After Thoughts: The Kept Woman by Susan Donovan

Another Little Black Dress book

DSC_0019

The back of the book goes,

What if a total stranger offered you everything you ever wanted – almost?

Ever since Samantha’s husband ran out on her and their kids she’s been working to clear the humungous debt he left behind, so it’s time she had a lucky break. What she’s not expecting is for that break to be Jack Tolliver, former governor of Indiana and the biggest womaniser in the state. He’s running for the senate and needs a nice, respectable woman by his handsome side to help clean up his image.

So Sam accepts a bizarre business proposal – a fake engagement. All she has to do is play happy families until Jack’s elected and then she’ll get a big fat cheque and a lifestyle to die for. It’s simple. Until, that is, the kiss occurs. That knee-trembling, electric kiss that Sam and Jack share. But that’s just for show… right?

After thoughts:

The story reminds me of Korean drama plot with fake engagement all. Surprisingly I enjoyed it. Who says you can’t find sexy love when you almost reaching the middle-aged zone?

A perfect book in an afternoon by the beach.

I See You at the Summit

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity”

John Muir

Perhaps I am one of those tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilised people that I think mountains sometimes felt like home.

This year I made few trips to Kubah National Park. It is about 40 minutes drive from Kuching.

I took the waterfall trail earlier this year then I climbed till I reach the submit on Labour’s Day.

The last time I went there was a couple months ago with my The Borneo Post SEEDS colleague Sendou.

For those who are physically unfit, the trails could be difficult.

But those who who extremely fit, Kubah’s summit Mount Serapi is a piece of cake.

I enjoy my every trip there and I highly recommend everyone, not just tourists but especially Sarawakians to pay this park a visit.

Here is a brief introduction about Kubah National Park according to Sarawak Forestry Department’s official website:

“Almost every visitor to Kuching has seen Kubah National Park, whether they realise it or not. This massive sandstone ridge with its three mountain peaks – the 911m high Gunung Serapi and the slightly smaller Gunung Selang and Gunung Sendok – is clearly visible from the Kuching Waterfront. Situated only 22 kilometres from Kuching, Kubah is not only the most visible but also one of the most accessible of Sarawak’s National Parks.

Kubah was established in 1989 because of its exceptionally rich plant life, and only opened to the public in 1995. The Park covers an area of 2,230 hectares, and comprises the heavily forested slopes and ridges of the Serapi range. At heights of between 150-450 metres, Kubah’s soft sandstone is punctuated with bands of hardened limestone which have created a number of beautiful waterfalls.

Kubah’s most famous feature is its palms. Almost a hundred different palm species can be found in an area of just over 22 sq km, making Kubah probably the richest palm habitat for its size anywhere in the world. But Kubah’s palms are not only abundant – they are also historically and ecologically important. Many of Kubah’s palms were first described by the great Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari (1843-1920), who spent 3 years in Sarawak from 1865 to 1868, and recorded his findings and experiences in a remarkable book, Wanderings in the Great Forests of Borneo.

As well as its palms, Kubah has many other striking attractions; its spectacular primary rainforest, its rich selection of orchids and ferns, and its crystal clear jungle streams, waterfalls and bathing areas, to name just a few. The rainforest scenery has even caught the attention of Hollywood; in 1987 Gunung Serapi was the principal film location for Farewell to the King starring Nick Nolte – as you approach the entrance to the park HQ you will see the film set to the right. The Sleeping Dictionary, starring Jessica Alba, was shot in the nearby forest foothills adjacent to the park, which provided a stunning backdrop for the film.

The forest at Kubah is mixed dipterocarp, with small areas of scrub forest and isolated patches of kerangas. This rich forest, the park’s proximity to the coastline and its general terrain all ensure that Kubah is home to a variety of wildlife, including bearded pigs, 50-plus bird species (including argus pheasants and black hornbills), sambar deer, mouse deer, civets, porcupines, squirrels and numerous species of amphibians and reptiles.”

Check my photos out, peeps!

20150511_131123 20150511_131158 20150511_131636 20150511_131659 20150511_132019 20150511_132022 20150511_132100

I see you at the summit, love

I see you at the summit, love

I see you when we both tired

I see you when our shirts stuck to our sweaty backs

I see you when we raise our arms we could touch the sky

I see you when our legs almost give on up us

I see you when we feel ashamed of ourselves because

Like our legs, we too almost give up

I see you when we are both in awe

In awe with what God gave us in view

In awe with what God gave us in each other

So

I see you at the summit, love

~p.h , 14/07/2015

Something from my roots

I am a pure Kayan, one of many races who called Sarawak home from God knows hundreds years ago.

When I was handed the assignment to interview this American anthropologist who actually really going out there and put all Kayan epics into writing, I thought the job was going to be easy.

But as I went into my research, I learnt more about my culture and ancestors.

It was familiar; all about it. The stories faces, names, places everything was so familiar.

The familiarity smelled like Christmas. I remember years back when I sat in the kitchen with my mum baking Christmas cookies, she told me some legends of my ancestors.

In one way, I was impressed by the anthropologist. I was impressed by her work and dedication into it.

I was also inspired by her. I want to do what she does.

But can I? I have so many things in my hands now. Well, not exactly. I pretty much have a lot free times.

I don’t know. Maybe one day. One day, I just pack my bag, go to a random Kayan longhouse and start to write their stories.

Here is the article on Stef Morgan and her work in writing down Kayan epics. Click this link.

In a different angle

Every time I sit down to write something especially in my current line of work, the first question I ask myself “What is my angle?”

In fact, I asked that question on my way to every event I was assigned to.

Being an online journalist at a youth-based website gives me the freedom to be creative in determining my angle. In the same time, it is terrifying.

Terrifying in the sense that the angle would not be the right angle to draw readers’ attentions.

A week ago, I accompanied Danielle to her interview, her assignment was to write a personality piece on Scottish photographer Gerry Fox who is currently based in Kuching.

His photos were in completely a different angle from any photographers in Kuching I have seen so far.

They were all blunt, unadorned. But they stop you at your track, pull a trigger on your forehead and shoot you a question; do you know all of these are in your backyard?

I want my articles to be like that. Something that stop your brain from churning and squeeze a question or two to make you rethink your view.

Read more about Gerry Fox’s interview with The Borneo Post SEEDS here.

Where am I heading?

For some, writing is just a mere way to get the job done. For some, writing is just a mere way to get recognized. For some, writing is just a mere way to simply write. 

 

I just came back from Rainforest World Music Festival happened at Sarawak Culture Village. There I was at the event, rubbing shoulders with travel writers, music writers and reporters from all over the world. 

 

For most of the times, I did not pack up my courage to say ‘hi’ or networking. Perhaps some of these veteran writers only thought of I’m a just an Asian kid whose first language was not English, why bother to write in English anyway right?

 

The vibes being in the midst of fellow writers from different continents only left me inspired and awed, made me think “I really need to work hard on this”. 

 

One of the mornings, before the concerts and workshops began, I was doing my job in the media center, surrounded by three American writers. I assumed they were Americans. Having to work in this line of work, I’ve interviewed so many people of different nationalities that now I could differentiate an American and a Canadian, a New Zealand accent and an Australian accent. Recently I even interviewed a Welsh, maybe I should take up linguistic and study the accents of the world. 

 

So back to the story of the three Americans; they talked a lot. About Republicans and Democrats, one of them even mentioned that he was going to publish a travel book. 

 

It got me thinking; where am I heading with my writing? I don’t want to be one of those people who write just for the sake of writing. To write for the sake of datelines. 

 

Can I write a novel? I could barely finish my short stories that I started. Can I write a book about my culture? Kicking Heidi Munan of her own game in writing books about Sarawak? Who better to write a book about Sarawak than someone who has Sarawakian blood running through her veins right? Someone who speaks at least three of the native Sarawak dialects.

 

Can I write about Jesus? My faith as a Catholic?  

 

I have no idea.

 

All I know, I’m going to continue to write as if it’s the last thing I would do before I die. 

 

Story behind “Giving Oil Palm Plantation a Second Chance”

Story behind “Giving Oil Palm Plantation a Second Chance”

The story behind this article:

a) It was the first time I covered a signing of a MoU.

b) I was trying to make it more relevant to lay people without going so scientific in the explanation (was trying hard to achieve that)

c) It was the second event I went to Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) then I found out that Unimas have this habit to make the media came half an hour earlier than time event scheduled to start.