River Hongbao 2016

River Hongbao is one of the annual event that I will always bring my family. Coinciding with the year of the monkey, the theme this year is Monkey King, the key character in the story Journey to the West, 西游记.

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There is a gigantic Chinese Chess Board, pitting Tang Sanzang, 唐三藏 and Bull Demon King, 牛魔王.

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There are many other beautiful lanterns depicting other characters or events in the Journey to the West.

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And not to forget the must-have-character… God of Fortune, 财神爷.

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But the zodiac characters this year don’t really look like the animals they are supposed to represent.

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Fortunately, the monkey does.

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Beside lanterns, there is a stage performance.

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And the finale is the nightly fireworks at 9pm.

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Jubilee Weekend – SG50

To celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday, there are a huge number of activities organised throughout the island. For one, the RSAF Black Knights will be performing for 3 consecutive days during noon from 7 to 9 August. In order to endure the wait and expecting the crowd, I decided to bring my kids to have some fun at the Gardens by the Bay. It should be possible to see the planes from there and not need to brave the hot sun at the fully exposed Barrage.

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Unfortunately, it started to rain just before noon but the planes flew anyway. I didn’t manage to get a nice photo though.

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and I’ve also made a quick (but low quality) video of the performance. The Black Knights tried to put up a good show despite the rain. But as rain got heavier, the performance had to stop.

After their nap at home, we went to the esplanade to catch the fireworks at 8.15pm. We had a quick dinner at Barossa (because their favorite resturant, Thai Express was full).

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Before the fireworks, the kids were well entertained by the sand art performance by Lawrence Koh.

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And finally the much anticipated fireworks.

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National Day Parade 2015 Preview

Yes, I’m back again at Marina Bay. I’m alone today and will bring my family for the finale next week. So my focus will be photography and do hope to get some keepers.

First the wait… and I’m not alone.

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And action!

From 3 flags to choose…

… down to two…

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… and the final one made the cut.

Then comes the A380! This took me by surprise. I was expecting it to take the same flight path as the rest of the military planes (i.e. from behind the MBS) but instead, it came flew in from the city.

Back to the aerial display.

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Salute-to-Nation by 20 F-16s to form a ’50’

Another Salute-to-Nation by six F-16s Black Knights

4 Black Knights executing the “Criss Cross” manoeuvre with smoke trails and two Black Knights executing a near-vertical climb

A solo F-15SG doing a combat turn and near-vertical climb with afterburners

Two S-70B naval helicopters, two AS-332 Super Pumas, two AH-64D Apaches and two Chinooks in “Arrowhead” formation

And the rest of the Marina Bay area segment before the fireworks.

21-Gun Salute, as well as the aerial and naval displays. Look the crowd!

After the sun sets, the Marina Bay came alive with spectacular colours. Buildings became giant projector screens.

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… and finally the long awaited fireworks! Happy 50th Birthday Singapore!!!

Taken with

1. Olympus E-5 with zuiko 7-14mm f/4 UWA lens, zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 lens and

2. Sony Alpha a5100 with Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS lens