The Present

Sometimes in life, you go through some difficult and you just want to share with someone you thought would understand.. But it turned out that person was not keen at all. 🤦‍♀️Oh, dear… 

Through some interesting turn of events in my life recently, I was reminded of a story that I watched when I was teenager. 

I think the story was called “Hadiah” (Present). It tells about a nurse (or someone less important) and a general (or someone important) who were “friends”, she took care of the general intensively when he was injured in war. The general’s son was getting married, so the general invited everyone (money was not an issue), including this nurse. 

This nurse was super elated and started to think of a special gift to bring to the party. So she harvested some of her ubi (root vegetable) to cook a special dish (was it like fermented vegetable? Tapeh?) and she worked hard for it. She even gave handwritten recipe and card to go along. 

The day came when it was the wedding day. The nurse was showing lots of emotion during the wedding, greeting the couple with tears on her face. But since they look filthy, some bodyguard guided them away so they won’t disturb the party. Even the bride and groom were disgusted looking at how lowly the nurse and her family were. The nurse did not even have time to give the present personally to the couple, the box was just chucked aside amongst the other well-presented, beautiful gifts that piled up on a table. 

At home, the nurse was thinking how disappointed they were to be treated like that at the party, but she thought maybe the gift will show that she was sincere. She really thought the couple will be blessed with the gift. 

Then it shows the scene where the newlywed couple just came back from their honeymoon. They seemed to be smelling a funny smell coming from the pile of presents. Finally they found the culprit, the box of homecooked gift that has gone bad. They threw away the box in disgust, never look at the card, “who on earth thought of giving things like this?!” 

I am not sure why this story was printed in my memory so vividly. Perhaps because my whole life I have been feeling like this -unappreciated and out of place. 

dear Kiddos

My kids,
You might not have extrordinary talent but it is okay.
It is okay to study something and not becoming an expert of it.
It is okay to learn instruments or sing just for the fun of it.
You might not be a prodigy in music but i just want you to enjoy the gift of music.
It is okay to dance with your own moves.
It is perfectly normal not to be able to dance like what most perfomers can do.
You might not be the most graceful dancer, but you can still love dancing.
It is okay to learn swimming slowly.
Not all will turn out to be athletes, maybe not you too, but that is okay.
I just want you to have a positive attitude towards exercise, and i wish that you can enjoy swimming or any other sports until old age.
It is okay not to be able to read at the age of 3. You can do a lot more at 3 than just reading. I just want you to love books and the knowledge in them.
It is okay not to be able to speak in many different languages or becoming the master of words. I just want you to be comfortable using language to communicate with others. Even if it is just by hand gestures. Because i know and i have seen you made friends even by body language.

My kids,
You might not be very bright. You might be just average to the world standard.
But you are not average in God’s eyes. Even to me you are extraordinary and special.
Continue to pursue life and dont try to please the world or even me.
Keep dancing, singing, playing music, reading, and doing things that you love.
Dont give up something just because the world say you are only average. Because one day you might not be only average.. One day, you will be the best person that you can be.

For lilN, missy and lil Joey with love

REP transfer & Expired REP

Case 1 – Transferring REP to a new passport

Fact & information available:

  • Only for REP that not expired yet
  • Can be done online

What we learned:

  • It is done without the need of intervention from an officer
  • Can be done outside office hour
  • New REP available immediately

Case 2 – REP expired (for dependent children under 21)

Fact & information available:

  • If not expired yet, renewing REP can be done online within 3 months before expiry date
  • Need to download form like new REP application.
  • Submission must be done in person at ICA.
  • To submit, must book an appointment through e-appointment system.
  • It is stated that if an SPR exit Singapore without a valid REP, they will lose their PR and need to re-apply again.
  • Application will be approved within 5 working days.
  • Must bring IC of the parent, the passport and the birth cert of the child and the copy of each document

What we learned :

  • ICA hotline will not be able to tell you more than what stated in the website. Any other information like whether result will be immediate or wait for 5 days like new application, and whether sponsor parent must be present cannot be advised.
  • Get ready to call multiple times to get to REP number. Called multiple times for 40 minutes has no result as no one answer.
  • You only need to carry the original birth cert, passport of the child and IC of the parent. No need to bring copy (but better be safe than sorry)
  • REP issued at the same day, immediately at the counter.
  • If you are unable to get appointment but need to travel before available appointment date, you can always walk in to ICA Level 5, but expect longer waiting time.
  • If you are unable to come to ICA before the travel date, e.g. because you realised it on Saturday and need to travel on Monday, you can still go out of the country and quickly come to ICA once you are back to Singapore. Take note that the immigration officer might stop you and warned you of the consequences (e.g. SPR might be revoked). What still unclear is that once you are back, do you need to apply SPR again or just REP. (I hope I won’t need to experience that to share it here).
  • Application form must be signed by the parent who become the sponsor when applying for the PR for the children
  • The sponsor parent not necessarily need to be present at ICA but the form must be signed by the sponsor parent and the original IC of the sponsor parent must also able to be presented.



REP = Re-Entry Permit, for SPR
SPR = Singapore Permanent Resident
ICA = Immigration and Checkpoint Authority – of Singapore

Links :

REP renewal and transfer :
e-Appointment of ICA :
Information retrieved from :

Reminder :

  • All the links need Singpass to log in.
  • Please ensure your mobile number in Singpass updated for 2-Step Verification (2FA)

Settling down

It’s been about 3 months since we moved into a new place. Moving is tough. You’ll miss the familiarity, the neighbourhood, the warmth feeling of being home. It is as if you are leaving a part of your soul behind. When you close your eyes you will still remember each and every corner of the old place. Lil N still asked when we are going back there, i guess he missed it most because he grew up there.

We were saying goodbye to a family friend who are leaving for good yesterday. Upon seeing their empty house, i can’t help but feeling sad. The kids still played happily and they were saying good bye as if they will meet again tomorrow. As their cab took off, they took a part of my heart away with them. This episode happened too many times in the past years, many of our good friends left Singapore for good. I still ask myself when we will meet again, whether we will go back to the same old place, whether things will ever be the same again. I just miss the familiarity and the feeling of being home. I guess i miss it most because i grow up with these lovely people, especially in my journey to be a better mom.

Knock, Knock, Who’s There?

Hello, again.

Writing has been my defense and coping mechanism. So, here I am, in the midst of soul searching while being hurt and lost. I keep on thinking on my identity these past few months that I am pretty sure I am experiencing puberty the second time. Maybe it’s prompted by the thought of turning 30 this year. Heee.. yeah, time sure flies.

It seems easy for other people to form their identity. Sewing moms, baking moms, homeschooling moms (or moms in general), worker of a particular company, teacher, musician, painter, etc. I believe I am in not a particular category and I am not that impressive for people to remember. It’s hard not being somewhere, without any label on your forehead.

I thought I can be cool about that. But perhaps I am only human. I keep asking this question, “who am I?”

Few months ago I went to a salon to get my eyebrow shaped. The stylist mentioned to me in serious manner. “There is something wrong with your eyebrow.” Huh? “You should get it tattooed, because it’s only half.” I defended that I can always draw the eyebrow, no problem (if I have the time to. haha) The stylist added in a more serious tone. “Nope, it’s not about drawing it. People with half eyebrow, like yours, will always receive half-hearted gestures. I bet you are the kind of person who give your all but people tend to be unappreciative of what you have done. People tend to forget you.” So there I have my first eyebrow reading. 🙂

When I am down, I thought about what this stylist told me and a little part of me believe in it. It is true. Maybe I am that person. I am that person that people always forget.

But I am okay with it, as long as I have done my best in my short life on earth, because I know that GOD will never forget. I am God’s beloved daughter and will always be, that’s another identity that I will always remember in my heart.



Oh my socks!

Have I told you how I hate it when lil n started whining? It really pushes my button and I can get crazy just from his whining. I hate seeing lil n demonstrating it each and everyday. I wonder where he got it from and why he would do that to me. It’s so irritating, that on some days I would just sit there and feel pitiful about myself. Why me, God, why me? Please give me cheerful and funny kiddos only, please oh please … whinewhinewhineandwhinesomemore. (God is so funny sometimes! lol)

Today, lil n was joyfully tidying up his toys. He was proud when the living room (also their playroom) was so clean and tidy. He showed off to his papa and me. Being a petty momma, I pointed out a pair of socks that he casually put on the table. I asked him to put them in the laundry basket, then I went to do some other things.

Suddenly, he came back all crying and whinny. I started to feel heat and anger stirred up inside of me. Here were some hints that I gathered from his whining (I am a master of Whinology): “Wrong place, socks, rubbish bin, now it’s gone.” Evil me already thought: “Hahaha. If you keep on crying then it will be gone forever with the rubbish.”

However, the sane momma in me do the SOP of whine correction.
“Can you tell it to me nicely?”
“You know I can help you. But I will only help you if you say it nicely.”

He started to get to his senses after sometime.
“Mama. Please. Help me.” He was still sobbing.
“Yes, dear? What it is?” I answered with fierce tone.
“I.. I threw.. the socks.. into rubbish bin..” Suddenly he burst out laughing hearing himself. I laughed too. It sounded so, so silly.

Sometimes through his whining I can see myself, the reflection of me even until today. Today I (and lil n too i hope!) learn that:

– Whining delays help that you’re going to get
– Whining makes people (me!) angry
– Some things are not worth whining about!
– Some mistakes can be funny!

I am on a mission to be a more joyful momma and to teach the kiddos to be more joyful this year. Good bye, whinny monsters!

on the other note :

My dear lil n, mama sometimes can be so silly, too, to throw the chicken meat and keep the bones when preparing our meal. However, thankfully some things can be cleaned off and we can start anew.

But do keep in mind my lil n dear, there are things that are too precious to be casually thrown away, even though you don’t meant it. That’s why we must be vigilant as always, remembering our purpose in life and be mindful of our actions, so we do not fall into sin.

This remind me of a verse : “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you do not fall!” From 1 Cor 10.

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Looking through the window from the 32nd storey of my office building around CBD area, I can see a beautiful city. I can see a seabed of buildings, some are condo,  but most of them are HDBs. Those buildings did not even exist 50 years ago but now, most of Singapore citizens can have a home to live in.

The city is indeed a successful product of planning n execution. It is beyond words for someone to be able to amazingly plan and closely oversee the execution in creating such a wonderful work.

Just thinking about how the city was developed and how its residents have a better life because of the transformation, makes me understand why there are so many people willing to give tribute to the leader who has build the country.  Even though some of them have difficulty to stand or walk, they still try to come to give their tribute, a final farewell.

Despite all the negative news about him and his leadership style, who can say that he did not built a great country? Who can say that if it was done differently, Singapore will be a better country now? Who can say that he had not done what he should have done?

He had done his best. He had successfully planned and lead a country, from an underdeveloped country to be one of the most successful developed countries in just 50 years.

He was one of the greatest leaders ever lived and I give my tribute to him that my family and I can enjoy, live and benefit from his hardwork.

Thank you. You will always be remembered.

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew.
1923 –  2015