Monday, August 04, 2014

The hardest time...

It's the hardest time in my life for the past 5 years. Yes, today I'll go back to the office after 3-months maternity leave while baby Viana is so adorable I just can't get my eyes off her.

Tomorrow she'll be 3 months old. People often asked, "Si bayi sudah bisa apa?". Definitely she smiles a lot, like her sister. She loves to cooing and baby talking. Her voice is quite loud and she has no hesitation to shout and makes different sounds. Her move is so active, especially when she's interested in to an object or hears someone calling her name. She'll start to kick and move her hand when it happens. So precious!

This picture was taken about an hour ago just before Subuh time. She was crying and when I put her on my lap for breastfeeding, she stopped crying, closed her eyes and smiled a lot. I was so touched and it made me even harder to leave.

Viana went back to sleep, now in her crib. And I'm writing this while pumping my breastmilk.

See you soon this afternoon Viana...

I love you ....

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Here I am. 11.59pm. Alone. Well, not actually alone. I have the pregnant lady Smurfette and Clumsy - two cats that accompany me after back from work. My husband and two Vs are sleeping very tight, really proud of him, a superdad of the day! Two of our assistants went home or 'mudik' today, while I had just now the first ever Iftar or break the fast with media and Mercedes-Benz Indonesia. Alhamdulillah, everything went well.

Despite of this is the second day of my period, in which as usual, I had a migraine, today is a very busy, good day, starting with dropping off Vgirl at school, followed by going to the factory for a meeting with all managers and deputy directors. Traffic was unfriendly back to the office - can you imagine it took 2hours from Cikeas to Thamrin.

Juggling time and multitasking were part of the day. So it's kind of in between for taking care of the event with the media and registering online for V's tae kwon do. See, I did learn my lesson. Cukup sekali saya terlambat mendaftarkan anak ke ekskul di sekolah empat tahun yang lalu. I'm getting better in meeting a deadline, I guess. Have to. Haha...

Me time for 2 hours is always nice. And I thank SET channel for its everyday Sex and the City (while the kids have already sleeping) and Warner TV for their silly programs I couldn't dare to watch while my kids are around. Oh by the way have you watched TV series 'The Real NY Housewives'? It's about drama around the NY socialites, yang menurut saya sadisnya gak ketulungan. Bukaaaannn, ini bukan soal pembunuhan macam CSI atau Criminal Minds. Ini lebih sadis, bercerita mengenai kehidupan jet set dan pertemanan palsu. Sangat duniawi dan pergulatan yang membawa ketidaktenangan dalam hidup (and yet I watch it when the schedule permits).

OK checklist time! Shower - done. Play with the cats - done. Kiss Vs goodnight - done. Checking two Vs  homework - done. Me time - done.

I have two hours to sleep before preparing for sahur and Vs meal box for school.

Catch you later!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Duo Adorable: Clumsy and Smurfette

One thing that many people don't really know about me is that I'm a cat lova! I was once grown up with cats, from elementary school until after graduation. Cats were always surrounding my house and since my mom and sisters always fed them, they came back and finally stayed with us.

Having a cat is not easy. I think that's the reason why mom had this sincere attempt to get rid of them for several of times. Talking about my mom, she had a unique way, if not  acting like Cruella DeVille in 101 Dalmation, to dump our cats.

Mom had a belief that if we dump a cat, it could came back to our house again no matter how far. So she had this brilliant idea (perhaps got the tips from her friend next door), that to make the cats gone permanently, we couldn't allow it to see where we were going. The cats, according to this belief, were capable to trace down and memorize the ways back, that would help it going back to where it had lived.

OK, so my mom put the cats into 'karung' (big bag). and bring them to a new place through which to get there, she took so many turns to confuse the cats inside the karung. At a moment I really thought that my mom had a high regard towards the intelligence of these cats (above mine).

Anyway, when it occured, we were all crying, begging to our moms to keep the cats. One valid reason I knew later, was that my second sisters got a severe asthma. So it's fully understandable when mom did not really want a cat inside the house.

Nevertheless, not long after dumping 1-2 cats, a new one was then came. They would actually never came if not fed. That's the rules, and remains the same nowdays. But my sisters, and including my mom couldn't help but not feeding the coming cats. So it's recurring.

Here are my two adorable cats: Clumsy (boy) and Smurfette (girl). They are siblings, but then got married. Well, it's complicated. I can share the story later.

(written by Vera Makki. )

Clumsy and Smurfette, my children also love them!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Taman Bacaan Anak Lebah on TV

Pada tanggal 22-24 Maret 2012 lalu tim Taman Bacaan Anak Lebah (TBAL) terbang ke Lombok untuk memberikan donasi buku di program #SatuBukuSatuSaudara. Acara diawali dengan mendongeng bersama @poetrisoehendro dan acara penyerahan donasi buku batch 1 ini dibantu oleh Dhani @sidhancrut. Simak ceritanya di video hasil editing mas Fahmi dari Suara Merdeka, media group terbesar di Semarang. Kenapa saya mengajak beliau? karena jepretannya ciamik punya!


SUARA MERDEKA CYBERNEWS .:LAYAR - Sepenggal Cerita untuk Anak Lombok

Inilah cerita perjalanan saya dan tim Taman Bacaan Anak Lebah ke Lombok Timur untuk membagikan donasi buku di program #SatuBukuSatuSaudara. Simak yuk ceritanya...

SUARA MERDEKA CYBERNEWS .:LAYAR - Sepenggal Cerita untuk Anak Lombok

Cerita lain silakan ke:
1. Website
2. Twitter: @lebahbooks
3. Facebook: Taman Bacaan Anak Lebah

Smiles from Lebah children in PAUD Istiqomah, Lombok Tengah:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Kids Fashion Week

I never thought that I would do a fashion show, last time I did it when I was at elementary school for graduation day. It's like around 25 years ago.

It began with an interview for Parenting November edition with @imeshimesh - the chief editor who featured me in 'Working Mom' section. She then offered the kids to join fashion show on Femina's annual event #JktKidsFashionShow, following the famous Jakarta Fashion Week. I thought it would be cancelled while it was not.

Vala definitely refused to do it as she'd prefer to perform hip hop and breakdance, stating that fashion show is 'too girly'. Halahhhh. Well, in order to earn her trust, I respect her decision, though. When I turned this offer to Varen, this 4 years old gentleman did not say anything, so I translated his clueless respond with "Yes mommy, let's do that".

On the d day, it's a beautiful coincidence that both Vala and Varen were on holiday due to teachers conference before mid term test. I brought them to Plaza Indonesia in the morning for rehearsal. It took place at Lamoda Cafe. The plan was set. Mommy and Varen will walk on the runaway, Vala to take pictures of our showtime.

The nightmare came into reality. All of sudden Varen refused to go to the stage. I must say, Varen has a strong personality, when he refused, that means he refused. Mommy got to think quick, so mommy shared the nightmare to .... the little innocent girl: Vala.

Having no time to convince 'dede' during rehearsal, then I hold Vala's hand to the stage, "Vala, come on, walk with me." While I smiled widely, Vala looked at me, "loh kok jadi aku mam?????".
I'm so lucky to have Vala who's showing her cooperative spirit. Plan changed. Mommy walking down the runaway with Vala, not Varen.

But the next question was, what to wear for Vala? The committee was only preparing clothes for mister V. Mister V was being persistence, until the rehearsal was over, he still refused to join.

I got down on my knees and hailed my mother for coming. Eyang Uti emang kagak ada matinye dah. I shared with her the problem, left her talking with Varen, and voila! "Ver, Varen udah mau tuh ikut fashion show. Aku janjiin beli kura-kura tiga.". Yiiipeeeeee!!!!! Yangti emang top markotop!!!

What relieved me was also Varen found a new friend, Arka, 5 years old, who shared the same high energy as his. Eventually the committee found a cloth for Vala. At least, if Varen changed his mind again, we had Vala on the show. Until..... "Bu Vera, you must decide who will walk with you on the runaway." I said, "Well, if not Varen, then Vala would".

She said, "Can not. Our multimedia team needs a confirmation. Can you guarantee that both of them will go with you? If yes, then you must guarantee that they will." O.. owwww..... Dengan PD nya gua bilang, "Guaranteed!". "Yakin bu?". "Yakin!".

The show was planned to start at 2pm. At 1.30PM all the kids must change their clothes. Here we go again the drama: Varen did not want to change the clothes, "I don't like the clothes.". Gubrak gubrak gubrak. All people surrounded him try to beg him, including Arka, "keren tau bajunya, ayo ganti!". Varen tetap geleng-geleng kepala. Eaaaaa .....

While he's acting up out there, Vala was hiding under the main table near the runaway, closing her eyes with both of her palm showing her dislike over something. I came over her, "ada apa sayang? kok sedih? Heyyy, you look beautiful with the clothes and hairdo!."

"I don't like the hairdo mommy!!!!". Aku ga suka dikuncir. Aku maunya dilepas. Aku ga suka pake rok, aku maunya kayak dede pake celana panjang. Aku kan mau jungkir balikkkkk." Aaahhh... chaos! hehehe..

With calm and confidence, I asked her to get out from under the table. Glad that the stylist would like to release her hair so I could bring back Vala's smile on her face.

The time was getting closer to the opening. Varen still did not want to wear the clothes. I was chewing my gum and here we go with a brilliant idea! I approached Varen and showing my chewing gum on my mouth. "Do you want this?". Varen looked at me with sparkling eyes, "Mauuuuu". "Ok, I'll give it to you after we walk together and after you change your clothes."

Yessss, it worked! The show went well. We walked holding hands and made some turns. In fact after the show, Varen did not want to change his trouser I almost bought it on spot. Varen got his chewing gum. They went home with eyang Ti and eyang Kung. I went back to the office.

I must thank @imeshimesh and mbak @tenikhartono for this rare occassion.

What an experience!

Get Up and Move!

It was a nice Monday morning with close friends from PR world. At first I thought to skip this get together since my workload was amazing. However I managed to come to the office early and actually had finished some stuffs in the car around 6ish AM.

Around 10AM we met up at Anomali Senopati for a 'press conference' by @mayangschreiber @dian_noeh, and @Rezasetiawan. It's also lovely to see @unspun, @LitaPS, and @Evamuchtar. Ogilvy alumni united! :)

With all those stories both personal and professional, what I can say is I'm happy for Mayang and Dian, wishing them all the best in 2012. Also for Chacha, although I'm confident that he actually can build his own company (and be successful), but he decided to wait for the right time. Good for you, too.

It's always super excited to build a new firm or initiative. The challenge remains how to keep the excitement alive. I'm a marathon believer, not a sprint one. For that, I admired Ong and mbak Lita for owning Maverick, and how they keep this company sexy all the time.

IPPG is one thing that needs to be alive so I tried to keep everyone enthusiastic, without being down due to a minor glitch. Tetap semangat!

On the picture: (left to right) Eva, Mayang, me, Dian. Well, the picture hanging on the wall was meant to be included. It reflected our conversation, to always dig in and explore new possibilities. (Uhuy! - karangan gue doang aja sih, haha).

Growing Up

Yesterday I just realized that Vala is getting bigger. She's so beautiful with her longer hair and slim body. At the moment I was thinking she's a teenager, and hope by that time we shared beautiful moment together.

Some people say that we must talk a lot with our daughter before it's too late. I do believe in that. A mother should be a person who can be trusted at home. Trust itself is earned over a period of time- can't be asked instantly.Vala loves to share so many things and stories. Although sometimes I'm a bit bored with her story about this little Erico, her classmate. And I almost fell when she hated upon her teacher saying, "Vala kamu pacarnya Erico ya?". What the **** .

A teacher shouldn't said that to an 8 years old students. And Vala should've not playing too often with the same guy everyday. Sigh!

After talking about how funny Erico in the class almost everyday, I relieved that at one dinner Vala did not mention about him at all. She finished her meal, and left me and daddy on the table. Yeay!

Usually when kids finished their meals and started doing other things, it's a moment for me and my husband to have an adult conversation: office, plan, etc. Until Vala was back, laughed, and you know what she told us, "Mama mama, tadi siang Erico lucu deh...". Eh gubrak! Kirain udah ga diomongin lagi tuh anak, ha³....I felt like I was going to say, " Valaaaa... ga ada temenmu yg lain ya yang bisa diceritain? Bosen mama, ceritanya Erico terus!".

But again, I would never say that, otherwise, rather than stop talking about him, she will surely stop talking about him to me, and start talking about him to others. No way hose! You know what, that would be a start of losing your daughter's trust.

Like any other days, I gave my curious exciting face, "really, really? Oooh, he's so funny Vala!"
I would say I was not faking it, but trying to feel what she feel, called "showing emphaty."
Finally during a field trip, I met this little boy Erico. Yes, he was funny. I saw the two of them were giggling together. I saw it in front of my face that they were clicked.

Hey little boy, I'm watching you :D

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dream Library

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Monday, August 08, 2011

LiniMasa pada Semangkuk Spaghetti #Galau

(The name of Spaghetti #Galau was invented by @miafitri)

Breakfast club kali ini berganti shift menjadi berbuka puasa bersama, namun tetap mengambil lokasi di wilayah jajahan kita, Kuningan. Suasana @DecanterJakarta sungguh hangat dan jauh dari keriuhan orang berbuka. Pas banget untuk acara dinner bareng @petz09, @dian_noeh, @iimfahima, @TenikHartono, @inggita, @MiaFitri @astridYogini dan pengantin baru kita @nendennf.

Ada satu misi dalam pertemuan kita kali ini: menangkap si pengantin baru yang minggu depan sudah akan ‘kabur’ ke Athens, Ohio, US untuk mengambil beasiswa S2 Communication Development Studies. Perempuan supermanis ini harus cerita tentang beasiswanya dan BAGAIMANA secara tiba-tiba dirinya melepas masa lajang. SIAPAKAH pria yang berhasil meluluhkan hatinya? *dua kalimat terakhir ini, bacanya a la Fenny Rose ya temans. Penekanan pada kata yang digarisbawahi. Setajam silet, begitu*

Beberapa kali breakfast club bareng, baru kali ini @nendennf bercerita tentang kisah asmaranya yang ternyata wow wow to the bang bang!. Dibutuhkan konsentrasi tingkat tinggi dan kecerdasan di atas rata-rata untuk dapat memahami rajutan cinta kasih a la Nenden. Anda harus paham jargon-jargon seperti ‘mantan istrinya mantan pacar gue’ atau ‘yang mengawinkan kita di Yogya itu bapak angkat gue yang sebenarnya bapaknya mantan tunangan gue’.

Dalam keadaan sehabis puasa dan tanpa glossary, kami-kami ini dipaksa untuk memahami dengan cepat drama kehidupan Nenden yang selama ini tertuang rapi di linimasa twitternya. Iim terlihat lebih pintar dan cepat paham. Aah...curang... lha wong selama ini dia sudah curi start. Selama ini rajin kali bu Iim membaca drama seri @nendennf . Sementara saya yang duduk pas di sebelah Nenden, sudah tidak dapat dipungkiri lagi, sungguh terlihat amat bodoh, I’m lost in translation! Belum pernah saya mendengar kompleksitas cerita yang begitu dahsyat. Ruwet. Kusyut. At the same time, amazing! Butuh kebesaran hati untuk bersahabat dengan ‘mantan istrinya mantan pacar gue’ atau diadopsi sebagai anak ke-4 oleh ‘bapaknya mantan tunangan gue’.

Benar adanya bahwa dibutuhkan skill yang harus terus diasah agar dapat memahami jejaring drama percintaan seperti milik Nenden, “Elo aja yang denger mumet, gimana gue yang ngejalanin...” cerita Nenden dengan penuh gelak tawa. Malam itu, memang penuh keceriaan dan tawa. Perempuan-perempuan pintar, berprestasi, dan super cerdas ini ditantang untuk paham konten, layaknya ujian komprehensif. "Peer ku memecahkan misteri family tree :D" kata @petz09. @TenikHartono pun memilih lagu yang cocok untuk cerita Nenden, ‘Nothing Compares to You’ #np. Gak ada yang ngalahin kisah nyata lo deh Nden!

My life is sooo boring compared to her roller coaster. Mine is flat :D Jauh dari galaksi #Galau. Pun tidak terbiasa mendengar kompleksitas drama yang menurut @dian_noeh sudah melewati batas kompleksitas Six Degree Separation. @inggita berusaha menyatukan puzzle yang berceceran di twitter Nenden dengan berbagai hashtag: #tegel #kunci #tebet, ditambah #arem-arem dari @iimfahima dan #ubin dari @tenikhartono. Silakan merangkai cerita ....

Well, the good news is, sejak menikah, Nenden terlihat lebih ‘tertib’ di Twitter. Drama sudah jarang muncul di setiap 140 karakter nya. She’s a happy housewife now, in which I’m happy for her, too! Though it’s not really a good news for Iim who really enjoys reading her expressive timeline. Hahaha...( just kidding, hey, we are all happy for her.)

Enjoy your marriage life, enjoy your study ya neng geulis.... surely will miss you in our breakfast...

PS. Psssttt....#Galau babak pertama usai sudah. Akankah ada #Galau babak kedua? Tunggu sampai ia mendarat di ranah @BarackObama. Doa saya, semoga semua aman-aman saja... *dan biarkan Iim mencari perhelatan drama dari akun Twitter yang lain :p*

Have a great day, everyone!

*written by Vera Makki

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Buat ibu-ibu beranak satu, dua, tiga, empat (silakan lanjutkan sendiri untuk yang lebih dari empat ya…), ada cara baru untuk menurunkan berat badan, tanpa suntik dan obat-obatan. Eh ini bukan iklan berjalan loh, tapi beneran ada satu metode yang terbilang baru di Indonesia dalam proses penurunan berat badan, namanya HYPNOLANGSING.

Awalnya adalah teman saya Vivi yang memperkenalkan saya dengan hypnolangsing. Suatu hari ia datang ke meja kerja saya dan mulailah kita ngobrol seputar topik yang selalu hangat: Berat Badan. Ia mulai sharing bahwa di Twitter ada akun seorang ahli hypnoterapi yang bisa membuat siapa pun turun berat badannya hanya dengan melaksanakan LIMA MAGIC RULES (5MR).

Metode ini tingkat keberhasilannya cukup tinggi karena yang dikuatkan adalah alam bawah sadar kita (sub-conscious), dengan demikian sifatnya lebih berjangka panjang (bye-bye yoyo diet!). Pernah mendengar hypnoterapi untuk berhenti merokok? Kurang lebih cara kerja nya seperti itu.

Jadi bagaimana cara kerjanya? Apakah kita selonjoran di sofa dan kemudian mata kita mengikuti gerakan bandul? Hahaha… tentu tidak seperti itu. Syarat utama hypnoterapi adalah kerelaan kita untuk berkomitmen melakukan sesuatu, dalam hal ini, untuk menurunkan berat badan menjadi langsing (bukan kurus). Seperti halnya komputer, program dalam otak dan pikiran kita diinstal ulang kembali, sehingga 5MR ditanamkan di pikiran bawah sadar kita.

Syarat kedua adalah mulai menjalankan 5MR yang harus dijalankan secara menyeluruh, tidak ada satu pun yang boleh diabaikan. Sikap proaktif membantu kita dalam melaksanakan 5MR di bawah ini:

1. Makan di saat lapar (fisik, bukan lapar emosi)
2. Makan apapun yang kita inginkan saat itu (sehingga tidak timbul rasa kekurangan/ketidakpuasan)
3. Makan secara sadar (perlahan, nikmati)
4. Berhenti makan di saat netral (jangan sampai terlalu kenyang)
5. Tingkatkan aktivitas (banyak bergerak, jangan malas)

Tiga prinsip dasar melangsing (pasti Anda suka!):

1. Jangan menghitung-hitung kalori.
2. Jangan digabung dengan diet apa pun, no diet (yiiipeee!)
3. Jangan membuat tubuh kelaparan

Tunggu apa lagi? Segera laksanakan hypnolangsing dari mas Juli Triharto dan mbak Nunny Hersiana. Ikuti twitter: @hypnolangsing, @julitriharto dan @nunnyhersianna untuk mendapatkan tips melangsing sehari-hari. Di Facebook juga ada kok… dan Website:

(*written by Vera Makki* -

Monday, August 31, 2009

Keep Telling Myself

I keep telling to myself that life ain't difficult, I keep on telling to myself that there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. My pattern of life is kinda filled with surprises, despite of all the plans I make - well, it's a well damn plans we're talking about.

The beauty of life is that, not ALL of our plans go as we wish. Hah, now tell me about ma plans and how many of them came real.

I envied my friends who got a freelance prestigious job during our life in college (while I was actually enjoyed the most enjoyable part time job during those time for being a DJ at a radio station, No.1 radio station in town, cenah). I envied my friends who got the first jobs back there after graduation while I still had to go to the states studying (and actually I found my soulmate there plus got a scholarship!).

I terribly hated my job and very sad with the fact that I wasn't enjoying my work, but from there I connected with a dream company in which I work for until now.

How about these burdens that make me could not sleep at night, make me nervous when thinking about it, make my hair fall even more??.

No life without problems. Actually....problems arise to make people succeed. Beautiful people must thank ugly people, because without ugly people, we won't notice that there are beautiful people. Smart guy must be grateful with the existence of dumb ones, because how can people say that you are smart without creating a comparison to the 'less smart' ones?

I thank God Almighty for the plans that have not been going according to what I want, because it turns out to be something even greater! Well, just pray that for this one, the same or even better pattern will occurs...

I keep telling to myself that.... it will....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Failure to Launch

On the second thought, it's not a failure but a protective decision. I looked at 'those items' for a very last time before they're effaced. A confidence is in my hand, if not my heart. Thank God for the way out...

Revival of L

A burning passion out of 'nothing' leads to sudden paralysis. A burning passion on something 'illicit' according to law of love will indeed explode Having a burning passion for something illicit without wanting to be exploded... it create paralysis. The person will be paralyzed. I am now. A wonderful one.

Dangerous zone

There are times that we don't know what's actually happening in our life, in a very particular moments, until someone or something tells us somehow.

I thank my colleague who sent an email blast (in which I usually deleted it without reading it first). The subject: I learn. So the email contained list of 'I learn', but one that stroke me most is: "I learned that it's not about the feeling comes to us that we can't control, but it's about what we're going to do about it " It's so true and logical, but it's much easier to say than done. Swearrrrr!!!!

I talked to my close friend about it. And finally we agreed on what we call "process concurrence".

If it's part of the process, then just let it flow. Because the more you deny it, the stronger the feeling will grow. Keep my finger crossed! (and enjoy this process...)

A Quiz Telling Who I Am

An interesting quiz was taken by one of my bestfriend, Gibot. Usually this is something that I never take into account. Always skip, skip, skip. But after reading the result of hers, wow... how come a single quiz can deeply tells about a person.

Even myself, I most of the time reluctant to tell about my self (and a bit disparaging of that question).

So, let this quiz leads the way. As usual, believe the good ones. Don't trust the 'not so good' ones :):):):)

Your view on yourself:
You are intelligent, honest and sweet. You are friendly to everybody and don't like conflict. Because you're so cheerful and fun people are naturally attracted to you and like to talk to you.

The type of girlfriend/boyfriend you are looking for:
You are not looking merely for a girl/boyfriend - you are looking for your life partner. Perhaps you should be more open-minded about who you spend time with. The person you are looking for might hide their charm under their exterior.

Your readiness to commit to a relationship:
You are ready to commit as soon as you meet the right person. And you believe you will pretty much know as soon as you might that person.

The seriousness of your love: You are very serious about relationships and aren't interested in wasting time with people you don't really like. If you meet the right person, you will fall deeply and beautifully in love.

Your views on education:
Education is very important in life. You want to study hard and learn as much as you can.

The right job for you:
You're a practical person and will choose a secure job with a steady income. Knowing what you like to do is important. Find a regular job doing just that and you'll be set for life.

How do you view success: You are confident that you will be successful in your chosen career and nothing will stop you from trying.

Who is your true self:
You are mature, reasonable, honest and give good advice. People ask for your comments on all sorts of different issues. Sometimes you might find yourself in a dilemma when trapped with a problem, which your heart rather than your head needs to solve.

Despite 'Nyontreng Day', it’s a one fine day...

Written on April 8, 2009 --- Today is the national holiday for election, to choose the 'people' who will voice out our aspirations. I was putting a special energy to walk at 11am towards the election site, just to ensure my voice is counted (and close the opportunity for any political evil who might use my absenteeism).

They gave three wide papers from which we had to choose the party as well as the exact person as our reps. Surely I chose those two parties with female for each section. Although it was cloudy and the site is definitely within walking distance of only 10 minutes, I came home sweat! While taking a short chill, one of my best long buddy came. We went to our best friend's house for a luncheon.

It was extremely wonderful to catch up with my lovely dearest four girls. We've been close friends since we were in junior high - been 21 years of friendship! (Ngie, how come you calculated it 18 years? - never mind, we always miscalculate when it comes to numbers, even for our own birth date, aight?).

I fully understand with the fact that after 21 years, Wulan still think that my bday is May 23!. Lia also mispelled Ari's last name, in which it supposed to be Norisa's husband last name. My God!

Along the conversation, the issue remains the same. There is always a problem with the flow of communication. No story is shared completely, simply because no one listens. Everyone talks, interupts, I think because when we get together, the energy becomes so enourmous, we just could not control it (especially miss Lia 'on fire'!).

Since each of us don't have luxurious time to have this gathering often, this is surely a moment we're always waiting for. After senior high, I went to Bandung for college, followed by flying to Houston, Texas. Wulan traveled to Shanghai, Germany, Netherland and Liverpool, before got back to Jakarta just recently. Lia has been in Bali and soon move to Switzerland.

Our celeb friend is also busy with on-air schedules and off air jobs. Good thing is, she frequently comes back with new juicy gossip like True Hollywood Story -Jakarta version.

I think I agree on what Emerson said: 'It is one of the blessing of old friends that you can afford of being stupid with them.' Ours is even very stupid, very silly and no regret! But hey, at the same time, we have private moments to talk about our deepest feeling we've been dealing with ourselves because we don't really know to whom we're able to tell (trust issue, I believe).

Well, okay... I leaked one huge secret the other day about Noicha, but it turned out to be something better kan... (little blemish on my face right now, haha)

In short, and most importantly, I thank God for having very unique and special friends like them. And I pray to God for their most happiness in life, together with their loved ones. Love you much girls... always!

Friday, November 18, 2005

How can a company grow by giving back?

Published on Sunday, September 04, 2005

Elvera N. Makki, Contributor, Jakarta

Ironically, this is still a question frequently asked not only by new emerging companies but also by big multinational ones, amid the era of what we call corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Nowadays people talk about it although some have no clue as to what it is and how to implement it properly, and how to make it in line with corporate business objectives.

In the United States, the CSR concept has been deeply rooted in the life of the people. According to the U.S-based Natural Marketing Institute, almost 90 percent of the American people believe in the importance of corporations paying attention to their impact on the environment and society rather than solely focusing on profit.

According to the survey made by the institute, 70 percent of consumers say they prefer to buy products produced by companies that pay serious attention to CSR activities, and nearly 50 percent stated that they would be more likely to buy stocks from such companies, rather than from those which do not really care much about the impact of their operations on the environment.

Larry Parnell, the principal of Canada-based Nomad Strategic Communications has said that most businesses, not just natural resources-based companies, need social license to operate and expand. The social license can be obtained only if the companies have a strong commitment to protecting the environment and the society from the impact of their business activities.

In Indonesia, the concept of CSR is considered new although it has actually been implemented here for a long time, such as through donating food from employees to an orphanage; fund-raising to donate consumer goods or clothes in the fasting month.

There are, however, weaknesses in those activities; first, the programs only gives momentarily support and there is almost no long-term benefit in it.

The type of help the company provides should be toward sustainability; that way, there will be strong engagement between the company and the community around it, thus, a company and its stakeholders.

One bad example of what corporations did was when they tried to take the advantage of the tsunami tragedy in order to boost their image.

Second, a good reputation cannot be achieved over night. It requires continuous commitment from the company's management and employees. Just giving food or clothing especially on a once-off basis will not enhance the company's image in the long term.

With that in mind, one of the key ingredients in formulating CSR programs is to firstly make it a business priority and make it a part of a comprehensive communication strategy. Public relations as the communicator should lead the way in doing and communicating the programs effectively.

Some corporations, both local and foreign, reluctantly communicate their social programs to the public and stakeholders, partially due to a belief that doing good expects no reward hence, no communication is needed. Of course such a perception is misleading.

This can be due to a lack of creativity in packaging the programs and the medium in sharing the information. CSR programs should be done seriously, innovatively and with full commitment over the long term so that they are strong enough to draw public attention.

Why is it so important to communicate CSR activities to others?

Dita Amarhoseya, Corporate Affairs Head of Citibank in Indonesia, has said that communication is a huge part of conducting CSR programs because the audience has the right to know what the company is doing for the community, especially if the company invites its customers to be involved in donating funds to, for example, communities affected by the tsunami.

She says that communicating CSR activities can create a snowball effect where people, including prospective employees or potential investors who read or hear about the programs may be encouraged to do the same and be part of the company.

The basic principle in CSR programs is to create long-term CSR activities in order to achieve the maximum impact for both the company and community.

She notes that it took approximately five years for Citibank to achieve recognition from the public and its stakeholders for its CSR activities under the umbrella of Citibank Peka (Peka is an acronym of peduli (care) and berkarya (to do good). The word peka itself means to be sensitive).

Initiated in February 1999, Citibank Peka (CP) focuses on education, communication development and natural disaster relief.

Another good example of a corporation that takes CSR seriously is PT Astra International (Astra). The setting up of Posko Banjir Astra (Astra Flood Post) in some key places during the massive floods in 2001 created an immediate and tremendous awareness among Jakartans.
Astra has developed comprehensive CSR programs ranging from community development, providing loans for SMEs, focusing on environmental, health and safety issues to giving scholarships and automotive entrepreneurship training.

One thing that needs to be improved is the provision of regular and current updates on its CSR programs to stakeholders, "That is what I see lacking in Astra and other major corporations," says a CSR consultant Eva Muchtar.

So how to measure the success of CSR programs?

Logically, the measurement will be how far the expectations agreed upon are executed and whether the programs were completed according to the plan or not.

Parnell has suggested corporations start developing comprehensive CSR programs by conducting a thorough audit of the needs facing their communities; making resource commitments consistent with their business skills and corporate strategy; to follow through and then communicate the results both within and outside the organization.

CSR will do absolutely no harm to a company's reputation (as long as it is done ethically), employee morale, product sales or market valuation to use CSR guidelines as a leading indicator of what investors, the government and the general public expect of corporation today.
In the long run, the corporations may well benefit as much as the people and communities their support.

Remember, actions do speak louder than words.

The writer is a full time member of Public Relations Society of America. She can be reached at

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

See How Cute They are and Look Below on Who Their Mothers are ...

On the picture: Vala in pink (my little girl), Kakak Maura (Lia's) who held the crying Jema (Angie's), Jeremy sitting next to Jema (Angie's), Arza and Rana (Sita's)

Love is In The Air

Picture taken by Dodo. Location: Darwis Triadi Photography Studio, Raden Saleh *di Cikini yaaaa... bukan di daerah Blok M, coba deh!!!*

Memorable Reunion

Minggu lalu kita reunian di rumah gue bareng temen2x deket, belahan jiwa, soulmates dari jaman SMP. Walaupun udah pada emak2x, tapi kelakukan masih belum ada yang berubah: bawel, cerewet, ceria, heboh, ribut dan tentunya, tetap cantik dan segarrrrr. Hwahahaha....

It's like we have never had enough time to catch up. Apalagi udah pada punya buntut. Lagi seru cerita, anak gue nangisin anaknya Sita. Lagi curhat, anaknya Lia pingin ikutan juga. Aduh... yang diceritain 17th ke atas darling.

Lia juga masih aja gemblung, kirain pinjem hair dryer buat apaan, ternyata buat ngeringin HP-nya dia yang ... kemasukan air. Makanya kalo mandi jangan sambil nelpun bu!!!.

Sita juga masih jadi ibu teladan... tak lupa dirinya membagi-bagikan hadiah untuk ponakan2xnya, aduh tante Sita... makacih yaaaa.

Maharis a.k.a Ari masih aja ketawanya kayak kuda, berikut kalo latah selalu sopan di depan anak2x kita.

Lia tetap semangat kalo ngomong dan besaaarrrr suaranya plus gayanya gak banyak berubah dari jaman SMP, jaman dimana do'i demen banget jadi komandan upacara.

Angie masih tetap rame kalo cerita, ibu KISS ini asik meng-update kita-kita dengan cerita seputar selebs yang gak penting, tapi tetap menarik untuk digosipin and digede2xin.

In short, I love them all. Sepertinya semakin susah mencari teman yang sincere seperti mereka, teman yang benar2x care and not having any intention to stab on our back. I feel so grateful that I have 'em all as my long close best friends. Wish you all the best! Lia, take care di Bali yaaaa...

Angie, Sita, Maharis, Lia and Me! It's an endless friendship we have ... dari SMP udah bareng... the best groupies ever!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

This is absolutely my PlayGround!!!!!