#livekch HASHTAGLIVE KUCHING

Kuching, capital of the Malaysian state of Sarawak on Borneo, is a bustling, diverse city of old colonial buildings and modern towers – and it will come alive in 10 days with HashtagLive Kuching!

Copy of HashtagLiveLogo_HighRes

Happening on 12 & 13 September 2015, HashtagLive Kuching is a social media festival which will focus on the good use of social media.

Unfortunately for me, I would not be able to make it. (I swear, Kuching got a lot more hyper after I left!)

But for those of you who are in Kuching (or can make it there) you can anticipate to get to know local and up-coming youtube artist (Sarawakians and really talented!), watch and play games/egames, visit a booth by your favourite online shop and check out indie brands at the LiveMarket! And you will get to do real social media stuff at the first of a kind social media area! There are also lucky draws, contest and more happening during the event.

Nothing better to do on that weekend? (It’s a long weekend too since 12th is a public holiday) Grab the opportunity to be part of this historical event! For more info on the event, and for official merchandise like this:

t-shirtnew

Check out the official website here: http://hashtaglive.sarawakbloggers.com/

Blogging on WordPress – A Willingness To Share

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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Dedicated To Sada Borneo (AGT19)

My dearest Sada Borneo,

You dedicated the Semi-Finals to us – to Malaysia and all who supported you from all over Asia.

The composition we brought tonight is called ‘Dedicated To You’. It was composed to express our gratitude to our families and friends who had always been there for us through thick and thin, without whom we would not be who we are today.

‘Dedicated To You’ was composed right after the self-titled piece that got us 4 YESes at the Asia’s Got Talent Judges’ Audition and the first time we performed it was during Malam Bumi Kenyalang 2014 (Sarawak Cultural Night 2014) in our university.

Touched by the amazing support we received through social media from everyone around the world during Asia’s Got Talent, what better way is there for us to thank each and everyone of you for your support and encouragement but through our language which is music. So truly, the Semi-Finals is dedicated to you.

‪#‎sadaborneo‬ ‪#‎asiasgottalent‬ ‪#‎keepourlegacy

– From Sada Borneo’s Facebook Page

Now I dedicate this post to you.

Nothing could have prepared you for the journey that awaited you when you decided to audition for Asia’s Got Talent (AGT).

Before the Judges’ Audition a month ago, most of Malaysia had not heard about you.

Sada Borneo @ Judges Audition (AGT)

Now, not only Malaysia but Asia and the whole world knows about you. More than that, they fell head over heels in love with you!

But did they love the REAL Sada Borneo or who they thought/wanted you to be?

David Foster, at the Judges’ Audition, already said he “didn’t like” the bass guitar and the acoustic guitar in the mix but he “loved loved loved” the traditional part of it.

Therein lies the “dilemma”…

From Sada Borneo’s website:

The unique thing about our band is that we are using traditional music instruments like sape, bungkau, kompang, seruling…. basically any instruments we can get, and then combining them with modern instruments like keyboard, bass and guitar, while infusing nature elements (rain, birds etc) to make music.

We are trying something new by combining modern western music and traditional Malaysian music. We hope that we can show the beauty of Malaysia through music.

Do you change who you are to be loved? Or do you remain true to yourselves?

Click here to watch Astro Awani’s interview with Sada Borneo before the Semi-Finals

Sada Borneo @ Semi-Finals (AGT)

David wanted you to be more “traditional” – but that is not the REAL Sada Borneo.

Van Ness said it perfectly: “You stayed true to who you are” and Anggun was inspired to do a World Music album by listening to your music!

From Sada Borneo’s website:

AIM

  • To show the beauty of Malaysia through music.

  • To attract the youth of Malaysia to appreciate Malaysian traditional music.

  • To expand Malaysian traditional music to international level

  • To perform in international music festivals such as the Rainforest Music Festival in Sarawak, Penang World Music festival in Penang etc.

The facts remain:

1. You were the only act from Malaysia that made it to the Semi-Finals – shortlisted along with 23 other acts from other countries out of the thousands that auditioned – you did show the beauty of Malaysia through your music

2. You have made youths all over Malaysia ask questions and yearn for answers about our traditional music

3. You brought Malaysian traditional music on the international stage through Asia’s Got Talent

4. “World Music” – the exact word Anggun used to describe your music. I am sure the Rainforest World Music Festival and the likes are just around the corner!

So here’s what I say and what I believe others like me feel: We support you for who you are. And to us, whether you go on to the Finals or not, you will always have our support.

Keep on making your kind of music. I am sure there is room for improvement and I look forward to seeing you become the great musicians you are, each and everyone of your 11 members and together as Sada Borneo!

So smile my Sada Boys. You only have one way to go from here – UP!

With love,

Mar

~~~

sb

VOTE FOR SADA BORNEO! (Voting ends on 4th May 2015.)

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

Method 1 – via SMS(unlimited)

SMS “AGT19″ 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 (one vote per user per episode)

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 for one vote per user per episode.

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

Will Sada Borneo make it to the Finals and be that much closer to being the first Asia’s Got Talent winner??? ONLY YOU can make it happen!

So vote, vote, vote!

AGT19! Sada Borneo!

(Voting ends on 4th May 2015.)

2012 in review

Happy New Year 2013!!! 😀

8 as is a good date as any to write my first post for 2013, but as usual before things can start, others must end…

Thus here are the milestones of my 2012 (both in the blogging world & off)

At the beginning of 2012, I said I would live in the moment & trust God more and I think 2012 was just that:

I came to a more concrete realisation of my dreams of being a writer (quite unplanned)

By February, my blog was chosen as Blog of the Month and an article of mine appeared in a local (Sarawak) paper. And though not because of my writing (but it was print media so it denotes an honorable mention :P) I also made an appearance in a Brunei local paper.

In April, I applied for a travel writing scholarship and though I did not get that, I did get 2 awesome opportunities (major highlights of my year!) – I had the opportunity to actually cover 2 big-scale events on a media pass!

See me in the press pit? 😉 STILL one of my fave photos of the year!

They were the Borneo Jazz Festival in Miri in May & the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching in July – these 2 events encompassed all that I love: music, travel & writing. It was awesome!

Through a series of events, I also sat for a journalist exam with a local paper. If it is to be, I will be called for an interview next. Trust God. 🙂

Living in the moment meant I was up to whatever life presented…which led me to some very interesting things..

In April, I joined a Run & ran 5km – with less than 1 week of training at that! 😉 If future me had told me in January 2012 that I’d be running in 3 months I wouldn’t have believed myself.

On a whim (bought the tixs the night before I flew), I finally went to Kota Kinabalu (prior to this it had always been just passing through) in August & in September, for the first time, I stepped foot in Penang. While the former can be checked off as “done”, Penang requires another more proper visit. 😀 And since I’m on the subject of travelling, Labuan was “done” in April 2012 and Bintulu in February.

With those, I guess 2012 was a “Cuti-Cuti Malaysia” year for me…plus the multiple trips to Miri & at least 3 trips to Kuching.

Life & work caught up with me towards the end of the year (thus my blog was on halt from Sept-Dec) but if I could summarise those months into a blog title it would be: “3 Weddings & a Conference” – 1 of those weddings was that of a very dear friend of mine. :’) Congrats to all 3 couples!

And so ends my review of 2012 (in general).

It had been a great year filled with memories & experiences money can’t buy…no matter where I went or what I did, it was those who were with me (be it physically or in spirit) that made them special.

Thank you for journeying with me in 2012 & I look forward to more adventures together in 2013. 😉

Leaving you now with a review of Perfect Imperfections for 2012 from the guys at WordPress.com:

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

RWMF 2012: Highlights

The 15th Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) has ended, but apart from the fact that the Festival was (and always is) AWESOME – see and listen for yourself:

Video source-superadrianme1 : intro by Le Trio Joubran followed by Danyel Waro playing the kayanm/kayamb or as I described it – “winnowing” 😉 , Diplomats of Drum, Le Trio Joubran playing the oud, the String Sisters, Khusugtun‘s throat-singing, Raiz de Cafezal, Cankisou, Mamadou Diabate’s Percussion Mania, Kanda Bongo Man and ending with the Finale!

 it’s also the experience and memories made there that make people come back year after year.

I had expectations (and for the record, every single one was met! 😉 ), but personally, it’s the unexpected that made the sweetest of memories! 😀

Like when meeting new people and they end up being good friends:

(L-R) Fiqah, Fatimah, me [Photo c/o Ben]

The @SWKBLOGS media team! I know who to look for the next time I’m in Kuching! 😉

Or bumping into/meeting old friends you hadn’t seen in a while, mainly by chance:

Kenneth

Karen

Fab & Domi

I was at RWMF with Fab 4 years ago, and it was good to see him again on Day 2. Apparently, he has never missed a single RWMF for something like a decade! WOW! Au contraire, this was the first time for his friend whom I just met, who was involved in the Capoeira Workshop.

Other first-timers included:

My own sis-in-law (and bro who took this photo)

And Ben, who went with me this year:

By the looks of it…

…it won’t be his last either. 😉

There were a few others like my ex-colleague, friends from Brunei and friends-that-are-practically-family, but I forgot to snap a photo with them. Heh.

But the most unexpected and most memorable experience happened on Day 3.

I had just arrived at the Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) and was waiting in the performers’/media van to take me to One Hotel Santubong (OHS). A few minutes later, a performer climbed into the van and he sat beside me. It was a Hey-I-Just-Met-You moment. 😉

As the van brought us the short distance to OHS, I managed an unofficial interview with him. I was gushing about how talented a sape player he was and he was very humble about it. He shared how “someone” had brought a sape back to the States and how he had learned to play it and that it is not played like a guitar and that these instruments should not be played as if they were one and the same. Care to guess who he was?

Meet David – incredible sape player and Zee Avi‘s bandmate! 😉

And he was so kind to introduce me to the “someone” who had brought a sape back to the States – Zee Avi herself! 😀

As you probably know already from Day 1, I really enjoyed their performance so it was quite an honour to meet her in person. Fondly referred to as Zee, this Mirian singer-songwriter, guitarist & ukelele player is a Sarawakian treasure, putting Malaysia (and especially Sarawak) on the musical map – all the way from the United States where she is based.

Zee & her “sapelele” (sape-designed ukelele)

Apart from a photo with her, I also got her autograph. 🙂

And if that ain’t enough, I was even able to chat with her for a bit – she’s such a sweet lady!

Prior to the RWMF, she was in Miri for a Homecoming Concert but before that she said she’d been away for 13 years!

Zee Avi & JC, her bass player

Those few minutes spent with her was priceless.

“Balit sitok gik kelak. Iboh tunggu 13 tahun…” I said as I left her to enjoy her privacy. 🙂

*in the local Sarawak Malay language, meaning, “Do come back again. Don’t wait for 13 years…”

Thus, I would like to thank Sarawak Tourism Board and Sarawak Bloggers again for making the experiences of the 15th RWMF a possibility for me!

While going for all 3 days was nothing impossible in itself, the media pass really opened up a whole new side of the Festival for me.

Perks of the “job” – I LIKE!

Too bad I wasn’t able to claim the free drinks from Day 1

Then I’d get 3 of these instead, but 2 is cool. 🙂

The only photo taken inside the Heinekebana apparently. 😉

For a more in-depth coverage of the 3 days (and a behind the scenes look), do check out my RWMF 2012 series of posts and for videos, do drop by my youtube channel. Last but not least, here’s a photo that I think says a lot about the spirit of the RWMF:

Aaaaawww~

Photo source: Travillion’s FB compilation album

So,

RWMF 2013 anyone? 😉

Note: ALL photos/videos in my RWMF 2012 series of posts are those taken by me, unless otherwise stated as that from the Sarawak Tourism Board, the @SWKBLOGS Media Team or other sources.

RWMF2012 : What to expect?

If this is your FIRST ever Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) and am not quite sure what to expect, you may find the following helpful:

WHAT is the Rainforest World Music Festival?

RWMF

The RWMF is a 3-day Festival that happens every year in Kuching, Sarawak – it literally is a Festival that gathers Music from all over the World to the Rainforest! (Click here to read about it from the official RWMF website.)

WHEN is it?

The RWMF 2012 begins tomorrow, 13th July 2012 until Sunday 15th July 2012.

WHERE is it held?

Intro Pic

It is held annually in the Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) which is, as described in it’s website, “tucked away at the foothills of legendary Mount Santubong, 35 km from Kuching is Sarawak’s fascinating cultural showcase, the award winning “Sarawak Cultural Village”…This living museum is wholly owned by the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) depicts the heritage of the major racial groups in Sarawak and conveniently portrays their respective lifestyle amidst 14 acres of tropical vegetation.”

WHO will be there?

1. Other Festival Goers

There will be many many people. This year it is expected that 20,ooo people will gather for the Festival! There will be lotsa Music, Dancing & generally merry-making. (It has been deemed by some as a “Party in the Rainforest” 😉 ) You will get to meet new friends from all over the world, and even those close to home. If you’re lucky, you’ll also get to meet the performers and have your photo taken with them or maybe get their autographs.

Click here to see who will be performing at RWMF 2012!

2. Performers

You’ll stand a higher chance to meet the performers if you go for the music workshops they have during the day, as compared to just coming for the main concerts every night. Besides, you may pick up a skill like playing the sape perhaps while at it.

Click here for the RWMF 2012 workshop schedules!

HOW does it work?

As the RWMF is basically an opportunity for everyone to mingle around, there are no seats or fixed seating and you get to sit wherever you deem fit (stage and other restricted areas are of course off limits).

That said it is best to be mobile ie. only bring the necessities.

Wear comfortable clothes. Tshirts and jeans are the norm. If it looks like it might rain, shorts would be great. Always wear durable and comfortable footwear as you will want to walk around the SCV as they have a lot of things happening around that you will want to see! 😀 Crocs/slippers/flip flops are a good idea.

Food and drinks will be sold so all you need to bring is some cash and you’re good. If you fancy sitting down on the ground for your meal, a picnic mat will be very useful. If it looks like it might rain, a foldable umbrella is always a good thing to have – along with a waterproof bag perhaps for your gadgets (phones/camera/etc) just to be safe.

Last but not least,

WHY go to the RWMF?

Because it is awesome! Really.

The last time I went to a RWMF was 4 years ago, and that was just for a day. I am so excited because this year, finally, I will be able to go for all 3 days! 🙂

And even more exciting is the fact that I will be going on assignment as part of the media team covering the event for Sarawak Bloggers! 😀

Joining me on assignment is Fatimah, whom I have had the opportunity to cover the recent Borneo Jazz Festival with a few months ago. It will be so good to see her again! 😀

Thanks once again to Sarawak Tourism Board and Sarawak Bloggers for making yet another media dream of mine come true! 😀

I will be leaving for Kuching on the first flight out tomorrow so if you see me around, do say HI! 😉

Borneo Jazz Festival 2012: Behind The Scenes

So you already know all that happened on the second (and final) night of the Borneo Jazz Festival 2012 right?

Wrong. That was just half the story! 😉

Here’s the other half: all that happened everywhere apart from the main act on stage. 😀

Earlier that evening, when I explored the Festival grounds, apart from the food, craft bazaar and Strongbow stalls, there was also this:

The official Sarawak Tourism Board Borneo Jazz Merchandise booth

This was where you could buy the official merchandises like the Program book, Tshirt and the performers’ albums – and get their signatures or take photos with them after their performances! Remember this bit. 😉

And, there were also “activities” stalls where you could get your face painted or get an airbrush tattoo or even a henna tattoo!

And wasn’t I surprised to see who the henna tattoo artiste was?:

None other than an old friend of mine whom I had not seen for years…hello! 😀

And then there was, of course, the media centre, that was privy only to the organizing committee, performers and media (including me hehe). Here was where we had all the official stuff like press conferences etc

Published news about the Borneo Jazz Festival 2012 lined one part of the wall of the Media Centre

Posters like these lined up the others

…but apart from those, we even managed to have a mini #TwtUp after Tangora’s performance! 😀

Meet @jazgra of  jazzyanen.com (Japan) and @adjayMAGIC “hard at work” ;p

@adjayMAGIC and @SarawakTravel

#TwtUp #BorneoJazz

Remember the bit above where I mentioned how you could get the performers’ signatures or take photos with them after their performances? Well, right after Schalk Joubert’s 3 Continent Sextet’s performance, along with every Pierre, Jean ou Jacques, we made a bee line to the Merchandise booth hoping to get a photo with them.

…but they were not there…

I walked away disappointed.

Especially considering I could have easily taken a photo with Schalk after the Press Conference earlier that day but Nnnnooooo…

Fortunately though, we caught them just as they were leaving from backstage!!! 😀

Mar with Schalk Joubert’s 3 Continent Sextet (partial) – Melissa, Schalk, Rich & Shannon

Oh yeah! My evening was just beginning!

After that, we went to check out what the lights and sounds coming from the Pavillion were…

And guess who was the culprit?

Larger than life: DJ DoubleD of TraxxFM, mixing up some tunes for the crowd in between acts!

And if you’re a TraxxFM listener, you’ll know that if he’s here, these 2 would be pretty close by:

DJ YogeeTheLegend & DJ Roundhead – strangling someone much? :p

DJ Roundhead was actually at the Press Conference earlier that day and it was funny how we met too! – he stole a guy from me. I was having an interesting chat with Ian of allaboutjazz.com & he kindly interrupted us to interview him. True story. 🙂 I wanted to take a photo with him then but he was busy so I never got my chance… -.- Next round on you yes, Roundhead? 😉

Oh, and don’t think YogeeTheLegend was harmless either:

No animals were harmed in this photo

But yeah, as expected, the 3 guys from Traffic really brought the house down! 😀

Pretty soon, it was back to the Press Pit… :-

Hands down the BEST seat in the house!

…for Koh Mr Saxman!

Noticed how I had some really great shots in my previous post, like this:

FYI, this was for MY lenses only: Koh Mr Saxman bent forward (with me just below him at the edge of the stage) for this shot!

And that was only made possible (after Tangora onwards cos I didn’t have one before that) by this:

Thanks @reyanna13 for letting me use yours! ❤

Now, imagine the access THIS guy had:

Meet The Borneo Jazz 2012 Official Photographer, Pein Lee – he can even go ON stage! Whoo~

Credits to Sarawak Tourism Board for this photo:

The @SWKBLOGS Media Team in action in the Press Pit for the finale! 😀

Alas, Borneo Jazz Festival 2012 came to a close, but it was a birthday I will never forget ‘cos for once, something was so awesome I forgot for a second it was my birthday! 😉

My legal-aged bros enjoyed themselves – especially with me giving them allowance, literally, for a drink each. (They told me much later they almost got tattoes! My mom would never let them go out with me anymore had they did! -.-“)

Met up with old friends & made new ones – special shoutout to Yasmin of toonaripost.com, the first other media person I met that day and the first who wished me Happy Birthday! 🙂

The @SWKBLOGS Media Team: @adjayMAGIC @orend3vil89 @LadyBirdMollyz @reyanna13 & @mcdrewnis (me)

It was a pleasure to meet & tweet with you guys!   🙂

…eventhough 2 of you photo-bombed this photo -.-”  :-

Mar & Ben

And right at the very end of the night, before leaving, we managed to get autographs from and take a photo with:

Koh Mr Saxman!

Tangora!

Finally, to end my series of posts on Borneo Jazz Festival 2012, credits to:

The wristband that opened the Festival experience to us!

The Media Pass with all it’s responsibilities & perks!

Not to mention, awesome goodies like the Tshirt! 😀

And of course, Sarawak Tourism Board and Sarawak Bloggers for the experience that came with it! #RWMF? Hehehe…

Last and definitely not the least: ALL photos in this particular post (unless watermarked or otherwise mentioned) is credited to a dear friend Ben and the @SWKBLOGS Media Team.

Updated: Credits to MrFabianLim of Tropic Green for the video in my previous post! 🙂

~~~

To read all the Borneo Jazz Festival 2012 posts from the @SWKBLOGS Media Team, click here.

To read all the published news by local and international media, click the “Media Centre” tab on the official Borneo Jazz Festival 2012 wesbite here