Saturday, December 29, 2007


I was born in the year 2523. I'm not kidding, goddammit! What do you want from me?!

But it’s not BC and it’s not in the future either. Did you know that it’s the year 2550 in Thailand right now? This also goes with Laos, Cambodia and Burma. Cool, isn’t it?

In Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei; I was born in the year 1401. *Whoa!* But it doesn’t make me 607 years old. Ha! It’s the year 1428 right now in the Islamic calendar.

With all of these interesting but confusing dates and years…we have all adapted the international standard of using the Gregorian calendar of 2007 which by the way, as we all know, follow the Christian Era. Mainly done for economic reasons. By the way, Bhuddist New Year changes in April until 1939. But now, we kinda adapted 1 January altogether.

So, ladies and germs…a few days from now (1 January), it’s going to be the year 2551 in some parts of our region. But we have to wait till 10 January to be 1429 in other parts.

สวัสดีปีใหม่ 2551

Happy New Year 2008

1429 ترجمة الى العربية


Friday, December 28, 2007


One of the biggest problems in our region is unemployment. Southeast Asia is a dynamic economic bloc with high hopes of advancing at least next to China. We even compromise our environment to give way to production lines, factories, power plants just to create more jobs for the majority.

We are 10% of the world population – more than 568 million strong! But how many of us are unemployed? Here are the figures of the 11 Southeast Asian countries with percentage of the population without jobs.


Vietnam 2%

Thailand 2.1%

Laos 2.4%

Cambodia 2.5%

Singapore 2.7%

Malaysia 3.5%

Brunei 4%

Philippines 7.9%

Burma 10.2%

Indonesia 12.5%

Three (3) of our neighboring countries belong to the Top 20 Most Populous Countries in the world – Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. But what is Vietnam (with only 2% unemployment rate) doing that Indonesia and the Philippines can’t?

Wait a sec...don't feel bad. Let's continue the list and have a little fun...

United States 4.8%
European Union 8.5% *OMG!*
United Kingdom 5.4%

France 8.7%
Belgium 8.10%
Germany 7.1%

Hilarious? You bet it is!
These are the countries that police the world.


***All of the figures are 2006 estimates except Laos (2005), Brunei (2004) and Cambodia (2000).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


It has been 3 years since the tsunami...

To all our loved ones -- mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and friends we lost on that tragic day... this post is for all of you.

Rest in peace. We miss you.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

EAT YOUR HEART OUT...Snow in Thailand?

Merry Christmas!



Monday, December 24, 2007


Well, we all know that Christmas time has evolved into something like not really exclusive to a Christian holiday any longer. I think we already know that.

From Yangon to Jakarta. From Manila to Bangkok and even Kuala Lumpur to Hanoi…Christmas trees are everywhere!

If not because of the “disguised” trees… I say "disguised" because you can’t tell if it’s a tree if not because of its shape -- I can easily say we are celebrating the Raya or Deepavali or even Chinese New Year. Argh! What’s with us and trees and twinkling lights? Fetish? Ha!

Here are some Christmas Trees in our region…

It is also interesting to note that these last photos are taken in a market in Yangon and a sidewalk in Phnom Penh. Their simplicity balances the overly-ostentatious ones from other cities. But all of them are, of course, lovely.




Saturday, December 22, 2007


After days of silence without posting anything, well...we're back!

All of the BISEANers are back to Europe for the year-end-family-gathering holiday. Sofia is in Copenhagen, Morgan in Paris, Tommy in Stockholm and I'm saying HELLO to all of you from THE HEART OF EUROPE -- Brussels.

Anything in particular you would like us to feature? Perhaps SE Asian stuffs here in Brussels? Let me know. Give me a mission.

Regular posting would start tomorrow but we WON'T be blogging about Europe, ok? Let's be clear on that. Thank you all and we are happy to see you again here.



Tuesday, December 18, 2007

PERFECT SPECIMEN: Alec van Dierendonck

The man with a purpose.

Watch the montage for more of Alec.

Alec’s Official Website


Monday, December 17, 2007

MISTAKEN: Disadvantages of Being a Eurasian Kid

Here in Thailand, a lot of people always ask where I come from. But some, especially the traditionalists, would know I am Thai one way or another. I guess it’s in my body language or demeanor.

As I get a lot of the dreaded question and mistaken identity, it’s not exclusively in Thailand…

I was calledel chiquito griegoin Spain when I was a kid. It means the little Greek boy next door. They call me “l’enfant japonais terrible” in France which means the rowdy little Japanese boy. And in Kuwait, I am the “horrible Indian kid” because most of my friends are Indian and everybody just assumed I’m the leader of the pack.

What strikes me most is; while most people are mistaken by region or continent – like Asian, European, etc. — people mistook me by nationality!

This goes with my name as well Pisanu. As it turned out, it is a famous Italian name. I don’t have an ounce of Italian blood and my name isn’t pronounced as how you read it. Although “Pisanu” is the romantization of my name in Thai; it is actually pronounced as [‘bpis-‘nook].

Being half- Asian, I am almost always stereotyped as Oriental, South American or some Mediterranean kid in Europe. But when I’m in Asia, it’s the other way around! Ha!

Once when I was around 5 or 6…my father had to fetch me from the Mexican Embassy in Brussels. A nice old lady picked me up from a kiddy park (thinking that I was lost) and dropped me by the gates of the Mexican Embassy. Weird, isn’t it?

My mother and I got the encounter of our lives when I was 13 on a trip to Katmandu. There were a lot of people at the airport when we arrived and they were probably waiting for a politician or a celebrity.

On our way out, I had the shock of my life when a hundred people came to me and put leis and flowers around my neck! Gifts and all! Mother was lost in the crowd as I was being shoved farther to the sea of people. If not because mother turned hysterical that people realized that they got the wrong “celebrity”. I was immediately released to my mother’s arms – leis, flowers and gifts taken back. Do I really look Nepalese to them? *giggles*

What makes me wonder is; how do we decide who is which and which is who?
In an era of global village, multi-ethnicity is among us like never before.

How can the way we look surpass our racial identity?
Are we really this backward to stereotype and assume nationality based on looks?


Sunday, December 16, 2007


Due to bombardment of emails demanding BISEAN to feature (or at least watch) the finals night of the very first Asian Idol contest, we finally gave in...

As usual, we gathered like it is the World Cup or something and after checking out each and every contestant from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and India... we came up with our own bets.

I fearlessly predicted Jacklyn Victor of Malaysia because she is the only one who is familiar to me. Morgan predicted it's going to be Phuong Vy of Vietnam because she is cute *wow! very profound* and Sofia predicted Singapore's Hady Mirza would win the title in Jakarta.

Well, it turned out that Sofia was right! SINGAPORE WON! But she was not as ecstatic as the rest of us. As it also turned out...she was following the contest from other blogs and came up with a correct prediction!

Congratulations to Hady! YOU DESERVE IT!
We like your style and you sing beautifully!



We were taken by surprise when we landed here a few days ago. The island is so splendid we wanted to enjoy it to ourselves and also take the chance to have a little break from blogging.

El Nido is absoloutely the Philippines’ answer to the best islands in our region. THIS IS IT! – We found another paradise and no other island in this country (highly hoolaballooed or over-hyped) cannot compared to El Nido. *But I’m reserving a slot for Siargao, of course*

Think Phuket without the speedo-clad tourists walkin’ about. Think Halong Bay with white sand beaches, warm weather and crystal clear waters. Think Langkawi without the sterilized resorts – That’s El Nido. It is the one place in the Philippines that could ever come close to Bali. *violent appeals would be swiftly retaliated*

“I am so happy you chose to visit my hometown.” These are the first words of a total stranger. And these words, which we seldom hear from Southeast Asia’s prime island destinations, hit the nail. We knew instantly we found another paradise.

El Nido is an island in the Palawan group. The showcase of what the Philippines has to offer. Scuba diving, snorkeling, lots of water sports, hopping on its 45 islands and islets, meeting the locals are just the tip of the ice berg. If you’re into quiet and secluded existence, this is the place for you. Hiring a kayak to find hidden lagoons is the best thing we ever did.

We came in a cool month. Hot temperatures are in May and April but still, December is warm and sunny. No rains to spoil the day. Electricity goes off at 1am and won’t be back after 12 hours. Bring your plastic cards and traveler’s cheques, no ATMs here. Internet connections? Dream on! El Nido is so breath taking; you won’t have time for net surfing.

El Nido is 1hr10mins flight from Manila. The only direct flight from Manila to the island is served by only 2 local airlines – ITI (+632.8515674) and Southeast Asian Airlines (, both have daily flights. If you want a hassle-free transfer, then book through resorts here (high end) and here (budget).

We'll limit our description of El Nido here -- because we all want you to find time to visit this paradise. This island is about discovery. It's about detaching yourself from the rest of the world enjoying at your own pace, in your own sweet time. Everything here is waiting to be discovered.


Saturday, December 15, 2007


We have just completed the hard task of choosing the outstanding photographers and hot models for the 2008 ExpressMen of the Year. That’s sorting 59 of ‘em and it wasn’t a joke! Our scores will be consolidated with other judges. Cheers to Patric for a great run! Very well done.

I’m not sure if we are allowed to post our choices here. But to make it more exciting -- we won’t. Just wait for the results to be announced on the 1st of January. The winners are going on a trip to sunny Spain and beautiful Boriqualand! *Woohoo!*

You wanna win prizes too? Well, if you followed our advice to visit and leave comments on Expressmen site, then you’ll have a chance to win fantabulous take-homes. The comment contest is closed already and I pity Patric for sorting out more than 3,500 comments to find the best one. *I wish I can help him. =)*

Ok anyways, the announcement of the winners is on 01 January and see somebody catch his dreams. In the meantime, visit Expressmen regularly and for some hot models and photographers featured there. Tell them I sent you. =)

Presented by:

Horizon BarcelonaDylan RosserOn Display Men

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Hot and classy.

Kristin Kreuk is an actress and a spokesmodel in Canada. She was born on 30 December 1982 in Vancouver to a Dutch father and a Chinese-Indonesian mother, who is also part-Jamaican.

Kristin Laura Kreuk (her full name) rose to worldwide fame with her role as “Lana Lang” in the hit TV series Smallville. She is currently the face of Neutrogena.

More photos of Kristin here...

Eurasians are the perfect specimen of the human race.

Websites devoted to Kristin here, here and here. *[Photo credits]

*Thanks to Ken Ilio =)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The oldest national anthem in our region is “Lupang Hinirang” of the Philippines composed in 1898. The newest is “Patria” of Timor Leste composed in 1975.

The longest anthem is “Indonesia Raya” of Indonesia with 32 lines from 3 verses and 2 choruses. And the shortest, on the other hand, are “Allah Peliharakan Sultan” of Brunei and “Negaraku” of Malaysia, both with only 6 lines.

The only anthem sung in a non-Southeast Asian language is “Patria” of Timor Leste which is in Portuguese. There are no Tetum version (the national language) written up to this day. The Philippine anthem is the only one written in 3 official versions – Spanish, English and Filipino.

A survey of 500 people reveals that 89% of them thought that the National Anthem of Singapore is sung in Chinese – it is in fact, sung in Malay.

The only Southeast Asian anthem written by a foreigner (a European) is -- with much irony -- "Phleng Chat" of Thailand. The only country in the region that didn’t fall to colonizers has a foreigner to compose its national anthem.

More info by country here...

Anthem Title: الله فليهاراكن سلطن (Allah Peliharakan Sultan)
English Translation: "God Bless the Sultan"
Composer: Awang Haji Besar bin Sagap
Lyricist: Pengiran Haji Mohamed Yusuf bin Abdul Rahim
Date of Composition: 1947
Date of Adaptation: 1951 & 1984

Anthem Title: " Kaba Ma Kyei "
English Translation: "Till the End of the World, Burma"
Composer & Lyricist: Saya Tin
Date of Composition: n/a
Date of Adaptation: 1947

Anthem Title: "Nokoreach"
English Translation: “Royal Kingdom”
Composer: Cambodian folk tune
Lyricist: Chuon Nath
Date of Composition: n/a
Date of Adaptation: 1941 & 1947

Anthem Title: "Pátria"
English Translation: "Fatherland"
Composer: Afonso de Araujo
Lyricist: Francisco Borja da Costa
Date of Composition: 28 November 1975
Date of Adaptation: 20 May 2002

Anthem Title: “Indonesia Raya”
English Translation: “Great Indonesia”
Composer & Lyricist: Wage Rudolf Supratman
Date of Composition: 1928
Date of Adaptation: 1949

Anthem Title: "Pheng Xat Lao"
English Translation: “National Hymn of Lao”
Composer: Dr. Thongdy Sounthonevichit
Lyricist: Dr. Thongdy Sounthonevichit (original), Sisana Sisane (new)*
Date of Composition: 1941, *1975
Date of Adaptation: 1947

Anthem Title: "Negaraku"
English Translation: "My Country"
Composer: *The tune was originally used as the state anthem of Perak
Lyricist: n/a
Date of Composition: 1957
Date of Adaptation: 1957

Anthem Title: “Lupang Hinirang”
English Translation: “Chosen Land”
Composer: Julian Felipe
Lyricist: Jose Palma
Date of Composition: 1898 (tune), 1899 (lyrics)
Date of Adaptation: 12 June 1898
*Sung in Spanish from 1899-1918, sung in English from 1919-1940s, sung in Filipino from 1966 to present.

Anthem Title: “Majulah Singapura”
English Translation: “Onward Singapore”
Composer & Lyricist: Zubir Said
Date of Composition: 1959
Date of Adaptation: 1959

Anthem Title: "เพลงชาติ" ("Phleng Chat")
English Translation: “National Song”
Composer: Peter Feit (Phra Jenduriyang)
Lyricist: Luang Saranupraphan
Date of Composition: 1932
Date of Adaptation: 10 December 1939
*The only anthem played at 8.00 and 18.00 by law.

Anthem Title: “Tiến Quân Ca”
English Translation: "Army March"
Composer & Lyricist: Văn Cao
Date of Composition: 1944
Date of Adaptation: 1945


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