Tag Archives: dpchallenge

The Buried Fortress


If not for the occasional appearance in international headlines whenever Indonesia executes the drug convicts in the infamous Nusakambangan Island, the town of Cilacap in Central Java may easily be forgotten. It does serve as the main harbor for the prison island and many people merely bypass the roads and go straight to the harbor. Indeed, the sleepy town boasts little else than some beaches, and the domestic visitors often complain about the scorching heat. But a visit to a local attraction of Benteng Pendem (lit. The Buried Fortress) will reveal just how important this town was in the Dutch era when it served as a coast observation post to the passing vessels.

Continue reading The Buried Fortress

Alphabet: The Javanese Way

According to sixtyvocab.com, there are around 46(?) different alphabets or writing systems in the world today. This is, of course, debatable, since I hardly believe that they counted all the complex writing systems that many tribes or groups of people still use in Indonesia, India, or Africa.

Thanks to Sukarno, our founding father, we don’t have to struggle with studying the Javanese Honocoroko or the Arabic-Malay Jawi scripts and learn Roman characters instead. But it is heartwarming to see that many regional governments in the archipelago are trying to revive the local scripts by putting them on road signs or government offices.

On a recent trip to Yogyakarta, I encountered a few signs written in both Roman and Javanese letters:

Malioboro Street. The Javanese writing beneath exactly spells the name (I think).
Try this one that I saw outside Ullen Sentalu Museum. The writing above is actually in Roman characters but stylized in Javanese script. Can you read it? It’s ‘nDalem Kaswargan’ (House of Paradise).

I guess we learn something new everyday, ey? 😀


More takes on Weekly Photo Challenge: Alphabet.

Eyes: The Presence & Absence

It was a sunny day in Phnom Penh and I headed to a site where one of the worst attrocities in the world happened: The Killing Field or Choeung Ek Memorial as it is known today. You know, it is amazing that every little detail matters and can drag you into a deep reflection as you walk around each point, observe each point, and try to absorb the aura of pain and peace. Even when you look back at each picture, there are certainly new meanings that you can write about. Here are a few examples:

The Presence

Continue reading Eyes: The Presence & Absence

The Feline Quest

I found this little fellow at the local fastfood franchise in Jakarta yesterday, just sitting around on a customer chair (yep, the cleaners were nowhere to be found) and minding his own business. That was until someone came to the table to put a box of scrumptuous fried chicken and left to wash her hands; completely oblivious to the fact that that a feline was sitting about 15 centimeters away and was transitioning himself from a boyish cat to a potentially sneaky thief.

But mind you, he was no ordinary stray cat. Like a true gentleman, he pretended to look completely innocent during the ‘handover’, and he even bothered to check on his surroundings before finally gazing at the prey. Oh, I truly admired his attitude.

What? Did I warn the customer of the upcoming catastrophe? Of course not! I’d rather take out my phone to snap some pictures. Hehehe.


More takes on this week’s theme can be found here.

The Three Tiles

Can you name the events depicted in these trio images from the books of John, Acts of the Apostles*, and Genesis?

“Rumah Tegel” (The Tile House) was a tile factory in Lasem, a small town in Central Java, Indonesia, whose products once decorated the residences of the royal families and wealthy merchants across the island. The factory is now defunct but visitors are still allowed to come inside and appreciate some of the artworks that the owner families left behind.

At a corner of the terrace, I came across these images that serve as decorative coating on the tiles. I was puzzled at first before recognizing two of the images. The first one is taken from John 8, in which Jesus was writing on the ground when Mary Magdalene was about to be stoned to death and He challenged anybody who considered themselves not sinful to step forward and take the stone. Meanwhile the third one is taken from Genesis 3, in which Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden.

Now I know that the second image is taken from The Acts of the Apostles*, but the number is unreadable and I cannot really make out the scene. Can anybody help me identify it?

  • It turns out that the image at the second tile is not taken from the book of Acts. Instead, it depicts the scene in Revelation chapter 10. This book is also called Apocalypsis Ioannis, hence the abbreviation APOC. Many thanks Celina for your meticulous attention to the details. 😀


Browse more entries in Weekly Photo Challenge: Trio.