In less than a year, the Philippines will vote again. It is another opportunity to shape the future of this nation by selecting the leaders whom we assessed to be apt to the challenge to make genuine reforms that will contribute in making “Matatag, Maginhawa at Panatag na Buhay” a reality. For sure, we will hear lots of promises again from the aspirants or candidates during the campaign period. The big question is not just what they promise but also their commitment to fulfill it. Or will it be another confirmation of this famous line – “promises are meant to be broken”? How many of them would truly put their name and honor on the line for every word they utter in different platforms?
Time and again leaders would finish their terms with unfulfilled or empty promises. And somehow it becomes an acceptable practice as we see them get re-elected or appointed. It looks like we are not learning or probably the value of word of honor is slowly going down the drain. If that is the case, what else are we going to lose if the words of the leaders we choose cannot be trusted? We cannot afford to lose another year or two with the ongoing pandemic. The ongoing investigation on allegedly anomalous deals and other pandemic-related issues make us wonder what happened to the inspiring words full of conviction that were uttered to assure the Philippines of an honest and efficient delivery of services.
This week’s value focus invites us to reflect where we are individually and collectively as a nation in terms of how we value word of honor. If keeping our words is important to each of us, this will be translated in the decisions and actions we take including the choices we make in the election. We can do our part as citizens of this nation by making word of honor the norm now. We can start by reflecting on our day-to-day conduct vis-à-vis the oath of office as officials and employees of the government. The same is true in the private sector. How much of those words we utter are we practicing to this day? This is important to emphasize because we cannot impute blame to our leaders if we ourselves are not true to our words.
It is easier said than done is an unavoidable fact. We sing our national anthem with the words “…ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo”. But when we are faced with challenges, we tend to forget our vow to our beloved nation. It is not to accommodate excuses though that gives rise to lackadaisical attitude. Notwithstanding the factors that restrict us, we should continue to find ways to abide with our pledges.
Indeed, the value of word of honor has been and will always be relevant. We need leaders whose ‘yes’ is ‘yes’ and ‘no’ a ‘no’ for it is not just the name of the leader that is on the line but the nation and the future generations. (AOS, CRFV)
What does charity mean to you? At these times of adversity, people’s charity has been tested in many ways but this virtue has a deeper meaning than our common understanding that it is to provide help or raise funds for those who are in need. The scriptures tell us, “Little children, let us not love in word only, neither with the tongue only, but in deed and truth.” This verse did not say that we should not love in words or in tongues, but it tells us that when we love, it must be in words or in tongues, in deeds, and in truth.
Charity in Words or in Tongues
Charity should also be found in our words or tongues. It is contradictory to show your love to people but curse them or tell them words that are not pleasing before God. As it has been said, “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” If we speak harshly, negatively, and wickedly to other people, these reflect the contents of our hearts. If we do this, charity is not complete within us. That is why the Scriptures tell us to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. We should always be reminded that, “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
Charity in Actions
Like what the Scripture emphasized, do not love with empty words because words without action are futile - nothing and have no effect. If we then say we love people, then it must follow that our actions show that we do. We cannot say, “I love you,” and then hurt the people intentionally, plan wickedly against them, or even think of their downfall. We cannot say we love the people, then just look at them suffering while we have the means to help them. This action is not in line with what the Scripture said, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is within your power to help them.” As a leader, do not withhold the growth of your subordinates if it is within your power to develop and nourish them. As an employer, do not withhold the benefits nor hinder the welfare of the employees if they deserve it and it is within your power to do so. As parents in the family, do not withhold your genuine love to your children if you can abundantly show them and let them feel it.
Charity in Truth
In truth, charity is the highest form of love and this is exemplified by God’s love for us. Agape love or unconditional love is the kind of love that this patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, and that is not proud. It is not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. This kind of love can be seen when people willingly give without expecting anything in return – not fame, nor accolades of people, not even acknowledgment because it is their delight to give it freely as they have received freely.
Charity in Words, in Actions, and in Truth
Charity in words, in actions, and in truth is that genuine love the people around really need. Like Jesus Christ, he did not seek his own fame or glory when he gave his life for the redemption of mankind. His sacrifice is the manifestation of his agape love for the people that they may find true life and life more abundantly; that they may be set free from the captivity of sin, hurts, and unforgiveness; that they may be healed from any infirmity; and that they may see the light, and go back to the perfect pleasing and good will of God.
Today, let us reflect if our charity to others is charity in words, in actions, and in truth – charity that is genuine, selfless, and glory-giving to our God and King. Let us turn back from our wicked ways, and resolve to be better, even in the aspect of charity. (CGLG, CRFV)
Perseverance is the determination to pursue and accomplish an undertaking or the tenacity to reach a goal in the midst of difficulties.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the value of perseverance has become relevant. Many lost their passion and zeal to move-on. Some gave up their lives or have committed suicide. Others resorted to vices as an outlet of severe stress and pressure. They were overwhelmed by the seemingly insurmountable odds caused by the adverse effects of the pandemic.
Undoubtedly, rising above the circumstances in this period of time is tough and challenging. Financial bankruptcy alone is too depressing for investors, entrepreneurs, and retrenched employees. A sudden death of a love one where the grieving relatives and family members are prohibited to hold a wake or to see the remains of their deceased love one or to bury him or her in an honorable way is very lamentable. Restrictions in movement is also likened to a prisoner behind bars while being free of liberty. Physical distancing among family members as a protective measure also creates a repercussion of involuntary alienation of affection. These are just among the deplorable scenarios that may be too hard to face for some.
We should be reminded however that adversities and failures are unavoidable. What differs is how we view and respond to the situation. It is a matter of perspective. When we fix our mind to impossibilities, the lesser the chance that we win in life. On the other hand, when we choose to persevere believing that we can surpass any obstacles, the more we prevail. Persistency is an option that we have to make if we aim for success. Resiliency starts from refusal to accept defeat. As Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly we go as long as we do not stop”.
As we celebrate our National Heroes Day, let us not forget the fact that the heroes we celebrate today did not die in vain. They fought and ran the race set before them in order to realize the independence we enjoy today. They labored and toiled purposely in pursuit of freedom notwithstanding all limitations. They were passionate and inspired of their dreams for this nation.
Similarly, we do not neglect to acknowledge the living heroes of our time. These are our fellow citizens who are trying to achieve freedom from social ills in this country. They were resolute in their hearts to bring about change in their agencies, institutions, offices, and community. These are the few who are sacrificially working for a greater future despite of opposition, persecution, threat, or intimidation. They were totally convinced that this nation can become great again. They are consumed by their vision for a new Philippines. What then can we say to them but to keep up the good work and not grow weary in doing good, for in due time, they will reap their reward. Our salute and thanks to those who persevere for change in this country to this day. (NAS, CRFV)
On October 25, 2019, the Department of the Interior Local Government (DILG) officially released a Memorandum Circular number 2019-181 for Disciplina Muna National Advocacy Campaign. The advocacy targets three (3) types of audience – the youth as the next leaders, the young professionals as the contemporary and rising leaders in the present time and the general public. Its pillars include (1) road clearing, (2) disaster preparedness resilience, (3) anti-smoking, (4) ease of doing business, (5) liquor ban, (6) tourist spots clean up, and (7) functional Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC). With the pandemic, it has focused its efforts in ensuring adherence to health standards. One of the advocacy’s principle is to increase the consciousness among the citizens with regards to our critical role and responsibility in sustainable development and maintenance of peace and order as a shared responsibility. This campaign encourages us, as individuals, to make one’s discipline a top priority for us to attain a peaceful and orderly nation.
Who loves discipline? Only a few does because this word is commonly associated with correction, chastisement, castigation, and punishment. People tend to shun away from this word because it is painful and unpleasant. It requires us to change, control ourselves, and follow rules and the like. We tend to overlook its essence because we are so much focused on the inconvenience the process would give us. Our negative perception about it hinders us from experiencing the lasting benefits.
Discipline is defined as a training that corrects, molds or perfects moral character by the NIV Family Devotional Study Bible Dictionary. It is a manner by which we implement things to set something in order, be it in personal, societal, organizational, or institutional application. Dr. David Jeremiah, an American writer, said that training, discipline and correction are painful but not permanent. For instance, a person who is suffering from an illness needs to exercise discipline in following dietary instructions in order to reach the goal of being well. Another, an athlete who aims to bag a gold has to observe discipline in every aspect of preparation. If a person fully understands the reason and the outcome of the process, then it would not be a struggle to embrace discipline regardless of the inconvenience.
Our nation has already began its advocacy towards an orderly and peaceful society in the midst of a worldwide pandemic through the Disiplina Muna National Advocacy Campaign. Will you be willing to be a part of the change and embrace a discipline that will bring an orderly outcome?
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Discipline produces a better person impacting an orderly nation. (MAT,CRFV)
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
We have exemplified the value of courage in many ways as a nation. In the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, our athletes portrayed courage and made history with our first gold medal and also brought home two silver and one bronze medals. We have witnessed their determination and tenacity to overcome challenges to give the best performance that they could for our nation.
Looking back in our history, courage is not new to Filipinos. It is our nature and characteristics. We fought for our independence with our unsophisticated weaponries. In part, we have been through a lot of disasters and calamities but we are still here fighting, not only for survival but also for economic growth. We are known for our resiliency.
We always pick-up the fight against all odds in life. We know that in this time of crisis, the fight is on and we are not giving up. Each one who has been laid off from work is trying to find means to feed his or her family. We are trying to help one another through our community pantries. Our government is doing its part too. Above all, we never neglect to call for divine help. We are endeavoring to create a better new normal notwithstanding the pandemic.
The value of courage is also a vital element in the quest for national transformation. It takes courage to make a difference, to set a new trend, and come against all tide of malpractices and illegal activities. It is the most challenging attempt yet noble, meaningful, and fruitful undertaking. It is the most fulfilling with lasting effect because it is leaving a glorious legacy for the next generation. There have been comments that corruption is impossible to eradicate as it is endemic and ingrained in the system of government. But for a brave reformer and crusader for change, it is possible.
In this time of pandemic, there is a call for strong determination to finish strong rather than simply accept defeat. Courage will give us the strength to overcome lack, sickness, disease, and any form of difficulties. Problems and dangers are unavoidable but to address them fearlessly reverses the negative situation. Now is the time to come out from hiding and raise our voices for a war cry against all pressures and troubles. (NAS, CRFV)
Prayerfulness is not strictly a religious act but a state of being - a lifestyle. It is a natural act that stems out from the condition of our innermost being. If God is deeply rooted in our hearts and in our lives, prayerfulness becomes natural. Nothing spooky, nothing religious, it becomes a habit.
Though we consider prayerfulness a habit, it doesn’t make us less Godly. What does a thousand words of uttered prayer mean if we’re not at peace with our neighbor? If we are resentful and unforgiving? What will our prayer rituals of kneeling, offering, sacrifices, and fasting attain? Do we recall the 3 o’clock prayer habit on television in the 90s, decades ago? It was effective in reminding us to take time to pray, but we’d like to make a point by challenging everyone to take ourselves back to the same scenario. What does it mean to take part in it if we are just robotically compliant? Does it make us prayerful?
We do not discount the power of kneeling and the rituals we perform whenever we pray. We just need to understand what it really means and what it takes to be prayerful. The essence of prayerfulness is the sincerity and tenderness of our hearts - our reverence for God. Being prayerful is a by-product of our intimacy with God. A deep relationship with Him that allows us to operate differently including the way we pray. In our thoughts and in our hearts, whenever we connect and commune with Him, we are already praying. It is also through this that He can respond and communicate with us. For some, the depth of their intimacy with God can result to them becoming naturally supernatural and supernaturally natural - a condition where God can fully operate smoothly and powerfully.
Let us desire to be intimate with God by becoming prayerful - whether verbally or in silence. What matters is our hunger for Him and His presence over our lives. As Values Restoration Officers (VROs), nation builders, statesmen and stateswomen, and advocates of national transformation, being prayerful is an integral part of our lives. When the going gets tough and all human efforts are exhausted, this virtue can enable things to happen - the impossible becoming possible. Together with God, let us win this nation! Let us deepen our relationship with Him and increase in prayer. (KMB, CRFV)
“The most important thing is to have a sense of responsibility, commitment, and concern for each of our fellow human beings.” – Dalai Lama
Sense of responsibility connotes the awareness of one’s legal duty and moral obligation, not only to oneself but to others as well. We are taught to dutifully fulfill our tasks but it also teaches us to see, acknowledge and respond to a need beyond our own. This need may be found in our homes, communities, offices or agencies. If this need was left unattended, it may cause grave consequences like a domino falling on each other leading to disarray. Thus, sense of responsibility encourages us to look beyond our individual chores at hand. It is contributing to something beyond our own well-being and honoring oneself for the contribution made. For this reason, sense of responsibility cultivates in us the basic lessons of life.
Embracing responsibility fosters character development and challenges people in building self-discipline and trustworthiness. Practicing sense of responsibility affects how we handle our life and how we make an effort to achieve meaning in life. As we mature and grow in stature, our authority and power increase that our responsibilities become more expansive. We have responsibility to ourselves, to our family, to our friends, to the community, and to the whole society. It is very vital to personally feel responsible in life. We should do things that have been entrusted to us whether for our own benefit or for others. We need to stir consciousness within us of the responsibilities assigned to us either through directives or through unwritten rules.
In return, by performing our tasks or by taking initiative, we become sensitive of the many things surrounding us and we give ourselves limitless chances to grow and mature. We remove obstacles in learning, thus, facing our tasks would be easier that unleashes our true capabilities and God-given potentials. It also aids us to step out of our comfort zones and explore greater possibilities and opportunities.
It can be best learned when we become responsible of ourselves by taking control of our lifestyle. In taking all responsibilities in life seriously and honorably, we become mature representative of God. Let us then achieve our goals for doing things at its peak towards glorifying God. Let us take responsibility of our personal growth and development so we become an asset in society rather than a liability. We are God’s honorable vessels and instruments. (JVS, CRFV)
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Self-reflection is commonly defined as a process of gaining better understanding of ourselves – our actions, responses, feelings and thoughts. This is most beneficial when we deliberately and sincerely look into our deep intentions and motivations with all honesty and with the desire for growth.
Self-reflection is considered important. Without it, we simply go through the motion or any situation without gaining perspective on what is truly happening until we get a feeling of being stuck, depressed or overwhelmed. It delivers us from any untoward situation such as staying in an unhealthy relationship, unfavorable transactions and impulsive decisions. A lack of it invites us to do the same thing over and over again even when it does not produce positive results.
One of the great kings that ever lived highly encourages us to let God examine us. If God searches our deepest thoughts and every room in our hearts, it is just proper and right that we search ourselves. Consequently, we can mirror ourselves in Him. Knowing ourselves will lead us and help us focus to the right path. This is relevant because there are things that seem right to a person but it ends in death. Taking time to think of every situation that affects us will make us more accurate and judicious. It will save us from troubles.
Socrates famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” This statement emphasizes the importance of the value of self-reflection and analysis. It is one of the means by which we can have personal progress as it allows us to become better. As we improve ourselves, the more that we can lead others towards development. It becomes our game-changer as we genuinely adjust and realign ourselves to what we truly value. It will also keep us from accepting defeat in challenging times such as the current health and economic crises. (CD, CRFV)
Righteousness is oftentimes referred to as uprightness which is having right standing before God and before people. It is commonly known as compliance to existing laws, rules, and regulations. It is an all-encompassing value as the performance of any other value can be deemed an act of righteousness.
The value of righteousness is very relevant in this period of health and economic crisis. It is written in the Scripture that turning away from wicked ways is the condition of God for the healing of our land. It is undoubtedly the solution for the ongoing challenges, both by divine intervention and participation of humankind. This explains why there is a call for genuine repentance and a great clamor for good governance and responsible citizenship since the beginning of our existence as democratic country. History proves that unlawful undertakings in various fields of endeavor have greatly contributed to our nation’s economic decline. It naturally breeds all other problems in society.
To achieve righteousness, it is important to put our emphasis in the proper place. It is not on our human frailty but on our divine ability or capacity to live right. While it is true that we are vulnerable to temptation, we do not settle on such fact. Otherwise, we will always accept all forms of excuses, we remain weak as we are, and we will never progress. We should rather set our mind on our capacity to act and think right by being spiritual rather than carnal. According to ecclesiastical studies, we are not just created with human elements but also with a divine nature. This lies the teaching that we are created in the image and likeness of God. With this in view, righteousness is possible and this is where we should focus on.
Righteousness, thus, is the entrenched edict in all our walks of life. It is implied in the purposes of our Constitution – to build a just and humane society. It is the major aim and policy for the crafting of our laws, rules, and regulations. It is expected among all members of society, thereby, we are mandated to refrain from doing acts contrary to law, good morals, good customs, public policy, public order, public safety, and public interest. Finally, it is required to be observed in our relation with one another. It is codified that each one of us must, in the exercise of our rights and in the performance of our duties, we should act with justice, give everyone their due, and observe honesty and good faith.
We are blessed to have a nation that upholds righteousness and we should be proud of it. Moreover, it should be the mark of a true Filipino. If we have been abiding in our moral principles from time immemorial, we could have gone too far as a prosperous nation. But it is not yet too late to redeem the time to realize our dreams. Let us walk circumspectly taking into account the future of our beloved nation. (NAS, CRFV)
“…Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love.”
Everyday we face various situations that could potentially find us in a place of getting upset, frustrated, offended, or hurt and none of us is exempted from this reality. It hits us differently depending on the severity of the action, words and the relationship one has with the offender. For instance, an insulting remark from a stranger may have a not-so-hurtful impact as compared to a comment from a trusted friend, a colleague, or family members. Most of the time, our reaction to such situation is influenced by multiple factors such as our life experiences, our view of self and the other party, our values and principles, and many more. We have tons of reasons to justify our response, which could be in the form of revenge, living with pain or ignoring it, or walk through the path of forgiveness.
Getting even at the person who inflicted pain could possibly trap us in a cycle of hurt. On the other hand, trying to live with the pain or momentarily negate its existence could potentially rob us of nurturing meaningful relationships. All these lure us to be enslaved by bitterness, anger, despair and even negative thoughts. When we are in this unforgiving state, we are robbing ourselves of the love, joy and peace that nourish our wellbeing.
Researches have proven that forgiveness has positive impact to mental health (e.g., reduced anxiety and depression) and physical health (e.g., reduced stress, lower mortality rate) outcomes. They noted that as an individual forgives, he or she is relieved from chronic stress, which is considered as the pivotal link between forgiveness and positive wellbeing. Further, research on interventions show that discovering empathy and compassion for the offender or the person who wronged us has a role in the process of forgiveness.
With the benefits that forgiveness brings to our mental and physical health, we can then say that it matters. While it does not easily make one forget the offense nor does it nullify the wrongful act committed, forgiveness allows us to make meaning of the incident, value the lessons learned, and make wiser choices that will maintain peaceful heart and mind. Forgiveness stems out from a heart that loves and understands the kindness that God has bestowed upon us, showering us with His mercy and grace instead of punishing us from all our unrighteousness. With this we can forgive because we were forgiven first even before we asked of it.
The value of forgiveness also plays an important role in the workplace other than the benefits it gives in our personal lives. It produces harmonious working relationship among the personnel that will also increase productivity. Excellent outputs are also expected because the workers are focused on their tasks.
Choose the path of forgiveness now and reap the benefits in 30, 60 and a hundredfold of peace of mind and a heart that is free from any form of bitterness. (AOS, CRFV)
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.