Alan Soh

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

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On NDP Stage..

For TV viewers who watched National Day Parade 2014 “LIVE” on television last Saturday evening, you might have thought that the weather was fine.

Of course it was all probably due to the bright stage lights.
Guess what?

Just like National Education Show 2 (19 July), I observed that there were dark looming clouds hovering the spectator stands while standing on stage during the parade segment of NDP Show. Raining soon? Feeling worried that there would be a downpour, so I removed my cochlear implant device discreetly sometime during the part where “We Are Singapore” song was sung. Wearing only just one device. I did prepare a small sealable bag in my attire pocket in case of wet weather.

Before the commencement of the marchpast, my MINDEF trainer Philip Yeo reassured me at backstage “Trust me Alan, it won’t rain..”
Indeed, it didn’t rain at all. Phew.

Some of us including myself were standing at the back rows, in which the giant LED stage screen was right behind us. Despite standing at back rows, we were attentive because we were alerted early by our trainers that the MediaCorp TV cameras may zoom in at us at anytime, not forgetting those mobile TV crew personnel who were walking around on stage.

Everything was smooth during the marchpast. With full concentration.
No hiccups. All 36 of us did an awesome job.

After the marchpast, I heard from PAYM officials that some audience sitting at spectator stands did experience a little tiny drizzle. I wonder: did the NDP organisers did cloud seeding prior to the parade show?

It is certain that I do hear parade commanders’ commands LOUD AND CLEAR with my hearing devices. The music cues from the military band do help me in anticipating what is coming up next. So used to listen to them for 5 months. lol.

So what’s next? I am now looking forward to watching the repeat telecast of National Day Parade 2014, which is to be shown on television in HD this coming Sunday afternoon (17 August). And our 4th and final appreciation dinner coming up soon!

Some of us are already experiencing post-NDP blues…awwww.


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Cochlear Implant Surgery (Pt 5)

On the evening of Saturday 31st March 2012, I went attended a volunteers’ night event with 2 fellow youth group members, Raymond and Iskandar, at Senja-Cashew Community Club.

Honesty speaking, I would like to thank them because I did a surprising breakthrough – wore both my hearing devices — hearing aid and cochlear implant device publicly on our MRT train journey from Choa Chu Kang back to Yishun. Yes, honesty speaking I am also surprised. lol.

To you able-hearing readers, well, it may be nothing but to me, being someone who is self-conscious, it was a “daring” act. I focused on the two gentlemen and on the spot, broke through my pyschological barrier — just threw away self-suspecting thoughts of “after putting on my hearing devices, will people stare at me as if I am an alien?”.

Yup, life is too short for me to bother think about how others may perceive me.
Look, some people are unable to see clearly, so they wear spectacles. The same theory applies to hearing devices for hearing-impaired individuals as well. Humans are not perfect beings afterall. So since I need to wear the hearing devices in order to communicate effectively with the people around me, why must I be looked upon differently?

With my four limbs, I can move around on my own, and communicate fluently with others. Just like anyone of you. Yay! =)

I believe the issue boils down to ignorance, and negative perceptions about hearing-impaired people in Asian perspective, particularly among illiterate elderly folks. Such mindsets are to be changed.

By the way, I foresee that the coming generation of hard-of-hearing Singaporeans are possibly those 20-40 year-olds who have grown up with Walkmans, iPods, iPhones, iPads, MP3 players and insanely loud dubstep in nightspots these days. They will be increasingly hearing-impaired at earlier ages.

Is it time for me to start advocating the importance of hearing care now, than leaving it to commercial hearing aid service providers? Hmmmmm. That is food for thought for me. Hmmm..

I just went for one of those follow-up appointments, seeing my audiologist again at the ENT Clinic 1B @ Tan Tock Seng Hospital yesterday. So far so good. =)