Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Body scrub, Brunei Stylie...




Attended a friend's bedak mandi (pre-wedding ceremony which involves a blessing by close family elders and a cleansing body-scrub) ceremony this afternoon and it brought back memories of my own bedak mandi all those years ago. What fun, a free body scrub performed by several family members, watched by even more family members! More pics here.
Short rant: During the Microsoft Vista launch, both of us went in "business attire" as stated in the invitation. While trying to photograph the guest of honour, I was approached by one of the more seasoned photographers who asked me where I was from. I said I was an invited guest who happened to bring my camera.

This is what he said to me, "Mana baju kot mu? Kalau jemputan duduk saja. Kalau mau buleh pulang ku panggil AO ni untuk membawa kau keluar." Yes, very Bruneian indeed matey. You could have just told me that its a requirement for photographers to wear a suit in the presence of royalty. No need to bite my head off.

Lesson learnt, point taken thank you Mr Seasoned photographer whoever you are. But why must you be so rude?


Pics from Majlis Bedak Mandi
Pics from Majlis Berpacar
Pics from Majlis Bersanding
Imeanthesnakes gig pics

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The REAL BFG

I said it, he said it, even she agreed. I'm gonna go again to the book fair sometime this week to browse properly what's on offer. But this time I'll be armed with a towel!

Monday, February 26, 2007

The "WOW" Starts Now!

Congratulations to one of my key figures in ICT development in Brunei Darussalam on his well-deserved appointment.



I attended a launching ceremony of the Microsoft office in Brunei. HRH the Crown Prince was the guest of honour. During the ceremony, HRH was presented with a spiffy, mouth-watering Lamborghini notebook. I bet many in the audience, including your's truly, wished they were at the receiving end at that particular moment.

There was also a demo on Windows Vista, Microsoft's update to the aging Windows XP operating system. All I saw was the bells and whistles. I guess I'd need a deeper technical explanation of all its new features in order to convince me to upgrade. I just hope its not a Windows Millennium type of release... nuff sed.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

At the Book Fair...




The venue for the book fair seriously needs to be changed... the indoor stadium's ventilation is in a very bad state and so it was super humid inside. Everyone was sweating like wasn't the year of the pig! Ok that didnt make any sense. Its time for bed. Good night.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Brunei ku tumpah darah ku, Ku cinta sepanjang hayat ku...

Update 25/02/07: The slideshow is up. You can view it by clicking here.
I was in Form 4 when the 1st National Day Parade took place at the Stadium. I remember going with my dad and younger brother.

My dad had a Nikon SLR with a zoom lens then and he let me play with it for a bit and that was the first time I had ever handled one. Since then, I only watched the proceedings every year on the telly in the comfort of my living room.

But as Johnson put it:
It's not the same. You don't sweat. You don't get feel the heat. Smell the body odour and you don't get thirsty. You don't have to set your alarm for 530 am. You don't feel the thumping of the brass band. You don't have to park 2 km away walk into town cause you woke up late.............. you don't get to be on TV!
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that today, 23 years later, I would be on location at the Taman, thoroughly immersed in the experience, carrying my own dSLR and absolutely enjoying myself taking photographs of the event, the people, and most importantly, our beloved monarch.

The atmosphere was simply electric! And in the space of that few hours this morning, I truly appreciated the essence of what being a Bruneian was about... sweet!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Magia Del Maurizio

Maurizio worked his magic again tonight and magic it was... The food was superb and the company fantastic. Thanks so much S and S for having us. Sorry we couldn't stay long cos I've got to be up by 5am tomorrow! Next one's at my place and I'll be cooking! Il mio amico Maurizio, you're invited too!




Purih Bangsa...

Selamat Menyambut Hari Kebangsaan
Negara Brunei Darussalam Ke-23
Kepada Semua Pengunjung AnakBrunei.Org




Brunei tanah air kita
Warisan berkurun lamanya
Budaya Melayu teras bangsa
Islam cara hidup kita

Kita purih pancir mulia
Tabah gagah berhemah tinggi
Bermaruah dan berperibadi
Bersopan sedar harga diri

Masa depan penuh cabaran
Kita ungkayahkan dengan iman
Dengan ilmu bakti setia
Ikhlas amanah kerana Allah

Bangunkan kemakmuran
pelihara keamanan
Teguhkan kedaulatan
Tegakkan keadilan
Junjunglah kebenaran
Hidupkan kerohanian
Ajaran Allah kita turutkan

Tegak bersatu mendukung negara
Brunei sejahtera bumi tercinta
Taat setia rakyat bahagia
Di bawah naungan Sultan kita

Lirik : Shukri Zain
Lagu : Manaf Haji Kamis
Susunan muzik : Manaf Haji Kamis

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Faces - Part 6




1. Look at problems in many different ways, and find new perspectives that no one else has taken (or no one else has publicized!)
Leonardo da Vinci believed that, to gain knowledge about the form of a problem, you begin by learning how to restructure it in many different ways. He felt that the first way he looked at a problem was too biased. Often, the problem itself is reconstructed and becomes a new one.

2. Visualize!
When Einstein thought through a problem, he always found it necessary to formulate his subject in as many different ways as possible, including using diagrams. He visualized solutions, and believed that words and numbers as such did not play a significant role in his thinking process.

3. Produce! A distinguishing characteristic of genius is productivity.
Thomas Edison held 1,093 patents. He guaranteed productivity by giving himself and his assistants idea quotas. In a study of 2,036 scientists throughout history, Dean Keith Simonton of the University of California at Davis found that the most respected scientists produced not only great works, but also many "bad" ones. They weren't afraid to fail, or to produce mediocre in order to arrive at excellence.

4. Make novel combinations. Combine, and recombine, ideas, images, and thoughts into different combinations no matter how incongruent or unusual.
The laws of heredity on which the modern science of genetics is based came from the Austrian monk Grego Mendel, who combined mathematics and biology to create a new science.

5. Form relationships; make connections between dissimilar subjects.
Da Vinci forced a relationship between the sound of a bell and a stone hitting water. This enabled him to make the connection that sound travels in waves. Samuel Morse invented relay stations for telegraphic signals when observing relay stations for horses.

6. Think in opposites.
Physicist Niels Bohr believed, that if you held opposites together, then you suspend your thought, and your mind moves to a new level. His ability to imagine light as both a particle and a wave led to his conception of the principle of complementarity. Suspending thought (logic) may allow your mind to create a new form.

7. Think metaphorically.
Aristotle considered metaphor a sign of genius, and believed that the individual who had the capacity to perceive resemblances between two separate areas of existence and link them together was a person of special gifts.

8. Prepare yourself for chance.
Whenever we attempt to do something and fail, we end up doing something else. That is the first principle of creative accident. Failure can be productive only if we do not focus on it as an unproductive result. Instead: analyze the process, its components, and how you can change them, to arrive at other results. Do not ask the question "Why have I failed?", but rather "What have I done?"

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

All systems go...




The full dress rehearsal this morning went off without any hitches and everyone gave a spectacular performance. Saturday's event looks set to be a truly memorable one! Hats off to the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports for once again organizing a wonderful National Day spectacle. Well done all!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Milk n Chupa Chups...


I was doing a shoot at a friend's place a couple of days ago and as usual, I was enjoying myself as most photographers do when given the opportunity to shoot beautiful people in a beautiful setting. Well, I do anyway heheh...

Sometime during the afternoon, a guest, a very successful businessman and a prominent Bruneian, made a remark which went something like this, "Eh, turun pangkat kah jadi photographer?"

Normally, I would have made a smug come-back to the distinguished gentleman's comment, something like, "Maaf YB, not sure about that, but my previous job in top management involved shovelling other peoples' shit, and lots of it, so in my humble opinion, photography's a vast improvement."

But on that day, I somehow brushed the comment aside and continued enjoying myself behind the lens. It was then that it dawned upon me how much I have grown to love photography... so much so that a derogatory remark, which normally would have gotten me riled up, flowed off me like water off glass :)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Don't go onto the Green...




There was a media briefing this afternoon for the 23rd National Day parade. Apparently media are not allowed onto the grass during the performance... woops... heheh

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Friday, February 16, 2007

Grab the Abalones and do the Laundry!




Ever wonder what happens at supermarkets early in the morning way before opening time? Lots of grown-ups get together and perform a ritual called a supermarket sweep.

In this ritual, some of the grown-ups are allowed a certain amount of time, as little as 10 seconds, to grab anything on the shelves. Canned abalones and washing detergent seem to be prized choices for some reason. Perhaps this was practiced by the elders many moons ago...

At the end of the ritual, the grown-ups cart their loot out of the supermarket with a big smile on their faces...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Drums and Lions amidst a Sea of Red...





PDS School had their early Chinese New Year performance today and everyone turned up in Red. As usual, the kids blew me away with their talent and skills!

The Lion Dance was very impressive with some nice acrobatic moves. The chinese drums team were absolutely spectacular, not surprising with the number of performances under their belt. VKI finalist Azy also made an appearance with her rendition of "Biarlah Rahsia".

An enjoyable afternoon despite the searing heat of the afternoon sun beating down unforgivingly on us heheh...