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Mediacorp signs MOU with Honour (Singapore) to showcase films by young filmmakers on its platforms


On Nov 2, national media network Mediacorp inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with non-profit organisation Honour (Singapore) at the 12th edition of the latter’s biannual film screening session at the Capitol Theatre.

The partnership will see films, created by young emerging filmmakers, streamed on Mediacorp’s digital video platform, mewatch, and aired on the Lights. Camera. Singapore. block on Mediacorp’s Channel 5, which highlights locally produced works.

The films also aim to raise awareness of the growing interest in homegrown honour-themed Singapore films among local audiences.

In a statement to the press, Honour (Singapore)’s founding chairman Lim Siong Guan said: “Mediacorp is no stranger to engaging audiences with compelling content and supporting innovation in storytelling.

“Their dedication to diversity and their commitment to enriching the cultural landscape align perfectly with our vision. Through this partnership, Mediacorp will provide a national stage for our film initiative, giving filmmakers and their stories the exposure they deserve.”

Angeline Poh, Mediacorp’s Chief Customer and Corporate Development Officer, added: “We are committed to championing local content and talents, and are excited to join hands with Honour (Singapore) to celebrate some of the finest works by our budding filmmakers.

“By showcasing these films across our network, we hope to amplify their exposure to a wider audience, as well as foster a stronger appreciation for local content.”

Audiences can catch the first Honour films on mewatch and Channel 5 sometime in December this year.

Reply 1988 co-stars Hyeri and Ryu Jun-yeol break up after 6 years of dating


Monday (Nov 13) marked a sad day for fans of the hit South Korean drama Reply 1988 as co-stars-turned-couple Hyeri and Ryu Jun-yeol announced their breakup.

In the drama, the two starred as childhood friends who were part of a group of five. A running mystery in the drama was the identity of the future husband of Hyeri’s character which turned out to not be Ryu Jun-yeol’s character.

Nonetheless, it didn’t stop Hyeri and Ryu from growing closer during the drama’s production. In August 2017, the two went public with their relationship, delighting fans worldwide.

Now, it seems like the fairy tale has ended. South Korean outlet News 1 first reported that Hyeri and Ryu had broken up, adding that “the two decided to remain colleagues” and that “entertainment industry officials and colleagues were saddened by the news”.

Later that day, Hyeri and Ryu’s respective agencies released separate statements to news agency Newsen, confirming the breakup.

Hyeri rose to fame as a member of the South Korean girl group Girl’s Day, gaining further popularity during her stint in the variety show Real Men. Meanwhile, Ryu got his start as an independent film actor.

Reply 1988 ended up being one of the most popular K-dramas of all time, propelling both of them to superstardom. Since then, both Hyeri and Ryu have been constant fixtures in the South Korean entertainment scene.


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You can now fly to the island paradise of Palau in just 5 hours


Imagine a place where crystal-clear waters meet lush green landscapes with coral reefs teem and vibrant marine life. Welcome to the idyllic archipelago of Palau, a remote destination of such astonishing natural beauty that it is often referred to as the “underwater Serengeti” for its mind-boggling marine diversity.

Until recently, going to Palau from Singapore required an arduous journey with at least two transit stops. However, a newly launched direct flight between Singapore and Koror, Palau has changed that. Visiting this destination, featured on Lonely Planet’s Top Sustainable Travel Destinations list for 2024, is now just a mere five-hour plane ride away.

Alii Palau Airlines and Changi Airport Group have announced a new route directly connecting Singapore to Koror, Palau, which will be operated by Royal Bhutan Airlines (Drukair), the national carrier of the Royal Government of Bhutan.


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Located in the western Pacific, Palau comprises about 340 islands, islets and atolls, of which just eight islands are inhabited. With a population of about 18,000 people, the country is serious about protecting its natural environment. For instance, in 2020 Palau became the first country to ban sunscreen that is known or suspected to be reef-toxic and only mineral sunscreens that exclusively list zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as their active ingredients are permitted.

After all, the island nation sits at the convergence of three large ocean currents, resulting in a nutrient-rich environment where an abundance of marine life, including turtles, sharks, manta rays and fish of all sorts thrive. It is estimated that there are about four times the number of coral species in Palau compared to the Caribbean.

Some of the high-end resorts in Palau include Palau Royal Resort and Cove Resort Palau. Divers will also enjoy liveaboard arrangements on ships for easier access to dive sites. For instance, the Four Seasons Explorer is a catamaran that bills itself as a floating luxury resort with varying cruise routes for maximum flexibility.

One of the top destinations in Palau is the UNESCO World Heritage site, Rock Islands, a collection of several hundred limestone formations. It is home to some of the most abundant marine life on the planet, making it a dream destination for scuba divers.

Other dive sites in Palau include various World War II era shipwrecks as well as the Ngemelis Wall. Also known as the Big Drop-Off, this sheer vertical wall was described by oceanographer Jacques Cousteau as the best wall dive in the world.

Travellers are already showing interest in Palau as their next vacation destination. Francis Lee, general manager of travel agency, said: “The new direct flights from Singapore to Palau are definitely what some 200,000 divers in Singapore have been looking forward to and we have seen a flurry of inquiries since the announcement.”

“This new route from Singapore to Palau is not just about convenience ‒ it is about the prospect of discovering an unspoiled jewel in the Pacific Ocean, an opportunity for travellers to embark on an authentic transformative trip.”


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Kiss dry and lined pouts goodbye: Your guide to the best lipsticks for soft, youthful-looking lips


Women have an arsenal of wrinkle-eradicating skincare and anti-ageing make-up to keep complexions young and supple, but all too often, we neglect the skin on our lips. The truth, of course, is that lips aren’t immune to the signs of ageing.

As time goes by, those once-plump puckers lose collagen and volume. Lips become thinner, fine lines get more pronounced, and the shape of the lips becomes less defined. Mature skin is also dryer since less oils are produced. But fret not, there are still myriad ways to rock a bright lip and revel in the power of a good lippie, regardless of age.


The good news is that lipstick formulas have become increasingly sophisticated – many are formulated with hydrating ingredients, so that colour is less prone to seeping into the fine lines on mature lips. Look for emollients such as shea butter and cocoa butter, and the aforementioned hyaluronic acid, so that your lipstick can act as skincare at the same time, locking in moisture and preventing dryness.


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While it makes sense to go for glossy and creamy nourishing formulas, as these offer more hydration and add a healthy sheen to your lips, as well as a plumping effect, it doesn’t mean that matte lippies should be banned from the make-up playbook of those who are more mature.

Not all matte lipsticks are drying and lead to that dreaded lip feathering effect, as some matte formulas contain moisturising ingredients. Good lip care and prep, such as a nourishing lip balm or a lip primer before slicking on a matte colour, can also make matte lipstick work for mature skin. 

A nice compromise between glossy and matte could be a satin lipstick, which has the matte-finish look, but has shiny and glossy properties and glides on more smoothly than a matte lipstick. 


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A luxe lippie with all the right ingredients: Plant-based waxes in the form of mimosa, jojoba and sunflower to provide hydration, nourishment and comfort, and a silicone wax for blurring away fine lines and for a smoother application. A little shine thanks to a new polymer film and silicone microbeads lends a healthy, plumping sheen. 

Available at Chanel Beauty boutiques and counters.

2. Hermes Rouge Hermes Satin Lipstick, S$116

A creamy satin-finish beauty with plumping hyaluronic acid spheres to help lips regain fullness and softness, and commiphora oil to hydrate the lip surface.

Available at Guerlain boutiques and counters.

4. Gucci Beauty Rouge a Levres Voile Sheer Lipstick, S$65

Comes in a sleek gold case that is refillable and promises a creamy yet saturated and long-wearing satin-finish formula that won’t feather or smudge, which is great news for mature lips. The ultra-slim bullet is built for precision application, especially on thinner lips.

Available at

Singaporean chef opens fine dining restaurant in Sweden championing Singapore flavours


When Singaporean chef Pearly Teo, 36, was deliberating what to name the restaurant she was opening in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city, she took inspiration from a keepsake her late grandmother left her: An old glass soft drink bottle filled with red saga seeds.

Her grandmother had loved collecting the little heart-shaped seeds when they fell off their trees, filling her house with them, and when she died a decade ago, she left bottles of saga seeds for each of her grandchildren.

Relatably for Gothenburg’s restaurant-going population, “Saga” is also a Swedish girls’ name and the name of a goddess in Norse mythology. And, of course, in English, it also refers to an epic story.

Teo had moved to Gothenburg 10 years ago to be with her Swedish ex-boyfriend, whom she’d met through online gaming when she was a university student in Australia. While the relationship hasn’t lasted, she has built a blossoming career for herself in the restaurant scene – all without formal culinary education.

On Teo’s tasting-only menu are dishes like kombujime zander dressed with assam dashi, with pickled coriander seeds and kohlrabi; Swedish mussels with fermented potato and curry; and Jasmine milk tea ice cream with gula melaka, vanilla cake and apples from a local farmer.

Flavours like calamansi, which she uses in a palate-cleansing sorbet, are novel for Swedes, but she does try not to jolt diners too much. “I haven’t done anything too spicy,” she said, quipping, “Cili padi is probably not going to fly.”

While guests who are from or have lived in Southeast Asia recognise and appreciate the flavours, she’s also had to explain the cuisine to some of the other guests. “They might have heard of Singapore but don’t know what the food culture is like”, or even draw a blank on where Singapore is. “People who know think of Hainanese chicken rice and chilli crab. It’s also hard to explain to them that I am not going to make chicken rice, chilli crab or laksa.”

She then interned for fine dining Japanese-Swedish restaurant VRA, a Michelin Guide restaurant, and mentioned to the head and sous chefs that she was thinking about going to a culinary school in Sweden. “They both said, ‘We went to that school. Honestly, if you work with us, you’re going to learn so much more.’” She remained there for two years, travelling and working at other restaurants while VRA was closed for summer vacations and learning what she could. “I’m very grateful because they’re such a known restaurant here – having worked with them also put me on map for a lot of other restaurants,” Teo acknowledged.

It was also at VRA that she met her Swedish best friend, who is now her sous chef at Saga. “After we left, we went to different restaurants but I always knew I wanted to work with her again.”

The more she worked in fine dining, the more she thought about doing something she could call her own. In this sphere, “You tend to meet more chefs who are interested in the food, how it tastes, the quality of the dishes”, she said. Additionally, “What drew me to fine dining was the creative aspect of it, like plating – making the food taste good and also look good.” She was also studying a lot, dreaming up dishes and experimenting with fermentation. “If I’m doing so much for someone else, I might as well do it for my own restaurant,” she reasoned.


Some of the dishes are inspired by her family’s home-cooked food, like the zander with assam dashi. “My mum cooked an assam fish curry, which is why I’ve associated fish with tamarind,” she said. Additionally, “my family is Teochew, so we ate fish every day growing up.”

Another dish was born from her love of fried Hokkien mee. “We don’t have the big shrimps in Sweden, but I’ve made a steamed egg custard with squid sauce and garlic, based on Hokkien mee flavours.” The dish also uses seasonal squid, sliced into noodles.

The dessert of milk tea ice cream, which features gula melaka, is inspired by bubble tea. “I carried 5kg of gula melaka back with me from Singapore” for its sake, she laughed.

She also works with a local farmer who grows seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs. “Recently, she started growing laksa leaves,” Teo said. “I learned this year that laksa leaves are also called Vietnamese coriander. I’m trying to make my own laksa paste right now. That’s going to be on the near future menu. I’m not going to make a traditional laksa, but I’m going to try to make it in some form of sauce, with seafood.”

She’s had to learn about Swedish seasonal produce, the culture of using a lot of root vegetables and even the names of different fishes in Swedish (she understands the language but uses English to communicate). “In Singapore, we get things all year round. In Sweden, asparagus season, for example, is such a big thing because you get it only once a year in the spring, and it tastes nothing like what I’ve ever had in Singapore.”  

In line with trying to be sustainable, she tries to keep locally unavailable products like rice and calamansi to a minimum, while challenging herself to stay true to “the flavours I remember and want to use”.

Often, that means making her own ferments and sauces from scratch. “I make my own miso, fish sauce and oyster sauce,” she said. “I’m trying to make a Swedish soya sauce using only Swedish ingredients – it’s based on yellow peas and wheat. Since soya beans are not grown here, I’ve been experimenting with local beans. It’s almost ready – it takes one year.”

Needless to say, her pantry is filled with jars of ferments, and her home with books on fermentation. “I have friends who said, ‘You’re going to ferment anything not bolted to the floor.’”

She also goes foraging regularly, picking mushrooms and edible herbs.

What is staff meal at Saga like? Often, “Fish noodle soup, the milky one. Since we have fish bones all the time, they make a good base.” She also wants her co-workers to “taste what a more typical Singaporean dish would taste like”.

Teo said her parents visited her before the restaurant opened and are planning to visit again soon. “In typical Asian parent fashion, they won’t say they’re proud of me directly, but they have video called to ask how everything is going at the restaurant,” she shared. “I think that’s their way of saying it.”

Restaurant Saga is at Aschebergsgatan 26, Gothenburg, Sweden.


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Chef Gordon Ramsey and wife welcome 6th child to the family


The Ramseys have cooked up something – and it’s a boy! Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey, 57, and his wife Tana Ramsey, 50, welcomed their third son and sixth child to the family on Saturday (Nov 11).

The MasterChef star announced the news on Instagram, along with three pictures of Jesse James Ramsey, their latest bundle of joy.

“What an amazing birthday present please welcome Jesse James Ramsay, 7lbs 10oz whopper!! One more bundle of love to the Ramsay brigade!! 3 boys, 3 girls…. Done,” Gordon wrote in his post.

The celebrity chef had just celebrated his 57th birthday on Nov 8, three days before the little one’s arrival.

In a People interview, Tana had said she wanted a big family: “I’m one of four, Gordon’s one of four, so it’s sort of second nature to me”.

Papa Ramsey quipped in another People article that “I’m going to be at school celebrating sports day with a f—ing walker!”.

He added: “‘Hey, who’s your granddad?’ ‘That’s my dad, actually.’ So I’m not too sure how many knee hip replacements they’ll get by the time they get 21, but I’m going to try”.

Gordon and Tana have been married since 1996 and are also parents to daughter Megan, 25; twins Jack and Holly, 23; daughter Matilda, 21; and son Oscar, four.

Salmon-dial watches: The perfect option for people after a classic watch with a big point of difference


Once a colour reserved for special editions or contemporary remakes of vintage pieces, salmon dials have gained such popularity in the last few years that they’ve gone from being an ever-present micro-trend to one of the biggest of the year. It’s not hard to understand why. Though once popular in the 1940s, their rarity and exclusivity in the past five decades or so have seen them attaining cult status, with collectors turning to auctions and resale markets to assuage their desire. (Coincidentally, the most expensive watch to go under the hammer is Patek Philippe’s Grandmaster Chime 6300A-010, which sold for about S$47.11 million at the Only Watch Auction in 2019. One of its two dials is salmon.)

Then, there’s the fact that salmon dials are incredibly pleasing to the eye. The warm, golden tone is poised and elegant, with none of the showiness or tackiness of their gilded counterparts. It makes a statement without saying a word, exuding the understated elegance so embraced these days. It’s classic but fresh; different but comforting. Plus, they go with almost everything you might possibly have in your wardrobe with a lot more flair than a white or black dial does.

This year sees watchmakers tapping on the popularity of the luscious hue in a big way. And that’s nothing but good news for consumers who are sure to find one that caters to their style preferences. Here are eight timepieces to get you started.


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If you’re after a watch with more girth, IWC Schaffhausen’s newest Portugieser Automatic 40 should do the trick. Like the precursors that were launched in 2020, this steel Portugieser bears a 40.4mm case that houses IWC’s self-winding 82200 calibre with ceramic components (for added durability) and a 60-hour power reserve. The dial design remains unchanged, with slender leaf hands pointing towards rhodium-plated applied Arabic numerals and markers, and a small hacking seconds counter at the six o’clock position. The salmon hue, however, completely transforms the watch’s looks and adds a new facet to a collection already graced with red, blue and green dials.

H. Moser & Cie is known for presenting impeccable watches with a hefty dose of humour, and its latest Streamliner Centre Seconds Smoked Salmon timepiece’s name says it all. The three-hand watch features a salmon fume dial (darkened or smoked around the edges) within a 40mm cushion-shaped steel case with a fully integrated bracelet. It’s a vision of sporty modern-retro stylistics, completed with hands featuring Globolight (a ceramic-based material that contains Super-LumiNova) inserts. As for the unique shade featured on the HMC 200 automatic calibre watch, brand CEO Edouard Meylan quips that the inspiration comes from Coho salmon, and not the “traditional Atlantic salmon” so regularly featured—on plates as well as timepieces.

Look two decades forward, and there you’ll find Vulcain’s Chronographe 1970’s, the latest revival model from its 165-year archives. The 38mm manual-wind watch comes in four colour options: A blue dial with grey counters in true homage to its inspiration, a silver dial with black counters, a black dial with silver counters and a monotone salmon dial that the brand reserves for its limited editions (in this case, it’s 50 pieces). Snailed counters accompany the sunray-finished dial within a 12.40mm thick step-case that remains identical to the original chronograph.


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Salmon has proven so popular this year that watchmakers have not limited themselves to using it on just dials. Take Richard Mille’s first-ever ladies’ sports watch, for example. The RM 07-04 Automatic Sport took three years of development to produce, not least because it features a new skeletonised automatic movement: The CRMA8 calibre with a guaranteed resistance to 5,000 g’s of acceleration. The lack of a dial has not stopped Richard Mille from offering the watch in six colour-saturated options. Available in black Carbon TPT, or Quartz TPT in salmon, cream white, mauve, green or dark blue, the watches come with vibrant velcro straps for an impressive total weight of just 36g. 

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The Marvels hit with worst box office opening for any MCU movie to date


Since 2008’s Iron Man, the Marvel machine has been one of the most unstoppable forces in box-office history. Now, though, that aura of invincibility is showing signs of wear and tear. The superhero factory hit a new low with the weekend launch of The Marvels, which opened with just US$47 million (S$64 million), according to studio estimates Sunday (Nov 12).

The 33rd installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a sequel to the 2019 Brie Larson-led Captain Marvel, managed less than a third of the US$153.4 million its predecessor launched with before ultimately taking in US$1.13 billion worldwide.

Sequels, especially in Marvel Land, aren’t supposed to fall off a cliff. David Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Research Entertainment, called it “an unprecedented Marvel box-office collapse”.


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The previous low for a Walt Disney Co.-owned Marvel movie was Ant-Man, which bowed with US$57.2 million in 2015. Otherwise, you have to go outside the Disney MCU to find such a slow start for a Marvel movie – releases like Sony’s Morbius in 2022 or 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot with US$25.6 million in 2015.

But The Marvels was a US$200 million-plus sequel to a US$1 billion blockbuster. It was also an exceptional Marvel release in numerous other ways. The film, directed by Nia DaCosta, was the first MCU release directed by a Black woman. It was also the rare Marvel movie led by three women – Larson, Teyonah Parris and Iman Vellani.

Reviews weren’t strong (62 per cent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and neither was audience reaction. The Marvels is only the third MCU release to receive a “B” Cinema Score from moviegoers, following Eternals and Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantamania.

The Marvels, which added US$63.3 million in overseas ticket sales, may go down as a turning point in the MCU. Over the years, the franchise has collected US$33 billion globally – a point Disney noted in reporting its grosses Sunday.

But with movie screens and streaming platforms increasingly crowded with superhero films and series, some analysts have detected a new fatigue setting in for audiences. Disney chief executive Bob Iger himself spoke about possible oversaturation for Marvel.

“Over the last three and a half years, the growth of the genre has stopped,” Gross wrote in a newsletter Sunday.


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Either way, something is shifting for superheroes. The box-office title this year appears assured to go to Barbie, the year’s biggest smash with more than US$1.4 billion worldwide for Warner Bros.

Marvels has still produced recent hits. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 launched this summer with US$118 million before ultimately raking in US$845.6 million worldwide. Sony’s Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse earned US$690.5 million globally and, after rave reviews, is widely expected to be an Oscar contender.

The actors strike also didn’t do The Marvels any favours. The cast of the film weren’t permitted to promote the film until the strike was called off late Wednesday evening when SAG-AFTRA and the studios reached agreement. Larson and company quickly jumped onto social media and made surprise appearances in theaters. And Larson guested on The Tonight Show on Friday.

The normally orderly pattern of MCU releases has also been disrupted by the strikes. Currently, the only Marvel movie on the studio’s 2024 calendar is Deadpool 3, opening July 26.

BTS's label Hybe acquires Exile Content in its first Latin music label buyout


South Korea’s largest music label Hybe Co, behind K-Pop supergroup BTS, said on Monday (Nov 13) it acquired the music label of Spanish-language media company Exile Content in its first major foray into the Latin music market.

Hybe said it acquired Exile Music, is setting up a Latin America unit for artist management and talent discovery, and considering incorporating the K-pop business methodology typified by lengthy, competitive artist training and development to the Latin genre in the long-term.

A spokesperson for Hybe declined to give the financial terms of the acquisition.

Hybe is looking to tap into the rapid growth of the estimated US$1.3 billion (S$1.8 billion) Latin music market, as it reported a year-on-year growth of 26.4 per cent in 2022 compared to a 9 per cent growth in the global music market according to its statement.

K-Pop’s biggest global success, BTS, is on temporary break as a group while its members serve out mandatory military service in South Korea.

Despite BTS’ absence, analysts said K-Pop artists’ overall sales volume increased in 2023 compared to the previous year as more bands gained a broader international following.

Every dog has its day during Kukur Tihar, a Hindu festival for Nepal's dogs


Dogs in Nepal were decked with marigold garlands and bright vermillion paint on Sunday (Nov 12) to celebrate a day dedicated to them as part of a Hindu festival.

Kukur Tihar, the second day of the five-day Tihar festival, is reserved for worshipping dogs as agents of Yamaraj, the god of death, and for appreciating their loyalty and companionship to humans.

Businessman Sujit Dongol, who celebrated the festival at home, told AFP that his dog was part of the family.

“He is a companion to everyone and is always happy and playful like a child,” he said, holding his one-year-old American Bully in his arms. “We feel happy worshipping a dog that lives with us.”

Dog lovers also offer treats and toys to their pets and street dogs during the celebration.

The Armed Police Force held a special ritual to honour and worship their canine force, which is often used during natural disasters and in the detection of explosives and drugs.

“It is a special day,” said Ramesh Pokharel, chief of the Animal Health and Dog Handler section of the Armed Police Force. “Our dogs have helped us a lot, so the security personnel feel happy to celebrate this.”

Inspired by Nepal’s festival, a similar annual celebration began in Mexico in 2016.

But animal welfare groups say the special treatment should not be limited to a single day and inhumane treatment towards street dogs, such as poisoning them to cull the population or to prevent rabies, must be stopped.