Where Will We Be, Without You Now? (Ode to Taal)

You bear witness to a lover’s promise
over the moonlight
in an early evening delight
as they made their vow
of eternal and faithful love
oh, how happy you seemed to be
as you show off your great character
and magnificent stature,
so picturesque, so attractive
you smile as lovers smile
over the complexities of love as you
you were the elegant backdrop
in every wedding proposals,
as the groom to be,
kneel before his beloved
longing for her hand
to seal their love eternally
you scream your silent hurray
as she says yes to the plea
you were there on their wedding day
on the baptism of their first child
on the first birthday
and even on a weekend family get away
you were their safe haven
but time has changed
now you voiced your wrath away
over humanity’s indiscretion
and poor judgement
as you take on the final “I do”
while raging and smouldering
and yet then again, you never failed
to mesmerize,  to amaze us
for yours is a true beauty
amidst being scary

Where will we be, without you now?

(Photos from Shutterstock.com)

Taal Volcano is a complex volcano located on Luzon island in the Philippines, in the province of Batangas. Taal is the second most active volcano in the Philippines, with 34 recorded historical eruptions, all of which were concentrated on Volcano Island, near the middle of Taal Lake. It has become one of the most iconic and picturesque views in the Philippines with people putting Taal on their “must visit” list. Tourists have also flooded over the years adding more income to the local tourism industry.
And because of its magnificent view, it has become a favorite spot for wedding proposals, pre – nuptial photo shoots and even  weddings itself. It is said to be a very romantic and quiet place ideal for a week end get away.
But the world was shocked when it erupted, unnoticed last Sunday, January 12, 2020. Evacuations have been immediately made and ashfalls have reached even as far as Metro Manila.
The air has reached its dangerous level warning that people were obliged to wear masks. Classes and works have been suspended and everyone where advised to stay at home especially those who are prone to lung problems such as asthma.

Photographs of the mesmerizing Taal Volcano have been flooding the internet these days. A true beauty despite of its raging character.

In a tragedy like this we are suppose to help the victims.  But how is it that the most basic need to survive effects of volcanic eruption such as a simple face mask is sold in a ridiculous amount? Yes face masks have been said to be sold ten times higher than its regular price or before the Taal Volcano eruption incident. This is a very sad truth. However it is also worthy to note that there are individuals handing out face masks for free.

To all the victims, our prayers and thoughts are with you …keep safe Philippines.

This is in response to the Friday fun promt of Kate https://aroused.blog/2020/01/11/friday-fun-safety/

Change

“If you want to achieve what you’ve never achieve before you have to become who you’ve never become before” – Brian Tracy, Maximum Achievement

 

New year signals
New beginnings
New oppurtunitites
And new challenges

So, one often wonder
Will this year be kinder?
Will there be better opportunities?
Will there be lesser challenges?

So, one often promise
To move forward
Leave the past behind
And work on for a better future.

But moving forward
And leaving the past behind
Don’t always guarantee
a better or kinder new year

Sadly because
One only moves forward
One only leaves the past behind
But never change

Changing the way we think
And the way we act
Is the best way to expect
A better, kinder, new year

 

So cheers to a new year, a new life, and a new beginning.

Photos are of Luwak coffee farm, in Abian Subak Agrotourism Bali. If you’re a coffee enthusiast and want to experience the making of the most expensive coffee in the world, Luwak coffee while visiting Bali, include it in your tour.

We went to Abian Subak Agrotourism where we had Luwak coffee tasting and witnessed their traditional way of hand pounding the coffee beans. It was the best way to experience Luwak coffee for the first time.

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My book is  still available for sale at

The PWW Centre
15 Market Street
30000 Ipoh
Tel : 05-2469715

Or you can visit their website:

https://www.facebook.com/PerakWomenforWomen/

https://www.facebook.com/1MillionStars

Peace (for 2020)

they say peace is the absence of war
when no nation is task
to risk its citizen’s life,
when guns are a thing of the past
and soldiers are but your friendly neighbors marching.

they say peace is understanding one another
when no man debates
or no family disagrees
when arguement is a only a political thing
and politicians
are but your friendly neighbors
making common decisions.

they say peace is being friends
with everyone
when no one is ostracizing someone
when prejudice is a thing
of centuries ago,
and racial discrimination
is but a neighborhood’s friendly conversation idea.

but peace is not just the absence of war
nor simply the need to understand
each other
or being friends with everyone
it is our ability to maintain inner peace and balance
in the presence of war,
conflict and misunderstanding.

our world is but a reflection
of the inner state of humanity
on a collective level
If there were peace within humanity,
our world would be at peace.

 

Have a PEACEFUL and BLESSED 2020 everyone!!!

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Photos are of Bali Aroma Exclusive Villas

These villas offering guests a perfect ‘home’ for family vacation, for those who seek a natural Balinese feel, style with privacy and comfort all together.

Breakfast of your choice is being delivered and arranged in your open kitchen area every morning, or you can opt for a floating breakfast in your private pool or better yet request for a chef who will cook and prepare your food right in the comfort of your own private kitchen

It is peace amidst the chaos of Island living

P.S.

A corner spot in the outdoor living room offers a sanctuary to write beautiful prose and poetry; and you can as well kick off your first draft for your first novel here (I just did😊😊😊)

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My book is  still available for sale at

The PWW Centre
15 Market Street
30000 Ipoh
Tel : 05-2469715

Or you can visit their website:

https://www.facebook.com/PerakWomenforWomen/

https://www.facebook.com/1MillionStars/

 

Ode to the Sunset (in Bali)

 

Ode To The Sunset (in Bali)

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oh, sun so beautiful
when you set
you silenced
everyone
in a place so crowded
they gaze and marvel at you
with intense in all its glory
while i stood quietly
in awe
in amazement
in wonder
you make my heartbeat
one with the waves splashing
and for the first time in a long while
you calm the storm raging in me
my heart that was once in fury
is now tempered.

oh, sun so beautiful when you set
you bring the magic back in me.

Photos are of beautiful (beautiful is not even enough to describe it) sunset in Bali.

Bali has long been a popular travel destination,  known for its beautiful beaches, great food and incredibly welcoming ( and i meant it with all my heart) people.

Another big Bali draw is the sunset and the plethora of stunning locations to watch them from. No visit to the island is complete without gazing from a beach, a cliff or jungle as the sun disappears into a colorful haze.

Apart from the magnificent sunset, i noticed that though the beach is crowded, yet not a noise was made as we all await for the sun to set. The world stops for a moment. It was so quiet;  so quiet we only hear the wind blowing and  the waves splashing.

P.S.

You can now add writing poetry to your “must do list in Bali”.  Find a spot amidst the crowd and write.

Distance

Between heaven and earth
a story is unearth
Between past and present
a sailing is sent
Between here and there
a distance is clear
Between a moment and forever
a struggle so clear

Sometimes heaven and earth met
when a story is broken and lit
Sometimes past and present collide
when the sailing subside
Sometimes here and there is near
when the view is clearer
Sometimes a moment and forever is eternity
when the struggles become infinity

So move heaven and earth boldly
for your story to be told oddly
So hold the past and present sincerely
for your sailing to be done completely
So break the here and there completely
for your distance to be moved effortlessly
So create a moment and forever lovingly
for your struggles to be over definitely

The photos are the spectacular view of Uluwatu Temple, in Bali.

It has a remarkable high setting at the edge of a cliff and overlooking the waves of the Indian Ocean.

Its gives you a great sense of spiritual renewal regardless of your religious affinity. The sound of the splashing waves makes you in closer contact with the unknown.

It is without a doubt a manifestation of the wonders of nature.

One attraction not to miss in Uluwatu Temple is the traditional Balinese dance call Kecak dance which is scheduled after the sunset.

These performances are obviously for tourist benefit only, and are not spiritually significant to the temple.

It is worthy to note that there’s no public transportation to get to Uluwatu Temple and going back into town will be difficult without any prearranged ride or taxi. A guide is not necessary but can be helpful.

P.S.

It is a beautiful place to find a quiet spot and write poetry

After – Rain Skies: A Million Stars [Update]

Here is another excerpt from my book “After – Rain Skies: A Million Stars’

 

In Memory

 

In memory of the woman

Who screams silently

The secrets of her soul

May she rest in peace

With her lost words

And intimate beauty

 

Kayla would have been just a manufactured memory to her family, friends, and children, had she not taken the courage to walk away from her abusive husband.

Kayla’s husband portrayed her as the best thing on the planet to ever happen to him, that he loved and adored her, and they had the perfect family. And she was outspoken as a child, so people believed that if something was wrong, she would definitely speak up.

They were married for five years, and though he was very controlling from the moment they met, the abuse really started after she had their first baby, and her husband never left her alone with anyone, so she couldn’t speak about what was being done to her.

Kayla had no idea that it is possible to get help and even leave her abusive husband. She was a young bride when they got married. She was never allowed to find a job herself so that her husband provided everything for her.

She had no idea police would get involved and care, or that anybody else would care. That had been one of the main reasons she did not attempt leaving him. If she had known that she had the option, she would have left a long time ago.

She found out she could leave only after he tried to kill her.

Her mother, brother, and uncle went to the hospital and spoke with a hospital social worker, who told them the story her then husband was telling them about how she was burned. He told hospital staff that Kayla’s scarf had caught on fire while she was warming herself, as she is a Muslim.

But her family thought something wasn’t right.

What he actually did was pour turpentine on her and set her on fire.

It was that same fire that ignited the flame inside Kayla to leave her abusive husband for good. It wasn’t easy though, as her husband had long been prepared for the day she would finally have the courage to fight back. He had prepared his own supposed truthful and almost believable version of the story to cover up the abuse. But it didn’t stop her from getting help and finally seeking for a restraining order.

 

P.S.

I want to say “A MILLION THANK YOU” to all those who purchased the book and helped in our advocacy.

Special thanks to Mal Das  and to Mei Kuan of Ipoh Echo 

 

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More poems and stories of abuse and violence are available in my book “After – Rain Skies: A Million Stars”

Books are available for sale at

The PWW Centre
15 Market Street
30000 Ipoh
Tel : 05-2469715

https://www.facebook.com/PerakWomenforWomen/

https://www.facebook.com/1MillionStars/

“After -Rain Skies: A Million Stars”

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It is with great joy and gratitude that we have finally unveiled the gallery of stars for the “One Million Stars to End Violence” advocacy of Perak Women for Women’s Society. At the same time it was the formal book launching of my book “After Rain Skies: A Million Stars”.

 

I am sharing with you all the short talk I gave during the event.

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It was a random trip to Ipoh that started this incredible journey. I was taking a stroll down Old Town Ipoh, along Concubine Lane, when a small shop with stars hanging all over caught my eyes.

 

It was the Perak Women for Women Society’s shop. They were advertising their latest advocacy of “One Million Stars to End Violence,” to support women and survivors of domestic violence, and I was so inspired by it that I wrote a series of poems and reflections about it on my blog to encourage my followers and fellow bloggers to join me in helping the foundation hit their one millionth star.

The response was overwhelming. I received comments and emails from survivors of domestic violence from all over the world, sharing their stories, expressing their support, and just reaching out to be one with this beautiful advocacy. There were people who knew someone close to them that had survived domestic violence and wanted to help in any way they could to end the culture of cruelty and suffering.

I realized that with our words, our voice, our passion, it is possible to rally a community into taking notice, and then defending, helping, and understanding to a certain extent our sisters, our daughters and sons, our friends who do not know how to defend themselves, who do not know who to trust, whose voices are being silenced by fear and hurt and hopelessness.

So I got in touch with Ms Yip, to tell her about the people who had been moved by the PWW’s advocacy and efforts. And we decided we could do more. We decided we should do more. Thus came about this book.

Let me read to you the following story/excerpt:

“Erin was a vibrant, happy, and joyful woman. To her many boyfriends, all of whom mistreated her verbally and physically, she was patient. To Sufi, she was a great human being, and an even better friend.

To herself, Erin was unfair.

She grew up believing she only deserved the kind of love that did nothing but hurt her. And Sufi watched her pick partner after partner that mentally burned her out, and repeatedly destroyed her heart.

Still, Erin’s aspirations, inspiration, imagination, wonder, dreams, pursuits, creative brilliance, her magic, remained bright as stars on a cloudless evening, always.

Until they didn’t.

Abuse is not at all clear cut. But Sufi  remembered with perfect clarity when her best friend lost the sparkle in her eyes.

First, the silence. Even though marrying the love of your life should be a nervous, excited, rambunctious affair.

Then, the realization of her colleagues that Erin was living with a man who was comfortable with sending his wife to work with bruises and a black eye.

And the dark understanding of the weight of Erin having a son, and nowhere to go that felt safe enough to risk her husband following them, and breaking them worse than he would if they stayed put.

Sufi suffered watching her, but all everyone that genuinely loved Erin could do was love her, until she began loving herself enough to see that she too was deserving of better treatment.

It took years, and all their support, and the kind of bravery you only learn while trying to fight through a thunderstorm, but Erin gained the self-respect she needed to leave the one that was drowning her light.

Coming home should be the safest thing we ever do in this life. Where we lay our heads at night should be where monsters will not reach us. And yet, so many find themselves making homes with monsters instead.”

Erin is just one of the women whose stories you can find in this book: After-Rain Skies: A Million Stars. This is a compilation of inspiring true stories of domestic abuse survivors, their struggles to break free from the cycle of abuse, and the courage it takes to build a new life for themselves after finally getting out.

These stories were shared some by the survivors themselves, others by their loved ones, in the hope that their testimonies could give the kind of help, and hope that they themselves had needed during their time of need, to anyone who might be going through what they went through.
These stories were shared by survivors who wanted to make people pay attention to the members of their society that need assistance and protection most of all.

It is also a compilation of poetry that I’ve written based on those survivors’ experiences. As a woman, as a mother, as a fellow human being, it is with great pride and honor that I present this book to you all with the hope that it will help create awareness on abuse and violence so these evils will be stopped.

Abuse and violence of any form is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

The works of PWWS has inspired me so much that I was compelled to take part by lending a voice to those unable to speak up for themselves.

This book, my actions, is just one hopeful light in our dark world of today. I hope it sparks a change in you and all those who read it. Let’s end abuse and violence together.