My first exposure to the idea of horticulture was when I was in fifth grade after my teacher asked us to bring plants, small figurines (I brought a tiny bridge and a water well, both made of ceramic), pebbles, moss, soil and a glazed pot, he taught us to make a “dish garden”. 

From then on, I have thought I would have an intense fascination with such, much more to have an instant green thumb; I was absolutely wrong! haha! 🙂 Well, at least, I learned to appreciate twigs, leaves and flowers.

It was a long tiring week for us but we’re not complaining. In fact, we’re even grateful for days passed by so fast and weekend dawned in a swift.

The challenge has been always to make a variety of experiences every weekend. Apart from finding solace every time we attend mass, it’s a bit sickening when you only go to malls, dine and shop a little and repeatedly do it on a Saturday-Sunday-basis (read : expat life can be dull or fun!). 

In a place where most women cover their hair (and practically everything!) with veils for religious purposes, my wife decided to have hers rebonded, haha! It was her very first time to go to a beauty salon, spend a few money for her virgin locks and that was one of her ideas of creativity with weekend.

While my wife’s long straight and shiny hair was under that UFO-looking steamer, Gabby and I decided to leave her inside the mall, hopped on the bus and went to find our own unique Saturday. From bus, we rode this tram that took us to Penang Floral Festival in Penang Botanical Garden…

I have been to a few Botanical Gardens of other countries and honestly, that of Penang wasn’t that impressive (my personal favorite is the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand). Yes, Penang Botanical Garden is a good venue for picnics; a place for strolling and jogging or just kill time and commune with nature but I think I have seen a lot more fantastic gardens before. Nonetheless, the festival made it livelier, with so many plants for sale and for photo-enthusiasts to enjoy…

My son and I never bothered to know the names of the blooms neither asked the vendors of their  commodities’ prices, what I remember was we were in awe of the colors.

Among the flowers, I can identify this easily because its name was the brand of the notebooks I used back in college.

And from my PreMed Botany class, I knew this is a pitcher plant…I told Gabby that this plant can trap insects effortlessly. Please don’t tell me they remind you of condoms…oops!

There was a showcase of bonsai too!

Simply amazing!

It was a total feast for the eyes! I felt like a bee, admiring those vibrant and wonderful God’s creations.

Much to my son’s delight, Penang Botanical Garden has these voluminous tailed mammals wandering freely all over!

we almost locked eyes! i wonder if it recognized an old familar face, "long lost relative?" haha! nah!
Like any day in Penang, the sun was unforgiving last Saturday afternoon so after an hour of stroll and getting close with Mother Nature, I decided to go back to the mall where we left Tina (inside the beauty salon).
We brought 2 affordable & small potted bonsai (of course, they’re small; they wouldn’t be called such if they’re not!) as pasalubong for Tina (to bring to our new home come July).
Gabby and I became sweaty and all, I had to freshen him up; changed his shirt but nonetheless, he had his first-hand lessons on nature appreciation and he liked it. It was a day less ordinary.
We ended our Saturday with a simple dimsum dinner after attending anticipated Catholic mass.
Enjoy the new week, everyone!



  1. Lovely photos. It’s really nice to be one with nature. Parang laging at peace pag gagandang flowers and plants ang nakapaligid di ba?

    interesting post ito Doc pero mas interested ako sa hair ni tina…hahaha!

  2. you had me at “botanical.” he he! i love everything nature. a new one for me is that picther plant. first time ko nakakita nyan…

  3. Ok, let me guess, your notebook way back in college was catleya? haha, honestly, di ko alam ang name nung flower, but since you mentioned it was the name of a notebook, I guessed catleya dahil yan din ata notebook ng crush ko before. LOL

  4. Making expat life more worthwhile is really up to you. At least Malaysia is not like Saudi Arabia where there’s less choices for most OFWs. It’s good to see you finding good use of time with your son rather than stay in the beauty salon and killing time reading a magazine 🙂

  5. I know that dish garden too! hehehe when we were in 5th grade yata we made our own dish garden hehehe, bakit kaya wala dito nun(??)….and the catleya notebook hehehe at least meron ako nun….first time to see that pitcher plant, very interesting sana makakita rin ako dito nyan hahaha kukunan ko rin ng picture lol, mas mura ba dyan magpa rebond? dito kasi nasa $300 e kaya di pa ako nagpaparebond dito hehehe, sa Pinas na lang mas mura pa ;-P e bakit walang picture si Tina with her new hair (??) hehehe

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