SHAOLIN, Now Showing At Marina Bay Sands Singapore

I have always enjoyed watching movies that depict Chinese martial arts like Wing Chun, Shaolin, Wushu and the likes and just last Sunday, Jacqueline and I watched SHAOLIN at the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands and it is the ultimate display of theatre and physical prowess.

SHAOLIN 2016 Live In Singapore

Direct from the fabled Shaolin temple in the foothills of the Song Shang mountain, the twenty strong cast performed incredible “superhuman” feats. The show combines traditional Shaolin Kung Fu, inch perfect choreography with dramatic lighting and sound that evokes the spirit of their traditions in one breath-taking performance.

Though I enjoyed the performance, it simply isn’t Jacqueline’s cup of tea. The stunts that were performed during the show didn’t quite resonate with me but I enjoyed the storyline and the setting. I have to admit that there were certain scenes that were pretty draggy and repetitive and the show could have been better if more information was shared about the martial art techniques that were demonstrated.

One of the many death-defying stunts that will be performed during the show

SHAOLIN will be showing in Singapore till 31 July 2016 and if you are keen to watch it, you can book your tickets here.

Do you know that there are two different styles of Shaolin Kung Fu; the Northern Shaolin and the Southern Shaolin?

The Northern Shaolin martial arts being the more popular style is still being practiced in the Songshan Shaolin Monastery in China’s Henan province today. The Southern Shaolin Monastery also known as the Fujian Shaolin Monastery refers to a Buddhist monastery located in Fujian province, China; by tradition it is considered the source of all Southern Shaolin Chinese martial arts.

Interestingly, both the Northern & Southern Shaolin Kung Fu styles are brought to Southeast Asia by refugee monks and old masters after the second world war and during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Rent or Buy: Which Is the Better Decision for You?

Whether you are for buying or renting a piece of property, this argument—about whether to purchase or lease a place to live in—is almost as old as time. Some claim that buying a home is a wise decision because it means that you will eventually stop having to pay for rent at some point in your life, and you gain equity. On the other hand, people say that renting is a much wiser option because it means you will not be stuck paying the same mortgage for the rest of your life.

Both arguments definitely have their own pros and cons, but how will you then know which one you should go for? While there is no one answer that can suit every single person on the planet, there are certain factors that you have to consider so that the answer can become much clearer to you. In this article, we will talk about the pros and cons of buying and renting, and why you would want to choose one option over the other.

The Case for Buying Your Own Place to Live In

Pro: You will eventually have a place of your own, filed under your own name.

This one may seem like more of a form of having some bragging rights, but it is hard to deny the social status that you can gain if you can say that you have bought your own home with your own hard-earned money. Plus, at a certain point, you will eventually no longer have to shell out any additional money in order to stay there, compared to renting a place, where you will have to put down money for a long period of time to stay there, and you will not end up with a property that you can call your very own.

Con: Your house might not actually be worth all that much in terms of today’s money.

Sure, at least you can say that you fought off the effects of inflation in some way, so that your money did not end up simply depreciating in the bank. However, that is assuming that your home actually did increase in value, and did not depreciate, either. That can be hard to tell, especially given the housing crisis that shook the world a few years ago. Who says that the same scenario would not happen again? Plus, your house is not exactly in cash form, yet, not until you sell it, and it can be hard to sell depending on the state of the economy. Instead, just invest your hard-earned cash into actual cash investments. At least you will not have to deal with the headache of listing your home and walking potential buyers around. According to an article on CNBC, you must also consider what is often called the Breakeven Horizon.

Prices of Sentosa Cove Condominimums Down A Whopping 36% From Its 2011 Peak. Image Credit:

The Case for Renting Your Own Place to Live In

Pro: You will have a much more flexible lifestyle.

If you are the type of person who is always jetting from one country to another, then renting is absolutely perfect for your needs. You can even easily find a good number of service apartment on a property listings site called PropertyGuru Singapore, which is popular due to its ease of use and as well as its large database. But this kind of living situation is not just for people who love to travel; it can also be for people who have to constantly go from one continent to another in order to conduct business meetings and other such work for the office. For example, if you were to be promoted but it requires having to be relocated to a completely different part of the globe, then you would be in a lot of hot water if you found yourself tied to a mortgage contract that will not end until a decade or two (or three) down the line.

Con: You may not be able to customize your home as much.

If you are the type of person who lives for home improvement and modifications, then you might be in for a sad day-to-day experience if you decide to lease a property instead. While there are some landlords who might allow you to do a little improvement here and there, most landlords forbid you from adding anything to their units for fear of you breaking their purchased property, as well as making things more complicated once you finally move out and the new tenant does not like the improvements that you have made.

Questions You Can Ask Yourself to Make a Better Choice

According to an article on The New York Times, there are quite a number of things you could think about in order to see which option would be the best for you in the long run. Here are a few of them:

• Are you planning to stay in that location for a long period of time, perhaps over several years of your life?

• Do you have a high tolerance when it comes to anything involving large amounts of risk, in case the value of your home depreciate in the future?

• Will you be able to pay for all of the costs involved with buying a home, including taxes, insurance, and even closing costs?

In Conclusion: Look at All Possible Points of View Before Signing Any Contract

Just remember that no one solution fits every individual, because every single person has a very specific set of needs, wants, as well as the current situation they are in; such as how financially stable they are and what they want to achieve in their life. Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to base your final decision on your own needs, and do not do something just because somebody else said that it worked for them and that it is the one right answer for everything. With a much more critical way of looking at the world and at the real estate situation, you should be able to make a grounded decision with both your feet on the ground instead of basing things on gut feelings and premonitions.

Ghostbusters 2016 Movie Blog Review | Lifestyle | Entertainment

We caught the rebooted version of Ghostbusters (aka “Ghostbusters 3”) last week and I must say, it has brought back many fond memories of my childhood days when I was watching cartoons of Casper and Ghostbusters to pass time. I can’t recall if I have caught the 1984 and 1989 Ghostbusters movie before but watching the latest version of Ghostbusters has made me want to dig them up to watch.

I am not sure if the true blue fans of Ghostbusters would enjoy the movie but honestly, I thought it was quite a pleasant movie overall. There were many funny moments and even Jacqueline (who’s not into these sort of movies) enjoyed herself. If you happen to watch the movie, don’t forget to stay until the end of the credits.

The new Ghostbusters movie does feature pretty much everyone from the original movies, minus Rick Moranis (who is more or less retired from acting) and Harold Ramis (who died in February 2014). But while Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts all made time to appear in the new movie, none of them are playing the same characters they played in the first two Ghostbusters movies. Hence, this might probably be the reason why hardcore fans of Ghostbusters may or may not like the movie.

Our final thoughts?

Catch the movie on a work day if you need some laughter to perk you up after an exhaustive day at work!

Movie Plot of Ghostbusters

Paranormal researcher Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and physicist Erin Gilbert are trying to prove that ghosts exist in modern society. When strange apparitions appear in Manhattan, Gilbert and Yates turn to engineer Jillian Holtzmann for help. Also joining the team is Patty Tolan, a lifelong New Yorker who knows the city inside and out. Armed with proton packs and plenty of attitude, the four women prepare for an epic battle as more than 1,000 mischievous ghouls descend on Times Square.

Ghostbusters Movie Trailer

Celebrate Running with Liv3ly and Win Adidas Footwear!

For all you running fans, we have some pretty exciting news for all of you today so read on to find out more!

To celebrate the spirit of running, LIV3LY has rolled out a slew of fun activities just for you! It will be exciting, exhilarating and yes, rewarding!

Get Your RunStyle


Curious to learn your RunStyle? LIV3LY has released a short and fun quiz to help you find out if you lean more towards running solo or with a group of friends.

Stand to win FREE slots to race events for completing the quiz. Numerous running personalities like Rachel Ng and Melvin Wong have figured out their RunStyles with LIV3LY. Don’t miss out!

The LIV3LY Challenge

Do you want to win a pair of FREE adidas footwear (hint: one of the latest models), slots to race events, and a one-year LIV3LY premium membership, all in one? Now you have a chance to be one of the 12 winners!

To participate, simply:

1. Join as a LIV3LY member (no fees needed)
2. Like / Follow either LIV3LY Facebook OR Instagram
3. Snap a photo of you doing one of the LIV3LY challenges
4. Upload the photo to your Facebook OR Instagram
5. Hashtag #liv3lychallenge

That’s it! Also, the more you do, the higher your chance of winning. So start participating today!

Also, in the last segment, LIV3LY has analysed 10,000 runners across major races such as the NTUC Income Run 350 to zap your brain juices! Get set for some awesome findings about runners in Singapore that will blow your mind away. The findings will be released on 25 July 2016 so do look out for it!

So are you in or ‘inner’?

Get on board with LIV3LY as they bring you a series of exhilarating activities. Celebrating running has never been more rewarding!

How Have Motor Scandals Affected The Asian Automotive Industry?

Even though the Volkswagen emissions scandal first came to light nearly two years ago, the German giant continues to struggle with the fallout. In the first three months of 2016, pre-tax profits were €3.2bn, a decline of 20 per cent

Martin Winterkorn, chief executive officer of Volkswagen, has resigned following the emissions scandal. Photo: Bloomberg

However, Volkswagen isn’t the only automotive manufacturer to undergo controversy. Most recently, Japan-based Mitsubishi admitted to manipulating test data that overstated the fuel efficiency of some 625,000 cars, forcing its share price to an all-time low.

Mitsubishi president Tetsuro Aikawa (centre) and his fellow executives bows during a press conference on Tuesday when the company tried to come clean about the extent of the scandal.

For Bernard Aw, Market Analyst for the world’s number one CFD provider IG, a gloomy global outlook will have a bigger impact on the Asian automotive industry than recent emissions scandals.

The impact of automotive scandals on the industry

Despite the fact that both Volkswagen and Mitsubishi have suffered market difficulty due to their respective blunders, the financial performance of other manufacturers is explained by the wider economic climate.

“Strangely, there were no significant spill over effects on other auto companies, even when there was a growing list of carmakers whose diesel cars were reported to emit more pollution than in regulatory tests,” notes Aw. “Instead, the overall soft performance in the last couple of years was attributed to a challenging business environment.” In fact, a recent rally in global stocks was accompanied by a recovery of automotive shares. But this was short-lived, as economic uncertainty continues to heavily influence investor confidence.

Aw also goes on to add that while the fortunes of carmakers are tied closely with global equities, automotive shares have been underperforming the benchmark indices. What’s more, the BI global automotive index, which comprises 40 major manufacturers, showed that the sector pulled back in late April.

Mitsubishi Chart

The returns of Asian carmakers were also lower than the broader stock universe. However, several marques and manufacturers are going against the grain by posting profitable figures.

The contrasting fortunes of Asian carmakers

“Among the carmakers in Asia, Guangzhou automobile, Mahindra & Mahindra, and China Motor Corporation were the only companies to post a positive return,” revealed Aw. “Other major Asian auto companies saw their share price under pressure, including the Japanese autos.”

Will China’s automobile gain traction in automobile industry worldwide? The GS4 by Guangzhou Automobile seems quite stylish though.

As you can expect, Mitsubishi Motors was the worst performing brand in the BI Asia Pacific Automobile competitive peers index. Then again, Japanese manufacturers were among the best performers too, with Mazda Motors and Isuzu Motors at the top.

But after enjoying large profits since 2012, Toyota expects a 35 per drop in net income this fiscal year. Although this was due to a stronger Japanese yen, Toyota’s pessimistic forecast was significantly below analysts’ estimates.

So, while the automotive scandals have affected the manufacturers involved, it seems as though the fortunes of other carmakers are dependent on a range of other factors. Scandal, it seems, is just one factor in a complex market.

“The prospects for car sales remain challenging, as global economic growth continues to splutter,” says Aw. “The slowdown in China, the sluggish recovery in the US and Europe would keep the pressure on sale performance of auto companies. On an optimistic note, the need to replace old cars and improvements in economic conditions could help offset flattening demand.”

As for Singapore, no matter how expensive it is to own a car, the demand for cars will never wane. Just look at the price of the recent COE and you can easily come to a conclusion that we are still a long way to becoming a car-lite country.