Malaysia Tourism Hunt: See Yah, Malacca!


If you’re planning an upcoming trip around Asia, make it Malacca! Here’s why.

Malacca is the centre of culture of Malaysia and was declared by UNESCO as the World Heritage City. Hence, there are parts of the city that were preserved and maintained to their original look and built.

After of almost an hour of driving from Port Dickson, we reached the Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park. On our arrival, the ushers dressed in vibrant colours led us to an open auditorium. Once we were all settled, we were treated to a series of dances and performances reminiscent of the Malaysian multi-racial heritage.

The Mini Malaysia and ASEAN Cultural Park, Malacca

The Mini Malaysia and ASEAN Cultural Park, Malacca

mini-malaysia-and-asean-cultural-park-cultural-show

Malaysia’s multi-racial culture is reminiscent in different ways, even in the dances.

There are many exciting and challenging activities that you, your family and friends can get your hands on and enjoy at the Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park. In our case, we did quite a few of those fun stuff and challenges – totally ethnic and local.

Malaysia is also known for its colourful batiks. So, our first task was the batik painting. Batik painting requires some amount of artistry and techniques for a more creative result. Colour combination counts a lot as it defines the overall look of your batik. One need not be a virtuoso to make a creative batik. Just think about your art class. And surely, you’ll have an amazing time putting those creative juices at work.

We were given a pre-drawn canvass ready for painting, a set of water colour and brushes. Batik painting is actually a fun and relaxing activity while you let your creative imagination take control. With a few painting techniques, controlled brush strokes, some colour mixing, we were done with our first batik masterpiece. Working on that task felt like I was in my Humanity class during my freshman year in college! Ahahah! 🙂 Task #1: Done.

Sarah and I completed this batik as part of the first activity at the Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park.

Sarah and I completed this batik as part of the first activity at the Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park.

Our second activity was Top Spinning. Locally, they call it "Gasing", sounds like "kasing" which is the Visayang word of the top.

Our second activity was Top Spinning. Locally, they call it “Gasing”, sounds like “kasing” which is the Visayan word of the top.

Having grown in the countryside, coconut grating by hand wasn't a difficult task for me. :)This is our final activity.

Having grown in the countryside, coconut grating by hand wasn’t a difficult task for me. :)This is our final activity.

Our second task was Top Spinning. In Malay, “top” is called “gasing”. When pronounced, it sounded like “kasing”, which is a Visayan word for top. Sounds familiar, eh? Like I have previously mentioned, there are similarities between the Philippines and Malaysia. Quite honestly, I felt intimidated because I wasn’t good at spinning the top. But I was able to pull it off, in just one try! Then the next challenge was coconut grating – the old fashioned way. Having done it so many times back home, I didn’t have any difficulty doing it. I recall one of the delegates asking me where did I learn to do it. After completing our activities, we had our cool treat of the local delicacies and the famous local favourite refreshment cendol (pronounced as chen-dol),which is similar to our sago’t gulaman.

Right outside the Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park is a bazaar where local delicacies and souvenir/novelty items are sold.

Right outside the Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park is a bazaar where local delicacies, souvenir and novelty items are sold.

We bid goodbye to the staff of the Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park with new learnings and new experiences, and for me, I had the opportunity to re-learn and experience once more how it was to be a kid and how it was to be living a simple life in the countryside.

Our home for two days in Malacca - the elegant Swiss-Garden Hotel and Residences.

Our home for two days in Malacca – the elegant Swiss-Garden Hotel and Residences.

After a long day of activities and driving from Port Dickson to Malacca, it's time to get the much needed rest in this is very comfortable suite at the Swiss-Garden Hotel and Residences, Malacca.

After a long day of activities and driving from Port Dickson to Malacca, it’s time to get the much needed rest in this is very comfortable suite at the Swiss-Garden Hotel and Residences, Malacca. (Photo taken the glass panel in the bathroom)

We drove off to Malacca business district for the remainder of of the afternoon. Before we knew it, we’re right in front of the grand Swiss-Garden Hotel in the centre of Malacca business district. Our home for the next two days of the Malaysia Tourism Hunt.

For Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park tours and enquiries, please contact:

Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park Melaka
Lebuh Ayer Keroh, Melaka 75450
Phone Number: 06 234 9989

For Swiss Garden and Residences, please contact 06 288 3131, or visit http://www.swissgarden.com/hotels/sghrm

For more stories on #MyMalaysiaChronicles, don’t forget to hit the Subscribe button.

Disclaimer: This tour was sponsored by the Malaysian government through the Malaysia Tourism Hunt program.

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Malaysia Tourism Hunt 2015: Kuala Lumpur in Two Days


Upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 1 (KLIA), our tour guide was already waiting for us. While on board the tour bus going to our hotel, our ground handler briefed us with our itinerary while in the city, and oriented us with what to expect during our stay.

The bus ride from KLIA1 to the city was smooth. Thanks to the modern infrastructures and wide freeways. At midday, I knew that the temperature could be already be hot, which could be no different from our country. So, I would say that you are already used to that.

Two days wasn’t long enough to see most of Kuala Lumpur’s main attractions but somehow we’ve managed to check out some of the best places to dine in, places to go to and a must see festival. Despite of the scheduled activities, here’s Kuala Lumpur in two days.

Checking in at the Corus Hotel. It’s a good place to stay if you’re in Kuala Lumpur because it is located near the malls, money changers, parks, restaurants and coffeeshops, and is accessible by public transportation. While it is already expected that in a hotel business that staff should be courteous at all times, I would say that the Corus Hotel staff is exceptionally polite and accommodating.

Our room has a cosy feel, and is perfect for that much needed rest from a long travel or the day’s itineraries.

Wake up to mornings and start your day with a coffee or tea right in your room.

Unwind  with a few bottles of beer, a shot of your favourite liquor or a glass of cocktail at the lobby bar while enjoying good music ranging from easy listening tracks, powerful ballads, retro, pop and dance tunes from a Filipino band Music Notes.

Check http://www.corushotelkl.com for more information.

Now that you’re in Kuala Lumpur, spare some of your ringgits and experience walking through the footbridge connecting the Petronas Twin Towers. That’s an amazing and could be a once in a lifetime experience while in the city.

And yes, don’t forget to see its magnificence at night when all the lights come alive.

As one of the tour sponsors, Felda Investments treated us to a one of a kind dining experience at the D’Saji. D’Saji – Titiwangsa is a perfect place for gatherings, banquets, wedding receptions, and seminars as it can accommodate a large number of guests. It offers a wide array of sumptuous menus from salads, soup, a barbecue buffet, and desserts. The main dishes include Malay, Indian, Chinese and Arabic cuisines. Enjoy their servings of local specialties like the tapioca, sweet potato and and steamed banana complimented by their special condiments and sauce.


While enjoying the good food, be entertained with the live music from a local band, and see the Malaysian culture unfold as groups cultural dancers take centre stage with their graceful performances. For more, visit www.dsajikltitiwangsa.my.

Our second day in Kuala Lumpur brought us to a mega fam press conference, lunch at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel, where we received our Certificate of Appreciation, and a visit to Malaysia Tourism Centre (MATIC). The Malaysia Tourism Centre has practically what a tourist needs: currency changers, coffee shop, souvenir shop, and a 24-hour police assistance desk.

Site map of Malaysia Tourism Centre.

Tours can get you thirsty and hungry. And if you happen to be in the vicinity of MATIC, indulge in some local milk shake and fruit smoothies. You can try to haggle as well with some souvenir shirts and other items. There’s also a Cocoa Boutique. You may want to check out their locally made chocolates.

Food stalls and bazaars near MATIC.

The KL Tower as seen from MATIC. See Kuala Lumpur from the top of the world’s 7th tallest communications tower. The KL Tower features an Observation Deck and the Atmosphere 360°Revolving Restaurant.

Do you think that wasn’t much for two days? Hmmmm. I don’t think so. Because we were about to experience one the biggest festival in Malaysia as we capped our two days in Kuala Lumpur with a trip to Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka, the site where independence from the colonial rule was declared. That’s how the place got its name.) for the annual Citrawarna Festival.

Citrwana is a grand festival showcasing Malaysia’s rich culture and traditions. Coming to the event gave me a new perspective on how a cultural event should be staged. The event featured approximately 600 performers and staff, and a 50 feet by 20 feet digital backdrop that retracts upwards. Multitudes of spectators, locals and tourists alike, came to event to watch the well-prepared performances of the best actors in the local entertainment industry.

Like any festivals, there are also side events within Merdeka Square. There’s a Food Truck fest going on, there are booths selling souvenir items and a local acoustic band playing nearby. All these happening as the main shows rolled at the huge centre stage. Together with Sarah, Rochelle and Aziz, we took the opportunity to see some places of interest and check out what’s going on around the place.

The 41.2 metre clock tower at the Sultan Abdul Samad building in Merdeka Square.

Food Truck Fest was a crowd-drawer.

We tried a coconut milk shake from one of the food trucks. One can never go wrong with a well-blended coconut milk shake. Cheers! (In the photo: Jared, Sarah, Rochelle and Aziz from Brunei).

While the show was rolling onstage, I got the chance to have a photo with one of the performers backstage.

We got the best seat during the show! The 600+ performers during the finale.

The awesome fireworks display concluded the very festive show.

The cultural presentation was divided into three acts, which brought everyone to look at the history, the current, and the future of what Malaysia envisions it to be, that were depicted in various forms of performances. Aside from the cultural presentation, the show also featured local designers and their creations. And if there’s only one word to describe the whole event from the production side to the performances and the side events, it would overwhelming.

That sums up my two days in Kuala Lumpur. Watch for the Malaysia Tourism Hunt 2015 road trip!

For more Malaysia Tourism Hunt 2015 videos, visit  www.youtube.com/RuNNiNGSuPLaDo.

For more information, visit www.tourismmalaysia.gov.my.
Facebook: www.fb.com/friendofmalaysia
Twitter: @TourismMalaysia
Tourism Infoline: 1-300-88-5050 (within Malaysia only)

A Look Back at 2015: A Day in the Life of a Blogger in Me


2015 was a year of many things to reckon. It was a busy year, too!

Community management for social media accounts became a second nature to me. Social media coverage included GMA New Year Countdown, MyxMo, Alaska Crema Food festival, Alaska Aces, and Alaska sports events such as Alaska Power Camps, Jr. NBA-WNBA Philippines and Alaska Football Cup.

Werkin’ it at the Ironman 70.3 Philippines (Cebu) Photo Credit: Jamil Buergo

I have learned the ins and outs of live sports coverage that I got to do live coverage of triathlon events (Alaska Ironkids, 5i50, Ironman 70.3) where I go onground to give exclusive and first hand live updates on the Pros and the Filipino elites from the swim start, the bike leg, run leg down to the awarding ceremonies.

With Ironman Pros (from left): 15x Iroman Champion Belinda Granger, Dimity-Lee Duke and Justin Granger.

With Matteo, Giorgia and Paulo Guidicelli during Alaska Ironkids Triathlon, Subic.

Doing triathlon events is a thrill because I have the direct access to the Ironman Pros like Belinda Granger, Caroline Steffen, Brent McMahon, Pete Jacobs and a whole lot more! I even had a photo with Formula 1 champion Jensen Button! And of course, I got the chance to be upclose with some local celebrity triathletes, and even got to meet the Guidicellis!

La Presa

At the famous La Presa of the tv series Forevermore.

These live coverages brought me to out of town trips. During the Cebu coverage of Ironman 70.3, I had the privilege to have Ford as my service car, picking me up at the airport or take me from the hotel to the race venue. The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA coverage in Baguio with fellow bloggers was very memorable because we got the chance to visit the very famous La Presa. It also gave way to a hosting gig during the send off party for the Jr. NBA – WNBA All Star Team. Thank you, Alaska Sports Team!

As a blogger, a runner and a fitness enthusiast, UNTV, through the recommendation of my friend Tonette Nicholas, invited me to talk about smart watches that have special features in their morning show Good Morning, Kuya. Being my first time to go live on a TV show, I really felt nervous that I got cold sweaty hands and a dry throat. The show’s host were very nice and accommodating that 5 minutes went by unnoticed.

GMK Guesting

I thought that it’s going to be my first and last but I was wrong. The show’s Segmet Producer Jay got me on the show twice. Thanks Tonette and Jay!

Quite frankly, I’m not the kind of blogger who would get invites to huge and grand events and product launches. I rarely receive invites even. But it’s not a biggie for me.

Despite of that, I was honoured to have been invited to join the ASEAN Media Bloggers Tourism Hunt, which was organised by Tourism Malaysia. The six-day itinerary was full but I was able to squeeze in some “me” time like running at the KLCC Park, a quick drop by at the Suria KLCC to get some Malaysian Ringgits, exploring the roads in Port Dickson or shopping at the Jonker Walk in Malacca. The mega fam experience included a visit to the Malaysia Tourism Information Centre, watch the grand and colourful Citrawarna @ KL, and got up close with the Petronas Towers.

Up-close with the imposing Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysia Tourism Hunt saw us on a long road trip from Kuala Lumpur to Port Dickson, Malacca and Putrajaya, visits to museums, a quick drive to the Ostrich Farm and ran with the ostrich, experience best accommodation in best hotel, and experience a fast internet connection.

Road trip stop over in Putrajaya, Malaysia. #SeeMalaysiawithProton

In Malacca for the Trishaw Hunt. #MalaysiaTourismHunt

It was also a chance to learn more about Malaysia and its culture, aside from its being a neighbouring country, and meet bloggers from other ASEAN countries. The Malaysian Tourism Hunt was an absolute experience.

Six days went by so fast, and on our final night in Malacca, we were awarded with this Certificate of Appreciation. #MalaysiaTourismHunt #MYBFFXOXO

There were so much fun and adventure in all those six days. Thank you, Klay and Bianca!

Indeed, 2015 was a year to reckon. There’s too many stories to tell; there’s a lot of experiences to learn from, and endless memories to treasure.

THANK YOU, God for continuously blessing me with wonderful people, opportunities, a good job, for my friends and Family.

Cheers to a more fruitful, more rewarding and more awesome 2016!

“Blessings come to those who are good, do not envy and who patiently wait.”

Malaysia Tourism Hunt: Learning the Art of Batik Painting


Malaysia is known for its rich and colourful culture. And this is evident in their batik painted products.

Ever wonder how those beautifully painted batik products were made? Have you ever thought of creating one for yourself? From of a simple white canvas or cloth, one can make a beautiful piece of artwork with just a few strokes, some coloured inks and a little creativity.

Click here for more videos.

I had the first hand experience learning the art of batik painting from one of the best batik painters in Kuala Lumpur, Mr. Ismail. While I don’t have that much creativity in terms of mixing colours, I got my hands anyway on the paint brush and dipped it in makeshift water colour palette.

First, using a specially designed scoop, take a scoop of the melted wax and draw any pattern or picture of your liking. And I mean practically any! Just let your creativity do the job.

Before colouring your artwork, apply a layer of water on the area to be painted. This will prevent the colour from creating blotches. And it will be easier to spread the colour in the entire area, as needed.

Now, time for you to pick the colours you want for your artwork. Generally, you have the basic or the primary colours. You can just mix them to create secondary or tertiary colours. Sounds like your art class back in grade school, right? Let you mind fluidly direct your hands to do the talking. Again, creativity is the key. So let it shine!

Tip: Use a paint brush dipped in a plain water to lighten the colours for an added effect.

Once you’re done, let it stay flat to dry to prevent the colours from getting mixed. A sodium silicate is applied to the entire painted area so the colours don’t get washed off.

Fatil putting some finishing touches to the artwork.

Fatil putting some finishing touches to the artwork.

Batik painting is a family business for the Ismail household. Mr. Ismail started the craft when he was 25 years old. Being the head of the family, he went on to teach his children the craft at a very young age. His daughter, 20-year old, Fatil learned the batik painting at the age of 6.

This particular batik product costs RM30.

Batik painting can be your past time activity, or a diversion from your daily routines. It builds and hones your creativity. And for the Ismail family, batik painting has become their good source of living.

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Disclaimer: This Malaysian tour was sponsored by the Malaysian government through the Malaysia Tourism Hunt program.

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