Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ok, Poem's Ready!

I started to pen this poem a few weeks ago in Bintulu. By today I finally conceived it in its entirety. And like the good cook I must say " Ok, poem's ready!!"
Upon reading it to Inul (inset) and reworking the lines and nuances, I got the best response from her, " AARRRGGGHHH.....it's the most boring poem I've heard *?#1%//".
Anyway, here's the poem below :
Adventure in life
I've often wondered
what wonder is
of falling faith
in a disheartened soul
I've not been a Shakespearean man
to be or not to be
choice may be one too many
spoilt kids of yester years
time is residing short in mortal me
and life continues to dare
my eagerness to know
have hastened to soar
this quest of maturing life
We're born to love
hope our burning desire
changing motivations through time
with unfaltering mind
must we move our being
in concert with nature
dancing its spirit
in awakening intelligence
to embrace dear life
that the veil of existence
tricks one to disbelieve
I'm much at peace
with a new-found me
much distanced before by design
but left alone
the nativity of living happiness
is a leap of faith I clung to
the everest of life
I treasure this mountain of faith
sipping its fountain of glorious giving
thirsed by a life-long adventure
the search of majesty
the meaning of life
and truth it rewards
the skies sometimes smiled on me
after my lapses and setbacks
once clouded by weak faith
and fallen petals of disharmony
I pick to gather
the richness of humanity
and prolific prosperity
to share as a child of the universe.
28 April 2010.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

On any Sunday

Imported fruits - many types are available at Satok Sunday market.

The Satok Sunday market remains a lure for many tourists both local and foreign, as well as the residents of Kuching - a city of two mayors. It is my favourite haunt for groceries to stock for the whole week because prices here are reasonable. Be it vegetables (imported from China or local) , fruits - too many to mention, anchovies from Pulau Langkawi or from some dream islands in Sabah, fresh chicken meat, biscuits and local delicacies of a hundred kind, magazines and souvenirs, there are all available here. The Satok Sunday market is one huge weekend market that starts on Saturday afternoon about 12 noon and ends around 1 pm on Sunday to make way for cleaning the parking lots and road where the market is temporarily set up. I visited it yesterday and saw the place thriving and compact with people. I bought some food items to last for a week and had a good time at the orchids and plants center where I took the above picture of a beautiful orchid bloom ( inset).
On any Sunday you are bound to meet friends and peoples from all over the globe at Satok. This is the sort of city convenience that is absent in other small towns throughout Sarawak. It reinforces my belief that Kuching is indeed an excellent place to retire and enjoy convenience in a moderately-paced city with sufficient activities organised on daily basis to keep one's mind and spirit engaged for quality living.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beautiful flowers,Beautiful Sarawak

Dendrobium secundum

Phaius tankervillae

Spathodea campanulata (African Tulip tree)

Coelogyne pandurata

Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi

Plumeria rubra

For more pictures and stories about tropical orchids, please click on my blog below:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sarawak's gift to the world

A painting of the rarest of rare orchids from Sarawak - Paphiopedilum sanderianum.

When I was last in Kuching, I had written about the new orchid garden that has been added as one the latest tourist attraction to this city. On that visit I had a chance to click on my trusted camera handphone N93i an image of one of the rarest of the rare orchids in the world which was in the form of a painting. It is called the Paphiopedilum sanderianum ( pronounced "paf-ee-oh-pedilum) as shown in the painting above and a photograph in the inset left. I am amazed to learn that the plant is one of the most sought-after orchids in the world. Its main attraction lies in its flowers which have two wavy drooping petals that can reach more than three feet length! It was discovered by a German collector (J. Forster-mann) who scoured the Sarawak forest in 1885. It was then "rediscovered" in 1978 by botanist Ivan Nielsen who found it flowering near Fire Mountain in Sarawak's deep interior.
Recently I got hold of a book on orchids entitled " Orchid Fever" written by Eric Hensen bought at a local bookstore in Kuching. The first chapter of the book focused on this endangered orchid species. Well more than that. In 1989, the sanderianum was up in the CITES list of the most endangered species in the world. And what does that mean? Caught taking it out of Sarawak or into any other signatory countries of CITES one can be fined as high as US$ 500,000 plus ten years in jail!!!

The book further described of an adventure into the impenetrable tropical rainforest of Borneo, near the Fire Mountain or what the local Penans called " Gunung Api". The expedition took on a ten days round trip just to see the sanderianum flower in the wild i.e. in its natural state. Having reached the holy grail of orchids, Eric Hansen wrote:"We climbed to about 950 feet, where we were surrounded by hundreds of sanderianum plants. It was difficult to move around for fear of trampling on the orchids, so we stood still for a moment savoring the incredible sight of these pristine wild plants. Only a handful of people on earth had ever seen what lay before us.
"AGGGGGH WHERE THE HELL IS MY GOD-DAMN HIGH -SPEED FILM?" Donald screamed into his camera bag before dumping its contents onto the ground.
Once the two men had calmed down, they swung into action while Bati, Katong, and I sat to drink in the scene of orchid ecstasy. Motor drives whirred, leaves were measured ( 3 inches across), mature plants, seedlings, and seed pods were counted, rain water was tested (pH 6.3), light was measured in units of foot-candles (2,500 to 4,000), and samples of rock (pH 7.5) were tested. Four hours later we were on our way down the mountain with notebooks full of data. Over the course of a week, we returned to the site several times, and then moved on to discover thousands of sanderianum plants in dozens of different sites."
The above expedition was in 1993 and in a light-hearted manner, Eric wrote towards the end of the chapter:" I was surprised when Richard told me that this sort of independent research, without special permits from the host country, is also prohibited".

A view of the new orchid garden ( DBKU Orchid Garden) towards the newly completed Sarawak State Legislative Assembly building in the far background.

Grammathophylum speciosum ( Tiger Orchid) - the biggest orchid in the world
dispalyed at an open area in the orchid garden compound.

The Tiger Orchid is an epiphytic orchid and grows naturally in Sarawak on the crowns of tall trees. However it can also be grown on the lowlands for example in town or city residential gardens. The handsome sample above can be seen at the orchid garden. I'll look forward to see when it will flower in future, which happens only once a year displaying lovely masses of golden yellow and spoted orange petals.
To me then, the sanderianum and the tiger orchid are one of the many of Sarawak's gifts to the world .
Note: For more pictures and stories about tropical orchids, please click on my blog about orchids by following this link: http://4loveoforchids.blogspot.com/
Ref: Eric Hansen (2000 ) Orchid Fever, Methuen Publishing Ltd, London.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Initial Notes

This blog is a second edition of my original blog called "My Sarawak".
I start this blog today because the 1 gig free memory has been exhausted.
This blog is created in Kuching.
To visit the first edition of My Sarawak, please follow this link : ~ http://myussop.blogspot.com/


Images of Bintulu Today

Bintulu town fountain

Bintulu Waterfront

Bintulu Waterfront