Sangihe Stay (2): A holiday to unwind the stress

~This is part of the Minahasa-Sangihe Chronicle, a journey by Toshi and Uncle R in their ancestors' homeland of North Sulawesi, which is located just in the Indonesian border facing southern Phillipines~

Day 6 (Wednesday, 12 March 2008)

It is my third day in Sangihe, and I've started to miss a hot water bath already. Having a cold water bath at 6 AM sure was freezing.

The most updated newspaper available in the island is a previous day issue of Manado Post and another provincial-based newspaper, where most of the news would tend to focus on the happenings of North Sulawesi and its surroundings.

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth
Tahuna street in the morning

As Aunt Paula's inn had only one TV to date (and it was placed in her residence), Uncle R and I could be rest assured that we would not get any stock of news for at least the entire week.

Now that's what I call cutting yourself off the outside world!

Not necessarily a bad thing though. The Jakarta where I lived was a hectic city of hullabaloo and it was surely a good thing to be cut off from the outside world once in a while.

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth
Tahuna Secondary School No.1

After visiting Manganitu for the last two days, Uncle R told me that we would likely spend the entire day in the town, as we would be visiting the family grave in Southern Tahuna and the Dumalang family in Apengsembeka.

I was a bit disappointed for not visiting Manganitu again, but it's OK. We were planning to spend at least one week in the island anyway, and it would do good to get to know more of my far family members.

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth
Sangihe Nutmeg juice

Firstly we went to the Bawoleh's residence where we had a light morning chit-chat with the family there. We were served the nutmeg juice (refer to my 11 March journal for explanation of Nutmeg juice) where I tasted a peculiar kind of juice: it tasted a bit like orange and mangosteen mixed together.

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth
Tahuna view from above

Then at around 10 AM Opa Ben took both of us by oto to the DM family residence for us to meet the family there for the first time.

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

an inside view of oto

They were very pleased to see us indeed. I met two cousins who were both younger than me (one who was in secondary school and another in high school). They all spoke fluent Indonesian but with a dominant Sangihe dialect here and there... I guess I still had a lot to learn, eh?

Haha.

From the DMs, we learned the fact that what used to be a Sangihe regency in the New Order era has by now been divided into 3 regencies which are Sangihe, Tagulandang, and Sitaro regencies.

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

Uncle R and Opa Ben walking to grandpa's childhood house

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

a typical family grave I spotted during the walk

At 12 AM, the three of us went by foot to the childhood house of my grandpa (who is Uncle R's father). It was sunny indeed but we had got our caps on, despite the fact that my face got oily by then. I enjoyed walking in behind with Cayman Islands song "The King of Riot Street" while Opa Ben and Uncle R walked up in front.

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

my paternal grandpa's childhood house

The house architecture might look new enough to me, but Uncle R told me that the house had been refurbished several times since the 1940s that it did not any longer look like its original form back then. By now, the house has already changed hands several times and it is now owned by a Chinese family.

Inspite of the refurbishment, Opa Ben told us that the well still looked more or less the same as it was before. Nice.

At the afternoon, Uncle R and I went for a walk around the Tahuna main business area and to take some snapshots and here they are:

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

Tahuna's prison since the 1930s

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

PT Pelni, Sangihe Branch

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

Tahuna's main business area

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

Tahuna mosque in Kampung Arab

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

Tahuna GMIST church

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

oto as seen from the front

By 5 PM we went to the Regent official building just north of Tahuna to have an internet connection (though the hope was slim) and it turned out that the building was closed for the day. Oh dear, so much for an internet connection!

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

sunset as viewed from the Regent official building

To avoid starving ourselves like the night before, Uncle R and I bought some biscuits and breads in a supermarket nearby. As we found out later, there were only three supermarkets in the entire Sangihe island and all three of them are concentrated in the capital of Tahuna.

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

a monument located not so far from the market

By then I had found out that Tahuna had no malls yet (and apparently not going to have one anytime soon).

I was quite concerned about the lack of amenities in Sangihe because perhaps it was due to the central government's (Jakarta's) neglect of the region. So I asked Uncle R about this (FYI, Uncle R has spent two decades in the hospitality industry in various European, American, and Asian countries)

Uncle R answered that the matter may not be because of the Jakarta government's fault. But he did not think that it was Sangirese people's fault either. The Sangirese people were not ready to have the amenities yet, that's all.

One thing I've learned from the Sangirese people today was that:

They don't really care about tomorrow. They only think about what happens today, and that's all that really matters.

No wonder life in Sangihe was very stress-free. The life there went very slowly but I've said, it was worthwhile to experience such a holiday indeed.


Day 7 (Thursday, 13 March 2008)

The first thing in the morning, Uncle R and I went to the St. Agustinus Catholic church which was around three blocks away from our inn.

We were introduced to Father Ronny who was apparently the only priest who served the entire island on a temporary basis (Yes, there was basically a shortage of priests indeed).

Uncle R asked permission to have a look at the registry on baptismal records that dated back to the year 1929 when the first Catholic baptisms in the entire Sangihe-Talaud region was conducted. The registry proved somewhat useful for Uncle R in gathering information for our family ancestry. Indeed, the Catholic church always had it all when it comes to archiving registries.

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth
baptismal record of Tahuna parishes from 1929 to 1957

From Father Ronny, we gathered several things.

First, the entire Sangihe region belonged to the Manado diocese instead of having a diocese on its own. This was indeed readily apparent because a Catholic diocese must have had its own Bishop in order to called a diocese!

Second, the entire Aceh province belongs to the North Sumatran diocese. I asked Father Ronny if there was any church in the Sharia-based province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, and he said yes. There were two Catholic churches in the province: one in Banda Aceh, and the other one in Meulaboh.

Third, Father Ronny told us that Sangihe dialect had its own distinctive subdialects. While the Sangihe town of Manganitu (where my grandma originated) was widely known as having the Bahasa Halus/polite subdialect, another Sangihe town named Tamako is the origin of the Bahasa Kasar/coarse subdialect. This is akin to the difference between Received Pronunciation (the English dialect spoken by the elites in London) and Cockney (the English dialect spoken by the plebs in London outskirts).

By noon we took the ojek (motorcycle taxi) to go and meet up the family in Manganitu.

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth
Manganitu palace

There I asked Opa Dupont Mocodompis about the internet in Sangihe, and he said that internet in the island was almost literally nonextant. From him I also gathered that a Pentium 4 PC (512MB RAM) he had at home was bought from Manado for Rp 6 million. He was startled when I told him that PC with similar specifications could cost only Rp 2.5 million in Jakarta.

The higher price computer bought in Manado was indeed a contradiction to my observation the day before: the food prices in Tahuna supermarket were surprisingly low!

I asked Uncle R about this and he told me that the packed food in Sangihe were mostly supplied from the nearby Philippines in contrary to the electronic goods which had to be shipped over from Jakarta.

Ah, no wonder.

Here is a Manganitu-specialty "Cactus" biscuit which tasted more or less like a Marie Regal, but a bit tastier:

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

We went back to Tahuna at 6 PM, but not before taking several pictures in Manganitu beach. Such a splendid view indeed to enjoy the sunset from that beach, it reminded me of the Jimbaran sunset in Bali!

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

a picturesque Manganitu beach

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth

Manganitu beach with Budiman island on the background

dekrit  – (2 October 2008 at 15:33)  

Nice travel blog. Great pictures.

Woirensa  – (7 November 2010 at 10:03)  

nice...
:)I just wanna say thank you for visiting the Sangihe ...

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP