The Paddock experience

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

 

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Who would have thought I will get exclusive access INSIDE an F1 paddock and only this VIP pass is possible. I also managed to get the Sauber F1 drivers to sign on them. Priceless tag 😀
 

 

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The beaut of Alfa Romeo Giulia. With a V6 engine powered with a 2.9 litre, this is a powerful car. Had the honour to be chauffeured in this car 😀
 

I can’t believe it!!! I’m back in the Singapore for the F1 event. In fact, I went to the inaugural Singapore F1 back in 2008. That’s like 10 years ago. Now I’m so fortunate to be back here in Singapore and thanks to @alfaromeobrunei for sponsoring the trip and it was special indeed. Let me tell you why.

I was given access to enter the paddock of the Sauber team who partners with Alfa Romeo in this season of the F1 Grand Prix. This access is different to that of Paddock Club ticket holders (ranging from BND 1,300 to BND 8,000). Those paddock holders can allow walk outside the paddock line to view all the constructor cars. They will be given a specific time to tour around and take pictures and videos.

Now for my pass, it’s a special pass where I have the privilege to enter inside the paddock of Sauber and witness the operations of the engineers on how they deal with the car and the driver when he pits the car. Each driver have their dedicated engineers and support team and I can see why it’s important to be meticulous when it comes to F1 racing. The car and its conditions have to be in perfect, mint condition every time it’s being pitted so the driver can drive to the best of his ability with a highest optimum specs from the car.

We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the paddock and that is quite understandable. We did have a chance to take videos and photos but only outside the perimeter of the Sauber paddock.

The best part of the Friday tour activity was the 5 minute moments with both drivers of Sauber F1 team – Marcus Ericsson (29) and Charles Leclerc (20) whom will be driving for Ferrari next year. This, for me, was an amazing feeling. To be up close and personal to an F1 driver is not an easy feat alone. So a huge thanks to @alfaromeobrunei for making this dream come true.

I also had the privilege to be driven in the Alfa Romeo Giulia, a 2.9 litre with V6 engine. It was launched in Singapore and that car alone costs a hefty BND 380,000. Gulp!!!! That’s Singapore for you. As for Brunei, Alfa Romeo will be making its comeback pretty soon and I shall keep you posted.

Thank you once again @alfaromeobrunei for making this memorable trip for me. I can’t wait to see a Giulia on a Brunei road. Many of you will be impressed. Trust me.

 

 

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The meeting point before being sent to the paddock
 

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Inside the Alfa Romeo Giulia
 

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The catalogue. I should have taken one with me.
 

 

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Blessed!!!! With future Ferrari driver, Charles Leclerc, from Poland
 

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A humble driver, Marcus Ericsson, from Sweden
 

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Outside the paddock of Sauber F1 team
 

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Cleaning out the debris and dirt from the F1 tires
 

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Our hospitality area for the paddock team.
 

 

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How the steering looks like inside the Sauber car. Buttons galore.
 

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Charles didn’t had a good run in the first practice session. His tire hit at turn 13 of the track.
 

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Thank you once again, @alfaromeobrunei for this opportunity
 

Brunei duo conquered Stok Kangri

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

 

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Cheong Kok Liang and Michelle Charlene Basir conquered Stok Kangri which is 6,153m above sea level
 

Bruneian mountaineering couple Cheong Kok Liang and Michelle Charlene Basir summits Stok Kangri. Standing at 6,153m above sea level, Stok Kangri is the highest mountain in the Stok Range of the Himalayas. The mountain is situated in the Ladakh region of north-west India.

Their 8 day self-funded expedition began in Leh, a high-desert city in the Himalayas, in India’s northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. The duo summited at 05:41hrs (UTC+5:30) on 21st August 2018.

This is the couple’s 4th and the highest mountain summited together so far. Together, they have previously summited Mt Kilimanjaro (5895m) in 2012, Mt Kinabalu (4095m) in 2015 and Mt Rinjani (3726m) in 2017. You can follow their IG @life.on.the.verge on their adventure.

 

 

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An amazing Porsche experience

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

 

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Group photo with all the media representatives hosted by Porsche Asia-Pacific for the Media Driving Academy at Sepang International Circuit earlier this July
 

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A photo opp with the newly launched Porsche 911 GT2RS
 

Last year, I had the privilege to attend the Media Driving Academy (MDA) hosted by Porsche Asia-Pacific. They consisted of three courses – Individual, Professional and Elite. As for last year, I entered the Individual course which is the basic course among the lot. It was definitely fun. Why? Because it’s the only time we can break the rules in terms of speeding on the road and it was conducted at the Sepang International Circuit, ideal for racers.

Fast forward to this year (July 2018), I was invited again by Porsche Asia-Pacific where I completed the other two courses – Professional and Elite earlier this month. I met familiar faces especially from the international media representatives in Asia-Pacific.

There were two main highlights for me – the launch of the Porsche GT2RS and the driving experience of the Porsche GT3.

Firstly, the Porsche GT2RS. Wow, wow, wow!!!! A beast among beast, this is a collectors item for Porsche lovers. Car and Driver even labeled it as the chainsaw of the 911 line-up. It has a 700 horse power twin-turbo engine. The previous GT2 model has a hp of 620 so there is definitely a difference. You can tell that the GT2RS is built for speed. The price tag alone is quite high. You’re talking about RM 1.3 million itself in Malaysia. Apparently there’s a Porsche GT2RS on the road in Brunei. Amazing!! Sadly, the GT2RS is only for display for the media and not for a test drive.

Of course, the main highlight of the MDA was test driving the newer editions of the Porsche finest models – 911 GT3 (me likes), 718 Cayman GTS and the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid on the SIC race track.

The favourite among the lot for me is the 911 GT3 – simply awesome and it has a mind of its own. I truly love the handling at high speed as well as the braking. It just gives me more assurance to drive safer especially on the race track.

The instructors were very helpful too and our group (Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia) was lucky to have William Bamber, brother of Earl Bamber, an accomplished race car driver, who competes for Porsche Motorsport. The hospitality was top notch to begin with and the goodies were awesome too – Adidas racing boots and a racing helmet for completing both Professional and Elite courses.

After all the experiences, I truly understand how magnificent Porsche are in terms of handling, speed and safety. We were given tasks such as the Slolam, the Moose, the Braking and many more. I enjoyed the Slolam one as we did a time lapse for every driver to see who was the fastest.

The second day was much more interesting as we learnt the tracks of the SIC race track from start to finish. I realised how awesome Porsche are on the road. Expensive but you will know where the money is spent on. Unfortunately, in Brunei, it’s not something we can take advantage when we have a monster of a car like Porsche because of the driving laws and also the conditions of our roads in Brunei.

Soon, some selected customers will be having their own session organised by Porsche (Brunei) in early August for the upcoming Porsche Driving Experience at Sepang. I hope they have the same experience as I did and it’s also a great way to showcase what a Porsche can do.

Will I own a Porsche? If the money and timing are right, why not? 😉

 

 

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Just look at that convoy
 

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My favourite car during MDA experience
 

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Did you realize that the driver side is on the left? Yes, all the Porsche are imported from Europe.
 

 

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The lead car was always the Porsche GT3
 

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Listening to advices by the instructors at some of the activities
 

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Receiving a pair of Adidas racing boots 😉
 

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These boots are made for racing 😀
 

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Learning how to handle around corners and bends
 

 

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We had some physical exercises as well. Did you know that racing also involves a good physique such as your hand, neck and body?
 

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Receiving a souvenir from the organiser 😀
 

CF21 kicks off today

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in games, travel, education, gadget, lifestyle, food, Social News

 


Happening today Wednesday until Sunday
 

 


Oh yea, do try this experience and you will never know you will get fantastic prizes
 


I was testing out the Human Claw Machine experience. Interesting indeed!! Oh yeah, I am 73 kilos heavy by the way! Click on image to read more about the Human Claw experience
 


One of my favourite chocolate is here at CF21
 


Interested in making your wallpaper with Marvel designs?
 

 


There will be some activities and you will stand a chance to fly to Bangkok too
 


You see it when you see it!! Stand a chance to fly to Jakarta and visit Cuckoo booth to find out more. Every purchaser also has a lucky dip prize, hence everyone is a winner 😀
 


New brands brought in by Bobby Electrical
 

RB flies direct to Nanning

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

 

 

Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) held a promotional event in Nanning recently in conjunction with its local partners and RB’s International Brand Ambassador, Wu Chun, to promote the newly launched scheduled services between Nanning and Brunei.

Nanning, the capital of GuangxiZhuang Autonomous Region in South-West China, is the latest scheduled destination added to the growing route network of RB. The national flag carrier of Brunei Darussalam first operated season chartered flights to Nanning back in 2016 and resumed services again as chartered flights between January and March 2018. Only in April this year, it became a scheduled flight twice weekly.

Mr. Karam Chand, RB’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “RB is extremely proud to have launched our twice weekly flights between Nanning and Bandar Seri Begawan. Our Nanning flights have proven to be very popular with our Chinese and Bruneian guests. Going into scheduled services so soon after launching the flights is a testament to the hard work done by RB together with our business partner in China – Hainan Wenhua Air Tourism.”

“We have experienced an average load factor in excess of 80% since the commencement of the services and this is great news for all Bruneians and Nanning tourism stakeholders. RB is pleased with the growth from the new source market and we will continue to monitor this and other regional cities in China with an objective of adding more capacity.”

RB’s International Brand Ambassador, Wu Chun, made a special appearance for his fans to promote RB and Brunei Tourism. He took part in activities with thousands of fans and visitors at the event venue.

Wu Chun said, “I warmly welcome even more visitors from Nanning, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Hong Kong and soon Haikou to my beautiful country – Brunei Darussalam. You will have a unique experience and enjoy our warm Bruneian hospitality together with the many sightseeings, activities and culinary delights which are on offer. With RB’s direct flights and its award winning sales, your holiday will start the moment you step on our aircraft.”

 

 

 

 

First deliver of the A320neo aircraft

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

 


The new A320neo aircraft with members of the local media at Toulouse, France. Image taken from The Scoop.
 


Her Excellency Datin Paduka Malai Hajah Halimah binti Malai Haji Yussof, Brunei Ambassador to France; Karam Chand, RB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer inspecting the new A320neo aircraft
 

It would have been a perfect fit if I had a first hand view of the new A320neo purchased by Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) when it was handed over at Toulouse, France, a few days ago. This is the first of the seven firm aircraft (A320neo) and three option aircraft ordered by RB as part of its fleet renewal program back in 2014. So it’s good to see the plan turn to reality.

Present at the commemorative ceremony in Toulouse was Her Excellency Datin Paduka Malai Hajah Halimah binti Malai Haji Yussof, Brunei Ambassador to France; Karam Chand, RB Chief Executive Officer (CEO); Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer; Mohammad Nazri Mohammad Yusof, Acting Director of Brunei Department of Civil Aviation; Mr Jason Tonich, Vice President and General Manager of GE Aviation Sales and Mrs Elsie Yamanouye, Director, Customer Program Management of Thales.

“Airbus A320neo aircraft comes equipped with Leap-1A26 CFM engines with some of the best fuel, noise, emission and operating efficiency in its class and will allow Royal Brunei Airlines to achieve significant cost savings and reduce its emissions footprint. We are based in Brunei on the Island of Borneo which has some of the most pristine environment on earth and we are pleased to be playing a part in preserving this,” said Mr Karam Chand, CEO of Royal Brunei Airlines.

“The RB A320neo aircraft is also the world’s first narrow body fitted with Thales Avant (Gen5) in-flight entertainment system and this will provide our guests significantly enhanced experience on board and match those generally available on long haul aircraft. These aircraft will have business, economy plus and economy seats with leather covering, USB power outlets and audio/video on demand at every seat. These features have been added keeping in mind the changing needs of our guests and to provide seamless and consistent service to our many transferring guests from the B787 Dreamliner long haul services to the A320 flights,” said Mr Chand.

“The new aircraft will also play an important role in maintaining and improving our operational reliability. RB’s on time performance is ninety percent, one of the best in the industry, however we believe we need to keep improving this as the vast majority of guests travelling to/from/via Brunei use RB services. The extended range of A320neo’s also provides RB with a lower risk option to pioneer new medium haul markets up to seven hours duration and we will be making new route announcement over the next several months,” added Mr Chand.

RB’s first A320neo aircraft will be in revenue service from 7th June 2018 with Singapore selected as the very first destination which is less than two weeks from now.

“Airbus is pleased that Royal Brunei Airlines is the latest airline to take delivery of the A320neo, the world’s preferred single aisle aircraft. With its exceptionally comfortable cabin, low operating costs and excellent fuel efficiency, the A320neo will complement Royal Brunei’s existing fleet and contribute to the airline’s continued success,” said Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.

RB’s current fleet consists of 10 aircraft; four Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and six A320ceo. Eight new aircraft will join its fleet by December 2018 (a fifth B787 and seven A320neo). RB will have one of the youngest fleet in the world with an average age of 2 years by the end of 2018. The national carrier of Brunei Darussalam today operates out of its hub airport – Bandar Seri Begawan to eighteen destinations across the world.

Can’t wait for the rest of the A320neo aircrafts to be delivered to Brunei. You can read more news of the delivery from The Scoop.

 

 


The traditional welcoming gesture for the new A320neo, a two minute water salute as a sign of respect and gratitude at Brunei International Airport
 

RB Introduces the Royal Brunei Mobile App

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

 

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Now you can download RB app to your smartphones.
 

Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) is delighted to inform all our guests that effective 18 April 2018 our RB Mobile App will be available for download on both Google Playstore and Apple App Store.

The app provides a more user-friendly experience and greater flexibility to book your next flight, mobile check-in with mobile boarding pass, check flight information and schedules and gather all your upcoming trips all at one finger tip.

The RB Mobile app is one the two apps RB have listed on both operating systems for our guests to download. Our RB Impian app, a cloud streaming technology on-board, allows our guests to stream inflight entertainment via wi-fi directly onto their personal mobile devices on our newer A320CEO aircraft. Both initiatives are part of our initiatives to make the guest experience richer and in anticipation of further product developments throughout the year.

Karam Chand, CEO of Royal Brunei airlines said “2018 is a very exciting year for RB with the delivery of our eight new aircraft and introduction of new destinations. RB Mobile app is part of initiatives planned for this year that will provide a seamless travel experience for our guests. Being able to make your booking, check-in for your flight and have easy access to the status of your fights on a smartphone is something every guest wants and we are very pleased to be delivering this via our the Mobile App.”

The application was developed by Amadeus and lead by our Digital Team for a better travel experience to our guests.  Download our app on Google PlayStore and Apple App Store now.

 

Pan Bright January Winner

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

 

 

Pan Bright Travel Service today held a prize presentation ceremony for the January winner of its “Travel & Win a Hyundai or Birkin promotion” campaign at their office in Bandar Seri Begawan.

Sales & Marketing Manager of Royal Brunei Airlines, Awang Hj. Mohd Shamiruddin Bin Hj Sharbini presented the prize to the representative of the lucky winner Awang Mohammad Azujrin Bin Haji Zahini who won himself a return economy class ticket to any short haul destination sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines.

This is the fifth monthly prize for Pan Bright’s “Travel & Win a Hyundai or Birkin promotion” campaign, launched on the 26 August 2017 and ends on the 31 March 2018.

For the period beginning September 2017 to February 2018, one monthly ticket will be given out where the lucky customer will stand a chance to win one return ticket to any short haul destination of their choice on Royal Brunei Airlines or a return ticket to Singapore on Singapore Airlines.

The Grand Prize of this promotion will be a Hyundai Accent Car or a Hermès Birkin Bag, sponsored by Pan Bright Travel Service. Other prizes for the Grand Draw will include 2 return air tickets to any long haul destination of their choice sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines, a return ticket to Brisbane sponsored by Singapore Airlines and return tickets to Kuala Lumpur for two person sponsored by Malaysia Airlines. Selection of winners will be held in April 2018.

For more enquiries regarding the promotion, please contact Pan Bright Travel’s offices at 2240980 for Bandar Seri Begawan, 3341154 for Kuala Belait or 3220078 for Seria or follow our Facebook @panbright or Instagram @panbrighttravel for the latest updates.

All expenses paid to World Cup Russia. How to win?

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

 

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With the 21st FIFA World Cup™ set to take place on 14 June 2018, Visa cardholders from Baiduri Bank are given a chance of a lifetime to watch the semi-finals live in Moscow, Russia.

The ‘Win an All-Expenses-Paid Trip for 2 to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™’ promotion will kick off on 1 February 2018 until 30 April 2018. During the promotion period, Baiduri Visa Infinite, Platinum, Gold, Classic and Debit cardholders, who spend on their Baiduri Visa cards, will receive one chance in the grand draw for every BND 50 spent.

The grand prize is an all-expense paid trip for two to watch the semi-final match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Moscow, Russia, where Visa is the official FIFA partner. The package includes two return tickets to Moscow, 5-day/4-night accommodation with breakfast, all scheduled ground transportation, Visa FIFA World Cup™ themed merchandise, Visa Prepaid products, two tickets to watch the semi-final match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ and spending money of BND 5000. The Visa event team staff will also be there to assist the winners round the clock.

On top of the grand prize, ten lucky customers will win Visa FIFA World Cup™ themed merchandise in monthly draws.

 

 

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One of the landmarks in Russia
 

Ms Mandy Lamb, Group Country Manager, Regional Southeast Asia said, “As the official FIFA partner of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, Visa is pleased to partner with Baiduri Bank to provide Visa cardholders the opportunity to win this amazing prize for two to watch the semi-finals in Moscow. We continue working closely with our bank issuers and merchant partners to create more rewarding and meaningful campaigns for our cardholders whenever they use their Visa cards. We believe increased usage of electronic payments will drive Brunei to becoming a cashless society.”

Mr. Pierre Imhof, CEO of Baiduri Bank, said, “In line with our vision to enhance customer experience and to deliver a high level of quality products and services, we have once again partnered with Visa on the FIFA World Cup™ campaign. This is just one of the many activities that we have planned for our cardholders and we are excited to reward our loyal cardholders with this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Baiduri Visa cardholders can find out more about the ‘Win an All-Expenses-Paid Trip for 2 to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ promotion by visiting www.baiduri.com.bn/2018football or by following Baiduri Bank Group on Facebook and Twitter or Instagram @baiduribank.

Pg Azaleen bin PD Mustapha, Head of Retail Banking and Branch Network said, “To further incentivise those who do not have a Baiduri Visa card yet, Baiduri Bank is offering new signups double their chances in the World Cup promotion, on top of a 5-year annual fee waiver and processing fee waiver on the 0% instalment loan.” To be eligible for the double lucky draw chance, new signups must apply for a Visa card at any Baiduri Bank branch from 1 February 2018 onwards.

Terms and conditions of the promotion can be viewed on Baiduri Bank website at wwws.baiduri.com under the Promotions section, or on the Baiduri Bank marketing app – Baiduri Deals. For more information, customers may contact the 24-hour Baiduri Bank Customer Helpline at 2449666.

 

Japanese Language and Culture Week 2018

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

 

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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.

Time table:
–          8.00pm on Friday, 2nd February
–          4.45pm – 5.30pm on Sunday, 4th February
–          8.00pm – 9.00pm on Sunday, 4th February

 

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A musician group, named the” Ryoma Quartet “ from Japan
 

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Click image to enlarge
 

Contact RA

ranoadidas (a) gmail.com
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Contact: +6738677773

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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