February marked my first year of living in Malang, the longest in my history of transient life, surpassing my length of stay in Manila, Jakarta, and Balut Island near the Philippines-Indonesia maritime border. In case you wonder, why Malang? I’ve written a post about that here. Continue reading →
And the question has been thrown to me once again last Sunday, January 24, 2016. Why Durian Writer? Two things: I come from Davao, a city outside the Philippine capital which is known to cultivate the best varieties of Durian in the country. Second, I am a writer (among many other things that I do).
Many of my friends say I’m living the life because I get to travel a lot. But the curse of being a nomad is that you lose some valuable opportunities in exchange of constantly moving from one place to another. My decision to live in Indonesia came with a price. Apart from letting go of a promising career to pursue my graduate studies here, it also meant estranged relationships and a lost opportunity to see my grandmother again (may she rest in peace).
Daw nahimong bag-ong entry sa dictionary ang word nga Mary Jane sa mga Pinoy nga naka-puyo dinhi sa Indonesia. Huy, pag-bantay baya ha. Isarado gyud og pag-ayo imong malita kay basin ma Mary Jane ka. Kabalo na man siguro mo unsa’y pasabot nianang pulonga kung gamiton sa ing-ana nga konteksto. Usahay, kung akong madunggan ang pangalan sa Pinay isip usa ka verb, dili nako mapungngan ang akong simod nga mukusmud. Ana pa akong mama, ako dawn’g likayan ang pag-kusmud kay inig saputon daw ko, ang akong simud pwede sabitan og maleta.
To say that I feel safe in Indonesia than in my home country is not a statement that should be taken as an elevator pitch. There are other foreigners who have had terrible memories in this part of the world (read Diana’s post on experiencing blatant racism).
Some of Indonesia’s hidden gems are its promising indie musicians, though it’s unfortunate that many them are unheard of in many parts of the world. One of the reasons is, of course, the songs are written in Bahasa Indonesia. So if you’re a foreigner wanting to check out the country’s sprawling independent music scene, good luck doing that.