Brunei Darussalam


I survived manic run-and-gun Thursday and lived to tell the tale! On the surface, it seemed like another day when I left the house early and came home late and it usually only involved one or two assignments. Ordinarily yes but yesterday was extraordinarily packed in that I had scheduled what was originally a week’s worth of work and commutes into one day and finished them all nicely with time to enjoy Thai dishes.

It began with the Standard Chartered Bank’s ‘Seeing Is Believing’ Photo Contest announcement of winners and prize presentation. Gavin who took the day off work to assist me in a shoot has posted images from the event.

SCB Brunei CEO Danny Quah and me with the winning entries | Photo by Gavin Goh

Congratulations to the Grand Winner, Hj Mohd Zailaney Hj Nordin. Well done!

One of the consolation prize winners, Hj Mohd Sudiru Abdullah is no stranger to winning. His photo from the Worldwide Photo Walk 2009 received an Honourable Mention and when asked by Jennifer Kang, Head of Corporate Affairs of SCB how he found out about the contest, Sudiru said he saw it on a Shimworld post. Another contest participant posted a comment on Facebook that she too learnt of the contest the same way and emailed her submissions at the very last minute.

SCB Announces Winners of Photography Contest
SCB Presents Prizes to Photography Winners
World Sight Day Photo Contest

After this, I hopped over to Royal Brunei Airlines office right across the road to sort out my e-tickets for a year-end trip to Singapore (the Royal Skies special low fares with HSBC credit card couldn’t have been better timed too). Drove to Station 8 Kodak lab in Manggis Hua Ho Mall to pick up four 12R prints before jetting off to Empire Hotel for a Baiduri Bank calendar shoot @ Pace Tempo and Innerspace. Shoot went smoothly thanks to Gavin who assisted with my lighting needs. Went back to Station 8 to pick up duplicated RAV 4 key (the factory key case suffered multiple fractures) which needed an extra 15 minutes that I didn’t have earlier. Grabbed a quick bite at the Level 1 supermarket cafe. Once refueled, we were on our way to the American Embassy to drop off the 12R prints followed by a quick pit stop at the gas station (car also needed refueling).

Then we made our way to the last gig at The Mall in Gadong for Bann Nucha Thai restaurant menu shoot. Owner Nucha insisted that I left with a few of her deliciously hot dishes for dinner at home. Last of the last, I dropped by CheezBox cafe right next door to pick up some personal items from the owner before finally calling it a day at 6.20pm and reached home around 7.30pm just in time for Thai feast. Thank you Nucha for your hospitality, humour and generousity! Thai food lovers can check out Bann Nucha located behind Swensen’s on the second floor of The Mall in Gadong.

One hot dish Century Egg with Basil Chicken
Meticulously carved cucumber at Bann Nucha Restaurant

Never thought I would be name dropping big time nor had I imagined I could pull this off smoothly. There were also no hiccups along the way to derail my schedules. If anything we had some moments in between work to enjoy a chat and coffee. Right now I’m packing for a Chinese wedding shoot tomorrow in Kuala Belait another all-day event. As the wedding takes place in KB only, I’m happy there’s no long and late commute for once!

Thankfully, I don’t have a hectic schedule like this everyday. I do not envy business owners like Nucha who has a full time commitment every day. She gets up at 5.30am to do her rounds—gets her kid (or kids) ready for school and then  hits the fresh market to do her shopping for the restaurant, gets ready for her 10am to 10pm business hours. Balancing one’s checkbook and family isn’t for the faint-hearted.


  1. Hi Jan, doesn’t look you have recovered from the Thursday-Mania when I last saw you at church for the wedding shot!

    Yes, I submitted my entry at the 11th hour after reading your reminder. Didn’t expect to win but hopefully the piercing look of the old Penan lady and the story behind will touch someone’s heart. The plight of the Penan women and girls had hit international media recently. The experience and encounter I had was truly `Seeing Is Believing’!

    By the way, for the update – the money raised from your greeting cards (first and second batch) has enabled us to get a Dell desktop for the three Penan girls we sponsored for `Diploma In Nursing’. They have to share one for their course work and we are trying to get another one for them. Thank you.

    Bann Nucha has re-peoned? What a great news. We went there few weeks ago but it was clsoed for renovation. They serve the best Tom Yam in town.


    1. Hi Violette,

      According to Dr Peter J D’Adamo of Eat Right For Your Blood Type

      Type Os have the immediate and physical response of their hunter ancestors: stress goes directly to the muscles. The blood type carries a patterned alarm response that permits explosions of intense physical energy…. When encountering stress, the body takes over. As the adrenal glands pump their chemicals into the blood stream, a Type O becomes tremendously charged up. Given a physical release at this time, any bad stress may be converted into a positive experience.

      Finally, a clear and validated explanation why I feel really after a stressful day. It’s unfortunate, stress does not tighten my skin, remove my eye bags and leave me looking 10 years younger to match the energy I supposedly get under the circumstance. 🙂

      Regarding the greeting cards, I am touched that my photos have changed someone’s future but only because you had the foresight to instigate this from the beginning. We make a good team and that’s why charitable causes are all about—leveraging on each other’s strengths for collective good.


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