I just graduated from high school, along with my batch mates. Do I know how to describe it? Was it the happiest day of my life? Well, I felt so fulfilled. At last, school uniform days are over.

As usual, in any occasion that involves saying adieu to people, I walk out as quickly as I can because I just hate goodbyes. I've always been a huge crier as well. I saw many of my peers taking pictures, also with the teachers, from the balcony, when I was about to take a picture with my parents taken in a photo-booth. How I wish I could do that. I wish I could ask my parents to wait for several minutes and allow me to circulate around the room and make memories into photos. But I just never want to say goodbye.

I was overwhelmed by the thoughts of leaving my classmates who have been around for four years, batch mates that I got to share my middle school and high school years with, and of course, my former teachers. I almost cried thinking of them. But the one that made me start to cry first, was my first class adviser in Binus Serpong. We were walking on the aisle, supposed to shake hands with all the teachers and we were congratulated by all of them. It was another great feeling that I had that morning. And there she was, on the end of the long line of teachers, hugging her former students. I stood waiting for my turn to be hugged and tears were just secreted in instant. She was my parent too. Whenever I fail or succeed, I think of her too. I want to do her proud as badly as I want to make both of my parents proud.

What did she do to make me feel that way toward her? The impact that she gave, is what has supported me for almost six years.
She picked me as a class secretary.
Here's an explanation to why it still matters so much to me.

I was very certain that I would do, one thing in my life: the arts. Be it in piano, singing, violin, choir, or theatre, any forms of performing arts.
After I hit puberty, everything changed. It happened almost simultaneously with the length of time when I was supposed to discover, instead of losing my identity; when I was supposed to open up to the world but I hid myself instead because I did not feel good whether I was good enough or not.
At that time, I lost my direction. Re-navigate? I was around 12 or 13-- I was clueless. I spent days whining, regretting, and blaming others. Then I started to blame myself, which ended up in a self-hate. To make things worse, I was bullied and it just made everything that I ever worked for, seemed to be useless if people would still identify me, the way that those bullies did. It made me value myself less. I was even younger when it happened. How on earth was I supposed to know how to handle those things? Lady Gaga or Glee did not exist yet. Nobody taught me how to work out my differences. As a result, I created a distance with everyone that I knew.

Somehow, she seemed to be unaffected by my initial responses to all the bad things that happened to me. She appreciated me keeping down all the agendas and reminder in the student's diary which has been a habit of mine. She also noticed that I was able to keep all my notes, papers organized-- I always got a response that it was quite a surprise to anyone I've known. All of sudden she picked me to be a class secretary. I earned a token of appreciation for it. So I guess it just came down to her that I could give a little help for my classmates with all the list of tasks and deadlines.

I have continued to get used to being asked about when to submit an assignment, keeping a group-work paper, until my final year in high school. These sound like little, insignificant things but considering that I was severely struck down by negativity, these things have helped in the recovery.

Now, it's no longer a habit. It is my way of life. In any field where I work, I hope to provide others with my, never-ending obsession with organized papers, neat schedule and my eagerness to make an improvement. I have decided to pursue a major, and a job, that would enable me to keep track of financial transactions, and a huge part of the requirement that should be met consists of being trustworthy and organized, aside from detail-oriented.

As I started to see her again days before the graduation and to the last time I she'd ever see me as a student, I realized that she was the one who made me feel that I was appreciated and I could do something else; she was the one who taught me that I could be judged also because I kept on doing things that could help others, not for a mere first impression. She was the one who put a more meaningful definition of trust from others and being trustworthy. She was the one who initiated the process of self-appreciation. It's hard to keep on loving myself but I'll achieve it wholly soon. She encouraged me to join student council, which brought me to a perspective that there are people who were very supportive and waiting for a growth in different aspects of my life.

She was the one who has given me a new direction, so that I did not have to live with regrets, that I could start over and somewhere along my journey, I can always find time to enjoy my first true love again. I'll just do whatever it takes for me to use up the raw materials that I've had, and work my ass off in the university just for me to be more purposeful and handy, not only just keeping track of things. I am eager to be given greater roles, life-affirming challenges and better meaning and appreciation of who I am.

To anyone who reads this: that is the power of a teacher-- generally, an educator or an adult. Homework and project irritate us, but they can do things that change one's life. Now, I understand what "Guru Pahlawan Tanpa Tanda Jasa" means.

After what she's done to me, I am pretty sure that she is one that people who I'll definitely share the result of my life-long struggle and hard-work.

This worked like a domino effect. One thing leads to another. I went from mediocre in Mathematics to almost achieving 100 in grade 8 final Mathematics exam. I have improved my English skills, which I never imagined that I could. I was involved in several organizations and it was a huge contribution to my learning process. I spent my break practicing violin by myself and I finally joined my school's orchestra. I was not able to swim but I finally could, for at least swimming stroke, for less than 100 metres. Heck, I would still be afraid of 180-cm depth pool if it weren't only for a grade in Physical Education. I have finally improved my score in Chemistry, a subject that I recently enjoyed, frankly. I tried to audition for a college in the U.S.-- a huge deal, but there was no pressure and I just enjoyed the experience and glad that I tried. Que sera, sera.

The bottom-line is, that I have been dared to do more for six years. Thanks to her. And I'll miss her more than I ever.

Selective Eating Disorder

Glad that the first two parts of the exam trilogy have ended. There were targets achieved and some disappointments but at least it's over.

Now, I can focus on my university application, entrance test and especially SBMPTN. Aside from that, I'll have to learn several skills that'd be handful as I grow older, such as driving, cooking and waking up earlier. But most importantly, I have a few issues with my health that I'll have to learn to deal with as well-- my parents may not be around later and this scares me.

I discovered the term "selective eating disorder" in the beginning of my grade 12 year and I've had a strong feeling that it sums up my eating habit or lifestyle that's been practiced since I was in elementary, ever since. Or at least it's a close description to that I have been doing. What is selective eating disorder? As the name suggests, people with SED are picky-eaters, but worse, more selective and irritates people even more, especially when you're a teenager or adult. This is what you see in children, which is normal, but commonly it's over as they grow older. This isn't about the intention to reject some foods in a diet, because even if people with no SED choose to not eat some foods, they'll still be able to eat them anyway. They just choose not to. Nor it's similar to anorexic, orthorexic or food phobia. It's a different thing-- people with SED are just highly selective and specific. When I eat food cooked in a a particular way, that I never ate before, it's either I like it or I immediately spit it out and feel traumatic about eating it again. Removing food out of my mouth happens in a fraction of a second-- after the moment I first start chewing it. Mostly, I don't like something -too new- in my mouth. This is not an exaggeration.

I heard someone with SED only wants to eat fries her for entire life. That's insane. I consider myself lucky despite of the short-list of foods that I am comfortable with:
anything that isn't spicy
anything that does not have too much herbs and onion
chicken: breast only, only the white seasoned part; thighs are accepted only if it's fillet or chopped, like karage
duck: breast, roasted or soup; only if it's not as a piece altogether with the bone (?)
beef: only tenderloin and obviously not too chewy. sliced, minced, or as a sausage
squid: fried, until I can't feel the texture
pork: only roasted or chopped
fish: grouper has to be steamed, gourami has to be fried, crevally has to be charchoal-grilled, and no sushi. that's all.
fruit: only tomato, avocado, orange and pear, as juice...
green vegetables: none of them. not even chopped herbs. salad? only carrot with mayonnaise (a lot) or boiled until soft (I am told that it's too soft for most people)
cakes: anything that does not include fruit or dried fruit, but definitely, chocolate
corn: roasted or shredded, like in bakwan, is fine, as long as it's not cooked in sayur asem,
fried red onion: only if it's still crunchy
It's self-diagnosed, but this is pathetic anyway. While everyone is trying out different foods in different restaurants, putting effort to be healthier; I am stuck with only those options. FYI, I know when I just don't like some foods, e.g. I prefer chocolate instead of strawberry ice cream, and I can still compromise.

Lacking green vegetables and fruit is currently my concern-- finally, it concerns me after 18 years. The reason why I am concerned about having zero green vegetables and extreme lack of fruit, is because

1) I was studying Biology for my exam, and I got a bigger picture of how foods affect my body
2) Two people that I know, died of cardiac disease. One person passed away because of complicated diabetic-related issues. Meanwhile, I was struggling so hard in my P.E class and I've been afraid that my heart isn't healthy anymore
3) At the same time, I was thinking of my grandmother, who passed away, and how disappointing it must have been for her that I still couldn't eat healthier which she'd always asked
I was afraid that I will not survive my 40, heck, even I don't think I can survive in my 30 with all the demands of working hard 24/7. I have a lot of plans and goals but what if I can't even have the enough time? I will waste my parents' hard work. What if all the food that I've eaten affect how I look, how I think and how I behave? If it's true, then my foods are what trigger my insecurities, which have been horrible for the past six years.
Then I reached another low point in my life, when my stress became physical again-- combined with the exhaustion, one dietary mistake etc, my digestion screwed up, my abdominal and my head was in pain, my back and shoulders felt so heavy, and I started to lose weight again. I had to skip one exam day because of this.

I tried to figure out how to get out of this situation as fast as I could.

I am thinking about smoothies, but the books and recipes don't tell much about them-- they only say they are delicious. Please be reminded that I am picky. When people tell me that something is delicious, it does not have any effect on me. Even when perfectly-photographed, garnished and designed on the plate like it's a palace. There'll be a thousands of follow-up questions. So if anyone knows people who love smoothies, it'll be helpful if I can ask them some more specific questions (um, most likely it's going to be a lot). And I am also thinking about chopping green vegetables, since I am planning to start learning how to cook anyway-- so I'll start eating them from smaller pieces, until I get used to the leafy texture. If anyone figures out another way of doing it, it'd very appreciated. Also, I do not know anyone who managed to get rid of being picky-eater, um, adult picky-eaters or anyone who is still a picky-eater so if anyone knows people having similar issues like me, I'd like to get in contact with them because I just have to learn from other people's experience.

I never told this to anyone, my parents always see me just being short-minded, when in fact, it is just so hard for me to try a new thing. They seem to believe that I just have to force myself, which I've tried and failed for so many times. I've tried so many times to force myself eat several of these but I always spitted it out instantly I don't know why. I also do not want them to worry about their son having a disorder, because there's the stigma that when you have an eating, or mental disorder, you just can't get rid of that and that's more embarrassing than a cancer.

But this is treatable. I am sure of that. I have to get my mind used to new things. I had to remove my carrot salad out of my sight, now I am perfectly fine. I did not eat fried red onion until I ate my first mie goreng Jawa. It can be a snack now. I unknowingly ate -something-green- in my homestay parents' homemade guotie. If only that green stuff never existed. I tried eating a strawberry, watermelon and pear, as a fruit, and I couldn't last for another bite. I tried a Mongolian hot pot and Fujian bamboo dishes because I mistakenly thought it was just a regular chicken-broth soup and biscuit. But least I know how they taste although I feel traumatic. It still scares me until now. I just have to get used to it. (And believe that I can *cheesy*)

There are three things that I hope I'll be able to change; my over-reaction toward smell, texture and taste. I know that most people will tell me that eating isn't supposed to be a pressure (well I don't want it to be a pressure too) so I guess I'll have to start having a mindset that every new food encountered will extend one day of my trip somewhere-- healthier lifestyle can help to prolong our lives, right? Hopefully, everything works!


On the New Year's Eve, I applied to Berklee College of Music's Music Business and Management program, with instrument major in violin. I never thought I'd hear a response from them (how short-minded was I?) then a few weeks after I got scheduled for an audition and interview. It was really, really really really unexpected, I was rushed with all the stuff. I was only given a week before facing the admission faculty (I owe Mr. Hengky and Mr. Brian a lot!) So my father and I flew to Singapore and stayed in my aunt's apartment again. A few hours after we landed, we went to the School of the Arts, where the audition would take place.

Being brave is not my strongest suit but they told me that I was very calm-- the most relaxed participant they've met. I did a mistake and I smiled. I put my hands inside my pocket and my body just swayed around-- I never thought my body could have 'casual' conversation. I spoke with no hesitation, FINALLY.

One thing that made me feel relaxed was how T-shirt became the audition formal-wear. I love these people!

I was surprised by their reaction because I was often the most anxious one. They seemed to appreciate that. I was just an autodidact violin learners, with only a few number of classes taken in violin, but I somehow auditioned in front of them... I played in front of the dean faculty of admission of Berklee, who could've walked away so easily in the middle of anyone's performance. 
I did the aural test as well-- thankfully four years in ABRSM Classical Piano training came in handy, although I still forgot some of the part. 

Once I walked out the audition room, I felt so, empowered (I really mean that word). There was actually wind breezing all over my place (it was somehow possible, since the school was not really -indoor- at all). All the insecurities, anger towards those bullies I faced for almost three years, seem nothing to me. Yes, I failed to live up to other people's expectations, and I do not feel sorry now-- I feel thankful that they've felt that way instead. It is my fuel, so I can go somewhere.

Did I learn something? A lot.

I discovered that it is, my one true love. It is my passion.
Throughout my performing experience, I did not hang out with the other cast or orchestra members as expected. Same thing always happened when I was on the other group. I was often left. My parents seemed to be concerned about that-- which made me feel upset. The fact that they noticed such thing, strike my heart and the wound was left untreated. But did I quit? Have I ever thought of skipping one rehearsal? There was always something greater than my fear, shame and anger. It is one thing that I'd possibly exchange for my legs, which I won't use for running or playing soccer. One thing that I'll definitely do if it is going to be the last thing I do. One thing that I want to share with whoever I'll spend the rest of my life with. One thing that will always call me for whoever I am. It is what comes in and out of my head when I feel sick. It is what makes me happy-- a cliche but it is a truth.

Also, I learned that I am capable of doing things, after all. I was finally able to let my weight off, to let all the worries about 
what happens next. Berklee was a huge deal. Yes. I wonder if I could get accepted or not, but since I could not pay the application fee, I would never even know. Ever. It surprised me that it did not bother me. Finally! No regret! I was just relieved that I tried. That's all I needed. 

It is kind of dream deferred for now. But for any traces I left, convergence is the key word to describe them. The reasons of me doing things, are hugely affected by my passion. I just take the longer road-- hey nothing happens in instant.

Season X

Favorite auditions:

  • Amy Yakima (Jazz)

Hands down to this audition that blew all the auditions who were previously on the top of my list (yup it's officially my new #1 audition). Amy Yakima, as a person, is very likeable. She reminds me of Melanie Moore; her joyous smile, humbleness and what they both wore for the audition, Amelia Lowe; for being an early standout and the pale skin, and unique looks. Throughout the series I saw her more resembling Alison Holker whenever she danced, who is known to be the show's greatest female dancer. 

Speaking about the dance though, WHERE DID SHE COME FROM?! She changed her center during the turns, crazy extensions and the emotion! The climax (.."desespoir" moment) was right-on. Many jazz and contemporary dancers throw too many techniques making the dance looks a little too over the top but this audition was the absolute combination of techniques and emotion. This audition, again, reminds me of Melanie Moore's and Amelia Lowe's. Indeed, very memorable. 

  • Caleb Brauner (Contemporary)

I have a faith that a TV show always brings out personality. Thank goodness it's true. This guy named Caleb, in my opinion, is the biggest personality this season. That's my nerd. I hope he'll return next season.

  • Tommy Tibball (Contemporary)

I have an absolute joy watching him. He would've been my favorite male contemporary dancer this season if he hadn't been cut after ballroom round in Vegas and made it through to the Top 20. The feet, though. The feet. I agreed with Nigel that his remind me of Jakob Karr's and Billy Bell's. Please return next season! 

  • Jeremy Rodriguez (Salsa)

Being a brother of a sister who was about to do the biggest audition in her life but something went wrong-- in this case, her salsa partner could not come for the audition, there was nothing else to do but to help. How did he help his sister? He took the position as her sister's new salsa partner and learned the routine only for three hours. Three hours, people. Geez. Cool brother is cool. It's too bad that Jeremy is under age, and his sister did not make it to the Top 20. I am beyond excited to see him and his sister, Katlyn, return next season. 


Here are my favorite routines:

Amy Yakima & Jasmine Mason - Jazz routine by Sonya Tayeh

Top 20 Opening Routine by NappyTabs

Makenzie Dustman & Paul Karmiryan - Jazz by Sean Cheesman

Mariah Spears & Carlos Garland - Contemporary by Stacey Tookey

Amy Yakima & Fik Shun - Hip Hop by NappyTabs

Top 17 - Group Routine by Sonya Tayeh & Christopher Scott (AGAIN!)

Malece Miller & All-star Marko Germar - Contemporary by Sonya Tayeh

Makenzie Dustman & Paul Karmiryan - Hip Hop 

Amy Yakima, Paul Karmiryan, Fik-Shun, Aaron, Alexis, Jasmine and Tucker - Contemporary by Bonnie Story

Makenzie Dustman & Paul Karmiryan - Contemporary by Mandy Moore

Aaron Turner & Jasmine Harper - Hip Hop by NappyTabs

Amy, Makenzie, Malece, Jasmine, Hayley and Jenna (Top 6 Girls) - Contemporary by Stacey Tookey

Paul Karmiryan & Hayley Erbert - Contemporary by Dee Caspary
Officially known as the two of the most physically-beautiful dancers on the show.

Aaron Turner & All-star Melinda Sullivan - Tap

Fik-shun & All-star tWitch - Hip Hop
Naw. "Like tWitch and tWich Jr.!"

Amy Yakima & All-star Robert Roldan - Contemporary by Stacey Tookey

The performances above were actually just 'regular' performances. By regular, I mean, just extraordinary as usual. This season's breakthrough concept was what made season 10 a stand-out. This was something fresh-- no other show in television has done it before. The show brought All-stars back, which already happened since season 7, and the All-stars were the ones choreographing each of their partners. Here are some standout performances from the All-star/Choreographer week (the Top 8 week)

Paul Karmiryan & All-star Comfort - Hip Hop

Jenna Johnson & All-star Mark Kanemura - Pop

But the best of all, the pairings that happened after the planets were aligned:

Amy Yakima & All-star Travis Wall - Contemporary

Not only the best routine of the week, but the best of the season!

P.S. I got a lot of Instagram likes, and a couple of retweets and favorites from this year's SYTYCD dancers (especially from my favorite this year, Amy, Paul and Makenzie) woop woop.


Death of someone I loved. Somehow world can be cruel to me that happened again. Cory Monteith, famously known for his role as Finn Hudson, on Glee, my favorite TV show of all time, was found dead in a hotel in Vancouver last July 13. I could not understand. He had so much going on--good things, in his life so why would he be taken away so fast? He was supposed to marry Lea in a few weeks time. The inspiration coming out from him must go on forever. It is deeply devastating me to know that after four years, he is gone. He is a huge loss to our generation-- in which I believe that we gradually learn to accept ourselves and others more than the past generations. 

I knew him from Glee, on the very first episode. Both Cory and his character, Finn, have touched me so deeply. Those who have seen the pilot episode as well need no more explanation why he simply was meant to be the individual that we loved. Words are not just enough to tell. 
Having experience to be bullied as a kid for quite a while, I wish there were more men like them when I was in the darkest shades in my life. 
What was mostly seen on the surface was the character Finn Hudson being the center of the group of misfits on Glee. However there were more than just it. I was so lucky that I got to discover Cory's past. Multiple school dropouts, started smoking and drinking at such young age. It was all dark. He was set to be a failure. It all changed after he moved to his mother's friend house in Vancouver who were in recovery from addiction. What highlighted the biggest turning point in his life was when he was exposed to the arts; acting, by his teacher at age of 19. Failed auditions over and over. Jobs after jobs. Small roles after small roles. He eventually landed himself to Glee and to wherever he had been. Against all odds, Cory made it through. 
The lesson we all could learn beneath the tall, awkward, Canadian and actor who plays drum, is that it is all about perseverance; we can always get back up. He went to hell back and forth-- he always succeeded. 
With him taking the midnight train going anywhere now, I am grateful that I met him. I am inspired by him, to say that it's okay to not knowing where to go. We all made mistakes but still, it does not hurt to say we were wrong. Perseverance is what matters. Get back up, always. Our lives can head to a better side like Cory's or Finn's. We can. 

"Don't Stop Believing" was one of his very first songs to be sung for Glee, and his last song as well. We start with what we have to, and end with remembering how we started. There you go, don't stop.

I will never forget how much he always put himself to the arts. I, as a person who loves arts since I was small, have often imagined myself still pursuing the arts somehow things happened along the way and I took the wrong path. His portrayal of a story of a teenager in a quandary regarding out future, gave strength to every cell in my body. 

Going to miss you, Cory. Do not forget to smile back at us.

To all Gleeks out there, let us be cherished about the presence of this very wonderful human being. Tears aside, let's celebrate what he has been through and accomplished. We will see him again. He'll say, "sorry if I hadn't been around, there's a good explanation to that."

To all those who care about Cory, especially in Canada, please donate whatever amount you can to Project Limelight, a project which Cory had times to work with to help kids in Vancouver pursuing the arts. Cory wanted to help kids who love the arts. 

Thank you, Cory. Rest in Peace, big guy.


棉兰, 我到了!

I have only been in Medan once-- around seven or eight years ago for a one day transit before I went to Penang for ear issues. It was different Medan back then. I never encountered a traffic congestion and too many private vehicles on the street. 

The purpose of going here is actually to attend my relative's wedding. As a family reunion as well. Here is what I discovered in Medan:

The food here are relatively the similar food you find in Chinese areas in Jakarta; pork, noodles and fish soup. All Indonesian-Chinese (Peranakan) is likely to exist here. It won't be too alien for your tongue. Everything just tastes better here. Not to mention the price. One bowl of beehoon with duck meat (bihun bebek) is around 50,000 --twas a huge portion, though. Gile!
My favorite was; Babi Panggang Karo (Karonese Roasted Pork)
Some culinary travel tips: have someone who is familiar in getting around the city guided you; there are so many eating spots that offer food at its best, at reasonable price (they are often not seen from the main roads. You are more likely to get the standard price, so you'll be able to save up)

Nih, my favorite: Babi Panggang Karo

(Above) Bihun Ikan, (Below) Chiong Fan 


We are one big freaking family. It was too bad that we were separated by seas. Ada yang di Jakarta, di Australia, Pekan Baru dan tak terkecuali di Medan, which is where my grandparents (alias the first generation) grew up. My relatives that I visited in Medan were of my late grandmother's only brother descendants (I am supposed to call him, kukong)-- yang semuanya pada bisa bahasa Hokkien sedangkan saya tidak huhu. 
As I mentioned before, one of the reasons we went to Medan was to attend a relative's wedding. It was the wedding of the eldest grandchild of kukong-- the son of my father's closest cousin, and my ... um, let's just refer him as my relative. Anyway it was the first wedding of the third generation (us, the grandchildren) from kukong's side so it was definitely awaited and celebrated hugely. 
Speaking about family reunion, obviously everyone got to have conversation with each other, in which I did not have any conversation or whatsoever (boo me, alright) since most of them speak in Hokkien T_T and I barely understood any of them except when they talked about family history and family tree. That, I understood, because I learned them in advance wayyyy before I went to Medan. You know, curiosity drove me to those questions. It was a long history and big family tree though. But it was fun spending the time with them. And we definitely took SO many photos together. By "many", I mean, many. There was once a time when my kima (grandmother's sister) posed Gangnam Style and Cherrybelle for the photo. Ha. That was, Awesome! 

Duren Medan

Ko Wilson is a married man! Congrats!

The Places
We visited Berastagi and Tjong A Fie mansion. Did not get to go to Toba Lake, unfortunately.

Kosakata & Arti Baru
Atret = Mundur
Doorsmir / Doorsmeer = Cuci Mobil
Paja = Pasar
Pare = Ikan Pari
Tempel (Ban) = Tambal (Ban)

Teh Pahit Dingin = Es Teh Tawar
Teh Tong = Teh Manis

Speaking of traveling to Medan, here are more tips or warning from me, yang masih amatir (ha):
1. Medan is not a tourist city so; hotel bagus bisa dihitung dengan jari, tidak banyak tempat wisata yang 'wah' dan otomatis harga yah harga lokal bukan harga turis.
2. For those who thought that Toba is not so far enough from Medan, ha ha me too.
4. Smoking in public is a very public thing to do even in air-con room.
5. No need for addressing any complains about the Polonia airport, since the newly-built one will be opened soon: Kualanamu. In Soekarno-Hatta and Polonia airport, I got to see the ads about the Kualanamu airport-- so excited to see the design, the layout, and obviously new system in the airport that (I hope) will be more, idk, 'welcoming'

World Scholar's Cup 2013

Just last May 18th to 19th, I participated in World Scholar's Cup 2013 in Global Jaya Int'l School. As a member of Torchbearers, school's English club, this event was the most awaited one as it became our final goal, to be accomplished at the end of year 11 before we may part our ways being busy as grade 12 students. 

We encountered many students from other schools with *cough* godly-high *cough* sophisticated speaking skills (English). They are educated holistically so they are prone to think outside the box. Yet they are very confident. They are frickin' IB students. Come on.
My team had a breakdown on our first debate round, then I switched roles into 1st speaker then eventually got better-- until we won a debate round (read: I won my First debate round)

What a joy. I never faced any competitive debate before and I had to, for this event-- and I won my first debate round!  

We did only want to participate. In fact, it was not mentioned in our goal that we wanted to win something. However, we exceeded. Six of us, who joined the event, won medals and we are qualified for a global round in Dubai in this upcoming June~

Here are some awards that I earned, individually and as a team:
  • Honorable Mention for Top Teams in Scholar's Bowl 
  • Honorable Mention for Top Individuals in Arts Scholar's Challenge
  • Bronze Medalist in Top Individuals in Current Affairs Scholar's Challenge 
  • Honorable Mention for Top Individuals in Special Area Scholar's Challenge
  • Honorable Mention for Top Teams in Collaborative Writing 
  • Honorable Mention for Top Teams in Scholar's Challenge
  • Bronze Medalist for Top Rookie Teams
  • 9th Place, earning Silver medal, in All-Round Top Teams, qualifying for Global Round in Dubai
My fellow friends won more awards than me. Congrats to them as well!
I would like to thank:
- Mr. JC
- Ms. Mariza and the finance dept of the school
- Fellow Torchbearers who have taught, given advices and good example of how to speak in public
- Mr. Daniel Berdichevsky, Mr. Zac Ellington, Mr. Junhyung, Mr. Gautham and all the WSC team
- Global Jaya Int'l School 
- All the participants from other schools for being so inspiring and awesome

Who cares if I go to Dubai or not. Knowing that I deserve to be in the same room with other scholars from all around the world, is so flattering.

I would definitely recommend this event to even younger students from any schools because this is a very fun event! I mean it. There are no pressures in winning, and the Alpaca-in- Chief, Mr. Daniel Berdichevsky, and the whole WSC team are very friendly and humorous. I am now friends with two of the WSC team, including the awesome Alpaca-in-Chief himself, on Facebook lol

The ones that always made the day: Mr. Daniel Berdichevksy (the Alpaca-in-chief) and  Mr. Zach Ellington 
Mr. Daniel, the Binus Serpong rep, Mr. JC and Lord Quacksomething

The Alpacas. Pwaa.

The medals I earned!

Andrea Bocelli - Live in KL

I lived my sogno last May 5th 2013. I met the love of my life in Kuala Lumpur mwihihi. 
Second chance, does exist!
Dua tahun lalu, di bulan yang sama ketika ga dapet tiket nonton Andrea Bocelli, aura negatif memancar kayak aurat Julia Perez. Obviously I asked "Fucking Why?!" Did I cry? Of course, I was beyond devastated knowing that it could be the only chance. Here are some tweets that reflect how I felt:

Ho ho. This is embarassing. 

Putting the drama aside, as I said before, I made it! It was an Everest that I finally climbed till the top. I went to Kuala Lumpur (for me only, it costs less than the ticket for last year's concert-- supposedly less than 5 million rupiah). I skipped Monday with a permission by the way, which was one of the review day for semester 2 exam. Nobody brought the topic about me skipping school to see Andrea Bocelli in class so I suppose no one knew.

Skip school, checked.
Here are some pics that I took:

Accompanied by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and choir, Andrea Bocelli sang both opera and 'pop-opera' songs. There were several artists joining him, such as a soprano, Sabina Cvilak, guitarists duo, Carisma and female classical quartet, the Div4s. Some of the songs sung before the intermission were from the opera in which he used to perform, a famous Verdi's opera song, and a very old classic Italian opera-- Funiculi Funicula and there were songs, that I frankly never heard of (not a hater, just never heard of, as for the clarification) 

After the intermission, he began to perform his latest cover singles from his newest album, Passione. For your information, Passione compiles love songs from Latin America and Europe. Some of the songs that he performed while playing the piano (ah, I love him) were Love in Portofino, La Vie en Rose and Quizas Quizas Quizas (supposedly a duet with J.Lo. Thank goodness she was not there). You know what it means-- Andrea's singing in different language, again! I got to listen to him singing in not just Italian, but French and Spanish! 

Then towards the end, he performed his famous 1990s songs such as Canto Della Terra (my favorite!), Con Te Partiro (my favorite!), and finally Nessum Dorma (MY FAVORITE!)

Although it was prohibited, I recorded some performances (I must've been really dumb if I didn't) and going to upload it on YouTube. I recorded all the 5 performances mentioned before, but not Nessum Dorma :( I ran out of space in my camera's memory card.

I felt so relieved that I did not have to wait much longer. I did not have to grow old and be rich to see him. I have always imagined that I would watch him next to my partner-- shedding tears just like those people I saw on his "Live in Tuscany" or "Live in Central Park" crying. I just had to be patient and I did wait. All the waiting and the desperation-- it all was paid off. 

It's a dream come true. It's a cliche but it truly was coming true. And I'm so glad that a part of me, right now, is still the same as the 10-year old me. Tonnes of thanks to dad for making it happened! Two of greatest men being around me that night-- nothing, as far as I could think of, beats that. 


By the way, before the day came, I was struck with a bunch of negative feelings. Again. Everyone in my class has shown a very significant progress, then why haven't I? I've learned that it took time for me but how long will it take? What if I really am, in fact, too slow for everything? What if I am meant to get stuck at something and not improving? I kind of feel traumatized over what has happened-- me getting stuck at one level for some reason so many times :| 
But the post-concert sudden realization became very important to me, as I was rejoicing that I'll get to that point that I've been expecting. Because it has happened; remember how much I love musicals that I finally got to see Wicked? or how much I wanted to see Andrea Bocelli and I finally got to see him, just 18 seat rows away? 

Les Misérables

Adapted from Victor's Hugo novel, of the same name, Les Misérables has been a long-running musical blockbuster since it was first opened in Paris in the 1980s, then followed with a massive success in London when produced by Cameron Mackintosh, who also produced its movie version. The sensation did not stop there. Instead, Les Misérables became one of the highest-earning broadway show in the U.S. Now, the movie hit the box office and the name continued to become a worldwide sensation. It is incredibly rare, in the film history, that a sung-through musical movie is filled by an outstanding ensemble cast of high caliber that killed the acting and singing part altogether; Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Aaron Tveit, Russel Crowe, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. Introduced on the musical movie, was rising young stars such as Isabelle Allen and Daniel Huttlestone. With Tom Hooper's direction and Cameron Mackintosh's huge contribution to musical theatre, Les Misérables movie has left 3more apparent imprint on people's heart. Thanks to Hooper's idea to record all the cast singing live during the shooting, instead of recording it before, then lip-sync during the shooting. The lack of cinematography or visual effects required the cast to really portray and pierce our soul when they had to-- and it worked!! (It's brilliant! Hats off to all of them)

I, as a musical-theatre enthusiast, (have been so since I was seven) as well as the fan of the music of Les Misérables, really anticipated this movie since the cast for the movie was announced just at the beginning of 2012. The moment I knew that Anne Hathaway, Jackman, Seyfried, Redmayne and Barks would join the movie version of one of the world's best musicals, I knew that they would kill it or else they'd die.

I have watched Jackman (on Oscar and Tony) and Anne Hathaway (Oscar and movie, Ella Enhanted) sang several times (and they both always killed it, as usual), Samantha Barks as Eponine in Les Mis 25th anniversary concert, Eddie Redmayne acted in several movies such as My Week with Marilyn or Yellow Handkerchief and not to mention Amanda Seyfried who played in Mamma Mia movie, which was a successful musical movie as well. Now wonder why I had deep faith in them that they would take everything by the storm.

(Do I have my favorite moment? No. I loved every second of it. For real. And I tears did almost stream down my cheek several times especially when Fantine, Eponine and Valjean were about to pass away... it's so unfortunate that it's always the tough thing to face ...and the finale though, I barely could breathe)

Comment on the cast;
  • I had no comment on Hugh Jackman (Jean Valjean). He won Tony. Through his live performances on Oscars and Tonys, no wonder he is an instant target for the movie. He can look good with beard, distinct voice and charisma. He is Tony's heartthrob for universe's sake! haha. 
  • Anne Hathaway (Fantine) did break my tear glands when I first watched the trailer several months ago, where she sang I Dreamed a Dream. She freaking killed it. I could not think of anyone else that could do any better job than her. That was the true-est performance that the world has ever witnessed. It was only a simple cinematography, barely used effects or awesome visual but the music and the high notes just strike the audience. Planets just appeared to be aligned when Anne and Tom Hooper found each other, just to make Les Misérables movie to happen.
  • Samantha Barks' (Eponine) rendition of On My Own was one of the most emotive ones I've ever heard. Not to mention that she sang it under the rain. The high note was bone-numbing; so cold, so heartfelt. It really signified that disregarding Taylor Swift to portray Eponine was one of the best decisions ever, and picking Barks for the role was the best that they could have done.
  • Eddie Redmayne (Marius Pontmercy) killed Empty Chairs at Empty Table. He also gave Marius a feel of romantic, while mostly Marius was portrayed with bad-ass and heroic attitude. That really signified that disregarding Nick Jonas to portray Marius was one of the best decisions ever, as well (yup, we don't expect Disney). His baritone voice solely enhances his charm, after his freckle and other gorgeous facial features.
  • Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) did a very extra-terrestial (read: out of this world) collaboration with Eddie Redmayne when it comes to be with a heart full of love. I love her passion and vulnerability in her voice. There were a couple of times when her voice became shaky but that made everything flawless because her feelings were just so real. Seyfried's beautiful bird-like soprano was finally exposed to the world. THANKS, HOOPER.
  • I don't care if Russel Crowe (Javert) really can sing or not but what matter to me is that he was portraying Javert. That alone took more than training. In my eyes, he did really tremendous job. In response to everyone's joke about Crowe: there are many other people who can't actually sing but somehow got famous, that you guys can joke about. At least Crowe is a great actor and he made himself famous through his movies, meanwhile some took advantage of YOLO, boobies, sex tapes.
... Along the way, Les Mis has celebrated its 10th and 25th anniversary. It has been celebrated in not just one, but at least a dozen of countries around the world. That alone, is already a remarkable achievemtn for a musical theatre. We shall wait for its 50th anniversary ;)


Huzzah! A new year to live on is here! I had one of the best times of my life and I was beyond happy for being able to spend the last days of 2012 in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. Look it up on Google and you can already discover what it is. No explanation needed about the city. Well-developed. Rich in history and culture. It is one of those vibrant cities along the famous Yangtze river. I am so glad my dad let me join the trip/camp.

The best part of joining the trip here, is that I got to experience a homestay! I passed 2012 with my family host, and especially my homestay host, Bing qian-- I am almost 11 months younger than him. We have several things in common: 
1) Mando-pop, in which both of us listen to Lee Hom and Jay Zhou (google them). We got to spend the New Year's Eve with watching them, and other Chinese-Taiwanese artists performing live on TV until the countdown began. 
2) Calligraphy, in which he is very awesome at, meanwhile I have an interest learning it. And he has cool calligraphy books too! Wish I could photocopy them while I had the chance to do so.
3) TV Series and Anime, in which we both love Detective Conan =) By the way, one thing did surprise me; Bing qian's favorite actor is Wentworth Miller. 

..anyway, putting the talks about it aside, I had great times exploring the city as well with fellow campers, who apparently, came from different places in Indonesia; Palembang, Bali, Tasikmalaya, Solo, Medan and many more! 

Here are several pictures I took:

Sunlight was very rare here.
The one on the right is Bing qian, my home-stay host. He's in senior high school on prep for final exam. He was really good-natured and thoughtful. Not to mention that his family was very warm-hearted. I felt so welcomed and I am going to miss them. Can't wait to return to Wuhan and meet them again someday!
"..if you don't see this clock, you don't wish to visit Wuhan"

Jianghan Rd, one of the famous shopping area in Wuhan

New Year's eve at Yangtze riverside
January 1st 2013: make dumplings

January 1st 2013: see Yangtze River bridge no. 2

January 1st 2013: with Bing Qian and his father

January 1st 2013: I miss childhood

Fellow campers from Bus #3!!


... A couple of problems:

They cancelled the trip to Yichang, where I could've visited the famous Three Gorges and the dam, because of the weather. I would be just fine with it if they were the one to explain but they did not. So it was a huge disappointment. They had no sense of being responsible for that particular matter, knowing that visiting the Three Gorges was one of the main reason I joined the camp. I lost my chance. 

That's too bad.

At first, I was offered Hubei and Hunan camp. As I looked at booklet Hunan camp, Zhangjiajie was the only place I knew-- I did not know the rest. In comparison to Hubei camp, they offered a home-stay programme and there were more places that I would love to see. So I decided to go to Hubei instead, although Hunan and Hubei are next to each other. 
Little did I know, Willis, who was on the same bus with me told me that some would leave on 7th because they would go to Zhangjiajie. Apparently, some requested and paid additional fee for two nights trip to Zhangjiajie by train from Wuhan. I could've extended my stay to visit Zhangjiajie in Hunan, if I were persistent enough-- unfortunately, not much gut. I had to pay more, booked plane ticket to return to Jakarta and many more. Everything was covered prior to our arrival at Hubei. Things were prone to go wrong, yet I had to manage all those things in just two days. I wish I had known about it earlier. Again, I lost my chance. 

That's too too too too bad.