Devote Buddhists observe
Visakha Bucha Day in Pattaya
Buddhists make merit on Buddha
People climb the steps up
Buddha Hill to begin their worship.
Revered monks lead people in
Temples everywhere were ringed by people walking sedately three
times around them with glowing candles in hand under a bright full moon. It
was Visakha Bucha Day, the most important day on the Buddhist calendar.
Monks chant prayers during the
Wien Thien procession around Buddha Hill.
Visakha Bucha Day, which this year fell on May 8, was
observed by families bringing food, flowers, joss sticks and candles to
attend religious ceremonies at the temples to remember the life and teaching
At Chaimongkol, Nong-Or and Kaoyai temples around Pattaya, elderly people
dressed in white gathered to observe religious rites and listen to words of
the Dharma. More teenagers, both Thai and foreign, attended, joining family
groups who were there to make merit and to seek good fortune.
young monk leads devotees in the Wien Thien procession around Buddha Hill.
A young man said that he had made merit several times but this time he was
doing it at a temple to ask for blessing for stable work, being afraid that
the unstable economical situation might affect his work in the future.
There seemed to be slightly fewer temple-goers than in previous years but
many offerings were still bought for merit making. Many bought cooked food
to offer instead of food cooked by themselves at home.
Entertainment places in Pattaya did not serve alcohol that day. Most
remained closed to observe the holy day.
At sunset the gentle walks began with lit candles in hand three times around
the temples, known as the Wien Thien ceremony. All the temples were ready to
welcome the large assembled crowds.
The Wien Thien candle-lit procession around the temple at Kao Prayai (aka
Buddha Hill) on Thappraya Road brightened the night. As monks chanted
prayers, the procession flowed three times around the large Buddha image.
teach their children how to make merit on Visakha Bucha Day.
All worshippers were calm and meditative as they remembered Buddha’s
compassion and his teaching on evil and righteousness. After the walk,
people sat to listen to the Dharma preached by monks and received sprinkled
blessing of holy water for good fortune.
Visakha Bucha means the worship of the Buddha on the day of the full moon in
the sixth lunar month, which usually falls in May.
Visakha Bucha marks the three important events in the life of Lord Buddha
all occurring on the same day: his birth, enlightenment and achieving
Sri Lanka proposed to the UNESCO meeting on December 15, 1999, that Visakha
Bucha Day be recognized as the most important memorial day in Buddhism and
marked as a “World Heritage Day”. Thailand, which is the permanent location
of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, was chosen to always host and
celebrate this day.
Young couples make merit
together at a temple.
The devoted engage in solemn
prayer to remember
the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha.
Buddhists light candles and
incense to make merit on Visakha Bucha Day.
Entire families turn out to
pray on Visakha Bucha Day.
TAT festival fills beachfront
The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Five-Region Thai Travel Festival
drew tens of thousands of revelers over the long May Day weekend. The annual
event is organized as part of the continuing move to restore tourism and the
of Tourism and Sports Chumpol Silpa-archa gives his opening speech.
Pattaya Beach Road from Soi 4 to Walking Street on May 1 - 3 was crowded
with the tourists, stage shows and booths selling products from all five
The event was officially opened by Minister of Tourism and Sports Chumpol
Silpa-archa, and attended by TAT Vice-President Akkarapol Prueksuwan,
Chonburi Deputy Governor Kasem Wattanatham, Mayor Itthipol Khunplome and
A two-kilometer-long fair along the beach was divided into the five regions
of Thailand, each having booths to show off their different foods, clothing
and attractive destinations.
Chumpol said the festival aimed to restore tourism in this region. “In the
past few months, many unpleasant incidents have happened, including the
violent protest at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort’s ASEAN Summit that
tarnished the image of national tourism as a whole,” he said.
Alcazar’s cabaret shows were
amongst the attractions.
He said TAT had invited 60 Pattaya businesses to join the
table-top sale at the A-One The Royal Cruise.
The next five-region festival will be held at Ubon Ratchathani July 17-19,
Phitsanulok July 30 to August 2, Nakhorn Si Thammarat August 21-23 and
Ayutthaya September 18-20 this year.
Vice-President Akkarapol said that Chonburi Province and TAT are working
hard to pull back regular and new group of tourists to the eastern provinces
of Chonburi, Rayong, Chantaburi and Trat. “Here we have everything to offer
to them,” Akkarapol said, “and can give opportunities to small hotels,
restaurants, producers of local products and OTOP to promote themselves to
He said TAT also regularly holds consumer fair events in Bangkok to target
Beautiful women mesmerize the
audience with their intricate moves.
Lovely ladies perform
traditional Thai dance.
This dance troupe from the
north performs cultural dances.
Cultural dances are always a
big hit at these events.
Delicious som tam being made
and sold by the bucketful.
Booths are set up along the
two-kilometer fair area
on Pattaya Beach Road to offer products from throughout Thailand.
The Great Healer visits Pattaya
Priest Corsie Legaspi helps the ill in Pattaya
Bishop Laurence Thienchai
conducts the mass and introduces Father Corsie.
The first time I met Catholic priest Corsie Legaspi was in March
2000. When he came to the St. Nikolaus Church in Pattaya, I could finally
see with my own eyes how he heals people. “It’s not me who heals, of
course,” he has always said. “It’s God who graciously channels his power
through my hands so I can disburden people from their agonies.” However, he
honestly admits that “one may not expect instant healing. It remains God’s
secret, who he helps and who not.” One of Legaspi’s basic truths is that
“death and sickness often come hand in hand, although one doesn’t
necessarily need to become ill in order to die.”
Corsie Legaspi during his explanations.
Father Corsie became famous after healing his mother from lung cancer.
Doctors had already given up on her, saying she had a maximum of 2 weeks to
live. When she came back to the hospital a few weeks later for a check-up,
not a single indication of cancer could be detected in the lungs, which had
previously been completely cankered.
The big secret is laughing, Father Corsie said. And that’s what he does and
preaches at church. “If people can laugh even when they are ill, it’s
already a huge step towards cure.”
Before every healing session, Father Corsie tells the people what healing is
all about. “There are four basic ways of healing. First, physical healing.
90 percent of all my customers come to see me for physical healing. In many
cases, they ask to be cured from immedicable diseases like cancer. The
second one is emotional healing, which is often related to negative
experiences from the past, which may lead to illness. Such a person must
first free him/herself from the burden within to finally become able to be
“The third one, spiritual healing, bears one important aspect. Remission of
sins, even for those who hurt us, is crucial. Our inner reluctance to
forgive may evoke severe illness. We need God’s help to get rid of these
Father Corsie lays his hands
on the heads of the ill.
“The forth way is ‘deliverance healing.’ According to the
Bible, this is what Jesus did. Through the power of God, we may expect such
healing even today. All these healings are categorized. There is instant
healing after saying a prayer. This may often be experienced by people who
can’t raise their arms. They suffer from so-called ‘rusty’ shoulders. Many
of them experience a cure within seconds, even if they have suffered from it
for several years. People who can’t walk are also among them - more often
than many would expect. And then there are people who all of a sudden can
see or hear again. However, it may be the case that a cure isn’t experienced
until the next day or after several days. If a person needs more than one
healing session, one speaks of progressive healing. That is, when cures come
in batches, without any medical treatment.”
People drop to the floor
because of Father Corsie’s fortitude.
Should a person feel too weak to come to see Father
Corsie, a close person may come instead to receive distant healing. There
are numerous examples for this.
However, as mentioned before, not all people with disease who receive
healing are actually cured. “Just like many people aren’t cured by doctors,
many aren’t cured by God. I don’t know why, but I believe these people
should ask God themselves.”
At the end of his introduction, Father Corsie warns the people: “If you
experience healing, please don’t waste this new life. Try to lead a
different, a better life to show you’re your thankfulness. Try to treat your
second life as well as possible, for it belongs to God.”
After 2 years of absence, Father Corsie came back to Pattaya to lay his
consecrated hands on people who ask God to deliver them from their
suffering. All the instant healings that day were no surprise to me, as I
knew exactly what to expect. However, some of my friends who all of a sudden
were able to elevate their arms again or who would later be issued an NAD
attestation from their doctors, were stunned.
Many of the people who received a cure from Father Corsie follow him
wherever his healing missions lead him. “Our second life belongs to God. How
could we thank him more than by helping Father Corsie with his mission,”
Like many others, I let Father Corsie touch a handkerchief, for healing may
also be transmitted by constantly laying it on.
Father Legaspi heals ‘rusty’
Crocodile eggs for breakfast
The contest is in full swing.
Chonburi Cultural Council
president and managing director
of the Million Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm Pattaya,
Suan Promwattanakul, gives the opening speech.
As crocodiles sometimes make a tasty meal of humans, human
contestants of the crocodile-egg eating contest at the Million Year Stone
Park and Crocodile Farm Pattaya did their best to redress the balance.
Chonburi Deputy Governor Kasem Wattanatham, Chonburi Cultural Council
president and the park’s managing director, Suan Promwattanakul, and
chairman of the advisory committee to Nongprue’s mayor, Yodthong Sriwaralak,
opened the May Day crocodile-egg eating contest in front of a big audience
The crocodile-egg eating contest is one of the many activities the farm
holds every year on Labor Day to attract Thai and foreign tourists and boost
The rule is simple: the 40 contestants had to eat all 10 hard-boiled
crocodile eggs with no time limit.
The winner is the fastest eater to finish without leaving bits and pieces on
the table. This is all done amid loud cheering.
The fastest crocodile devourer this year was also the champ last year, Udom
Butngam, 43, a Ban Bueng factory worker who took home 10,000 baht. He was
followed by the runners up Payap Parnsaengthong, 38, taking home 5,000 baht,
and Noppanan Parnsaengthong, 40, 3,000 baht.
As the winners make their way home through forests and ponds in the dark,
they may take a little more care and watch their paths for avenging mother
The fastest crocodile eggs
reigning champion Udom Butngam (left) collects his top prize.
Runner-up Payap Parnsaengthong
Judging panel and Chonburi
Deputy Governor Kasem Wattanatham
pose for a commemorative photo before the contest begins.
Miss Tiffany finalists to go
on stage on May 15
Wirittorn Narapatpimol (No. 13) is
voted as Miss Unlimited Sexy Star during
the final preliminary round held at Central Festival Beach on 12 May.
Thirty transvestite contestants will go up on stage at the Tiffany’s
Theatre Pattaya on the evening of Friday, May 15 to compete for the title of
Miss Tiffany’s Universe 2009.
“Live, learn, love to enhance beauty” is the theme this year which celebrates
the 12th anniversary of the popular show. The eye-caching “ladies” will all be
vying for the top prize of a Honda Jazz car and other goods worth one million
baht in total for the winner. The first and second runner-ups will receive
80,000 baht, and 50,000 baht respectively. Five more special trophies will also
be handed out including, Best Costume, Miss Photogenic, Miss Congeniality, Miss
Perfect Complexion that will receive 20,000 baht each and Miss Unlimited Sexy
Star by Central Pattaya Beach who will receive 10,000 baht.
The first round of selection, held from May 11-14, saw the 30 finalists out and
about in town taking part in various social activities.
Baking a cake at La Baguette
On the afternoon of May 11, the contestants joined in social
service distribution at Baan Jing Jai by taking cakes (that they had made
earlier at La Baguette) to the kids at the foundation and then later in the
evening they took in a magic show at the Tuxedo Magic Castle.
The following day the contenders were given training in the art of facial
make-up and then took part in VTR shootings at different locations including
Central Festival Pattaya Beach. There contestants also competed on stage to win
the Miss Unlimited Sexy Star by Central Pattaya Beach under the theme Unlimited
Sexy Star to promote city tourism.
On May 13-14, the group of thirty traveled to different destinations such as
Khao Khaew Open Zoo, Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, and Rimpa Lapin restaurant to
promote local tourism.
The final selection in Pattaya will take place this Friday at Tiffany Show
Theatre beginning at 8.30 p.m. The event will be televised live on Channel 7.
The judging committee this year is led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Seri Wongmontha, and
Nong Poi Thrichada, a movie and TV star who became famous from this Universe
The now-famous Tiffany Show began in 1974 in South Pattaya, starting firstly
with three transvestite (katoey) cabaret showgirls before moving to Central
Pattaya. The show then developed as luxurious theatre, fully equipped with
advance high technology in slight and sound.
Tiffany Show Pattaya now packs them in regularly as the leading stage of night
entertainments and Cabaret shows involving up to 2,000 gorgeous katoey
performers who in terms of beauty can easily match and even outshine some of the
The show, with its sophisticated and glittering grand performances, continues to
dazzle all and has grown to be the biggest and most famous of its kind in Asia.
People wanting to get into the theater to view the contest live this Friday can
reserve tickets priced at 2,000 and 1,000 baht by calling 038-421700-5,
The contestants hand out food to
the children at Baan Jing Jai.