Friday, July 17, 2015

National Education Show 2015: Our Golden Jubilee

It's July, and right around the corner is Singapore's biggest birthday celebration ever, our 'Golden Jubilee'. What's in store for perhaps one of the most memorable National Day Parades ever? We had the opportunity to find out!

We arrived early to get good seats. The queue lines opened at about 3pm and were pleasantly surprised by the many unique designs of the user-friendly Fun-Packs! We had a laughing good time just looking through the designs. If only we could have them all. Really love this year's bags as they are light and easy to carry around and because they are not in flashy colours, it is a lot easier to use them on a daily basis.

There were so many different designs that it seemed every Fun Pack was different. Many were decorated with uniquely Singaporean slogans. I requested for the one that caught my eye - the 'Chope!' bag.

It was a cool, slightly cloudy afternoon. The morning showers had turned into a perfect weather for an open-air show.

Great weather means that the Red Lions will have a chance to jump! After the much anticipated (and extremely popular) item was called off due to unfavourable weather at NDP 2014, we were glad that we got to see them live today.

And the crowd goes "OOOOOHHHHHHHH YEAH!"

Thank you Red Lions for the preview! All the best for the coming shows and the NDP!

2015 has been a time for celebration and reflection. We remember our pioneers who brought us here and look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Absent in body, present in spirit - a tribute to the late Mr Lee. At the end of the video tribute, the camera zoomed in to Mr Lee's seat, where a white flower now stands. I was tearing throughout the video and the white flower just made my heart melt.

This year's integrated show concept is made up of six Chapters, each segment depicting a significant stage in the journey of Singapore. Chapter 1 begins with a Prologue.

The Military Tattoo is a combined performance by the SAF Band and the Military Police Precision Drill Squad. A combination of creativity and skill for a wonderful spectacle!

Chapter 2: Beginnings

The Pioneer Parade was an innovative addition to the SG50 celebration, and contingents sporting vintage uniforms recreated the earliest NDPs. Among the contingents were pioneer men and women of the uniformed services! As they marched past, everyone clapped loudly. One could see the pride and respect in each and everyone of the spectator. Thank you for giving the best of your youth to building our country! We salute you.

Icons of Singapore!

Chapter 3: Progress! To many people, the sharp execution and pride exuberated by the marching contingents is what the Parade is all about. A total of 37 contingents came together for months of practice and preparation to present a grand tribute to the nation.

Perhaps one of the highlights of this year's Jubilee celebration is the RSAF aerial display. It reminded me of a 'mobile column' in the sky. What a treat it was!

20 jets in a '50' formation followed by the 'Bomb-burst' stunt!

A crowning glory over a spectacular parade!

They're not fast and furious like the jets, but there's a grandeur about choppers flying in formation.

This year, the fixed-wing aircraft came in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

A chance to appreciate the fuel-stations of the sky!

Another spectacular manoeuvre by the Black Knights!

On hindsight, many of the spectators in the Seating Gallery, especially those in the West Sector had to settle for a less than complete appreciation of the aerial stunts. They would likely have to turn to the rear to watch as the aircraft came over the Padang from behind them. Many of the manoeuvres were best appreciated from where were at the Grandstand. However, the awesome booms of the jets as they flew overhead left everyone in the stands full of awe and pride. The kids definitely had a great time covering their ears and following the planes with their eyes. Even mummy had her mouth wide open in awe during the whole aerial display. Thumbs Up!

Marching off the Parade.

Chapter 3: Strength. There was no better way to bring out the theme of this segment than a massive (and I mean MASSIVE) mobile column.

The start of the column wastes no time and sends forth the largest tanks on the battlefield.

There was a nice variety of armoured vehicles, including support elements like these mine-clearing and bridge building tracked vehicles.

Armoured Personnel Carriers, some of them developed right here in Singapore by local companies!

And since the parade has been taken away from the waterfront at the Float, I guess the marine craft had to come inland to celebrate! Note how what is happening on the ground is complimented by an all-round visual digital 'curtain' that morphs along with the displays.

The Home Team was also out in full force!

Chapter 4: Unity. This segment celebrates a society that although made of many different cultures and races has put aside their differences to stand united as one people!

A combination of colours and movement coming together to create a masterpiece, a metaphor of the many different groups that unite together and weave our social fabric.

A creative use of costume by the Singapore Soka Association. The performers seem to magically change the colour of their outfit! 

Chapter 5 - Identity. What are some of the things that make us 'Uniquely Singaporean'? Well......

Chili Crab!

Ice Kacang!

Food is a biggie, but when you're overseas and missing your laksa and char kway teow, you can easity identify a fellow Singaporean in his or her speech, specifically...

"I say Lah, you say Leh"

Remember the campaigns? Singa is back!

Icons of Singapore, good old memories! If you could choose the icons for this segment, what would they be?

Chapter 6: Onwards. Perhaps the best representation of our future are the youth of today, the leaders of tomorrow. It was fitting to have 600 Primary school students in a medley of dance, laser lights, pyrotechnics and their adorable and futuristic LED costumes.

Stars and crescents form a sea around JJ Lin!

Teaching the kids how to operate the 'Stickmen' LED costumes was a 'work in progress', and you could make out many adults among the kids giving them timely assistance.

Compared to the NDPs held at the Floating Platform, the fireworks marking the finale of the show seemed to have less 'umph'. Perhaps that day was the first of the NE show. Perhaps the distance from the firing positions at the Marina Bay contributed to this. It was also unfortunate that the bulk of the high-level fireworks could not be fully enjoyed by the students in the West Sector as they were facing away from the Marina Bay. I am confident the spectators celebrating at the Float on National Day itself will get a better experience for the fireworks display. The show was spectacular nonetheless, and it was time to snap away! Enjoy the photos!

Before we knew it, another exciting show had come to an end. The NE Show was the first of three shows attended by Primary 5 students. It was only the fourth Combined Rehearsal, and the NDP was only a month away. As  the rehearsal get closer to the date, performers and participants will be sharpening their moves and putting in hours of practice to prepare for the big day. We wish them all the best and an enjoyable NDP 2015!

 A young artist's impression of Singa! 

Thank you for making us proud. We'll be watching you on TV!