Saturday, March 31, 2012

Peaks of my life in March 2012

At the start of the year 2012, though it is deemed to be a year of doom by some, I had anticipated an exciting year ahead with Body, Mind and Spirit experiences as per my forecast in an earlier post here. However, I didn't anticipate that so much would happen so quickly!

If my life today can be charted on a simple graph with a line along the X-axis representing time and the Y-axis representing the height of my excitement in life, it will look something like the above. Notice the several peaks occurring in the month of March that ends on this day. I am compelled to note them down in this post by sharing the following highlights or peaks of my life in March 2012!

In addition to my regular mountain bike riding activities, I found myself scaling or hiking up to hilltops in the close vicinity of the city whenever I have time in Malaysia.

It is an exhilarating experience of getting your heart pumping hiking uphill and enjoying the view at the peak, in this case Broca Hill, south-east of Kuala Lumpur.

More exhilarating is to have a son join you to hike to the peak, in this instance, was the peak of Gunung Datuk in the state of Negri Sembilan.

Postdated development: Time travel to 14 Jan 2018 (Chinese Almanac Year of the Dog starts  in the Chinese New Year 16 Feb 2018)

As a chronicler and in the process of finishing my 1st writing book project at the start of 2018 with a strong theme on Human Consciousness and the title,"From Abacus to the Cloud", I'm amazed to record down little miracles in my life or associations that I see as miracles. This introduces the "Time Travel" theme to my book, more and more additions as I go deeper into my own Consciousness to complete the book. Allow me to elaborate.

On 14 Jan 2018 yesterday, I brought Ern to meet our Uncle Tony at the KL Marriott hotel who is in one of his regular yearly visits to Malaysia:

How this post of time travel started is because when we returned home, I began to work on my Consciousness theme of my book to be alerted with a WhatsApp message of my phone of a death of a Johannian of my old school while trekking in our local Gunung Nuang in Negri Sembilan.

Now my Consciousness in years of writing journals, filing photos/videos and sharing them in blogs and later integrating with Facebook made me recall that I have heard of that Mount Nuang and remembered years ago that Ray, our youngest in the family, was in KL to participate in a youth hike and camp in a local hill. I remembered that I took a lot of photos and wrote captions too but that was some years ago. I wanted to find them to know if it was the same hill as the name "Nuang" as is in my Consciousness but I cannot remember exactly if that was the place we trekked and camped!

If you can't get friends or family to come along, it's always nice to have Man's best friend to join you. With a trusted dog, you can even do it in the night time!

Besides natural hills or mountains, there are man made towers too that one could get a Peak experience like the KL Tower in Kuala Lumpur city. The visual experience can be viewed in this photo album.

One doesn't need to physically climb to get to the top as there are high speed elevators to bring you to the top in a matter of minutes!

To enjoy a first class buffet dinner with close friends from overseas and having a panoramic 360 degree view of the city is truly an unforgettable experience. This is a joyful Father and Daughter overseas outing for Tony Seow and his daughter Naomi from the US. Tony has become our 'Uncle Tony' in our family from his regular business trips to Asia where he got to see our children when they were little till our two daughters were married in his home state of Utah as seen in this latest wedding photo album.

Another old friend from the US, Govind, was also in town to join us for a hike up Melawati Hill or Bukit Tabur on the very next morning at 6am, after the sumptuous dinner we had at the KL Tower.

It's so nice to share what Malaysia has to offer in nature with our foreign friends.

After all the countries I had the privilege to travel to and the beautiful sights in the cities or up in mountain tops I had enjoyed, I have come to realize that nothing beats the peak experience that comes from human interaction with friends and family members in my life. They could happen just in the four walls of a home.

A new life joined us in the world with the birth of a healthy baby girl named Aliya Estelle Grant on 15th March 2012. We went to visit the baby at the home of her parents, Chelsea and Dixon Grant. When I saw Mumsie Bush, the mother of Chelsea, who came all the way from Logan Utah, I was almost in tears as a peak experience in her home during the wedding of Fei came to my mind!

Here is a pic of us in her home in May 2010 when she hosted us by offering her home to be used as the Bride's home for Fei's wedding. All the fun and laughter we had in that unforgettable peak experience, at the top of the Rocky mountains, was recorded in a journal post here.

Another thing that one experiences as you get older is that there is a double peak of happiness when we witness the younger generation reaching peaks of success and happiness in their own lives. I wrote a post on this entitled The Next Generation in my spiritual journal.

Seen here is the family celebrating the peaks of the lives of our two older boys seated infront, Han on the right and his brother Shuan. Only the 4 boys are with us now and so the two older boys are getting all the limelight with the peaks of their achievements.

Here is an opportunity to hear the sound of a peaking moment when Han opened his mission letter on a Tuesday night of 12 March in Singapore, witnessed by family members and friends, to know where he would be sent for his 2 year voluntary mission for his Church. Watch and listen to the short video clip below :

Click the image below to start the facebook video

Things couldn't be more perfect for Han. He had earlier received notice that he has been accepted into the new Yale-NUS college in Singapore for the 2nd intake starting Aug 2014.  His Church mission starts on 7 June 2012 as per the video clip, so he nicely finishes after 2 years to return home with a short break before going to college to further his education. These latest accomplishments would be added in his family profile page. (Han subsequently received notification that his mission would start later on 28 June 2012. The blog post covering his departure day to the UK is found here. News of his acceptance to Yale-NUS with his photo appeared in The Straits Times paper later.)

He received lots of cheers of encouragement for his mission on his Facebook page after his announcement of his mission call as extracted below :

‎"Dear Elder Chong:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the ENGLAND MANCHESTER MISSION. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 24 months.

You should report to the England Missionary Training Center on THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the MANDARIN CHINESE LANGUAGE."
Unlike ·  · March 27 at 10:52pm ·
You, Sandy Chan, Jenny Han, Tennyson Renner and 66 others like this.

Ashley Siow Preaching in chinese in england???
March 27 at 10:52pm · Like

Han Chong You'd be surprised by the number Chinese nationals in various locations all over the world :P
March 27 at 10:54pm · Like ·  1

Ashley Siow With pound at an all time low, im sure you can enjoy yourself lol
March 27 at 10:57pm · Like

Wen Jie Fred Tan congrats man!
March 27 at 11:03pm · Like ·  1

Irfan Rais It's a lovely place, very red and everything. Check out this shop called Hobgoblin's if you have the time, it was a playground to me!
March 27 at 11:03pm · Like

Ri-Chard Ng Congrats man!
March 27 at 11:03pm · Like ·  1

Cherry Fong Omg another UK bound fellow! We can meet up in the UK :D Congrats Han, your Chinese will be fine :-)
March 27 at 11:05pm · Like ·  2

Chong Keat Oh congrats! Han
March 27 at 11:08pm · Like ·  1

Han Chong ‎Cherry Fong Sure we could meet up - and you all can listen to me preach to you in Mandarin :P
March 27 at 11:08pm · Like ·  1

Fei Wyatt Han, Sis. Kerrin Henly (Royle) is from there.
March 27 at 11:14pm · Like ·  1

Alvin Tadina Wow congrats han!!! And u will leave first before me hahaha..
March 27 at 11:16pm · Like ·  1

Han Chong ‎Alvin Tadina HAHAHAHA funny how that works out eh :P My Mom says "nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah!" XD
March 27 at 11:21pm · Like

Cathy Lee Congratulations! Way to go!
March 27 at 11:26pm · Like ·  1

Chong Lee Khim So cool!
Tell me how many people turn up for your first preach k?
March 27 at 11:27pm · Like

Emma Tan Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
March 27 at 11:28pm · Like ·  1

Nezzy Chai i didn't know you're so good in mandarin, haha
March 27 at 11:29pm · Like

Han Chong ‎Nezzy Chai HAHAHA well I'm going to have to be hahahaha
March 27 at 11:30pm · Like

Jacinta Joy Lee Hahaha, "Elder Chong"!v XD
March 27 at 11:37pm · Like ·  1

Phoon Yi Congrats man! May God be with you, now and forever :D
March 27 at 11:43pm · Like ·  1
Sun Fu Chong See how your Mom is more excited than you!

Opening of Han's Mission Letter
The moment has come for Han to find out where he will be sent on his mission. Al...
See More
Length: ‎3:49
March 27 at 11:44pm · Like ·  2 ·

Judith Lam haha you'll be an hour away from york, if you wanna visit, let me know
Wednesday at 12:06am · Like

Brett Potter Barrett Blessings to you and your whole family!
Wednesday at 12:07am · Like ·  1

Jason Munyan congrats on that 非常好的新闻!! ;)
Wednesday at 12:22am · Like ·  1

Dixon Grant Congrats Han, you will be blessed serving the Lord.
Wednesday at 1:29am · Like ·  1

Pamela Nonis well Han your 'nasi bryani' shall arrived soon, Congratulations
Wednesday at 1:31am · Like ·  1

Han Chong Hehe looking forward to it, Pamela Nonis! :D
Wednesday at 2:38am · Like

Lee Chern Hui Hey buddy.. congratulation! and since you're going to England, and it's not far away from here, perhaps we can meet up during some holidays..
Wednesday at 2:45am · Like ·  1

Liew Hui Lian Woot woot! You will be amazing! I KNOW IT!!
Wednesday at 3:14am · Like ·  1

Genesis Cahigas congratulations! best two years coming up :)
Wednesday at 6:04am · Like ·  1

Chuck Liu Han, congratulations! We're very happy and excited for you. I know it will be the BEST mission for you!
Wednesday at 6:10am · Like ·  1

Dasmesh Singh congrats bro :). in ur free time help me visit manchester united at old trafford
Wednesday at 8:30am · Like ·  1

Tennyson Renner And thus it begins...
Wednesday at 8:35am · Like ·  1

Sheryll Goh WHOOHOO! We'll be near each other! Relatively
Wednesday at 9:04am · Like ·  1

Jenny Han Congrats Elder Chong! so happy for you!
Wednesday at 11:09am · Like ·  1

Han Chong ‎Lee Chern Hui Hehe you'll have to come visit me and I'll share with you the message of Christ ^^, There are no holidays for me XD
Wednesday at 1:05pm · Like

Arjun Aj Rashiwala All the best buddy. Hope there's a com nearby when heart of the swarm arrives.
Wednesday at 1:29pm · Like

Han Chong HAHAHA it's a full-time Mission, so no more computer games for me till I'm done hehe :P
Wednesday at 1:31pm · Like

Arjun Aj Rashiwala Here's an idea. Increase ur apm. Create an account in a chinese server and preach and pwn at the same time. Just saying.
Wednesday at 1:33pm · Like

Han Chong LOL more like get pwned hahaha
Wednesday at 1:34pm · Like

Ivy Irene Noche Awesomeness!!
Wednesday at 8:41pm · Like

Eunice Lian omg you are an elder????
Wednesday at 8:56pm · Like

Han Chong ‎Eunice Lian Yes, I have the Priesthood, and I am an Elder. As a missionary I will be addressed as Elder Chong :P
Wednesday at 8:58pm · Like

Eunice Lian WOW!!!! O.O
Wednesday at 8:59pm · Like

Jiaying Lim May God use you as His instrument to be salt and light and to bring the gospel to the people over there! God bless and will be praying for you :D
Wednesday at 9:13pm · Like ·  1

Han Chong Thanks Jiaying ! :)
Wednesday at 9:14pm · Like ·  1

Leong Khen Lam all the best~~
Thursday at 4:58am · Like ·  1

Waihon Chee would be funny to hear you speak chinese all the time suddenly haha. all the best!
Thursday at 10:34am · Like ·  1

P.S.  (This blog is posted on 31st March 2012 which happens to be the day of a worldwide event known as Earth Hour starting at 8.30pm - 9.30pm local time, which is less than an hour from now, before we turn off all our lights.)

Post Development events: Elder Chong's first-year experience on his mission is found here.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

1 March 2012, Day of Awards for Woon Han, Shuan and others

For the 126th Founder's Day Thanksgiving service of Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC), 3 Academic prizes were awarded to Woon Han as follows :

1. The Teoh Siew Kim Book Prize for Geography
2. OBA Silver Medal
3. Scholastic Merit Award (GCE 'A' Level - 7 Distinctions)

Seen here is Woon Han receiving the 3 awards on stage :

The following photos depict the spirit of the event especially when everyone began to sing in the next video below. I especially zoomed in on the logo of ACS with the words "THE BEST IS YET TO BE"

I love the lyrics in the Chorus :
'How great is our God! Sing with me
How great is our God! That all may see
How great , how great is our God'

After all the prizes were awarded, the winners and parents proceeded to the reception area for refreshments

It was nice to meet up with the Principal, Mrs Kelvyna Chan, whom we had met the first time in Sep 2010 when Han also received 3 awards, but of a non-academic nature, in the ACJC Honours Night.
We also got to take a photo with the Vice-Principal, Mr De Souza
Here is Han's favorite Economics teacher who has since been transferred from a teaching post to work at the HQ in the Ministry of Education (MOE)

It was nice to meet other teachers that had helped Han obtain distinctions in the subjects they taught such as Chinese by the lady on the left and Music by the lady on the right next to Mom.

Here is Nguyen Tuan Anh from Vietnam where Mom was his parent mentor when he was a student in ACJC.  He was also an award prize winner today.
Another prize winner is Andrew Arjun Sayampanathan on the left with his father. Andrew, Tuan Anh and another friend Law Zhe Wen who also won a prize (not captured on camera today) are close friends with Han who were last seen together with the family on Han's 21st birthday dinner.

There reception area had a nice view of the sports field of the Junior College. I enjoyed the view as well as some precious time in which I had a chance for a one-to-one chat with the Guest-of-Honour, Bishop Dr Robert Solomon of The Methodist Church in Singapore. He was very well aware of our Church and buildings being in 253 Bukit Timah road and the new chapel in Sengkang/Compassville.

The event this day would add Han's accomplishment to the family post that has been recording the boys' academic performance since they came to Singapore in 2007. It includes Han's younger brother Shuan's academic performance.

Shuan holding the Nobel Prize with Nobel Laureate Professor Barry Marshal

Woon Shuan who recently went to Perth Australia as a prize in a competition that he won is leaving next Monday to Philippines as he was selected by his college to go there and to California USA later in June due to his consistent top academic results. Latest college results that came out in the first quarter of 2012 showed he scored a perfect GPA of 4.0! Post dated photos of his 2 week trip to Philippines is found in his facebook albums starting with day 1 here. Below is the photo he took with the Mayor of Libon where his team from Singapore was assigned to render help in the community.

The two older boys are certainly setting a challenging pace for the two younger ones to catch up!

On the same day in the evening at home, the 3rd oldest boy Woon Ern came home at dinner time. He had a sports day event in St John's Institution(SJI) that we couldn't attend due to Han's Founder's Day event being held in the same morning. He was happy to announce that he too had won a prize :

This was for a track and field event of the 4x100m relay race

He had won a 1st place gold medal

As for the youngest Ray, he happened to try on a coat that he wore in May 2010...

.... which was for Fei's, his oldest sister's, wedding as seen in the photo above. This proves that he is catching up fast with his older brothers, at least in body size as the coat fitted him much better then!

How about Mom and Dad?  As for Mom, she doesn't have to prove anything more as giving birth to and raising 6 children itself makes gives her the biggest trophy of life besides others she won along the way.

Well as for Dad, he has learnt to be a Singapore Kiasu king so he walked into the Toastmasters club near home on this same week to receive this.

Post-dated Event : Han had received confirmation that his application to the Yale-NUS university in Singapore has been accepted. Refer to this journal post that covers his mission call with links to his acceptance to the university.

27th Mar : With Shuan scoring 4.0 in his GPA college results and the latest news of Han being accepted to Yale-NUS university, it called for a family celebration as the following photos and video depict :

Everyone had a sumptuous meal at Swensens in Singapore

Then we had to choose our ice cream dessert

Here comes the dessert :