Category Archives: Plant A Dream

. plant a dream: To Val .

First of all, I’m so grateful to have received many encouraging comments, emails and messages from friends and readers alike regarding my previous post on my reflection of Life and Quarterlife Crisis. Although it might sound a tad selfish but it’s always comforting to know that there are many others out there who have faced or are currently facing this “identity crisis”. 🙂 

Do you guys remember the cycling duo who are travelling across the globe, collecting dreams from ordinary people like you and me? The ones whom I have constantly been mentioning about in my blog? Yes, Tay and Val from I Believe that Dreams Can Come True! 🙂  A day after I posted my entry regarding quarterlife crisis, I received an email from Val who wanted to share with me an inspiring article that she wrote about letting go of her inhibitions and embracing her love and talent for music/singing. Honestly, despite the fact that I enjoy blogging, I’m essentially very particular and selective about what I blog about so I can understand how challenging it must be for Val to open up to strangers from all over the world and share with them an important part of  her life.

To Val: Life is always a learning journey and similar to you, I cannot bring myself to truly open up to people whom I’m not close to regarding my personal life, fears, worries, etc. I’m glad that with the encouragement from Tay and all the wonderful people whom you have met during your very exciting journey, that you have managed to find the strength to share a part of your life with others.

Here’s a story from VAL to everyone who needs that spur of inspiration or dose of motivation to keep going on: 

*** Re-blogged from I Believe that Dreams Can Come True ***  

— 田馥甄 (Hebe)

“If there’s something you believe in,
Just keep doing it
It (Your dream) will come true one day.”
— Hebe (Taiwanese Singer)

She was talking about her first solo album, “To Hebe”.

First spotted in a singing competition and then recruited to be part of a girl band “S.H.E.”, it took Hebe 10 years to “launch” this dream – a solo album with her voice, her story, “To Hebe”.

Hence the title of this post.

Many times on this journey, I’ve been asked, “So this journey is your dream come true?” I would tactfully turn to Tay and let her answer the question instead. Her dream is to be an inspiring story-teller. We’re on a journey to collect, share and inspire dreams through stories. She is living her dream. That’s an easy answer. Easier than the tight knots in my stomach every time I face this question.


I had a dream –
to show the world the beautiful colors of emotions on the big movie screen of life.

Somehow I lost sight of it.

And then I came on this journey thinking I’d find it back. Yet some nights I still find myself tossing and turning, unable to sleep, wondering, “When will I get to tell stories through my passion, my craft once more?”

And then “LISTEN” happened. Our first short film – written, produced, shot and edited all on this journey, without a single cent, but lots of heart.

And lots of guts.

I said “lots of guts” because throughout the pages of this website, hidden amongst the pictures, tucked in between the lines, lies Val’s dream. My dream.

I’ve never really dared to shout it aloud.

“LISTEN” happened because one day, Tay asked me, “Why do you have to wait till the journey is over before you start doing the things you want to? Who said that we can’t do all of that on this journey itself? Who said that you can’t sing, dance, act, whatever it is… on this journey itself? Instead of why – why not?

One year later, we launched “LISTEN”:

Read the whole story and watch the entire short film here.

30 July, “LISTEN” went “live” online. It was also the day Aunty Ling had arranged for me to sing “live” at Chinitas’. When Tay jumped the gun and asked her if I could sing there, Aunty Ling replied with a wink, “Let’s make dreams come true.”

Bad yet utterly perfect.

On the actual day...

Bad because I was so nervous I stumbled over every other line in my first song and went out of rhythm on my second song. My hands were cold and sweaty. I used all my might to keep my teeth from chattering. I forgot to breathe. I was a wreck.

Perfect because I lost myself in my third song. There was no fixed rhythm, I stopped when I felt like I had to. I took deep breaths, even if they were loud deep breaths over the microphone. I did what I love doing – I told a story through a song, through my singing. I forgot about pitch and tone and what rules there might be to singing. I simply sang a story. And it was perfect.

Finally...lost in the song


Because of the love for singing
We sing to return to our intentions

Why am I writing this post?

It is because I feel that I need to acknowledge the people around me who have made me “living” my dream possible on this journey:

The wonderful crew and family on Molokai who helped put “LISTEN” together – for I lived my dream through acting.

Auntie Ling who gave me the stage in Chinitas’, Uncle Steve who gave me his time and expertise to practise unfamiliar songs with me, David who gave me his time on stage, Helga, Lisa, Uncle Robert, Aunty Arlaine who took time off on a Saturday evening and came in the rain just to see me – and I lived my dream again, through singing.

Throughout all of these, Tay, who pushed me and kept pushing me, time and again, even if it meant tearing me apart and putting me back together – that I can do it; more importantly, I am worth it.

And I also need to acknowledge myself.
I need to acknowledge my dream.
And then acknowledge that I am good enough for it.

To Val

This is an entry dedicated
To the many friends who had been and/or still are struggling to live their passions for performing
To You
To Val

So that the next time I wonder when my big break is coming, when will I “finally” get to perform once more… I remember:

Dreams are not something we realized and then that’s it.
Dreams don’t simply come true, and definitely not on their own.
Dreams are something every single molecule of our being exist for.

Dreams are not an end “destination” towards which we live.
Dreams are the journeys we live.
Dreams are meant to be lived.

Dreams are meant to be lived. Live mine.

Isn’t it time you dedicate something to yourself, too?

. LISTEN by tay & val .

Once upon a time, there were 2 ladies who wanted to break free from the bird cage to seek for fulfillment and freedom in life. Taking it one step at a time, the girls – Tay & Val – have successfully managed to spread the inspirational message that dreams can come true across the following countries – From Singapore to Japan to Guatemala. Just like most of us, they had nothing and started their 1.5yrs long journey (as of now) around the world with nothing. However, along the way, they managed to secure sponsorship from various companies, organized an exhibition in Japan, scored many interviews with the foreign media and of course, inspired many nationalities to participate in this community project to share their dreams with the rest of the world. The difference that lies between the girls and the rest of us who are still dreaming? Their determination to set off on a dream project to inspire and share while they are still young and relatively freed of heavy commitments. In fact, the girls’ courage to step out of their comfort zone and live a life that they truly want played a huge factor in inspiring me to start Plant A Dream – A collection of dreams from people I know, admire and love. 

One dream shared, another gets inspired 

To express their gratitude towards everyone who had supported them in 1 way or another, Tay & Val decided to invite a few of us to preview their first short online film, “LISTEN” – A movie that was shot without a single cent but with lots of support and encouragement from the community. I have been very fortunate to be able to take a sneak peek into this short movie that aims to remind us to take a good moment to ignore the noise and judgmental views that we often face and truly listen to our heart and return to our intentions. 

1. Tay & Val – Please introduce yourselves to us!

Tay: I am a 33 year-old woman learning to live my truth everyday, learning to dream intensely every moment and learning to love my life every second.

Val:  我有一个梦。就是让小小的我,在大大的银幕上,和观众一起体验、感 受”生命”。I am a spirit endeavoring to live each moment intensely, vicariously; on-screen or otherwise, so that people around also give themselves the permission to enjoy their moments, to savour their emotions, to truly live. And I like to have fun while doing that. Having fun is very, very, VERY important to me. 😉

2. What are the strongest motivational factors that have inspired the both of you to take the less-trodden path to abandon your safe and stable jobs to travel around the world to inspire others? 

We always say it was Luo Papa who inspired this journey.  In reality, Luo Papa’s dream opened a door of opportunity for us.  His ability to live his dreams all his life allowed us to see the possibility of a dream come true for ourselves.  And at the end of the day, we ourselves have to take that leap of faith to jump through that door of opportunity which was opened for us.  I (Tay) remembered there was one night Val sat in front of me and asked me one question straight in my face, “I want you to forget about the ‘Hows’ for just this moment and answer me honestly, DO YOU WANT TO DO IT OR NOT?”  I had to be honest, I want to.  Deep within my heart, I couldn’t lie to myself, I WANT to.  We both know that ‘There is no fear that is greater than missing out what lies ahead of you.”  We know if we do not take this leap of faith, we will look back and regret it for the rest of our lives.  So, we jumped.

3. What are some of the most memorable highlights of your journey so far?

That is a tough question to answer because every moment is an unforgettable moment, both the ups and the downs.  People always ask us ‘what is our favorite country on our journey so far?’  And we will always answer: None.  We remember a place because of its people.  Likewise, all the unforgettable moments on this journey are with the people we met.  To this day, we still marvel at how is it even possible that we don’t own a single thing that we wear, use, eat, etc.  How is it possible that we have not spent a single cent on a place to sleep for a single night for all 465 days of this journey so far.  And it was made possible by all the people we meet on our journey, all the people we meet online, all the people who come to our sharing sessions.  And all because ‘everyone has a dream’.  All these people who opened their houses and opened their hearts to share their homes with us, their meals with us, their lives with us, their dreams with us, they make up the unforgettable moments of our lives. 

Click here to visit Plant A Dream

. plant a dream #9 .

“I would like the Pigeonhole to be a place where people can curl up on a sofa, hang out, feel at ease, read a book, have a drink, and escape from whoever or whatever is taking a toll on their mental health. I would like us to be a safe space for expression, while at the same time also be a safe space for those who don’t feel like expressing themselves at all. Perhaps in a way I am trying to mould the Pigeonhole into my own definition of home. And in my home, there is a time for quietness and a time for activity; a time for white and a time for black.”

– Ave & Rayner –

Click logo to visit site 

. Singapore Blog Awards 2011 .

GYSB Best Lifestyle Blog
Blogs sharing information that will light up someone’s boring lifestyle  

It wasn’t too long ago when the blogging community was blooming and I was one of the few who could not comprehend the whole idea of blogging. In fact,  I was  against blogging and have told my fellow blogger friends that blogging is probably something I will never see myself doing in the years to come. Well, lesson learnt. Never say never. In the end, I ended up being the fool and laughing stock as I have to take my words back. Fast forward 3.5 years to present time, blogging has, surprisingly, become such a vital part of my life that I have to confess of having an unhealthy addiction. That is, an addiction to blogging. Talk about the irony of life. You might ask, why the sudden and drastic change of mind? Well, I soon found out and became hooked to the therapeutic benefits and joy of documenting my adventures and memories in this blog. Blogging inspires me to venture out of my comfort zone and do something in life, anything to disrupt the monotony. Hopefully through this, it is able to provide a tiny virtual space that others might be able to draw some form of entertainment or inspiration from occasionally.

Truth to be told, I would have never expected this little personal blog of mine to be chosen as 1 of the top 10 finalist for Best Lifestyle Blog. It feels awesome to be part of this and of course, I would like to thank my family, friends and readers for ever finding this blog an occasional worthy read! 🙂  1 of my favourite blogger gave me this really good piece of advice – Bask in the fun and enjoy and not focus on winning! A good mindset to adopt 🙂

Click on this link to vote for “The Girl at the Traffic Light Junction” and your favourite blogs! Thank you!

. plant a dream #8 .

Original blog post: I believe that dreams can come true

How about
Being honest
Being truthful
Being authentic

To yourself
For once?

What do you want to be when you grow up?


How many of us know that?
How many of us can answer this truthfully?

That day
The children’s authenticity shamed me

Because even as a kid, I could never truly be honest about my dreams. Whenever it was time to write the annual “What do you want to be when you grow up?” essay; I’d write wonderful A+ essays on being a teacher, a doctor… because those were things adults (my teachers grading the essay, my parents reading the essay) would want to hear.

At the age of 5, when I won my first art competition and declared that I wanted to be a painter; I was already taught to be “politically correct”. “Nobody makes a successful living out of painting. Painters only become famous after they die. There has not been a single Singaporean painter who has had paintings sold all over the world.” Therefore, “You are better off being a teacher, a doctor, an engineer, a manager… And when you have earned enough money, then you can do the things you really like.”

So I learnt. It didn’t matter if I like going for art classes, ballet classes, speech and drama classes better than going to school. It didn’t matter if I’d rather be singing and dancing to my Dad’s cassettes than memorizing my 6 times table. Because I am only allowed to do the things I really like, after I’ve earned enough money. And to earn enough money, I have to work hard and do the things I don’t like so much.

So when it came to choosing subjects for school, I chose triple science over art, because it was the “hardest” and it was “the path” to medicine. By then, I’ve become so good at lying about who I’d wanted to be and what I’d wanted to do, that even I believed that I was going to be some white-collared professional earning big fat paychecks when I grow up.

And then “I Believe That Dreams Can Come True” happened
And then we got sent to an English learning center in Taiwan
And then we found ourselves surrounded by kids who have no fears
No concepts of failure, of impossibilities, of “political correctness”

Kids who’d openly, truthfully, authentically share their dreams
In a room full of adults (their teachers and their parents)
In front of 2 strangers they’ve just met
In front of the camera

Forget about the all-inspiring
“What if you could let yourself dream like a kid?”
Like a kid who truly believed that
We can do anything
We can be anyone

– I Believe That Dreams Can Come True –

Click logo to visit site

. plant a dream #7 .


My husband and I have a deal, the next time we go back to India we would adopt a village and provide foot wear for everyone there. In India, especially in the villages, a lot of people cannot afford to buy a decent pair of sandals … so that’s our next mission. Actually, I was planning to make a website and get people to donate etc but before that, I want to try it out first and see if it will work out well.

– Kumari –
An educator

Click here to visit

. plant a dream #6 .

It has been 6 long months since my last feature on “Plant A Dream“. Honestly, the past couple of months were probably one of the lowest period of my life as I felt as if I was constantly stuck in a rut … at a crossroad in life, or some might call it, a quarter-life crisis. Hence, I didn’t feel like I was in a best position to talk about dreams and the future. It was a rough patch of my life and even up till now, I still find myself struggling with the direction that I want to take in life.

Nonetheless, my decision to bring back this feature/blog stems from the fact that I’ve received several requests from friends and readers alike to revive this feature. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement! 🙂  “Plant A Dream” is a collection of dreams shared by ordinary people and I hope that in the years to come, the people who have shared their dreams can look back and see if they were a step closer to fulfilling this dream of theirs. This blog entry marks the return of “Plant A Dream”. Will be posting a feature once a fortnight (Weds) instead of weekly so that it will be more manageable for me.


Since young, i’ve been wanting to be a scientist! Always inspired by inventions and want to have my own inventions. I place high hopes on myself, aiming to be a scientist someday…

But sometimes, winds do change directions, didnt do so well for A levels, and serving NS, Local Uni rejected my applications. However my current university accepted me in sports science degree. With that I went out to look for jobs relating to this area to gain working experience. whatever doors are open(even not related), i’ll just walk in and explore.

Opportunities came and I took every one of it. Some people do give not so nice comments on what im studying, but I believed in myself. As time past, im now have the opportunity to work as a Research Assistant in this area. Never expected back then when i got my A levels results. As of now, im still furthering my studies, hoping to be even more specialised in the field of my interest-rehabilitation, to help people in hospitals.

Dont think that you can fly just by flapping your arms, but believe in yourself and invent an aeroplane. The sea is broad, got to sail out to look for other shores, by staying on shore, you will never get out of “pulau comfort” and nv know whats out there for you. Yes sometimes you might not find a land, or the land has been fully populated, but its the experience that you gain out there which can nv be gained by staying onshore. At least now you know more.
and with this experience, you can venture out even further to look for the land of “your own”=)

– Tom –
A volunteer with RDA

Click here to visit the site.

. weekly feature: plant a dream #5 .


If I had a big goal in life, it’s to be able to focus on issues and work that keeps me motivated (AKA my purpose on the surface of this planet), and then hopefully making a difference. For now at age 25, it probably starts with understanding people, cultures and places, all at the same time being able to pay the bills. It might just end up being more fulfilling than a life of simply eat, sleep, work, consume, reproduce.

– Koey –
blogger at Letters From The Porch

. weekly feature: plant a dream #4 .


My dream is to make a difference in the fashion industry in Singapore, to have our countrymen be proud and supportive of Singaporean-born labels.

.Velda .
Co-founder of
Love Bonito

Website: Plant A Dream

. weekly feature: plant a dream #3 .


I had a dream – to show the world the beautiful colors of emotions on the big movie screen of life.
Along the way…
I danced my first self-choreographed dance in front of the entire school and dreamt of being a dancer.
I joined singing schools and dreamt of being a singer.
I was scouted by producers, did acting, and dreamt of being an actor.
I started writing songs, recorded them, and dreamt of being a composer.

I spent my last university term on an exchange program in Shanghai, so that I could get away from the rat race of jobs application blah bloo blah, and really think about what I want to do with my life. I was thinking, after realizing everyone else’s dream for me; perhaps…just perhaps, it’s time for me to do something about my own dream. By that time, I had neatly summed up my dream –

To become an all-rounded artiste, who can sing, dance, act and compose. I’d paint emotions and stories with my voice, my craft.

– Val –
co-founder of I believe that dreams can come true

Website: Plant A Dream