Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol is a proud Indonesian athlete.
The 32-year-old, who is a two-time Wushu World Championship medalist, loves nothing more than representing her homeland on the global stage and carrying her country’s flag, the Sang Saka Merah Putih, on her way into battle.
Although that long walk to the Circle could be filled with tons of different emotions, her entrance song, “Bendera” by Cokelat, gives her a sense of pride and keeps her focused on the task at hand.
“First, the song gives me more spirit, especially when you listen to the lyrics,” the Jakarta-based mixed martial artist begins.
“The lyrics carry a lot of meaning, since it is a song for our national flag. In this respect, we are also fighting for our flag, so it is also an honor for us. As athletes, we should always be proud when competing on behalf of our national flag.”
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Lumban Gaol did not always use this record as her walkout theme, however.
When the Indonesian made her ONE Championship debut in February 2017, she squared off against women’s strawweight contender Tiffany “No Chill” Teo in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and opted to use different entrance music.
It was the same case when she challenged Team Lakay’s Gina “Conviction” Iniong in Manila, Philippines later that November.
Unfortunately for “Thathie,” she was unsuccessful in both outings.
It was a new year and a new competition environment, so Lumban Gaol decided it was time to make a change. She used “Bendera” by Cokelat as her official entrance music to mark the occasion.
“For ‘Bendera,’ it was my first song when I got to compete for the first time in Indonesia,” she explains.
“My previous bouts were in Malaysia and the Philippines, so I used a western song. Ever since I competed in my own country, I felt that my walkout song should be an Indonesian song that can resonate with the audience.
“That was when I thought about this song by Cokelat, because it also has a special meaning for myself and brings me into a more spirited mood.
“The main idea is about our national flag, and we are declaring that our national flag will fly high to accompany our battles.”
“Thathie” wound up defeating Boniface via TKO in the first round, and she has won seven out of nine bouts since the beginning of 2018.
Perhaps it was the fresh start of a new year, the chance to display her skills in front of her compatriots, or the brand new walkout theme song that helped spur her to victory.
Regardless, the atomweight star has used that track ever since that fateful night in the Indonesian capital.
Lumban Gaol could one day switch to other records she loves, such as “Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keys or “Boru Panggoaran” by Charles Simbolon, especially if she travels abroad.
But as long as she competes on home soil, fans should expect her to walk down the ramp with “Bendera” blasting through the arena.
“Every time I am competing in Indonesia, I will never switch my song,” she says, proudly. “It has become my trademark.”