Making viewers cry

Making viewers cry
POIGNANT: A screenshot from The Promise II, a video put up on HDB’s Facebook page and which has garnered positive responses.

The video was so touching that even the Prime Minister shared it on his Facebook page.

"Fathers are an important part of our lives," Mr Lee Hsien Loong wrote in a post.

"... Treasure your father when he is still with you, even if some days are more challenging than others. I wish all fathers a happy Father's Day!"

He was talking about "The Promise II", a video put up by the Housing Board on its Facebook page on Father's Day on Sunday.

The original post garnered as many as 190,000 views and over 9,000 shares within a day. By 10pm yesterday, the video had almost 220,000 views and nearly 3,200 likes.

The apology comes after a video of a woman washing her shoes in a sink had gone viral on Facebook. 

The 7½-minute video shows a family taking care of their grandfather after he becomes wheelchair-bound following a stroke.

It also shows the various changes and decisions that the family has to make to adapt to their new lifestyle.

The video features Bill Teoh, who plays the grandfather; Lian Yong Yi (as the son) and Lynn Tan as the daughter-in-law.

An HDB spokesman said the video is the sequel to a two-part series, called "The Promise", that started last year, and it was commissioned in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Home Ownership for the People Scheme.

The Promise II expresses HDB's commitment in providing homes for Singaporeans at different stages of their lives. It also stresses the importance of family values, such as mutual care and support.

The Promise, which captures a couple's housing journey from the time they get married till their twilight years, also anchors on HDB's promise of helping Singaporeans own a home.

The spokesman said The Promise II's focus on a father-son relationship made it timely for it to be shared with the public on Facebook.

Many Facebook users were touched by the video and left supportive responses on the post.

Undergraduate Sheena Wong, 22, said: "The video is very relatable to many Singaporeans, not just myself. It shows the dedication of a father and his love for his family. It makes me think of my own father and that we should learn to appreciate and show love for our parents, not just on Father's Day."

Member of Parliament Lam Pin Min told The New Paper that tears welled up in his eyes when he watched it.

He said: "(The video) sends an important message on how demonstrating filial piety to our elders will help our younger generations imbibe similar values."


The director of the video, Mr Daniel Yam, 41, who also directed The Promise, said he was inspired by his personal life for this project.

He explained: "My father had a stroke and my mum had to take care of him, but she never gave up on my father. So for this project, I asked myself: 'What would I do if I were in her shoes?' "I was also reminded of the love my father gave us. Ever since I was young, I have been wanting to buy a big house for my parents and take care of them, and that was partly reflected in this video as well."

The video took two months to make. Mr Yam, who had worked on similar videos before, including Gift and Ripple for the Community Chest, said he felt blessed to see such positive responses to his work.

"If my stories give people a little encouragement when they are feeling down, then I am satisfied. This is why I create uplifting works for the public and I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to do it," he maintained.

Freelance actor Teoh, 81, said the response was great because the story was well-written.

He added: "The story was so heartwarming that even my granddaughter, who is nine, cried when she watched the video.

"I was shocked when my son told me about the video getting so popular, but I am grateful to be able to participate in such an inspiring project."

Fellow cast member Tan said the video nearly broke her heart when she first watched it.

"I am sure everyone who watched the video shared my feelings," she added.

The Promise can be viewed on HDB's website, while The Promise II is on HDB's Facebook page.

This article was first published on June 23, 2015.
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