Y&R: Singapore

Stop III Y&R Asian Regional Headquarters – Singapore

Y&R Singapore rolled out the red carpet for MAK’s Farwell tour. Matthew Godfrey, Regional Director, Y&R Asia, Melvin Kuek, MD Y&R Singapore, Magz Osborne, PR Director for the region, Hari Ramanathan, Regional Strategy Director, Irene Koh, PA and the rest of the company arranged a memorable agency visit. Let me say that I will never forget the hospitality, generosity and kindness that the Asian region extended to me!  The energy of Matt’s team is simply contagious which almost got me to sign up again!!

Melvin, MAK And Matt
Melvin, MAK And Matt
Irene, Wendy, Liz, MAK, Magz, Cammy
Irene, Wendy, Liz, MAK, Magz, Cammy
Y&R Office
Y&R Office

And check out this Bicycle Barrista from Spark Plug!

Bicycle Barrista at Spark Plug Singapore
Bicycle Barrista at Spark Plug Singapore

The Singapore gang treated me to an amazing dim sum lunch including an exotic “durian” for dessert.

Later in the day we enjoyed high tea at RAFFLES and a bumboat cruise down the Singapore River

Dim Sum lunch
Dim Sum lunch
mmmm durian pudding yummers!
mmmm durian pudding yummers!

Happy Birthday Singapore – This year is 50 years since they celebrated their independence from Malaysia. During this time Singapore has been transformed from an obscure little fishing village to a great Seaport and into a modern metropolis famous for its skyscrapers – Like this new gem – developed by Las Vegas Sands (LVS) it is the world’s most expensive building at US $5.7 billion including the cost of the prime land on the bay. This is a luxury hotel with rooms costing between $550 to $17,ooo per nite. The “lid” on the top is actually an infinity swimming pool with a see-through bottom. I could wish to be a guest of Jennifer Lopez for a swim!

Sands Hotel Singapore
Sands Hotel Singapore

These “vertical gardens” are about a year and a half old – a lovely Singaporian way of helping to preserve the environment.

Vertical Gardens at the Marina Bay
Vertical Gardens at the Marina Bay

Our next stop was Merlion Park where we did not miss out picture taking with Merlion a mythological creature that is part lion and part fish — a national icon.

Merlion the mythological creature symbol of Singapore
Merlion the mythological creature symbol of Singapore

We also said a prayer at Thiam Hock Keng Temple one of Singapore’s oldest Buddhist Taoist temples before driving past Chinatown. And, later to a local Hindu temple in India Town:

Thian Hock Keng Buddhist Temple
Thian Hock Keng Buddhist Temple
Hindu Temple Entrance
Hindu Temple Entrance

Final stop at the National Orchid Garden the green ‘lung” of this city where we experienced calm and serenity of this 52 hectares garden – we maraveled at the wide and colorful variety of 60,000  orchids on display here are a few

Gorgeous White Variety
Gorgeous White Variety

WIN_20150412_001303

And here is an interesting ‘new’ retail concept from McDonalds — a dessert kiosk!!

McDonald's new Dessert Kiosk
McDonald’s new Dessert Kiosk

Some of you may remember Jonathan HOLBURT who used to work for Y&R in New York and then in 1995 he joined Y&R Singapore and later other offices in Asia- in 1996 he opened Y&R in Vietnam. Over lunch he reminded us of the ‘best seller mystery” he wrote called Shadow Emperor – still available on Amazon. After 27 years he and his wife are returning to the USA to live closer to their kids – one NYC and one a Freshman at Wesleyan in Ohio. Jonathan also mentioned the quality of the education system and today on TV we saw a news clip showing 10 year olds learning computer coding

Before coming to Singapore I had this image in my mind, after being here, it is erased!!!

Singapore is Fiine
Singapore is Fiine

We can’t leave Singapore, without paying a tribute to Lee Kuan Yeew (LKY) who was the leader and founding father of independent Singapore. More importantly, he was the “vision master” taking this country from a third world country to a ‘first world’ country in a single generation. We heard people tell us that he was beloved and as his body was lying in state, masses of people came to pay tribute at the Parliament as well as condolence centers around the island. Magz  mentioned that while this was planned from 9:00am to 9:00pm the lines were so long they had to extend this to a 24hour happening needing to adjust the mass transportation as well!

Lee Kuan  Yew
Lee Kuan Yew

Brazil, we are on our way!

MAK and Jonathan Holburt
MAK and Jonathan Holburt
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