Tag Archives: honesty

The privilege of being a leader

Aga Muhlach’s latest interview which was posted in Facebook inspired me to write this blog.

As I posted in my Facebook -

Hubby and I were just recently discussing this thought – “Being a President is a huge privilege because you have that POWER to make meaningful changes. Why waste that once-in-a-lifetime chance? Not everyone can be President. Mrs. President, you have that POWER in your hands, why squander it? And to all our government leaders – please do not waste that once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a great IMPACT to the lives of the Filipino people! Stop corruption! Stop selfishness! Stop politicking!” Go, Aga, you just expressed the sentiments of many people!

And so Aga’s outpouring of frustration reflects how most of us must probably be feeling. We are all frustrated. Some may feel helplessness. Or resignation.

For how can we change the way things are going? How loud must our voices be in order to be heard? I am sure our President and government leaders have been hearing us loud and clear. Haven’t we shouted enough? Haven’t we written enough?

When will our so-called leaders really deserve the title “Leader”? Haven’t they forgotten that the word carries a power so encompassing that it can make this country rise again? They have that one chance to lead this country towards greatness! They have the privilege to touch many lives! They have the authority to make the laws work!

But what are they doing? They travel first-class and dine in fine restaurants while millions cannot even afford three square meals a day. They launder money. They smuggle goods. They receive kickbacks in government projects. They allow tax evaders to go scot-free for a fee. They shamelessly stay in power by ensuring their sons and daughters will ‘inherit’ the positions they are leaving behind (as if they hold the exclusive rights to those positions). They plaster their names on billboards and every space available in the community after they ‘sponsored’ the construction of a basketball court or a barangay hall. They pay millions of pesos on TV ads while the country’s disaster team doesn’t even have enough rubber boats to save people during strong typhoons and floods. The list is endless.

It saddens me because they have that ONE chance to make this country great again and yet, they are squandering this chance. It saddens me because even if we shout on top of our voices, they don’t seem to be bothered anymore. They call for unity. They call for cooperation. But how can we even take their calls seriously if what we see are their corrupt practices, incompetence and lack of concern?

Wake up, Mrs. President! Wake up, Senators and Congressmen! Wake up, Governors, Mayors and Barangay Chairmen! Wake up, Cabinet Members! Wake up, appointed and promoted leaders in government! You have that CHANCE to make this country rise again! You hold in your hands that very rare chance, in fact, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a genuine difference.

We, the Filipino people, are reminding you of that great privilege in your hands. Please do not squander it.

The clock is ticking. Every minute wasted could be one more life lost, one more tree fallen, one more river dead.

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Si Pacquiao, Hatton, Bebe G., atbp.

With Pacman’s recent victory, I am very sure that there will be many more articles, blogs and commentaries which will be written about him. I swore to myself before that I will never write about him. Truth is, I didn’t like him before. To me, he is “mayabang” and has a penchant for walking around surrounded with more-than-I can-swallow army of bodyguards. But that was when I knew so little of him and his fights.

Hard to admit, I am now a Manny Pacquiao fan. Not yet hard-core, but yes, enough to write something nice about him. (wink!)

I will not bore you (and myself) with how good his punches are and how precise his timing is. I am sure that we are getting heavy dosage of that already.

Let me tell you why I like him now:

1. He is so prayerful and God-fearing. Ok, we are not 100% sure if that is just for show but hey, it’s hard to perfect that “act” right? So I am pretty sure he believes in the Almighty and gives Him honor, respect and gratitude. I am always moved by the way he prays very fervently in one corner before his every fight and for me, that is very inspiring. Whenever he does that, I also want to kneel down and pray with him.

2. He loves his mother fiercely. Again, we cannot be too sure of that but for me, the act of bringing his Mom there to be with him in Las Vegas, and the way he allows her to be with the press and be seen by the world, is enough proof of how much he loves and honors his Mother, warts and all. I am sure now that this hard fighter has a soft heart inside, putting family first despite all the titles and the accolades.

3. He is a true sport and fights fairly. He is not “magulang” like Hatton. Sorry for the term but this is what I heard spoken by a sports analyst when I was watching the news last night. It was obvious from this latest match that Hatton has to learn many things from Pacquiao in terms of sportsmanship and playing by the rules. I have seen how the referee was already giving warnings to Hatton with the way he fights (i.e. yayakapin si Pacquiao pagkatapos, susuntukin sa tagiliran at ulo…man, that was really “madaya” in my amateurish eyes! Suntukin ba ang kalaban pagkatapos mo syang yapusin kasi matutumba ka na?!).

4. He is so makabayan. I felt like soaring myself when, during his entrance to the ring, the organizers played his patriotic song with lyrics that go, “Para sa ‘yo…ang laban na ‘to…” Was it his idea? I am not too sure. But that is his song! He sings through our hearts and the record company is happy. But the message is clear: Manny is for the Filipinos. He embraces his countrymen and never forgets to tell the world, “I am a Filipino”.

5. Finally, he is not all “hot air”. As what Mr. Tim Dahlberg wrote, sports columnist for the Associated Press, “The road to greatness now runs through a fighter who truly does let his fists do the talking.” I think pwede namang maging mayabang si Pacquiao. Kumbaga, meron syang “K”. Pero sa mga nakita ko, he is just being honest when he says he is a good fighter. But in so doing, he never trash-talks and never puts down his opponents in ways that others have succumbed to do. Need I say more? Pacquiao is truly the people’s hero and not just because he truly makes us all feel like winners but more importantly, for me, he is all human, not too perfect, just real, believes in God and prayers, values his country, and loves her Ma devotedly.

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Ang Aruba Bar at si Bebe Gandanghari

These days, I keep track of what’s going on around me, even if they are about showbiz. This seeming fascination with showbiz news started when I was in Cambodia and realized that the only Filipino channel available to me was TFC. Back then, I would wait for Sundays so I can watch “The Buzz”.

When I came back to Manila, I thought that I had enough of showbiz. I was wrong.

I still survived weeks of not watching TV (we didn’t have TV for the first weeks in Baguio) but admittedly, it’s still tempting to have those bits of tsismis every now and then. Wag na tayong mag-deny. Masarap malaman ang mga bagay-bagay sa mga taong napapanood natin sa TV or sa movies, right? :) Aminin!

Anyway, one of these latest showbiz happenings that really caught my interest was the sad incident at Aruba Bar when Bebe Gandanghari was denied entry. I pretty much felt agitated too.

For one, I feel that that kind of arrogance is soooooo “Stone Age” na. Hello. In this age of silicone boobs, hormonal injections, and glutathione, we cannot even be too sure na if the girl beside us is really a girl. But that’s on the lighter side.

The saddest thing there is that ‘who are we to discriminate between a man and a woman or a gay and a lesbian for that matter?’ For me, as long as a person is decent-looking enough to enter a bar or restaurant (read: wag naman masyado nang vulgar ang suot na damit or wala na halos damit!), he should be allowed entry. It shouldn’t matter anymore whether one is a man, woman, lesbian, bading, “cross-dresser” or whatever terms that people use nowadays to “brand” someone. I honestly don’t even like putting people in “categories” as if merchandise tayong lahat na pwedeng ikahon na lang at sabihing, “ok, si ganito, bading, kaya dito lang sya.” I have friends who chose to live the alternative lifestyle (teka muna, politically-correct ba ito?!) and I think they are some of the best reasons that I have such a fun, full and inspired life.

So, Aruba Bar, I really really think you should review your dress code again because frankly, it leaves a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. Sayang, ang ganda ng bar-restaurant nyo. I have always planned to go there. But with this incident, I swear I will never patronize you (and I hope my friends, too!) UNTIL you begin to realize that in this world, we are all equals, kahit ano mang damit ang isuot natin.

To you, Bebe G., go go girl! You don’t know me and we may not even meet in the flesh but I hope this piece will reach you and make you smile a bit.

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(Warning: this is a sort of blind item)

An appeal to award-giving bodies in Philippine Cinema

Bakit, oh bakit…nanalo si Ms. K ng Award recently for her acting (daw) in the movie “For the….”? I mean no disrespect sa award-giving body na ito or kay Ms. K. The body seems fair enough in their other choices. And K seems a truly a beautiful, smart, generous, and loving person. But an acting award at this stage? Hmm, medyo sablay yata.

It’s obvious that she seems working hard at her acting and we should give her the pat on the back and encourage her more. But her performance in this film (and in her first TV projects?) are, at its best, still mediocre. (Again, please do not crucify me for this opinion.)

I was able to watch this film on DVD and honestly, I really looked forward to watching it kasi curious ako sa kanya and always thought of G as a travel destination in the future. I was not disappointed sa cinematography (the views and shots were magnificent!) But for me, K’s acting is quite a downer: it is (still?) OA, o kaya, “acting” na “acting” (read: pwede siguro sa stage plays kasi dapat exaggerated ang mga movements or gestures), o kaya naman, kulang, or minsan, di appropriate. Take the time when she said, “Ok, I am not perfect!” in the scene with R. It is so pathetic. Parang pilit, medyo OA na ewan, may awkwardness.

So sorry, Ms. K, I wish I can say this in person, na tayong dalawa lang ang nag-uusap pero siempre, di naman tayo friends. Sana huwag kang magalit ha. Consider this na lang as an unsolicited advice perhaps? You have tremendous potential. I think you really can be a good actress someday. But I hope you can watch more films and learn from the great actors and actresses, attend workshops, experience life more, and perhaps read more blogs like this?

To the award-giving body: Please be more circumspect in your future choices for this category. It’s not just about being fair. However, you are giving young awardees the wrong messages. K is now thinking that she can act pala. Can you imagine having false notions about yourself? She fell asleep that night thinking she is a now a good actress. How can she evolve? How can she learn? In this life, dapat maging totoo sa ating mga kaibigan or to anyone. If we simply give awards to people who don’t even deserve them, or say “you are a good actress” to someone who is not, we are giving out false hopes. And that is sad for the people who receive them. Kasi hindi nila makikita ang totoo. Pardon the cliché, but “the truth will set us free.”

(Still, and in all fairness, I like K for her charitable and volunteer works lately. Kudos to her for being such a good role model for the youth! And I sincerely wish her all the best, maybe even win an award that she will truly deserve in the future.)

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This is not a paid blog.

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