Sayonara shinnyu

Dedicated to a friend of mine, Takuya Michimoto.

I think it is unfair for someone who is bred here to serve 2 years of National Service. but nonetheless kudos for sacrificing your time and energy! Your contribution is key to why and how most Singaporeans can sleep peacefully at night.

Takuya, 3rd from right

Takuya, born and bred in Japan, moved over to Singapore when he was young but remain in an all Japanese environment here. Studied in a Jap high school, had friends who speak the same language, ate Japanese food, speak Japanese at home (though his mum is a Singaporean Chinese), listen to Jap music.

Taku’s Birthday at Himawari Japanese restaurant

We had a fantastic time together for the past 1 year in section 2, platoon 1, archer company, 11th mono, 40th SAR. We were posted to the victory battalion, strong culture of being victory warriors; best armour battalion, good results for atec.etc But that also meant we went thru alot of hell and tough training together.

Ex Wallaby, 2015

Being a Armour infantry trooper, a huge amount of our time was spend in the bx vehicle during outfield training. Troopers waiting to dismount and thrash the enemies? nahh huge amount of our time was spend in the bx sleeping and eating and waiting to get out for a grasp of fresh air.

I will always remember him siting in the bx like a boss, enjoying his first class seat when the rest of us suffer in the crappy bx. Also remembering him stoning and shag out, always expecting his outfield mode when we move out for training.

But Taku was probably the fittest guy in our section in terms of physical. Gold IPPT doesn’t seem to be a difficult task for him. Thanks for running together with me during the 8km out of camp run, my one and only ooc run and i had to start at a 8km range! This is when i get to know the difference of combat fitness and physical fitness. I clearly suck at the latter.

We also had lots of fun together, the countless nights out, maggi nights, pizza nights, duty in camp, birthday celebrations, overseas exercise. And of course not forgetting how annoying he can be. When the entire platoon is dreading to do pt, he will be the only one shouting counts loudly like a crazyman. Worst still, we had to bear with him playing his guitar and singing the same old song in our bunk for the entire year.

But we dont hate him, and we still love him very much for being part of the section. I will miss all the memories made together in our section. Thank you for everything and all the best for your future endeavors. Sayonora!

*Taku returned to Japan for his uni studies and to reside there permanently.

Weekend ramblings

Was it a tough week? YES… i was expecting more admin time after a week of preparing and turn out for ops duty. But they had to organise ICCT( individual close combat training) in the morning and afternoon pt almost every day. We did a killer 5 km run in one of the afternoon training… manage to finish it in 24 minutes with my kangkong legs.kang-kong.

I am not involve in the guard duty for ops, but i still want my afternoon naps. Speaking of the 4NTM duty, we are the only Armour unit on ops duty. That makes us one of the most current operational active unit in the Armour formation. Sounds way cooler than doing it…lol

There is Kinokuniya at JEM! Now i’m finally looking forward to the monthly nights out..  i started reading a Chinese novel bought from Kino the previous nights out.

Quoted from the book…

每個人有自己的表达方式, 如果你不喜歡只能說明不是為你準備的。
你可以不接受, 這是一种自由。但不屑和抨擊翻到另外個世界觀, 只能說明你的無知和武断。
大家都要遵重別人對各自 [精采生命] 的表达  : 张嘉佳

a cup of joy!

Having llaollao on the steps of Wisma Atria and joining the filipinas in their bitching session.


This is the typical look nice but taste bad picture… i swear Ninefresh is way better, affordable and serve more varieties than it’s rival. Ninefresh deserve to have more outlets in Singapore, at least open one in the east lah.

IMG_20150610_231250As of today, i’m left with 363 days to the end of ” Uncle, Keat Hong Camp, na ger ulu ulu beside ntu de camp”. Hurray!

Cohesion = Stronger unity?

Cohesion, a new word i learnt after entering the army. I didn’t know there will still be bonding sessions with our coy mates even though we see each other 24/7, 5 days a week. These chill out sessions can be fun sometimes and it helps to understand your mates better outside of military environment.

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my 1st group shot with plt 1
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Sometimes i prefer to chill aside while the rest drink and merry
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Had dinner with the plt after rotation 2 training.

Army – training ground for the mind and body. It is important to know the survival skills in order to survive living in a community. Despite the differences we have, everyone attempts to be at peace with one another and avoid escalating any conflicts known/unknown. But unfortunately lots of conflict remain unresolved. definitely not the female hormones that is causing all this.. you know how girls can make a big fuss out of a small issue.

Accepting one another flaws is one difficult thing to do, but it is part of survival skill. You will really meet all kinds of people whose lifestyle, character, actions, goes against your own beliefs and ethics. It need lots of practice of understanding and tolerance. “Keep a safe distance, does not only applies to mechanical work and train stations.” But lastly, putting aside differences for a larger good is more important than anything else.

Good friends are hard to come by, but there are nice people around. I’m thankful to meet really good commanders.. and especially my plt sergeant whom is always supportive of what i do. They are probably the only motivation to continue when difficult times comes by.

to be con’td…


One day it’s here and then it’s gone
How are you still holding on?
How are you still holding on?

You’ve felt this way for far too long
Waiting for a change to come
You know you’re not the only one

And life passes you by
Don’t be wasting your time
On your own

You always try to see yourself
Through the eyes of someone else
Through the eyes of someone else

Too shy to say that you need help
You and everybody else
You and everybody else

Oh, life passes you by
Don’t waste your time
On your own

Yeah life passes you by
Don’t be wasting your time
All alone

As your heart gets bigger
And you try to figure out
What’s it all about

And your skin gets thicker
As you try to figure out
What’s it all about

Yeah life passes you by
Don’t waste your time
On your own

One day it’s here and then it’s gone
How are you still holding on?
How are you still holding on?

Was it only a matter of time

Touchdown to reality
It’s not exactly what you had in mind, oh
Brother, brother
Was it only a matter of time

Yeah, oh

Maybe you’ve gotta let it be
Maybe time will tell, maybe you will see, oh
Brother, brother
You really shouldn’t take it too hard


In a perfect world
In a perfect world
In a perfect world, singing

Things itself speaks

I feel Life and decision making is like driving on the road and crossing the crossroad junction. The car cannot afford to move like tortoise neither can it speed through the junction. One has to look for the right time to go forward. It requires the practice of mindfulness

Every decision made leads you to the desired destination, but whether if its worth the journey.. Who knows? Only time will prevail…

Each journey involves immeasurable amount of risk and bumps, though some of them can’t be avoided.

Sometimes you meet strangers who need a ride but once in a while you’ll meet someone who pretends to be hitching a ride but intend to rob you off. Depending on your own judgement and wisdom, you stop for that person. Sometimes the stranger become good friends but most of the time they’re just passerby. Some of them are lost on the road and you guide them. The generous guy will reward you for your help. But you may also stop down and ask for directions too.

to be cont’d…

The Distance

The answers are not far from you because its found within.

Some people go on trips to find themselves. Only to find themselves being busy and hectic in order to finish their shopping and sight seeings. We don’t have to travel the distance to look for yourself.

Keep quiet and let your mind settle down.

Listen to the answers within and you’ll find peace and openness.

Open the doors of your heart and embrace all without any exception.

May you be well and happy and be free from all sufferings. Metta!

Who suffers who knows

From Piya Tan

Who suffers who knows

Remember that time when we try to tell someone how painful things are for us? But we are dismissively told, “It’s all right!…” Clearly the other person does not hear our cries, nor feel our pain. Try telling someone who is drowning: “It’s all right, don’t drown…”

All right, so we are not really drowning. A problem is somehow solved in the past tense. When we look back, such pains are just a memory, and then we can tell ourselves, “It’s really all right,” because it has passed, and we have learned something from it.

Or, when we tell another person about our problem, this person says, “Oh, I had a bigger problem than yours…” and so we become the captive audience, unheard, but having to hear another round of painful episode pasted over our own pains like some cold “koyok” (medicated plaster) that smarts and reddens our tender skin.

A true friend, a spiritual friend, is one who carefully tries to listen to us. Such a person may be one in a hundred or maybe even rarer. Once, when our family was really in bad financial difficulty that drove me to voice our need at the end of a public Dharma talk attended by about a hundred people.

“Our family really needs help this month: we are unable to pay our rent!” At the end of the talk, no one came forward to even console us. Except for one kind woman: she gently handed me a small donation, with a soft smile. Later I heard, she became a nun.

It is more painful to be told “It’s all right” when it is not; or to hear another’s problem when ours is hanging over our head; or to be unheeded even when we cry out for help. People only seem to be kind and helpful when they hear that we are struck down with a deadly disease or, better, dying, or best, dead.

The good things we say of the dead at their funerals are better practised when they were undead. Funerals and deaths often make hypocrites of the best of us. Oh, it’s all right, our turn will come. Some of those people who have hated us when we lived would say the kindest things as our mortal remains, returning to the elements.

The lesson is clear surely. Our problems are never really as bad as those of others, espe­cially when we know the Dharma. The Buddha does not turn away anyone who comes to him for help. He heals the sick, uplifts the poor, ennobles the foolish, sets right the un­hing­ed, and awakens even drunks and serial killers. We might not have the Buddha’s powers, but we know him by his example, wisdom and compassion.

Our spiritual strength lies in seeing, that is, understanding what we should not do, what we should do, and to do it. This is, in fact, the essence of the three trainings of moral virtue, mental culti­vation and wisdom. Let us now spend a quiet moment reflect­ing on this before read­ing on.

If we think that our problems are the worst, or that we are suffering more than anyone else, we are being false to ourselves. How many people have we really known, and how much suffering has really overwhelmed us?

It is amazing to see how a humble elder rummaging through the refuse bins to collect discarded cans, just for a few dollars a day. He talks to no one, and needs no chatting. He seems happily deep in his routine: he does not seem to be suffering. And we, we are only concerned that he does not mess up our street!

To those who think we are romanticizing the misfortune of others, we could well reply we are trying to see the goodness in the humble ways of those who have less but are more in their courage to do what good that needs to be done for themselves.

My love for the Dharma has over the years gently woken me to the fact that the suffer­ings of others are always worse than ours. The reason is simple: yes, we once suffered like others, too. But we suffered greater because of our ignorance and craving.

Insofar as we are able to see the sufferings of others as being worse than ours, we can say that, to that extent, we are wiser. If we respond to them, then, we are more charita­ble. There is a lot to learn from suffering: it means that we should move on. It means that some good­ness in us and in others has yet be touched.

No matter how much we hear of the sufferings of others, we can never really know them. We can never really know others even through their joys (much as we think we do). We might hear all that another has to say of themselves (if this were ever possible), but we still can never fully know them. The reason is simple: we do not even really know our own selves.

At best, we can only hear the unfinished tales of others. Our mistakes can be disastrous when we try to freeze these flowing formative moments of another, and frame them into a colourless still-life portrait hanging on the wall-nail of our cold comfort. We are never ready or able to hear a person’s full story, and yet we are ever ready to summarily judge them at a moment’s notice. What does that make us?

The ways of compassion are simple, yet deceptively simple. We need to know people, we need to live with them, love them. The Buddha’s teachings are mostly reminders that being true and loving is the best way to heal. The simple truth of joyful reality ennobles us for­ever.

Leo Tolstoy, the Russian writer and religious thinker, legendary for his love of goodness but dislike for the church, tells us the story of the Three Questions. The thought came to a certain king that he would never fail if he knew three things. These three things were
·   What is the best time to do something?
·   Who is the most important person?
·   What is the most important thing to do at all times?

Many educated people tried to answer the king’s questions, but they all came up with different answers. The king decided that he needed to ask a wise hermit in a nearby forest. The hermit would however only see common folk, so the king disguised himself as a peasant and left his guards behind, so that he alone went to see the hermit.

The hermit was digging flower-beds when the king arrived. The king asked his questions, but the hermit went on digging hard. The king offered to dig for him for a while. After digging for some time, the king again asked his questions.

Before the hermit could answer, a man emerged from the woods. He was bleeding from a terrible stomach wound. The king tended to him, and they stayed the night in the her­mit’s hut.

The next day, the wounded man was doing better, but was surprised at the help he was given. The man confessed that he knew who the king was. For, the king had executed his brother and seized his property. He had come to kill the king, but the guards wound­ed him in the stomach.

The man pledged allegiance to the king, and went on his way. The king asked the hermit again for his answers. The hermit replied that the questions had just been answered.
The most important time is now. The present is the only time we have.
The most important person is the one we are with.
The most important thing to do is some good with that person.

Yes, we have heard this one, too; now is the time to live it. The Buddha sits patiently wait­ing for us to humanly appear before him.

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