A Month of Dance and Theatre in Bali
35th Bali Arts Festival June 15-July 13, 2013
The 35th Bali Arts Festival will take place June 15 – July 13, 2013.
More than 340 national and international performance groups will take to the stages of the Bali Arts Center in downtown Denpasar.
The Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports that foreign performing groups from the U.S.A., India, Korea and several European nations are scheduled to appear in presentations that will also include pioneering new collaborative efforts between Balinese and foreign artists.
The month-long festival will open with a traditional parade at which the Indonesian President traditional presides. After the parade on June 15, a formal grand opening ceremony will be held that same evening at Artha Candra Open Stage.
The 2013 Bali Arts Festival has adopted the theme of “Taksu” (inspiration or charisma) focusing on traditional art forms.
Ancient forms of classical Balinese dance will be resurrected during this year’s festival that will also feature culinary exhibitions, competitions, fashion shows, floral shows and displays of traditional handicrafts.
Local vendors will be selling traditional Balinese food including chicken and duck betutu, babu guling and lawar.
Commenting on the festival, the Bali chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace), bemoaned the failure of the Bali Arts Festival to become a fixture on the Island’s list of tourist activities. Characterized by poor promotion and the lack of even a formal website listing performance times and venues, attendance at shows by visiting tourists remain minimal.
Cok Ace who heads the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPP) said the festival would become part of the Board’s promotional program in 2013.
Show on Balidiscovery.com is the chairman of the PHRI-Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati.
In Bali it’s Capitalism First, the Environment Second
Bali Environmentalists Complain that Years of Careful Environmental Planning Sidelined by Presidential Agenda for Economic Development and APEC Summit
Bali Friends of the Earth (WALHI-Bali), Greenpeace and the Wisnu Foundation held a dialog on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Bali to discuss creating sustainable development model for Bali with an emphasis on village development.
The environmental activists joining the dialog were concerned that major infrastructure projects in Bali have caused significant damage to the Island’s eco-system.
As reported by The Bali Post, the elevated highway over the mangrove connecting Benoa-Ngurah Rai Airport-Nusa Dua and contracts granting development rights over publically-owned mangrove areas are seen to be threatening the future earning ability of those dependent on the Island's seaside eco-systems, such as Bali’s traditional fishing communities.
The chairman of the Wisnu Foundation, Made Suarnata, claimed that Indonesia is the third most bio-diversified country in the world after Brazil and the Congo. Suarnata, however, said bio-diversity is at risk due to injustices that exists in how Indonesia uses its natural resources, driven by capitalist forces that always leave the general public as victims.
The chairman of WALHI-Bali, Wayan “Gendo” Suardana, complained that the destruction of forested and sea areas in Bali and the resulting loss of bio-diversity have been legalized and legitimized by the government. Policymakers, he contends, justify these acts on the basis of the Master Plan for Acceleration of the Development of the Indonesian Economy (MP3EI) that is designed to bring direct short and long-term advantage to investors.
“Gendo” cited the case of the ongoing destruction of the Taman Hutan Raya (Tahura) Ngurah Rai Mangrove Forest by the construction of Bali’s new elevated toll road (JDP). Saddened by the condition of Bali’s increasingly threatened environment, ‘Gendo’ complained: “If you look at provincial zoning laws, the JDP is not included in that document. The original plan, in fact, includes a toll way from Benoa to Serangan Island.
However, because the JDP became part of the MP3EI and plans to prepare for the APEC Summit, the new ‘unplanned’ road was allowed to be built. The effect of all this is that all the time and energy spent in carefully preparing the provincial zoning rules (RTRWP 2009) was obliterated with a single presidential decision.”
The WALHI-Bali chairman accused the MP3EI of over-emphasizing the advancement of the tourism sector at the expense of the fisheries and agricultural sectors that are slowly disappearing form the Nation’s economy.
“Gendo” sounded a further warning: “What will be most destructive in the future are a number of large projects that have not been fully exposed to the public. There are plans to build a marina in South Bali with indications that a new island of reclaimed land will form part of the investment. This is also due to MP3EI that insists on promoting water-based and marine cruising tourism.”
He went on to tell of at least 102.47-kilometers of Bali’s beaches under threat of erosion spread across 140 different locations in Bali. In other words, some 23% of Bali’s 438.8-kilometer shoreline is being washed away. Efforts to address erosion are currently limited to only 64-kilometers of beaches.
“Gendo” reminded of how the Bali Environmental Agency undertook a study in 2011 that found 13 major beach areas were badly polluted in Bali including the major tourism areas of Kuta, Sanur, Mertasari, Serangan, Benoa, Soka Tabanan, Nusa Dua and Lovina.
Indonesia Come to the Big Screen
Indonesian Government Eager to Welcome Filmmakers to Indonesia
State News Agency Antara reports from Cannes, France that many international film producers are interested in undertaking film productions in Indonesia because of Indonesia’s rich diversity of culture and world heritage treasures, such as the ancient Buddhist temple of Borobudur.
Cokorda Istri Dewi from the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy said the government is welcoming the desire to undertake film productions in Indonesia by providing a range of incentives to lure filmmakers to Indonesia.
Cokorda Istri Dewi confirmed that many filmmakers came to the Indonesian pavilion operated by the Ministry at the Cannes Film Festival May 15-16, 2013.
Lorna Tee, a film producer and festival consultant active in Southeast Asia said Indonesia has outstanding natural beauty that includes mountains, beaches and historical sites.
Tee who helped produce the Indonesian film “Postcards from the Zoo” that featured prominently at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011, added: “Indonesia should be able to explore several areas of the country that can be promoted as shooting locations for international films.”
Don’t Forget to Flush
Many Bali Businesses and Hotels Refuse to Connect to Central Waste Water Treatment System
Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) says efforts are being made to urge hotels and restaurant to connect to a central sewage and wastewater treatment system in Bali.
The Denpasar Sewerage Development Project (DSDP), established at substantial public expense, is meeting resistance from local business who prefer to pump their wastewater into local ditches, septic tanks and the ocean rather than be burdened with the cost of a monthly sewerage bill.
Nyoman Sueta, chief of DSDP, said: “We are urging the mayor and regents to encourage more hotels and restaurants in their areas to take part in this wastewater management system. Roughly, now only 10 percent of the hotels in Bali are connected to the DSDP system, while others may have their own wastewater management installations or dump their wastewater into open waters.”
From an estimated 1,319 star-rated hotels, the DSDP records only 130 accommodation providers in Denpasar, Sanur and Kuta are connected to their system.
The DSDP has been on operation since 2008 and has a total of 8,467 customers, targeting to add 7,500 more customers in the current year. The majority of connections are to private households.
The cost of a monthly connection to the sewage system for a private household is Rp. 25,000 (US$2.50). Star-rated hotels could pay up to Rp. 100,000 (US$10) per room per night while restaurants are liable to pay Rp. 700,000 (US$70), depending on the establishment’s seating capacity.
The deputy chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), I Gusti Ngurah Suryawijaya, claims the current rate for a sewerage connection is too high for hotels and should be linked to actual occupancy instead of room totals.
Rai insists there is a strong desire to use the new sewerage systems, adding: “For hotel managements like us, the beach and the culture are the two most important assets of our businesses. We would never want to see our ocean polluted by waste. So please share with us the names and locations of the hotels that dump their wastewater into the sea, so that our association can reprimand them.”
He also pointed out that many star-rated hotels in Bali have their own wastewater treatment facilities with smaller properties using septic tanks.
The Bali Environmental Agency (BLH), meanwhile, said that treated wastewater from a number of hotels, hospitals and other businesses in Bali do not meat acceptable standards for reintroduction to oceans and streams.
Oh Captain! My Captain!
Preliminary Findings Blame Pilots for April Crash of Lion Air Flight in Bali
The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Board has issued a preliminary report surrounding the April 13, 2013, crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 on final approach to Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.
The preliminary conclusion of investigators laid the blame for the crash at errors made by the pilot and co-pilot who failed to follow standard instrument approach procedures.
The plane hit the water just meters short of the runway apron for Runway 9 while the pilots were attempting a non-precision instrument approach. No deaths were recorded among the 108 passengers and crew on board the airplane, but 9 passengers sustained serious injuries.
The weather at the time of the crash saw rain moving through the area but visibility still good. The almost new aircraft had no maintenance issues that would have affected its ability to fly.
The co-pilot on the flight had 1,200 hours of logged flight time while the captain-in-command had 15,000 hours of experience.
Analysis of flight data shows that 2.5 minutes prior to the crash the plane was flying at 1,600 feet heading for Runway 9 with winds of 6 knots from 120 degrees. 30 seconds later, one minute before impact, the co-pilot said he could no longer see the airport and 30 seconds later ground proximity warnings began sounding in the cockpit as the aircraft passed 550 feet above ground level.
Unable to see the runway, the co-pilot disengaged the autopilot. Only 9 seconds before impact did the Captain tookhe wheel. The Captain was heard ordering a “go round” missed approach one second before the plane hit the water.
Under the Volcano
Seven Indonesian Volcanoes Placed on ‘Alert’ Status
Seven volcanoes in Indonesia have been placed in the "alert" or “siaga” status by the Center for Vulcanology and Natural Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG).
The second highest of four warning levels given by the government to volcanoes, “siaga” or “alert” status is given when the level of seismic activity increases and explosions are regarded an imminent possibility.
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the chief of PVMBG, Surono, said, “most of the active volcanoes (covered by the alert) are located in North Sulawesi – Mount Soputan, Mount Karangetang and Mount Lukon.”
Four more mountains covered by the alert are Mount Ijen in East Java, Mount Rokatenda in East Nusa Tenggara, Mount Papandayan in Garut – West Java and Mount Sangiang Api in West Nusa Tenggara near Bima, Sumbawa.
All seven mountains remain under close surveillance by PVMBG.
The four levels assigned to all volcanoes in Indonesia from lowest to highest are normal or dormant, waspada or beware, siaga or alert. to Awas or Danger.
Surono said when and if a volcano will actually explode is difficult, if not impossible, to predict. A siaga status does not guarantee a large explosion will follow. But the issuance of a “siaga” status is meant to make local populations aware of a growing threat of a volcanic explosion.
At least two of the seven volcanoes on the current list pose a potential threat to aviation for Bali if a prolonged explosion were to take place.
Fuel Prices to Increase in June
Premium Gasoline in Indonesia to Cost 44% more in June
After a great deal of discussion and mixed signals, the Government of Indonesia has apparently resolved to increase the price of fuel in June to Rp. 6,5000 (US$0.65), an increase of Rp. 2,000 from the current price of Rp. 4,500 (US$0.45).
Diesel fuel will go up Rp. 1,000 to the new level of Rp. 5,500 (US$0.55).
The decision to go ahead with the long-expected price increase was announced by Indonesia’s newly appoint Finance Minister Chatib Basri, who still declined to specify an exact date in June when the price increase would take place.
The increase in fuel prices is widely seen as needed to reduce the financially crippling level of subsidization provided by the Government at the fuel pumps.
In exchange for eliminating a portion of the fuel subsidies the government has committed to spend Rp. 12.5 trillion (US$1.25 billion) on infrastructure projects, and education and poverty projects.
Local Lingo First
Leading Bali Academician Sees Balinese Language Training as Essential to Preservation of Island’s Culture
The Rector of Bali’s Teachers’ College (IKIP PGRI), Drs. I Made Suarta, has told the State News Agency Antara that the Balinese language forms an intrinsic part of Bali’s soul and charm (taksu) and, as such, cannot be allowed to fade into oblivion. Speaking at commencement ceremonies for IKIP PGRI on Friday, May 24, 2013, Suarta said, “Because of this, we hope the Balinese language is always preserved and spoken on the planet.”
He went on to stress that the role of the Balinese language in the daily life of the Balinese provides comfort and peace to its speakers.
To help safeguard the language of the Balinese people, Governor Made Mangku Pastika has introduced legislation requiring Balinese form a park of the Island’s educational curriculum from grade school until middle school.
Made Suarta explained how IKIP PGRI offers eight fields of study, one of which is the study of Balinese and Indonesian literature.
With the Governor’s new regulation, educators hope that Balinese will continue to exist and prosper by continually preparing qualified teachers for the Island grade and middle schools.
Of the 532 teachers graduated on Friday from IKIP PGRI Bali 114 had completed studies in Balinese and Indonesian literature.
The remaining other graduates from IKIP PGRI Bali included 224 obtain certificates in teaching and counseling, 10 in teaching drama and music, 87 in economic and business studies, 24 in history studies, 21 in physical education, 41 in mathematics and 11 in biological studies.
Bali's Best Local Food
Australian Master Chef Adam Liaw Share his Take on Eating Local in Bali
The Wall Street Journal Life Style Website recently carried an article on “Bali’s Best Local Dishes” written by Australian Master Chef Adam Liaw.
Liaw, who has lived and worked across Asia, concluded that Ibu Oka’s world-renowned Babi Guling Warung in Ubud, Central Bali is a “must do” for those seeking to sample the Balinese take on roast suckling pig.
Obviously not for the kosher or halal minded, Ibu Oka’s most pork, crisp crackling, chili sambals and pork sausage brings people back time and again to her simple roadside eatery.
Focusing only on Bali, Liaw also sang praises for the Balinese dish of bebek betutu – spicy duck steamed while wrapped in banana leaves, roast fish Bali style and the lunch time favorite of nasi campur.
An Enlightened Birthday
Bali Buddhist Celebrate ‘Buddha’s Birthday’
The Buddhist population of Kuta in South Bali undertook a variety of activities in anticipation of Hari Tri Suci Waisak that commenced at 12:05 pm on Saturday, May 25, 2013.
Alin Darna, a community member from Kuta, told the State News Agency Antara, “These activities include cleaning the neighborhood, visits to orphanages, blood donor campaigns involving hundreds of people who are part of the congregation of the Vihara Dharmayana Kuta.”
Darna said that clean-up activities also included the installation of tents surrounding the grounds of the Buddhist temple or Vihara, as well as decorating the area.
The tents helped accommodate the hundreds of worshippers who came to the Vihara to celebrate Waisak.
The celebration of Waisak – considered informally to be the anniversary of the birth date of the Lord Buddha – is done through meditations and prayers that ran from mid-day Saturday until late into the night. The date actually marks at once the birth, enlightenment (nirvana), and death (Parinirvana) of Gautama Buddha
The commencement of the period of prayer and celebrations began with a “Pradiksa” ceremony in which worshippers walked in counter-clockwise circles around the statue of the Lord Buddha in order to present their best "right side" to the statue.
Indonesia Eager to Welcome Yachts and Cruise Ships
Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports the Indonesian government is busily promoting yacht and cruise tourism at major events across the year in an effort to lure more yachts and cruise ships to Bali and beyond.
Among the event used to promote in this new sector is the Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Yacht Race and Rally and Sail Komodo that will take place in July.
The Tourism Ministry’s head of public communications, Noviendi Makalam, said cruise and yacht tourism represented “special interest” tourism designated for special promotion. Other areas of “special interest” include culture, history, shopping, cuisine, spa and MICE (meetings, incentive, conference and exhibitions).
In support of the marine sector the government is investing in marinas and cruise ports in areas beyond Bali. ??“Developing these facilities is part of the MP3EI, a national program for economic development acceleration, with Bali and Nusa Tenggara becoming the tourism hubs,” explained Noviendi.
While private investors are expected to develop ports and marinas, the government will assist by streamlining customs and immigration services.
The just completed Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Yacht Race and Rally (logo shown) attracted hundreds of tourists from Australia, including yacht owners and crews
Give My Regards to Broadway
Four-Course Dinner & Music from Broadway at on Saturday, June 1, 2013 by Bali Rainbow Community in Support of HIV/AIDS Charities
The Bali Rainbow Community have prepared a special “Night on Broadway” including musical performances and a four-course dinner prepared by Anantara’s Executive Chef, Brandon Huisman, with free-flow wines and a pre-event cocktail reception all to take place on Saturday, June 1, 2013.
The fun takes place at the SOS Supper Club Anantara Seminyak Resort and Spa.
A special guest of the evening will me Michael Cormick, who has performed the role of the Phantom in the Australian stage production of “Phantom of the Opera.” Also taking to the stage will be some of Bali’s leading drag divas, a special auction and raffle prizes.
A limited number of tickets are available for Rp. 1 million each (US$100) with proceeds from the evening going to HIV/AIDS education and the medical support for those stricken by the disease.
For more information or to book tickets contact the SOS Supper Club at the Anantara Seminyak Resort and Spa or call ++62-(0) 8123947142.
Come Fly with Me!
Bali as a Center for Aviation Education with Graduation of New Crop of Pilots from Bali International Flight Academy
42 freshly minted pilots graduated on Thursday, May 23, 2013, from the Bali International Flight Academy in North Bali.
The students who had successfully completed an eight-month commercial pilot-licensing program will now be eligible to seek additional professional pilot training from Indonesian airline industry hungry for an estimated 400 new pilots each year.
While many young Indonesians are eager to obtain an education in commercial aviation, the approximate RP. 700 million (US$70,000) cost of the eight-month commercial pilot’s course is proving an obstacle to some.
Quoted by The Jakarta Globe, Wisnu Herlambang, a representative of the Flight Academy, said, “There is an undeniable number of people enthusiastic to become pilots, but considering the expense and lack of utility available in academies … there is resistance.”
Taking the Devil Out of the Kids in Bali
Unique Ceremony in Village North of Ubud, Bali Sees Local Youths Paint Themselves in Technicolor Dreams
On May 1, 2013, the unique “Ngerebeg” ceremony, held once every six months, was again celebrated in the traditional village of Tegallalang, north of Ubud. The actual date of its celebration is determined by the convergence of several cycles of months, weeks and days in the Balinese calendar, or, put into local terms, on “rahina budha kliwon pegat uwakan.”
The “Ngerebeg” is generally reserved for teenagers who decorate their bodies and faces using water-based paints. The resulting looks are, to say the least, extreme with teenagers, primarily young men, resembling punk stars, ghosts and menacing demons – all temporary members of platoon in the service of the ancient Balinese king I Gusti Ngurah Gede Pecangakan who reigned in the 15th century - seen as a heroic protector of Bali.
The colorful parade begins with lunch at the local temple followed by a processional parade with the grotesquely painted participants carry flagstaffs of penjors for a distance of 2-3 kilometers, the distance between two local temples.
The parade participants, in keeping with local tradition, make offerings at designated points along the route intended to protect the village and its inhabitants.
Local village officials in Tegallalang insist that villagers hold the event year after year, frightened that a failure to honor the tradition would bring misfortune upon the community. On a more basis level, "Ngerebeg" observances are seen as purifying the local people and their surroundings prior to piodalan ceremonies marking the anniversary of the village’s main temple.
The Windsor Star (Canada) carried an excellent set of photos from the most recent Ngerebeg celebration in Tegallalang available via the link below.
Green is the Color of Luxury in Bali
St. Regis Bali Maintains Earth Check Qualifications
Earth Check - the world’s leading certifier of travel and tourism organizations, has recognized the high standard of environmental performance practiced by The St. Regis Bali Resort.
The St. Regis Bali Resort has joined industry leaders from more than 100 countries by being awarded Earth Check Silver Certified Status for the second consecutive year.
To gain this coveted recognition, the resort submitted itself to scrutiny by a team of independent auditors applying standards that adhere to internationally recognized standards of best environmental practice.
Earth Check Audits rate the effectiveness of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve natural resources on a project-by-project basis. The data is then measured against a number of key indicators such as energy and water consumption, total waste production, and community commitment.
There are 6 major points that reviewed by the auditors: policy, benchmarking, compliance, approach, performance and communication. The last section details the requirements for communicating an organization’s environmental and social commitment, goals and objectives to all stakeholders.
By taking a scientific approach to measuring the effectiveness of their sustainability practices, The St. Regis Bali Resort identifies where they are out-performing others and areas for possible improvement.
“It is indeed our goal that guests feeling better and secured when they stay with us, we recognize the importance of not compromising the environment to achieve this objective. We are pleased to be able to retain our Earth Check Silver,” said Lucia Liu, Hotel Manager of The St. Regis Bali Resort.
Pastika Declared Winner in Governor’s Race
Made Mangku Pastika Wins Second Term as Bali’s Governor Amidst Claims of ‘Foul Play’ from PDIP
The final recapitulation of votes cast on May 15, 2013 for Bali’s governorship was announced on Sunday, May 26, 2013 by the Bali Election Commission (KPU-Bali).
The results of that count covering nine regencies and metropolitan areas show that the pairing of incumbent Made Mangku Pastika and his running mate Ketut Sudikerta secured 50.02% of the total vote (1,063,734), while the opposing ticket of AA Ngurah Puspayoga and Dewa Nyoman Sukrawan tallied 49.98% (1,062,738).
In the island-wide elections a total of 32,762 ballots were deemed invalid leaving only 996 vites separating the winners from the losers.
The PDIP –Bali Party is protesting the results of the vote count, claiming significant irregularities in the election process.
Barring a possible formal appeal of the election’s result to the Constitutional Court by PDIP-Bali, the election of Pastika and Sudikerta as Governor and Vice-Governor for 2013-2018 will stand.
Chinese Take Away
More Chinese Workers Deported from North Bali Power Plant Project
The Singaraja immigration office has again deported illegal foreign workers found to be working at the new steam-driven power plant in the village of Celukan Bawang.
The 10 Mainland Chinese foreign nationals were ordered out of the country on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, after being found to be working without the required visas and work permits.
The coal-powered plant built with Chinese assistance employs a large number of foreign workers, many of whom hold the required visas and working permits.
The discovery of the 10 illegal Chinese worker occurred during a routine inspection by immigration officers at the power plant.
It is estimated that PT General Energi Bali (GEB) employs 150 Chinese workers at the new power generating station.
Bali: Higher Tour Prices Ahead?
Bali Tourism Transport Association Studying Rate Rise Due to Imminent Increase in Fuel Costs
Plans by the government of Indonesia to increase premium gasoline in June by 44% or Rp. 2,000 to Rp. 6,500 a liter (US$0.65) and diesel fuel by 28% to Rp. 4,500 (US$0.45) a liter has brought a reaction from the Bali Tourism Transport Association (PAWIBA).
PAWIBA, comprised of companies offering transport to tourist visitors, says an increase in their tariffs of between 10-15% is needed to meet the higher fuel costs and the rising cost of spare parts.
Bagus Soediana, the chairman of PAWIBA, speaking to The Bali Post, said his members are waiting to see how the cots of spare parts increases once the increased cost in subsidized fuel comes into effect sometime in June.
He estimated that approximately one week after the fuel increase takes place PAWIBA would be able to estimate the necessary increase in transport tariffs.
PAWIBA members represent the main supply of busses and vans used by Bali's hotels and tour companies.
Higher fuel prices are also expected to increase the cost of new vehicles and labor costs over time.
Garuda Flights to China ‘Operating as Usual’ During H7N9 Bird Flu Scare
The general manager for Bali for Garuda Indonesia, Taufik Hidayat, recently told Bisnis Bali that the national airline’s schedules between Indonesia and the People’s Republic of China would remain unaffected by the recent outbreak of H7N9 Bird Flu Virus in China linked to a number of human fatalities.
Saying any decision to introduce any special restrictions on travel between Indonesia and China remains the purview of the Central Government in Jakarta, Garuda and the Department of Public Health have procedures in place anticipating and minimizing the risk of human-to-human infection.
Bali has screening equipment on hand for determining if arriving passengers have elevated body temperatures, channeling such passengers to special areas for a more thorough health screening.
Airport managers and airline operators are waiting for further instructions from national health agencies for what, if any, special steps must be taken.
I’ve Been to a Marvelous Party
The Mulia Bali Hosts an ‘Appreciation Night’ Like No Other with Food, Fashion and International Singing Sensations ‘Il Divo’
On Saturday, May 25, 2012, The Mulia, Mulia Resort & Villas - Nusa Dua, Bali hosted a spectacular Black-Tie Gala Dinner featuring the international singing group Il Divo and the fashions by Indonesian designer Adrian Gan.
Hosted on an invitation only “appreciation party” for friends and business associates of the Resort, the first such party hosted by The Mulia in Bali followed in the proud footsteps of its Sister-property, Hotel Mulia, Senayan, Jakarta, that has over the years established the standard for such affairs in he Nation's capital.
Guests, all formally dressed with their precious invitations in hand, were welcomed with Champagne in The Mulia’s Conference Center's expansive foyer area. A short while later, the Ballroom’s doors opened to reveal a venue lavishly decorated in white and resplendent in fresh flowers.
An haute couture fashion show by Indonesia’s very own Adrian Gan mesmerized those in attendance before they feasted on a five-course dinner. Like the rest of the evening, no expense was spared as waiters served course-after-course that included ingredients such as ostera caviar, Alaskan King Crab, morels, Artisanal black truffles, Wagyu No 9 beef with foie gras and imported chocolate.
Live music during dinner was provided by a talented duo singing evergreens from the classical jazz songbook.
After dinner, four senior members of the Hotel’s staff briefly took to the stage to welcome the guests. Then, brimming with bravado they performed a good-humored musical rendition of "Fly Me to the Moon" that would have done credit to the legendary “Rat Pack.”
But without doubt the highlight of the evening was the concert après dinner provided by the extraordinarily talented platinum pop vocal group - IL Divo. Singing their trademark blend of popular, romantic and operatic numbers that have charmed audiences worldwide for more than a decade, and backed by a small string orchestra, Il Divo sang creating musical memories of a lifetime for their privileged audience.
With more than 26 million albums sold, over 50 number one hits, and 150 gold and platinum awards the four dashing singers were concluding their latest whirlwind world tour with a stop in Bali.
As a leading independent luxury hotel in Indonesia -The Mulia, Mulia, Resort & Villas – Nusa Dua, Bali opened its doors in December 2012 with the stated aim of providing facilities and services at an unrivalled level of personalized service and dedication to customer care.
In keeping with these aims, the "Appreciation Night" was meticulously planned and flawless in every detail of its execution.
A Ritual Requirement
Badung, Bali Regent Concerned that New Underpass Operating Before Balinese Religious Rituals Performed
The Bupati of Bali’s Badung regency is concerned that the Island’s brand new Simpang Siur Underpass in Kuta is operating - albeit on a trial basis – without traditional mlaspas and mecaru ceremonies being undertaken beforehand.
Speaking to NusaBali on May 22, 2013, Anak Agung Gde Agung said: “Gosh, the Underpass has come this far without my hearing that mlaspas or mercaru ceremonies have been held? In fact, this is very important and must be held as a spiritual (niskala) necessity. This is my concern right now.”
The Regent has asked the department of public works and waterways for the regency to coordinate the project managers to ensure the ceremonies are soon held. Adding, “I, as the personal responsible for the Regency call for these spiritual ceremonies be held in accordance with Balinese tradition and in order to ensure the future safety of the underpass. This is Bali.”
In accordance with Balinese belief, no major undertaking should be commenced without first seeking the blessing of God and the spiritual world.
When Agung was asked if the regency would pay for the subject ceremonies, he reportedly simply smiled, and said, “This is a Central government project.”
When NusaBali asked the official in charge of the Underpass project, he confirmed that the Balinese ceremonies would be held in conjunction with the official opening of the tunnel. He was, however, unable to confirm when exactly the formal opening of the underpass would take place.
Bali’s Baywatchers are Champions
Bali Lifeguards Sweep Honors at Java-Bali Beach Games Competition
A team of lifeguards from the Bali Lifesaving Service (Balawista) has won the top honors at a competition among lifesaving teams from Java and Bali held at Pelabuhan Ratu, West Java.
Quoted by the National News Agency Antara, Erik Setiawan, the chairman of the event said: “From 150 athletes following the lifeguard competition, Bali received the ‘best athletes’ and ‘best team’ awards. The ‘favorite’ team award went to Sukabumi.”
Setiawan said that Bali made a virtual clean sweep in various divisions of the competition, including long swim, run-swim-run and others.
He admitted that Bali was the odds on favorite to win the Java-Bali lifeguard Competition because of the suprior ability of Bali’s athletes.
The competition was held to enhance the abilities of participating and exchange ideas and training techniques.
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