Getting paid to shop

I used to be the type who don’t “do” shopping. I only buy what I need most of the time – plus the occasional (impulsive) I-must-have-this when I spot something as I browse around in the malls. That meant for so long as I wasn’t physically at a mall/shop, I wasn’t spending on anything.

Now, with everything at the tip of our fingers (thanks to the interweb) I can arrange my travels, order food and even get that dream dress that is on sale – all without leaving the comfort of an airconditioned room while it is sweltering outside.

online-shopping

Yes. Of course I am talking about online shopping. But before that, Disclaimer: This post is in not encouraging you to spend billions of dollars online or be swamped in credit card debts. It’s purpose is to share with you how you can actually SAVE more money when shopping online. Just make sure you pay your credit cards bills on time! Or pay using cash. We good? Alright, continue.

Now, I recently came across a website that actually pays you when you shop online. Actually, it gives you back a percentage of an amount that you spent when making online purchases. This is called CashBack.

But, before I direct you to that website, allow me to answer the questions that are in your head right now.

1. What do you mean by CashBack?

CashBack is getting back (in cash) a percentage of an amount that you spent when making purchases on an online Seller’s website. For example, if you spent $100 on the purchase of an item online and if cash back for that Seller is 10%, that means you will get back $10. The nett effect of that is that you actually spend only $90 (ie. $100 minus $10) instead of $100 on your purchase.

2. How does it work?

Using the above example, you pay $100 when making the purchase as per the normal online shopping procedure. The $10 cash back will be credited into your CashBack account, which you can then get transferred into your banking account after a certain period.

3. Where does the cash come from?

Good question and an important one. The $10 that you “get back” in the above example, is actually a part of the commission that the CashBack site receives from the Seller for bringing sales/ie. you (a paying Customer) to the Seller’s website.

4. Why would the CashBack site give me cash back?

Well, since you are buying from the Seller and earning the CashBcak site Commission, why shouldn’t they NOT be giving you at least some of that commission? Seller gets Sales, the CashBack site gets Commission and you get the item you paid for PLUS cash back. Everybody wins.

5. Who should be register on the CashBack site?

People who make online purchases from the following sellers are highly encouraged to register for CashBack:

  • Zalora
  • Lazada
  • Groupon
  • Ebay
  • Agoda (hotels)
  • Booking.com (hotels and hostels)
  • Expedia (flights and hotels)
  • AirAsiaGo (flights and hotels)
  • Hotels.com (hotels)
  • Foodpanda (food)
  • and many many more eligible sellers

Honestly, if you are going to be spending that $100 in purchases, why not spend that but get $10 returned to you in cash back and thereby only spending $90? That’s $10 saved!

Okay, now that you’re clear about the basics – let’s get you sorted to saving up with cash back. If you would like to register for a CashBack account, leave me your email address so I can invite you and you will automatically get FREE $10 (RM10 for Malaysia) cash back credit in your account: RM 5 when you sign-up/register and another RM5 when you make your first purchase.

Happy shopping and Happy savings!

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#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/

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! 😀

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

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

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.)

Sada Borneo (AGT19) brings Malaysia into the Semis!

Sada Borneo‘s performance at the Asia’s Got Talent (AGT) Judges Audition earned them 4 YESes from all 4 judges –

Sada Borneo @ Judges Audition (AGT)

And now, Sada Borneo made it into the Semi-Finals – the only act from Malaysia shortlisted along with 23 other acts from other countries out of the thousands that auditioned!

Woohoo!!! Malaysia and Borneo represent!

Will they make it to the Finals and be that much closer to being the winners??? YOU can make it happen!

VOTE FOR THEM right after that Semi-Finals episode airs on 30th April 2015. (Voting ends on 4th May 2015.)

There are 3 ways to vote for Sada Borneo (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)

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 per episode (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/

We already know Gao Lin & Liu Xin (China), Triqstar (Japan), Gwyneth Dorado (Philippines) & Junior New System (Philippines) have been shortlisted to be part of the Final 9 Acts competing for the coveted title of being the first Asia’s Got Talent winner.

So come on Malaysia (and Borneo!) vote SADA BORNEO to represent us in the FINALS!