The world of Westlife

thank you to for the picture

happy old days

Some may say Westlife is no more special than a bunch of handsome lads. Others may argue their songs are too shallow to sign one’s low taste in music. But numbers say it all. The boyband has 14 number 1 singles in U.K chart. They sell about 44 million copies worldwide. They have held together for 14 years, one of the longest boybands could ever make so far.

the picture is taken from

the going gets tough

By the mid of this year, they are going to call it quit. I am completely sad and will surely miss quartet of Shane Filan-Mark Feehily-Kian Egan-Nicky Bryne. But as 2012 is the year of going forward, let’s enjoy what those amazing men will make in years after they are no longer together. I am myself crossing my fingers for the first album of Shane Filan due the end of this year.

the picture is from

the Brian (Bryan) factor

So, I create this page to contain news or information ahead and after Westlife splits. Needless to say, I wish I will love and support them regardless which career they choose even after they are not the same entertainers I am deeply in love as Westlife…

Pieces of My Happiness

Alhamdulillahirobbil’alamin… almost all of my teenage dreams have all come true. Below are the tears of the tickets, the entrances of my long dreams, from sport to music. Can’t feel enough to say thank you to Alloh swt for granting my wishes in very remarkable, surprising, perfect ways and moments.


I’ve kept those dream tickets in the past seven years or so. I have another ticket yet I may have thrown them away or I have forgotten where I put them.








I am a very fortunate person, indeed! Wait for another dream coming true, ameennn…

Flowing Like Water

Recently, two good friends of mine ask this similar question:
“Eny, what will you do with your future?”

The first questioner, my office mate, is a wonderful person. She is married and has a bright career at our office. Now, she continues her post graduate study at the University of Indonesia. I adore her.

The second one, my former journalist pal, is as awesome as the first one. She prepares her future at home in Kudus, Central Java, by setting up a business with her parents.

Then, I simply reply with: “I have no exact future plans. I live my life like flowing water.”

‘But you have plans, right?” the first friend asks again. “Yes, I do have. But for now on, I enjoy what life has in store for me.”

Seven or six years ago, it would be impossible for me to say those things. Back then, I am a very ambitious person. I work from morning to almost midnight. I rarely enjoy my days off. In the first year of my professional life, I have only one day off. I keep in touch with news almost every day. It is my food. It is my life. Literally, my office life is everything. I seldom visit my family far away in Central Java.

No, nothing’s wrong with that. I am young and restless. I have to make ends meet. I have bunch of dreams. I have lots of energy. I am very healthy to stay up late at nights and enjoy unhealthy life style.

Experiencing from 9 a.m-5 p.m working cycle per day never crosses my mind. I would be so boring being at the same cubicle doing the similar kind of task every day.

After three or four years being a journalist, I come at a crossroad. Will I resume my career as a journalist, being in the field, spending the weekend writing about news? Or I stop doing that?

The first three or four years are a very important milestone in one’s career as a journalist. And that happens to me as well. I become reluctant to attend events. I turn out to be easily get bored spending hours while waiting for sourcepeople. I start thinking that my life is useless for going so far away from the office covering certain story. I used to be happy doing that at first. But after three or four years, I rethink about those things. Am I really happy? Is this what I really want? And to be honest, I start getting sick with all the stress, office conflicts that I have been through during those years. Life is tough man, so tough!

Then, I long for enjoying a normal life style. Normalcy in life style means that I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at proper time. I can enjoy two days off per week. I can have regular homecoming schedule. I can hang out with my best friends as often as possible without me having to work during weekends at the office. And definitely, I can perform prayers as punctually as possible. These simple things begin ring in my ears that I consider them as something way more important than just taking some breaks.

It’s like nature conspires to bring where I am now. Definitely far from perfect and ideal but I start loving what I do every day. I can still work and do what I love most; news and translation. My job, though can be quite boring, remains within my interest. I can still deal with media, my foremost love. I translate news from English which is also my passion.

I regulate my biological clock. I can go home once per two months at least. I have funny, kind office pals. It’s been more than two years I have been working from my desk from morning until afternoon and it’s crazy to realize that I enjoy doing all of this. I mean like.. it’s insane to think that the gratitude feelings after waking up each morning is the best mood boaster for the rest of the day.

I can’t believe that doing the similar kind of activities over and over again can bring me a joy. I get bored sometimes but I can overcome this feeling easily. Hanging out with pals is the most wonderful thing to do during weekends. Perfoming a lot of prayers completely help me going through hard times. So crazy yet amazing to have finally realized that those small things, that I used to ignore, are the ones that make my life is wonderful. And once I go with the flow, life surprises me even more like when I visit Sydney and Beijing. Then, watching Westlife’s concert, Juventus match and Shane Filan’s album tour and ‘You and Me’ concert just last Saturday here in Jakarta.

I am grateful and happy with what I have now. I do have dreams (I won’t say it in this post) and stick to it. So, why should I leave the condition that makes me blissful? After years of hectic, stressful daily life, is it a sin that I enjoy a peaceful one?


music taste

I’m not a musician, singer or even songwriter. But for me, music is my life. It’s the door that leads me to where I am now. Music is the first thing that teaches me how to really feel happy without knowing how to put my feeling into words. It’s my first love, long before I enjoy reading or watching football matches.

As I grow old, I listen to many kinds of music genre. At first I thought I could only like pop songs but later on I know my taste changes. I have a very complicated relationship with music. In my mind, my musical inspirations are Westlife, Bee Gees, Celine Dion and The Corrs. Probably, some of you would ask for questions like, how can I love a band as legendary as Bee Gees but put it below boyband Westlife?

I think my complicated relationship with music has something to do with my honesty. I used to mock people who love songs or singers whom I think “tasteless”. But then, I took those words back. What I mean by being in a complicated relationship with music is that I can easily change my song reference from one moment to another depending on my mood swing. When I feel happy, I will listen to upbeat songs, say, those by Keisha or Rita Ora. When I want to tune in with young musicians, I’ll go for Justin Bieber’s or Rihanna. Celine Dion’s songs are my perfect gateway when I want to feel a bit feminine. Bon Jovi and Aerosmith are my favorite rock bands whenever I want to feel a bit manly. I also love country songs. For me, country singers are my most favorite given their soft voice. I love Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill and Blake Shelton.

For old songs, my one and only love is for Bee Gees (which I currently listen to their songs almost every day). I love Bee Gees more than I like The Beatles. Bee Gees is so skilled at composing melody and beautiful music that has inspired so many generations. Songs like For Whom The Bell Tolls and Alone are my most favorite because I really like their melody. I have no words for Bee Gees as I am speechless to describe how much I love Westlife. And as a note: I dislike classical music.

Without any underestimation for current music trend, I think 80s and 90s are best ever music decades. I simply love singers or bands that produce their masterpieces during this era. Say, I love Bryan Adams, Sting (still popular at this decade I believe), Chicago, Air Supply, and REO Speedwagon that reigned during 1980s. And the best decade for me is 1990s. Boybands were shining during this era with Westlife is my best ever group. It’s the decade of many gifted singers; Britney Spears, Christina Aquilera, Jessica Simpson. Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Celine Dion affirmed their dominance in music industry as well.

Probably, you once got negative remarks from people who regard you have bad taste in music. I experienced this because I love songs from girlband Bewitched and UK singer Dido. For those I simply replied, “I love their songs, so what?”.

Whether you like dang dut or any kind of music that may be thought as “secondary class” taste, just keep on going with what you love. Again, music is all about honesty and enjoyment, something that brings happiness, a sense of bliss. And I can feel that through almost all kinds of music. Opening my mind for others’ taste causes me to love music even more. For those who claim to have high music taste please be respectful to others’ preference. If they don’t like your favorite, doesn’t mean they are stupid. 


I could not help being sad over the defeat of Juve. Its unbeaten record stopped at 49, in front of its home fans. Worse thing is that Juve lost to its eternal enemy, Inter Milan. Like what happened when I was at school, I am preparing from bad comments from Internisti. And that can be painful. And now, I am avoiding reading news about that match, football in general, if I can say so. I turned off television, I glued to my netbook while filling up my blog. It has been a while I did not do these things. And I added my sorrow by listening to Westlife’s songs. Again, it feels like ages I did not do this thing. After such merry and wonderful Saturday trip to Bogor, now I am dealing with this mellow Sunday tone.

I miss Westlife, I miss old times watching Alessandro Del Piero with Juventus. And I miss… someone in Chicago. Oh life! Being happy and sad can happen almost at the same time. Dealing with my own’s feeling, taming the good and bad side of mine is as difficult as hell! I find a formula to keep myself at a balanced mood; that I must not be overjoy when I am happy and vice versa. I must not be so depressed when I am sad. Easier said than done. Sometimes the hardest part is taking some time to cope with that. To tell myself that the world doesn’t come to an end because of this and that, and such and such and such things…

And I have kept telling myself that the world will not crumble after the loss. And I am trying to remain silent over harsh words from Internisti or everyone who loves seeing Juve’s loss. The journey is far from over. Juve can humiliate and fight back when they face Inter next year. There lay hopes ahead.. this and that thing will push Juve up. But still… needless to say I am still dissapointed. Okay, that’s such small thing, for some people. And my father once warns me not to be exaggerated about this football kind of thing. But Juve is more than just football. It has been part of my dream. It encourages me to dream, shoot everything higher than stars.

Being at the Juventus Stadium, taking pictures with Ale are still my biggest dreams. And I am so very grateful with those things, especially at the moment when I feel so clueless about my future thus the only thing I can aim at is saving a lot of money so that I can go to Sydney and Turin.

I have been living like in a flat line, lifeless tone that I seek for someone or some things that boost my motivations. Juve, Ale, the Chicago temporary man, are those who can slap my face, to wake me up and tell me something very worthwhile await me here and now. They tell me that I must fight for live, enjoy the present, and fight for my future, no matter how small they can be. So, okay! Juve lost yesterday and I was completely sad. I guess that is the consequence of loving it so much with all my heart. And like it or not, I have to deal with this and let time helps me fixing this broken feeling.


What I hate from Juve vs Inter is that their rivalry is no longer about victory or defeat in the field. Call it calciopoli, farsopoli, or whatever that is! Their competition goes ashtray from the field to political thing. Juve is relegated to Serie B and has its league titles scrapped. But now I doubt about the truth that Juve is such that guilty given the fact that the Italian football federation is dominated by Internisti.

I think that Juve reached its fatigue point when it welcomed Inter at the last match. It was playing below its par with some loopholes, being careless at the end of the game, unorganized attack plot, and everything. This was different when they won 2-0 against Napoli, which I think, is not significantly good as Inter.

This season, Juve has to play twice a week not to mention most of its players play for Italian national team. The team is completely exhausted and lacks of grinta, or may be winning spirit. The lost was inevitable.

On the other hand, Inter played better. I had to admit that. They created more chances and performed accurately. I wish all Internisti or football lovers can still have sympathy to other teams’ supporters as triumph and defeat is what football game is all about. But coarse words and unfair responses are things that make sport, or football, can be very loathsome!

I wish Juve can revenge this defeat with their seat at the next round of Champions League. I have been dying to see them lift the most prestigious cup in Europe. I don’t actually care about the revenge against Inter as I still think Juve is much more superior than the team (even after the loss, stupid isn’t it?). I mean, I never think Inter is that good because of the scandal involving it with Juve. Also, I dislike the fact that Inter relies much (at least in the 1990s) on super expensive player. I prefer AC Milan though. It’s more elegant and contributes lots of players in the national team, just like Juve.

Anyway, I hope the loss can push Juve to get up and start again. Never too late to begin everything in positive and hopeful tone. I will always be at your side Juve in ups and downs. I will always support you no matter what happens. In the meantime, lets enjoy this sorrowful tone and hope this will end tomorrow.



thanks to

I never thought it would hurt me this much. I know the day is coming but not this fast. Not even after I watched their concert in Jakarta just a few weeks ago. I still feel like flying over the moon each time I recall the unforgettable moment. But this morning I and millions of Westlife fans across the world may share the same thing: so deeply absorbed in a sadness that tears hardly run down from our eyes.

After 14 years together, the Irish pop sensation finally calls it a quit. Shane Filan, Kian Egan, Nicky Bryne, and Mark Feehily choose to go on their own separate ways. I find out in Twitter that they actually agreed to split up three months ago. That means the decision is concluded before they embark on Gravity Tour in Asia.

It’s like a thunder in a very sunny day. I am so much shocked once I open Westlife official fans page in Facebook. At first, I disbelieve the news. But then I check the boyband’s website that confirms the saddest entertainment news ever for me. Still stubborn, I open the band’s members official Twitter accounts. I am a bit relieved since they have yet to post anything in regards with the news. But then I google about it and see a bunch of news, mostly from UK and Ireland-based media.

thanks to

I keep opening Twitter with “Westlife” as the hashtag. Thousands of fans cry due to the information and send massive reactions for the boys but no response so far. I myself emotionally share with hundreds of Westlife fans in Indonesia. We are all so devastated.

Shortly, many Westlife fans in Indonesia tweet some promotors and beg them to bring the boyband for the last time next year when they officially leave their lovable fans. I spend most of the day by wishing upon the stars that it is just a hoax. But tweets from the wives of the members implicitly tell me that my dream need miracles to make it happen. They say thank you for all Westlife fans who support their husbands in the past 14 years. So sad but time has changed.

This piece of crap may sound so trivial but I can’t help my heart is falling into pieces knowing I will no longer be able to listen to their new songs and sing along with them during shows. I miss them already so much. Their break-up leaves a kind of small hole in my heart I do not who and when it will be a whole again. I just realize that they are my sole idol who have inspired me to put so much love into English language. Their songs make me to get everything right at the beginning before I choose then pursue my career in related with the subject that brings so many happiness in my life. So, the sweetest memory from my teenage period are waving their hands at me.

It’s so hard to believe. Even one million words will never be able to tell how miserable I am. Music is no longer a mean to escape from stress and pressure without them. I know I will get over this and let them go sooner or later. Whatever venture each of them will take, my support is and has always been for them. At the time being, however, this is just too hard to bear. I admit I “abandon” them for a few years and start listening to new singers and bands but I never fail to notice their amazing songs. In these past few months my love is growing so much stronger thanks to Twitter. Reading their tweets and looking at their pictures make them look like normal human beings, far from arrogance.  Their attitudes during the show proves me that they indeed love their fans.

Lately, I love watching their kids on the stage: Nicole, Shane Peter Junior, Patrick, Rocco, and Jay. From the clips, I am amazed to know that Shane and Nicky are kind fathers, just like any others. It’s obviously seen from their interactions with their children.

Dear Alloh swt, thank you so much for Westlife. This is just too painful. Such a hard day. And may be long time ahead to fully accept everything. I strongly hope they will drop by in Jakarta for the Greatest Hits Tour as their latest farewell concert.

Ok, better leave the note at this point.

Thank you so much Westlife. I love you forever. (credit for

An unforgettable night with Westlife

If I could make a moment last forever
This would be the one I’d choose
You and me here together ………………..”Westlife’s No One’s Gonna Sleep Tonight”.

The boys during the show (courtesy of Eny Wulandari)

Four days passed while I was writing this piece of story. Endless echoes, colorful lightnings, powerful sound system, crazy crowd, and definitely angelic voices from four faces of Westlife still linger on my mind. Thoughtful lyrics from Safe keep ringing in my ears. I still can’t believe I was part of thousand of people who enjoyed the two hours show at Tennis Indoor, Senayan, on Wednesday.

A day before the show I lost my focus on work. I came to the office at noon because I had to exchange a voucher for a tribune 1 class concert ticket on Tuesday. I arrived at Raja Karcis ticket office at about 9.30a.m. The queue was already long. I was at the 120th. Although I had yet to feel really excited about the concert, I could not concentrate well by the time I was at my desk. I kept on thinking “would I really watch the show?”.

Shane Filan

The much-awaited day finally came. Like what happened a day before, I wasted four hours browsing for Westlife instead of working. Sorry a lot boss. Now the ambiance took over everything that I made use my working times for fun. At 12 o’clock I stopped working. I took a bath for the second time in just five hours! I chose the best dress that I have and not to forget a camera that has been fully charged few days before. Oh my God! I have been 27 years old but felt like a 17-year old girl at that day. The boys made me feel so much younger and alive.

The show was still six hours away when I hit the road at 2 p.m.  I went to Education to USA, part of AMINEF’s office, to get a TOEFL certificate. Traffic was already crazy at Jalan Sudirman. Thankfully, a Transjakarta bus helped me a lot. Although I had to stand during the short bus trip, I reached Senayan area in just 15 minutes. Of course, I did not go directly to the concert. That was still at 3 p.m. instead, I went to one of the most fave places in the city: Kinokuniya bookstore!

And damn! At first glances, I did not discover interesting books at the front bookshelf rows till I moved backward and smiled widely upon reading some great titles: The Circle of Reason, Calcutta Chromosome, The Hungry Tide, and The Shadow Lines. Those are books that I have been searching ever since I finished reading amazing books by Indian author Amitav Ghosh called The Glass Palace and Sea of Poppies.

I faced a great dillema at that time: I really wanted to buy all those books, or at least one. But looking at the price, all I had to do was reading few pages quickly then just leaving the site. Fortunately, my focus about the concert saved me from spending so much money on those books. I could put my desire for buying the books on a hold. Initially, I would have planned to go to the concert venue at 6 p.m, and changed my mind for some unknown reasons.

Uptown Girl!!!!

The location between Kinokuniya store and Tennis Indoor is just some meters away so I preferred to walk. The sky was a bit cloudy and the traffic was smooth. I guessed the concert would be fine as well.

Not so many cars and still few people were seen at 4.30 p.m. I sat and captured some pictures. Few minutes after that, the crowd started to be crazy. I stood up once I heard some girls shouted. I did not why they did that. I joined the queue finally although I knew the concert was still far away though it was getting closer. Just when the gate was about to open, I was pushed from behind. I started to get panic. There was no way I would get hurt because of the boyband. That would be ridiculous!

After the gate was opened, I and others ran fast to line up for tickets checkings. The organizer of the concert divided spectators based on classes: tribune 2, tribune 1, and festival. I joined dozens of girls at the tribune 1 class. For about one hour  or so, we and those at other classes stood and had small chats. Thankfully, one of the major sponsor held a question session for their loyal customers who bought the ticket concerts. The host of the show was so funny that I could not stop laughing. Thanks buddy! You made me forgetting that I was suffering in that long queue.

At 6.30 p.m, the tickets checkings began. Few from tribune 1 class were so lucky to enter the venue first. Everything looked smooth at the beginning until those at the tribune 2 class began impatient to get in the site. I did not know how that happened but a strong pushing started. They pushed forward to some security guards and could not wait to get their tickets scanned. That was how the mess was kicked off! I and other from the tribune 1 class stood up while gazing our eyes at the mess. Not long after that crazy scene occured at the tribune 2 class, those at the festival class started shouting, too. I did not know if they did do any pushings because officers at the tribune 1 class started scanning our tickets. I saluted the girls at my class because they lined up patiently while waiting to go through all of the processes.

I got a seat at the third row. I intentionally chose at the upper row to get a clearer view. One hour away from the big show and I already felt the hysteria. As minutes were passing, more and more people coming in and filling all the empty seats. Surprisingly, a lot of seats at tribune 2 class looked empty despite the fact I failed to get the ticket of the class as they were sold out in just one day.

From where I sat, the crowd at the festival class was getting larger in a short time. I noticed many men did come to the concert. So it was a bit equal between women and men in the most expensive class.

Thirty minutes before the concert began, I went to the toilet! Just look at the long queue! I can not count how many times I had to line up for the sake of the boys! Did I mention I meet soap opera star Zaskia Adia Mecca while waiting for the toilet?

The show featuring local boy band began when I was at the toilet. The crowd, especially at the festival class, was so full. Loud cheer filled up the venue when I sat back at the point where I had secured. The opening act was okay. Probably, the viewers loved them when performing medley from other boybands Backstreet Boys and New Kids On The Block. The night was a nostalgia for all of us.

The opening act was done but Westlife did not straightly come up. Through transparent closed curtain we could see few crews checked light and sound system. I was getting so impatient. Would they really sing anyway??? I was tired in holding my camera while waiting for their first glimpses.

The curtain was suddenly lifted and upbeat song was heard. Four men dressed up in long black blazer, ties, and white shirts started singing and dancing all around the stage. When You’re Looking Like That opened the show. A louder shot was heard. People started to sing along with the Irish guys. I stood up as well and was a bit busy in catching their pictures. After that, I danced and sang out loud. Just one song. And I was sweating already! The song was so perfect to heat us up!

Two songs in a row put us in a much more hysteria: World Of Our Own and What Makes A Man. I still could not believe I eventually listened to their own voices and met them though from far. I wish the clock could stand still. In a bit different music version in World Of Our Own, the boys who were no longer young kept dancing in some simple movements, and the crowd was getting so unbearable.

Since the very beginning, Shane and Mark gave gestures asking fans in the floor to move backward. At first I thought that was just a trivial thing to do since I did not see anything dangerous was happening there. But as they stopped singing after performing Safe and Home that I felt something really bad was going on. Even some members of the organizer came up to the stage and begged fans to move backwards or even moved to the tribune 1 or 2 classes. From the big screen, I was shocked to know few girls were rushed out of the venue.

I sat silent. I was anxious that they did really stop the show since Shane said they would not perform anymore if local security said no. He then asked for the fans to move to the empty seats. To calm the situation down, crews from Westlife gave bottles of mineral water to the audiences.

Thirty minutes later, the guys emerged to the stage. Nicky said the next song was a trial one. If it went well they would proceed the concert. But they would stop singing shortly should the pushings continue.

A soft music of My Love hit the venue. I actually really like the song but did not want to sing it loudly due to a fear that would be the last song of the night. The crowd looked much more relaxed. Smiles from Shane and Nicky made me relieved before the song ended. The show indeed went on again.

Some hits from previous albums — Seasons In The Sun and I’m Already There — were able to put me to get back on the show. I enjoyed the concert again, much more than before the mess.

An interesting introduction from Kian before singing You Raise Me Up amazed me in a way they do love Indonesian fans so much. He said the song was for us who brought them to where they were now. Somehow, the song look so special for me now.

Undoubtedly, the most incredible moment of the show occured when the guys was about to perform Flying Without Wings. They said the song had a special place in our hearts. And that was absolutely correct.

So, best part of the show was singing along Flying Without Wings while waving our hands for them. I was speechless! Being able to sing one of the songs with deepest lyrics with Shane was beyond words. It was just splendid! I believed I was not the only one who felt that. The audiences sang it together from the beginning till the end. WOW!!!

The following songs — I Will Reach You, What About Now, and Uptown Girl — received enthusiastic responses. Uptown Girl became the last song that closed such wonderful night.

All in all, I was so satisfied and thankful for the very rare moment. Despite the mess and less number of songs they performed, I got the best quality of all. That night answered my own questions on whether they could give out their best voices during live concert or not. Now, if someone said Westlife only sold their cute faces instead of voices, I would strongly suggest he or she to watch the concert by himself or herself before judging. And don’t blame me if he or she wants to see it again and again.

Thank you so much Westlife for the concert and all your songs. You guys make my life so much beautiful for the past 12 years. I will always pray that you will get strong and stronger as ever and hold the fifth, sixth, seventh concerts in one of your most favorite places in the world: Indonesia! (They did say that via Twitter).

To Allah swt, thank you so much for keeping the best for me, as always. I look forward for just another best things in my life….

12 Years On

October 5, 2011 is one of the much-awaited dates in my life. Yes! Westlife is scheduled to hold their fourth concert in Jakarta. It’s like a mini dream comes true. I have been dreaming to watch the Irish boys live in the city. Too long have I kept that personal wish that I sometimes forget I have ever had that kind of silly hope.

The year is 1999. That was one of the crucial years in my school days since I was about to have final exams for junior high school. In between serious days on studying, I happened to listen to “Swear It Again” from one of my favorite radio stations in Surakarta city. I fell for the song once I listened to it. The name of Westlife crossed my mind not long after that. It was from the song called “If I Let You Go” that I admitted they were indeed very tempting. From that, I became part of millions of girls who were madly in love with the boys.

So gradually, I listened to more and more of their songs. “Flying Without Wings” was not on my fave list (but it is now). I became so much in love with them thanks to “Fool Again” although I heard rumors that accused the band from copying similar song from U.K’s Take That. I dont care though!

I started buying Westlife’s first album. I could not stop listening to their songs; all tracks are amazing. Even unpopular ones like “Try Again”, “What I Want Is What I’ve Got,” and “I Miss You” were incredible for me. I wholly enjoyed what they sang even if I didnt really get into what they said. Later did I know on the meanings of the songs, which are quite deep.

After buying the first album, I purchased their posters, magazines that contained their news even only for few pages. I cut their pictures then stick them in the walls of my bedroom. When the news on their first concert in 2000 reached Indonesia, I was so excited yet sad because I knew I was not going to make it. Apart from not having enough money to buy a ticket, I did not have any guts to travel all they way from Karanganyar to Jakarta, which looked like a deadly city for me ( I heard so many unwelcome stories about Jakarta from my neighbors).

On the day when they held the concert in the city, I quickly grabbed for teenage magazine and tabloids to satisty my curiosity on how enthusiastic Jakartans in welcoming the boys. I spent most of my pocket money just to buy those papers. It did not stop there. A couple of days after the concert, I forced my dad to drive me to Surakarta, which is 30 minutes from my home, to seek Kawanku’s special edition on Westlife’s concert. But to no avail. We circled the city from newstand to newstand but empty-handed. The special editions were sold out! I was so devastated.

In order not to get loose from the boys, I stay turned every Friday afternoon in a special programs dedicated for boyband lovers like me. In early 2000s, boybands were so powerful that the radio set aside one-hour program to feed their fans’ minds. I even wrote two letters to the hosts of the program who later sent replied letters to my school. I was so embarrased but joyful when one of classmates gave the replied letter to me, along with the poster of the program. Oh my… What a dummy moment!

In 2002, I still clearly remembered their popularity was replaced by Meteor Garden. Most girls turned to the casts and left boybands. I remained faithful with the band. I kept on buying their second and third album. To my surprise, I did not follow much on the lyrics in those albums. All songs were good but they were too “adult’ for me to absorb. The music was much more complicated, not as easy-listening as that in the first album.

2002 marked an on-off period between me and the band. I was busy with my college and new music taste. I began to love The Corrs, Celine Dion, and Kelly Clarkson. I unintentionally turned a bit away from the boybands. Thus, I did not feel sad when Brian McFadden, one of the Westlife’s personnels, decided to leave the band and went on solo. Even when Mark Feehily, another member, admitted he was a guy, I felt okay though was shocked. I thought the band was going to split up since I know how influential Brian was, but Westlife was going strong. Although I acted like I did not care, I was very happy in knowing they kept on releasing more albums until now.

I was completely at loss when Westlife produced recycled songs from Frank Sinatra. I hated a bit when they did so because I dislike jazz. But still, Shane Filan’s voice has always been succesful in blowing my mind away even when he sings jazz songs. Of all aforementioned admiration and love toward the band, I, and maybe other Westlifers might share one common dislike. I sometimes hate the way Westlife love singing recycled songs. I did not mind when they decided to include “I Have A Dream” and “Seasons In The Sun in their first album, since they were old songs. But when they put “Home” or “You Raise Me Up”, which are quite new, in their albums, I could not deny that I started to think they are not creative.

But once “Amazing” and “Obvious” hit the air, I stopped to put forward recycled songs than their remarkable achievements. They sell 44 million records worldwide. They have million of fans, including faithful lovers in Jakarta. Above all else, they remain together since they have met under Westside in 1998. Their music is so much mature now.

When I knew they would meet their fans for the fourth time, I thought there were only few fans who would stand in line for concert tickets. Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, or the Jonas Brother must have surpassed Westlife’s fame. Would there be people who were going to spend thousand of rupiah for buying concert tickets just I was going to do?

I was completely wrong. All tickets for tribune 2 class, which is sold at Rp 600,000 each excluding tax, was sold out in just one day. I was forced to spend Rp 675,000 for a tribune 1 class ticket, excluding tax.

At first, I thought I did something crazy by spending too much money for this, especially in times when I need to be very careful in using my saving. But for the boys who colored and gave sweetest twist for my teenage life, was that too much to do?

A second chance emerged. After 12 years of waiting with on-and-off modes of hopes, I did not waste this most expected moment. All of their pictures could have been taken down from the walls of my bedroom. Glee casts, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga might become new idols. Boybands era could be over. People may underestimate the boys’ capabilities and give critics to my low music taste.

But Westlife is and will always be in my heart. I can hum the lyrics, sing, and even dance with their music. They make me happy. To them, I owe so much for bridging a truest love toward English language, which brings me to where I am now.  And to God, I thank to You because You make them exist.


1. Westlife, 2000

2. Coast to Coast, 2001

3. World of Our Own, 2002

4.  Unbreakable: The Greatest Hits, 2002

5. Turnaround, 2003

6. Allow Us to be Frank, 2004

7. Face to Face, 2005

8. Love Album, 2006

9. Back Home, 2007

10. Where We Are, 2009

11. Gravity, 2010

Real Love at The First Songs


If you could turn back time, do you have any wishes to change things that you dislike when you are a teen?

If I could, I want to be a bit naughty. I am so serious that I spend most of my teenage period by studying and reading. I am such a spirited soul when I am at the elementary school but turn out to be such a shy person when I am at the junior high school. The reason is I am accepted at a reputable junior high school where good students from all around Karanganyar start their big dreams from here. I have wonderful classmates and smart teachers. Every student race for good marks and be number one in the class. And since I am not as bright as others, I have to study hard. So hard that I can not recall if I enjoy study and memorize lessons or not.

In between that difficult time to learn, I happen to undergo an unexpected moment that pauses my serious life. I hardly can remember exactly how all of this occurs but sweet melody coming from two songs — Sometimes and I Want It That Way — changes a bit the way I enjoy my teenage time. I do not know yet who sing those songs let alone find out what the hell they talk about. All I know is that they are wonderful piece of music that are able to open up an unlikely chapter of my boring life. Later, I find out they are performed by Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys. After listening for the first time, I always try to find the songs at the radio. I have a small radio. I’d like to call it as the opener of the outside world. It is and remains my everlasting entertainment device. Long before I know teen magazines like Kawanku and Gadis, radio is the medium through which I learn a bunch of wonderful Western songs. After Britney and Backstreet Boys, I learn to know Celine Dion and Westlife. I am amazed by Celine’s beautiful voice through Because You Loved Me and the first song that drives me so crazy about Westlife is Swear It Again.

I have known English language long before I listen to those songs. Somehow, they introduce me to another awesome way to not just learn but also be madly in love with what I study. Since then, I always tune in to the radio even in the morning before I go the school. I already forget the name of my favorite show but it is aired 5:30 a.m for those who want to throw birthday wishes for their beloved ones. During my hectic preparation to go to school, I always set aside time to catch up new songs from the show.

I let my curiosity about Western songs to go wildly. It happens one night when I find a show in the ASRI radio, a local station in Sragen, that dictates listeners about the lyrics of the songs. Yes, thats true! The broadcaster read and sometimes spell the lyrics (in Bahasa Indonesia) of the songs which are popular at that time. From the show, I collect some lyrics of my favorite songs, mostly are from boybands. I put them all in some books. I read and try to absord them, literally.

Such pleasant hobby goes on when I am the senior high school. My friends sometimes go for me if they want to know the lyrics of their favorite songs. Then I lend my music books *big grin*.

Strangely, my likeneliness in compiling and admiring Western songs do not help me much to get great grades. My score for English language is good but I wish I can get more than that. Probably, I am bored with how my English teachers present such wonderful subject in front of the class. They bring us at the very outside level of the many delicacies we could have found. Here, I refer to grammar, main idea of the passage, etc. They never bother how to sharpen students’ skill in speaking let alone writing. Supposedly, they use music or movies to introduce English, I believe students will have so much fun in digesting the subject. But since my teachers know only skin deep about the subject, no wonder if my friends may consider it as a difficult alien subject. While for me, I wish my teachers provide more ways to get good marks other than dealing with grammar and technical reading skills. Wish they put my speaking and writing skills, I could learn how much my silly music hobby is beneficial for my academic grade.

Western songs do contribute insignificantly for my academic mark but they give more things that I want. At the second grade of senior high school, my English teacher gives us a writing assignment on our dream city in the world. Each of us is asked to write as much as we can and read it in front of the class. I love Greece for its old history. I keen on visiting Italy as it is the homebase of my fave football club. But surprisingly I choose the United States. I say I want to study at the Harvard University (LOL) despite the fact I just know the university from my fave TV show Ally McBeal. Miraculously, I can write a quite long story about why I am interested to be in the U. S someday. I feel so happy when I read it in front of the class. That is the only assignment that makes me more powerful than my peers, who are smarter than I am. Lately, I realize that is the moment I know I am going to take English as my subject at the university.

Regardless how trivial your hobby is, never let it dies. You’ll never know what tomorrow brings…