31 December 2015 Thursday | 18:00 | Annual Report
I published the following on social media in the last ten days. Just thought I needed a place to consolidate everything.
No. 10: #cruz36
I get all excited in milestone years, like when I turned 30 and 35, but I was rather nonchalant about #cruz36. Had too many things going on then, I think.
Nonetheless, a BBQ pit at East Coast Park was booked well in advance at the insistence of my friends. It was nearly cancelled because PSI levels rose above 200 in the few days leading up to 18 Sep. We went ahead nonetheless, in “unhealthy” conditions.
No. 9: Bali
First time I had breakfast, lunch and dinner at Changi Airport, after my flight was unceremoniously cancelled with zero prior warning and zero damage recovery.
The 4D3N getaway was reduced to a pathetic 3D2N affair, but it was how a beach vacation should be— the sun, the sand, the sea, the snoozing, and the spas. And the food, of course. I need to make this an annual ritual.
No. 8: Taiwan tour with listeners
I like to travel. A lot. That includes solo excursions, group vacations, and “working trips” like the one I did a few weeks ago. I don’t banter for hours on the bus, or perform at gala dinners like other people do. And I don’t hand out autographed pictures of myself. HAHA.
I just hang out, and make small talk with passengers as and when possible. And a few photos here and there. The up-close interaction is priceless, really.
No. 7: Global Chinese Music Awards
This was extra special to me. I launched the Singapore edition of the weekly show in 2001, and I hosted the awards ceremony in Shanghai before I did Singapore Hit Awards. It meant a lot to anchor the event when it came here for the first time in 2006, and then becoming exco chairman for 2015.
It. Was. Tough.
But we did it. Thanks to my teammates, regional counterparts, and various partners in production, sales, marketing, logistics, venue, et al, for putting in an immense amount of time, effort and energy to finish this.
P/S: I don’t think I will court trouble by organising an awards show ever again.
No. 6: London
I totally fell in love with the British capital after my first visit two years ago. I like its heritage, its sights and the overall vibes. I really don’t mind the overcast skies and absurdly long drizzle at times.
I don’t like to queue. And I had to skip so many joints the last time round because of the sheer number of people waiting to get in. My itinerary this time was plotted around the dining reservations I made in advance. There were instances where I had to skip an attraction or cut short the shopping because of a dinner appointment. Ha. And I even joined a food tour in East End which took us to eight eating places in four hours.
The dinner at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon was the best meal I had all year. And Miss Saigon was absolutely fantastic— my favourite theatre production this year.
No. 5: Tokyo
The grand finale of the #WoohooSabbatical I took from Dec 2014 to Jan 2015; an impromptu booking after I discovered how affordable the rates were at ANA and Hilton.
I was rather apprehensive initially because of the language barrier. I’ve also heard of how expensive taxi rides are, and how complicated the major train stations could be.
Rubbish. You just need Google Maps. It was only my second time in Tokyo, the first was a short station retreat in 2007. I enjoyed myself tremendously, exploring unfamiliar streets and alleys, marvelling at how chic every other person looked, and how incredible the customer service was. At no time did I get lost or felt helpless.
I went to Misono, the restaurant which gave the world teppanyaki and garlic fried rice, and several other places with impressive credentials. From my social media posts, you would know that I love Japanese food. I was in paradise— EVERYTHING I had was delicious.
No. 4: Epic Reunions
The world is a much smaller place.
People will keep in touch if they want to. If they don’t appear again, it’s not that they lost your number or got locked out of their social media accounts. It is not because they are too busy. It is because they don’t wish to see you. It’s that simple.
2015 is a year of heartwarming reunions of epic proportions. I was absolutely thrilled to catch up with old friends, scattered all over the island and halfway across the globe. I meant it from the bottom of my heart when I exclaimed, “IT IS SO GOOD TO SEE YOU!”
In 2016, I hope to see all the people I want to see. And I hope they would want to see me.
No. 3: Mars Vs Venus
I am a very lucky person. Many significant projects on my résumé simply dropped into my lap.
I am privileged to have hosted Channel U’s most important talkshow of the year. I think the production and programming people were feeling rather adventurous back then. Hurhurhur.
It was an awesome experience talking to so many guests on issues that most of us would relate to. There were hilarious moments, and some sombre ones; some ultra memorable conversations, and some awkward ones; some guests I madly adore, and others I secretly and vocally wished wouldn’t appear on the show again.
It wasn’t just about scoring another high profile gig. I truly learnt a lot. Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity that many would kill for.
No. 2: Exercise
Beyond my wildest nightmares, I signed up for a gym membership and engaged my personal trainer friend to help supervise the #protectsharpchin efforts. After years of inertia, I’m finally doing regular exercise! Pigs can fly!
HG has been so enthusiastic in dragging me to yoga and spinning classes, while other friends have been asking me to take part in all sorts of runs. Well, I tried. And it seems that I really can’t run long distances because of the fracture from a few years back. Or maybe I’ll try to do a short run next month.
My sweat glands are more active. My stamina is slightly better. I feel less clumsy. I still can’t take off my shirt in public, but I’m definitely healthier than a year ago.
And because more muscles burn more calories, I will continue to do the lifting which I don’t really fancy, just so that I can continue my #cruztamjiak escapades.
No. 1: One door closes, another two open.
Leaving the radio station I grew up in was the most momentous decision in three and a half decades. It required a whole lot of courage. It wasn’t just about getting out of the comfort zone. It was like leaping off a building with no safety net, rowing out into the Pacific Ocean on a sampan, or walking out of the house with 3% juice left on your phone.
Everyone privy to the embargoed information were stunned. Stef Sun was the only person to say, “Good! Do what your heart desires. If not now, then when?”
I tendered my resignation in March without any concrete plans. I hyperventilated with anxiety for a while, before reverting to my wildly optimistic and superbly confident self. I was sure something (more) exciting would present itself along the way. At one point, I was looking at the Uber website— just in case I needed interim or part-time work. Hahaha! (I was slightly miffed that the car I’m driving doesn’t qualify for uberExec.)
Then there was a quick chat with my old friend in the second half of the year, and my plans were finalized.
We announced in November that I’m Group Creative Director at NoonTalk Media. We have some exciting stuff lined up, and the reason why Dasmond couldn’t do it himself and needed an extra pair of hands is…
Dasmond is Founder and CEO of FrozenAge, a company specializing in anti-aging solutions. The newly incorporated entity will be embarking on an aggressive global expansion next year. I will also be taking on a leadership role in this venture.
2016 will be a busy— and ambitious— year. CAN’T WAIT!