Friday, August 29, 2014

Bali Reclamation?

It had been four years now since the issue of reclamation in Benoa Peninsula in Bali started. Now the issue had been brought nationally, involving not just people of Bali but also its immigrants and also public figures. One thing that made me interested on the case is how strong the resistance that came onto it and the fact that it has been blown up as trending topic in the social media these days.

As Buddha had said before, "If you propose to speak, always ask yourself: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?" The same questions need to be asked here. The first thing we need to know: is it true? Is reclamation really going to drown Bali? Is it so or perhaps the other way around? Therefore we must ask a little further back from here. The big question we need to know now is: what is a reclamation?

via beritabali

"Reclamation", according to Merriam-Webster: rec-la-ma-tion: noun \ˌre-klə-ˈmā-shən\:  the act or process of reclaiming: as

a :  reformation, rehabilitation
b :  restoration to use :  recovery
And described in wikipedia:
Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, and also known as land fill (not to be confused with a landfill), is the process of creating new land from ocean, riverbeds, or lake. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or land fill.
In a number of other jurisdictions, including parts of the United States,[1] the term "reclamation" can refer to returning disturbed lands to an improved state. In Alberta, Canada, for example, reclamation is defined by the provincial government as "The process of reconverting disturbed land to its former or other productive uses."[2] In Oceania it is frequently referred to as land rehabilitation.
Second thing we need to know, what is and how will the project working? Is it going to be kind to us, to the nature and its ecosystem? What are the effects and impacts if it will get done? What are the effects if it's not done? As what I know about it, this Benoa reclamation project will not touch any of the mangrove forest but to process the sediment that is already piled from all the developments around the area into something that is more functional and useful.

via balidiscovery

The project will create a new tourism destination in Bali on little islands (like the palm-tree shape in Dubai or Sentosa island in Singapore), including a concert/function hall that Bali don't have yet. Therefore this project is more suitable to be called a revitalization (according to Merriam-Webster: re-vi-tal-ize: verb \(,)rē-ˈvī-tə-ˌlīz\: to make (someone or something) active, healthy, or energetic again).

Now let's talk about the ecosystem around the area. Will it get better if the reclamation is done or the other way around? The condition of mangrove forest is now filled with garbage, the fishes can't swim around due to the sedimentation and the sea line is going up by the dredging that conducted around the harbor so the ships can get thru. All of these facts already there before the reclamation project.

via beritabali

Then, what about the helipad built by strangers that cut down some of the mangrove? What about the luxurious hotels owned by strangers that are built on the most beautiful beaches in Bali? What about the new Mandara tollway that built on the sea all the way from Benoa Harbor to Nusa Dua? What about the developments of restaurants and villas that eat up rice fields and subak that destroyed the ecosystem?

Why didn't they all get protested but welcomed happily instead while this project now is resisted so strongly by so many? Do they already get the clearest information about the project itself? Have they do a study on the environment condition itself, whether it'd be helped or not with the reclamation? Don't you smell something fishy here that perhaps there is a conspiracy against the project?

One of reclamation project in Nusa Dua
via blogspot

Now the third thing we need to know: is it necessary to have the reclamation in Tanjung Benoa? Many of the areas we have been happily living on are results of reclamation, including the north parts of Jakarta, Mertasari-Sanur beach and Nusa Dua area. The areas are now enjoyed by many people, apart of its negative impacts. But for this Benoa project, why don't we list up neutrally of what are the pros and cons about it so we can decide the best for our nature and humanity in Bali?

As a young generation that has so many access for resources (NOT just social media or any media), we must be smart and wise on addressing our voice and support. I recommend everyone to stay neutral until we really know what is actually going on there, keep our emotional thoughts away on researching about the actual condition and be an objective observer together on the case because I, like all Indonesian and the whole world do, love and care about Bali so much that I want only the best for the future of Bali.


P.S. I think you need to read this about reclamation and urban planning in Indonesia. Or just research about it on your own and share with me!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mom's 56th Birthday

me, Tante Astrid and Aunt Lena

Yesterday was all about my mom because it was her 56th birthday. The day started as usual, but at lunch time my aunts Agnes and Lena came with my cousin, Lauren. Then, mom's best friends, ex-neighbors from Bandung came, all 6 of them: Tante Patsy, Tante Astrid, Tante Olive, Tante Diana, Tante Vonny and Tante Catherine.

We had late lunch at Bukit Pelayangan, then after lunch we had some coffee at Old Town, The Breeze. The ladies had fun catching up with each other while Lauren and I patiently listening to them. At around 6 p.m. they went back to Bandung and the party was over. But the night ain't over yet for us. I asked mom to accompany me to a meeting at Central Jakarta and she agreed to come.

When we reached Grand Indonesia at around 8 p.m. she still thought she was gonna meet my colleagues whom she knew already. You can imagine how confused and surprised she was when she saw my sister Clemency and her boyfriend, Maruli, were sitting on a sofa at Ninety-Nine resto (we should've recorded it!)


She was literally stunned for some precious seconds that we all then burst into laughter. She was still amazed and not recovered from the surprise for another minutes, but then Ben, my brother who just arrived that very noon from Bandung, tapped her on the shoulder and surprised her even more. It was a really great time we enjoyed as a family, the togetherness we always cherish.

After we ordered the food, she opened the birthday gift and finished our late dinner meals, we had prepared another surprise for her. Clemy said she was going to Gramedia so the group just followed her there. It was already 9.30 so my sister said "we should go home now" and mounting an elevator that went up instead of down to the parking floor.

Mom didn't realized to which direction the lift was going, so when the doors opened to an elegant dimly lit room, she was surprised once again. She was ushered to the open space and Maruli could get us a seat next to the pool, which was the best seat of all the areas. We ordered red wine and I think this was the best birthday my mom ever had, even without dad.

chillin' out in the Skye

We brought her up there to 56th floor because she said before that she had been wanting to go to Skye. And I gave to her my first ever copy of Gapura, that published on her birthday, earlier for her gift. My siblings and I are really glad we could make her that surprised and happy--it feels so joyful to see her unexpectedly amazed like that. It really made it all worth it. We really love her very much! :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Out Now!

My book is officially published now via Indonesian readers can order and read the printed words while readers outside Asia & Pacific can purchase it at Amazon Kindle. After you have the book in your hand and read it, I'll inform the book signing and discussion later, which will take place around South Jakarta for now, perhaps on mid September.

Below is the review, in Bahasa Indonesia:
Rani, seorang gadis remaja berusia 16 tahun yang lahir, tumbuh dan besar di Bandung, mengalami hal-hal aneh setelah perceraian kedua orang tuanya.
Mulai dari tersesat di bukit yang tidak ada puncaknya, kedatangan pakde dan sepupu yang tidak pernah dikenalnya, berkenalan dengan budaya jawa, sampai menemukan sebuah portal menuju ke dunia lain!
Tidak sampai di situ, Rani dan sepupunya, Bima, nekad memasuki portal itu dan menemukan bahwa apa yang ada di balik Gapura ternyata jauh dari bayangannya tentang 'dunia lain'. Di dunia itu Rani melihat kota yang sangat mewah, binatang-binatang aneh dan seorang pangeran tampan yang memikat hatinya.

Masalahnya, waktu kunjung Rani dan Bima di dunia itu terbatas. Mampukah mereka kembali ke dunia nyata dan melupakan dunia ajaib itu?

review of the e-book version, ASIN: B00MS5DL1K

The book reviews (both for the paperback and e-book versions) are available at Goodreads now.
I sincerely thank you all for purchasing and taking the adventure with Rani and Bima!

Drinking Customs Around The World

via finedininglovers

Out Tomorrow!

I am so excited because tomorrow, August 27, 2014--at my mother's birthday--my first (physical) book of Gapura is gonna be published online. I'll let you informed about where to buy it. Just don't forget to buy it! The e-book is already available to purchase here (except for Asia & Pacific). Thanks guys!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bogor Botanical Gardens

up there, garden café Dedaunan

I was so stuck up with malls and buildings in Jakarta that today I decided to go to Bogor. We arrived a little late due to traffic and lunch time but at least we got a moment in the botanical gardens. Don't laugh at me, but this is my first time to visit Kebun Raya Bogor as a grown up (I don't recall any family vacation to here in my childhood). I went passed it a couple of times in my 3x visits to Bogor before (Bogor is that small that you must've drive pass it) and in my fourth visit this time, I finally went inside, although not to trace all of its corners.

me walking down the road

To quote from wikipedia
The Bogor Botanical Gardens is located in Bogor, Indonesia, 60 km south of Jakarta. The gardens are in the city center and adjoin the Istana Bogor (Presidential Palace). The gardens cover more than 80 hectares. The area that was now Bogor Botanical Gardens was part of the samida (man-made forest) that was established at least around the era when Sri Baduga Maharaja (Prabu Siliwangi, 1474-1513) ruled the Sunda Kingdom, as written in the Batu Tulis inscription
beautiful greenery and pond

Also from wikipedia:
This forest was created to protect seeds of rare woods. Another similar samida was established near the current border between Bogor and Cianjur, called Ciung Wanara Forest. This forest was neglected after the Sunda Kingdom was defeated by the Banten Sultanate.

red bridge with advanced suspension

One thing that caught my attention was this red hanging bridge with advanced suspensions that similar to Golden Gate of San Fransisco that started the construction in 1933. A source mentioned that the gardens were first built in 1817 by a Dutch chemist named Prof. Caspar Georg Karl Reinwardt, so the red bridge must be built around that time, too. This red color was said to be a reminder of the flood that took lives of some photographers years ago--or as a sign of love, as it is also known as the Bridge of Love.

bridge of love

At the end of the bridge is the cemetery of Her Majesty Queen Galuh Pakuan, wife of Prabu Siliwangi. The myth said any couple who walk across the bridge together would break up but every two persons (just friends) walking here together, could end up in marriage. But the true story about this is not confirmed yet. I personally just admired the technology used to build this bridge. What do you think? Wanna try the magical power of the bridge?

PS. To enter with car, go to Gate 3 in front of Plaza Pangrango, jl. Jalak Harupat. No fee is charged and you can park near the café or travel around the gardens with your car. The gate for walkers is at Gate 4, few hundreds meters before the car gate.

Friday, August 22, 2014

An Interview with A Balinese

I found this record of an interview by Bali TV with a young Balinese lecturer, Dr. Shri IGN Arya Wedakarna MWS III, who speaks about Nuswantara, Jangka Jayabaya, Sabdo Palon and Nayagenggong and its relation with the disasters in the country in the past 5 years, in accordance to what the Turangga Seta believes.

This guy mentioned that the true culture of Nuswantara (Indonesia) should be kept, like doing the ritual, ceremony and offerings to the ancestors and also to respect the ancestors, Batara-Batari, Dewa-Dewi and Dang Hyangs (gods, goddesses, deities) that are erased in the other religions, besides the Sang Hyang Widhi himself.

From the doctor's explanation, clearly there is a huge conspiracy on destroying Indonesia's true identity through many aspects since the coming of new religions into our nation, even until today. Original buildings were destructed, true teachings were deflected. We became a weak nation who lost its foundation and contact with the ancestors. Now we must be clever to sort which information is true.

So, I strongly suggest you, especially if you are Indonesian, to watch from minute 10:00 to the end to at least get to know of what the meaning of names I mentioned above, of who Indonesian ancestors were and who we really are. My book Gapura is more or less talking about this, so you must read it too when it's published--soon!

P.S. If you want to read about Serat Darmagandul (Letter of Darmagandul) that mentioned in the interview, you can read it here, here, here or here. Also, read this blogpost that dissected about the Letter.


Yes, I am a fan of Sophie Ellis-Bextor's songs and earlier this year she released a new album, Wanderlust. Her songs makes me happy and the videos are just as cute as her voice. I love the 60s setting, her beautiful British face and--well, everything about her music. Different from her "more disco" previous album, Wanderlust is more to my kind of songs. Listen up!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

My First E-Book!

My first book of a trilogy has finally published, although it is still the e-book version of Draft Edition, in Bahasa Indonesia (English version will be coming soon). You can purchase it here for those who aren't in Asia & Pacific (will release soon for Asia & Pacific). The printed book will be available in Indonesia within this week.

the book is available to purchase here by ASIN No. B00MS5DL1K

The book is basically about a teenage girl who found a way to enter an empire made of gold from a secret gapura (gate). Its genre is adventure, teen suspense and fantasy with lots of Indonesian history and culture as background. If you fancy learning something new, you'd love this one. Enjoy!

Black December

My brother made this song 4 years ago, upon our father's death on Dec 2009. It was a sudden death that shocked us all and brought dark times for us. This song is one of his many many songs but the first that he releases to public. Enjoy!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Knightly Attitudes

via deviantart

For the past year I had been learning about Indonesian culture and heritage more seriously than ever. It was because of the people I've met had led me to the ancestors. During that also, I had read about Pandawa Lima (Five Pandava princes) from Wayang (Indonesian puppet stories) of Mahabharata epic or known as Bharata Yudha (War of Bharata) and more about other local myths and tales.

These stories had taught me a lot about life, much more and differently than what I thought I knew about. With Hindu teachings and Indonesian true culture and heritage, I could see that people were expected to behave and do things with an attitude of a knight (in Indonesian, it is ksatriya). While what happens in the 'real' world, nobody is acting noble enough nowadays.

Men became more like jerks or even act like a pussy. Women lost their honor and elegance. The world has become so "modern" it has lost all of its original values. Everything became upside-down and inside-out; the wrongs became right and the rights became wrong. Due to the Jangka Jayabaya (let's call it as Indonesian Nostradamus' prophecy), these symptoms are leading to the Apocalypse.

via blogspot

As I study more about the culture in the ancestor's time, I learn that some of the teaching we believe in now is different, if I can't say it to be wrong. In the Nuswantaran (the name of the nation before it became Indonesia) time, people were mighty (master the magic). But apart from the magic, they all act as true knights, like the demeanor of the gods. Men were gentlemen. Women were graceful.

More than that, I learn that men respect women much more than they do now. Not that I'm thirsty of honor but they way men treat women now (especially in the east culture) is more like just an additional partner in their life, as servant at home or as sex slave. And the women accepted the situation and adapted to it. While other men fancy their own kind, and it is contagious.

The youth are busy with video games, sex and upset when they don't have any boyfriend/girlfriend. The generation before was into drugs and fights. They care only for themselves and their lust or madness. While those who become parents mostly don't understand how to teach and direct their children. The whole world is chaotic and full of sick people.

via pitoyo

People had lost their virtue. They act and talk like animals, no more etiquette nor nobility in their actions. I think the problem is because we had lost our connection with the past. I know the past is history, but history is necessary to know about in order to know the nation's identity and pride. I never believed in Indonesia before, but since I know the greatness of the nation once was, I am now aware of who we really are, of what we are capable of and of where we must go next.

I want to suggest to all Indonesian to care more about this nation. Don't be just followers who re-post and re-path anything that is spreading in the social media. We all need to know more about this nation's true values, that we all can be more confident and more purposeful in our steps of action. If we know what we have to hold on to and to fight for, I believe Indonesia will be the most prominent nation in this whole world.

PS. To know more details about this, read my upcoming trilogy novel first book: Gapura. It will published online next week via nulisbuku. I'll update about it :)

Soulmate Criteria

via paperdroids

I got this article by Dr. Carmen Harra of a soulmate criteria and I know that no matter how long we wait, it will worth all the pain and longing we had before we meet our soulmate. Here are the points:

  1. It's something inside. Describing how a soulmate makes you feel is difficult. It's a tenacious, profound and lingering emotion which no words can encompass.
  2. Flashbacks. If your partner is your soulmate, chances are he or she has been present in your past lives. Soulmates often choose to come back together during the same lifetime and scope each other out in the big world. You might suddenly and briefly experience flashbacks of your soulmate. You might even feel an odd sense of déjà vu, as if the moment in time has already taken place, perhaps a long time ago, perhaps in a different setting.
  3. You just get each other. Ever met two people who finsh each other's sentences? Some people call that spending too much time together, but I call it a soulmate connection. You might experience this with your best friend or your mother, but it is the telltale sign of a soulmate when you experience it with your partner.
  4. You fall in love with his (or her) flaws. No relationship is perfect, and even soulmate relationships will experience ups and downs. Still, that bond will be much harder to break. Soulmates have an easier time of accepting, even learning to love, each other's imperfections. Your relationship is more likely to be a soulmate match if you both love each other exactly as you each are, accepting both the great and awful tendencies we all have.
  5. It's intense. A soulmate relationship may be more intense than normal relationships, in both good and sometimes bad ways. The most important thing is that, even during negative episodes, you're focused on resolving the problem and can see beyond the bad moment.
  6. You two against the world. Soulmates often see their relationship as "us against the world." They feel so linked together that they're ready and willing to take on any feat of life, so long as they have their soulmate by their side. Soulmate relationships are founded on compromise and unity above all else.
  7. You're mentally inseparable. Soulmates often have a mental connection similar to twins. They might pick up the phone to call each other at the exact same time. Though life may keep you apart at times, your minds will always be in tune if you are soulmates.
  8. You feel secure and protected. Regardless of the gender of your partner, he or she should always make you feel secure and protected. This means that if you're a man, yes, your woman should make you feel protected, too! Your soulmate will make you feel like you have a guardian angel by your side. A person who plays on your insecurities, whether consciously or subconsciously, is not your soulmate.
  9. You can't imagine your life without him (or her). A soulmate is not someone you can walk away from that easily. It is someone you can't imagine being without, a person you believe is worth sticking with and fighting for.
  10. You look each other in the eye. Soulmates have a tendency to look into each other's eyes when speaking more often than ordinary couples. It comes naturally from the deep-seated connection between them. Looking a person in the eye when speaking denotes a high level of comfort and confidence.
I can feel all the points above with my partner and I am very grateful for experiencing this in my (quite young) age. I wish you all to have meet your soulmate in this life to know how incredible this life can be. Read the whole article here. The doctor has great points on viewing this soulmate stuff, and I am agree with her.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Stay Creative!

I forgot where I found this, but this is a good reminder also for myself to stay creative.. :)

Vasomotor Rhinitis

After like a lifetime of suffering the almost-endless flu symptoms, I finally know the name of my problem. I thought it was an allergy, but my doctor cousin just told me that it is a vasomotor rhinitis or nonallergic rhinitis. The symptoms are chronic sneezing (which happened mostly during my high school years in Bandung) and/or stuffy/runny nose (also during my high school years until college) without any apparent cause.

These all got better when I moved to Jakarta that more humid than Bandung, and way better since I stayed in Bali. Sadly, no cure was found for this, for it is not an allergy non a disease. It's just a body 'defect', as I take it. All I can do for now is avoiding the triggers, such as pollen, drastic change of weather/temperature, dust, strong odors, smog like cigarette fume and any touch on my nose area.

According to Mayo Clinic, nonallergic rhinitis occurs when blood vessels in your nose expand (dilate), filling the nasal lining with blood and fluid. There are several possible causes of this abnormal expansion of the blood vessels or inflammation in the nose. But, whatever the trigger, the result is the same — swollen nasal membranes and congestion.

My doctor cousin and aunt suggested to take decongestant & antihistamine if the symptoms occur (which I already take Rhinnos SR as the best medicine for me). My cousin said I have to blow my nose regularly and rinse (sterilize) any of nasal passages, to humidify and hydrated myself. So I guess tropical beaches suit me more than mountains and snow. No wonder I never liked staying in Bandung!

RIP Robin Williams (1951-2014)

via intentblog

It had been three days since Mr. Williams' death but I just got a moment with my laptop now. I was shocked, two mornings ago, to see a friends' IG post had his face and RIP thoughts on it. I checked the web and yes, he was dead, took out his own life out of depression. It was kind of shocking how he decided to end his life that way, I didn't think he was that kind of person. A media said it was because of money.

I never really know much about him, although I had known his movies almost my whole life, especially since my favorite childhood movies Hook and Mrs. Doubtfire. I love many more of his movies, but to see the scenes of him being sad was kind of a torture for me. I can't help seeing people being sad without feeling it myself. Maybe I have the ability of absorbing feelings, if I were a mutant.

Robin Williams had always had a glimpse of father figure for me. His loving heart, wise and witty side, and some facial characters really reminded me of my own late father. It's simply tragic to know that someone who makes us laugh is someone who actually is crying inside. I know life is hard, much harder than what we expected it would be, but I think suicide is never a way out.

Still, he had accompanied many generations to grow old with him as Peter Pan, talented Mrs. Doubtfire, blue Genie, 200 years old robot-becoming-man, thief master Wizard, Teddy the Wax President and many other characters he had been. He had entertained us well, too bad that the reality didn't treat him as well. I really wish the best for his resting soul.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Shoot Shoot!

Tosan Aji team: Enoch Timothy and Nugie

Yesterday, FINALLY, we started the pre-production shooting for our movie project, Tosan Aji The Movie. The movie was originally a documentary, until we changed it into a mega-budget blockbuster movie project last year. Therefore, much more time and effort that we need to accomplish to turn it into a great satisfying fantasy-adventure fiction to be enjoyed by all, that's going to release in 2017.

If you're interested and want to know more, contact me or the team here.

Big Blog Exchange 2014

Would you help vote for me to win an exchange trip abroad?

Click here and don't forget to reconfirm via your emails!
Thanks a bunch pals!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Baladeva: Way of the Tiger

A friend gave me this big full color comic book created by a Balinese guy, Ary Wicahyana. "Baladeva" is a name of Lord Kresna's brother in both Indian and Javanese epic story. But this comic centers on Kebo Parang, a huge knight who fought a white tiger and continuing his journey becoming a balaraksa (special force) for Medang Kingdom with Balinese scene as background.

This comic is written in English and has beautiful colored images, although there are some minor weird proportions on the figures. The paper used is a high quality one and the book is almost the size of my 13" MacBook. It's pretty interesting to read an epic in a comic this big, so I say it's worth a read!

You can have this Indonesian comic "Chronicle of Calonarang: Baladeva, Way of the Tiger" for IDR 300,000 at

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

An Underground Mall

via kalibatacity

I went to Kalibata City Square for a meeting and got time for some mall-sweeping so I went around and found out that this mall, hidden underneath the many of high-rise apartment buildings, has almost anything, from open-space food court, restaurants and cafes to supermarket, gadgets, fashion, sport equipments, and even a bag maker in small kiosk!

Another fantastic thing I found was a book store that sells the kinds of books that I was looking for. I couldn't find this one book of Nibiru & Kesatria Atlantis anywhere else for more than a year now and look, there it was, piled up for sale here. I bought another three of Javanese language and traditional clothing here before I chilled at a coffee shop.

Overall, I like to have my coffee break at Kedai Kopi Phoenam, just around the main entrance to the underground mall at the open space. Besides the coffee, it serves one of the best fried rices I love (try the original fried rice and spicy cakalang fried rice!) I never really expect to find such things in the area that I almost never touch my whole life, but yeah, life is full of surprises sometimes.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Malaikat Lereng Tidar

After Parijs Van Java (2005), I bought Remy Sylado's newest book, Malaikat Lereng Tidar. I don't feel I could copy his way of telling things for my own writing reference, but it's his uniqueness and I love reading his book for he always use rare words I never knew existed before and the rich information in all his writings. He is the master of authoring a full-research fiction novel based on Indonesian history. One of his books, Ca Bau Kan, was already on screen on 2002.

I met Oom Remy in person years ago, on 2003, when I was interested on theatrical play, directed by him. He is a very typical Holland-Manado guy with all white outfit up to belt and shoes. My parents knew him first from the church then I started to follow his theater activities for some time before I enter the interior design major in Bandung. I hope I could have another chance to meet him to discuss even much more interesting stuff about art, play and writings. He is one of Indonesia's greatest artists and I'm glad to both know him and read his pieces.