BOTTLED WATER NEVER LOOKED THIS GOOD!

Once again, I’m fashionably late in posting pictures from one of the highly anticipated events in the Seria calendar—the Panaga Highland Games—but with good reasons. I’ve been swamped with work assignments and on top of that juggled family commitments. I’ve got more work lined up till end of this month (and sporadically throughout the year) including my first Malaysia Tourism Mega Fam Trip from July 21–28 to KL and Pulau Langkawi. It goes without saying that however slow I may be with my updates, work just means you can be certain I have a continually supply of stories and pictures to share. Here’s a moment from the 2010 Panaga Highland Games (photos pending) that inspired the title. Arguably, it’s the best I’ve seen of SEHAT water for a very long time and quite possibly also clouded my judgment and common sense into thinking it’s also sexier than the limited edition Jean Paul Gaultier glass!

On an extremely hot afternoon, water is essential to cool things down! Somebody call 9-1-1 ...

ENERGY DAY 2010 BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

On the eve of Energy Day 2010, curious at how the pump prices would be adjusted to reflect the one-day government initiative, I popped by my neighbourhood gas station for a first hand look at the systematic procedures. Years back, I was the project manager for the station’s Point-of-Sale installation so last night was a walk down memory lane except the station is presently undergoing renovation to accommodate expansion plans so very little of what I remembered was there anymore. I applaud all proactive efforts to create national awareness but it’s an initiative that has received mixed reaction from the public. Check out today’s papers for comments from commuters. As far as the price adjustments, they were carried out by contractor SAHID which handles maintenance of the pumps and I share these behind-the-scenes pictures. Five teams were deployed last night across four districts with the Brunei-Muara District getting an extra hand. To show your support, make a PLEDGE and be a part of our green community.

brunei-timesBruneians race to gas stations to beat No-subsidy Day | Let’s appreciate these precious resources | 649 pledges for SOS initiative | Long queues drive home drive home Energy Day message

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Pump attendant makes a note of the day's closing figures before price adjustment is made

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Price adjustments are made remotely via a hand-held controller. Sahid contractors carry out checks before new prices are updated.

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To confirm the integrity of the new prices, contractor lifts the pump ensure correct base price

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EARTH HOUR 2010 BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

Throughout this school holiday, more electricity are used because more computers are switched on and they stay powered a lot longer than usual. So on Earth Hour morning, my wife and I had periodically reminded the kids that we’d be showing our support for Earth Hour knowing that their nightly online indulgence would be interrupted but for a good cause. My wife accompanied me to the location where I had chosen—Brunei Shell Petroleum’s Oil and Gas Discovery Centre (OGDC). I figured that it would be highly symbolic and relevant to showcase the country’s largest and most significant energy and petrochemicals company’s support for Earth Hour and its commitment to environmental conservation. Joining us at OGDC were two other photographers Azri and Gavin who also showed their support for this global cause along with the larger community turnout at the official Earth Hour Brunei landmark (Hi, Maurina!)

Lights go off at Kampong Ayer | Sultanate’s participation ‘Special and Inspiring’ | Which Brunei icon will ‘shine’ on Earth Hour | In tune with Earth Hour ‘Experience’ | Earth Hour is just the first step

Earth Hour 2010 Brunei Darussalam Oil & Gas Discovery Centre

As torch bearer (yes, I was the only one who brought a torch light) I learned that in life we have to sometimes step out of the box to make a difference (it’s easier to stay home and not bother) even if it’s a very small one. The Earth Hour initiative is about the collective efforts of countless individuals across continents on planet earth and sometimes we have to do the opposite to do what’s right—politically and socially—such as writing the words “Earth Hour” backwards. Like most challenges in life, it took a few tries to get it nearly right!

Azri had me in bulb mode as I wrote the texts in reverse using my multi-coloured LED torch light.

One of a number of earlier ‘writing with light’ attempts captured by Gavin after power had resumed.

When we got home, we were grateful to have learnt that not only the kids turned off the computers and non-essential lights in the house, they had done so fifteen minutes earlier and had decided not to turn them back on having found non-electrically powered entertainment to pass time. It also helps to have the kids educated from an early age about wastage such as food and electricity.