Chingay Parade 09 Begins!

Posted: February 3, 2009 in Uncategorized

Captain’s log                                Stardate: 62591.2 (Feb 3rd, 2009)

The last time I had participate for something big was four years ago, where I was one of the police officers within the police contingent been represent to take part for the National Day 05. On top of that, I was still serving my National Service.

Then, four years later, 2009. This time, the experience was beyond the limit. If I have not joined the club, I wouldn’t get to feel this excitement that I always wanted. The thrill and perhaps, suspense that keeps you pumping that you thought you gonna explode at any moment! =D

Its Chingay Parade 2009!!!

Local Star Trek members or trekkies who were participating were all ready for the big day. The wait is over. The planning, the rehearsal, is all been accounted for. The audience are waiting anxiously for this grandest event to take action! As before, the event comes in two separate days. One is the preview, and the other one is the actual. Therefore, I will start off in two folds =)

Stardate: 62581.1
(Jan 30th, 2009)
Day: Friday

The Preview

In the first place, we thought its going to rain when we were told to perform the last practice when we were still at People Association Headquarters. The sky had turned grey, and drops of rain had started hitting our heads. Oh man….please come another day…=(  As such, we were to immediately ushered back inside the HQ. Last minute preparation were made for us who were participating before the next instructions from the organizers were announced. On that day, only eight of us were present, with one of them, a trekkie named Richard who had volunteered to be our minder for that day. The other four who were also participating, named Fatimah, Vera, Stephanie and Benedict couldn’t make it as they were caught up in their own schedule. But they will be back for the actual event.

Chingay 09

Chingay 09

Surprisingly, my character as the Borg-assimilate Starfleet officer held a different point of view on that day. If you are a Star Trek fan, then tell me this. Since when was the last time you saw a Borg been equipped with a Starfleet standard phaser rifle and a beacon light that were scrapped around the wrist? Well, this one does =) Reason? Because from those absents, there is still some spare of the items left, and local Star Trek founder James had me to use them only for the day. Well, this is something new of the Borg…=o

Our prayers had been answered. The rain had stopped, and the sky shines once again. We had our last practice before we set off towards the Padang by bus.

Of course, anyone could have noticed how the kids from a primary school who were participating began to stare unblinking at a hideous creature who boarded the same bus with them……

Chingay 09 Chingay 09

A moment later, we arrived. I’ve forgotten the name of the street where we had disembarked, but I know its located near to Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. And viewers out there who are reading this, this is where we felt like Hollywood stars! =)

Sure, there’s numbers of contingents out there. Dress beautifully, with the intriguing displays of patterns that came in many forms of shapes and sizes. But members of public were just so surprised to see Star Trek characters came alive on the streets! And their eyes went wide opened upon seeing the Borg and Klingon Starfleet officer, whose character name is Lt Commander Worf, and that the mask was wore by James himself. Cameras kept snapping from all directions. Excited faces from the public rushed to take picture with us. Even from the other contingents as well. Man! I’m telling you, its like the Walk of Fame!

Chingay 09 Chingay 09 Walk of Fame

Moments later, we were told to proceed towards the Padang. Ushers were there to guide us along. Once again, the eyes of the many went unblink when both Borg and Klingon were caught sighted! =o

The magnificent floats were all there, standing by near the side of the Padang. If I’m not mistaken, the time was somewhere at 1800hrs. The grandstand, which was constructed infront and opposite the Supreme Court had started to fill with the excited spectators. The excitement were just about to sky-rocket!

But before everything went wild, we had to endure a longgggggggggggg wait for the show to start. Our minder for the day, trekkie Richard had started giving out spare water bottles that were taken from the HQ. Damn, we do felt thirsty!

Of course, this is where the fun starts, even despite the long wait. Passerby taking photos of us as we posed behind the fences that were set up all the way across. They rushed towards us, requesting to take a picture with them. Well, who would avoid this, especially when you had the hideous one, while the other, a grave and boldly look species, that seems to get most of the attention =D

Chingay 09 Chingay 09 Chingay 09

Soon, the sky turns dark. I had yawned many times. (A Borg seen yawning???) Come on, stay still! I had reminded myself. This is the time to enjoy yourself!

Chingay 09

Moments later, fireworks erupted into the night sky. Meaning to say, the parade were just about to get started! The crowd seated at the grandstand, and the participants cheered wildly as the fireworks dazzle magnificently. Balloons started flying high into the air. The contingents were ready to move in. The spectators awaits anxiously, for the moment to arrive. From the other side of the Padang, we could see a wave of Dragon Dance taking place. A ball of fire could be seen whizzing.

Then, here we go! Music booms throughout the air. Star Trek contingent in formation! We move in at slow pace. We had to stop by every minute because of the contingents infront, as following their rows. My heart was pounding excitedly as we get closer to the crowd seated at the grandstand.

The ushers of the event screamed wildly when we passes them. Once again, we’ve entered the Walk of Fame! Cameras flashes everywhere! Man! Feels so good to posed infront of them! =D Its snap after snap after snap! =D Then, we’ve entered where the grandstand is. Bright lights cast upon the contingents. They dance to the beat as they step up across the street. And this is where the crowd roared. Streamers and confetti were shot into the cool night. Here was the chance to create an infestation of littering =) The spectators were amazed when we passed through. I even heard one of them cried out: “Hei look! Its a Borg!” And: “Guys! Its Star Trek!”

Pictures here were taken by trekkie Richard =)

Chingay 09 Chingay 09 Chingay 09

News cameras began to focus in on us. Here’s our opportunity to see ourselves live on TV. A few of us even dance to the music. We posed, as we wave. I even had my Borg pincer raised, and pretend to aim directly at few of the camera lenses as to “assimilate.”

We pass the grandstand, following the big U-turn that takes us to the other side of the Padang. And along the way, people cheered wildly. Extending their hands to shake or even a high-five. At the same time, greeted “Happy New Year!”

We were too involved with the spectators as they snap photos of us. So engrossed however, that we ended up far behind from the previous contingent. Fortunately, we have our minder, Richard to deal that out by pushing us to move on as the parade rolls towards the end. Well, what can I say? Once the cameras were aiming at you, and people started cheering like as though you are their number one biggest fan, you simply just can’t resist the moment 😉

Chingay 09 Chingay 09 Chingay 09 Chingay 09 Chingay 09

Not to mention, heard that a kid started crying upon seeing “Lt Commander Worf” =D And of course, I do had my fun “assimilating” people along the way =D

The Padang ends. Now proceeding along Raffles Ave, where there will be more crowd awaits. It just seems unstoppable. The parade appeared more dazzling than ever at this time of the night. We had pulled out the strings and let loose of the excitement that was unforgettable!

We soon reached the end of the line where it was at the junction of Tamasek Ave and Raffles Boulevard. The ushers were there to guide us back to our buses, even despite the huge crowd. Surprisingly, one of the ushers happened to be a trekkie member of ours, named Johnathan. Its been quite a while seen we’ve last saw him. I only met him twice so far, with the last time somewhere in August last year.

We managed to found our bus that we had taken previously, and were soon on our way back to HQ.

Finally! The preview’s all done. The first one is a success to all! We congratulate ourselves in doing an excellent job entertaining the crowd. Well done, Singapore Trekkies!

Man! We are entirely worn out, do we? =D We’ve reached the HQ at a quarter before 2230hrs. We clean ourselves up, had our dinner which was been provided, before embark on a quest for home.

One more day to go! All ready for the actual day of Chingay =D

Stardate: 62583.4
(Jan 31th, 2009)
Day: Saturday

The Actual Day

It was like a runway ready road for us. You can already smell the excitement even before the action takes place right at the heart of town. And there we were, all gear up for the big day’s event!

And that day, our contingent was in full force. Benedict, Vera and Stephanie were present. Unfortunately, Fatimah couldn’t make it for that day as well….=( Well, what to do if you were been caught up in something else. Wish she was there though…

Furthermore, two more members will be joining us. Ultimately, they were also members of the local Star Wars fanclub, that works under the organization known as Movie Mania. They are involved in organizing costume club, fantasy roleplaying, fan film-making, movie reviews like Star Wars, Predator, Ironman, Batman, Hellboy; you named it. All the best movies that has ever appeared on the big screen. And our local Star Trek happens to be one of their alliance =D

Belvick Lee a.k.a Reno who was the Talent Scout in-charge of Movie Mania, and together with one of his members were been invited to beam over. And on that day, me, as the Borg-assimilated Starfleet officer will have a competitor.

As promise by James, there will be a full Borg Drone joining in the event. And this is the first time ever, and will be a massive great eye-opener for many Star Trek fans out there, if there’s gonna be a handful of them coming for the Chingay. Reno shall be the Borg Drone. He had constructed a Borg outfit taken from a Batman suit, and had chunk all sorts of accessories and spare parts he could find that was useful enough for the suit. Much like the actual Borg seen in the shows. Unlike mine, which was only half-mask, Reno’s was a full-mask, like many of the characters here available. Reno’s friend on the other hand, will dress up as Captain James T.Kirk where he had wore the Starfleet uniform which was a red and white tunic been first seen in the 2nd Star Trek movie.

Full Borg Drone

Man! He does appeared more scary as a full Borg Drone. You can considered mine, as a Starfleet officer just happened to be assimilated. That’s why I’m still in my uniform =)

What impressed me the most was the Borg arm. As according to Reno, this is the simplest one he had constructed. He had attached some tubes, as well as some sort of a claw which was literally a child’s toy, which can be found at any toys department. From inside the arm, there’s a level, where it was part of the claw. With your hand inside the arm, you can pressed and released the level. This causes the claw to open and close. Like the pincer of a crab. While Reno was busy eating his lunch that was been provided, I started putting it on and kept playing with the lever. The claw went snapping open and close. It wasn’t long before I realized that I was totally engrossed with it!

Me with the Borg arm. Now I looked even more daring! =D

Locutus of Borg

Cool toy, I’ll say. Must get me one of those.

Moments later, announcement was made that it was time to leave the HQ and to proceed towards the Padang. Before that, a group photo was taken.

Full Force
Here we are! Once again, facing the excited spectators that awaits the action that has yet to unfold. The actual day will be a sight to behold. Now we have a full Borg Drone with us, the attention we get was thrilling than ever! =D

Then, another longggggggggg wait like the day before. While doing that, most of us stands near the fences where snap shots after another were taken from the public. Well, talk about another day down the stretch of Walk of Fame!

Moments later, the sky turns dark. The floats were lighted up. Another moment to spare, before the fireworks rocketed into the night sky. The crowd at the grandstand, as well as we participants roared with much enthusiasm. The excitement had started rolling in. Each contingents began to form up in their rows. One looked at our Borg Drone, and you will be amazed as not only by the suit. Reno even add in some lights to it. Very much like the actual Borg. Indeed, one hell of a cybernecic creature…=o

Full Borg Drone

The music blast! The parade was in motion. Once again, hearing the crows roared and seeing the streamers and confetti been launched were just truly spectacular. Cameras flashes! From all directions! Then, what we thought could never have happened, come alive! The announcement made by the Dj came loud and clear. It was never been mentioned during the preview. Now on live, it seem significantly heart pounding!

“Ladies and gentleman! Here they are, fans of the Singapore Star Trek!!”

Unbelievable! The crowd roared were like a tide wave of tsunami. You can heard many of them shouting “Star Trek!” And no, we are not dreaming it =D After all that from several members of public thought we are Star Wars characters; at least the Dj’s got it right =)

We followed the same route taken. More cameras flashes. More pose taken. More greetings were taken. The excitement were just never ending. Once again, too engrossed with the public that our minder for that day, trekkie Hee Seng has to push us to kept on moving =) Everywhere you see, everywhere you turned, the spectators went wild. Calling you out. The children, especially them, were ever so delighted by the colourful lighrs and dances.

And of course, speaking of children, I ended up making one of them cry. Well, its not my fault anyway. He just happened to look at my hideous appearance before crying out for Mommy… Looks to me I’m the next one after James had gotten a kid cried the day before.

We soon reached the end of the line. This is where the contingents were crammed near to the junction. On top of that, the bus we had taken earlier seems nowhere in sight. So we wait, watching each of the few buses filled with the contingents moving off. Minutes later, few empty buses starts rolling in. We rushed towards one of them; and only to find out from the bus driver that his bus has been reserved for a primary school students who were taking part in the event.

Oh crap! Talk about settling down on the seat and to feel the aircon cool you down. Then only seconds later, it came true, as one of the ushers were yelling out: “Star Trek! Star Trek! Your bus is here!” Like as though grabbing a million dollar jackpot, we rushed for it!

Finally! Paradise at last!

We were soon on our way back to HQ.

We reached there near half an hour. It surprised me though, that it actually ends here. The excitement, the laughter, the crowd roared still rang in my ears. All of us had did a pretty good job out there. We congratulate each other for the success of it all. And I wished the rest of us would be here, especially Fatimah. It would have been better if our contingent were in the actual full force =)

Also, like to say our thanks to both our minders, trekkie Richard and Hee Seng. You guys had done a great job (seriously) in taking photos as well as urging us to move on as  not to be left behind while in the parade. Couldn’t have done it without you guys! =D

All of us return home with a happy smile all the way. And I’m sure the forum would be flooded with comments about the event =) It was all worth it, and really held a momentous time for us to remember. Once again, a success to all of us! We’ve made Gene Roddenberry proud!

=D

I”ve taken the liberty to set up photos of the characters involved. Pictures were taken, and compliments from both Richard and Hee Seng. Thanks guys! =D

JarJar as Captain Archer
“You talking to me? And where the hell is T’pol!?”

CptJamesCptJames as Lt Cmdr La Forge
“A warp core breach? Nahh…maybe later. I got some chicks who need my cool look.” =D

Dr EMHDr EMH as Lt Cmdr Worf
“Its a good day to……..enjoy!”

captainphoton24Cptphoton24 as Borg-Assimilated Starfleet officer (That’s me)
“I’m Locutus of Borg. Resistance has always been, and will be, Futile!”

BryanBryan as both Commander Chakotay and Lt Cmdr Data
“Had a tattoo on for one day, and being an Android for another day. Yeah, that’s me!” =D

VeraVera as Seven-of-Nine
Oooooo…la..la..=D

SuperstarSuperstar as Neelix
“In the end, I prefer Neelix. Cause I can cook!” =D

SharkieSharkie as both a Vulcan and Commander Chakotay (Only picture found…)
“Oh man! My pointed ears had shrunk! And now, I even had a tattoo!”

KelowanaSoverignKelowanaSovereign
“Three-In-One. Instant me!”

RobinRobin as Ferengi
“You kidding me? I ain’t Quark!”

StephanieStephanie as both Neelix and a hybrid species between Vulcan and Bajoran (Sorry about the blur picture, as this is the only one I can find…)
“Come to think of it, I looked more dashing as a Bajoran) =D

RenoReno as Full Borg Drone
“Don’t come near me, cause I’m now well adapted! If not, you will ended up like Cptphoton24!”

James KirkReno’s friend as Capt James Kirk (Don’t know his name…)
“Captain’s log, Stardate 67334.5. Today, will be the…oh, why should I bothered?” =D

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Comments
  1. Kevin aka Nova07 says:

    Hey bro nice work here on the Chingay Parade write up. Go study mass comm and you can be a journalist soon.

  2. Md.Ariffin says:

    Thanks buddy. Hmm…study mass comm… Well, come to think of it, I rather go for a freelance writer. Haha! =D

  3. Gary Barclay says:

    Greetings and salutations,

    I your site is fascinating.

    Live long and prosper!
    CAPT Gary Barclay Chief Security Officer USS Endeavour @ http://www.ussendeavour.net
    Starbase 06 CO @ sb06.starfleet-command.com
    Starfleet Command Q1 Deputy Chief Of Public Affairs @ http://www.starfleet-command.com
    http://www.myspace.com/garyfitness

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