Mr Universal Ambassador Malaysia 2017 of Bachelor of Malaysia In Da Hauz

So recently I got a call from a friend asking for help to do a studio shoot of 4th Runner-up of Mr Universal Ambassador Malaysia 2017, Derran Marida, who was going to represent Malaysia in Philippines. I did not asked too many question but just shoot to help him with some photos for the event. Anyways, thanks for dropping by and becoming the 1st person to do a photoshoot session in our new studio. 

Chasing My Dreams

For many years of involvement in photography, I’ve always dream of having my own studio or shared with someone our own company doing photography. But the real journey begun in 2001 when I really looked into photography not just a hobby but also something which will help generate side income for me. The struggle I had back then was money. It was something very expensive to own. Not just the camera but also the film, developing the film and caring for the photo album. Making sure every shot count as we can view or know how the photo turns out till we sent it for processing in a shop.

In 2003, one of my subject in college was photography and I was so happy that it was in the course. I believe of all subjects, this was the only subject I never wanted to miss class and I really listen to every word our lecturer said. This was the year I knew about composition, exposure and so on. But it wasn’t enough. As the world grew to be more modern, the device became more and more advance. Before, I was using a SLR. Now it is DSLR, and this wasn’t a cheap hobby. Yes of course people around me that time knew I love motorcycles but deep inside, photography was what I love. 

2008, I was given an opportunity to work away from home and that was when I was also given a chance to expose my self more and more at a higher level. Knowing those days internet was not as advance as now. Wifi was pretty hard to get too. But that was the year I tried out for the Malaysian 1st photography reality show by Sony Malaysia called, Double Exposure. I was in. One and only contestant from Sarawak. Continue reading “Chasing My Dreams” »

Short Getaway to Kota Kinabalu

So, After the Bario trip, James and I went to KK for 2 days. Rather short. Holiday for him, supposed business trip for me but the guy did not show up. Looking on the positive side of it, we went sight seeing instead. Which was fun. So after Bario we took a flight from Miri to KK, and I somehow knew that the last Leap group was still around, probably their last night in Borneo. And I was right. 

Anyways, James and I stayed at this nice hostel called Sensi Backpackers. Located in the middle of almost everywhere. Strategic place, clean and comfortable. We paid something like RM80 per night and got a room for 4 pax. As soon as we checked in, I went straight to the leapers room and surprise them. Later we went to this nyonya place called Sri Melaka Restaurant I think. Food was good, cheap, and to be honest, worth it!  Continue reading “Short Getaway to Kota Kinabalu” »

Lets Get Away: Destination BARIO

After over a year going around, I felt like I needed a break. (Yes I work as a tour guide here in Sarawak, but no I’m not on holiday). So I randomly called two of my childhood friends, Anthony, from Johor, the southern part of west Malaysia and James, from Penang, an Island located on the north west of Malaysia. Location, Bario, The Kelabit Highlands. And they both said yes.

Photo with Anthony and James

Ever heard of it? Not many people have. It’s one of those places where you go to escape the world. Situated in the highland mountains far into the interior of Borneo, this is as far away from the fast pace of the modern world as you could get. It is a place where time slows down.

View of Bario as we were about to land

Bario is a remote town in the Kelabit Highlands at an altitude of 4666ft above sea level. The region has a population of around 1200 people, while daily fogs drift amidst them; setting the lovely town against an eternally magical backdrop. It is surrounded by virgin tropical rainforest with just one road connecting the town to Miri. Within Bario town however, the area is relatively well connected with either concrete, dirt or gravel roads, and projects are underway to build roads extending to some of the other villages in the surrounding area- some of these are around 9 hours walking distance away.

Due to its altitude, the region hosts a slightly cooler climate than the rest of Malaysia and this is especially noticeable at night. It is usually cold enough to require one to wear a sweater or light jacket. The weather is usually around 30°C during the day, but at night, temperatures average around 20°C. Somehow rather when we were there, it was 20°C – 26°C during the day and at night it was between 16°C all the way down to 5°C. Yes!!! That is cold for Malaysians. Continue reading “Lets Get Away: Destination BARIO” »

Getting Back with The Leap Vol 7

The Leap January 2017 

1st night out in Kuching

Wow! I just don’t know where to start! 1st and foremost, this is my 1st blog entry this year and the last entry was December 2015…  Anyways, here goes…

1st impression of this group would be “crazy & friendly bunch”. 6 were from England and 1 from the USA. They all arrived on the 5th and to be honest, by the 1st night we all felt like we’ve known each other for a long time.

This time we were helping a couple who can’t afford to have a proper kitchen, toilet and bathroom. Before the project begun, I went to the kitchen, I had to bend down to walk in the kitchen, and the toilet, was “dig a hole” toilet. Anways, the group was eager to start the project, and oh boy,…. This is one hard and fast working group I’ve ever worked with. Things to be done was mixing cement, getting sand from the river bank and more…

Continue reading “Getting Back with The Leap Vol 7” »

Frogging in Kubah Natioal Park

First of all, I never knew looking for frogs in the dark and taking photos and identifiying them was a whole new level of fun and learning. Thanks to my trainer who introduced me to this. It was awesome!
Reach Kubah National Park around 6pm, and then we started at around 6.30pm walking up. The day just got dark. By then you will start hearing some frogs singing. And that is when you begin to get use to the sound and start following the sound till you find it.

Continue reading “Frogging in Kubah Natioal Park” »

R.A.D.S – Rumah Asap Dayak Samarahan

Rumah Asap which means Smoke House, has been known for quite a number of years. But location was in Miri, not in Kuching. Till recently, I heard rumours and then facebook post that they were opening one on this side of Sarawak. I couldn’t find the right time to go till last Friday, 4th Dec, I finally manage to bring myself there to check it out.

RADSWhile I was there, I manage to meet a few of the share partners of that place. I tried gathering as much information as I could and this is what I got:

They started 30th October 2015, and they started with a small budget. But to their surprise, they finished most of their stock round about 8pm or 9pm that they had to have someone go look for more drinks and food. It was showing a good sign. So far till today they have now 20 vendors. And on good days, they will have almost 400 customers coming in and out. Continue reading “R.A.D.S – Rumah Asap Dayak Samarahan” »

Ng. Ukom 21st August Tragedy

Ng. Ukom, A place that I go often to bring tourist was burned down on 21st August 2015. And when I heard to news, my heart really sank! I really did notNg. Ukom Longhouse know how to react…

Around 1:15 pm, I was still on the other river over the mountain from the longhouse when we saw thick smoke, and we did asked each other who has not burned their farm yet, as this is still the burning season before they start planting rice. But, my boatman said, all have done theirs… Not long after when I was on my way to Hilton Batang Ai Resort that I got news from a good friend that to longhouse is no more standing. Continue reading “Ng. Ukom 21st August Tragedy” »

Expedition with “The Leap” volunteers

All started the day I met them the 1st day they arrived Kuching. Coming half way around the world really impressed me when i found out their age. They were between 18 to 25. 3 from England and the other 3 was Dutch. The project was to help build a proper kitchen and toilet for a mentally disabled guy ( slow development of brian), who happened to be an orphan too. He stop schooling at a very young age as he had to take care of his sick family. The 1st time I entered his home, I was crying in my heart. Was wondering to my self how could someone live in this place. The whole hose actually shake when I was walking in it. The toilet and bathroom was in the same room where the old kitchen was. No door, and rotten planks, which was not stable and safe. Eventually this project became personal to me.

Anyways, this group that came, was a fun and interesting group. Young people full of energy and different characters. There was Noelle, Floor and Dylan from Holland. And Emily, Cora and Rachel from England. This project took us 6 days to complete.

The first was the day we started clearing the back of the house which was full of wild plants, rubbish and more hidden treasure underground such as old shoes, shirts, and other things like scorpions, centipedes, spiders and many more. But the group fought their fears and continued clearing. By the end of the day, it was one flat land. And it rained too… So it was not too hot but we all got wet working under the rain.  Continue reading “Expedition with “The Leap” volunteers” »

Trip to Ukum with Cesar Cruchaga & Wife

This post is a lil late as I didn’t really know what and how to write this post, because it was special to me. It all happened on 22nd July  2014. I receive an assignment a week before that date to bring a couple to Nanga Ukom in Batang Ai. I agreed. But I did not know who I was bringing. As usual, I tend to be more of a friend instead of being a guide to tourist. I want them to feel happy and not just going on tour but enjoying their time with the locals.

So on that 22nd morning, right after we came out of the orang utan centre in Semenggoh, we started having conversation and we started talking about jobs and what we love to do. Ended up in me asking this guy, Cesar Cruchaga, what he works as. And his answer was simple. He just said “I’m retired”. But I was so surprise and a lot of questions going in my head. He didn’t look like a guy who is retired, unless he had an early retirement form the army. But, I still wanted to know and took the courage to ask him what he used to do. And he said:” I’m a retired professional football player. And I used to play for Atletico Osasuna in the Spanish League.” And I went into shock… Continue reading “Trip to Ukum with Cesar Cruchaga & Wife” »

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