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Feb 11

Top Ramen for My One Nite in Tokyo

Last week, I had the privilege of working on Japan for the first time on Fuji TV.  Immediately after I finished my MC duties for the official grand opening of Marina Bay Sands, I hopped on the next available flight to Tokyo for work the following morning.  I have never been a big fan of red eye flights from wherever to wherever just because I don’t get to rest too well.  However, I was pretty pooped after a long day working at MBS so I got some sufficient rest before we landed a little around 7 AM at Narita Airport.  From there, we went directly to the Fuji TV station to get briefed and up-to-speed on what was going to happen on their newest show called “Hotel@Tokyo.”

Once I was done meeting the various directors and producers with the show, it was time to move onto the set and get some filming done.  While we were all getting wired up and ready to record, I was amazed with how many people were present for this production, which was definitely a lot more than Singapore and other countries I’ve worked in…

I soon realized that one of the biggest challenges would be the language barrier.  Along with me, there were two other female guest from Taiwan and Thailand, respectively.  Although the Thai actress named “Focus” (Yep…you read it right) could speak and understand some Japanese, Taiwanese model/host “Sophia” and I were wondering how this entire setup was going to work as a producer explained in both English and Japanese how the entertainment program was going to play out…

Not before long, the three main hosts of the show arrived in their uniforms as “Hotel Concierge” to take care of us three “VIP Guests”…

Fortunately, the production more than prepared for the “Lost in Translation” scenario by seating three professional translators right behind us, which was a first for me and really cool actually…


We all had a great time having the “Hotel@Tokyo” concierge team take care of our “special needs.”

Focus requested more info on Japanese deco so our accommodating hosts invited two of the top Japanese deco girls to put together a custom-made deco phone for her Blackberry.  I was surprised to discover that deco has been around for over a decade.  Guess I am not that big into having my mobile phone device decorated with tiny bits of glittering rhinestones and jewelry although I must admit that some of the designs are pretty amazing.

And what was my special request for the helpful staff at “Hotel@Tokyo?”

R-A-M-E-N ! !

Once I told them that I wanted some of Tokyo’s finest ramen, we were soon off to “Jun Ren,” which was the one ramen store I picked off the three ramen stores that they recommended…

It was really chilly as night fell upon us so I couldn’t wait to get my hands (and mouth) on a hot bowl of Tokyo’s finest ramen…

So we cleared out all the customers for a short while so I could have my “private one-on-one” ramen date with one of the hosts from “Hotel@Tokyo.”

Needless to say, I was more than satisfied with this delicious ramen, and I can confidently say that the best ramen still comes from the Land of the Rising Sun where it originated from!  This ramen store definitely earned my signature and Seal of Approval, and I hope to get back there again one day soon!

And once the filming was done, it was time to chillax with some of the freshest sashimi I have ever had before returning to Singapore the next day to prepare for Jonas’s birthday bash.раскрутка

Feb 11

Happy Birthday, Jonas!

Yesterday, my favorite Li’l Man turned freakin FIVE years old!  Wow…Time sure flies.  I still remember when he could barely walk and/or talk!  Of course, we wanted to make sure he had a memorable and fun birthday party so we held it at Wavehouse Sentosa.

Jonas and his buddies all took turns with the body boards on the Flow Rider…

…and while they were riding waves and waiting to cut the birthday cake, they had even more fun splashing around in the wading pool.

As the sun slowly started to set, it was time to cut this super cool Super Hero birthday cake that Mommy made especially for the party…

And since we just “happened” to be at the Wavehouse, you KNOW I couldn’t resist riding some waves myself on the Flow Barrel in hopes of improving…

Just when I think I’ve figured it out and made some progress…

…it’s back to wiping out and getting washed away!

All in all, the party and Wavehouse were just too much fun, and I can’t wait to return again soon and “wipe out” some more!

Until then, I’d just like to thank Wavehouse once again for the joy and happiness on this little guy’s face…

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Feb 11

Hosting with “Butterflies”

This past week, I had the opportunity to do a lot of hosting for the Marina Bay Sands Official Grand Opening Celebration.  Sure, it was truly grand in scale and spectacle, but I am still befuddled why I get all those butterflies swirling around in my stomach…even after the THIRD event I did that day?  Even after all these years of working on various sorts of events, I figured there would come a day when I could walk up on stage with that ultra-cool, calm, and collected demeanor.  Of course, the complete and total opposite is true.

Personally, I would like to attest that unnerving feeling right before you have to step on stage and address hundreds (or thousands) of people is simply a chemical reaction and by-product resulting in a pure adrenaline rush of excitement.  However, I must confess that it can be a force to be reckoned with at times.  Maybe it’s the hours we spend before the actual start of the event eagerly awaiting the moment to finally commence.  Or maybe it is attributed to the fact that these live events also come with absolutely “Zero Room” for error?  There are no re-takes or “Re Do’s” here.

I really don’t know.  But in some truly twisted fate and intertwining relationship, I always find myself drawn back again and again to embrace the nerves, excitement, and metaphorical “butterflies”…

These inevitable “mini panic attacks” right before it’s Showtime will most likely be a natural occurrence every time I hit the stage, but I would like to think I’ve learned to harness it through the years.  I still recall when I was in sixth grade and had to deliver my first speech in Public Speaking class.  It was complete and  utter torture having to stand in front of a class of twenty something students.  Twenty!  And some of them were even a year or two older than me too!  Completely terrified, petrified, and mortified, I plowed and toiled my way through that heart-pumping, palm-sweaty ordeal and vowed never to do that again!


Of course, I’d like to say a lot has changed since then…and definitely for the better.  So for any of you out there who still get that crazy nerve-wracking “Butterfly Effect” feeling right before it’s your turn to speak publicly, just remember I know exactly how you are feeling each and every time.  And if I’ve been able to turn it into something positive, then I know you can do it too!

And despite all the usual last-minute changes and logistical issues that inevitably always occur during live public events, the official Grand Opening of Marina Bay Sands was a huge success, and I wish you all the success in your future experiences with public speaking because it truly is a useful skill.

Have a great weekend and know that I will have an entirely new breed of butterflies to “play” with as I have to figure out what the Heck everyone is saying in Japanese during my first ever appearance on Fuji TV here in Japan on a brand new show called “Hotel@Tokyo!” ;-P

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Feb 11

Prime Minister Lee and the ArtScience Museum

Two days, I was invited to MC the official grand opening of the Marina Bay Sands, which was truly quite a spectacle in itself.  The entire day was lined with events and was highlighted with the opening of the stunning ArtScience Museum.  Resembling the form of a lotus flower, the ArtScience Museum is the largest private museum in Singapore with 21 galleries on three floors and covering over 6,000 square meters.

Unfortunately, the day started on a truly tragic note when one of the celebrity chefs at Marina Bay Sands, Santi Santamaria, unexpectedly passed away the night before the day’s festivities.  In the morning’s press conference with the chief executives from MBS, the remaining celebrity chefs all paid a heartfelt tribute to the legacy that Chef Santimaria left behind.  I hope to find some time in the near future to try his culinary creations one day myself.

Once the morning’s press conference was completed, we all reconvened outdoors for the opening ceremony of the ArtScience Museum, which was graced by none other than the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsieng Loong…

Once the PM in addition to the Las Vegas Sands Corporation executives were invited on stage and in position, we were treated to a procession of Mongolian performers to celebrate the ArtScience Museum’s premiere exhibition of Ghengis Khan…

The Chairman of the Board and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Sheldon G. Adelson, then passed the symbolic key to PM Lee to open the doors to the ArtScience Museum…

…and once all the journalists and photographers were done taking their pictures, it was time for the dignitaries to move inside to be amongst the first to tour the museum.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy the newly-opened museum that day because I had to prepare for premiere launch of “Wonder Full,” a specially-choreographed laser, light, and water display at MBS, so I’ll plan to get up close and personal with Mr. Ghengis Khan another time.

Once the event was over, it was time to race to the airport to hop on a plane to Tokyo for a new program on Fuji TV, which I know will be nothing short of absolute F-U-N!  And how do I know that?  Cuz I am already  here! ;-P


Feb 11

Happy Chinese New Year!

At last!  All the holiday festivities for the Lunar New Year are essentially done.  I was hoping we might go away during this period like we normally, but we decided to stay in Singapore due to the fact that we couldn’t book any tickets anywhere AND especially to the ridiculous cost of airplane tickets during Chinese New Year.  On the hand, I’d probably raise the price of air tickets to an astronomical amount too if I were running an airline so I guess I should complain too much.

Fortunately, we had some great friends and family who stuck around in town too so we all got to celebrate the Lunar New Year with them all.  One couple organized a full-blown Chinese New Year bonanza complete with a Lion Dance and a Rabbit to officially “hop” into the New Year.  Even though these Lion Dances probably aren’t the best thing for one’s hearing, the children always absolutely loved every moment of the performance…

We all know that keeping kids occupied and entertained is no small feat.  Even our “Roger Rabbit” realized it too that night and had to take a seat for his (or her) tired feet…

Of course, it’s always nice to see the children satisfied with all the festive celebration…or are they just happy that they’ll be getting some more 红包 (“hong bao”) red packets?

Over the past weekend, I finally decided to give the FloBarrel at Wavehouse Sentosa another “go” since the last time, which was a few months back.  When I went snowboarding in December, I injured my shoulder pretty good so I have been quite tentative about riding these man-made waves again.  My shoulder is still nowhere near 100%, but my desire to improve and carve up some more waves simply compelled me to return to this favorite spot of mine in Singapore…or Sentosa.

I always hope to bring down a few friends of mine to give it a shot too, but every single one of them always has one reason or another to decline.  I understand it can be somewhat intimidating in the beginning (or anytime) with all the passerby’s watching you fall over and over again, but we all have to start somewhere, right?

Once I realized I’d be riding solo again, it was time to hit the waves…

Since I got so tossed around and pounded last time, I opted to wear a rashguard this time while I figured out how to get more comfortable on these waves…

The frustrating thing is that once you think you’ve made a significant improvement in your skill level, you’ll regress more than a few steps back on the following ride.  Although that can be annoying, the joy of riding and learning this new sport is well worth all the setbacks tossed my way…including all the bumps and bruises…

I don’t know how much further I can go from here, but it is a New Year and so it’s definitely the ripe time to forge forward on more than a Dare…and with no Fear!

Finally, here’s the latest video of one of my rides this past weekend.

Happy Chinese New Year and hope to see you riding some waves of your own down there!

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