It’s a new day for the Philippines. We have a new president. Everybody is gung-ho in helping out, in reaching out. I subscribe to the dictum by an anonymous Indian magus, that the sole purpose of man is to help his fellow man. Well, this is my bit of helping out.
We now have 90 million plus population–a huge market, if we can only empower them. So far, the reality on the ground is different. Bereft of succor and motivation, a lot of our countrymen are either abroad or comtemplating to immigrate or work abroad. Which deprives the nation of its foremost resource: the brain and brawn trusts of its people.
It so happened that I originated from Leyte, Philippines, although I have been residing in Brooklyn, New York for the past ten years already.
I sure am glad that volunteering for candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino paid off in that he is now our president.
Let it not be said that we will just sit it out and not lift a finger, now that we have been successful in catapulting him to the highest office. On the contrary, we have to be more pro-active, to be silent partners in good governance and people empowerment.
Now, being from Eastern Visayas, where Noynoy Aquino won overwhelmingly, I am inclined to contribute to nation building from a Leyteno’s perspective.
I come from Guinarona in Leyte, Philippines, where there are lots of “Anibong” palms, the sturdiest of all palms. So sturdy, in fact, that it is prized for home-building and crafts. That the Anibong’s trunk is covered in menacing spines indicates that it has a hard wood–in fact the locals call it “bahi”, meaning “as hard as a rock”.
Would that as a way of empowering the inhabitants of Guinarona we could fashion the Anibong into world-class products such as furniture, picture frames, knife handles, ax handles, op-art jewelry, wood tiles, and others.
As they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Well, here we are in our journey with our new head of state, President Benigno S. Aquino III.
So let me start with the utilization of the Anibong into world-class products. As we go along, we will take up other resources in Leyte from which we can make value-added products for the domestic and export markets.
Life is short. A life well-lived is one with the ego out and the empowerment of your fellow man in.