Asian Food Channel’s Amazing Food Challenge – our TV show trailer is finally released!

Our Amazing Food Challenge trailer on Asian Food Channel FB page and TV channel is out. Are you as excited to see the show as I am? If you check out the thrilling trailer, you’ll see what I mean!

The Amazing Food Challenge was commissioned by the Philippines Tourism Board, and was orchestrated by some of the most brilliant minds in scripting and production from Singaporeans, Malaysians, to Filipinos and even Americans – one of the consulting producers on this show helped with casting and producing on the hit US series ‘Survivor’, so you can only imagine the kind of magic that went into the Amazing Food Challenge! I applied for this show not even expecting to get a reply! What an honour that they ended up choosing little adventurous me, one of 10 total Challengers, out of 5000 other applicants.

Big ups to the epic excitement that they created and put us through for this incredible series. Here are some of my favourite moments from the trailer and Asian Food Channel’s first travel reality show:

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I’ll update more on my blog in the upcoming weeks on my thoughts and stories from this experience, you know how I love to do that… Plus I really miss my dearest buddies here!

Expect only the best in food, travel and adventures – catch the debut of AMAZING FOOD CHALLENGE, 9PM SG Time on Asia Food Channel! Also showing in Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

You should be able to view the full trailer on AFC’s Facebook page HERE.

Can’t guess from the trailer what’s going to happen in this show? Trust me, none of us had a clue…!!!

The TV show I filmed is finally airing soon! Amazing Food Challenge by Asian Food Channel

Hot news for my dearest friends here! Remember the TV show Amazing Food Challenge I filmed in Philippines recently? So excited to be able to officially announce that this incredible travel and food show will be aired on AFC on 11 MARCH 9PM SG time, in 12 territories across Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam). Asia Food Channel is owned by Food Network in the US.

What do u expect to see from an “amazing food challenge”??:)

Article source link from On Screen Asia is HERE.

Hosted by celebrity chef Sherston Lian and featuring Philippines’ iconic Roland Laudicio, you can’t even begin to imagine the kind of crazy stuff they gave us to do on this show. We can’t reveal too much about the first episode yet but do catch the debut of Amazing Food Challenge on 11 March 9pm (Singapore Time) on Asian Food Channel, and I’ll post some blogposts in the coming weeks about the behind the scenes stuff too. Looking forward to sharing this incredible on-screen adventure with you!

In China, internet addicts get sent to prison. How do I know if I’m addicted to the internet?

The internet can be a hero for quick research and keeping in touch with friends, but in other ways, it is like electronic heroin.

My Mom actually thinks I’m an internet addict because I’m always on all my social media platforms, interacting, reading, researching, watching, learning, emailing, blogging and all sorts of things, day in and day out. Living my life while putting it online sort of goes hand in hand for me. Some days I head out of the house to run errands, have meetings, play sports and such, so I really don’t think I’m such a basket case right?!

The most addictive part of the internet is, I think, YouTube and gaming. One YouTube video can turn into 5 hours of your night. Games on the Playstation/xBox or computer like Sims city can consume lives and spit it back out.

I think some people use the internet way more than others, and there’s nothing wrong or right with individual lifestyle choices. Help should only be called if you’re eating fast food and wearing diapers so that you can sit in front of the computer non-stop for 3 days.

Dramatic situations call for dramatic solutions.

But do you think this approach is evil?

(Mom and Dad, I don’t think I’m an addict, please don’t send me here!)

#firstworldproblems #onlyinasia

CNY Freebie Giveaway! And BEST Moments From My Chinese New Year 2014

TOP 4 MOMENTS OF MY CHINESE NEW YEAR 2014:

1) Getting my pet Jack Russell Terrier, Cookie, to fetch me some Kumquats.

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Good girl! Stay!

2) Spending time chasing my darling niece Emma Grace around for a photo, but not before she tries to show everyone her bellybutton.

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3) Assisting my Dad as he made delicious suckling pig aka Lechon for Chinese New Year.

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Not so delicious looking BEFORE cooking, eh?! I don’t know if I will EVER be able to cook confidently like the men in my life, because I will NEVER want to hold a dead animal in my arms before having it for dinner. How am I going to eat CNY dinner after seeing it?!?!?! :0

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Ugh, think of this little piglet who never got to go home before you eat your CNY dinner! I think I’ll skip Bak Kwa too and go straight to dessert. (So impressed that my Mom made Pavlova this year, it’s a first!)

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3) For our customary DVD family time, one of my favourite uncles suggested watching Twilight part 2. The shocking part is – he is not joking. Even more shocking – this is because he already watched Twilight part 1!
No one else wanted to watch it, not even me (not that I don’t like it, I’ve watched it 5 times already!). So, I convinced him to watch Cloud Atlas instead… I don’t think he liked it much. Haha.

Last year to celebrate CNY, we watched Ah Boys to Men and all the older men in my family mused how much harder NS (National Service) was back in the old days. You young boys nowadays, very lucky!

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I got so many compliments online and from my relatives this year on my super red lace number – can you believe it’s only SGD$38 from my favourite fashion blogshop, Lexi Lyla!? There are so many other dresses I really want to get soon. I look like a tiny happy ang pow!

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As you can see, Chinese New Year is good for many things – overload of oranges, pineapple tarts, Kuih Pie Tee… but also excessive questions from all your aunties. Like that how?

Heaven and Earth® has launched #CalmComebacksan interactive Facebook app – armed with practical comebacks and instant responses to help you deal with all the questions that will be asked. And trust me, you will definitely have to answer them smartly, so your relatives won’t dare to bully you with other stupid questions!

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I love how the app categorizes different calm comebacks ranging from looks, salary to relationship status.

“Eh girl, why skirt so short?”

“Why not married yet eh?”

“How come don’t have baby yet?”

Ahah! You can answer it all now!

I think my frequent follower-friends here know which categories apply to me right? I very quickly clicked on “relationships” and “marriage” – I need some good answers for those questions. Right now!

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Since you have bothered to spend your precious Chinese New Year week reading my blog instead of collecting Ang Paos, thank you ah! I would like to give 1 box of exclusive Heaven and Earth® Chinese New Year Variety Packs to FIVE of you!

Each pack contains a mix of 4 flavours – Jasmine Green Tea, Honey Chamomile Green Tea, Ice Passionfruit Tea, Ice Lemon Tea, and comes in a 24-can pack. Yum!

All you have to do is SHARE THIS FACEBOOK APP on your own Facebook profile, along with a link to this blogpost and a status of one of your favourite calm comebacks listed in the app.

Do tag my Facebook profile (ESTELLE KIORA) or message me on Facebook when you’ve done so!

FIVE LUCKY READERS who have shared the app on their Facebook page will each receive the 24-CAN HEAVEN AND EARTH ® CHINESE NEW YEAR VARIETY PACK.

To see the calm comebacks in live action, check out this Chinese New Year instructional video. A lot of my favourite Singaporean YouTubers and friends are starring in it too. Gong xi gong xi!

WINNERS WILL BE PICKED BY WEDNESDAY 5 FEB, 5PM.

Tradition, love, family and all sorts of goodies with our tea. Stay calm and keep enjoying Chinese New Year!
cnydad

6 Basic Tips for Foreigners and Expats spending Traditional Chinese New Year in Singapore

As of right now, every Chinese family in Singapore is preparing for their traditional reunion dinner tonight.

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Yes, I know you think we Chinese girls look cute in our traditional Chinese cheongsams!

It’s no secret that this little Singaporean has many expat and foreigner friends. I wish to include everyone in our traditional festivities, and answer some questions that I usually get. If you’re a foreigner experiencing Chinese New Year in Singapore, here’s a few quick tips of the tradition that goes on behind closed doors for “open house”, and how to prepare if you’re visiting one.

1) SORRY, IT’S NOT A PARTY. My parents probably have too many friends (you can see where I pick up my personality from!) and love to have people over at ours, but please don’t be offended if your Chinese friends haven’t invited you over to their home. Traditionally, no members outside the family are usually invited to reunion dinner on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

After which, the first two days of Chinese New Year is traditionally reserved for visiting or inviting over relatives and members of the extended family. As homes in Singapore tend to be small and families here are a bit more private than Western cultures, not every family holds an “open house” and invites friends over to their home as well.

2) YOU’RE INVITED ANYWAY! WHAT TO BRING? If you’re visiting my home for Chinese New Year, I would probably suggest giving my Dad a bottle of wine, but gifts are optional and most Chinese families are happy for you to bring over two oranges. You need to bring TWO – not one orange – as there’s something about odd numbers symbolizing unhappy occasions and even numbers for a happy occasion. You are also expected to take home two DIFFERENT oranges from the ones that you brought – so the tradition of giving oranges is really more of a swap.

Don’t take home anything else that isn’t yours!

3) TRYING TO IMPRESS A LOCAL GIRL’S FAMILY? YOU BETTER BRING EXTRA AMMO. If you’re feeling generous or want to show some extra effort, bring a bottle of Chinese New Year snacks (Bee Cheng Hiang bak kwa, prawn cracker roll, pineapple tarts, peanut cookies etc), or even better – a pot of plants. Don’t buy us Cactuses, for not any flowers will do – Chinese New Year themed plants are most meaningful.

These are the fortunes specific plants signify:
Peach blossom symbolizes luck.
Kumquat symbolizes prosperity.
Narcissus symbolizes prosperity.
Chrysanthemum symbolizes longevity.
Bamboo is a plant good for any time of year.
Sunflower means to have a good year.

4) I HEARD ABOUT ANG PAOS. SHOW ME THE MONEY. People don’t usually give out red packets or “ang paos” in the office, because that’s just kind of awkward – and expensive. However, if you visit a married colleague at his or her home, you might be lucky to receive one!

Generally for Chinese New Year, number significances and amounts in the red packets will avoid the number ‘4’ (pronounced ‘si’ in Mandarin which means death), and celebrate the number ‘8’, including denominations of it (which is pronounced ‘ba’ and usually also referred to as ‘fatt’).

5) RESPECT AND WELL WISHES. With oranges and red packets, always give and receive with two hands and eye contact. You should also insert enthusiasm and a traditional well wishing – “gong xi fa cai”, which literally translates to celebrate (‘gong xi’), and prosper (‘fa cai’).

6) COLOUR CODED. Red is an auspicious colour, and will be the most overused colour of this occasion. Don’t wear black, which symbolizes death – even if your hosts aren’t superstitious, its just rude.
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Here are some pictures from previous celebrations over Chinese New Year – I never live in the past, but I do like looking back at these memories! These pictures are with family and friends from 2010, including an induction for some foreign friends around Chinatown and River Hongbao (a gorgeous carnival we have in Singapore every Chinese New Year period). I look like a baby! Happy Chinese New Year everyone.

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FUN, FOOD, TRAVEL!: Filming an amazing show in Philippines for Asian Food Channel


So I can finally say it…

I’m filming an amazing show for Asian Food Channel now in Philippines and it’s going to be lots of fun, food and travel!

Thank you Philippines and #AsianFoodChannel for having me here!

Stay tuned here, and on Asian Food Channel’s Facebook page for more updates.

Mahal kita 🙂

#tv #cable #network #newshow #philippines #mabuhay #filipinos #goinglocal #exciting #goodtimes

ZoukOut 2013: Last year’s pics + 4 reasons to attend and stay till the sunrise this year

Why go to one of Asia’s top dance festivals and leave by 2am? Don’t be a cinderella this year – leave your shoes on the sand while we dance the starry night away with top tunes until the sunrise. ZoukOut 2013 is back for the 13th year, and will no less spectacular – expect 2 days of pure party power from Friday 13 December to Saturday 14 December.

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ZoukOut may have been running for a very long time, but it’s probably not going to die down anytime soon. True party hearts have trusted and twirled to Zouk’s careful music choices for more than a decade of dancing, and only the best beats are guaranteed as our feet sink into the sandy Siloso shores. Hello again to Singapore’s best reason for uniting clubbers from all over the world.

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Who wants to stay with me till the sunrise? I’ve always paced myself and made it to the end, but in case you need more motivation, these are 4 of my inspirations to stay till the closing this coming ZoukOut 2013.

#1: You can use your EZ Link Card to buy drinks throughout the night.

This year, ZoukOut is introducing much-needed cashless payment at the bar. All we have to do is “tap and go” to pay for drinks. This beats having to queue for drink coupons, and we can use the same card to take the train home. Ain’t no party like an MRT after-party!

You can store up to $500 on your EZ-Link card, but there are top-up kiosks at the venue too.

#2: Harder, better, longer, stronger

Last year, the first night of the festival kicked off at 9pm and ended by 4am. ZoukOut 2013 will start an hour earlier at 8pm and end at 5am. The second day will remain a 12-hour dusk-to-dawn dance extravaganza, from 8pm to 8am. Can you handle it? More to love!

#3: More time to appreciate the awesome international and local line-up.

Afrojack on Friday seems to be a crowd favourite, and you really mustn’t miss Benga, Nervo, Ferry Corsten and Danny Avila.

I had the huge privilege of seeing and listening to Solomun live, during his Sunday residency at Pacha Ibiza, start of summer this year. Solomun has been absolutely raging through Europe the last 2 years, successfully packing out his stints in the house music scene. ZoukOut is deservedly better this year knowing that I can disco with him.

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One of my Solomun favourites:

Looking forward to the star-studded interntaional line-up and digging into the localized tent to hear out A/K/A, Aldrin, Maurice Simon, Gerald Ang, Jeremy Boon, Ghetto, and Formative.

#4: Heineken creates party history this year by re-creating a dramatized sunrise.

Besides being ZoukOut’s official beer partner again this year, Heineken rewards their fans by creating an enhanced sunrise at ZoukOut this very special year! I can’t believe they are actually going to light up the sky – this I got to see. What a pretty idea, given the poor terrain and geography of Siloso Beach.

The Heineken Sunrise will be the special highlight of the event, together with a dance-reactive floor that is linked to the powering of the ‘sun’ and ‘sunrise’, which everyone can participate in. What a treat this year to marvel in! I can’t wait to witness the epic close of the last set, glorified against a spectacular sunrise.

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How are we going to last till wee hours of the morning, you may ask? Why, water of course. Lots. I’ve always been a fan of brands that advocate responsible drinking. There’s nothing more un-attractive than guys and girls stumbling around and falling over each other. ZoukOut is all about the world-class music acts and awesome party people for me. I’m proud of my last-till-morning party stamina, for the sunrise belongs to moderate drinkers. Walk past the Heineken tent at ZoukOut for your bottle of water.

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LAST YEAR’S PICTURES: I definitely had some colourful times at ZoukOut 2012, especially great to see the gang who flew in from Hong Kong and Japan. Super pumped for this weekend with Heineken and friends!

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Stay till the end, and you might just be rewarded with a happy hug from boss man himself, Lincoln Cheng (Zouk ‘de lao ban’).

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NIGHT IS A JOURNEY. MAKE SUNRISE THE LAST STOP.

Where are my fellow sunrise troopers at? Looking forward to a brilliant break of dawn with all of you. xxx

ZoukOut 2013: FRIDAY 13 Dec, 9pm–4am; SATURDAY 14 Dec, 8pm–8am
Venue: Siloso Beach, Sentosa
Tickets: $98, $108, $118 (13 Dec, advanced, standard and at the door);
$108, $118, $128 (14 Dec, advanced, standard and at the door);
OR $168 (two-day festival pass).

Follow ZoukOut’s blog for updates, Heineken on Facebook, and tag your IG photos with #ZoukOut2013 #HeinekenSG and #HeinekenSunrise for me to see!