• progresif_banner

The Mummy – the review

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

 


The Mummy, one of the test bed for the Dark Universe
 

The Mummy. Days of Brendan Fraser are gone. I grew tired of The Mummy series especially the third instalment. Now with fresher take, coming from Alex Kurtzman’s direction and A-list actor Tom Cruise and even promising trailers, the audience expects a better outing from this blockbuster. I shared the same sentiment and hoped to be entertained at least. So here goes.

The Good. I would be lying if I said there are many good points. There isn’t much to boast about or something of interest on Tom Cruise’s latest outing. The first quarter was perhaps the best part or the most interesting part of the film. Everything else nosedived from there. Oh except when Russell Crowe’s character came on. I was more interested in him than the actual Mummy.

The only redeeming factor is that there might be a sequel considering, judging from the ending of the movie. It was also a brave move for Universal to create another entity Dark Universe and the first being The Mummy. Who knows they might be other spin-offs. Does it look promising? So far it has covered its cost especially from overseas revenue while it performed under expectations in the US box office.

The Bad and The Ugly. Now where do I start? The acting were forgettable and it was a waste of talent especially for Tom Cruise. The chemistry with his co-stars didnt’ bring much to the plate either. I can’t feel the connection and their affections (or the lack of it) were poorly projected. These are just some of the problems.

Shall I continue? What is more interesting is the trailer. It reminds me of how I was duped by Transformers trailers and ended up too disappointed watching them movies. I know I will still watch the upcoming Transformers: The Last Knight and ending up with the same feeling. Same goes to The Mummy. The Rottentomatoes rating of 17% is one of the worst rating for a summer release of 2017.

The action scenes were subpar and it was nothing so wow about it. It was best suited for am HBO viewing back at home. I wonder why the high costs and the result of the movie doesn’t really reflect on the producer’s spending. Hmmmm… The Mummy even tried harder in the fun factor department. The jokes were flat at times.

The worst part for me is the direction of The Mummy or maybe the loss of direction. The movie has no identity as it has no idea what it wants to be. I don’t even know what Tom Cruise wants to be or what he wanted to be portrayed as. It’s very hard to recommend this movie if you haven’t caught this.

Verdict: 5.5/10

 


The interesting character I wished had more screen time in The Mummy
 


Pranika gave a solid 5 stars…. out of 10 :p
 


What others have to say about The Mummy
 


Makes me appreciate how good Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy was then
 

Mr. Brown limited edition Hari Raya bottles

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


Ms Syakirah binti Jamali had the privileged to design Mr. Brown’s 2017 Hari Raya bottles
 

Mr Brown Coffee, a widely known beverage in the capital, proudly released their limited edition Hari Raya bottles to celebrate Hari Raya among the Bruneians.

Earlier this year in February, Mr Brown held its first Bottle Design Competition, which was won by a local artist, Ms Syakirah binti Jamali. And now her artwork is imprinted as the labels for this year 2017 Hari Raya bottles.

The limited edition bottles are designed with an Islamic geometrical national flower, simpur patten, to showcase the spirit of the festive season.

Started two (2) years ago, Mr Brown Hari Raya version is made specially for the festive season and hence is only available during Hari Raya and exclusively in Brunei. Since its debut, it has become a popular collectible amongst Mr Brown fans.

For this year, this festive Mr Brown is available in the most popular original flavour – Iced Coffee. This outstanding flavour is made according to a famous French recipe blending premium coffee with milk and sugar.

Mr Brown Coffee’s eye-catching limited edition Hari Raya bottles are now available in stores nationwide, and while stock lasts.

On the occasion of Hari Raya. this slim and easy-to-grab bottle is suitable for glassless event, and perfect to be shared among families and friends.

 


I have my dosage of the latest Mr. Brown limited edition Hari Raya bottles 😀
 

UBD ranks #349 worldwide

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

 

 


Ranking for Universiti Brunei Darussalam
 

A milestone to be proud for. Universiti Brunei Darussalam made it to the Top 400 of Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. According to the ranking, it reached its highest with a rank of #349 among 26,000 universities around the world.

This means UBD is among the 1.3% of universities worldwide which is a very outstanding ranking, considering Brunei Darussalam being one of the smallest region in the world.

UBD was established in 1985 and it currently offers 8 academic faculties, 7 research institutes and 2 support centres. It has a total stat of 495 with 251 international staff. It houses almost 3,000 students.

So how does the QS World University Rankings work? The universities were evaluated according to the six metrics.

1. Academic Reputation
2. Employer Reputation
3. Faculty/Student Ratio
4. Citations per faculty
5. International Faculty Ratio
6. International Student Ratio

This was written at the QS World University Rankings website —— > Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) has come a long way since opening its doors in 1985 as the country’s premier national university. Guided by its four core values – people, expertise, relevance and leadership – in 2009, UBD implemented the groundbreaking GenNext Programme, which provides students greater flexibility in tailoring studies to the individual student’s learning style. UBD also offers diverse graduate studies with graduate research scholarships. With eight academic faculties, eight research institutes and two academic service centres, UBD is well-equipped to provide multidisciplinary programmes in a bid to produce students with greater adaptability, independence and drive to succeed.

Congratulations once again to Universiti Brunei Darussalam for reaching the milestone. I’m pretty sure His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuanof Brunei Darussalam will be very proud of this achievement. Let’s hope they strive harder to aim higher in the ranks.

 

 


The Top 10 ranking universities worldwide
 


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuanof Brunei Darussalam, Chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam during the UBD Convocation last year
 


Shazali Dato Hj Sulaiman with his students during the UBD Convocation
 

 


Friends graduating from UBD
 


Towards contributing to the accountancy profession in Brunei, the UBD School of Business and Economics (UBDSBE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) during the BICPA 30th Anniversary Dinner held on 5th May 2017 at the Tarindak d’Polo Restaurant, Royal Polo and Riding Club, Jerudong. Image courtesy of UBD website.
 


Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), through the Centre of Networking, Employment and Career Training (CoNECT) is organising an on-campus corporate profiling event, in collaboration with Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd (Progresif). Image courtesy of UBD website
 


Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) held the “Alumni Networking Event” on 13th May 2017 at the UBD Business Library organised by the Office of Alumni Relations and Advancement (OARA). Image courtesy of UBD website
 


Over 100 attended a public lecture about heart attacks by Nursing Lecturer Md Khairulamin Sungkai on 24th May 2017 held at the Lecture hall of the PAPRSB Instutute of Health Sciences (IHS). Image courtesy of UBD website
 

Progresif opens at Tutong

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in gadget, lifestyle

 


Group photo with VIP guests, management and associates of Progresif at the Progresif Flagship store
 


Paul Taylor, the newly Chief Executive Officer of Progresif, giving his welcoming remarks
 

Progresif Cellular unveiled its newly renovated Tutong branch today, further reinforcing its retail network and capacity to serve a growing customers base in Brunei’s third largest district.

The Tutong store, which is located at Petani Mall, has been renovated as a modern reflection of the Progresif brand. Renovation works for the store took a few months to be completed to ensure that the store’s overall design and look aligns with a progressive retail experience.
The store’s launch was officiated by the Guest of Honour Edzwan Zukri Pehin Dato Adanan, Board Member of Progresif.

Also present during the event was Tutong District Officer Shamsul Bahrain Hussein, Legislative Council representative for Tutong YB Hj Abd Wahab Hj Apong and Ade Nurismah Azurine Hj Ismail in her capacity as Chairman of the Tutong Municipal Department.



The event started with the recital of prayers followed by welcoming remarks by Paul Taylor, the new Chief Executive Officer of Progresif.
In his speech, Paul stated “We believe that quality of service is at the centre of what we do and providing the best customer service is one way we differentiate ourselves. In keeping with this critical theme, our flagship stores are built to offer a unique experience through a consultative approach, catering to the needs of our customers.”

Bob Gill, Chief Sales Officer of Progresif, stated “We are delighted to re-open our new retail experience store in Tutong, which is completely different to what we had before. Now, our customers can touch, feel and experience the latest technology in mobile handsets and tablets we have on offer. Our store team are also readily available to advise and recommend on which solutions best fits the customer needs.”

Hafiza Mohamad, Corporate Communications Manager or Progresif, explained “The Progresif brand is all about constant improvement and progress. The company has grown so much in the last two years. Now, we’re happy to solidify our presence in Tutong with the refurbished store so that our customers can get a fresh perspective on the Progresif brand.”

The guests were also treated to a brief tour of the new Progresif branch which was facilitated by Bob Gill.

 

 


Officiating the Tutong Flagship store
 


Bob Gill, Chief Sales Officer of Progresif, sharing what customers can experience at their flagship store
 

 

 


Customers checking out the store
 


Have you registered for the unlimited plan?
 


Photo opportunity with the newly appointed CEO of Progresif – He used to play rugby and football 😀
 

NBT’s donation to single mothers

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

 


NBT Management and Staff in a commemorative group photo with the single mothers and the event coordinators. Click image to enlarge.
 

This is a continuation of the ‘NBT Donation (Sedekah) To Single Mothers Project’ which is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme that has been ongoing for a few years.

The aim is to bring some Ramadan cheer to assist identified single mothers and their families in the Brunei-Muara District who are in need of assistance.

So what were given were daily necessities such as rice, cooking oil, sugar, instant noodles, biscuits, milk powder, Milo, etc.

NBT believes in giving back to our community and so do NBT Staff and their families who also enthusiastically chipped in with their own contributions for this very worthwhile cause.

NBT Management, Marketing and Sales Staff headed by Hj Ahmad Omar bin Hj Husin, NBT Deputy Managing Director handed over the NBT donations to 47 single mothers. Six single mothers have received their donations during the house visits on 1st June – making a grand total of 53 donations by NBT. Images and article courtesy of NBT.

 

 


Awg Abdul Ghani Haji Abdul Hamid, NBT Sales Manager (Bunut) presenting an NBT donation to one of the recipient single mothers
 

 


Sharifah Marianah, NBT Senior Customer Relations Manager (event organiser), Dyg Huri Binti Mahal (recipient), Dyg Shamsiniah Hj Kepli (event coordinator) and Dyg Jasniah Binti Jaludin (Dyg Huri’s daughter)
 

First Emporium ties in with Baiduri

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

 

 

Baiduri Bank is collaborating with First Emporium & Supermarket to exclusively reward Baiduri cardmembers in a promotion held at First Emporium & Supermarket Batu Satu Branch from 28th May to 30th June 2017.

During the promotion period, with every BND50 spent and paid using a Baiduri Bank issued credit, debit or prepaid card, customers will receive one chance to enter the Hari Raya Lucky Draw Bonanza and win shopping vouchers.

The grand prize for the draw is worth BND2,000 while second prize is worth BND1,000 and the third prize is worth BND500. In addition, the fourth prize and fifth prize are worth BND400 and BND300 respectively while the sixth prize is worth BND200. In addition, there are 14 consolation prizes worth BND80 to be won.

“At Baiduri Bank, we always aim to give customers a good experience. The Hari Raya festival is a time when families will have to fork out extra to meet the annual festive season. By taking advantage of this promotion, cardmembers stand a chance to win shopping vouchers to help offset their expenses”, quoted Pg Azaleen bin Pg Dato Mustapha, Head of Retail Banking and Branch Network in Baiduri Bank.

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

Baiduri Bank is one of the largest providers of financial products in Brunei, and holds franchise to four major card brands – Visa, MasterCard, American Express as well as the UnionPay.

To be in the know of Baiduri Bank current promotions and events this Ramadhan, the public can also follow Baiduri Bank Group on Facebook or @baiduribank on Instagram and Twitter and check out the hashtag #baiduriramadhan2017.

 

 

 

Summer movies, how have they fared?

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

Summer movies have been promising and some below expectations. Currently Del Goh and I are in the hunt for bragging rights for the Summer Wager (Box office summer hits). So what we did was ranking our prediction on 10 summer movies. Good movies doesn’t really translate to dollars and cents especially in Hollywood. It’s always fun to play around with predictions on summer movies.

Last year, I won the wager and looks like I might edge him again this time round. Our wager was that my pick of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 will fare better than Wonder Woman in the US Box Office. GOTG Vol 2 opened at USD 146 million and currently standing at USD 355 million after 6 weeks. Del Goh’s prediction for Wonder Woman, it opened at USD 100 million last weekend and slightly behind GOTG Vol 2. Unless it has stronger legs this week and the following week, Wonder Woman can stand a fair chance in toppling GOTG’s numbers. Right now I’m optimistic with my wager and you owe me another Blu-ray title, Del (for now).

Rano’s Prediction 

1) Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 2
2) Despicable Me 3
3) Spider-Man: Homecoming
4) War of the Planet of the Apes
5) Wonder Woman
6) Transformers: The Last Knight
7) Cars 3
8) The Mummy
9) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
10) Baywatch

Del Goh’s Prediction

1) Wonder Woman
2) Spider-man: Homecoming
3) War of the Planet of the Apes
4) Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 2
5) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
6) Despicable Me 3
7) Dunkirk
8) Alien: Convenant
9) Cars 3
10) The Mummy

Quick movie summary:

 


Gal Gadot shines as Wonder Woman
 


Our verdicts on Wonder Woman
 

Wonder Woman. Ah, the overhyped superhero movie. After many harsh reviews from Wonder Woman’s counterpart (Suicide Squad 25%, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 29%), it’s such a surprise that Woman Woman scored over 90% on rotten tomatoes. Even higher than Guardians of the Galaxy Volume.2 (81%) *Impressive* So does it really translate to my overall experience? Definitely a resounding YES.. It was a run ride and I didn’t know it was running at 2 hours 20 mins. Well, it was definitely a better pay off than the same duration by Batman V Superman (too much cheese).

Many reasons why to catch Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman – her complexion, her charm, her physique (ok, ok, it’s fasting time). You get the whole gist. She does have flaws in her acting but the chemistry between Gal Gadot and her partner in crime Chris Pine (as Steve Trevor) really made up for it. This is what missing in other Superhero movies and it was a nice touch to have in Wonder Woman. Good job by Patty Jenkins, a female director who only has two films under her belt, the other being Monsters. The film delivers great action sequences and well executed humour. Wonder Woman casts many charm to the audience. Am I panting for more? Maybe not to that extent.

Verdict: 8/10

 

 

Resident Evil: Vendetta. I didn’t catch Resident Evil: The Final Chapter as I rather wait for the blu-ray edition. However, I contemplated to catch this animated version as I grew up playing RE games while being entertained by their in-game movies. The animation is just superb and crisp in detail. Sometimes it’s just feel so real. Was I entertained like playing RE on Playstation? Yes, I was. From start till the end. The acting was a little putting but I didn’t care as much since it’s an animation. I would say this is more of a value to catch than Milla Jovich’s RE. Makes me want to play my old RE games. Speaking of RE games, which is your favourite RE game on Playstation?

Verdict: 7.5/10

 


One of the summer box office flops
 

Baywatch. Eeeer, I came out watching this hit remake, feeling meeehh. What’s there to love about this? Hot chicks aren’t enough to gain my interest. I was more into the comedic side of Dwayne Johnson and Zach Efron. Their chemistry is a hit and miss but more of the latter. The jokes are flat at times and the only character that can pull off the charm is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and maybe the Ronnie character. Sometimes I wished the producers just shelved this project. After the major flop in the US box office (and also my prediction), I doubt there will be a sequel for this mediocre remake. This is a no-brainer movie and I expected a lot. Even The Rock’s charm can’t save it. The score on Rotten Tomatoes is even harsher than my rating. Oh well. Let’s hope he redeems himself in Jumanji, his next movie. Well, he did superbly in Fate of the Furious.

Verdict: 6/10

Aman Hills Residence

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

 

 

Pen this date. Well, pen this month – August 2017. Why? Because a new shopping centre is coming to town.  You may have been familiar with my updates on social media that Aman Hills is near its completion in a few months’ time. Awesome, huh?

The new shopping area called the Aman Hills Shopping Centre offers a plenty of varieties, notably recreational facilities such as an ice-skating ring, bowling and premium cinemas. Of course, there are standard commercial shops to rent out.

But today, I’m gonna focus just on Aman Hills Residence (apartments). This is the first ever integrated development which compromises of apartment and a shopping centre. The common one we have seen are hotels and shopping malls being integrated. Hence, it’s something different to have an apartment and a shopping centre next to each other.

 

 

Aman Hills Shopping Centre & Residence

 

Staying in apartments is relatively a new concept in Brunei but it’s a common practice in neighbouring countries. Aman Hills Residence gives a different experience to owners or renters. Everything is just at your finger tips – a cozy apartment, a shopping mall for grocery shopping needs and more, easier access to entertainment such as heading for the movies, heading for recreational activities such as ice skating and bowling and not to forget a wide variety of eatery places to dine. Yes, you will be definitely be spoilt for choices within walking distance from your apartment.

I have just shared you one of the perks of being an occupant at Aman Hills Residence. Well, actually there are a few plus points if you go beyond than renting a space at Aman Hills Residence. There are also options for investing in Aman Hills Residence.

In other countries, apartments have been a preferred choice than (renting) houses. This demand is notable among higher income group and it has become a trend, a lifestyle worldwide. Introducing this new concept in Brunei, investors who are interested in buying rental properties, this is the best time to invest to cater to the new trend and lifestyle for families and residents in Brunei Darussalam.

During my short visit during their showcase, I’ve noticed how young families are opened to the idea of investing in apartments due to the returns of investment. Investors can benefit 5% per annum rental income which is guaranteed for 5 years and furthermore, this plan is also available to foreigners. So basically you can be a landlord and earn a 5% guaranteed rental returns per year for 5 years and to add to that, you will get 5 years free maintenance fee.
The price range starts from BND 288,000 for a two bedroom apartment which I feel it’s a good deal to begin with. Aman Hills Residence have up to four bedroom apartment.

Apartment residents will enjoy a dedicated covered car park with security access, modern amenities such as a well equipped gym and swimming pool, maintenance and not forgetting the access to shops and dining places.

I believe the maintenance and cleaning needs are vital when it comes to rental. These are the major perks for residence of Aman Hills and these allow occupants to focus more on important matters and have a peace of mind.

Now for the month of June 2017, Aman Hills Residence is having a special promotion with a few units left. They are having a special deal that if you sign up for the three-bedroom package, it comes with a new Proton Saga or Proton Exora depending on the package. Check out the poster for more details. Contact +673-8827887 for more details.

The Aman Hills Properties Management, PROLAND, has been very active in promoting the apartments and shopping complex. For more information, you can contact 882 7887 for details and you can also follow them on instagram @amanhills_brunei for updates. They also have their official Facebook Page if you want to follow.

 

 


Aman Hills Residence
 


Aman Hills Shopping Centre should be ready by August
 


The progress so far
 

The All New Suzuki Swift

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative

 


The all new Suzuki Swift 1.2L GL
 


The interior of Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL
 

The all new Suzuki Swift is here in Brunei. Three words to sum up – Fun Compact Hatchback!!

The Suzuki Swift 1.2 L is now available in Boustead Showroom at Beribi and it was good to see Suzuki Swift club members during the launch. As you know, the Suzuki Swift model has been a popular choice here in Brunei so if you are thinking of an upgrade, this is the perfect choice indeed.

Now it also available in dual tone colour – Super Black (Body), Premium Silver (Roof) or Mineral Gray (Body), Super Black (roof), Speedy Blue Metaliic (Body), Premium Silver (roof) or Premium Silver (Body), Super Black (roof). They also have the basic colours for your preference.

Boustead brought in two variants – Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL and the Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX. There are some differences in the two versions.

The safety features are as follows – 2 airbags (GL version) or 6 airbags (GLX version). Both have Electronic Brake Distribution, Brake Assist and Anti-Lock Braking System.

Here are some of the advanced functions: Meter Cluster, Automatic Air Conditioner Controls and USB Port Accessory Socket.

As compared to the previous model, there is a better headroom at the rear seats, responsive steering, improved luggage space and of course, fuel efficiency.

The price is pretty, pretty affordable and it comes in manual and automatic transmission. Boustead Sdn Bhd is having a great deal with two FREE instalments for the all new Suzuki Swift.

Do drop by their showroom in Beribi or visit their Suzuki Facebook Page or instagram @suzuki_brunei. You can call their hotline number 245 3162 / 245 3163 (BSB) or 333 4284 (KB).

 

 


With the Suzuki Swift Brunei club members
 

 


The interior of the Suzuki Swift GLX
 

 


More spacious than previous model
 

 

Like Father, Like Son

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in lifestyle

 

 

 

IA Salon situated at The Mall, conducted a free “Father’s day” themed event yesterday in lieu with the annual Father’s day celebration which to be celebrated on June 18th this year. The event was attended by over 10 registered dads with their children.

IA Salon’s Director and Manager Cecilia Lee organised the said event not only to give back to her regular salon clients but moreover to create a platform whereby hardworking daddies can get to bond with their children thru various fun activities.

Registered dads get their hands busy styling up their child’s hair. IA Salon professional team demonstrated the trendy men look and classic cool braids for girls.

A glitter tattoo session made available for both daddies and their child to get the same temporary glittery tattoo either on their faces or arms. A “Dad & Child” selfie corner was the highlight of the event whereby daddies and their children compete for the best selfie to win special gift prizes.

Attending daddies received free haircut vouchers while the children were handed with goodie bags to bring back home courtesy of IA Salon.

Monthly free workshops organised by IA Salon are free admission and limited spaces only. Watch out for July’s free themed workshop which seats are open for everyone to reserve. For more information and advance reservation, call IA Salon at 2423232 or interested participants may whatsapp at 8738232 or visit them at #G32, Ground Floor, The Mall, Abdul Razak Complex, Gadong.

 

 

 

 

 

Contact RA

ranoadidas (a) gmail.com
Instagram & Snapchat @ranoadidas
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)

Advertisement rates

You can email me for your interest in advertisement packages. There's also a bundle package with social media postings.