APM2015 Snapshots…

APM 2015 - Media Release(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

I return once again with another APM2015 entry, my second instalment of this year’s edition. This time, I’ll be sharing miscellaneous shots I took during the “Red Carpet” event, the “Walk of the Stars” segment as well as a few shots I took post-event. Unfortunately there was no post-event reception this year and the “Walk of the Stars” segment had to be cut short due to time constraints before the event proper began, so there were not many photographs that I took and certainly less of a variety as compared to previous years.

Also since I am basically a one-man team, I had to leave the “Red Carpet” event at the hall’s entrance to take shots of the events transpiring on stage. In years past, I would have broken my entries into several postings, but this year, I’ll just post my miscellaneous snapshots under one entry, with my review coming much later, as I still have five thousand-odd photographs I need to sieve through and pick the best ones to be featured. Hope this filler entry before my review would help to satiate your thirst to view the photographs of the event. I will not put a timeframe to the publication of my review entry but I hope I will not take another month to post it up… 😛

Wedding of Taufik Batisah & Sheena Akbal…

Shique2015 (22)Taufik Batisah & Sheena Akbal

It is only April 2015, but I dare say that this was easily the “Shaadi (“Wedding” in Hindi) of the Year“, both for its elegance, the guests turnout, the media coverage, as well as who was the married couple in question. Yes, to much dread and disappointment for ladies who had the hots for our first Singapore Idol, Taufik Batisah is now officially off the market and betrothed to Ms. Nurshaheena Binte Akbal Ahmad or affectionately known as Sheena. In a grand wedding affair befitting of his status as arguably Singapore‘s current number one singer, more than 3000 guests attended their lunch reception held at the Muslim Delights events venue on the seventh floor of Luzerne Building last Saturday, 4th April 2015, to celebrate their wedding and to wish them the very best in this new chapter of their lives.

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Looking spleandour in their second outfit and meeting their guests…

Hand to heart, I certainly did not expect to be invited as I had anticipated a small wedding affair for close friends and family members. But the groom himself contacted to personally invite me and the family to his big day, less than two weeks to the wedding day. How could we ever say “No” to this humble and down-to-earth guy who has always been so nice and accomodating in the past to be photographed and allowed me to record short video snippets of him at events and showcases??? It was an honour indeed and here on behalf of my family, I would like to extend my gratitude to Taufik‘s family for inviting us and most definitely not forgetting his manager, Ms. Alison Leong, for kindly allowing me to cover this momentous occasion.

Shique2015 (39)DJ KC and his beloved wife, Fiza O, were the emcees for both the lunch reception and wedding dinner…

I would like to say more about the wedding event, but sadly (or rather, thankfully), The New Paper as well as the other local media sites had already said it for me in their respective feature articles yesterday which you can kindly Google to read or view the video highlights they had put up. I was fortunate enough to be able to sit through his short fifteen minutes session with the media brigade halfway through the lunch reception before he changed into his second outfit. Taufik shared quite a number of interesting stuff like how he feels that he is THE lucky guy, rather than the other way round, how he proposed to Sheena in the car (Taufik, bro you should really seriously think about recording that song into a single. It will definitely be a sure hit on the charts!!!), their future plans to start a family and how many children they would want to have (three for him, two for her…) and so on.

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Taufik addressing the media…

Taufik also shared some interesting insights like how Sheena is one of the fortunate ones to get to listen to his new singles before they are released and giving her fair share of inputs and critique. Which of course made yours truly enquired, whether her voice was the one we hear in the massive hit single “#awakkatmane“, and Taufik finally revealed that it was definitely her. In truth, I already knew beforehand that it was her voice, just that I felt it was no harm to hear it from Taufik himself since I still get people asking me till this day who is the girl behind the voice in that song. I would have loved to give all those people the politically correct answer, but since Taufik himself did not reveal initially, then I was in no position myself to do so. I would have also loved to have asked him what did she think of his first acting stint in “Demi Adriana“, but that’s a question to be asked another day.

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Taufik serenading “Hanya Kamu” to his beloved wife, Sheena

Taufik showed a side to him that most of us probably would never have seen before throughout his decade-long career in the music scene, and that was to tear up whilst singing his song. He did crack when he sang “Hanya Kamu“, the song he dedicated to Sheena. I had expected the bride to cry, but the opposite happened. Taufik had shared during the interview session with the media, how unfazed Sheena has been amidst the media scrutiny when he was all worried about her, but she has so far taken it in her stride and is a person who is not easily swayed by all the gossips and chatter that is synonymous to the entertainment world. In fact he said, it has never been an issue nor a contentious talking point between them all these while. Neither was the fact that she did not mind not being known as his other half before this, when most girls out there would like their other halves to tell the world who they are. It is very rare indeed to find such a partner and I have nothing but profound respect for Sheena. Taufik is indeed a lucky guy!!!

Shique2015 (51)The newly-weds on the wedding dais taking in the performance from “Yaar Punjab“, the Bhangra percussion group that accompanied them out to meet the guests…

What I was most impressed with however, was the organisation of the whole event. For those who attended, I am sure most of them would have queued up for what felt like ages, just to go up to the event venue and having to register their names and showing their wedding invitation cards to the officials on duty. It might have looked too strict to some and probably a waste of time having to wait for their turns to go up, but I thought it was the best thing to do, to prevent gatecrashers and uninvited guests from turning up unannounced. To their credit, the officials on duty were all patient and full of smiles, even though the weather threatened to leave some of us with a bad temper given the heat. I felt it was orderly and everyone was cooperative, allowing the event to go on fuss-free. Kudos to everyone involved in the smooth running of operations during the wedding event. My utmost salute to all of you!!!

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A kiss for the groom from the bride…

To Taufik and Sheena, I really hope and pray for nothing but the best for you both as you embark on this new journey as husband and wife. Married life is not easy. No one said it was. This road is littered with pitfalls and challenges, but the strength of your love, the patience you have for one another will see you through, Insya-Allah. May Allah bless this union of yours with many showers of blessings, sustenance and good tidings, grant you both beautiful and filial children, and may only death do you both part. Best wishes to you both once again and thank you so so much for having us at your wedding… 🙂

Thoughts on Taufik Batisah’s Impending Marriage…

TaufikSheenaPhoto courtesy of Taufik Batisah‘s official Instagram account…

First of all I would like to congratulate our soon-to-be-wedded first Singapore Idol, Taufik Batisah, on his impending marriage to Ms. Nurshaheena Akbal Ahmad, or whom most of us know her as Sheena Akbal over the last few days, when active paparazzis and CSI investigator-wannabes made so much effort to dig out information on the bride-to-be. I can understand such a happy news involving one of our own beloved sons of the country would make the media go into an overdrive and frenzy, as each one will be clamouring for eyeballs on their respective sites. However, I just find it a little distasteful that such intrusive tactics have inadvertently shoved the spotlight on Ms. Sheena Akbal, with some sites being so inquisitive as wanting to highlight the fact that they were following each other on social media, just to prove their point that they are having a relationship.

My first thoughts when I saw that was, “So what???” Each person has his or her own prerogative to follow or be friends with whom they deem fit to do so. This unnecessary stalking has resulted in the poor girl deleting her Twitter and Facebook accounts, from what I heard. I know and have also been informed by a few kind souls that the media culture outside Singapore is very competitive as they compete for not only eyeballs, but advertising and monetary opportunities from the number of visitor-ships. In the United Kingdom and even the United States, they have designated paparazzis following personalities wherever they go. It can be very suffocating for those who are used to the scrutiny, what more those who are instantly thrust into the limelight. I am just thankful that the local media here in Singapore are a respectful bunch in that they try to respect the artistes’ privacy as much as possible, even if they too can be very inquisitive and intrusive unbeknownst to us sometimes.

Actually I’ve heard of this piece of good news months ago. Just that I do not know exactly when is the actual wedding date nor the name of his bride-to-be. I just knew that wedding bells are gonna ring for him pretty soon. Why I did not share it in this domain of mine or on my own personal social media accounts is because I’ve always maintained a strict principle to respect other people’s privacy. Such news will eventually be made known sooner or later. I saw no need to share it out of respect for Taufik and also because I did not hear it from the horse’s mouth himself, even if I could have asked him from the number of times I met him in the last year. It would be very unfair of me to share it with others when he himself had not come out officially to talk about it. Thankfully now that he has made his official announcement earlier today, I can at least share my thoughts over the last few days when news first broke on the front page of last Saturday‘s Berita Harian.

Other than what I deemed as a “witch-hunt” to know the identity of the bride-to-be, I was also a bit uncomfortable seeing some of the comments made by some of his overzealous fans. Relax ladies, it’s not that you and him had something personal going on in the first place. The world doesn’t end with him getting married and you are left all alone (or for those who are already married but still pining secretly for him, with your hubbies). Though I have yet to see most of the comments on social media, I have heard that some of these fans have been a bit unkind and have made spiteful remarks against Ms. Sheena Akbal, either for her looks, her fashion sense, the way she dressed or even her personality. The term “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” seems apt in this case. Grow up ladies and snap back to reality!!! What do you gain from making all these negative remarks??? Some of you should feel ashamed of yourselves for being bitter, ungracious and judgmental. What is more appalling is that some of you who have made such remarks, are donning the Hijab. Is that a good reflection on yourselves???

As ardent fans, you should be praying for the best for the couple as they embark on this new journey in their lives. If you claim that you love and respect the guy, then please jolly damn well respect and embrace his choice of whom he chooses to spend the rest of his life with. Beauty is afterall in the eye of the beholder. She might probably not be as hot as some of you might think he deserves to be with (i.e. yourselves), but she is perfect in every sense in his eyes, so live with it!!! And this just in. A kind FB friend alerted me to the availability of the wedding invitation card now currently spreading around on social media. I am loss for words and just too amazed that there are disrespectful people out there who do not for once think of the repercussions of doing such a thing. Please spare a thought for the family on both sides who would have to receive a large number of gatecrashers and uninvited guests. Stop spreading those images of the invitation cards. Please!!!

To Taufik & Sheena, my advanced congratulations to you both!!! May your upcoming wedding event run smoothly and according to how you both plan it to be. Shut yourselves off from the media scrutiny for the time being and just concentrate on your respective preparations for now. Hopefully your fans too would understand and respect you both and give you the space you need to breathe for the coming month ahead…