Good things come in “2”s

2 months ago (approx.), I embarked on a new adventure.

I packed my bags and moved across international borders, having landed a new job in a new town in a different country (from where I moved from).

For the first month, I stayed at an Inn which made the move feel temporary – as if I was just “away on business trip” instead of “working at a new job”. But since moving into my own place at the beginning of this month (2nd month here), my after-work hours have been quite occupied in turning the house into a home.

It’s a newly-made single storey unit with a livingroom-bedroom area, attached with its own kitchen and toilet; furnished with a carpet, TV, chairs, table, bed and mattress, wardrobe, refrigerator, stove, gas, movable clothes-rack and water heater. I have been slowly equipping the operational areas like the kitchen and toilet and making the livingroom-bedroom area as comfortable and stylish as possible while consciously not making any major purchases/additions to the furniture and fittings.

And tonight, I shall officially be unveiling my home to the public – with a house-blessing (house warming) get together with family and friends.

Key dates to this new chapter of my life (A Story of “2”s)

12 May 2015: My birthday

25 May 2015: Moved to a new country/town (staying at an Inn) where there is no family members and the number of friends I could count on one hand

26 May 2015: Started at a new job

12 June 2015: Paid the 2 months’ rental deposit for my own place

22 July 2015: House-blessing (House Warming) Get-Together

Within the 2 months (approx.) I have been here, I can only say I am so thankful and blessed that what worries me (presently) is that I do not have enough chairs for my guests tonight! :)

I left/came Home

More than a decade and a half ago, I left Brunei Darussalam for my studies but I returned and stayed there for quite a number of years after that. And now, it’s been a little more than a week since I left again – this time for work.

Although Sarawakian, I spent most of my life in Brunei so leaving and going back to Malaysia was, in a way, awkward?

I felt like I left home (Brunei) but then again, I came home (Malaysia)?

Currently, I am 5 hours away from Brunei by land. That means I could always drive back on long weekends and my friends and family in Brunei could visit me here. So it’s not too bad. (When I was away for studies, I was even further!)

With barely a full week at work yet (last week was my first week but I started on a Tuesday) and earlier this week was still the Gawai holidays (ie. public holiday) there’s really nothing much to say yet except I quite enjoy the work environment so far. Everyone is friendly and already I am in the whatsapp group. LOL!

Being able to go back to my village during Gawai was an obvious plus now that I am working in Sarawak. Had I still been in Brunei, that would have required me to take leave off work, but not here. It was a nice reunion with the grandparents and uncles/aunties and cousins after so long.

Another thing I appreciate here is that I am able to speak Bahasa Melayu Sarawak again (and I was fairly impressed how it isn’t rusty at all in spite of not using it for years hehe) and yet still converse in English. Best of both worlds really.

Living accomodation is a work-in-progress though as I am currently living the “suite life” in the local Inns while looking for a place to call home here. Have contacted a few people and have a few prospects but nothing confirmed as yet.

In the meantime though, the past week and so since I left has felt more like a vacation than a relocation – especially since my family is currently still with me since Day 1. They will be returning to Brunei in the next few hours though so maybe then the full reality will sink in.

Anyways, I do hope to actively blog again, at least to update on how things are happening this side of Borneo, so yeah, follow my blog to be notified on future posts! :)

Blogging on WordPress – A Willingness To Share

Originally posted on HarsH ReaLiTy:

The blogosphere is as connected as you want it to be. You are as connected to it as you wish to be as well. There isn’t an “online community” here on WordPress. There are thousands of communities, groups, and support groups here doing our own thing. We all contribute to the noise that is the blogosphere though and that is what binds us even if we don’t care for one another or one another’s views.

1) I am a blogger. I support bloggers because that is part of what blogging is about. At least to me. The reason people seem to care so much about what I say is for two reasons. I help a lot of people daily. You may consider a “reblog” or a share of a post a small thing and that is your right to an opinion. But let me ask you this unnamed blogger. Have…

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Winner of Asia’s Got Talent Season 1

The Asia’s Got Talent (AGT) Result Show last night opened up with an awesome performance from The Finalists.

And in between revealing the results, stellar performances by David Foster and Charice, Anggun, Consentino & The Superstar Judges (Melanie C, Van Ness Wu, Anggun and David Foster).

Asia’s Got Talent Judges ‘Let’s Groove’ Single is available to download now! Click Here! http://getmusic.lnk.to/letsgroove

Proceeds from the sale of this single will be donated to charitable organizations committed to aiding victims of the earthquake in Nepal.

The Final 9 became the Final 6 after it was revealed that Gao Lin & Liu Xin, Gwen Dorado and Dance Thrilogy had the lower votes of the 9.

Gao Lin & Liu Xin was, for me, a top contender so I was quite shocked they were out so early. I guess with internet being regulated in China (no Facebook etc), determining the winner via the voting system was their downfall. (I think the same is what happened to Oscar Chu.) Undoubtedly, they are the winners in the Game of Life though as they are left the show engaged. Congratulations and best of luck to the two lovebirds as they dance off into married bliss!

Next, even more shocking, it was revealed that Triqstar and Junior New System had to bid their farewells leaving only 4 acts remaining…

Triqstar had always been a favourite (for other favourites, click here) and among the finalists, I decided to vote for them in the Finals, alas it still wasn’t enough to get them through. As for Junior New System, with 4 acts for the Philippines I guess the divided votes was not enough for them. Gambatte Triqstar & I want to see more from you!!!

Next to leave the competition was The Talento! Boy is the show full of surprises! Congratulations The Talento for making it to the Final 4 and the youngest act to do so too. #AsiasGotFutureTalent with these boys.

And so it stands, the Top 3 for AGT were Khusugtun (Mongolia), Gerphil and El Gamma Penumbra (Philippines) – and Gerphil had the lower number of votes. I was speechless for as I did NOT expect Khusugtun to be so favoured much less be in the Final 2?! I have my reasons for not rooting for them, but I guess it is for that same reason they had an advantage with the winner being determined via votes. (Dear AGT, please screen your contestants next season! It is an UNFAIR playing field when you pit established groups against those unknown talents.) As for Gerphil, she need not worry. Her future is secured by David Foster. You can bet on it!

Thankfully, it was EL GAMMA PENUMBRA who were crowned the first Asia’s Got Talent winner!!!

From the very beginning, I had appreciated their talent but I did not vote for them in the Finals as I was certain Philippines would not let them down. THANK GOD indeed!

So, CONGRATULATIONS EL GAMMA PENUMBRA!!!

Hope you use this win as a platform to continue inspiring people and make a change in the world with your beautiful shadow masterpieces!

Here’s a video recap of their AGT journey:

Judges Audition – earned them a Golden Buzzer straight to the Semi-Finals.

Semi-Finals which earned them their 2nd Golden Buzzer that brought them to the Finals

The Finals – which won them the most votes and the title of being Asia’s Got Talent winner!

And this marks the last of my AGT posts, hope you’ve enjoyed the journey as much as I did.

(And don’t forget to catch AGT Semi-Finalists, Sada Borneo tomorrow at Miri City Day!!!)

See you at marg.wordpress.com! :D

Asia’s Got Talent Season 1 Finalists with hosts Marc & Rovilson

Asia’s Got Talent: Personal Favourites

The Results Show tomorrow night will reveal the first Asia’s Got Talent (AGT) winner, marking the end of the first season of AGT. This post is to compile those acts that I enjoyed, my personal favourites, but did not make it to the Final 9.

In the order of their Judges’ Audition:

Time Machine

Their Judges’ Audition earned them the very first Golden Buzzer of the show securing them to the Semi-Finals. Unfortunately, they lost on votes in the Semi-Finals. Click here to watch their Semi-Finals performance.

Toshan

I loved his BIG voice as soon as he opened his mouth to sing! Unfortunately, he lost on votes in the Semi-Finals.

Alttype

I never knew that skipping ropes could be so cool! But they too lost on votes in the Semi-Finals.

Fe & Rodfil

This odd duo didn’t get past the Judges’ Audition. He’s funny and she is a great singer. I guess the combo just didn’t work to their favour.

Sensational Stefano & his puppet Shawn Chua (oh wait! It’s the other way around! :P)

My first time to see an Asian ventriloquist act. I had hoped they would have been selected for the Semi-Finals but they didn’t make the Judges’ Cut.

Oscar Chu

He is simply awesome & I was so glad he made it to the Semi-Finals! Unfortunately, he lost on votes in the Semi-Finals. Click here to watch his Semi-Finals performance.

Han

She was another talented singer – but I guess not talented enough to make the Judges’ Cut.

Miss Tres

They really were da bomb! I wondered why they weren’t selected for the Semi-Finals but then again, perhaps after the element of shock/surprise is gone, there’s nothing much left to offer? Guess we’ll never know.

D’Intensity Breakers

Now they should have made it to the Semi-Finals. For me, they were more talented than some of the dance groups that made it to Semi-Finals. Unfortunately, the judges didn’t agree. Oh well.

Sada Borneo of course!

Very personal to me, they are the reason I even started blogging about AGT in the first place. And you can bet I will be keeping a close eye on them here in my blog even after AGT. Eventhough they lost on votes in the Semi-Finals, this isn’t the end of their journey – look at what they’re up to alreadyClick here to watch their Semi-Finals performance.

Neil

This guy can really beatbox. I read online that he couldn’t be in the Semi-Finals due to studies. That’s a shame. Oh well, maybe he’ll come back for Season 2.

Sydney

She has class. I really wanted her in the Finals, alas she lost on votes in the Semi-Finals. Click here to watch her Semi-Finals performance.

Vilas Nayak

He is talented. Though he should have asked for the golden buzzer, at least he didn’t go home empty-handed!

Who were your AGT favourites?

For other AGT videos, click here.

Sada Borneo at Miri City Day, then off to Kuching!

Their time in Asia’s Got Talent (AGT) may have ended… but indeed Sada Borneo’s journey has just started!

As soon as we find out who among the Finalists will be crowned the first AGT winner this May 14th, Sada Borneo is already scheduled to perform in Miri, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia on May 16th!!!

WOOHOO!!!

They will be performing at the Miri City Day 10th Anniversary Concert on 16th May 2015.

And then, just 3 weeks later, on June 5th, they are scheduled to perform in Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia!!!

At this rate, we’ll soon lose track of the boys’ whereabouts so do follow their official Facebook Page: Sada Borneo for updates on future performances/shows/etc!

Looking forward to more chances to catch them LIVE!!!

Continue to Keep Our Legacy, Sada Borneo! =)

Asia’s Got Talent Finalists

These 9 acts (I wrote about their Semi-Finals here and here) battled it all out in the Asia’s Got Talent (AGT) Grand Finals last night.

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Now it is up to us to vote and determine the very first AGT winner! A daunting task but having followed their journey from Judges Auditions to Semi-Finals and to the Grand Finals, here’s my thoughts on last night and who should win the coveted title and USD100,000 (plus USD100,000 worth of flights with Jetstar across Asia! SWEET!!!)

In the order of their appearance at the Grand Finals:

1. The Talento
There is no denying that these boys really do know how to rock! Performing “Final Countdown” to kick off the Grand Finals really brought everything into perspective of how it really is the final countdown to determining the winner of AGT. INTENSE! I wouldn’t be surprised if they grew up to became those long-haired tattoo-ed head-banging rockers who smashed their equipment at the end of their concerts! Oh dear, that’s not my kinda thing.

2. Gao Lin & Liu Xin (2 times Golden Buzee)
Having breezed through the Judges Audition and the Semi-Finals with the Golden Buzzers, they are obviously the Judges’ favourite act – and who can ever complain about that?

Eversince their audition, we have seen how their unconditional love for each other is really captured by their dance and last night’s performance really really really was the epitome of what they have consistently shown us at the competition. I had GOOSEBUMPS watching them last night! And the difficulty of the moves they did just blew me away!

The proposal at the end of it really truly is the icing on the cake. Forget about pre-wedding photoshoot, they have a pre-wedding dance video! Aaaaawww~~~

3. Gwen Dorado
Last night’s performance was better than the Semi-Finals but to me, she hasn’t really found her identity and is still experimenting with her talents. Firstly, in the Judges Audition, she sang and played the guitar and I really loved her roar. Then, in the Semi-Finals, she sang more than she played (and her singing was off). And last night, she didn’t play at all but just sang instead. Yes, she has a great voice (though not perfect, there was a minor glitch I noticed at a point) but I wanted the original Gwen with the autographed-guitar.

4. Dance Thrilogy
My feet were actually twitching and had I been watching alone I probably would have started tap dancing along with them (or at least try to and perhaps injure myself while at it)! Apart from that though, their performance was good but I feel they still have a long way to go to be the best they can be. They have the potential. They are one of #Asia’sGotFUTURETalent but that’s not the name of this competition…

5. Khusugtun
They did a wonderful job bringing Mongolia to us but that is expected for they are already professionals in what they do. They are a well-established band. They have already been travelling and performing all over the world (David Foster even referred to them as the “One Direction” of Mongolia) and so since the very beginning, I felt it unfair for all the other acts to be competing alongside them when they do not need to win this unlike the other acts. Imagine One Direction (proven talent, already famous, has the means to make it in the industry) competing with a lesser known act (never been heard of, needs finance to pursue their dream) – hardly fair right? They are known talents and they do not need a show to tell them that. And that is why my vote will not be going to them.

6. Triqstar
From the very beginning, I always saw them as Duracell bunnies – especially when they do their fluid-yet-robotic moves in slow mo! Weirdly wonderful was used to describe them and they are indeed that.

I have always enjoyed their performance and even voted for them in the Semi-Finals (in fact, they were the only act I voted for in Semi-Finals that made it to the Finals!) so it’s no denying that I like what I’ve been seeing. But they didn’t completely win me over and the competition in the Finals is really good. I am torn…

7. El Gamma Penumbra (2 times Golden Buzee)
The only other act to have glided pass the Judges Audition and Semi-Finals (along with Gao Lin & Liu Xin) thanks to the Golden Buzzers, these guys never fail to tell an inspiring story or give a beautiful message with their shadow-play.They certainly did it again last night and touched us with their piece on Mother Nature. They are undeniably an inspiration to many in what they do and I am certain they will go far.

8. Gerphil Flores (Golden Buzee at the Auditions)
She has a powerful voice and she knows it. However, I have yet to truly be blown away by her song-choice. I was hoping she would do a song from a musical (Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables, for example) but at least she did “The Impossible Dream” – still better than the song-choice in the Semi-Finals I felt. I am pretty sure that if she does not win this, she will be signed up by David Foster himself. She is, afterall, his Golden Girl and he guaranteed she will go far. That said, she does not need to win this as her career is pretty much secured already – and that is why I am definitely not voting for her.

9. Junior New System (Golden Buzzee to the Finals)
From the very beginning, these groups of boys have been portrayed as coming from an underprivileged background and winning this competition would no doubt greatly assist them and their families. But while I enjoy their performances, they never really blew me away with it. I wish them all the best for the future. They can only get better. But for the moment, for the now, talent-wise, I feel other acts deserve this win more.

At the end of it all, I applaud all of them for bringing their BEST performance yet seen in the competition but I am not looking forward to having to choose only ONE to vote for to win Asia’s Got Talent!

And at this point, my vote is torn between Gao Lin & Liu Xin OR Triqstar as I feel it will count more towards either.

Voting has opened since last night and will close by Monday, 11th May 2015. I still have a few days to deliberate…who do YOU think should be the Asia’s Got Talent winner?

~~~

And here’s how to vote:

There are 3 ways to vote (visit http://asiasgottalent.tv/vote/ for full instructions)

Method 1 – via SMS(unlimited)

SMS “Act Number″ -refer picture above (eg. AGT2 for Gao Lin & Liu Xin) and send it to your country’s designated short code (For Malaysia, it’s 33200 – for others, click here:http://asiasgottalent.tv/vote/)

SMS charges apply.

Method 2 – via Facebook (only ONE vote per user)

Just go to this link and vote:

On computer: https://www.facebook.com/asiasgottalent/app_1598372720404428

On mobile: https://fbvotenow.asiasgottalent.tv/

Voting on Facebook is free.

IMPORTANT: Each user is entitled to ONE VOTE ONLY (so vote wisely!)

Method 3 – via the official Asia’s Got Talent app(unlimited)

Just download the app (available on the App Store and Google Play) and start voting. You can purchase 1, 3, 25 or 100 votes at a click of a button. (WOW!) Read the Terms&Conditions for more information on purchasing votes and voting.

IMPORTANT: You can vote as many times as you want via SMS and the Asia’s Got Talent app but the producers reserve the right (at their sole discretion) to exclude any votes which they feel have been placed to unfairly manipulate the results.

Check out the Voting FAQ section if you have any other doubts: http://asiasgottalent.tv/vote/faq