Pinoyspotting: Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam

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 I posed with dancers at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

I posed with dancers at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

In my third trip to Southeast Asia, I was able to finally step foot on the island of Borneo. I visited two Borneo places: Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, and the Sultanate of Brunei. I also visited two other Southeast Asian countries in the same trip: Vietnam and Indonesia. I covered Indonesia in a previous “Pinoyspotting.”
 Standing: Tiffany Chua, and Candy Wong. Seated: Maria Theresa Sadio Basilisco, Rey E. de la Cruz, and Jojo Basilisco. (Photo by David Chua. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Standing: Tiffany Chua, and Candy Wong. Seated: Maria Theresa Sadio Basilisco, Rey E. de la Cruz, and Jojo Basilisco. (Photo by David Chua. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

My hosts in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, were Candy Wong and her daughter Tiffany Chua. They are members of Phoenix Gym, where a husband-and-wife team is working: Jojo Basilisco (Marikina City, Rizal), self-defense instructor, and Maria Theresa Sadio Basilisco (Bacoor, Cavite), finance manager.

 I posed with a father and his son at Kampong Ayer (Water Village) in Bandar Seri Bagawan, Brunei. They were working on their floor. (Photo by Mohamad Usop. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

I posed with a father and his son at Kampong Ayer (Water Village) in Bandar Seri Bagawan, Brunei. They were working on their floor. (Photo by Mohamad Usop. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

 Standing: Rachel Manoriña and Rey E. de la Cruz. Seated: Nisa Ramos Usop. (Photo by Mohamad Usop. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Standing: Rachel Manoriña and Rey E. de la Cruz. Seated: Nisa Ramos Usop. (Photo by Mohamad Usop. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

My hosts, Mohamad Usop and his wife, Nisa Ramos Usop (Santa Barbara, Pangasinan), brought me to Aminah Arif Restaurant in Bandar Seri Bagawan Brunei to have ambuyat, a starchy dish from the interior trunk of the sago palm. Our waiter was Rachel Manoriña (Taguig, Rizal).

 Syazwani Usop, Sonny Ramos, and Rey E. de la Cruz. (Photo by Mohamad Usop. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Syazwani Usop, Sonny Ramos, and Rey E. de la Cruz. (Photo by Mohamad Usop. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Sonny Ramos (Santa Barbara, Pangasinan is a supervisor at Hua Ho Tutong Supermarket in Tutong, Brunei. His niece Syazwani Usop is a creative-art-technology student at Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

 Rey E. de la Cruz, Mohama Usop, Mahmud Saedon Razali, Hafeezha Binti Puasa, and Nisa Ramos Usop. (Photo by Khairul Usop. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Rey E. de la Cruz, Mohama Usop, Mahmud Saedon Razali, Hafeezha Binti Puasa, and Nisa Ramos Usop. (Photo by Khairul Usop. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

I was honored to attend two prenuptial ceremonies of Mahmud Saedon Razali and Hafeezha Binti Puasa: presentation of dowries and signing of the marriage contract. Mahmud is the nephew of my hosts in Brunei, Mohamad Usop and Nisa Ramos Usop (Santa Barbara, Pangasinan.)

 Leo Jamorol, Rey E. de la Cruz, and Jocelyn Avila. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Leo Jamorol, Rey E. de la Cruz, and Jocelyn Avila. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

I needed a new camera in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, and I bought it at Superb Photographic Studio. Jocelyn Avila (Parang, Maguindanao) is the supervisor, whereas Leo Jamorol (Dimiao, Bohol) is the photographer.

 Victor Dagawin, Rey E. de la Cruz, and Rocky Guiba. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Victor Dagawin, Rey E. de la Cruz, and Rocky Guiba. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Victor Dagawin (Paete, Laguna) and Rocky Guiba (Quezon City) work in the restaurant of Badi’ah Hotel (Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei), where I stayed.

 Francis Magpayo, Samuel Paloganas, Harold Sobremonte, and Rey E. de la Cruz. (Photo courtesy Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Francis Magpayo, Samuel Paloganas, Harold Sobremonte, and Rey E. de la Cruz. (Photo courtesy Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Francis Magpayo (San Rafael, Bulacan), Samuel Paloganas (Malasiqui, Pangasinan), and Harold Sobremonte (Baguio City) work at the facilities department of Brunei International Airport in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

 Rey E. de la Cruz, Marnie Montinola, and Rhia May Tubilla. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Rey E. de la Cruz, Marnie Montinola, and Rhia May Tubilla. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Rhia May Tubilla (Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur), and Marnie Montinola (Silay City, Bacolod), work at stores in Brunei International Airport in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

 Arnel Solomon, Rey E. de la Cruz, and Celso Oraiz. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Arnel Solomon, Rey E. de la Cruz, and Celso Oraiz. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Arnel Solomon (Quezon City) is a site engineer at Brunei International Airport in Bendar Seri Begawan, Brunei. Celso Oraiz (Macrohon, Leyte) was waiting for his flight to Melbourne. He is a sheet-metal fabricator in Mellura Victoria, Australia.

 I posed with bridesmaids after a wedding party at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

I posed with bridesmaids after a wedding party at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

 Jemnah Daligdigan, Rey E. de la Cruz, and David Lawson. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Jemnah Daligdigan, Rey E. de la Cruz, and David Lawson. (Photo courtesy of Rey E. de la Cruz. Photo editing by Ivan Kevin Castro)

I stayed at the Crowned Plaza Hotel in Hanoi. I met Jemnah Daligdigan (Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur) and her boyfriend, David Lawson (South Shields, England). Both are based in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Jemnah works in the food-and-beverage department of Hotel Intercontinental (Muscat), whereas David is the senior stage technician at the Royal Opera House (Muscat).


 Rey E. de la Cruz

Rey E. de la Cruz

Rey E. de la Cruz, Ed.D., Positively Filipino Correspondent, writes from Chicagoland when he is not loving the arts and traveling. He is the author of the children’s book, Ballesteros on My Mind: My Hometown in the Philippines, which also has Ilocano, Spanish, and Tagalog versions.


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