I caught up with Charlie in Bali a couple of weeks ago for a bit of sun, surf and yummy Indonesian food. He had a 3-day work conference over at Conrad in Nusa Dua and decided to extend his stay so we could spend some quality time together.
We managed to find a good deal on Groupon, and since it's low season, villa prices were not too expensive.
"Devdan - Treasure of the Archipelago" is a modern & contemporary acrobatic and dance performance inspired by the culture of Indonesia. The 90-minute show will take you on a wondrous journey, starting in Bali and going on to Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Papua. This high-energy show is performed on a purpose built stage that is full of special effects including world-class lighting & sound, fire effects, superb aerial acrobatics, different types of smoke and fog and at one point it even rains inside the theater.
Came to Jakarta for the first time with Patricia K. She deejayed at Moovina on Wednesday night.
Fun times in Jakarta!
The first quarter of the year has gone by and now it's April already! How time flies. Around this time last year, I had just finished filming my first movie 'The Borneo Incident'. After a long anticipated wait, the film finally made its first premier last Thursday at the ASEAN International Festival in Kuching (Sarawak). I wasn't able to make it there, nor have I seen the movie myself, but according to Henry Golding, a big crowd attended the event. I hope they all enjoyed a good thriller
Earlier this year, I was in the Philippines to celebrate Christmas with Charlie's family in Manila and then New Year's Eve in Boracay with a bunch of our friends. Then it was back to work, as Brendan Gan and I shot a few more episodes of FourFourTwo Performance. Catch it every Saturday at 3pm on Astro Supersport (channel 811).
February came and there was a long holiday for Chinese New Year so Charlie and I decided to visit Hong Kong.
I hope everyone's had a great start to the new year. 2013. Wow. We made it. This blog has been running for 5 years now and I'm proud to say that a lot has been accomplished both personally and career-wise. I'm grateful to have such a great support team - you, Charles, my family, friends, people I work with, and all those who follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Your Likes, Comments, Retweets and letters continuously encourage me to pursue my goals and stay committed.
What you talk about, you bring about; and for me, it's health and fitness. I started my blog because I wanted to share my fitness journey - the struggles, the slip-ups and the rewards. Being healthy and staying fit is a choice I've made because it makes me feel empowered and strong. That's the kind of positive energy I'd like for myself to wake up with everyday and humbly influence on others.
Whatever your goals were in 2012, I hope you've achieved it and have set bigger ones this year.
Discipline comes hand in hand with willpower and determination. It's important re-evaluate your goals every so often to make sure you're still challenging yourself and taking note of any improvement or deficiency in your performance. There is no room for complacency in terms of goal setting - when you achieve one, it's time to make another if you hadn't already. However, nothing great is achieved without enthusiasm! Sometimes you gotta cut lose and, not put too much pressure on yourself so that you'll enjoy it. It's just as important to set small, achievable goals especially during the beginning of your fitness journey, as it is to set big ambitious long term goals.
Have a healthy and happy 2013.
With Love, Fay
A look back at 2012...
It's Day 2 on Axe Anarchy Island and the Axe team had even more adventurous activities lined up for us. This time, we're leaving the comfort of our resort and heading out to the jungle!
8 zip-line routes across half a mile (almost 1km!) through the dense Belizean forest. I was first in line and to be honest, I was a little nervous about making my first jump. But after the first zip-line course, I fell in love with the adrenaline!
I screamed random words like "Arrrribbaaa" and "I'm the king of the world" while zip-lining. I tried to scream at the top of my lungs throughout the entire course but it was way too long and I had to catch my breath a couple of times!
20 of us took turns to zip-line through the pristine canopy of the Mayflower Bocawina National Forest. This took up pretty much the whole day and we returned to the resort just in time for dinner. Then, our first night of partying commenced!
The Axe girls sure knew how to hype up a party. 2 giant Tron dancers also made an appearance and showed off their moves ... It was pretty amazing if I should say so myself, considering they were dancing on stilts!
I had the leave a day earlier than everyone else but I made sure David was in good hands...
Earlier this year, sometime around summer, Axe held a a global Facebook contest where they selected 60 winners from 19 countries to come together to party on an exotic island they named the 'Axe Anarchy Island'.
The campaign was held quite differently in every country. I heard the guys from South America had to play a Facebook game and invite friends to win. For Axe Malaysia, contestants were asked to send in their best beach photo. That's easy... but in order to win, you (and your photo) must really had to stand out . The winner gets to bring his best buddy to party on Axe Anarchy Island with me and 20 Axe girls! Everyone knows I'm fun to party with
10 guys from Malaysia were shortlisted by Axe and I picked the final winner...
David's photo fit all the criteria - 1) he chose a photo of him on the beach, 2) he's already rocking a tan, 3) he's obviously spent some time in the gym too. He looks ALL SET for Axe Anarchy Island. Not to mention I think the Axe girls will love him too. The best part about winning is he gets to share a free vacation with his best buddy!
Nuffnang held a blogging contest for this campaign as well, check out who and why Sha won! Sha brought his lovely fiancé, Suwen, and I finally got to meet David and his homie, Shen (both originally from Malacca), at Kuala Lumpur airport just before we all embarked on this trip together.
It was a long flight to our final airport destination in Belize, but we made the most out of it and took the chance to get to know each other a little better. We shared a lot of laughs and silly jokes. They were a fun bunch to travel with!
We made it to Belize after more than 30 hours traveling from one airport to another. Phew! The last time I was in Central America was back in 2008 when I did my first backpacking trip to Guatemala. The weather was all the same - tropical and sunny. Just like how it is near the equator. I can't wait to get my tan on!
From Belize airport, we boarded a smaller plane that took us to 'Paradise Resort' in Placencia Island where we spent the night so we could recharge before going to Axe Anarchy Island the following day. I was so glad to jump in the shower and sleep on a proper bed. Everyone was quite amazed that I could sleep throughout pretty much the entire flight, but my body was aching everywhere!
The next day, Suwen and I explored a bit of Placencia before heading off to Axe Anarchy Island.
We were joined with other winners from all parts of the world from Thailand to Trinidad. Like I said, 60 guys and girls from 19 different countries! The guy to girl ratio? 5 : 1
This trip was treat especially for the boys!
Ever heard of blobbing? It has got to be one of the highlights that evening...
We had this huge air bag called the blob. Sit on one end of the blob and get someone to jump on the other end. The bigger the impact, the higher you'll get launched up the air!
Here's a video (taken by Sha) of me on the blob!
Jet lag started to creep in as the sun goes down but we were all too happy to care. After dinner, the chaos continued with a game of beer pong initiated by one of the guys from the UK. Don't mean to brag but I kick ass at beer pong!
This video sums up the whole evening...
Our next venture on Axe Anarchy Island lurks around the corner. Stay tuned!
Good food, good life. It's all about keeping the right balance.
Being away from home makes it easy to lapse into habits, especially when you're away from your usual routine. That's why it's important to keep in mind that when you're on the road, your goal should be to maintain your fitness level, not necessarily improve it. If you're training hard and eating right, a little splurge is more than deserved.
Here are some tips that work for me when I travel (whether for work or vacation), helping me strike the right balance between fitness and fun:
- Make sure you pack a pair of super lightweight sneakers and gym attire.
- Use hotel amenities to your advantage. Use the pool, gym, sauna or steam room. While most hotel gyms usually only come with basic cardio machines, I've been to a few that were well-equipped with barbells, dumbbells and even a Smith Machine!
- Work out approximately half of the days you're there.
- Best way to explore around town? By foot! Put on your trainers and go for a jog. Make sure you take a map with ya!
- Work out first thing in the morning so you have the whole day to yourself.
- Pack your protein powder and supplements in ziplock bags so you always have an inexpensive, quick meal ready!
- Drink plenty of SKY JUICE! Water, that is. Go for a glass red or light beer instead of frozen, sugar-packed drinks.
- Try to keep your same sleeping habits so your body clock isn't extremely altered.
Now back to Switzerland. So I've indulged in some quality Swiss cheese and chocolate. What next? More food! This time, it's strictly educational.
As we walked along the Quai Perdonnet, off of Vevey's charming old town, this giant fork came to view. It stands 8-meters in height and is made entirely from stainless steel. Swiss artist Jean-Pierre Zaugg designed this work of art in 1995, to commemorate the Alimentarium Food Museum's 10th anniversary.
This controversial work of art was meant to be a temporary piece but apparently the people of Vevey had grown to love it so much that it practically became a public symbol. Following petitions, Vaud authorities finally signed papers in 2008 declaring the fork stays permanently.
As a food and wellness company, it was a fitting joint-venture for Nestle to support the Alimentarium since it opened in 1985. Some locals recognize it as the Nestle museum because you'll also find the history of Nestle in one the exhibition rooms. It takes you through the development of Nestle products through the years including original Maggi noodles packaging from years ago. Funny how Singaporeans think of Maggi and Milo as local brands but it's actually from Switzerland!
Well worth a visit. Why? The better you understand food and how it is processed in your body, the better the choices you’ll make!
Nestle is popularly known for its baby products. Their journey began in Switzerland in the mid 1860’s when founder Henri Nestle created one of the first baby formulas as an alternative for mothers who couldn't breast feed.
Since then, Nestle has continued to develop nourishing food for the whole family – from infants, growing teens, adults, and the elderly to pets! I was surprised at how many brands were under Nestle. Even Powerbar!
I had the privilege of meeting a really international group of digital marketing professionals at the Nestle HQ on our last day. They literally were from all over the world, based in Vevey for 8 months at a time. Alvin, Brad and I each had a chance to stand up and share how social media has influenced our lives and enabled us to build an online community.
Digital marketing is a such fast-moving and often complicated industry, and while I felt a bit nervous giving a full-on powerpoint presentation about my life and social media in front of a corporate team of experienced people, they kindly made me feel welcome and we all learned a lot from each other.
It's all about a healthy work-life environment at Nestle. The day starts early for Nestle employees as they punch in at 7/8am and leave the office by about 5/6pm. Most shops (with restaurants and bars as an exception) in Vevey close around 5pm. On my last night, I went out to get dinner and was surprised to find that all the shops were already closed! I can't read French, which made it difficult to order at any restaurant. I was also being quite picky and refused any pizza or pasta. Luckily, there was a kebab shop near the hotel so I ended up getting a chicken kebab for 10Francs.
That's the end of my amazing journey with Nestle. An equally fun and educational trip where I learned a lot not just about the brand but also on food and nutrition.
Thank you for this unforgettable journey!
I’m baaaack. Took 2 weeks to snap out of vacation mode and get into the swing of things again, especially in terms of work, but I've kept you waiting long enough from my recent travel adventure to Switzerland. And now I'm finally sharing the best photos and a few awesome stories from the trip; sorry for the delay!
It all started with that wonderful food company that everyone has definitely heard of, Nestle…
As mentioned in my previous post, 2012 marks the 100th year in Singapore for Nestle. Did you know that the brand itself has been around for over 140 years? I remember Nestle for nostalgic products that I grew up with such as Milo, Cheerios and KitKat, just to name a few. A lot has been accomplished for both Singapore and Nestle in the last century.
To learn more about Nestle's journey through nutrition, health and wellness; things that this blog and I am ALL about, I was humbled to be given the opportunity visit the Nestle Headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland. 2 other Singaporean bloggers who write about travel, food and lifestyle, and a writer for Lianghe Zaobao also joined me on this trip. The tour was thoughtfully organized and led by Christine, from Nestle Singapore, who made sure we got the most enriching experience in Switzerland - where Nestle all started.
The thing that delighted me the most about this trip wasn’t just experiencing Europe for the first time, but realizing the true meaning of Nestle’s mantra -‘Good Food, Good Life’.
‘An Amazing Journey With Nestle’ was my golden ticket to explore the world of Nestle and its origins. The flight was kindly covered by Finnair and the rest; hotel, food and tour; by Nestle.
It was my first time traveling to Europe, but as a relatively seasoned traveler, I was surprised it only took 11 hours to reach halfway across the world to Finland! Finnair is the fastest airline to Europe and I had a pleasant flight thanks to the gracious service of the flight attendants.
As we arrived in transit at Helsinki airport, we were approached by a friendly Finnair staff who recommended that we signed up for Finnair Plus, a membership programme that allows you to collect mileage and redeem attractive offers.
We were already waiting in the bus that was to take us to our connecting flight from Helsinki to Geneva when it was announced that the flight was cancelled due to some technical difficulties they could not rectify in time.
Finnair handled the flight cancellation efficiently and made sure all the passengers were re-issued a new ticket. No one made a fuss. Everyone pretty much accepted the fact that stuff like this happens. I was just glad that at least Finnair did their maintenance checks thoroughly and made sure the flight was safe before allowing passengers to get on board.
So we had to take a detour and go to Geneva via Zurich instead. Our next flight was scheduled at 4PM, which meant we had 9 hours to kill in the airport.
Wifi was free and extremely fast! Time went by quickly, especially with endless things to keep me entertained online. I remember reading about Felix Baumgartner’s daring space jump that afternoon because it was all over my Facebook news feed and everyone was tweeting about it. Watch his amazing video if you haven’t already!
From there, we took the train to Vevey (the small town where Nestle bases its HQ) and finally settled in at Hotel Du Lac. The hotel has a rich history, with many important Nestlé deals being signed or discussed under the same roof we were hosted in.
The next morning, I took a walk behind the hotel and marvelled at the majestic mountaineous alps as it came to view. It was about 13 degrees that morning and I’m usually a whimp when it comes to the cold, but the sun glowed with warmth and the air was crispy fresh. Such a nice change to wake up to!
Here's a closer look...
After a light breakfast at the hotel, our first order of business was… CHEESE!
My theory is: Switzerland has the best cheese and chocolate because they get the freshest milk from the happy cows that feed on the greenest pastures. Happy cows = fresh milk = the best quality of cheese and chocolate. Wouldn't you agree?
We saw plenty of happy cows as we drove to Gruyere. They were so busy feeding on the turf and barely moved that Brad almost thought they were just “decorations”. Like those cupboard cows you probably would have spotted in Singapore.
So here I am at the cheese factory called ‘La Maison Du Gruyere’.
I was surprised to see that these Swiss women still wear their traditional outfit to work. The first thing that came to mind when I saw them? Milkmaid!
Now you know where your condensed milk (that special ingredient in teh tahrik!) comes from...
We signed up for the audio tour (available in several different languages) that takes us through how cheese is produced and manufactured.
Look at all that cheese! It takes a whoppin' 400 litres of milk to make 35 kilos of cheese. This huge cellar holds the cheese in different age.
At the end of the tour, you can buy the locally produced cheese called Le Gruyere in the souvenir shop or even do a cheese tasting at the restaurant.
While still in Gruyere, we stopped by the medieval town nearby to check out the scenery and one of the last remaining medieval towns still preserved to date.
The entire town is car-free, and the cobbled main street is an uphill slope to the château, so remember to wear comfortable walking shoes. Not only is the architecture of the medieval buildings themselves worth seeing, but some exceptional art and cultural exhibitions are housed here.
Who could forget the badass Sigourney Weaver in movie 'ALIEN'? This tiny town has a smaller second castle – the Château de St-Germain – which houses an exhibition of images and sculptures from the Swiss artist H. R. Giger, Oscar-winning designer of the monster in the original film 'Alien' (1979).
Next to the museum, there was also the Alien Bar...
You're only allowed to take photos in the Alien Bar if you're customer, so I didn't grab any on my own. But here are some photos I plucked from the internet.
I hope you enjoyed my mini introduction to Switzerland so far, there's more to come on my next post!
Remember when I told you all the good things start with the letter C? This is definitely true in Switzerland! I've just discovered that the best cheese and chocolate is right here in Vevey. The reason behind it? I'll give you a hint: Happy cows.
Finally got to visit a castle too! It was in my bucketlist.
I haven't hit the gym since I went on this trip, but my little feet have had quite a "walk out". Even with an abundance of cheese and chocolate, I make sure I eat in moderation. That's key!
Follow me on Instagram @fayhokulani for more photo updates
Catching a flight to Amsterdam to meet Charles now!
As lightly mentioned in my previous post, I recently just worked on my first feature film called 'The Borneo Incident'. We just did a press conference on Tuesday (April 3rd, 2012) where a sneak preview of the trailer was shown to the media. We also did a number of interviews with New Straits Times, The Star and Bernama to mention a few. The movie is set to be released sometime in September although an exact date is yet to be determined.
Thank you for all your support thus far! Now check out the trailer!
Movie Synopsis: 5 young, fun-loving travelers are documenting their travels from New York to Borneo via Malaysia on the journey of a lifetime. The purpose of the trip is to discover Henry Golding's familial roots from the Iban head-hunting tribe in Borneo, only to discover the tribe has crossed the border into the unfamiliar territory of the Indonesian tribes. As the group venture deeper into the jungles, they begin to realize that an 'unfamiliar territory' is not somewhere you want to be on the island of Borneo.