On 11 April 2012, a group of 11 members from the Singapore Ring 115 visited Semarang in Indonesia for fellowshipping with the local magicians of the Semarang Magic Community (SMC).  Those who went included President John Teo, Betsy Teo, Gician Tan, Jeremy Tan, Angel Lee, Fernando Ng, Bernard Sim, Baharudin, Satish Kumar, Ashish Lodhavia, and Tan Kia Sin.



Several months before, a program was drawn up for this visit and this included a mini convention aptly named the Garuda-Merlion Magic Convention.  Garuda is a mythical bird-like creature used as an icon for Indonesia , and the Merlion is also a mythical creature with a lion head and a fish body used as a mascot for Singapore .


11 April 2012

We arrived at Semarang ’s Achmad Yani Internation Airport at noon on 11 April.  At the customs, we were queried regarding the boxes of magic we carried.  Jeremy Tan performed Extreme Burn to the customs officers and we went through without any problems.

We were greeted by a team from SMC, led by their Captain, Silvan Prayogo.  We boarded a coach, and our first stop was for lunch at a local Indonesia restaurant.  After meal, the coach took us to Bandungan, a hilly resort at the outskirt of Semarang City .  During the coach ride, the two teams got to know one another and magic sessions commenced.

At Bandungan, we visited the Nine Building Temples – the nine stone shrines are located all over a mountain – some of us rode horses to visit the temples.  In the evening, we were treated to a BBQ buffet dinner in celebration of the 61st birthday of Dr Harry Prayogo, the father of Silvan and a patron of SMC.  After the dinner, magicians from both sides discussed and showed magic until the wee hours of the night.  We stayed overnight at the villa while the Indonesian magicians went back to the city.





12 April 2012

Some of us woke up in the early morning to visit the market at the hill resort.  After our breakfast at the villa, the coach drove us to the city and we checked into Amaris Hotel.  After a quick freshening up, we took the coach to the convention venue, the Istana Restaurant.

The first program was the magic competition by magicians from SMC.  There were eleven contestants and the majority performed silent stage magic to background music.  Many of them did cigarette manipulations.  One contestant performed a patter act which included Multiplying Bottles.  There were a couple of performers who did bizarre magic where they pierced different parts of their bodies with long sharp objects. There were three judges, all from Ring 115.  They were John Teo, Gician Tan and Jeremy Tan.  After lunch, we were taken back to our hotel to relax and prepare for the evening program.

The convention program resumed in the late afternoon.  Hosted by both Tama from SMC and Satish Kumar from Ring 115, the results of the magic competition were announced.  The judges gave away trophies (sponsored by Ring 115) and certificates to El Cazo DeJavu (Champion), Indra Ferano (1st Runner-Up) and Bias Cahaya (2nd Runner-Up).


Dr Harry Prayogo addressed the participants and recounted his many wonderful experiences with The Great Wong of Singapore.  Pakde Valentino screened a short documentary video of the supernatural practices of the various Indonesian communities and explained some of them.  Paulus Sentana presented an interesting lecture on creativity.  He showed us how he made improvements to existing tricks and how he came out with new magical ideas.

It was dinner time.  Participants had fellowship round the dinner tables and also patronized the dealer’s booths set up by Gician Tan, Jeremy Tan and Paulus Sentana.

It was time for magic lectures from Singapore .  John Teo presented magic with subtleties rather than with difficult sleight-of-hand.  His tricks included a couple of novel card effects, a ten card poker deal and two stage predictions.  Gician Tan offered card tricks using sleights originated by himself, and an almost self-working trick where the chosen card was extracted from a deck bound by netting.  Jeremy Tan performed and explained his presentation of One Cup and One Ball routine, Coins Across and Cards In Pocket.  Bernard Sim taught everyone how to stack dice the professional way.



13 April 2012

After breakfast, Silvan Prayogo took us on a city tour of historic sites in Semarang .  They included the Sam Poo Kong temple that has a huge statue of Admiral Cheng He, an old Dutch Church , and a building known as 1,000 Doors that was once a railway station but was converted by the Japanese during the war to a make-shift jail.  We also savored and bought back typical Indonesian sweets and snacks.

Dinner was back at the convention venue.  The Gala Show opened with Silvan Prayogo who did a stage magic variety act involving silks, multiplying bottles and colour changing wreaths.  Robert Ortega, a fakir magician from Tegal, Central Java , inflicted his body with sharp knives and pierced his face and cheeks with a long needle.  The sharp objects did no harm to him and the volunteer, our own Mrs Betsy Teo, helped him throughout the ordeal!  His act caused many people in the audience to grimace.

Jeremy Tan, a recent FISM Asia winner, was next.  He did Contact Ball Juggling and a Rope Escape routine.  John Teo entertained with interactive magic using Jumbo Cards, fishing rod, a sucker T & R paper tear, Technicolour Prediction and production of money.  Gician Tan invited a spectator on stage to help him with his Snake Basket and a Spectator as Magician comedy routine.  He closed with the Great Wong’s Linking Ring routine.  Jeremy Tan returned on stage with a Fire Eating stunt, a Russian Roulette routine and a Strait-Jacket Escape.

Soon, it was time to say goodbye.  This was not easy as we had built a special relationship over the last few days together.  After a group photograph, some of us returned to our hotel.  The others continued to have fellowship and share magic until the early hours of the morning.


14 April 2012

After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and traveled to the international airport.  Silvan Proyogo was there at the airport to see us off.


It was a memorable trip for us as we met new friends, learnt new culture and shared magic which is our favourite hobby.



Reported by

Satish Kumar