Friday, April 24, 2015

To Pa in Heaven

Pa, you have been away for a year in exact. Last year this date, you gave all of us a scare and just left without saying bye. You must have suffered a lot while waiting for the entire family to be there before you breathed your last. Can I let go? I can’t say I am able to even one year later today. Will I let go? Maybe yes, looking at how bad you were.

After hours you went to the Lord, I was busy settling the funeral arrangements until much later when I went home and went to your bedroom, I broke down and cried for a long time kneeling by your empty bed. The bed felt so cold and yet warm with your clothes still hanging by the side. For a moment, a wave of sadness overwhelmed me and I don’t know how to handle it. I have been the head of the house for the past 10 years but that moment, I long for you to come and lead me just one more time.

Being a believer, I know you are in a better place and will be looking over us, praying for us. But deep inside, I wish you were still around. Mummy threw away most of your things, probably her way of handling the pain. Renovated your room and changed it for the girls. Outwardly, room is different now, but when I close my eyes, I can still vividly see the old arrangement of your bed, cupboard, table and bags.

Pa, we have not forgotten you.

Going through some of the items we kept, I came across the first watch I gave you. Though old and not working anymore, you still kept it. Thank you Pa for treasuring it and gave me the chance to now hold it for you.

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We kept most of your specs and also a small collection of your stamps. Remember how you once taught me how to keep stamps and remove them from the envelope?

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The first 6 months was tough. Every time I see an older man wearing a cap, I will inevitably think about you. Walking past the pavilion beside our void deck, I will remember how you rested there on some nights. Everyday when I come home, I will picture how you would sit at the door, arranging your fishing equipment. For a period, I even missed the faint smoking scent in the house.

I tried to go to the coffeeshop where you spent most of your evenings with friends, where you would buy BBQ chicken wings and satay for us. I went to the stall, tried to order the same stuff but ended just crying in front of the stall. The girls missed your hugs and to touch your unshaven chin.

Pa, please forgive me. How can I not notice that you were unwell all these time? How can I be so insensitive towards your needs? I failed terribly as your son. I know there is nothing I can do now but to feel a sense of remorse and regret. But I will promise you that I will not make the same mistake again. Mummy is doing well, still helping to take care of the girls and occasionally we will bring her out with us for a trip or just to eat something nice. I know there are some issues in the family you would like me to help out, but I am really doing my best now. Things may not turn out to be what you wish but at least I will give you my word, I will not give up.

Recently, I went to the same coffeeshop again. This time I managed to ordered the same BBQ chicken wings and satay. I think I finally can understand how you feel when I cannot finish what you bought in the past. The girls just ate a bit and I have to clear all the 10 chicken wings and 20 satays all by myself. I am taking over the role of buying the family’s favourite food. I will keep it going.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Exercises for Kids

With the upcoming Cold Storage Kids Run in May, and being the first time the girls are participating in any races, we took the opportunity to allow the girls to learn a bit more on proper running postures and techniques to avoid injury while having fun.

The session was complimentary of Radiance PhysioFit. What the fitness instructor did was to put the children though a series of exercises tailored for adults, but at a much lower intensity. Hoping to access the strengths and weaknesses of the children while doing the exercises.

That is Coach Sonny, who is one of the directors and personal trainers of Radiance PhysioFit. He is also a certified CrossFit Instructor. From his interaction with the kids, I can see he has done this many times, very patient and really know how to encourage them on. Later then I know he has 2 young kids too.

The first exercise was to run within the lines and do it as fast as possible, training the kids to be nimble. From this exercise, I realized that I didn’t have a good running posture, my hands were down on my side instead of holding it up beside my chest.


The exercises moved on to greater difficulty when the girls have to jump over hurdles. Training their leg muscles and also ability to jump and land on both legs. One of the boys in the class was not able to do so, in fact his dad together with him were more accustomed to jump on one leg like galloping. That is part of motor skills training.


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In running a race, there are bound to be a lot of people running at the same time, especially right at the beginning of the race. So sometimes to step aside and continue to run without stopping to allow the slower runners to pick up, the ability to run sideway is very important. The key is to run sideway without crossing your legs and trip yourself. This exercise was quite challenging to many of the kids, especially the impatient ones. There are usually the ones who will trip and fall more than others.

From their expressions, I know they have enjoyed themselves and in the midst learned something important.




My dear wife caught us resting after almost an hour’s worth of exercise.


Some of the boys were still very energetic.


Finally it was time to cool down with some stretching exercises.



Jayne brought the stretching to a whole new level. NO need to do split lah!


Glad to have spent a weekend afternoon exercising with my kids, hope to cultivate this habit for the family.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

5D4N Phuket Trip

Finally took the time to sit time and pen this trip that took place about a month ago. For those who have been to Phuket and/or Krabi, you will probably find the same conclusion I am going to give. Krabi is quieter and less crowded than Phuket. Shopping is better in Phuket than Krabi. Main attraction like island-hopping is the same on both Phuket and Krabi, since the popular tours are still Phi Phi Island Tour or 4-Island Tour.

So what is the difference in Phuket as compared to Krabi? I won’t answer that question, because traveling is only fun when you are with the right company. Destination plays a part but the company determines the final outcome. So with my 3 darlings (wife and daughters) along my side, every trip is fun.

We checked in to 2 different Holiday Inn Resorts during this trip – Holiday Inn Resort Mai Khao Beach and Holiday Inn Resort Phuket (located along Patong Beach).


The best thing about Holiday Inn Resorts is the Kids Club. The girls love the activities like painting, drawing, exercising, food, watching movies, play with other kids, reading, etc.


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Jayne learnt about Thai kick-boxing at the Kids Club in Patong. I was so tempted to join in too.


Pool time is a must. You cannot go to Phuket without spending time for a nice suntan or just laze around the pool, it’s almost a sin to not do so. We saw so many foreigners who literally camped near the pool for days, probably only leaving for meals.





Some of the rooms even have their own private pool space, just a step away from the room. Super cool!


Joey and Jayne soaking in the sun and the coolness of the pool.

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Another reason for choosing Holiday Inn, the rooms we got were the Family Suites and the rooms were huge.

The rooms at Mai Khao Beach.



The girls’ separate room that was linked to ours.



The rooms at Patong.



Kids’ personal TV and playing stations.

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If you want to read more about the island tours, you can go to my Krabi 4-island tour post to find out more.

This trip to Phuket, we have decided to skip the island tours but instead just spend our time around the resort.


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Cycling. Beware of sunburnt, so put on lots of sunblock.


Play table tennis.


Watch an evening movie with the family.

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Couple massage. This is not to be missed. Pack the kids to their favourite Kids Club, and parents just book in advance a 90mins full body massage, treat yourself to something nice.

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If you are more the outdoor type, then go for the water sports.



Beach volleyball.

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Or just be like us, relax on the beach and enjoy the breeze with a book or drink.



Watch the amazing sunset.




Patong beach just opposite Holiday Inn is crowded with travelers.


What you cannot find in Holiday Inn Mai Khao but at Holiday Inn Patong are the souvenir shops and services.




Personally I prefer Mai Khao, simply because the plan for this trip was to relax and Mai Khao presented a more relaxing environment as compared to Patong. And because of the busyness in Patong, the resort staffs are not as personal. In Mai Khao, the waitresses know us by name and greeted us every time we walked past the dining place with a smile. They will come to our table or suntan beds to ensure that everything is ok. Not to the point of being intrusive but just personal.

One part of this trip at Mai Khao, the four of us had the chance to do batik painting on the beach. It was such nice family time and we enjoyed it totally. With the nice breeze of the evening sun, and the quietness of the surroundings, we completed our task with colorful paintings.




Happy feet happy family.


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