10 Must-Do Things for New Visitors of Jakarta’s Chinatown

10 Must-Do Things for New Visitors of Jakarta’s Chinatown

WHENEVER I visit a certain destination for at least a week, part of my itinerary is Chinatown. There’s something about it that I feel connected to.

Just like most Filipinos, I am a mix of all races that colonized and resided in our country. My paternal grandmother was Spanish and my paternal grandfather was half-Chinese. Because he was a cook, he dominated the kitchen where I was introduced to Chinese cuisine in early childhood. It has become a major part of my taste bud.

I love Chinese opera, even though I do not understand it (when there are no subtitiles). I love the actors’ graceful movements and the sing-song tones had so much soul in them! How about the cinema (esp. the critically-acclaimed ones that were filmed by Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, War-Kang-Wai, Ang Lee, etc.)- I follow the film critics’ review of the best Chinese films and make sure my husband (also a fan of Chinese films) & I watch them. The stories behind the books written by Amy Tan and Anchee Min resonate to me as if I was one of the characters in them.

The terrorist bombing in Jakarta’s city center the week before I arrived was an unfortunate incident. However, it didn’t discourage me from trying what locals in Jakarta do and Chinatown is top of my list. Because there’s only a small percentage of Jakartans who can speak English, I planned on getting a tour guide for my first solo sojourn of the city. I found Jakarta Good Guide that listed Chinatown (Glodok) as one of  the 6 routes in their “Pay-As-You-Wish Walking Tours.” It means, “you are free to tip the guide as much (or as little) as you wish, depending on your satisfaction towards his service.”

I liked it that they said that.

So on this sunny Tuesday (February 23, 2016), I met with 2 other tour group mates, Francois of France, Novie of Bogor, and our remarkable tour guide, Indra, who made it possible for us to enjoy our short tour. I am glad I didn’t listen to the bad reviews. I believe that the Law of Attraction may be at work here!  Read more

Songs from the Soul


(Acknowledgement: Thanks to b yark of youtube for publicly sharing his nice morning prayer video.  As a peaceful visitor of Jakara, I prefer not to download my own video so that my location remains undisclosed.)


Back in the days when I was living in East Kalayaan, Subic Bay, my Korean neighbor’s daily voice practice @ 6 am had been a welcome alarm clock. He was a tenor. Our common backyard park facing the foreste  was his stage.

So there I was every sunrise in my patio with a cup of coffee, listening to my neighbor’s life’s story as told by the tone of his voice. Although I didn’t understand a word (he was singing in his native language), I understand and experienced the meaning of quiet joy. Isn’t that a world we would all love to wake up to?

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My First Day in Jakarta

My First Day in Jakarta

I had so many apprehensions before I came here. The terrorist attack that rocked this nation just a few weeks ago has made me used up my year’s quota of prayers for the safety of my family. Thankfully, the Universe always replenishes my positive thoughts.

Dutchy seems unaffected by the bomb scare. Strong typhoons and high-intensity earthquakes back home didn’t seem to bother him. That’s who he is, our Mr. Positivity.Having taken the evening flight Saturday night from NAIA 2, I arrived at midnight yesterday to a quiet Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. It’s cleanliness and simple elegance seems to tell its visitors: “Hey, we mean tourism business.”

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