Friday, January 30

Mindanao, My Beautiful Mindanao

I was in Grade 5 when my parents decided to transfer to Mindanao, permanently. That was, give and take, 25 years ago. While we had limited opinions as we were yet kids, we were apprehensive of finding our place in Mindanao because of the things we heard back then about the place. 

That there are killings in Mindanao, that the Muslims are known to be abusive people, that we are foreigners to their land, and that it is hard to live there because of the conflicts between Christians and Muslims are just some of the reasons why I and my sisters wouldn't want to welcome the thought that we were leaving peaceful Antique to a land unbeknownst to us.

But it happened. My family moved to Mindanao. Passing through Zamboanga City, we arrived in Koronadal, South Cotabato and it is where I took my 6th Grade and more. It is the land which opened my eyes that what they say about Mindanao is not true. That there is no truth to some lies they say about the land. That Mindanao is beautiful. 

And then I and my family continued to survive, lived through many conflicts in General Santos City and in Koronadal where my parents lived. Until I graduated from college, had a family in General Santos and traveled to Mindanao places where they say could be dangerous but only found the beauty that is Mindanao.    

I have heard so many conflicts arising in my land. And I even experienced the fear of some of these instances. It was in 2005 when a series of bombings happened in the city where I live. I was in Law school when texts about bombs planted all over the city spread. One among those bombs exploded, some dismantled. I remembered how fearful I was to go out the streets of the city. But Mindanao has not been truly affected by all these things, as it continues to bear fruit lessons, tighter friendships, vigilance and wider perspectives to its people. The Maguindanao Massacre, the series of clashes between the government troops and insurgents, and many more, they were experiences that were felt by Mindanaoans, and yet we continue facing life. 

Mindanao is beautiful, very beautiful. Davao, Kidapawan, General Santos City, Zamboanga City, Cagayan de Oro City, Cotabato City, Surigao, Butuan, and many others. These cities including its rural areas are beautiful. Its clean rivers, lakes, falls, and many other tourist attractions are just some of the things that make up a beautiful Mindanao. But I am not saying this just because of tourism in Mindanao. I say this because of its people who are equally beautiful. There may be differences between our beliefs and culture, but we remain friends when we see each other outside. We respect each others' beliefs, and we make sure that we respect each other as a brother. 

I salute the men who fell to protect our country. They died in the line of duty, making themselves sacrificial lambs in the hope to attain peace. But they were slain, fallen. But there could be a reason here, I believe. While some say an all-out-war is needed to pulverize the enemy in order to bring peace, would there be peace, really if that happens? Would it eventually stop the killings, the brutal abuse of the rebels against our men. And I still salute those who, even in this trying times, would still want to continue the pledge that s/he has pronounced in commitment of his duty.

You who say an all-out war is needed do not understand what it is, how it will greatly affect the people of Mindanao, the people of this country in general. You who call out for a war do not understand that there will be children, students, parents, grandmothers, lives who will be at stake. You do not understand that we here in Mindanao will be greatly affected by what you say could turn peace around. You do not understand that Mindanao is wide, very wide, and that when you say there is war in Mindanao, you only refer to a small part of the huge island that is Mindanao. 

We are good here, we are fine. We are indivisible. You might want to qualify what you say about raging Mindanao. Because we here remain a beautiful place. And we do not want war, instead urgent peace. We pray for peace to reign, again in our beautiful land.

 






 


Tuesday, January 20

Back to My Roots

My year and a half of stay at the old office  where I was assigned at, were both happy and sad, both a challenge and a struggle. That short stint as focal person of so many programs has been quite a challenge not because of the work it gives me, but more because of the people I deal with and how multiple my tasks were. There has been times when I could not understand what am I to do first because everything is in a hurry. But I was happy, I had to enjoy the work that was assigned to me. I am supposed to enjoy the people that I have to deal with and I have to be polite to them while having to treat my bruised ego and hurting heart.

But the Good Lord answered my cries. I was transferred to another field office where I can just ride the trike and pay a minimal amount, and so I could save more. More to it than that, I am closer to my family. They are only 10 minutes away from where I now work.

This new workplace is very familiar to me despite the changes of management and the people who are now here. Because the management seemed to shuffle us like a deck of cards, we are at a loss of where we will be assigned, but I am back to my roots. This is where I started my employment with the DOLE, and this is where I have learned to deal with the public who are our bosses. I am now back to my roots where I can be at ease, where hopefully no one can spread lies about me, and where people would appreciate the things I do for the good of the agency. 

I am now back to my roots where I will continually love and enjoy the things that are expected of me. I am back to my roots which has shaped me to be a good public servant. I am now at ease here, and I am praying that I can move forward, and others may see my worth. 

And I am hoping I could share my experiences with you on each passing day, as I dwell back to my roots.





Sunday, December 28

FREESTYLE BAND and DJ TOM TAUS at the Grand Year-end Party of SM City General Santos

Where do you plan to be for the rest of the long holidays? It will be more days of rejoicing because school is still out and to party on a good day is not a sin, but a chance to have fun.
 
So free yourself! Be indulged to a merrier magical shopping, dining, entertainment and experience the dazzling year-end party tradition of SM City General Santos featuring the renowned Pinoy Rock- R&B band, FREESTYLE and the former child actor, DJ TOM TAUS.

FREESTYLE band was dubbed as the Most Popular Group Entertainer by Guillermo Awards in 2002 and one of the premiere bands in the Philippines. They were the makers of hit songs such as “So Slow” and “Before I Let You Go”. FREESTYLE has a soulful sound, influenced by rhythm and blues and urban music.

After 14 years of leaving the country to migrate to the United States, former child actor TOM TAUS is back in the Philippines. TOM TAUS has been making a name for himself in Hollywood as a DJ and known as “DJ Tommy T” to Los Angeles Club Crowd.

Catch them all this December 30, 7pm as you also enjoy the extended mall hours until 10 o’ clock in the evening. Get entertained with their world-class voice and international-calibre stage performance and witness the Magical Fireworks Display at The Roof Deck of SM City General Santos.

For updates and inquiries, check-out SM City General Santos (Official) on Facebook, or call (083) 878-0667.


Saturday, December 27

Thank You, Sarangani Province

So tomorrow would be my last day in DOLE XII-Sarangani FIeld Office.

Just like in any relationship, my 1 year and 6 months of stay in Sarangani was quite a challenge. The province being considered as one of the poorest has become a test for me. It was a test to see how I could be contributory to its progress. However, the time that was given to me to stay in the province as its servant may not be enough to really create an impact, but I am not complaining. I am happy that I have learned the dynamics of the province for which I have learned to love in my short stay. The people have been very welcoming. The trips to the three-pronged directions of the province may have been painstakingly enduring, but it was a good ride.

The first 6 months have become very enjoyable, I have learned that the people I get to talk with are diverse in themselves. I enjoyed speaking with the people in their most common language, and I have showed interest in learning their customs and traditions. Dealing with the high-ranking officials of different municipalities may have given me apprehensions, but it was as if I have befriended them in the long run. Until I have become familiar to their personalities.

The following year has been busier, what with the many programs that we are providing service for, add to that the many other administrative functions with which I have to attend to. But I did not complain, cannot complain because I enjoyed everything.

What I will miss about Sarangani are the people, the places I have visited, the friendship I have made with the many different folks I have shook hands with. I have developed a rapport with the networks we have founded, from the career guidance network, the PESO, the barangay officials with which I personally was pressing for reports, lists, and many others. It is a bitter sweet emotion to be leaving the province that has adopted me, and welcomed me open arms in such a short stay.

I may have fallen short of your expectations of me, and I apologize for not delivering. I may have curtailed the patience I am supposed to give but I am only human capable of making mistakes. I may have shortchanged you of the services I gave you, but that's because I am feeble, unhealthy, and loaded with so many things in my mind that I cannot cater to all your needs and wants. If I have offended the people I have dealt with, it is with great sorrow that I have not been careful. And pardon me for the way I may have behaved if I have become too haughty, too assertive. I may have driven people crazy because of the reports I was asking, only because I want other people to believe that we can deliver what is expected of us.

To the heads of the province and municipalities who were more than willing to accommodate my requests for Special Recruitment Activities, Job Fairs, visits and orientations, conduct of LEGS and many others, my gratitude for allowing me and my group to disturb your peace. I know we may have been very pesky but only because we aim to contribute to the employment, protection and betterment of the worker's welfare.

Come January, I will be treading a new direction, and I am happy because I will get to learn more, deal with another batch of people, make friends with new people. But more importantly, I will discover more of myself in my change of direction. It is a direction that I cannot complain about because it will mold me and shape me to what I aim to be, a good servant. It will be a new direction that as the new year brings will bring me new challenges, new learnings, new tasks.

Come 2015, I will welcome a new adventure in my life. And I am excited! And it is with great gratitude that, come 2015, I am praying for a better part of ME. And this will be very helpful to my family, because I will be a lot nearer to them, will find more time with them, and I get to save extra moolah for the movies minus the cab fares in going to Alabel.

Thank you, Sarangani Province. It has been a great ride!

‪#‎thankful‬ ‪#‎thankyouspeech‬ ‪#‎pamamaalam‬ ‪#‎change‬ ‪#‎newdirection‬ ‪#‎excited‬ ‪#‎FarewellSarangani‬ ‪#‎HelloGensan‬

Friday, December 26

Merry December events at Microtel GenSan

Visiting Gensan this Yuletide Season? Don't fret, we have a lot of exciting things brewing just for you! It is a Yuletide of happiness in General Santos City!

The Christmas celebrations are in full swing at Microtel by Wyndham GenSan as they celebrate a December full of Yuletide happenings and New Year’s revelry. As the only international-brand hotel in GenSan which brings you world-class standards in accommodations, Microtel has a number of exciting events this month that will surely have you coming back for more.

Located right at the Valley High Complex, a lifestyle haven teeming with restaurants, cafĂ©’s, and bars, Microtel GenSan started December right with a successful Christmas Tree Lighting event attended by city officials and Valley High patrons. The affair included a parade at the top of the program as well as a choir performance by the Children’s Joy Foundation and children of the Valley High tenants, which culminated with the lighting of the Christmas tree made of bamboo.

Microtel GenSan also launched its online promo. Take a selfie with the hotel’s Christmas tree as your background and post it in your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account with the hashtags #MicrotelPH and #MicrotelGenSan by December 31, 2014, and get a chance to win some cool freebies from the hotel.

On December 15 to 20, Microtel GenSan hosted a Christmas Choral Competition which was participated by numerous choral groups from corporate organizations, special interests, to the academe. The event was held from 6pm to 8pm with the winner announced on December 20. And on December 31, the hotel welcomes 2015 with its special New Year’s Countdown. Including an overnight accommodations with breakfast in a Double Room for P3,750, or a Suite for P4,750, the package includes a New Year’s Eve Dinner for two (2), a show featuring PULSE RATE, raffle draw, and fireworks display when the clock strikes midnight.

Microtel GenSan provides a safe, secure stay in decent-sized rooms and a good night’s sleep care of chiropractor-approved, queen-sized mattresses that are good for your back. Whether you’re in GenSan for business, pleasure, or just want to enjoy experiencing the Christmas season, Microtel GenSan at the Valley High Complex is the place to spend the season.

Microtel by Wyndham GenSan is located at the Valley High Complex, National Highway, General Santos City. For more information call tel. (083) 553-8080, cel. (0917) 319-7447 or email gensan@microtel.ph









Microtel by Wyndham® pioneered the no-frills hotel concept in the Philippines that targets the mid-market. Its approach is back-to-basics and focuses on providing consistently clean, comfortable, and secure accommodations at value rates. Microtel currently has 13 properties at Acropolis Q.C., Baguio, Batangas, Boracay, Cabanatuan, Cavite, Davao, General Santos, Manila, Puerto Princesa, South Forbes (near Nuvali, Sta. Rosa), Tarlac, and UP Technohub Q.C.  All Microtel by Wyndham hotels in the Philippines are managed by Microtel Development Corp., the hospitality arm of the PHINMA Group. For more information, call the Manila Sales Office at (+632) 899-7171, email sales@microtel.ph or log on to www.microtelphilippines.com. You may also follow us on Twitter @microtelph and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/microtelphilippines for promos and updates.