Enlistment for National Service is a rite of passage for all Singaporean sons once they've turned 18.
And there are usually sobbing parents at Tekong when they see their sons off into Basic Military Training on the first day. However, local actress Chen Liping will not be experiencing this.
It's not because she doesn't want to. Instead, her son Zavier has told her not to — according to the 54-year-old who dropped the bomb last week during our phone interview with her for the upcoming long-form drama Recipe of Life.
She said: "He has told us not to accompany him. Of course, as parents, we will want to be there with him but he's made it clear.
"I'm a little disappointed but we don't have a choice. As parents, we will definitely want to be with our kid during this process, but he has decided and he has his reasons so we need to respect him."
Liping is married to fellow actor Rayson Tan and Zavier, who has turned 18, is their only child. It's been reported that Zavier has tried to keep the identities of his parents on the down-low and rarely brings friends home too.
It's natural to have concerns about the safety and hardships a young man might face in the army.
But while her son will face some hardships, Liping feels that there's "nothing to especially worry about" as it's something that every Singaporean man must go through and the training will be good.
"In fact, he's making his own preparations. He said that after he finishes his exams, he's going to train and keep fit before enlistment," she added.
Cooking on the show is very different
Though Liping cooks at home occasionally, especially during the circuit breaker, cooking on her new drama Recipe of Life is vastly different since it's Chinese restaurant-style cooking.
In the drama, she plays Qin Xihong, a chef who inherited the Chinese restaurant Wu Shuang Lou from her father, renowned chef Qin Fen (played by Zhu Houren).
She said: "We use the restaurant kitchen — the fire and the oven are so different from the one at our house. You have to control the fire. My food [on the show] is Chinese food and [I run a] traditional Chinese restaurant so there's a lot of zi char dishes which need wok hei."
Thankfully, there were no accidents in the kitchen during filming as there was a professional chef on standby to supervise and demonstrate.
Recipe of Life also marks the first time she's acting opposite veteran actress Huang Biren even though both of them have been in showbiz for more than 30 years.
Due to the story plot though, both actresses have had only a couple of scenes together so far but they're only halfway through filming the 130-episode drama.
Liping likened it to an "appetiser" and said the "main course" where they face off in a future episode will be more exciting.
Recipe of Life is set in the culinary world, and also stars Chen Hanwei, Shaun Chen, and Richard Low.
The drama premieres on meWATCH on Nov 2 and on Channel 8 at 7.30pm the same day.