Monday, 29 June 2015

A Touch of Arabic Music at the Rainforest World Music Festival.

Each year when the Rainforest World Music Festival comes around, there's always a feeling of anticipation, anticipation of the bands and performers who will be taking to the stage for this three day festival in the rainforest.  Music, culture and a unique experience awaits festival goers this year.  I can't wait for the month of August to come around.  For me, it's the feeling of being at the Sarawak Cultural Village, walking from the main stage to the various houses for the workshops or attending the afternoon concerts, it's a three day trip around the world. 

Thanks for dropping by for another Borneo Broadcast, for the broadcast this time around, we've got some Arabic Music coming our way for this year's Rainforest World Music Festival.  Each year the organizers would have something different and something unique in store for festival goers.

Talented Moroccan world music artiste, Driss El Maloumi will be among the many bands for festival goers to look out for at the  Rainforest World Music Festival which will take place at the Sarawak Cultural Village from August 7-9th 2015.

The award winning Driss, trained in both Arabic and Western classical music, is also a composer of music shows such as ‘Caravan Moon and participated in the musical film, ‘La Source des Femmes’.  His first album, ‘L’Ame dansée’ was released in 2005 and in 2013 he released his album ‘Makan’ performing together with two percussionists,  Said El Maloumi and Lahoucine Baquir.

Driss El Maloumi is not only known for his talent and virtuosity but also for offering a unique musical mixture between different varieties of contemporary music and Arabic heritage.
Another performer to look out for as they take to the stage is  Bargou 08 from Tunisia with music that will  introduce an unforgettable feeling of ecstasy of dance and trance. The music from this region is called Salhi and is disappearing but Bargou 08 is determined to bring it back to life. The band named itself after the Bargou mountain chain in the isolated almost forgotten region Seliana in North-West Tunisia near the Algerian border.  
Now if you have not been to Borneo for The Rainforest World Music Festival, then why not come to Borneo and experience this unique festival, just a reminder that the event-presale tickets is priced at RM 110.00 for a single adult and for children, tickets are priced at RM 50.00.  As for the three-day entrance tickets, the tickets are priced at RM 300.00 for adults and RM 130.00 for children. You can get the tickets online.

For further details, log on to 

Remember the dates, mark it down on your calendar or mobile devices, it's just over a month away, the Rainforest World Music Festival 2015 takes place on the 7th to the 9th of August 2015 at the Sarawak Cultural Village.  I hope to see you there.

The Borneo Broadcast will be back again soon with more on the RWMF, until then you take care.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

My Long Walk

Ever since my major health scare a few years ago, I've been trying to get healthy.  To work out more.  A few of my friends got to do a little walking and also jogging.  My doctors said that walking will do, no need to over do it.  Well, thanks to my friends who are avid runners, well actually they are experienced Marathoners and Ultra-marathoners, I signed up for a few walks, the last one I signed up for called the Super Hero Rat Race, it was a five point one kilometer walk.
I was optimistic going into this walk, I was hoping I could finish the walk in an hour maybe less, well that WAS the plan but as plans go, well, we can always plan but many a times things don't go as planned.  The day of the run came, it was May the 1st and I was ready...sort of.

The turnout for the Super Hero Rat Race this year was really good.  There were a lot of "working heroes" that day.  I was at the back of the pack, trying to take a few pictures.  Overall I would say the response to the Super Hero Rat Race was very good this year.  It was a fund raising run as well in aid of SOS Kids, so it was good to see so many people supporting this event.
Here's a picture of two experienced marathoners in Borneo, they've had more runs than I can remember.  The dude wearing is Cow(??) headgear is Yahya also known as FOMR as in Fat Old Man Running, you can check his blog and Facebook page, his Facebook page is or you can visit his blog and the Ninja warrior next to him is Nasa.  Both are my dear friends who have encouraged me to be more active.  If you're wondering why they're in costume, well participants could come dressed as any super hero.  I just wore the T Shirt they provided.
 Well, we got started, a little late but we got started.  Everyone was scrambling to get to the front of the pack.  My strategy was to walk part of the way and maybe run a little.  I started off slow, that was my plan.  Unfortunately as I mentioned earlier, plans usually have a way of going south or going awry on me.  And on that Sunday morning, it really went awry on me.  I started feeling at first a little bit of pain in both legs.  My shins were slowly but surely starting to hurt really bad and sure enough barely a kilometer into the run, I was in full blown pain, both shins were hurting me.  I was starting to slow down, my pace wasn't fast but the pain had caused me to slow down even further.  I had two choices, to stop and go back or to suck it up and go on.  By the time I made my mind, I saw I was at the point of no return, I was past the halfway mark.  I decided pain or no pain, to go on.  Well I made it to the finish line, barely.  A race official saw me struggling and he had to slow down to make sure I could make it to the finish.  I was in so much pain as both shins were hurting so bad.  Then to make things worse, the muscles in my legs became stiff and hard.  Then to make things even worse, just in front of me, walking faster than I was, was a kid dressed as Thor, Hammer, Costume but no cape.  He was walking faster than me.  Well finally with a time of over an hour, I made it to the finish line.  I was in so much pain that I had to apply A LOT of ice that morning.  The organisers were however a nice bunch of people, despite my coming in FOURTH from last, they gave me this.
They said that any participant who finished the 5.1 kilometers would get this medal.  I didn't feel like I deserved it but I took it as they insisted.  Well I decided to give up on doing these runs because of the pain but then someone encouraged me to try again.  They said that I should NOT give up.  Well I decided to try again but this time, I would go in prepared.  I went to a Brooks store to get a new pair of shoes.  The fine folks at Brooks checked out my feet and made some measurements and voila I got a new pair of shoes which were more suited to my feet.  They had more padding and protection for my feet.
These are really comfortable and they fit my feet, not too snug, just nice for me.  So along with the new pair of shoes, I was given an entry form for another run.  I was hesitant at first but then I realised that I should try and go again.  So I signed up for another 5 kilometer run.  The run took place this past weekend, May the 21st.  It was the "When The Bell Rings" Run.

With my new pair of Brooks Shoes, I was ready to try again.  This time I wouldn't be alone as I would have an experienced Marathoner with me, yeah my friend Yahya said he was going to walk the whole 5 kilometers despite the fact he was fasting.  Well I joined him and hoped that I would be able to make it to the finish line this time.  Well, as luck would have it, I managed to go for at least 2 kilometers before my legs started hurting again but this time it wasn't as bad.  This time the pain was bearable and my new shoes were holding up pretty well.  I thought to myself, there's only 3 kilometers left to go, so with Yahya leading the way, we walked to the finish line.
That's the look of pain on my face but despite the pain, I wanted to finish this run.
It was deja vu when a race official decided to follow us to make sure we arrived safely at the finish line, he said It was his responsibility to see that we finished this race.  Well it took me an hour plus again to finish this run. What's different this time, well I was able to run the remainder of the 5 kilometers.  In the previous race, I practically limped to the finish line.  The feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming.  I didn't give up, I didn't stop and the encouragement from Yahya and my nephew who also took part in the race really pushed me to take the next step to the finish line.  When we arrived at the finish line, everyone gave us encouragement as well.  It was a good feeling of being able to finish the race.
I was still smiling at the finish line so it's all good.  I managed to get the finisher medal and it felt good to be able to share it with Yahya.
Yahya and I also took a picture with Megan Soh, who is a member of the organising committee for the "When The Bell Rings 5k Run".  Overall it was a good Sunday for me, I managed to complete this run and after the run I was still standing and feeling pretty good.  I thank my family and friends for their encouragement and also the new Brooks shoes.  Am I going to join another run?  I was told that there would be another one soon.  Would I join the next run?  The answer is Yes.  I will.

Thanks for dropping by and reading about my misadventures on my Long Walk.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

An International Congress in Borneo

I think I've been neglecting this blog of mine.  I've been trying to update as often as possible but there's always something that pops up at the moment you want to sit down in front of the laptop and start writing.  Well I decided to day to update my blog.  It's been a while I know.  I have a problem with procrastination.

One of the reasons why I was "away" from my blog is because I promised a friend to help host an international event here in Kuching.  I moonlight as a Master Of Ceremonies so I signed on to help out.  My friend asked me last year to host this event, I felt really honored to be involved with this International Congress. I promised to talk about this event and I will.  This is the view from my "office" during the opening ceremony.  I like to call the rostrum my "office".  I always like the look of a hall or ballroom before it's full of delegates.

The International Congress was held in the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).  This is the Main Hall of this magnificent facility. 
Another look from my "Office" awaiting the arrival of the Governor of Sarawak who is the Guest of Honour for this International Congress.
With the arrival of His Excellency The Governor of Sarawak, we got underway.
Borneo is a unique location for International Events like this Congress.  It is an exotic yet modern host to events such as this one.  The Borneo Convention Centre Kuching for example offers all the modern amenities to cater to such events but what Borneo offers is something unique.  Here's what I mean, after the official business of the day was done, all two thousand plus delegates were treated to a Welcome Reception, so instead of just dinner and drinks, the organisers offered something more, something different, good food and the culture of Borneo.
What makes this Welcome Reception special is the demonstrations of the various Ethnic Dances and Performances by the Ethnic Communities in Sarawak.  The performances took place among the delegates, that way each delegate could watch, take their photos and yes even try out these dances for themselves.  The main idea is for the delegates to try their hand at the dancs.  
This gentlemen wanted to try the bamboo dance.  Yeah it looks like an easy dance but there's a lot that goes into this dance, speed, dexterity and balance, well you get my drift.  He did however give it a good try BUT...
It wasn't as easy as it looks, the dancer has a lot of experience and has done this dance many times before but I really have to respect this gentlemen, he picked himself up, dusted himself off and got back to dancing, well done sir.
And what's a reception without some live music.
This reception has local music for the delagates as some of these delegates had never been to Borneo, sothe  music was live, no recorded elevator muzak just live music.  The instrument you see here is called the SAPE, a boat lute which creates a very distinct sound, a local musical instrument that is synonymous with Sarawak, the SAPE has become an icon for the Rainforest World Music Festival here in Sarawak.

I was truly honored to host this event, it presented a few challenges for me but thanks to the organising committee, they made my job as the Master of Ceremonies easier, smoother.  Thank you for working with me on this congress.

In the next few weeks I'll have more to share with you, drop by anytime for the next Borneo Broadcast, you're welcome to drop by anytime.  Take care always.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Food, Glorious Food.

I like food, I like eating.  That's something that should be obvious, I love my food.  Just the other day I posted something on twitter which got a little bit of attention.  I want to give a big shout out to @CafeLazyBean (Cafe Lazy Bean) and @3RDPLC

serves a delicious Hainanese pork chop, a generous pork chop patty with tomatoes, potatoes all drenched in a delicious sauce that is just beyond description.

Oh the place is called Little Hainan.  Hence the Hainanese dishes.  The place has a nice and comfy ambiance.  It feels and looks like an old fashioned cafe style restaurant.  This is the work of a husband and wife team, Lynda and Julian, who can fill you in on the history of the Hainanese in Sarawak; at the same time as they whet your appetite.  If you're the type to try a little bit of everything, then you're in for a treat, they have a lot to choose from, even authentic Hainanese Butter Coffee, gotta try that one day.

So if you're ever in Borneo, drop by a little place called Little Hainan, this is the address, Lorong Permata 3, Kuching Ground Floor, SL6, Lot 3023, Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce Road Kuching, Sarawak.

For some reason, I am really hungry right now.  Thank you for dropping by, if you have any comments or maybe questions, just leave them here and I'll see you again next time with another Borneo Broadcast.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Just a reminder here, have you made plans for August yet?

What am I talking about?  The month of August is just over the horizon and that means the Rainforest World Music Festival 2015 is coming soon.  This year the Festival will be held in August, the dates are August 7th to the 9th 2015.  As usual the venue is the Sarawak Cultural Village.  This three day event is not to be missed, three days of workshops, day concerts and then we have the highlight which is the concert on the main stage. 

Just the other day I came across this brochure about the Rainforest World Music Festival, it has some information on the festival and info on tickets and so on.                                                                              

This brochure has some info on the bands performing for the Festival this year but for more details you can also log on to

There's plenty of info on the site about the performers, the workshops, hotel accommodations and transport from the city to the Sarawak Cultural Village. 

In the next few days to come leading to the festival, I'll be talking to the organizers and owners of this award winning festival, the Sarawak Tourism Board to get some more details on what's going to happen for this year's festival and I'm hoping to get some giveaways as well.  If I can do that, would you be interested to take part in maybe a quiz on my blog?  Let me know and I'll see what I can do about setting it up as soon as possible.  Leave me a comment and let me know.

Thanks for dropping by and remember, please leave me a comment.  This is the Borneo Broadcaster saying take care, I'll be back with more for you next time.

Monday, 8 June 2015

The Borneo Broadcast is back!

I didn't really go anywhere.  I was just busy with a little project I had.  A friend of mine recruited me last year for a project which took place during the Gawai Dayak Celebrations.  Since I already agreed I had to devote a lot of my time to that project.  So I had to leave my blog alone for a little while.  In the next few days I will share with you what I was involved with right here on The Borneo Broadcast.  Boy I really miss doing this but I also had a lot of fun helping my friend out.

Okay back to The Borneo Broadcast.

Since the last time we spoke, a lot of things have happened, over here in Borneo, The Gawai Dayak was celebrated in it's usual fashion with a lot of family and friends catching up and enjoying each other's company with food and drinks.  In Sabah though , there was some tragedy.  An earthquake struck Sabah on June 5th at 7.15 am for 30 seconds.  The magnitude was a 5.9 to a 6.0 the strongest to affect Malaysia since 1976.

According to what I've heard and read, the epicenter was to the north of Ranau. The thing that saddened me was the fact that 18 people died on Mount Kinabalu.   I just feel sad for those who died on the mountain and all effected in one way or another by this tragedy.  There were many who were stranded as they were climbing Mount Kinabalu.

The real story to me is the story of the mountain guides.  They were the heroes who helped, who rescued and some who gave their lives to save their charges.  Stories are everywhere on Facebook, in the news about these selfless guides who risked all to save a group of strangers to get to safety.  They are Heroes in my book.  My thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost their loved one during this tragedy.  The students from Tanjong Katong Primary School and the Guide who died.

The Sabah earthquake came as a surprise because tremors of that size are estimated to happen there only about once a century - and Malaysia does not lie on any tectonic plate boundaries.  There were also reports about Supernatural beliefs gaining strength when seemingly inexplicable natural disasters occur,

Dr Paul Porodong a Universiti Malaysia Sabah anthropologist said that despite no proof that the Sabah earthquake was due to Mount Kinabalu climbers who stripped for a photo recently, they are being blamed because the incident "fits well with local belief".

The Humanities, Arts and Heritage Faculty senior lecturer said photographs of the nearly nude mountaineers, which caused anger when shared online earlier this week, came just days before the deadly Friday earthquake.

Mount Kinabalu is one of the most revered "temples" to the Kadazandusun community, he said, and acts of disrespect were long linked to accidents.
This picture is from

There was a lot of damage during the earthquake, the peaks on Mount Kinabalu known as the Donkey's Ears broke off, nearby the Poring hot water springs a popular tourist destination, it was reported that the water turned black after the earthquake.  Other infrastructures were also reportedly damaged with around 23 schools in six different districts affected, while Ranau Mosque was effectively damaged due to the tremor. Other infrastructures were also reportedly damaged with around 23 schools in six different districts affected, while Ranau Mosque was effectively damaged due to the tremor.  Serious damage occurred to the hostels and resthouse near the summit of Mount Kinabalu. Buildings were similarly affected in Kota Belud, Tuaran while other area like Kundasang and Ranau suffered water supply disruption.

All is being done is help those affected by the earthquake.  Again my thoughts and prayers are with family and friends in Sabah.

Thanks for reading, I'll be back with another Borneo Broadcast.  Always take care.