A visit to the abandoned Istana Woodneuk

Dear Passion.Courage.Fun peeps! Two weeks ago, we embarked on a trip to the abandoned building where unusual “festivities” were said to be seen taking place @ night: Istana Woodneuk. To make it more exciting, we went in the evening, just before the sun set.

getting_to_woodneukWe began @ Farrer Park MRT and it was a 15 min walk before we reached a path we had to cross, that was near a bus stop.

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The path we were supposed to use, but was closed off.
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Getting ready to bash in
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Climbing the steep slope 
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Happily trudging down the path to our first destination!

In no time, we reached an olden guard house. It was interesting to see how an olden guardhouse looked like and what remained of it.

We stayed for a while, but moved on quickly, as we wanted to get to Istana Woodneuk before night fell.

Thick vegetation surrounded the remains of Istana Woodneuk.

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The old mansion, built by Sultan Abu Bakar ibni Daing Ibrahim for his fourth wife Sultana Khadijah during 1890s, caught fire on 10 September 1905. The building was subsequently renovated by the Sultan’s son in the 1930s. During the Japanese invasion in World War II, 1942, it was used as a hospital for casualties. Unfortunately, the building became a target, and another fire broke out. 700 medical workers and soldiers were burnt to death.

We came to a clear path that led straight to Istana Woodneuk.

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#Istanagram – 1942

When we entered the building, we could feel the energy shift, and it was not a pleasant one. It was expected though, come to think of the history of this place and the suffering that the souls who once inhabited it had gone through. And since then, this very resting ground that housed so many had been simply abandoned, to date, for approximately 60 years. As far as improvement or development, nothing, from our knowledge, has ever been done to this building.

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A bathtub of contaminated black water – makes one uneasy.
Creative graffiti with demonic references
Creative graffiti with demonic references

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The damaged – but still rather elegant-looking stairway that royalty once walked upon.
The damaged – but still rather elegant-looking stairway that royalty once walked upon.

It felt surreal that a deserted and badly damaged building – Istana Woodneuk – was once where the royalty had lived, where festivities had taken place, where events had lighted up the place with colors and vibrancy. Finally, intrigued by the experiences of our senses thus far, we made our way up to the collapsed rooftop, using only a ladder to get up there.

The unstable structure is evidenced by the damaged roof.
The unstable structure is evidenced by the damaged roof.
The rusted ladder was our only tool to get to the rooftop.
The rusted ladder was our only tool to get to the rooftop.

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The narrow path to get over to the other side – not for the faint-hearted, and those with fear of heights.
The narrow path to get over to the other side – not for the faint-hearted, and those with fear of heights.
More overgrown bathtubs with black water
More overgrown bathtubs with black water

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Upon 7pm, we left Istana Woodneuk and made a move to Botanic Gardens. (Hope nothing followed us!)

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And finally, we were embraced by the sights, sounds and scenery of the lovely Botanic Gardens in the night time.

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For further updates on Passion.Courage.Fun events, stay tuned to this space. Also, check out our facebook and meetup pages to sign up for upcoming events.

Is following your passion worth it?

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Is following your passion worth it?

There is some kind of expectation and structure built into our lives, and for most people, “passion”, or pursuing their heart’s desires to do the things they love, is out of the picture. In such a hectic society where we were conditioned to already want the things we want, many of us seldom have the space for passion to be cultivated. Not many understand what it means to be fully in the moment and delivering your gifts in service to the world in the most authentic way possible, becoming a channel for the Divine Light to flow through.

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What if it is possible earning a living while doing the things we love? What if living a passionate life is so fulfilling that you wouldn’t give it up for anything else, even comfort and stability? What if you discover that, through passion, you love and thrive on danger and adventures?

The inaction that is preventing us from living a passionate and fulfilling life, stems from the result of the lack of belief that the journey of discovering and pursuing our passion can actually bear fruits in creating the magical change in our lives, whether it’s fulfilment, joy, freedom or financial stability that we desire.

Therein lies the problem; our minds do not believe that such a life is possible. We’ve all come across the idea of “dreaming big” at some point, but more often than not, people engage the idea at a level of flirtation and fantasy, rather than real practical hard work. Ever heard of the best-selling book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill? The same law of manifestation could be applied elsewhere. If we can create a financially abundant life from the thoughts of our mind, why wouldn’t we be able to create the lives we want when it comes to living in fulfilment, joy and freedom?

However, it is not unexpected that most people would settle once they have reached a certain level of stability and comfort. Why begin the hassle of being different, trying any new approach, and coming out of the energetic norm that is keeping our society in a unconscious slumber? The question, then, would be, “what are you living for”, and “what do you desire?” Many, in the recent years, have come across Alan Watt’s teaching, in his video titled “What if Money were no object?” These, are some thought-provoking ideas, that were introduced by Alan Watt’s:

If getting the money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to keep on living that is to continue doing things you don’t like doing. Better to have a short life doing things you like doing than to spend a long life living in a miserable way.

The act of discovering and deciding what your passion is, is another issue people feel that it’s hard. And even if we discover it, it doesn’t mean we’ll become fantastic at it. Earl Nightingale wrote about finding first a river of interest, that is essentially a field whereby you can gladly throw yourself into with enthusiasm, and allowing that river to take you to your destination, rather than having to pin-point that thing you’re passionate in from the very beginning. He argues that success “comes to such people as inevitable as a sunrise”, because they get so good at the things they love doing that “their work becomes a magnet”.

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After all, if it wasn’t for us following the call of passion, Passion.Courage.Fun would probably not have existed today.