Happy 16th Barkday!

A companion, a pal,
A very best friend.
Someone to trust,
To love 'til the end.
Someone to trust,
When feeling blue.
Always a smile,
T'always greet you.
Always a smile,
To dry up your tears.
A person to be there,
To quiet your fears.
A person to be there,
When lonely or sad.
Loving regardless,
If hating or mad.
Loving regardless,
If caring or cruel.
No matter what,
Genius or fool.
No matter what,
They stand by you.
Who is this person,
Have you a clue?
Who is this person?
I'll tell you who.
This is your pet,
That loves through 'n through.

- Author Unknown

Haw Par Villa - The Ten Courts Of Hell

 aw boon haw, aw boon par, chinese values, folklore, haw par villa, mythology, sculptures, statues, ten courts of hell, tiger balm, tiger balm garden, 虎豹别墅, singapore, where to go in singapore

I hope you have not been kept waiting for too long for the second and final installment of my Haw Par Villa trip. You can read the first part here if you have not already done so.

The focus in today's post is also the main highlight of the park which is the Ten Courts Of Hell.

I actually made a second trip back to hell as the photos did not turn out well (I didn't realize my hands were shaking too much) during the first visit.

I vividly remember visiting it as a child and the graphic nature of the exhibits gave me endless nightmares but precisely because of this, it further ingrain the notion in me not to do bad deeds.

I guess that is the purpose of this exhibit; to remind us to be a better person and not to commit crimes. I recommended all parents to bring their kids (especially naughty ones) here at least once so they will learn to behave themselves.

Be forewarned that the photos you are about to see are pretty gruesome and morbid therefore you are advised to exercise caution if you want to proceed reading further.

*Reader's Discretion Is Advised*

Haw Par Villa - Singapore's Very First Theme Park Of The Bizzare Kind

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Did you know that long before USS (Universal Studios Singapore) arrive upon our shores, we already had Haw Par Villa (previously known as Tiger Balm Gardens). This 77-years old Chinese mythological park was built in 1937, making it Singapore's very first, and oldest themed park to date.

Built by Aw Boon Haw for his brother Boon Par, this pair of Burmese brothers arrived in Singapore during the 1920s with their father's secret recipe to the Tiger Balm ointment. Yes, the people who built Haw Par Villa are the very same people behind Tiger Balm.

Tiger Balm not only make a name for itself in the region but internationally as well.

The park did not started off as the park we see today. Aw Boon Haw had bought the land and built a villa for his younger brother to thank him for helping with the business.

But, the war came and the brothers fled back to Burma where Boon Par passed away. After the war, Boon Haw returned to Singapore and had the villa demolished. In its place stood sculptures depicting traditional Chinese folk tales and mythology. The finished park was then opened free to the public who came in huge numbers.

Life Liberation @ Ulu Tiram, Johor Bahru

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A week after returning from my Malacca trip, my folks and I were once again heading to Johor Bahru with Dad's friend (yes, that same uncle we went to Malacca with).

We are going there to take part in this "Life Liberation" (fangsheng/放生) event where we will be releasing animals into the wild. It is my first time attending such an event and as a Buddhist, while I applaud the cause, I am at the same time thrown into a dilemma.

I believe the purpose of liberation is to rescue animals from a live and death situation (eg, live animals saved from being slaughtered for food) but, what if the animals (eg. birds/fish) are intentionally captured/trapped from the wild for the sole purpose of selling to us to free them, then what is the point?

UPDATE: This is exactly what I meant but unable to summarize in a few words!