After so many years in my life – I finally attended our Singapore’s National Service boys’ BMT (Basic Military Training) Graduation!!
The thing is – you kind of need to know someone who was graduating from BMT in order to be able to attend.
And the thing about me is – I never bothered attending anyone’s before.
I guess before I entered Temasek Polytechnic, I didn’t really have any really good boy friends. (Notice the spacing between BOY and FRIENDS :P) So I didn’t see the point in attending.
However this time… I had 3 wonderful friends graduating! All from Temasek Polytechnic – and I really couldn’t be prouder of them!
They’re practically like my brothers, y’know. 🙂
So on Friday, 4th January 2013 – my coolest & awesome buddy-boy Clive was having his POC (Passing Out Ceremony)!!
I truly missed having Clive around while he was slogging his guts out at camp. He was always there for me throughout all my crap – to just listen and go, “What the f**k??” occasionally. Hahaha! He’s an awesome listening ear and great advisor. 🙂 And he always goes, “Please cherish Mark ah! He loves you to bits man.”
Tsk. Like as if I’m so hard to love…. 😛
So Clive’s POC was in the evening – met up with my “daughter” Ping! :)) She’s one of my favourite company right now. Ever since long ago – I liked her company! However since we went Genting together for 3 days and did (literally) nothing but stay in the hotel room all day and watch videos – she was actually enjoying herself too! I love her more & more each day…. *swoons*
I still remember coming back from Genting…
Friend: So I saw on Facebook you went to Genting with Yu Ping?
Me: Yea! I had heaps of fun. Enjoyed myself thoroughly!
Friend: Cool! How was the Outdoor Theme Park?
Me: …didn’t go…
Friend: Erm… Casino?
Me: Nope. Although I did see a bawling woman from China… Screaming on her mobile asking someone to remit her more money……
Friend: Oh my gosh. What did you do there??
Me: Well…. The hotel room was really nice!!
Okay, I’m digressing. Damn this habit of mine.
I keep on babbling!!
So anyways, Ping and me went hunting around to find a nice card!
It wasn’t easy, AT.ALL.!!
All the nice cards were like – “Happy Birthday!!” or “Goodbye!!” or “Happy Anniversary!!”
Nothing really on – “So you’re back to civilisation! WELCOME BACK!!”
Nope. Although we did settle on a nice “Congratulations!!” one…
Bought the card, settled at McDonald’s… And down to work!
|Me doing what I love to do – writing crap. 😛
I’m ashamed to say – I used to get A’s for Art.
Ping couldn’t stop bursting into hysterical laughter while I was drawing.
Regardless, me being utterly biased – I simply love my drawings of the group! :)) I think they’re so wonderful, the resemblances are uncanny! Hahaha!
Except yes, I look sort of like a bimbo. I was directed by Ping while drawing… Clearly sometimes I’m like a bimbo to her. I’m so sad now.
The coolest part of Clive was that he didn’t even tell us much about the place – like it was a code that I was meant to decipher.
Clive’s SMS: Come to Sembawang Camp. Nearest MRT is Sembawang.
Wow, genius. I wouldn’t think that Sembawang Camp would be at Tampines! -.-
So Ping and I did what most Singaporean girls would do – take the MRT to Sembawang, then taxi down!
|Stuck at this junction for forever! Felt so near yet so far.
Well, I guess it was no surprise that there was a jam.
Hordes of cars were pouring into the venue.
|Traffic jam = Camwhore time!
I wasn’t really in a camera-mood actually.
Had this huge pimple (which I managed to erase away on the computer! :D) and looked super tired (couldn’t do anything about this one…). Haven’t had a decent night’s rest in a while now.
Anyhow, it was crazy trying to get in. There were like 3 checkpoints and we didn’t have the glorified invitation letter! Clive said nothing about it!
Speaking of which… Ping and I totally forgot to sink our claws into him for that!
And at the last checkpoint, I was really pissed off.
The first two already got my feathers a tad ruffled. So the last one was inside this hall, where you collect your goodie bags.
Guy at the entrance: Okay, miss. Please walk over to the table that says “Blue Zone”.
So Ping and I walked over.
Guy at the table: Which colour zone are you at?
Me: Erm, blue.
Guy at the table: -tilts his head down, smirks & squints his eyes a little- Can you prove it?
However I do applaud the National Service’s PR skills… because immediately his superior jumped in and assisted us instead.
So anyhow, without much problems – Ping and I got seated!
|Look at the crowd!
Immediately after we got seated, I sent messages to the boys we were seeing tomorrow!
Wanted to know their IC numbers, company names… whatever it is!
Our deduction was – today is only at Sembawang Camp and the security is like that. Imagine the Floating Platform tomorrow!
|The graduating boys have arrived!
They put on some pretty cool performances!
Sad to say, I didn’t get to see much of it… Everyone was beginning to stand up and I’m just too short.
Regardless, the reason why I came was not the performances…
It was entirely for this guy!!
So we went up to him…
Me: Hey! Great job on the march!!
Clive: You guys saw me?? I was super scared! I saw the crowd!!
Me: Actually… No. We didn’t see you. But not a single soldier fell or whatever… So I guess you did great!
Clive: -.- Thanks ah!
|Clive the Lobster!
Can’t find another friend who contacts me at the speed of light, whenever he gets the signal that I’m in distress! 🙂
|Clive is glowing!
So after dinner, Ping and I hurried home to catch a few hours of sleep! I got 3 hours.
Why? We had to wake up at a diabolical time to make in time for Katsuhito and You Jie‘s Passing Out Parade at the Floating Platform!
Actually we were supposed to be there by 6:45am-7am. Good God.
And the boys weren’t even shy about the timing. -.-
So Ping and I met up and I really needed some breakfast to keep me alive.
I was over the moon to find out that there was actually a little cafe that just opened!
And I must’ve looked exhausted – because that uncle made me the bitterest coffee I have ever drank in my life!
It went like this…
Me: Oh.my.gosh. I want to sleep….. So bad…. *yawns*
-gulps down the coffee-
Me: OH MY GOSH! WOO!! I’m awake!! O.O
And even though I’m not a fan of bitter coffee… I dunked the whole cup down anyway!
Totally needed the boost.
|Ping still looking the same – not even tired at all!
|Opening my eyes as wide as I can to create an illusion of “I’m hell awake!”
The only times I ever woke up at such ungodly hours were to board planes.
And might I mention – I didn’t even have time to put on my daily-makeup! It was really just BB Cream, blusher and mascara.
So we walked down to the Floating Platform!
The ironic thing was – security there was super down!
No one wanted to know anything… they were just, “Welcome, miss! Here’s the programme! The event has already started! And here are your goodie bags!”
|Floating Platform & Marina Bay Sands!
I must say – the sunrise was gorgeous.
I always wanted to watch the sunrise around that area…
but didn’t think that it would be at an army-event… with Ping…
Ah what the heck.
When I saw all of them standing there like that – I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride & warmth inside me. 🙂 My friends were inside there! They’re out there, serving the country and protecting our home!
Okay, I better stop before I sound corny.
|Songs Lyrics to Every Singaporean Son
It is honestly a beautiful, beautiful song. 🙂
Tried looking for it on Youtube, but this is all I could find. Enjoy the song!
Another song that I really like is this one:
It was really difficult find those two boys!
Everyone looked the same! And because they were marching overnight… they all stunk up the place to the high heavens.
Ping and I actually wanted to get out of there as fast as we could! We could hardly breathe.
|You Jie & Katsuhito!
I looked around and I called Mark, telling him how I wish that I could’ve gone through this with him in his life.
Me: Sigh. Look at all those loving girlfriends and happy boyfriends!
Mark: Honey, that’s sweet. But we both know you will break up with me.
Me: Well, I didn’t even attend your ORD (Operationally-Ready Date) or that dinner thing because you were from OCS (Officer-Cadet School). You went to that dinner thing with whatshername??
Mark: ORD & OCS – you didn’t come because you were attached to someone else then, remember??
Me: Oh yes, I was being a loyal girlfriend to someone else.
Mark: -dead silence-
Me: I love you…?
Mark: I love you too. So I’m glad I got together with you only when I was just finishing my army days.
Sheesh. Way to kill a dream!
I must say – I’m endlessly proud of my friends! They mean so much to me.
And I don’t know if I’m thinking too much (as usual)… but when I saw them, I swear they actually had genuine looks of gratitude that Ping and I were there to support them. 🙂
In my opinion, it honestly isn’t something that everyone would do. Trust me when I say that, I completely ignored when other guys friends had the same thing in the past. *guilty*
And I honestly kind of regret it. When I sat there in the audience and watched the ceremony & parade, I felt so proud to be Singaporean – and even prouder to be their friend. Now I understand what they meant that National Service brings about bonds.. when I saw the way the boys smiled at each other, you know they have friendships that went through shit. And when you see the girlfriends running to their boyfriends and hugging them, you know that this is going to be a milestone for them to remember.
…albeit a lot of people say about 80% of the couples break up while the boys are in the army…
Regardless! I was really glad that Ping and I attended the events. 🙂 It’s such a feeling!
Singapore isn’t a perfect country – I know.
People from different nationalities would sometimes even badmouth my country in front of me – I don’t mind.
It’s not that I’m unpatriotic – I love my country. However I love her for her flaws as well. Your country is a place you love unconditionally; no matter how screwed up things might be.
Why do you think people continue to live in their countries, despite poverty or corruption or any other reason? Because deep down… every human being yearns for a home; a place we can call our own.
Which is why the song says, “because we love our land and we want it to be free”.
I studied the Japanese Occupation before and there’s no way that I would want my country and my people to fall into that kind of abyss again. Granted, that kind of warfare is regarded to be outdated and people think it won’t happen anymore. However it is the essence of love and protection.
When you love something, you want to protect it – you want it to be safe and most of all, happy.
National Service might not mean going to war or literally jumping on a grenade… but it shows the boys the importance of being there for your country.
I simply despise boys who think that National Service is nothing but a waste of time. When trouble comes and your family is killed in front of you – then you tell me if it’s a waste of time at all.
Or when you grow old and you see people with a home they built while you were too busy running around pretending to be cool – then you can tell me if learning to protect your home is a waste of time or not.
Don’t laugh or scorn at the possibility.
It’s an ugly world out there. Whether we have good relations with other countries or not – just like our relationships with other people, they can be broken one day. And what happens then? We watch our people suffer and die? We watch our fathers and sons get slaughtered, our women raped and thrown into sex slavery for our enemies and our children losing all their hopes for a tomorrow?
You’ll probably see men standing up for their countries then; because they see the truth. You’ll probably see them charging towards the armed enemy with nothing but their patriotism.
And that’s a beautiful image.
Remember it while it lasts, because it won’t be for long.
Because if we do not love and protect our country now; those images might be the last you see of it in the future.