Friday, July 1, 2016

AGING SHAOLIN KUNG FU TEACHER CONCERNED ABOUT FUTURE OF ART IN PNG



THE LAST KUNG FU FIGHTER Part 1: Foundation and Early Years.
By Andrew Molen

With a deep breath he began his routine, his wrinkled hands slicing through the air as his feet moved with the swiftness gained from years of practice.
His techniques, crisp but flowing as he shifted from one form to another, each with their own emphasis and meaning.
It has been years since students attended a proper Shaolin Kung Fu class in Papua New Guinea.
Many wonder if it exists anymore in the country.
With the only master in the art and his only remaining senior student, Steven Ngandang Sifu could be the last master and his student, Andrew Molen, the last Shaolin Kung Fu fighter for PNG.
However, there is still great interest from the community to learn the art and the school is embarking on resuming its lessons for 2016 beginning with new intakes.
Shaolin Kung Fu is a martial art style from China that is considered to be the mother of all other martial arts.
This particular style is from the Shaolin temple in China and was brought to PNG in the early 1980’s by Chinese masters of the art.
Though a popular style through its cinematic influence by Chinese stars such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Donnie Yen, it has struggled with its development and expansion in PNG.
The art’s aging master, Sifu Steven is concerned that there are no other Shaolin Kung Fu schools around to spread the philosophy and knowledge of the ancient Chinese art and long after he is gone, Shaolin Kung Fu might die out in PNG.
“I have trained many senior students hoping that they would go out and start their own schools but so far I have not heard anything like that,” Ngandang said.
Being the custodian for Shaolin Kung Fu in PNG, Ngandang is also concerned about people who call themselves ‘Sifu’ (teacher) and claim to teach the art.
“I know there are other Kung Fu styles like Wing Chun and Choy Li Fut Kung Fu in PNG but for Shaolin Kung Fu, it has always been me.
“It’s quite worrying to hear people say that they practice Shaolin Kung Fu but only know one technique or form, that is not the complete Kung Fu.
“Unless they learned it from me or another master in the art, they can mislead people with the wrong techniques and philosophies,” the Sifu said.
Ngandang has practiced the art over the last 32 years and is proud of his achievement.
“Kung Fu has taught me many things.
“I learned to be confident, to be fit and healthy, to respect and care for myself and other people, to take care of my environment, to be honest, to be patient and understanding, to be strong physically, mentally and spiritually, to be free of any bad habits and to be disciplined and have more control in my life.
“And there were times when the techniques I learned saved my life and the life of others too.
“It also enhanced my skills and agility in other sports or activities that I was involved in,” he said.
Ngandang also makes a point that despite his age, he is still going with each move fresh in his head.
The Shaolin Kung Fu school used to be based at the former Colts oval behind the newly built National Football Stadium (formerly Lloyd Robson oval or ‘PRL’) at East Boroko in Port Moresby.
It was there that a young Steven Ngandang entered the school’s doors in 1983 and has never looked back.
“My Sifu was Master Han Togo, he was from Shanghai and taught us the art of Kung Fu.
“He specialised in teaching us Luohan Kung Fu, a style in the Shaolin syllabus,” Ngandang said.
Another master, Jin Miaw Wu, visited the school in the 1990’s after Master Han returned to China, and introduced the “Wushu” Kung Fu style which was the modern sport version of the traditional Kung Fu styles such as Luohan and others.
Ngandang said Master Jin only stayed for two years so he had to work hard to learn as much as he could from him.
“I spent a lot of my personal time and resources to learn from these masters.
“I would go train with them at their house, at the school or by myself back at home,” he said.
The commitment paid off as Ngandang was awarded the recognition as a senior student and eventually, instructor.
Apart from Kung Fu, Ngandang was also taught Tai Chi, another Chinese art which has combat applications but is mainly practiced for health benefits.
The Chinese masters returned to China in the mid 90’s but their Kung Fu stayed.
Through Ngandang and fellow instructor, Ben Wape, their teachings remained and spread to the other students who joined later.
Wape stopped practicing later but Ngandang did not and has since seen promising students pass through the same doors over the years.
Among them is former Member of Parliament and Police Commissioner, the late Paul Tohian and former World Kickboxing Champion, Stanley Nandex.
“Both men also had their backgrounds in other arts but once upon a time they trained Kung Fu under me,” Ngandang said.
END. //

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Former PNGDF Commander says callout premature

Former PNG Defence Force Commander, retired Major General, Jerry Singirok, has come out public saying recommendation for a callout by the PNG Defence Force to quell unrests in the country is premature.
The Bougainville veteran who led the operation in 1997 to expel foreign mercenaries from Papua New Guinea believes all avenues to find a resolution have not been exhausted and the Defence force option should be the very last.
Major General Singirok’s statement comes after the National Security Advisory Council recommended a possible call out if necessary.
"The reality is that the problems at the University of Goroka, UPNG and Unitech have already been localised. I believe that there is no need for a callout.
"It also raises a serious trend, because the government has not fully exhausted other means including calling on civil society."
In 1997, protests erupted following a government decision to bring in foreign mercenaries to end the Bougainville War. Singirok then called on the Prime Minister, Sir Julius Chan, to step aside.
In previous statements, Major General Singirok has called for dialogue. Citing experiences of Bougainville as lessons that should be taken to heart to avoid military interventions in the early days of civilian uprisings.
Singirok is perhaps one most important authorities on civil unrest, internal security and military intervention in Papua New Guinea.
Today he issued another warning that the closure of the University of Technology and the suspension of classes at UPNG has put more than 5,000 educated Papua New Guineans out of school. Saying that itself is an ingredient for an internal security threat.
"The students have gone back to their provinces and they are there doing nothing.
"They are spreading their views and educating the public on what’s happening at the political and strategic level of government."

 http://www.emtv.com.pg/article.aspx?slug=Former-PNGDF-Commander-Says-Recommended-Callout-of-PNGDF-is-Premature-&subcategory=Top-Stories

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

WHAT KARATE CAN OFFER FOR YOUNG PAPUA NEW GUINEANS



         I remain fascinated and blessed with the respect shown by Karate students  to each other regardless of rank, age, skill or gender. 
            I am not an “expert” nor am I a student of high esteem.  I am still  far  off from those qualities mentioned.   But what I can say  is that  there is a marked change in the character of a person who  enters a dojo and chooses to remain as a student. 
He or she embarks on a lifelong journey of character building,  courage, humility, respect and skill.
The need felt for unnecessary bravado, anger and violent behavior diminishes considerably.  Karate teaches one to be in control of the body, mind, spirit and the emotions.
The fundamental thread of  values that guide a student  are the similar  in every style:
  • Each person must strive for the completion and perfection of one's character
  • Each person must be faithful and protect the way of truth
  • Each person must endeavor (fostering the spirit of effort)
  • Each person must respect others and the rules of etiquette
  • Each person must refrain from violent behavior (guard against impetuous courage)
The Goju Ryu version in itself is a powerful statement of  a Karateka’s vision  of himself:
  • Be humble and polite.
  • Train considering your physical strength.
  • Practice earnestly with creativity.
  • Be calm and swift.
  • Take care of your health.
  • Live a plain life.
  • Do not be too proud or modest.
  • Continue your training with patience.
Each point is a lifelong lesson that can be dissected and applied in many,  many ways.  One lifetime is not enough to fully understand the ancient wisdom  expressed through Karate. That is why the martial art is a way of life and not just a sport.
It is an art that teaches values of respect that we as a society can draw upon for guidance.  By looking at  Karate  from a philosophical standpoint,  each value identifies  a deficiency  that needs to be  corrected –  deficiencies that can take a lifetime to correct.
            Karate gives one the opportunity to work towards  betterment of  physical skill, strength and personal achievement.   It is an antidote to the school fights,  domestic violence, alcoholism, the disrespect of women and poor health.

Friday, June 3, 2016

I'VE SEEN ENOUGH DEATH: ANOTHER YOUNG WOMAN RAPED AND KILLED

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Today, I tried to steer away from the emotional aspect  of another  story that has again challenged by sanity.  

It was the story of  Henrietta Jimmy, a beautiful young Papua New Guinean  woman.   I didn’t know her personally but  her strength and character  reminded me of my own sisters.  

Last week, she was raped and killed along the banks of the Markham river.  Her killer has since been arrested and charged.  But like all matters like this, it has brought me no satisfaction.   

Like many other young boys and girls, she knew her attacker who was a family member through her mother’s second marriage.

She is a twin and she’s left behind a broken sister and a broken father.  

I pursued the standard line of  questioning. The usual…”What kind of emotions did you feel when you got the news?” “…what do you want to see happen?”…   Sometimes, it makes me wonder why people like me exist.    Is it to channel someone’s pain to yourself and then amplify it? 

 I steered clear of the emotions.  After 19 years and numerous stories of  child murders and rapes,  you become somewhat an expert and emotional detachment.  It comes back to haunt you later, though.  But what you can do at the moment you do.  You switch off and be the professional you were trained to be. You know, it never works.

Her father told me he didn’t know what do. “I had twins. And for one to die and be left with another is one of the hardest things that can happen.”

Her twin sister didn’t want to talk  to me. 

Now  I start to wonder if the world is at all  becoming a better place with all the awareness or is it just disintegrating?

Her killer raped and killed her.  She was found naked  days later along the Markham River.  What kind of sick animal can beat a woman, drag her to a secluded spot, rape her then kill her hoping nobody would find her.

I have seen too many raped and killed. Too many.  The worst  cases that  are imprinted in your mind are those of children raped and murdered.  The boy  in West Taraka who was raped, suffocated with his own underwear and stabbed in the belly,  is still fresh in my mind.  I cannot get rid of that image.

I have seen too much death.  I have seen too much pain.  

Monday, May 9, 2016

A TRIBUTE TO MOM - MISSING YOU ON MOTHERS DAY (By Sylvester Gawi)

Mother of all,
Loved with all her being,
Loved by all,
The living,
Your soul is with me,
Yet I feel alone,
I was blessed,
When you were here,
But I need your guidance now,
I feel lost without you,

I feel like my heart is gone,
Please,
Help me in my time of need,
You have been missed,
But I feel as though I have forgotten you,
I don't want that,
I know mother's day,
Was the most important time of year,
For you and me,
I miss you,
And the fun times we had,
The memories,
Are not only great but hurt as well,
Reminding me every day how much I miss you,
Mother of all mother's,
Wife of all time,
Friend and great women,
I will never forget you,
Happy Mother's Day,
May your soul rest in peace,
Please keep remaining in my heart,
And watching over me,
Thanks for everything,
I love you and miss you with all my heart.
‪#‎Mothers_Day‬ ‪#‎Memorial‬ ‪#‎Absence‬ ‪#‎RIEP‬

Saturday, April 9, 2016

ENGA'S FREE EDUCATION INVESTMENT PRODUCING FINANCIAL RETURNS

"You should ask how much money is coming into the BSP Bank..." - Enga Administrator, Dr. Samson Amean
At the Kipuli Memorial Primary School outside of Wabag town, a class of youngsters sit for a test.
This is one of the many schools in Enga province that have benefited from the Enga Provincial Government’s free education policy.
The free education policy has come with its own challenges. In the last 20 years, enrollment has tripled. There are, now, more students in classrooms than in 1997. It is putting a strain on the existing infrastructure.
But the provincial government has been driving infrastructure development parallel with the enrollment increases.
“We used to have 22 teachers,” Says Ili Ratu, head teacher of the Primary School.
Kipuli Memorial Primary is a demonstration school used by the neighboring Enga Teacher's College. It’s where trainee teachers come to gain practical experience.
From the primary school, you can see the evidence of the infrastructure development at the teacher’s college - a new dormitory and a new administration building. Recently, the Enga Provincial Government partnered with the Institute of Business Studies to open a campus on the premises of the college.
Several kilometers away, at Sopas Nursing School, there is a similar story. The nursing school abandoned because of ongoing tribal fights previously, has been transformed into a learning institution that has brought in some of the best teachers from Papua New Guinea and abroad.
Half the number of students come from other parts of Papua New Guinea. This, putting into action, the province’s dream of making Enga another education hub in Papua New Guinea, just like Madang and Goroka.
“We have 76 students in the first year and another 76 in the second year,” says Principal, Noelyn Koutalo.
“We have a lot of students from other provinces and our governor is encouraging those students to be employed in the province.”
Drawing on its cultural links, Enga and Hela provinces have-co funded the construction of a polytechnic institute what will serve the upper reaches of the highlands. The man behind Enga’s free education policy is Governor, Sir Peter Ipatas. It took 20 years to achieve the success that the province is starting to see.
“We are encouraging students from other provinces to come to Enga,” Sir Peter says.
“Some other their cultural values are good for us. Good for our kids.”
Enga used to be part of the Western Highlands province. When new provincial boundaries were drawn up making Enga a province all to itself, Enga was left with little in terms of infrastructure and education system. The province also suffered from political and administrative instability.
“It has taken us 20 years to build the infrastructure and educate our kids,” says the Governor.
“If you look at the Eastern Highlands, the university alone brings in K50 million a year because you have students from other provinces.
“It’s expensive to send students to other provinces. We want to make Enga a hub.”
Extending beyond the primary and secondary school system, the provincial government is subsidising university education for 8,000 students in tertiary institution. Over 20 years, the results are starting to show. “You should ask ‘how much money is coming into the Wabag post office?’ ‘How much money is coming into the Wabag branch of Bank South Pacific?,” Dr. Samson Amean, Provincial Administrator explains, that while no research has been done yet to qualify the financial returns, the evidence is clear.
A lot more parents are queuing up at the Enga’s only bank to withdraw money sent by products of Enga’s Free Education Policy who are now working in Papua New Guinea and abroad.
The Enga provincial government spends about 40 percent of its development budget on education. It is estimated to be far higher than many other provinces in Papua New Guinea.
Despite the odds, the social sector investment has begun to produce economic benefits.

HOW ENGA PLANS TO TAKE OVER THE POTATO MARKET

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Talum Research Station
Until a few years ago,  the Talum High Altitude Research Station in Enga province   was fully operational drawing scientists from  all  over the country  to the province.
 A longstanding feud between two clans put an end to the station’s operations. A nearby school was  burnt  and other  government infrastructure  destroyed.   The  previous  events  added to the external perception of  Enga  as a  lawless province  with ongoing flare ups of tribal warfare.
Carrots produced in Enga
 The Enga province has been working hard to  shake off that  image and bring in new economic investment.  The Provincial Administrator, Dr. Samson Amean  admits  tribal fighting remains an ongoing problem but points out that  change  is happening.
 “People are tired of tribal fights,” he says. “You know, we had the first contact with foreigners in the 1930s. 
Dr. Samson Amean - Provincial Administrator
 “We are way behind other parts of  Papua New Guinea. We have to  run to catch up and sometimes we will stumble. That’s how best I can describe Enga  for you.”
 The provincial government is  now working  to rebuild the station  with investment worth K23 million. It’s a 50-50 joint venture with   Israeli company Innovative Agro Industries which brings with it experience in large scale agricultural production.
Sandis Tsaka - Deputy Provincial Administrator
In the provincial capital of Wabag,  they were introduced to members of the Provincial Executive Council  (PEC).  While a seemingly insignificant, the PEC is made up of  clan leaders  who have  considerable influence over the  some of the clans who involved in the tribal fights.  They’ve also come to understand the importance of high level foreign investment coupled  with a 50 percent  provincial government investment which they own through political representation.
Sir Peter Ipatas - Enga Governor
 “The government is trying to invest into agricultural commodities that provide an economic sustenance for our people,” says the  Deputy Administrator for Economic Sector, Sandis Tsaka.
 “Investing in vegetables  as  cash crops  is now a really big thing and the partnership with the Israelis gives us the opportunity  to invest in the staple food crops already being farmed by our farmers.”
Member of the farming communities who will benefit from the project
Unlike neighboring  Western Highlands,  the availability of good agricultural  land  is limited.  The focus  of this project is to use the technology and skills  brought by the Israelis to produce high yielding crops that can be exported.
 “We aim to take over 100 percent of the market share of potatoes,” says Enga Governor  Sir Peter Ipatas.  “We want to reduce the import of potatos to a point where all the potatoes come from our farms in Enga.”
 The  company will create a nucleus agriculture estate able to produce 1000 tons of food  per harvest cycle.  An additional 1200 tons  will be produced by farmers from 320 households  with technical support from  the Israelis.
 The expected tonnage  from farmers translates to K2million  per harvest cycle being put directly into the hands of  Engan farmers.  
   who currently  compete with the food production volume  coming out of the neighboring  Western Highlands. This arrangement eliminates the freight and cost burden faced by individual farmers.

Monday, March 28, 2016

IT IS NOT WRONG TO WANT WHAT IS BEST...


#TakeBackPNG
 By Gary Juffa (http://www.juffa.org/)
 
My dear people,
It is not wrong to want whats best…to want true freedom..to have the services we deserve…to receive decent medical care and be educated…to be treated with respect by those who enter our shores for whatever reason…My people it is not our fault our businesses, jobs and opportunities are not protected and that for 40 years not one leader has fought for us to stand and demand what is not just what we want but what we deserve…oh some will accuse me of rhetoric and inciting emotion..but what greater emotion is there then wanting true freedom?
For we are not yet free my people…not by a long shot..as long as this economy is not ours..as long as we are pushed aside and to the outside..to stand begging bowl in hand…meekly watching and whimpering
We are very much shackled by the inefficient and ineffective public service machinery and the weak leadership that has ignored our plight for too long and has in fact abandoned their posts as guardians of our sovereignty, our economy, our resources, our opportunities and our future…they are in fact very much selling our beautiful home piece by piece for 30 pieces of silver so to speak…
My people, when our folk are mistreated as if they are filth and looked down upon and…when they are expected to accept whatever garbage is sold to them, infested with cancer causing carcinogenic contents that would never ever be sold in any developed nation, when our people are treated like thieves and rounded up like cattle and herded to shop for whatever garbage is sold to them…When our people are treated like this…sworn at and rebuked…we are reminded that we are not free…we are being told we are inferior and unwanted in our own home…
My people…this is NOT progress..this is NOT development…this is NOT the PNG we deserve and our children will inherit…
This is a form of colonization…and we must rise up and break free and stand up with pride and dignity…there is no other choice…oh yes it maybe rhetoric..but its the truth too…
Now as can be obviously seen, the colonized mindset abound my people…they have their puppets and paid servants and agents to fight us..but we are on a journey..a march to destiny that even they and all their power and resources and puppets and manipulators of truth cannot stop…these puppets will fight for their masters and hope to discourage us and use our own systems against us…but they wont prevail…
Because they are simply wrong, evil, insincere and selfish..shallow and cowardly..
Yes, my people, it is not wrong at all to want to stand up and take ones own country back..only then can we own our economy and determine our destiny…