Regol Jogja Magazine: Yogyakarta, Central Java

Regol Jogja magazine has a distinct and colorful way of telling a story about Yogyakarta‘s people, their daily lives, cultural heritage, local pastimes and traditional cuisine, said its founder and greatest fan.

Suluh (Tita) Pratitasari is enormously proud of her product and said regol in Javanese means gateway. She said her magazine “helps to open people’s horizons on Yogyakarta”.

“We want to tell people everything about the daily lives of the local people .. who help make up this cultural and academic city,” Tita said.

Regol Jogja is intentionally packaged in a simple but interesting format, Tita said.

The magazine uses a conversational, easy style and is filled with illustrations of the city.

“Not all people like to read,” she said.

“That’s why we present illustrations and articles proportionally.”

The idea of publishing Regol Jogja was born via travel agents who said they felt limited in what they were asked to show tourists.

They said when they brought visitors to Yogyakarta, their tours were more often than not restricted to Prambanan and Borobudur temples and the Yogyakarta Palace.

“Yogyakarta is well represented by these three tourist destinations, but the dynamic life and spirit of the people actually make up some of its most interesting features,” she said.

Tita first published Regol Jogja in early 2006. She is also the founder of PT Sendang Kapit Pancuran, an advertising company which oversees her business ventures.

The magazine has a circulation of 6,000 and copies are distributed free-to-street.

Tita said she hoped the magazine would remind people of the city’s past, its food, popular games and everything about its local culture, which she says has been somewhat left behind.

“Many readers said they remember the games they played when they were young and the traditional cuisines — but only some of these delights exist today.”

In an effort to bring people together, Tita started this month the Sembari Minum Kopi (while drinking coffee) community.

“The atmosphere is relaxed and we simply chat,” she said.

“No need to discuss politics, the law or the likes … only trivial matters — vendors, toys, bamboo products and food.”

But from what calls trivial conversations, Tita said she believes fresh ideas can emerge, to help people generally become more creative.

Sembari Minum Kopi community meets once every three months, but a smaller community group gets together once a month,” she said.

The magazine is distributed through hotels, cafes and travel agents, but Titi said they need to increase their readership.

“Distribution is still a problem for us, but we will keep learning,” she said.

Another problem, according to Tita, is funding. Regol Jogja is a non-profit business, with all expenses covered by PT Sendang Kapit Pancuran.

“We are worried about printing costs … the cost of each edition amounts to Rp 3,500.”

And Tita said although they have had much interest from
advertisers, the magazine’s policy has prevented some businesses being included.

“Regol Jogja represents our ideals and we will try to seek funding for its long term existence,” she said.

“We’re sure it will last for a long time.”

Slamet Susanto