48hours of Bongawan – Ranau Road Trip

Earlier this year I have started my Bullet Journal with some goals for 2019. One of them is to have my own version of COURT (it stands for Camping, Outing and Road Trip) at least once a month.

I did the first unplanned court to Polumpung, Kota Belud.

It was again the unplanned trip I did on the 2ndday of February. It was unplanned because my good friends and I had just decided on having the trip one day before. It was also unexpected because Ahoon just came back from Bali, and Sylvia just came back from Kuala Lumpur.

It was impromptu, as I typed out the very brief itinerary on our Whatsapp group.

2ndFeb 6am – KK to Bongawan for a BBQ picnic near the river
2ndFeb 3pm – Bongawan to Ranau for Durian Fest (overnight)
3rdFeb 8am – Ranau to Kudat for Simpang Mengayau and back to KK

Three of us in the group made it for the itinerary but unfortunately, we had to skip Kudat.

2ndFebruary, 6am – Ahoon and I departed from our place as early as at 6am in the morning. It took us 2 hours to reach to the small town of Bongawan. It was my first time in the town. Thank goodness that I made it this year before I get any older. I just loved my early morning experience in Bongawan. where I can see those pre war, colonial shop houses. The Japanese army, the Australian forces were once occupied this small town.

Bongawan name is taken from the local word of egrets – Bangau

Ahoon suggested that we should get ourselves the Kopi Lang. It’s the black coffee drink in a bottle, and it’s chilled in the refrigerator before it is served to the customers. That’s Ahoon browsing to her phone. And, that’s my hand holding a bottle of Kopi Lang.

We had the Kopi Lang at Kedai Kopi Sam Hing, one of the old wooden shoplots built in 1922. The coffee shop was once featured in the local newspaper. A paper cutting is placed on the table we sat. I was lucky to have some insights about the history of Bongawan.

What a scene to enjoy as early as 8am in the coffee shop. I had the chance to listen to the chatty customers next to our table talking about what’s reported in the printed newspaper – the husband and wife sitting face to face waiting for their menu to be served – the old man with his tobacco pipe – the family of five having their pau (the white round pastry stuffed with meat). I’m glad that I woke up so early and didn’t miss that opportunity to witness such a peaceful environment.

After Kopi Lang, we visited the weekly market of Tamu Bongawan held every weekend where you get to see fresh vegetables and most important is that you get to see friendly locals with their generous smiles.

After buying some stuff from the market, we then headed to Sylvia’s home for the BBQ picnic, which took us 20-30 mins drive from the town. I just loved the fact that her house is not far from the river where we had the small and simple BBQ. We had some fishes, prawns and chicken wings. I’m not going into details on this part, I’m letting the picture to do the story for itself.

I do not want to be so dramatic to describe the feelings of awesomeness for this event, but it was indeed satisfying. I love everything about being close to my good friends. Laughing to each other and being tired for the day. How can it not be one of my most memorable adventures in my life?

Let me continue with my sharing and I’ll let you to imagine the kind of adventure you want from here.

We departed for Ranau exactly before 4pm from Bongawan. We reached Lohan Damai Eco Ranch just before 10pm. We had simple dinner before we checked in to our room where we got it for complimentary stay. Thanks to Sylvia’s previous connection in the district. We were tired and all we wanted was a good night sleep to have our things to do the next day. Lights out and off we went to the dreamland that first night.

3rdFebruary – We woke up quite early not because we wanted it. If I wanted to point out the distressing moment during the trip is of course our good sleeps that were disturbed by the crying sound of a baby next room. Ahoon and Sylvia are so going to agree with me on this. We had no choice but to get ourselves from the bed for bath and breakfast. Despite the crying baby, we totally had a blast for our second day in Ranau – Kundasang.

We’ve made it to Sylvia’s family place in Ranau for durian, rambutan and langsat! And delicious lunch. Too bad, we were enjoying that moment and forgot about taking photos.

We’ve made it to Ranau Rabbit Farm (photo below).
From left; Sylvia, Ahoon and I. 

We’ve made it to Rosary Hills (photo below).

We’ve made it to BW Bus Restaurant, Kundasang (photo below)

We reached home (Kota Kinabalu) by 6pm. It was the complete 48 hours of making friendship memories.

In life, we do not want to make enemy, we do not want to judge and hate people just because they sinned differently than us. We just want to be good to ourselves and the friendship we have. I hope and pray you would have a blossom friendship as well. Cheers!END/

Road Trip To Polumpung, Melangkap – Kota Belud

The best trip is always the unplanned trip, at least for me. Oh by the way, Happy New Year 2019!

My friend, Ahoon and I had some small talks via WhatsApp few days before the end of 2018. She was on vacay to Kuching.  Ahoon came back from Kuching on January 1st 2019 and texted about going somewhere. I suggested for a camping night out and both agreed. I then booked a spot for camping at Polumpung, Melangkap – Kota Belud.

Then came the day of 2nd January 2019. Ahoon and I departed for our first COURT in 2019. (COURT – Camping~Outing~Road Trip). That was pretty much how the unplanned trip taken its place. You won’t be reading a complicated how-to-plan-your-road-trip-to-Polumpung in this post, what we did for the trip was impromptu and follow-your-heart kind of gateway. Have a good reading 🙂

2nd January 2019
We started the drive at around 10.15am in the morning. A one (+-) hour drive, we reached Kota Belud Town at 11.00am-11.15am. We took few hours for lunch, chit chatting and bought few stuff to bring to the campsite of Polumpung. Just for the record; we bought Maggie cups, canned food, biscuits, buns and bottled water. We wouldn’t want to buy those if only we had known it earlier that the campsite do provide a cafe 🙂

From the small town of Kota Belud, we drove for another 35-40mins (29km) to Polumpung, Kampung Melangkap Baru. I used Waze for the earlier part but followed the roadsigns most of the time. I am pretty sure that you won’t get lost to the village/campsite.

The village has quite a few campsite operators. You can see it along the village road when you are already in the village. We made our way to Polumpung Campsite. According to some infos, it was the first campsite opened for public.

I had a chat with one of the campsite owners, the campsite was originally a place full of trees. Polumpung means small island. The earthquake at the foothill of Mount Kinabalu followed with the big flood in 2015 had changed the landscape of the place. No more trees, no more two rivers and the small island. It has changed to a flat land full of sand and only one river left. According to the Uncle I talked to, it was a blessing in disguise, the place now offers a breathtaking view for outdoor enthusiasts. And, I agree with him! I love the place so much that it gives me my inner peace that I needed the most. Away from the city, and with the DIGI connection that is not available for internet; this is the place where I should be.

I love the big signage showing “I LOVE Polumpung” at the entrance of the campsite. It makes thing easier for a driver to find a place. We drove in from the entrance and went to the registration counter to confirm the booking under my name. All was good. We had our camp tent, a canopy, sleeping bags and a mattress; the mattress is the thin one just to keep the body at its best comfort. I would want to have the smiley with two tears at the side emoticon to compliment the mattress part. LoL!

After paying all fees, we went straight to the campsite. Had our tent ready and putting all our stuff in the tent. We didn’t want to waste so much time. We went to the cold Melangkap River close to our tent. It was raining but I didn’t care much of catching a flu and fever. I was shivering but I carried on sitting in the river and let those unnecessary feelings on my mind be flown away following the river. I just love the moment. Really, I do. Thank you Polumpung!

I spent the night with the not so stargazing moment. My blurry eyesight wasn’t helping. I ended up with writing/setting up my Bullet Journal. I also read the writing about “My Helplessness” by Mahatma Gandhi from his book. And, oh yeah…nothing beat the hot black Kopi O with some crackers, I just LOVE it!

You can choose how you want your night out at Polumpung to be.
If you opt for barbecue, you may have your chicken wings marinated overnight before. If you opt for an easy night, just bring your canned food and Maggie cups. We bought rice from the cafe at the campsite. So, if you don’t want anything to dirty your hands – just get yourself to the cafe and take away food from there. The earlier the better, the cafe is close at 7pm.

All those basic needs for toilet, bathroom, chairs, table, BBQ pit, canopy, tent, portable gas, pillow, sleeping bag, mattress etc is provided at the campsite. You can next time bring just your good-self, things are easy and will make your life and mind easier at Polumpung.

3rd January 2019
We woke up with our tent facing to the majestic view of Mount Kinabalu. Breathtaking as it is! Pro tip: Don’t put your tent where there are tents in front of your tent. This was the only thing that spoiled the moment I must say.

I had to fix it. I got up from the tent and went straight to the river for a better view. I took my time to meditate as well on the big rock in the river. After a moment of peace, I decided to take the last swim before we drove back home.

Polumpung Campsite is pretty much a place where I wouldn’t want to mess my mind with all other stuff. I wanted a quiet place and moment of heart-to-heart conversation with a good friend. The camp out at Polumpung suits to my whole ride journey for my inner peace this year. And, what I think about Polumpung is the moment of peace it offers. I can just be happy not thinking for anything else. Polumpung helps to rejuvenate the goodness, kindness, and happiness in me. Thank you Polumpung!/END

When Things Happen For A Reason

Things happen unexpectedly most of the time.

I came back from a mobile Blood Donation campaign last Friday straight to my office; it was hot during the mobile and it was cold in my office building. I left my blazer in my car earlier before departing for Kepayan where we had the mobile; and I couldn’t stand the cold like always; and I planned to go to the car and get my blazer to save me from the cold.

The plan didn’t happen. When I was heading to the car park, I saw a mother and her newborn baby; no other family was with her. What made me to stop by and ask her if everything is alright, it was when I saw her baby was put on a table wrapped with a pink baby towel while the mother was standing beside it and adjusting her shirt. I was worried and asked if there’s any problem.

The mother looked at me and said,”I was stopping by to breastfeed my baby.”

Upon looking at the mother and her eyes, the eyes were half closed..and I knew that she couldn’t really see properly. She was telling me she wanted to pay for hospital bill and I showed her the way..no, I didn’t actually show her but I told only the direction because my mind was being selfish and only thought to get my blazer. I knew I had to get the mother, that’s maybe my nature to offer my help.

I turned my way back from going to the car park and straight to the Revenue Unit. I saw her and attended to her needs.

I talked to her nicely and had the privilege to hold her newborn baby. The baby boy is 3 days old. I had to ask questions because I was concerned.

She is a 32 years old lady, her parents died, she stayed with an uncle but no longer has the privilege to stay in the house because she decided to look for her only brother. The brother doesn’t wants to know anything about the only sister he has, so she starts living her own life.

It is her first time pregnancy, and first time having a child on her own. When I said no other family was with her during the labour, that meant she was on her own. Where’s the husband then? I choose not to answer this.

It was on Friday when I encountered this incident, and because I had other commitment on the same day, I had to cut short the plan to help her and her baby. I drove her back to her place after my working hour at 5pm, I recorded her number on my phone and I promised to call her the next days. Today is Sunday.

Things happen for a reason, people might just need our help at that moment of time. If I don’t be aware of my surroundings and close my eyes not wanting to know about others, the mother and her baby will be left with no one to help them out.

What happened that day was extraordinary. It reminded me of the cause with Aunty Lahai Paren when I had my first solo journey to Miri, Sarawak last June. I never wanted to be a special chosen person to help others. But those moments came to me where I couldn’t really resist myself to offer what I can do to help.

Most of the times I share those moments on my other social media site. I neglected this page I own for so long. I feel the urge to write what happened on Friday on this blog. I feel better now.

To date, writing is really the best therapy. I feel better now. Yes, that’s the second repeat. I feel better now!/END

Learning : a way of self-improvement

IMG_9062I’m continuously looking for ways to self improve.
I always want to do things that I thought I’ll be good at.
And, I know if I want to be good at things I must learn.

Once you stop learning, you start dying – Albert Einstein

I wouldn’t want to take Einstein’s advice for granted.
I want to write a book, that’s my mission and I must master the art of it.
A lot to be done but being persistent shall get me there, one day.

Now, let me share you one thing I’ve learned. It’s about writing a Haiku. I learned about Haiku few days ago through some of the blogs I followed. And, I googled “How To Write Haiku”. No shame, it’s a learning process. I know I won’t get anything if I don’t learn. Google have been my favourite tool to look for  -How To- stuffs.

So normally, Haiku is a way of expression about nature, moment of beauty or poignant experience. (Source: Wikihow)

The Haiku I wrote is about passion to write.
Here it is.

Writing does not stop
Ideas never cease to flow
And so does passion

In order to be good in writing, I knew I needed to get this Haiku checked. So, I texted my blogger friend, Angelina Albinus. Angel is not only good in writing, she is also a talented makeup artist, and she is also a teacher. And, she is definitely on my #pesonabutiza list as well. (I’ll write more about this soon)

Angel was the first one to see the Haiku, and to check for grammar error. I would say she is my peer editor besides Mr. Ramesh (Oh, I certainly have so much to write about this man, later).

What did I learn from Angel and writing this Haiku?

  • The verb ‘writing’ is Gerund. Gerund is verbs (verb+ing) that are used as nouns. Gerund is always singular. We say “writing is fun”, never “writing are fun”.
  • Why did this gerund come into our discussion? I wrote “Writing don’t get old”, Angel corrected it as “Writing doesn’t get old”.
  • So, did you get my mistake? I’ve got it.

Thank you Angel, you’ve been helping me a lot.
And there’s one thing Angel told me after the short discussion.
She told me this, “It’s good that you still love to write. To be honest Kenny, I’m inspired from your writings now. Keep on inspiring Ken.”

Look, who inspire who now? I would say, we inspire each other.
I hope you would find your own journey of learning as a way of self-improvement.
Let me give you cheers for that.
Cheers to your journey!


fullsizeoutput_43777 days passed without an update.
I had conversations during those days.
Different kind of conversations.

An angry conversation.
It was overwhelmed by the desire to fix but ended up with war of words. It was the kind of talk no one would ever put their interest into it. And me, I preferred silence than a hoo-ha when that conversation happened. I did get the picture for getting into the sullen muteness but I just had to until I was ready to confront. The outcome didn’t really matter when I had the chance to say my piece of mind. After all, what more important is to find the calmness within myself.

A candid conversation.
I met this person only once in my lifetime, it was more than five years ago. I found courage to ask because my instinct said, this person can be trusted and willing to listen. It was not a face to face conversation, I texted. And, I felt so much relieved. I didn’t expect to be understood when I had the chance to let things out. We shared quite the same personal matter, how can I not be feeling grateful to it? I felt even much better when I’ve got this reply, “Feel free to talk, at least I know I still have friends that still care and say Hello to me.” I couldn’t be thankful enough for the tête-à-tête knowing that I am not alone anymore. Thank you babe, you know who you are.

A oneway conversation.
This was a conversation with myself. There was a lot of “What if”, “I wish”, “I want”, “Why” during this self-talk. The talk was occupied with thoughts, hopes and dismay. It was all running through my mind. Mixed feelings were everywhere and at the peak point of the conversation where I couldn’t handle the hot and cold of it, I decided to just stop. It was tiring but worth the time for a self-reflection. And, if I like it or not, this is the kind of conversation that will occurs over and over again.

And now, I’m hoping for a promising conversation.
One that that will keep me in a buoyant state of mind all the time.
One that will stay as my favourite conversation.

What’s your favourite conversation?