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Showing posts from April, 2009

Probinsiyanong Intsik Invictus

Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada is under siege – again. The hugely popular star witness in the $329M national broadband scandal involving the Arroyo government and the China-based ZTE Corp. – after going through the psychological tortures of death threats and smear campaigns against him and his family – is facing possible arrest. Former presidential chief of staff Mike Defensor sued for Lozada for perjury – and the case was dismissed for lack of probable cause by the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court on Nov. 14, 2008. But the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 11 overturned the ruling, heeding Defensor’s appeal, and is set to issue an arrest warrant. Lozada, a government consultant and insider to nefarious schemes, caught the public’s imagination by bravely testifying to the Senate that 1) the deal’s true cost is only $132M – and the rest went to kickbacks; 2) Among those privy to the secret negotiations were First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and the then Commission of Elections Chairman Benjamin Ab…

You Ain't Heavy -- You're My Brother

We are all connected. An individual, in the metaphysical levels, share an indestructible bond with every man, woman and child; not only with those of the present, but also of the past and of the future. This empathy with our fellow human beings is the foundation of the noble side of our humanity. The Mahabharata, one of the greatest spiritual documents known to man, teaches us to: “Do nothing to your neighbor which you would not hereafter have your neighbor do to you. A man obtains a rule of action by looking upon his neighbors like himself.”

Are You Ready For The Oath, Mr. President?

A lot of us want to live “The good life” although some of us were born middle-class and below. But we can – if we are willing to sacrifice and work hard for the financial stability we want to give to our family. It is good for a person to aim high, and we can even encourage ourselves that we can be whatever we imagine. Is it possible for you to become, say, President someday? Of course! Everything is possible. But is it probable? It is, on a different dimension, just like 1 + 1 gets a different sum in higher levels of mathematics.

Do You Have Peace Of Mind?

A profound change came upon my attitude in life – and by extension, my destiny – when I first ran across the “Serenity Prayer” traditionally attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Lord, grant me the courage to change the things I can, the patience to accept the things I can not, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I can achieve my dreams if I invest discipline and perseverance, but I can’t graduate from Harvard today at 3:00 PM. The difference is clear. Most things, alas, are not. That is why need wisdom. “Wisdom is good,” some might say, “but we need cash.” So okay – wisdom and cash. That much is clear.

Can You Get The Job You Want?

Paul Potts was an unassuming mobile phone salesman who had a dream -- to be an opera singer. The judges of Britain’s Got Talent looked visibly skeptical and unimpressed when he went onstage. What nobody knew was: he has a one-in-a-million golden tenor voice, like Andrea Bocceli’s. He began to sing Puccini’s Nessun Dorma. The audience listened in amazed silence, then they all rose in a wild, deafening and ecstatic chorus of acclaim. It was a magical moment: everybody was in tears, even the judges. People don’t want jobs. They want a career – a life work that gives professional growth and personal fulfillment. Here are some tried-&-tested ways to get what you want, from the classic job-finder’s guidebook What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles (Ten Speed Press). Set lifetime goals. Rico Hizon had always known what he wanted to be – a broadcast journalist – even while he still a teen-age service crew at McDonald’s. He made his vision a reality by taking it one step a…

Mary of Bethany, Do You Take Jesus of Nazareth To Be Your Lawfully-Wedded Husband?

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We now know that anyone can make a career just by slamming The DaVinci Code. Don’t be surprised if they’re so excited because the sequel Angels & Demons is on the way soon.

But because of that, Dan Brown has now more money than Opus Dei. It makes you wonder whose side the critics are on.

The truth is, Jesus died for us but He wasn't required to die a virgin. His purity, if you’ll pardon the pun, has been religiously defended throughout the centuries, and that’s okay because that’s freedom of religion.

It reminds me too of a scene in Genesis where the Almighty Creator was horrified to see naked people in Eden.

As a full-blooded young male, I find it unnerving that Jesus, you know, not once, even when He was a teenager, never?

But Jesus wasn’t gay either, no sir, and the reason why His young disciple John is His “Beloved” is purely platonic.

I don’t know why I say I know, but if people want to get kinky about His sexlife, that's fine, though I bet that Catholics would rather…

What You Need To Know Before Choosing A Career

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Dero Pedero is musically intelligent: the winner the grand prize at the 1981 Metro Pop Song Fest for his Isang Mundo, Isang Awit performed by Leah Navarro; and the composer of the first Filipino rock-opera Tales of the Manuvu, the Miss Earth theme, the “We Got It All” SM jingle and many others. All men are not created equal. Talent is intelligence but it is distinct from IQ. The difference is like the distance from Siargao to Pagudpud. Academic intelligence, it should also be noted, has nothing to do with broad-mindedness but let’s not digress. Before choosing your career path, you should first know where your strength lies. Here are the seven areas of intelligence as conceived by Dr. Howard Gardner, so you can judge for yourself where you will excel in life. Verbal. You have verbal intelligence if you can communicate effectively through speaking or writing. You can be a teacher, lawyer, spokesman, editor; or writer like National Artist and Ramon Magsaysay Awar…

How The New Cervical Cancer Vaccine Works

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Cervical cancer is the growth of malignant tumor cells in the cervix resulting in death. The 2003 World Cancer Report says that an estimated 500,000 women in developing countries are diagnosed with the disease every year – of which 250,000 die. Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common form of sexually transmitted infection. HPV looks like a golfball under a microscope. Its core infectious substance is protected by a hard shell made of L1 protein. There are about 100 different varieties of HPV. Most of them show no symptoms and are generally harmless. But HPV 16 and HPV 18 are particularly deadly. These two strains are the cause of 70% of all cervical cancer cases. Infection starts when HPV penetrates the cervical lining at the base of the uterus and attaches itself to the epithelial cells. Then the L1 shell releases the infectious genes from inside the HPV into the body. These include the viral genes E6 and E7 that neutralizes th…

What Is Wrong With Us Filipinos?

History teaches us that all successful parliaments are essentially bicameral, and unicameral regimes always self-destruct -- but apparently , we Filipinos have cultural ADHD. Our Constitution may not be perfect, but it is workable: The problem is not our system but us -- what we need is not Charter-change but psychotherapy. Case in point: We have delusions of grandeur: When given a measure of authority, we become megalomaniacs like the proverbial fly on the carabao's back who shouts: "I'm the king of the world!" -- then we follow-up with: "Please, don't let this feeling end!" Furthermore, we're too greedy: What we do is our own business, but we ride on the achievements of other people -- then we think they owe us their victories. Also, we have paranoia: everybody's a subversive and a terrorist, and we burn book we haven't even read because other people who also haven't read them heard etc. Plus, we have a fetish for mudslinging: our…

Good Day Sunshine: How To Be A Positive Thinker

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Joanne Kathleen Rowling is the wizard behind the spellbinding Harry Potter saga – but the media bewitched her image. “I did and still do write in cafes, and I was broke,” says the creator of Hogwarts, Quidditch and the Daily Prophet. “But the early stories neglected to mention that I come from a middle-class background, I have a degree in French and classics, and that working as a teacher was my intended bridge out of poverty.” The power of positive thinking has changed the course of history countless times. If there’s a Will there’s a Way – and there’s also a Won’t, it depends on you. Here are the five steps in developing optimism as revealed by psychotherapists Joseph T. Martorano, M.D., and John H. Kildahl, Ph.D., in their book Beyond Negative Thinking (Insight). 1) Tune in to your thoughts. The mind and the body are one, so if you think you will succeed, you will. But “If you’ve been feeling down, it could be you’re sending yourself negative messages,” says Martorano a…

The Art Of Traveling Alone

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Charlene Duncan has been to Georgia, California and anywhere she can run. “I’ve been to Paradise,” she whispers. Travel broadens the mind. Even a purpose-driven life needs to unwind every now and then. A change of atmosphere is like chicken sandwich for the soul. But before making lamyerda, remember: Rule No. 1: Be organized. Rule No. 2: Follow Rule No.1. Ask the most basic question: “What kind of vacation is best suited for me?” The mountains or the beach? Some people prefer being alone. Others want to stay with strangers and pretend they’re part of the family. Do your homework. Research. Use the Internet to learn about local laws and customs. Examples: In Brunei, it’s not polite to point with your index finger. In Singapore, it’s illegal to chew gum. In India, it’s forbidden to kiss a woman in public – ask Richard Gere. Plan for your trip. Make all arrangements well in advance. If traveling abroad, prepare your documents. Here’s a checklist: passport; visa; round-trip ti…

The Grandeur Of Our Own Literary Voice

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One of the positive developments in the aftermath of the Philippine-American War is the official adoption of English as medium of instruction in the public schools. After the hostilities, Filipino and American educators got together and agreed that a common language is essential in unifying a nation divided by a plethora of dialects. Jose P. Laurel, in his classic essay The Glorification Of A Common Inheritance, pointed out that although a national tongue alone does not constitute racial identity, “Unity of language is unquestionably a binding force of utmost importance.” Salvador P. Lopez, in The Future Of Filipino Literature In English, wrote: “We shall have more contact with the rest of the world. During this period we shall negotiate for trade, for security, for a neighborly living with the rest of mankind. At the same time, we shall be expressed more fully to the currents of universal culture. And as we continue to absorb the elements of this culture, we shall be better be…

What Do Atheists Know That We Don't?

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There are various shades of atheism, and to define it as a denial of the existence of God would be too simplistic. Free-thinkers, for instance, center their belief that the forces at work in the universe move in accordance within established systematic principles, all of which must still bear close scrutiny under laboratory conditions in order to determine theoretical authenticity. Cause and Effect The cause-and-effect paradigm is a fundamental scientific and mathematical precept. Evidences can be cited to support the case that asteroids, meteors, comets, quasars, pulsars, planets and their satellites came into existence as a result of an explosion of intergalactic proportions. And that a Black Hole is not a hole in the usual sense but a field of tremendously dense gravitational mass produced by a supernova, a star whose self-generating heat has reached critical point and literally incinerated itself. The question is, why? A delightful story about one of the world’s foremost…

The 10 Secrets Of Outstanding Careers

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Fashion designer Patis Tesoro revived the natural fiber industry in the country in 1986 by her advocacy for piña cloth, a gossamer-like fabric made from a variety of pineapple grown in Aklan. Her campaign brought the piña cloth to Christofle, Printemps, Calvin Klein and other major international fashion houses. What drives highly motivated people? When I was a student-volunteer during the first presidential race of the late Sen. Raul Roco in 1998, he taught us that the biggest room in the world is the room for self-improvement. This kaizen attitude, I realize, belongs in this collection of the ten keys to an excellent career. 1) Write a masterplan. Listing your goals defines your priorities. Stephen King became the greatest literary phenomenon of the 20th century because he wanted to be a brand name even before his first novel Carrie got published in 1974. 2) Arrange tasks. One way to build confidence is to meet short-term goals while still working out the bigger challen…

League Of Extraordinary Filipino Gentlemen

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I wrote this piece in late 2007. I already incorporated some of the profiles in “The Top 10 Signs Of Leadership.” The remaining sketches remain in their original form. This is its first publication



The late U.S. President Ronald Reagan once said, “Those who say that we’re in a time when there are no heroes, they just don’t know where to look.”

Let’s sketch some of the most outstanding Filipinos of our time, because as the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy said, “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but the men it honors, the men it remembers.”



1) Emilio Advincula. The nation shall never this poor but honest taxi driver castigated by his friends for returning a fortune to its rightful owner--not once, but twice! Inspiring Reio Lance to follow his example, he’s a rare breed: one who values honor above luxury and the company of 100% pure-plastic sycophants.


2) Django Bustamante. The true mettle of our 2006 World Cup Pool Champion asserted itself when he transcended a p…

Can You Bounce Back After A Setback?

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This story originally appeared in Philippine Panorama
United States President Barack Obama’s biggest inspiration is Abraham Lincoln who, as we all know, lost his election races as congressman, senator and vice-president – but still became one of history’s most significant leaders and America’s greatest Presidents. 
Career setbacks will come because “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we may,” as Hamlet tells Horatio. 
Here are ways to cope from Andrew J. DuBrin’s Bouncing Back (McGraw-Hill), with stories from various issues of Entrepreneur Philippines.

1) Take advantage of the change. Zenaida Gutierrez had to stop her backyard piggery when they moved into the family compound in Nueva Ecija, so she instead set up Manzen Supply and sold feeds in San Leonardo town in 2002. Then pork prices fell in 2004, so she diversified, selling also groceries, and her businesses today are all thriving.


2) Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Johnny Sy believes that gospel music can reac…

Can We End Global Poverty In Our Generation?

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Once upon a time, everybody was poor. Then came agriculture, industry and technology. Some became rich, some remained poor because of corruption and misrule – and there are those whose poverty killed them. Imagine yourself living in an isolated village surrounded by barren fields and wilted crops, with the seasons bringing nothing but drought and mosquitoes carrying malaria. “This is a story about ending poverty in our time,” says Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the U. N. Millennium Project, in his landmark The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities For Our Time. “More then 8 million people around the world die each year because they are too poor to stay alive.” It’s time to end this madness. Here’s how. 1) Commit to the task. We need to rise above ourselves. The dawn of the 21st century saw most of the nations of the world – including the Philippines – join hands and craft the Millennium Development Goals, the masterplan for cutting global poverty and environmental degradation…

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Celebrities

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By now, everyone already knows Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – and for those who still don’t, a maverick indie version is now showing: 1) Be a self-starter. Being pro-active means taking the initiative and venturing out of your comfort zone. Bono, lead singer of U2 and the world’s biggest rock star, used his fame to win friend and influence world leaders to help end global poverty. “It is no longer crazy to suggest that we can eliminate tuberculosis and malaria from the planet,” Bono wrote in a stirring essay for Time. “It is no longer unthinkable to imagine a world without AIDS or extreme poverty. And this isn’t hope talking, or faith. This is hard science pointing us toward a better, healthier world.” Bono founded DATA and produced Live 8 with Bob Geldof – and was hailed as one of the 2005 Persons of the Year by Time alongside Bill and Melinda Gates. 2) Be goal-oriented. Beginning with the end in mind means knowing what you want to achieve in life…

Does God Talk Back To You?

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As the philosopher John Locke said, "The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure, all sincere, nothing too much and nothing wanting." Pastor Rick Warren heads the Saddleback megachurch in Lake Forest California. “What I’m saying isn’t new,” he says about his phenomenal bestselling spiritual guidebook A Purpose Driven Life. “I just synthesize ideas and translate them into simple language.” The same is true with this feature. I was surfing the Bible searching for comfort from the recent death of my best friend. I found healing – and a purpose-driven magazine article. 1) Assurance. The Lord is with us even in the presence of our enemies. “Lo, I am with you always, even at the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:28) 2) Bereavement. God has promised that we will be reunited with our loved ones – in a place where there are no more goodbyes. “We who are al…

Time Management In A Minute

Busy? This is the fastest way to fix your sked. Time management is life leadership, says Stephen Covey, author of 8th Habit, and here are his first three steps. 1) Write your own mission statement. This is to sum up who you really are and want you want in life. Generic sample: “To master my profession so my work will be synonymous with excellence, and to conduct my life in such a way that people will see Jesus Christ reflected in me.” 2) Know your 5 main roles in life. This is to pinpoint your responsibilities in your different roles in society. Example: You are a lawyer, father, husband, restaurant co-owner and lay pastor. 3) Set goals for each role. This is to achieve balance – meeting all your responsibilities by scheduling them in advance. Example: Overtime on Friday, supervising your business on Saturday, and going to Mass and watching DVD with the family – and getting a copy of The Star – on Sunday.