Hall pageants have been the norm in our local universities for years. But every year, the stakes only get higher as we the audience expect great entertainment value and bearing this in mind, the participants take it upon themselves to showcase their talents.

Welcome to Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Hall 6 Pageant 2012. This is the second year I’m sponsoring them (here is last year's entry.)

During my undergraduate days, I did not have the opportunity to stay in the hall. So the Hall 6 pageant acts as a good binocular eye to understand what hall life and camaraderie means. 

Gathering here at the Grand Rendezvous Hotel, the pageant also doubles up as the hip factor for the Hall’s annual dinner and dance. With a mafia theme, black was naturally the order of the night.

The night truly belonged to the four pairs of young people who came, entertained, charmed and grew up over the process.

Many a times in life, it’s not winning that matters. Rather, it’s having the courage to participate in something that is of greater significance.

There’s a lot of hard work and effort behind the scenes, not to mention the sacrifice that the contestants had to make. Think of all the rehearsals, photoshoots and preparations…not forgetting having to familiarise themselves with their assigned partner.

It’s obvious dancing and catwalk may not be everyone’s forte, but there’s nothing that will stop this group from delivering their best in the opening dance number to the individual catwalk cum strike-a-pose segment.

Equal credit must also be awarded to the energetic audience who cheered their favourite contestant each time he/she appeared. If you ask me, having crowd advantage is important as you will not feel so stressed up on stage. When you see familiar faces in the crowd edging you on, all the fears and apprehension simply melt away. In place you find only confidence.

The most cruel thing that can happen and always happens during any competition – pageant included, is the selection of the ultimate winner. In this case, we have our NTU Hall 6 Hall King and Hall Queen. Being crowned Hall King and Hall Queen is an accolade because the winners tonight will become role models for their juniors to emulate in years to come.

Sitting at the judging panel, it wasn’t easy to come to a final decision. But I guess what swayed the voted was choosing the guy and girl whose star shone the brightest tonight; and who gave an overall ‘A’ grade performance across all the various pageant segments. That was the deciding factor between the overall title winners and the subsidiary title winners.

Overall, I must say well done everyone. I’m certainly looking forward to next year’s pageant :)

Everyone is all big happy Hall 6 family!

6 titles up for grabs

You cannot have missed the article in many of the leading newspapers today. The headlines scream "Singapore Named Healthiest Country".
So is it another accolade for Singapore - a country well known for engineering many firsts in the world?

I should think so. 

But read on and you will realise that there still remains a large group of people who are skeptical of the survey findings. They find it incredulous that Singapore is ranked even before Western countries such as Italy, Australia and Switzerland. 

Our leaders used to benchmark our standard of living against Switzerland and for a very long time, we envisioned ourselves to be the Switzerland of the East. Has that time come when we have surpassed and leapfrogged over our model?

If you ask me, there has indeed been a great improvement in the mindsets of the people. With the mushrooming of more mega-sports facilities and park connectors, the government is doing its utmost best to inculcate a nation of healthy people. And this message seems to have been adopted by the masses. A quick check at the public sports council gyms shows that it's always packed after office hours, not forgetting the public badminton halls are quite hard to book too (unless you book them in advance).

As a regular speaker on health, wellness and fitness topics, I too have found a steady increase in the number of enquiries from corporations, companies, government organisations, businesses and schools for such topics. More worklife balance committee groups are being formed in the corporate worlds to oversee the overall wellbeing of the employees.

As different research findings employ different yardsticks and methodology, the results for each survey will differ. For the current survey done by Bloomberg, Singapore is the world's healthiest country.

Let's not quibble over the results. If others say we are good, let's give ourselves a pat on the back. And then we will all work harder to maintain this accolade the next year.

Cheers Singapore for having been named the healthiest country!

TODAY Newspaper, 17 Aug 2012

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