Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let Christmas inspire us to reach beyond our potentials


Business Times p.B1

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Learning & Innovation

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM

Let Christmas inspire us to reach beyond our potentials


During Christmas season we are often so full of good thoughts about others.  We think about spending more time with family and friends.  We stretch our budget to buy worthy gifts for them.


Recently I feel fortunate to listen to a very inspiring talk by Kuya Ef (CNN Hero of the Year Efren PeƱaflorida to most of you).  He shared with us the four principles behind his achievements.  These are:


• ONE is never too poor to find ways to help others. • ONE is never too young (too old, in some cases) to give back to society. • ONE is never too strong to do things on his own (we need others). • ONE is never too ordinary to be a hero.


Indeed, Kuya Ef is so full of others not only during a specific season, but always.  His saga is now known all over the world.


While we are feeling generous toward others this season, how can you stay and act on this feeling every day of the new year?  This is what I am going to do starting next year.  And I urge you to do this in your own community with your family, friends and colleagues.  This is a good corporate social responsibility project for small and medium enterprises since it does not need a lot of funding.


I have written a note in my Facebook (FB) page and I have added some new insights based on feedback from my FB friends.


So many Filipinos are talented but idle and still very willing to help others (e.g. retirees, unemployed, etc.) and as Kuya Ef would say, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, fat, thin, etc.


I am also inspired by what US President Barack Obama is doing: "It starts with you."  Please go to this link——and know more about it.


President Obama says, "We are at one of those rare moments in history where we've been given the opportunity to change our country for the better. But it's never easy and it never starts in Washington.  It starts with you."


So let's start with us.  First we will organize as a core group.  Basically we will be a group of organizers, trainers and coaches.  Between four to 10 will be a good number for a working group.  Let's start with an assessment of what we have, our strengths, what we could contribute, whatever we have, e.g. talent, skills, money, time, kindness, love, lessons learned from experience, and others.


Then, let's craft our group's vision, mission, values, goals and objectives to enable us to work as a team cohesively and uniformly.  After which, we will identify our pilot community and map out a schedule for subsequent targeted communities.


Let's start with our own communities. If there are existing organizations (neighborhood or homeowners associations), then let's work with them.  If no organization exists, we will organize them.  Again, four to 10 people will be ideal for a team.  They will become our counterpart core group in that community.

Strictly NO POLITICS here please.


As we did with our original group, we will assist them by way of helping them assess their own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  Basically they will be a group of organizers, trainers and coaches.


Then we will give them training on planning, organizing, leadership, controlling, training, coaching, basic accounting and others.  If there are already subject experts in their group, then, we will tap them to do the training.  Consequently we will help them to plan and organize and determine their own courses of

action to better serve the needs of their community.


Then we shall move on to the next target community and replicate the same process until we reach as many communities as we could.  We will teach them how to fish and won't give them any fish or dole outs, unless we have the resources and there is a gaping need for such.


Those of you out there, who are with us, please raise your hands and be counted.  Please send us an e-mail, or if you are online, write a comment at the bottom of this page.


Let us channel our energies to productive and useful endeavors by helping others.  Let us not just sit and observe, lament, complain and curse the government.  Let us not just be content and comfortable.


It is never too late to be a contributor to the betterment of our world.  It starts with us.,

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ride your talk, adopt an e-Jeepney


Business Times, pB1

Saturday, December 05, 2009

IT is only the first week of December and already prices have gone up to the stratosphere. We bought LPG last week at P595 and my brother bought LPG yesterday at P615. We go to Divisoria once a month to buy materials and supplies for our training workshops and we notice that prices go up every time. We have a harder time convincing our suki to give us some preferential discounts since we buy wholesale. It is the same stock of supply that they bought at much lower prices. By the way, they now give real looking receipts, but they do not write on the copy left with them. For tax purposes, one confides. Hmmmmm.

The good news is that you may now ride a green jeepney! My good friend Yvonne Palomar Castro e-mailed me this:

"Everyone loves green nowadays and we all love to believe that we can 'walk the talk' when it comes to healing mother earth. A group called Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities [ICSC] offer us a venue not just to 'walk the talk' but ride it as well. For Makati residents and office workers, the electric jeepney is becoming a refreshing sight daily, offering free rides along the busy thoroughfares of Makati's Central Business District.

"What is unique aside from the free ride is the fact that it is smoke free and noise free making it possible to talk with your seatmate and not have to scream your lungs out. The proponent of the project, ICSC, with the support of the Makati City government, is hoping to roll out more units soon in other areas. The free ride will stay as long as there will be companies who believe that public service and protecting the environment can go hand in hand. If you are the owner, CEO, marketing or CSR [corporate social responsibility] head of a company you may participate in the Adopt an e-Jeepney project. At a lower cost than paying a rowing billboard, which does not render any public service and is actually bad for the environment by adding carbon dioxide and nitrous oxides onto our air, a company may instead adopt a unit/or units and place their ads by dressing up the "adopted" e-jeep with their company's logo and campaigns. There are also available spaces inside the e-Jeepneys to allow the companies to distribute flyers and other marketing materials. True to being green and sustainable, e-Jeepneys would rather that sponsor use 100 percent recycled paper from post consumer waste and are chlorine free and printed on soya ink for their printed materials.

"What could be more 'greener' than actually supporting a real green transport system? The Climate Friendly Cities project of ICSC won in the Discovery Channel's Ecopolis show as the 'Best Transport System to Save the World from Pollution.' Wow, if a world-renowned scientist and member of Nobel Peace Prize Dr. Daniel Kammen of UC Berkley believe in our locally grown e-Jeepney isn't it time for us to support it as well? By supporting the project, companies will make it possible for ICSC to bring and replicate this system to more cities the soonest time possible.

"As world government leaders are scrambling to unite next week at Copenhagen to have a binding agreement on cut on carbon emission, CSR practitioners in this country should take a thorough look at the Adopt an e-Jeepney which with the entire Climate Friendly Cities can actually reduce carbon emission by as much as 80 percent!

'Ride your Talk,' adopt an e-jeepney now by visiting their website at or by e-mailing  

For Yvonne's small and thriving enterprise: For really cool printed materials on 100 percent recycled paper that are chlorine free you may visit or e-mail

On giving, Dr. Stephen Post and Jil Neimark have proof that it is better to give than to receive. "Simply contemplating generosity boosts your immunity. When Harvard students watched a film about Mother Teresa tending to orphans, the number of protective antibodies in their saliva surged; when the students were asked to focus on times when they'd been loved by or loving to others, their antibody levels stayed elevated for an hour. In another study, the brain's pleasure centers lit up when people made check marks next to a list of organizations to which they wanted to donate."