Friday, 14 December 2012

Life after Navy "It's OK"

From my previous post, I was left with no choice and no stable employment, I decided to strive to be a boss myself.

Among all the "doable" business, I decided on printing business, specifically business card printing. Why?
  1. Every if not most of the business will need to get their business card printed.
  2. High demand
  3. Recurring business
  4. Cash cow
Not only that, the benefits far exceeded monetary rewards. From a mere business card, I will get to know the bosses (though they may not know me) where I can build a good database. In additional, I can gain easy entry into these companies and thus also getting other print jobs. This, to me is very expandable business. I could also print brochures, flyer, letterhead etc... for them apart from business card.

That was good right. Now, the problem came. I faced with these immediate challenge:
  1. Funds (I only got $1000+ and a mountain of debts)
  2. Office Space (Where to get a place with little or no money?)
  3. Technical Knowledge (knowing to use design software etc...)
  4. Fulfillment (where to get the cards printed? Do I buy machines?)
There were really alot of thinking going on. So does that dithered me from moving forward? The answer is NO. When I don't have the money, I do the "free and hard" way.

1) Funds
I really got no more funds. My credit cards and lines were all maxed out. I just got to start with that.

2) Office Space
I start exploring the possibilities of "free" offices such as using my own house. I also went to ask flavor from my auntie to let me use a corner of her office space as my small office (abt 64 sq ft - enough for 2 small table). And she agreed. Rent free too.


3) Technical Knowledge
I really wish that at that time I can turn to someone who will be so kind to teach and guide me. Yes, you got it right! Where got such people? The next better way is to learn through courses but still, it voice down to money which I don't have. Its OK. I will learn myself. I researched a fair bit and found out that most designer uses Macromedia Freehand to do the design. I immersed myself for 2 full days in library to read up and managed to learn the software.

4) Fulfillment
Its the same problem. No money to buy machine. But that is fine too. I can always pass the jobs to other printing company to do. I will just be a reseller. However, at the end of the day, to maximize profit, it will be better for me to do the production myself.

I researched and bough a relatively ok laser printer that can print card to be my first production "plant".

With this, I finally started the business. Expressprint was officially registered on 1 Jan 2005 (Saturday) and started business proper on 3 Jan 2005 (Monday).

There was no business at all which I expected. So on the first few days, I started to prepare the business such as admin, accounts, marketing plan, etc... I also designed my own logo with the basic design skill I learned, which I used until now.

This logo was a simple textual logo made with a combination of the word 印,which represent "E" and "P" when split. To be more artistic, I went to translate "Design Excellence" into Italian. This explain the word "Designo Merito" on the bottom of the logo. Was it nice?

When all were done, I needed to have card supplies. I don't know where I can find and most paper suppliers I called didn't really want to bother me because of my super small quantity. Its OK. I went to bookstore to buy vanguard sheets as my card material (so at that time, I only have one type of material). Before I could use that vanguard sheets to be printed from my laser printer, I need to card each piece to A4 size first. I used pen-knife and ruler to cut piece by piece. Just imagine, one piece of A4 size sheet can fit 10 business cards in it. So one box of business card (100pcs) will need 10 piece.

In that era, newspaper was still widely use as advertisement. I just got to follow but I have no money. I will need to pay upfront if I go SPH direct. So, what I did was I went to look for media space reseller who is willing to let me place ads with 30 days credit term so that I need not fork out any initially. I found "Lin's Advertising Agency" who is willing if I sign a run-on ads (3 line ads in ST classified) for at least one month. I agreed immediately. To be dead honest, my intention to pay or run if no sales was 50-50. So my challenge was whatever it takes, I must secure the sales. My ads was simple. It reads "Namecard printing $8/box. Fast & Reliable. Call 6481 6300 Mr Ang. Free Delivery"

And so the ads started and I receive a few calls. I managed to secure the first order of 200pcs of business card order. It was an easy job. The customer gave me a print ready jpg file which I can print without amendment. I cut 8 big piece of vanguard sheet into A4s and start printing with the laser printer. I am satisfied with the outcome (maybe because the printer was still new). Now siao liao. I still need to cut into individual card sizes. And so I cut piece by piece with pen-knife. This whole episode took me more than half a day and I charged on $20 for that 2 boxes. The cutting was completed eventually. NOW, even more siao liao. I got no namecard boxes to pack the cards. I went around the office to "borrow" used boxes and luck was with me. I managed to borrow quite a few and my job was finally done. The customer collected the cards feeling a bit unsatisfied because of my cutting. Its OK. I will improve. So i went to buy my first guillotine cutter to cut the cards better. Though the cutting improve, I am still cutting piece by piece.

The business built up slowly and I was actually working between 18-20hrs a day. t was worst than a coolie or slave. I just got to keep on going on. If you asked me how hard was hard that time? Consider this, you received an order of 10 boxes of namecard printing. Do you smile (because you have business) or cry (because you need to produce)?

In conclusion, I started Expressprint with no money, no skill, no knowledge and only with a mountain of debts and family commitment.

There are a lot of people that helped me in one way or another. Some of them are:

I wish to thank my wife, Joyce Liaw. She married me during my darkest moment of my life. In the lowest pit, she remains positive. When I have no income, she gave ALL her little salary to help in the family expenses. I am grateful to her for her sacrifice and standing by me in times of needs. No matter what happen in future, you will always me my only wife. One life, one wife. I love you.

The next person I will like to thank will me my Auntie who so willingly helped me out by giving me a rent free space in her office. She even gave me valuable advise on doing business. In addition, she even bought many business wear for me (as I couldn't afford) so that I could dress better and ging better impression to my customer.

I will also like to thank my mother, brother and my in-laws who helped me and believed in when I couldn't even believe myself. Thank you.

Last but not least, my lecturer who gave me money to help me through and started the business. When my electricity was disconnected due to non-payment, he even offer his place for my family to stay. Thank you.

This thanking list will never ends. I am really thankful to all who helped me in one way or another. This includes those nasty customer as well. I grew and gain valuable experience because of you. Thank you.

My reflection: When there is life, there is hope. Never belittle the small beginning. Rome was once a flat ground as well.

Continue to follow my blog. I will be posting in phases of my career in Expressprint. Stay tuned!


If you are interested to start a printing business, I can help you. Please contact Mr James Wee (9632 2086) or email training@expressprint.com.sg I guarantee you don't have to go through what I went through before.


Follow me on my blog www.welsonang.com as I journey into the different stages of my life.
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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

At the age of 26 years old: What do do when you don't know what to do?

Finally, I am going to leave the Navy. It was in the early 2004 which was also the last year of my contract with the Republic of Singapore Navy after serving for 9 years. 

This came as a surprise to many of my friends. I was actually doing quite well in the Navy with a good record and route of Advancement (ROA). So why did I decided to leave the Navy? It will not be the best option that time because the economy was very bad and barely recovering from the effect of SARS. To find a job in the corporate world will not be easy, not to mentioned I have ZERO experience.

Why then do I still make this decision? 
In some of my earlier post, I mentioned that I was in debts of tens of thousand of dollars. I really have no means to repay these debts accumulated through my younger day lifestyles. I owed many credit cards bills and loan bank loan. It was to the point that the banks are taking legal actions against me. Being in the administration department of the Navy, I had seen and handled countless of such cases. Most of these cases ended with a arrangement of pay freeze and on the more serious note, dishonorable discharge from the service. I guess I will also be one of such cases.

What was the effect it has on me?
At that point of time, I am just a couple of months away from my ORD, completing my contract in full term and I will also be given a sum of gratuity of about $12,000 dollar. If I will to be discharged, I may lose the gratuity. Therefore, my priority will be to hang on to the job and getting temporary loans from whomever I knew to pay the minimum sum.


I know that for sure I cannot allow my salary to be freezed. I'll still need to provide for my family and my baby boy. I just hope that I can "camouflage" till my ORD. Time was really crawling although its just a few months. Emotionally, I was so stressed up because I keep it a secret all by myself. Even my wife and family doesn't know about it. I acted as per normal when I am at home. However, my relationship with my wife took a deep dived. I ended up having more frequent quarrels with her even over the smallest mustard seeds issues. Still, I kept the truth from her. Its really pointless to have add burden and stress to another person. Problems still remain unresolved. In fact, in order not to be discriminated by my Nay colleague, I project myself as a "rich" guy in front of my colleagues, always fighting to foot the bills whenever I could. In their eyes, I am one who had "great" plans after I ORDed and I will "survive" better than in the Navy. I am living in double identity.

Deep in my heart, I have already make a decision to resign to my fate of bankruptcy.  I have no means and of course, no intention to repay the bank. My intention is to keep as much money as possible and every possible means. Even when I ORDed, I will look for jobs that doesn't pay CPF so that I could not be "tracked". 

The day finally came. 4 July 2004, I am officially free from the Navy. I have also received the gratuity sum which will be enough to see us through for a good few months. I started looking around for jobs. Although I graduated with a bachelor degree, I could not find a job. Out of the many resumes I sent, there was few respond. I still remember clearly one of the company willing to employ me. Guess what, he wanted to exploit me. He gave me an offer of $1500 before CPF. That was absurd. This price for a degree holder? not to mention providing for the family after CPF deductions. It was NOT enough at all.

It was very devastating for me. It has been a few weeks since I ORDed. I have yet to find a job and the money from the gratuity was lessening day by day. In September 2004, I was blessed with another baby. My wife was pregnant with our second child. Was it a bad news to me? How am I suppose to provide for the family? To be honest, I did slid into the state of depression. I roamed the street aimlessly everyday. Sometime, I even hope that a car will bang me and I die in the accident. My family will then be able to survive on insurance payout. I know you may laughed at my reaction and thoughts. 

What will you do then? 
The fact remains. The baby need to be fed. On many occasions, I actually bought one piece of roti prata ($0.50) and request more curry gravy so that I can eat plain bread with it.

While I was jobless, occasionally, I did many odd-jobs including manual labor job. My earning was just sufficient for my daily expenses.

My situation worsened. I have not been paying the utilities bills and finally, my electric supply was terminated. Left with no choice, I went to borrow money from one of my poly lecturer. He was so kind enough to gave me a loan and even offer my family a place to stay. I had enough of fate. I do not want to carry on this way. Since no one wants to employ me, I decided to start a business. I received financial blessing from my lecturer and support from my wife to start my own business. 

The big question came. What business? After brain storming with some of my friends, we concluded that I can start a Delivery Service, be a Property Agent, Financial Planner or even F & B. Out of which, I thought F & B business is a better choice. Ultimately, who don't need to eat? There will be plenty of customers. The big problem was, I cannot cook. The best I could was maggi mee with egg.

This ended my quest for a business BUT this gave me an instinct. Food is the basic need of a humanity. Focusing on the basic needs will be one of the most "doable" business with minimal lack of customer. Bringing the context of "basic needs" into business world, I realised that most, if not all businesses cannot do with "business card". Business card is the basic needs of a business. Hor seh liao. That is it.... I want to be a business card supplier. This could be my way out.

My reflection: When there is life, there is hope.

Continue to follow my blog. Following this will be the roller coastal ride of my "new" career and the start of my printing company Expressprint. Stay tuned!

Follow me on my blog www.welsonang.com as I journey into the different stages of my life.
While reading my post, please support me by "liking" my business pages in Facebook

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Monday, 9 July 2012

At the age of 22-23 years old: My last courtship

In my last post, I mentioned that I will be sharing about the most important woman in my life (other than my  mother). Her name is Joyce. This blog post is dedicated to her. I want to let her know that my love to her is ever increasing since the day I met her. I must admit the passage "You know the heart of the man when he have everything. You know the heart of the woman when you have nothing" Thank you being with me. I don't know how this relationship is going to end. Bible says that what God put together, let no man split. I am not being mushy here but I will want to die before you so that I can make arrangement for you in heaven when you are called home by the Lord. I want to continue to take care of you and my action will prove it.

In 2000, on the day of my 22nd birthday (18 August), I was alone at home in the wee hours of the night. I just got back from my birthday celebration, drinking with my peers at a local nightclub. I sent the hostess back before heading home. Obviously, it was a fail date and I was bored. After settling down, I decide to try my luck fishing in the Internet. Know what I mean? In that era, the "in" thing was Internet Chat Room (aka IRC).

It was near 4am and I started hunting as a werewolf. Looking out for traces of female chatters online. After trying for a while, I managed to connect with a young girl. We chatted for a while and realized I am heading no where. I asked for her number which she decline to give. I gave her my number instead. Thats all for the night. We logged off.

Life goes on as usual and one week later (26 August 2000), miracle happened. I received a missed call and when I called back, it was SHE. She said she was bored earlier on thats why she called. But then, she need to work and have no time for me. I coaxed her into telling me where she work. Haha. Thats the plan. I am going to pay her a surprise visit. I have no idea how she look like. Since I am free that day, I arranged a meeting with my friend at the restaurant she worked for dinner. It was really exciting for me. I hope I won't be surprised by her instead.

This is the place we first met

7pm. My friend came and we stepped into Pennsylvania house, a restaurant located in Stamford House. There wasn't alot of customers and we were seated. My eyes started rolling and stretching out my neck to see who is the most "possible" one. I was attracted to this particular girl, looking plain and size "s". My guts feeling tells me it must be her. We decided to order some food and signal "her" to take order. Bingo! from her name tag I know she was the one. I order a steak and the drink "moo-moo". Dinner was served and we left after footing the bill. I send my friend off and went back to the restaurant.

I paged her several times and waited patiently for her return call. It finally came and I make known to her that I saw her wish to send her home after work. Her reaction was expected-ly surprise and  she says no wonder I find both of you fishy.... haha. She rejected me but managed to be convinced by me thereafter (I have the quali of a salesman). But she says, you can send me home but cannot have supper with me because she is meeting her friends for supper. I took the opportunity first and locked her in by agreeing.

10pm, she finished work and hop into my car parked at the back alley. We talked along the journey home and I tried my luck for one last time. Can I wait for you to finish dinner with your friends and meet you again? After some pestering, she gave in and confess that meeting her friend was a lied. She just wanted a free journey home. So we end up going to the petrol kiosk, grabbed some mineral waters and headed to Pasir Ris Park for a "talk". At the park, we talked and talked. While I smoked and smoked. It was during the session that she revealed to me that that night it was the third time she logged into IRC because her mum had wanted her to sleep. So indeed it was through fate that I got to know her. Time flies, it was about 3am and I sent her home.

Having fun in Escape theme park
I asked her out for a karaoke session the next day and she agreed. As a frequent nightclub go-er, I think I can sing relatively well. I think (yet to be verified by her), she dwell in my voice that night. After the karaoke session, I asked her to be my girlfriend and she agreed. Woohoo, I am attached again. So after 1 night of courtship, I succeeded. I am her first boyfriend. We went for supper "hand-in-hand", send her home thereafter and parted with a kiss.

We were holidaying in KL. Pretending we are marrying.
A month later was her 18th birthday. The first birthday gift I gave her was actually a mobile phone for easy communication. Thereafter, I pampered her with gifts and we even went for a holiday in KL, Malaysia and Bangkok.

BTW, many of my friends said I was toying with her as she is a "xiao mei mei". She was 17 years old (turning 18) at that time. Even her best friend called me up to "harass" me to let her of. What was that? She is young but not naive right? Surely she can make her own decision.

I love her. I really feel that she was the one for me. I decided to cut away all clubbing and womanizing activities. I made a decision to be a "kuai ghia". I will never go clubbing without her. It has been more than 10 years. I have seldom (if not, never) went clubbing without her (can be verified with my long time friend). We were like super glue, glued together, seeing each other everyday. This caused her disruption in her studies as well. She was studying Diploma in Marketing in Temasek Poly but finally, dropped out due to barred from examination for poor attendance. She has not been attending classes and failed to have her minimal attendance needed to sit for exam.

All the fingers were pointing to me. Saying I was a bad influence so on.... I really feel bad. She did not blamed me but yet I know that she is feeling sad. At the end of the day, she started working as an admin staff.

When I knew her, she doesn't know that I was in debts. I never made know to her of my financial situation. I was very selfish then. The only way for me to cover the secret is to repay as much as possible.

ROM on 08-08-01. Collecting our Certificate
I don't know what got into my friends that year. Many of them are getting married. I wanted to join in the fun by getting married too. I did the most unromantic way of asking her for her hand. I bet she doesn't have a concept of what marriage is all about because she said yes. The only concerned was her father's approval. Boldly, I plucked out all my courage to break the news to her parents. at that time, she was only 18 years old and marriage needs parental consent. It was in May 2001 that I break the "good" news to them. Her father asked, how much money I have and how am I going to provide for her. Remember, I was in debts that I couldn't handle. I told a lie to her father and says I got saving of $20-30k.... But what I says next was the crucial factor. I said. Uncle, this month I earn $5k, next month I get retrenched, shall I head for a divorce the following month. I think this actually works. I got her consent from her father. We decided on 8 August 2001 to ROM. Why this day was not because of suspicious day although it was "coincidental" guanyin dan. The main reason was because, the next day will surely be a holiday (Singapore National Day) and we can have the whole nation celebrating with us.

My parents never objected except my father asked, she pregnant ah? haha.... not true hor.

Our customary wedding in Singapore
The preparation for marriage was indeed challenging. My to do list includes wedding photos and gowns, restaurant, house and other preparation. Anyway, I managed to get all of it settled in a short period of time. We got a flat near my parents and the flat was approved for the four elder. What I love most was the unit number 08-328. That explain why all my business number ends with 8328. The interesting part of the preparation was finding the restaurant at the last minute. Our chinese customary wedding was set on 22 Dec 2001, which was barely 6 months away. It was quite difficult because December was a popular season for D & D and wedding as well. Everyone was fighting for the place. Although I was poor, I am suppose to hold a banquet of 56 tables. Out of which, only 3 tables belongs to me. I have a hard time searching and finally, I managed to secure a reservation at Hotel Grand Central. It was not easy even to convince the manager to confirm my booking. He says as a norm, he will need to have 30% as deposit. It came out to around $15k. Even my wedding photos and gown were paid through installment. When can I find these sum of money? I started negotiating with the manager. I plead and plead and humble myself. I exercised all the "skills" I have to convince him. Guess what, he was moved my by sincerity. He accepted a mere $500 deposit and the rest on that day. I bet none of you will have gotten such a deal.
The Big Day
 To cut the story short. Everything when on smoothly. We got married and the Ang Pow we received is more than enough to cover for the banquet. I am officially a married man.

I am very lucky to have married my wife (i would have still been a bachelor) who is willing to overlook my weakness and accepting me the way I was. It was me who was always inconsiderate and made unnecessary comments on her. I am thankful for the commitment she gave to this family and bearing me 3 beautiful children. Yes, we are still married till now and will be celebrating our eleventh anniversary this year 8/8/12. (all gift welcome).

We met on the Internet, fell in love and commit our life to each other. I will like to thank God  for being in the center of our relationship and in our family.

Who says internet love is a myth? think again (National Geographic Channel)

My reflection: Be truthful, especially to the person you love. Really, above all, love is the greatest. 1 Cor 13:7 love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Continue to follow my blog. I will be going into the setting up of Expressprint in my next blog post.



Follow me on my blog www.welsonang.com as I journey into the different stages of my life.
While reading my post, please support me by "liking" my business pages in Facebook

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Monday, 18 June 2012

At the age of 17 to 23 years old: V-MAD

It has been quite a while that I updated on my life stories. Although I have been blogging about some interesting encounters I met recently, it will be very irrelevant if I just skipped some point of my life. Here it is, sit back, enjoy and relax.

In my earlier posts, I mentioned that I made it to one of the local polytechnics (no secret, its Singapore Polytechnic or SP aka Sure Pass). I took the Diploma of Banking and Financial Service, specializing in Financial Trading. It was one of the most sought after course at that time.

I was 17 when I studied the the first year of the course. Although my mum did gave me allowances for the studies, it was not enough for me as I was a high spender. I wore branded stuffs, enjoying some of the finest things in life. This also means that I need to work to get the extra cash. I studied and work at the same time. It was a very difficult time for me to concentrate on my studies and work at the same time. That year, opportunity came.  MINDEF is going around schools to recruit new soldiers under the Joint Diploma Scheme (JDS). Under the JDS, it doesn't matter which course you were in. They will offer the scheme to whoever are interested and eligible. JDS will pay for all fees and also gave us a monthly allowances (about $1000). The only catch was during weekends and holidays, we need to report back camp and also serve a 6 years full time contract upon graduation. The terms was quite tempting. I applied for the NAVY JDS and got into it.

I remember going through Basic Military Training (BMT) in one of my semester break. I was "tekan"  in camp while my friends were enjoying their holiday. Still, I made it and passed out as a "PRIVATE".
I still maintain contact with the friends I made during BMT although most were from different schools. Its true that birds of the same feathers flock together. I got into the company whom like frequenting night spots, clubs and bars. This was also the time that I got very engaged into the night spot activities.

Time flew. In 1998, I graduated from the course and started serving my 6 years bond. I was 20 year old. My night activities was cut down as I was undergoing various courses from the Navy before going onboard ship. This took about a year and I was also promoted in rank upon the completion of courses. I was also given a pay increment. That time, my pay was around $2000+, which was considered very good compared to my classmates.

The moment I turned 21, the first thing I did was to apply for some credit card. It was one of the 5Cs during that time. Every man will want to own a few of these. This is the beginning of troubles. The title V-MAD is not Very Mad. It means Visa, Master, Amex and Diners card. I applied for a dozen and got a dozen of them with credits ranging from $4000 to $6000, with a combined credit limited of more than $70,000. That was a lot of money.

In camp, I heard a lot of stories on how someone got into debts through spending beyond limits. I constantly reminded myself not to fall into the same mistake. I was very careful when I spent. Whenever I made a purchase with the cards, I will draw the same amount of cash and put it into an envelop so that I can pay with it when the bill came. I was very discipline in doing so initially.

My lifestyle started to change after my course. I begin to meet and mingled with"old bird" in the Navy. They brought me to nightclubs to "experience" life. This was the period which I begin to frequent nightclub. The patronization range from once a week to thrice a week. Most of the time, the bills were all settled via credit card as its more convenient. Initially, I still keep my habit of withdrawing cash for the credit spent. However, in one occasion, due to some reasons, I forgot to withdraw the cash for the spending but I reminded myself about the amount. I managed to keep myself at bay and paid the bill in full, in time. It was much more convenient than to withdraw cash every time I spent. This progressed to become my habit and this also proved vital.

I have lost tracked of how much I spent. When my salary could no longer pay for my spending, I rolled to another card through cash advance faciities. This snowballed and end up became a mountain of debts of more than $30000 in less than 2 years. I can no longer repay from my salary. I was only 22 yrs old. The debts was more than I could handle.

On top of the credit card debts, I had to pay for my study loan as well. I took a study loan in 1999 to study a part time Degree course via distant learning which i subsequently I graduated with a Bachelor degree, Double major in Marketing and Ecommerce in 2001. The study loan was about $20,000. I have a combined debts of more than $50,000.

At 22 years old with a mountain of debts to clear, I met a wonderful teenager studying in Temasek Poly. She was turning 18 years old when we met. I just kind of know she is the one for me as a life partner. We started dating. This was when I came to my senses to stop all night activities and concentrate on repaying the debts as I was serious over her. I cannot let her marry a a bankrupt. It was too late, the debts was overwhelming. I just couldn't handle it. I pay whatever I can and hopefully I can repay. All my bonuses actually went into repayment.

I kept my debt a secret to her. We got married that same year. About my debts? When I left the Navy in 2004, I still couldn't clear and it went from bad to worst after I got married and gotten my flat.

My reflection: Being in debts is no fun. I became a slave to the banks. Its easy to spent but difficult to earn. Keep your finance in control. DO NOT OVER SPENT.

My friend, if you are also in my situation, do not despair. Bankruptcy is not and never an option. No need to run away from it also. 3 steps to help you. First, you must acknowledge and admit. Second, make plans to pay. Thirdly, be committed. What banks want is money, not your live. Feel free to contact me if you want to her from me personally how I clear the debts.

Continue to follow my blog. On my next post, I will share my last love story, the woman who share my rags and riches. Be ready for a touching moment.




Follow me on my blog www.welsonang.com as I journey into the different stages of my life.
While reading my post, please support me by "liking" my business pages in Facebook

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Monday, 4 June 2012

HTC One X - Great on essential functions!

My life experience is getting more and more interesting. It is never still.

2 weeks ago, while I was shopping with my family in Causeway Point, I was attracted to one of the poster advertisement. Its the HTC ONE X. I was mesmerized by it. My first thought was to buy it. But wait, its $900+... I better consider again and started to recall if any of my friends works in any telco so that I may be able to get some discount through them. After a few phone calls, I managed to link up with the head of Social Media, HTC. He gave me an opportunity to test the phone and to write a review about it. The phone will be mine to keep. I grabbed the deal and within a few days, the phone arrived at my office.

First opened
I must admit that this is my first ever HTC phone in my life. The phone was nicely packed into a capsule-like card box. From the packaging alone, anyone can tell it must have contain a gem in it.

I am not a professional techie who does reviews of phones for a living. I will leave it to the expert for technical comparison and comments.

When I first hold the phone in my palm, the phone was light but yet solid. The bends on the side of the phone make it comfortable to grip and it provides a good friction.

Overall, I think that the phone was very ergonomically designed. The design is modern and have a futuristic feel.

What's beat?
Flipping over the phone, I notice a small log "beatsaudio" right at the bottom of the phone. What was that? I did a search on the web found out that Beats, in short simply means "hearing our favorite artists the way they want to be heard". I am very anxious and curious to find out for myself the different. I linked up the phone on my iMac and transferred a Jacky Cheung concert number "爱是永恒"to listen to the different. All I can say was, there is a different and the different is great. Its really pure enjoyment of listening to music.

Like I said, I am no techie. I am only interested in the functions of the phone. HTC ONE X has a big screen. I always watched movies and youtube on my phone. The huge screen added my enjoyment of gym-ing. The screen was so huge that I actually place it on a treadmill, watching and jogging at the same time. Not bad right?

Perfect screen size
One feature of the phone that makes it outstanding will be the camera function. Photos taken from the camera were very sharp. Most importantly, this phone can actually take photos while you are recording a video. I happened to find out about this feature when I was video recording my daughter and just so happen to press on the soft button and photos were taken instantly. That easy! The shots were great too. Just to show you some examples.

Capturing the precious moments
Overall, the phone is great. Sized right for mobility and great on essential functions. Give it a try before you decide on your next phone.

This review was written solely based on my own personal experience with the phone.

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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A special encounter


I was invited by Ms Genecia Luo of InQueenz for a Interview session with VJ, Ning Na (www.In988.com). There I talked about many whys. These "whys" shaped my life entirely. Questions like .....
  1. Why I was in debts? 
  2. Why did I decided to leave the Navy?
  3. Why start a business?
  4. Why printing business?
 ... were revealed for the first time publicly.

Take a look at the video. Share with me what action you will take if you are in my shoes.

However........

This is NOT my main highlight of the day. Earlier in the morning, while I was driving to the Broadcast Station, I begin to pray and worship (something I did everyday during the morning journey). All of a sudden, I felt God speaking to me. I was reprimanded by God actually.

Many of you may not have known that I have 3 children, age 4, 7 and 9 (2 elder boys and a girl). Many of my friends always feedback to me that I show favoritism especially to my girl. My common reply to them was "you know what, I already miss the growing up stage of my boys. I do not want to miss my girl as well. That's the main reason why I doted on my girl". Sound fatherly right. WRONG! God put senses into me TODAY. He told me, "You have already missed the growing up stages of your 2 boys. DO YOU WANT TO MISS THIS CURRENT STAGE AS WELL?" I was totally stunned and I began to weep like a baby. I was wrong. Every stage of my children life I MUST NOT MISS AT ALL. They are my precious and God gave them to me as the best created gifts. Instead of treasuring them, I see them as baggage, I see them as obstacle, I see them as a nuisance BUT I did not see what God wants me to see. They love me as a father. They acknowledge me as their father. I was totally broken down. I parked the car in the carpark and cried for the next many minutes. 

The time was up and I needed to go for the interview. I thank God for His ministering. In the studio, Ning Na saw me and she asked "you have a late night?" I smiled off. It was during one of the commercial break, I told her the truth on what happened earlier on. She said she could see it. But did not mention. Thereafter, from the entrepreneurship story, she linked it to a fatherhood story and relay what happened earlier on "live" to the audience.

I am feeling better right now.  I know what I need to do and what is to be done. As my church says "My Church, My life", My motto for my family is "My Family, My Life". This year as our church is embarking as a year of relationship, I will also strengthen the relationship with my family.

My reflection: Nothing beats the love of a family

Continue to follow my blog. More will be revealed as I progressed onto the journey.



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Sunday, 8 April 2012

At the age of 16-17: Da Vinci Code

I have been procrastinating whether or not to blog about this part of my life. This is also one of the most bitter part of my life that I rather not went through. Still, this makes up my life right. Life is not about a bed of roses.

Many people will have think that involving in bad company will also means revolving around woman and sex. Well, it was true to many but definitely untrue for me. Who do not like to have pretty girlfriends? I have my fair share of fantasy about this as well. To be honest, I did not really have a steady relationship before.

This is the place that I know her. This was the flight of stairs.
(photo taken from http://puffyrazzi.blogspot.com)
Pager ~ the tech of our days.
(Photo from alibaba.com)
Somewhere near August 1994, it was just like a normal day. A day where I spent with my buddies Junqiang and Sammy (deceased) . We were loitering around Marina Square around 8-9pm. All of a sudden, I noticed 3 cute and appealing girls just down the flight of stairs. Coincidentally, we were also in a group of 3. We were interested in knowing them. We chose among ourselves which girl we want to target and we set for it. We just approached them and started talking to them They seems no interest in us. We just continue to "pester" around them and finally managed to convince them to give us their contact (it was pager) number. I still remember I was holding on to a new model Pager which will enable me to store numbers. I flashed it out while she read out her number in "awe". We talked for a moment and then we went separately as its getting late.

Back at home, I was very mesmerized by her. My buddies do not consider her a real beauty compared to their choice, but she was all I could think of. Without my buddies around, I did not have the courage to even call her. Though it was late into the night, the urge to hear her voice overcame my fear. I plucked out my courage to "page" her. I was waiting and waiting for her to return call. Finally, the phone rings and it was her. We talked and talked for hours. Suddenly, my life was just like revolving around her. She was always on my thoughts.

This went on for a few nights (can't really remember how long). Finally, I decided to ask the golden question. Will you be my stead? I asked her and she says she will consider. She said it could be a good news, if not a bad one. As I was going for a basketball training, she told me she will "page" me her answer later. How to "page" an answer. In those day, we did not have a mobile phone that we can freely call and talk to. Having a pager was already a "wow" to many. Yes, a pager can talk. If she page with a return number "170", it means "NO" and naturally "017" will means "ON". This was the Da Vinci code of my generation. The night was especially slow. I was constantly peeping at my pager during training. Finally, I heard my pager beeped. I rushed over to see. It was a 017. I exclaimed in joy. That night, we started. I was finally in a relationship.

My Da Vinci Code.
  • 5121314
  • 1-177155-4
  • 6009-9
  • 532
Do you know what they mean? Whats yours? (share in comments)

As a new couple, we were in our honeymoon period. I will shower all my love and care for her, giving her the best that I could afford. We were in our heavenly world. As she came from a complicated family, her education was also affected. She was working in a factory when I knew her. Actually, she has been shouldering for her family since 14 years old. Her highest education was barely PSLE. I encouraged her to continue studying and even offer to help her pay her fees as I was working and earning well. She enrolled into a night class and I will wait for her to finish her lesson. Things were going on well until a few months later. She skipped class and kept mum about it. In one occasion, I went to her school to fetch her in a bid to give her a surprise. I was surprised instead. She was nowhere to be seen. A check with her classmates revealed that she had been absent for the past few lessons. I was shocked. She lied to me. I lost my emotion and control and begin calling her best friend. I was frantically insane at that time.

Finally, one of her best friends divulged to me and tell me "if I love her, let her go". What was that? All the while I thought we were ok but why the sudden change? She told me where I could find her. I stomped to the place near Bugis to find her. I combed a few streets literally inch by inch in a bid to find her. Finally, I found her. she told me she have another boyfriend but maintain that she still love me. We struggled a little in the street. I couldn't accept what she told me. Really, at that point of time, I just feel that the whole world is crashing down on me. I spoke the irrevocable word "Lets break". I still remember very vividly that night that I shunned her away and walked off. I don't know what to do. I felt totally alone. I questioned myself was I at fault? Did I do anything wrong and stuff like that. I called my buddies and told them what happened. Though it was late in the night, they still make their way to my house to be with me and consoled me.

Of course, we did not patch back after all. It took me a while to get back onto my lively self. I was drunk almost every night. Marlboro and beer was my true friend. They accompanied me during my darkest moments. What happened had happened. I was made a cuckold. I know it takes two hands to clap. I may have faults which I didn't know too. Anyway, I have already put it behind me and I even managed to contact her after more than 10 years.


My reflection: Hurt is a very difficult wound to be healed. It pains your love one to see you hurting as well. Indulging in beer and cigarette can only blur your vision. The reality still stands. I will like to encourage those who was hurt to bravely face the reality. On then, you can get back to reality.

Continue to follow my blog. More will be revealed as I progressed onto the journey. I will be blogging on my next love in my next post. It will be more titanic.


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Friday, 30 March 2012

At the age of 13 - 16 years old: I am a champion too

After reviewing the previous many posts, I realized that I have missed out one important milestone of my life. The missing link was my "Sportsmanship".

In my primary school days, my teacher Mr Zhuang asked ask to try out one new sport during our PE lesson. We were asked to gather around a pit of sand where Mr Zhuang demonstrated the sport. It was called "Long-Jump"

As the school was having annual sport day soon, Mr Zhuang hope to select a few student to participate in this sport. Each of us was given a chance to try and jump. I did mine as well. Then, I was asked to jump again.... then again.... Finally Mr Zhuang told me that he was very impress with me. The exact (80% remembrance) words he used was "当你跳的时候,就好像一只小鸟在飞, 很轻松,很自在”. He said he will train me and also registered me for participation.

Photos from yourdictionary.com
I trained regularly with him. The effort was not wasted. I came in first for the sport during the annual sport meeting.  It did not stop there. When I got into Secondary school, I am still very involved in this sport amidst my "extra-curriculum" activities.

In Secondary one, I registered to participate in "Long-Jump" during the annual sports day. I came in first. Thereafter, I was selected to be part of the school athletic team to represent the school in this sport. Our coach was Ms Tan YL (the pretty teacher who taught me Chemist). I never missed any of her training (you know why?). Along the way, she realized that my stamina was very good and begin to train me also in long-distant running (aka cross-country, the 4.8km run in MacRitchie). My timing was 16-17mins back then.

Every year, I will always be participating in long-jump during the sports day. Every year, I am the champion. Although I am short, I can jump 6m. Finally, in secondary 4, only one (apart from me) in the school registered to take part in long jump. I heard from the teacher that no-one wanted to join because they know they can only vied for second place. No joy in that. I was really honored.  So I was the reigning champion for long jump throughout the 4 years in school.

Some of the other sports I played was basketball and table tennis. I have won a lot of trophies from these 2 sports as well.

My reflection: While at the peak, don't forget how you climb. Effort is a definite MUST in all that we do. There is no FREE success.

Continue to follow my blog. More will be revealed as I progressed onto the journey.


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Monday, 19 March 2012

At the age of 15-16: The end days


From my previous posts, I talked about the jobs I did, the way I behaved and the "extra-curriculum" activities I was engaged in. I may not be able to clearly account for all the events I went through. Some of the significant events may be skipped unintentionally. If you have known me since that time and I missed some that, please let me know.

Time flies really fast. At the blink of my eyelid, I was already into Secondary 4, which is also my "O-Level" examination year. My secondary school days were rather exciting for me but in the "wrong" ways. I am very different from my class and school mates. For example, they frequented to our school library while I frequented to Principal Office. They studied hard for exam while I played hard for my exams.

I still remember clearly during one of the prelim examination, My "friends" asked me out for an overnight Roller Blading. I agreed knowing that I still got an exam to take the next day. We met at Yishun and started rollerblading all the way to Sentosa. By the time we reached Sentosa, the gate to the bridge was closed. We decided to climbed over and "squad" bladed across the bridge to prevent detection from the security guards. All of us make it finally across the bridge and we bladed around the island of Sentosa. We were very mischievous. We actually bladed around the chalets and "peeked" into it. It was a very action-packed observation. We moved from chalets to chalets. It was really fun. At about 6am, we decided to call it a day and we took the first bust home "Bus service 855" from World Trade Centre interchange. My exam starts at 9am. I reached home at 8am, bath, change to school uniform and went for the exam (should be chemistry).

I took the exam on time and finished very very early. Haha, guess my result?

When the paper was returned to us a few weeks later, this would be the shock to many. I got an A1 for combined science. This angered a lot of people including my friends who went rollerblading with me. They said I am a liar, I lured them to play and forsake the studies and yet I studied. I need to emphasized that I was not the organizer of the blading session and throughout the night, did you see me study?

Now I am going to share with you my secret. When I was in Secondary two, there was a streaming exam which we can choose which stream we will go to depending on result. My result was not exactly bad but I chose a Art + Design & Technology class. This is one of the worst class as it will be comprises of students of "lower grade". Why would I choose this then? See the subjects I listed.....
  1. English
  2. Chinese
  3. E Math
  4. Combine Science (Phy/Chem)
  5. Geography
  6. Arts
  7. Design & Technology
Do you know the reason now? Let me show you why.......
  1. English -----> No choice, sure must take
  2. Chinese -----> No choice, sure must take
  3. E Math -----> No choice, that is one of the core subject
  4. Combine Science (Phy/Chem) -----> No choice, that is one of the core subject
  5. Geography -----> No choice, that is one of the core subject
  6. Arts -----> No need to study, "O" level was project based
  7. Design & Technology -----> Minimal study, "O" level was half project based 
Analyzing it,  noticed that I need to study only 3,4,5,7. Out of these, Math is formula and brain based.... minimal memorizing. Science and Geography got to study and learned. Design & Technology also minimal study as the test will be very tools-based and process based. This means that, the more I actively participate in the project, the more tools and process I will know. This will build up knowledge.  Now the secret to my A1 revealed. I was seated just in front of teacher's desk. Of course this got to do with the chemist teacher as well. She is beautiful and gorgeous (Ms Tan Y L). I paid 101% attention and actually able to remember the stuffs she taught. By paying full attention in class helped me. My style of learning is through logic and why based. I will try to understand the reason instead of knowing the answer.


In the end, I only need to study Geography and Physics. Wasn't is wonderful. Out of 7 subject, studied on 2. 


Although I was playful and mischievous and always on the wrong side of order, I consider myself sensible as I know that I know that I know to break free from poverty is through studies. Throughout the entire four years in Secondary School, my parent had been called in for my action and behavior. It saddens me a lot as they always as they always came to my school lifting their head "down". 


In 1995, I received a notification from school to receive an award. I topped the subject in Design & Technology. I was awarded the "Certificate of Merit". My parents were invited for the presentation ceremony. That day was the first glorious day that my parents can lift their head high coming to my school. I finally did my family proud.

Certificate of Merit awarded to me.
My reflection: While it is important to live a free & easy lifestyle, I must also consider the people around me. In this world, it is not just about me alone. The action I did may also affect another one, who may also me my dearest one.

Continue to follow my blog. More will be revealed as I progressed onto the journey.



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Friday, 24 February 2012

At the age of 15: Fashion, Fashions

By now, you will have known that I have been working regularly since 13 years old. In comparison to most of my peers back then, I was considered "rich". I could afford to buy a lot stuffs with minimal budget constraint.

Photos from
grazingfashion.com
During that time, all of a sudden, I noticed that many of my schoolmates were carrying paper bags of designer brands and labels. Within a couple of weeks, this trend infected the school. I could see students carrying these paper bags of different labels carrying, shouldering it around the school. The common topics revolved around the brand, designer and price. Then came the comparison on who owned what, who had more, who spent more.... etc... Some of the more high profile and fashionable people became the "chosen" one to be looked upon as role models.

I was not the "chosen one". In fact, I had no sense of dressing. I wore my jeans high and tugged in my t-shirt. The more I saw how fashionable they dressed, the more envy I became. I decided to be FASHIONABLE as well. I sought advises from my friends for the current trend and so on.  I also went the extra mile by doing my own research of fashion sense. I would sit along Orchard Road and observe how people dressed and wore. From these surveys, I roughly got an idea on how I should dress.

Finally, I decided I need to start from somewhere. I went to Paragon Shopping Centre (where most of the branded boutiques were) to buy my first piece of branded clothing. I was overwhelmed with choices and I don't know which boutique to go. I walked randomly into this boutique "Trussardi". I was alone and that was the most horrifying moment. I must admit that I was badly dressed. The sales staff starred at me and ignored me. I couldn't be bothered. It was even better as I could shop in peace. My eyes was set on one pair of jeans, the price was $299 (in my heart, I was thinking, I had to word 1 week plus for this). Still I didn't regrett, I asked the sales staff to get me my size. After trying on, I decided to buy it and teh sales staff wrapped nicely and put into a very nice paper bag. I took it and left the boutique. Yes! I had my first branded "paper bag". The next day, I proudly carried this paper bag to school. I attracted some stares as Trussardi was not the common brands.

To be honest, I was hooked onto these attention. My aim of life was to buy as many branded stuff as possible. The underlying reason for me to work was to buy these branded stuff. I was totally obsessed with it, to the extend that I couln't wear anything that was not "branded". This went on for a few years. A rough summary of what I brands I had owned before (roughly remembered):

These brands are owned by their respective tradmarks holder.
How much did I spent? Most of the stuffs falls in the range of a few hundre dollars. Individually, I may not remember how much I paid for these stuffs. I do remember some of the most expensive item I bought are:
1) Shirt - Gianni Versace ~ $750
2) Belt - Istante ~ $1200
3) Jeams - MCM ~ $900
4) Shoe - Gucci ~ $800

During that time, a casual dressing will cost me around $2000. The most expensive combination will be $4000+. This was the kind of money I spent on designer stuffs. But take note also, my wallet was EMPTY.

My reflection: In that few, I may have spent more than $30,000 on designer labels. Although I spent with my money (hard earn), it is still money. I did realise that afterall, not all of the cloths look nice on me. I buy for the brand, I buy for the sake of buying. Please to not fall in the trap fake glamous. It will be a killer especially if you cannot afford it. I had seen friends selling away their virgins for a few hundred dollars in order to purchase these designer labels. PLESE DO NOT DO IT. Our body is given perfectly by our parents. We must treasure it. If you need money, work hard to earn it. No other ways.

Continue to follow my blog. More will be revealed as I progressed onto the journey.



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Friday, 17 February 2012

At the age of 15: Getting the money

With so many events and activities happening when I am 14, time passed especially fast. I had turned 15. Do you still remember the job that I was holding when I am 14? Read about it here.

When I turned 15, there were more job openings instead of just limited to fast food restaurant server. I knew that I could earn more money for finding another part-time job. I bought a copy of The Straits Time to shortlist possible jobs. At that point of time, I am only in secondary 3 (= no certificate), i could not apply for many jobs as most of them minimally required a "N" or "O" level. I did not give up hope. I continued to search through the "Jobs ads" for a few more days.

Finally, my perseverance paid off. I saw a recruitment ads saying
"Odd jobs worker required. Min. 15yrs old, physically fit. Work in Defu area. P/t available. $4.50 per hour. Call 123 4567"

I knew this must be the job. Perfect requirement, perfect condition. Its a perfect match for me. I picked up the phone and called for an interview. I went for the interview as scheduled. During the interview, they took my height and weight and asked me about my physical activities. Satisfied with the answer, now they revealed what job I was apply for. Its a welding job (I will be the welder). My job scope includes cutting and preparing the metal rods to be welded, welding and also occasionally apply spray paint onto it. It was a tough job and physically straining. Nonetheless, I decided accept the job since the salary to me was attractive.

Image from http://www.batc.edu
On the first day of work, I was taken to a brief tour around the factory. Then I was taught how to cut metal rod. Thereafter, I was put onto the actual job (wasting no time!). It was very tiring and I got to endure the "smelly-rusty" metal smell. The job was tough, sweaty and I was always covered with rust. A few days later, I was taught to weld and later on, paint spraying. I did that for a few weeks and finally I decided to give up as my skin started to develop rashes. I submitted my resignation but was pleaded to stay till they found a replacement for me. I agreed and left the company eventually when the new guy came.

Photos from http://www.stewardingdepartment.com
I was jobless. I decided to find another job. I was thinking, odd jobs was "shiong". I would try to find another classification. I looked into "cleaner" section and found this "night-cleaner" job. I applied  and went for the interview. During the interview, I was told that I would be sent to "Shangri-La Hotel" as kitchen cleaner. The working hours were 11pm to 6am. The pay was about $30 per day. However, there was an important clause "If I did not turn u for work, I will have $50 deducted from my salary and $100 deducted from my salary the second time. Third time, I would be terminated and also salary confiscated".  I accepted it and on the next day I started work.

Photo from http://hotels.online.com.sg
I was assigned to clean the banquet kitchen. It was not really a tough job as compared to the welding job. Every time after the function in the ballroom, the kitchen was in a mess and we will be cleaning it like mad, However some times, when there was no functions, the kitchen was clean and we would find some place to sleep through the night. One of the most memorable thing was as a staff (although I am from sub-con), I was given coupon for supper and also breakfast to eat in the staff canteen. I had to emphasize, the food there was really fantastic. It was cooked by qualified chef. The food became part of the reason why I decided to work there till I turned 16 years old

So my routine was, school in the morning, go back home to sleep, work at night, go home and change to school uniform and the cycle starts again.

My reflection: Although work and study at the same time is not advisable, I will say that we may not be able to have the best of both world. This also goes to show that if we are willing, we will not starve. 

Continue to follow my blog. More will be revealed as I progressed onto the journey. Coming out next on my post will be related to the fashion. Stay tuned!



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Thursday, 16 February 2012

At the age of 14 - 15: He caught hold of me

Having so many different encounters, finally, I am turning 15 years old, Hooray! This post will describe the event that really affected my life even onto this day.

If was a beautiful weekend (why weekend? because I couldn't remember was it Saturday or Sunday), a few of my friends and I were gathering around the open space outside Sogo (currently, it is Raffles City). We were chit chatting very happily and of course started to smoke too. All of a sudden, in the midst of the gathering, 2 very stern came walking at our direction. I thought "siao liao". So early must fight? If become bloody later how to go out walk walk. As they were approaching nearer, my friends signal me to represent them "pui dai ji". I pat my chest and told them "ai zai lah".

When the 2 men finally walked closed enough, I asked them "si mi dai ji?" When they started to speak I was VERY taken a back. They spoke with such well manner and politeness that it did not tally with their outlook. One of the guy asked "the weather is nice but why do you guys sit under the hot sun.?" "We see that you guys will so engross in the conversation with so much laughter and joy that we decided to come and join in if you don't mind.?" We eye-contacted among each other and says ok.

After they make themselves comfortably seated, one of them start to say, can I tell you a Good news but before that, he would tell a story.... we agreed and here it went...." In the beginning, the world was in total darkness.........it went on and God came into the picture." So now I understand.... They were spreading the Good News also known as the Gospel. All of a sudden, the atmosphere became very tense and we rejected God upright. I even made fun of God. I teased them by asking them who is God from behind? They were puzzled and I told them is "dog" (sorry God, please forgive me). We burst into laughter citing He was "Ang Mo God", we pray "chinese god" and went off. That was my first encounter with God.

Law of attraction does exist. A few days later when I was in school, the topic of God kept ringing near my ears. Either people were sharing on what God did for them or how God provided for them etc... Out of all these testimonies that I heard, one testimony impressed me. That was "In church, we got to hold our neighbor hands". Yes. you are right, my thoughts were distorted. I became very aroused by this. Now the miracle came. One of the most "bookworm" prefect invited me to church. He even told me who will be going....ah ha. Yes one of the beaut was going as well. I finally got a chance to hold her hand also. I agreed.

Photo from http://www.ctaparch.com
That day came, the church that I was invited to was City Harvest Church (one of the mega church in Singapore right now). The church service was held in Dynasty Hotel (now known as Marriot Hotel). During the service, there were singing, clapping and true enough holding hands too (but I stand beside the prefect...sob sob). There was peace in it. To be honest, I quite liked the service and the preaching. It speak senses into me. The service ended and that was also the day I first mixed around with "guai kia".

Picture from alibaba.com
Mr S A Tan will never allow his man to draw closer to God. When I went home, I told my father about it. I REALLY did not know what got into him. He started to scold me and even beat me with his belt. I did not retaliate because that day the message was about honoring our parent (even in the organization, filial piety ranks above all). I let him beat and my mother try to stop. The more she try to stop my father, the more angrier he became. Suddenly he dropped the belt and went into the kitchen to take a chopper. He wanted to chop me. I was afraid because I had not underwent training against sharp weapons. My mother with all her strength and might, managed to snatch the chopper away. I pick up the belt and knelt down offering the belt back to my father to continue beating me. Just when he wanted to take the belt, my mother push him away. Ultimately, my father scolded me (forgot what he said) and he left the house. My mother talked to me nicely and consoled me saying that my father was concern of me going to a cult. She added, if it was a proper church, how come got no building and you gather in a hotel? I thought over it and too agrees for I didn't know whats true, whats false. The saga came to an end.

Mr Prefect keep asking me back to church saying that the friends there missed me. I felt his sincerity and decided to give it a try again. I went for a few more services and some of the topics were quite interesting. I likened the topics on devils possession and the effect of curse. On one occasion, which I was sleeping, I just felt strapped down. I was perspiring very heavily and also I couldn't even move my hands at all. My mouth was like being covered. I couldn't speak or shout for help. I saw a skeleton right in front of my eyes, starring at me. It was very scary. Trust me, it was really like hell to me. Suddenly, I remember what pastor shared abut our power in Christ and that there is power in His blood. I tried to pray (I was not a Christian yet)but no words came out. I use all my strength t try and try again. Finally, I managed to pray. I still remember the prayer "You devil, get out of me.  Jesus shed his blood for me and not for you. I command you in the name of Jesus to get out now." True enough, the devil was gone and I regain control over myself. What an unexpected encounter.

As a member of the "organization", I swear and cursed people like nobody business. But I always do one thing. That is after every time I cursed, I will murmur to God to cancel the curse. This is because pastor says that do not curse because in the revelation of God’s law, words as well as actions are assigned moral values. Lying, blasphemy, taking the Lord’s name in vain, and cursing are examples of sinful speech forbidden in the Mosaic Law.

I tried to convince my members to go to church together and they say I siao. Why I became so holy and so on....I couldn't convince myself to let go of the bad company and mix with the good one. I chose them over God. From then on I decided not to attend church anymore and the good teaching also disappeared together.

My reflection: All things happened for a reason. His way is always higher than ours. He (God) has a plan for us. I will like to thank God for all that He has done for me, allowing different things to happen to me. Otherwise, where can I find so many stories to tell.

 Continue to follow my blog. More will be revealed as I progressed onto the journey


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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

At the age of 14: I was hooked

I just could not explain why at the age of 14 years old, I experienced so many different things. Most of them are first time encounter. In my previous posts, I mentioned that I was involved in an organization, mixing with the "elite" company ..... 

It was during the time that I learned and started to smoke. I remembered clearly where I first lit the cigarette. During a casual gathering in the afternoon, we were loitering around the void deck in Yishun. Coincidentally, we met up with other members of the organization stationed in other area. They started to smoke. As a gesture of goodwill, they offered me one stick of cigarette too. I refused and said that I don't know how to smoke. They laughed at me and said "A real man must know how to smoke in order to socialize" After a while of persuasion, I gave in. As I gave in hoping for a recognition from the members, I embarrassed myself to the max. When I inhaled the first puff, I choked and coughed as if I was drowned. At this point of time, these members begun to encourage me and teaching me the technique how to smoke.

Photo taken from http://cigarettememoirs.blogspot.com
The bottom right is the Six sticks packing.

From that time onwards, I was hooked heavily into smoking. At that time, cigarettes were quite cheap, selling at about 12 cents per stick. Marlboro cigarettes also were available in pack of ten (now, its is sold in pack of 20s). Dunhill and Virginia Slim were available in a pack of 6s. As I was working regularly, I had the financial means to purchase the cigarette. Also, there was no "age-limit" to buy cigarettes.

Smoking gave me a floating high feeling. Every time when I got stressed up, cigarettes were my best of friends. I will need to smoke after every meal. (饭后一根烟, 快乐是神仙). I smoked even more when we were la-ing kopi with a group of friends. We were chain-smoking We can smoke up to 20+ sticks of cigarette in a casual chit chatting lasting about 2-3 hours.

Photo taken from http://arabiannightsblog.in
Smoking also got tricks. We can perform different kinds of tricks from the smoke we puffed out. Some common tricks were "puffing circular smoke", "water-fall", "extruding smoke from ear" and extinguishing it cigarette in our mouth.

I was very cautious when I brought cigarette to school. I will hide the cigarettes in the toilet, WC,  window panels etc... I was never caught in school related to smoking. I guess this taught me to be meticulous in planning and observation bah. Back at home, my parents never knew I smoked. Before I go home, I will definitely wash my hands with nice fragrance soap and I will also eat lots of mints to cover the smell.

My reflection: Smoking is really an expensive bad habit. Once you start, you are hooked. Smoking was also used as a smoke screen to tell people I am cool, I am suave, I am strong. These are all BULLSHITS! Counting back, if I saved up all the money used to purchase these cigarettes, I will have at least S$100,000 in my bank after 17 years before interest. Who says I can't save? Just that I save at the wrong place. 

My advice: DO NOT SMOKE, DON'T EVEN TRY.

More interesting stories are coming. Stay tuned!


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