Monthly Archives: December 2011
it took me quite a while to walk out of the shadows. and believe me when i say there’re very few ppl will fully understand the depth of that statement…
one of quotes from the valedictorian speech in Twilight: Eclipse is this:
“But now that we’ve grown up, they want a serious answer. Well, how about this? ‘who the hell knows?’. This isnt the time to make hard and fast decisions, this is the time to make mistakes. Take the wrong training, get stuck somewhere. Fall in love, alot. Major in philisophy because there’s no way you can make a career out of that. Change your mind and change it again. because nothing’s permanent. so make as many mistakes as you can. that way, someday when they ask what we want to be, we won’t have to guess. we’ll know.”
i might not be at that perfect young age to make mistakes and take a risk, leaving everything i know behind. but, if not now, it’ll be never. so this change im making will set me off in another direction. take me to a whole new world. but i know i want this and i know how much i want this.
a student of mine posted this on FB once…
“When people walk away from you, let them go.
Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you & it doesn’t mean they are bad people… It just means that their part in your story is over.”
looking back, the past 10 yrs have been so important in creating me. but last july’s misunderstanding needed to happen for me to realise that some things will never work out, and to wake up and find the will to go and do the things i love.
so, for the past 1.5 years, ive been creating my future. the story of my future. ive been doing the things ive only dreamt of doing last time. realising my dreams so far has been powerful. it might not seem like much of an accomplishment to others, but it seems a hell of alot to me! knowing how much ive wanted to accomplish the things ive done so far, i find my past 1 year inspirational. i went for a speedboat course (and chose not to go for the test and im ok with that), went for my driving lessons and passed, got myself a car, bought myself birding binoculars (and learnt a bit abt bird watching), wrote an article for NSS Nature Watch, went for a perth trip, wrote a couple of petitions to LTA and RWS, bought underwater camera, learnt diving and am aiming to dive in the great barrier reef someday (and dive once every 6 mths at least), got asked to go for a 4-day horseshoe crab conference in Hong Kong (but clashed with my Perth trip), climbed a small mountain in kluang, went for my advanced open water dive course, presented at the BioDiversity Symposium, awaiting publication of my 2nd paper (a local publication though), presented in a Nature Society (Singapore) Conference, and now, im making the next change in my life. i dont know what prospects marine bio has in Singapore. but, education shouldnt always be abt how much money you can make with it. its just something i enjoy, and i should do it while i can still afford it. the next 1.5 years will be different. what happens after that? well, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
my only concern is that this path im choosing now isnt what my parents typically consider the kind of life to live. i had a hard time trying to get my mom to understand my point of view. but just as i cant accept hers, she cant accept mine. and she’s just at a lost. and i feel terrible cos i do love her and i hate to see her looking helpless and desperate. but, i do not want to live my life like ive lived the past 10 years. or like she has lived hers. “there is no force more powerful than the will to live” and i hope my mom can see that. she has given so much to the family (this family only exists cos of her sacrifices), i hope she’ll make something out for herself. but she feels its all too late and thats all there is to her life. i wish i can keep her with me forever, but i guess she wont be happy in another country either…
is this being selfish? i think life must make sense. in the end, your achievements and accomplishments must outweigh your regrets. sadly, i think disappointing my parents is one regret i wont be able to recover from. unless they can realise that the reason why i so passionately want to make something out for myself, is because i dont want to end up like them. nor do i want the spend the next 50 yrs of my life wallowing in self-pity and giving hypothetical answers to “what if”s and “if only”s.
i dont want to look back anymore. and i know ive accomplished more things looking forward, then being in the shadows. who doesnt make mistakes? we learn, and move on. why should we allow our mistakes to rule the rest of our lives? “its not abt what you do when you fall. its what you do when you get back up” i want to live my dreams, not just dream dreams.
it’ll be weird making new friends. back in a lecture hall, as a student. going out to the ocean every month (?), learning abt the behaviours of marine creatures, back to reading literature, writing reports, stressing out over exams, aiming for the As, etc. but you know what? this is something ive been wanting to do for a really long time. and i am going to make the best out of this. because, i create my own future. this is the next chapter of my story :D
tonight i lie in bed, wondering how im going to leave this place without finding a solution for the one who’s crying quietly in the next room.
i tried to refrain from blogging abt this.
trust me. i tried.
i dont know if anyone from UP there can correct the mess that the Amateur Man from Krypton and Grossly Rude and Conceited Man of Power (AMKGRCMP) just created. from saying that they dont have good command of english to saying that he did not say it correctly. i find it highly amusing that, while i explain to my students that we shouldnt be affected by racial remarks from ‘outsiders’ cos that can create a major problem in our multi cultural, multi ethnic, multi lingual, multi religious society, our very own Man of Power can say such a thing. tell me why again we need to wait for ‘outsiders’ to sow discord when we have our own capable Man of Power to do that for us.
im just wondering. if racial remarks on blogs and public spaces are displayed, the dedicated (and i’m proud of them) team of ppl go out to warn/punish and remove all traces of such uncouth remarks. because the government did say they take a serious view on any remarks that could potentially stir up racial discord. right?
oh, but im pretty sure nothing’s going to happen to this AMKGRCMP (apart from internal ticking off) cos like i mentioned he is a Man of Power.
not so bad if he is some small fly in the bottom most end of the line of power says something like this. might be forgivable (although that still needs to be corrected cos it is dangerous). ha… the joke is, its the big fly on the top of the line that said something like this. and while we all know that we say racist jokes now and then, such things are not meant to be said for the whole world to hear. and this wasnt a joke, this was an accusation!
can you imagine if the ppl on top think like that? i guess that explains alot. i think that says quite a bit on how much they value the surface social cohesion that Father Lee and team of capable ppl have created.
dont make me bring up a whole truck load of displeasure i’ve experienced. i dont want to do that. my country has come to the point where i have to DESCRIBE and EXPLAIN what bandung is to the PRC working in MY local COFFEE SHOP. dont push it. even the filipinos working in our service industry put in more effort to learn British English. even if Son Lee has to explain this Man of Power’s mistake, i think its too much that my leaders have a such a poor opinion on just 2 groups of ppl here.
i think that was my last straw. if Pay and Pay cannot choose their Man of Power and discern between ppl who want the country to prosper and those who by default have to climb the ladder, or instead put up family and friends and scholars and young girls who get roped in by the GRC system, they are going to wash down the efforts of our forefathers. this is just plain disappointing and disgusting.
you want ppl to stand for election, go through the Total Defense lesson first. maybe then they’ll know why thinking before they speak is so important. geez!
the girl hopped up and down excitedly. the grill on the ground was just high enough. i was watching her for a few seconds when i heard her squeal. “mama” she said and waved desperately as she turned behind. a man walks up with a younger boy in his arms. “mama” the girl shouted again. the mother approaches the girl and squats down. in smiles, she raises a finger from her left hand to wipe a tear drop from her cheek. she stands up and smooches the younger boy and squats down to smile at the daughter again. she spends a couple of minutes mirror-imaging her daughter’s hand movements. and then she walks away. the boy cries. pointing to the mother, he wails, begging her not to leave. he doesnt know that she just needs to collect her luggage and she’ll be right out, right with him. alas, all that separates them is a 0.1″ glass pane. so near, yet so far.
im about to book my tickets and ive diverted to the topic on “how to survive long flights?”
i’ve never experienced jet lag (i mean, how bad can it be?) and while ive always brushed it aside thinking that the body just needs some adjusting to to return to normal condition, im suddenly nervous about how uncomfortable i’d be. flashes of the horrible seats of JetStar comes to my memory. the immense discomfort and slowly increasing lower back pain will be a real pain in the ass! thank goodness im not travelling on jetstar for this long trip!
so i googled for advice on how to survive long flights.
which landed me at these few websites.
these websites have given me some good points to consider.
despite all these advice, my only strategy to escape from the tormenting journey is to get business class seats so that i’d be more comfortable with more seat space to move around when i need to change body positions. and quite frankly, wouldnt this be fantastic! but uh… my economy seat tix are already well over S$1300, and the premium economy class ticket falls short of S$3000 while business class ticket for my airline falls just short of S$5000, so i guess i’ll just have to stick it through in the economy seats. unless of course, the advice from this guy works out for me!
i also considered breaking the trip into more legs. my current trip itinerary has 2 legs, with just an hour break between both legs. breaking it into 3 legs might make it more comfortable. at least i get to stretch and walk around somewhere inside the airport, although with no intention to buy anything cos prices will just be too high. of course, that would mean my 12 hour journey will become a 16 hour journey.
so while im freakishly worried that travelling east will bring me a highly unpleasant experience, i have no choice but to go ahead. and to allow me to get up and move as and when i want to, ive decided to give up my usual window seat and get an aisle seat instead. that’ll save me the trouble of waking others up to get out of my seat, or choosing not to move around to avoid disturbing others. on 2nd thoughts, that would also mean that others seated inside will have to trouble me as they move out! and i think i’d much rather sleep more than walk around on a long flight…. so window seat it shall be.
i’m booking my ticket…….
this has been one of my fav songs for more than a decade and its the first time im seeing a non-music video choreo for this song and it brings a smile………. wish i could move so smoothly! but alas, im not a dancer.. ;p
i love the steps for the chorus..
i know the reason why i’ve been putting off the posting of this trip. as i look at the photographs of the experienced UW photographers, i realise that mine are really no where near comparable. and that means, the next upgrade im going to do after my rescue certification is the UW photography course. and its impossible to get it done within the next 1 mth….
anyway, my recent trip to Krabi was excellent. all thanks to Steve who recommended Dive and Relax Dive Centre at Koh Lanta. I happened to liaise with Cameron, the person IC and he was very informative and helpful through all the email exchanges. He helped to settle airport transfer as well as accommodation.
i stayed at Thai house beach resort, which was supposedly cheaper than where Dive and Relax is housed (Lanta Castaway). still its just a couple of minutes walk away, and its a walk along the beach, so who complains? haha…
here’s a shot at the beach bungalows they have.
the streets of Koh Lanta are as how usual touristy Thai streets are…
the dive itself was wonderful. the team of dive instructors were experienced and were able to pick out quite a bit of things among the rocks…
in between dives, meals kept us going!
here are some of the photographs i took as we geared up and jumped into the waters!
puffer fishes were one a many! so many types (i still havent learnt to id them specifically)
bannerfish (my new fav fish!)
quite a few moral eels…
here’s one with a cleaner fish and boxer shrimps around it! haha..
school of batfish
finally saw the crown of thorns that ppl talk abt!
im envious of his ability to maintain his buoyancy… ive got a long way to go to master my buoyancy.. and my DIs recommend that i should forget abt my camera first and focus on perfecting my peak performance buoyancy skill… i just cant bear to leave my camera on the boat!
my first spiny lobster
sea cucumber feeding!!
i did come across my first titan trigger fish at a close encounter.
my DMs at Blue Reef Scuba had warned me against them…. lucky this titan wasnt in a bad mood… i survived a possible attack!
not sure if this is a trumpetfish or a pipefish
it was a trip filled with many first! my first cuttle fish, lionfish, scorpion fish, etc…
even saw my first shark! a baby one. a black tip reef shark, and visibility happened to be bad at that time!
saw a flounder for the first time..
with all these things, you would think i might just be lucky enough to catch a whaleshark? no…. the sad part was, the Liveaboard divers that went down before us saw a whaleshark. they shouted to us, so that we were aware, but by the time we got down, we didnt see any…. sadly..
i did get stung by some stingers (cos i couldnt fin against the light current fast enough – talk abt stamina and technique). the photo of the dots of swell on my wrist was taken 10 days after getting stung… and thats when the itch started to stop… urgh…
evenings after the dives were great! went to Saladan Town on one night, and the streets sell pretty much the same things. headed down to see the sunset on another beach on another night…
perfect sunset. perfect ambience.
all thanks to Dive and Relax for the wonderful dive experience.
i would definitely recommend them to anyone who’s heading down to Koh Lanta. They provide excellent service!
it’s gonna be a stuffy night tonight. all my doors are closed, windows closed. the last total lunar eclipse until 2014 would probably be a spectacle for me to see (and i would have lurved to be part of the crowd at east coast beach), if not for the fact that for unknown reasons, mom refuses to let us go out of the house during an eclipse, eat or drink anything until the eclipse is over, or watch the eclipse on tv. why?
well, after so many years, i think its time to find out.
one story of the eclipse goes as such:
“The Hindu scriptures, the Purãns (written by Ved Vyãs), narrate the story of how the eclipse came into existence:
After the churning of the ocean by the devas (gods) and daityas (demons), amrut – immortalizing the nectar – was produced. It so happened that the demons got the nectar first, but the devas created an apsarã (a beautiful celestial woman) called Mohini. She tricked the demons and took the nectar away from them. Once the devas received the amrut, they asked God to distribute the amrut to all the gods equally. While God was serving everyone amrut, a demon, named Rãhu, through yogic powers transformed himself into a deva and sat in line to receive amrut and thus become immortal. He sat between the Sun-god and the Moon-god. They both recognized the demon in the form of a deva. When God unknowlingly served amrut to Rãhu, both the sun and the moon revealed that it was a demon. So God beheaded Rãhu instantly with his sudarshan chakra. But by the time God beheaded Rãhu he had drunk the amrut. The amrut had reached Rãhu’s throat, making his head immortal. Rãhu’s head thus became a planet. Since the Sun-god and the Moon-god told God about Rãhu, Rãhu was deeply disappointed and nursed a hatred for them. Therefore it is believed that during certain times of the year Rãhu holds the sun and the moon by his mouth (grahan), hence the existence of the solar and lunar eclipses.”
Hence the swallowing of the sun/moon by the enemies of the sun/moon (who are Rahu and Ketu) causes the respective eclipses.
Hindu temples are closed during an eclipse. although it is very much against what i would like to believe in. but (according to what ive read) the cosmic powers of the Gods in the temple are low during an eclipse. Gods are said to be in chanting or something like that, so temples are closed for Gods to pray. (?) i mean, i honestly wish i understood it a little better or at least see some reason why this happens. at the same time, im also aware that my limited knowledge of puranam and scriptures mean that i probably wouldnt fully understand either… but… i cant understand why Gods can be weak… mom says that the radiation/cosmic waves created during an eclipse is harmful so temples are closed. so we should close our rooms/doors too.
in scriptures (and so says my mom), during the eclipse, we should pray. and after the eclipse, bathe and pray and then go back to normal activities. The reason to take a bath (as ive read) is because during an eclipse, the world is overcome with darkness and darkness is associated with impurity and therefore bathing after an impure episode signifies cleansing.
so while i see the solar and lunar eclipse as a beautiful display of the solar system’s coincidental mathematical overlap, it is hard to see where i stand with regards to the religious aspect of an eclipse.
so, with more reading, i find that while Rahu and Ketu are seen as demons in Hindu scriptures, the position of Rahu and Ketu in the universe coincides with the astronomical points in the solar system called the north and south lunar nodes. now these nodes are specific points in the system where the overlap of the sun and moon’s orbital paths occur. hence causing the respective eclipses.
astronomy and astrology are too interlinked in many ancient world cultures.
In european mythology, the north and south lunar nodes are referred to as the dragon’s head and dragon’s tail respectively. (in Hinduism, Rahu is the head of the demon and Ketu is the tail of the demon).
in Chinese mythology, the idea of a dragon eating up the sun is also mentioned. the term “Chih” which means “eat” was used to depict an eclipse. ancient Chinese used to “throw arrows into the sky, beat drums” to scare the dragon away. even till the 19th century, (as ive read) the chinese army used cannon to fire away to get rid of the dragon.
Buddhists believe that the effects of whatever actions you do during an eclipse is multiplied several folds. so, it is adviced to do good things, so that the effects of your deeds are multiplied. i remember mom saying before too that chanting prayers during an eclipse is very good because the impact is multiplied.
Egyptians also have a myth with the the sky God called Horus (whose eyes were the Sun and Moon) and at some point, the right eye (Sun) gets torn off, denoting an eclipse.
but contrary to what most cultures see eclipses as (an evil omen), ppl in Tahiti see eclipses as a romantic phase when the sun and moon make love. so, eclipses are romantic to them.
so you see……….. different cultures bring along with them their ancient stories abt eclipses. and while it is interesting and all, some of these stories are linked to religion. and so where i stand, unsure abt what my ideology should be, im really envious of those who got to witness the perfect total eclipse tonight while im in my stuff room (for the next few hrs till the eclipse ends at around 2am… ) hmmmm………
one of my most favourite movie; Message in a bottle, never fails to make me ‘feel’……
the emotions played are so strong, i can almost always feel my lower abdomen tugged everytime i watch the movie. i might not know all the lines like i do for TopGun, but, this movie always ends up with me curling in my bed hugging my pillow because it just takes so much strength go to through it…
it isnt the first time in writing abt this movie. my last post was about “yesterday and tomorrow“.
although the situation between when i wrote it then and now differs, i can still feel the strength of the emotion shown by kevin costner in the movie. a feeling so strong that it just doesnt let you go. a feeling so strong that you just cant betray it. a feeling so strong that you have to remind yourself to forget about it everyday.
perhaps its apt that im writing about this again. because just like in the movie, i’ve chosen tomorrow. and i hope i succeed instead of face defeat.
as scary as it was to decide to move on, there really isnt anything you can achieve by living in the past. that post was writted in april 2010.
its dec 2011. i can finally say, i am living for tomorrow.