Sunday, December 30, 2012

Play with Muxic [ADV]


Invited Angel for Xplay but she had a climb the day before so she had to give her legs some loving and take a much needed break. Everyone else had something to do, I knew the boys wouldn’t really be interested in this and luckily, I met Natalie while shopping so I invited her instead :) 

Xplay is a series of parties that has been twirling around Malaysia, which has seen the movers and shakers in  urban cities like Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Melaka and just recently at Kota Kinabalu. 

I think Xplay has such a futuristic feel to it. Among the entertainment for that night was a laser show which got the overzealous crowd turns mum. Nat and I stood there boggled at all the fancy moves the dude were doing with the laser.


What makes this particular Xplay party a lot more "interesting" then some of the parties is the fact that it was headlined by talented gorgeous young ladies from all over the world on spinners. 


Other than that, BED was packed to the brim! I see Koreans, I hear Japanese, bummed and brushed with mostly locals, the whole place was gyrating to the three ladies’ spin. Those who got their passes from the online registration received a free bottle of Carlsberg to go around with. Nat and I could go on with the night with free flow as well (easily), but neither of us felt the need to :)


Bright lights, beaming music, bull-rushed crowd – Xplay has a life of its own and for those who are interested to be part of the scene next time, register online and squeeze your way in. 

Till then, have a good new year folks!


Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Xplay at Bed, Kota Kinabalu [ADV]


A couple of weeks ago, someone called me up and asked me whether I wanted to attend "One of the biggest party of the Year". Okay, maybe I exaggerated a little bit. But truth be told, Xplay has been notorious for their huge fancy parties from the ones in Melaka (Mixx), to KL (Aquasonic), to Penang (Room) and now they're concluding the Xplay series and the year of musics and all things young in none other than at the beautiful, Kota Kinabalu.  

I haven't been to parties in ... ages. I mean like the kind of parties where I would need to squeeze myself-in in super tiny dresses and end the night probably all bozzled up or have something all drawn up on my face or something, I don't know -- those sorta awesome parties. 

So after hearing out on what I'd be missing-out on if I had said no, I decided *I should* end the year with a bang. I mean, it has been so good to me. I have been so good to me (did I just said that). So I said yes and here I am sharing with you on what's gonna make this party the biggest one to date. 

What makes this particular Xplay party a lot more "interesting" then some of the parties that have seen the grounds and that have partied with the glitz and the whos of Kota Kinabalu is the fact that the DJs are all smexy as hell bunch of ladies. Yes guys, you may squeal. 

The DJs are from all over the world - some of them are from Italy, Ukraine, Indonesia, Thailand and even from homeland - Malaysia. 



For all you Kota Kinabalu readers of mine, I know some of you are already itching for another night of extreme hedonism so if you're wondering on how to get invited to this year's Xplay party in KK, all you need to do is by signing up online at http://bit.ly/XPlay2012 and get absolutely free invites. When you're done, print out your sign up and flash them your email invite at the entrance and gain free admission. 

There are more special privileges if you're always wondering; constantly be on the lookout for items at http://bit.ly/XPlay2012 when you're at the party. Pictures with the DJ ladies, buckloads of freebies and the "ultimate clubbing experience" all night long await. 

Details of the event: 

Bed, Kota Kinabalu 
22nd December 2012 
8pm onwards 

I'll see you guys there :) 

Love, 
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Highlights of 2012

I wonder how 2012 has been for everyone. New revelations, epiphanies, wisdom; among the things to describe how my 2012 has been. Despite my cheery (sometimes absent-minded) image I'm quite a philosopher you see, I dwell in deep thoughts, daydreams, nightmares, whatever you may call it, and will speak so articulately about the things that I'm quite inquisitive or passionate about when asked (or when not).

1) I continued my journey

Some people would save up for new gadgets. Some would save up for books, car accessories, new wardrobe and their little ones' playmates. Whatever they are, we all have our rhyme and reason on what we love to save and spend our money on. That investment or expenditure is (or at least should be) our responsibility and ours alone. For me on the other hand, I would save my money up to see the big and small places of the world, near or far. 

Seeing things the way you've never seen it - Kokol
And this year I did also just that. I love travelling so much because travelling does not only open my eyes to all the things that are worldly different from or similar with us, it stimulates and maximizes all of my senses.  I am both more alert and more relaxed of the situation surrounding me. And to me, that truly is when I feel the most "alive".

The chance of trying out new things in new places in new waters 
The chance of seeing, believing and knowing how fortunate you are and what you can do to improve the world - Philippines 
Always on the lookout for good food, good company - and yes I miss you Panda :)
Listening to new music and really cool people
Losing breaths at all the greatest sights
Meeting new people
Seeing and embracing different beliefs, different (degree) of beliefs, cultures and traditions 

2) Moving forward in my Career

After I quit my job in KL, little did I know that I was going to venture into one of the most competitive industry in Sabah; tourism and hospitality. I was jobless for two measly months, but I was already feeling restless and I wasn't happy. I'm sure like most of you, we choose to work simply because it keeps us occupied and of course, it pays our bills. Essentially, it makes us sane.

I had a sneaky plan of venturing into tourism and hospitality because of my fine love for places and travelling. It was a really tricky sneak-in I know, to be in the other side really, because I knew I would end up serving people should I choose to work in the hospitality industry. I was blessed that I got a job at a 4-star hotel as a PR and within 6 months of working, I was promoted to Senior PR. And God has his own further twist, and the moment I entered the industry, I was flooded with events and was met with so many people that would contribute to more opportunities for me. 

I have grasp the importance of networking and keeping friendships since college. One opportunity led to another. One reference after another. I was called and offered even more to another place and while I believed in loyalty, the idea of being recognised and valued has motivated me to take the offer.

Now I'm in a new great place, with more opportunities at hand provided. I am blessed, this year has provided me tons of opportunities to advance in my career.

3) New Friendships 

Ever since I left KL, I felt the need to restructure my life. I was going to start from scratch, may it be work, friends, lifestyle. I wasn't truly happy in KL either. I didn't get to see my then sick mum to sleep, I didn't get to hear her stories of her days.  Everyday felt like walking on an eggshell trying hard not ever wanting to hear any bad news through a call. I felt that I had been living a very poor quality of life, or at the very least, I didn't felt where I should be.

So coming back to settling down in KK, when I wasn't working, I had joined a lot of groups. A travellers' group, an art's group, another art's group - there were plenty. I was always looking to meet new people, make new friends, do new things, I wanted to do everything!




I thank heavens that I went to these events and to these groups, because of these events, I constantly met new and interesting people in my life, some who turned out to be among my best of friends :)



4) Friends and families starting their own family 

This year has witnessed so many of my loved ones declaring to the world that they're ready to start their own family. Nothing beats being part of the ceremonies and being part of their milestone and seeing how happy they are with their life-changing decisions :)  

Courtesy of Vera Joan Dingle
Courtesy of Ashley Koh
Courtesy of Serena Allysha
5) And last but not least, moving back in with my family 

This was by far the biggest highlight of my life in 2012. I know you'd probably go "whattt, this?? I stay with my family all the timeee". Some of you might already noticed the importance and the significance of my family in my life, you see, when my dad passed away, we had to learn how to protect each other, and ever since then, we have became best of friends.

So yes, it's like moving back in with your best friends. Those who've seen the worst and the best in you, and those who've helped you in your biggest decisions and those who would extend and welcome every other form of happiness in your life with open arms. I am blessed to have such an amazing family. I am blessed to have such amazing best friends.

Here goes - I'm thankful for such a beautiful year. Looking forward to another exciting one! 

Love, 
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

A little bit of October and November

Little did I know that after quitting my job in the social media industry about a year ago, I would be venturing into something new and extremely immersive. The hotel industry doesn't sleep and according to a friend the industry is best described by only two things; beauty and busy. Do I agree with this? No, not at all. There are tons of other words that best describe the industry, both good and bad, but I must say these two do cover the majors. Beauty, which I believe she meant encompasses grooming is well known by hoteliers, that if you by for some reason are not "groomed enough" you have not abide to a hotelier's rule. Working in the hospitality and hotel industry means you'd have to constantly "look good" or at least "look groomed", can mean to be glamorous at most times. And busy, well let's just say we do our very best to you keep you warm at night and all of that come from everywhere. And if you're paying for a 5 star service, we too are busting our way for the 5 star offering. 

So many things went through these two months. I think I'm going to be a little lazy for this post and insert funny one or two captions over some pictures only. My friends and I have been trying out salsa just lately. One of us teaches salsa the first Monday of the month at a bar in the city for the past three months now, and we have been having so much fun with it. So so much fun. 


This was from Morris' camera. That's all of us after a couple of hours of a good ol' good salsa session. We were actually sweating around like crazy. Let me introduce you to my friends (if I haven't yet), from left to right that's Mira, Morris, Kimberly (in pink top), Ben, Chris (the teacher), Aaron and Angel (that's hugging me from the back). This is the notorious salsa crowd. Haha. 

Other than that, I realised I have been meeting up with a lot more of my primary school mates, which is awesome beyond words. Some people change, while some remain. The gorgeous Izzati's cousin (a friend since I was seven) married my cousin so besides catching up we were just teasing each other of the fact that Kota  Kinabalu is well, big but yet also so very small. The irony. 


And this my friend is one of my favourite photo from the wedding that I snapped (below). Why, if you have known me enough or known my constant preach about love, kindness and rebut on racism you'd probably have guessed. (no wonder some people call me hippie). 

This is a rare sight of a multi-racial team of flower girls. Love, love, love interracial relationships or weddings. Love, love, love the idea of embracing, appreciating and loving someone who not only is physically different from what you are familiar with your whole life, but also culturally who has a million and one things that would probably be new and unknown to you. The idea of embracing your partner who has everything completely different from what is nurtured and natured as they were growing up from you, is so beautiful. I get all jazzed up whenever I hear these stories. 

Look at the colourful pretty girls :) Love this picture. 


Last week, Morris Aaron Mira Angel and I went to Labuan just cause. It was so much fun, and we even did all the touristy stuff :)  I'm definitely writing more on Labuan that's for sure, I'll include all the intricate details as well on how we go about it, while taking the ferry and so forth. It should be useful for you :) 


Okay, I think I'm running out of things to say, and I'd really rather not post pictures of myself to compensate words, so I'll leave as it is and will write some useful stuff for my what little phantom readers I have. 

Have a good night. 

Love, 
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bamboo Music Festival at Tamparuli '12

Spent the whole week indoor and sleeping really early the whole week of last week. I wanted to rejuvenate my body and made sure my weekend was freshened. I really disciplined myself. Lights off before 12am, proper meals and minor exercises and stuff. 

So with what good week I had, last Sunday morning, when Morris told me that he’d pick me up at 9am I got up at 6.45am instead! I was well rested, energized and it felt like I could start the day as early as I could.

We decided to spend our Sunday at a bamboo festival in Tamparuli. It's basically an event to celebrate the multipurpose use of the bamboo. Anyway, you guys can check out here for more information. I'm also trying to promote this event for the festival in future :)

Morris suggested having brunch in Tamparuli itself, and we agreed. Morris had his good ol’ Kon Lau Men Char Siew, while I had Kon Lau Men mixed and Aaron Tuaran Mee. After that heavy breakfast, we walked to where the festival was supposed to be. Everything was near so it was all good.

When we reached there – we saw probably the quirkiest game ever. Five bamboo sticks tied together at one end, all spread out, with one dude chucked up there in between all that craziness, which we assumed is supposed to be the "driver" or the person taking charge of whatever that thing was. I was so intrigued by the game, I had to ask around.

The game is called Mimtakayan. Basically you'd have to race up all the way to the finishing line on that ensemble, and all of your teammates have to help each other out by pulling the strings that are tied to the bamboo to a rhythm where you can finally slowly move around lead by the "driver".

The first team to reach the finishing line, wins. Quite frankly, it's almost impossible to even move a couple of metres even, I don't how they do it -_______________-" 


Insane. 

Other than that, we spent the day just roaming around and discovering the bamboo musical shows performed by the school kids from around Sabah in the hall.

I was so fascinated looking at all the bamboo musical instruments I discovered the other day. There were these huge ones where the player literally had to juggle with both of the huge bamboos to craft notes. I mean, look, it nearly covered the boy's face for heaven's sake.


Besides musical shows, they had field games too like "Pertandingan Menyumpit". "Sumpit" is a famous weaponry used by the local natives of Sabah and Sarawak. It is a natural craft, deemed to be made out of only carved woods, shaped and designed in such a way that you get to aim at a specific target. Check out this lady rocking it out. 

All the ladies were nailing it like they've done this their whole life. I mean, they probably have done this their whole life. Right. 



Besides some field games, there was a booth that started breaking on a traditional dance every few minutes; a Dusun Lotud dance called Mongingol to be specific if (I hope I get this correctly). The dance was graceful, the traditional costumes were gorgeous. I really liked it :)


This was actually one of my favourite musical instrument too. Can someone tell me what exactly this instrument is called? I know it before, but I no longer remember it. I tried Googling Bamboo drums but everything else that's not this came out. 


Can't wait to catch next year's. They had the field games and the musical shows simultaneously so we had to miss either one in order to catch the other. Oh well. I hope I'd get to catch more of the quirky field games next time. I wonder what other games out there that use bamboo as their tools.


Heading to Labuan this weekend! Wee! 

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So one of us met her soul-mate

There's nothing quite like the feeling of seeing your kindest and most beautiful friend having found her partner in life and wanting to tell everyone about it. I have a lot of amazing people in my life, and Ingrid is fortunately one of the very few that has never gave up on me, and that has showed me how to love and live your life in whatever circumstances. 

She is also one of the strongest person I've ever known in my entire life. She has her fair share of toils and troubles, but never has her smile left her. If there is that one person who truly deserved this much happiness that she's in, it's her. 

Last week we spent most of our days and nights with this beautiful lady. 


We bullied and treated her like princess equally. 


Some friends, no matter how far or near you go, the moment you see each other, nothing changes. It's not in the way you speak, it's not in the content of your story, nothing changes. And these high school friends of mine, are just that. 


Sorry for the bad lighting. She's a million times more gorgeous than she is. 


Good food, good company, good times. Congratulations sweetheart. I love you and will always be there for you :) 



Love, 
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Karambunai Lagoon

Every single day I wake up feeling grateful over what beautiful home I have. It is a wholesome place to explore and indulge here in Sabah; we've got the highlands, the sun, the forests and the beautiful friendly creatures surrounding us every single day. This place is everything an explorer could ask for, and it is neatly packed in one place. All you need is time. Time to explore.

Staying on this part of the world means you'd have to be ready to swept away ever so frequently. I have been to amazing new places, really, all, the, time. And every time I do, I feel refreshed, they take/took my breath away all the time. Too many golden views and sceneries that will never be enough when penned down in words, and all that I ever want to do is to bring you to experience it yourself. 


Last week I had a team building event and we were brought to a secluded lagoon in Karambunai. Karambunai is approximately an hour's drive from the city, and it is supposedly a city resort itself. The stretch of Dalit Beach and / or Sepanggar which shares the same sea is so gorgeous, that all it needs is some inhabitants to play with. Seriously, the beach was empty! My colleague smothered himself in sand and was making sand angels all over. 

Be determined enough to look for a spotless pristine waters area and believe you me the day will only do better. My colleagues and I had to undergo some team building event and our prize was the beautiful waters and the friendly waves. After much biting, cramping and scratching, it felt like the perfect reward.

Among other things that we had to do was to "Create Our Home", which was a cute little idea really since we're in hospitality. It gave me an idea of doing the exact same thing when I'm doing a picnic next time. All I probably needed to bring was just a huge cloth and we'd cover over, find some branches and voila we have a roof on top of our head! My colleagues even decorated the place with beautiful falling branches :)


There were so many things to be amazed of. The stretch of greens, the marriage between the old and the new, everything was picture perfect, like it was meant to be as it is.


I'm coming to this lagoon (which will be kept secret for now until I have a proper blogpost to structure with) again for a picnic or two. Until then, please explore Sabah or maybe your own home. With an open mind, you'd be surprised at the depth of things you'll discover :) 

Love, 
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rights

Was lucky enough to be able to catch Freedom Film Festival in KK yesterday. Stirred even more questions in my head. Before this, everytime I talk to mum about the things that we as young Malaysians are beginning to question about, her eyes would curve, wrinkled at my endless open-end questions, showing signs of... I don't know. Guilt maybe? Not quite sure whether I should start off this way, but mum was/is living in a generation (or was/is the generation) where majority were, easily "contented". There I said it.

And the truth of the matter was, most of our parents, were somehow always easily "content". They weren't critically thinking enough, they weren't or majority of them at least weren't vigorously asking, or maybe even when they were, the idea of splurging them back over with bonuses and the built of  infrastructures that were right in front of their face have changed their spoken-instincts back into feel food contention. And back then, or maybe still even now especially for rural areas, contention was all that was ever needed. 

They didn't need to know how things were ran. They just wanted to be taken care of. They didn't need to know how much A was getting and why, or how much B was getting and why, they just needed to know that yes they are getting some shares of the pie but why they're getting that exactly was never an issue.

But you see, there must be a development in "sharing". It should grow as much as the economy and growing must be justifiable over time. Say "sharing" increases over time (over 20 years) what A and B is getting should increase as well. 

With so many youngsters including myself sprouting out asking questions on how does one system work, and how does one system can improve and by scrutinizing the systems they shouldn't be perceived as bad - I mean look at them as an audit, and audits are supposed to help out clear out the mess and get things right. 

And a governance is the most serious matter. You are basically entrusting with and giving someone almost complete power to watch you over. You are the one that will be choosing the people who you want to govern you or run your lives.

And my mum's generation, was just probably content with what was given at the right time and the right place. Curiosity probably never even crossed their mind, or crossed their actions. It just stopped at contention.

It feels like, there is a lot of sense of loyalty and "gratitude" bottled up in them. Not saying this particular governance is bad, and not saying the other side's grass is greener, we just needed to develop critical thinking. While it is probably forgiven for mum's generation, it will not be for ours. With the advent of so many other platforms of information and alternative resources, we cannot be less than informed. So let's ask ourselves;

Why are we getting this much, when by right as a resourced state we should be getting this much? 
Why are doing what we're doing? 
Why are they doing what they're doing? 

I hope everyone continues to ask questions and be interested in things bigger than themselves, or their family. Think for the greater good, and let's work our way for a better Malaysia :) 

Love, 
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

A Day's Train Ride to Beaufort, Papar

I've had a week off and I had tons of plans to go around with it, but with the week off coinciding mum's birthday and mine, and a cousin's wedding, I had to skip most elaborated plans, and compress everything into a day's train ride which I absolutely loved. But before that, here's quick one; 

Just recently, I was offered to work in a bigger international chain, and I took it, and after much la di da, here I am having a week off before I start on my next journey. It's been an amazing one in my previous place, where people have respected me, my talent and skills so honorably. But I'm developing even more now, so I've decided it's only right for me to move somewhere bigger and take up the offer that one has valued me for. So that's all. Now let's get technical.

I was wondering what I could do for my actual birth-day (Tuesday, 2nd October) - and while others indulge in different things like retail therapy, aromatherapies, food or maybe even just plain ol' nothing, a little adventure could make me in particular a billion times happy enough. So I asked around, scouted through, and finally settled on taking a simple train ride to it's furthest and visit it's stopping towns. Because I had a late night the night before my birthday, I woke up late and missed the first train. So I decided to take the day as it is, and do it the next day instead.

Background

JKNS - Jabatan Keretapi Negeri Sabah or The Sabah Railway Department has been around for almost a century now (1914 - 2012) while the trains have been operating way back since the 1800s since British's Occupation. These trains are "district trains", as they were previously built to connect major districts such as Tenom to transfer goods which means not so much of city transfers.

When I was a kid, maybe about 10 - 15 years ago, my dad would bring us to travel all the way up to Tenom with the trains, and back then the trains were operating with steam and coal (you can even hear it from a mile away when it lets out its steam going choooo-choooo), rusted and dirtied from time and all the mud and rocks they pass through, and while you're in it, the choos were evidently louder, air ventilation was good, there was no aircond, it didn't matter, we never knew, windows wide open, our heads would stick out, sometimes, half of our body juts out, wind passes our face, and it felt like the fastest things we've ever been on, you can bring basically anything (I remember bringing pillows and a huge teddy bear all the way to Tenom), the tiny walkways were filled with vendors coming to you selling all kinds of things. Wet fishes, veggies, peanuts, pungent smells, fighting cocks - all within eyesight. Some had to stand, while some had to sit on wobbly chairs. Tunnels felt like forever and no naps were comfortable.

But these memories were unforgettable. It was among the first few times too brother showed so much leadership and protectiveness over me. Gave away his seat for me, tied my hair because it was getting too hot, gave me his mineral water told me the tunnels would be okay. All these simple kind gestures are remembered forever.


These are the new trains. Of course, these trains change because of time and infrastructures too.


So I needed to check it out. Unfortunately, the coverage was halved (temporarily). From Tanjung Aru to Tenom, to Tanjung Aru to Beaufort.

Since I missed the train ride the first time, the next day I woke up way earlier to make sure I didn't the second time. Reached the train station about 45 minutes before departure. I wanted to drop by at only two stops, Beaufort (furthest) and Papar (my camera died -______-) while the rest to enjoy the much forgotten scenery.



My journey to Beaufort basically encompasses Putatan, Kinarut, Kawang, Papar, Kimanis, Bongawan, Membakut and back. If I had more time, or maybe even a night to spare, I would have stopped at all these stops, and probably pick a town to stay in. But even for the bigger town such as Papar and Beaufort, I wasn't really sure whether there were motels (even after searching online). But it's okay, I've decided to do so the next time.


Beaufort 

I took the 7.45 am train ride for only RM 4.80. Reached there 9.45 had only about an hour or so to explore Beaufort Town (to catch the 11AM train ride down), so I couldn't go further then the town itself which was fine, because Beaufort Town is adorable!


Beaufort's main or majority races are of Bisaya, Brunei, Murut and Chinese. The thing about Sabahans and their ethnics and their races is that it's virtually impossible to identify what race we are just by looking at us at one glance.


Tamu Beaufort





So I told her my plans. Please look through my photos what my eyes have caught and found fascinating in Beaufort.



Look carefully. Check out this grandpa's shirt inside. We know who he'll vote!


Last I was there was probably 10 - 14 years ago as well, so I was bouncing around town trying out new food, snapping new and old things. I even talked to some of the uncles and aunties, they were asking me where I'm from and where I'm heading.

I like these two questions: Where are you From, and Where are you Heading?

The town is adorable, I finished one part of the town within 30 - 45 minutes of just aimlessly walking around. Some rascals tried to disturb me, but I'm sure they were just being friendly - I mean I was with a small camera snapping away. If that doesn't scream tourist, I don't know what is.

Papar

Right after Beaufort (it being the last stop), I went back down and stopped at Papar. It cost me RM 2.95 for one way from Beaufort - Papar. My train ride from Beaufort was at 11.10am and was scheduled to reach Papar about 12.15pm. Morris is working in Papar so I messaged him whether he'd like to have lunch and maybe show me around, a little bit of like a crash course on Papar and he delightfully said yes.

But sorry guys, my camera died so no photos T____________T

After lunch he brought me around the roads, crooks and crannies of Papar telling me a little about the place. What's the main race and what are the things people do there. After lunch, he dropped me off at the bus terminal, but I wasn't ready to go back so I walked to the Library (which was really less than 2 minutes away) and scootch around town. About half an hour or so of walking around, I finally decided to take the bus downtown. And I think that was probably one of the fastest bus ride I've ever been on O.O

So there you go. A day of a train ride for my birthday :)

*** 

Please call them below to plan your travels before heading straight to the station:

Jabatan Keretapi Negeri Sabah / Railway Sabah Department
088 - 254 611
http://www.sabah.gov.my/railway/

Love, 
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.