There's no complete trip to a country without going to their museum. It's a more concise way of understanding who they are, and what they are as a people. Photos were not allowed inside which I understand because you probably would skip this trip if you've seen everything in my site (and YOU shouldn't!), but I'll tell you about Muzium Sabah.
It was raining that afternoon but we still wanted to see this gorgeous structure and what they have inside. You will be greeted by several tables, chairs in whimsical designs. The roof over the tables were reminiscent of what the tribes men and women wear on their heads. There were also huge wicker bags that are native to farmers. When we got inside, we saw a huge skeleton (approximately 18.6-meter long) of what they call a "Bryde's Whale". The remains was discovered in the same area as The Pontoon (which we'll see in a bit) and has been regarded as one of the most well preserved specimens in Asia. I was really at awe on how huge it was and reading off the information inside the Muzium Sabah educated me how much we need to preserve nature. There were also other animals shown in glass cases in other parts of the museum all clad in Taxonomy form. I didn't even know there was a rhinoceros or huge cats in this part of the globe. There's a cute elephant, and some wild birds endemic to the region too. You should never miss visiting this because you would easily understand the other places in Sabah by just spending a few minutes here.
As for the tribes of Sabah, they have almost all of them represented in the front part of the structure. It's lined with several real deal clothing. Some of the displays are also for weddings, so intricate dresses were on display. From warriors, to headhunters, to prince, princesses and even horses, they were shown proudly by they museum and it was really a learning experience! You can also shop on a nearby souvenir shop if you prefer to do that early. You'll be tempted because they almost have everything there; some small items may be good. I suggest you shop in malls instead because it's way cheaper.
On Our 2nd Day...
Our second day started with something awesome and it was so near that I already took a glimpse of it the day before. Our hotel The Pacific Sutra had kept one of the nicest things in Kota Kinabalu. At the back of the hotel, you just walk a few meters and you'll see a place called the Sutera Harbour Marina and Country Club.
There are a lot of Mom's out there who didn't turn out to have the perfect family. Due to their economic and social status, the Philippines has one of the most numbers of single mothers and it is increasing at an alarming rate. Not that its a huge problem but the conventional family which is the basic unit of society in the Philippines isn't achieved without "Fathers" being in the picture. But what if these women are abused? What if they get pregnant without having that pretty picture? It's hard to raise a family, but there are foundations like Kaisang Buhay Foundation who cater to these single Moms and they need your help. GMA Kapuso hunks Enzo Pineda, Aljur Abrenica, Mike Tan, Steven Silva and Ken Chan know how hard it is to be in this situation, so one afternoon they spent their precious time giving these Moms an event they rightfully deserve. GMA Artist Center celebrated Mothers Day in Project 4, Quezon City.
They went out of their way and scheduled this gathering to give importance to soon to be Moms because for those who didn't have the chance to have life painted like a perfect picture, they still deserve the same care, the same attention. It's not their fault, nor is it the fault of their kids and these artists know it. Even for just a while, they would be able to get them feel how important they are.
It was also hosted by Papa Dudut of 97.1 Barangay LS and comedienne Tess Bomb. They also made the crowd lively in spite of what they have experienced. This house actually serves as a venue for these single mothers who want to share their stories and in turn, learn from it too. They have sad stories, but it should not be a catalyst to ostracize them from society. The GMA Artist Center finds value in this, so they made sure these Moms even for a small time can still experience Mothers Day and feel special.
Their faces light up, they were all smiles upon seeing Enzo, Aljur, Mike, Steven and Ken. The artists also felt how important it is to spend time with them. It was touching.
Even if it was hot in that place, you wouldn't see them complaining. You would really feel how much they wanted to show these single Moms that everybody deserves to renew their lives, and that there are good people out there to take care of them.
These good guys also sang a few songs to the delight of these women.
They also gave their gifts from their sponsors who also chipped in to help in this charity event.
Thank you to GMA Artist Center and these gorgeous looking guys who took time and spent it in charity work. I laud them for having awesome looking faces, great bodies and even BIGGER hearts. You deserve all the blessings you are getting and this is a good thing that you guys did. You will surely be blessed; more because you are honestly some of the most genuine persons I know. Congratulations to you and GMA Artist Center on this event, and I hope it doesn't end here.
As an added treat, I got to talk to some of them. :) Enjoy these videos!
1 Philippine Peso is equal to 0.07 Malaysian Ringgit. That means, a single Malaysian Ringgit is equal to around 13-14 Philippine Pesos. I was counting the cash I had on hand and would definitely not leave this place without finding a bargain. We didn't waste time so as soon as we got settled, we went ahead and got our money exchanged; then went to malls like Suriah Sabah, Karamunsing Complex and 1 Borneo. There were a lot of things on sale like clothes, electronic gadgets, food, accessories, cosmetics, souvenirs and small trinkets. I saw some really good buys. I couldn't make up my mind what to take home so I only bought a few things (and thought I'll probably buy more the next day). Then we went to one of the best places for a sweet tooth like me. The Cocoa Boutique in Tanjung Aru. =)
Tanjung Aru's Cocoa Boutique
I don't know if you've realized it, but you're actually looking at two life like statues made of pure chocolate. Just look at the intricate details on these works of art! We proceeded inside and saw some more stuff made of the same chocolate. :)
The map of Sabah and schools of fish, then this cute Green Turtle (which is brown now LOL) was there to sat hi to everyone coming into the store. :)
Then the hallway was like chocolate heaven!
They have different flavors available, different fruits, nuts and spices in each chocolate masterpiece. Rumor says, there's a specific postal code for each piece on the shelves, I could live there. =)
Chocolate with Espresso Coffee, Dark Almond (obviously dark chocolate with Almonds), Milk Assortment (Milk Chocolate covered Hazel Nuts + Almonds), Milk Hazelnut (Milk Chocolate covered Hazel nuts).
White Chocolate with Strawberry, Dark Chocolate with Chili and White Chocolate with Coconut.
Milk Chocolate with real Hot Chili, or Mint
Hazel Nut with Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate and Milk Chocolate. =)
I took a ton of these for Mom and Dad who's got diabetes because it's Sugar Free! =) I guess they can still have this in moderation.
Plus, they've got a lot of the same chocolate put on smaller packs, and they have them on sale. This is perfect for those who want to bring a little something home after their trip. =) I especially love the white chocolate covered almonds because I ate almost a whole pound of it. Don't tell anyone haha!
We had dinner a couple of kilometers away from this place. It was hosted by the wonderful, warm and welcoming people of the Sabah Tourism Board.
Kampung Nelayan Floating Seafood Market Restaurant
It was raining when we arrived at the restaurant. This is in the Bukit Padang district which is almost at the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu. It's part of a Botanical Park that has got a lake and the structures are built on its shores. From the spacious parking lot where we alighted from our bus, you'll have to climb a few steps up to a Malaysian inspired house that's got seating for a couple hundred people. The place was packed, and we somehow figured a few minutes after that there was a show happening on the adjacent platform of across where we were at.
Our day in Kota Kinabalu just started and this was what greeted me outside the airport. Most of the cars are Proton, which is all proudly Malaysian made. They are very proud of this in fact, almost all the cabs and city cars carry this brand. Notice too on this shot how the back part of this parking area is extremely covered by huge trees. While we were on the tourist bus it was so evident how almost every part of the city had trees or small forests around them; no joke. It just shows how much they care for nature. We headed off to our awesome hotel afterwards.
Our Accommodation: The Pacific Sutera
The morning was great and as we were flying along the right hand drive highways of Kota Kinabalu, we entered a huge place a few minutes away from the airport. The hotel where we were going to stay was called The Pacific Sutera. Take a look at this!
Nestled at the middle of Kota Kinabalu's Sutera Harbor Resort, this hotel is part of a 384 acre land facility that's got its own resort, golf course, spa, marina and a country club. It's got 956 rooms and suites if you include the Magellan Sutera. This place is perfect for family, executives and business travelers. Pretty cool that we are staying here because its in the middle of everything in Kota Kinabalu.
Outside, we could see a glimpse of their UNESCO World Heritage site Mount Kinabalu (Gunung Kinabalu). The interiors are reminiscent of Hawaiian - Pacific Island hotels but still had that tropical vibe. An iconic marble/granite statue of dolphins shown jumping off waters is placed center of the hotel's lobby. Several indoor plants and Orchids endemic to Sabah are also on display on this floor. Checking in was a cinch since there were no lines on the front desk. They keep that managed because they have several counters up front. The high ceilings made this all so grand too!
Then we were sent to our respective rooms.
The Pacific Sutera Hotel: Guest Suites Interior
This particular room is situated on the 4th floor's far right side. It's non smoking, and its got 2 beds on quite a spacious suite.
It's interiors look more modern. The pillows are soft and comfy and would probably cause you to stay in the room too much that you'll forget your trip LOL.
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