I have stopped updating this blog, please head to http://xiwenwendy.wixsite.com/xiwen-lunaticus ! :D

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Twelve Nights - The Movie about Strays - Adopt, Don't Abandon

I came across this facebook page about a movie newly released in Taiwan named Twelve Nights, the story about stray dogs being sent to the animal 'shelter' (yes we call it 'shelter') and the twelve days they spent there before being put into sleep if they are not claimed by anyone. This movie caught my attention as I never thought that theme like this will be chosen to be produced into a movie as it is so insignificant in our life. How many people ever been to animal shelter before? I didn't (although I have been wanting to go, but just thinking without taking action, I feel so ashamed of myself). Another spotlight of this movie is that Giddens was involved in the production (if you really don't know who he is, click here. He is an awesomely dedicated author full of weird and crazy ideas) that gave me a reaction of 'what??? really??? how come I don't know??? I am so outdated!!!'.

Adopt, Don't Abandon! 

This is the main message that is brought out in this movie, to raise the awareness of public about animal welfare especially strays. After watching the trailer, I realised how ignorant and selfish we are about this issue. Stray dog is a common sight in Malaysia, at the wet market, in the park, along the road, around neighbourhood, everywhere! It is painful when you see them wandering around, foraging for food scraps, struggling to stay alive in this cruel cold world, but what you do is uselessly and helplessly watching them and when their begging eyes meet yours, you look away, pretending nothing happens. Most of them are terribly sick and infested by parasites, bringing more hatred from people because they are filthy and disgusting despite their kind heart as human's best friends. Parents taught their children to stay away from the strays when the children, pure and full of love, show affection towards those unwanted animals. People see them as a sore in eyes, chasing them away and hurting them, turning away from the fact that it's us who create these innocent lives.

21 March 2012, I won't forget that day when I got my SPM (the most important exam of a secondary school student in Malaysia) results, and on the same day, I almost lost her, a short-haired dog living in the back alley of my house. She was just as sweet as any other lucky dog with owner, wagging her tail and trotting towards me with happy paces whenever she saw me. My house is too small to have a dog, what my family could do was to feed her with leftovers (it's unhealthy for dogs to eat human food, but we have no choice). Every evening she would appear at the alley during dinner time and stayed there at night, watching over the alley. I know that she was scared when strangers approached but she still did her job of trying to defend the territory unless the invaders came too close. Her instinct and experiences told her to run away. Back to the story, that afternoon when I came home from school with my examination results slip, I heard the incident from my grandma: the people from the city council came to hunt down stray dogs. I was dumb-struck at the moment before rushing out of my house to look for her (she had three cubs at that time, but if not mistaken, only one escaped as it was hidden by a kind-hearted person who wished to adopt it). I walked around the neighbourhood, calling for her. I was really afraid at that time, tears welled up in my eyes. After some time searching under the scorching sun, I heard the sound of paws having contact with the road. When I turned around, I saw her pounding towards me. I knelt down and greeted her into my arms. That was the first time I hugged her, although she was dirty and smelly. I loved her.

Her old photo, taken two years ago.
We often see strays as invaluable life, they are annoying troublemakers who always mess around with people. But when we give them love, they love us equally, or more, in return. Since I furthered my studies in Selangor, I rarely met her. I have no idea whether she is still alive or not and how is her illness. One thing for sure, she will remain in my memories like any other strays that I encountered until now, because they made my life a little bit more wonderful with their beautiful hearts.

The official trailer of 'Twelve Nights'. I am not sure whether this movie is going to be available in cinemas of Malaysia or not. But if you are interested, you can always follow up from Giddens' blog (link is provided above) or the youtube channel. This is the official website which I recommend very much, it is so creative! http://www.twelvenights.com.tw/

P/S: I am looking forward to the movie very much although I hate to shed tears during movie time, ugh.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Beauty And The Beast A Musical Theater - Review

Hey guys! University life is actually never boring if you know what you can join. I have been keeping an eye on notices posted anywhere so that I won't miss any event that I might be interested in and I found this! Two months ago I saw the notice about recruiting actor and actress for the musical theatre with the title 'Beauty and the Beast'. I was really excited but I was not really good in acting. 90's Disney has always been part of my favourite childhood memories and this event caught my attention. After two months of preparation, finally this musical theatre is staged and I was willing to attend although no merit would be given (ah stop mentioning about merits).

I believe that many of us know about this magical story about a prince who was cursed to live as an ugly beast until the day he met his true love who loved him back.  This musical performance was presented by B2 Production which consists of the third year students of Bachelor of Art (English Literature) taking the course Play Production and Performance Technique taught by Dr. Arbaayah Ali Termizi. According to the information I obtained from the exhibition outside the theater, it was the first animated movie staged in UPM, the biggest production with 75 crews, and the most expensive play production to be staged in the history of UPM's theatre.

RM 5 for students of UPM!!!
As I have watched the Disney animation before, I went to this event with quite high expectation (my bad) and ended up with slightly disappointment. Firstly, the sound system was really bad that we have to struggle to hear the voice of the actors and actress (except those with louder voice). I think it was the problem of the microphone as the background music was very clear. The most important thing in a musical performance is the sound that we hear as it would be difficult for the audiences to understand the whole story without listening to the dialogues. We could understand the performance this time as we already know the story well. Next, the time taken during the changing of setting could have been faster. The long pause (in my opinion it was long) was awkward. Overall, I was only satisfied about the settings, the costumes and the performers (refraining myself from giving critics anymore).

Despite the bad reviews above, I LOVE the musical theatre! The actors and actresses were PERFECT to me! Their voices, their facial expression, their every movement and emotion brought the supposed-to-be-virtual characters into life! I don't know which word should be used to describe their performance: mesmerizing, breath-taking, fascinating, awesome etc. When the character Gaston appeared, I was like 'wow this is really Gaston', unbelievable. All the characters which were once only living in story became alive on the stage that Wednesday night. I thought I really saw the real Belle, Beast, Lumiere, Cogsworth and many more in front of us. Among them, the character I love the most is Lumiere, the candles. Those who have watched this performance know why, haha. He was just so Lumiere! His acting made him to stand out among other characters on the stage. Yes all of them are PERFECT, I say it and I mean it. You guys should have been there to watch it with your own eyes. This was the first live musical performance that I have ever watched and  I am looking forward to any other similar performance in university. Hopefully next year there will be other play being staged! I truly admire the crews who had been working so hard for the past two months just to make the performance possible.

I have been wanting to watch musical theatres as there is something in it which is irreplaceable by movies. My bigger dream about musical theatre is to watch The Lion King in New York City (it came to Singapore once, but no money no chance no talk). One day, I will be there!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


I has been exposed to Wushu through movies and dramas since I was a kid. My grandma loves to watch kung fu movies by Jacky Chan, Bruce Lee, Jet Lee etc and so I used to watch them with her since she was my babysitter (haha). It's amazing for me to see people performing wushu on the screen, flying here and there (with sound and visual effects of course), kicking those bad guys' ass. That was where I started to fall in love with Wushu.

I have to say that I am a vey blessed child. During my high school time, I was thrilled to find that there is a Wushu club in Jit Sin High School as one of the uniform bodies. However, it was very difficult to get into the club as over hundred of students were competing to get the merely forty places there because people believed that activities of Wushu club were less frequent and intense (and they were super wrong). In order to choose the members of Wushu club during that time, our names which were submitted earlier were picked randomly by person (not by computer). Thank God that my name was unique enough (it consists of two words rather than three words) to catch the person in-charged's eyes and I was choosen.

There are a wide variety of Wushu out there, each with there own styles. Our Wushu club is based on traditional Sao Lim Wushu, unlike the one that we see in Olympic games (they are totally and distinctively different). We had maximum six hours of training every week (this one already included the extra two hours we spent during schooling days, so should be normally four hours every Saturday) which was not long enough for us to have quality learning. Besides training, we also have exams and annual inter-school competition. About the exam, we don't have things like belt to differentiate people of different grades, unlike Tae Kwan Do. There are ten grades in total (I got until five in five-year-time), and after you get eight or nine you can apply to become assistant coach. Then you can even apply to be coach after confronting Sammy Ho (haha), our beloved coach. For the competition, there are ten fields, (nine during my early time) for us to choose from, but most highly ambitious students (like me, hahaha) will take all of the options to increase the chance of our school to get the overall champion.

After graduated from high school, I got into Selangor Matriculation College and met this guy, Richie who was a former athlete in Wushu and we formed a one-year Wushu club there. We didn't learn much as we mainly taught others Wushu. So, time flies and here I am in university. I am really glad that I get into Wushu club in UPM as I met a lot of awesomely humorous people(I began to suspect whether learning Wushu would have side-effects on human normal thinking) who would easily cheer up my day with some jokes and silly thoughts. I feel like I am back to my precious high school time where the Wushu members were just as funny as they are. The other thing that made me feeling extremely grateful and excited is that I got the opportunity to participate in the oncoming inter-university Wushu competition in USM, Kelantan with 15 other people from my university who are older than me (hahahahahaha, just kidding, but it's true). I get the chance to wear the gorgeous silky clothes which are considered as compulsory for competitive Wushu.

My colour is pale gold, looks nice, right???
Time is running out. This is the third time our university sending students to go Kelantan for the competition. According to my seniors, our university got the overall second runner up during the first time participation and first runner up during the second participation. Hmm... With 16 representatives this time, we hope for the best. As one of the preparation for the competition, our coaches, Chai and Jack held a pre-competition rehearsal where we were fully dressed with make-up on. It was so comfortable wearing this clothes as there was no restriction of movement at all! Most of us were doing fine in this rehearsal, only some touch ups and we are good to go next week.

Don't get tricked by our smiling faces, we are super serious during performances, haha.  
Tai Chi. The difference between clothes for Tai Chi and normal one is that no belt is required.
Tai Chi sword. The rules are strict for clothing in Wushu competition. We have to follow every single detail such as the number of buttons etc.
Don't fool around with me. *glare*
Another Tai Chi. Tai Chi is very difficult to me. How am I going to perform for at least five minutes with slow motion somemore.
Our dedicated young coaches, Chai and Jack.
I still can't believe that I am going to represent my university to go across the border for competition (honestly never dreamt this before)! No matter what is the outcome, as long as we have given our best, that will be enough. The most important thing is the spirit of teammate-ship and friendship built that makes us strong. Cheers!

P/S: So sorry that I left out some individual teammates photos. Tips: Look for cameras whenever you feel awesome. (and don't care about nervousness as awesomeness always wins!)