The Informed Citizen’s Guide to Watching NDP 2018

Stay woke, fam.
Photo: NDPeeps

It’s the 9th of August, and the entire Singapore is in a collective good mood, because public holiday. Bless up, Ministry of Manpower! Oh, and Happy 53rd Birthday, Singapore! That too.

We’ve been through this time and time again. Like a Kardashian getting pregnant, the National Day Parade is a yearly fixture that will take place no matter what. The format this year is no different: parade, performances, fireworks. Not that I’m complaining though – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

But having caught a preview of this year’s parade, there are in fact a number of factors that will mark this year’s spectacle as a momentous one. As we gather around the television set with our family to catch the parade tonight, here are some things you, as an invested citizen of the nation, should know. (It also doesn’t hurt to impress your family members with some general knowledge, okay?)

President Halimah’s First Appearance at the NDP

Photo: NDPeeps

This will be the first National Day Parade that will see President Halimah Yacob gracing the parade since she was sworn in last September. Will the crowd at the floating platform show her equally as much love as they did her successors? That’s what we’ll be keeping an eye out for. Seeing a female leader finally taking the spotlight is a big mood, so here’s hoping the critics will get over the messy election (seriously, let it go) and let the lady have her moment.


Keppel Cheer NDP
Photo: NDPeeps

Apart from Charlie Lim’s National Day song, the other gem that us normies were gifted upon was the amazing, out-of-this-world cheer video by the much-maligned Keppel Singapore team. The Internet was quick to ridicule the video, and it garnered so much negative attention that the video was eventually pulled from the NDP Facebook page. Such injustice! I will forever stand by the Keppel team. The video was pure quality, and had top-notch entertainment value. These guys were brave (and passionate) enough to put out a video – only to be endlessly mocked online. Never give in to haters, y’all. We owe the Keppel team an apology. So when the cameras pan to the Keppel contingent during the parade segment, make sure you whip out your Singapore flags and give them your loudest cheers. OFFSHORE AND MARINE!! PROPERTY!! INFRASTRUCTURE!! INVESTMENT!!! KEPPEL!!!!!!!

Placard Challenge Cards

NDP Placard
Photo: NDPeeps

I’m a sucker for all-things customizable, and this year’s NDP features placards where parade attendees can fill in. Love. The placards also play a part in the parade, where the entire audience holds the placards up to form a massive display of a phrase. I won’t spoil it entirely, but be sure to look out for it. The entire thing was honestly breathtaking to witness. Kudos to whoever thought of the idea. Creative genius!

Photo: Isaac Lim

Local Music Talents

NDP Joanna Dong
Photo: NDPeeps

NDP songs (and by extension, the people who sing them) have been hit or miss in recent years. This year, however, was for sure a hit. The song has already amassed over a million views on YouTube (no mean feat!), and you can be sure to catch local talents like Charlie Lim, Joanna Dong, Aisyah Aziz, Gareth Fernandez, THELIONCITYBOY and M1LDL1FE performing at the parade. It’s pretty much a S-Pop festival, no?

The Production

NDP Balloon
Photo: NDPeeps

This year’s show not only boasts a touching storyline (the short film they screened throughout the show made me cry, and I’m not ashamed to admit it) but the production was simply spectacular. The highlight? The massive 20kg, 18m-high balloon garlands that were so magical in motion they put Disney sequences to shame.

Catch the National Day Parade 2018 at 5.35PM on Mediacorp Channel 5.