From actor, TV Host, Professional Traveler to Conservative Activist
The name Ramon Y Tungka became a hit as he started his career through MTV VJ Hunt back in 2004. Since then, hosting TV Shows and playing characters in movies became his day to day work. Nominated for Best Leading Actor at Citra Award, Ramon is now busy travelling and conserving the forest.
Why is travelling important to you?
Well, we were created since the beginning to travel. If you look back to the old days, even the prophets travel from one place to the next in order to spread the gospel. And for us today, we need to travel from home to the office, from one place to another. So it is a basic need for me. I love to travel and explore. I am learning about different cultures and scenery. It is something that lights up my soul.
We are talking about culture in this issue, and Indonesia is very diverse. We saw your photos when you were in Arborek Raja Ampat, what was it like there? Culture wise, what do you find unique there?
I’ve been there a few times, and I always love to go ‘blusukan’ (walking around the village and neighbourhood where the local people live) and usually I’ll find Ibu-ibu (women) who are cooking, and I would just join them. I’ll cook and eat lunch with them. Talk to them and try to understand how life is there — learning the culture straight from the locals. They are very friendly and will welcome you with open arms. And of course, if we are talking about the scenery, it is beautiful there. Underwater photography underneath the deck is one of the most popular things to do. The land, the mountains and the ocean. It’s one of the must-visit places. They also have a small library there, so if you want to go to Arborek, you can also drop some books for them. I’ve left my book 100 Hari Keliling Indonesia there as well.
how do you enjoy learning about East Indonesia’s culture, and how different is it with your own culture (you’re coming from Manadonese – Javanese descendant)?
In the East of Indonesia, they have a culture called Buka Tutup Sasi. Quoting from iopscience.org, the meaning of Sasi Laut, according to Misool society, sasi means an oath. Further, sasi which contains two purposes, namely ritual practice for the sea and as an application for permit or legality of the area that is sustained by the custom of the local community. Sasi Laut is a ritual performed by the Misool community as a sign to start or stop the fishing session. Sasi Laut is done with the intent and purpose to get the results of their fishing is abundant and in line with expectations. Misool community itself believes when they go to sea, the success depends on a ritual of Sasi Laut itself. It is a fascinating ritual, and when you learn about it more, we can learn how to appreciate the circle of life. How to not take for granted mother earth, and to be grateful with the nature given to us.
What are the tips for people who want to go and explore Arborek, any advice on where to go and what to do? Is it family-friendly or more to adventurer type of exploring?
Fly to Sorong first, and then since there are many islands in Raja Ampat, you can take a boat to Arborek from there. You can do a day trip, or if you want to stay on the island, there are homestays. Two things that you should bring, though, your heart and your brain. Heart to experience and love what you see, respecting the culture and brain, so you don’t end up littering the area. This place is adventure friendly and also family-friendly.
As an Indonesian actor / TV host who loves travelling, how do you think we can show the world how amazing and diverse Indonesia is?
Simple. Social Media. Nowadays when you travel, you can always use hashtags like #Indonesia or #visitindonesia so people can easily see and find the best places to go in Indonesia.