By Joy Fang
Some say working adults don't know how to balance work and play, but the versatile and dynamic bunch from this year's my paper Executive contest prove how wrong that statement is.
The finalists, selected after a closed-door audition in February, lead exhilarating lives outside of their workplaces.
Their hobbies range from diving to marathon running, fire dancing, fencing and mountain climbing, among many others.
That's just perfect for the competition, which is now in its fifth year and seeks exceptional executives who have qualities such as confidence, office quotient and who lead vibrant lifestyles.
For Mr Siva Shanker Jayaraj, 32, a regional field marketing manager at Nike Southeast Asia, having a vibrant personal life "transports me from the daily grind of an executive" and brings balance to his life.
He spends his free time playing with fire, literally.
The passion began back in 2002, when he learnt the "fire arts" from fellow travellers while backpacking in Australia.
The fine art of playing with fire is also known as fire twirling or fire spinning, and involves manipulating an object that is doused in fuel, and then lit. Objects are tossed or juggled to music.
And why does he dabble in this dangerous activity?
Mr Jayaraj summed it up perfectly: "There is a certain degree of primeval energy with fire. When you have the flames whizzing by so close to your body, together with the heat and the smell of fuel, it feels very raw, very liberating."
What do his parents think of his hobby?
"They just advise me to not fry myself," he said jokingly.
He's one of 16 finalists who will face off on Friday at The Lawn @ Marina Bay.
The winner will take home the grand prize of $10,000, while the second- and third- place winners will get $5,000 and $3,000, respectively.
Another contestant, Ms Reamor Magsino, 30, a product manager from Standard Chartered Bank, is an enthusiastic runner.