Thursday, July 29, 2010

Leadership By Example: President Noynoy's Vision With a Mission

Philippine elections 2010 is over. The people's clamor for genuine change which they voiced out to candidates in their campaign sorties takes form.. A president-elect who is from the opposition emerged the victor. The people spoke through their votes and was heard. The change didn't only necessarily mean change of leaders, it  meant more -  a change in leadership style for good governance. A Senator, an unpopular choice, by the name of Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Cojuangco Aquino, III, is elected President of the Republic of the Philippines.  He is my own choice. Like with the past president I voted in office, I'm hopeful that this time,  change  for the better will prevail and be sustained. Congratulations, Mr. President and Mabuhay!

Is Noynoy, the Messiah? the Pinoy Deliverer?
President Noynoy is the only son of the late president Corazon "Cory" Cojuangco Aquino and the late Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. More than two decades of  waiting for a deliverer to  take charge and take control, here finally is one, who,  the agitating populace,  believes can effect genuine change in government.  It is for a fact that  concrete change has long been a growing clamor of a suffering nation,  which started with the late Senator Ninoy, the father,  and passed on to the late President of the Philippines, Cory, the mother. This dream is  finally initially  taking form with much to hope for - in the person of their only son, Noynoy.

I'm not President Noynoy's bootlicker. In fact, like the large margin of ill-informed  people about concerns in government, I had my qualms about how he would move the country into the right perspective, if ever he would be sustained by the seemingly undiminished "Ninoy" and "Cory" magic in the next six years. Given the Filipinos' flare for popularity and their quick way of switching from one celebrity to another, I have my personal reason to doubt. Yes, Noynoy, like his parents, still rides on the celebrity air people accorded them, without probably even thinking why?

But anyway, I joined the lure of this phenomenon of "Aquino Magic". To date, I didn't blog about any of  the presidentiables. But I wrote at most four, including this article- only for Noynoy. I invite you to read them here, if you browse my sidebar. And I have yet to prove to myself, I was not mistaken, choosing among the least of evils, if the tirades each presidentiable received in that raging campaign period were true or false, especially that of  Noynoy.

I'm following his path to what he promised- leadership by example - this  he emphasized as his mission with a vision. I was a bit taken when he  showed his first move which many among his would-be enemies,  criticized. This was when he left his residence at Times Street earlier than scheduled to fetch GMA, the outgoing president,  at Malacanang Palace and- take note- did not use "wang wang" (siren) accorded an important government official such as the president-elect who would in few hours become President of the Republic of the Philippines. Was it just for a show? I hope it wasn't. In the following days, despite the agony of his escorts, for his security reasons,  he did it again. At one time, on his second day after his inauguration, he was late in arriving at his most important function to  be  presented to his constituent soldiers of the land as  Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces of the Philippines because there was heavy traffic and he refused to use the siren that could have put the motorist at a standstill so that he could pass along unhampered. Bravo!

I'm on the look out only for things I understand, like when he stated in his inaugural address, among  a few, his advocacy to make necessary changes in the country's chronic corrupt practices in government offices. "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap" (If there are no corrupt people (in government), there will be no poor). 

His inaugural celebration was the first ever I observed in all my years as a voter, aching to see and feel what and how the new president will handle the affairs in governance of the people, for the people, and by the people. His ringing affirmation- "You- are my boss!" resonates in all corners of this land. May the peaceful transition of leadership from the now unpopular GMA to the instant celebrity P-Noy, take its shining glory- for a change- real change for the better. I was glued on the television the whole day feeling hopeful. It was a hair-raising, tear-jerking experience of my life. I was vacationing in Manila then and was fully aware of the airplanes and helicopters hovering above our terrace. We are one tricycle ride away from Malacanang Palace and the fireworks and sirens filled the festive mood in the morning air. Was it a day of reckoning? Let's wait and see. Six years may be a long wait, but to waiting, I'm destined to make.

The First Day of Change, Hope, and Unity,  and the Filipino Social Contract

I voted for Noynoy, and was pleased to hear that his inaugural  day was "Unang Araw ng Pagbabago, Pag-asa, at Pagkakaisa" (First Day for  Change, Hope, and Unity). I have to believe in him. But first, I must affirm my support. I raised my right hand just like  all other  civic-minded Filipinos all around the world did- to affirm support to his abstract vision with promised concrete mission. It was the first and innovative agendum that will go down in history- to invite all Filipinos to join in affirming their participation as individuals through the nationwide  "Panata Sa Pagbabago" (Social Contract for Change), together with the highest official of the land- President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Cojuangco Aquino,III. This may be a humbling effort, but it is change in itself.

Barely a month after Filipinos said their oath, the country is backsliding to its wanton ways. The many faces of the  cynic and the die-hard critics are here again. Don't they ever learn their lesson? What pains me is this - the young are still the same- unruly, impolite, misbehaving. I happened to land on the Facebook page for Noynoy and at Yahoo, Philippines, and there- I read pronouncements only the evil-minded can afford to send. They even dare break the privacy of the President texting him of nasty things. If he cuts off this means of communication, he becomes bad. Who says so? But the evil ones themselves. It's time to change- and it must come from us- from within. "Find yourself an appropriate hole to fit in. Refrain from being the destructive square pegs squeezing yourselves in a round hole! Please behave, my children."

An Ailing Education System That Needs Resuscitation Badly - Through Leadership by Example

President Noynoy is introduced this early to a kind of education system he accused of running on flat tires along rough roads. This system no longer needs temporary vulcanizing jobs. It needs complete changing of  tires. May the DEPEd secretary know what he is doing and be not an embarrassment to the president. It's been a long wait, let this wait a promising one.

As an educator, myself, I'm one in saying that our young are schooled but aren't really educated.  To lead by example, is not easy. Once you become a public figure, only half of your person belongs to you- the other half to people you have committed yourself to serve. 

Leadership by example in education is desperately needed. Sadly but it's true- that since the start of the project, Decade for Quality Education in 1990, nothing truly admirable and tangible was ever accomplished along the production of better manpower among our college graduates. The expected good manpower input is a failure, and similarly, results of today's teaching are very disturbing. The teachers'  weakening holding power in the lower stratum, the basic education level in the elementary and secondary schools  is losing many children of school age. A great number of them shy away from school, for various reasons imaginable. They drop out from school before they could even learn knowledgeable skills. A great number of these unfortunate children roam the streets adding problem to the government. And even if these children , particularly the youth, are able to hurdle their education and graduate from their courses, chances are, they join the ranks of the many unemployed. School administrators, and parents watch helplessly as time, money, and effort are wasted in their education.

What's wrong with our educational system? What's wrong with our education authorities manning the system? What's wrong with our school products- the learners?

Everybody seems to be wrong as far as their leadership, management style is concerned. We see our education managers who make selfish use of their prerogatives because they are only practical- not based on well-thought of strategies. The funds used for advancement are wasted away. Some abuse their exercise of authority. There are those who make under-the-table shady deals using their positions. Many appropriate public funds for their personal use because many of their counterparts in high- rise offices are doing it. Others demand emoluments and big cuts from dealers like in purchase of school supplies. Some officials bribe their way into their position, therefore, in service, they take what they think they are rightfully entitled to.

Some cheat the poor teachers of their hard-earned monthly pay for a promised permanent position or promotion in rank or salary grade. These vultures in the annals of education who prey on the helpless teachers even have the nerve to rationalize their wrongful acts  as the dictate of necessities in these hard times. 

There's the  real danger warning us that indeed, leadership by example in our education sector is badly needed. There seems to be gross loss of faith in our proponents of ethics and good behavior in public service by those with little  and are lower in ranks. This eroded trust is probably causing the concomitant eroding interest among our teachers to strive for the best results in teaching. Their seeming hurt leads them to indifference that prevents them from performing at their peak performance, thereby encumbering the positive gains in supposed quality teaching they are committed to. Not even the most brilliant and fool-proof education programs and thrusts can fill this credibility gap that destroys the very core of our education sector.

The cyclical failures in education today simply point to a social decay- the absence or lack of leaders who can command authority with respect, leaders who can easily temper the heat of disunity and realign diverse views to a common good, leaders who can innovate under stagnation, who can mobilize willing and cooperative hands despite inertia, crisis, and chaos - because they set themselves as examples of anything positive and good.

 How Can You and  I Help?

The whole nation  witnessed the recently concluded State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Aquino. It was delivered with forcefulness, by this public figure so different from the candidate many thought was not a president- potential. But there he was, he spoke in all honesty.  Of course we can't get the voting populace's hundred percent thumbs up. But to note that a good percent is satisfied with what they heard, I'm hopeful that given his cabinet's  equally honest support, nothing is impossible.

He started off telling the people where the nation stands, where  the past administration has left, we rise again, this time as one- to look into the present state, identify the most pressing problems and offer probable and feasible solutions. The few he mustered to lay down in his SONA are understandable, he is barely a month in position. We expect enormous concerns this administration will undertake, quite different from its predecessors. As we wait for our expectations, to come true, we need to help out, too.

He mentioned about his plan to move education sector to the right path. As an educator myself, I'm proud of this. It's along this concern where I can do my share because this is  my profession and  I know the perils this sector has been  encountering.  Even via blogging I dare  do my part and start saying, we need leaders in education with the moral strength who can command courage to endure enmities, withstand counterfeit opposition, and bear criticism without necessarily renouncing what is right, not insisting on what they believe is right. We need school administrators who don't compromise principles of good leadership and good relationship in the workplace for personal advantage- those who keep the ideals of education untarnished in the face of doubts and discouragement.

We urgently need schools division superintendents,  principals, head teachers, classroom teachers,  who, by their direct influence to the beneficiaries of the purpose of education, the school children, must by example and affirmation, evoke active, committed, result-oriented participation for this honest cause - the realization of quality education- through leadership by example. Let this be the legacy of President Noynoy to all Filipino children with everybody's help.

We can do it! Let's be an exemplar of morality in our own field of expertise, whether it is a profession, occupation, or vocation. Remember always, "that a public office is a public trust". No one is excluded- from those holding good-paying white-collar jobs down to those doing low-paying menial jobs. We all must share if we want this Filipino vision come true. Let's start now with this mission in mind- to follow the right path. Let's be more vigilant, stop whining and pining, arise from the chronic indolent and complacent attitude. There is light in yonder horizon. Where to, Pinoy?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Reinventing Giveaways (For My Birthday And Anniversary)

With earnest anticipation, I've waited for this day to celebrate two historical events in my life. I was born on July 2, 1946. In July 2009, my first blog, Senior Debutante, was born in the blog sphere. So, I'm celebrating my 64th birthday today and my 1st year anniversary in the internet this month of  July. Did I hear "Happy Birthday"? "Happy Anniversary'? Well, guys, thank you, thank you!

I want to throw a  birthday party, or an anniversary party, for all my online friends,   but distance deters any kind of personal gathering.  You are  very  special to me.  So I thought of sending you souvenirs instead. I'm reinventing my blog giveaways. "Reinvent?" Hmmmm, that's too superficial. "Return?" No no no no no! These giveaways are my most treasured possession. I just can't "give" them away. I  collected only 3 from two of my most trusted blogger friends, but I'm so proud I was their recipient. I hope both won't mind, because I want to "share" the giveaways with you. That's it - share!

Over the past 12 months, to date, I was very fortunate to win 317 friends at Blog Catalog, with 45 folowers and 6 favorites; 76 family, friends, and contacts from MyBlogLog having joined 26 communities; 18 followers from Networkblogs and mounting. I was able to write 60 quality posts.  I have few  friends from my Facebook and Twitter accounts, too. My yahoo mail burns with messages from regular viewers, commenters and  requests for add and contact by interested readers and unique visitors. My ads click? Well, it's still hanging, not much revenue yet haha. I have registered an average profile views of 916. Add to this my mounting regular visitors, unique viewers, and  readers from SITS and HubPages who blog hopped into Senior Debutante. Not bad. This statistics may be way below your expectations of me, but these are my benchmark. I'm proud I was not lagging way behind my personal target. I recall that at the start, I was so uncertain if I could make it. I was then very sick and blogging was introduced to me by my daughter Pot, to draw  my attention away from my pains from shingles that infected me so badly that  I refused to move about. It's with great pleasure and gratitude that I thank all of you, my most valued blogger friends  for my seemingly amazing performance and achievement level as of today. Not bad at all.

Today, I humbly reciprocate the friendship I enjoy so much with you. However, in principle, receiving must be followed by sharing as well. I therefore remind every lucky recipient to please read the accompanying rules and instructions specified for each of the three birthday and anniversary gifts. The beautiful tradition must be perpetrated. You please see to it that you, too, will send the same to your valued friends. But please don't forget to link back to my blog. This way, our community will expand. So here we go, folks!

I thought I can go home in time to post this. I've been away from home on vacation at my daughters' place. I'm using just this wireless prepaid broadband which is miserably slow. Oh my,  I miss my internet connection at home. But I must, no matter what! I promise to check the new links you will suggest soon.

For all my 916 (and possibly more) registered blogger friends, commenters, viewers,  and visitors at Blog Catalog, who had made me enjoy this blogging journey with you at  a time when I was just groping around, I'm sharing the Happy Hearts 101 (Please click for the rules. It's fun!) award given to me by my good friend Angelia Sims of Living, Laughing, Loving.

My 76 friends (and surely mounting), commenters, visitors, and viewers  at MyBlogLog, who likewise provide me strength to  go on blogging, are invited to help themselves with the Seal of Approval award likewise presented to me as my gift by Angelia Sims. You may now post it in your blogs for our seal of friendship.

My loyal readers who are always with me despite my long absence due to pressing health problems, whom I call beautiful people, those wonderful friends who visit me at my Facebook and Twitter accounts, my yahoo mail friends, I'm presenting to you the Beautiful Blogger award given to me by my good friend, Rose of Etcetera, Etcetera. As a requirement, I have the following list of 7 things about me.

1. I love life- including all its ups and downs.
2. My friends are my strength next to God and my family.
3. I'm forced to be vegetarian, being a diabetic.
4. I like to sing.
5. I value every single day I wake up.
6. Material possessions are only temporary to me.
7. I like people who turn out to please me whenever I feel alone and lonely.

And to cap my giveaways, I'm offering everyone my fervent  prayer for a more progressive relationship with all of you in this journey. God bless us all!


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