Miri Country Music Fest

February 25 fast approaches, as the Miri Country Music Festival (MCMF) returns for another epic installment.

Featuring international names like Shane Smith & The Saints and The Strange Pilgrim, as well as local country bands such as the Mountain Wind and Country Road, it’s a fiesta for the country music enthusiasts.

The MCMF has become part and parcel with Miri’s local communities, with entire families coming down and making a day of it for two days, enjoying the food, games and music.

This year’s MCMF will be taking place on February 25 and 26, at the ParkCity Everly Hotel, the same location of the 12th Borneo Jazz Festival on May 12 and 13.

Photo Credit: Place Borneo Sdn Bhd
Photo Credit: Place Borneo Sdn Bhd

Visit Sibu Year 2017

This year rings in the new Visit Sibu Year initiative which was launched in March 2016.

Sibu has many hidden attractions, the most popular of which is the food trail that begins at the large fresh market in the centre of town and weaves through backroads to the next delicacy, with the Sibu Street Art marking the way.

The Sibu Street Art peppered throughout the town, display the significant moments in Sibu’s history as well as significant foods and art within the town, depicting its cultural heritage.

The Borneo Cultural Festival in July as well as the sixth Sibu International Dance Festival in August, display the cultural and ethnic diversity that can be found in Sibu, while also encouraging the preservation of those cultures.

Sibu is less than an hour from some of the oldest longhouse communities in Sarawak, with various competitive races throughout the year including remote control boat racing, as well as the Sibu Bike Week which has brought big bikers from around the world to careen the streets of Sibu.

A unique mix of people, lifestyles and attractions, Sibu is definitely a must-visit in 2017.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

8000 Runners in Next Colour Rush

The fifth edition of Colour Rush is expected to have some 8000 participants in Kuching on February 18 and in Miri on February 19, beating its yearly 5000 participants average.

The Colour Rush is held annually by the Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society (SCCS) to commemorate International Childhood Cancer Day on February 15 and to raise funds for the medical treatment of Sarawakian children diagnosed with cancer.

The registration has been open since December 4, 2016, and has shown incredible promise of hitting the 8000 participant mark in the Colour Rush by the time registration ends on January 25.

To encourage registration, the SCCS held a special promotion where the first 50 participants to register before December 31 receive special t-shirts and a voucher.

Register or visit the website: www.colourrushrun.com

Photo credit: Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society
Photo credit: Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society

CH Premier Restaurant – First in Malaysia

The CH Premier Restaurant at Jalan Tun Jugah, Kuching, has set records as the first restaurant in Malaysia to have robotic serving staff.

With four new robotic waitresses on their payroll, the taller robots named Goddess 1 to 3, and a smaller robot named Lolita, all four of whom use magnetic strips on the ground to navigate the floor.

The Restaurant serves fine dining meals, steamboat meals and Chinese-style family platters, so  in lieu of the theme, the robots speak in Mandarin and are able to speak a specific set of phrases including ‘thank you’, ‘excuse me’ and ‘please take the food from the tray’.

This bodes as the dawning of a new age in cuisine for Kuching, as it shows a blend of traditional cuisine and modern times, and this upgrade should encourage local attractions and facilities to add more marketable aspects to their business to keep them relevant.

Photo shows Lolita (left) and the three Goddesses at CH Premier Restaurant, Jalan Tun Jugah.
Photo shows Lolita (left) and the three Goddesses at CH Premier Restaurant, Jalan Tun Jugah.

REDEEMS Praise Music Festival

Picture shows REDEEMS logo.The REDEEMS annual Praise Music Festival will be held on December 4 to 6 at the REDEEMS Centre in Singai, Bau Kuching, showcasing the rich culture, tradition and heritage of the Bidayuh people.

This event hopes to promote cultural tourism in the Bau region, while also enhancing the goodwill between the different races and kampungs or villages in the area, allowing them to celebrate life and culture together in harmony.

The event will be held with the REDEEMS core goals in mind, which is to move the local community of the Bau region towards an orderly and progressive society by creating development-centric activities that promote their cultures externally and preserve them internally.

The Association of Research and Development Movement of Singai Sarawak (REDEEMS) is a community based organization (CBO) for the 12 Kampungs (villages) in Singai area, and was officially registered with the Registrar of Society (Malaysia) on the 7th July 1997 as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and non-profit body (NPB).

For more information, contact 082-460780/450450 or read their website at http://www.redeems.my/web/

 

Fourth ‘Monster Dash’ Charity Run

The fourth Kuching ‘Monster Dash’ Charity Run, back by popular demand and organized by the OurYouth.my team, will be held on 14 January next year, starting at iCOM Square to Jalan Pending.

This charity run began as a 5km charity run to raise funds for charitable associations.

This year’s charities are the Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society (SCCS) and the Hope Place, which is a non-governmental organization that aims to help the needy and underprivileged in Kuching, including the disabled, elderly and poverty stricken citizens.

The run also aims to introduce a healthier lifestyle among Kuching people as well as establish real-life social networking between people, especially among the youth, while also experiencing the Kuching streets at night, which has proven to be a spectacular view of lights and nightlife.

Through the run, the organizers hope to create a new way of encouraging social awareness and a sense of community responsibility and love to battle the different challenges Kuchingites face together, be it an underprivileged socioeconomic background or a debilitating physical impairment.

Registration is open until December 18 this year.

For more information, visit the website at http://www.monsterdashcharityrun.com/monsterdash/index.jsp

Picture shows runners of the third ‘Monster Dash’ charity run in 2015. Photo Credit: Borneo Post.
Picture shows runners of the third ‘Monster Dash’ charity run in 2015. Photo Credit: Borneo Post.

Tusan Beach – A hidden gem

Tusan Beach on the outskirts of Miri City has now gained prominence after the discovery of natural bioluminescence or a neon-blue glowing in the ocean waves at night better known as “Blue Tears”.

While the Blue Tears are a product of phytoplankton in the water, and while it does not occur every night, it is undoubtedly a breath-taking sight.

There is no promise that one can get a heads-up as to when to go to the beach to witness it, but Tusan does have incredible pull even without the blue-glowing waters at night.

The Beach is one of the more secluded beaches on the Northern coast of Sarawak.

With pristine white sands, incredible natural rock formations like the Horse Head Cliff, and a group of local food and drink stalls with fresh coconut and barbeque.

One can come by and enjoy a fun and peaceful day out on the beach, away from the hustle of the city.

Picture shows Horse Head Cliff at Tusan Beach, Miri. Photo credit: See Hua News
Picture shows Horse Head Cliff at Tusan Beach, Miri. Photo credit: See Hua News

8 day Batang Ai Volunteer Programme with the Orang Utans

Diethelm Travel have created an eight day volunteer programme at the Batang Ai National Park, to enable participants to take part in the conservation works of the endangered flora and fauna.

Registration is open from now until October 31, 2017.

The programme will range from checking camera traps to maintenance of trails and infrastructure, as well as assisting local communities that live adjacent to the park who are vital first responders and informers in the conservation efforts of Batang Ai.

The unique twist of this volunteer programme is the planned trek to the areas where the wild Orang Utans and other protected wildlife live, being in their natural habitat.

At the end of the eight day programme, the volunteers will visit the Semenggoh Nature Reserve to gain awareness on the ongoing wildlife rehabilitation efforts of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation.

For more information, visit their website at www.diethelmtravel.com

Picture shows boy playing with an Orang Utan at Semenggoh Wildlife Center
Picture shows boy playing with an Orang Utan at Semenggoh Wildlife Center

Kuala Baram Wetlands to Be Turned Into Bird Sanctuary

The Kuala Baram Wetland will be turned into a bird conservation area where more than 132 species of migratory birds are known to frequent.

The Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) has confirmed that the area is vital to migratory birds from the northern hemisphere, with sightings of the very rare Chinese Tern have been seen in the area.

The protected are spans roughly 600 hectares just outside of Miri City, and will be monitored by the Sarawak Forestry Department (SFD) and MNS for future scientific research and publications.

Over time, the SFD is planning on turning it into a location like the Bako National Park, where visitors can come and see the wildlife in its natural and protected habitat.

Sarawak Forestry Department Director Sapuan Ahmad signs the plaque as a symbolic gesture to launch Kuala Baram Wetland as a bird conservation area. MNS Miri chairman, Musa Musbah is at second left, front row. Photo credit: Borneo Post
Sarawak Forestry Department Director Sapuan Ahmad signs the plaque as a symbolic gesture to launch Kuala Baram Wetland as a bird conservation area. MNS Miri chairman, Musa Musbah is at second left, front row. Photo credit: Borneo Post

BEACON Project at Similajau National Park

The annual reef and beach cleaning activities conducted by the Biodiversity, Environment and Conservation (BEACON) Project has now entered into its third year at the Similajau National Park.

It aims to turn the Park, located just outside of Bintulu, into the “Green Lung of Bintulu”.

The Project’s secondary component in Conservation, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA), where groups or programmes such as the Friends of Nature programme brings people into the national park to participate in the cleaning.

The Project is organized by the MLNG Group of Companies, a subsidiary company of Petronas and the Sarawak Forestry Corporation.

To date some 120 students from 21 secondary schools and 21 chaperon-teachers had participated in the Friends of Nature programme.

Entering the third year, the BEACON Project has proven to be effective in improving the marine wildlife and reefs in the area.

The Assistant Minister for Environment and Assistant Minister for Workforce Development and Training Sarawak, Datu Haji Len Talif Salleh, attended this year’s BEACON reef cleaning in September.

Picture shows coral reefs and a diver in Bintulu
Picture shows coral reefs and a diver in Bintulu