MELAKA! MALACCA!

melaka march 31 2013
Rocking the Baba, Nyonya Malaysian traditional attires | Christ Church Melaka, 31 March 2013.

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

We’re supposed to be in Singapore again from March 30 to midnight of April 2, 2013 but because of unforseen and inevitable circumstance that happened the last minute when we’re already in Johor Bahru (the state of Malaysia at the border prior to Singapore) on the daybreak of Black Saturday, our sponsors –a hotel in Singapore and an a-theme-park-access-card, and my family agreed that the sponsored trip to revisit the Lion City for blog review and feature is best rescheduled to last week of May 2013. Although cliche as it may sound, my family and I considered it a blessing in disguise because as of morning of April 2, 2013, our salaries for the month of March are yet to be issued by our employer, so pushing through with that much-anticipated Singapore adventure could’ve been a challenge on the pocket. Nonetheless, we’re still thankful to the sponsors for such invitation!

After almost 10 hours of travel via bus from Penang to Johor Bahru and learned that the trip was rescheduled, we didn’t dwell on the hassle but opted for the next best thing (affordable too!). Tina, Gabby and I grabbed quick breakfast bites from McDonald’s at Larkin Bus Station and purchased bus tickets at 19 ringgit each from JB to Melaka for that 9:30AM bus ride. We didn’t want to spoil everything and at least, we became excited to experience a place that’s new to our senses.

Without any hotel reservation and no itinerary at hand, we slept the 2 hour bus ride from Larkin Bus Station in Johor Bahru to Melaka Sentral in Malacca. And the rest was a 3D2N of nothing but family bonding, food and fun!  Randomly, Beyond Toxicity will take you to our first ever Melaka trip! 🙂

Unplanned, Spontaneous, Random Trip to Malacca : Here we go!

On our second day in Melaka, we attended the 8:30AM Easter Sunday Mass at one of the most iconic landmarks in this UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Dutch Protestant Church, Christ Church Melaka. Yes, we’re Catholics and experiencing other religious service of Christian faith in a completely new place to us was truly warm and welcoming. The mass that ended after 2 hours with full band and choir singing, was so similar to Catholic masses in order & sequence. After coming out of the church with smiles on our faces, holding Easter eggs and tiny lemon cake slices given by the choir members and the priests, Tina spotted two people with a clothesline of Malaysian traditional attires for rent at 7 ringgit (USD 2.26) per adult, 5 ringgit (USD 1.60) per kid. Next scenes unfolded ~ she asked me, “Gusto mo?” (“Do you like?”), then she began choosing what to wear for a few minutes of photo-op.  Why not, choc nut? 😀

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While Malaysia is known to be a cultural melting pot in Southeast Asia, Baba and Nyonya in Penang and Melaka (also in Singapore and Indonesia) are people with rich and fascinating heritage. When Chinese, mostly traders, came to Malaysia and married Malays, Peranakan or descendants in Malay term were born.  The term, Baba refers to male and Nyonya to female. Interestingly, Chinese culture and traditions were assimitated to Malay cutoms.

Wearing the Baba and Nyonya traditional attires for the moment was such an experience. Admittedly, the part could’ve been complete if we found time to visit the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum. Now that’s a good reason among many others, to revisit Melaka given another chance in the future.

Luckily, there was a Baba costume that fits my size, haha! While Gabby’s too big for the little Baba outfit, he donned Baju Melayu instead, complete with red sampin, a sarong wrapped around his hips. In our eyes, he looked like a very regal Malaysian prince! 😀

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Et voila!  A Filipino family in Malaysian cultural outfits in front of Christ Church Melaka! 🙂

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With permission, Tina took a shot of the next customer who rented another colorful Malaysian wear, an adorable little tourist who came with her parents too. The frame could’ve been nicer if we paired her with Gabby, hehehe!
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Too cute for words!

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Bagay po ba?

Before some closed minded ones conclude that we’re not being proud of our roots and prefer to wear foreign traditional attires, here’s a photo of our family taken at Mines View Park in Baguio City, Philippines that I’ve unearthed from this site’s previous posts. All for the sake of FUN! 🙂

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In traditional attires from Northern Philippines. Blog post HERE!

*This Melaka Blog Series includes :

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20 thoughts on “MELAKA! MALACCA!

  1. I can’t believe it’s your first time in Melaka, doc!

    I always believe in right timing. I’m sure there’s better things in store for your family that’s why the Singapore trip didn’t push through. 🙂

    1. I thought so too! Nevertheless, as mentioned in the post, it’ll push through on last week of May; the vouchers they emailed were updated, sponsors were that generous despite and in spite of.

      yes, while i’ve been to singapore thrice & my family twice, it was our very first time in melaka.
      and there’s so many places here in malaysia that we haven’t explored yet.

      thanks, kat!

    1. Hello, Tutubi! My family and I fell in love with Melaka. It’s only 2 hours via bus ride from Johor Bahru and/or from KL. Go experience it whenever you’ve a chance; drop by Penang too, I suggest during George Town Festival’s last 3 days this year – July 5, 6, 7 as I heard the peak of merry-making on streets will happen on those dates.

      Thanks for dropping by here!

  2. how fun is it to have a photo session in front of the pink church in full costume. the costume rental guy wasn’t there when we visited a few years ago. yap, sometimes destinations have a way of choosing themselves. i’ m sure you enjoyed this destination as much as i did except that i only stayed for a day trip when we were in s’pore.

    1. good to know you already visited melaka! it took us 3 years of living & working in penang before our feet and fate led us there. we hope to be back someday. 🙂

  3. What an amazing story: despite the temporary setback, di kayo natibag. Instead, you looked for another adventure! Ang galing! Way to go, Docgelo, Miss Tina, and Gabby! 🙂

    I want to go to Melaka. Sounds like an interesting place.

    1. hi grace! it’s a food trip-cultural heritage adventure in melaka! we also like to go back one day. it’s a 2 hour trip froom johor bahru (malaysian state at the border of singapore-malaysia) and 2 hours from kuala lumpur via bus and 7 hours from penang via bus too.

      i’ll have few melaka post soon, so stay tuned!
      salamat! 🙂

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