Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!!!

It has been a wonderful year of collecting books. This year I got a lot of exchanges from old friends in Europe and new ones too. It is such a wonderful Christmas present from all of them that I managed to increase my collection to 77 books now. It is quite difficult to collect books from Europe, where The Little Prince have been published in so many different languages and dialect, so thank you so much to who made this collection grow.

Check the link below to view my updated "The Little Prince" book collection.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Historian Junkee

Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Nepal

When I was in high school, I can only remember that I am very good with two things and those is History and extra curricular activities. I was never really fond of learning other subjects but as someone who aspired to become useful in the future. I had to at least to get an average grade to make it. I had good memorization skills back then which is why I can recall most of the lessons about Philippines, Asian and World History, all of which I learned in high school. I never really took it seriously though but as soon as I get to travel around Asia, I could recall most of the things I learned back in high school.

As of now, I have traveled mostly in Asia and I have seen many things that I can remember well during my Asian history class. As boring as it may sound to talk about what I can remember about Asian history, when you get to travel and see the places you learned, it kind of gives a sense of wisdom for being able to see those actual things, identify it and learn about the people who build those civilizations which still stands for our generation to see. From India to South Korea and from Nepal to Laos and Indonesia. There are so many places to see and several heritage places that really made me want to know more about the lives of people back then.

Among all the places I have visited, I am always amused with old buildings that I have seen. There are just several of them which stands out like the Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul, George Town in Penang, the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila, the old Bank Mandiri in Kota Tua, Jakarta, Jalan Braga in Bandung, Tiong Bahru houses in Singapore, the French quarter in Hanoi, the old town of Vientiane, the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, the stunning Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, India and Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Square in Nepal.

With all the places I have seen in Asia, I could imagine how over whelming it would be when I get to see places in Europe. I am mostly looking forward to see Spain, Italy and United Kingdom. I hope that next year would be an opportunity to go further places and realize those historic places I can only see in pictures and recall from my World history class.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Little Prince Movie Sketch

Here is quick sketch I did based on the movie artwork of The Little Prince. Can't really wait for 2016 when the movie comes out.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Little Prince-Inspired Artwork by Zaineb Latif

I always like encountering people online who, in someways, have the same reverence as I am when it comes to The Little Prince. I stumbled upon this on Behance where artist Zaineb Latif drew and designed quotes as a homework which he said was loosely based on The Little Prince. I am re-blogging his work here to include in my collection of inspirational works done related to The Little Prince.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

from Jodhpur to Jaipur and Agra, from Delhi to the mountains of Dharamsala: 16 Days in India

It was an exciting, adventurous, scary and wary mix of feelings I had before embarking on a 16-day trip to India. I remember telling myself before that I don't think I will ever set foot on this country but here I am, writing about this on my last day here in this wonderful place. So before my flight tonight, let me recap the last 16 days of this adventurous ride all over the state of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and the endearing capital city of Delhi. We arrived at noon at this amazingly huge airport of Indira Gandhi. It was an easy-through Immigration and a hassle-free baggage collection and to getting to our hotel using the airport express train. We spent a night in Delhi before starting our journey

It felt really scary on Day 1. I kept thinking that anyone who will approach me will definitely just have an intention of getting money out of me. We went to Connaught Place area and Jantar Mantar to find decent food to eat and to begin immersing ourselves in India's atmosphere. But so far we survived except for some scary sights to see on the streets. We flew to Jodhpur the following day and we were greeted by Rishi, our driver for the next seven days. By the way, we got him through Ashok, a highly recommended driving company rated very highly on TripAdvisor. True enough, we did not encounter any problem with him. As a matter of fact, he was helpful all through out our journey.

Bloomrooms: A gem right in the heart of dirt, dust and defecation.

I am apologizing in advance if you feel offended by the title of this entry but this was just how I felt after stepping out of this incredibly lovely hotel. I know it sounds contrasting but let me tell you about the great things first about Bloomrooms. We arrived at the hotel branch of Bloomroom at Arakashan Road around 7:00 am. Luckily they allowed us to check in early without any additional costs. We were very tired after the 12-hour overnight bus ride from Dharamsala and allowing us to check in early was just he best thing that happen to us so far in Delhi. The rooms are quite small but it is good enough for 2 persons. I am always in awe on how interior designers and architects make the best out of a small space. It did not feel small at all. Most furniture are attached to the wall to save space. The bathroom looked spacious enough because of the glass walls and mirrors. The use of yellow and white as its main colors were quite relaxing.

Dharamsala and a glimpse of His Holiness Dalai Lama

It was a long 13-hour overnight bus ride from Delhi to Dharamsala. We made two stops. One is a forty-minute stop and the other is a fifteen-minute one. We were in a Volvo semi-sleeper bus where blankets and bottled Kinley water were provided. After an hour from the start of our journey, I was settled with my tablet and earphones to watch some TV series until I fall asleep when suddenly the bus attendant started playing a Bollywood movie. There were two screens inside the bus and what felt-like a surround digital speakers reverberating right to where I was seated. So since 90% of the passengers were locals, I didn't have much of a choice but to keep away my tablet and watch aptly titled Hindi movie "Gabbar is Back".

I did not realize what time I fell asleep but I was waken up by the zigzag motion of the bus as it traverse the uphill road to the mountain side of Dharamsala. The bus stopped at Mcleodganj which is our destination for the next 5 days of our 17 day India tour. Mccledoganj is a town in Dharamsala which is located in the northern part which is the mountainside area where His Holiness Dalai Lama, together with other Tibetan exiles, are taking residence.

Places to eat and shop around Mcleodganj, Dharamsala

A view of Mcleodganj from the Dalai Lama Temple
During our 5 days of stay in Mcleodganj, we visited different shops, ate at different cafes and stayed in two different guest houses. Let us talk about first the guest houses. We stayed at Chonor Guesthouse in our first two days. It is run and owned by the Norbulingka Institute. When we checked it online, the pictures of each room were amazingly beautiful. Unfortunately, the room we got did not live up to the hype we created ourselves. Although they had informed us beforehand that there is actually an ongoing renovation, I guess they forgot to inform us that even the room needed renovations. So we felt like the price we were paying was not worth the room we were staying. Our room that time was Lungka 2. In fairness, they offered to upgrade us but we already felt the disappointment so we just decided to move to another guesthouse, the Pema Thang, located 200 meters uphill from Chonor. Pema Thang Guesthouse was 35% cheaper than Chonor but the room we got gave us a great view of Dharamsala at any time of the night. If you decide to stay here, book for the rooms on the first and second level. The interior of the room was homey enough to make you feel relaxed but the toilet was a bit of a disappointment. But overall it was worth the price we paid.

RAAS Hotel Jodhpur: Peace within chaos and the Price of luxury.

Upon arrival at the Jodphur airport, I was welcomed with the scorching heat creeping within my skin. Fortunately, it was getting put of the airport was an ease. I was welcomed by my driver, Rishi, a middle-aged Delhi native man who drove all the way from New Delhi the day before in order to be my driver from Jodhpur to Jaipur then Agra back to New Delhi for the next 7 days. It took us about 20 minutes to reach Raas Hotel. This enchanting place, seemingly nestled within the Blue city, will be my home for the next 3 days. Inside the room, I was surprised with such a stunning view of the Mehngarhar Fort, a centuries old for which symbolized the prestige of the by-gone era of the royal Jodhpur families back then.

Going back to my room, the brick walls on one side is decorated with intricate circular carvings while on the other side is a painted cement wall. The balcony, which overlooks the fort and half of the Blue city, is quite spacious. The room is quite spacious as well with a king-sized bed and a two-seater sofa. It also has a walk-in closet good enough for two people. The whole room is embellished with decorations from a combination contemporary decors with a touch of terracotta bricks which are very common in the city of Jodhpur.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, India

The Mehrangarh Fort at Day
For a semi-neophyte traveler like me, visiting India can be quite overwhelming. I could say I am confident and will survive any place in Southeast Asia but travelling to a country where you obviously look like a tourist will be quite challenging. Especially that India is known for its notorious harassment of tourists and travelers. So I embarked on a journey to experience the best things to see in India despite the forewarned chaos. The first city I visited is Jodhpur. Located ate the edge of Thar dessert in the state of Rajasthan, Jodhpur is the second larget city of this state. The city itself does not have many things to offer to travelers except dust and dirt but it is the location of one of the most well preserved and maintained fortifications in India, the Mehrangarh Fort. Situated on top of a rocky hilltop, this fort overlooks the entire city of Jodhpur. From up the fort, you can see the whole city. The Blue city, which are composed of houses painted in blue, is one of the most striking views from the fort. You can also see other iconic palaces and buildings around the city. But Mehrangarh is definitely the only place that will capture everyone living and visiting the city.
The Mehrangarh Fort at Night

Monday, June 29, 2015

From Temples to Temples: Returning to Yogyakarta Part 2

During my first attempt to visit Yogyakarta, my flight was cancelled due to the volcanic eruption of Gunung Merapi, Indonesia's most active volcano situated just in the outskirts of Yogyakarta and Magelang (where Borobudur Temples is located) cities. Luckily, I got another chance to visit Yogyakarta in May of 2012. During that time, I managed to visit both Borobudur and Prambanan Temples. Both were spectacularly amazing and it's architecture and design were just stunning. Both of these temples are intricately carved with the story of Rama and Shinta, popularly known as the main characters of the epic book series of the Mahabharata, which originated from India.

3 years after, I have returned to this stunning, cultural-filled city of Yogyakarta with my family. I toured them around and I also tried to visit other temples which I missed during my first visit namely Ratu Boko and Candi Sewu.

Good morning Mount Merapi. Hello Yogyakarta City.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lagani Coffee: Returning to Yogyakarta Part 1

Yogyakarta, or Jogja to locals, is famous for many things. Aside from being the cultural center of Indonesia, it is also the gateway to several heritage sites revered around the world. It is also close to Indonesia's most active volcano, Gunung Merapi. But Jogja, despite its rich cultural heritage, is also catching up to many hip and out of the mainstream places to hangout. On my research about other places to visit in Jogja, I found out about this quaint coffee shop called Lagani Coffee located Jalan Cendrawasih which is quite close to the city center.

When I reached the street, I was welcome with a lot of specialty shops and artisanal restaurants. If I will make comparisons, it is like the Bali Lane of Singapore or the Maginhawa Street of Quezon City, Philippines. And I told myself as I entered the street that I think I'm going to like this place but let me get myself first to my main agenda: LAGANI COFFEE.

Lagani Coffee is on the second floor of white building and you will be welcomed with an artistic doodles of different food and vintage-looking furniture. The ambiance inside is quite nice. Not very dark but not very bright. The design of the cafe inside gives you a homey feeling. You can literally see what is going on inside the kitchen as there are no windows. There were a lot of vintage stuff being used like the oven in the kitchen. There are also many vintage displays to look at while waiting for your coffee and meals.

Lagani Coffee serves different coffee, drinks and food. I ordered my usual cafe latte and oreo pancakes with ice cream (I forgot what it is called by the way). They served their latter with a cute art of a flower and pancakes were freshly made upon order. I literally saw how the cook made it since I have a good view of their kitchen. In general food and coffee were great and I love how the place was not super crowded on Saturday tea break time. Most probably because people prefer being in the malls which gives an advantage to people who prefer being on coffee shops outside and faraway from the overcrowded malls of Indonesia.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Little Prince in the Dark

There have been a lot of different art and book exhibitions about The Little Prince all over the world but there has never been such a magnificent artwork ever done with the sole purpose of letting the visually-challenged people appreciate visual arts but in tactile way.

From the same artists who made the 10  art exhibit which premiered at The Fullerton in Singapore this May, Artheline, the signature of artists Arnaud and Adeline Nazare-Aga from Thailand, comes The Little Prince in the Dark. It's a tactile art installation specifically made for people with visual impairment. But this art installation is also accessible to all and can be touched by anyone.

The planets, which were all inspired by the artworks in the book, as well as the elephant inside a boa constrictor and the fox, seemed like floating in space inside a dark room filled with yellow blinking stars. It's visually stunning for those able to see it but it is also a great tactile experience to understand the characters and art works in the book for the visually impaired.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Little Prince Art Exhibition by Artheline

This is the first time I have been to a Little Prince exhibition and it is such an honor to finally catch the works of Artheline. Artheline is the signature of artists Arnaud and Adeline Nazare-Aga. They are based in Thailand and they made these artworks just in time for the Singapore-France Voilah Festival in conjunction with the celebration of SG50, Singapore's fiftieth birthday. This is the world premiere of the exhibit.

The exhibit has been open since since May 6, 2015 and will be open for public viewing until June 1, 2015. I was just fortunate enough to manage to fly in to Singapore just to see the two exhibits about the Little Prince before it close. The other exhibit is an art installation for the visually-challenged people and will be posted later on.

There are 10 art installations for this exhibit and every thing was just mesmerizing for me. I particularly like how they made each planet as if they are floating in space.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Transfiguration Chapel, Calaruega

It has been exactly 13 years ago when I was first mesmerized by this quaint chapel on a hill top just off the boundary of Tagaytay City and Nasugbu. During that time, we went there as part of our college retreat, a required undertaking before you graduate in a Catholic university. The place was mezmering indeed and during that time you can almost have the place on your own since it was not yet a popular place to go.

It is usually a place for events like wedding, birthdays and other religious events you can think of. It may not be a heritage site or an important Catholic destination but the place is just quite peaceful even though today, there is an influx of visitors.

The transfiguration chapel, which was formed in the same image of a place also called Calaruega, in Mexico or Spain I think, still stands astonishingly. If my memory serves me right, the entire place was patterned to a place of the same name in a Spanish county. That is what was told to us during our retreat and forgive me for not remembering all the details right.

I just hope that from what I saw in this place, tourist were very caring and cautious that they should not make a lot of noise and litter on the place because they are aware that this is a place of worship. But I have heard so many terrible stories about other places where tourist leave all their trash where ever their hands feel like doing so. I cannot believe that these tourists do not bother about taking care of tourists destination. I know I can't save the world by eriting about it here but there is only one thing I know that I have lost. And that if faith in humanity to take care of the earth. So I am very thankful to some small groups of people who always keep an eye in doing small things to make a big difference.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Old Manila International Air Terminal

This lovely building situated in the centre of the central business district of Makati used to house the first and former airport terminal in the Philippines. From outside, you will not notice it as it just look like an ordinary building. The old sign that say "Manila International Terminal" can only be seen from behind and when you are along Makati avenue, you will think that it is just a house or restaurant.

This building used to be called Nielsen Tower and still uses that name for its building although it is popularly known now called Black Bird. The building was erected in 1937 and was used for commercial and international flights until the end of World War 2. Before it became a restaurant, it previously housed the former library owned by the Ayalas. It is still owned by the Ayalas though. Im just glad that the building have survived and remained a symbol in Ayala triangle. This is such a great example of well preserved heritage building. I wish we could see more of this.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Candi Muarajambi, Abandoned Beauty

We arrived at 8:00 in the morning at Sultan Thaha Airport, the main airport of Jambi City, West Sumatra. The city center is about 20 minute-drive to the city center. But we first went to Candi Murajambi, an archaeological site, believed to be built in early 15th century, which is situated in the forested area of the town of Muarajambi. These are Hindu temples which are made of similar bricks found at Hindu temples of India. Candi Muarajambi is about 25 kms drive from the airport. O the way, you will find palm tree plantation on the right and rubber tree plantations on the left. There are 9 temples all over the complex. They are quite simple with the highest peak reaching to about 3 floors. These temples, is incomparable to the astonishing Angkor Complex or the majestic Borobudur Complex which were all discovered accidentally by foreign explorers but there is yet beauty in the simplicity of Candi Muarajambi. First thing I noticed was the lack of tourist made the place clean, no traffic and peaceful. You will always find an alone time when you wander around the temples. When you look around all the temples, I could say it was abandoned by the people who built it. But for the reason why they abandoned, no one can answer. The locals may also not have any clue and can only rely on hearsay. Getting around the whole complex took us 3 hours on a bike. An unexpected ride back to main entrance got us toasted under the glaring heat of the Sumatran summer.

As I mentioned, the whole place is not as grandiose as the famed Hindu complex of the neighboring countries but the beauty of being untouched and left in ruins made it more appealing than the other temples I have seen so far. More importantly, since Hinduism never propagated in this area, which is generally Muslim, we can understand why people never really took time to use these places for worship yet they never tore it down.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Little Prince Handmade Stamps

This is a new project I have been planning to do for quite sometime. I have bought these materials since last year. I only got the time to do this now since I am on a week-long school break. The rubber stamps were handcarved from a Korean-made rubber stamps. I tried to follow the artworks of The Little Prince book and gave it a bit of a twist using different ink pads.

I look forward to doing more of this.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Owls in a Tree

Here are my latest sketches of owls hanging out in trees. I have to say this style of sketching is where I am really comfortable doing.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Aku Diponegoro, Galeri Nasional Indonesia

Sang Pangeran Dalam Ingatan Bangsa. Prince Diponegoro, Indonesia's national hero, who fought for the freedom of Indonesia, whose remaining owned artefacts and contributed artworks by various artist is currently on exhibit at the Galeri Nasional Indonesia. It's a quick walk to see the battle and arrest of Diponegoro during the 19th century with these contributed paintings by different local and foreign artist. Its a must visit for all Indonesians and others.

Exhibit Opening
6 February – 8 March 2015
10 am – 7 pm
(Open for public and entrance is free)

For more information:

Facebook : Goethe-Institut Indonesien
Twitter : AkuDiponegoro
Instagram : akudiponegoro

Friday, January 16, 2015

Le Petit Prince: Illustrations by Philip Giordano

There have been many books published about the different languages and illustration for the Le Petit Prince. As a beginning collector and art enthusiast with about less than 50 books in my collection, I feel the sense of finding differently published books of Le Petit Prince especially those with great illustrations. I definitely like the first illustration did by Antoine De Saint-Exupery, no doubt about that but there are recent works like the Korean Edition and Bilingual Comics (Bahasa Indonesia) where they gave a different touch on the original work of Exupery. (See link to access the other books) I have also tried some sketches myself although not as a complete version of the entire book.

But just recently, I found out about this Italian Illustrator Philip Giordano who created a different yet great artworks of the book. I have not found the actual book and only found the pictures so I am uploading it here. I'm going to have to make an online-wide research to be able to get my hands on this amazing illustrations.

These are some of the original artwork of Philip Giordano for Le Petit Prince:

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Makassar, South Sulawesi

I arrived in Makassar on a gloomy day after a flight from Jakarta which took 2 hours. It was a smooth flight considering that it was days after that devastating disappearance of an Airasia flight in Java sea due to bad weather condition. The whole country was mourning as the whole world watches. But despite of the scary thing that happened, everything still goes on so I continued to my destination even with a little apprehension. After arriving, I was greeted by non-stop drizzling on my way to my first destination. I stopped by at Taman Nasional Bantimurung just at the same time when the drizzling stopped. I had sometime to walk around the park and look at the stream that leads to a sort of rapids down to were the part of the stream were people could swim. There was a small museum about butterflies and two other butterfly sanctuaries where you can walk in to see caterpillars and butterflies.
Hello from 38,000 feet aboard Garuda Indonesia