Image hosted by TinyPic.com

Monday, August 08, 2005

We now have a website

Flag Society Philippines now has a website, www.flagsociety.ph. After Noel left for his work as a seaman, the group has been inactive. My fault. I lost steam due to the current political situation.

I love my country and I want to share whatever I can to see it progress. But the way our politicians are running our country's affair, it is just too frustrating. Right now, I would rather be a fence sitter than be part of this whole circus. I won't support call for GMA's resignation nor will I support calls for her to stay in office. In short, I don't want to be part of this whole telenovela.

Last night, I was able to catch a part of the show Tara Na, Pinoy on ANC. Patricia was then interviewing Dylan Wilk. I love this guy for loving our country that much. In the episode, Dylan was beaming with hope. Without second thoughts, he said he will raise his children here in the Philipines. Then Bo Sanchez had an inspirational talk. This is a great show! Let's support it. It's on ANC every Sunday 6:30 pm.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Power of the Human Spirit

(This is the speech delivered by Dr. Josette Talamera Biyo at the Best Practice Forum of San Miguel Corporation, held in Shangri-la Hotel, Edsa, on October 24, 2003.The theme of this year’s Forum was “Will To Win.”))

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. For a high school teacher to speak before a large group of business executives for the first time is overwhelming. But it is indeed a great honor and a privilege to speak to the group of people who is responsible for making San Miguel Corporation the top food and beverage company in the country, and on its way to becoming one of the top companies in the Asia-Pacific. I am here to talk about "The Power of the Human Spirit."

Indeed, the human spirit has no limits. If you dream big, and you have the determination and the will to pursue your dream, it will become a reality. I dreamt of making stars; I was given a planet.

A few months ago, I was featured in the local, national and international newspapers. I caused a stir to be the first Asian teacher to win the "Intel Excellence in Teaching Award" in an international competition held in the U.S. Since its inception in 1997, no Asian teacher has received this award. But I think what created waves was, I am a Filipino, and I defeated 4,000 other teachers from around the world, including the American finalists in their hometown. Because of this, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory in Boston named a Minor Planet in my honor. There is now Planet Biyo rotating around the sun which is located between Mars and Jupiter.

What made me win in this international competition? What made me stand out from among the best teachers in the world? My road to attaining this international recognition is a very long 23 years of improving and harnessing my craft as a teacher. I consistently study and learn new skills to improve my method of teaching. I want my methods to be interesting, relevant, and fun for students. For just like any product, the measure of teaching success is clientele satisfaction.

I finished a B.S. Biology degree from U.P. in the Visayas hoping to be a medical doctor. For lack of financial resources however, I took the first job opportunity available -- teaching. Never did I regret this twist of fate. The day I entered the classroom, I knew I would be an excellent teacher.

My first eight years of teaching were spent in a rural school. For lack of teachers in proportion to the number of students, I taught not only biology, but also other subjects outside my field such as English, Music, and Physical Education. The materials, equipment, and facilities for the type of effective teaching I had in mind were absent. These challenges however did not dampen my enthusiasm for the job. In fact, I became more creative and innovative.

I believe that teaching and learning should not be confined within the classroom. Even during those first few years of teaching, I see to it that the science concepts I discuss inside the class would have social dimensions. Thus, I took an active role in school as moderator of the Rural Health and Science Education Committee. I designed outreach programs for students and teachers. Through these programs, students were trained to teach primary health care to the people in the barangays. They also taught barrio folks how to make cough syrup from plant extracts and soap from coconut oil. Students also gave lectures on environmental protection and conservation.

Those eight years of teaching in a rural school has prepared me for greater challenges ahead. Working with the children of the poor has instilled in me the importance of service, compassion, and respect for human dignity. I have learned to love teaching, and I see it as an instrument for transforming the person and the community.

After eight years of teaching however, I felt I had nothing more to give to my students. I resigned from my teaching job and enrolled as a full time M.S. in Biology student at De La Salle University in Manila. I was lucky to get a scholarship that included free tuition and a monthly stipend. To augment my stipend, I taught as part-time lecturer in the Biology department and worked as research assistant by one of the senior researchers in the university. This I did on top of my full-time MS load. I was so engrossed with my studies however, that I finished my M.S. degree in one year and five months only, after which, DLSU took me in as a full time assistant professor.

Teaching college students at De La Salle University was an entirely new experience. With modern and sophisticated equipment at my disposal, my world opened to the wonders of scientific research. However, I still value the importance of nature as a big laboratory such that in my ecology classes, I would bring my students to the seas of Batangas, the rivers of Rizal, and the lahar-affected areas of Pampanga to conduct field studies. Pursuing my Ph.D. while teaching also enabled me to conduct researches that were presented in the country and abroad.

Research is very exciting. It means sleepless nights, disappointments, physical and mental exhaustion. But the joy of discovering something new in nature makes it all worthwhile. While Manila has provided me with opportunities for professional growth, I still feel that my heart is in Iloilo. Thus, with an additional degree and one additional son, I brought back my family to Iloilo in summer of 1995.

In June 1995, Philippine Science High School Western Visayas hired me as a Special Science Teacher. Only on its third year of existence, the school welcomed my suggestions and expertise. I helped develop its Science Research curriculum and introduced some innovations for teaching the course. Barely a year of teaching at Pisay, I realized that my role was not only to teach students but to train teachers as well. This I do by organizing workshops for teachers in the region.

One day, I received a letter from the students. The letter said, "Dear Ma'am Josette, we know you are being groomed for directorship of the school, and you would want to be the director someday, given the chance. The thing is, we don't want you to be the director. We just want you to be a teacher. Pisay needs teachers like you. The Philippines needs teachers like you." Their letter touched me deeply.

When I won the Metrobank Foundation Award in 1997 as one of the outstanding teachers in the country, the Pisay community gave me a poster. The poster was a white cartolina filled with signatures of students, teachers, and the non-teaching staff. In the center was a painting of a rose, and the message which says, "You are the song that plays so softly in our hearts; that gives us inspiration to aim for greater heights and bigger dreams. Congratulations. We are so proud of you."

In 1998, I won another national award as one of "The Outstanding Young Filipino" formerly known as the TOYM in the field of Secondary Education. Last year, I won the "2002 Intel Excellence in Teaching Award" in an international competition held at Louisville, Kentucky from May 10-17.

In Kentucky, I presented to the panel of judges and to about 150 teachers from all over the world my method of teaching Science Research to my students in Iloilo. I told them that the Philippines is a third world country blessed with abundant natural resources. However, we face problems such as the rapidly declining environment and the lack of equipment and facilities for scientific endeavors. Faced with this situation, I introduced innovations and strategies for teaching the course.

These innovations included: a) building a scientific library, b) conducting field studies, c) establishing linkages with research institutions in the country, d) holding science forums in school, and e) teaching students laboratory and field techniques which would help them in the conduct of their research work.

The judges and teachers from different parts of the world were amazed that even in the absence of sophisticated equipment, my students were able to produce quality research outputs beyond their expectations.

At this point in time, let me show to you what we do in our Science Research class? (a five minute power point presentation of my class activities).

I went to Kentucky with three high school students from the Manila Science High School, and one student from the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. These students competed in the International Science and Engineering Fair, which was held back to back with the teaching competition. The students from Manila Science competed for a team project in Physics, while the student from Iligan competed for the individual category in the field of Microbiology. These students were competing with 1,200 other students from around the world.

May 17, 2002 was a glorious moment for the Philippine delegation in the U.S. When it was announced that the student from Iligan won second place grand award for Microbiology, our delegation was ecstatic. When it was announced that the students from Manila Science won first place grand award for Physics, our group was delirious. When the grand award for "Excellence Teaching" was announced, and for the first time in the history of the event an Asian teacher won, and a Filipino, there was a standing ovation from the crowd as the Philippine flag was waved in the air.

The Philippine delegation's road to success in Kentucky was far from smooth. We almost never made it to the U.S. Our visa interview was scheduled on May 29 when we were supposed to be competing in the U.S. by May 10. Almost desperate, we went to the Department of Foreign Affairs for help, only to be told that the Office cannot give us an endorsement letter to the U.S. Embassy because they cannot guarantee that we are coming back.

It was a painful experience for me and the students. Anyway, we were able to get our visa on the last minute the most unconventional way, and brought glory to this country.

Let me show to you the scenario during the first day of the teaching competition.

When I entered the judging area, one table in front was occupied by the board of judges. At the right side of the room, the table was occupied by the finalist from China and her supporters. The table at the left side was occupied by the finalists from U.S. and their supporters. The center table for the Filipino finalist was empty. I sat there alone.

I went to the U.S. bringing a CD for my presentation. I also brought some transparencies and a white board pen in case my CD won't work. Coming from a third world country, I was prepared for the worst. It turned out, I was the only finalist without a notebook computer. Luckily, one American finalist lent me his computer; but before doing so, he gave me a brief lecture on the parts of the computer and its use.

I was the fourth presenter. When it was my turn to present, a panel member asked if I needed an interpreter. I said, "No thanks." A personnel from Intel volunteered to run my presentation. I said, "I can do it." After my presentation, they said, "Wow, you're so cool. You know more than us!"

What am I telling you? That despite our country's limited resources, Filipinos can compete globally given the proper training, support and exposure. Our winning at the international scene may not reflect the general condition of science education in the country. But with our concerted efforts, my dear fellowmen, we can move this country forward and show the world that we are a globally competitive race.

Last May, I was in Cleveland, Ohio to present my methods of teaching to 150 teachers from 17 countries. I also served as the team facilitator for the Spanish-speaking teachers from Brazil, Costa Rica and Argentina. Last August, I gave a demonstration lesson to educators from the third world countries of Laos and Cambodia.

Filipinos are indeed talented and will excel at the international level in their individual capacity. But as a country, we lag behind. This is because we lack the spirit of community, which is very strong among progressive nations.

When I went home to Iloilo after the competition in the U.S., my school gave me a very warm welcome. During the convocation, students and teachers expressed how proud they are of me. I told them, "I am very proud of you too. It is you who has brought me to where I am now. Our experiences together has brought world attention to the fact that hey, there's a world-class school out there in Iloilo; a school with world-class teachers and students. I told the teachers and I quote Mr. De Quiros that "being world-class doesn't mean going internationally and showing our best out there. Being world-class is passion and commitment to our profession. Being world-class is giving our best to teaching. Being world-class starts right inside the classroom."

In winning this international award, I do not claim to be the best teacher of the land. There are thousands of best teachers out there, working silently, giving their hearts to teaching, without thinking of benefits or rewards. I salute these teachers. In winning this award, I believe I was just commissioned by somebody up there to deliver the message that indeed, Filipino teachers can be world-class teachers. In winning this award, I have shown to the world that Filipinos can be world-class if they choose to be. And more importantly, I have shown to my fellow Filipinos that they can be world-class if they choose to be. That if we do our best, we can conquer the world.

During the panel interview in the U.S., one judge asked me, "You have a Ph.D. in Biology, why do you teach in high school?" I answered, "And who will teach these kids?" Another judge asked if how much am I paid for all my pains. They were shocked when I told them that I am getting a net pay of not more than $300. a month.

When your job becomes your mission, your primary concern is giving your best in everything you do. Knowing that you have contributed significantly towards the creation of a product, which can make a difference in your company and the larger community is reward in itself.

Believe in what you are doing. Believe that you can make a difference. Believing, however, doesn't mean you have to stop from where you are now. Believing is improving your skills and maximizing your potential. With determination and the will to win, your company can conquer the world.

As members of the San Miguel Family, you are lucky to take part in the production of high quality and accessible consumer products that can be found in every Filipino home. Your skills do not only contribute to the development of the country's economy, but you also bring out the spirit of fun, joy, and laughter into the lives of the people; thus helping make everyday life a celebration. Your capable hands can paint a true image of the Filipino as a people - intelligent, hard-working, passionate, fun-loving, creative, innovative, "magaling!."

You could paint one bright picture of this country and its people - by your achievements in the workplace, your teamwork, integrity, passion for success, and your discharge of civic responsibilities. You can show the world that you are the new technocrats, capable and willing to meet the challenges of the new order of market globalization. You can show the world that you are the new citizenry, capable of making this country a worthy member of the league of peace-loving nations.

Be proud!
Thank you very much.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Leadership influences basic values

By Ramon J. Farolan
Inquirer News Service


Published on page A15 of the April 17, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

AS I mentioned a few weeks back, the Philippines will soon be hosting the Southeast Asian Games. Much attention is being focused on preparing our athletes, on sprucing up the different venues for the Games, and on setting up security measures necessary to protect all the participants.

Somehow as we move closer to the opening day of the Games, I am reminded of an incident dating back to more than 10 years ago, when the members of the Philippine delegation to the 12th Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan paid a farewell call on President Fidel V. Ramos just before their departure. Part of the program for the day was the singing of the national anthem. Apparently, it was done in a lukewarm, halfhearted manner that it resulted in a public scolding by the President. "What's the matter with you? You will represent the country in another land and you cannot even sing the national anthem properly," Mr. Ramos said. An attempt to recover lost ground was cut short with a curt "Don't bother, you
should have prepared for this earlier."

Here were the top athletes of the nation bidding goodbye to the chief executive, and they couldn't belt out the national anthem with the enthusiasm and spirit that the occasion called for. It was possible many of them were not familiar with the words and were just going through the motion of mouthing the lyrics. Some were slouching instead of standing erect with head held high and chest full of pride in being sent to represent their country at such an important and prestigious sports event. Some were not familiar with or accustomed to the practice of placing their right hand over the left breast while singing the anthem. All these may have raised the hackles of the President and his sharp tongue put them on notice that he expected much more from the young people assembled before him.

During my service in the Armed Forces, I have witnessed flashes of this presidential temper on a number of occasions. Just when you think things are moving comfortably, he would remind you of your shortcomings to keep you on your toes.

I was not surprised that something like this happened. It is symptomatic of how we carry on in many of the activities that we undertake in our daily lives-from the way we behave in traffic situations to our inability to set aside partisan interests for the national good. We take too many things for granted, and we place individual concerns over and above community interests.

The system does not seem to sufficiently inculcate basic values like respect for the flag and the national anthem, discipline, civic duties and responsibilities. It is in the homes and in the classrooms where the kids start to learn about the history of our country, where they develop respect for the flag and anthem, where discipline can be instilled while preparing them for useful roles in the community. A lot depends on the educational system, but just as important is the role played by the national leadership.

In Singapore, energetic campaigns for simple civic duties like cleanliness, environmental awareness, polite behavior and courtesy for others, are spearheaded at the highest levels of the national leadership and have inevitably turned out to be huge successes.

One of the things that impressed me most during my stint in Indonesia many years ago was the sense of nationalism of its people. For one thing, there were no endless queues of individuals at the Dutch or US embassies applying for immigrant visas. Their athletes being sent abroad always returned home, unlike some of ours who disappeared after the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. If my recollection is correct, the entire cycling team opted to stay behind.

Perhaps, this can be explained partly by the fact that Indonesia has a national ideology known as "Pancasila" or "Five Principles." These principles, which form the nation's political philosophy, are (1) belief in God, (2) a just and civilized humanity, (3) nationalism or love of country, (4) sovereignty of the people, and (5) social justice. Since its independence in 1945, close to 60 years ago, this national ideology has been drummed into the minds of every Indonesian child-from the formative school years all the way to adulthood with no letup in emphasis and dissemination. Many of the official programs attended by the Indonesian president start with the recitation of the "Pancasila" by a group of youngsters, and this would set the tone for the day's activities.

During the Marcos years, there was a 10-point national ideology that was formulated by the government, but like many projects which we start, there was no follow through and continuity that could have ensured lasting success. I know the cynics and the so-called intellectual sophisticates among us would smile at the idea of having a similar set of guiding principles for the nation. But the fact remains that some of our neighbors, who in the past appeared to be less accomplished than us, are now the ones smiling as they leave us in their dust.

Perhaps if the national leadership devotes more time and effort to the inculcation of basic values among our youth, then the spectacle of our President having to scold our national athletes for not singing the national anthem with more pride and spirit will not be repeated. Maybe, we might yet harvest our first overall championship in the coming Southeast Asian Games and take home an Olympic gold medal from Beijing in 2008.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

SYNERGY

For how many decades now, I watched on the sideline how Filipinos became so politicized that they always have something to say in matters of politics. Be it of national or local issues, there is always something to argue about.

As we argue on who won and who cheated in the last election, our neighbors simply moved on with their productive lives. As we debate on to-vat or not-to-vat, our neighbors have recovered from the devastating tsunami that hit their countries. When will we ever be able to act as one?

Do we act together only when we have a Flor Contemplacion or Angelo dela Cruz waiting to happen? De we come together only when Manny Pacquiao goes to the ring? Do we set aside our political affiliations only when tragedy befell our country? When can we truly get our act together?

We are a helping people. We don’t abandon our relatives and friends who are in need. We easily contribute when calamities strike. Churches and religions flourish because we easily donate. Various groups, foundations, civic organizations, ngo’s, people’s organization, association, clubs, fraternities, sororities, etc. regularly conduct charity work. But still, their contributions are hardly felt by most Filipinos.

Let us have synergy. Synergism states that combined effect is greater than the sum of individual effect. How will it be done? Through our flag. In every activity, be it a medical/dental mission, building homes, distribution of relief goods, donating a deep well/classroom for a barangay, or whatever activity, let the presence of our flag be felt. The recipients of donations then wouldn’t feel below the donors as the will see the donors as co equals, as fellow Filipinos. Not someone who is more educated or economically well off than they are but a fellow countryman helping one another. With the presence of our flag in their activities, the Filipino bayanihan spirit will be magnified. That the help is being done by Filipinos to fellow Filipinos not by a more fortunate members of our society helping the less fortunate. And as these organizations keep doing what they are doing, they should try to educate the recipients their role as Filipinos. The giving organizations should not just give material help but also moral support by educating them of their duties as responsible Filipinos.

Responsible Filipinos should keep the spirit of bayanihan burning. Responsible Filipinos be proud of their heritage by displaying the flag or the very least, give our flag the respect it deserves. Responsible Filipinos should continue helping one another. These may sound trivial but this is the opportunity to instill on our people positive attitudes such as discipline, culture of saving, hard work, etc. It will also be an opportunity to inspire our fellow Filipinos to do away with negative attitudes such as bahala na, pwede na, Filipino time, baka makalusot, etc. Helping our fellow countrymen is the best time to inspire them. How can this be done?

Through the distribution of a flag allegiance primer during the mission of various organizations. This primer will be formulated, published, printed and distributed by the Society. As various organization conduct civic activities, they will have a Philippine flag flying during their activity and the FSP phamplet will also be distributed among its beneficiaries. In this way, through the phamplet, the beneficiaries can make themselves be involved in the better Philippines that we all aspire for. That they may be inspired to be more productive, more patriotic and less of the whining and complaining.

If every organization, groups and associations doing civic work will have the flag at the forefront of their activities and the flag allegiance primer distributed to their beneficiaries, then we create synergy. Synergism among Filipinos coming together through behind our flag and better Philippines. We could create a tsunami from the small ripples created by these civic activities.


“Tell me I'll forget. Show me, I may remember. But involve me and I'll understand.” –
Chinese proverb

Thursday, March 31, 2005

In the name of our flag

The disunity among us Filipinos is the major factor that keeps country from moving forward. We are a deeply divided nation. Since the 1986 People Power revolution, our division has never been healed. When Cory Aquino was swept to power, we had the loyalists making so much noise. It is really hard to tell how huge the following of Marcos loyalists but they indeed created a lot of noise not just in the streets but also the media. Cory's presidency was marked with a lot of coup attempts. These coups also show the deep divide inside the military.

When Fidel Ramos came to power, his presidency was marked with relative calm in the political front. Miriam Defensor Santiago created some noise with her allegation of cheating but her supporters simply faded away after the election. With relative peace on the political front, Ramos was able to make some headway in our economy until the financial crisis struck in 1997.

Erap's ouster from Malacanang brought back the deep division. Another people power, another divide. The Erap supporters were almost able to storm Malacanang on that fateful May 1 incident. Since then, Erap supporters have been very critical of this present administration and almost swept FPJ to presidency, if only they were not cheated, as they claim.

And the divide is always there. This does not even take into consideration the divide of the left and of our Muslim brothers. They have their own ideological agenda. The divide mentioned here is not about ideology but personality and it is pulling us down.

But we do have our moments of unity. Everytime Manny Pacquiao goes to the ring, we're all united cheering for him. In times of calamity such as the earthquake of 1990, the Pinatubo eruption of 1991 and the recent landslides in Quezon, we have shown how we can come together to help our affected brothers and sisters. Do we need more Angelo dela Cruz and Flor Contemplacion to come togetehr as a nation? In 1998, we came together as a people to celebrate the centennial of our independence. But on June 13, 1998, when the fireworks are gone, so did unity, nationalism and patriotism.

When will we ever sustain a sense of unity among our people? A sense of nationalism that doesn't happen only every June 12. Do we have wait for the next calamity to hit us? Or do we have to wait for our bicentennial? Can't we forge that sense of unity NOW?

Not now, not yet but it can be done. It can be done. We don't have to wait for the next disaster to happen nor the 200th anniversary of our independence. We don't need to see another adventurism in the military imposing their will on us. This will only make matters worse. We only need ourselves to do the things necessary to forge unity. It can be done through our flag.

Our flag knows no political persuasion, regional affiliation, ethnic division nor economic status. Our flag is our symbol. It represents our nation. We may differ in our political opinions. We may speak different dialects. We may differ in our religious convictions. We may differ in cultural practices. We may differ in so many things but one thing cannot be denied. We cannot differ when it comes to flag. Red, white and blue. Three stars and sun with eight rays. That's the flag for each and every Filipino.

Our disunity is a reflection of how we have been treating our flag. We do not take our flag seriously. We let old and tattered flags flatter on their lonesome reflecting the sorry state of our nation. To most of us, the flag is just a piece of cloth that doesn't deserve respect. How can we be respected in the community of nations if we cannot even respect our symbol. For as long as we remain disunited, our flag will always be treated the way we treat it now. Or is it the other way around? That is, because of how we treat our flag, we have remained disunited.

Let each and every Filipino treat our flag with respect. Let us revere our flag. Slowly we will see some form of unity. There will be no political issues. It will simply be a call for the respect of our flag. But it has to go beyond that. We should call on our people to display our flag proudly wherever they can. We should embark on a massive campaign to reach the most number of Filipinos here and abroad to display our flag proudly. With this call, our people will no longer be passive but become active participants of social transformation. Social transformation that will be inspired by our flag.

Let us admit it. We have cultural defects. Filipino time, ningas cogon, bahala na, pwede na, baka sakaling makalusot just to name a few negative attitudes. We lack discipline. Ours is a spending instead of a saving culture. We are not innovative and afraid of risks. Putting up a sari sari store or having a tricycle is the only business that we know. Buy Filipino still has a long way to go. But what has the flag got to do with these cultural malaise? We will inspire change through our flag.

After embarking on a campaign of displaying our flag and sustaining it, we will move on to the next level. Through a media campaign, we will call on our people to reject these attitudes that don't help in our advance as a nation. Just like a new religious convert who rejects Satan in the name of Jesus, we call on our people to change our attitudes in the name of our flag. And in the name of our flag, we will not bride nor accept bribes. And in the name of our flag, we will reject trapos and elect only those that who will truly serve the people and not enrich themselves in power. In the name of our flag, we can transform our society and make a better future for the next generation.

We do not need a bloody revolution or another people power. We are tired of coup d etats. We have had enough dose of political bickering. We cannot wait for the next election. We have to move now. We have to act now. Time is running out. Let us effect change through our flag.

THE CELL

I sincerly believe that the success of this revolution is in the cell. The cells will be the heart and soul of the revolution.

What is a cell?

A cell is a group of individuals who will come together and promote the display of our flag. Through a massive information campaign to be conducted by the group, people will be encouraged to form into cells. Cells can be a barkadahan, officemates, classmates, relatives, chatmates, neighbors, villagemates, etc. This will be an opportunity for Filipinos who still have some love left for their country to be part of a social transformation.

The cell can initiate their own activities depending on how they were formed. If its among neighbors, they could agree to display flags outside their homes and encourage others. If its among students, these students can take the initiative to call to the attention of authorities or bring it to the attention of the group whenever they see flags that are old, tattered and faded and yet still being hoisted. A cell in a driver's association can convince their association to reguire all registered vehicles in their association to have a Philippine flag sticker. The possibilities are endless. We just have to be creative on how we can promote our flag.

Through the society's info campaign, the cells can sprout everywhere, from Batanes to Tawi Tawi. We don't need to take in members but cells will be advised that they inform the society of their formation. The society has to know where the cells are in order to coordinate activities if ever the need will arise.

The cell is the key to the success of this revolution.

the third meeting

held on the 21st of March at Figaro Baywalk. seven attended. discussed the mission/vision of the group which will be incorporated on the group's by laws.

Everybody was given the opportunity to express themselves on what they believe should be the mission/vision of the group. essentially, most member want to see unity, promite heritage, be proud of ourselves. I was different. I said I want the flag to be a way towards economic progress. Well some viewed my statement more in the line of buy philippine products. That's just part of it but not wholly. I'll discuss more on that later.

In the middle of the discussion, I brought to the attention of the group about how we started our meeting late. We set our meeting at 7 pm. I was at the meeting place before 7 but we started the meeting at around half past 8. Most came in late. I brought to their attention that we ourselves have to change. Let's do away with the FILIPINO TIME concept. I challenged the members of the group to be on time on our next meetings. If we want to change the attitudes of Filipinos, we have to start with ourselves.

Another agenda was the activities of the group. Member B said that we need to coordinate with other groups. I agreed on that. We really have to network with other NGOs in the promotion of our flag. On my part, I suggested that we should encourage the formation of cells that will support the mission/vision of the group. These cells will not be members of the organization and will operate independently. So the group does not need increase its membership. It only has to promote to foramtion of cells. My proposal was not seriously taken. I believe what everybody has in mind in an organization that increases its membership through time. The more members you get, the stronger the group becomes. I don't buy that. It just won't work that way. I will try my very best to convince the group that the cell formation is the key to realization of the group's mission/vision.

Meeting was adjourned and agreed to meet March 30. It was postponed. I am still awaiting for our next meeting which is usually coordinated by Leon since he knows most of the members.

FLAG SOCIETY PHILIPPINES

as stated in the previous post, our second meeting was held at the Aristocrat restaurant along Roxas Blvd. in Malate. Some members present from the first meeting did not make it on the second meeting while there are new faces on the second meeting, again, mostly buddies of Leon who are all behind him in his cause for the flag.

When the name for the group was raised, a newcomer (ill call him member B) was quite adamant that we should keep the name FLAG SOCIETY PHILIPPINES as this was the name suggested by Leon and that the name has already been reserved at SEC. Member B stated that if we change the name, then we change everything. It will no longer be the one he will be supporting since it is Leon whom he is supporting. Leon would also want to keep the name FLAG SOCIETY PHILIPPINES as he has already contacted people using this name of the group.

Well, what's in a name. I would have disagreed violently with the group's name. First, walang dating. Napaka bland. It is a name that we will be using throughout our existence. So un Filipino as we Filipinos love to play with words and acronyms. Leon, however, finds the name BANDILA too leftist ang dating. And it was also raised that Guingona already has a group named BANDILA. So when voting came, I was the only one who did not vote for the name FLAG SOCIETY PHILIPPINES. But I have to accept the decision of the group. So our group will be named FLAG SOCIETY PHILIPPINES.

it's not a walk in the park

Our second meeting 18March 2005 was at the Aristocrat restaurant in Malate along Roxas Blvd. There nine of us this time. Four new faces. Four absent from first meeting. It was agreed that the name of the group will be called Flag Society Philippines. I objected to the name. Walang dating. I would have preferred Bayang Nagkaisa sa Diwa at Layunin (BANDILA).

A backgrounder

In 2002, I set up the yahoo group groups.yahoo.com/group/philippine_flag. It was an attempt to identify people who might be willing to support my idea that the solution to our problem as a nation is our flag. It may look too simplistic but I sincerely believe it is our only way out.

After some invites, some people joined the group but it never flourished. I would have wanted to put up the group/organization myself but I simply don't have the resources. I know how to execute this "revolution" but financing is a major issue.

I wrote through email to prominent personalities from polticians, columnists and government officials with regards to my vision. Not a single response came in. The only response I got was from the Office of the President which referred my case to PCSO for the funding issue. I did not pursue it.

So I just lived my life. I certainly believe that there is something that can be done to our situation but I just can't execute it. Then can LEON.

Leon suddenly appeared on Pinoyexchange detailing how he was arrested when he was selling Philippine flag stickers at the Baywalk along Roxas Blvd. I immediately contacted him through email and private message. With our communicatiopn, I decided to re activate the yahoo group I set up in 2002.

Then se had our first meeting. The very first entry on this blog.

Leon had four buddies with him. Neighbors and friends who supported the cause. A lady, and her friend, met Leon through another forum. While I met Leon on Pinoyexchange. So we were eight. It was then decided that Leon would be the Founder/President and I was (s)elected to be the vice. The name of the group was left hanging. Three names were suggested:
FLAG SOCIETY PHILIPPINES
BAYANG NAGKAISA SA DIWA AT LAYUNIN (Bandila)
WAGAS AT TAPAT SA WATAWAT (WATAWAT)

It was suggested that we will decide on the name of the group on our next meeting.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

first time to meet

March 15, 2005

it was at starbucks. the one beside shangrila hotel. eight revolutionaries plotting to do something different. not looking for what the country can do for them but what they can do for their country.