Our August 13 To 19 Edition

Special Feature: Are You Ready To Live An Unlimited Life? 
with stories on Fatima Soriano, Gerald Anderson, Steve Jobs, Efren Peñaflorida,  Francis Papica, John Gabriel Pelias

Videos: Momay, Tayong Dalawa, Steve Jobs with iPod, iMac and iPad, Up, Toy Story 1, 2 and 3, Cars 1 and 2, Jessica Soho
Artists of The Week: Marc Velasco, James Coronel, Jack Wagner

Are You Ready To Live An Unlimited Life?

This story originally appeared July 10, 2011 in Philippine Panorama

Everything in life is a blessing. I am happy because happiness, like hope, in the words of Alexander Pope, spring eternal. 

That statement is a declaration from my heart and soul, and also my Facebook update for April 19.

In other words, I believe that life is beautiful and I am grateful because little stuff can sometimes change your life.

Let me share a sound byte from one of my blog posts: I am praying in thanksgiving that there is a Higher Power that guides us to our true destinies, and there are angels who walk among us.

So I’m both happy and grateful to have come across Tony Robbins, the world’s Number 1 peak-performance guru, whom I have sort of adopted as my virtual life coach. “To model excellence,” he says, “we have to start with the belief systems of excellence.”
My favorite Tony Robbins lecture was when he told the audience to look around and take note of the number of brown objects. Then he asked, “How many red objects did you see?” What we see, he explains, depend on what we think. Success begins with our thought. Whatever is going on in our minds is our state. What follows is the body’s response. We can change how we feel by using our body – taking a deep breath, holding our head up high – and by some mysterious chain reaction, this triggers our brain to switch gears. Change your physiology, he says, and you change your state.

It seems only yesterday that Tony was living miserably in a cramped apartment, 30 pounds overweight as he would wash his dishes in the bathtub, seeing his relationships flounder and his career prospects going to dead ends. Now he’s the world’s most credible, respected and sought-after personal adviser to U.S. Presidents and world champion athletes. What is really amazing is that he turned his life around in a seeming blink of an eye.
What is even more exciting is that today we will talk about the mindset that he personally used in his meteoric rise to the top. Here are the ideas that empowered people to hit big time, from his bestseller Unlimited Power, illustrated with stories of great Filipino achievers.

Everything happens for a reason. Fatima Soriano inspires a lot of people because of her deep faith and how devoid she is of bitterness about being blind. She confidently says that God has a reason and the meaning of it all will be clear someday.
It is painful to learn that she is not compatible with the corneas of the late teen star AJ Perez (See The Other Side of Tragedy), but Fatima’s infectious enthusiasm remains undiminished. Meanwhile, her songs uplift many, like the Momay theme

and even children sing along to her first single (with Fr. Jerry Orbos) which comes with an important message: “God bless you! Mama Mary loves you!”

Always take responsibility. Gerald Anderson has lived in various places – Subic, Texas, Kansas, General Santos – and although it was hard to say goodbye to friends, those adventures taught him to be his own man in a constantly changing landscape. Now as he travels the glittering terrain of show business, through the soap opera Tayong Dalawa, he has transformed himself from a matinee idol into a serious actor.

See the Tayong Dalawa Gary V. MTV in My Favorite Philippine Soap Operas

You don’t have to understand everything. Steve Jobs’ main expertise is computers, having founded Apple, got booted out, then taking it over again – always being a formidable competitor to Microsoft. He has an uncanny talent of intuitively getting the pulse of consumers, and not knowing much about music but absolutely sure the public will love it, he came up with the now iconic iPod – and sound tripping has never been the same again.

He knows squat about making films but saw the incredible potential of computer graphic animation, so his work with John Lasetter and the Pixar creative team gave us such groundbreaking films like Up

and the Toy Story trilogy, redefined the genre and conquered the Oscars.

Not to mention Cars

Jobs continues to surprise us, like with the new iMac with its own browser, Safari.

Then there’s then e-book friendly iPad, which paved the way for cutting edge copycats like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the new Motorola Xoom and Blackberry Playbook.

People are the greatest resource. Efren Peñaflorida came from Cavite while Francis Papica is from Bicol but they both share the same goal – the upliftment of today’s youth by providing them with the education and skills they need to become productive members of society. They both, in other words full of cheese, believe the children are the future.

Our dynamic duo, though not partners, established non-profit NGOs to give a helping hand to deserving students and push their literacy advocacy. Efren’s The Dynamic Teen Company propelled him into the international spotlight as the CNN Hero of the Year for 2009.

Meanwhile, the Francis Padua Papica Foundation has just recently celebrated its 14th year by distributing books to public schools in Cam Sur, joined no less by one of its major, major scholars, 2010 Miss Universe 4th Runner-Up Venus Raj.

You can succeed only with commitment. John Gabriel Pelias knows that a quality education is the magic carpet that will fly him to a better life. He studied hard, even during vacations, and he graduated valedictorian at the National College of Business and Arts.

John believes that poverty is not an excuse to stop following your passion and reaching for your dream. Just last March, John graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mathematics from the University of the Philippines, and made history with the school’s highest weighted average – 1.016 – in the last half century.

In contrast to our stories, why are there a lot of people who can’t seem to get what they want, as if there’s some force field that actively blocks their efforts? Apparently it’s because they don’t know how to go about it. “The reason you don’t know is that you don’t know what to look for –or how to ask for it,” according to Tony Robbins. “If you ask for almost anything in the world in the right way, with enough conviction and commitment, you’ll get it.”

See more Tony Robbins video in Huggybear’s Virtual Life Coach

Artists of The Week


2Rivers would like to thank the following for our photos:

Ken Okazaki http://kenokazaki.com/tag/anthony-robbins/

inspirational stuff http://inspirationalstuff.wordpress.com/

LadyClip http://www.ladyclip.com/videos/search/Bintana
Statement on the Closure of the “Kulo” Exhibit at the CCP

From: the Dept. of Art Studies, University of the Philippines, Diliman,13 August 2011

No to Closure, No to Censorship!

We, faculty members of the Department of Art Studies, University of the Philippines in Diliman, urge the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to reopen the exhibition “Kulo” featuring 32 works from artists who contributed to the curatorial concept of revolutionary ferment in contemporary Philippine society as inspired by Dr. Jose Rizal’s life and ideals.

While there are contending interpretations of an image presented by art, the ethical course of action is to process the contentions and that is what art ensures: a process of communicative action. The closure of an exhibition only achieved the closure of democratic, informed and thoughtful engagement.

While freedom of expression and artistic license are not absolute and must be guided with reflexivity, accountability and responsibility on the part of makers of art, the freedom is fundamental, and inalienable. The work in question is art, and while it is a site of struggle over meanings and definitions, it is protected as expression in a free society. It may violate and offend community and common standards of morality, but it would be more productive for us to bring the discussion in a well-informed manner, to study and discuss our own responses and in the process, gain new knowledge and insights, and hone our visual competencies and literacy. Why for instance do images have the power to offend and provoke an excess of emotion and action?

Now, without the artworks to look at and experience in actuality, and without benefit of proper framing and venue, such informed and engaged discussions cannot take place and so many important ideas are consequently repressed.

We sadly observe that the issue has been reduced to the level of polemics, grandstanding and shouting matches over the more vital meaning of art and what role artists play in contemporary times.

The CCP should protect its mandate, reclaim and maintain its autonomy. It must take the lead, not only in guarding artistic freedom but also in ensuring a safe haven where artists as public intellectuals have the freedom to exhibit. We educators will rally behind a cultural institution that will provide the venue and platform for artists, educators, policymakers, students of art and the “public” – by no means homogenous – to come together and raise and address issues in an atmosphere conducive to forming a community of critical audiences of art.

Re-open the exhibition!

Defend the freedom of expression!
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