Pesta Ubin: Pulau Ubin Open House
"Pesta" - Malay Language. Meaning in English: Fair. Festival. Or even a party.
"Pulau" - Malay Language. Meaning in English : Island.
And yes, you guys read that right. I came across that there was such an event going on from a friend who works with Nparks. According to her, this is where the villagers of Pulau Ubin come together to showcase what the island has to offer and to have a merry good time among themselves as well as visitors from mainland Singapore.
Curiosity sparked my interest and I decided to make a quick search off the internet, and my Nparks friend was right! There was indeed something like this that is taking place every year!!! And so I got in touch with Ria, the organiser of Pesta Ubin and she was so gracious to write me a little press release for this year's event.
Here's the press release that she whipped up in a few minutes after contacting her:-
Pesta Ubin: Pulau Ubin Open House
(26 May to 24 Jun: 5 weekends)
What is Pulau Ubin?
Pulau Ubin is an untouched island off eastern Singapore, home to the last 'kampung' (village). A visit takes you back to the simpler pleasures of the 1960's. And you don’t need your passport.
Escape to Ubin! Life in the slow lane starts as you join the queue for the bumboat that leaves Changi for the 15-minute ride to Pulau Ubin. Stroll or pedal through rustic trails under swaying coconut palms, past quaint kampung houses with their kitchen gardens. Explore flourishing mangroves, lotus-covered ponds. Peek into hidden temples, stop by secluded beaches. Spot hornbills, wild boar and more. Chat with laid-back villagers as you enjoy a cold fresh coconut. On Ubin, the food tastes better, air is fresher, sights and sounds soothing to the soul.
What is Pesta Ubin?
Pesta Ubin is a kampung-style Open House at Singapore’s last rustic island, Pulau Ubin! Pesta Ubin is the highlight of each year of 'Celebrating Ubin', which is made possible by the Friends of Ubin Network (FUN). FUN brings together those who are committed to working together for Ubin.
Pesta, pronounced ‘Pays-ta’, is Malay for festival or party. Pesta often describes festivities that bring a community together, such as a wedding; or a cultural celebration. (It is NOT an Italian dish: which is ‘pasta’.)
What’s special about Pesta Ubin?
Once a year, people who love Ubin step up to share with the public their special slice of Pulau Ubin. Pesta Ubin activities are heartfelt, organic and led by the community. So far, this year’s Open House offers more than 20 activities, involving about 20 Organising Groups, more than 200 volunteers with places for more than 2,000 participants.
Ubin's unique charms are passionately highlighted in Pesta Ubin activities. Its culture, kampung life, nature and wildlife, Ubin land and sea. From Ubin Town to the quarries, and the waters around Pulau Ubin. Morning, noon and night! Soak in the kinder, gentler way of life on Ubin during Pesta Ubin. Leave the city attitude behind, and get with The Ubin Way. On Ubin, we greet one another with a smile, a "Hello", "How was your day?". Respect the culture, get to know the quirky people of Ubin. Be gentle with wildlife that share the island. Keep our footprint light so Ubin remains unspoilt for those who follow behind us. More about Pesta Ubin.
Want to contribute a Pesta Ubin activity?
Everyone is welcomed to contribute suitable activities for Pesta Ubin! Activities that passionately highlight Ubin's unique charms. Its culture, kampung life, nature and wildlife, Ubin land and sea. Through these activities, we hope to also raise awareness of Pulau Ubin and issues on Pulau Ubin.
Pesta Ubin is held in the kampung spirit! Indulging in the Ubin Way: laid back, relaxed. Friendly and homely. Celebrating the traditional and natural. Getting to know one another as we explore and enjoy Pulau Ubin.
More about what activities are suitable for Pesta Ubin and and how to contribute a Pesta Ubin activity here.
What's happening at Pesta Ubin?
Many Pesta Ubin activities are free of charge. Some do NOT require registration. Simply come to Pulau Ubin and join the fun! Find a Pesta Ubin activity that suits your schedule and interest! Don't say Bo Jio!
These activities are FREE. No registration required. Simply come to Pulau Ubin and join the fun!
- 28 May - 2 Jun: Tua Pek Kong Festival For six days and six nights, the birthday of Tua Pek Kong is honoured with colourful festivities. The ancient Wayang Stage at Ubin Town comes alive with traditional opera in glittering costumes as well as more modern vibrant celebrations. Come experience this authentic festival organised by Ubin villagers.
- 10 Jun (Sun): Balik Chek Jawa Volunteer guides will be stationed all over the boardwalk to share about Chek Jawa's amazing wildlife. With fun activities for the whole family. (There will be NO activities on the seashores).
- 24 Jun (Sun): Ubin Day The Ubin Community comes together for the grand finale of Pesta Ubin. At the Assembly Area, Kampung Games, lots of interactive booths and many other activities. No registration, just join a guided walk of Ubin mangroves or coastal cleanup at Jelutong Beach or view Ubin, Sayang - a film about Ubin villagers and mangrove restoration.
Ubin Family Fun! Pesta Ubin is fun for the whole family. There are also activities specially for kids: such as a Family Nature Camp and other walks, night activities and art workshops. Relive kampung days with Kampung Games.
Colourful Traditions Join celebrations of Tua Pek Kong's birthday! Ubin bursts with six days and six nights of festivities. Ubin Jetty is decked out in flags and lanterns, the ancient Wayang Stage comes alive with traditional opera in glittering costumes. Also check out the many activities that celebrate Ubin's heritage and relive kampung days with Kampung Games.
For Nature Lovers! From forests to seashores, mangroves to wild gardens. Lots of activities to enjoy, learn and give back to nature on Pulau Ubin. Come for the Chek Jawa Open House - FREE, no registration required, all are welcomed. Or join special walks by leading nature guides or go birdwatching with experts. Join a special Family Nature Camp. There are also night nature walks and nature camping. Learn more about Ubin's wildlife through art. Make a difference for nature at Ubin by joining clean ups.
Life on Ubin Pulau Ubin is Singapore's last kampung (village). Enjoy Kampung Life in the slow lane. Learn more about Ubin's heritage.
Jalan-jalan: Wonderful Wanderings A leisurely stroll is a great way to savour the sights and sounds of Ubin! Join walks with experienced enthusiasts who will reveal secret corners of Pulau Ubin. Explore Chek Jawa in the East. Night walks are particularly exciting. Some art activities also include a stroll through Ubin.
Ubin on Wheels Rent a bicycle or bring your own. Learn from experts at a special mountain biking clinic.
Adrenaline Junkies! Lots of sporty activities to enjoy on Ubin! The Pesta Ubin WalkBikeRun allows you to get active while exploring Ubin. Learn from experts at a special mountain biking clinic. Go on a kayaking adventure! Including kayaking in a quarry!
Splashing Good Time! Have fun in the waters of Pulau Ubin. Lots of kayaking: from a gentle kayaking tour up quiet mangrove creeks, or adventurous trips that start from the mainland. Including a rare opportunity to kayak in an Ubin quarry!
Makan! Indulge in Ubin specials (*Psst: Durian season may start during Pesta Ubin!). Enjoy Ubin-only, Sunday-only Lontong at Pak Ali’s shop next to Ubin Jetty. Sample home-cooked food at two Chinese restaurants in Ubin Town. Or just lepak, lim kopi and watch the kampung go by at Ubin Town. More about makan at Ubin.
Inspired by Ubin Artists and photography enthusiasts, find your muse at Ubin! Join art activities some specially for kids.
Volunteer for Ubin Some Pesta Ubin activities need volunteers. Others give you an opportunity to volunteer, for example, help out in the several efforts to clean up the shores of Pulau Ubin. Everyone can make a difference for Pulau Ubin!
Specially for Pesta Ubin, there will also be talks by people passionate about Ubin. Come learn and find out how you too can be a part of their efforts for Pulau Ubin.
Find a Pesta Ubin activity that suits your schedule and interest!
'Like' the Pesta Ubin facebook page to get the latest updates! Such as alerts when registrations are opened.
Or follow the Pesta Ubin blog
Join Pak Nasir and Friends on 27th May(Sunday)
I've organised a small group of friends to the Pesta on the 26th of May, Sunday. There will be about 7-8 of us comprising of guys and girls. If you'd like to join us, please do drop me an email below in the contact form to express your interest!
What we'll be doing
My friends and I will just be strolling around the island to see what peaks our interest to get a sensing of what the Pesta is all about. There will also be Mr Michael, our drone pilot who will be taking aerial shots of the Pesta.
Timing of Departure
I will announce the timing from my twitter. So please do follow me there!
Things to Note
We will most probably be taking the whole day to tour the whole Island and engage in the activities. So please do remember to pack enough water, perhaps some clothing and insect repellent for the day.