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Posts Tagged ‘bali’


Living the moment

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


What did I find out? 

So I’m thinking of opening up a new segment for my blog and it’s called What Did I Find Out segment. Well, I still think it’s a little lame to my liking but then again, that’s what I usually do when people start sharing information and lately, I’ve been flooded with information related to my readers and friends even though I’m still stuck here in Bali. I found out that Royal Brunei Airlines had two flights that departed from Bali, one at 7am and the other an hour later to cater for the stranded passengers. Awesome stuff!!

I shall post more on my findings with pictures and illustrations. Have a great weekend and I’m beginning to enjoy my final day here in Bali. Just some alone time 😀


I found out that Seth Rollins will have to vacate his title which he won in April during Wrestlemania. Is this bad for business? Yes, unless someone like Brock Lesnar and maybe, the super face, John Cena holds the title. The roster has been looking pretty mediocre in WWE.

I found out that there’s a special promotion at Chatime Citis Square in conjunction with their grand opening this weekend. So grab that opportunity 😀

I found out that there’s another BurgerKing outlet in Seria

I found out that not only I enjoy the services of Uber but even Mika *lol* Guys, if you haven’t tried Uber especially in Bali, try it. You will save a lot of money on transport. A lot.. Trust me. My average spending is around $3-4 per trip or even lesser.

I found out that JPMC having another car boot sale after a successful one last year.

I found that there will be another company running a similar concept of an escape room and tonight my team will be checking it out.

I found that the beach in Bali is soothing and welcoming as compared to the other beaches I visited. I do want to try out that beach tennis one day. Looks fun and you don’t have to bounce the ball on the beach. Then again, balls won’t bounce on sand :p

I found out there’s an eatery in Bali run by a Bruneian. I shall give it a try if I have the time. Thanks Yaya for the heads up 😀

I found out how Zheng ran the most popular marathon in the world which is the New York marathon. There were about 50,000 runners and he is the only Bruneian to participate. Furthermore, the entry of the event is done through ballots and by luck, his name was drawn. Amazing!!! He also clocked his personal best of 3 hrs 40 secs in the full marathon event. It was nice to see the Brunei flag being hoisted despite only having one Bruneians in the list. Zheng shared that this is best marathon to date.

I found out that finally Brunei International Airport has wifi connection for the public. I’m not sure if it’s only available inside area for flying passengers or the whole of BIA. Thanks, Adiman for the heads up.


A Spectre-cular movie?


Have you caught Spectre yet? Last evening, they had two special treats, one at Times Cineplex of Sentral Shopping Centre (KBSentral) and Empire Cinema. I couldn’t make it to either since I’m still enjoying my extension stay in Bali for now.

Customers of BIBD Perdana Privilege Banking and Indera Motors were treated to a special occasion at Empire Cinema whereas British Army Brunei Garrison organised one at Times Cineplex.

It was nice to see the British Army Brunei Garrison dressing up for the occasion and they had the opportunity to walk on the red carpet with cool decorations to blend with with the James Bond theme.

So what do you think of the latest James Bond movie Spectre? Reviews have been mixed and it’s not high on Rottentomatoes (only below 63% for now). I will be catching it tonight on the comfort of a premier style concept at Beachwalk Bali cineplex. I still feel that Skyfall is the best bond movie for me.


British High Commissioner David Campbell (in black) on the red carpet with members of the British Army Brunei Garrison during the premiere of the James Bond movie ‘Spectre’ at KBSentral’s Times Cineplex last night. Image courtesy of Hafiizah Maideen of The Brunei Times.

Some of the attendees last night. Image courtesy of Hafiizah Maideen of The Brunei Times.

The Jaguar F-Type convertible on showcase at the movie premiere. Image courtesy of Azli Azney of The Brunei Times.

Ben Boddy, Deputy High British Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam (left) as the guest of honour. Image courtesy of Azli Azney of The Brunei Times.



Seagate hard drives

I’ve used Seagate hard drives before and they are pretty stable and reliable. Now I’m very picky when it comes to hard drive because I would need a Thunderbolt socket for transferring purposes (at high speed). Thunderbolt is only for Apple computers for your info.

Recently Concepts Computer has collaborated with Seagate and bringing the reliable, high-performance hard disk spaces to Brunei Darussalam. Hence if you want to store your data and documents, I do recommend you Seagate hard disks.

Now for the technical aspects of Seagate hard portable hard drives.

First on offer is the Seagate Expansion portable drive, available in 500GB ($89) and 1TB ($109) storage sizes. The Seagate Expansion portable drive is the ideal companion for anyone with lots of videos, photos, music and files that they want to protect and take everywhere with them. It offers useful storage capacities in a small enclosure for great mobility, very fast transfer rates with USB 3.0 connectivity and very secure physical digital storage. Sounds good to you? Well, it does for me 😀


Seagate Expansion portable drive

Now let’s look at the other batches – the Seagate BackUp Plus Slim, available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB storage sizes. The Seagate BackUp Plus Slim will be one of the ultimate solutions to storage on-the-go. With an ultra-sleek design, made for ultra portability and with the ability for one click backup solutions through the Seagate Mobile BackUp app. The Seagate BackUp Plus Slim combines all the best features of what a portable storage device solution should be.

Now here’s the interesting thing if you actually need it – With the inclusion of the Seagate Mobile BackUp app, all your photos, movies and video scan be backed-up Seagate Dashboard, including the ones you’ve shared on Facebook, Flickr and Youtube; easily enabling you to save your favourite on popular social media sites to be viewed anywhere.

Another interesting fact is if you buy the Seagate BackUp Plus Slim from Concepts Computer, they will provide free access to Microsoft OneDrive. Every purchase of the Seagate BackUp Plus Slim, will provide its users with a 2 years, 200GB access to Microsoft OneDrive worth over BND$130. It will be available from Concepts Computers for $100 for the 500GB capacity, $110 for 1TB capacity and $162 for the 2TB capacity. Now that’ is value for money.


Seagate BackUp Plus Slim

Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer with the management of Concepts Computer and resellers at the Brilliance Hall at Concepts Computer

Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer said, “This launch is the beginning of a great expansion for Concepts Computer on storage solutions, Concepts have noticed that storage solutions have become an important issue with our customers so we will work hard to provide a much larger range of great digital storage solutions at the best prices for the consumers of Brunei Darussalam.”

Zul Abdul Rahman, Marketing Executive of Concepts Computer added, ”We know how valuable digital data is to the modern world and this is our first step in providing exciting solutions for the local IT-market. And with the release of these Seagate external storage solutions, customers do not have to choose between reliability, high performance and affordability, it is all available from Seagate and Concepts Computer. ”

And for more information on the wide-selection and full-range of storage solutions available at Concepts Computer, please visit your nearest Concepts Computer showroom or call 2233551/2233552.


Concepts is also promoting their Acer projector



Apply for UnionPay from Baiduri 

Launched on 19 October 2015, Baiduri Bank’s “Take Me Traveling” Promotion offers their Baiduri UnionPay Debit cardholders a 5% rebate on all transactions, including overseas ATM withdrawal fees and purchasing transactions at selected countries in Southeast Asia.

Baiduri Bank was the first bank to introduce the first UnionPay brand card in Brunei Darussalam back in April 2011. The Baiduri UnionPay Debit Card is also the first PIN-based international debit card in the country.

Unlike conventional signature-based payment cards, payments made with the Baiduri UnionPay Debit Card requires a personalized identification number (PIN) to be keyed in before payment is approved, giving cardholders an additional level of protection from fraud or misuse of the card.

Besides using the card for payment, the Baiduri UnionPay Debit Card can also be used as an ATM card for cash withdrawal. Vastly accepted in more than 150 countries around the world, Baiduri UnionPay Debit cardholders will have access to over 2,000 local retailers, over 26 million retailers and over 1.9 million ATMs globally.


Baiduri UnionPay Debit Card can also be used as an ATM card for cash withdrawal apart from payment

With such wide acceptance, it is no wonder that the Baiduri UnionPay Debit Card is an excellent choice for customers to bring along when traveling outside of Brunei. And with the exclusive “Take Me Travelling” promotion, Baiduri UnionPay Debit cardholders can enjoy more savings whilst on holiday in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and Cambodia.

In addition to the 5% rebate, Baiduri UnionPay Debit cardholders are also entitled to the ongoing benefits at overseas destinations including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. To name a few, UnionPay cardholders can enjoy offers and discounts at popular shopping destinations as well as hotel offers.

Benefits in Thailand include offers at Siam Paragon and Siam Centre Duration, Gourmet Market, Home Fresh Mart and Villa market, Ratchaprasong Shopping District, Central World and Thavorn Palm Beach Resort & Spa Phuket.


You can earn enjoy discounts in countries such as Singapore. For instance, earning discounts at TANGS. Image courtesy of TimeOut.

Or you can get benefits in Thailand such as at Siam Paragon. Image courtesy of The Continent Hotel.

In Singapore, UnionPay cardholders can enjoy discounts and exclusive offers at bebe, Greg Norman, Sentosa Harbourfront, High Society Café, Lacoste boutiques, TANGS and several hotel offers. Offers in Malaysia include discounts and deals at Pavilion, Parkson, Grand Lexis Port Dickson and Suria KLCC Shopping Centre. And in Indonesia, UnionPay cardholders can shop at Kuta Beachwalk Shopping Centre to enjoy exclusive offers.

Terms and conditions of the promotion can be viewed on Baiduri Bank website at www.baiduri.com or Baiduri Bank mobile app – Baiduri Deals promotions section.

To be in the know of Baiduri Bank current promotions and events, the public can also follow Baiduri Bank Group on Facebook or @baiduribank on Instagram and Twitter.




Super hot in bali

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Flight delays to Bali 

Taken from Channel News Asia

I’m kinda glad that my toastmaster friends managed to catch their flight early in the morning yesterday. However, one of my friend today was kinda unfortunate that the flight got postponed because of the volcanic ashes due to the eruption inside the crater of Mount Rinjani in Lombok.

I’ve always wanted to visit Lombok and I heard so many awesome things about Lombok especially the scenery. One day.. One day perhaps.. As for the weather in Bali, it’s kind scorching hot today, the hottest I’ve been in since Day 1 of my Bali trip. Yes, I’m still in Bali and taking time off and spending quality time on my own and just chiiillllll….

So let’s hope for the rest of other friends to arrive Bali tomorrow evening as the Bali airport will only reopen by 8:45am. Let’s hope no delays or flight disruptions. Have a great week, peeps!! And I can’t believe that 2015 is almost over.


Currently enjoying the heat in Bali and loving the t-shirt from toastmasters and the RB cap

Extended partnership 

A Suzki Celerio A+ is now on display in front of Concepts Computer’s (Concepts) showroom. Image courtesy of Concepts Computer.

Lim Tze Yang, marketing executive (Suzuki) Boustead Sdn Bhd, Crystal Celine, customer relations officer, Boustead Sdn Bhd, Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer, Pao Jia Wan, Concepts Business Development Executive and Zul Abdul Rahman, Concepts marketing executive. Image courtesy of Concepts Computer.

A Suzki Celerio A+ is now on display in front of Concepts Computer’s (Concepts) showroom.

The display was proudly revealed yesterday by the IT store’s General Manager Vincent Pao accompanied by Concepts Business Development Executive Pao Jia Wan and Marketing Executive Zul Abdul Rahman. Meanwhile, the sole agent for Suzuki in the nation, Boustead Sdn Bhd, was represented by its marketing executive Lim Tze Yang and its customer relations officer, Crystal Celine.

The model of the Japanese auto marks the ongoing collaborative promotion where for every purchase of the compact car, the new car owner will receive an Acer Iconia Tab 8W.

The promotion first began last month and is ongoing until end of year. It is also a way to reward customers and to promote the corporate image of both companies.

“Now with the display, Concepts customers are not only able to get a hands-on look of the Acer Iconia Tab 8W when they stop by the store, they are able to take a closer look at the Celerio A+ without going all the way to our showroom in Beribi,” said Boustead’s Marketing Executive Lim Tze Yang.
It was shared that the Suzuki Celerio is the latest model in the brand’s line up, which features design, style and practicality in one package. It is designed with the concept of ‘small on the outside, big on the inside’, offering ample room and storage space that belies its appearance.

Fuel efficiency is yet another selling point as this car can go up to 21.27km with every litre of petrol. The car is equipped with a 1.0 litre engine and is available in two transmissions: Manual Transmission (MT) and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

Meanwhile, the new Acer Iconia Tab 8W is equipped with the Windows 8.1 and a one-year subscription to Office 365. This enables users to combine work and play with a single device that is multi-functional.

Concepts General Manager Vincent Pao told The Brunei Times that the collaboration is a win-win situation for both companies. He further enlightened that the two products are similar in a way that both offer value for money.

For more information about the attractive promotion, head over to Concepts in Kiulap or the Suzuki Showroom in Beribi. Text courtesy of Adib Noor of The Brunei Times.




AUDE returns with a bang 



Taking a sports coupe round a track with a professional driver, leisurely drives in the latest Audi vehicles, fun racing in a go-kart.. It was the kind of experience that some car aficionados can only dream about, but was brought to life by TCY Motors. For two days, TCY Motors Sdn Bhd took over the Jerudong Park Go-Kart Track and the “Pusing Lagi” car park to give customers, invited guests and members of the media a crack at the Second Audi Urban Driving Experience.

Based around safety and dynamic driving, the event allowed attendees to get behind the wheel of Audi vehicles and experience first hand the safety capabilities, and as well as give drivers some in-depth knowledge on safe but dynamic driving.

The programme featured instruction and demonstrations by professional driving instructors Nicolaas Smit from South Africa and Paul Morgan from Australia. Smit was a return instructor from last year’s inaugural event.

The day began with the Ride & Drive, featuring the Audi A5 Coupe, A7 Sportback A8L and the Q7. Participants took the vehicles for a leisurely drive on the road to experience the Audi Drive Select featured in all the high-end models and the feel of the handling differences of each car.

In the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) demo, drivers had to accelerate to 60Km/h and swerve to avoid obstacles. The demonstration taught drivers the effectiveness of the ESC system in an emergency maneuver.

The highlight of the day was the Track Experience on the main Go-Kart track where drivers where let loose in the all-new Audi TTS sports coupe, which boasts the latest in quattro all-wheel-drive technology and an output of 300 bhp.

TCY Motors hopes to make AUDE an annual event offering participants a unique unforgettable driving experience where they benefit from learning dynamic but safe driving and also get the first crack at the latest new models offered by the dealership.








Colourful competition 

The Second Colouring Competition for Adults organized by Mabohai Shopping Complex, in partnership with Best Eastern Bookstore and JoArt Gallery drew very talented participants on Sunday, 1st November 2015.

The competition, based on the new book “Lost Ocean” by Johanna Basford attracted 33 participants of a high level of technical and artistic capability, according to the team of judges. Targeted towards everyone above 18 years old, the competitors showed excellent colouring and blending skills.

Judges for the competition were Jojo Yim, Head of Jo Art Gallery, Nitisha Kashyap and Nabil Fikri Haronli, Art Instructors at Jo Art Gallery.

The following were the winners after a grueling round of judging by the panel of Judges provided by Jo Art Gallery.

1st Prize  – Wathiqah Khalidi won $200 worth of Gift Vouchers

2nd Prize  – Nur Liyana won $150 worth of Gift Vouchers

3rd Prize  – Robert John Mendoza $100 worth of Gift Vouchers


The winners of the Colouring Competition for Adults last Sunday

An additional 5 contestants were awarded consolation prizes of gift vouchers worth $50 each. All winners also received a copy of Millie Marotta’s ‘Tropical Paradise” colouring book and all prizes were sponsored by Best Eastern.

Ms Yee-Man Cheng, Manager of Mabohai Shopping Complex said:

“Congratulations to everyone who gave it their best and a special congratulations to the top winners of the competition for a job well done. We would like to thank Best Eastern & JoArt Gallery for partnering with Mabohai Shopping Complex in creating a challenging and rewarding event for all contestants. Special thanks go to Starbucks for keeping the contestants hydrated and refreshed with their newly launched beverages, the Duo Cocoa Mocha Frappuccino and Dark Caramel Frappuccino. We hope everyone had a wonderful afternoon of colouring and had a relaxing and enjoyable time with us.”



Korean Festival 


It’s happening again. The Korean Festival 2015 at Times Square Shopping Centre. from 6th 8th November 2015 and the problem is I won’t be there to witness the event since I will be away.

Basically this event is to promote the Korean culture and they will hold several key events, games, activities and performance group from Korea which are supported and co-organised by Embassy of the Republic of Korea, Korea Tourism Organisation and Times Square Shopping Centre.

For this upcoming festival, there will be a Korean Babbling Comedy, The Babbling Perfordian ONGALS’ and they will be coming to share contemporary Korea to Brunei. Awesome..

Even more, there will be Koren products – automobile showcase, Korean food and drinks and various cultural demonstrations during the festival. So book your date from 6th to 8th November.

You can also stand a chance to win two tickets to Seoul. Other prizes include electronic devices and vouchers from Korean restaurants. The lucky draw prize presentation will be held on the last day of the festival, November 8 at 8.30pm. For further information, call 2338208 or 2338006 during office hours. Good luck.


This Friday 8pm, Saturday 8pm and Sunday 8pm



Making a difference

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Conference in Bali 

I had a great time last week with my fellow toastmasters. The bond is different from before and it’s stronger. I may not look enthusiastic in this photo because I deliberately looked sad. I’m sandwiched by two dedicated toastmasters from UBD.

The organizing chairperson Shawn Cassidy Narcis and deputy organizing chair Liana Kwan for the District 87 Semi-Annual Conference. They and the team pulled off a great show. It was such a pity that not many locals turned up from the Indonesia division.

The conference is over. The goodbyes were tough but we as toastmasters know that it’s a never ending journey with conferences in different cities every now and then. I realised that it’s a pretty hefty investment if I were to calculate the number of conferences I attend (such as in Sabah, Labuan and cities of Indonesia) like the current one in Bali. Luckily for me, I never questioned it because I know the values that I can get out of toastmasters – priceless – and I’m pleased to officially announced that Brunei Darussalam will be hosting a big toastmasters conference slated for November 2016 and the planning has begun.

This is also one reason why I haven’t been active updating my blog. I still have tons of articles pending from my previous coverages in Brunei and also my recent Malaysia Tourism Hunt 2015 adventure. I shall be updating that pretty soon as I have so much ample now in Bali before my next workshop in Ubud, Bali in a few days’ time. For now, I’m gonna do some reviews of the recent Bali in Paradise conference 2015.

What a wunderbar experience!! The venue was ideal as we had both the convention and the accommodation at the same hotel (Harris Hotel & Residence on Sunset Road). I shared a suite room with four musketeers – Superman Amran, the computer geek Dalton, go-with-the-flow Jack and the actual Superman Nur Iskandar. If I were to travel again, I don’t mind tagging along with them or vice-versa. Just have to make sure that you don’t use the kitchen sink because Dalton will use his luggage to cover it *lol*

We had seven educational speakers and I enjoyed all of them except for one. I was amazed how thorough Dinesh’s speech on how to deliver a winning speech and it was analytical and clear. I have learnt that I lacked clarity in delivering my points in my speech and even getting the message across. Another speaker was Miranda (from Bali) who reminded me the power of listening and I’m still practicing that skill and breaking the bad habit. The International Director Patrick Oei showed me the courage to take leap of faith and don’t be the “Elephant being tied to a stick” because that one little step can make a difference.

Golden voice Ariff stole the show of the supposedly absent Guest of Honour and he shared the different types of personalities in us – I found out that I’m an extrovert with feelings and intuition *lol* I’m not sure that’s a suitable trait to guide me as the organizing chair for next year’s convention but it can be fruitful indeed because we already have an amazing team.

We are so honoured to have two finalists in World Public Speaking Championship and one of them is Mohammed Qahtani the current World Champion of Public Speaking 2015 (thank you, Lorraine for hooking him up with Shawn). He started with a slight sign of nervousness but he picked up the tempo and lifted the crowd with his enthusiastic energy. What was missing is the Qahtani (rubber) band that I wanted to have, to remind me should I have negative thoughts in my head. My room mate Amran was lucky to be given one. Well, the idea of the rubber band is to sport it on your wrist, and whenever you say something negative or have negative thoughts, then you snap the rubber band. This can be a good habit especially when you are about to give a negative comment and you snap the band and from there you start giving positive comments. Hopefully one day it will make me give automated positive statements.

Lastly, the speaker that I was looking forward to was Kwong Yue Yang who now resides and working in Australia. His “Fortune Cookie” speech is my most viewed contest speech because it’s originality, humour and the message he delivered. I highly recommend you watch that speech which I thought should have won that year in 2011. He had two sessions during the Bali conference and I learnt a thing or two on how to inject humour into your script and yes, humour is a skill. Let’s not forget that. It was good to see his girlfriend tagging along and apparently she is his mentor. Keep up the great synergy and I do hope you make again to the finals next year. He is a true inspiration for all toastmasters and such a humble guy in person. What more can you ask for?


World Champion of Public Speaking 2015 Mohammed Qahtani delivering his talk and he had the biggest cheer of the day

I admire Kwong Yue Yang, another competent speaker who believes that humour is a skill, not just talent. Very useful tips he shared with us.

I kinda enjoyed Dinesh Viswani’s deconstruction of a humourous speech. Very detailed, clear and leaves a lasting impression.

I was happy to introduce our speaker Miranda Suryadjaja from Bali and she shared her tips on listening (everyone’s weakness)

Kwan, Hazwan, Laurence and Amran chilling after a long Gala dinner but we all had fun behind the scenes. Thank you, Kwan and Laurence for helping out last weekend.

The contest.

Of course, we were rooting for our Division K representatives Kamaliah (humourous) and Aaron (evaluation). It was also the first time that I attended a District level convention for these particular categories. Both speakers were drawn to deliver first in their respective categories (Man, what are the chances?) and I would have to say that they set the standard for the rest of the competition. For those in toastmasters, District Level and Division Level are a different ball game. In order to get to District, you must win Division level first.

In the evaluation speech contest, our first international delegate Alicia Curtis for next year’s convention in Brunei, was the test speaker and she shared her journey with Abby, her dog. My prediction was spot on for the podium finish. Aaron did his very best and squeezed in 2nd runner up while Ricky from Medan had an awesome delivery but perhaps lacking in content and ended up 1st runner-up. The District Champion for evaluation belonged to Rebecca Chieng of Kuching and she deserved it with her crisp, clear-cut analysis on Alicia’s speech.

During the contest, I could see my neighbour Laurence Dumling who kept jotting down points on her phone as she herself was once a finalist in District but missed out this year as she came second in Division Level. She would have given a good run for the money should she had competed last weekend because I know she’s very capable when I first saw her evaluation last year and wow, I finally found my role model to learn more on delivery and be more discipline in training myself to be a great evaluator.

As for the main event (humourous contest), it left me wondering if I was actually witnessing an Area level contest or a District Contest. The finalists failed to live the expectations and I felt embarrassed that our invited guest Kwong had to  endure the agony of listening to all the low quality of speeches with a few exceptions. Of course, for me the top two speakers Rebecca Chieng and winner Kamalia were awesome when on stage. The rest of the contestants weren’t up to District Level and it’s just maybe …. just maybe one of those years that the other divisions struggled to bring the best out of their toastmasters journey.

Kamalia kicked off the show and it was a never-ending episodes of entertainment and laughters. She was the only one that had clapping ovations and in the end, she was rewarded with a standing moments from section of the audience. It was already an amazing beginning to the contest and I was already worried if the rest could maintained it. It was not to be and not meant to be either.

The second speaker literally killed my enthusiasm when he showed deliberate signs of stereotyping and it was simply too offensive to my liking. This is something the his Division should address to the matter. I could go on and on for the rest of the contestants but I shall not humiliate further (Ok, I just snap the rubber band on my wrist).


Seng Yee preparing for the Gala dinner. A big appreciation for her for helping with the registration from Brunei and all the way to Bali and also willing to help with the minor things to make the event go smoothly. A good team player.

Our champions in Division K and they excelled in District Level. Kamalia won in Humourous Contest while Aaron came 2nd runner up in Speech Evaluation. Rebecca Chieng from Kuching was the best performer for winning the Speech Evaluation and coming 2nd in Humourous.

Once again, our club managed to achieve President’s Distinguished Club for 2014-2015. Posing behind is our Immediate Past President Hazwan Kamarulzaman.

Shawn can really rock the crowd as he showed during the welcoming dinner at Harris Hotel’s garden area

The choo-choo train…

Shawn again…

and yes… Shawn again…

Kwong Yue Yang documenting the welcoming dinner

The Strongest Division.

So what I have learnt from this contest is that our Division K (Brunei, Sabah and Labuan) is pretty, pretty strong and I am proud of it because it’s also a testament on how Division K work so hard collectively as a unit from time to time. Reuben Chin has a been a great ambassador as our Division K Director and he has been flying in and out to visit different clubs in Sabah and maintain that strong bond within the Division.

New friends, newer bonds.

I believe that’s the intention – to foster and empower individuals and that can made possible through having special bonds between one another. I created new bonds with friends from Indonesia, Sabah and even from down under (Australia & New Zealand). These small gestures made a huge difference for a successful conference and not just attending educational sessions or witnessing the contests. It’s deeper than that and the reward will be much more fulfilling.

I’ve never received many business cards until last weekend. Well, I was pitching and encouraging toastmasters from different parts of the world to visit Brunei and be part of next’s convention in November 2016 which means I had to carry out a bit of homework and laying the foundation first. The responses have been quite encouraging and I truly hope that the event next year will be a blast because I believe the team can turn it into a memorable and magical moment.


Pranika never looked happier *inside joke*

An interesting welcoming dinner concept

All eyes on the World Champion of Public Speaking 2015

Sandy taking a photo pop with the Mohammed Qahtani

I’m impressed with Stuart Lee being the contest chair for the Humourous Contest and he’s also one of the sponsors for the event.

I had a great connection with my role model whom is an awesome speech evaluator. I will definitely see you and the gang when I visit Sabah next time.

It’s good to see Brunei Advanced Speakers’ Club receiving an award

Before the big Gala dinner, we all had Burger King. I forgot to pay you Hazwan or are you “belanja-ing” us? 😀

The theme for the Gala dinner was Red and Black. This is the powerpoint and media table for the slides and music. It may looked easy but it wasn’t. You really have to focus and be alert. Well done, Nina and Seng Yee.

Pranika was one of the most popular toastmaster because she was always being picked on *lol* Then again, she had the best seat in the educational session where she given the opportunity to see right in front of Mohammed Qahtani. Pranika also made an impact as many spoke highly of her during the convention. Definitely an asset to our Area K6 and also to the organizing committee for next year’s convention

My appreciations.

Before I end, I would like to give a big shout out to Shawn Narcis and his wing-person Ruey Narcis on the amazing job in making our journey to Bali possible and also taking care of us despite your busy schedules. To me, Shawn has been a great ambassador for toastmasters in our Division and also to the District. If I were to choose, he will be our Toastmaster of the Year. A shoutout also to Rozana Yunos who pulled off a great Gala Dinner and we even had impromptu emcees to ease Hawzan’s role during the award ceremony. A job well done also to Shawn’s co-organising chair Liana Kwan in making the convention in Bali a success.

Most of all, I would like to appreciate the Brunei toastmasters for making it this far to Bali. It does mean a lot when you travel all the way from Brunei to attend a conference. It’s the small things that matter and you all have make a difference. Hence, the tagline for my convention in Brunei is “Making a Difference”. I look forward for next year’s conference in Sandakan hopefully if my travel plans permit.

Thank you once again for a memorable and magical convention. If you be in those moment, you will truly enjoy and I did. Peace out 😀

Quote from Shawn for the Brunei toastmaster group: “I miss all of you. Now only since I am back in Brunei, thinking of how great the event went, without each and everyone of you, the success would never have happened. I would like to apologize if I did anything wrong to hurt any of you. If I did, I didn’t do it on purpose.”

“The experience, the journey and the learning are only because we all are toastmasters from one District. That is why what we do, what we say, helped the members in our District. We will surely be stronger (as members of toastmasters). We all have wanted to learn what is toastmasters and now you know what toastmasters have given you. They have given you a new family who is willing to support your growth. So again, from the bottom of my heart , I love you, my toastmaster family.”


Dalton was the young hero of the weekend. A little gesture but it means a lot to Datin and she treats Dalton as her grandson. Awwwww.. Good job, Dalton.

Nur Iskandar and Allen trying to hold their laughs during the humourous speech contest.

My photo opportunity with Kwong. Let’s hope your fortune is brighter in the next competition.

International Director Patrick Oei with the toastmasters delegates

Truly had a good time with the committee. Truly proud of what we achieved even though it was in a foreign land.

One of the toughest job and that is finance. Allen Ang is in charge and it’s never an easy task to carry out.



Be Right Back (again)

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Currently outstation

Flying off with my toastmasters buddies to Bali, Indonesia two nights ago

Sorry for the lack of updates. Getting a good wifi connection is challenging in Bali. The Seagrass Villa looks awesome and everyone is happy but the internet speed could have been improved. Hence, it’s difficult for me to upload pictures and post in on my blog. So do bear with me for the lack of updates until I get a stable connection.

I will be away for a few weeks for leisure, toastmasters and a leadership course and this is the longest I will be away from Brunei. I will be more frequent on instagram and Snapchat feed (ranoadidas) so catch me there.

I can’t believe that this is my fourth first visit to Bali but I would have love if I had the chance to travel to Lombok which is only 20 minutes (by flight). Lombok is one of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia and it’s a pity that not many Bruneians travel there.

Interestingly enough, I had a quick briefing with the representatives of the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia and they shared how the Bruneians don’t really know about Indonesia but show great interests after being exposed to many places of interest in Indonesia alone during the recent Brunei Travel fair.

Sulaiman Shehdek, Country Manager from the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia, was pleased to announced that there was an increase of 2.71% of Bruneians traveling to Indonesia as compared to last year and this number could simply grow if the locals are more aware of the tourism product that Indonesia can offer. They already made their presence felt during the Brunei Travel Fair, taking up a huge space and the responses were overwhelming.

Yesterday the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia (for Brunei Market) upped the game by having business matching sessions with selected travel agents in Brunei to give more exposure and encourage more Bruneians to travel to Indonesia. With the Royal Brunei Airline flights to Surabaya, Jakarta and Bali, these shows that there is a huge potential in tourist arrivals from Brunei alone.

So to my readers, do make Indonesia a preferred choice for vacation. It was just a coincidence that the ministry invited me for a tourism briefing and I am here in Bali with my own agenda/plan and sharing my experiences in Bali once more.


Interviewing with representatives from Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia

The villa we are staying at for the past few nights

Amran doing a frog splash into the pool

We are simply too tired on the 2nd day

However the people in the other were more excited than us *lol*


Chilling at Tanah Lot

The beautiful sunset

Dining at one of the recommended places

Gary and Pranika enjoying their meals

Gerald with one of the fire dance performancers

Happy Birthday Seng Yee 😀


Ikhlas Run with Colours


There is gonna be a colour run but this time it has a tag line of “Ikhlas Run with Colours” and it is organised by the Seameo Voctech (where we always have our Brunei Speakers’ Club meetings) with Heroes BN as their event partner. The event is also in conjunction with the SEAMEO’s Golden Jubilee and SEAMEO VOCTECH’s silver jubilee.

For your info, SEAMEO means Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation whereas VOCTECH means Vocational and Technical Education and Training.

So this will be the first that there will be a 3KM and 5KM colour run in Brunei Darussalam. The run will take place on 15th November at the Indoor Stadium Berakas. The online registration ends on 30th October which is pretty soon. So click here to register and have fun 😀




I miss Taro

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News



Free labour charge on repairs for Peugeot



Late post: Bali 

Taking a swim at River Cafe at Maya Ubud

I didn’t take much photos at Bali since I didn’t go to many places of interests in Bali. Most of the time, I was staying at Ubud area which is quite remote from the popular cities of Kuta and Seminyak. Nonetheless, I had a great time bonding with my friends from all over the world at Ubud and learnt a thing or two that me aware of in the past week or so. Hence, why I am so inspired by David the Nomadic Lion who inspires others with his vision to spread humanitarian by means of walking and exchanging stories and cultures. He represents abundance and I am inspire to feel as abundant as him one day.

I shall be returning to Bali next year and my friends and I are already eyeing Lombok (a few hours away drive from Bali) which my friends recommended to visit and even David. Have a great weekend, peeps!!

At Clear Cafe. Similar to Energy Kitchen and I like the idea where you have to take your foot wear before entering

Creme Bulle at Room 4 Dessert

Nice desserts at Room 4 Dessert. Highly recommended.

Sophia playing with the grass

This is the luxurious villa at Maya Ubud

I accidentally wore my t-shirt inside out without realizing :S

Genevieve and Sophia trying out Kopi Luwak

Interesting filter for Kopi Luwak

I love the dinner concept at Maya Ubud

Having great fun at water rafting. The rapids weren’t as challenging.


Progresif Cellular 



SCR update 

The British High Commissioner hosted a Civil Society and Chevening Alumni Roundtable discussion and networking event recently at the Residence. The aim of the event was to bring together civil society organisations and Chevening Alumni to network, share best practice, find synergies and identify opportunities for collaboration

The British High Commissioner hosted a Civil Society and Chevening Alumni Roundtable discussion and networking event yesterday evening at the Residence. The aim of the event was to bring together civil society organisations and Chevening Alumni to network, share best practice, find synergies and identify opportunities for collaboration.

British High Commissioner H.E. David Campbell said “It was fascinating to hear from such a diverse range of organisations, all making a real contribution to Bruneian society and environment. Many were now planning their projects for 2015 which we will follow with close interest. It was good to have the perspective of our Chevening scholars too.”

Civil Society Organisations present covered a wide range of issues in Brunei from the environment (Green Brunei, Green Apeel), to wildlife (1stopbrunei Wildlife, CAS) to social welfare (SCOT, the Women’s Council, MKM, BASMIDA, Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council). All CSOs were invited to give short, forward looking presentations on their upcoming activities and projects. Also present were representatives from Standard Chartered Bank who gave a brief overview of the work they do in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility.




Enjoying Bali

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Bali Trip 

Having a great time at Room 4 Dessert at Ubud, Bali, with my buddies. Awesome dessert too!!

Managed to play tennis twice at Maya Ubud and they even have a tennis partner there. Jodie and I gave the tennis partner lots of work to do under the hot sun 😀

An interesting place at Tanah Lot. It’s quite a fair drive which was 1 and half hours from Maya Ubud

Love the view here at Tanah Lot. One of the best places to catch the sunset too.

A group photo with Will (third from left standing) the owner of Room 4 Dessert. It was so good that we came back the following night.

If you are lucky, they have some live music at the garden area behind Room 4 Dessert

Great food in Bali and I’m always full whenever I dine out

Managed to enjoy the breeze at Potato Head at Bali.

Chilling with Sophia at Potato Head and l love their lychee drink 😀




Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in DPMM FC, News

Skechers now opens

at Seria 

Catching up with the owner of GL Extra Enterprise, the sole distributor of Skechers, over dinner at iLotus. Thanks for hosting us 😀 Image courtesy of Ikhwan Salleh of The Brunei Times.

The management of Skechers Brunei with the local media
Thank you to Mr. Lim Kwee, the owner of Skechers Brunei for hosting us media for dinner the other night. He’s also the owner of GL Extra Enterprise that handles the leading outdoor camping store in Brunei Darussalam. Our dinner was held at a iLotus Restaurant and Mr. Lim’s intention was to simply appreciate the media for their contribution in spreading awareness on Skechers shoes and products.

Mr. Lim was happy to unveil the second outlet of Skechers at Plaza Seria in Seria which was opened to business since yesterday. The third branch will be somewhere in Kuala Belait.

The new store in Seria aims to target the niche market for the occupational industry shoes, owing to the large population of oil and gas workers living in Belait. This is a strategic area since many customers are from KB and Seria.

Since its opening in the final quarter of 2013, Skechers Brunei have been doing exceptional well because it’s a well known brand and also people have been commenting on its comfort.

Skechers ranges from casual to sports type so do check their GOwalk, GOrun and GObionic range. It’s good to see Skechers spreading its foothold in Brunei and the response has been favourable.

Skechers has a new outlet at Plaza Seria

The wide range of Skechers available

Hui Chiet trying out a pair at Skechers Kiulap branch last year

Love the colours of Skechers

Nice casual wear for the ladies

Glow in the dark Skechers


RB flies to Bali 😀 

The news that caught people’s attention

Flying four times a week. Not bad, not bad 😀

Wow, after a long, long hiatus, this is very good news for Brunei travelers. Royal Brunei Airlines, Brunei’s national air carrier, will resume its direct flights to Bali, Indonesia, by 26th July 2014. This is indeed a very positive move and the comments on social media have been favourable. Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) has been going through major changes ever since its rebranding programme and I remember the Dermot Mannion, Deputy Chairman of RB, hinted of more routes as part of their strategic expansion as well as meeting demands of customers.

So how many times they will fly? I believe it stated that it will fly four times a week. The flights will operate by an Airbus A319.

The flights from BSB to Bali, BI757 departs at 8.55 pm and will arrive at 11.20 pm on Tuesday,Wednesday,Saturday and Sunday. Flights from Bali to BSB, BI758 departs at 7.10 am and arrives 9.40 am on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. For now, you can’t book on flybruneiair.com but you can inquire on your preferred travel agents. I’m pretty sure RB will have special promotions for this new route.

Royal Brunei Airlines was established in 1974 and is wholly owned by the government of Brunei. RB started with an initial fleet of two aircraft, serving Singapore, Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. Royal Brunei Airlines now operates a fleet of 10 aircraft to 14 destinations in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Australia. RB is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s launch airline in Southeast Asia and with the recent deliveries of Dreamliners, Royal Brunei will have the distinction of operating the youngest long haul fleet in the world.

Royal Brunei Airlines won ‘Best Foreign Airline’ award in the category “Award For Best Airlines” at the Sabah Tourism Awards 2011. Last year, Brunei’s flag carrier won the Metro Time Shanghai Award for their Reader’s Airline of Choice and The Best Airline Provider from The European Asia.

Thank you RB for making this possible and it’s perhaps the best highlight moment after yesterday’s derailing topic that went viral (not RB related but I think you guys know what I mean). Below are just some of the images from my previous Bali trip back in 2012 and 2013. I will be heading again to Bali scheduled for November 2014. Who knows I might make another early trip before then.


My last trip last year August 2013 with my #superfriends buddies

This was at Potato Head. Highly recommended place to chill.

This was taken at the temple area. This was back in November 2012.

One of the activities I enjoyed was water rafting. Pure fun but it was quite a fair ride.

I managed to borrow this sign

I didn’t give a good impression since I thought it was easy to ride a scooter. I was struggling indeed and it’s super darn cheap to rent a bike there too. It was like $5 for 3 days but I only needed half an hour just to get a feel of it. Scary but scary fun 😀

My buddies whom I flew with back in 2012. We stayed at Maya Ubud and I truly love the place there. Quite remote and loads of green.

The villa rooms are quite common in Bali and the prices are quite reasonable as well.


Malppy Turns 1 

Click image to enter website
In the month of April, Malppy.com turned ONE! Malppy.com is very grateful to all their customers who have been supporting them thus far. As a thank you, Malppy.com is holding a few events online.

In celebration, Malppy.com is having a sale! In addition, as a thank you for your support, any purchase B$50 and above will receive a free gift from Malppy.com. The gift is a phone casing for iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5/5S. Offer is valid while stock lasts.


3 in a trot 



The highlights of last night’s game between Hougang United FC and DPMM FC



Hougang United FC 0


Steve Kean wasn’t happy with the performance despite the three points. He felt DPMM FC didn’t play well in the first half and judging from the video I watched, DPMM FC could have been down by at least two goals if it wasn’t for the poor finishing of Hougang United FC. The home side were putting crosses and causing DPMM FC problems in the first half and Kean admitted that they were quite fortunate to go into the break with a clean sheet.

He did give a good point that championship team sometimes don’t play to their maximum but they still get the three points and last night’s game was a great example.

DPMM FC had a better second half and they could have scored a few more too. It was good to see new faces from the bench getting time on the pitch especially Najib Tarif and Helmi Zambin. Perhaps the highlight of the game was Azwan Ali’s rare header that brought all the three points courtesy of a wonderful cross by substitute Najib in the 77th minute.

The match was already delayed at Hougang United FC due to heavy rain prior to the match and it would be a nightmare for defenders especially goalkeepers due to the wet conditions. A big shout out again to DPMM FC defence and Wardun in goal for salvaging the important clean sheet.

DPMM FC’s top scorer Rodrigo Tosi was unfortunate not to score late in the first half with a cheeky lob but his effort just missed wide of the open goal. Roy O’Donovan’s effort were being saved by Nazri Sabri in goal.

The home side Hougang United FC have themselves to blame for not taking their chances. DPMM FC now have leapfrogged Tampines Rovers FC by a point though the defending champions have one game in hand.

DPMM FC were missing two key players – Captain Rosmin Kamis who is being rested for calf injury while Sairol Sahari had to rest after a hip strain and both should be back in next week’s home game. It is not a good run for Hougang United FC who just came off a loss against Geylang International FC after conceding three late goals. Hougang United FC have proved to be a threat in the league with their new signings and I won’t be surprised if Hougang United end up in the top three this season.

Great job to the lads as well as the head coach and the team management in rebuilding DPMM FC from last season. It’s always a great feeling to be on top. Keep it up!! Some of the images below are courtesy of Alson Ong.


DPMM FC first team line up last night

Azwan Ali scored the winning goal with a great header in the 77th minute

Tosi lobbed an effort but it went just wide of the goal, late in the first half

Wardun Yussof holding off a challenge from Hougang’s Geison Moura

Students from Sekolah Menengah Rimba II supporting DPMM FC last night. They are in Singapore until Saturday for a student exchange program.

Free curry puffs for spectators last night (while stock lasts)

It was heavy pouring a few hours before the match. Good thing the match wasn’t called off.




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