Kita Memang Jago

Last week, the Communication Team had a team retreat in Ciwidey, Bandung. It was inspiring and super fun!

In love with the Javanese Dance



I am simply in love with Javanese dance. I’ve been practice dancing since 2003. I had to take few years off while I was working outside Jakarta. But when I came back, I continue my routine practice Javanese dance once a week. Recently we had a great performance. It was was very exciting for me after a few years break. And what made me more happy was that all my good friends are watching the show 🙂



And here is the review from the Jakarta Post on our last performance.


Lelangen Beksan focus on grace and beauty

Novia D. Rulistia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Culture | Mon, May 27 2013, 12:45 PM

Nine women clad in white and red chinoiserie wowed the audience as they performed the Kumolobumi to close the Lelangen Beksan, a Javanese dance show recently staged at the Taman Ismail Marzuki in Cikini, Central Jakarta.

In about 25 minutes, the women successful interpreted the traditional dance with grace and agility.

Unlike other Javanese dances, the Kumolobumi featured several Chinese elements, ranging from hairstyles and attire to red paper hand fans, music and hand movements.

The chinoiserie was designed to support the story of the dance itself, which had a Chinese character.

Kumolobumi, created by Rury Nostalgia, tells the tale of the struggle between two warrior princesses, Adaninggar from China and Kelaswarara, the princess of Prabu Kelanjati from the Kelan kingdom.

In the story, Adaninggar comes to Puser Bumi to serve Jayengrana, while Kelaswara comes to the kingdom to seek vengeance from Jayengrana for her father’s death.

Battle is inevitable, as the princesses are involved in a fight to defend their principles. The dance included distinct fighting movements that evoked a silat (martial arts) film.

The dance also surprised the audience when in the middle of the show, the gamelan players and their accompanying sinden singers suddenly stopped performing, leaving the dancers to show their ability to sing in Javanese.

Kumolobumi was not the only Javanese dance that entertained the audience at the Teater Kecil.

Highlighting beauty and gracefulness, Lelangen Beksan, organized by the Padnecwara Javanese dance troupe, also presented four other performances: the Sekarputri, Sukoretno, Retna Pamudya and Sancaya Kusumawicitra.  

In Javanese, Lelangen is derived from the word langen, which means beauty, while beksan is a high Javanese word for njoget (dancing).

In Sekarputri, creator Retno Maruti portrayed women as characters who were soft, graceful, but also lively. The dance was arranged from two Javanese classic pieces, Gambyong and Sukoretno, and was performed by six women.

The second dance was the Sukoretno, performed by eight dancers.

Sukoretno, created by the late Kusumakesawa, tells the tale of a young girl just becoming a woman as is told through slow and graceful movements.  It is also a dance used to develop discipline among the performers at the keraton (palaces) of Java, and, while it was smoothly, that Sukoretno performed was also dynamic.

In the third performance, the Retna Pamudya, six dancers portrayed a picture of a strong, elegant Javanese goddess.

Kusumakesawa originally devised the dance in the 1950s for a lone performer. The Retna Pamudya was the first solo dance influenced by the dancing style of Surakarta, Central Java, that was developed outside the area.

Retna Pamudya tells the story of Dewi Srikandhi and her fight against Resi Bhisma in Bharatayudha. The dancers were equipped with bows and arrows to support the character of a fighting goddess.

The fourth dance in the Lelangen Beksan series, the Sancaya Kusumawicitra, was the highlight of the show. The dance was performed by two male dancers and told the story of the battle between Prabu Sancaya from the Nusarukmi kingdom and Prabu Kusumawicitra of the Memenang kingdom. Both characters are taken from the Wayang Madya puppet story.

The kings had opposite characters: Prabu Sancaya was pictured with stout movements, while Kusumawicitra was more elegant.

Although it performed by men, the dance was still very much relevant to the main theme of beauty and gracefulness. The dancers of Kusumawicitra succeeded in bringing elegance to the dance without putting aside his heroic side.

Costumes of bright pinks, greens and red complete with gold ornaments enriched the performances, which were staged simply against a black background.

Retno, who is the founder of Padnecwara, said that the Lelangen Beksan was organized to preserve Javanese dance and as a place where members of Padnecwara could show off their talent after regular training in class.

“The dancers who were involved in the show are a combination of those who have maturity in their movements, feelings and rhythm and those who still need to further improve their potential,” Retno said.

Lelangen Beksan was staged for the first time at the Teater Luwes at the Jakarta Art Institute (IKJ) in 2008 and then at Teater Salihara in 2009.

“I expect it to be an annual show, so we can keep producing new talent and preserve the culture at the same time,” Retno said.

— Photos by JP/Wendra Ajistyatama

Direct link: Lelangen Beksan Focuse on grace and beauty


Togean Islands, Hidden Paradise of Sulawesi


Having an experience living in a coast area which surrounded by a lot of beautiful beach, it sets me a high expectation on my prefect beach vacation.

It was Christmast holiday, time to take a break from my routine in the office and this crowded city of Jakarta. I need to see beach, feel the sea breeze, hear the sound of the waves and step my feet on white sands. And my destination this time is Sulawesi. Exciting!

One of the main reason I chose Sulawesi was to visit one of my good friend in Manado, Southeast Sulawesi, just before she finished her work assignment there. We both are beach freaks and have common interests on things, specially for beach vacation.

We heard that there are many beautiful beaches in Sulawesi. One of the famous one is Togean Islands, located in Central Sulawesi. Togean Islands consist of about 60 scattered islands and known with its diversity of sea life, from various species of fish and coral reefs. Mostof the islands were formed by coral formation and many of the islands are inhabited. According to my internet research, it’s a paradise for diving and snorkeling. So, let’s find out how beautiful the island is!

How to Get There?

My friend and I, we started our adventure by taking an one hour flight from Manado to Gorontalo. We knew that it would be a long long trip, we have bought some breads and biscuits ealier in the morning. From Gorontalo airport, we took a private taxi Gorontalo port which cost us Rp150,000,-. If you have more people in the car, the price will be cheaper. It’s about one hour drive, passing the capital city of Gorontalo Province.

Just before we arrived at the port, we saw this beautiful sunset with orange reflection on the sky and seawater. We knew that this gonna be a great trip.

We bought Bussines ticket to Wakai for Rp85,000,- per person. And if you would like to take economy ticket, it’s slightly cheaper, Rp65,000,-. The boat only leaves twice a week from Gorontalo, Tuesday and Friday at 8pm and arrived in Wakai at 8am. We met one of the crew before getting into the boat. He offered us his cabin for Rp300,000,- per cabin. It would be a long trip and we thought that it would be worth-ed to take the cabin. Surprisingly, the cabin was really nice. It’s about nine square meters with air conditioning, two small beds and wash stand with fresh water.

The boat leaves behind schedule. While waiting, we just stayed on the deck, just next to our cabin. We enjoyed the wind and talked to the crew who rent his cabin for us. We also met a local Togean guy who apparently the guide who took us to Fadhila cottage. There was a small canteen where you can buy drinks, biscuits and instant noodle. Luckily, we had our brown bag bread. The boat was finally left at 11pm.

We spent sometimes on the deck with the local Togean guy and two other tourists playing a game using two dices. I don’t remember how they called the game. We went back to our deck to have some good sleep and woke up in the morning to see sunrise. This would be the first time I woke up in the morning on boat so I was really excited. Later in the morning, you could see small islands everywhere formed by coral. And you also can see blue deep sea and green color on white sand beach. The scene was amazing. It’s only one hour way from Wakai port. From Wakai, we took a small boat to Fadhila Cottage and it took another one hour.

The view to Fadhila Cottage was more and more beautiful. We were passing many small islands and coastal villages. Most of the population here is living from fishing. They sell their catch to Wakai and buy other non-sea products in Wakai. They usualy take a slow ferry to and from Wakai.



An Enjoyable Stay at Fadhila Cottage

From about 100 meter, we could see Fadhila cottage, with it’s dock and white sand beach. Once we stepped our foot on the dock, we right away know that we should extend our stay there. It will be wasted if we only stayed for one night. Unfortunately, there’s no signal in the island. In order to extend our stay, we had to find a way to change our plain tickets – me to Jakarta and my friend back to Manado. They owner of the cottage was very nice willing to take us with boat to get signal.


We finally managed to change our plain ticket and stayed at Fadhile Cottage for 5 nights. I think the price is still reasonable not too expensive. With Rp150,000 per person per night, we had 3 times meals, and free flow coffee, tea and water 24 hours. There was only limited electricity, from 6pm to 10pm. But in this kind of place with no signal and a beautiful view, who needs electricity, right? Just in front of the main building, where the guests usually hangout and eat, there was a volley court just right on the beach. What a beautiful view it was!

We stayed at a simple wooden cottage, one big bed for 2 people with mosquito net, a simple closet and an outdoor simple bathroom. We had a nice terrace with a hammock on it and the beach is just 10 meters away from our cottage. We were pretty happy with out cottage.


The owner is a very friendly couple who always mingle with their guests. During our stay there, there were also this cute French family who is really adventerous. They brought their own snorkeling and cano. That was so cool. Their kids, 10 and 6 years old were very cute and they played with the local kids in the cottage. That’s interesting to see how they communicate to each other with different language, however, they seemed to understand each other.

There was also this mixed Indonesia-German family with their teenagers kids. Somehow, they keep things alive, they play volley balls or just hangout around the cottage. And there was this American couple who finally be our friends during this trip.

You will never get bored with the view you have. I don’t even want to take a nap and don’t want to miss any moment in this island. With this paradise view, you just want to stare at it all the time.



Trips around the Islands

The owner of the cottage arranged a boat trip for all his guests. We went snorkeling in some of the best spots in Togean Island. It was really beautiful, I never saw so many colorful fishes like there. And the corals were also still natural and colorful. It was just amazing. We stopped by at a house on the water and had a picnic lunch in one of the most beautiful beach I ever seen, Karina Beach. The white sand is soooo soft, it’s almost like a flavor. The water was crystal clear. It’s truly a hidden paradise.

Not far from Karina beach, there was a salty lake where you can swim with non stink-able jelly fishes. First time you get into the water, the water looks dark green. Few minutes after, you started to see jelly fishes around you. And in 10 minutes, you were surrounded by the jelly fish. The feeling is indescribable.


Soul Refreshment

Staying at Fadhila Cottage was a soul refreshment moment for me. I feel like I was far away from my modern world, except my camera of course. No signal means no call, no sms, no emails, you were just isolated from the world, stranded in an island in the middle of nowhere. Nothing much you could do in such place except relaxing, and self reflection. It was really a perfect vacation for me.

Pictures from the trip

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

relief of Borobudur temple

It’s one of the relief in Borobudur Temple, Central Java Indonesia.

Special Photo Challenge: Inspiration

“What inspires you to blog?”

It is really an interesting question that I never really think about before. Having that question in mind made me look back to the moment when I was creating my blog. It was simple, I just want to wrote my feelings, my random thoughts about things and my experience in life. Some of them are expressed through words or video, and many of them are captured through pictures.

There are few things that inspire me to blog. For me, each moment is special, I can’t redo that moment. Writing those special moments in a blog is helping to keep those memory fresh. And since I am really into photography, I also like to capture things through pictures that speak. I do really hope that people who see my pictures that I posted in my blog could see or feel something beyond what it shows. For example, when I took pictures of someone’s face I could also see and feel what this person is feeling. Through pictures, I also would like to share the beauty of my Indonesia – the landscape, the culture and the people. I do posting some songs from youtube. I think song is perfect to represent my particular feeling and memory.

I see my life as a long journey. If I could sit and watch life pass from the side line, I would say that my life is full with the ups and downs. There are a lot of unique experience in that I could share in my blog through my own perspective. For example, my work allows me to travel in remote areas across Indonesia and it changes my point of view about certain things differently. One last thing that inspire me the most to write my blog is friendship. Having experience living away from your family, made me appreciate more the value of friendship. My friends are my family, I do nothing and everything with them and to have them around have made my life more colorful and interesting.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

One afternoon on the way back to Banda Aceh from Lampu’uk Beach

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

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