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Showing posts from December, 2009

In the waiting room

People are always waiting for something.

They could be waiting for the train, an opportunity, promises to be fulfilled or the return of a loved one.

But "what does waiting mean in our lives and what is life without waiting?"


That question was posed by Danny Castillones Sillada in his article "What is Life without Waiting?" (The Metaphysics of Waiting).

The passing of the old year demands another round of gloomy introspection and Sillada's article came at the right time, given the value of waiting in our lives.

"Waiting," he explains, is "an emotional and mental state, which is preconditioned to anticipate someone or something to arrive at a particular time and place".

Sillada tells us that there are two types of waiting: empirical and metaphysical.

The empirical form of waiting is "where the certainty of the waited and the occurrence of event are tangibly expected to happen within a particular time and place of the waiter".

But wh…

Nagasaki Castella: Love at first bite

Cake lovers all over the world surely must have heard of Nagasaki Castella (picture).

It is a Japanese sponge cake (made of egg yolks, brown sugar crystals, refined white sugar, thick rice syrup and flour) and is said to be popular in Japan and other parts of the world.


I first tasted the cake in December 2007 after attending the Second Asian City Journalist Conference (ACJC) which was held in Fukuoka City, Japan.


(The conference was jointly organised by UN Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (Fukuoka) and The Nishinippon Newspaper).


I had plenty of time before my flight home.

So I browsed the shelves of one of the duty-free shops at Fukuoka International Airport for something interesting to buy and I chanced upon individually wrapped long boxes which looked very attractive from where I was standing.


The boxes contained the Nagasaki Castella.

I love cakes and I couldn't resist the temptation that was staring at me intently.


I bought three boxes for myself and friends …

Feliz Navidad ... however you say it ...

Christmas in many parts of the world is both a secular and sacred holiday.

Many countries bring their own cultures and traditions to the Christmas season.

It is as much a celebration of spirituality as it is of goodwill.

Those who observe Christmas go to church, sing carols, exchange gifts and attend parties as well as family gatherings.

Christmas in Malaysia is celebrated in typical Malaysian fashion where people of multi-ethnic and multi-religious backgrounds thronged the homes of their Christian friends to soak in the festive spirit.

This is consistent with the concept of "rumah terbuka" or "open house" which makes the celebration of major festivals in Malaysia more meaningful.






Food is the main component of any festival.

Visitors to a Malaysian open house on Christmas Day may find traditional Western offerings of the season -- roast turkey, mince pies and fruit cakes -- sitting comfortably with local delicacies such as devil's curry, beef rendang and pineapple…

ACJC now on Facebook

The Asian City Journalist Conference (ACJC) is on Facebook.

It is called UN HABITAT’s Asian City Journalists’ Conference Group.

It is a platform for environmentally conscious journalists and associates in Asia to hook up and communicate with like-minded individuals.

Japanese architect and urban planner Shunya Susuki first proposed the idea over dinner at a traditional Japanese pub in Fukuoka City, Japan on December 13, 2009.

Present at the dinner were journalists from Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The conversation over dinner mainly centred on establishing a space for journalists and associates connected with ACJC to create an online presence and to act as an alumni association.

That was when Susuki – who participated in ACJC as coordinating officer for UN Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (Fukuoka) prior to his transfer to Fukuoka City Hall in April this year – came up with the Facebook plan.

Everyone present enthusiastically embraced Su…

Lee Byeong-Heon sizzles in Iris!

Watch South Korean actor Lee Byeong-Heon (picture) in Iris an action-packed Korean drama series, now showing on KBS World (Astro Channel 303 on Wednesday and Thursday at 9pm).

As bitter National Security System (NSS) secret agent Kim Hyeon-joon, Lee keeps me on the edge of my seat leaving me asking for more when each episode ends.

His romance with NSS profiler Choi Seung-hee (played by South Korean actress Kim Tae-hee) is sweet and touching which seems strange considering his tough demeanour.

Not really. The "I am ready to kill anyone who opposes me" secret agent is actually a very soft and romantic man.

He is the guy every woman wants to have!!! Big, strong and loving!!!

Iris reminds me so much of BBC's Spooks, a "tense drama series about the different challenges faced by the British Security Service as they work against the clock to safeguard the nation".

I am annoyed that Astro has removed BBC Entertainment from the Metro Package. I can no longer watc…