Cult Members

Dec 14, 2014

Ladies,please sit at the back

There are many events whereby people are arranged based on common interest, social class or age.It happens almost everyday at weddings, conferences and any other type of social gathering. However it is a first time that I experince women being told to sit at the back whilst the men are encouraged to move themselves to the first row.The MC repeatedly announced the women in the first row to get up and let only their husbands and sons to sit in front. They obliged without any hesitation. This is the first time I experinced such culture. In Islam when men and women pray, the men usually stand in the first few rows as so guiding the women. It felt extremely awkward when such pratice is carried out for non-religious activites.It was simply a carnival launch that is meant to bring people together regardless race or religion. It felt really weird that they felt that they felt that they had to had do such a thing. You see how confused the experince had made me. Personally I felt this is an act of bullying.
Do you agree?

Nov 19, 2014

Fancy a cup of horror?

://malay term for something seen in a flash//:

The only type of movie worth watching at the cinema is the ones labelled "horror", "terror" and "PG13". If I had it my way, action movies and chic flicks should have less show time. Well, that's never going to happen in Malaysia because people are always hungry for puppy love and good times tale.

I decided  to revisit the cinema and indulge in horror. This week my options included Jessabelle, Ouija and Kelibat. Since work finished early, I was already at the mall by 5pm and Kelibat was on in half an hour. I flashed my student card and paid RM8 for a one person ticket. This was the first time I actually paid for a Malay horror movie.

The movie was  a mash up of different ghost. There was no blood or loud  and deep breathing like in most horror movies. I personally like it because it had the right amount of scary without giving you nightmares for months. I think there was also a few times when I laugh because there was some funny parts to it. 

Family of five had to evacuate their house as the loan sharks were coming after them. They escaped to an old resort place in the middle of no where. Everyone is upset with the father because he had promised them a holiday but turns out to be a cheap escape. The house itself oozes old and haunted. There is a big swimming pool inside which is significantly important for the plot.Each night the family members is visited by different ghost which makes them agitated and more angry living together. One day it got so extreme that one person decided to kill everyone in the family. 

Its actually a good movie to watch but you need to understand the back and forth between Malay and English. There seems to be no subtitle. The characters are of urban background using words with a bit of American influence. Its not scary but I wouldn't recommend bring children to watch. I can still remember the flashes of ghost moments in the movie. Graphics for this movie was fantastic. Characters have distinctive personalities but I am unable to remember the names because they use a lot of nicknames between one another.  

Favourite Moment:
The teenage girl walks into the abandoned cinema of the old resort and decided to take a selfie. When she checked her phone, guess what's smiling in the background. Omg, that was scary!

Is it better than Conjuring? I don't think its as wickedly terrorizing as Conjuring but Kelibat can give you chills and feel somewhat more religious after watching it. 

Kelibat Official Trailer(2014)

Jessabelle Official Trailer(2014)

Ouija Official Trailer(2014)

Nov 9, 2014

Masters Program Vs Working Experience

I am about to graduate from three years of media studies. The convocation ceremony is in a few days and I am more worried about the family gathering afterwards. During the "congratulations" party I can assure you that every Aunty and Uncle in the room would want to know my future plan. They would ask subtly but their intention will always be loud and clear. Their hearts desire to know what's next because its fun to be nosy. I do that sometimes. There is only two answers that is universally acceptable; continue studies or continue working-with-the-company-that-took-me-in-for-internship? I toss and turn at night wondering what answers I should say to not sound like a total loser. Honestly could I toss both options aside and venture as a freelancer? Be my own boss with ambitions, goals and projects.  

In my family there is no such person; freelancer - by definition a person who has no steady income.LE LOSER. I actually have no idea how some of my uncles and aunties make their buck but they sure as hell never want to be labelled "freelancer". I've seen the fun uncles who make trips to South Africa, then Japan and his occasional trips to Thailand. We hardly see him at family gatherings. I believed he socially died and became an outcast. I fear that the most. Well, not really but...its sort of taking a big gamble on all things you've used to for the unknown. Feels scary, would you please hold my hand?

Sometimes I don't sleep because I am thinking about what my friends are doing in their perfect princess worlds? Everyone is either jobless or wearing snazzy branded outfits (as seen in Instagram) Where do I fit in? I am hardly jobless nor living in the fast lane right now. I am really keen in pursuing a career in journalism. I want to be able to be skill full in new media, broadcasting, radio, social media, media law and writing in general. I want to make a living by being actively in social entrepreneurship that would benefit the community and better myself as a person. 

I really want so much in life. 

The other day I was thinking about sitting down with my mother and just telling her how I feel inside but it doesn't feel right yet. I don't want her to worry this child of hers who is so messed up. As long as I tell her my future goals, speak respectfully and be considerate when necessary, I think everything will be alright. My parents and I are often NOT on the same page but that's no problem . Sometimes there will be argument but right now I need to keep strong and just keep searching. 

Oh do masters or working... 

Oct 20, 2014

Unpacked: Coming home after holiday

Nothing in my bedroom has been moved. It has been the same since I left almost two months ago. The familiar pink sheets covering my single-sized bed in the corner of the room.Ironed clothes left stacking on the table. Floor slightly dusty then it used to be.Now there is a new addition to the room - my suitcase of 17 kg. The luggage is full of souvenirs and foul-smell t-shirts. It is a reminder that I was some-place foreign and now I am back to my "home". I placed my sim card into my local number and hardly a miscall or incoming text. It didn't matter, my friends and I stay connected through Facebook or Whatsapp. The room felt bigger than the entire house in Quezon City - because I didn't need to share it with eight others.

The next day I decided to unpack my bag. Unlock the suitcase and I unexpectedly felt the air of Philippines being released. I paused . It feels so sentimental during that moment. Then I turned my luggage upside down and everything filled up the floor. So many little things ready to be filtered through ranging from toiletries, receipts from shopping trips to name cards of  Rotary Club member. I took a nearby pink basket and just threw all the souvenir there. It may not seem much but I put so much thought in every single one of it. The basket is now filled with variety of jewellery, boxes of krinkles and polvoron along side with first day cover for my father and Cebu t-shirts for my brothers.

My hands grabbed a necklace I bought from Kultura. Its a shop that sells local made items targeted for tourist in general.Its in most shopping malls. I went to one of the SM Malls but I can't remember which one. There are so many SM Malls in the Philippines. My friend brought me to one of it. The \ necklace made of blue rocks with a matching blue bracelet was perfect for my mother. I gave her the set and she asked me, " so what did you buy for yourself?".

To be honest, I didn't buy anything from Philippines for myself. There was nothing there that I could not get here in Malaysia. It was as if globalization made sure that all Asian countries look the same but I can assure you Philippines is not the same as Malaysia. My souvenir was the experience of being there. Something that money could not buy. I had a glimpse of the Pinoy culture first class all the way. I didn't need a refrigerator magnet or branded t-shirts to remind me of it all. My camera is full of pictures. Hundreds of photographs reflecting experience that are truly special to me. 

While unpacking the bag, I realized what kind of traveller I truly am inside. I don't enjoy nature as much as I thought I did. I love street markets and bustling city areas. I like eating cake with live music by the side. My heart longs to bargain for the best price. In my spare time, I wouldn't mind visiting a volcano or heading to the beach but I just love lively places with lots of people!

If you have just got back from holiday, don't take so  long to unpack and get all sentimental with the "holiday". I think that people should realize a holiday is a good break and also a place to find inspiration. Go through all your thoughts and finds elements from your holiday. Use it in your present reality and just start everything fresh. 

This is  how much I have spent on the entire 6 weeks trip in the Philippines:
Program Fees under AIESEC - RM 400
Flight Ticket from Penang to Manila (two way) - RM 800
Visa -RM 250
House Rental - RM 600
Spending Money (food, day trips, transportation, souvenir)- RM 1,500

Total : RM 3,550

Sep 26, 2014

Purpose of this AIESEC experience

Its been almost a month since I have arrived in the Philippines. My family and friends are still confused of my purpose here. Every time they ask, my quick reply would always be "social work".That's partly true. Their quick reply would then be,"but why go all the way to Philippines?".I have never put so much thought on the purpose until yesterday. Coming here has always been on my personal bucket list. 

My trip here is with AIESEC. Its an international youth organization run by students. My eldest brother and my best friend from highschool was purely devoted to being an AIESEC-er. It was as if they could not stop talking about it and how life changing it was for them. Now you must remember my brother and this particular best friend have never met one another. Their stories told on separate accounts of being part of AIESEC fired curiosity in me to be part of it too. 

Early this year, the local committee (LC) in my area announced that they are recruiting people for a global exchange.I passed the first interview and attended a workshop with them. It really felt like being part of multi-level marketing seminar. Basically the workshop explains that you have to bear all the expenses and work for free in a duration of 6-weeks. It was the ultimate voluntarism. Contribute economic growth (by renting a house and by organizing backpacking trips) in a country and devoting all your energy and time with no pay whatsoever. Now that I think about it, I must have been loose screw in the brain to have signed up such things. 

Yesterday everything changed after a LEAD session. 

LEAD stands for Learn, Engage, Activate and Deliver. Its basically a session that is conducted for the foreign students who are also part of the project. The session is to rethink your purpose of doing the exchange and realizing what can you do better to enhance your experience. It was a slide presentation for a group of seven people. I think we really needed it. 

Questions like: Who's story affected you most?; What did you learn about yourself during this experience?; How has your course helped you? and other questions that make you think. Everyone then had to answer and shared their opinion. It was an amazing experience because everyone was honest and shared interesting things relating to their project. 

They were moments when people compared their country of origin with Philippines, there was tears of empathy about people living in proverty-sticken areas and there was a economic view point on a better tax system. It felt so surreal to be there. I think one common fear that most of the participants shared was that it would all be just talk and no action. The fear of pity and then when they return to their respective country, they would return to the old way of comfort and luxury. 

I think that we had a great facilitator for the session. She talk the very least and ask the most question in the group. It was the exact duty of a facilitator. Her presentation was simple and straight-forward. There was no need to be funny or add jokes. It was a good session. It really made all of us  think. Then she got us to write down the highlights of our activity so far. She told us to create a Facebook timeline of things we would like to share with "the world".

I would share with you how my masterpiece looks like but I lost my USB cable that connects my phone to the laptop. The bluetooth setting is also not working. No worries I will update again in the future including "masterpiece" from other participants. 

My trip here was not in vain. I realized that you cannot change the world in 6 weeks but there are many ways and opportunity to help others. It has definitely reset my thoughts on the term " helping others" into being a catalyst for positive change. 

Does that make sense to you?

Sep 17, 2014

My Philippines Eating Habits

I eat everything. Its like a mantra that has fuel me to try anything once. As long as it looks good and smells heavenly, count me in. Here I am in the Philippines. I do have a guideline in my head of what to eat and what not to eat which is applicable anywhere around the world.

  • cost less than what you would get in your country 
  • just cooked (especially for fried food)
  • everyone is eating it*
  • the person who is selling is super cute
  • recommended by Lonely Planet 
  • halal/kosher**


  • cost more than your budget can afford 
  • even the locals do not eat it
  • purple in colour 
  • anything fast food 
  • dirty 
  • smells bad (except for durian)

*general rule- need not apply if you think it is unnecessary
**for the Muslims and Jews of the world 

Yesterday I tried the  


Best eaten with vinegar
It usually refers to fried pork rinds but I had the chicken skin version. I have always love eating chicken skin but to munch on it all day long is heaven for me. We had it after lunch at a warong-style place. The aunty who cooked it recommended vinegar as a dip. I am so glad we stumble on the little shop along Olive Street in Marikina City 

Owner of the restaurant in her kitchen

Deep fried 

Sep 2, 2014

Is having fun expensive?

Someone once told me that if you don't have fun while travelling, than you're doing it all wrong. I used to think that this friend of mine is crazy. How can you have fun all the time? Fun is when you go backpacking and try new things. Fun is when you do whatever your heart desires without any care in the world. Fun sounds expensive.Everything cost money when you are in a foreign place. In my mind, people who travel are either very  rich or have just won the lottery . Here I am in the suburban area of Quezon City and fearing that my pile of money would run dry soon.

I paused and wonder why money is such a big problem for me. I was a college student for god's sake and survived my three years on barely peanuts amount. I suppose fear got the best of me - fear of something new. Can you relate to that?

Yesterday I was offered to go backpacking with a couple of girls from the house. They asked me many times but I could not bring myself to say yes. My hands was on my pocket the entire time. It was great fear to think about spending on something I consider "unnecessary". Then the more I think about it the greater regret I have about saying no to the offer. Backpacking is not just about going to a place, its a time to bond and give value to friendship. Plus backpacking in groups means that there is someone to watch your bag while you go to the loo. 

Last night, I decided that something need to be done and I want to make space and time to travel Philippines with people who actually enjoy travelling. I felt that my old system of allocating a fix amount for every week was not effective. I realized that some days you would spend  more while there are days when you don't leave the house. Counted all my money and budget it properly. 

Now my financial budget is no longer allocated by weeks but by type of activities that I want to carry out throughout my stay. Here is my new way of diving the money: 

Percentage (%)
Taxi Money for Airport Ride
Weekly Allowance
Travel / Backpacking

After this I hope to start travelling and see places because what's the point of coming all this way to stay in house with WiFi. I could do that at home too. Thank you Mr.Common Sense ( Mr.Common Sense lives in my brain ) for helping me with this budget strategy. I love you. 

Aug 31, 2014

My first scam experience

I supposed the best place to cheat people is at the airport. It is a definite fact that I was scammed yesterday upon arriving at Ninoy Aquino Airport @ Manila International Airport. One man with a friendly smile saying "hello, hello, taxi, come I take you wherever, cheap" became his offer for a cab ride. Then I told him that I was looking for a phone. He was disappointed that I was not interested in his taxi service. It probably struck him gold at the opportunity to make money in other ways. He escorted me to a girl who was standing in the corner. She is not a hooker if that's what you're wondering. I call her Miss Mini Market.
Miss Mini Market and Taxi Man exchange words in Tagalog and she there was a sudden brightness in her eyes. That's when I knew I was about to get scammed. She turned to me and ask what kind of sim card I wanted and insisted Globe was the best. I read about it online - Globe is fine in the Philippines. I agreed and she told him 200 philippines peso for one card. Even in Malaysia, that price is ridiculous for a starter sim card. The Taxi Man insisted that he takes my 19 kg luggage aside as it was in the way. My baby face feature may make me look stupid but I am not naive. The last thing I need is some Philippino man half my size running away with my bag of unddies and instant noodles! I simply walked away but he could see the desperation in my eyes. 

Then he told me I could use her telephone for 30 peso per call. Apparently I later discovered making locals calls is about 5 peso per minutes. I refused that as well and just returned to the entrance of the terminal. 

The next person I approached was a office working person who wore a tag of a local airline. In my heart I am sure she would understand and protect me from such scams. Guess what? She brought me to the same girl and insisted that I could buy a sim card here. 

It was already dark and my phone was almost dead. Luckily I brought an extra phone and a power bank. It is a life saviour! Now the price was 150 phillipines peso. I paid for something that I later realized would cost much less. I realized the clerk girl  was offered a free cigarette. I feel so scammed. 

In that moment I knew I had to be smart about it. I insisted on activating the simcard first  and not move an inch until the credits came through. Amazingly the simcard did not work because there was no credit in it. I insisted that she sent me credit enough to send a text. I also insisted in using her phone to call my friend. If I am going to pay so much to be cheated, might as well get my money's worth. 

My advice is that you should always bring an old phone that is not a smartphone as it gets a better signal. I brought my Nokia Lumia 820 and the signal was flat. I hate that phone sometimes. My old blackberry did wonders and I was able to text and call people although you can't really surf the Internet with an old BB. 

As for making phone calls for pick up from the airport, it is best to bring small change and pay between 10-20 peso per call.(note that this is not inside the airport and it is located outside the terminal).Stay with the owner of the phone until your friend comes back. I advise you to ask a person who seem to be working like selling things as they are not rushing anywhere and will remain at the same place.


Aug 21, 2014

The Love of a Cat

After awhile your pet should either be referred to as she or he. Never the term 'it'. I would cringe at the word 'it'. The word itself is more suited for wild animals like a backpacker or something. My cat is not an it. She is an elderly lady with a young heart that purrs at every pat she gets - almost like a kid. Sometimes when people talk about their dogs with sincere affection, I sometimes feel that when it comes to my cat,Milo. Does it make me crazy? I think I would be out of mind if she was to leave our lives. The cat loves unconditionally. Well, that's not true -as long as there is food and some water she is alright with it. Here she comes I need to go. Ciao.