Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR






So this is Christmas

And what have you done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young



A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear



And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
The rich and the poor ones
The war is so long
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight




Sunday, December 7, 2014

ONE DAY......




One day,.

All of us will get separated from each other
We will miss our conversations of everything and nothing
The dreams that we had
Days will pass by, months, years
Until this contact becomes rare...


One day our children will see our pictures and ask

'Who are these people?'
And we will smile with invisible tears
Because a heart is touched with a strong word
And you will say
'IT WAS THEM THAT I HAD THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE WITH'...


Thank you for making me smile for sometimes in my life...




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

UNDUK NGADAU





Come every May, the Kaamatan Festival or Harvest Festival is celebrated by the Kadazandusuns of Sabah.

In every Kaamatan Festival, the Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan contest assumes the highlight of the day’s occasion where a beauty queen, Unduk Ngadau is selected in a pageant which is contested by more than 30 young maiden dressed in their finest traditional costume, each representing a district in Sabah.

Unduk or tunduk literally means the shoot of a plant while ngadau or tadau means the noon day sun. Taken together, Unduk Ngadau refers to the sun at its brightest; representing the zenith of youth where beauty transcends physical attributes, where sterling qualities of strength, beauty, courage and love are unrivalled and at their peak. When translated to the Unduk Ngadau beauty pageant that takes place in the Kaamatan celebration, the beauty queen selected from the ‘fairest’ of them all has deeper significance than what is apparent.

The origin of the Unduk Ngadau lies in the Kadazandusun legend of Huminodun, Kinoingan’s only beloved daughter who was sacrificed to become food for the people. She was said to have willingly sacrificed herself to save mankind who almost perished due to a great famine. It is thus her noble qualities of courage, compassion, beauty and sacrifice that the Unduk Ngadau is ideally based. The beauty queen is said to represent or meant to embody all of these qualities or comes close to personifying the mythical Huminodun as the ideal woman.

The Bobohizans or the Priestess of Penampang, a district in Sabah, recites Huminodun in their inait or ritual prayers (translated to):

Were your beauty light,
It would be as the blazing sun,
And my eyes would not withstand to gaze,
At your transfigured face…

Were your piety and might,
Measurable in terms of height,
It would reach the noon sun,
And yet stand firm and upright..”

STATE AWARD CEREMONY


Almost 400 people received the 'Darjah-Darjah Kebesaran Dan Bintang-Bintang serta Pingat-Pingat Negeri Sabah' awarded by His Excellency, the Sabah State Governor Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Juhar Bin Datuk Haji Mahiruddin on the 18th November 2014. 



  It was a long day but not as long as the day before during the rehearsals. It was sweltering hot inside the hall.  Everyone was dressed in the official attire - the ladies in baju kurung or kebaya labuh and the gentlemen either in black baju melayu with black and gold sampin for Muslim and or lounge suit for non-Muslims. 

The ceremony was held at the Dewan Banquasi,  State Assembly Building as the Palace was being renovated. And the heat? The air-condition apparently choose that day to breakdown! And there were almost 400 people there! 

But on the actual day, the air-condition worked very well. .Phew.. His Excellency and Wife arrived at 9.55 am sharp and after the National and State Anthem, the award giving began with the highest Decoration award, the S.P.D.K. which carries the title Datuk Seri Panglima followed by the rest of the awards - the P.G.D.K., A.S.D.K., A.D.K., B.S.K., B.K., and SK. 

Am honoured to be one of the recipients of the small 'Bintang', but meaningful just the same. Thank you indeed.








Friday, November 7, 2014

BEAUTIES OF BORNEO..

Can't believe that the year will end in less than 2 months time.  Time it seems crept by and the realisation that another year is almost ending is like waking up from a dream.  Upon reflection, I guess I've done quite a bit the past months.  Have not done as much photography as I would like to though.  Them old hands now prefer to go about light and snap everything using my old rusty Iphone.  Heard that Iphone6 has just been launched but the price is very much beyond me. So I guess, it would have to be me and my rusty phone at the moment. 




Woke up the other day and my phone was buzzing and I was thinking, these people, early riser. It was a public holiday after all being the State Governor's official birthday.  And I was shocked  upon reading the buzz from a friend and being congratulated at having being awarded with some state award! And I was like 'whaaaat!?' 

Gosh, that was surreal and my friend took pains to take a snapshot of the paper where my name was one of those hundreds that were listed. It was a small award, but an award is an award. It is an honour indeed and I must thank the person who nominated me and for recognizing my small contributions to society through my involvement in NGO, though to me rather insignificant compared to many many others who have worked harder than me.  I understand that 4 names from my group were nominated, but that only 2 of us were successful. 




And so I received the letter from the Istana to attend the award ceremony on the 18th November 2014 to be held at the State Assembly building.  The usual place, i.e. the Istana is currently undergoing renovations.  The letter says that I can bring my spouse to witness the ceremony and I was like 'Great, someone to take photo of me during that historical moment too...hahaha.!!..  Hubby. however has some other ideas, that he would not be free that day and also he said that it is not as if I am receiving a 'Datukship'.. hahaha  cehh, spoilsport!  Oh well, I am sure there will be official photographers there. 

Talking about photography, I am glad that some friends have invited me to conduct some photoshoots. These friends are professional photographers of course and they were shooting young ladies in the traditional costumes for 2015 calendar.   My shots of course pale in comparison if not on the verge of embarrassment but then again, I defend myself that mine are simply for my learning process and just as a hobby. 

Anyway, to make the pictures look little more than just mere photographs, I played around with lights and colours.







Venue:  Sabah Museum

Model:  Miss Cheryl Lynn who is also the reigning Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan 2014/2015 (a Kadazan beauty pageant in search of the most beautiful maiden to commemorate the legendary Kazadan Princess, Huminodun).

She was wearing the traditional costume from the district of Kota Belud called the 'Sinipak'.

Many thanks to all the models, who were very professional and patient throughout the photoshoots especially with our many requests for unconventional poses.  They are a photographer's dream and we had lots of fun and laughter doing these photo sessions. 



 Model: Miss Christy
Wearing the traditional costume of the Lundayeh tribe from the district of
Sipitang.





Model: Miss Bibie Lista wearing the Rungus traditional costume from the district of
Matunggung, the northern part of Sabah


 Model: Debbie
wearing the traditional costume from  the district of 
Lahad Datu, 
East Coast of Sabah.




Miss Bibie Lista


Have a nice day folks. Cheers and thanks for dropping by.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

TRAVEL MEMORIES TO KIWI LAND AND THE STRANGE VISITOR - PART 4 AND FINAL


We arrived Wellington around 9.00 pm and the adventurous lot as usual did not make any prior booking for accommodation preferring to trust the GPS to lead us to some motels that we have seen in some brochures. When we arrived, it was windy and cold and worst thing was, most of the motels were fully booked and some available ones, again, not within our budget. 

After going round and round the city, tired after the long drive, hungry and cold,  we decided to settle for a Bed & Breakfast. It was small but was just nice with 2 double decker beds for the 4 of us. 



We opted to dine at the nearby restaurant instead of joining the other guests cooking in the common kitchen. We later settled for the night, my friend Phil and I, each of us having the lower deck and the other 2 on the upper deck.   I slept like a baby but sometimes during the early morning, I was awakened and I noticed that Phil and Teri were sitting on the bed. There were both awake and whispering in earnest.  I groggily asked what happened and they told me that some strange beings had come avisiting during the night.  I was like..what? and jumped into their bed my sleep all gone!  

Phil related that she was half asleep but in the dimly lit room with only the light coming from the toilet which we had left ajar, she saw and then felt a black shadow of a man coming to her bed.  'His" presence was so overpowering that she could even smell his hair oil. She tried to scream but could only manage a hoarse whisper and Teri who was sleeping on the upper deck was awakened, heard her struggling and her soft scream. Teri quickly got up and switched on the light and saw Phil shaking in shock and fright almost in tears.  




There wasn't anyone else in the room except the 4 of us and the 2 of us were fast asleep! The door was locked and windows closed. Also we were on 5th or 6th floor.  It could only mean one thing.. the room was spooked!   Sleep didn't come to us after that and when morning came, we quickly packed, checked out and placed our luggage at the hotel lobby while we roamed the streets of Wellington before boarding the Islander Ferry in the late afternoon headed for Picton. That was certainly spooky and a hair raising experience.



My beautiful friend Phil..


Wellington


Streets of Wellington -  can't remember the name but a great place to shop and window shop

Wellington trivia



 Goodbye Wellington.. till we meet again someday (taken from ferry)


On board the Islander Ferry - beautiful scenery of Malborough Sounds.


 Malborough Sounds


Source: Wikipedia "The Marlborough Sounds are an extensive network of sea-drowned valleys at the north end of the South Island of New Zealand. The Marlborough Sounds were created by a combination of land subsidence and rising sea level at the north of the South Island of New Zealand

According to Māori mythology, the sounds are the prows of the sunken wakas of Aoraki and are connected to the Cook Strait at the north-east extreme. At this point, the North Island is at its closest to the South Island, and the inter-island road, rail, and passenger ferry service between Picton and Wellington travels through the sounds."






Hello Picton (South Island)

Looking back at our experience in Wellington though, I or rather we, wouldn't change a thing as that incident became an interesting topic of conversation later on.



 Loyddy's Farm near Sedon




 I suck at shearing..







Above: up close with a seal



.. to warm up those sensitive areas?..tee hee





We arrived Picton late in evening where we were met by Teri's brother who is a resident of NZ. We stayed with them in Blenhiem and also visited several other places. We stayed there for three days and on the 3rd day, we boarded the bus from Blenhiem to Christchurch airport and arrived there in the evening. We later bid adieu to this beautiful country, bringing with us lots of fond memories. 

Until then, hope to return again someday....



All our bags are packed, we're ready to go..
'cos we are leaving 

(the gentleman 2nd from left is Teri's brother who resides in NZ  and extreme left, his friend also residing there.) 


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TRAVEL MEMORIES TO MIDDLE EARTH - PART 3

Was trying to clear off some pictures from my overloaded folders.  And I chance upon some pictures which I  have forgotten. That happens when one has several hundred folders with several hundreds pictures in it. 


How time flies and the pic above which  felt like taken only yesterday outside one of New Zealand's the oldest University in  Dunedin, is 2 years old.   This is sort of a continuation of my Travel Memories to Middle Earth - Part 1 and  Travellling Again? Part 2 written and posted earlier.

(We drove from the South Island : Christchurch - Lake Tekapo - Queenstown - Invercargill - Dunedin  and back to Christchurch. 

Flew from Christchurch to the North Island: Auckland - Rotorua - Wellington - Blenhiem (stayed 3 nights) - Christchurch and home.  With several stops at various other places, but not staying the night,  the trip took us a little more than 2 weeks. Wish we stayed longer).





After the stay at Lake Tekapo, we drove to Mount Cook, had our lunch there and later proceeded to one of the most beautiful place I've seen - Queenstown where we stayed the night. We left the following late afternoon albeit reluctantly and proceeded to Invercargill!

We arrived Invercargill, New Zealand's southernmost city late evening where we stayed a night at a very charming motel.  I still remember the owner, a tall elderly gentleman when showing us around commented how short I was but quickly changed it to 'petite', that I must be careful in the bathroom as I would probably have problem reaching for the water heater.... iishhh  'celaka punya orang'!  hahaha..  And no, I did not have any problem and no, I was not offended at all.  He wasn't that wrong after all..LOL.



crystal clear water of Lake Wakatipu,  Queenstown, a mesmerising place..


Queenstown's stunning and awe inspiring scenery! It is like a dream..



Queenstown




Above: Charming motel at Invercargill. The night was cold at -4% C but we were kept warm and comfy. That car is our ride.



As usual we did our rounds around the city the following day, and later left sometime late morning to Dunedin with several stops along the way.


one of our stops along the way, where we bought some souvenirs  for home.


A few miles before Dunedin, we saw a small cold storage store selling fresh and frozen seafood.  We stopped by and we were delighted to find lots of fresh fish, mussels and other sea food priced so reasonably too. We were surprised to find too that there were selling fresh fish heads at only 50 cents each!  Fish heads? Why? We were guessing that some Asians or rather Malaysians must be staying nearby ..hahaha...





 Source: Google Pics


our din din... now where's the fish head soup?

We literally jumped for joy at finding something so cheap at a most unexpected place.  We bought a large cut of the salmon flesh and 3 fish heads.. yes 3! It was so cheap after all and we thought we'd make soup of the 2 and another one to bring to our next destination, which was Christchurch, the following day. 

As the weather was cold, we were not worried of it getting bad. Still we kept it well in our airtight plastic container and we thought if it starts smelling bad after that, we could just disposed of it somewhere.





Streets in Dunedin - 
my feet were killing me with all the walking. Even with my comfortable boots, they were crying.. "please release me!"



my partners in crime... one the 'driver' another the 'cook'. 
I was the photographer and bookkeeper. Another friend, our porter and assistant photographer .. hehehe


After roaming the streets of Dunedin the following morning, we started our long journey to Christchurch in the early afternoon. The journey was supposed to take 5 hours  but it took us longer due to several stops along the way. We reached Christchurch around 9 pm and started to hunt for accommodation near the airport  as we had to catch an early flight to Auckland the following day. 


Goodbye Dunedin... till we meet again.

Bad luck as all the motels were all fully booked and some with vacant places were not within our budget!  I was thinking about the fish head since we could not find a place to cook it, we gonna have to throw it for sure.  We decided to spend the night at the airport.  But what about the raw fish head?  Luck would have it, the cold weather had kept it good and fresh and so we decided to keep it.  

We left the car at the designated location and lugged our luggage and the the raw fish head to the airport!  Yeah, the raw fish head slept with us at the airport floor and  flew with us to Auckland,  1  1/2 hour flight away.  Guess what we did first thing when we arrived our lodging in Auckland? 

Lovely memories of Auckland roaming about the city, shopping and going up the sky tower to savor the stunning scenery. 



Awesome sights of Auckland as seen on top of the sky tower



Auckland



Just showing off .. am terrified of heights and feeling vertigo..


We left Auckland the following day to Rotorua where we stayed for 2 days and later drove to Wellington. We stayed the night in Wellington and the following afternoon, took the Islander ferry crossing Cook's Straits to NZ's South Island and land in Picton.

(to be continued).


our Rotorua lodging


our simple dinner.. hmm.. am sure we had meat too..

 autumn leaves


baaa... baaa..




final pic in front of our lodging in Rotorua before the long journey to Wellington.



(to be continued - final part)


A LESSON ON LIFE FROM DAD...

Just sharing this beautiful message received from a friend through WhatsApp which I think also received from someone. Guess it has been ...