His Excellency, Mr. Motohiko Kato, Ambassador of Japan to Brunei Darussalam (3rd from left) and Mr. Masafumi, Senior Project Manager, Film and Broadcast Media of Japan Foundation (2nd from left) and Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Putera Maharaja Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Ghani binPehin Datu Pekerma Dewa Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Rahim, a Legislative council member (4th from left) during the official launch of the Japanese Film Festival 2018
His Excellency, Mr. Motohiko Kato, Ambassador of Japan to Brunei Darussalam giving his welcoming remarks to the audience
The Japanese Film Festival 2018 kicked off in Brunei Darussalam last night at The Arena Cineplex, Kiulap. Attending the opening ceremony were His Excellency, Mr. Motohiko Kato, Ambassador of Japan to Brunei Darussalam and Mr. Masafumi, Senior Project Manager, Film and Broadcast Media of Japan Foundation, other members of the Diplomatic Missions in Brunei, media influencers, clubs and associations related to Japan.
The Japanese Film Festival is organised by the Japan Foundation and Embassy of Japan to Brunei Darussalam. This is a platform used to raise interest in Japanese films among audiences in the ASEAN region. It aims to provide opportunities for people to gather offline and online, under the vision of building a system for an extensive bridge between the Asia-Pacific film market and the Japanese film industry as mentioned by Mr. Masafumi.
There will be seven films being screened daily until the 28th of February 2018. The genres include drama, animation, manga adaptation and mystery. Do refer to the posters for details and you can google them for more in-depth review.
The cool thing about Japanese Film Festival 2018 is that the ticket admission is FREE and the way to claim your ticket is to collect your tickets from 5pm onwards at Arena Cineplex at Seri Q-Lap Mall. Each of the screening begins at 7:30pm.
For more information, you can contact them at 863 6488 or visit their Facebook Page or instagram @jffbrunei
What Rano thinks: I’m so pleased that there’s finally a Japanese Film Festival, showcasing more than 5 Japanese films. I’m a movie junkie and furthermore, I love Japanese movie for some reason. There are a few titles that I love rematching such as Zatoichi, Your Name (animation) and Battle Royale to name a few.
Good job to the Japan Foundation and the Embassy of Japan to Brunei Darussalam of making this possible because I normally see this kind of events in Singapore when I traveled. So this is a good start in creating more interest in Japanese films. I’m hoping to catch another one tonight if I can get hold of the tickets 🙂
His Excellency speaking to the management of Times Square Shopping Centre
Hello Ms. Junko Kurihara 😀
We caught the first film, Chihayafuru Part I
A’aqiil of Filterworks Production was also present
The screen times for the selected movies at Arena Cineplex
The Embassy of Japan in Brunei, together with the Japan Foundation and Times Square, will be co-organising “Japanese Language and Culture Week” from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 February 2018 at Times Square.
The event aims to introduce traditional Japanese culture and promote the Japanese language, whilst also highlighting opportunities for studying in Japan. There will be exhibition booths and on-stage demonstrations including a live showcase of new Japanese music, graffiti-art workshops, Japanese Martial Arts demonstrations, exhibitions of traditional Japanese toys, Japanese cooking, a Yoyo and Kendama showcase and Yukata (Japanese casual summer kimonos) dressing up with a commemorative photo service.
The new Japanese music showcases will be led by the musician group, named the” Ryoma Quartet “ from Japan.The band is a fusion of west meets east and old meets new. They will conduct a live performance with a violin and three traditional Japanese musical instruments; three-stringed shamisen, shinobue flute and tsuzumi hand drum. The musicians have been performing together as well as undertaken solo projects, developing music as a band and as individuals. The band is known for the members’ professional performance skills and stage presence, as well as their uniform, Montsuki Hakama (a traditional Japanese costume for men) which represents their determination to perform professionally.
– 8.00pm on Friday, 2nd February
– 4.45pm – 5.30pm on Sunday, 4th February
– 8.00pm – 9.00pm on Sunday, 4th February
A musician group, named the” Ryoma Quartet “ from Japan
Click image to enlarge
Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Ali Apong as the guest of honour with Pehin Goh King Chin, Managing Director of GHK Sdn Bhd and Wu Chun, founder of Roti Culture and his two children officially launching Roti Culture last Friday. Image courtesy of Roti Culture Facebook Page.
The invited guests enjoying the culture performances during the grand opening
Roti Culture, the recently opened family oriented and kids friendly restaurant is based in Batu Bersurat serving scrumptious and most loved roti and an array of savoury dishes, tantalizing local taste buds with an international touch. During the grand opening, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Ali Apong was invited as the guest of honour to officiate the opening. Along the VIP guest lists were Managing Director of GHK Sdn Bhd, Pehin Goh King Chin, the Russian Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Vladlen Semivolos, former CEO of the Brunei Tourism Board, Sheikh Jamaluddin and Marketing Manager of Royal Brunei Airlines, Alirahim Hj Abdul Rani.
The owner is our Brunei’s very own international artiste and philanthropist, Wu Chun who recently just finished the shooting of the very popular TV show “ Daddy, where are you going?” with an online viewers of more than 5 billion in China alone. Looking at his weibo account, we know he is just back from his 11 days trip, which he traveled to 11 cities for his commercial events and international endorsements. Including a recent award in Beijing where he was awarded the 2017 NetEase Most Influential Artiste Award. Wu Chun was known for his endeavours making Brunei known to the world and vice versa, him bringing the outside world experience to the country.
This is why, in Roti Culture, one can find what they are looking for, on the menu to satisfy one’s hunger ranging from the Indian-inspired signature roti kosong, roti bomb, dosai, nasi briyani to Malay cuisines such as our pandan nasi lemak, laksa, and otak-otak, as the founder would describe it as a one-stop place to eat and kid friendly atmosphere equipping a kid’s corner.
Guest of honour signing on the plaque. Image courtesy of Roti Culture Facebook Page.
A token of appreciation to the guest of honour and group photo with the associates of Roti Culture. Image courtesy of Roti Culture Facebook Page.
That’s some grand cake there. Image courtesy of Roti Culture Facebook Page.
You can see behind the scenes on how they make roti.
“My whole family loves roti, my overseas friends love roti to the max. Our menu comprises mainly of famous roti made by our very own chef and each dish is carefully infused with culture and are Bruneians’ favourite like the nasi ayam penyet and Temburong Cendol which you can get every day and we hope Roti Culture can be a ‘must-stop restaurant for the tourists in Brunei” said the owner and founder of Roti Culture, Wu Chun.
“We have tourists from Singapore, Taiwan and China who are crazy for Brunei’s roti and martabak as they claimed that ours (Brunei’s) has a different richer taste. Tourists craziness for roti is one of the things that inspired me to open Roti Culture,” he said. “I want to bring the Asian and Outside Culture together through what people commonly love, food.”
Moreover, what makes our menu special is that some of the dishes are signature recipes contributed by Wu Chun’s family members, which recipes go back to the 1980’s.
“I come from a big family and all of my aunties love to cook. So, we picked some of the best recipes to be included in our menu like the Kolo Mee, Nasi lemak, sup tulang, otak-otak and curry. It’s a fusion of culture here.” added Wu Chun.
Meanwhile, Wu Chun is keen to incorporate bits and pieces of Brunei’s own landmark Kampong Ayer in the restaurant by putting a large wall sticker showing the water village’s view and recycling colourful wooden planks from remnants of demolished water village houses. “They represent Brunei as Kampong Ayer is known as the Venice of Asia so when tourists come and dine in here, they have the feel and take pictures as memories,” said Wu Chun.
If you have not visited Roti Culture just yet, we are located at Block H, Unit 8 & 9, Ground Floor, Kg Pengkalan Gadong. So, come by, have a bite and feel the welcoming ambiance by the aromatic smell of the roti. For more information or booking, please call 242 1000 or follow their Facebook page or instagram @ROTICULTUREBRUNEI.
Wu Chun posing for the media a few days before the grand opening
Wu Chun speaking to the media
That looks appetizing
I love this dish. The rendang.. Slightly spicy and to my liking
Wu Chun with the members of media and social influencers
Wu Chun with his staff of Roti Culture
Located at Batu Bersurat
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism in his welcoming remarks during the launch of brunei.events portal
The guest of honour with other stakeholders under Brunei Festival 2017
Who says that Brunei has nothing to offer especially during the holiday period? According to Yang Mulia Awang Wardi bin Hj Mohammad Ali, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Tourism), Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, there are plenty of events to look forward to and not necessarily those who are traveling during the holidays will be away for the whole of December. Hence there are enough activities for the residents of Brunei Darussalam to enjoy from late November to December 2017.
Yesterday marked the launch of the www.brunei.events, a portal and application for tourism services for the general public as well as incoming tourists to be aware of any events in Brunei Darussalam. So what kind of events will be posted? There will be events such as roadshows, exhibitions, conferences, cultural activities, festivals and workshops. Just imagine it as the Time Out version of Brunei Darussalam.
The portal which will be available soon for mobile apps is a collaboration with Brunei Tourism Board, Progresif Cellular and Mixmediaworx.
The official launch took place at the Tourism Information Centre, Galeri Sini at the Royal Wharf and it was graced by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism.
Some of the main events lined up for December includes Brunei Film Blitz, Brunei E-Sports Tournament, Muslim Youth Camp, The Alpha Race, The Autofest, The Superwoman Run, Spotlight finals, Larian Festival Seni Belia Diri 2017, International Food Fair and not to forget the Bandarkuceria in all districts.
Wardi highlighted that this will be a yearly calendar for the upcoming Brunei December Festival. He hopes the objective of this event is to spur the growth of international tourist arrivals to Brunei Darussalam and also by having a yearly event, this will hope for a repeat participation from current vendors. Having these events in Brunei will also help to stimulate the domestic growth within the economy.
Also in attendance were Foreign Dignitaries
YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Ali bin Apong visited the organiser of the Superwoman Run slated for December
Siti Kaprawi briefing the minister on Larian Festival Seni Belia Diri 2017
Suherdy bin Suli, Managing Director of Andika Samudera Event Management will be organising a Hotwheel Bike and Car Show from 29th to 31st December
The BMW X5 cars will be the official car for Brunei Festival 2017
Traditional music is always soothing to the ears
How the portal looks like. Click image to find out more.
9 more days to go. Golden Jubilee Celebration of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s Accession to the Throne. Click image to enter the official website.
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office in his capacity as Patron of the Golden Jubilee Celebration Advisory Committee; and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, member of the Golden Jubilee Celebration Advisory Committee during the full dress rehearsal last Sunday. Image courtesy of Infofoto.
Congratulations to Aziz Haru on his latest single and music video, “Jangan” and it’s currently No.1 in Brunei’s iTunes chart. More on Aziz soon.
Applications for the 2018 Australia-ASEAN Emerging Leaders Program are now open! A2ELP is a three month leadership program for social entrepreneurs from ASEAN and Australia. The program includes a ten-day intensive program in Melbourne and Sydney with workshops, networking events, field visits and cultural activities. Applications close 13 October 2017. Click image to read more.
Awesome deals from SugarBun. I managed to get a free meal by using my Baiduri Platinum Debit Card on Paywave. Terms and conditions apply.
The children were the VIPs during the medal award ceremony held by @kumondilligent
Congratulations Rhyanna on receiving a medal from Kumon and hope you enjoyed your birthday celebration 😀
The newly open T•K Restaurant and I love the food too. Serving seafood as well. Located at the same building as Thien-Thien Gadong.
The app for The Mall Cineplex is quite convenient now. I believe this is the first of its kind for Brunei to use barcode to enter the cinema. Kudos, Mall Cineplex on this feature.
Rafhanah Salleh’s thought of Kingsman: The Golden Circle. I believe even my peers felt the same way and so did I. Apparently one person loved it so much he watched it three times. My final verdict: 6.5/10
So the censorship board has enforced this ruling and cinema operators have been playing their best to not allow kids or children below 17 years to watch movies for matured audiences. This can be a bit tricky but it will be a culture that families will be accustomed to. I do agree with the ruling and it’s just a bit more of awareness and publicity for parents to be aware of the ruling of catching movies with children in the cinemas.
Epipeople Consultants had their first sneak at It’s A Grind at Citis Square. The responses have been great so far and more workshops to come in the near future.
Game On’s PS4 FIFA 17 Tournament will take place at The Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium from the 29th September to 1st October 2017. This tournament alone will be the BIGGEST prize pool in our eSports history, at over BND1,000 – all thanks to @battlepromms Will the current champion (Hanif Hamzah) successfully defend his title or will we be seeing a new champion for FIFA 17? We’ll find out together on 1st October 2017 during The Festival Hari Belia 2017. Image taken from ETA Games @ Cineplex.
Something I can’t wait – FIFA18 will be out this weekend while W2K18 will be sometime in October. Check out ETA Games for updates.
Nuriskandar was a bit sakai when he saw the new facelift of KFC at Giant, Rimba.
I saw this yesterday in the papers and I thought it was quite unnecessary since he was not involved in any business transaction as his role was purely a photographer. I know of some people who even have higher positions or even dealing with clients from that company and had left but never been published in this manner. What gives? I do support the paper but this one thing that I don’t support.
My favourite dish at Sate House – Chicken satay. Very tender and juicy 😀
For your information at Bang & Olufsen (Brunei).
Something I learnt as a speaker and an evaluator on stage. If I take things seriously, I can see my growth. Thankful for the people around me who have helped and supported me all these years.
Taken during our recording greetings for the #HMjubliemas few weeks ago. Catch us on RTB on our greetings to His Majesty the Sultan.
Wu Chun spending time with his overseas fans
A customized and personalized cake for Wu Chun from the pastry chef during the launch of the Bake Culture at Serusop branch
During the launch of the third outlet of Bake Culture at Serusop, Wu Chun announced expansion in China and USA by 2017 for Bake Culture. Interesting to know that Wu Chun has bigger plans for the successful bakery that is popular in Brunei and Taiwan.
He hinted that by November, Bake Culture will be opened at Chongqing, China and followed by another outlet in New York, USA. Both outlets are in the process of renovation.
One of the local signature item, Roti Satay, will be introduced in the said outlets and the idea is to spread and share the culture of different countries.
He also highlighted that the pastry chefs have been trained for the past twelve months inclusive of food tasting for the customers’ needs.
It was also good to see Wu Chun fans flying in from China to support the launch and Wu Chun humbly enough spent time with them and took photos.
The other question that was put forward to Wu Chun was on the upcoming movie where he is being featured, “My Other Home”, an upcoming Chinese-American sports biographical film directed by Yang Zi and produced by Huang Jianxin, starring American basketball player Stephon Marbury as himself. Awesome. It’s not sure when the movie will be out in Brunei but it is slated for a China release on 4th August and yes, China is a huge market for sure.
Congratulations Wu Chun on the expansion of Bake Culture (oh ya, he loves banana muffin from Bake Culture) and I hope to see your movie in Brunei hopefully 🙂
The design of the new outlet in Serusop
Photo opportunity with Baiduri Bank associates
Wu Chun with invited guests
Wu Chun with his Bake Culture team
Wu Chun speaking to Progresif team
The cakes section
These look delicious
Fans waiting to enter the bakery
They flew in just for Wu Chun 😀
Check out his new movie – “The Other Home” to released in China this August
Friends I made during my 5 day trip in Seoul, Korea. Taken late June 2017.
My group mates – Ogia (Papa New Guinea), Ulzii (Mongolia), Mark (Korea), Andrea (Indonesia), Daniel (Korea), Deva (Indonesia), Ron (Indonesia) and Khulan (Mongolia). A huge thanks to Daniel for taking care of our group since Day 1.
I’m still reminiscing my day in Seoul, Korea during my short visit for the Asian Cultural Young Leaders’ Camp 2017 (25th June to 30th June). It seemed like yesterday but it has been almost a month since that experience. I made the conscious choice to accept the offer even though it was during the first few days of Eid Mubarak celebration. My deepest gratitude to the Korean Embassy to Brunei and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Korea for giving me this opportunity in the first place.
The hospitality was top notch and MOFA (Korea) knew how to take care of all the representatives from Asia Pacific during their stay in Seoul, Korea. We bonded on the first night with the youth from different walks of life. From Japan to Australia to Mongolia to Afghanistan, you name it. It was an emotional farewell on the final dinner before we departed back to our own countries. This is my biggest highlight of the Asian Cultural Young Leaders’ Camp 2017 #ACYLC2017 #2017ACYLC – the diplomacy and friendship among different nationalities and cultures. This is a sign of world peace where all of us can get along and make a difference in the world. I just wish for longer days and freer time to further strengthen the bonds and friendship among my newly acquainted friends.
I previously shared my story on PyeongChang, the upcoming Winter Games in February 2018. Now let allow me to share my other interesting trips at Korea. First up was the visit to the Ojukheon House at Gangneung near PyeonChang, a few hours ride from Seoul. If you really keen to understand the culture of Korea, this is a must visit territory.
Ojukheon House. According to history, Ojukheon House was where Shin Saimdang (1504-1551) lived and where her son Yi I (penname Yulgok; scholar and politician of the Joseon Period) was born. It was built during the early Joseon Dynasty and remains one of the oldest wooden residential buildings in Korea. It was designated as Treasure No. 165 in 1963 and has been maintained by the descendants throughout the generations.The house is made of black bamboo trees and still holding up. The interesting fact is that Shin Saimdang is featured on the Korean Won 50,000 note and still is. Her contribution as a artist and poet back in the 16th century and she’s the only lady being featured on Korean currency. If you are heading for the Winter Olympics at PyeongChang, then do visit Ojukheon House.
Seongyojang House. Another place I found interesting was Seongyojang House which was built back in the 1750s. Now why this is a unique place is because it reminds me of Air BnB. Let me share you a bit of history. It was created in 1703 by Yi Naebeon, an 11th generation descendant of Prince Hyoryeondaegun, part of the Hyoryeong royal family during the Joseon Dynasty. The idea behind Seongyojang House was to promote happiness and joy among relatives living there. Now I was told that back then, the owner of the residence would welcome guests and visitors to stay and they won’t accept any form of monetary in exchange. The guests were also well fed by the host and in return, they would shower the host with gifts instead as a sign of gratitude.
I’m still surprised that the Seongyojang House is very well maintained after 300 years and has past 10 generations. The structures are still intact and well preserved and it was even selected by Korean Broadcasting System as the top 10 well preserved original dwellings in Korea. A must visit destination if you are around PyeongChang area. I’m glad that such historical places do still exist and well maintained.
Lunch around PyeongChang while being briefed on the Winter Olympics
The view outside Seongyojang House. An interesting and historical place to visit.
Samsung Innovation Museum. According to Visit Korea, Samsung Innovation Museum (SIM) is a business hall as well as the largest sized industrial electronics museum in Korea, displaying the growing steps of Samsung Electronics Corporation at a glance. It is located inside of Suwon Digital City where Samsung Electronics Corporation was initially established 47 year ago. Starting from the time when electronics were first produced to the current trend of cutting-edge smart devices, the electronic industry has become more and more innovative. This history of innovation and the future of electronics are reflected in the museum while looking at the various exhibition halls, comprised of History of Samsung, Seeds of Innovation, Core of Innovation and Inspiring Innovation. The halls of Samsung Innovation Museum give a meaningful experience to figure out what innovation really means.
Ok, here goes my version – WWWOWWWW!!!! It’s like a city of its own and I could see associates of Samsung just cycling around to get to the other building. It’s also very heavily guarded so no one can simply just enter the Suwon Digital City. I seriously don’t mind working in this environment and it does feel quite futuristic (like in the movies). Too bad our group only tasted 5% of the Suwon Digital City. I wanted more but I guess there are restricted area.
In the museum, you will get to learn of the history of Samsung and also other inventions by inventors and also recognizing other brands that made an impact on our daily lives through time. For instance, the birth of washing machine or vacuum cleaner which helped to cut down longer hours of house chores. We were being educated on the existence of not just phones and TVs but also on other electrical appliances that play a part in our lives.
The admission is free and you will be guided by a museum presenter. It’s open from Monday to Friday but there won’t be any guided tour on a Saturday. You can take pictures but no filming recording is allowed. If you are not even a Samsung fan, this place is still worth a visit. I began to appreciate all these innovations after the tour. Thank you to all the inventors for making all these technological advances possible.
At the Suwon Digital City where Samsung Innovation Museum is located. This is one of the signs on the street. So be mindful when you walk 😉
You’re not allowed to take close up shots in the SIM or even video recording. But this kind of shots or selfies are welcomed 😀
Viewing the gallery while learning the important inventions which lead to our current technology
The 105” inch Samsung Curve UHD TV. The price for this is valued at USD 110,000 *Gullllpp*
Arirang’s Heart to Heart show. It’s not as easy as 1-2-3 to be selected to be featured on Arirang News, one of Korea’s leading broadcasting news that has global reach of 138 million households. A big thank you to MOFA Korea for making this possible as I was one of the special guests for Heart to Heart show in Arirang TV. The other special guest was Ashani Yusron, a big Hallyu fan from Indonesia. The recorded show for our session will up in one or two weeks’ time. Thank you to Manu (the producer) and Jennifer, the host for Heart to Heart and not forgetting our special friend, Mary.
This particular episode talks about our take of Korean culture and how it has been well received in our respective countries and also a bit of background of what we do professionally in the line of being social influencers. I shall keep you posted when the show will be set for release. Thank you once again to Arirang TV for having us on your show. This is definitely a milestone for 2017.
Thank you, Jennifer (right) for being such a sporting host
With the producer of Heart to Heart, Manu 😀
An awesome session with Jennifer. Can’t wait to see the actual show
Making bimbibap. Yes, this is the real deal. I normally being served at Korean Restaurants in Brunei but this one .. this one is the real deal. You get to see the traditional way of making bimbibap. For your info, bibimbap means mixed rice and in Korea, bimbibap is served as a bowl of warm white rice and topped with namul (sauteed and seasoned veggies, gochujang (chilli paste), soy sauce or doenjang (fermented soybean paste). Other additions are such as fried egg and slice beef. Then you stir the contents inside the bowl before you eat.
That day we visited a Korean restaurant (can’t remember the name) and we were given the experience to mix the bimbibap in a humungous bowl that is enough to feed at least a hundred people. I love the authentic taste of it too and the hospitality from the restaurant owners. Now being back in Brunei, I have more appreciation of how bimbibap is being served and maybe, just maybe, my expectations in terms of presentation and taste have slightly increased.
I had the privilege to stir this around. One massive bowl for bimbibap. This is how authentic it gets 😀
The customary selfie pose, of course, with bimbibap
One of the best lunches during our trip
Having fun after an awesome bimbibap lunch
Farewell dinner. The awesome about this program was that we were fed very well and also on time. The program was so structured that they made meal times a priority and also on time. I don’t know how they did it but they pulled it off consistently for 5 straight days. Amazing!! Our final dinner was Seoul Marina which was like an hour away from our hotel, Koreana and we hoped for a variety of choices as we had too much of kimchi during our previous meals. And yes we did!! The food was great and it was also an emotional farewell session as a few representatives from each group shared their learning and experiences from the #ACYLC2017.
We have our own Facebook group page and it’s flooded with pictures and memories. You were right, this is not a good bye but merely a transitional period where we will have newer opportunities to meet once again. It has been three weeks and it’s still fresh in my memory. Thank you once again, MOFA Korea and The Korea Foundation for hosting us and this has been one of the best experiences in a long time. I hope to see more of this in the near future.
One of our cute volunteers from Korea. Thank you for helping us out.
The volunteers from Korea Foundation
She’s one awesome emcee and is a TV presenter for Arirang TV.
Nice shot with the Samsung 360 camera. Taken at Anmok Beach.
I had a nice bingsu at GongCha by Anmok Beach
Strolling by the beach
Thank you, Daniel, for picking me up at the Incheon Airport upon my arrival last weekend
Our first Open Talk session where each country given an opportunity to share about their latest trends of social media and internet of things in their respective countries
So how have your Hari Raya (Eid Mubarak) celebration been? It has been almost a week and I can’t wait to get back home after spending almost a week in Republic of Korea. A big thanks to the Republic of Korea Embassy in Brunei Darussalam for selecting me to be part of the recent Asian Cultural Youth Leaders’ Camp 2017 in Seoul, Korea.
The ACYLC 2017 was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Korean Foundation. The 5 day program was attended by other representatives from 20 other countries in Asia Pacific. I even made acquaintance with a friend from Papa New Guinea and Fiji. The most important outcome were the friendship and the diplomacy that was created (or re-created) among other different nationalities. I just don’t know where to begin. All I can say for now is that #2017ACYLC program has achieved its objective in forming strategic cultural diplomacy among other nationalities. Even in a short period of time, the hardest part was the goodbyes and the see-you-next-time gestures.
The event started with an orientation or what we call the ice-breaker session with all the delegates. Each of us were given a min or two to introduce ourselves and I was selected to be in Group B (with Indonesia, Korea, Papa New Guinea, Mongolia) during the first evening. We weren’t warm up until the next day when we started to do our presentation during the “Open Talk” session. It was the most interesting part as we learnt the culture of how internet and technology play a part in their respective countries.
While Brunei has a higher internet penetration which also equates to higher social media penetration, other countries have different levels of penetration and social media presence. Did you know that Brunei has more than 100% of mobile penetration in the region? This means at least one of us have dual sim cards. As for Brunei, Instagram and Facebook have been the main source of updating statuses while Youtube remains the most popular for pleasure viewing.
In Korea, Facebook is widely popular with Instagram on the rise. Around 70% of the Koreans I met recently own an IG account while all of them have a Facebook account. Kakao Talk is Korea’s leading messaging app and not many of them communicate like how Bruneians do – WhatsApp. I downloaded the app to give a shot since I have more than two Korean friends. I would say that it’s similar to Line but cleaner and efficient. I like it but I won’t be using it as much since it’s not a frequent app being used in Brunei.
Around 20 representatives from different countries in the Asian Cultural Youth Leaders’ Camp 2017. Thank you, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korea and Korean Foundation.
Shooting with a fish eye lens
We had a brief appearance at Arirang TV news. Awesome!!!
Seung-Hye Sun, Director of Cultural Cooperation Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sharing an interesting insight on Korea’s Digital Diplomacy and New Media. It really gave me a different perspective on MOFA’s initiative and I wish other countries can do the same to strengthen the diplomacy between countries.
I shared the trends in Brunei and how internet penetration is quite high in Brunei Darussalam
With the beautiful ladies from Mongolia, Uzi and Khulan
We spent one and a half day in Seoul before heading of the PyeongChang, the official city for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Republic of Korea. We have a small preview at one of the sporting venues at PyeongChang, the Alpensia where the ski jump will be held. Now it’s the summer period so basically there isn’t any snow or ice for the matter. All we could see was a massive long slide for ski jump and a football size field and I believe the surface looks like artificial grass. It’s like seeing the ski jump venue but butt naked *lol*
Now here comes to the awesome thing – there were doing practice ski drills literally on the carpeted grass surface. It was as if I was watching a defying stunt in real life. I was worried that one of them would miscue a move and start rolling down the steep slope. However, all the attempts they performed were successful. Watching them practice was definitely some cheap thrill to watch them practice. The Ski Jumping event at Alpensia will be one of the biggest draw for the PyeongChang Games 2018.
I learnt something interesting about PyeongChang. Did you know that they lost first two bids for 2010 and 2014? And Pyeongchang ain’t giving up the fight to win the bid for 2018. According to one of the spokesperson of the PyeongChang Games Organizing Committee, it’s their facilities and capabilities that stood out and they are well prepared with contingency plans should there be unseen circumstances related to the weather conditions. In this case, it could be the lack of snow or ice due to the climate change. But not to worry as PyeongChang is ready for contingency plans.
PyeongChang Games will also introduce the first ever 5G telecommunications services. I was told that the 5G network is 20 times faster than our current 4G. Wow!! That’s simply fast… I can’t wait for that technology to come to Brunei but Korea will be the first to test its 5G capabilities during the Winter Games. You will be able to experience things such as 5G bus connection, 360 Virtual Reality and get this, an omni view from the athlete’s point of view (Awesome!!) in real-time and also holograms. Other than that, the area will be wifi ready around PyeongChang and you will be updated with traffic information and even parking information. The organisers have planned this ahead to make it more convenient for Olympic fans/goers. Kudos to them 😀
All these bits and pieces are just the attractions that I myself am keen to fly and check out the Winter Games at PyeongChang. It’s a wonderful city in Gangwon Province, South Korea. A mountainous area and also place home to several Buddhist temples including Woljeongsa Temple.
In the latest news, South Korean President Moon Jae-In on Monday urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to help North Korea participate in next year’s Winter Games, saying it would contribute to regional and world peace. We could see that Moon renewed his push for “sports diplomacy,” urging IOC’s help to enable the North to take part. We shall see how this will unfold in the coming weeks or months.
Nonetheless, PyeongChang will be the biggest attraction for Korea in 2018. I have faith that the Winter Olympics will be a huge success and help to boost the economy of the country.
I shall share my other visits of my trip in Korea in my latter posts. Images taken by delegates of the #2017AYCLC
Posing with the official mascots for PyeongChang Games 2018
Taken at the Alpensia Ski Jump Centre. Behind the beautiful ladies is the actual ski jump hill. It looks weird without the snow/ice. And the athletes were still practising their jumps.. Amazing but risky!!
The view from the top of the Alpensia Ski Jump Centre. Can you see the inclination of the slope for the ski jump? Scary… I can feel the magnet pulling from my groin area HAHA
Group photo with the delegates at Alpensia Ski Jump Centre.
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam attended the Brunei Darussalam’s 33rd National Day at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien
Written by Rokiah Mahmud of Borneo Bulletin. An early morning heavy downpour that soaked the quiet streets of Bandar Seri Begawan failed to dampen the spirit of patriotism, love and loyalty towards the nation as thousands of citizens and residents flooded the capital to celebrate Brunei Darussalam’s 33rd National Day on Thursday, 23rd February 2017.
Following the arrival of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien was awash with a multitude of colours as thousands, young and old, serving and retired as well as the differently abled, marched in unison across the field’s stretch in a show of patriotism and loyalty.
Witnessed by His Majesty who was accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel; and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah, the magnificent National Day parade and celebration saw more than a 23,000-strong team ranging from field performers, parade participants to students lining the way for the royal convoy.
Upon arrival at the Taman, His Majesty and members of the royal family were greeted by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Executive Committee for the 33rd National Day celebrations, as well as other members of the committee.
The royal convoy was greeted by enthusiastic people in their thousands with the royal salute and singing of the national anthem.
His Majesty then consented to inspect the royal guard of honour mounted by personnel from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and Royal Brunei Police Force.
With the theme ‘Accomplishing the National Vision’ (Menjayakan Wawasan Negara), yesterday’s event had been weeks in the making with thousands of participants enduring heat and humidity during coordinated military-precision training to provide the nation with the best the people were able to muster to mark one of Brunei’s most important historical events.
This year’s theme aimed to instil three main features – loyalty to the Sultan and country, belief in the values of Islam and the harmony of social and traditional practices.
The theme states that each citizen, resident as well as all sectors involved in national development have a role in ensuring that the Brunei Vision 2035 is successfully realised.
The Brunei Vision 2035 of His Majesty envisages making the country known throughout the world as a nation with people who are educated, highly skilled and successful that is measured by the highest international standards, as well as creating a dynamic and sustainable economy.
Yesterday’s celebration began with a parade led by flag bearers carrying a giant size national flag symbolising the nation’s sovereignty and the people’s spirit of independence and love and loyalty towards the nation.
Behind them were the 33 oath readers carrying national flags and the logo of the 33rd National Day; contingents of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Royal Brunei Police Force, differently abled, government ministries and departments, district representatives – all walked with full of confidence and pride reflecting their strong commitment in meeting the aspiration of the country.
A team of 100 students representing three different schools, namely Anggerek Desa Primary School, Haji Mohammad Jaafar Maun Primary School and St George’s School and the National Service Programme (PKBN) contingent of 360 trainees of the 6th intake performed a chorus describing the role of the young generation in realising the Brunei Vision 2035.
The parade also saw teams from higher education institutions, colleges, government and private secondary and primary schools, non-governmental organisations, banks, foreign associations as well as a group of excellent achievers marching to celebrate the country’s independence.
Educational institutions made up the largest single group in the parade with over 10,000 parading for them.
More than half of the march past participants comprised youth, showing their commitment in developing the nation’s capabilities.
Amid the march past, the proclamation of oath, led by Muhammad Ihsan Sabri bin Haji Abdul Manap, Acting Assistant Brunei-Muara District Officer as well as the call of ‘Allahu Akbar’ three times, led by Pengiran Muhammad Ameer Mubaarak bin Pengiran Haji Hashim, Administrative Officer Grade One at the Ministry of Education, echoed in the capital.
The oath readers’ team comprised 33 participants selected from various government and private sector institutions, higher education institutions, uniformed departments and associations. The team was also represented by two special needs participants who used sign language to deliver the oath.
The highlight of the 33rd National Day celebration was field performances showcased by some 7,133 participants that reflected solidarity among the people in upholding the commitment to realise the country’s vision.
Before leaving the Taman, His Majesty consented to meet and greet the participants and appreciate them for their committed efforts to make the 33rd National Day celebration a big success, overcoming a hostile weather. Image courtesy by Haqimie.
Times Square Shopping Centre ended its Japanese Language and Culture Week yesterday on Sunday, 19th February 2017. The event took place on 17th February, Friday until 19th February, Sunday at 10:00am till 10:00pm. The event was organized by Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam, Times Square Shopping Centre and Japan Foundation. The supporters comprised of Japan Brunei Friendship Association (JBFA), The Japanese Association Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Association of Japan Alumni (BAJA), Hibikiya Pte Ltd, Ms.Reiko Siu Lai Hung, BJFA-UBD chapters, Language Centre of University Brunei Darussalam, Community Education & training Division (IBTE-CET), BERSATU/SSEAYP Alumni, JUNE, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), JENESYS Alumni, Miyazaki Prefecture, Niigata City, Brunei Kendo Alliance, Soul Industry and Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).
The last day of Japanese Language & Culture Week was filled with exciting activities including kite making workshop for kids that took place at 11am to 12pm yesterday. Other activities that took place in the afternoon were Taiko Japanese Drum performance by HIBIKIYA, Yoyo & Kendama performance by JENESYS Alumni, Japanese Cooking demonstration by Chef Usuki, Study in Japan sharing session by Brunei Association of Japan Alumni, as well as other singing and dancing performances by BJFA-UBD Chapter, SSEAYP Alumni, Soul Industry and Brunei Cosplayers.
Throughout the event, there was a lucky draw by Times Square and the prize presentation took place yesterday at 8pm. Ten prizes were given away last night and the presentation was done by the marketing manager of Times Square as well as the general manager, Mrs Amal Majidah Hj Suhaili. Prizes for the lucky draw comprised of hotel stay vouchers from Times Hotel, Ba’diah Hotel, Starlogde Hotel, Parkview Hotel and Jubilee Hotel as well as restaurant vouchers from Excapade Restaurant and Shinobu Sushi Restaurant. About 100 participants registered for the lucky draw during the three days event. The grand prize winner Taufiq Al Hakim bin Mohamad Jais brought home Canon Camera Ixus 175.
There was also a prize presentation for the Manga colouring competition last night. Present to give away the prizes was Lim Yee Liang, marketing manager of Times Square. The Manga colouring competition, which took place on the first day of the event was held by Best Eastern. First place went to Elysia Lim Pei Ying bringing home goodie bag whereas Tang Ann Yii and Chia Xuan Lei won second and third place respectively, bringing home goodie bag as prizes. The event ended with dance performances by Soul Industry and the Brunei Cosplay community. More pictures on their Facebook Page.
Moreover, Times Square Shopping Centre will be having a 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament on 24th until 26th February 2017 as well as a National Chess Tournament on the same dates. For further information, please call 2338208 or 2338006 during office hours.