Words by V. Sivaji
Emcee ‘Sifu’ Chris Gan
Among the many popular emcees in Penang is the affable Chris Gan touted the ‘sifu’ who started his career in 1999 by chance.
He was working as the public relations consultant for a local hotel when the hotel general manager asked him to stand-in and emcee a gala dinner at the last minute.
“They had a problem with the official emcee and I had to stand in to ensure the dinner function proceeded smoothly.
“I have had to gather enough courage to stand-in and conduct the event without any preparation, but eventually I received glowing praises from the general manager. That was the humble start to my career,” said Gan.
Following this breakthrough, Gan started hosting his first big event during the Millennium Countdown at Evergreen Laurel Hotel and since then it was no turning back.
“You can say that the rest is history!
“To date, I have been blessed to emcee events in Hong Kong, Bali, Phuket, Bangkok, Jogjakarta, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia and even Greece.
“Life holds such pleasant surprises as long as one works hard and remains humble to other people we meet in our everyday life,” said Gan philosophically.
Locally, he partners with hotels in Penang like G Hotel, Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa and Eastern & Oriental Hotel to emcee their events.
“As with most of the overseas stints, I work closely with trade associations and travel agents who have been supportive of my work.
“On the other hand, client expectations are also changing due to financial constraints and new competition in the industry,” said Gan, a Mass Communication graduate.
While clients are tightening their belts during the soft economic times, they do not expect any less in terms of the big impact they wanted at their annual gatherings or corporate launches.
“This is a challenge especially in Penang. I still need to deliver a fresh experience for clients and corporate institutions on a “Penang budget”, he said.
It is not all work for Gan as he is involved in body building after joining the G Hotel’s gym four years ago.
“Now one can term me as “iron obsessed” as you will find me at the gym almost daily. Even business meetings and client discussions are held there!” he exclaimed.
Three- piece band from the Philippines, the “Sensation Trio”, entertains guests at the Royale Chulan Penang nightly at its Heritage Lounge.
The all-female group is led by Ceccille Durante Cagais on lead vocals accompanied by her sister Criscelle on lead vocals and Karell Joy Parreno Mateo on keyboards and vocals.
“We hope to make a mark with guests during our stint here in Georgetown as we are well travelled and had performed in many hotels and lounges all over the country and other overseas destinations.
“Although this is our first contract in Penang, we like the friendly people and various tourist locations in the city,” said Ceccille.
The group has been together for about three years and prior to forming this band, they had performed with other show bands.
The trio will perform at the Heritage Lounge till September this year. Their vast repertoire of songs range from ballads, soul, R & B, Country & Western to current chart toppers.
The trio had recently completed their stint in Kuala Lumpur and hope to make an impression in the music scene in the island.
Call 04-259-8888 for details.