Category Archives: UrbanChat

The Magic Along Pontianak-Singkawang

I don’t keep a bucket list, because such list would be too long, but if I did then Cap Go Meh festival in Singkawang would definitely make it on the list. This year the stars finally lined up to clear … Continue reading

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From the Mouths of Bright Young Minds

Kids say the darnedest things. From the mouths of the babes. This week I bear witness to them. Twice. A private school in Jakarta invited me to share basic knowledge of media and my experiences as a columnist to their … Continue reading

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Local Consumer Brands Going Pro

Earlier this week the bottled water brand Aqua unveiled new visual designs for Reflections, their premium label of the glass bottle kind, teaming up with another creative mind. There was fashion designer Tex Saverio a while ago, renowned artist Eko … Continue reading

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How Low Will You Go for Social Media “Views” and “Likes”?

We all have been there. Holding in tummy, reapplying makeup, rearranging dishes on a table, jumping on a mountain, assuming yoga poses on a beach, chasing stray cats in some random street; all in the name of social media posts. … Continue reading

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Women’s Equality and the Silver Screen

On December 22nd Indonesia commemorates 1928 Women’s Congress, where 30 women’s organizations across Java and Sumatra gathered to fight for women’s equality in then Dutch Indies. How after 1945 independence both Soekarno and Soeharto managed to domesticize the day to … Continue reading

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Race You to be Fitter and Stronger!

It’s December again. Time for year-end reviews and next year’s projections, in business and life. I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, but I did start 2017 with a plan to get fitter. I wasn’t entirely out of shape; I … Continue reading

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Teater Koma Turns 40, but the State of Our Theatre Isn’t Pretty

I’d never forget what my parents said when I, a student that summer in Massachusetts, was to make my first trip to New York City. All the way in Jakarta, my parents told me to watch a Broadway show and … Continue reading

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Jakarta Biennale and Museum Macan: A Soulful Treat or Two

Have you ever felt hopeless about the world? Lately, I often have. Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un are a few tweets away from nuking each other, the Middle East has a new 4-way conflict, while medieval foolishness make a return … Continue reading

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10th JFW: The Fight for Legacy and Relevance

Time does fly fast. This week Jakarta Fashion Week (JFW) turned ten. While a 10-year run is relatively young, considering New York Fashion Week was initiated in the 1940s while the region’s most notable fashion week in Tokyo has run … Continue reading

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Travel: For Fun, or for the 15-Second of Fame?

Earlier this year at Singapore’s Chinatown, a trio of teenaged, backpacking Indonesians walked past me, arguing. The girls blamed the guy for having rushed to book hotel online, since they now saw some hotels charging SGD 5 lower for walk-ins. … Continue reading

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