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Archive for April, 2017

A Hyundai or an Hermès?

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, lifestyle, Social News

 


Awang Aji Putih, Head of Asia Sales of Royal Brunei Airlines and Mr. Aldrin Arumugam, General Manager of Singapore Airlines doing the honours for the 4 lucky winners
 

A pre-selection for 4 lucky winners were held at Pan Bright Travel Service, Bandar Seri Begawan branch office earlier this week.

One of the 4 winners will have a choice of driving away either a Hyundai ‘Accent’ car OR bring home an exclusive Hermès ‘Birkin’ bag at the Grand Draw which will be held on the 07 April 2017. The other 3 prizes are return economy class ticket from Brunei to London & Melbourne, courtesy of Royal Brunei Airlines and a return ticket to Tokyo, courtesy of Singapore Airlines.

Pan Bright Travel Service General Manager, Mr. Johnnie Cheong said, “We would like to wish the 4 lucky winners all the best in the Grand Draw on Friday, 7th April. This is the 3rd year that we have organized this lucky draw promotion. We also take this opportunity to thank all of our valued customers for their continuous support.”

The 4 lucky coupons were selected by Awang Aji Putih, Head of Asia Sales of Royal Brunei Airlines and Mr. Aldrin Arumugam, General Manager of Singapore Airlines. Members of the media and the management of Pan Bright Travel were also present to witness the pre-selection draw.

This lucky draw promotion ran from 01 September 2016 to the 31 March 2017.

Mattias Ekström wins World RX season opener

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Audi Sports, automative, Social News

 


Mattias Ekström of Audi and EKS won the season opener at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship
 

The 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship could not have been off to a better start from Audi and EKS’s point of view. The season opener at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya saw Mattias Ekström triumph. In the final, the reigning world champion relegated Timo Scheider (D) and Andreas Bakkerud (N) to positions two and three. This victory immediately puts Ekström back at top of the drivers’ standings. In the teams’ classification, team world champions EKS are in the top spot tied on points with Team PSRX Volkswagen Sweden.

The start to the season’s first race weekend had ups and downs in store for Ekström and his teammates, Toomas Heikkinen (FIN) and Reinis Nitišs (LV). “Saturday was incredibly difficult,” says Ekström. “The weather situation kept changing – sun, rain, sun, rain … In rallycross with its many single races, that’s extremely complicated – at one time you have an advantage and others a disadvantage.” Ekström caught a rain shower in his second race and at the end of day one was only in position eleven of the overall classification. Heikkinen had better luck. The Finn did the best job of coping with the changeable conditions and was leading after day one.

On Sunday, the prerequisites changed. In bright sunshine and on a dry track, Ekström was able to fully use the strengths of his 560-HP Audi S1 EKS RX quattro and at the end of the four qualifying sessions was trailing Timo Scheider in second place. For the semi-finals of the twelve best drivers, Heikkinen (P7) and Nitišs (P10) qualified as well. However, both EKS campaigners were eliminated in the penultimate session. Ekström on the other hand dominated the action, took the top spot after having started from pole position and in the final prevailed with a lights-to-flag victory as well. “All in all, it was a terrific weekend,” says Ekström. “I won at Barcelona in 2016, and now I did it again. My whole team did a fantastic job and we scored important points for both classifications.”

EKS will be traveling from Barcelona some 1,000 kilometers to Montalegre in Portugal to prepare for round 2 of the World Rallycross Championship on April 21–23. Ekström still has a score to settle with the shortest track on the calendar. Last year, following a collision in the semi-final, the 38-year-old had to bury his hopes for victory early.

2017 FIA World RX – round 1, Barcelona – results of final

1 Mattias Ekström (S) 4m 32.260s
2 Timo Scheider (D) +0.362s
3 Andreas Bakkerud (N) +1.868s
4 Petter Solberg (N) +2.625s
5 Timmy Hansen (S) +3.251s
6 Johan Kristoffersson (S) +3.976s

Drivers’ standings, 2017 FIA World RX (after 1 of 12 rounds)

1 Mattias Ekström (S) 29 points
2 Timo Scheider (D) 26 points
3 Andreas Bakkerud (N) 22 points
4 Johan Kristoffersson (S) 21 points
5 Petter Solberg (N) 19 points
6 Timmy Hansen (S) 17 points

National Savings Day 2017 roadshow

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in education, Social News

Press release: Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA), Radio Television Brunei (RTB), the Employee Trust Fund (TAP), as well as related agencies and financial institutions, held its first National Savings Day 2017 roadshow at Chung Hwa Middle School, Bandar Seri Begawan on Tuesday, 7 Rejab 1438 corresponding to 4 April 2017.

The Guest of Honour for the event was Yang Berhormat Awang Ong Tiong Oh, Member of the Legislative Council who is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Chung Hwa Middle School. Also present during at the roadshow were senior officers from AMBD, as well as senior officers from Ministry of Education, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Brunei and Muara District Office, and Chung Hwa Middle School.

With the theme “Financially Literate Generation”, the roadshow is hoped to increase awareness of the importance of savings, financial independence and to make individuals and households, in particular students, to be more financially-savvy in the future. This is in line with AMBD’s efforts to develop a financially literate generation and also Brunei Vision 2035’s objectives towards achieving a dynamic and sustainable economy, as well as highly-skilled population.

100 students from secondary schools in the Brunei-Muara District were invited to participate in interactive financial-related games and activities organized by AMBD, TAP, Baiduri Bank, Junior Achievement and Great Eastern. The games and activities gave introduction on financial management and also local currency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next roadshow will be on Thursday, 6 April in Brunei-Muara District, followed by roadshows in Belait District, Tutong District and Temburong District on Monday 10 April, Thursday 13 April and Tuesday, 18 April respectively.

Other events planned in conjunction with the National Savings Day 2017 are the Financial Fun Fair, which will be held at the Jerudong Park Colonnade on Sunday, 30 April 2017 from 2pm to 10pm, which will feature a host of family fun-filled programs and interactive activities; and a Financial Showcase on Saturday, 20 May 2017 from 2pm to 8pm at the Airport Mall.

For more information on National Savings Day 2017, members of the public can visit AMBD’s website at www.ambd.gov.bn/nsd2017; download AMBD App from the App Store or Google Playstore; or follow AMBD on Instagram at @autoriti_monetari. Images courtesy of @tap_brunei @baiduribank

Coldplay lived up to the hype

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in lifestyle, Social News

 


The balloons hit during the “Adventure of a Lifetime” song
 


Amazing lighting and atmosphere. Thank you, Coldplay
 

My oh my… It has been a while since I attended a concert. My last was Pitbull gig in Singapore. Yea that was fun and he was a great entertainer during his 2013 Global Warming Tour and merely a 5,000 crowd attendance. I heard that he will be back again in Singapore of Climate Change tour this coming May.

Fast forward to 2017, Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams tour was my next concert. Yea, I missed out Guns N’ Roses gig in Singapore last February but i heard mixed reviews due to the logistics, the venue as well as the sound system.

It was totally opposite for Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams tour held at the enormous Singapore National Stadium last weekend. I was worried if there was no shelter but I didn’t know that stadium has a retractable roof and it worked to great effect.

Jolene Law and I were fortunate enough to attend the first ever gig by Coldplay for the year 2017 and of course, the few familiar faces from Brunei who made it for Coldplay. The attraction was just tremendous. Coldplay first gig was back in Singapore, 2006 at the Indoor Stadium for a 10,000 audience. Then back in 2009 with Coldplay’s Viva La Vida Tour with 12,000 fans and now (in 2017), it’s a different story with 100,000 fans altogether for two shows. What a huge jump and I can tell you why.

 

 


People queueing in as early as 6pm
 


The merchandise was selling like hotcakes. Each t-shirt costs around $50
 


Hello Sue, I hope you were awed with Coldplay.
 

 


One of the guys who were selling spare tickets and also merchandise. Apparently he sold them t-shirts for $20 each
 


The tickets are barcoded. Well, you just have to print them and enter. But once you go in, you can’t go out.
 


Jaymee was also one of those who flew from Brunei 😀
 


Hello Jolene and I hope you enjoyed your belated birthday gift. See you next time in Singapore.
 


We were totally impressed with the Coldplay experience
 


The strong 50,000 crowd after the concert ended.
 

Now there are a few reasons why Coldplay is the most electrifying concert that I’ve attended so far. It’s more than just a concert. It’s the whole wham bam experience.

1. Chris Martin is a great connector. The lead vocalist and the main person behind Coldplay was able to engage the audience with his movement on the stage and also during transitions between songs. Of course, the crowd was quite responsive and some were even in tears. He even joked about the humidity in Singapore as you can see his sweat dripping when he was passionately hitting the notes on the keyboard (Yea, we saw it on the gigantic screen lol). Chris was so uplifting from start to finish and the star of the show.

2. The LED wrist band. One thing was fans and not-so-big fans looking forward to Coldplay is the technicolour experience that you will enjoy from a Coldplay concert. The theme “A Head Full of Dreams” was fitting enough for fans to enjoy a euphoric feeling as we became awed with the random bright luminous colours from the electronically controlled wristband. The colours of the light will be in tuned with the songs and my favourite one would be the yellow/green moment.

3. The props and stage design. Yea, we might be seated at a restricted view as highlighted on the tickets. But we didn’t feel restricted at all. Ironically I loved the view as I was able to see the overall experience such as the confetti, the balloons and the laser light effects. The only setback would be the angle of the gigantic screen due to our seating position. But I ain’t complaining since it didn’t really bother me as much. The pyros, the confetti and the colourful balloons created a whole new experience as a concert goer. Those who paid more were privileged to experience the shower of confetti.

4. The sound. This has always been a big issue in other gigs such as Madonna and Guns N Roses. The acoustic was at its best (and I probably believed that there was a lot of planning in this). Speakers were not just on the main stage area but also around the arena. I missed the first song but I could hear it clearly with the vocal and music outside the arena. So imagine being one of concert goers inside the arena. Every single note from the musicians was noticeable among the 50,000 strong crowd and once you reach that almost perfect acoustic and sound, it will bring more energy to the crowd.

5. The crowd participation. Of course, with the help of the electronically coloured wrist band, it will make the audience waved their hands with the flow of the music. The fans can really make a difference to a concert experience and that night, it was one of the best I’ve been too. They were singing even though they don’t remember the whole lyrics (like me). Some were even so emotional because it felt so surreal. I had my moments of screaming because I felt quite high in energy. Coldplay + the crowd were a win-win situation and that made it ever more rewarding and fulfilling.

Overall, it was the best concert experience to date and it’s no surprise if tickets were sold out in other cities. The best moment for me was “A Sky Full of Stars” and “Up & Up”. I’m hoping to get another gig of theirs in the future. Even replaying the videos I shot still gives me the goosebumps. For now, I can say my dream has been fulfilled. Thank, Coldplay and Singapore. Verdict: 10/10

 

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About RA

A blogger since 2002, using platforms from blogspot, joomla and now currently wordpress. A readership that stands on average of 20,000 visits per month. Also on active on social media platform on IG, Facebook and Snapchat (@ranoadidas)

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