Hari Batik Selalu

Sibika at Kultura is the subject in elementary where young Filipinos learn history and enhance awareness of their cultural and social ability and distinction among other nationalities. In my case, that’s when I first fell in love with batik.


According to researches, Batik is a cloth that is traditionally made using a manual wax-resist dyeing technique which is an ancient art form that has said to have existed in Egypt where it was used to wrap mummies and was practiced in China, Japan, India, Nigeria and Senegal. But the Indonesian batik that we know nowadays  is especially from Yogyakarta and Surakarta which has notable meanings rooted to the Javanese conceptualization of the universe.

I’d like to announce for October 2 to be the Batik Day (haha) but UNESCO already acknowledged the beauty of batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on October 2, 2009. So today, it’s an honor to support Batik Day and will not just  be blogging about it but will also feel awesome wearing it!


The cape batik that I’m wearing in the photos is made by Riana Kusuma of Indonesia which is done in summer colors with beautiful flowers manually drawn in it. But I’m always thrilled to see the different batik designs that talk so much about where they actually come from.

Growing up, I associate batik with Indonesians and what I admire about them very much is how batik serves not just as a national costume/ national identity but how they actually enhance and incorporate it in their everyday lives (reason why I always wonder how we can also use Filipiniana daily cause it would be nice to wear your identity, right?).

What I also like about Batik is it normally adds sophistication to an outfit. Due to its limited availability in the Philippines, I always find Filipinos who appreciate and wear Batik very sophisticated and smart, surprisingly upon knowing them, they really are (like my elementary teacher who first showed me a batik scarf)! So probably, it’s a good idea to wear it! haha.


Here’s one of my favorite bags which I got from Jakarta when I sang my heart out upon realizing a dream last year and seeing batik in its country of origin for the first time was an amazing feeling.

And just like what one of the most prominent techie women and batik lover in Indonesia, Shinta Dhanuwardhoyo, have told me and I’d like to tell you, “The beauty started long time ago, then it’s your turn to pass it on.”

Cipika Cipiki

 
It was my first time to travel abroad. It wasn’t the first time to sleep in bus station and airport but it was my first time to meet such a wonderful man with a wonderful song (which I don’t understand. Haha).
 
I’ve been asking my Indonesian friends about this but they couldn’t figure out what was I singing so here is the lyrics and the video (which I finally found in my old files) and please, please let me know the whole version:
Sayang sayang, chowoku sayang.
Aku salalu sayang
Satu hari lima kali
Kachup, kaningmu laki…
Satu hari lima kali
Kachup, kaningmu laki..”

 

As far as I can remember “aku” is “ako” in Filipino and “me” in English, Satu is “isa” and “one” in English and “kaningmu” is “alalahanin” or “remember.” Is it right?
 
I wonder if this good man who taught me how to ride Bajaj, how to go to Gambir station and how to say “Aku mamili pirdana SL. Terima Kasih” (Filipino translation: “Pabili ako ng SL na sim card. Maraming salamat po.” English Translation: “I want to buy SL Sim Card. Thank you”) just made up this whole song.

(I flew to Jakarta via Cebu Pacific Air.)

Bali, for the first time.

It’s Christmas and after a couple of weeks, a new year will begin. I grew up always making sure that I’m with the whole family on the first day of the year because that will be the reflection of the whole year- if I’m not with them, I’ll not be with them the whole year, that’s what they say. But this coming new year, for the first time, I’ll not be with my family, moreover, I’ll be in Bali.


I went to Bali last month to attend the Southeast Asian Bloggers Conference and had a glimpse of how rich the culture is and how beautiful the people are.


For me, Bali in Indonesia is as beautiful as Boracay in the Philippines. The difference is just, Boracay is more commercial, Bali is more cultural and maybe, the “sand” and the “bikes.

Beer, book and beach always go together.

Below is one of the most photographed places in Bali, I guess. But before you get to see this very beautiful place, you have to make friends with the monkeys all over the temple of Uluwatu which comes from different sizes and age so you have to be mindful about your little things like bags, sunglasses and even necklace! (I kept my necklace since I was scared to lose it again and I don’t like Taku to look for a new one over again.) 


Uluwatu is such a serene and beautiful place, a very good place for reflection but just like any sacred place, please try to be mindful of what you’re wearing. Well, just in case you’re in a “beach” mode and wearing shorts, linens are available in the entrance for you to cover your legs!

I like this part of GWK Cultural Park- Lotus Pond. It’s so vast and green, I can look at it for the whole day!

GWK (Garuda Wisnu Kencana) Cultural Park is a good stop when you visit Bali. There, you’ll see the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue that will be standing 150 meters tall with wings span 64 meters across.


According to GWK, the statue is picturing Lord Wisnu, as the source of wisdom, riding on the back of the mythical bird Garuda as the manifestation of conscience toward Amerta, the perennial goodness and it is made from more than 4000 tons of copper and brass. The statue and its pedestal will be surrounded by more than 240 hectares cultural park which was once an abandoned and unproductive limestone quarry. GWK Cultural Park is intended to educate, especially the young generations about the importance of preserving and cultivating world’s cultural heritage.


 As of the moment, the statue of Wisnu, the statue of Garuda, and the hands of Wisnu have been placed temporarily in three different plazas within the park. 


You may refer to the photo below to let your imagination fly on how big the statue is going to be once it has been put altogether.

Left to right: Statue of Lord Wisnu, Garuda, miniature of how it’ll look like after completion.


One of my favorites in Bali is the Balinese dancer. 

How they move their hips, hands and even their eyes are fabulous plus their colorful costume! The music is also very wonderful and reminds me of the “Singkil” dance in the Mindanao, southern part of the Philippines which I think both dances influenced each other because of their location. Remember, Indonesia have lots of Durian just like our beloved Mindanao. I would be grateful to learn a few steps of their dances, especially the “eye” movements. Awesome!

Balinese dancer at GWK


Of course, I love eating, no one can change it. But of course, Indonesian dishes are so spicy! You have to be ready to have water beside you. Haha. But I think I can eat Nasi Goreng the whole week!


A few reminders to have a wonderful uninterrupted exploration and vacation, please listen to me cause I didn’t learn the last time I visited Indonesia and forgot about adapter. 

Philippines uses the flat one but Indonesia uses the rounded one.


Watch your step! Most of the people in Bali are Hindus which makes the place more interesting aside from the beautiful places to go and see. 

Always be careful when walking cause you might step on one of their offerings- a basket or container filled with flowers or rice which is called “canang sari.” It is basically a ritual of giving back what the gods has given and in Balinese perspective, giving back or offering is the best way to maintain the relationships between the people and the spirits and it is believed that it will appease the spirit and will bring prosperity and good health to the people.
Offerings in shops
I almost stepped on this offering in Kuta Beach.
Offerings in sidewalks.
One of my memorable experience in Bali is the “blessing” or the prayer. I was astonished with the amount of water thrown to us and the grains of rice that was put in my forehead. Surprisingly, I felt renewed.  
the start of the prayer.
Cheers for good life!
I have attempted to drink Bintang twice during the trip but I guess, it’s reserved for the next visit! Most of them agreed that Laos beer is the best (I’ll try it soon!) but I hope that this one can beat the best Philippine beer: San Miguel (which I doubt! Haha)


Taku sent me a chat message when I was there saying that “Bali sunset is dangerous” only to keep me away from seeing it because we’ll be back soon. Sunset is always one of the best moments in trips and I’ll definitely catch more of the Bali sunsets soon, now with him.

I’ll be back for more, Bali! See you in a few days!

(From the Philippines, I comfortably flew to Kuala Lumpur via Cebu Pacific Air and flew to Bali via Air Asia)

Let’s talk about Marketing in Jakarta.

I couldn’t help it.

I’m addicted to checking out advertisements and market behavior wherever I go. I concede that the market segment that I mostly observe is very small and I tend to generalize sometimes, but this is based on my unbiased and tried-my-best-to-be-objective observation. Haha.
Couchsurfers from Jakarta loves Blackberry!

I went to Jakarta last March to have a glimpse of Indonesia. When I arrived, in the airport, I’ve seen a huge blackberry advertisement. I started to wonder if it’s a trend in Jakarta. I’ve walked, had coffee, ate, went to internet shops, wandered again and again, and everywhere I went in the streets of Jakarta, Indonesians were using Blackberry.

We celebrated Earth Hour and had dinner with the Couch Surfing-Jakarta. In a group of 8, 6 have Blackberry as their mobile phones. Interesting! I therefore conclude that Jakarta is invaded by Blackberry. Bow. Haha.

I wonder why and how it became a trend. Is it because it’s cheaper to have BBS? Is it because of the appearance? Packaging?

Well, definitely, if everyone’s using the same service, it will definitely be cheaper.

But I’m more curious to know how advertisements will be effective to the Indonesian Market. Is my assumption true that “Gratis” is a trend in Indonesia’s advertising industry? Well, I just concluded this since most of the billboards and posters that I’ve seen mentioned about their “gratis” or freebies!
at the train station.

What do you think? 

at the airport.