#31NoRiceDays Challenge

It is the 1st of October.

The challenge begins today – and ends on 31st of October.

Self-explanatorily titled “#31NoRiceDays” the challenge is to NOT eat rice during these 31 days (ie. the whole month of October).

WHY? you ask…

Well, I have noticed that I personally can go without rice (unitentionally) for 2 to 3 days BUT by the end of that period, I start to feel weak and crave for rice. The explanation is simple. “Asians have 2 stomachs; 1 for rice and the other for ‘everything else'” – so for as long as you don’t have rice, you will always “feel hungry”.

One reason I am doing the #31NoRiceDays is to prove to myself that I CAN go without rice for a whole month.

My mom flipped when I told her what I intended to do. (BACKGROUND: We are a rice-eating family. We have rice everyday for lunch and dinner. Plus, Mom always insisted that only rice can truly “fill” us.) She immediately asked what then I would be eating instead of rice and she assumed it to be noodles. However, noodles are less healthier than rice (I heard) so that’s definitely not the plan.

So WHAT will I be eating?

I did some research online. Normally, when people give up rice, they also give up noodles, breads and grains, dairy and sugar etc. but I decided early on that #31NoRiceDays was NOT a low-carb diet. It simply is just 31 days without rice, thus, noodles, breads etc are still allowed. That said however, I want to stay as healthy as possible during this challenge, so I shall try my best to reduce their intake (especially noodles) and increase on the healthy stuff like fruits and vegetables.

WHO would be crazy enough to do this?

I am actually inspired by a dear friend of mine. She loves rice more than me. She even has it for breakfast! And a few years ago, she gave up rice for Lent! That is 40 days. More than a month. I told myself I could never survive….Time to prove myself wrong.

Lately, a few friends of Facebook have also given up rice and lost considerable amounts of weight DAILY. To good to be true it sounds. But that motivated me to try it myself.

Lastly, was chatting with some colleagues last month (over our heavy rice lunches) and it somehow came to me blurting: “Let’s not eat rice for a whole month!”….and the rest is history.

While it’s nice to know they are doing the challenge with me, the more the merrier right?

So, feel free to join me in the #31NoRiceDays Challenge, if you’re up for it.

And journey with me using the #31NoRiceDays hashtag on instagram as I will be posting pics of my non-Rice meals there.

P.S. I may update my blog occassionally during the challenge and definitely with the results when it is over. Stay tuned! 🙂

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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/

I got the blues

My last post (last month) was also the last time I had my family by my side, and as much as I thought I wouldn’t get homesick so fast, I guess I kind of currently am?

I am doing fine here and I am enjoying new adventures and experiences, don’t get me wrong. Work has kept me busy and new friends have kept me mostly occupied, but, still there is a longing for the farmiliar past. (I think the foreign exchange rate of my homeland dipping has indirectly dipped my spirits a little too)

Hopefully things get better in the coming weeks. The currency I mean. I KNOW my blues will pass too. But while I got the blues, I just wanted to say that I’m missing you…

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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

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! 😀

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