Magsaysay scholar gives back

Lawyer Zharmai Garcia sees herself still volunteering for the program while fighting  courtroom battles in years to come.

Whether she’s in a courtroom litigating or on the ground doing the leg work for her cases, feisty yet soft-spoken lawyer Zharmai Garcia  seizes every opportunity to give back to the marginalized.

This fellow at the Center for International Law (CENTERLAW), a firm that handles public interest cases and libel defense, among others, has the brains and the heart of someone who identifies with the needy.  Continue reading “Magsaysay scholar gives back”

Three trips and a learning journey: My Anvaya Cove Story

I’ve been to Anvaya Cove  thrice. And those trips are all meaningful on different levels.

First one is  socially meaningful: To celebrate deep friendships and fraternal  ties

LesMiz82 @Anvaya 2012
This photo was taken 30 years since we,  as energetic  and  purpose-driven lads, each randomly decided to accept an invitation to join an exclusive all-boys “network”.  

While that  memento may not  exactly reflect an image of the World’s Who’s Who, it  would be enough for each of us to be proud of  each other’s personal and professional achievements.

Continue reading “Three trips and a learning journey: My Anvaya Cove Story”

The Gruta Rules: My Thoughts on Lifelong Learning

As I sat through my graduation at Annapolis, I could not wait for the ceremony to end on that bright May morning despite the pomp of the occasion and the prestige of the guest speaker, Admiral William Crowe, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I was eager to throw my hat up in the air as tradition dictated with my 1,012 classmates signifying the end of four years of grueling academics, sports, and military training which I can describe as living on a “war footing.” One of the few things I remember from Admiral Crowe was when he quoted Newton Baker who said, “The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is an uneducated man the day after.”

If anything had an impact on me that day, it was probably that statement. While the US Navy has no shortage of schools to send you to prepare you for a job, I had made it a practice to take advantage of schools while in the government and industry, especially when tuition is covered by the employer. To be competitive, I saw going to class as “rearming and retooling” to possess the initiative when opportunities knock at my door. In fact my youngest daughter asked my wife, “Mom, why don’t you go to school in your spare time like Dad.” As a joke (I hope), my wife answered, “That’s because your Dad is still trying to figure things out…while Mommy already knows everything.”

As after hours education sometimes exacted a heavy toll on life experiences, I have placed a new emphasis on maximizing learning from the best school, experience, whether it’s your own or someone else’s. Books and the classroom are not ends to themselves, but rather supplements to what we learn from our environment, whether it be personal or professional. I often use them in counseling sessions and for self-examination. The following principles are some pearls of wisdom that I list today and will expound upon in future postings. I refer to them as the Gruta Rules:

  1.  It’s all about the execution.
  2.  A great Filipino Party or any party is a source of making  friends with someone.
  3.  Who’s you Daddy, Padrino, etc.
  4.  By all means, use your culture’s strengths to take you to your destination, but neither should you let its weaknesses keep you from it.
  5.  You may not change a situation or some one to favor you, but don’t pass up the opportunity to change your tactics.
  6.  Don’t let induced emotions dominate you. Get ahead.
  7.  Don’t pass up the opportunities to learn from your setbacks, as long as you live.
  8. Evaluate your plans and actions from the perspective of ends, ways and means.

My thanks to the Asian Lifelong Learner for this opportunity to share my thoughts! Meanwhile until my next post, keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground! There’s a lot to gain out there!

– Image by Ash Carter

A dutiful son shares his career highlights

“The best repayment to your parents is not material possessions, but the duty you show as their sons and daughters in relieving them of burdens”.

An enduring  gem of wisdom that Captain Dan Gruta left as parting words to  children of seafarers  as he closed a mentoring session  with students of Saint Pancras Academy,  a progressive school south of Manila.

In a feature article from the Maritime Review  titled  Capt. Gruta Mentors Children of Seafarers,  Vicky Viray-Mendoza writes Continue reading “A dutiful son shares his career highlights”

Teachers make dreams happen

10 reasons  why anyone would probably pursue a career in Education

Because …

10. It is the most practical thing to do

9.   You are attracted to a teacher

8.   Someone in your family tree/lineage was once a teacher

7.   It  just happened serendipitously

6.   It is the last bastion of sanity

5.   Those who can, teach

4.   You simply want to share

3.   It is a matter of legacy

2.   You want to make a difference

1.   Teachers make dreams happen

Happy Teacher’s Day!

Media as Power: The Power of Media

I was asked to deliver the closing remarks in our recently concluded and well attended Gawad Lasallianeta Award at De La Salle Araneta University. The award was the final class project of our Senior High School Students in their Media and Information Literacy class. It was meant to honor the most influential Philippine media practitioners in print, broadcast, radio, TV, and social media. Media personalities graced the occasion  (one awardee was honored as the most effective endorser), so the whole University was so excited and so was I.  Continue reading “Media as Power: The Power of Media”