Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dateline Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia: The Legend of Mount Kinabalu

Written on Thursday, November 9, 2006 10:09 PM

Hi Everyone!
     Thank you for praying for my safe trip to Kota Kinabalu. I arrived three hours ago at the Air Asia Airport or Terminal 2. I checked in here in The Beach Lodge which is in the city proper of Kota Kinabalu. There is an "Internet Cafe" at the lobby, for about US$1 per 30 minutes of use.
      I have not gone around the city because it is already night time. I have not eaten my dinner, but after I send this e-mail,  I'll look for a seafood restaurant.
      Kota Kinabalu got its name from Mount Kinabalu, which is near the city.
      Kota in Malay means "town".
      Kina is the name of a woman.
      "Balu" in Malay means a widow.  I surmise that it is also an Ilocano word.
      "Balu" in Ilocano also means a widow.
      Kinabalu, therefore, refers to Kina the widow.
      Now, here is the story, the legend of Mount Kinabalu
      It is a love story.  It can be written to a novel.
      This is the story in a nutshell based on my conversation with two AIR ASIA stewardesses while we were airborne. 
       As a journalist, it is my training to ask for the five Ws : Who,What,Where,When,Why.
(Based on the Account of Air Asia Stewardesses as Related to Norbert Mercado on November 9,2006 During the Air Asia Flight from Clark Air Base to Kota Kinabalu)
        Kina is a woman so much in love to her husband.
        They have just gotten married.
        And they settled at the foot of a high mountain.
        She was simple and beautiful. She had long and wavy hair.
         Her lips were like strawberries.
         Her eyes had the color of the emerald.
         Her hands were soft and gentle.
         Her skin was light and fair.
          And she loved her husband.
          And her husband loved her.
          They lived a simple and tender life.
           Until the time of war came.
           And the Sultan of the state had to call on all able-bodied man to meet the enemy.
           And  Kina's husband answered the call to arms.
           The parting of the new couple was painful.
           In tears, Kina told her husband that she would wait for him however long it would take. 
           And she would be faithful to him, promising affection until the grave would claim her body.
           And the husband went to war.
           She waited.
           And waited.
           And waited.
           But he never came back.
           She later learned that her husband was killed-in-action.
           People living near their place tried to comfort her. 
           Kina  became  "balu"    - widow.
           She now had to live life alone.
           And she had to be brave.
           Instead of feeling self-pity, she tried to help the children of the people living near the foot of the mountain.
           She taught them songs. She taught them  to live life bravely and fully.
            But one day, her "pupils" found her lifeless body at the foot of the mountain.
            Kina is gone.
            The parents of her "pupils" wanted to honor her by naming the high mountain "Mount Kinabalu".
            For the memory of  a great woman.  A great lover.

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