Sunday, June 2, 2013

Jailolo: Hidden paradise in the east

Despite its lack of fame, Jailolo has a special place in my heart. I've visited this bay three times and plan to visit it again in the future.
This fertile land surrounded by blue seas is a volcanic area on a peninsula west of Halmahera Island.
Hot springs are everywhere around the peninsula, thanks to the volcano, soaking in the natural warm water is not considered a luxury for the locals.
Local residents in Jailolo come from different tribes: Sahu, Loloda, Tobaru, Ternate, Wayoli and Gorep.
One thing they share in common is a respect for their natural resources, philosophy that appreciates the power of nature.
Each year at the beginning of the festival, nine boats filled with locals head toward a small island near Jailolo Bay. "Sigofi Ngolo," that's what locals called the ritual.
Basically in this ritual the boats will be circling around Babua Island, while sending prayers, asking permission to celebrate their harvest.
"We believe a mighty power rules the ocean, so we ask permission to celebrate," said the locals. During the rituals the sun shines brightly, bringing out the color of their bright attire.
As well as other parts of eastern Indonesia, Jailolo is blessed with vivid blue seas and skies, combined with its green bay and the hills that surround it, described as a perfect postcard landscape in the eyes of every photographer.
There are places to see perfect sceneries. You may not regret a visit to Bobanehena Beach, a place also called "Galau" Beach, meaning confusion, a mess in your mind.
I asked different people several times why they called it Galau Beach and the immediate answer I got was when the sunset comes.
On this beach, which is a 20-minute car ride from the center of Jailolo, you can see glorious changing colors in the sky, mixing and rapidly changing as the sun slowly disappears. It seems like the sky is confused about what colors to set, a pretty mess if I may say so.
There is another beautiful quiet dock you can see in Jailolo, called Payo Dock; just a 15-minute ride from the main pier of Jailolo.
The name "Payo" is derived from "Payau" meaning brackish. In Payo village, spring waters collide with the seawater and for this reason the villagers have given it this name. In Payo you can also find hot springs on the coastline of Payo Beach.
Arugasi Beach is another location where one can enjoy the tropical heat, on the west coast of Jailolo, that takes a bit of effort to get to, since you will have to continue walking a further 15 minutes from the road.
Arugasi is also a very quiet place. This beach isn't well known to visitors, and not a place where locals spend much time.
In Arugasi you'll find yourself walking alone, making this black sandy beach a private beach for visitors like me lucky enough to have found it.
Bobanehena, Payo and Arugasi are just some of what Jailolo has to offer. This area has more beaches to offer. The best time to enjoy Jailolo is in mid May, during the Jailolo Bay Festival. (Jakarta Post)

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