Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We Salute the Educators

Teaching is a calling. To be patient in parting knowledge and inspire students day-in and day-out is a noble act. Having the discipline to prepare lesson plans, check papers and record grades are only among the arduous tasks teachers face daily, 10 months a year. Many teachers still squeeze in time to tutor lagging students, or coach excelling students in divisional or regional competitions.
I remember 5 teachers who have influenced me deeply. It's my turn to thank all of them for their passion, commitment and dedication in teaching me and the countless students. Ms. Pineda, who was my kindergarten teacher in BF Homes School, Pilar Village, Las Pinas, taught me my ABCs, 1,2,3s, and the Hawaiian hoola dance (my first public appearance). Mrs. Palomique, my grade 4 Pilipino teacher in St. Mary's Academy, Pasay City, exposed me to recite poems in all of grade 4's 8 sections. She would introduce me to her class as a student who was creative and prolific in delivering poems. We'd go from one section to another, and with each poem recited with gusto, my confidence soared sky-high. Ms. Gracia Divina Pablo, my grade 6 adviser (also in St. Mary's Academy), encouraged me to hone my leadership and academic skills simultaneously. On that year I became a girl scout troop leader, the most mission-minded student, and the class vice-president of Section 1. Ms. Myrna Vidal, my first-third year high school English teacher, gave me confidence to write and to edit in our school paper, the Magdalenean. She also coached me as I prepared for extemporaneous competitions, essay-writing contests, and declamation contests. When I reached fourth year high school, Ms. Carolina Baylen, my Pilipino teacher, exposed me to join and win Pilipino competitions at the divisional level, be a part of the youth municipal officers in Cavite City, and even become Bb. Wikang Pambansa title holder.
When I reached college, and thereafter, my MBA, I realized how much influence my teachers had on me. I was equipped with patience for research, discipline to accomplish assignments and projects within lead time and to participate in recitations. Studying, for me, is not a chore but an adventure. I enjoy learning and absorb knowledge like a sponge absorbs liquid.
To pay homage to all my teachers, I volunteer-teach in 2 public schools in General Trias. The opportunity to share and to make a difference in the life of today's youth is so immense. If I can only do a fraction of what my teachers did for me as a student then I would be content.
To all our teachers, you are heroes. Kudos to you.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

On Volunteering

It's got to be your passion to do it because it has no pay.
It's got to be done regularly. Episodal volunteering has no visible impact to the beneficiaries.
It must be sincere. People easily "smell" if you fake it.
It's got to be pure. No self-interest, selfish motive nor personal gain.
It's got to be fun so you look forward to doing it again, and again, and again.
It's got to be done with a humble spirit. Less talk, more work, more sweat means more gains for the community.
You have to be ready to invest your precious time, talent and treasure. It's a total workout for the heart, mind, body, and spirit.

To sum it all: volunteering is an act of love. That's why I volunteer.


Saturday, September 27, 2008


The secrets toward not having stage fright when hosting parties or programs:
  1. Be genuinely interested in people. Know your audience before you face them. Think & be convinced that your audience will have a grand time.
  2. Do not be consumed with self-defeating thoughts onstage or offstage. This kills confidence and shows on your face (it turns red), hands (they tremble and sweat), your whole body.
  3. Do not be conscious at all. Avoid thinking that you will screw up or that you will stutter or that you are not good enough.
  4. Practice well, practice smart, and then practice some more. It doesn't matter whether the activity is big or small. Every event is an opportunity to master your craft.
  5. Read voraciously. You can share (talk) endlessly when you read a ton. Stock knowledge.
  6. Learn from previous mistakes.
  7. If the event permits, encourage participation.
These I've learned from 17 years of hosting events. It's never too late for anyone to start conquering their stage fright. So what are you waiting for...break out of your shell! :-)


An earthquake shakes the whole surrounding. It has no guarantee of stopping right away. You've got to think and react fast. It's natures way of telling you to hold on to what is dear and precious and let go of those that aren't. It does not spare anyone from an abrupt shakedown. One just needs to have presence of mind and a practical strategy as to where to find safety and seek shelter...at least until the trembling stops. A clear sense of direction and some common sense come in handy.
What occurred to me and many of my friends this week can be likened to an earthquake...an emotional earthquake. It forced all of us to revisit our priorities, to think deep and hard on what the future will look like after this week. It taught us to assess our beliefs, whether our faith can carry us through or what we had all along was only make-believe. This situation made me realize who my real friends are, and I also found out the phonies. It made me closer to my God who provided refuge, comfort, and security.
At the earthquake's aftermath, many still tremble. Some are still dumbfounded and shocked to the point of inaction. However, a lot are already in the process of rebuilding. Starting anew. Hopeful. Smiling. Capitalizing on the fact that this new beginning can be a signal for a reinvention of ones self, or an upgrade as we in the tech industry call it.
Bouncing off after this (WW39) episode is indeed liberating. As I process what this week means to me, I can conclude that I am blessed and that nothing is impossible to God. Because even the earthquake yields to Him.

Friday, September 26, 2008

On Character

A person's true character is revealed in times of challenges & trials. His true values come out of the open when there are tough choices to deal with; when he may either compromise with ease or stand for his convictions.

I know of a person who has a very strong character. Aside from being professional at work, he is the kind of person you would like to know better & emulate. He handles life's issues with objectivity & composure. Grace under pressure. He refrains from having favorites and treats even his subordinates with respect. He is also my role model in terms of discipline and work ethic. He is tough inside out and empowers his people to succeed. He admits his mistakes and learn from them. He is a passionate family man and manager. His sense of humor is subtle.

Though we no longer see each other, I still remember his character which had a very strong impression on me. And though I am a "work in progress," I hope to be able to follow his footsteps someday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mind Over Matter

It's most difficult to be rational at a time when you know that all the things will never be the same from hereon. What many of us envision to be an easy turning point suddenly changed at the instant that the truth was revealled to us personally - when it hits close to home.
Acceptance is the key...but even the process of acceptance has to be learned gradually;with the mind as a continuous battlefield, resisting to change which we know to be inevitable.
With heartfelt sincerity I pray that all of us who are impacted by this change will be able to hurdle it through the pain and redirect ourselves to conquer new ground. May this be a positive turning point and the mark of a new start for everybody.
To those who will be left behind and hold the fort, be courageous. There are more milestones to be reached, more victories to savor. Conitnue to raise the bar of excellence for our site. God-willing, one day, the Philippines will be 7K-manpower strong again.
God is in control now and he will be in control over our future. Accept, trust and obey. Then move on.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Managing Ambiguity

When faced with difficult circumstances in life, we need only remember one thing: this too shall come to pass. With God's grace, what seems ambiguous now will become crystal clear in the future. What makes life more meaningful and exciting is being able to surpass trials with victory. We may be at the crossroads, with many choices and a hazy view ahead of us. However, our faith in God will pull us through. At this point, we should introspect and seek God's wisdom on what next steps to take. Coming humbly before the Lord in total surrender results in peace of mind and clarity of thought. Consult him regarding things of the future and yield to His direction. As His word says, "though the darkness may come in the night, His joy comes in the morning."
Cling to the Lord and hold on to His promises. Ask Him to give you the wisdom to see, and the heart to learn what He is trying to teach you in this time of ambiguity. Use this situation to bring you closer to Him. Anticipate a fresh revelation towards a more fulfilling life lived for His glory. Finally, cheer up! God's people have no cause for worry.