Tuesday, December 31, 2013

31 December 2013

2013 has been a bitter-sweet year in many aspects. The last day of the year is an apt reflection of the ups and downs that have been part of my year. Nevertheless, the encounters and experiences, whether good or not so good, have enriched my life in one way or another.
So, I am thankful. Thankful for my entire family who epitomise the exended, loving family. Thankful for my close friends who are loyal and supportive, regardless of the circumstance. Thankful for the opportunities to face challenges head on and overcome them. Thankful for the miles logged during travels. Thankful for those who have contributed to making 2013 an eventful and memorable one for me. And thankful for much, much more.
As 2014 beckons, I look forward to the new year with optimism and hope, that it may be the most fulfilling yet!
Sunset in Guam.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

As always, Christmas is a time to appreciate the loved ones in our lives. Celebrating the festive occasion with extended family and friends is a way of renewing and strengthening the bonds that exist. However, this Christmas has also brought me new lessons in life, in particular the necessity of patience and sacrifice for the better good.
Instant gratification is what I am used to. Decisive by nature, I seek resolutions and take swift action when the need arises. I always focus on the outcome, and a quick one at that. Of late, I have come to the realisation that some things cannot be rushed and whilst contrary to my nature, I am taking a back seat. I will do what I think is necessary, but shall let the future unfold. As a good friend told me, que sera sera.
So this Christmas, I am thankful for the kind thoughts of my family and friends, appreciative of the words of wisdom that have been shared, grateful for the company of my closest friends. May the spirit of Christmas - peace, love and joy - be yours throughout the year ahead and much, much more.
Christmas decorations in Bali, Indonesia.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Good Behaviour

Being in the wedding industry, I often bring up the issue of being a good guest at weddings. It's very simple really ........
You are there as a guest because the couple has deemed you important in their lives, so support them wholeheartedly.
Be punctual.
If there is a dress code, adhere to it. The wedding photos will then look great.
Sit where you've been assigned to sit, no griping please.
When asked to pose for photos, do so quickly.
Enjoy the food, enjoy the company and have a good time.
........ Not too difficult is it?
Photo of a centrepiece.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Good Thing

A friend of mine, the better half of a good friend, com-mented during dinner this evening, 'it's a good thing'. He was referring to my seemingly improving - albeit slowly improving - patience and tolerance.
These have never been my better traits. Those in my inner circle will attest to this. They are also the same people who accept me as I am but who nevertheless also try to educate me in the finer points of being patient, to go with the flow, to acknowledge the cons but to always embrace the pros. I am slowly getting there. It takes effort. Hopefully the results will be worth it.
So this evening's nudging by my friend, someone who is more objective than  most, is another step in the right direction. An enlightening chat over dinner it was.
Saying a prayer at Lake Bratan in Bedugul, Bali, Indonesia. Photo courtesy of Thoo Yeong Ken.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Getting Along

I've always main-tained that I get along better with some and not so with others. The 'I can't please everyone' mentality is one that I carry with me. Case in point, my cousins. I get along with most, but with varying degrees of comfort.
Realistically, those who happen to be around my age, whom I spent most time with during childhood, and with whom I have remained close are the ones I consider my inner circle within the extended family so to speak. Like any relationship, it takes effort to nurture.
Going on family trips is an opportunity to develop such relationships. In close proximity, having to jointly deal with some stressful situations every now and then, the chance for more in-depth conversations, all these lead to the possibility of expanding the inner circle. Now, whether such expansion eventuates will very much depend on the effort made in the future.
With some of my cousins at Tegalalang in Bali, Indonesia. Photo courtesy of Thoo Yeong Ken.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Family Travel

I was recently in Bali for the wedding of my cousin Lye Synn who married Allyssa. As always, my extended family turned up in full force for the celebrations.
Group travel is not always easy. Differing age groups, varied interests, there are bound to be instances where stress levels rise. Despite that, my family certainly knows how to have fun. A bit of compromise here and there and everybody has a good time at the end of the day.
Here's a photo of part of the family who headed to Bali, having afternoon tea before joining the rest of the family for the pre-wedding dinner. A wonderful afternoon that was.
Photo shot at Bali Café in Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Patience And Faith

There are times when one just has to be patient, in the hope that things would return to what they once were. Circumstances change and whilst it is necessary to embrace change, sometimes the changes are for the better, at other times not necessarily so.
Sometimes, the changes are very much apparent. Sometimes, our gut tells us so. At such times, we may want to seek answers, or we could also let the situation unfold, run its course, and perhaps resolve itself in time. I have learnt that to embrace the latter means having to be patient, to have faith and to let fate deal its card.
Uncertainty is never kind, but hope is where the promise lies.
This Balinese family graciously allowed me to join them for prayers at Pura Ulun Danau Bratan in Bedugul, Bali.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Reality Check

News of the untimely passing of a classmate of mine today is yet another reminder of how fragile life can be. We are in the prime of our lives and such a sad occurrence is a reality check for the rest of us.
We need to be aware of and make the necessary effort to live each day well. Be happy and thankful for what we have in our lives. Embrace the ones we love. Communicate what we long to say. Fear not rejection. Realise our travel plans. Indulge in the food we crave. Exercise some. Lend a helping hand to the needy. Fulfill our potential in our careers.
Enjoy the simple things in life.
Beautiful sunset.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Love Actually

A few days ago marked the 10th anniversary of the release of 'Love Actually', one of my favourite movies of all time. I probably stumbled upon it a couple of years after its release but have since been watching it every now and then, particularly in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I sometimes just watch clips of scenes that I find especially endearing and moving, many of which are available on YouTube.
For the many reasons why I love this movie (see my previous post http://krisfingeronthepulse.blogspot.com/2009/12/movie-at-christmas.html), it is the life-affirming nature of its various storylines that make it such a feel-good watch.
Come this festive season, I am certain to re-visit this perennial favourite, and will take with me the many lessons that one ought to reinforce in one's life.
Love Actually.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Spending a festive holiday with friends is always an enjoyable and memo-rable expe-rience. After a hiatus last year, we were once again invited to Mohan's for his Deepavali open house yesterday afternoon. A couple hours of chit-chat over tid-bits, food and drink amongst friends is the perfect way to celebrate the 'festival of lights'.

The invitation was extended to many, and those who turned up were indeed those who have formed a close working relationship with Mohan in the wedding circle over the years. When the like-minded gather, it is always a catalyst for great conversation and camaraderie.

Till the next gathering, here's wishing everyone all good things in life.

Group photo at Mohan's.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Oftentimes we put off making decisions in the fear of what the resultant outcome might be. For many, we prefer to maintain the status quo. We are comfortable in our existing surroundings. We are familiar with our working environment. We feel secure.
Life is such however that we sometimes reach a crossroads and a decision has to be taken. Whichever path we choose will bring about change, hopefully for the better. When at such a juncture, one often has to weigh the pros and cons. I for one rely very much on my instincts. I am certainly not one for writing business plans for instance. It's all in my head, and in my heart. I go with my gut feel.
The next few months will be interesting ones. A bit of a hassle no doubt, but exciting nevertheless. A new direction always brings about new surprises. I hope they will all be good ones. Fingers crossed!
Ready for prayers in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rekindled Friendship

Some of my friends from South Australia were in town for a holiday recently. I was given notice of their impending trip months ago and I had blocked my calendar so that I could catch up with them. When one is given sufficient notice, all it takes is a little bit of effort to put aside some time.
I hadn't seen Paul Pearce since our time in boarding school at Immanuel College in Adelaide. Suffice to say it's been a while. He's now a father of two, so go figure. In any case, it was a wonderful experience meeting Paul, his family and their friends who were travelling in a group. Re-living memories and creating new ones have undoubtedly rekindled our friendship. Add to that, new friendships with the rest of the entourage, and the little effort has certainly been rewarding.
Our time together enjoying Malaysian cuisine, introducing them to our way of life here and having many laughs over the past and present, was certainly time well spent.
Having dim sum at The Ming Room, Bangsar Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Mirror Of Life

When the writing for a TV show is great, it can teach us a thing or two about life. Be it from a comedic stance or at the other extreme a dramatic one, plots that mirror circumstances we face in every day life can sometimes help us view things in a different light, from a different perspective.
Shows that speak to us are those that make us feel good. Those that lift our spirits when we are vulnerable, those that enhance our sense of gratitude when we are happy, those that make us more appreciative of the important people in our lives.
Being entertained is already a plus, learning a thing or two in the process is very much a blessing.
Cute decorations in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Wise Words

Stepping out of one's comfort zone is a catalyst towards new and exciting expe-riences, don't you agree? I suppose we all know that, but the challenge really is to put that into practice. For many, it is easier said than done. Those who do so however, more often than not, are rewarded with new perspectives.
I was having lunch with a good friend recently, sharing news on the latest happenings in our lives. She had this to say ... 'I am not in a position to advise. Just sharing some things that life/God has revealed over time. We are all on a journey, each with own paths and sometimes experiences intersect. In sharing we help shed light hopefully and sometimes we ourselves see things even clearer. I love that you are in a new adventure'.
And to that I replied ... 'Aye to that'. To put one's best foot forward and to embrace what good life brings one's way.
Enjoying an afternoon in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy Travels

Travelling companions can make or break a holiday. When one journeys with those who are enthusiastic, considerate and purposeful, the resultant happy travels are catalysts for wonderful memories that one can look back on in time to come.
Enthusiasm - for exploration, for communing with the locals, for new cuisines - is infectious. Being considerate - sharing plans, seeking opinions, providing options - is appreciated. To be purposeful - shopping to benefit the economy, promoting local entrepreneurs, being charitable - is engaging.
To those heading for a holiday soon, I wish you wonderful travelling companions.
Photo shot in Hoi An, Vietnam, end September 2013.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Hiplist 2013

Documenting this milestone in your life is what wedding photography is all about. When looking back at the images years down the road, the emotions should still be as strong, the memories still as vivid. The photographers featured here, together with their colleagues from complementary segments of the wedding industry, are potential vendors who can form the core of your wedding team. Do meet up with them for a chat and learn more about their services and how they may be part of your big day.
I hope you find this, our 7th issue of The Hiplist a useful companion in your wedding planning process.
Explore, enjoy and be inspired ……..
Kris Wong
Cover of The Hiplist 2013.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Those who have read my most recent previous post would know that I was in Hong Kong with my extended family for a holiday last month. Apart from my Mum, aunts and uncles, seven of my cousins came along for the trip.
It is always great fun travelling with my cousins. We get along well and we have similar interests, in particular when it comes to food and shopping. As we meet often when home, either for family dinners or get-togethers, we have pretty good relationships and this makes travelling in a group much easier to navigate.
I travel with different groups of cousins from time to time. The dynamics vary from group to group but each trip is an enjoyable experience in itself. When we know each other well, understand one another and make an effort to be considerate, such holidays always turn out well.
Here we are after having 'milk tea' in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hong Kong Holiday With The Thoos

Every year, we head on a holiday with 'The Thoos' - my Mum's side of the family. This time round, sixteen of us made the trip to Hong Kong for six days of food, shopping, sightseeing as well as catching up with our Hong Kong relatives and friends. Despite the occasional stressful situation, such a trip is always a wonderful experience, an opportunity to create memories that last a lifetime.
Bonding with my aunts, uncles and cousins helps us nurture even better relationships, further cementing already strong family ties. Traveling in a large group fosters compromise and understanding, encouraging one to put the interest of others first before one's own.
One thing is for certain on such trips, much laughter abounds. Here's to the next 'big' trip come November, to Bali for my cousin's wedding!
All set for the flight to Hong Kong, at LCCT, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Well Done

Well done Eileen and Richard! Four years and counting. Without fail every year, my dear friend Eileen writes a blog post to mark her wedding anniversary. It is a humourous yet insightful take on their marriage and how their relationship has evolved over the years.
For those of us who had the privilege to be at their wedding in Bali, it is an affirmation that love can indeed be a wonderful journey for two. We have traveled with them through first-hand accounts of their experience, through Facebook posts, photos and chats, through writings on Eileen's blog. Suffice to say, we are happy for them and for the positive-vibes they generate.
Most importantly, they offer a message of hope, that no matter what the circumstance, the effort put in to nurture a relationship can bring with it a multitude of rewards. Here's Eileen's take on their four years of marriage... http://midnitemessages.blogspot.com/2013/08/4th-year-anniversary-roaring-tiger.html . Congratulations again my friends!
Eileen and Richard in Bali, Indonesia, shot by yours truly.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Good Things

A good friend of mine recently reminded me that 'good things come to those who wait'. For those who are patient, this adage is one of hope and keeping the faith. Based on personal experience, and from the fact that patience has never been much of a virtue of mine, 'waiting' can be excruciatingly frustrating.
While admittedly I had been discouraged in the past, the inner guide always had a 'pick me up' at the ready. In this inner voice we ought to place our trust. Sometimes plans do not turn out, outcomes that we had hoped for do not come to fruition. But if we pick ourselves up and continue our journey, embracing the opportunities and tackling the challenges that life throws at us, some good is bound to happen.
Much good has come into my life of late. I am thankful. I am grateful. I am appreciative. I wish the same for you.
View from Two Lovers' Point in Guam.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

New Journeys

There are times when rationali-sing is futile. Human nature often has us want to reason, want to justify a notion, want to correlate cause and effect. But when the seemingly inconceivable confronts us, perhaps it is best to let the currents of nature and the hand of fate guide us on our way.
For the majority, a certain level of control in our career and personal lives provide us with peace-of-mind and a sense of security. But for those who embrace life with reckless abandon, some curve balls hurled at us may not be that of a bad thing. Letting go of our need to be in control and going with the flow could be a good idea.
So here's to new adventures, new journeys and new beginnings.
View from Two Lovers' Point in Guam.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Eye Opening Experience

Eileen and Richard were back in town a couple of days ago en route from Yangon to the Maldives and we had a chance for a quick catch up over supper. Whilst we keep in touch regularly over Facebook, catching up in person is definitely much more personal.
I always enjoy listening to the both of them as they regale me with tales of life in Myanmar and the interesting circumstances they find themselves in from time to time, both in career and personal lives. I'd like to think that I am adventurous enough to visit emerging countries on holiday, although I have yet to head to Myanmar, a sore point with these two friends of mine, I find it hard to imagine having to live and adapt to the challenging environment over a long term basis. For this I have to take my hat off to the both of them. First Cambodia and now Myanmar, I wonder where next.
I guess I better make it to Yangon soon for a visit before they head off somewhere else. I am sure it will be an eye opening experience, one that will be seen through the eyes of my good friends who will be more than happy to show me round.
The three of us on a beach in Bali, Indonesia.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Whatever Will Be, Will Be

There are days when one just has to let go and say 'whatever will be, will be' or as the saying goes 'que sera sera'. Sometimes when one searches too hard for an answer, and it isn't forthcoming, it's perhaps time to just let it be.
Fortunately, I am one to always see the silver lining, so despite being pissed off or frustrated from time to time, I get over it rather quickly and move on. Truth is, there are better experiences to encounter, so forward I march.
One thing I've learnt, from the song no less, whatever will be, will be.
The sweet things in life.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Journeys For Two 2013

The Asia Pacific region offers many a possibility for destination weddings. Couples who are so inclined will find numerous options, ranging from beach side soirees to culturally-immersive experiences. The trick is to start planning early.

An early start will allow couples the necessary lead time to consider the various alternatives, work on budgets and secure the best deals possible. Dealing with venues and vendors across the miles via email will also require good organisational and planning skills.

Despite the sometimes lengthy planning process, the rewards are always worthwhile - wonderful memories of this milestone in your lives, family and friends who got to witness this special occasion and experience a destination wedding celebration, beautiful and artistic photographs as keepsakes, a romantic honeymoon to follow and much, much more.

Explore, enjoy and be inspired …

Kris Wong

Cover of Journeys For Two 2013.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Timely Reminder

I just recently found out that a business associate and friend passed away towards the end of May of a heart attack. I last spoke to her earlier in the month, so it came as a shock.
Departing at  still a youthful age makes us take notice of the fragility of life. While we go about our work and lives at a rapid pace, sometimes in stressful states, we need to remember to take time out and recuperate, to get some exercise, to chill, to enjoy time with family and friends. I guess the lesson to take from this unfortunate occurrence is to value life and those in our lives.
To my friend who has moved on prematurely, may you rest in peace.
Be young at heart! Age is just a number.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Catch Up In Bangkok

My late father was employed at the same company all his life. Starting out as an office boy after Form 5, he left as the CEO of Bangkok Bank Kuala Lumpur after 41 years of service. That I believe is the epitome of loyalty and commitment. Through-out the years, we met many of his Thai colleagues who were posted to Kuala Lumpur. Of the many, we've only kept in touch with Khun Chatjai who was here during the last few years of dad's tenure at the bank. Now retired and back in Bangkok, we try to catch up whenever we are on holiday there.
I last had lunch with Khun Chatjai 2 years ago, with my sister to be exact, when we were in Bangkok celebrating my cousin Siew Yoong's birthday. This time round, a couple of weeks back actually, Mum and I met up with Khun Chatjai and his wife, Auntie Polly, over afternoon tea. Mum hadn't seen them in many years and it was a somewhat emotional yet happy meeting.
Keeping in contact with my dad's friends is a way of remembering him. We reminisce about our time spent together but most importantly catch up on the latest and what the future may hold. Such meetings, though short, remind us of the value of friendship and the necessary effort to nurture and maintain such bonds.
With Khun Chatjai, Auntie Polly, Mum and my dad's sisters, Aunties Anne and Mary at Dean & Deluca in Bangkok, Thailand.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Indulging in food is indeed a favourite pastime, and when the company is good, the experience is always the better. I'd like to think that I am not a fussy eater, well maybe a little choosy at times, and I try to enjoy what is placed before me without being too critical. If I'm out having a meal, I want to have a good time, and being too critical lessens the enjoyment somewhat.
I do street food - would you believe I have the mobile numbers of the proprietors of two of my favourite hawker stalls - I like bustling coffee shops, the intimacy of smaller, independent cafes and bistros, I enjoy dining in nice restaurants, having teh tarik alfresco-style, the list goes on. Whether at home or abroad on holiday, meal times are something to look forward to.

The downside to all the food? I have to swim more, cycle more and visit the gym more. And still, am losing the battle against the bulge! So, the time has come to cut back on portions. Just a little sacrifice that is worthwhile.

Cat fish salad at Erawan Tea Room in Bangkok, Thailand.

Monday, June 24, 2013


I have quite a number of cousins from both sides of the family and since childhood, our elders have instilled in us the value of family ties and kinship. Due to the wide age range, I am closer to some than others. Still, all of us get along well, particularly those who reside in Malaysia as we often get together for family gatherings and celebrations on an almost monthly basis. For those further off - in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, England and the US - we try to keep in touch via Facebook and Whatsapp as often as we can.
Going on holiday together is a great way of bonding, especially with cousins who live abroad. Such holidays are never long enough. We spend time reminiscing about our childhood, getting up to speed on the latest in our personal lives, and planning for the next vacation. We chill, we indulge in food, we get up to silly antics. To a certain extent, many of us have remained young at heart, even those who are now parents. That's what makes such trips enjoyable.
Here's a photo of Siew Yoong, San, Kiat Ken and I, together with my nephews Tian and Jin. This was taken during our reunion trip in Koh Samui earlier this month. A fab time we had indeed.
Photo shot at Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Nam, Thailand.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


My cousin San always encou-rages us to attempt sporting activities no matter how reluctant we may be to do so. He is persistent in that way and more often than not, he succeeds in cajoling us to give it a go.
So here we are jumping off the pier at Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Nam, Kiat Ken and I to be precise, watched on by our nephew Tian. Even the kids joined in and to be fair, we did have a good time. These impromptu experiences are those that stay with us for life, unplanned experiences that we find ourselves partaking in, despite our initial reluctance.
And for the record, I jumped not once, but four times!
Kiat Ken and I almost synchronised in our effort.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

One Of 1000 Places To See

I would say that the Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Nam certainly lives up to its reputation as among the New York Times' bestseller '1000 places one ought to see in their lifetime'. The views are stunning. Whether viewed from a vantage point perched higher up or on the beach itself, one is constantly drawn to the seascape that unfolds before one's eyes at every turn.
I was very recently at the resort in Koh Samui, spending a couple of days of quality time with my cousins from Auckland, London and Singapore. Sited on a more private enclave, away from the touristic stretch, it served as the perfect spot for us to catch up on old times. Sure there were some glitches in service every now and then, but the beautiful vistas and ambience more than made up for it.
The setting puts one in a relaxed state of mind. It inspires us to appreciate the beauty of natural surrounds, it encourages us to be grateful for the opportunity to be there. Most importantly, it served as a catalyst for all of us to enjoy our time together, re-living our childhood memories, reveling in the present, and looking forward to what the future may hold.
Photo shot at Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Nam in Koh Samui, Thailand.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Greener Pastures

I was having lunch with a friend of mine today, and a part of our conversation led us to ponder how one ought to react when let down by a supposed friend or business associate, in this case, the latter. The unlucky among us would have encountered this scenario at one time or another, and I suppose we all react differently.
I have had my fair share of such experiences. What I learnt from today's conversation is that my friend is far more gracious than I am. I tend not to want to have anything to do with the offending party ever again; I don't forgive easily and I definitely don't forget. I believe that once the trust is betrayed, it is irreparable. And whilst I will lament the loss of a friendship or business relationship, I will get over it quickly. I will be cordial if our paths cross again, but there certainly will be no small talk to catch up. For me, the adage 'good riddance to bad rubbish' holds true in this instance. There are better friends to be made, and better working relationships to foster.
To my friend who is facing the unpleasantness of such a situation at this time, I would say do what you feel is right for you, do what you think will keep your dignity intact. At the end of the day, we have to live with the consequences of our actions and reactions. And if we have done what to us feels right, then we move on to greener pastures indeed.
Beautiful view from Two Lovers Point in Guam.

Friday, May 24, 2013


On this Wesak Day, I am going to dedicated this post to my good friends, the circle of people whom I've gotten to know over the years, those who have kept in touch, and whose friendship I value greatly.
In times of hectic work schedules and busy personal lives, text messages, Whatsapp and Facebook have been worthy tools to help us remain connected with our friends. But really, it is the personal interaction that elevates friendships to meaningful ones. Effort has to be made by both parties to meet, enjoy a meal together, or perhaps catch up over teh tarik.
To my good friends, and you know who you are, may you enjoy good health and happiness always. That is my wish for you this Wesak Day. See you all soon!
With my friend Felix and his wife Ting, a day after their April wedding in Guam.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


This month has been one of celebrations. I am thankful that my family and friends have taken the time to mark my birthday by enjoying meals with me. I appreciate the good company and relationships that we have nurtured over the years, and certainly look forward to many more celebrations together.

Good friends are hard to come by. I have a handful, my inner circle so to speak, and they always have my back in any circumstance. These are the friends who know me inside out, they enjoy the good but also have to put up with my flaws. I do my best to reciprocate.

As I embark on a new year of life, I carry with me an optimism, fueled by all the best wishes that have come my way these past few weeks. Thanks y'all!

With Nabil, Bunny, Cassandra, LC and Adeline at One World Hotel, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

It's Mother's Day today and it's time to spoil our Mums a bit. I for one appreciate my Mum's pampering, even at this age, and according to many, I am indeed a spoilt child.
I always tell my Aunts, Uncles and cousins who have kids, to pamper and spoil them. Not all agree with me though but I'd like to think that, since I enjoy the benefits of being spoilt.
We had an early celebration last night to avoid the crowds. A nice dinner indeed. So, who amongst you are prone to spoiling your kids?
Photo of my immediate family, shot at Grand Dorsett Subang, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sunset On Tumon Bay

Sometimes one can't help but marvel at the beauty presented by Mother Nature. When in Guam, I decided to spend an evening admiring the sunset and made my way to the Westin Resort, on Tumon Bay.
Over the course of about an hour, I took in the view from different vantage points, being mesmerised by the ever-changing silhouettes of the sky and colours of the sea. Left, right, centre, one is greeted by a sight to behold at every turn.
It is at times as such that one gives thanks for the opportunity to experience such a wonderful moment. The more appreciation we show, the more such opportunities will present themselves.
Tumon Bay, Guam.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Tumon Bay In Guam

Here is a sight to behold. A view of Tumon Bay from the balcony of my hotel room. The colours change as the day unfolds, a dramatic and lovely spectacle indeed. When one comes face to face with such a landscape, one can only be in awe and appreciative of the opportunity to be there.

I was in Guam for a good friend's wedding and took the opportunity to have a short holiday as well. The Southern Pacific Ocean is nature's gift to Guam and is certainly the highlight of the island. Crystal clear waters in every shade of blue and green draw the eye to the sea whenever one catches a glimpse of the vast ocean.

I was fortunate to be invited out to sea on a catamaran. We came across a school of dolphins, we did a bit of snorkeling, we soaked in the glorious sun, most importantly, we enjoyed the camaraderie among friends as we took in the spectacular views that greeted us at every turn. Guam, indeed a destination for lovers of the sea.

Photo shot from my balcony at Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, Tumon Bay.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Felix and Ting

When my good friend Felix whatsapp-ed from Taipei last month asking me if I would be available on 26 April, my immediate reaction was 'You are getting married!'. I was right. Despite the short notice, I was determined to attend. I first met Felix when we were both students in Switzerland years ago, I was working a winter season in Leysin and Felix was attending a hotel school there. We would often cook up a storm at my staff living quarters, both of us craving for some Asian food, he Hong Kong cuisine and me a taste of Malaysian dishes. We've kept in touch over the years, and would make it a point to catch up over a meal or two whenever he came to KL or when I was in Hong Kong.
I was happy to be invited to the wedding and I thought either Hong Kong or Taipei is just a short flight away. A few more messages later and I was advised that the wedding would be in Guam. I am always game to head to a new destination, but work commitments and flight schedules were a challenge, no matter how enticing the exotic images of Guam were. Once I told Felix that I would do my best to be there, I was determined to keep my word. With no direct flights from KL, I relied on the services of a travel agent who I must say was extremely patient with me. I kept demanding for various route options, trying to strike a three-way balance between work commitments, getting there on time as well as cost. It took a whole two weeks before we agreed on a route that would take me from KL to Singapore, then on to Tokyo before finally arriving in Guam. A trip that would be 22 hours to get there and 26 hours to get back.
The verdict? Totally worthwhile. To be present at a good friend's wedding, a milestone in his life, is an experience that we will both share for the rest of our lives. Spending time with the newlyweds and their immediate family for a couple of days will strengthen the bonds that we have already nurtured, and I hope that our friendship will continue to hold strong in the years to come. Once again, congratulations Felix and Ting and may you enjoy everlasting happiness. It was an honour and a pleasure being invited.
The newlyweds emerging from Aqua Stella Chapel at Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, Guam.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Janet Lee @ Rama V

My friend and industry colleague Janet was performing at Rama V in celebration of Songkran and I was privileged to be invited by the team at the latter to sample their Songkran menu as well as enjoy the show. I invited a few friends along for the evening just to have a night out and free our minds from work.
Being in the line of work that we are in - weddings - can at times be stressful. Although a 'happy industry', one often needs to tread carefully. A wedding is a milestone in a couple's lives and most would want it as perfect as can be. We try to deliver but it is not always a bed of roses. Emotions can run high and stress levels can rise.
When an opportunity arises for us to just chill and relax over a nice dinner and music, we appreciate it. An evening with good friends is just the right tonic to help us clear our heads and reinvigorate our spirits. Thanks again Andre and Hazel for the invites!
Photo of ZZ Lim, Janet, Veralyne ,Tjun Hong, Leticia and I, shot at the entrance of Rama V in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Auntie Jenny's Surprise Birthday Party

Auntie Jenny and Uncle Tony have in the past year begun spending more time in the US with my cousins Ivan, Raymond, Loretta and their families - in Fresno, Toledo and Seattle. They however returned to Malaysia for Chinese New Year and will head back to the States soon.
As Auntie Jenny's birthday falls end April, we decided to organise a dinner for her, as a surprise. I would have to say that my extended family are pretty good at keeping a secret, and even better at play acting. My cousin Moses, Auntie Mary and Mum, are worthy of Oscar nominations if I may say so myself, haha!
Suffice to say, the birthday gal was pleasantly surprised, emotional even on numerous occasions during the course of the evening. Milestones such as this are best celebrated with those closest to one's heart. And when family makes the effort to plan the celebration, well, emotional one would be, I guess. Happy birthday Auntie Jenny! And see you again when you next return for a visit.
Auntie Jenny and Uncle Tony, during dinner at Noble Mansion on 18 April 2013, in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Suk Leng's Treat

My cousin Suk Leng who's a physiotherapist at Sheffield Hospital in England is back for a holiday and treated the extended family to a dinner a couple of nights ago.
Having been abroad for a number of years, it was great to catch up in person rather than just on Facebook. Another cousin, Moses and his family, drove up from Singapore to join us at the gathering too which was an added bonus.
As the Wong family always does, we had a great time over good food. The feasting continues and tonight we'll be heading for an alfresco dinner, at the mamak stalls that is. More food and definitely more bantering among us cousins. Hopefully, the others spread out in the USA and Australia will join us at the next such gathering.
Some of us at Formosa Restaurant in SS2, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Time To Choose

The time has come for us Malaysians to choose again. To choose who will lead us in the next five years or so. The ones who will chart our destiny as a nation. The ones who will shape our social outlook and how we relate to one another. The ones who will hopefully make us a better people.
Rightly or wrongly, we make decisions that determine our future, either at a personal level or from a wider perspective. We reap what we sow. At times, we make careful considerations while at others, our gut tells us which route to take. Whichever the case may be and however we reach our decisions, the important thing is to never regret the paths we have chosen. Hindsight is of no relevance in most instances, and it is much better to make the most of the opportunities that have arisen from the paths we have chosen to take.
Good luck my fellow Malaysians. May we determine our own destiny.
Photo shot at Ao Nang Beach in Krabi, Thailand.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Giving Thanks

I am one who believes that when one gives thanks and is truly grateful for the good in one's life, then more good will come of it. I appreciate the life I have as there are others who are less fortunate. Similarly, there are those who are much better off, and making comparisons serve no purpose really. To be contented is key. This is not to say that we should not aspire to do better. We should. What we shouldn't do is to compare and be envious.
I am fortunate in many ways. Sure there are areas of my life that are lacking but for the most part, I am pretty lucky. I am grateful for the good. I persevere and continue working to improve the areas that need betterment. An optimist I am.
A friend of mine posted this on Facebook a few days ago ... 'to win in a race is to get yourself ready in tip-top condition and confidence; to not worry about or criticise others who challenge you' ... how very apt. To concentrate on one's own path, charting one's own destiny. Thank you for these wise words my friend.
Photo of a temple in Krabi, Thailand.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pristine Waters

Such pristine waters. I really love beach and island holidays, more so when the waters are pristine and the surroundings look as beautiful as in Krabi. I am not one to shy away from the sun when on holiday, and often get very tanned from spending days island hopping or lazing on the beach. The latter especially is what I consider bliss while on vacation.
I very recently received an invite from a good friend to attend his wedding in a pretty far off locale, a bit off the beaten track, even by my standards. I asked 'why the short notice?', the reply 'I just decided last week', and the wedding is in April. I am trying my best to work round my work-commitments in order to attend. My good friend aside, the destination is indeed very appealing.
So here I am keeping my fingers crossed that things will fall in place so that I can witness my friend's wedding on an island that intrigues me, one that I have not set foot on before, one that requires a fair bit of flying as there are no direct flights from KL, one that may open my eyes to even more beautiful landscapes.
Photo shot on the beach of Poda Island in Krabi, Thailand.   

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Company Trip 2013

The teams from weddingsmalaysia and That Special Occasion were in  Krabi earlier this week for our annual company trip. Looking back through the years, we've been to Siem Reap, Hatyai, Penang, Bali, Phuket and Kuantan, and we have a great time year in year out. What's there not to enjoy while on holiday?
I typically decide on the destination based on a number of factors. How well we've done during the year, how often my colleagues have pissed me off in the past twelve months, good deals on flights and accommodation, some place we've never been to as a group, sufficient diversity to meet the group's varied interests, good food, some shopping, spas to visit.
Our accountant and I have also decided that next year's destination will largely depend on us meeting sales targets set. So teams, you know what to do!
Photo shot on arrival at Mercure Krabi Deevana in Krabi, Thailand.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Local Content

An industry colleague was asking me the other day why I mostly feature local content in the weddings-malaysia publica-tion and portal. Well, it's a no brainer really. The vendors who support me and participate in the publication are Malaysians or based in Malaysia, so there's no reason why I should not reciprocate by featuring local weddings, created by local wedding vendors. It's really as simple as that.
Sure, we do sometimes have photos depicting weddings abroad, but by and large, either the bride or groom is a Malaysian, or perhaps some of the vendors involved in the weddings are Malaysian. It is not a criteria that I strictly stick to but I subconsciously gravitate towards this principle.
I guess the underlying justification to all of this is support those who support you. I'd like to think that our industry partners are akin to a large extended family under the weddingsmalaysia banner. Collaborative efforts enable all of us to cross-sell our services and in turn jointly benefit. So here's to a great rest of the year to all my industry friends and colleagues.
Cover of weddingsmalaysia 2013.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

Well, it's been a crazy couple of weeks since the Chinese New Year holidays. I can't believe how busy I've been at work, both at weddingsmalaysia and at That Special Occasion. I've been enjoying meeting new wedding partners for the former and soon-to-be-married clients when it comes to the latter. With editorial deadlines to meet, appointments to attend to and a myriad of other tasks to accomplish, it certainly has been a hectic but nevertheless rewarding period.
I am happy to say that I've got an upcoming holiday to look forward to. I shall be hitting the islands and beaches soon for some rest and recreation, and am definitely going to be working on those tan lines. A holiday every now and then, even a short one, helps one rejuvenate the senses and calm the restless soul.
But till I board my flight, there is still much to do. Work however always seems much more pleasurable when a holiday is looming on the horizon. Time to start packing soon!
Lounging by the sea, a favourite holiday pastime of mine.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Keeping The Faith

Every Chinese New Year, I make it a point to head to Thean Hou Temple for prayers. For me, it is akin to starting the new year on a good footing, to give thanks for all the good of the past year, and to seek guidance for the year ahead.
I always leave with renewed faith after such prayers. Such a renewal puts me in a good frame of mind, work-wise and in my personal outlook in life. Admittedly, there will be challenges ahead, but optimism, enthusiasm and relentless faith are allies that will hold me in good stead.
We're now a few weeks into the lunar new year and so far things are looking rosy. Here's to even greater success in the months ahead.
Photo shot at Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Happy Times

Tomorrow will be Chap Goh Mei, the 15th day of Chinese New Year. How time flies when one is having a good time. Family and friends, good food with great company, ang pows, lion dances and the sounds of firecrackers, the festivities have indeed been enjoyable and memorable.
As we slowly but surely settle back into work mode, it is time to harness the positive energy and launch ourselves into achieving our aspirations. For me personally, there is lots to do and lots to achieve. There are challenges to tackle. I feel motivated. I feel optimistic. I feel encouraged.
And when the aspirations have been attained, be sure to reward ourselves. A holiday with my staff beckons in March. Till then, it will be about working hard, working smart, and closing as many deals as we can.
On the 8th night of Chinese New Year.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chinese New Year 2013 Feasting

When it comes to food, nothing beats the indulgence during Chinese New Year. Somehow, much of the festivities centre around wonderful meals. An abundance of mouth-watering, delicious food indeed.
What makes such meals thoroughly enjoyable is the company of family and friends. Surrounded by our loved ones and those close to our heart, we appreciate the experience of kinship and camaraderie during the lunar new year celebrations.
We have just passed the halfway mark of the 15-day festivities. There will be more food to come for sure!
Dinner menu at Johan's on the 2nd day of Chinese New Year 2013.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Chinese New Year 2013

Chinese New Year for me has always been about spending time with the extended family - nurturing family ties, feasting, having a good laugh, enjoying each other's company. The lead up to Chinese New Year and the first fifteen days of the lunar new year are much fun as my family throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the celebrations.
As most of my extended family - both from my Mum and Dad's sides of the family - are based in the Klang Valley, we are never too far from one another. We gather at every opportunity to eat and be merry.

What makes Chinese New Year so meaningful is the appreciation of family ties. Whether we choose to admit it or not, we all need family. We rely on them for support, for comfort, for love. To a certain extent, we seek their approval, and we value their acceptance. Most of all, we cherish the happy times that we spend together, creating memories that are to last a lifetime.

Photos of my extended family.