National Geographic’s Ocean Wonders at S.E.A Aquarium

[ We are running a Tickets Giveaway till 30Mar 2018, Facebook link ]

No more shark fin’s soup. Our family pledged that sharks should be admired in their natural environment, and not served up in bowls!

I visited S.E.A Aquarium with Boon Xin recently, and it was another opportunity to explore Marine conservation with the kids.

Hey President Trump, even my 9 years old girl knows about the impact brought by climate change. Pollution, excess harvesting are destroying our ecosystem and depleting the fish stocks.

Many animals will disappear from the wild in this generation. Not extinct yet, but it means the only place to see a tiger or whale shark might be in zoo or aquarium! So Sad.

From now till 20 May, Resorts World Sentosa is hosting the first ever National Geographic Ocean Wonders event featuring the Ocean Record Breakers exhibition, Marine Photography Adventure and the National Geographic Ocean Exploration Children’s Workshop.

The Maritime Experiential Museum™ is reopen after an extensive revamp.

We followed some of the pioneer explorers and visited ancient Singapore. When Singapore was still a fishing village, the time before Sang Nila Utama, when merchants (and pirates too) used to ply the sea around Singapore.

The pioneer explorers

Braving treacherous sea conditions, ships were the only means of transport for goods and human.  We could traced how spices were transferred from Asia to Europe, or Gold from Middle east to Asia. Cultures were exported via sea route too.

Trade, barter, economics, livelihood. Where the ships go, ports flourished and cities bloomed. This was the Maritime Silk Route.

Our girl understood more about the adventures and perils of an adventurer, and we had fun with the workshops.

 

Muscat was berthed outside last time, this boat was constructed with old workmanship and sailed all the way from Oman. Sailors used traditional navigational aids, no GPS or satellite back then 🙂

Photo below, can you guess where is the Head (aka loo)?

 

Left Muscat, and right Chinese Junk

Our junior explorers pickup some life skills in the workshop. We need to understand North East South West before we can start navigating.

Seamanship requires us to be resourceful and adaptable. The Ocean is a harsh environment and rope skills secured our goods and ourselves.

 

Kids had an opportunity to craft their own yacht, or sampan. Just make sure your boat can float 🙂

With all the skills they pick up, we were ready to explore the Marine Silk Road on a Chinese Junk. However, we did not expect Typhoon to be so devastating!

The 4D experience was supposed to allow us to follow China’s emissary to somewhere in the Middle East… (fast forward) the crew encountered a Typhoon and our Chinese Junk became a wreck.

In another corner, we noticed “Noah’s Ark”  (the huge wall of giraffe, elephants etc) has been transformed into a pirate cove.

The second part of our exploration was the exploration of S.E.A. Aquarium. The highlight was S.E.A Aquarium’s newest resident, the sand tiger shark.

Kids are invited to go on a photography adventure and take part in an Ocean conservation mission.

Boon Xin is looking out for her Sand Tiger Shark.

Mr Bala told us Sand Tiger Sharks are harmless to humans, but the rows of menacing teeth told us otherwise :p

S.E.A Aquarium
S.E.A Aquarium

Save our Oceans! Protect the Marine Animals.

Beautiful corals. I shared with Xin that Great Barrier Reef (Queensland Australia) is the largest living structure, and the only one which can be spotted from Space! Unfortunately, coral bleaching is threatening to wipe out the reefs, and a vast habitat for organisms 🙁

  

 

Chocolate Chip Sea star 🙂

I hope the kids will have a better appreciation of our ecosystem, and we can all play a part to conserve our Ocean.

No more Shark Fins! Sharks are more graceful when they swim, not in a bowl.

Some of the featured animals (and experiments) from National Geographic and S.E.A Aquarium.

How can the cute colourful frogs be poisonous?

I shared with the girl that Nature has a unique way to shout “Don’t eat me!”. Leave the most colourful and brightest animals alone.

 

We need to talk about Recycling in the same wave as Conservation, they goes hand in hand.  We are dumping too much plastics and by-products into the ocean. All these rubbish follow the currents and end up somewhere.

Marine animals which mistake plastic for food choke their stomachs and die a miserable (and suffocating) death.

Ocean Record Breakers exhibition, the name is self-explanatory.

We saw some of the monsters, and all are still living in our oceans. I would recommend the kids to stay clear of the Giant squids. They are sperm whales’ favourite snacks, and not the delicious version we see skewed at Old Chang Kee.

Wow, 18m squid is longer than our 11m buses!

I hope future generation will have an opportunity to see the majestic Orcas, Mola (sunfish) and whale sharks in the wild, not in aquariums.

The other fishes in S.E.A Aquarium does look cuter. But I told Xin puffer fish are actually voracious hunter, they will tear their preys apart!
So much for fugu.  

You can take part in a photo contest too, simply submit one of the featured animals in S.E.A Aquarium to Instagram (public profile). Tag @rwsentosa and #rwsoceanwonders And you might be one of the lucky winners every month 🙂

I showed the kids additional videos on how we humans are damaging the Ocean.
-Trawler and dredging basically scoops everything  off the seafloor, there  must be a more sustainable way of harvesting.
-Plastic Ocean!

Video (YouTube link) : Sea Aquarium, Conservation

Thank you for the education experience, S.E.A Aquarium, I hope my kids will appreciate Mother Earth’s fragile ecosystem more.  I hope they play a part to conserve our  ecosystem and marine habitat for future generations.

Workshop and Ticket details are available at this link http://bit.ly/SEAANatGeoOceanWonders , read RWS’s review too.
Do follow RWS website and Facebook for latest updates.

Ultimate Challenge! Camp, Teamwork and Focus

We joined a few families at Focus Adventure‘s Ultimate Challenge! Camp  recently. When the invite came from Cheekiemonkies, we can expect the itinerary to be packed with Fun 🙂

Not really a “real” camp, but we got to enjoy 2D1N of non-stop Fun and Thrills. Families motivated, nudged (and sometimes pushed)  each other to conquer our own fears and achieve new milestones.

Ultimate Challenge! Camp urged participants to stay FOCUS everywhere. The feeling is different on the Ground and 25m up in the Hourglass Tower 🙂

 

Image Credit Cheekiemonkies

I conveniently forgot to mention the high-elements to my family haha, in case anyone decided to back off. They just need to know  the Fun camping stuffs (BBQ, camp fire etc)

Teamwork will bring us Higher, Further!

Camp Challenge

(literally, it means dragging ourselves up the 24m Hourglass tower, and optionally leap off the platform at 25m! )

In fact, without teamwork (encouragement and motivation), many of us would have given up earlier or taken the easier way out.

Focus Adventure Hourglass Challenge

We started Ultimate Challenge! Camp with ice breaking games, kids and adults had tons of laughter with silly antics Octopus and Squirrels (etc). It was hilarious to see adults do impossible wriggling or balancing acts!

I always remind the kids that we must learn to laugh at ourselves. We must be thick skin when facing criticisms from anyone.

(Kids nowadays might be developed physically but their psychology state might still be fragile)

It helped that we were performing all these activities at Palawan Beach (end). Looked at the scenic sea-view, framed by coconut trees, we felt like like we were at a faraway resort.

Team building at Focus Adventure learning site

 

All sorts of archery tag (and Nerfgun), our mission was to work as a team to take down the other camp. Aim for the Target board, not human :p

Teamwork not only let us overcome our individual obstacle, but teamwork can also encourage “Minimum effort, Maximum result”.

We all know about Angry Birds, but not many of us had build a catapult before. With zero engineering skills, and some “raw” materials, families and teams were supposed to build and mold everything from scratch (yes, the Birds too).

Checkout the video below when teams destroyed the Pigs’ castles. Quite Fun and satisfying when Angry Birds destroyed the Towers!

All these team building tasks encouraged us to work with one another.

Hey, kids learned that too many cooks spoil the broth too. Too much instructions flowing around.


Campers need not worry about sanitation, as toilet and shower facilities are good, and there is hot shower too 🙂

 

The main Function room is our meal room, playground and bedroom too. Kids mingled with each other and when night come, sleeping bags were laid out.
Day 1 was designed to let participants get comfortable with each other.

One of the Biggest challenge with parenting is trying to get our kids to “Listen to instructions”.

My kids are easily distracted, or they are sometimes over-confident. We would soon realised that Teamwork and following instructions will make overcoming Day 2’s tasks slightly easier.

 

A Beautiful Sunset to bring us near to Day 1’s closure.

Sunset Sentosa

We had a nice Campfire and BBQ, plus a lot of Sing and Dance from families. The older kids perform a skit about “One Day in the life of a Mom”. with the usual dragging-child-out-of-bed, homework, housework etc.

Parenting duties are mostly taken for granted and unappreciated, it was a nice gesture to see the kids playout their “parental” roles, showing everyone how much we love our parents. Kudos!

 

Our family sang “One Call Away”, but Superman sang so soft with Boon Yee and Boon Xin hiding behind the parents (haha).

Hello why so Shy? The kids love to sing with gusto at home leh.
Kids, nevermind if people laugh at us, or if we act the fool.

As long as you believe in yourself, we can overcome many hurdles and reach new milestones. We must at least Try and give our Best Effort 🙂

We woke up to Day 2 and diy our Breakfast, Pasta and spaghetti.

Then it was Challenge Hourglass, the tall structure which will validate our team-building skills.

High elements brought many of us out of our comfort zone. The kids handled their fears better than me, and that made me so proud!

 

To be honest, my heart would miss a beat if I should witness my child slip and dangle on his or her harness! How do I save him when I myself am scared?

But it was precisely these “dangerous” moments when we learn to trust each other, and grew a bit more confident so that that we can overcome our own fears. “We can do this!”

One week after our camp and climb experience, Boon Xin told Mom she wanted to go back Sentosa and climb again!

I was beaming as the Mrs told me girl’s wish. This is considered weird, as Xin was terrified up in the Tower, holding onto me tightly.

Either Boon Xin really enjoyed her death-defying stunts, or she is confident that Daddy will always be there to support her.

We had to coax her multiple times before she join us up the Tower. I did promised her that she can opt out at the first Cage. She hesitated for a long while before deciding to exit.

I was so happy that Boon Xin trusted me and climb the first layer with me, she even calm herself down to wefie 🙂  #OneProudDadMoment

Girl, hold on to my hand. Daddy will support you.

As we go round and round the Hourglass, look up and you will see Uncle Kelvin 🙂

 

A moment’s breather, before we face the rock wall. Actually we had to skip a few obstacles due to impending rain (lucky me haha).

 

As we climbed higher, it gets more challenging. Some obstacles can only be overcome with teamwork. HATE the swingings of the tyres or the planks!

I am very proud of my boys, they both went beyond their own fears and followed me up the structure. In fact, Boon Wee (no1) even surpassed me in conquering more obstacles!

I was most worried about Boon Yee (no3) as I could only take care of Boon Xin (no4). Boon Wee the older sibling tried his best to guide Yee along.

Kids displayed determination and independence across the obstacles. Step by step, swing by swing, we cleared another hurdle.

Ultimate Challenge! Camp, splendid view from top of Hourglass

 

Celebrate every stage with a photo. Felt so proud of Kids’ achievement,

At 25m, no matter how prepared you are, or how good are the coaches, you will be the only one leaping off, ALONE! Pardon me if I was shaking too much.

Video (Youtube link) : Para Jumping off the 25m platform is optional. I needed coach Deep to push me off the ledge.

The panoramic view can only distract our  attention for a while.

To be honest, my mind was blank standing at the edge of the para jump. My legs felt so heavy and I had to ask coach Deep to pushed me off :p

Comparing the jump to our ascend up the tower, the JUMP effort (or fear factor) is only 3 to 5% of overall fear.

 

Back on ground, after some Hi5 and packing, we were ready for lunch. As it was Mother’s Day weekend, we got to enjoy an extra cake with our Moms and spouses 🙂

Kudos to the bunch of Instructors! (Deep, Kannan, Wan, Irwin, Erwan, Sidek).

These chaps really exceeded our expectations and brought the participants along for an entertaining 2D1N of activities.

Ultimate Challenge! Camp declared Mission success 🙂

When it come to facing our own fears, everyone had their own kryptonite. Some hate Heights, some do not like to socialise, and some do not like to “perform”. My kids are shy and refuse to sing or dance along haha. They were so malu (embarrassed) to perform infront of a stage.

That’s when parents and peers step in to encourage each other to step out of our comfort zone.

Again, kudos to the Fun (and super Game) participants and coaches, you guys really make our 2D1N stay memorable!

Image Credit Cheekiemonkies

Para Jump: Participants need to be above 40kg in order to enjoy 1.5s of Free Fall. May you and your family achieve new milestones together too 🙂

Para jump Sentosa

Thank you Focus Adventure and Cheekiemonkies for the FUN and challenging invite. More Fun photos uploaded on our Fanpage album.

Having Fun with Canon at Sentosa

[ Media Invite ]

Canon invited us to a “Family bloggers shootout” on Sentosa. We all love treasure hunting, and we got a series of tasks to complete for the afternoon.
Merlion Sentosa

The meeting point was at Taste of Asia. After getting our mission brief, we were equipped with Canon cameras and given a short demo on the camera’s functionality.

We got a Powershot G7X, a very powerful and niffy consumer camera. It comes with a wireless feature too. Simply download a Canon app (Canon CW) and you will be able to transmit photo from camera to phone to Social Media 🙂

After getting a quick bite and some useful camera tips, we were ready to navigate Sentosa island with a Japanese language map. We grabbed the wrong map in our haste haha 🙂

#Task 1 – We have always seen Sentosa’s Merlion from far or near, but we never consider going up before. Level 10 would be the Mouth, and if weather permits, you can climb to the Head too.

Canon Powershot G7X performs excellently in low light!

Wishing coin at the top floor.

We need to take a photo of the view from the Merlion’s mouth.

On to our next task, we did not forget to have Fun along our “Race”. Canon Powershot G7x’s flip LCD is really convenient for selfie photos!

#Task 2 – Sky Tower

From the top of Sky Tower, we could see a storm approaching Sentosa Island!

Mission accomplished, wefie from High above 🙂
Canon family event

Sentosa Island is also known as “The State of Fun”.

Some other attractions spotted on Sentosa (iFly woohoo! and Playcation).

Due to the heavy downpour, everyone had to gather back at Taste of Asia. Kids were disappointed that they could not accomplish the last two tasks, Luge (LUGE!) and Segway.

But they did have tons of fun doing selfie and wefie with each other haha. This generation of kids are always ready to embrace new technology.

(image from HTC)

#Task 3 – We waited for the Rain to become smaller before going for the Luge ride. From past experience, Once is never enough!

(right image from HTC)

Video : Fun on Sentosa Island

Thank you Canon and Sentosa for the fun afternoon! Although the rain decided to gatecrash our party, the Canon family bloggers still had a great day out 🙂

All images above are taken from Canon Powershot G7X (unless specified).
Do pop by Canon Website and this Youtube link for more Powershot G7X details.