Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Trip to Taiwan: Day 1

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

Alhamdulillah, we safely arrived Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1 as per schedule after 3.5 hours on board from Kota Kinabalu. The weather was fine; just a little turbulence while on board and I believed it happened while we fly across Philippines' air. Thank you Air Asia for the safe flight. We will return back to Kota Kinabalu using Malaysia Airlines.

Fried bird's eggs at Liuhe Night Market.
Delicious, MashaAllah! :)
Taiwanese are good, although they rarely smile at you. In spite of their difficulty in understanding our query in English, we can feel that they are trying their best in assisting us. Whenever my face obviously blur while analyzing their High Speed Rail (HSR) and Multi Ride Train (MRT) route, there will always a Taiwanese asking me where do I want to go.

Ecological District MRT Station, Kaohsiung.
Below are the notes that summarized our first day trip to Taiwan:

1) Arrived at Taoyuan International Airport T1 and went to the Tourism Centre at the arrival floor to activate our Wi-Fi.

2) Take a shuttle bus to HSR station that costs us 30 TWD per person.

3) Take a high speed train to Zuoying from HSR station that costs us 1290 TWD per person.

4) Take MRT from Zuoying to Formosa Boulevard station that costs us 25 TWD per person. We were staying at Centre Hotel; 3 minutes walk from Formosa Boulevard station.

5) Since we arrived  hotel at 4pm and Maghrib prayer is about to commence in 1.25 hours time, we are quite rushing as the room is not yet ready by the time we checked-in. Plus, the communication is very hard as the receptionist can't understand English very well.

6) We planned to visit Liuhe Night Market located less than 10 minutes walk from our hotel after taking few hours nap after we performed Isya' prayer, but it turns out that we only woke up during Fajr prayer on the next day.

Love River Bridge, Kaohsiung.

During this post is drafted, 1 MYR is equivalent to 7.4 TWD.

Have a nice day :)


Trip to Taiwan (Overview)

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

Alhamdulillah, my 2015 went well for almost everything in spite of my biggest mistake whereby I am requesting to have an inter-departmental transfer and it was approved by higher management. However, it was turns out to be a hassle as my current superior is the worst boss that I ever have since I entered the working stage. OK, just ignore this.

I managed to complete my 7th trip in Taiwan after my first trip in 2013; Phuket & Krabi, Thailand. It was followed by Manila, Perth, Western Australia, Bukittinggi and Padang in the following year. And this year, I managed to travel to Ho Chi Minh City, Cappadocia, Istanbul, Kaohsiung and Taipei. It is such an indescribable feeling when I managed to have a first hand experience at different countries that definitely have various cultures and lifestyles.

Night view from our hotel in Kaohsiung.
The Dome of Light, Formosa Boulevard MRT.
I spent 7 days 6 nights in Taiwan whereby the first 3 days was spent in the southern part; Kaohsiung. The following 4th day until I departed back to Kota Kinabalu was well spent in Taipei. I took Air Asia flight for Kota Kinabalu to Taoyuan International Airport and Malaysia Airlines for the returns flight. The cost for this returns flight excluding my flight to Kota Kinabalu is approximately 400 MYR.

Below is the summary of my trip to Taiwan:

1) Upon arrival at Taiwan, we straight away headed to Kaohsiung via High Speed Train and return back to Taipei via normal train.

2) Both cities basically have excellent public transport system and the maps at each station is quite easy to be understood although we may not have any basic understanding in Mandarin as it comes with English subtitle as well.

Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, Lotus Lake, Zuoying 

3) Taiwan is a very clean country and it has a lot of parks with such breathtaking views and it is wheelchair friendly as well.

4) It is quite challenging to communicate with people here as they are not very fluent in English but they are very helpful to assist our queries. A simple drawing on plain paper or google translate may help.

5) The public Wi-Fi is highly reliable. Make sure we sign up as iTaiwan user in order to allow us to utilize this facility.

6) Tips is not a common here.

7) The train is very efficient, effective and on time. Same thing goes to the taxi driver.

Pier-2 Art Center, Kaohsiung

After all, I would highly recommend people who enjoy beautiful and relax scenery to come to Taiwan.

Have a nice day :)


Positivity: We Decide

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

I knew her when I was in Form 3. She was newly graduated when she was assigned to teach us Mathematics. She is soft spoken, beautiful and student friendly. Of course, with these criteria, she is one of the favorite teachers during my high school.

Sometimes, the good thing when we keep the same number for years is we can easily get connected again in future. When I was instructed to undergo a year induction program at Kuala Terengganu, I tried to contact her. Alhamdulillah, we agreed to meet. She fetch me at the training centre with her only daughter, and we went out for lunch together and paid a visit to Masjid Kristal Kuala Terengganu.

View of Kuala Terengganu from Bukit Besar, one of our favourite hiking spots.

She insisted me to call her Kakak. In Malay, kakak means sister. Of course it is quite awkward to change the way you called someone who used to be your own high school teacher as sister. Even there are some of my seniors who are now my colleague who I used to call Abang and Kakak still being called using the same way.

Oh, this post is not to tell a story about her. I just want to share how her passions, sincerity and positivity makes her one of my idols in pursuing this challenging life.

She asked for forgiveness when she met me for the first time after 6 years being apart due to her inexperienced while being assigned to teach us in 2004. Could you gauged how sincere and passionate she is in teaching as she still want to seek for forgiveness due to her inability to serve us at her best when she was assigned to teach us?

Her ability to let go and just simply forgive others also amazed me. I was burst into tears when she told me about her marriage life which ends up with divorce; and the way she still can instill the respect and love that her daughter shall have towards her own father in spite of being abused by his ex husband while they're still together.

It is somehow because of her made me think that having my own children is still necessary. She was once mentioned to me that she is never regret to get married previously and she is open for a new marriage life shall there is opportunity; as there is no word can describe how happy she is with the existence of her daughter.

I learned from her that we actually can always remain positive in any situations. It is totally depends on us to look on which side of life. It is us to decide the ways to fill our heart with happiness and positive energy.

Thank you teacher.

Thank you kakak :')

May Allah bless you with eternal happiness.

Have a nice day :)


Friday, December 18, 2015

Trip to Perth & Western Australia (Overview)

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

Australia has been one of my dream places to be visited on top of Johannesburg, South Africa. Upon checking Air Asia promotion whereby a return flight ticket with 20 kg of luggage only cost me 1046 MYR for KUL-PER-KUL, I just bought the ticket without any hesitation. Only after that I started to look for a partner because I still do not have any courage to travel alone. Plus, I just few days return from my first trip to Krabi at the moment I bought the ticket. In fact, I did traveled to Manila prior to travel to Perth.

The Gap and Natural Bridge, Albany
This rock was left behind upon Antartica and Australia parted circa 45 million years ago.
The initial duration for my visit at Perth or Western Australia as a whole shall be 11 days. However, few weeks before departure, we were being informed by Air Asia that KUL-PER route on the date we have booked has been cancelled. Hence, they replaced it with the same route flight on the next day. I believed there should be a hikmah on it so I just take it positively. Plus, I have nothing to loose as well.

Since I have 10 days in Western Australia, I do not want to limit my exploration within Perth boundary. Upon google map on everything, we finally agreed on a 360 degree route; Perth - Lancelin - Busselton - Augusta - Albany - Hyden - Perth. Overall, my trip to Western Australia only cost me 4280.83 MYR, including all 4 flight tickets. In fact, I bring back 900 AUD upon return to Malaysia! Can you guess how good I am in budget planning? Hehe~

Penguin Island, Rockingham

The 360 degree journey only commenced on our 5th day in Perth and end on our 8th day. Before and after that days, we just utilized daily rider ticket (can be used on both trains and buses in Perth) that cost us around 11 AUD. But actually, we can use family rider ticket for 3 persons with the same cost. Thanks to one traveler from Kedah who told us about this and after that, we just make full use of family rider ticket. But the disadvantage of this family rider ticket is we cannot be separated with our partner or friends since everybody must present at the same time whenever we are about to show the ticket to security.

Just one tip for anyone who just about to travel for the first time; never put your dream place as the first place to be traveled. Try other cheaper locations first so you dream vacation will be smooth and less distraction :)

Have a nice day :)


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Inventory Management: When & How to Shop Wisely?

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

It is not wrong for us to fulfill our material desires as part of self rewards. In spite of being a frugal lady, I still allocate few amount of my money to buy things that I love; handbags, sandals and of course, flight tickets. However, since this post is about inventory management, I'll not touch about flight tickets.

As an active traveler that is not born into a silver spoon family, I strongly believe that I can't get all I want at once. Hence, I need to prioritize my need and desire based on my important resources: time, money and energy. That is why, I rarely have my lunch and dinner out as having it by preparing it by myself is more economical, healthy and indirectly enhance my cooking skills.

King's Park, Perth, Western Australia
In lieu to above factors, I need to plan wisely my groceries shopping. On top of groceries, other stuffs that I need to frequently buy and make it readily available at home are self-care products and dairy products. Sandals and handbags may not fall under this frequently buy items, but in order to keep my motivation alive, I will reward myself with these items at least once a year.

For groceries that I frequently need and use, I usually buy it based on the special offer and the expiry date. For items with early expiry date, I just buy it according to my needs, but for items that still have long time to expire, I will buy it based on my availability in the town where I reside. However, for self-care products that usually expire 3 years after it was manufactured, I will buy it up to the next one year usage during my birthday months as I will get extra 5 time points at my first purchase within my birthday month. 

Oh, becoming a member to any groceries market or any malls that you usually go to buy your stuff is necessary as well! Do understand the terms and conditions in order to allow ourselves to fully utilize the benefits of being a member. In the environment whereby every items seem to be pricy, we have to be really frugal and make use of any benefits or advantages that exist. However, as for myself, I do buy from small market or shop for items like eggs, raw meat, fish, vegetables, spices, onions and garlics as part of my personal social responsibility to help local people. 

Jewel Cave, Augusta, Western Australia
In summary, below is the way I plan my personal inventory in order to fully maximize the benefits upon joining any membership at any malls, supermarket, pharmacy and etc:

1) Daily cooking helps: small local market.

2) Dairy products: buy as much as possible during offer if the expiry date is still long way to go based on my availibility at the town where I reside.

3) Self-care product: one year ahead of stock and buy during my first purchase within my birthday month.

4) Handbangs/ sandals: during my birthday month upon receive an email from the shopping mall on my special birthday gifts. Usually, they give a very good special offer. 

5) Books: fully utilize the RM 1000 entitlement for tax exemption in a year.

6) Clothes: I give myself a condition whereby my clothes cannot be more than three wardrobes in my house. If I wish to buy a new one, I must make sure I have choose any old clothes that is still in good condition to be given to the needy. 

Have a nice day :)


Trip to Taiwan: Pre Departure

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

After my trip to Istanbul and Cappadocia last September, I only have the opportunity to visit KL in December. It is such an indescribable feeling to visit KL after such a long time especially after almost all the fare hikes up.

Based on advices and tips from few blogs that I've read, it is highly recommended to visit Taiwan Visitors Association (TVA) at Wisma Goldhill to get few tips and special promotion upon arrival at Taiwan. But we have initially misunderstood the place as Taiwan Embassy and hence we have wrongly visited a wrong place located at Menara Yayasan Tun Razak. Can you imagine the feeling of paying the taxi for a wrong place and then you have to walk for another 30 minutes in order to reach the right place despite of the city's hustle bustle? Huh!

The gifts from TVA
There's always a reward in every difficulty. TVA is such a good place for those who intend to visit Taiwan. Our 30 minutes evening walk was paid off! We were given an assurance to have an access to free Wi-Fi for Taiwan's tourist for our overall stay there (7 days 6 nights), free admission to any one of Taiwan's theme park and also one free ride for any route of MRT in Kaohsiung. You may register here shall you wish to have free access to Wi-Fi in Taiwan if you have any plan to visit Taiwan in future. I will definitely choose the most expensive route for the third offer!

But of course, to be entitled for this incredible offer, we must have strong documents support in order to ensure the offer were given to genuine Taiwan's future visitor. We must be able to prove that we will be visiting Taiwan either using our return ticket (if we are to fly using similar airline to and fro) or confirm hotel booking with either departing flight details or return flight details (in case we are to fly using different airlines to and fro).

On top of the offers, TVA also provides us with all the pamphlets and important maps that will definitely assists us during our visit to Taiwan. We were being informed that most train station in Taiwan do not have English sign board and that is why TVA is providing the MRT maps with both Mandarin and English signs. Another bonus gift is the guidelines for Muslim visitors booklet and that booklet is full with helpful tips and info for Muslim who intend to visit Taiwan.

From my initial view, it seems like Taiwan is taking tourism sector seriously and I will definitely share my traveling experience in Taiwan in my future post. This is my 7th oversea trip and the 10th country I've visited since my first trip to Phuket and Krabi in the end of 2013.

May Allah eases everything and I hope the journey that I've traveled so far and will be traveled soon will definitely strengthen my iman, increase my taqwa, soften my heart, beautify my personality and sharpen my intellect.

Have a nice day :)


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Earning Demarcation

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

Time seems to fly so fast nowadays. We are reaching the end of 2015. As far as I concern, the most important target for myself this year is to reach my financial target. Alhamdulillah, it's unlocked :)

I have to say that wealth management is something serious and necessary to be learned as I can see many of my closest acquaintances are being trapped under rat race. Not only acquaintances, my family and relatives are also part of the rat race victims. Why it is so important to really conscious about our own financial?

Hot Air Balloon, Goreme, Cappadocia.
My post won't be too academics to discuss on this matter based on professional research. I just want to bring all the readers to reflect back based on our daily observation on the way we are being raised up and taught. We were advised to be excellent in academics, went to the top universities in the world, secured a good job and finally earned a good salary. And all of this will be equaled to happiness!

Do you think that is the right thing to do?

Well, I leave it for you to think. Being traveled across 9 countries without piggy riding any business or company related purposes have changed my view about things that matter the most in our temporary life in this world. Yes, without securing a good pay job, it is quite impossible for me to do this. Securing a good pay job is kind of important nowadays, but working solely for the sake of money is totally a major mistake.

While performing our job as required by the company that hired us, keep on equipping ourselves on wealth management knowledge is ultimately important. If not, regardless how big our salary is, it will never been enough. I would like to thanks all the book authors that I've read on this matter, and I can simplify that one thing we must strive to achieve financially is that we are always at the position whereby we have nothing to loose; in the event of anything happen to our employer or company.

Evening ATV Ride, Goreme, Cappadocia
As a beginning, I would love to share the simple basic to divide our salary but of course, it is depends on you either to put it into practice or not. I always believe that different people will always have different priorities.

1. Minimum 10 % from our net salary (after SOCSO/ EPF/ TAX/ ZAKAT deduction) must go to our own saving. It is highly recommended to utilize any methods or facilities given by our company to do the auto-deduction for our saving.

2. Maximum 40% is for our mortgage. If we are to rent the house, make sure it does not reach 10% of our net salary and hence the remaining 30% goes to our saving. The reason why I put 40% for mortgage is to allow us to maintain our daily lifestyle. After we put so much sweat in gaining the money, of course we do want to spend it as part of self-rewards on top of to pay all the bills right?

3. Minimum 5% must go to distribution. Regardless what religion that you believe in, giving and helping those in needs is basically important. It is a huge liability if we just strive for richer life in this world but never invest for the benefits of our hereafter. Of course if we can distribute more than 5% of our earning, it will be much better. But remember, we must sincere in order to please Allah swt or our Lord :)

4. The remaining 45% is for our life sustainability. It includes the bills, foods, groceries, car maintenance, house maintenance, self-care, takaful or insurance and of course, do not forget our parents :)

After all, all the best in achieving our financial target. Remember, we must strive to put ourselves in a situation whereby we have nothing to loose.

Avoid bed debts, spend some times to equip ourselves with wealth management knowledge and do help the needy. We will never go poor by giving. 

Have a nice day :)


Monday, December 7, 2015

The Sycophants

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,
Sometimes, I do think that the world nowadays is no more safe. I do think that almost everybody can't be trusted. I do think that this world will be ending soon. O Allah, please save us from any harms that may hinder us from entering your Jannah. O Allah, please guide us on every single day.
Everybody seems to be defensive because of no reason. All the big power parties keep on blaming each other. They seem to get afraid not because the other side is already proven guilty, but because they have something that they're afraid to loose.
From my personal perspective, being defensive and telling the truth have one major difference. It is the tones. The way we express it. Our manner when we respond on other's queries. Sometimes, we can easily detect that the person is somehow feel insecure when he or she who supposedly answer on our queries suddenly raise their voice when we just calmly throw our query or question.

War Remnant Museum, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
But, there's one thing to be reflected. Why we must answer in such manner when the other parties calmly ask the questions and just to provide their sincere feedbacks?
When people raise their queries and provide their feedbacks, we must understand that it is for the sake of everyone's goodness. Working in such a big organization, giving sceptical answer like "The boss asked for it, so just do it" by MOST baby boomers and their sycophants is definitely unacceptable. We must understand that our working atmosphere nowadays are mostly occupied by Gen Y and this generation basically need solid justifications.
The culture of easily get offended by many supervisors or superiors in many organizations somehow have contributed to existence of many sycophants or toady or flatterers. These kind of human or so called species know ways to take advantage for the sake of their own benefit by understanding the nature of these denial and defensive superiors or supervisors. Usually, these species of people are those called "Yes Man" type of people but in most of the cases, they are the one who contribute the less in any tasks given. They usually exist during the initial stage and missing in the middle and suddenly come back by the end or when the given tasks are about to complete.

Cho Ben Thanh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
I understand that we can manage this kind of superiors by learning more on ways in dealing with so called hard people, but at the same time we should try to improve ourselves as a whole. We as the youngsters should learn more on effective communication with different generations, but those older generations should not be complacent enough by thinking that because they are older, they are always right.
After all, by trying to improve on communication skill as a whole, there is no way that these flatterers or toadies or sycophants will exist. And of course as a Muslim, we must try hard to avoid ourselves from becoming one of these "black sheep" kind of people, because getting the things that we want via any incorrect or non-halal ways will definitely affect the blessings or barakah of our life either in a short or a long run.
In the end, upon leaving this temporary world, blessings and barakah are things that matter the most. We will definitely being judged by Allah swt. based on our deeds while we live in this world.
Have a nice day :)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Who Promise Us Tomorrow?

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

Al-Fatihah to Tunku Laksamana Johor, Tunku Abdul Jalil Iskandar Sultan Ibrahim who have passed away peacefully on 5th December 2015 at 1911 hours. May Allah blessed him with His rahmah and rewards his kindness with Jannah. Ameen.

Any death news should be a good reminder to all of us. A reminder for us to do self-introspection, to do a self-check on how well are we in performing our obligations as Allah's servant in this temporary world. A good reminder for us to reflect back on our journey in this temporary world. Are we always doing the right things or the opposite ones?

Allah never promised us that there is no possibility of die young. Only He knows how long each of us will walk across this temporary destination prior to meet Him at the final point. But He do remind us via His Holy Book, Qur'an that we have no other choice rather than to equipped ourselves with good deeds and try to avoid any means of doing bad things that may bring us to hell in the hereafter. 

Danau Maninjau, Padang, Indonesia
If this kind of view make us feel like in Heaven, how about the Real Heaven?

Allah is justice indeed. He didn't let us to walk without any right direction in this temporary world. He provides us with the DO's and DON'Ts. He warned us since 1400 years ago on the consequences for not performing our obligations as His servant. It is totally depends on us either to walk along with His guidance or just being an ignorant. It is our choice. All of us have been given the materials, the guidance, the direction; you name it. 

It is so true that death is the best reminder for all of us. This world is definitely not a final destination. Whenever there is an evil whisper inside us to do something bad, pause a moment, ask ourselves, do we want to be one of the heaven occupants, or hell is our preferred final destination?

Everybody will be leaving. It is just sooner or later. Always strive to be the best person we ever been in every single day; as we do not know when is our final day in this temporary world.

After all, who promise us tomorrow?

Have a nice day :)


Intuitions: How Reliable It Is?

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

Whenever I do any online personality test online, the results always portrayed that I am intuitive kind of person. There are few times I did follow my intuitions and thanks Allah, it is for the sake of goodness.

It's happened when I just scrolling down Mudah apps just to search for any good sub-sale prospect when I finally become a friend to one of housing agents. I just told him to notify me whenever there's sub-sale house that meet my budget requirements and yes, he did!

When I first come to check that house, it is such an overwhelming feeling seeing how tidy the house is although in the eyes of others, that kind of house should not be bought by someone like me. And again, I would like to thanks Allah for giving me such awareness to be a totally frugal lady, on top of the hunger to gain more knowledge regarding wealth management and creation for the betterment of ummah.

Deal accepted and agreed. Then I started to calculate my DSR if I didn't let go the house that I've bought as early as during my 11th month of working. It is more than 50%, and it indirectly means that I have to choose either one. After thinking in the pros and cons, I chose to let go my first house as it is quite big as well for someone who haven't think of having her own family yet (at that moment).

Oh, I have came across different story! Forgive me. Back to intuitions thingy, I chose that sub-sale house because my neighbor will be housewives as well! And on top if that, one of my closest neighbors is Mirian too :)

I just figured out that thing after I agreed to buy that house. Alhamdulillah, although both of my neighbors are not yet Muslims, they are as kind and as good as practicing Muslims.

I am one of AirBnb hosts! Feel free to stay with me :)
Open to ladies only. 
I have a worst herpetophobia. I remember there is one night I helplessly called her and she was too worry when hear my voice. But upon knowing that the issue was due to existence of lizard at my wet kitchen, she laughed. But one touching thing about her is she offered me to install a lizard trapper at my house and she will help me to throw the trapped lizards! But, I somehow rejected the offer. Seeing a lizard is total nightmare. I preferred to use preventive spray to solve the issue.

The lesson learnt here is never deny the power of intuitions. Most of the times, our heart didn't lie. Just follow our heart whenever we are in great doubt, but never skip Istikharah prayer. Do make Istikharah Prayer as part of our daily routine.

Have a nice day :)


Monday, November 30, 2015

Of Bunga Telur & Bally Shoes

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

While attending one of my cousin's wedding today despite of heavy migrane and sore throat, it is somehow so true that to have a shariah-compliant wedding is quite a huge challenge. To eliminate things that have been part of traditions since early age is not that easy actually.

That is why when people asking my opinion regarding this topic, I will definitely tell them to look into the family's background prior to judge on anything. Different families will be having different perspectives. Although the groom and bride itself have a strong intend to have a really shariah-compliant wedding, we have to consider the fact that a wedding event is mostly dominated by the parents rather than the couples itself.

The Wedding Ambiance
It is not to say that the parents are not having a good foundation of Islam, but as I mentioned in my previous post regarding baby boomers (who definitely have children that are currently in the age that suitable to get married), they are the types who always think about many factors; and one of it is other's perspective and view. It is majority of Gen Ys like us that falls under the category of not to care what people want to say; as long as we didn't do anything harmful be it to ourselves or others.

That is why whenever we are going to any events or party, it is better for us to keep our own perspective to our own rather than quickly speak out our opinion which may hurt the event's organizers. As for myself, as long as you're invited, you just come in the event you've nothing more important than the event itself. It is not to say that other's invitation is not important, but today's lifestyle really need us to prioritize our schedule as we are the only one who are fully responsible to our own life; and it is not an option, it is a must, if you think about it to the deepest point.

Have a nice day :)


Trip to Manila (Overview)

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

When the route was temporarily introduced somewhere in the first quarter of 2014, I was too eager to check if there is any special promotion. Oh, I forgot to share that eye-ing for newly introduced route is another trick to get special fare for any flights.

Although there's no more direct flight from MYY to MNL, I am somehow thankful that I get the opportunity to visit the country of Jose Rizal, one of Philippines warriors during old days. It takes us about 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach Manila from Miri. We spent 6 days 5 nights there but in reality, we just have the luxury to explore Manila for four days since our departure flight arrived Manila at dusk and we have to leave for Miri as early as 11 am.

Rizal Monument, Luneta National Park, Manila
Our first impression upon arriving at Manila is it is almost like Las Vegas as the hotels near to the airport were all luxuries; on top of the Spanish American English accents spoken by its citizens. I was lucky that day since my Philippines colleague was also boarded the same flight so his presence is quite helpful; at least to get a slightly lower rate for taxi to Makati.

It takes about 30 minutes from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to reach our hotel in Makati. The reason I selected that hotel on top of quite good reviews from Trip Advisor was there's one Pakistanis halal restaurant which takes us less than 10 minutes walk from the hotel. Mind you, searching for halal food in Manila is quite challenging on top of expensive.

In general, we only spent one day to visit historical places in Manila and the remaining three days were all utilized for shopping. I cannot deny the fact that Manila is a heaven for handbags shoppers. We spent our first day by visiting Intramuros. We searched for handbags extensively on second day at Greenhills Shopping Centre, Tutuban Centre and Chinatown on third day and a day before we returned to Miri, we spent our time at Mall of Asia, one of the biggest shopping centre in South East Asia.

The Mall of Asia Amusement Park

The Eye, Mall of Asia, Pasai City

Although it is quite challenging to find halal food in Manila, a good thing is in every mall, there'll be at least one halal food cafe. But of course, whenever the supply is less than the demand, the price is somehow not worthy for that kind of taste. But back to our initial intention, we are traveling to experience the various cultures and environments, not just to fill our empty stomach.

Oh, our return flight from Miri to Manila only cost us 86 MYR per person. So this is the main reason I traveled to Manila although this city is not in my checklists. After all, it is the experiences and life lessons that matter while we live as Allah's slave in this temporary world.

Have a nice day :)


P/s: This post is drafted while I am heading for Kuching from Miri via MH 643.

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Letter to Baby Boomers

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

Dear Baby Boomers,

I hope this letter won't make you feel offended. This is just an open letter from one of the Gen Ys who've found that dealing with some of your gens are troublesome and making things harder.

We understand that security is your main priority in whatever means. We know that you've undergo many hard things in life and as much as possible you try not to let us fall into that traps. We do value your many years of experience in doing things.

Tusan Cliff, Miri-Bintulu Road
As time goes by, things will slowly change. Something that you've seen as thread before could be an opportunity nowadays. Something that you feel unsafe during your old days could be manageable risks today. The methods that you may think and proved effective few years back may no longer works for us at this moment.

We Gen Ys growing up in a transformation era whereby many new technologies emerge and hence we could know many things just via a simple click at the end of our fingers. Please do not misinterpret as we are still believe in your real experience and capability but we just want to make things as simple as it can be. We don't like to debate on things that face many obstacles just because of bureaucracy. We just want things to be get done as fast as it could be!

We admit that we don't like to have frequent meeting and discussion as we believe there are many newly invented technologies that should be able to shorten the meeting or discussion duration. We don't prefer some of your gens who love to beat around the bush. We are okay to accept negative respond or in a simple word, it is NO, CANNOT, DISAGREE and so on. Just tell us why and we're okay!

We Gen Ys just don't understand why we keep a lengthy procedure when it was proven ineffective. We Gen Ys can't accept why there is Don'ts but when we ask on its significance, your gens can't even give even a simple explanation. We Gen Ys can't even think of why we need to follow your rules when it even make people to become more retarded!

We Gen Ys basically just want you to be able to answer on our WHYs and not just simply because we have to follow the elders. It is so simple right?

One of the Gen Ys

Have a nice day :)


Silent Treatment

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

Sometimes, we speak the loudest in silence. It is either we choose to remain silent because we believe that nobody care to listen or we just to tired to tell them the same thing for almost everyday.
But there is some cases whereby we must keep ourselves silent just because the consequences of telling the truth is too bad to be experienced. But after all, telling the truth is a must for everyone who uphold integrity in their life, not necessarily for Muslims only.
What is so magic about silence is it can improve the situation as time goes by. I am not saying that it will be happened for every situation, but most of the situations can get better if we choose to be silent; on top of not hurting anybody using the harsh words and cynical/ sarcastic statements.
Freemantle, Perth (Winter 2014)
Sometimes, being too vocal can exposed our own weaknesses. As much as we do not want others to have bad impression about us, we also have to act accordingly in order to ensure our weaknesses that can be other's weapon in the event of they want to bring us down are being well-managed as well. Being careful by remaining silent can be a very good precaution in this kind of situation.
After all, we should not hide the truth that need us to speak out in case it is extremely needed especially for the benefits of ummah. The truth that sounds bitter is always better than a sweet lie.
Beating around the bush is another thing; and if we want to gain other's trust on us, always learn on ways to keep our points and views sharp and objective. By being straight to the point, we can save our time, avoid speculations, and free our heart from any negative feeling as there is no more thing to be hide; if it is compulsory for us to reveal the real hurt truth.
Have a nice day :)

Grow Up

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,
In order to survive, we must try our best to grow up. Growing up not necessarily portrayed by increment in number of age only. It can be in term of becoming more stable in our financial, more calm in any situation, have stronger sense of human, better emotion control and know better when and how to respond.

My about to grow water spinach as of 0700 hours 27th November 2015.

Sometimes, it is only in the situation whereby being strong is the only option that we have that we can grow up well. That is why in Islam, we must have a strong faith that everything happens for reasons. It is just sooner or later that Allah will reveals the hikmah to us.
This morning, after doing some housework, I pay a visit to my small nursery to see the current progress of my mustard and water spinach growth. Alhamdulillah, they are growing well! Last time, when I planted them inside used tyres, they grow well but since it is quite often I forgot to water them, on top of hot and dry climate during that time, the leaves turn yellow. It ends up that I only can eat only few of it, but it is enough for one time cook.
Looking back on the things I've done, it is somehow true that only in desperate situation that we can really unleash our real potential. The only thing that we must always keep in our heart and mind is strong believe and faith that Allah will never leave us, but human will; although the closest person to our heart including our own parents.
Always spare our times for Him, and He will never leave us alone in any situation. A strong connection with the Most Powerful is indeed required in order for us to be a grown up lady or gentleman.
Have a nice day :)

Trip to Krabi (Overview)

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,
27 November 2013 was marked as my first oversea trip at the age of 24 years and 10 days old. It was never been planned. When I underwent my one year attachment at Kuala Terengganu, my sister suddenly asked if I am OK to follow her to Krabi since returns ticket for two just cost about 375 MYR at that moment. In addition, she offered to pay using her money first and I will pay her later.
Sometimes, unplanned things are better than the planned one. Knowing the fact that it will be our very first oversea trip, we searched extensively on everything there. Plus, we will be heading to Phuket as well for one night before spending the remaining 5 days out of 7 days in Krabi itself.
School in Phuket
We were excited when we saw this at the first time and suddenly our taxi driver told us:
"Why are you so excited? They are doing demonstration."
I made one major mistake. I booked for 4 different hotels during our stay in Krabi and it really make us feel like a total nomads. It made me adore those Bedouins who were used to live in nomads during ancient years considering all the stuffs that have to be brought together during transfer from one place to another.
We ate this pancake for almost every night. There are many similar stalls along the road in Ao Nang.
After all, I cannot be hard to myself as it was my first time experience. The trip runs well with just one scam issue: and it happened during our last day and we almost missed our flight back to Malaysia. We have paid in full a taxi that supposedly sent us to Krabi International Airport but the taxi never come to fetch us as per promised. I remember the liar lady name until today: her name is Apple.
One of the sceneries during our four islands hoping. Subhanallah :)
Luckily my sister's friend got extra Thai Baht that morning, so we just paid him in MYR upon returned to Malaysia as we only left with few Thai Baht on that very last day.
My very first international trip have opened my eyes that there's a lot of kind people in this world and I shall make more efforts to meet more of them, explore the world and experience different culture by myself.
Our very first snorkeling experience.
I shall thanks my sister for the trip as it has broadened my horizon on top of strengthening my belief that this world consists of more good people and only few bad people.
Have a nice day :)