Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Macau’s grand master returns home to set up shop

Posted by Kimberly on October 8, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
October 08, 2008 (1,015 words)

The thing you wonder when you meet Carter Wong for the first time is that he couldn’t possibly be the 61 years he claims.
This, he attributes to several things, not least of which is his training in Wudang Chi-kung, a teaching similar to that of Tai Chi, which is said to prolong life expectancy, strengthen the immune system and improve vitality and youth.
The Macau-born and raised grand master is perhaps best known in the general public for having starred alongside Kurt Russell in ‘Big Trouble in Little China’. Carter played the character of Thunder, a henchman working for the sorcerer Lo Pan.
Having acted in well over 100  films during the course of his career, Carter even worked with Golden Harvest, a dominant film production company that had helped produce Bruce Lee’s ‘Enter the Dragon’. Not to mention providing fight choreography lessons to the likes of Matt Damon as well as William Shatner during Star Trek.
Fast forward 20-odd years and and Wong’s resume could impress even the most cynical of martial arts followers: World Muay-Thai champion, 7th Dan black belt Go-Ju-Ryu Karate-Do Seitokukai, 8th Dan International Martial Arts Federation, Kung-Fu Master.
Carter was, in fact, the first person to teach karate in Macau, back in 1968. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tenmasa opens up the mystery of the geisha world to Macau

Posted by Kimberly on October 1, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
October 01, 2008 (989 words)

When asked to comment on one’s knowledge of the world of geishas, inevitably, the mention of that popular, yet somewhat inaccurate, Hollywood film will crop up. Yet, glamour aside, the world of geishas is still as mysterious today as it has been for hundreds of years. In Kyoto, considered to be where the geisha tradition is the strongest, this mystery can still be witnessed. It is a constant source of frustration for travellers wanting to experience the world of the geisha, to know where in Kyoto they may do so. If ever a woman needed to learn how to say no tactfully, look no further than the way a geisha responds to a passer-by’s question of which restaurant houses one of them.
Over the next week, guests need look no further than Crown Macau to not only see the way geishas express themselves but learn more about their world. Tenmasa at Crown have brought over Lady Mariko, her daughter Maika and her son Eitaro from the famed Matsunoya Geisha House in Tokyo, to entertain guests until October 6. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wynn profits more than triple for second quarter

Posted by Kimberly on August 1, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
August 01, 2008 (388 words)

Macau’s status as the world’s gambling city was firmly entrenched with Wynn Resorts showing their second-quarter earnings in 2008, had more than tripled compared to the same period last year. This was mainly due to a tax windfall and strong growth in revenue from its Macau property, despite a dip in sales from their hometown.
Earnings for the quarter ending June 30 jumped to $272 million, or $2.42 per share from $89.6 million, or 82 cents per share during the same period last year.
According to Wynn’s statement, this was a result of higher earnings from Wynn Macau and a $140.7 million deferred tax benefit recorded during the quarter.
Adjusted net income in the second quarter was $124.3 million, or $1.11 per diluted share, compared with an adjusted net income of $100.8 million, or $0.92 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2007.
With regard to the company’s tax benefits, the statement issued showed that during the quarter, Wynn Resorts completed a study of the taxes, levies and obligations assessed on its Macau operations under Macau law and its Macau Gaming Concession, which resulted in the $140.7 million deferred tax benefit.
There was a 20 percent increase in revenue for the second quarter, to $825.2 million, compared with $687.5 million in the same period of 2007, driven primarily by a 50.3 percent increase in revenues from Wynn Macau. Meanwhile, Wynn’s Las Vegas revenue dropped 24 percent.
Wynn Macau generated revenues of $529.9 million in the second quarter of 2008 compared with $325.5 million during that period last year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cotaijet introduces overnight sailings to Hong Kong

Posted by Kimberly on August 1, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
August 01, 2008 (289 words)

Cotai Waterjets (Macau) Limited yesterday announced an increase in their sailings to Hong Kong beginning today, with the company now offering overnight trips between the two SARs.
CotaiJet will add an additional six sails to it current 56 sailings between the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong and the Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal in Macau.
Three of the sailings (12:00 am, 1:00 am, 2:00 am) will depart from Hong Kong to Taipa, while another three (1:00 am, 3:00 am, 5:00 am) will leave from Taipa to Hong Kong.
Stephen Weaver, Las Vegas Sands’ President for the Asian Region, believed that the expanded overnight CotaiJet ferry service will provide greater flexibility to visitors who come
to Macao for live entertainment, business and shopping at Macao’s new mega shopping centres
on Cotai Strip,” including the latest instalment, The Shoppes at Four Seasons.
A Venetian representative within corporate communications added that the numbers of sailings could be increased in the future, saying “we shall closely monitor demand and shall make adjustments accordingly.”
Asked whether the additional sailings could have an impact on those currently offered by First Ferry and Turbojet, they said they were “not in the position to comment on others’ behalf.”
Meanwhile, the fairs for the new sailings will be the same price as for the current night sailings and are scheduled at all times, not just when special events occur at the Venetian.
Finally, in response to whether Cotaijet would be increasing their ferries, the representative stated that “CotaiJet has enough vessels to service the new sailings. Our fact sheet also indicates the plan to put three more vessels into service later this year.”
Ferry schedules and fare information can be found on CotaiJet’s web site, http://www.cotaijet.com.mo.

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Making a synchronised effort for Olympic glory

Posted by Kimberly on August 1, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
August 01, 2008 (496 words)

It’s taken Britain about 16 years, but the nation’s finally got their first Olympic synchronised swimming duet in 18-year-old Olivia Allison and 19-year-old Jenna Randall.
The two teenagers spoke to the media yesterday at the Westin Resort, Macau, about the changed perception of the sport and its true difficulties.
“Everyday, we’re training full time,” says Allison, adding that “all we do is eat, sleep and train.”
To be more precise, the girls are required to practise up to seven hours a day for six days a week, during this crucial period, although not all of this is intense, with practice involving different phases of training.
“We’re a lot fitter!” says Randall, who explained that they used to achieve scores in the “low 7’s at the European Championships” but were now achieving high 8’s to low 9’s, “so we’ve improved by a whole category of marks.”
And as far as the girls’ Performance Director, Biz Price is concerned, this is only the beginning.
“I think they have another two years to go” before become ‘really fit”, she says and Randall agrees, adding that “I feel pretty fit at the moment but for my sport, I’m not that great yet.”
Biz explains that, despite public opinion on the sport’s place as an Olympic event, the amount of work that is required of the girls is far more than simple twirls and spins. Read the rest of this entry »

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