Once upon a time, there was a guy named Bandung Bondowoso. We shall call him Hunk. And also during that time, there was a gal named Roro Jonggrang. Let’s call her Babe. Of course, Hunk wanted to marry  no less than “the” babe. So he went to Babe’s dear dad and impressed the living lights out of him that by the end of the courtship (you really have to court the parents, and not the object of your demented affection), dear dad said “alrighty!” plus thumbs up with a wicked wink in one eye. Pissed because Babe really thought Hunk was not so much of a hunk as he though he was, she cooked up something for the dreaded marriage to never happen. She put on her mesh+organza clothes, puckered up her lips, crushed an onion and slathered the dang thing all over her eyes, and went up to Hunk.

Babe: Hunk, if you really want to marry me… Like, really really really want to marry me… Build me 1,000 fabulous temples *let’s see if you can do that you a**h***!*? AHERM!
Hunk: Of course Babe! Anything for ya! I should get started now…
Babe: Oh, by the way… I would really really like it, if you can finish my fab temples by tomorrow. Say, before the break of dawn *let’s see if you can do that you a**h***!*? AHERM!
Hunk: Phooey! Consider it done!

Actually, Hunk wasn’t all that manly. He just had special powers and can conjur magical creatures. And so to prove that he had the balls to build the 1,000 fabulous temples, he called up his magical friends and they were able to build 999 temples. As they were building the last one, Babe got all gaga. She ran around town like a headless chicken, waking up all the women in the village and and started slave driving them. Scared that Babe might kill someone because of this amuck, the ladies did what they were told and started pounding rice. On top of the frenzy, the roosters began to crow. The magical creatures though that the dawn was breaking so they decided to leave Hunk all by his lonesome. Poor Hunk got disappointed because he was just one temple short of getting it on with Babe. And when he found out that it was Babe who actually tricked him, he went berserk and turned the lovely lady into stone.

Hunk turned Babe into the thousandth temple. Congratulations Einstein, now go find yourself another wife…

One thing that I loved about my travel to Indonesia was my way of blending in. Yes, I did the most hideous thing and pretended that I was a deaf relative of my guide who came from Jakarta. I got there via motorcycle. Me sitting behind my trusty guide was, for me, the coolest way to get from one place to the other. I was a natural. And I would have paid 11USD had I declared I was foreign. But because of my great acting skills, I paid half the price.

The feeling was surreal as I entered the complex. The temples seemed  to float in clouds, and I was there, floating towards them. My love for Hindu literature surfaced as I went from one temple to the other. Babe, or rather Roro Jonggrang’s temple is said to be the main temple dedicated to Shiva. And the two temples that sandwich her are the temples of Brahma and Vishnu.

I’m no fan of love stories, but the legend of Prambanan added to the mystery that is Prambanan itself.

And so the moral of the story? Never trust your magical friends… They are just figments of your imagination…

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  • journeyingjames

    February 28, 2011 at 5:18 am

    love the story and the punchline at the end 🙂

    that was my plan too when i go to indo, pretend to be a local

  • The Dropout

    February 28, 2011 at 6:19 am

    No matter who built them, those temples certainly look magical.

    It looks like an amazing place.

  • Jeremy B

    February 28, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Wow, what a great story!! That’s definitely a great way to build some pub for your temples! You definitely had me hooked and enjoyed checking out your photos.

  • robin

    February 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    That architecture is astounding – it is sites like this that would drawe me to Asia…

  • flip'n travels

    February 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    @jjames: teehee! thanks dude! minsan lang makatipid dabah?! 😀

  • flip'n travels

    February 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    @the dropout: yep, they sure do! seeing prambanan from a distance feels like you are in a dream… 🙂

  • flip'n travels

    February 28, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    @robin: truly! and prambanan is just one of the many. 🙂

  • Glen

    February 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Those temples look amazing! Great photos!

  • Sheila

    February 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I love the story. Your writing always capture my attention. That place looks amazing.

  • Grace

    February 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I like the creative modern retelling of the story of the temples and stone structures. When I think of Indonesia I only think of Bali and the surf pero ngayon adding this to my LONG list of places to go to for my RTW.

  • lakwatsera de primera

    February 28, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    This is one of those moments where good acting skill pays off, galing 🙂

  • flip'n travels

    March 1, 2011 at 1:38 am

    @glen: thanks glen! just learning how to take them nice pictures… 😀 the eye comes and goes, haha!

  • flip'n travels

    March 1, 2011 at 1:38 am

    @shiela: aw… i am touched. thanks shiela. now i am more inspired to write! 🙂

  • Rease

    March 1, 2011 at 2:10 am

    I love ridiculous legends. Those temples look really cool. I support your little white lie to save money too!

  • flip'n travels

    March 1, 2011 at 3:14 am

    @grace: thanks grace! these legends don’t have to be boring, right? bali has its charms, but jogya has its own too. you definitely have to go there! 🙂

  • flip'n travels

    March 1, 2011 at 3:15 am

    @lakwatsera: i’m a natural acting like a deaf person… madaming practice, hahaha! 🙂

  • Jillian

    March 1, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Amazing temples. I wish we had hit more of SE Asia! There’s always next time…

  • flip'n travels

    March 1, 2011 at 5:31 am

    @rease: i had to do the little white lie even when i went to borubudur! figured i can just spend my money on bintang! 😀 thanks!

  • flip'n travels

    March 1, 2011 at 5:32 am

    @jillian: they are quite a beauty! make sure you visit this place next time you come back SEA!

  • Ed

    March 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    for a moment, napaniwala ako sa story. that’s why i had to read the whole write-up again! hahahaha. kakatawa toh monette! nasa opisina ako habang binabasa ko. biglang gumana utak ko. haha.

  • flip'n travels

    March 3, 2011 at 5:26 am

    @ ed: hahaha! sorry, i mislead you! glad to make your shift a little bit bearable! 😀

  • pinoy boy

    March 4, 2011 at 9:21 am

    hahahaha pareho kami ni Ed! akal ko totoo! ha ha but good tip on pretending to be deaf and mute! sana mag-work sakin baka magpanic ako sabihin ko, come again! ha ha Nice post, Monette!

  • flip'n travels

    March 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    @pinoyboy: haha! ui! deaf lang… but i might as well have played mute because i wasn’t speaking at all! 😀 thanks dude!

  • flip'n travels

    March 9, 2011 at 10:49 am

    @jeremy: thanks much! i’m no photographer really, but everybody’s comments inspire me to learn more. thanks for dropping by!

  • Bluegreen Kirk

    March 9, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Great photos and an awesome story. How long did it take to actually build these temples. Thats what Babe gets for playing tricks.

  • flip'n travels

    March 10, 2011 at 12:58 am

    @bluegreen kirk: thanks much! the temples were built in 10th century but no one can really estimate the length of constuction. must’ve took them a really long time considering that there are more temples surrounding the main complex.

  • Supertikoy

    March 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    wow! i’m excited to see Yogyakarta myself this year. Sana November na! Nice blog by the way, I’m officially a fan!

  • flip'n travels

    March 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    @Supertikoy, thanks Jerome… me too, i want to see it, monette keeps on bombarding me with stories about this trip (i know that’s making her feel better after she missed the china trip with me) hahaha thanks for dropping by!


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