Pesta Benak Moments

Picking Pesta Benak 2010 Best Moments

Flipping through the albums of Pesta Benak 2010, I had wanted to post the best pictures of the event to share with Nadai Nama Nama readers. Its quite a challenging task as I am unable to finalize any top 5 or top 10 as most of the images are all memorable ones. There's a difference now you know, when taking photos one does not just shoot from the hip but must ensure that the pictures will be the ones that will be able to hold its on in a story. Which is why I sometimes insist I take my own pictures for the storyteller will not be anyone else but me. Thus I guess I will stick to the best moments of the Pesta 2010 and confine it to the water sports activities that define Pesta Benak 2010. Yes, I have discovered that this Pesta Benak is unlike any other Pestas or celebrations in the other parts of Sarawak. Reason being, the benak or tidal bore which is Sri Aman's icon is a unique natural phenemenon that occurs along the famous Batang Lupar. Other towns do organise their Pestas and Regattas as most are situated nearby rivers and waterfronts but Sri Aman has an ace in the cards in the form of Mr. Ben @ Benak. During the few days in a month the benak waves will rush down the river to make a grand entrance when reaching Sri Aman Town. And then there is that exciting benak boat race which is much akin to surfing. It may look fun in the pictures but boats do capsize if one is inexperienced, so if any of you do plan to join this form of boat race one day, do not leave home without your life jacket. Better still, just stay out of the waters and watch the benak from the lovely Benak Panorama Park.

In summarising my experience, it has been a thrilling Pesta Benak 2010 for me especially when you are involved in a small way of organizing the show. The crowd was beyond expectations and the side events itself were many. Entertainment was aplenty which makes it easier for me to pick out which photos to capture with my Nikon D5000. The festival becomes more complete that can share those exciting moments with Nadai Nama Nama readers. What more to say after two years of covering in Sri Aman, I cannot be sure if I can see Pesta Benak 2011. Being a government servant I can be transferred anytime or other opportunities may arise outside the service. We will never know will we, for we do not determine tomorrow but the Lord Almighty does for He too also has his own Human Resource Department? Which is why I tried to make the most of it for this year's celebration. I hope that all of those involved had as much fun as I had though there were tensed moments and suspense also. It is my hope that for those who have not, you all will drop by one day, to witness this unique phenomenon in USA - I mean Urban Sri Aman. What were you thinking of? So here are some of the pictures i wish to share.

Benak During Sunrise

The benak waves are seen reflecting the early morning sunrise as it arrived at 7:00 a.m on 1 May 2010

Benak waves hitting the river banks in front of the Benak Panorama parkearly morning of 1 May 2010...this photo is memorable for me as the Balloon for Pesta Benak 2010 stands in the foreground.

The Benak Festival 2010 Crowd

Tents and people everywhere ~ Scene of the Sri Aman wharve from the roof top

Crowd at the Batang Lupar Riverine Park ~ Phase 1 of the Sri Aman Waterfront project

People everywhere including the Fort ~ View from the river of the walkway that connects the Batang Lupar Riverine Park to the Benak Panorama Park with Fort Alice in the middle (as seen above)

The Water Events - Row Your Boat

Trophies for the Champions of the Water Events including the Raja Sungai @ King of the River

Who would be King of the River ~ the rowers here decide as they thrash thier paddles into the river

The Sarawak Governor is a photo enthusiast also - seen middle above in red collared shirt with cap, white belt and a camera in hand

Benak race in progress as the boats try to stay ahead of the high benak waves

Sometimes it is not as easy as it looks as the waves can be quite vicious sometimes

Staying ahead to win.....a boat racer powered by the waves of the benak

Sometimes when the benak overtakes the boat and the rowers discover they are still in one piece, they will need to struggle in rowing to keep ahead of the benak's second and third wave which of course is not quite easy

The Water Events - Engine Powered Boats

Sight Seeing ~ A small boat with courageous kids braving the benak waves

This small boat chased by the benak ~ something that we do not usually advice as the pilot is not wearing a life jacket but we do get dare devils here who feel that their single engine boat won't fail halfway and putting the passengers at risk ~ maybe that is the thrill of the whole ride?

VIPs in a larger boat (setting a good example by wearing life jackets and fitted with two engine outboard motors just in case one failed) and the Sarawak Governor (in red) at the back is seen taking photos. Way to go Guv!

The Water Events - Helicopter Benak Race Event?

This is of course not a helicopter benak race event but one gets to see our YB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu in action as he captures footages of the event from up above

Thank You

Family enjoyed Pesta Benak 2010

The fun started when we started preparing for the Pesta Benak 2010 events. It ended just as fun too as I managed to find time to bring the family witness the water sports and events on the last day. The other days I was too preoccupied with the other events but as I have said, I would not want them to miss the excitement of the Pesta benak 2010 while I am still around here. Its something for them to remember. Why I am saying this is because I have met many Sri Amanians themselves who don't even know what this event is all about and how it can become Sri Aman's tourist draw in future. I end this with the famous words of our Tuan Resident, " sure at the benak waves will come, Sri Aman Mansang Maju".