Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tribute To Michael Jackson

One of most shocking news since the early death of Princess Diana about a decade ago. This time, its the King Of Pop - Michael Jackson.

Initially in the morning, I saw a friend posted a message on Facebook "Thank you, Michael, for the great music all these years". I found it a lil strange, as I didn't know the news at that time yet.

Cos for recent years, any affiliation to the King might have seemed weird. Though there were loyal fans, however, some fans who grew up with Michael were seem abandoning him in some ways - after all the many 'antics' had in the past decade or so, being coined the term Wacko Jacko.

You could say, his star wasn't that bright as it used to - to many, it could be because of the things the star does (like wearing masks, the constant talk bout his nose, 'dangling' his baby in the hotel and more). But to some, it's the negative publicity from the media that brought him down. This is of course echoed by Michael himself - and one of his songs just say it: Scream, a duet with Janet Jackson.

Of course, weird news release from Michael's part like 'living in oxygen tank' to promote his movie ET didn't help much.

But whatever it is - the fact remains, and that is: Michael has touched many lives through his music (and then charities), and truly is a global phenomenan. He (with his record company and PR) brought fresh catchy tunes and music videos - most notably, Thriller. These were gambles in some way, and Michael took it upon him - and it paid off, handsomely. Thriller is still the best selling record of all time - and this record is held by no other artiset, but Michael himself.

Nothing ever came close to that magical sales of Thriller for Michael, though his other albums has also sold millions of records - like Bad and Dangerous, History and even his last Invincible. But because of such high benchmark prior, nothing seems good enough thereafter... though there were still many good singles, hits and concerts. And his music videos continue to entertain, including the 'controversial' Black Or White.

This song must be close to Michael - who has been bugged by the media and whose mystery goes unknown (Michael claims to have vitiligo universalis but the media keeps playing his wanting to be white/ fair).

This and all the other negative stories we keep reading in the press, just makes Michael look bad. There has been reports over time that Michael wanted to 'revive' his career, though many times they were just reports. Of course, there were still some performances by Michael - one of the last acclaimed ones, with Britney Spears.

However it was the latest 'comeback' that looked most promising - his scheduled This Is It Tour in London.

But alas, that tour will not materialise too. And a comeback is never in place. His final shocking news to the world - his sudden death.

As a fan who grew up listening to his music and watching his eye grabbing music videos, I feel sad that Michael never really got the full media attention since the 1990s that he deserves. And for a star wanting to make a comeback - that to me is something to admire. I wonder what went into his mind wanting to make this comeback... for it was a tall order.

Things has to be great (it can't be good with Michael). Some say, its for personal finances. But I think, it could also be the wanting to get back into the limelight, to hit the good books - for his children to see his dad perform, his fans, and the media. To say, that this 50 year old is not too old for music and is still current.

Maybe for all these, he pushed himself beyond his boundaries? It would be sad if it was so (though other factors of death is now considered - overdose?). Whatever the reason it may be, one more black day in history remains... but like Elvis Presley whose music continues, Michael's legend will also continue in his music.

We sure are not alone, for Michael's music lives on. Yes, you will be there.

*Post a message, to the family of Jackson: Jackson Legacy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Inspiring Song

One of the ways to inspire is by listening inspiring songs. Here are some of my favourite songs that always give me inspiration.

1. I Believe I Can Fly - R. Kelly

This would be my favourite inspiring song as it always make all problems seem small, and that we can really achieve our dreams, and... fly!

2. Hero - Mariah Carey

This song tells what we often mislook - that we are hero ourselves... people who are capable to overcoming the odds, and achieving our dreams.

3. When You Believe - Whitney Houstan & Mariah Carey

Another one on believing in miracles coming true - simply listen to the chorus "There can be miracles, when you believe..."

4. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now

Though it may seem like a love song for couples, but this can also be a song for strong friendships as well... but whatever it is, it's about standing strong and achieving the dreams together.

5. It's My Life - Bon Jovi

This song talks about 1 life - and living it to the fullest.

6. We Are The Champions - Queen

This song is like already living the dreams - and it says it as it is, that it wasn't easy, but it's a race that one do not give up!

7. Man In The Mirror - Michael Jackson

True to his theme of 'making the world a better place' - MJ sings that change can only happen with the change from within... the one looking at the mirror! And one can just apply this to any part of life!

8. A New Day Has Come - Celine Dion

About holding on and being strong... and making it through.

9. One Moment In Time - Whitney Houston

Living the very best, and living our dreams - well, the answer is all up to us!

10. Gemilang - Jaclyn Victor

This is one of the local songs that I relate easily, and also one of my favorites. The lyrics are a lil flowery, but quite beautiful -talking about 'the million stars, and we can just be one of that star'... and after going through so much, this is the time to shine!

11. I Dream - Taufik Batisah

Another one of my favourite regional song - with a message of believing in oneself, and to be the hero that's in all of us.

12. There You'll Be - Faith Hill

This song can be more a love song, yet I find it inspiring each time - for there's a part in the lyrics that says with love, one can 'feel the sky within the reach'.

How about you? Do you have any inspiring song that can lift your mood, and make your day or problem seem light? Or simply a song that inspire you to be the person you want to be? :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sharing More Secret & The Violin

I'm continuing on with a bit more of The Secret. Was speaking to a friend about how powerful this franchise is - but low & behold, I was surprised to hear so much angst & criticism to one DVD/ book that to me has helped the world by and large.

There is no base. It's like a cult. It draws on fantasy. You mean - just believe? That's nonsense! These were the words I heard.

It was no point arguing. Though I would have loved to get my point across as much, but honestly, it didn't really matter. What matter is the others who benefited reading the book/ watching the DVD. I know it did for me.

Some examples:
1. Getting the income I want the past 2 years.
2. Getting the dream car I wanted (I actually visioned myself driving it, just like the Secret says).
3. Getting the dream job of combining business & holiday.
4. Getting the grades I wanted in school (this was before I read the Secret, but I realised I've actually applied some of the principles here).
5. Getting featured in Men's Health adverts.
6. Working with the travel & tourism related business - combining passion, hobby & business.
7. Interviewing the biggest names in the entertainment industry (for the 50+1 Malaysia book).

There are quite a few more - though these are my more prominent ones where I truly believed and applied the principles of the Law Of Attraction. And now that I'm back on track with this in mind, I am just going to raise the bar.

Again, I know it's going to sound weird to some. But who believed men could go to the moon anyway? That to me was such a big fantasy come true. More examples: the telephone (and then handphones), the computer, the internet, bullet trains, planes... weren't all these just a fantasy to the creator once?

I can just go on.... but let's not. Let's get inspired. And I'm signing off with one beautiful advert that inspire me much. Here's it to you:

May you be inspired by it too.

*For those who want a clearer picture with more fundamentals, I suggest reading the book... and of course, just have an open mind :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Relearning The Secret

Heard about The Secret? Well, I have - in fact this Secret is so mind blowing that I've watched it - non once, but twice. First time back in 2006, where after watching it, I Shared The Secret.

If you are wondering, no I'm not talking bout simply any secret, but the powerful & motivating DVD & then book, titled non other with the same name. Some of you would already know and most likely have watched & read it too.

But though I've watched it twice, it was only recently that I read the book. The book is similar to that of the DVD - with similar tips to a great life that we want... mainly using the underlying principles of The Law Of Attraction.

Here's somethings I relearn while reading the book:
1. Dream - yes, simply dream what you want... and it will come true. Some put it as think as what we want. Too good to be true, right? But it is. Think bout it - where we are today, is what we have imagined what we wanted so far (be it compromising our goals, or achieving them).

Don't be 'polluted' with the 'can't have', 'unable', or any other but/ can't excuses... instead simply focus on our goal.

How we get what we dream of - The Secret says 'not to worry'. The likelihood is we may not know how.... so rather than worrying, just focus on the end result. For when we send the signal out, the universe will 'grant us our wish'. Things will align and somehow present itself for us to reach our goals.

2. Keep saying to ourselves "What we want to achieve?".
This can be done in any point in our lives, at any moment. Eg it can be done at the start of the week, the start of the weekend, the start of the day, and even in mid-day (or any point of the day).

I find this powerful and apply it quite often now, as our thoughts will lead us to our actions. I now also apply this in every situation, before and during... to get the desired outcome :)

3. Create Dream poster
This relates to the first point. Simply create a dream poster - then believe it like it's real. This is the power of visualisation. I've done this a few times (from visualisation & even doing up a poster itself), and I can testify... that dreams do come true.

Well, Mickey & friends is not wrong after all. You see, the successful people do seem to live in 'fantasyland', somewhat like Disney 'where dreams come true'. They have big assets - houses, cars, properties, you name it... even good emotional support. Well, that's because they have strong visualisation powers & of course, big dreams.

4. Be, Do, Have
Which comes first? That's the order and not Have-Do-Be which many of us think so, or any other combination for that matter. Just by being, we feel it, believe in it, then do it.... and finally, have it!

Example, we do not have to be rich to be rich, but instead use our mind to 'think & be rich', and eventually our bank account will be big!

Some of you may think - 'all these can't be true'. Honestly, they are... and I've experienced quite a fair bit of them. But don't take my word per say. If you haven't already... go on, grab that copy (or think hard enough, and it will be presented to you in some way!). The Secret really is for everyone :)

*The book has been with me for a while now - presented, once again (not bought). Personally, I believe it was presented for me cos of the signal I sent - that I want something positive to read, something that makes fantasy not so un-real. And there, it was... and me picking it up at a time I really needed it most !

Monday, June 08, 2009

More Men's Health Updates

Some of you might be wondering what I've been doing the past few months, as I've not really updated much on what I've been doing except for updates on my travels. The blog has since turned to a bit of a travel-photo blog in some way (though that's not bad to me) hehe.

mens health quachee
Well, firstly, I've mentioned that I'm grateful as one of the top 10 finalists in the Are You Men's Health Enough (Singapore). From the first day of the interview, we have since done some fair bit of training - from going for the mixed martial arts (which had a mix of Muay Thai) to kayaking (right in the heart of the city).

We've also learnt about grooming - from hair, facial and to attire/ shoes... plus having 2 wonderful photoshoots.

mens healthIf we thought the first shoot was cool, the 2nd one was better. We were photographed by one of the leading photographers (she apparently took photos of Asian stars like Aaron Kwok and more). She really did a great job - this poster feels like one of those in the movies. (One commented, all I need was a gun to make this like an action packed movie poster hehe).

mens health bus stop ad
And that's not all. Our photos have even gone to bus stops! Though pictures of me modeling before have appeared in the MRT & on buses, but bus stops - now that is a first for me.

Also, this is a double happiness as we are quoted as individuals - somewhat like celebrities! Truly, another small dream come true.

Btw, that's not all that I've been up to - there's quite a lot more in fact (and another trip in between actually). I'll share those in time - some of which relates to this in someway... ie. believing in dreams :)

*The voting is still on. You can vote at Men's Health Singapore. The finals will be on 10 July 2009.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Macau Hotel

The one thing I find difficult with Macau is that there are not many budget hotels (or good budget hotels)... well not in the websites I've searched, at least.

But anyway, since I came from the more cram hotels in Hong Kong, I was willing to spend a bit more to enjoy some extra space... and space I got!

Grandview Hotel Macau
142, Estrada Governador Albano de Oliveira, Taipa, Macau.
Tel : (853) 2883 7788

grandview hotel macau roomThe location of this 4 star hotel is a bit off, as it's located in Taipa... but not a walking distance to the Cotai Strip (one has to take a 10-15 minutes taxi to the Venetian). It's also about 15 minutes ride to the old Macau as well.

However, what this hotel lacks is made up by first its spacious rooms. Well, I must say, I was lucky. Cos this is not the usual standard room I booked. In fact, I was 'upgraded' - partly because on weekdays, the hotels in Macau are not running in full capacity.

grandview hotel taipaThis is one of the more luxurious hotels I stayed - room wise... though price-wise, it's not too bad. I paid a total of MOP726 only to sleep on this big comfy bed for 2 nights!

But the weekend rates differ and though I had wanted to continue, however, the hotel was by then fully booked!

*Btw, this hotel serves good Mecanese African chicken! And the also offer free shuttle to/ from the jetty.

Hotel Hong Thai
Rua De Cinco De Outubro
No 117-179A Macau
Tel: (853) 71730899

hotel hong thai lobbyWith an unwilling heart, I had to move and find another hotel. Already tasting some 'luxury' from the previous hotel, that only made things more difficult! haha.

So searched I did... and I came across this hotel in the older city of Macau. The lobby looks pretty welcoming.

hotel hong thai macau bedThe room was rather basic - queen size bed, toilet attached, TV and a desk. This was way better than what I expected... clearing whatever thoughts of fearing-the-worst.

hotel hong thai macauEverything seems perfect with this hotel - especially its super location, which is just 5 minutes walking distance to Senado Square.

The only drawback is that the hotel staffs are not friendly (though I somehow managed to make the receptionist smile on my last day!). And price wise, it's not that cheap afterall - at MOP900 for 2 nights (Friday/ Sat)! But it's the weekend and hotel rates on the weekends in Macau aren't cheap!

Well, this hotel post wraps up my Macau trip! It has been a long sharing of my wonderful experience... and I hope you enjoyed reading my journey in the China cities :)


Friday, June 05, 2009

Good Macau Food

Here's some 'must try' Macau food... some so-so, though many are really good Macau food!

1. Macau egg tart

macau egg tart
The egg tart is most likely synonym to Macau. Everyone has been telling me to go try the egg tarts right from the start when I mentioned that I was going to Macau! So, that was my very first meal indeed!

cefe yong kei macauThough egg tarts aren't my favourites, and I'm not sure if this is the best in town... but what I like is the setting of the old style like cafe where I ate it - Cafe Yong Kei at the old area of Taipa (btw, the name sounds so close to the restaurant in HK!).

2. Honey drink & Chicken Bun

honey drink macauOne of the more authentic drinks - the honey drink, which I had at San Hou Lei Restaurant - in Taipa too.

chicken burger macauThey served the chicken burger/ bun as well, something Macau is also famous for apart from its tarts... though I wasn't really a big fan.

3. Beancurd

macau beancurdJust head to the lanes near the Senado Square and one can find many beancurd stalls. Most of them are pretty good in quality (very smooth). Though I think the ones a lil further a bit are cheaper.

4. BBQ Pork
bbq porkThe BBQ pork (bak kwa) is simply everywhere as well, with many stalls along the lane opposite the Senado Square selling them.

5. Almond Biscuit/ Almond Cookie

almond biscuit macauAlong with the bbq pork, most sellers also sell the almond biscuits. I must say, they are quite nice indeed! (btw, these are suitable as gifts as they come nicely packed).

6. Peanut Biscuit

macau biscuit stallAnother must try local biscuit - the peanut biscuit. Like most of the biscuits stalls, the guy does the biscuits fresh on the spot. (this is also at the same lane).

7. Pancake

pancakeThis is not the best pancakes in the world. But with the stall's strategic location (right in the heart of Senado Square), and above-average taste, this pancakes make a good snack.

8. Mango Fruit Drink

mango fruit drinkAlso at the lanes near the Senado Square is this stall (there's 2 actually) that sells this unique mango fruit drink. It was delicious and very refreshing, especially compared to the more common drinks around.

9. Steam Food/ Beef Offal

beef offalApart from beef offal, these stalls also offer other type of food, which one picks in a basket. It is then cooked on the spot, and served in a plastic cup.

wing kee beef offal macauTrust me, it's yummy - just see the crowd! (I noticed this while I was having my afternoon snack... the queue never ends!).

10. Mecanese food

mecanese restaurantAfter I found out about the Mecanese culture, I then went hunting for Mecanese food. This was a higher end restaurant - O Portor Interior. With recommendations, I tried the Serradura (Cream & Biscuits Portugese Style), Cardo Verde (Portugese Green Soup) and Lulas Recheadas a Saloia (Stuffed Squid Saloia Style). However, the food wasn't that great despite the hefty price (in total of about MOP160+).

Instead, for a better deal of Mecanese food, I'd go with the African chicken served at the hotel I stayed - Grandview Hotel Macau. Now, that is one dish I'd recommend - for first, it's delicious and secondly, it's really unique!

And talking bout hotels, that's up next! (the finale of my Macau trip!)