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Archive for 02/07/2013


Break the shell

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

 Netcom Computer House


Click image to see more of Netcom Computer House from their Facebook Page


Grand Raya Package at Peugeot

Grand Raya Package at Peugoet and promotion ends 15th September. Click image to enter website.

Sungkai at Tasek Brasserie

One of the popular places for breaking fast – Tasek Brasserie!!

BIBD Barakah 4


Click image to enter website


Fly KL via RB



Movie reviews


Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2. Hmmmm… There are mixed feelings about the sequel. Gru the main character in DM2 seemed to be overshadowed by the presence of the Minions which definitely brought some laugh to the audience including myself. I just felt that DM2 had too much reliance on the Minions. I also noticed the lesser appearance of the children who had more screen time in the first movie which kinda brought more emotions. Perhaps the storyline of the sequel were concentrating more on Gru’s new adventure.

If you haven’t watch the first movie, this is still a fresh watch and you will get a good laugh out of it. There were one or two scenes that failed to bring some sort of laugh so I thought that was awkward and even the audience didn’t respond to those particular scenes which were attempted failures to make the audience laugh. I still would recommend you to catch this movie. Feedback from my peers have been similar where they preferred the first one. At least the Minions are here to save Gru’s spotlight. Verdict: 7.5/10 Michelle 8. Rottentomatoes 72%

White House Down

White House Down. It didn’t do to well in the box office. Even the star power of Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx weren’t enough to topple The Heat in the box office with a mediocre opening of USD 25 million compared to The Heat’s USD $39 million. Channing Tatum is touted to be the next big thing after successful heats such as G.I. Joe, Magic Mike, 21 Jump Street and The Vow. Perhaps the audience were kinda tired since Olympus Has Fallen was screened a few months ahead and it also had a similar plot line.

There are some flaws in this movie and the pacing could have been more solid. I’m very particular when it comes to editing and it didn’t bring the best out of it. I enjoyed the chemistry of the two casts and Jamie Foxx was pretty comedic as the U.S. President. If you treat this as a popcorn movie, you will definitely get some thrills out of this. I prefer Olympus Has Fallen. Verdict: 7.5/10 Rottentomatoes 47%

World War Z

World War Z. Wowww… I might be biased but I’m a sucker for Zombie movies or TV shows. Anyway, this is one of the most satisfying summer movies and I was sharing with my friends that WWZ was kinda of a detox movie after catching the mediocre Man of Steel. Believe it or not, I caught this movie twice, once in Singapore and once in Brunei. There are a lot of lessons that can be learnt here especially for us individuals on how do we handle things when scenarios like this happen.

WWZ zombies are not the kinds you see on The Walking Dead. You just need to run for your life when the zombies become aware of your presence. Well, you get the hint. There were some bits that could have been improved but I was totally hooked and intense throughout the whole movie. It has been a while since I was at the edge of my seat. The last movie that gave me that feeling was Argo. I’m happy that there are making a sequel out of this. Maybe because of its success in the box office and plus there are still some unanswered questions. This could be Brad Pitt’s biggest movie after Mr. and Mrs. Smith. One of the best movies this summer, hands down. Verdict: 8/10 Seng Yee 8/10 Keeran 8/10 Sophia 9/10 Joanne Tan 7.5 Rottentomatoes 68%

The Heat

The Heat. Hmmmmm.. I don’t why but I judged this movie a lot. Maybe the movie was too predictable and I don’t like Melissa McCarthy as much. I saw the Identity Thief and ever since, she’s in my “unpopular” list of actors. Just like for some of my friends who doesn’t like the presence of Jim Carrey on screen. So yeah, I just feel urrggghh whenever I see McCarthy trying to be funny. Oh yeah, I did a count of swearing it had on screen and my count was 122 times on the F word *lol* Apparently there are 222 F words being said in The Heat *WOW* But not to worry as The Mall Cineplex take highly of censoring profanity which is a good move.

Sandra Bullock is charming as ever and I only caught the show because of her. Yes, I would agree that their chemistry on screen was somewhat eccentric but still bring a few laughs. What disappointed me are the predictability of the humour on some of the scenes. I just felt tired and restless and that set the tone for me for the rest of the movie. It’s not one of Paul Feigs best (the director) and I prefer his Bridesmaids more than The Heat. If you want some cheap laughs, you won’t mind catching this. Verdict: 4/10 Rottentomatoes 61%

Now You See Me

Now You See Me. Another popcorn movie that I kinda enjoyed with no high expectations. The trailer was great so I didn’t mind catching this. Morgan Freeman’s have been getting busy lately with movie releases this year (Oblivion and Olympus Has Fallen). He has another movie Last Vegas coming this year. For your info, this movie is about magic or perhaps illusions. The major problem I felt was the character developments which was kinda muddled in between and revenge plot seemed too far fetched if you ask me.

I surely enjoyed the movie but it didn’t have any lasting impression. I did mention on my IG review that some bits seemed illogical especially the final third act of the movie. The movie has so much promise where the director failed to explore. Nonetheless, I still entertained. It just lacked the depth and I wished the director didn’t use the ambitious approach and focused more on the characters. Verdict: 7/10 Seng Yee 7.5/10 Rottentomatoes 47%

Monster University

Monsters University. This movie comes to The Croods as the best animated movie of the year. The Croods was fresh, engaging and funny. MU almost delivered in that aspect and it’s something different that MU offers as compared to the Despicable Me 2. The plot has some interesting twists and the two lead characters Mike and Sullivan have some of the best chemistries. Pixar recently has been struggling for success and their formula on Cars 2 and Brave weren’t as good as I thought they would be. Now with MU, I could see better things to come for Pixar.

I won’t say it’s one of the best Pixar movies but it’s a progressive start from the recent slump they had. MU is bound to be biggest animation of the year after raking in great box office numbers. This movie will have a great fight with Despicable Me 2 for the No.1 animation though. If you ask me to compare between the two, MU has the slighter edge in terms of entertainment, plot and humour. Verdict: 8/10 Rottentomatoes 78%

Man of Steel

Man of Steel. Hmmmmmmm.. You know what? I just felt something amiss and I’m trying so hard to appreciate Zack Snyder’s latest work of Man of Steel. I’m still his big fan and I love his take on 300 and Watchmen. I felt dissatisfied that I even watched back the trailer “Fate of Your Planet” over and over again because that trailer was freaking good and still gives me the shivers. General Zod had that bad ass impression on the trailer but he was a major disappointment for me in MOS. For every superhero movie, to make it stands out, the villain must have such an impact with his or her on-screen’s presence to bring the best out of the movie. I just felt General Zod was a mediocre adversary at best.

The plot was something different and it was kinda expected coming from Snyder. Well, honestly, the plot was slightly different from the origins of Superman and I thought that was something refreshing. The flashback moments were alright but it could have been tighter in the story telling sense. Now Henry Cavill as the Clark Kent/Superman, he does look compatible but not much emotional chemistry formula was shown from him and perhaps Snyder could have focus more on this area. I know some of my female friends might be biased on their ratings because of Henry Cavill in tights *lol*

Sorry for all the rants but this is how I personally felt about MOS. I didn’t enjoy the ending on how Superman dealt with General Zod. It’s not so Superman like. I do, however, still enjoyed the movie experience especially on 3D IMAX in Singapore. The reviews have very mixed. Keeran and AnakBrunei gave it a thumbs up while most of my peers were disappointed. I am disappointed to an extent and it’s one of those hyped movies that I won’t watch twice in the cinema. I’m hoping for a better sequel 😀 If you haven’t caught it, I suggest you do. Verdict: 7/10 @lilmopiko 6.5/10 Billy Lim 7.5/10 @tiffanyyong 7/10 Rottentomatoes 56%.


The Royal Wedding in Kelantan


Congratulations to the newly royal wedding couple – YAM Tengku Amalin ‘Aishah Putri and YAM Pengiran MudaAbdul Qawi. The royal solemnisation took place in Kelantan last week and it was attended by royal families and relatives from Brunei representing the groom side and also the royal families and relatives and friends from the bride side.

The wedding ceremonies took place on Thursday, June 27, with a solemnisation ceremony or Majlis Akad Nikah at Istana Balai Besar inKelantan’s capital, Kota Bharu, followed by the Istiadat Persandinganand Dinner Banquet on Friday, June 28 at the Silver Jubilee Hall of Istana Negeri, Kubang Kerian, Kota Bharu.

The royal couple will return to the Sultanate on Saturday (July 6), to be celebrated in a Majlis Istiadat Bersanding at Balai Penghadapan, BukitKayangan followed by Majlis Istiadat Doa Kesyukuran (thanksgiving ceremony) on Sunday (July 7) at the same venue. YAM Pengiran MudaAbdul Qawi was born on January 27, 1974 in the Sultanate’s capital. He is the eldest son of HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah and HRH PengiranAnak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah.

Check out more photos here from The Brunei Times.

His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah (L) takes part in a ceremony called the Istiadat Suap Semangat during the wedding held in Kota Bharu, Kelantan last night between YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Qawi and YAM Tengku Amalin A’Ishah Putri. Taken from The Brunei Times’ website.

Her Royal Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Zariah takes part in a ceremony called the Istiadat Suap Semangat during the wedding held in Kota Bharu, Kelantan last night. Taken from The Brunei Times’ website.

YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Qawi and Kelantan princess, YAM Tengku Amalin A’Ishah Putri. Taken from The Brunei Times’ website.

Some information background on the royal couple. Source: The Brunei Times. On June 26, 1984, YAM Tengku Amalin ‘Aishah Putri, the youngest daughter of Sultan Ismail Petra ibni Almarhum Sultan Yahya Petra and Yang Maha Mulia Raja Perempuan Kelantan, Tengku Anis binti AlmarhumTengku Abdul Hamid was born in Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Qawi began his early education at St Andrew’s School in the capital, before enrolling at Maktab Sains Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan where he completed the General Certificate of Education (GCE) ‘O’ Level examination. Meanwhile, YAM Tengku AmalinAishah went to Raja Perempuan Zainab II National Primary School and continued to study at Naim Lilbanat National Religious Secondary School where she completed the Malaysian Certificate of Education or Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).

YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Qawi pursued his GCE ‘A’ Levels at St Andrew’s College in the United Kingdom before he was accepted to do his undergraduate degree at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London where he was awarded a Bachelor in Politics, Business and Economics.

YAM Tengku Amalin ‘Aishah on the other hand attended the International Islamic University Malaysia where she read Law (LLB) and Syariah Law (LLBS) graduating with honours. After successfully completing her four-year tenure at the university, YAM Tengku Amalin ‘Aishah studied her Masters in Law (LLM) at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

From 1998 to 2000, YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Qawi worked as a Research Officer at the Policy Planning Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. From 2000, YAM started his own business ventures. June 20, 2006 saw YAM Tengku Amalin ‘Aishah working as a judicial officer in the Legal and Judicial Services.

The princess worked as a Magistrate in the Kota Bharu Magistrates’ Court until July 15, 2009. She then took on the position as Senior Assistant Registrar and Deputy Registrar at the Kuala Lumpur Civil High Court until July 15, 2012 where YAM was responsible in handling civil-related cases. Since YAM TengkuAmalin ‘Aishah has a keen interest in the fields of judiciary, her reading materials largely comprise knowledge-based publications. However, the princess also loves to travel with her family. As for sports, snorkeling and netball are two favourite outdoor activities that YAM is fond of. Meanwhile, YAMPengiran Muda Abdul Qawi is active in sports such as badminton, football and polo.

YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Qawi with YAM Tengku Amalin A’Ishah Putri at the royal dais. Image courtesy of Azrol Azmi and Sim YH

YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Qawi with YAM Tengku Amalin A’Ishah Putri at the royal dais. Image courtesy of Azrol Azmi and Sim YH

Their Royal Highnesses, the bride and the groom with other members of the royal family. Image courtesy of Azrol Azmi and Sim YH


Not just any clinic 😀


Dr. Jo’s desk and it doesn’t feel like a clinic

Last Sunday I had the privilege to be a guest during the soft opening of Wholistica Clinic which has just relocated from their previous premise in town. I have to admit that Wholistica Clinic doesn’t feel like a clinic at all. If you don’t believe me, you just have to pay a visit (when you are unwell or in need of a doctor that is) and you will understand what I mean.

I’ve known Dr. Jo Jaafar for many years and I’ve always joked with her that I want to visit her clinic if necessary but it never materialised because I didn’t fall sick *lol* So in the two weeks, I have made two visits (and now possibly my third since I left something there). Anyway, Dr. Jo is one awesome practitioner/doctor and I can’t emphasise how amazing she is. I shall save that for my later post on my insights and views of her clinic and also her vision.

Apart from the consultation and clinic services, Wholistica also provide chiropractic services by Dr Stephen J Chiarello himself. He has been in Brunei for a year now and his chiropractic services have been quite popular especially from cross fitters *lol* So now, you have back or neck problems, do visit Dr. Stephen and he can attend to your problems.

It was a warm soft opening last Sunday and I managed to catch up with a few guests too. The theme for the event was “Health and Wellness Appreciation Day” with the intention to send a message of the community to be more aware of their health and how we take them for granted most of the time. They also held free health check up and they also measure your BMI.

So where is Wholistica Clinic and Wellness? It is located at Unit A1 & A2, Simpang 92, Jln Gadong and it’s just opposite the road of NBT at Jalan Gadong. You can call them at 2428180 or 2243546. You can also follow them on instagram @wholistica_brunei

Dr. Stephen J Chiarello and Dr. Jo Jaafar of Wholistica Clinic. Thank you guys for hosting last Sunday 😀

Mel and T dropped by Wholistica Clinic


Dinner under 20


The event will launch a recipe book called “Dinner Under $20” which promotes responsible consumer spending. The book will showcase simple and quick meal and dessert ideas for a family of 4 at $20 or less. Dinner Under $20 includes recipes contributed by Brunei’s local e-vendors. The book launch will also include a pop-up sale by the recipe book’s contributors, as well as other local e-vendors, who can offer meal options for a family of 4 at $20 or less.

Copies of the recipe book will be available for free to families who visit Mabohai Shopping Complex on Sunday 7th July 2013. The objective of this project is part of Events Solutions’ role in corporate social responsibility in terms of promoting responsible consumer spending and also to support the Brunei’s local food e-vendors.

There will be other food vendors as well participating in this event at Mabohai Shopping Complex. Do check the poster below for details

Event: Dinner Under $20
Date: Sunday 7th July 2013
Time: 12pm to 6pm
Venue: 1s Floor, Mabohai Shopping Complex




As always

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

Brunei 34 Hong Kong 38


Brunei U-21 did their best against Hong Kong but loss in a very tight contested match. Hong Kong won 38-34

It was a great effort by the Brunei U-21 team. I knew it was gonna be a tough match. I’ve seen how Hong Kong played against India the day before and the HK team gave Brunei a good run for their money. Despite the 4 point loss, this is still a great improvement for Brunei national netball team. They have trained for 8 months and this is their 2nd competitive international game against one of the dark horses of the tournament.

Connie Wong, head coach for Hong Kong, knew that Brunei will be a tough team to play against. She was happy that her players were able to focus despite the cheers for the Brunei team. She said their depth of squad was also instrumental in their matches so they were able to rotate players.

Brunei now have two more matches remaining but their top two finish seem difficult unless they can overcome the favourites and defending champion Malaysia. Today Brunei U-21 will take on India at 4:30pm at Indoor Stadium. So good luck to the players once again.

My prediction for the final are Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong in the 8th Asian Youth Netball Championship. The finals will be held on Sunday, 7th July 2013.

My favourite player from Hong Kong – Kriesel 😀


Netcom Promotion


Promotion last day is Friday 5th July, only in Netcom


Recap: Johor Experience


Click image to check places of interest in Malaysia

Aliya Zin in Johor. After a late night at Dataran Merdeka for the Colours of 1Malaysia Parade, we headed back to The Royale Chulan and grabbed a few hours rest before getting up in the wee hours to catch our AirAsia flight to Johor Bahru (JB). FYI, Airasia has 3 flights daily from LCCT to JB Senai Airport, and if you catch the AirAsia’s morning flight from Brunei, you can easily catch a connecting flight at 14:05 to JB, and still arrive in plenty of time to enjoy the better part of the day.

Admittedly, all of us were still sleepy so it was fortunate that joining us for this leg of the trip was AirAsia’s Ivan Ong, who herded us around the airport and made sure we got on the flight on time. The flight to JB is 45 minutes, like Brunei to KK. Upon arrival, we were picked up by our tour guide, Abg Zainal, and were taken to what I can only describe as heaven for Hello Kitty Lovers (a.k.a THE MOTHERSHIP! You can tell that this post is going to be biased already) Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park! Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park is a four story indoor theme park about 25 minutes from Senai Airport, and is an awesome place to take your little ones, which has Hello Kitty Town, Little Big Club and Lat’s Place.

Sanrio HELLO KITTY town features Black Wonder, a hi-tech interactive themed experience, where you must solve clues to save Hello Kitty and Daniel from the naughty Kuromi (and I insist that you MUST save them!); and Kitty House, an iconic Hello Kitty house complete with living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen (If I could move in there, I would!).

At the Wishful Studio, you and your kids can enjoy jewelry making, costume dress up at the photo studio as well as visit the nail salon where they can decorate their nails with Sanrio characters nail art. In addition, you can make and decorate Hello Kitty shaped cookies at the cookie studio and your very own Hello Kitty doll at the doll factory!

On the next two floors is The Little Big Club, where your kids can interact with all of their favourite HiT characters under one roof through a series of 6 themed interactive play zones – with games, rides, soft play areas, and more.

Amongst the 6 themed interactive play zones at The Little Big Club is the Angelina Ballerina play zone where your little dancing stars can dress up, play on a host of interactive touch-screen games, and even get a dance class from their favourite ballerina, Angelina. Bob the Builder fans will love the interactive ‘Build It Zone’ where they can join Bob’s ‘Can-do Crew’ and help their favourite builder by getting involved in all aspects of building a house. Barney’s play house is a re-creation of the set in the television series, and your kids can even watch Barney perform in his very own sing-a-long show. 

Thomas the tank engine, a favourite of my nephew’s gets his own floor, with a variety of rides, play areas and his very own live sing-a-long show.  There’s even a giant jungle gym, where parents can join their kids crawling, climbing, sliding and getting into all sorts of trouble! (Being the good reporters that we are, we even tested it for you, and yes, we had a lot of fun!)

Lat’s Place is an interactive dining experience where patrons get to interact with characters from the comics in a village setting. For one and a half hours, a virtual day in the kampong, you get entertained by the characters, dining on delicious set menus, and receive a photograph of the experience which is all inclusive in the price. The characters will actually speak to you and the script is never the same, so it’s always a different day in the Kampong!

Hello Kitty Town in Johor

After Puteri Harbour, our guide, Zainal took us to the one and only, LEGOLAND! By then, we were running on pure adrenaline, and even the gloomy weather didn’t dampen spirits! Kids, both young and old will enjoy Legoland, as it offers attractions for the younger children, such as the Junior Driving school and Boating school, or compete with other families to be top of your class at the Rescue academy.

Of course, rides such as The Dragon rollercoaster and Lost Kingdom are subject to minimum height regulations, and children will need to be accompanied by adults. I guarantee that you will have a lot of fun getting wet on the Dino Island ride! (Insider tip : Bring extra clothing and put ALL of your belongings in a locker for safe keeping and to keep them dry, especially mobile phones! Ivan and I found out that even in your back pockets, your precious is not safe from the splash!) After a long day, we eventually made our way to The Thistle Hotel, a gorgeous hotel, and if you’re lucky, you will get a gorgeous view of the clock tower in JB, and of Singapore. After dinner, all of us crashed into our beds, as we had another fantastically early start to the morning the next day, this time to the mighty jungles of Endau Rompin!

This post is brought by Tourism Malaysia and AirAsia.




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