khoo kongsi docgelo
Prayer Pavilion, Khoo kongsi, George Town, Penang

After three years, two months and a few more weeks,  how do you say goodbye to the most unforgettable days of your life? How do you say goodbye to the country who welcomed you with open arms, despite you’re initially clueless about her, except for the image of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers? How do you say goodbye to the state who embraced you and gave you so much opportunities to work, travel, eat, learn and experience her culture? How do you say goodbye to the few people who expressed selfless and priceless concern, love and generosity particularly in your lowest moments and trying times?

I don’t know.

As my son’s already in the Philippines now, continuing his studies with his mom, I try my best not to dwell in sadness, while I bid farewell to a lot of things that matter to me, including the three years of my life in Malaysia.  In spite and despite of my family problems that I opted not to disclose publicly (Don’t ask unless you’re one of those pathetic gossipers and hypocrites I know, who thrive in divulging private issues of others, that made them to me, much like receptacles of feces. Rectum personified. Are you?), I chose to celebrate my last days in Penang, the humble state that I considered my second home, by touring my mom (she’s back in Penang!) and her only sister, my aunty who’s currently enjoying her very first vacation abroad.  After all, it’s so much better to be positive and happy on my last weeks in Malaysia, rather than to just abandon everything and everyone who made our stay in Butterworth worthwhile.

After I officially tendered my resignation from work, I’m savoring my last days in Penang at work with my current students during weekdays and revisiting the places I loved with my mom and aunt every weekends.

kek lok si in penang by docgelo
Kek Lok Si Temple in Air Itam

docgelo october 2013
Burmese Buddhist Temple that enshrines The Standing Buddha in Pulau Tikus

Kek Lok Si Temple in Air Itam

thai buddhist temple penang by docgelo
Thai Buddhist Temple that enshrines The Reclining Buddha in Pulau Tikus

Kek Lok Si Temple in Air Itam

My Mom and Aunt in Malaysia

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur via LCCT.  And if you’ve been following this blog, you probably remember that my mom has been to Malaysia last year, but as for her one and only sister, who happens to be my godparent as well, we needed to introduce to her the country that has been so good to us by only the best ways we know how.  So first priority after arrival at the terminal : EAT MALAYSIAN FOOD!

Noodles from Old Town Restaurant in Low Cost Carrier Terminal. Delicious! Sedap! Sarap!

Then came the unexpected travel-blooper of my aunt’s luggage that she only borrowed from one of her daughters. Just before we boarded our KUL-PEN flight, my mom noticed that its stitching collapsed that pushed me to buy packing tape from the airport’s bookstore.  The next photo exhibits the result of our effort to bind her luggage back! Hehehe!


Boarding time! Picture muna!

We arrived in Penang on a Saturday late afternoon, almost dead tired of the whole day flight-and-waiting-at-the-airports, so having dinner at the cafe in front of our apartment was really called for! We’re tired but never fatigued to smile! 🙂

Sunday morning, my aunt went with me to the pasar (public market) via hopping in the Rapid Penang Bus few minutes after 6AM. If you must know, I am one of those rare breed of family-men who take efforts to go to public market to shop for the week’s food supplies, wash dishes, (I also know how to cook!), do laundry, iron clothes, carry gallons of water from the water dispenser from the mini-mart to the apartment on top of working for a living.  All that I experience in being an Overseas Filipino Worker that gave me deeper meaning to the song’s lyrics, “I did my best, but my best wasn’t good enough!”

From the public market, we bought a few Malay breakfast goodies : some local delicacies and Nasi lemak!

We wasted no time after breakfast and rode the bus and ferry and trooped to George Town…

Ferry Ride from Butterworth to George Town

We had lunch at one of my favorites, Restoran Kapitan, Pitt Street, Little India, Lebuh Chulia…

La Coppera : Chicken Briyani

Buttered Chicken Masala, Garlic and Cheese Naan, Dahl, Chicken Tikka, and Mango Lassi! Yummy!

Must remember Penang forever with her absolutely amazing street arts!

Must have photo-ops with Penang’s remarkable symbols and touristy spots. From trishaws, clan houses, temples and mosques, I believed my mom and aunt were happy strolling and touring the heritage trail of George Town.

Inside Prangin Mall near Komtar Building, we had Ais Kacang!
Ais Kacang! One of Malaysia’s refreshing desserts!

The next weekend, I brought them to Kek Lok Si Temple.



We ended the day by having dinner at one of the most affordable eat-all-you-want restaurants in the globe! At only RM 52 (more or less PhP 700) for the total charge for the 3 of us (the two got discounts as senior citizens!), we enjoyed food, food and more food complete with bottomless ice cream and other desserts!



The next day, Sunday – my aunt & mom prepared and cooked lunch. We stayed home the whole Sunday eating & relaxing!


The following weekend, I brought them to the Burmese & Thai Buddhist Temples in Pulau Tikus, then to Gurney Paragon Mall, G Hotel and Plaza Gurney Mall. Photos need not to be captioned. Their smiles say it all!


God is so good! When life gives you trials, the Lord makes His presence felt by sending people who care so much about you and in my case, these people aren’t only my immediate relatives but a few Malaysians who really made me experience Divine Intervention in truest sense of the word.

There are no words to sufficiently express my gratitude to those Malaysians who have been so nice to me.  That includes my students! I shall never forget my days conducting lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes in Anatomy and Physiology, Basic Pathology, General Medical Microbiology, Applied Medical Microbiology, Immunology, Basic Molecular and Cellular Biology, Group Project-Case Study, Medical Parasitology, to future doctors of Malaysia!

Special thanks goes out to my students in FMS April 2013 Intake Group D who gave me a ceramic fountain as a gift (not in photo) and to my students in DMS April 2011 Intake who gave me Baju Melayu, the traditional attire of Malaysian men, complete with a very nice hand-woven songket that they bought in Perak as their gift to me.  Thank you very much! With or without gifts, I really appreciate everything!
baju melayu gift for docgelo
Baju Melayu, given as farewell surprise gift from my students of DMS April 2011 Intake. Terima Kasih!

To all Malaysian colleagues, friends, fellow bloggers, students, sponsors,

Thank you very much!

In Shakespeare’s words, “Parting is such a sweet sorrow!” 

There will be no goodbyes, but see you again in the future!

Terima Kasih, Malaysia!

Thank you for both GOOD and BAD TIMES!




“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

~ Melody Beattie

PS : The remaining weeks prior exiting Malaysia, I still have to attend to generous invites to sponsored accomodation from two premier hotels in Singapore and a luxury 2 bedroom serviced apartment in Kuala Lumpur!  It’s so nice that the good Lord gave me an opportunity to tour my mom and aunt not only in Penang and KL but it will be their first time too in the Lion City soon!  God is so good!


  1. Teary eyed, Doc Gelo Thank you very much for spending your precious time to meet and even personally toured us in your lovely second home, Penang. We know God a has good plan for you and your family! Keep the faith, and never stop sharing those mouth watering food photos and beautiful sites on the next place you’ll be staying in.

    Malaysia would always welcomes you. Don’t forget that 🙂

    Joey and Krissy

    1. As mentioned, I am thankful for both good times and bad times I experienced here in Penang.

      I am and wi’ll be forever grateful to Malaysia, Joey+Krissy!

      Maraming salamat! 🙂

  2. It must be really difficult to say goodbye to Penang. I was only there for a few days, and I fell in love with the city. I can only imagine how someone who lived there for three years will find leaving way harder. But as one adventure ends, another begins. Here’s to your new adventures, Doc! 🙂

  3. I want you to remember that through my eyes, you are one committed person whom I have known so far with the right commitment and virtue in life. Do stay in your best self always and never ever contemplate to be otherwise. In anyone’s journey in life, there are sure to be some blunders. Don’t ever give up. Do pick yourself up swiftly and move on towards a brighter path of success. It’s great to know you Doc~ All the best in your future undertakings. Keep in touch always~ 🙂

  4. i don’t know what to say. i just wish that you will hold on to your faith and trust that our Generous God has something better planned for you. your family will be in my prayers.

  5. this entry make me teary-eyed doc..:'( will never forget u..u’re d best lecturer! thanks for everything..may God bless u always whenever u go..wish to meet u again in the future (even though u won’t..hehe)..God have better plan for u doc..:)

  6. Best of luck to you! You are well-equiped to be a success in life wherever you choose to set root. Btw, extend to Gabby my birthday greeting – he is one lucky kid to have parents like you.

  7. So heartfelt, Doc. Crying inside reading this.

    Your Mom’s and Aunt’s smiles are contagious.

    I felt this just by reading your post and looking at your photos – “Parting is such a sweet sorrow!”

    All the best, Doc!

  8. As someone who’ve followed your Malaysian sojourn with your family, I’m surprised at this sudden turn of events. But I know God has certain plans for you and it’s always gonna for the better. We’re counting on following another blessed chapter in your life!

  9. Awww so sad to hear that 😞but I know a better future awaits you and your family. Good luck doc 😀😊thanks for sharing your experiences and travels in Malaysia, I can’t wait to see your posts on your new travels in the Philippines 😉 kung anuman ang plans mo, “suportahan ta ka” 😉

  10. hi doc, kahit saan ka man maparoon, sa abroad man or sa Pinas or in any other part of the world, saludo ako sa iyong kababaang loob at galing sa pagdudokomento ng inyong mga karanasan pati na sa pagkuha ng mg larawan. good luck in your future endeavors!

  11. I will be praying for your family, Doc. I guess that wherever you go, you’re the type who’s going to thrive because you’ve been nurtured by faith and all the relevant experiences that you need in life.

  12. Saying goodbye to Malaysia? I know your next endeavor will be as good if not better. Let me just put me it this way, I’m looking forward to the next stage of your blogs. God bless.

  13. ei doc gelo! it’s been a while since i last posted a comment here…and to my surprise u are leaving Malaysia na pala…you just had the same feels as what my friend felt months ago…she worked in sg for a few years and she had to go back here in Manila for good…ganun ata talaga pag napamahal ka na sa lugar at minahal ka din ng lugar at mga tao na nandun…whatever reasons lead you to leave MY, we respect that…haters will always hate…dedma sila…

    sayang nga lang cause im booked for MY August next year, but i will definitely check on your posts as my guide to roaming around there 🙂

    good luck and all the best…looking forward to your adventures here soon and hope i get the chance to meet you nd your family 🙂

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