Bajawa ; Cold Town in Flores Island
Bajawa is one of the cities on Flores Island. Bajawa city is famous for its extremely cold air temperature. Bajawa is the capital of Ngada Regency precisely in the middle of Flores Island. This city with an area of 1,277.81 km2 is inhabited by 44,000 people. The town of Bajawa was pioneered by Dutch colonizers in 1907 under the leadership of Captain Christoffel. On August 27, 1907, Christoffel’s troops began military aggression in the Ngada region. After the fighting in Rowa, Sara, Mangulewa and Rakalaba, on 12 September 1907 Bajawa surrendered. In Bajawa the Dutch troops occupy the location on the Waewoki riverbank (around the current slaughterhouse) because it is near the Waemude spring as a source of drinking water. Within 3 months Christoffel’s forces managed to take control of the entire Ngada region and then on December 10, 1907 the entire Manggarai region was controlled.
The Dutch began to regulate a government that was initially military under a military official called “Gezaghebber”, then civilian under a civilian official called “Controleur”. The Spruijt Captain who replaced Christoffel was appointed Gezaghebber Ende, van Suchtelen became Gezaghebber Lio, and Couvreur became Gezaghebber starting from Nangapanda, Ngada, to Manggarai.
In 1912 the Jesuit Missionaries in Larantuka through the newly formed Flores School (Vereniging Flores School) Committee sent a teacher named Johanes Patipeilohy and in the same year opened the first public school for Onder Afdeling Ngada under the name Bajawa Catholic People’s School. This first school uses a building that is currently the PWRI Office on Jalan Gajah Mada. In 1915 came again from Larantuka a teacher named Mark Fernandez. Both teachers were also the first Catholic Lay Missionaries for Bajawa.
Addition to famous for its cold air temperature because it is at an altitude of 1,000 meters above sea level, Bajawa City is also famous for its Coffee Bajawa which is beginning to be global. Where the local people here work as farmers, one of them is coffee. Within a year they will harvest Coffee once and then sell it to collectors or keep it for stock . This reserve or stock is needed because the Bajawa people often do celebration so that the coffee is usually used to entertain guests or be used as souvenirs if their family wants to visit.