Monkey see, Monkey do


One of the favorite leadership “jokes” that I have learned is “Monkey see, monkey do.” Basically, it tells that people mimic what they see from who they follow and sometimes without thinking of the consequences. This is why when a kid is being rowdy at school, or generally on how they act, the question is that they might be seeing a bigger monkey at home. ;) (I got that one from a preaching)

This morning, facebook notified me of a statement I posted last year. Continue reading “Monkey see, Monkey do”


Kian, 17


At 17, my problems were mostly college subjects, or my tuition fee. Apart from that, I think it is mostly chill and relaxed.

At 17, Kian Delos Santos begged for mercy for his life, still thinking of his academics.

I can’t fathom how this could be sustainable. I usually am up for positivity in the leadership blog but this time, I couldn’t bear it much longer. Inasmuch as it pains me, I see this as a leadership issue and pointing at the wrong root.

In my limited perspective, I know it is not good to kill. It never will be, especially that I espouse that I am a Christian, with Jesus teaching us something about killing. I condemn all of these killings, and by the Grace of God, retain what He taught to us about it.

I cannot turn a blind eye any longer to all of these. Let us call it as it is: murder. What happened to Kian is murder. A young man with hopes and dreams yet all stopped because of some men “obeying orders” of killing suspected victims.

This really brings pain to my heart, since we all look at the next generation as our future. We aim to mentor them so that the wrong things, ranging from experience, characters that we seen now that can be corrected tomorrow. We pass on the good things of today.

I am honestly, visibly disappointed with current leadership but they are placed there for a reason. Still, it is an everyday battle to pray for our leaders. I just can see that their leaders before them failed to give them guidance thus the current style, thus all the more the need to really disciple the next.

As current leaders, us, in the now, we have the big responsibility to share the original vision God has given, through mercy and grace. I see two roles: to pray for the current leaders, supporting the right initiatives but condemning and never turning a blind eye the wrong actions; and the second is to disciple the next and instilling them the mercy and grace of God. 

This is a bit of a write-up that is not linear, I admit I am a bit clouded in my judgment here, but at the end of it, I still ask for God’s hand to move. I pray for steadfastness and boldness for of us, in this trying times, to still hold on to that hope for a better future.

For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay. 
(Habbakuk 2:3 ESV)

I pray for you, Philippines. 



LIT UP Leaders: Micah Pascual

LITUP_018A_Gilbert-RectoB Micah Pascual.jpg

If we’re to talk about “Alpha Females”, she’d be on top of my list of friends, only because Ronda Rousey isn’t in my radar (yet). No, she is not a fighter like her in the Octagon nor any martial arts field (though she does of a bit of Taekwondo), I could say she’s one tough cookie in terms of the spiritual side.

She is one of my workmates back then when I had a short stint for 7107 International Music Festival and clicked we did right away. I consider her one of my dearest sisters in the faith and surely, how God molded her into this heroine is truly just amazing. She could have done her work here in the Metro, big city but she chose to dig deep and go back to her roots, and lead where God told her.

It’s been a while since I last had a “LIT UP” Leader section and sharing this short but concise interview. Let her answers do all the talking and let’s see if you’re not going to be impressed. Continue reading “LIT UP Leaders: Micah Pascual”

A Good, Good Father


Fathers play a big role in defining manhood for sons. Of course, where should they get their masculinity first? It is through a father’s guidance, mentoring that a boy learns how to be a man, and gets his strength.

“The ancient societies believed that a boy becomes a man only through ritual and effort–only through active intervention of the older men.” (Robert Bly as quoted in Wild at Heart by John Eldredge)

I did not grow old with a father. Well, I knew he worked in Saudi and came home every once in a while. Then before I graduated elementary, he stopped going home, and he was gone just like that.

I thought I was contented; I could even say I was indifferent, without a father but as a confession, I tried getting masculinity/strength from places that I shouldn’t get. Not that I went out and tried to pick fights, bully others, or extreme sports, or what not. One way I did it: taking my strength to Eve.
Continue reading “A Good, Good Father”

From Pain to Praises


Let me start this one with a reference to one blog I did before, about my heroes.

My heroes aren’t in pedestals,
nor those etched in myths and legends.

Earlier I was able to have a chance to join a local prison ministry led by a friend and a fellow Kairos classmate, Krizzia Yuzon. The reason behind it is because I became curious with all of her posts about her being in this ministry. Just imagine being a woman in a crowd of almost all men, inmates with cases tied with their name. I wanted to first hand see how it is and break some mindsets I personally have.

Last time I was near a prison was in college when I had an assignment to cover a police station. I wasn’t even inside the cell but I could smell the stench, and feel the heat of a place packed with people. I could not imagine nor would I wish to go inside but that’s why I wanted to go with a ministry to at least have a glimpse, and also a bit inspired by this: Continue reading “From Pain to Praises”

Bakit ako nagsusulat?


Ngayon pa lamang, magpapaalam na ako. Ginoong Villanueva, pahiram po.

Ayoko talagang maging manunulat.

Ayon sa malinaw at matalas kong isipan, madami akong gustong maging noong ako’y musmos pa lamang. Mayroong panahong gusto kong maging piloto. Sa makalawa gusto kong maging doktor. May panahon na gusto kong maging pari. At sa susunod pang mga araw, magpapalit pa iyon, marahil ay depende sa mapapanood ko sa telebisyon. Alam ninyo, malaki ang impluwensiya ng mga palabas sa isipan ng isang bata. At dahil doon, nahubog ang aking desisyon na sa aking paglaki, hinding hindi ako magiging isang manunulat.

Sa naaapuhap ng aking gunita, ano nga ba ang hitsura ng isang manunulat noong ako’y bata pa lamang?

Tikatik. Tikatik. Tikatik. Ting!!!

Ang tunog ng makinilya na pinarurusahan ang papel ang madalas na pumapasok sa aking isipan. Isang lalaking nagpuumilit na makagawa ng ideya, at ‘pag hindi siya napasaya ng kanyang akda, magagalit at pupunitin ang kalunos-lunos na papel na walang kasalanan sa umpisa pa lamang.

Iyon ang laging ipinapakita ng mga palabas noon – ang imahe ng isang manunulat na naghihikahos sa buhay. Siya ay tila nagpapatiwakal nang marahan. Pinipigang maigi ang utak upang makagawa ng isang bagay mula sa kawalan. At matapos makagawa ng isang akda at ipapakita sa iba, hindi ito tatangkilikin. Sa huli, abunado pa siya. Mananatili siyang gutom sa pisikal, mental, at emosyonal na aspeto.

Ngunit, saan ako dinala ng kapalaran? Heto ako ngayon, ako naman ang nagpapakahirap na may maisulat. Buti na lamang at naimbento ang computer dahil kung makinilya pa rin ang gamit ko ngayon, malamang ay parurusahan ako ni Inang Kalikasan sa dami siguro ng mga papel na naaksaya ko sa paggawa pa lamang ng isang artikulong ito.

Ngunit, bakit nga ba ako nagpupursigi ngayon na maging isang manunulat – bagay na kinaayawang ko noon? At kung hindi talaga ako pinaglalaruan, ang kinuha ko pang kurso ay Broadcast Journalism, isang kurso na ang pangunahing katangian na dapat na mayroon ka ay hindi naman sa magaling ka sa pag-aanunsyo ng balita, kundi dapat ikaw ay magaling sa aspeto ng pagsusulat. Na dapat ay marunong kang magtagpi-tagpi ng mga salita, siguraduhing tama ang mga salitang ginamit sa paraang maiksi ngunit sakto.

Kailan nga ba ako nahilig sa pagsusulat?

Noong ako’y nasa huling taon ko sa hayskul, kinailangan kong magdesisyon na kung kung ano ang landas na tatahakin ko. Tinignan ko ang aking sarili. Saan nga ba ako magaling?

“To be an engineer.”

‘Yan ang nakalagay sa aking yearbook noong elementarya. Ngunit sa marka na nakuha ko sa mga subject ko na may kinalaman sa numero, hindi lamang ito nagpapahiwatig na huwag akong kumuha ng kahit na anong inhinyerong kurso, naghuhumiyaw pa na iwasan ko ang kurso na ganoon.

Hindi naman sa sobrang pulpol ko sa matematika; pumapasa naman ako sa subject na patungkol sa numero. Ngunit alam kong hindi ako magtatagumpay sa doon dahil aminado akong hindi ako magaling sa larangang iyon. Kaya ko naman naisulat noon ang “ambisyon” kong maging inhinyero ay dahil sa wala akong maisulat noong kailangan nang magpasa. Bilang bunso sa limang magkakapatid na may tatlong inhinyero, naisip ko na tumulad na lamang sa kanila. Ngunit sa totoo lamang, hindi ko pa talaga alam kung ano ang gusto kong maging.

Mapabalik sa aking ikaapat na taon sa hayskul, kailangan ko nang magkaroon ng pipiliing kurso na kukunin sa kolehiyo.  Nag-isip ako nang maigi kung ano nga ba ang aking kukunin.

Usong-uso ang Nursing. Madami sa mga kaklase at kakilala ko ang nagtangkang maging nars baling araw. In demand daw kasi ito at malaki ang kita kapag ikaw ay nagibang bansa. Oo, praktikal sa panahong ito; ‘di na mabilang ang kaso ng mga estudyanteng kumuha ng Nursing sa kadahilanang maghahanap sila ng ginhawa ng buhay sa ibang bansa. Hindi mo naman sila masisisi, maski ako marahil ay nag-nars kung napayagan ng aking ina. Ngunit alam ko din na hindi ako magiging masaya doon.

Ang gulo ko.

Hindi ako makapag-isip nang maigi. Ilan sa mga kaklase ko ay may mga kolehiyo nang papasukan samantalag ako, nangangapa pa.

Ang gulo-gulo talaga ng isip ko.

Kaya pinag-isipan kong maigi ito. Sabi ko, hindi maaaring mapunta ako sa isang bagay na hindi ko talaga gusto. Kailangan dun sa matutuwa ako at kahit na gaano kahirap ito ay ‘yung matutugunan ang hilig.

At sa huli, ano nga ba ang nakapagbibigay sa akin ng linaw sa landas na aking tatahakin? Nakakatawa at maaaring mababaw para sa ilan, ngunit isang maikling sanaysay lamang pala ang bibihag sa aking atensyon.

Isang gawaing-bahay na sanaysay iyon noong ako’y nasa ikatlong taon sa hayskul pa lamang. Ang pamagat ng katha na iyon ay “Resiliency,” na hinango ko ang ideya sa dating talumpati ni Pangulong Manuel Quezon na “Resilient like the Molave Tree.” Nagulat ako noon na 99% ang nakuha ko sa sanaysay na iyon. Hindi ko alam na “marunong” pala akong magsulat. Madami na kasi akong nagagawang sanaysay dati. Ilan na nga ba ang naisulat ko mula pa noon, ngunit hindi naman ako nabibigyan ng magandang komendasyon dito. Hindi ako inilalahok upang makipagtagisan ng galing sa panulat dati. Sabi ko, kapag maganda pa ang marka na makukuha ko sa susunod na sulatin, siguro ito ang kukunin kong daan pagtungtong ko sa kolehiyo.

At ang sumunod ngang grado na nakuha ko ay 95%. Bumaba ngunit hindi naman ganoon kalaki ang ibinaba. Ibig sabihin, marunong nga ako. Maaaring nagkakamali lamang ang aking guro sa pagbibigay ng mataas na grado noon, ngunit pinanghawakan koi to at ginawa kong inspirasyon. Sayang nga lamang at nawawala na ang mga kopya ng sanaysay na iyon. Akalain ninyo iyon, isang gawaing-bahay na nakapagtakda ng buhay ko ngayon!

Nabalikan ko na kung kalian ko naisipang magsulat, ngunit bakit nga ba ako nagsusulat?

Hanggang ngayon kasi, hindi ko alam kung saan ko nahuhugot ang kahiligang ito. Kung tutuusin, mahirap talagang magsulat, kaya bakit ko pinipilit ngayon na makisama pa sa mga sandamakmak na iba pang mga mahuhusay na manunulat? Iilan lamang ba ang mga sumisikat at talagang kumikita sa pagsusulat?  Madaming magagaling ngunit hindi naman tinatangkilik ng mga tao, kaya hindi talaga ganoong masustentuhan ng pagsusulat ang kabuhayan ng isang tao sa ngayon. Madami din ang hindi mahilig magbasa, kaya bakit ko pipilitin na magpursigi sa isang bagay na maliit ang tsansa na makarating sa  kanila ang aking mensahe?

Dito papasok ang nabasa kong libro, ang (Im)Personal ni Rene Villanueva. Siya ay ang dating punong scriptwriter ng Batibot. Marami akong nakuha sa kanya na kaisipan na sadyang tugma din sa akin. Ang sadyang kapangyarihan na ibinibigay sa’yo ng pagsusulat. Sa madaming nakakakilala sa akin, pabubulaanan pa nila ‘pag sinabi ko ngayon na mahiyain ako. Oo, sa mababaw na antas na pagkakakilala sa akin, makapal ang mukha ko, ngunit may katauhan din akong mahiyain at ayaw lumabas. Isang parte sa akin ang takot na magpakita. At lumalabas lamang siya, nagkakaroon alamang siya ng lakas ng loob sa pamamagitan ng aking pagsusulat.

Sa pagsusulat, nakalilikha ako ng mundo kung saan ako ang magtatadhanan sa kanilang mga buhay. Kung saan, ako ang bida. Isa din marahil ditto ang pamamahal sa salita. Ang kapangyarihan nito na makapagpabago ng pananaw ng tao, tulad na lamang ng nagawa sa akin ng panulat ni Ginoong Villanueva.

Sabi nga niya, malas dahil ang napili niyang dalawang propesyon, ang pagsusulat at pagiging guro, ay kapwa maliit ang kita. At bago ko pinasok ang daan na ito, oo, alam kong maliit nga ang kita ngunit hindi ko ininda ‘yun. Basta aang alam ko, gusto kong magsulat. At tama muli si “Rene,” maski ako ay “mahilab-hilab lamang ng kaunti sa pagiging pulubi.

This article was originally printed in Heraldo Filipino Volume 21/Issue 5 (March-April 2007), Staffer’s Corner section. This is why I still write aside being a full-time graphic designer. Reminds me of my inspiration too as a designer too.


My heroes aren’t in pedestals,
nor those etched in myths and legends.
Fighting skills they do not possess,
nor weaponry, artillery that strikes terror to the enemy.

For the great, worldly comforts already at hand,
or bright promises that await.
All abandoned, shunned, and tossed to the air.

But yes, my heroes are fighters.
They are engaged in battles, all bloodied and bruised.
Fighting an ancient war, one seemingly absurd and mundane.

Assess and possess.
The Nations as the mission, the goal.
Not for conquest or domination, no, not even close.
To bring the heavens, different set of operations,
not for an earthly master, but for the divine.

My heroes may never be counted,
not in dailies, or history books.
But lo and behold, they fight gallantly,
not for their glory, but for the Lamb to see.

This one is dedicated to all who’s doing missions now. Technically, every Christian is a missionary to each field we are called. But this one is specifically for the friends I have who are dying in and everyday to self, giving life to what Jesus said before He went back to heaven. People who are doing the role even when it entails not doing their ‘dreams’, but dreams of having heaven come down.

As for us, may we have our hearts beat for each field we are in. As the song “The Beat” says, may we have our hearts beat for the lost.

From where I stand (Pt.3): Integrity and Commitments


We build relationships and trust through a person’s consistency and keeping his word, right?

I have had so much experience about delivering on promises and work, with me missing a lot of them in the past. Though that has lessened today (I hope!), I still miss some of them. This I try to keep to a minimum because even in this field of design, what I truly try and take care of is my name and reputation. It’s like if someone is asked on your name, what would their first response be? Jolly? Witty? Creative? Committed? As for me, I’d like to be known as someone who delivers and solves problems.

If there’s someone I personally know who really I can trust in terms of work, it’s my good friend Santa Bondesto. I have known her from 2011 and I know her work ethic. I always say to people, “If you want something done (events), ask Santa.” She goes above and beyond and ensures that things do get done, sometimes to a fault because she would sacrifice health and family time just to ensure items are in place.

But of course, she does have her share of shortcomings and broken promises but because of her reputation, I give her some leeway.

For our leaders, and for ourselves too as we lead, we want to have consistency in what we say and do. If we want to lead effectively, we’d want to have integrity as our solid foundation. That starts with being able to do what we say, and be consistent about it.

If there’s one man who said something so ridiculous but actually went over it, it was Jesus. Continue reading “From where I stand (Pt.3): Integrity and Commitments”