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Monday, May 30, 2011

Konferensi Internasional Antar Universitas Se Borneo Kalimantan (KABOKA)

I had just came back from a working holiday in Indonesia. Am very, very excited at the prospect of visiting Indonesia again, as I have always loved my shopping escapades there and the people of Indonesia are definitely very warm and friendly.


This time, I had the opportunity to visit Palangka Raya, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia. I attended a conference named KABOKA (Konferensi Internasional Antar Universitas Borneo Kalimantan) organized by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) located at Universitas Palangka Raya (UNPAR) in Kalimantan Tengah (or known as Kal-Teng). Apparently short-forms are all the rage so one has to familiar one-self to the different meanings these short-forms stand for.


So, what can I say about Palangka Raya? Small town. Pretty as a picture but hot as a stove. I definitely could feel myself being stuffed and cooked under the hot, hot sun. And the lack of trees certainly aggravated the whole scenario. But then again, the warm welcome that we received certainly made us feel that this trip is indeed going to be a memorable one.


My travel to Indonesia took me about 8 days. Since there is no direct flight to Palangka Raya, we had to travel to Jakarta first and then take the first flight out to Palangka Raya the next morning. Luckily there were a lot of flights to Palangka Raya. So, first night in Jakarta, we spent the time scrounging the shops in Emporium Mall, Pluit. The mall is super nice. Love the smell of bread and biscuits wafting welcoming us into the mall. It all smelled super-delicious, I must say.



There was a bridal fair going on in Emporium. Nice mannequin! =)

The conference was held at the post-graduate centre, UNPAR but we had our opening ceremony at the governor's office. Unfortunately the governor was tied up with another engagement so we had to make do with a representative from his office.

These are photos from our opening ceremony:

In terms of the conference itself, I must admit that there are many subjects of interest to me; one of them was on the use of magic (or the dark arts if you may) in daily life and another touched on the theft of Dayak icons and symbols (including the theft occurrences in Dayak cemeteries *yikes*) and another on the recent Sarawak voting situation (which was very, very interesting).

This is Kak Ratna. She's presenting on behalf of our paper. Thanks Kak! You did a super nice presentation! =)


And this is our paper on mixed marriages in Sarawak.

FYI, this is my first paper being presented for this year. I have a few more planned to be presented and let's hope one (or two) of them brings me back to Indonesia *amin*.

Cheerio y'all and Selamat Hari Gawai Dayak to all my Dayak friends =)


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Ps: My shopping blog will be next *wink*.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Islamic Finance Exposure to Johor Bahru

I went for a trip to Johor Bahru and Melaka recently, with my bunch of students whom I'm teaching Islamic Finance. A group of 28 students were supposed to go but sadly one of them missed the flight, so there was only 27. And the final exams timetable were shifted that at the end of the day, the students had to buy a new ticket for themselves. Sorry guys, some bad luck, huh?

This time, the students are doing all the organizing and preparing. I became the guest. Nice, right? Well, since we have implemented OBE (Outcome Based Education) in our classroom, the teaching and learning style is more student centered so this time, the students are empowered to organize the whole trip as they liked (they are in charge of the initial inception, proposal preparation up 'til the timing of their own flights). So, what did I have to do? I only had to watch, observe and give marks.

P/s, this is another photoblog =P


In this photo we are visiting Kolej Islam Marsah. I asked all my students to cover their hair in which they did. Thanks for being a good sport, everyone! =)

Since the whole trip is slotted for four days (or actually three days and three nights), so we allocated one full day for our official trip (which was the second day of the trip), one full day for fun day (which is the third day of the trip) and the last day is for the flight home.

Having breakfast on the way to Melaka. I had proposed for the students to visit Melaka this time (it's kinda not far from Johor Bahru, well, two-and-a-half hours to be exact) since I've been hearing rave reviews on how cool Melaka is from my friend who's lecturing on tourism. She confesses that she brings her students to visit Melaka every year.

Having slept on the bus (we departed at 6.45 am from Johor Bahru) the students are more preppy and cheerful once they've breakfasted.

At A'Famosa Resort Melaka. This resort hosts three different theme parks; a water park, safari theme park and a cowboy town (which only opens at night).

We opted for the Safari park, so this is a photo of us with Afa, an elephant that can paint! The students got me the painting and I asked them to all sign on it as a token from the journey. Super cool elephant, even managed to pose with us for a photograph =)

It was a super hot day so we managed a rest and a pose after our Safari session.


After A'Famosa resort we dropped by at Jonker Street in Melaka for some much needed retail therapy. This is my first time to Jonker Street so imagine my surprise to see it reminds me so much of Kuta, Bali. There were tiny shops lined by the street selling all sorts of stuff for the tourists like couple t-shirts and even antiques.


We ended our trip with a visit to Kota Iskandar, the new administration centre for Johor. All the buildings in Kota Iskandar are unique from one another as they are built and designed by different architects (or so I heard).

I totally enjoyed this trip and to me the best part was, the students did a very good job in managing the whole event. I'm very proud of the level of maturity that they are showing and how smooth the whole trip was. Congratulations everyone! Good job!


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fashionista's Book Review: SNDROM

I recently bought a book written by Saiful Nang, one of Malaysia's most prominent photographer, initially with the thought of contemplating on whether I should or should not go serious about my photography. I've been clicking and snapping to my heart's content for about a year now. The thought of going pro (i.e. going for training, courses and enrolling in WPPM) have flitted through my mind once or twice but the thought of committing to photography is daunting. So, I decided, what better way for me to make the decision by consulting the pros and Saiful is certainly one of them.

This is how the book looks like, so make sure you get the original =)

The book, priced at RM80 is definitely cheap. And for those of you who dare say that the book is expensive is certainly a cheapskate. So, why do I dare to say that it's cheap? Well, the book simply tells you A to Z on photography, and the photography business. It chronicles his journey in photography from before he started (i.e. telling us a lil' bit on his background and where he came from) to how he started and how he got to where he is now.


I got me an autograph by the author himself

I must admit, the book is a real eye-opener to me. What surprised me the most is to discover how fast he's risen to where he is now (he's only been in the business since 2004 so you do the math), and the many trials and adversaries that he has faced along the way. And the best part is, the book gives me the motivation to do better and to give the best. What I really love about the book is how frank he is on a lot of things, how he shares so many tips on photography that I wonder why newbies in photography are not taking the opportunity to grab the book, pronto!

Managed to catch up and personally ask him on the charity organization that he supports, Rumah Pengasih Warga Prihatin

So, why did I say the book is cheap? For one thing, you get the first-hand knowledge and exposure of at least 6 years worth of experience in photography from Saiful Nang. Not only that, he also shares his trade secrets (what those are, I will not tell, cause it would be best if you read it for yourself). And another thing, you get to learn from his mistakes, so that you don't repeat them!

To top it up, you'll also be lending a hand to charity as all profits from the book will be channeled to Rumah Pengasih Warga Prihatin, a charity organization that is supported by Saiful Nang. To know more about the organization, you can check out their stuff at http://prihatin.net.my/wp/wordpress/.

Personally, I'd have to say that I truly enjoyed the book. Saiful has a flair for writing. He certainly is up front about who he is in the book. And if you're interested on getting a copy, you can contact the people at candidsyndrome via http://www.candidsyndrome.com/ or via Saiful's fan page at http://www.facebook.com/snfanclub?sk=wall.

Happy reading peeps!


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

p/s: The book is written in Malay, just in case you didn't know =P

Monday, May 9, 2011

Photographer's Chill-Out Session @ The Junk

I had the opportunity to attend a Photographer's Chill-Out Session last Saturday night with some of the biggest names in photography in Malaysia. This is a photo-blog of the event, so treat yourself to a look-see =)


Photographers are well known for their simplicity. Photos that stands out are rarely crowded or messy. Most opt for the simple black-and-white.

The restaurant has this huge mirror which has the restaurant's menu written (or actually scribbled) on the surface of the mirror.

It would be impossible to have a photographer's chill-out session without having photography enthusiasts as the audience.

It would be safe to bet that there are more cameras than people that night. By the way, it was a full house and the restaurant was filled to the brim! There were not enough seats but we're not complainin'.


Some of the talented photographers that Malaysia has to offer. No, this is not the only line of great photographers in Malaysia, we have more =). To know more, look up WPPM (Wedding and Portrait Photographers Malaysia) at http://www.wppm.com.my/.

Fiona Lim. Winner of WPPM Conference last year. She's coming up with an exhibition soon. Wanna know more? Check her out at http://www.fifoto.com/.

Saiful Nang. Official photographer to the Royal family in Brunei. He has his own academy called Saiful Nang Academy of Photography (SNAP) and his company (and tagline) is Candid Syndrome. You can check him out at http://www.candidsyndrome.com/.

This is just me fooling around looking for different angles on Nikki =).

Our event was captured live on video. I guess for future purposes of WPPM. Now you might wonder about WPPM and also wonder why you've never heard of it. Here's your chance to know more. Visit the website http://www.wppm.com.my/.


There was even an auction at the end of the session I didn't stay for the auction though (had an early event the following day), so am not sure what are the items being auctioned. Although I do think it must be photography stuff.

I must say that as an amateur photographer, I am really glad that there are avenues and organizations like WPPM which brings professional photographers in contact with amateurs like me. I would have to confess that I did not attend the photography seminar that was held during the weekend (I had committed myself to another course) but I am glad I went for the chill-out session.


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wedding Update!!

Finally!!

An update on my forthcoming wedding.

Seriously, I seem to be running against time in an effort to make heads or tails of my wedding preparation. I wish I can show photos, but that'll be like letting the cat out of the bag, and I'd like to surprise my friends and colleagues on the actual wedding day, so, no photos. At least, not yet.

So, my checklist:
1. Akad Nikah dress (DONE!)
2. Persandingan dress (Got the fabric but not yet sent to tailors)
3. Groom's Akad Nikah attire (DONE!)
4. Groom's Persandingan attire (No design in mind *sigh*)
5. Wedding Venue (Booked but not yet paid)
6. Wedding Date (Confirmed!)
7. Bridesmaid and bestman (Confirmed!)
8. Bridesmaid and bestman attire (Got the color scheme but have yet to purchase the fabrics)
9. Pre-wedding (DONE! and another one in June *wink*) - didn't know that I have more than one pre-wedding, didn't you?

Stuff that is currently pending:
1. Photographers
2. Videographers
3. Caterers
4. Wedding invites
5. Save-the-date invites *gulp*
6. Bedroom furniture
7. Wedding dais or as we call it pelamin
8. Make up and hair do

and the list goes on...

It's tiresome (sometimes) but at most times it's fun. Picking up the color schemes, getting it all together can be quite a handfull but then again, I do love organizing stuff and organizing my own wedding will be my biggest challenge. But then again, I look forward to it, so, bring it on!

Will update on the latest details (like who I'm hiring) as I will certainly share as much as I can. The prices can be quite steep and truth be told, currently the wedding budget seems to be burgeoning to be more than 50k! It's mighty scary to us as we do not want to spend a fortune on a two-day event. So, let's hope that we can reduce our costs and keep to it to a minimum.

Cheerio!



xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo