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Posts Tagged ‘toastmasters’

05
Sep

Dananjaya coming to Brunei

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Dananjaya coming soon 
 

Dananjaya Hettiarachchi recently shared some tips on presentation posted in Business Insider

 

A world champion. A motivational speaker. An individual who can unlock something special in you. His journey has been inspiring to many from the failures to the successes that he never thought he would have dreamt of.

Hailed from Sri Lanka, I only came to know of the lad back in August 2014 when I attended an International Convention (Toastmasters) in Kuala Lumpur and we met again back in Kuching in May 2015. The KL trip was something that I wouldn’t forget for two reasons – supporting our Brunei Speakers’ Club finalists Chris Woo (the best achievement for a Brunei toastmasters club) and a world champion speech by Dananjaya Hettiarachchi.

Even to this very day, his tagline “I See Something” has become a household phrase in toastmasters meeting or speeches and it was the most talked-about speeches of 2014. I would considered myself fortunate to be one of the audience among the thousands that attended the finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking 2014 in Kuala Lumpur because I never felt that “sold” in listening to speeches. Dananjaya was simply inspirational and charismatic on stage and I knew the finalists then would have a hard time stealing his thunder.

From that moment, I wish I could bring him to Brunei one day and inspire the youths in our country. After months of planning, I was over the moon when I heard the news that he accepted our invitation to speak in Brunei Darussalam this coming October 2016. I’m truly grateful for Dananjaya to schedule his time for the Brunei Convention 2016, knowing that his schedules are very packed with seminars and talks.

 

Dananjaya Hettiarachch delivering his award winning speech that made him a champion in public speaking in 2014

 

So my buddy Dananjaya, on behalf of the organizing committee of the Brunei Conference 2016, I would like to extend our deepest appreciation for making your short trip to Brunei possible. We are ready to host you and welcome you with great hospitality. A big thanks to Shawn Cassidy Narcis for making his trip possible.

Don’t forget to catch the video of Dananjaya Hettiarachchi on the link video I have posted on this post. It may be a short one but it was surely inspiring and compelling towards the audience. Even his winning speech has garnered 1 million views on youtube. Now that he’s making his way to Brunei, what are you waiting for? For more details, you can click here and I would highly recommend you to attend this conference.

For those interested in attending the Brunei Conference 2016, you can reach me at ranoadidas gmail.com or whatsapp me at +68738677773. There are still seats available for the 3 day convention. There will also be other speakers such as Mohamed Murad (Past International President) and Willie Jones (World Champion of Public Speaking 1996). Not forgetting our local speakers, Soon Loo, CEO of Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) and Stuart Lee of Rhymin Partners. I have also finally secured another speaker and he is no other than the reigning World Championship of Public Speaking 2016, Darren Tay, who was crowned in August in Washington, D.C.

 


Believe it or not, I want to be a champion like Dananjaya. Taken back in May 2015 when he was a keynote speaker in Kuching
 


Click image to find out more
 

 

Dan the Man 
 

He’s known as “Dan” by many and I’ve been following his journey on IG @dananjaya_h and Facebook and even on the internet. Though he was a champion two years ago, he still is one of the most sought speakers around the world. He has been traveling around the world and his next date will be Brunei before he heads off to Amsterdam (Holland), Hiroshima (Japan) and Richmond (USA) to cap off the year. Awesome!!!

If you meet him in person, only one word to describe him – charismatic (and super cool). He has been in a journey of toastmasters or public speaking for 10 years. He loves to inspire the thousands in bettering their communication skills and he is very popular in schools.

The Brunei Conference committee is very privilege to have his presence in Brunei on 28th October to 29th October. We are certain that his presence and his keynote speech will have a positive ripple effect on the audience and hoping for more youth to attend the conference.

If you are interested, please reach me at 8677773. We are selling tickets by next week (mid September) and the prices are BND 120 (29th October, Saturday session 9am to 4pm) and BND 50 for the Speech contest (30th October, Sunday 8am). If you are interested also in attending the dinner, it will be BND 50 for Friday, 28th October.

This is slated to be the biggest toastmasters event ever hosted in Brunei Darussalam because we have three world champion speakers – Willie Jones, Dan the Man and reigning champion Darren Tay. So yes, sometime to look forward to and the target audience will be the youth, working class, teachers, parents, students, professionals, government officials and entrepreneurs.

A big thank you also to the sponsors, partners and supporters of this event – Progresif, Brunei Tourism under the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, RYS Entertainment, Armtrix Enterprise, NBT, BIG magazine, The Brunei Times, AKK Design, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Rizqun International Hotel and many more (to be finalized). I would also like to acknowledge the Ministry of Home Affairs for approving this event.

So once again, If you are interested, please reach me at 8677773 and you can read more details here on our official website.

 


When you are climbing a mountain there is a summit , in life all you find is an endless wall. You can take the easy way and slide endlessly into the darkness or take the hard way and climb into the eternal light. Either way, there is no end to how far you can fall nor how high you can climb – Dananjaya Hettiarachchi. Image taken of Dananjaya Hettiarachchi’s Facebook page.
 


Ciara with the man himself back in Kuching 2015
 


Danajaya being a speaker at a Rotary event in July. Image taken from Dananjaya Hettiarachchi’s Facebook page.
 


Another excited person to see Dananjaya in Brunei
 

  
 

27
Aug

Self Belief is the key

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Self Belief is the key 
 


Her Excellency Mrs. Nagma M. Mallick, the High Commissioner of India to Brunei capped the night with a powerful message to the audience – show conviction when you believe in yourself
 


Rozana Yunos, President of the Brunei Advanced Speakers’ Club, did a marvellous job as the SAA and also uplifted the mood to kick off the meeting
 

What a night to cap off and to start the weekend! The Brunei Advanced Speakers’ Club hosted their 2nd meeting of the term and this time, it was held on the Presidential Lounge on Level 8 due to a wedding event on Level 4.

Stuart Lee stood in for Allen Ang ,who was supposedly the host (toastmasters of the evening). However, Allen is currently in Surabaya for a workshop. As usual, Stuart started with a bang and I liked how he paced the evening as the sessions were behind schedule. This is a good reference for future TMEs at at a BASC monthly meeting should the event starts later than scheduled.

Madam President Rozana was articulate in her opening remarks and praised the growth of certain members who have excelled in their growth and contributed back to the community as a leader and a communicator.

There were many first moments to talk about here. It was the first time the club opened to visiting members to be part of the moderating session. Pooja, whose forte is in evaluation, was invited to evaluate Theressa’s inspirational speech. Speaking of Theressa (a UBD Toastmasters member), she became the first non-member to present a prepared speech in a BSC meeting and wow, she did not disappoint at all.

You may heard the clichè of taking things for granted but Theressa’s delivery gave it a new perspective that will stick in our minds. I was moved and inspired by her vulnerability and awarenesses. Truly salute your journey as a nurse and now we know the reason why. Do check out her speech once it’s uploaded on the UBD Toastmasters youtube channel.

Another competent speaker, Delwin Keasberry aka @bruneitweet finally presented his 5th speech (body language) and I was hoping he would share of his WWE fan journey *lol* I found his story quite entertaining, reviving his teenage years with his friends and being in trouble with the authorities. A poised speaker at best, Delwin nailed the objectives with ease and now he is 5 speeches away to earn a pin. Keep it going, bro 😀

 


The host of the evening – Stuart Lee
 


Delwin Keasberry shared a funny childhood story and wowed the panelists on his objectives (body language)
 


Pranika Lama and Elizabeth Sim as evaluators for Delwin and being moderated by Chris Woo. Very insightful analysis and I’m amazed how observant they are. Pranika claimed that she enjoyed that session very much.
 


Many smiles during the course of the night
 


One of the best inspiring speeches I’ve heard in a long time. I do agree with Pooja’s evaluation on Theressa’s speech – “I was quite involved and moved too”. Congratulations, Theressa, on your CC10 project (Inspiring Speech) and I never experienced a prolonged applause after a speech. You deservedly earned that.
 


The evaluators were inspired by Theressa’s speech and they felt empowered
 

Yani who has been a toastmasters for 10 years, presented a workshop on empowering the youths and this is such an appropriate topic to bring up. With many adults in attendance, Yani unveiled some pointers based on her experience in empowering others and these are very relatable to the audience. Now with her 2 year old daughter empowering her, Yani has opened up more awarenesses and feeling empowered too.

The moderation sessions were great and it was nice to see Pranika back in action again in the moderation panel. Chris Woo, as usual, fitted the occasion as a principal moderator and the audience benefited from the analytical feedback from the four evaluators on Theressa’s and Delwin’s speeches.

The night was capped off by a powerful message by the guest of honour Her Excellency Mrs. Nagma M. Mallick, the High Commissioner of India to Brunei. In a nutshell, she urged us to believe in ourselves and show conviction if necessary. Her speech, in itself, was pretty inspirational and hoped the guests in attendance will take something back and inspired to speak out in what he or she believes in.

 


Yani Hepnie conducted a workshop on empowering yourself and others. I enjoyed this session very much too.
 


Heidi Rahman made a conscious choice to attend the BASC meeting in final minutes and she enjoyed it
 


The guest of honour was a former toastmasters member too
 


Gerald Goh shared how he empowered others at work
 


The young ladies have made an impact on their clubs and also at other clubs. Great leaders whom I admire and aspire to be.
 


This was shot number 6. It’s never easy to satisfy ladies when it comes to perfection in photos :p
 


The toastmasters members and guests at last night’s meeting. Datin Faridah is our dedicated, perpetual guest 😀 Thank you so much for your support to BASC for all these years.
 

  
 

22
Aug

Black and blue

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Singaporean crowned champion 
 


Darren Tay Wen Jie accepting his award as he was crowned the 2016 World Championship of Public Speaking last weekend. Image taken off Darren’s Facebook Page.
 

2016 World Champion of Public Speaking, Darren Tay Wen Jie

I’m still amazed the fact that the past three winners of the World Champion of Public Speaking have come from Asia. Amazing feat!! First we have the charismatic Dananjaya Hettiarachchi (from Sri Lanka) who won in 2014 and he will be invited for the Brunei Conference in October. The following year was Mohd Qahtani from Qatar in 2015. Two days ago, Darren Tay, was crowned the 2016 World Champion of Public Speaking in Washington DC and his story revolved around bullying.

Looking at his resume, I’m pretty impressed for a man of his age (only 27) to achieve many things. According to his website, he is a prolific public speaker, debater and professional trainer. He founded the Public Speaking Academy in 2009 and has led the Academy to scale great heights in the school and corporate domains; including the successful organization of the annual National Public Speaking Competition since 2010.

He even won the Toastmasters International District 80 Speech competition in 2009, 20012 and 2014 for Speech Evaluation and Table Topics. Amazing feat indeed. He has also published his best-selling public speaking guidebook “Express to Impress” in 2012 and looks forward to subsequent publications in the future.

I do hope he will be able to make it for the upcoming Brunei Conference as a guest speaker and hoping for a favourable response from him. If it is a yes, then we will three world champion speakers for the Brunei Conference this October. Wouldn’t that be awesome? 😀

 


The top three winners of last weekend’s contest
 


Shawn Cassidy Narcis was there to experience the contest and this is a photo opportunity with all top three winners
 

 

  
 

Groves promotes Primajaya 
 


Adam Groves with the cast and crew of Primaja at KBSentral last weekend
 


One of the lucky winners for Primajaya t-shirt during one of the quiz session
 

It’s less than a month away. The another locally produced movie Primajaya will make it to the local theatres on 15th September 2016. The movie was in production two years ago and I had a privilege to see some of the scenes during the shooting back in 2014. Back then, the good friend Seng Yee was one of the camera operators and I was interested to know how the scenes were shot and all. It was really good to know and appreciate what went behind the scenes and it was never easy since most of them were not full time actors and have other commitments. All of them from the crew and cast volunteered to be part of this project.

I remember two years ago that Adam Groves, the main man behind Primajaya (formerly known as Bahlol), shared with me that he has this project that one day it will hit the cinemas. He finally almost make that dream come true 😀 as it just weeks away before it’s being launched.

Adam Groves recently had a session with the public at KBSentral last weekend to share his experiences in producing his first feature film under the film production company Visual Dimensions Production.

Primajaya tells the story of a local teen who turned his life around after assuming a superhero identity named ‘Bahlol’ in order to fight crime in a fictional city. According to The Brunei Times, Groves reminisced his childhood years in Kuala Belait before moving to the capital where he found his calling for making films. He also shared with the audience the ups and downs he faced in the film industry before offering tips and wisdom to aspiring filmmakers.

Mind you, his upcoming feature film will also mark his 10th year anniversary in venturing into videography. The talk session also saw three lucky winners from the audience as they won Primaya t-shirts.

Good luck bro and see you when the movie hits the screen. All the best. Images courtesy of Visual Dimension Production.

 

The trailer of Primajaya

 


Adam Groves speaking to the public on Primajaya’s journey
 

 

 


Finally it has passed the censorship board earlier this year
 

 

  
 

Kumon turns one 
 


Photo session for the students of Kumon Diligent which was held at Radisson Hotel to mark Kumon Diligent’s one year anniversary. Image courtesy of Kumon Diligent.
 


Yosuke Sagawa, Deputy General Manager of Kumon Asia and Oceania, officiated the event. Image courtesy of Azmi Zainal of The Brunei Times.

I was always curious how Kumon runs its session to their students and there are many institutions that help to educate young students. So what makes Kumon stands out? So I visited the premises, well their first outlet at BT Complex (near Times Square) and I met the owner Caley Lim as she shared on how Kumon Diligent works and I found it very interesting.

Kumon Diligent is a franchise from Japan and it has been a popular and also effective in grooming young children in improving their math and English. Let’s just say it’s an after-school enrichment program. The last I heard from Caley back in January, she has around 100 over students enrolled under her care and now it hs shoot up over 200 students. That’s quite a lot but she is assisted by her trained staff. It’s quite interesting the fact that the students were given tasks to answer on their own and only when required the trained staff will assist or guide them so the students can answer the questions.

Yesterday, Kumon Diligent celebrated its one year anniversary by holding an award ceremony for its students at Radisson Hotel. According to The Brunei Times, a total of 23 students across three categories — advanced student honour roll one, two and three — receiving awards acknowledging them for their efforts in tackling study material, which are above their current school grade level.

Caley highlighted that the event was also the eve of the school’s one year anniversary, and it represented the culmination of hard work and love for her team. She also expressed her gratitude to the students’ parents and the students themselves for their support throughout its first year.

In under one year, Kumon Diligent has seen over 200 student enrolments. As of June this year, 33 per cent of its students, who have been enrolled for seven months or more, are studying above their current school grade level.

Kumon Diligent is open on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and is located at Unit 31, Ground Floor, BT Complex, Kg Jaya Setia, Bandar Seri Begawan.

The school can be contacted at 7193231 or by email at kumondiligent@outtlook.com and congratulations once again, Caley and her team, for making Kumon Diligent a successful centre for young students. You can also follow on their Facebook page for updates or instagram @kumondiligent

 


The assistant in blue apron assisting the students with their work. The students, however, will do their own tasks and only ask for assistance if required. This helps them to be more independent on answering tasks given and also building their confidence along the way.
 


After their session, the students will clean their own area before another session by other students. It teaches them to be responsible too. Pretty good.
 


The different level of modules catering to different skills of the students.
 


Caley Lim, the chief instructor of Kumon Diligent, is truly proud of the students’ growth and appreciates the parents for trusting Kumon’s methods of enrichment. The numbers do speak for itself. Keep up the great work!!
 


(From L) President of Kumon Asia and Oceania Atsushi Yamada, Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Noriko Iki and Chief Instructor of Kumon Diligent Brunei Caley Lim during the launch of Brunei’s first Kumon Diligent Learning Centre in Kg Jaya Setia last August 2015. Image courtesy of Amanda Yap of The Brunei Times.
 

  
 

 

FZ endorses AOX Natural 
 


Wu Chun, managing director of Fitness Zone with the management form AOX Natural (Brunei).
 

Press release form @aoxbrunei. From month of August onwards, Fitness Zone members can enjoy Natural Antioxidant-rich Alkaline water from AOX Natural. DescGroup Enterprise is the sole distributor for AOX Natural in Brunei Darussalam. AOX Natural was founded with the vision of helping many improve their health and has been awarded as the Asia Pacific Super Health Brand 1st Winner in Singapore Alkaline water industry.

AOX, the champion award winning brand ionises your water through the generous infusion of hydrogen, oxygen and negatively charged ions. This gives your water millions of powerful antioxidants which is highly effective in preventing free radicals damage. Antioxidants works just like Vitamin C! They strengthen your immunity system and promote anti-aging, keeping you looking and feeling fresh and youthful.

AOX mineralises water with health-sustaining minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium and silica to promote healthy cells, bones, joints, organs and skin.

AOX removes dust, sand, rust and other forms of sediments in the water. AOX removes harmful chemicals and cancer causing substances such as chlorine, THM, pesticides and carcinogens. It also eradicates odour in the water, making it smell and taste great!

 


AOX showroom is at Unit 12, spg 1080, Lot 27772, kg Kilanas, Negara Brunei Darussalam. For details, contact 8289089 or 8739948
 

Sam Hiang Kiat, sales manager of AOX Natural
 

“I strongly feel there is a huge synergy between Fitness Zone and AOX as we share the same vision that is to provide healthier lifestyle to our members,” said Wu Chun. He added: “Our members deserve the best that’s why I choose AOX because they are a trusted brand in Singapore supplying water dispenser to thousands of households, offices, hospitals, clinics and government offices including Prime Minister office, 365 Cancer Prevention Society, Kidney Dialysis Foundation, Crossfit boxes, Momentum Lab, etc.”

Sam, the Sales Manager of AOX Natural highlighted, drinking AOX Natural can help the body to eliminate acidity and detox more effectively, thereby preventing many of the diseases which are caused by a diet high in acidic substances. Other benefits includes Daily-Aging, improves metabolism, improve immune system, improves blood circulation, etc.

He continues, AOX also reduces water molecules to smaller water clusters which mean that your body is able to hydrate more effectively than normal water. Any protein drinks make with AOX become immediately more effective, simply because more of it is getting into your cells.

You can follow updates on their IG @aoxbrunei

 

  
 

11
Aug

Don’t Poke and Drive

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

TLI in KK 
 

 

Ah, something that I missed again especially in August. Even last year I missed this round due to prior engagement. Last weekend, toastmasters members in Area K6 (members in Brunei) attended a leadership training known as Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) at Kota Kinabalu. This workshop is normally done in August and January.

Around 20 toastmasters members from Brunei Darussalam attended the training and it was great to know of new members – Heidi Rahman (my mentee), Liyana Sidek, Theressa Chong, Aziman Nasir, Delwin Keasberry and Naj – to fly over to KK for the training.

The momentum has definitely on the rise on the impact that toastmasters have in Brunei and regionally. They have been involved in helping and assisting corporate companies and even students in their communication and leadership skills. Even there were even demo meetings at the Prime Minister’s Office which have slowly benefited the government officers.

And let’s not forget the upcoming Brunei Conference 2016 involving three international speakers – Dananjaya and Willie Jones (both world champion speakers) and Mohd Murad. You can click here for more information of the Brunei Conference 2016 with the theme “Be the Difference”.

Till next time 😀

 

 

KK Toastmasters members represent yooo
 

 

 

 

I can’t believe the expression of Stuart Lee, sitting among the Big 3
 

 

 

 

  
 

18
Jul

The Sibu Experience

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

The Sibu Trip 
 


The gang from Brunei on a road trip to Sibu (8 hours) and staying over at Premier Hotel, Sibu for two nights. Missing here is our photographer, Reuben.
 

A road trip to Sibu. There’s always a flight that I could catch to Sibu thru Miri (one hour) or simply go on a road trip if you have tons of hours to spare. I’ve always heard of this town from Sarawak but never had the luxury to visit the town until last weekend. The reason (for the trip) being is toastmasters where we get to learn new things in communication and especially in leadership (motivating and managing conflict).

I have to say it was a great trip and I’m glad I was part of it. I had the chance to expand my network of friends and learning different cultures and experiences. One of the best moments is perhaps where some of them from Sibu will be heading to Brunei in October for the Brunei Conference in October 2016. Sometimes it pays to move forward and be involved in the thick of things.

I shall be posting more about the trip soon but for now, I shall post some pictures. Yes, I haven’t been updating my page for a while but not to worry. I’m still active on social media and hopefully more active on my blog posts 😀 Have a great week, readers!!

 


The reliable Hyundai H1 carrying 8 of us during the journey. This was a short pitstop at KB Sentral, dining at SugarBun before heading to Miri
 


The conditions on the road along the way weren’t as favourable and I believe the H1 will need a great service at the workshop 😀 Thanks to drivers – Shawn, Reuben, Allen and Amran
 


A quick pitstop to sing our hearts out. Pranika slowly getting into the groove of things. More to come.
 


A surprise anniversary moment for Shawn and Ruey 😀 Happy 11th Anniversary you too
 


The Eric Clapton lover taking the stage as one of the District Leaders for the Division S’ TLI session last weekend
 


Group photo with the 90 plus in attendance for the educational workshop
 


Pamela Vong from Kuching was invited to speak for one of the Mandarin sessions on team building
 


The very much attentive toastmasters from Sibu
 


I had 5 minutes to share about the upcoming conference in Brunei and I sold a few tickets along the way 😀
 


Reuben charming the audience and managed to get selfies after the meeting
 


Allen Ang stole the show for committing to his commitment as a speaker despite many challenges before the session
 


After the joint meeting, we had a quick pitstop at Hisham and Lydia’s open house in Sibu. Thanks for your hospitality.
 


The first joint meeting in Sibu with different areas joining as one
 


It was good to see you again, Pamela.. See you again in Brunei
 


Pranika still obsessed with filters on her phone *lol*
 

 

  
 

05
Aug

R U D Ready?

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Recap 
 


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, conferred state decorations on 235 recipients from both government and private sectors in recognition of their contributions and devoted services to the nation yesterday. In this picture, Captain Czarena Hashim of Royal Brunei Airlines, Sariana Nordin, Senior First Officer of Royal Brunei Airlines and Dk Nadiah Khashiem, Special Duty Officer of Royal Brunei Airlines were conferred the Darjah Setia Negara Brunei Yang Amat Bahagia (The Most Blessed Order of Setia Negara Brunei) Darjah Keempat (4th Class) – P.S.B. Image courtesy of @royalbruneiair
 


The upcoming new Jati Showroom not far from their main branch in Beribi. Estimated to be ready by 2017 and the whole project costs BND 5 million.
 


Progresif Open House which I missed but it’s a good thing that the crew of Filterworks made it and posing with the beautiful ladies from Progresif
 


Baiduri Bank has been recognised by World Finance as The Best Banking Group for Brunei 2016 for the eight time. In the picture sees Paul Richardson of World News Media with Pierre Imhof, CEO of Baiduri Bank.
 


Guess who will be coming to town? The World Champion of Public Speaking 2014, Dananjaya Hettiarachchi. Click image to know more about him. I can guarantee you that you will enjoy the Brunei Conference where he will be one of the keynote speakers.
 


Suicide Squad… Hmmmm… I shall do a more in-depth review of the latest from DC. A few good points and many flaws to begin with. But on a more positive note, I enjoyed this more than Dawn of Justice.
 

 

  
 

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
 

 

  
 

31
May

Up and always

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

The Weekend recap  
 


RBAF personnel firing sparks as part of their performance during the 55th Royal Brunei Armed Forces anniversary celebration held at the RBAF Defence Academy in Tanah Jambu this morning. Image taken by Ridhwan Kamarulzaman of The Brunei Times.
 


Dr Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Abdul Fattaah Ibni Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Perdana Wazir Sahibul Himmah Wal-Waqar Pengiran Muda Mohamed Bolkiah presented the Baiduri Masters Challenge Trophy 2016 to Tony Karim who won his first Baiduri Masters jacket. The charitable tournament attracted more than 900 registrants, the highest so far in the 21st edition of the Baiduri Masters. Image courtesy of Obelina Wang of The Brunei Times.
 


After a successful toastmasters demo meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, a second demo meeting happened again over the weekend. The government officers definitely benefited from the activity and it was great to see Yahya Hj Idris, Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office in attendance and learning how toastmasters can benefit the government sector
 


Last weekend, the four toastmasters clubs in Brunei and the national gavel club joined in hand to celebrate and appreciate toastmasters members and gaveliers in promoting communication and leadership skills. It was a memorable evening with multiple roasts for Allen Ang, our Area K6 Director (handling the whole of Brunei toastmasters). Thank you, bro, for your guidance and leadership presence.
 


It has been a while since I traveled to Singapore and guess who I’m randomly bumped into… These two lovely chaps 😀 Taken last Thursday at ION Orchard.
 


Finally caught up with Joanne, Richard, lil Alex and Frances over dinner at Real Food. This is an organic cafe/restaurant and I kinda love the concept. Won’t mind coming back here again. and it was good to catch up with my Singapore buddies 😀
 


My recent trip to Singapore was also to test drive the new Volkswagen Sports Van which will be launched this weekend. This was a photo shoot with the Brunei media representatives taken at Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay, Singapore. Thanks @volkswagenbrunei for the trip.
 


Jackson Ting, D’Sunlit Managing Director, handing over the grand prize to Sahran Mohd Safar during the finale of the 18th Consumer Fair held at the ICC. Image courtesy of Billah Hasan of The Brunei Times.
 


As usual, the recent consumer fair was packed with people. I salute to those who are able to brave the human traffic.
 


This was another shot taken recent during our Jakarta trip and this was the Magnum Cafe at Grand Indonesia.
 


Our former member of Brunei Speakers’ Club is now a member in one of the Korean Toastmasters Club in Seoul. She recently competed in District Level and managed to come 3rd place.. Wow wow wow!! Amazing 😀
 


The friendly tournament that I organised among our training mates. It was a fun and a hot day too. This is the 1st Leg of the RA Tennis Doubles Tournament 2016. Thank you all for taking part and also to the coaches for the logistics and the draw.
 


The pairing of Kieran and Ming Rui who came 6th overall in the tournament 😀
 


The lovely couple who love prawn and tennis
 

  
 

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
 

 

  
 

04
May

May the 4th be with you

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in Uncategorized

 

National Savings Day 
 


Dayang Nur Syukrina binti Dato Mohd Roselan and Dayang Nurhuaida Fakhriah binti Damit, AMBD representatives during the media briefing.
 

Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD), following a press conference held on Monday, 2nd May 2015, announced that this year’s National Savings Day 2016 will be launched on today, Wednesday, 4 th May 2016.

The first National Savings Day was declared by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, as Chairman of AMBD on 28th May 2015.

The theme for this year’s National Savings Day- “Financially Literate Generation” was chosen to reflect the goal to raise a financially literate and independent generation. This will also contribute to the Wawasan Brunei 2035 objective towards a dynamic and sustainable economy, as well as highly-skilled population.

In collaboration with Tabung Amanah Perkerja (TAP) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) and other related agencies, AMBD will be organising a number of activities which include roadshows to primary schools at all four districts. The roadshows, amongst others, will include interactive games on financial management and introduction to currency by AMBD, TAP and relevant institutions and agencies, geared towards primary school students.

On Sunday, 22 May 2016, a Financial Fun Fair will be held at Jerudong Park Playground and will feature a host of family fun-filled interactive programs and activities also by AMBD, TAP and relevant institutions and agencies, geared towards the general public.

In addition, other events planned for in conjunction with the National Savings Day 2016, are the Financial Planners’ Day organized by the Centre for Islamic Banking and Management (CIBFM), AMBD’s training arm, on Thursday, 26 May 2016, followed by a Financial Planners’ Showcase on Saturday, 28 May 2016.

For more information on National Savings Day 2016 please visit www.ambd.gov.bn or email  at corpcomms@ambd.gov.bn

 


Nurhuaida briefing to the press
 

 

 

  
 

 

Newly EXCOs for BSC 
 


Awfa Nawawi, Heidi Rahman, Rahman Tarsat, Chris Woo, Jordan Yau, Gerald Goh, Rano Iskandar and Aziman Nasir
 

New Executive Committee members of the Brunei Speakers’ Club (BSC) for the term 2016-2017 were elected at the SEAMEO VOCTECH, Gadong last night.

The meeting saw the election of Jordan Yau as President of Brunei Speakers’ Club. Meanwhile, Gerald Goh, Rano Iskandar, Rahmat Tarsat, Heidi Rahman, Aziman Nasir and Awfa Nawawi were elected as Vice President Education, Vice President Membership, Vice President Public Relations, Secretary, Treasurer and Sergeant at arms of BSC, respectively.

Congratulations to the newly elected Executive Committee and their term will being on 1st July 2016. You can view more pictures on the Brunei Speakers’ Club website.

 


Newly elect President, Jordan Yau, giving his remarks
 


26 active members of BSC turned up last night for the Annual General Meeting
 


It was fun to listen to all the speeches by the nominees. The highlights of the night.
 

  
 

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