Category Archives: Sabah

Miss Scuba International 2014 Pageant

Miss Scuba International

Seafood has been an important source of protein for human. The ocean is so vast that people think it can take anything. When pollution and overfishing become a global problem now, we know we were wrong. Not only we are exhausting the limited fish stock, we are also contaminating and destroying the habitat of marine lives.

rubbish on the beach
Nowadays you can find trash even in the most remote beach in the world. Pollution is no longer a local issue only. Garbage in the sea is many times harder and costlier to remove. It is estimated that over 100 million marine animals are killed every year due to plastic debris in the sea. Thousands of turtles die each year because they swallow plastic bag that looks like their food – jellyfish. The plastic particles also enter our food chain, causing various illness such as cancer.

clownfish / anemone fish
We all laugh at the greedy man who slaughters his goose that lays golden eggs in a fable. Such foolish things happen daily in fishery. For example, blast fishing (fish bombing), cyanide poisoning and trawling are common fishing methods in our waters and these unsustainable fishing practices damage corals, the home of seafood. One day seafood will be so scarce that we need to buy sashimi and Tuna sandwich with gold bars.

past winners of Miss Scuba International 2014
Therefore, Miss Scuba International was started in 2011 to select the “Superhero” to fight for the rights of our marine animals, as other Superheroes are too busy with villains in cities and alien invasion from outer space. Miss Scuba will take care of the ocean, which covers 71% of earth’s surface, more powerful huh? Just kidding. She will involve in ocean conservation and educate the public to safeguard our fragile ocean ecology.

winners of Miss Scuba International 2014
Pic: winners of Miss Scuba International 2014

Miss Scuba International 2014 Pageant was held in Magellan Sutera Hotel in Kota Kinabalu city on 28 Nov 2014. Miss Scuba finalists from 14 countries were competing in 3 rounds (National Costumes, Bikini and Evening Gown) then top 5 were selected for final Q&A session.

Below are just my (shallow) comments and random photos on the contest. You may check out my photo album to see 124 photos.

Miss Scuba Indonesia in bikini
Pic: Rima Saradiani Demensah from Indonesia. I call her Miss Smiley because she always smiles. I bet she also smiles even if she is angry.

Best National Costume: Miss Scuba Indonesia
With such a heavy headgear, she still can smile like sunshine, so she deserves the Best National Costume subsidiary title.

Miss Scuba Malaysia in evening gown
Pic: Here is Joanne Kimberley Majalap / Kimmy from Malaysia, our Sabah mermaid, yea~

Miss Scuba Malaysia in National Costume
Her headgear reminds me of Bobohizan (high priest of Kadazan people). She looks like Huminodon (Goddess in Sabah legend) in Sumazau dance pose.

Miss Scuba Malaysia in bikini
I could sense that she was very nervous. She made it to Top 5 nevertheless. Well done Kimmy!

Miss Scuba Philippines
Pic: Amanda Arbitrario / Dada from Philippines in her flamboyant peacock costume.

Miss Scuba Philippines in bikini
Dada performed the best cat walk, making a very good presentation of herself.

talent show by Miss Scuba Philippines
Dada also sang and danced well in her talent show. I’m a bit disappointed that she didn’t enter final round.

Miss Scuba Japan
Oh, here is my favourite, Saori Tahara / Tara from Japan. With long hair, fair skin, pretty face, sweet smile and a vital statistics of 36″ 23″ 35″, she is a killer.

Miss Scuba Japan
To me, she is the sexiest finalist. No offense Tara, it’s not a sin to be beautiful and sexy. Please keep it up and thanks for the nose-bleeding (stimulating) moment..

Miss Scuba Venezuela
Pic: “Hola” to Krystel Bendahan Corrales / Kyky from Venezuela. Venezuela seems to produce a lot of beauty queens and models (and that’s the only thing I know about Venezuela), she is no exception. I think Latin girls are hot because they inherit the nice physical features of westerner and oriental.

Miss Scuba Singapore
Pic: Let’s welcome Jeraldine Phneah Jialin from Singapore. She is small but she has the biggest brain. She won the Miss Marine Conservation subsidiary title because of her good knowledge in marine.

Miss Scuba Canada
Pic: Winner of Miss Scuba Tourism, Allison Nicole Pelletier from Canada. Another goal of this pageant is to promote scuba diving in tourism. People will protect the sea after they learn to appreciate the beauty of ocean through diving.

Miss Scuba United Kingdom
Pic: Michelle Katie Paraskeva / Chelle looks like a superstar from United Kingdom (may be a Bond girl), she radiated self-confidence and everyone could feel her energy. She sang the song “Mercy” in talent show, and all judges and audiences were so impressed when they saw a contestant turned into a professional singer. Of course, she won the Best Talent award.

Miss Scuba Ireland
Pic: Amber Ryan Marie Gamble from Ireland. Does she look like Elsa in the movie Frozen?

Miss Scuba Ireland in bikini
Amber won 2nd Runner-Up and Miss Photogenic in Miss Scuba International 2014.

talent show by Miss Scuba Thailand
Pic: Next is Cattaleya Schulze / Catt from Thailand, the Land of Smiles and she did make everyone smiled. In her talent show, first she acted with many funny expression, then music changed and followed by a crazy dance (I Will Survive) of her.

Miss Scuba Thailand
She seemed to enjoy the pageant and able to show her outgoing and playful personality. In fact, she is the most popular candidate since the beginning.

Miss Scuba Thailand
She is really gorgeous (when she doesn’t try to act funny). Look at her perfect teeth. No surprise that she won First Runner-Up in this pageant.

Miss Scuba United States
Congratulations to Tabitha Eleanor Lipkin from USA for winning the titles of Miss Scuba International 2014 and Miss Congeniality. Though she is no.13 and the contest was held on Black Friday, it’s her lucky day. I like her costume with ice-cream.

Miss Scuba USA
USA is really a birthplace of Superheroes, probably she will join Avengers team to save the earth lol. Tabitha is a journalist and her speech won the heart of judges in Q&A round.

cup song by Miss Scuba USA
Pic: cup song by Miss Scuba USA

Ok, that’s all. Let me ends this article with a few more photos.

Miss Scuba Thailand and UK in bikini
Pic: Miss Scuba Thailand and UK

Miss Scuba USA and Venezuela in bikini
Pic: Miss Scuba USA and Venezuela

Miss Scuba China
Pic: Miss Scuba China, Qian Ya / Quennie

Miss Scuba France
Pic: Miss Scuba France, Melanie Marie Louise

Miss Scuba Latvia
Pic: Miss Scuba Latvia, Liene Larko

Top 5 of Miss Scuba International 2014
Pic: Top 5 of Miss Scuba International 2014. From Left: Thailand, Malaysia, USA, Ireland, UK.

winners of Miss Scuba International 2014
Pic: Winners of Miss Scuba International 2014
From Left:
2nd Runner-Up: Amber Ryan Marie Gamble, Ireland
Miss Scuba International 2014: Tabitha Eleanor Lipkin, USA
1st Runner-Up: Cattaleya Schulze / Catt, Thailand

Miss Scuba International 2014
Pic: Miss Scuba International 2014

More Photos

There are 124 more photos in my Flickr album:
photo album of Miss Scuba International 2014

More Information

Below are the official websites of Miss Scuba International if you want to find out more about this pageant.

Facebook: Miss Scuba International, Miss Scuba Malaysia

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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Street Art Graffiti Building in Kota Kinabalu City

street art

You know this graffiti corner if you live in Kota Kinabalu city (KK). It’s the ruin of a nearly 100 years old British Colonial building (a.k.a. Old Welfare Building or Old Land & Survey Building) constructed between 1918 and late 1920. Unfortunately, though it survived the bombing during WWII, it was blazed by fire in 1992, otherwise it would be another great heritage building in KK. You may read the article of Richard Nelson Sokial about its history.

relic of old Land and Survey building
Pic: the remnant of abandoned former Welfare Building behind HSBC Bank

old address of Department of Social Welfare
Pic: It’s next to a busy road where thousands of cars pass by every day.

Now what’s left now is a concrete step platform with many pillars on it. This site is located between HSBC Bank and Suria Sabah Shopping Mall (see Location Map), next to a busy road in KK city centre.

Graffiti area facing Suria Sabah Shopping Mall
However, for over 20 years, no development is carried out on this golden real estate, so KK people was wondering. Then graffiti appeared and that area also became a hideout for drug addicts.

street art

street art and graffiti
To most, this is an eyesore, because such graffiti looks like a mark of slums or high-crime area, which is nothing better than the scribble in toilet. I shared the same feeling too.

street art on old welfare building

ruin of old welfare building
Later I noticed more decent drawing showed up shouting for attention since 2010. Even though many still have mixed feeling about it, we start to appreciate it and call it street art.

window of old welfare building

portrait street aty
Though these street art is not something of mainstream art, its colourful and free form of expression has attracted many tourists come for a closer look or a few snapshots.

local street art of Sabah

graffiti on columns
Occasionally you would see model shooting there, because the vibrant graffiti makes a great backdrop. And it’s free. No artists would sue you for copyright infringement because you use their artwork in photograph. Many of them didn’t even sign their works.

street art on the wall

graffiti and the old building
In fact, some local and foreign talents have used the walls and columns as their canvas here in different time. Based on the info from the Internet, among them are Cracko Art Group, Lidia Iliyas @ Lybby, Harold EGN, Lybby and more.

graffiti on old building

keyboard graffiti

colourful graffiti
It’s interesting to see the painting in different styles and subjects. Most of them are cartoony and cute stuffs in bright, cheerful and bold colours. I came across some excellent pieces that are so professionally done that I’ll be happy to hang them on wall or paying their artists to paint my house.

cartoon street art
graffiti on street art
Pic: losers who have no talent destroy the works of others.

However, none of these graffiti will stay long, as they would be vandalised or overlaid by another new one in days or weeks. Anyway, that’s the life cycle of street art, another fascinating aspect of this culture.

skull street art

painting on column

graffiti zone of Kota Kinabalu city
Now I think this site is adding some local flavors to KK, consider most building in KK is lack of creative and cultural element (you would agree with me if you have visited Thailand or Bali). There is not many places in KK where you can get a glimpse of Sabah folk art that represents the voice of our community.

graffiti (rabbit hide out)

interior of graffiti area
Pic: The area behind is where drug addicts party. I can smell urine and shit here. It’s perfectly safe to visit in daytime because there are many cars and pedestrians passing by, but don’t go there at night.

drawing and message
I don’t know how long this graffiti building will stay. I doubt it would go next level like the popular street art in Penang. Whatever its fate, I’m sure I’ll miss this spot a lot when it’s gone.

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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