Silence is Golden

Awakenings. Sunrise at Club Med in Bintan, Indonesia.

This write-up should have been posted more than a month ago.  I actually forgot I have these photos from our recent Club Med Bintan retreat; and I was only reminded of having them when I was looking at my passport while on queue at the renewal section of the embassy a few days ago.  I have to admit that long holidays are always short.  Even much shorter for a weekend company retreat like this one.  And because they are short, there is always the chance of bringing home only a few photos; which you easily forget.

So I post them here.  I am not getting a commission for promoting this place in this post by the way. 🙂  It is just not fair not to share these few images.  Some other people contemplating on coming here could still use a little more of these images to get a sense of the beauty of this place.  The colours in the photos here are real and without much processing or editing.

Club Med Bintan (Bintan)

Cool for the Summer. Beautiful morning at the pool deck of Club Med in Bintan.

This is our third company retreat in Indonesia (the first two we had in Batam and Bali).  The first time they announced this Bintan trip, I have to admit I was ecstatic; even excited about the prospect of experiencing another airplane ride.  Then I realized we were in Singapore, and our destination is not like Bali.  Bintan is just 30 minutes away and can be reached by ferry or boat.  Silly of me actually. 🙂 So, do I still consider this 30-minute boat ride as travel?

This post is relatively short compared to my previous ones.  And I apologize for not writing more about the beauty of this place and about the things that we did while we were here.  Maybe I ran out of words to say or just simply uninspired.  At the moment, I am okay with that.  If there is one thing I learn again from this trip and this unexpected dry spell, it’s that Silence is Golden (and Speech is Silvern).  Do you remember your dear friends who talked lengthily when all you needed from them at that moment is the comfort of their presence and silence?  I don’t have the gift of gab but I do write occasionally.  But even that I can overdo sometimes; and the first people to tell me that I write long emails and letters are people who love writing long emails themselves.  Experts cancel each other out. 🙂

Club Med Bintan (Bintan)

Passion Walk: The main building of Club Med in Bintan, Indonesia.

There are moments when writing is spontaneous and a narrative is clear.  Sometimes, you have to wait for inspiration to come.  And other times, words are not needed to get your message across.  That last one I began to appreciate just recently through the posts and works of others; and only the real photographers are able to move me just like that.  In meditation (and in prayer) listening is as important as talking (or chanting).  It is in that moment of silence when you have nothing more to say (and your mind is clear of all clutter) will you hear that soft, gentle and clear voice.  And the message there will be profound.  Honestly, we all could use more of that right now.  ‘Nuff said. 🙂

See you in my next post.  Cheers!!!

The Best Things in Life are Free


Mercure Hotel Legian. This hotel is just a year old and is one of so many nice hotels where you could stay in Bali.

Our company went overseas a few weeks ago to do our annual team building.  This time around, we did it in Bali.

A few days before the trip, a colleague came to me and said he did some internet searching on “things to do in Bali for free”.  One item included in the “free” list was “sunset”.  So I thought, okay that’s nice.  Honestly, I can’t remember a time I paid money to see a beautiful sunset (Can you imagine yourself walking around wearing a metered face mask that will charge you for every bit of air that you breathe, much like the electricity and water that you use?).  I did however spend a bit on camera gear so I could capture beautiful sunsets.  On one occasion, I was forced to use the MasterCard feature of my ATM card (which I don’t usually do) so I could climb the top of KL Tower and see Kuala Lumpur at twilight.  But since the company is paying for this Bali event, I thought the list must be correct 🙂

And guess what?  I ended up shooting only sunsets.  That’s the problem you see.  Did I not mention back there that this is supposed to be a photo and travel blog and that we should take as much photos as we can?  My lame excuse for this is that it was a company event and there was only a small window for us to do our own thing.  It’s a beautiful place where you can do lots of things other than the free stuff.  But if you’re not into water sports and shopping (like me), you’re at a disadvantage.  Lessons learned?  Plan your own trip around the things you want to do.  But if you’re in a travel package, do as much as you can.

Children of The Light. Kuta Beach at Sunset.

But honestly, the free sunset was not bad.  In fact, the quality of the light was amazing.  The image above was taken at Kuta Beach during a bit of free and easy time.  A Bali photo contest was going on as part of the event, so everybody went scrambling to do their own take of this scene.  I was not allowed to join because I was asked to judge the contest based on my limited experience 🙂

The last activity was dinner at Jimbaran Beach (sorry I had to skip all the team-building and sports stuff).  We were too late to catch the setting sun for which this beach is famous for.  I knew I had to make the most of what will be left.  The sun already went below the horizon when we arrived but it left a beautiful underlighting of red, pink, and orange colors in the slightly overcast sky.  The water has receded a little and allowed the wet sand to reflect the sky colors above it.


Edge of Tomorrow. Jimbaran Beach at twilight.

After taking all these photos, I realized that maybe the best things in life are indeed free.  We were told that if we really wanted to see the real Bali, we had to go out of our way; outside the already commercialized Bali that we were in.  That I plan to do in my own time.  But by then, it will not be free anymore 🙂

See you in my next post.  Cheers.


(Equipment: Canon EOS650D | EFS 18-55mm | Manfrotto MK293A4-A0RC2 | Manfotto spirit level | Photoshop CC )