February 25, 2013

Words Heart Needed to Hear

my small study desk at the hostel

The fear of getting hurt again has only led you to hurt yourself. Come out now. Come out while there’s still some living left to be done. This person who hurt you doesn’t deserve to still dictate your life decisions. Your discipline and dedication to structure is an illusion. You’re still powerless because you’re letting certain incidents define your life. If you really want to be in control again, you have to learn to let go again. It’s the only way.
- Ryan O'Connell

If life can be made more beautiful with generosity, and care, and affection, there is no reason to stifle it or keep it in some confused concept of moderation. With generosity, there can always be more.

I know that all of these things make me better. And I know that I am better when I am around you, and that the real goal is to learn how to apply these lessons and desires and streaks of unabashed confidence to every aspect of my life. I should be just as generous with friends, just as confident at work, just as forgiving of my daily stresses as I am when you are with me. Because that, I think, is the greatest gift we can ever give another person: To see that life can be lived more beautifully and more honestly, and that you don’t even need to be in love to do it.
- Chelsea Fagan 

P.S: This entry might not making sense. But, citation is another way to describe one's feelings. Till next post.  

February 24, 2013

Rise from Ashes

Only a new track from Paramore could wake me from music blogging hibernation. For those who haven't knew, Paramore dropped a single recently, called "Now", from their upcoming self-titled album which is expected to be released on 9th April 2013. I'm thrilled!!

The song is different from their previous stuff, of course it is..they've grown and change, but I really love it. I'm totally hooked. It quickly settles into a distinct Paramore groove with massive guitars. The chorus explodes with energy and is a guaranteed sing-along. Hayley's vocals have improved a lot too and her voice is beautiful as ever. And she slightly sounds like Gwen Stefani in that song. Well, I've been following Hayley's updates via Twitter and Tumblr, and I saw how hard they've worked on this new album. The song Now shows that they've done a really great job. I feel like hugging Hayley right now. :p (jealousy strikes when I recall those Paramore's meeting-with-fans pictures while they're in KL last week, and I should be writing a post about the concert like Daniel C did, but sadly I wan't even there) 

I myself have memorized the lyrics since it's first released. So you can guess how many times I kept it on repeat for hours. I should have been at their concert and sing along with Hayley. Okay enough said. Overall, Now is a brilliant track and just the sort of thing to breathe life into this new incarnation of Paramore and I'm looking forward to listen to the whole album. Enjoy the song. ^^

"It just feels like the perfect way to start this new journey we are embarking on not only as a band but as a movement. To show people that you can lose battles but come back and win full on wars. You can rise from ashes. You can make something out of even less than nothing." - Hayley, Jeremy, Taylor

February 19, 2013

A Perfect Closure

So here I am in my hostel apartment on the first night of final semester, reminiscing all the memories made in holiday. Heh. I miss home already. I miss my friends. We don't just say goodbye without having something memorable to share on the last day, you know. Just to make a sweet farewell. It's not like we wouldn't see each other again, but the next holiday is way ahead. So as a closure of semester break, last Friday me and The Baks went on a trip to Kundasang.

We rented a van and Ifo's cousin, Juan, was the driver. The best moments of this trip were when we're doing fun things together inside the van along the journey. We're telling stories and riddles, talking about politics (seriously), making fun of each other, playing ukulele, singing, taking pictures and enjoying the stunning scenery of natures. It's great. So we reached at our 1st destination, Desa Dairy Farm, around 11 am. We're too early and didn't get to see the milking process as it starts on 3 pm. But we got to meet and touch some adorable calves and goats, and even feed them. I wasn't into goats because they smell like.....you know, goats.

in Nissan Urvan
lets buy some milk
Ifo wants to adopt one
we are young

Then we went to the other side of Mesilau where we saw a beautiful golf court that looked like a garden. I think they better turn it into a garden instead. Besides, I didn't see anyone playing golf. And then there's a beautiful big house surrounded by pine trees (I'm not sure if they're really pine trees) that looked like the Cullens' house. So we called it as Twilight house. 

this is not sinetron

We dropped by for a little while at a river that flows from Mount Kinabalu. It was so beautiful but dude, I could be frozen even for 5 minutes. The water's ice cold. 

After having lunch at Ranau town, we headed to Poring Hot Spring. I didn't do more than feet dipping, because I didn't feel like jumping into the pool. But I was amazed by the beauty of Kipungit Waterfall, despite feeling tired of walking through the jungle trail to get there. Then we took off to Luanti to experience the fish massage at Tagal river, but unfortunately it's already closed by the time we arrived. I was actually relieved because their descriptions about the vacuum-like fishes were quite intimidating. 

Kipungit Waterfall.
pay no mind to those mermaids
these guys have been my brothers (except Ifo..well, he's more than that). awesome day.

It's already dark and we headed home. We stopped at Kundasang green stalls to buy some fruits and vegetables. I bought long cabbages and some mushrooms for mum and sister. My dear friend, Lan, bought 2 pieces of pomelo flesh (limau bali), but I was the one who ate them till finish. :p It's my favorite. Heeee..
I was half asleep on the way back. Actually I was trying hard to sleep because I didn't want to listen to their ghost stories, but I can't. Telling ghost stories at night on a long journey? Really? They're so mean. :p
We had dinner at a restaurant in Tuaran before saying goodbye to each other. 

Although it was only a day, the trip was awesome. ^^

February 16, 2013

It's Always Worth It

I'm supposed to continue writing and publishing my holiday adventure but I just leave it in drafts for a while. Well, the holiday is going to end tomorrow and I'll be starting my routines as a student again.
The end is bittersweet, as always. Time's fleeting but a lot have happened within those moments. I've traveled, got dreams come true, had so much fun with family and friends, discovered new things, felt pain, laughed, cried, learned new language and culture, changed perspectives, became more positive, free spirit, etc. I've done all those things within a month, which surprised me too. 

I wish I still had more times to spend with the ones I love. But it's over for now. Now it is time to finish what I started, which costs me to restrain myself from all the fun things out there and only focus on my study. I don't care though, because anything worth having is worth working hard for. It's the final semester of my degree study and I'm gonna nail it. InsyaAllah, I'll be graduating this year. Amin.... ^^ 

Above all, I am happy. Happier than I've been in months, years even, maybe. I wanna take a second to document this feeling. You know, that head-over-heels, smitten kitten, fresh air is like a brand new beginning, smile at everyone you see, kind of feeling. It's days like this that I realize, even though it may be fleeting, this kind of happiness is worth every second of sadness.

It makes up for it all. Well, doesn't it always?
And that is the way life seems to go. But this is just a reminder that it's always worth it. :)

February 9, 2013

Keep Coming Back to You

Manila Trip: Day 5

It was the last day of Manila Trip. To make the best of remaining hours that we had before taking off to airport, we went shopping at Robinson. That's the 1st time I shopped without thinking pros and cons because we only got an hour. So I just grabbed anything nice and fancy, until I didn't know what to buy anymore. And Ifo managed to shop more than I did, he even got a varsity jacket from Dickies. Impressive (because I've never seen him shopping like that before).

The hardest part was saying goodbye to everything; the hotel, cafe, the street, the city, etc. I didn't tell or show the guys that I cried a little before pulling my luggage out of the room. I can't wait to get home but honestly, I felt heavy-hearted and overwhelmed all at once, because those times won't repeat. So we took off to Clark by a cab. We're coming home with a lot of memories and missing every bit of them. I haven't really thank them yet for planning out the trip, for taking care of me and for everything. Surely we'll do this again. ^^

thank you guys ^^
(from left: Lan, Russel, Jasper, Selvin, Ifo)

goodbye Philippines

Oh I miss Manila! As the song Manila by Hotdog goes, "I keep coming back to Manila,", something I often find myself singing. Despite all seemingly unsolved problems - traffic, crowds, peace, order, etc - I can't just write the place off completely. 

One of the reasons is the smiles. I'm not saying that Malaysians can't smile. But the smiles are easy and natural in the faces of the people there. Even when they tell a problem, it's not uncommon to still see them smiling somewhat. Why? I don’t know for sure. Maybe they're naturally friendly and easy-going. But I do believe it could be part of their coping mechanism. Whoever it was who said that “we laugh because we do not want to cry”, might as well have explained correctly why they smile in the midst of chaotic life. Other reasons have been written in my previous posts I guess. 

To be fair, I could also make an entire reasons of why I love Malaysia. Heeee.. 
Hey, Malaysia will always be in my heart, no matter how far I go. 

 So this is the end of my Manila Trip posts and now I leave you with a song. ^^

Manila - Hotdog

February 7, 2013

The Moment I Could not Forget

Manila Trip: Day 4

It's not really surprising when the shop assistants spoke Tagalog to us, thought that we're Filipinos and said that we look like ones. We're typical Asians after all. I've learned some Tagalog words and basic phrases from my friend, Lan (the guide of our trip, it's his 2nd hometown), such as makgano (how much?), maraming salamat (thanks so much), magandang araw (have a nice day), magandang umaga (good morning), pagod ako (I'm tired), ingat (take care), counting numbers, and so on. It's really fun to learn new language. ^^

After brunch, we went to Robinson and shopping at some stores. Bench store was my favorite one and I bought a lot from there; dress, bags, fragrance. I really love the design, quality, fabric, and I only looked for Philippines' original brands. Despite being the only rose among the thorns, I had no problem shopping with the guys. Besides, sometimes they needed me to choose for them. Here I also found some bizarre foods like balut (fertilized egg with a fetus in it) and deep fried 1-day-old chick. Ugghh..

deep fried 1-day-old chicks

the last jeepney

By taking MRT, we went to Baclaran again and headed to MOA by a jeepney. That's the last time I rode a jeepney. I must say that jeepney's the coolest transport so far. I loved it and miss it already. In MOA, we watched Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. The cinema's way awesome than GSC or any cinemas I've ever been. The hall and screen were larger and hey, no censored scenes. Needless to say, I had to close Ifo's eyes with my hand at one scene where Mina was completely naked with Hansel at rock pool. 

After the movie, we rushed out to catch the "moment". Yes, we made it this time. We saw the sunset of Philippines and embraced the moment. That I will never forget. ^^

so do you think this is romantic? :p

screw the camera

Then we went to Kultura Filipino to buy some souvenirs and OMG I really loved the shop. It's not an ordinary handicraft shop. Everything's beautiful and attractive. They resembled the cultures and traditions of Filipinos, which amazed me. I wanted to buy a very beautiful purse, but when I saw the price, I let it go and bought souvenirs for my family instead. 

Since it was the final night of the trip, we made it count by having fun at Star City, a theme park. So we played and rode all that we can. The funniest was when we entered the ghost house and mummy's tomb. I thought I was the only that'd be scared, but the guys were scared too. :p There's this kind of laser light in the ghost house that turned our faces into ghosts. Dude, it's damn scary. And then when the other people came to us, we thought they're ghosts because of the horrible faces. So we screamed and ran to exit gate. Lol. The rest of the games were as common as we have at Genting Highland. I felt regret riding the last game because it made me absolutely dizzy. Glad I didn't vomit in the air. 

we were up there

had so much fun ^^
(from left: Selvin, Lan, me, Ifo, Russel, Jasper)

The night's ended with the final hangout at hotel's cafe. I miss that so much. :)

February 6, 2013

Superman Saved my Day

Manila Trip: Day 3

breakfast ^^

One of the Filipinos' traits that I adore is they're hardworking people. Well it's undeniable, right? Look what have they done to our buildings. They're morning people and even the shops open early in morning. It's maybe because they have strong family bonds. I can see that when they always had breakfast, lunch or dinner together as a family. The parents strive hard for to provide the basic needs of the family and they have this ideology that they don't want their family members to experience the tough times that they had before. And most workers are really polite and friendly. Another thing that caught my attention is the university in Philippines is not a place to do research, but it's only a place to get a licence for a job. 

So let's go straight to the adventure of the day. Here's the origin of Filipino Market in KK. 

It's called Barangay Baclaran, a bargain shopper's paradise where you can find the cheapest prices for almost everything; from foods to clothes, shoes, groceries, etc. Well it's the largest market I've ever been, and many of the sellers are Muslims. Since it's located near Taft Avenue, I got to be at the shooting location of Bourne Legacy 2012. They said it's a dangerous place and I did feel insecure because it's too crowded and people were moving so fast. Thankfully we're safe and nothing's missing. Hee.

We also went to some flagship malls at the heart of Makati City, such as Glorietta, The Landmark and Greenbelt. Greenbelt's divided into 5 sections that offer a mix of cafes, designer clothing shops, local and international brands, cinema and gardens. In other words, it's a place for rich people. So I was just there to take pictures and feel (without buying) the masterpieces by Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, etc. While strolling around in the city, sometimes I noticed "biodegradable" labels on most packaging materials, and that impressed me much. Even the dustbins only categorized into 2 types; biodegradable and non-biodegradable. And I met Superman at The Landmark. :p

Superman saved my day

like a boss

In the evening, we headed to SM Mall of Asia (MOA). I remember jumping out of jeepney and running to the bay side with my friends because we didn't want to miss the sunset moment. But we did miss it. It's already dark when we got to the bay. So we're just resting on the rock fence while eating fries and watching a glitter-coated street comedian doing a show. It's such a nice place. But I got a pang of sadness for being there too early. I mean earlier than Paramore. Well, they will be singing live in MOA Arena this 15th Feb. I cried in my heart and still do. 

We played ice skates in the mall before going back to hotel. I'm a noob and I can't skate for the life of me. But I had fun that night though. Back in hotel, we had dinner with hot cakes. They're the most delicious pancakes ever. I need to browse for Filipino's pancake recipe because I'm craving for it now. ^^

February 2, 2013

Dance like The Sea Fairies

Manila Trip: Day 2

One of the best things during the trip was eating daing na bangus (marinated milkfish) with rice and spicy sauce. It's a Philippines signature dish and I really loved it. After the brunch, we walked to Robinson Mall to buy sim cards. I bought a Sun broadband sim card with unlimited internet for P150 total, which was enough for me to whatsapp my brother and sister. 

Waiting for our new sim cards

By taking a cab, we went to one of the must-see attractions, Manila Ocean Park, where we can watch the animals do wonders. I never thought that sea lion could be the cutest thing ever. We're entertained by 2 sea lions named Vincent and Isabel. They can dance, laugh, clap and act like human which made me go "awwwww...so cute!". I actually wanted to record a video but I was too busy enjoying the show. We also had a photography session with Isabel. ^^

Waiting for sea lions to come out

With Isabel

Next, we entered the Birds of Prey Kingdom where we met many types of eagles. I was a bit scared because we're actually entering the big cage of eagles, so those birds were flying just above our heads. My friends made joke that one of those eagles might catch a small person like me. That's quite intimidating somehow. :p The bird trainers let us feed the eagles by wearing a leather glove, holding a piece of meat and putting the hand up in the air. I thought the birds might not see me, but hey, do not underestimate the eagle eyes, an eagle came and caught the meat right when I lifted my hand. It's just a blink of an eye. I also got the chance to had a Brahminy Kite stood at my arm. The bird's bigger than my head, how can I not be nervous? 


After that we went into Oceanarium. It's quiet similar like Aquaria KLCC. But what KLCC doesn't have is the dancing sea fairies a.k.a jellyfishes. Dude, it's the most amazing live show I've ever seen. I could stay there forever watching the colorful jellyfishes swimming and dancing to the mellow music. It's calming and I was hypnotized. No wonder why Spongebob has a fascination for jellyfish. Lol.

And then we headed off to a huge wholesale mall where you can get a blouse as cheap as P100 (around RM7). I got myself some, the others got theirs and Ifo got an ukulele..of all things, I don't know why he bought that. :p Getting famished, we went out to have some bites of halal wrapped beef and pandesal (classic Filipino bread from Pan de Manila). Then we walked along the road of Binondo a.k.a Chinatown. It's known to be the oldest Chinatown in the world, and yes, they're mostly Chinese. 

We went back by taking tricycles and jeepneys. The fun didn't stop there after having dinner with roasted chicken, because we went out again for mid-night karocks at a KTV near our hotel. Everything's awesome. ^^


Manila Trip: Day 1

Hey hey, I'm back! It's not easy to get myself back together after 2 weeks of travelling in and out of the country. I'm so tired, both feet are aching, but somehow I miss everything. My mind's still somewhere else. Needless to say, I woke up this morning wishing that I was still in Manila, Philippines, that I still had another day to create memories. But I'm already home. Lol.

We had everything planned out since 2012 and finally made it this year. Besides, it's my 1st time travelling out of country with Ifo and friends. It's a dream come true. Since I was the only girl in the group, I felt a little nervous at 1st place. But everything went well, I got Ifo and the others were like my brothers, they took care of me during the trip.

I made it!

When we arrived at Clark International Airport on 27th January 2013, I felt like screaming "hello Philippines!" but it's just muttered under my breath. We took a bus to get to Manila from Clark for P450 per ticket. On the bus, I enjoyed the view before falling asleep. I noticed several new things like the different position of driver's seat, a lot of jeepneys and tricycles, and I could see the mount of volcano. When the bus entered Quezon City, I was totally amazed by everything. It's the busiest city I've ever seen. Overlapping flyovers, mad traffic..it's a metropolitan life. 

On the bus.

With Jose Rizal's monument.

We arrived at destination after 2 hours of journey from Clark, then checked in to Stone House hotel. I got a single room that cost me P1100 per night which was cheap and the room's quite cozy. After having dinner at a halal restaurant, we walked to Robinson Place Manila, one of the world-class malls here. Then we went to Rizal Park by a jeepney (1st time riding and it's super cool) to watch musical dancing fountain which was way awesome than the one in Perdana Park. My friend said it's a family bonding and tradition for people there to come to Rizal Park with foods and picnic mats every weekend, and it's also a romantic place for couples. The fountain's amazing. That's when I fell in love with the song of Manila by Hotdog. ^^
These are the videos that I recorded that night:

I got to see the monument of Jose Rizal, the national hero of Philippines. That's also the night we went to an open-air stadium near Rizal Park as they had some kind of religious festival. I don't know what were they celebrating but everyone dressed in weird costumes, it's too crowded and loud. Then we got out of there and went straight to Roxas Boulevard. It's supposed to be a nice place but homeless people were everywhere. My heart broke to pieces when I saw a little girl crying alone and scratching her body at the side of the road. I wondered where's her parents. I wanted to help but my friend had warned us to not give anything to the homeless.

I'll write more about this trip later. Till next post. :)


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