What’s Chinese New Year all about?

Chinese New Year is a big festival known as ”The Spring Festival” that’s mostly celebrated by Chinese communities in Brunei. This festival commenced during mid-January or latest mid-February. And the public holiday is always set on the first day of the first lunar month based on Chinese calendar.

In Brunei, Chinese people usually takes a day off on Chinese New year’s Eve because that’s when it is time for them to go back to their hometown; in order to have reunion with their closest families. Those family that celebrate Chinese New Year here will either start going to countless open houses or even having one of their very own on the very first day or throughout this festival. However, there are some exceptions, like for those families who had just lost one of their family members, wouldn’t be able to celebrate the festival on that same year.

During this celebration, it is expected to see Chinese people wearing Chinese attire known as ”Cheong sum” and some exciting performances such as the lion dance. Performances like lion dance attracts people’s attention, and, it is worth to mention that it dances its way into the host’s house to bring good luck and to get rid of all the negative energy in the person’s home. This dance usually starts off with firecrackers and it is meant to welcome the coming of the ”Wealth God”. Thus, people hope to get a promotion or more money in the coming year.

Furthermore, when going to open houses of your very own close relatives, the food placed on the table is almost one hundred percent Chinese home-cooked food. Some Chinese dishes that look very simple could actually use 5-6 hours to cook or even a day. For example, ”The Chinese 8 Treasure duck” or ”Hakka Kau Yuk”. Truth to be told, these type of dishes that is only available on Chinese New Year is a sign of ”reunion”. The longer the person cooks, the longer you stay at home with family waiting and eat together as a whole.

In conclusion, the celebrations for Spring Festival are known to be a time to gather with family and is therefore very meaningful.


Health Issues On The Rise

Lately, viral fever has been taking over the human bodies. That is to say, that people have been getting sick more often than usual. Unfortunately, PTEM citizens are not exempt from it. Lots of students have been complaining about their health and how they hate it that they cannot focus on their studies. The fever also caused lots of the students to be absent. This started right after the reopening of school in January. Now, we are in the month of February and yet, students are still getting sick.

It probably could be caused by the sudden change of weather. And with the current spread of Coronavirus and last month’s Australia bush-fires, it could also be the reason for the sudden health deteriorating. 

These phenomenon do not appear to just affect the students – they also seem to affect the tutors and other PTEM member of staff as well . Some PTEM-ians could also be seen wearing masks (which we can definitely say is not for fashion purposes). It’s either they wanted to protect themselves from getting infected by others or they are being considerate to others and prevent themselves from infecting others.

Luckily, the students are vigilant and many of them went to get checked up by doctors. When asked why are they absent, 40% of the students replied “I went to the clinic, because I was ‘damam’ (feverish)”, while the other 60% answered that they stayed at home simply to get rest. 

Staying hydrated and eating well are the simplest ways of staying healthy.  So remember to take a sip of your water now and then, and keep washing your hands folks!

Brunei’s MMA Warriors: Diamonds in the rough

The best from Brunei reigned supreme in two hard-fought wins at ONE Warrior Series 5 on Thursday, at Singapore. The event featured a diverse number of unique and talented athletes across the globe who were given the opportunity to fight under the premier banner of ONE Championship.

This isn’t the first time that Brunei has tasted victory on the growing international stage before, either. Not too long ago, Adib Sulaiman demonstrated Brunei’s technical skills to the world, and it would seem that history would repeat itself once more, this time in the forms of local strawweight Mohamad Norhidayat and lightweight Ahmed ‘Easy’ Faez who both won by submissions in the first and second rounds respectively.

Norhidayat brought the end to the first round with a smooth transition to a head and arm triangle choke, while Faez found an armbar against his heavy-hitting opponent in the second round of his bout, with both fighters displaying stunning submission skills.

Demetrious Johnson, former 11 time UFC Champion. Photo credit to:
Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

All this was possible thanks to ONE Championship, one of the largest mixed martial arts organisations based in Asia, but open to the world. Notable fighters including world’s most feared muay thai fighter test their fists in ONE, along with a pound-for-pound former UFC Champion who was considered to be the greatest of all time.

A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class at Khalifa MMA

It’s safe to say that if one of Brunei’s own made their way onto the already stacked stable of absolute greats, the little country would forever cement itself within the minds of the world as not only being an ‘Abode of Peace’ but also an ‘Abode of Peace & Potential’.

So what’s next? Only time will tell. Small steps first. It isn’t just MMA that’s growing, but also kickboxing and boxing bouts that have provided local fighters with opportunities and experience that have proven invaluable in the development of fighters as hopeful symbols of Brunei’s progress as a budding nation.

Brunei has always been responsible for nurturing potential fighters, and the fruits of these efforts are finally beginning to command attention. Whether on the local or the world stage, the following statement should be taken note of: Brunei breeds brawlers.

PTEM’s Ghost Stories: Myth or Fact?


Rumours about supernatural presence in PTEM is not something new. At some point during the 2-year stay in the school, plenty have heard rumors and stories about the sinister ‘thing’ lurking in the stalls of every bathroom, about the time when a tutor counted an extra student in her class, the mysterious whistling that could be heard in the hallway. And there are many more.

Being in any building at night in the dark is scary as it is. But merely looking at PTEM’s left wing in a blackout state at night is something else. Staring into the dark corner makes one recall the incident that involves a junior student on the last day of school before the first term break. What must have happened that led us to encounter ghosts here in the school at all? Why does the incident occur on the last day of school? Could PTEM be Hogwarts in disguise?

Whatever the reason is, nobody, no matter how much of thrill-seeker they are, should risk it getting a ‘greeting’. So we would like to encourage our dear readers to say your prayers. Especially if you’re alone.


It’s the holidays! So expect having butt cramps in the car as you and your family are queuing up at Sungai Tujoh. While you’re waiting, here are some things that you should and shouldn’t ever bring based on personal experiences, and experiences from people who’ve dealt with a certain type of traveler in the past. Not naming anyone. Chief. Wira.

Things you should ALWAYS bring:

  1. Your passport, and make sure you check the expiry date!
  2. Your identity card (trust me, no one believes you’re you till you whip out that IC.)
  3. Your license card (if you’re the driver. Better yet, just walk to Miri or something.)
  4. Money (Fuel isn’t free you know. Neither are souvenirs your friends keep hinting for. Not mentioning anyone, WIRA.)
  5. Water (staying hydrated is always very important while travelling. Besides, you’ll want something while your family is spilling tea in the car.)
  6. Phone (because no one’s gonna lend you their phone so you can play games.)
  7. Laptop (because you forgot to bring your phone.)
  8. Earphones or AirPods (you don’t want your parents to know your songs atu ada banyak swearing)
  9. Snacks (even though you know you’re gonna stop at a store every FIVE MINUTES)
  10. Extra clothes (someone’s gonna spill coffee on you. And even if they don’t, you know you’re staying overnight at your relatives house because your ‘catching up‘ took ‘longer than expected.’)


Things you should NEVER bring:

  1. An expired passport (duh)
  2. Drugs (why did you have any in the first place?)
  3. Alcohol (*read above*)
  4. Carbonated drinks that might get shook up during the drive (…actually, just bring it. Just hand it to that one sibling who won’t keep still.)
  5. Nice clothes or jewelry (you’re going to lose ’em unless they’re packed.)
  6. Scrabble (I get it, you want to show off your ‘very good speaking‘, but not on a road trip ok. Let ME show off my ‘very good speaking’. I’LL bring the Scrabble set)
  7. Kitchenware (seriously, I’ve seen Bruneians bringing kuali and a portable tambak to Miri)
  8. Your entire makeup set (I think you already look pretty without it. Besides, you’re hogging the rear view mirror. Stahp it.)
  9. High heels (go kaki ayam & impress your folks that you’re not a complete ‘City Softie’).
  10. School textbooks (You’re only bringing them to make yourself feel better that you haven’t done anything yet, and that you ‘will’ do something soon. Yeah, right.)


How long do you like it?

So there’s this very important question: how long should a term holiday be? In my honest opinion, there’s a simple answer to that: as long as possible. But as we all know, the power of deciding the length of a term holiday isn’t bestowed upon us, mere students. Unfortunately.

Ahem. Getting back on topic, term holidays are in most cases are far too short but there are some rare situations where people may find it too long. As for the current holiday that we’re enjoying right now, it’s definitely enough for me. This is purely a personal preference, because I do quite miss some people from school *sigh* and even some classes. *cough*

So the question for everyone else remains, how long should a term holiday be? Should we be granted an extension? Well, to be fair, we should at least have at least two weeks more, but no longer than four weeks is ideal. Well, at least this is how I like it.

Until next time! School’s almost starting folks! Prepare yourself!


Point of Concern

“Delegate, to what point do you arise?”

“Point of concern.”


As one of the delegates for this year’s BGIC, it has opened up my eyes tremendously.
When Anna Oposa, the Chief Mermaid at Save Philippines Seas discussed regarding her organisation and her organisation’s aim; “It’s been said that the Philippines is worth dying for. We believe the Philippines is worth diving for.”

On her website, she has said, “ The ocean is our source of life. Literally. 50-80% of the oxygen we breathe comes from it; it regulates our climate and acts as a carbon sink; it gives us food; it improves our well-being; it brings income through tourism activities – the list goes on. It’s only common sense”. She touched the biggest problem that oceans face, PLASTIC POLLUTION. The most evident plastic pollutants are single-use products, products such as plastic cutlery, plastic water bottles, plastic tapau containers and balloons!


Contractors hired by the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) have collected 20,000 bags of rubbish from the Brunei River over the past two months, mostly made up of plastic bags and bottles.


The trash was collected as part of an ongoing four-month campaign to clean up plastic pollution in Kampong Ayer, Brunei’s water village, a project initiated by JASTRe on April 16. 

Thus, we at The Equinox hope this opens your eyes to how dangerous it is to turn a blind eye against plastic waste.

Juniors’ Takeover

Photo by Danial Basyri

Three weeks ago, the juniors had their 3-day orientation that was held in the school’s multi-purpose hall. They’ve swarmed the school like buzzing bees (in a good way) since then, and have grouped together in their respective hives.

17 days in, and our school is finally flocked with bigger number of students, thanks to the addition of our beloved juniors! Whether it is the lobby, the canteen, the exhibition hall, or the library, the possibility of you bumping into a group of juniors is inevitable.

Settling in was obviously a challenge for the juniors. On one of the tables, there was a ‘reserved’ sign which was handmade out of a scrapped examination pad, clearly indicating how competitive it is to have a temporary comfort in school.

In a recent event, for the first time in two years, our grandstand is filled the high attendance of juniors, an achievement which the seniors have yet to accomplish.

On top of that, our Student Council (MPP) and our Peer Counselors (PRR) have begun their interviews for the admission of batch 19/20. The Equinox (whose members consist of 7 PRR seniors and 1 senior MPP) would like to say good luck to all applicants!

Assessments & AS Levels, folks!

Ladies & gentleseniors, the time for action is nearly upon us, with assessments and AS levels just around the corner and some of them LITERALLY TOMORROW, I repeat to you:

The TIME. HAS. COME– for last minute revision, unimaginable stress and nervous laughs, am I right? I am confident in saying that the same goes for the life of the average student here in PTEM and possibly the REST OF THE WORLD.

Not to worry, you’re not the first, and you shan’t be the last to face such trials and tribulations in these desperate times. Countless assignments? School and family responsibilities? Can’t find anyone with a foolscap paper? We’ve all been there, yet it’s through such pressures in our time that has made veterans of the students mind in the two year war against A Levels.

For those of you who find despair at the thought of failing in the first round of assessments, fear not! It’s not too late to get up again each time after we fall. With less than two months to go, the next contender approaches. For most, their first fight in tackling AS levels, for some, a chance at redemption, but a step forward for all.

The clock is ticking, and the nasi katok grains of time are falling through the hourglass onto the plate of A Levels. Will you have nothing but plain grains to show for your efforts? Or will the end be flavoured with the sambal of dedication and hard work you’ve added with your grains of time?

The choice lies with you.

The death of the school cats’ kittens: neglect or human error?

13th February 2019
By JH Shadoon

“Thank you to those who have given me food”

Affectionately named “Anak”, “Bonecrusher”, and “Mummy” by members of our team, the tri-coloured school cat has been no stranger to our care and “awww’s”, and its been a well-known fact that the cat was indeed, preggers. Sometime mid-January, she gave birth to 3 beautiful kittens, and made a home out of the bottom of the lobby staircase.

Three slowly decreased to one kitten and the mother cat sadly outlived two of her babies. Now, whether it being from the neglect of the mother cat herself, or from us not providing proper kitten-care, the matter can still be remedied with the last one.

“He could tell by the way animals walked that they were keeping time to some kind of music. Maybe it was the song in their own hearts that they walked to.”  – Laura Adams Armer

What should we have done to prevent this? Donated blankets, relocated them to places that aren’t as populated as the staircase, or maybe even tried to find someone to properly adopt and care for them. Now let us all join hands in doing our best to provide proper kitten care for the last baby!

Though these should haves became could haves in a matter of weeks, one should always keep in mind that kindness, no matter what species it’s directed to, whether it being cats or dogs, or even humans, can go a long way. Especially with the apik.tipu videos going viral, let it be known that every living thing out there deserves at least a smile directed their way.

Rest well, kittens.