I have stated it multiple times that I considered myself blessed for having a chance to work in a place regarded as melting pot of cultural diversities. Fate has been more generous when I was able to bring my family to Penang and together, we’ve been immersed in the vibrant and fascinating colors of Penang.

7th July 2011, Thursday. It was a non-working holiday for us here in Penang for the celebration of the 3rd Anniversary of George Town as one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We decided to spend a night in the island just to witness the festivities.

I began the day in Eastern and Oriental Hotel as I was invited to the official launch of 2011 George Town Festival and the book launch of Heritage Trees of Penang.

Breakfast was served at the courtyard of Eastern and Oriental Hotel, George Town, Penang.

At the Grand Ballroom of E&O Hotel, the Chief Minister of Penang officially opened the celebration.

Heritage Trees of Penang, written by Simon Gardner, Pindar and Lai EE May published by Areca Books; Thank you, Areca Books for the invitation!

The event was short and sweet; on the dot and precise. The video presentations about Penang tourism were enticing; brief and beautifully done. Then everyone was led to the courtyard of E&O Hotel for a delightful breakfast.

And yes, the Governor of Penang also graced the occasion.

And just after the launch, I met Tina and Gabby in a mall, ate lunch at KFC and checked in at Yeng Keng Hotel.

In the afternoon, the streets of George Town specifically the laterals of Lebuh Chulia were filled with fun, flavors, colors and a ton of varieties.

In my almost one year of stay for work here in Penang, I have not tried riding a trishaw yet , I don’t feel good riding a manually pedaled vehicle plus it usually costs RM 30 (USD 10) per hour.

“George Town’s dancers come alive in this vibrant showcase of movement and music, featuring dance performances by members of local multi-ethic groups such as Indian, Chinese, Punjabi, Siamese and Peranakan communities.”

Here’s that eye-catching cultural overload!  Jai Ho!

Innocent smiles from kids easily melted my worries away.

The rich Malayan race…


“Testimony to Our Living Heritage
(All events are free unless stated otherwise)

George Town is a living testimony to the cultural heritage of various ethnic groups that have settled in the Malay archipelago over the centuries. Events on this day feature performances and exhibitions that express our living heritage in art and music, food, language, and religious practices.” via George Town Festival website

I walked inside the Indian Muslim Museum which is located within the compound of a huge mosque and fascination was absolutely free!

Can you imagine yourself wearing this pair?

I found this metal iron charming. Do you notice the rooster design on its upper part?  Nice!

Don’t you wish evolution has brought an automatic flat iron? I do! hehe!

Brass galore!

Then the Malaysian Indian exhibit was also prominent on the streets…

Jasminum sambac or commonly known in my country as sampaguita, our National flower is not unusual in most countries in Southeast Asia including India; beautifully made into leis fit to honor the gods.

Another common in my country and reminiscent of my childhood is this wooden toy called sungkaan in the Philippines.

The Malaysian Chinese community also shared their colorful offerings on the streets of George Town…

Who would have thought I would see the NINJA KIDS in Lebuh Chulia? haha! 🙂

Then, there were seriously enchanting live musical performances from these kids; simply awesome!

At the age of 34 and a beginner at violin, I find the passion from these kids awe-inspiring!

Notice how young the conductor is?

There were also live-demonstrations of incense making (which I first thought as chocolate sticks, haha!)

I don’t know about you but found this man’s craft the most interesting in that event…

The child in me was silently jumping for joy when I saw his works…

Amazing clay artisty; no details were overlooked! fantastic!

The Muslims exhibited their skills and talents in Wayang Kulit making (remember we went to Kota Bharu in Kelantan and marveled at how Wayang Kulit or Shadow Puppet are made?).

During our family holiday in Kota Bharu last May, we also went to a factory of Kelantanese Batik; that’s why this scene made me smile.

I also went inside art galleries that were opened to public for free and this painting caught my eyes…yes, it’s a framed painting on canvass!

The event also highlighted the unique flavors found in Malaysian dishes, from Nasi Lemak, Nasi Kandar, dimsums , a variety of noodle dishes and a lot more!

My captures were just a fraction of this celebration that’s stretched for the entire month of July. But I believe they were more than enough to prove the reasons why Penang, particularly George Town is one of tourists and travelers’ favorite places to explore.



  1. ang ganda ng festival very colorrful. and the people parang nasa Pinas kalang din. Great captures Doc. By the way, the 3rd to last photo is a painting?

    kala ko part ng display yung girl dun sa museum hehehe hindi pala nakikiupo lang :p

    1. thanks, marian. 🙂
      the event was indeed an eye-candy.

      yup, painting sya. naka-frame pa nga yung canvass e. i liked how the artist depicted still life in texture.

  2. .. i love your shots doc (ako na ang laging baliko kumuha ng pics! hehe.)! para na rin akong namasyal with you on your post about the event. 🙂

  3. hi docgelo!! andyan ka na pala sa malaysia. sa sobrang ganda ng mga pictures, naoverwhelm ako!! ang gusto ko dyan, yung kanilang ihaw ihaw type of food, sarap!

  4. Ang galing galing ng mga kuha. Tama ka overload nga ito. Tunay ka ngang blessed ka for living in a culturally rich and diverse surroundings. This could only help shape Gabby’s global outlook as he grows up.

    BTW, sampaguita lei ba iyon?

  5. docgelo, one of my favorite posts! i love, love this! i love your pics, especially of the people. i love seeing their smiles, their emotions. at si lolo ha, ang galing ng kanyan craft! feeling ko andun ako and i saw a lot! ganda!

  6. WOW. Those pics are AHH-mazing. I felt like I was watching an episode on National Geographic! Galing! If you retire from medicine you could be a photographer for them!

    1. ms. carla, thank you so much! 🙂
      i still have to study my camera and at present, so lazy to do that, haha!
      i am not worthy (yet) of being one with those who contribute to Nat Geo. but your words are flattering! thank you.

  7. That museum was so interesting…I love those curly toed shoes and that board game looked so cleverly made…as usual your photos are beautiful, thanks for such a colourful kaleidoscope!

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