updated 11 Apr 2014, 05:46
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Sat, Feb 15, 2014
The New Paper
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A special date for Pan Lingling and Huang Shinan
by Charlene Chua

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and the 15th day of Chinese New Year.

But it was a particularly special date for local celebrity couple Pan Ling Ling and Huang Shinan, who registered their marriage 19 years ago on Feb 14.

The actors had dated for nine years before they wed, so for them it was a celebration of 28 years together.

What makes this love story even more unbelievable is that Pan and Huang are each other's first love.

So, of course, a special gift is in order.

But who gave it to whom?

Huang, 52, a former MediaCorp actor, told The New Paper: "I remember the very first Valentine's Day we celebrated back in 1988.

"I went to Ling Ling's house and cooked chicken chops and pork chops for her for the candlelight dinner.

"We took the opportunity to spend it there as her parents had gone to her grandmother's house.

"She loved the pot of pinkish-red baby roses that I gave to her because they represented my desire for her to have something that would grow and flourish instead of a bouquet of cut roses which wouldn't last long.

"This year, to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary, I've given her an Orchid Country Club membership because she loves to play golf."

But how that present came to be is another touching story in itself.

When contacted, Pan giggled as she revealed that she was the one who had wanted to give her husband an Orchid Country Club membership, which costs a five-figure sum.

She said: "I was actually already at the club and about to sign the documents when Shinan called me and asked me what I was doing.

"When he found out that I was about to 'buy' him the present, he asked me to give him 10 minutes to rush down to buy it for me instead.

"He made it down within 15 minutes and so the membership became my present.

"What am I getting for him then? Erm, nothing, because he (hijacked) my gift which was the sweetest thing."


Huang upped Pan in the sweet stakes by admitting that he still keeps the presents that she gave him even though they have become tattered and torn with use.

He said: "I still have the first wallet she bought me many years ago and even the wrapping paper that came with it.

"(I also have) the two pillows that Ling Ling once bought for my car, (with) a dog and cow on it (because those are hers and my Chinese zodiac signs respectively). I'm very sentimental that way."

This year, the couple cannot spend Valentine's Day together because Huang, who owns events company Wee Entertainment Singapore, has an event.

They will be making up for it on Sunday and are likely to have their meal at Pan's favourite Western restaurant Jack's Place with their sons Beckham, 14 and Kynaston, 11.

Said Huang: "When I met Ling Ling, I was poor as I didn't come from a well-to-do family. My dad was a hawker and I wasn't making much as an actor then.

"I could wear the same pair of jeans for a month and sometimes I would only wash my hair every two days as I was tired from filming.

"She didn't say anything about any of these things. That just made me want to earn more money and be a good man and take care of her."

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