My sister’s wedding @ Grand Jasmine Ballroom, RH Hotel

wedding sibu

My sister just had her second wedding reception last night at the Grand Jasmine Ballroom in RH Hotel, Sibu. The KL wedding reception was held exactly one week ago and last night’s festivities were for the bride’s family and friends.

main table

The Grand Jasmine Ballroom was used since we had 40 tables seating 10 people each. Both Jasmine 1 and Jasmine 2 were used to accommodate for the wedding. I just found out that each table costs over RM 450 so that’s about RM 18,000 for the wedding reception alone.

montage sibu

Gifts were respectfully declined and my parents did not accept any ang pows at all. My parents wanted this to be a casual get-together for friends and family without the traditional trappings of Chinese wedding banquets. It’s giving back magnanimously to the Sibu community to commemorate the wedding of their daughter.

The sales personnel of the local newspapers were politely kept away from the ballroom area to prevent their hard sell advertisements from bothering the guests and we roped in relatives to do the seating arrangements and ushering duties.

montage crowd

It was a huge task since there were 400 guests from various groups (church, organizations, corporations, family, schools and friends) to be seated at their designated tables.

I was slated to be the MC of the night and there were two main events that I had to coordinate – the entrance of the bride and groom from the flower arch down the red carpet lined with flowers and all the way through the second wedding arch before being seated.

entrance

The night’s festivities began with the bride and groom walking in before being seated at the main table.

montage main

There are ten seats on the main table:
1. Alvin Ng (groom)
2. Poh Yih Jia (bride – my sister)
3, 4: Mr & Mrs Poh (parents of the bride)
5, 6: Mr & Mrs Ng (parents of the groom)
7: Paternal grandmother (of bride)
8: Maternal grandmother (of bride)
9, 10: Poh Huai Bin & Doris (brother of the bride and girlfriend)

montage speach

I started off with a short welcome speech before showing a presentation of my sister’s progress throughout the years. The bride and groom came on stage to acknowledge the efforts that went into the events management aspects. My sister did a great speech thanking my parents for her upbringing, waxing nostalgic and generally trying to be a tearjerker. It’s a good thing some sand got into my eyes. ;)

first dish

The good Reverent said grace before dinner and the first dish was served.

The interesting bit and the flagship feature of weddings at The Grand Jasmine Ballroom is the presentation of the first dish. The lights went dark and music started playing as a parade of waiters and waitresses choreographed a candlelit performance while carrying the first dish before serving the dishes. It’s quite unique and novel.

montage festivities 

There was the time-honored cake cutting ceremony by the bride and the groom after that, followed by the champagne pouring ceremony, some kissing action from the newly weds and a toast led by me where everyone raised their glasses to bless the holy matrimony of the bride and groom.

main group

This is a group photo of the immediate family at the main table. You’ll notice that there are only eight of us – my paternal grandmother went to the washroom and there was an empty seat meant for my maternal grandmother. Unfortunately, she had a bad Alzheimer’s attack before the wedding and couldn’t join us. Both my grandfathers are deceased, both coincidentally from lung cancer.

food 1

The food on the main table is served individually for some reason, instead of being a communal dish.

food 2

I have yet to figure out the reasoning behind this.

I went up and sang The Wedding a.k.a the “Ave Maria” song with my mom before the end of the night.

I actually sang it twice, the first one was dedicated to my girlfriend and I did a solo on that. My apologies for subjecting everyone to the auditory assault – I don’t sing well, but I sing with my heart. :p

doris

The wedding reception ended at 9:30 pm and our relatives stayed back and helped clean up the place. Doris is seen here feeding me fake champagne – it’s a actually a prop that expels confetti when pulled.

cake

There was just one major blunder at the wedding – the three-tiered wedding cake was not sliced and distributed by the RH Hotel staff after the cake cutting ceremony, which they were supposed to do. We all forgot about that since we were busy with other stuff and only realized it when it was still on stage when I thanked the guests for coming. Oh well, at least it was all packed up and given to relatives so it’s not that bad.

wedding end

Congratulations to Alvin Ng and Yih Jia on their wedding. I guess I’ll have to start to call my sister Mrs. Ng now.

Hmm…

Borneo Cultural Festival 2008 Closing Ceremony

bcf 2008 closing

The Borneo Cultural Festival 2008 has come and gone and the closing ceremony during the weekend was a grand affair, with fireworks and performances to mark the end of the BCF 2008. I have attended the festival for most days of the week and the turnout was great, with the festival being packed full of people despite the drizzle.

This is a performance by TUKU KAME featuring Jerry Kamit during the closing ceremony. They’re also slated to perform at the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) later this week in Kuching.

eddy mary poh poh

I haven’t had dinner yet, and thus we went in search for food with Eddy, his nephew, Mary and Mr. Poh (not me). Last call for tuak and all that. ;)

pansoh ikan

We had pansoh ikan (fish cooked in bamboo)…

lemang

…and lemang (glutenous rice wrapped in pandan leaves).

I heard a haunting refrain of The Phantom of the Opera and went to film a video of the performance. You have to watch this – the vocal range of the female singer is amazing!

me simmy

I also went to Simmy’s booth while I was there and talked to her about photography and models in Sibu for an upcoming project I’m doing. She’s a professional freelance photographer and she has a website with her photography portfolio.

haircutting demo

The major hairstylists were out in force at the BCF 2008 with free haircutting sessions. I just got a haircut but went for it anyway just for fun.

getting haircut

She ended up butchering my hair a little, with one side longer than the other but people claim that it’s not very noticeable anyway, having the chubby face that comes with my weight gain.

me hairstylist

I’m not very sure what to think of that. Blessing in disguise? Or friendly hints that I need to lose some weight? Hmm… ;)

carnival

The BCF 2008 is also about having fun and the carnival games is a place where you can get fleeced into paying RM 100 for a Made in China stuffed toy that costs RM 0.20 and yet have fun while doing it. Fleeced for fun. ;)

bingo

There are a lot of different carnival games ranging from bingo…

ping pong

…to ping pong ball based games.

playing ping pong

I managed to get a turtle key chain for my efforts.

turtle

“May you have a prosperous and beautiful future”. Wow, thanks turtle! =D

shooting

There is also a shooting game that I played in an inebriated state…

idiot

…doing the usual stuff people do when they’re less than sober. I love the expression of the guy next to me. :)

I find that I’m a little bit annoying (even to myself) when I get past a certain state of sobriety though.

darts dodge

It’s also not a good idea to be going for the dart games in an inebriated state. Look at how far the girl is dodging from my questionable aim. Hmm…I didn’t notice that until now. She memang siam hui hui.

darts 2

I managed to win RM 2 after spending RM 25…and I felt pleased. Jesus Christ…

childish

I’m so childish sometimes, I amaze even myself…

mary wins

Mary, rating higher on the sobriety scale than myself, managed to win two pillows. Hmph…

bcf finale

BCF 2008 is fun for all ages (and especially for the inner child in you). There are cultural shows, fashion shows, and games galore. You can drink yourself into a stupor and shoot less-than-straight photographs of the events (which is quite fun in it’s own right). ;)

I’m not sure if you’ll want to fly all the way here if you’re not from Sarawak, but the timing is good – right before the RWMF 2008 kicks off in Kuching, so drop by if you’re already here. Cheers from Sibu!

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. ;)

melanau

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.

sugarcane

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

pakcik

Careful Pakcik! The rollers are not friendly to human fingers! ;)

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.

tuak

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. ;)

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. :)

swan city

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

Pedophile Heaven

girls basketball

I went to the Borneo Cultural Festival 2008 just now to catch the high school girl’s basketball competition. The BCF is an annual week long event held to celebrate the diversity of cultures in Sibu and I went to the opening ceremony last night (full write up tomorrow, got a pool party to go to in an hour).

girl sweatshirt

You may recognize the female in the gray sweatshirt from the previous XX Chromosome entry. I didn’t want to take photos with minors for that particular category lest I get hauled off for 10 years of jail time and 10 strokes of the rotan (caning). ;)

teacher

She looks much better in person actually, and she’s a teacher (albeit a very young one).

girls playing

The girl’s basketball competition was surprisingly entertaining (and not for the reasons you’re thinking). I meant that in the most platonic manner.

girls tussle

There was a fair bit of competition going on, being a contact sport and all that. It turned me on…to sports. You didn’t let me finish speaking. I meant I’m into basketball now after watching all that. ;)

my ball

It’s my ball. No, it’s my ball. The other girls weren’t looking at me by the way. The referee was standing beside me and they were waiting for her to make a decision.

raise hands

…and as we raise our hands in silent prayer,

ball

We beseech thee to be our guiding light in times of duress.

I took too many photos to upload, so here’s a video of the girl’s basketball competition.

mvp

This is my favorite player (in a totally non-sexually connotative way). I just like her repertoire of expressions. :)

Borneo Cultural Festival

bcf entrance

Hello! My name is Sam and I went to the Borneo Cultural Festival just now coz I like bright, shiny lights. I don’t like crowds though but mom and dad was with me so it was OK.

bcf henghua

This is a Heng Hua stall that my daddy told me is
my heritage. I tried to eat one of the pastries and it’s actually
pretty good. I got a boo boo though when I fell and scraped my knee
while trying to take photos.

bcf stage

I heard sounds coming from the stage so I left mommy and daddy and went to watch some girls almost bo cheng sa one. I don’t know why but I felt funny down there after looking at the girls.

bcf chinese

My hands were also shaking so the photos are blurry. I don’t know if
it’s from the girls or coz Huai Bin kor kor didn’t give me any pills
today. There are a lot of stalls at BCF with ethnic segregation e.g.
Melanau, Chinese etc.

bcf decor

The stage show then changed to guys so I don’t want to see anymore.

bcf stall

I went to walk around and saw this girl so I touch her nen nen. I don’t know why, but she scolded me and ignore me after that.

bcf bamboo

I was hungry after all that grabbing action and got myself rice cooked in bamboo to eat.

bcf popcorn

There was a man making popcorn and I ate that too.

I also bought four (4) SIM cards coz I’m retarded.
016 885 3221
016 864 7478
015 885 1428
014 680 7844

Seriously though, I’m think about maintaining just two (2) lines,
one for business and one for friends. I had a really good number (016
869 0110) but tardiness made me lose that one. I’m using 014 680 2348
right now.

Which of the four numbers above is the easiest to remember? 7478 and
7844 means something in Chinese but I don’t like the prefix. I want to
just maintain one.

Suggestions anyone?

Ice Sculpture Exhibition

ice sculpture fest

The Ice Sculpture Exhibition is dubbed “The Coolest August Festival”
and they mean it literally – the temperature inside is -8 degrees
Celcius. That’s minus eight degrees below zero to prevent the ice
sculptures made by the ice carvers from Harbin, China from melting.

ice sculpture tickets

The ice festival feature amazing works carved out of gigantic blocks
of ice and is housed inside a temperature controlled room. I managed to
get a half priced ticket (RM 10) by using my old uni student ID card.
;) The normal admission price for adults is RM 20.

sweater change

That’s inclusive of a free sweater, and an unlimited time inside.
The coats are handed out before you enter the freezing enclosure.

ice 2004 kuching

The first thing that greets you (besides the blast of freezing air)
is this huge cat made completely out of ice. I was amazed by the size
and finesse that must have gone into this piece of work. It’s based on
the Kuching cat, one paw raised in greeting.

ice nativity scene

This is a nativity scene showing the birth of Jesus Christ
(bananas). Look at the intricate design of the hay in the manger
interpretation. The cot itself has a lot of carved patterns on it. It’s
amazing!

ice eiffel tower

The Eiffel Tower of Paris is also featured in the ice sculpture exhibition. The scale of it is amazing, it towers above people.

ice gates me

Here’s another massive ice sculpture to show you the scale of the
interior. This is me standing in front of the Beijing Ceremonial Arch.
The entire interior is made out of ice!

ice pheonix sun

This is another design I like – it’s a piece of work called Phoenix Facing The Sun.

ice turtle

Turtle: OMG, the world has frozen around me and I can’t get up!

Here’s a mini tour of the ice sculpture exhibition, a longer video will be available at the end of the post:

ice inside

Download: Ice Exhibition Interior [sixthseal.com]

ice an pergola

This is another marvelous piece of art – the An Pergola. I give this Best of Show. The design is impeccable.

ice chairs

Lest we get tired, there is ice chairs located inside for people to
rest their weary legs. The entire bench is made out of huge blocks of
ice.

ice barren trees

The side of the interior is decorated with barren winter trees and
small piles of ice. It really contributes to the ambience of the ice
sculpture fest.

ice 12 zodiac

This is a long display of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. I have a movie featuring the ice sculpted animals here:

ice zodiac

Download: Ice 12 Chineze Zodiac [sixthseal.com]

ice me rooster

I was born in 1981, so that makes me a Rooster.

ice maze

There is also an ice maze made out of blocks of ice in the middle of
the exhibition. It’s wonderful, the variety of interactive sculptures
available inside.

ice palace

Speaking of interactive sculptures, this is the ice palace, with
steps leading up to a balcony which overlooks the entire exhibition…

ice slide structure

…and an ice slide down to the bottom! :)

ice slide

I went down the ice slide twice – they charge a nominal fee of RM 1
per slide, and you get a mat so your pants won’t get wet and make your
underwear all soggy and all that.

ice longhouse

There is also an intricate ice sculpture of a longhouse – possibly the most complicated sculpture inside.

longhouse detail

Look at the detail the ice carvers put into this one – it has a proper structure, with rooms!

longhouse very detailed

It’s very detailed – steps going up into the longhouse and windows on each room.

ice slideway russian 1

Here’s another complicated ice sculpture – A Slideway Russian Style Building.

ice slideway russian 2

It also features a mini ice slide, this one is free, but the slide
is too short for most adults. I would recommend giving the long curving
slide a go instead.

ice liuhe pagoda

This is the Liuhe Pagoda – a massive structure that competes with
the Eiffel Tower in size. I liked this one more, the lighting is better.

Here’s a video tour of the ice sculpture festival:

ice tour

Download: Ice Sculpture Exhibition Tour [sixthseal.com]

ice snake end

I would highly (no pun intended) recommend a visit to the Ice
Sculpture Exhibition if you’re in Kuching. It ends on the 15th of
August and it’s located at the MBKS grounds. I’ll rate it as a must
visit – you won’t be disappointed, it’s beautiful in there!

Kuching Festival 2004

kuching festival

Kuching Fest 2004 is the annual Kuching city festival which starts
on 1st August 2004. I was there last night with a couple of my friends
and this is the coverage of the event on the first day. The main focus
is on the food fest – that seems to be the most popular one every time.
There are also two videos for download – one with the fireworks display
and the other with two girls singing on the stage.

This is the video of the fireworks display to start of Kuching Festival 2004:

kf04 fireworks

Download: Kuching Fest 2004 fireworks [sixthseal.com]

This is a video of the fireworks display of Kuching Fest 2004 on the
first day. It was good – lasted for about 15 minutes or so and some of
the fireworks were impressive.

open air food court

The ground of Kuching Fest 2004 is largely taken up by a massive
open air food court. There were numerous stalls offering everything
from Iban Bamboo Cooked Chicken to Taiwan Sausages (with spicy, regular
and sweet options) lining the sides and tables and chairs in the
middle. There is also an indoor and outdoor area for exhibitors but I
did not find that noteworthy, so this will mainly cover the food fest –
the one which everyone goes to Kuching Fest for! :)

food court people

The stalls offer a staggering amount of food options and we were
spoilt for choice…so we had a bit of everything. I remember eating
crab claws, yam prawn, blueberry yoghurt, ice cream, nasi kandar,
Taiwan sausages, sour duck, lok lok, roti susu, and something called
“love noodles”. It was a feast!

sausage iban food

L-R: Double Dragon Taiwan Sausage stall, Tenggiri + Pork Sio Bee/Mua
Chee stall (delicious), Iban Food stall with tuak (native rice wine at
RM 6), and chicken cooked in bamboo, amongst other things.

taiwan sausages

Here’s another stall selling Taiwan sausages at RM 2 each. Very,
very nice. It’s much better than the first one. I think there’s at
least 4 different stalls selling Taiwan sausages there.

briyani cafe

Briyani Cafe offering different rotis, murtabaks and briyani dishes.

lok lok

Lok lok!

ching chen noodles

Ching Chen and their Cinta Noodles.

mukah seafood

Mukah Seafood Center was there too. They have umai, a local raw fish dish.

regular sausages

Sausages galore! This is the regular ones though.

seafood cha kueh

Asian BBQ Seafood stall beside a hawker stall selling cha kueh, fried kueh tiaw and other staples.

richmond place

Richmond Place offering New Zealand Fish and Chips. There are also other franchises like Sugarbun and KFC there.

yoghurt stall

There is a stall offering Natural Home Made Yoghurt. I was a bit
dubious about this, due to the odd color of the yoghurt. It looked more
like agar agar than yoghurt to me. However, I got one and was
pleasantly surprised.

yoghurt blueberry

The blueberry yoghurt is surprisingly good. It tastes like what
proper yoghurt should be and the blueberry adds to the texture of the
yoghurt.

emperor dragon whisker sweet

Emperor Dragon Whisker Sweet. It’s those little balls of rolled confectionary.

sour duck

Batu Kawa’s 1st Sour Duck.

banana leaf

Banana Leaf – offering dishes served on…well, a banana leaf.

tables of food

Proletarians like us can only dream about seating in this cordoned
off area. ;) The tables are filled with the various stalls offerings
and are for invited “guests of honor” also known as the “I paid RM
100,000 for this Datuk title” club.

food eating competition

The proles had their own eating competition though.

crab claw

Crab claw with minced chicken and yam prawns. The former didn’t have
much crab in it and but the latter was good – prawns fried with a yam
batter.

sweet corn

This stall offers a novel twist to the standard sweet corn snack – it’s barbecued. The stall beside is Emperor Grill Chicken.

ice cream

This is an ice cream cone with two scoops of chocolate and corn
flavored ice cream. It’s topped with a wafer, a single cherry and nuts.
Divine.

indon asam kari mee

There are all sorts of culinary delights at the fest – this one is Indon Asam Kari Mee. There’s a stall selling paus beside it.

Here’s another kind of feast – one for your eyes:

kf04 stage

Download: Kuching Fest 2004 Stage [sixthseal.com]

This video shows two girls singing the Sha La La song with choreographed movements on the stage in Kuching Fest 2004.

kuching fest crowd

The festival ground was packed – people, people, everywhere. Each
one of them jostling to walk past the mass of humanity that was
present. It seems that Kuching denizens came out in full force for the
first day, don’t expect to park anywhere near the location since the
roads were lined with double parked cars.

kuching fest 04

It was worth it though – Kuching Fest 2004 lasts for a month, and you won’t be disappointed if you drop by.

Affin Bank protest photos

affin protest 1

I managed to witness this…demonstration, I guess you could call it
that, just now. It was in front of the Affin-ACFFinance financial
establishment and the protestors were employees of the said company,
apparently disgruntled about their usual trivial concerns – salaries
and what not. This happened at the branch beside Sarawak Plaza in
Kuching and comprised of around 20 odd people.

affin protest 2

There was a guy with a bullhorn leading the cattle to alternate
between singing “Soliditary forever” to the tune of that hymn which
goes “Glory, glory Hallelujah” and the cliched “We want justice” chant.
There was even a guy who parked by the sidewalk and applied his car
horn to the tune of the chanting. The cheesiness factor was so great,
it made me lactose intolerant. That’s not a protest…this is a minor
congregation of like minded people in a futile attempt to resolve
whatever petty disagreement they have with their employers.

affin protest 3

I’ll show them how to do a proper demonstration if I was their
operations management leader. It would be anarchy. ;) Perhaps that’s
why no one has ever enlisted my dubious services in organizing a proper
clash with riot police, wanton destruction of private property, tear
gas filled, fires lit all around, smoke billowing, looting ahoy,
protestors and law enforcement officers dead kind of protest. Now that’s how you protest. This…pffftt…this isn’t one, I’ll tell you that.

I don’t believe in moderation. There’s no “peaceful” in
“demonstration” is there? I wouldn’t even have posted it, if not for
the reporters there. Just felt like scooping print media. That is, if
the newspaper editors even approve this…this…non protest thingy for
publication.

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