travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz


Day 0: Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia

October 28, 2016
Trip of Wonders Indonesia Blog
Day 0: Trip of Wonders Blog: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia
#TripofWonders #WonderfulIndonesia

Trip of Wonders Batch 3 with Southeast Asian Bloggers and Influencers
Jakarta – Yogyakarta – Bali
October 21 to 27, 2016

My #tripofwonders adventure started with an invitation that I received back in May 2016.

It was an invitation to explore Indonesia and its beautiful islands – including Makassar for a July 2016 trip. Indonesia is a very special country to me. I stayed in Makassar for one month for a global leadership program with other 9 global citizens where we worked with the local government. I always wanted to go back and reconnect with my friends. I remember how the locals would think that I am an Indonesian because I am the only Asian in our group of volunteers. Check out #RuthGoestoMakassar. 
Indonesia had given me so many great experiences and learnings. However, I had to decline the first #tripofwonders invitation because of a personal commitment. Oftentimes, it is not always about grabbing the opportunities, but weighing things and knowing what is more important for you – family, religious commitment, studies? I declined with a heavy heart. 
I was surprised when The Ministry of Tourism in Indonesia responded back and asked for my availability for two trips – September and October. I think I did an imaginary cartwheel as I replied “yes, I am in”! If something is really meant for you, the forces of universe will conspire to make it happen. I chose the October trip because I always wanted to see and experience Bali. 
Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia #TripofWonders #WonderfulIndonesia
NAIA Terminal 1

It was a long wait for me (but everything is worth it!). I have seen posts from the first batch and their adventures climbing mountains and riding boats; while the second batch gave us a taste of Borobudur.
Our #tripofwonders was moved from first week of October to 3rd week. 
Day 0: Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia
I was planning to just bring a small luggage like Rodel’s. 
But. I. Just. Can’t.
It was not the usual Friday morning for me. I headed to NAIA Terminal 1 for a 7 hour flight time from Manila to Jakarta. Packing was a little challenge for me because I wanted to test myself to bring only a small luggage. But that didn”t happen. 🙂 I decided to bring my bigger luggage – and as expected I brought clothes that I didn’t get to wear 🙂

Our flight was booked at Malaysian Airline and I arrived at NAIA Terminal 1 to meet up with @rodelflordeliz. My luggage and I were held up at the entrance of the airport – because the security said that I had a lighter in my luggage. I was positive, I didn’t. They asked me to removed my items in my hand-carried bag. To be fair, they didn’t touch my stuff – they let handle everything. I am not worried about the Laglag Bala scam. After they scanned my luggage again – they cleared me.

I found Rodel sitting and chatting with new-found friends Attorney @lakwatserongtsinelas and Matinee Idol @kirkabeceron. I love that the NAIA 1 now has steel benches where passengers can sit while waiting for check in counters to open. A lot has improved since my last flight here last year. I was so unprepared for the trip but thankfully, there is an ATM inside the airport and fastfood chain (aka Jolibee!).

READ: I used to dread flying via NAIA 1

Few Facts About Indonesia

Indonesia is the world’s largest country comprised solely of islands (17,508 of which only 6,000 are inhabited).
Capital City: Jakarta consists of hundreds of district native ethanic groups which has more than 700 local languages.
Indonesia is 15th in the world’s largest country in terms of land area and 7th in the world for combined sea and land area.
Indonesia has tropical climate with wet and dry seasons.

Manila to Jakarta via Malaysian Airlines

Day 0: Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia
Everyone was a bit scared to fly Malaysian Airlines  😀

What Would Ruth Wear
comfy dressing for flights
Top: Zara
Boyfriend Jeans: Stradivarius
Shoes: Flossy
Watch: Automatic Watch by Fossil
Backpack: Herschel

Sling Bag: Kipling

The check-in process took a while that by the time we got to the gate and passed through immigration, it is already boarding time. While waiting, I already got acquianted with Pinoy Travel Bloggers Kirk Acebron and Julius Estur. 

Rodel, Seph @sephcham, Trice @tricenagusara and I wanted to sit together, but it appeared that the organizing team already seleted our seats. During the flight, we realized that we were sitting next to other Philippine Participants. I personally don’t have issues sitting next to other people (as long as they don’t stink! Haha). I got used to flying solo but there is always something comforting about sitting next to your friends 🙂 

Day 0: Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia
Day 0: Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia
Day 0: Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia
(1) In-flight Entertainment for the win! Perfect for 4 hours travel. (2) Boarding for Jakarta (3) Always checking if there were changes in the Boarding Gates. 
We had a two-hour layover in Kuala Lumpur. We used the time to check on our mailboxes and filled out the Menu Form for the preferred food for the restaurants that we would visit. Rodel and I chose to ordered different food so we can get to taste more of Indonesian flavors 🙂 I’ll tell you more about them on the next posts. 
Day 0: Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia
Day 0: Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia
Day 0: Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia
(1) Always love traveling with my Lenovo Yoga 900 (2) Choosing our food carerfully (3) Yes Break (4) with the Apple of My Left Eye, Rodel Flordeliz
When we finally landed in Jakarta, I remember walking down the same ramp in the airport some 4 years ago when I traveled  solo for the volunteer work in Makassar. 
We were welcomed by this guy. 
Day 0: Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia
Ah, I love that smile!
We arrived in the Swiss BelHotel which is just 10 minutes away from the airport. We were once again welcomed by the Indonesia Team. It is always nice to put a face on the people you only get to interact via email and WhatsApp. 
Power Couples 
@sephcham and @tricenagusara, and @thomascaja and @kimijuan
trip of wonders indonesia blog
@nengleya got curious with Jollibee when Batch 1 kept talking how good the Chicken Joy is!
Team Brunei bought this for her. 
Swiss BelHotel Jakarta, Indonesia
trip of wonders indonesia blog
Day 0: Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia
trip of wonders indonesia blog
(1) Cliche Photo of Hotel Key Card (2) First bed for the 7-day trip (3) Obligatory Mirror Selfie – do I still look okay after an 8 hour travel?
I love that the Ministry of Tourism checked us in a very nice hotel with complete amenities. The Swiss Belhotel is also next to a shopping mall, convenience store, KFC, JCo and Starbucks. 
trip of wonders indonesia blog
Day 0: Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia
What time is it? There is no time difference in Manila and Jakarta.
Truth to be told, we didn’t get much free time during the trip but I love all the activities they prepared for us.

Trip of Wonders Batch 3 Welcome Dinner

I always love welcome dinners because it is always the showcase of the host country’s best food + it is the perfect time to get to know the other participants. I have lived for a month eating Indonesian Food (with KFC on the side. Haha). I can say that most of the dishes are on a spicy side. I will share more about our new food discoveries and the cooking workshop on the next blog series!

The Philippines Team initially sat together because it was also our first time to meet each other. Philippines Team is composed of bloggers (from lifestyle, travel and fashion niches), Photographers and Videographers (guys, you have to see @ashleyyee ‘s videos!).

When the program started, we were dispersed and Trice (@tricenagusara), Lisa (@lissakahayon) and I were seated next to Indonesian and Brunei Participants. They are social media superstars! I felt so little 🙂 @rijalkamaluddin is a Chemistry professor who loves to take photos using iPhone. He is into climbing mountains and I told him I haven’t been to any peak 😀 @gzulyusof is our favorite king who is living a royal life in Brunei as a socila media influencer 😉 
During the program, we got the chance to introduce ourselves and we were given our Trip of Wonders kit! How difficult it is to be a blogger? You have to master the art of Public Speaking too 🙂 
Day 0: Trip of Wonders: Manila to Jakarta, Indonesia
Trip of Wonders Kit: powerbank, shirt, hat, program notebook and tags
I love the mix of influencers that the Ministry of Tourism had invited. Each has its own strength and quirkiness. 
Trip of Wonders Bloggers
19 Southeast Asian Influencers, 5 Indonesian Social Media Superstars, 6 Nights, 4 Plane Rides and Thousands of Photos and Boomerang Videos. 

I really love how the Ministry of Tourism organized the trip and made it easier for the participants to focus on work and enjoy Indonesia – from booking the best hotels, to making sure that we had an flight and providing us with travel essentials. 
trip of wonders indonesia blog
… just because I have to have a photo with the backdraft 😉

To get you excited about the upcoming posts, here is our Indonesia Itinerary for the 5-day trip:

Day 1: Flight to YogyakartaEpic Coffee, Javanese Dance Performance, Cycling, Crafting and Batik Making
Day 2: Sunrise Hike in Borobudur, Breakfast at Plataran, Ullen Sentalu Museum, Lunch at Beukenhof, Royal Tea Ceremony, Mila’s Restaurant
Day 3: Lulu Lufti Labbi Studio, Silver Kotagede, Batik Mirota, Ayam Suharti
Day 4: Flight to Bali, Sunday Beach Club, Uluwatu Temple, Kecak Fire Dance, Jimbaran Beach Cafe, 
Day 5: Tabanan for Cooking Class, Sunset at Kudeta Seminyak, Night Life in Bali

We got a very tight schedule that I didn’t have the time to put lotion 😉 The following day, we woke up early for our flight to Yogyakarta.

… to be continued.
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