I was fortunate enough to attend the National Day Parade (NDP) at the Marina Bay floating platform, and what a wonderful show the organisers put up.
Even friends around me who are usually critical about the parade found this year's parade to be the best in recent years.
Unlike past performances where stories were quite contrived, NDP creative director Boo Junfeng tapped real-life anecdotes to convey the message of fulfilling dreams.
After all, actual experiences are powerful in showing that achieving one's dream is not far-fetched.
It was inspirational for young people like me to hear experiences like that of 83-year-old Mary Klass who persevered and went on to shine in the sporting arena, despite it being an unconventional move for women in the 1950s.
Hearing those stories have motivated me to dream big and "follow that rainbow", just like what founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew extolled in 1996, even though the going may be tough.
It also helps that the theme song was a remake of an old classic and one which could resonate with most people. The familiarity of other favourites like Home and Count On Me, Singapore helped create the right vibe and patriotic atmosphere, as everyone sang along without much difficulty.
In fact, future NDP organisers should take a cue from this and remake old classics instead of trying - too hard sometimes - to produce a new song yearly, which people may find hard to connect with.
Making the parade people-centric and heart-warming is a timely reminder that Singapore has no natural resources except us people, and we can count only on each other to build this home - exemplified by the performers holding onto bricks labelled "Home".
Also, The Straits Times team must be complimented for its extensive coverage so that readers like me could revisit the joy of the country's 53rd birthday celebrations in the newspaper yesterday.
Sean Lim Wei Xin