Best friends with the best dad
Girls think their father is the one man who will always support them. in return, fathers believe their daughters will always be their little girls. SEOW YUN RONG (firstname.lastname@example.org) profiles three such relationships for Father’s Day
She has no problem being called a daddy's girl.
Chen Yi Xin, 16, says: "Everything he has done for me is what a best father would do.
"Even when he doesn't understand my problems, he tries his best to help me by giving some advice."
And she confides in her father, former TV actor Edmund Chen, 54, all the time. Her mother is actress Xiang Yun.
Being the daughter of famous people, Yi Xin says she is careful about how she behaves. Still, people do judge her.
She adds: "My dad tells me not to care about what people think because there were haters too when he was younger. We just have to let them think what they want instead of dwelling on it."
That is why her father is her best friend. He is always ready with reassuring words and a shoulder to lean on when she needs it.
They also have a lot of fun together.
"I really love make-up so I wanted to try some new products on someone, and I thought of my dad," Yi Xin recalls.
"It was so funny because my foundation was too light for him as he is so tan.
"In the end, the bronzer and highlighter looked so weird, and we just kept laughing."
Chen Yi Xin with her father, former TV actor Edmund Chen.
Chen says that when Yi Xin was younger, she would style his hair.
He says: "When she was in upper primary, she tried to tie my hair and style it, but it was too short."
And whenever he comes home late with a sore back, Yi Xin would give him a back rub.
He says: "I don't show that I am uncomfortable, but somehow she will know, and she will find the specific spot to ease the pain.
"I really don't know how she can pinpoint where I am hurting, but this is something special to me."
Yi Xin says she feels she is the cause of his worries. Once again, Chen jumped in to protect his little girl.
Chen said to his daughter: "Don't underestimate the things you've done for me too. Sometimes it is the little things that count."
He says: "When I face problems at work, sometimes I don't need the key to the problem, I just need her presence."
She repays his gift of life by donating kidney
FAMILY: Ms Alicia Tang with her father, Mr Tang Kia Lim, and one of her two sons. TNP PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
She was prepared to give up her then boyfriend to save her father.
Ms Alicia Tang's father needed a kidney, and she knew donating hers carried risks.
She says: "At that time, I told my boyfriend that I've made the decision to donate my kidney, and he has the choice to stay with me or not.
"I wanted to let him know what he was going to get himself into before tying the knot.
"Thankfully, everything went smoothly, and he scored more points with my parents."
The couple married in November 2012, and they now have two sons - aged three and six months.
Looking back, Ms Tang, 36, says she was prepared to sacrifice anything for her father. She still feels the same way.
The kindergarten vice-principal donated her right kidney to her father in November 2011 at the National University Centre for Organ Transplantation.
Mr Tang Kia Lim, 66, was suffering from kidney failure.
Both his children offered to donate their kidneys, but Ms Tang's brother was not a match.
She says of her decision: "He gave me life, so I felt that it was only right to give it back to him.
"We have similar personalities. He is a person who enjoys travelling and being out, so seeing him being locked in, and in pain, really hurt me."
Mr Tang had to go for a four-hour dialysis session three times a week, which cost him about $30,000 a year.
It wasn't his only medical issue. In 2003, he had a heart bypass that forced him to retire as a fruit and vegetable supplier.
In 2011, he was diagnosed with kidney failure after returning from a trip to Shanghai with swollen feet and hands.
For someone who loves to travel, Mr Tang says: "I could go only to Johor Baru because going through the dialysis sessions really wore me out.
"I'd come back feeling extremely tired and would have no time to spend with my grandchildren and family."
Then in July 2011, Mr Tang was hospitalised at the National University Hospital for a month for an external catheter infection.
A dialysis catheter is used for exchanging blood between the patient and the haemodialysis machine.
Though he needed a new kidney, Mr Tang refused a transplant for a year out of worry for his daughter.
He says: "I was worried that my daughter's health would be affected. What if she cannot work or give birth to children in the future?"
But, that same year, he met a woman who had several children after donating her kidney to her mother.
That changed his mind.
He says: "If not for my daughter, I would've given up the idea of a kidney transplant."
Now, he no longer needs dialysis.
During the interview, Ms Tang showed the scar from the surgery. She calls it the mark of love and says it tells a story of her father and her.
Ms Tang says: "I have no regrets, giving my kidney to him. The relationship is even stronger than before the transplant, and I am truly blessed to have a father like him."
She turns to dad for relationship advice
BOND: Miss Valencia Toh goes to her father, Mr William Toh, for relationship advice. PHOTO COURTESY OF VALENCIA TOH
Most teenagers don't share details of their crushes with their parents.
Not Ngee Ann Polytechnic graduate Valencia Toh, 20. She shares her secrets with her father, Mr William Toh, 55, a retired army warrant officer.
Miss Toh, an only child, says: "When I am interested in someone, I will describe the situation to my dad and ask him if the relationship would work out.
"For things such as timing, he'll share his experiences and explain to me why certain things may work out and why certain things won't.
"Being a guy and a father, he presents a grown-up's perspective."
They were not always so close until Mr Toh discovered a dark secret.
"Back when Valencia was younger, she used to cut herself," he says.
"When I saw it, I was shocked. Why would she do such things?
"From that point on, I sent her to school every morning even when our schedules didn't match. We spent at least five to 10 minutes talking about life."
Mr Toh now believes that communication is key, and he does not want his daughter to bottle her feelings up when she is troubled.
And just like his military training, he is prepared to go anywhere, anytime for her.
His daughter was interning with an online company in Cambodia last year when her laptop broke down.
She called him with the news, and Mr Toh took urgent leave and was off to Cambodia in three days to present her with a brand new laptop.
The trip and laptop cost him a lot, but Mr Toh had missed his daughter, who was more than two months into her first extended trip away from home.
He says: "It was just an excuse to see her actually... I really missed her a lot."
They then explored Cambodia together. It was not their first overseas father-daughter trip - the pair had travelled to Korea in winter three years ago because of Miss Toh's interest in the K-pop scene.
Miss Toh says: "He is my entire support system. I know that no matter what I do, he'll always be there for me."