JUST DO IT. Don’t think. Because when you do, you miss hitting the target.
19. Plunged underwater to the depths… without a PADI license.
I dived with the sharks without a PADI license… at the Underwater World Singapore. It was a daunting experience and I must admit I was freaked out by how slowly I moved underwater. Because all the other sea creatures around me moved effortlessly, it left me feeling vulnerable knowing I was at a disadvantage. I am now determined to learn how to dive properly and eventually conquer the seas.
21. Opened the Celebrity Fitness Downtown East with CEO Martin
22. Ran my very first 10km in 71 minutes.
For a person who’s never run in a race like that before, I would say it’s a pretty awesome timing. I certainly had to push my physical boundaries and dig deep to finish the race in good timing but am looking to do another 10k, hopefully the one in Ang Kor Wat at the end of the year.
23. Embarked on my fashion journey and got my very first luxury bag from Ritzbo – the Saint Lauren Cabas Chyc
24. Also, fell in love with this baby.
26. Learned how to be more stylish from fashion icon, Ines Ligron.
27. Gambled in a casino.
I have never actually played in a casino before. Mainly because I hate losing. But we played a version of Blackjack, Pontoon, to be precise… and won!
28. Be blessed to be surrounded by so many inspiring and caring people and sponsors.
I have been very lucky this year to be blessed with kind sponsors who see me through and support me when I have events and numerous social engagements. Without them, I would not be able to look perfectly made up and well-dressed all the time.
In particular, Love, Bonito and Klarra for their stylish outfits, Ritzo for their luxury bags and shoes, Jipaban for their accessories, Salon Vim for always styling my hair right, my fitness sponsors who keep me in the best shape, Celebrity Fitness, Nuffnang Singapore for always taking care of me and hooking me up with good gigs and brand new nail sponsor The Nail Artelier for their beautiful work with my nails.
Aside from that, thank you to all my loyal readers, friends and family who always show so much love and concern.
Thank you all for a wonderful year and cheers to another wiser and more beautiful one ahead.
Happy 28th birthday to me!