Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village

Alisan Girls

This was one of the places I was looking forward to visiting in Taiwan. I’ve heard much about the Taiwanese aborigines, although I’m only familiar with the Amis and wanted to know more about them. It turned out to the one of the highlights of my trip!

Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village

I can’t say it’s THE HIGHLIGHT of my trip since it’s just my second day in Taiwan but I was totally blown away by the Amis performance. It’s a courtship ritual dance and it starts with the girls slowly trooping down from the back of the open courtyard to meet in the middle with their male counterparts.

You won’t regret watching this 5 minute video coz I certainly was very proud of being in the right place at the right time at the right angle to capture everything from beginning till end.

Theme Park

Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village is actually a theme park that has several components to it – there’s literally something for everyone, from the European Village to the Amusement Isle, which is an amusement park and waterpark rolled into one. It’s like having multiple attractions and rides that appeals to both young and old in one place.

Taiwan Aboriginal House

That’s exactly what it is – a place for everyone. Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village opened in 1986 and is originally a cultural village for people to observe and experience a Taiwanese traditional tribal lifestyle. That was why I wanted to go. It expanded to be a lot more than that to capture a larger audience for just NTD 780 (about RM 100) for adults, which gives you access to everything.

Amis Woman

There was an actual, real-life Amis woman who dressed up and gave us a commentary throughout the day. I thought that was awesome, coz she spoke English well and she was a veritable fountain of knowledge. Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village actually has two places that tells the history of the Taiwanese aboriginals via rides.

Discovering Sun Moon Lake

The first is at Dynamic Movie and called Time Travel – Discovering Sun Moon Lake. This is one of those motion 3D simulators which has intense levels of gyro action and alarming tilts. It’s fully animated and it’s a production that’s completely done in Taiwan! Stuff like this is usually imported, so a locally made rendering makes it all the more meaningful and it tells the story well – just more geared towards the younger ones.

Illusion Fusion

The other is a beautiful medley of theatre and interactive elements called ILLUSION FUSION. The show started with two girls coming together…

Taiwan Theatre

…and segues into a man shooting down the sun (more about that later), people chasing a white deer etc.

It’s The Origins of Taiwan in abstract form and I think theatre lovers would totally dig it.

Taiwan Aboriginal Hut

I really enjoyed it but I wouldn’t have understood the symbolism if I hadn’t watched Discovering Sun Lake Moon earlier. You can say both serves their purpose, I would definitely go for the 3D motion simulator first to get the mythology straight before delving into the heavier Illusion Fusion.

Taiwan Aboriginal Tribe

There are a lot of roller-coasters and water slides around but I skipped all that to delve into the proper Taiwanese aboriginal history. Yup, even UFO Adventures, Taiwan’s tallest free-fall ride at 85 meters.

Longest Cable Car Taiwan

There was a poll on who wanted to go and I went for Taiwan’s first cable car system instead, the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway. The significance of this cable car is in the name – you actually descend down (or up, depending on where you’re coming from) to the aforementioned lake.

The legend about how Taiwan started goes like this. There was a group of hunters who saw a white deer and wanted to kill it, chasing it to Sun Moon Lake. However, they didn’t catch it but they settled down here instead. These were the original inhabitants of Taiwan – the Amis and other Taiwanese aboriginals.

Sun Moon Lake

It was nice to see the beautiful blue lake and you can even go on boat rides if you want.

Ceremony for Good Luck

There was also a ceremony where we were blessed with fire and had to “jump” over a flaming pit to get rid of bad luck, the traditional Taiwan aboriginal way.

Jumping Flaming Pit

I love the interactive portions, I did it twice, once for real and once for the camera…does that mean I reversed my good luck? smirk

Amis Performance

The Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Museum was very interesting too – everything has both Chinese and English descriptions, even the digital screens, so I could understand the history and culture behind the Taiwanese original inhabitants.

Paiwan Wood Lintels

They also own the largest collection of real Paiwan status wood lintels in Taiwan! It’s quite impressive to see all the ancient artefacts and learn about the culture of the 19 recognized tribes of Aboriginals.

I decided to spend more time at the actual Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village and caught a couple of shows, including the natives’ flagship song. Naruwan actually means “Hello“. You’ll hear this multiple times as the people there greet you in this format.

Alisan Courtship Ritual

Try and catch all the performances if you can, they’re the best thing about this place. I managed to get involved in an impromptu dance where a Taiwanese girl came over to grab my hand to join the circle of dancers.

Bunan Dance

I was trying to get the dance right, kicking and switching stances when prompted when one of the guys (who really is a Bunun – one of the Aboriginal people of Taiwan) handed me a drink. It was their version of fermented rice wine and I drank it. Surprisingly fruity, it was good. I was wondering why they didn’t grab children to join in the dances until I realized it was alcohol. Haha!

Alisan Dance

That was a lot of fun and it made for a great photo op – thanks to the resident Amis for taking the photos. I highly recommend coming if you love visiting a country to learn more about the cultural elements. :)

Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village
555, Nantou County, Yuchi Township
Nantou County, Taiwan

Posted: 12:06 am Taiwan time (GMT/UTC +8)

Wakudoki Your Way to Tokyo

I’ve read a lot of articles on the net trying to explain what the term “Wakudoki” mean – they range from “heart pumping, adrenaline racing” to “sprained neck” (haha wtf?). I’m here to tell you the official meaning of “Wakudoki”:

  • Waku-Waku” is a term in Japanese used to describe when your heart is pumping with joy and you can’t sit still
  • Doki-Doki” is Japanese for the sound of your heartbeat

Okay, I know that second bit from my college years watching anime.

Thus, “Wakudoki” is the creative expression for the joy you feel when your heart is pumping with excitement…and you can win a trip to Tokyo just by dancing the Wakudoki dance! :)

wakudoki

Thinking about winning a trip to Tokyo is giving me the “wakudoki” feeling. I’ve been wanting to go for ages! It’s one of the few countries where I haven’t been to, and it’s so close nowadays and since the visa requirements have been reduced (it’s now visa on arrival) we’ve always planned for our next trip to be to Japan.

Did you know that Japan has the most Michelin star restaurants after France?

Just thinking of eating at Sushi Saito by Takashi Saito or Ryugin by Seiji Yamamoto gives me the “Wakudoki” feeling. :)

There are 13 Michelin star restaurants in Tokyo alone as of 2014!

It’s time to WakuDoki Your My Way to Tokyo. I love the Wakudoki dance! It’s a fun way by Toyota to engage the youth of the world. I’ve seen dance covers on YouTube and I thought they were hilarious! I think I can make this work since it’s quite simple.

waku doki

Still confused? Don’t worry! The site will guide you through the steps of the Wakudoki dance!

wakudoki dance

It’s so easy everyone can do the Wakudoki! Just use your smartphone or notebook so you can access the front camera/webcam and start with the “Beginner Mode”.

wakudoki toyota

You’ll be given a tutorial video where you can simulate the Wakudoki dance simply by following an animated silhouette of the dance moves.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the steps, check out “Expert Mode”! This mode doesn’t have a guide to help you out so you have to memorize the steps!

There are two rounds to the Wakudoki Your Way to Tokyo contest! The user whose video gets the highest number of views will win a “Beats by Dr. Dre” earphones at the end of each round. There will be one winner from each country! :)

The most remarkable dance video wins a trip for two to Tokyo!

wakudoki japan

Yes, there will again be one winner per country so every country (including Malaysia) will have a grand prize of a trip for two to Tokyo! Join the Wakudoki dance at www.wakudoki.asia to do the hottest dance in town now!

F&N Freestylez Show Ur Moves Finals

babes

Booth babes.

skater

Skaters.

graffitti

Graffiti artists.

What do they have in common?

outside

I was at e@Curve to catch the F&N Freestylez Show Ur Moves finals on Sunday. I was supposed to meet a friend for lunch first and was surprised to see the event in full swing way before the finals were slated to kick off.

dj

There were young ladies (the proper and politically correct term for this is actually “booth babes”, but who cares about being PC on sixthseal.com) handing out free F&N drinks to everyone at the Curve and I met someone I recognized!

girl

Okay la, I don’t even know her, I just wanted to take a photo with her. ;)

guitar

Anyway, the place was packed with people trying their hand at the various booths around, which includes a Guitar Hero section and a DJ hut. I see no expense was spared in the event management aspects. It was a rocking (pardon the pun) ambience!

There was a media session at Tony Roma’s right before the final B-boy faceoff where we got to:

media

1. Meet the judges

performance

2. Get a first hand demonstration of what the B-Boy scene is all about

food

3. Load up on food

jestina

4. Camwhore with Jestina

I was surprised to see the moves being pulled off by the F&N B-boys…coz I’ve seen it before! Street dancing is big in KK, Sabah and while I was doing my time there, some of the boys inside did the exact same maneuvers when someone managed to sneak a cassette in!

int 1

It was in fact, almost the sole source of entertainment during my time there so I was naturally quite excited when the beats started pumping out, with the bass reverberations guiding me towards the stage like a moth towards a flame.

int 2

I parked my ass (technically I was standing) right in front of the stage to catch the 10 teams in action. I’m not going to feature all of them here, just the ones that really caught my attention. I’ll be honest here – there are some teams which were rather mediocre and some crews who blew my mind away!

judges

I felt a bit self-conscious standing in front of the judges (L-R: Boojae, Fiona Jane Gomez, Danny One) though. It just didn’t feel Proper (TM) so I moved to the side a little to allow them an unobstructed view of the stage.

Okay, let me give you the lowdown of the F&N Freestylez Show Ur Moves finals:

Feasible Crew

Feasible Crew (from Sarawak yo, my hometown) came on the scene with buckets and rags for an awesome scene which was part dance and part cleanup crew. I wonder if they were paid for cleaning up the stage. ;)

wakaka

I like Wakaka Crew’s performance – they have a lot of slick moves in their repertoire.

Fresh Beat Rockers

Fresh Beat Rockers from Penang on the other hand tried WAY TOO HARD. Not in the good way if you catch my drift.

N Crew

N Crew is one of the two crews that have female dancers. There is one lone XX Chromosome in the group, but IMHO, they didn’t really impress. It looks like a lot of rehashed moves and a whole bag of clichés and they lack that elusive Stage Presence Factor (TM). I tried to hunt down look for the female dancer but couldn’t find her after the event.

move 1

Move is the other crew that has female dancers.

move 2

Move has two in fact.

move

They got a lot of applause from the crowd and I think their Moves (pardon the pun) were pretty good too.

move me

No, I’m not biased. ;)

Elementz 1

Project Elementz impressed me the most with their costumes and their choreography. The crew managed to squeeze in a story with the short amount of time, with impeccably timed moves.

Elementz 2

It’s a story about a vagabond…

Elementz 3

…who met a rich (but stingy) man, and ended up opening up a can of F&N (and also a can of whoopass).

Elementz 4

The choreographed scene has a lot of elaborate and magnificent moves, like this airborne version of Karate Kid meets The Matrix bullet time.

Elementz 5

Mad skillz. I was seriously impressed.

Elementz 6

The Project Elementz crew was highly entertaining but made a whole mess of the entire stage with their elaborate props. Heh!

Elecolxhot

This is Elecoldxhot. I like their pure energy and I love the profanity ridden gangsta rap music playing throughout their routine. This crew embodies PURE ENERGY! I was amazed by the calorie burning performance they put on.

The 10 crews in the F&N Freestylez Show Ur Moves finals strutted their stuff and the judges did their thing, and so, I present to you, the winners:

Best Dressed Crew

Best Dressed Crew – N Crew

Best Choreographed Crew

Best Choreographed Crew – Feasible Crew (from Sarawak – represent!)

Most Entertaining Crew

Most Entertaining Crew – Project Elementz

Most Outstanding B-Boy

Most Outstanding B-Boy – Muhamad Haslam from Wakaka Crew

3

2nd Runner Up – Wakaka Crew

2

1st Runner Up – Move

1

Grand Prize Winner – Elecoldxhot

They snagged the grand prize with their hyper energetic performance!

group

It was a pretty entertaining night and it provides a real insight into the B-Boy and street dancing culture in Malaysia. Cheers to F&N for a great event!

end

There is one thing I noticed about the B-boy crews though – they have an obsession with huge, flashy basketball shoes. I think it’s standard issue for all the crews. ;)

Bust a move!

IMAG0005

You think you’ve got skillz?

table_us

Those of us stuck in the rat race in the corporate world often forget what it’s like to do what you want, when you want, and express yourself publicly. We’re constantly too concerned about what others think of us and restrain ourselves, thinking its “right” and “mature” to do so. Nay, I say. Nay!

interactive-hub

Everyone should let loose once in a while – sing like no one is listening, write like no one is reading, and dance like no one is watching!

IMAG0001

Street dancing is a relatively new phenomenon over here but it seems to have taken off with a vengeance. I was surprised to see people busting a move at the local town square in Sibu. I love how they bring their own portable music players or blast beats from their car audio system. It embodies the very essence of freedom of expression.

IMAG0007

The F&N Freestylz “Show Ur Moves” competition is heading towards an explosive finale this Sunday. You probably missed the preliminaries but you can still go and check out the teams who managed to rise above the others and come up on top! 10 teams are heading into the finals at the Curve – Elecoldxhot, Wakaka Crew, N Crew, Project Elementz, Fresh Beat Rockers, Twister Randoms, Move, Enemy Style, Feasible Crew and Borneo Crew.

IMAG006

The judging will be done by (L-R) Boojae (Malaysian artiste and b-boy), Fiona Jane Gomez (Talent Hub Principal) and Danny One (local artiste). The winner of the finals will not only get the honor of being crowned the best b-boys in Malaysia, but they’ll be flown to Korea to meet and train with Asia’s #1 b-boys, Gamblerz Crew!

Go and gawk at the teams – there are female street dancers too, so whether you’re a guy or a girl, there will not be a shortage of eye candy. ;)

IMAG0003

I was planning to go to Penang this weekend to attend a wedding but since I can’t due to work commitments, I’ll be there armed with my digicam! The F&N Freestylz 2009 final is going down at e@Curve on Sunday, August 16, 6 pm!

IMAG0002

Get reacquainted with your youth or just catch the best moves this side of town!

Shall we dance?

shall_we_dance.jpg

I did it. Like all big decisions it has left me thinking about
whether it was the right thing to do. I’m not so sure really, but I
like to think that “No remorse, no regrets” and “Hard to port, steady
as she goes” are good phrases to live by. Contrary to the image I like
to portray, I’m really an emotional sucker at heart and I do have
“feelings”, strange at it may sound. I do “miss” people and places,
even though the feelings may or may not be reciprocated. Plus, the
bottle of hand shampoo hardly even got used.

I am not exactly sober right now though (not anything illegal, mind
you, just my script and good old neurotoxic but legal ethanol) so
everything I say is just me talking out of my ass. Forget I said
anything. Big boys don’t cry and all that.

Hey ho, let’s go! :)

Oh yeah, the photo above was taken earlier today, at Suria KLCC
center court. I’ll be celebrating Chinese New Year this year for a
change, it’s been a while and we only live that long so every new year
is a good chance to get all (emotionally) touchy feely with the
extended family and friends back home.

Now what the fuck did you just say young man? Put that bottle of vodka down and keep in mind that Xanax is not candy.

Excuse me.

Let’s dance…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...