A very low key month for me. Well, nothing much to shout about in May. I just got back from a two-week break from work and now recovering from a very fulfilling trip with my friends from Brunei and abroad. Friends do ask me if I enjoy traveling and the answer is pretty obvious. I was invited to travel to Paris and Moscow last April but I already had prior commitments and still stuck with my original plan – Hua Hin (Thailand) and Manila and I didn’t regret with my original plan because of the awesome company and environment. Nonetheless, I would like to thank Darussalam Holdings for the offer but it came slightly too late for my plans. Let’s hope the next one will be a go-go.
12 years and counting.
At the moment, my thinking capacity is not at its highest level, let alone above average. I still need more sleeping hours before I get back to shape. I even forgot to renew my domain name for ranoadidas.com and it was clumsy on my part. Good thing I had my rano360.com domain still up and running just in case. For your info, my blog just turned 12 years on 1st of May. I actually thought last year was the 12th year but apparently I miscalculated the number of years. I won’t be doing any special event or programs for the 12th year milestone and I do want to acknowledge and appreciate every single of my loyal readers for continuing this support. It’s not easy to gain attention nowadays for bloggers as now the power belongs to the social media and we all are part of it whether we like it or not. For me, it’s important to stay to my core presence as a blogger and also be active in social media to be in the mix. It has been an encouraging journey so far.
The talk of the town has been the controversial match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao where it was billed as match of the century on paper but didn’t translate well in the title match. Instead we were entertained by the hugging and the running of the title holder Mayweather. We caught the match at the cinema at Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila with my friends last weekend and we were rooting for the favourite underdog Manny for sure. I kinda knew what kind of tactics Money man will come up with it and judges were in favour of Mayweather who now has a 48-0 record as a professional boxer. Amazing stats but his legacy remains unstable because of his lack of sportsmanship in the match. He was jeered with a chorus of boos when he entered the arena and even the crowd was chanting Manny’s name. Now Manny has requested a rematch if I’m not mistaken. Let’s hope it won’t be another repeated incident. Biggest winner here – Hublot.
Yes, we didn’t have enough sleep at all. After my Hua Hin trip, I flew straight to Manila to meet up with the boys and spend only 8-9 hours of sleep while being in Manila for 72 hours *lol* It was a great getaway and I can’t believe that this was my second trip to Manila in a space of three months and I never been to the Philippines. Yes, the only I think that made me stress is the ridiculous traffic jam. The boys and I celebrated Stuart Lee’s birthday and also caught the #MayPac match at the cinema. We were a bit down that Manny lost but he still won our hearts. The other thing that ticked us off was that the live feed from the cinema was cut off between Round 7 to Round 9 of the boxing match and the audience were already raising their voice for refunds. Good thing that the local fans didn’t make such a big issue when the match was over. It could have backfired. Anyway, thanks buddies for the great time off and spending time together in Manila. Round 2, perhaps?
Age of Ultron still entertaining.
Though I was slightly behind in my reviews for Age of Ultron, I left it on a high note because Del and I caught it on 4Dx at Paragon Cineplex, Bangkok, Thailand. It was Del’s first time experience at the cinema area and he loves it. For me, this is like my home ground because it’s not just a cinema but they created a lifestyle and invested millions in catering to a great atmosphere and hospitality. We grabbed our tickets through the e-ticketing machine without the hassle of going over to the counter. IMAX 3D is still the best at Paragon Cineplex and it’s better than the Lido one in Singapore. Anyway, I don’t advise you to catch Avengers: Age of Ultron on 4Dx since it can be very irritating that the seats keep on moving from time to time and plus the screen is not as huge too. I would trade for IMAX than 4Dx any day. Avengers sequel opened very well in the US box office but still fell short of their first movie by 20 million. Do listen to my podcast on my review and I gave this movie a strong 8.
Pictures from Manila Trip.
The Bros manila passport covers
The boxing event that didn’t live up to expectations
Mayweather focused more on counter attack and won
The disappointed crowd after the boxing match
When Stuart turned 3# ish :p
Yea, at least they still have my sizes
I bought this bag too to match with my bag pack
The wheel outside Mall of Asia
Thanks for the trip guys Till next time.
Shawn with his obsession on chicken feet
Flying back thru Cebu Pacific
Our podcast review with my co-host Del Goh on Avengers: Age of Ultron on 4Dx experience at Paragon Cineplex. Click play to listen to our review.
Now previously known as Sixth Sense has been taken over by Sheraton and the villas have been renamed as Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas
The service is still excellent especially when we were checking in
Good morning, readers!!! If you have been following my on instagram, you would probably know where I am right now. Yes, I have been away for quite some time now and I’m still here at Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas, Hua Hin, Thailand. I was here exactly 5 years ago at the same place but it was under Evason Sixth Sense. Now half of the hotel area (the villa side) has been taken over by Sheraton (under Starwood). There were some minor changes but the most thing I truly missed is the personalised butler that we use to have. I recalled I was requesting for an iron and iron board. The lady butler came to our villa with the items but she did an extra more which was ironing my clothes on the spot *lol* Now that’s what I call service. Since the new management, we don’t enjoy that privilege anymore.
The villas are awesome as always and I highly recommend to friends who simply want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Thailand. This is my third trip to Hua Hin and it’s about a 3 hour ride from Bangkok too. I love the quietness and it’s a place where I could just relax my mind and think less about unnecessary things such as work and even my blog *lol*
We are quite fortunate to have a very good rate for our villas and it costs us USD 350 per night. Our room is a two story villa and my bed is located at the living room area while my buddies are sleeping upstairs. We have a mini private pool as well and a small jacquzzi. The wifi is pretty fast as well. It’s as fast as 18-19 megs. Awesome but it can lagged especially at night time. I would have to say that the wifi is way better than the dongle mifi I rented (BND 85 for a week) and it’s only 3 megs at best.
So peeps, I won’t be blogging for a while now.. Maybe I will back in two days’ time. I’m gonna enjoy the last few days here in Hua Hin.
Our two story villa
Swimming at our private pool
We can rent bikes from the villas and cycle around the area to explore. Very convenient.
Night time at Sheraton Pranburi Villas
Hanging out with my buddies
Sarina is having a blast this trip. Full of joy and laughter.
My friends’ villa
Trying out the Sixth Sense Spa next door with my buddies
Click image to enter website
Download SnapFeed app on your smartphones and check out the latest deals in Brunei and also get rewarded from respective merchants such as BurgerKing, KFC and Sushi Tei to name a few.
Irwan Bin Lamit, Managing Director of BIBD At-Tamwil Berhad (center) during the press conference of second BIBD At-Tamwil University Cup. Image courtesy of Norliha Din of The Brunei Times.
A press conference was hold by BIBD At-Tamwil and Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) to announce the second inter-university football tournament at BIBD At-Tamwil lecture room in Gadong last weekend. It’s good to know the tournament is back because it was such a big hit with great attendance (even better than the local league organised by NFABD). The last tournament was two years ago where UBD was crowned the champions.
Now there will be more interesting as there will be 10 universities and higher learning institutions such as ITB, University Brunei Darussalam (UBD), Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (Unissa), the Seri Begawan Religious Teaching College University (KUPUSB), Politeknik Brunei, Cosmopolitan College of Commerce & Technology, International Graduate Studies (IGS) College, Micronet International College, Laksamana College of Business (LCB) and also an invitation to Curtin University from Miri, Sarawak.
The second BIBD At-Tamwil University Cup is supported by Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth Culture and Sports and Ministry of Home Affairs and sanctioned by National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD). Present during the press conference and the draw was Irwan Bin Lamit, Managing Director of BIBD At-Tamwil Berhad.
The tournament and the opening ceremony will kick off on 17th of May at Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium and the tournament will run until 13th of June. Expect the other matches to be played at Berakas Sports Complex and Royal Brunei Recreation Club (RBRC) football field.
Members of the public are invited to watch the event as entrance is free and stand a chance to win amazing prizes throughout the match. Let’s hope for another big turnout in the matches and I’m pleased that the BIBD At-Tamwil University Cup is back!! You can follow their Facebook Page or instagram @attamwil_universitycup for updates.
Representatives from institution during the press conference. Image courtesy of Norliha Din of The Brunei Times.
The draw for the second BIBD At-Tamwil University Cup. Image courtesy of Norliha Din of The Brunei Times.
Who’s playing who.
Click image to find out more
The ladies that joined in last year’s tournament. Will they be back? Let’s hope for more female participants.
With just less than a week to the start of the Baiduri Masters Golf Tournament, the organisers have indicated that the 20th edition is going to be special to golfers. The first 300 golfers who sign up and pay to play on the first weekend from 1st to 3rd May 2015 will receive exclusive golf memorabilia. The organisers are also planning to stage an exciting tournament for this 20th edition with the introduction of the team event.
The rules of the team event are simple and straightforward. The team event is open to all amateur golfers in a team of four. Team members can play at separate times and may enter as many times as possible to improve their chances of winning with the best 3 scores counting towards the tournament. More details can be obtained from the RBA Golf Club notice board on such things as hole-in-one, novelty prizes during play as a team.
The team event fee is B$120 with an additional B$25 per player and teams will enjoy a 10% discount on the registration fee of B$120 on their second and subsequent rounds.
As in previous years, the Baiduri Masters will be held over two weekends at the RBA Golf Club, Berakas and played on format System 36 (Stroke Play) and the challenge trophy will be decided on gross. The Baiduri Masters tournament is divided into 4 divisions – Men’s, Group, Ladies and Junior. The Men’s division will be further divided into Men’s Gross, Men’s Nett and Senior Golfers Nett.
More press releases for the 20th edition of the tournament are forthcoming.
For the hole-in-one on offer this year, players will have a chance to win the Porsche Panamera for Hole 2; the Mini One for Hole 5; and the all new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer for Hole 14 or B$20,000 cash each for Hole 12 and Hole 16 respectively.
For more details, the public can log onto the website www.baiduri.com or call 244 9666 from 7:00am to midnight any day, including holidays.
Prize for Hole No.2 for Hole-in-One
Prize for Hole No.5 for Hole-in-One
Prize for Hole No.14 for Hole-in-One
Ready to swing for charity?
Minister of Home Affairs, Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awang Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awang Othman launching the Singapore Food Festival
Jaya Ratnam,the Singapore High Commissioner to Brunei
Launching the food festival was the Minister of Home Affairs, Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awang Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awang Othman as the guest of honour.
Also present was the Deputy Minister of Finance, Dato Paduka Hj Bahrin Abdullah, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Dato Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awang Halbi Hj Md Yussof, the Singapore High Commissioner to Brunei, Jaya Ratnam and Deputy Permanent Secretary (Investment) of Ministry of Finance Hj Abu Bakar Hj Ibrahim as his capacity as the Acting RBC Chairman.
In his opening remarks, RBC’s Acting General Manager, Pg Hj Abd Rahman Pg Hj Mat Salleh said that the festival has always received an overwhelming response from the public and that it is a great achievement for RBC.
Available daily during the period until May 5, the festival promises to deliver delicious authentic Singaporean cuisine and hawker classics such as Singapore Rojak Buah, Old Bibik’s Beef Rendang, Singapore Laksa Lemak, Singapore Chili Crabs, Geylang Grilled Whole Stingray, Iche Cabin Chicken Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice and many more.
Royal Brunei Catering (RBC) even specially brought in two chefs, Chef Chee Kwan Kit and Chef Ramlah Khadar Bacha, from Grand Hyatt Singapore to showcase their signature dishes as well as exchange knowledge with RBC’s own chefs.
During the festival, customers can enjoy these authentic dishes during lunch ala carte, except on Fridays, or dinner buffet. Lunch will be served from 11.30am until 2.30pm while dinner starts at 7pm until 10pm. The dinner buffet is priced at $34.90 per adult and $16.90 for children aged six to 12 years old.
Customers who leave their name and contact number on the dining receipt will be entered into a lucky draw where they can win prizes such as return air tickets to Singapore, complimentary accommodation at Royal Plaza on Scotts Singapore and many more.
Baiduri Bank Infinite and Platinum card holders can enjoy a 20 per cent discount, while Gold, Classic and Debit card holders can enjoy a 15 per cent discount on their bill. Of course those that hold an RBC Dining Privilege Card will be entitled for a 10 per cent discount.
For more information, contact 2331853 or 2339207.
KFC Brunei is bringing you the new KFC Butter Garlic Crunch Chicken and KFC Butter Garlic Burger – featuring a flavourful match of fragrant garlic with the creamy taste of butter.
“We strive to constantly provide innovative taste offerings to excite the taste buds of our customers. This new product is a blend of both butter and garlic, two flavours that go so well together and exude an aromatic appetizing taste!” said Del Goh, Vice President, KFC Brunei.
“At KFC, we truly understand the needs of our consumers and strive to provide them with great value for money products. With this in mind, we are offering a value treats combo that comprises of 1 piece Chicken with Rice Plate and a carbonated drink from as low as B$4.00. We are confident that by offering such products at a reasonable price, we’ll be able to drive more customers to our stores”, he added.
With the tagline “A match made in heaven”, the KFC Butter Garlic Crunch is KFC’s succulent chicken marinated in unique herbs and spices as well as a perfect blend of soft creamy butter which is then fried to perfection and sprinkled with a dash of special flavoured garlic powder, resulting in a marriage of flavours that is totally out of this world.
Burger lovers on the other hand can indulge in the KFC Butter Garlic Burger, featuring a crunchy chicken fillet marinated in the same heavenly taste and packed between a warm sesame seed bun, lettuce, creamy mayo and sliced cheese priced at B$4.90 for a la carte.
The guest of honour, Datin Hjh Rosnah, cutting the ribbon to mark the launching of Brunei Wedding Festival last weekend. Image taken by Analisa Amu of The Brunei Times.
Datin Hjh Rosnah conversing with local well known photographer Aiman Besar. Image courtesy of Analisa Amu of The Brunei Times.
According to Songket Wedding Facebook, the Brunei Wedding Festival #BWF2015 was a huge success. The wedding fair was organised by Songket Wedding with the collaboration of Ifdhaal Event Management and Zilla Boutique which was joined by over 100 vendors. The event took place at ICC and it was launched by Datin Hjh Rosnah Pehin Dato Indera Sugara Dato Seri Laila Jasa Hj Johari, spouse of the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.
The participating vendors from various countries – Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore are showcasing their products and services and visitors can look forward to deals on packages as well as discounts from the well-known wedding vendors.
So peeps. Do wait for the next #BWF2016 next year as it is the biggest one-stop centre for the latest wedding trends in Brunei Darussalam.
Image courtesy of Analisa Amu of The Brunei Times.
The official car sponsor – Volkswagen from Maju Motors. Image courtesy of Songket Wedding.
Image courtesy of Songket Wedding.
Image courtesy of Songket Wedding.
Image courtesy of Songket Wedding.
White Room Studio. Image courtesy of Songket Wedding.
Image courtesy of Songket Wedding.
Image courtesy of Songket Wedding.
The highlights of Warriors FC vs DPMM FC
Brunei DPMM FC continued their unbeaten run in the 2015 Great Eastern-Yeo’s S.League on Friday evening after defeating Warriors FC 3-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Two early goals from Rafael Ramazotti set the Wasps on the way to victory before Paulo Sergio netted a penalty to wrap it up despite a spirited comeback from Warriors FC in the second-half, which saw Nicolas Velez pull a goal back.
This means Brunei DPMM FC are still undefeated but still lie in 3rd place with two games in hand. It was a pity that Joe Gamble was sent off for an off-the-ball incident late in the game.
Brunei DPMM FC: Wardun Yussof, Aminuddin Zakwan, Brian McLean, Boris Raspudic, Sairol Sahari (C), Helmi Zambin (Yura Indera Putra 61’), Joseph Gamble, Hendra Azam (Rosmin Kamis 79’), Azwan Ali, Paulo Sergio, Rafael Ramazotti
Warriors FC: Daniel Ong, Nur Asyidiq Sukarto (Fazli Jaffar 90+2’), Daniel Bennett (C), Marin Vidosevic, Irwan Shah, Thomas Beattie (Hafiz Rahim 46’), Kevin McCann, Emmeric Ong (Shi Jiayi 67’), Miroslav Pejic, Nicolas Velez, Fazrul Nawaz.
DPMM FC squad vs Warriors FC last night. Image courtesy of Amirul Asyraf of S•League
Warriors FC coming out of the stands. Image courtesy of Alson Ong of S•League.
Rafael Ramazotti in top form. Image courtesy of Amirul Asyraf of S•League
Sergio scored the final goal for DPMM FC from the penalty spot. Image courtesy of Amirul Asyraf of S•League.
SOYC2015 was organised by Rev-Yo Club (Sabah Yoyo Club lead by Paul Peter, Micku Michelle & Timothy) and it was the first ever professional yoyo competition held in Sabah. The competition attracted 20 participants aged between 16 to 29 from Brunei, Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur.
The contest was divided into 2 categories, where contestants would be judged on technical skills and performance, namely Single handed (1A) category & Y-category (Mixture of double-looping(2A), double-handed (3A), off-strings(4A), counterweight(5A)). There was also competition for record holder for Long Sleeper (longest spinning yoyo), Eli Hop Challenge (Most Eli-hop in 30 seconds) and Blindfold 1A Challenge. Images courtesy of Yo-Splinter Club (Brunei).
Group photos of the winners
Single Handed (1A):
1st – Ridzwan Ngataman (Sarawak)
2nd – Muhammad Khairsyah (Brunei)
3rd – Muhammad Shaifuddin (Terengganu)
1st- Ryan Han (Sarawak)
2nd – Azim Jameel (Brunei)
3rd – Wesley Lim (Sarawak)
Long Sleeper Record – Adi Raihan (Brunei)
Eli Hop Challenge - Muhammad Khairsyah (Brunei)
Blindfold 1A Challenge – Muhammad Khairsyah (Brunei)
BIBD Ar-Rahnu yesterday hosted members of the Muslimah Jemaah from the Sultan Sharif Ali Mosque in Sengkurong, who were greeted by BIBD’s Head of Ar-Rahnu, Hjh Rosminah Binti Hj Abd Wahid.
The purpose of the visit was to better understand the benefits of BIBD’s micro- credit facilities for SMEs offered by BIBD Ar-Rahnu, and to also gain better knowledge of Islamic banking products. The visit also included a tour around the BIBD Ar-Rahnu premises.
BIBD AR-Rahnu provides quick Shariah-based pawn-broking using gold items and precious stones as collateral for short-term financing of up to twelve months. The financing is also useful for those who don’t qualify for conventional financing, such as those without fixed income.
The financing can also be used for obtaining capital to start up short-term businesses like setting up food stalls during major national events such as the birthday celebrations of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the National Day celebrations, and the Ramadhan stalls.
BIBD Ar-Rahnu yesterday hosted members of the Muslimah Jemaah from the Sultan Sharif Ali Mosque in Sengkurong, who were greeted by BIBD’s Head of Ar-Rahnu, Hjh Rosminah Binti Hj Abd Wahid
BIBD Ar-Rahnu also provides Zakat calculations for gold assets along with gold cleaning services as additional benefits to its customers. Recently BIBD Ar- Rahnu has also lowered its storage fees to help support the ambitions of its customers.
In 2013, BIBD Ar-Rahnu also won the “Social Service Award” at the Asia-Pacific Enterprise Leadership Awards (APELA) held at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The award recognises and honours the achievements of enterprise leaders by bringing together some of Asia-Pacific’s best leadership examples in the areas of sustainable development, corporate responsibility, and corporate social responsibility. Text and image courtesy of BIBD.
I still missed the premiere of The Avengers: Age of Ultron and I still haven’t watch the movie since it’s not out in Hua Hin, Thailand just yet. It is slated to be released next week. So I have to wait for the release in Thailand since I will be here for another week. I just love the IMAX experience in Siam Paragon, Thailand. Way better than Shaw Theaters, Singapore.
However, it was a successful event where fan boys and girls of Marvel caught the marathon of The Avengers at Times Cineplex (Times Square, Empire, Tutong and KB). There are also selling The Avengers: Age of Ultron merchandise at all the outlets. I’m still eyeing for the t-shirt as well as the popcorn metal bucket.
What’s the rating so far? I would say that judging from my peers on IG, the reviews are slightly in 7s and above. The scores in rotten tomatoes is currently at 80% from 71 reviews as compared to Marvel’s The Avengers which hit 92% from 311 reviews. So it seems that it won’t top the 92% mark in RT if the number of reviews hit over 300. Give and take, it will reach in the high 70% by the end of the month. You can check out my friend Tiffany’s review here.
You can get merchandise of Avengers: Age of Ultron at Times Cineplex
Dressing as Thor
Dressing as Hawkeye
The marathon viewers of The Avengers last Wednesday
Food Extravaganza & Trading 2015 Season 1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium
A great turnout last Tuesday
A total of 128 volunteers managed to collect 2,062 kilogrammes (kg) of waste at the Tungku Beach in a cleaning campaign organised by the Beach Bunch to mark Earth Day last Wednesday.
Speaking to The Brunei Times, Beach Bunch President Rizan Latif said it was the group’s first clean-up this year, held in commemoration of the Earth Day.
He said that Tungku Beach was chosen as the location because it represents “the debilitating condition between human and nature that now creates chaos”.
“Beaches like the Tungku Beach is being used daily and we want to raise public awareness to ensure that the beach is always kept clean,” said Rizan.
He added that it was a positive event as “128 people came and were committed to say no to a dirty beach”.
He said with the recent revamp of Serasa beach, beach visitors and business owners have moved to Tungku beach, resulting to large number of visitors on weekends and their litter.
“Beach Bunch wants to create a better image of Tungku beach as well as to educate visitors for a more pleasant environment,” he said.
“It’s more like contributing back to the community and it’s a stand to tell that for Beach Bunch, littering is not the way to go and we must be responsible,” he continued.
When asked why the bad habit is still practised by irresponsible beach goers, Rizan said it’s because people have this ‘someone will clean it up’ mindset.
“Some people may see that the place is already dirty, so [they] might as well just litter. Others may want to be responsible but there are no allocated trash bins around the site so they litter. But the worst is the “someone else will clean it up” mindset that some people have,” he said.
Representing Mashhor group
Representing The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Representing Takaful Brunei
Rizan added that while changing the mindsets of these irresponsible individuals is difficult, it is not impossible as various steps have been taken to create awareness about the effects of littering.
“We’ve held a couple of awareness sessions at schools and carried out a series of beach cleaning campaign so people can take part and be more aware,” he said.
Various schools, colleges and private companies came to support the clean-up, including International School Brunei (ISB), Politeknik Brunei, Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB), Yayasan Secondary School, Mashhor Group Sdn Bhd, Takaful Brunei Darussalam and Standard Chartered Bank. Text courtesy of Izzati Jalil of The Brunei Times and images courtesy of The Beach Bunch.
Representing Yayasan School
2 tonnes of rubbish