Prayer for Healing

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Oh Heavenly Father, we praise your holy name for you are our all-knowing God, and in this trying times, you are our healer and provider.

We pray for all the victims of the calamities: typhoons, earthquakes, armed conflict that have befallen us.

For the survivors, we pray that you give them strength to overcome the trauma of their experiences and the hope that despite what they’re going through, they have a loving Father who will heal all their wounds; for those who are still missing, we pray for safety and that they may be found soonest if only to bring peace of mind and joy to their loved ones; and for those who perished, we pray that you welcome them in your heavenly home and embrace and cradle them with your loving arms.

For our public officials, rescuers, donors, volunteers, private institutions and individuals who have given their time, talents and service, we pray for patience, strength and resilience as they facilitate all efforts to bring relief and for the rehabilitation of all affected areas.

For our country, Lord we have already suffered so much from all these devastation and divisions in our government and people.  We pray for healing as a nation; we pray for strength in body and spirit, we pray that we rise above all these challenges because our God is mightier than any storm.

For every Filipino, we pray, strengthen our faith; use us as instrument in building a better country starting with our families and communities.

photo courtesy of ph.news.yahoo.com

photo courtesy of ph.news.yahoo.com

Help us realize that despite all these trials, we are still blessed more than what we deserve because we have a loving Father who will never leave us even at the darkest moments of our lives.

We feel you Lord in the overwhelming response when we cried for help from our fellow Filipinos here and elsewhere around the world.

We feel you in the children who have donated their piggy banks and from the lady soldiers who have donated their breast milk to feed motherless babies in rescue centers.

We feel you in the tourists who, instead of enjoying their holidays in this beautiful country, have helped in the repacking of goods in relief centers.

We feel you in the outpouring of prayers from our brothers and sisters from all over the world.

We feel you in the soldiers and policemen who are ready to risk their lives just to put law and order in the devastated areas.

We feel you in the good people in our government who have slept very little since the typhoon hit because they have to coordinate aid efforts; fix roads; assess the damage, restore order, and channel goods and services to where they are needed most.

We feel you in the media people who have braved the storm even if it meant endangering their own lives just to bring us news and updates.

We feel you in the inspiring stories of compassion and heroism from survivors despite their tragic loss and even if a few have become wayward.

We feel you in social media where we were able to trace most of our relatives and friends.

We feel you in the tremendous generosity of several world leaders in pouring in all kinds of assistance, be it in cash, in kind, in pledges or in humanitarian services, both in medical and military aid.

We feel you in the Philippines’ negotiation team to this year’s UN Climate Talks in Warsaw, which pleads with the global community to wake up to the effects of climate change and take preventative action, while there is still time.

For all of these blessings and many more, we thank you Lord for your Omnipresence in our journey as a people and as a nation.

These things we pray in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

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Remembering Zamboanga

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"Today, before I make decisions, I will try to listen for God's voice. Today, I am not going to be tossed around by anxiety or anger. I will take those feelings as prompts from the Spirit to listen first. In each of these situations, I will ask God, 'How would you want me to respond?'. I will live in stillness."

With all that’s happening to Zamboanga these days, I want to go back to the days when all is still and at peace.

I remember the day when we visited the inhabited Pink Beach at Sta. Cruz Island, far south of Zamboanga.  I remember the pink coraline sand, the color of which comes from the pulverized red corals mixed with the white sand.  I remember our kind marine escort who would warn us not to wander far away from his sight for not far ahead is the island of Basilan said to be a staging-ground for Moro raids on Zamboanga, the Visayas and even Luzon, and as a temporary repository of the plunder from these raids.  Now I understand the apprehensions printed on his face when he found us at the other side of the island.  Too late, it maybe, I’m sorry for what we have caused you.

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I remember Aling Salma, Aling Trining and the other folks we have encountered in all their kindness and meekness. I remember the smile and the laughter over a simple joke and words of gratefulness and appreciation from a lost tourist.  I can feel the giggle as they see us struggle as we try to maneuver the weaver and eat that sumptous meal they prepared for us.  Despite the laughter I can still see through their eyes the quest for a very elusive peace.  I still can hear them wishing for the “war” to stop.  I wonder where they are now.  Are they still alive or have they perished in the burning houses and buildings or were they among the victims of stray bullets from an unkind arm?  Were their homes or the hotel where we stayed among those burned?

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I remember the kids who would  jump off their bancas to search for those meager coins that people throw off their purse.  To see them striving to live in such manner puts me to shame when I complain over a heavy traffic situation, a misplaced order in a restaurant or a latecomer to an appointment.  I wonder where these kids are now.  Have they also become unwilling victims to this crisis or have they crossed the lines and joined the other force to be among the fugitive and the hunted?

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In all these musings, I pray for peace not only in Zamboanga or Mindanao but the whole of the Philippines.  Our children, our people deserve a better world.

 

Minding the generation gap

I have often wondered why children find it hard to understand why their parents are bringing them up the way they do.  I asked , “Why won’t they see that parents are doing things so that they may grow up to be the persons they ought to be?”  That everything is and always will be for their own good. Coming from a generation of baby boomers,  I  have also experienced these generation gap differences in matters of opinions, values and virtues, with so much younger friends, young enough to be my children. 🙂

After hearing one of our speakers in a planning session I attended, I realized, there is actually and there really is generation gap.  People grow with different sets of values depending on the generation where they belong to and the circumstances they are in.  Thanks to strategy planning workshops. 🙂

Though I sometimes rebel, now I understand why my parents brought us up this way with so much of the do’s and the dont’s. Though I want to see them play outdoor games like piko, sipa, patentero, taguan and habulan for strength and stamina, now I understand why the young stay glued to their laptops, ipads and ipods, androids and the likes. Though I prefer face to face communication or mailed letters and love letters, now I understand that emerging technologies are here to stay to make life more comfortable.

I’ve realized though that whatever generation one belongs to, one would always want to love and be loved in return; one would always want to go to a place called home; and one would want to do something to make a difference. 

I have collated here some articles around the net in order that we may comprehend the  generations better.

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The Lost Generation.   They are the ones typically born between 1883 and 1900.

The Greatest Generation, also known as the Traditionalists, is sometimes referred to as the G.I. Generation. T hey are those people born in 1914-1924, with 1925-1927 forming a bridge to the Silent Generation.

Below are a few common characteristics of Traditionalists.

  • Hardworking:  They have strong work ethics and consider work a privilege. This generation believes you earn your own way through hard work. They are willing put in long, gruelling hours to get ahead in their careers.
  • Loyal: Traditionalists are civic-minded and loyal to their country and employer.  They worked for the same employer their entire life and are less likely to change jobs to advance their careers
  • Submissive:  Traditionalists were taught to respect authority.  They are good team players and generally don’t initiate conflict in the workplace.
  • Tech-Challenged:  Traditionalists are slow to change their work habits.  Traditionalists may struggle to learn new technology and work processes.
  • Traditional: Traditionalists value traditional morals, safety and security as well as conformity, commitment and consistency.  They prefer traditional lecture formats to online, web-based education.

Silent Generation is to the generation born during the Great Depression and World War II, including the bulk of those who fought during the Korean War from 1925 to 1945. They are characterized as grave and fatalistic, conventional, possessing confused morals, expecting disappointment but desiring faith, and for women, desiring both a career and a family.

Baby Boomers are those born in the decade following the end of World War II (from 1946 – 1964.)

Some of the common characteristics of the Baby Boomer generation:

  • Work-Centric: Baby Boomers are extremely hardworking and motivated by position, perks and prestige. Baby Boomers relish long work weeks and define themselves by their professional accomplishments.  They sacrifice a great deal to get where they are in their career, and may criticize younger generations for a lack of work ethic and commitment to the workplace.
  • Independent: Baby Boomers are confident, independent and self-reliant. This generation grew up in an era of reform and believe they can change the world. They questioned established authority systems and challenged the status quo. Baby Boomers are not afraid of confrontation and will not hesitate to challenge established practices.
  • Goal-Oriented:  Baby Boomers are achievement-oriented, dedicated and career-focused. They welcome exciting, challenging projects and strive to make a difference.
  • Competitive:  Baby Boomers equate work and position with self-worth. They are clever, resourceful and strive to win.

Generation X  are those born between 1963-1980.  They are often labelled the “slacker” generation, uncommitted and unfocused.  They are the first generation to have experienced divorce on a large scale and are likely to have changed careers several times. The  Xers are considered more likely to want to keep their heads down than to change the world.

Below are a few common characteristics of Generation X.

  • Individualistic: Generation X came of age in an era were women were joining the workforce in large numbers.  They are considered latchkey kids  who returns from school to an empty home because his or her parent or parents are away at work, or a child who is often left at home with little or no parental supervision. As a result, Generation X is independent, resourceful and self-sufficient. In the workplace, Generation X values freedom and responsibility. Many in this generation display a casual disdain for authority and structured work hours. They dislike being micro-managed and embrace a hands-off management philosophy.
  • Technologically Adept: The Generation X mentality reflects a shift from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. The first generation to grow up with computers, technology is woven into their lives.  This generation is comfortable using PDAs, cellphones, e-mail, laptops, Blackberrys and other technology employed in the workplace.
  • Flexible:  Generation X is less committed to one employer and more willing to change jobs to get ahead than previous generations. They adapt well to change and are tolerant of alternative lifestyles.  They are ambitious and eager to learn new skills but want to accomplish things on their own terms.
  • Value Work/Life Balance:  Generation X work to live rather than live to work. They appreciate fun in the workplace and espouse a work hard/play hard mentality. Generation X managers often incorporate humour and games into work activities.

Generation Y are those born between 1981 and 1994. Common put-downs include lazy, debt-ridden and programmed for instant gratification. They are portrayed as demanding and unrealistic in their career aspirations.  They have grown up at Internet age hence, the world to them is virtual and the possibilities are endless.

Some common traits that define Generation Y are:

  • Tech-Savvy: Generation Y grew up with technology and rely on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with BlackBerrys, laptops, cellphones and other gadgets, Generation Y is plugged-in 24/7. This generation prefers to communicate through e-mail and text messaging rather than face-to-face contact and prefers webinars and online technology to traditional lecture-based presentations.
  • Family-Centric:  Generation Y wants flexible schedules and a better work/life balance and prioritizes family over work.
  • Achievement-Oriented:   Generation Y is confident, ambitious and achievement-oriented. They have high expectations of their employers, seek out new challenges and are not afraid to question authority. They want meaningful work and a solid learning curve.
  • Team-Oriented: They participate in team sports, play groups and other group activities and value teamwork as they seek the input and affirmation of others. Generation Y is loyal, committed and wants to be included and involved.
  • Attention-Craving: Generation Y craves attention in the forms of feedback and guidance. They appreciate being kept in the loop and seek frequent praise and reassurance. Generation Y may benefit greatly from mentors who can help guide and develop their young careers.

Generation Z , Generation I or Generation Next or The iPad Generation are those born 1995-2009. They are the first generation never to have experienced the pre-internet world. Accordingly are already technology-focused. To them, friendships are quantifiable by Facebook, Skype and Twitter.  Generation Z have grown up in a world that is all about connecting through technology.  They have redefined virtual communication way with family members and friends across the country, or even around the world, without being in the same physical space.

Some common traits of Generation Z are:

  •  Multi-taskers They are evolving to cope with the ever-increasing volume of media byproducts by becoming astutely skeptical and relentlessly discriminating. We do not need to defend ourselves or mask our intentions; we simply need to smartly compete for their fleeting attention.
  • Speed Demons. Growing up on the web, Gen Z lives in a world of instant gratification. They understand the implications of tagging photos and detagging others, and that endorsing products with a simple “Like” button can bring either scrutiny or praise.
  • Community-Organizers.  Since Gen Z has grown up with social communities, befriending and interacting with the online community is second nature. Accordingly, they use social media as a platform to mobilize efforts.

 Generation Alpha: This generation begins with those born in 2010. This ere marks the rise of the LGBTs. It has been predicted they will be the most formally educated generation in history, beginning school earlier and studying longer. The children of older, wealthier parents with fewer siblings, they are already being labelled materialistic.

With all the new technology sure to be at their disposal comes the risk of a sedentary lifestyle and with it, obesity.

Quality Management in Times of Calamity

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HEADLINES:

The FilipinoSpirit is Typhoon-Proof! The Filipino is resilient and strong despite adversity! The Bayanihan Spirit is truly soaring alive. We have proven time and again that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Private corporations and individuals have once again stepped up to donate goods in cash or in kind; volunteers have gathered in several relief centers to help in the packing of goods; rescuers and various LGUs and government leaders have been working 24/7 to evacuate people who were stranded/ affected by the floods and to distribute goods; prisoners were said to have given up lunch to pass it on to flood victims; journalists and news teams have facilitated calls for donations and distribution of relief goods; TV and movie personalities/ celebrities personally have handed out relief goods to bring a smile to the flood victims; etc.  In short, people are stepping up or stepping forward to make a difference.

Reading and hearing all of these stories of resilience and heroism, every Filipino would want to say, “I’m proud to be a Filipino!”  However,  is a proud Filipino content with reacting only when calamity strikes?  Wouldn’t we be able too hold our head really up high if we learn from the many disasters that had befell us?  Aha! this is where QMS comes in.

Placing our situation in the context of Quality Management System, what we experienced are several non-conformances bordering on several factors.  If we perform a root-cause analysis, we may find several reasons such as improper drainage, improper garbage disposal, damaged watersheds, wrong land use, rapid climate change, etc. All that we have done so far and are still doing are all immediate/ short term remedies.  We have not really established Corrective Actions/ Preventive Actions to prevent a repeat of this disaster. Most of the cited causes can be remedied by those in authorities and there had been suggestions.  The government have several choices on actions that have to be taken to address these issues.

As laymen, however, we can also do our share to help our country move forward from this calamity.  Yes, some answers are in our hands.

News have it that during Typhoon Gener, more than 200 trucks of wastes were swept from Manila Bay. Almost the same scenario were also seen in other parts affected by the typhoon. This could have been prevented if all of us did our part – at source segregation, door to door collection by the barangay, and establishment and operation of Materials Recovery Facility or MRF.  Mother Earth Foundation provides us a simple guide on the quality management of our wastes.

photo courtesy of Greenminds

An appeal to foundations/ charities/ private institutions/ individuals giving relief goods:  It maybe convenient to use plastic for packaging our relief goods. However, the amount of plastic currently being used in relief operations is quite alarming. We may consider using alternatives  wraps which will not cause further waste and damage to our environment.  Consider these tips from Green Releaf Initiative.

photo Courtesy of Sarah Queblatin

Perhaps, doing our share in the task of nation building is the real gauge to prove that the Filipino Spirit is truly alive.  Perhaps, in doing so, we could even say, “I am a PROUDER Filipino.”

To live a quality of life that we deserve is a matter of choice. We could choose to be a part of the solution or be a part of the problem.  I choose the former.