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Showing posts from July, 2010

Inspiring in a different way

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
Like most working drones in this country, I had to make do with watching a delayed telecast of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s first State-of-the-Nation Address last Monday. I am not complaining, though. Yes, I think that there is value to be had in declaring a holiday during the Sona and promoting good citizenship by encouraging more people to listen to the President although it also admittedly smacks of a certain degree of conceitedness. On the other hand, it really should be business as usual for the country even during a Sona.There are distinct advantages of watching a delayed telecast of the Sona such as not having to endure the senseless chatter of the anchors and the pundits and the technical glitches. I watched the late evening cast on television and groaned inwardly because half of the coverage was on fashion, celebrity spotting, and irrelevant commentary.“What did you think of it?” was the oft-repe…

Sana (wishful thinking)

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
At 4 this afternoon, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III, the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines, will deliver his State of the Nation Address to a joint session of Congress.It is P-Noy’s first Sona. Naturally, there’s been a lot of discussion on what his address should or would be about. There’s a lot of expectations given how this President has come to symbolize change and redemption.Previous presidents have used the Sona as an opportunity to brag about accomplishments and to present a road map for the future. P-Noy has only been on the job for a couple of weeks so there’s not much in terms of accomplishments yet. Will his first Sona be an unveiling of his vision for the country? That is the question that is in most people’s minds.By tradition, the State of the Nation Address is a formal affair and is supposed to be a no-frills address like an inaugural speech. But we are a people with boundless cr…

Requiem for The Probe Team

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
There was a time in my life when I actually thought that being part of the Probe Team was the best job one could ever have. Of course I eventually changed my mind when I became acquainted with the kind of work Ian Wright gets to do for The Lonely Planet (I’d still kill to have that job even at this late stage in my career). But back when Jullie Yap Daza, Niñez Cacho Olivarez, and Tina Monzon Palma were the grand dames of public affairs television programs, there was the no-nonsense Cheche Lazaro and her brave clutch of daring reporters.The Probe Team pioneered that genre in local television called “investigative journalism” but is really a mélange of many formats. To try to pigeonhole The Probe Team into a specific category would be doing it a great disservice. They did investigative journalism, yes; but many looked upon it as a magazine show, or a documentary show, even a lifestyle show. For many years, The Probe…

Facebooked

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
A friend scoffed, a bit haughtily I thought, when he read about how the President’s newly formed Communications Group (I know, the name sounds so generic and so nonspecific although it does have a businesslike ring to it) intended to use Facebook and Twitter as communications platforms to bring Malacañang and P-Noy closer to the people. He thought the move smacked of populist schtick. Obviously, my friend has not gotten on board the Facebook bandwagon.I’ve been on Facebook for quite sometime now. Truth be told, I am on many social networking sites. I do have Friendster, Multiply, and Twitter accounts, but I rarely log on to these accounts. But why I took out my own accounts on these social networking sites makes for an interesting digression.There are those who worry about how being on these networking sites opens one up to potential invasion of privacy. I actually signed up precisely to protect my privacy and ide…

Back to work

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
Yet one more proof of how globalized we’ve all become was the upsurge of attention given to the recently concluded World Cup held at Johannesburg, South Africa. It is easy to understand how Filipinos went bonkers over the championship matches between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. We’ve always been inexplicably crazy over basketball. And we’ve always been enamored with anything American. But soccer? The World Cup?I know that there are people in this country who have been advocating the shift in national sport from basketball or boxing to soccer—I know neither basketball nor boxing is officially our national sport, which just goes to prove the wide disconnect between policy and practice in this country—but I guess nobody was listening. Hopefully soccer has finally caught our collective fancy this time around. We’re supposed to be more ideally suited for soccer than basketball because of our physical…

Anything but simple

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
It has been a while since I watched a Repertory Philippines play—the last one was Tuesdays with Morrie many seasons ago. I went with a friend who had been absent from the theater scene even longer than I have been—he said he last watched a stage play when Repertory Philippines was still mounting productions at the Shangrila Edsa Mall, which was like a decade or so ago. Understandably, both of us had some expectations.In addition, Equus is not your ordinary, typical, run-of-the-mill play. It got global attention when Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame took on the role of Alan Strang in the 2007 revival of the play. Actually, I think it really was the fact that he took on a role that required being stark raving naked onstage for ten minutes or so that made people stand up and take notice of the play.We knew there was going to be nudity. We’ve seen the clips on YouTube showing Radcliffe prancing around in his birt…

Pandering to the media

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
No further details were given on the exact nature of the seminar that the new Cabinet members are obliged to attend other than it is something about how to handle media. Would they be taught the finer points of diplomacy and tactfulness, such as how to tell to sod off while flashing one’s pearly whites? Perhaps it would be a crash course on anger management? Or could it be a program on image re-engineering—how to master certain behavioral skills that give the impression that one is a thoughtful, considerate, thinking professional even in the midst of extreme provocation?As a human resource management professional, I am heartened by the message that this move sent, which is that not even Cabinet members are exempt from attending training courses or learning new behaviors. Perhaps the President himself should go through the course since he is championing this paradigm of leading by example. And lest we forget, P-Noy…

Muffling sirens is not enough

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III covered a lot of ground in his inaugural speech. He promised to return power to the people, curb corruption, prioritize poverty alleviation, upgrade the quality of education, cut red tape, reform the military, honor the memory of his parents, silence his garrulous sister, etc. Just kidding about the last one. In general, he promised a “better Philippines.”I didn’t expect P-Noy to present a strategic plan for an inspiring future, or even just for the next six years that he will be President. Strategic thinking is something one cannot associate with this administration or with this particular President who has risen to power courtesy of a confluence of spur-of-the-moment events rather than through careful planning and strategizing. Besides, doing so would have been superfluous anyway given that the man himself is supposed to represent hope and deliverance. His assumption into t…