Saturday, January 29

15 Minutes Of Fame

So Dan had to remind me, my first words on national radio were:

"ummm...William Hung?"

Haha...but it was such a blast co-hosting the show on Power 98 with Sebestian. It wasn't much air time, but still enough to send out all the dedications to everyone. =)

Sebestian was showing me how DJ's work, and it's quite complicated actually! There's really a lot of multi-tasking involved. You have to answer phonecalls for contests, make sure the songlist keeps playing, and know when to say certain annoucments. The console was full of so many dials and switches...

It was just so cool to say, " That was Sugar Ray, and you're listening to Red Hot Radio Power 98, with your co-host Gabriel, and your DJ in command Sebestian!"

It was just SO COOL!

Wednesday, January 26

Perpetual Standstill

That's how most NS guys feel about their lives right now, the ones I've come in contact with anyway. The girls move on to uni, or find a job. Everyone else seems to be moving on, going to their next phase in life. Somehow, time really comes to a standstill when you're doing NS. It's as if army camps are in the twilight zone or something. Time ceases to follow the natural laws once you're in green.

I guess a lot of it has to do with motivation. Constantly asking yourself "What the hell am I doing here?!" doesn't exactly make time go by any faster. The old cliche that time flies by when you're having fun is so true. Sadly, most people get posted to mundane jobs in NS which they are seriously overqualified for. Like my friend who's a PSC scholar, made to do clerical work. What a waste of human resource.

It's inevitable. The supply of labour seriously exceeds the requirements of the SAF. Some people will get the postings they want, most won't. You won't like all aspects of your job when you enter the working world next time, so GET USED TO IT!

You can't always get what you want. So you might as well make the best of it since you're there. Stuck with a clerical job? Become a pro at Word or Excel. So you're a medic? All that medical knowledge could come in handy one day so Praise God! Stuck as a lifeguard in Tekong? So you'll get a tan that every guy wants! Hmm...actually the lifeguard job doesn't sound too bad.

Every job has it's perks. Focus on that instead of the negative side. No one can motivate yourself better than...yes, yourself. So pick yourself up, give yourself a pat on the back, and say "Ï'M GONNA TYPE THE BEST DAMN WORD DOCUMENT I'VE EVER DONE!"(or whatever's applicable in your situation)

Tuesday, January 25

Desperate Housewives sooo hillarious! Even though the title does make it sound like some B-grade porn flick.

Monday, January 24

Last One

Thats it. The last commissioning parade I'll experience as an OCS instructor. The weather really was perfect for a parade. It's hard to imagine that one year ago, it was my band of brothers and I marching on proudly on that parade square. The parade never fails to invoke sentimental feelings in me, although I've seen it like 4 times in the past year. It really is the culmination of 10 months of sweat, blood (for some people a lot of blood) and tears.

Big congrats to Nelson, who bagged the Sword of Honour for midshipmen. No easy feat I'll tell you that. Respeckt Nelson!! Respeckt! I SALUTE YOO!

Drove down to Chomp Chomp for supper with Andrew and Yoga for supper. Cos' quite honestly, the dinner after the commissioning parade was pretty bad. Apparently the caterers thought that presenting the fried rice in a shape of a lotus flower would distract from the fact that it tasted like crap. Ah well. 9 chicken wings, carrot cake, and 3 bowls of almond beancurd later, all is forgiven.

I wonder how she is. Maybe she'll be there this Wed? Should have spoken more the other time. D'oh! Well. Couldn't be helped I guess. Wasn't in a very stable state then. Ha. No thanks to Mr. Jack Daniels.

Sunday, January 23

What?! You Want Me To Do What?!

And I thought Thursday was gonna be a slow day. Got a call after my lunchtime swim saying that some big shots were coming down to OCS at the last minute, and that they needed someone to give a presentation about the OCS website. I had something like 45 minutes to rehearse, cos' boss was busy with the commissioning parade rehearsals.

It was really frantic. I started imagining scenarios where my ORD date would be delayed, or how I would "kena extras" if I screwed up the presentation. Among the crowd was a general, many senior commanders, and Commander himself. It was a good thing our guests were dressed in civilian clothes. Seeing the rank somehow makes it a lot more intimidating. Thank God we managed to get by, considering we were given such short notice. I guess all those public speaking lessons I taught the cadets helped a big part here.

Potential disaster avoided.

Friday, January 21


I'll miss NS life. Yes you heard me say it. God has really blessed me with a fantastic job, an awesome boss in Captain Evelyn, and wonderful colleagues to work with. I've had it a lot better than most. A lot of opportunites to enrich myself have come by, and I'm glad that I've seized most of them. I could have done more of course, but I'm content with what I've taken away from NS.

This long, two year adventure really has opened my eyes to a lot of things. It's brought me out from my comfort zone, by meeting people of all sorts of different backgrounds. It's made me re-evaluate what's really important to me, and it really has taught me life lessons that you just can't learn in a classroom. Which is why I highly encourage the government to introduce NS for girls as well. HAHAHA. (Gulp! Don't send me hate mail ladies!)

Ahem, but seriously speaking, I've seen my family in a different light, and realised how important they are to me. I've learnt how people's true colours really show in times of desperation, and how it can really inspire you or disgust you. What it really means to gain respect. I've seen some really solid commanders, and some commanders who are just a waste of taxpayers money. How sometimes shit still happens even if you've done everything to prevent it. How office politics can sometimes be harsher than the jungles of Brunei... I could just go on and on...

Heh. Me missing my NS life doesn't mean I'll wanna sign on though. I'm pretty sure I have a calling elsewhere. Just waiting for God to gimme a ring.

Well, bring on the real world.

Monday, January 17

Action on the pitch...

PUNJ loves the Lions!

Ole! Ole Ole Ole!

Welcome back Pooja! Hello April!

Let go Mark! Let go!

Final Score. Indonesia 1. Singapore 2!!!

The Return Of The Kallang Roar!

It was phenomenal.

How the entire 55000 strong crowd rose to their feet in unison as Indra slotted the ball passed the Indonesian goalie. How chants of "referee kayu!" resounded through the stadium everytime a decision was made against Singapore. How the stadium trembled with the sound of the audience pounding their feet against the ground. How everyone gasped in anticipation as Agu Casimir stepped up to take the penalty. How strangers started embracing one another as soon as the penalty was converted.

The Kallang Wave. The passion of the fans. The "suaning" of the away team. The blaring of the car horns after the match, signalling the Lions' superb victory.


Please FAS! Take us back to the days when Fandi, Abbas Saad, Abdul Malek and Alistair Edwards were household names. When Jang Jung was the coolest Korean around. When we could make Ken Worden eat his words and thrash Selangor's ass! Bring us back to the glory days! Hey, we know a lot of it was "kelong", but at least it was entertaining! Sorta like wrestling you know? It's rigged, but everyone has fun watching!

Saturday, January 15

Why Dudek?! Why?!!!

Liverpool 0 Man Yooo 1.

Singapore 7 Indonesia 0?

That would probably make up for Liverpool's lost. GARRRR!

See you guys at Kallang. Wear red ah. Will probably be quite hard to tell btw S'pore and Indonesian fans, seeing as how everyone will probably be wearing red or white. But then again, you can probably tell the difference by seeing who throws bottles filled with urine onto the pitch.

Run. Swim. Gym.

That's been the story of the week for me. Only thing keeping my mind from not dying of boredom is exercise.

Apart from the Commissioning Parade rehearsals. Been slowly handing over all the duties to Yoga. Thank God he's here man. I just hope he'll be able to share the load evenly with Deneng, who is currently at home under Maam's orders. His sis has the chicken pox. So she quarantined him. The rest of the guys feel he should be quarantined in camp though and not be allowed to go home. Haha.

Commander talked to me today and told me he read my blog! Well Sir, if you're reading this now, thanks for the feedback! Haha. I guess blogs are a good way to find out people's opinions. Like when we had our youth camp last December, and I was helping to organise it, I kept reading the blogs of the campers to see if they wrote anything about the camp. What they liked/disliked, what they enjoyed most, etc. It's funny how people can sometimes be so candid on their blogs, when they know that anyone can read it. The Internet gives you a sense of security I guess.

Late. Must sleep or won't be able to hand up the SG Biathlon form tmr morning. Yawn.

Wednesday, January 12

Red Hot Radio

The nice people at Power 98 gave me a call today, saying that I've been selected to co-host The Chill Out Hour on the 28th of this month! How sweet is that! Always wondered what it would be like to be a DJ. 28th January, Friday, 8 to 9pm... Hope got nothing on then.

Anyway, so far the people interested in going for the NUS Biathlon are...


Will add more to the list as people reply. The distance for the swim and run portion is shorter than the Singapore Biathlon, so I'm using this as a test run. Looks like I'll be hitting the pool a lot more.

Tuesday, January 11

Per Ra Per Pum Pum

Been approached by Ben to play the drums for English service at True Way. I was a bit hesistant, cos I told him i seriously lack practice, although I've been going for classes at Yamaha for the past 6 months or so. That and, I'm not sure if I wanna be so involved in True Way. I told him I'd try it out though. No point learning the drums if you don't put the skill to good use right? So why not serve God with it?

If the drum thing doesn't work out, I'll still be helping out with backup singing and co-worship leading with Eddy. I really hope I don't end up burnt out. I guess it's ok now cos' I'm about to ORD and will have a lot of free time on my hands. But when uni starts in late July, don't think I can commit to 2 churches. Sigh.

Monday, January 10

Everybody Likes To Think They've Been Victimised

So in the course of doing my job, I've pissed some people off. I guess I would contest the results too if I were in your shoes. Fair enough. But to brand me as biased and question my integrity is totally uncalled for. And behind my back at that. You want transparency? You'll get transparency. This isn't being very professional guys.

The Weekend In Brief

Friday service was meaningful. The more services and PUNJ meetings I attend, the more I feel I'm being called to stay. Supper with the PUNJers at Al-Ameen was enjoyable. =)

Riding lessons progressing smoothly. Warnings about the perils of riding a motocycle also coming in constantly. I'll just get the license then see how la k?

Went to the NUSS gym to give Dan some tips. Just telling him some of the stuff that Keo taught me. Like how to work the deltoids, lats, chest, etc.

Edmund gave an overview of Romans during PUNJ on Saturday. Heavy stuff, information overload! Was dying towards the end, but I get a much clearer picture on Romans now.

Popped by Yihan's place for a while, to see Ms Khoo and the rest of the S06 peeps. After which went to Isaac's for his birthday party. Shaun, Dawn, JH, Greg, Cai, Mark Zhang, ZG, Nelson and Isaac's cell group was there. It's funny how in Spore, everyone knows everyone eh?

Went to True Way on Sunday thinking there was BS, but apparently there wasn't! Ah well. Went to the gym again. Whacked some weights.

Drove down to Katong to meet Shaun, JH, Cai, Greg and ZG for DOTA till midnight. Wah super addictive I tell you. Shaun! Your fault! Ha, but thanks man. Think it's something I could pick up. Crossroads eh Greg? Heh.

Saturday, January 8

Paintball pics. I'm the one with the yellow shoes.

Oh yeah. I'm ready. Bring it on.

How you should NOT be dressed for paintball

Friday, January 7

Vroom Vroom

Jem: Gabe, could you do me a favour?
Gabe: Sure Jem what?
J: I'm not feeling too well, think you could drive me home?
G: Yeah I would if I could but I don't have the car.
J: I meant drive me home in MY car.
G: Your car?
J: Yep.
G: The BMW 500 series?
J: Yep.
G: ...
J: ...
G: ...
J: ...
G: I'll get changed right now.

Oh man. That was HOW cool. After that drive from SAFTI to Holland V, maybe I should consider saving up for a BMW Z3 instead of that Honda Phantom. All I need is to sign on for another 20 years...

Thursday, January 6

Definately Not Holier Than Thou

I have quite a few friends who get quite pissed off when their Christian friends come along and supposedly "impose their faith" on them. Well if you're not Christian and have come across such unpleasant experiences, lemme just apologize on that person's behalf. It's not anyone's intention to offend you, and your friends really mean well. They just want to share with you someone who has brought so much joy and meaning into their lives.

We're all human. And being human we are inperfect, which is why you see people not practicing what they preach. They can curse and swear on one hand, and then preach to you about how Jesus has changed their life on another. Totally contradictory characters.
However, being imperfect shouldn't be an excuse for such behaviour. Being Christian, you should really work towards being as Christ-like as possible, which I struggle to do daily, I admit.

Being Christian doesn't mean we're saying we're perfect, or that we're putting ourselves on a higher plane than others. Sadly, some people have that misconception, both Christians and non-Christian alike.

Happened to come across this little poem on Melissa's blog. Hope to share it with you guys.:

I Am Christian

When I say "I am a Christian"... I'm not shouting 'I'm clean living!' I'm whispering, 'I'm lost; now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say "I am a Christian"... I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say "I am a Christian"... I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say "I am a Christian"... I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say "I am a Christian"... I'm not claiming to be perfect. My flaws are far to visible but God believes I'm worth it.

When I say "I am a Christian"... I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches and so I call upon His name.

When I say "I am a Christian"... I'm not holier than thou. I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace somehow.

Wednesday, January 5

I Will Never Take For Granted...

I had the most enjoyable time yesterday! I just feel really blessed that God has put me in the company of so many great people.

My day started early at 6am. Had the monthly Commander's Parade in the morning. Stayed in the day before in office. Watched ZOOLANDER, which is frickin hillarious! Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller are really whacked. Thanks for bringing the movie Yoga. The movie was banned in S'pore, because the plot involves male models trying to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia (which was played by some Chinese guy who resembled the Dalai Lama. HAHAHA)

I took the half day so I could crash and SMU lecture with Tiffany. Went for the FINANCIAL MARKETS AND INSTRUMENTS lecture. Which was a big mistake, cos there were a lot of terms I wasn't familiar with, and it's a YEAR 3 Acct subject! Haha. But I actually quite enjoyed it. The prof was giving a lot of real world examples, and the students were quite vocal. I think I just miss the class room setting. Sigh.

Went to Mark's after that. Good thing I had the car. Picked up Ellie to get some chicken wings. We ordered like 6 large pizzas for the whole gang, about 16 of us. It was a simple get to know each other session. Kudos to Mark and Elliot for organising the time of fellowship. I couldn't stay for long though cos I had riding lessons with Jeremy and Jerald at 930pm.

Finally passed stage 2! Phew! The road was slippery but it's a good thing we didn't fall. Sent Jem and Jerald back to camp. They'll be flying off to Thailand tmr for ATEC, so all th best guys. Thanks for the X Box. Will take good care of it while you guys are gone. =)

Sometimes I complain about my life about how directionless it seems. It's times like these when I learn to appreciate the company of good friends and their care and concern. I'm sorry Lord if I've taken it for granted sometimes. Please prompt me if I ever do again.

Tuesday, January 4

God Breaks Down All Barriers

It was amazing. I never seen him show so much emotion before. I know deep inside he's hurting. Sometimes I really try to reach out to my Dad, but there seems to be this aura of unapproachability around him sometimes. He says the same thing about me. But the reason why I try to stay away sometimes is because he seems so grumpy. It's a vicious cycle I guess.

It was like something or someone was urging me to pray for my Dad right there. It was encouraging to see him open up like that in prayer. And like he said, I hope God honours our prayer. I know He will.

Thank you LORD for giving me the strength to even reach out. I know I couldn't have done it with my own strength. So Thank You. Nothing is impossible for God. I used to think nothing could get through my Dad. Tonight, God proved me otherwise.

Monday, January 3


Been having trouble sleeping of late. Weird considering how condusive the weather has been for snoozing. Everytime I close my eyes, it's like random thoughts just race across my mind. I find myself gettin up in the middle of the night to reach for my phone, to put reminders and stuff inside.

Things like, how my spiritual life has been, am I going to continue taking Chris and Darryl for Bible study for the long term, what are the ways I can raise 4000 bucks in 2 months for Europe, how can I be more involved in PUNJ, how has she been all this while, etc.

On that last one, it's quite sad la. I guess we sorta said we would want to know how each others lives are going on every now and then, even after parting ways. But now, it just seems that I'm probably more interested in knowing what's going in her life than she is in mine. What's the point of knowing? It's just a pity to drift esp of you've been so close at one stage. It's really like losing a friend. Tragic.

How do you come across as someone who really wants to show genuine concern, without appearing to be too "sticky" or overprotective? I guess I try too hard sometimes.

If you're reading this, I hope you'll have a great sem ahead of you. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers, dear friend.

Saturday, January 1


Last night's dinner cum watchnight service at Turf City was particularly meaningful. I really wouldn't have wanted to spend the last minutes of 2004 any other way. Had a sumptuous Chinese dinner with the PUNJers and the rest of the church, followed by Pastor Chris giving us a sermon, leading up to the countdown. He spoke on part of Luke 14.The part that really struck me was when he spoke about giving. Here's an excerpt:

(Luke 14:12-14)

12Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Human hospitality isn't really kindness is it. As much as we give to people, the unspoken rule is that we want something in return. A simple lunch treat isn't really just a lunch treat. Deep inside we expect the favour to be reciprocated in future.

In the instance of the tsunami tragedy, it's really heartening to see people pouring in donations to the affected victims. Pastor Chris said, we sure don't expect the people in Aceh or Sri Lanka to pay back what we've given, but why does it take a disaster of such magnitude to happen, before we open our hearts to these people?

Of course we have to be discerning when we give to people. There're so many crooks out there that will take advantage of your generosity. Well, ultimately, God will judge those that have taken advantage of people.

After the service, had a little chat with Mavis and Sarah. They were going to accompany the BB an GB guys and gals back to BB HQ at Zion Road, where they would have some fellowship. Sarah was just saying how BB could be one area I could serve in ARPC, and I said I would pray about it.

2005 really holds a lot of promise. Friends, if you have any pain or troubles, as difficult as it is, leave it behind in the past year and look forward to a better year ahead.

Dead. Beat.

Cycling would have been a lot more enjoyable if we didn't almost die of hypothermia. BUT, it was awesome nonetheless. =)

Jem, Jerald, Jason, Wenz and I proceeded on our Central Singapore route, or the "Tour de Thomson/Serangoon" From Bukit Timah to Little India, to Jalan Kayu, to Yio Chu Kang Road, to Thomson and back to Bukit Timah. The rain almost threatened to put a stop to our little trip, but we went ahead. It got quite bad at certain points and we had to stop cos the rain kept getting in our eyes. Thank God he kept us safe, cos' the roads were REALLY slippery. I think I slipped like twice. Think my tyres were too full.

Had a fantastic prata lunch at Jalan Kayu. Waited for the rain to ease a little for 2 hours before setting off again.

Went to Jason's for a short rest before I made my way home. Started at 8am ended arnd 4pm. Had to go down to Turf City for ARPC's dinner cum candlelight service. Almost couldn't drag my ass off the bed. But I did anyway.

My new folks. That's right. I'm now Gabriel Focker.