Well-wishers stretched their arms forward for that split-second handshake with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam as the monarch graced a second get-together in Tutong yesterday.
Despite the large crowd, it was worthwhile to be fortunate enough to get a photo opportunity and even an autograph from the benevolent ruler.
For others, it was a golden opportunity to present His Majesty with birthday gifts, which are ceremonially referred to as 'pesambah'.
The Prisons Department represented by officers from both Maraburong and Jerudong Prisons took the opportunity to present His Majesty with a hand-crafted 'Gasing' or spinning top.
With a diameter of 27-inches, the top was made by inmates using Impasan wood, which is said to be the toughest wood that can be used in the creation of this popular traditional game and past-time.
The rope used to spin the top is made of "Tembaran", a material similar to that used to make traditional baskets called "tekiding". The rope is wrapped neatly around the top and together with a mirror-like device which is used to balance the top.
Dato Ting Jack Chai of Cityneon Displays and Construction presented a 'pesambah' in the form of a walking stick, for the Sultan's collection.
The walking stick is made of passion wood, a fragrant wood found only in the Borneo jungle and parts of Indonesia. The fine-grained yellowish wood will retain its fragrance for decades, unlike many other aromatic woods.
The passion wood has been valued and treasured for many years for its fragrance, medical and spiritual qualities. Based on local belief, a passion wood tree can "harmony, happiness and good luck" to those who possess it.
The handle of the walking stick is made from ivory obtained from approved elephant tusks and ground smoothly to perfection.
Another generous gift meant to signify His Majesty as an influential Muslim ruler came in the form of a gold plated 'rihal' or Al-Quran holder, which was presented by the Indian Association of Tutong, led by Nazeer Ahamed, Managing Proprietor of Nazmi Textile Mall.
Standing nearly a foot high, the stand is decorated with traditional Bruneian designs. Several crystals have also been incorporated into the overall design, resulting in a look of classic elegance.
The Tiong Hwa Community in Tutong presented a birthday cake that weighed in at eight pounds and symbolised "good fortune and prosperity", said community leader, Soon Seng Lee. He added, "His Majesty is a sincere king, helping those who are in need regardless of race or religion. We are proud to be under his rule, while he enforces positive change to the nation that has benefitted our people."