2013 in retrospect…

Wow, how quickly time flies. We’re about to say goodbye to 2013. Its been quite an eventful year for me.  Bittersweet to say the least… A lot of sweet moments which I am grateful for, alhamdulillah… the bitter moments I take as a lesson from above, alhamdulillah… Looking forward to a wonderful year ahead full of positive energy and changes for the better for myself and all of you as well! Thank you for your support thus far and I look forward to your continued support both here and on the other social media channels.

January started off with coverage of the Consumer Fair 11 which was held at a less than optimum location. The giant tents put up for the exhibitors felt like they had insufficient ventilation and lighting. The flooring was also quite rickety to the point that the displays at the various booths literally swayed with the movement of people in the tent.

This was followed by TelBru’s High Speed Broadband campaign launch in February at Times Square.  At that time TelBru had just passed the 1,000 home connect mark. As we move into the new year, TelBru is well into 5 digit territory.

Then came Chinese New Year, and one of the highlights was NBT’s Chinese New Year Festive display. Over the years, NBT’s elaborate displays have become a fixture of the festive seasons a place where locals and tourists alike can soak in the joyous atmosphere and take pictures that will serve as sweet memories for many years to come.

February also saw the National Day Celebrations of course. Jubilation and high spirits of patriotism were the order of the day as thousands of participants took to the field staging performances depicting the journey and meaning of independence, while thousands more filled the grandstand and perimeters of Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, to watch the vibrant and colourful displays.

March was rather uneventful, but in April, BIBD launched something called eTunai. Offered under BIBD Mobile or BIBD online, the service, which is the first of its kind in the country, provides free-of-charge service and allows customers to use their smartphones to purchase goods without physical cash or cards. The payment amount will be deducted directly from their BIBD’s account.

April was also when the TelBru Under 16 Soccer League was launched with the opening match between the Brunei DarussalamSports School Council against Muara Vella Akademi. The event was held at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. The tournament was declared open by the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Dr. Awang Haji Junaidi bin Haji Abdul Rahman.

May saw the celebration of World Telecommunications and Information Society Day. The theme of this year’s WTISD, “ICT and Improving Road Safety”, is hoped to raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of Internet and Communication Technologies can bring to societies and economies.

In June, we saw the screening of Man of Steel courtesy of the US Embassy. The event, themed “Creative Industries and Intellectual Property Rights” aimed to raise public awareness regarding the importance of intellectual property rights (IPR). Protecting IPR promotes innovation and ensures artists are fairly compensated for their works, which inspire us and enrich our daily lives. The event was attended by almost 200 guests including Motion Picture Association-International (MPA-I)’s Commercial Executive for the Asia-Pacific Farina Yusof, government officials, students, local artists from the creative industry, and members of the media community.

June also saw the celebration of Go Skateboarding Day. In Brunei, Go Skateboarding Day was celebrated in a modest fashion with a gathering held at the Lagoon Skatepark in Mumong, KB. A few events were held including Game of Skate, Most Kick Flip, Best Trick Down, Couple Trick, Bonus Trick, and Skate Dice.

July is of course His Majesty’s birthday month and everyone, including yours truly looked forward to the birthday parade at the Taman and the activities that ensued afterwards. However, because of the fasting month, the birthday celebrations were portioned to September.

Baiduri Bank officially unveiled the much anticipated “Baiduri Deals” in August. Teaming up with a Bruneian App developer, Baiduri Bank developed this app with its objectives of improving customer’s experience as an added-value and convenience to their lifestyle and allowing merchants to offer all year round offers,monthly deals, last minute deals and super deals. It is also the first bank in Brunei to introduce a specific marketing app.

September was an eventful month starting with Baiduri Bank Group hosting a fun filled event for members of the media in appreciation of the close working relationship that exists between them and the Bank. The event was held at the 1-Lotus Restaurant’s function hall, Wild Lotus and was themed “A Night at the African Safari”.

This was followed by His Majesty’s Birthday celebrations! Yayyy! Hundreds of students from various schools were seen early morning enthusiastically waving mini national flags lined up to welcome His Majesty and other members of the royal family, further enlivening the event with a great display of patriotism and love for the monarch.

During this month, Jerudong Park Country Club (JPCC) playground launched the first in a series of projects to revitalize jerudong Park Playground. The project includes the construction of a mini golf attraction, featuring a landscaped 21 holes designed by Craig Bartlett, a world class mini golf designer from Australia.

A week later, despite the sudden downpour, the capital was abuzz with excitement as thousands of people gathered to celebrate His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam‘s 67th birthday in the Brunei-Muara District.

In October, our national airline made history by being the first airline in Southeast Asia to operate the Dreamliner, touted as an aircraft providing an unrivalled passenger experience while breaking technological ground with environmental-friendly features and efficient operations.

Dubbed by RB the Betterfly, Boeing‘s long-haul aircraft is said to produce 20 per cent less emissions with lower fuel consumption, allowing it to fly farther while reducing its carbon footprint. Perhaps more importantly for a small commercial airline like RB, the Dreamliner is built to please the traveller.

And just last month, over 6000 participants flooded the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in the morning to show their overwhelming support for BIBD’s flagship event for its ALAF programme, the Charity Expedition (CE) for ALAF 2013.

And in December? Well, December was pretty quiet… It’s been a really tough month, filled with what sometimes seem like insurmountable challenges. It was a month of reflection and questioning myself. Change is in the air. It ain’t gonna be easy, but as a little kitten puts it, “Errthang gonna be alright…”

Author: Reedz