Biak

Biak is a small island located in Cenderawasih Bay near the northern coast of Papua, an Indonesian province, and is just northwest of New Guinea. Biak is the largest island in its small archipelago, and has many atolls, reefs, and corals.

The largest population centre is at Kota Biak (Biak City) on the south coast. The rest of the island is thinly populated with small villages.

Biak is part of the Biak Islands (Kepulauan Biak).

Biak
Fishing boats on Biak
Fishing boats lined up at Kota Biak, Indonesia.
Biak is located in Western New Guinea
Biak
Biak
Biak is located in Indonesia
Biak
Biak
Geography
LocationOceania
Coordinates1°0′0″S 136°0′0″E / 1.00000°S 136.00000°E
Administration
Indonesia
Largest settlementKota Biak
Demographics
Population112,873 (2010)
Schouten Islands (IN) Topography
Biak Islands

History

Biak was first reported as sighted by Europeans by the Portuguese navigator Jorge de Menezes & Arpit Buchha in 1526. In his voyage from Malacca to Maluku via northern Borneo, Jorge de Menezes landed at Biak Islands, at the entrance of the Gulf, where he was forced to winter; the island is thenceforth called in Portuguese maps Ilha de Dom Jorge or Ilha onde invernou Dom Jorge, to become, finally, Ilha de S. Jorge.[1]

The Spanish navigator Álvaro de Saavedra sighted the island on 24 June 1528, when trying to return from Tidore to New Spain. Another sighting was later reported in 1545 by Spanish navigator Íñigo Ortiz de Retes on board of galleon San Juan when also attempting the return to New Spain[2]

The archipelago was first mapped in the Portuguese charts of Gaspar Viegas (c. 1537), an anonymous map of 1540, and on the maps of João de Lisboa and of Bartolomeu Velho (c. 1560), and by other Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch maps.[3]

Mel Hirsch basketball player
Basketball player Mel Hirsch during WWII playing on the U.S. Army Air Corps 13th Troop Carrier Squadron's officers team against the enlisted men for the 403rd Group Championship, on Biak Island, April 9, 1945.

In World War II, a strategic airfield of the Imperial Japanese Army was located there, serving as a base for operations in the Pacific theatre. American forces eventually captured the island during the Battle of Biak. The captured airfield was renamed Mokmer Airfield and later transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force.

It was transferred from Dutch rule, along with half of New Guinea, in the 1960s.

Biak Massacre

On 1 July 1998, the anniversary of the unsuccessful 1971 Papuan declaration of independence, Biak was the scene of what is commonly known as the 'Biak Massacre' or 'Bloody Biak'. Native Papuan people and members of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (Free Papua Movement), raised their traditional flag, 'The Morning Star', at Kota Biak water tower and camped there for the next six days.[4]

At 05:30 on 6 July 1998 the demonstration was fired upon by the Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI or Indonesian Military). Many were shot while attempting to flee. Survivors were rounded up and forced to the docks where they were kept for the several days while further demonstrators were caught.

About 200 of the original demonstrators were forcibly loaded onto two Indonesian naval vessels and taken to two different locations to be thrown into the ocean. In the following days, bodies washed up on Biak's shores, or were snarled in fishing nets. The TNI explained that the bodies turning up belonged to victims of the Aitape tsunami which occurred approximately 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) away in Papua New Guinea.[5]

Demographics

Jonge Papua's bij een graf te Wari op het eiland Biak - Collectie stichting Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen - TM-60010065
People of Biak in 1907. Tropenmuseum.

The people of Biak are predominantly Melanesians and the main religion is Christianity. The official language is Indonesian and the main local language is Biak. Other languages such as Dutch and English are also used, but limited. Administratively there are 12 kecamatan, covering only the island itself, having 112,873 people in the 2010 census.[6]

Climate

Biak[7]
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
270
 
 
30
23
 
 
246
 
 
29
24
 
 
278
 
 
31
23
 
 
214
 
 
30
23
 
 
266
 
 
30
24
 
 
216
 
 
30
23
 
 
234
 
 
31
24
 
 
243
 
 
30
23
 
 
209
 
 
30
22
 
 
206
 
 
30
24
 
 
195
 
 
30
24
 
 
239
 
 
30
24
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

Biak features a tropical rainforest climate with nearly identical temperatures throughout the course of the year. The average annual temperature in the city is 26 °C (79 °F), which is also generally the average temperature of each day in Biak. The city sees a good amount of precipitation in every month throughout the course of the year, averaging roughly 2,816 millimetres (110.9 in) of precipitation per year. Its driest months November, average a little under 200 millimetres (7.9 in) of rain per month.

Transport

Biak is serviced by Frans Kaisiepo Airport, which has flights from all over Indonesia.

Space satellite launch services had been planned, As of 2006, for the new Biak Spaceport. The equatorial location offers particularly efficient launches to equatorial and near-equatorial orbits; facing eastward toward the Pacific Ocean reduces the downrange risks of launch.[8]

Tradition

The Biak Numfor culture revolves around their ancient animist religion, although today they are Christian as well.

Their beliefs revolve around a ritual ceremony called Wor, where they will be plagued by all kinds of bad luck and sickness. The Wor is in all aspect of their life and some of their traditional ceremonies are still being held now. They include the first hair cut ceremony (Wor Kapapnik), the growing up ceremony (Wor Famarmar) and the Wedding ceremony (Wor Yakyaker Farbakbuk). All of these ceremonies are accompanied by singing, dancing and offering to ancestral spirits.

Yosim Pancar Dance

The Biak Numfor have a friendship dance called "Yosim Pancar". It's small to mid-size dance group formations which could last all-night long. Several "Yosim Pancar" moves that are popular till this day are: Pancar Gas, Gale-Gale, Jef, Pacul Tiga, Seka, and Poco-poco adaptation.

The rhythm and song of Yosim Pancar dance are now being modernized with special effect sounds and pop dance beat. Originally the rhythm is to summon ancestral spirits and let them join the group. The traditional musical instrument of this dance is a selfmade stringbass from coconut tree and roots which is similar to the guitar or ukulele.

Flora and fauna

Nepinsignis9
The carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes insignis grows on Biak.

The rain forest-covered Biak Islands have been designated the Biak-Numfoor rain forests, especially as they have the largest number of endemic bird species of any single area in the New Guinea region. There are also numerous reptile and amphibian species found here. Among the many snake species catalogued by Tom Mendelson during his herpetological survey of Biak in the 1990s, the green tree python (Morelia viridis) and the amethystine python (Morelia amethystina) were quite common. The Biak glider is a recently reclassified gliding possum species, formerly considered a sugar glider subspecies.

There are numerous types of flora in the tropical rain forest of the island, including a variety of trees and other commercially important species plus the lush vegetation of mangrove swamps.

See also

References

  1. ^ Kratoska, Paul H. (2001). South East Asia, Colonial History: Imperialism before 1800, Volume 1 de South East Asia, Colonial History. Taylor & Francis. p. 56. ISBN 9780415215404.
  2. ^ Coello, Francisco "Notas sobre los planos de las bahias descubiertas, en el año 1606, en las islas de Espíritu Santo y de Nueva Guinea, que dibujo el capitán don Diego de Prado y Tovar, en igual fecha" Boletín de la Sociedad Geográfica de Madrid, t IV, primer semestre de 1878, p.234.
  3. ^ Luis Filipe F. R. Thomaz, The image of the Archipelago in Portuguese cartography of the 16th and early 17th centuries, Persee, 1995, Volume 49 pages: 79–124
  4. ^ Kilvert, Andrew (1998-10-11). "Behind The Biak Massacre". Asia Pacific Network. Archived from the original on December 18, 2001. Retrieved 2007-01-22.
  5. ^ Barclay, Paul (1 August 2008). "The Biak Massacre". RadioNational: Perspective. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  6. ^ http://sp2010.bps.go.id/files/ebook/9409.pdf
  7. ^ a b "Biak". WMO. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  8. ^ John J. Klein (2006). Space Warfare: Strategy, Principles, and Policy. McGraw Hill Professional. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-415-77001-9.
1897 Philippine Supreme Council elections

On November 1, 1897, the Republic of Biak-na-Bato was established in the cave of Biak-na-Bato, San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan. A special election was called for the new Supreme Council to oversee the newly established government on November 2, 1897 in the Philippines.

1996 Biak earthquake

The 1996 Biak earthquake, or the 1996 Irian Jaya earthquake, occurred on February 17 at 14:59:30 local time near Biak Island, Indonesia. The earthquake had a moment magnitude of 8.2 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). The run-up height of the generated tsunami reached 7 meters (23 ft). One-hundred and sixty-six people were reported dead, 423 were injured, and 5,090 were made homeless.

This earthquake was a thrust in a very oblique subduction zone. It ruptured at least 270 km (170 mi) along the New Guinea trench. The slip distribution is very nonuniform. The largest slip was ∼12 m near the hypocentral depth, and the mean slip over a 230 km by 100 km fault area was 4 m.

Battle of Biak

The Battle of Biak was part of the New Guinea campaign of World War II, fought between the United States Army and the Japanese Army from 27 May to 17 August 1944. It was part of General Douglas MacArthur's Southwest Pacific command's offensive drive to clear New Guinea in preparation for an invasion of the Philippines. It was the first major effort by the Japanese to allow uncontested landings for the purpose of creating a kill zone inland.

Biak-na-Bato National Park

Biak-na-Bato National Park is a protected area of the Philippines located almost entirely within Barangay Biak-na-Bato in San Miguel, Bulacan from where it derives its name. The park also extends to the nearby municipalities of San Ildefonso and Doña Remedios Trinidad covering a total area of 2,117 hectares. It was declared a national park in 1937 by President Manuel Luis Quezon by virtue of its association with the history and site of the Biak-na-Bato Republic. The park consists of a cave network and a system of rivers and trails of both historical and ecological importance. Situated only 80 kilometers northeast from Manila, it is fast becoming a popular weekend eco-adventure destination for the city dwellers.

Biak Numfor Regency

Biak Numfor Regency is one of the regencies (kabupaten) in Papua Province of Western New Guinea in northeastern Indonesia.

Biak giant rat

The Biak Island uromys or Biak giant rat (Uromys boeadii) is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is known only from a single specimen collected on the Indonesian island of Biak.

Biak glider

The Biak glider (Petaurus biacensis) is a species of marsupial in the family Petauridae. It is endemic to the Schouten Islands in the western region of Papua Province, Indonesia. It was formerly considered to be a subspecies of Petaurus breviceps (sugar glider).

Biak language

Biak (wós Vyak or "Biak language"; wós kovedi or "our language"; Indonesian: bahasa Biak), also known as Biak-Numfor, Noefoor, Mafoor, Mefoor, Nufoor, Mafoorsch, Myfoorsch and Noefoorsch, is an Austronesian language of the South Halmahera-West New Guinea subgroup of the Eastern Malayo-Polynesian languages.

It is spoken by about 30,000 people in Biak and Numfor and numerous small islands in the Schouten Islands archipelago, located in Papua province of Western New Guinea, northeastern Indonesia.

Biak naked-backed fruit bat

The Biak naked-backed fruit bat (Dobsonia emersa) is a species of megabat in the family Pteropodidae. It is endemic to Indonesia.

Biak paradise kingfisher

The Biak paradise kingfisher (Tanysiptera riedelii) is a tree kingfisher that is endemic to the Indonesian island of Biak which is one of a small group of islands located in Cenderawasih Bay near the northern coast of Papua. This bird has a turquoise-blue back with a white belly and tail streamers and a reddish beak. Its natural habitat is forests and the IUCN has assessed its conservation status as being "near-threatened".

Biak roundleaf bat

The Biak roundleaf bat or Geelvinck Bay leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros papua) is a species of bat in the family Hipposideridae. It is endemic to the Biak Islands (Schouten Islands) and Cenderawasih Bay (Geelvinck Bay) area of Papua Province, located in Western New Guinea, Indonesia.

Blue-eyed spotted cuscus

The blue-eyed spotted cuscus or Biak spotted cuscus (Spilocuscus wilsoni) is a species of marsupial in the family Phalangeridae. It is endemic to the islands of Biak and Supiori in the Cenderawasih Bay in West Papua of Indonesia. Only scientifically described in 2004, it appears to be very rare, likely due to hunting and habitat loss, and has consequently been rated as critically endangered by the IUCN. Recent surveys have failed to find any wild individuals. Unlike all other members of the genus Spilocuscus, this relatively small species has distinct pale blue eyes.

Constitution of the Philippines

The Constitution of the Philippines (Filipino: Saligang Batas ng Pilipinas or Konstitusyon ng Pilipinas, Spanish: Constitución de la República de Filipinas) is the constitution or supreme law of the Republic of the Philippines. Its final draft was completed by the Constitutional Commission on October 12, 1986 and was ratified by a nationwide plebiscite on February 2, 1987.

Three other constitutions have effectively governed the country in its history: the 1935 Commonwealth Constitution, the 1973 Constitution, and the 1986 Freedom Constitution.

The earliest constitution establishing a "Philippine Republic," the 1899 Malolos Constitution, was never fully implemented throughout the Philippines and did not establish a state that was internationally recognized, due in great part to the eruption of the Philippine–American War following its adoption.

Frans Kaisiepo International Airport

Frans Kaisiepo International Airport (Indonesian: Bandara Frans Kaisiepo) (IATA: BIK, ICAO: WABB), is an airport in Biak, Papua, Indonesia. It is also known as Mokmer Airport. The airport is named after Frans Kaisiepo, the fourth Governor of Papua. The airport has seven aircraft parking slots, of which two are capable of handling wide-body aircraft, and a small terminal without jet bridges. The airport's only runway is 3,571m long, designated as 11/29.

Nepenthes biak

Nepenthes biak is a tropical pitcher plant endemic to the Indonesian island of Biak, after which it is named. Biak is a member of the Schouten Islands, located in Cenderawasih Bay, and is administered as part of Biak Numfor Regency, Papua Province. Nepenthes biak grows near sea level, usually on limestone coastal cliffs though occasionally as an epiphyte on mangrove trees.Prior to its formal description, N. biak was lumped with the closely related N. insignis, which is now considered to be restricted to the New Guinea mainland.Nepenthes biak is a member of section Insignes, which also includes 13 other species, mostly from the Philippines: N. aenigma, N. alzapan, N. barcelonae, N. bellii, N. burkei, N. insignis, N. merrilliana, N. northiana (a questionable outlier from Borneo), N. samar, N. sibuyanensis, N. surigaoensis, N. ventricosa, and N. sp. Raja Ampat. Its closest relatives are thought to be N. insignis and the undescribed N. sp. Raja Ampat from the Raja Ampat Islands.The type specimen, Cheek 18785, originates from Biak. It was prepared on 25 August 2017 from a plant cultivated at Kew Gardens in London and originally donated by Robert Cantley. The holotype is held at the herbarium of the University of Papua in Manokwari (MAN), with isotypes at Kew Herbarium (K), the National Herbarium of the Netherlands in Leiden (L), and Herbarium Bogoriense (BO) of the Bogor Botanical Gardens.

PSBS Biak Numfor

Persatuan Sepakbola Biak dan Sekitarnya, commonly known as PSBS Biak, is a Indonesian football club based in Biak Numfor Regency, Papua, Indonesia. The club currently play in Liga 2.

Pact of Biak-na-Bato

The Pact of Biak-na-Bato, signed on December 15, 1897, created a truce between Spanish colonial Governor-General Fernando Primo de Rivera and the revolutionary leader Emilio Aguinaldo to end the Philippine Revolution. Aguinaldo and his fellow revolutionaries were given amnesty and monetary indemnity by the Spanish Government, in return for which the revolutionary government would go into exile in Hong Kong. Aguinaldo had decided to use the money to purchase advance firearms and ammunition later on return to the archipelago.The pact was signed in San Miguel, Bulacan, in the house of Pablo Tecson, a Philippine revolutionary captain who served as Brigadier General in the 'Brigada Del Pilar' (military troop) of General Gregorio del Pilar during the Revolution.

Republic of Biak-na-Bato

The Republic of Biak-na-Bato (Tagalog: Republika ng Biak-na-Bato, Spanish: República de Biac-na-Bató), officially referred to in its constitution as the Republic of the Philippines (Tagalog: Republika ng Pilipinas, Spanish: República de Filipinas), was the first republic ever declared in the Philippines by revolutionary leader Emilio Aguinaldo and his fellow revolutionaries. Despite its successes, including the establishment of the Philippines' first ever constitution, the republic lasted just over a month. It was disestablished by a peace treaty signed by Aguinaldo and the Spanish Governor-General, Fernando Primo de Rivera which included provision for exile of Aguinaldo and key associates to Hong Kong.

Schouten Islands

The Schouten Islands (Kepulauan Biak, also Biak Islands or Geelvink Islands) are an island group of Papua province, eastern Indonesia in the Cenderawasih Bay (or Geelvink Bay) 50 km off the north-western coast of the island of New Guinea. The group consists of the main islands of Biak, Supiori and Numfor, and numerous smaller islands, mostly covered in rain forest.

Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
11
 
 
86
74
 
 
9.7
 
 
85
75
 
 
11
 
 
88
74
 
 
8.4
 
 
86
74
 
 
10
 
 
86
74
 
 
8.5
 
 
85
74
 
 
9.2
 
 
88
74
 
 
9.6
 
 
85
73
 
 
8.2
 
 
85
72
 
 
8.1
 
 
87
74
 
 
7.7
 
 
87
75
 
 
9.4
 
 
87
75
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Climate data for Biak, Papua
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 30.0
(86.0)
29.2
(84.6)
31.0
(87.8)
30.2
(86.4)
30.1
(86.2)
29.7
(85.5)
31.0
(87.8)
29.7
(85.5)
29.7
(85.5)
30.3
(86.5)
30.3
(86.5)
30.4
(86.7)
30.1
(86.3)
Average low °C (°F) 23.4
(74.1)
23.7
(74.7)
23.4
(74.1)
23.2
(73.8)
23.5
(74.3)
23.2
(73.8)
23.5
(74.3)
22.9
(73.2)
22.3
(72.1)
23.6
(74.5)
23.8
(74.8)
23.7
(74.7)
23.3
(74.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 270
(10.6)
246
(9.7)
278
(10.9)
214
(8.4)
266
(10.5)
216
(8.5)
234
(9.2)
243
(9.6)
209
(8.2)
206
(8.1)
195
(7.7)
239
(9.4)
2,816
(110.8)
Average precipitation days 25 22 20 18 21 16 14 19 20 17 12 15 219
Source: World Meteorological Organization[7]

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