Category Archives: Kota Kinabalu

Meet Mr Harald

When he was 48, he was informed by a doctor that his illness will never make him to 50.

“One fine morning at 5am in my office while i’m getting ready my paperwork, I have a sudden shocking moment and the first thing to come out of my mind is god. What have I did in my life? the sins that I made….Everybody is terrified of dying”

Since then, he became a Bible Missionary. He originated from Europe, stayed at Australia for a few years before deciding to travel to keep his promise to god. In Malaysia, he travel to Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kelantan & Sabah. I met him at Gaya Street after being in Kota Kinabalu for about 1 week and might be travelling to Sandakan by next week. He was Philiphine before coming over to Sabah.

While talking to him, he quoted numbers of verse from The Bible and I ask him how he memorize each verse.

“Young man, I know you like photography. I know you can explain me about the aperture and the shutter speed, the light and everything about it. Same to me, I have been Bible Missionary for more than 20 years and I’m reading it until todaay. Can you see the similiar concept here?

His life and travel mainly depends on public donations.

I was on my way to the office this morning and decided to drive though Gaya Street when I see this guy with superb beard sitting on a bench reading “Knowledge Magazine”. I drove twice pass his sitting place and finally I make up my mind that I must go to him and take his portrait. The fear of getting rejected is always the issue here, but in case on being rejected, take the pill, swallow it and digest it. Then I got the confidence to approach him, spend a little time to know him, and lastly get the portrait. To my readers, meet Mr Jeremiah Harald. Phew…

Jeremiah Harald, 71.

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Tumabur Ritual at Bantayan

After a rare ritual ceremony on last Saturday (Monolibabow), another ritual called Tumabur has been done yesterday outside Kg. Bantayan Hall, Tamparuli. About 10 Tantagas representing the Dusun Lotud including 4 Libabow performing the ritual which start at 10am and finished at 3pm yesterday.

Pasar SAFMA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photojournalism Workshop | Shamshahrin Shamsudin

On 28-30 March 2014, I joined Photojournalism Workshop organised by Jebat Photography Club featuring Shamshahrin Shamsudin. The workshop was held at Marina Court Resort Condominium, Kota Kinabalu. There are 9 other participant joined the workshop including 3 from Brunei. This was the second workshop by Shamshahrin organised by Jebat Photography Club. Unlike his first volume, the second workshop emphasis on Documentary Photography which to be presented in Photo Essay.

We were given 1 whole day on the second day to get our own stories with given guideline in his note. As for me, I have several stories in my mind for the assignment. As early as 230am, I was shooting at SAFMA market. Every night starting at 1am, SAFMA market is the busiest place in the city, this is the place where the deep sea fisherman dealing with supplier. After shooting for about 2 hours, I found that I need to be on the boat to get different perspective rather than just a lazy snapshot taken from the jetty itself. But none of the fisherman looks approachable, I was thinking about my own safety too as everybody being curious so see me carrying camera. It can mislead the fact that I was immigration authority because earlier on before entering this market, there are rumours about immigration team is coming. The way they look at you is enough tell that they don’t feel comfortable with you. Or maybe it was just my own issue. So I didn’t manage to complete this story. At 630am, I decided to forget about it and go home for some rest.

After jumping from 1 story to another, I finally decided to shoot about the young fellow with Rock attire. After waiting about an hour at the spot I normally see them hanging around, it was disappointing to know that this fellow normally stay there during Sunday. However I managed to find subject but is not in complete attire, but I decided to do it anyway as there was not much time left.

 

I learnt a lot from this workshop. It has opened my eyes a lot. For the photography enthusiast out there especially around Kota Kinabalu, I highly recommend you to join his workshop when available. You shouldn’t missed it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fujifilm X-Pro1 : Thaipusam Festival At Kota Kinabalu

Thaipusam is a key Hindu ceremony that is held each year during the full moon in the tenth month of the Hindu calendar – Thai – falling from mid-January to mid-February in the Gregorian calendar. It is mainly observed in countries where there is a significant presence of Tamil community including Malaysia. . It mark as public holiday in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Kedah, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak,  Penang & Selangor.

I’ve been living in Kota Kinabalu for so many years but never heard of this festival being held around here. All this years, I only know this iconic festival attracts over one million devotees and tens of thousands of tourists at Batu Caves. I was looking for some photographic opportunity during Deepavali last year, when I see the note about Thaipusam at Sri Subramaniam Temple (KM22, Penampang-Papar Road in Lok Kawi). My curiosity about it lead me to ask one of the visitor at the temple, I am lucky enough to know that the person I talked to is one of the temple management team. He said it was actually held every year. Yes, every year here in Kota Kinabalu and I have never seen a picture of this festival that was taken from here.

With the information given, I managed to find the location where it being held. It was at Meruntum waterfront near Sabindo Traffic Light. I can’t wait a friend of mine, Rade to arrive when I saw the ceremony is already started. During the ceremony, I’m still curious will be there any piercing like what we used to see at Batu Caves. I decided to stay when the group of devotees carrying a pot of milk walks to Sri Subramaniam Temple. Then I just realise that the piercing ceremony will be held.

Since this was my first time covering Thaipusam Festival, I have no idea how and what to expect. These are some images I took this morning with Fujifilm X-Pro1 + Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4.

Pot of Milk

I can’t stay until the end of ceremony (I wish I could), I have another priority for family & to perform Friday Prayer. I learn a lot about this festival, next year I’ll aim for the eve Thaipusam. It much more interesting in Batu Caves, but I prefer to highlight the festival at Kota Kinabalu.

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Multiple-screen-captures

Fujifilm X-Pro1 Shoots Landscape: Kota Belud – A Hidden Treasure For Landscape Photographer

I been sitting here like an hour just to figure out how I’m going to start this post. I wrote few lines, then I discarded it. Then I  start again but lead to another blank page in the end. I hardly describe the beauty of this place just by the use of words. But the scenery, sounds & smells are still fresh in my head. You don’t have to agree with me, but when we can remember every details of certain things happened in our past, that was the point we were experiencing a “clear” mind, live in present, not in our past nor the future. In our daily life, we been clutter our mind with thousand of thought, thinking about our future & our past, but not many live in present including me. Anyway, I’ll leave that introduction of this post just like this as I can’t find the best word to fit that beautiful scenery. Thank you Azman Jumat & Rade for inviting me for this wonderful trip at Kota Belud

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Mount Kinabalu Climbing For The First Time – Part One

I went for mountain climb last October together with my fellow friends, Rade, Tokok, Rosli, Hatta and two lovely couple from Labuan. I’ve been working as tour guide for nearly 6 years in which i had explain and educate tourist to come again and climb mount Kinabalu. Its such irony to know that that was my first time climb our state (Sabah) most visited site which as enlisted as World Heritage Site by UNESCO November, 2000.

The decision to scale the mountain is generally not my idea, it comes accross after a good friend of mine, Rade asking me about the room availibility at Laban Rata (a resthouse which every climber should overnight before proceeding to the summit on the next morning, very early morning). Then things happens seems parallel when at the same time my brother announced climbing package with confirmed date. So we grab the package and thats how it began.

I’ve only managed to train physically just a few time in less than a month prior to the climbing date. I wouldn’t be able to have time for training if it wasn’t effort by Rade. For people that knows me well, i’m not physically fit, just imagine yourself carrying 25-30kg of additional weight all the time and that will be me.

We stayed at Rina Ria Lodge on our first night. This lodge locate about 500 metre from Kinabalu National Park. It provides several types of rooms, including dormitory. We were given quad room (4 person in a room). Free Wifi available at the cafe. If you forgotten to bring some of your climbing needs, you can get it here at their mini shops which happens to be their reception counter too.

Ria Ria Lodge Cafe

Rade & Rosli at Rina Ria Lodge

On the next day, we had our breakfast at the cafe. We went straight to Kinabalu National Park, meet the 2 loving couple before proceeding for mountain climb registration. At Sutera Sanctuary Lodges reception counter, after providing their booking reference number, you will be handed meals coupons and a form which need to be submitted at Sabah Park’s counter located on the next building.

American Set Breakfast at Ria Ria Lodge Cafe

At Sabah Park’s counter is where you will get your climbing permit. Just a quick tips here, the machine that print the climbing permit are not designed for long name, ask the officer if it allowed to put your name as short as possible prior before the permit printed.

Sutera Sanctuary Lodges Reception Building

At the same counter, located next to the permit counter is the mountain guide counter. For every climber that climb mount Kinabalu, it is mandatory to hire mountain guide to go along with you. One mountain guide for every 7 climber. The porter service, on the other hand is optional. The charges for porter depends on the weight of your stuff with minimum weight of 10kg.

We the proceed to KOKTAS counter to arrange our transport to Timpohon Gate, which is the starting point of the climb. There are 2 starting point you can choose from, Timpohon & Mesilau, which the later longer than the first about 2km. Before we went to the Timpohon Gate, we went to Balsam Restaurant to take our packed meal which consist of Sandwich, Apple and drinking water. Balsam Restaurant located just in front of Sutera Sanctuary Lodges reception building. Well, you can only see the roof if you sanding exactly at the reception building.

Bus to Timpohon Gate

It took about 10 minutes drive to reach Timpohon Gate. We were given safety briefing by our guide before we begin our journey scale the Majestic Mount Kinabalu on foot. The distance from Timpohon Gate to Laban Rate is 6km. There are rest hut along the trail almost every kilometre providing untreated water. I hiked every steps slowly as i need to store my energy on the second day climb, i must keep my self from any serious injury during the climb. Just about 1 hour of climbing, it was raining. The trail gets slippery with some trail looks like waterfall especially when reaching Villosa Hut & Paka Hut.

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Group Photo – Image Stolen from Rosli Facebook 🙂

Safety Briefing By Our Mountain Guide

Ubah Shelter – Summit Trail

Along the summit trail, we have stopped on almost every resting hut just for 5-10 minute to at least drinks or just relax and keeping ourselves alive. Some of us even utilising this moment by posting an update through social media like facebook & instagram. We decide to have our packed meal at Layang-Layang Hut. Upon reaching at this point, we actually had gone almost 4km of the summit trail. Even the 2km to go seems to be much more nearer, but I’m really exhausted after this point. My leg began to sore, and every steps I took it seems to consume more and more energy, but I have no other choice than to finish what I just started, at least to make it to Laban Rata.

Laban Rata Restaurant

Laban Rata Restaurant

The rain continues until we reached Laban Rata Resthouse. It was 1620hrs now, I took about 7 hours to reach here. I can’t believe my self that i had finaly reach Laban Rata. My pants, socks and shoe were totaly wet, but that is not my main concern as I had another pair in my bag. The cafe will serving lunch at 1630hrs, its a buffet style, we decided to had our meals first before going to our room at Gunting Lagadan which is another 150m from Laban Rata. After the meal (the best lamb with black papper sauce I ever had), We spent about 3 hours at the cafe, endless hot coffee while enjoying beautiful sunset here. Everybody took photos with each other without even knowing who we are, and where we coming from, we have only one thing in common, that we had reached Laban Rata. It was the time of honouring ourselves as the inhabitants of Laban Rata of the day, who dare to go out from our comfort zone and seek for some adventure.

Me at Laban Rata

Hatta & Tokok

Sunset at Laban Rata

It was dawn and we need to use our headlamp to go to Gunting Lagadan. It took me nearly 20 minutes to reach there. It was cold and my legs start to sore. It was pleasure to know that there will be no more climbing for the day. Time to get good rest and rejuvenate. Like many of us, I didn’t take shower for the night as there were no hot shower. We stayed at quad dormitory bunk beds with sufficient power supply to charge our camera & phone. Well thats pretty long stories about my climbing experience, I will continue part two very soon.

Sulap (Hut) At Kota Belud

Kota Belud located about 1.5 hour drive from Kota Kinabalu City towards Kudat. It is the home of the infamous Bajau Horsemen nicknamed “The Cowboy Of The East”. The main reason of the nickname given is they are the earliest Sabahan ethnic group ever recorded know how to ride a horse. Beside of that, Kota Belud is also well known for its “Tamu” (Sunday Market) and Mantanani Island. Along the way up to Kota Belud passing Tuaran, we can actually enjoy the breathtaking view of Paddy Field and The Majestic Mount Kinabalu.

Being tempted by Azman & Rade about their plan to shoot at Kota Belud, i can’t resist to not to join them. So last Sunday, we actually planned to start at 4am but delayed because of uncontrollable circumstances. I made excuses that my phone alarm was sabotaged by my wife. We missed the sunrise which is our main idea for the photo outing.

Anyway, this is some shot which I intended to highlight about a hut (local native called it as “Sulap”) at a paddy field somewhere in Tempasuk, Kota Belud. Sulap is multi-purpose space, it is the resting place, temporary hut for farming tools and a place to stay (when it near to harvesting season) where they will hold ropes which plastic bags were tied along the rope and produce noise to chase away the birds (Pipit).

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Kota Kinabalu Night Market

After having coffee session with friends on one night, i took a short visit at Kota Kinabalu Night Market which located just in front of Le Meridien Hotel. This Night Market normally operates from 5pm to midnight. It was about 1130pm when i reach here. Nothing much happening other on this time except the hawkers busy cleaning their stall which then “transformed” into a cubical cabinet.

With very minimal lighting available, I was looking for any photographic opportunity. Besides, this is the time where the high ISO capability to be tested. These set of images were taken with Fujifim X-Pro1 with Fujinon 14mm XF lens. I am quite impressed by its performance.

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