Thursday, March 27, 2008


Nimrod Sitohang is one of not so many Sitohangs who live in Batam. We came to know each other through internet two months ago. Nimrod is an engineer, father of one girl Naomi Sitohang and works for a heavy equiment sparepart supllier in Batam. We never met before. But like any other Batak who still preserve the tradition well both Nimrod and I immediately feel like brother. And start talking about our own pedigree or in Bataknese called martarombo. I told him, that I'm 15th generation of Sitohang, he said he's 16th. Because of that and in keeping with our tradion he start calling me Bapauda or uncle. Although I encourage him to call me just brother, he insist calling me uncle. So be it...

It was the same way I get to know Benhard Sitohang, PhD who is one of the pioneer of IT education in Indonesia and was the first Dean of Informatics School in the most reputable engineering school in Indonesia, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). It didn't take me too long to persuade Benhard to come to Bintan for holiday last year. And he came all the way from Bandung together with 3 of his four children.

And when Benhard emailed me last month that he plan to come to Batam to give a presentation in a Seminar today, I only informed Nimrod about this visit on Monday. Eager to meet Benhard in his town, Nimrod immediately start calling the other Sitohangs in Batam. In a shortwhile he managed to invite the elders of Sitohang in Batam including Ama Indah Sitohang, the chief of The Sitohangs Brotherhood in Batam; Kalper Sitohang, a local businessan and politician; Harrison Sitohang, an Engineer; Ronald Sitohang, police officer; Nikson Sitohang, a teacher and Nimrod's brother; Marwan Sitohang, a martial arts athlete; Motton Sitohang and others. And like Nimrod and me, they all immediately feel like brothers.

Was it just that? No. Nimrod said that during the dinner, the have came out with one big plan this year. A gala performance of the best Sitohangs artists like Marsius Sitohang and Martogi Sitohang.

Hmmm........... sounds cool..... I really missed that night...

Anyway keep the Sitohang brotherhood going bro...

I wish my Sitohang brothers and sisters, their sons and daughters, whereever you are: "God bless. Horas... horas ...horas...!,"

Nimrod Sitohang (right) and Benhard Sitohang (second from right).

Having fun (left to right) Motton, Harrison, Ronald, Benhard, Kalper, Ama Indah and Nikson.


By Dr. Laura Berman

Say goodbye to French maid costumes. If you want to increase the amount of sex in your relationship, hand the duster to your man!

A recent survey featured in Parenting magazine has found that 15% of women are aroused when their partners pitch in around the house. Additionally, a 2006 study found that men who helped with household chores were more attractive to their spouses.

Why is this? Well, aside from the fact that some of us simply enjoy the sight of a man in an apron, it could be that women love their own version of Mr. Clean because it gives us a chance to take a much-needed break. Even though the majority of women now work outside the home, most of us still perform the bulk of household chores.

Indeed, a U.K. survey found that women who are coupled performed 15 hours of housework a week, while similarly coupled men only perform 5 hours of housework a week. (The survey also found that being part of a couple increases a woman's workload by 5 hours a week, while coupled men experience a decrease in the amount of chores they perform.) Thus, once a man leaves behind the bachelor's life, the woman begins to pick up the slack (and the socks!).

While it is unfair to ask a woman to do more hours of housework a week simply because she is a woman, most people find that this gender role is hard to escape... and women themselves are not blameless in how these roles play out in their relationships. After all, so-called "man" chores, like cutting the grass, changing the oil, or taking out the trash are still often relegated to the male of the species. Not to mention, some women suffer from the "do-it-all" syndrome, which further prevents them from handing over the mop.

Indeed, being in charge of the household chores means that we get to be in control-we get to decide how the towels are folded, where the mop resides, and when to dust. Sharing the chores with our spouse means relinquishing some of this control, which can be difficult for those of us who like things to be done "just so." Unfortunately, by refusing to share household responsibilities and adding more things on to our plate, we are increasing our own stress level and putting strain on our relationships. Women need to be willing to hand over the mop once in a while, even if it means that the floor isn't as perfect and shiny as when we mop it!

But what happens if your partner isn't willing or eager to share the mopping duties? Positive reinforcement does much more good than nagging. If you want your partner to wipe up his dinner crumbs, ask him once and then leave it alone. When and if he cleans up after himself, reward him with his favorite treat... in the bedroom. Within a couple months, house cleaning will be akin to the ringing of Pavlov's bell, and the sound of a vacuum might just get him drooling!

Remember, a partner who loves and respects you will agree to pitch in more around the house (after all, it's his mess, too), and when you tell him the reward will be a less-stressed environment and more sex for him... you might just have to drag him away from the dirty dishes!


By: Dr. Laura Berman

Is it possible to regain trust and intimacy after a relationship has been marred by infidelity? This question has become increasingly important as recent statistics have shown that young people are cheating on their significant others in record rates. Indeed, a recent survey performed in Australia has found that one-third of people aged 18 to 25 have cheated on their romantic partners.

How do you make a relationship work after this type of heartbreak? Well, it depends on who you ask. Cheryl Cole, singer of British pop group, Girls Aloud, has reportedly taken back her cheating husband on one condition: No sex for six months!

While this program might work for Cheryl and her husband, Ashley, I have found that similar "no-sex" plans only serve to create further distance and hurt feelings between the already wounded partners. Taking sex off the table might help to clear the air and place focus on the true issues within the relationship, but banning intercourse as a form of punishment will only sever intimacy, right at the time that it is needed the most.

What are some better techniques for repairing after the affair?

The truth must come out. Whether it is a cyber affair or a relationship with a co-worker, straying partners need to come clean about the entirety of their extramarital relationships. In the case of Cheryl and Ashley, he allegedly cheated on her with three different women. If this hits close to home, take the safe road and fess up to your affairs completely. Whether or not your partner will forgive you is up in the air -- but at least the truth will finally be out.

Avoid gory details. While it is crucial to be honest with your partner, try to avoid being too graphic or explicit with the details. Yes, your partner needs to know that you cheated on him with the next-door neighbor, but he doesn't need to know minute details about the sack sessions. Your partner will already be replaying the possible scenes in his head -- the last thing he needs is extra details to fill in the blanks of his worst nightmare.

Limit the amount of outbursts. When couples encounter infidelity in their relationships, the betrayed partner often has a free-for-all in which their anger and pain is unleashed upon the guilty partner daily. While the guilty partner certainly deserves some of this feedback, couples should be careful to avoid a situation in which the infidelity becomes bigger than the relationship itself. The betrayed partner should limit their grievances and lashing out to 10 minutes, and then agree to let the matter lie for the rest of the day. Thus, the guilty partner will not feel constantly attacked and the betrayed partner will not wallow in pain every minute of the day.

Discover why the cheating occurred. Infidelity can occur for many reasons, but perhaps the most common reason is a need to feel special, loved, and attractive. Don't get me wrong, there is no excuse for cheating. But if someone is cheating, it often suggests deeper problems within the relationship. Discovering these reasons, either with or without a couples' therapist, is a necessary first step on the road to healing a broken relationship.

As long as both members of the couple are committed to improving the relationship and weathering the storm, repairing after an affair is possible. As the Bard once said, "the course of true love never did run smooth," so perhaps this scary bout with infidelity will only serve as a road bump on you and your partner's path to happily ever after.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Indonesian Catholics celebrates Easter with various activities in peace. Catholics in Tanjungpinang city of Bintan Island Indonesia ended the 40 days long pre Easter period with a play on Jesus’ walk of cross locally called “Jalan Salib”. The plays performed by the parishioner youths at the compound of the church of Christ the King on Friday 21 March 2008 morning few hours before the holy mass to mark the Good Friday. There are around 7,500 Catholics in the parish of Heart of St. Mary Immaculata Tanjungpinang which scattered in around 1,200 islands in the province. This parish belonged to Diocese of Pangkalpinang a small diocese with 35,500 Catholics and 37 priests.

Bintan is the main island in the province with population of around 310,000 people of which around 85% are the staunch Malay moslem. The Catholics in this area enjoys a relatively warm relation with their Moslems brothers and other believers in the area such as the Buddhist which make up around 10% of the province population. Despite its small numbers the Catholics have been the integral part of the society in the city administration and politics. Boby Jayanto, the current city council speaker is a Catholic.

The parish marked the Jubilee of 75 years of its first church in November last year which also attended by Nuncio Apostolic to Indonesia Archibishop Mgr. Leopoldo Girelli. According to Father Marianus Manse, the parish priest, the parish have thus far contributed 3 of its best son become the diocese priests.

Although the Indonesian Moslem make up more than 80% of the total population but there are few provinces such as North Sulawesi, Central Kalimantan and Papua where the Christian outnumber the Moslems. Indonesian constitution grants freedom of choice of faith and religion and adopts equal treatment, rights and obligations to all of its citizens.

Happy Easter...

Selamat Paskah....

All Photos by: Yuli Seperi

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Herman Effendy, Indonesia born Singaporean is now the new Bintan Offshore General Manager effectively since beginning of March 2008. Herman Effendy was previously one of the Project Managers of Keppel Fels yard in Singapore. Now Herman will take charge of one of Keppel Fels yards which scattered in Asia, Europe and America.

In doing so, Herman will be assisted by few dozens highly trained skilled and experienced expatriates and Indonesian engineers. In order to ensure its multinational and multicultural staff can blend as a team work, Keppel Offshore Marine Group Spore implants KOMMON (read: common) values to all of its staff called "a Can Do" passion.

I would like to wish Herman Effendy all the best in his service to Bintan Offshore. A service to Indonesia too.

Herman Effendy third from right.

Zurkani Alfikri (right) Facility Superintendent of Bintan Offshore is native of Bintan.

Budi Haryadi (right) a Civil Engineer head of Yard Development section.

From letf: Muhammad Haris (Facility Supervisor), Muhammad Razi (Material Controller), myself, Dedi Sulistio (Safety Promoter) and Mizan Taufik (Drafter)

Bintan Offshore project engineers: Wan Ahmad Lutfi (left), Firdaus Taha (a QA inspector, Singaporean) and Sonny Febrianto (right)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Magnificent view of Lake Toba and Samosir island from Tele. Village on the valley just on the side of the lake is Harianboho, birth place of the famous poet Sitor Situmorang.

Suhunan Situmorang was the first one who rang the bell that TELE is in danger of destruction. He emailed me and few of his Batak friends who origin or descendant of Samosir people.

Apparently Mangindar Simbolon, the Regent of Samosir of North Sumatera Province had given in principle license for a Korean company to turn 2000 ha forest land around Tele into a flower plantation in late 2007. The Korean company was reported to invest US$ 9.2 million for this project.

Suhunan, a journalist and novelist who turns become lawyer and now the Partner of one big law firm in Jakarta is origin from Pangururan the capital city of Samosir. He came accross to this news by chance when he and his fellow Batak artist Viky Sianipar were on their field survey before lauching a self funded environmental conservation project on Samosir island called Toba Dreams Conservation Project in February 2008. The launching of the project eventually took place at Village of Martoba Simanindo nearby popular tourist spot Tuktuk Samosir. They started replanting a 2 ha abandoned land with 2000 trees such as:

A. Hard crops:
1. Sampinus
2. Surian/Ingul
3. Kemenyan (Styrax Sp)
4. Makadamia (anti api)
5. Mahoni

B. Fruit bearing trees:
1. Lengkeng
2. Durians

Suhunan and friends realize that their small effort to help reforest 2 ha of Samosir land which suffers a terrific environment destruction since the operation of a giant pulp mill company in Porsea Toba for the last 15 years and the Regent plan to turn 2000 ha of Tele forest to become flower plantation as a real irony if not the biggest joke ever in Samosir history.

When I called him over the phone he could not understand why the Regent was so naive and willing to destroy the sacred ancestral land of Bataks for only US$ 9.2 million investment. He then start recalling his joyful childhood memory looking mount of Pusuk Buhit and Tele from his home in Pangururan which he believed as the strongest inspirations for him as many other Batak to pursue progress in their life.

He strongly believes that all Bataks must against this plan and help to conserve Tele, Samosir and Lake Toba from environmental destruction.

He closed our hour long telephone conversation by saying "We must pass down Samosir, Lake Toba and its sorrounding to our children just as beuty and green as we inherited them from our ancestor. Otherwise we will be cursed by our children and ancestors".


Tele is a forest highland on the entrance point to Samosir island if you drive from Medan, the capital city of North Sumatera province by Western Trans Sumatera highway. Journey fom Tele to Samosir island will take approximately 1 hour drive from the highland all the way down to the village of Sianjurmula-mula before you reach Pangururan. The view from Tele is magnificent as you pass the forest covering lake Toba from your view.

Panoramic view of Tele and mount of Pusuk Buhit.

Satelite image of Tele and mount Pusuk Buhit in the centre. The legend has that Village Sianjurmula Mula on the valley of Pusuk Buhit is the place of origin of Bataks ancestor.

Satelite image of lake Toba and Samosir Island in the centre.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


My youngest son Gianpaolo Hamonangan Sitohang was born on 7 March 2006 in Tanjungpinang. Yesterday he turns 2. I insist to have simple but memorable celebration for his birthday this year although we were obeserving Catholic fasting period.

Gianpaolo Hamonangan Sitohang

I also felt very grateful because my dad is at home visiting us since last week.

We named him Gianpaolo or Yohanes Paulus in bahasa Indonesia spelling or John Paul in english or Jean Paul in French with the purpose as rememberance of the great John Paul II the Pope, the man of our time I admire most. I also hope that my son will in one way or another follow him in doing great things for humanity and world peace.

His sisters Gloria and Hilary and brother Patrice gave him birthday gifts. And we all sang him happy birthday songs, make a prayer and eat the special fried noodle.

Special...? Yupe. Because I make it myself..... I saw my dad took big portion and had the second helping...

"Happy birthday son.

May God blesses you with health, protection, long and happy life..."

Lenni, Gianpaolo and me posing before his birthday candle light blowing (Photo: Jo Sitohang).

Lenni helps Gianpaolo to cut his birthday cake accompanied with cheers by his sisters Hilary and Gloria (Photo: Jo Sitohang)

Three generations of Sitohangs: my dad, me and Gianpaolo (Photo: Jo Sitohang).

My dad, Patrice (Gianpaolo's elder brother) and me (Photo: Jo Sitohang).

My dad, Parluhutan Sitohang (my causin) and me (Photo: Jo Sitohang).

Jo Sitohang and me (Photo: Hendrik).

Petrus M. Sitohang , Pariwisata Dan Kelautan Bisa Jadi Motor Pertumbuhan Ekonomi

KEPRIONLINE.CO.ID,TANJUNGPINANG,- Provinsi Kepulauan Riau dikenal kaya akan sumber daya alam. Letaknya yang juga sangat strategis memun...