NDP 2012 hosts, singer on their special S'pore place

15 October 2012 / 4 years 1 week ago

The theme for this year's National Day Parade (NDP) is Loving Singapore, Our Home.NDP hosts Sharon Au and Jean Danker and this year's theme song performer Olivia Ong tell The New Paper about one special place in Singapore that holds beautiful memories for them.Coincidentally, they are all from their childhood.Olivia Ong, 26 - Katong areaThe Taiwan-based local singer lived in Katong from the time she was born until her family moved out when she was seven.And whenever she drives through Katong, happy memories of her childhood still come to mind.Ong said: "I remember playing with my cousins when they came to my home on weekends, and the adults would bring us to nearby cafes to eat."There was a yogurt cafe called Wholla Whip, I think, and my favourite flavour was the blueberry yogurt mixed with cookies and cream."My cousins and I also went to the mamak shops there to buy pencils and sweets."Ong, whose father is Peranakan, also recalled eating in the Nonya restaurants in the area."I'm really happy that the old traditional shophouses in Katong still remain today," she added.Jean Danker, 34 - Marymount ConventThe Class 95 radio DJ spent her primary and secondary school years in Marymount Convent and it was where she realised she wanted to be a host.The former runner and vice-head prefect recalled hosting a lot of school events and loving every one of them."When I think of those days, I can recall in my head, crystal-clear, how the school smelled and the dark areas on the third floor that you didn't want to go to," Danker said."The toilets on that floor were quiet and spooky and my friends and I scared each other when we had to use it."We played hopscotch and hide and seek in the canteen and scraped our knees falling down. These are such good memories."Sharon Au, 37 - Florence RoadIn the Florence Road area, between Upper Serangoon Road and Hougang Avenue 2, there used to be a kampung slightly smaller than the size of Orchard Road's Ngee Ann City mall.It housed one large bungalow and around 20smaller attap houses, all owned by Au's maternal great-grandmother.The former MediaCorp actress-host called the house the royal palace, but it was not where she spent her happy childhood years from age three till seven.Instead, she loved hanging out with the other children in their rented attap houses and outdoors at the kampung."We played badminton, hopscotch and zero-point. Every Mid-Autumn Festival, we walked around the kampung with our lanterns," Au said."And every year, on my great-grandmother's birthday, she would engage opera singers to perform on a stage and there would be malt candy for everyone."The only regret she has now is that she's lost all contact with her childhood friends."I hope I can find them again through this article," she said.

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