Road To Java Jazz Festival (JJF) 2015

Dear all, how are you? I hope you’re doing okay in managing the unbearable weather in the capital. Well, I gladly announce that my last three weeks have been extraordinary. I simply still pinch myself just to make sure that what was happened at March 7, 2015 was real. Do I already get your attention? Okay then, what if I told you that I performed in the Java Jazz would you believe that? But guess what? Hell yeah I DID!

I was as shocked as you when my friend slash pianist slash conductor, Rizka, called me when I just arrive in the office to ask me whether I (as part of the Gita Bhuana 37 choir) could perform with The Diplomats Band in the JJF. I remember that I pause for a while try to chew that request in my lunatic brain before I finally said “Yes I can”.  After giving her the answer I finally notice that it was only three freaking weeks to the D-Day! Not to mention it was now only me and my deputy director in our busy sub-directorate. Well okay, those were the cons! The pros were much satisfying, like, OMG, who does not know about JJF? It’s the one of biggest jazz festivals in the world or probably in the largest in Asia! Thousands of people were dying to see the world class performers during the event. And we were there not only to watch, but to perform and entertain the crowd! UBER COOL!

Enough with the pros and cons, here comes the hardest part, the rehearsal! Since the clock was ticking, we had to maximize our best effort and time to rehearse. I told you bluntly that our rehearsal was … wait for it … hardcore. Well, we usually start rehearsing at 7.30 pm to almost midnight. The trigger of it was because the approaching time, the duration we perform (it was one hour!), and the number of songs (they were ten!).  So, there were the band and the choir. There were moment when the choir was the lead singer, but there were also moment where we were the backing vocals. This decision was wisely taken to prevent the fatigue once we were on stage.  As part of the choir, we had seven songs to accomplish. They were Quizas Quizas Quizas, Ayam Den Lapeh, Indonesiaku, Arirang, Fate (OST Full House), Song for Peace, and Just the Two of Us. I was only familiar with four of them, and clueless by the rest. And fortunately it was not only me who felt that way. So, in order to keeping up, we conducted private rehearsal in the weekend.


Due to our hectic schedule during and after office hours, some of us were sick and losing their voices. But JJF knew nothing about mercy. In order to return the voices, my sick friends then used the shotgun, the kencur. This traditional herb plant was long heard as powerful medicine to maintain the voices and as dry cough best enemy. Some of them wildly chew the kencur, some of them decided to process it first into simple extract. Both ways win anyway.

And we finally reached the D-Day. The mystical March 7, 2015. We arrived in Kemayoran at 4pm, two hours before our performances. We then ate, wondering around for a while, did a mini sound check, and we went up to stage!

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I could not know how to describe my feeling when I was on stage. Seeing number of people passing by and finally approaching our stage made me nauseous. I felt like a robot when trying to keep smiling while my stomach knew better. But then I heard the cue from the drum and the piano, the intro was started, and there was definitely no way back. So, I kept on singing, a little dancing, and smiling to the audience. I could recognize a face or two, but most of the time I was blurred by the light. Sixty minutes felt like a glimpse when I finally realize it was over. I heard people clapping and cheering. As we returned to back-stage, some of the crew stages said that we were amazing. And suddenly our dear Sekdilu 37 friends joined us in the back stage and yelling happily to us. At that moment I was beyond happy and run out words. I felt relieve and shed a silence tears of joy.

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Well then, that was one night to remember. All of our hard work was finally paid off. Thank you the awesome The Diplomats band, you guys are fantastic! And for the Gita Bhuana choir, I love you guys! Let’s do more in the future.

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And that will be my goodbye for this sentimental post. So, did you see our performance? If you didn’t please do enjoy the flow of photos here. And once I got the video of that night I will definitely share! Till next time you all!



Short Study in Clingendael, The Hague

Morning my all fabulous readers, how are you? Did you have enough rest during the weekend? Or do you craving for more? LOL. Well I recently found myself as a second type of person. I cherish weekend and every day-off counts!

Okay, enough with the babbling, I should start telling you about what I did in The Netherlands. So, there was an agreement between Clingendael Diplomatic Institute and Centre for Education and Training of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Pusdiklat) which agreed on sending Indonesian young diplomats to study in Clingendael Diplomatic Institute in The Hague. Since the seats were only available for 22 people only, Pusdiklat simply registered the top 22 from the 59 young diplomats. And there I was, feeling quite lucky again by the chance of returning to Europe.1496195_598177933570518_1826956893_o

The program itself was from January 13 to March 6, 2014. So by the time I wrote this post, I’m already enjoying the traffic in the capital. Hooorah! Well, back to the program (seriously, i had a lot of things popping up in my head, and I have the sudden urge to write it down, not nice, sorry sorry), since it was a diplomatic training, I thought that most of the program was discussing about international relations, here is the thing, I’ve never been so wrong 😀 Well yeah, there were some classes about international relation, the regional up and down, but there were also negotiation class where we could practice how to negotiate, and showed up our true colors! Thumbs up also should be given for the lecturers. They were so qualified and blunt, something that quite difficult to find here :p There were also some breathtaking site visit to some institutions that even in my wildest dream I’d get the chance to step my foot in, like NATO, Peace Palace, ICJ, ICC, OECD, and many more you name it! Oh I almost forget to mention our Dutch Water Management class. My oh my, with all those sophisticated technology no wonder they can even manipulate the water flow so they can prevent the flood. Brilliant!

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At first I thought that 2 months study could not considered as short study, but when the program started, wuuuuuz, I was like entering a time machine, time flies and suddenly our two lovely coordinator, Anne and Henriette, were taking us to a warm dinner in Shabu-shabu, The Hague downtown.

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Ah, thank you again, Dear God and universe for all the chance, experience, and whatever comes with it. I have been blessed, and I’m grateful for that.

I have so much to tell you guys about what I did in Europe, I really do. I promise I’ll force my lazy ass to write more, because where’s the fun of having experience by not sharing it? Talk to you later my loyal readers, and have a nice day!!!!

2013 In a Glance – Uber Late Post!

Morning readers! Happy belated new year! I hope you guys welcome 2014 as excited as I am. Nevertheless, 2013 has just went away, I have no doubt that last year was one of the important years in my timeline. There were excessive moments in 2013, the good and the bad, which makes me stronger and better. And here is some summary from my 2013:

1. January

  • In the beginning of 2013, i officially moved to Jakarta to start my 8 months diplomatic training. I was still remember the anxious feeling of that time.

2. February

  • I started my diplomatic school training (Sekdilu) in Jakarta. It was such a great things since i got the chance to meet other 58 brilliant young diplomats (in the making). LOL. And since then, we’re labeled as Sekdilu batch 37 till now.

3. March

  • The “late” opening of Sekdilu 37 in Gedung Pancasila, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But hey, better late than never, right?
  • I force my lazy ass to joined Fun Running Prambors. I’m not a fan of doing a sport but you can count on me for watching! Surprisingly, the event was really fun. In the beginning, the committee suddenly showered us with color powder, hahaha, so we run in mix color!

4. April

  • April was mostly about study, and also we keep on practicing on our choir since we’ve already scheduled to some events in the near future.
  • We celebrated Kartini Day by wearing traditional costume, looking good, girls!


5. May

  • Sekdilu 37 went to Surabaya! Yay! We got the chance to visit Madura as well and experience the famous Suramadu bridge, Bromo mountain, Sampurna house, KRI Dewaruci and also TKI training class. It will be hard to forget Surabaya since we had many memories and class performances!


  • Hey you! Happy bday my precious!

6. June

  • My favorite month in a year! June means birthday! And birthday means presents and surprise. Thank you all for the gifts and the cake and the mid-night lilies :*


7. July

  • July was 2013 fasting month. And i went through it with my Sekdilu 37 fellow. I also sometimes spent my “ngabuburit” time by going to Bendungan Hilir market to find delicious snack and food.

8. August

  • I bought myself a new gadget. It feels nice spoiling yourself with your very own money after a long and tiring work.
  • Went back home to celebrate Eid Al Fitr with my family. One of my favorite holiday at all times.
  • Gita Bhuana choir was appointed to sing in the opening and closing 2nd Congress of Indonesian Diaspora in JCC Jakarta. We could see our president, minister of foreign affairs, and other very important people in extremely close distance.

9. September

  • Sekdilu 37 finally graduated! Our graduation ceremony was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs, and what made me even happier, my mother and my brother managed to come as well in very short notice.
  • My brother’s birthday
  • Sekdilu 37 successfuly held Salam ASEAN in one of Jakarta most famous landmark, Monas! We also make a new world record as the longest ASEAN Handshake! Splendid!

10. October

  • In October, i was appointed to be Liason Officer for Peru for the APEC event in Bali. That was stunning. My knowledge before the APEC in escorting the high level was, lets say, zero. I was continuously asking about this and that. Fortunately, things were ended up perfectly. And i have no doubt in trying this again.
  • October also means abroad internship. And where is the perfect internship for young diplomat? Yep, you’re right, we were sent to the Indonesia representative office in four countries, Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. I was sent to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with my other 9 colleagues.

11. November

  • Half of this month was still spent in Kuala Lumpur. One month internship was quite fast and hurry. I do wish the next batch will have at least 2 months internship abroad.
  • One of GenkGonk member, Riri, finally got married. So some of us flew to Malang to attend the birthday. Such a warm and bonding experience. It remained us how fast time flies. Happy wedding Riri!


12. December

  • I celebrated new year eve with my friends in Jakarta. We marched to Bundaran HI with thousands of people. We then saw fireworks and exhibitions, not to mentions, the new media darling, the governor of Jakarta, Jokowi. That was fun!

Well, then, so we can bluntly conclude that almost most of my 2013 was about Sekdilu 37. But i also manage to spent time with my GenkGonk, and also my dearly cheri. Well, i guess it’s a wrap. I hope this year will bring joy, blessing, and happiness. 2014, bring it on!!!

Wisuda Sekdilu 37

Tepat pada tanggal 13 September yang lalu saya kembali menjalani wisuda. Kali ini merupakan wisuda kelulusan Sekdilu (Sekolah Dinas Luar Negeri). Ya, setelah 8 bulan saya mengikuti pendidikan Sekdilu, akhirnya saya berhasil menuntaskannya. Kami semua, Sekdilu 37, yang berjumlah 59 orang berhasil lulus. Hal ini sangat menggembirakan mengingat diklat Sekdilu kami tidaklah mudah. Berbagai macam materi baik yang bernuansa HI hingga ke materi cara makan yang baik dan benar.  Saya menyaksikan sendiri bagaimana rekan-rekan saya terutama yang bukan berlatar belakang HI bekerja keras terutama menjelang ujian. Pengajar kami pun bervariasi dan bukan hanya dari kalangan akademisi. Pernah terbayang bisa bertatap muka langsung dengan Anies Baswedan? Check! Dengan Wimar Witoelar? Check! Dengan Agus Yudhoyono yang berseragam? Check! Dengan Jokowi? Check! Dengan Jusuf Kalla? CHECK! *bangunDariPingsan* Dan tidak tertinggal pula sederet diplomat senior super handal yang berkenan meluangkan waktunya untuk mengajar kami. Pernah minder juga loh, dengan ilmu yang dimiliki para pengajar dan teman-teman saya :p Work hard pays off. Nilai kelulusan Sekdilu tahun ini meningkat dan menyentuh angka 86,31, naik 2,8 poin dari dua tahun sebelumnya. Wow, sungguh suatu awal yang tidak buruk bagi kami sebelum memulai magang di Pejambon dan di luar negeri. Kepala Pusdiklat, Bapak Hazairin Pohan, pun juga turut gembira akan pencapaian kami ini.1236134_10200762415562622_1928839703_n


pose Salam ASEAN bareng Agus Yudhoyono, tau kan saya yang mana? :p

Bagaimana dengan saya? Alhamdulilah, saya yang sempat “murtad” dari jalur HI ke Manajemen bisa juga masuk ke jajaran 10 besar, saya berada di peringkat 7 :p Peringkat ini juga dicapai dengan cukup berdarah-darah dan sedikit bumbu keberuntungan, mengingat jarak antar peringkat sangat tuipiiis. Overall, wisuda berlangsung khidmat dan mengharu biru, terutama ketika Paduan Suara Wajib Eksis Gita Bhuana tampil dan menyanyikan Tanah Airku, tidak ada mata yang tidak berair! Semuanya larut dalam emosi, bahkan Pak Menlu juga nampak berkaca-kaca.



kartu nama jadul yang kudu segera diganti

Ah Sekdilu, begitu banyak kenangan yang dimiliki, begitu banyak kisah yang dapat dibagi. Baiklah, sementara mungkin baru ini yang bisa saya bagi. Cerita tentang kedatangan Mama dan Adek ke Jakarta akan saya ceritakan di tulisan selanjutnya. Selamat berhari Senin semuanya 😀

Gita Bhuana, Sekdilu 37 Choir

During my training as a diplomat in Sekdilu 37, I found some marvelous experience that I never had before. Not only we have to study the materials all day, but we also have the privilege to develop ourselves through extracurricular activities such as traditional dance, choir, and sport activities. The interesting thing is, it is mandatory for us to choose at least one extracurricular activity, so voila, I then register for the choir.

Having involved in the choir is way so much for me. During the early selection, I was included in soprano voice. Since the beginning, we learned to sing many songs, not only popular Indonesian songs, but also the traditional one, such as Yamko Rambe Yamko, a famous song from Papua. We usually rehearse twice a week, on Monday and Wednesday night. In the middle of semester one, our trainer, Rizka, divided us into two groups, the regular choir, and the Gita Bhuana. Later on, the Gita Bhuana is often invited to attend some occasion in our future offices in Pejambon, Jakarta.

In the beginning of last June, we were invited to Pejambon for participating by entertaining in the Beasiswa Seni dan Budaya (BSBI) event. BSBI is the scholarship given by Indonesian government for selected foreign applicants to study Indonesian culture and art. For this occasion, we have to prepare since a month before. That long preparation was because the committee asked us to sing BSBI anthem, Indonesiaku, which we were not familiar with.  On the D-Day, since we were required to wear Jakarta traditional costume, we then had to get ready since 4.15 in the morning to go to the beauty salon to get our hair done. But all the sacrifice was paid off. The committee and the scholars were truly entertained by us, and we also got the chance to see our brilliant foreign affair minister with our very own eyes. Yaaay!


Gita Bhuana in action


some of the member during the rehearsal

Well, that was my brief story about my expression as an amateur singer in choir. It was always refreshing the joy that you can get by trying something outside our comfort zone. Have a good day, peeps. 🙂600157_10151743115580555_344627924_n

Menggantang Asa Bersama Kemlu (part 2)

*ini adalah post lanjutan dari post sebelumnya tentang awal mula saya diterima di Kementrian Luar Negeri (Kemlu)*

479834_475084859213160_794899450_nPaska dinyatakan lulus seleksi administrasi, saya pun berangkat ke Jakarta untuk mengikuti tes tertulis di PRJ Kemayoran. Sesampainya saya di bandara, saya terkejut mendapati salah satu senior saya di bangku kuliah, Paulina, ternyata sedang berada di bandara juga untuk mengikuti tes Kemlu sama seperti saya. Akhirnya saya memutuskan untuk menghampiri Paulina yang berada di terminal berbeda dengan saya. Ketika saya menaiki shuttle bus, saya mendengar nama saya dipanggil dan saya pun kembali terkejut melihat ada Ardhin, senior saya di kampus, yang juga akan ikut tes tertulis Kemlu. Merasa heran akan kebetulan tersebut, kami bertiga pun bersepakat untuk saling mengontak bila kami lolos ke tahapan-tahapan selanjutnya. Seleksi demi seleksi pun kami lewati, dan kami pun terus lolos hingga ke tahap terakhir. Malam sebelum tes wawancara substansi, kami bertiga berkumpul di kediaman Ardhin untuk belajar dan membahas isu terkini bersama-sama. Saya masih ingat bagaimana kami mengkondisikan kamar layaknya suasana tes wawancara.


Paulina, saya, dan Ardhin

Paska menghadapi rangkaian tes terakhir, panitia memberi tahu kami bahwa pengumuman hasil seleksi akan diberitahukan dua minggu dari hari tes. Mengingat tes diselenggarakan pada pertengahan November, kami pun berasumsi bahwa sebelum berganti bulan kami telah dapat mengetahui status kelulusan kami. Hari berganti hari, hampir setiap hari saya mengecek website Kemlu untuk melihat hasil kelulusan, namun berita bagus yang ditunggu-tunggu pun tak kunjung hadir. Sekitar tiga minggu paska tes, saya dan Ardhin sedang berjalan-jalan di salah satu pusat perbelanjaan di Yogya. Tiba-tiba saya mendapatkan pesan bahwa hasil ujian sudah dapat dilihat di website. Sontak saya memberitahu Ardhin dan kami berdua mengecek hasil bersama-sama. Ardhin pun memasukkan nomor registrasinya dan mendapati bahwa dirinya dinyatakan tidak lulus. Saya pun ikut lunglai setelah melihat bahwa saya juga tidak lulus. Kami berdua lalu terduduk lemas dan saling terdiam selama beberapa menit. Setelah berhasil berusaha tegar, kami mengontak teman-teman seperjuangan yang lain, ternyata tidak ada satupun dari mereka yang berhasil diterima di Kemlu. Hari berikutnya, saya mengirimkan email ke pusat saran Kemlu mengenai hasil akhir tersebut, betapa terkejutnya saya bahwa pemberitahuan status kelulusan itu tidak valid dikarenakan error dan kami para peserta seleksi diminta menunggu kembali.

Seminggu setelahnya, pada pukul 3 dini hari, saya pun iseng-iseng mengecek kembali website Kemlu. Ternyata pengumuman status kelulusan sudah terdapat disana. Saya memasukkan nomor registrasi sembari menutup layar laptop karena tidak berani melihat hasil yang sudah ada. Merasa konyol, sata pun membuka sedikit demi sedikit dan menemukan lima hruruf besar LULUS!! Saya pun segera memberitahu orangtua saya. Paginya, saya mengecek kabar Ardhin dan Paulina, ternyata mereka berdua pun lulus. Kami pun akhirnya mempersiapkan segala sesuatunya bersama-sama, bahkan kami memilih penerbangan yang berdekatan ketika kami harus hijrah ke Jakarta. Hingga sekarang, kami bertiga terus menjadi sahabat baik dan saling membantu dengan berbagai latar belakang ilmu yang kami miliki.


semacam bedol desa

Diterima menjadi calon diplomat di Kemlu merupakan salah satu hal terbaik yang terjadi di hidup saya. Dengan gelar MBA yang saya punya, sebenarnya saya memiliki pilihan karir yang lebih beragam ketimbang bila saya hanya bergelar sarjana ilmu politik. Saya dapat saja menggunakan ilmu manajemen saya untuk berwiraswasta, melamar ke berbagai perusahaan multinasional atau berusaha untuk menggeluti karir di bidang perbankan. Sebelum diterima di Kemlu, saya sudah hampir diterima di dua bank BUMN terbesar di Indonesia, dan satu bank swasta di Indonesia. Salah satu pertimbangan saya dalam memilih Kemlu adalah keinginan saya sedari dulu untuk terlibat di dalam suatu institusi dimana saya akan dapat secara aktif mengenalkan Indonesia ke dunia internasional.

Ketika telah diterima menjadi Kemlu, saya harus menjalani pelatihan Sekolah Dinas Luar Negeri (Sekdilu) selama 8 bulan dari bulan Februari hingga Oktober. Saat ini pelatihan telah berjalan hampir 4 bulan, selama ini kami yang berjumlah 59 diberi banyak materi yang berkaitan dengan isu domestik dan perkembangan luar negeri. Para pengajar yang didatangkan pun berasal dari berbagai bidang dan merupakan para ahli di bidangnya. Saya benar-benar harus menggali pengetahuan HI saya semasa kuliah S1 dahulu, seperti diplomasi, organisasi internasional, studi kawasan, dll. Kami pun dibekali tidak hanya substansi, namun juga tarian pergaulan internasional seperti jive, salsa, cha-cha, yang wajib dikuasai. Berbagai materi yang diberikan pun akhirnya membuat saya mengerti bahwa seorang diplomat memikul tanggung jawab yang sangat besar dalam mengemban tugasnya. Sebagai seorang representasi dari Indonesia, diplomat yang handal harus mampu menampilkan dan menguasai citra terbaik Indonesia.

Saya percaya, segala sesuatu terjadi karena adanya rencana lebih besar dibaliknya. Bila saya diterima di Kemlu pada tahun 2009, saya tidak akan menjadi bagian dari Sekdilu 37 yang mengagumkan ini. Meskipun baru berjalan 4 bulan, saya sudah merasa bahwa mereka yang terdiri dari berbagai latar belakang dan daerah seluruh Indonesia adalah keluarga yang sengaja dipilihkan dan dipersiapkan untuk menemani saya mengarungi masa depan.