Friday, 13 February 2009

Candle 8: Poesy Liang

Poesy Liang has been described as the "girl who just wouldn't give up".

Wikipedia entry is equally inspiring : Founder of Helping Angels. A Malaysian-Taiwanese artist, writer, poet, architectural interior designer, jeweller, entrepreneur, philanthropist and television personality who survived 3 spinal surgeries and battled paralysis caused by a rare case of benign tumour that kept recurring within her spinal cord.

With her supermodel looks and a resume like that, you would think that she was the "perfect BBGS girl". Here's a candid account of her years at BB.

Hi Joanna,

It seems that I missed the teachers reunion in Lake Club! Wish I had known about it as I really want to thank all the teachers who taught me. There is one particular teacher in primary school 1 (6BIRU) whom I want to find, for giving me confidence in my artwork back when I was a very unsure kid in Standard 6. Her name is GE Tan (I think), can you help me locate her since you are in the loop with everyone else. My other favourite is Betsy Li who signed all my sick leave (I was not very attentive in class and was always looking for valid excuses to get out of school, there were numerous reasons) and I assured her that I'd get a distinction for Prinsip of Akauns!

Of course, I have many many fond memories of school or not being in school.. the teachers, the school grounds, the school cats, the times I got away with mischief and the times I got caught.. I am not sure how to start and where to start..

How did my little story reach you? I am perpetually amazed where my life events are bringing me and am truly honoured to be asked (let alone recognised) to be part of old BBGS!! Back then I always felt kinda voiceless.. I was and still am quite the loner!

I was quite oblivious in school as towards Form 3 -5, I had only 50% attendance. It drove my class teacher mad while I was in 3S as she has never experienced a student so unfit to be in her class. Mrs. Mak I believe, she called me at home one time at 11am and I picked up the phone in half daze. I asked her what's wrong and she flipped, it was my SRP home science practical exams that day and it completely slipped my mind. She had to tell me what I was supposed to cook and was so upset that in the end, she rescheduled me with 3A on the very last day of the practical exam. I cooked Char Kuey Teow for the first time and barely passed!!

While the rest of the 3S class were full of very studious girls and had the most number of prefects (including the junior head), so several times when I got reported for playing truant or late, it was because my own classmates had turned me in too. It was crazy how I got through it. I used to slip out of classes when I did not like a subject and take a cab home. Sometimes I would come in for just 2 subjects. Out of pure madness I even went to my friends school in her uniform and attended some classes with her in the international school, until today some kids from GIS think I was their ex-classmate!! I am not a very good example in my school days so I am not sure if these stories are really that worth posting. It was only after I got tired of my life in the tv industry that I starting to get really serious about studying and started with the MBA and then the LLB. Throughout architectural school, I was hardly attending classes.

Maybe it was because I started in TV at 14 and found that paper accolades were not important. However when I left TV (after 12 years), I became a strong advocate of education and I wanted to pass on the message to young teenage girls out there that the dream of being on TV is an empty one without the back-up of education and practical skills. One ends up attracting the wrong things in life. I believe I was lucky and that my experience of paralysis at age 17 was a blessing because it gave me a spiritual experience that pulled me out of depression in my early 20s. Pulling myself out of the entertainment industry and putting myself back in school was part of the process of helping myself.

Joanna says: I love Poesy's story because it proves that BBGS taught us timeless values and produced outstanding young women - regardless of whether we were models or rebels at school. Just look at what Poesy has done with her life and the impact she has on the lives of others. I look forward to receiving more of these inspiring stories for Project Kindle.

Update: Poesy is offering BBGSians special prices for her jewellery designs. Check out her website.

1 comment:

Poesy Liang said...

Hey Joanna! Thank you for this lovely feature. Just want to update you that the website you html linked to Helping Angels need to be updated to the Facebook page. We decided not to maintain an external site. This is the link to the group -