Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My gift to my beloved country

The Philippines is arguably the most unique country in the world.

Where else in the world can you find people who are so accommodating to foreigners (dumugo man ang ilong at maubos na lahat ng naitatagong ingles maituro lang kung saan ang Cubao sa naliligaw na turista); more behaved and law abiding drivers when in abroad; and never fails to ask “kumain ka na?” when you visit their homes or “San' ka galing?” when meeting an acquaintance outside.

Where else in the world can you find people who can turn notorious thugs and convicted felons to well-choreographed dancers; can survive a day with only 20 pesos ($0.50) and a tabo; and still finds time to smile in the midst of every tragedy.

Where else in the world can you find people who can create big celebrations or feasts on just about anything (carabao, tsinelas, lechon, mudpack festivals and etc.); play basketball in just about any place (mountain, flooded gym, and even in the middle of a busy street); and never get tired of watching the same old variety show during lunch time for more than three decades.

These are just few of the many reasons that make this country so unique. This is also the home of the some of the greatest men who ever lived: Manny Pacquaio (Boxing); Paeng Nepomuceno (Bowling) and Efren “Bata” Reyes (Billards) are considered the best-ever in their respective fields. Incidentally, all fields starts with the letter B (Other B’s where Pinoys excel are in boat race, basketball, and our world-class beaches).

I am proud to be a Filipino and I am grateful that I was born in the land of the longest Christmas celebration, closer family ties and adobo, sinigang and lechon. I am in my mid-30’s now and I have spent all my years of existence (except for two years of working abroad) in this wonderful country. Sometimes, I ask myself how I can give back to my motherland aside from being a good citizen with no criminal records and questionable tax returns.

If there is one thing I can give to the Philippines, I’d say I’ll leave a good legacy that will be of good use to many people in future. I read before that there are three legacies you can give to the world and I am proud to say that I have accomplished them all (and would still continue to do them for as long I am able). 

Plant a tree.  Since my grade school years, I’ve planted trees during different events like camping, jamborees, hiking trips with friends and company activities. I even have one tree somewhere in the mountains of Bataan named after me. I just hope it will grow with longer bangs and firmer trunk than me. Trees give food, shelter, and other use and it helps saves lives and maintain the balance of nature. If only I have the resources and enough support, I would like to organize a tree planting event with my family, friends and other nature advocates. Tress are sure fool-proof gifts the Philippines need today.

Write a book.  I am associated with a NGO that advocates harmonious relationship between employers and employees in the country. We publish different books every year about best people practice and labor-related topics. I am proud to have collaborated with other writers in coming up with “Humor in HR” which promotes having fun at work. As one saying goes, “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” If I'll be given a chance to write a book again, I am planning of publishing "7001 Reasons why I love the Philippines" that will showcase the amazing people, sights, and uniqueness of our country. I'm sure a lot of fellow bloggers can help me out in coming up with a wonderful output.

Raise a child. Although my 4-year old son Charles knows more English words than Tagalog, I see to it that he grow up proud of his roots and tells him that the Philippines is one awesome nation. He asks me “Which team is Philippines?” when I watch basketball (even if the Gilas exploit in the FIBA-Asia tournament is already finished months ago) or “Where’s Pacquaio?” when I watch boxing. Then he’ll shout, “Philippines is the winner!” He is also not shy to points out if he sees someone not throwing trash in the garbage bin or a motorist crossing the intersection even it’s a red light. I’m pretty sure he’ll be a good leader of the land someday because he’s not fond of holding money as long he gets his dose of soup, fried chicken and pancakes regularly. There are a lot of other deserving kids who, if given a chance, can create a big difference for the Philippines in the future. One of my dreams is to build a mini library at least in one identified institution (orphanage, public school, rural community). Anyone who learns to read through this project is one priceless accomplishment.

One at a time, my dream is to fulfill each wish of gifts for my beloved country.  My gift of legacy is not only a personal milestone but also to those who will be touched and reached out along the way.

How about you, what is your gift to the Philippines?

Leave a comment below and you might win an Apple gadget.  If this blog post wins in the #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014 promotion, one lucky commenter will take home an iPad mini 2.

You can also help create a wonderful Philippines. Visit www.projectwonderful.ph if you’d like to volunteer or make a donation.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Yes, there is a class suspension today

Today, my son Charles was forced to skip school. It will be his first time as a regular student.

The culprit: asthma attack since Saturday.

I really wanted  my toddler to have at least a "Perfect Attendance" award this March but I won't risk his condition or I'll get some scolding from my wife. Well, I'm sure little Charlie will get a medal this year for academic excellence based on his grades and test results anyways.

So, I tried to Google if there is a chance that there will be a class suspension today. And alas! It was just declared "no classes" today because due to rains and floods triggered by the low pressure area (LPA).

Well, this is for you if you're studying in Mindanao.

The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) said classes have been suspended in all levels in Compostela Valley and Bayabas, Surigao del Sur.

The Department of Education (DepEd), meanwhile, said classes from preschool to high school have been suspended in Butuan City in Agusan del Norte (pulic and private), and Davao del Norte.
PAGASA confirmed a low pressure area was spotted in the vicinity of Surigao del Sur.

If you're child is not in anyway going to school in any of the identified area, he or she should be in school today.

So, thank you Google for at least making me ecstatic for a few seconds today.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Who will be lucky in the 13th season of American Idol?

When I was young, I really thought I have what it takes to be a successful singer someday.

The reason? Well, I am such a lousy dancer so I suppose I am better in belting  out songs than wiggling on the dance floor. It's actually an unwritten law that I like to continue believe.

I was also good in memorizing lyrics. I know many sing like the back of my hand. And when I forgot some lines, I just look at the back of my hand for key words I wrote on it to remind me of the lyrics of the song. 

If I am only a Fil-Am guy, I might have joined singing contest like the American Idol, the only TV singing competition show to produce numerous hit and award-winning recording artists.

This Month, the Road to Fame starts on ETC as they bring you American Idol XIII. Catch the two day premiere on ETC this January 16, Thursday LIVE via satellite at 6PM with a primetime telecast at 8PM and January 17, Friday LIVE via satellite at 6PM with a primetime telecast at 9PM.

Ryan Seacrest, AI Host, will be joined by  a new set of judges: Harry Connick, Jr., Keith Urban, and Jennifer Lopez, along with in-house mentor Randy Jackson, the series continues its search across America to find the next singing superstar

The Judges have visited  different venies of the show: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Detroit, Omaha, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco. With their years of experience as acclaimed artists, it’s up to them to narrow down the competitors to a select group of semifinalists who will sing in front of a live studio and TV audience. Then, from this stage forward, the viewing public determines who will advance to become a finalist and who will go home. 

Locally, ETC lets you have your say via their Twitter (@etc_channel) and Facebook (facebook.com/etctv) page where you could win great prizes from the channel or see your comments on-air. Just type in your thoughts with the hashtag: #aionetc 

Watch American Idol XIII on ETC online, log onto http://www.blink-now.com to watch ETC’s free live streaming on a computer.

American Idol XIII premieres January 16, Thursday LIVE via satellite at 6PM with a primetime telecast at 8PM and January 17, Friday LIVE via satellite at 6PM with a primetime telecast at 9PM on ETC

Also check out ETC online at: 

So who will be the lucky guy who will win the title of AI 13? Let's watch and and hopefuly it's a Fil-Am contestant so the Idol fever will be an exciting one for all Pinoy fans of the show.