Friday, November 30, 2007

Makati show off

It was just an utterly senseless grandstanding by a coward hiding in the shadows of reflected military glory, executed in the guise of selfless promotion of the Filipino people’s interest and future.

Excuse me?!

I don’t remember choosing you to be our hero, Mr. Trillanes.

You failed when you attempted to play the self-appointed Filipino people’s savior holding court at the Oakwood Premiere. And just when they voted you into office, officially and legitimately pegging a part of their hope on you, you have the gall to fail them. I just don’t get you. No matter how you try, you are not and never will be the answer to the Filipino people’s prayers.

And what’s this penchant for luxurious environs as settings for revolt? The Oakwood? The Peninsula? My brother in law is right: if you want to achieve the critical mass you want to mobilize, go to Payatas or Tondo where people are mired in seemingly abject poverty. You might find willing cohorts there. Then again, you might not find any- BECAUSE THEY ARE BUSY TRYING TO SURVIVE AND MAKE ENDS MEET as you squander government money and the people’s trust by your adventurism and insatiable thirst for media attention.

And, say that again, you’re reason for finally leaving The Peninsula is that- you don’t want people to get hurt?! THEN WHY THE HELL DID YOU CHOOSE A HOTEL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT TO STAGE THIS INANE, JUVENILE, STUPID POWER GRAB? If you did not want anybody to be hurt, you ought to have gone to outer space. That’s where your brain seems to have gone.

I am furious with Trillanes et al because what they did is PERSONAL. I am furious because my sister, who works practically just across The Peninsula could have been hurt. I have a very, very good friend who lives one alley away from the now-bulldozed hotel- literally at shooting range. I have students doing field work who I had to pull out from their barangays because they could have been directly or indirectly hurt by this ill-timed uprising. Our parents in the US have been unduly stressed by all of this.

Yes, you have legitimate grievances which we all feel and know first hand and embrace as our own regardless of your presence, but YOUR IMPATIENCE AND IMPERTINENCE REALLY DO NOT MERIT THE POPULAR SUPPORT YOU ARE PLEADING FOR.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Northern sky

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I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you're here
Brighten my northern sky.

I've been a long time that I'm waiting
Been a long that I'm blown
I've been a long time that I've wandered
Through the people I have known
Oh, if you would and you could
Straighten my new mind's eye.

Would you love me for my money
Would you love me for my head
Would you love me through the winter
Would you love me 'til I'm dead
Oh, if you would and you could
Come blow your horn on high.

I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you're here
Brighten my northern sky.

Northern Sky
Nick Drake
from the SERENDIPITY soundtrack

I've always had this song in a CD compilation burned by one of my bestest friends in medical school from several Christmases past. I've always loved it. It's relevance has increased in the past few weeks. Enough said =]

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Never lost, always found (7): Serendipity... maybe not

As I was watching SERENDIPITY on the Lifestyle Network, I turned a bit wistful as it featured Christmas vistas of New York City. Hmmm Then again- wistful is neither the correct word nor feeling...

Maybe it's the movie's holiday scenery. Or me missing my family in the U.S. Or it's about my class tomorrow and the presentations we need to prepare for the UP Manila Chancellor and Bhutanese health officials on Tuesday. Or maybe it's due to this person-who-shall-remain-unnamed. But who or whatever the reason is- I'm crazy anxious as I type...

In a moment of sheer escapism, I rummaged through my computer's folders and got into pics from our 2006 U.S. trip. New York City is in my top five places I want to see before I die so it's an absolute thrill to have visited there twice. As I swam through the dozens of photos, I chanced upon a picture I took from St. Patrick's Cathedral. It's a prayer posted alongside the giant guestbook near the main entrance of the cathedral.


What a happy, timely reminder for my anxiety-wrapped being. Serendipity? I don't think so. His reassuring love He has shown faithfully, consistently, and without fail for at least 2,000 years. I just had to acknowledge it...

A blessed week to us all, Typhoon Mina notwithstanding-

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gratitude list 2007

It was too late when I realized that Sampras And Federer Are Practically In My Doorstep.

AP Photo/Kin CheungI spent a good portion of the Tuesday morning daydreaming about the Federer-Sampras match in Macau this Saturday. Daydreaming eventually gave way to frantic rummaging through sites online, to get the best airline and hotel rates for my sojourn to the former Portuguese Asian enclave. But after careful computation of the cost for my planned stay in Macau, I conceded defeat because the amount I had to shell out was more than a month’s salary.

This is one of the rare times that I wished my surname was Hilton…

Later that day, however, I realized that I may have had more than my fair share of the jet-set life, visiting places familiar and spectacular, meeting people as varied as Finns and Chileans, experiencing events that are tremendous blessings to say the least. With still 39 days to go before the new year and 51 days before by birthday, I believe I already have a lengthy list of items to be grateful for, missing the Sampras-Federer face-off notwithstanding.

A cursory, per-month examination of the year that is about to end generated a fine picture of yet-another blessing-filled year:


January: I got to celebrate the New Year and my birthday with my parents and other family members in the US. February: Ang Lingkod Ng Panginoon Manila, the Catholic yuppy community I belong to, successfully celebrated its 7th anniversary (despite my prolonged absence, thanks to my very able organizing committee co-chair!)

March: The school year which saw the initial implementation of our revised medical school curriculum for third year students ended, yielding a ton of learnings for students and faculty members alike.

April: I practically spent the entire April on the road. I revisited Bicol via the GK1MB Bayani Challenge. I revisited Mindanao via the GK Highway of Peace which converged in Lanao Del Norte. I even made a sidetrip to see my very good friend in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon- my first time in this part of the Philippines.

May: The candidates of Ang Kapatiran may not have won seats in the Senate but they have somehow raised hopes again for a better Philippines. I took time out with my siblings for an Intramuros walking tour c/o Carlos Celdran. Several of my classmates and friends got married. And the most amazing thing happened: all the bureaucratic stars fell into place and I finally got my teaching item to become an officially compensated member of the university faculty!

June: I got to spend 11 days in Indonesia to attend a course on disaster management.

July: Christina Aguilera visited us in Taguig City.

August-September: I participated in a five-week course on global health in Finland, crossed over to Sweden for a weekend (to visit, among other places, the Swedish Academy- home of the Nobel Museum below), and spent a two-hour whirlwind tour of Amsterdam while waiting for our flight home.

October: We celebrated the fourth anniversary of the launch of Gawad Kalinga via the GK1World Expo.

November: One of my best friends from high school announced her engagement, my maternal grandparents just celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary, and my current movie is a box office success! harhar

December: Can’t wait for it unfold.

I’m no Hilton and my life’s not perfect- thank God for both!

Life’s a Grand Slam. So far, so good.

What are YOU thankful for in 2007?

Share it to the world via your blog and let’s help lengthen Janette Toral’s list of list of blessings for 2007. Hopefully, we can bring some vicarious collective cheer to everyone and anyone this season.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

One more chance


The story is typical but not plain.

The recipe used, though tried, tested, and already much- touted, still churned out a flavorful experience because of the freshest, almost perfect basket of ingredients.

All Pinoys- all human beings, for that matter- might as well get royalties since the Star Cinema’s film ONE MORE CHANCE seems to be loosely based from any and all of our lives.

My sister didn’t have to ask me twice so I’ll accompany her to watch the latest John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo flick since I am an avowed Kapamilya and I am a firm believer that John Lloyd Cruz and I are actually twins separated at birth. Else, why would my paternal grandmother- God rest her soul- and maternal grandfather be quick to quip that we- John Lloyd and I- look so much alike whenever they saw the former on tv? I must look for that diary that holds our true identity… But I digress.

The movie begins where many a date nowadays ends- in a hotel room, where two drunk people try to get the groove on, so to speak, but because of a five-year commitment to each other couldn’t quite get themselves to do so with other partners. From the ensuing scenes, the story unravels, the main protagonists characteristics are put to the fore, and we begin to see why the TV teasers underscore the basic truths in that stage of their lives: that to find herself, she had to lose him and for him to find true love, he had to lose her.

Thinking about the movie now reminds me of Carlos Celdran. No, not because his faced is splashed all over TV-dom in the new Nescafe commercial. But to anyone who has ever gone through Intramuros with him in his tours would remember his observation about what is common among the halo-halo, jeepney, and San Agustin Church. He says that each is intrinsically plain: crushed ice, a military-issue-slash-dumped vehicle, an adobe box, respectively. But, when the Pinoy weaves his/her flair for embellishments, all touches- minute and gaudy, converts what is intrinsically plain becomes truly more than the usual dessert, transport vehicle, and place of worship.

I think that’s where the movie succeeds.

Yes, the story is typical. But it is not plain because of the way it is narrated- from the pace of storytelling, to character development, to the conflicts’ revelation and subsequently resolution. To borrow and slightly alter McCann Erickson’s motto- fiction well told.

Yes, the recipe used in the film is not the most original, but the ingredients heaped thrown together created a sumptuous sensory and cerebral delight. The film is peppered with subtle, well-thought of touches ranging from witty one-liners to over-the-top cameo of a Sarao jeepney blasting at full volume Jeremiah’s Nanghihinayang. The characters are a complete who’s who of the people in our neighborhood and circle of friends: the brutally frank friends; pensive, peacemaker pals; protective but consenting parents; rowdy but pathologically romantic buddies; consoling comrades. Of course, the lead roles seem to have been created with Bea and John Lloyd in mind. Their on-screen presence screams of a chemistry that ought to extend beyond their reel-life relationship.

Yes, there are overt attempts by the director- successful, actually- to create tension with wise juxtaposition of characters in literally parallel predicaments. But gauging from the audience- including my own- reaction to the movie, what it actually achieved is that it allowed us to juxtapose our own lives to Basha and Popoy’s. By seeing, hearing, feeling bits and snippets of our lives played out on the big screen, the film becomes totally believable and relate-able and consequently liable to pay all of us our share of the movie’s earnings…

At the end of it all, the film is an interesting, recommended, must-try ride, though the attraction seems to be an all-too-familiar-but-still-thrilling relationship rollercoaster. The movie can make you feel some wistful longing within, if you allow it. At the very least, however, it leaves a wonderful aftertaste, of something you know you’ve partaken of before but now served on a better platter, still filling, still heartwarming.

(Special thanks to the owner of Friendster page http://profiles.friendster.com/48212768 for the photo I used above.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Midnight in the garden of good and evil

Even before I finished training in medical school, I have already felt a calling to work in the world outside the hospital. The promise of attaining better and sustainable health outcomes faster by engaging populations rather than individual patients led me to the world of community development and public health. The overpowering atmosphere filled with sickness and gloom, hospital politics, and stifling routine hastened my footsteps away from hospital work.

But as I've began to spend more time in the university hospital again over the last few days, there's this unshakable nostalgia of my previous hospital-based life: the flurry of activity in the emergency room; the stress of rounds and reports; the need to devour books and journals; the camaraderie among overworked and underpaid fellow health professionals; the adrenalin rush of a toxic duty in the ward; the extremely sound sleep after a toxic duty. What I miss most is the almost unbridled interaction with individual patients, as they and their families put their lives in my hands and they take on the unwitting role of my mentor and teacher.

One of them I will never, ever forget.

He wasn’t the nicest of sights to behold. With his not-thoroughly-bathed elderly scrawny body, yellow to the hilt due to his liver disease, I opted to ignore him during my rounds with patients. He seemed stable and comfortable enough; my presence was warranted elsewhere. And so I went to the beds of the more “toxic-looking” patients who were endorsed to the team for closer monitoring. I thought I can avoid him- until his shaky voice pierced the already rickety peace prevailing in the ward-

Dok, hindi ako makahinga.

I rushed to his bed to check what was wrong. Gasping for air, he looked at me with eyes wide open; it was a plea for help more than an FYI. I calmly reassured him that everything will be okay if he only relaxed. Right. I then whipped out my stethoscope and listened to his chest for any problems with his lungs. His lungs seemed okay so I checked next his oxygen support. There were no kinks on the tube delivering the oxygen to this patient; the oxygen tank was delivering a steady flow of five liters of oxygen per minute. And yet he hollered as if on the verge of death-

Dok, hindi ako makahinga.

And then it got worse. His wife began to cry. I thought it was out of fear that her husband was dying. But no- she was crying out of sheer anger and frustration at having been left to care for her husband all by herself. She lashed out at her sisters-in-law for leaving her to care for her husband, their brother. It was a real circus: the wife seemed more distraught than the patient who managed to bawl out-

Dok, hindi ako makahinga.

Other patients were beginning to stir from their precious sleep; I was worried that those patients much sicker than this wailing couple will turn for the worse because of this undue stress. After I reassured them that everything was okay and that they just needed to breathe deep and easy, I started to walk away from the bed so I can check on the other patients. But then the patient proved his scrawny hands were not as feeble as I thought they were: he grabbed my arm and wouldn’t let go. I eventually peeled his hand off of me, while gently explaining to him that I had to go see all other patients in the ward because the entire ward is under my care. I reassured him that he was ok, that he just needed sleep, that his hollering was an unnecessary expenditure of energy. I adjusted his bed, I checked his oxygen support again, and I instructed his wife to immediately call my or the nurses’ attention should anything go wrong. I was not more than two feet away from the patient when his all-too familiar voice rang loud and true-

Dok, hindi ako makahinga.

Throughout the night we did this sequence around six times. He hollers. I go to him. I reassure him, check his lungs, his tubes, reassure him, ask the nurses to adjust his bed or his O2 support, instruct his wife to inform the nurse or me about any trouble, reassure them that they’re ok. I believe that I handled his “outbursts” pretty well; I managed to bury my exasperation underneath my genuine concern for his well-being.

However, I am human, I err.

After checking him for the sixth time that night (only to find yet again that nothing is wrong with him), I was ready to resume my rounds when he let out that awful, almost deathly moan of

Dok!

I snapped. I lost it. I shouted back-

ANO?

Salamat po, was his quiet reply.

Si Dok naman ang biglang di makahinga.

Originally posted in my old blog, October 13, 2003, while doing my clinical clerkship in the UP-PGH Department of Medicine.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Let Marianette be the last child to take her own life because of poverty

Kids, at least biologically, have been programmed by nature to personify quiet resiliency and a great sense of healing. Be it from a fracture of the forearm or evacuating from their homes due to armed conflict, given the proper support and nurturing, their bodies, minds, and spirits will recover and eventually flourish despite the adverse events.

That is why my heart is broken into a million tiny pieces when I heard over the radio that a 12-year old girl took her own because she has apparently lost all hope of escaping from her poverty-stricken life.

I can’t begin to imagine the depth of the despair she was swimming in. Flailing in. Sinking in.

She must have felt so alone and helpless.

My heart aches on how basic and simple the things that would have given her some semblance of hope were: a new bag, a bicycle, P100 for her school project.

And as I juxtapose my own life to hers, I feel so ashamed of the resources that I’ve wasted, opportunities I’ve squandered, blessings that have been greeted with ungratefulness and scorn.

Books that I’ve bought as whims but have remained unread for years.

Value meal upgrades in fast food restaurants despite not being hungry.

Whining about my job, its meager pay, and the air conditioning in the office that at times approximates Siberia in December.

I am ashamed, heartbroken, frustrated, angry, afraid.

Ashamed of my own excesses.

Heartbroken at the loss of a possible future president.

Frustrated at myself and the system that brewed the despair within and around her.

Afraid- that she won’t be the last.

Let’s pray for her- that she finds her way to God’s heavenly abode where the comfort and joy she did not fully experience on earth will embrace her in the next life.

Let’s pray for all of us- that our grief will eventually be transformed into inspiration for collective action so that Marianette will be the last person ever to take his or her own life because of poverty.

As Martin Luther King once said:
We shall have to repent in this generation, not so much for the evil deeds of the wicked people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.

Rather than just feeling sorry for Marianette and the 11 million Filipinos who are said to be living on less than a dollar a day (and cursing the government’s limited efforts), each one of us ought to be acting to alleviate their plight- now.

I’m reposting the suggestions of the Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan for Citizenship by Good Example (CGE). Look around, read the profiles, choose which among the partner organizations you think are worth sharing your time, talent, treasure with.

Citizenship by Good Example (CGE) is a united force spearheaded by the Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan that intensifies love of country by championing (1) good citizenship, (2) the spirit of volunteerism and (3) socio-political engagement towards a genuine democracy with a preferential option for the poor.

CGE is releasing a double CD celebrating love for the Philippines through passionate music that feature artists like The Dawn, Cookie Chua, Noel Cabangon and Fr. Rene Oliveros, SJ. Its CD booklet showcases everyday people loving and helping this country and presents volunteer opportunities for many wishing to begin or expand their journey of involvement.

CGE partner organizations are:

Center for Positive Futures – CPF is a high school for deserving, underprivileged children that subscribes to the multiple intelligence teaching approach under a Catholic formation program. Located on five campuses in the Philippines, from Montalban, Rizal to Puerto Pricesa City, Palawan, your financial donation can ease the burden on parents who are otherwise allowed to pay tuition and other expenses in cash, services or in kind. For more details, contact Pinky C. Cupino at +632-298-0284 or +632-998-5095 or email at pcupino@hotmail.com.

Gawad Kalinga – Thousands of volunteers support this alternative solution to the massive problem of poverty in the Philippines. Its core programs revolve around the battle cry to provide land for the landless, home for the homeless, food for the hungry, and light to those in darkness. Support GK by committing at least 4 hours of service every month at any GK village around the country. Contact Gawad Kalinga at (632)726-5892, (632)776-7405 or visit www.gawadkalinga.org

Inigo Corporate Formation Group – These Ignatian Spirituality practitioners spread the spirituality of Ignatius of Loyola to the corporate world by offering formation programs and personal social responsibility modules. Profit, heroic leadership and good corporate citizenship can travel the same path. . Email them at inigo.inc@gmail.com or contact +639228510725 (Aldrie), +639217635086 (Eric), +639278902233 (Ryan)

Pathways To Higher Education – Support this initiative by then Ateneo college sophomores who established a comprehensive program for marginalized public high school students to help them enter and complete college. A financial donation of as little as P500 helps deserving students develop academic and supplementary skills to get them a fighting chance for a better future. Visit www.pathwaysphilippines.org for more details or deposit funds directly to Ateneo de Manila (FAO Pathways) through EPCI Bank (Loyola Heights Branch) Account Number 0280-14650-1.

Rags2Riches - Young professionals merge their business backgrounds with the raw talent of the women of Payatas, a depressed community in Metro Manila, to help generate income for their families through rag production. Help the women of Payatas turn their rags to riches by donating in cash or sewing machines and like items to the established cooperative. Email Rags2Riches at Payatas.Rags2Riches@gmail.com or call +63918-9488850.

Sta. Teresita of Miarayon – Help educate children of the indigenous Talaandig tribe situated between the mountains of Kitanglad and Kalatungan in Bukidon, Northern Mindanao. Your donations of cash or kind, will help provide quality primary education for Talaandig children, help maintain the newly erected, privately funded schoolhouse and develop a curriculum designed and implemented in consultation with the tribe elders. For more details, please call RC Batac at (632)426-6001 loc 3440 or deposit funds directly to the Sta. Teresita of Miarayon, Inc. account at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (Ayala-Paseo Branch), Current Account Number 0031-0702-79.

Working Hands Scholarship Foundation, Inc. – Help finance one-year vocational and technical training scholarships for deserving out-of-school youths from financially-challenged families. Conceptualized by the Young Professionals for Peace (Yuppeace), programs inculcate social responsibility and psycho-spiritual growth programs and are provided at Don Bosco Training Centers in the Philippines. Visit www.workinghands.infosolv.net for more details or contact (632)725-6671, (632)259-6039 or email them at workinghands@infosolv.net.

For more information or if you want to volunteer, you may contact SIMBAHANG LINGKOD NG BAYAN through the following: (02) 426-6101 locals 3440-3441, Telefax: (02) 426-5968, Email: slb@admu.edu.ph, Mobile: 0922-8600752 and 0905-3273999 or visit us at the Loyola House of Studies, Ateneo de Manila University Campus, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Vincible (4): Red-and-white blackeye, rising

What caught my attention first was the news item declaring that David Nalbandian beat Roger Federer for a second time within as many weeks, the latter losing in straight sets at the third round of the Paris Masters 6-4, 7-6 (3). Nalbandian got himself inducted into an elite group of tennis players who had the great fortune (and skill plus cunning!) of beating the world no. 1 this year- doing it twice to boot. Not that it’s his first time to beat the Federer Express: with his Madrid Masters shield last October 21st and this Paris Masters victory, their head to head match up is even at eight wins apiece. Federer (still) ends 2007 as world no. 1 – for the fourth year in a row; hence, consecutive loses earn him a place among world headlines. (Photo above courtesy of Yahoo! Sports, AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

But the sadder news, not only for Swiss fans, but tennis followers the word over and me in particular, is Martina Hingis’s announcement of her retirement for the second time.

Whereas her 2002 departure from competition was prompted by a string of injuries that saw her performance wobble with inconsistencies, her November 1st announcement was brought forth in part by the fact (which she is contesting) that she tested positive for cocaine use at the 2007 Wimbledon championship. Apparently, she underwent mandatory post-match urine test after her third round loss to Laura Granville where both the original sample and the back-up sample turned out positive.

Martina vehemently denies ever using drugs. She says she opted to reveal the information to the media and at the same time announce her retirement rather than have her status and performance as a player be shrouded in doubt over the next two years- the length of time the International Tennis Federation (ITF) will likely put her competitive tennis career on hold due to this doping violation. The ITF is said to have a rule wherein they disclose nothing about ongoing appeals to doping charges while the latter is ongoing; information about the circumstances of said appeal will only be made public if the player is exonerated. Meanwhile, Martina cannot play as the appeal is being heard hence her decision to retire. (Photo above courtesy of Yahoo! Sports, MICHELE LIMINA/AFP/Getty Images)

In my mind of minds, I do not believe that the Swiss Miss ever took drugs. I am heartened by the fact that her legal team found several irregularities in the system that examined her for drug use which may have rendered the results suspect. It is also interesting to note that a parallel examination she submitted herself to- this time hair samples were used- yielded no evidence of drug use.

I remember the time when we would stay up late to watch her play in Grand Slam events. Given the huge time difference between Europe and the Philippines, we would eagerly watch her in the wee hours of the morning, Manila time. Even in that early part of her career- 1998, 1999 perhaps- we were already enamored with her tennis tactics. Her quick thinking on-court earned her the privilege of being one of the newer torch bearers of women’s tennis when the like of Navratilova, Graf, and Seles hung their rackets already.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with Martina Hingis or is utterly unconvinced of her tennis prowess, the Wiki entry about her is an excellent resource.

I wish for her the same strength of character and spirit that earned her 15 Grand Slam titles and 43 singles titles- en route to a staggering 548-133 win-loss card. She’s not Laureus Sports Awards’ Comeback Player of the Year for nothing.

It’s Hingis vs the doping charge, with the score standing at 7-6, 6-6. I’ll watch with the keenest interest how this match up will unfold.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Never lost, always found (6): Prayer power, Philippines

I received this from at least two people in the last 12 hours. I thought it's fit to be shared to everyone, today that we remember the souls of our departed loved ones. May their lives be lived not in vain, as we who remain on earth, strive to make this place even better. Please share this with anyone and everyone. Or at least say a little prayer for our country and all Filipinos wherever we may be.

All changes in font size, and changes to words from the original text now in italics and boldface are mine.

THE ONLY HOPE FOR THE PHILIPPINES
by Father James Reuter, S.J.


The signs are clear.

Our nation is headed towards an irreversible path of economic decline and moral decadence.

It is not for lack of effort.

We've seen many men and women of integrity in and out of government, NGOs, church groups & people's organization devote themselves to the task of nation-building, often times against insurmountable odds.

But not even two people revolutions, bloodless as they may be, have made a dent in reversing this trend.

At best, we have moved one step forward, but three steps backward.

We need a force far greater than our collective efforts, as a people, can ever hope to muster.

It is time to move the battle to the spiritual realm.

It's time to claim GOD's promise of healing of the land for His people.

It's time to gather GOD's people on its knees to pray for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation. Is prayer really the answer?

Before you dismiss this as just another rambling of a religious fanatic, I'd like you to consider some lessons we can glean from history.

England's ascendancy to world power was preceded by the Reformation, a spiritual revival fuelled by intense prayers.

The early American settlers built the foundation that would make it the most powerful nation today - a strong faith in GOD and a disciplined prayer life.

Throughout its history, and especially at its major turning points, waves of revival and prayer movement swept across the land.

In recent times, we see Korea as a nation experiencing revival and in the process producing the largest Christian church in the world today, led by Rev. Paul Yongi Cho. No wonder it has emerged as a strong nation when other economies around it are faltering.

Even from a purely secular viewpoint, it makes a lot of sense. For here there is genuine humbling & seeking of GOD through prayer, moral reformation necessarily follows. And this, in turn, will lead to general prosperity.

YES, we believe prayer can make a difference.

It's our only hope.

Today, we launch this email brigade, to inform Filipinos from all over the world to pray, as a people, for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation. We do not ask for much. We only ask for 5 minutes of your time in a day, to foward this email to your close friends and relatives.

This is the kind of unity which can make a big difference. Of course, if you feel strongly, as I do, about the power of prayer, you can be more involved by starting your own prayer group or prayer center.

We have tried people power twice; in both cases, it fell short. Maybe it's time to try prayer power.

GOD never fails. Is there hope?

YES! We can rely on GOD's promise, but we have to do our part. If we humble ourselves and pray as a people, GOD will heal our land.

By GOD's grace, we may yet see a better future for our children.

GOD bless and GOD save our country.

'If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.'(2 Chronicles 7:14).