When I was in the Philippines some 2 years back, my descriptions of Malaysia only revolved in three phrases. Their country’s very effective Tourism tag line, “Malaysia, Truly Asia!” that’s so compelling to make you feel the urgency to fly to Kuala Lumpur in a blink. Next was the incredibly iconic, Petronas Twin Towers that never fail to mesmerize me at dusk until now; they’re magnificently stunning! And lastly, the most popular animated characters from Malaysia, Upin and Ipin. Our 7-year-old son, Gabby has been into Upin and Ipin even long before coming to Malaysia. He has been watching the show religiously on Disney Channel and made it as one of his favorites. Believe it or not, our kiddo had suggested for the two Malaysian cartoon characters be included in the parade in Hong Kong Disneyland when he was asked by one of the staff during our last visit to the theme park early this year. It’s how big Gabby’s admiration to these duo. And as for me apparently, after I became an expatriate here in Penang, my perceptions about Malaysia have been improved but I still associate the identity of the country with those few phrases, specially Upin and Ipin!
30 June 2012, Saturday. Imagine our joy that night when we saw Upin and Ipin, Live at AutoCity, Juru, Penang! What’s even happier was to see Gabby performed an impromptu dance with Malaysia’s famous cartoon characters on stage with the other children (my wife, captured the stint on video at the last part of this post). Despite the weather didn’t allow us not to perspire, excitement was upon us!
We were lucky to be accomodated warmly by Farhan and Daniel, two of the many men behind this seemingly modest yet fun-filled carnival who gave us a VIP access that allowed us, particularly Gabby, to enjoy the rides for free! They even gave us a nod to have a special photo-op with the two mascots after the show but we had to bid goodbye for buffet dinner (blogging next!).
First and only ride we tried as dad-and-son was the bump cars. Admittedly, I had fun more than Gabby! He was a bit surprised on how speedy those cars could go on a single step. He swore he’ll never ride bump cars again but I bet his spur-of-the-moment-decision would change once years are added to his age.
After a few carnival rides, we trooped to the venue of the show and while Upin and Ipin were still out of sight, Tina and I were delighted to take turns in capturing the kids who pre-enlisted to join the Upin and Ipin Coloring contest.
Then the much-awaited stars of the show arrived and strolled their way to the stage…
One thing that’s definite about Malaysia : almost the entire country, if not all, love Chicken Dance! It was one of the dances that our company introduced to us during a few-day-workshop years ago; even Gabby instantly learned it when we attended the 2012 MITBCA Blog Awards where no less than the Minister of Tourism led the audience to groove to Chicken Dance! Its popularity to Malaysians perhaps, properly equate to the love for Upin and Ipin.
Now here’s a run down of how Gabby and other children savored that minute on stage dancing Chicken Dance with Upin and Ipin! No rehearsals needed! No kidding!
Fastforward Play : Now, please yourself for a minute or so and watch Gabby and the other children’s on-the-spot-performance of Malaysians’ favorite, CHICKEN DANCE with Upin and Ipin on stage!
The children’s happiness was infectious! They cheered and danced with Upin and Ipin tirelessly! What a worry-free night it was!
If you’re in Penang, Malaysia (also in time for George Town Festival 2012) or nearby states, and would like to experience “World of Fun with Upin & Ipin”, catch the shows and the carnival that runs from June 30 to August 6, 2012 at 6PM-12MN daily at AutoCity, Juru, Penang. Admission rates are only 4 ringgit for adult and 2 ringgit for kanak-kanak or children. Tokens are sold at 2 ringgit each. *Special thanks goes to “World of Fun with Upin & Ipin” particularly to Farhan and Daniel for everything!