New Year

The Beast inside the Beauty

Born and raised in a volcanic area of Tomohon (25km away from Manado & about 600m above sea level), I am used to see the sunrise emerges from Mount Mahawu (1311m) & set down over Mount Lokon (1580m). Yes, we are situated between both active volcanoes!

Mount Mahawu, this pic was taken from behind Rindam location (now it's a temporary Major Office of Tomohon)

Mount Lokon, a look from Sunge street in Kakaskasen III, you can see a small amount of smoke from its crater on the ramp. The rest are clouds in the sky:) Paddy fields here grow well all year round.

We experienced the biggest eruption of Mount Lokon on October 1991 where a Swiss vulcanologist named Viviane Clavel was reported missing and never been found. All who lived in Kinilow & in some other villages which are really closed to the volcano were evacuated to Rindam (in Kakaskasen III).

The activity of Mount Lokon has become more intense lately. It often erupts since July 2011 to December 2011. In this new year, we had its first eruption last night (January 6th, 2011) at about 10 or 11 p.m! But we were unable to see the eruption because it was raining (thank goodness – if not, the wind might blow the ash throughout the village and affect our health). It was a minor eruption so there was no evacuation.

Unlike another volcanoes, Lokon has its crater on the ramp not on the top / peak. It contains of volcanic ash and materials.

Mount Lokon, a look from above (I took this pic from the plane, on our way to Bali on July 2009)

On the other hand, Mahawu has its last eruption quite long long time ago, but it is reportedly still active until now. It contains of cold lava…

Below are some old pictures of Mount Lokon:

I took these photos when I worked at Lokon Boutique Resort. You can see the beautiful Marygold flowers and another flowers which I don’t know the name 🙂 I like the slight line of cloud on its foot / slope.

Lokon at Night. A view from 'Bukit Inspirasi (Inspirational Hill) Tomohon. It's quite cold up here..

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Categories: Indonesia, Manado, Minahasa, New Year, North Sulawesi, Photos, Tourism, Volcanoes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Christmas & New Year Celebration: Wrap-Up Tradition or ‘kuncikan’

Celebrating Christmas and New Year is a common thing we celebrate every year. But have you ever heard of a tradition to wrap-up those two big celebrations? We have that kind of tradition here in Minahasa. I am talking about a dominant tribe in North Sulawesi – Indonesia.

In Minahasa and some other places around Manado & Bitung,  we celebrate Christmas on December 25th & 26th (we call it the 1st & 2nd part of Christmas celebration). So is with New Year, it’s celebrated on January 1st & 2nd. Normally, we visit our relatives, friends, and neighbors on those dates. In some other places, they do not have any further celebration afterward. But for Minahasan people, it’s a little bit different.

The fact is, we have a unique tradition called kuncikan. Kuncikan is an Indonesian word (kunci: key, kuncikan: to lock / to end up / to wrap up) . The meaning of that word is not so familiar to the rest of Indonesian people since it’s just mostly used by Minahasan people to refer to the closing celebration of Christmas and New Year. Though in some areas they celebrate it every Sunday during the month of January, but generally, we celebrate it by the 4th Sunday or the last Sunday of January.

There is no official date for kuncikan. In some places, they hold kuncikan tradition every Sunday in January by riding on ‘bendi’, which is traditional two-wheeled carriage pulled by a horse, and visiting relatives & friends. It’s quite interesting since the main road traffic is dominated by bendi and along the roadside people are watching the passing bendis.

When I was a little child, I used to join the kuncikan celebration by riding on a truck, packed with other children in the village, and brought some rotten eggs. Wondering what those rotten eggs were for? Well, we call it our ‘war equipment’. This is how it works: on that day, children would collect as many rotten eggs as possible & spare a sum of money to pay for their ride on the truck for a back-and-fourth route. It used to be a harvesting day for truck drivers! There could be around 20 children in one truck and a single back-and-fourth route last in about 20 minutes. It was just a short route to some neighbor villages.

The riding started in the afternoon, some times around 2p.m. When the truck started to move, we started to sing joyous songs until we passed some other trucks from different direction (of course, the same purpose trucks for children to enjoy this fun thing), aaannnnddd…let the rotten eggs war begin!! Don’t try to imagine the smell on our heads & clothes when we got home after that!!

There is another unique way to celebrate kuncikan. In Manado, kuncikan is celebrated through a figura carnival. That’s quite fun to watch since you can see people put on weird-looking attire and make-up on their faces. An old lady in High School uniform, a grown-up man in Elementary School uniform, female wearing male’s attire and vice versa, any humorous idea they could think of will be performed on that carnival.

Figura carnival has been an annual tradition in Manado. Allegedly, it’s a Portuguese tradition that has been adapted in accordance with the local culture here.

I will post some pictures of kuncikan tradition soon after I have my pocket-camera repaired..(hope I could).

Categories: Camera, Carnival, Celebration, Christmas, English, Humors, Indonesia, Minahasa, New Year, North Sulawesi, Tradition, Transportation | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy New Year 2012

Time is quickly ticking away. Happiness and sadness, laugh and tears, success & failures, gain and lost, and countless of ups and downs have colored up our life in the freshly past year of 2011.  Of those bright & dark colors, can you see what your ‘painting of life’ is like? Or maybe it’s just a part of an unfinished puzzle that yet to be solved in 2012?  Focusing on one dominant color could be annoying but observing from a considerable distance might give you a big picture of it. Whatever it looks like, it must be your most precious painting ever, much more valuable than any most expensive painting in the world.

There might be quite a lot of things we have been through that make us today.  If we look back, we might find so many unpleasing things happened either to or through us. But what could we do? We could not switch the time back and fix them out or do something about those things. Life must go on no matter what. As for me, I want to have a better ‘painting’ this year and am willing to learn from my mistakes in the past. I want to start every single day with a great determination to change, be a better person, & think of doing things differently in order to achieve my goals.

Should things go wrong unexpectedly, I know there is always Someone I can run to who will bring me back to the peace state of mind. Hereby, I want to say Happy New Year everybody! Dreams to fulfill, gifts to unwrap, days to unveil, all of those passions, it’s all ours to unleash accordingly. Like I quoted in my other blog, I would like to encourage you to not bring your potentials to the tomb because I believe that each and every one of us have been equipped with many talents and gifts to explore. Let’s cherish our gifts, before the twilight comes our way…

It’s another year to go through. Many uncertain things lays ahead but hope this song could strengthen us to live every single day in a full surrender to our Maker, the One who holds our tomorrow.

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow (Tak Ku Tau Kan Hari Esok)

I don’t know about tomorrow;
I just live from day to day.
I don’t borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to grey.
I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I’ll walk beside Him,
For He knows what lies ahead.

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

Every step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden’s getting lighter,
Every cloud is silver-lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye;
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky.

I don’t know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that is my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I’m covered with His blood.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Categories: English, Lyrics, New Year | Tags: | 7 Comments

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