Monday, 26 December 2011

On Christmas Day

On Christmas Day 25th Dec 2011, we set off to the Riverside point at Clarke Quay (1800s) to watch the paranoma view scenery that been changed after the trading business were ended since 1970s. There are lots of people around and full of tourists too.
History of Clarke Quary
Sir Raffles was landed in Clarke Quay on the 6th of February 1819. He is supposed to have landed where his statue is located today. In mid-1819, on his second trip to Singapore, Raffles reserved the north bank of the river for the government use and the site for warehouses and gowdowns.
He realised on the next trip between 1820 and 1823 that it was not permitted to build anything there and he altered his original plan to the area of present-day Clarke Quay.
Raffles soon signed a territorial treaty with the local Malay leaders and established his trading entrepot. Within a few years, he laid out city plans and ordered land reclamation projects that created a series of five quays, and one of them was Clarke Quay.
Clarke Quay was landfilled, and auctioned off and developed by Europeans and Chinese Entrepreneurs.
Brick houses, godowns, and establishments, mostly built of brick and plaster, presented and eye-catching sight. Especially the crescent formed by the long range of gowdowns. The crescent was named Clarke Quay after Sir Andrew Clarke, governor of the Straits Settlement from 1873-1875. He was also well-known for signing the treaty of acquisition of Perak and Selangor states in Malaysia.
Singapore River was the heart of the town, and up to the 1840’s all shipping took place at its mouth and along the crescent of Clarke Quay. Merchants had their offices and gowdowns either at Clarke or Boat Quay, or commercial square.
Before the Clarke Quay in 1819, it was once then a muddy mangrove. The scene was rather idyllic, covered with many different species of trees.
Human skulls of various rotting stages littered Clarke Quay’s riverbank. It was said to be that the Bugis pirates found that the river was a convenient dumping ground for unwanted cargo and dead bodies.
Before 1819, Clarke Quay was the focal point of trading activities between the Orang Lauts and the Bugis pirates. The Riverside point now stands where Orang Lauts and sea nomads took refuge.
At the river mouth (now known as Clarke Quay), they were many pieces of stones carved. One of them was shaped like a garfish.The local sea gypsies believed that the garfish was a symbol of ghosts and they, which they thought had a significant value to their beliefs.
Clarke Quay Sunday Flea Mart which helds every Sunday, is a regular event which both locals and tourists can look forward to. The bustling flea mart adds colour and flavour to the ambience of the Clarke Quay Festival Village, where street activities and street life are abundant. Visitors can bargain their way through the 120 stalls selling a wide range of antiques, collectibles and handicrafts. There will also be a demonstration cum sale of clay, crystal and beaded jewellery, free ice cream and balloons for the first 500, in-line skating performances,$1 rickshaw rides, music, games, as well as buskers performances are held there.
There are Boat rides too.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Coming to Christmas Time

It's been long since Christmas is coming soon and everybody will get together for fun and enjoy this Christmas spirits and carols. Roamed along the streets with lots of lights and decorations hanging among the trees and buildings, even the Christmas trees along the Orchard Road, Bugis and Harbourfront. I snapped some photos while I was walking with my sisters and hubby. I choose this one cos' this tree is different from other Christmas trees, with lots of bulbs circling around the 'wires' shape of the tree is to look the dazzling Christmas sparking lights in the nights.

Dazzling Light of the tree

As we strolled along the footpaths with a sea view that overlook the sea with amazing scenery. This time, it's best shot of the panorama with magnificent view that I took in the evening at 7pm.

Panorama view

Thereafter, we had a dinner at nearby restaurant before we were heading home around 10.00pm.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Filming with Vasantham Channel

SPI Team
SPI (Singapore Paranormal Investigators) was called and invited by Vasantham Channel to filming the 'dilapidated' building as well as paranornal investigation. We were among the choosen a few agents to film with two beautiful actresses on 02 Sept 2011, Friday from 10pm to 1.00am including TV cameraman, Director cum producer, sound man.
Actually, we were supposed to meet Vasantham Channel at 9pm but was delay in 1 hour as informed by Vasantham Channel as if they were busy with other appointments.
I was scheduled to meet them at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre at around 9pm after dinner. Some of SPI teams were at Teochew Porridge restaurant along Upper Bt Timah Rd around 8pm for dinner.
At about 10 pm, we walked back to the Bukit Timah Shopping Centre and waited for Vasantham Channel teams. After a few minutes, Vasantham Channel's van arrived in front of shopping centre and I, with SPI Team (6 persons) hopped into the 'white' van and one of our SPI agent drove his car and waited for us at 'dilapidated building along Upper Bt Timah Rd.
During our journey, one of our SPI teams, Desmond described details of the paranormal investigation to the two actresses and were told that they (2 actresses) were needed to be our 'guest' investigators to hold an investigation in the dark 'spooky' room and stayed there for more than 15 minutes! The two actresses were shocked and said "WHAT!?" and made me and the rest giggles.

A short brief of history: This 'dilapidated' building was abandoned since 2000, but was started as early as 1950s, was the 1st built as zinc roofed wooden shed. Before the Japanese Occupation, this 'dilapidated' building was used by British forces as their site for ammunition depot. Over the years in WWII, grenades, bombs and pistols have been recovered from within the shooting range. This 'dilapidated' building was later relocated at Choa Chu Kang and opened in 2001.
Upon reaching there about 10.30pm, the road was quiet and there were few cars passing by, Vasantham Channel team and SPI team were introduced to one another. Before SPI team started setting up the equipments, we have to tell them the details of the surroundings, a dark 'spooky' room where the cold spot and introduced SPI's gadgets which they (Vasantham Channel team) have to film the location of the paranormal activity surroundings.

After much introducing the details of the area of the 'dilapidated' building where they (Vasantham Channel team) supposed to film on the exact spot of the 'strong' energy in the dark room surrounding. SPI team started setting up the equipments - Stilled camera, Night camera, walkie talkies, laptop, ball, mat..etc which it took about 15 minutes to complete set-up the 'spot' location to where the investigation started.
One of our SPI Team, Desmond told the 2 actresses on how the investigation went on in this surrounding especially the dark room.
Spooky room with 2 actresses

Inside the dark 'spooky' room which has a 'strong' energy as described by one of our SPI team who went there before SPI team ventured the area to recce and found the 'cold' spot in the dark room on the 'hot' day outside. So the two actresses from Vasantham Channel volunteered the investigation in the dark 'spooky' room and were sat on the mat which was provided by SPI, together with a ball, 2 toy cars, voice recorder, ghost meter and night camera (videoing the scene) displayed on the floor.
Radio to 2 actresses
At the moment, the investigation has now started after the two actresses had gone inside the dark room. One of the SPI team, Desmond radio them (inside the room) on how the things going on and told them to say something to a spirit in some questions. This was going on for more than 15 minutes and two actresses described the event to Desmond about the hearing sounds...'beep beep' and they suddenly said 'Why so noise outside' and heard 'laughing' was heard but no one was laughing during investigation going on. The sound of 'laughing' was recorded by a voice recorder inside the dark room and will investigate this matter.
As I noticed the laptop that belongs to one of the SPI team, Terence, had 'low' battery signal shown on top of the screen during investigation for more than 1 1/2 hour stands by. So I informed him and the investigation has ended at about 1.00am in the wee hour of morning. SPI agent, Desmond went in the dark room together with Vasantham Channel team to interview with 2 actresses who sat on the mat and asked them how they feel about this room and asked them whether they heard any eerie sounds in this room while Vasantham team filming the scene.
After filming the scene inside the spooky room, we all came out together with items that laid on the floor and packed up the rest of the equipments in the hall and it would take about 10 minutes. And we left the scene and I looked back at the building as if this things still there. I noticed the 'things' are there just next building where 'they' usually reside there and it seems that 'they' knew our investigation had ended!

As we walked along the bushes was told by one of members, where there is a stalk of leaf moving by itself and there is no wind! Vasantham Channel team (above pic) were curious on how the leaf would move by itself and the rest of the leaves did move at all. But I intend to take a photo of a leaf cos' I felt something telling me not to take a picture of a leaf there. I felt weird!
Vasantham Channel's actresses
In a few minutes, we walked along the path to where the two Vasantham Channel's van had parked there for almost 3 hours. On the last film shooting, the two actresses danced to the TV cameraman where we SPI team stood there, watching.

Finally, the two actresses posed a picture and later together with SPI team. Vasantham Channel team sent 3 of our SPI members to their home while Desmond, Micheal and I followed with one of SPI member whose car parked near the crossway along the road. At last, I reached home at about 2am with sweet memories of Vasantham Channel team's filming.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Fort Siloso & Underwater World/Dolphin Lagoon

Recently, my hubby booked two tickets from his company for corporate discounts. These tickets comprised with Sentosa rider ticket, underwater world & Dolphin Lagoon ticket and Moonlight at Chinese Garden ticket. So far, we went only two places except Moonlight lanterns at Chinese Garden that we will go later before 18 Sept 2011 which will close on that day.
So we planned to go on 30 Aug 2011 in the morning at about 11am, we proceeded to take a cab to reach Sri Mariamann temple at Chinatown which is near from my place as the Sentosa rider bus's timing is at 11.30pm at the bus-stop (waiting point) to pick up 'ticket-holder' passengers like us to board a Sentosa Rider. Actually, Sentosa Rider's timing schedules are started from 9am to 9pm and 10.30pm on a few 'selected' location and these are every hour intervals stops from location to location. There are two Sentosa Riders (two Loop services) which pick up ticket-holder passengers at the designation points at different locations - Orchard to Sentosa and Marina Bay to Sentosa (end point is Beach station).
After we reached the temple just opposite bus-stop where the Sentosa Rider will arrive in a few minutes time. More than 10 minutes, I saw Sentosa Rider arrive at the designation point and we boarded the rider. On the bus, there is a guide sitting infront is a young lady, announced that if nobody alights at the Mount Faber (The Jewel Box), the bus will reach Sentosa straight from the our pickup point and arrived at 12.00 noon at Beach Station.

To be continued...

Friday, 19 August 2011

Ancestral Temple of Ying Fo Fui Kun (Hakka Cemetery)

Note: News have reported on 18th Dec 2012 of the Last remaining Hakka Cemetery at Holland Close in the middle of a housing estate.
Committee members from the clan association have suggested clearing it out and building a multi-storey building there instead.
In 1996, before I selected the new unit which is the new block at Holland Close. I was told there's a Hakka cemetery which is surrounded by HDBs and I am aware the 'selected' block that I chose is a few blocks away from a old Hakka cemetery. I eventually selected the new unit in 1996, after renovation then moved in 1998 since till now. Ying Fo Fui Kun cemetery's location at Holland Close, nestled on prime land in a residential area. For almost 15 years, I used to walk to the 'Open' fence of  the cemetery's footpath lines to reach the Tanglin Halt and sometimes walk pass to Block 6 coffeeshop to buy food.
This original Hakka cemetery that was established in 1887 as a burial ground for kinsmen from Jia Ying prefecture in Canton, China. The Hakka cemetery had an area of more than 100 acres at Holland Road. In 1965, as large part of land was acquired by the government, the original cemetery size was reduced to 4.5 acres. As Queenstown developed, the burial land was acquired for public housing. The village was resettled in 1968 .New memorials and a columbarium were erected in the 1970s around this cemetery temple and its remaining land.
Most residents walk pass this 'Open' fence from their HDB blocks, to the main entrance of Ancestral Hall.
 Ancestral Hall
Today, the 1.89 hectare site retains the relocated graves, the original ancestral hall and a newly built community hall.
Unlike the elaborate designs and Chinese carvings found on many Chinese tombs, the 'checked' box-like tombs can only be described. 
Row of tombstones facing to Block 32

 Stone on the top of tombstone
The row of tombstones is simliar to one of the cemetery - Kranji War and the narrow space of each tombstone as if there's a ash or remains that buried underneath each tombstone. There are some stones on top of tombstones and no ideas for what purpose or this tombstone has a 'living' descendant to look after.

This signboard shown at the entrance gate which no one knows this piece of land is belonged to the Hakka Clan established since 1822, is one of the oldest  Hakka Clan 'Ying Fo Fui Kun'  in Singapore.

What puzzles me is the 'gift' stoned-chair that was constructed by ANN SENG CONSTRUCTION CO. was given to Ying Fo Mansion Swimming pool. Was Ying Fo Mansion Swimming Pool around when Ying Fo Fui Kun cemetery estalished in 1887?
On the right side of the cemetery, there's a Dai Bak Gong, or earth god, whose silver /white headstone is the gateway to the cemetery. Dai-Bak Gong is a popular deity amongst the Chinese of southern China. It is associated with wealth and prosperity but may also be a form of land god, whose main role is to watch over a site. There are 4 festivals in the annual Chinese calendar - the Hungry Ghost Festival, Qing Ming Festival and the Spring and Autumn festivals. A few hundreds of people come down to the Hakka cemetery during Hungry Ghost festivals every year.
Many of these 'large' size of plaque tombstones lining in front of the cemetery and this particular tombstone incribed in Chinese hardly seen clearly incribed the 'year of the headstone'. It could be earlier buried and one of the tombstones has indicated '33 years'on it.
Most of the urns are kept inside the Ancestral Hall (above) that the cemetery housing exhumed graves, comprises a 125-year-old ancestral temple, a memorial hall for the Hakka clan and a stand-alone columbarium where the urns are stored.
Footpath to the Ancestral Hall

There is a footpath that runs through the cemetery and residents of Block 6 and 7 use it as a short cut to the nearby Commonwealth Mrt. It's no wonder that some of the communters who board the train would have noticed the cemetery when the train drives pass by from Commonwealth Mrt and Buona Vista Mrt, is clearly seen behind the Petrol Station (Blue Rooftop).

Cemetery is seen behind the Petrol Station (Blue rooftop)

Inside the Ancestral Hall that is clearly seen outside the rows of the large-sized of tombstones. 
It is not clear whether the Government will most likely take back the land. It's such a pity that this cemetery has a long standing history and heritage. And this could let the younger generations to know the heritage of the Hakka Clans and the cemetery.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

It's 7th Month

Every year, the fall of the Hungry Ghost Festival, many people are busy preparing foods and offerings. Hope, my explanation on how the Gate of Hell (Hades) operates which come from of the book that indicated all events and written by Yang Sheng, a leading planchette handler of Shen Xian Tang (Taiwan) - renowned temple to visit Hades.. This book (English version) is printed in Malaysia only that translated from the original Chinese version that covers all episode in Hades and as well as the explanation of 'Real Life' of the souls of their past when they were alive which no one knows what happens to the suffering of the souls that punished in Hades instead of Heavenly Realm or Western Pureland of the Bliss. Not all the souls of the dead being to Heaven but straight to Hades when they dies, the soldiers of Hades being send down to earth to collect the souls before it wondering around. This book is published for "FREE" distribution and it encourages readers to continue practising religious beliefs of their own choice. This book is a goodwill from the renowned temple, individuals and organisations who sponsor it. This book is not available in Singapore. As far as I know there are temples in Singapore where you can find the 'free' books on the shelves but these books are NOT covered the whole episode including the souls of the dead sufferings in Hades.

Just a brief about Hungry Ghost Festival
At the start of 7th moon which falls on 31 Jul 2011 (the month of lunar calendar) the Gates of Hades are opened wide for the souls of the departed to visit Earth again to enjoy themselves. That is why the 7th month is often called the "Ghosts Month". It is advisable that during this month human beings should be more careful about going outside the house, especially at night time, in order to avoid crossing path of the souls of the dead.
To begin with a start, I am writing this story that stated from the book, to all people to know that when there is a Earth and there is also Hades where human beings live and die.

As you all already knew there is "Gui Men Guan"(Gate to Devil's Home) and the side door is open. Many souls are rushing to get out through the open door, their faces are so cheerful and happy to breathe the fresh air outside. Yes. This side door of Gui Men Guan will be open only during the 7th month when the souls of the 'common' people are allowed to get out through this side door in batches and when they are out, they behave like birds being set free from their cages - so happy and free. The words of "Gui Men Guan", is where a human being dies, he or she becomes a ghost. When on Earth the body can walk about on the roads but after death, he/she becomes a devil, on reaching 'Gui Men Guan', the gate automatically opens for his soul to enter. When a person is alive, the door of Earth is open and when he/she dies, the door of Earth is closed and the door of Gui Men Guan is open for his soul to enter.

During the 7th month only the souls of the 'common' people are allowed to go out through the side door because when they were alive, they were more or less average, i.e. they were not famous or had earned merit; neither were they very sinful. So, in ordinary days they are concentrated in the average or 'common' people's section but they are not allowed to leave it - they are allowed to just exist day in and day out. Only during the 7th month, on receipt of the District Officer's Amnesty, are certain group of these souls allowed to get out and other otherwise. Speaking of the demonism in Hades, it is on the 15th day of the 7th month that group after group of eligible souls are allowed to partake of the lavish food offerings given by human beings on the Feast of the Hungry Ghosts.The meaning of "Pudu" is to relieve souls out of purgatory. Buddhists call this festival "Yu Lan Pen Hui"; Taoists call this festival "Zhong Yuan Pudu". The official workers in Hades generally have their regular fixed holidays which are different from the holiday given to souls. This is more or less the daily run of affairs in Hades.

Not all the souls are set free and there are the remaining souls who are still in Hades. They(most sinful ones) envy those lucky souls who are allowed to go out and enjoy whereas they are still kept back in this Prison in Hades. Therefore they(most sinful ones) have good reason to be sad. On earth, human beings can enjoy the moonlight but in Hades, the souls are suffering in darkness or semi-darkness.

The period of the Festival of the Hungry Ghost, in the human world, people pray to and offer food to the hungry ghosts in connection with the ritual of relieving souls out of Purgatory; those souls who are not too sinful have the privilege of enjoying themselves by eating the various food offerings and collecting burnt paper money. Some souls who had committed great sins; the amenity on the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts is not extended to them to visit the human world and partake of the feasts..etc.

Have you heard from people who says that roaming spirits/souls disturb people on earth? Yes. this is true that there are still many roaming souls on Earth disturbing people. To be reasonable, there are quite a number of roaming souls on Earth who died through murders, accidents...etc, and Hades have given them special permission to go back to Earth to take revenge. But when some of these souls are on Earth, they tend to act without due consideration and when they see human beings, they are apt to disturb them. But, if a person has good fate and good luck, or has good morality or ascetic practice, he/she cannot be harmed. If a roaming disturbing soul does not follow reason and is detected by Officers/Police of Hades, or the deities on Earth, he will be arrested and brought back Hades for punishment. This anomaly is the same; in Hades some deities have pity on the roaming souls and give them permission to go to Earth and take revenge, exactly like prisoners on Earth who are set free, but instead of turning a new leaf and be good, they create more trouble and mischief.

Nowadays, there are five main important religions in the World i.e. 1) Taoism, 2) Islam, 3) Confucianism, 4) Christianity and 5) Buddhism. These are the true religions having the Right Path (Tao) as the source. Originally, there was only one religion but eventually, Heaven sent down the various Sages to teach human beings throughout the World the true religious beliefs. After the death of the followers of the other Sages to claim that one particular religion was and is better than any other religions. On Earth, there are many religious faiths, but the various followers of one faith are always attacking the religions beliefs of other faiths thus causing the meaning of true ascetic practice to be lost, there is an office of 'Wan Jiao Gui Zong' is established so that the souls of religious people are brought to undergo further indoctrination and instruction. The word "Gui Zong" means one heart - all hearts must become one heart and must work towards mutual help and love for each other. All religions have doors wide open to admit those who believe in any particular religion; even though the founders are different, the ultimate aim is the same - to teach all to do good.

The useful words: You must not indulge in vain hopes and immoral thoughts. If you have immoral thoughts you will suffer. Those who practice aceticism need not have magic powers; they must control their mind, and their inner soul must also be steady. In that case, they can be classified as "small fairy".

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Fort Canning Park - Ancient History of the past

Early history of Singapura begins here - Bukit Larangan
Early Site of the fortress,
The first home of rulers (kings),

Signal station, the oldest Christian Cemetery
The first ever lighthouse in Singapore,
Underground reservoir in early, the botanical gardens.
Government House on the hill, underground bunkers the battle box
Percival surrendered to Japanese.
Establishments of British, Japanese, Malaysian and Singapore Armed forces
The First and ever home of Singapore Commando and College where the staff.
Being part of my devoted interests about history, traditional and heritage culture of Singapore since young. Thus made me more demanding to find out about Singapore all over the islands.My grandma & grandpa had lived their life in the old villages since they were young in 1912s. Life was hard, full of wars and food rations hit them hard. Ancient history travelled back to the period, dated back centuries ago where there were small islands like Sumatra and Java as well as Malacca. I made two trips on weekends, to explore the Park and to recollect the history of the past, where it was once stood as Temasek, now known as Fort Canning Park. I remembered that I was once been at the Registry of Marriages at Fort Canning Park years ago.
There is a staircase leading to the Fort Canning Park, would take about 5 mins to the top which you can see the foothill that leading to the 14th Century of the footpath. This park is located between former Hill Street Police Station and Central Fire Station on Hill street.

At the top of the hill, stands Raffles House where Governor Sir Stamford Raffles used to live there since 1819. In front of the Raffles House, there is the flagstaff, a fountain and extremely right is the Lighthouse. Standing at the Raffles House that facing Marina Bay Sands with a clear view. Flagstaff
In front of the Raffles House, where the pole stands the most centuries is the "Flagstaff" built in 1820s, is the first communication device installed on the hill. It was the part of a communication system which used coded flags to convey a wide range of information to the public in port cities around the world. Many types of information were communicated by the different kinds of flags flown on the flagstaff. Flags giving information about different matters were flown on different areas of the flagstaff, thus making it easier to read the signals. Parts of the flagstaff had special names e.g. the truck, the halliard, the yardarm, and the gaff. In the 19th and early 20th centuries the public needed to know how to decipher the meanings of the various flags.
In Singapore, the merchants kept a close watch on the flagstaff so that they would be among the first to know when a ship arrived in the Singapore harbour. They would then sped to the ship wharves to receive the latest news and to bargain with the shippers for their housewares and others. As for the deadline, sending postal on an outgoing shop would also be indicated. The flags showed which country and often which company the ship belong to and where they were anchored.
If there was a disease such as smallpox on board, the ship would then be quarantined, and the flagstaff would indicate this. If a ship was carrying gunpowder, this would be reported. In addition, the shipping information, the flagstaff also gave such information as the locations of fires in the city. A regular fire bridge was established (at the foot of Fort Canning on Hill Street), fires were fought by volunteers who had joined. When Singapore mainly built of wood, fores were frequent and threatened to spread quickly. The next device set-up was the "Time Ball" in early19th century and it raised at 12.55pm and dropped at 1pm, it helped people to keep time. In 1860s, the telegraph came into general use. Singapore's first telegraph office was set up on the hill, near the flagstaff. But I couldn't see it at all.

Fort Canning Lighthouse
The Fort Canning Lighthouse was built on the highest point of the hill in 27 Feb 1902 by Riley Hargreaves & Co., helping to guide ships to safe anchorage. Singapore's history Fort Canning was one of the most prominent landmarks of Singapore for ships entering the Singapore harbour. The height of the hill is 120 feet/36.3 meters plus the height of the lighthouse tower is about 82 feet/24.3 meters that gave the light total elevation of 202 feet/60.6 meters, thus making it visible 18 miles/30 km away. Technically the light itself was of the dioptre occult type of the first order, visible for 17secs, followed by an eclipse for 3secs. The lighthouse keeper reached a watch room just below the light by climbing up a ladder inside a metal cylinder two meter in diameter. The light was focused by dioptre lenses and mirrors. The light was "eclipsed" darkened every 17secs by lowering a metal cylinder around the burner for 3secs, thus giving rise to the term "occult type".
The light was created by a burner of the latest type fuelled by Kerosene, which generated 20,000 candlepower. It was said to have been extremely reliable and its consumption of fuel, 320 liters per month, not excessive. This light source was used right up until 14 Dec 1958, when the lighthouse was cloned and a new signal light using electricity was erected on top of the Fullerton Building. The Fort Canning Light was cloned because in 1958, the tall buildings were making it invisible from the sea. The Fullerton Building light was taken down in 1979.
Ancient History of the Past
footpath to Archaeological Dig Archaeological Dig
This archaeological finds were uncovered by DI. John Miksic and his team as part of an excavation project commissioned by National Museum in 1984. Among the artefacts recovered were porcelain, earthenware and glass shards. These artefacts show that there could have been an old kingdom on Fort Canning Hill, with the possibility of glass and gold workshops. Hundreds years ago in 1330, our island was like a piece of ancient sandstone on the hill, known as Temasek before it became Singapura in 1392 where the Palembang prince lived after Javanese attacked. The prince named Paranesware took control of Temasek and attempted to turn into the new centre of trade between east and west Asia and renamed the site as Singapura. Five years later, he escaped another attack and formed a new settlement which became the great port of Melaka. In the next two centuries of Singapore's history are poorly known, but I guess that there was evidence that the traders visited Kallang and Singapore Rivers occasionally . Thus Singapore was known to the early European explorers as an important historial landmark. Royal Palace Shelter
Picnic Terrace near Royal Palace
The untold story of Fort Canning Park was once known as Fort Canning Hill where there was a Royal Palace being built in early 14th century and destroyed around late 1396. When the British arrived in 1819, the British natives referred to the hill as Bukit Larangan or Forbidden Hill where Malay living in Singapore refused to climb the hill, and later told that it was forbidden without permission from ancient rulers. The Government House was built at its peak and the hill was known as Government Hill dated back from 1819 to 1859.
Near the 14th century walk trail, there is a 'sacred place' in Malay, a Keramat is the traditional burial ground of the last king - the Keramat of Rajah Iskandar Shah. He was the last of the five kings to rule over Singapura in the 14th century and also the descendant of Sang Nila Utama, who founder of Singapura - The Lion CIty. Iskandar Shah's rule over Singapore but he was attacked by enemy. He had escaped on horseback with a band of bodyguards through a secret passage at the back of the hill. It was said that the last king of Singapura settled in a place where trees grew and founded a new kingdom called Melaka (Malacca) where he died 1420. Fort Canning Park was supposed resting ground for all the kings. However, the tombs were reportedly destroyed when the British converted Fort Canning into a fortress in 1859 to enhance security. So this new "Keramat" was finally erected many years later and has remained at the same spot ever since. A 14th century-styled Malay roof called a "pendopo" supported by 20 wooden pillars carved in a fighting cock motif of Javanese origin, shelters this structure. Many locals believe that the "Keramat" has mystical powers and healing, although the worship is not allowed by the law, but they still visit the place to pray. Guess so, isn't it?
Gate of Fort Canning The Government was demolished in 1859 to make way for a new Fort - "The Gate of Fort Canning" between 1859 and 1861. And later it renamed as Fort Canning Hill after Charles John Canning, who was then Governor-General and the first General of India. This Fort had army store kept weapons and guns - seven 68-pounder guns, eight 8-inch guns, two 13-inch mortars and some 14 pounder cannonades; barracks for Indian and European soldiers, a hospital and gunpowder magazines. During WWII, the hill was known as command post of Lieutenant-General Percival in 1942. Between 1923 and 1927, the old fort was demolished and what remains today is only the massive gateway.

9-pounder cannon facing main gate of Fort Canning
9-pounder cannon
This cannon is one of a pair which for many years were used as decorations for the main gate of Fort Canning. There are meant to shoot a 9-pound cannonball. Such guns were not used at Fort Canning, this type of gun dates from the early 19th century and had become obsolete before Fort Canning was built. This gun probably was used at an earlier fortification, such as Scandal Point which once stood at the east end of the Padang.
In 1867, at the main battery (South battery), there were 7 guns of 68-pounder size mounted behind a brick wall which defended Singapore, was erected. Within the wall were buildings to store gunpowder. The guns were mounted on carriages which could be pivoted to enable the guns to cover a wide arc of fire.
Due to the peaceful conditions of the late 19th century and early 20 century, the guns were never used against an enemy. The only time they were ever fired was to salute important visitors and to signal the time of day.
Fort Canning Visitor Centre (rear view) - Former Military British Barracks
Underground Reservoir Fort Canning
Along the footpath of the display cannon, the steep slope of the hill, stands the Fort Canning Visitor Centre (formerly known as British Military Barracks), where the public would gather information. In front of the centre, there are sculptures displayed everywhere, leads the staircase at top of the hill. At the top of the hill, is the Underground Reservoir Fort Canning was used as a football field by British forces and the Singapore Command and Staff College. As you can see the Fort Gate along the field, sculptures hanging on the trees surroundings. And there is a small door beside the tree on the brick wall of the shelter. Sally Port
Sally Port is a small door which lead in and out of fort. They are meant to help defenders to enter or exit the fort undetected and unnoticed, and can be used in case of an attack. The word "sally" means to make a sudden forceful exit. And if an enemy is surrounding a fort, the defenders can try to make sudden attack through a Sally port and surprise the enemy outside.
I heard that Fort Canning had at least three such Sally ports: one at Fort Canning, one on the northwest side of the hill, and one on the south near Hill Street. Now I only saw one Sally Fort!

The Battle Box(where Lt.Gen. Percival and his commanders made the decision to surrender to the Japanese on 14 Feb 1942)
History of the bunker (The Battle Box) - The final phase of the Battle for S'pore Lt.General A.E. Percival, Commander of the British Forces, shifted his headquarters to the underground bunkers (Battle Box) at Fort Canning. It comprised 22 rooms including a Communications Ccentre, sleeping quarters and bathroom. It had reinforced concrete walls more than 3-foot thick in places. The Battle Box was capable of withstanding direct hits from the heaviest bombs and artillery shells. The rooms also included gun operations and conference room, an escape hatch, sergaents and officers mess.
It was in the bunkers (the Battle Box) on 14 Feb 1942 that he met his senior commanders at 9.30am and make the decision to surrender to the Japanese was reached as a counter-attack was considered impracticable. At 11.45am , Percival left for Ford Motor Works, Bukit Timah to hand a letter to Lt. General Yamashita who demanded that Percival present himself personally. In the same afternoon Percival accompanied by Brigadier Torrance (General Staff), Brigadier Newbigging (Chief Administrator) and Major Wild (Interpreter) left Fort Canning bunkers to surrender to Yamashita at the Ford Motor Works. The surrender documents were signed at 7.50pm and all hostilities in S'pore ceased after that and 15 Feb is now commemorated in S'pore as Total Defence Day. The Battle box which inscribed as on how "The Day Singapore Fell on 15 Feb 1942", is the largest underground military operations complex in Singapore. It is part of the Malaya Command Headquarters during WWII. In 14 Feb 1942, Lt.-General Arthur Ernest Percival established his command post of the Malayan Command at the fort in his il-fated attempts to defend the island from the invading Japanese forces.The Japanese also used the fort for its military until the end of the Occupation in 1945, whereby the British army resumed control.Now the bunker is a visitor attraction known as The Battle Box and was opened in 1997 to the public as the museum as it currently stands.
Inside the battle box, there are specially audio and visual effects, high quantity animatronics and specially crafted figurines, that bring you back to the time of 14 Feb 1942 when the surrender decision was made by British Officers and Singapore fell to the Japanese. Surrounded by bombing outside The Battle Box and you will walk through the complex and experience the recreated events in its various rooms.

The Battle Box works very closely with the National Heritage Board and the Association of Singapore Attractions in its programmes and publicity. The facility is now managed by The Legends of Fort Canning Park.

Hotel Fort Canning
Formerly Military Headquarters of Lt Gen. Percival, Malaysian Armed Forces(1963-65) and the first Singapore Command and Staff College of the Singapore Armed Forces of Independent Republic of SIngapore. Later, the Fort Canning Country Club.
The legends - luxury boutiquie hotel, dine dining restaurant would soon replace the Country Club The history of Hotel Fort Canning dates back in 20th century. Considered as an iconic heritage hotel in Singapore, the Hotel Fort Canning building is the result of the restoration of a former British Military. This military building was built in 1926 as the Administration Building of the British Far East Command HQ. The General-Officer-Commanding Lieutenant-General Percival had an officer of this building. The Building was occupied by the Japanese Military during the Occupation (1942-1945). The British Military took it back after the war and used it as part of the British Military Administration. This building was taken over by the SAF (S'pore Armed Forces) when Singapore became independent. In 1970, the building was used by the S'pore Command & Staff College (SCSC). In 1976, the SCSC moved out of the building and it remained unoccupied until 1995, when it housed the Fort Canning Country Club.
The Legends of Fort Canning Park took over the premises in Nov 2002, and on 1 Nov 2010, the restored heritage building re-opened as Hotel Fort Canning, the hotel wing of The Legends of Fort Canning Park.
The Cupolas
These two small Cupolas are the monuments, designed by the important architect of early Singapore, G.D. Coleman (1796-1844). He also designed much larger structures with a similar shape. The roof top of the Armenian Church of St Gregory the Illuminator at Hill Street once has a dome with such a structure on the top, but this was removed when the church was remodeled in 1854. Some people thought that these two Cupolas are tombstones, but these are not the tombstones.
There is no record of the date of construction or their purpose to live; they were probably meant as the place to rest and enjoy the peaceful surrounding and the quiet of the Fort Canning Green.
Gothic Gate
Old Christian Cementary The Old Christian Cementery was once a burial ground, used from 1822 until 1865. The Entrance to the Cemetery are marked by gateways designed by Captain Charles Edward Faber Superintending Engineer. The gateway is called Gothic Gate, the work of Gothic revival style in SIngapore. The southern half of the ground was allocated tot the Anglican community; other Christian denominations were given the northern half. Most of the Gravestones and other monuments had become very dilapidated and were removed in the 1970s. Over 600 people were buried in this graveyard and 1/3 of them were Chinese Christians.
ASEAN Sculpture Garden
The ASEAN Sculpture garden can be found outside Gothic Gate. These sculpture were created in 1981 for the ASEAN Sculputres Symposium in Singapore. As a symbol of ASEAN unity and cooperation, each member country - the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore - donated a sculpure to this garden in 1982. Brunei added its conribution in 1988 when it became an ASEAN member.
Today, Fort Canning has been converted into a Historical Park and most of the buildings have been converted for the Arts. What will remain on the Hill are the Old Gateway, the Tombstone inscriptions, the Administrative Block, the old Barracks, the underground reservoir and the bunkers.
It was a pleasant walk, no matter how long it takes me to this path of the forgotten lands that led me to a ancient times.
Here I am back to touch up this piece one by one to make up the history of the Fort Canning Park to reminisce the feelings of this place. I have put up the poem in my other blog which you might able to remember the ill-fated of the legends of the Fort Canning and the last king of Singapura that lived through the centuries that once forgotten.