Thursday, 12 July 2012

A Damaged Culture - James Fallows 1987

This whole essay was taken from an article written almost 25 years ago just a year before my baby brother, Paul, was born.

I was 10 years old then... Naive, filled with the excitement that comes with a promise of new government and change.

My heart sung praises when my Lolo was taken from us because I know as a believer, that his mission on this Earth was done and completed. The sudden realization is now that the Legacy has passed, what is to be my response?

I was communicated that awesome dream... a dream of a First World Philippines.

If anything this article encourages me and makes me cringe at the same time. Fallows said in his article:

If the problem in the Philippines does not lie in the people themselves or, it would seem, in their choice between capitalism and socialism, what is the problem? I think it is cultural, and that it should be thought of as a failure of nationalism. (emphasis added)

Fallows explored the cultural genesis of the Pinoy Ethos,  giving rise to some realizations.

  1. Elitism is self-perpetuating
  2. A pervasive attitude of dependence (be it to well to do relatives, kids or the Americans)
  3. The Pinoy Spirit is incredibly resilient
In this social reference the "Resilience" of the Filipino Spirit is all about our ability to rise up over ALL obstacles, to make the best out of every situation. As Fallows has observed:
The people of Smoky Mountain complain about land-tenure problems-- they want the city to give them title to the land on which they've built their shacks--but the one or two dozen I spoke with seemed very cheerful about their community and their lives. Father Beltran, the young Dominican, has worked up a thriving business speaking about Smoky Mountain to foreign audiences, and has used the lecture fees to pay for a paved basketball court, a community-center building, and, of course, a church. As I trudged down from the summit of the mountain, having watched little boys dart among the bulldozers, I passed the community center. It was full of little girls, sitting in a circle and singing nursery-school songs with glee. If I hadn't come at the last minute, I would have suspected Father Beltran of putting on a Potemkin Village show.
At this moment, I know I have had some setbacks from writing quality WoW Gold making and Tanking posts. I just moved jobs and I am still getting the hang of commission only wages, my Lolo passed away and I am recovering from a bad spell of the Flu. Times like these are draining enough as it is, but I always take heart. Philippians 4:13 says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." There is something about my faith that strengthens my soul to keep going. This is the same quality that my Lolo has encouraged me to pursue. A strong character that is imbued with tenacity and perseverance is definitely needed to reach the next level. ACTION.

The dream is alive in me again. I know that the start is just around the corner. A strong network of people looking at the same result will eventually give rise to the momentum needed to shift mass apathy into a nationalistic action to eventually, a First World Philippines.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The life of a simple, honest man

This was taken way back in 1977 (I was just a month old) at Quezon City, Phil
My life is a complex mix of influence, thought and decisions. I am proud to say that my best decision in my life was to love the Lord Jesus as King of my life. Other men and women have influenced my life in incredible ways.

Lolo Amante, or Daddy Lolo, as we called him, was a mountain of a man in my eyes. His influence was the one I truly remembered when I was growing up. The wisdom he had and the love for his grand kids are what I remember.

Lolo passed away 15th June 2012 at 12pm MLA, survived by his loving wife, Felisa.

Daddy lolo has 9 children (7 girls and 2 boys with my mum being the eldest girl) and I was his first grandchild. It was family legend that the same month I was born the family was able to buy their first car and Daddy Lolo was promoted to be Vice President of the Government Service Insurance System (a Philippine Government incentive to provide affordable services like housing, medical, dental, optical, education and general insurances for government employees). That month brought great joy to the Rimando Clan.

My heart is filled with sadness as I type this. A man I loved and looked up to has departed. Yet a certain joy in my being is pushing away the melancholy. Daddy Lolo is a lover of Christ. His departure from this planet is met with an excitement of reunion in Heaven.

This man is the reason I am who I am today. My decision to be an entrepreneur started when I asked him if we Filipinos can ever be a first world country (me being a Filipino by heritage). His answer was, "The only thing that can change the Philippines is if there is a change in the Filipino's heart. The best way to do that is through a Renaissance. Start with educating the people."

A dream took root in my heart at that stage and my life seemed that it had purpose.

A First World Philippines!! What a thought. Thus bore my greatest dream and my greatest burden. A career life mistakenly lived for fast money in order to finance a seemingly Herculean dream.

Yet as I let friends and family into my dream I realize that not only does Providence provide ways for this Herculean dream to become reality, I have already started progress and I just have not noticed.

Thanks to my Lolo, I have focused my affections into seeing the following:

  • 40 acres of land dedicated to a small Training Campus for general trade (carpentry, brick laying, plumbing) and an elementary school with room to become a high school with instructors from overseas (e.g. Gold License Australian Plumbers and Electricians training Pinoy candidates)
  • Underprivileged families living in the complex with a 2 bedroom house per family residence.
  • Small businesses funding the day to day expenses of running the complex
  • Full scholarships for the children until the completion of high school
  • Parents of the children have the choice to be employed in these small businesses or be trained to start their own small businesses or be trained to have internationally marketable trade skills from the Training Campus

The whole idea is to produce a generation of forward thinking, proud Filipino professionals with no Colonial dependencies and a rigorous passion to see a First World Philippines.

Though what I have seen I am lacking is my desire to do all of this alone. In this age of Global Villages, I am excited to see what the possibilities are linking like minded people together.

Thank you again Lolo. This has been your legacy to me.