Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chinese New Year Plants

As the Chinese New Year approaches, one of the more visited places apart from the supermarkets would definitely be the nurseries.

Just like the Christmas tree for Christmas, plants are closely related to the Chinese New Year. What makes it more interesting is that each plant has its own meaning of good fortune.

I've been visiting the nurseries as well for plants this coming Year Of The Rat. The greens, reds & orange (kamquats) are very refershing & interesting, especially to find out their meanings.

The garden filled kamquats which sounds like gold (& of course its orange golden colour) - hence symbolise prosperity.

The pineapple shaped plants which in translated from 'ong lai' or 'wang li' - luck come! :)

The ever popular pussy willows or 'yin liu' in Mandarin, which represent the invitation of abundant luck and prosperity into homes.

According to the shop person, this plant means 'kai xing guo' - happiness.

The reds which is good luck for the Chinese.

Something about smooth sailing in 1 direction.

There are many other plants with its meanings like the cherry blossoms or the also very popular money trees. Well, if you haven't bought yours yet, there's still time to head down to the nearest nursery and get some meaningful plants of green, orange (gold) & reds! :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Singapore Girl Guides Cookies

Some may find this post a lil late. Aniway, I just realised that I had some very wonderful cookies which I bought end of last year, and am happily munching away now :)

A group of Girl Guides were in a shopping centre in Singapore to sell their cookies - which came in 3 flavours. I got the mint one.

The taste is awesome and make you want for more. However, apart from its taste, what impressed me is how it was packaged - it came in a well designed box. Hadn't they put their logo on the box, I might even think it came from some big factory.

This was a good Christmas gift box (or for any occasion for that matter). It shows the amount of hard work that the girl guides went through.

And interestingly, their concept of selling it at the shopping centre. Now, that's another good marketing idea - where the crowd is... with good exposure.

Good taste & credible work. Will keep a lookout for the cookies again this year end! :)

PS: Girl Guides, do you do new year cookies? :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Chinese New Year Is Near

When we see the bright red lanterns on the roads, we know that Chinese New Year is coming.

It does seem pretty fast that not too long ago it was just Christmas. In fact, I went to a shopping centre the day just after Christmas, and the Chinese New Year decorations were already up! Wow, that is fast!

The good luck red is in town & can be seen everywhere in the streets of Chinatown, starting with the flowers (natural & plastic) and the New Year decorations. It is really a nice feeling especially if one is to take a walk and looking at all the decorations while listening to the New Year songs.

In the streets of Malacca, Jonker Street is already prepared for the Chinese New Year.

It can be seen here how different it is compared to when it was other season (see post: Merdeka)

The new Chinatown in Jalan Bunga Raya is also ready with the red lanterns hanged across the street and the shops selling decorations brightly litted up!

And the fun is actually now - where we rush (& queue) to buy the New Year goodies like the lychees, longan, scallops etc for giveaways & preparation for the dinners. And of course the once-a-year must have bak kwas (sliced BBQ pork/ chicken meat - and some even seafood) and new clothes! Of course, there is also the house cleaning! Well, it all adds to the fun.

So, do enjoy yourselves while we prepare, work & shop til the New Year! :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Inspiring Advert: Thai Airways

Was having dinner and noticed this advert being played. It caught my eye, and also my heart. I've always liked how Thailand has branded itself - as a friendly, warmth & not to mention amazing place.

This advert is from the national airline, Thai Airways, which like many other countries, it does have the job to portray & brand the country as well as its airlines.

The smiles of the ladies show the Thai hospitality & warmth. This followed by its gracefulness and its signature Thai smile. This is the first branding of the advertisement.

The next part is the subtle introduction of Thailand's culture - with the beautiful background music using traditional instruments. The next cultural feature is the Loi Krathong festival or also known as the 'festival of lights' in the kingdom. This festival is one of the many cultural attractions to Thailand and is famously celebrated in mid-Nov at Chiang Mai and also in Ayutthaya (near Bangkok).

The ladies with their Thai style greetings ends this advert well - with an invitation to welcome you to their country. I must say this is what I've experienced of the Thais - they are very subtle in their ways, and non-pushy... and always with a warm greet & ever-ready smile.

This advert really does a good job in branding Thailand. It accomplishes the mission of branding Thailand and leaving viewers like myself in awe. How inspiring :)

The Loi Krathong festival - simply beautiful.

Inspiring Dream: Travel The World On Motorbike

This is my very first post on people who has lived their dreams, or are currently pursuing them.

Srinidhilv, who hails from Bangalore, India, and his passion about motorcycles, traveling and environment has lead this journalist to start his journey of touring South Asia, which is part of his 5 year long year plan to travel the world.

The South Asia trip which he first started in 3 December 2006 was the first phase of his 9 parts of his world tour. He divided the world into 9 parts to make this dream of travel possible.

His whirlwind journey takes him to various places & meeting all kinds of people. He visits the temples, mosques and lots of ancient buildings... waterfalls and villages - basically understanding the true way the people lived and the purest way to know the countries.

As with every dream, he too do have some hiccups along the way as well. One of them, to abandon coming to South East Asia because of immigration problems costing a delay of 9 days in his trip. And there is also the issue of costs & finding sponsors.

However, the end result is still a fruitful one, where with help of Sponsors both from his country & supporting countries, he has lived his dream of part of his first leg tour.

Currently he is taking a break before he resumes his next leg soon :)

More on his journey at

[If you are living your dream and would like to be featured here, simply let me know - it's free!]

Friday, January 18, 2008

Inspiring Musical: Beauty World

Beauty World's which is touted as one of Singapore's most successful plays is being staged for the 3rd time round. 20 years since its first performance in 1988, this 3rd round is now the biggest so far and is staged non other than at the Esplanade. This is the typical English with dashes of Singlish & Cantonese comedy - musical, but with much more substance & style.

Set in Singapore in the mid-Sixties, Beauty World is a musical melodrama about the adventures of Ivy Chan Poh Choo, who came to Singapore to find her father.

In her quest, the goody-good girl from Batu Pahat (yes, Malaysian character :) ) lands herself in a somewhat sleazy cabaret in Singapore, named Beauty World. Here, she experience a new kind of life - dazzle, music and fun... and also jealousy & heartaches of love.

With amongst the best creative team from Singapore, this musical hits it right from the start. Dick Lee's glamorous musical signature combined with Ivan Heng's directing makes Beauty World a Singapore 'icon' by itself. The signature lyrics of 'cha, cha, cha...' will definitely be remembered.

Add that with good casting, which produced a stellar cast headed by the lovely Elena Wang who plays Ivy. In my opinion, she was the clear star here with well-done performance as the sweet innocent girl and superb singing - she really melts the heart!

The other casts sang well too with the next best singer (again, in my opinion) is Dwayne Tan, who had clear loud voice. The lyrics 'I.. I.. I.. Ivy..' in the song 'Ivy' was hilarious and the audience were laughing although it was supposed to be an emotional part.

Irene Ang, the famous on-screen wife of Phua Chu Kang got lots of limelight as the kay-poh cleaner with her superb performance mixing Cantonese with English.

The impressive dazzling stage which was set mainly at the cabaret adds the finishing touches of a wonderful performance. This musical is a good branding for Unique. Singapore... Beauty World.. cha! cha! cha!

Autograph Session - seen here Elena & Daren.

A happy signed CD inlet :)

*More info from Wild! Rice's production at

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Making Friends

Recently I came across a blogger who mentioned that part of blogging was making friends. That got into my mind a lil...

I used to thought that blogging is simply writing whatever we want.. but now, I realised it's more than that and that includes making new friends. Some call them 'virtual' friends... well they aren't actually virtual because these are real people - some fulltimers other part time bloggers.

It has been rather enjoyable that recently I've connected with a few other bloggers, local & overseas and some very inspiring ones. These are inspiring & positive thinking people who have created & lived their dreams.

I've invited a few to be featured here to share with the us their works... and will be putting up their features in the next few coming posts.

Indirectly by knowing these new friends, I'm able to live another part of my dream - that is to feature & connecting with inspiring people :)

To my new friends, it has been nice knowing you guys... and happy blogging! :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Taking Things In My Own Hands

The Malaysia book has taken a back seat in end 2007, and at that time I took some time off to formulate some more ideas & get a new sense of direction. I had waited till 2008 to start 'afresh'.

The other day, I met an acquaintance who asked me some questions about this Malaysia book... and he eventually said that he could see my picture that if we were to publish a book, it should be unique, and not just like any other books in the market (hence the white hair).

So, now recharged, Im having an ideas-filled time... and doing lots of things on my part - scheduling interviews and doing lots of research. I'm glad to have done a few interviews with some prominent Malaysian entertainers so far and also fellow Malaysians & foreigners who have traveled here.

But the journey ahead continues with much more things in line. In all, I'm glad that things are turning out quite ok, now that I'm taking things in my own hands and with a clear direction for the book :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Inspiring Marketing

Though it's past Christmas, but I figured that since this movie is still screening here in Singapore & Malaysia, I would like to share one of the ways the trio of Alvin & The Chipmunks are promoted.

The whole staircase leading up to the cinemas are covered with them. The amount of hard work the workers had to lay on each step can clearly be seen. But of course, it is well worth it... who could miss such a giant poster?

I'm not too sure on the ROI on this, but nevertheless, it was something unique :)

Picture taken in Vivo City, Singapore.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Inspiring Music: You & Me (Gun Lae Gun)

Been listening to some Thai pop lately, and this song caught my attention. Simply listen to the song and you'll be able to feel the mood of love it portrays. Way to go, Thai pop!

Song: You & Me / Gun Lae Gun
Album: OST Love of Siam
Singer: Q Flure
Lyrics & translation from ethaimusic

ถ้าบอกว่าเพลงนี้แต่งให้เธอ เธอจะเชื่อไหม
taa bok waa pleng nee dtaeng hai ter ter ja cheua mai
If I said that this song is made for you, would you believe it?

man aat mai pror mai seung mai suay ngaam meuan pleng tua bpai
It's probably not melodious, not affectionate, not beautiful like other songs.

อยากให้รู้ว่าเพลงรัก ถ้าไม่รักก็เขียนไม่ได้
yaak hai roo waa pleng rak taa mai rak gor kian mai daai
I want you to know that if there's no love, you can't write a love song.

แต่กับเธอคนดีรู้ไหม ฉันเขียนอย่างง่าย...ดาย
dtae gap ter kon dee roo mai chan kian yaang ngaai ... daai
But for you, my dear, do you know? I wrote it easily.

ter kong koie dai-yin pleng rak maa nap roi pan
You've probably heard hundreds and thousands of love songs

man aat ja dohn jai
that's probably impressive

dtae gor mee kwaam maai meuan-meuan gan dtae taa ter fang pleng nee
but with a similar meaning altogether, but if you listen to this song,

pleng tee kian peua ter tao nan
a song that's written simply for you.

peua ter kao jai kwaam maai laew jai ja daai mee gan lae gan
For you to understand the meaning of it, our hearts will then have a connection.

ให้มันเป็นเพลงบนทางเดินเคียง ที่จะมีเพียงเสียงเธอกับฉัน
hai man bpen pleng bon taang dern kiang tee ja mee piang siang ter gap chan
Let it be a song on our pathways that consist only voices of you and me.

yoo duay gan dtraap naan-naan
Together as long as possible.

dang nai jai kwaam bok nai ga-wee waa dtraap dai tee mee rak yom mee wang
As the meaning is told in a poetry that as long as there's love naturally there's hope.

คือทุกครั้งที่รักของเธอส่องใจ ฉันมีปลายทาง
keu took krang tee rak kong ter song jai chan mee bplaai taang
Means whenever your love shines through the heart, I have a goal.

mee kwaam jing yoo nai kwaam rak dtang maak maai
There is a lot of facts found in love,

lae tee paan maa chan chai way-laa peua haa kwaam maai
and in the past I used the time for the sake of finding the meaning.

แต่ไม่นานก็เพิ่งรู้ เมื่อทุกครั้งที่มีเธอใกล้
dtae mai naan gor perng roo meua took krang tee mee ter glai
But soon, I'd just know it, whenever you are near me,

ว่าถ้าชีวิตคือทำนอง เธอก็เป็นดังคำร้องที่เพราะและซึ้งจับใจ
waa taa chee-wit keu tam nong ter gor bpen dang kam rong tee pror lae seung jap jai
That if life's a rhythm, you are as good as the words that is melodious and touching to the heart.

ให้มันเป็นเพลงบนทางเดินเคียง ที่จะมีเพียงเสียงเธอกับฉัน
hai man bpen pleng bon taang dern kiang tee ja mee piang siang ter gap chan
Let it be a song on our pathways that consist only voices of you and me.

yoo duay gan dtraap naan-naan
Together as long as possible.

dang nai jai kwaam bok nai ga-wee waa dtraap dai tee mee rak yom mee wang
As the meaning is told in a poetry that as long as there's love naturally there's hope.

คือทุกครั้งที่รักของเธอส่องใจ ฉันมีปลายทาง
keu took krang tee rak kong ter song jai chan mee bplaai taang
Means whenever your love shines through the heart, I have a goal.

มีทางเดินให้เราเดินเคียง และมีเสียงของเธอกับฉัน
mee taang dern hai rao dern kiang lae mee siang kong ter gap chan
There's a pathway for us to walk side by side and there are voices of you and me.

มีทางเดินให้เราเดินร่วมเคียง และมีเสียงของเธอกับฉัน
mee taang dern hai rao dern ruam kiang lae mee siang kong ter gap chan
There's a pathway for us to walk side by side and there are voices of you and me.

Chinese Entertainers Top Earners

The top of the crop list in the Chinse entertainment industry by Shanghai's Oriental Morning Post is out.

Action - kung fu Chinese actor, Jet Li ranks at number 1 in 2007 - totaling some 465 million yuan (62 million USD).

The 44-year-old actor starred in three films in 2007 - “The Warlords”, “The Forbidden Kingdom” and “The Mummy 3.” His salary from “The Warlords” alone was 100 million yuan (13 million USD).

Following him was another action & kung fu star, Jackie Chan, with the total of about 428 million yuan. This apparently is a drop from his first rank in 2006.

Hong Kong's Heavenly King Jackie Cheung ranked first among the singers - mainly from his 2007 world tour show, which presented altogether 75 concerts.

The rest of the 6 spots were filled by actors (except Andy Lau who sings & act). Hong Kong film star Tony Leung Chiu Wai and another Heavenly King, Andy Lau, followed at No. 4 and No. 5 respectively, the report said.

Leung made 290 million yuan last year. His pay cheque for each of his three movies, including Lust, Caution, was 1 million USD. He was also the golden boy of advertisements, with a reported minimum fee of 1 million USD. Lau, who is paid 16 million yuan per film, made 230 million yuan last year.

Hong Kong actor Chow Yun Fat came in at No. 6 with 100 million yuan.

Cheers for Malysians as Malaysian-born Michelle Yeoh was the highest female top earner for the year, raking in an annual income of 80 million yuan. She was at seventh spot, one spot above Zhang Ziyi.

Taiwan girl group S.H.E. were the only female singers on the list. They earned about 62.5 million yuan from their concerts, shows and TV commercials.

Pop prince Jay Chou rounds off the top ten list.

The top ten earners are as follows (7.5 yuan equals around $US1.0):

1 Jet Li 465 million yuan
2 Jackie Chan 428 million yuan
3 Jackie Cheung 300 million yuan
4 Tony Leung 290 million yuan
5 Andy Lau 230 million yuan
6 Chow Yun-fat 100 million yuan
7 Michelle Yeoh 80 million yuan
8 Zhang Ziyi 65 million yuan
9 S.H.E. 62.5 million yuan
10 Jay Chow 60 million yuan

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Welcome 2008!

2007 is history. 2008 is present. 2008 sounds a good year - afterall the Chinese love the lucky no. 8.

What a fresh New Year & the things we can look forward to! This year is set to be an exciting year ahead - with one of the highlights going to be the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The start of the new year is always exciting and I've also set some time on plans/ resolutions for my company this year.

I've always mentioned my company aims to be in the lifestyle - entertainment business. And it was just the other day that I could visualise this clearly. It was a very crisp visualisation which has gotten me very excited over.

My resolution for the year would to lead the company to that long term goal. For 2008, my plans are:
1. Publish Malaysia Book and create stronger grounds on publishing.
2. Give good grounds for The Malaysia Page & 2 more internet sites.
3. Start research on Productions
4. Start research on F&B business

*No. 1 & 3 has been a lil delayed from last year, but they should be done this 2008!

How about you - what are your resolutions? Come share & inspire :)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Inspiring Book Review: Fashion Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones and 'Anonymous'

Fashion Babylon does well at aiming to show the behind-the-scenes of the fashion world, which is done in a story form. It revolves around the fast-paced lives of an independent fashion designer and her business partner, who races for their collections for 2 seasons... and also their dreams & hopes of becoming big someday.

In the 6 months of their lives, they encounter the many different players in the industry - fellow independent designers, the big labels, models, celebrities and up to show & shoot crews. All these encounters gives insights on how the industry work - the good and the bad. And the very challenges the designers & models face to succeed. The insights on the different shows in London, New York and Milan is an added bonus, showing the differences of the industry in the 3 fashion cities.

This light & easy-to-read book makes an interesting read for those who want to know more of the fashion industry - for career/ business or just the fashion enthusiasts who want to know how the industry works.