"Having the spectacular opportunity to bear the Bruneian flag in Hollywood is a dream come true, and it is with our deepest respect and greatest joy that I wish His Majesty the happiest of birthdays. Long live His Majesty!"
Los Angeles, California - The Bruneian team comprising Maria Grace Koh, Fakhrul Razi and Kevin Lo who are currently in Hollywood, the US, to compete in the World Championships of Performing Arts did not forget the special date yesterday, and has conveyed well wishes to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on His Majesty's 67th birthday celebration.
Kevin Lo, who is competing in the acting category, said, "Having the spectacular opportunity to bear the Bruneian flag in Hollywood is a dream come true, and it is with our deepest respect and greatest joy that I wish His Majesty the happiest of birthdays. Long live His Majesty!"
Fakhrul Razi, who is competing in the singing category, said, "I will sing my heart out tomorrow for my family and friends back home, and especially for my country and the Sultan, as well as for the memory of my two loving parents. Long live His Majesty."
The opening ceremony of the World Championships of Performing Arts also took place yesterday, and the Brunei team already won the Best Picture award at the Worldstars Mixer event.
Former national swimmer-turned-singer, Maria Grace Koh, is competing in Vocal-Piano category As for the opening ceremony, she said that it felt amazing to represent and wave Brunei's national flag high; even more so because it was His Majesty's birthday too. "We love His Majesty very much, and are honoured to be representing our country for the first time at such a prestigious event," she said.
Recalling the past few day's experience, Maria commented, "The experience has been amazing so far; and it has only just begun. Yesterday we had the privilege to work with world-renowned industry professionals at the Worldstars Bootcamp'. We met Jed Madela (International Superstar) from the Philippines, and Bob Garrett - world-renowned vocal coach/voice technique coach who has worked with the likes of Katy. Perry, Channing Tatum, Drew Barrymoore, Vanessa Hudgens and many more, and is also an accomplished performer himself We also met Tess Taylor, President of NARIP (National Association of Recording Industry Professionals), the biggest music network in the world. We got to meet him during a seminar yesterday, and we will have the chance to do so many others this week."
She said, "The competition will start tomorrow; Fakhrul will be competing first, followed by Kevin and I on Tuesday. We strive for excellence and hope to do our best and make Brunei proud! I would love to say thank you to all our family and friends who are supporting us back home and around the world!"
Jeffery Cadayong, National Director of Brunei for WCOPA who is with the Brunei team, said, "It is with great pride to show to the world our culture and how great a nation Brunei Darussalam is. The Parade of Nations coincided with our Sultan's birthday, and it is an opportunity to showcase to the world our culture, our history and our people. Long live His Majesty!"
During the opening ceremony, Maria Koh, Fakhrul Razi and Kevin Lo, as well as Jeffery Cadayong, were dressed in Malay traditional attire to showcase Bruneian culture on the world stage. The attire is sponsored by Laily's Bridal.
It's the first time that Brunei Darussalam is represented in the competition which also features nearly 3,000 contestants from 50 countries.