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Showing posts from March, 2011

Character flaws

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
I also don’t approve of Pinoy bashing particularly when it’s done for no other reason except to make fun of ourselves and our (many) weaknesses and peculiarities.But there are times when we really need to take a long hard look at ourselves to discover how we compare with others particularly during crisis situations. The objective is not so much to inflict harm on our collective ego but more to help us realize that there are more proactive—and infinitely better—ways to respond to certain situations. We can always learn from reflection.In the last two weeks there has been this ongoing comparison between the way Filipinos and Japanese behave during crisis situations. The general drift of the comparisons has, as can be expected, been embarrassing for Filipinos. Obviously we pale in comparison to the very orderly, disciplined, and almost stoic way in which the Japanese have been behaving in the face of the enormous dif…

Caste system for learning

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
In the interest of disclosure, I will state for the record that I am a human resource management professional who, when the opportunity presents itself and there is no conflict of interest involved, also accepts management consulting jobs including conducting training programs and seminars and speaking at various conferences and other learning forums. I have conducted training programs and workshops on leadership, communications, team building and strategic planning and thinking for various executives including local officials. I have spoken a number of times at conferences organized for barangay officials and leaders. Most of these were conducted in hotels and conference centers, some of them in resorts in Bohol, Cebu, Davao, La Union, etc.I don’t see anything wrong when local governments bring local officials such as barangay captains to a beach resort for a training program provided they have allocated funds fo…

A week of bad news

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
A major earthquake struck Japan and unleashed a tsunami that wrought more devastation on its northeastern coast and sent the rest of the countries in the Pacific basin in panic.The conflict in Libya reached fever pitch over the weekend as the United Nations Security Council , after expressing “grave concern at the deteriorating situation, the escalation of violence, and the heavy civilian casualties” voted to authorize member states to “act as required to prevent harm to Libyan citizens.” The resolution declared Libyan air space a no-fly zone, strengthened the arms embargo against Libya, and reiterated the freeze on Libyan assets in foreign banks.Although Libyan despot Muammar Gadhafi promised to abide by the UN Security Council resolution, he nevertheless dashed off angry letters to the Council and the Presidents of the United States of America and France. He denounced the foreign intervention in what he called a…

Summer treat

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
Initially wanted to submit a piece about the way Congress handled the impeachment proceedings against the Ombudsman. However, I decided to ditch the idea because, really, what else is there to say that has not been said yet? Besides, the last few days have been depressing enough what with all these bad news coming our way from all over. I think we need to take a short break from politics.Well, the weather bureau has announced that summer 2011 will be a welcome respite from the annual tradition of untold suffering from extreme heat. I think this is good news for many reasons. One, the consumption of electricity will hopefully not be as pronounced as in previous seasons. Two, this would mean less expenses for parents who would not be forced to bring their kids to the mall everyday to cool off. Three, a cooler summer would enable schoolchildren to enjoy their vacation from school.Of course there are people in this co…

False alarm

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
Here’s what I really want to know: Who are these people who are churning out all these doomsday scenarios and what exactly do they get from instigating panic and fear among the populace?Do they get an emotional high when they know of someone who almost becomes catatonic after, say, receiving that message they started about a radioactive cloud from Japan slowly drifting to the Philippines? Do they get their kicks from knowing that thousands of students were sent home by one of the largest universities in Metro Manila because parents and students kept on badgering school officials about the alleged threat to lives?The first text message, which I received last Monday at 12:32 pm, had this ominous warning (some words have been spelled out in full for clarity): “BBC FLASHNEWS: Japan government confirms radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear plants. Asian countries should take necessary precautions. Remain indoors first 24…

Disaster preparedness

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
Many things can be written in the aftermath of 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan and the tsunami it unleashed last Friday - but where and how do we begin?I’ve seen quite a lot of really horrifying things in the more than four decades that I have lived in this planet, but the images we saw over the weekend set new benchmarks. The extent of the devastation left most of us with our mouths agape, searching for the right words to describe the horror.Truly, we are all puny to the wrath and fury of Mother Nature.Like most people, I cannot imagine how it would feel like to experience an earthquake of that magnitude. The 7.7-magnitude earthquake which brought the Hyatt Terraces Hotel in Baguio City and a number of buildings in Cabanatuan and other parts of Luzon crushing to the ground in 1990 seemed to pale in comparison to the earthquake that struck last Friday. But those of us who went through that experience in 19…

Soap opera

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
Sometimes it seems to me that we’re all living in a soap opera in this country. The situations we often find ourselves in are surreal and the level of histrionics is often unbelievably, well, soap operatic. There are times when we half expect certain people in power to publicly break down in tears and start spewing cinematic dialogues—oh wait, these have, in fact, happened!Take the case of the current travails of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. This long drawn-out drama has been hogging the headlines for quite some time now and the twists and turns of the real-life controversy have become even more complicated than the average soap opera.If we are to believe Gutierrez, she is the hapless victim in the whole sordid chain of events. She is supposed to be the suffering heroine whose rights have been and continue to be mercilessly trampled by the oligarchs in this country. Of course she claims to be innocent and right…

Too little, too late?

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
So, acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario is in the Tunisian capital of Tunis to personally oversee the evacuation of Filipino overseas workers from conflict-torn Libya. Del Rosario’s physical presence so close to Libya (reports indicated that he would have wanted to go to the Libyan capital of Tripoli had there been flights available) has sent quite a number of eyebrows into the stratosphere.There are those who insist that whatever direct benefit to be gained from del Rosario’s physical presence in the area is purely symbolic. The job of welcoming Filipinos streaming out of the border between Libya and Tunisia, arranging flights back home, and providing various forms of assistance can be delegated to bureau chiefs. There’s also the matter of security. It’s a romantic gesture devoid of practical significance, critics say.But there are also those who laud del Rosario’s courage and hands-on approach to…