Thursday, December 24, 2015

I thank God for all the memories we've shared
I am more than grateful, He allowed us to create too many of them, 
and you gave me too much to remember. 
Thank you for unselfishly sharing your time, your emotions, your love
to create those memories with me
You were always like a sister to me, the ate I never had
We have a language all on our own, 
and I was never ashamed of pouring out my heart to you.
I thank you for all those times you trusted me and for really 
being a friend and a sister
Losing you was just like losing my parents before
It is painful, but I have to let you go...
I know you are now dancing in streets of gold
Singing praises and dancing with joy
You have always told me that the chief end of man is to glorify God
and you did that in everything you do.
Thank you so much for being so much a part of my life, my boys, and my sister
I will never forget how you rushed to my side when I lost my Mom in a very tragic manner
because it was your birthday, and you chose to stay with me and my sister
You were always mindful, caring, and loving
putting others first before you
and even in your death, you were always mindful...
Thank you for loving me so much ate Marife
I may not be able to receive texts, happy birthdays, and merry Christmases from you anymore
We may not be able to spend hours talking anymore
but you have given me new family and friends - your siblings, your best friend
and they were all how you described them to me
Thank you for allowing me to be part of your world
for always being there...
You will always be one of my greatest blessings
You will always be one of my fondest memories
You will always be one of the best friends I've ever had.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

I am commanded to love everyone, not condemn those who do not agree with me.

My opinions are just that, - opinions, regardless of where I got them from.  They are tiny, a speck compared to the immensity of God.  I cannot possibly have even the faintest idea of what God commands to other people. My only possible intelligent choice is to continuously open in love and acceptance. Today more than yesterday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Then God reminded me the difference between happiness and joy.

Mentoring 101

A good coach won’t bring to you talent you don’t have, but he or she will help draw to the surface what may be dormant within you. – Jeff Caliguire

I always had a burning desire to reach out to the youth, and a passion to impact their lives positively. One of the few reasons I had when I jumped ship to the academe.

It is not the first time I took on the job of advising an organization. But this is the first time I worked with students who are very much willing to learn, excited to discover new things, and equates busy with challenge. I have never seen a group so committed they are willing to forego their own personal leisure just to get things done.

Values towards work is learned and acquired early on. We usually learn from our parents, or anyone, who, in a way or the other, become our first role model.

My personal mantra is that, I want to work with people who have the same degree of commitment that I have, with the same values, working on the things I believe in. I was always blessed to be part of a team, and learned from committed and dedicated individuals, who do not have “tired” and “hungry” in their vocabulary.  Having worked for more than ten years with the government, my experience redefined and refocused my respect towards government employees because I have seen them work hard to meet goals and deadlines, with the end in view of providing quality service. 

I was always the youngest in the team. And I was always drawn to friends who are several years older than I am. Now, I am the oldest in the team, and it is the first time I am seriously working with young people, teenagers with different personalities. 

Looking at the organization I am currently working with, they are way more mature than their age. Quite a revelation, because they used to be my students too; and looking at them now, I am rediscovering them in a different light. Their being so focused and committed towards work, is a far cry from who they were in my classroom.

Yes, I am so blessed and proud to work with them.  I am more than glad to have taken on the challenge, because I have not seen a group so determined, so focused, and so teachable.

It is my first time to really mentor full time. It fuels me to do more. Indeed, “he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”

The Leaders’ Convergence that included a talk from Dr. Kit Bonnet on Stewardship and Advising, inspired me to really be more focused.  What inspired me more is that, beyond the warm glow of helping them achieve their purpose, they can actually be impacted for the rest of their lives. And yes, it isn't all fun, but there are complications too. 

Advising can be seen as a thankless job – no overtime pay, no deloading, extra work, plus the dynamics of the team. Yet, I never thought about it. I was just too eager to take on the challenge, perhaps because, I was once like them.   

The heart of mentoring is being able to hone our mentees and advisees to be better than we are, achieving greater than what we were able to achieve. They are not our competition, not even our slaves or workers. They are placed under our care to nurture. We work together, stand by them.  A mentor or a coach, of course, can never bring about a talent that they do not have, but a good one will help draw to the surface what may be dormant in them. Mentoring is more familial rather than hierarchical. An organization must foster a caring and nurturing environment to facilitate learning. 

One thing I discovered, not everybody wants to be mentored. There are those who are very willing to be mentored, they absorb like sponge. You see them grow.   There are also those you want to mentor, but are not willing. One thing I have proven time and time again, leadership and the willingness to learn is not at all about IQ or high grades. But it is more of humility, EQ, and the heart to serve others.

I wait in expectation as they tread on the same path I have treaded.  It is always a delight to see them accomplish what I have accomplished when I was older, and that is enough reason for me to be excited and be happy for them. I am confident that when they finally are on their own, they have the right attitude and the right character towards work, and they will never be overwhelmed by gargantuan responsibilities. I wait in expectation as they win their own battles, better than I did when I was their age.  

The returns are implicit. It cannot be equated with any monetary benefit. If I have to put it theoretically, the utility is unbounded and the intrinsic value, based on a future series of dividends grow at a constant rate in perpetuity. Because investing so much time and effort, and a whole lot of emotions into a group of individuals not your own just to make things happen for them, is already a seed being planted.  And I guess, no matter how little we impact the lives of others, there will always be a multiplier effect.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

It was a tough and bumpy ride.   Fifteen years of a roller coaster ride.  It was all worth it.
God is indeed the third strand. 

Sunday, November 08, 2015

I am in awe of God's faithfulness
He has prepared us so well for this season
Though I remember the betrayal, the hurt, the pain, the tears
They are but part of my battle scars now.
God is amazingly good!

Things I learned over the weekend

1. Humility always is the last weapon.
2. Build bridges rather than burn them.
3. God is sooo faithful.
4. I have waited this long, I can wait for a few more months.
5. God honors faith.
6. God is the God in and out of seasons. No matter what the season, He is always ahead.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The true brand of leadership is taking responsibility and accountability....definitely not blame shifting and weaving lies just to save face.

Monday, November 02, 2015

I am always fascinated with the changing seasons
And all the more fascinated with the colors of fall
Excite me more. Surprise me. 
Let me be prepared for the next season. 

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Ma, Aaron wrote on Tita Daisy's wall. Even outside of our door.
Aaron, why did you do that? You have to clean those!
Ma, I'm sorry. My whiteboard is too small na kasi e.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

When we start forgiving, we choose mercy over justice. We trust God that He is sovereign.  We trust Him to fight our battles.  And when we choose to forgive, we break the chain of ungrace, releasing us from bitterness, hatred and anger.

Friday, October 30, 2015

If you cannot be honest with verifiable facts, what else can you be honest about? How unprofessional can a professional be?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I am getting ready, I am getting excited.
There should be no room for fear and doubt.
It may not be exactly what I expected it to be
But I know I am getting there.
It's a new season!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I just watch in dismay as the filing of candidacy becomes more of a circus rather than a formal declaration of intention to serve the nation.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Forgiveness is achingly difficult, and long after you've forgiven, the wound lives on in memory.  Forgiveness is an unnatural act.  I never find forgiveness easy.  Nagging injustices remain, and the wounds still cause pain.  I have to approach God again and again, yielding to him the residue of what I thought I have committed to him long ago...God forgives my debts as I forgive my debtor...only by living in the stream of God's grace will I find the strength to respond with grace towards others. (Philip Yancey, What's so Amazing About Grace)
You are not defined by your past; you are prepared by your past. You may have encountered some great's because God has a great future in front of you.

Friday, October 09, 2015

I love surprises!

My teenager asked, "Mama, did Papa ever surprise you?"

I paused. I could have blurted out, YES! But I didn't, because I have to look back at the many instances my husband did. 

Before we got married, he surprised me with his presence on my birthday. That was totally unexpected because he has given up spending Christmas with his family and chose to spend it with me. 

The little surprises he gave - flowers under his sleeve or on top of our closet, chocolates waiting for me elsewhere in the house, a letter (which he seldom gives). It's the little things really that I enjoy the most. 

And of course, the Valentine's date we've had before he left to work abroad. 

I guess, my children took after him. My boys are the sweetest. They too are full of surprises. It is always a delight coming home to them. Sometimes, I get a candlelight dinner prepared by my teen, my clothes prepared by my toddler. A letter tucked in my bag. Sometimes toys secretly placed inside my bag which eventually gives me a smile when I discover them later on.

It's the little things that makes a memory. And it's the little surprises that creates so much memories. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Guilty mother syndrome

My 6-year old this morning was insisting for me to be on time to get him at exactly 3:00pm. I told him I am sorry I can't make it on time, because of a meeting.  He then blurted out - "When my papa calls, can I tell him to let you stop working already?"

What drives me?

I am fueled by my passion to reach out to the next generation. To be an example, and to influence them to honor Christ, and walk in obedience to His will. To pursue excellence and not mediocrity.

I get excited with the fact that they will be the new breed of leaders.  They will not only be sitting in the sidelines, and watch with apathy.  My prayer is that they will pursue excellence and actively take part and fulfill their roles in society, for them to do what they are called to do.

Yes, I have a choice not to exert extra effort and just quietly relax in the sidelines. But that is not what I am called to do. When God widened my sphere of influence, I know that there is more to do rather than just deliver my lectures day after day.

I may not be able to reach out to everyone, but one youth at a time, can make a lot of difference.

Monday, September 21, 2015

God is a God of Recompense

Joel 2:21-27

"Be glad, O children of Zion,
and rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the latter rain, as before.

"The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.

"You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.

You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else.
And My people shall never again be put to shame.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

yes, it has been a while...

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

there is a world of difference between mere depression and major depression

Monday, May 11, 2015

Education: Shaped by culture?

There is a culture that permeates in our society. And I am not pleased.  Having observed the educational system, it is the least bit inclusive.

The slow learners gets left behind. If they are not lucky enough, they are scorned. If they are charming, they are favored. The system rank them from top to bottom.  The parents, more stressed, rather than the child. I have seen a parent prepare a 20-page reviewer for her son, and it gave me the feeling that I am not doing so much for my children! I wouldn't want to rationalize, but looking at my children, I believe they can go beyond their ABC's and Basic Algebra, and can survive even when I am not around.  Yes, life skills. I guess, for most parents, they force their children to do well, compete to the point that they do their children's assignments, simply because our society tells us that being on top is the way to go. I am not against excellence. In fact, I always encourage my children to be excellent because God is an excellent God. But every child is unique. They learn differently.  Although there is now so much written about multiple intelligence, inclusive education and the like, it is also very hard to change our system. I always believe that my children can learn responsibility and accountability more when they do things on their own.  Yet, I can nag them to do their projects and assignments, I can help them, but  I will not do it for them just for them to get a grade. If they do not have it, they get zero. It is painful, yes. But the learning they get from that experience is priceless. They gain wisdom rather than the grade.

Society also dictates that a course with a board examination is "more" or "greater than" a course without one. A board examination will not always be a good signal for high ability. No, I am not saying this because an Economics degree does not require a board examination. I encountered a lot of very brilliant students all flocking to a degree with board examination but ends up frustrated right after graduation.  "I finished this very difficult and expensive degree, took up the board examination, then I am only paid this much, and it is even lower than what my non-degree high school classmate is getting." In some cases, "I passed the board examination, and here is a college classmate in Tax getting a higher position and a higher pay."

Discussions on asymmetric information would explain that after graduation, pooling equilibrium occurs. Which means that since employers do not really know the ability of the applicants, they are all treated alike. Thus, they are also paid alike (or what we generally call the average price). The average price results from asymmetric information.  Ergo, whether you graduated Cum Laude or you graduated with a GWA of 75, you still get the same pay. The competition starts when you are able to signal that you are the best fit for the job.  Which means to say there is already separating equilibrium.

Board passers are also treated alike. Whether you got 95 or the lowest you can get from the examination, they passed the Board exam, period. Thus, they get similar positions and get similar pay. Pooling equilibrium. Once they go through that, they can take measures to signal they are better than the others, and paid higher. Separating equilibrium.

Most of the time, board examinations are given especially to courses where there are so many wanting to be part of that specific industry.  Market forces dictates that, if there is no regulation, the more suppliers we have in the market, the lower is the labor price.  It pushes the prices down.  Thus, a board examination will generally limit the market and raise the average price in the labor market.

Society then thinks, they are paid higher. Thus, they can do better and be more successful.

Why not take Economics or Math instead, like what other countries do? Why not Philosophy? They are very unpopular in our country, but not for most countries that actually knows the value of these three courses.  Why are we not aware of them? It is because our society never taught us to like them. Our culture is so focused on the extension that we can have before or after our names that we lost sight of the relevance of pursuing pure sciences which is supposed to be the foundation of policy making.

And why not Agriculture? They see no hope in Agriculture. They see no future in it. Why? Because their very decision of selling their carabaos and lands for their children to go to school so they get employed in a big company.  A mindset saying there is no future in agriculture is the very thing that puts down the Agricultural industry.

Oh, and may I just share, my eldest, wants a career in Agriculture.  I hope he still has that choice when he will eventually finish senior high school.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I want to climb mountains with you
Hold on to you when the road is steep
Allow you to lead me when it gets difficult,
and walking alone becomes hard.

I want to discover places with you
Ride the tides with you
Then, will I hold on to your arms,
when the waves become unbearable for me.

I want to laugh with you
Be crazy around you
Just be myself
without fear of rejection

I want to experience once again
the calmness of the sunset
the hope of sunrise
I never cease fascinated by both

I want to experience all the changing seasons
The smell of rain, the sun, the snow
I want to see the colors of spring
The leaves in autumn

Yes, I want to be fascinated again
Be amazed,
be surprised
be awed

I know I can be
Because I know
I am complete in you
and that alone is enough reason for me to be.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

How ethical is freedom of speech?

It is the right of the Filipino people to be informed.  Up to what extent though?
I have been following the SAF 44 case.  Bottom line is, what is the truth?

Can truth be generated with all the stories (with different versions) from all the news we are all receiving? Since we do not have first hand information, we do not really know which one is. And we are all dependent on what we watch, hear, and read.

I am saddened with how the case was (and is being) covered.

In delivering the news, shouldn't they consider both the dignity of the ones who were killed and the families who are grieving? Will it invoke empathy, if they show the dead bodies, the coffins, crying widows, innocent infants and toddlers? If it does, until when (warm glow effect)? Will it later on bring about justice to the fallen 44?

How many massacres, murders, cases, were sensationalized succeeded to achieve justice for the grieving families? Who benefited from these cases?

I should know, because I myself experienced pain and grief and I saw the media and the human rights commission as the greatest evil next to the person who orchestrated the death of my Mom. When my mother was murdered in 2007, apart from accepting the fact that my Mom was the same person lying down in the cold, ugly morgue of the hospital, there were other things to think of - autopsy, burial, a future without Mama, among others.

Some media outfits wanted to do an interview that I did not want to grant. Media outfits who wanted us to cry out loud, to be so mad at the killer...and I guess, my sister and I did not give them that satisfaction. Why would they want that? Will my Mom live again if we become hysterical and threaten the gunman?

The day my Mom was laid to rest, my sister told a journalist, no long shots please. He said yes. But he did it anyway. My "I just thank God it's over" answer to an interview when the decision for the gunman was given, became longer in the papers. For what reason? It was not sensational enough. Will the mastermind come out if I discussed in full detail what I really feel?

Are they really out to seek the truth and inform people? Or more because they want people to watch read listen to them.

Where is empathy? Where is their sympathy?

They ask the question, "ano ang nararamdaman mo?" "paano na kayo ngayon? ano ang gagawin mo?"  What do they think a grieving person would feel, especially when their loved one is subjected for autopsy? Are they even aware that the face of the person, oftentimes is not anymore recognizable after the procedure?

The coverage of the SAF 44 is not much invoking justice and truth, but are succeeding in people hating the very institution that can help bring out the truth and justice for the death of the young heroes.

My heart bleeds whenever we point an accusing finger to whoever we can conveniently point to. How many of us are actually doing something about it? All talk. No action.

Up to what extent should freedom of speech be practiced? Oh, the thin line between ethical reporting and freedom of speech.