Was on a nature trail on Saturday at Macritchie to find some macaques - profiled a guide who is a 26 y/o girl. At around 5-6pm, ...

This Production Life.


Was on a nature trail on Saturday at Macritchie to find some macaques - profiled a guide who is a 26 y/o girl. At around 5-6pm, we absolutely could not find any monkeys around. Sabrina, the guide, panicked a little though she appeared cool and calm. I was worried that I couldn't film any wildlife. Didn't want my cameraman to be pissed off as well because he was lugging a huge ass camera. And I didn't want to see disappointment among the 30-odd trekkers who came all the way just to see the monkeys.

Sabrina held off time by speaking to the crowd about this one monkey who was hanging around. And I wondered if there were any other monkeys who were gonna come out to play at all.

Then at around 6pm, as you can see in the above pictures, a whole troupe eventually appeared at the boardwalk!!! It was a beautiful scene... the sun was setting and the magic golden hour was right there. I felt really happy. Everyone was fascinated by the monkeys and there's something special about being surrounded by nature and humans just quietly observing these monkeys who, after so many years cohabiting with us humans, weren't afraid of us at all.

After I wrapped my interviews for the day, I went back home feeling satisfied.

There's something about production life... I used to be worried about filming and whether I'd get the shots I want yada yada.. I used to get really stressed about that. But I think after a little bit of experience and a little bit of loosening up, I realised that production life is actually quite all right. In fact, production life has taught me one really valuable thing and that is...

There are just some things that are out of my control and I can only hope for the best, or a turn of events. And it was only when I gained this insight when production life became a lot easier... Like the monkeys. I was worried at first when they didn't appear but within me was a quiet calm... Like I knew that the monkeys were not something I could control and all I needed to do was wait. And if things work out, that's great. And if they don't, I'll make do with what I have or try to work something out after that. Whenever I thought that way, I'd be a lot more at peace. What's funny is also how things always seem to work out in the end - and better. Who knew that I'd have awesome golden light to boot?? And awesome interviewees?? (Usually when the media approach people to talk about anything, they'd shun) Even Sabrina said that was her best walk by far, after all these years doing guided trails.

I went to Macritchie feeling real tired, but left the place feeling energised!

Production has certainly taught me a few things about life and I've come to like it a little more than I used to. In the past, before going out to shoot, there'd be certain expectations. And when things like the weather don't work out, I'd get frustrated and irritated, almost helpless and stressed. But these things are out my hands. I leave it to whatever the universe wants to feed me. And I take whatever that's fed to me.

Sometimes, it's a whole lot better to let go.

Recently, I've been enjoying my production shoots, probably also because I'm working on a Youth-themed series. Interviewed many inspiring young people who are about my age and I'm just amazed by what they do - setting up their own business, social enterprise or publication. The enthusiasm gets rubbed off on me and it keeps me going. Also, it feels like there is a lot more hope in society because there are people as young as I am, out there getting work done and making things happen. It's not useless idealism - there are proper action and results as well. So that's very heartening, truly!

After work, I get tired by the end of the day definitely though.

So when this came by on Thursday,

Postcard from my Swiss friend!
I was excited!!!!! It's nice to know that friends abroad remember. And I'm always touched when I know that people actually bother. It's not easy to do something like that, no matter how simple the gesture may be.. It's nice to know that people care because it's so easy to get caught up in whatever that we're busy with that we don't take time out to reflect and appreciate people and experiences and just life in general.

So I'm thoroughly thankful when I receive these things.

And to receive is an incredibly wonderful feeling~

I decided to write back to her immediately two days later. And also send another letter that I had written a while back but just never got down to sending out.

It was a letter to Dom, that Philip would help to place at his grave...

I never could find the right words to say to him. I even wrote one way back 2 months back but decided it didn't have the right tone or feeling... Until, one night a month ago, I dreamt that he had said goodbye to me. In that dream, he literally waved and said bye to me. And the next scene were letters, not necessarily mine, but other people's flying up to the sky. I took it as a sign, no matter how fluffy it may sound like. It helped me write better and I decided that this would be the letter that I'd send.

I try not to mention about his passing here or in real life too much in case people around me think that I haven't got over it, but like what I wrote in my Instagram post, his death has changed my life and how I see things... I still think about him a lot, especially when I feel sad. Because I'd wonder what he felt - the kind of sadness or loneliness that enveloped him so much. Was this the same feeling? How much was too much that he felt like ending it all?

Thankfully, they are just thoughts that remain as thoughts and don't lead to anything else other than that. So don't worry haha.

But I think having been through this phase has also helped me in a different way...  because.. I'm about to do a story for CNA on a rise in youth suicide in Singapore. I tell this to my friends: I didn't pursue the story, the story came to me. I was approached by an old friend who used to be my profile from two years back when I was working for On the Red Dot. He wanted to catch up. Eventually, I found out why he wanted to speak to me. He was extremely concerned by the sudden spike in youth suicide in Singapore. It's real, the statistics are there. What's funny was that when an earlier report came out in July, and when I first came on board at the News Department, out of all the producers... I was the one who was asked to write it. What are the odds?

Sometimes, I think things happen for a reason. And I take it on as my job and almost like a purpose in life - The whole reason why I came back to the media. Seeing disturbing trends, bringing them to light, and hopefully also bring about a call to action.

It will not be an easy one. I already foresee some challenges. It's quite a complex issue - many factors lead to suicide. I also don't want to stereotype youth suicide. Neither do I want to cause unnecessary harm. It is a very sensitive topic. And emotionally, I hope to be able to separate myself from the many stories I will hear...

Nevertheless, I know that it will be for the betterment of society and it's a story that's important to me. So I will do it with a lot of heart.


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