Monday, August 21, 2017

My First Charity Bazaar - Sabah Deaf Association

On the 9th July 2017, the Sabah Deaf Association held a Charity Bazaar to help raise fund for the deaf. 

Few weeks before that, I was approached by Swepa members madam Rosie and madam Phyllis about this event, they asked me if I could bake something delicious for the charity, I immediately said yes.

So we started selling the tickets. My mother and I sold almost RM500 worth tickets. Thank God we managed to sell all of them. A big thanks to my mother's colleagues and also my support group friends who have kind hearts for the needy. 

I never knew being one of the bazaar's vendor would be so tiring as this was my first time. One week prior to the selling day, my mom and I went around shopping for ingredients.  

A day before the bazaar, three of us, madam Rosie, my aunt and I were there to set up our stalls. 
So I helped them to design the poster. Madam Rosie brought us turkey sandwich for brunch!

I never knew this place existed as I rarely pass by that area.
It is located at Jalan Khidmat, beside Kota Kinabalu International School and the Hindu Temple.

My mum made Lo Mai Gai.

I baked cheese tarts and banana cake. 

Early Sunday morning, we quickly packed and load everything to the car and off we went to the venue. 6.30am, we reached there and started to set the stall up.

The three vendors. 

Datin Jeannette came to support the charity.

Met my friend's sister, Naomi cos-playing as Zootopia's Nick. She's also doing charity, so we give any amount to take picture with the cos-players. I met spider man, he looked very real! But a bit short. haha. 

These were the things that we sell. My brother helped make the sushi =)

My aunt selling her Korean Face Mask.

My mother and her long lost cousin, aunty Stella. 
I'll tell you more about this serendipitous encounter in the next post.

Madam Rosie was helping the local communities to promote their local product. 
She is a petite lady with a big heart.

I've tried this pineapple chutney, it was amazingly scrumptious! They were made by the widows who lost their husbands to Ranau earthquake back in 2015. You may order with Madam Rosie.

Met uncle Michael and aunty Flora at the bazaar. 
It was great to see them again after a long time.

One of the SWEPA member, Elly who came to support us. 
A big thanks to other Swepa members like madam Carole who visited our stalls as well.

And also to my support group friends, Dr. Sandi, Joanna and Wai Mun, thank you for taking your time off to come and visit us. So sorry, forgot to take picture with you guys.

People slowly came swarming in to the compound, business peaked around 11am. There were many stalls selling food, snacks, drinks, eggs, grocers, vegetables, fruits, and roasted duck. There were also fun activities such as games and pet adoption booth prepared for everyone.

By the end of the day, we were all exhausted. Thank God for the good business, we managed to sell most of our products, including the eggs. The most "laku" were the can drinks. Those little children from the deaf society kept coming back for more, thanks to the good weather. I was also sweltering all day long. Some of them forgot that we don't speak sign language, haha. Nevertheless we still manage to communicate with each other. I remember learning basic alphabet sign language at my Sunday school long long ago, but all were long forgotten.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience indeed, working with Madam Rosie and my aunt was a pleasure. Interacting with these deaf/mute children and youths reminded me how privileged am I to have the ability to hear and speak. So let's take a moment to appreciate what we have right now. I heard that the event was a huge success, thanks to all the supporter, all the members of the deaf association were greatly benefited from the funds raised.

Friday, July 28, 2017

My Second Toastmaster Speech - CC2

In toastmaster, we have to do certain projects. Each project has different purposes. The second project is called "Organize Your Speech". The main objective is to make sure our speech is well-structured, clear and easily understood. We are also encouraged to use appropriate transitions to ensure the smooth flow of the speech, the speech should contain a strong opening and ending. Time limit is 5-7 minutes.

So here it is.

Competent Communicator Project 2 : How to Overcome Procrastination? 

Good evening fellow toastmasters and guest.

Do you always find yourself putting off tasks which you should have done long time ago over and over again? You’re not alone, I procrastinate too, sometimes I wish there’s a magical fairy to help me clean up my room. Deep down, we are all aware that procrastinating in long term is not a healthy habit. It diminishes the quality of our work, which leads to missing deadlines, it causes others to avoid working with us, or worst, it damages our reputation and our most promising career. Hence, if you want to learn to overcome procrastination, here are the three crucial steps to follow.

Step one; you need to recognize when you’re procrastinating. 

Ask yourself these questions, do you read emails but never reply or do anything about it? Are you always waiting for the right mood and time? Or even when you have found the right mood, but you find yourself browsing clothes on Lazada? If your answer is yes, this indicates that you are delaying your work progress. If you have a genuine good reason for rescheduling something important, then you’re not necessarily procrastinating, however if this continues for more than a day, that just became an excuse. Everyone has 24 hours, it’s not about the time constraint; it’s about priorities. If your priorities are your family, then surely you’ll have time for them, same with your career and health. There’s a Chinese saying which goes like this, time is like cleavage, give it a little squeeze, and there you have it. (Audience laughed)

Step two; work out why you are procrastinating. 

One reason is that people find a particular task unpleasant and try to avoid it. Most jobs have boring aspects to them, and often the best way of dealing with these is to get them done quickly, so that you can focus on the more enjoyable element of the work. 

Another cause is that people are disorganized. They do not have a prioritized to-do list and schedule which emphasize on how important the piece of work is. Sometimes, people can also be overwhelmed by huge complicated tasks. They do not know where to start, so they ended up avoiding it by doing comfortable tasks. Unfortunately, the bigger problem is still there. 

Apart from that, the fear of failure and success may obstruct you from completing the task. For example, you think that success will lead to you more requests to do this type of job, or that you’ll be promoted to higher position which you think you are incapable of handling. Hence, you keep on stalling and your work never gets done. On the other hand, you’re also afraid of messing up the job. 

An interesting fact, perfectionists are often procrastinators, as they tend to think "I don't have the right skills or resources to do this perfectly now, so I won't do it at all." (Totally forgot this part)

This leads us to the third and most crucial step, adopt anti-procrastination strategies.

If you're putting off a project because you find it overwhelming, break it into a set of smaller, more manageable tasks. Create an action plan with a specific due date, start with some quick, small tasks. That way you'll feel that you're achieving things, and the whole project won't be so overwhelming after all. Another great tip is to focus on one thing at a time, you’re not an octopus; you can’t do much with only a pair of hands. 

Secondly, use peer pressure! This is the principle behind slimming and other self-help groups, and it is widely recognized as a highly effective approach. In our case, mentor and mentee can check on each other’s progress on their toastmasters’ speech.

Next, remind yourself the negative consequences of NOT doing the task. For instance, if you don’t pay the bills before the due date, chances are your electricity or wifi service will be cut off. You don’t want that to happen, do you?

Lastly, don’t forget to reward yourself. For example, promise yourself a piece of cheese cake after that long overdue car maintenance session. You’ll notice that how good it feels to get things done just like when I finally finished drafting my speech.

Dear toastmasters and guest, the next time you’re caught in the procrastination conundrum, apply these three simple steps. First, be aware that you’re procrastinating, then identify why you are doing it and most importantly take appropriate steps to overcome the block. Remember procrastination is the thief of time.

Thank you.

This website provides many helpful articles and videos on self-improvement and productivity. It's a brilliant website for those who wanted to excel in their life, on the other hand it's also a great place for toastmasters to search for informative topics. I choose this topic because I think it is relevant to everybody. We all procrastinate, don't we? =)

My evaluator was Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) Ophelia. By the way, you have to complete many assignments before you can earn this highest ranking title, DTM. So yeah, I was honoured to have her as my evaluator, 

Ophelia gave comprehensive feedback on my speech. Apparently, I should just dive straight into my speech without addressing the audience. My examples were humorous. Whew! Good to know that I didn't bore my audience. My points were easy to follow as there were only three steps plus the transitions that I used. She said I also summarized my point and ended with a nice quote. In general, she gave mostly 5 out of 5 rating. Thank you for being really generous Ophelia =) You're indeed an adept evaluator.

Overall, I think I did pretty well, although I got stuck somewhere in the middle due to nervousness, thank God I managed to continue my speech without looking at my script. Looking forward to my next speech. A tip that I've learnt in writing speech, use your own words instead of copy-pasting from the source, it was easier to remember what you have written than what you have copied.

Our next meeting is on 9th August 2017, Wednesday 7pm at Wisma Wanita. You are welcome to join us for an evening full of fun and learning experience. The theme is Pins and Badges.

Contact me for more details.

Monday, July 17, 2017

My Toastmaster Journey

Of late, I joined SWEPA Toastmaster (STMC), and I can say that so far I've benefited so much from that club. 

So what is a toastmaster? 
A toastmaster is basically someone who speaks publicly at an event.

Hence a toastmaster club, or my club STMC, which is under Toastmaster International, is a nonprofit educational organization which helps members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills.

I've heard of this club since secondary school, and I knew it's about public speaking. 
However it's a lot more than that. The whole thing is an incredible learning experience, if you like learning new things like me, surely you'll fall in love with toastmaster club. 

Our STMC meeting is held on every first and third Wednesday night at Wisma Wanita. 
They have strict protocols to follow when carrying out the meeting. We usually have dinner together until 7.30pm so that the role players can be ready while others have dinner and fellowship. I'll talk about role players later.

So what do you do in a toastmaster club? 

The meeting consists mainly of two session. The first one is the table topic and the second one is manual speeches. During the table topic, the table topic master will prepared a range of topics from current issues to fantasy for the members to answer it within 2 minutes time. I've tried once, 2 minutes can be quite long if you ran out of idea. Members can either be selected or volunteer to take the topic. As for the manual speeches, each week, 3 members are chosen ahead to prepare their speech. I've done my second speech last two weeks ago in my first baju kurung. 

Oh speaking of baju kurung, each week there's a different theme, so since it was raya season, everyone dressed in colourful Malay attire.   

So back to our role players, what do they do?

There's toastmaster of the evening who's responsible for the flow of agenda of the evening.
The "Ah" Counter counts how many "ahs" "ums" "well" we blurted out during the whole meeting.
There's a Timer to keep track of time, making sure the meeting starts and ends on time.
The Grammarian jots down every grammar mistakes we made, beautiful sentences and the usage of word of the day. By the way, every week, the grammarian will introduce the word of the day. Every time someone uses it, the members will knock the table. It was oddly fun to do it.
There are also a few evaluators assigned to evaluate the speakers and other role players.
Not forgetting the Humour Master, he or she tickles your funny bones.  

These people take their roles seriously, they don't do perfunctory presentation.

So yeah, you will not only learn about public speaking, but also gain a wide range of knowledge from the topics, cultivate leadership skills and responsibility by taking up these roles, meet a lot of experienced wonderful people who have been in the toastmasters club before I was born, and most importantly you build up your self-esteem and boost your confidence.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

My SWEPA Journey Commenced.

Earlier this year, I was invited by SWEPA's president, Wynnie, to join SWEPA - Sabah Women Entrepreneur and Professionals Association.

If you're born in my generation, the social media generation, there's a huge chance you've never heard of it. That's because we seldom read local newspapers.

Joining SWEPA is a huge eye-opener for me. Never have I seen and been with so many successful business women and professionals in the same setting.

My first activity with them was back in March, a talk delivered by Dr. Oh Ei Sun, a former political secretary at Malaysia Prime Minister Office on the topic "Belt and Road Initiative".
It was an insightful talk full of information about China and Sabah's trading and cultural exchange activities. 

On the 3rd June, there was a Biznet Training held for the members at Shangrila Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa. The whole day training was another educational and fun experience. This is why I love learning. Cause sometimes you'll get mind-blown by never-heard-before insights from the experts. Attending Biznet definitely helped me to step up my business game.

Four business experts giving their best tips on how to improve our business.
Datuk CK Tan, one of Malaysians successful business conglomerate, was the one who brought KFC into Sabah. 

Wefie with one of the talented speaker, Nadira (yellow shawl), who taught us the importance of using social media as a platform to attract more customers.

The following week, I attended Sabah's exclusive announcement of the Platinum Business Award 2017 at Hilton Hotel Kota Kinabalu. SWEPA was the co-organizer as well as supporting partner. Those who attended the event were high net worth individuals, all dressed in business suits. Among those who were present at the event are our KK town mayor Datuk Yeo, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, Professor Yong of SIA, and the organizing chairman Dato Sri Ricky Yaw.

SWEPA members with the co-organizer JTL Empire.

For those who don't know what is Platinum Business Award, it is an award to recognize outstanding SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in Malaysia. If you think you're one of them, you may apply online via by 15th July 2017.

Last but not least, my latest event of SWEPA, the Annual General Meeting, held at Palace Hotel last week on the 17th of June. At the meeting, I've seen first hand how does a club carry out their exco members election. Through their annual report, SWEPA has proven to be an award-winning association by helping the community in need. One of their project - Barefoot Solar Project led by past president Datin Jeannette Tambakau is one of the greatest initiatives to help rural people get electricity.

President Wynnie has shown extraordinary leadership skills in helping the association to become stronger and empowering. She passed the baton to Datuk Aminah, our next SWEPA president. We hope that Datuk Aminah and the exco will strive harder to bring the association to reach greater heights in the next coming term.

I met Madam Jennifer from my dancing school at the event, she was the photographer of the day, she was really good at making sure everyone poised and looked stunning in every picture.

New and old exco.

SWEPA June babies.

Thank you, madam president for giving me the opportunity to bake for SWEPA event.
I could have done better on the icing.

We had a whale of time eating scrumptious Ramadan buffet. Sitting second from right is Shan Tao former principal as well as a published author. I had a lot to learn from her.

Madam President with the new members, me, Anna and Melanie.

Induction of new members.

Our story was published in Daily Express. Reported by Mary Chin. 

In a nutshell, I've learned so much from SWEPA, these amazing women had inspired me to become better in every aspect, including self-image. Once again, thank God for this wonderful opportunity to let me grow and learn. Hope to attend more educational events like this and learn from the business pundits in the future.

By the way, those heels are killing me.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Today is Museum Day - Sabah State Museum

Last Saturday, my mother and I decided to take our relatives to Sabah state museum. I haven't been to the museum since secondary school. So it's a good time to refresh my memories.

My cousin's wife, who is my nephew and niece's mother, came all the way from KL to pay a visit, so what's more interesting and informative about Sabah than to take her and her children to the museum?

Entrance Fee:
13 and above: RM2
Children 12 and below and senior citizens who reach 55 are FOC.
Isn't it cheap?!

As soon as we entered the main door, we were greeted by this huge whale skeleton.

Tunku Abdul Rahman signing the declaration to form Malaya.

You may not want to put these traditional musical instruments in your mouth.

Bright and colourful chinese wedding ceremony displays.

The local ethnic - Kadazan costumes.

The animal kingdom.

Europian ceramics.

Can you spot a smaller jar inside? 

The exhibition was a few divided into few categories, there were old artifacts, traditional costumes, history, and the founding of Malaya and Malaysia. Then on the upstairs, there were preserved animals displays and ceramics on the other side. It was a good place for learning and taking pictures.

 Fun for the whole family. Outside, there were old trains and classic automobiles. 
So next time if you have someone from far away coming to Sabah, bring them to the museum. 
It is cheap and educational.

After a hot tiring day, we had Sabah's famous local food, Sang Nyuk Mian for lunch.
It was another wonderful fellowship with my relatives.

Ballroom Dancing Performance

Saturday night was a blast!

It's been a while since I perform on stage. Going back on stage awakened my hibernating performing nerves. 

On the 10th June, my dancing school, Imperial Dance Studio was celebrating its 18th anniversary. 
Can't believe this school existed since I was 5. We had a wonderful performing night at JKKN, Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara, next to Penampang library.

My group, which is an adult group, gave our best shot. We all danced our soul out.
It was pure hard work and discipline. We practiced every week for almost half a year.
Of course, without the pure dedication and help of our brilliant teachers, Patricia, Teacher Lucy and Jia Qi, we wouldn't have done it so well. Our first dance is romantic Rumba, followed by energetic cha cha cha.

Everyone dressed to the tens. Their outfits were covered with lots of blings, ruffles, and fringes. I'll let the pictures do the talking. 

Young teenagers performing.

I've never seen most of these students. The Beaufort Branch joined us too. 
Seeing these bunch of talented students performance made my jaws dropped, it was definitely an eye opener for me. I've seen many dances on youtube, but it was a difference experience when it was live in front of your very eyes.

Before the performance began, the event started with examination certificate presentation.

My best friend Teh and her sister Naomi came to support me.
Thanks guys for coming!

One of the cute performances by the juniors.

I told Teh that, these are just appetizers, the main courses were at the back.
They told me the appetizers were very delicious! 

"Main courses" of the night.

Imperial Champions, this couple blew my mind.

Synchronized dancing.

Final Dance by a group of juniors.

There were a lot of pictures of other performance including my teacher Patricia and the 2 hot mamas, unfortunately, my outdated camera couldn't capture the essence, hence only these few were uploaded. Considering to invest in a better one in the near future.

Me and lovely Patricia.

The Dancing Family.

Did my own makeup, hair done at a saloon.

I'm already looking forward to next year anniversary performance.
The video is on my Facebook.
By the way, we seriously need more male dancers. 
Any guys interested? =)