Sunday, June 26, 2011

Desert greening in Horqin- Timberland Earthkeeper

Dear Readers,

Today I will be sharing on an environmental cause and hope it will bring awareness to the issue of desertification - something that we as Singaporeans may perhaps not empathize with , other than the certain months of haze that make us realize the importance of nature, the importance of the environment - and that we should all do our part in any way we can.


In 2001, Timberland started on one of its community service projects to support greening activities in China's Horqin Desert that is situated in Inner Mongolia, through Japan based non-profit organisation - GreenNet.

The Horqin Project is a large-scale tree planting initiative set up with a purpose to reverse massive desertification. Overgrazing of the land and excessive deforestation by Man has led to desertification which has changed the once lush and green Horqin Pasture into Horqin Desert. This results in terrible sandstorms that sweeps across China and its neighboring countries.Timberland continues its tree planting activities in Horqin Desert, hoping that it will recover its lush greenness.

So, what's the issue with desertification ?

Over a quarter of China's huge landmass is officially classified as desert. Up to 400 million people are under threat from the fast-advancing deserts in the country's western and north-western provinces of Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Ningxia and Shaanxi. The impacts of desertification on urbanised eastern China are severe and getting worse. Huge quantities of sand are deposited on urban streets and the desert's leading edge is within 150 miles of Beijing. Economic loss has been estimated at around US$ 6.5 billion per year. However, the most severe impacts are felt by those who depend on the lands being desertified - every day they see the topsoil they rely on for food and for their livestock blown away on the wind.

In China's Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang provinces in particular, some of the causes are clear. The huge pressures on China to feed 1.3 billion people has resulted in a doubling of grazing livestock numbers over the past 30 years. In 2002 China had 427 million head of livestock, up from just over 200 million in the early 70's. Previously arable land has also been over ploughed, loosening the topsoil.

Warmer winters and less rainfall have left the fertile topsoil of Inner Mongolia even more susceptible to the strong winds that course across the area.

Th infertility of the land causes pasture to decrease -and due to the lack of grazing ground, it will severely affected the productivity of livestock agriculture.

And the dust storms are getting from bad to worse, affecting health and the environment.

Chinese documentarian Lu Tongjin has been chronicling desertification in Mongolia since 1995. Here are some of his images of the environmental and human costs (in the link below)

Livelihoods blown away... | Greenpeace International


Volunteers plant trees in a bid to end the deserts's creep toward Beijing and the lengthening reach of the dust-laden winds.The ecological sand barrier, consisting of newly planted trees and grass, will anchor the dunes and eliminate the threat to nearby high-voltage power lines, ensuring the reliability of the power supply of the Inner Mongolia power grid. With Beijing’s proximity to Inner Mongolia, the city has been under threat of sand storms for a long time. The sand barrier will curb the pace of desertification in Inner Mongolia while at the same time improving the ecological environment of Beijing.


Increasing the green is an activity for all mankind.

(1) Be part of the forestation volunteer group - join the Earthkeepers
Experience first hand the usefulness of forestation and see with your own eyes - the effects of deforestation.

Earthkeeper is a word created by Timberland. “Earth” means the place we live in and “keeper” means guardian. When you put the two words together, it represents someone who is concerned about environmental issues and willing to take action to protect our Earth, like the minor act of cycling instead of driving and using energy efficient bulbs, to bigger things like replanting eroded areas and using renewable energy to reduce the burden on our environment.

This is what Earthkeepers do. Their goal is to share this ideology with future Earthkeepers and move forward. For the Earth that we live on, consider joining the Earthkeepers.

To them, a life without the outdoors is unimaginable. They love the outdoors and that’s why they started Earthkeepers. When Timberland realised that the production of our outdoor boots, shoes and accessories affects our environment, they relooked at the way they do business and did something about it.

Apart from carrying out regional measures and eco-friendly activities worldwide, they also increased our usage of renewable energy as well as organic and recyclable materials in the production and transportation of our products. They are also the first company in the world to use recycled rubber from discarded tyres to manufacture the soles of our Earthkeepers shoes collection.

(2) Be part of the "plant a tree" day in your neighborhood

The" Plant a tree" programme in Singapore is launched by the Singapore Environment Council and the Garden City fund. On the last Sunday of every month and on special days like World environment day or Earth day, the public can now plant trees at designated parks or nature reserves.


"Be a Timberland Earthkeeper and support desert greening in Horqin!”

For me, I plan to take this first step .....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jitterbugs Dance Swingapore 2011

Went for Jitterbugs event on Saturday. Like last year it was amazing.

Was planning to try the pole dance this year but they no longer hold it there.

But this year there was CIRCUS! Absolutely interesting and fun - Really tempted to join.
Using silk

Using Static Trapeze - we learnt the

And there was BURLESQUE. A flirtatious yet cute dance style.
Very good for ladies to know the different parts of your body and flaunt them
This style of dance became famous with the movie: Burlesque

And I love the Lyrical Jazz class
A mix of ballet and contemporary and jazz

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beer Fest 2011

On Friday 17th June 2011, after work, I made my way down to Marina Promenande for Beer Fest Asia 2011.

Beer Fest Asia 2011 was held from 16 - 19 June 2011

With the invitation from APB (Thank you APB!), I brought my dad and we squeezed through the huge crowd to dock at APB "Beer Port" and had the opportunity to enjoy a total of 29 brews from 18 countries. - an early gift for Father's day.

It had beers from Asia Pacific,Euope and even Mexico.
As the largest exhibitor at the international event this year, the booth has been conceptualised in line with Singapore’s legacy as a port of call which opens up routes to the regions around the world. Of the 28 brews offered, 12 are exotic brews such as Edelweiss from Austria, Tequila-flavoured beer from France and DOS XX from Mexico.

Edelweiss (Austrian)- As introduced, it is a top-fermented unflitred wheat beer from pure alpine water. Its ingredients are pure alpine water, wheat malt, barley malt, hops and top fermented yeast.

As another blogger said: Compared to Paulaner or Primator Weizenbier , Edelweiss is sweeter with a smaller amount of foam. Making it ever distinct was its suprising light taste. There was also a tinge of floral aftertaste which I heard was that the brewery used crushed coriander in the last end of its boiling process.

Desperados Tequila Beer (France) - It consists entirely of three things: grape juice, sprite, lemonade. This smells (and tastes) like a shandy, but 30% beer and 70% lemonade/limeade. Tequila might be there, but it's minor.

Had a sip ; I like this. It tasted like the crushed blended lime tequilla I had in Mexico, Tequilla.
Birra Moretti (Italy) - Some grassy and grainy taste with a scent of corn as well and possible barley too. In it was also a mix of light citrus.

The light lemon/citrus taste mixed with a grain like malt taste created a light bitter finish that
was quite pleasant. But it was a little too carbonated. Was also told that this was the beer that previously bagged both gold and silver medals at the World Beer Cup!

My dad tried the following too
Archipelago Belgian Wit , Archipelago Bohemian Lager, Archipelago Irish Ale, Archipelago Summer Ale and Archipelago Limited Edition Hickory Smoked IPA.

While checking out the different booths, also noticed that alot of people really got into the spriit of beer fest and came with their special costumes ! Check them out!

91.3 were the host for one of the stages! Gearing people to come up to the stage to dance, sing and all. The best time to do anything and everything - when they have no idea what they are doing.

Want to thank Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore for the wonderful invitation!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stop Human Trafficking - Spread the awareness

A few years back before I went to Mexico, I came across the movie "Trade" and it made me aware of how prevalent human trafficking is and it made me think much more about the safety measures I need to have in place on my bagpacking adventures in Central America - bringing a pepper spray, taser, a whistle - and also making sure I go back to my hostel before night falls and all.....

Adriana is a 13-year-old girl from Mexico City who was kidnapped by sex traffickers and her 17-year-old brother makes it a mission to find her back..... but will he be in time to save her from all the scars that follows her after.....

It also reminded me of another movie which I had watched that it can happen anywhere. - as in the movie" Taken"

And today I came across another movie which I had watched before on the issue of human trafficking- but in more explicit examples and details "Human Trafficking"

In Singapore, as we are blessed with strict laws which prevents such issues from arising so often, we should be aware and lend a helping hand to those 'trapped' by human trafficking.
161 out of 192 nations have reported human trafficking problems. Approximately 27 million people are enslaved around the world.

Human Trafficking is a heinous crime against humanity and an international issue.
Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Human trafficking usually affects women and children. Human trafficking depends on the use of force, fraud, or compels to exploit a person for profit. It has a worst impact on individual victims. Trafficking is a crime that violates the fundamental human rights of its victims.

The purpose behind this crime is exploitation, which includes sexual exploitation and the removal of organs.

There are opportunities for all of us to get involved and speak up against this human rights violation.

If we want to stop human trafficking, we need to ask ourselves, what are real problems that exist behind people circumstances those lead them being trapped by traffic mafia

Man - please control yourself. Be proper. It could be your wife or daughter trapped in such situations. Be faithful.

Social Media - please help spread the message to warn and educate the public by providing general information on the subject. We need to generate awareness among the public and to help prevent victims from falling prey to traffickers.

Government -please help to empower people at risk through education, employment and provision of security. Be 'clean' - you are the role model of the country/nation. Do not be involved.

Individuals - please help the victims of trafficking after their rescue by providing comprehensive psychological and social support, and helping them to mingle into society again

Women - please do not be so guillible and fall into the hands of men who sell you away. please do not chase after the dreams of being models and not be aware of the dangers that lie ahead. Nothing is free in this world.

I nearly fell into this trap myself. - where as a traveller where budget is important and fun that is free was ever enticing, I was tempted into free hitchhiking offers and free parties - but thankfully God kept me safe. I always overcame my senses and overcame the temptation.

One close shave was when I was chatting up with a few people and 2 guys told me they were gonna go to the same destination by their car. It could have saved me the bus fare and settled my accomodation after and also they can get there within half the time I needed if i told the bus. But at night, God woke me up and made me think.
I quickly ran away in the morning, taking the first bus out before the 2 guys woke up and insist I go with them. Till this day, I do not know what might have happen and I feel so thankful.

Monday, June 6, 2011


For me, I am always geared up for events that support local talents (fashion, singers etc) or causes - I believe Singapore has lots to offer but not given a platform - So when I was delighted when I was invited to the Eco Music Challenge 2011 - which is an online song-writing competition organized by the National Environment Agency (NEA) for talented and passionate individuals to express their appreciation and support for our beautiful environment through music.

The event was held at Timbre @ Substation and was a follow-up on Season 1 which was held last year. It was also a celebration held in conjunction with the World Environment Day on 5th June 2011.

Due to work I came late, but it was still great. Desmond Koh was the host for the event and I was called on stage to answer the songs that were in the Eco challenge season 1 album and I won a voucher - I wanted the CD more though - haha.

The first song showcased on that night was Heaven On Earth by Haramain Osman(click on it to hear it on fm)The second song was ‘Like a Dream’ by Kaye Chia . The third song was performed by Daniel Teng and partner entitled The Earth is a Friend of Mine

Last but not least, the fourth performance was My World’ performed by Lim Yin Liang.

And the night ended with amazing renditions by Jill Marie Thomas and Inch Chua.
Jill-Marie Thomas was the winner of OMG (One Moment of Glory). She performed 2 numbers – Clean and Green 2011 Theme Song – Heaven on Earth (by Kathryn Cheng and Rafaee Mahmood) as well as cover of Katy Perry’s song -Fireworks

I love the Heavon on Earth song! Recorded it on my handphone :)

The original singer version
The Earth used to be an untainted paradise, but we've forgotten how to love & take care of her. It's time for us to change our way of living before our planet's beauty is gone forever.

To listen to more of the songs, here's the jukebox

Start going green now and get your shot at fame as you sing and write your way to a cleaner, greener Singapore. And if that isn't cool enough, you also stand to win prizes worth up to S$14,000 in cash!

The top 10 finalists will be selected for a special mentorship programme with

[1] Singapore’s veteran composer, Clement Chow

[2] Timbre Music Academy’s Sara Wee and Mang Irama Dusqie
- Sara, my primary school good friend, I am so proud of you :) since the days of lemon tree :)

[3] Intune Music School’s Aaron Lim and Peng Chi Sheng!

. The finalists will then pit their skills at the finale concert held on 27 August 2011 and the winning song will be selected as the official Clean & Green Singapore song for 2011.

** How do I submit a song?
You can submit your audio or video entries online via Alternatively, you may email them your entries at or snail mail your recording to the following address:

Eco Music Challenge 2011
50 Ubi Avenue 3
Frontier ePark@Ubi
Singapore 408866

For more info:
Do visit their Facebook page at for updates on the contest - And if you are not submitting a song, you do a part for support via public voting :)
and engagement activities.

For some tips
Here's a cute one from Inch chua

Lastly for dear bloggers and friends, there's more for you

Put up a Post -

Simply put up a post to encourage your readers to take part in the Eco Music Challenge, or to vote for their favourite songs on the Eco Music Challenge website before 20 June 2011!

Once done, please email your blog post URL to by 20 June 2011 with your Name and Contact number. Your posts will be consolidated on omy Blog Club, and the top 2 most creative blog entries will each walk away with a $50 PageOne gift card!

Submit a song -

On the other hand, if you are inspired and would like to take part in the Eco Music Challenge with a song of your own, you’re certainly most welcome to participate!

The top 3 winners of the Eco Music Challenge will get to showcase their songs at Timbre @ The Substation, and walk away with the following fantastic prizes!

1st prize: S$5,000 cash
2nd prize: S$3,000 cash
3rd prize: S$2,000 cash

There will also be 7 Consolation prizes of $300 each, plus 2 special category prizes (Young Musician Award & Most Popular Song Award), which will each receive S$300 cash prize as well!

Also, just for voting for your favourite Eco song, you might just win a 16GB Ipod Nano for yourself!

Or simply do your part in saving the environment -

Walking/Cycling to the mall or grocery shop instead of taking the taxi/Bus
Switch off the lights and power when you do not need them
Enjoy the natural wind instead of having the air con blasting at you each night
Instead of printing pamphlets, why not send emails

Use the other side of the paper as scrap rather than throwing it away
Bring your own plastic bags to the stores or probably not take the plastic bag and put the item you bought into your bag
Hold a flea market or a garage sale or give away your unwanted items to others / to the salvation army

Separate the metal scraps, plastic scraps etc for the recycle man instead of throwing them as rubbish
Here is a list of things you should always recycle (or reuse!) ...
  • Acid Batteries
  • Aluminum Cans
  • Building Materials
  • Cardboard
  • Chemicals
  • Electronic equipment
  • Glass (particularly bottles and jars)
  • Lead
  • Magazines
  • Metal
  • Newspaper
  • Oil
  • Paint
  • Paper
  • Plastic Bags
  • Plastic Bottles
  • Steel Cans
  • Tires
  • White Goods (Appliances)
  • Wood
  • Writing/Copy Paper
  • Yard Waste
Before I end off

Here's a few of my favorite earth environment awareness songs
Earth Song - Michael Jackson

Heal the world- Michael Jackson

Lin Jun Jie - 爱与希望

And Some of the last year inspirations

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