Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weekend at Kasih Sayang / Kokol

A couple of months back I entered a competition organised by the folks at Kasih Sayang Resort. All that was needed to do was to submit photos of ourselves or whichever of us IN the resort. 

I was one of the winner and I got a complimentary free night's stay! WEEEE. I wanted to bring the two ladies, Angel and Ellie at first because they've never been to Kasih Sayang but sister was in town, so I decided to make it a family affair instead. 

Quite frankly, I've always constantly wanting to go to Bukit Kokol and/or Kasih Sayang because the view up there is SIMPLY urgh, breathtaking. I will never be able to vividly describe to you how no matter really how hard I try. The view sweeps me off my feet every single time. And I've been to some places in my life, nothing quite like the feeling of being up in Kokol. I figured, I must really love this place. 

There was no sunset when we reached Kasih Sayang, it was very cloudy, the skies ready to pour. Thunderstorm coming from the right. 

The picture perfect no-blockage panoramic view of Kota Kinabalu, being engulfed in fresh air, the mystical sounds of the trees and the forest, the colours of the night, over the company of the moon and the stars, the natural alarm clock - all these and so much more. Ah, I really love Kokol. I appreciate the fact that all these are accessible thanks to Kasih Sayang. 


Decided to take a snap of this adorable little dining area. Right next to it is like a birds' cage. The birds were sleeping so beautifully, I took some photos of them but nothing turned out nice so I might have deleted them then and there : |


Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Monday, January 14, 2013

5 Happy(est) Moments in my Life

A couple of mornings back on the way to work, I had Coldplay blasting loudly in my car. Windows vibrating, calls missed out, it wasn't intentional but I wasn't thinking about others but myself enjoying the music, and then I tried to recall the times that I actually, was genuinely, sincerely, carefree, that no wandering eyes, no backlogged work, no misplaced judgement and no insecurities bothered me and that I was just, simply was at peace and happy. Fullstop. Nothing more, nothing less.

So today, dear friends and loved ones, I will talk about the Five (5) happiest moments in my life. Because they are best recognised, and best remembered often.  Here they are: 

We'd climb up walls, we'd pay thousands, we'd skip rests just to catch the best views in the world. Why do we do this when we can easily Google all of these sights and Save them as Desktop Background? Because what you see, is then and it's real. And most often, these places that we have dreamed to see for so long envelope us with nostalgia that we don't even know existed in us in the first place. For me, the best dreams in life, are not told, are not shown, but felt and experienced by ourselves. I even tried to take a mental picture, told myself never to forget this beautiful stretch of contrast. Brick by brick, wind by wind.

And looking out at Cape Patton, was one of it. God really must exist, I think to myself. God really must. 

2) Dancing in a club in Seoul, Korea
There was particularly one incredible night that I had in Seoul that will forever be embedded in my mind and heart. After a much loved, filled with laughters dinner with my hostelmates, Swee Wei and I decided to continue our night at the Seoul's most notorious strip - Hongdae.

It's very strange to be getting a bit more attention than Swee Wei in Seoul, but it happened, and I felt awkward. We assumed it was because quite evidently I didn't look very "common" among them South Koreans. I mean, I wasn't as "Asian" looking as Swee Wei (brown skin, huge eyes, long hair), the moment I entered the first club, some young boys were thronging around me every now and then screaming "ARE YOU HAVING FUN!?". I kept nodding to any of their questions, and probably by the 7th time I have completely lost hope in having proper conversations with them  -_______-"

Fast forward, one particular scene that made me the happiest was when I went into the second club for the night, we chose the second club because it seemed bigger from the outside (two floors), so we queued, got let in with a breeze, went in, it was filled to the brim... I was enchanted by the lights, the gyrating crowd, the seconds by seconds cheers for nothing, and all the words that were playing in my mind, from guilty, to pleasure, to lust, to feast -- this. must. how. YOUTH. feels. like. I muttered.

I love how I allowed myself to slip off my conscience once in a while, especially when I could. At that moment, I actually stopped and took it all in, and embraced what youth must have exactly felt like.  And I must say, it felt sexy. 

3) Nude Oil Massage in Philippines
"Lady, you need to open everything"
*looks left and right* "Everything?" *looks left and right again* 
"Yes, we will give you towel"
"...but it's an open space, by the beach. I'll take everything, but I'll just leave my undies on." 

5 seconds later.

"OK, I'll strip everything!!!". 

All these in an open space with another 20 other beds stacked next to mine, possibly just an inch away from one another. My buttcheeks were flung open, boobs perked out, everything else felt... very windy. Initially it felt foreign to be massaged stark nude (okay, there was the towel but the towel was so minuscule it probably covered so little of me, and the guy next to me could easily see everything and anything of me if he had tilted just a little bit of his head).

But being massaged with absolutely nothing on by the freaking beach (not just any beach, Boracay for goodness sake) FELT ARGH SO GOOD. It was... so liberating. And I urge if you ever had the chance to be massaged in an open space stark naked like I did, you should (okay, maybe depending on the situation, be an adult, make good judgement). And for just that moment, I didn't cared whether some crooks were looking at my boobs or whether some masseuse were judging me, because man, I did nothing illegal, it felt good, and I was happy and that's all I needed.

It was fairly easy for me to decide what to do on some weekends back when I was working in KL because everything was almost beyond reach. That of course included some concerts and some festivals. Of course this too means more expenditure. And when I knew Temper Trap, Foals were playing in Laneway Festival - I started saving, decided to fly into Singapore, and sing to their songs, from dawn till dusk. I promised myself.

Being in a concert is great, yes, but being in a heavy rain, with mud slides and half naked friendly Westerners around you to party with concert, IS CRAZY GOOD. We went off to the concert as early as 3pm, went right in front to the stage, bought some drinks, good stuff, but I remembered completely losing myself when the skies started pouring buckets of water.

I was completely drenched.

From my undies to my scalp, I was drenched, soaked. And it didn't stopped for hours, probably since I first came in at 3pm lasted till 12am. It rained so heavy that there was a mudslide in a mudslide. Everyone was drifting through, but the most important part that you must know was that everyone continued partying in that great rain. No one stopped, no one bothered, no one cared.

And neither did I.

Quite a different tone from my other kinds of happiness was an (insane) concert that I attended. Besides having been a massive fan of them (for as long as I can remember), Incubus actually reminds me so much of my brother. I grew up having to hear the sounds of drums and screams sneaking their way out from his door, and the metaphorical lyrics that my brother seem to be able relate to. In time, my curiosity became a fond, and I too began to understand their voices of reason and were able to mutter their lyrics word by word.

I bought their tickets on their first week of concert's announcement because I love them, missed their show the first time they were in KL and let's just say I was ready to rock my guns out. Those who attended the concert were real fans. They knew the lyrics, the tunes, the chorus, the bridges, the pauses like the back of their hand, they were ready.

Happiest bit in my life during the concert? That human jengga, sweats exchange, clothes ripped, slippers thrown, fans' occasional fist bumps and that, that Incubuseque language that were thrown back and forth among the crowd. Maybe, I just felt the most alive in that crazy mosh - as simple as that.

These five situations were among the many happy moments in my life. These were just a handful, maybe even 1% out of the happy moments in my life, because I am simply the kind of girl who would live my life to the fullest. I am not really shy, neither do I take my time contemplating so much on what people think about me, and I have no problem speaking my minds out, all these with respect and love. And if you see from the list, they're all from my travels and I believe my travels have made me a happier, better person.

And these five moments were exactly when I was remotely genuinely, sincerely, carefree, that no wandering eyes, no backlogged work, no misplaced judgement and no insecurities bothered me one bit.

I hope you know that happy moments are not found, they are created. By you. It's how you perceive  a situation, it's how you embrace a situation, I could have probably vomited so many negative whines in some of these occasions, but I didn't and instead I basked in it.

I basked in the strange situations that I were in, I learned, loved and accepted the strangeness of it all because I knew it will be one of its kind in my life.

And with that, I hope you create more happy moments for yourself. As you should :) 

Friday, January 04, 2013

Christmas Dinner with YOLO

Every single year I would volunteer to decorate the Christmas Tree and sometimes some of the common areas at home. I said “sometimes” to the common areas because mum would eventually strip off all the danglings that I put up and redecorate the whole place herself -_- and I usually let her win because she has all these really adorable little-little reasons that I am not willing to rebut, like;

"Mum, why do you put the birds there, they're weirdly misplaced."
"Jacqkie, even the weird birds have feelings Jacqkie. They can hear you and they want a place too."  

I would be fine with all the reasons that she has, so I would keep quiet most of the time and let her get her way. Prior to Christmas, the gang decided to have a Christmas dinner together and I suggested to include Secret Santa in the itinerary.  Thank heavens for this online secret santa generator, I was able to include Ellie, Kim, Nat and Mira who were far from home in the list, and all the santee’s names were deployed to their email. No one really had to be physically there to pluck out the names anymore. Technology at its’ best! All pictures are not mine, my camera wasn't near me and I was too preoccupied to look for it :|

Food made by Everyone :) - Credit to Angel
By the way, if you're wondering why I call them YOLO it's because that was our official Whatsapp Group Name thanks to a night out when everyone suddenly started yelling YOLO to each other, next thing you know, we decided to just name our Whatsapp group that and it was permanently plastered on us. 

All of us agreed to cook our own dish as well, and… (I had to use this word even though it sounds so commercialized but seriously), everyone did a FANTASTIC job in whipping out stuff from their kitchens. Not sure whether it’s love, but everyone’s food tasted like super good that night.

One of the cutest thing about that dinner was the fact that before we started putting all the food on the table we realised there were these big and small candles around, and I found out mum and sister actually put out the candles for our use. Awwww - it was so romantic!

Candles for Dinner - Credit to Angel
Besides being able to whip out all these lovely dishes, all of us decided to dress up as well. I know it’s at my place, and it’s just a house dinner party but everyone was really cool about it, so we ended up did dressing up, and I’m so glad Angel bought Morris this bowtie and forced him to wear it, because he really did. HAHAHA. It was TOO cute. The boys were all groomed and the ladies were all gorgeous as usual.

After the hearty dinner, we decided to move on to secret santa and Nat to take over. She has this cute little game which includes sharing a little about their santee, and closing our eyes and eventually pointing out who our santee was. Quite childlike but we had fun :)

And my santee was MORRIS! Hehe.

Morris - Also our Unofficial Bartender (had to fend the title with Angel) -
Credit to Angel
He told me the that he was getting suspenders the other day, but I wasn’t sure whether he eventually got them, so I got him a black suspenders regardless! And a singlet because he usually uses them for exercise. Man it was so hard to shop for boys, either their stuff are too expensive or you probably won’t know what to get for them -_-"

Mira with the boys since Mira is not in the next picture, Credits to Mira.

Till then, hope you had a lovely Christmas!

YOLO - From L - R: Morris, Aaron, Me, Kim, Nat, Ellie (standing on sofa) and Angel - Credit to Angel

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.