Finally I’m back on this site after an outstretched period. As I’ve promised in advance, this piece of writing will tell story about memorable experiences in Pemilihan Abang None Jakarta Pusat 2011.
The long journey of Central Jakarta tourism ambassadors began on May 22 when the focus-group discussion started. There were 211 applicants, 94 males and 117 females. Despite the final exam started on the following day, I committed to focus on Abang None because I might retake particular subject if I failed, but I could only get this experience once during lifetime. I even asked my Politics lecturer to sit an early exam because I got presupposition that I would be busy till the end this competition. My presumption was right because I was shortlisted as semifinalist. From that day forth, I determined myself that I ought to give my best effort to impress the judges.
Semifinal round was the most thrilling phase because it is the most decisive process. After sit the test and cut my trousers at a small store in Barel, I rushed to the City Hall of Central Jakarta by taking express train and changed my casual outfit into formal attire at mom’s office. The seven interviewers were experts on their subjects. They’re Tommy Tjokro for tourism and foreign language proficiency, Soraya Haque for public speaking, Sulastri Gultom for governance and general knowledge, Lula Kamal for etiquette and personality, Hj. Annisa Diah Sitawati for history and culture of Jakarta, Badaruzaman for marketing, and Demayanti Nasution for psychology. Even though I was quite nervous, I managed my security-dilemma by kept being optimistic.
Fifteen pairs of Abang and None were announced on May 25 after a hundred interviewees had been waiting until midnight. I couldn’t describe my happiness with words after saw my photo displayed on the wall. Well, I’m not sure it’s on 25 or 26 since there was a technical meeting till 1 AM. The quarantine session began on the following day at the City Hall of Central Jakarta. All finalists were prepared for final interview by attending classes of governance and protocol, history and Betawi culture, tourism, marketing and public relations, plus public speaking. The judges panel remained unchanged up to the final night.
Stage performance is an inseparable part of a competition. Ngibing (formally “nandak”) or traditional Betawi hoedown is the most awaited act in the final night of Abang None. Almost everyday we drilled our choreography from 4 PM to 10 PM with Bang Isam Surentu and his assistant, Mbak Lintang. Guruh Soekarnoputra classic track which was originally recorded by Ahmad Albar, “Lenggang Puspita“, was chosen as the background song for nandak. Unlike other municipalities, distinguished feature of Abnon Jakpus’ nandak is the combination of traditional moves and contemporary song.
Salute and Gathering night at Hard Rock Café Jakarta on June 7 was the first moment when all finalists were introduced to public for the first time. Thirty finalists were divided into three groups and we performed lenong or traditional Betawi theatrical show on stage.
Not only preserving traditional culture of Jakarta, the finalist contributed in social activity at PAUD Cempaka, Galur, Johar Baru District. It was the first interaction between the finalists and the society. We came to educate kids in the densely-populated neighborhood about essential basic things like nutritious food, good lifestyle, and energy saving.
The morning after, all finalists grappled in Amazing Race. The concept is exactly the same like the TV show aired by CBS. This is the specialty of Abnon Jakpus because five other regions in Jakarta doesn’t have such program. Five teams were given budget only Rp 100,000 to reach several tourism destinations in Central Jakarta. Somewhat it reminds me of TKHI Amazing Race because I was the member of green team. First pit stop was Statue of Hermes in Harmoni where we reached it on foot from the City Hall of Central Jakarta. Then we took bus to Gedung Kesenian Jakarta to solve logical and mathematical questions which led us to find a historical diorama at National Monument (Monas) and find clue for the next pit stop. Having rushed at crowded square and bypassed another team, we walked to Tugu Tani and took bus to the Monument of Proclamation. After completed the challenges, we took bajaj to Masjid Sunda Kelapa and had brunch at surrounding food trucks. All teams went to National Museum by taking TransJakarta in a car-free day. We were given tricky questions about historical artifacts which the answers could be found at the museum. Seriously, I felt like in the movie Night at the Museum. The last destination was Taman Prasasti Museum, a colonial-styled graveyard adjacent to the City Hall of Central Jakarta. Although my team didn’t finish first, I love it because all contestants could know further about tourism objects in Central Jakarta.
The pressure got stiffer as the final night came closer. Regular exercise got more exhausting and the participants were physically and mentally tested. Apart from moves for ngibing, we also practiced for fashion show, parade, Q&A session, and crowning ceremony. The seniors taught the finalists to primp in few minutes and how to give greetings, both salam takzim and salam sembah, in the right way. Unfortunately, the bustle during the last three weeks had made my physical condition dropped. My hypotension relapsed just few days prior to the final night. I felt like about to surrender, but immediately I realized that I wasn’t supposed to waste valuable opportunity like Abnon Jakpus.
The final night was held at The Hall Senayan City on June 17. I know you must be questioning why Senayan City was chosen as the venue for final night. Yep, sophisticated malls like Senayan City and Plaza Senayan are geographically located in Central Jakarta. Jl. Hang Tuah is the border of Central Jakarta and South Jakarta. So, the campus of Bina Nusantara International University and Universitas Prof. Dr. Moestopo are also located in Central Jakarta, but the opposite side is in South Jakarta. Kinda confusing, eh? But it’s not the main point of this post, so let’s go back to the topic. After going through selective process during approximately a month, the judges gave the eventual upshot of the pageant. Favorite winners went to the smiley Chalton Ciptadi and Anggie Dwi Putri Amariz. Future doctor and dentist, Ferdhisa Noviar and Dina Ariani, were entitled as Harapan II Abang & None. Wahyu Adiguna and Naila Izzati were entitled as Harapan I Abang & None. Wakil II Abang & None were awarded to Derry Novadatu Syaharutsa and Tania Larasati, meanwhile Wakil I Abang & None were awarded to the couple Erwin Ardian Noor and Nila Veronica. Ultimately, Abang Agatha Pradana and None Poetri Monalia bequeathed their thrones to Abang Haries Argareza and None Avisatya. Hopefully Central Jakarta could perpetuate the champion title in provincial level.
Despite I didn’t return in triumph, I have no disappointment because participating in Abang None Jakarta Pusat 2011 is a priceless experience. Aside from enhancing my comprehension about tourism in Jakarta, I feel so lucky to befriend and build network with great people from various backgrounds. As the youngest finalist of this year’s competition, Abnon Jakpus was a milestone to prove the world my capability behind my immaturity. I’m really proud to be a part of Abnon Jakpus because everybody knows its reputation. Yes, it is true that the spotlight is usually in the center.
Thank you for all friends of mine who have supported and prayed for me. Special thanks goes to my college mates, dearest HI UI 2010 and those who rocked my night and made me the spotlight at Hard Rock Café and The Hall Senayan City. Thanks to seniors who have shared their former experience in past competition and transferred their tips and tricks. Finally, I give my deepest gratitude to all incredible finalists of Abnon Jakpus 2011 for every single moment we’ve undergone together and definitely for making me feel like home. I feel so thankful.
Abnon Jakpus 2011, sukri (supel, kreatif, ceria)!