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Murphy Archives - juesatta (CJ Photography)

Family outing with the Murphy’s

By | Family portrait, Photography | No Comments
family portrait in Klebang Beach Melaka, Malaysia

Meet the Murphy’s

Promised to his children earlier, Murphy decided to bring his wife Ann and children Darren and Valerie to the beach for kite flying after Chinese New Year. He is a busy man with his career, however always does he reserve quality time for the family.

Murphy and I were finding difficulty in scheduling a family shoot which he always wished for. After knowing his plan for kite flying at Klebang Beach on a beautiful evening, I told him I would tag along to have fun with his children, and also to do a casual family shooting with them.

The evening was great for kite flying with warm breeze. It was challenging to get the kite going for the first time, however the kids were surely having lots of fun. We had the portrait done while Murphy and family was having their own sweet time and I just love capturing the cute children and spontaneous joyful moments.

Thank you Murphy and family for inviting me to your outing and allowing me to capture your lovely time!

Sharing some of the shots taken during the outing. More photos available on Facebook juesatta.

May all bEE happy 🙂

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oil refinery in Melaka

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kite flying family portrait in Klebang Beach Melaka, Malaysia

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May.June 2011

By | Life Journal, Photography | No Comments
"i'm waiting for dad"

"i'm waiting for dad"

It has come to JunEE. Another busy period where time is so retrained to update the website.

First we would like to express our deepest condolence to the loss of a great father, Mr Chan in the month of Fathers Day. Dear Jamie and Janic, it’s with profound sadness to hear that your father passed away. May your memories be your comfort.

When Murphy and I attended the wake of deceased Mr Chan, we had a good chat together with Jamie and Janic’s husband, Zhi-Wei. Of course the three of them have their own family now with children. So our conversation was mainly about family relationships.

They shared their experiences of being a husband and a father, on how to bring comfort to the ones they love. We  also discussed on family issues in society such as the effect on moral development of children with single-parent family.

I really appreciate that they shared the challenges at times and satisfaction of being a father, and ways to build and maintain good relationship with their spouse. They showed the key of happinEEss: truth, honesty, understanding, and devotion.

Thanks to the three fathers for sharing their valuable experiences. June, happy Fathers Day!

May all beings be happy. Sharing some shots taken in Melaka:

man of the house

man of the house

ritual

ritual

*

*

no trespassing

no trespassing

masked

masked

vocal

vocal

flying safe

flying safe

love (Cindy and Bear)

love (Cindy and Bear)

"i'll grow up"

"i'll grow up"

Ghost Festival: procession at the cemetery

By | Beautiful Melaka, Photography | 4 Comments
from left: Kok-Liang and Wee-Peng with their shirt stamped with the names of Da Er Ye Bo (大二爷伯), blessed and waiting for the procession to begin

from left: Kok-Liang and Wee-Peng with their shirt stamped with the names of Da Er Ye Bo (大二爷伯), blessed and waiting for the procession to begin

The seventh lunar month is regarded as the ‘ghost month’ (鬼月), which is the traditional Chinese festival celebrated by the Chinese in many countries during the 30 days. In this month, the gates of the nether world are opened up and ghosts are free to roam the earth where they seek food and entertainment. Chinese would perform rituals and prayers to their deceased relatives, offer food and drink and burn hell bank notes and other forms of joss paper. Mass rituals and prayers are also held in temples or Chinese neighborhood and in some case, Chinese opera, dramas, and even burlesque shows are performed to the deceased ones as an act of ‘merry-making’.

Every year fall on the 13th of the ghost month, Chinese temple – Di Fang Fu (地方府) located at the Jelotong cemetery in Batu Berendam, Melaka, holds a grand celebration. It is the temple where Chinese worships to the Deities “Da Er Ye Bo” (大二爷伯) and “San Ye Bo” (三爷伯), who are the Deities from the nether world. There will be a 1.5 km procession around the Jelotong cemetery with devotees carrying a black and a white palanquin, ferrying Da Er Ye Bo. It is believed that ones who participate in the procession would be blessed by the Deities and be in good fortune.

Chinese lantern on the main building with the name of Di Fang Fu temple and the names of the three Deities

Chinese lantern on the main building with the name of Di Fang Fu temple and the names of the three Deities

The late night on the 13th of the seventh lunar month (22th of July this year), Wee-Peng and I together with Kok-Liang and his younger brother visited to the Chinese temple, Di Fang Fu (地方府) located at the Jelotong cemetery in Batu Berendam, Melaka. Kok-Liang and Wee-Peng had been taking part in the procession for years and brought me there for the first time. According to Kok-Liang, the temple was established in the 80s and first housed in a shed-like structure. Years ago, it was then moved to a bigger building, a shorter distance away in the same area. Today, the temple stands a majestically view with all wall bricks and granite, mural design in and around the whole temple premises. It is a beautifully constructed new place of worship amidst a greenery landscape overlooking thousands of Chinese graves on the hillside of Jelotong.

The temple was already crowded with devotees when we arrived. Not long after that, we met Murphy and Desmond who being the volunteers in helping the event. They had been taking part in this celebration for years and this would be the first time to help as volunteers. We would first have to pay respect to the Deities by offering joss-sticks before we queued up to receive blessing from the medium of Da Ye Bo (大爷伯). The line was long and we waited for about an hour to receive blessing which said to be a must in order to walk across the cemetery.

the medium of Da Ye Bo (with tall hat) giving blessing to the kneed devotees

the medium of Da Ye Bo (with tall hat) giving blessing to the kneed devotees

Years ago, the mediums of Da Er Ye Bo (Da regards as elder where Er regards second, and Ye Bo means lord), the two Deities would give blessing to the devotees for the procession. This year however, Da Ye Bo was the only one who gave blessing. Before I continue on the event, let me share one of legends of Da Er Ye Bo which I found and translated from Chinese:

A very long time ago, in the southern province of China, there lived two inseperable friends by the name of Xie Bi-An (谢必安) and Fan Wu-Jiu (范无救), who then became sworn brothers. They had great mastery of martial arts and worked as the loyal magistrate constables (policemen nowadays), serving warrents and hauling in criminals for judgement, but never harming honest folks.

medium of Da Ye Bo (Xie Bi-An) giving blessing and cleansing to the devotees. The words '一见大吉' (one glimpse, great felicity) can be seen on his hat

medium of Da Ye Bo (Xie Bi-An) giving blessing and cleansing to the devotees. The words '一见大吉' (one glimpse, great felicity) can be seen on his hat

Once during a prisoner transfer, they lost the prisoner. So they decided to split up to search for the prisoner and Xie told Fan to meet up under the South Platform Bridge. Soon after they went seperately, they were caught in a torrential rain, and great curtains of water beat down upon them.

Fan arrived at the bridge first and waited for Xie. The water level rose higher and higher. Fan had given his word that he would wait for Xie therefore he remained where he was. Eventually Fan was swept by a great of water and drowned. Later when Xie arrived at the bridge and found Fan’s dead body, he was overcome with gried, and in remorse he hanged himself to death from the tree where Fan’s body was found.

The extraordinary affection and loyalty that Fan had for Xie (so much that he was drowned rather than leaving the place where he had promised to wait), and that Xie had for Fan (so much that he hanged himself rather than go on living without his sworn brother), much moved the King of Nether World, who had them appointed as his assistants, where they continue to work together to protect the people from bandits and other bad elements.

Today, Xie Bi-An is known as Da Ye Bo, who is recognized by his chalky white skin and his long tongue, and by his tall stature, made taller yet by a high white hat bearing the words, “one glimpse, great felicity” (一见大吉), where Fan Wu-Jiu is known as Er Ye Bo and is easily recognized by his short stature and dark red or black skin and by the little plaque he carries reading “Good and Evil Clearly Differentiated” (善恶分明).

The medium who possessed by Da Ye Bo was giving blessing and cleansing to the devotees. It was our turn after a long queue. We kneed with our back facing the medium while he gave us blessing. While waiting for the rest of the devotees to receive blessing, I met Kenn-Wai. What a coincident! I was so happy to see him that I could learn something from him while Kenn-Wai also showed a happy smile after seeing me with my camera. He did not carry his camera to the procession and felt deeply regretted. We then started to have discussion of taking shots in low light condition and put our experience into action.

It was about 2:00 a.m. in the morning when thousands of devotees had received blessing from the medium, Da Ye Bo. The statues of Da Ye Bo and Er Ye Bo were then placed on the the two palanquins respectively, one was in black and the other was in white. Before the procession began, strict instruction was given that everyone was advised not to talk nor look back when walking across the cemetery. It was somehow to show respect to the spirits of the cemetery. Everyone would then have to walk with bare foot and holding the lighted joss-sticks, following the medium of Da Ye Bo and the two palanquins on the lead.

joss sticks

joss sticks

The procession began with the cheering of the devotees and fireworks setting off, heading towards the cemetery not far away from the temple. The noise was then reduced to minimum soon after we started. It was dark with such minimal light in the sky from the moon and everyone could barely see the path. It was a pain to walk in the dark and on the stony ground of the cemetery. Although it was quiet during the procession, I could hear people complaining about the pain of their feet. Of course there was a truck following the march to pick up those who could not continue the walk.

The 1.5 km path leads back to the temple, making a big turn across the cemetery hill. My friends and I were at the back of the march and we arrived at the temple after 30-45 minutes walk later than many people. Before we arrived we could hear people started cheering and fireworks were set off again for the celebration to the completion of the procession. Though I could not make it in time to witness, Kenn-Wai later described to me how the medium of Da Er Bo was thanked and ‘sent’ back to the other world after finishing the procession. Stacks of joss papers and papier-mâché items were then burnt as thanksgiving to the Deities. The celebration ended in a real peaceful and joyful environment.

joss papers and papier-mâché items were burnt as an offering to the Deities

joss papers and papier-mâché items were burnt as an offering to the Deities

I really enjoyed to witness and would like to thank Kok-Liang and Wee-Peng for bringing me to participate in this grand celebration. And thanks to Kenn-Wai for sharing his shots and experience of photography with me. We had fun snapping the event together. May all beings be happy.

Shots Kenn-Wai and I took:

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Teochew porridge, Luo Han Kuo, durian

By | Beautiful Melaka, Photography | 5 Comments
From right: Wee-Peng, Murphy and Ann at the durian stall

From right: Wee-Peng, Murphy and Ann at the durian stall

It was the Sunday of the week before, when Victor Chan’s partner, Sook-Kwan came to Melaka to pay Victor’s family a visit. After picking her up from the bus station, we went for a breakfast in Malim Jaya. Even though I had only met Soon-Kwan during Victor’s funeral, we became good friends since then. Time and tears really helped comfort us the loss of a good friend, we but cherished his memory, the memory which became a treasure to all of us who know Victor.

After a wonderful breakfast with Sook-Kwan and sending her to Victor’s house, Murphy and his partner, Ann, Wee-Peng and I met up for brunch. Wee-Peng suggested to go for something he did not have for some time, which then came to his mind, Teochew porridge. The four of us just love Teochew porridge and our favorite eating place for it would be the Teochew porridge restaurant in Kampung Jawa however it is close on every Sunday. We had to go for the second option which was the other Teochew porridge restaurant in Bukit Cina.

Teochew porridge is a full meal made up of many cooked side-dishes such as pickled lettuce, salted duck egg, salt fish, braised tofu and many more, served with a Teochew style rice porridge. We loved it not because the dishes are strong in flavours, also as the dishes served in small amount, we could pick many different delectable dishes to go with the porridge. Though I was full after meal with Sook-Kwan, I could not resist having some of it.

After brunch, Murphy gave us the suggestion of going to Bunga Raya for Luo Han Kuo dessert. It isn’t far from Bukit Cina, 3 minutes drive from Teochew porridge restaurant. It is a pushcart at the street adjacent to Bunga Raya Road, selling Luo Han Kuo for decades and well-known among the locals. I had it so much and loving it, since I was brought up in Bunga Raya.

Luo Han Kuo (or Luo Han Guo for pronunciation in Chinese) refers to Siraitia grosvenori, a sweet fruit used as sugar substitute and medicinal herb for treating cough and sore throat. The fruit is usually used by the Chinese in making dessert served with ice, seeing that it is so refreshing for us who live in this extreme weather of Malaysia. And Murphy’s craving could explain its taste as he had 3 bowls of the Luo Han Kuo dessert in few minutes.

While wandering where to go next by sitting at the old street of Bunga Raya, Murphy again proposed to go for durian to help in our digestion, although we knew it was irrelevant. Our stomach was filled with watery porridge and dessert. However, speaking of durian none of us would say no. We then traveled to Klebang to look for durian stalls.

During the durian season every year, there are many fruit stalls offer durian in Melaka. And the long stretch of road along the Klebang beach is one of these places to look for durian. There is no telling of which sells better durian, but the word of mouth. We gambled our luck on this durian stall at the roadside, which then turned out to be dissatisfaction of the durian’s quality at the price the stall offered.

We are surely looking for an alternative place for durian soon. May all beings be happy. Share some shots I took:

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Fish touching in Segenting, Batu Pahat

By | My journey, Photography | 12 Comments
Murphy was touching a gold Japanese Koi

Murphy was touching a golden Japanese Koi

I always heard about ‘Batu, a nice place to go’. Batu is the informal name for the place Batu Pahat (means ‘chiseled rock’ in Malay, 峇株巴辖 in Chinese), which is a district in the state of Johor.

Besides, I heard from my friend, Murphy of a temple in Segenting (石文丁), which is in the west zone of Batu Pahat, and the temple (崇龙宫大伯公庙) is well-known of fish-touching. There are a few arapaima fresh water fishes in the ponds of the temple. There are rumors saying that, touching of these arapaima fishes would bring good luck to the person.

Last week, I told Murphy that I wanted to go to Batu Pahat for a look, and the temple would be a must to visit too. Murphy made a generous offer of driving me there together with Desmond and Dylan. So the next day we departed to Batu Pahat. It took us about 90 minutes drive from Melaka.

Initially we wanted to go to the town of Batu Pahat and hang out there, but we could not make it as time was so limited. We departed late and we didn’t plan to stay overnight, so we gave our priority to the temple in Segenting. On our way to the fish touching temple, we saw many other Chinese Taoism temples in our 15 minutes car ride from the town.

Finally we arrived at the temple in a fishing village of Segenting. It was drizzling when we reached there, however the scenery was so beautiful. The place itself is a fishing village and it is also a tourism village for people who need a real retreat from the busy city life. We then headed to the famous temple by the beach.

The main god of the temple is Da Bo Gong (大伯公, which is “Grand Uncle” in Chinese). There are also Ma Zu (妈祖, the goddess of the sea), Hai Long Wang (海龙王, the dragon king of the sea) and others to protect and bless the villagers and the fishermen. And we did see the arapaima fishes in the pond of the temple. They were huge and would not bite. Some of the arapaima fishes approached us as soon as we put hands into the water. The fishes swam passed us and letting us to touch them. There were also gentle Japanese Koi fishes in one of the ponds.  

In addition, we could see the lover bridge (情人桥) from the temple. It is the jetty for the fishing boats and also a romantic spot for dating couples. Young couples regardless local or from outstation always take a slow walk on the bridge and enjoy the warm breeze and romantic sunset. The villagers believe that, after a guy and a girl take a walk on the bridge, they would fall in love and become couples.

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拜天宫 – 福建人的新年 (Bai Tian Gong celebration – the Hokkiens’ New Year)

By | Juesatta art, Photography | 3 Comments

“传说明朝时一年的农历新年,倭寇在福建沿海一带,杀人放火,抢夺财物,乡民扶老携幼逃命。 乡民在黑夜中逃到一处偏僻郊野时,眼见倭寇就要追上,大家感到万分惊恐,突然前面出现一大片蔗林,乡民便逃入蔗林躲避,避过倭寇,逃过鬼门关。这天正是大年初九,逃出生天的乡民都认为这是天公救命,于是每年的大年初九凌晨便祭拜天公,以谢救命之恩。而拜甘蔗也具有不忘蔗林藏身救命之恩。”

“另一传说是,古时有一名孟将军,他到某个地方,只要喝了当地的水,就会讲当地的话,他就以这门本事辨别汉人。 可是他到了福建,手下竟然拿了外省的水给他喝,结果他一直不懂讲福建话。他便以为福建人不是汉人,就下令大开杀戒,福建人枉死无数。到了大年初九那天,从外省运来的水喝光了,孟将军才喝到福建的水,会讲起福建话,这时他才知道杀错人,马上下令封刀。而福建人认为这是天公所赐,让他们逃过大劫,便在初九凌晨拜天公谢恩。”

前两天是农历正月初八,也福建人的新年。我、Wee-Peng和Jason到访了Jason的两个伯母的家和Murphy的家去见识福建人的拜天公。同时我们也见识到了峇峇福建人为拜天公准备功夫的细腻。

Two days ago (Sunday midnight) was the 8th day of the first month of lunar calendar. On the 9th day, it would be the celebration known to the Hokkiens as ‘Bai Tian Gong’, which literally means ‘praying the Heaven God’.

During a Chinese New year of the Ming Dynasty, there was a bandit raid in the province of Hokkien. These intruders however robbed and burned down villages, attacked and killed the villagers. The people of the villages were in fear and escaped from their burnt villages during the night.

Some of the villagers then hid themselves among the sugarcane fields. Needless to say, those villagers prayed to Heaven God (Tian Gong)  for salvation during their hideout. The pursuing intruders spent many days trying to locate and hunt them but to no avail. On the ninth day of that Chinese New Year, they finally gave up and returned to their region.

The Hokkiens then happily emerged from the sugar cane fields, and praising the blessings of the celestial deities and owing gratitude to the sugarcane plants for saving them from destruction. Thus, in all Hokkien celebrations, the sugarcane plant is given prominence.

Realizing that it was also the 9th Day of the Chinese New Year and coincidentally the birthday of Heaven God, they decided to make votive offerings and prayers to the Jade Emperor for their salvation. There are many version of the Hokkiens’ Bai Tian Gong stories. Whichever it is, the hokkiens believe that our life and prosperity are granted by the Heaven God.

On the eve of the 9th day, a pair of sugarcane plants are used by the Hokkiens usually placed one on each side of the offering table or  the front door of the house. The pair of the sugarcane symbolises unity, cooperation and strength. The sugarcane itself is a symbol of harmony and a token which can bring good and ‘sweet’ results. The very straightness of the sugarcane stem also ensures that the Hokkiens can become a clan of honest and sincere people.

Three family houses I visited together with Jason and Wee-Peng, two of my best friends on the eve of Bai Tian Gong festival. The first two houses we visited were the family of Jason’s aunties, and the last house we went was my best friend, Murphy’s house. Jason comes from a Baba-and-Nyonya family so the prayers of Tian Gong for them is a grant event of the year. The celebration they held for the past few years I visisted were so unique and special. Each of the table setup and the offerings, the preparation were carefully done and also involved a lot of manpower. 

Share the photos I have taken:

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