Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Credit Card Spend and Redeem deals 2012

As Christmas is approaching, I start getting emails and smses from the different credit card banks on the lucky draws if I spend more than a certain amount.

So as a gift to my readers who are fretting (like me) on how to maximize the deals. I'm compiling it here :)

MAYBANK Christmas 2012 Sure-Win Lucky Dip

From 26 November to 30 December 2012, every S$500 charged to your Maybank Credit Card entitles you to 1 chance at our Sure-Win Lucky Dip to win attractive prizes!
Key info
  • Charge Period is from 26 November to 30 December 2012
  • Valid for Singapore-issued Personal Maybank Credit Cardmembers only
  • While stocks last
Prizes include
1-night Deluxe Room stay at Festive Hotel®, Resorts WorldTM Sentosa
A pair of Universal Studios Singapore® One-Day Pass
L’OCCITANE Gift Set (worth S$30)
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s CBTL Single Serve Beverage Machine
A pair of WE Cinemas Movie Vouchers
S$10 Robinsons Gift Voucher
S$10 Swensens Voucher
S$10/25/30 Dining & Retail Vouchers
Other prizes include Mitch & Marc Watch, Veho Gumball 3000 Special Edition Wireless Headphones and many more ! While stocks last!

To participate, simply present your original charge slip(s), Maybank Credit Card and NRIC in person at the following location during the charge period:
RewardsLINK – e-life@Suntec
3 Temasek Boulevard #02-173/175
Singapore 038983
Operation Hours:
26 November to 30 December 2012 - 11am to 7pm daily, except
24 December 2012 (Monday) - 11am to 3pm
Closed on 25 December 2012 (Tuesday)


Spend a min. of S$500 at Takashimaya Department Store to redeem a S$30 Takashimaya Gift Voucher.
Qualifying Spend & Redeem Period: Sat 1 Dec to Sun 23 Dec 2012
Limited to the fi rst 30 redemptions daily. Redemption must be made on the same day of purchase.
Redemption Location:
Takashimaya Square, Basement 2

Redemption Hours:
Sat 1 Dec to Mon 3 Dec: 10am to 9.30pm,
Tue 4 Dec to Fri 7 Dec: 10am to 10.30pm,
Sat 8 Dec: 10am to 10pm,
Sun 9 Dec to Thu 13 Dec: 10am to 9.30pm,
Fri 14 Dec to Sun 23 Dec: 10am to 10pm

Spend a minimum of S$1,999 and stand a chance to win the following gifts & more:
Qualifying Spend & Redeem Period:
Sat 1 Dec – Sun 2 Dec, Fri 7 Dec – Sun 9 Dec, Fri 14 Dec – Sun 16 Dec, Fri 21 Dec – Sun 23 Dec 2012
Limited to the first 150 redemptions daily on Fri, Sat & Sun. Redemption must be made on the same day of purchase.

Prizes include
-1 Qatar airways return to ticket to Rome
- Club Med Cherating Beach Package
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
- Nescafe Dolce Gusto Picolo
- Samsung Camera ES90
- OSIM Usnooz massage wrap

Redemption Location:
Takashimaya Square, Basement 2

Redemption Hours:
Sat 1 Dec to Mon 3 Dec: 10am to 9.30pm,
Tue 4 Dec to Fri 7 Dec: 10am to 10.30pm,
Sat 8 Dec: 10am to 10pm,
Sun 9 Dec to Thu 13 Dec: 10am to 9.30pm,
Fri 14 Dec to Sun 23 Dec: 10am to 10pm

Spend a minimum of S$200 and stand a chance to win the following gifts:
Qualifying Spend & Redeem Period: Sat 1 Dec to Sun 23 Dec 2012
Limited to the first 300 redemptions daily. Redemption must be made on the same day of purchase.

Prizes include
- Sauvignon Blanc 2011
- Crabtree and Evelyn Giftset
- $10 gift voucher imperial treasure
- $10 Takashimaya voucher
- Handmade patchwork animals from GAT

Redemption Location:
Takashimaya Square, Basement 2

Redemption Hours:
Sat 1 Dec to Mon 3 Dec: 10am to 9.30pm,
Tue 4 Dec to Fri 7 Dec: 10am to 10.30pm,
Sat 8 Dec: 10am to 10pm,
Sun 9 Dec to Thu 13 Dec: 10am to 9.30pm,
Fri 14 Dec to Sun 23 Dec: 10am to 10pm

OCBC Credit Card Christmas Spend & Redeem 2012

From 9 Nov 2012 (Fri) - 25 Dec 2012 (Tue)
How to qualify:
Charge a minimum of S$6,000 on your OCBC Credit Card from 9 Nov to 25 Dec 2012, both dates inclusive.
What you can redeem:
You are entitled to redeem one gift item of your choice from the above list. Gift items are strictly on a first come, first served basis and while stocks last. Limited to the first 2,000 redemptions.
Premium Coffee Machine
Philips Air fryer
Panasonic 24 LED LCD TV
Philips Garment Steam Iron
MSI 7" Tablet
OSIM Neck and Shoulder Massage
OSIM Back massage
Olympus Digital Camera
Fujifilm Instant Polaroid Camera
Canon Wireless All-in-one printer
Beats solo HD Headphone

When to redeem:
Redemption is available from 10am to 9pm on the following dates:
  • 1 - 2 Dec 2012
  • 15 - 16 Dec 2012
  • 7 - 9 Dec 2012
  • 22 - 25 Dec 2012

Where to redeem:
You may redeem your gift at any of the following Best Denki outlets:
  • IMM, #02-01/07
  • Ngee Ann City Podium, #05-01/05
  • Century Square Mall, #04-04/05
  • Junction 8, #03-02
  • VivoCity, #02-07



Standard Chartered Charge and redeem

Shop, dine and travel for free From 16 November 2012 to 15 January 2013, just charge to your Standard Chartered Card and you could have your transaction amount credited back to your account (up to $500)—with no minimum spend. Two transactions will be selected every 30 minutes from 8am to midnight*—a total of 64 winning transactions per day. 
Plus, get a guaranteed gift
Simply charge a minimum of $7,000 to your Standard Chartered Card from 16 November 2012 to 15 January 2013 and you’ll receive an exclusive RWS Invites membership with invitations to the Marine Life Park™—4 one-day passes to S.E.A. Aquarium™, 4 one-day passes to Adventure Cove Waterpark™, and $120 dining vouchers to enjoy with the family at Resorts World Sentosa (worth $352)—guaranteed*.
To participate in both promotions, be the first 100,000 to:
WIN<space>16-digit card number
to 77222
For example: WIN 4508123456789000
From 23 Nov 2012 (Fri) - 31 Dec 2012 (Mon)
Enjoy up to $200 cash back on your total spend and also receive $10 cash back on your daily spend.  
Every S$2500 spend S$50 Cash back

SMS on the day using format 

Cap at S$200 cash back total per customer. Limited to first 2000 sms redemptions.
S$250 in a single day S$10 cash back

      Cap at S$10 total cash back per day limited to first 150 sms redemptions per day

ANZ Credit Card Christmas 2012 Promotion

Do all the things you want while satisfying everyone else's wish list this Christmas. Stand a chance of winning Cathay Pacific return tickets to Taipei, Hong Kong or Bangkok everytime you accumulate S$200 on your ANZ Credit Card between
12 November and 31 December 2012*.

Enjoy instant Christmas treats^ every time you charge S$200 in a single receipt to your ANZ Credit Card. Choose from a beverage of your choice plus a slice of cake from Spinelli Coffee, a pint of ice-cream from Swensen's or a S$10 Isetan shopping voucher. To redeem your treats, simply present your S$200 charge slip and your ANZ Credit Card at Isetan Scotts or any Spinelli Coffee or Swensen's outlet. These treats are limited to the first 16,000 redemptions.

UOB Christmas Obsession 2012

UOB Christmas Spend and Redeem
From now till 23December2012, redeem one of your 10,000 Guaranteed gifts when you charge S$300 or more (either in a single receipt or two same-day receipts) to your UOB Card.
You can redeem your gift at the redemption booth outside UOB Faber House branch. 12 to 8pm.
Redemptions must be made by the cardmember in person, with original NRIC/passport and card transaction slip shown. Only 188 gifts may be redeemed per day and one cardmember is entitled to one gift only per day.

Do note that online transactions and overseas do not qualify. 
Redemptions must be made within 2 days from the date of the transaction except for those made on 23Dec2012, which must be redeemed on that day.

UOB Christmas Lucky Draw – MINI Stratford
Stand to win a new MINI Stratford this Christmas. Every $50 you charge to your UOB Card form now till 15January2012 gives you 1 lucky draw chance on all local spend and 5 lucky draw chances on all overseas spendings.
Only principal cardmembers of Credit and Debit Cards issued by UOB in Singapore can participate in the lucky draw.


Valid for all BOC Credit Cardholders
Promotion Period
From 1 November to 31 December 2012
Promotion Details
Spend the required amount with your Bank of China Credit Card & hop down to our redemption Centre for attractive Christmas gifts!
Participate in a sure-win lucky dip
With a minimum spend of S$100, get to redeem vouchers, thumb drives, wine accessories set, trolley backpacks, travel pillows, TSA locks, luggage tags, picnic sets and many more attractive prizes!
※Limited to first 2000 redemptions
※Maxinum 3 combined receipts per redemption
※1 dip per redemption only
※Limited to 3 redemptions per customer per day, while stocks last

PowerTube (Worth S$59)
Redeem a PowerTube with a minimum spend of S$700! Available in pink, blue, green, gold & black! The PowerTube is applicable for use on Apple, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Blackberry, Sony Ericsson & Nokia Mobile devices. Stocks and availability of colors are on a while stocks last basis.
※Limited to first 1000 redemptions
※Not applicable for use on iPhone 5
Induction Cooker (with free pot) (Worth S$60)
Redeem an Induction Cooker with free pot with a minimum spend of S$1500!
※Limited to first 500 redemptions
※1-year free warranty included.
29" 4-Wheel Luggage Bag (With TSA Lock)
Redeem a 29" 4-Wheel Luggage Bag with TSA Lock with a minimum spend of S$3000! Luggage bag comes in yellow, red, purple & black (while stocks last)
※Limited to first 200 redemptions
ViewSonic ViewPad 7e (Wi-Fi) (Worth S$299)
Redeem a ViewSonic ViewPad 7" (Wi-Fi) with a minimum spend of S$7000!
※Limited to first 100 redemptions
※1-year free warranty included.
Redemption centre
Please bring along your original receipt(s) and your Bank of China credit cards to ORO Redemption Centre:
18 Cross Street, #B1-07/08/09, China Square Central, Singapore 048423
Operating Hours:
12pm - 8 pm (Mon- Fri)
12pm - 4 pm (Sat & Sun)
Closed on Public Holidays
Tel: 62255918
Terms and Conditions
  • Spend & Redeem valid from 1 Nov to 31 Dec 2012
  • Valid for all BOC Credit Cards issued by BOC Singapore Branch
  • Amount Spend includes both local and overseas retail transaction
  • For overseas transaction, a BOC Credit Card statement must be presented
  • Annual fee, finance charges, charge back, reversals, cash advances & disputed transactions will not be considered for gift redemption
  • BOC reserves the right to charge the worth/value of the gifts (PowerTube - S$59, Induction Cooker (with free pot) - S$60, 29-inch 4-wheel luggage bag - S$399, ViewSonic ViewPad 7e Tablet- S$299) should the credit card transactions be cancelled, void, spending tiers not met or redemption is repeated
  • Type/color of the gifts will be subjected to change without prior notice given its availability
  • BOC Credit Card must be presented upon redemption.
  • Gifts are non-transferable, non-exchangeable & non-replaceable for credit, cash or kinds in all cases, whether in whole or in part
  • This promotion is not valid with any other promotions & cannot be combined or repeated with any existing promotions
  • BOC does not warrant the quality, performance or fitness for the purpose of any gifts & shall not be responsible for any consequence in connection with the promotion &/or redemption
  • It is a condition precedent for participation in the redemption that all Cardholders consent to the public disclosure of your names, NRIC/passport numbers & such other details as may be necessary in connection with the redemption
  • Should there be any discrepancy or inconsistency in interpretation between the English version & the Chinese translation of these terms & conditions, the English version shall prevail
  • Other terms & conditions apply

Citibank Double Treats Christmas 2012

 Citibank Double Treats Christmas 2012 weekly double treats for you powered by Citi just spend a total of $400/week on your Citibank Credit Card and recieve S$8 Citi rebate that can be redeemed for the following treats
- Marble Slab creamery cups of single scoop of ice cream with mix in
- Burger king tender grilled Chicken burgers
- Starbucks tall size Christmas blend brewed coffee
 (SMS Notification will be sent to you if you qualify)
Enroll and redeem in 4 steps
- SMS treat to ' 72484 ' 
- Charge a minimum of S$400 each week on citi credit card 
- S$8 Citi rebate will be credited to your citi credit card
- Redeem on these double treats each week 

Monday, November 26, 2012


Some people might think its a stigma that they do not want to be associated with single (SDN) but not to me, because kudos to the organizers, its always such fun!
And to all singles out there , don't be shy!

Open to SINGLES, age 20 and above, and is either a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident … and looking for some dating fun in Sentosa.

Being briefed and placed in different groups,

We got our first clue.
A lion overseeing the sea - "Merlion"
Its my first time there and its about the narration of the history of how Singapore was found.


Where Sang Nila Utama found the island.And saw the lion.

Tada!  Our Singapura Icon was found.
* Ps: I only realise it was half Lion half Mermaid that day!
Half mermaid symbolising Singapore being a port - which was what kept us surviving till this day.

After the video, there's also a chance to get a mystery gift using the tokens and dropping it into the lion's mouth. I won a Sentosa merlion fan! ( just nice for such a hot weather that day)

Then they took us to the top floor and we were given the opportunity to view the whole of Sentosa.
If the sun was not shining on us, we would have stayed there for a longer time!

We quickly made our way to pit stop 1 and got our next clue -  Desperados.
Gosh, what greeted us was a LONG long queue.

But it was so worth the wait! This game is amazingly fun!
Wearing a pair of 3D glasses, sitting on the machine that moves, with great sound events and of course the gun - totally in love with it.
Woohoo! My score for the round 301- 2nd highest scorer. No wonder my arms and fingers were sore after that! hahahahaha.

There's also the rest of the rides that we did not try.
Gathering our scores, we made our way to Pitstop 3.
What I was waiting for! The Luge!
Been wanting to try it for ages but did not get to.
Making it ever more exciting was the challenge to keep the water in the cup as we slide downhill on a luge.
I was totally wet by the time I reached to the bottom! Such fun!

Sentosa! Such joy to enjoy such adventures with new found friends and teammates.

Then we had our dinner in the pavilion facing the sea. And I realized how beautiful Singapore is. How beautiful nature is. How blessed are we to have sight to witness this beauty.

Ending off we had a campfire in the sand. Singing songs and playing games - brings back the younger camping days.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Korean Dramas - I miss you 'n' Full House take 2

These days, I'm glued to these dramas that I feel that every week I'm just waiting.

I miss you -
All my favorite actors and actress is in it!
Now its I miss you EP 5.
I'm so waiting for EP 6 when he finally finds her!
( I will miss the child actors though. They were great!)

[ENGLISH SUBBED]  ‘I Miss You’ Episode 6 Previews 

Full House Take 2 -
I first watched this drama because of Hwang Jung Eum.  (If you had watched We got married, Can you hear my heart ,you'll fall in love with her like me) And the storyline is some sort you know how it will turn out to be , but keep watching because you're curious how the twist will be.
Only qualms about this show is: I'm wondering how come each episode is so short!
I love the OST Song by Ailee -Love note!

Counting down!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Keppel Latin Film Festival " Espiral"

Made my way down to Vivocity GV Yesterday for Keppel Latin Film Festival. And caught the movie " Espiral." It reminded me so much of my time in Mexico 2 years back. The streets.The food. The people. The culture. The festival.

This movie was thought-provoking.

It revolves around two Mexican men who crossed the border into the U.S. - one of them to build a better future for his family and another to get enough money for dowry to marry his love. However, with no news and only coming back after 3 years, they realize life wait for no man. And they return to disappointment - the former's wife has become accustomed to be independent and earn her own living, no longer needs him As for the latter, another man had 'stolen' his love and made her pregnant.[Santiago is back in the village he left nearly twenty years before. He was in love with Diamantina but he was poor and her family did not let them marry. So he went to the North (notice that the word “USA” is never used) looking for money and a better life. When he comes back three years later, Diamantina is pregnant from another man who agreed with her father to kidnap her. ]

So the question that summaries the whole situation " Should they have stayed or go"

Just like some of my friends who have long distance relationship, or have husbands working abroad, should they uproot themselves and go along, or have trust that the other party will return just as they are? Even in other dramas that we see, people change. Its scary how a 10 yr, 20 yr relationship can go awry or even a marriage with children for close to 30 years can end up in a divorce. But this is reality.

Espiral also deals with the violence of men, the weight of family and traditions in rural Mexico.Something which I witness first hand when I was in Mexico. Macho-ism is a 'thing' in Latin America.Its slowly changing but it is still evident in some families.

Another theme that arises is greed vs fulfillment. What is enough? For all , wealth is something hard to resist and we all just want more and more of it. Why not right? Its difficult for us to pull away. Specially in an asian culture, where we learn that we have to save for our future, for our next generation and all. We forget to live for ourselves too.

Recently saw a joke
At the age 20-30, no money have energy have time At the age of 30-40 have money have energy no time At the age of 40-50 have money no energy have time.
How true. We forget to enjoy what we have but yearn for what we can have.. till its too late.

This is what I call a truly good movie. Making you think with a great cinematography and story line.

Espiral, by Jorge Perez Solano (2008)
With Iazua Larios (Diamantina / Magdalena), Mayra Serbulo (Diamantina),Xochiquetzal Rodriguez (Araceli 1), Angeles Cruz (Araceli 2), Harold Torres (Santiago 1), Leonardo Alonso (Santiago 2), Gabriel Pascual (Taurino), Eduardo Santander (Macario 1), Noé Hernandez (Macario 2)…

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Little Part 1 Cafe & Wafflelicious

To celebrate the holiday the following day, my friend and I decided to search up some good food in the Upper Thomson area. Off we went to Little Part 1 Cafe (which many bloggers have already comment on during the day but not night.)

First thing, if you drive. Its such a headache trying to find a car park!
Better to sit the bus it seems.

Little Part 1 Cafe
15 Jasmine Road  576584

Because of the rain, there was a very heavy jam on PIE and my friend was caught in the bus for 2 whole hours. Gosh! And when she finally arrived - We were famished! 
We quickly made our orders of Curried Fries, Rodeo Wings BBQ and Italiano Crepes. 

The environment was very cosy. A very good place for chit chatting and chilling out.
But not for famish people
Because we had to wait for close to an hour and a quarter before the food FINALLY came. (But I think nowadays its difficult to fault cafes because of labor shortage -and the servers were really very apologetic when I mentioned I was dying of hunger. They keep refiling my water glass. )

Guess what! After 1 hour, they told us the curried fries were gone. 
Thank God the Rodeo Wings came!
It was good but still not as good as the rodeo wings I had in this particular Korean restaurant ( My next post!). The chicken was juicy and the BBQ sauce tantalizing. But nothing spectacular.
For the Italiano Crepe, I like it. But it was not very filing it seems. But its nice sharing it. 
If I had one by myself, I think it would have been a little over.

Not very satisfied with our meal here, we went searching for a good dessert.
We found
215F Upper Thomson Road
Just as the pictures online look, it was GREAT!
But we saw the opening days and hours
Tue - Thu: 12:00 - 23:00
Fri - Sat: 12:00 - 01:00
Sun: 12:00 - 23:00

Sad. Not willing to give up. We held a glimmer of hope that it might be opened because next day was Deepavali. And true enough!
It was a special opening

Totally well worth the numerous rounds I had to made to find car park.

They have waffles in many interesting flavours! Banana, cinnamon, green tea... We took really long to decide.
We were greedy and decide to then order one each.
Bad choice! Its very filling. Such desserts are meant to be shared.
My friend had cinnamon waffle with vanilla ice cream and sugar pebbles.
Found it a tad bit too sweet.
For mine, I just ordered from the photo on the wall because it looked great with the pistachios. I love mine!
The mix of sweetness from the cinnamon waffle and the sourish of the ice cream. Wonderful mix!

I'm definitely going back to Wafflelicious!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

NAJnow - Need A Job Now

Start-Up Interview : NAJnow - Need A Job Now

Together with another university friend, after numerous start-ups and SMEs seminars attended and also chit chats with friends, 2 very special people have discovered there is misalignment between information available between students and the companies. Specially for the groups as stated below and hence have decided to do something about it! Through our favorite medium - Facebook. No frills. No cost.

1. SMEs looking for Interns 

2. Start-Ups looking for Interns 
3. ITE Fresh Graduates looking for Jobs

4. Polytechnic Fresh Graduates looking for Jobs 

5. Students looking for jobs during summer break or the days they are free from lessons or the period when they are awaiting transition to the next level 

What does NAJnow do?
NAJnow is an online job opportunity site, aimed to help people get working and hence facing less opportunity cost. NAJnow is a free online service that lets SMEs and Start ups advertise their services, hourly rate, availability and geographic location. Members who easily 'like' the related page will receive message alerts when job opportunities arise.

How is NAJnow unique?
NAJnow is unique because it allows job seekers and job hunters to link their web pages to their Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter pages and having a more personalize touch. It also send out alerts when employers contact employees via messages. Who these days are not on facebook? Finding a job can be stressful and extremely difficult but NAJnow simplifies the process for both the employer and the job candidates.

Most importantly, we hope NAJnow eventually be a platform for SMEs and Start-ups to contribute back to the society through workshops or probably mentoring sessions. In future maybe even hiring for the ex-convicts and intellectually disabled sector.

Lets all work together to make Singapore a better place to live in. Hand in Hand.

To students and graduates, "Like" the page for more job updates. Cheers!

To Employers of Start-Ups and SMEs,
Do write in to Najnow@gmail.com with the following information and we will post the position up.

Name of your company:
Job Position:
Job scope:
Looking for: Fresh Graduates? Interns?
Way of contact:
Kindly also provide the below information, its for our own reference
Person of contact

*Important: For companies and Students/graduates, Please CC najnow@gmail.com in your emails out so we can track on the progress.

May you be inspired by the enthusiasm of our local young people who could be the next entrepreneur or businessmen/women of the year.Cheers! 


Dear Readers, I've got a great event to share with all of you!
To all who loves languages and also the Latin American movies , you will know why I'm excited!
Sponsored by the Embassies of Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela and Keppel Group.
Date: 15 - 20 November
Venue: Golden Village - VivoCity

Complimentary tickets will be available for the whole Keppel LAFF Singapore 2012,
Important to note that the tickets will start being issued one hour before each movie, based on "first-come, first-served" basis. So be there early!

There is a few that I am targeting -
 Qué tan lejos ("How Much Farther?") - Friday 16th November 2012 @ 7PM
The plot follows an Ecuadorian student, Tristeza(Vallejo) from Quito who learns that the love of her life is getting married in Cuenca the next day. Cuenca is a half hour from Ecuador's capital city (Quito) by air and about five hours by bus. On the same day, Esperanza (Tania Hermida, who also wrote and produced the film) arrives in Quito, on vacation from Spain Barcelona. Both unexpectedly  end up on the same bus to Cuenca, where they befriend each other. Since there is a paro (strike) going on, the bus gets detained south of Quito, and the two women look for other methods of getting to Cuenca, mainly by foot, hitchhiking and, later, other buses.Their journey takes them out of the way from where they should be, but they both learn a lot about themselves in the journey, making a couple of friends along the way.
Many Ecuadorian people have mentioned how excellent this movie is because of its beautiful landscape. (How about the acting? that I'm not too sure. haha)

Chance - Saturday 17th November 2012 @ 9PM
Its a comedy!
The Gonzales-Dubois clan consists of tooth-flashing politico Fernando (Francisco Gattorno), a pair of spoiled-rotten teen twins (Maria-Alejandra and Maria-Cristina Palacios) and rich mommy Gloria (Isabella Santo Domingo), who raises clueless insensitivity to a high art. When the upper-crusters use their imminent shopping trip to Miami as yet another excuse for not shelling out long-overdue salaries to their maids Tona (Rosa Isabel Lorenzo) and Paquita (a priceless Aida Morales), the girls grab some weapons and demand payback, only to find that Fernando's investments have left the family flat broke.
(Sounds like a movie with a good laugh)

 A Un Metro De Ti ("A stop away from you") - Sunday18th November 2012 @ 2PM
Sebastián and Paula are the first two kids to get lost in the subway in Santiago, Chile, back in the 70’s, their lives then becoming intertwined. They were living ordinary lives in the city until today, when they encountered again and recognized each other.
( Feels like a good love story - Gush!)

 Espiral ("Spiral") - Sunday18th November 2012 @ 4PM
[ Mexico]
 Two desperate Mexican family men cross the border into the U.S. to build a better future for their families, only to discover they've done more harm than good by leaving their wives to fend for themselves under impoverished conditions. Santiago and Marcario long to support their respective families, but find it difficult to do so living in a dead-end town. Convinced they would be more useful to their families if there were making money in the U.S., the two men take flight while vowing to return for them once they've found a way to earn a respectable living. Years later, that day has finally come. When Santiago and Marcairo return to their loved ones, however, they quickly discover that reclaiming the past will be a difficult endeavor since their wives have become accustomed to fighting for survival.
(Another Great Mexican Movie! Oh my! Can't wait!) 

Ratas, Ratones, Rateros - Sunday18th November 2012 @ 6PM
The world of Salvador, a young and naive petty thief is changed by the arrival of his cousin Angel, an ex-convict in search of easy money, and with a hideout. Salvador gets wrapped up in Angel's twisted dealings in an attempt to escape from his suffocating family, dragging along his family and friends, in his criminal path. Where will this all lead?
(Shows the poverty of Salvador which I had seen when I traveled there. Interested to see the difference)

Hermano ("Brother") - Monday19th November 2012 @ 7PM
Two young men who have been raised as brothers look to their soccer skills as a way of getting out of their slum. While a scout is in town, an act of violence threatens to tear them apart
(Looks interesting!)

Meu Tio Matou Um Cara ("My uncle killed a guy") - Tuesday 20th November 2012 @ 7PM
Duca is a smart teenager that lives in Porto Alegre with his father Laerte and his mother Cléia. His best friends are the also teenagers Isa, for whom he has a crush, and Kid, for whom Isa has a crush. One night, his uncle Éder visits his family and informs that he has just killed the former husband of his girlfriend Soraia. Duca finds mistakes in the story told by his uncle, and decides to investigate the tragic event.
(Another adventure mix with comedy)

Enjoy! Cheers!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Movie: Front of the Class

Came across this fantastic movie while I was in Taiwan and the tour guide showed us this movie during our long ride to the next destination.

"Front of the Class," was an especially touching story of a young man who would not let Tourette syndrome keep him from what he loved most: teaching. Reminded me of how I should not let anything stand in the way of a dream when he himself was an example of how as long as you have faith and belief, you do not have to convince people, but people will be convince by your sincerity and hard work.

Before I continue, I'm sure many of you would be hearing this syndrome for the first time (just as I did) since nowadays many label into under autism I would think. Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a condition that causes people to make repeated, quick movements or sounds that they cannot control. These movements or sounds are called tics. Most people with Tourette syndrome first notice symptoms during childhood, between ages 7 and 10. Symptoms of Tourette syndrome can range from tiny, minor movements (such as grunts, sniffling, or coughing) to constant movements and sounds that can't be controlled.
Tics can include:
  • Arm thrusting
  • Eye blinking
  • Jumping
  • Kicking
  • Repeated throat clearing or sniffing
  • Shoulder shrugging
Contrary to popular belief, only a small number of patients use curse words or other inappropriate words or phrases. I'm grateful that in Singapore, there is a support group for them.

This movie is based on Brad Cohen's autobiographical book.
Little Brad Cohen (Dominic Scott Kay) had Tourette’s Syndrome before the illness was identified. He would make strange noises, which upset his father (Treat Williams) and his teachers. They demanded that he stop, but he could not.They thought that it was a sign of rebelliousness , lack of self control, bad manners and that he was being a troublemaker.
( Such heart breaking moment. Its true how reality is harsh. Hence Acceptance is difficult for parents. 
I had volunteered among autistic centers for a number of years and have witness how many parents refuse to acknowledge the problem but keep asking for a quick solution. And also parents who split because one of them refuse to acknowledge. And some who blame it on having to handle the child's problem and hence not being able to handle their marriage. Truly my heart goes out to these parents. Specially when they face with societal stares and pressures.) But rather than only harping on the problem, what can we as individuals do?
Perhaps smile and give a hug to the parents when you see them. Give words of encouragement and let them know you are standing by them too. Please don't forget that disabilities are real people with real feelings

Eventually, his parents divorced and his mother (Patricia Heaton) pursued finding out what Brad’s problem was. When they finally found out it was Tourette’s Syndrome, she learned that it was incurable. (And the greatest thing in this movie was that she did not give up regardless of how difficult it was for her. Such is the wonders of a parents' love for their child)

Brad attended school facing each day the ridicule of his classmates and teachers who reprimanded him for being disruptive. Changing one school after another. Thank God! One principal made a difference in Brad’s life. When he was sent by the teacher to the this principal’s office, the principal decided to do something about it. Not about Brad but about the perspective of his school teachers and students. This principal brought Brad before the school assembly and had Brad educate the other children and teachers about his constant companion, Tourette’s Syndrome. As a result, the school understands, applauds and starts to support him. This event leads Brad to wanting to become a teacher. He managed to teach in a small town but years later he decided to move to Atlanta (New big city) and this is where he faced all the colored eyes all over again!

In Atlanta he ('Adult Brad' James Wolk) faces rejections one after another. He is highly qualified, but the schools are scared by his Tourette’s Syndrome. One even pushing him to the limit telling him if he can control his tics for an hour, he gets the job. Truly WTH.
(That frustration - is much more than what we as a normal person experience! Because he was born with it. Should he blame God? I'm thankful his mother reminds him that God is fair and he is born like this for a reason. Thank God for his mother!)

Finally, one school gives him a chance, and he excels.
He was named Georgia's First Class Teacher of the Year.

In between the stories, there was also a scene where his mother took him to a Tourette syndrome support group meeting, where Cohen realized that other attendees and their parents "seemed resigned to a life of defeat", He was then "inspired to triumph over the disorder.

Front of the Class follows Brad as he works through a series of crushing disappointments, encounters overwhelming obstacles, and meets a girl who he can only hope will be able to look past his distracting condition. Whether or not his dream of teaching comes true, you’ll find him to be a one-of-a-kind man with a big heart and incredible determination, regardless of what the world thinks.

Brad’s story as portrayed by this film teaches the principles of perseverance, diligence, resilience, love, and forgiveness. This movie resonate with honesty and the raw emotions from Brad and his mother was just amazing.  Adding in also that love is possible for him was a nice touch, where it showed that nothing is impossible if you have faith in yourself and love just as you are.

And the scene where Brad said what he had been feeling all these years " You have always been ashamed of me. I can see it in your eyes" and his father finally confessed " I'm sorry. I might have been the one who gave it to you" - and the misunderstanding is finally cleared and relationship mends and with this love can finally enter. The intertwining of secrets with truth and acknowledgement clears up the guilt and accusations. (Its so true how things can be solved by the truth but many a times, we hide behind our mask, where pride is in the way and so who can we blame but ourselves?)

Most importantly, Brad Cohen's story is not one of self-pity. His unwavering determination and fiercely positive attitude conquered the difficulties he faced in school, in college, and while job hunting. Brad never stopped striving, and after twenty-four interviews, he landed his dream job: teaching grade school and nurturing all of his students as a positive, encouraging role model.(This is how we should be!)

Last but not least, I want to say a BIG kudos to all parents who is facing similar situations.
You're not alone. Our prayers are with you :)

And to all children who are suffering from similar conditions,
Here's a BIG shoutout to you!

Ps: If you want to watch the whole movie on you tube, you can watch it by keying in " Al Frente de la Clase"

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