Saturday, 25 April 2015

Pesta Benak 2015

The Tidal Bore Festival is held annually at Sri Aman town (Sarawak state) and it is better known as Pesta Benak to the locals. It is the only Tidal Bore Festival in Malaysia. Visitors can witness the sudden surge of water in Batang Lupar river at Panorama Benak or waterfront. It occurs twice daily, morning and evening. The king tide is causing water to fill the river and form waves that can be surfed. 

The festival is able to attract thousands to the little and peaceful town, both locals and foreigners. Mostly are here to either participate or watch the side-events such as long boat and speed boat race, beauty pageant, body-building competition, exhibitions, cultural performance and many more. For 2015 it was quite special as Fort Alice opened to the public for the first time. The fort was restored to its former glory as a heritage museum for conservation. 

The main attraction is always the Benak itself. It captures the interest of both local and international surfers to ride the waves in a crocodile-infested river. Fret not, there has not been any incident reported. According to the local belief, the reptile will not be anywhere near when there is Benak in the river. 

To get to Sri Aman is about 2-3 hours ride from Kuching city. If you are from out of town, it is highly recommended to book your hotel early as accommodation is limited during the festival. It is better to stay a night since the Benak usually occurs in the evening. 

These few years I have tried to produce a proper recap video for the event and I finally did it. Do take a look at it to give yourself some ideas what the festival is like. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local council for giving me the photographer pass these few years to capture the moments at the Tidal Bore Festival. 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Love For Sports

As a student (kindergarten-primary-secondary-college-university) I was pretty good at one thing, sports. Throughout my growing up years I had gotten myself involved in all sorts of sport activities. It was the only thing I was truly passionate about. I played netball, volleyball, handball, softball, badminton, football, futsal and took part in athletic sports from primary school up to university. There is one particular hilarious memory regarding sport which I will never forget for life - being forced to be the second runner for 4x100m event when I was studying at UKM. Guess what, we won the silver medal! Yes, judging from my current physical form you will find it hard to believe this ever happened. Well, I have a certificate to prove it. Besides, my body does evolve from time to time like any other human on earth. 

Just like any athlete, he or she has to specialise in certain event. I was good at shot put, discus and javelin. I won many medals each year. Therefore, I always focused on improving myself in these three events. I loved the feelings of breaking a personal record during a competition. It was not just about winning, but trying to be better at things I did. I often told the younger me it was experience that mattered the most. Looking back at all those years, I'm glad I made good use of my leisure time and gained invaluable knowledge through sports. I learned a lot about physical training, friendships and hard work. 

Year 2015 is my first time being a coach for a school athletics team since my transfer. I used to represent this school in athletic meets when I was 16 and 17 years old. It has always been my dream to pass on my knowledge and skills because I do not see the point of keeping them to myself. Besides, I do feel I owe the secondary schools' teachers/coaches for my tertiary academic achievements. If it was not for them, it would not be possible for me to pursue my first degree with a full scholarship. So, by sharing and passing on what they have taught me to the current generation of students, it will keep their memories alive. Without their dedication in coaching, I will not be what I am today. These names will be remembered for life: cikgu Ahmad Faizal, cikgu Peter Woods, cikgu Gibson, cikgu Suhaimi, cikgu Adam and cikgu Embau. 

All photos credit to: SMK MELUGU
Photos taken during MSSB Sri Aman 2015