Monday, October 12, 2015

Grateful ii: Family

                                         Singapore (1994)

It's true when people say ,"You don't know what you got till it's gone". A friend of mine was talking to me about getting a day off from work, thanks to a public holiday. But it wasn't much of a holiday to him, because his mother instructed the whole family to do spring cleaning at their home.

I for one do not like to do spring cleaning. It can get taxing and I'm quite the lazy person when it comes to chores to be honest. But this conversation with my friend brought me back to those times where I used to spring clean with my family. Back when there were the four of us. The more I start to think about it, the more I start to cherish those moments even more.

I start to realize that the presence of my parents brought subconscious comfort to my sister and I. The sense of security and comfort to know that you're not facing the world alone, but together. Family was everything. The more the little things started to matter, family bonding started to mean even more in retrospect. I start reminiscing about it. The very foundations of what moulded me to what I am today. The values and memories that money can NEVER buy to relive those moments, even if I wanted to.

Work is my only way of coping with grief. My mind is set on nothing but trying to get to a better place in life. Trying to be a better person each day. The undertow caught in between my feet gets even more violent each day. A sink or swim situation everyday. Treading my way as it gets deeper into submission. A thought provoking notion, but it would be something that Charles Darwin would lecture upon...conform to be able to survive.

I remember falling into one of my deep troubling anxieties and dad knocked some sense into me ,"You shouldn't feel scared of things in front of you that you find difficult! These are the exciting times in your life! Triumph it!". This has always been my inner voice and it will always be. Always trying to break down the walls even if one of them was too overwhelming for me to even break them down, I will get up and break THAT wall down.

As much as I believe that I'll be as good as decomposed waste for the ground to feast, part of me wishes that they (my parents) are watching us over to guide us in spirit. I really miss their presence.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Matt Heafy: Failure

For many years, I have been a huge fan of Trivium. For those who know me, you'll usually see me sporting a Trivium Shogun shirt whenever we meet up. Yes, that's my favourite shirt. I remember the first time picking up the electric guitar at the late-blooming age of 19. Scrolling through youtube videos, looking for a song to learn up and cover. The first thing I saw was Trivium's "Light like to the flies", off their 2nd album "Ascendancy".

I have read and knew of the band's trials and tribulations before they became hugely successful and adored by many music lovers. I admire this band, for they have kept pushing for what they truly desire out of life. Frontman, Matt Heafy explains how he faces failure and owns up to it to reach his successes. He is a role model to me in whatever I do with my life. Dust myself up whenever I take a fall.

,"Failure teaches us. It shapes us. It tests us in our weakest and most vulnerable states. Only through struggle and failure can we overcome, dust ourselves off and begin back on our path to greatness"- Matt Heafy

Sunday, October 04, 2015


Very often we ask ourselves ,"Do we really deserve the shit that we get?". I am coming from a negative angle, whereby, when bad things happen so us, we whine, complain and scream to ourselves - time and time again. It's just so easy to do so. But I've come to realize that I can turn it around by taking it by the balls and face up to it. Like gambling, we must be prepared to lose before we even start to exchange our money for chips to get into the game, in hopes to winning something big. Basically saying that the influences of external parties can end up making it very difficult for you and you have to own up to it. Make do with what you have. May the last push be your heaviest. As long you happened to take ownership on the side of right.

With over 7 billion people on this Earth, I guess we can't claim to be the biggest voice for our rights when there are many others who would love to shout us down whilst looking for things around them to make use as a 'Scapegoat'. Which I think that's why I reserve my comments till I see fit to put my 2cents worth on something. But at times, I gotta learn to let it go. Some things are just beyond my control due to external influences. As complaisant as it may sound, pride gets the best of us all. Even myself included. Life.

Yes, I believe in speaking my mind whenever I see something wrong or during an absolute 'WTF-Clusterfuck' moment (which is obviously not caused by me). But is it really worth the effort in shouting out to those who have fallen onto deaf ears? I suppose that's okay. At least you've done your part in saying what you feel is right than to stand aside and keep quiet. People are people.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Brave This Storm...

Woke up, first thing in the morning; bathed, changed, groomed. Finally was set out to go to work with an objective, everyday. No matter how badly our currency is doing, I chose to focus on my work. Be clear on what my motivation is. Besides meeting the basic needs, I know I want more than that. Beggars can't be choosers, but hey...there is always a better and easier way around things. Eventhough I might be stuck in a rut halfway, I have to keep going.

Trying to memorize my everyday work routine on set, I can say that I am quite contented with what I have achieved so far. But I must strive harder to get into a better position in my career. I choose to break down and rebuild myself. Painful, but rewarding I feel. I realized that no matter how talented people think I am, someone out there is miles (and I mean MILES) better than me. This is only my first week. Many days lie ahead. I must press on.

Let's see what tomorrow has to offer. #GottaKeepBeingMotivated

Sunday, September 13, 2015


2015 has been full of surprises for me lately (although I'm speaking for the latter as December is coming nearer by the day). The ups and downs that has gotten me to where I am now. The pain and pleasure mixed together to remind myself that life is not always a smooth sailing one but a love-hate adventure that we have to deal with for life.

I am grateful that my client base has been slowly growing up to a point where I can plan work days accordingly. And I've had the priviledge to experience interesting shoots that has never been short of exciting. Feature films, documentaries, short films and a lot more commercials compared to last year's business.

These experiences has shown me where I lack in my abilities and how to go around improving them. I am grateful that I am able to work my butt off to pay the bills and have the time to cultivate my passion, which is music with my band (currently working on a lot of demos for my Industrial Metal band, which is slowly taking shape).

2015 has also been a good year for Metal. I finally got the chance to catch Lamb of God at the Hammersonic Metal Festival in Jakarta alongside other bands like Vader, Unearth and especially the legendary Mayhem (a controversial Black Metal band). With Lamb of God having released their new album and Trivium's in October, I can't complain.

And here I am, working on a programme for Netflix which is a totally new terrain for me. I'm just gonna be here to do my best and see what unfolds. New challenges await for me to put my current abilities to test and learn new ones along the way. I'd say ,"BRING IT!".

I have come to realize that I live life according to what I find fit to take care of my family. And no matter how my parents did it to raise my sister and I, it's the kind of legacy I would have to carry on whereby I need to pick myself up whenever I fall and see what fits to carry on the family name.

Despite the political and economic situation in which Malaysia is currently facing, there has got to be a better way to live around it. And I would not comment on it any further as my country has become quite a clusterfuck to sum it up.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Until the world goes cold..

No matter how many times we have acknowledged the fact that we have good friends and family around us. There will always be circumstances where it puts us in a position where we feel alone. Where we feel that we have to endure and face our demons in hopes that we can remain 'cleansed' in the end.

I think there's a beautifiul duality about adulthood. You get to experience the pleasures in life which can be ecstatic, but the hardships that get in the way as well.
The more I start to understand about the world, the more painful things become. But it's not good to remain ignorant and in denial towards the world. Probably because if we keep being ignorant, the pain would probably be greater when life hits us hard and our world comes crashing down.
I think this is why I miss my father dearly. The alone time and talks about life never seems to get old. Whenever I have a problem or a doubt, he was always there to give me suggestions in which I can trust and experiment on my own. He was more than a father to me, he was also a brother I never had.
Whenever each month starts on it's first week, I can't help but think of all the good times we spent and done during that month of any particular year. And I believe each of those moments hold certain value and has taught and groomed me to be the person I am today.

With any decision I have made currently, I'll always wonder as to how Papa would have handled it. The world becomes scary as I have to face the world under my own terms. People with their ideals and me trying to apply the 'tools' I have to my advantage to get through in life.
What is 'Right' or 'Wrong' in the end? I feel as I grow older, that question becomes a question of 'Perception'. I may live under my own terms, but I also need to hear out from others. I may break, but I refuse to, because of pride. I also NEED to break because I need to release my demons before they start to consume me.

I think what makes a man a Man are the scars that are left on us, reminds us to do better and try our best not to fall. Some people have talent to breeze through life, some have to work hard to get stronger to endure difficulty. I think this is where 'Gratitude' is hugely important.

Monday, February 23, 2015



 "Go through the mill" they say. A reminder to myself that there will be more challenging obstacles ahead compared to what I'm facing now. I must press on. I recently worked on Location Audio for a short film for Malaysian Airlines together with an ex-colleague of mine from AddAudio, Wandi (Who's now a freelance Audio Engineer as well).
It was quite refreshing to see that both of us have similar years of experience and to work together for the first time in 3 years as freelancers brings back the working nostalgia. The only difference is, we're more familiar in what we do, which makes the workflow of things so much smoother. Always a good thing.

The title of the short film was called "Blessings". A short film in conjunction with Chinese New Year, is about a man who loves chasing wealth and ambition so much that he forgets that true blessings come from appreciating the people (Family and friends) that matter and make our lives richer.

It was a tiring but fun two-day shoot. The casts and crew were great. Directed by Hisham Saleh & Linus Chung. As well as Linus' brother Aaron Chung, who's the DP.

In the crew, there was a 'Behind The Scenes' guy, who shoots the overall production activity as well as interviewing the Casts and Crew themselves. When I was being interviewed, I was asked this ,"What does 'Blessing' mean to you?".

For some odd reason, I choked and froze in front of the camera. And thought back of the recent events that's happened to the Cheah's for the past couple of months, I can only say so much:

Blessings to some people can be about wealth, health and what have you. Which is fine. At the end of the day, you know you appreciate the things that you have around you. To fit in my own definition of A 'Blessing' according to how I live my life, I would say that "Suffer" is part of the blessings that I keep. Why? If I did not go through a certain difficult phase, I don't think I would grow stronger than I did before. And that would be my source of strength to move on in Life.

I think that's as truthful as I can get with that interview than to just leave 'flowery' stuff in there. And this would be the first Chinese New Year without Papa. Being an Atheist and not conform to a conventional religion, it does leave a stigma of the 'No framework of the afterlife'. Basically means when I die, I'll be as good as decomposed 'dirt'. Do I miss my parents? Yes I do. Do I believe in A God? I will know when I've passed on. At this point, I just can't bring myself to agree with the dogma of mainstream religions.

But the one thing that I'll miss the most is the physical presence of my parents. To me, that is as real as it gets. The values and lessons that have been passed down to me are the things that will keep them alive in my head. The path to take in Life is really a mysterious thing. I can't find out further unless I keep moving forward in order for things to unfold. 

And with those obstacles ahead, I'll suffer till I make it. And I think that's a wonderful thing. Life IS unfair depending on how one sees it. But I think it depends on how we manage it ourselves in the end. How sure are we that the things we do and the decisions we make are Right or Wrong? I think there's no simple answer to that. Because we humans tend to justify one another of our actions, religious person or not.

I think as long as we learn from our mistakes and fix them, we can move forward. To my parents and sister, you guys are part of my greatest Blessings. Gong Hei Fatt Choi.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Forsake not the dream

It's quite interesting how Life goes for each and every one of us. And probably most (or perhaps all) of us never seem to be contented with everything because we tend to either strive for the better things in Life, or hide in a 'cave' and mope about how shitty our Life is.

Probably because there are people in society who rub their wealth and fortune onto our faces and put us down. Those of us who are affected by such treatment tend to have our self-esteem being declined. But some of us DO take that Envy of others and turn it into Anger to drive ourselves into striving even harder to be successful in Life. I'm not saying it's an easy thing to ain't. As cliche as it may sound, in the end, we have to find our own niche in Life and THAT is not impossible.

In public, I bet most of us watch the world go round and witness happy people who act like they've got everything going well for them and we tend to say to ourselves ,"Hey, I want that person's life. So ideal. *While looking at ourselves in a bit of disgust*". Most of us probably had thoughts about committing suicide because we think we're not worth living on this Earth. Why is that? Is it social pressure from peers that put us down and brag about how well they're doing in Life because of the right choices they've made in Life? Or maybe it's because we're not happy with our family background which makes us feel displaced around people who are pretty much well off?

As I'm writing this, I'd like you Readers to know that I am facing a struggle which I'm sure does not make me the only one. But up to this day, I refuse to admit defeat (Even if it kills me). 2014 was indeed a horrible year for me, but I found that to be a form of blessing as I'm trying my best to overcome situations that pulled me down so hard that I wanted to give up everything. I guess that's what makes us human, doesn't it? I should learn how to dust and pick myself up, no matter how hard the fall can be.

I guess it takes a very hard blow (and a knock on the head) for us to get even stronger each day. It's just a matter of how bad we want good things to happen. Having said that, I think mixing with very good company does help a lot. Not only mix with positive people, but with skeptical people who care enough to suggest us options that we can tailor-make ourselves to go about Life and make decisions that would land us in a proper position. 

I remember driving myself and dad to mamak for supper one night and I asked him this ,"Pa, when you were alone in KL and never knew many people then, how did you know you were going to make it in Life despite not having many 'roads' to take at the time?".

He told me ,"Son, if a beggar could survive out in the streets, I believe I can do so much better than that!".

Those wise words really stuck with me till today, which I'm grateful. But to have the loss of both parents is something I'll have to cope with at my own pace as I go on with Life. As much as I appreciate the people around me who have been giving me a kick in the ass to perk me up, I guess Time will help heal these wounds for the most part. I am my own man, I'll handle it as best as I can. I've seen and felt pain & suffering enough times for me to finally grow tired of wanting to give up this Life. No matter the suffering, not like it was the first time. Time to surround myself with friends, family and peers who care for me.