My Perfect Weekend with Singapore Symphony Group CEO Chng Hak-Peng

Mr Chng Hak-Peng spends his late mornings taking a walk or slow jog, usually at Ulu Pandan Park Connector. PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHNG HAK-PENG

Who: Mr Chng Hak-Peng, 49, is the chief executive of the Singapore Symphony Group, which manages the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and its family of orchestras and choruses. He started out as a volunteer in 2008 and was appointed to his current role in 2015.

"It is a privilege to work in a performing arts group in Singapore, but the bulk of our work is over the weekends, so I've had to change up my definition of a weekend.

If my Saturdays and Sundays are both taken up by performances, I make sure to get some downtime on one of the weekdays - often Mondays or Tuesdays.

The first thing I do when I wake on my weekend, whenever that may be, is 30 minutes of either yoga or Vipassana meditation. I find this to be an effective way of practising self-reflection, watching my mind in action and centring myself.

Then I head out for breakfast somewhere nearby - I live in Clementi. There is always something new to try at Ghim Moh Road Market & Food Centre. I also goto Prata Alley at 321 Clementi mall.

My usual ritualafter breakfast is sitting down to read the newspapers - in print, not on my phone or tablet. It might be a rarity these days, but it is a habit I have had since I was 14.

I spend my late mornings taking a walk or slow jog, usually at Ulu Pandan Park Connector or another park in Clementi. This is also when I catch up on my favourite podcasts, such as Making Sense With Sam Harris and the Huberman Lab Podcast.

Music used to be my downtime activity over weekends and I still enjoy it. But, now that it is my job, I try to unwind in the afternoons with something else.

I have been a volunteer docent at the Asian Civilisations Museum for the past 10 years. In fact, I was drawn to music by my love for Asian history, especially the history of religion and Chinese history. It is such a delight to imagine what the world was like in the past.

I museum-hop sometimes, often at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall in Tai Gin Road, the Malay Heritage Centre in Kampong Glam or the Indian Heritage Centre in Campbell Lane.

The Former Ford Factory at Upper Bukit Timah Road is also delightful. I am a board member of the National Library Board, which maintains it, but enjoyed it even before my appointment. I think the place is done up very well; there is even a mobile app to enhance the experience.

I also cafe-hop. I recently visited Grey Area Coffee Roasters, which opened this year in Kampong Bahru Road. They roast their own coffee beans and have a fantastic chocolate chip cookie that they bake in-house.

I also venture to Upper Bukit Timah once a fortnight, which has many interesting places to eat, such as Ameen Makan House in Cheong Chin Nam Road and Carpenter & Cook in Lorong Kilat."

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