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Seasons of Love:
4 Stories of Love And Gratitude At TPC

The Christmas season and the upcoming New Year festivities makes this a perfect time for love, gratitude, and reflection. To celebrate, we sat down with some of the good folks working at Tanjong Pagar Centre to get to know their life stories, hear about their most heartwarming festive celebrations, and discover what they were most grateful for this year.

To our readers: we hope you had a blessed Christmas, and we wish you a fruitful 2018 ahead!

Zachary: Barista at Joe And The Juice.

About Zachary, in his own words:

 

I’ve been with Joe And The Juice for about 7 months now, but I’ve been in the F&B industry for more than 6 years. Previously I was a bartender, and now I’ve moved onto being a barista. I just wanted to see the sun lah. Not like go to work and get off work without ever seeing the sun.

 

The one gift he’d like to get… and the nicest one he’s gotten:

 

A new bike, man! The BMW1200. A bit extravagant yeah? But seriously, the nicest gift I’ve ever gotten in real life is a wallet that my girlfriend got for me.

 

His most heartwarming Christmas:

 

Just this Christmas, one of our regulars bought us cakes. She wanted to get us a gift since she’d be back in Denmark for Christmas. She usually gets the Breakfast Club when she visits us. It’s really quite wonderful to have that sort of relationship with our regulars.

 

What he’s grateful for this year:

 

I feel very much at home here. Joe and The Juice’s culture is very exuberant, very dynamic. It’s not all that different from being in nightlife, and the energy that bartenders give out to patrons. Joe and The Juice has that same energy, and I love where I am now.

Randy: Founder and owner of Randy Indulgence.

About Randy, in his own words:

 

I was originally working at an IT consulting firm, but my dream has always been to start my own business. I’ve always loved F&B, and I saw a lack of healthy desserts in the CBD area. There were a lot of salad and protein bars, but not many healthy dessert shops.

I learned about acai when I was in Brazil studying for 8 months, and decided to start a grab-and-go concept with Randy Indulgence.

 

The one gift he’d like to get… and the nicest one he’s gotten:

 

[Laughs] To expand my business; a new outlet would be nice! I remember getting an iPod when I was still in the army. I love running, and I love listening to music, so my friends bought me an iPod.

 

His most heartwarming Christmas:

 

I was from Cambodia, so most of my family is back there. But I celebrate Christmas with my godparents here in Singapore. My god-brother was someone I studied with during JC, and I also got close to his family. His parents have always treated me like a son.

 

What he’s grateful for this year:

 

Serving the customers, and making them happy. I’m very new to the F&B industry, so I’m literally learning how to improve every single day. We have a lot of return customers, so that’s something I’m very grateful for.

Nat: Fitness enthusiast.
Full time strength trainer at Virgin Active.

About Nat, in her own words:

 

Fitness has always been one of my biggest passions, and I thought I’d change my passion into a job with Virgin Active, since I virtually lived in the gym! I used to train here 6 times a week before I became a trainer.

 

The one gift she’d like to get…and the nicest one she’s gotten:

 

I always like gifts that are unexpected. The nicest gifts are always the ones that are personal, you know? The ones that show that the person knows something about you.

 

Her most heartwarming Christmas:

 

I’m from Ukraine, so we have quite special traditions. After Christmas dinner, it’s traditional to start going out from house to house with your friends. It starts with just 2-3 people but the number grows as the night progresses. Before the person you’re visiting invites you in for food and drinks, you have to sing Christmas carols or perform a small skit for them.

 

What she’s grateful for this year:

 

I think it’s really priceless to be a part of someone’s fitness journey, and to help them experience joy and satisfaction from their development.

Some words of encouragement for my wonderful clients: Never quit, establish new goals, and keep moving! Even if you feel like you ate too much over Christmas, don’t beat yourself up. Just believe in yourself, and take it from there.

Juni: Vocalist, emcee, actor.
TPC Music In The Park performer.

About Juni, in his own words:

 

I joined MICappella in my final year of university, and that’s what really shaped my journey. Before I became a singer fulltime, I was doing marketing at St James, and then tried PR for a year. Being a performer in Singapore, you have to be versatile, so I’ve since branched into events, weddings, theatre and being an MC.

I’m still not sure how to describe my job. ‘Entertainer’ makes it sounds like I dance on table tops for a living, but I suppose it’s the best description!

 

The one gift he’d like to get… and the nicest one he’s gotten:

 

I think the best gift is to be surrounded with the people who matter most to you. After all, it’s the season of love.

The most important thing a singer needs onstage is song lyrics. Musicians used to carry out huge stacks of song sheets in alphabetical order. Someone very close to me got me an IPad when I first started gigging. I've used it for five years, and I still use it. It's a bit buggy and it hangs, but it's not something that I'd ever want to lose, because it has sentimental value.

 

His most heartwarming Christmas:

 

This year, one of the friends I made from theatre -Dwayne Lau- invited me to his annual Christmas gathering. His family puts in a lot of effort to these gatherings: Themes, competitions for best dressed, door gifts.

Halfway through the party, he brought out a keyboard and everybody started singing Christmas carols. it was a little surreal because most of the people singing were those I'd seen on stage before [venturing into theatre]. And everyone was really into it, which made it really heartwarming.

 

What he’s grateful for this year:

 

I don’t like the word ‘fans’, because I think of all the people who’ve supported me as friends. I’m very grateful that I’ve been able to spread some positivity to them in my own small way.

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