Sibu will be hosting a Da Bo Gong Festival, or Tua Pek Kong in the local Hokkien dialect, on May 12 to 14.
This Festival is held to commemorate the Da Bo Gong deity, the ‘god of the land,’ as well as to recognise the importance of Sibu’s Chinese ancestry and heritage.
Every year, this Festival encourages international cultural tourism to Sibu, while also encouraging the communities in Sibu to live in harmony and unity, as was one of the purposes and jurisdiction of the Deity in question.
The Tua Pek Kong temple in Sibu – formerly known as Eng Ann Teng Temple or Temple of Everlasting Peace – has been a tourist hotspot for many years due to its rich history and beauty.
There are 68 Tua Pek Kong temples in Sarawak – the oldest one being in Kuching.
The Borneo Jazz Festival is back at ParkCity Everly in Miri on May 12 to 13 and will be celebrating its 12th anniversary this year.
The festival days are packed with activities, beginning with the outreach programme, where young musicians can learn tips and tricks for jazz keyboard, piano, guitar, percussions and brass instruments from the festival performers.
The evening performances will commence at the beach-side stage, with a dancing and sitting area and food stalls all around, concluding with an ‘after-party’ jam session at the ParkCity Everly Hotel’s Ruai Bar.
The outreach programme will include classes on the basics of jazz keyboard, piano, guitar, percussions and brass instruments, while the greening efforts this year will be a beach clean-up, a change from the tree plantings from the past few years.
The Layar Cycling Carnival 2017 will be taking place on 30 April to 1 May at the RGC Layar, Simpang Layar in Betong, a four hour’s drive from Kuching.
The Criterium event begins on April 30, at 9.30am with a 2.9km circuit around the area, with 10 loops to complete the Junior (18 and below), Ladies Open, Veterans (41 & above) and the Betong Closed category. 15 loops of the circuit are required for the Men’s Open (19 to 40).
The 100km Road Race will be taking place on May 1 at 8.00am and is divided into three categories, namely the Junior (18 & Below), Men’s Open (19 – 40) and the Veteran (41 & above).
The 11th World Harvest Festival, celebrating the harvest festival or “Gawai Dayak”, will be taking place on April 28 to 30 at the Sarawak Cultural Village, with a grand scale of cultural performances both traditional and new.
This year will be including cultural troupes from other regions countries including the Kumpulan Batambul Rungus Matunggong of Sabah and the Nitto Rong Organization of Bangladesh.
The main highlight of the World Harvest Festival remains the themed play, produced and performed by the Sarawak Cultural Village actors and actresses, with this year’s performance entitled “Tra Tra Land: Where Honey Sparkles”, which will take place on April 29.
The finale of the Miss Cultural Harvest Festival also takes place on April 29, while the other days are steeped in traditional food and crafts of the different ethnicities in Sarawak, providing Dayaks and non-Dayaks alike the opportunity to understand the traditions of the old Dayak communities.
The 65-door award-winning longhouse and homesta, Rantau Kemiding, located in the Sibu division in central Sarawak will be expanding their guests’ itinerary to include a Kampung-Stay programme, making it the first of its kind in Sibu.
The difference between a homestay and a kampung stay is that the guests do their own cooking and conduct their own activities, but are free to join activities held within the longhouse as well.
The longhouse has already constructed a two-room chalet with air-conditioner and a few other facilities except a kitchen, which they plan on adding soon.
Last year alone, Rantau Kemiding received a total of 2,784 visitors, 109 of whom were foreign. The arrivals can be attributed to the attractive kampung lifestyle as well as the annual Rantau Kemiding Festival. Though most of the arrivals are day-trippers to the annual Rantau Kemiding Festival, the homestay owners hope to increase the number of overnight visitors through this kampung-stay.
The Rantau Kemiding Homestay is one of the five in Malaysia given the Asean Homestay Standard awards during the award presentation in Singapore this January, along with many other awards such as winning the ‘1 District, 1 Industry’ in Homestay Category in 2016, the Outstanding Hotel and Accommodation Provider (Homestay) Category in Sarawak Hornbill Tourism Awards in 2015 as well as the the Anugerah Desa Cemerlang for People’s innovation and Participation Category on both state and national level in 2006.
Sarawak has proven that it has the potential to be the location for large scale sports tournaments, both local and international.
The response from sports fans in Sarawak was incredible during the 18th Sukma Games on July 23 to 31 last year, which took place throughout the different cities in Sarawak, as well as the Malaysia Open at Perpaduan Stadium, Petra Jaya, on April 4 to 9, to the point where it impressed legendary badminton players such as Datuk Lee Chong Wei and China’s Lin Dan.
The stadium during the Malaysia Open was filled to 85 per cent capacity, surprising Chong Wei, who expressed optimism for the future of badminton events in Sarawak. “The huge crowd augurs well for Sarawak badminton. I hope that more international badminton tournaments can be held in Sarawak,” he added.
“For the first time, I received lots of cheers and applause from spectators outside China,” Lin Dan stated in an interview, as he too was caught by surprise by the great reception the tournament received.