Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I've been visiting Indonesia often in the last 2 decades because my brother moved to Jakarta in the `90s. I remember my Dad used to wear really nice batik shirts and a lot of people actually thought he was Indonesian! Well my "generic Southeast Asian" face makes me look local in a few countries here and oftentimes I get asked if I'm Indonesian. You actually get a lot of perks when people think you are a local in their own country -- i.e. I don't get over-charged when I take taxis/tuktuk in Bangkok, I get asked "Gerapa?" in flea markets in Bali etc. People only start asking if I'm Filipino when I start talking. They say I have a very thick Filipino accent (I actually do!).

Anyway, I digress (I've been up since 4:30am and I'm blogging this late Monday evening). Going back to Batik. I've actually been so fascinated with the many different types of batik. My Indonesia friends told me that each design has it's own story and each region in Indonesia has it's own special design. In Yogyakarta the sultan used to have his own special batik design (formed after a weapon), until it was eventually allowed to be used by everyone (but it's still a special high-end design).

Aside from the unique designs of batik dresses one thing I really like about it is the fabric. It's soft and cool for the skin. They also say that when you were a batik dress when you have meetings in Indonesia, it signifies that you give respect to the people you are meeting.

Here I am in one of my batik dresses with my dear Indonesian friend, Pungkas. Nice noh?