First Buddhist Temple to rise soon in Saipan

By Nazario Rodriguez Jr., Saipan Tribune, August 25, 2008

Marpi, Saipan -- The first Buddhist Temple in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) will soon rise in Marpi and Saipan Mayor Juan B. Tudela is already saying that its construction would have a positive effect to the local economy.

<< Mayor Juan B. Tudela, third from left, leads the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first Buddhist Temple in the CNMI to rise soon in Marpi. To his right is resident Buddhist Monk Gil Jin Lee. (Nazario Rodriguez Jr.)

“Soon we expect many Buddhist monks and followers to visit Saipan and who knows, a Buddhist celebration may soon be held that will attract hundreds of monks and followers to the island,” Tudela said.

The mayor was the guest of honor at last Friday's groundbreaking ceremony led by resident Korean Buddhist monk Gil Jin Lee.

Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Perry Tenorio was also present to witness the occasion.

Project Contractor Yang Youn Geun, president of Sae Woun Corporation, said the temple would be built through donations primarily from the 100 Korean Buddhists living in the CNMI.

The facilities, which would be sitting on a 5,000-square meter lot near the highway and down the cliffs in Marpi, will have one temple, two monk houses, a dining area, toilets, and a parking lot.

The temple will accommodate around 80 to 100 people. Youn Geun said that aside from the Koreans, there is also a large number of Chinese Buddhists on Saipan but he could not estimate how many.

Some 50 members of the NMI Buddhist Temple Association also joined the rain-drenched groundbreaking rites.

Tudela told them that when he first heard of the news that the Buddhist community will soon build the first temple on Saipan, the first impression that came to his mind was that Saipan is progressing economically, socially, and religiously.

He said that Buddhism is not new to the people of Saipan.

He said that Buddhism was first introduced to Saipan prior to World War II during the Japanese administration.

“Occasionally, Buddhists monks and followers from Japan have been coming to Saipan to pay respects for their love ones at the Japanese cemeteries and at the popular tourists sites to remember those who gave their lives during the terrible battle of Saipan,” Tudela noted.

He said that when the temple is complete, Buddhists visitors would be more comfortable to pray in a temple setting.

He also thanked the Buddhists for choosing Saipan to build the first temple in the CNMI and is looking forward to establish a lasting relationship between Saipan and the Buddhists community.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: