SE Asia

Love dolls, strippers, jacuzzis and drugs: The Philippines’ largest prison gets raided by police

Armed police stormed New Bilibid Prison, the Philippines’ largest penitentiary, earlier this week after it was reported that inmates were living lives of debauchery despite being incarcerated for their respective crimes. Many of prisoners were found to be in possession of numerous luxury items and living in private “villas”, with police even uncovering a room built especially for strippers to perform.

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Model and TV star Kayo Police went to Singapore to wish you a hot Christmas from the beach

One of the most envied perks of being famous has to be international travel. So while we’re sure being a model is just as hard work – if not more so – than heaps of other jobs, we can imagine that opportunities to escape the recent cold weather in Japan and jet off to warmer climes goes some way to make up for it.

So forgive us for being more than a little jealous of these pics from Kayo Police’s trip to Singapore. Sure, posing for pictures is work. But she also got to go to Universal Studios and go to a bubble spa. Merry Christmas!

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39 looks at the lighter side of Asia

As you’re probably well aware, we at RocketNews24 strive to tackle only the most serious issues of the day. Whether we’re breaking down the complexities of the TPP and its effects on soy bean subsidies, or providing in-depth analysis on how modern Japanese silk arts have deviated from their traditional routes, we never stop thinking about important matters. Even though we cover these topics with deadly seriousness, however, we have been known to let our hair down once a year or so.

With that in mind, today we’d like to bring you a collection of photos which pretty much no point or underlying theme aside from the fact they all come out of Asia and are really weird. Don’t worry though, we’ll be back to our usual coverage of tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests of Japan soon enough. For now just sit back and enjoy these little pieces of Novocaine for the mind.

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Naruto stage play releases first photo, announces cast, adds performances outside Japan

With the Naruto manga all wrapped up, we imagine a lot of fans are feeling sort of lonely. Sure, there’s an animated movie coming up, and you can still catch episodes of the weekly anime series, but with no more issues of the comic to look forward to, it must seem like the series’ cast of charismatic ninja have drifted just a little farther away.

Soon enough, though, Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura will be just a few rows of seats away from their adoring public, as the Naruto stage play is set to open this spring, and producers have just announced the cast and released the first shot in-costume photo of the star of the show.

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Singaporean artist creates beautiful works of art using bicycle tire tracks

We love introducing our readers to amazing works of art by innovative artists, and the works of Thomas Yang, creative director at DDB Singapore, fall directly under this category. At first glance, you might think that some of his most popular works are mere depictions of internationally famous buildings and structures. But don’t be surprised if you notice something else upon closer inspection–all of the pictures are crafted using bicycle tire tracks!    

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Cute dog turns traditional fish pond into personal swimming pool【Photos】

If you’ve ever been to Thailand, you know that it can get really hot. It’s enough to make anyone look longingly at the nearest fountain, pond or puddle. Well, add a fur coat to that equation and I get why this Thai dog decided he wasn’t going to let a few guppies get in the way of a quick, cooling dip!

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Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood

Look at the two Starbucks cups above. Can you tell which one is real and which one is a creation of colored pencils, pastels and ink? If not for a tiny bit hanging off the edge of the wood, we’d have been hard-pressed to choose.

This is the incredibly realistic work of Singaporean artist Ivan Hoo.

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Flash mob at Manila airport brings holiday cheer to surprised passengers

It’s December. It’s that time of the year again. Shop windows are decorated with Christmas trees and signs inviting you to spend more money; Candy canes and Santa Clauses and reindeer seem to be popping up everywhere you go. At the airport in Manila, Philippines, the sultry weather doesn’t seem to have the same holiday magic other wintry places do. However, a flash mob brought the Christmas spirit back to surprised passengers at the terminal and warmed our hearts, too.

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There’s something strange in the Cebu ‘hood: 14 high school girls faint after seeing a “ghost”

Who you gonna call…? Frederik Kriekenbeek! No, that’s not the Cebuano word for “Ghostbuster,” it’s the name of the local priest who specializes in exorcisms in Cebu, Philipines.

What seems like a case of ghostly possession has struck the idyllic Filipino island when, on November 21, 14 students fainted when they were “possessed” by a ghost. Never fear though, this does seem to happen every once in a while; that’s why they have a local priest who specializes in exorcisms. He really is, who they call.

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Horror comics found at Thai convenience stores don’t pull any punches

Thailand has always been known for its extremely terrifying repertoire of horror movies. However, the tropical nation’s taste for horror appears to extend into their manga culture as well. A sample of their convenience store comic book selection are so packed with grotesque images that we wonder whether kids who see them on the shelves don’t have nightmares.

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There’s a Doraemon Christmas tree in Singapore

Shoppers at Singapore’s One Raffles Place can get into the holiday spirit with the help of Doraemon. Or rather, dozens upon dozens of Doraemon, which have been turned into a cute and wonderful Doraemon Christmas tree, complete with Santa hats.

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Controversial pick-up artist breaks silence as campaign against him continues

Recently, we’ve been bringing you updates on controversial pick-up artist and dating coach Julien Blanc who has attracted anger around the world for purportedly purveying aggressive attitudes towards women. After a video was posted online of him appearing to harass women in Japan by pushing their heads towards his crotch, several campaigns were set up against him by activists in America, Australia, Britain, and Japan. These campaigns have so far been successful in helping to raise awareness of the “pick-up seminars” hosted by Blanc through his company RSD (Real Social Dynamics). Now, Blanc has broken his silence to offer an apology to those he has offended, which campaigners have rejected for its seemingly disingenuous nature.

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Vietnamese kids’ TV show will haunt your dreams, possibly get sued by Disney 【Video】

One of the things kids most enjoy about going to Disneyland is getting to meet the characters up close and personal, and they love seeing their favourites on TV too. But something about the characters on this Vietnamese children’s show are a little…off. This bizarre TV show features a lawsuit waiting to happen, canned children’s cheers, and characters that will haunt your dreams.

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Who needs scissors? Stylist in Vietnam slices customers’ hair with samurai sword

About a month after I moved to Japan in college, my hair was getting pretty shaggy, so I asked my host dad where I could get a trim. The place he took me to was an old-school barbershop, and I remember being surprised when instead of using electric clippers on the back of my neck, the barber used a straight razor.

Still, that wasn’t nearly as big as the shock some customers get when they walk into this hairdresser’s in Vietnam and see the stylist slicing people’s hair with a Japanese sword.

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62-year-old man has stomach pains, then… lays an egg?

Earlier this year we introduced you to “virgin boy eggs,” eggs twice-boiled in little boys’ urine. As it is a Chinese dish, we’re not sure if these delicacies are enjoyed on the islands of Indonesia – but don’t worry, they don’t need “virgin boy eggs” there, they get theirs from the other side of the spectrum.

Today, I introduce you to “old man eggs,” chicken eggs which are “laid” by a 62-year-old Indonesian man.

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Upcoming Australian-made card game battle anime is a confusing mix of genres

The worldwide popularity of Japanese anime has certainly served as inspiration for many who aspire to be illustrators or animators in the future. The rise of anime has also influenced big names in good old American animation industry, such as Disney and Cartoon Network. In fact, Cartoon Network Asia will debut an Australian-made anime production in December, titled “Exchange Student Zero“.

The only problem is, they seem to have taken the idea of ‘exchange student’ a little too literally…

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Pretty Indonesian sisters share everything including good looks and sweet style 【Photos】

Sisters Elle and Jess Yamada from Indonesia do everything together, and that includes making a name for themselves on the fashion blogosphere. The lovely ladies are in their early twenties and have a combined total of nearly 250,000 Instagram followers, write for their popular blog on their website, and run a clothing line called Gowigasa. They’re also apparently really awesome at hulahooping, and won their high school’s hula hoop competition.

But we know what you really want is to get a good look at these two beauties, so read on to find a selection of photos after the cut.

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Queens of stage and screen: Thailand’s transgender beauty pageant kicks off for 10th year

In many ways, Miss International Queen is just like any other pageant: finalists parade in evening gowns, swimsuits and national dress, and the winner will perform twelve months of promotional and charity duties. There’s one major difference, though: all the contestants are transgender women, and the top prize includes cosmetic surgery for the winner – if she wants it.

As the world’s largest transgender pageant hits the stage in Thailand (where else!) for its 10th anniversary year, we take a look at this unique contest.

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A little late for Halloween, here are some haunted photos from Thailand

So we might be a little late to the party on this one – on account of being at other parties that involved a lot of drinking – but we’re still taken with the Halloween spirit, and it looks like Thailand is too, because we managed to scrounge up a bunch of spooky, possibly “haunted” photos from the area recently.

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Thai schoolgirl invents eco-friendly method of roach disposal using 3 simple ingredients

One thing we can probably all agree on is that cockroaches are gross and disgusting. They stink, they fly at your face and they can make you sick. They must be exterminated, but not everybody enjoys breathing in the noxious fumes from aggressive sprays, nor do they enjoy handling toxic poisons. So what’s left? Drown the suckers? They can survive in water for around 30 minutes. Suffocate them? They can live without air for 45 minutes. Chops their heads off? They’ll just keep on scurrying. Luckily, a high school girl in Thailand has come up with an all-natural non-violent method of disposing of the icky invaders. All you’ll need is flour, cement powder, and… malted milk powder?

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