Thursday, 5 September 2013

ACES GO PLACES


To quote a Chinese proverb, "gold cannot be pure, and people cannot be perfect" (金无赤足,人无完人). However, that does not mean we could not strive for excellence in pursuit of perfection. Coined in the 1950s by cardiologists Dr. Meyer Friedman and Dr. Ray Rosenman, the term "perfectionism" is defined as a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands flawlessness or the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence and rejects anything less.
 
Notable perfectionists include recent Video Music Awards 2013’s “Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award” winner Justin Timberlake, renowned celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, and the iconic “Muscles from Brussels” Jean Claude Van Damme.

Former boy-band pop sensation turned award-winning music soloist Timberlake admits, "I'm a perfectionist. I can't help it. I get really upset with myself if I fail in the least."

As for the habitually cussing chef-presenter of popular culinary shows “Hell's Kitchen”, “Kitchen Nightmares” and “MasterChef”, Ramsay once opined that like him, every chef across the world is bound to have a side that is driven, a self-confessed perfectionist, thoroughbred and hates incompetence.

Then there is JCVD, the action superstar who hails from Belgium, who revealed in a personal interview, “I studied from age 12 under European karate pioneer Claude Goetz, who is a perfectionist, and that in turn caused me to be a perfectionist. I am very fussy about movements, position, and the realism of action moves, sometimes to the chagrin or I hope appreciation of a director.”

Overtly demanding and self-critical they might be, but perhaps that was exactly how they perfected their craft, conquered their competition and rose to the top in their respective music, culinary and cinematic empires. And now, joining this elite group of super-achievers is 21 year old Manhunt Singapore 2013 finalist Huang Zhong Xi.

If you ever presumed this strapping hunk to be all brawns and no brains, you could not be more wrong. Not only did he achieve an outstanding score of 239 for his PSLE, he also went on to attain a 4 point aggregate for his GCE `O' Levels L1R5 inclusive of CCA bonus, as well as aced the GCE `A' Levels with straight As for his four H2 and Chinese, guaranteeing him a place in Nanyang Technological University (NTU)'s Bachelor of Accountancy degree program.

Not limited to academics alone, Zhong Xi's quest for excellence further extends to his physical and sporty side as well. His passion for the sport of table-tennis shone through as he proudly represented his schools in tournaments from primary to tertiary level. His efforts and dedication did not go unrewarded. As an individual player in primary school, he had the honour of placing Top 8 at National levels, while his later years of playing for his secondary and junior college school teams had him consistently placed within Top 4 at inter-school levels.

Staying true to his personal mantra that "perfectionism is doing the best in everything you do, never settling for anything less than perfect and keep at it until achieving perfection, regardless of the sacrifices needed", the 1.78m freelance model believes joining the prestigious Manhunt Singapore competition would enrich him with the necessary experience and exposure to help propel his progress in the modelling industry.

Perfectionists might not always perform extraordinary feats, but they do always excel in setting exceptionally high goals for themselves, and often meet or even surpass these goals extraordinarily well. Such is the mindset of Zhong Xi, who truly believes that nothing is impossible, as long as you have the determination, drive and are willing to do whatever it takes to make the impossible possible.

Whether be it hitting the books hard for his university accountacy studies, going all out to scale greater heights in his modeling ambitions, or pumping hard at the gym to maintain his 70kg muscular physique and impressive six pack abs, Zhong Xi is a fighter in life who settles for nothing but the best in all areas. Of course, this would include his current endeavours to secure a win in Manhunt Singapore 2013. If he succeeds in doing so, now that would truly be perfection.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

THE AGE OF INNOCENCE


No matter if it is the latest electronic gadgets or games, freshest fashion trends or debuting stars or shows in the entertainment world, there is just an inexplicable innate desire within most of us that draws us to novelty, much like a moths to a flame. Particularly in the fickle-minded world of fashion and show business, where one day you're in and the next day you're out, and fame and fortune often favours the youth, innocence has never been more beguilingly seductive and addictively refreshing.

Furthermore, who could resist a great rags to riches success story? Witnessing the blood, sweat and tears that newcomers goes through in their struggles to emerge victorious endears us all the more to root for and be inspired by them. It is no wonder that audiences worldwide are enthralled by reality competitions, charting the rise of undiscovered talents by the likes of breakthrough pop idols, budding chefs, aspiring dancers, and next top models, amongst other professions. But perhaps the best form of flattery comes via prestigious awards such as Best Newcomer, Best New Artist, or Breakout Performance, annually conferred by the best of the best, such as the Grammy Awards, Golden Horse Awards, Hong Kong Film Awards and even our local Star Awards, in recognition and celebration of standout achievements by our next generation of talents.

Hoping to outshine the competition, 20 year old Manhunt Singapore 2013 finalist Jason Tan, who towers at 1.86m, is already turning heads with his boyish charms, idol good looks, flawless complexion and 75kg Adonis physique. Having made his head start in the modelling scene early this year, the ambitious, up-and-coming model cites Sean O'Pry and Godfrey Gao as his personal inspirations.

O'Pry, an American male model who was scouted when he was 17 years old from his prom photos on MySpace by Runway Magazine fashion director Nolé Marin, was the face of Calvin Klein for several seasons, GQ's Man of the Season in 2007 and Forbes' World's Most Successful Male Model in 2009. He has also been featured in numerous advertising campaigns, editorials and runway shows for renowned brands including Giorgio Armani, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, H&M, Emporio Armani, DKNY, Yves Saint Laurent, Salvatore Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Michael Kors, and Hermès.

On the other hand, Jason's other idol, Taiwanese-Canadian model and actor Godfrey had been playing basketball at Vancouver's Capilano University, and harbouring hopes of becoming a professional basketball player, when he was spotted by a talent agent on one of his summer trips home to Taiwan. Following his Mum's advice, Godfrey decided that this opportunity for acting only comes knocking once, hence he decided he had to take it, and so began his road to stardom. Since then, his impressive portfolio has expanded significantly, being the first Asian male to star in Louis Vuitton ad campaigns, the spokesperson of SK-II Men skin care products, Taiwanese idol drama leading man and now, newest Hollywood breakout star of “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones"!

Dazzled by the illustrious careers of his two idols, Jason too aspires to make a name for himself in the world of fashion and modelling. Like Godfrey, Jason may be reserved and shy during interviews, but make no mistake, still waters do run deep. Despite being relatively new to the industry, this Diploma in Business Process and System Engineering student from Temasek Polytechnic strongly believes that his tender age will prove to be an advantage to him, as being the greenhorn amongst veterans would only drive his desire to learn and explore more, paving his way to bigger and more opportunities ahead.

Already making head waves in the Manhunt Singapore competition this year, Jason's ascension onto the pageantry stage could very well be the launching pad that would propel this rookie towards becoming the very next king of the catwalk and the handsome face that launches a thousand magazine covers.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME


Spearheaded by the 2010 movie sequel “Tron: Legacy”, many sci-fi films struck box-office gold following the reinvention and revoluntionalization of their predecessor film classics. With stunning visual effects and hunky male leads, these new blockbusters infused new energy, style and sexiness in the game genre .Competitive gaming that was once exclusive to nerdy geeks has since become the pet obsession of many gym-fit guys too!

PSB Academy Diploma in Sports and Exercise Sciences student, freelance model, and Manhunt Singapore 2013 finalist, Kendrick Lim too has another face as an avid gamer. At first glance, who would have guessed this 1.82m lanky lad, with his 78kg bronzed body would be such a big fan of electronic games as plentiful as "Defense of the Ancients" (DotA), "Counter Strike", "Football Manager", "FIFA", "Grand Theft Auto" and "Ninja Gaiden”!

He identifies himself with Ryu Hayabusa, the cool ninja protagonist from the game: "Ninja Gaiden" as he feels he exuberates the grace, integrity, honour as well as a tinge of menace when provoked. Believe it or not, when it comes to life lessons, this gaming enthusiast even has his own game-inspired philosophy! Just as communication and teamwork are keys to success in any gameplay, these are also the two top qualities that that Kendrick values most in life too.

Only with honest expression of thoughts can conflicts and confusion be reduced and bonds be strengthened. No man is an island, thus by working as a team, greater things can be achieved. It is this mantra that kept him strong through the adversities he faced in the recent course of the competition. And with the support of his brotherhood of fellow finalists, Kendrick is set to soar to higher levels in the pageantry.

Congratulations on making it as a finalist on Manhunt Singapore 2013! What was your first reaction when you found out the good news?
Before the shortlist, I was actually asked to go for an interview to meet the organizers and share with them what were my aspirations and why I wanted to join the competition and during the interview, they told me I had a good chance of getting in as a finalist. So when I received the phone call to inform me that I got in as a finalist, it ended up not being that big of a surprise, not that I’m cocky or anything. Ha, ha, ha…

What inspired you to take part in Manhunt Singapore this year? Do you have any friends from this year's or past years' competition?
I already did have intentions of joining the competition earlier on this year. But due to being rather busy and slightly neglected my workouts at the gym at that time, I was quite hesitant in taking part as I felt I was not in tip top condition to do so. But with the encouragement of one of my personal friends, and seeing that I also had friends (Huang Zhong Xi and Koh Ben Kiong) in the competition to keep me company, I decided to go for it.

As for friends from past years’ competitions, I know last year’s top three finalists, Jason Chee, Faiz Arifin and Jonah Goh personally. Beyond that, I don’t really recall any of my other friends being in earlier years of the competition.

What do you hope to achieve through your journey on Manhunt Singapore?
I think it would be a good experience to improve my confidence and pick up tips on better public speaking, as well as get an idea of where I stand amongst the 15 finalists in this year’s competition. Also, if things work out, it might be a good opportunity to get into showbiz and try some acting too.

Besides Manhunt Singapore 2013, have you any other claims to fame?
I was amongst the batch of finalists in the very first 8 Days Shirtless Guy Search competition back in 2011, alongside past year Manhunt competitors like Darren Stephen Lim, Faiz Arifin, Jonah Goh, Kasbani, Koh Bin, Richmond Ang and Syakir Rusydi. That was my very first pageant and a really fun experience. Everyone was really there to just have a great time, and enjoy themselves. So it was more of a casual nature and the competitiveness was not as serious as it is in an official pageant like Manhunt Singapore.

In your opinion, what qualities do you think a Manhunt Singapore winner should possess as a positive male role model? And do you think you have these qualities?
Good looks would be a plus, but more importantly, a good sense of humour and down to earth qualities. In terms of looks, I think I’m a pretty average looking guy, and yes, I do think I’m quite a humorous and down to earth person.

When did you first started getting interested in fitness and could you describe your fitness journey so far?
Probably back when I was in Secondary 3, when I started working out in the gym with my friends. But initially we were not really serious, just trying out the equipment and weights here and there. I was actually more into sports, playing soccer and being in the track and field Unity Secondary School team, representing in the 100m and 200m sprint categories. My personal motivation for getting more invested in personal fitness was because as a very skinny and lanky kid, I didn’t like seeing myself being so small-sized next to the big guys around. So I figured why not start building up my physique, since I’d look better and it’d help boost my self-confidence too. That was when I started doing research via books, online references and even Youtube videos, as well as approaching my friends for advice and training tips. Fitness to me is a means to an ends in a never-ending cycle. So now that I’ve gotten this far in my fitness journey, I am also interested in imparting my skills and knowledge to help others achieve their fitness goals too, which is why I am now pursuing my current course in Sports Science. Perhaps I’ll become a personal trainer celebrity? That’d be an interesting goal to achieve.

Having achieved your current state of physical fitness, does it bother you if you see your family or friends who may not be as physically fit and eating unhealthily or not exercising?
Actually my bunch of personal friends doesn’t really pay that much attention to their personal diet, and neither do I to be honest. After all, we are living in Singapore and constantly surrounded by great tasting food. But I think we still do ok, and make decent food choices when we eat out.

Besides working out in the gym, what would you say are some of your other hobbies or talents?
Fortnightly soccer games with friends, electronic gaming and cooking would take up most of the rest of my time besides school, work and the gym. I do mess around the kitchen, cooking up quite a few dishes, but I’m not sure whether it’s quite up to the standards of being edible or not, since there’s been no other food test subjects besides me. On the bright side though, at least I’m still alive and kicking after eating what I’ve cooked for myself so far right? Ha, ha, ha...

How strict are you when it comes to your personal diet? What would you say are some of your "weaknesses" when it comes to sinful food cravings?
I try to refrain from fried stuff and I abstain from soft drinks, but I do indulge myself once in a while. Local favourites like chilli crab, black pepper crab, laksa, chicken rice, as well as Thai cuisine, are just a couple of my favourite foods.

Which music artist or bands and songs would you regard as your personal favourites?
I listen to quite a variety of music actually, so no personal favourite artists so far. But I’d say that out of all the various music genres, I do tend to favour trance more than the rest. As for my playlists, they’re mostly one-hour mixes by the likes of Dash Berlin and Hardwell.

What kind of movies or TV shows do you enjoy?
I’m quite a fan of zombie shows, since I do like the violence and gore portrayed onscreen, so naturally I’m a fan of “The Walking Dead”. I also enjoyed the period gladiator drama “Spartacus”. Mostly typical shows that guys like, I suppose.

If you were granted a wish to swap bodies, brains or lives with any famous personality or celebrity for a day, who would it be and why?
Give me a day in the shoes of the world’s best soccer player in my opinion – Cristiano Ronaldo. It’d be awesome just to spend the day living as a professional Real Madrid soccer player, and I’d take the opportunity to visit Bernabéu Stadium and play a match there!

In your life thus far, what would you say was the biggest or toughest obstacle or challenge you have faced? How did you overcome this obstacle and how would you say this experience affected you?
My family and I went through a really rough patch back in my teenage years, when my Dad’s business closed down due to conflicts with his business partner. Seeing him struggle with unemployment, and our family having to scrimp and save as a result of our financial situation, it really affected me emotionally. I was 16 and taking my GCE `O’ Levels at that time, so it could not have been a more stressful situation! We really leaned on each other for emotional support, stuck together and moved forward facing all the hardships as a family. It was then that I realized how important my family is to me.

Being that you're an attractive guy, you must have your fair share of fans. How comfortable are you having not only female fans but male fans as well? Have you had any interesting fan encounters so far?
Honestly speaking, I’m quite all right with having both male and female fans. And with the exception of a few overly intrusive messages and requests, most of my supporters are actually very friendly, encouraging and respectful of my personal boundaries, which I’m very appreciative of.

As seen on the "Next Top Model" reality series, there seem to be an unspoken expectation that models, both male and female, should be willing to accept the challenge of baring themselves in photoshoots in the spirit of professionalism. How far would you say your personal limits are when it comes to nudity on a commerical or artistic photoshoot? Or onscreen if you go into acting?
In my opinion, the general public here in Singapore is still rather conservative and probably would not be that receptive to such photography in the short run, as artistic as the photos may turn out to be. People might even dismiss or put you down for accepting artistic nude photography as a seedy attempt to further your career, which can be pretty damaging to your reputation. Moreover, I have to consider the feelings of my parents as well. As open-minded as they are, I don’t think they’d be very pleased if I were to expose myself to such a degree on such photo shoots. But should these personal reservations of mine not exist, I’d still only give my nod if it was done by a renowned photographer.

There have been many male and female models and beauty pageant contestants who have gone on to become stars in the acting world both locally and internationally. In your personal opinion, do you think models without proper acting training should take the brave leap into acting based on just their good looks?
Life is after all, a never-ending journey of continuous learning. Nobody starts off having all the expertise and knowledge already. Besides, everybody loves watching gorgeous people onscreen. So if you’ve got the looks and there is an opportunity to enter into showbiz, why not grab hold of it? You can always adapt and pick up pointers from more experienced thespians while you’re on the job.

Many attractive male celebrities often challenge themselves to gain or lose a drastic amount of weight or even "uglify" themselves to prove they have more than just good looks and physique to succeed in the entertainment industry. If you were to venture into acting, how necessary do you think and how willing will you be to sacrifice your personal physique (which you've evidently trained hard to achieve) and/or appearance for credibility?
I wouldn’t mind challenging myself to do so for the sake of fully immersing myself into a role, like how Christian Bale pushed himself to the extremes in “The Machinist” and the “Batman” film series. It shows the level of commitment you have towards your craft, and prove that you’ve got real talent, rather than being just another pretty face in the industry. Such efforts are usually not in vain, as film audiences tend to be extremely supportive and appreciative of actors and actresses who go the extra mile in doing this for their films.

Could you share with us a lesser-known fact that most others would not have known about you?
You might consider me as a “semi-Twihard”, since I’ve finished reading the entire “Twilight” novel series and quite enjoyed it surprisingly! However, I’m not a fan of the film adaptations. I saw the first film and thought that it was not that great an adaptation, so I didn’t bother catching the rest of the film series.

And on an ending note, what would you like to say to your fans for their support of you?
To all my fans, thank you for supporting me! I’ll definitely do my best and with any luck, hopefully go far in this competition. Wish me luck!

Photos Credit:
Beam Artistes Pte Ltd (www.beam.com.sg),
Photography by Barry Seah Photography
PPi :: Print | Photography | Ideas
(http://ppideas.wix.com/ppideas
https://www.facebook.com/barry.seahphotography)
The Makeover Inc.
(http://www.themakeoverinc.com.sg/index.htm
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Makeover-Inc/145085108885779),
and Kendrick’s Personal Photos

SKY'S THE LIMIT


Not all occupations are created equal. When it comes to sex appeal, nothing quite oozes the sizzling sensuality as that of professional men and women decked out in smart, pristine uniforms. From the crisp, white coats of doctors and nurses, form-fitting navy blues of police officers, rugged neon jackets of fire-fighters, to the masculine fatigues of the armed forces, it's easy to see why these uniformed individuals often ranked tops when it comes to the masses' pick of the sexiest jobs across the industries.

Of course though, no list of sexiest careers would be complete without its cream of the crop. And that would be none other than our friendly ambassadors of the skies. That's right. It certainly would not be as pleasant an experience, if there were no flight attendants to brighten our days and nights on our long, dreary flights.

Over the decades, the aviation industry may have gradually evolved with the changing times, but one thing remained constant. Unwavering from its public perception, air stewards and stewardesses, have always been the epitome of well-groomed, good looking and fit-bodied individuals, regardless of their airline companies. Not surprisingly, many who hail from this elite fleet have even gone on to achieve great successes in their crossover careers in the fashion and entertainment industries. And now, 32 year old Scoot Airlines flight attendant Kleve Tan might be the next big thing to look out for, as he makes his debut as a finalist of Senior Manhunt Singapore 2013.

With his sincere smile, neatly coifed hairdo, suave looks and lean physique, who would have thought that barely less than eight years ago, this 1.74m 65kg cabin crew cutie used to be a roly-poly plus-sizer! Armed with the eager ambition to be shortlisted for his airline application, it took the then 24 year old youngster a mere two months to achieve his desired weight reduction goal. No fad diets, no miracle pills, it was purely through sheer determination, strict dieting and rigorous exercise that propelled Kleve to his amazing loss of an astounding 13kgs!

As impressive as his physical transformation may be, the revelation that this trolley dandy is also a published local best-selling author proved to be even more jaw-dropping! Capitalizing on his passion for writing and horror stories, Kleve's first and only supernatural publication "Whispers from the Galley" hit the shelves back in 2007 to a resounding success, selling out of print in no time at all!

Fun, friendly, easy-going, honest, reliable, smart, cool, different, cheeky, quirky, daring, refreshing and most of all, memorable. These might be the defining Scootitude qualities of the one-of-a-kind Scoot Experience. But they too aptly describe the winning qualities of the multi-faceted Kleve Tan. As the saying goes, extend your reach if you want to be legendary. And the possibilities are limitless for this Senior Manhunt contender as he reaches for the skies.

Photos Credit:
Beam Artistes Pte Ltd (www.beam.com.sg),
Photography by Barry Seah Photography
PPi :: Print | Photography | Ideas
(http://ppideas.wix.com/ppideas
https://www.facebook.com/barry.seahphotography)
The Makeover Inc.
(http://www.themakeoverinc.com.sg/index.htm
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Makeover-Inc/145085108885779)

AGAINST ALL ODDS


Life isn't always smooth sailing or a bed of roses. To quote the classic film "Forrest Gump", it is more like a box of chocolates, whereby you never know what you're gonna get. And the true test of a man's character comes when in the face of adversity, whether would he crumble under the surmounting pressures and negativity, or channel his inner strength and motivation to emerge triumphant. Where there's a will, there's always a way. And Senior Manhunt finalists Dylan Huan and Rajesh Ramalingam are living proof of that age old saying.

Unbeknownst to most, it was a harrowing tragedy that got the 35 year old personal trainer Dylan started on his road to muscled glory. It was nearly two decades ago when the then scrawny 1.71m 55kg schoolboy was walking along the street with a buddy, when they were savagely attacked by a group of four menacing gangsters for no apparent reason! While his friend narrowly managed to escape, Dylan unfortunately got pinned under a tree by one of the ruffians, and viciously kicked in the eye, which had barely healed from a sports injury at the time.

As it turned out later, it was a case of mistaken identity. However, that was of no comfort to his family or Dylan, whose multiple injuries landed him in the hospital, where he had to undergo serious eye surgery and thereafter, a recuperation period that spanned 3 months! Upon his recovery, Dylan returned to school, resolved to no longer be the victimized skinny kid. Adopting a stringent diet of oatmeal thrice a day, together with an intensive gym regiment, he soon bulked up 30kgs of hard-earned muscles, becoming one of the biggest and strongest kids on the schoolyard! Finally, his days of being intimidated and bullied by street thugs were a thing of the past.

Meanwhile, those growing up years had not been without its fair share of hard knocks as well for 31 year old, 1.83m, 78kg public servant and freelance model Rajesh. Having missed the mark with his GCE `O’ Level academic scores back in 1999, not only did this setback not get him down, but instead, it spurred him on with the determination to do whatever it takes to earn his way into university against all odds.

Taking his first step towards success, Rajesh made the best out of his situation then by enrolling into ITE (Institute of Technical Education) Bishan. His good grades in his Certificate in Business Studies (Accounting) thereafter earned him a coveted spot in Singapore Polytechnic’s Business School, where he then continued his academic journey towards a Diploma in Business Administration. Unwavering in his intent on fulfilling his dream, Rajesh went on to ace the cohort, making it to the top 5% with his tertiary grades, and finally realizing his wish of being accepted into and graduating from the Bachelor in Business Administration program at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Whether be it physical transformation or academic excellence, these two Senior Manhunt finalists have shown that as long as you dedicate your heart and mind into your pursuits, there is nothing you cannot achieve. And it is with this mantra that they enter Senior Manhunt Singapore 2013, with personal aspirations to succeed in yet another breakthrough in their lives, creating their indelible mark in the world of pageantry.

Photos Credit:
Beam Artistes Pte Ltd (www.beam.com.sg),
Photography by Barry Seah Photography
PPi :: Print | Photography | Ideas
(http://ppideas.wix.com/ppideas
https://www.facebook.com/barry.seahphotography)
The Makeover Inc.
(http://www.themakeoverinc.com.sg/index.htm
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Makeover-Inc/145085108885779)

CATS AND DOGS


True beauty is often more than meets the eye. Admittedly, gorgeous features, flawless complexion and a jaw-dropping physique might grab your attention at first sight, but what truly counts lies beneath outer aesthetics. Filial piety, respect, compassion, loyalty, integrity and resilience are some stellar examples of what sets a good looking person apart from someone who exudes beauty from the inside out. That probably explain why there's something undescribably sexy and appealing about guys who loves animals.

Volumes could be spoken about the kind and sensitive nature of men who shows concern, patience and love to their pets. Furthermore, similarly to fatherhood, it shows a sense of maturity when a pet lover readily accepts responsibility of being the homemaker and caregiver to his precious little furry pals. Thus, when it comes to hunks with heart, there could be no comparison to fellow pet owners and Senior Manhunt finalists Andy Chng and Armand Rafi Hassan.

Returning Manhunt finalist Andy, a 44 year old 1.78m, 76kg recruitment professional & consultant in luxury fashion & retail, still experiences pangs of heartache when he reminisces about his recently departed pet dog, Art.

It was sixteen years ago in 1997 when the two first met. Invited by a close friend to purchase and adopt a puppy, Andy originally chose Art's sibling from the litter of puppies. However, as he was about to pull out of the driveway, through his side mirror he caught sight of a pale shadow of a puppy, crawling just by the side of his car. Getting out of his car, he picked up the cute little puppy and as fate would have it, Andy decided instead that this would be the puppy he wanted as his pet.

A masterpiece in his eyes, Andy settled upon the name "Art", and that marked the beginning of a beautiful friendship between him and man's best friend. Through the love and care reciprocated between owner and pet through the years that followed, Art opened Andy's eyes to the discovery that animals too shared the same world of emotions as human beings do. A playmate when he's happy and a soulmate during his darkest hours, in spite of life's rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, its only constant was the loyal and steadfast companionship of Art by Andy's side.

Sadly, Art suffered a ruptured tumour, a complication resulting from a fall soon after being diagnosed with abdominal cancer and passed away earlier this year. "Love knows not its depth until the hour of separation". Quoting Kahlil Gibran the Prophet, Andy relates that life without Art has been very different and difficult. Although he admits that there is still a sense that Art is always around him, it is heartbreaking returning home each day and missing the joyful sight of a wagging tail and affectionate leaps of joy. "This lifetime will not be enough to forget the companionship and love that Art had given me for the past 16 years."

As life lowers the curtain on one lifelong friendship, another one begins its blossom. Coincidentally, like Art and Andy, local breed tabby cat Edward was not Rafi's first choice when he picked his pet at the Cat Welfare Society adoption drive earlier this year.

His original choice, another cat, had turned out to be cold, distant and rather unresponsive towards him at initial contact. Instead, it was Edward who reacted extremely excitedly at his first sight of Rafi, so much so that it astonished even the cat fosterer! Cradling him in his arms, like a new-born baby, Rafi knew instinctively that without a doubt this was the pet for him.

Since then, with this new addition to the family, much joy and laughter has been shared within the household. "It's pretty amazing how he can read me and my moods so well. He actually knows when I'm feeling down or when I'm happy. And when I'm sick, he even comforts me by lying on my chest. That is the kind of unconditional love I get from him," describes the 40 year old, 1.8m, 76kg Dynasty Travel supervisor. Such is the devotion that the affectionate feline displays towards his owner. Sticking by him through thick and thin, to Rafi, Edward is now more than just a pet or best friend. He is family.

Needless to say, when it comes to love and compassion, no one quite beats these two Senior Manhunt finalists, as evident from the commitment and care they shower upon their pets. But now for a change, it's time for our pet lovers to take their turn of being fussed over and groomed, before taking the spotlight and becoming the objects of attention of adoring fans everywhere.

Photos Credit:
Beam Artistes Pte Ltd (www.beam.com.sg),
Photography by Barry Seah Photography
PPi :: Print | Photography | Ideas
(http://ppideas.wix.com/ppideas
https://www.facebook.com/barry.seahphotography)
The Makeover Inc.
(http://www.themakeoverinc.com.sg/index.htm
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Makeover-Inc/145085108885779)

SON OF A PREACHER MAN


Anglo-Chinese School (ACS)ian Theatre actor, Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) Students' Council member, ACJC Basketball Team Player, Officer Cadet School (OCS) Cadet, National Service (NS) Army Lieutenant, as well as aspiring medical-student-and-doctor. That's a lot of feathers in one cap! And now, Manhunt Singapore 2013 finalist Francis Nathan adds yet another accolade to his already impressive list of achievements.

Touted as one of the hot favourites in this year's competition, the 1.75m, 64kg, 21 year old undergraduate impressed both fans and judges at Wave House Sentosa's pre-judging event, where he took home the title of "Most Sporty Award", sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger Fragrances.

Debonair good looks, six pack washboard abs, megawatt smile with adorable dimples, not only is this hunky dreamboat the perfect blend of both brains and brawn, he might even give Dr. McDreamy from "Grey's Anatomy" a run for his money! Sounds too perfect to be true? Just wait till you find out he is the son of a preacher, or should we say a demigod son of a man of God. Now that's divine!

Recounting memories of how his father rushed him to the hospital when he suffered fits as a child, and vigilantly monitored his health thereafter. Or how enthralled he was by the deeply enriching long sermons and long prayers he attended in church, with his father as preacher at its helm. It is evident that in spite of the typical occasional conflicts between father and son, Francis has and will always look upon his father with the deepest respect and affections.

Perhaps stemming from his religious family upbringing, this young kindred spirit also endeavours to be actively involved in community service in spite of his hectic school life. Whether be it as former "Hospital Bouncer" by night at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, or as current monthly volunteer by day at Alexandra Hospital and Toa Payoh Polyclinic, Francis believes nothing quite tops the priceless satisfaction and fulfilment for lending a helping hand to others in need.

Admirably, he intends to further this cause by using Manhunt Singapore as a platform to promote a spirit of volunteerism, encourage community work, and inspire his fellow Singaporeans to be more gracious and charitable to one another as a society.

Photos Credit:
Beam Artistes Pte Ltd (www.beam.com.sg),
Photography by Barry Seah Photography
PPi :: Print | Photography | Ideas
(http://ppideas.wix.com/ppideas
https://www.facebook.com/barry.seahphotography)
The Makeover Inc.
(http://www.themakeoverinc.com.sg/index.htm
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Makeover-Inc/145085108885779)