January 2nd Rock Concert in Downtown Denpasar Raises Funds for Aceh Earthquake Victims.
On Sunday, January 2, 2004, over 10 local bands gathered for an open air concert in the Renon sub-district of Denpasar to raise funds for relief efforts in earthquake and tsunami devastated Aceh, North Sumatra.
Top local bands took to the stage beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time - all without pay - to express their solidarity with the people of Aceh and North Sumatra, while local sound and lighting companies provided stage and technical support, also without charge. Donation boxes were circulated among the thousands of spectators in attendance .
The concert, which ran until 9:00 p.m., opened with mass prayers for the victims of the earthquake disaster. A set of drums used to accompany the bands was also auctioned at the concert to raise funds for the worthy cause.
A long white banner was suspended around the parameter of the concert venue where the audience were encouraged to write notes of condolences and solidarity with the victims of the natural disaster.
Among the local bands performing were the very popular Sony Music Entertainment recording artists Superman is Dead together with Lollot n' Band, Navicula, Pandawa, Crazy Horse, XXX, Jony Agung & Double TT, Bintang and Suicidal Sinatra..
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Is Bali Overbuilt? Indonesia Digest Reports Bali's Master Plan is Now Under Review.
balidiscovery.com wishes to thank Ibu Wuryastuti Sunaryo for allowing us to republish this report, originally carried in the December 23, 2004, edition of her prestigious newsletter Indonesia Digest.
Bali's Tourism Master Plan up for Review: Bali overbuilt?
A recent workshop to assess Bali's tourism development in line with the island's Master Plan came to the conclusion, that to date construction on Indonesia's most famous resort island, Bali, has been inconsistent, is sporadic, unmanaged, moreover, has disregarded the ecological, social and cultural values of Bali. The Workshop was organized by the Department of Culture and Tourism in cooperation with the Provincial Government of Bali, and was officially opened by Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik. Speaker Agung Suryawan Wiranatha, Head of Culture and Tourism Research of the University of Udayana, stated that since the adoption of Bali's Tourism Master Plan compiled by French Consultants SCETO back in 1971, no other regulations have been forthcoming on development on the island, barring a few Provincial Bylaws, however, these can not be adopted as yardsticks for direction.
The 1971 SCETO Plan mentioned that until 1980, Bali would need only 4,800 international hotel rooms located in the Nusa Dua area (3,000 rooms), Sanur (1,000 rooms) and Kuta (800 rooms). Whereas, the study team now predicts that until 2010, Bali will need only a total of 34,000 rooms. The fact is that the island is already overbuilt with 36,000 rooms.
Additionally, construction and investments of hotels and facilities have tended to concentrate in South Bali, with the result that other Bali districts have also wanted to compete, at the expense of principles of sustainable development.
Minister Jero Wacik, meanwhile, informed that the government has set aside funds for the study and review of Bali's new Tourism Master Plan with Rp. 1.2 trillion allocated for the first year. The Minister expects results to be seen next year.
Meanwhile, an earlier study made by the World Bank and UNDP, post Bali bombing, recommends that the government of Bali immediately diversify development on the island, in order that the island’s people and economy are not solely dependent on tourism, which is known to be very sensitive to many issues, such as terrorism, contagious diseases etc.
A Solo Exhibition by Freddy Sitorus at Jenggala Keramik Bali January 7 – March 3, 2005.
Born in South Sulwesi in 1965, Freddy Sitorus studied at Bali's Udayana University Art & Design faculty before undertaking a one year course in Fine Arts at the Charles Darwin University – Northern Territory University in Darwin, Australia.
Taking his inspiration from the freely naïve spirit of children, he expresses himself in bold and bright colors where proportion and composition take a back seat to the artist's emotional reaction to his subject matter.
In paintings that are spontaneous and creative, Freddy Sitorus' current show at Jenggala Keramik Bali has found a new medium on which to express itself through paintings laid down on fine ceramics produced at Jenggala. Freddy's paintings, celebrations of life and freedom of expression, have found a good marriage in the non-traditional shapes and smooth surfaces of ceramics where their bold use of color becomes even more pronounced on a glazed and fired ceramic setting.
The Journey of Life
Freddy Sitorus' solo exhibition runs from its opening on the evening of January 7, 2005, until concluding on Thursday, March 3, 2005.
Open daily, Jenggala Keramik Baliis located on Jalan Uluwatu II in Jimbaran.
For more information call ++62-(0)361-703311 or follow the e-mail link below.
Despite Numerous Travel Advisories, Bali Celebrates Christmas and New Year without Incident.
In spite of numerous warnings from foreign embassies of specific threats of terrorist acts over the holiday season, Bali – together with the rest of Indonesia celebrated Christmas and New Years without any confirmed reports of terrorist activities.
In Bali, some 7,000 police officers were deployed to maintain the peace over the New Year period while Officers on duty at the entry seaports of Padang Bai and Gilimanuk were equipped with 32 bomb detection units, numerous metal detectors and security gates. Also on stand-by throughout the holiday period were Detachment 88 - an elite anti-terror unit as well as sniper units on guard at various locales across the island.
Prior to the holiday period, Bali's Chief of Police Irjen Made Mangku Pastika cautioned the people of Bali not to lower their guard over the coming holidays, reminding everyone that security is a shared responsibility between the police, the public, businesses and hotel operators.
Relatively Subdued New Year's Celebrations
Heeding calls from local officials and Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, many New Year's celebrations were toned down as a mark of respect for the many thousands who died in the region following the December 26, 2004, earthquake off Sumatra's northwest coast. Many hotels used the occasion of New Year's festivities to offer moments of silence for those who have died and for organizing special fund raising activities during the evening to aid relief efforts.
Minimum Selling Prices for Domestic Air Tickets May be Introduced in February 2005.
The Government is considering introducing minimum prices for domestic air tickets effective from February 2005. The mandated price under which airlines will be prohibited from selling tickets is estimated to be around 30% of a stipulated maximum selling price for economy class tickets.
The planned price controls on domestic plane tickets were revealed recently by Cucuk Suryo Suprojo, the Director General of Civil Aviation, as a means to stem unhealthy competition among the sudden proliferation of domestic air carriers.
If the new policy is introduced the minimum fare on the route Jakarta-Medan would be approximately 30% of the current maximum fare of Rp. 1,2 million or Rp. 360,000 (approximately US$40). The equivalent minimum fare on the sector Jakarta-Surabaya would become Rp. 210,000 (approximately US$23.30).
The Director General did not discount the possibility that the price controls on domestic air tickets might not be introduced in February, if the proposed move was widely opposed by the operating airlines and the flying public.
The Twelve Days of Christmas
The Westin Celebrates the Festival of Epiphany with a Beachside Dinner on January 6, 2005.
Technically, Christmas celebrations run for the twelve days of Christmas commencing on December 25 and ending on the Festival of Epiphany - the historic celebration of the arrival of the three Magi.
In order to create a climatic close to the Holiday Season and celbrate the Holy Day in accordance with the tradition of many Oriental churches, the Westin Resort, Nusa Dua, Bali, is organizing a beachside gala dinner on Thursday, January 6, 2005.
Commencing with welcoming cocktails at 7:00 p.m. the celebration includes a lavish buffet with an international selection of seafood and meat barbeques accompanied by regional specialties. In keeping with the tropical beach setting, guests will be presented with a traditional Balinese sarong to keep and wear during the dinner.
To entertain the celebrants an evening full of activities have been planned. Live musical presentations, a fire dance performance, a fashion show, and interactive games with attractive prizes are also part of the evening's program.
Guests will also have the opportunity to adjourn to a separate jazz bar for after dinner drinks and imported cigars.
The evening's festivities run from 7:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. and are priced at US$85 per person plus 21% tax and service.
Korean Times Reports that 20% of Korean Visitors to Bali Complain of Bad Service.
The December 26, 2004, on-line edition of Korea Times reports that Korean travelers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with substandard services received in conjunction with budget travel packages sold for Southeast Asia.
The report cited how participants on low-priced packages were often forced to purchase expensive additional tours not stipulated in the original tour contract or compelled to patronize certain stores and restaurants offering high commissions to tour operator. Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia were specifically cited in the Korean Time story, stating that Indonesia, however, received the lowest number of complaints with only 20% of Korean budget travelers citing poor service.
The newspaper report urged caution to Korean travelers purchasing travel packages at extremely low prices suggesting close scrutiny of tavel contracts before purchasing a cheap travel package.
Relaxed Visa Rules for Displaced Tourists?
Minister of Culture and Tourism Asks for Visa Rules to Be Relaxed During Asian Tsunami Crisis.
The English-language Jakarta Post reports that Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, has asked the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights to ease visa-on-arrival policies in the immediate aftermath of the Sumatra earthquake crisis. The Minister is reported to have asked that tourists not from a country entitled to purchase a visa on arrival be extended this facility by the Immigration department.
Tourist not on the list of visa-free countries (e.g. ASEAN Members) or from one of the 22 countries eligible to purchase a visa at an Indonesian port are normally required to apply before hand with their home-country Indonesian Embassy.
The Minister made the suggestion to facilitate the large number of tourists still desiring to holiday in Asia but diverting their travel plans from the areas devastated by the December 26, 2004 earthquake and resulting tsunami.
Quoted in the Jakarta Post the Minister said, "It's difficult for them to change their vacation dates, so we will give them a visa on arrival in this situation."
It is not clear if the Immigration Departments has accepted Minister Wacik's recommendation and travelers should check with their tour operator or airlines if they are citizens of a nation normally required to obtain a visa before entering Indonesia.
Mothers: Lock Your Daughters in Their Rooms!
Bikers on Their Harleys – An Increasingly Common Sight on Bali's Roadways.
Whichever name you choose to use - Monster Bikes, Harleys, Choppers or Hoggs - motorbikes with engines more powerful than the average family car, are becoming a common sight on Bali's streets. Accordingly, there are a number of companies on the Island selling big-bike tours; incentive and conference groups who, in search of something different, arrange transfers to local restaurants on the back of large motor bikes; a popular local restaurant called "Handlebars" that doubles as a big bike repair shop; and Bali even has its own Official Harley Davidson dealership.
When your in Bali you're truly in Hogg Heaven.
In fact, the highways of Bali have become so attractive to big-bike enthusiasts that members of the Jakarta-based Harley Owners Group now hold regular tours and events in Bali. For example, there was recently a large October-Fest held on Kuta beach attended by an entire platoon of big bikes. While recently, bikers from Kalimantan (Borneo) brought their bikes all the way from their jungle homes to roam the by-ways of Bali.
Bikes on Boats
Inexplicably drawn to anything with a large engine, members of the Harley Owners Group roared up to the pier of Bali Hai Cruises in Benoa harbor to join a Sunset Dinner Cruise on Thursday, December 30, 2004, on board the 300 passenger Bali Hai II.
Those expecting that what followed will be tale of drunken debauchery and wild partying may be disappointed. Although loath to admit it, Indonesia's biking community is predominately populated by successful businessmen with growing waistlines and graying temples. That man in the leather jacket ahead of your your bus is typically someone's Husband or Father, riding his bike to enjoy the thrills of the open road and recapture the lost thrills of a now distant youth.
Thus, the bikers joining the Thursday night Bali Hai Cruise roared up to the pier only to then politely park their bikes, sipped on welcome drinks while chatting with fellow passengers, and then participated in a civilized dinner cruise of Bali's harbor. Reports from other passengers indicate that the bikers' table manners were impeccable.
So friendly were the visiting bikers, in fact, that one young lady passenger admiring the bikes after the cruise took up an offer for a joy ride, her arms wrapped securely around a local version of an aging Peter Fonda.
Now, several days later, the girl's parents remain hopeful that the biker might one day safely return their daughter to her anxious parents.
Innovative Program to Resurrect Dying Coral Reefs Launched in Lombok.
A set of bright pink marker buoys off the Gili Islands in Northwest Lombok marks the location of a dynamic and innovative program that promises new life to world's threatened coral reefs.
Co-conceived by coral expert Tom Goreau and architect Wolf Hilbertz, Bio Rock, or Electric Reef installations, have proven successful in creating new coral reef habitat, not only in Indonesia, but in numerous locations around the region.
At the invitation of long-time Bali resident Cody Schwaiko, and Bali Hai Diving Adventures - Tom Goreau and Wolf Hilbertz recently visited Gili Trawangan to assess the area's suitability for a trial installation. After receiving the initial "thumbs up" and funding from the Vila Ombak Diving Academy together with other local community support, the Gili's first Bio Rock installation was "plugged in" on November 20, 2004.
Coral Arks and Bio Rocks
Known in some circles as "Coral Arks" because of their proven ability to create new havens for fish and corals in areas where human impact has damaged coral reef habitat, the new artificial reef on Gili Trawangan was constructed using steel bars and copper wiring to produce a tunnel-like steel foundation. Electrodes are attached to transmit low-voltage electrical current into the seawater surrounding the steel structure. Driven by an onshore power source or solar panel, the voltage employed is equivalent to that of a 60-100 watt light bulb.
How Does it Work?
In combination with an anode and cathode, the electric current causes dissolved minerals in sea water to crystallize, forming a limestone coating over the exposed steel, a perfect media for coral larvae – the basic building block of the reef. To further accelerate reef establishment and in a process know as "seeding," the Vila Ombak Diving Academy Team collected live coral fragments already detached from surrounding healthy reefs, and physically attached them to the structure.
The results of this innovative approach to creating new coral reefs has been, both literally and figuratively, electrifying. Studies show resulting reef growth rates that are three to five times that of un-stimulated coral. Other studies indicate stimulated coral may also be more tolerant to changes in surrounding water temperature.
Local Community Support Essential
Local community support is considered essential to the success of any environmental initiative. The Gili Island Bio Rock Project draws much of its inspiration from the village head on Gil Trawangan, Taufik, who is an avid SCUBA diver. Taufik's commitment to project, his socialization of the project to his local constituents and the services of a local marine patrol funded by the Gili Eco Trust are all playing key roles in the ongoing success of the project.
On November 23, 2004, the Vila Ombak Diving Team lowered the first completed structure carefully into place. Taufik, in his capacity as village leader, was given the honor of becoming the first diver to seed the structure with a coral fragment.
Within just 16 hours of the introduction of electricity there was a visible white film already forming on the exposed steel. Resembling an underwater Christmas tree adorned with carefully attached coral decorations, Moorish idols and Damsel Fish were already winding their way in and out of the structure. A fantastic green and yellow miamiridae nudibranch had also moved in, declaring the structure its new home.
As a finishing touch, Taufik painted the succinct message on the surface marker buoys saying "Keep and Protect this Place" and the installation was complete.
If you’d like to learn more about the Vila Ombak Diving Academy's Coral Reef Education Program or about the Bio Rock project, follow the e-mail link provided.
A Historical Imperative - Garuda Offers Free Cargo Service in Support of Aceh Relief Efforts.
Some might argue that the Country's National Airlines Garuda Indonesian owes its very existence to the people of Aceh, North Sumatra. In fact, the first airplane operated by Indonesian Airways was a DC-3 with the designation RI-001 - Seulawah (Gold Mountain) - an aircraft donated by the people of Aceh in the Republic's early struggle for independence.
Now, more than a half century later and in response to the tragic events resulting from the massive earthquake of December 26, 2004, Garuda Indonesia is joining the world-wide humanitarian response to the plight of the people of Aceh and North Sumatra by providing free carriage of humanitarian relief cargo to Medan and Banda Aceh.
The special facility exclsuively for the transport of relief materials is available through January 31, 2005.
For more information contact: Mr. Rusli Baharuddin, Garuda's Cargo Manager at telephone ++62-(0)361 -5501408 or ++62-(0)361 –5502041.
In the words of one Garuda official, "we trace our very DNA as a company back to the people of Aceh who gave us our first aircraft, now its time for us the be there for the people of Aceh when they need us most."
One of Many Efforts by the People of Bali to Ease the Plight of Those Affected the North Sumatran Earthquake.
The Bali Hotel Association (BHA) is working together with local organizations and private companies in the massive relief effort in connection with the devastating earthquake and tsunami which decimated North Sumatra and large areas throughout Southeast and South Asia.
The BHA has joined forces with a group established in the humanitarian response to the disaster, called "Indonesia Peduli" (Indonesia Cares) comprised of major corporations, such as Exxon Mobil, Unilever, General Electric, British American Tobacco and Asia Pulp and Paper. In the view of the BHA, this alliance has the resources and expertise on the ground to ensure that all relief materials are dispatched directly into Aceh. The group is also actively vetting the NGO's (non-governmental organization) operating in Aceh relief programs to which they provide funds.
In addition to cash donations and the proceeds of various fund-raising activities, including spontaneous auctions held during New Year's Dinners at Bali hotels, the BHA has also spearheaded the donation of linens and useable clothing and food dispatched to Aceh in the first 48 hours immediately following the disaster. Association members have been raising cash support through staff donations, guest donations and company donations.
BHA sent its first sent its first wave of relief supplies to North Sumatra on New Year’s eve.
• Seven cubic meters of medical supplies and ready-to-consume food were sent by air to Jakarta, in cooperation with Continental Airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Aerowisata Catering Services. These goods have entered the Red Cross supply chain.
• As the result of BHA coordinated donations, Rp 125 million (approximately US$13,200) of ready-to-consume foods were purchased and loaded directly onto Indonesian naval vessels departing from Jakarta to Sumatra on New Year’s Days.
• Two 20-foot containers containing 1,000 boxes of donated goods—clothing, blankets, sheets, pillows, shoes, and food—began the 40-hour journey overland from Bali to Jakarta, sponsored by Santa Fe Relocations. This shipment of Aceh relief cargo form Bali is expected to join Tuesday's, January 4th naval transport dispatch to Aceh.
Collection efforts got underway within just 24 hours of the natural disaster and in the short span of only 3 days, five warehouses were filled. These contributions came from BHA’s 63 members hotels, hotel staff, hotel guests, travel agencies, private companies and private individuals across Bali. Local companies in Bali - Dijon and Ombak Putih coordinated a central collection point for businesses and the general public, merging these contributions into the BHA supply system.
The BHA has promised a complete auditing of all funds entrusted to them for disaster relief and will publish a list of all donations received on the association's website.
Those wishing to support the "Indonesia Peduli" drive can make bank transfers to:
When making donations please write "Aceh Relief" on the transfer order and send a confirming e-mail [ email@example.com] or send a facsimile to ++62-(0)361-289165, providing details of your transfer.
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.