Thursday, July 30, 2009

Make It Your Bookmarqc

I've always been a strong believer in combining interests, hobbies and dreams together. And with me having so many interests, one easiest way would be by creating a platform where all the interests can be combined.

And so, the conceptualisation of Bookmarqc - the one stop centre for all lifestyle information... with lots of Asia content (and beyond, in the future).

bookmarqc 8 khakis
So, well how does this relate to my interests heh? Well, for the start, it has lifestyle article contents written by The 8 Khakis... who are 8 friends from Asia. They share about lifestyle tips from Travel to Music, Movies, Gadgets, Health Tips, Fashion & Anime/ Manga.

There is more to come from The 8 Khakis, but for now, that's what they will do - sharing their 'expertise'n in their own fields :)

Btw, it is here that we will review all the talented people from all over too. I realised that it's both fun & inspiring to feature such people, and so the platform is all set for this!

bookmarqc video
Then of course, there's the video segment - where interesting webisodes (web episodes) will be played. This is really the highlight of Bookmarqc - and I can't wait for the first series to be up! (it has to do with Nyonyas!).

bookmarqc bloggers sign upThere's a few more segments on the site, like the latest News - yes, read all the news from all over Asia & the Latest Blog Posts! So, bloggers, do sign up your blogs here!

bookmarqc prizes sign upAnd oh yeah, when you sign up, you stand a chance to win cool prizes from both Malaysia & Singapore - there's hotel room to designer's wear, comics, CD, jewelery and more! (Anyone can join - blogger or not) :)

It has been a long 11 months since the first conceptualisation of this website I created. We are only now officially in beta. There's much more to come, but for now... at least, I can say "Welcome to the world, Bookmarqc"... and to you, "Make It Your Bookmarqc" :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What Do You Do?

A lot of people ask me what I do, and I do find it a lil tough to explain at times. In simple form, I'm a publisher publishing physical books.

But to be honest, that's just one part of what I do. The larger perspective would be Media Content & Distribution.

Now, that gets a bit too big to explain - for really, Media is a big term... after all, it encompass from movie/ films, music, articles, cartoon/ anime and manga.

So usually, I don't mention much on this part, except to those who I think will understand this (usually to those in the media line or close to it).... but even this do sometimes come with blank stares.

I don't really blame - cos though the media is something we all can relate in many ways (we read newspapers, magazines, books, watch TV, go to the movies, listen to the radio, play music - digital or from CD, read comics, etc), however, what we see is just one side of it - the 'taking part' as a consumer, and not the doing part... or for that matter the vision part.

Continuing, I explain that apart from the usual content generation (ie articles), my company is going into productions, something that I've always wanted to do (both in the form of creation & on the front). Now, if I stop here, that would be easy.

My 2nd round of blank stares comes when I mention this: But instead of using traditional media (like TV), we are going online - creating webisodes (web episodes/ online TV).

I know this 2nd statement confuses many - but how am I not to mention it?

But maybe, somethings are meant not to be mentioned in total. Like if one is to ask a telco company what they do - their answer is "provide telephone service", though in actual fact, they also do provide data usage, sell handphones, sell digital music and other content (some have their own mobile TV channel, sponsor for big acts/ singers, and more).

Anyway, let's leave that there for now (I'll figure an easier way to mention my company's business someday or maybe in time to come, I won't need to).

In my next post, I'll share the site that has made me put all these media stuffs together - Bookmarqc (yes, the project I've been on since the past 11 months, and ongoing!) :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Travel Offers - Simplified

Searching for the next holiday has never been easier until I came across this website...

That's because the many advertisements & promotions by the different travel agencies does make it sometimes hard to compare one promotion/ offer to another easily... especially for one not knowing where to start! (eg like myself, not knowing what are these travel agencies).

Well, a 'travel saviour' is here - TravClass. Apparently, what this site does is to compile the many travel offers & promotions scattered around and put it up on their site, saving us the much hassle.

A quick check with the site shows a promising start to this relatively new travel site. What I like is their many categories for travel beyond accommodation especially the rail travel & cruises! (it will be great to go for a dream rail holiday!) :)

On the whole, this site has a potential for travel bugs like me hehe. However, I notice that their focus is more European and Western countries travel and doesn't cover the Asean countries as much as I'd hope.

But then again, at least for those far away destinations, which I'm more clue-less, there's a start... and now, I can start dreaming of traveling beyond Asia! haha :) (though frankly, there's still so many things to see here!)

*Start planning for your holidays! Visit! :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Men's Health Finals

It has been 8 months or so since I first went to the Men's Health Singapore's office for the first round of interview with the editor & team.

Since then, we've gone through a fair bit of interesting workshops like learning lifestyle muay thai, doing dragon boat right in the heart of Singapore city, learning about hair grooming, styling, shoes (yes, there's more to just what we see), plus facial grooming.

mens health finals zoukAnd so, finally the 'Big Day' arrived... starting off about 330pm at Singapore's hottest club, Zouk. Frankly, it has been ages since I came here haha!

mens health finals zouk barComing in, some of us were awed with our giant posters hanging on the walls around the club - like this one, at the bar.

mens health finals singaporeI couldn't help myself taking a photograph with 'myself' haha! This is quite a dream come true!

mens health finals practiceWhen arrived, the singer & dancers were all rehearsing their part. We, the finalists were the audience for the moment - for when else can we watch the show, ya? :)

After them, was our turn next. We had to practice for 4 appearances - one performing a simple muay thai punches/ kicks, while the rest were the walks/ catwalks. There were some positions to remember, but on the whole, the practise was alright - not too many things to remember, but more so "to just enjoy the night!".

mens health finals hair doThereafter, it was time to do our hair. By then, it was already evening - bout 5 plus 6. In between, we grabbed some dinner - hot dogs. Think not many of us really cared for what food was served as more importantly, the show was about to begin.

mens health finals preparationBut before the doors were opened, there were still some final tweakings & testings by the crew. We watched - some eating, some just relaxing. Frankly, this felt good in some way... though we have some 'stress' but I think the organisers were more stressed up in making sure a perfect show! (somehow reminded me of some events I've done... hence I'm glad to be at the other end this time round).

Finally, the show has begun around 830, starting off with the songs, the muay thai by the pros... and then us. With 3 outfits for the night, we were hurrying to change from one to another.

The awards were presented in segments - with 7 sub awards overall and the main title. Frankly, I was only aiming for a sub award, as I knew some of the mates were really fit and they deserve the main title better (Dentist Clement eventually won the title).

Hence, there were less pressure (in fact no pressure on me at all) - afterall, I joined this competition simply to have fun & learn about being fit!

But anyway, I was thinking that there were a few sub awards that I thought I might have a fair chance. And I'm in a way glad to have won one of them - Dermalogica's Best Skin Award!

mens health best skin awardThe award was an icing on the cake for me, reminding me the power of dreams, and just believing like its real.

Award aside, more importantly, throughout this beautiful journey is a comradeship that we've had - both with the fellow brothers and with the editorial team.

This sort of friendship is quite amazing... for though we are like competitors, but in reality, we were more like brothers in one challenge together. I've gotten to know 8 other Singaporean friends, plus one from the land of smiles, the Philippines. And what's more these people are inspiring in their own rights!

To Singapore's Men's Health, thank you for creating this 'competition', and to the rest, for the wonderful memories! (and to those voted, for the votes too) :)

*The Men's Health Journey:
Are You Men's Health Enough?
More Men's Health Updates

Latest video interview on Razor TV (5 days before the finals).

Singapore Also Can!

Whenever I mention somethings about Malaysia to fellow Singapore friends, I do get some 'cute' tongue-in-cheek replies: "If Malaysia boleh (can), Singapore lagi boleh (can do even more!)" or "If Malaysia can, Singapore lagi can/ Singapore also can!".

Coming from this position & having written a dream for beloved Malaysia, thought I'll also share what I dream & vision for this island city... yes, I'm sure Singapore can dream more based on the responses I get from my friends!

Anyway, here is the dream list (now before you go on, I think Singapore has done not too bad, or quite well so far... but like anything else, it can do better):
1. Singapore climbs the ranks & be amongst the top First World Nations.

2. Singapore compares itself to First World Nations in all aspects (and not comparing itself to developing countries or 3rd World Countries as benchmarks anymore).

3. Singapore HDB flats become something to look forward to in architectural designs, cleanliness & comfort... and is something what the people really dream of, not because of pricing, but for everything else.

And that wakes and other events are held in proper allocated rooms/ buildings and not downstairs at the basement of the unit.

4. Singapore is clean & green in all aspects - from the city centre in Orchard Road to the heartlands. And that the pigeons & birds are kept in proper areas, not affecting the expensive polished cars with their droppings.

5. Singaporeans know & fully enjoy their many green parks & beaches in & around the island.

6. All these parks & beaches are very accessible to the public by its public transport.

7. A fully expanded public transport system that rival of cities like Shanghai, and that visiting one neighbourhood to another is much more convenient.

8. Singapore goes fully electronic & green in car park sense. Gone are the days of tearing coupons, but all uses the IU system, including for HDB lots.

9. Singapore artists get to be ambassadors not only for local brands but for international brands as well.

10. Singaporean talents grace the covers of the general advertisements in TV, newspapers, magazines, events, etc - reflecting the true multi-racial country where what the people see matches to who they are.

11. Singaporeans to fully support their local talents - be it in sports, politics and of course, the entertainment industry... and even like their own products (made in Singapore-lah!).

12. Singapore has its own international pop culture supported by the people and also from foreign countries.

13. Singaporeans be as multi-lingual as their counterparts in Malaysia (and spells the different language words right).

14. Singapore has a vibrant media (& entertainment) industry, with many different players providing their very best to the nation.

15. Singapore is known as a city in South East Asia for its mix of cultures & traditions.

Again can these be done? Or maybe the first question to ask is whether Singapore wants all these? Personally, these are good dreams to have for a city striving for attention in the international platform and to continue to get support from its people, especially the youth.

Ability wise? If this self proclaimed Red Dot has proven in the past 44 years that size is really not a hindrance to growth & prosperity, then these are really no big deal to worry about... it's just like kacang putih - lah :)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Malaysia Can One Lah

Since I'm on the ball on writing about believing in one's dreams, here are somethings which relate to beloved country, Malaysia.

For those of you who have not been here, well, this not too tiny nor too big country is a diverse country with many races living together. Now, how different can that be to say a multi cultural city, right?

The difference here would be - the races living here in Malaysia still very much retain their own identity. A quick example, an American born Chinese may look Chinese in more ways than 1, but their outlook and perception is usually like any average white/ black American.

However, in Malaysia, a Malaysian born Chinese is very much Chinese inside and outside, practicing their local traditions and cultures like the Lion Dance to the Chinese New Year, Moon Cake Festival, Hungry Ghost Festival etc. Our Chinatowns are not just a Chinatown, but in many cases is part of the town itself! (so is the Little India, Malay bazaar etc).

What's more - even the Chinese New Year is declared a public holiday - yes a holiday for all races. Now, this is one big difference comparing Malaysia with any other multi cultural city (apart from say, neighbour Singapore). This is in many ways a virtue to us (eg for tourism - we've just got so many things to see & do!).

But it's this diversity that also affects the country in many ways. Even after 50 years of independence, there are still political tensions of the many race based political parties.

This, plus so many other issues related to this progressive country makes many of the people in the nation just sigh & 'give up' at many times...

But a dreamer in me says, things can work for Malaysia - if only we dare to dream. Here are somethings which I think the public wants (though they may not necessarily believe it will work)... some of these I believe is in line with the 1 Malaysia/ One Malaysia (Satu Malaysia!) concept:

1. No more political parties based on race (and I mean NO more).
2. Each race is given equal opportunities in all aspects - from education, healthcare, housing, etc (we are 'one' in all true sense).
3. Malaysia to be 1st World Country by 2020 - and later to be a respected 1st World Country.
4. KL to be the most live-able city in the world - in terms of costs, quality of life, and many others.
5. All leaders elected/ selected will perform in accordance to world's standards and with a vision of Malaysia first, and own gains last (or non existence).
6. Malaysia has its own world class products in the global arena - branding Malaysia at the same time.
7. Each race treats each other with equal respect (and lots of it).
8. Malaysians to come in as national first (ie Malaysian) before anything else. In fact, race shouldn't be even asked/ questioned.

If you are Malaysian and has read passed this point (and not say it's just impossible), then here's a few more which I hope and think can come true, if we work on them:
1. All races study together, where from young, they are nurtured to learn of each other's culture, traditions, and to respect one another (they can still learn their own cultures/ religions, etc, but they are studying under 1 roof, with lots of interaction).

2. Malaysia to retain its unique diverse identity, but at the same time to assimilate under one language (eg English in USA, Japanese in Japan, Mandarin in China... or even Thai in Thailand, Indonesian in Indonesia). In fact, more cross cultural exchange of languages is better! (eg. other races listening to Malay pop, other races listening to Mando pop, Hindi songs, etc).

3. Malaysian media is one of the many hot-spots in the world - similar to that of Hollywood, Bollywood, Korea, Taiwan (music). It could be our music, our talents, our programs, or even our animation/ comic.

4. Other nations to look up to Malaysia - and we Malaysians can stand proud with our very own achievements (and give ourselves a pat on our back, in all true sense).

Whether we can - or not, it all really depends on we ourselves. The leaders play a big role, but so do we as people (and frankly, let's not just depend on them).

Honestly, if the rest of the world can, and if we apply the principles of The Secret, then 'yes, we can' - too! Or to put it in our own terms
"Malaysia Can One Lah!"


Thursday, July 02, 2009


If one gets my namecard, it states: Dreamer - Entrepreneur.

And if one talks to me on my ambitions and goals, I can say that in many ways that it's just like talking to a child. For a child is usually free from all the 'can't do' or self limiting beliefs that one gets over the years.

I'd say my ambitions are 'wild' to many. In fact, I've gotten many replies from people when giving out my namecard. Some business people nods in acknowledging my belief. Some are quite amused and inspired.

But there are also those who have been so bounded by the small gains in life, that they have a disbelief look... more so when I share my dreams.

"Don't you think it's too far fetched?", "Do you think these can sell?" etc etc.

Well, I don't doubt that good research is needed before one embarks on anything (and I don't just mean business). But then, there's also the belief that we can achieve all that we want if we just believe... and as much as we use history as a yardstick, but how about we creating our own history?

Eg. before the first man walked on the moon, what yardstick could we use? Well, that's just one example of 'far fetched' dreams coming true. I'm sure there were lots of questions, and many people weren't convinced til someone really stepped finally. In fact, it's now a norm - we don't go "wow, another man went to the moon!".

Here are some other examples, and what negative thoughts that most likely have came up:
1. Computers - what's that for? We don't need that. Those are just in the movies.
2. Flying - you think we are birds? Are you nuts?
3. Cars - you mean there's more than bicycles? How will it work? Oil - huh, that's for cooking!
4. Obama - we've never had a black president before. Fat hope.
5. Eminen - white don't rap. It ain't in their blood.
6. Jackie Chan - we have enough talents in Hollywood. We don't need any Asians.
7. Chinese in Malaysia (when they first arrived) - don't even think of making it big. We don't speak the language, nor look like the locals.
8. Japan - we've been bombed. We're doomed - forever! We can never be a great nation.
9. Korean soap operas - we aren't that cool. We aren't like Japan - in fact, far from it! And we don't speak the multi language the South East Asian people speak... you sure we can make it into their countries?
10. Singapore - so small, sure or not can become finance hub? We where got talents one - our people not so smart some more. We also don't know how to speak proper English one. You think we who/ what ah?
11. Mcdonalds - you mean they know what hamburgers are in Asia? Don't they eat those weird stuff only?
12. Sushi - you think they know what raw fish is all about? I don't think they know how to appreciate such expensive delicacy. I've never seen them eating anything else but cooked food - and it's mainly just chicken!

Frankly, the list goes on. But as you can see, these negativeness were all proven wrong. Instead, what we have is big successful businesses giving back to the public and successful and happy people living wonderful lives for themselves and others.

So, far fetch is really a self limiting belief.

I'd say, go ahead and dream big, and inspire others along with it. Like they say, if you aim for the moon, the least you'll land on is the stars :)