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Bidayuh Beauty: Dayung Bi-Reteh

Introduction

Tabi basa balarantek! Today is Friday, and I would like to share a story about Bidayuh Beauty, which is part of the my passion project. 

What is Bidayuh Beauty? 

Lily

I defined Bidayuh Beauty Project as a long term project that captures the beauty of Bidayuh peoples, particularly the ladies. I also not limit them in wearing traditional dress, but for the sake of portraying the beauty of Bidayuh peoples, I asked them to wear their traditional clothes. 

Bidayuh Beauty: Dayung Bi-Reteh

Kpg Reteh Satellite View (Google Maps)

This time, I would like to share about Bidayuh Beauty from Kampung Reteh. For your information, Kampung Reteh is one of the many Bidayuh villages at Serian area, and it is divided into Kpg Reteh Karas, Kpg Reteh Plaman & Kpg Reteh Mawang. The concept is similar to Iban’s “Rumah” concept, except for this, the settlement is scattered around the village. Also, there is no need for a combined houses as there were no enemies to fend off. It is good for people’s privacy as well. 

For this post, I am showcasing Heliana Erny Brody from Kpg Reteh. Nicknamed Lily, she was born at Sarawak Government Hospital and lived 9 years in Sibu before returns back to Serian. She is taking Science-stream and wished to become a successful veterinary physician or a teacher, as her secondoption. She really love pets, especially cats. 

Cats is one of the most common household pets in Bidayuh community, and it is safe to say almost every Bidayuh house has cats. This come from the past mutual relationship between cats and Bidayuhs where cats are required to hunt down the mice that ravages the “bari” or paddy house. 

She likes to do make-over and playing guitar. She also does fishing sometimes. Being the youngest of the 6 siblings, she is the only one that is still studying. All her four brothers and a sister have worked. Since their father passed away 7 years ago, they lived with their mother who came from Kpg Prangkan Mawang. 

Kpg Reteh is famous for its river, Sungai Batang Kayan. Perhaps one day, there would be another photoshoot there? Who knows?

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius


Note: Claudius is a PORTRAIT & BOUDOIR “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri, with passion for writing.

Facebook Page: Tukang Rantek Claudius

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© Claudius Weson (2021). 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. 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.

A Tale of Vivid Ladies: Priscilla & Vivianna

Introduction

Tabi basa and greetings balarantek! For those who didn’t know, balarantek means Tukang Rantek family, a combination of bala, which means family and short of Tukang Rantek. I am happy to see that my posts before this has inspired many peoples. Throughout my journey, I have met a lot of wonderful peoples, from all walks of life. Today, I want to write about two of them – Priscilla & Vivianna.

About Priscilla

Priscilla is an Iban-Bidayuh girl, where her late mother hails from Bau, and her father comes from Betong. She always said that she inherits her extra iron-willed stubbornness from her father. Instead of being disappointed and give up in life after facing so many backlashes, she grew to be more feisty and involved in many events, with recent event organised Lady Vivid 2021. She has been organising a lot of events previously since her university days, but she decides to let history be history. Hence, none is written in this section.

About Vivianna

Vivianna is an Iban-Kayan girl, a Medical Assistant by profession, is Miss Supermodel Worldwide Borneo Malaysia in 2018, and Miss Sarawak Earth Water 2017, organised by Sarawak Earth Queen.

The Sarawak Earth Queen Beauty Pageant Competition is an International Environmental Event channeling the beauty pageant entertainment industry as an effective tool to promote environmental awareness. For those who didn’t know, Miss Earth is the third-largest international pageant competition among women from countries around the world, after Miss Universe and Miss World. The delegates and winners give meaning and relevance to this beauty competition by promoting worthwhile environmental causes and getting actively involved in caring for the preservation of Mother Earth. This is a true celebration of a woman’s natural beauty, poise and personality. In fact, Miss Earth incorporates a special ‘Natural Beauty’ round where a women’s natural beauty is judged sans make-up or make-over. A tribute to natural beauty that is a reflection of the beauty within.

This pageant organized for the first time aims to appreciate what a women always wants – to be a natural beauty. Unblemished, immaculate and refreshingly natural! The pageant is held yearly in October or November in Manila, Philippines.

The winner of the pageant is bestowed the title Miss Malaysia Earth; her runners-up are also given titles named after the other classical elements: Miss Eco Beauty, Miss Eco Tourism, Miss Fire, Miss Water, and Miss Air, are of equal importance and thus have the same ranking. Miss Malaysia Earth is the only pageants which have individual titles for the runners-up. Their pageant criteria are ladies with age within 17 – 26, possess beauty face and proportionate body structure, outgoing and friendly. Excellent physical condition. For more enquiry, you may e-mail them at borneorepublicmalaysia@gmail.com.

Miss Supermodel Worldwide Borneo Malaysia is a pageant that supports the great cause of women empowerment especially ‘stop female foeticide’. The motto of the pageant is ‘beauty with intellect’. The pageant is a combination of glamour and a purpose. Apart from all the preliminary activities and sub-competitions, the pageant will also promote tourism and will cover various parts of the world’s largest democracy, India. It is a search for a face that is unapologetically beautiful and represents a modern and independent 21st century woman in the best way.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing and text

Apart from world of pageantry, Vivianna also can be seen in Alena Murang’s videoclip, Midang Midang. She also conducted few catwalk classes for those who would like to learn more in that craft.

Vivianna (second from right) and Alena Murang (centre)

Priscilla In The Eyes of Vivianna

Typically, I would be writing about the people based on the information that they gave to me. But for this time around, I asked these two to comment about each other and to see whether their expectations matches. In the eye of Vivianna, Priscilla is a more serious person, while she is more fun-side. After spending time with each other, she knows when to joke with her, and when to not. For her, Priscilla is like a big sister, where she tells her everything – from boy issue to problem at work etc. For new opinion and ideas, Priscilla appreciates her point of view and they love to bounce ideas together to create a better one.

During their first time meeting one another, they had a bad impression. During that time, it was Beauty and The Bike event in 2017. Priscilla was the one who organised the event, while she was one of the contestants. Despite her good package of talent, beauty and charisma, she didn’t win and she thought she chose her friends to be the winner. Priscilla also thought that she was an arrogant person because she joins a lot of bigger and more prestigious events. After BNTB 2017, they were still not close. Their sisterhood started after her Miss Earth event is over back in 2018. Priscilla approached her to mentor her talents for Beauty and The Bike event in 2018. The rest is history.

Their sisterhood really is all about bringing out the best in one another. For her, Priscilla is more than just a friend. Most importantly, she is not toxic. Instead, she oozes out this aura that makes anyone around her believes that everything is possible. She’s not just a friend that you would invite to drink at Ming Café. She is not a friend to go to pub and club together. She is also not a backstabber, which is important in life because you want someone whom you can rely on in times of difficult, not just good times. She didn’t expect them to be friend until now.

Vivianna In The Eyes of Priscilla

As for Vivianna’s story, they met each other during Miri Bike Week 2017. Priscilla was the organiser and Vivianna was the contestant. For Pris, even though Vivianna didn’t win, she was very supportive and joins in her clases and event. Pris look highly upon Vivianna and values her insight because she has achieved what many couldn’t in their career. Pageantry and Kumang is more than just pretty face, but one has to be equipped with the right skills as well. On stage, she’s like a goddess, a genuine Kumang and knows Adat Iban, all the customs and tradition as any Kumang should be.

BNTB memories

According to Pris, Vivianna was a laid back and low profile girl, the very traits that bonds them together apart from being family-oriented. She can bring her sister or family to any of Divabiz’s events, and Pris can hang out at her home. Vivianna is goofy, while Pris told me that she is always blur. They complement each other’s weaknesses and strength. Vivianna is more content about life and more reserved in speech, while Pris was more outspoken. But when she speaks, she’s savage. Like a sniper, she will shoot straight to the point, with facts. She’s very sharp as well, and can see if the person has bad intention or not. Despite her calm countenance, she is more furious. Both of them likes to eat. 

What We Can Learn?

From these two ladies, I learned that we should be committed to whatever we do. It’s ok to say NO to other things if it contradicts to your goal. You can’t be spending all of your time to learn mathematics when all you want to be is a singer. Spend your time wisely. Above all, do not forget your family. Family always comes first. If you have a friend that can be part of your family, that would be a good bonus as well because in that way, your family knows who your circle of friends are. Not just spending mindless time outside without any particular purposes.

Another key lesson is not everyone will like you, especially those who are threatened by your very existence. How to manage these peoples? Stay away from them. Unless they threatened to harm you, then it is a police case already. I still stick to my mother’s teachings here; make friends as many as you can. If people do bad things to you, do not retaliate in kind nor stoop down to their level. Instead, brush off the dirt, and do better than yesterday. 

That’s all I would like to write about these two ladies. I do hope that their story inspires you, especially those who are still lost. Whatever you want to achieve, when there is a will, there is a way.

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

Yup, that’s me – Your Tukang Rantek

My Photography Facebook Page: Claudius Weson Photography 
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.

Frontliner’s Love Story

Tabi basa and greeting, Tukang Rantek family.

Today I would like to write about our frontliner’s love story – Dr Gilbert and his wife, Dr Sonia, who both are part of the bigger group under Ministry of Health, where both of them are serving at Miri. Despite their busy schedule, they still find time to immortalise their love story in the form of pictures. Both of them came from Kpg Sungi Duuh, Siburan, just right beside my father’s village of Kpg Masaan. Their love story started long time ago at Sungi Duuh, and Molly Christopher, Gilbert’s neighour & cousin, is partly the mastermind behind it. The details are not permitted to be disclosed, but suffice to say, it is another reason why Gilbert is motivated to pursue excellence until both received their doctor-ship. Being Eastern peoples, Bidayuh peoples are not generally expressive, especially when it comes to love. I can see that in my father, where it took considerable effort to hold my mother’s hand in public. Gilbert and Sonia is no exception, but they are very supporting in expressing their love towards one another before the lens. No matter how busy you are, if you love one another, you can make time for one another and to express your love to them. Love is a choice – where you override logic and rationale, where you choose to stay with your loved one, in good times and the bad, in joy and sorrow and only death can part the two of you. May God bless Dr Gilbert and Dr Sonia.

Tabi basa dan selamat sejahtera, keluarga Tukang Rantek!

Pada hari ini, saya ingin menulis berkenaan cinta “frontiner”, iaitu berkenaan Dr Gilbert dan isteri beliau, Dr Sonia, yang mana keduanya adalah merupakan ahli Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia yang berkhidmat di Miri. Disebalik kesibukan mereka, mereka masih lagi mencari masa untuk mengabadikan kenangan bersama di dalam bentuk gambar. Kedua mereka berasal dari Kampung Sungi Duuh, Siburan, yang bersebelahan dengan kampung bapa saya, Kpg Masaan. Cinta mereka bermula sejak lama dahulu di Sungi Duuh dan Molly Christopher mempunyai kaitan dengan cinta mereka. Informasi selanjutnya tidak boleh dikongsikan di sini, namun memadai untuk saya berkata, Sonia merupakan antara pemangkin kecemerlangan beliau sehingga kedua-dua mereka berjaya bergelar seorang doktor. Sepertimana orang Timur yang lainnya, orang Bidayuh juga tidak begitu lantang untuk menyuarakan isi hati, terutama sekali berkenaan hal cinta. Ini boleh dilihat melalui bapa saya, yang mana ia memerlukan kuasa yang luar biasa bagi beliau untuk memegang tangan ibu saya di tempat awam. Gilbert dan Sonia pun tidak terkecuali, namun mereka sungguh bersemangat untuk meluahkan rasa cinta mereka di dalam bentuk „posing“ di hadapan kamera. Sesibuk manapun anda, jika anda cinta satu sama lain, anda akan mencari masa untuk diluangkan bersama yang tersayang. Cinta adalah pilihan, di mana anda melangkaui batas logika dan rasional, dimana kamu memilih untuk bersama yang tersayang di dalam kesusahan dan kesenangan, baik kaya mahupun miskin dan hanya maut memisahkan anda dan orang yang anda sayangi. Semoga Tuhan merahmati Dr Gilbert dan Dr Sonia.

“Immortalising Memories!”/”Mengabadikan Kenangan!“  

Tukang Rantek,

Claudius

Follow me at:

Instagram: tukangrantekclaudius

LinkedIn: claudiusweson

Note: 

“Tukang Rantek” Claudius is a Portrait, Wedding & Event Photographer based in Miri, with a passion for writing.

[1] “TukangRantek” means photographer in Bidayuh Piching.

[2] Event covers Funeral, Birthday, Party etc.

Copyright (2020) All Right Reserved. No parts of this blog can be used without prior written permission from Tukang Rantek Claudius.

Saban Peoples of Sarawak

Tabi basa and greetings everyone! In this posting today, I would like to write about Saban peoples.

Sa’ban people (or Saban people) is one of Dayak minority that resides in Sarawak. According to Sarawak government classification, they are categorised under Orang Ulu. Saban people resides in few districts in Sarawak, but mostly resides in Long Banga, Baram. Their ancestors came from East Kalimantan, Indonesia where they dwells at Bahau River Valley at 17th Century. They live at hill to avoid the attack from headhunters during headhunting-warring period at Sarawak. Three generations of Saban people fought these headhunters, where “Leprot Langet” was their last warrior to fight against those headhunters around 1842. Heahunting practice was put to a stop during James Brooke’s time.

Saban’s people has small population due to:
1. Headhunter wars, forcing them to move around for safety
2. Away from other peoples and late exposure to modern life
3. Diseases, such as malaria that causes mass death.

At Indonesia, Saban peoples are known as “Berau” by other tribes that live at East and North Kalimantan. They split into few villages at the interior Borneo such as Apauping, Pujungan, Bulungan, South Malinau, North Malinau and West Malinau. Their exodus to Sarawak starts at the early of 20th Century in stages until 1960s. At Sarawak they are the minority, with total population less than 2000. To look after their well-being and to safeguard their peoples, Saban Peoples Association (Persatuan Masyarakat Saban) was founded in 4th July 2002.

In Sarawak, Saban people resides in Long Banga, Baram, Long Puak and Long Peluan, where these are their main residence in Sarawak. Other than that, in line with modernisation and career opportunities, they also moved to Miri, Marudi and Kuching, while some make a living at Peninsular Malaysia. At Long Banga, Saban people live with Kenyah Lepo’ Ke, Kelabit, and Penan peoples. Despite their similarities with Kelabit and Lun Bawang, Saban peoples also has their own differences in terms of tradition, culture especially language. Nevertheless, they live in harmony with one another.

Mixed-marriages is not a common practice by Saban peoples even though most of Sarawakian peoples have no issue with mixed-marriages. This is because of their population as well as to uphold their values and purity in their community. That is the reason why Saban peoples are able to ensure the strength of their culture despite their small population. Just like other ethnics and tribes at Sarawak, they also benefits from the modernisation and managed to achieve good education level, good religious life and no longer practice their old way of life.

Orang Saban, Sarawak

Suku Dayak Sa’ban adalah satu suku Dayak yang minoriti di Sarawak. Menurut klasifikasi kerajaan Sarawak, mereka adalah tergolong di dalam kumpulan Orang Ulu. Orang Sa’ban menetap di beberapa daerah di Sarawak, dan kebanyakanya tinggal di Long Banga, Baram. Leluhur orang Sa’ban pula berasal dari Kalimantan Timur Indonesia, yang mana mereka menetap di Lembah Sungai Bahau pada kurun ke-17. Mereka tinggal di bukit untuk mengelak dari serangan kaum-kaum Dayak lain yang mengamalkan budaya mengayau (headhunting). Orang Sa‘ban menghadapi tiga generasi melawan budaya Headhunter. “Leprot Langet” adalah seorang pahlawan lelaki Sa‘ban yang terakhir dalam budaya perang ngayau pada sekitar tahun 1842. Perang ngayau diberhentikan oleh semua suku semasa pemerintahan James Brooke.

Orang Sa’ban ini tidak banyak disebabkan oleh beberapa punca antaranya:

  1. Perang ngayau, menyebabkan mereka selalu berpindah randah.
  2. Jauh dari lingkungan bangsa lain dan lambat terdedah terhadap kehidupan moden
  3. Wabak penyakit (malaria), menyebabkan ramai yang kehilangan nyawa.

Di Indonesia, orang Sa’ban dikenali dengan nama “Berau“ oleh suku-suku lain yang menetap di Kalimantan Timur dan Kalimantan Utara. Mereka berpecah-pecah di pelbagai kampung di pendalaman seperti di Apauping, Pujungan, Bulungan, Malinau Selatan, Malinau Utara dan Malinau Barat, Krayan. Penghijrahan orang Sa’ban ke Sarawak bermula pada sekitar awal abad ke-20 secara berperingkat sehingga ke tahun 1960-an. Di Sarawak, mereka adalah minoriti, dimana populasi mereka adalah kurang daripada 2000 orang. Bagi menjaga kebajikan dan hal ehwal orang Sa’ban di Sarawak, Persatuan Masyarakat Saban telah ditubuhkan pada 4 Julai 2002.

Orang Sa’ban di Sarawak menetap di Long Banga, Baram, Long Puak dan Long Peluan, yang mana ini adalah kediaman utama mereka di Sarawak. Selain itu, selari dengan arus perkembangan moden, sebahagian besar daripada orang Sa’ban telah berpindah ke Miri, Marudi, Kuching, Long Lama dan Tawau. Tidak kurang juga ada yang berpindah ke Semenanjug Malaysia untuk bekerja. Di Long Banga, orang Sa’ban hidup bersama-sama dengan orang Kenyah Lepo’ Ke, orang Kelabit dan orang Penan. Disebalik persamaan, orang Sa’ban juga mempunyai perbezaan dari aspek tradisi, budaya dan terutama sekali bahasa dengan orang Kelabit dan Lun Bawang. Namun begitu, mereka hidup rukun antara satu sama lain.

Perkahwinan campur kurang diamalkan oleh orang Saban walaupun kebanyakan orang di Sarawak tiada masalah dengan perkahwinan campur. Ini adalah kerana populasi mereka yang sedikit disamping untuk menjaga nilai-nilai murni dan keaslian di dalam masyarakat mereka. Oleh sebab itu, orang Sa’ban masih dapat menjaga keluhuran budaya mereka walaupun populasi mereka masih sedikit. Sepertimana masyarakat Sarawak yang lain di dunia moden ini, orang Sa’ban juga dapat mencapai tahap pendidikan yang baik, kehidupan yang beragama dan tidak lagi mengamalkan budaya lama mereka.

Sumber: Eva Angel, Long Banga (2020)

“Immortalising Memories!”   

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

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Note: 
“Tukang Rantek” Claudius is a Portrait, Wedding & Event Photographer based in Miri, with a passion for writing. 
[1] “TukangRantek” means photographer in Bidayuh Piching. 
[2] Event covers Funeral, Birthday, Party etc.

Tukang Rantek Claudius (2020). All Rights Reserved. No parts or images contained in this website can be used without prior written permission from Claudius Weson.

Tukang Rantek’s Official T-Shirt

Tabi basa and greetings everyone! Another weekend has come to an end, but life goes on as usual. For this post, I would like to showcase the recent project that I have done with these beautiful ladies, Jill, Yusnani (Yus) and Stephine (Steph).

Tukang Rantek’s Official Shirt

I am proud to announce that Tukang Rantek finally have its own official shirt, as what you can see below. I designed it in a minimalist manner, where only the logo and Tukang Rantek word can be seen. Initially I intended to put an intricate Bidayuh motive, but in the end, as I think, I scrapped the idea.

Draft Design (Black)
Draft Design (Red)

Elley Liana who is from Legacy Jersi also helped to make this T-shirt a reality. These are the designs that she sent to me after putting into the computer-generated design.

When I receive my shirt 14-working days later, I am so excited and I called for a photoshoot with these ladies. Here are the shirts being donned in action.

Let’s roll!
I used to be an acoustic artist like Taylor Swift
Jill embracing her Kenyah parentage.
One with the wind
Too light for her.
Feeling Mulan
Don’t mess with Steph.
Her Kungfu stance is out
She can turn on her cuteness anytime.
What pose should I do?
Rockers Lady
Kacak sik kamek?
The question is to unsheathe or not?
Feeling the wind

Then comes the group photoshoot.

Feeling good
Steph Sandwiched in between
Ladies in Red
Smiling Day
Now Everyone Can Jump

How to Order The T-Shirt?

If you are interested, you can drop your request to me via Whatsapp (0148677585). Information that I would need are as follows:

  1. Name
  2. Colour (Black and Red is available, though other colours can be requested)
  3. Size
  4. Quantity
  5. Delivery address
  6. Price: RM55 for long sleeve, and RM50 for short sleeve.

Evening Dress Photoshoot

After the t-shirt photoshoot, it’s time for evening dress photoshoot with these ladies. It is a good departure from the t-shirt that they have been wearing.

Feeling cool
Anda rasa saya ada masa untuk sakit kepala?
Cinderella went to Party
Anda rasa saya ada masa untuk sakit kepala? Part 2.
Ads for PG
Kacak sik?
How do I look?
Aura is out
Try to guess what’s on my left hand?
She is posing her age – The Young Ones

Final Words

As a parting gift, these are the words of advise to all of you. I posted this one at my Instagram story, dedicated to those who is still on the fence on what they want to do in their life.

Tukang Rantek’s “Mafia” Family (2020)

Mental Liberation

If you are controlled by what others think of you, you are their mental prisoner. If you have something that you really want to accomplish, just do it. Concentrate all your effort there. Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades just because you want to impress Mr/Mrs Sanuh that lives next door who doesn’t care if you fall or broke. You like black and white photography? Just do it. Why worry about colour or camera brand? You like lifting/fitness? Just do it. Why wait for it to become a trend. You like someone? Tell him/her. What’s stopping you? If they reject you, move on. You will save yourself few precious years waiting like a helpless beta male/female. Why waste your time? In the end, it’s your family that will be there for you. If someone talks about you behind your back, let them be. You can’t please everyone no matter what you do. Therefore, do what you need to do. Have faith in yourself. You can do it. Jia you.

“If you are controlled by what others think of you, you are their mental prisoner.”

del

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

Follow me on Instagram: This is for my Monochrom works.
Follow me at LinkedIn: Claudius Weson (this is for more career-oriented posts)
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Note:
“Tukang Rantek” Claudius is a Portrait, Wedding & Event Photographer based in Miri, with a passion for writing. 
[1] “#TukangRantek” means photographer in Bidayuh Piching. 
[2] Event covers Funeral, Birthday, Party etc.

Disclaimer: No parts or images of this blog can be used without prior written permission from “Tukang Rantek” Claudius Weson

Immortalising Memories

Memories – each and every one of us has it. It is something to be remembered from the past. Inside our 2.5 penta-bytes brain, there is a lot of faculties which our mind stores and remembers information. Some of these faculties store memories that we wish to forget, while some contains those that we wish to remember, always. Accessing these memory faculties clears its neuron path, while less accessed one will have an undergrowth in its path, much like a less travelled road. Soon, it will become secondary jungle in our brain, where the faculty will eventually be forgotten over time, which results in us not remembering anything about that particular incident. Unless somebody came with the map to that faculty of memory, which is a picture of the past.

Imagine that you have a wonderful childhood. Realising the importance and value of photograph in the future, your beloved parents or family members (in my case, my aunty) set aside an amount of money to buy film camera despite life difficulties. 3 decades gone by, no one remembers what happened at your 5th birthday party. But when you saw the pictures of the happier times, suddenly all of these memories came back rushing in, as if the dam that holds it back collapsed and you memories overflown. At the back of your head, you remembered your family and friends happily singing “Happy Birthday” / “Selamat Hari Jadi” to you, with your little niece mistakenly singing “Selamat Pagi KP” (same tune by the way). But it does not matter, because it was memory of a happy times.

Same goes for the memories of our departed beloved ones, which is captured using photographs. We tend to forget them, because they reminded us of the pain the left us, but let’s not forget the wonderful memories they gave us throughout their lifetime on Earth. They are the one that supports us, they are family. Their pictures are family treasure, so that the younger generations know how their ancestors looked like.

Time flows forward, one second at a time. Our perception might change, but time flows steadily. In our good times, time seems to gone by so quick like lightning, but when we are in pain, times travels slowly like a tortoise. We can gain back our lost money, but we can’t gain back our lost time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. If we don’t seize the day, we’ll lose out.

Me and the rest of the photographer community are aware of this fact, and that’s why we love to create photographs. Our intention might be different from one another, but fundamentally, we helps people to remember the memories of the good time we had. Be it wedding, engagement, funeral or just simply to remember that you once had this particular look (6-packs, flawless skin, hourglass-shaped body, you name it). For me, I call it “immortalising memories” – to ensure that our memories are eternal, at least in a digital format that we can see and enjoy. Just like our fingerprints, each and every one of us is unique. We have our own ways of looking at things. A single picture might evoke a different memory to different person. That’s why people say, a picture is worth a thousand words. For some, prefer it to be hung at their wall so that every day they can admire it.

Similar to our existence in this world, with a unique path and way of life, every photographer has a different things they want to achieve. Some has an immense passion to achieve glory by winning international awards, while some just want to make a living. A lot of photographers that I admire has the passion for photography itself, and by being genuine to their passion, they are able to achieve greater heights. For me, my passion is to immortalise memories, with a focus to make people look beautiful/handsome in the photographs that I have created. When people came back to me and tells me that they love the pictures that I have created, I am happy “tukang rantek”.

“Immortalising Memories” 📷

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

Instagram: tukangrantekclaudius

Note: Claudius is a portrait “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri.

In Loving Memory of Babai

Introduction

Tabi basa and greetings everyone! When there is life, there is death. We are taught to celebrate life, but we are not openly taught to embrace death because it’s saddening and bring grief and despair to the affected family, especially when the deceased is someone’s significant others; husband or wife, or even a life companion.

Babai

In this post, I’d like to write about the funeral of my late grandfather, or his nickname “Babai”, which means grandfather in Bidayuh Siburan/Padawan/Bau, instead of “babeh” or “babuk” in Bidayuh Serian. Partly this is because I want to remember the final celebration of life that we had with him.

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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.

The Story of Edna & Jacky

Tabi basa & Greetings family and friends,

Gong Xi Fa Cai, Xin Nian Kuai Le to my friends and may the year of Metal Mouse brings more wealth, health and prosperity to you. Stay safe and ensure high hygiene standard is practices in view of various diseases around lately. Stay safe, especially when going to airports and always keep a mask ready.

My post this time is about a friend of mine, an active member of FIAT Miri as well as a choir member, Edna and her husband, Jackie. She was one of the person that inspires me to be active in FIAT Miri since end-2016 and actively involved in choir since I am passionate in singing.

The Engagement

Engagement between Edna and Jacky was done Edna’s longhouse, Rumah Michael Jalak, Sg Bawan, Kanowit, on 17 March 2018. It was like Gawai came early that year, where we enjoy ourselves until late morning, as usual for any Dayak celebration. To my pleasant surprise, Edmund (or Dimen, his Pichin nickname) was there as well. I didn’t know he was married to Edna’s cousin, Etta. Also, Ita Medin and Tony Engkabi was there as well, doing shooting for their Gawai video.

Tony Engkabi & Ita Medin
Engagement Photoshoot
Engagement Photoshoot
Take Me To Your Heart

The Wedding

Fast forward to 2020, 25 Jan, it is the big day for Edna and Jacky. Planning has been made months earlier, and  whatsapp group is busy with the attire of the day. For the church blessing, it was conducted at St Dominic & Rosary Church, Taman Tunku. I was one of the groomsmen, and we were attired in suspender (first time) and polka-dot necktie. These items are easily attained at Daiso Miri, because our aim is to look stylish without burning a hole in our pocket. 

Cikgu Psalms

As for the evening session, it was a fun and memorable night. The ladies looked their best for the night. As for entertainment, I did a song performance, first one is being a solo performance (Perfect – Ed Sheeran) and second song is duet with Diana, You Are The Reason. Jackie’s cousin had better idea, they come up with Bollywood dance for the night.  

Parey Remeo
Fika
Grace Cindy
Natallee Faith Kwan
The ladies that shaped my early FIAT activities. Kinda miss the good old days.
Mr Jameson, still searching.
FIAT Music
Dayung-Dayung Combined Forces.
Walton “Carlos” and Mary Uring – too fast, I can’t capture them. haha

After the P&W by FIAT, it was Marlcolm’s turn to play, along with Cikgu Psalms’ ehem-ehem.

They played Danau, and Semina Duduk Berimbai, sape version.

Too bad I don’t have a picture with Diana on-stage. Otherwise, I would post it here. Probably I need to wait for the other photographer to share it.

I have uploaded this performance at my YouTube channel and my Facebook page, Del.
Wakil Pichin – Dimen.

The event is a crazy one, mainly due to the choice of the right Emcee. In this case, we have Mr Nomiday Dajie as the emcee. He can speak at least three languages, English, Malay and Iban.

Mr Nomiday Dajie
Miss Choreographer below the stage.

After the kids’ performance, it is time for the Bollywood performance, including mashup of music from Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham and Shah Rukh Khan’s top songs.

Say Shava Shava

Caleesey, Jackie’s cousin also sang a song by Alicia Keys, If I Ain’t Got You.

What a burst!
Our own rockstar in the house.
Poco-Poco background dance
Grace and Charles

Nearing the end of the event, Jameson, Remeo and Nomiday are still ready to rock and roll, but the hotel staff is calling it a night. Therefore, that’s it.

May God bless Edna and Jacky, and their Bakeh Homebakery business. One thing that I admire about the two of them, they are husband and wife that runs their own busisness, doing the things that they are truly passionate about.

Until next time. 😉

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

Gears: 

For the 2018 photoshoot, I used my beloved M9-P which was no longer around, coupled with Noctilux 50mm. For 2020 shoot, I used the first Summicron (collapsible) which I love to use to create dreamy effect due to its softness, but still packs a lot of punch combined with Leica M10.

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.