Call it a Superman task to bring the boys out of Singapore for a break as they always seem to have commitments with school or church that stop them from spending time in Malaysia even during the holiday period. This year as our second boy Shuan, now a Man at 21, got enlisted for the mandatory army training or National Service, even he could not leave the island with ease. This was due to the commitment to obey some rule from the government armed forces regulation during their time in National Service. While their Dad had turned Superman trying to be the Mother and Father of the boys without the ICA allowing him a long term stay visa, again following some govt policy or rule, little did anyone expect that he could turn also into a Batman as well haha. Here is the story :
Well some adults like Dad the KL city kid never grow up and is photographed at a hill top in the fringe of Kuala Lumpur city recently, playing Superman again! Mind you there were past deaths before this pic and another death reported after it on this seemingly treacherous trail where I guess a Superman would be needed.
So when the school holidays started in November month, Dad the KL city kid a.k.a. Superman grabbed the the two youngest boys for a holiday in KL and Kuantan in Malaysia
It was done only after getting to say good bye to the Monson family who have been helping with the boys a lot during their 2 year stay in Singapore, with a last photo shot together in the family Clementi Ward of the Church...
... as well as after visiting the boy's Mom at her memorial site, bringing her a new set of flowers, on occasion of the 1st Anniversary of her passing in Nov 2012.
In Kuala Lumpur, they got to eat the famous Ampang Yong Tau Foo again which is just near the home where they used to live and the occasion was shared in facebook too! Dad has expressed several times that he became a Superman due to the technology available today! Too bad Shuan couldn't join us due to his service in the Military of Singapore.
But he has had his turn to explore the natural beauty found in Malaysia with his Dad in other times as per the above photo taken in Mulu Caves, Sarawak
Besides enjoying nature, the boys in KL also got to meet up again with some members of Dad's family who have nurtured him when he was young such as his oldest brother....
... and Dad's 3rd brother in Kuantan where the two youngest boys had some fun in his home while he is a busy doctor at work night or day delivering babies!
It was good to see the boys enjoying the sea and waves in the beautiful beach in Teluk Cempedak...
...finding space to fling their Frisbee to each other
As one had a commitment in Church and the other for his school, it was a short trip as they had to rush back to Singapore for the weekend and the fastest way was to fly them back!
Dad continued his stay in Malaysia to visit first Penang island to continue his family history work and later crossed over to Medan Indonesia as well. This is where the Superman Dad climbed a volcanic mountain to the top seeking for inspiration not only to make breakthroughs for his family history work but also for his current family's work.
Dad the head of the family has always been advocating to follow the ways of the round O for Optimal Time planning for his family and especially for the remaining two youngest boys. The Objective was to round them up to be effective and capable adults one day as their two Older sisters and brothers are showing. It is about a balanced life where there is continuous learning, service to others, loving what you do especially when it is difficult, challenging yourself to do the best you can, realizing often that the best is yet to be and to have God's spirit to be guided by it always. When all the children were young in Malaysia , they would be asked by their Dad after being dropped off by car at their various school destinations, "... and what does Dad always say?" and they would repeat back "Always Work Hard and Play Hard, but don't just Work Hard but Work Smart!" The second part after the comma was added in later years to adapt to the modern times where Information Technology was becoming more accessible and useful to our daily lives.
A gap of time was found after Christmas when the family had great reunions together with all extended family members in Singapore to shoot off to Malaysia again
This time the destination was Gunung Senyum which is an area for cave exploration and abseiling.
Obviously in the cave, the Batman super hero lives again!
Here is Ray abseiling down a dark cave wall...
... and he lands safely to remove his safety harness
Here is Ern coming down the wall...
... and he lands safely too!
Ray's church friend Derrick did well too in the abseiling!
They also did well walking and crawling in the narrow tunnels in the caves :
This is Ray coming out...
...and their friend Derrick
They had a good leader to guide and teach them in the caves
Derrick's uncle David, an experienced explorer, was also a great help to the group
He helped to guide the team in the underwater caves
That's Ray enjoying the water and keeping his bag dry high above him!
David even helped to carry the bags for some of the women to keep them dry!
The 3 Batmen did very well indeed. Now where is Superman, Dad the KL City kid?
Well Dad received his Batman tee shirt like everyone else!
He was seen in the cave wearing it.
He is Superman...
.... and he is comfortable to be singled out from all the other Batmen!
Dad the KL City Kid explains that he is Batman in the dark as this super hero does better in the night time as the Dark Knight with a powerful mind that can make anything to solve any problem that requires intelligence. Superman on the other hand excels in daylight when his super strength as a 'Man of Steel' is often required to do things with super speed with the ability to fly! Sometimes he doesn't get much sleep at all being a Superman in the day and Batman at night but that is the life of all super heroes isn't it?
On further thinking, the Superman model was symbolic of what Dad was saying, "Always Work Hard and Play Hard" while Batman reminds us "but don't just Work Hard but Work Smart!"
(It is interesting to note that this blogpost title of Batman vs Superman was conceived out of imagination after the caves exploration trip to Gunung Senyum in Pahang. After coming to an end of my writing of this post, I just decided to do a quick google search on the title and was surprised to know that the movies makers are actually coming out with a film of this title but due to some problem announced recently(from 11 hrs to a day ago from writing this now!) that they are delaying the film to come out in 2016 instead of a year earlier! The above pic is from the google search in which a screen shot of the results in the pic below as evidence with the time stamp on it on the bottom right of the screen of my chrome browser!)
Fancy my good luck or is it inspiration from above?
Whether we worked or played hard enough or even smart enough, as Dad swung between being Superman and Batman to lead the family, may be judged looking at a summary of events of 'The Year that Was 2013'.
Click this link or the above pic to view the events of 2013 found at : www.familylane.info/photolinks