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Posts Tagged ‘talent’

09
Jul

A pocket full of zzzzz

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Consolidate to save
 

I came across this advertisement on Standard Chartered recently and what caught my eye is the difference in repayments for your loans. This is interesting indeed. How can that be possible to lower the repayment amount by as much as BND400 on a monthly basis? This was from the illustration of the poster that I saw on their website recently.

So imagine that you have a few loans that you have such as personal loans, credit card payments or your other loans. You will pay the normal dues respectively to the bank as part of your commitment. The thing that struck me me was the savings that you can enjoy when you consolidate all the loan commitments into one and enjoy a lower repayment scheme as a whole.

In other words, if I were to pay individually for the loans that I have even from other banks and the total loan amounts to a total of BND 75,000, every month I would have to fork out BND 1,093. Now with Standard Chartered’s new financial package, you would only pay BND 653 as a whole. That’s like a savings of BND 400ish. Now that’s a great deal.

Better still, you only pay a flat interest rate of 3.79% (6.5% effective) per annum for 15 years tenor.

I don’t have a personal loan or car loan from a bank but this may be relevant to those who have existing multiple bank loans. I understand however, there are qualifying criteria so not everyone is eligible. If you are keen to find out more, you can reach them at 265 8000 or click on the link.

 

 

Another pool of talents
 


Joanna Kwan with the WCOPA contests from Brunei at the airport yesterday
 

It’s good to know that we are not stopping to send Bruneians to Hollywood to showcase their talents in singing, dancing, playing instruments or acting. Remember WCOPA? They are back but with a slightly lower bang. I remember for the past two years that they had a good hype leading to the event.

Not all that qualified for WCOPA will be flying to the California, US. This is due to the budget constraint as all participants will have to seek for sponsorship for their travels and they were given some months to reach their targeted sponsorship. It’s never an easy journey as an artist especially in Brunei. Financial support has always been tough for local artists. Despite the setbacks, there are always ways and means to reach their goals and for this case, to fly to Los Angeles and participated in the WCOPA competition.

By the way, WCOPA stands for World Championship of Performing Arts. Brunei did fairly well last year with Shian Li, Eia and Joanna reached the finals. Shian Li won the top accolade in her category while Joanna was given an acting scholarship. Eia was offered something of a bigger scale – to host the upcoming WCOPA 2015. That itself is an amazing opportunity for a Bruneian to host a world championship event.


Zainal Bostaman, founder of Bruhaha, pumped up for the event
 


Zainal with his family at the Brunei International Airport
 


The family huddle before boarding
 


This shot taken early in the year. How time has flown off so fast.
 

Yesterday most of the participants flew off for the US for their three week journey in Los Angeles. Zainal Bostaman (Senior Acting), Nadya Halim, Ak Muhd Yazakka Pg Hj Mohd Yamin known as “Yazakka”, Kala Kawarnamurthi and Erwan Mugit, part of Ellewan duo (all to compete in the Senior Vocal category) whereas Amy Cheong, Ainul Marzuki, Mardi Hedus and Shannon Osman the team of Relentless Entertainment will compete in the Senior Dance Group.

The ones missing were Michele Tan of Ellewan, Sarah Jane of Relentless and Hill Zaini as they couldn’t make it for the competition.

Joanna Kwan, previous WCOPA participant, flew off with the delegates and she will be managing the Brunei team during the course of the competition.

Jeffrey E. Cadayong, WCOPA Brunei Darussalam’s National Director, will be welcoming the delegates in the US.

Do follow their instagram @officialwcopabrunei for updates and let’s hope for mode success for the participants. The competition will be from 10th to 19th July at Long Beach, California.

 


The team of Relentless flew off earlier yesterday
 


Relentless have been raising funds for their trip to the US. They have done an excellent job in doing so. Image courtesy of The Brunei Times.
 


Taken some time ago when Brunei bagged many awards and medals.
 

  
 

02
Feb

WCOPA update

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

WCOPA 2015 
 


The Brunei talents for this year’s WCOPA 2015
 

Can Brunei top what they did last year in the World Championships of Performing Acts (WCOPA)? Then again, it’s not about reaching or raising the benchmark. Last year, Brunei have proven what it takes to be on top with the rest of the talents worldwide after winning several medals. This year, there will be new fresh faces and this is the third time that Bruneians will be featuring at WCOPA event to be held from July 10th-19th in Long Beach, California.

They will be competing in the Senior Acting category, Senior Vocal category, Senior Dance Group category, Senior Vocal with Instrument (Duo/Group) category, Senior Dance Solo category and Senior Vocal with Instrument (Solo) category.

Now it’s boiled down to training for the Brunei delegates until the actual day. Perhaps the biggest hurdle for the delegates is financial resources as it will take at least BND 10,000 per delegate to part of the WCOPA 2015 edition. The said price will include the registration for WCOPA which is about 2/5 of the budget, the flight and accommodation for the 10 day trip trip. The organizer and the delegates will do what it takes to raise funds for their cause and they will not let this opportunity slip away easily.

All the participants are first timers and this will also be the first time that Brunei will be participating in the Senior Vocal with Instrument (Duo/Group) category, Senior Dance Group category and Senior Dance Solo category.

So who are the representatives? Zainal Bostaman, my friend and the founder of Bruhaha Comedy (Senior Acting category), Nadia Halim aka Yaya (Senior Vocal category), Ak Muhd Yazakka (Senior Vocal Category), Hill Zaini (Senior Vocal category), Amy Cheong, Ainul Marzuki, Sarah Jane Ward and Shannon Osman representatives from Relentless Entertainment (Senior Dance Group category), Erwan Mugit and Michelle Tan the singing duo The Ellewan (Senior Vocal with instrument for duo or group), Mardi Hedus (Senior Dance Solo category) and Kala Karwanamurthi (Senior Vocal with instrument category).

Present during the event were Jeffrey E. Cadayong, National Director of WCOPA Brunei Darussalam, Maria Grace Koh (Eia), the official hostess for this year’s WCOPA 2015 and Joanna Kwan, finalists for last year’s WCOPA 2015.

For the public, who are willing to help and assist the delegates to achieve their dreams, you can contact the organiser at brunei(a)wcopa.tv


Hill Zaini
 


Mardi Hedus of Relentless Entertainment
 


Michelle Tan and Erwan Mugit, The Ellewan
 


Ainul Marzuki, Shannon Osman, Amy Cheong and Sarah Jane Ward of Relentless Entertainment
 


Kala Karwanamurthi
 


Ak Muhd Yazakka
 


Nadia Halim aka Yaya
 


Zainal Bostaman
 


Maria Grace Koh (Eia), the official hostess for this year’s WCOPA 2015
 


Jeffrey E. Cadayong, National Director of WCOPA Brunei Darussalam
 


The Brunei delegates with Eia, Joanna and Jeffrey during the preview showcase of Brunei delegates of WCOPA 2015
 

  

21
Jul

The medal haul

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News

 

 

 

Citroën Brunei 
 


Click image to enter Citroën Brunei 
 

  
 

YMRM soft opening 
 


The first customer of YMRM Serusop today

Guess what peeps? It’s finally open. Well, a soft one actually since the other floors are not ready. However, the ground floor is ready for business and now you can shop at Galleria YMRM Serusop at Unit B24-25 at Delima Jaya Complex and you can call 233 3743.

They will have a special sale tomorrow (Tuesday) 8pm to 12am only at Serusop Branch. Cara Melayu and Sinjang will go for $24 for 2 set. Moroccan cotton which is usually $12.90 will go for $3.90 per meter. The regular sale $1 meter is back again for your cara melayu. Tudong and door mat also going for $1. If you want cucul for Hari Raya, this is also the best place to buy.

I kinda like the new interior of YMRM Serusop and it feels refreshing and unique as well. This is a great way to entice their regular patrons and appreciate them for their continuous support. The upper floor will be opened after Hari Raya. For now, enjoy the freshness of YMRM at Serusop branch which went for 2-3 months of renovation.

 


The new interior at YMRM Serusop
 


Sinjang
 


For shirt making
 


Italian silk textiles
 


Exclusive textiles for the ladies
 


The stairs leading to the first floor but it’s not opened yet
 


Nice lighting
 


YMRM building at Serusop but it’s not fully completed
 

  
 

285 balls inside KIA Sportage 
 


Guess the number of balls competition

Recently KIA Motors (Brunei) had the final count of the number of KIA-FIFA Footballs inside the KIA Sportage as part of the guessing competition in conjunction with the World Cup 2014. The management of Grand Motors with the assistance of the representatives of the local financial institution counted the number of balls.

After two rounds of counting, it was confirmed that the number of balls inside the KIA Sportage was 285. Present were the Managing Director of Grand Motors Frankie Ho and Executive Director of Grand Motors, Pg Hj Abdul Qahar PSD Major General (Rtd) Pg Hj Ibnu Basith,

The lucky winner was Hj Mohd Tusiw Momin who guessed it correctly among the four contestants. The contest of ‘How many Kia-FIFA Footballs are there in the Kia Sportage?’ started on March 1 and ended on July 14.

 


Recounting the balls inside the KIA Sportage
 


The Executive Director passing us a ball 😀
 


Jacquline also did some counting
 


The red and white KIA FIFA football
 


Sitting on a stream of the red and white
 


Hundreds participated in the draw
 


The eventual winner of the $500
 

  
 

Brunei bring back 38 medals 
 


The participants from Brunei Darussalam after the WCOPA finals in Los Angeles

Last year, only one made it the finals – Fakhrul Razi in the Senior Vocal category in the World Championship of Performing Arts 2013. This year, Brunei representatives went a step further. Three Bruneians made it to the finals – Joanna Kwan, Shian Li Esther Chiam and Maria Grace Koh also known as Eia. One Brunei won the Junior Grand Champion for instruments at the WCOPA 2014 edition.

Only 15, Shian Li, is no stranger in the Brunei music scene. With the guidance of her family especially her mother Lily Chiam who runs Expression Music, Shian Li have been getting praises for her talent and she has been performing for private functions and I ever hired her once for a birthday party and I was just amazed. I had no doubt that she will excel in what she does and after knowing that she will be representing Brunei in the WCOPA this year, I knew her time has come and all that hard work paid off.

Shian Li shared, “This week has been absolutely amazing and it went by so fast! Being here in Los Angeles, I just want to tell the talents out there if you believe you can do it and work towards it an and you are keen of performing arts, this is a great opportunity that many open many doors for you.”

Shian Li was the top of the crop as she won all gold medals in her respective category in Junior Instrumental – Classical, Contemporary, Jazz, Open and Original. She won her sixth gold for being in the finals of the WCOPA 2014.

Another finalist was Joanna Kwan who won gold for reaching the finals in the Senior Acting category. She also won four silvers in Classical, Contemporary, Open and Comedy and one bronze medal for Drama. Furthermore, she was the only Bruneian to be awarded with a BND 10,000 scholarship to the New York Film Academy and one industry award. I have seen her performed in Brunei and she’s just amazing. What a great choice to select her as a Brunei representative! Much deserved though Joanna was only aiming for the experience. Awesome!!

Starlet Maria has finally reached greater heights as compared to her previous outing last year in WCOPA 2013. This year she went two steps better by reaching the semi-finals and the grand finale. What’s best is that her original songs were recognized and made it to the finals. This really shows that we Bruneians have talents. Maria earned herself 4 gold medals including being a finalist. She also earned 1 Silver for Pop and 1 Bronze for Broadway in the Senior Vocal category. I’m proud of you, Eia 😀 I can imagine the sight of your parents when you touch down Brunei next week.

Other Brunei participants were Elizabeth Sim, Eden Chiam, Dayat, Ruby Chong, Bridget Ang and Adi Farhan which is a pretty good line up from Brunei Darussalam. Imagine this – we are one small nation and during the live coverage event, Brunei Darussalam was mentioned quite a few times on the event – firstly because of our participants for being in the finals, the announcement of the winner for Shian Li and two more mentions by Jeff the host because of our tweets from Brunei. Awesome!! Now I was wondering why Brunei Tourism only had a small involvement in this project as this show is watched by millions of people online. This would have been a superb opportunity to invest in this project hopefully for next year and to get that tiny percentage of the millions of people to be aware of Brunei alone is already considered a big achievement. Brunei Tourism managed to sponsor Bridget Ang’s ticket to Los Angeles. I do hope there will be more involvement from the relevant agency on this matter as it was proven that our talents can go that far and when they go that far, more names of Brunei Darussalam will be mentioned as it did during the finals of WCOPA 2014.

Enough of the small rant. But I’m happy to see local sponsors supporting the participants such as AEWON, Baiduri Bank, KFC and Laneige Brunei. The participants also managed to source their own sponsors such as Laily’s Bridal, Sab Five Five, Low family, Projecttunes, @brugraphic, Reyn’s Touch @ Bridal Collection, Mylol.info, Fitnesszone, @kingomar412, @haqimie267, Sri Maju Sawit and PL Sawit Sdn Bhd, Suci, Cedar Management Services and many more.

Those missed out on the finals still didn’t come empty handed. First timers Eden Chiam and Elizabeth Sim made it to the semi-finals. So overall, there were 5 Bruneians who made it to the semis. Eden won 5 medals – Original Works (Gold), Broadway and Pop (Silver) and Open and Soul, R&B and Jazz (Bronze) for the Junior Vocals. Elizabeth Sim competed in the Senior Acting Category and she earned Gold for Open and Drama and Bronze medals for Contemporary, Comedy and Open. She also won overall winner for the Drama category.

Dayat Hj Ahim competed in the Senior Vocals and he earned Silver for broadway, contemporary and World and Bronze for Open and R&B, Soul and Jazz category. Adi Daini earned one silver of Rock and Bronze for Open and R&B, Soul and Jazz for the Senior vocals with instrument.

Bridget Ang earned two Silvers for Open and Originals category in the Senior Vocals category while Ruby Chong earned two Bronze in Open and World category in the Senior Vocals category.

 


The participants from Brunei Darussalam after the WCOPA finals in Los Angeles
 


The finalists that made an impact for Brunei at the big stage – Joanna Kwan, Maria Grace and Shian Li
Summary of Awards:

1 Grand World Champion for Jr Instrumentalist

3 Grand Finalists

2 Industry Award

Recipient of 10,000USD Scholarships from New York Film Academy

12 Gold Medals

13 Gold Medals

13 Silver Medals

 

This is considered another great achievement and milestone for Brunei considering we are a small nation but with a big heart and voice. I’m still amazed that we have 3 Bruneians featured in the finals alone and we are competing against a number of talents around the world. I also want to applaud Jeffery of Prismworks for making this possible for all the participants for another attempt at WCOPA. It’s never easy to organise and the logistics and all. I do hope I can plan for next year’s WCOPA for coverage purposes (Didn’t I say that last year? haha).

Overall, I’m just truly amazed that we can make a difference and by them just being there, it’s simply unbelievable to represent Brunei. I do hope one day that performing arts will have more recognition in Brunei and this will help to bring in more support not just the private sponsors but also the relevant government agencies in Brunei Darussalam.

For more updates, you can follow them on instagram @officialwcopabrunei

 


Shian Li’s reaction after being announced the winner for the Grand World Champion for the Junior Instrumental
 


Shian Li receiving her award
 


Shian Li and Jeffery (of Prismworks) the man who made Brunei possible in WCOPA events
 

  
 

KFC treats YASKA kids 
 


James Kon of Borneo Bulletin interviewing one of the parents at KFC Yayasan last Saturday
Last Saturday, I had the privilege to see YASKA kids paying a visit to KFC Yayasan branch to play some games and activities. For your information, YASKA is a charity organization for Yayasan Kanser Kanak-Kanak or a foundation for children with cancer where the non-governmental organization aims to provide children diagnosed with cancer and their patients the information required to understand their diagnosis as well as provide them with moral support throughout their treatment and beyond.

Yes, guys, even kids and children still can get cancer at a young age and it can happen whether you are young or old. It was such a heart warming sight to see the kids play along during the games and being present at that very moment as if they are enjoying and cherishing that moment. It’s good to see KFC being involved with YASKA and not many attention has been given to the children, judging from the press releases in the media.

At the event, the kids were also given a meal so that they can break fast with. “Fasting is not compulsory for children and especially for the children with cancer. Though the children are undergoing treatment, the paediatric oncology ward is often decorated to celebrate for this festive season so they would not have to feel left out or often home leave is given whereby possible,” Tsara’ Nawwarah Abdullah Chen, Senior Occupational Therapist, RIPAS Hospital\Treasurer of YASKA.

YASKA’s mission is to provide information and support for children with cancer and their families, when we got to know them, we were touched by what this organization is doing and make it a point to promote them so that others in Brunei can reach out to them,” says Jonathan Bong, Senior Marketing Manager, KFC (B) Sdn Bhd.

Everyday the children are made to feel special especially during the treatment and at home and parents are often very aware of how precious these children are and the environment in the paediatric oncology ward has been filled with generous donations of educational toys and books and DVDs( often requested by the children for the latest cartoons and children movies) so the children are “entertained” and kept busy and distracted with activities. These are only possible through the various amounts of donations and activities carried by the occupational therapy staff and non-governmental agencies, added Tsara.

 


YASKA kids playing games at KFC Yayasan
 


Playing passing parcel
 


Passing the parcel activity
 


Musical chair time
 


Group photo with YASKA kids and KFC team
 

  
 

An Eco-Smart City? 
 


Edwin Khew will be in Brunei in August to share his idea on Eco-Smart City in the 7th National Environmental Conference. Image courtesy of CTI PFAN website.

In a session entitled “Bandar Seri Begawan as a Model Eco-Smart City”, guest speaker Edwin Khew, will share best practices on Singapore’s journey towards becoming a sustainable city; the challenges to anticipate, and strategies to overcome obstacles.

Edwin Khew is the the Chairman of Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS), a non-profit organization that assists the growth and development of cleantech businesses in Singapore and the region. He is also Managing Director of Anaergia Pte Ltd, a global environmental waste to energy technology and management company with its headquarters for Asia based in Singapore.

“Being smaller than Singapore and having more resources”, Khew said that Brunei has an advantage over Singapore to become an Eco-Smart state, and remarked that there can be areas of possible collaboration between the two countries to develop and implement green technologies. Brunei can excel and surpass Singapore in developing and implementing these new technologies and can start working with Singapore at test bedding these technologies as Singapore is just starting to test bed them now.”

Asked how a small country such as Brunei can make a difference, Khew remarked that the future for all urban cities is to be sustainable, and turning its capital city into an Eco-Smart City “will ensure sustainability, where energy, waste and water will be a nexus for which an Eco-Smart City must consider and achieve”.

Khew has 35 years of experience in the industries of water and waste treatment, energy and cleantech. In the last 15 years, he began to focus on waste management, after becoming concerned about the challenges of growing volumes of rubbish and the lack of landfills in a highly consumerist and disposable economy.

In the conference, Khew will share ideas with local industry experts from the government and private sector on effective strategies to create a sustainable city with topics ranging from waste management, urban planning, and green buildings.

Now on its 7th year, the National Environment Conference will discuss pertinent issues, revolving around the theme “Brunei’s Green Future: Ideas, Strategies, Possibilities.” The conference is open to all members of the public, and will be particularly worthwhile for overnment leaders, corporate and business leaders, environmental practitioners, eco-conscious consumers and students, among others.

The Conference is organized by Asia Inc Forum in partnership with Total E&P Borneo B.V., Butra Heidelberg Cement, Baiduri Bank and Brunei Press, with the support of the Ministry of Development and Ministry of Education.

For more information, please contact Low Leng May at may.low@asiaincforum.com, or call 2226555 ext 10. Press release by Asia Inc Forum.

 


National Environment Conference. Click image to find out more.
 

  
 

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