Tag Archives: Christianity

Celebrating Diversity

Judging people by physical appearances distracts us from serious issues. As one politician put it, physical appearances can be used as a sign of solidarity with those who share it. By ridiculing politicians for their physical appearance, we elevate them to a moral high ground, even as physical similarities can mask glaring differences between politicians and their constituents. Finally, and more importantly, this kind of “bullying” reinforces a culture that overvalues physical appearance.1

With the 2016 elections less than a year from now, we need to desist from attacks on the physical appearance of politicians. Journalists in particular should be mindful of their power to dignify certain discourses. We cannot be distracted from the more relevant parameters with which to hold politicians to account. We cannot gift them with ‘persecution’ that gives them a moral high ground while it conceals and absolves their moral and legal failings. More importantly, by casting politicians physical features in a negative light, we are perpetuating a culture that over values physical appearance, upholds certain standards of beauty and renders harm to our countrymen who share these features. Indeed, if we are to elevate Philippine politics to a certain measure of dignity, if we are to make people proud and respectful of the ways people look, we must spare the physical appearance of our politicians from ridicule and verbal abuse.1

**Though the piece above is angled on Philippine politics, the typical Filipino’s tendency to judge people by physical appearances goes beyond our politicians. Our intolerance for those who don’t share the same physical qualities (skin color, height, etc.) are monstrously contributory to our stunted growth as a nation. If we want to be more and do more for this country, its high time to put an end to these destructive prejudices.

On culture:
I cannot celebrate independence when I can be so casually told in public that I am less of a Filipino or a person solely because my grandparents were (Chinese) immigrants. Do we subconsciously insist on defining patriotism as an accident of birth instead of a lifetime’s conviction? How can we continually decry mistreatment of Filipinos overseas yet tolerate such vitriol at home?2

**If we want our OFWs to be treated well abroad, don’t you think it’s only fair for us Filipinos to treat expats and Chinese immigrants with the same decency and respect we ardently expect? I would like to live in a country where everyone is welcome. Where there is a sense of community and where an expat can call my country his home. Families, economies and countries thrive because its foreigners (as well as its residents) are able to work together and make their country of residence more prosperous since they first arrived.

On social status:
I’ve also been quite vocal about this with friends: You’re poor? I don’t take it against you You’re rich? I don’t take it against you either. Bottom line, does it really matter? In the grander scheme of things, it’s the heart of the person that counts.

Too idealistic? Not at all. On the contrary, a realist clearly sees what needs to be improved in order to make communication lines easier and effortless, thus laying the ground work for straightforward and uncomplicated relationships (business or otherwise) for us to live better and to a greater degree, thrive.

For quite sometime now, I’ve been practicing going beyond what my eyes can see, and rigidly looking at the character of the person. So far, this methodology of making friends has opened doors for me that I couldn’t have possibly imagined.

I encourage you to be more accepting/tolerant/forgiving of people’s differences, may they be physical appearances, race, culture, religion, social background, etc. In the digital age, the world has become smaller and our neighbors more accessible than ever. As a nation, we have more to gain if we embrace, rather than shun, this reality. There is strength in diversity, if only the Filipino can look beyond himself.

“I can imagine nothing more terrifying than an eternity filled with men who were all the same. The only thing which has made life bearable…has been the diversity of creatures on the surface of the globe.”
― T.H. White

References:
1 Philippine Daily Inquirer. ‘The politics of physical appearance’. Gideon Lasco, June 15 2015.
2 Philippine Daily Inquirer, Opinion. Sisyphus’ Lament, ‘Anti-Chinese-Filipino slurs are visible’. Oscar Franklin Tan. @oscarfbtan

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A Passion for Collaboration: WIEF Shapes Future Business Leaders

The World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation, through its Young Leaders Network (WYN), in collaboration with the Young Moro Professionals Network (YMPN) of the Philippines, organized the WIEF Young Fellows (WYF) 2014, which took place last June 18 – 24  in Manila, Philippines.

Supported by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and Naza World, the WYF 2014 was specially designed to shape future business leaders from all around the world, instilling in them a profound entrepreneurial mind-set and a strong sense of social purpose. The 7-day intensive programme was attended by 24 young leaders from 16 countries including the United Kingdom, Iraq, Russia, the United States of America, South Africa, Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia.
Supported by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and Naza World, the WYF 2014 was specially designed to shape future business leaders from all around the world, instilling in them a profound entrepreneurial mind-set and a strong sense of social purpose. The 7-day intensive programme was attended by 24 young leaders from 16 countries including the United Kingdom, Iraq, Russia, the United States of America, South Africa, Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia.

Articulating a social purpose at the corporate level, adhering to a set of common principles, and agreeing in a common vision for partnership across sectors can set the stage to create significant benefits for society and returns for companies. The effects of globalization and the internet further influence the value systems of organizations. Cultural values within the same organization vary from person to person and this drives a need for more individualized and intricate management plans. These are values we should all share.

“If we want a better world, we need to inspire the future leaders of the world. There is absolutely no denial on this simple notion; and this is why the WIEF Young Leaders Network was created 8 years ago. It serves as a global platform for young people of different backgrounds to connect and collaborate, be it in business or social programme,” expressed The Hon. Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of the WIEF Foundation.
“If we want a better world, we need to inspire the future leaders of the world. There is absolutely no denial on this simple notion; and this is why the WIEF Young Leaders Network was created 8 years ago. It serves as a global platform for young people of different backgrounds to connect and collaborate, be it in business or social programme,” expressed The Hon. Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of the WIEF Foundation.

Ebrahim Patel, Chairman of the WIEF Young Leaders Network, added, “The changing dynamics of the world has challenged the way business is carried out.  New industries and global business giants are emerging on a daily basis. Weighing against this are political changes, economic instability and resource scarcity which has created demands for a new generation skilled with leadership. This is what we are striving for – to provide an avenue where our young people can truly experience the world, gain insightful knowledge and be inspired to be positive change leaders.”

“The WIEF Young Fellows 2014 is indeed exciting. It allows our young leaders to learn about the city of Manila – its business and social landscape. It provides our diverse group the opportunity to interact with global cultures and build strong personal networks. It is imperative that we create such platforms for our young leaders because, aside from equipping them with the skills to create profitable business, we also want to see them benefitting humanity,” added Bai Rohaniza M. Sumndad-Usman, Chairperson of the Young Moro Professional Network.
“The WIEF Young Fellows 2014 is indeed exciting. It allows our young leaders to learn about the city of Manila – its business and social landscape. It provides our diverse group the opportunity to interact with global cultures and build strong personal networks. It is imperative that we create such platforms for our young leaders because, aside from equipping them with the skills to create profitable business, we also want to see them benefitting humanity,” added Bai Rohaniza M. Sumndad-Usman, Chairperson of the Young Moro Professional Network.
A Capoiera session with the WIEF Young Fellows
A Capoiera session with the WIEF Young Fellows
WIEF visits Maharlika School
WIEF visits Maharlika School
Regardless of background, if we are "To promote dialogue and foster cooperation among the Muslim and non-Muslim businessmen in the belief that collaboration is the salient feature of the 21st century international relations, business partnerships can become genuine bridges towards peace and prosperity between the Muslim and non-Muslim world”.
Regardless of background, if we are “To promote dialogue and foster cooperation among the Muslim and non-Muslim businessmen in the belief that collaboration is the salient feature of the 21st century international relations, business partnerships can become genuine bridges towards peace and prosperity between the Muslim and non-Muslim world”.

Celebrating diversity, a passion for collaboration accompanied with a shared goal, lifestyle website MissTolentino.com and commercial enterprise SEM Scribe Publishing House join hands with the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation to take youth leaders (Muslim and Non-Muslim) into the 21st century of international relations.

 

Beautiful in His Eyes – A Happy Panda Shares Her Story

Do you still remember the entry I did on How to Heal a Broken Heart?

Well, guess what? The people I dedicated that entry to are doing well and are on their way to recovery. All through His Grace.

It’s amazing what happened that day. You’ll never really know how He works but He does indeed change lives. He offers the gift of love: A love that is real, full and freeing.

Please make sure to read the full entry from my friend. She has an amazing story to tell: A story of heartbreak, restoration and finally, redemption.

This entry is about her and the many others whose hearts have been broken and have come back, whole and beautiful. You can read her full story here: Darn Beautiful in His Eyes

 

Restoration of Israel

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Bring her into the wilderness And speak kindly to her.”

Hosea 2:14

Through Heaven’s Eyes

During the Holy Week, I was able to catch the movie “Prince of Egypt” on cable.  It’s been awhile since I last saw this film, but it always brought back fond memories.  The film is a wonderful combination of creativity, music and love.

A single thread in a tapestry, though its color brightly shine, can never see its purpose in a pattern of the grand design.

How can you see what your life is worth? Or where your value lies?

You can never see through the eyes of man.

You must look at your life through heaven’s eyes.

Whoah! Did you get that? A single thread in the tapestry of the pattern of the grand design. I am floored. Beautiful.

Aside from watching the movie, I also highly encourage you to see this live version of my favorite song in the film “Through Heaven’s Eyes” sung by Brian Stokes Mitchell together with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

He’s absolutely lovely here, especially as he sings with the choir!

Enjoy folks…

And remember to always look at your life through heaven’s eyes 😉

Finding Solace on Christmas Day

It’s only a couple of hours before Christmas day, and right now, the house is a complete standstill. Everyone’s in their rooms resting in preparation for tonight’s festivities.

And this is just the opportune time for me to think thoroughly why we are celebrating this occasion. The company of family is heartwarming, parties with friends are good as well, gifts are nice to receive and give. Everything feels good right now. But there are some people I know who will be celebrating alone. Right now, this very instant, alone on Christmas eve.

My friend, this post is for you.You are not alone. You never have been.

Christmas offers many truths, but surely this is one: You are of great worth to God.

Taking these cues, I bring you a prayer and a blessing:

To all who’ve been dismissed or tossed aside;

To all who, made bitter by the cracks in your story, now tremble or seethe at the mention of ”love”;

To every weary-boned parent saddled with regret or loss or despair;

To every child, grown yet still yearning for tenderness and acceptance;

To every one of us who compulsively judge our reflection in the mirror or replay conversations over and over or carry every criticism to a dark, dark place;

To each of us who are ashamed of our fears and our machinations and who hide the fact that in our own sophisticated ways we still have to leave the light on at night.

I pray that you will know, these beautiful days, the profound worth of your soul, the sturdy weight of your being. There is an astounding splendor in you—and I know this because the God of all beauty and power has called you into existence. And God delights in the sheer presence that is you. – Winn Collier

The Lord is closest to the struggling, the empty and especially the broken. Today, rejoice. You are not alone. You don’t have to be. Jesus’ very birth is the reason why those who are in their darkest can find solace and comfort in the fact that He was born to us.

Smile my friend. Our Saviour is born.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a  manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  - Luke 2
And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
– Luke 2