27 June 2016

Pesta Ubin 2016 Report

600 volunteers from 45 Organising Groups offered 60 activities catering for an estimated 6,000 participants over 5 weeks!
Fun for the whole family, at the Kampung Photo Booth
hosted by Uncle Lim at his shop at Ubin Town.
Photos by Mohammad Juhari.
Thanks to feedback and data from the Organising Groups, I did a report to help improve for the next Pesta Ubin! Please also send me your feedback! Here's some highlights:

The full report with Appendices is available on google docs http://tinyurl.com/PestaUbin2016report

Pesta Ubin 2016 (14 May - 12 Jun 2016)

Thank you Minister Desmond Lee, for supporting Pesta Ubin! The volunteers are also touched you and Minister Lawrence Wong took the time to meet and hear them.
Mangrove photo booth at Learn about the Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative at Pesta Ubin 2016
Minister Lawrence Wong at the popular Mangrove Photo Booth
with Minister Desmond Lee looking on.
Photo by Ria Tan.

Significance of Pesta Ubin: A kampung of stakeholders

Pesta Ubin provides an opportunity for people who care about Pulau Ubin to come together as a kampung.

Balik Chek Jawa at Pesta Ubin
41 volunteers from various groups came together
for Balik Chek Jawa for 400 participants,
the largest turnout for a single Pesta Ubin activity.
Photo by Ria Tan.
Basic Mountain-biking course by Mountain Bike Association
Mountain Biking Association of Singapore
with participants in their Ubin biking clinic.
Photo by Mountain Biking Association of Singapore.

Pesta Ubin is a chance for Organising Groups to express their passion: to celebrate Ubin, and show others how to make a difference for Ubin issues important to them. Many Organising Groups act passionately and constructively for Ubin on key issues, all year round.
Families have a chance to learn about where our fish come from
during the Ubin fish farm Open House.
Photo by Sea Angel.

Pesta Ubin 2016: Bigger and better!

This year, 600 volunteers from 45 Organising Groups offered 60 activities catering for an estimated 6,000 participants over 5 weeks.

Most Pesta Ubin activities were for families (53) and for kids (40). Most were free of charge (41), many did not require registration (33). Activities included walks (22), workshops (13), games (8), kayaking (6) and sports (5), cycling (3) and a run. Activities focused on nature (40), heritage (15), kampung life (13), art (12). A special feature this year were night activities (10). There were also many opportunities to volunteer (8) and do cleanups (5).

Kayaking Sungei Jelutong with Nature Society, a big favourite.
Photo by Zhe Hui Clara Teo.

Pesta Ubin activities with large participation include:
400: Balik Chek Jawa (1 activity)
300: Pesta Ubin Run (1 activity)
300: ‘Ubin Day’ booths (15 booths)
300: Nature Society (8 activities)
250: Ubin Quarry kayaking (1 activity)
200: Pekan Quarry birdwatching (1 activity)
190: R.U.M. boat and walking tours (2 activities)
150: Ubin fish farm open house (5 weeks)
150: Hazel’s Paint-a-husk (2 activities)
140: Strix Wildlife (4 activities)
115: Cicada Tree Eco Place (3 activities)

TeamSeagrass at Balik Chek Jawa at Pesta Ubin
TeamSeaGrass outdoor booth for Balik Chek Jawa
Photo by Ria Tan
55 volunteers from Tanjong Pagar-Tiong Bahru Community Sports Club
and Coffee Tea Runners organised
the inaugural Pesta Ubin Run for 300 participants.
Photo by Tanjong Pagar-Tiong Bahrun CSC.
Birdwatching at Pekan Quarry introduced people to
an astonishing variety of birds.
Photo by Sg Beachbum.
Booths at the Assembly Area during Ubin Day
allowed the public to learn about issues impacting Ubin.
Photo by Marcus Ng, Toddycats.
Free boat tours of Ubin mangroves by
the Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative was very popular.
Photo by Sea Angel.
Guided walk of Ubin mangroves with Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative at Pesta Ubin 2016
Free walking tour of Ubin mangroves by
the Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative was also popular.
Photo by Ria Tan.

The largest participation was via Uncle Lim’s shop which became Pesta Ubin Central.

Uncle Lim generously hosted free-of-charge, space for exhibitions and kids activities every weekend, as well as talks and workshops, including night activities. We estimate about 2,000 people visited activities at Uncle Lim’s shop over the 5 weeks. Other Ubin Town businesses eventually also hosted the ’Vertebrates of Ubin’ posters.
Juria Toramae's 'Islands of Memories - Pulau Ubin' photo exhibition
was a big hit and gave us a glimpse of Ubin 40 years ago!
'Vertebrates of Pulau Ubin' photo exhibition by Nature Society (Singapore) for Pesta Ubin
Nature Society's 'Vertebrates of Ubin' exhibition at Uncle Lim's shop.
'Vertebrates of Pulau Ubin' photo exhibition by Nature Society (Singapore) for Pesta Ubin
Other Ubin shops later also agreed to host the photos!
Pulau Ubin Fun Map at Uncle Lim's shop at Pesta Ubin 2016
Grateful thanks to Grant Pereira for sponsoring the Pulau Ubin Fun Map
at Uncle Lim's shop. Proceeds from the map sales are donated to Pesta Ubin,
which is funded by volunteers.
MAD for musang at Pesta Ubin 2016
Uncle Lim also offered his shop space
for slide talk and workshops with a real kampung feeling.
(Cicada Tree Eco Place slide talk on musang for kids)
Special thanks to the volunteers who made it happen: Micheal, Uncle Lim, Vanessa Teo, Mohammad Juhari and Catherine Ho.
Photo by Vanessa Teo.

Significant new events for Pesta Ubin 2016

Heritage events: Singapore HeritageFest Ubin activities plus Tua Pek Kong festival. The Singapore Heritage Society provided a wonderful booklet to help visitors understand the Tua Pek Kong Festival better! View and download the colour version of the booklet here.

Art: Many nature sketching, art workshops for kids. As well as a photo exhibition, featuring nostalgic island life.
Nature and Landscape sketching by Alpana Ahuja, NSS
Photo by Van Wangye.
The Green Beans, SOTA offered 4 days of
nature sketching at Chek Jawa for kids!
Photo by the Green Beans.
Kids learn about and make Ubin's animal puppets
with Jacquelyne Soo at Uncle Lim's shop.
Photo by Jacquelyne Soo.
Paint a Husk with Hazel Huang for Pesta Ubin 2016
Families have fun at Paint-a-Husk with Hazel Huang.
Photo by Ria Tan.

Treasure Hunt and The Ubin Way photo competition by Treasure SG happened 24/7 for five weeks. Participants learned more about Ubin Town and The Ubin Way.

Other first time activities included: Balik Chek Jawa, Pesta Ubin Run, Family Nature Camp at Ubin Living Lab, free mangrove tour by boat.
Family Nature Camp by Cicada Tree Eco Place.

There were also many night nature walks and activities which were all hugely popular.
Two night walks by Strix Wildlife Consultancy and
Nature Society Vertebrate Study Group and
Herpetological Society of Singapore.
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.
MAD for musang at Pesta Ubin 2016
Families arriving for Cicada Tree Eco Place's
MAD for Musang night talk and walk for families.
Photo by Ria Tan.
Listening for bats with a bat detector
during the Night Critters Walk with Cicada Tree Eco Place.
Photo by Cicada Tree Eco Place.
Night Macro Photography Workshop with Nicky Bay.
Including a talk at Uncle Lim's shop.
Photo by Nicky Bay.
Night kayaking with Ubin Night Adventures by Sea Angel.
Photo by Sea Angel.
Kampung BBQ for Ubin Night Adventure by Sea Angel.
Photo by Ng Siak Juay.

Returning favourites include: Ubin quarry kayaking, stargazing, kampung games, Pekan quarry birdwatching.
Explore Ubin Quarry with Outward Bound Singapore and Republic Polytechnic for Pesta Ubin 2016
Ubin Quarry kayaking with Outward Bound Singapore
and Republic Polytechnic remains a hot favourite.
Photo by Vanessa Teo.
Stargazing with the NUS Astronomical Society is hugely popular.
Photo by Vanessa Teo.
Kampung Games with U Cares and U Volunteers at Pesta Ubin 2016
Kampung Games by U Cares and U Volunteers.
Photo by Ria Tan.

Feedback from participants

Organising Groups report participants enjoyed their activities, were pleasantly surprised by what Ubin had to offer and came away with good impressions of the Ubin kampung spirit, and Ubin’s rich natural and social heritage. Many wanted to return again. One participant was so moved, she volunteered to help with a Pesta Ubin activity. Some participants asked for activities to be held more regularly (e.g., fish farm open house). (Details in Appendix A)

Pesta Ubin gives Ubin lovers a reason to bring their friends and family to the island. We met many parents who remember Ubin fondly and brought their children for the first time to attend Pesta Ubin activities. As much as 50-90% of participants were first timers to Ubin or were visiting for the first time after a long absence (Details in Appendix B).

Feedback from Organising Groups

An Open House over several weeks is preferred by most Organising Groups and Ubin businesses. It spreads out the benefits (enjoyment by participants and volunteers, income for businesses) without overly stressing facilities.

Organising Groups like having more dates to choose from, reduced congestion allows their participants to arrive on time, large groups have sole access to facilities. Among key feedback: uncertainty of night boat travel, more comprehensive First Aid support for Pesta Ubin. Thanks to good feedback from Organising Groups, we hope to improve the next Pesta Ubin.


For the first time, there was great coverage of Ubin Open House. Including a 2-page feature in Straits Times Life, mention in TODAY and 14 other lifestyle and online platforms including websites, blogs and vlogs.

The Pesta Ubin facebook page reached about 1k-2k people a day, peaking at nearly 6k just before Pesta Ubin started. The 3,300 facebook fans are mostly young adults (31%) and people with families (33%). Most Pesta Ubin activities with registration were ‘sold out’ within days of being advertised on facebook.

The Ubin Way

The Ubin Way was featured in weekly photo contests run by Treasure SG: Makan at Ubin, being gentle with Ubin nature and wildlife, getting to know the locals with Faces of Ubin, Kampung Style and Be Good to Ubin. The Pesta Ubin Run took pains with BYO bottle and strong littering control. Better Trails had a popup booth to explain 'Leave No Trace' principles.
Outdoor Ethics with Better Trails at Pesta Ubin 2016
Outdoor ethics with Better Trails.
Photo by Ria Tan.

There were also a total of 5 cleanup activities: on sea by kayak, on the shore at Jelutong Beach and Sungei Durian ponds, and on land in the forest.
Coastal Clean Up with Marine Conservation Group, Nature Society (Singapore) for Pesta Ubin 2016
24 volunteers at the Mangrove cleanup by Nature Society
took out 65kgs of abandoned nete, 135kgs of trash plus large trash.
Photo by Cheyl Lao.
Coastal Cleanup by kayak with Adventurepaddlers Ohana
Photo by Dorothy Teo.
11 volunteers at the Coastal Cleanup by Sea Shepherd
took out 17 bags of trash and bulky items.
Photo by Sea Shepherd Singapore.
Forest Clean Up with Jalan Hijau Group, Nature Society (Singapore) for Pesta Ubin 2016
Getting ready for Forest cleanup by Nature Society, Jalan Hijau.
Photo by Ria Tan.

Your feedback wanted!

Did you attend Pesta Ubin? Do you have feedback about it? Please leave a comment or email me hello@wildsingapore. Help us to make the next Pesta Ubin better!

Related links

Previous Ubin Open House


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