BRATs Langkawi experience

3:59:00 PM Elaine Loke 3 Comments

Annyeonghaseyo! MIA for quite some time and now I'm back with an update on my experience with BRATs in Langkawi! 

To those who haven't hear of BRATs, it's Malaysia's local newspaper, The Star's young journalist programme. BRATs stands for Bright, Roving, Annoying Teens and this programme is held thrice a year. 

I've heard of this programme because a friend of mine joined it a few years back but I never thought of joining it myself until when my mom suggested me to go. To sign up for the programme, we have to submit an essay titled 'Why I want to be a journalist', and as a well known procrastinator, I submitted my essay 40 mins before the deadline. I totally forgotten about it until I was preparing for bed and felt so uneasy about something. Then, I realized the deadline for submission was that night and quickly blurted a simple essay. 

The programme was held from 10 - 13 Dec 2014 in Berjaya Resort, Langkawi. At first, I wasn't excited to fly to Langkawi because I didn't have any friends with me and the thought of paying RM300 for the programme and RM300 for my flight ticket was absurd! 


On 10 Dec, 7 of us met at Subang Airport and flew to Langkawi together. We were total strangers who soon became overnight best buddies. The programme started at 11am but we arrived at the hotel at 12pm because the earliest flight we could get was 10.35am. #badassonthefirstday

The first day was super relaxing (yes, I added the word super). We received tips in being a journalist by R.AGE's editor and writers Ian Yee, May Lee and JC. We were taught interview techniques, setting questions, drafting story angle, photography and videography skills and more. We were dismissed at 11pm after we were sorted into groups and were given our room keys.

Guess where we stayed? Hehe >:)

Berjaya Langkawi rainforest chalet. 

I looked it up online and the price for a night almost had me crying my eyeballs out. RM530 on normal days and RM800 during peak period wtf??! Not to mention only 2 person in a room! I expected 5~7 person cramming in a room but no, they're so generous OMG. Every morning, we got to indulge in the hotel's buffet breakfast. Bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, waffle, croissants... CALORIES. 

On the second day, we headed out to Underwater World Langkawi (UWL), where we were given a golden opportunity to meet penguins, marmosets and seals, not through the display glass, but face to face! 

My team was lucky to be able to meet the african penguins and southern fur seals. Honestly, everybody wanted to meet the penguins but in the end the lucky person was...

Francine. ^^


She's so lucky to be able to meet the penguins and hold them but also quite unlucky cause she had to clean their poo too haha. 

For me, I got to meet the southern fur seal! Heh don't jelly :P 

The photographer is so excellent! First time in my whole life I'm satisfied with my candid picture! 

So cute OMG. The zookeeper said the seal loves to kiss but I didn't accept it cause I promised myself to never touch my face skin since it'll always end up with pimples. Haih...

After visiting the animals, we had a mini 'press conference' where we got to ask questions regarding UWL and their animals . 

Attending assignments like this are fun but good times don't last long. The moment we returned to the hotel, everybody started working on their laptops. We had to choose our story angle and write an article, choose suitable pictures and produce a video. Our deadline was 11pm but none of the groups could manage to submit their assignments in time so we were given extended deadline. We had a late night trying to finish everything. Time was limited to us because we returned to the hotel around 4pm, worked till 6pm, seniors made us play some games, headed out for dinner, returned around 8pm, played some more games and for all you know, it's 11pm. 

The next day, we headed out for a cruise ride for our next assignment. 

The weather was super hot and the worst part was we had to wear our BRATs shirt again. I'm a little OCD so I couldn't stand myself wearing the same shirt I sweated in. It was so gross I wish I had febreeze to sanitize it LOL. 

Right after our cruise ride, we went for lunch and returned to the resort to start on our second article.

Around 6pm, we were chased out of the hall where we working to gather at the lobby. We were suppose to board the bus to go for dinner but the bus was late, allowing us to enjoy ourselves at the beach for a while. 

Halfway through taking pictures, someone suggested we do this cool pose and so we did, but failed terribly. 

We attempted a few times and finally got a nice shot! 

HAHAHA We bimbos! Look at Nathlyn waving her hand up acting like a queen. xD




After dinner by the roadside near Langkawi Airport where there was no lights and we had to use our phone light to shine at our food, we took a bus somewhere to interview a group of buskers. Check out their performance!

The last night was the toughest night because we barely had any sleep. Some slept at 4am, some 6am and some stayed up all night rushing to finish the articles and videos. 

On the last day, the seniors discussed our work with us and gave us some advice on how to improve. Then, it was time for goodbye. 

A must to take pictures before saying goodbye. 

My team leader and also writer, JC. 

We've only met each other less than a week's time, but I hope our friendship lasts a lifetime. 


Overall, it was an amazing experience and I'm proud to be a part of the BRATs team. Remember at the beginning of my post, I mentioned about how absurd it is, having to pay RM600 in total to attend this programme? It's totally worth it. Trust me. 
I used to think it was bullshit when seniors said we'll meet strangers on the first day and return as best buddies on the last day of the programme because I find it impossible to be best buddies with someone within a short period of time. Now I understand. All those late night working and playing together create an unbreakable bond and I hope to meet them again. 

If you're in a dilemma to sign up for BRATs, I would say, "Go for it."

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3 comments:

  1. OMG! Those penguins <3 <3
    I've never been to Langkawi. It's so sad TT

    www.thethinkerbelle.com

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  2. This looks like it was a once in a lifetime experience! is there any age limit? xx

    urbanhippiekl.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Only 16-19 years old are eligible to enter :)

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