Diminutive Effect

I was driving to Kinabalu Park the other day. The day was sunny and beautiful. As I was approaching the highland town called Kundasang, majestic Mount Kinabalu made a generous appearance to all the passers-by. I decided to stop by the roadside and take in the wonderful sight right before me. Every time I lay my eyes on Mount Kinabalu, I am absolutely awe-struck. It makes me feel small and insignificant in comparison to it, to the entire universe. I guess it humbles me in some way, gently reminding me of the immense power of nature, its unquestionable capability of striking a sense of terror in me, and at the same time taking my breath away with its incomparable beauty. Staring at Mount Kinabalu from a distance that day, I thought to myself that there is something much bigger than myself. Ahhhh how do I best put in words the feelings I had that day, or any other day when I come into contact with Mount Kinabalu or other forms of Mother Nature from a distance? Winifred Gallagher, an influential author who wrote a great book called The Power of Place in 1993, would call the experience…a diminutive effect.


Majestic Mount Kinabalu standing proud and powerful from a distance. When it is shrouded in clouds, there is no better way to describe it than mysterious!

On the information board placed at the viewpoint in Pekan Nabalu, I came across a beautiful poem dedicated to Mount Kinabalu. It is written in the native Kadazandusun language and translated in the English language. My heart was moved by the depth of meaning attached to the poem. I am proud, and will always be proud, to say Mount Kinabalu is part of my heritage. Here, I share the poem…

Tangkayau’d pinipin
Tundu-undu winorun
Ilo Nabalu
Ilo gayoa ngaran


Liver for the earth
Heart of the universe
That mountain
That great name


I have been to this corner of the Land Below the Wind several times, but that day I dedicated some of my time to grasp the information on the board at the viewpoint in Pekan Nabalu. Until that day, I did not know some of the peaks are actually visible from way down below.


Kundasang is a great place to get yourself the fruit of hospitality- a sweet pineapple. The one on the scale- that’s MINE!