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Destinations

Written by Delwin Keasberry Thursday, 05 January 2012 10:52

Let me just say this off the bat. I am a fan of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).  It started casually enough - I was just channel surfing and I came across the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). I cannot recall who was fighting who (this was back in 2009) but I have been a fanboy ever since. If you are unfamiliar with MMA, it is "is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, taekwondo, karate, judo and other styles." (Wikipedia) The idea is simple. There is a specified 'fighting' space, a referee, strict rules, a few rounds, a time limit and two 'fighters'. Before the final bell, one wins either by knocking out or submitting the opponent, or by technical knock out (TKO) where the referee stops the fight. Otherwise, it is left to a few judges to decide.

Why am I a fanboy? Well, asides from the excitement of watching a 'fight', there is so (SO) much technique and discipline involved in MMA. Having said that, I should also say that I have never done any martial arts training. Ever. I have engaged in 'fights' with my (deserving) cousins, mimicking a few WWE moves, but proper martial arts? Nope. So when I heard about a new MMA gym in Kiarong...let's just say I was eager to visit and experience it for myself.

The Busiido Mixed Martial Arts gym. I do not have the exact street address but it is located in Kiarong, a few blocks away from the Fleur-de-Lys block. Drive into Simpang 69, off Jalan Kiarong and you will soon see a new grey and green building. The official grand opening will be later on this month, but for it is open to anyone from Monday to Friday, 5.00pm to 9.30pm.

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu techniques demonstration

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Busiido MMA gym layout

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Written by Delwin Keasberry Saturday, 24 December 2011 14:59

December is a great month to look back and reflect on the year just past, and to look forward to the year ahead (resolutions anyone?). It is generally one of those months where people take leave for holidays, travels, spring cleaning sessions, etc. In Brunei, December also marks the academic year end of many schools with the kids enjoying over three weeks of holidays. Travelers from overseas also visit our shores either in transit, for family, to relax or to take in the sights and sounds of the Heart of Borneo.

If you are visiting or planning a visit to Brunei, or if you are locals wanting to spend a night or a few at the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan, why not consider The Brunei Hotel, where exclusivity meets chic hospitality. All their rooms come inclusive of a buffet breakfast at Choices Restaurant and complementary minibar use. Travelers will appreciate that it is walking distance from all the major banks, the Yayasan Mall, Kampung Ayer, Taman SOAS, the iconic Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Tamu Kianggeh, etc. Additionally, it is one of the best rated hotels in Bandar Seri Begawan based on Trip Advisor; here are some of the comments from past visitors courtesy of Trip Advisor.

Wonderful hotel and location, 16th September 2011: Stayed at the hotel for 5 nights on the way back from Singapore to Australia for a second holiday, it's in the center of town, the staff are friendly and helpful, the room was very clean with a flat screen TV, a DVD player, small fridge, kettle, cups, tea and coffee provided and free soft drinks in the fridge with free internet access if you have a laptop, has a nice toilet shower unit with a universal plug for a razor, the included free breakfast was wonderful, tea and coffee, orange juice, serial toast, jam, noodles, rice, vegetables, meat or eggs omelete, bean sausages, you just helped yourself. The hotel is about 100 meters from the main bus terminal...Cannot fault the room the service the location or price, would defiantly stay there again.

Good value for money, 7th October 2011: Stayed one night at this hotel and found it to be very good value for money. Rooms were very clean and had everything you could want. Bathroom was a little small but manageable. Breakfast was good and included in price. Staff were very helpful. Hotel is in good position in town close to shops and the river. Wouldn't hesitate to stay here again.

Brunei Stopover, 20th November 2011: Had an 11 hour stopover enroute from London to Melbourne. Travelling With our 20 month boy this was a welcome stop. The hotel was included in the airfare with Royal Brunei airlines. We were picked up from the airport and were in our room within 20 minutes. The hotel is located across the road from a large market and a few minutes' walk to shops and restaurants. The rooms are large enough, clean and very comfortable. Most importantly for us, the black out blinds were great and enabled us to get much needed sleep. A great hotel for a stopover.

Double Deluxe

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Written by Delwin Keasberry Monday, 19 December 2011 09:45

Let me start by saying this: I love movies. I love watching movies. I love watching movie trailers. More awesome that watching movies? Watching a show at the cinema! There is just something so awesome about being at a cinema with a bag of popcorn, some peanuts, a can of soda and a bunch of friends or a loved one! If I recall correctly, the first time I watched a movie at a cinema was in 1993 at the Marina in Seria. Jurassic Park had just been released and there I was in the packed hall...watching a movie on the big screen.

Let me try and recap the movies I have seen so far this year. In non-chronological order - Captain America, In Time, Contagion, Breaking Dawn (1), Immortals, Sherlock Holmes (1), Transformers 3, Battle Los Angeles, Thor, Real Steel, Sucker Punch, Rango, Just Go With It, Adjustment Bureau, Limitless, Lincoln Lawyer, Source Code, Hanna, Rio, Kung Fu Panda 2, XMen First Class, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and most recently, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. There are others, but these are the ones I can remember. Out of these, I enjoyed Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Limitless the most.

What about you? What have you watched this year? Which ones stand out?

Speaking about movies and cinemas, do check out The Empire Cinema, managed by MVision Cinemas. It is nestled at The Empire Hotel and Country Club...very handy for guests at the Hotel. There is plentiful parking space, the latest international and regional movies are screened, there is a well-stocked 'candy bar', there is a comfortable lounge area, there are options for 'gold-class' seats, and it is just 30 minutes from Bandar Seri Begawan. Here are some photographs from the Empire Cinema. For details about their movie sessions, click here.

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Written by Delwin Keasberry Monday, 28 November 2011 17:43

Greetings Readers! I have been blogging now for over 18 months and sometimes I write about places worth visiting. So far I have written about Thien Thien Restaurant, Kuro Dezaina, Thann Sanctuary Spa and Icklebooks just to name a few. I am always on the lookout for local unknown 'treasures' and every now and then I get lucky. In the case of Rainforest Gallery, Kiulap I had heard about it from a friend long before I got to visit the place for myself. Their Facebook account says they have "Arts & Crafts Classes for Kids & Adults", "Artworks & Art Supplies", "Arts & Craft Events and Kids Parties" and "Handmade & Imported Jewellery, Hair Accessories & Gifts". I found out about their Bazaar and made it a point to visit.

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Written by Delwin Keasberry Wednesday, 16 November 2011 15:10

"How should I reward myself after months of hard-work, planning and preparation for the start-up event of my life?" I asked myself the morning after Convergence 2011. I drafted the blueprint for Convergence 2011 in May 2011 and on Saturday 12th November 2011, it unfolded at the BMW Brunei showroom in Beribi. I got to the showroom at 6.15pm and by the time the last of the guests left, my wrist watch told me it was 10.20pm. More on Convergence 2011 real soon. For now, I write a post about how I rewarded myself on Monday 14th November 2011. I booked myself in for a Thann Sanctuary Signature Treatment.

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