Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Philippine Patriotic Oath: An Independence Day Trivia

We have recited the Patriotic Oath so many times in our school life we have taken for granted (or probably have never known) that it was originally written in English. The recitation of this pledge is required by law specifically under Department Order No. 8 issued on July 21, 1955, by what we now know as the Department of Education. This department order was the implementing guide for Republic Act No. 1265 otherwise known as the AN ACT MAKING FLAG CEREMONY COMPULSORY IN ALL EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS. The republic act was approved June 11, 1955.

The "Panatang Makabayan" we know so well is actually the direct translation of the English version of the Patriotic Oath below:

I love the Philippines.
It is the land of my birth;
It is the home of my people.
It protects me and helps me to be strong, happy and useful.
In return, I will heed the counsel of my parents;
I will obey the rules of my school;
I will perform the duties of a patriotic, law-abiding citizen;
I will serve my country unselfishly and faithfully
I will be a true Filipino in thought, in word, in deed.

Here is the Panatang Makabayan as we had always recited it:

Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas
Ito ang aking lupang sinilangan
Ito ang tahanan ng aking lahi
Ako'y kanyang kinukupkop at tinutulungan
Upang maging malakas, maligaya at kapakipakinabang
Bilang ganti, diringgin ko ang payo ng aking mga magulang
Susundin ko ang mga tuntunin ng aking paaralan
Tutuparin ko ang mga tungkulin ng isang mamamayang makabayan at masunurin sa batas
Paglilingkuran ko ang aking bayan nang walang pag-iimbot at ng buong katapatan
Sisikapin kong maging isang tunay na Pilipino sa isip, sa salita, at sa gawa.

Many Filipinos probably haven't notice it but in November 2001 the then Department of Education secretary Raul Roco revised the "Panatang Makabayan" into a more conversational version. Here is the November 2001 version:

Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas, aking Lupang Sinilangan
Tahanan ng aking lahi, kinukupkop ako at tinutulungan
Upang maging malakas, masipag, at marangal.
Dahil mahal ko ang Pilipinas,
Diringgin ko ang payo ng aking mga magulang.
Susundin ko ang tuntunin ng paaralan,
Tutuparin ko ang tungkulin ng mamamayang makabayan;
Naglilingkod, nag-aaral, at nagdarasal ng buong katapatan.
Iaalay ko ang aking buhay, pangarap at pagsisikap sa bansang Pilipinas

And with the version above, here is the Patriotic Oath of November 2001 translated in English:

I love the Philippines, the land of my birth,
The home of my people, it protects me and helps me
Become strong, hardworking and honorable.
Because I love the Philippines,
I will heed the counsel of my parents,
I will obey the rules of my school,
I will perform the duties of a patriotic citizen,
Serving, studying, and praying faithfully.
I offer my life, dreams, successes
To the Philippine nation.

The Patriotic Oath or the Panatang Makabayan is just one of two pledges, the other being the Panunumpa ng Katapatan sa Watawat ng Pilipinas (Pledge of Allegiance to the Philippine Flag). It is commonly recited at school flag ceremonies, after the singing of the national anthem, Lupang Hinirang, but before the Pledge of Allegiance.

On June 12, 2010, Saturday, is a "Gathering of Patriots" at the 8th Avenue and 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Philippines, beginning 5:00 in the morning. This event is referred to as the 2010 Philippine Independence Day Marathon (Ang Takbo Para Sa Ating Kasaysayan). It is a non-profit endeavor whose vision is to institutionalize a very meaningful yearly celebration of our INDEPENDENCE.

Everyone is invited.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Your Vision of the Philippines

Most of the vision about our country we know of have come off the propaganda of politicians. A body of literary wish lists for their reign that only reflects that they want and not what the nation needs.

From the first Philippine Republic which reflected the agenda of the Illustrados, to the Commonwealth that clearly showed the stamp of the United States, the Philippine vision was dictated by personalities and the "special interest groups" that partake of the pie we call the Philippine economy. After, the Philippine Republic was supposedly independent, the political agenda of a president became the de facto vision of the country until the next national election introduces the nation to a new one.

It was always an incumbent president dictating the vision of our country. This actually means the Philippines has a new vision every three (3) years. Rather than uniting Filipinos, Philippine leaders are actually confusing Filipinos every three (3) years and spending resources and their personal energy convincing the nation it will work and that Filipinos should support it. For many generations, the Filipinos have experienced the rollercoaster of open hostility to these visions or silent disobedience to their implementation.

What is a vision? If somebody writes on the wall about their vision of the Philippines, how will it sound like? Understanding what a vision is requires that we know what it means. Let's start with its definition.

Wikipedia gives the meaning of vision like this:

"Vision: Defines the desired or intended future state of an organization or enterprise in terms of its fundamental objective and/or strategic direction. Vision is a long term view, sometimes describing a view of how the organization would like the world in which it operates to be. For example a charity working with the poor might have a vision statement which reads "A world without poverty".

Defining Vision

Another definition of vision comes from Oren Harari: "Vision should describe a set of ideals and priorities, a picture of the future, a sense of what makes the company special and unique, a core set of principles that the company stands for, and a broad set of compelling criteria that will help define organizational success." (National Defense University)

Harari is a professor at the Graduate School of Business in the University of San Francisco. He teaches strategic and global management to MBA and executive MBA students.

By this definition, it is obvious that the meaning of vision is framed in the context of organizational development. Most definitions of vision you will find will be within the framework of organizational development simply because most research on the subject were done and advocated by management practitioners and management educators. There will be more lectures on the subject applied to business organizations than applied to the development of a country. For purposes of creating analogy with defining vision for national development, this definition for now should suffice. For further clarity, additional definitions should be explored. Burt Nanus is a well-known expert on the subject and provides a more operative definition of vision for organizations and for countries pursuing national development agenda.

Burt Nanus' management theory focuses on the leadership requirements for non-profits. According to Nanus in his book "Guide to Management Theory", a vision must be realistic, credible, attractive and in the future:

  • "Realistic: A vision must be based in reality to be meaningful for an organization."
  • "Credible: A vision must be believable to be relevant."
  • "Attractive: If a vision is going to inspire and motivate those in the organization, it must be attractive."
  • "Future: A vision is not in the present, it is in the future."

From an article published in the National Defense University: Nanus' concept of a vision being realistic, credible, and attractive future for an organization, can accomplish a number of things for the organization:

  • "It attracts commitment and energizes people. This is one of the primary reasons for having a vision for an organization: its motivational effect. When people can see that the organization is committed to a vision-and that entails more than just having a vision statement-it generates enthusiasm about the course the organization intends to follow, and increases the commitment of people to work toward achieving that vision."
  • "It creates meaning in workers' lives. A vision allows people to feel like they are part of a greater whole, and hence provides meaning for their work. The right vision will mean something to everyone in the organization if they can see how what they do contributes to that vision."
  • "It establishes a standard of excellence. A vision serves a very important function in establishing a standard of excellence. In fact, a good vision is all about excellence."
  • "It bridges the present and the future. The right vision takes the organization out of the present, and focuses it on the future. It's easy to get caught up in the crises of the day, and to lose sight of where you were heading. A good vision can orient you on the future, and provide positive direction."

Once you have a true grasp of what vision is all about, the most obvious next step is to know how to create a vision for an organization and in this case for a country.

Guidelines to Creating a Vision

Nanus suggests several guidelines for creating a realistic, credible, attractive future for an organization:

  • "A good vision is a mental model of a future state."
  • "A good vision is idealistic."
  • "A good vision is appropriate for the organization (or country) and for the times."
  • "A good vision sets standards of excellence and reflects high ideals."
  • "A good vision clarifies purpose and direction."
  • "A good vision inspires enthusiasm and encourages commitment."
  • "A good vision is well articulated and easily understood."
  • "A good vision reflects the uniqueness of the organization, its distinctive competence, what it stands for, and what it is able to achieve."
  • "A good vision is ambitious."

Once you understand how a vision is created, how do you go about starting the process of actually making a vision? Nanus also sugguests a process, a seven step process in fact to creating a vision.

The Seven-step Process for Formulating a Vision:

Nanus describes a seven-step process for formulating a vision, as follows:

  1. "Understand the organization."

    The organization in this case is the Philippines. The first step in creating a vision is understanding the Philippines, its government and its people (the Philippine nation). Filipinos must know and understand how our government works, how the economy works, and the dynamics of a multi-cultural nation dispersed in more than 1,700 islands. Relevant links about government, about the Philippine economy, and Philippine politics are found at the bottom of this post to get you started in understanding the Philippines in the eyes of foreign governments and international organizations. What will it take for the Filipinos to get from now to where they want to go? Who should be participating in the process of creating the vision and formulating the strategy to accomplish the vision? What will be the expectations of all those participating and contributing to the process?

  2. "Conduct a vision audit."

    Supposedly this step involves assessing the current direction of the Philippines and its momentum. Since we do not have a clear direction or vision, the country or its leaders must articulate clearly in a unified voice (Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches) the current direction of the country. The executive, legislative and the judicial branches of government must show both in their policies, statements and programmes how the country will go from its existing state to the desired state. Is the structure of government designed to pursue the vision? Will the laws and policies support the initiatives or programmes of the government? Are there legitimate processes for the different stakeholders to participate contribute to the formulation of strategy and in implementing it? Does the Philippine government have the people, incentives, resources and information systems to support the direction it is taking?

  3. "Target the vision."

    The Philippines as a country must narrow in its vision. Key questions must be answered such as, what will be the constraints to the vision? What must the Philippine vision accomplish? What critical issues (corruption, poverty, illiteracy, health, etc.) must the Philippine vision address?

  4. "Set the vision context."

    This is where the formulation of the Philippine vision becomes difficult. The vision is the desirable future for the Philippines. Filipinos must make an approximation or estimate of how the Philippines will look like in the future. First, Filipinos must categorize future developments in the Philippine environment that might affect the Philippine vision. Next is to list down the Filipinos' expectations under each category. Third, determine which of those expectations in the list will most likely happen. Last, assign a probability of occurrence to each of the expectations.

  5. "Develop future scenarios."

    Having determined expectations most likely to occur and those with the most impact on the vision, you are to combine these to create scenarios showing the range of possible futures. These scenarios are to be the alternative "futures" that we anticipate will be the environment under which the Philippines will operate within.

  6. "Generate alternative visions."

    Just as there are alternative scenarios (futures) there are also alternative directions that can be taken by the Filipinos in the future. "Do not evaluate these possible visions at this point but use a relatively unconstrained approach" according to Nanus.

  7. "Choose the final vision."

    This is the step where you are suppose to select the best possible vision. According to Nanus:'To do this, first look at the properties of a good vision, and what it takes for a vision to succeed, including consistency with the the culture and values. Next, compare the visions you've generated with the alternative scenarios, and determine which of the possible visions will apply to the broadest range of scenarios." The final version of the vision must:

    • meet the criteria of a good vision
    • be compatible with the Filipino culture and values
    • applies to a broad range of alternative scenarios (or possible futures)

With the above guide for creating a vision, anyone who wants a better future for the Philippines can attempt to frame a vision for the country.

A good example of a vision is the one created by Singapore and express in a speech by the country's Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. The speech was entitled "A Learning Nation, A Thinking Nation" as Singapore's "Vision for a New Era - Singapore 21".

Are you ready to participate in creating a vision for the Philippines?

If you are ready, please complete a Survey Form. Click to open the online form.


"Strategic Leadership and Decision Making"
National Defense University

"The Way to Become"
The Filipino Ideology


"Life-and-Times of Oren Harari"
Oren Harari

"Guide to Management Theory of Burt Nanus"
Nanus's Management Theory for Nonprofits
By Geraldine McGowan,_burt/

"A Learning Nation, A Thinking Nation"
Singapore 21: Vision for a New Era
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong
Excerpt from a speech made in Parliament, June 5, 1998

Get to know the Philippines in the eyes of foreign governments and international organizations.

"Country Profile: The Philippines"
BBC News

"Profile of the Philippines"


NationsOnline: Countries of the World

"Country Profile: Philippines"
Foreign & Commonwealth Office - United Kingdom

"The World Factbook: Philippines"
Central Intelligence Agency

National Geographic

"Philippines Economic Profile"

"Background Note: Philippines"
U.S. Department of State

"Philippines: Country Profile"
National Implementation of Agenda 21
United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development

Republic of the Philippines
Official Web Portal of the Government of the Philippines

Know how your local government works through Republic Act No. 7160.

Republic Act No. 7160 (PDF)
Philippine Export Processing Authority

The Local Government Code of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 7160
The Chan Robles Virtual Law Library

History of Section 119 of Republic Act No. 7160:
House of Representatives

"Politics of the Philippines"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

National Heroes are National Symbols…We Have None!

Jose Rizal was born on June 19, 1861 in Calamba, Laguna, Philippines, to Francisco Engracio Rizal Mercado y Alejandra II (1818-1898) and Teodora Morales Alonso Realonda y Quintos (1827-1911). His parents were prosperous farmers granted lease of a hacienda and an accompanying rice farm by the Dominicans. Jose was the seventh of eleven siblings. His early years of study was under the tutelage of Justiniano Aquino Cruz in Biñan, Laguna. He was one of nine outstanding students when he completed his degree in land surveying and assessor's degree from Ateneo Municipal de Manila while also studying Philosophy and Letters from the University of Santo Tomas. It was in Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery did Rizal pursue his study of medicine specializing in ophthalmology. His desire to complete this specialization was driven by the fact that his mother was going blind.

Substantial studies of Rizal reveal him to be a polymath with the ability to master various skills and subjects. He was a sculptor, painter, farmer, playwright, poet, historian, journalist, educator, and ophthalmologist. He has expertise in architecture, cartography, ethnology, sociology, anthropology, economics, dramatics, fencing, pistol shooting and marital arts.

If historian's are to be believed, Rizal would turn out to be the first advocate of peaceful change. Rizal's biographer and writer Benedict Anderson believed that Rizal gave the Philippine Revolution a genuinely national character; and that Rizal's patriotism and his standing as one of Asia's first intellectuals have inspired others to the importance of a national identity to nation-building.

In June 1901, the Taft Commission renamed the district of Morong into the Province of Rizal through Act 137 and subsequently passing Act 346 authorizing the installation of a national monument in Rizal's honor. In 1956, the Philippine legislature pass Republic Act 1425 requiring the teaching of the life, work and writings of Rizal in all high school and college curricula. These actions were to honor the hero believed to have ignited the flames of revolution.

Along with Rizal were others who were also honored with holidays and monuments such as Apolinario Mabini, Gabriela Silang, Marcelo H. Del Pilar, Melchora Aquino, etc. Our heroes are part of our national symbols. They represent the best of who we are as people. It shows to the world our greatest achievement, our strongest character, our values, our hope, and our vision.

Each generation of government leaders enacted laws to honor our heroes.

  • The Decree of December 20, 1898 by General Emilio Aguinaldo declared December 30 of every year a day of national mourning in honor of Rizal and other martyrs of the Philippine Revolution.
  • Act No. 137 of the Taft Commission renamed the district of Morong to the Province of Rizal in honor of Rizal.
  • Act No. 2760 issued on February 23, 1918 provided for the erection of a monument to the memory of Andres Bonifacio.
  • Act No. 2946 enacted by the Philippine Legislature in 16 February 1921 declared November 30 of each year as a legal holiday to commemorate the birth of Andres Bonifacio.
  • Act No. 3827 was enacted by the Philippine Legislature on 28 October 1931 declaring the last Sunday of August of every year as National Heroes Day.
  • On November 30, 1994, President Fidel V. Ramos issued Proclamation No. 510 declaring year 1996 as the Year of Filipino Heroes as "a tribute to all Filipinos who, directly and indirectly, gave meaning and impetus to the cause of freedom, justice, Philippine independence and nationhood."
  • Republic Act No. 9070 passed into law April 8, 2001, declared the eighteenth of December of every year as a special working public holiday throughout the country to be known as the Graciano Lopez-Jaena Day.

We have extolled the achievements of our heroes, proclaimed national holidays in their name, erected sculptures and monuments, named streets, cities and provinces after them, but not a single man or woman had been declared a national hero, not one, not even Jose Rizal.

Our national leaders however still have to proclaim by law a national hero.

On March 28, 1993 , President Fidel V. Ramos issued Executive Order No.75 entitled “Creating the National Heroes Committee Under the Office of the President”. This Committee is to study, evaluate and recommend Filipino national personages or heroes in due recognition of their sterling character and remarkable achievements for the country. In compliance with Executive Order No. 75, a Technical Committee of the National Heroes Committee was created. This committee was composed of the following:

  • Dr. Onofre D. Corpuz
  • Samuel K. Tan
  • Marcelino Foronda
  • Alfredo Lagmay
  • Bernardita R. Churchill
  • Serafin D. Quiason
  • Ambeth Ocampo (Dom Ignacio Maria)
  • Prof. Minerva Gonzales
  • Mrs. Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil

The Committee organized and attended a series of meetings as follows: June 3, 1993, August 19, 1994, September 12, 1994, and November 15, 1995. These meetings defined, discussed and deliberated on the merits of the various definitions and criteria of a hero.

The Committee came up with a set of criteria to guide historical researchers in determining who among the great Filipinos of past will be officially proclaimed as national heroes and thereupon become national symbols.

The Committee agreed that the following should determine who should become a national hero:

  1. Heroes are those who have a concept of nation and thereafter aspire and struggle for the nation’s freedom. Our own struggle for freedom was begun by Bonifacio and finished by Aguinaldo, the latter formally declaring the revolution’s success. In reality, however, a revolution has no end. Revolutions are only the beginning. One cannot aspire to be free only to sink back into bondage.
  2. Heroes are those who define and contribute to a system or life of freedom and order for a nation. Freedom without order will only lead to anarchy. Therefore, heroes are those who make the nation’s constitution and laws, such as Mabini and Recto. To the latter, constitutions are only the beginning, for it is the people living under the constitution that truly constitute a nation.
  3. Heroes are those who contribute to the quality of life and destiny of a nation.
  4. A hero is part of the people’s expression. But the process of a people’s internalization of a hero’s life and works takes time, with the youth forming a part of the internalization.
  5. A hero thinks of the future, especially the future generations.
  6. The choice of a hero involves not only the recounting of an episode or events in history, but of the entire process that made this particular person a hero.

On November 15, 1995, the Technical Committee came up with a list of nine (9) names of Filipino historical figures to be recommended as National Heroes:

  1. Jose Rizal
  2. Andres Bonifacio
  3. Emilio Aguinaldo
  4. Apolinario Mabini
  5. Marcelo H. del Pilar
  6. Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat
  7. Juan Luna
  8. Melchora Aquino
  9. Gabriela Silang

These report and recommendations were submitted by the National Heroes Committee to then Secretary Ricardo T. Gloria of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports on November 22, 1995.

No action was taken on these recommendations.

Speculations abound that proclamations of national heroes might trigger a flood of requests for such declarations and that proclamations can trigger bitter debates about the historical controversies involving the endorsed heroes. In a way, this is much a reflection of the political will (or lack thereof) of leaders past as it is of the current political leadership.

The nation glorify the names of recognized heroes. The country fully integrated the story of these heroes in the teachings of its history and social sciences but it has not fully embraced these heroes as part of its national symbol by declaring them as such. National heroes are symbols telling a great story of a great people.

The Philippines is a courageous nation about to be robbed of its national symbols--Its heroes. It is unfortunate that a colorful history of the Great Pearl of the Orient was not enough to inspire our leaders to proclaim its national heroes.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The National Symbols We Take for Granted

National symbols. Each country that takes pride in its national identity holds their national symbols with reverence and respect. It is the symbol of their national sovereignty and solidarity. It translates the nation's virtues into images that stays in the minds of its people. We saw most of these images in our first day in school or in our first attendance of a public event like a fiesta.

Growing up we raised our flag every sunrise and every celebration sang our national anthem and in few occasions recite our allegiance to the Philippine flag. In studying our community we eventually got one of our teachers or our social studies books pointing out the carabao as our national domestic animal, the bangus as our national fish, anahaw as our national leaf, and many bits of our national relics. We took these as true and believe them to be a fact hammered consistently through more than ten years of education. Eventually, we took these symbols for granted. All of a sudden our perception of what is a fact and what is not change through an innocent search over the web of the keyword "filipino ideology", "national flag" and "national symbols".

"Reverence and respect shall at all times be accorded the flag, the anthem, and other national symbols which embody the national ideals and traditions and which express the principles of sovereignty and national solidarity. The heraldic items and devices shall seek to manifest the national virtues and to inculcate in the minds and hearts of our people a just pride in their native land, fitting respect and affection for the national flag and anthem, and the proper use of the national motto, coat-of-arms and other heraldic items and devices." - Declaration of Policy, Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 8491).

According to the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) the "Cariñosa is not the national dance of the Philippines, neither is it Tinikling. It has no basis in Philippine law such as the claims to the supposed Philippines' National Animal (Carabao), National Fish (Bangus), National House (Nipa Hut), National Leaf (Anahaw), National Fruit (Mango), National Sport (Sipa) that are circulating through various sources."

Arrange chronologically as they were prescribed in law, here are some of our most important national symbols.

  • In 1934, Narra or scientifically referred to as Pterocarpus indicus was declared our national tree and Sampaguita (Jasminum sambac) as our national flower. Governor-General Frank Murphy issued Executive Proclamation No. 652 on February 01, 1934 declaring Sampaguita the national flower and narra the national tree of the Philippines. Frank Murphy is the last Governor General of the Philippines. He subsequently became the first American High Commissioner after the first Philippine Commonwealth Government was established.
  • Our Panatang Makabayan or The Patriotic Oath is prescribed in Republic Act No. 1265 approved on July 11, 1955 and implemented in schools through Department Order No. 8 of the Department of Education, which was approved on July 21, 1955.
  • Former President Fidel V. Ramos proclaimed the Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) as the national bird in 1995 through Proclamation No. 615.
  • President Ramos named the Philippine Pearl through Proclamation No. 905 series of 1996 as the National Gem.
  • The Pledge of Allegiance to the Philippine Flag or referred to in Filipino as "Panunumpa ng Katapatan sa Watawat ng Pilipinas" was first defined in Executive Order No. 343 issued June 12, 1996.

In 1998, REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8491, or referred to as "AN ACT PRESCRIBING THE CODE OF THE NATIONAL FLAG, ANTHEM, MOTTO, COAT-OF-ARMS AND OTHER HERALDIC ITEMS AND DEVICES OF THE PHILIPPINES" was signed into law on February 12, 1998. This law is more briefly referred to as the "Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines." This law prescribed our national symbols which we now know today such as the national flag and the pledge of allegiance to the Philippine Flag. It also defined a less known national symbol our National Motto. Here are some important provisions of the republic act:

  • The National Flag described in Section 4 of Chapter I entitled "The National Flag."
  • National Anthem (Lupang Hinirang) is defined and prescribed in Section 25 of Chapter II "The National Anthem".
  • The Pledge of Allegiance to the Philippine Flag (Filipino: Panunumpa ng Katapatan sa Watawat ng Pilipinas) is found Section 25 Chapter I entitled "National Flag", repealing EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 343 June 12, 1996.

Under Section 40 of Chapter III of Republic Act No. 8491 is prescribed one of our least known national symbol our national motto:


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Centre for International Education Launches Books

The Centre for International Education (CIE) has launched two books that inspire appreciation and emulation of the Filipino ability to transform adversity into positive endeavors.

Written by Professor Nelia Cruz Sarcol, visionary and Filipino thought-leader, the books are “The Legend of the Pearl of the Orient: The Philippines” and “The Pearl Principle: Ang Diwa ng Perlas ng Silanganan”.

The books were first unveiled to the public on September 20, 2008 at the Casino Espanol de Cebu in Cebu City. The Metro Manila launch will be held on September 30, 2008 at the Makati Sports Club.

“The Legend of the Pearl of the Orient” is an illustrated storybook that depicts the perilous journey of merchants from China in search of wealth of neighboring lands by which to trade. Shipwrecked in a storm, they are guided by the lights from some of the islands that now compose the Philippines. They think that the lights come from legendary mermaids who are said to possess pearls that have extraordinary glitter. However, they are rescued by the islands’ inhabitants, who showed them that the greatest treasures are found in the hearts of the people.

The Legend book displays the true nature of Filipinos, their resilient attributes that enable them to conquer life’s most devastating storms.

“The Pearl Principle: Ang Diwa ng Perlas ng Silanganan” probes deeply into what could be a workable modern-day Philippine ideology. Through its “Ten Tenets of the Pearl Principle”, it presents its worldview “that is rooted in the transformation of adversity into a gem of a life … as in the creation of a pearl.”

For Inquiries contact:

CIE Main Campus
168 Pres. Magsaysay St., Kasambagan
Cebu City, Philippines
Call: (032) 412-7622

CIE Makati Extension Campus
Gold Tower, Palanca Street
Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines
Call: (032) 888-0909

“The Legend” book sells for P200 while “The Pearl Principle” book is pegged at P150.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

In A Time of Great Uncertainty: Unrequited Love for Country

As our senses reverberate with the news of the armed conflict in Mindanao, the realities of the skyrocketing cost of living, and the diaspora of our countrymen in search of perceived green pastures overseas, an institution dares to reiterate its stand that the greatest thing a Filipino can do today is to love his/her country, no matter what the state it is in.

The call for unconditional love for country may run counter to the popular pastime of government and institution bashing. Even the token Philippine delegation to the 29th Olympics in Beijing who brought home some recognition in the exhibition sport of wushu and also broke some regional and local marks, was not spared from the brickbats.

Such is the point of the Centre for International Education (CIE), a 23-year old school with campuses in Cebu and Makati cities, which prides itself as The School for Leaders. It believes that the Filipino should not just roll over and die when subjected to the myriad of difficulties, both natural and man-made, that it is going through at this time. Rather, the Filipino should use these adversities to polish itself and become better persons, individually and a better nation, collectively.

This phenomenon is best illustrated in the creation of the pearl, the only precious gem that is created from a living organism – the oyster. Seemingly secure at the ocean floor, the oyster’s shell of protection is breached, and its tender tissues violated by irritants called “teredos”. In an act of survival, the oyster coats itself with nacre, putting its original form to rest, but in time resurrecting as the shiny gem called the pearl.

CIE celebrates the Filipino’s resilience and other positive values by publishing two books: “The Legend of the Pearl of the Orient”, and “The Pearl Principle: Ang Diwa ng Perlas ng Silangan.” The books are written by Prof. Nelia Cruz Sarcol, founder and concurrently president and chief executive officer of CIE.

The Legend of the Pearl of the Orient is an illustrated storybook that depicts the perilous journey of merchants from prehistoric China in search of wealth of the neighboring lands by which to trade. Shipwrecked, they are guided by the like glitter of lights from the islands of what are now the Philippines. They think that the lights come from legendary mermaids who are said to possess pearls that have extraordinary glitter. However, the shipwrecked traders are rescued by the island’s inhabitants, who showed them that the greatest treasures are found in the hearts of the people.

The Pearl Principle: Ang Diwa ng Perlas ng Silanganan probes deeply into what could be a workable modern-day Philippine ideology. Through its “Ten Tenets of the Pearl Principle”, it presents its worldview “that is rooted in the transformation of adversity into a gem of a life … as in the creation of a pearl.”

The launches will be held in Cebu City on September 20, 2008 at the Casino Espanol de Cebu and Makati City on September 30, 2008 at the Makati Sports Club.

Within the classrooms of CIE, The Pearl Principle and love for country are embraced right into the academic mainstream and taught to every student. The essence of caring for the community and the country is best reflected in a programme called the Gift of G.O.L.D. It essentially means the”Giving of One’s self to those who have Less and are Disadvantaged.” While the acronym reflects giving per se, the concept goes far beyond the old ways of charity.

Today, the Gift of GOLD has been integrated into CIE’s Basic Education academic programme, from Levels 7 to 12 (equivalent to Grades Five to Fourth Year High School). Under this program, the children learn the basics of business, learning practical skills to come up with marketable products and eventually set up a small enterprise. The difference in the way CIE does it is that each class will be putting up an enterprise with an economically-disadvantaged family as partner.

By creating micro-enterprises with beneficiary families, these families are helped to liberate themselves from poverty. At the same time, CIE students are developed to become social entrepreneurs, primed for leadership to become future captains of industry who open opportunities for others to grow.

The Gift of GOLD defines the kind of leaders that CIE grows and primes; the very one described in the CIE Vision: “CIE is a veritable institution in the Asia-Pacific that develops and nurtures influential generative leaders who champion the upliftment of the quality of human life.”

“Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas. Gagawin ko ang lahat upang siya’y maiangat sa pagkakasadlak.” This is a pledge that Teacher Nelia and other advocates of The Pearl Principle solemnly swear to. If more and more Filipinos would just keep the essence of this pledge to heart, then perhaps the Philippines will be able to conquer the adversities of the past and the present and subsequently shine forth to the rest of the world.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's Time

This is Chapter 8 of "The Pearl Principle" book.

It’s time to do it right.

We need to properly express a collective consciousness through a national philosophy that will unify the Filipino people.

This national philosophy must be traceable to our roots as a people. It should reflect our heritage and our history that will define our soul as a nation, and proclaim our true identity as the pride of the Malayan race.

We are the Pearl of the Orient.

Ang lupa nating hinirang, ang Inang Bayang Pilipinas, na kung saan tayong lahat ay nagmula, ay siyang sinasambit ng ating mga ninuno na namumukod-tangi sa dakong Silangan.

Bayang magiliw,
Perlas ng Silanganan.
Alab ng puso,
Sa dibdib moý buhay.

We sing this song almost everyday of our lives, but do we really understand what it means?

Why don’t you try singing the Lupang Hinirang softly, the way it’s meant to be sung as an anthem, and not as a call to march to a war? Maybe by singing it softly, gently, with closed eyes, we can understand what the song is trying to tell us.

Let’s ponder on the significance of this beautiful song in our lives as citizens of this country.

Beloved country, Pearl of the Orient
The fervor of our love burns our being.
Chosen land, cradle of noble heroes,
You overcome by your tenacity.

Over the hills, valleys, mountains and seas
Skies so blue, royal blood, noble and true
Poems and songs of freedom soar through the breeze
Our love for you shall never ever cease.

To the triumphant luster of our flag
Shining brightly over the chosen land,
The sun, our beacon, and the stars, our guide
In the quest for eternal enlightenment.

O land of the enlightened,
To adore you is glorious!
In your paradise,
We live a gem of a life!

Our hearts overflow with joy and gladness
As we struggle for our nation’s rebirth.
Our happiness is to live our destiny,
Transformation over adversity.
It is not just the lyrics. It is the story.

It is our story.

It is our destiny.

Lupang Hinirang
The Philippine National Anthem
By Julian Felipe

Bayang magiliw,
Perlas ng Silanganan.
Alab ng puso,
Sa dibdib moý buhay.

Lupang hinirang,
Duyan ka ng magiting.
Sa manlulupig,
Di ka pasisiil.

Sa dagat at bundok, sa simoy at
Sa langit mong bughaw.
May dilag ang tula at awit sa
Paglayang minamahal.

Ang kislap ng watawat mo’y
Tagumpay na nagniningning.
Ang bituin at araw nya’y
Kailan pa maý di magdidilim.

Lupa ng araw,
Ng luwalhati’t pagsinta,
Buhay ay langit
Sa piling mo.

Aming ligaya
Na pag may mangaapi,
Ang mamatay ng
Dahil sa ‘yo.