AM ERICAN AS S O C I ATION O F S INGAP ORE
www.aasingapore.com American Association..... 1-5 Member Discounts............. 3 CRCE & Business............ 6-7 Community News........... 8-9 Living in Singapore.......... 10 Travel........................ 12-13 How SG Works........... 14-19 Education........................ 20 Health & Wellness...... 20-21 President's Message........ 22 Arts & Culture................. 23 What’s Happening.......... 23
American Association 1-5
Health & Wellness 20-21
How SG Works 14-19
Just for the guys, network at Metworks
Take a deep breath and dive in
Feeling lost? Seeking direction? Find your Ikigai.
Transport to tailoring: the nuts and bolts of Singapore MCI (P) 071/03/2018
Love, Nils By Cath Forte
t’s the news all parents dread. Your child is sick. Really, really sick. You pray, you hope, you research until your brain feels like it might explode. But the diagnosis is clear. In 2012, Texan mother Lesli Berggren received devastating news about her 13-year-old son, Nils, who was found to be suffering from a rare form of lymphoma stage 4 cancer. Following 18 months of treatment in Singapore and the US, Nils was cured of cancer at the National University Hospital Singapore. However a few months later, owing to complications resulting from his stem cell transplant, Nils tragically passed away in 2014, leaving behind his twin sister Claire. Even during the most difficult stages of his treatment, Nils was mindful of the suffering of others and would do all he could to help children he felt were having a much harder time than he, encouraging them to ‘never give up.’ He wrote letters to his family and friends, asking for their prayers and strength, signing off each one ‘Love, Nils.’ In 2017, in honor of her courageous son, Lesli created LOVE, NILS, a
registered non-profit seeking charity status, to offer hope and support to children with cancer in Singapore, regardless of nationality. Among LOVE, NILS’ primary efforts is the provision of patient navigators. These guides help parents and carers find their way through the healthcare system and the options available to them; encouraging and empowering, taking the children and their families through every step of the journey. LOVE, NILS also helps families who have traveled to Singapore for treatment to find accommodation close to their child’s hospital. During cancer treatment, much emphasis is placed on medical treatment. LOVE, NILS provides integrative therapy, which helps children deal with feelings of isolation, pain and loss of hope through emotional support. Qualified practitioners help children through complementary, holistic therapies, ranging from nutritional advice, yoga and art to physical and occupational therapy, pain management and spiritual support.
American Association of Singapore – Since 1917
LOVE, NILS also provides opportunities for these children to be, simply, children. Lesli reaches out to celebrities stopping off in Singapore, inviting them to visit children in hospital. In May, they gave 70 tickets for children to see Harry Styles in concert. Through toy drives and donations, they are able to provide children with a toy shoppingstyle experience in hospital, as they select a toy from the range of donated options. Also in May, they were able to give toys to children with cancer at KK Women and Children’s Hospital, accompanied by the 501st Legion Star Wars team and ‘Miss R2-KT,’ a hand-built robot in the style of a female Star Wars R2-D2 droid. Find out more at www.lovenils.org The American Association of Singapore (AAS) will be supporting LOVE, NILS at our annual 4th of July Celebration through a raffle. We encourage attendees to purchase tickets and would welcome any support by way of family focused prize donations. Please contact Shu at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help. Photo courtesy of LOVE, NILS
2 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · June-July 2018
W hat ' s Wednesday
Join us for morning coffee at Privé Orchard where you’ll have the opportunity to make new connexions and catch up with old ones, too. There’s no fee to join, but attendees are required to purchase at least one drink/coffee (minimum). 9:30 – 11am Privé Orchard, Wheelock Place, (S)238880 Free of charge, but registration required. This event is open to AAS members. Interested guests are welcome to attend one Coffee Connexions event as a non-member.
Meet other men who share your hobbies and interests. Find golf or tennis partners or other sports fanatics. Swap ideas about the best Singapore has to offer. Get answers to your questions about life on the Little Red Dot. Make friends in areas outside of your current social, school, or professional circles over a casual lunch. 12 – 1:30pm Brewerkz Riverside Point 30 Merchant Road, #01-05/06, (S)058282 This event is open to AAS members. Interested guests are welcome to attend one Metworks event as a non-member.
4th of July Celebration
Time to celebrate the American spirit in Singapore with the AAS annual 4th of July Celebration, in partnership with Singapore American School. This family-friendly day features music, food, carnival games and patriotism. The day is capped off with a spectacular fireworks display! Visit our website for all you need to know, including what you can and cannot bring: www.aasingapore.com 4-10pm Singapore American School 40 Woodlands Street 41, (S)738547 Admission is free of charge and open to the public. All are welcome to attend. Food, drinks and games/activities are payable at attendee’s own expense (cash only). New this year – jump the queue and pre-purchase tickets for carnival games from the American Association of Singapore (AAS) office, starting June 4. AAS members will receive an extra 10 tickets with a minimum spend of $30.
Support Your Association Calling for 4th of July Celebration Volunteers
Family Fun: Bowling
Will the kids beat the adults? Join the fun at SuperBowl to find out! Bring the family for a relaxed afternoon of friendly competition. Food, drinks and bowling at the attendees' own expense. 4 – 6pm SuperBowl Mount Faber 2 Telok Blangah Way #02-06, (S)098803 This is an AAS members-only event.
Tapas en Español
Whether it’s to have the opportunity to practice your Spanish conversational skills, have a conversation in your mother tongue or simply to enlarge your international network in Singapore, come join us for an evening of tapas. Food and drinks at the attendees' own expense. 7 – 8:30pm Venue TBC (Orchard area) This is an AAS members-only event.
Our 4th of July Celebration is a massive event and in order for it to be our BEST YET, we need a whole army of volunteers to help us make it happen. Can you spare a couple of hours on Saturday, June 30 to help out? Please email Sarah Walston at email@example.com to express your interest as a volunteer.
Please help us light up the sky! CONTRIBUTE TO THE FIREWORKS FUND Watch children's eyes dance in delight, all thanks to you! For a $100 contribution, your name will appear in the August Singapore American. To participate: www.aasingapore.com/forms/fireworks/
We’re adding new events and activities all the time, so please keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for up-to-the-minute information, and to register for an event: www.aasingapore.com
JUMP THE QUEUE: pre-purchase tickets for carnival games from the AAS office, starting June 4. AAS members receive extra 10 tickets (min. spend $30).
3 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · June-July 2018
we ' ve been up to
As usual, there’s always loads of ways to get involved at the American Association of Singapore (AAS). Here are some of the fun things we’ve been doing over the past few weeks. We found out all about the practical and emotional elements of moving back home at our annual Repatriation Talk; while our new event, It’s All in the Planning, covered the financial side of life in Singapore.
AAS MEMBER DISCOUNTS AAS members enjoy discounts at a range of local businesses. Present your AAS membership card at time of purchase. www.aasingapore.com/member-discounts
Allied Pickfords Singapore is offering AAS Members a special insurance premium of 3%, inclusive of complimentary cover for mould & mildew, pairs & sets, and mechanical derangement. To qualify, you must book an international move with Allied Pickfords Singapore, and provide your AAS membership details. Call +65 6862 4700 to arrange a free quote today. www.alliedpickfords.com.sg
Indulge in modern American gourmet burgers and premium craft beer. Enjoy 15% off when you dine at Brewerkz through December 31, 2018. Limit to one redemption per bill/table. Not valid on public holidays and eve of public holidays. Valid for a la carte menu. The management reserve the right to amend the terms & conditions without prior notice.
AAS families spent a morning volunteering at Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen, from prepping veggies to packing containers of food, we had fun while giving back to the community. Taste authentic Mexican Food and blue agave tequila and receive 15% off when you dine at Café Iguana through December 31, 2018. Not valid on public holidays and eve of public holidays. Valid for a la carte menu. The management reserve the right to amend the terms & conditions without prior notice.
The guys enjoyed networking at Metworks; making new contacts over a relaxed lunch at Brewerkz, Riverside Point. Our Spanish speakers caught up over delicious tapas and sangria at Tapas Club and the Coffee Connexions crew kept their regular date at Privé Orchard. Comedy Night was a hoot at the Merry Lion, as we enjoyed a good giggle with UK double act, The Kagools.
Only for AAS members. Enjoy 20% off travel insurance all year round, and S$100 per couple when you book a holiday package* with Flight Centre *Package comprises of at least flight and accommodation. Discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Contact your dedicated travel team at 6692 9658 or visit bit.ly/FCxAAS2018 for more info.
BENEFITS US Navy Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson gave an informative and inspirational talk to members, as he reflected on US Navy cooperation in South East Asia and strategic thinking.
Freelancer Club Freelancer Club is for AAS members who freelance in our community to meet, collaborate, soundboard, problem solve and create discussion before getting on with the tasks in hand. Join us on Monday, June 4.
Special thanks to AAM Advisory, Allied Pickfords, Dr. Suzanne Anderson of International Counselling and Psychology Centre and the Singapore Council of the US Navy League for supporting our recent events. ICPC
International Counselling & Psychology Centre
Hot-desking CRCE members can use our co-working space at the office – a great way to meet other members and share ideas. Members get five hours of hot-desk space per month, which can be booked as single hour sessions or a double hour session. Book your time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
4 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Welcome to Metworks
A Networking and Social Group for the Guys By Bill Poorman
he American Association of Singapore (AAS) is looking for a few good men! Earlier this year, AAS relaunched Metworks – a professional networking and social group for the guys. The group meets once a month either for lunch or a happy hour.
If you’re new to Singapore, Metworks gives you a way to meet new people and get to know longer-term residents to find out how life and work operate here on the Little Red Dot. If you’re one of those long-timers, you can expand your network with a new group of contacts and acquaintances. Either way, Metworks could be a good way to find your next set of golfing or tennis buddies. Steve Robertson runs his own management consulting firm, Robertson Consulting, for consumer products suppliers and retailers. He says, "The conversations at Metworks are lively and engaging, and the range of personalities and interests give it a great flavor. I enjoy the mix of professional and social and have connected with some interesting people here. Even though I’ve lived in Singapore for several years, it’s nice to have a venue to connect with fellow Americans who are outside my normal circles.” Scott Paintner, an accountant by trade who came to Singapore with his wife’s career, says Metworks has been helpful with adjusting to life in Singapore. "As a recent arrival in Singapore, the Metworks events have been a great way to make personal and professional connections in a relaxed social environment,” Paintner says. Metworks joins other AAS networking opportunities, including our coffees and social events, the Career Resources Center for Excellence (CRCE) and our new Freelancer’s Club – a special sub-group for those independent businesspeople out there. Metworks also complements other existing networking and community opportunities, including those offered through some of AAS’ sister organizations, like the American Women’s Association and the American Chamber of Commerce. If you’re interested in joining Metworks, please contact us: email@example.com. If you’re not a member yet, you can attend one Metworks event for free, but then we kindly ask that you join our community. We look forward to seeing you at our next lunch event on June 7!
Singapore American · June-July 2018
5 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
orn in California, Jim moved to Singapore with his family in 1950 at the age of two. Jim’s father was a missionary, as was his grandfather. With two older brothers and a younger sister (born in Singapore), Jim grew up immersed in the local culture, also learning Malay. He joined Singapore American School (SAS) as a second grader on the day it opened in 1956 and attended until he graduated in 1966. After completing college in the US with a degree in history in 1970, Jim found his way back to Singapore with his wife, Junia, and taught high school history at SAS from 1971-74. Junia and Jim had a son, Randy, in Singapore in 1974, who also graduated from SAS. After a few years teaching in other American schools internationally, Jim returned to Singapore in 1982 and taught history and economics at SAS until he retired in 2014. Jim and Junia now live in Penang, where Jim continues to write.
In conversation with Jim Baker, author of American Association of Singapore's centennial coffee table book, The American Journey in Singapore.
The Man Behind the Book
Singapore American · June-July 2018
How was life in a missionary family? My dad’s life was totally involved in Singapore as opposed to with expatriates, so my life was a little different than a lot of other staff kids. We lived in parts of town where there were all local people, so as kids growing up we all learned Malay. We lived in this nonAmerican world and we desperately craved being American. For us, school was a way to be American.
today doesn’t miss an awful lot of youth culture, etc., from their own country, with the exception of the car culture. There was a lot more culture shock for kids in my day, as Singapore has become much more Western.
What was SAS like back then?
What drew you back to teach at SAS (twice)?
A huge old colonial house. Next to the classroom, there was a bathroom with a big old tub! The first day there were 108 kids in the school, from Kindergarten to 10th grade. SAS graduates more kids in a year than that now, while the first graduating class had just one graduate. I graduated with a class of 28 kids. The school felt like a family, the principal knew everyone and everything about them.
Following my first stint at SAS, I was offered a job back in Washington DC. I went to look around the school and meet the kids but realized that these weren’t my kids. The kids I should be teaching were Third Culture Kids (TCK), the kinds of kids I could really relate to. Between my two stints I taught at SAS for 35 years.
AAS was essentially a men’s business club back then, but it was really the mothers that created the school. They didn’t want to send their children home to boarding schools, so they were really the driving force behind the school. Not only did they create the school, they taught the classes, ran the after-school activities, etc.
Did you get back to the US often? This was just the beginning of the jet age, so people did not go back to the States as often. My dad did five-year stints before he would go back. Before jet travel, you came over by ship, taking a month to make the journey.
How different was life in Singapore at that time? Singapore was much more Asian. So, the contrast between America and Singapore was much greater than today. A kid in Singapore
Why did you want to get involved with The American Journey in Singapore? I believe that Singapore has a special relationship with the US. And the American Association and its progeny are a really important part of that. I would argue that the special relationship has been nurtured by American community organizations. There’s been times when the relationship hasn’t been very good, but the constant was that the resident community kept on truckin’ and came out the other side. If you look at US military, economic ties, people ties, etc., it’s difficult to find many other places in the world that have the depth of relationship that America and Singapore have.
Stars & Stripes
Read all about the American Association from 1917 to present day in The American Journey in Singapore, available from the American Association of Singapore.
The American Journey in Singapore Purchase your copy from the office or via www.aasingapore.com/forms/american-journey-in-singapore/
CAREER RESOURCE CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” COLIN WILSON
Chief Information Officer Our company is looking for a Chief Information Officer to set the strategy in implementing major programs, in which systems and technology raise productivity, enable new service offerings, improve customer service and relationships, raise the level of management insight and decision making, cut time and reduce costs. (job #3663)
A Volunteer Success Story
Up Close and Personal with Arcia Perrenoud Tell us about yourself… I’m from the Philippines but I call New York city my home. My family and I moved to Virginia when I was 12 years old. I relocated to NYC in 1992 to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology, majoring in Fashion Buying and Merchandising. I’ve had quite a diverse career in the fashion industry, working in buying offices in New York and then London where my husband Neil’s job took us in 2006. We relocated again in 2012 to Santiago, Chile, where I worked as the Community Liaison Officer (CLO) at the US Embassy.
What made you decide to move to Singapore? Neil’s job brought us here to work for the US Embassy. I felt excited for him and his career, and that all his hard work to acquire a position in SE Asia had finally paid off. One aspiration that Neil had was to work Europe, Latin America and Asia before he retired. For me, though, it would be a fantastic new chapter in my life. I left the fashion industry behind when we arrived in Chile, which I was actually quite relieved about. It was incredibly demanding and, after working as the CLO in Santiago, I found that I wanted to pursue something more community focused and benevolent.
What was your experience with the job market in Singapore when you arrived? It wasn’t as easy as I thought! I thought I might get a job within the Embassy, given my background as a CLO, but this wasn’t the case. An opportunity did come up, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. Rather than feel defeated, I started to think about how I could contribute the skills I acquired from my previous employment to other projects.
Director of Customer Success The role of the Director of Customer Success is to ensure our clients receive and leverage the full value available from our software implementations. In order to do this, the person in this role will be required to build a deep understanding of our software solution, as well as strong and trusted relationships with our clients. (job #3664)
How did you find out about AAS/ CRCE? When I arrived in Singapore, I immediately searched for organizations that were in my interest. The US Embassy has a great relationship with AAS who help Embassy families connect through their year-round events. I signed up for a Coffee Connexion meet-up where I found out about volunteering at the organization. As a volunteer, I was able to put to good use the transferable skills I gained in coordinating events and special projects when I was at the Embassy in Chile. After seven months the position of ‘Admin Specialist and Events Support’ came up and it was a really good fit for me.
Can you share with us some information about your current position at AAS? I am the main point of contact for most of the administrative tasks within the office. I work closely with the General Manager, Sarah Alden. I’m also the Events Support person working closely with Events Manager, Sarah Walston and Business Development Manager, Shu Khanduja. I love having a hand in all the different aspects of the organization and the variety that comes with that and being able to get involved with the community.
What advice can you share with new expatriates looking for a job in Singapore and/or anywhere else in the world? Get yourself out there and network. If you have children in school, joining the PTA and any school activities is a good way to meet people, too. More than anything, though, volunteer for anything you enjoy and have particular skills in; it really worked out for me.
Marketing & Communications Manager If you are creative, love creating quality go-to-market campaigns and can inspire a small team within the marketing and communication department in a technology company, we want to talk to you. We are looking for a temporary Marketing & Communications Manager for a four-month assignment to support local and regional projects to maximize company profits, develop sales strategies and oversee marketing campaigns. (job #3662)
CRCE WORKSHOP Lunch and Learn: Career and Job Search Roadblocks Speaker: Suzanna Borst Friday, June 8 12 – 1:30pm
Are you an employer with an opening to fill? Did you know employers can list jobs for free on the CRCE job board? Log onto www.aasingapore.com to find out more.
NEED HELP WITH APPROACHING THE JOB MARKET? DOES YOUR RESUME NEED A FACELIFT? AAS OFFERS PERSONALIZED CAREER COUNSELING SERVICES. CONTACT US FOR A PRIVATE APPOINTMENT WITH A PROFESSIONAL CAREER ADVISOR: CRCE.INFO@AASINGAPORE.COM
Regional IT Manager Our organization is recruiting for a Regional IT Manager. Duties will include managing system consolidation, daily operations, IT system stability and IT solution evaluation across APAC. In addition, the candidate will be developing and implementing policies on information asset protection, data classification, operating system platform security and network security. (job #3665) Strategic Planner We are looking for a strategic planner to assist us to define current and potential clients’ directions and develop communications strategies to help us achieve their brand and business objectives. Candidate must have strong analytical and organizational abilities. (job #3667) Account Director (e-Sports/Gaming) We are looking for an Account Director to manage multiple programs and execution for our client’s gaming and e-sports partnerships. The position will be responsible for the overall planning/execution process in the Asia Pacific region. This person will also have various day-to-day program management and client/agency integration responsibilities. (job #3668) Sales Development Representative We are the world's leading IP Analytic and Management platform that empowers senior business leaders to accelerate growth through Innovation and R&D. We are recruiting for a Sales Representative to set up commercial opportunities into any company that creates ideas or needs to protect their Intellectual Property. (job #3669) General Dentistry Treatment Coordinator Our centrally located dental practice is searching for a part time General Dentistry Treatment Coordinator to join our team. General dentistry knowledge is a plus, but not necessary. Excellent communication skills and a willingness to learn are essential. We offer competitive compensation, benefits and training. (job #3670)
7 CRCE & BUSINESS
Singapore American · June-July 2018
Embarking on an Online Trading Life in Singapore By Christopher Brankin
s one looks to begin one’s journey of investing, the first step is to get educated in order to help achieve individual goals. There is a wealth of free education available online and it is important to know that investing in personal financial literacy will pay dividends for a lifetime. One common pitfall of new investors is that they limit their opportunities because they don’t have a large trading account balance. However, having smaller account balances does not mean you cannot participate effectively in the markets. Utilizing capital efficiency can mean taking advantage of instruments like options on US exchangetraded products, which can require less capital per trade but involves unique risks. In fact, we see our Singapore client base taking advantage of Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) and their flexibility to help diversify their portfolios across a wide range of stocks, sectors and geographies. One in three of all our equity and option trades are executed in ETFs. There are a variety of products available in the market, and they can be easily accessed by qualified investors in Singapore; these include stocks, ETFs, options and futures. Trading to suit your profile – that’s the trick! Some points to consider when evaluating potential trades include: • Use risk-defined strategies; they are an effective way of utilizing capital and also offer you a clear understanding of risk-to-reward tradeoffs • Select high-probability trades, which you can easily view from your online trading platform • Trade products that trade on a centralized exchange and offer high liquidity and low execution costs
Of the many trading tips you see for new investors, portfolio diversification is paramount. Quite plainly, diversification can help insulate you from volatility and over-exposure to major events in the market. Having your fingers in many pies can help you spread your risk and your reward so you can benefit from your investing and weather any financial storms as they occur. Consider diversifying your portfolio across asset classes, equities and geographies, and rebalance your portfolio when market conditions dictate. As you begin your investing efforts, keep a cool head, continue to educate yourself and keep working and evaluating your strategies. The more you trade, the more you will learn. Christopher Brankin is CEO of TD Ameritrade Singapore, a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. © 2018 TD Ameritrade. Find out more about TD Ameritrade Singapore at: www.tdameritrade.com.sg. Disclaimer: All investments involve risk, including potential loss of principal. Clients must consider all relevant risk factors and their personal financial situation before trading; please read our Risk Warning Statement. TD Ameritrade Singapore Pte. Ltd. (Reg. No. 200902152D), trading as TD Ameritrade, is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or recommendations. Products and services offered in Singapore are provided by TD Ameritrade Singapore Pte. Ltd. and nothing in the published material is an offer or solicitation to conduct business in any other jurisdiction. TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. © 2018 TD Ameritrade. Photo courtesy of TD Ameritrade Singapore
8 COMMUNITY NEWS
Singapore American · June-July 2018
My Scouting Adventure in Telunas
Running and Rowing with Pack 3017
By Ryan Levitt
By Francine Martindale
ecently, our Cub Scouts Pack 3017 had a special assignment: To perform community service work for an organization of their choosing! We looked into many options, ranging from animal welfare organizations to beach clean-up operations. Many of them could take some of our Scouts, but not all at once, as our Pack has roughly 100 active Scouts. When the call came from Caring for Cambodia to join their fun run, it was a perfect match!
have been a Boy Scout for the past two years and a Cub Scout for the five years before that. Being part of Boy Scouts of America Troop 07 has been a great experience. We not only do rank and merit badge-related activities, which teach us new skills and life lessons, but also do really fun campouts and activities. This past Chinese New Year, our group of ten scouts went on a three-night campout in Telunas, an island near Batam, Indonesia. During this camp, we got to experience many new and fun activities. In one activity, we went out at night to spear shrimp in teams, which was really fun. It was a great cultural experience, since many locals go out and do this, too. The scouts only managed to catch around twenty in total; we learned later that the locals are able to catch hundreds in a night. I don’t think we would have had much of a meal with our catch! Another activity we pursued was a threemile hike to a waterfall where we set up hammocks for the night and camped in the jungle. Through this hike, we really got to bond with one another by pushing every one of us to reach the campsite. To connect fun with service and requirements for merit badges, on the way back we had a competition to see who could collect
the most trash, since we noticed a lot on the way to the campsite. All together we managed to collect two huge bags of trash and each completed some of the First Class requirement for our rank advancement and got service hours signed off. I was only able to collect a small bag of trash not even coming close to those who won the competition by collecting six.
Each Scout needed to run one mile, to raise funds for the Caring for Cambodia literacy program. On Friday, April 20, Scouts from every Den came together to do the run. Unfortunately rain also came, so we quickly moved the run indoors. The Scouts still had fun running in the Singapore American School gym, which was followed by popsicles for everyone.
This Telunas campout was a great way to sum up what scouting is really about: helping others, completing requirements, bonding with others, and trying new experiences from sleeping in hammocks to shrimp catching at night. All in all, I can’t wait for next year’s Telunas campout where I get to experience this all again and more!
This, and other events, are made possible by our team of dedicated volunteer parents. At every level, Cub Scouts is run by parent volunteers, who organize and run the activities for the Scouts as Den Leaders, Pack Committee Members, and volunteers at events. It’s a great way to spend quality time with your children and take part in activities that you might otherwise not.
Photo by Brad Levitt
Recently, one of the Bear Dens was able
to try their hands at dragon boating at the new Kallang Water Sports Centre which is part of the Singapore Sports Hub. After a short safety and rowing lesson, ten Scouts, six parents and two instructors were off and paddling, making it all the way to the Marina Barrage and back. Well done, Scouts! And well done, parents! If you would like to find out how your child can join Cub Scouts of America in Singapore, or how you can volunteer yourself, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be accepting new Scouts and volunteers in August 2018. Photo courtesy of Francine Martindale
SCOUTING IN SINGAPORE Boy Scouts Troop 07: www.bsatroop07.org Boy Scouts Troop 10: www.facebook.com/BSATroopX Cub Scouts Pack 3010: www.sgpack3010.org Cub Scouts Pack 3017: SGPack3017@gmail.com Girl Scouts: www.singaporeusagirlscouts.org
9 COMMUNITY NEWS
Singapore American · June-July 2018
Stomping out Hunger in Singapore By Sue Barber and Laura Terrile, Second Grade Teachers at SAS
ne hour and fifteen minutes. 268 second graders and their families. 3,671 laps. 1,468.4 kilometers.
The 12th annual second grade walk-a-thon, held in April this year, raised more than $43,000 in an attempt to stomp out hunger in Singapore. The Eagles’ efforts were amplified with 40 more students from our local partner school, Seng Kang Primary School, joining in the fun. Students set goals for how many laps they would complete and most pushed beyond their goals. The second grade community met students at the track and with each step our students confirmed that with effort, each one of us can make a difference in the lives of others. They were hot, they were sweaty – but they were smiling, knowing that they were helping our local community. In the words of several second graders, “We are stomping out hunger!” The funds received from the students’ sponsors will be given to our partner organization in Singapore – Food from the Heart. The donations will help to feed 300 needy people. Since the beginning of the school year, students have been building awareness and understanding about the concept of service and making a positive impact on our community. Our students’ learning has gone beyond the classroom with various lessons including a walking field trip, as well as the annual second grade walk-athon. Second graders have learned that they can and do make a difference to our local community in Singapore. The annual walk-a-thon encourages student learning through active participation, meeting the needs of our greater community. Despite being hot and sweaty the children loved making a difference and being able to advocate for a cause after their own hearts! Some other service learning opportunities our second graders participate in include a Toy Buffet sponsored by Food from the Heart for children in need, donating personal hygiene supplies to Caring for Cambodia, and even a field trip to a grocery store to buy groceries for designated low-income families identified by Food from the Heart. Photos courtesy of Singapore American School
Meet Donna L Woolf
Strategic Advisor at US Embassy, Singapore Public Affairs Section, US Embassy Singapore
y nomadic Foreign Service life started at birth, as I was born on a ship. My mother, eager to rejoin my father then stationed in New Zealand, boarded the S.S. Lurline in San Francisco, and I came into the world just before we landed in Honolulu, Hawaii. Of the many places we lived in over the years, Singapore was one of my favorites. From 1957 to 1960, my father served as Economic Counselor in what was then still a Crown Colony of the British Empire. I was 11 when we arrived. Here I am now, a retired Foreign Service officer myself, back in Singapore working on a short project, revisiting some of the places that had shaped me into who I am today. When I attended it, the Singapore American School had just opened in a grand villa on Rochalie Drive with an interesting mix of Singaporeans and expats from all over the world. Our teachers were Singaporean, British and American. My favorite was my English teacher who taught us how to diagram sentences and inspired my love for English literature by reading to us from the classics. The toughest was the Math
teacher. For fun we did ballroom dancing, put on plays, ate curry tiffin and attended tea dances. The favorite family outings were swimming and boating around islands and sand bars that were deserted back then. At an auction, my parents bid on and, to their great surprise, won an old police boat which we painted pink and white and named after the ship I was born on – the S.S. Lurline. The big surprise came when the actual ship, now a luxury cruise liner, docked in Singapore for my twelfth birthday and we got invited aboard for a big cake celebration. The event was featured in the Straits Times. Coming back to a place of happy childhood memories is a daunting experience … especially a place such as Singapore which has expanded and exploded into a vibrant metropolis. What has not changed, is the beauty of the place and the spirit of kindness and inclusivity of its people.” Photos courtesy of US Embassy Singapore
10 LIVING IN SINGAPORE
Singapore American · June-July 2018
Dragons, Drums and Dumplings By Frances Strong
t will come as no surprise to anyone who has spent time in Singapore that the annual Dragon Boat Festival (also known as the Dumpling Festival or Duan Yang, which translates to Upright Sun or Double Fifth) is also a celebration of food. Eating, is of course, something of a national pastime (and one that I was very keen to embrace from the get-go!). But do you know why the Dragon Boat Festival that we celebrate today is so intricately linked to dumplings? There are a number of legends around the origins of the Dragon Boat Festival. These include dragon worship, in which the racing took place out of reverence for the dragon and the dumplings represented an offering to the Dragon King. Alternatively, it might have been part of the harvest of winter wheat, during which offerings were made to spirits and deities in hope of a good harvest. My favorite story that links dumplings and dragon boat racing is that of Qu Yuan… It all dates back to ancient China in the state of Chu, as the Zhou Dynasty came to an end and a power struggle broke out between the different families, vying to establish their own kingdoms. Minister to the Zhou Emperor, Qu Yuan, a wise scholar, advised the Emperor to avoid conflict with the Qin Kingdom. Having fought against corruption in the court, Qu Yuan was well loved by the people but unpopular with the other officials, who encouraged the Emperor to disregard his advice and send him into exile. After a number of years away from the kingdom, which he spent traveling and writing poetry, he learned that the Zhou had fallen to the Qin. He was so devastated by this news, he drowned himself in the Mi Luo River. His popularity among the people was such that they wanted to protect his body. The fishermen jumped into their long boats and began scaring away the fish by beating their oars against the water and banging drums. Meanwhile, the women of the village made rice dumplings (zongzi or zhang) which they threw into the water for the fish to eat, keeping them away from Qu Yuan’s body.
And so, dragon boating and dumplings joined together to form a tradition in this delicious cultural celebration. The festival now occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month of the traditional Chinese calendar (where its alternate name, Double Fifth, comes from), which is June 18 this year. If you’d like to see the action unfold, races will take place at Bedok Reservoir on July 7 and 8, or catch the teams practicing regularly at the Kallang River. Originally from a tiny seaside town in the UK, Frances Strong has called Singapore home since 2011. Seven years later, she’s still exploring the Little Red Dot and loves to find new and quirky places to wow her visitors. When she’s not playing taxi driver for her three children, she likes to write about travel, motherhood, food, life…and anything in between.
Would you like to give dragon boating a try, but don’t know where to start? Don’t be shy, give the American Dragons a call! There’s no need to be super-fit to join for some fun paddling. Reach out by email: email@example.com or via the American Dragons Singapore Facebook page and one of their team members will get back to you with all the necessary details. They have practices in the early weekday mornings, land training sessions in the evenings, plus weekend practices throughout the year. So, there should be a time to suit any schedule.
Zongzi or zhang is a delicious treat made of glutinous rice, traditionally wrapped in bamboo, lotus or banana leaves. Filled with anything from savory favorites such as pork belly, salted eggs or sausage to the sweeter, dessert-style which favors bean paste, dates or nuts, there’s a filling to suit even the most discerning palate.
Singapore American · June-July 2018
WHAT LIES BENEATH By Katie Baines
t is said that we know more about space than we do our own oceans and yet they are the largest and most diverse habitat on Earth. Beneath the waves hides an other-worldly ecosphere with creatures beyond our imagination, some of which are still to be discovered. However, as powerful as our seas might be, they are under threat. From us. Over-fishing, over-diving and untreated waste are just some of the human inflictions that have had devastating consequences, such as bleaching of coral and the wiping out of entire species of marine life. Governments across the world, however, are waking up. Evidence of this can be seen with the recent closure of Boracay in the Philippines, and Thailand’s Maya Bay on Kho Phi Phi in a bid to allow their reefs and areas of natural beauty to recover from mass tourism. The diving community is also propagating a ‘responsible diving’ culture and clamping down on negligent dive companies. Our choices in diving destination can also help in rescuing our waters. By opting for a lesser known destination, we not only increase our chances of experiencing an unspoiled environment and escape the hordes at popular resorts, we also avoid contributing to the overcrowding of tourist spots that are already on their knees. Here is a handful of quieter dive locations that showcase some of Asia’s most breathtaking underwater sites.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Mergui Archipelago, Myan
Located on the north west tip of West Papua province, Raja Ampat holds the highest recorded diversity of marine life with 537 coral species and 1,074 species of fish, according to The Nature Conservancy. In recent years the local government has battled against over-fishing, pollution and urbanization with reasonable success and the reefs surrounding the island are remarkably healthy. Reef sharks, manta rays and turtles live in harmony among the spectacular coral fans, but it is the clouds of tightly packed fusilier fish, moving in perfect unison, that steal the show. Dive conditions are at their best between October and April, but the island experiences strong winds from July to September, which create rough seas.
Diving around Komodo Island is usually upstaged by its eponymous land-going dragons; seemingly prehistoric lizards that can grow up to 2.5 meters, weigh up to 125 kilograms and have teeth coated in deadly bacteria. However, divers are treated to wonders in a variety of tropical environments from warm, serene and vibrant reefs packed with hundreds of colorful fish, to deep cool waters with fierce currents and sheer walls that drop into nothingness, patrolled by sharks, tuna and groupers. Given that dive sites are relatively far apart, a good way to ensure you get the most out of this part of the archipelago is to take a liveaboard tour. Cruises leave from Bali year-round, with most tours in Komodo from April to August; tours last from five to ten days, which allows plenty of time to visit the dragons, too.
Since Myanmar only opened up Archipelago has largely remaine helped by the fact that you ca liveaboard. Many divers board th to go to the more frequented Simil further north and the rewards w of privilege exploring the untou where, between February and Ma rays and whale sharks is fairly hig levels of expertise, more experien myriad of life on its expansive wa
Photo by Marianne Harvey
13 Singapore American · June-July 2018
Dive Responsibly Pick an environmentally responsible dive center Ask about their conservation ethos and their proactive approach to protecting the aquatic environments they visit.
Buy reef-safe sunscreen According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, approximately 4,000 – 6,000 tons of sunscreen is washed off into the coral reefs every year resulting in fish toxicosis and coral bleaching. Reef-safe varieties are readily available and use chemical compounds that are far friendlier to sea life.
Don’t touch the coral Corals are coated in a membrane that protects them from disease. Touching the coral breaks down this membrane leaving them vulnerable and it can take years for them to grow back.
Practice neutral buoyancy Make sure you are correctly weighted before entering the water and that your equipment is tucked in properly to avoid it touching the coral.
Take nothing but photos If it’s down there, it should stay down there – you are a guest in the home of the life that thrives there and respecting their environment is paramount. Unless, that is, you find litter which you should pick up and dispose of once out of the water.
Photo by Marianne Harvey
Similan Islands, Thailand
Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, Philippines
p to tourism in 1997, the Mergui ed undisturbed and this has been an only reach the 11 islands by heir accommodation at Myanmar lan islands of Thailand, but venture will be bountiful. There is a sense uched waters of the archipelago ay, the possibility of seeing manta gh. Although there is plenty for all nced divers will enjoy exploring the alls and its many caverns.
Where their neighboring islands have fallen foul of mass tourism and over-diving, the Similan Islands have seemingly evaded these perils and offer the very best of Thailand. This is chiefly due to its status as a protected national park that closes for six months between mid-May and mid-October to allow the reef to recuperate. Located to the north of Phuket and due west of Khao Lak where day trips to the Similans can be arranged, these nine islands are fringed with white sand beaches and the reefs are home to an astonishing array of sea life including black tip, white tip and leopard sharks, moray eels, barracudas, turtles and luminous coral cities. Conditions are at their most stable between February and April when visibility can reach up to 40 meters.
Declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1993, the UN describes the Tubbataha Reef as “a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100-meter perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.” Nestled in the Coral Triangle, containing the highest level of biodiversity on Earth, the reef hosts over 600 species of fish and 300 coral species, as well as providing a nesting site for green and hawksbill turtles. Accessible only between March and July when liveaboards are permitted to enter the park, emphasis is very much on conservation; dive groups frequently visit the North Atoll field station which is manned all year to learn about the protection of the marine system. Thresher sharks, hammerheads and whale sharks can be seen on the walls and the shallow reef is abundant with colorful reef fish, sting rays and mantas.
14 HOW SG WORKS
Singapore American · June-July 2018
Paying the Bill – It's More Complex Than You Think By Bill Poorman
f you’re preparing for a move to Singapore, it’s likely that you’ve already heard about the great variety of cultural, culinary and entertainment experiences the nation has to offer. Another kind of diversity you might not have heard about yet: the huge variety of ways to pay for stuff. In daily life you will encounter a seemingly bewildering array of payment options, from familiar cash and credit card transactions to mobile payments using your smart phone. But Singapore also has its own homegrown systems, and certain public services require specific forms of payment. Even the simple act of writing a check has some unique Singaporean tics. Here’s a little help sorting it all out.
Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) Like many countries, most famously China, Singapore has been working toward becoming a cashless society. Since its introduction in the 1980s, the NETS system allows payments to be made directly from your account. To collect payment, the merchant will insert your NETSready ATM card into a reader and ask you to punch in your PIN. NETS also has contactless options, which allow you to pay by waving your ATM card or mobile phone over a special terminal. Contactless payments require either a special card or a phone with NFC (Near-Field Communication) built in, so make sure you have the right tech. Contactless NETS can also work using QR codes and your phone camera. Note that any form of payment using your phone will require installing the appropriate app and logging in to your account.
NETS@Flashpay NETS@Flashpay is also offered by NETS group, but it requires understanding a very important concept in Singapore: the “top up”. Several forms of payment in Singapore are kinds of digital wallets. Just like your real-life wallet, if you don’t put in more cash from time to time, you can’t use it to pay. Digital wallets are no different. In Singapore, adding money to these digital wallets is called topping up. Some digital wallets are mobile apps but several important services, including public transportation, require special cards. Some ATM cards are enabled for NETS@Flashpay, but you can also buy NETS@Flashpay cards at retailers such as 7-Eleven. These cards allow you to make contactless payments at many merchants and transportation services,
including the MRT, buses, several cab companies, and even some car parks (parking lots). Cards can be topped up at ATMs and 7-Eleven, or via a mobile app. Some auto-top up systems are also available. Pro tip: If you plan to use the ATM to top up, make sure there’s no one in line behind you the first couple of times. The navigation menus can be a bit complex, so you won’t want to feel pressured while you figure it out.
CashCard Also issued by NETS, the CashCard is essential for carowners. CashCards are inserted into the In-Vehicle Unit (IU) mounted on the inside of all car windshields. In order to manage road congestion, Singapore uses a system called Electronic Road Pricing (ERP). You’ll see giant, road-spanning gantries at various points around the city. If you drive under these the displayed charge will be deducted from your CashCard. Pro tip: You’ll want to have a couple of these cards – one in the IU and another somewhere within easy reach. When your CashCard gets low the IU will start to beep; the way to make it stop is to insert a toppedup card.
In addition, many car parks have automatic payment systems that deduct payment from the IU CashCard. Those that don’t are often parking spots on the side of a road. Until recently, Singapore used a paper coupon system, but those are being phased out in favor of the Parking.sg app, so it’s handy to have this app pre-installed.
ez-link Launched in 2002, ez-link was the first contactless payment card created for public transportation. It works with the MRT and buses, plus some taxis and retailers, too. ez-link cards can even work with the ERP system. ez-link cards can be topped up at ATMs, via an app, or at 7-Eleven. Pro tip: We keep a couple of spare ez-link cards around for when people visit. That way we can all ride the MRT and buses together.
Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay Up until now, I’ve been focused a lot on the ubiquitous card technologies in Singapore. But of course, payments
technology is constantly changing, and Singapore works to stay up-to-date. Google Pay (formerly Android Pay), Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are widely accepted.
Other contactless and digital wallet systems Once you dig into the payments systems in Singapore, it starts to feel like everyone has a special one of their own. The mobile phone carrier Singtel’s contactless system, Dash, allows payments at retailers and, if you get a special SIM card, you can use your phone for the MRT and buses. Visa and MasterCard have their own technologies in the field. Visa payWave is a contactless payment system that is built into some bank cards. MasterCard’s MasterPass system can be used in a variety of ways, including for cab rides. Pro tip: Some credit cards are restricted to prevent fraud, so call the company and tell them you’re moving to a different country and to approve purchases from there. Even if you do, things might be rocky for the first few months. It took a while for our credit card company to really, really believe that we weren’t crooks and had actually moved outside the US.
Bank transfers One payment system that was new to me when I arrived in Singapore was direct bank transfers – meaning you get a person’s or a merchant’s bank account number and use either your bank’s website or mobile app to send money directly from your account. This is easy enough to do once a given transfer is set up, but getting to that point can be a bit of headache. First, you need the accurate and detailed bank account information, then in order to be secure, banks require several stages of confirmation to add payees and send money. This type of payment uses a system called FAST (Fast and Secure Transfers), which you will likely see mentioned in many places and on your bank’s website. Another common form of bank transfer is GIRO (General Interbank Recurring Order). This is a special payment relationship with a given merchant, enabling them to automatically collect payment from your account on a recurring basis, usually monthly. While convenient, it requires a certain level of trust and a bit of paperwork to set up, since you and the merchant are entering into a long-term contract.
Singapore American · June-July 2018
Singapore’s banks also promote direct transfers in other ways. Recently they started a new system called PayNow. This is designed more for individuals to send cash to one another and requires that you know one another’s name, phone number and NRIC (Singapore ID) number. However, currently only one phone number and NRIC can be associated with each bank account. Banks also offer digital wallet systems that can be used across different mobile phones. For example, DBS has PayLah, an app that can be installed across several devices – say, your kids’ phones – and everyone can use it to pay. It can then be topped up from your one bank account. Pro tip: Once you get settled in Singapore, you’ll likely start traveling. Make sure your ATM card works outside of Singapore by contacting your bank to specifically enable ATM transactions elsewhere.
Paying by check With all of these payment options, you might think that the plain, old-fashioned check (or cheque, as it is written in Singapore) had gone away. No, not quite. You will likely have to write one or two somewhere along the way. But even that has its own quirks. It’s highly likely that the company or person you’re paying will ask for two alterations. First, next to the line where you write the payee name, you will find the words “or Bearer”. Draw a line through that. Second, you’ll want to draw two angled lines across the upper left corner of the check. These two changes signal that you want the check to be deposited into the payee’s account only and not turned into cash or deposited elsewhere.
Relax, but keep paying attention Overwhelmed? Yeah, me too, and I wrote the article. There are many systems and payment technology is constantly evolving, but you will soon figure out what works for you. Once you’ve gotten to that point, it can be fun to experiment with the other available options. New entrants from China, such as Alipay and WeChat Pay, are popping up in areas with lots of tourists. And of course, the competition is fierce among payments providers, so expect frequent developments and improvements. Pro tip: Relax, enjoy your adventure, and good luck! Bill Poorman is a writer who has lived in Singapore for four years and just figured out a good way to make sure his teenagers have some cash on hand without going to the ATM all the time. Photos by Bill Poorman
16 HOW SG WORKS
Singapore American · June-July 2018
Going Underground By Marc Servos
ingapore’s robust public transportation infrastructure follows the models of those similar in large metropolitan areas globally. Arguably the most travelled and swiftest system here is the Mass Rapid Transit, better known as the MRT. What makes commuting on the MRT more critical here is the high cost of cars, but even car owners often choose to benefit from its convenience, especially in the Central Business District. Beginning with only five stations when it became operational in 1987, the MRT presently consists of a network of 154 stations with plans to grow even further. The idea of the MRT was conceived during the 1960s as part of the long term plans for providing public transport, to be implemented by the then-future year of 1992. Construction began in October 1983, and operations commenced on November 7, 1987, with the original five stations being Yio Chu Kang, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Braddell and Toa Payoh, all on the red North-South Line. During the following months, expansions of the North-South Line and the new green East-West Line opened, concluding Phase I in March 1988. As per the original plan, Phase II spanned the East-West Line from Pasir Ris to Boon Lay and the formerlynamed Branch Line from Jurong East to Choa Chu Kang, opening in July 1990. To serve commuters in the North and Northwest regions, the MRT was extended from Yishun to Choa Chu Kang, incorporating the Branch Line into the North-South Line. Known as the Woodlands Extension, it opened in February 1996, and electronic displays at station entrances informing commuters about train arrival times were first implemented there. These two original lines have since gained additional stations, with plans for further expansion. A Light Rail Transit (LRT) system added in 1999, consisting of 14 stations and known as the Bukit Panjang LRT line, connects to Choa Chu Kang. The rolling stock consists of several different models of six-car trains, which are housed and maintained at the Bishan, Ulu Pandan, Changi and Tuas Depots. As new lines opened, so automated trains were adopted. The purple Northeast Line opened in June 2003 as the first of these, extending from HarbourFront to Punggol. The idea of this line was conceived during the 1980s to be built when Singapore’s population would reach three million. The current rolling stock is the six-car Alstom Metropolis C751A train and a total of 25 of them are used. LRT Lines branch out of Sengkang and Punggol stations. It is planned to expand this line to Punggol Coast MRT, which is expected to open in 2023. The next automated line was the Circle Line, currently running from Dhoby Ghaut to HarbourFront and Marina Bay, which opened its first extension in May 2009. It was the first medium capacity MRT line and uses the three-car C380 train. Plans were laid out during the 1980s when the local population would reach four million. The blue Downtown Line operates from Bukit Panjang in the northwest to Expo in the east. It is also an automated medium capacity line, using the three-car Bombardier Movia C951 model. Its first phase opened in December 2013, with subsequent additions and plans for future expansion. Construction has been underway for the Thomson-East Coast Line, extending from Woodlands North, which will be close to the planned Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System, to Sungei Bedok, the latter being an interchange connecting to the Downtown Line. It is planned to open in five phases between 2019 and 2024. There are additional plans to build the Jurong Region Line and the Cross Island Line with tentative opening dates of 2025 and 2030, respectively. Despite the smooth and efficient running of the MRT, it hasn’t been without its issues. Several fatalities and injuries over the years of passengers falling onto the tracks and being hit by oncoming trains, calling for half-height platform screen doors installed at the above-ground stations. In additional to these incidents, there have been other issues, including collisions in 1993 and November 2017, both of which caused injuries to commuters. Other challenges in recent times also involved overcrowding (not according to those familiar with the systems in Tokyo) and train delays. But despite these, the MRT’s comprehensive rail network continues to provide transport conveniently for over three million commuters daily. For more fun facts about the development of MRT, see a blog: https://bit.ly/2KKD9VO Marc Servos is a Hoosier in terms of his home state and Alma Mater. The Fort Wayne native is married to a Singaporean, Sherley, and has been living here for years. He has two children, ages 16 and 8. Map courtesy of Singapore Land Transport Authority
17 HOW SG WORKS
Singapore American · June-July 2018
Custom-Made: Then and Now By Laura Schwartz
nvision shopping in Singapore and it’s usually Orchard Road that pops into your head, a beacon of modernity, overflowing with brand name designers from all over the world. But just a few decades ago, a shopping spree here was a much different affair. Until store-bought fashion became readily available in the 1970s, tailors and dressmakers met all sartorial needs. Well-to-do society women would purchase paper sewing patterns from Robinsons, arguably Singapore’s most well-known department store, and then trawl for bales of fabric in the array of shops on High Street. Even celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor were known to visit these luxurious made-to-measure shops for one-of-a-kind gowns. According to local musician Vernon Cornelius (affectionately known as the ‘Cliff Richard’ of Singapore), the start of the nation’s style consciousness was in the 1960s, when television and rock music came to the island. But in order to dress themselves in outfits they considered a “sincere form of expressing our own identity,” most young people like Cornelius had to save for weeks or months for custom, made-to-measure clothes. A far cry from the stockpile of cheap clothing now available at the click of a button. While the nation’s love of shopping and fashion have in no way diminished, tailors have had to adjust to the times. The prevalence of online shopping has reduced the requests for made-tomeasure clothes but has increased the demand for alterations. Fabric stores are fewer. Today, most are grouped together on Arab Street or in People’s Park Complex. Sewing has also become a less common skill, so the average age of dressmakers is rising, with fewer apprentices to take their places.
Suzanne Chua, a graduate of Raffles LaSalle, considers herself one of the youngest in the industry. “And I’m nearly fifty,” she laughed. Chua and then-boyfriend-now-husband Dennis Koh jointly launched Zann & Denn in August 1997, currently located on Kreta Ayer Road, a few steps from Duxton Hill and Chinatown. Despite the challenges facing the industry, Chua remains hopeful that there will continue to be a market for bespoke clothing. After all, she notes, it’s not merely shopping. It’s an experience. And there’s nothing quite like owning something completely unique. For Chua, maintaining her career in the made-to-measure industry has gone hand-in-hand with adaptation. She recently began collaborating with Universal Studios Singapore to create costumes for enormously popular events like Halloween Horror Nights. She comments that the free range to be creative in designing costumes has been invigorating. “Passion is what keeps you going when the market is low. I’m not a person who gives up easily,” Chua says. “There were many, many tailors; it depends on who perseveres.” If you’d like to further explore Singapore’s rich fashion history, check out the book Fashion Most Wanted by John de Souza, Cat Ong and Tom Rao. Born in Ireland, Laura Jane Schwartz (née O’Gorman) grew up in Tokyo, Singapore and New Jersey before attending Bard College in upper New York, where she majored in Japanese Studies. Her fiction and non-fiction writing has appeared in a range of publications, including: The Shanghai Literary Review, Thoughtful Dog Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. She’s as voracious a traveler as she is a reader, and to date has been to over 30 countries.
The New Togetherness
Co-Working and Co-Living Takes Off By Richard Hartung
eflecting major shifts in how people work and live, new options in Singapore provide cheaper solutions for offices and homes as well as new opportunities for collaboration and togetherness.
Co-working spaces, the membership-based workspaces where freelancers and independent professionals can work in a shared setting, have taken off here and around the world. And it’s no wonder. They offer flexible office arrangements and excellent amenities at affordable prices in great locations. After starting out as just an office location, newer co-working spaces now offer plenty more. The Working Capitol in Keong Saik Road, for instance, has an in-house café, screening rooms, phone booths and even a beer garden. Its newer Robinson Road outlet has a range of custom-designed working areas and a café as well as showers and a gym. Specialized spaces have popped up as well. Trehaus, for instance, offers childcare services for children along with office space and a kitchenette for their parents. MOX offers 3D printers, laser cutters and work stations with design software for creatives and makers. Here in Singapore, there are more than 50 co-working spaces. The space leased by these providers grew by 42 percent to 2.1 million square feet in 2017, according to Colliers. The trend is similar globally, with the 2018 Global Coworking Survey forecasting that 1.7 million people will be working in about 19,000 co-working spaces globally by the end of 2018. And even companies like IBM, Barclays Bank and Microsoft have started leasing co-working spaces for staff. Beyond the convenience, a study led by University of Michigan professor Gretchen Spreitzer found that that people who use co-working spaces report levels of thriving averaging six on a seven-point scale, higher than people who work in regular offices. The reason, she found, is that people who use co-working spaces see their work as more meaningful, have more control of their jobs and feel part of a community. Building on the popularity of co-working, companies have now started to offer co-living spaces as well. Started by Pure House in the US around 2014, co-living has gained traction especially among people in their 20s and 30s. The operators often curate the mix of members who live together to help ensure compatibility. Along with sharing an apartment with a private bedroom for each person and common areas such as shared kitchens and living rooms, the spaces also enable shared activities and chores. One of the first here was Hmlet, which launched in 2016 with Hmlet@Joo Chiat, a five-
story building that is home to about 26 members. It recently added Hmlet@Sarkies, a 30,000 square-foot condominium in Newton dedicated solely to co-living. Hmlet offers room rentals with a minimum commitment of three months at fees of about $900-$2,000 per month and provides internet, cleaning and ironing services. Others have since entered the market, including Chinese company Mamahome, and more are on the way. Co-living also reflects a global trend, with Forbes opining that major developers such as Durst Organization are jumping onto the co-living bandwagon and with Property Markets Group launching a new division called X Social Communities with thousands of co-living units in the pipeline. Changes including the growth of the gig economy and high prices for offices as well as homes, along with cultural shifts among millennials in particular, are driving new developments in how people live and work. Co-working and co-living offer great opportunities for anyone, though, who wants to be part of a community, socialize more easily and save money – and thrive more at work too. Richard Hartung, the Managing Director of Transcarta, is a freelance writer for Today, gtnews, Challenge, OOSSKAnews, The Asian Banker and other media as well as the author of Changing Lanes, Changing Lives. He is also a consultant in retail banking, focusing on payments strategy and efficiency, with more than 20 years of experience in Asia.
18 HOW SG WORKS
Singapore American · June-July 2018
Domestic Duties By Faith Chanda
ome expats may not be accustomed to domestic help at all, and others may be used to employing several people to perform various tasks around their home. Adjusting to the customs and practices in Singapore can be a bit daunting, so we’ve broken down some of the most common questions…
What’s a “helper?” Is that like a maid? Yes, but so much more! In Singapore, many households have live-in helpers, who do it ALL, usually with a smile on their faces, and who take their chosen role very seriously – they are here to HELP you.
What can my helper help me with? The most common tasks are cleaning, laundry, cooking, shopping and childcare. Every household has different needs; every employer has different preferences and you’ll have to figure out what balance works for you. In my house, our wonderful helper takes care of many of the responsibilities that used to keep us from spending time with our kids, our friends and each other, like cooking, cleaning and food shopping. And because she lives with us, we can rely on her to take care of our kids when we want to head out for a date night. The kids are with someone they are comfortable with and someone we know well and trust.
That sounds amazing! But how much will it cost? The employment of foreign domestic workers (FDWs), as helpers are formally known, is tightly regulated in Singapore. Newly arrived FDWs must participate in a Settling In program to help them
get acclimated to Singapore and their role as a helper. Prospective first-time employers must complete an orientation program that informs you of the laws and some guidelines regarding helpers. According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), employers are responsible for: • Monthly salary • Security bond • Medical insurance • Personal accident insurance • Foreign domestic worker levy These regulations change from time to time, so it’s a good idea to confirm with MOM. Families with more than one child can hire more than one helper in certain conditions. Check with MOM for the latest regulations. Generally, you will need to have more than one child and adequate space for more than one helper to live.
I don’t like the idea of a stranger living with us. Are there any other options? Sure, there are. Permanent Residents and Singaporean citizens can be employed as parttime helpers. Usually these helpers will be focused mostly on cleaning, but there are part-timers available with a wide variety of skills and experience. It is helpful to note that this arrangement may end up being more expensive than live-in help as the payment for live-out domestic help is generally on an hourly basis, which can work out monthly to be more than what a live-in helper makes with a monthly salary plus room, board, etc.
19 HOW SG WORKS
Singapore American · June-July 2018
There are also agencies to fulfill all of your domestic needs, such as cooking, cleaning or childcare. But be careful, as with any arrangement of this kind there are plenty of reputable and not-so-reputable establishments, so it’s a good idea to seek out recommendations from friends or co-workers before choosing an agency. Some agencies will send the same person for each session if you schedule a regular date and time for cleaning or cooking, others will not. Some agencies will charge the employees placement fees, other will not. This is true of agencies for live-in helpers as well. So, it’s important to be discerning when selecting an agency.
place caregivers and websites that merely match caregivers looking for work with families needing babysitting or nanny services. There are also special “confinement nannies” who are specifically hired to care for mother and baby for the first few months after birth when they would traditionally be confined to their home. If you hire a foreign confinement nanny, her employment pass will be valid for 16 weeks starting from the date the child is born. You can apply beforehand and employ her up to four weeks in advance of the birth.
Can’t I just hire someone else’s live-in helper on their time off?
What are my choices?
Nope, FDW employment passes are tied to only one employer and it is illegal for them to work for anyone else. So, for example, a helper can accompany a child in her care to another home in order to supervise that child. But, she cannot go to another location for the purpose of cooking, cleaning, childcare or any other tasks that are not directly related to domestic work for the person associated with their employment pass.
What if I just need childcare? There are plenty of options. Perhaps you don’t want to hire a live-in helper or want your helper to focus only on what needs to be done around the house. One alternative is applying for a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) for a grandparent to live in Singapore with you in order to help take care of your children. Not having the support network of family nearby can be one major downside to expat life. If you have a parent or parents who would be willing to move to Singapore for an extended period of time, this may be an option for you. Another option would be a Permanent Resident or Singaporean citizen who is self-employed as a nanny or babysitter. This choice is also one to be made with recommendations from people you know, or at the very least references from families who employ or have employed her for childcare. There are agencies that recruit and
I’d like my little one to play with other kids and learn some, too. Also consider the many daycare and pre-school choices available. There are a wide variety of childcare centers and kindergartens so it’s possible to arrange daycare for infants up to school-age children, and many of them have multiple scheduling options as well as before-care and after-care to suit the needs of working parents. It seems that just about every educational philosophy and style can be found in Singapore and there are plenty to choose from. The Singapore government has increased its focus on early childhood through the Early Childhood Development Agency (ecda.gov.sg) that oversees all childcare centers and Kindergartens. Their website features portals to search licensed child care centers or preschools by features like location, fees, the child’s age and your preferred level of care (half days, full days, etc.). We are spoiled for choice in Singapore! It is both freeing and confusing to have so many ways available to run your household and care for your family. With a little research, you are sure to find a solution that suits your situation. Faith relocated to Singapore in January 2015 with her husband and two young children. She is a freelance writer and marketing consultant as the sole proprietor of F. Chanda Communications & Events. Faith enjoys exploring food, culture, nature and design through her travel adventures and looks forward to many new discoveries throughout Asia.
Singapore American · June-July 2018
Blended Learning By Joe Lingle
lended learning breaks the mold of traditional schooling and redesigns the educational experience in ways that students find engaging, relevant and enriching.
where teachers tap into the benefits of having all students together. For example, students can interact with each other in groups, complete science labs or take exams.
Like students in the past, most students today follow a rigid daily schedule ruled by bells. Students are often frustrated because so much of their time is wasted moving between classes or waiting while a teacher gets the class settled, takes attendance, manages a discipline problem, or explains a concept that the student already knows. Some modern students find content delivery such as a onesize-fits-all lecture in class to be a waste of their time. These students would prefer for much of their learning to happen asynchronously.
But on some classes, they have “blended days” when they learn asynchronously. Their teachers are available, but attendance in class is optional. These blended learning days create large blocks of times so students can spend their time in more meaningful ways. They might get coaching from a teacher in a class that is difficult or where they seek enrichment; work independently on a project; spend time off-campus to participate in internships, community learning or travelling to an athletic competition; or attend a music or play rehearsal.
When students learn when and where they want, for example by watching an online lecture or reading a textbook, it is called asynchronous learning. Asynchronous learning gives students control; they can skip past the parts they already know, they can pause to take notes, or they can re-play parts they find difficult. According to a study by MIT and Harvard, online learning can teach at least as effectively as traditional classes.
Blended days are not days off. Students have to get up, put on their school uniform and come to school where they work under the supervision of teachers or mentors. The difference is that the learning experiences are highly individualized for each student.
But students and teachers still find value in traditional whole class lessons when the time is used well. For example, tremendous learning can happen at school when students interact in small groups to grapple with concepts and questions. So how do we capture the best of traditional education where students participate in engaging, meaningful activities in class while eliminating the wasted time? One model is blended learning. A blended learning class is a “blend” of the best strategies for classroom instruction and asynchronous learning. At Shattuck-St. Mary’s Forest City International School, high school students meet for traditional lessons for those classes
Blended learning frees teachers to work one-on-one or in small groups with students who need it to ensure mastery of foundational skills while freeing students to spend their time in areas of need or passion. Students also develop time management skills and responsibility while under our careful supervision to ensure success. We like to call it "university with training wheels." Blended learning gives students the best of traditional learning while also engaging them in exciting, relevant opportunities that develop the wide range of skills they need for university and beyond. Joe Lingle is the Upper School Principal at Shattuck-St. Mary’s Forest City International School. Photo courtesy of Shattuck-St. Mary’s Forest City International School
Two New Doctors from the US Share a Common Ethos
f you have been around the Expat Dental office lately you may have noticed two new faces. Dr. Joel Cooper has arrived most recently from South Carolina. Dr. Joel’s extensive professional career began in academia, including stops at Baylor College of Dentistry and the Medical University of South Carolina. Later, he also founded the Department of Orthodontics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and has spent time working in numerous native villages across Alaska. He has also practiced orthodontics privately for 15 years. As a dentist experienced with children of all ages, Joel is keen to get out into the community and help educate young children and their parents on the importance of oral care at the earliest age. In line with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, he recommends a first routine check at age six months or when the first few primary teeth erupt. Joel recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven. At that age most children still have many baby teeth; however, certain permanent teeth have likely come through. It is from these first permanent teeth that an orthodontist can begin to detect potential problems such as crowding or bite issues that can interfere with the child’s oral growth and development. Early visits can help identify potential problems in a child’s mouth. It is not uncommon for habits such as pacifier use, thumb-sucking and mouth-breathing to affect the shape of dental arches at a young age. Another benefit of early examinations is that they allow children to become familiar with the clinic environment, making it a fun and educational experience. It is important for parents to be comfortable at the dentist for their children and themselves. According to Joel, oral care is an important habit that parents can role model every day. Parents who promote proper brushing, regular flossing
and healthy food and drink habits can help to ensure that their baby’s teeth get the best possible start. Our other newcomer on level 8 agrees. Dr. Mike Faktor joins our team after owning his own dental practice in Aspen, Colorado for 10 years. With 15 years’ experience, Mike says he is excited about the direction dentistry is going in and he enjoys communicating to patients how simple changes to their diet and oral health habits can lead to a better overall health and quality of life. Mike is dedicated to ongoing learning about oral care and sharing the knowledge with his patients. For example, the consumption of soft drinks and alcohol have a big impact on a person’s health, as does smoking cigarettes and vaping. The impact is often more apparent in the mouth of a patient where acid and sugars promote tooth decay from an early age. Smoking causes dry mouth, which also allows acids to build up on teeth and gums. From a holistic perspective, Mike believes the reduction of stress is paramount for a healthy mouth. By reducing stress, patients can be more careful about what they eat, smoke and drink. Clenching and grinding may also be reduced and treated. And a regular mindful approach to health means regular checkups and ongoing hygiene and education in cooperation with the dentist and hygienists at your clinic. Various diseases and potential health issues may be picked up and treated more quickly with regular examinations. So, it seems both newcomers have a common ethos when it comes to oral health and a healthy lifestyle. Their message is to be proactive, stay active and enjoy life no matter what your age. The benefits to you and your family will flow on from there! For more information, visit www.expatdental.com. Photos by Lydia Astill
21 HEALTH & WELLNESS
Singapore American · June-July 2018
Found Your Ikigai Yet? By Dee Allan
What is my purpose? Why am I doing this job? Why am I unfulfilled? Why am I not content?
ound familiar? Life’s well-meaning ‘roadmap’ is imprinted on us. Get an education, work hard, get a job, get married, have kids, buy a house, retire.
We follow this pre-defined structure and so many of us get lost or stuck. We end up feeling unhappy, bitter, depressed even. Yet still we follow the formula, despite being unfulfilled. What is going on? Introducing Ikigai (pronounced e-kee-guy). Our Japanese friends have brought us a beautiful concept, which roughly translates as finding meaning, through a wider and deeper search for happiness.
Ikigai … what? What is the reason you get up in the morning? What do you ‘live for’ (other than money or a swanky business card)? Here’s where it gets interesting. If you overlap the below themes, you start to get a sense of what Ikigai actually entails: • What you love • What you care about • What the world needs
Make it visual Now visualize whatever you have noted down. Imagine walking yourself through the life you have described in your journal. Get detailed, live the life you desire as if you already have it. As your insights surface, select a few to action. Perhaps you wish to socialize more, pursue a career or start meditation. Start making tiny adjustments, book tickets to a show, update your CV, wake up thirty minutes earlier to practice meditation. All these incremental tweaks will compound. You will move towards meaning and purpose, closer to your Ikigai.
• What you can get paid for Ikigai is a practice, it is a methodology, an ever-evolving commitment to yourself.
Check in Check in with yourself regularly by asking searching questions:
And this affects me because …
• How am I feeling?
When you follow the journey to find your Ikigai, it enhances your wellbeing, supercharges your relationships and boosts health. All great reasons to start your discovery today!
• What doesn’t feel right? • Why am I feeling this way? Remember your Ikigai is your inner guide. It is evolving real-time. Turn up the volume and listen.
So, how will I find my Ikigai? Test it
First up, are you ready to deep-dive into experimentation and raw self-exploration? Yes? Then the first step is to grab a journal and create some space in your day to embark on a journey of contemplation and reflection.
Finding your Ikigai is an ongoing quest. You must take steps and make tweaks along the journey in order to find meaning. You may need to rearrange priorities or explore new directions. For example, you may decide to launch a new lifestyle business, travel more, prioritize family or start to ‘un-schedule’ your diary.
These questions will fire up your neurons and get you thinking: • What is your passion? • What do you know you are good at? • What is the world in need of? • How can you make money? • What change in the world would you like to see?
• Here and now, what makes you happy?
Who in your inner circle will be offering you support? As you begin your transition towards your Ikigai, it’s vital to have your cheerleaders in place. Mentors, family and friends can all act as guides through your journey.
• What gets you out of bed? Over time, thoughts and ideas will begin to surface. By being raw and honest with yourself, you will open up the channels to receive insights. No matter how crazy your thoughts seem to be, jot everything down. It’s all part of the process. Go free, naked and wild.
Top tips • Don’t judge yourself. For example, if career gives you purpose it doesn’t mean you care less for family or vice versa. Dee Allan is the Director of 3C Synergy recruitment consultancy and a freelance copywriter. A mother to two children, Dee enjoys writing, acting, singing and practicing her Ikigai.
• The journey won’t always be rainbows and glitter. Stay true to your sense of purpose to keep the bad days in check. • Permit your Ikigai to guide you. Ask yourself if you are happy at regular intervals.
22 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · June-July 2018
SINGAPORE AMERICAN NEWSPAPER
A message from the President... Who can believe it’s already June? For those of us with children in schools that follow the northern hemisphere’s schedule, it’s almost time for that super-long ‘summer’ vacation. I wish you all a wonderful break, whether you’re staying on the Little Red Dot, heading to your home country to catch up with family and friends, or venturing further afield to experience a new destination.
EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief: Cath Forte, firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing Editor: Sarah Alden, email@example.com
DESIGN & LAYOUT Graphic Designer: Miia Koistinen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Before we all head off, we’ll be holding our nearlegendary (and certainly spectacular) 4th of July Celebration at Singapore American School. Join us from 4pm on Saturday, June 30, for this fabulous carnival of fun, food and patriotism. We’ll have live music throughout the day, plus plenty of things to keep the whole family entertained – from the tiny tots to the adults, there’s fun for everyone. And, of course, we’ll set the Singapore sky ablaze with a fantastic fireworks display! If you would like to volunteer your time to help out at this amazing event, please contact our Events Manager, Sarah Walston (email@example.com).
New this year – jump the queue and pre-purchase tickets for carnival games from the American Association of Singapore (AAS) office, starting June 4. AAS members will receive an extra 10 tickets with a minimum spend of $30.
Treasurer: Michael Borchert • Secretary: Joseph Foggiato
As the school year comes to a close, so we find ourselves saddened by the seasonal goodbyes. The kids are being invited to leaving parties; the adults are enjoying a few farewell barbeques and last-hurrah-brunches with dear friends that become more like family in the microcosm of Singapore life. At this time of year, I hold dear the words of that great philosopher, Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” which seems like a pretty good mantra to live by. As an expat organization, we’re no strangers to farewell at AAS. This month we say so long to Cath Forte, our Singapore American newspaper Editor-in-Chief and Communications Manager. Although she might be a Brit, Cath reset her spellcheck, switched full stops for periods and fully embraced the “American Way”, throwing herself into life at AAS. We all wish Cath well as she repatriates to the UK with her family this summer. It’s not all farewells, though! We also have some fantastic new colleagues who have recently joined the office team at AAS. We warmly welcome Thila Chandra (Advertising Manager), Arcia Perrenoud (Admin Specialist and Events Support), Saurabh Suman, (Finance and CRCE Manager); and Janet Maurillo (Membership and Marketing Manager). Congratulations also to Katie Baines who will be moving from her role with CRCE to take over from Cath as Editor-in-Chief and Communications Manager this month.
Advertising Manager: Thila Chandra, firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTORS Dee Allan, Sue Barber, Christopher Brankin, Faith Chanda, Richard Hartung, Ryan Levitt, Joe Lingle, Francine Martindale, Bill Poorman, Laura Schwartz, Marc Servos, Frances Strong, Laura Terrile For AAS: Katie Baines, Cath Forte
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBERS President: Stephanie Nash • Vice President: Shawn Galey Directors: Sammie Cheston, Blair Hall, Bill Poorman, Brian Schwender, Jenn Wood Immediate Past President: Glenn van Zutphen • AmCham Chair: Ann Yom Steel The American Club President: Kristen Graff • AWA President: Rohita Rajkumar SACAC Chair: Greg Rutledge • SAS Chair: Dr. Chip Kimball Non-Voting Members: US Embassy: Tor Petersen US Military: Rear Admiral Donald Gabrielson
PUBLISHER – AMERICAN ASSOCIATION The American Association of Singapore (AAS) is a professional, not-for-profit organization established to enhance the well-being and living experience of Americans residing in Singapore and to promote relationships, both business and social, between Americans and those from different cultures and nationalities. 15 Scotts Road, #03-02 Thong Teck Building, Singapore 228218 T: (+65) 6738 0371 • email@example.com • www.aasingapore.com The Singapore American newspaper, a monthly publication with readership of 10,000+, has been published by the American Association of Singapore since 1958, with the purpose of enhancing the expatriate experience in Singapore.
I wish a fond farewell to all those repatriating or moving on this summer and a very warm welcome to all new members who have recently joined us.
A subscription to the Singapore American is complimentary with an AAS or CRCE membership. AAS annual family membership is just $70. CRCE membership is $160. To join, visit www.aasingapore.com and have the Singapore American delivered to your home.
Reproduction in any manner, in English or any other language, is prohibited without written permission. The Singapore American welcomes all contributions of volunteer time or written material. The Singapore American is printed by Procomp Printset Pte Ltd, 57 Loyang Drive, Level 3 Annex Building, Singapore 508968.
Stephanie Follow us on Facebook or Twitter: @AmAssocSG, #AmAssocSG
Wherever you are from, come celebrate American culture with us. www.aasingapore.com
Join AAS today!
American Association of Singapore · www.aasingapore.com
23 ARTS & CULTURE
Singapore American · June-July 2018
Celebrating 50 Years of America’s ‘Ambassadors of Song’ By Cath Forte
nce referred to by President George W. Bush as “the cream of our crop,” the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale (PBCC) is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an Asian tour. The choir will bring their unique and beautiful sound to Singapore’s Esplanade Concert Hall this July. Established in 1968 and led by Jeffrey R. Smith since 2004, PBCC has become one of the most acclaimed choirs in the US, performing with renowned artists both at home and around the world. It was the first American performing arts group to perform on Cuban soil in the decades following the revolution, returning several times since 1999. With alumni ranging from Boyz II Ben’s Shawn Stockman to Academy Award-winning composer, Benj Pasek, PBCC has a rich history of breaking through social, political and cultural barriers to invite the most talented boys and men in the region to join in a journey of musical education and discovery. We asked the boys what they were looking forward to most about their trip to Singapore and were inundated with responses: Elijah Huertas-Klingele, age 12: “….looking forward to experiencing the culture and energy of Singapore.” Damian Ferraro, age 15: “I am excited to go to Singapore because of the beautiful architecture that I will see and the history. I am really looking forward to seeing the hotel that looks like a ship! I look forward to trying new foods and experiencing the rich culture.” Dante Michael DiMaio, age 13: "I am looking forward to seeing the temples, Sentosa island, experiencing the different culture, and performing for and meeting the people of Singapore." Jake Wade, age 14: “I am really excited to meet new people, try new foods and experience the culture. I can't wait to try Nasi Lemak.” Phillip King, age 13: "I can't wait to go to Singapore because I want to see if there really isn't any litter." Danard McNair, age 15: “I'm looking forward to try out different foods as I consider myself a foodie as I have a love affair with foods and also to experience the rich culture they have to offer. My friends have visited recently and say it is beautiful there.” Samuel Miller, age 13: "I am beyond thrilled to go to Singapore. As I am in the choir, singing is one of my greatest passions. I am ecstatic to be performing in such a beautiful venue. Other things I am looking forward to is the beautiful artificial trees, amazing transportation system, and the whole fashionable pizzazz of the beautiful place known as Singapore."
AAS members get a 20% discount for tickets from SISTIC with the use of the discount code: AASPhilly
Saturday, July 7, 7:30pm Esplanade Concert Hall Tickets: $15 to $55 from SISTIC Hotline: 6348 5555. Online: www.SISTIC.com.sg
HAPPENING IN SINGAPORE Information correct at time of press, please verify with organizers prior to attending any event listed.
AAS EVENTS June 4 Freelancer Club 9am
June 1 – July 22 Angkor: Exploring Cambodia's Sacred City Asian Civilisations Museum www.acm.org.sg
June 6 Coffee Connexions 9:30am
June 1 – 30 Children’s Season Programme STPI www.stpi.com.sg
June 7 Metworks Lunch 12pm
June 9 Family Fun: Bowling 4pm June 28 Tapas en Español 7pm June 30 4th of July Celebration 4pm For more events: www.aasingapore.com
MUSEUMS June 1 – July 31 All About Dogs Singapore Philatelic Museum www.spm.org.sg June 1 – July 31 Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Commission: Rirkrit Tiravanija National Gallery Singapore www.nationalgallery.sg
June 7 – 13 Singapore International Piano Festival Victoria Concert Hall www.sistic.com.sg June 8 – 10 Tabby McTat KC Arts Centre www.sistic.com.sg July 5 – 22 Singapore Theatre Festival Lasalle College of the Arts www.sistic.com.sg July 7 Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale Esplanade Concert Hall www.sistic.com.sg 20% Discount code for AAS members: AASPhilly July 11 – 29 Happy Ever Laughter: Standup Comedy Madness Capitol Theatre www.sistic.com.sg
EDUCATION June 1 Open House Stamford American Early Learning Village 9:30am www.sais.edu.sg June 6, June 20 Whole College Open Morning 9:30am Dulwich College Singapore www.dulwich-singapore.sg June 8 Open House Woodleigh Campus Stamford American International School 9:30am www.sais.edu.sg June 9 Open House GEMS World Academy (Singapore) 9:30am www.gwa.edu.sg June 11 – 22, June 25 – July 6, July 23 – August 3 Summer Semester Singapore American School 9:30am www.sas.edu.sg June 13 Ducks Open Morning 9:30am Dulwich College Singapore www.dulwich-singapore.sg