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/

 

“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.

Sunshine

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You were smiling, all day long even amidst a lonely, forlorn afternoon

You could put the sun to shame the way your corner lips rise slowly

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Your eyes, how it turned into a lovely crescent moon

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Then you let out a soft, light giggle as you hid your smile behind your charming face

My heart skips.

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And i remember, you were always my ray of light, my sunshine

 

P.S.

Life can be tough. Some days are good, some days are not. Some people will love and support you, and some won’t. That’ life. That’s world. That’s reality.
It is crazy and chaotic.

Amidst trouble and turmoils, amidst darkness and lonely days, my daughters are my ray  of light, my sunshine, my RESTFUL place.

Friday Fun – restful

They too are my muse, my inspiration, and my kindle
V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #69: kindle

They are my LIGHT…

and i wanna say HAPPY DEEPAVALI to all my lovely Indian followers and blogger friends.

Let us all together join them and celebrate the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.

After – Rain Skies: A Million Stars

“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.”

 

 

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The best things in life happen unexpectedly, and come from where and when you least expect it. Such is the story behind the birth of this book. It was a random trip to Ipoh that started it all. I was taking a stroll down Old Town Ipoh, along Concubine Lane, when a small shop with stars hanging all over caught my attention.

The PWW Shop is owned and managed by Perak Women for Women Society, an organization that is geared towards providing assistance to women in need. They sell new and pre-loved items that help fund the foundation’s various activities.

I was so inspired by their “One Million Stars to End Violence – Malaysia” advocacy that I wrote about it on my blog, and also encouraged my fellow bloggers to join me in helping the foundation hit their one millionth star.

The responses were really overwhelming. Many shared their own stories of abuse and violence and how they struggled to get help. The stories shared were so inspiring that it prompted me to send an email to the foundation, and, as they say, the rest is history.

May we all be inspired by these stories; as these are not only stories of abuse and violence, but stories too of love, hope, joy, forgiveness and healing.

****Initial copies of the book will be available for sale on September 21, 2019 (Saturday)  at BALLROOM, SYEUN HOTEL, IPOH .

****If you are interested to buy please leave a comment below.

 

Stars (teaser 2)

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The best things in life happen unexpectedly, and come from where and when you least expect it. The storm that’s raging now could clear at any minute and reveal a million-star sky.

                                                                                                                  – Michelle

 

 

P.S.

A project in support of Perak Women for Women Society, in celebration of their “One Million Star to End Violence – Malaysia” is coming out soon. Together we can make a difference, together we can help end abuse and violence and together we can change someone’s life.