Archive for May, 2009

the manta experience

I have heard so much about them. The Manta Rays. I’ve even heard of people who saw them on their first dive! This time round, it’s another encounter by chance. I never expect to see a manta ray in Bali, until someone told me that just days before I left. So I changed my itinerary and made a trip to Nusa Penida. The dive operator said they do not guarantee a trip to manta point unless they get more than 2 divers going. I was alone, therefore it was abit of a gamble. The night before, the dive guide said, “you’ll be going to manta point tomorrow”. I was thrilled!

The waters between Bali and Nusa Penida was really choppy and I had a hard time trying to keep the dinner from the day before within the walls of my stomach. After a horrible hour of boat ride + waiting, we finally reached the dive site Manta Point. After a short briefing, we were all in the water and going down about 25m. From there, we headed towards the rock where the mantas usually hang out (the cleaning station). 5 mins into the dive, I heard clanking of tanks and my buddy started pointing out to me something far (but big) out there. Visibility was less than ideal (probably 10m max). I saw a faint trace of a huge animal with wings flapping in a distance. Then more commotion among the divers, people pointing at different directions. I saw, one, two, three of them… and then they disappeared as soon they appeared. I regain my composure and remembered to breathe again. Things were happening a little too quickly.

Our diveguide then got us to focus and headed for the cleaning station. As we approached, we were joined with a few other group of divers. All in all, I’ll say it’s probably between 25-30 divers. I admit I was a little disappointed to see so many of them. But when I looked up, I nearly spat my regulator out. There were two manta rays right in front of my eyes, circling the rocks, swaying to the rhythm of the strong underwater surges and flirting with the divers. It was such a surreal feeling. Then I started shooting, alternating between stills and video. At one point in time, one of them came right at me and swam right over my head. That moment is what I call an underwater eclipse.

We stayed down for about an 45minutes until someone ran out of air. Although I was really thrilled by the experience, the choppy waters made me real sick and I started puking soon after. Still, one of the most beautiful underwater experiences I’ve had. Hopefully, the first of many to come.


The graceful manta rays at Manta Point (Nusa Penida, Bali)

I am back from the land of happy people

And to start off, I’ll show you what made me really happy during the trip. I’ve seen them on TV documentaries and pictures friends show me after their dive trips, but nothing beats swimming in the same waters as these magnificent animals. Sure, I made fish food twice and had recurring headaches over the past few days, but pain is temporary, the experience last forever. I’ll post more in the coming days. Gotta get down to business first:D



Out of office (20th – 28th May 2009)

I will be out of town from 20th – 28th May 2009. For enquiries, please drop me an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

… I can hear the oceans calling:D

our pledge

This is pretty random. Random things go through my tiny brain every now and then.


The Singapore Pledge

We, the citizens of Singapore
Pledge ourselves as one united people
Regardless of race, language or religion
To build a democratic society
Based on justice and equality
So as to achieve happiness, prosperity & progress for our nation


We used to recite this every day in school. I did it for a good 10 years. Ok, I admit, at (many) times I just lip sync. I have no idea how it’s being taught in school now. During my time in school, no one explained to us what the pledge means (not that I’ll be interested anyway). Sometimes, just sometimes, we tend to forget what we recited for 10 over years.

I remember they made this part of the National Day songs… maybe they should make a techno version this year.

Who wants to be a millionaire?

The season is revving up and I’m beginning to fill up the gaps of free time with work and my never ending list of hobbies/vices. I’ll be heading for Bali this Wednesday for a “retreat”. First, I’ll head for diving on my own for 5 days before joining the rest of the guys to laze around the island. And being the frequent last minute traveler (at least for personal trips), I have also conveniently left the preparation to the last minute. I have not booked any hotels, dive trips, etc YET. While checking the prices online, I made some currency conversions because most prices are quoted either in Ruppiah, USD or EU.

It was then I realized, I’m now a multi-millionaire… no no, not in ruppiah… in USD:D

Stephen and Melissa

Every wedding is typically unique. Hmmm… Well, at least for me, I always experience something different, even though the sequence might be pretty much the same for most. For Stephen and Melissa’s wedding, the tea ceremony at the bride’s place definitely is something to remember. On top of the regular tea, they had something extra. Two glasses of Louis XIII for each set of relatives. Even I got a small glass before I left for the day:D Now… I know how it taste like:) No wonder I see happy people all over. Happy water makes people happy:D

click play/pause icon to start slideshow

safe and sound

After I got home from the shoot today, I received an MSN message from my sister, telling me that they have reached Sydney. She said, Julius woke up and one of the first things he said was “Mummy, where ka-gu?”.

*opens web browser… type……* 有一点冲动…

understanding the beginings all over

The past two weeks has been the best I’ve had for a long time. My 1.5 year old nephew was in town for a short visit. Two weeks is awfully short when you are having a good time. As his grandparents put it, “by the time he settled down and got familiarized with things, it’s time to go back…”. I can sense the sadness when they say that. I felt exactly the same way too. I had to shoot today, so I can’t send them off to the airport. During the afternoon break, I went home to see him.

I have to admit that I have never felt that way about kids before. They used to be cute, adorable and highly intelligent. But I have never attempted to communicate with them, besides teaching them to say stupid things like, “be a man… do the right thing” etc. There’s a reason why my friends keep their children away from me after they turn two:P Just before I left for the dinner, he woke up from his nap, but I can tell he didn’t have enough. He was getting a little cranky and refused to let me carry him. So I settled to just patting his head and it was time to go. Then all of a sudden, he stretched both hands towards me and called “ka gu” (that’s how he calls me… supposed to be ah gu (dialect for uncle)… but he can’t pronounce it properly yet). He clinged on to me tightly and I carried him for awhile. It was such a wonderful moment. I know I’m going to miss him alot.

Over the past two weeks, I witness the joy he brought to the family. My mum never felt happier. When I showed some pictures I took of Julius to my dad, he went “yay”, imitating how Julius would’ve done. I think they’d miss him alot more than I do.

On my way back from the wedding, I caught myself smiling at the memories from the past 2 weeks. I begin to understand how a parent feel about their children. And how my parents felt about us. It’s been an amazing experience and an insight to what we used to be.

Alritie, just done with downloading images. Time to catch some sleep. I promise some new images next week.

To all mums out there, Happy Mother’s Day. Love you mum.