Friday, 25 December 2015

Konsert ERA Sayang Sarawak 2015


To show their heartfelt gratitude, ERA FM Sarawak had recently held its first ever concert for their loyal listeners at Padang Merdeka Kuching on the 12th of December, 2015. The Konsert ERA Sayang Sarawak (KESS) was mainly sponsored by Emeron and supported by Technology College Sarawak. ERA had lined up some eclectic artistes from both local and international to perform for their radio station supporters. Among them were Afgan, Akim & The Majistret, Black, Stacy, Altimet, Lawa Nie Gang, Deasy Natalina, Mal Imran, iR Radzi, Nana Sheme, Wanie Kayrie and Nadhar.

Press conference and a Meet-and-Greet session for the fans were held before the concert at Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suite. The artistes who came to the press conference gave an insight to what their fans could expect from their performance later that night and updates on their singing career. Fans who won special passes for the Meet & Greet had their posters and CDs' signed. They also had the privilege to take photos with their favourite artistes.

The concert kicked off by the famous trio JoHaRa (Johan, Haniff, Ray) from the Sarapan Pagi ERA FM JoHaRa Pagi ERA segment. They were famous for their spontaneous and humorous punch lines that could evoke laughter or amusement amidst their listeners. Apart from that, those who attended the concert had the chance to win some interesting prizes which were given away in between performances.

On average each artiste perform three songs except Afgan. Afgan sang five of his smash hits and one of them was his latest single, Knock Me Out. He also sang a duet with Wani Kayrie in Kamu Yang Kutunggu. Wani did a great job trying to deliver the song like Dato' Rossa despite her age which was only 15! She is a force to reckon in the music industry in our region especially, the future seems bright for this young lady with a superb vocal. Others were equally entertaining throughout the night with each of them successfully delivering their own hits and energetic performance. The concert came to an end at about one o'clock in the morning with Afgan as its last singer. Crowds stayed till the wee hours because they were excited to see the Indonesian international artiste performed live. It was a golden opportunity for many of his Sarawakian fans since it would be costly to attend his concert even in Kuala Lumpur. We are forever indebted to ERA FM as they managed to get him to perform in Kuching not just once, but twice.

Kudos to ERA FM Sarawak for pulling off a huge yet successful concert. Having 15,000 people came for the show was an indication ERA radio station has a lot of listeners in Sarawak alone. Hopefully this is a great beginning to many more fun concerts that will be held in our state by ERA FM. It would be awesome if this becomes an annual event for the radio station to celebrate its fantastic and fruitful year with their much cherished listeners. ERA FM sure knows how to spoil their supporters! Lastly, thank you so much ERA FM Sarawak for inviting and trusting us to cover this marvellous event.

For more photos of KESS 2015, kindly click on this link:
To watch the recap of KESS 2015, click on Youtube video below or click on this link:



Monday, 14 December 2015

Nando's Kuching


Want to eat healthy? Then head to Nando's in Kuching. The first Nando's restaurant in Sarawak was officiated on the 12th of December, 2015. Some of Sarawak Bloggers Society members and their families had the privilege to join the grand opening at Vivacity Megamall on the auspicious date. 

From a humble Portuguese eatery in the heart of Rosettenville, South Africa, Nando's has grown into one of the world's leading fast casual restaurant brands. With restaurants located in over 30 countries across the world, it's no wonder why everybody's getting a piece of the hot action. From the world's inspiring leaders to celebrities, Obama, Rihanna, David Cameron and Taylor Swift, there's a Nando's fan in every corner of the world. 


All the recent hype about a mystery giant egg roaming around Kuching carrying the hashtag #KuchingHatching had Kuchingites wondered its purpose and many took it to social media sharing the teaser. It was finally revealed that the egg belonged to the much loved flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken connoisseurs Nando's. 


Our experience at the grand opening was nothing short of excellent service and delectable food. For starter, we were served the 'Appeteasers' which consisted of Spicy Mixed Olives, Red Pepper Dip, Hummus with PERi-PERi Drizzle and warm pita. 


For the second dish, we get to try the side dishes such as Coleslaw, Spicy Rice, Mediterranean Rice, Grilled Veg, Corn-on-the-cob, PERi Chips and PERi Wedges. I would highly recommend anyone to taste the Mediterranean Rice. The fragrance of the rice made the dish so appetising. 


The main dish was undoubtedly the star of this casual dining experience - PERi-PERi Flame-Grilled Chicken. A bite can leave you mesmerised and longing for more. In preparing the chicken, Nando's use only A-grade chickens, trimmed of excess fat and marinated for 24 hours. Besides, they also use 100% natural ingredients for PERi-PERi sauce and marinade. The chicken is flame-grilled for a healthier touch. Most excess fat is burned during this process. To add a little adventure, Nando's has included different levels of heat for the sauces. Diners may choose either Garlic, Mild, Hot or Extra Hot sauce. As for the 'Sweet Endings', we were served the Chocolate Crunch Roll. The dessert was made of melted milk chocolate mixed with biscuits. I must say the Chocolate Crunch Roll was delightful, it neither too sweat nor bland. Just the right amount of sugariness and it definitely gave the taste of heaven. 


I would recommend Nando's Kuching to anyone for its excellent hospitality, great food and appealing restaurant. So what better place is there to host your gatherings, meetings or even parties if it isn't at Nando's. To host your event, just pop by or call the restaurant to talk to their Patraos. To get more details on their menu and price, kindly visit Nando's website or follow them on Twitter and Instagram using the handle @NandosMY. Thank you Nando's and MilkPR for inviting us to your grand opening and the goodies bag, I had a pleasant and unforgettable dining experience for sure! 





Some gifts from Nando's 


Thursday, 10 December 2015

JoHaRa Bakal Temui Peminat Sarawak Sempena Konsert ERA Sayang Sarawak (KESS) Sabtu Ini!



Kuching, 7 November  2015 – Pastinya peminat tidak sabar untuk menyaksikan persembahan artis-artis kesayangan mereka untuk Konsert ERA Sayang Sarawak diserlahkan oleh Emeron dan disokong oleh Technology College Sarawak dengan mempersembahkan artis-artis terkenal tempatan dan antarabangsa seperti penyanyi popular Indonesia  Afgan, Akim & The Majistret, Black, Stacy, Altimet, Lawa Nie Geng, Deasy Natalina, Mal Imran, iR.Radzi, Nana Sheme, Wanie Kayrie dan Nadhar. Buat julung kali diadakan, Konsert ERA Sayang Sarawak yang bakal diadakan pada 12 Disember 2015, bertempat di Padang Merdeka jam 7.30 malam ingin memberikan hiburan yang terbaik buat warga Kuching.


Paling menarik dan bakal mengejutkan warga Kuching, peminat bakal berpeluang menyaksikan celoteh penyampai segmen Sarapan Pagi ERA fm JoHaRa Pagi ERA (Johan, Haniff dan Ray) yang sudah lama tidak menjejakkan kaki di Sarawak! Bukan itu sahaja, sepanjang menyaksikan Konsert ERA Sayang Sarawak pada hari Sabtu nanti,  penonton turut berpeluang memenangi  hadiah-hadiah menarik.

Konsert ini dibawakan khas buat semua pendengar setia ERA fm Sarawak sebagai tanda penghargaan kepada mereka di atas sokongan yang telah diberikan kepada stesen ERA fm Sarawak sepanjang tahun ini. Para pendengar ERA fm Sarawak dan juga seluruh penduduk Sarawak dijemput untuk memeriahkan lagi acara ini dan masuk adalah percuma. Ini juga merupakan masa yang amat sesuai buat penduduk Sarawak bagi memulakan kemeriahan sambutan pembukaan awal tahun 2016 iaitu dengan menghayati persembahan anak kelahiran bumi mereka sendiri.

Sebelum bermulanya persembahan, Skuad ERA akan bersama pendengar di atas pentas untuk lintasan istimewa dan sekaligus berpeluang memenangi barangan eksklusif ERA fm. Dengarkan frekuensi ERA 96.1FM di Kuching, 101.3FM di Miri dan layari laman web, www.era.fm, fbsarawak.era.fm  atau ikuti Instagram erafmsarawak untuk maklumat lanjut mengenai Konsert ERA Sayang Sarawak ini.  




Monday, 7 December 2015

The Vlog Godfather Is Coming To Malaysia!




I've been watching Louis Cole's vlogs for a few years and I must say he is my favourite travel vlogger on Youtube. Louis is well-known for his Youtube Channel which is FUN FOR LOUIS with over 1.6 million subscribers. His 'job' is to travel the world and share his experience with us via his daily vlogs. I love watching his vlogs because you get to see many different countries from a traveller's perspective and sometimes we can see places in 360 view! So far he has been to 65 countries, that's impressive.

Being an avid traveller gets him to places which are not often visited by tourists. He has this idea of travelling the world since returning from his first trip oversea. After almost two decades, Louis and his whole family have decided to come back to Malaysia this year for a family holiday. Yeah, he just announced it on his vlog (which is at the end of this write-up). However, he hasn't informed us specifically which part of the country he will be visiting. Hope he'll drop by Sarawak, fingers crossed! Usually his followers will know in advance his next travel destination. So, it won't be a surprise to see some fans end up on his travel vlog later. 

It's Louis who inspired many people around the world to jump on the vlogging bandwagon. I always find his travel vlogs are a lot more entertaining than the television travel programmes because his videos are the 'raw' stuff and not so 'touristy'. Due to his fame, he always gets invited to give a talk at social media or tech conferences all over the world. Sometimes we can see that his travel is organised and sponsored by travel agents or organisations which need him to promote their causes. I've seen Jamie Oliver, Casey Neistat, Kanye West, Russell Brand, Dr. Scott Kelly, CEOs and many more end up on his vlogs. 

One thing I learn from YouTube vloggers is in this internet era, you can make a career out of your passion. As Confucius says, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life". Any famous Youtuber will tell you to keep pursuing what you love to do most and the money or sponsors will come later. You just need to put up quality contents or stories, don't worry about the gadgets that you're using. Well, just letting y'all know that's how I eventually decided to get myself a Canon G7X camera which is owned by vloggers. Not that I want to become one, but I love what the camera can do in different situations. They call it the vlogging camera, famous vloggers like Ben Brown and Casey Neistat have it too. It's an amazing camera! 

So, being a famous vlogger also makes you an influential person. Everything you say, use or wear can easily become a trend. I guess that's why vloggers always get freebies from top brands to promote their products. Besides, vloggers nowadays are really smart too. Not only they are techno-savvy, but they do collaboration to help promote one another. Being a famous figure on social media also has it's own drawback. The more famous you are, the more haters you're going to have. That's something you need to know how to deal with if you decide to vlog. But when you have millions of followers, you have gotta laugh all the way to the bank and forget about those hateful comments!

Peace Out, Enjoy Life, Live The Adventure. Boom! 

Fun For Louis

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Alive and Kicking!



I have just gone through another surgery and it is my sixth! I'm still in recovery period while writing this entry. I guess I'm used to the surgical pain and I don't make it an excuse not to be productive. Besides, it is my spinal bones around the waist area and left knee that are healing. Not my fingers or mind.

I used to live a very active lifestyle and sustained many sport injuries without knowing its severity. All the pain came back when I began to work and it got worse year by year. Our bones become less dense and more fragile as we age, hence prone to serious injuries which can be fixed by surgery.

Throughout my life, I have had injured my right palm, both knees and backbones. So, surgery is inevitable to allow me to continue living a normal life. Yes, you can still enjoy an active life but of course there is limit in movement. You need to be extra careful not to hurt yourself again. I have stopped doing all sorts of sports even running so that I don't put too much pressure on my knees and back. The only advisable sport which is the safest to carry out and will not hurt my joints is none other than swimming. I however a little scared to share a public swimming pool because I tend to worry how hygienic the water is! After some surgeries, believe me you would dread going back to the hospital.

5/6 of my surgeries were done at KPJ Specialist Hospital Kuching. The process is swift but you will have a huge bill to clear. Fret not if you have a medical card or health insurance. I highly recommend everyone, especially youngsters to invest in a medical card because no one can predict when accident will happen. For example, when I torn my ACL, the director of a government hospital advised me to immediately seek help at a private hospital. It would take months just to get an MRI scan at the government's. Imagine how much longer it would take for me to be able to walk again if I were to wait for them to schedule a surgery? Once you tore your ACL, you would never be able to walk unless you get your knee reconstructed. I am not saying the government hospital is not doing anything to speed up the process for an operation, but they have too many patients and chronic cases to care for. So, we need to understand they have to prioritise in order to save lives. There is no harm spending more on our own healthcare at a private medical institution and for speedy recovery, after all health is wealth. 

My experience being taken care of at KPJ Specialist Hospital Kuching was a pleasant one this time. I noticed there was improvement in terms of food and beverage. I was served different appetising menu for every meal. The doctors, nurses and staff were helpful. There was one nurse I purposely named and commented at the feedback form because she was really attentive, kind and professional. I would give credit where credit is due, I wrote down her name hoping that her organisation would take note of her passion in looking after her patient.

For some a surgery seems like a nightmare, but for me it gives us a chance to live a better life. In fact, after my spine fusion surgery I feel way better with no more pain around the waist. Although it is going to take a long time for full recovery, but I'm optimistic from now on I won't have to come home from work complaining about back pain. Hopefully this will be the last surgery for me. I admit it is painful experience but worth it when you think about being able to lead a painless normal life again.

For more information about KPJ Specialist Hospital Kuching, kindly visit their website:
http://www.kpjkuching.com/index.php


Have to carry this card with me my whole life


Saturday, 14 November 2015

The Volunteer Cook in Lesvos, Greece


One morning when I was driving to school, I listened to two TraxxFM DJs talking about a young and kind Malaysian who went all the way to Greece to help the Syrian refugees. I immediately knew they were referring to Rayyan Haries. He is no stranger to me as I have met him while we were covering the Rainforest World Music Festival back in 2013. I managed to record part of the conversation on the radio and decided I should let him listen to it. He deserves to know that many people from around the world truly appreciate what he has done for those who are seeking opportunities to start again after they have fled their war-torn country. 

Rayyan Haries is currently running The Volunteer Cook soup kitchen at Skala Skamnias where thousands of Syrian refugees arrive in their rubber boats wet, exhausted and hungry. He and his team will serve hot soup and tea all day long besides making sandwiches, biscuits, croissants, milk and juices for the war refugees. To Rayyan and The Volunteer Cook project, food carries an important message which is to give people hope as they continue their journey to wherever they are going. As we are well-informed by now, everyday there are thousands of Syrian refugees willingly risk their own lives crossing the Mediterranean sea from Turkey to Greece on rubber boats just to escape war atrocities. I believe we will never forget when the whole world started to pay attention to these refugees after the photo of lifeless Alan Kurdi lying on the beach went viral on social media, subsequently prompting international response. 

Rayyan's soup kitchen is able to feed thousands of people everyday as it is funded by many generous donors from all over the world. Therefore it is important to donate directly to The Volunteer Cook cause which will allow Rayyan and his team to buy food supplies from the locals. If you do want to support The Volunteer Cook, you can send gifts (money) as family and friends on Paypal to r.haries.er@gmail.com . To my fellow Malaysians, you can always transfer fund to CIMB Bank Malaysia, the account number is 7008398899. Remember to email Rayyan Haries at thevolunteercook@gmail.com for those are sending gifts through CIMB account so that he can keep track of your donations. For further enquiry, please email Rayyan at thevolunteercook@gmail.com . To get updates on The Volunteer Cook cause, you may want to follow his page at: 

So, keep the funds coming and put some smiles on the faces of those who desperately need them. To dearest Rayyan Haries, keep doing the great work for humanity sake, keep inspiring the world with your food and smile. Ignore the negativity and remember you are already making headlines around the globe. This world needs more people like you to make it a better place. 




Friday, 25 September 2015

CANON PhotoMarathon Kuching 2015



Photo taken during the 'run'

Photography enthusiasts in East Malaysia had the opportunity to participate in an annual photography event which was recently organised by CANON Malaysia in Kuching on the 20th of September, 2015. Canon PhotoMarathon is Canon's largest annual photography event which is also held in other countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Brunei. The "base camp" or the official venue for Kuching's CPM was Boulevard Mall. Registration began as early as 7 a.m and each participant was given goodie bag, tag and the official t-shirt. All the fees collected from participants were donated to some charities. 

It is not difficult to join this event because all you need is either a DSLR or a compact camera, regardless of the brand. People who are not familiar with this event have this misconception that you need to own a professional camera, you must be a pro-photographer and you need to run as in jogging during the competition. In fact, some of us who took part in Canon PhotoMarathon came as a family. There were some young kids who participated too. So, there is nothing to be shy about for not using any Canon's camera or just because you are an amateur photographer. We were at this event to have fun and learning from one another at the same time. 

Participants had to submit one photo for each theme and before the cut-off time. We were given three themes throughout the day. For those who completed the challenge within the stipulated time, they were awarded certificates of participation. Although we were not literally running to get the perfect shots, but it was a bit of a rush going places to capture photos for each theme. Besides, we had to submit only one photo within three hours for every theme. All photographers were allowed to travel anywhere to shoot, some participants even went to a cave or as far as Kuching Waterfront to take some stunning photos. 

All the interesting shots taken were shown on a stage screen throughout the day and two of my photos were featured (Theme 1 & 3). Although I did not win any prize but that was already quite an achievement as not everyone's photo was up on the big screen. I must admit photos taken by those in Junior category (under 18) were as good as those in the Open category. The competition offered attractive prizes to both Open and Junior categories. The grand prize went to Sheblee Zulazhar and the Junior category won by Renee Bong. The grand prize winner won himself a trip to Japan for a photography clinic and also some really cool photography equipments. What I really like about this competition is that it truly puts our photography or shooting skills to the test and no one is allowed to edit their photos. 

Just for your information, this annual photography event will not be organised in Kuching only. We are not sure if it is going to be held here again next year as Canon wants to give equal opportunity to other cities too. So, I'm glad and grateful I really pushed myself to join the Canon PhotoMarathon. It was really a fun-filled learning experience, will I do it again? Yes, no doubt I will. Hey, at least I got to meet TV-Celebrity/Professional Photographer like Justin Mott from the History Channel's Photo Face-Off. 


Photo for theme 1: Natural

Photo for theme 2: Hide & Seek

Photo for theme 3: Weather



Click the link below to see all the photos taken by the winners:

Friday, 14 August 2015

Stars and Milky Way


I planned to take photos of the Perseid meteor shower these two days but ended up mesmerised by the Milky Way. Stars are much more visible if there is no moon. The darker the sky, the better your eyes can spot the Milky Way. I know it is not easy to spot one, the night sky just look the same for the untrained eyes. During a starry night, the milky way looks like a dusty cloud among the stars. Try to capture the 'cloud' on Manual mode with the settings 30", f/4 (the wider the better, depending on your lens), ISO 1600 or 3200. Just for your information, I took the photos using my Canon G7X. If you can see the Milky Way on your camera screen, then you are zooming in on the right spot in the sky. To capture an excellent photo, you need to be as far as possible from the city or town. Complete darkness is the best place to witness the stunning view of the night sky. It will not be possible for us to see the stars with our naked eyes if there is too much light pollution. Perhaps camping out under the star at somewhere remote or rural is not a bad idea at all. I hope in the future I have the chance to travel to places where the astrophotographers often visit to experience it for myself the real beauty of nature while enhancing my astrophotography skills. By the way, all photos in this blog were taken in Sri Aman town, nowhere 'ulu' nor did I travel overseas for the shoot. I will be glad if anybody can share some information regarding the best place to shoot night landscape in Malaysia. I don't want a typical holiday, I prefer to go on an astrophotography adventure with a group of people who share the same interest and learn something from them. I always love the idea of going on a trip for photography purpose, or on "Instagram mission". 






Monday, 27 July 2015

Loudness Empire


If you ask me personally to name a Dayak indie rock band which is capable of producing good quality on both songs and music videos, I would reckon LOUDNESS EMPIRE. I must say they exceed my expectation. It's unusual for a newcomer to have such capacity as mostly are only applaudable for their songs but not music videos. After years of struggle and unyielding determination, they managed to release their first album to the public on the 26th of July 2015. 

Loudness Empire was founded back in 2010 when a group of young men met while pursuing tertiary studies, then formed a band to compete in battle of the band. The band members are Lesley, Frankie Sana, Christopher Twanc, Estefan Balan Besam and Adrary. The launch of their first single, Sulu, marked the beginning of Loudness Empire's journey to stardom. It was their second single, Pengerindu Nadai Penyangkai, that became a big hit among the local music fans and took the Dayak music world by storm. The song also earned the band the privilege to perform live at Anugerah Muzik Dayak (AMD) 2014 apart from being on top of radio chart. Their success didn't just stop there, currently they are listed as one of the semi-finalists for Anugerah Carta Sapa Juara (ACSJ) 2015. To vote for the band, all you need to do is get a copy of Senawah magazine (Vol. 18, 19 & 20) and fill in the form.

To purchase the original album, you may contact:
Lesley LE (Band Leader) https://www.facebook.com/lesley.lesz?fref=ts
Leo (Band Manager) +601125180484

For more information regarding the band, kindly visit their page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Loudness-Empire-Band/518785808239595?fref=ts




Thursday, 2 July 2015

Original Macam-Macam Ada Mega Buffet


It is during the holy month of Ramadan that every Muslim family is looking forward to breaking fast with all their loved ones. There is no better way of spending a quality time with family members if not enjoying a great meal at the Original Macam-Macam Ada Mega Buffet at Grand Margherita Hotel Kuching. 

The Original Macam-Macam Ada Mega Buffet offers wide range of cuisine which are authentic flavours of Penang, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam and the local food too. They have Laksa Penang, Gula Apong ice-cream, Penang Char Kueh Tiaw, Sushi, fruits, cakes and the list goes on. There are more than 200 kinds of food to choose from. It feels almost impossible to taste and digest everything in just one evening. 

To experience the truly Asia Ramadan buffet, do make reservation in advance in order to avoid from being disappointed. The buffet is priced at RM100 per adult and RM50 per child. For more information or reservations, please call 6082-532111 ext 1158. You may also want to visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/grandmargherita?fref=ts 









Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Konsert Suara Hati Afgan KL 2015


OMG!!! It's happening! Afgan's Suara Hati concert is coming to town! I knew there would be some sort of announcement after seeing him posted some concert plans photo on his Instagram. The concert will be held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on the 18th of September 2015. He is keeping his promise although it isn't exactly held in Kuching like we hope for. He did mention giving us a concert when he came to Kuching for a showcase and that was back in September 2014. However, this is a good start and we hope in the future he won't hesitate to come back for his crazy fans in Kuching. The international Indonesian artiste has won various awards and he is not stoping to earn more. His fan base spreads all over the world including Southeast Asia, Korea and European countries. One of his fans is a member of a K-Pop band, Super Junior. The concert tickets will cost around RM106 - RM386. For more information regarding the online booking, please refer to this website http://www.myticket.asia/konsert-suara-hati-afgan/ . 



Sunday, 21 June 2015

Nading Rhapsody's First Single Launched - UMBAS


It felt like only yesterday when we watched Nading Rhapsody performed on Rainforest World Music Festival stage. One of the songs they sang last year was finally launched this year on the 13th of June, 2015. It was the song that got everyone dancing at RWMF 2014 - UMBAS

Umbas in Iban Language means enough. The song itself is the indie band's way of channeling their frustration towards both local and international issues. Apart from that, it also carries the message of motivation and inspiration despite the negativities that plagued the world these days. Umbas is only their first 'baby' and we should expect lots more songs to be recorded in the studio by Nading Rhapsody in the near future. When asked if there was any difference between recording in a studio to performing on a live stage, they said it involved more complex processes in order for all the instruments to be heard on one track. The recording experience did not come as easy as all of the band members have day jobs. Finding a convenient time for everyone to come together to lay down a track was already a challenge but it did not deter them from wanting to produce their first single. 

Nading Rhapsody does us proud too when this year the band is invited to perform at an international stage, the Tong-Tong Fair or also known as Tong-Tong Festival. However, the band decided to postpone their show at the festival until next year due to financial constraint. Their dream to perform at the world's largest Eurasian fair is about to come true, thanks to the Malaysian Performing Arts Agency (MyPAA) who is willing to fund their trip after being chosen as one of the 16 receivers of the Royal Arts Gala Fund. They will not only represent Sarawak on an international stage at The Hague (Netherlands), but also Malaysia in general. 

The launching ceremony also featured some local talents such as Letticia Kila Thomas who just won the Miss Talent World Harvest Festival 2015, Diana Ant Blikau, Lydia Desmond and Arry Sullivan. For those who are interested to purchase their first single CD, it can be done through their official Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/NadingRhapsody ). For further enquiries, kindly contact Opah at 019-8399188. 


Press Conference

Album cover


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Smiles In The Park 2015: Sheila Majid


I must say the Queen of Jazz did a superb job performing for her fans at Smiles In The Park 2015. Although Datuk Sheila Majid has been in Malaysia music industry for three decades, she didn't seem to age a bit the night she sang for us at Sarawak Culture Village. It was really effortless for her to get the crowd sang along to all her popular hits. Being an 80's baby, I was familiar with songs such as Lagenda, Sinaran and Ratu

During her performance she reminded us not to forget the victims of earthquake in Sabah. She dedicated the song Jauh by Zainal Abidin to the people of Sabah, it was impromptu. The song goes like this...

Selagi bahuku
Memikul bebannnya
Selagi hayatku
Merasa siksamu
Selama senyuman
Menjadi senyumku
Ku bawa wajahmu
Walau diriku jauh...
Jauh... 

Sheila Majid's fans came from every corner of this country, including one fan who was very ill but got the permission from his doctor to be at her show. If I'm not mistaken his name is Jason. Some of her fans also flew in all the way from KL. That's what we called dedication. Yeah, just like people of my music era (boyband era) would fly all the way to KL just to celebrate Backstreet Boys' 22nd anniversary at their concert not long ago. I admit I had a great time watching Datuk Sheila Majid sang for us and hopefully this will not be her last time here. We will always welcome you. 






Monday, 8 June 2015

Should You Go To Smiles In The Park?


I guess the first photo is enough to give you an impression what really went on at Smiles In The Park 2015. Before I go deeper into the topic, I need you to know this isn't my typical way of writing about a music festival. Normally I would only say nice things to show support for the music event I go to. However, this time I think it's important just to tell truth so that you can judge and decide for yourself whether you will want to attend this particular music fest in the future. I'm not trying to condemn the event organisers or sponsors nor performers because I know this event was meant to help the Orang Utan conservation. Whatever I'm writing right here right now, just take it as constructive criticism. This is my honest opinion and what I experienced at Smiles Music Festival (I don't know why they had a few names for this event, making it too many hashtags to type in Instagram). 

I went to SITP with my cousin and friends. We may look like a group of undergrads but in real life we're working adults. But yeah, people nowadays love to judge you from the look. You can observe that from the way some security dudes staring suspiciously at you. Guys, we don't do drugs okay. We may come with tees, short pants and flip-flops but never let that appearance cloud your judgement. Besides, there was no dress code mentioned anywhere in the rules and regulations. 

We were the earliest to arrive at Sarawak Cultural Village on the first day. Frankly, I felt like I had the whole concert to myself! The tickets said we could go in at 5pm but there was no information regarding the showtime. This is an area where the organisers should work on, provide the festival-goers with programme details. So, we went to the Yumecon Cosplay Convention area as we had nothing to do. I don't think I need to justify any further what happened when we arrived at the "convention". This was the same crowd we saw throughout the 2-days event at SITP. 


Then, we decided to go to the Iban Longhouse when we saw the Carlsberg banners. So, we sat there chilling out, drinking and chatting with the host of the first day event. We couldn't think of a better way to kill time. 


We made a move when we heard DJ Kiyoshi calling out for festival-goers to gather in front of the stage. That was already a few minutes passed 8 o'clock. We thought there was going to be a huge crowd since we had been chilling out at the longhouse for couple of hours. The photo below showed the crowd who attended the first day of SITP, probably around 50 people? There were more staff than party people honestly. 


No matter what, the show must go on. Sada Borneo did the opening show. We were stoked to watch their performance since these boys had made it to the semi-final of Asia Got Talent. I must say they were really, really entertaining! I love their songs, hopefully the band will make an effort to record them in an album. They didn't disappoint us at all. For the rest of the night, we were also entertained by K-Town Clan, Sonaone, DJane Geri, DJ Leng Yein, DJ Jakeman & Skeletor. I won't lie the first day was really fun although it rained when Sonaone performed. It stopped when it was DJ Ling Yein's turn to spin. The first day also felt more like an EDM concert since all the DJs spin much, much longer than those who sang. It was like an hour of singing and three hours of EDM. This whole experience was truly a 'private party'. Apart from that, I also want to give two thumbs up for the stage lighting, stage screen and sound system. They crew did an awesome job there. 






On the second day of SITP we reached SCV at 6.30pm and guess what, we were still among the earliest to arrive! Pity the cameraman sitting there alone. At this point, we were already wondering if the crowd could be any larger than the first day. Well, the crowd on the second day was approximately 100 - 150 people. Not kidding you, but it was obvious they were Datuk Sheila Majid's lifelong fans. A few of them came all the way from KL and one of the fans, Jason (if I'm not mistaken), had to ask for his doctor's permission to be at the Queen of Jazz show. That's a real diehard fan there. 


I didn't take photos of artistes who performed on the second day, except for Datuk Sheila Majid. I will talk more about her show in the next blog. The reason why I didn't take photos of Jambu, Mark Adam, Waris, Shae, Qierra or Diana Liu because I wasn't into the artistes. Besides, I wasn't in the mood due to the double standard practised by those on duty at the entrance, especially the security. This was my first time getting pissed off at a music event by a petty issue. It was about the clear/transparent bag we used to carry our precious items. I knew about the rules but why the double standard and worse, one of the security dude called us "SUCKS"! Yes, I heard it. Has it ever crossed your mind that the festival-goers are the people who paid for your wages? I've been to some music events and this was the most vulgar, unfriendly, unkind and unhelpful security force I've ever encountered. If I knew which company who rendered the security service, I would name it here as my blog is google-able. JFYI, I've blogged for both local and international events and artistes before. 

You want to call us sucks just because we questioned your double standard? One of the rules clearly stated no bags allowed. Well, we saw some people without tags, just normal festival-goers like us, carried their sling bags or handbags everywhere they went. When the security denied our access just because of the size of bag we carried, we began to question them. All we had inside the clear/transparent bag were tickets, wallets and car keys! Then, they said we might carry drugs with us, WTH! So, here's the bag... I'm gonna show you. Do you see any harmful substance inside? Come on, we all know we still can have fun at music festival without alcohol and drugs okay. 



They didn't allow us to enter just because of the size, I was like SERIOUSLY? Try to compare it to those who carried their backpacks, handbags and sling bags, who is more likely to smuggle illegal substance? Did you even bother to ask us why we carried this bag? On the first day our electronic gadgets and our precious items were already soaked in the rain, so was it wrong for us to protect them? Never forget this is an outdoor event. Besides, who on earth want to leave all the valuable items in the car? Can we claim from you if our car is smashed or stolen? 

Instead of being rude, you could have offered to keep the bag safely at the counter so that we could collect it after the event. In the end they allowed us in after we took out our belongings and left the empty clear bag at the counter. How ridiculous was that? I remembered the last thing the lady said she actually did keep some bags for the festival-goers, why didn't you mention it at the beginning? Or else this whole bag drama can be avoided. 

Based on my experience, what I can suggest is that you prepare the clear plastic bag for those who wish to leave their belongings at the entrance for safe keeping. Or you can wrap them in a zip bag and label it. You may also issue a receipt with numbers and owner's particulars written on it. It will make your job easier when it comes to returning the festival-goers' belongings. At least we can enjoy ourselves at the festival without having to worry things get stolen or missing. Besides, it also prevents other people from trying claim items which don't belong to them. Calling people SUCKS isn't going to solve your problem. It will surely cost you the publicity of this event instead. I'm saying this not to show I disregard all of your efforts to organise such a huge event for a good cause, but you also need to mind your professionalism and hospitality which will also affect your ticket sales in the future. The photo below points the obvious which security guy who spewed that foul word. 


Those who were selling food at the "foodcourt", I wonder how much did they earn? So much leftover I bet. Clearly the staff, volunteers, security and others were outnumbering festival-goers. One more thing, I felt sorry when Tuku Kame said "Kamek orang sik kisah berapa orang jak nangga persembahan sebab setiap orang ada sepasang mata, ramei lah ya." I wonder why you let them performed at 6.30pm when it was better at 7.30pm onwards. I think there were about 10 people watching their show? I know they can be really entertaining because I watched them performed at RWMF. 


With this little crowd who mainly came for Datuk Sheila Majid's show, performers on the second day had to beg the audience to sing or dance along to their songs except for Diana Liu. She had the crowd cheering for her at the end of each song. Her jazz music was good, even in Mandarin. I know the singers need the energy or vibes from the crowd, but you can't deny festival-goers have their own personal preferences when it comes to music genre. You can't blame us if we are not into Justin Bieber or Elton John. The vibes you get from the crowd are their direct response to your music, it's either they enjoy it or they don't. There's no need to jump off the stage just to get the festival-goers' attention, it's dangerous considering the lawn is wet. Just look at Datuk Sheila Majid, it was effortless for her to get the crowd sang along and she obviously enjoyed performing for them too. 

I hope with whatever I have written in this particular blog post, you guys will learn something. There are rooms for improvement. Will I recommend this event to other people? I'll let them be the judge themselves. The tix ain't cheap too. It costs almost the same price as one-day RWMF pass. I won't say 'yes' or 'no'. Personally for me it all depends on who performs or perhaps just for the sake of charity (if you have a lot of money). Last but not least, I beg all music event organisers, please don't impose too much rules in your event because they take away the 'fun'. I understand you want to ensure everyone's safety, but have you read the recent article about the test results of those who died at FMFA? The main cause of death is HEATSTROKE. So, better sell drinking water at a cheaper price. Lastly, let us bring our cameras because good photos on our social medias also mean you're getting good review and extensive publicity. As long as there's no nudist, we're all good!