...LiFe iS BeauTifuL...

There are lots of beautiful things around us. It's just a matter of how we see it and whether we're able to realize it. In life, of course there are always some ups and downs. However, I believe, that even in the most difficult situation, there's always a beautiful thing.. As wise people say, "Everything happens for a reason".

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Damn, just say that out loud. It feels exotic. I am sitting in a Twin Otter bush plane flying back to civilization after spending a week with the Penan tribe. I was conducting research and making contacts for my graduate program. During that short time I made good friends, read Conrad's Heart of Darkness, documented the first Rafflesia flower found in the Kelabit Highlands region, and spent some serious time becoming non-cognizant of time itself. But the tempo is about to take a dramatic shift, I am heading for the biggest party of my life, the Gawai festival.
I have arrived back in Miri, a city on the Northwest coast of Borneo. The Highlands guest house is an excellent base for travels in Sarawak. It is run by David and Pauline Benet, a Kiwi pilot for your Twin Otter flights, and his Kelabit wife. They have put together a home stay style retreat in an equatorial city. You will feel welcome in their pleasant facility as they introduce you to local events, culture, and guides to take you wherever your wanderlust seeks satisfaction.
Gawai is an annual festival held every June in the longhouses of lowland tribes in Sarawak. It is a national event, promoted by local brews and municipalities, but in reality everyone leaves the cities empty to return home or visit friends. Gawai is a harvest festival, a New Year celebration, religious ritual and family reunion all at the same time. If you make friends in the weeks preceding Gawai, the traveler will likely receive several invitations as locals are proud of their culture and want to share their wildest time.
Anyone who has spent a night in the jungle knows that it is alive like no other place on earth. You can hear it, smell it, and feel it. The complexity and quality of that amount of life is reflected in the culture of the people who make their home amongst the tropical forest landscape and creatures. When a nature based religion like the Berawan tribe's Napoh is celebrating its existence, a unique experience for the visitor is guaranteed.
My guide to the Loagan Bunut Longhouse's annual festival is Willie Kajan. He is an adventurer extraordinaire who has spent his life defending and sharing the local cultures and ecology with visitors. He has arranged a four wheel drive vehicle and driver to take us to the site.
Leaving the city of Miri behind, we pass through Lambir Hills National Park, an area protected for its incredible biodiversity. The jungle is impressive. Soon however, the palm oil plantations begin. Palm oil development is highly controversial due to its environmental and cultural impacts on local populations. I realize that all of the alarmist style proclamations that the rainforest is being wiped out, are actually based on the proof in front of my eyes. Passing a family collecting plants along the road, Willie tells me that the palm rows are stocked with venomous snakes to control the rodent population which feeds on the valuable oil palm fruit. I am not sure whether to believe him or not until I see a deadly banded krait which didn't make it across the road in one piece.
We arrive at the longhouse around mid-day. I am introduced to the Headman who welcomes me to his community. Next I meet Willie's uncle, who I am told to refer to in the familiar, "Uncle." I am humbled by this extension of kinship terminology so early in my visit. Uncle is the spiritual leader of about half of this longhouse who still adhere to the traditional religion. I can sense a rivalry between the Headman, who is a Christian, and my new Uncle. I think that my crooked smile at realizing this endears me to the pagan contingent.
The finishing touches on the decorations are being wrapped up. Huge palm fronds are arched in the doorways and western style ribbons and banners drape the longhouse veranda. The longhouse is one long structure where family residences are accessed from a continuous public hallway. This is where the celebration will go off at midnight. It is never too early to imbibe, and within minutes of arriving the crowd is sizing up my attitude. The Borak is flowing.
Borak is homemade liquor made from fermenting rice with yeast. It is comparable to sake, but in a class of its own. As the equatorial heat hovers and the humidity permeates my soul I fantasize about ice cubes. Not a chance. Borak, and beer, is enjoyed at room temperature in the jungle. I share photos from home with everyone I am introduced to. I am ushered between rooms where the hosts are too quick to refill my glass and offer snacks. I have never seen hospitality like this, but it is a trend that will continue throughout the festival. After tying on a good buzz, Willie suggests a boat tour of the longhouse's namesake.
Loagan, or Lake Bunut, is the largest freshwater body in Sarawak. It is shallow and the indigenous fisherman have created unique nets to take advantage of the situation. I am shown a pair of 500 year old totem poles along the far shore of the lake. In the past the bodies of high status Berawan were placed in jars atop the poles. The sun is low in the sky and the wildlife is waking up. It is a waterborne safari. I see black hornbills, storks, a fish eagle and many other bird species. Packs of silver leaf monkeys howl in the towering trees. Most impressive, a 3 meter long crocodile splashes into the water just in front of the small boat. He was sitting still, mouth open, with a fly on his tongue just above the water as bait for a hungry fish. I would need a professional panoramic camera to even attempt to capture the beauty of the sunset.
We return to the longhouse for dinner and more drinking. I am beginning to sense that my tolerance is falling behind my consumption. The stories begin to roll out. I learn about the history of this tribe. The musicians play traditional songs and amazing voices sing ballads of headhunting raids of the past. Tobacco and betel nut are offered. I am drunk, and impressed by the activities surrounding me. Little to my knowledge, this is the warm up for tomorrow night, so I am allowed to go to sleep in peace.
Early morning roosters and stomping feet wake me. Yes, I am served borak for breakfast, along with fresh tropical fruit and rice. Now Gawai is in full swing. I wonder if I am the only person who got any sleep last night. Soon it is out to the front of the longhouse where an alter to worship the spirits of nature has been erected. Pigs are bound with rope and are wrapped in burlap sacks. Chickens run around and the whole community has assembled. I am shown an antique headhunting sword which Uncle will use to dispatch the hogs. The number 7 is vital to the ritual. There are seven spiritually significant birds on the lake; so seven pigs, seven chickens and seven eggs on carved sticks will be offered to the spirits. The expected result will be an abundant harvest and good welfare for the tribe.
Only men are allowed in the fenced off alter area. The fence is not very high, so as Uncle's assistants restrain the pigs during the sacrifice, women from the tribe throw beer and water all over the men. I try to cover my camera as someone tells me that I should have been here last year when the women collected buckets of waste from the toilets to douse the men. Wonderful.
Once the offering is complete I am invited to scrape the hair off of the pigs in preparation for tonight's feast. The pace of the drinking is increasing. I have an un-open beer in my camera bag, one in my short's pocket, one in my hand and a fresh open can in my other hand. These guys are party animals.

During the afternoon it is apparently acceptable to pass out wherever you wish. The musicians from last night have given up their spots on the traditional instruments to amateurs like myself. At least I can play a gong. An old man, a master of the martial art of Silat, demonstrates his moves. Others take their turns, and the younger men of the village ask me to go next. I perform Muay Thai moves and some basic Capoeira to the music. It is well received and must be toasted with more borak.
The longhouse begins to stir in the late afternoon. The feast is being prepared.
The veranda is lined on both sides. Family has been arriving all day. It is a full house. I sit in a place of honor between the Headman and Uncle. All eyes are on me as a procession of young women from the longhouse file out of the Headman's residence with plates and bowls of food. An amazing feast is laid out in front of me. I can't believe my eyes. It seems like a dream. I have never been so humbled by this genuine respect of another people.
I try to return my respect when I am asked to repeat the warrior dances I witness after dinner. With a ceremonial cap, wooden shield, and the headhunting sword of the tribe, I fight an imaginary army.
Later on I face fierce resistance when trying to go to bed. I am twice dragged by my feet from my room. A conga line rages through the night. People are yelling, stomping, and they are still pounding booze.
In the morning I am wished a safe journey as I prepare to head back to town. Ash from a hearth is smeared onto my face. And yes, farewell drinks of borak are in order.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This is what we call "BUNGAI TERUNG"

Totaly finish 100%

The 1st stage :)

Feel the Pain arrgghh.......

Finally i got my own tattoo now. This is what we call "Iban Traditional Tattoo" now i got it on both of my sholder. First impression i told that making tatto is pain, but i dont thing make a tattoo is pain it just like we eat a rice hehe...This is my 1st tattto it call "Bungai Terung". Thankz to my friends Jimmy coz make this beautiful tattoo for me. Now i'm iban gys who have a tattoo "Bungai Terung" on my sholder hahahaha.....Im proud to be a Sarawakian and Iban gys..Next time i will make my 2nd tattoo on my leg. when i see the tattoo machine it was make my heart trob hehe, i thing that i can't make it..so finally i got it and finish make a tattoo on both of my sholder yahoo.... :)
This is what we call Bornean Traditional Tattooing


One stick is held onto the skin with the needle or sharp stick going into the skin and the other is used as a type of hammer, tapping ink into the skin. The thickness, durability and type of stick are varied to which the tattooist prefers.
Stretching of the skin is very important to the process. Like with the sticks each artist has their own preferred way of having the skin stretched. Stretching is different on each part of the body and the correct stretching reduces the time taken to do that tattoo, considerably. A good assistant doing the stretching can reduce the time a tattoo takes by half.

Borneo Tattooing Design
The most common of Borneo designs are thick black tribal work, which all have different meanings.
Nature is the main focus when designing a Borneo Traditional Tattooing such as leaves, animals, fruits, trees and branches.

Women's Tattoos
Women of Borneo also have tattoos, but are of a different style of designs and are placed at different positions from those of men. One of these are bands on the forearms which mark the skills that the women has, such as weaving and cooking. Borneo Men would not marry a woman without these tattoos, because the woman is still a girl and not worth marrying.

Men's Tattoos
The Bunga Terung, which translates to the eggplant flower, is the first tattoo a Borneo male would receive. The Bunga Terung is a coming of age tattoo which marks the passage of a boy into manhood. The Bunga Terung has a spiral at the center of the eggplant flower the Tali Nyawa, which means the rope of life and is identical to the underside of a tadpole which symbolizes the beginning of a new life.
All the tattoos, following the eggplant flower, are like a diary. A young male would go out on his own to find knowledge and from each place he went to he would get one tattoo to mark not only where he is from but also where he has been. From each place the tattoos have different styles so the regional differences in his tattoos would tell the story of his journeys in life.
Borneo tattoos do not just mark physical journeys. Some represent big life events, such as fathering children etc. For example there is a tattoo a man can have done on his hand called the Entegulun. You can only have this if you have taken heads. Some tattoos can be for protection, for example the tattoos on the troat (Ukir Rekong) are meant to give strength to the skin on the throat, to stop your enemies from being able to take your head.

This is what we call Bungai Terung
I got this ordy in both of my sholder :)

Borneo Tattooing Today
Many of the designs no longer exist. In the 1950s and 1960s many people in Borneo converted to Christianity and a lot of the traditional tattooing stopped. The tattooing and designs almost died away. About 10 years ago there was a resurgence when a lot of journalists and researchers came and asked questions about the old ways. This caused a lot of the younger people to look back and now many of them are getting these traditional tattoos done again.

Tsunami in Japan 2011 Waves Stirred Up by Earthquake Cause Wide Destruction

Japan was hit by an enormous earthquake on March 11, 2011, that triggered a deadly 23-foot tsunami in the country's north. The giant waves deluged cities and rural areas alike, sweeping away cars, homes, buildings, a train, and boats, leaving a path of death and devastation in its wake. Video footage showed cars racing away from surging waves. The United States Geological Survey reported the earthquake and on Monday revised its magnitude from 8.9 to 9.0, which is the largest in Japan's history. The earthquake struck about 230 miles northeast of Tokyo. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued warnings for Russia, Taiwan, Hawaii, Indonesia, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and the west coasts the U.S., Mexico, Central America, and South America. As of Wednesday, March 16, more than 4,300 were confirmed dead. That number will likey continue to rise with more than 8,000 people still missing

Earthquake Causes Nuclear Disaster

Disaster struck again on Saturday, March 12, when about 26 hours after the earthquake, an explosion in reactor No. 1 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station caused one of the buildings to crumble to the ground. The cooling system at the reactor failed shortly after the earthquake. Officials feared that a meltdown may occur, and radioactive material was detected outside the plant. These fears were realized on Sunday, when officials said they believed that partial meltdowns occurred at reactors No. 1 and No. 3. The cooling systems at another plant, Fukushima Daini, were also compromised but the situation there seemed to be less precarious. More than 200,000 residents were evacuated from areas surrounding both facilities. Problems were later reported at two other nuclear facilities. By Tuesday, two more explosions and a fire had officials and workers at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station struggling to regain control of four reactors. The fire, which happened at reactor No. 4, released radioactivity directly into the atmosphere. The Japanese government told people living within 20 miles of the Daiichi plant to stay indoors, not use air conditioning, and keep their windows closed. More than 100,000 people are in the area. On Wednesday, March 16, while safety workers were still trying to contain the fire at reactor No. 4, officials announced that reactor No. 3 may have ruptured and appeared to be releasing radioactive steam. According to Tokyo Electric Power, the plant's operator, 5 workers have died and 22 more have suffered various injuries since the quake.
At a news conference on Sunday, Prime Minister Naoto Kan emphasized the gravity of the situation. "I think that the earthquake, tsunami, and the situation at our nuclear reactors makes up the worst crisis in the 65 years since the war. If the nation works together, we will overcome," he said. The government called in 100,000 troops to aid in the relief effort. The deployment is the largest since World War II.
The tsunami in Japan recalled the 2004 disaster in the Indian Ocean. On Dec. 26, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake—the largest earthquake in 40 years—ruptured in the Indian Ocean, off the northwest coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The earthquake stirred up the deadliest tsunami in world history, so powerful that the waves caused loss of life on the coast of Africa and were even detected on the East Coast of the United States. More than 225,000 people died from the disaster, a half a million were injured, and millions were left homeless.


The Science of Tsunami

tsunami (pronounced soo-NAHM-ee) is a series of huge waves that occur as the result of a violent underwater disturbance, such as an earthquake or volcanic eruption. The waves travel in all directions from the epicenter of the disturbance. The waves may travel in the open sea as fast as 450 miles per hour. As they travel in the open ocean, tsunami waves are generally not particularly large—hence the difficulty in detecting the approach of a tsunami. But as these powerful waves approach shallow waters along the coast, their velocity is slowed and they consequently grow to a great height before smashing into the shore. They can grow as high as 100 feet; the Indian Ocean tsunami generated waves reaching 30 feet.
Tsunami is the Japanese word for "harbor wave." They are sometimes mistakenly referred to as tidal waves, but tsunamis have nothing to do with the tides. Tsunamis have been relatively rare in the Indian Ocean, and are most common in the Pacific Ocean.

Outing Again :)

Sandakan Memorial Park

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2day is Tuesday :)

Hari ni perjalanan hidup seperti biasa.... bagung pagi, mandi, gosok gigi & evryting.....
hahaha apa yg buat i rajin hri ni..i sediakan brkfst, masak nasi goreng telur... :) it cute rite...hahahaha
tapi malangnya pagi tadi hujan la pula...dh siap-siap nak turun tiba-tiba hujan...OMG.....
fesyen rambut pun jatuh..org sabah cakap "SANDIK" hahahhaaha.....memang betul-betul "SANDIK" ba pagi tadi...adui...then i pergi kejar bus..bus pla tak nampak i terlambai-lambai...tapi apa-apapun hari ini..i jadi VIP sikit tau...naik bus terus kena hantar depan-depan tempat yang i nak tuju.. :) thank to god...
then kelas i hari ni seperti biasa..masuk kelas kluar kelas tu la kerja...tapi benda yang paling lucu hari ni......
i kena suruh pergi buat intrvew di kedai kereta..i masuk 1 kmpny..i bagi tau la dia org yg i nak buat temubual sikit..tapi malang nya i kena halau...wakakakkakaa dia ingat i ni juru jual pula adui...apa-apa pun i kena sabar la kan....sabar itu separuh daripda iman :) that all 4, 2day hehehe......

Friday, January 14, 2011