Novena, 881, Nokia performance, Conversations at CANA, photoshoot @ Milk , bye-bye...back to LA
Novena and singing @ St. Mary of the Angels
-Sat 25th August 2007
I hadn't been to a Novena for a while,
and so when I found out that my friend
Simon went every Saturday for the Novena
at the Novena Church, I decided to go too.
The place was packed. And according to
Simon, every service, at every hour
from 9 in the morning till the evening,
is always packed to the brim.
There is an immense spiritual hunger
in people, and it's so heartwarming
to see people from all walks of life
making the time to ask for Mary's
intercession and for her prayers.
It was even more beautiful to see
Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
So nice to see His face again. :)
Later that evening, we went to catch
the Chris De Silva concert, a benefit
concert held to raise funds for the Franciscan's
charity works. The concert was held at
St. Mary of the Angels church in
Bukit Batok. Chris De Silva
is a music director at one of the
parishes in Los Angeles and the funny
thing is that we're both from Singapore,
but live in L.A
It was great to hear the songs he
had written and even nicer to
hear the Franciscan friars singing.
Janet from the CANA centre saw me
sitting in the audience during the
intermission and asked me if I would
be willing to sing a few songs for them.
I was tickled that even though it was
a last minute request, I had unknowingly
come dressed in a dark brown blouse, the colour
of the Franciscan monks. God has a
sense of humour :)
Bro. Damian and I both dressed in Franciscan brown.
I sang 'Love Song for #1' and'Five Loaves
and Two Fishes' and felt very moved
to see some people crying during
When I returned to my seat after singing,
the silver-haired lady sitting beside me,
told me that while I had been
singing 'Five Loaves and Two Fishes',
God had spoken 'piercingly' to her and
she felt comforted that he had
answered her prayers in some fashion.
Then she blessed me, put her hand
on my forehead, drew a cross and prayed
for me, asking God to bless my voice
and my health (I was astounded that
in her prayer, she said the same exact thing
that I'd been praying for, ie. for the Lord
to help my voice stay healthy and strong,
and for the Lord to preserve my health,
that I might sing powerfully for Him)
I could not help but cry.
It was a powerful moment for the both of us.
I was so moved that He had used me to bless
her, and in turn, used her to bless me.
Monday 27th August 2007
Finally managed to catch the movie
'881' by Royston Tan. I laughed so
hard in the first part of the movie
at all the hilarious jokes.
The last part of the movie was pretty
touching too. Altogether a good movie.
After the movie, all of us, Marcia,
Stefanie, Bernard, Christine,
Clarence and Alaric had dinner
at a steamboat restaurant in Tiong
Bahru. It was nice to find out more about
each other, as it was the first time
I'd met most of them, apart from Marcia.
It was also nice to trade stories
about our lives as singers with
Stefanie, who has had a tremendous
career with her singing and music.
Kudos to her. It was good to finally
meet her. I must say she's got a lovely smile.
Fitting at Hugo Boss-
Tuesday 28th August 2007
I stopped by at the Hugo Boss store
in Ngee Ann City today to meet with Chor
Chen and Calvin. Chor Chen has kindly
offered to sponsor some clothes
for my performance, and had arranged
for Calvin, the brand manager's help
to pick some outfits for me.
Calvin, I and Michelle at Hugo Boss in Ngee Ann City
It was fun to work with Calvin
and we picked out 3 outfits. 2 for
a photoshoot I would do with Olivier
of Milk Photographie on Thursday
and one for the event on Wednesday.
Nokia Go Play event -
Wednesday 29th August 2007
I had a corporate performance today
for Nokia. The other performers
were Li Huei Min and Shirlyn Tan.
Before the performance, Marcia
had helped to set up a haircut
and styling with Michael Lim at Le Salon
and make-up with Beno from M.A.C
Michael was really sweet and
it was fascinating to see the sweep
of his hand as he snipped away at
my hair. I've noticed that every
hair stylist has their own
individual way of using the
scissors to cut hair. The way
Michael used his was akin to
a glider, gently skimming
the surface of a lake.
If ever taichi could be translated
to the way a stylist cuts hair,
this would be it. :)
Beno was great too. He came carting
a whole case of make-up and colours.
By the time he was done, my eyes
looked much bigger and brighter
and I felt more alive :)
Sam, the driver came by to pick
Marcia and I up later and I had
some time to rest at the hotel
before meeting up with the rest
of the musicians for the performance
By the time I arrived at the venue,
the string quartet consisting of
Aloysius, Olivia Guo, Jit Min and
Wei Ming were already there dressed
smartly in black. I wore a dress
that Calvin from Hugo Boss had
helped me to pick.
Shirlyn Tan had just taken to the stage
and was playing her songs with her
band. Pretty cool stuff, especially
the catchy song 'Window'.
Soon it was time for us to play
and we sang 6 songs,
Shelter (Cherry Blossom Edition)
Five Loaves and Two Fishes
Angel in Disguise
On The Side of Me
It went well and it was nice
to finally get to do the cherry
blossom edition of Shelter
with the string quartet.
Olivia, Jit Min, Aloysius, Corrinne, Wei ming
Group photo with the event organisers, crew and musicians
Shirlyn Tan, Corrinne May, et al.
Later on, the string quartet,
Sammy, Cat and I went
to the Lau Pa Sat to have
Budak Pantai, Photoshoot and Conversations at CANA
-Thursday 30th August 2007
The day started off with breakfast
at the Concord Hotel's coffeehouse
with Chor Chen and Joshua Wan.
It was good to catch up with
After this, I met with Marcia
Mavis and the guys from Budak Pantai
at Pregos in Raffles City.
I had met Gordon before, and
it was nice to meet the others
from Budak, K.K, Joe and Michael.
They all have a wacky, fun
sense of humour. Very cool guys.
Gordon, Marcia, K.K (top) Michael, Corrinne, Joe (below)
After lunch, Marcia, Mavis
and I went back to the Mandarin
Oriental so that I could pick
up my clothes, sponsored by Hugo Boss,
from the hotel room for the photoshoot with Olivier.
By the time we got to Milk
Photographie, it was about 1.45 p.m
It was nice to see Beno, the make-up
artiste from M.A.C again and he
started doing my make-up.
Stanley from Le Salon was there with
Alvin to assist him to style my hair.
It was nice to chat with them
and they too in turn asked questions
about my music and career. Stanley
asked about the toughest challenge in
my career and I told him that it
was challenging travelling long distances
and being far from family.
I found out that one of the toughest
challenges of being a make-up artist is
the challenge of carrying around the heavy cases
full of make-up, and that for Stanley, his
challenge is that he misses his family in Penang.
It was nice to exchange our stories as they got
my make-up and hair ready.
Olivier, the photographer was a joy
to work with. I'm usually quite
shy about being in front of a camera,
but he was very observant
in noticing my little quirks
and he put me at ease with his
sense of humour and his understanding
of my self-consciousness. As the time
went by, I got more comfortable with the
whole process and started to enjoy
So it was a good shoot and we
got quite a lot of nice shots to use.
Olivier, Beno and I checking out some of the photos taken
Marcia, Olivier, Corrinne, Beno, Stanley, Alvin
By the time we got done, it
was close to 6.20 p.m
Mavis gave me a lift back to the
Mandarin Oriental where I was staying.
I got back to the hotel at 6.45 p.m
and had a little bit of time to quickly eat
some appetizers from the club lounge
before heading for my next appointment.
Christina and Rafael came by to the
hotel at about 7.10 p.m to help bring
me and the keyboard over to the CANA
Catholic Centre on Waterloo street
where I was to give a talk that evening.
We got to CANA at about 7.40 p.m
by which time the moderator and interviewer
Augustine (who had initiated the idea
for the original Conversations at CANA)
was there livening the 100+ crowd
gathered at CANA by talking with them, telling
them jokes and asking them questions,
getting them to respond with claps.
Augustine was hilarious, witty and warm :)
Soon it was time to start the conversations
at CANA session. I don't remember all
the questions that Augustine or the
audience members asked, but I'll try to.
Augustine asked about the pro-life message
in my song 'Beautiful Seed' and I sang
'Beautiful Seed' to illustrate my point
that I hoped that the song would help
women who found themselves contemplating
abortion, an incentive to consider
other options, like adoption for instance.
I hoped that the song would give them hope
and courage to cherish the life within
Answering a questions at CANA
I also shared about how I had sought
Mary's spiritual guidance in knowing more
about her son, and that during this past
year and a half, she has helped me to learn
more about Jesus and to see His hand in
my life with more clarity.
Subsequently, I sang 'Five Loaves and Two Fishes'
as well. I also met Longinus who presented me
with a bouquet and mentioned that he has
'Love Song for #1' on his ipod as he meditates
in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I feel blessed
to know that the music He's given me is being
offered back to Him.
Some asked questions about my songwriting
process and some asked about the challenges
I faced in L.A
I wish I had more time to answer all the questions
that were asked in more detail, but
9.30 p.m quickly rolled around and soon, we
had come to the end of the session.
There were lots more I wanted to share,
but I guess there will be another time for
Hear the podcast from the conversations at CANA
by clicking here :)
An audience member, Eugene had brought
his guitar along, wanting to play along
with me on 'The Birthday Song' and so
I sang the song to close the session.
It was so heartwarming to hear everyone
singing along loudly to 'The Birthday Song'
I'm amazed that many of them knew the song
by heart! I was surprised and joyful.
I was also very touched by Sister Florence's
closing prayer. There was such kindness
in this lady's eyes and face.
She presented me with a beautiful ruby red rosary bracelet
and prayed for me that I would be a powerful
witness to Him and that Mother Mary
would always watch over me and keep me close
to her Son. Her words moved me deeply.
I met some of the audience members after this
and signed autographs for them.
It was lovely to see some familiar faces
again, Rachael, who had studied in Seattle
before was there, as was Jeanette, my junior
in RGS NCC, Timothy (sean's friend), Ben
and his wife Shirley, Patrick who was there
at St. Mary of the Angels, Ling etc.
Emmeline, Corrinne and Ling
Kelly and Corrinne
Ben and Shirley
Augustine gave me a hug before he left
and I do hope we keep in touch.
I like the guy. Great sense of humour,
quick-witted, yet kind.
Augustine and I
The evening ended around 11 p.m
and I thanked Janet for having me at CANA.
The lady is amazing. She has so much energy
and passion for all she does and I do hope
that CANA flourishes, as does her vision
for how she would like CANA to be,
ie. an oasis in this city.
Thanks also to the lovely people
who helped with the CD sales and
to Rafael and Christina for helping
to give me a lift to CANA and back.
Thanks also to those who helped out
with the sound.
I had a lovely time at CANA.
Bye-bye...back to L.A -
Friday 31st August 2007
Kian, Cheryl, Jerome and Chiara
came by just now to Changi to send me off
They had lunch at T1 and then met Pa, Mummy
and I at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
around 3 p.m
It was nice to see Jerome again and to
sit him on my lap. I feel that particularly
this trip, this time around,
I've bonded a bit more with Jerome,
perhaps because we've had more time
to play together. So cute, we've been
playing 'making soup', ie. pretending
to cook soup, and some of his concoctions
have included diaper soup and roti prata soup!
He even knows how to say 'Botai' (hainanese
for 'I don't know') in addition to 'Tak Tauhu'
and it's heartwarming to see how much
joy Mummy and Papa get from being around him,
carrying him, feeding him and teaching him new
things. Without the pressure and responsibilities
of careers, they can now truly enjoy the
simpler, but more beautiful joys of
Jerome got a bit quiet just now at
the Departure gate. I wonder if he
was thinking about my departure.
It's so cute how he's been telling
others that Koko Corrinne wrote a
song for him and that there is a
picture of us in the 'Beautiful Seed'
koko Corrinne looking very aunty-like and Jerome
It's funny how, no matter how many
times I say goodbye to everyone at the
departure gates, it never gets any
easier. I still miss them all the same
when I'm here, sitting on the plane.
The Foo Family sending me off at Changi-
(left to right) Jerome, Papa, Mummy, Cheryl, Baby Chiara sleeping in
the baby sling, James and I