Tag Archives: Philippines

CNN Hero of the Year: A Filipino – Efren Peñaflorida, Jr.

Today I was wanting to write about Thailand and how similar this land is to us. As my good friend and BKK travel partner puts it, it’s like our parallel universe. Their narrow roads are just like ours (Libertad, Pasay!) – minus the unruly drivers and honking cars. I must say they’ve gone ahead of us in terms of well-planned public transport systems.  Therefore Bangkok, even if it looks much like Manila – has tolerable traffic and courteous cab drivers. I like them.

Much ado about that. This morning I’m choosing not to rant about what we lack here in the Philippines and decided to focus on some Pinoy pride (good news at last!).

Our kababayan, Efren Penaflorida won CNN Hero of the Year! Yey! *dances* 🙂 I’m doubly-proud because he hails from where we live, the province of Cavite. Watch the full video of his awarding here: Efren Peñaflorida wins CNN Hero of the Year 2009

Efren “Kuya Ef” Peñaflorida is a teacher and social worker in the Philippines. He has been named “CNN Hero of the Year” in 2009 for his outstanding advocacy to educate Filipino out-of-school youth through “pushcart classes. “Peñaflorida grew up in Cavite City. During his early days in school, he experienced being harassed and threatened by gangs near their school. Despite this, he still managed to finish his studies.

His growing concern for the unschooled children in his hometown led Peñaflorida to establish Dynamic Teen Company (DTC). At that time, he was only sixteen. He envisioned this organization as a tool to reach the underserved Filipino youth by providing free tutorials. He asked three fellow high school students to devote some of their time to teach children in the slum areas every Saturday.

After ten years, DTC has gained around 10,000 memberships and conducted tutorials for approximately 1,500 children.Today, DTC’s “pushcart classroom” also teaches basic reading and writing to street children.

It feels good to read about something we can be proud of as a Filipino. Now we know that anyone can be a hero – regardless if you have little or plenty, if you live in a third-world country or otherwise. There is a hero in each one of us waiting to be tapped for service.

I think we should be noticing these things more deliberately instead of some lousy Pacman scandal.

To see pictures of my Bangkok adventure, check out my Facebook account.

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Blog Action Day: Support IT Jobs to Save Environment

Blog Action Day: Support IT Jobs to Save the Environment

Blog Action Day: Support IT Jobs to Save the Environment

Blog Action Day – IT jobs are ever increasing in Asia as more and more foreign companies all over the world are looking into the potential of outsourcing to Asean countries. The proliferation of work opportunities for virtual assistants, web developers, web designers, content writers, and SEO specialists has given us a unique opportunity to help environment conservation. How is that?

Simple – we are moving towards a paperless world.

What’s up for someone like me to do?  I will do my part to:

1. Open more online job opportunities for the Filipinos, especially the new graduates. That can be in the form of freelance gigs, or educating them how to earn something from the Web.

Note:  This is why it is highly necessary that we train our students to love to read and write. English skills are greatly in demand now more than ever.

2. Help spark the spirit of entrepreneurship in all of us. Can you sell offline? Go house-to-house? Sure you can do it better when you do it online! Business is the way to go if we want to be self-sustaining or financially-free. Setting up our own at-home business also saves the planet from having more buildings, more carbon emissions, more paper to throw.

3. Spread the Green Consciousness – this I mean, using my access to the Internet to promote environmentalism. The Web is a great resource of environmental organizations to support. We have an online world in our disposal to be a medium of healthy discourse on saving the planet. I can see that there have been moves by world-wide groups working towards disaster preparedness. They have opted to use the Web to acquire funding and to disseminate information on where you can volunteer to save Earth.

On Global Warming: Hosting Servers made Green

IT companies can choose Green Website Hosting. The company I work with in Australia, has partnered with Digital Pacific – Australia’s ‘greenest’ hosting company. The organization reports carbon emissions from daily operations like maintenance of hosting servers, routers and air conditioners. Following each review you can purchase carbon credits to cover one hundred per cent of its estimated emissions. An equivalent amount is fed back into the electricity grid from wind or solar power, rather than non-sustainable means.

1. Use e-mail instead of paper
2. Copy and print on both sides of paper.
3. Reuse items like envelopes, folders and paper clips.
4. Encourage your school and/or company to print documents with soy-based inks, which are less toxic.
5. Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of a disposable cup.
Hosting Servers made Green
On the global warming issue, IT companies can choose Green Website Hosting. In the company I work with in Australia, has partnered with Digital Pacific – Australia’s ‘greenest’ hosting company. The organization reports carbon emission of the business from its daily operations like maintenance of hosting servers, routers and air conditioners. Following each review the company will purchase carbon credits to cover one hundred per cent of its estimated emissions. An equivalent amount is fed back into the electricity grid from wind or solar power, rather than non-sustainable means.

I found a good link. This applies to everyone. SEQL tells us of the 100 Ways to Save the Environment including how we can do our own contribution while in the office work place.

What can you do to save the environment on Blog Action Day?

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Glorious Wednesdays: Where is the Real Storm?

Where Is The Real Storm?
Typhoon Ondoy came and went.
But the real storm is not out there.
The real storm is in your mind.
Do you believe that great things will happen to you?
Imagine a party balloon.
At first, it’s bright and fat and goes up to the ceiling.
But after a few days, it becomes deflated.
It stays on the floor.
We’re like balloons.
What keeps us up is hope.
But life happens, and everyday, we leak hope.
Especially when big trials come, we surely leak out a lot of hope.
And we’re deflated.
Here’s what you need to do: You need to refill your heart with hope.
So that you can rise up again.
Dispel the storms in your mind.
It may be stormy on the outside but it shouldn’t be stormy on the inside.
The only way to dispel the storms is to be grateful for what you have today and what will happen tomorrow.
God is redirecting you to something better.
Sit up straight. Out loud, say this declaration with me…
I’m strong in the Lord. I’m blessed. I’m forgiven. I’m protected. I’m redeemed. I’m equipped. I’m anointed. Healing flows in my body. New doors will open before me. I’ll meet the right people, the right opportunities, at the right time, at the right place. I’ll regain ten times what I lost…
In Jesus name!


Where Is The Real Storm?

Typhoon Ondoy came and went.

But the real storm is not out there.

The real storm is in your mind.

Do you believe that great things will happen to you?

Imagine a party balloon.

At first, it’s bright and fat and goes up to the ceiling.

But after a few days, it becomes deflated.

It stays on the floor.

We’re like balloons.

What keeps us up is hope.

But life happens, and everyday, we leak hope.

Especially when big trials come, we surely leak out a lot of hope.

And we’re deflated.

Here’s what you need to do: You need to refill your heart with hope.

So that you can rise up again.

Dispel the storms in your mind.

It may be stormy on the outside but it shouldn’t be stormy on the inside.

The only way to dispel the storms is to be grateful for what you have today and what will happen tomorrow.

God is redirecting you to something better.

Sit up straight. Out loud, say this declaration with me…

I’m strong in the Lord. I’m blessed. I’m forgiven. I’m protected. I’m redeemed. I’m equipped. I’m anointed. Healing flows in my body. New doors will open before me. I’ll meet the right people, the right opportunities, at the right time, at the right place. I’ll regain ten times what I lost…

In Jesus name!

Glorious Thursdays Wednesdays post coming from Bo Sanchez’ “Every Storm will End”



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Project 10^100: Make CHANGE Happen

As co-inhabitants of planet earth, and as neighbors to one another – we are equally responsible for the future of the human race. Google took the initiative. The the first step towards this goal is by summing up the best, most brilliant ideas of our generationProject 10^100. A compilation of ideas, proposals, and actions plans shared by you and me –  with the aim of effecting change in the world we live in.

Vote for your best bet – the idea which you think will have the greatest impact to everyone’s lives. Your vote for one of these ideas will help Google’s advisory board to choose up to 5 projects to fund, at which point they’ll launch an RFP process to identify the organization(s) that are best suited to implementing them.

As a Filipino, I am biased for the propositions that are most needed by my country – Disaster Preparedness (that we have lacked as proven by Ondoy), Good governance, and Micro-entrepreneurship. Check out my best bets below and vote, yes vote for a better tomorrow:

My top choices are in yellow fill.

Project 10

I woke up this morning planning to blog about some quarter-life issue of mine. Until I opened my mail box and found an interesting link – Project 10^100. That was then I realized I’m not the only human being in this world going through life’s issues.  A million, billion earthlings are in the mercy of the hand of destruction. The planet is at high risk. And we have all taken a role in its slow death. If you want to make a difference, or at least owe the accountability – make your vote today.

Make CHANGE happen.

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Glorious Wednesdays: Tatak Pilipino

Because prayers are meant to be answered: I will be giving prizes here at  Glorious Wednesdays 🙂

As for the month of September, I had a difficult time picking the best  Wednesday post because all were worth-reading. However, I feel that I should  feature 1 last blog post specifically for the benefits of the Ondoy victims. For  that, I commend Fr. Jun-G of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). They are doing  God’s work by being active in the Simbahang Lingkod Bayan

Let’s hear it from the “Passionista” with his post “Tatak Pilipino”. This is so in-  rhythm with my being a proud Pinoy. Now you know why I chose his post:

salamat o Diyos… salamat.

mamaya… bukas… sa susunod… masasaksihan ko naman ang bagyong magbibigay ng hindi hapis… kundi kagalakan sa puso.

pagkakaisa. pagtutulungan. pagmamahalan.

ito ay tatak PILIPINO.

That is the authentic Filipino Bayanihan spirit coming alive amidst the storm! When you think about it though you may ask yourself, does it have to take an Ondoy before we help our brothers and sisters in need? I’m just peaceful to know that in times like this though, we can count on the Filipino 🙂

I did not forget about your prize Fr. Jun-G hehe… but it comes in the form of a donation under your name – yep, to be given to your dedicated ministry: Simbahang Linkod ng Bayan. Hope you like the prize hehe! Gcash coming in a while (romela de leon) 😉

Congratulations Fr. Jun-G, SJ.

Congratulations Fr. Jun-G, SJ.

To the winner, and to all the bloggers who wrote for September – Thank you for sharing your wonderful words on Glorious Wednesdays. Let’s carry on with the faith until next month 🙂

For those who want to donate via Gcash to SLB just type in:

DONATE_<Amount>_<4-digit pin>_SLB and send to 2882

Your help is needed most now.

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Filed under Filipino, Glorious Wednesdays, Philippine bloggers, Social Causes, The Most Important Word

An opportunity to be proud being Pinoy


After the disastrous storm “Ondoy” the online world has been flooded (not with water though, thank God) with information on rescue requests, volunteer groups, means of donation, and hotline numbers. Oh how many times have we twitted, and re-twitted these sort of information? Facebook has been handy too in spreading the word of h-e-l-p. I like how Miriam Quiambao does her thing, as well as Sen. Chiz’ timely and wise choices in tweeting requests for volunteers, rescue operations, etc.

Though most importantly, I honor our dear countrymen here and abroad. Those OFW’s despite their strife working in distant lands, gave away their hearts to donate. During these times, it makes me feel even more proud being a Filipino. Hearing this wacky radio DJ while in the bus, “Ano pa’t mga Pinoy tayo kung hindi naten kakayanin ‘to at magtutulungan.” At that moment it was like something in me said in reply, “oo nga naman!”

So with this I’d say let us not be mere spectators of the wrath of the typhoon. Let it be our aim not to end the day saying only our prayers, without putting that faith in action. Are we contented with just “kawawa naman”, or “palpak kase ang gobyerno!”? This isn’t the time for finger-pointing. Nobody wants this.

Today I share this video with you to knock on your hearts, and to assure the families of victims that God is greater than the storm.

“Father You are King over the flood.. I will be still, know You are God..”

If you want to help but can’t get off your computer, try Team Internet at philippineaid.com

team internet

Check Miriam Quiambao’s comprehensive compilation of how you can help in many, many ways.

Help our fellow country men in need – and tell me why you are proud being Pinoy 🙂

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ZTE Deal and the Apathy of the Philippine Working Class

There’s a certain apathy in the working class of the Philippines over the ZTE deal, or perhaps any other graft issue involving our leaders. It’s not like one of those feelings of complete indifference towards the future of the nation. It is not like this even if one tries to capture in a snapshot the regular passing and going of the Ayala labor force. Everyone seems to be minding his or her own business: coming out of the public utility fx or bus, and then walking towards their respective directions to the office. One might begin to wonder if these busy bodies ever cared about the ZTE Deal issue – the latest graft and corruption drama that’s been keeping the Philippines to be on the spotlight, once again.

How ironic to see the ant-like preoccupation of the working people, hurrying to attend to their jobs of the day, and earning another month’s worth of chance for the government to collect taxes (that means another chance of stealing money from the people). Yet it seems they are quite unmindful of the present political dilemma.

Or maybe not. Maybe we (I myself included) are perfectly following the exciting, yet predictable episodes of the ZTE deal. It is not like we are not aware. It can be that we don’t wish to care anymore, and would rather focus on keeping the integrity of the race.

Being part of the employed sector for almost 3 years, I honestly believe that Filipinos are diligent and has a sense of integrity. Rarely do I meet individuals who do not perform their assigned tasks (or those who refuse the dirty work and just choose what’s convenient for them – does this fit your congressman?). Rarely do I encounter such workers, because I think Filipinos value their jobs in this economically-struggling “strong” republic of Mrs. Arroyo. Just a side comment Mrs. President: I don’t think your husband loves you because once again, he has furthered your bad reputation. How inconvenient for national officials like you to be in “LQ” with your spouse.

Going back to my point, it could be that the Philippine working class is apathetic (or immune) towards political dramas like this, but it has not lost its belief in the genius of our race. The fact that we are all doing our jobs and participating in nation building, means that we care deeply for our families, for our children, for the next generation. If there is 1 thing that we should be busy about, it’s keeping the hope and integrity in the hearts of our struggling countrymen, never mind our leaders – who voted for them anyway? The non-tax payers, of course. They’re the ones easy to brainwash, while we, the taxt-payers suffer from the results of unintelligent decisions. Can we actually blame them? No. Election in this country is measured by how much grocery items you gave to the squatter’s area.

As to how long this disease of apathy will reign, I do not know. When you figure it out, maybe it’s more meaningful to finish a day’s work than to watch the government circus on national TV.

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