Many a times, it's not the meal that matters. Rather, it's the company that we should pay more attention to. And of course, have fun practising our newly acquired dining etiquette skills at the restaurant.

These were my words of wisdom to the graduating students of Admiralty Secondary School gathered here on two separate days for the dining etiquette workshop.

For many of them, this is their first time dining formally and wearing their finest clothes as well.

The rules to perfecting your dining etiquette are many. But less you get stressed, don't. Let me offer you three simple tips so you will enjoy your meal and the session in general.

Dining Etiquette Tip 1

Should you order spaghetti, remember you need to twirl the spaghetti with the help of the fork tines (near the edge of the plate) until it becomes a neat clump. Chopping up the spaghetti or eating it like how we normally eat our noodles (with our chopsticks) is definitely not going to garner you favourable brownie points.

Many students struggled with the spaghetti, but all managed to twirl it properly after a few tries. As the age-old saying goes, practice makes perfect!

Dining Etiquette Tip 2

Engage in small talk or free flow conversation with the other people at the table. If you do not know them, this is a good time for you to introduce yourself and network. Remember, no man is an island. If you still don't know the name and some interesting snippets of the person to your right and left at the end of the meal, you are probably better off dining alone at home.

Interestingly, there is an increasing number of organisations in recent years who conduct their recruitment interviews at the dining table rather than at the boardroom.

Dining Etiquette Tip 3

If you are still apprehensive regarding which silverware to use, don't worry. Just follow this simple rule – work your way inwards. This simply means utensils placed furthest away from the serving plate or bowl should be used first. Very often, this would be the soup spoon (the one with the circular head) or the salad fork (the smaller fork) for your salad.

Trust me, I've been through so many formal dining meals. Once you start to relax and soak in the ambience, everything will flow smoothly.

Bon appetite everyone!


Health and fitness will always hold a special place in my heart. It's not only because it has become part of my lifestyle, but more importantly, it's my roots. So when I was invited to give a health and fitness talk to the Secondary 4 graduating students of Chung Cheng High School, I agreed readily.

When you are seen as a role model for others to emulate, there is no greater privilege than this. Like many others out there, I have had my own insecurities too when I first started out. To show the students that the me back then was like many of them in the hall today, I shared with them my life story and how I overcame the odds to become the current me.

Life is never a smooth straight road. It is almost always filled with turns and twists…just like the plot of a good narrative story. And that's what makes life exciting. The weak, ugly me back then was sick of being taunted. So I took the plunge and stepped out. Slowly but gradually, with improvements to my health, my confidence also skyrocketed…and like what people always say, the rest is history.

When people have stories to share, it helps to create the emotional bond with the audience. It's about being personal. I was happy the Secondary 4 students could relate to me. Laughter resonated through the hall as the students enjoyed the candid moments. Even some of the shy boys whom I picked for the exercise demonstration needed only a few minutes to morph into bona fide 'male models' on stage.

Fitness and nutrition are the twin pillars to good health. Remember, health is wealth. When your organs and body system are working well, there is so much more things you can achieve in life, many more mountains to scale and many more seas to cross. Life is worth living…only if you treat your body, which is your holy temple, in tip-top condition. I'll be happy to be your coach on your health and fitness journey…

Cheers to good health!


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