SG50 Jubilee Big Walk a chance for participants to take in Singapore's landmarks

This article is more than 12 months old

For some, it was a chance to take pride in Singapore's achievements

He was so impressed by the Marina Bay Sands Skypark that he had to celebrate his birthday there.

Mr Ivan Kwah and his wife, Ms Chen Miaoxin, 33, who are both primary school teachers, were spotted at the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk 2015 (JBW) yesterday, snapping pictures of the scenic Marina Bay Sands (MBS).

It brought back memories of his simple yet enjoyable birthday celebration.

Last week, the first-time Big Walker spent his 36th birthday with his wife on a $200 dinner at restaurant Ce La Vi at the Sands Skypark.

He said that it was very special as the view not only highlighted Singapore's maritime industry off the East Coast, but also the beautiful skyline inland.

Mr Kwah said: "It was very memorable to spend my birthday there with my loved one, to be able to see the skyline of Singapore as the sun sets."

He said he was thankful for the recently-opened landmarks such as the National Gallery and Gardens by the Bay.

"Over the past 50 years, Singapore has developed so much, thanks to the effort of our pioneers and people of today, where today's effort will be tomorrow's success," he said.

Another Big Walker survived on less than two hours of sleep for the JBW.

Miss Julie Jam, 42, an executive in the marine industry, said she was so occupied with events and church activities the day before, she had to sleep at 3am.

She said: "I had less than two hours of sleep, but it was so worth it.

"I am amazed by how there are so many more Singapore icons like the Esplanade (Theatres on the Bay) and ArtScience Museum, as compared to in the past, when it was just the Merlion."

Despite stating that she was disappointed that the old National Library and National Theatre had been demolished, she was still thankful for the change and "very proud to be Singaporean".

Mr Hussni Md Yusof, 42, a policeman, agreed that although some nostalgic landmarks were demolished, the present landmarks have been remarkable as part of the backdrop to his family life.

His favourite landmarks are the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay and the National Gallery, which was the former City Hall and Supreme Court.

He said: "When I was a child, my parents used to take me to the City Hall area for outings, which left me very fond memories about that place, especially with the rich history it had."

He could hardly contain his excitement as he snapped countless "selfies" with his wife, Ms Dini Sagita, 37, in front of the National Gallery to show his three children where their next outing would be.

Mr Hussni also loves taking his family of five to the Esplanade.

They have been going there about three times a month ever since it opened in 2002.

He said: "We love the open-air area with performances and the ambience, which is really great for family outings."

It also reminds them of their favourite fruit, the durian.

He said that Singapore has done a great job in preserving part of history and that the change is even better as "the modern landmarks complement the old".

I am amazed by how there are so many more Singapore icons like the Esplanade and ArtScience Museum, as compared to in the past, when it was just the Merlion.

- Miss Julie Jam

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