by: Micah Tecne
In the early years of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, he faced sleepless nights haunted by unsettling dreams. Troubled, he summoned the kingdom's learned scholars - magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers - hoping they could decipher the meaning behind his dreams. When they stood before him, Nebuchadnezzar demanded not only an interpretation but that they reveal the dream itself. Failing this, dire consequences awaited them, including destruction and ruin.
In this high-stakes scenario, we encounter a valuable lesson in navigating life's challenges with wisdom. Wisdom, drawn from a reliable source, offers three essential benefits:
When Arioch, the commander of the king's guard, embarked on a mission to execute Babylon's wise men, a young man named Daniel intervened with wisdom and diplomacy. Rather than rushing to judgment, Daniel inquired about the king's harsh decree. This action not only spared lives but also allowed time for a solution to be found.
The adage “Ang taong nagmamadali, nagkakamali,” highlights the importance of wisdom in handling pressure and challenging circumstances. It shields us from exacerbating problems and making impulsive decisions. Wisdom, rooted in an authentic source, encourages us to seek guidance and understanding from a higher power.
Turning to his friends for support, Daniel urged them to seek divine intervention from the God of heaven. In a moment of clarity during the night, Daniel received a vision that unveiled the mystery of the king's dream. Grateful, he praised the God of heaven, acknowledging the divine wisdom that had been bestowed upon him.
Wisdom derived from a reliable source expands our perspective, enabling us to make informed choices and decisions. As the Apostle Paul noted, divine wisdom surpasses human understanding, revealing hidden truths. It elevates our discernment and empowers us to stand out in challenging situations.
With newfound insight, Daniel persuaded Arioch not to execute Babylon's wise men and was brought before the king. Nebuchadnezzar, astounded by Daniel's wisdom, recognized the presence of a higher power at work. As a result, Daniel received not only honor and respect but also a high-ranking position and abundant gifts.
Daniel's pursuit of wisdom from an authentic source propelled his rise and brought about his promotion. When we rely solely on our limited human wisdom, we find ourselves constrained. However, by seeking wisdom from a trustworthy source, we tap into boundless possibilities.
In moments when we feel confined by our limitations, the key is to seek the right source of wisdom. By doing so, we can unlock the power of wisdom, allowing it to guide our decisions, protect us from rash actions, provide us with clarity, and ultimately promote our growth and success.
by: Nathaniel A. Saquiban
When discussing trust, we always think of that famous statement in our Constitution: “Public office is a public trust.” This statement will never be fulfilled without the civil servants meeting the requirement of being trustworthy and accurate representatives of the public office concerned. In the past, we heard some stories that some clientele lost their trust in government offices due to bureaucratic inconveniences, illegal schemes, and taxing procedures in availing their services. It is more alarming to hear on a broader scale when investors refuse to invest their resources in our country because of a loss of trust. Allegedly, some are being unduly required to pay a sum long before the contract is executed or as early as in the proposal stage. It is a sad story in our local jurisdiction.
In the above situation, trust should be earned. Before we can expect others to trust us, we should exert effort that we deserve that trust in integrity and reliability. We should ensure that we are trustworthy enough to assume the office assigned to us and committed to performing the duties and responsibilities attached to it diligently. Thus, our laws prohibit any civil servant from having a financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract, or transaction in which he/she intervenes or takes part in his/her official capacity. In like manner, it is required that public officials and employees shall perform and discharge their duties with the highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence, and skill and shall enter public service with utmost devotion and dedication to duty.
If we belong to government service, do we deserve the trust of others, both from our colleagues and clientele? Are we building the trust of the people transacting in our office? Do we remain on guard in our conduct and character to preserve the dignity of public office? If part of the corporate world transacts with the government, do we comply with the standard requirements imposed? These are reflective questions we must answer and contemplate if we are to preserve public trust in any public office. It is a must for all who believe that trust is a non-negotiable value. It cannot be compromised, nor can it be downgraded.
Know how valuable trust is. Due to trust, opportunities will be opened. It is the foundation for promotion, rewards, grants, appointments, elections, and other favors or benefits. On the contrary, if trust is lost, opportunities will be closed. As mentioned by Invajy, “Trust is fragile, don’t break it: Once broken, it will never come back to its original shape.” We concede to that statement.
Similarly, it further states: “Trust takes many years to build, few seconds to break, and forever to repair.” It is indeed vital yet delicate and must be handled with care. Trust is a vital ingredient in all forms of relationships, partnerships, and engagements. It is a stepping stone to unity and progress.
by; Micah A. Tecne
Communication is one of the essential means of achieving a stronger bond or connection with someone. When we constantly talk to someone, we get to know them in a deeper sense, we develop a more intimate relationship with them. We eventually trust them even with our inner struggles and deepest secrets. We love to be with them through thick and thin, knowing they’ll be with you. Constant and healthy communication cultivates a stronger connection.
If we want to be closer to someone or to strengthen our connection with others, we make every effort to reach out to them and continuously communicate with them. Most of the time, however, we fail to remember that healthy communication is two-way, sometimes we are the ones who listen and there are times that we are the ones who talk. It is why we must have good relationships with people around us, we need an avenue to express and communicate our thoughts, feelings, and ideas. What more if we can communicate with God, our Creator? How much more will good communication with Him accomplish?
Prayer is among the most effective way of communication with God, a vital ingredient to strengthen our spirituality - we are able express our joy, victories, pains, struggles and give our burdens to the One who knows us and can understand us. Through prayer we can receive peace and assurance from the Almighty God who is all powerful to turn things around for us. As we establish our prayer lives strong, expressing and exposing to him the fulness of our being, including our faults and flaws, dreams, and desires, we begin a two-way communication with Him. This prayerful way of communicating with Him will eventually sharpen our spiritual senses to hear and receive His active response to everything we say to Him. And yes, to everything, whether silently or with direct response, God hears and responds to everything we pray to Him.
Saint Paul encourages us to not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. It is the desire of our Father to be with us in all of our seasons. He wants to have a healthier, deeper and closer relationship with us. For He has a lot in store for us. He wants us to be great! To have a stronger connection with Him, to be friends with Him like Moses, King David, Daniel, and other great and prayerful men in history.
As we reflect on the value focus on prayerfulness under the core value of spirituality, we realize the importance of making prayerfulness as our lifestyle and establish strong connection with the Only Source of everything - the Almighty God. Whether we are walking through tunnels of uncertainties, confusions, heartaches, trials and testing or we are walking on the clouds of celebrations, happiness, and victories, we will remain connected to Him, who is all-knowing, ever present and all powerful.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
by: Nathaniel A. Saquiban
Sense of responsibility, by the term itself, is being sensitive to responsibility. It is simply doing our best to perform our work completely and excellently. It is staying focus of what needs to be done rather than being lax, procrastinate, and in a lackadaisical attitude. It is like being haunted by the task and cannot rest until the work is finished. A person who has sense of responsibility is uncomfortable or uneasy seeing an unfinished business. Normally, that person is not living in a comfort zone and always on the go or up to the task. He or she need not be reminded or motivated to do the work as he or she is on top of every situation.
In part, sense of responsibility is not only in terms of work performance but also in the area of accountability. It is assuming responsibility or accountability when something went wrong under a person’s watch or supervision. Naturally, a person passes the blame to others and run away from responsibility when setbacks occur. Not so for a person with sense of responsibility because he or she even answers for the mistakes committed by others or his or her subordinates. As John Maxwell said, “A sense of responsibility is the clearest indication of mature leadership”.
How many leaders today have this kind of character? Sometimes, it is disheartening to watch and listen to the responses of leaders under panel of investigators who put their subordinates to peril and in a precarious situation even if the matter is under their command and authority. They hastily, negligently, and selfishly make wrong decisions for their personal advantage but when problems arise, they deny involvement to such thing or to such subject of investigation. Never did they know that they will be all the more esteemed when they take responsibility of the consequences of their actions or decisions.
Leaders with sense of responsibility, thus, is not after position or fame but rather service. They are always mindful of what they can accomplish rather than what they can gain. They know that every function they take is not for personal glory but an additional responsibility. The more they accept responsibility, the more they get promoted to higher office and become great. Winston Churchill said in this wise, “The price of greatness is responsibility”. Nonetheless, in some parts of the world, only few are willing to pay the price yet they want the benefits. Thus, they resort to swift yet illegal means to get what they wanted.
Our country is in need of leaders with sense of responsibility. People who feel responsible for the ongoing poverty among large number of the populace and whenever there is economic challenges. They are prompted or alerted by the negative circumstances and forced to arise in order to find solution. They cannot afford to sit back and relax knowing that their constituents or fellow citizens are in the midst of trouble. These are the type of leaders who do not only give the answer but they become the answer themselves because their existence brings confidence and assurance to many that Philippines has a better future. May their tribe multiply and be countless.
by: Keren May B. Busaing
Our lives are a tapestry of diverse circumstances, each person having their unique story to tell—filled with joy or sorrow, encouragement or despair, triumph or defeat, and countless other experiences. While we may share common goals and visions with others, the complexity of individuality demands a varied approach to navigating life's challenges. Amidst this intricacy, the value of self-reflection and analysis emerges as a powerful tool applicable across our differences.
Often, our struggles and difficulties can be traced back to a lack of self-reflection. Reacting instinctively to situations may lead to irreversible negative consequences, making self-analysis crucial for personal development. Self-reflection and analysis involve diving deep within ourselves, setting aside external influences, and opening ourselves to personal moments of introspection — an intimate connection with our own thoughts and most especially, with God.
In this process, we lay our hearts bare, acknowledging the true condition of our being—the good, the bad, and the ugly. We assess our intentions and motivations, seeking to abandon the negative and align ourselves with higher purposes. This act prevents us from falling into the trap of self-justification, ensuring that our responses are rooted in pure intentions rather than ego-driven reactions.
Recognizing that self-reflection isn't an innate trait, we must consciously choose to cultivate it. This begins by confronting the worst version of ourselves and deciding that it is not the path we wish to follow. By developing an attitude of self-reflection, we create a foundation for instinctively responding to life's challenges in a constructive and growth-oriented manner.
As men and women called to serve and inspire others, let us sow the seed of self-reflection and analysis deep within our hearts. Often overlooked, this essential element can be the missing ingredient in great causes and advocacies. When those involved are consistently guided by self-reflection, clarity of purpose, pure intent, and humility emerge as defining traits. By staying in touch with our hearts and remaining aligned with the Almighty God, we avoid being deceived by external influences.
Today, let us take a look within ourselves, examining our actions and intentions. Tomorrow, let us continue this practice, ensuring that self-reflection becomes an integral part of our lives. As we grow and learn, our ability to inspire and positively impact others will be enriched, creating a ripple effect of transformation in the world around us.
by: Ame-phil O. Saquiban
The word conviction has different meaning. It could mean the finding of guilt of an accused of crime. However, conviction as a value means the willingness to heed the dictates of conscience leading to a sense of remorse and repentance from sins. It is the realization of mistakes that will lead a person to turn away from unrighteousness.
Conviction is very relevant in our days. It is material ingredient in the pursuit for change because it takes personal transformation to achieve national transformation. Indeed, it is true that the imposition of penalties helps as a deterrent to any form of malpractices. Nonetheless, it is not sufficient because an individual may be incorrigible even after serving a sentence unless and until he or she has been transformed internally. Internal transformation is possible if there is conviction for sins with the decision to live a new way of life. The good thing in this manner of change is voluntary rather than forcibly. The person concerned decides to turn away from sin.
The government is taking effort to achieve a genuine change among its personnel and its citizenry. It is investing much on trainings and seminars that reminds everyone the need for change. However, how many of the attendees truly put to heart the lessons learned on those seminars. Without heeding the nuggets of truth, conviction may not be achieved. For conviction to happen, a person’s heart must be open to receive the truth.
Looking into the realities of today, there are some people who seems unfettered by penal laws that even during broad daylight or in the presence of law enforcers, crimes are committed. Others just merely repeating their evil practices over and over again thinking that they will not be caught at any instance. It seems like they had a seared conscience that they cannot recognize their detestable misdeeds. Their wicked lifestyle became a norm.
Indeed, a person is honorable not because he or she holds an honorable position and possesses numerous ideas in mind but because he or she lives honorably. As Winston Churchill once said, “One man with conviction will overwhelm a hundred who have only opinions”. In the Philippines, we have brilliant and intellectually competent leaders. However, to this day, we still keep on fighting against all forms of corruption in governance. It shows that cognitive prowess is insufficient. It takes excellence in the internal configuration coupled with knowledge power among those in authorities and our citizens to achieve a desired national progress.
Let us therefore be led by our conviction. Let us abide with the existing laws and rules and meet the high standard of righteousness as required. We shall remain to be the true Pilipinos. Pili na, pino pa.
by: Dr Laurence Mascay
Justice is important in any society, like our country, the Philippines. It is the main thing that helps us get along with each other, solve problems, and protect our rights. Justice means being fair to everyone in a society. It involves giving people their rights and making sure everyone follows the rules. Justice tries to fix things when they go wrong, keep those who need help safe, and make sure society stays peaceful. Justice has two parts: making sure the way things are done is fair, and making sure the results are fair too.
In the Philippines, working toward justice involves many different things. It means trying to fix problems in the system, making sure judges are honest, and making sure everyone has the same chance to get justice. The country has some big challenges, but there have been important improvements in making the legal system better, fighting corruption, providing legal help, and supporting human rights. These efforts show that many people are committed to making the justice system fair and following the rules. Such is good news, especially for the majority of Filipinos who are less in life and look up to the fairness of the law.
Sadly, many Filipinos complain of injustices here and there. Wherein to them, the rich and powerful are favored and, at times, bend the law to their good while the masses are deprived of justice and experience the full force of the law for petty crimes committed. Such happenings lead some people or victims to distrust the justice system of the land, and some have even put the law in their own hands and become judges themselves. Many others, however, entrust the unfairness and injustices they have been through to the hand of God. Theodore Epp, a writer, said, “If you have been mistreated, cheated, or deceived and if your heart has been right all along, be assured that God knows this. God will eventually vindicate you.”
As values advocates and catalysts of change, we hope and look forward to the Philippines as a fairer and just place to live. And each one has a role to play in this noble undertaking and in advocating justice as a pillar of a fair society. Therefore, be a voice to the voiceless, never compromise your values for some valuables, do not stay silent when injustices take place before your eyes, and never take revenge as no evil act goes unpunished. The Scripture says, “Never take your own revenge, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Justice is a pillar of a fair society, and each one of us has a role to play.
by: Nathaniel A. Saquiban
Our independence did not come easy. Our ancestors fought hard for the liberation of the Philippines. Even when their cry for freedom cost their lives, they did not waiver until the fulfillment of their aspirations for the nation. Some did not live to see it happen; but their acts inspired others to continue the fight. We are free because of their sacrifices. As we commemorate the Philippine Independence Day, let us honor them. One of the meaningful ways we can honor them is to ensure that the Philippines remain free. But this leads us to reflect on this question – “Are we really free?”
Contemplating on the present situation of our country, the cry for freedom remains to this day. While we are no longer under colonial regime, there is presence of territorial disputes. Neighboring countries are also claiming the areas we claim to have exclusive rights for exploration and use of marine resources. Moreover, we are internally bound by several societal ills (e.g., graft and corruption, substance abuse, etc.) brought about by the detestable misdemeanors of some unscrupulous. We are fighting for freedom outside yet we are in captive on the inside. We created our own confinement. When will this cry for freedom come to an end?
Our late hero, Apolinario Mabini, who is known as the brain of the revolution, is the same hero who said, “…ang kailangan natin ay isang rebolusyon, hindi lamang sa panlabas kundi sa panloob”. While he is aware for the need of independence from foreign invasion, he is also aware of the fact that there is a need for inner freedom from ruthless individuals. As early as in the year 1800s, he knew that we also need internal revolution other than the physical or armed revolution.
This nationwide internal bondage cannot be addressed unless and until we are free from internal bondage individually. A lot of us are imprisoned internally by our selfish interest nature that drives us to become delinquent or commit misconduct. The good news, however, is that – we had a revolutionary, our Lord Jesus Christ, who set us free from sin and gave us the capacity to live in propriety. By divine intervention, we can now consistently obey the laws and legal orders.
Let us therefore put an end this cry for freedom. Few individuals cannot do it. It can be achieved by joint efforts of every stakeholder of the country. As citizens of this nation, we are all stakeholders of the destiny of the Philippines. It is our mission to liberate our country from impending destruction of economic downturn spawned by seemingly unending acts of graft and corruption and other unlawful activities. It is within our power and we are able. Together, we can.
by: Keren May Busaing
The phrase "not everyone is born to be a leader" is frequently heard, and while there is some practical truth to it, can we not choose to pursue the path of leadership instead? Leadership is an inherent aspect of humanity, whether we are aware of it or not. At this very moment, let us examine the first situation that comes to mind—is leadership present or necessary? Consider our family as an example: Is it harmonious or chaotic? Would you agree that the state of our family, whether happy or not, is influenced by effective leadership or its absence? If a father lacks leadership qualities or qualifications but attempts to assert authority as the head of the family, will it not cause conflict? Many families are dysfunctional because fathers assume leadership roles without the necessary character to support them. Conversely, some families are dysfunctional because fathers fail to step up as leaders, leaving mothers or even the eldest child to take charge. It is important to recognize that leaders are shaped within families and their leadership style is significantly influenced by their upbringing.
So, how should we view leadership in light of the above illustration? Let us perceive leadership as an inherent part of our being—an essential value and an internal quality ingrained within us. This kind of leadership is primarily driven not by accomplishments or positions, but by the integrity of our character. Additionally, it is crucial to understand that leadership is not devoid of vision, for without vision, people perish. In the context of our illustration, every family must envision itself as strong, happy, peaceful, and productive to make a positive contribution to society.
This can be quite challenging, considering we live in a world where positions and titles hold significant importance, and leadership is often driven by competition and strategic maneuvers. Such an approach to leadership is destructive and unhealthy. As Values Restoration Officers, our first responsibility is to establish our inner leadership quality. By prioritizing this aspect, external factors like titles will naturally follow. Promotions will inevitably come our way. We should strive to fulfill our positional roles with the necessary elements of true leadership, characterized by integrity, excellence, compassion, and humility. We should avoid using our positions to boast or exert power, as this only creates discomfort and tension for those around us.
While the call to leadership is strong, let us pursue it with the right motivation. Let us take pride in the path we are choosing. The Lord will elevate us to leadership positions, not mediocrity. If we pay attention to the commands of the Lord our God and diligently follow them, we will always be at the top, never at the bottom. The ultimate key to long-term and progressive leadership is to follow the Lord's ways—practicing righteousness in pursuit of a vision that benefits everyone.
Considering these points, we should stop pondering whether we are born to be leaders or not. Such thoughts are restrictive and often used as convenient excuses by those who do not wish to rise to the challenge. The path to leadership is not solely about climbing the ranks; it is about enhancing the integrity of our character and naturally attaining promotion as a result. Our motivation should not stem from a desire for positions and the fear of losing or being demoted. Instead, let us be inspired by the kind of leadership that transforms lives and accomplishes God's purpose. It is a journey we embark on with joy, excitement, and diligence—a path that will leave a lasting legacy.
by: Ms. Carol Lim
The need for each other is not a weakness. It is called interdependence. It is both a fact and a truth that we need each other, as the Word says, “None of us lives for himself and none of us dies for himself”. In fact, even in the most basic unit of society - the family, interdependence is very visible. Children need the love and care of their parents while the parents draws inspiration and motivation from their children to take the extra mile in providing and caring for them.
In our society, each one has gifts, skills, and talents that one can share to others and contribute to the overall wellness of the community. For instance, some are good in the sciences where doctors, engineers and scientists arise from; in the arts where singers, dancers, and artists emanate; in sports where different kinds of players and athletes excel from; and in other fields where we can see people with different skills who are able to contribute to the society. Although we have different gifts, skills, and talents, this does not mean that we are independent from each other. These are given so that we can be one whole body and be as one in meeting the different demands in our community and society. Since no one but God is omniscient or all-knowing, we need the expertise of one another in order to address a need. This way, we are knit together as one community that will progress and prosper as one country, just like what the Holy Scriptures says, “…As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”
Just like our bodies, we cannot just separate nor isolate one part from the other in a perfectly functioning body. We cannot separate the cardiovascular system from the body because if we do, no oxygen, nutrients, nor important substances can be supplied to other parts and organs. Nor can we separate the skeletal system because if we do, the body cannot stand because it lacks support and protection. Parallel to our society as one body, each one’s contribution is significant. We cannot afford to be part of the body that will bring forth its destruction or malfunctioning because others that are mutually dependent on us will also be affected. Our actions may bring either negative or positive effect to the bigger community we belong to. Say for example, the effect of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This has created a negative impact on many countries, ours included. Interdependence includes accountability. We must be circumspect in our actions so that we will not be the cause of others’ loss or suffering.
As we are but in one nation, one world, one Earth, let it be that our contributions to our society be positive and significant. Let our interdependence bring forth peace, progress, and prosperity so that we could reach Ambisyon Natin even before 2040.
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.