“We must strive to remain active and relevant in the midst of pandemic. The value of our hard work can be seen and measured as we create new opportunities for others to pursue”
It’s been five months since the COVID-19 infection was declared a pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that pandemic is not a word to be used frivolously or carelessly. If misused, it is a word that can cause unfounded fear leading to unnecessary losses, emotional/ physical suffering, and even death.
Many nations have and are facing insurmountable challenges and struggling with the reality of their capacity to overcome & recover from this global pandemic. The Philippines is no exception. This unseen enemy has sucked too much of our economic resources. It’s a war that we have no choice but to face head-on.
The government has been working non-stop trying to weigh in things – its pros and cons, finding balance across too many factors. Then they can only cross their fingers and hope that things turn out according to their projections. Meanwhile, they are working hard to monitor its progress, implement back-up plans and at the same time planning, preparing for whatever will come next. If this isn’t hard work, what could it be?
Moreover, this pandemic has taken its toll on us all. Many have lost their jobs and closed businesses; the front liners are exhausted but will have to continue going; our government officers are overwhelmed but they still need to implement protocols, strategize, make & adjust decisions. Let us all remember that while we are all having a difficult time, there are those who have no choice but to work hard during this crisis. Not doing so can possibly cost immeasurable consequences – to our society & the Philippines as a whole.
Filipinos as we are, we are naturally resilient – able to withstand every adverse challenge and calamity that comes our way. We have the power to be resolute and quickly adapt to circumstances. Our ability to survive and adjust will allow us to win this war no matter how complicated things will turn out to be.
The value of hard work, is currently being redefined. It is ongoing, continuous, and it keeps challenging us to participate and embrace it. We are being admonished to mature from mediocrity to excellence. To find opportunities in adversities – turn it around and make it favorable towards us and our society. Be innovative, take advantage of digitalization/ technology and use it for transformational causes.
We are not just renovating the landscape of our economy but we are transforming and uplifting lives. In all that we do, we must inspire others, instill in them that there is hope - that this and other pandemic is not part of our future. We show people that there is a way out. Meanwhile, still an excellent pathway we must rise and revolutionize our strategies to make it more robust and relevant in the coming years.
We must strive to remain active and relevant in the midst of pandemic. The value of our hard work can be seen and measured as we create new opportunities for others to pursue. Let us also approach it with gratitude – that we are thankful of having work to do, not for monetary gains but a deeper sense of meaning, sense of worth and dignity. Above all, we work fully trusting God, knowing that we are working alongside Him.
We work hard and we value it, not only for ourselves but for the nation and the future generations. We work as One, we heal as One. (JVS, CRFV)
“Bear one another's burdens”
#WeHealAsOne is a famous hashtag nowadays. This is our version in bearing one another’s burdens. However, how can we heal as a nation if not all of us have a sense of responsibility? In a war against an unseen, cruel enemy, people need to be responsible in all areas of life not to compromise their personal health and eventually everybody’s safety.
In this COVID19 stricken society, living with a sense of responsibility is a must. This is because a person is living not only for himself but for the people around him, his family, his community and his nation as a whole. What happens to him affects his areas of influence, immediate and adjacent. A joke on Facebook even says, “It’s so touching nowadays if one acquires a cold because the whole community is concerned. In the past, no matter how sick you are, no one in your neighborhood cares.” This only means that the impact that a person has is extended to his immediate surroundings and even to the adjacent ones. Therefore, it is necessary that one should be responsible for his own actions, his choices and their consequences.
Many acquired the disease just because of irresponsibility. Looking closely on the cases of those who are infected with COVID19, many acquired the disease by reason of their jobs like those who belong to the front lines. Because they are responsible enough to do their jobs, their health was compromised. However, it’s sad to note that many acquired the disease just because of irresponsibility, particularly their unwillingness to follow protocols and orders. Even during the pandemic, many still made their way to different places, ignoring protocols, just for the sake of tourism or drinking spree. Some even refused to wear masks and observe social distancing in public places. As a consequence, they became culprits in spreading the disease. Aside from violating the orders of the government, their irresponsible acts caused danger to people around them.
If we really desire to heal as one people, we have to observe a sense of responsibility over the following areas:
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"Resourcefulness, when used for the common good and is driven out of a pure heart, does not bring success to oneself but brings success to others and to the nation"
Our nation has been fighting against COVID-19 for already five months now and we are continually striving to survive the negative effects of this unseen enemy. Lately, we find an increasing number of COVID 19 cases causing depleted government funds, increasing unemployment rate and closing business establishments. We cannot deny the fact that all of us are affected by the latter and are now doing something about it personally and collectively and the main goal would be to keep on finding ways to survive.
One of the Filipino traits that we are proud of is being resourceful. We are known to be talented and highly creative. Resourcefulness is defined as the ability and creativity to cope with difficulties. When we are faced with a dire situation our automatic response is to find ways to get out of it. How we overcome the situation means a lot. Given that we are resourceful, how does it affect others and our nation?
Resourcefulness, when used for one’s selfish and greedy desires, affects others negatively. We are aware of the issues of graft and corruption in our country and we see how creative the minds of those people involved with such unrighteous acts are. Sadly, they are fully aware of how other people and the nation suffer because of it but because of the greediness and selfishness, they still do it. Even in this time of national and international crisis, these people are still operating. We also hear some businessmen/women who overprice essential products to gain more from their customers in these crucial times where many are financially tight.They lie and cheat to survive at the expense of others. “God cannot be mocked, a man reaps what he sows.”
On the other hand, resourcefulness, when used for the common good and is driven out of a pure heart, does not bring success to oneself but brings success to others and to the nation. Some of us may have heard about someone who initiated plastic dividers for jeepneys to ensure the safety and protection of the passengers that made our transportation accessible even in this crucial time. Nowadays, employment and some businesses are negatively affected but we find Filipinos coping up by shifting to other businesses such as online selling. The Council for the Restoration of Filipino Values (CRFV) also sis their share to help by making face shields and food packs/snacks and distributed them to the frontliners in Baguio and some parts of Benguet. Some private individual served foods, reliefs and cards to encourage others at their own expense. Indeed “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.”
God is indeed sovereign to create us with such a resourceful mind not only to survive alone but to survive together. We cannot deny the fact that we need to fight our own battles in these crucial times and we need to find ways on how to survive. Let us always remember to be resourceful in a righteous way where we not only build ourselves but build others and our nation as well. How should we be resourceful in the right way? It is written, if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. In a righteous way we will survive! (CRFV, MAT)
Transforming the nation through restoration of Filipino values knows no end or boundaries. In the past years, CRFV has been traditionally implementing its programs and services – face to face, up close and personal. Of course, it was successful and had transformed many lives and influenced changes in many government agencies.
Though digitalization and broadcasting have been introduced more than a decade ago, it was only until we were hit by the COVID pandemic that the Council jumped into the ship. In this case, broadcasting of the weekly Filipino values along with relevant updates and words or encouragement. This avenue became the most powerful and effective channel for CRFV to not stop pushing for national transformation.
This broadcast is brought to us by CRFV in partnership with Cool 97.5, a local Baguio FM radio station who has also strengthened their live streaming capability since the current pandemic. Together, we were able to explore and successfully took advantage of many present trends and technology in terms of mass communications.
The first CRFV live broadcast was conducted on May 25, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, hosted by Mr. Jesus Sison, Atty. Carolina Lim-Gamban, and Mr. Nathaniel Saquiban. The segment is entitled “Building the Nation through Values.” Later on, the slot was moved to air from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM and guest hosts from the CRFV winning team and Values Restoration Officers were invited to share best practices. Atty. Joyce B. Balong became part of the hosting team, too. Again, present technology and trends were adapted since some of them are joining in via cloud.
This platform is one of the Council’s main focus at present because of its potential to reach more people – beyond schedule, beyond location, beyond race, across boundaries. We are continuously striving to know current and relevant events to accurately deliver inspiring messages in this uncertain times. It is a work in progress and we expect to reach out to more people in the days to come. We shall never stop from getting the good news across so expect more innovations in the coming days.
Please tune in to the live broadcast every Monday, from 11:00 AM to 12:00 NN (MNL time). Watch party link is often shared on our official Facebook page or VRO group page. For those who missed the live broadcast, a replay is also uploaded on our You Tube channel. Please subscribe & click the notifiction bell to be updated.
Together, let us banner, “Righteousness exalts a nation; values build her for all generations.” (JVS, KMB, CRFV)
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has been an active partner-agency of CRFV for 6 years now. It is among the first government agencies who implemented the Values Restoration Program (VRP) nationwide. VRP is a public-private partnership between CRFV and the Civil Service Commission that aims to train and raise Values Restoration Officers (VROs) in every office. At present, there are over 100 VROs nationwide from DENR out of more the than 2,000 appointed VROs from every agency, nationwide.
Moreover, DENR Central Office, together with CRFV had customized Civil Accountability & Values Enhancement Seminar (CAVES) as an exclusive program for the Department around November of 2015. A series of CAVE Seminars then subsequently took place throughout the years.
The faith and trust between CRFV and DENR wasn’t hindered by the current COVID pandemic gathering restrictions as they had just concluded another CAVE webinar on July 17-20, 2020. In fact, it is the pioneer client of CRFV in terms of conducting events over the cloud. It was attended by 32 participants from the DENR Central Office.
Though it was a new path and direction for CRFV, it is able to deliver the webinar objectives as a traditional seminar can. Based on the pre and post evaluations of the attendees, there is an increased knowledge among the participants related to the topics discussed during the event. Execution and handling of related administrative matters were excellent, clear communication was delivered, topics were comprehensive, relevant, and appropriate. Fortunately, the facilitators are experts and were well-prepared to deliver.
As an overall result, 32 participants from the webinar are enlightened and ready to fulfill their roles as environmentalists. They can and will do more as they anchor everything to the Filipino core values that were discussed. Not only will they technically do their jobs, but they will now do it with passion, understanding their purpose.
This is what is needed from every government employee in the midst of the uncertainties due to our present situation. As the partnership between CRFV and DENR remains to be strong, positive things will add on to the foundations we are building towards healing and recovery from the current pandemic. Remember our banner: We Work as One. We Heal as One. We Build as One. (JVS, CRFV)
“Perseverance, patience, and determination will help us move forward even in the most difficult of times.”
On July 27, 2020, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivered his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA). In his statement on the infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program, he said, “perseverance, patience, and determination will help us move forward even in the most difficult of times.” Such a remark does apply not only in the building of infrastructure projects but also in our day-to-day lives - that we succeed and not merely survive amid challenges we are facing.
"Continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success." This quote from Michael Williams signifies an action of experiencing victory in the continuance of one’s unceasing efforts no matter the odds. Such is the case of Jack Ma, a person with a net worth of about $39 billion and runs Alibaba, one of the world's largest companies. He had experienced rejection countless times in pursuit of his dreams. For instance, Ma applied for different jobs and was rejected, and he got denied ten different times from Harvard. Despite this, he ended having several successful companies. Indeed, it is just a matter of perseverance.
“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we will reap if we do not give up.” Saint Paul of Tarsus, in this passage, is urging us to do good in our respective areas - family, workplace, school, church, and government. We ought to take care to do good and make it a business of our lives, especially when given the opportunity and in the reach of our power to do so. Furthermore, doing good involves yielding to the Spirit of God and exhibiting the fruit He produces such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Accordingly, as we exercise these virtues in our lives, doing good will become inevitable, and success and lasting reward will become our portions.
Battles are fought in our minds everyday. Joyce Meyer said, on what to do if we are tired of toughing it out or persevering in life’s various challenges, “...when we begin to feel the battle is just too difficult and want to give up, we must choose to resist negative thoughts and be determined to rise above our problems. We must decide that we're not going to quit.” In application, if you are writing a report, do it one page at a time; If you are working on a project, do it one phase or stage at a time; When you work, do it gladly one day at a time; When you study, one subject or class at a time. Eventually, you’ll find that perseverance is in effect in your life for success in your endeavors. (CRFV)
How can one rise above the perversity of his own generation? A quotation says, “If you cannot beat them, join them.” Many people believe this is the only way to survive in a rat-race-like workplace. However, people of integrity do not allow the wickedness of their environment to drive their behavior and shape their character.
Integrity has two kinds: cultural and Biblical. Cultural integrity answers the question, “How can roses grow out from the ashes?” This question stems from the fact that a person’s environment is crucial in his or her molding process and the development of his character. In short, the environment forms a person’s background and dictates the formation of his core values comprising his character. Convincing as it may be at any rate, the fact still remains that a person has the choice whether to maintain pure and clean in the midst of filth.
Consider the lotus Flower. From the outside, the lotus looks perfect. However, a more in-depth observation would make us realize that a lotus Flower grows out of the mud and stays afloat even in the midst of dirty waters. When water drops on the petals, the water easily slides off. Like the lotus, integrity as a character, allows one to stay clean and pure amidst corruption. Even if an irregular act seems to be normally happening in an office, a person with integrity would not allow himself to join this seemingly “normal” practice of the bureaucracy. Integrity takes a conscious choice on a person not to take part in any unlawful or immoral conduct based on an established set of standards. Integrity therefore is “unchangeableness in changeable times.” It is living within one’s absolutes regardless of the strong temptation to deviate from them.
Biblical integrity, on the other hand, goes beyond good works. It surpasses a person’s sense of righteousness by his or her own deeds. Necessarily, this places integrity out from a person’s capacity to be good as a human being. Thus, this kind of integrity is premised not on man’s own effort but Christ’s. By winning the battle against sin on the cross, Jesus made integrity (wholeness) available for all who believe. This enables one to feel whole despite the imperfection brought by his weakness as a human being.
No matter what kind of integrity a situation or environment demands, let us endeavor to walk upright for it is the only way to live right. Gain integrity by living and loving righteousness, honesty, truth, justice, and purity. As the Word says, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” How about you, what would you rather choose?
We are people with integrity. We are not defined by our surroundings, friends or things that we accumulate in life. We are who the Lord says who we are as written in the Holy Scriptures. Our integrity not only depends on our good works but also on what Christ has done for us. We are whole. We are not a generation whose completeness depends on man’s approval. From now on, we endeavor to live with integrity, work with integrity and walk with integrity, not only in words but also in mind and in deeds. So help us God.
Almighty God, help us to look at ourselves and our fellow human beings the way You look at us. Allow us to understand that our integrity is not a result of our good works and our own righteousness. In our workplace, help us to walk with integrity and allow us to maintain contact without contamination. Help us to set the trend of living in righteousness even in the midst of temptation, sin, wickedness and corruption. Help us to walk uprightly. “Not by might nor by power but by Your Spirit.” In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.