Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Do politicians care about the BPO industry?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 11, 2013 by gohelpyourself

By Anthony O. Alcantara

Of course they do. They wouldn’t want to antagonize anybody at this point.

In a recent panel discussion during a general membership meeting of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), they shared their ideas about how to catapult the industry into greater heights of success.

Congressman Mitos Magsaysay, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, and former Councilor of Manila Greco Belgica, all senatorial candidates, displayed a supernatural ability for engaging rhetoric, humorous anecdotes, and perhaps a few intriguing ideas.

Cong. Magsaysay said the first thing to do is to build better infrastructure – better telecommunications facilities, good roads and bridges, cheap and stable electricity.

For her, since BPO companies need “a lot of land”, enticing investors to the provinces is a good idea. Everything is cheaper there – land, labor, cost of living. It certainly makes good sense if the manpower supply is adequate.

She also emphasized the need for consistency in policies. Which was a nice segue to her barb against the present administration which, she says, suffers from a poverty of consistency. For example, the abolishment of the Department of ICT, which Mitos wants to resurrect.

Unusual ideas

Greco Belgica, who, if elected, will be the youngest senator at 35, proffered some unusual ideas.

He wants to abolish the pork barrel fund. And he plans to turn this porcine source of corruption into a potentially liberating tuition fee voucher fund. Any student can get his voucher, bring it to any university in the country, and say, “I want to study here.”

Of course, passing the entrance exam is probably the hard part. Anyway, more educated students means more warm bodies for BPO companies.

Flat rate tax?

Belgica is also for a “non-interventionist” government, believing that it will encourage BPO companies to flourish. He’s proposing a flat rate tax, too. Tax breaks and tax incentives will still be there. But after five years, there will be a flat rate tax of 10 percent. No other taxes will be levied whatsoever. Indeed, Belgica, who is a pastor and businessman, made it sound so simple and elegant.

Cayetano, for his part, wants BPO companies to “go up the value chain”. He makes a comparison with manufacturing.

Decades ago, it was the US who produced original electronic products and Japan produced the copycats. But then Japan eventually came up with Sony and Sanyo. Then Taiwan used to copy Japan. Now they have Acer and Asus.

He cited animation and software engineering as part of this “moving up the value chain”. Perhaps foreign languages are next for call centers, he mused.

Preventing brain drain

No doubt, Cayetano believes in the importance of the BPO industry and its role in stopping people from leaving the country.

With statistics carefully memorized and calculated for effect, Cayetano blurted out the dismal state of education: for every 100 children who go to Grade 1, only 86 go to grade 2, and then only 23 eventually go to college, and a mere 15 percent of this number graduate with a degree.

Aside from education, he also sees the need for the revival of “Buy Filipino”. During the discussion, he showed the BPAP members his shiny, elegant, and expensive-looking shoes made in Marikina. For most of the people in attendance, they could pass for a Louis Vuitton at 20 feet away.

Raising Filipino quality

Indeed, Cayetano believes there is a need to change how Filipinos think about locally made products. Starting with shoes.

His parting message consists of a story. To paraphrase, 30 religious leaders gathered together to bring about change in their city. So they prayed and prayed and fasted and fasted. Eventually, they found their perfect candidate – righteous, incorruptible, honest, incapable of wrongdoing and stupidity.

Unfortunately, the candidate lost by 30 votes. All because the religious leaders did not vote.

For the audience, the point was understood, and they’ll remember not to pray too much. They will probably be praying, too, that these candidates will keep their word if they win.

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Death Avoidance

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2012 by gohelpyourself

Will we be there when we die? (Photo courtesy of Darren MacLean, http://www.madonionsdesign.co.uk)

By Anthony O. Alcantara

Exercising is one of the best ways I know to delay the onset of death.

That’s what I thought. It turned out that it could also quicken the process. Just after my Aikido practice recently, I felt some very strong and prolonged palpitations. I was just waiting to drop dead anytime, especially since no relaxation or visualization technique slowed down my heart.

Fortunately, I managed to get myself to a hospital while clutching my chest. I later learned it was atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes fast and chaotic heart beats.

In any case, I survived. The doctor said it’s curable, and that it can be controlled so I can go on with my usual activities. But at that time when I was at the emergency room, I thought death was so close to me. What if my heart, out of frustration and confusion, just said, “OK, I give up. I’m getting tired of this chaotic pumping. I’ll just stop, OK?”

As I lay there at the hospital, I also thought about my wife and daughter. It was my first time to be confined in a hospital. Eventually, after three hours of palpitations and a little rest, I began to read on my Kindle.

And, of all topics, I read about immortality. Immortality! There I was close to death and reading about how to live forever. It was an e-book titled Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization by Stephen Cave, a philosopher and writer.

Cave’s thesis is this: Mankind’s quest for immortality made civilization possible. In other words, our quest for immortality is the main impetus for progress.

Cave outlines four main immortality narratives that most people follow as they go about doing their business of living. Most of us are quite familiar with them.

  1. “Staying Alive” narrative. We all dream of living forever physically. A century ago, life expectancy was at 40. Now people in developed countries can expect to reach 80. Maybe it’s just an engineering problem. Soon enough, with advancements in nutrition and biotechnology, we can evolve into a planarian flatworm, which I learned can live indefinitely under certain conditions.
  2. “Resurrection” narrative. This is the narrative supported by Christians. We all die physically, but we will also live again using the same old bodies, but much improved and imperishable.
  3. “Soul” narrative. It was first espoused by the Greeks. Plato believed in the soul, that immaterial, spiritual stuff that survives after our death. Christians came to believe in this, too, when the “Resurrection” narrative didn’t pan out as quickly as they hoped.
  4. “Legacy” narrative. This involves fame, glory, cultural artefacts, children. Think about Achilles and Alexander the Great. They sought to live forever by seeking glory and, unfortunately, much bloodshed.

But aside from these seemingly inadequate narratives, Cave has another important point to make: that there is a fifth narrative popping in and out of history. He calls it the “Wisdom” narrative. He believes it’s becoming more popular these days.

Of course, it’s his own concoction. And if I were to put a name to my own narrative, I would have called it something like that, too. That’s how to market your ideas – give it a good, even if seemingly self-serving, name.

Cave laid out a list of well-thought arguments against the four narratives. For example, even if we find the secret to remain physically alive forever, we may still get ourselves killed by a falling coconut. Our bodies would still be ugly and sickly if we rise from the dead. Not a comforting thought. The soul may lack the consciousness of the person to which it belongs. Our legacy may not have any meaning at all if we consider eternity. Most people don’t even know the names of their great grandparents.

The arguments, of course, don’t lend themselves to exhaustive explanation in a short blog post. And yet, Cave fails to consider the possibilities of human progress. There are mysteries that, with time and effort and luck, can be solved.

Take for example the brain. Recent findings about the connectome – a new scientific term that refers to the connections between the billions of neurons in the brain – can shed light on consciousness, intelligence, personality, perhaps even the soul. It opens up a new field of mysteries. And that’s only one area of unconquered intellectual terrain.

If Cave doesn’t have all the answers to the mysteries and the unknowns in our world, then dismissing all the four narratives as hogwash is not convincing at all. I know there are limits to the four narratives. For sure, some have caused unspeakable evil. But still, there is good that can emanate from them.

To illustrate the “Wisdom” narrative, let me quote from the Epic of Gilgamesh, just as Cave did in his book. This is what the barmaid told Gilgamesh, who wandered aimlessly, looking for the secret to immortality:

“The life that you seek you never will find:
when the gods created mankind,
death they dispensed to mankind,
life they kept for themselves.
 
But you, Gilgamesh, let your belly be full,
enjoy yourself always by day and by night!
make merry each day,
dance and play day and night!
 
Let your clothes be clean,
let your head be washed, may you bathe in water!
gaze on the child who holds your hand,
let your wife enjoy your repeated embrace!”
 

Cave said, “Wisdom, therefore, meant finding a way to accept and live with mortality.”

Imagine living forever. Imagine eternity right in front of you. Would you be able to act sensibly if you knew that no matter what you did, you would go on and on and on?

That’s just one thing to consider.

Like Cave, I admire the wisdom contained in some of the books of the Old Testament. My favorite is Ecclesiastes. Here’s a particular passage I like:

“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” – Ecclesiastes 9:11

I like Ecclesiastes even more than the Gospels.

Epicurus, one of my favourite Stoics and which Cave quotes in his book, also has some interesting thoughts:

“While we are, death is not; when death is come, we are not. Death is thus of no concern either to the living or to the dead. For it is not with the living, and the dead do not exist.”

Cave proposes three virtues that will help us cope with the seeming gloom of mortality: selflessness, living in the present moment or mindfulness, and gratitude.

These are all ideas we know and practice to some extent. They also blend well with the other narratives. And we don’t have to cling to one particular narrative, or even the “Wisdom” narrative, just to benefit from these virtues.

While I don’t agree with Cave about branding the four narratives as “unnecessary”, I like the research and the skilful weaving of a coherent story of this quest for immortality.

I highly recommend his book, if only to open your minds to ideas about immortality that you may not have considered before.

I believe we should all avoid death as much as possible. But not to the extent that we avoid life as well.

So here’s a big high five for life!

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Freedom at Ace Water Spa

Posted in Uncategorized on June 20, 2012 by gohelpyourself

Thumbs up for Ace Water Spa.

By Anthony O. Alcantara

To celebrate Independence Day and express our undying patriotism, we went to Ace Water Spa to get a taste of freedom.

While some people waved flags to celebrate, we made waves at the relaxing heated pools at the spa. Besides, Aria, for the past several days, has been religiously waving a small Philippine flag every morning on our bed as my wife Em and I sang the national anthem.

Aria quickly learned how to put her right hand on her belly with patriotic fervor as she sang along with us, albeit with garbled words that sounded like chanting.

But back to Ace Water Spa, if you haven’t gone there, I highly recommend that you try it. We visited the Pasig branch, which is nearer to our place in Pasay.

Now here’s what I liked about the place:

  1. The heated pools. There are seven of them. There are not too many places inManila where you can find heated pools, at least to my knowledge. The pools are so soothing and relaxing. If I were rich, I’d have a heated pool right in my bedroom.
  2. The hydro massage systems. There are 25 hydro massage systems there. I like the “hard” massages. There is one that will massage your back like a water canon. There is also a water fall for kneading your shoulders and back. Another one will massage your boobs so hard that they become so relaxed and will sag afterwards. I like the rainfall massage, too. You just lie face down and let the rain massage your back, arms and legs. You should try the different massage systems and see what you like.
  3. The medicated heated pools. There is one pool with rose extracts at 34 degrees Celsius, another pool with mint at 36 degrees, another with jasmine at 38 degrees, and one with lavender at 40 degrees. I dipped in the jasmine pool first. The heat was tolerable enough, but it took me 2 minutes to get used to the temperature and submerge my whole body. Then I tried the rose pool then the mint pool. I tried the lavender pool last. My feet immediately recoiled from the lavender pool when I tried to get in. It took me 5 minutes before I finally submerged my whole body. I felt as if my precious eggs were being hard-boiled. And speaking of eggs, there is a suggested length of time for submerging yourself in each pool. For men, it’s easy to remember – rose and mint, 3-5 minute eggs; jasmine and lavender, 1-2 minute eggs.
  4. The cold pool. After the hot pools, the cold pool provides a refreshing jolt in your body. I later learned from a friend that I should have dipped in the cold pool first before going into the very warm pools. That would have helped me tolerate the heat.

This is a view of the pool with the massage systems. I took this picture from the waiting area.

So what’s not to like at Ace Water Spa? I have three:

  1. The artificial trees and plants. They look terrible. For me, they detract from the beauty of the place. It could have been designed much better. But maybe it’s just me.
  2. The Eleven Tables restaurant there is closed on Tuesdays. I don’t know why they chose Tuesday. Obviously, we went there on a Tuesday. But why not Monday? Or Wednesday? Anyway, it was highly recommended by Our Awesome Planet.
  3. No picture-taking. I would have wanted to take before-and-after pictures inside the spa. I imagine myself vaporizing some adipose tissue after my sauna and hot steam. I also would have liked to take pictures of Aria trying to drink the pool dry.

These are just minor dislikes, though. We’ll be back. And if you’re also looking for a place to swim, have a massage, and relax, Ace Water Spa should be on your list.

For more info, just check their website http://www.acewaterspa.com.ph/ and Anton Diaz’s review at http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/2012/04/eleven-tables-and-ace-water-spa.html

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Just Imagine

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22, 2011 by gohelpyourself

Imagine that you are at Starbucks.

You order some coffee and a plump donut.

Then you spot an empty table near the door.

An overeager USANA salesman spots the same table and makes his way toward it.

But you run and beat him to the draw.

You smile.

He frowns.

Then you take out your MacBook Pro and smile some more.

Feeling uneasy about the remaining empty space on the table, you take out your iPad 2 and place it beside your MacBook Pro. They look good together.

Now you sip some coffee, take a bite out of your donut, and then notice that there’s still some empty space on the table. It’s begging to be filled.

So you bring out your iPod Shuffle to cover the space. Wow!

Now that’s more like it, you tell yourself.

Suddenly, your phone rings. You bring out your iPhone 4 and see the face of your friend on the screen.

“You lucky son of a monkey!” is your friend’s greeting.

You then look at your arsenal of gadgets and chuckle.

“Yes, I am,” you tell yourself. “I’m a lucky bastard indeed.”

______________________

This guy could be you!!!

You could win one of these!!

So bring out your wallets and checkbooks, and surrender your blessings for a good cause.

Your donation will help the Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life implement its pastoral projects, which include a medical and dental mission as well as a handful of other projects of the Service Ministry.

Called “Apple Raffle: Handog sa iyo, ngayong Pasko”, this fund-raising activity will give away the latest gadgets from Apple, namely, two (2) Macbook Pros, two (2) iPhone 4s, two (2) iPad 2s, and 10 iPod Shuffles. Only P100 per ticket.

But I advise you to get one booklet, though. That would be P1,000. More tickets means more chances of winning, right?

The raffle draw will be held on December 24, 2011, during the Christmas Eve Mass.

So grab your tickets now before they run out, and I promise you, God will shower you with great blessings. With luck, the shower will include those cool gadgets I mentioned.

Please email me for ticket reservations at tonalcantara@yahoo.com.

Thanks for reading and thanks for your donations.

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Books for Donation

Posted in Uncategorized on August 14, 2010 by gohelpyourself

Books shouldn't go to waste. (Photo courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu)

By Anthony O. Alcantara

I love books, but I really need more space at home. I’m offering these for sale at P50 each. All the money I collect will go to the funds of our children’s choir at Sitio Pajo in Project 8, Quezon City. Please see also the books I listed in my previous post, Free Books. The suggested donation is now P50 for each book.

Please send me a message if you’re interested. The deadline is August 20, Friday. After that date, I will be donating the books to a school.

  1. The Motley Fool’s You Have More Than You Think by David and Tom Gardner
  2. Beach Music by Pat Conroy
  3. A Taste for Death by P.D. James
  4. Open World: The Truth About Globalisation by Philippe Legrain
  5. Poetry: A Test for English 14 by Dr. Susan P. Evangelista and Ms. Agnes Colette Condon
  6. I’m not at risk, am I? by Joy and Ray Thomas
  7. The Day After Tomorrow by Allan Folsom
  8. Your Past Does Not Define Your Future by Bo Sanchez
  9. Contact by Carl Sagan
  10. A Short History of Everything by Bill Bryson
  11. Winning by Jack Welch with Suzy Welch
  12. The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas L. Friedman
  13. The Seven Minute Difference by Allyson Lewis
  14. Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury
  15. Patriot Games by Tom Clancy
  16. World Government: The United Nations Reborn by Salvador Araneta
  17. French Kiss by Eric V. Lustbader
  18. The World of Rafael Salas by Nick Joaquin
  19. Broca’s Brain by Carl Sagan
  20. Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan
  21. Ibsen: Four Major Plays
  22. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
  23. Henry VI Part II by William Shakespeare
  24. Candide by Voltaire
  25. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  26. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
  27. What (Really) Works by William Joyce, Nitin Nohria and Bruce Roberson
  28. Asia’s Digital Dividends by David C. Michael and Greg Sutherland
  29. Management Accounting, 2nd edition, by Anthony A. Atkinson, Rajiv D. Banker, etc.
  30. Marketing, 7th edition, by Kerin, Berkowitz, etc.
  31. Microtrends by Mark J. Penn

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Ramon Sabilo’s Noche Buena

Posted in Uncategorized on December 25, 2009 by gohelpyourself

By Anthony O. Alcantara

It was my first time to cross the bridge near Hobbies of Asia along Macapagal Avenue on foot. I noticed a bamboo raft on the water below. It had a net across it littered with a thin layer of assorted garbage.

The water passing under the bridge was murky, though I could see only very minimal garbage on the water.

Maybe the raft was used to collect the garbage, I thought. Some random song played in my mind… “I wanna lay you down on a bed of roses…” In my mind, however, it’s “bed of garbage.”

Yes, these strange thoughts and songs come at odd moments throughout the day. But I’m not crazy, okay? At least I don’t think so.

I felt the muscles in my arms becoming a little sore. I was holding about a kilo of ham on one hand and about half a kilo of fruit cake on the other. And I already walked for some 15 minutes from the Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life at the Reclamation Area in Pasay City.

Earlier I sang for the 5:30 am Simbang Gabi together with some music ministry volunteers. I was wearing my jogging outfit and was supposed to take my morning run going home.

However, one of my friends from the choir gave me some fruit cake as a Christmas gift. It was December 24. Another volunteer gave me some ham as I was about to go.

Great, I told myself. Now how am I going to run with a box of ham on one hand and a small box of fruit cake on the other? I’d look ridiculous. I wouldn’t mind actually, but I didn’t want people to stare. Also, the thought of dropping the ham and the fruit cake and running after them didn’t appeal to me either.

So I walked.

I passed by the SM Mall of Asia and the bridge along Macapagal Avenue. There were very few people. It was quiet and I enjoyed the serene atmosphere. And I got to think, and even entertain some random thoughts and songs in my head.

Somewhere between SM Mall of Asia and the bridge, I had an idea. Maybe I should just give this ham and fruit cake to somebody who could use some Noche Buena food. I already had some ham at home and I had my fill of calories from cakes and pastries in the past two weeks.

I told myself that I would surely find somebody who deserves the delicious ham and fruit cake. I quickly made my criteria:

1. The person has no money for Noche Buena.
2. The person is homeless.
3. The person strives hard to make a living and is not a beggar.

The last criterion is particularly important. I don’t encourage mendicancy. So I don’t usually give to beggars. But sometimes I have a soft spot for old beggars.

So I began my search as I walked. I was walking quite briskly and my pulse rate was up a bit. I was sweating a little, too.

Then suddenly I dropped the fruit cake. I ran after it. My goodness, I thought. How could I drop the fruitcake? Good thing I didn’t drop the ham as well. The fruit cake was okay. It was still intact, no bruises, and, judging from how it looked through the window on the box, it’ still moist and delicious.

There was still no deserving recipient in sight. I passed by two middle-aged women selling bread, candies, hard-boiled eggs, other junk food and cigarettes. But they were gossiping and were ranting about someone.

Bad vibes, so my ham and fruit cake stayed with me.

I was already near the Tanghalang Pambansa, or the CCP main theater. There were some homeless vendors lining the main street near the Tanghalang Pambansa. But they didn’t seem to fit my criteria.

I passed by the Aliw Theater and MBC radio station. But I couldn’t find anyone who looked deserving.

Finally, at the park beside MBC, I saw an old man. He was wearing white shorts, brown cap, and a white sando with an unbuttoned polo shirt over it. Earlier he was talking with, I later learned, his wife. They had a small tray for the goods they were selling… bread in small plastic containers, boiled eggs and candies.

They’re probably approaching their 60s. The lines of hardship were on the old man’s face. He had dark brown skin. He walked slowly. And he walked toward the pathway of the park where I was.

It was a sign, I told myself. I think I’ve found my deserving recipient.

So I approached him and called out, “Manong.” Then there was an unexpected sign. He went toward a tree and started to pee.

It was a sign all right. And I had to wait for him to finish so I can give my present.

When he was done with his thing, I called out again. He turned to me and I asked, “Manong, may pang-Noche Buena na ba kayo?”

“Wala nga, eh.”

“Heto po. Para sa inyo ito. May ham kayo at fruitcake.”

“Eh, paano ikaw? Baka wala ka,” he said.

“Hindi po, meron na po ako. Ano po pangalan nyo?”

In halting speech, he said: “Ako si Ramon Sabilo. Taga-Bacolod ako. May sakit ako eh, sa baga. Taga-Bacolod kami ng asawa ko. Nagpagamot ako dito. Mga isang buwan na kami dito.”

“Saan po kayo umuuwi?” I asked.

“Wala. Dito lang kami natutulog,” he said pointing to the grassy ground near where he was standing.

“Wala kaming pamasahe eh. Uwi sana kami Bacolod. Meron akong P2,000 pero P3,000 kailangan namin. Kaya ipon muna kami.”

I didn’t have any money with me. I was supposed to take a morning run home. All I had were my ham and fruit cake. So I just offered him what I had.

“Heto po para sa Noche Buena ninyong mag-asawa.”

“Maraming salamat. Sigurado ka meron ka ha? Baka wala.”

I couldn’t describe my feelings. There I was offering the ham and fruitcake and he was making sure I had some food for my own Noche Buena.

“Meron po. Mabuti po yan para masarap ang Noche Buena n’yo,” I said.

“Maraming salamat. Magpapasalamat din ba ako kay Bro?” he said.

I smiled. “Opo,” I said.

As I turned my back, I could hear him saying “Maraming salamat, Bro” repeatedly. When I looked back at him he was calling his wife to show her the unexpected Noche Buena feast they will have that night.

And I went home without my ham and fruitcake, but with joy in my heart that I made someone’s day.

And to my friends who gave me the ham and fruitcake, I can only say, “Ramon Sabilo thanks you.”

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Bam Speaks: Of video games, Transformers, rallies and public service

Posted in Uncategorized on August 21, 2009 by gohelpyourself

(Dear loyal readers, I just want to share with you a story I wrote in 2006 about Bam Aquino, Ninoy Aquino’s nephew. This is the closest I got to writing about our hero.)

Bam Aquino

By Anthony O. Alcantara

At a very young age, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, nephew of hero Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, led a dual life that was quite unusual for children in 1983.

In school, six-year-old Bam took the usual lessons and played with his friends and their Transformers robots. At night, however, he became a justice-craved activist and eloquent orator.

“I was six when he was shot,” related Bam, referring to his famous uncle. “When he died, it really affected our family. Talagang bumaligtad ‘yung mundo namin. So even though I met him only once or twice even when he was in jail, I feel very close to him, ‘coz all throughout my life, he was a very, very big influence.”

He said his family would go to rallies and his uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters of his Tito Ninoy, would speak before the crowds.

Young orator

“’Yung tatay ko kasi, sa mga Aquinos, siya ‘yung shy eh. ‘Yung mga brothers and sisters of Tito Ninoy, all of them are very loud. We would go out, but he wouldn’t speak. So I was the one who gave the speeches. At six years old, meron akong seryosong speech. I would go to school, kain, tulog then ikot na kami, then wake up the next morning, pasok na naman sa school.”

It is not surprising then that Bam grew up with a burning desire for public service. After taking up Management Engineering at Ateneo de Manila University and graduating with honors in 1999, he went on to work for the ABS CBN Foundation instead of trying to make big bucks in the corporate world.

Joining NYC

He eventually went to law school until EDSA 2 occurred. He stopped when he was asked to join the government through the National Youth Commission (NYC).

Hindi ko kaya pagsabayin, mahirap talaga. Then ABS CBN asked me to become a host (for Breakfast). That was from 2001 to 2006,” he explained.

Bam finished his term at NYC last February. He was commissioner for two years and chairman for three. The NYC became his life for five years but then he had to leave and explore other opportunities.

Aside from an endorsement offer for the ICafé Plus, he’s now editing a book for the ASEAN.

“ASEAN is coming up with its 14th anniversary and they chose me to make a 14th anniversary book on young achievers in Asia, in Southeast Asia. They asked me to edit the book as the former chairman of NYC,” he said.

Becoming an entrepreneur

Being a Management Engineering graduate, Bam is also trying to hone his entrepreneurial skills. He and some of his friends recently put up a business connected to servicing the outsourcing industry. He wouldn’t give the details, saying it’s still premature.

He also revealed that after he left Breakfast, ABS CBN has been cooking up a new show for him. But that would come after his endorsement obligations with ICafé Plus.

“Public service is still the main goal, public service in a very broad sense, whether it’s in TV, in an NGO or in government. ‘Yung mga ginagawa ko naman on TV, it’s not really pure entertainment although some part of it is entertainment.”

Achievements

Bam is particularly proud of his achievements at NYC, where he was able to contribute to policy making for the youth.

“We not only gave the plans for the youth to the concerned agencies. We went to the next step and looked for funding to implement those plans at the local government level,” he said.

Despite his serious side, Bam is a movie buff and a video games addict. Once, while displaying his knowledge of a video game in an Internet café, a young lad expressed his disbelief and surprise that Bam really knows the game.

“’Sir alam nyo pala ‘yun? Sir na ngayon ang tawag sa akin,” Bam chuckled.

“I love playing basketball, too, pero ‘yung mga kaibigan ko tumatanda na rin. When we were young, we joined the Ateneo League. Very active pa rin kami ‘dun. I was a wrestling fan for a while. Inuman with friends, nothing too different. Iba lang siguro ginagawa ko sa work side, pero sa playing side, typical Filipino,” he said.

Hope of the nation

As for his message for the youth today, he echoed Jose Rizal’s message.

“Tayo pa rin ‘yung pag-asa ng bayan. People who are below 40, leaders in the political world, business world, our generation, we have to step up na eh. The next generation has to take over. At the end of the day, we have to know what’s happening kasi if we just leave the country to the dogs, then we’ll just be in a dog pound, we won’t reach the level we want,” he said.

With his illustrious pedigree, leadership skills, passion for public service, and down-to-earth ways, Bam is certainly somebody to watch out for in politics.

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