Monday, May 27, 2013

Putting Some Orange in Life, Literally & Figuratively

"Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions,
it is governed by our mental attitude." -- Dale Carnegie
In today's fast-paced living environment, every one of us is facing myriads of tough life's challenges such as demands from works, families, peers or friends. As a person with multiple roles in life, we are expected to do more than what seems we can do. We are required to fulfill duties and responsibilities beyond our available resources and even beyond our preferences.

More often than not, these demands create more pressures to our already stressful life. We either embrace or shun away from these demands. When we try to clinch too hard on these, we could end up sabotaging our own health and sometimes, even our relationships with other people. And when we try to avoid these additional stresses, we’re running away from changes, possibilities and opportunities that can help us grow further. If too often, we continue to resist change and always do the same thing over and over again, we will get bored, we will languish. It’s fine to welcome additional responsibilities and demands in life, as long as we can keep up in caring ourselves and others. It’s also ok to do things over and over again, especially if the method is a proven success, but we must welcome change and improvement. It is important to spice things up in our lives once in awhile to discover new things and find new successes. As some say, we need to put some orange in our lives. If I say “orange”, I mean, literally and figuratively.

"When life gives you lemons, make orange juice
and leave everyone wondering." - Anonymous
In color psychology, orange is the color of adventure, cheerfulness and inquisitiveness. It has a “freeing action upon the body and mind, relieving repressions”. So whenever life feels dragging, it’s time to get some orange to refresh, reenergize and relax.
Below are some of the “oranges” that can improve our lives in some way or another: 

Orange for Relationships
Happiness – not necessary smiling at all times or getting what we want, but rather its being contented with what we have and living with a thought and meaning
Kindness - practice random acts of compassion at any time, in anywhere to anyone.
Encouragement – praise others even for a small success and inspire to do better

Orange for Work
To order g3, please leave a message.
Creativity & Energy – inject new ideas to what we do; put some humor at work; play and celebrate good times
Optimism – never lose hope and keep positive.
Motivation – learn the “whys” of what we do to keep us going.

Orange for Health
Orange/Citrus – take powerful natural antioxidant which helps the body develop resistance against harmful body agents.
G3Juice – take Superfruit blend that contains so much good stuff to increase energy and enhance longevity; promotes health in muscles and joints protecting and strengthening vital tissues.
Last but not the least; try to wear orange from time to time. Based on color psychology, wearing orange can help to balance your emotions. Especially if you are in distress, it can lift up your spirit. If you are not a fan of bright or colorful dress, just try once and have some fun.
Power Up Day

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Relics of St. Paul's Church

St. Paul’s Church is one of the oldest Christian churches in Malacca. It was originally built in 1521 by a Portuguese captain, Duarte Coelho; however, it was transformed later into a burial place for the noble by the Dutch then as a powder magazine during the British occupation. The church is located majestically at Bukit St. Paul. It’s now part of the Malacca Museum Complex comprising the A Famosa ruins, the Stadthuys and other historical buildings.

It’s just a few minutes climb from the stairs right after the façade of Fort A Famosa. Although the church has lost its splendid ornament, it is still worth climbing the stairs to enjoy the bird’s eye view of the city and Straits of Malacca. It’s also a little bit breezy at the top of the hill as the church is surrounded with big old trees; however there are some vendors and hawkers selling souvenirs, toys, bottled water and among others which seemed to be a little distraction to the overall ambience of this historic place.

Inside the ruins, there are large granite tombstone belongs to some of the Dutch noblemen buried at this hill. There’s also one big hole in the Church barricade with steel bars which is the open grave that once contained the body of St. Francis Xavier before he was shipped to Goa, India, in 1553.  In front of the Church stands a marble statue of St Francis Xavier, known as the Apostle of the East because of his extensive missionary works in Asia.

Through times, the church was used for different purposes from place of worship to burial to power magazine. Today, it’s just a mere historical spot in Malacca where tourists, by standers and hawkers flock.

I may not be a Catholic believer, but it’s good to know that there are still some people visiting this place to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis Xavier. And I hope that this church will continue to stand as a reminder of the teachings of the Christian faith.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Finding the Lost Venice of the East (1)

We’ve been doing a “heritage walk through” since early April and over the weekend we went a little further from Singapore.  This time around, we explored the historical Malacca or Melaka. The city which is one of the smallest states of Malaysia is just about 2-3 hours non-stop driving from Singapore. Since we travelled by luxury coach which is impossible not to stop along the way, our journey took about 4 hours.

While on the road, we’ve learned the history of Malacca in a nutshell. "Melaka, popularly believed to have been named from the Melaka tree was founded in 1396. Before the 15th Century, Melaka was just an ordinary fishing village", the tour guide shared. The city is located on both sides of the Malacca River near its mouth into the Strait of Malacca. Its river played a vital role in the history. The guide also said that Melaka was “once dubbed the Venice of the East, where the traders of East and West met, its river was the beginning point of the "Sultanate of Melaka" empire, attracting traders from all corners of the world.” But as time went by, due to some reasons (nature, conflicts, rapid development or any others), the city lost its fame.
Hotel Equatorial Melaka
Today, Melaka regained its glory, not as a world's major trading port but as a tourist destination. Myriads of tourist from across the globe visit this city every year. The city is without a doubt rich in history, culture, heritage and tradition that it made to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site. As we approached to our hotel, we had a glimpse of the “old” and “new” Malacca. We saw both modern high-rise buildings and traditional style houses converted to commercial establishments. We checked in at Hotel Equatorial Melaka which is located in the heart of the city. We had a good experience at the hotel, checking in was very fast and requests were promptly attended. It was not my first time at the hotel; I’ve stayed there last year for a business trip. But during our weekend stay, I fully enjoyed the hotel amenities. The property is rather old compared to others hotels around the area. Nonetheless, it is nice and clean. Beds smell good and very comfy. It has nice selection of dining and cool outdoor swimming pool. The lobby is quite spacious as well. It’s just a short distance from the major places of interest in Melaka such as St Paul, Jonker St, Christ Church, Fort a Famosa and the river. Shopping malls are also close to the hotel. Having housed in a strategic hotel like this, we had many choices to do – shopping, sightseeing, swimming, dining or seeing a movie.

After our lunch at Papa John's Pizza, we refreshed a bit and decided to explore the “old” Melaka in a laid back manner – walking. Another option to experience the heritage trail in Melaka is by “trishaw” also known as rickshaw or pedicab. It is a tri-wheeled cycle decorated with colorful which can be hired in an hourly basis. In Melaka, trishaw owners even attached stereos on their cabs and play loud music while on the road.
Trishaw for hire
While we were heading towards our first stop, we got curious about an on-going event in an open field near the mall. There was a little crowd cheering, shouting and running. We decided to drop by and see what was going on. We learned after that it was the final day of the Malaysian National Paintball League 2013 which was held at Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall.
We continued our walking adventure and in just a few minute, we’ve reached the façade of the Fort A Famosa. The structure is quite similar to that of Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila. According to written accounts, “the hallmark was built by the Portuguese in 1511 as a fortress and sustained severe structural damage during the Dutch invasion in the early 17th century. The British East India Company had then set to destroy the said fort but timely intervention by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1808 saved what remains of Porta De Santiago or commonly known A Famosa Fort.”
Ruins of Fort A Famosa
To be continued... Our next stops include St Paul, Jonker St, Christ Church and the Melaka River...