Category Archives: Events
One of the popular activities that is catching up in Miri is the real-life escape rooms. There are already some misconceptions associated to these escape rooms that has hindered many to experience what could be a fun-filled time for them. Some of these common misconceptions includes “Eee.. don’t want.. I’m scared”, or “Aiyaaaa… only for kids la”, or “Safe or not oh?”.
Generally, the escape room is all about teamwork and working together to solve puzzles that comes in many forms (number locks, key locks, jigsaws, deciphering codes, and many more). As you progress, solving one of the puzzle will bring you to many other puzzles, essentially bringing you to the last puzzles which will lead to your final escape from the room. Sounds fun and easy? To add to the already challenging puzzles, you are given a 45 minute time limit to solve the puzzles and escape the room…. or else a monster will come eat you (just kidding!).
Escape Room Miri has given me the exclusive opportunity to review and uncover the mystery behind what exactly is an escape room all about. A few things to note before going into the story:
The pictures featured here does not show a whole view of the rooms; there are clues to solving some of the puzzles on the walls, therefore those areas were avoided.
Not all puzzles and mysteries are featured to preserve the element of surprise and fun
The pictures were shot when an actual session of Escape Room was ongoing.
As much as possible, I tried to preserve the atmosphere and ambience of the rooms; only using flash where necessary to light up certain areas where it was too dark.
By the way, please read on all the way to the end, there is a special offer waiting for you and your group!
Now Let’s have a look at the some pictures of Escape Room Miri.
Picture: (Left) Combination locks are one of the obstacles you will meet in the challenge. The combination to these locks are usually given in the form of clues or puzzles scattered around the room. (Right) Even the decorative clock in the main lobby is themed yellow and black!
BUT WHICH ROOM SHOULD I CHOOSE?
This is perhaps the hardest decision your group will need to make. Currently there are 5 themes to choose from ranging from beginner to challenging fun to all out scary. Let me help you categorize these themes for you so you have a better understanding.
FUN & EASY: ‘Up’ theme room. Suitable for beginners and kids. If you come in a big family, and you have around 4 or more kids, put them all into the ‘Up’ theme. They will for sure enjoy themselves!
CHALLENGING THAT IS NOT SCARY: ‘The Mummy’ and ‘The Mysterious Room’ will be the best for this. Many teens, and some adults have the fear of getting shocked in the game. These two rooms are the most suitable for those who has this fear as it is quite mild in terms of its scariness yet quite challenging for most people.
BRING IT ON! I FEAR NOTHING!: If adrenalin rush, body parts, ghosts, sudden loud cries are things that turns you on, then take on the ‘Slaughter House’ or the ‘Heaven & Hell’ themes. These two rooms has all these elements enough to make some people want to pee in their pants (literally).
I hope that with my review here, it will give you a better understanding on the different room themes in helping you to choose your team’s challenge.
If your group consist mostly of adults or teens, then I suggest going for ‘The Mummy’ room.
THE MYSTERIOUS ROOM
‘The Mysterious Room’ is a bit harder than ‘The Mummy’, so it would be good if you try ‘The Mummy’ first before going for ‘The Mysterious Room’.
Picture: (Left) We stumbled upon a A bookcase full of books, which one of these books would hold the clue needed to open one of the combination locks? (Right) When we finally managed to open the chest with the combination lock, we found more clues! Sunglasses in a chest?
THE UP ROOM
Before going into the scary rooms, let me share with you how the Up theme room looks like. If you are coming to play escape room with in a big family, I suggest the adults take on the more challenging themes and let the kids take on this ‘Up’ room. They will really enjoy themselves.
Picture: (Left) A lot of attention has been spent on the details of the room. Every corner is just as colourful and lovely as the other. There’s even a lovable and huggable teddy bear sitting at one corner. (Right) Alina tries the combination of the lock with the clue that Jesse discovered.
HEAVEN & HELL
Are you ready for the scary stuff? Heaven & Hell is a moderately scary theme. There’s only a bit of body parts littered here and there but that is not the main scare! Leave it to you and your group to experience it! 😉
THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE
This, my friends, would be the scariest of the lot. Not for the faint hearted, and not for those who wants to be able to sleep peacefully at night. Chopped up body parts, blood splatter everywhere on the floors and on the walls, smell of rot sounds like things that will make you nauseous, then please do not take on this theme!
So there you have it! The 5 different rooms that I have conveniently categorized into 3 easy categories for you. Needless to say, I was really impressed with the amount of attention given to all the room decorations and props. Even the puzzles of each room has been very well thought of and researched before being implemented as part of the theme. All these factors come together to make a perfect experience for you and your friends to enjoy!
EMERGENCY? STUCKED? Don’t worry!
THE BRAINS BEHIND IT ALL
THINK YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BEAT THE CHALLENGE?
SPECIAL PROMOTION WITH CYRIL’S CANVAS!
Good news people! Escape Room Miri has teamed up with Cyril’s Canvas to offer you a package which will benefit you when you come with your friends. Buy 3, Free 1! Which means, if you come in groups of 4, the 4th person will be free! Just inform the staff member that you are there for CYRIL CANVAS’ promotion, and each one of you will also need to show that you have LIKE Cyril’s Canvas Facebook page which is at: https://www.facebook.com/cyrilcanvas and also show that you have SHARE this Escape Room Miri’s post on your own Facebook! This offer is only valid until 31 July 2015, so please hurry!
Many of my colleagues know me as the ‘father of the cats’. We get a lot of stray cats taking shelter at our hostel, mostly ‘dumped’ by their masters thinking that the ‘gerai’ (malay for stalls) next door is a good dumping place for unwanted cats. Although it might be true that the cats are capable of scavenging for leftover or unwanted food there, it is also a place filled with bacteria which leads to all sorts of commutable disease for them. It is made worst by the fact that there are so many strays there, they just transfer their disease to one another, especially mange. A few of them, for whatever reasons unknown to me, maybe they just don’t like the conditions there, flock towards our hostel for shelter, which are fed by me.
Be that as it may, I’m actually a lover of pets, not restricted to just our feline friends. So when PAWS Miri announced that they will be having their regular dog-a-walk, I immediately checked my calendar, and was delighted that I am able to attend the event for the first time ever.
PAWS Miri (short for Piasau Animal Welfare Support) is a non-profit organization aimed to reduce the number of stray animals in the ultimate goal to have a stray-free Miri. PAWS Miri has grew and expanded since 2008, totally on donations and sponsorships from individuals who share the same love for animals.
It was a bright and clear day, a menagerie of clouds littered in the skies. Perfect for a walk out at the beach. When I arrived, a few four-legged friends were already there, accompanied by their two-legged best friend.
So many different breeds all gathered together on this bright sunny afternoon.
Just like their sapiens friends, these canines also get a chance to make new friends. Since they do not have hands to shake like the sapiens do, they touch noses and smell each other as their way of a friendly greeting.
Various colourfu souvenirs and merchandise are also available for purchase. The funds from these purchases are one of the ways in which PAWS generate income, although a small one.
Our fearless leader decides to give a helping hand to the little ones, beckoning the others with the little ones to do the same.
For many of them, walking in water is no big deal. Been there, done that.
Whereas for the first-timers, they would just react the same as any human being would: It starts with him stopping the friend from going any further and just get ‘down-and-dirty’ to have a dip in the water.
Walking a dog is an easy thing to do, just follow his lead. This was the first time my son experienced walking a dog.
Our four-legged friends posing with their two-legged best friend.
As the sun sets into the horizon, everyone took their time to enjoy their last few moments walking their best friend.
The many different tired but happy faces.
The fearless leader wastes no time. She is already discussing and planning out the next big event of PAWS Miri: the PAWS Dogathon where dog owners will walk their dog around Miri City to raise funds for charity and the PAWS Doggie Show which will include many competitions such as the obedience, musical chairs, agility, dress-up and eating competition!
Many photo opportunities for people to take a picture with other pets.
Pipi is up for adoption and is currently, one of the many strays taken care of by PAWS Miri.
A big kudos to the team of PAWS Miri for a splendid job trying their best to keep Miri city free from stray. They need all the donations and sponsorship that they can get, that and not to forget the moral support for their continuous fight to rid of strays and to instill awareness and educate everyone about responsibilities of having a pet with the ultimate goal of showing how these lovely furry friends need our love and support. Please take some time to have a look here for other dogs that need a home. You might just be the next best friend for one of them!
No, I’m not referring to the sounds of Toyota engines roaring by. The Toyota Classics refers to an annual event that has been on-going since the 90s, which sees different world renowned chamber ensembles having a tour in the major countries in Asia, which of includes Brunei, and is fully sponsored by Toyota Motor Asia Pte Ltd and NBT Sdn Bhd of Brunei.
I am thankful to my friend Jan for inviting me to shoot along with him and Gavin this year. Before this, I was oblivious to the existence of Toyota Classics and what it is, ignorant to the point that anything to do with the word ‘Toyota’ has to do with cars. Having learnt the piano since I was young and achieving my Grade 8 ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) Piano Examinations, and hours and hours of jamming with my Church band eventually acquired me the skills to play the other instruments such as the keyboard, guitar, bass and drums; the Toyota Classics 2012 which presents the Vienna Chamber Orchestra this year, is certainly my cup of tea!
All smiles as the members of the orchestra prepares to bring us on a journey filled with the harmonic sound of music
At the end of the event, both Joji Hattori and Soichi Muraji was presented with beautiful flowers from a pretty flower girl. All the audience was deeply impressed and moved by the performances of the evening. The orchestra members were all smiles as they are glad and thankful that they have given yet another breath-taking performance.
Honestly, I have to say that this is the best photographing event so far throughout my career as a photographer. I found myself truly enjoying the whole function. But it is not because there were a lot of ‘moments’ to capture (in fact I had less pictures compared to my usual events), instead I found myself teleported to heaven, with all the sounds of God’s creation and instruments playing their tune. I was captivated and mesmerized by it all!
A baby shower is a tradition practiced in the modern-world today which is based on the idea of ‘showering’ the expectant mother with gifts suitable for babies. It is both a social gathering for the mother-to-be with her relatives and friends as well as a celebration of a new life. However, the original purpose of this gathering was for the women to be able to share their experience and lessons on motherhood to the mother-to-be.
By the way, have I mentioned that baby showers are only attended by women? Baby showers are practiced by almost all races and religion today.
The Tamil Indians celebrates this occasion as well, in a ceremony called ‘Valaikappu’. ‘Vala’ means bangles and ‘kappu’ means security. In plain English, it is described as ‘the bangle ceremony’ as the pregnant mother is ‘showered’ with glass bangles which is slipped into her hand by close family and friends. It is usually performed during the odd months of pregnancy, preferably the fifth or seventh month. The event celebrates the joy of the upcoming motherhood and ensures the welfare of both the mother and the baby inside her womb.
The Kolam is a traditional art form originating from India, which is created with coloured sands.
At the altar, these items are part of the ceremonial ritual. Other objects include many food offerings, bangles and oil lamps.
Preparations of the altar are almost complete, all that is left is the lighting of the lamps. The pictures shows the lighting of a simple bronze oil lamp (left) to the lighting of the beautifully detailed ‘Kuthuvilakku’ lamp being lit (right).
During the Valaikappu, the expectant mother is dressed in a new sari and new jewelry specially for this day, accompanied with fancy head-dress made of beautiful flowers, worthy of a princess.
The Valaikappu is a very colourful ceremony. The pictures above shows the different gifts that are offered to the mother-to-be, many of them contribute to the colours of the ceremony.
Just like in the modern baby showers, Valaikappu is also a ceremony that concerns only the women (with the husband of the mother-to-be) only appearing during the beginning and the end of the ceremony.
After the rituals, the family holds a feast for all relatives and visitors and everyone share in the joyous occasion together.
It is indeed a very meaningful ceremony and joyous ceremony. If one was to ask me what Valaikappu is like, I would explain it in these simple words: Colourful & full of joy and laughter.
Special thanks to Satiaselan and Girija for giving me a chance and trust to shoot in this important celebration of theirs. Good luck and all the best for the coming of the little one into their family!
A healthy body, a healthy mind. That is one of the principles that I have always believed in. For the teachers of the school, Sports’ Day has always been very taxing to organize. Apart from their daily routine in preparing their lesson plan, setting test papers and a whole lot of marking students’ exercises which can get as high as the teacher’s head… literally.
Sports Day, for the teachers, is not just a one day affair. It involves months and months of sweat-filled supervision of the students. For most schools, Sports Day is only held once every two years. Yet, Chung Hua Middle School has their Sports Day every year without fail, and they are willing to go through all that hardship, time and time again, and still manage to allocate some of their already-packed time to ensure that Sports Day comes true every single year for the students.
For the students, they look forward to Sports Day every year, as they want to win. For some students, it might seem like getting a gold is only but a dream, but they try their best anyway because they know that in the end, they will regardless of the outcome, they have embraced the winning spirit.
Come the big day, everyone’s excited, especially the students. Which house will emerge the overall winner of the year? Which student will be awarded the Best Athlete award?
And as the runners take their place at the starting line, so does all the teachers take their place at their allocated duties. Everyone, indifferent, working together in one perfect harmony.
Everyone has their sunblock ready and their caps ready. This would probably be the one and only day that everyone would wish for the sun and not the rain. The sun brings out the shine in everyone, the bright smiles, the joyous laughter and the glorious win.
Maybe will stumble and fall half way through the run. Some might even suffer injuries in the process. But they push themselves, reminding themselves that they have gone through so much just to reach this day, and it would be a waste to give up now. So they pick themselves up, shrug their pain aside, brush the sand off their shoulders, can push on.
Just like a storm, all the months of preparation comes down to flash of a day, which will portray the fruit of their labor. The winning spirit is not just about the trophies or the medals that a person wins.
A running winner gets a trophy much bigger and glamorous than that of the second place, yet that does not mean the winner is ten times better than the second place winner. Nor does it mean that the winner had ten times better running shoes than the second place winner.
Huge differences in results cannot come from techniques or equipment only. The most important factor is the mental attitude. The winner had maybe the ability to do one or two changes in his thoughts during the last few seconds. The winners are the ones who are willing to give it their best, not only in the competition day itself, but all the way from the beginning where everything began, the practices. All the time spent training and training.
That is the real winning spirit.
Thanks to Jan and Eric, I have reached another milestone in my life; I was fortunate enough to be able to meet Wu Chun up close and personal. Eric is the founder and owner of Mr. Baker’s Bakeshop, which is very well known for their healthier cakes and pastries and trust me, does not mean less taste!
At first, when Jan told me about Wu Chun himself coming to promote Mr. Baker’s Bakeshop’s promotion, I was rather skeptical. I tried not to put my hopes and expectations too high. But when I saw this fantastic car in the entrance, it’s hard for the heart not to skip a beat!’ (Photo courtesy of Jan Shim)
Wu Chun’s Fitness Zone has teamed up with Eric’s Mr. Baker’s Bakeshop so that their members can enjoy a selection of healthy breads, which is freshly baked and delivered to Fitness Zone Serusop daily, thereby saving precious time and fuel without needing to drive all the way to the bakery!
Wu Chun said, “We are thankful to Mr. Baker’s Bakeshop for allowing Fitness Zone members to have the privilege of having their cakes made to order and have them delivered to Fitness Zone free of charge”.
And in conjunction with Mother’s Day, Mr. Baker’s Bakeshop is offering 15% discount on all their top selling cake; the Fresh Fruit Vanilla cake, and on top of that, the first 50 customers will receive a complimentary one-week free entry to Brunei’s number 1 Health Club, courtesy of Fitness Zone.
If that wasn’t enough, Eric is baking a record-breaking-biggest-ever-baked Fruit Cake specially for Fitness Zone’s Mother’s Day activity. Seeing it with my own eyes, I dare say that it really is the biggest fruit cake I have ever seen. I was at Mr. Baker’s Bakery to witness and document the cake being made from the beginning all the way up till its finishing, till the very last placing of grape on the cake.
According to Wu Chun, there is going to be a ‘surprise’ Mother’s Day promotion this weekend and Fitness Zone will have an ‘open house’ for all families to come and enjoy the state-of-the-art facilities plus some interesting free gifts as well.
What was suppose to be a simple and straightforward shoot at Mr. Baker’s Bakeshop for their products and production team, turned out to be an opportunity of a lifetime to not only meet Wu Chun in person, but also to stand next to him, talk to him, and of course, take a picture with him. For this, I would like to say thank you to Jan and Eric for this amazing and surreal time.
Quite often, the word ‘team’ is used so much that people forget the real meaning of a team. Many a times, the extend in which teamwork is taught has been taken for granted.
The members of Chung Hua Middle School Kuala Belait’s (CHMSKB) Badminton Team are constantly taught the discipline of a team. To them, a team is not only for the mere purpose of going for competitions. As a team, they go for training together; drills, push-ups, drills, running, drills, sit-ups, drills and more drills, all the hardship they endure together. The teamwork does not end there, as they are taught to ensure they clean up training venue, no matter where, is cleaned up together before anyone of them can go home; nets, poles, used shuttlecocks, empty bottles are all kept away.
At the end of the day, they go home together, tired and exhausted, each of them pondering why they bother to go through all that torture, but all that thought is washed away by the the sense of belonging that they have for each other in a team.
Come competition day, they are excited and nervous, but never scared, because they know that they have each other’s back no matter what the outcome is. Sharing is caring, hence their tears of joy and tears of sadness are shared together.
The recent competition organized by BSRC (Brunei Shell Recreation Club) Badminton Section has allowed the players of Chung Hua KB the chance to shine, not only in terms of their badminton skills, but more importantly, their teamwork.
It is with the genuine teamwork that the Chung Hua KB team has displayed that won them the trophy for the BEST TEAM SPIRIT award.
Lastly, to the people who must not be left out, without which all these display of teamwork, competitive spirit and togetherness would not have been possible; well done to the BSRC Badminton Section committee members!
The full collection of pictures for the BSRC Inter-school Competition 2012 can be found here:
We celebrated our friend’s birthday today. This is a milestone, not only because this is the first big gathering that we have had in our new hostel flat; but also the fact that it is celebrating Philip’s arrival to earth for 30 years!
It was a simple, but joyous occasion… just deliciously simple food and tasty ice-cream cake and most important of all, company of friends; the joy and laughter we share together. These precious moments cannot be acquired through any form of currency.
Whenever I see a newspaper article with headings of “Strong Man” or the likes, I immediately have the glistering image of overly muscular men flexing their muscles on stage, at the same time, having to smile like they are in Colgate advertisement with their heavenly white teeth against their tanned and toned body. This was SO NOT the case for the BRUNEI STRONGEST MAN 2011 competition that was held recently on the 18 December 2011 at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifudden.
This strong man competition is actually quite interesting, where it is divided into 3 categories: The tyre flip, the dumbbell lifting and the car deadlift.
The tyre flip is actually quite simple; flip the tyre from the starting line to the finishing point as fast as you can before the time runs out. THE PROBLEM: the tyre is as high as a human body and weights about 300 whooping kilograms.
The dumbbell lift is also quite simple; lift the two dumbbells continuously as far as you can without placing the dumbbell back on the ground once you start. If as soon as the dumbbell touches the ground, distance is measured from that point. THE PROBLEM: the weights are 40KG each side, making it a total of 80KG, in addition to the 2KG metal bar that holds the weights, and one needs to carry them without wearing any gloves, which is extremely painful even for the regular weight lifters.
The car deadlift; pull a Ford Everest that is attached to a rope as fast as you can within a certain given time. THE PROBLEM: The tyres of the car has been slightly deflated so that the car does not continuously move so easily from the momentum plus the floor on which the participants are standing is slippery smooth.
I had no regrets covering this function. It was definitely a very interesting day. I’ve found that the term “STRONGEST MAN” in this aspect does not only refer to the physical strength of the person, but also the determination of the person. I’ve seen participants with the strength of a grizzly bear, but just could not complete the circuit without a strong determination and will. I’ve seen participants with the body size of a deer, but impressively aweing the audience with his determination and will. Truth is, to be Brunei’s Strongest Man, you need to have BOTH.
The events are not without its dangers; participants risk serious injuries taking part in it.
The two picture above shows one of the participants losing his balance,
as a result the heavy dumbbells landed on this leg.
At the end of the day, everyone was impressed with the show of might and determination from all the participants. Their family members are definitely proud of their achievement on this day… win or lose.