Thank you ZJ (sreisaat) for giving me this award last week.

bff-award-blog

Sorry it took time for me to blog about it!  It is because… I don’t know how to react! Hahaha!

Of course, ZJ, you’re my BFF (and blog mentor)! And I really appreciate the award! Actually it is my first award or tag…

The reason for the delay is…I don’t have enough blogger friends (yet) to give it to– being a relatively new blogger who pretty much keeps to herself and has no time to go around the blogosphere (para magpakilala)…

So after some thought, I am giving this award to two of my (other) blogger friends (utang na lang muna yung isa pa):

Dusk Fading: Hers is one of the blogs I often visit and one of the nicest bloggers around (Kasi she replies or visits back– di tulad ng mga iba kong binisita in the past.  Bitter much? Hehe!) She’s also a teacher and a gifted writer. She’s soon to be a mom so i wish her (and her baby) good health and many wonderful blessings!!

Buhay Pinoy: I love history, that’s why I support BP’s photoblogs that show pictures about our culture–noon at ngayon.  I also love these ‘visual’ blogs for the fact that they don’t have words much (minsan nakakapagod din magbasa ng mga sinusulat ng mga sangkatutak na bloggers) but instead show beautiful and interesting pictures that the blogger took time to research and collect from others (so that you don’t have to). As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Buhay Pinoy is one of my blogging mentors, too, when it comes to putting up a photoblog (I have one… still in the works but it’s coming soon!). Thanks, BP!

And back to my friend ZJ whom i would like to thank for the kind words about me! A friend since college days, ZJ’s one of the earliest Pinoy bloggers around (since 2002?) that I know of and have encouraged me to blog for the longest time…  An adventurous traveler and talented photographer with a huge heart. And a true PINAY–strong, independent, and free-spirited! Cambodia (and Rob) is lucky to have her. PS… mare, ym ym na lang ha? hehe.

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(My friend ,Ton wrote a moving piece, paying tribute to her dad, the sculptor, Ros Arcilla, Jr. right after he passed away last two years ago…I was moved by what she wrote and wished it could have been published in a major daily.  This may not be what I had in mind but at least somebody [probably an art major] who may want to research on current Filipino sculptors may hopefully find this information useful…With her permission, I am posting a copy of her In Memoriam for her dad. -SL)

In Memoriam:

Rosalio B. Arcilla, Jr.

May 1, 1939-July 24, 2006

By Fortune Arcilla-Concepcion

Rosalio Beltran Arcilla, Jr. was born on May 1, 1939 in Caramoan, Camarines Sur.  He was the fourth of nine children sired by Rosario Arcilla, Sr. and Trinidad Beltran.

At an early age, he was showing signs of artistic promise by moulding figures out of clay.  His grade school notebooks were filled drawings and sketches while his high school years provided him with the opportunity to showcase his talent through his school paper and by undertaking art projects for school plays as well as in town fiestas and special events.

Arcilla and Ninoy’s bust which now stands at the NAIA (photo via CRANE)

In 1960, he graduated at the University of the Philippines with a BFA, Major in Sculpture.  I remember him reminisce how he had been tempted to take up Fashion Design but was afraid, to my amusement, that he would turn into a bakla.  He knew a lot of designers then who were of the third sex.  And he was serious about it!  I still wonder, sometimes, how our life would have turned out had he pursued it.

Every time I dwell on my father’s youthful days, I cannot help but be proud of how a probinsyano like him had the guts to brave the jungles of Manila.  He used to regale me with details of how, to earn extra money and keep up with his rich friends, he would write stories and illustrate for Extra, Sampaguita, and Family Komiks.  It gave him unending pleasure writing and drawing for these publications and getting paid for it at the same time.

When I look back on his accomplishments, I know these pages are not enough to cover the breadth and depth of them, nor can I capture my father’s spirit or his inspirations for those wonderful pieces of art he created.  My recollections are only glimpses of his genius, although I can say authoritatively that his foremost inspirations centered on love, family and parenthood.  I guess it was his way of paying homage to his parents and expressing his love for us, his family, that he rendered these themes over and over again in countless sculptures.

I remember all of the projects he had undertaken while I was growing up.  The bronze sculpture of a lady with a jar in her arms that was privately commissioned by Skyland Plaza in Makati; the 8-foot tall figures of Handiong and Daragang Magayon from Bicol’s myths and legends and now standing in the provincial capitol of Camarines Sur; the Bonifacio Monument in the old PNR site that took years to build and many more years to be fully paid by the government.  I also recall with much clarity how I envied him for having gone to Paris to study at the Ecole de Beaux Arts and to travel to nearby European cities to visit museums and artists’ studios.  I used to pore over the pictures of his stay in the City of Lights.  I can still see in my mind that picture of him at the airport looking so groomed and cosmopolitan, every inch the artist.  We were witnesses to these moments of triumph and success but were never privy to plans that fell through or projects that never materialized. He felt that he did not have to share those with us.

Arcilla’s 18 foot high bronze sculptural relief, Bonifacio and the Katipunan’s Initiation Rites in Tondo (picture via Traveler On Foot)

There are certain memories that stand out vividly in my mind when I think of my dad.  My earliest, fondest memory was of riding in circles in a slightly rusty tricycle in our garage when I was five.  My dad was working with clay, surrounded by his various tools and humming smartly while he molded and shaped his medium.  He had a look of deep concentration and satisfaction on his face that only kids who are hard at work playing can understand.  Now that I dwell on it, I am thankful to have this wonderful image of my father, the artist, at work.

I recall his endless sermons that I had to “endure” while growing up.  There was one time when he was mad at something my brothers, sisters and I did.  I do not recall exactly what but I distinctly remember sitting in a circle with them while my dad launched into his hour-long lecture on proper behavior.  I also remember thinking that, to make up for my part in the misdeed, I would sit there and listen no matter how long his sermon took.  The others, sly foxes that they are, had quietly slipped out one by one, unnoticed by either of us.  Yes, I did miss an hour-long, lecture-free play time they so thoroughly enjoyed but I am glad I stayed.  I learned a lot from him.  About how we must always be respectful of others, especially our elders; how our deportment must always be above reproach as all of our actions are a reflection of our parents; how I must strive to be independent so that in the event that I get married to the wrong man, he will never be able to drive me out of the house (he suggested I should be the one to do it); and how I must never allow anyone to take away my kumpyansa.

Arcilla’s sculpture, “Family” in Changchun City in China (photo via CCFAO)

I remember so well how he loved telling ghost stories on stormy nights when electricity was out.  How he always insisted that the entire household pray the Rosary together every Friday evening.  He loved to hear us recite the prayers and have a special after-Rosary “snack.”  It did not matter that it was bicho-bicho, pulvorones or ice cream so long as we kids had something to look forward to.  I also recall feeling special to be assigned to memorize and recite the prayer of St. Francis at the end of the recitation of the Rosary.  Dad, do you remember?

Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

And where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console;

To be understood as to understand;

To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

And it is in dying that we born to eternal life.

Dad, this prayer has not been something to recite so much as a guide to life that I know you tried to lead, the life that I also follow and the things I seek to teach my children.  They may not have met you but I will make sure they never forget their grandfather’s gentleness, generosity of spirit and love that continue to touch and sustain us.  We will miss you so much but are comforted in the knowledge that you are now resting in God’s arms.

You have always been our source of strength and inspiration.  I will be miss seeing you draw, of our reading newspapers together very morning, of listening to oldies music each and every Sunday, watching you dote on and enjoy your grandchildren.  I will hold these memories forever in my heart.  You may rest in peace knowing you did your best, both in your personal and professional life.  I love you, Daddy.

Thank you to all of you who paid respect and remembered my father.  To you whose life he touched with his art, his boundless generosity and his unquestioning loyalty, may you be inspired to live your life fully as he did and may you find full expression of spirit as he was able to do with his art. –Ton Arcilla-Concepcion (August, 2006)

These are just more snapshots of what i saw and experienced in Indonesia–the art, culture, and some crazy moments:

Art, Koi, and Rain

…A country should take pride in its identity and culture. One way of doing this is to put up public statues, sculptures, and monuments that best speak of its history and heritage. And these should also be of fine quality and elegant taste, as well. Statues in Indonesia are everywhere from national symbolism to religious purposes. Left: An elegant neoclassical equestrian statue of their national hero, Javanese Prince Diponegoro at Monas Park.  Middle: a beautiful life-size statue of Hindu/Balinese Goddess Saraswati at the entrance of Rumah Mode.  Left: another life-size sculpture of a Hindu Goddess at the lobby of Hotel Panorama Lembang.

Artworks at the Art Market in Bay City. (Left) East meets West: a wooden statue of the Balinese mythological diety, Garuda, alongside Christianity’s Pieta; (Right) Indonesian artists depicting their way of life–from folk dances to everyday scenes of crowded trains.

(Left) I was thrilled to see lots of koi fishes in Bandung, in public parks and fountains.  Kung dito yan, ninakaw ko na sila! hehe.  (Right) Rain is also consistent, much to our chagrin.

….I like the details and elements that I see…even if they are just for decor, it speaks volumes about one’s culture and taste. (Left) Cute Keisja posing with a sign by the restroom at the hotel.  (Middle) Washing area at Rumah Mode. (Right)A ‘bilao’ slash light fixture.

:mrgreen:    :mrgreen:    :mrgreen:    :mrgreen:    :mrgreen:

The Language

Bahasa sounds like Ilocano (that’s according to Ly who has been living there for two years and has acquired a fairly wide Bahasa vocabulary by now) because there are a lot of ‘J’ consonant sounds in the language.  She says it is easy to learn because we share the same Malay root words with them like: bunga means ‘flower;’ sakit means ‘sick’ and ‘timbangan’ (as the sign says on the left in a supermarket) means… ‘timbangan’ .

But of course, when out shopping in factory outlets (right), all you need to know is “Berapa harganya?” (Magkano?); “Mahal!” (Mahal!); “Mura!” (Mura!); “Boler tawar?” (puede tawad pa?) and my favorite: “Gratis!” (Free/Give-away!)

:mrgreen:    :mrgreen:    :mrgreen:    :mrgreen:    :mrgreen:

Joblogs: Kalokohang Pinoy

Lighten up! Being too serious all the time can be bad for the health…So here comes the naughty part! Haha! I swear, all these things I found in Indonesia…this is only funny just for Pinoys…

(Left) Yummy “Pok__” Chicken Nuggets was our first meal.  Try it…you’ll like it!  (Middle) How about Pocky, you like?  It’s widely available in supermarkets….  (Right) What’s in a name? Find out this local celebrity’s name…just click on the pic and see.  😆

:mrgreen:    :mrgreen:    :mrgreen:    :mrgreen:    :mrgreen:

Acknowledgments

Closing this series of posts on Indonesia (finally, tapos na po)…I can’t thank all my friends enough who were with me during this Indo vacay. Kung wala kayo naligaw siguro kami (jok!) …Kaya heto pa muli ang aking taus-pusong pasasalamat:

Ly and Ros: Thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to accommodate us.  You were all great and generous.  Your kindness and concern meant so much to us.  I hope you guys will live a full life and may God guide and bless the both of you where ever you guys go.

Den: Thanks for bearing with me during this trip.  I know that being with me 24/7 for one week requires patience and understanding.  You’re a great companion and friend.

Donna, Vince, Shem and Keisja: A wonderful family like yours deserve all the blessings in the world! Thank you for ‘adopting’ us for a short while…and for spoiling us rotten.  We don’t deserve it but we are forever indebted…

Terimah kasi…Godpeace…lovyaz!

My former co-teachers held a reunion get-together last week.  It was because Charles was back from NY!  He’s the only one with the uncanny, fisherman-like ability to reel us all in– no matter which direction we’re coming from and from whatever hole we’ve dug ourselves in.

There are unsaid rules when we get together:  (1) No one should mention anything that deals with age and weight (a MUST!);  (2) No more mention of bad times…just the good times; (3) And no talking about our own personal issues and stuff that are deemed uncomfortable…except pertaining to the ones who were absent.  Kaya kung ikaw ay kabilang sa grupo namin at di ka nakadalo…Hala ka! Malamang pinag-usapan ka namin! 😛 Kaya ‘wag nang mag-aabsent next time!

Also present were Rose, Mama E., Del, Grech, Liza, Bel, Myra, Jenny, Joy and me.  We all came from this wonderful school called tlc.  The reason I’m mentioning the name is because I am hopeful that people we know from this same school could stumble upon this post by any chance that they decide to google it.  We would love to hear from them, especially from our former students, where they are now, what jobs some of them have…oh, yes! We’re that old…yikes (sabi nang walang banggitan ng edad e! 😡 ).

Here are some of the kadramahan that took place 😉 :

Of course, labasan na ng pictures ng mga anakis: Bel showing off her pics of her cutey brood.Tatlo na po!

Joy B, now Mrs. T, taking her young Baby Snooky look-alike daughter for us to meet and to marvel at!

Oh, my! Is this Del’s youngest? It IS!…It’s Ella, now all grown-up–slim and pretty!

What did we talk about?  We talked about how things have changed for the last…what? eight to ten years?…The kids of today, their attitudes, the mores, how technology seemed to affect everything that we do…

We also talked about how things HAVEN’T changed at all…teacher issues, the educational system and the ineptness of it all.

We talked about a former student of ours who is now in a certain TV show that has something to do with a ‘dream’ and an ‘academy.’

We talked about experiences of a Filipino teacher in the states (Charlie); well-kept secrets (Liza and Charlie’s), and current love lives (and still, of course, Charlie’s).  Charles’ in charge of everything, naturally…And we love him for it!  His life is a complete fruition of his dreams and I always find inspiration in his love for work, his focused determination and go-getter attitude in making all his dreams come true. 🙂

In a way, we all have changed and at the same time, haven’t changed.  We may be older yet wiser…more at peace and generally happier.  But what we had created as a group, as a unit in tlc, it’s still there…THAT will never vanish, wherever we go and whatever path we take.  Kahit saang school kami mapadpad at kahit saang panig ng mundo, yung samahan sa batch naming teachers sa tlc ay kakaiba, wala siyang katulad.  This is the thing that binds us.  And I’m lucky I was a part of this group, and always will be.

Keeping in touch: updating our email addresses (left) so as to maintain friendships and to further strengthen the bonds…

Here are some more photos from the reunion (slideshow via rockyou.com-this site totally rocks!)…hope you like it!

[rockyou id=119180811&w=324&h=243]

Day 6 and 7: April 10 & 11, 2008 (Thursday and Friday)

We headed next for Bandung.  Bandung is Indonesia’s fourth largest city which is situated around 2,500 feet above sea level, and it’s the capital of West Java.  Before going there, I did a little research on it.  I did expect Dutch-European influences and architecture in this area because Western settlers tend to seek and build settlements in cooler places with higher altitudes during their occupation of an Asian country with a tropical climate. So I imagined it to be their version of our own Baguio…and my mind was already anticipating pine trees, log cabins or mountain resort cottages, a roaring fireplace, strawberries, and misty mornings…

First Stop: Hotel Panorama Lembang

We arrived at night–and hungry, too.  We settled in Hotel Panorama Lembang, so-called because of its panoramic view from the cottage.  My expectations came to fruition as I took a look at the place–very much like Baguio.  But Baguio had a cooler climate, though.

Our cottage: We were given choices–whether to rent rooms or cottages. Of course we chose the latter so as to experience the mountain resort feel of the place.

Wish granted: a roaring fireplace (left).  We probably took a hundred souvenir pictures by the hearth.  Babaw ng kaligayahan pero talagang ganun kung galing ka sa bansang may mainit na klima!

Emo (?) at 5 in the morning on the back porch, with Java coffee…still in a dream-like state.

From my vantage point, this is what it looked like early in the morning…

Then, the mist started to clear up…

And voila! Nice…so this is why they named the hotel ‘Panorama’ Lembang…

Pine trees, cypresses…sangkatutak at iba’t iba!  Trees, plants, shrubs, vines, flowers…they’re everywhere in Indonesia and of different varieties and species. I just wanted to stop all the time and take a picture of everything in sight.

Diversity in culture and nature is what this country is proud of…and they have the right to be…They have so many to offer… so much to show!

Second Stop: Tangkuban Perahu Volcano

You can’t go up Bandung and not see the Tangkuban Perahu (means “over-turned boat”) or as they call it the Bandung volcano.  There is a parking lot and observation decks to view the crater down below.  I heard the last time this erupted was 1969.

The souvenir shops at the volcano site.  There were so many hawkers and peddlers selling their wares–it was a bit unbearable…they just hound you wherever you go or which ever direction you turn.

The woods leading to the volcano…magandang magpa- photo-op dito.  In fact, there was a bride wearing a wedding gown who was having her bridal pictorial (or maybe for a magazine spread) here when we drove by…good choice for a romantic, refreshing and inspiring backdrop, no?

Third Stop: Tea Plantation

Of course, a little educational tour won’t hurt a bit.  We visited the P.T. Perkebunan Nusantara tea company.  They let us in for a little tour inside their plant.  They showed us how they made tea and all.

“Please no pictures…” a man said to me in Bahasa. Oops…too late. I already did (above right).  Oh yeah…I’m so baaad. 8)

They gave us free samples of their tea.  I liked it so we bought several boxes of black and green tea.  Their green tea is superb–really perked me up, its caffeine kick is stronger then black coffee.

The tea farm (right) near the plant and the tea gatherers doing their duty of… um, tea-gathering…

Fourth Stop: Strawberry Garden

We were trying to reach the strawberry plantation but we got lost!  So we settled instead for a strawberry garden and restaurant along the road.  It’s ok…we still got to see (some) strawberries!

Den, passing through rows and rows of strawberry plants.

I guess we came at a wrong time for we saw a handful of small strawberries… Oh, well!

Last Stop: Saung Angklung Udjo

This is one of Bandung’s main attractions: Saung Angklung Udjo.  Bandung is the home of the Sundanese people, the ones who gave us the delightful bamboo instrument, angklung.  This place serves as a site that showcase Sundanese and other West Java cultures–its music, dances, art, etc.

The souvenir shop. When we got in, we were given tokens of necklaces with tiny angklung pendants which I proudly wore…The shop showed a variety of souvenir items–decorations and wooden crafts.

Traditional Indonesian puppets are also sold here…I wanted to buy but they’re beyond my price range.  It’s ok, I’ll just appreciate them in this photo.

The show was fantastic!  There were child performers…truly delightful.  They get to study Sundanese culture for free, and get to showcase what they learned through these shows.  They also gave us, the audience members a chance to perform the angklung, too!

The ceremonial parade and dance of the Circumcision Ritual (left)…The performers reenacted this dance ritual.  I learned that this was a huge event in a Sundanese boy’s life…and there were rituals and dances performed (and be given a royal treatment) to amuse the boy  and forget his impending appointment with the medicine man.

It was a great experience to see Bandung.  And as usual, we lacked the time to explore and see everything…like the hot springs, and the star-gazing experience (It rained again that night, that’s why!).  Everything here was made possible by Donna, the busy and dedicated mom!  Again, thanks, mare, from me and Den…we’re forever grateful!

And so ends my posts on Indo-xicating Places. But where’s the food? Well, that’s what’s up next!

Next (next) post: Indo-xicating Eats!

Day 3, 4, and 5: April 7-9, 2008 (Monday to Wednesday)

Donna was our next hostess in Indonesia.  We joined her, her three kiddos and a friend for a 2-3 hour ride to Pelabuhan Ratu, which is a fishing village in the south coast of West Java.  I was told that we will get to see the Indian Ocean from there.  Wow, this is the farthest I’ve ever been away from home…

The three hour ride (coming from Sentul City) was…well, long but I love long rides anyway. It gives me a chance to observe a place especially when it is my first time to visit it.  As I said, tea plantations were everywhere.  Not only that, there were oil palm and rubber tree plantations as well.  I guess that the Indonesian government doesn’t like leaving their lands idle–they will take advantage of their volcanic enriched soil and plant anything that can prove to be productive (I could insert here a sarcastic comment and comparative remark about our own idle lands here in the Philippines but I won’t, baka mawalan lang ako ng gana–just think happy thoughts, SL).

“Ay…ano yan?” we asked ourselves as we zoomed along the road…I just recently found out (in the internet of course) that these were oil palm plantations.  Indonesia produces 44% of the world palm oil production. (info source: pedca )

We arrived at Ocean Queen Adventure Resort at Pelabuhan Ratu.

We were thrilled with our cottage!  To me, it was more of a real house than a cottage –there was a sala, porch, kitchen, one bathroom, and three bedrooms. Pardon me for those towels hanging out there…that’s just how we do it, and that’s that. 8)

There is a pool and a restaurant.  You get to have your own personal attendant (to help you cook and prepare food and clean the cottage.

Indonesian-style cabanas dot the shore line along the bay.

The resort was named after the Queen of the South Sea-whom the folks call Nyai Loro Kidul. They believed that this goddess queen lives in a watery palace in the Indian Ocean and is responsible for the drownings of fishermen and swimmers in the area.  They even sent warnings to tourists not to wear green bathing suits or else–the queen will decide to invite you and pull you down to her home as well as to your watery grave…Did I think it was just a simple rural myth to entice tourists to the place? Of course…but still it wouldn’t hurt if I leave my green shirts and shorts behind in Sentul, just to be sure…ehe-he-he…

But real or not…I wouldn’t for the life of me, go and swim in the bay…The waves were just too strong (and real loud).  Even surfers avoid it and settle for the safe area near the resort. But notice how green the water was…If you were wearing green, you’ll disappear in the seascape the minute you dive into it…and the harder to locate you if you get carried away by the waves…so it IS better to wear something bright like orange or yellow, in case you may want to brave the waters.

Warning on the wall: “Take care at all times when swimming in the sea even when calm…An unexpected large wave can catch you unawares…LOOK BEHIND YOU.” No need to warn me…You got me at “take care.”

We enjoyed watching the surfers–local (they were great!) and foreign–riding the waves at Teluk Pelabuhan Bay. We also enjoyed seeing them fall, too (hehe)…and go back again…and again…

I’m not wearing green, see?” (left) Ha! Takot ko lang! Better to be superstitious than sorry…

Donna and her brood were real cool.  So is her Indonesian friend, Tet.  Donna was as usual in her generous and lively self, taking good care of all of us.

The Hostess with the Mostest: Donna with soon-to-be barbecued jumbo shrimps she bought from the local fisherfolk.  Nakakahiya sa yo, Mare. Salamat sa lahat-lahat!

We stayed in the resort for three days and two nights.  There were places to explore in south Java–caves and other beaches but we just stayed put and relaxed, for on Wednesday…we were headed for yet another exciting road trip…

To be continued: Indo-xicating Places (Finale)

Day 2: 6 April 2008 (Sunday)

We went around Jakarta in a hired van, courtesy of Ly and Ros.

Without it, we could have used a taxi or rode in an angkot (mini-bus) like the one in the right picture.

We wanted to try out the bajaj (left)–similar to our own tricycle–just for the heck of it (For a more detailed description on Indonesia’s unique transportation modes, click here).  But there was no time, we had to hurry…hurry…

First Stop: Pasar Seni (Art Market) at Ancol Jakarta BayCity

We toured around the the Art Market…admiring the works of the Indonesian artists on display.  Souvenirs can be bought here, too (more about the art found here in a future post).

There were little girls (left), in traditional costumes, preparing and practicing before their actual performance later in the day.

“Wounded Earth:” Trees wrapped in bandages, graveyard of dead trees and fallen logs, indigenous art works and sculptures were all around the park. Conceptual art on environmental awareness was the theme for that week.  We did not stay long to see the performances though, which was a shame…

Second stop: Monas (National Monument)

This is like our Rizal Park, although we lack the huge tower of course and then some.  In order to get to the main attraction of the site, we had to wait our turn to ride the passenger trolleys (left).  It took time but we got there anyway.

The Monas Tower.

Standing tall at 137 meters, this obelisk is topped off with a flame sculpture coated with 35 kg. of gold.  There is a museum inside, and an observation deck at the top but there were too many people on that Sunday so we decided to just take pictures from afar…and of course, the tower was not spared from those novelty shots…you know–pretending to be gripping the tower with your hand (which I did and it looked a bit risque 😉 so I hope that shot will never see the light of day) or touching the flame with your finger (which is what Ly was doing at the bottom of the shot).

As I said, we had to hurry up…there were so many things to do and places to see.  Plus, as shown in the Monas picture…sorry for the blurry bad pic– but that dark smudge in the sky were actual rain clouds heading towards us. Good thing we ended our photo session in time and headed back to our hired van before the heavy rain besieged upon us (again and again!).

Third Stop: Sea World at Ancol Bay City

We went and bought tickets to get inside Sea World, back at Ancol.  My apologies for this incoming bad pun…It was Angcool, alright! Hehe…

“Sea World Indonesia!  Sea World Indonesia!” The theme song kept playing over and over again though–it can make someone go nuts…Den and I (above right) in front of an aquarium full of…um…all kinds of fishes…basta! ang dami-dami!

I enjoyed the Aquarium Walk, and the petting pool…I got to touch a small shark, stingray and tortoises.  They didn’t seem to mind…

The souvenir shop at Sea World.  Take your pick!

Last Stop: Shopping!

We headed to low-end department stores (more like our Tutuban) where the factory and surplus outlets are.

O guys…Magkanya-kanya na muna tayo, ha?” : Self-confessed shopaholic Ly is in her element, making a beeline towards the discounted merchandise as the rest of us browse around…

The ukay-ukay concept is not popular here since products from China face tough competition with rejects and/or over-supply of clothes and shoes (also called sisa export or asli palsu) bearing Western brand names that they manufacture in factories here, making Jakarta an ultimate shopper’s mecca.  This is where we bought souvenirs (t-shirts, key chains, shawls) to appease the folks back home…

We headed next for the luxury shopping mall, Plaza Senayan, (alas, no pictures…we were too tired by this time so we forgot…) where we ate dinner and met up with our next host for this trip…

some photos courtesy of Den 🙂

To be continued: More Indo-xicating Places! (Part 3)