Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Calendar Girl

Lumampas ka na sa kalendaryo. ["Your age is past the number of days in a month."]

I am past that age where I can still squeeze in and look pretty in a wedding gown anyway. It really doesn't matter. As one of my bosses put it, as we age, we ought to be thankful for meaningful relationships. Friendships, for one. Family is another. Faith - and a relationship with the Higher Being - completes the triad that remains constant in our lives.

At 32, what happens next?

I like to believe that I have begun to accept that perhaps I ought to prepare myself for a lifetime without marriage or children - no matter how badly I want one. Perhaps too, I will cease to take myself too seriously. I find myself pausing to pray and praise Him for the wonders that still come my way.

At 32, I am finally home. At 32, it feels like this old girl is catching up on everything beautiful that she missed along the bumpy way. At 32, to borrow Browning, the best is yet to be!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Altering the Balance of Power

Last night, I was able to convince some friends - ABS-CBN's Leonel Velarde and Add Up! Volunteers' Froilan Grate, Cris Espera and Cesyl Alonso - to attend a Leadership Forum hosted by the Ayala Young Leaders Program at the Philippine Conference Hall, Asian Institute of Management in Makati, featuring the so-called Caravan of Good Governance - pockets of hope for Philippine politics. Thanks to NiƱa Terol of Team RP and Ralph Morales of the Ayala Foundation.

The Forum kicked off with Bill Luz of the Makati Business Club urging us that if we want a better country, we must imagine, envision and make it happen. Kaya Natin!'s Harvey Keh followed underscoring that the five local executives who will be speaking at the Forum are "servant leaders with a heart for change."

Gov. Ed Panlilio of Pampanga spoke first. He spoke about the twenty-six (26) and a half years 26 and a half years that he spent in the pastoral ministry and how the 2007 elections apparently coincided with the regular diocesan movements. He was being assigned to another parish and people were petitioning the Archbishop to allow Fr. Ed to stay. The "pricked pride" of the Kapampangans got in the way and he emerged as Pampanga's alternative candidate - hopefully to put an end to Pampana's twelve (12) years under the Lapids who, according to Fr. Ed, were "perceived to be very corrupt"). Fr. Ed quipped that some voters noted that the choice between Lapid and Pineda is a choice between a quarry lord and a jueteng lord. They preferred a candidate who is "Praise the Lord."

With Fr. Ed likewise spoke of two platforms that his administration has undertaken: fight corruption and illegal gambling. With jueteng, he said that Pampanga is now using the bibingka (rice cake) approach - apoy sa baba (fire below) by engendering a culture of savings and industry and apoy sa taas (fire above) through the commencement of various criminal indictments against the proponents of jueteng. The approach harks back to how rice cakes are commonly prepared in the provinces.

Ifugao's Gov. Teddy Baguilat said he dreamt of an Ifugao ruled by Ifugaos and so he went back to his home province to serve. He related the difficulty of having cultural preservation as centerpiece of governance. Mayor Sonia Lorenzo also gave an exemplar of how local governments can make a difference.

Gov. Grace Padaca of Isabela urged that we elect only the right people to lead us. She also asked us to understand that leaders "who give people hope, also needs to be encouraged" and cited the recall predicament being faced by Fr. Ed in Pampanga.

Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, the most experienced of the lot noted that he is on his sixth (6th) and final term as City mayor. After almost seventeen (17) years, he observed that we can elect good leaders but "good governance is difficult and is only possible if the people wills it." With a wry smile, he said that often, we think that all we need to do is to "elect the good guys and let them do all the work." Instead, he hopes that my generation will live a new paradigm where "we elect the good guys and make them better."

The Caravan of Good Governance will visit the country's premier State University - UP-Diliman - on September 23, 2008.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Despair's Been Beaten

No one would love me if they knew all the things I hide. - Love Alone by Caedmon's Call

Thank You. Today is a new start for this old girl. Beginnings. Thank You for the acceptance and for the second chance to make things right.