1. Tahula Fort
After spending some time to have a courtesy visit with Tidore Sultan, we got to rush for another check on our list that day. So off we went to Tahula Fort. The car stopped not far from our hotel. Upon seeing the gate, I was stunned as there were too many stairs to reach only the lower part of the fort. There were hundreds of stairs there, but there were also trees along the way, or stairs, and it helped a lot to cope with the heat.
According to Spanish archive, the Fort was built aroun 1607, a year after Spain conquered Ternate. The plan to construct a fort in Tidore was initiated a year after, but only came to realization in 1610 and finished by 1615. The fort that was named Santiago de los Caballeros de Tidore hosted 50 Spanish armies stuffed with artillery to protect their docked ships. Spanish used the fort until 1662, left neglected until Dutch came in 1707 and instructed the fort to be destroyed but was refused by Tidore Sultan, Hamzah Fahroedin.
I had enough heat for the day so we decided to go straight to the cooler part of the Island. The village Gurabunga has been mentioned several times by my travel mate, Mbak Evy, as a must-visited. Gurabunga is situated at the foot of Mount Marijang, also marked as the starting point for those who wish to hike to Kie Matubu, the peak of the mount. We were told, to reach the highest point of the island, it only took around 5-6 hours with normal pace. It sounded interesting, but we have no time for it, so we had to skip the offer.
On the way led to the village was so refreshing, we passed by clove and nutmeg plantation. Nutmegs were spotted here and there, but no clove flowers in sight as it was off season. I was amazed to learn that the smell of clove young leaves were similar to its flower, and a cigarette.
It was around 2 in the afternoon when we set our foot in the quite yet peaceful village. The first thing that caught my attention was this vast field with thick green grass that brought back the memory of my childhood where I used to play in the kind of field next to my house. Typical to many, goalpost is a must have item in every grass field across this country.
The main attraction of this village is the existence of Sowohi traditional houses. I got the chance to visit one of them. The house has quite unique architecture that express the closeness to deity and nature. Its wall is made of bamboo and the roof from sago leaves, while the floor is the earth.
In my previous post, I talked about this coffee that change my perspective about that addictive drink. As a person cursed with such a weak ulcer, i kind of have a love-hate relationship with coffee. But, kopi dabe, or dabe coffee is an exception. I don’t exaggerate when I say that the coffee is super duper tasty as it is rich in flavor due to addition of various kind of spices, though I have to admit that I found it tasted strange at first. But hey, it was my first time sipping the kind of coffee anyway, and I loved it. Here, in Gurabunga, we got to taste the coffee again, for the second time, in one day. Great.
3. National Flag Monument
First, I have to admit that I know too little about my own country. I’ve been too ignorance especially about history. Apart for having unforgettable vacation, I also got to learn more about part of Indonesian history that is often unheard of. This time I learned that Tidore was the first in eastern region of the archipelago to ever raise our glorious red and white national flag, on 18 August 1946 to be exact. At the time, communication technology was so under-developed, hence the information about our independent was delayed until a year later. However, once people heard about it, they took no time to take action.
It was Amina, who had the initiative to recreate the flag and sewed it using pineapple leaves fiber to be raised by a group of youth fighters. She was only 19, but her heroic action, along with other youth compatriots has given tremendous amount of contribution and sacrifices to this country. The flag supposed to be raised in Ternate, yet due to tight security of Dutch Colonials, they had to think of the plan B. Finally, they found suitable location where they deemed safe, that was in Tanjung Mareku in Tidore. The raise of the flag marked their refusal of Dutch prolonged colonization as the Dutch only admitted the independence of Java. This action was answered by a quick response by the Dutch by capturing and torturing those who involved. But this did not stop them from insisting the independence of Indonesia, including North Moluccas.
Though I only spent a short time in this location, I left with so many thought in my head. There are so many things that I did not know, and will take a long time to learn and eventually I wish to figure out of what I can give to this country in return. I guess I should stop before it gets too emotional.
To sum up, the first day of my exploration in Tidore went perfectly and super exciting. What happen the next day was even more thrilling as we will visit Failonga, a beautiful island, south east of Tidore and Tanjung Konde for snorkeling. Here’s a hint, it has the most preserved coral reef I ever saw. So, stay tuned for the next part, aye!