Caritas Christi urget nos!
(by: Ms. Cherile P. Bugarin, MST)
On July 12-14, 2018, the fourth leg of SPUP-organized tour to the ASEAN countries was at the land where all the colors, flavors, sounds and sights of Asia converge. Indeed, the delegation from SPUP had an exceptional experience as they explored the heart and “Truly Asia” – Malaysia!
… navigating Putrajaya! From the airport, the SPUP team headed to Putrajaya, Malaysia’s seat of government. While on their way, it gave them the chance to marvel the Pink Mosque (Putra Mosque) the city’s most distinctive landmark and one of the most modern mosques in the world. The said house of worship displays the evolution of mosque blueprints in Malaysia as it showcases how Islamic architecture artistically blends with traditional designs, local craftsmanship and indigenous materials. Enroute the city tour, the team had also a glimpse of the Green Mosque (Perdana Putra). Located on the main hill of Putrajaya, it houses the office complex of the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Threading Putrajaya was made memorable by sailing through the serene Putrajaya Lake – an incredible man-made water spanning across 650 hectares of beautiful waters and exotic wetlands. On board Cruise Tasik Putrajaya, the SPUP team was soaked up the magical atmosphere and discovered the enchanting garden city while cruising.
Passing through the Putra Bridge (constructed in 1997) boosted their excitement as they trod the main bridge that connects the Government Precinct to the Mixed Development Precinct and links Putra Square with the Boulevard. The upper level of the bridge forms part of the Boulevard. This huge three-deck bridge provides vehicle, monorail and pedestrian access. Besides providing the link between Precinct 1 and Precinct 2 on the Core Island, it has been designed to be a special feature of Putrajaya. The piers also accommodate fine dining restaurants within its main pillar supports.
… scaling Batu Caves! With the sight to behold and the challenge to a walkup its 272 steps, the Batu Caves call for an adventure and require a strong stamina. The caves take its name from the Sungai Batu (Stone River), which flows passed the hill. It is a limestone hill with a series of caves and cave temples in Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia. Exhaustive it maybe, but climbing to the caves provide some cool relief in the hot Malaysian sun. Accordingly, the Batu Caves are considered one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India dedicated to their Lord, Murugan.
… threading Kuala Lumpur City! The tour to the heart of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur City kicked off at the Merdeka Square (Independence Square) where the Malaysians sought for their freedom in 1957. The historical glimpse of Malaysia was enriched in their visit to KL Gallery where the country’s products are organized and branded; and, their heritage and culture are studied and promoted. The group also witnessed a video presentation of how the country had progressed and the Malaysians’ vision of their country in the near future.
The Istana Negara (King’s Palace) was the last stop of the group’s historical immersion. They had a view of the Malaysian architectural ingenuity as the palace serves as the house and royal court of the Yang di Pertuan Agong or the Malaysian King. The area is fenced up and at the front of the gate are two guard posts where members of the Royal Calvary guard the entrance. As the palace is not open to the public, the group was contented to take souvenir pictures at the main entrance of the royal house.
At the Cocoa House, the group made a quick stop. With everybody’s penchant to chocolates and sweet merchandises, the group intently listened as the process of growing and harvesting cocoa was explained to them. After the presentation, the SPUP delegates were led to savor some chocolate samplers and freebies given by the employees. They also tried other flavors like durian, coconut, honeymoon and almond.
… winding up in Petronas Twin Towers! The group culminated their tour with Malaysia’s must-see attraction – a pair of skyscraper office buildings, the Petronas Towers. With spectacle of the identical twin towers, each member of the group tried to find ways to take a good photo of the towering structures. Considered as one of the tallest buildings in the world, the Petronas Towers demonstrated an architectural advancement through steel-reinforcement and steel-glass exterior sheathing.
Designed by Cesar Pelli and completed in 1998, the twin towers serve as headquarters of the national petroleum company of Malaysia. A prominent feature of the towers is the sky bridge that links the two between the 41st and 42nd stories.
… experiencing Malaysia! As the group culminated their visit, the feeling of fulfillment enveloped each one. As each one’s bucket was filled up with experiences, stories of how each one enjoyed reverberated. With new adventures, everyone gained an insight to reflect on. With so short a time, they have taken a plunge into the heart of Asia and experienced Malaysia!
The journey continues….