TGIF got a new meaning today at Raffles Place when the lunch rush crowd got a special National Geographic road show promoting the new series Every Singaporean Son 2: The Making of an Officer.
From 12pm to 2pm, the crowd was able to participate in showing off their pull-up skills - 28 was the record, free shoe-shines and ration packs (containing take-5 energy drinks).
But the highlight of the road show was the march in of a platoon of soldiers and the opportunity for members of the public to give commands.
There has been some criticism on whether this was appropriate, and that this was undermining the pride of the soldiers. Being there for the entire event, I saw no evidence of this. While it did come to my mind during the event, in the end I saw it was all in the name of the event, and the end result was nothing but some laughter and applause.
I saw soldiers grin and try to hold their laughter from the inability of the public to raise their voice to command the platoon. They sure made it clear, if you want to command us, you'd better show it through your voice. Only few out of the tens of people were successful in command the platoon.
(UPDATE: National Geographic Channel Singapore had since issued an apology, which shows that they can be the bigger "man" when it comes to these issues. Check it out on their Facebook Page)
If you had missed this event, take a look at the pictures below (this is also where I tell you to follow me on instagram , so that you don't miss out on such events as they happen!)
The awareness of Every Singaporean Son 2 has definitely increased with this event, and I got a chance to talk to Shawn Chng, one of the 13 cadet officers, and why you should change this awesome local documentary.
OKJ: "Why should people watch Every Singaporean Son 2?"
Shawn: "The reason why is because this show features a lot about the Officer Cadets School (OCS). It actually features a number of situations that (previous NS men) have gone through or (current/future NS men) could go through, so it actually allows those who have not yet gone to OCS or have actually been to OCS to recall back on the feelings or look for some pointers to take note and some things to expect so that they can prepare themselves."
OKJ: "What is the one tip that you would give to all future NS men?"
Shawn: "It would be motivation, because there are times where it will be hard and you feel like giving up. So best thing is to motivate yourself and others around you because it really helps."
OKJ: "Lastly, with the cameras around, did it make your daily OCS life awkward at times?"
Shawn: "Definitely. Initially, it was very awkward because you are not used to it. But after awhile we really focused on the training, the cameras didn't really bother us and they weren't in the way at all. So (the camera crew) worked around the training, there were no such things as re-runs or re-takes. They were there but hidden out of sight and do not interfere with the training unless it was for the interview segments."
(UPDATE: Yahoo did an awesome video summary of the road show, of which I was also a part of at the video's 2min mark =D.)
Going into NS in a few months time, I am as excited to catch the new series as I was when the first series was broadcasted.
Catch Every Singaporean Son 2 on National Geographic (Starhub Ch 411 and MIO Tv Ch 201), which premieres on 6 August (Tuesday) at 9pm with 2 episodes back to back.
If you haven't watched the original series, the Every Singaporean Son 1 Catch-Up Marathon will be broadcasted this coming Sunday from 1.25pm, and will focus on the experience of Basic Military Training.