Sunday, August 31, 2008

Family Tree

My father ( Yusuf bin Mahmud) of 86 years old, relating our family tree using a family tree diagram.

Yesterday ( 31/8) my father organised a 'majlis tahlil' or a ' tahlil' ceremony held in remembrance of our departed ones. My father hold this ceremony annually before the fasting month of Ramadan.
In the tahlil ceremony, recital of short verses of the Quran , salutations to our Prophet Mohammed and prayers are said as we ask forgiveness and blessings of the Almighty for the departed souls.
After the ceremony, where we invited close friends and relatives to attend, we gathered around him to listen him talk of our family tree by way of a family tree diagram written in 1927 in Sambas.
As told, our great great great grand father was from Sambas, Indonesia. He was a landlord in the province of Sambas,Indonesia. His name was Tuan Haji Abdul Khatib. Apparently he had five wives. My father's lineage came from one of Khatib's sons by the name of Abdul Rahim who bore a son named Mahmud ( my father's father). My father in turn had fathered thirteen children of which eleven are still living. My eldest sister have eight grand children and me one grand daughter so far from my eldest son.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Green Veins, White Heart

On this return trip to Bintulu, I noticed the caladiums ( caladium x candidum) that I planted on the 2nd of July have exhibited their true characteristics. Given the filtered light, rich humus soil and lots of rain they have grown profusely under the jungle canopy. The heliconia strictas have produced new leaves and rising above the mass of caladiums. This mid hill footpath is part of the overall heliconia valley project that I am continually planning and building at the moment in my eco-farm site here in Bintulu.

Blue Minaret

On Friday after the congregational prayers, I stopped by the minaret of the Assyakiriin Mosque,Bintulu. The interesting feature of this minaret is the distance the architect placed it from the main mosque building.  With the help of today's technology like the  sophisticated PA system, the sermons can be heard broadcasted to a much wider audience around the mosque area.

More States Colours

Not to miss the fun, the Parkcity Mall pulls up an impressive line of the individual states flags of Malaysia. In two days time Bintulu will celebrate Sarawak's 45 years independence through Malaysia.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sarawak Independence

At a Bintulu car park are displayed the independence colours celeberating Sarawak's 45 years of independence. I recall at that time in 1963, I was in my Primary Three studying at a mission school here in Bintulu called ,Saint  Anthony's School. I am one of those fortunate Bintuluian who has survived the forty years and seen the tranformation of this very tiny fishing village evolving into an industrial city it is now.

By the Water's Edge

This is a huge painting I did using house paint on wood and now hangs at our dining room in Kuching. There are more paintings that I brought over from Bintulu which are not yet put up on the walls here at Kuching. The title of this abstract expressionistic piece is ' By the Water's Edge'. I am currently planning for my next big solo art exhibtion to be held in Kuching, hopefully next year. It will be a retrospective as well as an update showcase of all my artworks. It will thus cover myworks from 1968 - 2009 , a 41 years sojourn)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Views of Mount Santubong

Late in the afternoon, we went to Damai Resort ,Santubong near Kuching. The half hour drive brought us through a picturesque countryside. Just as we were about to reach the resort, I saw the mountain slopes being hit by the late afternoon sun. I whisked my camera hand phone n931i and got the picture below.
On the return journey I caught another glimpse of the mountain peak. In the Malay language the word equivalent for mountain is 'gunung'. Thus this mountain which shares lots of legendary tales with the local inhabitants living around its plains, is referred to as 'Gunung Santubong'. And there is a popular folk song bearing the name 'Puteri Santubong" to mean the Princess of Mount Santubong. And the legend goes...( well need to be back here again to listen to the legend)....God willing.
These tall coconuts trees ( cocos nucifera) with their feather-like leaves amazes me.
Then, further down the road I had a closer look at the leaves in motion.Very tropical. Very romantic.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend shopping at Kuching

I went again to the flower market at Satok ,Kuching yesterday(24/8) purposely to buy more varieties of heliconia to bring back to Bintulu for additions to the Heliconia Valley Project. collection. In the foreground of the picture below are bougainvilleas.

The prices at the flower market here are reasonable and bargainable. You can purchase fertilisers( in small packings), prepared soil mixes, flowering plants of all varieties and species like the orchids, roses,hibiscus,bougainvilleas,fruit trees,palm trees,grasses, aquatic plants etc,etc,.The plants are sold here by small nursery owners, part-time gardeners, garden enthusiasts and freelancers. They need only to pay a token fee to put up their goods at the alloted places on a daily basis.

An interesting array of plants sold on temporary lots allocated by the Kuching City Municipality for a token fee. The Flower Market opens from Saturday afternoon till Sunday afternoon, every weekend.

Later on the way back home, I stopped at this uptrend shopping mall called 'The Spring'. For more pictures please find them here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Food Shopping in Kuching City

Yesterday I had a field day shopping for food in Kuching City.
First pit stop: The Spring, a newly opened  uptrend mega shopping mall in uptown Kuching, approximately 5 kilometers from down town Kuching. The food court was excitingly decorated and the range of food excellent from local to foreign menus. Here I tried the pasta.
2 nd pit stop: Top Spot, A sea food food court at down town Kuching, within walking distance from all the  major tourist hotels and accomodation. Something special on the menu was a plate of 'midin' which means jungle ferns in the local lingo. Fried with 'belacan'( local prawn paste) it is a culinary delight eaten by the lowly and the high nosed.
3 rd pit stop: Ikan Terubuk market at Satok Road , where the famous ikan terubuk is salted and sold as a must souvenier for tourists from Semenanjung Malaysia.
Below is a cu of the ikan terubuk fish.
When fried, these the terubuk fishes are great appetisers and therefore should only be taken in small portion.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Songs of Salutations

The 'kompang' is a hand held drum made from goat's skin .  It is played using the palm and fingers. Taking cue from the kompang group leader the kompang boys sing songs of salutations to the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Unto Him) seen here at a wedding function in Kuching City. For more pics click here.

Kuching Mosque

The Kuching Mosque above has received a new coat of paint in pink and white. This mosque is very popular among tourists because it is the closest to down town Kuching City where the major tourist hotels and accomodation are situated and within walking distance from the hotels.

Kuching Malay Wedding Couple

On Friday and today as well I attended a Kuching Malay wedding ceremony. More pictures from the wedding ceremony and function are posted here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Handicrafts Show at Kuching Waterfront

Today the Handicrafts Show and Sale at the Kuching Waterfront comes to a close. I went to check out the place this morning and here's some pictures I took at the exhibition booths.
An interesting display of containers using rattan as the chief material for weaving.
Seconday school students take part in the batik painting demonstration.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Wild Orchids and Rattan Handicrafts at Serikin

Yesterday (9 Aug) we took the road to Serikin, a border town some thirty minutes drive from Kuching City. This place is frequented by local tourists especially from West Malaysia who were seen keenly buying textiles, glass ware and rattan mats. There were also lots of wild jungle orchids and pitcher plants available for sale at very affordable prices. Below are snapshots of Serikin.

These rattan based handicrafts are made by the local Bidayuh community who are the main residents at Serikin.
Example of wild orchids on display. In the foreground is a flowering slipper orchid.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rattan Handicrafts of Sarawak

In Kuching there are plenty of Sarawak handicrafts that one can buy as sovenier.  One particular favourite of mine is the 'tambuk', which is a Bidayuh word to mean a carrying basket.  At many of the local sovenier shops along Kuching Waterfront, these are made into mini shapes and sizes to fit the varying budget of tourists and visitors to this beautiful city.

Sovenier shops along Kuching Waterfront
A CU View of varying colours and sizes of tambuk on sale at Serikin, a thirty minutes drive by road from Kuching city.
This morning I had the occassion to make a floral arrangement using the tambuk as a display container. But what I thought was a simple display became of particular interest to my heroic cats who are well on their way to create the Malaysian record of the most travelled cats in Malaysia.
So here's the two admirable cats :
Einstein with his killer moustache.
Macy Grey, the story teller.

My Kuching Garden Shaping Up

The small garden plot at our residence in Kuching is shaping up since we started planting sometime early last year.
The above picture was taken in November, 2007. No grasses were planted then.
Young cycas fronds are seen sprouting this morning.  The wild banana trees have grown above the fence height and so is the majestic palm.
Here's a cu view of the wild banana tree in flower and fruiting at the same time seen early this morning.
Another plant seen flowering yesterday was this ginger lily ( Hedychium coronarium ) which sends out a strong sweet scent around the garden.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Kuching Sunday Flower Market

Kuching's Sunday market at Satok Road actually starts open on Saturday afternoon around 1.00 pm. Today I dropped by at the flower section of the Sunday market.
There are plenty of gardeners, nursery owners and landscapers who sell their plants here every Saturday right on till Sunday. I bought two new species of heliconia and one new hibiscus hybrid to add to my collection today. I didn't buy the cattleya orchid below but instead just took a picture of it because it looks so amazingly showy.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sarawak Regatta 2008

The Sarawak Regatta 2008 is now being held at the Kuching Waterfront from the 1st of August till the 3rd of
August.I find the Kuching River at this meandering point to be very suitable for holding regattas because it is very strategically sited i.e. next to the city centre, broad size ,very calm waters and excellent public facilities and amenities within  its immediate surrounds. Futhermore the Waterfront with its park like settings especially with its huge trees provide much shade and picnic grounds for the rural visitors who made long journeys to reach the Kuching Waterfront area. However, could it be that the designers of the 'sampan' below may have gone overboard with their message of 'Peace'?.