Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Fifteen wonderful memories in Twenty-Fifteen

6th January 2016
Took me six days to come up with this post...the power of procrastination!

Twenty-Fifteen was indeed an exciting year for me.
Many unplanned, uncertain and unforgettable events happened throughout this year, I must say.

I'm rather bumped in writing long posts, so let the pictures tell the stories of the past year..

ONE
After the New Year, I flew back to KL and the year started with - finally - the shoot for Asia's Got Talent in Pinewood, Johor for the Judges' Audition. 350 or more crew in the production from various countries and hundred of acts performing in front of the audiences. It was one great team and I have to say, I enjoyed every bit of the shoot in the studio without much of a stress. The shoot them moved to Singapore for the semi finals and finale. There, I was given the opportunity to Assist Direct the shoot. It was tough - mentally and emotionally - but I made it through with lots of encouragement.

TWO
In between the Judges' Audition and Semi Finals of Asia's Got Talent, I had a break and I randomly booked a return flight to Laos on a solo vacation. I flew to Vientiane and quickly hit the road in a sleeper bus to Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng. Weather wasn't on my side. Forest fires were massively happening everywhere. But nevertheless, it was one great trip to start the year.

THREE
In between the Semi Finals and Finale of Asia's Got Talent, there was another break. It was another flight for a vacation and this time, I had a beach vacation at Boracay, Philippines. I had a shock upon arrival as it was so commercialised and packed with tourists! The sunsets I watched every day took my breath away. It was just so beautiful. Stayed with an awesome host and went around the island like a local.

FOUR
I'm a bit disappointed with my planning last year. I did ONE dive only throughout the year and it was in Boracay. Luckily it was a wreck dive, eventhough I didn't enjoy it as much because I was diving with a new diver and had to cut the dive short because he ran out of air *sweats* 
ONE DIVE ONLY!!!

FIVE
The reason to why I only did one dive in Boracay is because I spent most of my time - still in the sea - but I was kite surfing instead! Took up a 3 days course on kite surfing, got burnt very badly on my face, stepped on sea urchins but it was one heck of an achievement! Thanks to much encouragement, now I have a new hobby!

SIX
Best part of my career...I PARTIED WITH MELANIE C, my childhood idol from Spice Girl! Nothing can describe that night where she rocked the DJ console to end our wrap party for Asia's Got Talent!

SEVEN
The next project I signed up for last year was one which I have been waiting for since the first season. I was super excited until... a day before the shoot, I fell very ill. I barely ate for five days, was too weak to work and couldn't sleep well. I was later sent back home to recover and it was then I found out that it was caused by something "supernatural". Yes, believe it or not?!

EIGHT
Wannabe Tomb Raider 2.0 brought us to Indonesia for a hike to Mount Merapi, the 2nd toughest volcano to hike in Java Island. It was freezing cold. We hiked through the night to reach the summit for sunrise. Unfortunately, we didn't make it up to the summit on time but nevertheless, the view was just breathtakingly beautiful.

NINE
 
Stargazing in Penanjakan Viewpoint was the highlight of my photo-taking experiences. FYI, no photoshop was done to this photo. The stars are real! Temperature was at 3degress, hands were numb but heck, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to stargaze, in Mount Bromo!

TEN
Ruby came to Kuching for a vacation and of course, I was the tour guide - best in town! It was all about food and one of the most adventurous activities we did was kayaking! 7km downstream Sungai Sarawak Kiri. It wasn't as tough as I thought it would be. Kayaking in Kuching...checked!

ELEVEN
I had the privilege to travel Indonesia on a food show. Definitely a fun team to work with. I explored Batam, Makassar, Malang and Banyuwangi. Experienced my first heat stroke and had to be in hospital on oxygen for 30minutes...shikes!

TWELVE
Bread Street Kitchen for dinner was the highlight of my work trip in Singapore! Finally after months of waiting for the restaurant to be opened. Ordered this humongous beef burger and it was one mouth-watering goodness. Had a food coma right after the meal. Can't wait to make another reservation to try other food there next time! Gordan Ramsey's restaurant...checked!

THIRTEEN
I did not have the opportunity to finish working on Fit For Fashion Season 2 in Bintan, Indonesia. I was glad that I could work on the finale in Singapore. It was a three days shoot and I had a chance to "walk the runway" (standing-in actually) in front of live audiences! *laughs*

FOURTEEN
My bestie, Tiffany finally managed to surprise me on my birthday. She failed miserably for the past few years but last birthday, she made it awesome! Everything happened coincidentally. Thankfully, I was too tired to even check up on her when she was late. She parked the car by the side - mind you, I was just sitting not far away from where she parked - and decorated the car boot with this goodies! My heart stopped when I opened it and was very surprised to see what she did. Amazing work, bestie!

FIFTEEN
The last project of year 2015 was with this bunch of crazy yet professional team. From one week to two to more than a month. I spent a fair share of time in Singapore with sleep deprivation but thankfully we had awesome food as a compensation to that. Shoot was tough but with everyone hanging on to finish the shoot, it made things much better for all. I had the opportunity to Assist Direct the finale and though it was a tough one day shoot, I wouldn't have done it without this team!


GOODBYE, TWENTY-FIFTEEN!
Looking forward to more awesomeness in Twenty-Sixteen!

Friday, September 4, 2015

My Ghost Story Asia Season 3...the Philippines

Date: 20th - 28th August 2015

Traveled from Manila to Baguio to Bataan to interview five eery ghost stories from every day people.



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Asia's Got Talent [Season 1]

By far one of the biggest project I've ever worked on.
From October 2014 to May 2015.
From Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, Johor, Malaysia.
To Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
With hundreds of crews from all over the globe.


And of course, meeting my childhood idol...Melanie C from Spice Girl!
was definitely a dream come true!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Happy Year of the Goat!!!

Happy Chinese New Year! 
May the year of the Goat brings prosperity, happiness and health to all!
HUAT, HUAT, HUAT AR!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stu's Adventure

Stuart was given to me by Karen Katz; the best Executive Producer that I've ever worked with. Since then, Stuart has been my travel buddy, appearing in almost every photos I took of the places I visited, food I ate and friends I met.

Here are some of his adventure...
There are plans for more adventure coming up!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Turtle Encounter!

video
Encountered this turtle during a dive at D'Lagoon, Perhentian Island. At first, I thought it will swim away if I go any closer, but instead, it surprised me by staying so close to me. I was in awe watching this turtle slowing moving away, giving me a chance to film it at such close distance.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dungun, Terengganu

Spent a good two months in this little town call Dungun in Terengganu for a reality TV shoot. A peaceful town indeed with fresh seafood but little pork and beer. Two more weeks before leaving this town. Will miss being here!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rookie Days

It's been 3 months since I started my long break from work and it's been a while since I managed to secure a project as it seemed like there's not much projects happening the first quarter of this year. Boredom strikes as I had been homebound in KL for a month now. It would be better to be homebound in Kuching - no water rationing, no haze, no traffic.

Had a call last Saturday to see if I can work for a pilot project as a runner/equipment van driver. After thinking for 5 minutes, I called back and confirmed the job. It was an 8 days job with 3 off days in between. 

Back to my rookie days as a Production Assistant cum Van Driver. I had earlier calltime than anyone else. Had to drive to pickup 2 crew members and the equipment van an hour before the calltime on location. It was not much a hassle and stress but I hate the traffic especially during the peak hours.

4 days has passed...another 4 more days to go.

It's somewhat more relaxing being a rookie all over again :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Post Graduate Studies?

Went for a UK Education Fair today and met with many UK universities who offers Postgraduate Studies in Film & TV. These are the few that I've shortlisted. Time to learn more about these universities and search for potential scholarships to apply!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Miri...

Took a flight for a week stay in Miri right after the Cambodia trip last January. It was rather a 'down-the-memory-lane' trip than anything else. Upon arrival in the airport, I picked up the rental car and drove down to town for breakfast before visiting Curtin once more. The rain never stopped all through the days I was there, so there was nothing much I could do.

Visiting Curtin brought so much memories. Though the campus was rather quiet, I get to 'walkabout' and spend some time meeting lecturers. The campus grew slightly bigger; with an addition of a new building, but everything remained...and of course I had my favourite 'Full Moon Toast' as usual.

Many things were still the same, even the bottle Chrysanthemum Tea, but the price was much expensive than before. I drank the whole bottled in ice in a freezing cold weather. But heck, Sundrop and bottle Chrysanthemum tea is the best!

Having a cup of hot TehCPeng while reading newspaper in the early morning was so relaxing. It's rare to have such time to do nothing but to enjoy every minute of each day.

Though it was raining for the days I was in Miri, it never stopped me from getting myself to the beach and have some alone time (with some company of sandflies). I visited Tanjong Beach and was disappointed when seeing the beach in ruins. Thankfully, Esplanade was still clean and taken care of despite the monsoon weather bringing debris to the beach.

Miri has always been a great place to stay and it was home for a good two years during my study years in Curtin. The city has developed every passing year. I'll be back soon to see more changes!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wannabe Tomb Raider: Phnom Penh

We soon found ourselves in the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh after a seven hours bus ride from Siem Reap. The bus was comfortable and the drive was somewhat slow and very safe. We arrived near the Central Market where we took a tuk-tuk for USD2 to Mad Monkey Hostel. We checked in and was brought three floors up to our room (the bar was just a floor down).

It was late afternoon and we booked ourselves for a USD6 BBQ dinner at the hostel's bar. We took a short walk and found a stall which was selling baguette. We paid USD1 each and it was so delicious; except for the part where Tiffany swapped mine with her double dose of chillies! 
...baguette with lots of meat and vege...

My mouth was burning and I couldn't feel my lips as I took my last bite of the baguette. We went to the bar and had our free glass of Cambodia draft beer while we waited for our dinner to be served. Not long after, Maurice from Germany came and sat with us through dinner. We were introduced to Sam and another friend and later, we met with Alejandro whom we saw the day before in Bayon. We had a few glass of beer while enjoying our BBQ dinner. We even had a few shots! Much later that night, we had our game of beer pong!
...a game of beer pong...


...the traveller friends...

We called it a night at about midnight. We had a late morning the next day but I was worn out since the first day we arrived. We woke up rather late and I had a box of milk before we shared a tuk-tuk with two ladies from the UK to The Killing Fields. After putting on the audio device, I took a slow walk (following the numberings) and indulged myself with the history of this place. It was gruesome and sadness overwhelmed me.
...human skulls...

After almost two hours in The Killing Fields, we took a long ride back to town to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. It was another gruesome experience.
...the barb wires to prevent suicides...


...one of the many classrooms where people were being tortured and left to die...

After an emotional tour in The Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Museum, we went back to our hostel to grab ourselves some food and chilled before our Mekong River Cruise for sun set. A tuk-tuk came to pick us up from the hostel to the jetty and we were surprised to find out that we were the only ones in the cruise! *laughs*
...a long ride along Mekong River...

The sun was hidden behind the clouds, so no beautiful sunset shots *sob sob*
We walked down the Waterfront and into the Night Market. There were lots of stalls selling souvenirs and clothes and finally, we came to the food section where there were lots of mats on the floor. We walked a circle and bought some food for dinner and got ourselves a place to sit and enjoyed the dinner.
...take off your shoes, find a spot and eat away...

...FOOD!...

We had a long walk back to the hostel. The night was cold but it was a good walk and we called it a night as soon as we reached the hostel. We finally had a much longer and needed sleep before another day's walk in Phnom Penh.

The next day...
We found a small kopitiam and decided to give it a try. We ordered (dishes were not in English) and it was one of the best dishes we've had to far. After refueling ourselves over breakfast, we started our walk around the 'tourist spots' according to a map we bought the day before. We were supposed to visit the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda but unfortunately when we arrived, it was closed. So we walked straight to the National Museum and had a good tour in the museum. Coincidentally, we met three Sarawakians who were working with the Sarawak Museum and had a chat. The walk continued to Wat Phrom at the top of the hills and later we found a Maybank ATM where we took a bit of cash without any overseas charges *woohooo* and continued to the Central Market where we got ourselves some souvenirs!
...breakfast...

...National Museum...

...Wat Phrom...

...Central Market...

...Camburger...

It was the longest walk we ever had...many many kilometers around the city!
Our last day in Phnom Penh.

After packing up and checking out from our hostel, we took an early morning walk to the Independence Monument and had a quick bite before heading to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.
...the Independence Monument...

...us in our backpacks with a tuk-tuk...

...Silver Pagoda...

After the whole morning of walking back and forth, visiting the last few monuments in Phnom Penh, we went back to the hostel and got ourselves a glass of Cambodian draft while waiting for our trip to the airport.
...we are the mad monkeys...

It was an awesome six days in Cambodia and definitely will make a trip here again, but this time to Silhanoukville (for sun, sea, sand and diving, of course!).