New Year Photoshoot: Shelly Dayung Serian


A lot of people will start their new year with the usual, recycled slogan of “New Year, New Me”. The problem with that approach is that it often mislead us to believe that each New Year’s day is another reset of previous year’s effort.

Instead, it would be better if we see it as a continuation of a story – a story that last our lifetime. Realistically, don’t overestimate what we can do in short term and don’t underestimate what we can accomplish in long term. 

New Year Reflection

Whatever state we are now, most of the time, it is due to our own choice. It is easy to blame others when things go south. But in order to change, we need to take responsibility. We need to take charge of our life. Be mindful of who you surround yourself with because they will determine whether you will achieve your dream or not.

If you know a friend of yours complains a lot, chances are, you will be like him/her too in the end. Why? Equilibrium. Inadvertently, you will influence each other until you achieve that state. 

If you want to be someone, take advice from those who made it. If you want to be loyal to your spouse, don’t take advice from those who has a ridiculously high body count. Likewise, if you want to be a financially-free person, take advice from those who made it. Usually, these people will be practicing a relatively low expenditure  as compared to their gains, means they can accumulate wealth faster.

Don’t go broke trying to look rich. It’s not a wise decision.

I am grateful for those who helped me with my goals in 2023. However, there is a lot of things to learn and fix in 2024. Such is life.

New Year Photoshoot

For this New Year’s Photoshoot, I invited Shelly, one of our fellow Bi-Pichin (prefix “Bi-“, pronounced as “bee”, means “People of” in Bidayuh) and a Mary Kay lady. Since both of us are based in Pichin for now, we just shoot at Serian area. 

The Arrival

It was a cold morning, and there it was drizzling too. But it doesn’t stop Shelly from riding her motorcycle to our agreed rendezvous point.

First Destination: Bangih Jaran

“Bangih Jaran” means roadside in Bidayuh. We took our first stop here, at Serian-Tebedu road with its iconic background of Lenge Kiburan, an iconic mountain that became the natural backdrop of Pichin. Some would classify it as hill though because it is not tall enough to be called a mountain. Whatever they say, for Bi-Pichin, it is a mountain – Darud. Darud Lenge Kiburan.

Though it was not really in the morning, but its tropical nature makes it a cold. Lenge Kiburan was still blanketed by clouds. Looks majestic though. 

Second Destination: Taman Danu

The next destination that we headed for was Taman Danu. “Danu” here means lake in Bidayuh. In the morning hour, only those who runs can be spotted at the nearby field. Taman Danu was basically empty. That was a good opportunity for us to do photoshoot to our heart’s content. 

I was using my Leica camera. It is a manual, digital camera. It is slow compared to most other modern mirrorless camera as I have to manually focus and adjust its setting. But for those who really enjoy the process, I love it. 

Photography by itself is a therapy. It is a hobby. Making an image that makes me happy is good enough for me. 

I know some of my acquaintances likes to nitpick. They are good and fit to be an auditor. But to bring them close to my circle is not what I would do as they look at problem of every solution. Yes, that is good sometimes, but if you want to achieve the impossible, you need to be with those who believe that you can do it.

If you think you can, you can. 

Third Destination: Dihan Serian, Tarat

The nama of this place often makes people confuse. The official spelling is Tarat, with a “t” at the end. But if you ask any native Bidayuh Serian speaker, they will tell you that the correct pronunciation is “Tarad”. Just like Pichin, you pronounce it as Piching; Sejijag, is pronounced as Sijejeg, and the list goes on.

This happened a lot in Bidayuh spelling. Not sure what is the root cause but that makes Bidayuh’s nomenclature a unique one. 

More can be explored if you go to Serian and gets to know the locals. It would be a fun and promising journey.

In this photoshoot, the original location of this Durian Icon or some would call it “Patong Dihan” (Durian Statue), is near the roundabout not far from Serian Hospital. But it was moved to Tarat few years ago due to flyover’s construction. 

Anyway, if you want to take picture there, I suggest you enter the junction on the left and park your vehicle there before you take photo because the vehicles from Kuching tend to be on a high-speed. 

Fourth Destination: Dihan Serian, Serian Wet Market

The next destination was at the Durian near the wet market. This is the iconic durian next to bus terminal of Serian, which was once considered the heart of Serian town before it slowly expand until it became what it is now. 

However, people still flock to this area until today to buy a lot of traditional produce, wet market’s usual stuff or just want to sight-seeing. 

We just make a short visit here because it was about to rain. Then, we head to the next destination: Ranchan Waterfall.

Fifth Destination: Ranchan Waterfall

Ranchan is a good place to picnic, and hang out especially if you love nature. But just like any other natural beauty, it has its own danger. 

For Ranchan waterfall, one has to be careful of waterhead. Which is basically a rush of water from upstream. I never saw one in real life but I know Ranchan’s waterhead can be dangerous, and even fatal for any unsuspecting victim. It even badly damaged one of the bridge leading to the otherside of Ranchan waterfall.

Nevertheless, we just concentrate on the photoshoot. That’s why we’re there though.

Final Part: Don’t Lose Your Inner Child 

There is a playground nearby. While Shelly was having fun there, I snapped few photos of her unleashing her inner child.

In general, we shouldn’t lose our inner child because it is curious and always excited for everything that happens in our life. 

But, the moment we think we knows everything and no longer excited about life, that’s when were start regressing. I am pretty sure nobody wants to regress.


In the year of 2024, things are getting more challenging, but whatever happens, do not lose faith in yourself. Things may not go according to your plan, but just focus on what you can control and steer your life the best way that you can. 

Have faith in yourself & Happy New Year 2024!

p.s. kuan Dodab, aba mandu kereng.

Your Tukang Rantek/ Rockstar Emcee,


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