Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Merit Making @ Wat Chetawan Thai Buddhist Temple

It has been 8 months since my beloved mother has left this world. 
I am always grateful for the good life, education and teachings 
she had given me. Now everything is like a dream to me.
Life is just an illusion. Was it real?
I have been the only sibling who has been arranging with
the Thai Temple's monks to conduct special prayers for
my mother from time to time. My other siblings have nicknamed
me as CTO (Chief Temple Officer) because of my better
understanding and knowledge in religious matters.
I am the youngest but I am louder than them so they
have to obey my beliefs for their own good.

1. The grand entrance to the Thai Temple @ Wat Chetawan - Jalan Gasing
Petaling Jaya which is near to University Hospital and University Malaya.

 2. They have impressive steps of Naga guarding the entrance to the Main Temple Hall.

3. Many devotees come to pray at this temple daily. It would be full on every weekend with people coming to make merits for themselves and their families. Some brought their new cars there for the monks to bless for better safety and smooth journeys.

4. There is a shrine for the 4 Faced Buddha which is similar to the one 
in Bangkok's Erawan Shrine which suffered a bomb blast recently.

5. There is a bell tower at the side.

6. This morning was the 2nd time I hired a Thai Chef from Bangkok 
to cook special delicious Thai Food as our offerings to the Thai Monks
as part of the rituals of merit making for my late mother.

7. Anyone can go there and ask the Thai Chef to cook for the monks.
He runs a small Thai Food Canteen behind the temple daily.
Everyday the visitors to the temple would have their meals there
where the prices are very reasonable.

8. I have been going there so frequently since my mother's passing 
and have become friends with all the monks. One Thai monk asked me
to teach them proper conversation English and I could not refuse
after much thoughts. We have regular night classes there beneath the
main temple hall (see the small windows below) 

9. It has been challenging for me to teach them English
using the Thai language as translation and guide. I always
had to be careful at all times and remind myself to be respectful
with strict manners & rightful speech!
I always had to slap my face when I wanted to
gossip nonsense.

Please continue to conduct prayers and merit making
for all your loved ones who have departed.


Monday, October 5, 2015

The Slums Of Manila

I have posted all the lovely, trendy and affluent scenes of Makati, besides several touristy & historical areas. Every country has got their good and bad sides like a coin. Somehow the slums in Manila is well known due to its huge area size and piles of garbage that piled up several storeys high. It has been named as "Smokey Mountain" because it is so high with garbage and there were daily gas explosions from the bio-organic stench that triggered fire. It was smoky all over in the past.

1. My jaws dropped in disbelief from the plane, to see the huge areas of squatter homes
around Metropolitan Manila. The tall buildings are located inside the Makati City.
My wifey snapped all the photos below for me.

 2. Our tour guide driver drove us far away from Makati to visit 
the Smokey Mountains area. It was like miles of makeshift houses 
lining up the highway near the port harbor area.

 3. Everyone has to work hard to search through all the daily garbage waste
from all over Manila to look for recyclable items.

 4. Their living conditions are in a sad and unhealthy state but they
have no choice. Each tiny makeshift 'homes' are made from thick card boxes,
PVC materials and waste woods. 
This could shelter a family of 10 persons!!!

5. My heart was weakened and didn't post the photos of myself
taken in front of these slums. I know I would look bad.
The young teens live, work & play at the same spot.

 6, This is the famous "Smokey Mountain" which has been overgrown
with weeds and grass while the garbage still remains beneath.

 7. The government could do nothing but moved the daily 
garbage disposal to another area now.
That's like sweeping the problems under the carpets!

8. It was heart warming to see the kids playing happily
by just jumping like frogs without toys or sports.
Happiness is all around them. Why do we complain
so much with our life at home? 

9. Come rain or shine, that's 4 houses and could easily 
sleep over 30 people at night. They have no bathrooms, water pipe
or privacy. Their average lifespan would be 40-45 years.
Everyday someone dies and many babies are born.

10. It woke me up to see the tests of daily survival here.
The kids would salvage anything of use & value from the
street dumps and bring them home. 

11. All their loots being tied up awaiting for daily pick up
by the trucks in exchange for tokens to fill their stomachs.
They do not go to school and that's life to them.

12. The driver did not allow me to walk inside the slums, so
I borrowed this photo to show how they salvage usable items from 
the filthy monsoon drains.


 13. The actual Smokey Mountain.

The Day My World Ended

At sunrise of 3rd August, my wife came to fetch me in her brand new car. She sped all the way through the morning traffic to Shah Alam. It w...