Mark van Cuylenburg, popularly known as The Flying Dutchman, was a long-time radio DJ. He now runs several businesses, including an emcee school, an events company in Singapore, and a bar and restaurant in Bintan, Indonesia.
The Flying Dutchman is finally living up to his name. The flying bit that is.
Since he retired from MediaCorp radio last December, former DJ Mark van Cuylenburg, better known as The Flying Dutchman, or FD for short, has been travelling with his wife, Michelle.
Their first holiday earlier this year was to celebrate her 50th birthday. They spent 17 days in Brazil, Argentina and Peru. His verdict? "Brazil is nice. Argentina can skip. Peru is beautiful."
They recently returned from an eight-day trip to Melbourne, and he is already planning their next stop.
"Her Mother's Day present was Melbourne, where she jumped out of an airplane. She always wanted to skydive. I've dived before but it was her first time."
Their next stop looks likely to be Cambodia, where they will visit the temples. Then Mark, who is Catholic, hopes to hit Israel after that. "I want to do a pilgrimage, to follow the last few days of Christ. These are things that I just want to do. Eventually, I want to sit on the beach and drink my pina colada and enjoy life."
All this free time is a huge departure from his 18-year stint as a radio personality. While he misses the adrenalin rush, he has no plans to go back to that life.
"Do I miss radio? No. I'm enjoying myself too much," he says with a hearty laugh.
The radio still follows him, when he tunes in to Gold FM at night, because "there's no DJ, just great music".
But during the day, his taste has moved away from his former station. "From the time I wake up, to the time the sun goes down, I tune in to One FM. Because, finally, there is a station with music I understand," he says, adding, "It is a good station and I like the rock base."
In fact, if someone were to start an all-rock radio station, FD would come out of retirement immediately.
"If it's a complete rock station, I would say 'yes'. Absolutely. I would run it. But it has to be completely rock. Like today, I was listening to One FM and Billie Jean was playing. That's not rock. Michael Jackson won't be there. It would include everything from the Beatles, Metallica, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Dire Straits and Van Morrison.
With SPH radio giving MediaCorp competition on the airwaves, FD believes that pretty soon, companies will start seeking alternatives and, just maybe, pave the way for more radio stations to emerge.
"For the longest time, there was never a choice. It was MediaCorp. But now, there is a choice, and clients will realise it. And a rock station would work."
What probably wouldn't work are the shockjock tactics that some in the business still use. Recently, former colleagues Vernon A and Justin Ang made disparaging remarks about the DJs who recently left MediaCorp, which irked FD's former partner, Glenn Ong.
"You know what I think it was? Creating controversy for the sake of it. That's all it was. And do you know who the master of that is? Glenn Ong. Because he's not there now, someone has to pick up the bat. And they did and that's exactly what it was."
He notes, "After 18 years with them, the listeners know what I am worth, and I hope they understand I need time for myself."
I started off with the Apple iPhone but I got away from it. That's because I put my phone in my back pocket all the time. I've lost weight and my phone falls so far down that I tend to sit on it. The curve screen on the LG G Flex2 is a nice fit. I pair it with the LG G Watch R watch, which allows me to see what's happening without pulling out my phone.'
This article was first published on June 10, 2015.
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