Review : Setia Darma House of Mask and Puppets

Hello everyone!

How are you? I have just finished my 2 weeks summer holiday in Indonesia and it was really fun! I went to Bali for 4 days (staying in Ubud and Kuta, so that I can enjoy both mountain and beach atmosphere).

I would like to divide my experience in Bali into 2 parts. I would like to share about my experience visiting Setia Darma House of Mask and Puppet in Ubud, and reviewing about two new hotels I’ve been to this holiday.


So let’s get started!


General information

Setia Darma House of Mask and Puppet is located in Ubud area, Bali, around 10 minutes drive from the city center.

Address : Jalan Tegal Bingin, Mas, Ubud, Kemenuh, Gianyar Sub-District, Gianyar, Bali 80582, Indonesia

Phone : +62 361 8987493

Open daily from 8 AM to 4 PM

Admission fee : free (but I recommend you to give donation, since this place is really nice and informative)


In my opinion, this place is such a hidden jewel. The collections are extensive consisting of several Indonesian traditional houses (not only from Bali) fully packed with masks and puppets collection. You will not only be able to see masks and puppets collection from Indonesia, but also several selected collections from overseas. Not only from neighboring southeast Asian or Asian country, you can even see puppet from Italy.


Traditional houses where they display the collection of masks and puppets


Despite of its excellent collection, I do not think this place attracts many tourists yet (especially local tourist). When my family arrived there, we are the only guests there. A guide guided use from one house to the other and he explains really well about the collection. I am also impressed about the cleanliness of the facility. When we arrived there we spot at least 5 staffs are cleaning the garden and area. Washroom is also exceptionally clean!

One café and one souvenir shop is also available. In the souvenir shop you can get a really good mask miniature (for around 20 USD, the quality is really good)


A little bit more about the collection

Since I am actually not artsy at all, I will only explain some collections that I can understand.

  • Barong collections

They have barong collections from all over Indonesia. From the guide, I was told that actually barong has a good role in the folklore (although in my perspective it looks scary like a monster). Barong looks scary because he is a lion-like creature.


Barong collection from all over Indonesia

The next picture is the barong from Bali area (located in the middle), the one on his left and right side are the enemies called Rangda, she is a female witch. We can see this set usually in Kecak dance performance.


Bali barong! middle is the barong, left and right side is his enemy

  • One sad story called Barong Landung  : a story about Chinese princess who married a Balinese king. The king, however, ask The Gods of Batur to look for a women that can deliver his heir. He lied about his marital status however, condemning himself and the Chinese princess to be barong 😦


  • Shadow puppets, from all over Indonesia as well as other country. The one that I show here is from Indonesia and China.
  • Chinese string puppets and finger puppets
  • Extensive collections of masks, the one that I took the picture is from China, Japan, and Indonesia


  • Other puppets collections


  • One Japanese artist also donated Noh (classical Japanese drama) masks (sorry, i do not have the picture)
  • Wayang beber collection (where the story is told based on scroll-paint presentation (sorry, i do not have the picture)


In overall, I really recommend you to visit this museum!

This museum really tries to preserve the beauty heritage of Indonesian masks and puppets. Make sure you do visit this museum next time you go to Bali and spread the news! 🙂


With a lot of love,






Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Hello good people!


Today is the last day of winter holiday. I really just want to spend it lazily. Well, we (me and Mas Yu) will have afternoon tea double date together with my bestfriend and her husband 🙂 But; in the morning I am free, I almost finished my abstract for March conference so I decide to wake up late and spend the morning writing about 2017. A dramatic year full of drama, I guess. What happened in 2017? Let me just give me a quick review!


2017 started with mega drama number one. Since everything is over now and I have made peace with the main actor, I really cannot mention the content of the drama here (however, I have a little review about that here).

That time everything was quite blurred I guess. I would not make it without my best friend and in total four times visit from my parent and my sister. During spring and summer, I had a little stolen holiday to Kyoto and Osaka, as well as Izu and Nagoya with good friends.


In terms of academic, actually nothing changed much. I am right now Doctoral Second year student, first semester. This year I managed to attend 3 conferences (2 national (Chemical Society of Japan and Biocatalysis Symposium) and 1 international, Biotrans at Hungary). I also try to speak about science in Science なう event! I also found myself a new interesting topic about synthesizing drug derivatives.

In lab? It is getting more complicated but still very fun, as one of the oldest right now I have 12 kouhai in total with 2 directly under my supervision. Challenging but still happy! I wish we all can do research with love and dedication, and I can somehow be a good role model 🙂

My focus next year will be more of computational study (crystal structure refinement) and docking study; plus writing my publication! I will have to start thinking as well about my future career, meaning searching for a faculty position or post-doctoral position in Japanese university.


This year I tried also to post more on my youtube channel and do vlogging (which I found to be quite fun!). I know what I am doing in youtube is not that “trending” or so called eye-catching, I am just doing it for fun (but with my heart into it). Ah, I also learn to wear hijab more often, trying to incorporate it with my own style 🙂


All of these things happened together with mega drama number two and mega drama number three. Really cannot mention the content of the mega drama number two however I have a little snippet here and there. I guess I am quite content with the problem solving of mega drama number two right now.


And mega drama number three? Finally I am completely releasing myself from my toxic love relationship for 4 years! Here is the snippet, yes, Mas Yu found me 😀 together with wonderful friends from Kanagawa International Student Music Festival!!


although we are so far away from settling down. We need gazillion works to be done to face our huge barriers. But to be honest, I am completely at peace. We learn something new everyday, kudos for him for his patience and willingness to learn.


In the end, I wrap up this year with a peaceful state of mind.

What are the keys?


  1. Self acceptance

I am accepting myself right now, I am not the smartest and I am slow at doing things. But whatever, I keep moving forward slowly everyday. I mean, my dear family, bf, and best friends, they are all able to accept me with my strength and especially, weakness. Why should I be reluctant to accept myself?

  1. Not trying to please everyone

I learned the hard way this year no matter how hard you try to make someone like you; they will not do that if they do not feel that way! So don’t try to please people, be yourself. They will love you if they love you.

  1. Listen and care only to those who really love you

Not all things should be heard and be put into the deepest core of our heart. Follow your heart, listen only to those who matters the most.

Critic will always come to your life. If they come and bother you, just ask yourself two questions. 1) Have I put my heart while doing it? Have I done my best? 2) Do I have good intention on doing this? If the answers are yes, just proceed. It’s the right thing for you.

(Yu, 2017)

Actually actually, those beautiful words in point number 1 to 3 is not mine. I should put some reference…. thank you Yu Teguh golden ways, lol.



So that is all for my 2017.

I do not have big and detailed resolution for 2018. I am only taking baby steps cherishing everyday and be grateful to Allah for all of His blessings.

Well, I have to publish a paper and search for job this year, hopefully postdoc or academic position in Japan. These are the only focus.


Goodbye, 2017.


Bismillahirrahmanirrahim welcome 2018 ❤



With loads of love,


Afifa Ayu Koesoema


My Indonesia Spring Holiday : My Food Diary <3

Hello everyone! How are you?

I hope that you’re all having a good Saturday night! After a week full of sakura beauty, lately it has been a bit cold in Yokohama and its surroundings (and it even snowed one day!). But I believe, the real spring will come soon!

So i got a chance to go back to Bandung, Indonesia, my lovely hometown for 3 weeks! And in this post I will tell about my food diary during my spring holiday! So, if you go to Bandung someday, you’ll already have some food reference!

To be honest, I’m not good at cooking Indonesian food. So while I was in Indonesia, I had a feast!

#1 Indonesian Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng) and Oxtail Soup (Sup Buntut) from Le Meridien Jakarta

Indonesian Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng)

Indonesian Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng)

Oxtail Soup (Sup Buntut)

Oxtail Soup (Sup Buntut)

Ok, it’s from fancy French hotel but I still think that’s these foods are delicious! The oxtail soup is served with poached egg and boiled potato, so nice!

#2 Padang Food, Rumah Makan Padang Sederhana KM 19 Cikampek Toll Road

Padang Food

Padang Food

The characteristic of a Padang Restaurant is its variety of cuisine with its super rich taste! The most typical one would be Rendang (spicy meat dish), and Ayam Pop (Padang style juicy fried chicken). And the waiters in Padang Restaurant are capable of carrying so many plates on their hand!

#3 Chicken Porridge, Bubur Ayam Kepatihan

Chicken Porridge (Bubur Ayam)

Chicken Porridge (Bubur Ayam)

My most favorite is Bubur Ayam Kepatihan. The porridge are generously Unlike other bubur ayam, they don’ serve the bubur ayam with a lot of prawn crackers, but trust me it’s delicious as it is!

#4 Kedai Lingling : Ramen Bar and Dessert

Kedai Ling Ling Dishes!

Kedai Ling Ling Dishes!

Although I’m living in Japan, I still love Kedai Lingling so much! It was originally a small Takoyaki Bar but now becoming sort of like a big restaurant. I really love Kedai Lingling’s Ramen, because it was so spicy and milky as well! Also, please don’t forget to taste its dessert menu~ It’s a combination of Japanese and Taiwanese dessert.

#5 Sundanese Food : Rumah Makan Sambel Hejo, Jalan Natuna Bandung

Fried Chicken and everything yummy!

Fried Chicken and everything yummy!

This is one of my most favorite Sundanese cuisine. The typical menu consist of fried chicken, fried tofu and tempeh, steamed tofu, steamed prawn (pepes tahu and pepes udang), and Sambel Hejo. Sambel means Chilli Sauce, and Hejo means green, because the signature Chilli Sauce used in this restaurant is made from hot green chilli. Another signature dish of Sambel Hejo is Cimplung, deep fried steamed cassava. Taste heavenly!

#6 Tahu Goreng Seuhah, Hot Fried Tofu from Java Preanger Coffee House

Tahu Goreng Seuhah

Tahu Goreng Seuhah

Tahu Goreng means Fried Tofu, and Seuhah is a Indonesian (or mainly Sundanese) saying when  when you’re eating something too hot and spicy. The tofu was battered with flour and stir fried with red chilli and other ingredients. Unfortunately, you will not be able to find this dishes again because the cafe is closing down. But, Tahu Goreng Seuhah will always be my favorite snack ever! 😦

#7 Kopi Scooter, a touch of Singaporean / Malaysian Food in town

Kwetiaw Goreng Ayam and Milo Dinosaurus!

Kwetiaw Goreng Ayam and Milo Dinosaurus!

Craving for Malaysian or Singaporean taste? My recommendation is Kedai Kopi Scooter, located at Jalan Riau Bandung. They had the best Dimsum in Bandung (IMO) and their fried kwetiaw is the best!

#8 Cuanki Serayu, Nicest snack for your Rainy Day

Cuanki Serayu

Cuanki Serayu

Cuanki is a traditional dish from Bandung. It consists of meatball, steamed tofu, fried fish cake, and sometimes served with instant noodle. The most famous Cuanki in Bandung is Cuanki Serayu, located in Jalan Serayu Bandung, it’s really suitable for rainy days!

#9 Sate Kambing Hadori : The Best Lamb Satay in Town!

Sate Kambing  Hadori

Sate Kambing Hadori

My most favorite Lamb Satay in town is Sate Kambing Hadori or HM Haris, located in Simpang Lima Bandung. The lamb meat is so juicy and sweet! You can enjoy this dish with its signature peanut sauce, sweet soy sauce, and sliced of fresh vegetables like tomato and onion.

#10 Corn in a Cob and Bajigur : Taman Hutan Raya Juanda

Corn in a Cob & Bajigur

Corn in a Cob & Bajigur

Corn in a Cob plus Bajigur, a traditional hot drink made of coconut milk and Aren Sugar (Palm Sugar), is a very nice treat after a walk along Taman Hutan Raya Juanda, Bandung very own conservation nature park. The corn in a cob is seasoned with spicy, sweet, and salty sauce, really delicious!

#11 Sapu Lidi : Have your Sundanese Cuisine with a Special View

Sundanese Cuisine!

Sundanese Cuisine!

This restaurant located in a mountainous area near Bandung and it’s very famous for its Sundanese Food. You can enjoy the food in a saung (traditional small hut) surrounded by a real sawah (paddy field)! You can also try the way of Indonesian eats, lesehan (while sitting on the floor) using hand, not spoon and fork or chopstick! The dishes shown in this picture is fried nila fish, chicken satay, and karedok (Sundanese style raw vegetable salad with peanut sauce)

#12 Baso Soun Lodaya : the best meatball in town!

Baso Soun and Es Selalu Dipesan!

Baso Soun and Es Selalu Dipesan!

This is my favorite meatball in town, it’s located in Jalan Veteran Bandung. Baso So’un means meatball with So’un (cellophane noodles). The soup is very fresh and clear, also, in addition of meatball they also give you fried tofu and diced meat. You can enjoy this special meatball with Es Selalu Dipesan which actually is a crushed ice with coconut milk, condensed milk, sliced of breads, and sliced coconut!

#13 Batagor : Bakso Tahu Goreng



Batagor stands for Bakso Tahu Goreng and it is a fried fish dumplings and fried tofu dumplings served with peanut sauce and sweet soy sauce. My recommendation for a good Batagor place is Batagor Alex, located in Setrasari Mall Bandung. An un-fried version (only steamed) of Batagor is usually called baso tahu.

#14 Gurame Goreng : the Ultimate Sundanese Cuisine!

Fried Gurame!

Fried Gurame!

Gurami or gurame is a fresh-water fish commonly used in Sundanese Cuisine! The best serving of Gurame is when its perfectly deep-fried. You can enjoy this crunchy fried fish with sambal, chilli sauce and karedok. The best place to enjoy Gurame Goreng in Bandung is Sedep Malem Restaurant, located at Jalan Burangrang.

So friends, don’t forget to try all of these delicious foods when you visit Indonesia, especially Bandung!

with loads of love!

Afifa Ayu Koesoema


IKuburan : Cinta Bom Waktu

Hello all ❤

I begin to become more productive in this blog writing now i guess 😀 so, last week i had a performance again with Kuburan, if you don’t remember them, they are the scariest band in Indonesia, as mentioned in this post.

This time it was for their new single promotion, Cinta Bom Waktu! This single was funny, energetic and catchy like usual. The keyboard/synth part really brought the atmosphere of tokusatsu, at least in my opinion~


Official Photograph of Cinta Bom Waktu

So i had two performances with them on 4 June 2014, one in Oz Radio and one in Rase FM. The performance in Oz Radio was a Ozclusive performance and it was hilarious because they brought up the theme of Agnes Monica. They are making a tribute to Agnes Monica. I think that their performance always consist of some surprise elements 😀



The second performance, Rase FM was done at Festival Citylink for a Rase Cinta Indonesia Tampil event 😀 it was a usual single promotion performance.


RCI Tampil

RCI Tampil

If in the last performance i dressed up as a Cinderella and as a matador princess, in this opportunity i dressed up as a CAT! ^^ Okay, i wore a two pieces cat-suit, tights with shocking color, cat headband, and cat make-up, unfortunately i did not have the gut to paint whisker and cat nose on my face, so it was just cat-eye make-up, a very heavy smokey eyes, very long fake eye lashes, and super red lipstick.

Cat Invasion to Oz Radio!

Cat Invasion to Oz Radio!

<img class="size-medium wp-image-813" src="https://afifaayukoesoema.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/20140604_165602.jpg?w=225" alt="The make-up detail The make-up detail ❤ 

So the performance in Oz Radio was really fun. We played 3 Agnes Monica’s songs and of course their newest single, Cinta Bom Waktu. First we played Rindu, which was okay and serious, it was really identical to the real song. After that was Bilang Saja, although we made a new arrangement but it did still sound normal. But the most epic part was Tak Ada Logika, in which they include a solo sundanese violin opening part, nembang part, reggae rhythm as well as jazzy piano solo. What a combination ❤

prayers :D

prayers 😀

The performance :D

The performance 😀

After The Show!

After The Show!


The performance in RCI Tampil Rase FM was also nice and we only played Kuburan’s song. We played Euis, Fatamorgana (the lyric of this song is incredible, you should hear it), the legendary Lupa-Lupa Ingat, and of course Cinta Bom Waktu. This performance was like a live performance and many people watched us with high enthusiasm. And as you know, for a musician, high energy from the audience could really lift up our spirit and enabling us to play music better! ❤

<img class="size-medium wp-image-820" src="https://afifaayukoesoema.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/2014-06-05-16-35-04_deco.jpg?w=300" alt="we play music and we have fun we play music and we have fun ❤
<img class="size-medium wp-image-821" src="https://afifaayukoesoema.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/1401898192226.jpg?w=300" alt="we're like a big family! we’re like a big family! ❤

After the show !

After the show !


and i also baked them some cupcake 😀


well, i hope that i can still have performance again with them before i depart to Japan! and folks, don’t forget to request their single Cinta Bom Waktu at local radio!


With loads of love,



Afifa Ayu Koesoema




Goodbye Ganesha 10! <3



Now, I’m Officially Afifa Ayu, S.Si. Sarjana Sains. Bachelor of Science. Let’s do some flash back.

Before you begin reading, pardon me for this EXTRA LONG post, it’s really hard to contain all of your feeling for 4,5 years in one blog post.


First year, Tahap Persiapan Bersama.

This year I was faced with the dilemma of entering biology versus microbiology. Adjusting to the harsh education rhythm in ITB that really gave me a shock (I mean who would not be shock if their first quiz score was 30s). Being rejected in two units because the lack of attendance (LOL), but whatever, I prefer to do activities outside school, anyway. Found close friends (Hilda, Irly, Helen, Febe, and Uti). I had Hilda’s farewell to Japan which was teary because I really need her and I had my leg broken (again).

Hilda's Farewell Party!

Hilda’s Farewell Party!

The most hated subject of all time, P.E.

The most hated subject of all time, P.E.

Struggling for my P.E. but I ended up with B, which was astonishing. Struggling for tons of examination and experiment, but after two semesters everything turned out to be fine and I had a good GPA, Alhamdulillah. After that, during the holiday was Ospek Jurusan. And after that I ended up in Microbiology Major (and I am grateful for that).


Second year,  Microbiology ITB First Year.

Getting to know more about Microbiology for the first time and I really loved it. Did my first laboratory work related to Microbiology, Microbiology project, with Helen, Astrid, Cita, and Galang. I got really close with Astrid from that moment. I had an ambition of finishing my study for 3,5 years so I was busy taking extra class. Flunking biophysics! Busy doing music thing still in the middle of my hectic laboratory works. I also had first independent group project which was Penelitian Kecil about Ekstrak Kunyit.

My first Research Project!

My first Research Project!


I also had a subject that I really loved biochemistry and also had the guts to take biosafety (a subject for fourth grader).  I ended this year also with amazing GPA, Alhamdulillah.


Third year, Microbiology ITB Second Year. More and more laboratory works which came from Molecular Genetic Projects. I also had my most inspiring and mesmerizing subject this semester, Enzymology and Food Microbiology. So I really had my thought split on my final project, whether I would want to work with enzyme or work with fermentation. Finally at my 5th semester I could get rid of my first love (tee-hee) and finding new love. I also had my first band album ever through the hectic semester and opening an online cake shop. 6th Semester was truly amazing, breaking up with my second boyfriend and get my third one LOL. 6th Semester was the most extreme semester with huge independent laboratory works (+ its overnight stay) from Prinsip Teknik Fermentasi and Mikrobiologi Analitik. And my class also went to China for the excursion.

with my 'date' in Beijing, LOL <3

with my ‘date’ in Beijing, LOL ❤

I also got accepted until last selection of a student exchange selection to Tokyo Tech Japan. I started teaching violin and I got selected as Mahasiswa Berprestasi from my faculty, SITH and got to participate in ITB-level competition! (Unbelievable! I don’t really think they ever had a band-member Mapres, that often went home at 2 AM after show).

Receiving the Award, it was like dream!

Receiving the Award, it was like dream!

This is it, 12th best of ITB batch of 2009 (why am i there LOL)

This is it, 12th best of ITB batch of 2009 (why am i there LOL)


To made the semester more incredible, I had several really wonderful performances at television and even (with my ex band) got nominated in Anugerah Musik Indonesia. And in the end of the summer holiday, I got the news that I was accepted in Young Scientist Exchange Program Tokyo Institute of Techonology!


Fourth Year, YSEP Tokyo Tech. I spent one year at Japan with this exchange program. Although I had a loads of consideration (like graduating late and leaving all my jobs behind for one year), eventually I departed to Japan. Days were nice, a loads of ups and downs but I learned really lot here. I learned how to stop being a crybaby and take care of all my problems by myself. I learned how to take care of myself without 24/7 driver and housemaid. I learned how to live alone. First it was really tough with all of the language barriers and home-sick thingy. But I’ve managed to nail everything. Despite of my retardation on my research project I guess I still did fine, because on the first time since forever I got straight A ^^ I found new boyfriend.

I also managed to slip inside the school’s orchestra, PPI’s Angklung Team, and even got part time job as a research assistant. I had two amazing symphony orchestra concert with school’s orchestra.

Angklung Team!

Angklung Team!



I got many friends with golden hearts (Apichaya, Shuyin, Jew, Richard, Danielle, Mika, I miss you guys!) and very nice host family.

Dears <3

Dears ❤

Beloved YSEP!

Beloved YSEP!


I traveled to amazing place with friends and family. I even passed JLPT N4. In the end I could finish my research and wrapped it home as my final project. In the completion ceremony I was asked to give valedictorian speech.

Matsuda Ken!

Matsuda Ken!

Officially a YSEP Alumni!

Officially a YSEP Alumni!

My first Valedictorian Speech!

My first Valedictorian Speech!

Everything was so heavenly, it was really hard to leave for Indonesia, because I was already too comfortable with all of the things in Japan >.<


Fifth Year, Bachelor Final Year. Starting again in Indonesia was not as easy as I thought. I had to go inside unfamiliar class with my junior and this creepy feeling of being left out by my batch’s friends was raging. I mean everyone else was graduating except me and 3 other friends (2 were exchange participant as well and 1 was still working with the final project). To made things worse I was being kicked out by my long-term band without any explanation. I spent quite a lot of time grieving but well, life must go on.

Eventually I think with all the struggles, everything started to get better. I got along quite well with my new classmate, and the study was not horrendous at all.  I made a clean start over at music and started playing jazz and everything. I started teaching English as a part time job. I applied to 3 master program (IGP A Tokyo Tech, Erasmus Mundus Lotus Unlimited, and TOTAL Scholarship). I got accepted in IGP (A) and half accepted on the rest (I mean I’ve stopped the selection process of the rest due to my acceptance in IGP (A) Tokyo Tech). I wrote my final thesis pretty well and somewhat somehow I succeeded in my bachelor seminal and final defense, and graduated with cum-laude title ^^ and again a valedictorian speech, but this time, spontaneous! 😀



my cum-laude medal!

my cum-laude medal!


Thank you very much for all of those who had helped me through this bachelor chapter of my life! My wonderful family, my siblings, my besties from ITB, outside ITB and YSEP, SITH ITB 2009, Mikrobiologi ITB 2009, and all of my lecturers, especially my supervisors. Without the support of everyone I definitely would not pass this chapter of life with flying colors. I certainly had learned a lot and I hope this learning process could further be beneficial for my life ^^

Now it’s time to take a little rest before starting my new chapter of life as a graduate student in my dream university, Tokyo Institute of Technology!

Probably, some people’s dream universities are as high as MIT or Harvard or Oxford but I’m grateful for what I have. And surely I don’t have the guts nor has adequate intelligent to follow the rigorous graduate education of those world top 5 Universities. But whatever, in some world-ranking, Tokyo Tech is 11th and in case you really want to enter MIT or Harvard or Oxford, you can always try exchange program ^^


Embrace your last months in Indonesia, Afifa! You will surely miss it!

Thank you Institut Teknologi Bandung! Bakti kami, untukmu Tuhan, Bangsa, dan Almamater! Merdeka!




Afifa Ayu Koesoema, B.Sc. (LOL)