How are you and Gabby? It’s been only 2 days since I left home to be in my work site again here in Penang but homesickness has began to kick in again. I guess it’s really part of being away from family. Anyway, I know in 2 to 3 months time, God willing, you and Gabby will join me here for good; or at least until we finish our respective contracts. Aren’t you excited to work as an Operating Room Nurse in Penang Adventist Hospital soon? Let’s pray that your registration paper will be release immediately after they’ve received all your requirements from local offices there in Pinas.
Our trip en route to Penang was eventful; truly one for the books. You know for a fact that it was (Doc)Ronnie who thought of going to Kota Kinabalu prior to Penang for a quick tour of the city and I decided to tag along with him. It was also him who told me to inquire about where to go and what to do on a limited time from one of our (best) PreMed students, Dante who hails from Sabah. So when I did, it led to a wonderful experience we never expected to happen.
From Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark, Pampanga, Ronnie and I boarded a 4PM flight to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
Just after I turned on my cellphone by the time we reached Sabah few minutes before 6PM, I received a text message from Dante’s Dad, Sir Paul that he’s already waiting at the airport to fetch us. *we didn’t think we’d received such warm hospitality*
We were brought to a floating seafood restaurant that features cultural show…
The huge seafood place is built on stilts in a man-made lagoon. We were told it’s frequented by tourists and locals particularly on weekends and holidays but even on a Monday evening, we saw a number of people dining and enjoying the show.
It was our gracious and generous host, Sir Paul who ordered from the stalls of fresh veggies and live seafoods…
Our sumptuous feast in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah….
Grouper or popularly known in Pinoys as Lapu-lapu.
Soft-shelled crabs were divine! Sarap!
Udang is the Malaysian term for shrimps or prawns… It’s Ronnie’s favorite.
Clams in thick and creamy sauce…
Riped mangoes from the Philippines as our dessert…
Some more dances from the show…we found so many similarities with our own not only in the costumes but also in their moves. They also have Tinikling-like dance; a proof that we came from one root. On the right photo were the 2 doctors who made Sabah their pit stop before reporting back to work and their gracious host, Sir Paul. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Sir! Thank you for everything!
Free photo-op with the performers after their show…
After our dinner, he drove us up to a hilly part overlooking the city, then just when I thought that he’ll only drop us off to our hotel lobby, we were pleased that he even stayed longer with us after we’ve checked in.
He offered to accompany us to the airpot the next day so we’re even more delighted.
We woke up at 6AM, checked out an hour after and met him at the lobby. He brought us to a simple place where eateries and stores are located; he treated us again for breakfast. It was another indulgence! We cannot thank him enough…
He ordered white coffee (with condensed milk instead of sugar, sarap!) for Ronnie and I; 3 plates of soyed noodles, and four bowls of tasteful soups –pork, beef, fish and shrimps… It was overwhelming!
He even bought a couple of local papers for us to browse…
And just before bringing us to the airport, he managed to show us one of Kota Kinabalu’s beaches…
It added to a lot of reasons to go back to Sabah.
At the terminal, Sir Paul even carried our luggages to queue for check in; offered us hot milo drink at the lounge while waiting for our boarding time. His hospitality was really beyond our expectations. We’re so grateful to have met him.
We learned that Sir Paul with our student, Dante and the rest of their family already visited Manila 2 years ago. He even had good recall of the places they’ve been to. Sir Paul mentioned he was impressed with Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church and Tagaytay City.
From Kota Kinabalu, we flew back to Kuala Lumpur then headed to Penang via another flight on Air Asia. There’s a direct flight from Sabah to Penang but we purchased our tickets from KL-Penang online long before we decided to go to Kota Kinabalu. Nonetheless, the entire experience of hopping from one terminal to another was amazing.
Someday, I hope to visit Sabah again with you and Gabby; and I and Ronnie also wish to return the favor to Sir Paul and his family whenever they’ll have a chance to visit Manila again.
your one and only *baduy!*