Alan Soh

I am my own columnist, sharing my own thoughts and experiences!

My National Day 2014 Profile

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Among the 12,000 participants involved in National Day Parade (NDP) 2014, I am humbled to be one of the 5 selected profiles to be featured on NDP official website under “Singapore Stories” this year.

Yes, I am part of the marching contingent for People’s Association (PA), together with other 13 civilian contingents in the Parade & Ceremony Segment. This year’s PA contingent comprises of 32 energetic youths from People’s Association Youth Movement (PAYM).

This is my little NDP profile video.

I am conscious about how people perceive me, not just about my hearing handicap but also about my educational background. I am afterall just a private diploma holder in Mass Communications who finished his secondary school education but went to ITE. So many university graduates around these days. It is always about that “intellectual capability” thingie.
You can even put it this way that ..yes I do feel somewhat inferior.

Along the way especially after National Service (NS) in 2002, I learnt that I am not a perfect human being but I can still strive to be outstanding, so I sought “teachers” to help myself stand out. The experts. In terms of the way how I carry myself or speak etc. I observe and emulate the good ones. I am selective about the kind of friends whom I mix around with. I agree wholeheartedly with this saying – “you are the average of the 5 people whom you often mix around with”.

I joined PAYM at around July 2004, with Nee Soon Central CC Youth Club then.

Nobody is going to help me so I have to do something to help myself. In today’s competitive world, I have to know how to re-invent and put my best foot forward. I think it is important to get rid of the “rules” that are holding me back.

The good thing about growing older is that you begin to be more at ease with yourself and know how to laugh at yourself. And know how to anticipate and remain calm when things still don’t go the way I want (even though I may have planned for different scenarios). Just be prepared for the WORST scenario. If you are well-prepared, you don’t need to be afraid.

I start to form my own life principles. Being older and wiser, I now start to shift my focus to outcomes which I can control. Not things which are not controllable within my means. Such as “do people like me?” Why bother?

If people don’t like me to be their friend, it is okay. I learnt don’t take it too personally. Just move on. If they care to be your friend, you will know it.

I have been taking good care of myself, which is a controllable outcome which might possibly lead me to more opportunities. When you know that you are in a good health state, you are free to go after whatever you want to do in life. 🙂

Upon doing the cochlear implant surgery in 2011 and those aviation tragedies we see in newspapers these few months…it makes me more aware that my time on earth is limited. I don’t know how long more I can live. How many more things I can do or experience? I want to stand on NDP stage to determine and see whether can I do parade and ceremony segment, hence I grab the opportunity when it comes in March and “throw myself into unknown waters.”

ndp interview collage1

So jump in first, talk later. It is about that hunch. I also realise things can possibly work out fine if I open my mouth to discuss my concerns upfront with people.

We should go beyond our comfort zones, daring enough to collect as many life experiences as we want, not things; so that we can still share these stories with our future children one day. As I collect experiences, I also get something extra – confidence, stead, calmness, knowledge, self-esteem, respect and new friends.

I am able-bodied. I can still contribute alot more if people are willing to tap on my capability or expertise.

Outside work, I spent my Saturdays doing contingent trainings/rehearsals since April 2014.

Just want to say “Thank you” to trainers for the support given all this while. I have been giving vocal feedback because I want to let you guys feeling reassured that I am OKAY. I don’t want to be the main worry in your minds. After doing “refresher course”, at least I know now I am not stupid, in the sense that I can understand the marching commands despite a 13-year time gap since NS. Hahaha..

ndp interview collage2

Thank you, PAYM for this opportunity because this could be my last mega event involvement in the capacity of a YEC member before I “retire” in late July 2015. lol. So I tell myself to ENJOY EVERY MOMENT in this 5-month journey.

To the video crew of Little Red Ants Creative Studio, thank you guys for producing this little video snippet.

I hope this video is able to inspire or encourage any fellow Singaporean out there. Do what you want to do. Be what you want to become. Don’t be afraid, okay? 🙂


Today is Eve of Singapore’s 49th National Day. The much-awaited day has come.

Come watch “LIVE” telecast of National Day Parade 2014 at the online webcast at tomorrow, Saturday 9 August at 5.45pm (SG time) onwards.


Little Note: The nicest thing about having done that little NDP video was how some random strangers either came up to me or messaged me via Facebook sharing the kind of feeling this video gave them after watching. Giving some encouragement.

All I can say is to reply “thank you very much, hopefully it encourages you” and probably give a friendly hand-shake if in person. =)


Author: alansoh79

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