Monday, 1 May 2017

It is more fun in the Philippines.

Kamusta and hello! 

Amidst of my unending assignments and workload at the office, I made it to the Philippines. Yay, alhamdulillah. I never expected to be able to travel to two countries within two months. Continued Learning Immersion Programme was actually a continuation programme from what I participated at Brunei earlier this year. Being in one of the winning team for the green business idea pitch, my team and I was selected to go to the Philippines. It was held at Metro Manila (Makati city) and Tagaytay. We were equipped with several components namely design thinking, advertising and marketing, crowdfunding, branding and negotiation skills. 

Going to Manila for the first time was a thrilling experience for me personally. Apart from the horrendous traffic jam and the heat, Manila welcomed me with their exciting culture and people. The first day was quite packed with getting to know Manila itself. 

We were brought to the US Embassy Philippines then we head to head to see the Jose Rizal National Monument, the Manila Hotel (that was established in the year 1912), visited the national museum, had a Bambike (bicycle made from bamboo) tour around the streets of Manila and we dined with the local cuisine and enjoyed the cultural entertainment at Barbara's. The upcoming two days were followed up with intense yet exciting workshops with amazing and lovely speakers. Not to forget the fun networking night we had at A Space. 

Jose Rizal picture at the national museum

Bambike tour

View around Manila

View of a church in Manila

Dinner at Barbara's

On the third night, we travelled to Tagaytay for a glamping experience at Nurture Wellness Village. Glamping basically means glamorous camping - where you have fan, light and a mattress (with a pillow and blanket) in your tent. We were pampered with delicious food and massage before we sleep. Then we continued another day at Tagaytay by exploring the farms and serious discussion for our potential business startup. 

Imagine waking up with birds chirping and fog in front of your tent.

Vegetables are picked fresh to be put in our food.

Morning exploration to the farm

And lunch is served
After the discussion, we had a simple wrap up and closing ceremony of the programme and we head back to Metro Manila for our final night in Manila. The whole journey was short and sweet. With this, I hope the ASEAN country members will strengthen. Unity in diversity. We have so much in common from our culture and language. Thus we definitely can be ONE in bringing up each other success in our respective countries. Last but not least - It is DEFINITELY more fun in the Philipines. Paalam. Goodbye. Till next post! :)

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Brunei: Abode of peace

I am blessed to be chosen to go to Brunei recently to attend YSEALI Green Generation Workshop from 24th February to 1st March 2017. The journey to Brunei was nerve wrecking where our plane had to make a transit at Kota Kinabalu due to tyre problem. And finally reached 4 hours later after expected arrival. Despite the rough arrival, I am content with the overall workshop. Met 49 other delegates from all over ASEAN. Plus, the friendly volunteers that brought me around Brunei. The workshop involves exciting talks from amazing speakers, group discussion, jungle trekking at Sumbiling Eco Village and the main highlight was presenting the green business idea.

Some of the interesting facts I gathered about Brunei during my stay there are like for pedestrian walk, the cars are supposed to stop and let people walk unlike Malaysia where we must use the power of our hands to cross on the pedestrian walk. Other than that, Brunei have this special no car day on Sunday (till noon only if I am not mistaken) and the people there will cycle around the city be it the kids and adults, everyone participates. Not to forget their main mosque and palace are made from PURE GOLD. Mind blown. As for their food which I though might be similar to Malaysia, they have all the odd names like Hati Buyah, Hati Kura, pusu and so much more. Interesting, but I was quite traumatised after having diarrhea one day after trying all of those things. Even their night market were very organised under one building. I was told that their king sponsored the building to allow citizens to practice small enterprise.

Together with the Malaysia team at KK. 

With my two Indonesian buddies: Lia and Anya

Representing Malaysia with our beautiful traditional clothes

Sunday morning view at the city

Brunei 33rd National Day

Getting ready to board to Sumbiling Eco Village

Entered Temburong district

Welcome to Sumbiling Eco Village

The villagers working hard to serve us bamboo chicken
Unique satays

A glimpse of the golden mosque

The majestic palace

Together at the "organised" night market

At Tasek Lama where we can hike and enjoy the scenery of waterfall

The whole workshop has been a colourful experience for me personally. I still can't believe it is over. I am like, am in Malaysia already? I am going to miss the positive environment given out by everyone. I am no longer confined in a small understanding on what green generation is all about. I was happy to meet other ASEAN delegates and together we were all able to grasp the eco-preneur concept related to the economy, environment, empowerment and network. Not to forget, our team won the Green Business idea pitch which enables us to go to the Philippines this April! In a nutshell, I'd like to thanks the US Embassy BSB , local villagers who brought us around to appreciate Brunei and the secretariats for organising this wonderful event. Also, to my supportive team, team 10 (Anya, Tuyet, Hilmi and Nune) and amazing mentor: Bryan. Without all of you, the days would be lonely and lifeless.  I am proud to be a YSEALI alumni now. Looking forward to participate in YSEALI programmes and YOU should too! :)

My team (Team ACES) and team TheEcotourist that will go to the Philippines for an immersion programme this April

With the whole delegates and mentors for Generation Green workshop.

I'd like to leave a saying for all of us to ponder from Craig Allen, US Ambassador to Brunei:

"It is my hope that this workshop will help the GenerationGR3EN delegates to increase their knowledge and skills in being an eco-entrepreneur; and that each person will leave here with a firm understanding of how business and the environment go hand-in-hand. I have no doubt that this workshop will leave speakers and delegates equally inspired, and increasingly enthusiastic to find real solutions to the challenges we all face. The delegates we have here to day are the future of ASEAN." 

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Goodbye 2016

It is almost the end of 2016.
So many memories created.
Hard times and good times. 
But hard times definitely dominated this year.
Cried umpteenth time.
Shifted here and there.
To be frank, I wasn't sure what I was doing at all.
I remembered almost giving up.
But Allah gave me strength to endure those hardships until today.
One thing for sure,
I've learned that through all these struggles.
I needed time for myself.
Learn to feel and be comfortable with yourself. Be gentle.
Believe that you are doing your very best to cope and survive. 
We plan things and when it does not go as planned,
Know that Allah knows what is best for us.
Hard time shall pass.
Time will heal and the right time will come for each one of us.
It is a blessing in disguise to build our own character.

"Sometimes the strongest people are the one who love beyond all faults, crying behind closed door, and fight battles that nobody knows - Unknown"

Monday, 8 August 2016

Covering up~

A conversation between my niece and I began when she wanted to pray with me...

Me: Do you have telekung (prayer attire) with you?
Najlaa: I have my tudung with me. 
Me: I will give you socks to cover your your feet okay?
Najlaa: Why must we cover our feet?
Me: Well, we must cover our aurah.
Najlaa: What is aurah, mak ngah (aunty)?
Me: Aurah is part of our body that we must cover to protect our honour and dignity and we women in particular can only show our face and hands whenever we go outside and when we are praying.
Najlaa: Alright, I want to cover it now. Let's pray!

Subhanallah. Indeed, kids are born in a state of fitrah like a piece of white cloth and we are the one that should be shaping them towards a good Muslim. May Allah strengthen our faith and make all of us a good Muslim and be granted Jannah~