Friday 31 January 2014

Happy Chinese New Year!

Here's wishing everyone a very Happy Chinese New Year!



Thursday 30 January 2014


千金》("Precious") is a TV drama that started airing on MediaCorp Channel 8 from 10 Jan 2014, at 11 pm on weekdays. 

I have read from somewhere that this drama serial was supposed to be the remake of 《小娘惹》( "Little Nonya") but was heavily edited to suit the Chinese context for viewers in China, with Jeanette Aw and Dai Xiangyu (previously known as Dai Yangtian) as two of the drama cast. I was quite eager to watch it even though I don't usually watch TV shows at this time slot.

When I first saw the shots on TV, I thought the setting of the drama was in the Republic of China (中华民国) era. However, when I watched the first episode, I was surprised to see the actors and actresses dressed in Qing dynasty costumes. As I watched further, I realized that 千金》("Precious") was set in the period of the late Qing to the Republic of China (中华民国). 

千金 usually refers to girls born into rich families. However, in episode 3, I learnt that in Xicheng, only girls who were born into rich families with some form of disability were referred to as 千金  (at least that was what they said in the show). 

Up till now, I find that the similarities between 千金》("Precious") and小娘惹》( "Little Nonya") were not that apparent. It was like an entirely different story. If I have never read about it being the Chinese version of 小娘惹》( "Little Nonya"), I probably would not notice any linkage between the two dramas.

So far, so good...

Sunday 26 January 2014

Chinese New Year 2014

We will be celebrating Chinese New Year, the beginning of the year of the horse, in another 5 days' time. We went to Chinatown to take some photos of the Chinese New Year street decorations and do some shopping.

The Chinatown street decorations consisted mainly of sculptures of horses and coins. 

Below were pictures of the street decorations taken at Chinatown.

I preferred this year's street decorations at Chinatown to last year's. Perhaps it was because I have always liked images of horses :) .

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Last Episode of 《信约:唐山到南洋》"The Journey: A Voyage"

In the last Episode of 《信约:唐山到南洋》"The Journey: A Voyage", Mingzhu found out that Dong-en had been coughing out blood and urged him to see a doctor. Dong-en then told her he was actually poisoned and there was no cure for that. He also told her about his plans to cancel his engagement with his bride-to-be from China and that he had already made a will to ensure that his business would have a successor and that his grandmother, Mingzhu, Huiniang as well as Xiuxiang would be well provided for even after he passed away.

Zhang Tianying, Huiniang and Zhang Tianpeng managed to sell their ointment to some shops on consignment basis and also used the ointment to help the poor people. 

Zhang Tianpeng managed to find Hong Shi and persuaded him to go back to his wife and son. Hong Shi told him that he was very much perturbed by the fact the Yazi had previously allowed Heilong to carry her on the street without any struggles and ate the porridge that Heilong bought for her. Zhang Tianpeng went to look for Yazi and asked her about this matter. Yazi explained to him that at that time, she was near starvation and ate some wild mushrooms which happened to be poisonous. Heilong managed to save her in time but she was already very weak. She had no strength to struggle and she ate the porridge because she wanted to keep the baby (Hong Shi's child) in her alive. She said she believed that Hong Shi was still alive. She was willing to wait for him to return, even if it meant a lifetime. She was even willing to wait for him in her next life if he did not come back in this lifetime.

Hong Shi then appeared in front of Yazi. While I expected Yazi to be overcome with joy and run to Hong Shi, it seemed that she nearly fainted. Heilong suddenly appeared and wanted to shoot both Zhang Tianpeng and Hong Shi. The three of them started fighting. Somehow, Heilong and Hong Shi slid over the edge of a cliff with Heilong pulling/holding onto Hong Shi's feet. Zhang Tianpeng managed to grab hold of Hong Shi's hands in time. Yazi then took a big rock and threw it at Heilong, causing Heilong to fall to his death.

Before Dong-en set off to China, he paid a visit to Huiniang in Singapore. He also bethrothed Huiniang to Zhang Tianying. After Dong-en left for China, Huiniang dreamt of him telling her that he had left and would not be able to see her children. Huiniang woke up feeling very upset. Then, we were shown a scene of Dong-en lying on the floor motionless followed by a scene of a ship. It seemed that he died on the ship. I was actually quite sad to see that a good person like Dong-en should die in this manner -poisoned to death and died on board a ship.

Throughout the show, Xiuxiang had mentioned several times that the Zhang's (Dong-en's) ancestors had done many evil deeds and this caused them to have no descendants. At the end of this drama, with the demise of Dong-en, they had no more descendants. Maybe this was to prepare us for this eventuality? But more importantly, this was caused by Zhang Guangda! 

I was glad that at the end of the drama, Mingzhu finally ended up with Zhang Tianpeng and they both had a son. Zhang Tianying and Huiniang had a son and a daughter. Yazi and Hong Shi subsequently had another daughter.

《信约:唐山到南洋》"The Journey: A Voyage" was supposed to be the first part of a trilogy planned by MediaCorp. I wonder if the second part of "The Journey" would revolved around the children of the three couples mentioned above? We shall see...

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Tuesday 7 January 2014

Episode 30 of 《信约:唐山到南洋》"The Journey: A Voyage"

Last night was the second last episode of 《信约:唐山到南洋》"The Journey: A Voyage". Zhang Guangda (played by Terence Cao) wanted to beat his concubine, Mingzhu to death. Dong-en (played by Elvin Ng) tried to stop him but was not his match. Zhang Tianpeng (played by Li Nanxing) came to their house in time to save Mingzhu (played by Chris Tong) and brought her to the hospital. Dong-en was held captive by Guangda and was fed mercury laden poison for refusing to reveal the true location of the tin granary. According to Guangda, this would not kill Dong-en immediately but his health will go downhill day by day.

Zhang Tianpeng went back to Dong-en's place but was arrested by the police. At this point, I was wondering who else could save Dong-en. Ardon then said must be Heilong (played by Pierre Png) - you need a baddie to deal with baddie. True enough, Zhang Guang Da was killed by Heilong. Incidentally, Charlie Zhang happened to see Heilong walked out from the crime scene and he too was shot dead by Heilong. So Heilong indirectly saved Zhang Tianpeng and Dong-en.

All this while, Huiniang (Dong-en sister, played by Joanne Peh) was in Singapore with Tianying. Dong-en had entrusted her with the task of passing the documents containing details of the new tin granary to their granduncle in Singapore. Huiniang was also the one who informed Zhang Tianpeng about Zhang Guangda's intention to kill Mingzhu. While Zhang Tianpeng went to Malaysia to save Mingzhu, Huiniang stayed behind in Singapore and helped Zhang Tianying produced a new ointment. 

After Zhang Guangda's death, Zhang Tianpeng told Mingzhu that he would wait for her as he knew Mingzhu would want to stay behind to look after her mother-in-law who got stroke. Mingzhu told him she would not leave even if her mother-in-law passed away. She wanted to be in control of her destiny. Zhang Tianpeng told her he too, wanted to be in control of his own destiny, so he would continue to wait for her.

Tonight is the last episode of 《信约:唐山到南洋》"The Journey: A Voyage". Will Mingzhu end up with Zhang Tianpeng? Who will Huiniang end up with? Will Hong Shi be able to kick his opium addiction and reunite with his wife, Yazi (played by Jeannette Aw)?  What will be the ending for a bad guy like Heilong? We shall see tonight, at 9 pm on Channel 8.

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Quotes from Episode 18 of 《信约:唐山到南洋》"The Journey: A Voyage"
Last Episode of 《信约:唐山到南洋》"The Journey: A Voyage"

Wednesday 1 January 2014