A Foretaste of the Absolute

14 06 2008

by Lester C. Yee (Ateneo de Manila University)

This paper was written as a synthesis to the course Philosophy of the Human Person I & II under Dr. Manuel Dy, Jr. This paper expresses the belief that God exists, and human actions try to approximate this experience of God (who philosophy names as the Absolute). This paper received an A under Dr. Dy.

The root of the absurdity of existence as claimed by Jean-Paul Sartre is the supposed absence of an Absolute beyond fellowman. This Absolute is longed for as it can guarantee human fulfillment, thus giving meaning to life. This Absolute is not only a product of frustrated human desires, but this Absolute does not exist empirically, as a chair or a table does. As “exist” is human existence, and human existence is relatedness, the dialectic bond between I and the other in relation to the I, the question asked of me is “How real the Absolute is to me?” I believe that as embodied spirits, human beings are free to express an approximation of the Absolute in each and every finite action.

As an embodied spirit, my body opens me up to a world. Because of my body, I am a being-in-the-world-with-others, characterized by facticity-transcendence. As a human being, I begin my existence as an ego having freedom. This is my facticity. But I am free to transcend my egoism and thus, grow to being a person. This movement towards being a person is directed by the fundamental option (vertical freedom) of love (as opposed to egoism) and every choice we freely make constitutes our stepping stones towards this goal of being a person, and as a result, we have a foretaste of the Absolute.

As an embodied spirit, I can let others experience joy and goodness through my actions and words which embody the appeal of myself. Also, as an embodied spirit and as sociality, I can experience joy and goodness through others’ actions which embody the appeal of themselves. However, these are not permanent. They demand to be so but time takes these away from me because I am temporality. All that I experience is this foretaste of the Absolute and all that is left are the memories which serve as the irreflechi which nourish my reflections.

The insights of me as an embodied subjectivity, temporality and sociality can be seen in the notion of work, as an embodiment of love and as one approximation of the Absolute. As homo faber, I share in the creative power of the Absolute. In fact, I am able to wrest a surplus from nature every time I work. This work of mine becomes a part of culture as my activity aims at myself to express myself, to embody my spirituality and my love, and to communicate myself. Moreover, the result is a sign which not only speaks of my existence but also points to the Absolute. This foretaste of mine of the Absolute is expressed through the product which shares both myself and my experience of this Absolute to the entire community.

Another finite action that better approximates the Absolute is love. Although my love for finite thou’s is never satisfactory because I can disappoint or be disappointed, I can hurt or be hurt, I can misunderstand another or be misunderstood. But the power of being able to forgive those who have hurt me and to begin all over again, to be ready to commit to marriage and family life despite of all its possible shortcomings, to bond together with people (I might not even know) through civil society and fight for justice shows the power of love and thus approaches the unconditionality of the love of the Absolute which can ultimately fulfill all human longing. Moreover, this manifests my belief in the Absolute who will fulfill all these commitments.

As I move towards being a person, I realize that all my actions are only asymptomatic to the Absolute. Furthermore, I realize that I will only be fully human in death. My death is certain and in this indefinite certainty, I realize two things. First, I am liberated to move towards the person I want to be. I am called to live each day as if it were the last day of my life. Secondly, death is my test of love, my final option. My response to it reveals my limitation to the flesh or my leap to the beyond. My response reveals the depth of my faith in the Absolute whose love I have experienced in foretastes while alive. As Kierkegaard says, faith is a paradox, a “leap into the dark”. In this case, death is my final test of whether I will take the leap, of whether I trust that in this total darkness, there really is the Absolute who I love and who loves me, or if I will allow this total darkness to engulf me in my egoism. Thus, death is my final option.

As a being on the way to that fulfillment, hope keeps me human. Faith allows me to experience the present commitment in love as a foretaste of the Absolute, embodied in human actions, rehearsals for the final option. Moreover, faith is seeing this present commitment in love as bearing a fulfillment in the Absolute. Being lumen naturale (which every human person as subjectivity, as existent is), my actions can only reveal a small bit of the Absolute and I can only grasp from the actions of others, a small bit of the Absolute.

For human others are “ciphers” in which the mystery of the Absolute is written, but it is in the finite actions and words of human beings that the Absolute is continually revealed in the history of human person. And to choose to become human is to participate in the never-ending revelation of the Absolute’s love that embraces all humanity unconditionally.


Blue Acryclic

12 05 2008

batangas state universityby Paolo Gan (Batangas State University)

(Blue Acrylic is my article published in the AY 2007-2008 issue of The LATHE Literary Folio. The said folio won fourth place-best literary content in the 7th Luzonwide Higher Education Press Conference held at Tuguegarao City, Cagayan Valley, Feb. 7-9. The folio was themed AWAKE: Blankies, coffee mugs, pixies.)

“Follow the path. Everything will favor you. It is written,” the palm reader said, seriously looking at me.

“What path? I don’t get it.”

“The path is within you. I have no right to tell you. It is you who should search for it. Now go and search!”

“Can I ask one more thing before I go?”


“My greatest fear is failure. I haven’t experienced yet. At the end of my journey, will I fail?”

Theresa, the palm reader, gave me a fake smile and told that there’s no such thing as failure, “only man decides whether he really failed or not.”

It was mid-December, five days before the celebration of Christ’s birth, cold and windswept. I was actually in the state of bewilderment. All those things the palm reader had told me five years ago still resound in my head. Sleepless nights in search of something I really don’t know had brought me to distress at times.

It is my fifth year here in Barcelona. I work almost 24/7. No, not really, that was an exaggeration. I sleep an average of four hours a day to be more accurate. During daytime, I work as an accountant in one of Barcelona’s prime colleges; at nighttime, I work as a part-time bartender and part-time artist. After my 10 pm to 4 am shift as a bartender, I immediately go to my place, get my canvass, a variety of paintbrushes and acrylics and start painting. I have more than a hundred of artworks already kept in my house. No one except me had seen those masterpieces. It would definitely be hard for others to understand my art. I start sleeping the moment the sun says hello.

30 June 1983

8:55 pm

When I grow up, I want to be a doctor and treat those people in need of proper medication. I hate seeing people die and left unloved. I want happiness. I want to be loved. I want friends. I want everything that my sight could reach. Thanks to God, mom and dad gave me everything.

I have a friend named Clara. We were seatmates in school. I was the one who taught her how to spell “Mississippi.” We were actually best of friends. Whenever she had buttered bread, she gave it to me in exchange for a chicken sandwich. Butter bread is one of my favorites. I just wonder why yaya doesn’t buy it. Or maybe it was mom who doesn’t like it.

Actually, I hate yaya; I know she doesn’t like me either. Well, there’s nothing that I can do. She was asked by my mom to follow me wherever I go. Even when I pee, she’s there, staring blankly at my tidbit. She’s just but an absurd, crazy child caretaker.

Huh? It’s getting late. Before I sleep, I would like to thank God for keeping me and my family safe as always. After today, all the things that happened will remain in the past. There is nothing to worry about tomorrow. Hope it’ll rain.

Christian Arthur

Grade II – St. James

I was raised in one of the provinces in Luzon. I belong to a well-known family of professionals and politicians. My dad is a lawyer while my mom is a doctor. I’m the youngest among the six siblings. Two of my brothers are both engineers, the other two are lawyers and my only sister is a doctor. I was really eager to pursue a degree in medicine then but I realized that it would eat much of my time and patience. I decided to become an accountant since my favorite subject since childhood is Math. My family became sad with my decision. Though very disappointed, they still supported me. I finished Magna Cum Laude and topped the CPA board exams.

After college, I took Doctor of Jurisprudence at the San Beda College of Law. It was on my last year when I decided to stop. With that stupid decision, still my family was there to support me. Until now, I’m still looking forward to become a lawyer. I’m still young.

My first and only job in the Philippines before I left was as a lecturer at the Ateneo de Manila University. I taught there for three memorable years.

28 November 1991

4:55 pm

(This is an excerpt from my article: “What About Love,” published in The Journal, the official publication of our high school. The copies of The Journal were circulated to the pupils this morning. ‘Hope Abegail has already a copy. It was actually written for her.)

Love is a never-ending search for peace and contentment. It is something that completes everything. I mean everything. You may be happy at a moment, happier the following day and be the happiest person of a certain day. Apparently, you may also be the loneliest person for the rest of your life.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not selfish; it does not boast. It is giving whatever you have ‘til you find out one day that everything you own is all gone: family, wealth, friends, and yourself. It is giving your world to the person you love, sharing it in a specific span of space and time called “moment.”

Love is taking risks. You can never find it unless you try searching for it. Love will never find you unless you open your heart completely.

Christian Arthur

IV – Integrity

I had innumerable girlfriends. I had short-time and long-time relationships. I lost my virginity back in college. I had different partners. I was a spoiled brat when I was a child. Girls seemed to be a commodity; I can get them whenever I want.

Then what about love?

I can easily share insights about it. Ask me things and you can have me 24 hours talking about it, either way. Love is simply giving and receiving love. In a relationship, there would always be someone who will love more than the other. In my case, I was always at the receiving end. I can easily make promises without any intentions of keeping them.

Despite my knowledge on what love really is – I have never found true love.

I decided to leave the country and work in Barcelona. During my five-year stay here, I have never been back to the Philippines, even for a vacation. I just call my family and friends every holiday season. I was supposed to fly back last year when I found out that my dad died because of cardiac arrest. I decided not to. Before I left, I had a meaningful conversation with him. I practically gave him my reasons and without hesitating, he allowed me.

“Tread your way, it’s your life. I am just your father. Your own decision is the best decision you could have. Never ever lose hope. I believe in you so much, son. Find yourself. Promise me – never go back, not ‘til you’re done.”

I know that wherever he is right now, he is very proud of me. Five years is too long to search for something you actually didn’t know exactly. But this time, I am sure, very sure, that I am getting nearer to what I have been searching for.

The result of the doctor’s analysis was already released. I have lung cancer. Nicotine overdose, primarily. The doctor kept telling me that Barcelona has good hospitals and doctors that may help sustain my life. The doctor said that the cancer cells spread fast. No room for another life, only for an extension.

Friends advised me to ask for second, third opinion from other doctors. I did not. I believe that if this was meant to happen, there’s nothing more I can do. I had a good life. I just have to seize every single moment that I’m awake.

I shall go back to the Philippines.

Honestly, it’s really hard to face death. I won’t lie and say that I’m not afraid. I thought that I was ready to die. I am afraid more than anything else. Lots float in my head, things that I still want to do, people that I want to be with and broken promises that I want to mend.

For sure, I’ll miss being alive. Above all else, I’ll miss painting this world blue. Blue is the color of the sky. Blue signifies peace, security, calmness. I am blue. I have a serene spirit, yet, I’m alone.

30 December 2002

9:54 pm

I’m not yet ready. But I have to prepare myself.

A month ago, I had an affair with Theresa. I was fascinated by her charm. I liked the feel of her hand in mine. I was inlove.

We kissed each other passionately, tenderly. It was her first time. Right there I vowed that I will make her happy. Someone told me this morning that Theresa was searching for me. That she has something very important to tell, that our love bore a fruit.

As much as I wanted to, I am not prepared. I’m not yet ready to have a family.

It would be easy to support them financially. Time will come and I’ll learn how to love and accept them completely. I know it’s hard to decide on matters as such. But I have to be firm. I will leave the country not to hide from them, not to be irresponsible. I would ask mom to give them everything they need. I just have to search for myself. I must as soon as possible.

Forgive me Theresa, for being a coward.

Forgive me, my unborn child.

I just have to prepare myself. This will not take too long. I’ll change for the better.

Christian Arthur

I’m leaving in three days. Sleeping for five years seemed monotonous. I have awakened now.

Tonight’s my last gig at the bar. I’ll miss the drinks. I’ll miss my buddies. I’ll miss the gigs. I’ll miss those sleepless nights.

At the crack of dawn, I’ll be painting my last masterpiece.

5 November 2007

4:25 am

I remember the first time I went to a bar in Malate, Philippines. There were bartenders juggling bottles and glasses. I used to watch them. I was inspired to do my act. Eventually, I became a bartender.

They were really good. I learned from them the different tricks and all those stuffs of bartending. 10 pm to 4 am shift. This is rude. I’m not really exhausted. The problem is I can’t sleep.

Painting is a hobby. When I was four, mom enrolled me in a summer art school.

Yes, I remember, I still have a blue acrylic and a canvass in my room. It was a birthday gift from a friend. I might as well try painting now. I’ll try painting myself like I used to. Maybe my art will finally reflect who I am.

When I was in high school, my Art professor told us to paint ourselves – just a plain canvass and an acrylic of your choice. The point was to see if our art imitated our lives.

Do I still know myself?

I’m about to celebrate my fifth anniversary here in Barcelona. I might as well paint.

Christian Arthur

I remember Theresa telling me to find the path that is within me. Now I know. I spent five years searching for something that I already have. She’s right, it’s within me. The search was actually pointless.

She wanted me to be happy just as much as I wanted her to be happy.

I am flying back to the Philippines days from now. Maybe my art will imitate my life, finally, after five years. I hope she takes me back. I hope I can give her and our son the same thing that I have so wanted from the start: happiness.

Surviving Creatively in this Dynamic Earth

12 04 2008

feuby Weber Amores (Far Eastern University)

This is my winning speech in UP which made me represent the Philippines in London, for the internationals of the English Speaking Union. I got to deliver it in five minutes as required and was able to defend it in two minutes, because in the ESU mechanics, after delivering a speech, you must defend it in two minutes. Defend in a sense why your piece has to be the winning idea.

I’m twenty years old and in two years time I will become an Architect. One who dreams to be a National Artist or the next Pritzker Prize Awardee, the highest international award an Architect could ever get in his lifetime.

But my ambitions face various challenges in today’s dynamic Earth. The task of urban planning and architecture has transcended aesthetics, utility, and tenacity. A good architect today is a dedicated environmentalist as well.

The world’s dynamism is not only manifested in the globalization of capital, culture, politics, and humans. Climate changes have recorded unprecedented damages to man. The tsunamis in South Asia, hurricane Katrina, strong earthquakes in Iran and Japan, widening hole of ozone layer, and newfound strains of viruses like bird flu and SARS are but just few examples of Mother Nature’s wrath.

As an architect, I’d like to contribute to healing the wounds of Mother Earth. It is my responsibility to make sure that whatever skyscraper, house, or structure that grows on Earth will manifest environmental preservation, conservation, and respect.

I shall reuse recyclable and environment-friendly materials in development and construction I shall advocate the use of solar panels as part of house roofs to maximize the use of the sun’s energy. I shall use operational and conservatory systems or designs that will aid passive cooling especially in suburban and rural areas to lessen humidity. If Baltimore has glassphaltz or roads made of a mixture of pounded glass bottles, I will promote ceiling panels made of mixed aluminum foil and other recyclable materials. We can emulate Japan’s use of titanium oxide to coat the paint of buildings, which have saved millions of dollars because instead of repainting, the titanium oxide cleans naturally through ultraviolet rays thus making the paint glow anew. Urban planning needs to encourage pedestrianism where demand for vehicles and gas is substituted by walking or cycling. Urban planning must require planting of trees and greeneries to provide not just a relaxing ambiance but a contribution to saving what is left on Earth and what’s already there. We call that Green Architecture.

Ladies and gentlemen, I know that leaving the comfort zones of our luxurious lifestyle is not easy. The rich can say, “Why should I be economical when I have the capacity to spend millions and billions?” The point is not the amount of money to spend, but what to spend for especially that the Earth’s state is now alarming. Like Howard Roark in Ayn Rand’s the fountainhead, I am sure I will have a hard time encouraging my clients to believe in my environmental cum architectural philosophy but I am willing to take the risk because what is at stake is the very foundation of why we have a place to build our houses and families-Mother Earth. We only have one option left: We need to be dynamic in the way we think and feel about Earth. Because a dynamic Earth known for its capacity to self-heal and provide resources can only be attained through a dynamic mindset.


Click the link below to see ESU Philippines’ website:

To Speak English, Maybe in London by Alfred Yuson (Philippine STAR)


Thanks Weber for your contribution. Continue to inspire people, and continue to fulfill your dream in healing the wounds of mother earth!!! Great post.

Philippine Political Society

12 04 2008

lester yee by Lester C. Yee (Ateneo de Manila)

This paper entitled “Philippine Political Society” was written for the course Ph102 (Philosophy of the Human Person 2) under Dr. Manuel B. Dy, Jr., under the topic of Social Philosophy. This paper was written as an application to the Philippine context of the lecture given by Fr. Pieere de Charantenay SJ entitled “A Search for Public Ethics” and of Paul Ricoeur’s view on politics and the state. This paper received an “A” mark. Read on.

Introduction: The Philippines as a Confused Modern Society

“There are three versions of the truth: Jun Lozada’s version, Malacañang’s version and the real truth.”

-Usec. Lorelei Fajardo, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson

“…Then there must be a dozen lies.”

-reply by a panelist to the first statement in Talkback with Tina Palma

Dr. Honey Carandang, noted psychologist, speaks about truth-telling as a way of healing the nation. She notes that the Filipino nation is traumatized and retraumatized because lying has become a way of living for many. Society has become an effective tool for misleading the truth.

Imagine how much time and funds would have been saved if Malacañang cancelled the deal the night Mrs. Arroyo found it to be flawed, or when Malacañang admitted its role in the botched deal. These funds (e.g. committee hearing electricity) could have been diverted to other more urgent needs and the time spent on the hearings could have been used to pass the Cheaper Medicines Bill. In effect, all this confusion brought about by the dozen lies of Malacañang (e.g. conflicting statements of Secs. Bunye, Mendoza, Ermita and GMA) has directly and indirectly affected most the poorest sectors of society.

Symptoms of the sickness of the Filipino nation brought about by the viral infection of lying include cynicism and indifference even among the youth, which usually is the hotbed of activism. Thus, the social cancer of lying needs to be healed to prevent the outbreak of confusion that only tends to hurt everyone.


Mere Reflections of What’s Within

“For the confusions around are mere reflections of what’s within, what’s within me.”

-One More Gift, Catholic Worship Song

Since we are embodied spirits, all our actions occur in space-time and thus become public in a way. The confusion existing in a person’s value system is thus projected to the public sphere by means of decisions or choices. Fr. De Charentenay’s example is when corruption and refusal to pay taxes, private vices, are accepted as normal and standard operating procedure. In fact, the admission of Jun Lozada of 20% being the normal range of kickbacks that a moderately greedy Benjamin Abalos should accept is very disturbing. This shows how corruption is deeply ingrained in our system.

A political order for free people cannot be built on mental confusion, lies and corruption. As Fr. De Charentenay writes, “the first requirement in the construction of democracy is to call things by their name.” Moreover, this implies that the call for moral revolution must start within each and everyone. However, this goodness brought about by the individual moral revolution must transcend the private person. This is because individual values have a way of making one blind to issues of general interest. This moral revolution must enable the person to see farther, dream bigger not only for oneself but for everyone.

“…For to accept that the other remains wounded and losing his/her humanity is also to renounce one’s own humanity…”

-Fr. Pierre de Charentenay, S.J.


People Power

“People power is much more than a political tool, it is an ideology… People power is the collective effort of individuals and communities to take control of their lives… now it is time to make people power work for the Filipino economically and morally, by using it to create a dynamic, progressive, caring and compassionate society, the kind our people, especially the youth, would be proud to be part of…”

-Corazon Cojuangco Aquino

Yung mundo pinagdiriwang ang Edsa 1. Yung mundo pinayagan ang Edsa 2. Yung mundo hindi patatawaran ang Edsa 3.”

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Democracy, as Fr. De Charentenay writes, is the expression of general will of a people. It is the bringing to life of the Filipino dream for a better life (in all aspects). For the common Filipino, it is to have three meals a day, land to build a decent place to live in, adequate healthcare and other private needs. However, as a general expression, people power comes with the realization that a person needs to go beyond one’s private sphere, to leave one’s comfort zone, to join Filipino brothers and sisters to fight for a greater good from which the private benefits are expected to follow, that is to fight for good governance from which the welfare of the individual Filipino will hopefully follow. It is then the prioritization of the common good over the individual wants and desires that gives people power its distinct touch that can usher change. This is what happened in EDSA 1 (and to an extent EDSA 2), the expression of common disgust over the dictatorship (and corruption) and the courage to stand for the common good.

But this unity manifested especially by the First EDSA presupposes the clarification of all the confusion. This involves calling corruption evil and not personal initiative or standard operating procedure. Moreover, this involves a united front having both wisdom and the courage to openly and vocally dispel the lies spread by the Marcos government. However, these conditions are not totally present in today’s context. Large cracks are evident in the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines as different prelates with differing calls only serve to further confuse the Philippine Church. Different politicians looked upon as leaders and representatives of the Filipino populace voice their opinions not in the context of the common good but only in the context of their individual desires (e.g. staying in power, money from Malacañang, etc.).

Democracy needs an elite, a pool of competent and well trained people to manage the whole machinery of government, private sector and even the Church. These elite should be the models of behavior for all to follow.



“Leadership is about giving our all, selflessly that others may live.”

-Corazon Cojuangco Aquino

“Servant-leadership is at its heart caring enough for one other person of for a group of persons deeply enough that you help them become who they are, stand on their own and be capable of taking hold of their own future and destiny.”

-Simon Mossessgeld, Congress Director, Ayala Young Leaders Congress

The elite that our democracy currently needs are those leaders caring enough for the Filipino people that they devote their entire lives to help the Filipino people become who they are, the Filipino nation to stand on its own, and be capable of taking hold of its own future. Two people power movements have occurred to express public outrage but here we are again, facing an even worse problem, the lack of the orientation to serve while enjoying the power leadership brings.

Jesuit historian Jose Arcilla notes that the local culture of leadership hindered the development of the native clergy. In the tribal society, the datu assumes the role of leader so as to have workers till his lands, men to pay him tributes and tribesmen to fight his wars. People in turn serve the datu because they do not want to be enslaved by the rival tribes or to have their entire properties plundered by other men. Thus, both sides have selfish motivations in leading and in serving, which stunted the development of the local clergy as the type of leadership assumed by the priest is that of servant-leadership.

The development of the nation is also stunted because of this lack of servant-leadership in the hearts of most of our leaders. The leaders of this government use their leadership powers to enrich themselves and their families, and to tighten their grip on power. This may be attributed to the lack of public ethics. The strength of (Philippine) democracy then can be put into question as only the values of self and convenience are shared by the leaders. The religion of mediation and true Christianity have been banished and all those who advocate for its return have been silenced with the gun or with donations from Malacañang. The only courage this regime still has is immoral courage, that is, the strength of character to stay in power.

Thus, the nation calls for servant-leaders who are aware of the realities and conditions of the community where they live, who have a vision to where the community should go to and how it would get there, who serve as stewards of the communities entrusted to them, holding those communities in trust and care for the citizens and who build a political society.


The Double Political Duty of the Filipino

“We Filipinos are a variegated people. We live in seven thousand islands. We profess no less than five religions. We pray in no fewer than seven native tongues. But all of us – Muslim or Christian, Tagalog or Visayan or Ilocano or Kapampangan, all of us are Filipinos not only because we are brothers in blood – many of us are not, but because we are all brothers in tears; not because we all share the same land – many of us are landless, but because we share the same dream. Whether we like it or not we are one nation with one future, a future that will be as bright or as dark as we remain united or divided.”

-Jose W. Diokno

The Philippines suffers from a multiplicity of groups, which have yet to be merged firmly into a nation. Thus, constitutional reforms are needed to enable the Filipinos to move from these fragmented and often clashing groups to a united nation, before we can move on together with the world towards a universal state. As the Philippines embraces globalization and the new world economy, many industries are dying as the local markets compete with each other in terms of getting a share of investments and selling their products. In turn these competing local markets are wiped out upon the entry of cheaper products from united countries. The absence of a strong national policy towards economic development for everyone facilitates this massacre of local industries and slaughter of the nation’s poor which become jobless as a result. And, yes, the macroeconomy booms with all the investments. The cheaper products, in turn, benefit only those who still have money to purchase.

Moreover, a political education among voters is needed to allow us to make wise choices in upcoming elections. However, this role of political education is left neglected by the political parties which are more personality-based than platform-based. Thus, the Filipinos are left with choices between Coke, Pepsi and RC Cola during elections because of this lack of platforms. Most political parties, instead of holding genuine “miting de avances” only hold concerts and sing alongs to entertain the voters and to get their votes. Political parties, in fact, come and go with the rise and fall of their leaders. There is no responsible institution left to mentor a new generation of politicians who are thrown into the arena of the state, unprepared for battle against the beasts that feed their inner monsters of greed. Thus, they become more absorbed into the system they may have wanted to change initially. The cycle goes on again, leaving the Filipinos at the mercy of the state and its politicians.

Given this situation, the common Filipino needs more avenues for him/her to participate in power or to influence the state. A response to this was the Party list Act of 1998 allowing marginalized groups to be represented in Congress upon garnering 2% or more of the total votes cast. . This law has been manipulated by the government many times but it still allows for certain groups to have their voices heard in Congress (e.g. fielding fake party lists to increase the number of voters and prevent real party list groups from being elected). But this law is not enough. Suggestions have been raised by Felix Muga, Ph.D. to have the party list law amended so as to more effectively hear the voice of the people cast in the ballot.

Another avenue of participation of the common Filipino is EDSA or Mendiola but the real work of restoring after the evil has gone remains slightly started. When the fever of EDSA dies down and the people resume their normal lives, the time for action springs up, that is, to become heroes in our everyday lives, possessing the moral courage to stand by our convictions, to be vigilant against the state and to be involved in voicing out any wrongdoing, to be response-able citizens of this nation.

With this, the tyranny of the Filipino state will be weathered away to become the soil where the seeds of the future Filipino political society starts to grow.

Summa Cum Laude or Superhero?

26 03 2008

Would you want to be a summa cum laude or just a mere superman in your own little ways helping people and changing the world?

Here is how the Ka-balanghays responded in our Yahoo Group Discussion.

Des Desiree Go opens the discussion:

its a fact that right after the aylc a lot of us are super stressed in catching up with things at school. some lost their target summa and magna grades to cum laude, academic excellence or even only expecting a diploma after graduation.
but really… if you were to choose, would you rather be a superhero and change theworld or at least make a difference or a honorable summa cum laude
Renzo Renzo Guinto says:
Hahaha! Nice topic.When I entered college, my number one objective is to be summa cum laude and to break the record in the UP College of Medicine. We only have two summa cum laudes – and both of them graduated in the 1940’s.But when I already experienced the hardships of med school (and obtained not-so impressive marks), I realized that I have to be happy and contented… as long as I deeply understand the lesson! Coz what’s more important in medicine is not really your grade (though it’s an added credential if you want to apply for a reputable residency program in the States) but your mastery of the art and science of healing. The lives of patients are on our hands (next to God, of course).Plus, I just realized that medical education in the 1940’s is far less difficult than it is today due to the growing volume of medical knowledge that we have.

Moreover, some UPCM doctors say that their class valedictorians are not the most successful or significant in the class. (Or excuse lang ito ng mga wala sa top ng class? Hehehe! But factual naman!)

Three months ago, I was asked by our library’s security guard (who is a friend) about my academic status (since she knows that I’ve been one of those on top in my level hehehe).

I was surprised with my answer. “I’m not concerned with my grades in academics anymore. Ang mahalaga sa akin ay ang grade ko mula sa kapwa.”

And we started a conversation about her family, her job as a security guard, and her dreams for herself and country.

What matters to me now is how I can effect a change in other people’s lives.

Your Superman, Renzo

(Btw, Superman is my favorite superhero! Hehehe! Though I didn’t voluntary choose him as my favorite. As I was telling Sam through chat a while ago, my mother somehow dictated me indirectly to choose him, as if saying “Superman must be your favorite hero!” The design of my 12th birthday cake, the ring that she gave me, my Warner Brother shirts that she bought, my cellphone case during high school – all Superman! But haven’t read or watched any of his comics and [old] movies… only the super latest! Hehehe!

Sam and I were also chatting about Superman being a representation of a true “human.”

Samuel Macagba (3/25/2008 11:26:35 PM): the idea of being “human” is prevalently seen in superman
ramonlorenzoluis (3/25/2008 11:26:45 PM): yup i agree
ramonlorenzoluis (3/25/2008 11:26:50 PM): parang irony nga eh…
ramonlorenzoluis (3/25/2008 11:27:04 PM): superman pero very human
Samuel Macagba (3/25/2008 11:27:10 PM): i know the irony makes it a lot more interesting noh

Interesting [thesis] topic to explore! Hahaha!)

Edwin Edwin de Leon responded:
My answer to this question:
I would be happy to be either but in all honesty changing the world would need no categorical sphering <that of a superhero or a summa cum laude>.
Earning the degree of a summa cum laude requirses much assertion of efforts, fervor to answer to the resposibilities and atleast some inate excellence in thinking (brain) and feeling (the heart).
Being a super hero requires almost the same.
Changing the world requires almost the same too..
Fact is you can change the world who ever you are granted that you have the willingness, passion and sinceirty to do so.
Those labels in this case aren’t necessary or much of a condition. Just as fitting it is, in my world labels are for canned soups.. We don’t need them, We can change the world in some simple ways with the hope that the society responds by making an echo of our “random acts of kindess”
LET’s all strive to be Summa, Magna, Cum laudes or graduates in our own ways and Heroes in our own days…
We can be both.
AhmadAmad Domado says:
Everyone is pressuring me to become a summa cumlaude. My family is of course there to back me up whenever I encountered hardships in my studies. My first two years in college shows that I am a potential and I could be summa cumlaude (the fact na determining factor ang first two years namin kaya kayang-kaya ko na ang last two years). My classmates and schoolmates are expecting something from me also kaya kakapressure talaga.

When at the blink of an eye…
Nawala lahat ng yun. Kinain ng extracurricular activities ang time ko. I represented my college in different quiz bee contests, dance contests, at iba pang contests jan. I entered several organizations to see the life on the other side.
I am not putting all the blame to my extracurricular activities. But here is my point: If you want to be a summa cum laude, then be a summa cumlaude. If you want your studies not to suffer then be brave enough not to be tempted by any organizations that you want to be a part of.
I treasured every help my organizations give me. I became a part of Ayala Young Leaders’ Congress and a lot of credit goes to my orgs. Nanghihinayang lang ako na sana naging summa cum laude ako or atleast gumraduate man lang na Class Valedictorian ng school namin kung nag-focus lang sana ako sa studies.
And I sighed a relief after Renzo said karamihan sa mga Class Valedictorian o Summa cumlaude hindi ang pinakasuccessful sa batch.
That would mean, who succeed is those who know a lot about life.
The bottom line is: Hindi naman masamang magkaroon ng social affiliations. Wag lang sinosobrahan to the extent na nakakalimutan na natin ang academics natin.
tina mantaring Tina Mantaring says:
This is an interesting topic, if only because it’s something i’ve thought about a lot in these last few weeks. :PWhen I entered college, I resigned myself to the fact that making summa would be almost impossible. Good luck, with my course being Computer Engineering, where graduating on time is already a feat in itself. I said that I did not to be pressured by acads, so I made it a point to NOT compute my GWA. I didn’t want my college life to be dictated by a bunch of numbers on paper. Someone once told me that it was better to be a magna with a life, than a summa with no life. After all, magna is still magna, right?

So yeah, I joined a bunch of organizations, and because active in a lot of different projects, even when I was only a freshman. Still, I never neglected my studies. It was funny, because sometimes my friends and orgmates would find out what my average for the sem was before I did (the list of University and College scholars is always posted in the lobby of our college). I more or less knew my academic standing because I’ve been a consistent University Scholar my entire college life.

Still, imagine my surprise when I finally computed by GWA last October. I’d needed it for the resume I was putting together for OJT applications (which is a lost cause, actually, because our thesis adviser has strongly suggested that we focus on our thesis this summer). After getting my average for my first 7 sems, I discovered that I was THIS close to summa. As in… wow. That’s when I felt all the pressure and the grade-consciousness that I had managed to avoid during my first three and a half years in college. Yuck! >.<

It’s true that grades shouldn’t be the center of your life. Rarely do they reflect your true character as a person. I’d be a whole lot prouder of an active, socially-conscious person than of someone with sky-high grades who doesn’t really do anything useful.

Still, I also believe in making the most out of what you’ve been given. For those of you who don’t know it yet, I plan to pursue my Masters’ degree (and maybe even my PhD) when I graduate, and for that, my college average will play a big part in determining which university I end up in. In this case, my grades aren’t my end goal. They are simply a means for me to make my end goal possible 🙂

Summa or superhero? It’s virtually impossible to be both at the same time (believe me, I’ve tried :P) But maybe you can use the summa to become a superhero, yeah? 🙂

That’s my two cents 😉

Weber Amores Weber Amores says:
8 POINTS why I’d rather be a SUPERHERO than a SUMMA CUM LAUDE
Being a summa cum laude will only prove your accomplishments in your academic life in college, but by being a superhero (depends on how you take it, I take it with powers) you constanly prove how valuable you are to the world.
By being a summa cum laude needs constant upgrading of oneself, thus, when one who is summa cum laude does not meet future expectations carried on by his/her title-frustrations and disappointments comes in. Not to mention the peer and family pressure. When you are a superhero, THE TITLE SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. No need for further questioning.
Being a summa cum laude, is most likely a product of persistence towards goals of ensuring financial and job stability in the future. Being a superhero ensures only one thing,
SECURITY in all aspects of the world. Fairly sustainable for one wit hpowers and unfading.
After being a summa cum laude, you are placed in a yearbook and maybe, in the hallmark of achievers in your school. After being a superhero, you are remembered even without literary mediums. The influence extends to ages, and that if its already millions of year, the superhero becomes a legend.
After being a summa cum laude, you take efforts in employment. After being a superhero, you are ensured that the world will help you and your family as you retire.(“,)
After being a summa cum laude, you are faced with fears and challenge of the world. After being a superhero, applause and recognition will come your way for carrying the load of humanity. After being a superhero, you face only tribute and nothing less than respect in your lineage FOREVER.
After being a summa cum laude, you tend to envision your sibling of being like you. And you even wish that as they grow, they’d be as competent as you, as intelligent as you, and an achiever just like you. After being a superhero, you only envision yourself in putting a turn-over of responsibility to your siblings because you are already ensured that the legacy lives on, knowing the fact that the power runs in your veins, to you genes, to your blood.
The life of summa cum laude is bounded by his network who shares his interest, and who he/she thinks could contribute to his/her wellness and at the same time he/she could influence to become a better person. Whereas in the life of a superhero, you have the entire world to explore. A network of billions of people to influence, and a vast array of life to empower and make some significant change.
*Tho latin honors are so fulfilling to have, I could give that up in replace of the responsibilty of a SUPERHERO. Not everyone is given the chance to fly, not everyone is given the chance to manifest magnificent strenght, and not everyone holds accountability. I’d love to be accountable if only I’d play the role with enough power to serve the world. The best thing in there is that you don’t only influence a group of people or some people that you get along or just encounter-by being a superhero unlike being a summa cum laude, YOU INFLUENCE HUMANITY, and I think that’s just the best thing of all. Making a very significant change for the betterment of those who will succeed my generation.
DREAM and it will MANIFEST. ACT on it then MANIFESTations will turn into OPPURTUNITIES that you are to grab, THUS, surely, in a while, your DREAMS will EMBRACE reality.
Sam Macagba Sam Macagba says:
summa cum laude or superhero… hmmmmmhehehe…cum laude nga lang kuntento na ako e… unfortunately cum laude na nga lang hindi ko pa makuha…hahaha. ..

nung 1st year college talaga ako, i really try to aim high and target at least makapag cumlaude ako.. i became very competitive. .. as in competitive in school… i did not do much of my first year in college… aral…aral. ..aral… . i guess, a lot of you felt this, but having such kind of life made me feel sick and empty… This instance made me realize that there’s more to grades or the title that makes life more fulfiling…

then i joined several organizations. .. i constantly learn how to be a good member and become a good leader in the several organizations in school, which made me a lot happier and made my life a lot more fulfilling. i had more friends, more wonderful experiences and more learninig experinces.. . i gained a better understanding of what i can do and how i can serve others…

then i entered in the school of education (in our school we are only allowed to choose our courses during the second sem of our sophomore year)… i aspired to be a teacher and to be a better person for others…

so anong point ko…? hehehehe

i think that the idea of being a “hero” or “superhero” should not literally be compared to those charcters in the comics or the chracters that the children are watching. the idea of being a superhero should evolve and should fit the status quo.

i prefer to be a superhero since one of the characteritics of a hero is someone who can go beyond his limitations for the welfare of others. wala naman talga akong pakielam dati sa mundo… gusto ko lang ang magpayaman, umunlad ang buhay at matulungan ang pamilya ko… but my college education and my aspiration to become a teacher to others made me understand that there is something more to life and that my life has a purpose.

being a superhero is, i think, a path towards generosity and humility… being a superhero entails a selfless dedication towards helping others grow and be developed… being a superheor entails humility since you are required to acknowledge your weaknesses and try to transcend from them becasue your main object is to be of help to others.

tulad nga ng napag-usapan namin ni bozz renzo, we like superman because although he is a superhero, he is one of the superheroes that closely represents the reality of being a human person. i think that there are a lot of superheroes dito sa mundong ibabaw. although wala nga lng capes tulad nila batman at superman… i think that my AYLC experience affirmed this assumption that i have… i found my justice league sa 74 na taong nakilala ko dun…for this reason, no matter how weak i am at times, no matter how stressed am i with the work that i am doing, i feel encouraged to go above these weaknesses and limitations believing that there are a lot of people who needs to be developed and who needs to be helped and that i am not alone in my aspiration of being a superhero and fly…or sail on…:)

lesterLester Yee says:

i believe that superhero and (Summa or magna) cum laude is not an either-or to begin with po.

in my case, i am gunning for latin honors because i believe it can help (even in a very tiny way) for employment purposes. If this latin honor can raise a salary even by 500 pesos, this money can be saved up to form part of the tuition of my siblings or the money to build a house for our family (we still rent).

The question i belive is how you plan to be a hero, either in academics, in the arts, in leadership or in all three aspects combined.

We can all be on top in our own ways.

“Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.”
Rachel MilanteRachel Milante says:

Hi everybody! How’s the summer going for you guys? 🙂

This is an interesting topic Des! Siguro, about time for me to break my silence in this group… hehe. I really wanted to join the chats but I always lose track! You guys seem to be always online! It’s kind of hard to keep following every thread!

Anyway, I’d just like to share my experience on the conflict between trying to become a summa cum laude (or magna cum laude) and a superhero. The truth is, before running for or accepting any position, the first thing I ask myself is: how will this affect my studies? Because, after all, we are student leaders, not leader students. Student first before leader. We go to school primarily for education.

But, I know that all of you dear ka-balangahays would agree that it’s impossible to always put your studies first when the whole college, or the whole university even, is counting on you.

This is the dilemma presented to me by our past student council president. Like most of us, he was also trying to maintain a grade in order to graduate a Magna. But, he found the fight futile. He wasn’t serving anyone but himself in that endeavor. He knew he has to do more.

This, he told me, is a choice. Leadership is a sacrifice, no matter how you rationalize.

So, like what we did in our pre-congress workshop, I began to imagine. I tried to picture myself one year from now. I tried to see, hear, feel, and understand how I will be just before graduation. In my mind, I saw two images of Rachel.

Rachel number one is a Magna Cum Laude, a Rector’s Awardee. She has mastered the thick textbooks of Med-Surg and Psych, and broke the record of the highest GPA in the UST College of Nursing. Everyone looks up to her in that pedestal only a few were privileged to stand on.

Rachel number two is a student leader. She spent weekends and late hours in school, organizing activities for the Nursing community. People know her. They do, but it’s just that. She’s someone they work with and that’s it. She’ll graduate with no awards whatsoever – just a handful of experiences in her pocket.

I thought to myself, would it be Rachel number one or Rachel number two? The first one sure is sweet! But, what have I done after that? If I’ll be a Magna, what have I given back to my college, to my University? The prestige will all be mine.

But, if I choose the second Rachel, then I can say to myself that I have served. Sure, there may be no awards after, but who cares? What matters is what I have done for my community, my college. That is one step closer to changing the world, I bet.

A friend texted this message to me just now. Yup, while I’m writing this! (I know, right?)

“Our goal is to please God in everything we do. It makes no difference whether anyone applauds our actions or not. We’re called to be faithful, not famous.”

So, summa cum laude or superman? None of the above, I’m sorry. Just Rachel number two.

NOTE: Before you guys get the idea that I’m against academic honors, I’d like to let you know that I’m not. Being SUPER is okay, too. What I’m trying to say here (and maybe Renzo and Edwin, too), is that IT’S NOT WHAT MATTERS. What matters is how we make a difference in other people’s lives, how we effect change in our communities.

With all my love,
Rachel M. Ayt?


Stacy Alcantara said:

it’s possible to be summa and superhero at the same time.  i can guarantee that 300%.  when i entered college, that was my goal and no less.  i wanted to prove to everyone that it can be done.  these past few sems have been a feat what with all the student activities but hey, you just have to believe in yourself and pull off that balancing act.  i’ve been in the student government for seven years since high school.  last year, i was the vice president but that’s no excuse to let slip your studies.  it’s all about time management.  as of now, my qpa is five notches above the minimum required for summa cum laude.  the point here is that, it can be done.  anyone can do it.  why choose between the two when you can have both?  kudos to you my fellow kabalanghays!


Richard Sagun said:

Nice topic ha!
If I were to assess, being a summa and being a superhero could possibly merged into 1, if and only if you have the great passion and gusto to achieve both. Picture this, which is better? Student A who has a flat 1 grade in all subjects but lacks community involvement or co-curricular activities, or Student B who has a flat 1 grade in all subjects and enjoys his community involvement and co-curricular activities? Both students are qualified to be summa, but the latter gains more meaningful experiences rather the former.
It’s good to get involved into co-curriculars since these are instances where we can put into concrete manifestations the learnings we have in our subjects.
Engaging into superhero acts would also lessen the chances of becoming an INTELLECTUAL MONSTER(haha. ..these are individuals who lack values within them, though they are intelligent)
Summa or Superhero? You are free to choose. There’s no wrong decision. You may achieve both, just make sure you keep your feet planted on the ground(‘wag lalaki ulo).
Germs Salatan said:
one cannot serve two masters at the same time…but he can make them one.. of becoming a summa cum laude and of being a superhero at the same time is possible, very possible. it’s a matter of self-instruction and discipline, taking resources like money, time, health and the like wisely. SUMMA and SUPERHERO??? well for as long as you are happy of what you are doing then that’s what matters most.

Migs Garcia said:
Indeed, a question that the overachieving student would struggle to answer, unless such student has found the path truly destined. To be summa cum laude, or to be a superhero? That is the question.
I remember climbing the pole back in the Congress and I distinctly remember what I shouted: “I want to graduate Summa Cum Laude…!” And I cannot take back what I said.
Personally, it would be greatly rewarding to be a superhero. However, what kind of superhero? What superhero should we be? My idea of a superhero is your typical save-the-world or save-as-much- as-you can person. True, its virtues are noble and legendary. To become a superhero is to be endowed with the honor of the celebrities hung in the stellar night. To become a superhero, one embraces the role of integrity and commitment– the passion burning from the core, gushing throughout life and history. You are remembered forever; you are immortal throughout time.
But what is a superhero to be quite specific? A superhero NEVER puts into perspective about “himself” doing something for others. A superhero simply drops the “himself” and simply defines his work as simply doing for others without qualms or reference for the self. Let us be practical and real here, the greatest of leaders who have charted history’s course by their impact have always considered “the self” to benefit from being rewarded on being yes, an immortal, throughout time. Personally, these are not superheroes, but simply — “trying hard.” Forgive the tone, but frankly, superheroes are never supposed to claim to be one — people endow them that titular role. It is not for us to decide or to determine or even to dream about. It is something beyond us; it is something we cannot easily claim.
If we go back to what we’ve learned in the Congress, we were taught about SELF-AWARENESS. Self-awareness, if I remember well, is trying to know who you REALLY are and what you can do about it to effectively be WHO YOU ARE. It is balanching your good and not, your best and worst, your strongest and weakest. It is trying to determine specifically the inner nature of the person so that eventually, that person will finally map out the VISION, contribute through STEWARDSHIP, and seek to progress in our COMMUNITY.
For me, SELF-AWARENESS of being a superhero is being aware that you cannot be one unless people call you one and appreciate what you have done. To think otherwise, would only defeat the purpose. Dissecting it in its simplest terms or even running about to decipher its complexity would only lead to one and only one definitive thing — you cannot choose to be a superhero — people choose you to be one. It is like claiming to have gained victory over an election even if nobody has elected you yet.
In connection, that is how most of our political leaders think of themselves. They claim to be superheroes, but would the general mass of people throughout the archipelago would have this general sentiment? I disagree. But how about people like Mother Teresa, Mohammad Yunus, or Aung San Suu Kyi — have they ever considered themselves as one?
If many would remember, Mother Teresa even had doubts with God but conquering her own qualms made her realize her “external” role of being there to help others. It was her advocacy solely grounded on faith and God. Has she ever thought of becoming a saint or some sorts? Never, because to begin with, how would someone think of such a thing when to begin with, that person has already doubted? And for Mohammad Yunus of Grameen Bank — he never dreamed of wining the Ramon Magsaysay Award or even teh coveted Nobel Peace Prize. He used his economic thinking and plant an experiment through microfinancing and presto! He has saved millions of poor Bangladeshi women and children from threatening poverty. His works — not his choosing — gave him his honorific and life-changing title — he is a superhero, as many would proclaim.
And for Aung San Suu Kyi — she risked being house-arrested for her cause and she’s not complaining. Yet, even divorced from civilization — even her not knowing it — people continue to shout for her freedom and call her a superhero of Myanmar.
Yes, yes, the question is “what do you want to be?” Although it is very hypothetical, to answer one or the other would generally lead to “the self.” Hence, the tragedy of commons would lure us to a seemingly self-centered answer. The only self-centeredness superheroes have is for their happiness to be the happiness of others.
For me, I let my grandparents decide.
Going back to what I’ve said, I shouted, “I want to graduate Summa Cum Laude…”
And finally,
“… so that my grandparents will be proud of they’ve done for me all my life…”
My driving force to become one never has anything to do with myself. Why, I don’t even care with the titles–I can survive. However, if my lola and lolo wanted that to be their lasting and final testament as human beings — as MY superheroes — then why not restrain them from giving that. After all, it is a reachable aim.
And there, I let the stars look down upon me to determine my fate. I choose not to be labeled a Summa Cum Laude or Superhero. Why, being a superhero would mean less if you did not help the one’s closest to you. And to become a Summa Cum Laude, it remains only at the halls of your school or in the pages of your Transcripts. Either way, do not be defined by either — be defined on WHAT YOU THINK who you are…
After all, people will notice WHO YOU ARE and WHAT YOU HAVE DONE.
Michelle Olvido said:
I laughed (literally) when i read the discussion.. hehe:) you see, my goal in college is to graduate summa and when i was interviewed for AYLC, my plan of making a difference in our university this year is to be student government president and at the same time graduate summa.. kasi sa school nami, there is a growing lack of leaders primarily because they see it as a hindrance to their studies. i am taking up Education and I believe that it is VERY important..but it should never be used as an excuse to not serve others..kaya nga natin pinapayaman ang sarili natin diba para may maibahagi tayo sa iba?

and so this year, my average for the last 5 semesters (my second semester final grades are not in yet) is 0.04 points down the minimum grade for summa..and i thought of not running for presidency anymore. but to cut it short, i am ssg president this year and am hoping and praying that i will still graduate summa.
I have made my choice and it is to be both. i believe that we are all called to be excellent.. we can’t compartmentalize our lives and choose to be excellent in some areas only.. i am not saying we should all graduate summa but what i am saying is we can be both and much much more.. excellent student, friend, leader, daughter, sister, Filipino, Christian.. make the most of who we are..after all, we are but stewards and it is in the end, for the greater glory of God.
DREAM BIG mga kabalanghay. . Do not ask for small things in the presence of a GREAT King:)
4.mga lakad ko this summer!!:) I am going to be in Tagaytay this weekend for our Youth For Christ International Leaders Conference and I will be reminiscing AYLC08 as well:) Be leaving for Manila on Wednesday April 2 and then be leaving for cebu on tuesday April 8. Haha, kaya lang.. small chance that i can meet up with the ncr people kasi controlled lahat ang galaw namin (di pwedeng lumabas ng venue,etc) pero text ninyo ako pag may plans on april 7..baka may libreng oras ako on that day:)
Honestly, nakakatuwa na na-open ang topic na to.
I do learn lots of things from you and I know the readers surely get a handful of your thoughts too. Salamat sa napakagandang opinions about this issue! More to come.

Sail On!

Are You Crazy Enough to Save the World?

21 03 2008

by Sam Macagba

A Feature Article


This is an article that I wrote for a class. The goal of the said requirement is to reflect on any event in your life and relate it to DEVELOPMENT. During that time, my interview for AYLC is something that I find to be very memorable for me, so I wrote about it and here it is… Also, this article will be published in BACKPACK, the official school paper of the School of Education in the University of Asia and the Pacific. The unedited version of this article was published in this site: urworldvision.blogspot.com, a site that was created by the Integrated Marketing Communication students of UA&P to support the endeavors of Worldvision… I want to share my thoughts to this site so as to invite and encourage more teachers to be proud of their professions and to be agents of development

The Ayala Young Leaders Congress (AYLC), for me, is such a great blessing that I have received this Christmas. Ever since, I was really hoping for an opportunity where I would be able to share my vision of helping others through my development education perspective. But before getting my acceptance letter to the AYLC, different hardships and challenges came to my way. One of these challenges is the nerve cracking interview with the Ayala executives. I remembered that my interview for AYLC is a significant event in my life as I try to understand my vision as a person and as a future teacher.

In my interview, they told me that teachers are really needed abroad and a lot of opportunities are waiting if ever I planned to work there. They asked me whether or not I have plans of working abroad as a teacher. I said “no, I don’t have any plans of working anywhere but here in the Philippines.” They were really shocked with my answer. They said that working abroad can really help me and my family, especially because, as I told them, I’m not really that wealthy. As they said this, I remembered my mom and her sermon every time I was telling her my plans for the future. My mom cannot understand that helping others is really my passion. My mom always ends our debate with, “Puwede ba? Tulungan mo muna kami bago ang iba.” My mom and the Ayala executives (although, I believe that all of what they said is just a test or an assessment of how dead serious am I about my vision) were not only the ones who think of the same thing. Some of my friends and my relatives have the same sentiments and are urging me to go abroad, to work and to earn money for my family.

Sam Macagba

Because of this, I reflected. Am I the only one thinking of staying here in the country and helping my fellow countrymen? Am I crazy enough to think of not going abroad even though greener pastures await me? This reflection brought me to a reality check – in the end, I realized that there will come a point in my life when my family will be asking me to lift them up. Scared to face that scenario but if that time comes, all I can say to my parents is that “I am happy helping others. I know that I seem like crazy to you about helping other but I hope that you would also be happy for me as a lot of people would be very happy in the help that I would be extending them.” In addition, I told my interviewers, “Malaki ang tiwala ko sa Pilipinas. May pag-asa ang bansa natin. Hangga’t mayroong mga taong nagmamahal sa bansang ito, may handang tumulong at magturo, mabubuhay pa ang bansang ito.” In the end, I believe that my family will understand me and my calling in life.

My life seems to be very melodramatic, as how I narrated my interview in Ayala. It is similar to some of the superheroes that we know. At first, people perceive them as crazy. But just like a status message of my friends in yahoo messenger would state: “People crazy enough to think that they can save the world are the ones who really do.”


“Tomorrow, I promise to save the country and even the world. But I would like to dare everyone to be as crazy as me, to be crazy for the right cause – to save the world.”


As of now, all I can assume is that I am crazy because of this vision. Though I’m not yet sure if I would be able to save and leave a mark in the Philippine society just like the 3 Filipinas who successfully climbed Mt. Everest, Charice Pempengco and the like, I believe that saving the world cannot happen in a blink of an eye. I think that it is good to be crazy for now. Tomorrow, I promise to save the country and even the world. But I would like to dare everyone to be as crazy as me, to be crazy for the right cause – to save the world.

Moreover, I would like to attribute my acceptance to the AYLC as to how I was formed as a teacher. Being in the School of Education, especially being a Development Education (DE) student is a decision that I will never regret. In being a DE student I realized how to step-up for the right things and most especially to step-up for others. “Teacher ka lang?” is not an acceptable phrase anymore since we are not just teachers in this modern time. I think that my acceptance to the AYLC, the many different educators scattered all over the different settings, whether it be in the corporate setting, the academe, NGOs and elsewhere, are just the signs that WE ARE NOT JUST TEACHERS. The world is our classroom. As future educators, we should not just be concerned about the ABCs rather we should also be concerned about making a difference in our so-called classroom and about being heroes, without necessarily having capesJ

Balanghay Online Publication

20 03 2008

Sail on.

Without the consent of many, I make this online publication which will be owned and moderated by us, the Ayala Young Leaders Batch 2008. haha. di na ako nagpaawat.

Again, this is not exclusive for the batch. This is for others’ viewing too.
In line with this, I’ll be needing your articles you wrote perhaps in your respective publication, or just submit your own write-ups. mapa-poems ba yan, o news, go na go tayo jan.

Since it would be difficult if there’s nobody to control the influx of the articles, I’ll temporarily do it for the moment. unless me magako. haha. Please submit it to my e-mail: ahmaddomado@yahoo.com

Here is the format:
1. Category: is it a news? a poem? a short story? an article?
2. Title and the contributor
3. If already written in a publication, indicate what publication, when it was published, and cite some background of the write-up too.
4. the entry itself.

again, sana me magako.
please submit to me your suggestions and violent reactions (hehe) for the matter as well. I’ll be very glad to hear them. temporary ko lang hahawakan to pag meron ng gustong magmoderate, mag-edit, at maglay-out. pinapatamaan ko yung mga editor-in-chief jan at yung me knowledge sa journalism. hehe.

thank you po. sana maraming magcontribute.