The Year of the Monkey 2016!

I am a multi-sensory person, I've used that term to describe myself as a Father yesterday and today a Grandfather. Yesterday I was a Management Consultant and today a Social Entrepreneur. If anything else, I must not forget that I have developed the passion to be a writer and video producer of anything and everything that comes to my senses, if I have the time to do it. Else it is just kept in the vast memory storage of my brain, more than the terabytes of my computer waiting to be shared when time is adequate and timing appropriate.

I am really born in the year of the dog, according to the Chinese almanac and have many attributes of the dog such as obedience, faithfulness and always Man's best friend! This Monkey year seems to give me the inspiration to think outside the box and so this blog post is perhaps about what I feel or sense is going on in my life and that of my family, loved ones and my many friends influenced by the Year of the Monkey.

I am really a 'Banana', being yellow outside and white inside which came about as I have biologically the pure gene of one with a Chinese heritage but my brain has been infused with Western Education and it's language that I comfortably write and speak in today. 

So my Monkey thoughts this new year are as follows :

What If... I launched Talklane this year which is a new media where I am not restrained by time needed for writing but use the ability of my mouth to deliver quickly what is in my brain on any topic which has enabled me to win trophies in my ITC Bintang Toastmasters club?

What If... I could harness the human resources of the world to collaborate in helping to change this world to become a better place for all irregardless of sex, race, religion or any economic status?

What If... I would complete and publish my first book this Monkey year entitled.... you guessed it, "What If...?"  Noooo if you thought that it would be entitled, "What If... I turned into a monkey!", you are wrong! Sorry to disappoint you but you have it half right to know it begins with "What if..." and the ending part can be decided when I finish my manuscript this year!

Enough of just words I've been typing for now. Let me add more pics and videos with my writings relevant to this year of the Monkey as seen with the Heart and Mind of a Banana and a bit of reflection in the year of the Goat.

Well, what has this pic got to do with the theme of this post one might wonder. For a start, you see me holding a banana. Well I had to grab it from one of these girls who were making monkey gestures with it before the self-timer snapped the photo. I won't tell you who. But this exercise of a pic shows you how fast my mind is linked to a word and a photo that I have in my archives. Now you understand why I say my brain has more terabytes of storage capacity than the computer?

The significance that I wanted to point out is not just the banana icon but that all these girls in the above pic except one were living together in a rented home in PJ that had monkeys breaking into their kitchen to help themselves with food inside their fridge! To make matters worse, one of the girls while walking outside their home on the road to the LRT transport station was chased by a human monkey on a motorbike trying to grab her bag! She escaped by jumping or scaling over the gate of one of the neighbor's home to seek for safety and the motorbike rider sped off.

So now you know, monkeys are found in Malaysia just like other parts of the world in the equatorial regions. But those monkeys where they are the human type we call trouble makers of society can really be found everywhere in the world I think.

Let's back up in time to the start of the Year of the Goat, 2015 where my caption of the photo below suggest staying youthful like a kid or child or can even mean staying humble like a child. 

Another meaning of kid is a young goat and thus symbolic with the word kid is one adept in climbing hills and mountains

Although mountain goats were introduced to Utah, their comfort with the craggy and wild rock formations natural to the state make them seem at home there. Mount Timpanogos is populated with thousands of them, who are so used to human tourists that you can get close before they disappear over a ridge. (Source : Matador Network )

Last year, in the year of the Goat, I made two significant trips. One was to the USA where I found myself on mountain tops like in Utah :

Later I was up high not on a mountain but on the view deck of the Space Needle in Seattle :

The other was to China where I traveled on the road through miles and miles of seemingly endless tunnels that went through and up the mountains of Guandong province where my Hakka ancestors lived.

This was in Songkou in the Meixian district deep inside the mainland where the tributaries from the mountains flow all the way down to the coastal area of China out to the South China sea.

Here in the photo below, I was up in the highlands about a couple of hours drive from the coastal city of Xiamen where the Hakkas build their 'Tulou' circular homes in the mountains :

Finding my ancestral village after 33 years since I got some trace of finding my ancestors from a book caused me to name the title of my spiritual blog covering this trip as "Give me this Mountain!"

My trip to the USA and China were significant for me from a business view point as well as philosophically. These two countries represent top leaders in the world's economy today and they are philosophically different. One is the American eagle that once flew unchallenged at impressive heights and is struggling to regain its position, on the other side of the globe is the once clumsy panda, well trained in martial arts and is now rising to take over.

Perhaps my 'Banana' upbringing had helped me glean the best of both worlds to have helped me in my accomplishments to date as recorded here. I got all the technology, leadership and marketing skills from the US (my tertiary education and religion from Australia) but having lived in Asia all my life immersed in Chinese, Malay and other Eastern cultures or philosophies, I created my own optimal way or OPTIONs to live happily and achieve optimally that is well covered in this familylane blog and other related blogs.

By the end of 2015, the pic below was posted in my facebook timeline :

The pic on the left was the hat I bought and wore around in my China trip. The right pic was taken towards the end of the trip in Dec 2015 when I landed in Singapore where there was promotion of the zoo at the airport with their Singapore icon "Ah Meng" the Sumatran Orangutan on display. Unknowingly by taking a fun pic of "Ah Meng" with my hat and glasses, I was preparing to usher in the new Monkey year of 2016!

Monkey Year for Monkey Business

Let's sit and talk it over!

I started a new project in Social Media and Education in Kuala Lumpur, teaming up with software developers and working with local licensed educational Institutions. This is to promote programs for human resources serving the corporate world and the adult workforce who may find job challenges or retrenchment due to the changing technology and recessionary climate the world is facing.

I had guests from Hong Kong and took time off doing reunions with other old friends in Ipoh...

... going further north of Ipoh to Penang Island as well

With two gatherings in Petaling Jaya pictured above and below.

After our Hong Kong Guests went home, I learnt of the 24th anniversary of Yonnie and Ray on January 30th to make this video for them using scenes taken during their visit to Malaysia!

Finding more time in KL, I brought the Gohar family boys home after church to play the Monopoly, a game kept from the time our children were young but none of them play board games anymore as they are preoccupied with computer games today! I am glad to find playmates with common interests!

Chinese New Year run up!

February 2016 came about quickly and on the weekend before the Lunar New Year begins on the following Monday, I made a post in facebook on Feb 12 that I was... "Beginning to feel the Nostalgia of the Chinese New Year!", referring to this older facebook album of mine :

May Blessings of Health, Wealth and Good Relationships be with you this Lunar New Year and after!
Posted by Sun Fu Chong on Monday, January 20, 2014
Click on the comment icon in the middle above to read the comments

I had to make a last minute decision when the time got too close to the Eve to cancel my trip back to Singapore and informed the boys accordingly. Many things needed to be set up to be functional after the Chinese New Year holidays and I had to stay on to assist the work team. I would return a week later after some basic things are completed for the team to be able to carry on without me for a few days when I am away to do the closing ceremony of the 15 days celebrations as we traditionally do as a family.

I had always been back for the eve family dinner especially during the time my wife started cancer treatment in 2005. After she passed away in 2012, the youngest boy Ray was 15 and I continued to be there. Now at 18, I didn't feel so bad that I couldn't make it due to the take off of this important project but I will be there in Singapore in the middle of the 15 days traditional celebration period till the closing.

Saturday Morning before the Eve, Feb 6

Shopping at Chinatown Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur

At the wet market in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur

Found anything you're interested in?

Sunday Morning of the Eve, Feb 7

The Eve was on Sunday and in the morning I went to attend the Church in PJ and Subang Jaya branch to take the following photos :

Met an old friend John Chin in PJ branch

At the Subang Jaya branch I got to meet an old friend Lennon Go, formerly from KL branch who was first single when I knew him, then he got married and now is a happy father of a baby boy!

I sat with Margaret and her youngest grandson Melvin who plans to serve a mission

Here is Ethan Das, already called to serve a mission in India

We have Elder Dacayanan on the left going back home to California 

Met Bany and his wife. My first impression of him was that he was like Bro Rama from Klang, my old friend when met from far!

In the night time, Feb 7 for the Eve of Chinese New Year reunion dinner.

For the first time in many years, I could be in my oldest brother's home for the eve reunion dinner where I got to see my latest grand nephew 'Rui Yang' for the first time. He was born on October 9 last year and was included in our familylane October Birthday list.

At midnight

 Didi finished her evening shift at the hospital to go out for a movie at midnight with me

Can't think of a more appropriate movie to watch than 'Monkey King'!

Having seen the Monkey King movie, I now can relate the three men like the three wise men in the Christmas story. Can you tell from this photo who is the Monkey King, the Pig and the Buffalo? Hahaha

Talking about movies, it's time to screen some videos that I glanced through during the first few days of the Year of the monkey. If you had listened to the short video, my first test unrehearsed video done in setting things up for Talklane, you will hear that I said "I'm really still basically a Malaysian". I have also written about America and China or making comparisons between the West and the east as a 'Banana'.  So here are some videos on some themes produced by America compared to ones in Asia-

The above is American, the one below is Malaysian though the producer whom I got to know over fb chat over this duration of time is from Turkey who enjoys being in Asia and is in India at the moment.

Finding my roots was perhaps a journey for me to realize who I am. not what genes I'm made up of but what has been influencing my life to be who I am. This video in a way also recognizes how the next generation will always be the one to carry on the dreams and hopes of our fore-fathers and mothers. There seems to be a connection of one generation to another!

This last video below is for our 2nd son Shuan who commented on a Google Hangout recently, recorded here, that he appreciated me for capturing many family activities on video as it was 'worth' looking back at.
I was the busy father and a camera man for familylane!

Like many videos I have done for the family, it is dedicated to my late wife Geok Lee who was truly the head of the home department where all goodness of the family must be rightly attributed to her. Like in Family, Business and Church, my leadership has been such that they who did it and achieved are the ones who are the real heroes for I only facilitated the lane for them to run on and they governed themselves! Call me the philosophical leader!

So was our family raised American or Asian or have we all gone 'Bananas' like the Father? In conclusion I must say there wasn't just one lane in our family that all of us was restricted to run on. Like the neural networks of our brain, the lanes run everywhere and through our mindfulness, focus attention and free choice, we became who we want to become and in my mind, we are simply raised with a 'Familylane' culture of our own. It has been a Body Mind and Spirit experience for all of us and like them, I am still in the process of becoming who I can be or wish to be in the many lanes of my life as so written and shared in my journals.

The First Day of Chinese New Year Feb 8

Greetings go out in facebook :

Miscellaneous dream work and work of passion over the Chinese New Year celebration period.

Eve of Valentines Day, Feb 13 to past midnite into Valentines Day Feb 14

Sunday Morning of Valentines Day, Feb 14 to lunch time. This is the 7th day of the New Lunar Year considered also as the Human's or Everyone's Birthday.

I went to visit Klang branch to attend Church...

...and also to celebrate my sister's real birthday!

Too much good food requires a check up by the house nurse the Chinese New Year celebrations!

What a smug look she gives for my near perfect results!

Catching up with some old friends back to work in their office

Going down south to Singapore 

Didi makes her way down to Singapore for the first time!

She came to see the sights and entertainment of Singapore

Most important, she got to join our family to witness our closing ceremony for Chinese New Year, with dinner and giving of 'angpows' to the children and receiving wishes from them as a parent/s, as we have always done since the children came into our family, as soon as they were old enough :

Guess who also helped out in the marketing and preparation of our hot pot dinner?

From the oldest son to the youngest, the ceremony proceeded until the end. It is usually done by our family on the last day of Chinese New Year which fell this year on a Monday of 22 Feb. As Ern had stay in the army camp on weekdays, we did it a day earlier on Sunday night

As it was Didi's first visit to Singapore, I took her to see the sights of Singapore. It seemed opposite of what I had to do for my late wife from Singapore in our early dating days who had her first visit to KL and was brought to many sights covering a few cities as Malaysia was a larger country in comparison.

Click here to see more photos of Didi's first experience of Singapore with Boynie.

Post-Development events :

The pre-launch of Talklane went well with the first interview with a top banker in Singapore after the Chinese New Year celebrations :