Music Video Production | PHARE Battambong

When an opportunity arises, you need to take your time and analyze your response: Go For It or Not Worth It. In the middle of March, 2018 I was given this amazing opportunity to work on a project with professional filmmakers and producers from a company called Human Agency. The project was to make a music video and a creative documentary in partnership with Phare Ponleu Selpak, The Cambodian Circus school that is located in Battambong province. Ryan Barton, the founder of Human Agency, came to The Liger Leadership Academy to pitch his project idea and vision and for us to determine if we could join the team for this two-week project. What caught my attention the most is how he emphasized “creativity” in this project and I was really fascinated to explore the idea. He also spoke about what his company does and his personal passion in video making, and it was certainly interesting and inspiring to listen to his informal speech. Yet, I’ve come to learned that Ryan is definitely an inspirational hero and is very passionate in what he is doing. After hearing him speak, my response was an enthusiastic  “Go For It” and I’ve never been this certain in my life because my instinct immediately told me that this was meant for me.


The project was scheduled for two weeks and there were eight of us students selected; surely we couldn’t miss two weeks of school, so we divided into two groups, a group of four students went for the first week and the others went for the second week. The two separated week had different objectives and plans, so as individuals, we had to decide which is best for our learning experience. The first week focused on creative ideas or I would like to call it “the imagination process”, and that team had to develop the core concept or the big picture of the video itself. The second week focused on the production side, which is the fun part for me, but also the most hard-working part too. At first, I was interested in going for the first week since I like to come up with ideas, expressing my originality and creativity but at the same time I knew I had to go to the production side since I want to learn the process and participate in a big production, while, observing how to be a great director and a videographer. I have to admit that going to the second week was way more than I expected. I will never seem to regret that decision.


Before I went down to Battambang I had a question in mind, “Why Phare Ponleu Selpak? Why make a music video about a circus organization?” I have seen their performances before in Siem Reap province and they are clearly a group of talented people but I was uncertain to how we could show Cambodian people about it and make it captivating. After spending the first day there working with the people from Phare and the professionals, I had the answer to all my questions. Phare Ponleu Selpak means, “The Brightness of the Arts”. Throughout this experience, I think Phare is more than just a circus; this organization helps people to find their own talents through different means, like arts, education, social working and most importantly community living.. The longer I spent there, the more I learned about those people and how emotional it was to be working with them. For instance, when they performed on stage or when they acted in front of the camera, I was mesmerized how the lights that shine in each individual brought them to life. It was so surreal, so incredible and such an honor to witness that. This concept changed the way I see the world in ways that every action we take are meaningful and different things we do everyday is what makes us unique. And that was the purpose of the film; to show how Phare’s innovative, artistically driven and educational approach.


The production week went really great in my opinion. The first night we arrived, we were told that the rest of the week will be a 14 hours of work and shooting and I was more than ready to get started. The shooting schedule was very tight, so one of the main focused we had to pay attention to is time management. It’s already difficult to control a group Cambodian circus people, and to manipulate their mindset about times is added struggle. As I’ve learned from Ryan, “being a director you have to have an open mind and an open heart, but it is the essential to be the boss and to tell people what they should and shouldn’t do. If they can’t meet your expectations, it is not their fault but it is your fault as a director for not explaining to them well enough.” Sometimes, when a single person didn’t show up to the shoot on time, the whole scheduled had to be delayed and or even canceled. Time management is a very serious factor to consider in film production but it’s also one area that can easily be forgotten.


Throughout the process, I have been working very closely with Ryan as an interpreter and as a director’s assistant. It was very difficult on my part to translate for people and tell them what to do because at first I was mostly afraid since I was younger and  it felt like I was lacking respect for those people. I’ve come to understand that this is my role and this is what I have to do so I just need to have confidence and trust myself.


Our production crew was a total of 11 people. It seemed a lot at first but not enough in the end because we had become such a great team. We had a communication solution that was very consistent so everyone was always updated. I personally learned a lot from the professionals, sometimes I felt like I was a part of their “serious” world and other times it was really just fun and happy moments. Working with the people from Phare has taken the fun in work to the next level. The designing students from Phare are very talented. They turned the actors and actresses into new characters by painting and drawing them with a different style every time. The circus performers are full of joy and entertainment that can keep you laughing all days, but there are times when we needed them to work really hard, however, we always make sure that we keep motivating and cheering them. I was mostly participating on the production side, but I had an afternoon where I spent my time helping the music composition team. It definitely was very professional with the whole studio being set up and working with the music students was incredibly exciting too. Everything was very original and the first time I heard the beat, I was really proud of the team that had been working effortlessly on it. That is why there is a saying that, “without a teamwork, nothing can succeed”.


At the end of the project when we came to see our final product, no one realized the amount of effort and determination that had been put in to this project. It was a huge amount of work even though I was there only a week. Personally, I think everyone felt really proud and was actually sad that the project was over because we so learned so much from each other. That was the production experience that I’ve always wanted to engaged.


At the end of the production scheduled, we still had another process to go through which was editing and to premiere our final product at the end of the week. My role was to edit a short behind the scenes video, and work with my Liger team to write a director’s statement for our premiere show. The premiere day went really well. I was super honored to be selected on the team. I hope the video will be seen all over Cambodia and hopefully worldwide.


The way I feel about this whole experience is completely positive. It’s yet one of my best films experience and I’m really grateful for this amazing opportunity that I’ve been given. Throughout the whole week I have learned something new every second I was there. Even though it was very tiring and exhausted, I had so much fun being with the crew and help with the project in every ways possible. We all were inspired everyday from our director Ryan, who kept motivating and pushing the team to the end. My expectations for this project before I went down there were less than what I actually got out of it. In fact, I have received way more than I expected. Even though it wasn’t Hollywood, it was still a step forward for me. I think the final product was unbelievably awesome, especially considering it was done in only two weeks.


As a young filmmaker, this experience has changed the way I look at films because there is not just one way or one beginning to create a brilliant video; there are certainly different paths that we can take. This has shaped my mind into a whole new creative way of looking at the world of movie making and I can’t wait for the next project.


“I will continue to make films until my lips are tired of telling stories and my hands can’t hold up the camera anymore.” – Soliday

*The music video will be uploaded here once released*



Painting more than 20 kids for a scene.


Opening speech before the showcase!

Shooting a scene in the middle of a hot day.

Practicing the speech for the premier day!

Working with more than 20 kids.

How Boy Views on Girl’s Emotions

Boys, I have a question for you- what would you do and what would you feel if you saw a teenage girl crying in the corner of the room?

Emotions, really, are just like somewhat-well-integrated different personalities inside a person’s head, triggered by different stimuli – many external, some internal – that drive that person to different thoughts, decisions, actions, and behavior.

Everybody is emotional.

Based on the article written by HealthGuidance, there is a stereotype that girls are much more “emotional” than boys whereas “real man” do not cry or get upset. Unfortunately, society has told teenage boys it is a sign of weaknesses to express their feelings while it is much more socially acceptable for girls to talk about their feelings and focused on their emotions and refer to them more commonly.


“I would talk about my feelings only to my close friends,” said Sreyneang, a high school student from the Liger Leadership Academy. “but most of the time, I keep my emotions to myself.” She added, “And sometimes, If I can, I would express it out publicly.”


Teenage girls are more probable to talk about what they are thinking and feeling and to demonstrate with their tears, facial expressions, hand gestures, and body language.


By personal experience, crying has always been a healthy release and I were not ashamed to cry easily.


Compared to girls, boys often show their emotions to less people, and often only to their nearest and dearest. Boys tend to have a greater control over their emotions and what they will manifest to the world, possibly due to having more difficulty displaying emotion than girls.


Many times, they do not know exactly how they feel, so they try to figure it out on their own, inside their head.


“Yes, sometimes it’s hard for me to understand what I’m feeling.” states, Davith Chan a teenage boy student from Liger Leadership Academy.


Barton GoldSmith, a Ph.D Psychotherapist stated in his article that, “Most men and boys have a hard time communicating anything that remotely resembles an emotion — because emotions are scary to men, who think much more than they feel.”


Boys can not think and feel simultaneously, it is challenging for them to switch gears from their head out to their hearts.


“I can’t switch from heart to brain. It will literally distract my work if I think and feel at the same time.” Davith added.

Davith Chan was asked by a question, “Do you cry?”


He pauses a moment after hearing the question and finally said, “No,” he sighs. “Unlike others, crying isn’t a way to release my stress.”


A follow-up question was then asked, “Well, do you feel comfortable sharing your problems with other?”


“No,” he quickly spokeup. “I don’t want to share my feelings to other because I know they wouldn’t care about my problem. Depends on people, some of them might even judge my problem.” He sight with relief. “But I get stress sometimes when I keep all my problems to myself too much.”


Let’s switch some gear up. If you see a boy friend of yours, or any other random boys crying, what would you feel?


“I would think to myself ‘What happen to him?’ I’m curious for the reason.” Davith put his elbow on the table, palm to his forehead like he was in a thought process. “And I would feel pity for him, you know, no matter what happen. Because sometimes, I cry too.”


The same question was asked to Sreyneang, and she mentioned that it would be awkward for her to see a boy cry for some reason. “It would be weird.” She hesitated. “You know, boy don’t often cry, not that I’ve seen a lot at least.”


This goes back to where society view men as weak if they cry, and yet no one knew where the stigmas originally came from. Where Sreyneang said “boy don’t often cry,” who might have guessed that she heard it from her parents or friends or just random people.


There are a lot of fish in the sea, but you have such a bad luck that you hooked up with one who is emotionally unavailable. And here is an example of what Davith has said, “I’ve made people cry I have to admit that.” He said while nodding his head and gives me that guilty smile. “Like the other times, I made a girl and a boy cry. They were irking me and I was distracted by them and so I yell at them “Shut UP!” very loudly.


As Davith and I were in the middle of the conversation, David Phim, an addicted – teenage gamer boy, interrupted us and said, “Girls easy to get mad,” Davith and I both looked at him in amazement. “Oh! Sorry,” He apologize for interrupting, but I said it was okay and that he could join our conversation.

“[Like I said], girls get mad so easily in general that I[‘ve] experience. Like SOME girls!” David continued with his speech.


According to Thought Catalog article, some of the guys think that girls emotions are crazy and punishing to understand. For example if you are in a relationship: boys see themself as a victim and girls as their attacker; for instance, where girls always get jealous towards other girls and guys for the fact that she have “insecurities”. Boys might also think girls cry far too often, but there’s always a reason, even if it is slightly irrational. This is when girls use the PMS (Premenstrual syndrome) excuse, even if they know, they don’t have it.


It is so difficult being a woman, don’t you think so? You are constantly having some inner battles either with your emotions or with guys.


At this point, Davith joined the discussion again and utters, “Girls cry more because of relationship.” And David, in the other hand, peered at me with a smile on his lips. “Girls have more stories to argue about.” Davith continued, “I don’t know why, but it’s so hard to understand [girls] sometimes.” He shrugged after finishing his sentence.


“Sometimes when I played with girls, [I would] just hit a bit and then [she would] cry.” David mumbled after Davith.


Written by HerWay article, in the topic of “15 Signs Of An Emotionally Unavailable Woman,” the introduction quoted, “It is true that guys have so many problems in relationships with women because we are so complex. There is that saying that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. I think this is true because we definitely don’t think in the same way and we don’t express our feelings in the same way either. Sometimes it is just that obvious that we come from two different planets.”


Moreover, David mentioned, “If couple breakup, boy [would just be] upset [and then] walk away, [but] girl [would] cry and need someone to comfort [to make them feel less lonely]. And I’ve seen [the same thing happen] a lot with my roomates. Man like to stay alone.” He shrugged. “Girl need more caring.”


Davith was looking kind of confused and curious with what David just said. He looks like he wants to disagree with David. “Only for some girls, man, not all!” He finally indicated.


What David mentioned is just another way of saying that girls are emotional and weak. Don’t you think being a teenage girl is very easily judge?

What would you do and what would you feel if you saw a teenage girl crying in the corner of the room?


“I would go and ask her why [she’s crying].” Davith said with no hesitation. “The same as [I would do to] anyone. [He/She] must have a reason of crying.”


“For me I would walk away.” David said while playing on his computer. “I [would feel] pity but I’m not brave enough to go and talk to her. I would let another girl help.”


A Page of Significance Short Story

This short story is inspired by women I met at an event in Siem Reap on the Khmer Literature Festival.

This is a story about a girl who lived in a society where most families don’t support education and since she’s a girl, it’s much harder for people to believe the importance of books and the entertainment of it. Why is being a girl or woman matters in that period of time? Nevertheless, she has never given up on the persuasions of people’s words. What can this lead to? 

Read the PDF here!

A Page of Significance

21st September 1960


Walking on a side street on a busy day with cars and cyclos passing by, holding my mom’s hand, heading to the central market. As I walked by, a woman winked and smiled at me and went inside the door of the local library. She must be a librarian. I shook my mom’s hand and asked her in my sweet voice.

“Mommy, can we go inside the library? I want to read a book.”

She looked at me surprised and said “No Nita, I’m not letting you read books. It’s not good for you, especially when because you are a girl.”

“What’s wrong with me being a girl and reading books?” I queried in curiosity.

She put her hands on my cheek and replied, “Reading books is no use, it’s a waste of time. You’re just seven years old and you won’t be able to understand anything in those books. They’re only for adults, not for you my lovely daughter.”

I protested without hesitation, “but I can understand the newspapers that Papa reads every day before he goes to work.”

To my response, her eyes opened wide. “Now that you mention it, you’re not going to read those anymore.  You’re not the right age to know what’s going on in our society and country, especially for a girl. When you grow up, you will be a lady and your job is to take care of your husband, your family, your house, and your beauty. So listen to what I say, because I’m always right. Just for you to start school, I’m already not happy because it’s a waste of my money. And busying books for you? It’s not going to happen.”

I was shocked at what she said and no words could escape my lips. Why is this world so unfair to girls? I asked myself. Half of me wanted to believe what she said, but the other half just doesn’t agree and I haven’t given up yet.


The next day, I went to my first-grade class in a government school as usual for this past two months. As I arrived my classroom, I quickly searched for my teacher, Rathana because I wanted to ask her if I could read books at this age. When I saw her, I swiftly ran up and gave her a hug.

“Good morning Nita!”

“Good morning teacher!” I replied with a beam. “Teacher, I want to ask you something.”

“Okay, what do you want to know?”

“I wonder… If I could read books, and…and before you say anything, I just wanted to tell you that I can read. I read newspapers and magazines and I understand most of it. My mom said I can’t because I don’t have the ability and because I’m a girl? Is there such a rule that you can’t read if you’re a girl. That’s not fair, I want to read. I love reading.”

“Okay Nita, please relax. I’m going to tell you everything you need to know, especially why you SHOULD read books.”

I interrupted her, “I should? Really?”

She put her hands on my shoulders. “Sweetie, calm down. I’m going to tell you why and you better listen carefully to me.” She took a breath. “First of all, what your mom said isn’t correct. I’m not telling you to not believe her, but part of what she said is wrong. At least that’s what society thinks and what most of the elders believe. The elders perspective is that girls or women shouldn’t be getting more education than boys or men. When girls become a lady, they are supposed to stay home, doing all the housework, taking good care of their husband and family and the men go to work, earning money to support their family. Nita, you have the ability to ask for your own rights, to do things you want to do and to live your life as you want. Not everyone follows society. Okay… way too far. Back to whether you should read books or not, the answer is, you absolutely can. If it’s really something you want to do, go for it. I think you’re a very talented young girl and you deserve to be educated.”

I was so happy to hear that, but at the same time, I was worried. “What about my mom?”

“Well, if you don’t want to let your mom know, try to find a peaceful place for your own enjoyment. But at some point in the future, you have to explain to her what’s right about being smart and educated. You can’t avoid it and hide it forever. Personally, I think there is no reason why you shouldn’t be reading, but just make sure that you only read things that are appropriate for your age.”

I nodded, letting out a hopeful smile. I wanted to read all the books that have ever existed in this world. I thought to myself. “But I don’t have any books to read currently.”

Teacher Rathana searched into her cupboard and took a book out, handed it to me. “This is my personal favorite fairytale book as a child. I think you’ll love it, and I’ll take you to the local library today to borrow more books if you want.”

“For sure!” I said in excitement.


Day by day, I read more books and hid more books under my bed. It’s the only place where my mom can’t find me because her back is bad and she doesn’t has the ability to bend down. I’m very careful to not get caught. Sometimes it feels like under my bed is another whole universe, with countless places to explore. Somedays, I was so obsessed and addicted to the story I was reading that I didn’t even realize how long I had been under my bed. My mom would panic trying to find me and I felt bad for her sometimes.


Whenever I read a book, I feel like I’m a character of the story, like I’m on an adventure or floating through the clouds. I feel like an imagination nerd where everything seems real to me. I feel like I’m the happiest human being in the world. I feel all the emotions that the character goes through. I get swept up into a whole other universe expressing the character’s feelings, memories, the pain or anger, confusion, sadness, and happiness. I feel like I am in my own world, a world where I can just forget everything that’s going on around me. That sad feeling I get when I finish a great book or when my favorite character dies. I just feel like I lost a little piece of myself, but I know I can always go back.


Today I’m reading a book called, The Love Story of Vithivy. I imagine myself being loved and cared for by the gentlemen. I was there in the story, looking into his eyes and his sweet soul. Their love story was just perfect until…

“Nita, what are you doing?” My mom burst in my room anger as she slams the door, making me extremely afraid. Today I’m not reading under my bed, but ON my bed and I was so caught up in the story that I totally forget about it and now I’m caught.

“Nothing Mommy.” I tucked my book behind my back, knowing that she already saw it. “I was just doing some reading.”

“I thought you were doing your homework.”

“I did, I already finished it.”

“Then why wouldn’t you come down and help me with the housework.”

“Because I don’t want to. That’s not what I want to do.” I reacted without any thought, just blurting out what I felt.

“Is this what you do then?” She said, forcefully grabbing the book I was holding and throwing it to the ground. She took other books from my table and ripped them apart. I was shocked, afraid, angry, depressed and I wanted to vanish from this world.

Not for long, I found myself sobbing harder and harder, I was choking on my own tears. My breaths came in sharp pants and I tried to gain control, but nothing was working. It hurt. My heart twisted and sunk with nerves. It just felt like my dream faded and not having books or being able to read made nothing in this world worth living.


20th October 2017


The smell of my hometown, the heat of happiness and the joy of my blood is the place I wanted to be the most in life. It has been more than 30 years, that I have been away living my happy and successful life. Where I lived isn’t where I’m from. Sometimes I felt like I betrayed my own nation, my own country, but knowing to myself that my heart will never do that. I will never forget where I come from and I will stay loyal and respectful. Even though I have been living in America, but I still know how to speak and write my own language. I even taught my children Khmer because I wanted them to understand their core language because they’re Cambodian too. I make them read Khmer books or I even write my own story for them to enjoy reading it as much as I do when I was a child.

Currently, I’m in Phnom Penh with my husband and my family of two sons and a daughter that were all born in America.

“Mother, I love it here! I can’t believe this is where I’m from.” My 20 years old daughter, Leza said with total excitement.

“I know, right! You can even communicate with everyone here even though you weren’t born here.” I replied back with hope.

“Thanks to you for having taught us how to speak and write our Khmer and we’re here to publish your books and share them with all of Cambodian. I love your books and everyone here will too. I’m so proud to be your daughter.” I’m so proud to have a daughter like you. I thought to myself.

This is what I have been dreaming about. It has been my passion for my whole life and I could never forget or give it up. It was never the right time to start doing what I want because I was selfish and never had the courage to come back to help my country. But it is time, a successful  Khmer author, to bring back Khmer literature so that the new generations will still be able to learn and read Khmer books. Based on my knowledge, most of the Khmer books that I’ve read when I was a child were destroyed during the Khmer Rouge genocide and it is my job as a citizen to raise awareness. I always have had hope and courage to me that it will never be too late to do this despite the fact that I’m now an old lady.

“Johnson, come here love,” I call to my 25-year-old son, who has been helping me with the publishing. “Thank you son… for everything.”

“Don’t thank me, mother. It is my pleasure to be a part of this. I’m very happy for you and I think you’re the most determined and devoted person I’ve ever met in my life. One day, this country will realize how dedicated you are.” He solemnly bowed to me in the proper traditional Cambodian style.

These books that I published are dedicated to those who have a dream or goals but does not have the intrepidity to achieve it. Nothing is too late to start because our life doesn’t need a period to end. 

When We Collided Book Snapshot Summary

Even the constellations can see us now: we are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know. I’m Vivi, just a girl who’s trying to enjoy her life as much as possible. My family just moved to Verona Cove, California and I already fell in love with it the first day I’m here, but I waited until the seventh day to commit. I imagined the California coast with surfers running headlong into the waves and with pops of colorful umbrellas along the beach. But it’s quieter, just the sounds of the water crushing to the shore with call of birds. It reminds me of Hawaii and how much I’ve missed it. But I never thought I could have such strong feeling for someone until I met this guy, Jonah. Jonah Daniels,  seventeen-year-old a Townie here. His father has just died and he’s dealing with the fall of that with his family. He has five siblings and three of them are younger than him, plus a depressing mother. Because of this tragedy his world has been turn upside down and he has to step in to take care of his family. Now that I could feel, there was a magical shift in my summer. I can feel, a vital mission pulsing in my bones. Here I met  a boy who needs me. It was love at first sight. Like if I could ever lie myself that I have not think about Jonah for one seconds since I met him. I always went to his house to play with his little sibling and I suppose they like me a lot. Here is something I never expected to feel: love at first sight for the entire family. But life surprises you. Sometimes, every once in a while you get your wish in. You wish for a boy to spend the summer with, and instead, life gives you his whole beautiful family to be a part of. And I think what life wants me to do is to heal this family back, to bring the joy and smiles back, pretending like I’m their loving father. It’s not all about Jonah himself, but all about his life. But I’m also going to spend my whole summer changing the expressions on Jonah Daniels’s face. I want to see the perfect Jonah and who he really is. I wanted him for myself, but I want adventure for him, too—and for me and I think we’re going to make the best typical summer love story. Yes.. I know a lot about Jonah because he’s been telling me about his struggle and everything he’s been through. But do he know what I’ve been through. Do he know me well enough? Besides, the loving life girl, confidence, interactive, creative-soul and all those positive things about me. A good-old love story will only be perfect in the beginning, but it will become terrible and misunderstanding at some point in the scene. When both of us discover the darkness about each other, everything was just seems to be a struggle. After the accident that Jonah and I have he started to come across my problem. I have mental illness dealing with bipolar disorder which means that I could have sudden mood changes and depressive episode, or thoughts of suicide. Ever heard of Bipolar? Ever wanted to know how people deal with it? Well, I’ve been dealing with it my whole life and I’m not mad anymore that I have it with me. Anyway, since I was with Jonah, I didn’t take my pills for my sickness and I knew that my mom knew and was angry at me but she didn’t want to say anything. She thought I was ok and I surely thought I was ok. But I was not. I have to admit, it was all my fault. Now, since that Jonah knew everything, I should be doing something. Which comes to real life world, where I need to be making decision. I hate it. But I don’t want my decision to make anyone affected by it, but at least there is a happy ending for a character and it shouldn’t me. So it’s better for me to leave now since I already accomplish my wish. And it’s all for and about Jonah. That’s the thing they never tell you about love stories: just because one ends, that doesn’t mean the other ends. Sometimes you just have to step out and accept the changes, move on and enjoy your life. And exchanging the truest parts of yourself–all the things you are–with someone? Still lovely. “Bipolar disorder can be a crushing diagnosis at any age, but this holds especially true for teenagers. At a point in your life when you’re supposed to be figuring out your basic identity, an illness that changes your very sense of self can be earth-shattering.”

This was my summer holiday. Vivi was here.

Bare – Short Story

This is a story about how people in Cambodia seen women as a stigma and judgemental on women’s appearance. 

Read the PDF here!


Driving out on a stretched, long street as it had been in the daylight but instead, it’s dark and the street lights brighten up the road on both sides. I am comfortably sitting in my car driving straight ahead, passing Preah Norodom, on to BBK road. I’m heading out to dinner alone as always and it’s Friday night so I’m going out late because that’s how it goes for me. Every day after work, I have no communication with friends or others because I find myself as a different person when I’m alone. I live in an apartment by myself and I have no family near me as they’re all living in my hometown province of Takeo. As I arrive in front of the restaurant, I quickly search for a spot to park my car and I find one right on the side. Here I am at Dominos having pizza all alone. I get my purse and wallet from the passenger seat and get out of the car immediately, heading straight into the restaurant. As I am about to enter through the door, the woman who is sitting outside with her other friends observes me with the gaze of a stranger. From the look in her eyes, she has formed some opinions and judgments of me. I do not know what those thoughts and points are but I’m sure they’re not good and as I look around the outside seats, I see everyone suddenly staring at me like I’m a total stranger and disgusting person. I do not care to even bother so I just enter the restaurant straight to the counter. I obviously know what I want to order so I don’t even care to look at the menu.

I look at the busy cashier and  she smiles at me for a second and then her grin slowly fades away the longer she sees me.

“Can I have medium size BBQ chicken without mayo swirl?” She enters the orders into the computer. “And can I also have small spicy chicken wings?”

“Anything else?” She asks without making eye contact.

“And a coke please.”


I search my wallet for the money and then I hand her 20 bucks and she returns back with the leftover money. She then hands my waiting number “26”.

I look around, trying to find a comfortable place to sit and there I found one further away in the corner. As I walk toward the table, I hear a lot of whispering and mumbling from each table I pass. What’s going on? I question myself.

“Why does this girl wear such short shorts? Isn’t she embarrassed?” A woman mumbles.

“This isn’t a proper Cambodian woman.”

“Is she even looking at herself?”

“Jesus, this is just too embarrassing!”

“Why doesn’t she just go naked because she’s practically there already?”

“Who’s daughter is this and why do they let her do what she wants so easily?”

That’s all the whispering I heard. They’re judging me by my looks. Because I wear short shorts? Is this a problem? Is it the shorts? Is my shirt that reveals my boobs that causes this too? Why do they need to care about this?

I know everyone is looking at me but I don’t even care to look back at them. Let them think whatever they want but to be honest I don’t want to care. I take a seat on the chair and then I spend the rest of my waiting time on my phone checking Facebook.   

All of the sudden, there’s a guy who sits next to me.

. “I can sit here right?”

“I guess so. I don’t mind.” I reply back without hesitation. The longer I look at this guy, the more handsome he is.

“So my name is Rathanak. And you are?”

“Viriya,” I said. I feel his shoulder brush against mine and it feels a little weird.

“What are you going to do after this?” he continues asking.

“I’m heading to a bar near here.”

“Would you mind if I join?”

“I don’t mind because I don’t really have any friends to go with. I’m just alone all the time.”

I have a feeling that he’s starting to get close to me. And then I feel his hand on my lap, making my nerves jump. He’s smiles at me innocently. He then slowly moves his hand to the upper thigh making me really nervous. Why don’t I just stop him? What are you doing? Why are you letting him?

I take my hand out and stop him before he does anything else. I grab his wrist and remove it from my lap.

“I’m sorry.” He apologizes.

I shake my head and don’t say a word. That was totally the most awkward thing I’ve ever experienced.


After having dinner with this guy, I’m pretty much interested in him. I mean he’s not that bad. He’s friendly, talkative and funny besides that weird moment in the beginning. But hey, there’s at least a person who can spend time with me. After the dinner, we promise that we’re going to the bar together. At dinner, there were people taking out their phone as I walked passed them with Rathanak beside me. I didn’t care to look back to see if they took a picture of me. I let Rathanak drive my car because he said he knows a better place for a bar.

“So what do you do for work?” he questioned.

“I work at the Phnom Penh tower.”

“That’s cool.”

After five minutes of silence, he suddenly pulls the car to a very quiet road. Why are we here?

“Is this the place you recommend?” I ask.

He gets out of the car and runs to my door to open it for me. This place is dark and very quiet. I get out of the car with millions of questions in my head.

“Why are you bringing me here?”

He fiercely grabs me out of the car and then pinches both of my hands to the car so my back is against the car and his body is against me. I think I know what he’s trying to do.

“Let me go, what are you doing?!” I try to pull my hands off but he’s too strong and too aggressive to let go of my hand.

“You wear clothes like that, who wouldn’t want to taste you?”


“Next time, you don’t need to wear anything!”

He starts to kiss around my neck but I try to avoid his position so he struggles to kiss me. “Stop!” I yell. “Help! Help!”

He puts his left hand on my mouth to stop me from screaming. And he digs his right hand straight into my pants from beneath because my pants were too short and too easy for him to get through. “Next time, wear something shorter!” He talks between moaning. With my free hand, I try to stop him and it works. I pull my knee up hard right into his member. He lets go of me and I quickly get back in the car and drive off at the speed of light, which left him alone stranded in the dark and quiet street.

While I’m driving back to my apartment, the tears came streaming down like crazy. I can’t believe what just happened. Why is this happening to me? The guilt sat not on my chest but inside my brain. My chest feels like its floating from my heart. My heart beats harder trying to keep it together. I can’t think straight. I think too much, I think ahead, I think behind, I think sideways and if it exists I just thought of it. It feels like every cell in my body is moving too fast It almost makes my veins explode. It keeps repeating the moment of regret in my brain and I can’t find a way to stop it.

My phone rings and it’s a call from my friend in the office, Nika. “Hello Nika!” I try to calm down and pretend that I’m casual.

“What is wrong with you?” she yelps at me. “I never knew you could be like that!”

“Like what?” I ask, surprised.

“That kind of girl who dressed half naked in public! You embarrassed yourself!”

“I didn’t know, it’s just…I-I don’t care much. And how do you know?”

“Because.. there are posts about you on Facebook, VIRAL!”

I immediately stop the car. I couldn’t say a word because I’m frozen. I could not think or feel anything besides shame and regret.

What just happened I can’t un-do. A fire burned in my mind and throat. I could feel daggers aiming at me from my screen. This is my punishment for not loving myself.  


To My Beloved Father – Snapshots Film

Description: The reason I chose this topic is my love because I find it a very emotional thing for me and difficult to express. All I’m trying to show in this video is, even though I’m not close to my father like I’m close to my mother, he will always be a part of me and I will always care for him. My actions might not show that on the outside, but I truly love him deep in my heart.

Technique: In this video, I used a different and a rare technique. What I did was take a series of still pictures and then laced them together to create a stop-motion effect. So technically, it’s all individual photos (over 2,000) in this video. I used black and white to make it look like an old film by putting an overlay of “old film” effect. I took the photos this year and the baby in my father’s arms is my little cousin. It took quite a long time to edit because I’ve never tried to do this kind of video before. When I took all of these photos, I did not let my father know because I wanted him to be completely natural.

MAD Scholarship Competition to Australia

Last summer, I have applied for an art scholarship to Australia. The competition was asked to do four pieces of art; two of the art piece has to be drawing and painting and the other two could be anything including multi-media and sculpture. 

Art is very important to me because it’s one of the ways that I can express my creativity, my originality, and innovation. Art has always been something I always wanted to explore and be better at it. I remembered my first time to hold brushes and paints, it was very nerve-racking because every single time, I consistently thought I was going to ruin everything and make mistakes and I hate making mistakes. But I realize that arts are not something I should worry about making errors because I can get very creative with it very easily and I will always value it even though it’s not the profession. The more I experience arts, the more I get used to love doing it and the more I can demonstrate my creativity. I love to visualize things in a different perspective from others and arts is one of those unique ways that allowed an idea or stories to indicate. I want to tell stories and that’s what I love the most in life. My creativity and imagination have always been something I’ve kept to myself and I really want to communicate those ideas to other people beyond just myself.  “Having ideas is not just having it in your mind, you want your idea to reach to other people. Show them so they can enjoy it too!” My influences are everything I see, all of my experiences and emotions and I formed all those things into one big picture or intention and then create something fascinating with my imagination and ability. Despite the fact that my dream isn’t exactly about arts but at least it is a part of it and a part of me. I will always have the creative commitment.

My goal for my artwork is to inspire and motivate those people who see it and I want them to discover their own beauty and appreciation. In the future, my artwork should be seen as an allegory so that people can pay attention more to what they’re seeing.

By joining this opportunity, I have learned so much and experience so many new things that I have thought it was very challenging. For examples, learning how to use photoshop, a new style of film and amazing arts techniques from artists on online. This opportunity is truly phenomenal for me to fulfill my future, revamp my art skills to another level and especially being able to communicate my stories to those professional artists. Lastly, I can’t express how much I love arts and how much I admire the beauty of it but I’m still self-taught and my dream is to experience it with the reality artists. 

These are my four pieces with a little statement to it. 

Soliday Yon,

My Bucket List,

acrylics painting,

80 cm × 58 cm, canvas,
Link to my painting video:

Description: My bucket list shows not the possibilities of today, but what I want my future to look like. This is a painting of a bucket list as my dream career of being a filmmaker, and a bucket list as a dream of me as that person. This was an interesting painting to look at because what I painted on the canvas can be seen in a different meaning from what I expected, and that’s why I love art because people can see a painting from a completely different perspective than the artist. The girl in floating hair represents me dreaming about things I want to do before I die and the camera on the left represents my future. This theme is very spiritual for me because it’s about a girl who has big dreams and desperately wants them to come true before she dies.

Soliday Yon,

Living in Internal,

Mixed media,

Description:  What I meant to show in this picture is about being myself internally. Half of my face with colorful paints and stars represents what people see on the outside of me. The other is half black and white with stars represents what I see in myself that other people can’t see.  Those stars represent my dreams. It’s such an important thing for me because what people think or see about me isn’t always the same of what I see in myself. What I am like isn’t always shown in my actions. Some ideas people have of me are because of my talents, but for the dreams I’ve dreamed of, I need to reach it and it doesn’t come to me easily. Another word to describe this is “secrets”. Sooner or later, secrets will be revealed, but I really hate being judged when my secrets are exposed and it hurts a lot because my emotions and feelings are very easily to outburst. That’s why this is an important theme for me to mentioned, “What you see in yourself is YOU. You understand yourself, you know yourself. What they see in you isn’t always true.” – Soliday

Soliday Yon,

The Beauty of Passion,


Photoshop Adobe,

Description: Every person has a passion that they appreciate the most. Growing up, I’m starting to understand who I really am and what I really like. It’s so amazing and beautiful when you’re starting to know your true passionate because it helps to define who you really are. I have many passions that I discovered throughout my lifetime. So this picture describes my passion for photography and how much I appreciate and in love with it. But it’s not just about photography, it’s about the bright colorful beauty of all my passion and photography represented it. I love what I do because it’s a true passion and it is something I really believe in.

Soliday Yon,

To My Beloved Father,


Premiere Pro CC 2017,

Link to the video:


Description: The reason I chose this topic is my love because I find it a very emotional thing for me and difficult to express. All I’m trying to show in this video is, even though I’m not close to my father like I’m close to my mother, he will always be a part of me and I will always care for him. My actions might not show that on the outside, but I truly love him deep in my heart.

This i Believe


I come from a pretty simple background family. I grew up in a big family with five siblings including myself and my parents. My siblings are all married and have family which left only me and I feel like I’m left alone. Now it’s been 15 years that I’ve continuosly growing and things are starting to change. Some changes are hard to take in and some changes are easy to accept. I’m 15 years old, I’m not a child anymore. I believe: in opportunity to make the most important decision to become who I am.

Five years ago, my life was drastically different than it is today. Every single thing that’s happened to me has since impacted who I am and where I am now. That life-changing decisions I was trying to make, I should have go with my gut. Never should have ignore my instinct again because, it won’t fail myself now. Sometimes it’s really hard to either follow my heart or follow my brain. It’s hard for my mind to explain it self. Knowing that sometime things that I do isn’t always right but I just did it because I was lose in myself. I didn’t know the right path and I couldn’t see a light to follow. This reminds me of something that I used to say before, “Pay more attention to your thoughts, what you’re thinking is what you’re attracting to doing it.”

When it comes to making decisions, I couldn’t stay focused because the negativity will always try to drag me down. For example, some best friend forever aren’t really forever but I will never forget or regret the time I’ve spend with them. They’ve all impacted my life no matter how long they were with me for, eventhough they’re not a true friend now.

This was when I was 10 years old. My sister had to leave me. She is the greatest sister and I always called her “Mom” because she has been taking care of me since I was a baby. She decied to leave us in a happy way so she could find a family of her own. She had to go very far away. I was crying so hard for a week before she leaved. I don’t want her to go because I love her so much. I always thought she’s not going to come back and she don’t love me anymore. At that time she explained to me, “This is for the best of me and for the best of you too. You’re going to be a great daughter and I trusted you for taking care of yourself and the family. This was a hard decisions for me but you’ll understand why I make this decisions when you’re older. I love you so much Soliday! I promise I’ll visit you and maybe one day, I’ll take you with me.” I was hugging her so tightly I don’t want to let go but then I realize, I need to understand her happiness too. I respect her decision and I should be happy for her. So I decided to learn to accept it. This was my sister life changing decisions and she was right, it has changed her now. It was my first lesson.  

Some decisions are really hurt in the end. It’s like the end of the world when I’ve regreted it. Like when I experince heartbreak, I’ve told myself to not wasting so much time on emotions and energy just to think about him because he’s not worth it anymore.

Each decisions that I’ve made, it at least teaches me something afterward. So far I’m still happy with what I’m doing. Life making decisions isn’t always easy and in fact it will get a lot harder, it’s going to try and break me but I will get through it. Don’t pause or it will be a lot more painful.  


What Does It Means To Be A Person?

WHO AM I? That is always the first question I ask myself before I decide to do something. And this should be the first question that you should ask yourself before you make any decisions. WHO AM I?

What does it means to be a person? This question comes up into my mind when I was so stressed and I thought I was going to give up on myself. What does it mean though?
Here is my perspective on what I think the meaning of a person is.

Everyone in the world have one life. You born and then you die, without knowing when or where. Every human-being in the world have different personality, and only yourself can describe who you are and your own characteristic. Everyone has their own identity, external and internal.

First of all, to be a person, you have to know who you are. And trust me, everyone knows who they are. And don’t ever say “I don’t know myself! I don’t know how to describe myself.” because you know what, that can be the biggest lie to yourself. Every person have a talent, and it doesn’t matter whether it unique or not. Believe it or not, your talent is what makes you stands out.

In life, you need to take risk and go for it, try it and experience it! Take opportunities! Opportunities don’t come for you. You need to take initiative to find it by yourself in order to reach success. Everyone makes mistakes and gives up. Don’t make your mistakes bordered you. Your mistake is the path to reach your goals. I have experience giving up on myself but at the end, I feel regret and I never wanted to give up again because I learn from my mistake. That’s why I always be very careful with my decisions because some decisions can affect you in the end. And I’m sure everyone feels that when they choose the wrong decisions because in the end they would feel regret. You don’t want it to happen, but who knows, sometimes it’s a miracle and sometimes it’s like going to hell. Everything happens for a reasons.

There’s also one big thing that you can never forgotten to talk about it. LOVE! Gives out loves to people around you. Your family, is your biggest support. Support each other and gives respects. Appreciate the environment you’re in. Value yours and other people work. Everyone has the power to change things. Speak UP! Stands UP! Be brave! Tell yourself, You Can Do It and there’s nothing that’s going to stop you. Do something that helps your country or the world. Don’t destroy yourself or the other because everything is valuable.

I just wanted to say that, I learn from myself a lot. And now, I think I know the direction that I’m going to be heading to. Sometimes people don’t appreciate my works, but I don’t care because all I know is that I did it and I will continue until the end point comes. Appreciate yourself and follow the path that is given or create your own path and go for it!

Life is a gift, and you should treasure it! – Soliday


On summer holiday I have started to write a book, novel. I was really interesting in writing stories so this time I decide to wring a long term one that it’ll take me six months to finish this book. Before I start to write the book, I’ve went on internet and research about how to become a novelist and how to write good stories. Then I went on and start brainstorming, chapter by chapter and including characters too. My goals is to have 40 chapters. To do that, I have to write everyday. I have to write at least 500 words count a day and the goal to reach is 80000 words count and it’s a lot. Sometimes I really want to give up because I feel like it’s too much work and sometimes I run out to words. Now, I’m halfway done and I feel proud. Even Though I write everyday I have decided to do Ind.Discovery on this because I want to spend more time working on it. I think I’m going to finish writing this before Christmas. I will make an update, once I have finally finish the writing. But here is a brief description.

The story is about a UK girl, Desi Velgas, live in Brighton. She broke up with her boyfriend, Oliver and it was a really heartbreaking for her. So her family decided to spend their winter holiday at New York and Los Angeles, just to help Desi feels better and forget everything that had happened to her. And so they go to New York for the first time, Desi’s family and her best friend, Paige’s family go together. When they get to New York, they all live at the same place, Mrs.Linda’s house, a bestfriend of Desi’s mom. Then Desi has meet this guy, Rich in New York, and she don’t like him. But she found out that he is the son of Mrs.Linda. Desi hates Rich. But they don’t hate each other for too long, they started to fall in love. As their loves go on, their secrets reveals. But did Rich tells Desi his secrets? What will happen when Desi knows?