A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world. --JOSEPH ADDISON : If the mind is free from the chains of crass materialism, dogmatism, superstition and hallucination, it will attain peace. Peace of mind is not only our greatest blessing but our ultimate bliss. --ALEX P. VIDAL
There is no knowledge that is not power. --RALPH WALDO EMERSON : If we know nothing, read nothing, write nothing and say nothing, we become nothing. If we have knowledge, we can think and decide logically; we can protect our loved ones from intellectual peacocks; we can recite our bill of rights; we can thwart the mystics and outwit the cynics. --ALEX P. VIDAL
We can’t solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. --ALBERT EINSTEIN : Our brain is the most complex mass of protoplasm known to exist. In deep thinking, either we create a problem or solve one. We must explore the space between our ears. It is the strangest but the most powerful territory in the world. --ALEX P. VIDAL
"Peace of mind comes from not wanting to change others." Gerald Jampolsky By Alex P. Vidal NEW YORK CITY -- Until our next president is elected in May 2016, we continue to be a divided nation. The gaping wounds of hostility and conflict will continue to exacerbate and won't heal for a while, because of cascading passion and emotional bickering brought by heated partisan politics. Some friendships will suffer--or have already suffered--from mortal blows and may never be repaired again. Even family members have their own share of hellish moments because they have their respective bets for certain elective positions--the father for Vice President Jejomar Binay because of fraternity ties; the mother for Sec. Mar Roxas because of business attachment; and daughter and son for Grace Poe because of Eat Bulaga and Heart Evangelista. CHANGE We can't change the reputation of our leaders and the circumstances that made them famous and infamous--what and where they are now in the periphery of political hierarchy. But we can change the way we think, how we behave, and how to deal with these leaders or aspirants for higher public office, if given the opportunity to go along with any of them in a real or imagined world. For instance, if I saunter in the lairs of the underworld, the beasts and the cannibals, I will ask Rodrigo Duterte to accompany me. If I want to personally meet showbiz characters, ask autograph of Susan Roces, gyrate on noontime shows with Tito, Vic an Joey, and get to know more about sob stories involving foundlings, I want Grace Poe to be on my side. FREE If I want to watch free movies in the country's premier city and enjoy other pelf and privileges, dabble in construction business, corner rich contracts without the benefit of a bidding process, enlist as adult commander in the Boys Scouts of the Philippines, and open more than a dozen savings accounts, I will befriend Jejomar Binay. If I want to have a "selfie" with Korina Sanchez without having to form a beeline in a Quezon City mansion and learn Economics 101, I will ask Mar Roxas to be my guidance counselor. If I want to meet Superman, Spiderman, Bionicman, Batman and Robin, Wonderwoman, join the Star Wars, and to have a Close Encounter with the Third Kind, I will stay beside Miriam Defensor-Santiago. After all we are in a free world.
Ironies draw the mind free of habitual animal ease. Sough of tides in the heart, massive and moony, is not our sound But hope and despair together bring tears to face, are a human ground, death mask and comic, such speech as hero and commoner device, makes sense contrive our face. To expunge either, is to cast snares for the ghost a glancing heart makes along a ground, and airy goes its way. (Fr. Daniel J. Berrigan)
Listen if now and then you hear the dead muttering like ashes
creaking like empty rockers on porches filling you in filling you in like winds in empty branches like stars in wintry trees so far so good you've mastered finally one foreign tongue (Fr. Daniel J. Berrigan)
Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, 'cause hate in your heart will consume you too. -- WILL SMITH : It's written in the stars that we can't please everyone. Even our fingers are not even. Those who don't want us to go up normally won't stop in their efforts to pull us down. Instead of hating back our detractors, let's kill them with kindness and ask God to bless and heal them. -- ALEX P. VIDAL
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. -- GEORGE BERNARD SHAW : When we make mistakes, we quickly draw attention from fault finders, thus there is always a room for self improvement after being sneered at and repudiated. If we do nothing, we commit no mistake but we become good for nothing. -- ALEX P. VIDAL
The biggest guru-mantra is: never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you. -- CHANAKAYA : Secrets can be either toxic or essential. If they leak, toxic secrets can wreck us emotionally and mentally. Essential secrets will promote normal growth and development because it is part of psychotherapy that can lead us to living a more rich, meaningful, creative, and balanced life. -- ALEX P. VIDAL
By Alex P. Vidal NEW YORK CITY -- Of the four speakers representing four Philippine presidential candidates, businesswoman Loida Nicolas-Lewis emerged as the most applauded during the "Know Your Candidates" forum on the Philippine Presidential Elections at the Kalayaan Hall of the Consulate General of the Philippines March 30. Nicolas-Lewis insisted that "as congressman and senator, Mar Roxas has had no record of corruption whatsoever. And believe me. It is so easy to ask for cash-sunduan and commission when one is in power." She added: "Mar Roxas has a track record of success in his 22 years of public service as cabinet secretary to three presidents--Erap, GMA and P-noy." Nicolas-Lewis said "Roxas is an experienced executive who can deal with the presidents of the United States, France, Germany, and other big countries; he has inborn integrity and loyalty to the Philippines and to the people." CANDID "Of the four speakers, Loida presented the most candid and most substantive argument why her bet should be the next president of the Philippines," commented Lourdes Constantino-Penn, 70, a Fil-Am businesswoman, who attended the two-hour forum presented by the Filipino American Press Club of New York, Inc. and the Consulate General of the Philippines headed by Ambassador Mario Lopez de Leon Jr. Nicolas-Lewis, chair of the US Filipinos for Good Governance, represented Mar Roxas of the Liberal Party. "Loida ably represented Roxas with her brilliant explanation of the administration candidate's plans of revitalizing agriculture and sustaining economic growth," observed Jonji Jalandoni, past president of the Philippine Independence Day Council Inc. (PIDCI). DUTERTE The second most applauded speaker was Sani Guillena, who represented Rodrigo Duterte of PDP Laban. Guillena, coordinator of GoDuterteUSA/NY, spoke passionately on the need to elect an iron-fisted leader like the Davao City mayor who vowed to eliminate graft and corruption and criminality. "Mayor Duterte is both the medium and the message and he is the only candidate who lives a modest life and who leads by example," Guillena, former editor and publisher of Peryodiko Mindanao Scholar, asserted. Los Angeles-based speaker Art Garcia, a former scholar of Mar's father, the late Sen. Gerardo Roxas, explained why he ditched Mar for Grace Poe. "I campaigned for President Benigno Noynoy Aquino Jr. and I used to support Mar Roxas, but when I learned that Grace Poe would run for president, I decided to go for Grace. I know her father, Fernando Poe Jr., a courageous man who went against Marcos during Martial Law," explained Garcia, lead convenor of the Grace Poe for President Movement in L.A. Garcia described Poe as "an intelligent and sincere woman who will reform and industrialize the Philippines." 'BROTHER' Jesse Arteche, the first speaker to give a statement and a "brother" of Vice President Jejomar Binay in the Alpha Phi Omega, lamented that "Binay is a victim of black propaganda ever since he decalred that he would run for president." "Only the court can delcare that he is guilty of graft and corruption. All the accusations against him in the senate are black propaganda. If the senators believe that Binay is guilty they should have brought the case against the vice president in court," said Arteche, who calls Binay "Brod VP". Binay is the most qualified to become the next president, insisted Arteche. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago did not have a representative. Ricky Rillera, president of the Filipino American Press Club of New York, Inc., moderated the forum.
“When the President does it , that means that it is not illegal.” Richard M. Nixon
By Alex P. Vidal NEW YORK CITY -- As chief executive officer and chair of a multi-million dollar foods and staples retailing empire in the United States, Loida Nicolas-Lewis sheepishly marveled when a New York Times article called the Philippines "the most corrupt nation in the world" in April 2006. This was when "corruption grew worse after Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was reelected president in 2004," recalled the 72-year-old Fil-Am widow of TLC Beatrice International Holdings Inc. founder and CEO Reginald F. Lewis. Nicolas-Lewis, who recently staged rallies against China's intrusion in the West Philippine Sea as chair of the U.S. Filipinos for Good Government, blamed the declaration of Martial Law by former President Ferdinand Marcos on September 21, 1972 to be the genesis of the Philippines' "infamy." "Not only did President Marcos nullify the constitution of the Philippines, but he also instituted a culture of corruption into our national consciousness," she averred. ENTER APV: "How did it happen?" LNL: "In 21 years of Martial Law, corruption entered into our very soul, into our makeup as a nation. People Power of 1986, a bloodless revolution and change of government, Cory Aquino restored democracy." APV: "So Mrs. Aquino became our savior and hope after Marcos?" LNL: "Sadly, through no fault of hers, nothing much happened in terms of restoration of integrity in government. She had to fight off six coup d'etat." APV: "But she was able to anoint a strong leader in the person of FVR who vowed to bring the Philippines into NIC (newly industrialized country)-hood." LNL: "President Ramos was effective in moving the Philippines forward, but six years under the new constitution of 1987 was not enough to uproot the culture of corruption." ESTRADA APV: "Because he was succeeded by Erap Estrada?" LNL: "In 1998 Erap was elected president. Erap para sa mahirap. But in his three years as president it was Erap para kay Erap. In 2001, he was sent away in a second People Power EDSA 2." APV: "The real reforms did not happen during the administrations of FVR, Erap and Gloria, do you think it happened under President Noynoy?" LNL: "Year 2010 ushered in President Noynoy Aquino under the battlecry 'kung walang corrupt, walang mahihirap.'" APV: "Please elaborate." LNL: "He made good on his campaign promises. In the first year, Merceditas Gutierez was forced to resign. In 2011 the Supreme Court Chief Justice Corona was impeached for having more money in the bank than what he declared in his statement of assets and liabilities. By his own admission, $2 millions dollars more." CREDIT APV: "You gave President Nonoy credit for these so-called 'reforms'?" LNL: "Not only that. In 2012, the entire Janet Napoles scandal broke wide open and we saw powerful senators arrested for corruption. Enrile, Estrada and Revilla. Kim Henares, the new BIR chief, filed 347 tax evasion cases against doctors, lawyers and movie stars--even Manny Pacquiao. Tax revenues rose to P1.3 trillion in 2014." Nicolas-Lewis credited President Aquino when Transparency International removed the Philippines from the list of 10 most corrupt nations. She quoted Morgan Stanley as declaring that the Philippines is now the new tiger of Asia. RATING "In 2014 S&P, Moody's and Finch International rating agencies gave the Philippines triple BBB ratings. For the first time, the Philippines became investment grade," she revealed. "Bloomberg business listed the Philippines as second to China in being the fastest growing nation in the world." LNL added: "In 2015, the Philippines with its more thsn nearly six percent GDP growth for the past five years is judged by all it took was five years good-daang matuwid." "Who did President Aquino choose to continue his legacy of the daang matuwid? Who did he choose as his successor, as to be president of the Philippines? Mar Roxas." Nicolas-Lewis said it was Roxas who introduced business process outsourcing in the Philippines and the industry calls him "the father of BPO call centers." Some 1.3 million Filipinos all over the Philippines have been employed and the industry revenue generated $24 billion in 2015, according to her. DRUGS The feisty Fil-Am leader also credited Roxas for fighting multinational pharmaceuticals to lower their drug prices by more than 50 percent. "The weekly crime rate in NCR was reduced from 915 reported per week, 500 less crime reported in the NCR alone. He also fired four out of five Metro Manila polic chiefs who failed to meet crime reduction rates," she added. Among other accomplishments of Roxas enumerated by Nicolas-Lewis were the following: --putting in place drinking water faucets in 300,000 homes in 400 municipalities; --passing the laws that exempted the minimum wage earners P450 per day from paying income tax; --planning for government a sustained economic growth, swift justice, high quality jobs; --revitalizing agriculture; --producing one billion scholarships for talented students; --giving affordable and reliable power and boosting infrastructure; --maximizing tourism and fighting crime systematically. Roxas, she continued, also expanded the four Ps: Pantawid, Pamil yang Pilipino Program. "An experienced executive, a track record of achievements in public service, no hint of corruption, inborn integrity and loyalty to the Philippines ans to the people, that's why Mar Roxas will be the next president of the Philippines," Nicolas-Lewis concluded. COMPANY Nicolas-Lewis' company, TLC Beatrice International Holdings Inc., distributes food and grocery products. It distributes dry groceries, beverages, household products, and frozen food in France. It also manufactures and markets ice cream and dessert products, potato chips, snacks and beverages principally in selected western European markets. TLC Beatrice is headquartered in New York City.
Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship. -- BENJAMIN FRANKLIN : Expenses should not be feared--little or big--for they are part of our social responsibility. We must worry about our attitude, discipline and adaptability to handle financial affairs. If our economic mindset is normal, any leak can be nipped in the bud and the ship will continue to sail smoothly and bring us to our destination safe and sound. -- ALEX P. VIDAL
A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword. --ROBERT BURTON : A sharp sword will cut us to pieces and instantly ends our anguish. A sharp tongue that produces insulting words will cut us off from our self esteem and prolong our mental and emotional anguish. --ALEX P. VIDAL
The only honest reaction and true loyalty we get is from our animals. Once they're your friends, you can do no wrong. -- DICK VAN PATTEN : Sometimes it's better to trust our dogs and cats more than some of our friends who behave worse than animals when they realize we are no longer beneficial to them.
"Some leaders are born women." Geraldine Ferraro By Alex P. Vidal NEW YORK CITY -- If Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago becomes Philippine president and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes US president this year, it will mark the first time that two lady presidents will lord over since the two countries signed the Treaty of General Relation on July 4, 1946. The treaty relinquished American sovereignty over the archipelago following the end of World War II and the Philippines was recognized as an independent state. It paved the way for the Philippine-American Friendship Day, which the Filipinos celebrate every 4th of July. Like the late president Ferdinand Marcos, Santiago does not read her speech. The Filipinos were so proud when Marcos spoke extemporaneously or without any prepared speech during a 1982 state visit in Washington D.C. after then President Ronald Reagan finished reading his prepared speech in a White House ceremony. PERFECT Older by two years, the 70-year-old Santiago would be Clinton's perfect counterpart in the Asia-Pacific as they are both members of the legal profession, and have deeper understanding of diplomatic relations and international law. It would be a dream match to watch the two articulate and brilliant female leaders discuss issues in the age of technology and social media. The summit meetings and state visits would no longer be boring. There is also interesting comparison between their respective husbands. While former president Bill was rumored to be a womanizer (who can forget the Monica Lewinsky scandal?), former DILG Undersecretary Narciso was rumored to be a gambler (cockfighting). DELEGATES But while Clinton is almost a cinch away from clinching the presidency in November (she is very much ahead in the number of delegates against Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, and is favored based on various surveys to whip would-be Republican bet Donald Trump in the national contest), Santiago has not been doing well in surveys. Her campaign has suffered a major snag due to health problems. On the other hand, if Grace Poe wins in the May polls and Clinton clinches the US presidency, she may not be able to match Clinton's intellectual savvy and prowess; but, nevertheless, Poe will also make history like Santiago.
If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been. --ROBERT H. SCHULLER : Fears always love to embark on noise barrage while we are on the verge of unlocking our geniuses and maximizing our talents. Our greatness is put to severe test by how we dismantle fears and emerge from the fracas ten feet tall. -- ALEX P. VIDAL
Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well. -- RALPH WALDO EMERSON : Wisdom isn't prerequisite for a temporal power that can be obtained by any Tom, Dick, and Harry. Greatness of mind and greatness of character, however, are the necessary ingredients that must be secured antequam quicquam aliud or before anything else, for someone wishing to blast his way off to great power. -- ALEX P. VIDAL
Great thoughts and a pure heart, that is what we should ask from God. -- JOHAN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE : Some of our unanswered prayers are already favors from God: we are given the chance to think and analyze why, and greatness of our thoughts and pureness of our hearts are best tested and demonstrated when we don't complain and continue to strengthen the fibers of our faith. --ALEX P. VIDAL
The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive. --ALBERT EINSTEIN : Our fat salary and other mouth-watering allowances don't give us a fat edge over others. The size of our heart is not measured by the payroll's dotted lines. It is how sincere are we willing to spend time and money, and how deep is our intention to extend a helping hand. --ALEX P. VIDAL
If I am not built up bone upon bone of the long reach and stride of love--- if not of that
as stars are of their night; as speech, of birth and death; thought a subtle paternity, of mind's eye--- if not, nothing. A ghost costs nothing. Casts nothing, either; no net, no fish or failure, no tears like bells summoning across seas the long reach and stride of love dawning, drowning those black waters. (Fr. Daniel J. Berrigan)
"A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: 'Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?' We must always consider the person."Pope Francis By Alex P. Vidal NEW YORK CITY -- As of this writing, there has been no known mass movement from any organized LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) group in the Philippines and abroad against Rep. Emmanuel "Manny" D. Pacquiao, except for the saber-rattlings of showbiz's Vice Ganda and Aiza Seguerra, among other members of the so-called "third sex" offended by Pacquiao's "masahol pa sa hayop" (worse than animals) admonition on same sex relationship. Pacquiao, 37, by the way, has apologized to those who may have been hurt by his statement even as he clarified he was referring only to their (sexual) acts not their persons, invoking the holy Bible. Because Pacquiao is a celebrity, his words instantly turned into a tidal wave of Armageddon that, for a while, threatened to wallop his bid for the senate in the May elections this year. Pacquiao may be sincere in his apologies, but the recent spat with the LGBT underscored his utter lack of understanding about the history of LGBT advocacy in the Philippines, with reference to the early existence of transvestism and crossing gender in the 16th and 17th century with the babaylan until their disappearance under Spanish colonialism and the emergence of different gender identities and sexual orientations in the 1960s. SIGNATORY As a legislator, Pacquiao should have been aware that the Philippines is signatory to many relevant international covenants promoting human rights, though LGBT rights are not always supported by the state. Same-sex activity is not criminalized and sexual orientation is mentioned in various laws, it was reported. The most important issue in terms of law is considered the lack of an anti-discrimination bill, which Pacquiao and his colleagues in the House of Representatives, should have endorsed in order to establish an LGBT desk in police stations and to allow same-sex couples to jointly own property. In the absence of national legislation, anti-discrimination ordinances at the level of local government units and cities have been recently passed, according to the history and overview of the LGBT Rights in the Philippines. Meanwhile, even Bible scholars differ on their interpretations of the Genesis 2: 19-25 “Adam and Eve:” BORN AGAIN Pacquiao, a "born again" Christian, may have anchored his opinion on anti-gay Christian ministers who have used the argument of “In the beginning, God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, nor Eve and Jane” as a crux to propagate the myth that homosexuality is "unnatural." Those who disagree with Pacquiao and other gay and lesbian bashers maintain that while the Bible in Genesis asserts that God made male and female, "this does not really mean that all males and all females need to end up with opposite sex partners." When talking about "what's natural," in the beginning, the first humans did not wear prescription glasses to see, use wheelchairs to get around, or attach prosthetic limbs to enhance mobility. Are all of those aspects of humanity "unnatural"? asked the Religious Tolerance. "Many translations say that God makes Adam a 'suitable helper/companion.' While Adam already had all the animals of the world under his dominion, God saw that Adam was alone and he needed a 'suitable' helper, who just so happened to be first lady Eve." COMPANIONS It explains further: "Relating this to our own lives, so many of us are surrounded by many 'helpers' and 'companions,' but, only a few, maybe one, are truly suitable to aid and comfort a person throughout his or her life. "People who are gay or lesbian maybe surrounded by heterosexual mates who are perfectly 'adequate' helpers, but the 'suitable helper and companion' that God has made for them is not a person of the opposite sex. "Plus, if gay people are not meant to be with their 'suitable helper/companions,' are they meant to be alone, without a helper? I believe God would say 'no,' according to Genesis 2: 18."
Do not tell secrets to those whose faith and silence you have not already tested. -- ELIZABETH I : No secret is safe in this known material world. Secrets aren't safe even with some close relatives and best friends. The only "safe" secrets are the ones we carry to our graves. -- ALEX P. VIDAL
The definition of success to me is not necessarily a price tag, not fame, but having a good life, and being able to say I did the right thing at the end of the day. -- JEREMY LUKE :
Success means peace of mind at the end of the day. Some of us may not be able to wake up anymore in the morning. With peace of mind, we go home to the Lord fulfilled and baggage-free. Our final journey does not require us to bring a jar of jewelry, cash or any other material emoluments. -- ALEX P. VIDAL
There is no remedy for love but to love more. -- HENRY DAVID THOREAU : Love is not a problem that requires a solution or remedy. Love itself is solution, the master key that erases conflict and eradicates hatred. The more we love the more we embrace peace and achieve eternal bliss. -- ALEX P. VIDAL
Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance or a stranger. -- FRANKLIN P. JONES : A person badgered by insecurities, intellectual deficiency and character problem will always consider honest criticism as enigma and direct assault against his ego. -- ALEX P. VIDAL
Love and doubt have never been on speaking terms. -- KHALIL GIBRAN : No "solid-rock" relationship can survive the super tsunami called mistrust. A relationship suffers a major snag once infidelity creeps in. All our investments--emotional, financial and otherwise--will crumble like a deck of cards when doubt rears its ugly head. -- ALEX P. VIDAL
Love the giver more than the gift. --BRIGHAM YOUNG : There is no golden egg if there is no goose that lays it. There is no dollar remittance in the family if there is no OFW. There is no fruit if there is no tree. The giver, the source or producer, must occupy the front seat in our gallery of heroes and providers. --ALEX P. VIDAL
Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away. --ELVIS PRESLEY : Even death can't subdue the truth, the paramount veracity that lives beyond the realms of physics, superstition and cosmological flux. Empires and civilizations have perished, but not the truth. Bones and flesh will turn into ashes, not the truth. Fidelity to truth should be imperishable. --ALEX P. VIDAL
A saint is a person who gives of himself without asking for anything in return. That's how simple it is to be a saint. -- EDWARD JAMES OLMOS :
We don't need to be a saint to fulfill our mission on earth. As ordinary mortals our primary hallmark is to think good, do good, and pray that no human life will be wasted because of poverty, violence, neglect and wickedness. -- ALEX P. VIDAL
The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive. --ALBERT EINSTEIN : Our fat salary and other mouth-watering allowances doesn't give us a fat edge over others. The size of our heart is not measured by the payroll's dotted lines. It is how sincere are we willing to spend time and money, and how deep is our intention to extend a helping hand. --ALEX P. VIDAL