General Santos City Youth Achiever’s Award 2011


The efforts of the young Generals were recognized and rewarded in the awarding ceremonies of this year’s General Santos City Youth Achievers Award (GSCYAA) held at Robinson’s Place Gensan. Now on its 11th year, the GSCYAA is dubbed as the premier venue for the selection of outstanding young individuals and youth groups.

In-School Category – High School Level

And the nominees are…

1. MELCHEN MAE N. MACHAN | SPED Integrated School

2. ROMEO A. DEQUITO, JR. | SPED Integrated School

3. THEA DANIELLE B. CARTOJANO | Shalom Crest Wizard Academy

4. PAULINE AUBREY S. PACHECO | Shalom Crest Wizard Academy

5. JOSELV E. ALBANO | Holy Trinity College High School Department

And the winners are…

 JOSELV E. ALBANO | Holy Trinity College High School Department

THEA DANIELLE B. CARTOJANO |Shalom Crest Wizard Academy

ROMEO A. DEQUITO, JR. | SPED Integrated School

In-School Category – College

The nominees are…

1.LURVIE JAMES N. FRUTO |Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges

2.KHRISTIAN IAN C. CASTILLON |Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges

3.JOHN REX B. GALDO |Mindanao State University

And the winner is…

LURVIE JAMES N. FRUTO | Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges

Young Professional, Workers and Entrepreneurs Category

The nominees are…

1.ALDRIN A. MATO |Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges

2.MEIKKO JAY D. FORONES |Mindanao Polytechnic College

3.HAIRONESAH M. DOMADO |Asia Foundation

And the winner is…

MEIKKO JAY D. FORONES | Mindanao Polytechnic College

Group Category

The nominees are…

1.JUNIOR ECOLOGIST MOVEMENT|Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges

2.TRI-YOUTH MOVEMENT|DXCP/KapayapaanKapatid Council

3.SOCIAL SCIENCE SOCIETY|Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges

Special Citation for the TRI-YOUTH MOVEMENT | DXCP/Kapayapaan Kapatid Council

Special Citation for the JUNIOR ECOLOGIST MOVEMENT | Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges

The GSCYAA Alumni seized the opportunity to publicly honor MR. ELMER CEQUIÑA, the GSCYAA Program Coordinator for his exemplary commitment in honing the youth of the city.

Thank you, Sir Elmer, for your selfless efforts and burning passion in advancing the welfare of the youth of Magandang Gensan!

Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio  lauded the young individuals who have made sterling distinction and the youth organizations that have made a difference in the community.

Thank you, Youth Affairs and Development Office staff, for the extra miles  you have extended. Thank you, Allan Loi Villanueva, for hosting the affair! Thank you, Roxell Dubal, Gladys Reyes and Teatro Ambahanon, for your special performances! Thank you, Mass Communication Students of RMMC (Michelle Pamonag, Sheena Amistoso, Loremae Romualdo and Cherish Lumang), Binoy Magtibay and my beloved husband Mosler Paul Lapore, for the valuable support you have given!

With my fellow adjudicators: Allan Remedios, Hon. Dimple Dulay, Jocelyn Kanda, Esmaida Andang and Jovar Pantao

Thank you, fellow adjudicators, for the enriching journey of growth and development!

Congratulations to all the winners and organizers!

A Glorious Evening in Magandang Gensan


A glorious evening was experienced  in Magandang Gensan as thousands of prayer lanterns were released in celebration of the 8th People’s Congress of FRAME Program on November 16, 2011.

8 Lanterns on stage for the 8 years of FRAME Program in Gensan

My voice is almost gone due to hosting the spectacular event but my energy and passion is burning deep within. I know I have to get some rest but before I go to sleep, I would like to share with you some some photographs from the event as captured through the lens of my good friend Binoy Magtibay.

Here goes…

Let there be light and there were thousands of them!

We had goosebumps all over as we personally witnessed such a spectacular moment.

We offered our prayers as thousands of lanterns were released by the FRAME members and partners.. I will go to sleep grateful to God for the amazing things He is bringing forth in this beautiful city! I am so blessed to be a general!

 

Re-imagine. Re-invent. Respond.


Designed by Egai Cadiente

The 8th Annual Celebration of People’s Congress of the FRAME Program is happening today, November 16, 2011, at the Oval Plaza, GSC Carlos P. Garcia Park.   The parade will be at 4:00 pm-6:00 pm and the program will be at 6:30-8:30  pm. Tonight, the entire General Santos City community will witness how the FRAME members re-imagine, re-invent and respond to the challenges of the 21st century with dignity.

Leading the celebration are the men and women from the  City Social Welfare and Development Office (under the leadership of Mrs. Rebecca Magante), the Office of the City Mayor  (under the leadership of Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio) and the Local Government Unit of General Santos City, with  Dadiangas Baptist Church and Bread of Life Ministry as partners.

Last year, thousand of torches were lighted. This year, thousands of prayer lanterns will be released.

The People’s Congress is an annual celebration that gathers all the members of the FRAME Program to celebrate and fellowship. It is basically a general assembly of all program participants which has been a major yearly event that showcases the strength and impact of the program in many facets.

Family Resource Allocation Management and Enhancement (FRAME) Program is a community and value-based capability building program aimed at empowering  communities and constituents to socio-economic engagements and self-help livelihood opportunities. It is a special program of the Local Government of General Santos as an anti-poverty strategy.

Generally, FRAME Program is a mass-based savings system where people and community own a project which operates on trust, love, cooperation and mutual help. Likewise, it promotes family values, spirituality, moral recovery and strengthening positive virtues rather than promoting the dole-out and poverty mentality of Filipinos.

FRAME Program has been existing for more than eight years since its inception in year 2003. It evolved from a pilot savings program at the Field Operations Division of the City Social Welfare and Development Office to a mass-based savings system now existing in 26 barangays that mobilized more than forty thousand members to date.

THE THEME

The theme for the 8th People’s Congress is  a statement of conviction commanding the human being to re-imagine possibilities, re-invent approaches and strategies, and respond to the changing time’s challenges.

In today’s unpredictable times and fast-paced evolution, all that the individual can do is prepare for a volatile future. Man is after all born and equipped with innovativeness, ingenuity, virtues and values basic in him. To respond to the demands of contemporary times, man has to harness his basic faculties. Individuals, communities, and families have to adapt to economic, cultural, political, environmental, and sociological landscapes that change its face by the tick of the clock.

There is so much that man can do if he unleashes the human potential he is endowed with. There are no boundaries to what the human spirit can achieve. There is no framing of his capabilities which are God-given.

The theme basically sends a message that empowering one’s self starts from rediscovering his basic human strengths – the goodness and spirit that lies within every soul. These and all, are what this year’s congress aims for the FRAME members to imbibe.

Through time, FRAME is already beyond a social program. It has become a dynamic platform where positive transformation unfolds.

(Source: Event Design crafted by Egai Cadiente of the City Mayor’s Office)

10,000 Sky Lanterns for 8th People’s Congress


Gensan's Sky will be a glorious sight like this on 11-1611! Photo Credits: Jet Siang

It is confirmed: 10,000 sky lanterns will be released on November 16, 2011 at the Oval Plaza, General Santos City in line with the celebration of the 8th People’s Congress.

Thousands of torches during the 7th People's Congress

Last year, thousands of torches were lighted. It was like watching thousands of fireflies converging at the Oval Plaza. It was like a sea of flame engulfing the darkness. It was like blinking Christmas lights spread all over the area! What an enriching experience!

Magandang Gensan will behold an amazing sight like this on 11-16-11! Photo Credits: Jet Siang

This year, we will be releasing thousands of lanterns which will be referred to as prayer lanterns (coined by Rev. Andres Docena, Jr. of Project Management Group) during the big event which will be participated in by 35,000 members of the Family Resource Allocation & Management Enhancement (FRAME). FRAME,  a poverty alleviation program of the city, started with only 23 members in 2003 and have grown by leaps and bounds through the years.

Safety First: a proactive test of lantern release in the presence of officials from Bureau of Fire Protection

The organizers and representatives from the City Mayor’s Office , Project Management Group, City Social Welfare and Development Office, and partner agencies gathered at the venue tonight to test the lanterns and check the safety concerns. Part of being proactive, officials of the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine National Police were there to witness the proceedings. We are hopeful that we will have good weather and clear skies on Wednesday so that the lantern release will be a success.

Jet Siang, my dear Aya, your fellow Generals will get to savor your Thailand experience right in Magandang Gensan on 11-16-11! Whoaaaa!

I am excited to host the event which will be directed by my dearest friend, Egai Cadiente. The big event will be a collaboration of thousands of Generals who are eager to re-imagine, reinvent and respond. My beloved husband has prepared his gears so he can take  photos of the actual event. I will certainly share with you stories about this spectacular event that thousands of FRAME members and Generals will soon experience in Magandang Gensan!

Using the Power of Words


Today, I choose to muster enough courage to break my silence especially on issues that have repercussions to a great number of people. I choose to develop my competencies by leaps and bounds so I can be in a better position to tackle  social concerns. I choose to equip myself so I can stand for my convictions without worries of being hit. I choose to develop my character so I will have nothing to fear, nothing to hide, nothing to lose.

Continue reading

What Do You Dwell On?


These past few days, I have been thinking a lot about what I have been thinking and why I am thinking what I am thinking. As I assess my thought life, I have found out what dominates my thinking. This is part of my commitment to practice and develop good thinking daily.

Continue reading

Level Up: John Maxwell’s Leadership Training


UPDATED (February 12, 2011)

GREAT NEWS!
> Cebu Conference LEVEL 3, is on February 23-24, 2011 @ Cebu
> Bethel Temple, B Rodriguez St., Cebu City. Registration is
> P150/person and P75/Bible School Student
> THEME: Leadership Teamwork and Stewardship
> SPEAKERS: Rev. Dale Pond, Rev. Greg Smith, Dr. Dave Sobrepenia
> Attendance to previous MLM conferences is not required.
> Bring your Leaders with you.

_____________________________________

My energy is pumped up!

I  just learned from my husband that John Maxwell’s Million Leaders Mandate – Train the Trainers Volume 3 will set foot in the Philippines again this 2011. Venues will be in Manila and Cagayan de Oro.

My husband and I can take the Gensan to Davao land trip and take the Davao to Cagayan de Oro flight (instead of the grueling bus trip). With this plan, it’s time to check available flights. I hope to get some promo seats! Good thing the registration fee is still 100 pesos, no increase in the past 6 years! Thanks a lot, EQUIP!


Time to Think


Life consists in what a man is thinking of all day. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Recognizing that life is short, I could not allow time to drift without achieving something essential. I want my life to matter. I want my days to count. As part my 12 Big Decisions for 2011, I see to it that I practice and develop good thinking daily. In John Maxwell’s book “Thinking For A Change”, 11  different types of thinking are discussed. The book outlines how one should go about disciplining oneself to use these thought methods: Continue reading

Twelve Big Decisions


The way you choose to invest your time today directly affects your future. ~John Maxwell

Taking the cue from the lessons learned during the John Maxwell’s Million Leaders Mandate Volume 2, Notebook 1: Today Matters, I am making the decision to focus on these twelve big decisions:

Continue reading

Enriching Gifts Via Blogfest 2010


“Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.”

~Ruth Ann Schabacker

This Christmas, I take time to ponder on how God has manifested His great love for me throughout the year. In the silence of the night, just before everything turns chaotic for the last minute preparations for Noche Buena, I breathe with gratitude. Thanksgiving is my heartbeat as I take stock of God’s creative expressions of His unwavering commitment to transform me from glory to glory.

One of the best things that I experienced this year is being a part of the biggest and grandest blogging event on this side of the planet which took place on December 11, 2010. Continue reading

And the winners are…


The Local Government of General Santos City through the Youth Affairs Development Office presents the GENERAL SANTOS CITY YOUTH ACHIEVER’S AWARD (GSCYAA) 2010 in a simple but very meaningful ceremony on December 20, 2010 at the Old Sangguniang Panlungsod, City Hall, General Santos City.

Continue reading

The Biggest Blogfest Ever!


Two weeks before Christmas,

a grand event is going to happen right in Magandang Gensan!

Yes, on 12.11.10, BLOGFEST SOCCSARGEN 2010,

The Biggest Blogfest Ever,

is taking place at the Grand Ballroom of East Asia Royale Hotel.

BlogFest SOCCSKSARGEN Countdown
As a lifelong learner,

I am excited to listen to some of the country’s most respected web luminaries.

The State of the Philippine Blogosphere Address

will be delivered by the Diyosa Blogger:

Journalism Ethics for Bloggers

will be  by shared by an assistant professor

of the Department of Journalism at the

University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication:

New Media in Nation Building

will be expounded by

Head for New Media under the Presidential Communications Operations Office

of President Benigno Aquino III:

New Media’s Role in Businesses

will be explained by the founder

of The Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs Awards:

Making the Most of the Internet & Google

will be shared by the country consultant for the Philippines of Google Inc.

and an adopted daughter of the SOCCSKSARGEN Bloggers:

SEO and Traffic Generation and Monetizing your Blog

will be discussed by the owner of Commerce Collective,

an innovative and successful full-service web presence management company:

Exposing Local Gems on New Media

will be revealed by the current President of the Sarangani Tourism Industry Association

and Chairperson of Sarangani Tourism Council:

And here’s more:

Powerhouse Cast, di ba?

The SOX Bloggers are overflowing with gratitude to the generous sponsors:

Mosler Paul Lapore and I made sure that we register early.

Convinced by the value of learning from the web luminaries,

interacting with Mindanao’s Funnest,

and rubbing elbows with Avel Manansala & Alexis Chua,

more than a dozen students from Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges

have signed up alongside Piao and I.

Joining The Biggest Blogfest Ever happening on 12.11.10

could be one of the best treats you can give yourself this December!

As of last report, there are only limited slots available!

Pahuhuli ka pa ba?

Click this link to register:

http://soxbloggers.com/blogfest-2010-registration-page/

 

General Joana Meets the Rainbow Warrior


Rainbow Warrior challenged General Joana to be a Greenpeace Cyberactivist

I was like a kindergarten student who was so eager to go on a field trip. Together with the SOX Bloggers, Paul and I went to the Makar Wharf one Sunday morning to meet Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace flagship.

With the SOX Bloggers

Early on, I made a choice to set aside lofty expectations about the trip and the ship. When we arrived, there were other eager “trippers” lining up for their turn. The SOX Bloggers were ushered by Leah Guerrero, Greenpeace Communication officer, to the ship’s upper deck. I just allowed the curiosity in me to savor every information that was dished out to us by the accommodating crew.

My eagerness showed. I was like a 7-year old Girl Scout trapped in a 38-year old body.

Aboard the Rainbow Warrior, interesting stories were told.

Little did I know that the General in me would be awakened by the Warrior as I listen to her stories of courage and determination. The Rainbow Warrior reminded me that we can do something about our environment.

With my inspiration and mentor in blogging, Sir Avel Manansala of Bariles Republic

The Rainbow Warrior sails around Southeast Asia to “urge governments to take immediate and decisive action to combat climate change.” I could not ignore the call “to help make positive change happen.”  (Find out more at www.greenpeace.org/seasia)

There are a lot  of practical things that we can do.

We can research on necessary, beneficial and practicable steps that we can implement.

We can start at home.

We can influence others.

If we come together in unity, we can surely turn the tide!

We can turn the tide!

I made a commitment to do my part in saving our planet. How about you?

Photos courtesy of Mosler Paul Lapore.

Thank you, my Piao, for capturing the moments!

A Decade of Training Student Leaders


Batch 2008

This post is in celebration of my 10th year of training the student leaders of the different public and private high schools of General Santos City. I consider it a privilege to partner with the City Mayor’s Office through the Project SHEEP Education in bringing the annual Leadership Training for Secondary Student Government Officers.

Leaders of the Emerging Generation

It was in 2001 when I first spoke to a throng of young SSG leaders who squeezed into a makeshift training center  of a commercial beach.  Despite the humidity and a host of other distractions, I enjoyed my time with the emerging leaders. I did not allow the heat to stop me from rousing their  passion and stirring their commitment to growth. I was so fired up!

Batch 2009

Little did I know that God will make a way for me to be a consistent partner of the city’s annual training.  Each year, the experience is different. The dynamics of the batch composition vary from year to year. I will never forget that time when we spent a night laughing extremely loud when we discovered the humorous talent of a student  from General Santos City High School. We fondly called her Inday Kengkay. She eventually rose to fame and became known to everyone – Melissa “Melai” Canteveros!  Years prior to her Pinoy Big Brother break,  she already had a way of catching the public’s attention. Even then, she already manifested her influence.

The City Mayor's Office provides the platform for young leaders to shine

The group dynamics change every year but there are certain leadership principles that I constantly emphasize to the young breed of influencers. I echo the words of John Maxwell and tell them that leadership is about influence, not position. As I teach, I also learn.

The Price Tag of Leadership: Self-Discipline

This year, I shared the key principles based on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. My goal was to facilitate a paradigm shift among the teens who gathered at the  Water Gran Resort, Bawing, General Santos City. I challenged the students to be proactive, to begin with the end in mind, to put things first, to think win-win, to seek first to understand then to be understood, to synergize and to sharpen the saw.

Batch 2010

With the very active and supportive SSG Advisers

I am grateful that the City Councilor Margareth Rose N. Santos, Chairman of Committee on Education,  has continued the legacy of  Hon. Lourdes Casabuena who started the program in 2001. The unwavering support of the Division Office of the Department of Education, through Ma’am Letecia Cabang, Ma’am  Domingo and Ma’am Tobis, is so inspiring.

With Ma'am Tobis of DepEd

I am taking it upon myself to continue growing so that I will remain relevant in the 21st Century and continue to influence the youth. God willing, I will continue to training the youth even 3o years from now.

"I will know this world but once. If there's any love that I can give, let me give it now. Oh Lord please show me how for I'll never know this world, I'll never see this day, I'll never pass this way again."

Burning With Passion, Bursting With Power


In the midst of the preparations for the 7th People’s Congress, Pastor Andoy Docena, Senior Pastor of Dadiangas Baptist Church, asked me if I would be available to preach on November 14, 2010. I readily said yes knowing it would be an opportunity to allow God to use my voice and share His Word. Besides, it’s my way of honoring my senior pastor who has to leave for Manila for a much-needed break and a post-birthday vacation. Later on, I realized that it has been almost a year since I last shared a sermon in the pulpit.

While gearing up for the gathering of the 32,000 FRAME members at the Oval Plaza, the direction for the message was impressed by the Lord upon me. The title was clear: Burning With Passion, Bursting With Power. While on my knees, the revelations just came like a breeze. I kept my heart open and my mind alert for further insights. What happened during the 7th People’s Congress affirmed God’s direction for this Sunday’s message. I am so fired up. I am uncontainable!

Let me share with you my sermon outline that stirred my heart and moved me to preach with such intensity.

I shared this message in 5 Worship Services. What a privilege!

BURNING WITH PASSION, BURSTING WITH POWER (Outline of the Sermon delivered on November 14, 2010)

Deuteronomy 1:6-8 (The Message) Back at Horeb, God, our God, spoke to us: “You’ve stayed long enough at this mountain. On your way now. Get moving. Head for the Amorite hills, wherever people are living in the Arabah, the mountains, the foothills, the Negev, the seashore—the Canaanite country and the Lebanon all the way to the big river, the Euphrates. Look, I’ve given you this land. Now go in and take it. It’s the land God promised to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their children after them.”

Psalm 18:30-36 (The Message) What a God! His road stretches straight and smooth. Every God-direction is road-tested. Everyone who runs toward him makes it. Is there any god like God? Are we not at bedrock? Is not this the God who armed me, then aimed me in the right direction? Now I run like a deer; I’m king of the mountain. He shows me how to fight; I can bend a bronze bow! You protect me with salvation-armor; you hold me up with a firm hand, caress me with your gentle ways. You cleared the ground under me so my footing was firm.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO LEAP FORWARD & LEAD CHANGE?

  • We have to be burning with passion.
  • We have to be bursting with power.

WHY IS PASSION & POWER NECESSARY TO LEAP & LEAD?

  • There is a chasm between where we are and we should be.
  • We need all the energy and intensity we can muster  to cross the gap

I am on fire. I am uncontainable!

HOW CAN WE BURN WITH PASSION & BURST WITH POWER?

  • We can only burn with passion and burst with power by abiding in God’s Presence.

Psalm 18:28-29 (The Message) Suddenly, God, you floodlight my life; I’m blazing with glory, God’s glory! I smash the bands of marauders, I vault the highest fences.

1. God’s presence brings forth PURPOSE–through His Presence, our SIGNIFICANCE is affirmed. Philippians 2:13 (New Living Translation) For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

2. God’s presence brings forth PROVISION-through His Presence, our SUPPLY is abundant. Philippians 4:19 (NIV) And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 31:19 (New International Version) How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.

3. God’s presence brings forth PROTECTION-through His Presence, our SECURITY is assured. Psalm 91:1-4 (The Message) You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!” That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm.

4. God’s presence brings forth PEACE -through His Presence, our SERENITY is accessed. John 14:27 (NIV) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (The Message) …and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health.

5. God’s presence brings forth PASSION & POWER – through His Presence, REAL SUCCESS is achieved. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 (The Message) Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.

Lord, we invite Your Holy Presence to be upon us. Stir up our hunger and thirst for Your Word which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. More of You, Lord. More of You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

7th People’s Congress: Spreading the Flame


The celebration of the 7th People’s Congress held at the Oval Plaza, General Santos City on November 11, 2010 was mind-blowing and awe-inspiring! This year’s theme is Pagliwanagin ng FRAME ang Pamumuhay sa Gensan.

The Family Resource Allocation & Management Enhancement (FRAME), a poverty alleviation program of the city, started with only 23 members in 2003 and have tremendously grown to 32,000 members (and counting!) in its 7th year.  The 6th People’s Congress in 2009 was held at the Lagao Gym with almost 10,000 in attendance. Last year’s membership has more than tripled in just a matter of months!

As early as 2:00 pm, members from far-flung barangays like San Jose and Batomelong started to gather at the venue. At 3:00 pm, the police enforcers re-routed the traffic to pave the way for the historical event.At 5:oo pm, the members started to take their spots.

Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio

At 5:45 pm, everyone was eager to get the celebration started. At 6:00 pm, Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio started lighting the first torch at the Plaza Heneral Santos.

A few minutes after, the flame started moving simultaneously into two directions: Pres. Roxas Avenue and Pendatun Avenue converging at Oval Plaza.

The torch lighting was a symbolic gesture that declares the city’s commitment to dispel the darkness of apathy, mediocrity and poverty. It was also the physical manifestation of  the power of synergy.

The Hosts: Elvie, Glenn & Joana

The event served as a reunion of sorts for the “Today With The Generals” production team: Direk Egai CadienteGeneral Glenn Gonzalez, General Elvie Eullaran-Albano and I.  Hosting with the two other top-caliber Generals has always been an enriching experience for me. Sharing the same platform with them is a privilege!

While the torch light was being passed to both directions, I joined General Glenn and General Elvie in  mounting the motorbikes of the Traffic Enforcers assigned to transport us from the starting point to the Oval Plaza. We felt like we were filming  another version of our Today With The Generals MTV.

Direk Egai Cadiente and the technical team

When we arrived at the Oval Plaza, we made sure that we passed by the technical booth to inform Egai that we were done with the preliminaries at Plaza Heneral Santos.  He cued the Centerpoint Band to get ready for their part.

Thousands of torch bearers from Pendatun Avenue entering the Oval Plaza

Our childlike demeanor was heightened a few minutes after we mounted the Oval Stage to formally open the celebration. With goosebumps, we savored the sight of about 20,ooo torches being lighted .

Thousands of torch bearers finding their way to their assigned spots at the Oval Plaza

It was like watching thousands of fireflies converging at the Oval Plaza. It was like a sea of flame engulfing the darkness. It was like blinking Christmas lights spread all over the area! What an enriching experience!

"Ang Alab Gagawing Umaga ang Gabi"

As the contingents from the 26 barangays of the city inch their way to the venue, the CENTERPOINT BAND performed their original composition aptly titled Sa Liwanag. The impact of the experience was intensified!

Production Team with Centerpoint Band and RMMC Teatro Ambahanon

The Liberal Arts students of Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges provided the necessary support to the production team. Jai-jai Alonzo readily said yes when invited to be the Stage Manager (SM).   Sir Bing Cariño made sure that the RMMC Teatro Ambahanon will be available to add color to the celebration. As volunteers, the students did not mind the long hours of preparations.

With Masscom Seniors whose minds were stretched and hearts were touched

It is always a joy working with my children from the L.A. Department. My Production Assistant, Gwen Sumabat, was all-out in providing necessary support. She made sure I succeed in my hosting by keeping me hydrated. She even found my NuSkin Lip Tint which I thought got  lost while I was in transit from one stage to another. Marilou Consad, Karla Ocaña, Reggie dela Rosa, Mia Rocacorba, Reinna Pico and Deejay de Vera provided much-needed help. And not to be outdone is Niña Grace Urdaneta who is bent to finish what she has started.

It's always a joy working with Direk Egai, Gen. Glenn and Gen. Elvie!

The students consider it a privilege to be trained by Direk Egai who never fails to bring out the best in everyone he works with. General Glenn, General Elvie and I consider it a joy to partner with him. Thank you, my dear friend, for your passion for excellence! 

Thank you, Pastor Andoy Docena (DBC Senior Pastor) and Ma’am Rebecca V. Magante (CSWD Department Head) for giving us the privilege to work together in this event.

Everyone was bursting with inspiration! Let’s keep the flame burning in our hearts!

All photographs in this post (except this one taken by Binoy) are courtesy of Mosler Paul Lapore.

Thank you, my Piao, for capturing the moments.