MILLIONS OF CNN VIEWERS CHOOSE FILIPINO AS “CNN 2009 HERO”: The Filipino is a world-class hero, and the latest proof of this is Efren Penaflorida of Cavite City who, because of his pioneering work in enabling children on the streets and from the slums to read books, learn how to write, and appreciate the rudiments of hygienic living, was chosen as the 2009 “CNN Hero of the Year” Saturday.
Fashioned out of the same sensational victory of world boxing great and holder of seven world titles Manny Pacquiao last November 15, 2009, Penaflorida’s having been chosen by millions of CNN viewers worldwide as the top hero of the news network for this year signifies a phenomenal recognition that the Filipino has, as it were, arrived when it comes to doing something relevant, important, and, of course, heroic, for his fellow human beings.
Whereas before Pacquiao and Penaflorida came into the scene many Filipinos have been generally branded as shoplifters, hard-headed, and good-for-nothing loafers mainly because of the sad experiences of a lot of our countrymen while working and sojourning abroad, there is now a new sense of respect for our people.
Here’s praying that more Pacquiaos and Penafloridas will surface among Filipinos here and abroad, so we can start claiming our rightful destiny as a race chosen and dearly loved by God!
OFW RECOGNITION BY DOLE MAY CREATE MORE PROBLEMS: I am in full, though painful, agreement with the decision of Labor Secretary Marianito Roque to give the “Model OFW Family of the Year Award” (MOFYA) to 34 families where the parents (or at least one of them) work overseas but which have managed to remain united and closely-knit despite their members’ temporary separation.
Indeed, there is a need to highlight the positive, as it were, and recognize the valiant and gallant efforts of these parents and their children to continue being one family, considering the undeniable fact that a broken family almost always results from an overseas work.
But then, this recognition will also give rise to a big and serious disappointment among the OFW-families which have separated, or which became dysfunctional precisely of the overseas employment of one of them.
While the recognition by Roque and his department through the MOFYA will give a boost to the 34 families that will be honored, it will create more recriminations and even induce hatred and dissent among the millions who are not similarly situated.
My suggestion is that, aside from giving the MOFYA, the Department of Labor and Employment should also find a way to make OFWs and their families continue to be united and closely-knit despite their separation, and it must do this real soon.
PACQUIAO SNUBBED BY HIS OWN PROVINCEMATES: If world boxing great Manny Pacquiao did not receive any reception, warm or otherwise, from officials of Sarangani Province in Mindanao where he intends to run as a congressman, it would seem he has no one to blame but himself and his staff.
One provincial media correspondent told me that while officials of the province tried to coordinate with Pacquiao’s entourage as to his schedule in going to the province after his victory parade in Metro Manila, they were ignored and largely treated as if they merely wanted to capitalize on the boxer’s huge popularity.
Because of this, no one among Sarangani officials showed up when Manny arrived there on Saturday, November 21, 2009, as a sign of protest.
I guess the boxer, who is now sure to run for a congressional seat against billionaire Roy Chiongbian, the son of the late Rep. James Chiongbian, should immediately hire professional and competent election staff to handle problems like this.
It would not be good for him to be getting snubbed simply because his present staff acted as if the people who wanted to be seen with their boss are desirous only of advancing their own agenda.
BIRTH OF JESUS IN THE MANGER: Easily one of the most fondly-remembered events in the Bible is now immortalized as the third Joyful Mystery in the Roman Catholic Christians' Holy Rosary, and this is the birth of Jesus Christ.
Mainly because the event augurs good tidings and happy cheers as it ushers in gift-giving and camaraderie among believers worldwide, the birth of Jesus Christ has become one of the cornerstones of the Catholic Christians' faith as it heralds the great love of God for man, making this the greatest love story of all time.
But completely different from this happy scenario is the account of the birth of Christ that is found in Luke 2:1 to 20, and in Matthew 1:18 to 25 of the Bible, both of which paint a very humble yet solemn and dignified occasion, befitting the Son of God.
This story starts with a census participated in by Joseph, the man who was pledged to marry Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ. During the census, Mary gave birth to Jesus in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The birth of Jesus was announced by an angel of the Lord to the shepherds who were watching their flocks at night. The angel said that the Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord, had been born. Just then, a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel, saying "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests."
The shepherds then left their flocks, looked for the baby wrapped in clothes in a manger and, when they found him, started telling everyone about him, glorifying and praising God.