Celebrating Life at the Singapore Blog Awards 2010

First and foremost, a big THANK YOU for visiting this blog and if you’ve voted for it in this year’s Singapore Blog Awards, my deepest and most sincere appreciation for your support. Celebrate Life! won Best Lifestyle Blog at the awards.

I shan’t attempt to describe how I’m feeling because words would only castrate the magnitude of emotions that I felt before, during, and two days after the award ceremony. I wanted to post my thoughts and experience about the whole SAB2010 experience and wrote a colossal post. But I caught a cold from my long-windedness and decided to rewrite.

That’s the responsibility of winning. It’s an encouragement to be more critical and do better. More stress!

So after going through some dieting in vocabulary and topics, here’s Version 2. It offers a glimpse of the awards event and ceremony held at Movida last Saturday (10 Jul 10) from 4 – 6:30pm.

All the award winners

It is not because I won the award that I thought the event was pretty well organized, fun and definitely had a glam factor! Maybe I haven’t clocked enough mileage at such events so I’m easily impressed, but it did exceed my expectations. The organizer, Omy.sg really did a great job in my limited opinion and I’m not sucking up.

Before taking part, I’ve not heard of the Singapore Blog Awards or Omy.sg although this is the third year the contest has been held. I am very sua ku one. The news portal’s name sounds like what I would use at a coffeeshop… “Li ai lim kopi-O MAI? Teh-O MAI? Ah Oh, ai jiak siew MAI boh?”

So I thought SBA2010 would be some just some housefly trying to be a butterfly. But oh my, how very wrong I am! The polished bloggers and event left me with so much to reflect and ponder upon. It was a real eye-opener and here’s a record of some of the more candid moments for me.

DRESSED TO BE PAPARAZZI-SPOTTED

I didn’t give much thought about what to wear to the event initially. I planned to go in just a black t-shirt and black jeans. Can’t go wrong with that right?

Then I received the event’s invite and I almost blacked-out when I saw words such as ‘Oscar night’, ‘glamourous’, ‘Bling’, ‘Paparazzi’… I was screwed. I have no super-glam outfit except for a business suit. That’s a surefire paparazzi anesthesia.

Wardrobe must function.“Eh, Celebrate Life! has been one of the top 3 most voted blogs leh, at least go in something with more thought than that tranquilising suit lah!” said the voice in my head.

It continued to coax me. Fine, I will go in something out of character then! A dire decision called for a desperate solution. It was time I release something I bought some time ago but don’t have the guts to wear.

With a handkerchief tied around my nose, I battled dust bunnies and mites, hunted all shelves and drawers, searched through bags of clothes, until I came face-to-face with it… the beast. Leopard-Face. Now that’s fashion with a bite! Meow…

I bought the singlet with a friend at Platinum Mall, a wholesale shopping centre in Bangkok. He wanted to buy 2 pieces but if we bought 3 pieces, each singlet cost only 150 bht (approx. S$6.00). So I ‘sacrificed’ and got this translucent singlet with a silvery print. It’s so boomz. And my nipples can be seen through it. Thankfully my nips are not the size of dinner plates. And furry.

To top off the look and hide the obscene nips, I threw on a brown suede jacket I bought 2 years ago but worn only once. I also took the advice of someone to wear red underwear for luck!

Thrift glamour? Hollywood next top red carpet pose

Red briefs, leopard preens and 3 crosses… that’s what I call feng-shui for your wardrobe. And it worked! Haha… Siow Har was very cooperative too. She wore a rad dress to multiply the luck factor. She’s lady luck!

And her pose is sure to be the de facto Hollywood red carpet posture to adopt at the next Oscars. I’m immensely grateful to her for attending the awards event with me and helping me photograph the happenings.

饮酒思源 (MY WOULD-BE THANK YOU SPEECH)

The awards ceremony was very fast and we did not get a chance to say a few words of thanks. So here’s what I would say if given time to have a Thank You speech… (then again, if I was really given time on stage, I would not know what to say!)

Lip serviceI would like to thank all the main sponsors, sponsors, media support and event partners. Sounds like I’m paying lip service but well, it is a commercial world. If the participating merchants don’t make money, there won’t be prizes or this award.

If there are no prizes, I doubt it would be as attractive for bloggers to take part. So yeah, I seldom name brands in my blog, but my gratitude to all the contributors who made this event possible. (I typed out each of their names instead of using their logos to show sincerity hor.)

I would also like to thank Omy.sg for giving us bloggers a platform to gather and be recognized, and all the judges for shortlisting my blog as one of the finalists and deciding that it’s good enough to win. (I wonder what are the winning factor/s of this rather unfanciful and technologically primitive blog.) A special thank you too to Alvin Lim from Omy who’s been liaising with me and keeping me in the loop of things.

Next, I want to thank all my friends and family who have knowingly or unknowingly provided inspiration willingly or unwillingly. Ha. (If I’ve offended you in any way, please pardon me and be prepared to pardon me for future posts as well.)

And most importantly, I want to thank all readers. This blog was started as an outlet for me to vent but over the course of the contest, I began to write with a mindfulness of an audience. I’m still amazed that people read my blog because unless you know me personally, what’s so interesting to follow what’s happening to a stranger? So thank you for reading.

THE BLOGS, THE PEOPLE, THE EXPERIENCE

Winning was definitely the icing on the cake. Truth be told, I’ve thought all along that Bing would win the Best Lifestyle Blog category because her blog was visually appealing, she’s got a great sense of humour, a very accessible writing-style, and a way of turning mundane everyday happenings into a talking point.

Meeting the finalistsHers is the blog I followed the most because well, you have to know your competition right(?) and I can identify with some of her issues, such as giving up an addiction. And I should blame her for getting me addicted to her blog!

Meeting her in person was something I looked forward to at the awards because I wanted to grill her about blogging tips. When I finally saw her, it was like meeting an idol (plus she looks like one of my favourite local singers, 孙燕姿)!

I was also looking out to meet the other 8 finalists in the category but I failed to sight or recognize them. Lifestyle is a very broad category in terms of subject matters and I would like to thank my fellow finalists for the ideas I’ve gotten from their blogs :

Miss Glitzy Monologue, PassportChop Travel Blog, Trishalavittae, Emma – $30 date Night, Fidgety Fingers, Holly Jean, Alafista, and Muiee.

I also had the privilege of meeting some of the winners from other categories such as Pete, Priscilla and Hendra. I didn’t have a chance to visit their blogs before the awards coz I was busy creating blog contents after work, but I popped by their sites to browse around after I met them in person. They’re definitely worth the mouseclicks!

Because of youThe awards event was quite a blast. Some of the bloggers were invited to perform and I’m awed by the fact that these people were not only good bloggers, they can sing and dance too! So multi-talented. And my only talent that night was drinking 5 bottles of Tiger beer.

I know, I said I wanted to stop being an alcolwhore in a previous post not too far down. But it’s a happy occasion mah… To be surrounded by so many people brimming with creativity and a casual atmosphere of fun!

And I needed the drinks to calm me down. I was soooo nervous when I went on stage to get the award coz I was caught by what I call the Surprise Fallacy. This is how it works… I WANT to win but have to prepare myself emotionally if I don’t win. In order to manage emotional disappointments, I had to inflate the bubble of nonchalance and indifference to ‘failure’.

So when my name was called, it acts like a pin that punctured the bubble and the amount of time taken to go from exaggerated self-consolation (with such headtalk as “It’s ok to not win, it’s good enough to have come this far”, “You’ve done your best”, etc) to actually letting the WANT to take over, is the Surprise Fallacy. I am prepared for surprise but pretended I’m not.

I love Omy!And the nervousness is the vacuum that exists before the full acceptance of having won sets in. Yes, when faced with bad things, we have to stop denying that it has happened and accept the reality in order to move on. It is the same when good things happen. It takes time to accept.

I haven’t felt a nervousness of such epic proportions in a long time. I could actually feel my face twitching and jaw quivering when I received the award from Mr Teo Ser Luck (Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Ministry of Transport). He’s also the Mayor of the North East Community Development Council. My fingers went sore typing his titles. So many portfolios and yet he looks so young! I don’t believe he’s 42 years-old.

From the moment I received my trophy to all the media interviews afterwards, it was a blur. With all the flashes and spotlights, it scared the soul right out of my body. It felt surreal to be interviewed and I was so awkward with all the attention.

I was so busy being a wreck of nerves, my thoughts didn’t have the chance to catch up with me and I free-wheeled during the interviews. I don’t understand what I’m saying most of the time, acted silly and I was unusually fidgety. I hope the reporters and public will be forgiving towards a newbie like me.

TIME TO RELAX AND TAKE IT EASY?

After all the excitements leading up to and during the ceremony, I must say I’m relieved. I was pretty exhausted from all the late nights spent blogging after work during the voting period.

Some of the blogs were completed close to 6am in the morning but posted at a later time when I could get some rest and rethink what was being said.

Bye bye waistlineEven those posts with just a photo and some thoughts about what the image says to me can take hours to find the words that I felt captured the spirit of it.

I think as far as blogging goes, I’m a pretty hardworking blogger! Ha.

So I am rather worn out. But the award changes things. It is a booster. I can foresee that there will be many more nights of overnight blogging during the weekends. This is only the beginning!

But for the time being, I will take things a little easy, chill out more, spend time with friends, go back to the lifestyle I had before, get back in shape and along the way, if something screams “Blog Me!”, I will share it with you.

To mark the new journey ahead for this blog, I’m offering a toast to you in the photo. Cheers! 🙂 Next time I will toast with tea. I don’t know when that will be!

SO WHAT ARE THE PRIZES?

First of all, everyone who’s been asking me for a treat, know this… there are no cash prizes. I already very pok gai (broke) from paying bills at home so may just being happy for my triumph be your best treat! 🙂 Wahahaha…

Of the prizes, I think the most interesting item amongst them would be the trophy designed by one of Singapore’s artistic treasures, Mr Tan Swie Hian. I read a book about him, ‘To Paint a Smile: Insights of One Artist’s Approach to Happiness’, and have been filled with admiration since for how meaningful messages and symbols are imbibed into his works. The colourful wall mural at the Chinatown’s MRT Station is a work of Mr Tan.

Can't wait to get home A fusion of new and old

So to receive a trophy designed by him was an honour above honours! And I got to shake his hand and he gave me a personal explanation of his inspiration for the trophy!

We spoke in Mandarin so I’m not sure if I got his explanation accurately in English but here’s a gist of it :

• &nbspIt is in the shape of the ancient drinking cup used by royalties known as 鼎 and it has 3 legs. ‘鼎’ also means ‘top’ in Chinese.

• &nbsp1 of the 3 legs is in its traditional form while the other 2 are of different shapes to represent new media forms such as the internet. It represented the fusion of tradition with technology.

When I brought home all the prizes and my mum was going through the bags, she lifted the trophy and asked, “What is this? Why you bring home an incense burner?” Another *gua gua gua…* moment.

Personally, I felt Mr Tan understands bloggers very well. We spend a lot of time to spread information about things but don’t get paid. I can now use the trophy to go 化缘 (the bowl used by monks to ask for alms)! Haha.

Greedy meInitially I thought the trophy was odd because it is not the usual types we’re used to. I think it is sculptured in cast iron coz it’s very heavy. I placed it on the top shelf in front of my bed and each time I see it, I have a certain sense of calm. I guess true art changes you.

The next big prizes are of course the ASUS Eee-PC Touch netbook and a 4D3N trip sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. So I’ll be joining the other category winners to Hong Kong from 23 – 26 July 10. I will also be taking part in the dragon boat festival there! Now my years of dragon boat training can come into use. Except, I’ll be rowing a bathtub in the media race.

Another ‘substantial’ prize is a 3D2N accommodation at Baramee Resortel at Phuket, Thailand. There are other small souvenirs and memorabilia given by sponsors but the free passes given by the Singapore National Heritage Board (NHB) made me rub my eyes a few times to read.

The Best Lifestyle Blog category, the category I won in, is sponsored by NHB. I got 3 museum passes – 2 passes to visit the National Museum (ONE VISIT. ADMITS 1 EACH), and 1 pass to visit the Asian Civilisations Museum (ONE VISIT. ADMITS 2.). I thought I saw wrongly that it is NOT a 1-year free entry pass for 2 to all the museums and boutique galleries in Singapore.

CELEBRATE LIFE WITH OUR TRUE COLOURS

I guess whether it is 1 visit, or unlimited visits, it’s still better than no visits. I have learnt to count every blessing and be grateful for everything big or small. For whether we want to nick pick or just not sweat over the small stuff, life goes on.

Why Celebrate Life?And that is the spirit behind the title of this blog – Celebrate Life!. It is a common phrase that a group of my friends use a lot in the past. Even now. Each time someone gets flustered or unhappy over something, we’ll just say, “Celebrate life… tomorrow will come with or without you.”

I like this saying because it has a dual feel to it. There is the uplifting first part (celebrate life), and the cold comfort that follows (you don’t live forever). It struck a deep chord for me so when I was thinking for a name for this blog about 5 years ago, I decided to call it Celebrate Life!. I wanted it to be a celebration that life has to offer.

The good. The bad. The beautiful. The ugly. The happiness. The sorrows. 人生的酸甜苦辣,喜怒哀乐,悲欢离合。And the exclamation mark adds a sense of urgency to celebrate now. Today. Because tomorrow may or may not come.

To win, or lose, it doesn’t matter. Winning may not be a blessing, losing may be a blessing in disguise. 欢乐无长在,悲痛需简短。

For all the 1,000 over bloggers who submitted entries for the Singapore Blog Awards 2010, and the number of us who made it into the finals but didn’t win, I may not know you, I may not have read your blogs, and I’m a nobody and in no position to encourage you, but if I may, I would like to urge you to be not discouraged.

Continue to blog and while we may put ourselves out for criticism, there is only one way to truly celebrate life… and that is to live out our true colours.

Thank you once again for reading. It is my pleasure writing for you.

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48 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. joejunior
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 08:59:15

    this is nice

    Reply

  2. joejunior
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 08:59:15

    this is nice

    Reply

  3. imatraveller
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 09:18:17

    Oh by the way, Hendra Lauw is my boss 🙂
    So I know 2 blog winners now.

    Reply

  4. imatraveller
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 09:18:17

    Oh by the way, Hendra Lauw is my boss 🙂
    So I know 2 blog winners now.

    Reply

  5. Anonymous
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 09:37:29

    恭喜 Congrats
    Bro, where u treat lunch ah? I’m always free. 几时请吃饭?我随时有空。 Congrats for the win. ^^;
    Gordon (Sandtrooper)

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jul 14, 2010 @ 06:49:42

      Re: 恭喜 Congrats
      yo bro… thanks lots! :o)
      u didn’t see my ‘pok gai’ comment about treats meh? heh heh… no prize money leh… eat maggie mee ok? lol

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jul 14, 2010 @ 06:49:42

      Re: 恭喜 Congrats
      yo bro… thanks lots! :o)
      u didn’t see my ‘pok gai’ comment about treats meh? heh heh… no prize money leh… eat maggie mee ok? lol

      Reply

  6. Anonymous
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 09:37:29

    恭喜 Congrats
    Bro, where u treat lunch ah? I’m always free. 几时请吃饭?我随时有空。 Congrats for the win. ^^;
    Gordon (Sandtrooper)

    Reply

  7. Anonymous
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 12:45:23

    congratz but super longwinded leh
    damn bloody long post!!!! read until i also want to vomit blood.. haha
    the part about the surprise fallacy part was a little hard to digest. I sort of understand what you are trying to get at but have to pretend that I do not really understand it fully because to be able to understand it fully would no longer be surprising….
    anyway, my fav part of the entire blog was the “gua gua gua” moment about your mum talking about the trophy! it is so your mother to say things like that!! hahahahahahahaha

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jul 14, 2010 @ 06:56:32

      Re: congratz but super longwinded leh
      believe me, this version is shortened by at least 30% from what i initially wrote!
      heh heh… well, this is not an event that comes by easily so must give it more space to capture every aspect mah. how often does one have a chance to get a ‘national’ award?! :o)
      good jibe at the surprise fallacy and it’s not surprising that it’s hard to digest? haha… coz then i have to admit it’s tough concept! :o)
      my mother asks who r u? lol :o)

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jul 14, 2010 @ 06:56:32

      Re: congratz but super longwinded leh
      believe me, this version is shortened by at least 30% from what i initially wrote!
      heh heh… well, this is not an event that comes by easily so must give it more space to capture every aspect mah. how often does one have a chance to get a ‘national’ award?! :o)
      good jibe at the surprise fallacy and it’s not surprising that it’s hard to digest? haha… coz then i have to admit it’s tough concept! :o)
      my mother asks who r u? lol :o)

      Reply

  8. Anonymous
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 12:45:23

    congratz but super longwinded leh
    damn bloody long post!!!! read until i also want to vomit blood.. haha
    the part about the surprise fallacy part was a little hard to digest. I sort of understand what you are trying to get at but have to pretend that I do not really understand it fully because to be able to understand it fully would no longer be surprising….
    anyway, my fav part of the entire blog was the “gua gua gua” moment about your mum talking about the trophy! it is so your mother to say things like that!! hahahahahahahaha

    Reply

  9. muddynights
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 13:49:13

    congrats!!

    Reply

  10. muddynights
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 13:49:13

    congrats!!

    Reply

  11. heliosrealm
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 17:52:40

    This gonna be one of my fav blog entry !! Gratz man ~~

    Reply

  12. heliosrealm
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 17:52:40

    This gonna be one of my fav blog entry !! Gratz man ~~

    Reply

  13. t_yervor
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 18:03:15

    你好厉害!

    Reply

  14. t_yervor
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 18:03:15

    你好厉害!

    Reply

  15. mangoboi
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 01:50:36

    GRATZ!!!
    LOL@ Gong Tau~
    *stare* at red underwear.

    Reply

  16. mangoboi
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 01:50:36

    GRATZ!!!
    LOL@ Gong Tau~
    *stare* at red underwear.

    Reply

  17. Anonymous
    Jul 18, 2010 @ 06:26:24

    Congratulations!
    Hi Darren, congrats on winning the SBA 2010! The event looked fab! Haha, you couldn’t find me at St James because I wasn’t there.. wanted to attend this year but was overseas on the event date.
    – Miss Glitzy (http://glitzy.wordpress.com)

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jul 19, 2010 @ 10:58:34

      Re: Congratulations!
      thanks missy glitzy :o) the event was smashing! would have been great to catch u in person too given ur really fun and colourful blog :o)

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jul 19, 2010 @ 10:58:34

      Re: Congratulations!
      thanks missy glitzy :o) the event was smashing! would have been great to catch u in person too given ur really fun and colourful blog :o)

      Reply

  18. Anonymous
    Jul 18, 2010 @ 06:26:24

    Congratulations!
    Hi Darren, congrats on winning the SBA 2010! The event looked fab! Haha, you couldn’t find me at St James because I wasn’t there.. wanted to attend this year but was overseas on the event date.
    – Miss Glitzy (http://glitzy.wordpress.com)

    Reply

  19. Anonymous
    Jul 19, 2010 @ 22:13:23

    Congratulations!
    A big congratulation to you for wining the award! It’s always a pleasure reading your blog (in fact I have became one of your followers now :P)! Keep on with your great work!

    Reply

  20. Anonymous
    Jul 19, 2010 @ 22:13:23

    Congratulations!
    A big congratulation to you for wining the award! It’s always a pleasure reading your blog (in fact I have became one of your followers now :P)! Keep on with your great work!

    Reply

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