by: Micah A. Tecne
In this world that is full of disturbance, chaos and tribulations, who would not want to be delivered from it? To have the freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions? Oh, when we can lie asleep with nothing to worry of. To have a moment where we feel safe and quiet. A moment of tranquility. Having peace, lasting peace.
We can temporarily have it by building structures with strong foundations, inspiring calm environments, choosing calm and perfect people, pursuing fame, wealth and power and other sources of peace that we can think of. We can attain them all but again, it is just temporary. One that may last for some time but it will eventually end. We hear stories of wealthy, famous, and powerful people who fell into severe depression and worst, some have taken their own lives thinking that they will finally rest in peace. We find buildings constructed by skilled and prominent builders break and fall. We see beautiful and calm places where we find safety destroyed by calamity. Wealth, power and fame can be lost overnight. This is the sad reality about relying from the wrong sources of lasting peace, security and refuge. Temporary sources bring temporary peace. These sources are counterfeit authors of peace.
The one and only Author of peace is He who can bring us to the safest and calmest place. For He is not the author of confusion but of peace. He is the Lord of peace the source of it at all times. Having Him is having peace. A comforting voice telling us in times of chaos and disturbance to not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known to Him. For in Him we can both lie down in peace, and sleep; for He alone makes us dwell in safety.”
Who is the author of our peace in this turbulent world? If were pursuing peace from temporary sources at all cost in the past, will we also be willing to pursue its authentic source? Knowing that the peace that He can give us is the peace that the world cannot give, it’s the peace that the world cannot understand.
We cannot deny the fact that bad circumstances, people and emotions are present but peace is also in our reach. The Almighty God is present as He promised that in me Him we may have peace. In the world we will have tribulation. But take heart; He has overcome the world.” If we want peace, we are going to be needing Him. Who in this world does not want peace?
by: Mr. Nathaniel A. Saquiban
As the Christmas season is closely approaching, everyone can feel the spirit of joy in the air. There is a sense of excitement in every heart to welcome the happiest season of the year. Happiest because it is known as the holiday season where family members from different parts of the Philippines and abroad take their holidays, gather together, and get to see each other over some food preparations. It is also a time when relatives and friends fellowship with one another. There is a festivity everywhere. Town plazas, gardens, and tourist destinations are arrayed with Christmas decorations and lights where residents and tourists congregate and enjoy the surroundings.
It is a joyful time of the year, a time of celebration, a time of gift-giving. It is a traditional practice that was handed down from generation to generation since the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world to which even the non-Christians subscribed and celebrate the same. We rejoice because salvation has come to the world at last. No longer that the world will be doomed to destruction as redemption has finally arrived to all mankind. This brings joy to all of us more than anything in this world. It is a gladness from God that the world cannot give because of the feeling of a glorious hope for a better future. That hope is the hope for eternal life as people are reconciled back to God. Christmas season, thus, is commonly considered a time of reconciliation, a time to love and forgive one another.
Joyfulness, however, should not be seasonal and neither should only be during Christmas season. Joyfulness should be an everyday disposition. It should not even be inspired or impelled by outside factors but rather by internal factors. It is sustained by the work of God resulting to inner gladness rather than the effects of earthly entertainment. It is viewed as lasting in nature rather than temporary. Humor, on the other hand, is normally an attitude, behavior, or personality. It is the ability to be comical or funny or the ability to create a joyful atmosphere. It is the ability to generate laughter or smiles to other people. It is conveyed by actions, reactions, facial expressions, or words such as funny stories or verbal responses.
Humor and joyfulness, compounded as one, is not only a character or personality. It is a value which is very vital for teamwork and unity. It is an essential ingredient to boost the morale of employees in a working environment. It gives a light atmosphere conducive for labor. It subdues all forms of heaviness caused by challenges in life. It is the ability to become resilient over negative circumstances, thereby, producing excellence in the workplace, both in the conduct of personnel and their corresponding outputs. The ability to be humorous and joyful signifies the fact that the person concerned is unaffected by adverse situations. That person is above and not beneath, head and not the tail, over and not under his or her present problems. Let us therefore nurture the value of humor and joyfulness because it is instrumental for efficient and effective performance of duties and responsibilities in any fields of endeavor.
The increasing crime rate in some areas in the Philippines reflects not only the lack of fear before authorities but also the lack of fear of God. It is surprising that some people are unafraid to commit crimes in broad daylight and even in the presence of law enforcers. The Scriptures tell us not to be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. It shows that those who are perpetrators of crimes are mindful only of the temporary punishment that a court of law may impose. They have forgotten the God who is the Judge of all with the power to punish disobedience eternally.
It is not an excuse that these people have not known God. All people have conscience where the light of God goes. This will help them distinguish right from wrong even without knowing fully the penal laws. The consciousness of God as a judge other than as compassionate and merciful must be strongly active in one’s heart and mind. This will lead any one to render reverence to God Almighty. It will create a holy fear that will serve as a guide how a person conducts himself or herself. It will avoid a person from misbehaving. Just as a people render respect to earthly kings, so with the King of kings. If we can lie prostrate before a royal family on earth, so with Him, the Creator of heaven and earth.
In the Philippines, we are aware of the fact that we are oftentimes visited by typhoons, earthquakes, and other calamities. Some say that these catastrophes are unavoidable due to the location of the country beside the Pacific Ocean. Others say that these are caused by climate change. However, we believe that nothing happens on earth unless God permits. From this standpoint that these circumstances were known as force majeure or acts of God. If we recognize that these are wake-up call of God, we will decide to reform. It is just sad to think that people are heedless to these great awakening that they remain stubborn. They remain steadfast in their wicked ways and unmoved by the consequential effects of their wrongful acts.
People of this kind even wish that their place be declared under state of calamity as they are after the rehabilitation funds and donation that will be released to their areas. They kept constructing infrastructure projects that are substandard unaffected by the resulting number of casualties and damages when disaster comes. This type of people should not be envied as they are walking in a slippery path. They may be enriched today but destruction awaits them. The wickedness of the wicked will come to an end but God will establish the just. The call of God for repentance never changed. If we humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, He will hear from heaven and heal our land. We must not lose sight of Him who is calling us to live a holy life. We must have reverence and fear of God before it is too late.
by: Nathaniel A. Saquiban
An object that is clear and light can pass through it is called transparent. But if that object is cloudy and dirty, it suppresses the light from coming through it. The same is true in our life. If our life is clear from all forms of wickedness, people can see through our life. Nothing is hidden from them. They can identify that we are genuine in our expression of love and affection. On the contrary, if our life is dim, people cannot see the whole picture of who we are. Chances are they have reservations in their dealings with us. We cannot gain their trust and confidence.
From the above standpoint, we can determine how important a life that is open book to anyone. It is a powerful weapon that refutes all forms of doubt to a person’s life. It is a life that is clean and blameless. It is a life of integrity. Consequently, people who are transparent have the stature, right, and authority to correct any wrongdoing. They are look up to in high esteem and their lives are vouched by others. They set the example as they model a proper lifestyle.
While having a transparent life may be easy to some, it is quite hard to others. Nonetheless, this is encouraged the moment a person enters into public service. In public service, a public life and private life are intertwined because a person is still known as public servant even in his or her private life. Thus, he or she cannot misbehave in private life simply because it is his or her private life. He or she should not forbid the authorities from inquiry or investigation about his or her private life if it has a connection with his or her public function such as the use of public funds for private purpose.
The government, for its part, is doing its best to observe transparency in public service. All national government agencies are required to maintain a transparency seal on their official websites. Also, the Constitution itself is replete with provisions that uphold the value of transparency. It declared that the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest, subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law. It also guarantees the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. It is at this premise that the Freedom of Information Bill was drafted, pursuance to the principle that public records or documents are accessible to the public.
Being transparent to the public is being accountable to the public. The public has the right to be informed because it is their taxes paid that are being spent in public expenditures. It is also the exercise of their right of suffrage that is being exploited in the performance of public function by an elective official. They put the public official into leadership, thus, their right to know how their leaders are functioning. We, therefore, should not hide anything from our people. Barangays should continue conduct general assembly. Local government units should continually observe full public disclosure. Government agencies should keep the practice of holding public consultation.
by: Dr. Laurence Mascay
During the late 1890s, a blogger wrote, the Americans brought with them their technology, machinery, and other equipment when they came to the Philippines. Since their tools were better and more advanced than what Filipinos used the latter felt inferior with their bolos, hand axes, and simple carts. As a result, until today, Filipinos looked up to foreign products as far better than locally made ones. Consequently, a dilemma we have been dealing with but could be gradually outdone as national pride defined as “being proud of our own country and proud of ourselves for being from this country” is heartily lived out.
The fallacious notion of Philippine-made goods as low-class or poor in quality and foreign products as high-class ought to be obliterated from our thinking. It is a mere colonial mentality. Thus, set our mind that local goods are excellent as well. In fact, there are tons of things Filipinos have to be proud of. We possess excellent traits such as being diligent, respectful, flexible, hospitable, and skilled which other nations admired us. Besides, the Philippines is blessed with varied and world-renowned rich natural resources and wonders like the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Banaue Rice Terraces, Chocolate Hills of Bohol, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, Mayon Volcano, Hundred Islands, and much more which we are grateful and proud of.
In simple and doable implications we are to highly prioritize the purchase of locally made goods; we are to boost by word of mouth the beauteous aspects of the Philippines particularly to foreign acquaintances; we are not to demean the Philippines in comparison to the countries we visited; we are to incessantly abide with the law, especially in the observance of traffic rules, no littering policy, and paying of proper taxes; as government officials and employees we are not to steal and misuse government funds rather utilize it to its lawful allocations for the well-being of our constituents, and we are not to abuse our natural resources rather enrich it and be good stewards. Finally, we are to be content, proud, and grateful for being Filipino and of the Philippines for it is what the Sovereign God made us to be. As the Scripture says, “from one human being he created all races of people and made them live throughout the whole earth. He himself fixed beforehand the exact times and the limits of the places where they would live”.
by: Micah A. Tecne
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Man was created in the image of his Creator. Most of us might think that it was the physical image that the latter is talking about but as we go deeper to, we will see that such is not solely the case. We shall realize our real identity - we men and women who were created uniquely in a special way to fulfill a greater purpose. In this fallen world where SIN (Selfish Interest Nature) is prevalent, most of us are so much concerned about maintaining or protecting our good image, causing some to compromise and embrace hypocrisy to please the world.
With the influence of the social media where pretensions and cover ups are common and is now becoming the norm, we are always tempted to boost our pride by yielding to the patterns of the system of this world. We follow the directions of what is seemingly normal which actually brings us farther from the original image that we have been created. Image that exudes godliness and holiness.
For us to be able to genuinely pursue and advocate our godly and holy identity, we need to have an encounter and receive the divine revelation of who our Creator is. His image is the same image that humans should possess - the capacity for reason, morality, language, personality, and purpose. In particular, the ability to use morality and spirituality are unique to human beings among God's creations on earth. Like God, we would possess the capacity to experience and understand love, truth, and beauty.
The moment the first man and woman fell into disobedience, it altered the holy image of God in us. Apostle Paul said that there is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It is indeed through His grace that we are able to manifest His image of godliness and holiness.
The image of God in us is innate and it is a condition where we are able to uphold righteousness. It is a state of being godly and holy. We are able to discern and shun away from wickedness. Thus we do not need to pretend to be holy and godly just to please any man in all our dealings.
We cannot deny the fact that our pursuit of godliness and holiness is a normal struggle because of the sinful nature in us but God’s grace is sufficient for us, for His power is made perfect in weakness. The image that we will be living for will determine our eternal destiny. Will we uphold an image of wickedness, compromise and pursue the approval of men? Or will we pursue to be distinct and uphold the image of righteousness by making every effort to pursue godliness and holiness? Today is the day to take back our identity. For we are men and women of distinction. We are called to be godly and holy.
by: Ame-Phil O. Saquiban
Most of those who have gone or toured around the world commented that nations that are more progressive observe the value of discipline, where the citizens and residents observe the laws and abide with existing policies. While there are clear systems or rules governing the conduct of the people, the value system of the people also plays a critical role in strengthening discipline.
However, sometimes there are people who would have negative connotations about discipline, as it is associated with punishment for wrong actions, corrective measures, or enforcing penalties to exact obedience to rules and regulations. But others would view it as an essential element to establish order and attain success. Hence, developing and strengthening the value of discipline is vital in nation building. The lack of it will compromise the initiatives to establish peace and order as well as promote sustainable development.
In reality, discipline comes with short-term pain but with long-term gain, as it has been said that all discipline seems to be painful at the time, yet later it will produce a transformation of character, bringing a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who yield to it. Yielding to the process of discipline may not sit well in a culture where quick-fix mentality and instant gratification prevail for such condition encourages the use of different means, whether lawful or not, to get and do what they want.
As we contemplate on the value of discipline this week, let us reflect our personal take or how we perceive the role of discipline in fulfilling the mandate of our respective offices. Also, explore how are we contributing in observing discipline at home, at work and in the community. Have we done something that does or does not promote or model discipline?
It is not too late yet. We can start to embrace and manifest discipline today. It does not require a grand gesture as a famous quotation states, “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny”. It can start with a single thought that will become part of your language and translated in your day-to-day actions. When done consistently and accurately, it becomes part of you. Make discipline our new operating system towards progress.
by: Nathaniel A. Saquiban
For the past three years, the Philippines has been shaken by the health and economic crisis that transpired coupled with the sudden increase of oil prices as a result of the arm conflict in the western world. Weathering against these troubles takes a strong leadership to lead this country out from this dark era. This nation is weary of leaders whose only agenda is to serve their personal interest. This country is in need of statesmen and stateswomen, more than mere politicians. As James Freeman Clarke, an American theologian and writer, said, “A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation”.
It is a fact that some vie for promotion for fame and personal aggrandizement. This gives them a wrong perspective of leadership. They consider it as a position rather than a function. This drives them to kill their opponents in the election arena, cheat during the conduct of election, or do everything it takes, by hooks or by crooks, in order to achieve their desired positions. Only few wanted to become leaders in order to serve the public well. The moment they acquired the position, they do not function appropriately.
An ideal type of leadership is arrayed with esteemed characteristics. It appears prestigious and highly enticing but behind the colourful and admirable appearances are serious and crucial tasks. This makes leadership a value because of the responsibilities and sacrifices that go with it. Leadership is tough. Heavy loads are upon those who assume such functions. Accountability is attached in every decision that a leader makes especially in critical situations. Their decisions signal movement of operation. Without leaders who decide, the subordinates are at a loss. They are prepared to take the risks or answer for the consequences of their actions.
Moreover, any flaw, lapse, or mistake committed by a subordinate may make a leader liable under the principle of “respondeat superior” where an employer may be held responsible for the actions of his employees, when the actions are performed in the course of employment. The same is true with parents over their children’s actions or teachers over their students’ conduct under the principle of vicarious liability where the parents or teachers are held responsible of the damages caused by their children or students under their watch.
Leaders are also expected to lead by example or to model what they teach. Many eyes are looking at them and many lives are depending on them. If they fail, others may fail too; but if they succeed, others may also succeed. As a result, they cannot misbehave. They are expected to be dependable and reliable. They are obliged to perform accordingly. They cannot afford to relax or let their guards down. As they overcome one obstacle after another, their skills are honed and they grow into maturity. Leaders of this kind bring an entire generation into their destiny. As they assume their posts, they become the answer to prevailing problems of society.
The challenge now is – are we ready to be the leaders that this nation is looking for? The Philippines awaits us.
by: Atty. Carolina Lim-Gamban
Last May 1, we, together with more than eighty (80) countries, have celebrated the International Workers’ Day also known as Labor Day. Annually we celebrate this to honor and recognize the economic and social significance of our workforce, regardless of the type of employment or type of employees. But why do we need to celebrate and value work? For six days in a row, God continually worked on creation, and it was good. Imagine the intricacies of His creation and we, too, are wowed by what we can see in nature. It was excellently done and carefully considered. From its beauty, complexity, and accuracy, we can see that God values work, and as men and women created in His image and likeness, we too, ought to value work and workmanship.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. left us a wonderful quote that will make us embrace and honor work, no matter what the job is. He said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” It is indeed true that no work is insignificant as long as it uplifts humanity. Whether we are in blue-collar jobs or white-collar jobs, we must put love in our craft in order to excellently achieve every day’s targets and goals. Regardless if it’s physical or mental work, it must reflect the excellent spirit given to us.
There are many benefits of valuing work. When we value work, there’s peace and joy within us because we know that we have done our part the best we can. It invites praise and commendation, not only because a target or goal has been met, but because its execution is way beyond expectation. It brings wealth when our clients or customers always come back to avail our services or buy the products we sell because they know it is of high quality. When we value work, we become conduits to provide for the needs of our family, our friends, and even other people. Last but never the least, putting premium to our work glorifies God and will bring eventual glory as we offer the works of our hands to our Creator and Master.
Let us not belittle our work nor take it for granted. Let every work have a mark of thanksgiving to God, and surely it will all be done with gladness in our hearts. Our labor is not in vain as we offer our work as a pleasing aroma before Him. Whatever we do, we do it for the glory of God. For we know that as we work with all our hearts, as if we are working for God, we will receive our inheritance from Him as our reward.
by: Keren May B. Busaing
To remain untarnished and without blemish in this world where the war between good and evil is constantly taking place, is it even possible? This may be the most ideal picture we would paint if we ever try to delve deep into the value of purity. Ideal it is, but such painting is not necessarily what we wish to challenge for each and everyone to accomplish.
In the history of mankind, Jesus Christ was the only man who ever lived in complete purity. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth - one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. For we may have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
Having said these, we hope to have established the perfect ground to build the value of purity. A state of humble acknowledgment of our humanity and at the same time, hopeful in working out a better version of ourselves according to the example of Jesus. Without judgment on our past and condemnation to the twists and thorns ahead of us, we are being encouraged to go through whatever process by keeping our hearts pure. In this long and winding journey of life, it is by the purity of our minds, thoughts, actions, and intentions that we can consciously work out the value of purity. We may stumble along the way and it creates a clot to the ideal picture we painted earlier, but the point is we will always find our way to the right path by consistently working out the value of purity.
Moreover, pure intents and thoughts does not always equate to the purest courses of action. We may have pure intentions, but there are times that our expression is not necessarily right or sometimes, it can be misunderstood by others. If we choose to see or measure purity by consciously addressing all the misunderstandings or whitening the clots on our painting, the journey will be much longer and tiresome. The standards will always vary since misunderstandings are subjective and people have different opinions. We can never please everyone and it is not our goal to let everyone conclude that we are pure. We only need to decide to keep our hearts and intentions pure, open our hearts and minds to corrections, and prepare to move forward in humility.
To the pure, all things are pure. Let this become our mantra. In the midst of all the chaos and deceitfulness of our surroundings including the accusations that may be hurled against us, this mentality can restore and keep our inner peace. Our purity is our best defense and as long as we consciously work it out along with humility, it will always protect us. Humility is important because we cannot deceive ourselves and proclaim purity all the time without being open to possible corrections. We are allowed to stumble and fall and get up and continue operating in purity. That is the very essence of purity.
From this point onwards, let us decide to walk our life’s journey in purity. Let us take it in peace, enjoy the walk, anticipate to overcome the challenges, be forgiving of ourselves for some mistakes, and do all these in love. If we want a specific pattern to imitate, the life of Jesus Christ is always the best example. His life story is not a secret and resources are always accessible.
Let us take that first step and enjoy the journey!
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.