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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Miss Scuba International 2014 - Of Beauty, Nature, and Passion

Well, we've finally come to the last page of 2014. How was your year? Mine was full of highs and lows, with the highs being higher than I imagined they could be, and the lows better off left with 2014 when the clock strikes 12 later on. It seems the world over has been through a rough year, so it makes sense for us to wish for more peace, safety and happiness for all in 2015!


I was thinking and thinking, and I have loads of 2014 happenings I wanna blog about still, but finally decided, what better way to end the year than with a post about beauty - beautiful girls and the beautiful ocean!


Before my last trip to KL, Zens Production invited yours truly to witness the grand finals of Miss Scuba International 2014, which was held in the Magellan Sutera Harbour Grand Ballroom. As always with Sutera, the ballroom was beautiful, the food was yummy, and I was in great company.

One of the past year's Miss Scuba International winners and the emcee of the night.
This made me wanna up my emcee game and eventually emcee an event like this someday - maybe 2015? Who knows! 
Unfortunately, I was seated quite far back so didn't get many good shots from my seat, so the photos below are all courtesy of Borneo Frog's facebook page, and you can see more HERE!

Miss Canada - Allison Nicole Pelletier,
Miss Scuba Tourism 2014
Miss China - Qian Ya / Quennie
Miss France - Melanie Marie Louise
Miss Indonesia - Rima Saradiani Demensah 
Best National Costume
Miss Ireland - Amber Ryan Marie Gamble
Miss Photogenic
Miss Japan - Saori Tahara
Miss Latvia - Liene Larko
Miss Malaysia - Joanne Kimberley Majalap / Kimmy
(National Costume designed by our very own Jeffie Jeff!)
Miss Philippines - Amanda Arbitrario
Miss Singapore - Jeraldine Phneah Jialin 
Miss Marine Conservation 2014
Miss Thailand - Cattaleya Schulze
Miss United Kingdom - Michelle Katie Paraskeva
Best Talent (awesome rendition of Duffy's Mercy
)
Miss United States - Tabitha Eleanor Lipkin
Miss Congeniality 
Miss Venezuela - Krystel Bendahan Corrales 
And the winner is...
L-R: 2nd Runner Up - Miss Ireland, Winner - Miss USA, 1st Runner Up - Miss Thailand
Congratulations to the winners! And to those who didn't win, I hope you still continue on with marine conservation - see you in the sea some time!


So there you have it, the beauties of 2014! We should definitely have more international pageants held here in Sabah, and I'm rooting for another Sabahan beauty to win one of the major pageants in 2015! =P

To finish up, there's literally 3 hours til the new year, and I should get my ass in the shower so I don't have to ring in the new year in front of this computer screen. See ya on the flip side peeps!

Here's to you, 2014:

Here's wishing all my readers a very Happy New Year 2015! I hope you have the time of your lives tonight! Stay safe! 

Love always,
Calista xx

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Ada Sudah Bah DIGI 4G LTE!

I love how every company gives their taglines a little personal touch whenever they launch anything in Sabah. Sure, the typical "bah" always seems to make its way into it, but when used correctly, it's actually quite endearing (the opposite of endearing happens when it's obviously inserted even though no one would ever say it as such, but that's another story).

Some of the Sabahan Bloggers at the event!

I've been a loyal customer of DIGI since I first started using a handphone - wow, now that I think about it, that's like 12 years! =O I'm also, as anyone who remotely knows anything about me would know, addicted to the internet, so when I heard DIGI was launching their expansion of 4G LTE coverage in Sabah, guess who was besides herself with excitement? Faster mobile loading? GIMME THAT!


Pictured from left: Christian Thrane, DiGi’s Chief Marketing Officer, K Juslly, Director of SKMM Sabah and FT Labuan, Y.Bhg Datuk Bruno Vun, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Resource Development and Information Technology, Loh Keh Jiat, DiGi’s Chief Sales Officer, Prasanna Rao, DiGi’s Acting Head of Sabah Region
What exactly is 4G LTE? It stands for Fourth Generation / Long-Term Evolution, and has a speed 10x faster than 3G, enabling users to experience better quality internet, higher download and upload speeds, and a more consistent connection. With Sabahans being one of the highest data users on the DIGI network, what better place to expand this than here? (I'm pretty sure I help a lot with those statistics haha).

Video call - no problem!
During the launch which was held in Suria Sabah on 28th November 2014, we got to FaceTime with DIGI's CEO Lars Norling, and the connection was virtually seamless! I was actually quite surprised, even though we'd already checked out the speed-tests and video loading at the various stations across the event:
Whoa! =D

The queue to upgrade sim cards before the event
I upgraded my SIM card to the 4G-enabled USIM for free during the event, but you can just head on over to any DIGI center to upgrade for a small fee (I think it's RM10 but don't quote me on that =P). Keep in mind that not all phones will be LTE-compatible though: from what I know, iPhone 5S onwards, HTC One, Samsung Note 3 are all able to support the higher speeds.

Some of the smartphone plans on offer
If you're looking to upgrade, DIGI is also offering affordable plans for the newer LTE-compatible phones such as the iPhone 6 & 6+, Samsung Note 4 & S5, Huawei Honor 6 etc. Just pop into any DIGI stores to learn more!

I'm glad my HTC One is compatible, because I can't wait to try out my mobile internet speed with the new 4G! I'm currently in Genting, and I think there's still only 3G coverage here, but hey, soon, soon! Cz DIGI is Best For Internet, right?

Love always,
Calista xx

Monday, 1 December 2014

Da Nang in a Vietnamese Nutshell

Visiting Vietnam has been on my wander-list for a while now, and one of my resolutions in 2014 was to make a trip to Hanoi. You can imagine my excitement when I got a call from Ashman, Air Asia's very own fashionista, asking me whether I'd like to go on my 3rd AABC adventure - on their newly reopened route from Kuala Lumpur -- Da Nang, Vietnam!


Being the only airline to fly directly to Da Nang from KL, not an empty seat could be found on our inaugural flight, which took off from the all-new KLIA2 on 29th August 2014. Landing in Da Nang International Airport after a 2 hour and 55 min journey (plus a great catch up session with Anna and Caroline), we got to experience the water salute as we cruised down the runway! We were also greeted by the who's who of Da Nang tourism, who were all smiles and ready for the press conference, and where we got our first taste of authentic Vietnamese cuisine! As we landed at 1330 local time (Da Nang is one hour behind Malaysian time), a well-appreciated buffet was prepared for the local media and us bloggers.


So what should you know about Da Nang? 

Location: Central Vietnam, on the coast of the South China Sea, South East Asia
Currency: Vietnamese Dongs, and US Dollars
Weather: Ranges from 18°C to 34°C, with the rainy season being from September to March                               (Unfortuantely, our trip end August also got rained out)
Time Zone: GMT +7 (One hour behind Malaysia)
Language: Vietnamese (little English)
Electricity: 220V
Souvenirs: The usual trinkets are not easily found, but foodstuff is readily available.

Da Nang at Sunset as seen from Ala Carte Hotel
Photo credits as per watermark
And how can you get to this dazzling destination?

Well, Air Asia flies 4x weekly to Da Nang every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Booking flights is easy peasy with the Air Asia app (available on all major mobile phones), their mobile site mobile.airasia.com, or the old-fashioned way of just checking out their website www.airasia.com!


I'll be blogging about the different places we visited and my experience real soon, so as always, do stay tuned!

Love always,
Calista xx