Sunday, November 06, 2005

Changi Hospital - I

View of Ubin 

Remnants of a once functional hospital

Changi Hospital

The view of the corridors from two different floors within the building (2nd and third floor)
Old Changi Hospital 

Changi Village revisited -01.10.2005

It's been a long, long while since i really explored Changi Village. Unfortunately one portion of it has been closed from public access. I used to be able to visit the area on the right of Loyang Village (i.e turn right before church) -there are a lot of bungalows there which unfortunately now as become SAF land and therefore out of bounds.

Well, i was still able to visit the area of Halton, Upavon and Hendon Roads and was once again rewarded with many things i have not seen for a long time.

E.g the photo above (on the right) looks like a orange oh??...But after consulting the nature books and also from memory of tree walks conducted by the Nature Society, i found out it is actually a fig creeping up and on holding on to the main tree.

The photo on the left is the Changi Hospital. After getting approval from the (unoffical )caretaker - a middle age chinese man sitting in front of the entrance, i went in for a view. Definitely rewarded with lovely view of Changi Village. Another surprising thing was the coolness of the building. The ventilation was excellent and really do not need to be air -conditioned.

I need to read up more about Changi Hospital...Will post some more pics of it later...c ya

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Istana and "Let there be peace

Took this photo at the Istana (or palace in malay) on Sunday 7th August. The istana is the offical residence of the President of Singapura

This sculpture was done by Alexandra Nechita and is titled "Let there be Peace".

The istana is lovely place indeed and centrally located at Orchard road area (closer to Plaza Singapura)

Visit Nechita's website for more information about this talented artist and her sculptures.
Visit the istana"official website (for its history, etc). Better still, visit the istana when it is open to the public .

Till my next post......Ta ta.

Retired Librarians wins US$1.6million jackpot

A 57 retired librarian by the name of Jacquelyn Sherman (who happens to be a New Orleans Hurriance Katrina storm victim) won US$1.6 million via a slot machine at a casino (Evangeline Downs racetrack & casino in Opelousas).

sigh....i am still waiting for my turn. Hopefully i don't have to be (a) Retired by then (b) a Hurricance victim.

In the meantime, i will continue to "hope" by putting in $2 on toto every Monday and Tuesday. Wish me luck folks.

source: The Tide Online, 16 Oct 2005
People News, 12 Oct 2005

Thursday, October 06, 2005

To blog or not to blog.....

Been pretty busy lately with work and have not been posting for a couple of months since recovering from dengue.
Yup, i fell victim to dengue and became one of the many statistics of people who caught dengue.

1) Getting dengue really sucks....
2) The 1 week MC i got was not enough...(i still felt so tired)
So folks, take the necessary precaution if you can, but no need until spray yourself silly everytime you go out.

The National Environment Agency even came up with website on weekly updates of dengue hotspots . Not bad ah!! i just hope the mosquito(es) are not Internet savvy and check out this website and move to other spots, before the relevant agencies take action..hahaha.

For those of you out there, take care. Live long and prosper.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Garden Plants, Tropical Trees of Singapore -Selected Readings

1001 Garden Plants in Singapore.
Boo, Chin Min; Omar-Hor, Kartini; Ou-Yang, Chow Lin.
Publisher: National Parks Board, c2003 [Singapore]

I bought this book recently and it is a simple read with descriptions of common garden plants in Singapore. Published by National Parks, it is neatly organised and easy to read.

Tropical trees and shrubs : a selection for urban planting
Wee,Yeow Chin
Sun Tree Publishing, 2003. [Singapore]

My friends gave to me this book as a birthday present. What i like about this book is the little snippets and stories about each tree such as its medicinal value and its local variant names. Definitely not a boring read. Some of the pictures look pretty dated though !!

Tropical Plants of Malaysia and Singapore
Chan, Elisabeth
Publisher: Periplus Editions, 2000 [Hong Kong]

A guide to growing the native plants of Singapore
Tan, Hugh. T.W.
Publisher: Singapore Science Centre, 2001 [Singapore]

The plants of of the Singapore Botanic Gardens
National Park Board, 2000 [Singapore]

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Old photos of Ubin and much more

Nice images of old ubin /tekong from this online user on Webshots named Fairypoint . Really a nice photogallery of old photos of ubin, tekong, changi and much much more. And he/she is sharing it with us all..

Thanks Fairypoint for sharing the nice photos.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Oriental Pied Hornbill

My research from this book: A Field Guide to the Birds of South-east Asia by Craig Robson.

Male hornbill: White facial markings, belly and vent.
Pale yellowish bill and casque with dark markings.

All this check out !!!

Definition of Casque: an enlargement of the upper mandible.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Hornbill -Oriental / Asian / Southern Pied (Anthracocceros albirostris)

The Oriental Pied Hornbill
One of my favourite birds that i regularly see in Ubin, the pied hornbill, either called Asian pied hornbill or asian pied hornbill or southern pied hornbill (take yr pick). Spotted 3 today on the way to Orchid Garden(Mamam beach). Not to sure whether the one i took is a male or female, but will do some research..... and get back to you folks !!!

Oriental Pied Hornbill 

Travel log
Arrived in Ubin with my friends at 9.00 am in the morning and had a nice cool drink before heading of to Noordin beach. Almost immediately, saw this cute lizard !!

cute lizard oh?
Reaching Noordin beach, it was quite a shame to see Noordin beach view blocked of by water fences to prevent illegal immigrants from swimming the Johor Straits.

Took a short cut dirt trail pass the prawn farm to Mamam Beach..While good thru the old rubber estates, it was here we saw 3 hornbills !! what a lovely sight.

The walk back was tiring but fulfiling indeed. Back to mainland for more food !! haha

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Nature Society (Singapore) Programmes.

Nature society organises monthly activites. All you need to do is sign up as a member and you get to participate in their events..... Good fun and u learn a bit too and you can learn about plants, birds, etc etc.

Check out Nature Society (Singapore ) calender of events

Eh ? not updated !!! - nevermind e-mail them ok !!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Angsana blooms (Part II)

Angsana Trees are blooming and making Singapore to look like a sea of green and yellow.

Mother Nature reminds us how beautiful the trees are and reminds us to appreciate them as God's gift
for us to protect and appreciatelayout...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Guide to investing

For a beginner like me, i enjoy and look forward to reading the Sunday Times (Singapore). It publishes during sunday's a section called invest giving u some insights to investing as well as interviews with people who have invested wisely and are not sitting "rich". Too often we start by investing to preserve our capital (i.e. ensure our savings and interest earned is more than the rate of inflation)..and get good yield......but for some people investing is no different than gambling !!!..Don't get me wrong, i am not trying to preach here..As they say, to each, his/her own.

Many,many books "teach" you the basic/indepth principles of how to be rich !!"e.g rich dad,poor dad, warren buffett guide to investing, etc etc etc etc.......but why isn't there not more rich people out there with the mushrooming of simple guide books on how to be rich ???

Some people say "No guts, no glory mate"...Some people are just risk averse. Too scared, etc.

This could be true, i am risk averse, but i also do not intend to join the long line of the non-success stories and bankrupt folks that appear in notices in papers bound for the recycling bins. All i can say is to those who made it thru hard work, good for you.

As a newbie in the investing world, what i will try to do is keep to the practice that was nicely quoted in one the articles in Sunday Times dated 10 April page 21 by Mr Wong Khai Soon in his parting words, "when you invest, go in only with money you can afford to lose'.

Another regular series of localised articles which i like to read to is by Dr Money of the Newpaper. Check Dr Money (Larry Haverkmap) out too, if you are a newbie like me..

$$$ is a means to an end..not the end itself, but we all do like a smooth journey there right ?? hahah

Take care ya..

Saturday, April 09, 2005

In memory -Pope John Paul II

In memory to a great servant of God who help Catholics worldwide to be united with brethen of other races and was a example of a person who forgave his enemy (he forgave the person who tried to kill him).

Posted by Hello

Ixora in bloom on way to Chek Jawa

ixora (family: rubiaceae) in bloom on the way to Chek Jawa..(forgotten to post them up). Ixora over here are wild shurbs. Hybrid ixora species often seen in the rest of S'pore are similar to this (however some have different colors)

I identified this flower from this book
1001 Garden Plants in Singapore. Boo Chih Min, Kartini Omar-Hor, Ou-Yang Chow Lin. National Parks Board Publications. National Parks Board.2003

flowers on the way to chek jawa
Posted by Hello

Friday, April 08, 2005

Angsana Trees in bloom

Was on bus 12, passing by St. Patrick's School along East Coast Road, when a tree full of yellow flowers caught my eye. Open my eyes bigger and noticed that trees of Angsana (Pterocarpus indicus) was in bloom, with bunches of yellow flower buds on trees as well as ground below trees..

Very beautiful and noting that angsana trees very rarely bloom and when they do they last very shortly.

For those who do not know what this tree look like, look at the trees along Orchard Road, from Wisma Atria all the way down.....

For those who still scratching head..and thinking how this tree look like..Well if you regularly go Orchard Road, take a look at the trees planted along orchard road (wisma atria , takashimaya, etc) ..yup those dense leaves with dropping dome-shaped crown are the angsana trees..

Further research information
Family: Leguminosae
Scientific name: Pterocarpus Indicus
Common names: angsana, burmese rosewood, narra, red sandlewood
Uses: medium-heavy hardwood (known as narra) used for construction, furniture, panel. Bark used against dysentery.
Tree prone to fungal disease and that led to its decline in popularity as it was formerly once of the main trees planted for the Garden city campaign in the 60's.

Further references:
Ptrecarpus indicus. NFT Highlights, NFT 92-02, Mar 92
Heritage Trees (pdf) National Parks.
Ptrecarpus Indicus. National Park: Trees
Wee Yeow Chin, Tropical Trees and Shrubs. A selection for Urban Planting. Sun Tree Publishing Limited,USA.2003

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Miss Universe Singapore-2005

When asked to choose her favourite cultural festival during the Question and Answer segment, Ms Ling Lee (19 yrs old NTU undergraduate) answered "Racial Harmony Day-cause she had fun dressing up as an Indian".....Jaws dropped !! duh...

Watching it, i can only say....God is fair. 'Sometimes you can't have both beauty and brains'

Kudos to the winner - Ms Cheryl Tay (24 yr old). Do Singapore proud ok.

Love converts hearts, promote's peace (in memory of Pope John Paul II)

Many wonderful words, poems,songs have appeared or are appearing online and news all around the world encapsulate who the Pope is and what he has done. I shall not add what has already been said. The Pontiff (Pope John Paul II)was indeed a great man, a holy man, well loved by many.
"Viva el Papa" (italian for Long live the Pope)

All i will say:
There will be rejoicing in the heavens because a Servant of God Returns.

Rest In Peace
Ioannes Paulus PP. II
Karol Wojtyla
16.X.1978 - 2.IV.2005

Excerpts from the official English translation of the Pope's Roman Triptych:

The End is as invisible as the Beginning.
The universe emerged from the Word, and returns to the Word.
Right at the heart of the Sistine Chapel, the artist shows this invisible End in the visible drama of the Judgment -
And this invisible End became visible as the highpoint of clarity:
ominia nuda et aperta ante oculos Eius.*
The words recorded by Matthew, here become the painter's vision:
"Come, you who are blessed... depart from me, you accursed..."
And so the generations pass - naked they come into the world and naked they return to the earth
from which they were formed.
"From dust you came, and to dust you shall return";
all that had shape into shapelessness.
What was alive is now dead; all that was beautiful is now the ugliness of devastation.
And yet I do not altogether die, what is indestructible in me remains!

*(Everything is disclosed and revealed before his eyes)

source: Pope's Poetic Last Statement: Guardian Unlimited, Book News.

Pulau Ubin – ex-Headman celebrates his 100th birthday

Reported in the Sunday Times, April 3, 2005,Mr Lim Chye Joo, a celebrity in his own right, celebrated his birthday surrounded with family and friends yesterday at his home in Pulau Ubin. Mr Abdullah Tarmugi (Speaker of Parliment)was present as well

It is fantastic to read this in the papers and that people as well as representative from the Govt. remembered.

FYI -if you want to visit Mr. Lim's house:
You can’t miss it, located at the “T”junction of Jalan Noordin and Jalan Ubin (opposite Belatok Hut), 700 or so meters away from the jetty.

The paper reports that he has lived in Ubin for 70 years since he arrived from China and has 8 children. In his younger days he was very active in the community and was former chairman of the Community Centre over at Ubin.

Do drop by his place to see and shake hand with this icon of Ubin.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Shopping for an HDB apartment..

Yes, i am flat hunting. Where else to start but Housing Development's Board InfoWeb.
An excellent site which showcases what places are on sale,ballot,recent resale prices, etc.

The most recent flats put online for ballot is Tivela - a built-to-order (BT0) exercise by HDB in Sengkang. BTO means oh...HDB will only built if there is demand for it..You can also see from the website, how many people have submitted applications for it on daily basis as well images of how the building and layout inside. A really good site.

Visit it if you have time and need a flat or just get information on house purchase, rules, terms and conditions, etc.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

What the hell -its totally booked !!! -Chek Jawa

From the NParks website !!!! Chek Jawa is fully booked for the next 3 man..
The NParks officer at Pulau Ubin Hotline (Tel: 6542-4108 ; 6545-4761 ) were friendly and gave good advise..booked early (groan)
I am going try my luck in April..hopefully someone cancels !! Will keep u informed if i can go Chek Jawa during a low tide...Wish me luck.
Date Registration Time Remarks

3rd Apr 05 (Sun) 10.30 am Fully booked

4th Apr 05 (Mon) 12.30 pm Fully booked

5th Apr 05 (Tue) 1.30 pm Fully booked

6th Apr 05 (Wed) 2.30 pm Fully booked

7th Apr 05 (Thur) 3.30 pm Fully booked

8th Apr 05 (Fri) 3.30 pm Fully booked

14th Apr 05 (Thur) 8.00 am Fully booked

15th Apr 05 (Fri) 8.00 am Fully booked

30th Apr 05 (Sat) 8.00 am Fully booked

1st May 05 (Sun) 8.00 am Fully booked

14th May 05 (Sat) 8.00 am Fully booked

28th May 05 (Sat) 8.00 am Fully booked

29th May 05 (Sun) 8.00 am Fully booked

30th May 05 (Mon) 8.00 am Fully booked

12th Jun 05 (Sun) 8.00 am Fully booked

13th Jun 05 (Mon) 8.00 am Fully booked

26th Jun 05 (Sun) 8.00 am Fully booked

27th Jun 05 (Mon) 8.00 am Fully booked

28th Jun 05 (Tue) 8.00 am Fully booked

Monday, March 28, 2005

Chek Jawa Revisited -28.03.05

It's been a long long time since i went Chek Jawa. In the past there was no need to register to visit it during low tides. Anyway today when i went down was not during low tide (did not check the tide table) but just wanted to visit and see what changes were made over there....And indeed a lot of changes.
1) coastal route path widen to make it easy for cyclers to go thru. One of the new path passes thru exactly the site where the former Ubin mosque was.
2) Chek Jawa inside clean-up with new trees planted.
3) The well at Chek Jawa - pail removed.

Here are some of the other photos i took.
Here is Chek Jawa during high tide with its treasures and marine wonders well hidden away from the prying eyes of humans. May look unimpressive now, but during low (

Pulai Tree -landmark on way to Chek Jawa and mystery of tombstone.

This is a landmark tree. It can be seen from bumboat from mainland on way to ubin and marks the 3/4 point to ubin. Directly at the foot of tree are 2 malay /muslim tombstones
1 Adult man and 1 female or child.
Don't no why they buried there ! Anyone know the story to this ?
pulai Tree Posted by Hello

small snake on coastal route.

The snake trying to find a place to snack with its recently caught meal (a lizard) - I am not an expert with snakes but i think it is called Cohn's Bronzeback (Dendrelaphis striatus)
source of opinion: A Photographic Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Merel J.Cox, Peter Paul Van Dijk, Jarujin Nabhitabhata & Kumthorn Thirakhupt. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd, 1988.
another view of snake with prey Posted by Hello

Lunch time for a small snake

Snake with a lizard in mouth

Source of water for cottage.

The cistern located on the grounds beside the cottage. Look at the creepers growing up to cistern itself on your right.
Water cistern for the cottage Posted by Hello

english cottage near Chek Jawa

This cottage in the middle of the jungle seems to transported from England to Ubin. The main house is 2 storey high with servants quarters attached. Overlooking pulau sekudu, this cottage has its own personal jetty.
Ubin Posted by Hello

Kampung House in Ubin

Malay house (on the way to Chek Jawa) Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005

Sg Buloh Wetland Reserve

Was at the Sungai Buloh Nature Reserve (Sg Buloh means Bamboo River in Malay) on the 26/2/05 with my girlfriend.

It was a lovely day (not too hot) and because it was a Sat, the bus does not go all the way in to the nature reserve, but stops outside at the Kranji Reservoir. So we took a nice stroll along the Kranji Nature Trail that ends at entrance of the Buloh Wetland and when we step into the visitor's /info counter , we were greeted with the lovely sight of an iguana sun bathing (yup iguana -not monitor lizard ok). We saw it thru a spotting scope of a Sg. Buloh volunteer at the cafe beside the pond. The iguana was huge !!!-i think about 2-3 foot long.

The bridge leading to the reserve was going thru maintenance so did not linger there for long but went straight into the reserve proper with healthy mangrove trees everywhere.

we managed to see many birds (the natives and also migratory ones on their way home). It was sight to behold and some of the positive id's include
  • 3 Stork-billed Kingfisher (one of the largest kingfishers here)
  • 1 Great Egrets
  • 10-12 Little Egrets
  • Pink Necked Pigeon
  • 1 Yellow Bittern
  • Little Heron
  • White-bellied Sea Eagle (with some feathers on wing missing)
  • 1 Grey Heron
  • Copper /Purple throated sunbird (not sure)

Shorebirds /waders (migratory birds) that i saw and could positively id

  • pacific golden plower
  • common redshank
  • common greenshank
  • terek sandpiper ( ? not sure if 100% correct)
  • marsh sandpiper
  • Whimbrels (lots of them)

While passing the rivers,we saw fishes jumping out the water !! wonder why they do that !! Overall a lovely day indeed.. On the way back, saw a bat hidden behind some shrubs, upside down with face covered by its wings..(just like Dracula)..hahah

Finally got to post up the photos i took. Share some of them with you including the snake we saw (don;t know what snake lah).

another pic of same snake Posted by Hello

Attractive sunbird- Sg Buloh (purple or copper throated ???) Posted by Hello

Saw a snake in Sg Buloh. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Pulau Ubin (Pulau -malay word for Island)

Welcome to Ubin 
Finally, i have learned how to upload photos!! So, what i did was to upload some of the recently taken photos of my favourite island , Ubin. I went recently with a friendly to the highest hill (yup there is no mountain there) in Ubin called Bukit Puaka (Malay for haunted hill) .....It is a very very tall, tall hill.....about 74 m high...(hahaha).

Want to find out more about Ubin, i recommend this fantastic website by real lovers of the island:

Enjoy !!!!

The rhino rock (cause it look like rhino lah !!) Posted by Hello

Swallow on the rhino rock (Ubin) Posted by Hello

Ubin village-low tide Posted by Hello

Mangrove trees (i think they are called Api-api -fire fire -in Malay -i think good to be used as firewood /charcoal) welcomes you at the jetty in Ubin..The rhino rock is also a feature there during low tide. The Api -api trees were blooming !!!! Beautiful lah.

flower of Sonneratia alba or Perepat -Ubin Posted by Hello (with thanks to Sivasothi for identifying it)

Ficus tree in bloom (Ubin) Posted by Hello

What we came to check out for -Monkey''s Pot

Don't ask me the scientific name of this plant, (cannot remember) but i came to revisit Puaka to check on the "health" of this plants to ensure that it is still striving in the hills of Puaka.

Monkey's pot -close up Posted by Hello

Changeable lizard at Bukit Puaka

Native reptile at Puaka Posted by Hello My friend told me this is called a Changeable lizard !!!!

Puaka Hill, Ubin Island

Puaka (malay for haunted) Hill is the highest hill in Ubin Island and the view from here is breath taking at best. On a good day, you will be able to see both Malaysia and mainland Singapore.

more view from Puaka Posted by Hello

View from Puaka hill

view from Puaka hill, Pulau Ubin (Ubin Island) - nice or not? Posted by Hello

View from Puaka (with back view of friend)-haha Posted by Hello