Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Selfie Alphabet: Brunei Darussalam

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

"Long before Oxford Dictionaries declared the word Selfie as its 2013 word of the year, I have already been taking a photograph of countries I visited with me in the photo. I am featuring all my selfie photos in alphabetical order! (For the introductory post check this link on Australia)

My trip to Brunei was featured in Cebu Pacific's Smile Magazine Trip Journal
for October-November 2013 issues

Today's feature is Brunei or Negara Brunei Darussalam in Malay language. Regaining its independence from United Kingdom on January 1, 1984,  it has officially been regarded as the tiniest sovereign state or country in the world. But despite its size, Brunei is also one of the wealthiest country with its large oil fields in Southeast Asia. So in September 2011, I and my parents Lito & Cristy, my youngest brother Joel and then newlyweds Jojo & AA Riguerra traveled to Brunei's capital and largest city, Bandar Seri Begawan with a golden expectation (to see the gold that glitters!).  For this reason we checked out and photographed from every angle, the iconic Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque which dominates the skyline with its golden domes and the Kiarong Mosque whose domes and minarets shine like gold at night.  We also headed out to the Sultan's Palace not only for a free sumptuous feast [ since we happened to be there during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri] but also for a chance to see more golden walls and ornamentation. 

However, my favorite Selfie photo in Bandar Seri Begawan, has no trace of gold in it. It was taken inside the grounds of Sultan Omar Ali Saiffudien Mosque and shows a portion of the replica of the 16th century mahligia or royal barge anchored in the lagoon beside the mosque.  The mahligia was used to stage religious ceremonies, like the reading of Holy Koran competitions in the 1960's to 1970's.  I like this photo because it evokes such tranquility and peace, and a sense of contrast between the traditional abaya (the long black robe I was wearing while barefoot) and the colorful background.

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I've been to 660 cities in 26 countries
Mhe-Anne is an explorer that:
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0.1% most cities visited - Brunei Darussalam
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