Monthly archives: February 2020

The Story of “Bubuk”

Tabi basa and greetings friends and family,

On this beautiful Thursday, I want to share about my mini adventure to a place close to my work area, which is at Lutong. Sarawak, as all of you know, is a land full of its own stories and tales, where to cover all of the area in Sarawak is an equally challenging and exciting adventure on its own. However, today, inspired by the things that I have saw and experienced on my own, the topic of my story is about “bubuk” or its English name, shrimp.

Introduction to Bubuk

When I talk about “bubuk”, I am sure all of you know because this thing is quite famous and well-known throughout the region. Just like how Rantau Abang in Terengganu is famous for its turtles, Miri (and Bintulu) is famous for its bubuk. I keep on typing bubuk because it is the best word to describe it. The word shrimp doesn’t have an emotional touch because it reminds me to whale’s food.

Fresh WhiteBubuk

Bubuk’s scientific name is Acetes intermedius and Acetes indicus, where the name Acetes belongs to the group of small shrimp that has the length of around 1 to 4 cm. These little things are the main ingredient of “belacan” (shrimp paste). Bintulu’s Belacan, made from bubuk is highly sought after, and that on its own deserved another topic of discussion as it is quite a detailed and intricate process.

Thursday Bubuk Market Story

Bubuk market place at Miri is usually at the Pondok Area, at Jalan Lutong-Kuala Baram, which is only comes alive when bubuk season is around the corner. To know more about bubuk, I pay a visit to the place and noticed that there is a lot of people over there. Usually, there is much more, but today’s crowd is not too bad as well. There is always market for bubuk, and I can see a mix of peoples there – from Ibans, Kedayan, Orang Ulu to the local Malays. I think I am the only Bidayuh guy there. Anway, doesn’t matter – we’re all Sarawakians, so I used our favourite mother tongue, except when I am certain that the person I am talking to is an Iban. Then I will switch to “jaku Iban’.

When I was there, I noticed a group of photographer/videographer in a white van. Out of curiosity, when my inner photojournalist took control, I managed to spoke to one of them, who would like to be called Arif, from Raku and Roll group. I learned from Arif that they doing coverage about Miri Bubuk, which will be aired in Miri before Ramadhan, i.e. sometime around April this year. His buddy seems to be occupied, so I do not disturb him carrying out his job. Instead, I took few shots of him and the other bubuk-buyers gathering around the newly-arrived bubuk stock, which was just landed onshore. I am in for a good luck today.

Playing with cute “bubuk” cat while waiting for fisherman to arrive with fresh bubuk.
Here comes bubuk man.

After she was no longer busy, I approached her to know more about bubuk. She introduced herself as Sanisah. Kak Sanisah can’t recall when she first started doing bubuk business, and that means she has been doing this for a very long time already. Well, it is in the family. From her, I learned quite a lot about bubuk, which I will explain later.

Kak Sanisah

Miri Bubuk Market

Miri Bubuk Market concentrates around the shoreline areas, where Lutong is one of the most active, as it also attracts customers from Brunei, who is willing to cross border just to get a supply of fresh bubuk. Bubuk market at Pondok area, next to Sribima Maritime Traininc Centre (SMTC) is only alive when it is bubuk season. There is no exact date when bubuk season is, but according to Kak Sanisah, it is after Chinese New Year and ends around a month later, when the sea picks up and winds are getting stronger. Even now, as we speak, every day Mirians can sense that the wind is getting stronger, which signals the end-days of Miri bubuk season.

I also learned from there that there are two types of bubuk, red and white bubuk. The red bubuk is no longer available at Miri shoreline recently, but there are reports on red bubuk sightings at Bintulu. To make it clear, I sketched what I heard in the form of pictures for ease of understanding. Red bubuk is better, but it is also more difficult to catch and only available at the earlier part of bubuk season. As the bubuk season draws closer to the end, white bubuk is easier to find and it is cheaper, around RM 7~8 per kg, where red bubuk costs about RM8~9 per kg. However, I heard that bubuk price reaches about RM30 per kg. That is one of a craziest price that I have heard.  

Bubuk Travel Path According to Kak Sanisah

Equipment

To start with bubuk, one needs to have their own “bubuk boat’, which costs around RM7~8k. In the past, bubuk fisherman uses wood to fabricate their own boats. However, as time goes by, cheaper and safer alternative material, fibre are widely used because it is safer and does not sink straightaway whenever bubuk boat hits the seabed or rock as it has emergency floatation mechanism in the middle of the boat. That boat is usually maned by 3-4 person, though using 2 crews are possible.

To catch these bubuks, there are plenty of tricks. However, the one that was revealed to me was the “sobor” method, which is using the front net as you can see in the image below. That is the tool used to cateh the red bubuk which is floating near the surface of the sea.

Bubuk Boat, with PETRONAS oil platform at the background

Another method is to use the beam trawl, where this method is used by the fiherman to catch the white bubuk. Beam trawl is the net that is being casted at the sides of their boat, and slowly it is drawn to catch more bubuk. Another method that is used at the earlier days of bubuk is “lengkung” or “purse-seine” net, utilising multiple boats. This sometimes can yield up to 10 trays of bubuk, each easily contains RM500 worth of bubuk,

Challenges

The biggest challenges of this bubuk industry is season. It is something that only happens once in a year. Therefore, they have to make full use of the time as much as possible. Weather is also another thing that affects the fisherman. If the weather is bad, then they cannot go to the sea as it dangerous for the small boat. Furthermore, bubuk is hard to come by in bad weather. Also, it is about marketing. A lot of people were not happy with the price, but otherwise, the bubuk fisherman and family will not be earning much as it is not an easy task for them to catch it. It is all abotu supply and demand, and RM7~8 / kg seems to be sitting nicely at the sweet spot.

Conclusion

To conclude this story of bubuk, I am quite proud to be able to cover this story although it is a short duration. Thank to the ladies and gentlemen who entertained me while I was doing this “photojournalistic” job at Lutong. Should you have any other nice and interesting story that you would like me to cover, do let me know. Thank you!

Photography Gears Used

In this blog, I am using my favourite gears, my Leica M10-P black and APO-Summicron 50mm as it is the smallest gears in my set-up, and it fits nicely with Leica’s theme, of being nice and discreet. My advise is, if you want to buy these kind of items, be it Profoto or Leica, don’t talk about it to someone else and just go buy it. Otherwise, if you delay it, you will not be buying because 1) you will talk yourself out of it, or 2) someone else will, or 3) you will use that capital for something else. Either way, just don’t be a victim of G.A.S (gear acquisition syndrome). Just buy the thing that can last a long time. In that way, you will buy that item and will not waste long hours reading reviews, which is an even greater loss because unlike money, time cannot be gained back.

Why Leica?

There is something about Leica that I am always passionate to tell about to others. For me, I just love to be part of the history of Leica. Period. Of course, there is a lot of camera gears out there that comes with its own bells and whistles, that can do ultra-fast frame rate, that has blazing speed auto-focus, but none can give the experience that my Leica M gave. Only Leica can fill the vacuum in every Leica M shooters. That probably is another reason why I never bought any SL because all I want is an M. For me, M9 is good. I love the colour. However, after 10 years, it requires an upgrade. Having skipped M240, I opt for M10 instead. I never regretted it. It is like an M9 on steroid, with a permanent effect. M cameras are small too. It is dicreet enough to be carried here and there. Some might argue point and shoot like Ricoh GRIII is the best, but for me, M gave the best experience. To each their reasons, I do love my M.

The thing about using a manual camera, or any other camera, we need to teach our camera how do we see the final images. Our perception has an auto-correction that is done real time, such as auto-colour temperature adjustment, auto aperture control or even auto-ISO control, which makes our eye as the best photography tool ever existed, and inspired the birth of many cameras. That is why we do final touch-up in our post-processing, because, for various reasons, the camera did not managed to produce the image that we see in our mind. Hence, need to tweak it a little bit. But not too much though, otherwise it will look fake.

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson a.k.a Del

My Photography Facebook Page: Claudius Weson Photography 
My Music Facebook Page: Del
My Youtube Channel: Claudius Weson
Instagram: claudiuswesonphotography (for B&W works & short story)

Note: Claudius Weson is a “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri, mainly doing portraiture (indoor / studio / outdoor photoshoot), weddings and event photography.

© Claudius Weson Photography (2020). All rights reserved.

Copyright Notice

All of the images on this site are protected by copyright laws and are the exclusive property of Claudius Weson Photography. Images may not be copied, reproduced, manipulated, used or altered in any way without written permission. The use of any photography as the basis of another photographic concept or illustration is a violation of copyright.

DBNA Miri “Valentine’s Day” Dinner

Tabi basa and greetings everyone, 

Yesterday was a great evening for some of us at Miri, because it was Valentine’s Day, a universally acceptable day for lovers, save for some that do not acknowledge it for various reasons. For us, it was a day of merry and to appreciate one another. In this occassion, DBNA’s Appreciation Dinner was coincident with Valentine’s Day. Before I go further, I would like to write about Valentine’s Day.

Angela – Dayung Bi-Pichin

Valentine’s Day

14th February is Valentine’s Day, but did you know the actual story behind Valentine’s Day? There are few legends behind the lover’s day itself, all which originates from the early Christian days under ancient Roman Empire.

Uncle Joseph Jorah leads the prayer

First story behind Valentine’s Day is Saint Valentine or Valentinus is a priest of Rome or former Bishop of Terni in Italy who was actively evangelizing peoples there. Bear in mind that Christian was not the official religion of Roman Empire that time. Valentinus did a miracle where he restores a vision of a blind girl, of course with God’s grace. However, this act of miracle did not please the authority, where he was captured and was brought upon the emperor of that time, Emperor Claudius II. St Valentine tried to convince him to embrace Christianity. The emperor was displeased and commanding Valentinus to denounce his faith or be executed. As expected, he refuses and the on Claudius’ command, he was executed on 14 Feb 269 A.D.

The second story is that Valentine, a priest, defied the order of the emperor and secretly performed Christian wedding, thus allowing husbands to escape consription. During that time, soldiers were sparse, and they need single men to join military services. This act of defiance displeases the emperor, Claudius II, as it is a big inconvenience to him and the empire. The legend also mentions that in order “to remind these men of their vows and God’s love, Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment”, giving them to these soldiers and persecuted Christians, a possible origin of the widespread use of hearts on St. Valentine’s Day, and now it was extended into various uses..

The third story is that Valentine refused to sacrifice to pagan gods, though not sure which one it is. Due to his defiance, he being imprisoned. While he is in prison, Valentine gave his testimony of his undying Christian faith in prison and through his prayers healed the jailer’s daughter who was suffering from blindness. On the day of his execution on 14 Feb, he left her a note that was signed, “Your Valentine”, which leads to the popular term nowadays. 

If it is a Christian holiday, why it is commercialised?

This is something that keeps on lingering in my mind. If it is really a Christian holiday, why does it is extended and being commercialised? The answer is simple – money. There are 8 billions people in the world. If you can just get 10% of them to spend a dollar, you can easily make 80 million dollar. Now translate that into the local popularions, you can easily make money by simply selling “love”. You can buy lots of “love”-related stuff, ranging from food, beverages, rent breathing flesh for as little as RM50 or even carnal-related items, but that will simply make the hole in your soul bigger. Nothing can fills it, for the world is not enough for the greed and the lustful.  

Some would call those love first sight as love, I would call it lust though because:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

This is not Disney fairy tale story, where you get married and live happily ever after. That is on the screen. Behind the scene, there is a lot of human-elements related to it. 14 Feb / Valentine’s Day should not be a day for corporations to fill their pockets. Instead, it should be a day to stress togetherness and true love. Therefore, don’t be sad if you don’t have any Valentine, because the most important thing is you celebrate it with the one who appreciates you. I think that is more important that just getting bragging rights.

DBNA Appreciation Dinner

Welcoming Speech by Capt Benard Idit, DBNA Miri Chairman

Back to the dinner, it is simply an appreciation dinner. Nothing much to say about that because some of the information is confidential and DBNA only. I will just leave it on the surface level. Suffice to say, the night was wonderful. I tried my best, along with Simon Dawit to entertain the crowd.

Mr Simon Dawit

Exco’s Appreciation Ceremony

Dinner Goes On

The night itself was filled with games too, where the first game was Tic-Tac-Toe of Men vs Women. I find this game to be amusing. I didn’t know we can do human tic-tac-toe. However, there were few rounds they did not have any winner at all because of the formation of the line is not permitted, thus leaving a draw.

The second game is quite challenging than the first, where it requires everyone to drink Malta from the cup. It is like a relay race, except you have to drink. The fastest drinker group wins.

The third game is more challenging, where it requires couples to chew the cookie stick until it become as short as they possibly can. The winner in this competition is the ladies’ couple.

The story behind the lady’s couple is to fill the quote. Don’t worry, they are normal. Below are the romantic pictures that I have captures last night.

Gaga amai kaban ku siku tok.
Romantik nyeee. Actually they are eating the cookies, but it’s too short already.

There was one segment where I requested the couples to dance, slow dance. Captain Benard and his sporting wife, Uncle Martin and his wife also slow-danced.

Poco-poco is a must. I was one of the dancers there.

Following to the event, the drink and dance goes on until it’s late in the evening. Broadway Grand Palace only allows us to dance until 11pm, where some of the peoples continued elsewhere for the night is still young.

About DBNA Miri

DBNA Miri is a place where Bidayuhs at Miri gathers and create an umbrella for the Bidayuhs who came to Miri, most of the time, due to work commitment. Some stays on like Uncle Joseph Pitos from Bau, and created a stable life in Miri. Uncle Willie, the founding father of DBNA Miri also joined last night. He keeps on telling us that DBNA Miri is a good society that can be made better if more and more younger generations joined as we need to adapt to ever-changing challenges of the community.

DBNA Miri was made into fruition thanks to the sacrifices of the elders. Most of Bidayuhs identifies ourselves as Bidayuh, though it is well-known that we have different regions or dialects, primarily from Bau-Jagoi, Bukar-Sadong, Padawan-Siburan and even Salako-Lara. But when it comes to coming together, that is where we have no issue. Just like during Shell Harvest Festival Celebration 2019, with the help of DBNA Miri, the event is a success, and it is even remembered until today by both Simon and Liz Durkin, where Liz rememberes Aunty Rijeg as the pounding lady, for she did the demonstration of rice-pounding during the event.

One thing for certain, the success that we had yesterday did not guarantee the success tomorrow. It just means we have the upper hand to win based on our track record. I urge all of the young ones, regardless of your race to keep on working smart to improve your lifestyle. Even if you come from a poor or difficult background like me, that means you have more reason to be successful in the future. Don’t hesitate to make sacrifices today if that means you can secure your future. Don’t be afraid to break the egg to make the omelette. Go for your dreams. I am branding myself as Tukang Rantek because I want to remember my origin in my art. You can do it too. God bless.

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson a.k.a Del

My Photography Facebook Page: Claudius Weson Photography
My Music Facebook Page: Del
My Youtube Channel: Claudius Weson

Instagram: claudiuswesonphotography (for B&W works & short story)

Note: Claudius Weson is a “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri, mainly doing portraiture (indoor / studio / outdoor photoshoot), weddings and event photography.

© Claudius Weson Photography (2019). All rights reserved.

Copyright Notice

All of the images on this site are protected by copyright laws and are the exclusive property of Claudius Weson Photography. Images may not be copied, reproduced, manipulated, used or altered in any way without written permission. The use of any photography as the basis of another photographic concept or illustration is a violation of copyright.

Complacency in Love Life is Dangerous

Introduction:

Last night I attended our company’s dinnner, which I will not talk about due to privacy and confidentiality (professional la tek). Anyway, these are the pictures that you can see from the dinner. Thank you to the organiser, Emilia, the first ever Dayung Laut, who is like a big sis to me.

Emilia – Dayung Laut

The event also attended by few friends of mine from the same industry we are thriving in and making a difference, be it onshore or offshore.

As usual, when I look at the beautiful scenery, I can’t help but to request these ladies to pose for me, since I am using my Noctilux lens, the best one by Leica, with its amazing bokeh – which is the best tool to bring out the beauty and grace in someone.

All of these peoples are from the oil and gas industry, but it doesn’t mean that they should wear dirty coverall or cannot look pretty. For those who has that narrow mindset, that means that they don’t really know the industry itself, in and out. Some has to do the office job, while some has to work outside. Either way, both has to collaborate in order to produce the desired result. It is all team work. Simon Ng would say, team power.

Thoughts on Complacency

As I was shooting last night, whilst doing the emcee job alongside my friend, Syukrani, I had a thought on complacency.

Complacent is defined by Oxford dictionary as too satisfied with yourself or with a situation, so that you do not feel that any change is necessary.

The origin of this word comes in mid 17th century, from Latin “complacent”. Basically it means that you think that it is pleasant.

Why This Is Dangerous?

If you are complacent in your work place, then you should be careful. It is extremely dangerous in your workplace, wherever it might be. It doesn’t take much to injure us. Even tripping over toys at home or bathroom can be disastrous. Using the same route for the same ptime

Another word that we commonly use is risk normalisation. Just imagine you walk past a high pressure vessel, probably 1000 – 1200 psig daily, for the first time, you will be very careful. Your sense of reception is highly activated, “spider sense” tingling, and you will be working and walking vigilantly. That’s for the first timer. After few times walking there, nothing happened, then you sense of guard reduces, until certain point in time, you just walk past it normally. That’s complacency, it’s dangerous. What if there is a leak up there high in the vessel, away from our direct line of sight? The neglected area is where the problem came from, usually.

Complacency in Love Life

What is this BS? you might say. However, to answer you, complacency in love life is when you starts to take things for granted. For example, you wife has been nagging you about a habit that you don’t want to break. If this were to happen when you are in the beginning of your relationship, you would change. You would promise that you would cross the sea of fire and fly to the moon. Now that you “own” her, you don’t want to do anything.

Hazard To Love Life

If you are in the Occident, you would face severe consequences because they are more expressive. That is why more divorce rate is happening, because some cannot tolerate any maltreatment any longer, unlike in the Orient, because saving face is more important than comfort. That is why some stays in a bad romance or toxic relationship. Or because they are compensated in other department, be it physical or mental. Eventually, they became a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. Stockholm syndrome is a condition in which hostages develop a psychological alliance with their captors during captivity, first observed in Stockholm in 1973.

What Can You Do About It?

  1. Ensure you know very well about the system
  2. Consciously make a system to check the hazards at workplace.

In your love life, you can apply somewhat similar items.

  1. You should get to know your partners very well.
  2. Remember the important dates. If you can’t, set a reminder in your phone. It is easy. Do reminders, days, or even weeks before the big day. If you can take care of the complex industrial problem, then you can tackle this problem.
  3. Forget about flowers and chocolates. The most romantic thing is doing the small things such as: cleaning the dishes, washing clothes, keeping the toiler clean etc, to name a few. Something so simple, yet has profound impact.

Hopefully this short sharing will help you a bit in improving your love life. Love is not just about making love or keeping the “bushes” clear during Valentine’s Day, but to make the relationship work for each other, and the little ones. God bless.

Your Tukang Rantek,
Del

Instagram: claudiuswesonphotography (for B&W works & short story)

Note: Claudius Weson is a “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri, mainly doing portraiture (indoor / studio / outdoor photoshoot), weddings and event photography.

© Claudius Weson Photography (2019). All rights reserved.

Copyright Notice

All of the images on this site are protected by copyright laws and are the exclusive property of Claudius Weson Photography. Images may not be copied, reproduced, manipulated, used or altered in any way without written permission. The use of any photography as the basis of another photographic concept or illustration is a violation of copyright.

The Story of Nani & Akang

Greetings and tabi basa family and friends,

To my Chinese friends, Happy Chap Goh Mei. I hope you had a good celebration. How was your weekend? I hope it is a good one. Always keep a high standard of safety and personal hygiene wherever you go as a prudent safety measure to prevent spread of any influenza that may come to your residence or your family.

This weekend was a good one for me because it is another joyful celebration for a friend, and fellow Bi-Pichin – Stephenie or Nanie and her husband, Gabriel Akang. For me it is a beautiful wedding reception and even before that, there was a beautiful wedding ceremony at St Dominic & Rosary, Taman Tunku.

Remembering Yesterdays

These are few beautiful life chapters that I have involved with in Nanie and Akang’s life story.

Tijan’s First Birthday

This was actually my first involvement with Nani. I was quite surprised and excited when she offers me this job. During that time I was just at the beginning of my photography journey.

Dayung Pichin
Thai Girl?

Family Photoshoot

The following year, Nani told me that she has a secret job for me, where she plans to have a private photoshoot, and yet keep the photo secret, because it will only be revealed during their big day. This session was done at Taman Awam Miri. This is Suling’s first photoshoot.

Tijan looking pro here. Err, Suling?
She’s happy here by the way.
Love Story in Miri

The Wedding Day

For the day itself is a beautiful day, and it was another blessed day under the sun. Friends and family all come together to make the event merrier.

Not to forget the bunch of Bi-Pichin that came to make the event merrier.

Purple Ladies

After church wedding reception was done, all of us head to Eastwood valley for another round of photoshoot.

Wedding Dinner

The wedding dinner is indeed one of a kind, and the one that really symbolises Sarawakian’s wedding. It is a mix between Iban, Bidayuh and Kenyah culture, with various guests from all around Malaysia, or even from outside of Malaysia.

I have to post this: Emilia – the first Dayung Laut, the first one that became viral.

Emcee – Jerry Wan

As for the night’s event, without a sporting and crazy emcee, the event won’t be as lively as it is. Jerry’s special touch is he is able to connect with the audience, and he also sings, and dances, while making some jokes with the audiences. I still remember that “batang” jokes. lol.

The Band – Avalanche

They are the entertainer of the night, and they did an awesome job! This is actually the first time I heard them live. I love how sporting they are, because their lead male singer realises I am a Bidayuh and he gave me the honour to sing Mr Sanuh and Kampung Love. Azie also rocks! You guys are awesome. One special touch that I can’t forget is when they start to play Another One Bites The Dust. That’s cool indeed.

The final act of closing it with It’s My Life is awesome indeed!

Del’s Performance

I also did a performance during the dinner. You can actually see the video using this link. Basically it is a acoustic version of Can’t Help Falling In Love and Dealova. I notices in the distance that there is a second-voice backing me up. I appreciate it. Tiga tawai!

The new thing added here is the “sirambuk” that I just obtained from Delia.

Let Fun Begins

The event begins with entrance processions, with the first group of Kenyah ladies escorting Akang’s parents; Bidayuh dancers escorting Nani’s parents and lastly, Iban dancers escorting Nani and Akang.

Zianzilyana singing Darah Muda.

Last Photoshoot: One For The Road

Mujan – model Kenyah.
Love transcends the fragility of our mortal bodies.
Somehow this reminds me to Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham.
Akang’s sporting family.
Amat stidi Ibu’
I, I, I, I Love You Very Bageg
Few Last Men Standing

Gears Used:

As usual, I am using Leica cameras for my job, because it like its natural rendering. However, the one that trumps it all is the experience when handling it. I like how Leica camera is all manual. As usual, I am referring to Leica M system, as I am not a fan of its other system. For the night’s job, I used Noctilux. It is the lens that many would regards as the end-game of Leica lens, until there is a new successor that come to topple the king.  

End Note

May God bless Nani and Akang, and their family. Keep the love’s fire burning brightly by trying to win each other’s heart again and again. That is something so beautiful with  

Until next time. 😉

Your Tukang Rantek,
Del

Instagram: claudiuswesonphotography (for B&W works & short story)
YouTube Channel: Claudius Weson

Note: Claudius Weson is a “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri, mainly doing portraiture (indoor / studio / outdoor photoshoot), weddings and event photography.

© Claudius Weson Photography (2020). All rights reserved.

Copyright Notice

All of the images on this site are protected by copyright laws and are the exclusive property of Claudius Weson Photography. Images may not be copied, reproduced, manipulated, used or altered in any way without written permission. The use of any photography as the basis of another photographic concept or illustration is a violation of copyright.