Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Q&A Episode 2 Throwback: Balik Kampong

Throwback: Balik Kampong - Three modern families in 1960s Singapore style kampong!

We didn't have that many questions from friends and families this time round - unless you count those who did not watch the first episode and so had the kind of questions that people would have if they were watching for the first time. For those people, please read the post Q&A Episode 1

After the Q&A Episode 1 came out, some viewers had the following questions:
Q1. Did you get to keep the clothes as a souvenir from Mediacorp ?
A1a.  No, we did not get to keep the clothes as souvenirs.
A1b. Throwback: Balik Kampong was produced by The Moving Visuals Co. for Mediacorp.

Q2. What did your children like and not like about the kampong trip?
A2.  They loved participating in the challenges and playing with the children from the other two families. They didn't like the accommodation, that's for sure!

Q3. Where is this kampong? Is it a fake kampong?
A3. The kampong is a real living kampong with locals staying there and living there. It is not in Singapore and is situated in one of our neighbouring countries. The houses we three families stayed in were rented from the real villagers staying there. So the real families staying there had to move out for the period of time we were there.

Q4. Did you have medication for your throat? What if the kids fall sick?
A4. We were allowed to have with us from our luggage all the medicines we brought from home. So we had medicine for the kids if they fell sick - which they thankfully didn't! The production firm also had a medic on standby the whole time we were in the kampong.

Guess what?! I found out how to embed the video! Here is Episode 2 of Throwback: Balik Kampong - and if the video below doesn't play, then watch it on Toggle.sg
Q1. Did you guys really eat the clams for dinner?
A1. We, the Tan Family certainly didn't - because we didn't find anything edible. Anything life that we caught, were much too tiny to be eaten. It was the same for the Azimullahs. 

As for the Awads, I wasn't sure if they ate the clams or not, since Awad did say on camera that they were going to cook the clams for dinner. Hence I texted Mag to ask and this is what she said"Hey Pam, after Awad did the first cleaning of the clams & shells, I took the liberty to clean them again 4 to 5 times to get rid of the mud. After which we cooked clam shell soup which we didn't manage to share with you guys cause the crew and the kampong boys finished them. They were all hovering our porch when I was preparing the soup and devoured them as soon as I finished cooking. Gavin (the Director) was one of them! Haha.. Actually our family got to taste only a teeny weeny bit cause the clams & shells aren't many and we shared to most of the crew & kampong boys who were there. We had to cut the flesh to considerable pieces to give them with the soup. Little meat but more soup. The broth was really sweet from the clams & shells. By the time we finished  cooking it was about 9pm!"

Q2. The Awads' toilet was so beautifully decorated, how come Tan Family won instead?
A2. Fuzz actually explained this on the show:"The Awads toilet might have been more visually impressive, but the Tans deserve victory as the entire family chipped in whilst only Mr Awad did the hard work."

Q3. The Awads seemed very unhappy about you guys winning the toilet challenge.
A3. Are you serious?! Maybe you don't know the Awads like we do, but we could see Mag and Awad laughing amidst their complaints that we won instead of them. Now, if the judging criteria of the jamban challenge was one of beautifying the toilets, the Awads would definitely win us all hands down! Their toilets were so beautiful that Isaac and Asher insisted on using them when we were at the Awads house. 

Q4. You guys really used those toilets and shower cubicles?!
A4. Yes we did. In fact, compared to the public toilets at the kampong that we have a choice of using - the ones we built were not only much more beautiful, but also a lot cleaner and less smelly - since we haven't filled the pit with our waste YET.

Q5. So the production crew put in the shower head for you?
A5. No, no, there is no shower head, no piped in water. All we had in the shower cubicle is the waterproofed box with a scooper. Thus, in order to use it, we would have to get water from the well, and fill up the box in the shower cubicle. Then, we close the door, take off clothes, and bathe with the water we have fetched from the well.

Q6. Good job, about the win! Did you guys share the biscuits with the rest?
A6. Yes we did. We opened the tin immediately and shared the biscuits with the rest. The Awads too, shared their Milo. They didn't just pass us some Milo powder - they made Milo drinks for us whenever we went by the Awads house. Remember, they had to set up the fire to boil the water, before they could make hot Milo for us. What a treat it was for us! These were the small luxuries we were allowed when we were in the kampong. Milo and Khong Guan biscuits have never tasted so good before!

Q7. What happened? Why did Mrs Awad cry?
A7. Oh you didn't get that? Mag was so touched by how sweet Awad was when he commended her for being so supportive and pro-active despite being very particular about cleanliness and being a "neat freak". In my umpteenth interactions with Mag, she was definitely not an over-the-top OCD neat and cleanliness freak that Awad made her out to be. But yes, I could tell that she was certainly one that took pride in keeping the house clean and neat. 

And seriously, Awad was right - if you were one who was extremely particular about cleanliness and neatness, you would be expected go crazy in the kampong.  You don't see it nor experience it on tv, but the dirt is EVERYWHERE. There is sand everywhere, mud elsewhere, and dust in the air, all the time. No matter the number of times you washed your hands and feet, there was constantly dirt beneath the fingernails, and the toenails were black beyond hope. Even for someone like me who is not overly particular about being absolutely clean, I was bothered by the continual existence of dirt everywhere.

Q8. Mrs Azimullah doesn't like cats?
A8. Yes, Farzana is terrified of cats. Like she mentioned, she had a phobia of cats since young when a cat jumped on her. And that's why it's so brave of Farzana to take on this whole Balik Kampong experience. First, her husband couldn't come with the family as he couldn't take leave from work. So she had to handle the girls all on her own. Then, there were all these cats in the kampong! She was truly afraid of them. When we all realised that she didn't like cats, we all became her cat alarm, especially the kids. They would go "Auntie Farzana - CAT!!!" and Farzana would quickly scamper! Brings a smile to my face just remembering this.
Throwback Balik Kampong - Mrs Tan:"Let's be happy together."
Q9. Wah, you so drama, cry some more. You really can act!
A9. Hey, it wasn't an act! This is a reality tv show, none of the families have scripts. We are told of the challenges to do, but our responses are our own. We decide what we want to say or do. And frankly, beyond the first day, we don't think too much about it. We just behave as we normally do, and the cameras capture it.

Isaac's attitude about the kampong was a real challenge for us. What you viewers see on tv as two episodes was actually filmed over 4 to 5 days in the kampong. Thus, in real life, Isaac was crying and complaining about being in the kampong for 4 to 5 days already. We had tried almost everything we could think of. We spoke to him nicely. We scolded him harshly - because he started to go around scolding the camera crew. As a kid, he doesn't understand that the camera crew is just doing their job. So he blamed them for keeping him in the kampong, and started to scold them. This was what I meant when I said he shouldn't go overboard. We told him to focus on the positive and purposely pointed out the times when he was happily playing with the other kids, or participating in the challenges. But he was still grouchy and surly when he remembered where he was. In the end, it seemed that the family conference broke his dam. He was more positive then on.

Q10. You Tan Family really can cry!?
A10. Hahaha to be fair, it's only Isaac who's been crying a lot. It was the twins first time crying that night saying that they miss home and want to go home. If you watch carefully, Asher first cried because he saw Isaac crying. Asher is sensitive that way, to his siblings emotions. Then the kids all cried because I cried. For we're very close to the kids, so when the kids see that I am upset, it makes them upset too. I didn't plan on crying on national tv! It just happened!!!

If you have any other questions that were not answer in this post, do post them in the comments below in this blog and we can possibly answer them in our next post on Throwback Balik Kampong! Now, go get your voting done, and set an alarm in your phone for 9.30pm on Sunday nights to stay tuned to Channel 5 for Throwback: Balik Kampong! 


  1. Is there any streaming in US so that Uncle Ian and Auntie Amanda can watch the Tan Family on screen?

    Uncle Ian

  2. First i ask some questions follow by comments .

    1. In Q3, you mentioned about Neighbouring country . Is the place at Malaysia or Indonesia ?
    Which parts of states ? eg Johor ? Sekinchan ? (sorry i only know Malaysia)

    2. In Q9, I want to ask Mrs Azimulllah , Can you tell why and how you get this phobia and how long do you have this Phobia of Cats . If there is a cat around you, how can you prevent it , pls tell more about phobia of cats ? (sorry this Qns i want to ask the Azimullah family) , For the Tan family, What do you think of Mrs Azimullah being brave around the cats?

    3. In the Episode 2 video/toggle catch up , you mentioned one of your boys is allergic to shellfish , Did the TV production team know this condition ?

    4. In Qn 10,11 , you mentioned about crying , How does the Hosts Fuzz and Rozz feel about Isaac crying ? What about the camera crew ?

    My short comment :

    I enjoy watching you and the other two family participating the show/event .
    I really like the way you educate the kids , people often told me about we have wonderful life
    and treasure it. The audiences also feel sad when isaac and other sibling crying and you crying .
    Good Job !

    1. Hi Firegold Flames, think I managed to answer most of your questions in the subsequent posts :) Thanks for reading our blog!

  3. We loved watching the show! My son said that's his favorite show :-) Come to think of it where does the tv crew stay? In the kampong and using their toilet too!?!

    1. Hi CE, only the three families, the medic and 2 persons from the production crew stays at the kampong. The rest of them all goes back to the hotel nearby to stay at night!

  4. I didn't come to your blog for a while, and I'm so surprised to find out that you guys are on TV! This really sounds interesting, since I grew up in a kampong, with zinc roof and outdoor toilets. Will try to catch it!

    1. Hi Elgarmummy, thanks for still coming by to the blog - know I am not the most regular blogger out there :p HOpe you managed to watch some episodes :)


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