Hi my name is Randy Juan Pagatpat and here are a few things I would like to share with you:
Favourite colour: Gold
Ethnicity: Native Filipino (Pacific Islander)
Passion in life: Martial arts
I am from the Philippines and I arrived in Australia in 1987 with my mother. I am from a place where the cultural social economic divide is a 20/80 split. This means 80% of the Filipino population live in poverty. My family was part of that 80%. We came to Australia in search of a better life. We were poor but rich at heart for we had each other.
When we arrived, we faced new challenged. In my early stages of life here in Australia, we faced domestic violence, rejection, racism and hardship. But we smiled, mum showed us how to be happy, I was the happiest 6 year old that you would find inside the walls of a women shelter.
My observation of my mother was that even in her struggles she protected her kids and kept us moving forward. Make something when you have nothing. This was built into me at an early age.
So I when through the system, learnt the hard way and grow from my mistakes.
I grow up not knowing my father, the father figures that popped into my life other than my uncle joe, where weak, liars and cheater. With that said my example of being a man was doomed. But I was raised by woman the lessons from my mother always stack “Make something out of nothing. Everything you need in inside of you. Make the very best of what you have and watch it grow”.
Like every other Filipino in today’s modern world. Imagine a modern country who thinks they are Asian, look like stoned Mexicans, have Spanish names and speak English with a broken American accent. We are clueless of who we really are.
I started to question this one random day when an old Maori man started taking to me in his native tongue. I interrupted him and said no sorry “Im Filipino a “Native one” I said. “I’m Asian” thinking that I was correct based on what society has brain washed me to think. He told me that I should be ashamed of not knowing who I am. I was like him he explained. I never heard from him again. So I arrogantly tried to prove him wrong.
However, as I research more, I started to discover that the crazy Maori man was correct. I unearthed for myself information about a lost culture that had been hidden due to the explorers that had colonised the islands of the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.
We had the same language or linguistic variations on how we pronounced things, we had the same facial features and cultural behaviours.
So this lead me to one of my personal passions in the sense of discovering my really culture. It’s fun a random encounter like this pathed the way for learning and even a social islander unification group that myself and other islanders started.
My values is just let life flow. What will be will be. When I was 10 I watched the game of death and enter the Dragon. Dreaming to be like Bruce Lee who would have known 26 years later fait led me to my other passion of martial arts. Who would of known that I was to earn a junior instructors rank in Bruce Lee’s direct martial arts lineage.
Life is short and very unpredictable. What makes life is you. You dreams will only become reality if you just believe. Have nothing, be empty. It will leave room and excitement for the possibilities that is meant for you.
My advice for want to pursue their dreams. Be you, yeh, let people tell you different only for your own amusements lol But don’t listen to them. Be who you want to be. If its been done before then you can do it to.
Today I am an ordinary dad. But I instruct martial arts in the northern suburbs after work. I do this not for financial gain. But to help people develop their mind body and soul.