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Posts Tagged ‘RAtravels’

28
Jun

Getting there

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Switch on and light up 
 


The showroom at Bobby Electrical Company located at Unit 9, Ground floor, Block B, Abdul Razak Complex.
 


Some of the wall lights available at the showroom
 

Now that’s a milestone to know of a local company that has existed for more than 30 years. If you are looking for electricity appliances especially bulbs, switches or fans, then head yourself to Bobby Electrical Company showroom based in Gadong. To be more specific, they sell electrical engineering products, from industrial cables and accessories to even LED bulbs.

The in-thing now is the LED bulb and I own a few to myself because it’s very economical and environmental friendly since it uses less energy than normal bulbs.

It was the first time to visit the showroom at Gadong and they actually revamped the showroom back in March to showcase to their customers on the benefits of the bulbs (GE, Meagan and others) and switches the company supplies. I’m quite sold with one bulb from “Meagan” where it has bluetooth capabilities as the one I’m currently using requires WiFi or wireless connection.

You may not think of it but hey, switches are quite important too. Bobby Electrical have brought in different variety of switches for your home or office. They have the Legrand “Arteor” range of switches or if you prefer the “Mallia” range from the same brand, a much more affordable brand. You can view the products from Legrand here.

So if you are looking for a minor refurbishment for your home before Hari Raya, Bobby Electrical Company can tailor to your needs and wants.

Apart from switches and bulbs, the company also sell electrical fans (mounted on ceiling) and also water heaters. So do check them out 😀

Perhaps you want something efficient for your home, Bobby Electrical Company also bring in this awesome product Fibaro Home Centre, which can support up to 200 devices especially if you have a big home. This means you can preset the environment of the particular rooms to “dining mode” or “movie mode” or “working mode” and by just a press of button, that all can be achieved.

Since it’s payday, why not allocate a budget aside and beauty your space before the Hari Raya season. Bobby Electrical Showroom is located at Unit 9, Ground Floor, Abdul Razak Complex (not far from Escape Square).

 


The down lights for your ceiling
 


The switches from Legrand.
 


Another range from Legrand, a higher end.
 


The in-thing now for LED lights because the shape allows to be fitted in most socket
 


Testing out the lights
 


More range of switches that are available
 


My favourite Bluetooth ready bulb from Megaman
 


Something for Hari Raya and quite lasting too
 

 


Water heater for your bathroom
 


Electrical fans too
 

  
 

 

The half way mark 
 

Almost the half way mark. It’s been a while since I actually blog, blog.. If you know what I mean. I’m still recovering from fever but the medication has been treating me well. So how have my year 2016 been so far? I would say it’s been amazing on many levels. A few ups and downs but mostly on the rise. Now let’s see how to categorize this in a simple manner.

Travels. It has been a slow period for my travels as compared to previous years. Surprisingly Singapore only once so far (or what is it twice?) I can’t remember but I did remember it was for the recent Volkswagen Sportsvan trip and a short one as well. I traveled to Taiwan (missed this city and it was raining cold then), Ho Chi Minh, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Jakarta (too much traffic) as well.

I was more intrigued with my Ho Chi Minh trip because it has been 10 years since I visited the city. Back then, I was skeptical about my trip to Vietnam due to the passport issues that most Brunei Permanent Residents will face. It was known that the brown look-a-like passport known as Certificate of Identity (CI) has been an ongoing issue in other countries (not regional) but I was surprised that Vietnam made it difficult for CI holders. The best trick is to bring an official letter from the Vietnam Embassy in Brunei and show it to the immigration officer to make our CI document legit to enter their cities.

Other than that, I love Ho Chi Minh and how they have diversified as well as becoming more developed. Even the cinemas were up to scale like those in Singapore and Thailand. Even a 4Dx experience. Interesting indeed. The food are great as usual and they have choices of halal restaurant (mostly run by Malaysians) but some of the food are a hit or a miss in these halal establishments. I love their coffee too. A must try if you happened to fly to Vietnam. Oh thank you to Fitflop for flying me to Ho Chi Minh City last February.

My next trips could be to Manila (supposed to fly with the boys last weekend) and KK (mid July) and if all goes as planned, Singapore 😀 So I would rate my travel trip so far a 7/10.

 


My second trip to Ho Chi Minh City.
 


I did my shopping at Mustafa Centre, Singapore to donate to the orphanage back in May. Thanks Volkswagen Brunei for the opportunity.
 


Shawn buying a few cartons of the Mi Goreng crackers called Chitato. I have to say it’s nice but quite salty.
 


The much hyped indo-mee cafe was such a disappointment in one of the malls at Jakarta
 

Friendship. Ah, Rano is heading onto a personal road now. It has definitely shifted over the years and I realised that has been my pattern. If I look back since I came back to Brunei after my studies, I have at least 5 cycles that I went through and I believe that’s part of life. I still rank friendship as the highest form of love and I’m blessed that all the cycles I have been through, they are still my buddies to date. It’s just that we have parted to different directions but still respect each other as friends.

Now my circle of friends are mostly from tennis and toastmaters as they are the bunch of people I interact with the most. That’s for the simple reason that I’m quite involved in these said activities. Of course, they are still a small bunch (outside those circles) that I catch up with now and then. But of all the “cliqs” that I went through, it was both my “awesome foursome” gang (2009) and RA6 (2003) that I missed a lot.

I would want to talked about relationship but it has no relevance for now since I’m not dating anyone. After a mutual break-up late last year, the transition took a little while. Well, that’s the case for most post-relationship scenarios, right? One thing that I would to share is that I’m blessed that we can still be friends and catch up with no expectations at all. Now, won’t that be an excellent approach in any relationship? … which is very hard in any case to give unconditional love and care.

Right now, I just focus on my mission to empower people to the best I can and be the light for others. Relationship is secondary and age is just a number 😀

 


The impromptu reunion of the RA6
 


The awesome foursome. Shot taken at Hua Hin, Thailand back in 2010.
 

BU2562. Now what is the significance of this number? It’s my plate car number and it belongs to my 13 year old Hyundai Santa Fe. Now I bring this up is because I finally have to give in, the fact that my car has already exhausted all the possibilities to be safe on the road. Now with a faulty transmission (hard-to-find spare part), it’s almost impossible to not be worried while driving on the road. Twice the car suddenly turned off its engine while I was turning in and locked my steering wheel. I was fortunate that there weren’t any cars heading my direction.

My almost defunct Santa Fe is still in the workshop, waiting for its parts to be replaced. It was tough to let go as it has so much sentimental value to me. It was my form of transportation to secure deals with clients and meeting friends. In other words, it was also a mark of my independence as I wanted to be less dependant on my family. Even through my hardship (financially), I won back the car twice from the HSBC Car Yard. That’s how much I value my nameless car. But for now, I’m driving my brother’s secondary car as my means of transport. Well, it’s better than nothing. But at the same time, I’m also hunting for a good deal on cars.

 


A small parody on my car classic car
 

Clienteles. This year, I must say, it’s quite challenging. Due to the drop in oil prices, it indirectly affect my blog in terms of advertisement. In the end of the day, it’s about how you climb out of that rut because this is also a test of your resilience. Back in the early years, I had a lot of homework in finding clients, meaning that I was trying to close sales for my blog. Yes, it was fun back then and it has been a while since I actually do that. I have to pull my socks up and be more active.

For this year’s sungkai, I saw a huge drop in clienteles but it was necessary for my case because I was aiming for quality in recreating a different avenue for my clients. For that, I have to thank Filterworks Production (do check out their videos) for providing that extra edge in our Sungkai coverage and the responses have been very encouraging. This also has opened new doors and opportunities due to our collaboration and now we already secured a few jobs.

A big thank you to all my clients (past and present) for utilizing my services and trusting how it can be impactful in getting the messages across. The remaining 2016 will be an interesting one indeed.

 


Our latest project with Filterworks at The Potters
 


Filterworks on the set at Pepperlunch two weeks ago
 

Toastmasters. How can I not mention of this topic. My friends kept saying that my Snapchat has tons of tennis and toastmasters. It does show how passionate I am in giving back what I learn to the community. There are plenty of reasons why I’m passionate about toastmasters. It’s not just only about public speaking but also on your leadership track where it tests my patience, my discipline and my responsibility. It totally has changed my perspective as an individual as I used to be quite defensive and judgmental when I get evaluated by my peers. Now I’m much calmer and able to listen on constructive feedback for my own good.

Speaking of toastmasters, I will be chairing a mega toastmasters event this October to be held at Rizqun International Hotel. Excited and nervous? Hell yes!!! It’s just four months away and our team has been very busy preparing for the convention. We have three international speakers, two of each are former World Champion of Public Speaking – Dananjaya and Willie Jones. It’s open to all of you and of course, there will be a fee involved which is BND 200 for a three day event. If you are interested, you can reach me ranoadidas gmail.com. I can assure you that this convention will be a great eye opener and I highly recommend for you to sign up for the convention 😀

 


The moment I pretended to be Dwayne Johnson in one of my speeches
 


Click image to enter our official website
 

Movies. Another passion of mine after toastmasters and tennis. Those who know me well know that I’m a movie buff but not necessarily that I will watch all movies. There are a handful of blockbuster ones that I choose to miss – Ride Along 2, TMNT 2, Divergent and a few more. Overall, I’m quite content with the 2016 releases for the first half of the year. I have to say though that the summer movies haven’t been all that and it fizzled after the release of Captain America: Civil War in early May. But thank god movies like The Conjuring 2, Central Intelligence and Finding Dory gave me some hope for summer movies.

The best movie this year so far have been Captain America: Civil War and Zootopia. I would also like to highlight Deadpool and it’s one of the best comic adaptation. It actually made more money than X-Men: Apocalypse (not to my liking).

Summer movies so far have been mediocre. TMNT2 (judging from Rottentomatoes), Independence Day (bleurgh), Now You See Me 2 (super ridiculous), Warcraft and even X-Men: Apacolypse are all subpar at best. Last year’s were better with movies such as Inside Out, Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Mad Max: Fury Road (my no.1 movie of 2015). Well, the summer releases this year are not complete just yet but I’m not hoping for much though.

 


One of the best movies of 2016. I can’t wait for my blu-ray to arrive from the States
 


Totally disappointed. It feels like a combo of Independence Day with Transformer 4 and Transporter
 

The era of Snapchat? Only in 2016, I have been heavily invested in using my snapchat more than my Insta. Well, I still scroll on my IG feeds and catch up on my friends’ feeds too. However, Snapchat has a more personal touch. So what if the posts get deleted after 24 hours. That’s the point and the fact that no one can comment or like that particular post makes it less intrusive in a way. Snapchat surprisingly is still new to some and not all are inclined to install Snapchat as they are more comfortable with their current social media accounts.

I would say that Snapchat will slowly grow in numbers and many corporate companies will see the benefit by using Snapchat as part of a marketing tool. Right now, the demographics of Snapchat users are relatively young. For my feeds, since I follow too many people on my list, I have to honestly say that I didn’t go through all their “stories” and surprise, surprise (or no surprise at all) is that Snapchat eats a lot of your data… mmmmmm. To let you know, I’m not so much into the filters inside Snapchat as most of my peers are.

So if you want to follow my snaps, just add me @ranoadidas and catch the personal side of me.

 


Have you snapchatted? 😀 Is there any such word though?
 

 

  
 

 

Giving back to the community 
 


KBSentral Management with one of the recipients
 

KBSentral Shopping Centre in Kuala Belait contributed donations to six recipients today who are underprivileged, in an event organized by staff from the KBSentral Property Management.

Presenting the donations was the KBSentral’s Marketing & Event Manager Anwar Rosly, who explained that the donation was aimed to alleviate the recipients’ families’ burden during the month of Ramadhan.

The charity effort which is called The Limpahan Kasih Donation Drive is one of KBSentrals Corporate Social Responsibility project on lending a helping hand towards the underprivileged families.

The contributions were also intended to assist the families in preparing for the upcoming Hari Raya celebrations.

Among the donations given were kitchen goods worth $150.00 from KBSentral itself as well as donations handed to KBSentral which were sponsored by Jaya Hypermart such as Pensonic Toaster Oven, cartons cans of Pepsi and Sunny Soya Bean, Mee Goreng Sedap and Soto Sedap, packets of Beras Wangi and tins of Jacob Creamy Crackers.

One of the recipients, expressed gratitude to KBSentral and the Management staff for the assistance extended to those who are in need of help.

The event included a group photo together as well as mingling with the recipients’ families, getting to know them and understanding their plight as well as well-being.

For further information, please call 3339889 or email to kbsentralmarketing@gmail.com

 


Anwar Rosly, KBSentral’s Marketing & Event Manager, handing over Beras Wangi to one of the recipients
 


Norazizah Awang Damit, KBSentral’s Marketing & Event Assistant handing over a donationa to one of the recipients
 

 

  
 

27
May

The time has come

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Volkswagen contributes to the community 
 

 


Recently a group of media from Brunei did some shopping at Mustafa Centre, Singapore, and buying necessities for the under privileged children at Darul Ihsan Orphanage, Singapore. This was organised by Volkswagen Singapore and Brunei as part of their contribution to the community especially before the month of Ramadhan just around the corner. The items were transported by the newly launched Volkswagen Sports Van which will make its way to Brunei next week.
 


Louis and I shopping for milo and milk at Mustafa Centre recently in Singapore
 

 


Stocking up items at the Volkswagen Sports Van. Surprisingly spacey and it was able to load a lot of things at the back.
 

 


Can you spot me? 😀
 

 


The local media from Brunei had a great time shopping for the orphans. We overshot our budget but in the name of charity 😀
 


The items being unloaded at the orphanage
 

 

  
 

Congratulations Razali 
 


Mohd Razali Hj Junaidi won a trip for two to watch the opening match of the UEFA EURO Cup 2016 receiving the prize from Firdaus Mokim, Head of Marketing and Public Relations of BIBD At-Tamwil last weekend. Image courtesy of Analisa Amu of The Brunei Times.
 


Mohd Razali with other consolation winners. Image courtesy of Analisa Amu of The Brunei Times.
 

Late post: It was a pleasant surprise for Mohd Razali Hj Junaidi who won a trip for two to watch the opening match of the UEFA EURO Cup 2016 in France as the grand prize in a lucky draw by Grand Motors Sdn Bhd, the sole distributor of Kia vehicles in the sultanate.

The ‘Kia Lucky Drive to France’, which is one of the initiatives that is in partnership between UEFA EURO 2016 and the Kia distributor, aimed to boost the sports marketing approach of Kia and enrich customer’s driving experience.

“I am indeed happy with the prize and didn’t expect to win the trip. I am yet to see whether I can make it (to the trip) or not,” said Mohd Razali who recently bought a Kia Cerato in April.

The grand prize is inclusive of airfare, meals and hotel accommodation apart from watching the opening match and having a cultural experience tour of the host country.

The draw, which took place at Kia’s showroom in Beribi, also saw four other lucky winners receiving attractive prizes.

Nicholas Stuart Hendry and Nati Sumarto respectively won a 64GB Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and 32GB Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

Meanwhile, Noraha Abdul Malek took home with her a Samsung Gear S2 Smart Watch and Mohd Rifa’ie Muhd Shahren won a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2.

Present during the draw were Baiduri Finance sales officers Md Saabeq Chong and Solon Chong as well as its Sales Manager Hj Muhd Ali BM Hj Metussin.
Also present were representatives from BIBD AT-Tamwil, Deputy Head of Marketing, Asharul Norshari and Head of Marketing and Public Relations Firdaus Mokim.

There were ten shortlisted finalists who were randomly selected in a draw on May 13 out of over 200 customers who purchased Kia vehicles from March 1 until April 30 this year. Apart from the grand draw, Grand Motors Sdn Bhd also launched the enhanced Kia Cerato with its new aesthetic features that is sporty and will surely capture the young and the young-at-heart.

Interested customers may visit any Kia showrooms or call 2453101 to book a test drive. There will be another test drive session in Tutong this Sunday and also a roadshow on 28-29 May at Hua Ho Petani Mall, Tutong. Text and images courtesy of Analisa Amu of The Brunei Times.

 


The roadshow and test drive at Hua Ho Petani, Tutong on Saturday and Sunday
 

 

  
 

 

Consumer Fair No.18 
 


Yang Mulia Dato Paduka Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gapar, the Acting Minister of Ministry of Development (center) with Mr Jackson Ting, Managing Director of D’Sunlit and Dato Paduka Haji Danial Haji Hanafiah, Executive Director of D’Sunlit
 

The highly anticipated 18th Consumer Fair was officially launched at the International Convention Centre, Berakas this morning, which was officiated by Yang Mulia Dato Paduka Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gapar, the Acting Minister of Ministry of Development in the International Convention Center, Berakas yesterday. At the opening was Managing Director of D’Sunlit Sdn Bhd, Mr Jackson Ting and Executive Director, Dato Paduka Haji Danial Haji Hanafiah, who gave an welcoming note at the start of the proceedings.

This iteration features the Food Fest, with lots of exploratory culinary experiences from award winning chefs, with baking classes from Bake Culture, food demonstrations by Her’s Kitchen, and Latte art by Piccolo.

Exciting activities await such as the “Junior Chefs Cookout and “Family Cook Out” by Hers Kitchen, Ice cream decorating challenge, Treasure Hunt Maze, photo booth, and a blood donation campaign by RIPAS.

After the opening ceremony, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gapar visited the various booths, which includes the 9th Thai Grand Fair featuring fresh exotic fruit, imported from Thailand. WIth over 400 booths with 180 exhibitors from Malaysia, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Cambodia, India, Singapore and Brunei, there’s something for everyone.

 


At the Concepts Computer booth. There is a special promotion. If customers buy an Acer pendrive (16GB), you will get another free. This promotion also applies to selected power banks and hard disks too. Great deal 😀
 


The VR glasses at Samsung booth (DST)
 


Baking Demo classes at the Consumer Fair, organised by Bake Culture
 

 


Baking demo
 


The VR glasses at Samsung booth (DST)
 


Check out the Koppair (inflatable bean bag without beans but simply air). Good pricing as well at BND 125. Do follow them at @koppla.bn on instagram
 


Photo booth
 


Thailand Grand Fair
 


Thailand Grand Fair
 


The crowd at Consumer Fair lately. Image courtesy of Concepts Computer
 

  
 

Congratulations BHC 
 


BHC Editor Amir Noor (2nd L) with Butra HeidelbergCement Sdn Bhd Managing Director Marcelino Ugarte (2nd R), BHC Project Director Stuart Lee (L), MMW Creative Director Hamdi Matussin (R) cut the cake during BHC’s 4th Anniversary celebration at Starbucks, Beribi. Image courtesy of Ikhwan Salleh of The Brunei Times. Click image to read more.
 


Congratulations to the team behind BHC – Butra Home Concept
 

  
 

24
May

3 more days

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

RA travels to Jakarta 
 

 

The Good, The So-So and The Bad. Ah, Jakarta.. It has been more than 10 years since my last visit to the city. I remember my last trip was with regards to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf trip, meeting potential franchisors in the region. I didn’t have much sentimental value back then but that changed over the course of the weekend during our toastmasters trip to attend the Jakarta Conference 2016.

I’m already feeling the pressure as I have volunteered myself to be responsible in running the Brunei Conference 2016 coming October. Then again, I have a reliable set of team in Brunei and it will also test my leadership skills in managing the event and striking the right chords with my team too.

 


Kashish Ajit Harjani (3rd from left) won the the Table Topics District Contest in Jakarta last weekend
 


Denish Vaswani (3rd from left)
 


Reuben Chin interviewing Pranika Lama
 


The contestants from the tables topic contest
 


With Allen, Fen and Pamela during Welcoming Dinner
 

So the Good… Well, I like the setting of the toastmasters conference. The venue was spot on for the toastmasters delegate and spacious as well (to a certain extent.. explain later). I can learn some pointers for the banner/backdrop that was used during the conference. The hotel we stayed at Santika Hayam Wuruk was pretty cool though the rooms were slightly small and it was about BND 650 for five nights.

The best part of the conference was the re-connecting with old faces and breaking the ice with new ones. Despite the minor friction from different divisions in our District, I made acquaintance with a few toastmasters members from Medan, Jakarta and Kuching. I learnt that I am able to get out of the comfort zone (as in being with my team members) and meet other members outside the Brunei contingent. That’s one way of expanding your horizons instead of imploding. This I have to take note for future conferences.

My final say of the juicy part of the conference was the actual speech contest, notably the International Speech category. Of course, we were all in Jakarta to support our Division champion Pranika Lama, a UBD Toastmasters member, and it was her first time reaching this level. I had faith in her speech because of her pure dedication and commitment to bring the best out of her.

To my surprise, the other contestants were equally good or better. They have just raised the bar for District 87 and sometimes it does pay when you have experience under your belt in this level. Dinesh Vaswani and Rebecca were no strangers and they had a 1-2 finish respectively and well-deserved too. As for Pranika, I truly grateful to witness you just being on stage and delivered a masterful delivery and many would be inspired to be a better speaker like you.

 

Now the so-so. It was cool know the fact that even a turnover of Chairmanship happened three times, things doesn’t necessarily will run smoothly. It means more transference and hand-over deals that could have been avoided before the actual conference. The Annual Conference is the second biggest after the World Conference and we could see teething problems along the way which I hope the organizing committee will bring it up during their post mortem.

Our rooms weren’t handled to a delicate manner and there were a few miscommunication with the logistic person and the front office of the hotel. It took me an hour to settle my room situation upon arrival.

Another teething problem was the actual contest. Yes, I did praise about the good quality speeches but behind the scenes, it was a total mess. There were no specific Organizing Chair for the contest. Nico from Medan was their standby emcee. Even the organizing chairperson asked me halfway during the contest if I could interview the contestants (But we all know that’s the task of the Contest Chair who happened to be Reuben and Pamela).

Among all these setbacks during the contest, I have to applaud Reuben Chin for lifting the energy of the audience when there was an unexpected delay before the prize presentation due to contestants’ protests on some matters. He was purely magical and charismatic in carrying the flow for at least 20 minutes to buy time for the Chief Judge to decide.

Like I said, just some teething problems that could have been avoided with proper communications. Something that we can’t take for granted.

 


Peter Voon from Bintulu and Gerald Goh
 

 

 


Yay, our area got awarded from Toastmasters International
 


Area K6, one of the strongest group in Division K, District 87
 

Now the Bad. Honestly, as a member of our toastmasters District 87, I was hoping for a better leadership from the District. The “Reaching Up, Reaching Out” but it didn’t reach the heights that was quite ambitious by our District Director. Perhaps the lowest point was when the District Director avoided a legit question by our Area K6 Director Allen Ang who raised concerns on the financial aspect of the District 87. A similar question was raised back in October 2015 in Bali but it was brushed off. This time, the District Director and the Finance Manager were put in the spotlight for a few minutes but their replies were fruitless and inconclusive. I felt embarrassed as a member that our leaders are not capable to answer a straight forward question and just be accountable for their actions. I hope the next term will turn things around with the newly elect Ivy Lau as the Division Director 2016-2017.

Another note, I wasn’t impressed with the Gala Dinner. We started quite early and we always know how draggy the Gala Dinner will be because of the award session. This is the time where toastmaster members and clubs will be recognized for their achievements and milestones. This is the time where delegates will sacrifice their personal time and fly to Jakarta at their own expense to receive their award.

However, it didn’t go as planned. The entertainment took bulk of the session over dinner where the awards should have given much importance. In the end, the award ceremony only started after 10pm which is pretty late and the overall experience seemed so rushed. It was probably the fastest award ceremony I’ve experienced as a delegate and it felt it was given less importance. Something for the organizers to look back and analyze on this event. The entertainment was already great on the Welcoming Dinner but to have on both nights, you will need to strike a balance on the Gala Dinner.

 

 


Brunei Speakers’ Club were awarded with two accolades
 

 


One of the energetic speakers at the Jakarta Conference. Cheeky too.
 

 


Our District leaders for Brunei, Indonesia, KK, Kuching and Labuan
 


During the District Council Meeting last Friday
 


Allen Ang raised a few valid points that still remains unanswered from District
 


The panels of District 87 leaders
 


The flag bearers for the opening ceremony
 


Some night activities during Welcome Dinner
 

There are many others that I want to highlight but I shall leave that offline. Overall, I had a splendid time because of the people around that I connected and reconnected with. Thank you, once again, to the organizers but don’t take my feedback personally but as a learning lesson.

Having said all these, it might backfire since I am the next organizing chair. I’m not raising any expectations for my conference either but at least, we as a team want to make everything run as smooth and make the delegates especially the international ones feel like home. That time will come and we will be ready to host all of you.

 


With the beautiful Pranika
 

 


Dinesh one of the most experienced public speaker. He will fly to Washington to compete in the World Conference this August. Good luck 😀
 


One of the table topics speaker
 


I was pitching for the delegates to come over to Brunie
 


Team KK are well ahead as they have secured 100 paying registrants for their convention next year
 

 

  
 

12
Mar

Taipei Day 2

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Taipei Day 2 
 


Strolling with Kurapak on a wet morning while he was active GoPro-ing
 


It was a long ride because of the traffic congestion, heading to King Car plant and head office (for Mr. Brown)
 


I took over @mrbrownbrunei account on the 2nd of our trip 😀
 


At the King Car’s head office. The tin can versions of Mr. Brown.
 


King Car Group Company also produce other drinks
 


The Mr. Brown employees at King Car head office
 


Had some nice coffee too during the visit
 


It was raining all day in Taipei as we explored King Car plant
 


The Brunei delegates watching a video presentation of King Car’s journey
 


I was kinda thirsty during the tour. Thank you, Mr. Brown
 


Entering Mr. Brown’s factory gallery
 


The storage for the product once being packaged
 

 


This is the first ever can being produced in the factory
 


Interesting to see the assembly line and how the cans are being boxed
 


Ricky showing us around the gallery of the factory and he has been working for King Car for four years
 

The assembly line is so automated. Only two staff are working in most of these machine operated places.
 

Kurapak checking out the coffee beans. The taste of Mr. Brown is a mixture from different countries.
 


The actual beans
 


Taking a shot with Mr. Brown
 


Taking a selfie by the sifu
 


Our lunch at Ali Baba… yummy Indian food
 


We were mostly hungry due to the cold weather
 


Ahh.. In need of caffeine
 


The lamb shish kebab
 


We were all satisfied
 


It was raining all day
 

 


A visit to Taipei 101 shopping area
 

  

 

26
Feb

Zootopia

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Zootopia 
 

Listen to the podcast review of Zootopia. A must watch 😀

 

  
 

Vietnam Round 2 
 


Soon Tiong, representative from Hua Ho Manggis sending Azli Azney of The Brunei Times and I at the Brunei International Airport last Tuesday as we departed for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
 


Traveling on National Day, Royal Brunei Airlines served this on the plane. Awesome!! Well done on the viral image of RB’s women pilots recently. Apparently it has reached more than 2 million viewers, thanks to the power of social media.
 

It’s great to be back in Vietnam after 10 years. The last time I flew here was backpacking with a friend as we traveled to three cities – Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Siam Reap. I’m happy that I finally made it to Vietnam recently. I had this fear that I won’t be able to make it to the country as passport or should I say my Certificate of Identity may encounter problem at the immigration counter upon my arrival.

Yes, there have been cases where families have been sent back to Brunei as the immigration doesn’t recognize the brown book (our version of Brunei passport) and this is despite having a valid visa from the Vietnam Embassy in Brunei Darussalam. Then at one stage, Vietnam temporarily stopped from COI holders to enter Vietnam before opening the opportunity again to COI holders. So the back and forth saga didn’t really give much confidence to me and other COI holders.

This time, I had no choice but to take the risk as I accepted to do a coverage in Ho Chi Minh City for a FitFlop regional launch event. As you may have recalled that my previous FifFlop coverage was at Bohol, the Philippines. This time round, it’s in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The application fee is kinda pricey (BND 80). Malaysia is the cheapest I think (below BND 10) while Thailand visa costs BND 50. I’m also given an official letter, written in Vietnamese, from the Vietnam Embassy that the COI document is recognized by Vietnam and acts as my safety net should any problem arises.

I did manage to get my travel document chopped but it took the immigration officer a while to do so. He had to consult with his colleagues on my brown book and also the official letter. So I’m glad after a few minutes of internal discussion, the officer was convinced that my COI document is legit and it was a huge relief for me.

So to all the Certificate of Identity holders, don’t worry about traveling to Vietnam. Just make sure you get bring the official letter to state the legitimacy of the COI document. It really does help. And yes, Ho Chi Minh City is a great city to visit as it has developed in the past 10 years and affordable too.

I will posting a dedicated coverage on FitFlop tomorrow. So ladies, you can check out the latest design for FitFlop for the coming Spring Summer Collection of 2016. Thank you once again to Hua Ho Manggis and FitFlop for giving me this opportunity. I’ve been wearing them at home and FitFlop also gave me two new pairs to bring back home. One word – comfy 😀

 


How the visa looks like for those holding the Brunei’s Identity of Certificate. It costs BND 80.
 


The official letter from the Vietnam Embassy in Brunei Darussalam to state that the COI document is recognized and valid. Show this two-paged letter at the immigration upon arrival. It saves the hassle from being interrogated.
 


Yea, we have our own signboard from FitFlop and thank you, Huong, for taking care of the Brunei delegates
 


We bought the sim card at the arrival hall of the airport. I subscribed for the 3G bandwidth which ran out after two days (too much IG-ing and Snapchatting). Do get the Viettel line.
 


The bikes are aplenty but now the number of cars are rising compared to 10 years ago
 


Emma Saunter unveiling the Miami collection for the Spring Summer collection of FitFlop for 2016 at Villa Song Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City
 


I kinda like the cinema environment at Cinema Liberty Hotel. Very impressive.
 


…. and I caught Deadpool for the second time. It’s not censored too.
 


The hotel room at Liberty Citypoint is pretty awesome too. Spacious and internet speed is pretty fast too. The going rate is BND 170-180 per night.
 

  
 

30
Sep

Hoping for a miracle

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Haze keeps us closer (indoors) 
 

Hello peeps!!! I’m currently in Singapore and yes, I’m braving the haze here. It seems that Singapore and Malaysia are really affected and perhaps the worst affected area will be around Sumatra. I’m pretty sure it has a slight detrimental effect on the Singapore economy as people tend to stay indoors. Last week, the PSI reading was over 300 (hazardous), the government declared that all schools in Singapore to shut down for that particular day.

Brunei do get hazy every now and then but it’s not as bad as Singapore or Malaysia. I could smell the haze when I was paying a visit to Vivo City last Monday. The good thing is that the masks are in stock as compared to 2013 where the masks were high in demand but low on supply. So I suggest to Bruneians who are visiting Singapore to put on a mask if possible.

Last night’s match between DPMM FC and Home United for the Singapore Cup was also postponed due to the haze. However, the fans were not pleased as the organisers delayed the match for an hour plus before calling the game off and postponed it to tonight. It’s a tricky situation where organisers have to make a brave decision to proceed with the match or take precaution of the players’ body condition. This has not play quite well with the supporters and the fans have been vetting out their frustrations on the S•League Facebook Page too. Well, from the looks of it, the haze today doesn’t look any better and what will be the fate of the match which supposedly taking place tonight… hmmmm.. We shall wait and see.

 


This is my view right now while blogging this entry. What a hazy day in Singapore. Taken at the Club Lounge of Hotel Jen Orchardgateway.
 


My recent visit to Universal Studios for the Halloween Horror Nights 5. More on this soon.
 

Now why I am in Singapore is for a few reasons – 1) Do my visa for Denmark 2) get a pair of Adidas Barricade shoes for tennis 3) catching up with friends/bloggers (Tiffany, Frances, J.T) 4) catching Black Mass – verdict: 7/10 5) a special invite for the Halloween Horror Night 5 #HHN5 at Universal Studios 6) my stay experience at Hotel Jen Orchardgateway.

From the looks of it, it ain’t a bad itinerary. The only miracle I hope for now is making sure I get on my flight to Copenhagen by Monday latest. It’s gonna slightly tough but I’m glad the Singapore team (from Bang & Olufsen), the Brunei team too and the Denmark Embassy in Singapore are doing the best they can to make sure my visa gets approved as soon as possible.

Apparently I found out that my passport is slightly trickier than the Brunei passport. I’m a permanent resident of Brunei Darussalam and we don’t use passports like Brunei citizens would. We have what we call Certificate of Identification of Brunei Darussalam printed on the brown colour passport look-a-like. Hence the Royal Danish Embassy in Singapore shared that my particular passport will take at least 7 working days and not 5 day or less for others. This is the fact that I’m holding a CI document (the PR passport) and it will take longer to process the visa application.

So what I learnt from this lesson (trip) is that we Brunei PR will spend more money (flying and staying in Singapore just for a 60 euro Visa) and the second most important thing is you have to apply at least 3 weeks before (to be safe) to Schengen countries like Denmark, Sweden and Norway to name a few. I never expected it to be this difficult but all I have to do now is just wait from the Royal Danish Embassy to give me the green light by Friday or latest by Monday.

If you ask me personally if there’s any perks of holding a CI document/passbook, nah, there’s not much improvement as not many countries recognizes this particular travel document. Do we permanent residents deserve a travel document that’s called a Passport? Yes, we do.. I do hope the “Yang Berhormats” take notice of this issue as this motion has not been approved after countless attempts at the Legislative Council. We need the convenience and assurance especially when we travel to certain countries. For me, it’s the costs and inconvenience that I have to experience during my travel journey. Let’s bring this matter urgently in the next LegCo meeting. Some improvements are needed at least.

Oh man, I’ve been ranting here on the 19th floor of Hotel Jen with the view of the haze in front of me. Let’s hope for brighting things to come and I want to get my butt on the plane to Denmark. I’m signing off for now.. Have a wonderful week ahead..

 

  
 

Awareness of FS-ers
 

 

Press release from Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam. Have you heard of financial scams? They are scams involving deposits, money transfers and credit card transactions. Although some financial scams are too good to be true, there are many people that still become victims.

These are the common financial scams in Brunei:

1. Get-rich-quick scheme: a plan, which offers high returns or dividends not usually available through traditional investments. The focus of such schemes would be to obtain deposits without a valid product or services which will be used to pay returns or dividends to earlier investors. The scheme may take the following forms:

  Ponzi scheme

  Pyramid scheme

  Gold investment

  Land-banking investment

  Forex trading

2. Credit card scam: Scammers calling victim’s phone pretending to be a bank officer informing that the victim’s credit card is suspected of crime. For verification purpose, the victims will be deceived into providing their credit card details.

3. Job scam: Scammers pretending to offer a job in their organisation. However, in order to secure the job offer, the victim must pay an upfront fee.

4. Lottery and competition scam: Scammers send out an SMS blast to would-be victims informing them of prizes they have won in competitions organised by some big companies and are advised to pay an entrance fee.

5. Inheritance Scams: Scammers assume the role of lawyers or representatives for a recently deceased distant relative or wealthy benefactor leaving a large inheritance usually in cash of which is to be distributed amongst them at an agreed percentage.

6. Internet love scam: (LOL, never been duped by this before) By creating fake profiles, fraudsters have managed to exploit the other users by pretending to develop an intimate and personal relationship with their victims.

 


The grand prize for the Open Category to top off with the BND 1,200 cash prize
 

AMBD believe that it is important to educate the public and raise their awareness to protect innocent people from becoming unfortunate victims. Show your support and creativity by creating a short video on financial scams awareness!

Well, there’s a good incentive for you to join!! Because the winners will win awesome prizes. For the Open Category, first place will win BND 1,200 cash prize with a GoPro Hero 4 Silver Edition, second place will win BND 900 cash prize with Sony Handycam while third place will win BND 600 with Sony HDR. There will also be student category with cash prizes for top three winners – BND 1,000, BND 750 and BND 500 respectively.

I won’t spare much details here but you can download the PDF form for eligibility and other information. Good luck and the deadline for submission is 30th October 2015.

 

 

16
Jun

One more day

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in Uncategorized

 

Bangkok: Day 3 

 

Yesterday it was more of a pampering session. The morning session we paid a visit to Dermaster. It’s Thailand’s premier beauty and anti-aging service and it sounds like a niche market but when you compare with the services in Singapore, the prices are pretty reasonable and competitive against the regional countries.

What impressed me first is the service and the facilities Dermaster provides. It’s huge, three storey high and it even has a royal suite and specifically rooms for exclusive members. This show that they really take care of their customers.

They have 10 certified professionals ranging from different specialists (skin, hair, aesthetic, hair) and they will provide you a thorough consultation to tailor to your needs.

What caught my interest is the aesthetic and body center. I have heard of Thermage but never much of it until yesterday. It does wonder to your skin and the procedure is non-invasive, using radio frequency cosmetic procedure. Normally this will costs a bomb in Singapore but at Dermaster, it’s almost half the price.

Another that caught my eye is the “cool sculpting”, a revolutionary non-surgical body contouring treatment that eliminates stubborn fat (like mine) *lol* Yes, I do have a lot of side handles but of course, I have myself to blame for the poor control of food consumption on a daily basis. When I saw the presentation of “coolsculpting”, I was like… yes… finally..

However, an international officer consultant advised me that cool sculpting will be more effective after you tried all possible ways of losing weight such as exercising and dieting. If all natural methods seem to fail, then “cool sculpting” would do the trick. Oh well, but I’m quite impressed that Dermaster’s consultants don’t simply take in customers for the sake of earning but they will give their best advice possible and that’s how you win the trust of the customer. Thumbs up to Dermaster on that.

There is so much I can talk about Dermaster but I will leave it to you to do your homework. You can visit their website here for more details. By the way, there are also some Bruneians who used Dermaster’s services. Interesting!!

 


We went through a presentation on what Dermaster is all about
 


Something that I need to look at *lol*
 


One of the treatment rooms and they have plenty
 


The members area
 


The room for the exclusive members of Dermaster
 


This is quite a big place. It’s like all in one beauty center.
 


Wing getting her face scanned
 


Impressive technology to get a 3D picture of her face. And it’s quite detailed
 


They even have a small cafe to cater for their clients. They even have menu written in arabic. This is because they have high volume of Middle East customers.
 


Group photo with the lady in charge and the media. Thank you for hosting and showing us around.
 

 

The Divana Experience
 

Now this is the best experience massage I had in a long time. Maybe it was the first time I was given a body scrub as well as aromatherapy. The experience lasted at least two hours and it was so good that I fell asleep when Pui told me that he heard me snoring like a baby *lol*

After a heavy lunch, we were rewarded with a spa treatment. The service was pretty good. We were served with a soothing tea and a wet towel. They will of course take down details and preference so we will get the best experience within that two hours. The rooms were impressive with sufficient amenities to make you feel comfortable and like home.

I highly recommend you to give Divana Virtue Spa a go and mind you, you will have to do advance booking because of the popularity of the spa. It even bagged many awards internationally so you can tell how high of quality it offers. You can check out their website for more details and it even has a high rating on Tripadvisor with over 100 reviews. You can’t go wrong with Divana Virtue Spa. I feel whole after the treatment. So can you.

 


A nice cooling entrance at Divana Virtue Spa. It’s good to relate with nature.
 


Drinks were being served before treatment
 


The Divana staff taking down our profiles and also asking for oil preference
 


The rooms I had with Mr. Pui
 


I feel so blessed and pampered yesterday. A wonderful 2 hour experience.
 


We were served mango sticky rice after the session
 


With the owners of Divana Virtue Spa. Thank you for the experience.
 

  

14
Jun

Back in Bangkok City

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Jurassic World 
 

Listen to my latest podcast on Jurassic World with special guest Jessie Tey

  
 

Bangkok: Day 1 
 

I’m back here again in Bangkok. So far this is my second visit this year, the previous was back in April 2015 where I spent more time in Hua Hin (love that place). Now my trip will be focusing more on Bangkok where I will exploring new places for Bruneians to shop, shop and shop 😀 I came with two other media from Brunei – Pui from United Daily and Syazwani from Borneo Bulletin. We were joined with the media from Malaysia – Lauren Christie, Jasnitha Nair and Ng Wing Yik Yin. A big thanks to Richard Lim from Tourism Authority of Thailand (Malaysia) for this opportunity to be back in Thailand.

Currently we are being hosted by Dusit Thani Bangkok and it’s such an amazing hotel. I have the privileged to be placed at their club room level. The room is pretty huge and it’s like a mini-suite. Maybe too big for me but then again, I love the rooms here. I shall sharing my experience with Dusit Thani further later in my postings. I also met Sommai Yocapajorn (Director of Marketing Communications) and Stanley Lo (Resident Manager) and thank you for showing us around.

Our visit itinerary was to go on the Wonderful Pearl Cruise @ Rivercity. Now this is one thing that we Bruneians should be doing – taking dine-in cruises during the evening to enjoy the entertainment, the music and the atmosphere. This is such a brilliant idea to have such cruise and it’s quite popular in Bangkok. Apparently there are many cruises that offer this package and the ones we experienced was the latest one in Bangkok, the Wonder Pearl Cruise. For only 2,500 baht, you can enjoy the 2 hour experience. I don’t mind doing this again on my next trip with my friends if I happen to be in Bangkok.

That’s it for my post today and have a great week ahead. This is RA, reporting from Dusit Thani Bangkok 😀

 


Thank you Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) for taking us to Bangkok
 


Loving the speed for AIS network. I would recommend you this line.
 


A warm welcome from Dusit Thani Bangkok. Love the Jasmine flower scent.
 


With the media gang from Brunei and Malaysia with Richard Lim and Sommai. Image courtesy of Richard
 


Nice scenic view with the hotel of Dusit Thani
 


The Wonderful Pearl Cruise. Highly recommended if you are in Bangkok.
 


Dinner is also served at the Wonderful Pearl Cruise
 

  
 

Mercedes-Benz Star Weekend Promotion
 


 

In conjunction with the upcoming month of Ramadhan and Hari Raya celebration, Jati Transport will be having exclusive offers on their Mercedes-Benz C180 and E200 as part of their two-day Mercedes-Benz Star Weekend Promotion and today (Sunday) is the final day.

Alongside the Weekend promotion, the CLS 400 AMG Line and the B200 AMG Line were announced the new additions into the Mercedes-Benz showroom. The CLS-Class embodies a compelling, sporty design with the added space convenience of a four-door sedan.

Meanwhile, the B-Class makes the perfect family car for those looking for the best practicality, comfort and safety whilst also having a sporty edge to design and driving dynamics.

The CLS-Class features MULTIBEAM Led headlamps for the first time. Its high-resolution precision LED modules, each with 24 individually controlled high-performance LEDs, automatically illuminate the road with a hitherto unsurpassed, precision-controlled distribution of exceptionally bright light – without dazzling other road users.

There are also having promotion for their Mercedes-Benz merchandise items. So today’s the final day (Sunday) for you to grab this opportunity. Do drop by Jati Transport showroom in Beribi.

 


The new facelift CLS 400 AMG Line
 


The new B200 AMG Line
 


Mercedes-Benz merchandise on promotion
 


Mercedes-Benz merchandise on promotion
 


Mercedes-Benz merchandise on promotion
 


Mercedes-Benz merchandise on promotion
 

 

Nur Savings promotion 
 


The Minister of Industry and Primary Resources at the Takaful booth during the opening of the ASEAN Consumer Fair
 

The popular short term investment is back!! Takaful Brunei Keluarga (TBK) previously held this special promotion two years ago back in 2013 and it was a big hit. This time round, the stakes are way better. For those who are not aware of Nur Savings from TBK, it’s basically a short term investment (maximum two years) where you will be insured and also gain interest from the savings at a profit of 2% per annum for two years.

The single minimum payment os BND 2,000 and there is no cap for the payment. Previously it was capped at BND 50,000 but now interested parties can inject any amount they feel comfortable with. The 2% interest is a pretty high return as compared to the banks in Brunei. Hence not only you save and get protected, you also earn the extra 2% from your savings. So imagine yourself investing BND 500,000 or even BND 1 million. That would be a great returns in a space of two years only. Awesome returns!!!

This promotion is open to all residents of Brunei Darussalam which means as long as you have an IC (green, purple or yellow), you will be eligible. For those interested parties, you can call TBK’s Certified Financial Planners at 223 1100 during office hours.

For now, you can also sign register at their booth at the ASEAN Consumer Fair at ICC and today’s the final day. There will have certified Islamic financial planners to assist you. Take advantage of the Nur Savings from TBK.

 


Check out the awesome deals from Takaful at ASEAN Consumer Fair. Today is the final day.
 

 

Tivoli officially launched
 

 

Check out the Tivoli

 

TCY Motors the sole distributor of SsangYong Motor in Brunei officially launched the “Tivoli”, which is expected to be a game changer in the compact SUV market with innovative style and remarkable product competitiveness. The launching ceremony was held at the Kiarong showroom.

Since an increasing number of global consumers are favoring compact SUVs with high performance, great fuel economy, practicality and price competitiveness, SsangYong plans to tap into its new model to meet such demands while solidifying its position as a leading SUV maker.

Tivoli, applied with sensuous design, outstanding spatial utility of SUVs, first-of-its-kind safety and convenience features offers an attractive experience as “My 1st SUV” to customers who want both style and practicality in their cars.

When it comes to styling, SsangYong’s new model blends the beauty of youth, energy and robustness in its overall design, aspiring to be “My 1st SUV” of young people in the world. Furthermore, as a starter of “Nature-born 3Motion”, SsangYong’s design philosophy, it expresses modern and urban images through “Urban Dynamic Style” based on a motive of “Rhythmical Motion”.

Rhythmical elements such as harmony of tension and composure, the whole and details are fully expressed on the front of Tivoli. And the reversed-trapezoid bumper, which underscores the air intake contrasts with crisp hood lines, maximizing tension.

Stable and balanced rear completes the design language of SsangYong Tivoli. While the rear, which resembles muscular shoulders symbolize confident youth itself, it also emphasizes rhythmical features through style lines. In the mean time, the cheerful clear-type rear combination lamps unleash liveliness.

The interior design of the new model pursues “Compact Deluxe Style” which creates smart and practical space where passengers can feel modern, yet roomy luxury lounges. Most notably, a future-oriented image is emphasized with a theme of “Moving IT Space” through bar-type switches and expanded use of touch screen controllers which are the result of analysis of user behaviors.

 


The Tivoli in red, being featured during the official launch last Friday
 


The Tivoli in white
 


The rear view of the Tivoli
 


The interior view
 

Tivoli’s optimized spatial design provides excellent passenger convenience and storage. Based on overall width of 1,795mm (widest in the class), its roomy two-row cabin maximizes riding comfort, and 423ℓ (largest in the class) of storage makes it the only car among its segment that can carry up to three golf bags.

Moreover, the full-flat folding second-row seats, not seen in compact sedans, provide enough storage for multiple-use, maximizing the original features of SUVs.

A D-cut steering wheel, mostly used in sports cars, together with a cylinder-type six-color cluster.

A D-cut steering wheel, mostly used in sports cars, together with a cylinder-type six-color cluster (Optional) not only satisfies drivers’ emotional needs but also boost their pride. Clusters with 3.5 inch display that shows various information offers great intuition.

2015 Tivoli’s interior comes in three colors: black, beige, and red. Red interior, in particular, is expected to be much favored by customers who want unique and sporty look, as it blends beautifully with the D-cut steering wheel, a standard feature.

Award-winning semi-bucket seats, which are ergonomically formed with fine materials provide superb comfort and postural stability during driving and cornering, and the quilting stitch design applied to the seats makes them exclusive and luxurious.

Tivoli’s P/T (powertrain), which SsangYong unveils for the first time is remarkably efficient and reliable. And the e-XGi 160, a newly born engine after three years of development period, delivers 126ps maximum power and a maximum torque of 16.0kg•m. Combined fuel economy is 12.0km/ℓ for A/T and 12.3 km/ℓ for M/T (based on the Korean standard).

AISIN’s 2nd-generation A/T, which is widely used by global auto makers is placed on Tivoli. Recognized for its quality and performance of power transmission, the transmission delivers dynamic driving performance with shifting response that is as fast as DCT.

Every trim of the new SUV includes Smart Steer, which controls steering effort in three modes (normal, comfort, sport.) depending on driver’s taste. Also, NVH performance is much improved by applying dual-structure dash panels to the engine room, resulting in minimized engine noise, and effectively blocking noise from intruding inside cabin.

For a highly rigid body, SsangYong Tivoli uses high-strength steel (HSS) for 71.4% of its body, and Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS) for 40%, which makes it unique in the segment.

To improve the safety of passengers, 10 major areas use ultrahigh-strength materials, manufactured by hot press forming process. The materials are two times stronger (1500Mpa) than the usual UHSS (600Mpa), thus minimize deformation of car body in a crash.

In the mean time, big-sized disc brakes are applied to the front and rear wheels for quicker brake performance, and multiple safety features are used such as multi-functional ESP (Electronic Stability Program), TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System), and LED daytime running lamps. Tivoli’s excellent safety is proven by its near-perfect ratings in AE-MDB (Advanced European Mobile Deformable Barrier).

The core of Tivoli’s infotainment system lies in maximized usage of smart devices. The HDMI connection allows passengers to enjoy clear images and sounds from smart devices on the seven-inch display which is connected to the rear camera. Furthermore, the six-speaker sound system provides excellent sound.

The new compact SUV is the only car in the segment which uses fully-automatic dual air-conditioning system. The AC system not only maintains the optimal temperature of the cabin, but also offers memory function which remembers preferred air volume, air direction, and temperature in three modes, guaranteeing pleasant driving all year round.

Moreover, It is more convenient and safer when parking, thanks to the obstacle detection system with camera and four sensors on the rear. Include at the back is a luggage screen, automatic washer switch, and automatic hazard lights make the car unique in the class, offering great convenience.

SsangYong provides dual-tone body and roof option in Tivoli for the first time to maximize expression of driver’s personal taste. By applying colors that are different from body to the roof, wing mirrors, and rear spoiler, it reveals urban and dynamic look.

So, ladies and gentlemen, after all the comprehensive write-up, you can check out the new Tivoli at their Kiarong Showroom and it’s gonna be a big hit indeed because of its affordability and what the Tivoli can offer. You can check out at their website or their Facebook Page for more details.

 


Another interior view angle
 


Annison, Sales Manager of SsangYong (T.C.Y. Motors) and he’s such a nice lad
 


The low spec of the Tivoli
 


The most sought version of the Tivoli. Two-tone colour
 


Recently SsangYong Brunei ran a competition and now Ang Kok Khiong is the winner of the Samsung Galaxy S6
 

  
 

05
May

Back again

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Happy 12th year 

A very low key month for me. Well, nothing much to shout about in May. I just got back from a two-week break from work and now recovering from a very fulfilling trip with my friends from Brunei and abroad. Friends do ask me if I enjoy traveling and the answer is pretty obvious. I was invited to travel to Paris and Moscow last April but I already had prior commitments and still stuck with my original plan – Hua Hin (Thailand) and Manila and I didn’t regret with my original plan because of the awesome company and environment. Nonetheless, I would like to thank Darussalam Holdings for the offer but it came slightly too late for my plans. Let’s hope the next one will be a go-go.

12 years and counting.

 

At the moment, my thinking capacity is not at its highest level, let alone above average. I still need more sleeping hours before I get back to shape. I even forgot to renew my domain name for ranoadidas.com and it was clumsy on my part. Good thing I had my rano360.com domain still up and running just in case. For your info, my blog just turned 12 years on 1st of May. I actually thought last year was the 12th year but apparently I miscalculated the number of years. I won’t be doing any special event or programs for the 12th year milestone and I do want to acknowledge and appreciate every single of my loyal readers for continuing this support. It’s not easy to gain attention nowadays for bloggers as now the power belongs to the social media and we all are part of it whether we like it or not. For me, it’s important to stay to my core presence as a blogger and also be active in social media to be in the mix. It has been an encouraging journey so far.

Poor Manny.

 

The talk of the town has been the controversial match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao where it was billed as match of the century on paper but didn’t translate well in the title match. Instead we were entertained by the hugging and the running of the title holder Mayweather. We caught the match at the cinema at Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila with my friends last weekend and we were rooting for the favourite underdog Manny for sure. I kinda knew what kind of tactics Money man will come up with it and judges were in favour of Mayweather who now has a 48-0 record as a professional boxer. Amazing stats but his legacy remains unstable because of his lack of sportsmanship in the match. He was jeered with a chorus of boos when he entered the arena and even the crowd was chanting Manny’s name. Now Manny has requested a rematch if I’m not mistaken. Let’s hope it won’t be another repeated incident. Biggest winner here – Hublot.

Manila Galore.

 

Yes, we didn’t have enough sleep at all. After my Hua Hin trip, I flew straight to Manila to meet up with the boys and spend only 8-9 hours of sleep while being in Manila for 72 hours *lol* It was a great getaway and I can’t believe that this was my second trip to Manila in a space of three months and I never been to the Philippines. Yes, the only I think that made me stress is the ridiculous traffic jam. The boys and I celebrated Stuart Lee’s birthday and also caught the #MayPac match at the cinema. We were a bit down that Manny lost but he still won our hearts. The other thing that ticked us off was that the live feed from the cinema was cut off between Round 7 to Round 9 of the boxing match and the audience were already raising their voice for refunds. Good thing that the local fans didn’t make such a big issue when the match was over. It could have backfired. Anyway, thanks buddies for the great time off and spending time together in Manila. Round 2, perhaps?

Age of Ultron still entertaining.

 

Though I was slightly behind in my reviews for Age of Ultron, I left it on a high note because Del and I caught it on 4Dx at Paragon Cineplex, Bangkok, Thailand. It was Del’s first time experience at the cinema area and he loves it. For me, this is like my home ground because it’s not just a cinema but they created a lifestyle and invested millions in catering to a great atmosphere and hospitality. We grabbed our tickets through the e-ticketing machine without the hassle of going over to the counter. IMAX 3D is still the best at Paragon Cineplex and it’s better than the Lido one in Singapore. Anyway, I don’t advise you to catch Avengers: Age of Ultron on 4Dx since it can be very irritating that the seats keep on moving from time to time and plus the screen is not as huge too. I would trade for IMAX than 4Dx any day. Avengers sequel opened very well in the US box office but still fell short of their first movie by 20 million. Do listen to my podcast on my review and I gave this movie a strong 8.

 

Pictures from Manila Trip.

 


The Bros manila passport covers
 


The boxing event that didn’t live up to expectations
 


Mayweather focused more on counter attack and won
 


The disappointed crowd after the boxing match
 


When Stuart turned 3# ish :p
 


Yea, at least they still have my sizes
 


I bought this bag too to match with my bag pack
 


The wheel outside Mall of Asia
 


Thanks for the trip guys 😀 Till next time.
 


Shawn with his obsession on chicken feet
 


Flying back thru Cebu Pacific
 

  

28
Apr

Forgive me

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Hua Hin Trip 



Now previously known as Sixth Sense has been taken over by Sheraton and the villas have been renamed as Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas


The service is still excellent especially when we were checking in

Good morning, readers!!! If you have been following my on instagram, you would probably know where I am right now. Yes, I have been away for quite some time now and I’m still here at Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas, Hua Hin, Thailand. I was here exactly 5 years ago at the same place but it was under Evason Sixth Sense. Now half of the hotel area (the villa side) has been taken over by Sheraton (under Starwood). There were some minor changes but the most thing I truly missed is the personalised butler that we use to have. I recalled I was requesting for an iron and iron board. The lady butler came to our villa with the items but she did an extra more which was ironing my clothes on the spot *lol* Now that’s what I call service. Since the new management, we don’t enjoy that privilege anymore.

The villas are awesome as always and I highly recommend to friends who simply want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Thailand. This is my third trip to Hua Hin and it’s about a 3 hour ride from Bangkok too. I love the quietness and it’s a place where I could just relax my mind and think less about unnecessary things such as work and even my blog *lol*

We are quite fortunate to have a very good rate for our villas and it costs us USD 350 per night. Our room is a two story villa and my bed is located at the living room area while my buddies are sleeping upstairs. We have a mini private pool as well and a small jacquzzi. The wifi is pretty fast as well. It’s as fast as 18-19 megs. Awesome but it can lagged especially at night time. I would have to say that the wifi is way better than the dongle mifi I rented (BND 85 for a week) and it’s only 3 megs at best.

So peeps, I won’t be blogging for a while now.. Maybe I will back in two days’ time. I’m gonna enjoy the last few days here in Hua Hin.

 


Our two story villa 😀


Swimming at our private pool


We can rent bikes from the villas and cycle around the area to explore. Very convenient.


Night time at Sheraton Pranburi Villas


Hanging out with my buddies


Sarina is having a blast this trip. Full of joy and laughter.


My friends’ villa


Trying out the Sixth Sense Spa next door with my buddies

  

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