National Glory

Why I Call Singapore Home

Short of belting out our national anthem, friends of A wax lyrical about their favourite things in Singapore, be it a place, a tune, a dish… or another dish.

Why I Call Singapore Home
Celeste BasapaCeleste Basapa

Fanty Soenardy | homemaker; fashion lover; cooking and kickboxing enthusiast

Fanty Soenardy

Singapore is the only country I know that has songs regularly composed for occasions such as the National Day Parade to bring people together in unity. The National Day Parade songs such as Count On Me, Singapore, Home and Where I Belong always touch me. Whenever I listen to them, I feel a sense of belonging and am extremely proud to be a Singaporean! My kids and I always look forward to the new NDP song every year.

And in a recently composed song that is part of the national effort to combat Covid-19, The Light, I like the lyrics that go, “Go ahead rain on my parade. We’re not moving, won’t give in. I see light drowning out all the shadows. Just fight, every struggle and battle… You’re not in this alone.” Isn’t that encouraging for these Covid-19 days?

Althea Lim | Group CEO of Gushcloud

Althea Lim

I find our Changi Airport truly iconic. I had to take more than 150 flights last year so I spent a lot of time transiting between many airports and I must say we have the best airport in the world. It’s my local favourite place. The user design and architecture of the space all go to showcase our values of thoughtfulness, efficiency and innovation.

Stephanie Lee | executive director of T S Lee & Sons

Stephanie Lee and husband Choo Ken-YiStephanie Lee

We take for granted the low crime rate and safety that we can bring up our families in; that we are a garden city where green still thrives amidst the concrete jungle; the authenticity, affordability and accessibility to hawker food, which is an illustration of our colourful diversity and cultural diffusion in Singapore.

Despite being a little red dot, Singapore has achieved a great deal being at the fore-front for education, infrastructure, technological innovation, medical and scientific research and so on. It is a global economic powerhouse, having transformed into a thriving first-world state within a relatively short span of 55 years. Despite all such progress, we remain grounded and continue to imbibe the significance of being a multiracial, multi-religious, multi-cultural and meritocratic society living peacefully and harmoniously together. This is why I’m proud to be here.

Dr June Goh-Rin | senior consultant Neuro-Anaesthesia and Neurocritical Care at Singapore General Hospital; immediate past president of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO)

June Goh-Rin’s children at MacRitchie Reservoir Park

I adore the MacRitchie Reservoir. I think it’s wonderful that our kids have nature to enjoy despite being a city-state. Now that leisure travel is out, we really appreciate the pockets of beauty we have and can enjoy here, re-discovering Singapore and appreciating what we have preserved and conserved.

Peranakan houses on Emerald Hill Road

I also love strolling along Emerald Hill Road. The lovingly restored buildings remind me of childhood in SCGS which was located here. It is so quiet and peaceful here despite being in the bustle of Orchard Road.

Jessie Ho-Thong | lawyer and executive director of JHT Law Corporation

Singapore is practically synonymous with good food. Witness the massive outpouring of support for the #savefnbsg movement during the circuit breaker and you will know this is true to the hearts of many Singaporeans. My local favourite would be the nasi lemak at Coconut Club.  Incredibly fragrant rice that’s freshly made every day and perfectly seasoned chicken every time! It scores full marks as my local favourite, a must-have whenever I come back after a long overseas trip!

Elaine Kim | doctor; co-founder of Trehaus school, social enterprise CRIB, Trinity Gallery (Singapore) and Trinity Bridal (Hong Kong)

Elaine Kim at Raffles Singapore

I think my favourite icon is the Raffles Singapore hotel! This beautiful old-world hotel evokes so many lovely memories and is especially special for me and John, my husband, who threw me a surprise 30th birthday party by the poolside. We were there the night John proposed and we are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary there later this month, as we did last year when it reopened. The Raffles Hotel Arcade was also home to the Singapore boutique of one of my first businesses, Trinity Bridal.

Chris Hwang | co-founder and chief strategy officer of The Golden Duck

Chris Hwang
Bak Chor Mee from Quan Xiang Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle, Redhill Food Centre

My favourite local Ba Chor Mee would be Quan Xiang Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle a hidden gem at Redhill Market!

Serene Chua | private banker and executive director of LGT private banking und asset management; founder of Carvers & Co and Wolf Burgers

Serene Chua
  • Merlion Park
  • Marina Bay Sands
  • Singapore Flyer
  • The central business district of Singapore

My favourite place in Singapore has to be the Marina Bay area. Scenic and beautiful, I go for a morning run every weekend to absorb the amazing view of the Singapore skyline. That all-encompassing view shows the iconic Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade, Merlion, Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay and the CBD area all of which makes us uniquely Singapore. Happy 55th birthday Singapore!

Dick Lee | singer-songwriter, playwright, director, and executive creative director of Dick Lee Asia

Dick Lee

Thanks to the circuit breaker, I’ve rediscovered the beauty of our city on my morning walks around my ‘hood the entire bay is so beautiful.

Robert Kee | founder of Operation Hope Foundation (OHF)

Robert Kee in Hope Village Prey Veng, Cambodia with one of the village’s children
  • Singaporean volunteers from CRIB with their children, building a rice bag house that can withstand earthquakes.
  • Singaporean volunteers from CRIB

I think Singaporeans are generally big-hearted. My favourites are the ones who volunteer to go to Cambodia and Nepal to do community work, where they get to appreciate what we have and value the importance of having new perspectives in life.

Susan Peh | CEO of Adsan Law LLC; one of the founding directors and vice-chair of Jazz Association (Singapore), and chair of its Gala and Fundraising Committee.

Susan Peh

Local food invokes all our senses and floods our minds with the warmest memories of childhood, as well as of precious times spent with loved ones and friends.

Nina Ng | fashion and food lover; mother of three

Nina Ng

I’m always happy to be in Singapore, for we have a beautiful and safe garden city to call home.

Alicia Thian | executive director of Wealth Management at the Bank of Singapore

Alicia Thian

What I love about Singapore? We have first class queue management system for the next iPhone, bubble tea, Shake Shack and all things trendy. Or should I simply say we have bragging rights for our efficiency and organisational skill?

Paige Parker | philanthropist, author, stay-at-home “momager”; board member of United Women Singapore and Ladies League member at the Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Paige Parker and family, Jim Rogers, Bee and Happy

After living here for 13 years, Singapore is truly home. My family adores watching the patriotic colours of red and white take over Singapore as National Day approaches, with flags billowing from condos, homes, and HDB balconies. In 2018, when our friend, the talented filmmaker Boo Junfeng, served as the youngest creative director of the National Day Parade (NDP), we attended the extravaganza.

The celebration packed with military pomp, songs and dances, naval divers, Singapore Army’s parachute team Red Lions jumping from a record height of 3,800 metres, the combined schools’ children’s choir, a short film by Junfeng showcasing five Singaporeans who overcame adversity, and of course, the spectacular fireworks display over The Float at Marina Bay was the first NDP for President Halimah Yacob, the first woman to serve as Singapore’s president, making the experience all the more meaningful.

Lynn Yeow | co‐founder of communications agency Loop; co-owner of Equal Beauty and luxury wine company Giron; executive director of global marketing and communications at Novena Global Lifecare

Lynn Yeow and her Singaporean “Chin-talian” family with Beppe De Vito
  • Lynn Yeow’s husband Beppe De Vito with their sons
  • Lynn Yeow and Beppe De Vito, with their sons

It will definitely be my Singaporean “Chin-talian” family! Beppe got citizenship 3 years ago and completed the Singaporean De Vito family equation and we can proudly call ourselves a Singaporean family.

Rosalynn Tay | homemaker and photojournalist

Rosalynn Tay

I grew up with Straits-born heritage in Penang so naturally I’m enamoured with colourful kebayas, the yummi-licious Nyonya cuisines and the intricate Peranakan architectures. As a Singaporean now, Joo Chiat is my fave playground in this little red dot called Singapore.

Jonathan Shen | co-founder and CEO, The Golden Duck

Jonathan Shen

It’s the simple things that make me proud to be Singaporean. For example, going for absolutely unplanned, spontaneous midnight walks with your special someone without fear of any sort of danger, and going for a local roadside supper thereafter. As someone who travels a lot for work, this is something that’s often overlooked or taken for granted here!

Rebekah Lin | director of business development at Tembusu Partners; co-founder of The Social Co.; foundation director of Jia Foundation; board member of the Singapore Mental Health Film Festival

Rebekah Lin

I’m Hainanese and this is one of my favourite go-to places — Prince Coffee House on Beach Road. My grandfather, father and I have been eating there for more than 50 years! They serve really good Hainanese dishes and a really good beef hor fun (with excellent wok hei meaning fragrance from wok-frying) but to me, every visit is like a blast from the past, reminding me of lunches I had after school with my grandpa and my late grandma. The decor is super old school as well!

Grace Wong | ballroom dance enthusiast

Grace Wong

I feel proud to hold the most powerful and awesome passports in the world, which gives us visa-free entry to many countries.

Michelle Lim | group COO of MWH Medical

Michelle Lim
Chilli crab

I love Singaporean cuisine as it encompasses diverse cultural influences of the various ethnic groups we have in Singapore my favourites would have to be chilli crab and satay, among many other dishes. Food is an important part of our national identity and plays an important role in unifying Singaporeans from all walks of life.

Celeste Basapa | Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation First Circle a Singapore founding member; SSO Ladies League member; Kidz Horizon Appeal committee member; National Gallery Singapore Gala Dinner committee member; and Chinese Women’s Association, co-opted member of executive committee

Celeste Basapa
Celeste Basapa’s Singapore flag

I love numerous things that are quintessentially Singapore; but above all, I’m a true-blue Singaporean by birth and resolute choice hence, the red and white state flag is dearest to me!

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