Sunday, June 14, 2009
BALI UPDATE - 15 June 2009
Om Swastiastu ...
This edition wings its way to you from beautiful West Flores where I am attending a tourism forum in Labuan Bajo and hope to fiy in another visit to the Komodo National Park. If you’ve not visited this beautiful corner of the world, contact Bali Discovery Tours to help you remedy that deficiency in your travel vitae.
And, to help get you get to Bali, this week's Bali Update has information on how you can win a trip to Bali together with spectacular air bargains from the U.S.A. to Bali on Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines.
Get out your appointment calendars and mark down these coming events in Bali! There's a charity golf tournament at the New Kuta Golf Course on June 28th; a groundbreaking musical performance involving traditional gamelan and opera – "House in Bali" in Ubud on June 26 & 27; a monumental exhibition of sculpture in Ubud July 11-30th; and a celebration of Venezuelan food with a celebrity chef at The Westin July 9-13th.
And, of course, there's the MRA Bali International Triathlon on June 28 at Jimbaran Bay. Visit www.balitriathlon.com
In other news, the government closes the new Best Western Sapta Patala Hotel in Kuta for basic and perhap irremediable violations of zoning laws. Despite a troubled world economy, Indonesia tourist arrivals improved 1.53% during Q1 2009. Bali's top officials reveal their personal wealth under new measures to prevent corruption. Wood carvers in Bali complain they are being idled by a lack of wood. The Government is asking Indonesia to end abusive commercial practice against Chinese visitors. The Chief of the Bali Villa Association calls for the shutdown of illegal commercial villas. And, Bali passes its own anti-human trafficking law that, among other things, outlaws both male and female prostitution.
There's also information about a new entertainment and dining center opening in Kuta and speculation on whether Brad Pitt will be making a visit to Bali.
Just some of the stories in this week's Bali Update.
Om Çanti Çanti Çanti Om ...
BALI UPDATE #666 - 15 June 2009
An Offer You Can't Refuse from Cathay
Special Fares to Bali from U.S.A.and a Chance to Win a Ticket to Bali and a Stay at the Four Seasons Resort.
Cathay Pacific Airways wants to give away a pair of round trip ticket from one of its U.S.A. gateways to Bali in combination with a three-night stay at Bali's The Four Seasons Resorts and a massage for two.
The lucky winners will received flights from the U.S.A. to Bali, 2 nights stay at the Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay, 1 night at the Four Seasons Resort at Sayan and a 90-minute massage for two.
To enter, just click on the [Discover Bali Link].
For those not lucky enough to win, Cathay Pacific is offering a special "June Deal of the Month" featuring roundtrip economy class air transportation to Bali from San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York (JFK) starting from just US$1,041.
Details of these special fares are available at [Discover Bali June Air Offer].
Conditions apply, including purchase must take place in June for travel between September 1 and November 30, 2009.
Singapore Airlines U.S.A. to Bali Just US$699
SIA Offers Super Low Fares from U.S.A. to Bali.
In addition to special fare deals available from Cathay Pacific from the U.S.A. to Bali for travel purchased during June 2009, Singapore Airlines has also launched a sale on fares from the US cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and New York (JFK) to 35 destinations in Europe, Australia and Asia.
Passengers flying Singapore Airlines to Bali can purchase a ticket for only US$699.
Purchase must be made before June 28, 2009, for outbound travel between July 1 and November 20, 2009. All travel on sale fares must be completed by 31 January 2010.
Conditions apply. Contact Singapore Airlines for details and bookings.
Bali Fights Human Trafficking
New Bali Law Outlaws All Forms of Human Trafficking Including Both Male and Female Prostitution.
The Indonesian province of Bali has taken a stand against human trafficking by passing local legislation packing prison terms of up to 15 years and fines of Rp. 600 million (US$58,800) for those convicted of pedophilia, prostitution, marriages of convenience, pimping and slavery.
According to Radar Bali, the provincial criminal law underwent months of deliberation before being rushed through approval before the close of the current session of the Bali House of Representatives.
The new legislation which was originally conceived to be called the "Provincial Law to Against the Commercialization of Women and Children" had its name changed to the "Provincial Law for Prevention of Human Trafficking" when changes in the law were made to include rules against male prostitution.
The Head of the Commission drafting the new legislation, Sutena, said, "this provincial law focuses on efforts to prevent, control and educates on issues related to human trafficking."
The new legislation will adopt a cross-sector plan of attack by confronting both the perpetrators while also assisting the victims of human trafficking. Budgets have been allocated to provide for "safe houses" and enforcement coordination with various national enforcement authorities.
The new rules also provide for identity checks at sea and airports in Bali as a step to prevent the criminal trade in human beings.
Underlining the seriousness of intent of the government, punishments of between 3-15 years in prison and fines between Rp. 120 million (US$11,765) and Rp. 600 million (US$58.800) are provided for those found guilty under the new Bali law.
Governor Made Mangku Pastika, who attended the House Session at which the law was passed, applauded the new legislation saying he hoped that local authorities would prosecute violators to the full extent of the law.
Swing for the Poor
Bali's New Kuta Golf Course Sponsors its First Charity Tournament.
New Kuta Golf is holding its first charity tournament "Swing for the Poor" which will be held Sunday, June 28, 2009, with proceeds going to ROLE Foundation's education and training programs for people living on South Bali's Bukit Peninsula.
The par-72 golf course in Pecatu recently hosted the Indonesian Open 2009, the first time that event was held outside of Jakarta. Perched above a limestone cliff, overlooking Dreamland and Balangan Beach, the Ronald Fream-Designed Course is lauded as both challenging for accomplished low handicappers and a rewarding golf experience for the novice player. The course features sea and inland water views, with four of the back nine holes overlooking the aqua marine waters of the Indian Ocean.
The ROLE Foundation has recently opened an Eco Learning Park in Sawangan, Nusa Dua. ROLE's primary mission is to provide education and training to needy women, serving those who are illiterate and lacking practical skills. The Bukit area was chosen by ROLE because, despite rampant tourism and real estate developments, the people of this region continue to be economically marginalized by tourism. By arming those it assists with education and skills, ROLE hopes to create opportunities for employment and business creation.
ROLE's 1.5 hectare Eco Learning Park also serves as an integrated educational center for school children and visitors alike to learn about critical environmental issues facing Bali.
Play commences at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 28, 2009, with a shotgun start with play using a stableford system. Dinner and the award presentation follow at The Link Restaurant which overlooks the 18th hole and putting greens.
- Members Rp 400,000 per person (US$39)
- Members Guests Rp 950,000 per person (US$93)
- Indonesian Residents / KIMS Holder Rp 1,000,000 per person (US$98)
- Visitors US$ 160 per person
Cost covers a chance for a hole-in-one award, refreshments, dinner, trophies, lucky draw prizes and applicable taxes.
For more information, contact Dewi Lestari at telephone ++62-(0)361-8481333 or Lisa Cross at ++62-(0)361-8058807.
An Exhibition by Keiji Ujiie at Hanna Artspace in Ubud July 11-30, 2009.
Keiji Ujiie, an international artist based in Bali since 2007, arrived in the Ubud community of Nyuh Kuning with the desire of initiating a new era of personal creativity. Born in Japan in 1951, the sculptor/landscape architect has an established body of work stretching over 25 year. With works that are typically large scale and monumental, Ujiie's artistry dominates sweeping landscapes, city courtyards and public parks in Japan, Mexico, Belgium, Lebanon and, more recently, Sanur, Bali.
Click Images to Enlarge
"Continental Mother" is Keiji's debut solo exhibition in Bali. Starting on July 11 and running through July 31, 2009, Hanna Artspace in Ubud, Bali will present 22 sculptures produced over the past two years. In keeping with the name of the exhibition, "Continental Mother" on display will be is the artist's interpretation of the Balinese landscape rendered in indigenous materials of Javanese Limestone, Marble and Granite.
At home, in his open terrace studio situated overlooking rice fields and the Pura Dalem Temple, Keiji draws inspiration from the natural Balinese setting that surrounds his home. Constant trade winds blow through the adjoining fields. Clouds drift gracefully across his vista. Seasons are punctuated by cycles of growth and harvest; green alternating with open fields of standing water. Native birds feed surreptitiously on the rice crop while ducks tend the rice fields in search of insects. Here, the senses are continuously stimulated. Here, also, the essence of rural Bali and its cycles of life, impart a magical healing quality. "I love to absorb this enduring peace," says Keiji, "it is an essential part of my creative process." In silent contemplation he consumes this nurturing energy, translating it over time into artistic expression.
"Continental Mother" first evolved only as a loosely formed mental concept. Keiji's artistic method employs no models, studies or sketches, preferring a "direct carving" technique. He ventures into hard substances, working to expose the spirit of the stone hidden within. Working from the inside-out, he exposes the new life revealed by his finished compositions. Each individual stone has its own unique feeling retained within its grains and structure. Intuitively, Keiji responds to the feelings he receives; through physical intent, form achieves coherence.
Five individual "Continental Mother" pieces, each 600mm x 400mm in size, form the centerpieces of the current exhibition. His use of Javanese limestone reveals spatial geometries. Arched legs spread powerfully, mimicking some sort of earthly 'rainbow'. Beautifully proportioned torsos support full, bulbous breasts that emerge like mountains touching a larger cosmos. Protruding nipples point skyward, like eyeballs searching the heavens. The off-white limestone's grain is hand-finished and smooth; unpolished, almost glowing, like tender skin, radiating a virgin-like quality.
Geometry is the universal language of mathematics reflecting the axiom that in nature all geometric constructions conduct and transmit energy. The bulk of these voluptuous shapes resonate strength and power. His creations manifest into the figurative form. "Rarely, if ever, do I explore the human form! This is a direct influence of working in Bali. Here, there is a different spiritual energy. I never get this image in Japan," confessed Keiji.
Included also in the Bali exhibition are 17 trophy pieces, 400mm x 200mm in size, ranging from abstract to figurative forms.
Keiji likes to travels the world visiting location that mirror his spirituality. His recent work reflects the essence of Bali with works akin to meditation. It is Keiji's intent that a spiritual energy radiates from within his creations.
An Exhibition of Sculptures by Keiji Ujiie
Jalan. Raya Pengosekan – Ubud
For more information telephone ++62-(0)361-978216
Opera Meets Gamelan in Ubud, Bali
'Tragic love story' of Bali and the West in Premiere of 'A House in Bali' June 26 & 27, 2009.
Contributed by Rucina Ballinger and originally published in The Jakarta Post
The Ubud Palace, where the cultural exchange between Balinese and Western artists first began in the 1930s, has turned host for a new opera that deals with that very subject - the world premiere of Evan Ziporyn's cross-cultural opera - A House in Bali.
This new work, which combines Western music with the gamelan, opera singers and arja (Balinese traditional opera) artists features some of the finest singers and musicians from Bali and around the world. The composition brings together Balinese and Western cultures in a way perhaps never imagined by the characters it portrays: composer Colin McPhee, artist Walter Spies and kebyar dancer I Sampih.
Two free performances will take place at 8 p.m. on June 26 and 27, 2009, in the very location where Walter Spies first stayed in Bali, the Puri Saraswati in central Ubud. There, surrounded by lotuses on the enchanting Cokorda Ngurah Suyadnya (Cok Wah) stage, the story told in McPhee's famous memoir A House in Bali will be presented.
The international cast includes three renowned opera singers: tenor Marc Molomot as McPhee, Kazakh native Timur Bekbosunov as Walter Spies and Anne Harley as famed anthropologist Margaret Mead. Their Balinese counterparts - Nyoman Kaler, the dancer Camplung and the parents of I Sampih - will be played by distinguished Balinese artists I Nyoman Catra, Desak Made Suarti Laksmi and Kadek Dewi Aryani. Sampih will be portrayed by Catra's son, Nyoman Triyana Usadhi.
The singers will be accompanied by two of the most innovative ensembles in the avant-garde world: New York's famous Bang on a Can All-Stars, directed by the composer, and Ubud's own Gamelan Salukat directed by Dewa Ketut Ali.
Why an opera about Colin McPhee?
"Everyone involved in this project follows in the footsteps of McPhee, Spies and the Balinese artists who interacted with them," Ziporyn explained.
"There are now hundreds of American gamelans, and none would have been possible without McPhee's trailblazing work. Every painting you see on the streets of Ubud grows out of Spies' work with the young painters of the 1930s," he argues.
"Yet the Bali they loved was the old Bali, the Bali that would change so radically in subsequent years. Part of the motor for that change was the connection to the West, so in a sense they themselves contributed to the end of that era. Making this opera is a way to reflect on that encounter, a tragic love story between two cultures. Opera always has to have a tragic love story."
The resumes of the Balinese artists involved in the production underscore this fact. I Nyoman Catra and Desak Made Suarti Laksmi are experts in traditional Balinese performance, but have also performed in plays and concerts worldwide. Dewi Kadek Aryani danced in Robert Wilson's I Galigo.
Dewa Ketut Alit is the co-founder of Gamelan Cudamani and has composed many works for gamelan in the United States and Canada, some of which have been performed in New York's Carnegie Hall. In some way, all the performers are the "sons and daughters" of McPhee, Spies and Sampih.
For composer Ziporyn, the opera is the culmination of a 28-year involvement with Balinese gamelan, which began for him with a research trip to Bali in 1981. He studied legong drumming with I Made Lebah, who himself had been a good friend of McPhee.
Returning to America, Ziporyn joined Gamelan Sekar Jaya, traveling with them on their famous first Balinese tour in 1985. As a professor of music at MIT, he founded Gamelan Galak Tika, composing numerous cross-cultural works, including the memorial work for gamelan and orchestra, "Ngaben for Sari Club."
He also collaborated with dalang Wayan Wija on a full-length wayang kulit (shadow puppet) play with a Western accompaniment Shadow Bang, which has been performed in New York, Boston and Amsterdam. In 2005, he brought Galak Tika to Bali, performing at the Bali Arts Festival. At the same time, he has traveled the world with Bang on a Can collaborating in the process with artists such as Paul Simon, Brian Eno, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sonic Youth, Ornette Coleman and Philip Glass.
A Hourse in Bali
A House in Bali will bring the sounds of West and East together - electric guitars with reong and kendang; violins and cellos with suling and genggong;opera with arja and kidung.
Will the mix be sweet or chaotic? Most likely it will be like the encounter between West and East itself: a combination of both.
Tickets are free, but reservations are encouraged. For information please visit [House In Bali Website].
New Entertainment and Dining Complex Opening in Kuta
Le' Nirwana to Offer International Dining and Entertainment Venues Together with Local Dining Options on Kuta Beach.
Bakrie Hotels & Resorts are preparing the Le' Nirwana - a 3,500 square meter entertainment and dining complex on Kuta Beach in Bali.
As reported in bisnis.com, the project will be located in front of the new Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana Condotel.
Andre R. Makalam, Chief Marketing Officer of PT Bakrieland Development Hotels & Resort claims the Le' Nirwana concept will be Bali's first "one stop solution" combining an entertainment venue, restaurants and cafes.
Makalam told the press: "we plan to begin operations at Le' Nirwana on June 16th. The first to open will be 'Red Square' and 'Red Sopari' – an Italian restaurant. Later comes 'Takigawa' and 'Oenpar.'"
He also explained that the new project will provide an international culinary experience, offering restaurants and cafes with global cuisine, as well as local food. Andre also expressed the hope that the complex would add to the drawing power of Kuta as a destination within Bali. "We hope this project strengthens the price of the new Pullman Bali Condotel which forms a part of the Le' Nirwana complex," he added.
The Pullman Bali Condotel is scheduled to open on August 9, 2009.
A Craving for Carving in Bali
Ubud Area Wood Carvers Idled by Lack of Wood Supplies.
Thousands of wood carvers in the Gianyar region of Bali are complaining to provincial trade and industry officials that the wood which forms the raw material of their trade is becoming increasingly difficult to secure.
On Monday, June 8, 2009, a group of traditional wood carvers from the Tegalalang region, north of Ubud, told NusaBali that the current shortage of wood is more severe that shortages experienced in the past. A lack of wood supply and the extremely high cost of the wood that remains available, has idled many Ubud area wood carvers.
One carver, who works with albesia wood, Wayan Sudiarta, said that the cost of wood has risen three hundred percent over the past five years, Not only is wood expensive, but also very hard to come by. Explained Sudiarta: "It's like this, woodworkers like me are suddenly almost 'dead.' We can't do anything."
Sudiarta told the press that proof of the collapse of the wood carving industry is large number of former woodcarvers who have now been forced to change their professions, becoming construction workers and farmers. Those who have remained as wood carvers now earn around Rp. 20,000 (US$2) for a day's work.
The head of the Gianyar Industry and Trade Office, Wayan Suamba, told NusaBali that there is little his office can do to held the wood carvers, with the supply of wood products a matter for the Department of Forestry to deal with. He urged carvers to use their creativity to confront the current crisis, exploring the use of new types of wood when traditional wood sources suddenly dry up.
When asked by the press if the government would undertake steps to find new sources of wood beyond Bali, Suamba agreed that a collective effort between the various associations and the department of forestry was needed.
"Such an effort we will try to undertake, though I can't confirm when," explained Suamba.
Indonesia's National Tourist Numbers Grow
Despite Minimum International Promotional Funds, Indonesian Arrivals Grow for Q1 2009.
An official of the Department of Culture and Tourism has told the press that Indonesia is not capable of "vertical promotion" using international broadcast media due to a lack of needed funding.
Nia Nurcaya, Director for Conferences, Incentives and Promotion of the Marketing Division of the Department of Culture and Tourism, said, "in terms of the vertical promotion of tourism, Indonesia is left far behind by other neighboring nations, such as Malaysia."
Nia compared Indonesia's total annual budget for promotion of only US$20 million, a total that is one-fifth Malaysia's promotion budget estimated at US$100 million a year. This shortage of promotional funds makes it impossible for Indonesia to undertake major broadcast schedules, such as those done by Singapore and Malaysia.
Nia continued saying that in order for Indonesia to undertake an effective vertical promotion, an average of 15 advertisements a day must be placed with outlets like CNN. "But the cost of one day reaches Rp. 750 million (US$73,500) and with promotional funds of only US$20 million, you can imagine that Indonesian tourism can only be show a few times on CNN," explained Nia.
The limited funds available for promoting Indonesia cannot purchase advertising programs with major broadcast outlets. Indonesia can only buy advertising campaigns in selected single national markets and support overseas representative offices for the promotion of tourism.
Nia admits that the results of the limited Indonesian approach cannot be equated with the results of competing countries able to undertake extensive campaigns on international broadcast media. Instead, Indonesia is forced to content itself with trying to preserve and slowly grow existing markets.
Nonetheless, limited promotion on a number of fronts still yields significant results for Indonesian tourism. Total foreign tourism arrivals to Indonesia during the first quarter of 2009 increased 1.53% when compared to Q1 2008.
According to Nia, Indonesia must be thankful that in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis while competing destinations are suffering declining arrival numbers, arrivals continue to demonstrate modest growth.
Best Western Hotel Sapta Patala Closed Before it Opens
110-Room Kuta Hotel Ruled an Illegal Structure in Area Reserved for Single Family Residences.
NusaBali and Bali Post both report that the 110-room Best Western Hotel Sapta Patala on Jalan Kubu Anyar in Kuta now faces a possibly insurmountable obstacle to its eventual opening. The hotel, more than 90% completed and in its final finishing stage of construction prior to official operation, was expanded without first obtaining the required licenses and permits. [See: New Best Western Hotels in Bali Under Official Scrutiny]
Quoting the Badung Regency Tourism Office (Disparda), NusaBali and Bali Post report that the new hotel was built in absolute violation of zoning laws, creating a hotel in an area reserved exclusively for residential premises.
The Head of the Badung Disparda, I Made Subway, said: "We cannot issue a license. It's clear that the hotel is violating the law. If they need a permit for rental houses, that's not our authority. They could try to ask at the development section."
Meanwhile, the head of the development section, Dewa Apramana, said his office can only grant residential permits to small structures, such as individual houses and small store fronts (rukos).
The hotel has, in fact, been in operation in various forms since 1970 when it first opened with just 7 rooms. It later expanded to 57 rooms before its latest expansion to become a 110 room property.
Unless a special exemption is granted or a decision is made to somehow not enforce the zoning laws, the Best Western Sapta Patala Hotel in Kuta will forever stand empty and more than 90% completed. Press reports confirm that construction at the hotel project site has ceased in compliance with orders from local authorities to halt the construction of the project.
Bali's Top Officials Report Personal Wealth
Among Top 8 Officials in Bali, Governor Pastika is the Richest and Badung Bupati A.A. Gde Agung the Least Prosperous.
On Wednesday, June 10, 2009, the National Commission to Fight Corruption (KPK) announced net worth of leading government officials in Bali as required under the law. That list saw Bali's Governor Made Mangku Pastika claiming the highest net worth of Rp. 6.2 billion (US$607,840) plus US$10,000. Among the 8 officials filing personal asset report, the “poorest” was the Bupati of Badung, A.A. Gde Agung, with a personal wealth of Rp. 1.87 billion (US$183,300).
Wealth of Bali Top Officials
- Made Mangku Pastika, Governor, Rp. 6.2 billion (US$607,840) plus US$10,000.
- Inspector General T. Ashikin Husein, Bali’s Chief of Police, Rp. 4.3 billion (US$421,570)
- I B Putu Gede, The President Director of the Bali Development Bank (BPD-Bali), Rp. 3.9 billion (US$382,350)
- I Ketut Sudikerta, Vice Bupati of Badung Regency, Rp. 2.96 billion (US$290,200)
- Professor I Made Bakta, Dean of Udayana University, Rp. 2.35 billion (US$230,400)
- I Gusti Ngurah Suparka, Bali’s Chief Prosecutor, Rp. 2.34 billion (US$229,400)
- A.A. Ngurah Puspayoga, Vice-Governor of Bali, Rp. 2.17 billion (US$212,750)
- A.A. Gde Agung, Bupati (regent) of Badung, Rp. 1.87 billion (US$183,300)
The personal wealth figures were revealed at a public meeting held at the Nikki Hotel in Denpasar on June 10,2009, and published in Nusa Bali.According to the report, the Governor’s net worth has nearly doubled in the last 3 years due to an increase in the value of Pastika’s fixed assets.
Anti-corruption legislation in Indonesia requires the disclosure of personal wealth by all top officials.
Head Hunting Season Now Open
Chinese Government Asks Indonesian Government to Halt Destructive "Head Selling" Practice.
BisnisBali reports that the China National Tourism Authority (CNTA) has called on Indonesia to stop the practice of "selling heads" among Chinese tourists visiting the country. "Selling Heads" is the practice in which the right to guide visiting Chinese tourists is purchased by travel agents and guides who then recoup their investment through oftentimes exorbitant commissions received from restaurants and shops.
Eddy Sunyoto, the Chairman for Promotion and Marketing for the Indonesia Association of Travel Agents (ASITA), told the press that the CNTA has called on law enforcement officials and the government of Indonesia to end the practice seen as detrimental interests and the overall holiday experience of Chinese holidaymakers.
The government of China recently passed of consumer protection law. Part of that legislation seeks to curb the practice of "head selling" that sees Chinese tourists "pushed" to undertake numerous activities, such as shopping, spas, rafting and other transactions forced upon them by avaricious guides. These activities are often done at the expense of tourists' limited time to enjoy the natural wonder and culture of Bali, detracting from the overall destination experience.
Sunyoto admitted that a number of registered travel agents are actively engaged in "selling heads" when serving Chinese travelers.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Tourism for the province of Bali, Ida Bagus Kade Subhisku, threatened that he will show "no mercy" for companies engaging in "selling heads."
Subhisku has held meetings with the Indonesian Guide Association (HPI) and ASITA to curb the practices of illegal guides.
Nourishing the Soul in Bali – The Flavors of Venezuela
Venezuelan Celebrity Chef Tamara Rodriguez at The Westin Nusa Dua, Bali July 9-13, 2009.
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali will celebrate Venezuelan cuisine via a visit by celebrity chef Tamara Rodriquez from July 9 through July 13, 2009.
During her stay in Bali, Chef Tamara will combine Venezuelan cocoa with savory dishes that blend Portuguese, French and Caribbean influences. Those wishing to learn some of the secrets of the Venezuelan kitchen can join a special cooking class on Friday, July 10th, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.. For Rp. 600,000 net per person (US$58.90) cooking class participants will enjoy the class which also includes a Venezuelan lunch at the Ikan Beachfront Restaurant.
Those eager to sample Venezuelan food without having to cook it themselves, Chef Tamara will present an elegant 5-course dinner paired with South American wines on Saturday, July 11, 2009 at the Nusantara Ballroom. Cost for the dinner is Rp. 1 million net (US$98).
A more relaxed offering of Venezuelan cuisine will be offered on July 12 & 13 at the Ikan Restaurant where an a la carte and Table d'hôte Venezuelan menus with optional wine pairings will be available.
Chef Tamara Rodriguez
With 23 years of culinary expertise that have marked her as a Venezuelan Chef extraordinaire, Tamara Rodriguez has taken the art of combining Venezuelan cocoa with savory dishes to another level. The Venezuelan Chef, who hails from Caracas, specializes in preparing mouthwatering dishes that has a blend of Spanish, Portuguese, French and Caribbean tastes.
A member of the Chef and Cooks Association of Sucre State and as chef of "Flavors of Paria," Chef Tamara has worked with some of the most prestigious names in the gastronomic world such as Chef Robert Provost at the El Gazebo Restaurant in Caracas.
A household name in Venezuela, Chef Tamara has been asked by well-known Venezuelan culinary institutes to present workshops on her specialty of blending cocoa into savory dishes, which she has perfected over the years. Chef Tamara has much to contribute to the gastronomic world with her unique blend of Caribbean and local Venezuelan dishes.
For bookings and more information telephone ++62-(0)361-771906.
Brad Pitt Bali Bound?
Will Brad Pitt Pop By Bali to Visit the Set of 'Eat, Pray, Love'?
Local society gossip mongers in Bali are busy speculating as to whether Hollywood celerity will find time from his busy schedule to visit Bali before the close of 2009.
The Hollywood heartthrob, in addition to his busy career as an actor and social activist for affordable housing, is also an owner of Plan B Entertainment which is backing the Columbia Film "Eat, Pray, Love" now in production.
Based on the best-selling novel by Elizabeth Gilbert, the film is being shot in Italy, India and Bali. Cast to appear in the movie are Julia Roberts, Richard Jenkins and Javier Bardem.
The Bali portion of the film will commence filming a 5 week filming schedule in Ubud later this year.
Brad Pitt fans are hopeful that star turned producer will visit Bali to keep tabs on his latest theatrical investment.
Sweeping Raids Ahead for Bali's Illegal Villas
Bali Villa Association Urges Government to Close Down Unregistered Commercial Villas.
The Chief of the Bali Villa Association (BVA), Ismoyo S. Soemarlan, is calling on the government to undertake sweeping raids against illegal commercial villas in Bali.
Quoted in Denpost, Ismoyo, who is also the owner of the Villa Uma Sapta said the hoped the government would soon undertake sweeping raids involving members of the BVA.
The raids are necessary, according to Ismoyo, are needed to move against villas who void taxes and have evaded recent efforts to allow ex post facto commercial registration of their enterprises. Said Ismoyo: "Arrest them! It's clear they are breaking the law."
The Chief of the BVA told the press that he has accumulated data on illegal villas that could form the basis of future enforcement actions. Ismoyo said that tracking down the illegal villas is an easy matter of comparing the list of licensed establishments against Bali villas offered for rent on the Internet.
Buleleng Residents Resist Extension of North Bali Airport Runway
Plans to Extend Letkol Wisnu Airport Runway Frustrated by Refusal of Local Residents to Accept Land Compensation Package.
After an impasse lasting several months, citizens whose residences are blocking plans to extend the runway of the Letkol Wisnu Sumberkima Airport in Buleleng are reported to be nearing agreement on a compensation package that will allow the demolishment of their homes and the expansion of the current runway.
According to BisnisBali, some citizens continue to hold out for a more generous pay out before agreeing to allow the project to proceed.
Of the 49 families who will receive portions of a Rp. 3.3 billion (US$323,500) compensation package, 16 families continue to seek a better offer before agreeing to move. Those rejecting the Rp. 1.6 million pr square meter (US$157) compensation offer claim that amount is insufficient to secure new land and construct new dwellings.
The head of the team charged to negotiate the land acquisition for the runway extension, Ir. Dewa Ketut Puspaka, threatens that if the affected families stubbornly refuse the offer of compensation, then the extension of the runways will be on the government land located at the other end of the exiting runway.
The Buleleng airport is the home of a fledgling flight academy operating from the North Bali facility.