Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bandung Architectural Heritage #6: Jalan Braga 43

These stained glass windows and the lamp case (lamp post) of the building on Jalan Braga 43 are some of the remaining evidence of Braga's glorious past, which had earned it the title of "De meest Europesche winkelstraat van Indie" (The most European street of the Indies).

This building was built in 1915 and is another example of R.L.A. Schoemaker's architectural masterpiece designs.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Wordl Tuesday Post: Braga Fest 2008 (Part One) - Bihari, Kiwari, Baringsupagi

First, my apology for the misinformation about the beginning of 2008 Braga Fest I posted earlier. My sources had somehow misinformed me that it started on the 28, whereas it officially began today, December 30th.

The 2008 Braga Festival's theme is "Bihari, Kiwari, Baringsupagi" - the Sundanese words for yesterday, today, [and] tomorrow. According to the organizer, the theme was chosen to reflect on the historical development of Jalan Braga (Braga Street) as the very street that had earned Bandung the nick name of "Parijs van Java" (the Paris of Java) and to mark the beginning of the efforts to revitalize businesses and the famous beauty of the street.

The theme is reflected in the zoning of the festival. There are three stages set along the street with the stage at the southern end of the street being set for performances that reflect Braga's past, that in the middle for Braga of today, and that at the northern end of the street for Braga of tomorrow. In between these stages were tents/stalls that showcased art works produced by Bandung's artists and creativity groups, different kinds of West Javanese culinary heritage, and fashions (for which the city is famous for).

In addition to this, as a matter of tradition, Braga Fest also features Braga Photo Festival (BPF), which this year, as in the previous years, is marked with a photo exhibition, "Photo Speak" (a series of lectures and workshops on photography by prominent photographers), photography movie viewing, and a photo contest for the general public and amateur photographers.

All that being said, let me now take you on a visual tour of some of what happened today. (I took more than 200 photographs plus about an hour worth of video clips just today; not all of them, however, are reporting worthy. So I will post some here and others at my other blogs.)

Today's post is also BANDUNG DAILY PHOTO'S participation for My World Tuesday meme. To see photos from other participants of this meme, please follow the link.

Who says that pompom has to be performed by girls?

This was one of the performances that took place in the northern stage today: A group of masculine pompom boys performed like they were girls. It was hilarious.

And here are some of the spectators:

OK. I guess you have to wait for other photos. My internet connection is being very slow today. It's exasperating.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bandung Architectural Heritage # 5: Jalan Braga 135

These colorful windows belong to a building on Jalan Braga (Braga Street) 135, across the street from Bank Indonesia building. There is no official name for this building today as it has been left vacant for sometime. Listed as one of Bandung's Architectural Heritage by Bandung Society for Heritage Conservation, this building is another example of the Schoemaker brothers' architectural masterpieces. R.L.A Sshoemaker (the brother of C.P. Wolff Schoemaker) designed this building, which was erected in 1917.

Throughout its history, this building has been used for different purposes. I do not have any information about what this building was used for before the Indonesian independence, but after the Indonesian independence, it was the provincial headquarters of the Indonesian Police (POLDA Jawa Barat) until the 1990s. It was then leased and made into a factory outlet boutique - that's when the windows were colored like this.

Here is what the wide angle shot of the building looks like:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Braga Fest Images 03: Street Theater

This is another photo from Braga Festival. This one is from last year (2007).

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Braga Fest Images 02: Capoeira

Braga Fest 2008 starts tomorrow. This Braga Fest Images series contains photos that I took from the 2006 and 2007 Braga Fest.

Braga Fest does not only feature traditional Sundanese and Indonesian art performances. It also features international art performances like Capoeira.

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form that combines martial art, dance, and games. The origin of capoeira is still debated. Some believe that it originated from Africa and was brought to Brazil by the African slaves. Others believe that it is a uniquely Brazilian art form that emerged from (or combined) various elements of Brazilian multicultural heritage. Whatever its origin is, it is a very dynamic dance and a very exciting performance to watch.

These Capoeira performers, by the way, are not Brazilians. They are members of a local Capoeira group based in Bandung.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bandung's December Golden Sunset

Many times this month we had a golden sunset like this in Bandung.

This is a straight photo: except for resizing and watermarking, I did not do any editing on the color on my photo ediditing software.

The object on the bottom left corner of the photo is UNISBA (Bandung Islamic University) water tower. UNISBA is one of the most prominent private universities in Bandung. Its campus is located on Jalan (Street) Tamansari. I took this photo from Jalan Tamansari Bawah (lower Tamansari Street) at about 6 PM last week.

This post is BANDUNG DAILY PHOTO's participation in this week Skywatch Friday meme. To see other photos of the sky from many other parts of the world, please follow the link.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Braga Fest Images 01: The Tatalu

Braga Fest 2008 is scheduled to start this Sunday, December 28, and will be on until Tuesday, December 30. As I said a few times before, Braga Festival is an annual cultural and tourism event held on Jalan Braga, Bandung. Different street performances, food bazaar, and different kinds of attractions and exhibitions are held in this fest.

To welcome the 2008 Braga Fest, starting today, I'm going to post photos from previous years' Braga Fest so that you will have some ideas what the fest is like.

Today's photos show the Tatalu Percussion Group street performance. Tatalu is a group of young people who are experimenting with different kinds of daily objects, such as the garbage barrels, iron/tin barrels, and bamboo to be used as musical instuements. Their performance in the 2006 Braga Fest was very dynamic and attracted a lot of audience.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

It's Christmas Eve!

I'd like to wish my Christian friends, readers, and visitors A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS ... May the light of Christmas bring you all joy and happiness, and the world piece and prosperity.

This week and the next are very special time for everybody here. Christmas is tomorrow, and on Monday (Dec 29), Moslems all over the world will also celebrate the Islamic Hijra (Hegira) New Year. So, here too, I'd like to wish my Moslem brothers and sisters A VERY HAPPY HIJRA NEW YEAR! May the spirit of Hijra (migration) inspire in all of us a continuous effort to make the world a better place for everybody.

Then, only a couple of day later, of course, the world will also celebrate the international New Year: 2009 of C.E. calendar. So, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you. May next year be a year of healing and of putting the world's economy back in track to prosperity.

Now about the picture today: Why the snowmen?

Of course, we don't have real snowmen. We don't even have winter, let alone snow and snowmen. But the snowmen are here. They are made of styrofoam and are here as one of the icons of Christmas. Other Christmas icons we normally find here (as I'm sure anywhere else in the world) are the Santa Claus (here called "Sinterklas"), his deer and sledge and Christmas trees, garland, and wreath.

I took this photo of these styrofoam snowmen in front of the store room of Ciwalk Shopping Arcade, on Jalan Cihampelas, Bandung. I guess they were meant to be part of the mall's decoration for the holiday season, but somehow they had not been (or would not be) installed this year. (The Santa Claus and his deer and the Chrismast trees and garlands were already put in place.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Love Traffic Jam?

"I love traffic jam!"


Yes! You did not misread it. That's the advertising slogal written on this car with wings parked on Jalan Diponegoro, in front of Gedung Sate gubernatorial office mansion, in Bandung.

What does it advertise and sell? Cell phones!

What do cell phones have to do with traffic jam? It's not that difficult to see.

I'm just wondering if this uniquely designed car is also found anywhere else.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Batik Cirebon (Cirebonese Batik)

"Batik" is derived from the Javanese words of "amba" (to write) and "titik" (dots). The word "batik" refers to a painted or printed piece of cloth or fabric produced by applying wax (called "malam") that blocks dye colors to produce the desired designs and patterns.

The practice of Batik making has existed in the Indonesian archipelago for a long time. Historical records written on lontar palm leaves show that Batik making (industry?) was already thriving in the Javanese Kingdom of Majapahit (whose territory, according to a historical account, covered most of what is now the Indonesian archipelago, Singapore, Malaysia, the southern parts of Cambodia and Thailand, and the southern parts of the Philippines) in the 14th Century C.E.

There are a lot of varieties of batik in Indonesia. Among the most prominent of these are Batik Pekalongan (named after a town on the northern coast of Central Java), Batik Solo, Batik Jogja (Solo and Jogja are the names of two cities and Javanese cultural centers in the southeast part of Central Java), and Batik Cirebon (named after a coastal city in the north east of the West Java Province).

According to batik experts, Batik Cirebon is unique in that it has more multicultural characteristic in its patterns and colors than those produced in the Javanese hinterland cities like Solo and Jogja. It usually has bolder and more vibrant colors, e.g. red, blue and green, and more varieties of patterns that reflects the influences that the coastal trading post of Cirebon has received from the Moslem, Chinese, Indian, and European traders visiting this town.

The women in the photo are a family of Cirebonese batik makers who recently took part in the Kemilau Nusantara tourism and cultural exhibition in Bandung.

Text and picture by Eki Qushay Akhwan

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Flying Fox

This thing is called flying fox here. According to Wikipedia, the term is of Australian and New Zealandian origin. In the United States it's called zip-lines, and in the UK it's aerial runways.

Flying fox is getting very popular here. Many recreational places and camping grounds have this equipment now. This one is at Vin's Berry, a berry farm and camping ground on Kolonel Masturi Street, in the north of Bandung, where my son had an outbound camp with his school friends yesterday and today. My son loved it very much and wanted to repeat it again and again. As for me, I just watched and photographed the children doing this.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

City of People # 21: Music Students

I was heading to one of the university's canteens for lunch last Thursday when I saw this group of young men performing beautiful music and songs in front of one of the eating places. No, they are not ordinary street musicians, at least not in the ordinary sense of those performing on the streets for tips. These young men are the students of the Music and Performing Arts Department of the Indonesia University of Education (UPI), Bandung.

I don't know if their "street" performance was part of a course they were taking. The music and songs they performed were very fine and tasteful though. They performed a couple of jazz tunes and a popular Indonesian song before they left for another eating place on campus.

As I said in at least one of my previous posts, Bandung is home to quite a few top Art and Perfoming Art schools in the country. The Music and Performing Art Department of the Indonesia University of Education (UPI) is one of them.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Skywatch Friday Post: Sky of Gold

This is what Bandung's sunset looked like yesterday, painted in gold.

We've had glorious sunsets quite a few times this month, and at least twice this week. True, December is the rainy season here, but it doesn't mean that we don't have sunny days at all. It was sunny all day yesterday and was only a bit cloudy in the late afternoon. Perhaps because of this, the sunset was painted in gold.

This is what I know of the clouds and how they might have helped create this glorious illusion of light:

Clouds are formed by a process that's called condensation, a process by which gas and vapor are changed into liquid. Condensation takes place whenever warm air (which, by the way, is normally wetter because it contains more water vapor) meets with cold air. This explains why these clouds were forming - the warm sunny day evaporated a lot of water; the vapor going up then met with the cool air of the high altitude (where Bandung is located) and the cooler air from the surrounding areas.

Now, the clouds, which are virtually "a floating water container", acts like a giant mirror or reflector and prism that reflects the light of the evening sky and distorts it. Hence, the interesting colors of this sunset.

The shillouetted steel and concrete structures in the foreground of the photo, by the way, are what would be (now under construction) the new indoor tennis and badminton stadium of the Indonesia Univesity of Education (UPI).

This post is Bandung Daily Photo's participation in this week's Skywatch Friday meme. Please follow the link to see other participants photos.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

UPI Students and Faculty Members Plan to Break The Indonesian Record of The Most Numerous Saman Dancers

These students of the Faculty of Language and Art Education of the Indonesia University of Education (UPI), Bandung, were gathering at the university's sports complex today to practice and rehearse for what is planned to be Indonesia's record breaking number of dancers performing Tari Saman (Saman Dance).

The current record was made on June 8 this year at the occasion of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Indonesia's national awakening at Gelora Bung Karno (Soekarno Sports Complex and Stadium) in Jakarta. 600 people performed the dance then. This time The Faculty of Language and Arts Education of UPI is trying to break that record by involving 700 of its students and faculty members to perform the dance.

Saman Dance is originally from the Indonesian province of Nangroe Aceh Darussalam (Aceh) in the northern tip of Sumatra Island. It is a very dynamic group dance with highly sinchronized choreography.

To see in motion what the rehearsal was like, please check this 30 second YouTube video streaming from Bandung Daily Photo's new sister, Bandung Daily Video.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vespa Scooter and Bandung Antique Vespa Club

Vespa scooter is undoubtedly one of the most legendary two-wheeled vehicles ever produced.

Vespa was first produced by Piaggio & Co. S.p.A of Pontedera, Italy, in 1946. The name Vespa, which in Italian means wasp, originated from the exclamation that Enrico Piaggio (the son of Piaggio's founder Rinaldo Piaggio) made when he was shown the second prototype of the vehicle (which until then was called MP6) and heard the engine's buzzing sound. He reportedly exclaimed, "Sembra una vespa!" ("It resembles a wasp!"), hence the name.

I took this photo at the motorcycle parking lot of The Faculty of Language and Arts Education building of the Indonesia University of Education (Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia), Bandung. I think this vintage Vespa belongs to one of the students. As can be seen from the plaque above the rear lamp, the owner of this scooter is a member of Bandung Antique Vespa Club (he is member number 1011).

Antique Vespa Piaggio scooters have a lot of fans in Indonesia. Bandung Antique Vespa Club (BAVC) is one of quite a few Vespa lovers clubs in the city and country.

A well-maintained and all-original antique/vintage Vespa Scooter like this, by the way, can fetch a very high price at an international collector market.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bandung Street Documentary # 9: Dangerous Street Act

This is one of the things I can't be proud of Bandung. These men were sitting and standing on top of a moving open pick up truck carrying a pile of boxes of electronic goods on a busy street. What they were doing was of course against the law (not to mention endangering their own lives) but there was no police officers around. I wish they realized how dangerous it was to do that.

Monday, December 15, 2008

City of People # 19: Tukang Kue Bandros (Bandros Cake Vendor)

Kue bandros (bandros cake) is a traditional Indonesian cake. It's made of grated coconut, coconut milk, rice flour and a little bit of salt. The cake is usually sold by a street vendor like this, and is usually eaten for breakfast or at tea time in the afternoon.

This post is Bandung Daily Photo's participation for the Monochrome Monday meme. To see othes black and white or monochrome photos of the other participants' please follow the link.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Street Photography # 9: Bandung's Youth Culture

Look at the T-shirt this young man is wearing.

Terrorism is horrific, but to fight it and fall into that other thing written on his t-shirt is like escaping the mouth of a tiger and falling into the mouth of a crocodile.

However, I don't think this young man is serious about smoking the homegrown thing (I certainly hope not). Like any young people anywhere, the t-shirt he has chosen to wear may just be a rebellious expression of his young mind.

Rebellious and out of the league expressions are one of the many distinctive features of youth subculture. These expressions can be found in their behaviors, fashions, choices of music genres, vehicles, and even the slangs and language they use.

There are many theories that have been proposed or used by experts to explain about youth subculture. Among them, Stuart Hall's and Tony Jefferson's (1993) and that of the Frankfurt School of Marxist Theory are, I think, most interesting. According to the former, youth subcultures are the symbolic and ritualistic manifestations of attempts to defy the hegemonic power of the bourgeois by a deliberate adoption of symbolic actions that challenge the establishment. The latter theory, meanwhile, suggests that the intrinsically consumerist characteristics of the youth subculture is an inseparable part of the divide-and-rule strategy of capitalism.

I took this photograph at the HELAR Fest held in Bandung last August. The HELAR Fest, as I mentioned in a couple of my previous posts, is an annual event that celebrates Bandung as an emerging creative city. Creativity, as well as the HELAR Fest itself, is the domain of the youths. They are the powerhouse of the future.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Street Photography # 8: Street Percussionist

Although Bandung has quite a number of street percussionists performing on the streets for tips, this particular street percussionist does not normally perform on the street. He and his group usually perform on stage. His street performance pictured here is part his group's participation in Braga Festival last year.

Percussion, any musical intruments that produce sounds by means of vibrations and are played by hitting, shaking, rubbing, scrapping, is believed to be the first musical intrument ever created.

There are many musical instruments that can be categorized as percussion. Classified according to how the sounds are produced, the persussion would include:

- Idiophonic instuments, i.e. musical instruments that produce sounds by the vibration of the whole instrument's body, such as bells, chimes, etc.

- Membraphonic instuments, i.e. musical instruments that produce sounds by the vibration of some sort of membranes. All kinds of drums belong to this category.

- Chordophonic instruments (also called string instruments), i.e. musical instruments that produce sounds by the vibration of their string elements, such as the piano and the guitar.

- Aerophonic instruments (also called wind instruments), i.e. musical instruments that produce sounds by the air passing through the instruments, such as the saxophone and the flute.

- Electrophonic instruments, i.e. musical instruments that produce sounds by electronic signals or pulses, such as the electones and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).

Friday, December 12, 2008

Skywatch Friday: Longing for The Sky

For its vastness, sky symbolizes freedom, hope, and eternity. How often do we look up to the sky in search of these things. But many of us - if not most - are not free. We look up to the sky from the confinement of our limited space and time.

This post is for my participation in the Skywatch Friday meme. Please follow the link to see other photos of the sky from around the world.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The World's Largest Sundial

This is the tip of what is claimed to be the largest sundial in the world. "The Sundial" is the landmark of Kota Baru Parahyangan (Parahyangan New Town), a new satellite town located about 17 kilometers west of Bandung, near the Padalarang exit of Padaleunyi-Cipularang Toll Road.

This 20 meter tall structure, which functions as a vertical and horizontal sundial, houses West Java's Science and Technology Exhibition Center. The Sundial is open for the public Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. It closes on Monday, Ied Al-Fitri, Christmas, and New Year.

To see more photos of The Sundial, please check here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Exam Time

These students of mine were doing their mid-term test. They look very serious, do they?

Written tests or exams are a common educational practice today, but it has not always been so. The first written tests known in history were conducted by the Chinese in the 6th century CE. In the West (read: Europe) tests used to be given orally and were conducted in Latin. According to historical records, the first written exams in Europe were conducted at Cambridge University, England, in 1792 (that's only slightly more than two hundred years ago).

I took this photo with my 2 megapixel camera phone, Nokia 5320 ExpressMusic, which I just bought about two weeks ago. I desatured the colors a bit in my image editor program, so the colors you see in this photo are not the original colors captured by the camera.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Harley-Davidson and American Symbols and Icons

There are quite a few things that can instantly be recognized as American when you see them. Harley-Davidson is one of them. Can you find two other things in this photo that are symbolically and iconically American?

This Harley-Davidson motorbike belongs to a member of the Bandung branch of the Harley-Davidson Club Indonesia (HDCI). The Harley-Davidson Club Indonesia (HDCI) was established in Bandung, on May 26, 1990, and currently has 24 branches throughout Indonesia.

A legendary motorbike, Harley-Davidson actually had quite a humble begining. It began with a design that William S. Harley drew in 1901 of an engine for a regular pedal-bicycle frame. To realize the design Harley worked together with his friend Arthur Davidson and together produced their first engine in 1903. Although this first engine was considered rather unsuccessful (the engine could not overcome Milwaukee's modest hills without pedal assistance), their first experience was proven to be very valuable in in their future ventures in motorbike engine designs.

The first functional prototype Harley-Davidson engine was produced in 1904 and was successfully tested by Edward Hildebrand (the first rider) at a Milwaukee motorcycle race held at State Fair Park on September 8 of that year. The motorbike placed fouth in the race. This is the first documented appearance of a Harley-Davidson motorbike.

Monday, December 8, 2008

City of People in Monochrome Monday: Street Ventriloquist

This ventriloquist is performing at Braga Street, Bandung.

A ventriloquist, by the way, is a person who is skilled at speaking without moving his/her lips. Ventriloquism - the ability to perform ventriloquizing - which is now considered mainly as a stagecraft was originally performed by the Greek as a spriritual ritual whereby a prophet would speak to and interpret the voice of the dead who was believed to reside in his stomach. That is why ventriloquism is also called gastromancy or "belly speaker".

This photo is for my participation in Monochrome Monday meme. To see other black and white and monochrome photos of this meme's participants, please click the link.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Indonesia Electricity Crisis

This huge banner on the wall of PT PLN (Indonesia's State Electricity Company) office building on Cikapundung Street, Bandung, reads "Avoid Blackout ...! Let's economize the use of electricity now ...!"

This banner is part of the nation-wide campaign to conserve the use of electricity and other forms of energy.

Shortage of electricity supply is a nation-wide concern now. Indonesia's electricity consumption grows 6.7 percent per year, while the the generating capacity only grows 3.5 percent per year. If this trend continues, Indonesia will soon have an electricity crisis.

For your information, Indonesia only has one electricity company, that is PT PLN (Perusahaan Listrik Negara) or State Electricity Company. PT PLN handles both the production and distribution of electricity for the whole country. This monopoly is guaranteed by the Indonesian Constitution, which states "Branches of production which are important for the state and which affect the lives of most people shall be controlled by the state."

As a result of this monopoly, however, PT PLN has been considered by many as inefficient. Our electricity tarif, for example, is one of the most expensive among ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries. (Lower income families who use 900 Kwh or less of electricity, however, are heavily subsidized by the state, and therefore they don't have to pay the actual tarif.)

There have been proposals to end PT PLN monopoly, but the latest legislation passed by the House of Representatives (DPR) was revoked by The Indonesian Constitutional Court because it was considered unconstitutional.

Private companies can produce electricity but all their production has to be sold to PT PLN at the price that is subject to government regulation.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Braga Festival: Street Dining and Hospitality

At Braga Fest, customers are given the chance to taste the special menus that the chefs of Bandung's heritage hotels have created and meet and talk to them personally.

I like the unrehearsed hospitality shown in this scene where one of the chefs came over to the customers and had a friendly conversation with them.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bandung Street Documentary # 8: Jaywalkers on Merdeka Street

An American friend of mine who visited Bandung once commented that, unlike the traffic pattern he's used to experiencing in his home country, the traffic here seemed to be "oozing" - flowing just like that: without following strict rules, everybody seems to know what to do. There is some sort of tacit negotiation going on among the street users that tolerate each other's "erratic" traffic behaviors. Well that may be true. Traffic behavior, just like any other public acts, is a cultural phenomenon.

Jaywalking like this may be frowned upon where you are, but here it's just a day to day reality. We do have rules about road crossing, but most of us seem to choose just to ignore them, especially when there are no police guards around. Do they cause a lot of traffic accidents? Amazingly no. Traffic accidents in places like this is surprisingly very low.

I took this photo - yes, ironically - from a crossing bridge. This scene took place on Merdeka street, one of Bandung's commercial and busiest streets, where Bandung Indah Plaza (BIP) is located.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bangbarongan - Parade of the Demons

In the mythologies of Indonesia's different ethnics, demons are not necessarily evil. Some of them are good and can be befriended and be useful to humans. They can be used to scare off and drive away evil spirits. Their symbolic representations like these Bangbarongan masked figures are often paraded in rituals to ward off evil spirits.

I took this photo at the Braga Festival last year. Braga Festival is coming up at the end of the month. You should probably plan to spend your end of year holiday in Bandung. We have this festival and huge Chirstmas and End of Year sales coming up soon.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

La Musique Petite

I'm a bit behind with my posts and blogging. It's been a very hectic week at work that I barely had the time to even check my emails, let alone attended to my blog.

I will try to catch up with the posts I have missed in the next few hours. But first, I'd like to thank those of you who have visited my blog and kindly left comments on my posts. I'll return your visit as soon as I can.

Today's photo is not exactly new. I took it about a year ago. The girl in the photo is a member of a marching band group competing in a school marching band festival and competition. If I remember it correctly, this competition is a regular event held annually to encourage schools and school children in Bandung to play music and, in particular, marching band.

I had to run around like a photo journalist to follow the dynamic march of the bands and get close to the players to get this photo. I'm glad I did though. I managed to get some nice angles and captured some expressive moments there that are worth the efforts I made. I hope you enjoy this photo as much as I did taking it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bandung Architectural Heritage # 5: Villa Isola - The Western Facade

This is the western facade of Villa Isola (now Bumi Siliwangi and the rector's office the Indonesia University of Education or Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia) as seen from one of the classrooms of the Faculty of Language and Art Education building located west of it.

Villa Isola is located on the northern hills of Bandung on Jalan Dr. Setiabudhi 229.

I have posted three pictures and the stories about this building before: here, here, and here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

CDPB Theme Day and Monochrome Maniacs: Sepeda Onthel

This month's City Daily Photo Blog (CDBP) theme is "circles or spheres," and this is my interpretation of it.

"Sepeda onthel" or old bicycles have their own aficionados and they are on the increase. There are quite a number of old bicycle clubs in Bandung. They often have convoys, tours, or exhibition rides around the city and the countrysides. The owners of these old bicycles love them very much and are very proud of them.

I took this picture at Jalan Braga (street) in one of the exhibition rides they had recently.

This post is Bandung Daily Photo's participation for this month's CDPB theme. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

This post is also Bandung Daily Photo's participation in the weekly meme "Monochrome Maniacs".

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rose Sky Over The Pentagon

This dilapidated building, now fenced off and slotted for demolition, is called The Pentagon because of its shape: It has five sides and five angles. It used to be the home of The Faculty of Language and Art Education of the Indonesia University of Education (Fakultas Pendidikan Bahasa dan Seni, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia), Bandung. I used to study here, so I have a lot of memories about this building.

This photo is part of the series of photos I took last Friday (see my Skywatch Friday Post of 28 November). I took about 80 shots in about an hour before the sunset, following the change of colors of the sky of that magnificent late afternoon. This is an unedited, un-retouched photo. The colors and everything in it are as taken and recorded by my faithful 3.2 megapixel pocket digital camera.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Colors of The Street # 3: Lanterns

These colorful hand-made lanterns (lamp shades) are sold at the road side of Jalan Cilaki (Cilaki Street) behind Gedung Sate, Bandung.

The young guy who owns this mobile road side kiosk and sells these lanterns says that he used to work for a bank before the 1998 financial crisis when he was forced to take a very early retirement because the bank had to downsize the number of its employees.

His lantern business began as a hobby. Now that hobby has turned him into an employer employing about 15 young people from his neighborhood. He says he's happier now because not only can he make a decent living from this small business of his, he can also help others who need job.

You might wonder how much these colorful lanterns (lamp shades) cost. Depending on the size, design, and material, they cost somewhere between 15,000 to 250,000 rupiahs (about 1.3 - 20 US dollars).

What can we learn from his story?
Skills, creativity, and entrepreuneural spirit are very important in times of crisis.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Skywatch Friday: Bandung Glorious Late November Sky

November is the rainy season in Bandung and in most parts of Indonesia in general. We had had rain almost everyday in the first three weeks of November. This past few days, however, the sky has been quite clear. Today was particularly sunny and warm and, probably as a result of this, the sunset was astoundingly brilliant amber, blue, violet, and red.

I took this photo at about 6.00 PM today (Friday, 28 November 2008) on my way home from work. This is a straight shot from my 3.2 megapixel pocket digital camera Canon PowerShot A510. I did nothing to enhance this photo in my digital darkroom except for a little cropping to remove some distracting parts and improve the compositional balance of the picture.

The building with the yellow wall on your right side is the newly constructed Al Furqon Mosque of the Indonesia University of Education (Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia), Bandung.

This post is my participation for the Skywatch Friday meme. To see other great photos of the sky posted by the participants of this meme this week, please follow the link.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dragon Parking

Does a dragon aslo need a parking space?

It apparently does, this one at least.

I took this photo sometime ago at the basement parking of BeMall, one of Bandung's shopping centers specializing in cell phones, computers, and electronic goods and gadgets.

BeMall, by the way, is located on Jalan Naripan (street), Bandung.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bandung Countryside # 3: Jakarta - Bandung Train Window View

I took this photo from behind the glass window of Bandung - Jakarta train.

It is believed that when God smiled, "Parahiyangan" (the Sundanse land of West Java) was created.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jajangkungan: The Tallest Kids in The World (?)

A three meter tall human being would certainly break the record of the tallest person in the world. (The confirmed world record for the tallest person in the world, according to the Guiness Book of Record, is 2.72 meter tall, and is held by Robert Pershing Wadlow [1918-1940] of Alton, Illinois.)

These boys are slightly more than 3 meters tall, but no they are not the tallest persons in the world. They walk on stilts (Indonesian: "egrang") and are part of the "jajangkungan" performing art troupe. They don't just walk on stilts, but also play football (soccer), dance, and even race on them.

"Jajangkungan" by the way is originally a Sundanese (West Javanese people) traditional chidren game.

I took this photo at 2006 Braga Festival. As I said before, Braga Festival is one of the many annual festivals held in Bandung. It's held at the last week of December.

This post is my participation for MY WORLD meme. To see pictures from other participants around the world, please follow the link.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bandung's Favorite Hangout Places

What are Bandung's most favorite hangout places?

That depends on a lot of things: age groups, economic groups, etc. But like in any other big cities around the world, the trend for a favorite hangout place here, especially among the youths, has been cafes and malls, and more specifically, those cafes and mall where there are cozy rooms with sofas and hotspot internet access like the one on the above photo.

This cafe on Jalan Purnawarman (street), Bandung, is locally owned. Modelled after the worldwide success story of that American coffee shop francise (you know what I mean), this cafe offers more local varieties of coffees and other beverages and foods at prices more affordable to the locals than that other one. That is one thing that makes this place popular. The amenities of cozy spaces, comfy sofas, and high speed hotspot internet access add more value to the money you'd want to spend in a place like this.

Globalization may have created a cultural and economic hegemony that benefits huge multinational corporations, but it has also nurtured local creative forces and economic potentials through the adoption and local adaptation of ideas coming from different corners around the globe.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bandung Street Theater: Silverman

Being a creative city, Bandung nurtures and encourages a lot of creative groups. This silverman performing a theatrical act at Braga Fest is a member of Pasundan University's LISMA student art and performance club.

Braga Fest, as I said before, is one of Bandung's many annual cultural festivals. It's held every year at the last week of December.