“Smile, It’s On The House!”: Throwback to This Year’s House Signature Events

Written by: Jace Bong (20-E1), Leia Ong Rui En (20-U1), Lim Junheng, Jovan (20-O5), Ng Teck Zhong (20-E5), Pheobe Ong Hong Ying (20-O1), Sargun Kaur (20-E4), Soh Iwin (20-E5)

Designed by: Sargun Kaur (20-E4)
Photography: EJC Media

If you could choose, would you rather spend your last few evenings of the school year guessing Christmas jingles in the Seminar Room or watching the well-loved Hawaiian Disney duo in the Lecture Theatre? 

The above mentioned were but two of the many house activities that took place during the last week of school this year, these being a cultural staple in Eunoian history — House Signature Events (HSEs)! Read on for a more in-depth coverage of this year’s unique HSE.

The Five Houses Partied in Harmony, until COVID-19 Attacked

Despite COVID-19 and the various restrictions it brought along with it, the respective House Captains, together with their respective House Directorates, endeavoured to put together the respective HSEs as the final House Event for the year which many Eunoians looked forward to.

Even though this year’s House Events were in no form, similar to that of the norm before COVID-19, the atmosphere at the House Events was nonetheless as hyped and electrifying as previous editions, if not more.

In fact, it was by virtue of good luck, on top of the general cooperation of the masses with the Safe Management Measures in place, that the COVID-19 situation was under control, which allowed the House Parties to be given the go-ahead. 

Eder Vice Captain Christie Faith Tan shared, “When we [the House Committee] were first told that we would be able to plan an event for the House, I remember being so excited [about it] and we started drawing up plans for a party!” She was also sure that those involved in the planning and execution of the event share the same sentiment.

Photo credit: Yong Ee

When asked to describe their experience organising, most House Captains and Vice Captains mentioned that though it was a “rollercoaster” of an experience, it was certainly fulfilling and rewarding. With the COVID-19 restrictions, it was not possible to have every member from each House to join the event, nor was it possible to have extensive interactions typical of parties due to the Safe Management Measures in place. This definitely made it difficult to have a normal party, à la pre-COVID. 

“From the many nights of writing action plans to working around guidelines, the process was nothing short of tiring,” recalled Brandon Auyong, Eder House Captain. However, through sheer determination and hard work, and with the best interests of the House members in mind, the House Committees came up with varied parties for each house to bond as the tumultuous year drew to a close. 

Having had to make many changes to their original plans, Ashley Tung, Isami Vice Captain, felt that “[the House Committee] had still accomplished [their] goal of bonding the house and strengthening the sense of identity for the Isamigos.” 

“When everything came to fruition, we were all relieved to see that it was worth taking the risk and trying something that’s never been done before,” said Lim Tian Le, Akila House Captain. 

House-Partying, But In Real Life

When the big day (or big week) actually came, the events for the parties were diverse and numerous Akila and Isami kicked things off on 24 November with an epic dodgeball match and exciting student performances respectively. 

Akila’s HSE (“Aki-La-La-Land”) began with a dodgeball match that took place in Seminar Rooms 1-3, where Akilads clamoured to avoid glow-in-the-dark balls in the dark and indeed had a smashing good time.

Photo credit: Alan Chan

Akila Vice Captain Ng Yu Min’s favourite part of the LED-lit event? “Watching the house members laughing and having fun [during the event]!” she said. Li Siqi, Akila’s other Vice Captain, added that “it was really rewarding seeing them enjoying themselves.” 

Photo credit: Alan Chan

About the final group picture: “It was as if a year’s worth of excitement and pride was encapsulated into one single picture,” Tian Le reminisced. 

Meanwhile, Isami gathered in the Indoor Sports Hall to watch physical and recorded performances of fellow Isamigos “I loved Andre’s beatboxing,” raved some and a special feature by EJ Rock Band, who performed hits like “Eye of the Tiger” and Isami’s house song “Drag Me Down”. Ice creams in hand, housemates were roused to cheers.

Photo credit: Alan Chan

Isamigos with sparklers brought a sparkling end to the evening. “It was evident that the participants had fun getting to know the rest of the Isamigos better,” Isami Vice Ashley said. 

Photo credit: Yong Ee

Just a few days later, Ora’s signature event on 26 November began with a movie screening of Lilo and Stitch in the Auditorium, in which everyone settled together in the homely environment and pleasant company of their fellow Oreos. 

Photo credit: Annabelle Tay

More significantly, the movie warmed the hearts of many with the touching line “Ohana means family”, resonating deeply with the members as it taught “an important lesson about the everlasting connections we make with others,” as Ora House Captain Yanisa Kee opined. To many, the house tagline “Ora Ohana” was a reminder of the heartfelt friendships forged throughout the year.

Photo credit: Annabelle Tay

As the movie ended, Oreos quietly set themselves in retrospective and prospective reflection, as everyone penned a letter to their future selves to be sealed in a time capsule. “This was really meaningful, as everyone could reflect on their year’s experiences and aspirations for the future,” Ora Vice Captain Deon Loke said.

Similarly, Uzuri’s Christmas-themed party at the Indoor Sports Hall complete with fairy lights, a bubble machine and full-sized Christmas tree featured the movie Home Alone, during which Uzus enjoyed popcorn and good laughs.

A special appearance by EJ Rock Band once again had partygoers cheering. “Performing “Silhouette”, an anime fan favourite, was especially rewarding as we enjoyed ourselves watching everyone head-bang along!” the band said.

Photo credit: Yong Ee

After the movie, the fun peaked with a surprise Silly String battle Uzus were each given a can of String to blast at fellow housemates. But, to Uzuri House Captains Alden Ng, Rachel Grace Ong, and Lye Tse Hao, the most memorable part was “where everyone, literally every single Uzu, stayed back to help clean up!” 

Photo credit: Yong Ee

“We were touched that everyone helped to pick up the trash, clean up the floor and packed up the decorations together,” the House Captains said. “This initiative and consideration warmed our hearts and made us realise how bonded and united our house actually was.”

In line with the holiday spirit, Eder’s party, titled “Silent Knight”, added a different dimension by donating items and writing Christmas cards to children from Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home. “Our event was not only special in the sense that it was Christmas themed, but also allowed us to serve those around us and spread some Christmas cheer to the less fortunate,” Christie said. Indeed, ‘tis the season of giving, after all. 

Eder Knights also played song guessing games and wrote Christmas wishes to friends on Christmas baubles. Subway cookies made the festivities that much sweeter. “In times such as these, it’s especially important to be optimistic and have hope,” Christie said. “I really, really enjoyed reading some of the nice things that people wrote on the baubles, and it was just super wholesome.”

Photo credit: Yong Ee

After the Afterparty: Moving onto 2021

While the Akila House Captains acknowledged the uncertainty of the year, they shared appreciation for house members’ support. “2020 was a wild ride but we hope that our efforts have made this year more special and memorable!” Siqi chimed in. They also encouraged the Akilads to look forward to next year’s events and continue to be supportive to the House Committee. “2021 is about to get HOTTER, Akila. LET’S TURN UP THE HEAT!” Tian Le ended on a high note. 

Photo credit: Alan Chan

Panning the spotlight to the Eder House Captains, they expressed their pride for the house for pushing through this difficult year as one, and for clinching the title of House Champions. “We’ll see all of you next year for a greater 2021. Eder champions, coming through!” Brandon exclaimed. Christie agreed, stating how she was looking forward to building on the House’s legacy in 2021. 

The Isami House Captains felt similarly, with Vice Captain Isabelle Lim saying, “We’re really proud that despite not knowing what lay ahead of us this year, it didn’t stop you from putting in your best effort.” Ashley agreed, citing the house’s enthusiasm and trust. Finally, Andre Koh, Isami’s House Captain, spurred fellow Isamigos to make the most out of the year despite the implications of COVID-19. “The year’s only dull if we choose to let it be,” he said. 

Moving on to the Oreos, Ora House Captain Yanisa was grateful that her house remained united in 2020, and made it feel like home. Echoing the sentiments of Yanisa, Vice Captain Deon Loke also articulated how honoured she felt to know many new people through the house. “Let’s all look forward to a sick 2021!” she joked. 

For the Uzuri House Captains, they thanked their House members for their dedication and passion for the house. “It really inspired us to do better and pushed us through the tiring times,” Alden, Rachel and Tse Hao mentioned in a joint interview. 

Photo credit: Yong Ee

In all, this year’s HSEs was nothing short of unique. “A larger scale event with full house attendance would be something I would love to try for,” Brandon said, while Yu Min and Tian Le suggested bringing house members across different classes together and being more inclusive to the less outgoing House members. Other improvements the House Captains suggested included the greater involvement of the house committee in the planning of the HSE. 

Despite the improvements in hindsight, it is undeniable that this year’s HSEs were still one of opportunities and great experiences. Judging from the number of Subway cookies, popcorn and ice cream shared and the deafening laughter and cheers from the different HSE venues, one can definitely see that the HSEs, after much painstaking preparation, were a successful denouement to this year’s Eunoia Story. Kudos to the House Committee!

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