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Singapore Airline Training and Outing @ Parkroyal Penang

Hello again, dear readers. As you might have already known, I am currently a Senior Marketing Executive for Singapore Airlines Limited. It has been already 7 months since I've joined Singapore Airlines. Anyway, like all major corporations, there will always be either an annual dinner or outing. In the case of Singapore Airlines Limited, for the year 2015, we chose Penang as the spot to have our annual staff outing and dinner.


The day started early. By early, I mean waking up at 0530 hours to head to office (pickup point). Before heading there, we dropped by to fetch my colleague Douglas. What was interesting to know was that the roads at that hour were completely empty. It is eerie to know that the roads that I go through daily, fighting off traffic was now nothing more than a desolate scene out of the walking dead. Anyway, enough thoughts. When we got to the office, we had a light breakfast at the mamak downstairs. After "suffing" ourselves, we headed to the meeting point where a rather large bus was waiting.

The bus departed at about 0730 hours and the trip was rather peaceful considering the fact that most of us didn't get enough sleep the night before. I caught some shuteye and drifted along to dreamland. A sudden jolt woke me up as the bus seemed to pull away from the highway.

At this stage, it was around 0930 hours and we had just pulled into the Simpang Pulai rest area for breakfast. Our journey was almost halfway through. Thinking about it, Simpang Pulai was about 10 kilometers away from my house. Should have taken the time to head home for a nice meal. But then again, it is not nice to abandon my colleagues. And if I had went home, I would not have been able to get these nice shots. 

With my dear colleagues. Despite being in one of the most powerful airlines in the world, the levels of the hierarchy does not prevent mixing around. In this photo, you can see our dear GM (in blue), his chauffeur (to the left) as well as the managers, executives and support officers.  

While everyone takes some time to relax and stretch, it is common to see colleagues grouping together to read the latest news or have discussions to pass the time.

Another shot at the rest area. The girl and guy in the middle of the photo are the latest members to join Singapore Airlines as support officers. A warm welcome to Jennifer and Rashid. Hopefully we will be able to make them feel right at home.

A shot with the rest of the staff and colleagues before boarding the bus again. Despite being selected from a pool of the best, fighting through daily battles that push us beyond breaking point, what amazes me is a camaraderie and bond we share as a team. 

Anyway, we continued our journey with some of us resting, others chatting away while the coolest ones ended up playing cards at the back of the bus. A cool few hours roll by and around 1300 hours, we were across the bridge and on Penang Island. Would have loved to post up the customary shot of the seas horizon taken from the bridge but then, it was haze season which basically left the beautiful  horizon looking as if it is engulfed by a fog. 

Photo with the only other girl from Ipoh. Rachel Koh, same high school and now same company. Doesn't she have the most cheerful smile ever?

Arriving at the hotel, we were ushered to an all you can eat lunch buffet. Great timing too as most of us were tired and hungry. After securing a seat, I did what I was generally good at doing:

When you are entrusted to capture all the moments on film (or on memory card), you will go through all lengths to make it happen, even if it means posing in a ridiculous stance. 

Among the images captured, the following are some of the memorable ones:

Test shot needed and wonderful Miss Koh was nice enough to volunteer as model. The shot is slightly blur but it's something. 

Second victim to be photograph is Abang Adnan. Official chauffeur of the GM, he has been with the company for more than 30 years, under the stewardship of more than 7 GM's. A giant of a man but the most gentle you will ever meet. And did I mention that wherever the destination you are set to go to, he will get you there in 50% less time.

Third victim is of course, GM Tan Wei Qi. A man whose name alone symbolises one of the most brilliant minds in Singapore Airlines. This is a pose you would generally see him in as he always works from his phone. 

Meet the highest command of the Market Development Division. On the left we have Mary Yap, my partner and supporter in dark moments. On the right we have Alina, the Market Development Manager, Singapore Airlines Malaysia. 

The 3 Yaps. Karen Yap (GM's Personal Secretary), Yap Jin Li (Corporate Sales Manager) and Mary Yap (Marketing Support Executive)

Basically, we would suspect some scandal but that aside, this photo is just Rashid and Jennifer sharing a light moment with one another. 

Customer Service Agents (CSA's). From left, Ahmad, Aizul and Yashini. Cheerful fellas who bring joy to the dullest of moments. 

A combination of Customer Service Agents and Airport Staff. The ladies are, from left, Rachel Koh, Lina and Stella. The two gentlemen are some of the longest serving airport staff in Singapore Airlines. Mr. Selvam (standing) and Mr. Anpumaran have each served more than 30 years with this prestigious airline. 

Selfie with one of my closest confidants and mentors. Uncle Jim Leong is a senior sales executive who has eaten more salt than we youngsters have eaten rice. A wealth of experience and a man who is willing to advise the young ones on how to be better individuals in life. Most importantly, he is able to cheer you up no matter how difficult your situation may be. 

Our newest member to the group is Jennifer Law. We tend to joke that she is Jude Law's younger sister but then again, they have very opposing personalities and behaviours. She didn't like this shot and said it made her look terrible. In response, I challenged her to take a spontaneous shot of me in a bad pose.

Apparently, it is not easy to take a bad photo of me especially when I am drinking a cup of tea. Mission accomplished and a new profile picture nonetheless.


Anyway, one of the core items of the outing was to train the teambuilding abilities of the participants. For the fist time, I was nominated to be team leader of the Green Monkey team.

Meet part of team Green Monkey.

One thing about corporations is the necessity to have team briefings. Apparently, among all the team leaders, I am the youngest one. Interesting experience but I assure you the pressure of being team lead requires dedication and immense focus. Anyway, I will let the photos do the talking.

Everyone is eager to get into the games. Wan Heng is busy grabbing drinks though. 

In the middle of the team leaders briefing.

Last minute photobombing. 

Team Green Monkeys primed and ready for the gunny sack race. Took a lot of balance and cheering to get the team motivated to move forward. 

I can't remember the last time we had a gunny sack race. By the looks of it, the gunny sack was indeed a bit too short and tight for a person of my stature. Nevertheless, I managed to complete my turn with time to spare.

On another note, there were also numerous water sport activities which really got us all soaked in saltwater. At the end of the entire event, all of us were caked in a thick layer of salt. Anyway, as always, a ceremonial group photo with soaking wet people.

From this photo, we are able to identify who got the wettest. I guess Mr. Kor out-sexied me without his shirt on. Note GM showing us his heavy metal side.

Oh, and did I mention that I was afraid of snakes. Apparently, one of our staff members is an avid collector of snakes and had brought along a few of his pets for a talent show. That look on my face is genuine fear when 'Bob' popped up between us. 

Anyway, after washing out the salty layers and changing to some dry clothes, we gathered in the lobby for a little mixing and mingling. 

Three of the department heads. On most days, they would be serious in suits but on days like this, it is great to see them let their hair down. From left to right: Miss Jassy Cheam (Head of Ticketing & Reservations), Miss Yap Jin Li (Head of Corporate Sales), my boss Miss Alina Manap (Market Development Manager).

Apparently, most of the office staff are female oriented. Calling all batang's, we need to stand and unite against this.

Joanne Tan (Leisure Sales Manager) and Rashid (Sales Executive) sharing a light moment in the lounge. 

After a long while of walking and talking to my fellow colleagues, it was time to head up to our rooms to freshen up for dinner. 


After checking in, I was greeted by a really welcoming sight. Our room was situated on the highest floor and was facing the ocean. What really made the room amazing was the homely feel and remarkable sea view. 

The beds were soft and really comfortable. I was actually worried that I couldn't fall asleep as I am rather particular about where I sleep. Ended up nearly oversleeping before the activities on the following day. 

The bathroom. Nothing much to shout about but the ventilation is so good, it became really cold as the air conditioning from the room enveloped it rather frequently. Not much a problem but try sitting on the toilet early in the morning and you'd get what I mean. 

The room comes fully stocked with shower amenities and even specific facial cream upon request. (apologies for the blurred image as I did not realize the camera was in manual focus.)

As with most high end hotels, the room comes equipped with high speed internet broadband and an extremely comfortable workstation. However, the glass surface of the table makes it rather difficult to use a laser mouse on. 

Now this a view I wouldn't mind seeing everyday to get my work done at. Peaceful, calm and serene..... oh and the occupants on the lower floors are making out on the balcony.... And now they are getting it on. Time to go in and get dressed for dinner. 


The theme of the night was an interesting one especially for a company that focuses so much on the presentation and dress of its employees. Take a guess what it was:

Yes, the theme of the night was called, 'Sarong Night.' This was the first time in history that I took a break from the well pressed suits and ties and donned what people would refer to as, 'kain pelekat'. Interestingly, there was a contest for best sarong but unfortunately, my simple sarong design did not merit me much qualification to participate. Oh well, better luck next time. 

The dinner for the night was an all you can eat seafood dinner. Among the best of the night was the combination of steamed/friend lobster, seafood soufflé and vegetables. 

Look at the image above and tell me that it does not look tempting. I think I downed about 5 lobsters that night. Oh my cholesterol. 

Additional tasty combinations would be broiled lobster, grilled lamb and seafood pasta mix with a side of mash. This has even higher cholesterol content. 

Interesting photos of the night:

Managed to end the night with a 'wefie' with our honorable GM. Unfortunately, he was not expecting the shot so it ended up with a double chin shot. 

The high command of the Market Development Division are always closely knitted. And I realize that I have really long arms which are good for giving hugs. 

Photo with our lovely airport staff members who coincidentally won best dressed. Little baby that Mary is holding is Station Manager's son.

Anyway, after the dinner, we went to the lounge to grab a drink before heading out the the 24-hour Starbucks next door. Ended up slightly tipsy while singing some English oldies in a near empty Starbucks. Imagine the attention we got from the patrons. In my tipsiness, I actually bought a passport holder costing about MYR 80. 

Not to self: Hide your wallet when you are drunk. 

Finally went to bed at about 0400 hours in the morning. Had to get up by 9am the next day to grab breakfast. 


The following day was more of a free and easy moment for everyone. While some chose to sleep in and rest, a few of us chose to go for a walk around the area. 

Photo with Jennifer at the famous 'Ship'. She was initially shy to stand next to me as she felt I was too tall. Well, genetics are definitely not my fault. 

With brother Douglas. He is one of the most helpful colleagues who never fails to impart some wise knowledge and assistance in our daily work.

After checking out of the hotel, we went to the heritage part of Georgetown for a little shopping:

The Leisure Sales team and their manager Joanne on the right. 

After buying some local produce, while waiting for our ride back to Kuala Lumpur, we assembled the team for a photo opportunity. 

Happy people who had a satisfying shopping run. 

One final shot before boarding. 

At around 1430 hours, we began our long journey back towards Kuala Lumpur. To sum up the outing, it was something different than what we experienced in university but most importantly, it allowed us to develop our bonds between colleagues. 

Looking forward to the next training and outing. 

Till my next post guys. Cheers. 

PS: This was rather delayed as I took a while to complete it. Almost half a year to be precise. 


Anonymous said…
hi thomas... I'm a starbuck items collector. do you still have your starbuck's passport holder?

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