Monday, March 30, 2009

Lapangan Tegallega

No, this is not a cemetary and these marked stones are not the tombstones. As you may have noticed, the inscription on the foreground stone reads "The Islamic Republic of Iran" and underneath it the local name of a plant and its latin name.

This is the Tegallega city forest/park where the Bandung Lautan Api (Bandung Sea of Fire) monument is located. These trees and the marker stones were planted and put in place in April 2005 to mark the 50th Anniversary or the Golden Jubilee of the Asian-African Conference. Each country that originally attended the Conference in 1955 is represented here by a tree and a stone-marker. The trees were ceremonially dedicated by the respresentatives of those countries who again came to Bandung to attend the anniversary in 2005.

The Bandung Conference, as some of you may have known, took place from April 18 to 25, 1955. Jointly organized by Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Burma (Myanmar), and Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the conference - attended by representatives of 29 Asian and African nations, most of which were newly independent - was aimed at promoting political self-determination, mutual respect for sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, and equality. Specifically, this group of nations that later became the fetus of the Non-Alligned Movement (NAM) were also pursuing the agenda of Afro-Asian economic and cultural cooperation and resisting colonialism or neocolonialism by the world's superpowers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bandung Lautan Api (Bandung The Sea of Fire)

This is the Bandung Lautan Api (Bandung the Sea of Fire) Monument or BLA at Tegalega.

The BLA monument was erected to commemorate a historical event that took place in the city on the evening of March 24, 1946 (60 years ago today) when the inhabitants of the city deliberately burned down the city (read: their own houses and other important buildings) and evacuated it in a heroic act to prevent the city from being recaptured and used by the British and Allied Forces who were helping the Ductch to reclaim its former colony after the Japanese surrender.

The decision to burn down and abandon the city was reached at a deliberation of Majelis Persatuan Perjuangan Priangan (an organization that united all the people's militia fighting for the Indonesian independence in Bandung and its surrounding area) in the morning of 24 Maret 1946, and was announced and executed later on the same day.

Here is an old picture of the situation in Bandung after the event.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My World: Cihideung Pink Roses

There are more than 100 species of roses, and pink roses of this kind (not too pale and not too dark) are said to be the symbol of perfect happiness, secret love, grace and sweetness, and - unfortunately also - indecisiveness.

That, I think, many of us know. But what's Cihideung?

Cihideung is the name of a flower, nay, flora village in the north of Bandung, where - quite literally - hundreds of species of flowers and plants, both local and overseas, are cultivated.

There is no information about when farmers here began to cultivate different flowers and plants, or how the flower farms began. My estimation is that farmers here began to shift from vegetable farming to flower farming in the early or mid 1970s. The shift must have taken place gradually because until the 1980s, I could still see quite a significant number of farmers cultivating vegetables, corn, cassava, and even paddy. Now with about 80 percent of the farmers here are in the flower cultivation business, Cihideung is quite arguably one of the largest flora production centers in Indonesia. In fact, according to a recent publication by the Indonesian Department of Agriculture, the name Cihideung has now become indentified as some sort of "trade mark" in the flower business here.

Here are some more pictures I took from my recent walk in this village. I will probably post some more photos of the flora and other decorative plants cultivated here at sometime later.

This post is Bandung Daily Photo's participation in this week's My World Tuesday meme and my friend M of Ramblingwood's meme of Nature Note. Please follow the links to visit other participanting blogs from around the world.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Cow Farm

These are the cows (dairy cattle) that are fed by the grass that the man in my yesterday's photo brought.

Indonesia is still yet to be self-sufficient in its fresh milk production. According to the cattlesite, it currently produces only about 1.2 million per day of fresh milk or about 25 percent of its market demands. Out of this, West Java - as I mentioned yesterday - contributes about 430,000 liters, which places it as the second largest producer of fresh milk in Indonesia after East Java, which produces about 600,000 liters per day. The rest is produced by dairy farms in Central Java and other parts of Indonesia.

Dairy cattles are mostly owned by individual farmers who on average have fewer than 10 catles. These farmers organize themselves in cooperatives to help them get the supplies and assistance they need in raising their cattles, transport and market their produce, and deal with their major buyers, which are the dairy product factories, mostly located in Bandung, Bogor, and Jakarta.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bandung Countryside: The Grass Collector

I don't know if there is such a phrase as "grass collector". But this is what this man does. He havests and collects elephant grass that is especially grown for cattle from a nearby field and take it home to feed his cows.

There are a lot of small cow farms around Bandung, especially in the northern and southern parts of it. These cow farms are the main producer and suplier of milk for dairy product factories in the area.

According to the association of Indonesian Milk Cooperatives (GKSI), as of 2008 West Java produces an average of about 430,000 liters of milk per day, of which 110,000 of it comes from Bandung and its vicinities.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Skywatch Friday: The Twilight Zone and The Terminator

The Twilight Zone and Terminator are probably two of the most remembered movies from the the last century. The former, a popular TV serial, was originally produced and broadcast by CBS from 1959 to 1964. The later is a box office movie produced and released in 1984. Both films are of fiction, sci-fi genre and tell stories that relate to time-travel fantasies. But did you know that twilight zone and terminator are also different names for another imagined (fictive) thing?

Twilight zone (also called terminator) is the name of an imagined line that mark the border between the dark and light in a planetary body, such as that that can be imagined in our Earth's sunrise and sunset. As such, the twilight zone metaphorically also means the grey area.

My skywatch photo today is - as you can see - that of the twilight.

To see other participants' photos of The Skywatch Friday meme, please follow the link.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

BTS - Base Transciever Station

With the booming of wireless or cellular telecommunication, this kind of tower called BTS (Base Transciever Station) becomes an everyday sight almost everywhere here now. For the sake of area coverage, they have sprung and been erected in nearly every strategic location you can think of: high-rise buildings, hills, etc., some of them even by disregarding their aesthetic effect on the overall landscape.

BTS basically connects the end-user telecommunication devices, such as the cell or mobile phone, with the network(s) that provides the service.

Mobile communication industry and services are among the fastest growing and most lucrative businesses in Indonesia. As of 2008 more than 50 percent of Indonesia's approximately 240 million people have used or had access to mobile or wireless telecommunication services. This penetration rate is predicted to grow exponentially and reach 80 percent by 2012.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bandung: City of Fashion

According to a recent survey, one of the things that makes Bandung attractive to visitiors is its fashion industry. Indeed, one of the things that one would not usually want to miss when visiting Bandung is the multitude of Factory Outlets (or FO) it offers. Here, visitors could literally shop clothing items and their accessories of all kinds till they - quite literally - drop, that is to say that you will need all the stamina you have to be able to explore the choices you have here, and all for prices that are so affordable to many.

The fashion industry, being part of the creative industry, is one of the things that has won Bandung the appointment as one of East Asia's creative industry centers. To encourage and support the growth of this kind of industry, the government and private sectors alike often organize events - big and small - towards that end. Some of the bigger regular events that I have previously posted here are The Helar Fest, Kemilau Nusantara, and The Braga Fest. In addition to these big and regular events, there are numerous other smaller events usually held at the local level. The photos I posted here, for example, are of a local fashion show recently held at one of the supermarkets here as part of Bandung Young Fashion Designers Competition, showing the finalists' designs.

Statistics shows that about IDR 79 billion (about USD 7.5 million at the current rate) of revenue per month is generated by the creative industry in this city. Futhermore, the creative industry absorbs about 650,000 workers of the city's work force working for the various aspects of it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

City of People # 22: Twins

It's been a while since I posted my last photo of "City of People" series. Today's photo is of cute baby twins on a bike with their father. I took this photo on one of my street photography hunting sometime ago on Jalan Braga (Braga Street).

It is estimated that only about two percent of the world's population are twins, and less than a half percent are identical (or monozygotic) twins. In that regard, I think, twins are very special people.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Learning Democracy

As a newly emerging democracy, Indonesia still has a lot of things to learn about its nature and decent practices. Just a little more than ten years ago, we did not use to have or enjoy what we do now. Direct and free elections of government officials and the freedom of speech and the press, for example, were only a dream when I was a student. Demonstrations - except if they were in support of the ruling regime - were strictly forbidden in the name of "national security" and "political stability" and for the sake of "economic development and progress," the polical jargons that the New Order regime under President Suharto often used to defend its undemocratic practices.

We did enjoy a remarkable economic growth then, and Indonesia was named as one of the emerging economic tigers of Asia. However, a government without transparency and public accountability tends to become corrupt and abusive of its power. And that is exactly what was discovered when the economic crisis of 1997-98 hit the region. A large portion of the wealth of this country was found to have been circulating only in a limited circle of people, mostly those closest to power and their cronies. Collusion, corruption, and nepotism were rampant that what appeared to be progress and prosperity was nothing more than a shell that was hollow inside.

With the crises, came the Reform movement, and democratization programs were speedily instituted. The 1945 Constitution has since been ammended four times to make rooms for democratic institutions and practices, and avoid abuse and misinterpretations by those in power.

Government officers and members of the legislative bodies are now freely and directly elected and, with the abolition the regulations that gave the government control over the press, the press is now as free as those in any democratic countries. Citizens are also free to stage protests and demonstrations and to petition the government for redress of grievances. The establishment of the all powerful Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (Corruption Eradication Commission) particularly has made the efforts to get rid of corruptive practices a crowning jewel of our efforts to have a clean and accountable government and get back on track to prosperity. A lot of high ranking public officers, including a substantial number of the members of the legislative bodies, have been captured, tried, and indicted for embezzlement of public funds.

Although relatively new, the spirit and practices of democracy are well-embraced by Indonesians from all walks of life, as these photos show. The top photo is of a small group of Indonesia University of Education students who - like a lot other students from around the country - recently protested a new legislation passed by the DPR (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat) - the Indonesian parliament. They considered the new law, which would require that all Indonesian schools and universities be made into Badan Hukum Pendidikan (Legal Educational Body), as an effort to privitize education and a betrayal of the Constitutional rights of the citizens to get an affordable education for all.

The second, third, and fouth photos are of students giving their votes for Students Legislative and Executive Bodies.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Si Jalak Harupat Stadium

For a city of more than two million people, Bandung actually has a limited number of sizeable sport stadiums. Therefore, the completion of the Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in April 2005 was very much welomed. Located at the southern outskirt of the city of Bandung at Soreang (the capital of Bandung Regency), this IDR 67.5 billion (about 65 million 650,000 USD at the current rate) is currently claimed to be the second largest stadium in Indonesia after the Gelora Bung Karno (Soekarno Sports Complex) in Jakarta. It has 40,000 seats and 1000 lux lighting system that can be used for night sports competitions.

The stadium is named Si Jalak Harupat after the nick name of Otto Iskandardinata, an Indonesian national hero from Bandung.

The Si Jalak Harupat Stadium is currently the home base of two Bandung's prominent football clubs, PERSIB Bandung and Persikab.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Indonesian Endangered Animal: The Sumatran Tiger

This is a picture of harimau Sumatra or the Sumatran tiger (panthera tigris sumatrae) that I took at Bandung Zoo sometime ago. The Sumatran tiger is one of only six surviving subspecies of tiger. The other subspecies are - in discending order of their number in the wild: The Bengal tiger (panthera tigris tigris), the Indochinese tiger (panthera tigris corbetti), the Malayan tiger (panthera tigris jacksoni), the Siberian tiger (panthera tigris altaica), and the south China tiger (panthera tigris amoyensis).

As the name indicates, the Sumatran tiger is native to, and is only found on, the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is considered as a critically endangered subspecies of tiger with an estimation of only about 250 individuals currently still surviving in the wild, according to an Indonesian NGO The Coalition for the Monitoring of Protected Wild Animals. This remaining population is scattered in 18 separate enclaves, most of which are found at Leuser and Kerinci Seblat National Parks.

The Sumatran tiger is the only surviving subspecies of tigers out of three that Indonesia has or used to have. The other two that are now extinct are the Balinese tiger (panthera tigris balica) and the Javan tiger (panthera tigris sondaica). The Balinese tiger went extinct in 1937. The last of it - a female - was reported to have been killed at Sumbar Kima in the West of Bali on September 27, 1937. The Javan tiger was thought to have become extinct not too long ago in 1980, although there were reports of its sightings as recently as last year. The sightings, however, could not be verified.

Habitat destruction caused by logging and the conversion of pristine forests into palm oil plantations, industrial forests, and farms is the main threat to the existing population of the Sumatran tiger. But hunting and illegal trade of its skin and other organs are of no less serious threat to its extinction. In the two year period between 1998 and 2000, for example, 66 tigers (or about 20 percent of its population) were recorded to have been killed (the number could have been higher as it is quite probable that there were undiscovered killings). This should come as no surprise as a piece of Sumatran tiger skin can fetch about US$ 3,300 at the international market. Some black market rare animal skin brokers are even reportedly willing to give a handsome amount of downpayment as an incentive for people to hunt the tigers.

The Sumatran tiger is the smallest surviving subspecies of tigers. The adult males weigh about 100 - 140 kilograms (220 - 308 lbs), whereas the female weight about 75 - 110 kilograms (154 - 242 lbs).

Sunday, March 8, 2009

On Board Parahiyangan Train

This is the view on board the Executive Class of Parahyangan train that serves Bandung - Jakarta - Bandung route.

There are three classes of trains that serve Bandung - Jakarta - Bandung route. They are The Argo Gede (First Class), Parahyangan Executive Class, and Parahyangan Business Class. The Argo Gede runs 6 trips per day (8 trips at the weekend). Parahyangan - both the Executive and Business Classes, which are on the same trains, - runs 6 trips per day with an additional trip scheduled when necessary. Bandung - Jakarta vv train trips normally take about 3 hours and 10 minutes.

For a complete Bandung-Jakarta-Bandung train schedule and fares, you may refer to the website of PT Kereta Api Indonesia (PT KAI). PT KAI, by the way, is a state-owned company and the only train operator in Indonesia.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Skywatch Friday Post: The Election Sky

With the general election only about a month away, Indonesian skies and airwaves are nowadays saturated with different flags, banners, and a lot of other kinds of advertisements touting the political parties and candidates for the national and local legislative bodies.

Since the fall of Suharto (The New Order) regime and Reform of 1998, Indonesia has become the world's third largest democracy after India and the United States. The Election of 2009 is the third free election held since 1998, and the second direct presidential election. 34 national political parties are going to take part in the current election. In addition to this, 6 local parties are aslo going to take part in the election at the special territory of Aceh Province in the northern tip of Sumatra island. The legislative election is scheduled for 9 April, whereas the presidential election is going to be held in July after the members of the legislative bodies are elected and sworn in.

This post is Bandung Daily Photo's participation in the Skywatch Friday meme. To see other participants' posts from around the world, please follow the link.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

West Javanese Cultural Heritage: The Angklung

In addition to cultural performances, Saung Angklung Udjo or SAU (see my post yesterday) also has a sizeable angklung production workshop where visitors can see for themselves how the angklung is made and even learn how to make it themselves.

To learn more about angklung, how it is made, and other pertinent information, you can read this Wikipedia article and/or visit the Angklung Web Institute site.

Although the angklung can theoretically be made from any bamboo, it is best made from two particular types of bamboo, i.e. the black bamboo (the Sundanese people call it "awi wulung") like the one in the bottom photo and the white bamboo or "awi temen".

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My World: Saung Angklung Udjo (SAU)

The above photo is of Angklung Jaipong dance, one of the art and cultural performances staged at Saung Angklung Udjo (Udjo's Angklung House).

Among many performing art groups and houses in Bandung, Saung Angklung Ujdo (or SAU for short) is probably unique in that it is professionally managed and stages performances of a wide array of Sundanese (West Javanese) arts on the daily basis. Established in 1966 by the late Udjo Ngalagena or Mang Udjo and his wife Uum Sumiati, SAU takes pride in its vision and mission not only as a place where Sundanese arts are performed, but also as a living art laboratory and an institution that strive to preserve the Sundanese cultural heritage and provide community-based art education.

The word "angklung" that makes up its name indicates SAU's specialty in this kind of bamboo musical intrument. Angklung is a Sundanese (West Javanese) traditional musical instrument made of bamboo. Angklung performances are the main stapple of SAU's menu. Throughout the two hour daily performances, the angklung and Sundanese bamboo music makes up five out of ten performances given. In one of them, the audience is given a chance to play angklung together as an orchestra with the guidance of an expert teacher. Please check my other blog BANDUNG DAILY VIDEO at some later time to hear the music and see how angklung is played.

Other performances offered at SAU include a Wayang Golek demonstration, Tari Topeng Cirebon (Cirebonese Mask Dance), and Helaran (festive celebration of important occasions in the Sundanese society), and Tari Merak (Peacock Dance).

SAU is located on Jalan Padasuka 118 in the east of Bandung.

This post is BANDUNG DAILY PHOTO's participation in My World Tuesday. Please click the link to check other posts from the participating blogs from around the world.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


If you follow this blog regularly, you may have noticed that in past two weeks I have missed quite a number of posts. I have also noticeably not been able to visit my friends' and my favorite blogs regularly as I used to. My sincere apology. It's been a hectic time at work with lots and lots of things to do and deadlines to meet.

It is hard to keep a blog with sceduled daily updates and have a full time and demanding job at the same time. There are times when we simply have to choose and set priorities, and for me, these past weeks (and quite probably the following few weeks) are just that. I'd love to keep on blogging and posting regularly, but at the moment, it simply is not possible. It's time to give my attention and devote my time and energy to my job and the things that have higher priorities to do.

The apology and explanation said, I'd like to asure you that BANDUNG DAILY PHOTO will keep its commitment to post high quality pictures and useful information and commentaries as regularly as possible, and that I will make the efforts to keep visiting and commenting on my friends' and my favorite blogs every now and then (rest asured that I enjoy doing this and learn a lot from your blogs).

Today's photo is still from the same place as those of the previous two post: PVJ (Paris van Java). As you may have guessed, it's the decor for two occasions combined: the Valentine's Day and the Chinese New Year. Both, as you know, took place in February.