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October 2018 // Past

“Oh yes, the past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it” - The Lion King

“I get by with a little help from my friends” - The Beatles

From the same movie that brought us iconic quotes like “baaaah sowhenyaaahh mamabeatsebabaaaaahhhh”, The Lion King told us that the past can be painful- but it’s our choice do we run from it or learn from it? The clarity of our future is found in the pages of our history books, and tomorrow can be found by reading between the lines of the past. Especially as the world continues to move towards uncharted waters, we should look to the yesteryears for guidance now, more than ever. Seeking help from our predecessors is not a sign of weakness, but a mark of wisdom.

As we embark on this journey of discovery, we would like to express our gratitude to the following people for their invaluable contribution to this issue. To the 45th PubCo, without whom this issue would not have been possible. To Ms Nicole Law, our teacher-advisor, for your support and guidance. To Mr Pang, interviewees, models, Faculty Committees and CCAs, thank you for sharing your unique Hwa Chong stories with us! To Studio Ardent, thank you for allowing us to use your pictures in this issue. As someone real wise once told us - to dream big and bold and not be afraid to chase our dreams, here’s to our predecessors from the 44th, Cyril and Dragon, for all of your advice along the way.

In the first issue of our MOCH trilogy, join us as we delve right into history and travel back in time to the previous century, exploring the eclectic lives of Hwa And to you - the readers, thank you for all your Chongians then and the evolution of our lives with support! And for reading this far, here’s a Spotify playlist containing all the songs that inspired us along the times. the way. Turn up your metaphorical boomboxes and let the music ring out! Live loud and we hope that you’ll find that courage to create a legacy that’ll last a lifetime.

The Team

Teacher-Advisor: Ms Nicole Law Chairperson: Justin Rong Secretary-Treasurer: Alexis Sudrajat NSE Attaché: Chen Meng Yee MOCH Coordinators: Multimedia Directors: Sophie Chua Ler Rynn Tanya Ragupathi Ren Guan Peng Tan Jie Hao Art Directors: Ariel Lim Social Media Directors: Megan Chua Tammy Lee Natalie Ng Thiam JingTing Editorial Directors: Randall Ho Sheryl Poon

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Web Directors: Lim Ding Han Loh Jian Rong

Yours, Sophie and Tanya 45th MOCH Coordinators

Contents 04 Let’s Sing a Hwa Chong Song! 07 Buzz Quiz 09 The King of Kah Kee Hill 12 Transit Umbra, Lux Permanet 14 A Look Back at MAF

16 Film Reviews 17 Case 210: Hwa Chong Campus 20 Same Same but Different 22 Faculty Pages

The Past Issue


LET’S SING A HWA CHONG SONG! Huang Cheng (黄城) is the Drama Branch of Chinese Society. Huang Cheng members are known for upholding a professional standard of directing and acting, and this has allowed the CCA to thrive for 38 years and counting. Over time, the CCA and its members have evolved to broaden their perspective beyond the school scene. They use drama as a platform to address subjects that pertain to society at large. Yet, some things remain constant - to Mr Yang Wenzhong, the Senior Consultant/Chinese Drama from the High School, the course of production has always been a tumultuous but precious journey filled with blood, sweat, and tears. To him, the spirit of youth, growth, perseverance, and excellence is unwavering. As a club that embraces both tradition and originality, they are able to remain relevant in the digital age, and it is no wonder that every year, many students join Huang Cheng, continuing its great legacy.

唱一 Titus Yim, Xu Jialu Yanyuan (演员, actors)

华 的

“We are consistently reminded that every batch is unique and we should not take success for granted. Instead, it is something we should strive towards. Every batch has their own ambitions.”

Cheah Chien Tze

As high school students, Titus and Jialu watched several years of Huang Cheng productions, and wondered why the actors had so much emotional attachment to the show. Only after joining the CCA and experiencing it for themselves, did they finally understand why.

Xiemu (谢幕), or what they call the final show, is whe stage, as well as Chien Tze’s fondest memories of Hu for everyone to be on stage at the same time, Xiemu the passion and dedication of all Huang Cheng mem another’s company. The feeling of presenting the sho something truly magical.

Their preparation period was far from a bed of roses — mistakes were made, free time and food was sacrificed, and the pressure to perform well grew as their production date drew near. The thing that kept them going during this time was passion. After their final performance, they finally got to see the fruits of their labour. A scene firmly imprinted in their mind was the entire production crew crying during that emotional moment.

One thing that has changed from previous batches? interaction between the zongjians (directors) and the Tze. In the past, there was a distance between the tw in recent times, both parties have grown closer, and communication and understanding within Huang Ch has remained largely unchanged, and Chien Tze is gl offers a valuable glimpse into the past.

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Yinxiangzu (音响组, the audio section)




hen everyone runs onto the Huang Cheng. As an opportunity u displays the culmination of mbers, as they revel in one how to a large audience is

s? That would be the level of he rest of the CCA, says Chien two parties. Comparatively, d this has fostered greater Cheng. Overall, however, the CCA glad it is so, as he believes that it

FUN FACTS & TRADITIONS 1. Caixian (踩线, stepping on the line): It is against the rule to step on the lines that demarcate the stage at the SALT centre. If you do, be prepared for your entire section to do 20 push-ups together. During the kaigong (开工, work) period, it is amusing to see members go out of their way to avoid stepping on these lines. 2. Shoujie (守戒, loosely translated as abstinence): The food ban is a tradition that the actors, zongjians (总监, director) and ExCo participate in. The list of food that is off-limits during the one-and-a-half months of preparation is staggeringly long - it includes salty, cold, acidic, and fried food, amongst others, and those who break the ban are subject to running rounds as punishment. Though subsisting on a diet of chicken rice (without soy sauce) and noodle soup is tough work, they push through, knowing that beyond the practical reason of protecting their throats, it is a symbol of discipline and hard work. 3. The ministers in government Ms Sim Ann and Mr Baey Yam Keng were once the zongjians of Huang Cheng, in the years 1993 and 1998 respectively.

Ng Xi Jin (Nathan) Sheyingzu (摄影组), the photography section “To see everyone clad in black, working tirelessly together for the production which turned out to be a resounding success really made me feel a tremendous amount of pride for Huang Cheng, and makes me proud to call myself a huangchengren (黄城人, member of Huang Cheng).” As part of the sheyingzu, Nathan covered the media aspects of Huang Cheng, from publicity videos to show recordings. His biggest takeaways from Huang Cheng are his section mates, who always come up with something fun to do every CCA session. Together, they have forged many unforgettable memories. His batch may have stepped into Huang Cheng as individuals with different goals and skill sets, but they all emerged together feeling a little more accomplished, a little happier, and with a lot more pride for the Huang Cheng family.

The Past Issue


Lucas Kuek

Helen Cai

Dengguangzu (灯光组, the lights section)

Daojuzu (道具组, the props section)

Three words to describe Huang Cheng: miraculous, fulfilling, intense.

Three words to describe Huang Cheng: A beautiful miracle.

Dengguangzu assists the directors, stage managers and teacher advisors to ensure the lighting is perfect. Beyond the control room, they do light focusing and communicate with technicians about how the lights need to be rigged. Lucas’ greatest takeaways from Huang Cheng are the friendships and memories made. The few months of preparation was a tough but valuable ride, thanks to his batchmates who displayed tenacity when solving problems, and care, which could be felt in the morale-boosting words of encouragement that could be heard while they were at work. People are what made every second of his journey worth it.

Helen’s fondest memory of Huang Cheng was their bumpin period, the last 2 days before their production, when everyone was exempted from lessons and camped at their venues. This was one of the rare times when the whole CCA came together at a common venue. Seeing all the different departments work together for one common goal amazed her greatly. She learnt about the power of relationships and bonds in Huang Cheng. While passion and responsibility play a part, at the core, it’s the bond between members that holds the CCA together and helped them push through the hectic preparation period.

Karon Kung Yan Le

Huazhuangzu (化妆组, the make-up section) Three words to describe Huang Cheng: Intense emotional rollercoaster. With highly professional skills and a streamlined working process, the huazhuangzu comes close to being full-time makeup artists. During her time in the team, Karon learnt to keep her cool as she completed highly detailed looks within a short timeframe. Her most memorable work was drawing a scar on one emcee, who played a terrorist. While this was initially a daunting task, it turned out looking extremely realistic, thanks to many sessions of experimentation.

CAN’T GET ENOUGH? Scan the QR code to find out more about Huang Cheng!

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The Past Issue


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Monday, 8 October 2018

Above: Mr Pang (first row, 3rd from right), aged 13 at the time, with Class 1A of The Chinese High School.

The King of Kah Kee Hill A principal. A familiar face. The giver of half-days. But there is so much more to him that meets the eye. Did you know that he learnt the guitar by himself in his downtime? Or that he used to submit pieces of writing to local Chinese newspapers from as young as 10? We sat down with Mr Pang one Monday evening, talking to him about his childhood passions, his hobbies, his ideals and what’s changed since he was in school.

Ever wondered what Mr Pang’s favourite SoDaChe song is? Scan to find out!

《伟大的夸父》-彭俊豪 虽然你已那么遥远, 那通红的火球, 但你不屈不挠的精神, 象征着光明, 仍旧鼓舞着, 你张开了双臂, 许多不向困难低头的人! 迎接光明! 你攀过高山, 越过大河, 你从黑夜, 走到白昼。 你立下宏愿, 奔向理想, 你迈开大步, 奔向太阳!

有了光明, 天地不再黑暗, 有了光明, 人类才有希望! - Mr Pang’s poem poem published in the school’s literary magazine Hua Gang Wen Xue (华岗文学), written when he was 13. The Past Issue


Long before he was the principal of his alma mater, he was just another student in Hwa Chong. We met Mr Pang on a Monday evening, and even after the tires of a school day, he was still as lively as ever. While Mr Pang only became principal of Hwa Chong Institution this year, he is no stranger to the school, as he himself was a student here, back in the early 90’s. His return to Hwa Chong in a different capacity was a way of giving back to his alma mater which he so loved. Mischief. It’s always been a quintessential part of High School life, or so it seems! Mr Pang explained to us how his lower secondary classroom was one of the furthest from the football field, and boys being boys, just wanted to play soccer, so he and his friends used a (slightly) smaller ball, and engaged themselves in a game of soccer along the corridor. This particular activity may have caused some accidents, but Mr Pang and his friends were quick to own up to their mistakes. Music. When Mr Pang was in Secondary 2, his music teacher sat his class down, and asked them if they wanted to take part in ‘Sing Singapore’ competition. Naturally, they hesitated. With no prior experience in performing, his class was skeptical about singing and dancing in front of the public. Eventually, they did warm up to the idea, seeing it as an opportunity to bond as a class and work together with other classes to represent the school. You’d even be surprised to know that your principal and his schoolmates came in first in the schools category of this national singing competition, and were given the incredible honour of performing at the Indoor Stadium at the Grand Finals. Legacy. A short but powerful word that encompasses generations of tradition and meaning, and certainly representative of Huang Cheng (黄城). Mr Pang had the precious opportunity to be a part of this legacy when he was a student in College, as an emcee in his first year and the head of the photography wing in his second year. He fondly recalled those late nights spent, and the sweat and tears that went to into making the production a success. He reminisced about the tiring but satisfying moments as a member of a CCA with such rich history. And his favourite moment? The curtain call, when all the different departments came together, all were acknowledged, and he got to taste the sweet sweet satisfaction of his hard work!


Hwa Chong’s Own Magazine

As Mr Pang shared with us how he was in the Science Training Programme (the precursor to today’s GATE and SMTP programmes) and an avid lover of Economics, though he was equally passionate about aeronautical engineering since young. At the young age of 20, he was at a crossroads, caught in a dilemma of which direction to take in life. We were wondering why he chose to become a teacher in the end. He shared with us anecdotes from his schooling days — stories of how his own teachers inspired him to plunge into the exhausting but rewarding world of teaching.

Left: Mr Pang (top row, 1st from right) with his class 93S64. Above: 1993 CLEP batch, with Mr Pang in the 2nd row, 1st from left. Below: Mr Pang as he performs a duet with Ryan,president of the 45th Students’ Council during this year’s National Day Celebrations.

Left: Mr Pang with President of Chinese Society and senior, Sim Ann (middle), and fellow emcee Xuelun before the 1993 “Evening of Drama” (《黄城夜韵》) performance.

One could say that his inspiration for teaching started close to home, as Mr Pang’s father was an educator himself. In school, the principal of the Chinese High School, Mr Tooh Fee San and viceprincipal of Hwa Chong Junior College, Mrs Ho Woon Ho, moved him by paying close attention to his own personal interests. Mrs Ho used to take time out of her busy schedule to talk to many of her students, even enquiring about Mr Pang’s habit of writing articles for Lianhe Zaobao, and making sure he was keeping up with it amidst the rigour of school work. Mr Tooh used to meet students whenever possible as well, encouraging them, and giving them opportunities to take part in both national and international competitions. Mr Pang also remarked that while students are as lively and hardworking as they’ve always been, he finds the youths of today much more self-directed than before. Perhaps it’s due to the evolution of the internet and the increased use of social media, but students are now able to take charge of their own learning, organise their own charity projects from start to finish, and find new ways of reaching out to the community, both within the school and beyond. Mr Pang ended off noting that despite some things remaining the same since his days as a student, the young people of today are more resourceful. So hey you! Yes you, reading this! Go out, and be a trailblazer in your own right. Pursue aeronautical engineering. Take up a hobby in dance. Become the principal of “Hwa Chong”. The first few chapters of your story have been written, but the next few are blank pages just waiting for your pen to take to the page.

The Past Issue


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The Past Issue


Fireball The fireball has long been used to signify the start of a MAF. Usually, the chairperson of MAF for that year would be given the honour of lighting-up the fireball. In 2009, the fireball was designed to resemble a mooncake, with the theme for that year, 赏悦, imprinted upon it.

A Look Bac

中 City Gate In the early years, as early as the 1980s, the city gate was constructed as an actual ‘gate’, but has since evolved to become a scenic backdrop for performances during MAF. Additionally, these structures were once constructed and deconstructed solely by the students, including the building of scaffolds, attaching of boards and teardown of the structure. Although the practice has been abolished due to safety precautions, students still play a crucial role in other aspects such as the designing and painting of the city gate.

2016 MAF BTS

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2017 MAF BTS

秋 The celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, or MAF for short, has been a long standing tradition in Hwa Chong. During MAF, many generations of alumni return to celebrate Hwa Chong’s rich history and culture together with the current batch of students. To many, MAF is more than just a festival or event, it is something that shapes the Hwa Chong identity and unites the Hwa Chong family.

ck at MAF


The aptly named centerpiece is commonly located in the centre of the central plaza and designed to be the most eye-catching part of the entire MAF setup. In 2011, the 38th Students’ Council designed a doublelayered centrepiece that symbolised the reunion of the mythical couple, Chang’e and Hou Yi. They attached two strings of multi-coloured lanterns that draped down ‘from the heavens’ before meeting in the centre.


In 2009, the centerpiece, accompanied by 108 lanterns, lit the sky with the colours of MAF, red and yellow. Every year, the lanterns serve both as a light source for the central plaza and as decorative elements. Visitors are always sure to grab this unique opportunity to capture a picture of the sky filled with brightly coloured lanterns. Fun fact: this year, there were 114 lanterns decorating the sky.


Fountains are decorative elements unique to Hwa Chong. Besides playing a role in the grand light-up sequence, they are commonly used to complement the atmosphere. Over the years, the fountain has grown in both scale and complexity, evolving from a single pump to a larger pool with 4 pumps and its own unique main structure. The Past Issue


I created the OASIS because I never felt at home in the real world


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Follow alongside a paranormal investigator as he uncovers the shroud of mystery surrounding Hwa Chong’s haunted past.


The Past Issue


Hwa Chong — The institution located in the heart of the bustling metropolis of Singapore. After nearly a century of rich history, the school has become entangled in a web of folklore and urban legend. As the clock strikes 9 and the students return home, silence befalls the campus grounds and the supernatural emerges. I have been tasked to investigate the paranormal sightings that plague the campus at night.

DAY 1 - 2200HRS: As I ascend Tan Kah Kee Drive, a gentle breeze sends a tingle down my spine. Not a soul can be sighted on campus, and the eerie fluorescent glow ebbing from the clock tower stands out like rays of light from a lighthouse, extending into the far reaches of the dark beyond. Built during the early days by contributions from Chinese pioneers to provide education to the growing Chinese population, the clock tower has stood the test of time. Standing in the centre of the clock tower, I take in the grandeur of the 1900s architecture. I explore the hallways with my infrared camera and audio recorder, hoping to pick up anything out of the ordinary. Out of the blue, chords from a piano pierce the silence and jolt me back onto my feet. I make a beeline for it. As I round the corner, the music stops abruptly. I hastily scan the piano with my infrared camera, and a white object fills my vision - a glove, a lone white glove, lying on the keys of the piano. I set up my equipment on a tripod, and leave it running, hoping to capture something on camera, but as the night draws to a close, I am left empty-handed. I will be back tomorrow night, when I would hopefully be able to document something tangible. Back home, I scan the web for similar encounters, contributed by netizens, and I am greeted by a flood of responses, all recounting the same experience. Perhaps I am on to something here…

DAY 2 - 2345HRS: So begins my nightly walk around the school campus. Torchlight in hand, every step is careful, cautious, calculated; and yet the beam pierces the darkness of the night and each footstep violates the ghostly silence that permeates the place — I am but an intruder to my surroundings. Approaching the looming figure of the clocktower, my skin crawls as I grow increasingly conscious of eyes tracing my movement, and this electric awareness sends tingles , which I can’t seem to shrug off, up my spine. Clutching my camera closer, my eyes and ears become more acutely tuned to my surroundings as I make my way through the darkness. There is some shifting amid the shadows as I pass behind the Tan Kah Kee statue. For a fleeting moment, as the bronze figure catches the light from my torch, I see it become alarmingly lifelike. A guttural groan emerges from the silence as blackness moves. Startled, my grip around the torch handle loosens, sending the torch plunging towards the ground, darkness swallowing my sole source of comfort on this bone-chilling night.

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DAY 3 - 2345HRS

Tonight marks my third on campus. Upon entering the clock tower, I am once again greeted by the posters on the walls of the tower, and the all-too-familiar piano in the corner of the hallway. Today, I head for the Lee Kong Chian Library, another location with many long years of history. I make my way to the second level of the building, where I spot, on top of a ceremonial stand, a bust of Mr Lee Kong Chian. I admire the intricate bust through the glass sliding doors as moonlight shines through the skylight above the entrance and casts an eerie glow on it. I turn around to inspect the piece of art attached to the wall, a stunning installation of lines overlapping and intertwining one another, with the centerpiece shaped like an eye.

“What time is it?” a voice greets me out of nothingness. I glance at my watch - the luminous hands rest at the 12 o’clock position. Contrary to my first instinct to flee, my trembling hands raise my infrared camera to document this supernatural sighting. Just as I press ‘record’, there is more movement as the shadow turns. Suddenly, I am once again disturbed as the distant, haunting melody of a piano drifts through the night air. I hurry to the same spot in the clock tower as yesterday’s paranormal activity. Before I can ready my camera, a shadow takes flight and the clock tower descends into eerie silence once again. A quick inspection of the piano reveals a similar finding to yesterday’s discovery of a white glove resting on the keys. Tentatively, I reach out to touch it, but it vaporises instantly. As I examine the footage gathered from today, the image of the TKK statue stares back at me, stoic and silent as ever. But I know what I saw. Is Hwa Chong haunted? My bet’s on yes.

Just as I am ready to leave for other parts of the campus, a green glow appears in the middle of the installation. I spin around, whipping out my infrared camera, hoping to document this. Closer inspection reveals that the source of the glow is the bust in the library and that there are multiple cracks on it, from which the glow escapes and mixes with the pale moonlight, painting the walls an eerie green. As quickly as it emerged, the glow ceases to exist. I replay the clips on my camera only to find nothing out of the ordinary has been captured. I begin to wonder if it is all a figment of my imagination; if the sleepless nights have begun to take their toll, but instinct tells me otherwise.

This is the first case that has muddled me, in all my years of experience. All the sightings and phenomena seem to simply be an intangible web of tales and folklore that come to life at night in the campus. Choose to believe my writings or not, at your own discretion.

The Past Issue


As Hwa Chong approaches its 100th anniversary, it is clear that while our school hasn’t changed, its students certainly have. With each time period comes a new generation with its own little quirks distinguishing it from its preceding generation. Despite these differences, we still share some similarities with our predecessors. Check out some of these underlying similarities!


Baggy Jeans: You won’t have to buy a new pair, even if you get bigger Drop Crotch Jeans: Why… just why Round Glasses: In trend I guess?


Nokia: Indestructible calling machine Walkman: Listening to music Pager: Communications device No. 2 Gameboy: I wanna be the very best! Fax: Communications device No. 3



Exams: Lecture tests on Saturday sighs Results: A-levels or D-Levels Lectures: To go or not to go: that is the question.


Pocket Mirrors: I LOOK STUNNING!! Cameras: “See your mum used to be so pretty”

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The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.



-- Socrates


Ripped Jeans: When your mum tries to sew up your jeans Hypebeast: Anti Social Social Club Round Glasses: Still in trend


Everything: Smartphone Everything but bigger: iPad

Now Narcissism

Complaints Exam: 5 days 5 ‘U’s Results: Call me Dr. SEUSS. Lectures: Zzz

Selfies: HEY EVERYONE LOOK AT ME I’m FABULOUS! Selfie Sticks: From being in a book of useless inventions to millions of sales worldwide Polaroids: A staple for every occasion

The Past Issue


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The Past Issue


Profile for Hwa Chong Students' Council

MOCH 1 - The Past  

MOCH 1 - The Past  

Profile for hcpubco