Inspiring Stories of Selflessness from Ramon Magsaysay Awardees

ramon magsaysay awardsThe Ramon Magsaysay Awards presentation ceremony is held every year on August 31, the birth anniversary of the late Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay. The Ramon Magsaysay Award is a fitting tribute to a well-loved President, much admired for his simplicity and service to the nation.

I was privileged to watch the presentation ceremony at the Philippine International Convention Center on Friday afternoon. I was glad to see many students attending the event. Never mind if some may have felt forced to do so. I hope that the students, and other attendees too, were moved by the courage of these men and women who dare to live a life for others.

It was very inspiring to hear this year’s Magsaysay Awards laureates speak of their unique experiences in their respective countries. They mentioned specific challenges that they continue to try to overcome. What struck me was their humility and commitment. While they expressed their gratitude and feeling of being honored to be chosen for the award, they did not see their work as extraordinary. I was particularly touched by the words of Chen Shu-Jiu, a vegetable vendor from Taiwan, who said that “I never considered myself a great person.”  But she gives whatever she has to those in need, because “Everyone has something to offer,” and believes that what’s important is the willingness to help and make a difference. Inspiring too were the words of Martin Luther King as echoed by Bangladeshi environmental activist Syeda Rizwana Hasan to show her passion for her cause: “No, we are not satisfied and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Ramon Magsaysay Awards 2012

The Ramon Magsaysay Awards 2012 laureates, with President Aquino. Photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

In his speech, President Noynoy Aquino paid tribute to the late Secretary Jesse Robredo, a Ramon Magsaysay awardee in 2000. He expressed his sadness over the loss of a friend and a public servant. But the President also expressed optimism that there are more people, in the Philippines and elsewhere, who continue their work as great servant-leaders in the mold of Magsaysay and Robredo, as exemplified by all laureates of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation. May the likes of them increase. May we aspire to be like them, and find the courage and willingness to make a difference.


3rd Time in Manila for Maroon 5


maroon 5 concert poster


Next month, Maroon 5 returns to Manila for the 3rd time.

I got to watch Maroon 5’s first concert here in Manila in 2008 at the Araneta Coliseum. It was such a thrill to see and hear them live, performing hits like She Will Be Loved and This Love from their debut album Songs About Jane. I wasn’t very familiar yet with the band’s music at that time, and so most of the songs they played, which came from their new album that year, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, were new to me. In time I got to like the new songs, and I would download and play entire Maroon 5 albums in my beloved iPod Nano.  I remember the song that I played over and over again during that period of Maroon 5 obsession was Nothing Lasts Forever. Today, some Maroon 5 songs are still on my playlist.

The band went back for another Manila concert last year that was held at the SMX Convention Center. It seems the band loves their Manila fans so much because a 3rd Manila concert will be happening on September 18 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. And it looks like their Manila fans love Maroon 5 as much because tickets for the September 18 concert were quickly sold out.

But here comes good news! For Maroon 5 fans who were unable to get tickets to this already sold out concert, you still have a chance to watch your favorite band. If you buy any one of selected JBL Multimedia Speakers shown below, you will be given a free concert ticket. You will get one  Upper Box B ticket for every purchase of  On Air Wireless (1) or  OnStage IV (3). For every purchase of 200iD (2) or OnTime Micro (4), you will get one General Admission ticket. JBL is a designer and builder of  audio equipment for the home, the entertainment industry and  the automotive industry. Participating outlets for this promo are: Digital Walker, Power Mac, Electroworld, Western Appliance, Automatic Center, Beyond Innovations, Listening Room, Anita Cell, Accent Micro, and TCA.

JBL Speakers

Upon purchase of any of the above items, you will be given a claim voucher which you must bring, together with the official receipt, to Ticketnet at the Yellow Gate of the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City. Tickets may be claimed until 9pm of  September 17.

If you’ve been thinking of buying a multimedia speaker for yourself or for someone else, now is a good time to do it. Enjoy the superb sound of JBL multimedia speakers and watch Maroon 5 live!

Be at Il Terrazzo

Il Terrazzo


UPDATE (09August): Activities scheduled for this weekend will be re-scheduled. New dates TBA.


A rainy day makes you want to just stay at home and sleep the day away.  But what if that rainy day stretches into a week or two, like this freaky weather we currently have in Manila? You’d get bored to death and be depressed staying at home watching TV or surfing the net all day and night. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a nice although wet day to reward yourself or have a night out with some gold old friends. With this weather, you would want to go somewhere different and cozy to lift up your spirits.

The place where you want to be seen in when you’re in Quezon City is Il Terrazzo, a lifestyle hub that combines the recreational mall atmosphere and the exciting  nightlife scene of the Tomas Morato area. A compact, 3-storey mini-mall, it has a number of satisfying restaurants, specialty retail shops,  health and wellness centers, a trendy events place and a Rustan’s Supermarket.

This coming weekend, August 11-12, is a good time to check out Il Terrazzo as it will have a gourmet food market, along with great deals, discounts, and freebies from participating establishments.

il terrazzo

Located at Tomas Morato extension corner Scout Madrinan, near the Boy Scouts rotunda (Timog and Morato intersection), Il Terrazzo is near both ABS-CBN and GMA networks. You might just bump into some of your favorite stars while doing your shopping or having a drink.

No reason to feel gloomy in this rainy weather. Head on now to Il Terrazzo and have a great time!

Get Ready For The Great Northern Sale at SM North EDSA

SM North EDSA Great Northern Sale

Attention shopaholics: the Great Northern Sale is back! Next week, on July 13 to 15, SM North EDSA will hold another blockbuster mall-wide sale event, with discounts of up to 70% on selected brands.

If you’ve been wanting to update your home or wardrobe, or your gadgets even, or maybe you’d like a very early start on your Christmas shopping, this is the time to do it.  I hope to find good stuff on sale in Forever 21, Mango, Guess, Kamiseta and Bayo.  I’ll be on the lookout for my staples- jeans and short-sleeve shirts and blouses.

As a regular SM North EDSA passerby, I know that this supermall can be very crowded during its sale events. To avoid being frustrated by the crowd,  here are some things to do to make the most of your shopping time.

  1. Make a wish list of items that you need or want to buy. Think before you buy. While it’s great to score huge discounts, do you really think you’re saving money when you’re not even sure if the item you’re eyeing will be used more than once, if at all?
  2. This is a huge mall. Have a shopping plan. Know what shops to go to beforehand. If you go to this mall on a regular basis, or if you have the time to spare, try to visit your favorite shops before the sale dates and find the stuff that you like. Try on those clothes and shoes that you’d like to buy and know your size. This will help you save time and effort finding stuff, and avoid the long lines to the fitting rooms during the sale dates.
  3. Pray that the clothes and shoes that you fitted for size, along with other stuff that you like, will still be available during the sale. The store might change the merchandise to be offered for the sale event.
  4. Try to go on the first day, in the morning, to get first dibs on the items on sale. And to still enjoy your shopping experience.
  5. Carefully inspect the items you’re going to buy before lining up to the cashier. Avoid the hassle of having to return items because of some defect.
  6. Even the dining establishments get crowded on sale days, especially the fast food joints. Schedule your dining breaks during  non-peak hours.
  7. If you must bring your little kids, never ever let them out of your sight.
  8. Secure your belongings at all times.
  9. Keep your cool. Be patient with the sales staff and with fellow shoppers.
So make that shopping list, check it twice and I’ll see you at SM North next week.

More info on the following links:
Please share your comments / questions on the comment box.

Be Connected on Social Media Day

manila social media day

Social Media has changed the world. The world as we know it now is much different from the world we lived in a few years ago. Social Media has made the world both a much bigger and much smaller space.  Bigger in a sense that we are now not just citizens of our own country but the entire world as well. We witness worldwide events, and react to these events online. And somehow we influence the resulting change in the event(s) that we choose to take part in. Smaller also because this interconnectedness has made it relatively easier for anyone to reach out anywhere. We are one click away from each other.

Acknowledging the huge impact of Social Media in our everyday lives,  trailblazing news site leads the online world in observing Social Media Day on Saturday, June 30, 2012. Now on its third year, the event celebrates the connected generation around the world. Manila Social Media Day will take place in Tea 101 Taiwan’s No. 1 Drink,  in Tomas Morato Extension corner Scout Bayoran, Quezon City (near the Boy Scout Rotunda), from 7pm onwards. Film director and blogger Jose Javier Reyes will share his thoughts on social media during the event. Social media enthusiasts, bloggers and other digital media practitioners are invited to take part in the celebration.

To join, you have to pre-register by sending your contact information, social media accounts, and your answer to “What makes you interesting?” to

Official Facebook Fanpage:
Official Twitter Account:
RSVP via
International Hashtag: #SMDay
Localized Hashtag: #ManilaSMDay

Manila Social Media Day is sponsored by Smart Communications, Flawless Face and Body Clinic, the Genuine Thermos brand, Dentiste Toothpaste and Wild Ones Tattoo.


Please share your thoughts / questions in the comment box below.