My Own Happiness Project

My Own Happiness Project
because happiness begins inside and flows out...


the one song that tells about my life so perfectly...

So here I am
Doing everything I can
Holding onto what I am
Pretendin' I'm a superman
I'm tryin' to keep
The ground on my feet
It seems the world's
Fallin' down around me
The nights are all long
I'm singin' this song
To try and make the answers
More than maybe

And I'm so confused
About what to do
Sometimes I want
To throw it all away

So here I am
Growin' older all the time
Lookin' older all the time
Feelin' younger in my mind
And here I am
Doing everything I can
Holdin' onto what I am
Pretendin' I'm a superman

I'm tryin' to sleep
I lost count of sheep
My mind is racin' faster every minute
What could I do more
Yeah I'm really not sure
I know I'm runnin' circles
But I can't quit

And I'm so confused
About what to do
Sometimes I want to
Throw it all away

Controllin' everything in site
I'm feelin' weak
I don't feel right
You're tellin' me
I have to change
Tellin' me to act my age
But if all that I can do
Is just sit and watch time go
Then I'll have to say good bye
Life's too short to watch it fly
Watch it fly

So here I am
Growin' older all the time
Lookin' older all the time
Feeling younger in my mind
And here I am
Doin' everything I can
Holdin' onto what I am
Pretendin' I'm a Superman


the one about being an eligible bachelor...

I was going through my sister's piles of old magazines when one caught my attention as the selected reading while I take a dump (a bad habit really difficult to shake off). It says on the front cover "Babelicious Bachelors!", though I may come quite far from being one of them, but judging on their responses to the standard questions posed, I think I can answer some of them better.

If I were to join, my column would be like this...

Medical Officer, 28

Describe yourself in 5 words I am who I am... A woman is most beautiful when she carries her family on one shoulder and her career on the other... one who knows what she wants... The nicest thing a woman's ever said to me is anything that starts with "can I tell you the truth..." How would you describe your style? You'll seldom find me spotting a necktie... I ma more of a polo and jeans person, and half of my wardrobe is from Giordano. I also wear a red ribbon to promote awareness on AIDS... I know she's special when she accepts my inadequacies and appreciates my extras (including extra bodyweight)... What scares you? Lizards and flying cockroaches... What were you teased about as a child? Apart from my weight, people call me Roti and Teh-O... Go figure... Men makes the worst nuns... If I could trade place with a man for a day, I'd pick the Pope... Describe your date from hell pointy face, horns, glossy red skin and carries a hay-fork... other than that, anyone who cannot carry a decent conversation beyond the first few minutes... A wife beater has no balls... What is an antimacassar? The piece of thick tissue found on headrest of airplane chairs... I'm currently listening to jazz... It's always jazz...

the time i should start looking back at the year that was...

About almost the same time last year I underwent a serious discernment that would change my life and my surrounding in quite a major way. It didn't exactly start then (as I have been evaluating and re-evaluating the thoughts many many many times before) but one show got it going... I was watching Ed, and in that particular episode, he asked himself what is his legacy... what would he be leaving behind once he is dead and gone...

Well my thoughts were not as morbid as his, but I started considering a lot of my own feelings and emotions and all those things a busy man should have no time to think about... (and yep, I plunged myself deeper into work as a result of some decision I made, and yet work can only provide so much short-term reliefs from the pain I went through)

The year that was has shown many things in life that I am not sure I was ever ready to see, but still, as one would say that everything happens for a purpose, it left me many opportunities to reason out every strands of experience that made me the person I am today.

Yet I would not exchange the world for any of those that I went thorugh.


the one about pleasure by kahlil gibran

Pleasure is a freedom-song, But it is not freedom.
It is the blossoming of your desires,
But it is not their fruit.
It is a depth calling unto a height, But it is not the deep nor the high. It is the caged taking wing,
But it is not space encompassed.
Ay, in very truth, pleasure is a freedomsong.
And I fain would have you sing it with fullness of heart; yet I would not have you lose your hearts in the singing.

Some of your youth seek pleasure as if it were all, and they are judged and rebuked.
I would not judge nor rebuke them. I would have them seek.
For they shall find pleasure, but not her alone;
Seven are her sisters, and the least of them is more beautiful than pleasure.
Have you not heard of the man who was digging in the earth for roots and found a treasure?

And some of your elders remember pleasures with regret like wrongs committed in drunkenness.
But regret is the beclouding of the mind and not its chastisement.
They should remember their pleasures with gratitude, as they would the harvest of a summer.
Yet if it comforts them to regret, let them be comforted.

And there are among you those who are neither young to seek nor old to remember;
And in their fear of seeking and remembering they shun all pleasures, lest they neglect the spirit or offend against it.
But even in their foregoing is their pleasure.
And thus they too find a treasure though they dig for roots with quivering hands.
But tell me, who is he that can offend the spirit?
Shall the nightingale offend the stillness of the night, or the firefly the stars?
And shall your flame or your smoke burden the wind?
Think you the spirit is a still pool which you can trouble with a staff?

Oftentimes in denying yourself pleasure you do but store the desire in the recesses of your being.
Who knows but that which seems omitted today, waits for tomorrow?
Even your body knows its heritage and its rightful need and will not be deceived.
And your body is the harp of your soul,
And it is yours to bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds.

And now you ask in your heart, "How shall we distinguish that which is good in pleasure from that which is not good?"
Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,
But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.
For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life,
And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love,
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.

People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.


the day i went to try out a gym...

The year is setting, but might still have a chance at the BMI modification plan...

i didn't manage to capture a shot at the gym, but the rest of the facility is great

I went over to a resort health club to check out the facilities today. The fees could be a tad hefty but the philosophy goes, that if it is something I paid for, it will serve as a motivation to keep going, as opposed to it being free...

that's my gym shoes down there

Let's see how long my kiasuness can keep me on the treadmill...


the day i watched sunrise...

date achieved: 21 October 2007

it won't do much justice to nature if this pic is in b&w...

Taken just a few minutes apart, it is quite impossible to capture that glorious magnificence of sunrise in black and white. Though this isn't the first sunrise I've seen in this year, but more often than not I lack the luxury of my camera being with me...


the one about my acummulating stress... and the time i got more new books and gadgets..

Stress at work is piling up as more reports are to be written and the end of Ramadhan means a lot of catch up courses and meetings to do... seemingly no amount of coffee and jazz can pin my nerves down on this, been having sleepless nights and drowsy days for the past few weeks to juggle work and work and... work.

On many occasions I was reprimanded for my mistakes, most of it deservingly, and all of it makes me want to do better the next time. I just wonder how many "next times" are there for me to spend before I exhaust it all.

Still I manage to steal little pleasures on little escape trips to the bookshop and to get a sip of my usual from the comforting paper cup.

my treasures on the table adding up to about RM2000 worth of compulsive buying

What's new, a big book by Jamie Oliver, a new one by Ben Okri called Starbook, one about dieting , a brand new Sony NW 860, a brand new Sony Ericson W660i, and my usual venti caffe mocha to go with whip..

Over-doing it? I think so too... but what is the price of sanity?


the day i took pictures for my cousin's wedding...

A chance to practice my unsung skills in photography, I was asked to snap pics during my cousin's wedding ceremony.

And this is my winning shot.

The coloured version is available in my flickr...


the one about our local sex commercialism...

Having been on the street for about as month, I have familiarised myself with the night scene of the local sex commercialism. I have been out for exactly 13 nights, distributed more than 2 cartons of comdoms and about 90 health education flyiers, and done about 1 - 5 street counselings a night.

Walking the street mostly alone, and known popularly among the night people as "Eddie Kondom" I have the opportunity to observe the business in close proximity.

One sexual transaction usually consist of a blowjob "icecream" or a handjob "bayu-bayu". These are regularly priced at RM50 a session, while anal penetration "oring" will cost up to RM200 a session.

Being such a regular wallpaper at the scene of the local sex trade, I have made friends with the important anchors or "mommies" of these sex workers, and as JR has taught me the secret of surviving on the streets before, the night people will be able to sense if you're sincere about doing your job, I was able to get close to them and in more than one occasions, they had smartly brought me to escape the CIDs roaming the street sometimes up to no good.

At the current moment only about 10 percent of them are attending my STD clinic but I am still happy with the slow but promising progress, as 2 out of the 3 prominent mommies are coming and actively siphoning their people in.

My current concern is this.. being friends with them is one matter, but standing face to face with prostitution, and this rotten morality so harshly scorned in the Bible, I wonder if there is a greater purpose for me being in the street with them, but surely I know that by handing out rubbers I am only concerned about the spread of HIV as a measure of harm reduction.

Maybe at this point of time, morality is someone else's job.


the day i went to a concert... a jazz concert!

Date achieved: 11 August 2007

the jazz scenario in kota kinabalu is still limited to a very minute group of jazz-lovers but most of the people around does not mind any music as long as it's good

Something that I've always wanted to do, and finally given a chance at it, was to attend a Jazz Appreciation Concert. I have had many opportunities before, I mean, it happened right under my nose a couple of times while I was still studying, but never got the money for it.

the appetizer for the night was presented by a local group from SIA. they were quite good, really..

It was a fine show, well, Jazz can't really go wrong (my biased opinion) and I enjoyed myself tremendously that night. The concert started on time, the bands were great, but I feel that KK people still has a long way to go in Jazz appreciation.

More than a Jazz Appreciation night, it was really a night for the upper middle and upper class people to come out, put on skimpy dresses and thick make-up, hit a few beers, meet influential people... and make a lot of noise through-out the show.

In more than one occasion I was really tempted to shush some people and ask them to shut-up.

There is a plan to make this a yearly event. Well, yea, I'd like that.

this group played a fusion of east and west, the usual jazz instruments and erhu - the result, splendid

another of those local bands

double take - mia palencia and roger wang... i took pride in telling that roger actually strung my guitar when i bought it from his shop some years back

and of course, the highlight of the night was a photo session with my favourite local jazz duo (Sandra, Mia, Roger and myself)


the one about getting my hands dirty

The government is very sensitive when it comes to addressing our country's current issues on sex-trades, and even more when it comes to the people involved in it. The sexual-taboo is not exactly particular to our country alone but also generally a culture of the common Asians. While trying to be sensitive in addressing prostitutes, and calling them 'commercial sex-workers' so as to reduce the negative connotation attached to such trades, we are also very prone to avoid talking about them at all, or even worse, to pretend that such issue is not that big a deal to us.

The society, at large, is uneasy when forced to confront the reality of these issues. Even for us, at the medical level, try to manipulate words and give broad-covering names to address a certain group of people that you-know and I-know. I am referring to the "marginalised group" that we target, as vulnerable to HIV infection and AIDS.

Who doesn't know what we are talking about when use the phrase "marginalised group" - but to the untrained, anybody can be marginalised in any given context. So what are we trying to achieve here,.. sensitivity and tactfulness - but at the cost of ignorance?

I think the world is ignorant enough as it is already.

Running a meeting a few weeks back brought me to realise, that I too may have a pinch of reservation when it comes to the marginalised groups. I am thinking specifically of the transvestites that roam the night scenes, cat-calling passers-by with their more often than not gruffy voices and sometimes proudly showing off the effect of injectable steroids on their pseudo-appendages. These are the people that too little in the world is willing to work with.

I once gave the permission to a friend to give me a good tight slap on the face - if I ever loose sight of our purpose - our mission, that is to preserve, or fight for, the quality of life. Sounds like a terribly big word - QUALITY OF LIFE. Sometimes I do find myself pondering into its deeper meaning, as if it needs lots and lots of explanation to comprehend.

I once belong to a group of activist yuppies, going round a red lantern district of Kuala Lumpur, fighting for quality of life. We were the Rounders of Jeffrey Rounds. Other members reading this may not exactly conform or agree to my definition of purpose, but there lies the beauty of JR. Apart from about four common ground rules, we were pretty free to come up with our own philosophy and purpose regarding our participation in JR.

Three out of four of the ground rules were basically just to cover for our safety: do not carry money, always wear shoes and always watch for each-others' backs (or back-sides, as we like to put it) and number 4 actually states that we are here on a neutral banner: which pretty much says that people of any religion, race, motives, anything, can come along.

Yep, those were the days when bills and taxes were not much an agenda in our daily lives.

Another remarkable thing about JR was how the ideology of it were spread. Being young and eager, the world belonged to those with a clear vision and an interesting philosophy. Well, clear vision wasn't really one of our greatest strength, as we too build our ideas as we went along, but being able to relate the philosophy behind JR and transplant it in the head of others was the key strategy that kept us going for years, come rain or -- no rain.

One other thing about JR that I just have to mention here, was the willingness to get down and dirty. The street people were very sensitive to whether or not we were sincere in our approach, as we were not the only group going around the area doing 'charity'. So the only way (to me, at least, I can't think of any other better ways) to scrap off prejudices and get down to their level, was really to get down to their level, literally. We would come and sit on the floor, cross-legged, keeping our eyes peeled for stray needles and cockroaches as we listened to their stories. Everybody has a story to tell, and if listening to them will elevate their morale for at least 2 minutes, hey, we're all ears.

So back to my current story. As I was saying... what the world needs more of, is people who are willing to get down and get their hands dirty. As I realised that the HIV picture will never come down by having me sitting down in my air-cond room analysing figures months after months, I will have to come down and and get my hands dirty.

As we were told, once a rounder, always a rounder.


the day i took a walk in the rain...

date achieved: 15 August 2007

my boss getting a good dose of skyjuice

I remembered the last time I had a good walk in the rain was with Vic, probably some 8 years ago, from SFX Church after Sunday Mass to Sunway Pyramid. A whole 45 minutes of poedal action in the rain, avoiding splashes from motor-vehicles on the Federal Highway. Crazy, but it was all fun..

In fact, for some people, especially for Vic, Keets and some other people I know, walking is a purely spiritual thing. Walking cleanses the soul, they claimed, as they boasted of a 40km adventure cross bushes and highways a while ago.

For me, the big thing was not in the walking alone, but also in the rain. I used to watch the sky and got my cycling gears ready as the clouds gathered.

My most recent adventure out in the rain was in Hong Kong few days back. I put my money where the travel book said it would be hot and humid because of summer, but I never imagined the humidity would drench me out in the open. I can't say that I welcomed the rain as much as I did many years ago. But fun was still fun, and though it did not do much good 'cleansing' as it soaked my Camel loafers, I did enjoy the downpour.

So, yes, I walked in the rain - and this is one of thing I wanted to achieve this year.


the one about the song that's been playing in my mind

James Taylor

Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
Susanne the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can't remember who to send it to

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again

Won't you look down upon me, Jesus
You've got to help me make a stand
You've just got to see me through another day
My body's aching and my time is at hand
And I won't make it any other way

Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again

Been walking my mind to an easy time my back turned towards the sun
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it'll turn your head around
Well, there's hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things
to come
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground

Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you, baby, one more time again, now

Thought I'd see you one more time again
There's just a few things coming my way this time around, now
Thought I'd see you, thought I'd see you fire and rain, now

the one about the movie: 9 naga

the actual controversy is the belly button and the strands of hair noted under it. rubbish...

We all love a feel good movie on a weekend. I have a fancy for Indonesian movie, especially the ones directed by Rudi Soedjarwo, among many, Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? (Keets, right?), Tentang Dia and 9 Naga. I do not know if he has released any newer movies but the ones I have, I watched over and over again.

Just now I was in a mood for the rerun of 9 Naga.

The story tells of a special relationship between 3 youngsters: Marwan, Donny and Lenny, who has been friends since childhood. They met through a fated tragedy, involving a lot of violence and death, a bloody one at that, unexpected profitability from the incident and from then on became a team of hitmen, taking lives for money.

What I like about the movie, is definitely the cinematography. The story-line about standing up for each other, and going through the pain of losses, grips tight on the heart.

I didn't know the movie went through quite a bumpy ride before its release, as reported in Detikcom - Indonesia's Entertainment Website - specifically 2 issues were brought up for questioning.

First, was the tag-line for the movie that went: Manusia terbaik di Indonesia adalah seorang penjahat. Rudy got a lot of trouble with the tagline and was forced to take it off before release.

Another hiccup, was the poster - that showed the guy's belly-button (or as they call it in Indon, pusar) Probably it has got something to do with aurat, but I took the liberty to post up the actual banned poster up here.

You think I'm joking about this... as taken from

Hal kedua yang bikin "gerah" LSF adalah foto Fauzi Baadila yang memperlihatkan pusarnya di poster film itu. "Hal lain adalah pusar dan soal rambut yang terlihat di bawah pusar dalam foto di poster itu. Memang masih pakai celana tapi bisa menimbulkan penafsiran yang negatif. Kami juga minta supaya itu ditutup saja," ucap Titie.

Tacky taglines and belly buttons aside, I still think this movie is a winning must see. Watch it for the abstract meanings, watch it for the friendship and loyalty so nicely captured in the acting. Watch it for the superb script. I have watched the movie countless times, and will do again some other time... it's THAT good... have a go at it.

(while watching this, I was reminded of the friends I spent most of my formative years with - fighting for a cause, standing for our beliefs... guys, I'm waiting here, for when you all come back, we'll do it all over again...)

The feel good part about this movie is having people in my mind - of my friends.

p/s: Damn it, I miss you all!


the one about my trip to sibu...

here I go again...

With so many travels and hotel stays, I've decided that it would be futile to keep up with my caloric intakes... not that it is impossible, just that.... well excuses shmexcuses, I just don't feel like doing it for now...

i can still do this with one hand tied, blindfolded and turned round and round 10 times...

My last travelling itenerary brought me over to the rear end of the Borneon Dog-shaped map, Sarawak. Spent a week in Sibu attending a course on Scientific Writing for Publication.

not very different I'd say...

I had to sit through a 5 hours transit for a connecting flight from Kuching before getting on board again for Sibu. Kuching, after weighing the enormous hu ha about how it is much cleaner than my very own KK, and how much livelier, more beautiful and all sort of unseen glories, I concluded that I still like KK better.

rajang river - the longest in Malaysia

waterfront walk in Kuching - Sunday morning and almost all the shops are closed...

The whole experience brought me back to a very recent past, during my pre-clinical days when we were force-fed modules on research methods and statistical analysis bla-bla-bla... I thought as I grew older and more mature, I'd be able to tolerate more of these serious stuffs... which proved me wrong right at the first quarter of the hour. Soundly asleep and literally soundly asleep, I had to be shaken awake a few times by the poor guy next to me.

But Sibu as a town isn't bad at all... what I'd imagine to be something like Kudat or maybe Lahad Datu turned out to be as big as KK itself - packed, colourful and interesting.

Taking a stroll at night across the hotel I stayed in (Kingwood Hotel) there was a bigger than life Swan, with an equally bigger than life head. It's cute, and nothing else. Sibu was christened the swan city, believed to be the landing pad for swans migrating across the equator but according to some honest locals, they'd never seen any of those around... Wikipedia gave a more brutally honest account on how the town's connection to this particular avian came about, just check it out.


Just like Kuching, Sibu (I'm beginning to suspect the whole of Sarawak) does not have any proper shopping malls, with the most happening one being Parkson. I was asking around when I arrived in Kuching, where is the recommended shopping mall to hang out (I need aircond) and I was suggested Parkson. When I reached Sibu, I asked the same question, and was again told Parkson..

"Parkson juga?"

So this is Parkson, the most happening hang out place in Sibu (sure beats Lahads Datu's Milimewa anytime)...

It only took approximately 37minutes to walk around the mall before you finished the whole tour...

and lunch wasn't quite a selection... guess what did i have?

the Sibu Jetty

I particularly appreciate the marketplace - taxi uncle that brought us for a tour claimed that this is the biggest market plaza in Malaysia - I don't know, I have to check in the Malaysia Book of Records to be sure - but I enjoyed most hunting for pics here...

varieties of vegetables...

dried groceries - salted shrimps here are called udang lurus - after the way they straighten the shrimps



This could be a local version of McD's Chicken Foldover... this one wins by its super freshness!

no chicken were harmed (yet) during the photography session

there's also McDucks Foldover

Courses are the only time I can rest actually, and during one of the free afternoons, I took chance to watch Harry Porter in Sibu's only cineplex - only RM5 and free seating - reminiscent of my earlier days watching movies at Rex Cinema at Petaling Street.

of all places...


the third day i am still counting my calories...

How am I supposed to keep track when the meeting serves a buffet for lunch and an eight course dinner at night? Trying my very best to take charge of my control-able intakes, here's another shameful list... well people say we need 21 trials to create a habit... try lah.
  1. Misuah and egg (383)
  2. 1 slice bread (70)
  3. Nescafe (96)
  4. Black Tenom coffee - happy to count as nil
  5. Rice (1/3 bowl) (65)
  6. Vegetables in starchy gravy (70)
  7. Fish curry (2 small pieces) (160)
  8. Butter Prawns (6 medium sized) (140)
  9. Syrup Rose (100)
  10. Nescafe Mocha (140)
  11. 3 Pieces Non-sugar Chewing gum (15)
  12. Dinner (1000) Okay la since I'm so lazy to count each and every items for dinner, I'll just pass it on as 1000 - at least can make up for yesterday's deficit bah kan, hehe
Eii... only 2239kcal for all that today? Hmm... I wonder why I am not slim yet... In that case should keep to a 2000kcal daily requirement la like this...


the second day i took note of my caloric intake...

The effort to reduce my daily caloric intake has not seem to result in anything to be proud of... Well, I guess one day I will be too embarrassed to list down everything and will eventually cut down just to be able to put up a healthier list. Oh well, until that time comes...

Today's fat factors:
  1. Grapes 372g (201)
  2. Nescafe Mocha 240mls (140)
  3. Konlo Noodle (580)
  4. Chinese tea (negligible)
  5. Rice 1/3cup (65)
  6. Squid in pineapple and onion gravy (55)
  7. Vegetable in belacan sauce (55)
  8. Fried egg (90)
  9. 1 bowl toddy palm in honey syrup (210)
  10. Homemade pizza (102)
  11. In flight orange juice (100)
Ai? This is weird... only 1598? Could be something wrong somewhere, but I swear these are all I had for today...

Another day tomorrow... never mind... must not give up... cewah!


the day i ate for one and a half days!

Desperate to achieve my target of dropping down to BMI 28 - which is still sleeping soundly in far far away land (tidur mati barangkali...) I've come to the lamest attempt to chart and record my daily caloric intake. I have a feeling that this is going down the gutter in the most cow-dungish way of failure, but hey, if I can do it for 2 days, why not do it for 2 days, right?

So I bought myself a small booklet (like all my previous attempts - if I lose 10 pounds for every booklet I've bought for this purpose, I'd be sexy by now) and started recording things that I munch down.

I managed to down 3448kcal from all that I ate yesterday, a hefty 172% of a recommended daily allowance for a person of similar lifestyle.

Bad bad bad bad bad bad bad....

These are the culprits
  1. KFC 3 pieces (1180) - I was THAT hungry okay
  2. Pepsi (reg) (150)
  3. Grapes (300++ gms) (335)
  4. OLE ice cream (1 piece) (133) okay, I admit, this I didn't need
  5. Apple juice (250mls) (110)
  6. LoHan Ko (220) this is a buang panas drink my kakak did - drank it throughout the day
  7. BBQ chicken wings (472)
  8. Murtabak (2 pc) (500) an estimation, totally not needed but I was craving for this for a week already
  9. 4-in-1 Coffee Mocha (from Vietnam) (96)
  10. Kuaci bunga (1 pack) (130)
  11. I glass OJ (122)
No wonder every time I try to lose weight, it keeps finding me back...


the day i was thinking about my dwindling social life

They're everywhere. In buildings, outside buildings, in car parks, on escalators, in elevators, on tv, in newspapers, on the roads, on the sidewalks, in the cafes, in the eateries, in the cinemas... everywhere. And the more I don't want to notice it, the more prominently they appear to me.

It is funny how for the past half a year or so, I have not the slightest interest of this. I went on through life, knowing full well that it is still all around, but I was able to be nonchalant about it. "Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, wore the ring, well, thanks but no thanks for now..."

But I am seeing it all around. I know it does not necessitate me to do something about it hastily, but somehow the mind plays special focus on the matter lately, annoyingly even at my disapproval.

People - couple - twosomes - lovebirds - they're everywhere....

I bet this is just a phase that I am going through at this point of time. Probably a sign that I am moving on, that I am ready for another trial in life...

Funny when I re-read my entry on love in my previous blog, I talked about the list, qualities and all, but all that can be fulfilled. When it comes to getting together on a long term basis, I realised that a certain aspect has to be checked first.


the list

The issue of compatibility can be seen from multiple angles. People say that opposite attracts, but what I think about it, is just a way to compensate whatever they lack in themselves by hooking up with each other. Like ying and yang. People who gets along too well may have found themselves in each other, and as long as they're comfortable with 'themselves' that should not be a problem too...

I remember getting very broody watching kids play (long long long time ago), and said to myself that I'd get a kid by 25, and if not from marriage, I'd adopt one! I remember making packs also with a friend, like the one made in Friend - that I'd get married with her if we're both still single by the time I am 30! But I can't remember who that was anymore...
probably to her advantage, haha!

But one thing holds true -- that THE person must be someone I can see myself growing old with, and still hold hands with, even if our wrinkles rub and we get burns from the friction...

first, the approach is slow and subtle

Ah... with my social life the size of a dead skin cell, I need to put up more thickness to this face to meet more people... A blind date doesn't sound too bad at this point...

then, the holding hands during pak-toh

the most romantic one - the holding hands during matrimony

still holding on through thick and thin

holding hands means a lot more when there are little "us" in life - the only coloured pic you'll see here

still holding on even though... not exactly what I have in mind, but will do.. will do...


the day i felt it was not an ordinary day...

Not an ordinary day today. Quite laid back, spent most of the time on my office desk writing into my organiser. Not the usual action packed, meeting-after-meeting and rushing for datelines.

Started off with an appointment with a publishing company to discuss about printing our yearly PROSTAR Bulletin and some of our Clinical Practise Guidelines that are running short. Then headed off for a supervision visit to Penampang Clinic to see their management of cases.

Lunch, didn't have anything to eat, walked around at Wawasan Plaza. Amazed at the numbers of Giant supermarket all over KK and the rate of their growth. Almost omnipresent. Bought a tongue scrapper and an Indonesian movie called Alexandria.

Came back to the office, had another meeting with my 3-men team, discussing the apparent under-diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases in Sabah, and how to go around the problem of reporting and notification. Contemplated putting a compound on 2 doctors who reported late.

Found out that my BIG BOSS has changed his visit schedule yet another time, eating into my plan to visit Anne and Mart for their wedding. Tried to reschedule my flight to KL but failed. Now thinking of a way to break the news to Anne without getting killed in the process.

Cancelled a visit to the airport cargo, supposingly a plan to see the procedures of importing the cadaver of a HIV-infected man to be burried here.

Went to get some chicken wings for dinner before going home. At home, kakak prepared tang-yuen for dessert. Felt a slight headache since afternoon so decided to take a short nap at 0800pm.

Woke up at 0200am, figured that a 6 hours nap is enough to kill a headache. Watched 1 disc of Alexandria and had Maggi for supper.

Thinking of catching up with my coffee reviews but the internet connection is so bloody slow now. So, can't do much and thinking of going back to sleep soon. Having a bit of runny nose, so Actifed would be good to help me to go back to sleep.

No, today was not an ordinary day.


the day i could not fix a puncture...

After going through medical school, and especially Housemanship at Queen Hospital, there's little that I'd admit I couldn't fix... wow, statement tu bah!

But really, for one with pride and ego the size of Sheol (quoting a friend - I wonder how big that really is) being pushed to admit my own incapability is probably equivalent to any ancient Chinese torture - until it came to my dad's Hilux punctured wheel - I quickly tuck my sorry tail in between my legs and called for s.o.s.

It happened all of a sudden, with the steering wheel getting increasingly heavy. I suspected something was wrong, so I parked the car at the curb. Got down, and checked first the right hind wheel, the the left hind, then the left front, and I almost went, what happened? Until I almost tore my eyes looking at the front right tire was torn (with wire mesh sticking out of its laceration) and the spindle-looking gadget (whatever you call the thing that holds the wheel in place) was exposed and touching the floor!

Knowing nothing about automobiles (ouch, my pride) I quickly called for first my cousin (just in case he knows where the toolbox is kept) and then my driver from the office to come and save me! It took him about 15 minutes to fix the whole damn thing (just about the time needed to do an uncomplicated Caesarean Section). I didn't even know you need to poke a long pole to the 'behind'of the vehicle, give it a little turn and wholla, the spare tire came down hanging from underneath.

Ah, I am so getting a driver when I can afford one. That's why I must go back to work now, and make more money!

my saviour for the day, PKB Awang from Vector Unit

the day i remembered this poem for a friend...

If anyone would ask, "how would it feel like to decide on something that is totally unpopular, one that will surely put myself on the stake, one that will humiliate and make me turn down in shame, one that will not have any easy answers to, one that grant me scorn and creepy looks, one that will strip me off my circle of friends, one that will make me feel alienated and painfully lonely, one that will guarantee nights of swollen eyebags?"

I would answer, "friend, it is not just about the feeling of it, I went through it, and lived through it,.. it all began with a single decision, and though I knew of the consequences (and in fact still living through some of it) I could not imagine a life had that single decision not been done. Unpopularity? Hardship? Sometimes Life only ask for so much, but never our Dignity".

The Road Not Taken (Robert Frost)

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


the day i finished my first supervision outside kk

Two days and 11 health centers later, I completed my first outing outside Kota Kinabalu. I have been warned about the frequent traveling that will come my way in this job, but other than being tired there's little regret in coming up to the Headquarters.

Courses have been done every year, and this year we put in extra sessions to get our staff to familiarise with our programmes. Surprisingly I have to conclude that there is still a lot of supervision and follow up works to do before I can settle in confidence that my programmes are running well.

The high point of my day was having lunch at this place in Beaufort, where they have the fluffiest pau I've ever tasted in many years.

the day i attended my first international meeting

SosEk MalIndo - Sosial/Ekonomi Malaysia/Indonesia

The meeting chaired by Dr Chris

Last week I attended a health meeting in Sandakan, held between 2 governments, Malaysia (JKNS) and Indonesia (Health team of KALTIM or Kalimanan Timur). The two authorities of Health discussed issues of infectious diseases crossing the border and this time round, they focused mainly on zoonotic transmission of disease; such as rabies, avian flu and the likes.

Dr Navin, myself and Dr Koay

The Indonesians were just as fascinating as usual. I love to hear them speak among themselves, like plucked straight from the movies. One thing I learn from talking to them, is that, Bapak and Ibu is a usual reference they'd use to call anybody with respect, no matter you're really a Bapa, or an Ibu.

And the way they pronounce their alphabets, accordign to the sound it makes, not the name of the alphabet. Example, for HIV, we read as H - I - V, while they'd say Hah - E - Vi (pronounced HiFee). Now if you know medical jargons, it's full of abbreviations like that, and imagine trying to understand what they're talking about throughout the meeting.

But that was an interesting experience and I loved it.

the day i did my first supervision outside kk

Today was just another day at work, went over to Papar Health Office and its surrounding clinics to do my first official supervision outside KK. Now I know how it feels to be on the "other side"; the side that I usually see as the fault-finder, the side that will jot down everything unpleasant to be found about the ground facility in question, and the side that will come and tell all things to-do, as if the ground level doesn't know how to work.

Well, on this other side that I am at right now, I see that the ground level does get too defensive at times, even when they do not have to because some issues happen beyond their control, - and they still do become too defensive - , and sometimes people ask for things as if I'm from the charity board and am here to replace Santa to take their wish-lists.

Anyway, overall, today was good, though it left me so tired, I slept the whole early evening off.


Dear Theophilus

You may be disappointed to learn that there is no such thing as an easy and fool-proof way of discerning God's will. Every event and every decision we have to make in life is in fact a unique opportunity to show how much faith we have in Him, and can also be seen as an opportunity to be Holy.

Peter may have struck Gold when he answered correctly regarding Jesus' divinity, and being praised for having his intelligence coming from the Father isn't a tagline that Jesus carried around, but being told off for his sheer stupidity comparable to that of Satan was another matter all together, totally 180 degree from his first remark.

I think that Peter's remark regarding the way Jesus shouldn't die was an emotionally charged one. Of course when one that we love are said to face a certain hardship, our first emotional reaction for it would be to wish and hope that it wouldn't be true. Peter being perfectly human wasn't spared of such liability.

Therefore, Theophilus, be aware of your emotions clouding your Calling. People may say a hundred and one things of your current situation, but only you would have heard that initial Call. If that is so, persevere, and have courage. For if not, it is only to you God would have spoken otherwise. Be still, and listen. The peace that He promised isn't defined by absence of problems alone.

May the peace of Christ be with you always.


Listen now...

After such a long time of being dormant, I've almost gotten used to life that is not painted with vocabularies like leadership building, the sense of acceptance, the lost sheep, Kingdom building and all other jargons of same category. In fact, the past 6 months has been a period of extreme passivity in terms of God's Work, I have been away so long and so far, sometimes I have to admit being scared of the disconnection.

I will not blame anything I have gone through for the distance, for this is totally between God and myself, but somehow, I felt that I've never really left the ship. I sincerely hope so.

About 3 years ago I was challenged to perceive God in inactivity. Coming from a background that jump and shout in ecstacy in total immersion of God's presence, I first found it extremely hard to relate to the stillness of just being. Just being in the presence, knowing that even though it doesn't seem much (or doesn't seem like it at all) I should have the assurance of God's presence saturating every space, permeating every being and existence of this reality. Of course all this sounds better in writings than in real life.

The silence of God can be extremely daunting, to those unprepared it could completely dry them of their faith and reasonings. Yet the silence of God can also be a medoly, starting with a tune that builds up to be a symphony, if only one could, and if only would, learn to be still and listen. A symphony so beautiful that it sings of the fullness of life, Life and all that is in it. With every note and every pitch a reason for our being, with every climb and every drop a direction and a way enlightened.

Yet I still do not know how to still myself to listen to this melody.

I am looking for a way back to my call. I realised that doing nothing, will not do much to help me either. I shall start small, to build the foundation on which others will build the Kingdom. I may not be the best example around, but I know I have been given much. And I shall not keep much to myself.

Maybe I will finally learn to listen someday... but now I should learn to start planting again.

God of Silence, help me to look inward, guide my ways on this journey to my heart, and grant me the sweet grace of knowing your song of Life.

the day my dear friend got (officially) married

Oh Happy Day...

My dearest friend WeeSee... It may be well past your big big day by the time you read this, but I just want to wish you all the best on this most memorable day of your life (up to now, I am sure you will have much much more to come)

Words may fail me at times, and this may be one of those dreaded times, but I just want to tell you how happy I am that you're moving a step higher in Life's calling, and to have found the most right person to spend the rest of your life with is nothing short of a call for a grand celebration.

My dear friend, I may not be able to boast of others the way I could of you, simply to have known you during the most formative years of my life. I will always treasure the times we spent at our favourite bakery, the talk of life that we share, peeling and dicing and marinating philosophy the way only very few of us can do. I am glad that I had the previledge of your company, ears and compassion at the times when I hit the ground and took dirt to my face. You had been very understanding and accommodating even when I could not think of doing the same for myself. I will also boast of the times when you chose to share with me your moments of cheers, of tears and of fears.

Though time and fate would have us walking different directions, but I know I will not be who I am today had I not known you. I wish, my friend that one day, the future will have us drinking coffee discussing philosophy again, eating KFC and just going around for a ride (hopefully this time we'll spend less time puching the car or none at all)

Of course all that together with Annil, your soulmate and love of your life.

I wish and pray for the your blessed future together. Cheers...



On my way home... I mean, MidValley MegaMall. Ever since I've come back from Uni days, I can count with my fingers the number of times I've gotten on a bus. This definitely brings back memories.