Thursday, December 25, 2008


Asia's 2 Christian-dominated nations is in our region (the Philippines and Timor Leste) are celebrating the Christmas today! Whether we admit it or not, the Christian holiday that falls on the 25th of December has evolved into something more "universal".

Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei cites it. We in Thailand never fails to surprise visitors that we, indeed, celebrate Christmas in our own way. So as the largely Buddhist Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

So, here it is Christmas. The holiday that shed its 'religious' tone and considered as a day of peace and gift-giving around the world.

We say สุขสันต์วันคริสตร์มาส in Thailand. It's "Souksarn wan Christmas". It's "Krit-sa-mat" or loosely pronounced like that, ok? This is the most awaited event of the kids in International schools around the country! They also say "Souksan wan Christmas" in Laos.

The Filipinos say "Maligayang Pasko" for the Tagalogs. "Naragsak a Pascua" for the Ilocanos in the north. "Masayang Pasku keko ngan" in my second home Pampanga. "Masinadyahon nga Paskua" in Central Philippines. "Maugmang Capascuhan" in Bicol and many many other languages in this country.

The Timorese would say "Feliz natal" in Portuguese. How do you say it in Tetun?

And for our Chinese bros in Singapore and across the region: 圣诞快乐 "Sheng Dankuai Le" in Mandarin and "Sing Daan Faai Lok" in Cantonese.

It's "Christmas nay hma mue pyaw pa" in Burma. "Mừng Chúa Giáng Sinh" in Vietnam and "Soursdey Noel" in Cambodia.

"Selamat Hari Natal" is how they say it in Malaysia (Malay) and Brunei, and also acceptable in Indonesia but better "Selamat Natal" to be more accurate. "Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal" from our Tamil brothers.

สุขสันต์วันคริสตร์มาส et Joyeux Noel everybody!


Sunday, December 21, 2008


His name is BOLO.

I first heard of him sorting through CDs at FNAC Madrid while waiting for mom to emerge from a day spa. He's really, really good! I am sincerely proud of this talented Laotian bro. Listen to his music here...*quite an old video though, but hey!*

Hoo-Ha! Coooool!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

CHINLONE: Burma's National Sport

BISEAN previously featured our region's National Sports. It was a round up of our neighboring village's cool games.

We mentioned that Chinlone was the most beautiful game -- non-competitive, graceful and everything nice. See for yourselves...

Cool! See what we mean? =)


Friday, December 19, 2008


I don't know about you but this has got to be the most beautiful snake in the world! *appeals won't be entertained, thank you*

This beauty is one of the 1,068 NEW species discovered in the Greater Mekong River region (Laos, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia & Vietnam) in the past 10 years!

National Geographic has a featured article here -- read all about it. Quite interesting, really. We'll feature some of 'em on our "Our Flora & Fauna" Series.


*Photo by the Greater Mekong Programme/WWF International

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Pretty boy.

Ashraf is a well-known telly personality in Malaysia. He is more famous for his role in a hit series Gol & Gincu. Ashraf was born in 1979 to a British father and a Malay mother.

Eurasians are the hottest people on Earth.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

PERFECT SPECIMEN: Nat Myria Benedetti

Certified Dance Diva.

Myria Benedetti is a Thai-Swiss-Italian model/actor/pop star in Thailand. She is more famously known by her nickname "Nat". Nat was born on 6 Feb 1975 in Switzerland to a Thai mother (Jinda Tengmeesri) and a Swiss-Italian father.

Nat is one of the few Leuk Kreung superstars who has maintained popular status since the 90s.

More photos of Nat here...

Eurasians are the hottest people on Earth.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


This is a public announcement.

To the dude who owns this red scooter (on photo) and keeps parking next to my slot -- please park somewhere else.

I suggest you do your parking next to a Toyota or a Subaru or something. You are blocking my view, dude. Thank you.

This announcement is posted here because I know the whole building, especially the occupants at 15-34th floors, are reading my blog for some time now (I was told).

If any of you knows who own that dang red scooter, please tell him to MOOOOOVE it!

Thank you.

Your loving neighbor up the penthouse,

Pisanu =)

Saturday, November 15, 2008


*2nd of the series of the Top 10 Surf Sites in Southeast Asia.

There are 27 surf sites in the Philippines known to the surfing circuit – 18 in the North & Southeast (of Luzon Island) and 9 in the Southeast (off Mindanao coast). The best and the most famous of which are in the latter.

As the Philippines is a relatively new surfing destination, surf shops are quite rare. It is imperative that you bring your own provisions. One thing you have to know, waves in the Philippines are fickle and almost absolutely dependent on typhoons.

This list is subject to 25 seasoned surfers surveyed exclusively for BISEAN. Actual visits from 02 May to 25 July 2008. Total surf sites visited: 27. Here are the Best 10 Surf Sites the Philippines has to offer:

1. Rock Island (off Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte) Right reef-rocky. Come August to November and you'll know why this is the Philippine's No.1. For Kamikaze surfers only; meaning surfers looking for "scenic backdrops" should go somewhere else. This list is about surfing.

2. Cloud 9 (Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte) This site is mostly on top of everyone else's list especially the capitalists of the island. The "too-much-trying" crowd pulls it down a notch for the BISEANers.

3. The Majestics @ Puraran Bay (Baras, Catanduanes) Awesome long-barrel waves. September is the prime month. Crystal clear waters. If the Puraranese would hire PR people, they can easily be on the Top 1.

4. D-Land (Labo, Ilocos Norte) Also known as the Labo Surf Spot. Right reef-coral. 150-300m waves on a good day. Experienced surfers only. 6 hours bus ride from Manila.

5. The Boneyards (Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte) Beach-break, left & right. You have to find the surf sites your self. No local tourist assistance. Find Blue Lagoon. Ask other surfing dudes at the bus terminal. It's quite hard to make directions on this blog. Smile and ask. Period.

6. Crystal Beach Break (Zambales) Standard waves left & right, beach-break. 300-500m long with 5m swells on a good day. Crystal Beach Resort +63.47.913.4309 Cool and friendly people! 3 hours drive from Manila.

7. Twin Rocks (Catanduanes Island, Luzon) Reef-coral, left & right, 50-150m waves with 3-4m swells. What makes this on the list is the frequency of waves.

8. Sabang (Cabugao, Ilocos Sur) Reef-Rocky, right. 100-150m waves with 5m swells. Experienced surfers only.

9. Paradise (Siargao Island) Reef-coral, left & right. Power, power, power! This site can be all to yourself on certain days meaning; No hyenas chuckling when you fall off.

10. Daku Island (Siargao Island) Right & Left, reef-rocky. Very long waves! For experienced surfers only. Siargao Island is your best bet. 9 surf sites of the Philippine's 27 are located here.

Beginners should try San Juan (La Union), Urbiztondo Beach or Llorente. All in the North.

Happy Surfing and Mabuhay!


Related Post: Top 10 Surf Sites in Indonesia

Friday, November 07, 2008


Road Tunnels are engineering marvels that never fails to amaze (and amuse!) me. I always make sure I am wide awake entering it, holding my breath while passing it and let a sigh of relief as soon as I get out of it. I’m sure you do too. The ultimate claustrobhobia-inducing nightmare for some =)

These are the 10 Longest (Navigable) Tunnels in Southeast Asia. The list includes all type of tunnels -- Sub-aqueous road tunnels, rock, shield and immersed tubes but excludes the subway systems of Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

1. Hai Van Pass Tunnel, Vietnam. At 6280 m (6.28 km) long it is the longest navigable tunnel in the whole of Southeast Asia. It was opened on 05 June 2005. The tunnel has a cross sectional area of 73 sq.m. and carries daily traffic from the Port City of Danang to Hue.

2. CTE II, 3.7 km (highway), Singapore

3. SMART Tunnel, 3.3 km (highway); 9.7km (floodway), Malaysia

4. CTE, 2.4 km (highway), Singapore

5. CTE I, 1.7 km (highway) , Singapore

6. Khun Tan Tunnel, 1.4 km, Thailand (rail tunnel in Lampang and Lamphun provinces)

7. Phra Phutthachai Tunnel, 1.2 km, Thailand (rail tunnel in Saraburi province)

8. Genting Sempah Tunnel, 900 m (highway), Malaysia

9. Menora Tunnel, 800 m (highway), Malaysia

10. Penchala Tunnel, 700 m (highway), Malaysia

If bridges are out of the question, dig tunnels.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008


My father and I had a little discussion earlier on the phone about the future of our region's economy.

I was soooo grown up talking about world economics, Southeast Asian investment forecasts, which stocks to buy before 2009 and which ones to dispose before the end of this month. Our relationship pretty much revolve around these subjects before we meet in December (annually) and hand him his share of the loot, I mean...profits.

Our conversation ended abruptly while in the middle of brainstorming the possibility of pegging Southeast Asian currencies to the Singapore dollar.

Yeah, that's a good idea.

C'mon! Aren't we all so sick and tired of all the dramas in America?

Every time they got some sort of an economic dilemma [which NOBODY really know if it's true or not] and considering their major bloopers and blunders in the past we really have to shake, rattle and roll over helplessly?

Let's peg our currencies to the strongest moolah in the region.

It is NOT impossible. I'll back this up with hard stats on our coming posts.

What do you think, young citizens of AEC?


Saturday, November 01, 2008


Here's something for global investors and Real Estate moonies like me...

Forbes Magazine compiled a list of the World's 10 Next Great Cities a few days ago. And guess who made it?

Pffft! Not a clue? --

This list won't make it to BISEAN if at least one of our SEA Cities aren't mentioned!

Ok, ok, let's spill it...

Kuala Lumpur is at No.4 and Bangkok is at No. 9.

There. Take that!

While traditional World cities are suffering from economic slowdown, these 10 cities are blossoming and fast becoming to be the World's most important cities.

Read the full story here or view Forbes' slideshow here.


***Thanks to TAO for pointing this out =)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Hot. Hot. Hot.

Cassie is a famous model, R&B pop singer and rose to fame with her hit single “Me & U” which was one of the most famous single of 2006.

She was born Casandra Ventura on 26 August 1986 in New London, Connecticut. Cassie was born to a Filipino father and an African-American mother.

Here’s Cassie’s official website and official MySpace profile.

BiRacials are the hottest people on Earth.


Monday, October 27, 2008

A VIETNAMESE GUY: With the World's Longest Hair?

Could it be? Check this out!

What do you think?


Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The 11 villages in Southeast Asia have their own national sports. Some are official as recognized by the government and some are not. Other villages pick their national sport by cultural tradition and others opt with popularity.

Silat is the official national sport of Brunei. It is traditional martial arts form that uses blades and stuff but mainly bare hand. This sport spans the whole Malay Archipelago.

The official national sport of Burma is Chinlone. It requires a ball that’s kicked around with your team mates. There is no opposing team meaning, this is a non-competitive game. The object of the game is how beautiful and skillfully pass the ball to your team mate. I have seen this once and I could strongly say; it is one of the world’s most beautiful games.

Cambodia’s Sey dates back to the 11th century. It is the official national sport of the Khmer Kingdom. It is played with a special kind of ball thingy that’s kicked back and forth like volleyball. Here’s the kicker – historians believe that ancient Sey of Cambodia is where the Sipa (Philippines) and Sepak Takraw (Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei) came from.

Indonesia seems not to have an official national sport although their Cultural Attaché in Bangkok told us that Pencak Silat is considered for cultural and traditional importance. Pencak Silat is the collective term of the countrywide game called Silat. I asked around and all I got is – Badminton and Football. Obviously noted by popularity.

Here’s a surprise: the official national sport of Laos is *drumroll* Rugby. The game was recently recognized by the Lao government as their national sport although Laos is a football playing nation. Go figure.

Sepak Takraw is one of the most popular sports in the whole of Southeast Asia and it is considered as the national sport of Malaysia although it is not official. It is called Kick Volleyball in English and played by opposing teams making sure the ball doesn’t hit the ground on their side.

The Philippines’ official national sport is Sipa which means kick in Filipino. It is played with a special shuttlecock-like ball (street) or rattan ball (court) and played like the Cambodian Sey and the Malaysian Sepak Takraw.

While writing this, I was with a Singaporean friend and asked her the country’s national sport. Guess what I got?Shopping! Then it occurred to me why I asked a lady. I turned to a dude and he said Online Gaming like Killing Orc and others. Whoah! Hi-techie-techie!

Football is the national sport of Timor Leste and Vietnam, although it’s not officially recognized by both countries. The Timorese attaché in Bangkok didn’t have any idea and my Vietnamese friends say it’s football (but I seriously doubt it).

The official national sport of Thailand is Muay Thai. “Muay" means boxing and “Thai” means... isn't it obvious? It is our version of Muay Boran (ancient boxing). It is amorously called “The Art of 8 Limbs” and considered one of the deadliest martial arts in the world.

Our National Sports -- Our icons.


*If this post needs correction, it is always welcome.

Monday, October 20, 2008


First and foremost, I’ll take this chance to apologize to companies and business people who expressed interest in advertising on BISEAN. I know this has been long over due and we just came up with an idea a few hours ago.

BISEAN is accepting advertisers (for the first time ever) for the benefit of 3 charitable institutions in the region;

1. Phaya Thai Babies’ Home in Bangkok, Thailand

2. Holy Child Orphanage in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines

3. Rumah Charis in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

All profits from our blog advertisers (from 20 Oct 2008- 19 Oct 2009) will be equally divided to the 3 orphanages mentioned above. The advertiser may also choose which of the 3 institutions they wish to be the sole beneficiary of their payment. Our group also visit foreign prisoners in Pattaya and Bangkok to give out personal letters and stuffs.

Our statistics. BISEAN gets 6,000-7,000 unique hits a week. That’s 40K+ hits a month. We are also listed in numerous blog listings in Asia, America and Latin America and mainly reach young professionals.

Our principle. To unite the youths and internet savvy bloggers and blog readers in Southeast Asia in collective appreciation of our region. Visit as many towns and cities as possible to better understand our differences and to seek and celebrate our similarities. Promote the region as “paradise of good people”.

What we do. Our group travels 10-15 days a month around the region. We do not work for any company. We promote our blog by personal encounters and planning to promote it in full force in the coming months. We do reviews, rants and commentaries on just about anything interesting around the region.

What we can do for your company if you wish to advertise here. Aside from your own banner (125x125), BISEAN will post at least 1 blog entry per week leading to your website (for 1-2 mos bond). We would also link it up to any blog post that requires your services. BISEAN would refuse other advertisers with similar business as yours.

Our Rates. BISEAN charges;

US$10 / week for 1 month bond
US$8 / week for 2 months bond
US$6 / week for 3 months bond
US$5 / week for 6 months bond

All proceeds will be marked as: “Contribution of BISEAN and [your company name]” upon donating the funds (or stuffs).

Thank you all in advance.

All inquiries to grant.waine [at] gmail [dot] com – BISEAN Editor.


Friday, October 17, 2008


Football is the world’s most famous sport. Those who don’t agree either don’t have TV or just plain dumb. This is one sport I would be willing to give my life to *cough cough* and pretty much the indirect reason why I am divorced thrice. Ha!

FIFA, the world’s governing body of this beautiful sport has updated the World Ranking last September. Spain, Italy, Germany, Brazil and the Netherlands are the Top 5. And for those who HAS TO know; England is at the 14th spot.

Let’s get on with it: Here’s the current Southeast Asian placings in the 200-nation ranking.

SE Asian Ranking / Village (Country) / World Ranking

1. Thailand shares the 112th ranking with Jordan.

2. Singapore at 132nd.

3. Indonesia at 139th.

4. Burma at 157th.

5. Malaysia at 160th.

6. Vietnam and the Philippines at 165th, shared with Sri Lanka.

7. Cambodia shares the 182nd ranking with Afghanistan.

8. Brunei at 184th with Andorra.

9. Laos at 190th.

10. Timor Leste at the 200th place (last) and shares with 7 other nations including Papua New Guinea.

World Cup 2010 -- here we come!


Source: FIFA

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


We talk about it. We see it on telly all the time.

We emphatize, we feel for them and sometimes get teary eyed.

We wonder. We ask questions. We try to find solutions.

Fast facts and figures about world poverty and hunger.
Really disturbing =(

Poverty is a worldwide problem that seems to be without solution.

But if we keep reminding ourselves...maybe...

...just maybe one day, we'll have the heart
to do something about it to let it end.

Southeast Asia is next to Sub-Saharan Region of Africa
with the number of impoverished people.

The glimmering skyscapers, the gigantic malls,
the impressive structures that we build
strikes a grim irony to the people just down the corner.


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