Saturday, October 29, 2005


Work and family circumstances asked me to walk around Manila City…

The other day it was terribly hot…

Perspiration---tired--- ate a lot of my strength…

Yesterday it was raining, the streets didn’t smell so good…

The rain eventually stopped but it was still humid…

It was rush hour when TQ and I decided to go home already. LRT 1 and 2 were filled with so many people…

I don’t think I’ve ever walked in Metro Manila that much, my legs were hurting…

But it couldn’t be compared to the hurt and pain --- to the sadness I felt with the sight of social injustice in the streets of Manila…

Simple reminder to continue the mission I believe God has called me to do (admittedly, it hasn’t been easy)…

Inviting you to heed, as well, whatever God is calling you to do…

Or if you are already, wherever you are, whatever you are doing ---

Let us pray for one another.

Last Thursday, this view made my day. I love watching the Rain!
(sight near CIS in Ateneo de Manila)
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Monday, October 17, 2005


October 13
In the middle of our discussion on the development of the research we are doing

Fr. Albert: Sana naman masaya ka pa?
Me: Actually Father, medyo hindi. Hindi na po Father.
Fr.Albert: (laughs) Ano? Ah kasi nangangapa ka pa?
Me: Well, yeah Father. But not just that, also because of everything that
I’m learning and re-learning from all my readings. They remind me
of the pervasiveness of corruption, of how evil people can get, especially here in our country.. Pero opo, generally because I’m really crawling my way here in this research.

October 15
Over lunch, after I have complained that I’m going crazy over reading so much about the lay and temporal/secular affairs, etc..

Kuya/Bro.Gil: (teasing) Are you happy with your work?
Me: Grr.. Actually, hindi. Ewan, nabubuang na ako. What did I get myself
into?! It’s like I’m doing my MA thesis already but I skipped going to
class and taking comps!

Today! Lunch at LST canteen

Me: (pointing to pork peccadillo) Ate, Ito na lang po.
Ate Cora: Pagsama ko na lang sila ha (pointing to the plate of rice)
Me: Ay opo. (still looking at the line of food)
Ate Cora: (talking to kitchen staff) Ay di mo pa inilabas yung turon. Ilabas natin.
Me: Sige ate, gusto ko na lang din magturon para naman masaya.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Saying Goodbye,Coming Home and Staying

It’s been toxic the last couple of weeks. I ended my short stint in a corporate foundation, started a new research job, attended the diamond celebration/concert of the LHS, did final preparations to finally pull off the benefit concert I organized along with my 3 other JVPs assigned in Bendum, Bukidnon, and traveled, researched and did some videography work in a Poblacion in Mt. Province for the video I’m doing on anti-corruption. All that in less than 10 days! It was crazy!

PhilamFoundation – September30 was my last official day (although I did visit last October 3 for transition purposes). It was my shortest stint, but it was sweet. And I’d like to believe fruitful. I will surely miss the camaraderie I shared with the people in my office. I found great friends in Atty Carla, Sir Andy, Tolits, Ms. Jane, Ms. Nora, Atty Ace, Sir Ariel, Ms. Diane, Ms.Sheila, Thryza, Dino, Denise and Sir Max.

Rebirth of the Fight Against Corruption – I admit to being an EheM(Deepening Involvement in Combating Corruption) prodigal daughter (marami akong utang na pagkilos in short). Considering I was part of the first batch who attended the seminar, I owe a lot to this cause. My biggest contribution was in November 2003 through a Voter’s Ed module I gave and designed for the JVPs of Batch24, which I hope they were able disseminate to their areas. My last attempt to help out was designing a tarp I don’t even want to claim I did (hehehe. Errol my photoshop guru will disown me if he sees it. So I will simply pass the blame to Ryan for printing it, he should have been more demanding on the design,hehehe). And so I’m paying my debt, big time! By doing a research which stemmed from the seminars and helping out in the video on anti-corruption.

When Fr. Alejo, SJ told me I could start by October on a research project on “Spirituality of Integrity” he was serious about starting in October. My first day of work – October 1, Saturday. (“,) Well work had to start since he was in Manila and we badly needed to begin our work. Not only because there is a deadline to meet, more because the articulation of the dimensions of a dynamic spirituality of integrity as lived by those who fight corruption in the public and private sectors as well as those who have consistently been good public servants is already badly needed.

For now I can share 3 major reasons for the sense of urgency – 1. These people who have been honest, competent and good in their work should be reminded that there is hope for the country they have been so devotedly working for. There is a need to make sure their spirit to genuinely serve remains (especially those actively participating in the fight for good governance); 2. There is a need for concrete examples of sincere servant leaders to serve as models and inspiration to all the Filipinos especially to the youth who have long been clamoring for honest and people-centered governance; and 3.Anti-corruption initiatives in the country can only fully prosper if we also take into account some of the other limits and challenges of such works. We need to respond to the lack of connection of the political and economic reforms to the sphere of spirituality that looks at the basic integrity and morality of every individual as a member of the political and economic systems.

I know it’s a long shot. To a certain extent, the number of “Good Lucks” I’ve heard from my friends, including the Religious and the government employees, has added to my nervousness. My secret response, as cliché as it may sound, “If not now – When?” Let the sense of being challenged overcome me rather than the sense of fear and hopelessness.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (Oct3-5) – the sight of books for review of related literature was overwhelming. At first, it got me excited to find books that are related to the study until I realized all of those books have to be read. I remember almost feeling dizzy at the sight of 16 books that the Carmelite Research Institute prepared for me when I visited their office. It is both amazing and humbling to have so much information at hand. Some I already knew while most were new information that reminded me that I only know so little about the research paper I am trying to write. Furthermore, it reminded me that additional knowledge meant additional responsibility to respond to whatever this new learning is calling me to do.

VIDEO - One of the feature stories in the video is the battle of a group of farmers in Paracelis, Mt. Province. The main story is that the farmers are appealing their dismissed case on the irrigation facilities that the National Irrigation Authority built to supposedly serve more than 9 hectares of farm land. The project was to provide water system for a group of farmers to allow them to plant rice instead of corn (as rice can increase their earnings). Actually the story is a bit long and legally it has become really complicated. But the point has become very simple for the farmers – 1. The irrigation is not working since it was built with so many defects. Over the past 2 years alone, a number of typhoons caused soil erosions and have severely damaged some of the irrigation canals; 2.Since the irrigation system was built as a loan. The farmers now have a debt of Php5Million which they have no way of paying since the irrigation is not working in the first place; 3. The dismissal of the case without an ocular inspection has made some of them lose their trust in our justice system.
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bit guilty with this pic, I shouldn't be smiling really because below me is the irrigation i'm talking about

Actually, the irrigation system is just one of the many problems in that Poblacion. Their educational facilities are questionable and the roads are shouting cases of corruption.

It was raining when I got to Paracelis and I was stranded overnight as the heavy rains caused flood in the spillway that would lead me to the church where my other teammates were already staying. The students who lived in the upper part of the baranggay were also stranded. The bridge (which is only about 200 meters long), according to the sign, started construction in June 2004 and was supposed to have been finished in December 2004.

Staying On for M
y kids – In June 2005, when we were planning the benefit concert for the school we taught in Bukidnon I was still just bumming around. So it was easy for me to handle most of the preparations. It was a breather for me to be doing something much more important than just playing computer games. But as I started my work with Philam and with the SJ Phil. Province the preparations seemed like a burden.

As the concert date got closer, the four of us (Kuya Gil, Ate Maita, PJ and I) became busier as well. It was crazy! 2 days before the concert, Kuya teased that hopefully after the concert we would all still be friends.
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all smiles after the concert! Te Maita, PJ, me and Kuya Gil with singer Noel Cabangon

October 5 – all preparations were so worth it. At the end of the day, the importance of an inculturated education, most especially for our students in Bendum, Bukidnon, drove us to pursue the concert. After much work, and little arguments on the side, we finally pulled it off. Admittedly most of those who came were our friends (Jesuit Volunteers, Jesuits and ESSC people – very few walk ins) but we met our 2 main objectives: 1. to introduce/re-introduce the importance of an inculturated education by showing the video on the school that was made 2 years ago and 2. to raise funds to help out the school. The four of us are still great friends and we raised more than what was spent for the concert, so no one can argue with me when I say – “It was a success!”

On the Side – I still managed to have some fun despite the busy schedule. Last October 1, we made a slave out of Kuya Gil as we celebrated with him and our other Jesuit friends the 40th anniversary of Loyola House Studies. A lot of laughs were shared that night as we even tried to cheer for “MORE funding” from Fr.Provincial after he sang a few songs. The night was also a chance for me to bond, a little, with my JVP batchmates TQ, Nikki, Jen and Marlon.

Speaking of fun/funny things. . . If this sign is telling the truth, when I go back to Paracelis I will never pass by this road. (di kaya ang daan na ito ay bahagi ng 7,107 islands na pag high tide nawawala?)

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Back to my books, clippings and photocopies on Corruption, Spirituality and Integrity. I’ve never read so much reference since my college thesis in 2001 - - So I take a break once in a while or else I’ll puke.