Saturday, February 26, 2011

37th SSEAYP 2010 - This is Home, Truly

Day 38 - 1 December 2010

We woke up today to the 38th day of the 37th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP), and the air tasted sweet because we were in our very lovely country Singapore.

In the morning, the Reception Committee briefed us on the local programme at Temasek Polytechnic and the Homestay Committee shared about the homestay programme.

Consolidating the collected aluminium cans for our local programme

Special arrangements were made for the Singapore Contingent to check out of Fuji Maru first, as we were bringing with us a huge bulk of our luggage.

We waited at the Singapore Cruise Centre for our respective Solidarity Groups to come by so that we could join them by our SGs.

We went to Temasek Polytechnic for our Community & Youth Engagement Programme.

With actor Moses Lim

Speech by Mr Michael Yeo, Director, Cruise in Leisure & Resort Management, Temasek Polytechnic

Speech by Mr Jedidiah, Assistant Director, National Youth Council

Sharing by students on the environmental project

Mr Moses Lim sharing his volunteering experience

We then went to work on connecting aluminium can drink tabs via raffia string. It would be used as a finishing touch to the Fuji Maru model, and a record-breaking feat for being the longest connected string of tabs. We also turned cans into musical instrument.

Channel NewsAsia interviewing Youth Leader Zatan

The artist is a Japanese-turned-Singapore citizen and he is lining up the string of can drink tabs

Singapore Book of Records President Ong Eng Huat declared a new record attained

Fuji Maru model would be displayed permanently at the Temasek Polytechnic.

Fuji Maru model with aluminium cans collected from 11 countries

With messages from Participating Youths of 11 countries

The finale was the mass singing of "Hey Baby (Would you be my Girl)" and making melodies with our aluminium can shaker. It was awesome!

Solidarity Group A

After the jubilant moment, we left Temasek Polytechnic for Chai Chee Secondary School, the venue for our Homestay Matching ceremony.

After all the PYs had left with their host families, the Singapore PYs took our leave back home! Home Sweet Home!

As my neighbour (host family) couldn't take in Khoa (Vietnam) and Sai (Myanmar) in his house, they bunked in at my place. While waiting for them to return, I had lunch with Wei Kiat and his two PYs.

With Hung (Vietnam) and Marlon (Philippines)

Late past midnight, I took them for a drive around the city.


It was one thing to get used to driving after a long time not doing so. It's another when we hit a Traffic Police checkpoint. I was not worried about my driving, but terribly so if I had to account for the 4 youths in my car that held no passports with them.

37th SSEAYP 2010 - Hot and Wet

Day 37 - 30 November 2010

This was one of the most highly anticipated day of the 37th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP). It might not have been perceived to be before SSEAYP, since what was new about Singapore worth anticipating, but being away for nearly a month really altered that perception.

The final rehearsal for the Flag Observance Ceremony hosted by the Singapore Contingent was held at the Pacific Hall, under the command given by Fairuz.

As the Master of Ceremony for the ceremony, I warmly welcomed our friends from ASEAN and Japan to the sunny island of Singapore. I took great pains to pronounce every word clearly and suppressed any urge to clear the throat.

At the command "Singapore Contingent, Sedi-ah!", we saluted our national flag and then sang our National Anthem proudly. "Majulah Singapura!"

National Leader Desmond then gave his address.

Singapore Contingent

I learnt that Fuji Maru was ahead of schedule and thus circled around the sea near Singapore so that it could berth on time. 

Pulau Semakau

The iconic Reflections @ Keppel Bay

With Min (Myanmar) & Bas (Philippines)

Fuji Maru berthing into Singapore Cruise Centre

Fuji Maru berthed at the Singapore Cruise Centre at noon, 1 hour earlier than that scheduled.

Reception Committee members hurriedly putting up the Welcome Banner

With Yee Soan (Brunei)

National Leader Desmond

Welcome cheers by students of Temasek Polytechnic

As soon as the ship berthed, some of the Singapore Participating Youths (SPYs) brought some of our logistics item off Fuji Maru to Singapore Cruise Centre where our sponsor M/S 138 Professional Movers, my Uncle and Hafidz were there awaiting to transport the items for storage.

During lunch, we were gladly joined by SSEAYP International Singapore (SIS) President William as well as SSEAYP International General Assembly (SIGA) 2011 Organising Chairman John Vijayan.

After lunch, Reception Committee Chairperson Jenny Koh welcomed PYs and shared with us the local programme.

By contingents, we then left Fuji Maru and headed to Downtown East. Many of us brought along some luggage to pass to our loved ones later at the dinner venue.

With gangway partner

The Welcome Dinner Reception was held at the D'Marquee, Downtown East. It was quite an experience moving around in our ethnic attire. 

SPYs were the first contingent to arrive, so we lined ourselves up at the door and welcome our friends with our "We say 'Welcome', we say 'Welcome'" cheer.

Speech by The Administrator Ms Kaori Shiojima

The Guest-of-Honour was none other than Minister for Community Development, Youth & Sports, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. He delivered a very awesome speech, one that we as Singaporeans felt proud hearing of, but he said something that would still linger in my mind until a long long time. In his speech, referring to the weather, he stated that Singapore is now "hot and wet". That threw up some laughter among some of us. However, it was true that the weather had been hot with frequent showers.

Speech by Guest-of-Honour

Gift presentation from The Administrator

Gift presentation from Minister Vivian Balakrishnan

Gift presentation to Vietnam Contingent

A photo with Minister Vivian Balakrishnan

Taiko drum performance by MINDS

Hip-hop performance

Combined performance by youths of ASEAN & Japan

The reception was a buffet-style dinner, with Singapore food. 

Wow! Parveen brought a comb!

I was sharp to notice that there was a booth providing custom-made keychains service. Draw on the piece of plastic, put it in the oven, and voila! the plastic shrinks, leaving behind a cute keychain. I grabbed the opportunity to make one (the first one from the booth) and got it delivered straight to the hands of Mortal.

Singapore Flyer's Christmas decoration 

Back on board, we celebrated Priscilla's birthday!