Jocelyn Lee, Lisa Twang
The New Paper
Feb 06, 2015
These local celebs share how they will be spending Chinese New Year and their hopes for the Year of the Monkey
'BAI NIAN' WITH BABY ON BOARD
For the first-time dad, the few days before Chinese New Year have been spent instructing his eight-month-old son Genghis on how to greet his relatives.
The 52-year-old actor said: "We teach him how to say 'gong xi, gong xi', but he is still very young and 'blur', so he doesn't know a thing. We have been teaching him to clap his hands, too."
Chen said that he and his 30-year-old China-born wife will wake up slightly earlier than usual this year to prepare porridge for their baby so that they can pack it and take it with them while visiting.
"I've been taking my son out in the past few months, so I don't think it will be any different this time round," said Chen.
"We just need to have his milk powder and his porridge so that he won't go hungry."
The new father has also set aside a few sets of new Chinese New Year-themed clothes for Genghis, saying: "I bought mostly onesies as he's very scared of the heat and can't wear long pants."
Chen, who has been in showbiz for three decades, enjoyed a second wind in his career last April after he sang and starred in two hilarious music videos, Unbelievable and Sandcastle In My Heart, which went viral.
He said that his relatives and friends often ask him to sing Unbelievable whenever they see him and he is certain it will happen this Chinese New Year.
However, he has declined all requests, saying: "There's no music, how to sing? Most of the time, I won't sing."
But for fans who miss Unbelievable, Chen can be seen wearing yet another over-the-top wig and retro outfit in a new cheesy music video Happy Together, for a new Channel 8 series, Don't Worry Be Healthy, which starts on Feb 16 and will air every Tuesday at 8pm.
In the clip, which has attracted more than 218,000 views on Facebook, he performs a Chinese song with his co-stars from the show such as Chew Chor Meng and Carrie Wong.
The lyrics are about exercising and staying healthy. For the new year, Chen, whose Chinese zodiac animal is the Rabbit, has just two simple wishes. "I just want my son to be healthy and for me to take on more jobs. I have heard that it's going to be good for those born in the Year of the Rabbit and I certainly hope so."
Chinese New Year is one of her favourite festivals. And giving red packets to her relatives and the younger ones is one of her favourite activities.
Ng, who is in her 40s and has been married for six years to a man known only as Mr Yang, said: "I feel happier after I got married, I can give out hongbao. It's such a blessing to (do so) as it makes other people and myself happy."
For Chinese New Year, the actress and host will change her curtains, tidy up her home and buy new clothes.
She said: "I am superstitious like that, everything has to be new, even my underwear." On the first day of Chinese New Year, Ng will visit her in-laws with her husband and play mahjong with them.
"I always end up losing money," she said with a laugh.
"But it's okay as long as everyone is happy." For the Year of the Monkey, Ng wants to achieve a better work-life balance.
She said: "I want to have more work and earn more money, but I also want to have time to stay at home and cook."
She said she has been making simple dishes and soups at home and that her culinary skills have improved.
"My husband has been packing some of my meals to take to his friends' gatherings. He praised me for my skills," she said proudly.
"I like cooking a lot. In the new year, I hope to have the chance to host cooking shows."
Fang is always thrilled to return to Shanghai for Chinese New Year. That's because the China-born actor will get to visit his 88-year-old grandmother, whom he is extremely close to.
Fang, 26, who will be there from Feb 8 to 11, said: "In China, Chinese New Year is a very big thing... and they have huge celebrations. I wish I could have more days to celebrate it in my hometown."
In 2016, Fang wants to get more acting gigs and work even harder. He is busy filming Channel 8 blockbuster The Dream Job and will be busy until April.
Fang said that he will take on a role in another blockbuster drama right after that.
However, even though the jobs are coming in, he does not want to let it go to his head.
He said: "This industry is very unpredictable, there is no formula set in stone. I can be getting many jobs today, but I can lose it all tomorrow...
"I have really worked very hard and I will strive to be the best version of myself."
MONKEY (BABY) BUSINESS
The 37-year-old actress is very clear about what she wants in the Year of the Monkey.
"Hopefully, I'll have a little cute, healthy, bubbly, jumpy Monkey baby," she said with a smile.
"Every year I say the same thing (about babies)." Chan has been married to former actor Alan Tern, 39, for eight years.
"We really hope God will give us a baby. Plans for kids started way back, even since eight years ago. We're letting nature take its course, so we'll see what happens."
This year, Chan also plans to eat healthily, on gluten-free and low-GI (glycemic index) foods - which means no pigging out on pineapple tarts and the like.
"I realised I feel more energetic with less sugar and carbs," she said, adding she will not be tempted by the New Year goodies.
"Being such a determined person, I'm going to stick to my regimen for a while," Chan said. "It's not for slimming, but for overall health. I think the essence of a happy life is keeping things simple."
A YEAR OF ADVENTURE
While the rest of us enjoy gobbling Chinese New Year goodies, the actor is not tempted by snacks like bak kwa and prawn rolls.
"My family is not really into Chinese New Year and you get really heaty eating all those New Year goodies," said Lim, 43.
He is married to former actress-host Evelyn Tan and they have four children aged between three and 11.
"It's a lot of hassle running around visiting and it tires me out completely," said Lim.
"Eve and I don't really enjoy it and even our children are not that excited. They don't really care about hongbao and all that."
The Lims live on a three-room Lagoon 400S2 catamaran, but will not host any boat parties this festive season.
"We love hosting at other times of the year, but everyone is really busy during Chinese New Year anyway.
"Besides visiting family, like my grandma and Eve's and my parents, we will be at home, hiding," he said with a chuckle.
The Lims plan to set sail for Phuket for an unspecified duration after the festive season. The voyage will be a test run for a bigger trip to Okinawa, Japan, later this year.
"The plan is to go to Japan eventually. It's still a dream at the moment," said Lim.
"Hopefully we'll have safe travels, good weather and a year of experiences and adventures."