The Foreign Service Institute (FSI), in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Manila, conducted the Indonesian Cultural Appreciation and Study Tour Program for Bahasa Indonesia Online Learners on 29 September 2018.
The program started at the embassy with a welcome dance, Tari Pendet, performed by Ms. Manet Gonzales of the embassy’s Education and Cultural Section. Ibu Trini Gunarti, Minister Counselor from the Social Cultural Section, delivered the welcome remarks and highlighted the friendship and shared identity of Philippines and Indonesia as two of the founding fathers of ASEAN.
Ms. Dulce Amor N. Fortunado, Officer-in-Charge of the International Programs and e-Learning Section of FSI, represented the Institute and expressed gratitude to the embassy for the partnership. She also underlined the importance of foreign language competency for Philippine foreign service personnel by using three Indonesian words: teman (friend), sukses (success), and senang (happy).
Ms. Fortunado emphasized that even if not everyone will be assigned in Jakarta or Manado, Philippine foreign service personnel will still be able to use Bahasa Indonesia in their respective foreign assignments so long as counterparts from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam are also present there.
Meanwhile, First Secretary Mas Agus Buana shared general and economic information about Indonesia. Ibu Trini Gunartialso discussed Indonesian social culture, which included celebrations like Ed’l Fitr and illustrations of Makanan Indonesia (Indonesian food). She also took time to explain Pancasila, the philosophical basis of the Indonesian state.
Pancasila consists of two Sanskrit words, “panca” meaning five and “sila” meaning principle; the five inseparable and interrelated principles are (1) belief in the one and only God, (2) just and civilized humanity, (3) unity of Indonesia, (4) democracy guided by inner wisdom in the unanimity arising out of deliberations among representatives, and (5) social justice for the whole people of Indonesia.
Some Indonesian games were also introduced by Ms. Chot Reyes, a long-time Filipino staff at the embassy. A number of prizes were also given to the participants who could enumerate the most number of Indonesian and Filipino words with the same pronunciation.
During the afternoon program, the participants were brought to Warung Kapitlyo, an Indonesian restaurant in Pasig City that serves authentic Indonesian cuisine. Ms. Louh Decena, co-owner of Warung Kapitolyo who spent around 25 years in Indonesia, described the dishes as the participants dined. Her sister and co-owner, Ms. Tess Doctora, with the help of trained Filipino staff, demonstrated the preparation of martabak telur and martabak manis.
Finally, a conversation workshop was conducted to provide an opportunity for the online learners to use Bahasa Indonesia and interact with native speakers from the embassy. A simple closing program was held, with participants introducing a few things about themselves in Bahasa Indonesia. They also shared their insights about the cultural appreciation program.
The Bahasa Indonesia Online Language Course was conducted by the Institute with Wisma Bahasa, which is based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, as the service provider. It is one of the three pilot online language courses that were made possible through additional funds given by Congress to upgrade the language proficiency of Philippine foreign service personnel.