Jul 25, 2013

NDP 2013: One Singapore

(Daddy celebrates)

With National Day Parade (NDP) Preview and Actual Day tickets proving to be just as elusive as McDonald's Minions toys, we were fortunate enough to snag some tickets for the NDP National Education (NE) 2 show - which essentially is a dress rehearsal for the actual parade but with the audience predominantly made up of Primary 5 students.

Unlike last year where Ale didn't join us, the whole cheekiemonkie gang was there this time around to eagerly wish Singapore a Happy Birthday in advance.

The theme for this year's NDP 2013 is “Many Stories… One Singapore”. Everyone has a story to tell and these stories define who we are as an individual and collectively as a nation. And so, it is through the remembering and sharing of these stories that make us who we are and how we identify ourselves as Singaporeans.

Similar to last year, Ayd was the one who seemed to always revel in such highly-charged atmosphere. Perhaps it was the enthusiasm shown by the emcees and performers, or maybe it was the infectious mood of the audience.

 Or quite simply, it was the red hot patriotism simmering within him.

But fervent passion or not, there was no denying the Red Lions were the perennial favourite when they announced their arrival in the skies above.

And this year, it is a tad special because the free-fall display involves the first-ever female Red Lion(ess)!

But the most fun part for the monkies had got to be the screaming that accompanied the successful landing of the Red Lions team members... which Ayd partook with great relish!

The action didn't slow down one bit as personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) took over in the Dynamic Defence Display.

Watch out for the aerial flypast by the Republic of Singapore Air Force as four F-15SG and five F-16D Block 52+ fighter jets pay tribute to the nation on the RSAF’s 45th Anniversary.

Which came complete with thunderous sonic booms.

The Flag Fly-past was at a more acceptable decibel level for the Diva though, where she stood motionless as the National Anthem was sung.

I think she must have been listening intently to her 2 older brothers singing 'Majulah Singapura' at the top of their voices.

As the contingents on the Floating Platform began trooping away, the monkies were getting all excited for the actual show to begin.

This year, home-grown producer, director, writer and performer Ms Selena Tan takes over the mantle as Creative Director of the show segment and through her, everyday Singaporeans and their stories take centre stage at this year's show.

The show consists of 9 short segments this year - Play, Build, Reinvent, Express, Represent, Aspire, Embrace, Love and Party - showcasing the diversity and uniqueness of Singaporeans in an entertaining and humourous way.

The segment, Play, has got be one of my fave segments and it was all because of this.

It's a human LED screen display and I was utterly amazed at the impeccable coordination and timing of the school students! Through the brilliant colour-changing display, traditional stories we have heard when we were young, such as how Redhill got its name, were presented right before our very eyes.

The rest of the segments featured energetic performances by Singaporean from all walks of life - extreme sportsmen including BMX bikers, parkour runners, skate boarders and inline skaters to Team Singapore athletes and aspiring Singaporean athletes and the Sing A Nation choir.

Which pretty much had the audience lighting up their lightsabers in approval.

Throwing inflatable giant balls into the audience definitely made the primary school kids in the audience go even wilder!

In a very refreshing twist, the Merlion also 'left' his usual post at Marina Bay and joined in the fun on the Floating Platform as well.

And by the time the final segment rolled along, everyone was already all pumped up to party!

Yes, definitely Ayd too.

And since it was the finale, it was time for THAT song to make its appearance.

One Singapore - that NDP 2013 Theme Song that some people say is the most successful song ever written in the history of NDP, simply because no other NDP Songs have managed to truly unite all Singaporeans like this one.

Well to be fair, after hearing it performed live at the show I have to say it sounded much better in a grand show setting than watching the video online. I still detest the rapping bit though but overall, the atmosphere and energy of the performers coupled with the primary school kids in the audience singing along definitely made the song sound more palatable.

The seriousness bit then kicked in as it was our turn to reaffirm our pledge to Singapore.

Did the monkies enjoy themselves? It should be pretty obvious.

We certainly had a blast at this year's NDP. In fact, the wifey and I preferred this year's show compared to last year's.

Ditto for Ash and Ayd too, who last year preferred the Parade Ceremony to the show segments. This time around, they were humming and dancing to familiar tunes during the show, which I take it as a great show all round by the performers!

Happy 48th Birthday in advance, Singapore!

View more photos of our NDP 2013 experience in our Facebook Album HERE!

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