Monthly Archives: May 2009

Pearls: Best Friend Forever!!

This week, for pearls, we touched on relationship management and its derivatives: family, friend and boy-girl relationships. We shared our experiences, philosophy and values system on the above issues and other topics like bouncing back from crisis and NLP memory techniques to bounce back from crisis.

Before I elaborate my definition of friendship, I would like to highlight that there are in fact very diverse opinions of friends. That alone sparked a huge debate of across the table despite the small turn up. I realized despite the differences in opinions, there are a couple areas of contention, namely: what makes one consider another a friend, whether there should be expectation (and if so, to what degree of expectation) and what would be an appropriate response to a betrayal.

Firstly, I do not use the term “friend” lightly and therefore I will admit that throughout my whole life, I have only less than 10 true friends. Friends, according to my first belief, are individuals who have similar core values and to a smaller extent, interests. As a result, we can enjoy doing similar activities together without making each other guilty and at the same time maintain & build our relationship. Therefore, despite different personality traits and opinions, I will enjoy and feel productive spending time with my friend with similar interests like discussing about current affairs.

This stems from my second belief that relationship must be maintain or they will simply deteriorate, however there are certain thresholds generated by common experiences in which will prevent relationships from deteriorating beyond a certain level. Therefore, sharing the same 4 men bunks in the SAF or being together in a project group will bring the individuals relationship to a level whereby, it will not deteriorate too much despite a lack of contact.

Cultural values will affect a society’s different kinds of value range from ideological, moral, social and aesthetics and generating unique personal values. My third belief is that individual when bought together will need similar values or conflict will arise. Therefore, individuals like friends who maintain a close relationship needs to have similar values to prevent daily friction and grievances which will eventually destroy the relationship. My core values are credibility & accountability, individuality & independence, ambitiousness & improvement, equality & integrity and wisdom & knowledge.

My fourth belief about friendship is that my friends’ character will rub off my character subconsciously when I interact with them. Therefore, I am picky to a fault to the friends I plan to develop a relationship with as don’t want to waste both parties’ precious time on relationships that is difficult to maintain or doomed to fail. Therefore, I might appear to people who don’t know me as insincere or even snobbish but I am generally friendly to intermediate group of people who approach me or know me due to similar activities on a daily basis. However, I am very willing to open myself up first if I manage to find potential friends as I understand gems like them are rare and might not be there if the opportunity is lost.

One of my friends then quipped that one important requisite is that friends must help one another which I instantly disagreed. I think friends are not obligated to help each other first and even in the case of a good friend, each gesture by the renderer should be unconditional. However, friends just happen to help each other due to the nature of the close relationship, if the obligation exists, that is definitely not friendship.


Refer to this entry if you feel distracted during Sem5

My 4th semester is finally is finally over, in fact, it has been 2 weeks since it concluded. This semester is characterized by lots of juggling between my real estate commitments, group projects and examinations.

My real estate commitments are the in-house real estate degree. This in-house real estate degree focuses on establishing a sound system for your real estate career by providing the

1) rationale for various processes,

2) motivational through the point scoring system and

3) discipline by making weekly presentations compulsory.

The lessons were fairly good, more structure to it   and very fruitful due to the compulsory weekly homework. My accomplishments during the course were limited as I had been fully stretched in school & *ahem* Fallout 3. But I have made a lot of headway during the holidays, creating form to extract important data, folders to classify them according to the nature of their activity and reinvested my income to build more leverage into my prospecting system. I now have more time for my activities and is making more headway because of my planning, prospecting, buying and selling systems.

As I had mentioned in my blog earlier, the group project period were indeed ghoulish. I had spent large amount of time to them and ended up neglecting my daily examination revision. Upon reanalyzing, I realized that there was

1) little efficiency due to lack of an official leader who is supposed to exact discipline & define tasks,

2) inability to manage our task easily due to the concurrent tests and

3) differences between working methods between strong personalities.

I think these problems will be solved if an official leader was present, tasks will be

1) clearly defined to prevent confusion or differing expectations,

2) deadlines will be better adhered to due to better idea of the tasks & scheduling and

3) better allocation of tasks will prevent intersection of duties and allowance to iron out differences.    

My examination this semester is mainly bad time management as I had underestimated this semester as it is chock full of time consuming group projects this was exacerbated by extensive time committed to my real estate commitments, group projects and yes, Fallout 3. I fared pretty badly this semester and got credits instead of distinctions for the common tests. The main reasons for this was the lack of past year papers which had always been an essential component of my revision, question spotting which didn’t go according to plan and screwing up of my WIL1 project. Things I can learn from this semester would be to do early revision of my course which will give me a better grasp of the subjects, allowing me to spread my risks (although I still prefer my past year papers and I suspect I will still succumb to question spotting as I am used to this sort of risk taking)

Next semester, I am confident that I can better manage my real estate due to a better management system implemented, no more Fallout 3 distraction, better group project management and early revision for my exams. Therefore, due to the nature a tougher 5th semester, next semester would be as tough or if not more tough. This entry helped me to clear my thoughts and I will refer back to it many times during the next semester if I got lost somehow.

My “Por Por”

Thanks for the care & concern you have showered upon me over the last 22 odd years in my life. I know you have taken care of me in the earlier days of my life back in your old home of blk 407. However, the defining years whereby there was significant progress in our relationship were probably during my junior college, national service & university years. The only catalyst I can think that set off this process was probably the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I begun to spend more time at your place, the memories of new year visits & weekly visits were much more clearer.


I shared many fond memories with you but they can be grouped under the frequent & usual conversations I had with you, the memories of your expression of love to me and the progression of your cancer. I clearly remember the usual advices you had dispensed to me:

• when I gave money to you “don’t give me money now, save them and study hard, then you can afford to give me more money when you got a high paying job”

• when you wanted me to work hard for my studies “ don’t look for a girlfriend so soon, study hard get a good job and then look for a girlfriend”. I remember a particular incident whereby I actually replied I had a girlfriend, you look shocked but had a good laugh when I said her name was “Ang Ai Thiam”

• I remember you often told me not to get mad & learn to endure my dad’s antics whenever I complained because “he was my father after all, he worked very hard to support our family and send me through university, and something not all fathers will do”. You can also empathize with my feelings.

• And the funny stories you shared with us regarding the unhygienic hospice or it colorful inhabitants and the times you got into incidents, be it in your younger or senior days.


I remembered the promises I made to you. To bring you to church, to give you a good life and to bring you overseas to enjoy once I made my big bucks. I am so sorry that I could not fulfill it, this is something I deeply regretted & I will not make this mistake with my mother, no matter how she may treat me. I also feel so appreciated & affirmed that you enjoyed my company & I mattered so much to you. This was evident when you praised me in front of your friends and relatives. Perhaps it is true that life is meaningless if you do not have someone who you matter to.


Your unconditional love was expressed to me in the form of the delicious food you had prepared for me, your concern about my physical & financial well-being and how you put my needs above yours. I have very fond memories of the dishes you prepared, at times, especially for me.


Now with the benefit of hindsight, I can better appreciate your effort when your dropped by my place: the bus trip, lugging of groceries and ascending the stairs to my place. There were couple of times whereby I saw you panting, and I actually thought it was the weather…. To think I even told you once that exercising is good for your health when this was such an arduous task for you. Even so, there were many times when I could not be around when you enquire about me or when I prefer to keep myself occupied with the computer; I had let my addiction get the better of me.


I also remember how readily you would cook my favourite dishes: the muay chai, bah ku teh, hebi hiam and the papayas or water melon. You had shown yourself to be such a caring mother, that is so unique and irreplaceable in my heart. I also remember you reprimanding my mother for going shopping always, forgetting about the kids meals. That is my definition of a mother & my needs.


I can also remember the time when you struck 4D and treated me to delicacies, you were so adorable & the experiences were priceless when you told me to keep it a secret that you had treated me after striking 4D. there was café cartel, KFC, you treat me to the pork ribs & zinger meal (hanbaobao). You don’t work, you income is limited, but still… This was something so firmly etched in my mind & the feelings are so strong! I was devastated and could not reconcile the fact when I knew that you were gone forever. But I am glad you are in good hands. As I am.


The period you were ill and had to spend time in the hospital was one of the most eventful period in my life when I got to understand my family members and you better. There was a swift degeneration of your health, how you became bed-ridden and robbed of your freedom to perform your daily activities like walking, cleaning yourself, marketing, doing the housework and cooking. Reflecting on the events that had happen, you must have been so brave as it must have been such an isolating period of your life. Leaving your home of 6 years, leaving your close ones, sleeping at an alien place filled with people diagnosed with terminal conditions, losing the freedom of doing your daily activities, taking the medical cocktail and all those painful medical procedures which deprived you of a decent meal. Even then, you also put our needs above your’s by telling me to go for classes instead of visiting you, and chasing us off early so as to allow us to have a good rest. I do not know whether you truly meant it, but deep in my heart I believe I already have the answer: that you will prefer people who are dear to you to support you if possible.


I remember the fear & shock in my heart when I saw you delirious after taking the medication…I was utterly devastated scared that I might lose this mother I have known and looked up to. Fortunately you recovered and the steroids managed to induce your appetite. I remembered the prawn noodles, baked potatoes & croissants which you so eagerly relished. I was so happy I could do something substantial for you, to feed you & provide emotional support in return in your time of need.


Soon, you were back at home and the threat of impending death didn’t seem too real after all; though you lost your curly hair and your body substantially weakened, you were with us. As much as I regretted reducing the frequency of my visits due to my other commitments in your last days, I am really glad I got to spend quality time with you, comfort & understand you before you slipped into a degenerated state. As the steroids were reduced, you lost your appetite, recovered strength and the headaches returned, very soon you couldn’t speak coherently, lost your basic bodily function and could only look listlessly at the ceiling. I felt so hopeless as I realized your condition will only deteriorate. The inevitable has finally arrived and I saw your lifeless body on the bed, it struck me so vividly that I took a while to digest the picture. It was only when aunty cat told me to say some last words to you when I realized how much I loved you! I cried.

Everything went by so smoothly and the next moment you were embalmed before me. The only thing that left I could possibly do to help you would be to take care of the visitors and keep a lookout for your wake during the night.


You will remain deep in my heart because you had changed me. You could not write and teach but you had showed me through your life the meaning of unconditional love. I can see you in myself and I promise to make my life a tribute to you.