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.

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Professionalism, a rare trait

Mention professionalism; it is almost sounds like a rare species nowadays.

It is so hard to maintain professionalism in the media world especially because most people think they could wrap you around their fingers.

I could not blame them for thinking like that. We do have this swarm of journalists who do not possess any principles in their bones.

Integrity? Professionalism? Ethics? What are those to these people?

With a wave of cash nowadays, your face could be the center of a front page news.

Although that is what we called advertisement, many still confused it with journalism.

Is journalism so easily being bought these days? So journalists please uphold your professionalism.

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KL-Working Trip

Last month I was fortunate enough to be given an assignment outside of Sarawak. The trip happened in a rush. We spent one night in Kuala Lumpur. The best thing came out from the trip I think was the chance to get to know other media representatives. At night, we roamed around Mutiara Damansara absorbing the KL buzz.

“When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED.”
― Dr. Suess

Here are some photos I took off-duty.

DSC_0119 DSC_0121 DSC_0129 DSC_0130 DSC_0140The trip bear two articles; Terbaik Dari Langit: A little film with big ambition and Astro launches radio and music streaming app. 

I Don’t Feel Like I’m Working

You know what my problem is? My problem is I do not feel like I’m working.

A famous quote from Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

I’m a living example of this quote because I seriously do not feel like working at all.

I love my job. Not to the extend that I’m married to my job. I do have life outside my job.

The thing is, I strongly believe our lives are too precious to stuck in a bad job. I don’t see the purpose of working your ass off for one year just to take that one week to enjoy your life.

Life is of course meant to be more than that.

I recently had a conversation with my boss.

Knowing that I never really travel outside Malaysia before, he advised me that I should go out the country more often.

“Save for a year and travel. Do it alternately”, he said.

I thought his advise was reasonable. I had plans before, to travel within this year. Perhaps to Thailand or Philippines because it is affordable to my budget.

But I thought to myself, if I were to travel might as well make it far right?

So I’m going to head out there. Most probably in 2017. And Nepal is on top of the list.

For now, I think I need to find a job. Not my current job of course. This is not consider as ‘working’ for me. Maybe a business at the sideline.

I need that job to pay for my extravagant, faraway travelling.

And I also I need that job because now, I don’t feel like I’m working at all.

Describing Food

Occasionally, I was given assignments to write about food and beverages promotion. And sometimes, I went for food reviews.

Few weeks ago, I went for a food review all the way in Bau (40 to 45 minutes drive from Kuching).

The victim of my review was a pork burger.

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When comes to writing about food, I always try my best to let the readers taste the food through my writing.

It was not an easy job for me, I admit. More than once I found myself struggling to find the right word to describe the taste.

Nevertheless, writing food review could be exciting.

You taste the food, describe the food in honesty, politeness and accuracy. In the end you just hope that you give a fair description for both readers and food provider.

Here are some ways I used to describe this Pork Burger.

The time the patties spent on the grills was favourable because it concealed the taste of the pork and allowed the meat to marinate in its own juices without losing its tenderness.

In the end, the mildly tangy but not over-powering black pepper sauce was what sealed the deal making these pork burgers really worth driving out to Bau for.

Read the article here A blast of flavour.

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I Suddenly Know How to Speak Indonesian

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”. 

Nelson Mandela

Last Wednesday, I tagged along a group of composers, musicians from The Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur on a trip to Sarawak Cultural Village.

There, I decided to interview an Indonesian composer Yohanes Subowo.

To my own surprise, I found myself conversing with him in broken Indonesian Malay. For your information, there are differences between Indonesian and Malaysian Malay such as in accents, verbs and vocabulary.

I was bumped that I couldn’t speak fluently with him and beat myself for at least equip myself with a bit of Indonesian vocabulary beforehand.

But thankfully the interview went well and I pretty much got what I want from him.

Pak Bowo, Terima Kasih bapak!

Check out the article how well I translated his Indonesian into this English article.

Note to self: Learn to speak more languages from now.

Affirmation as Motivator

After working day in and out, it is good to be affirmed of your writings.

More than a month ago, I met a German lady who stayed in Kuching and selling organic soaps.

I thought it was a good story so I wrote a feature on her.

Here is the link to the article.

Then she sent me an email thanking for the job well done.

I really appreciate it.

As a journalist, most readers are ready to shoot you down for any mistakes rather than build you up.

Affirmation