Exploring Gunung Kubing: Dippin at One of Indonesia’s Infinity Pool

How many of you have experienced swimming in Singapore’s most famous infinity pool, located at the Marina Bay Sands? Back in 2010, when it was first opened, every one I know was like racing to take a cool photo at the new symbol of luxury. I was one of them of course. Sadly, I haven’t started blogging at that time, and Instagram was not even existed yet so I couldn’t find the legit proof that I had been there in 2011.

Anyways, I’m here not to post about that, but about this super cool hidden infinity pool that I found in Belitung! So I had trip with SanaSiniYo to visit Belitung, and the guide asked me whether I had any particular spot that I wanted to visit. I googled some legit touristy recommendation and stumbled upon this waterfall at the bottom of Gunung Kubing that has a sort of pool with a great view of Belitung’s greenery. I told the guide it would be great if they could take me there, because there were not much people who know about it. Not even the guide himself who was a local guy. LOL.

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Belitung was a beautiful island in the south area of Sumatra, surrounded by turquoise sea and plenty of other smaller islands (I’ll share to you my island-hopping experience in Belitung one day). We had to drive for like 2 hours from the city to Membalong Village, got lost once in a while due to bad GPS connection. Went through a very narrow path where it stopped at point because the car couldn’t continue on any further. So we had to walk, or hike to be exact, for like 300 m (probably about 10-15 minutes) to get at the top at the waterfall.

Once I got there, it was incredibly breath-taking and seriously mesmerising. It’s like I couldn’t believe my own eyes that Indonesia has such a hidden gem as beautiful as this place! It was all worth the trip. So as usual, I started to take photos, got shirtless and dipped into the clear water. I went beyond the border, which made out of rocks and enjoyed the view. I kid you not, it was one of the best traveling experience I had so far! Thank you SanaSiniYo (Timothy and Erick) for making this happen!

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

ps. check out some delicious local cuisines that I fancy from Belitung.

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Meeting The Dragon Clan at Rinca Island with Travel Society

Although I was born and raised in this county, and have Indonesian written as my nationality on my passport, I’ve never traveled and explored this beautiful country, at least not until two years ago. The idea of traveling and spending a great holiday was always filled with images of going overseas, or at least, to Singapore and other ASEAN countries.

Thank God for Instagram, I was finally exposed to the idea that traveling domestically is worth more my time and money than actually going overseas. Some of my friends who have visited Europe and other beaches in the world admitted that Indonesia has some of the greatest views. Especially the eastern part of this country.

One of the remarkable trips I did recently was a sailing trip in Labuan Bajo with Travel Society. I’ve shared few posts before, and this time I’m gonna post about the third island that we visited during the trip, Pulau Rinca.

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Welcome to Rinca!

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Entering The Nest

This island is filled with the Komodo dragons, the largest species of lizard that can only be found in Indonesia, and would creep you out just by looking at its enormous size. The large ones are actually not that dangerous, because due to their heavy weights they don’t move around that much. You will find plenty of them just laying around on the ground.

However, the local guards did not encourage us to walk separately from the group. There are also the littler ones who can run really fast, and could bite you. Scary, huh? They could also smell the scent of blood from women who are on their period. Yeap, they are carnivore! But don’t worry about stumbling upon a hungry komodo, because their lunch is scattered everywhere.

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Meet the dragon!

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Selfie Attempt #1 with the Dragon Clan

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Selfie Attempt #2 With The Dragon Clan. I was actually scared thinking that they might have run to me and eat my legs or something.

Guess what their lunch menu is! The first time I entered this island, I saw so many beautiful deers roaming around freely. The thought of them living so free like this in their natural habitat is just wonderful. That was until the local guard told me that, they are here mainly to be served to the komodo as lunch. Gulp. Poor thang.

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Lunch Menu

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And another one 😦

The unique thing about the Komodo is that their existence is slowly becoming a rarity due to cannibalism. The male would only come meet the female during mating season, which is like once a year. He would then neglected her with so many kids to be taken care of. The bitter female would then eat her own children simply to survive. Or, perhaps out of bitterness because her kids would remind her of that scumbag male who left her alone. LOL.

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Headband: Topman, Floral Shirt: The Collin Gangstas, Bag: Herschel Supply, Shorts: H&M

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When in Bali part 1: Doncaster Eatery – A Mixture of Health and Guilty Pleasure Brunch

Have you ever done an impulsive action for once in your life? I have. And most of the time, my impulsivity includes a spontaneous vacation. Last year, I went to Bandung for two days just to escape Jakarta’s hustle bustle. Earlier this year, I took a solo trip to Ijen Crater and Surabaya. And just last month, I decided to spend a day in Bali. Just because.. I feel like doing it. Well, and partly because I knew that my favorite cousins, Omar and Berra will also in Bali. So I purchased the flight ticket on Monday, and departed on Saturday.

If you know how to ride a scooter or motorbike, then it’d be best to rent one. It’s cheap (about 3 – 5 USD per day), and they could deliver the scooter to the airport. However, if you’re traveling in a group and brings some luggages then you need to rent a car. What I do normally though, is to order Uber from the airport to the hotel. And then, I rent a scooter once I’m finished settling in my hotel room.

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Anyways, I took the first flight to Bali (5am from Jakarta) and arrived in Bali at 8am-ish. The first thing on my itinerary was to have a big brunch at this new openly placed, Doncaster Eatery. Kudos to one of my good friends, Yossico, for actually making her dream come true. It must not be easy opening up a restaurant in Bali while you’re still working full time in Jakarta.

I was starving like a Godzilla and wanted to get proper foods as fast as possible. Sadly, I got lost. I mis-read the Google maps, and ended up wasting about 30 minutes for nothing. Long story short, I finally arrived at Doncaster Eatery, located at Jl. Kayu Aya No.17, Seminyak, North Kuta, just inside a flea market.

Honestly, deciding what to eat when you’re like ultra hungry was a total struggle. It’s like that one last question that you can’t answer during a math exam. Especially, when everything written on the menu sound delicious. After a few minutes of being super indecisive, I picked the Chopped Kale Salad (I’m not sure why I picked that especially when I’m not a big fan of Kale) as a starter and to balance the healthy salad I picked the Crunchy Skin Pork Belly as the main dish.

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The Chopped Kale Salad was tasty! This coming from someone who is not really into the green stuff, yet got tricked into considering to have more of them. It was served with roasted sesame dressing, chicken breast, shredded corn, bean sprout, and (this one is my favorite) extremely crunchy tempe crackers. A bowl of health that only costs you about 5 USD!

The Crunchy Skin Pork Belly was everything that I expected it to be. Juicy pork belly layered with crunchy skin was definitely heaven! This one costs about 7 USD. I wished I had more time to try their other enticing menu like Grilled Octopus, Mushroom Toast, Pulled Pork Sandwich and Peanut Butter Cheeseburger!

If you’re happen to be in Bali right now, this one is worth your time and money. More post about my impulsive trip to Bali will be up soon! As far now, thank you for all of you who have been reading this website for the last two years. Wish you have more exploration and discovery in 2018!

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

 

 

Trekking at Kelor Island and Snorkeling at Manjarite with Travel Society!

Before I started babbling about how beautiful Labuan Bajo is, I’d like to apologize for the lack of posts lately because my workload have been crazy for the past month. Finding time to actually blog was a rarity for me, even up until now. But here I am trying to fill you up on what’s hype and worth trying in your twenty something!

So, if you’ve read my first two posts about my trip to Bajo with Travel Society, those two were only giving you like 20% of the details. Hence, I’d share more in few other upcoming posts. As a starter, here’s a blog post about the first two islands that we visited in Labuan Bajo!

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It took only about 30 minutes from Labuan Bajo to Kelor Island. The minute I saw the white sandy beach, I immediately wanted to jump off of the boat. I kept on reminding myself not to forget wearing my trekking sandals, because the last time I didn’t wear sandals in Belitung, I got injured pretty bad.

The hike to the top of Kelor Island was a total challenging, particularly because it was noon and the sun was like right above our head. I could feel my skin burnt while trying to keep my balance during climbing the steep hill. However, as I’ve said in my former posts the view from high places is always worth the climb!

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Just like in Rinjani, I was one of the fastest in the group, even when I haven’t been exercising for like months. Perhaps is the impatience in me, or perhaps it’s just that I have long legs – I don’t know – but I managed to get to the top before the rest of the pack. So when some of them have finally arrived, I was already deciding going back down and play at the beach.

Again, climbing down a hill is always harder and tougher than going up. The sandy floors were a little bit slippery. I was so nervous that I might lost my balance and fell. Minutes later, I was already on the beach. Unbuttoning my shirt and dived right into the super clear turquoise-ish water. It felt so refreshing after burning few calories going up and down that hill in the middle of a hot sunny day!

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A little bit tips, if you are happen to visit this beautiful island in the future, make sure you are wearing proper clothes and comfy sandals or trekking shoes. Anyways, after Kelor our guide took us to Manjarite Island (about an hour away from Labuan Bajo). Everyone changed into their swimming suits and started to swim in the sea enjoying the beautiful underwater world.

Sigh. Writing about this only makes me this home-sick feeling towards traveling and being out in the open space.

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

Weekend Is Best For: Trying Out New Hang Out Places!

Well, the title is not entirely true, but it’s not entirely false either. I don’t know what about you, but for me weekend is always best for:

  1. Binge-watching while munching on my favorite snacks.
  2. Staying all day in my comfy room accompanied with books and a box of pizza.
  3. Hanging out with my favorite people while at the same time trying out new places.

I’m now a bit reluctant to go out on weekend, particularly on Saturday since the traffic is normally CRAZIER compared to weekdays. So, number 1 & 2 are definitely for Saturday, while number 3 is always a routine on Sunday. My friends and I (always) started out with having zero clue about where we are going to hangout, and (always) ended up on a random newly-opened coffee shop or restaurant in Jakarta.

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This post will feature some of the new places that I got to try in the past month. I was originally planning to make a single post out of every coffee shop or restaurant that I visited, but on second thought I think it would be better to just compile them in one post.

Let’s start with the first one, which is my favorite Go-Food (food online delivery service in Jakarta) meals: HONU Poke & Matcha Bar. I know this is not new anymore, but I legit love this place and the menu! So here it is.

Located in Kemang, Honu serves a very yummy poke bowl consists of fresh and healthy ingredients like tuna, salmon, tofu, edamame, etc. I normally ordered the Super Bowl (Salmon, Avocado Crispy Kale, Edamame, Wakamame Carrots and Cucumber), or the Two & Two (Tuna, Salmon, Lettuce, Carrots, Tempura Crunch) with extra Salmon (yes, that’s how much I love salmon). Normally it would cost me about 75k – 100k per visit. The place is quite small, but still feel quite spacey and comfy with a smoking area on the back. I just really love the pastel colors they used as part of the interior with all those kinfolk-ish green plants.

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Look at that colors!

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Second one is DomaDona Coffee. I was there one Sunday to interview Greys Polii. The only reason we picked this place was because it was quite new, and we wanted to check out the hype. Surprisingly, unlike many other new coffee shops in town, which mostly are crowded in the first few weeks of their opening, DomaDona was a bit.. empty.

First thing that really turned me off was that they used a yellow-ish lamp instead of having big window panes for natural light to penetrate easily into their tiny space. It was a bit challenging to take photos with such lighting. Second of all, everything that we ordered taste rather plain. The highlight though, if you are looking for a nice place to sit and talk for hours, this is quite a good place.

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Third one is the new branch of 1/15 Coffee located in Menteng. Their first outlet in Gandaria was definitely a nice place for hanging out with your friends or having a meeting. However, I always felt like it’s a bit too far from where I live. Voila, they seemed to hear my wish. The Menteng outlet is definitely nearer for me! Unlike the Gandaria one which offers very spacey room with high ceilings, the Menteng one feels more packed. Located next to Kaum Jakarta, 1/15 Menteng still serve you with the best of their coffee game and also foods, although honestly the foods and desserts in Gandaria taste way better.

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Glasses: Karamata, Black Nehru Shirt: Zara, Tee: H&M; Pants: H&M; Shoes: Vans; Accessories: Tha Collection; Watch: Aark Collective

Last but not least is Paradigma Coffee. I think is the most worth-visiting new coffee shop in town, simply because it offers.. *drumroll* a wide outdoorsy area with bean bags and green grass (synthetic though). Other than the coffee shop, this whole location also offers a co-working space, public library, local artisans shop, and also bakery. So it’s like a one stop place for any urban people to have fun, whether with friends or family. Having an outdoor public room in this overpopulated city is indeed a luxury, so to have one coffee shop which offers you a comfy place to sit outside is really a blessing.

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Shades: Karamata, Patterned Shirt: The Collin Store, Jeans: Topman, Socks: Uniqlo, Shoes: Vans; Watch: Hypergrand

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Sunday Squad

Besides these fours, I have also stumbled upon the new Starbucks Reserve at Pakubuwono, Pizza Place at Como Park Kemang, and also Crumble Crew (you must try the Iscaketory!) at SCBD area. If you happen to have any new coffee shop, desserts place, or restaurants opening feel free to let me know so I can drop by and give it a try!

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

First Time Living On Board For 3 Days With Travel Society

How do I survive Jakarta’s crazy hustle? By constantly trying something new every now and then. I remember this urge of keeping myself from insanity of living in concrete Jungle like this started to pop out last year. From then, I (seem to) subconsciously walked into the path of exploring this and that.

For example, I signed up myself for a muaythai class (something I thought I would never enjoy doing). End of last year, I joined a broadcasting class to expand my network and develop my public speaking skill. That’s only the simple regular things that you can do as well. But I didn’t stop there, I took it extremely.. from climbing Rinjani, to hiking Kawah Ijen alone. From flying to New Zealand alone, and spending only a day in Bali recently. Not forget to mention, living on a ship for three days in Labuan Bajo last September on my 30th birthday.

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The perks of living on board for three days: breath-taking views everywhere you turn.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, yes this is in Indonesia.

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This reminds me of a set from Game of Thrones.

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Good life!

At first, the thought of living on a ship in the middle of an ocean was kinda creepy for me. I literally couldn’t imagine myself floating around in darkness with only few centimetres of woods that separate me from the deep ocean. Add to that picture is the super humid air and mosquitos!

BUT, the curiosity of simply doing it and giving it a try is just beyond containable. Besides, I’ve bought the ticket to LabuanBajo, so cancelling the trip was not even an option.

Fast forward to my first encounter with my “above-the-water-hotel” for three days at the port of Labuan Bajo. It was a two storeys motorboat, with two small bedrooms (at the lower deck) that has air conditioner, and would fit for 6 people. It was not really that spacey, but it was comfy enough for you to sleep.  The captain and guide were uber friendly, and the crew cooked really delicious home-made Indonesian foods! Travel Society did not only serve us breakfast, lunch and dinner, but also afternoon snacks. Yaaas!

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Our guide, Stefanus, and the captain.

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I kid you not, they taste GOOD! And, they serve different menu every day.

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I stopped capturing photos during the next meal time, because I was too focused finishing them.

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One of the afternoon snacks: fried banana with sweet condensend milk and meses. This is very very very luxurious after a day of snorkeling!

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Enjoying the afternoon breeze from the upperdeck, captured by: Janice.

I slept at the upperdeck using only mattresses, pillows and blankets with about 5 other people (they were all my friends by the way). Okay, the island-hopping trip was fun. The breeze was very enjoyable. The view was amazing especially during golden hour. Until the night came and it was time to sleep.

Apparently, all the picture I had in mind were false. First of all, the boat stayed quite near to the beach along with other boats. And, the best part is, it has genset (diesel generator)! So the lights were on, I could charge my laptop, powerbank, camera battery. There was no mosquito. And, it was not humid. In fact, it was rather breezy at night we had to use a blanket to keep ourselves warm.

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The upperdeck.

How about the bathroom? Now, this is a fifty-fifty perspective. Some of my friends were okay with the bathroom, some of them were not. There was only one bathroom with limited clean water to be used. It was not a dry-floored bathroom so you can had to wear your flip-flops while doing everything in there (for some people this might be annoying, but I was fine with it).

Overall conclusion? If you are up for a bit of adventure and new experience, just go for it! Besides, it’s only a three-day and two-night experience. The whole memory that you can collect and bring home would last longer than that. (insert a wink emoji).

Btw, here’s some tips if you are going into a sailing trip like me:

1. Pack lightly! The rooms are not that big to contain a huge suitcase, besides it’s three days of swimming you only need swimwear, shirts, toiletries, and towel!

2. If you’re a guy, you don’t need to bring too much underwear. I only packed three swim shorts (one for each day), and wear it all day so that I jump into the water anytime.

3. Aloe vera gel or sunblock is a must! I got quite a bad sunburnt on the first day.

4. If you’re a heavy-muncher like me, there’s no harm in bringing extra snacks!

5. Last one, brings a cable connector so you can charge multiple devices at the same time at night. There’s not much to see at night, so you might wanna bring a speaker to play your favorite Spotify playlist. Or like me, to binge-watch Game of Thrones before sleep haha.

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Enjoying the boat life, a little bit too much.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

 

 

An Interview With Albert Halim: A Humble Heart Behind The Glamorous Spotlight

I’ve known Albert Halim (Abet) since 2011 if I’m not mistaken. I remember watching Catatan (Harian) Si Boy, laughed so hard every time his character appeared on the screen, and two weeks later I met him at church. Through a friend, I got introduced to him, and we immediately hangout the first day we met. He was very humble and didn’t act like a movie star, even until today now that he starred in even more movies, and remained as one of my good friends.

Most people would think that working in the showbiz industry would make someone a little bit unapproachable. Albert proved it wrong with his sincere heart and over-friendliness. Please enjoy his insightful stories over a delicious lunch at KLTR.

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TPOB20: Who is Albert Halim in your own eyes?
Abet: Albert Halim is a nerd who doesn’t know a thing about computer.. hahaa. He connects easily with people. Rice is essential in his life, and it’s also the same thing with fruits. I have to eat rice and fruits every day. He loves dark chocolate, because he believes those who taste a little bit too sweet in the beginning would end up DRAINING.. hahaha! So might as well have something that taste a bit bitter, yet offers a sweet ending.

TPOB20: Lol! Are you talking about a chocolate or a person now? Anyway, what makes you busy these days?
Abet: 
Aside of being an actor, I’m now currently busy being a digital marketer. Yes, I still have upcoming movie, but at the same time I’m also enjoying this new world of digital marketing.

TPOB20: How did you start this whole digital marketing stuff?
Abet: It started last year when I was hired as an influencer for a watch company in Jakarta. Met up with the owner and I couldn’t help but to give him some creative ideas for his digital campaign. He loved it, and decided to hire me to handle some of his brands. One thing leads to another, at this moment I’m now handling 6 brands already.

TPOB20: Wait, did you have any educational background in this field?
Abet: LOL.. no. I graduated as a bachelor of computer accounting, and I still don’t understand how to use Excel properly. But what matters is I graduated with good grades by God’s grace. Uhm and.. with the help of my friends I guess since it was a group project hahaha.

TPOB20: Now, let’s talk about your career in the showbiz industry. How did you get into acting?
Abet: I remember wanting to be an MTV VJ when I was still in high school. I was a fan of Sarah Sechan, and I thought it would be cool to appear in a tv show. However, there was no opportunity for me until my last year in college. At that moment, I have given up the dream and thought that probably entertainment world is not for me. I even have considered to be an accountant and work in a big four accounting company.

Until one day my friend told me to join a casting for tv commercial, and it took me only three or four auditions to star in a tv commercial. That’s how it all started. I began to build a network with some people from the showbiz world.

When I graduated, I told my family that I wanted to pursue acting. So I looked up for a great acting school. Got introduced to Sakti Aktor Studio, and taught by a great man, Bang Eka Sitorus for two years. And, by God’s grace, I landed my first movie, “7 Hati 7 Cinta 7 Wanita” along with big names like Marcella Zalianty, Jajang C Noer, Happy Salma and Olga Lydia.

The next month, I auditioned for Catatan (Harian) Si Boy, which was directed by Putrama Tuta and starred by Ario Bayu, Abimana Aryasatya, Tara Basro and Carissa Putri. Gratefully, I got a remarkable role named Herry, which turned out to be quite a milestone in my career path. From that moment on, I started to gain public recognition and got offered to host a tv show and starred in a sitcom.

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TPOB20: What was the initial reaction of your family when you told them that you wanted to pursue acting as your career?
Abet: Well, they were shocked of course. Because, none of my family members ever have a career in this industry. They seemed doubtful at first, but they were willing to let me try, because at that moment I was just graduated from college. So I got nothing to lose. I’m pretty sure that they would have pushed me to work in an accountant company if I failed in this path. Thank God, I did not…

TPOB20: What are your work values that brought you here?
Abet: 
Giving my best in every single thing that I do, no matter whether it’s a big client or not, whether it’s a big project or not. For example, it’s normal to shoot a movie until past midnight, or sometimes very early in the morning before the sun is out. You would feel sleepy and cranky, and probably tired, right? It’s understandable that most people might want to make it quick and just do whatever it is that the director told them to do. But not with me, I don’t care if it’s 4AM in the morning, I would argue and fight for my opinion if I think the script or the dialog doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s sad to see people compromise quality simply because they are tired. That’s why I’d never do that.

TPOB20: Have you ever felt bored doing this?
Abet: 
I’ve been doing this since I landed my first tv ads when I was 20. It’s been a decade now but I’ve never, for once, felt bored about this career path. Because I realize that to be where I am right now, it’s a matter of privilege. I’m not here to take this for granted just because I’ve played in several movies. I realize that a life like this, an opportunity like this doesn’t happen to everyone. So to feel bored about it would be ungrateful.

TPOB20: What’s the most challenging or interesting thing about being an actor?
Abet: Every actor, who understands the basic knowledge of acting, must do an in-depth psychological research about the role or character that they have to play. They need to have a comprehensive understanding on why the character think that way, react that way. It’s like being born into a new persona and trying to live with it before the shooting day.

TPOB20: So, what was the most challenging role for you?
Abet: When I took the role of Andrew Darwis (Founder of Kaskus) in “Sundul Gan: The Story of Kaskus”, which I co-starred with Dion Wiyoko, I had to spend hours talking with the real Andrew Darwis himself to catch his candid expressions and reactions. I had to learn about the way he speaks, what are the words that he uses in daily conversation.

TPOB20: Was it difficult for you to get out of the character once the movie is done?
Abet: It’s a challenge for every actor I guess. The famous Didi Petet once told me that it would be great if every actor started from zero when they are about to dive into a new character. That means they have to leave the old character behind. So you would look different in every movie, or every character you play. It was never easy for me because it would took about 2 – 3 months to really get into the character, it’s like building a new habit, a new lifestyle. Of course it would be hard to change it afterwards. But, when there’s a will, there is always a way. So, no excuse!

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TPOB20: What is your next big dream?
Abet: I used to dream of studying acting in USA. But now, that I’m in the digital marketing industry, I’m so keen to get a master degree in branding or marketing. It makes you look more credible somehow. So yeah I’ve been looking for some universities in US, and also preparing my saving, I even searched for scholarship. Wish me luck…

TPOB20: Who is your inspiration in life?
Abet: It’s my OO (aunt in Chinese). My mom passed away when I was still a little kid, my dad couldn’t support me financially so his oldest sister took me as her son. She’s truly one of a kind. Through her, I learned to constantly be grateful and inspired to work hard in life.

TPOB20: Lastly, what is the perks of beings 20 to you?
Abet: It’s definitely the most fun season to be in! I personally wish I could stay there forever. It’s the best moment where you don’t get tired easily, it’s the right time to pursue what you heart desire. If you’re in your 20 right now, please be more selective in listening to advices, don’t waste your time, you will never regret acting kind to everyone and anyone, and don’t forget to spend enough time with your family.

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)