Press and bloggers from KL and Singapore covering BCF 2008

nasir me debby

This is Nasir from Virtual Malaysia who also has a music related blog and Debby Ng (who has an environmental awareness blog) from Singapore coming under the auspices of Asia magazine to cover the Borneo Cultural Festival 2008. I met up with them for lunch after work just now and we’ll be going to the final night of the BCF 2008 soon. I’ve gotten some pretty interesting feedback about the BCF 2008 from two non-Sarawakian media. More updates after I get back. Cheers!

Borneo Cultural Festival 2008: Borneo Dayak Festival (BDF)

iban food fest

The BCF 2008 ended the Borneo Dayak Festival (BDF) with a tuak (local Iban rice wine) drinking competition, a finale highly (no pun intended) befitting the Dayak themed festival. The Dayak is a collective reference to a local ethnic group comprising of several subgroups of which the majority is Iban.

iban food

The Borneo Dayak Festival is centralized around a long row of food stalls bordering the BCF 2008 perimeter grounds. The food stalls offer a large variety of local delights including pansoh manok (bamboo cooked meat) and tuak.

stall and art

There are also stalls showcasing the native art of the Dayaks with their knitted tribal designs being the most popular.

nice legs

The shapely legs of the locals are also on display in certain stalls, though I suspect it’s not for sale. πŸ˜‰


There are also a lot of stalls catering to the thirst of the crowd with local mixed drinks like air bandong (a popular concoction of rose syrup and evaporated milk), air jagung (corn drink, tastes better than it sounds) and coconut juice.

air tebu

I came across a stall selling fresh sugarcane juice. Fresh sugarcane is made by using a pressure roller machine to extract the negligible moisture content from a sugarcane plant. It takes a lot of plants to make a single cup of the juice.


The sugarcane is first peeled and then inserted into this medieval looking machine with a hose that directs the juice down into a filter.


Careful Pakcik! The rollers are not friendly to human fingers! πŸ˜‰

pansoh manok

I would be remiss if I didn’t eat the pansoh manok (meat cooked in bamboo). It’s a local Iban delicacy where the meat is stuffed inside hollow bamboo plants and then cooked slowly over a charcoal fire.

pansoh manok prep

It is then unsealed by taking out the leaves stuffing one end and emptying the contents into a plate. There are plastic seating arrangements at the BCF 2008 for the food stalls.


Of course, a meal of pansoh manok would be incomplete without the obligatory tuak (Iban rice wine). Tuak is made from fermented rice and it’s sold in 1.25 liter PET bottles that once contained 7Up or Coke for RM 10. πŸ˜‰

pansoh manok pork

We had the pork pansoh manok (RM 15). There are three different types of pansoh manok in this stall – pork, chicken and fish.

tuak drink

I was a little inebriated after drinking the 1.25 litre bottle of tuak. Tuak can contain anything from 9 – 14 % alcohol. There’s really no control in the fermentation process and some tuak is “fortified” with cheap distilled liquor for more oomph…

tuak post

In fact, I was more than a little inebriated from the tuak. I went and played some carnival games after that and a video was taken of me that projects me in a less than complimentary light. More on that carnival games tomorrow – I’m going again tonight. πŸ™‚

swan city

Borneo Cultural Festival 2008 is a week long annual event at Swan City (Sibu).

Enter the snake

…a long, long time ago a master in the secret martial arts of Snake Kung Fu trained an elite group of disciples in The Way of the Snake. The sect was sworn to secrecy but a rogue member rebelled against the arcanum and used his skills for nefarious purposes.

snake intro

This rogue member is known as the self-proclaimed Snake King and his deviant teachings has survived the centuries, passed down from generation to generation. His twisted disciples are amongst us, they look like us, masquerading as hardworking white collared working professionals, while covertly incurring losses amounting to millions to companies and corporations around the world for personal gain…

snake productivity

…through loss of employee productivity. πŸ˜‰

The devout members of this ancient brotherhood engage in generally repellent behavior like running personal errands during office hours, covertly surfing the net at work, replying personal emails and phone calls in the office…but there is said to be One who does much more than that, reaching the highest and final level of Snake Style Kung Fu, previously only known to the now reclusive Snake King.

son of snake

He is said to be trained by the Snake King himself and is one of his favorite disciples. The zhue zhao (translates as “ultimate technique”) of The Way of the Snake has been mastered by him and he was seen pulling off the ultimate feat – driving off to a nature reserve park 11 km away from his office and taking the morning off without permission…

snake char kueh tiaw

…to eat char kueh tiaw.

bukit aup

(and taking a leisurely stroll around the park)

This has earned him the nickname…

snake king

Son of Snake (SOS).

Disclaimer: The HR Department is advised that this is a satirical post done by the author on a Sunday morning with work clothes on. None of the activities stated in this post suggests, either implicitly or explicitly, that the author has ever, or will in the future, engage in activities that contravenes the guidelines in the employee handbook. πŸ˜‰

Note: This is a highly localized post. The term “catching snakes” is used to describe unauthorized activities in lieu of work during office hours such as hanging out at a coffee shop/cafe, going to a shopping mall, or running personal errands on the clock. This post is based on that terminology (or slang, rather).

Velvet and Amy Ting’s dual wedding @ Golden Palace

golden palace

I went to Velvet Ting’s wedding reception last night. It was a shotgun wedding (not the type you’re thinking) in a sense, her younger sister Amy Ting was also having a combined wedding with her. I know both of the Ting sisters from my high school days and in Australia.

floral arrangements

The flower arrangements at their wedding dinner was simply amazing. The theme was roses and there were roses twined into the stairs and floral decorations on every table.

main table

The main wedding table for both pairs of bride and groom and their immediate families was the centerpiece of the place. The three tiered wedding cake and champagne flutes are arranged at the center stage in the backdrop.

ita ting

Most of the people at my table were my ex-classmates since Velvet used to be in our class. It’s like our 11th reunion out of high school. I sat beside Ita Ting, I’ve known her since Form 1.

velvet ting

This is the arrival of Velvet and her groom hailed by confetti all around…

amy ting

…followed by Amy and her groom.

cold dish platter

The dinner started soon after that with the traditional Chinese banquet cold dish platter.

cold dish

The cold dish is an appetizer which consists of a sampler of sorts – there’s a small portion of quail, mussels, squid and mushrooms.

shark fin soup serve

The next dish is traditionally the soup which is served into individual bowls by the waiter.

shark fin soup

It’s shark’s fin soup, which I’m sure the animal welfare groups would have a bone, I mean, fin to pick with. πŸ˜‰


The next item on the menu is steamed fish. Fish is a must-have at wedding feasts and Chinese banquets in general due to the association with prosperity.


It’s kindly sliced into more manageable pieces by the waiter.

chicken slice

Chicken cooked in herbs and wrapped in foil is the next item on the banquet parade. It is still wrapped in the foil when brought to your table and the waiter opens it up, releasing the fragrance of the herbs and slices the chicken.


The chicken is actually very tender, with an almost melt-in-your-mouth quality, so not much slicing was actually required. The process just makes it more manageable to eat using chopsticks.


There was a much needed intermission while Velvet and Amy went on stage with their respective grooms to cut the wedding cake.


Champagne was also poured out into the flutes by the two newly weds.

yam seng

This is the customary “yam seng” toast which the Chinese do. It’s done in a very long refrain with the first syllable being vocalized for as long as you’re able to (highly variable depending on lung capacity).


RM 135 bottles of Seifried red and white wine were served after that. It’s free flow, they had more than even I could drink! I think I partook in the vinos a little too much, coz my brain wasn’t functioning very well today. πŸ˜‰

toast velvet

Here’s a toast to Velvet Ting and her groom. Congratulations! =D

toast amy

…and here’s to Amy Ting and her groom. Cheers! πŸ™‚

bamboo shoots

The Food Parade (TM) went on after that with bamboo shoots and mushrooms…

bamboo clams

…bamboo clams (a local seafood) with mixed vegetables (at which point our table couldn’t even touch the food anymore)


…deep fried king prawns


…before mercifully ending with an iced honeydew and sago dessert concoction.

me velvet candid

This is a candid shot of me talking to Velvet. I must have been reminiscing about this drama that most of the people at our table participated in while we were 14 years old during the school play.

me velvet

Congratulations Velvet! Now you’ve made me feel old and unwanted by marrying earlier than me. :p


There was another platter of fruits containing dragon fruit, pineapple, papaya and watermelon…

wedding cake

…as well as the mandatory piece of wedding cake you just have to eat out of courtesy despite having adjusted your belt buckle several times due to excessive gorging. πŸ˜‰

wedding gift

The final dish is gift wrapped boxes that has a piece of fruitcake inside. It’s supposed to be taken home as a souvenir of the wedding dinner. It’s the custom over here and signifies the end of the dinner…

datina ting

…and it’s camwhoring time! πŸ˜‰ This is Datina Ting, another one of my ex-classmates in high school.


Hello Jeanie! I met Jeanie at the wedding reception when she approached me and told me she reads my blog. Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚


There was also a camwhoring session with a girl I bummed a cigarette from who was helping out at the reception…


…as well as the rest of the reception girls.

class of 97

Congratulations to Velvet Ting and Amy Ting on their respective weddings fro

m the Class of ’97. Cheers! πŸ™‚

Guide to taking photos of girls

xx target

I have received a few requests to compile a general list of the techniques (also known as skillz, mojo) I use to create content for my XX Chromosome entry. It has come to my attention that a lot of my readers are curious pertaining my methods of approaching and persuading a female (see synonym chicks, girls) to pose for a photograph to appear on

The Guide to XX Chromosome posts

Approach a.k.a. Target acquisition

target aquired

This is a very important, and often overlooked aspect of taking photos with strangers, especially girls. Your approach is key, since it’s the first impression you make. It helps if you don’t look like a stereotypical horny old man or gangster but even if you look like one, there are several disarming methods that can be applied.


A smile shows your friendly intent and Smashing Pumpkins sang “disarm me with a smile” for a reason.



Look like it’s the most natural thing in the world to be asking for, without being overconfident, pushy, or overbearing. It’s fine to be friendly, but it’s not okay to be assertive in situations like this.

Eye contact

Also related to confidence, always make and maintain eye contact when you see someone you want to put in the XX Chromosome category. Never break eye contact first, it’s one of the rules of dating and also a cardinal rule in doing this. It makes you look unsure, shy, and even weak, not particularly attractive traits for a male.



I tend to introduce myself first, touching the shoulder (the back and arms are fine too, but not other areas) to get the person’s attention if she has broken eye contact. I say something along the lines of “Hello, I’m Huai Bin, and I like the dress/uniform/shirt etc you’re wearing. You mind if I take a photo of you?”

chiew fong

It is important not to give misleading statements or potential minefields e.g. “I like you” but go for the non-animated stuff e.g. clothes, hair, eyes etc. I noticed that I have never gotten a “No” for an answer if I have already pulled out my digicam. It’s this thing about people and handshakes – it’s like how you never see someone NOT shake your hand when you’ve already offered it. It’s something of an automatic gesture.

Lead in


Take one or two photos of the girl and then grab a bystander and tell the girl something along the lines of “Hang on a second, I want to take a photo with you too” and give your digicam to a passerby and start giving instruction on how to take shots. All you have to do now is to stand next to the girl, put your arm around her shoulder (optional) and pose for a photograph.


This happens, I’ve had girls says “I really don’t like taking photographs coz I look ugly in them” or something along that line. That’s not a straight out rejection, the model just needs some convincing, so say something complimentary like “I think you look great, let’s see how the shot comes out”. Most of the time, they agree.

I’ve also experienced one or two straight rejections. The thing to do is to take it in stride. Perhaps she’s had a bad day, is stressed out or just had an argument with her boyfriend. Don’t take it personally. Smile, thank her, and move on. She might be receptive the next time. Always be polite, and chill out, it happens to the best of us. πŸ™‚


dining xx

If you’re single and unattached and you see a lone diner that’s to your liking, sit down and make conversation. Who knows what it may lead into? You’ve gotta eat anyway, so might as well talk to someone while you’re at it. Make the most of every day, live it like it’s your very last.

Cheers from and thanks for reading!

Happy Hunting! πŸ˜‰

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