Saturday, January 5, 2008


Irene Natividad (born 1948), who served as the head of the National Women's Political Caucus, is an educator and ardent activist for women's rights in both economic and political spheres.
When the phone rings in Irene Natividad's Washington, D.C., office, one thing is certain - the caller is a person with political power and influence. Natividad is simultaneously at the center of activity in many arenas as chair of the National Commission on Working Women, which works to improve the economic status of working women in the United States; as director of the Global Forum of Women, a biannual international gathering of women leaders that convenes to explore leadership issues for women worldwide; as executive director of the Philippine American Foundation, which implements programs to foster grassroots rural development to alleviate poverty in the Philippines; and as principal of Natividad and Associates, which provides consulting services for groups wishing to reach specific segments of the voting constituency. Natividad continues to rise to top executive positions in every activity she pursues.
Born in Manila, Philippines, on September 14, 1948, Irene Natividad is the eldest of four children. Her father's work as a chemical engineer took the family from the Philippines to Okinawa, Iran, Greece, and India. Irene's ability to quickly master new languages was the key to adjusting to the ever-changing schools and communities she encountered while growing up. Partly because of her family's frequent moves, Natividad speaks Spanish, French, Italian, Tagalog, Farsi, and Greek fluently, and is adept at working with people from other countries and cultures.
But if Natividad's international upbringing broadened her understanding of other cultures, it also made her aware of the limited options available to women. In a 1985 interview with the Bergen (New Jersey) Record, Natividad described how her mother's experience during the family's frequent moves helped to shape her own perspective on women's roles: "My father had his job, we kids had our schools, and she had nothing," Natividad said. "In all those countries, a woman was not allowed to work … I think I have a very intelligent, outspoken, articulate mother, and she had no outlet."
Her parents had high expectations for their three daughters and one son. In Greece, Natividad completed her high school education as valedictorian of her class. A few years later, when her mother indicated that she would not attend Natividad's 1971 graduation from Long Island University unless her daughter was valedictorian, Irene made sure her mother was there by earning the number one spot in her class. In 1973, she received a master's degree in American literature and a masters in philosophy in 1976, both from Columbia University in New York; she has only to complete her dissertation to earn her doctorate. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from Long Island University (1989) and Marymount College (1994).
Natividad's first forays into the working world were during the 1970s, when she held faculty and administrative positions in higher education. She was an adjunct instructor in English at Lehman College of the City University of New York in 1974; an instructor in English at Columbia University from 1974 to 1976; and director of continuing education at both Long Island University and William Paterson College in New Jersey from 1978 until 1985. In continuing education, she relished the opportunity to support and guide women seeking to return to the work force or to upgrade their skills.
While working as a waitress, Natividad launched her career as an activist by organizing the other waiters and waitresses to demand higher pay. Although she was fired as a result, Natividad thereafter remained a committed activist employing organizational and political means to achieve a goal. In 1980, Natividad served as founder and president of Asian American Professional Women and as founding director of the National Network of Asian-Pacific American Women and the Child Care Action Campaign.
It wasn't long before Natividad turned her formidable leadership talents toward the political arena. Natividad's first taste of politics came in 1968 when she distributed campaign leaflets for Eugene J. McCarthy's presidential bid. Her appetite for organizing and constituency building had been whetted, and she went on to serve as chair of the New York State Asian Pacific Caucus from 1982 to 1984, and as deputy vice-chair of the Asian Pacific Caucus of the Democratic National Committee. By 1984, when Geraldine Ferraro made history by becoming the first woman from a major party to run for vice-president of the United States, Natividad was tapped by the Democratic party organization to serve as Asian American liaison for Ferraro's campaign. Ferraro joined Walter Mondale on the Democratic ticket, and although the Mondale/Ferraro team lost the election to Republicans Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Natividad viewed the campaign as a significant turning point for women in politics. In 1985, Natividad told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin,"[Ferraro's] legacy is she broke the credibility gap for all women candidates, from presidential down to the local level. I don't consider '84 a loss. I consider it a win."
By 1985 Natividad's career as a political activist was in full swing. She was elected to chair the National Women's Political Caucus, becoming the first Asian American woman to head a national women's organization. Commenting about her election to head the caucus, Natividad told USA Today in 1985, "A minority group [Asian Americans] perceived as invisible now has a very visible spokeswoman."
The National Women's Political Caucus, headquartered in Washington, D.C., was founded in 1971 by a small group of feminists (including former congresswomen Bella Abzug, Shirley Chisolm, and Patsy Mink) to focus on putting women in public office. The caucus is bipartisan as a registered Democrat, Natividad succeeded a Republican as leader of the group. But as a very pragmatic political insider, Natividad acknowledged the need to look to both political parties for support. Natividad described the caucus in the Bergen (New Jersey) Record as including "friends on both sides of the aisle [in the U.S. Congress]. I'd like to think [the National Women's Political Caucus] is party blind."
Throughout her career Natividad has focused on using organizations to achieve her goals. Her election to head the 77,000-member Caucus was a logical step on her mission to help women gain power and influence through the political system. In a 1985 interview with the New York Times, Natividad laid out her goals for the caucus: "One of our missions [at the National Women's Political Caucus] is to transfer the political experience we have developed on a national level to the state and local level. We want to train women to run for local offices because if we don't feed that pipeline we won't have state winners. We have to insure that we have more wins at the local level, for that is where it all starts." During her tenure, the caucus trained candidates and their staffs throughout the United States on the basics of campaigning. The workshops covered topics key to running a successful campaign, such as polling techniques, fund-raising, grassroots organization, and strategies for dealing with the news media.
Under Natividad's leadership, the caucus gathered hard data to analyze factors influencing women's congressional races and compiled an annual Survey of Governors' Appointments of Women to state cabinets. The caucus also established the first-ever Minority Women Candidates' Training Program and created the Good Guy Award honoring men who further the cause of women's rights. As a result of their activities, the caucus gained real clout. Through the work of the caucus' Coalition for Women's Appointments in 1988, Natividad was invited to meet with President George Bush to promote women candidates for administration posts. An estimated one-third of all women appointed to high-level positions in the Bush administration had been recommended by the coalition led by Natividad.
In 1989, Natividad stepped down as chair of the National Women's Political Caucus to pursue other interests and to make way for fresh leadership. Her interest in and commitment to women's issues has not waned, but has rather taken on an international dimension.
Natividad's interests are truly global in scope. She has frequently written and spoken on topics ranging from the struggle for democracy in Czechoslovakia and her native Philippines, to proposals for changes in the workplace culture that will benefit both women and men. Reflecting on her commitment to work at the grassroots level, Natividad is editor of a reference book for public and school libraries, the Asian American Almanac, published in 1995.
In 1992, Natividad served as a director of the Global Forum of Women, a gathering in Dublin, Ireland, of 400 women leaders from fifty-eight countries to develop strategies for addressing issues facing women worldwide. This international summit was followed in 1994 by a Forum in Taiwan (attended by representatives from eighty countries), for which Natividad developed a program that focused on political empowerment. The basic premise of the Taiwan gathering was that no real change can take place regarding women's lives unless women themselves are the policy-makers. Natividad's program featured practical "nuts-and-bolts" techniques of running for public office and skills-building workshops for policymakers. Natividad develops and leads political training workshops at locations around the world, from Barcelona to Bangkok. Natividad contributed to planning for a conference that ran in conjunction with the 1995 U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women.
In 1996, Natividad returned to domestic issues by joining several other activists and politicians to develop "Project Vote Smart." The founders of this program sought to increase voter education and registration in the U.S. Furthermore, Natividad became the Chair of "Women's Vote '96." Although women are more concerned today about the economy, education, crime, and health, she believes that women are becoming more alienated from government. According to Natividad, "Voting provides an answer, a way for women to gain more control over their lives and futures. At this critical juncture, an unprecedented coalition has created a voter outreach campaign designed to make the suffragists' dream a reality."
Natividad's accomplishments have been frequently recognized. In 1994, A. Magazine: The Asian American Quarterly, named her to their list of "Power Brokers: The Twenty-five Most Influential People in Asian America." In 1993, she was named as one of the "Seventy-four Women Who Are Changing American Politics" by Campaigns and Elections magazine. The National Conference for College Women Student Leaders awarded Natividad its Woman of Distinction Award in 1989, the same year in which she received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Long Island University. In 1988, Ladies' Home Journal included her in their list of "100 Most Powerful Women in America." In 1987, she received the Innovator for Women$hare Award from the Women's Funding Coalition. Americans by Choice presented the 1986 Honored American Award to Natividad, and the Women's Congressional Caucus presented her the Women Making History Award in 1985.
Natividad is married to Andreas Cortese, director of Digital Communications Services for the Communications Satellite Corporation. They have one son, Carlo Natividad-Cortese, whose birth in 1984 coincided with Natividad's becoming leader of the National Women's Political Caucus. She remarked to Ladies' Home Journal on the demanding life of a political activist, "It is satisfying knowing that for a brief point in time you made a difference."
Biography of Ms. Irene Natividad,
Irene Natividad, a recognized leader for women in the United States, wears many hats. Ms. Natividad is President of the Global Summit of Women, an annual international gathering of women leaders from around the world, and co-chairs Corporate Women Directors International, which promotes the increased participation of women on corporate boards globally. Most important, she runs her own public affairs firm, GlobeWomen, based in Washington, D.C.
A sought-after commentator, her views are aired nationally on PBS' 'To The Contrary', an all-women news analysis series in which she serves as a regular panelist. She also appears on CNN news shows, Crossfire, the Today show, Good Morning America, Fox News, MSNBC, etc. Her editorials have appeared in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Des Moines Register, Chicago Tribune, to name a few.
Ms. Natividad’s commitment to promoting women, nationally and internationally, stems from her decade-long involvement with the National Women's Political Caucus, a 30-year-old bipartisan organization dedicated to electing and appointing more women to public office. Widely recognized for her outstanding leadership of the Caucus, she was elected President in 1985 and re-elected in 1987, the first Asian American ever to head a national political organization.
During the nineties, she assumed the chairmanship of the National Commission on Working Women, which works on economy equity issues affecting women through groundbreaking research and training programs. Her commitment to women’s economic empowerment has extended to the global arena, where she has provided a forum through the Global Summit of Women to exchange best practices in accelerating women’s economic progress.
Long known for her coalition work, Ms. Natividad serves on the boards of numerous organizations, from nonprofits such as the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the National Association of Corporate Directors to corporate advisory boards for Cigna and Wyndham International. She brings to each of these groups her policy expertise, skills in network building and creative program development. In 1994, she was appointed to the Board of Directors of Sallie Mae, a Fortune 100 company, by President Clinton.
A native of the Philippines, Ms. Natividad is also a leader in the Asian American community, where she has focused her energies in politically empowering a group frequently referred to as “the invisible minority.” She served as Deputy Vice Chair of the Democratic Party's Asian Caucus from 1982 to 1984, and has continued to organize numerous Asian American groups at all levels. She was the Executive Editor of the first-ever Asian American Almanac that was published by Gale Research in 1995.
Ms. Natividad’s work has been honored by numerous media organizations. In 2004, she was selected by Women’s eNews as one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century.” She was named in 1997 as one of “25 Most Influential Working Mothers” by Working Mother Magazine; in 1993 as one of the “74 Women Changing American Politics” by Campaigns & Elections Magazine; and recognized by A. Magazine as one of the top 25 influential Asian Americans. Ms. Natividad was also named in 1988 as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in America” by Ladies Home Journal.
She has received numerous organizational awards ranging from the 2001 “Women of Genius” by Trinity College (Wash., D.C.) to the 1995 "Magnificent 7" award from Business & Professional Women/USA to the 1985 Women Making History Award presented by the Women's Congressional Caucus. She has been awarded a Doctorate in Humane Letters by Long Island University, from where she graduated valedictorian in 1971; and by Marymount College (New York) in 1994 for her global work on behalf of women.
Ms. Natividad resides outside of Washington, DC with her husband Andrea Cortese. They have one son who recently graduated from college, Carlo Natividad Cortese.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Filipino, 7 others picked to carry Olympic torch in China

Filipino, 7 others picked to carry Olympic torch in China
Associated PressLast updated 00:47am (Mla time) 11/03/2007

BEIJING -- (UPDATE) A Filipino marketing manager and an American who works with Chinese orphans are among eight foreigners living in China who have been picked to join in the 2008 Beijing Olympics torch run across the country, organizers said Friday.
Marcos Antonio Torres was picked from among 262 applicants in a contest organized by Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group, an Olympic sponsor, and the government newspaper China Daily. Each will carry the torch for 200 meters on Chinese soil.
Torres is a marketing manager in Beijing who launched an online campaign to appeal for votes. He said it made him a celebrity in his homeland.
"It started out with one e-mail which I forwarded to people in my address book. After that, I wrote a blog, and then a day or two after there were over 1,000 blogs about my appeal," he told The Associated Press.
"Then I went to the Philippines for national holidays and I was invited by TV and radio. In fact, it wasn't just any TV and radio shows. I appeared on the No. 1 radio station in the Philippines," he said.
Torres has been living and working in the Chinese capital since June 2006. He also writes for Metrozine, which he describes as the top bilingual magazine in Beijing.
He wanted to witness the 2008 Olympics so much he declined an opportunity to move to Shanghai.
In his desire to become an Olympic torchbearer, Torres “e-mailed everyone [he] possibly [knew] including [his] office e-mail address,” which connected over 400 persons in nine cities worldwide, to ask them to vote for him.
In the website, he said that even company founder Moira Moser voted for him.
Numerous blogs, websites, television and radio stations in the Philippines have supported him in his dream.
A sports buff, Torres was captain of his college’s volleyball team and had won amateur badminton tournaments. He also enjoys bowling and playing tennis.
Meanwhile, American Jenny Bowen, from San Francisco, lives in Beijing and runs a foundation to help Chinese orphans. People who answered the phone at the foundation's Hong Kong office said she was in the United States and not immediately available for comment.
The other winners come from India, Venezuela, German, Russia, Japan and Colombia. They will be among 19,400 runners who are to carry the torch across China for the games next August.
Lenovo hopes the Games will help to make it a global brand following its 2005 acquisition of IBM Corp.'s personal computer unit. The Beijing-based company's designers created the 2008 Olympic torch.
The final selection was made by a panel of Lenovo and China Daily employees after nearly 300,000 people voted in a month-long online campaign, according to the newspaper.

Monday, October 29, 2007

351 Media Movement- Preparing The Filipino Youth

Leaders of 351 Media Movement, Preparing The Filipino Youth, in the Philippines. L-R: Delfin Diezmo, Ruby Tan, Manny Lumba, Ian Barcelona, Zonny Lerum, Jr., Joey Lina, Butch Belgica, Jojo Gonzales, Lloyd Luna, Pocholo Gonzales
The 351 Media Movement logo and emblem
NEW JERSEY, USA—Without doubt, the youth is the hope of tomorrow. But it is the older generation that is the hope of the youth. The 351 Media Movement will call for the older generation here in the United States and other parts of the world to rally behind the youth. Our target is the youth in the Philippines, because we want to change the Philippines from a nation of poverty to a nation of prosperity like Japan. We also want to change the present array of politicians with the youth who are yet in universities and colleges and high schools that we are going to pick and select from and then train and mentor. We will hold youth conferences, fora and group discussions and from there we will select the most promising youth, to make them speakers and leaders and send them out to business places, government places, and church places, to speak and motivate all people in all walks of life. In other words, Preparing The Filipino Youth Program, from the Resolution 351 Media Movement will take care of these chosen youth and mentor them to see to it that they carry the true ideals of leadership and how to be able to govern properly. Without training people fail. Without training the youth will also fail.
The good news is, now, Resolution 351 Media Movement, through the founding president, Dr. John A. Ayudtud, and the founding Chairman, Architect Zonny Lerum, will campaign for helps in the United States and Canada, and other parts of the world to support the many youth movements that are already in place in the Philippines. We have three youth leaders in mind that we are going to be rearing up with financial backing and they are: Lloyd Luna, Ian Barcelona, and Pocholo Gonzales. Their names are frequently used now here in the United States as the three top ranking youth leaders in the Philippines. We are raising up members here for the movement, and we believe that we will be able to raise millions of dollars for our youth projects in the Philippines; aimed at raising potential leaders in the future.
We will also raise up youth here in the United States who will become speakers to youth conferences in the Philippines, and likewise, we will try to bring youth from the Philippines to speak to youth conferences here in the United States. Everyone that we talk to about Preparing The Filipino Youth Program exclaims with excitement. I spoke to a doctor friend in Florida and he gets so excited to join in.
We want to encourage all youth groups in governments, in churches, in the schools, and in businesses to get into our website and apply for recognition. We need as many youth organizations that we can tap. One day, we will get the Araneta Coliseum to have our youth conference. And we will get speakers from the United States and Canada, young people, who are also Filipinos, and who are challenged and poised to change the Philippines in a big way.

Friday, October 26, 2007


MANILA , MARCH 15, 2007 (STAR) By Doreen G. Yu -

A Filipino molecular biologist has been named by the Harvard Founda tion as 2007 Scientist of the Year. Dr. Baldomero M. Olivera, son and namesake of a former STAR columnist, will receive the distinction at an honorary luncheon on Friday at Harvard's Pforzheimer House, which opens the annual Albert Einstein Science Conference sponsored by the Harvard Foundation. The foundation is observing its 25th anniversary this year. Olivera, who was nominated by the Harvard Foundation's Student/Faculty Advisory Committee, is being honored for his contributions in the field of biology, in particular for his groundbreaking research on neurotoxins produced by venomous cone snails found in Philippine waters. The toxins that he and his team identified are now widely used in neuroscience research. He is a leading figure in the emerging field of neuropharmacology. Although based in the US , Olivera maintains a laboratory in the Philippines that continues research work on neurotoxins that target specific ion channels in the central nervous system. His work has led to the development of a drug, now in clinical trails, that appears to be more effective against chronic pain than morphine. Knowledge provided by his basic research studies may also shed light on conditions, such as schizophrenia and epilepsy, which involve the function of receptors and ion channels in the nervous system. "Dr. Olivera is widely respected as a biological scientist for his excellent work in neurotoxicology and his dedicat ion to students in the field," said Dr. S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation and associate professor of neurology and neurophysiology. "In his research, teaching, and social commitments, he is a distinguished role model whom we honor for his fine example," Counter added. Olivera is Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Utah . He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, summa cum laude, from the University of the Philippines and a doctorate in biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology . He did postdoctoral work at Stanford University with Dr. I Robert Lehman. Last year, he was appointed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. Olivera has published over 250 scientific papers on the biological sciences. Each year, the Harvard Foundation and members of the science community present a special award to an internationally acclaimed scientist for his or her contributions and achievements in the biological and physical sciences, and particularly their efforts to advance minorities and women in the sciences. Olivera will receive the award from the dean of Harvard College and the president of Harvard University . Olivera will speak about his life as a scientist and deliver remarks to encourage college students to pursue careers in the sciences. On Saturday, Olivera will join some 30 Harvard undergraduate students and a hundred boys and girls from Boston and Cambridge public schools for the foundation's annual Partners in Science program, which features lectures and demonstrations by Harvard science faculty at the Science Center for inner city junior high school students, and interactive science experiments with Harvard College students. Last year's Harvard Foundation Scientist of the Year awardee was Dr. P. Uri Treisman, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Texas in Austin , who was recognized for his efforts to improve math and science education, particularly for minorities. Past Harvard Foundations honorees include Nobel Laureate in chemistry Dr. Mario Molina, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, former chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, astronauts Dr. Ellen Ochoa and Dr. Mae Jamison, mat hematician Dr. Jonathan David Farley, and distinguished mathematics teacher Jaime Escalante of the Stand and Deliver project. The annual Harvard Foundation Albert Einstein Science Conference: Advancing Minorities and Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics aims to bring together a diverse group of professors and students with interest in the basic, applied, natural and biological sciences. It is named after the distinguished scientist who visited historically black colleges to demonstrate his commitment to equal education and civil rights, and who spoke out against racism and anti-Semitism in American and around the world.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Bribe It Was
By Antonio C. Abaya
Written Oct. 15, 2007
For the Standard Today,
October 16 issue

Is there no end to our despair, our despondency, our humiliation over our politics and our politicians? .

Some 190 congressmen and women were summoned to a breakfast meeting in Malacanang with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last Thursday, Oct. 11. At the end of the meeting, envelopes were allegedly given away to the attendees, each one supposedly containing P200,000 to P500,000 in cash., as "send-off gifts" or "a remembrance" or "help"(See the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Oct 12.)

In addition, each attending congressman and woman was allegedly promised pork barrel allocation of up to P70 million.

The cash envelopes were given away apparently without any vouchers to be signed by the recipients, without any indication from which department the (presumably public) money was coming from, without any instructions on how or for what purpose the money was to be used for, and without any indication that the amounts were to be accounted for or liquidated at a certain date.

In other words, each recipient was free to use the cash, partly or fully, for the coming barangay elections or other local community project, or for his or her own personal needs. Which would be a working definition of a bribe.

Especially since the cash were being given away just before a showdown looms in the Lower House over the possible impeachment of President Arroyo over the scandal-racked national broadband network project..

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that President Arroyo is buying the loyalty of some 190 congressmen and women, to either reject an opposition-launched impeachment resolution, or to support an administration- launched resolution deemed so weak and flawed as to suffer an inevitable rejection

Either way, President Arroyo would emerge unscathed for another 365 days, as only one impeachment resolution can be filed against a sitting president in one year.

At P200,000 per envelope, the total cash bribe to 190 congressmen and women add up to P38 million. At P500,000 per envelope, the total reaches P95 million. So between P38 million and P95 million in cash were given away by Malacanang last Oct. 11 to insulate President Arroyo from a possible impeachment for the next 365 days.

And it did not end there. In a separate Malacanang meeting that day, Oct. 11, this time with mayors and governors, more cash – this time in shopping bags - was given away to the attendees. There were said to be 200 attendees, 48 of whom were provincial governors and the rest city and municipal mayors.

Again, no vouchers or receipts, no indication as to where the money came from or what purpose or purposes it was to be used for, and without any accountability at all as to how it is spent.. Again, the working definition of a bribe.

At least one provincial governor – Fr. Ed Panlilio of Pampanga – revealed that he was given a bag containing P500,000 in cash. Fr. Ed says that the man who gave him the cash told him he can use the money for the barangay elections or for other barangay projects. (PDI, Oct. 14, 2007).

Or, if he were so inclined, he could use it for his own personal agendas, as other recipients of Malacanang's largesse no doubt would, if they had no moral qualms about it as Fr. Ed did.

The Inquirer (Oct. 14) revealed that two more (unnamed) provincial governors, both from Southern Luzon , have revealed that they received similar bags full of cash It is inconceivable that the 45 other provincial governors, or the city and municipal mayors in attendance, received nothing.

Malacanang apologists are stumbling over each other claiming that these were not public funds but were more likely private donations from businessmen friendly to Malacanang who want to help in the barangay elections. That's a lot of bull, and they know it.

It is more likely that these bundles of cash were sourced from the so-called Intelligence Fund of the President, which must now amount to a few billion pesos a year, and which are not subject to any audit at all, and which a sitting president can use to bribe or reward not only loyal governors, congressmen/ women and mayors, but also cooperating senior bureaucrats, military generals and Comelec officials

The office of the Philippine president is probably the most corrupting and corruptible political position in this part of the world. When an utterly immoral and manipulative person occupies that position, even the angels in Heaven and the demons in Hell can be bought. The Intelligence Fund of the President should be abolished.from the National Budget. Now!.

Fr. Ed has been quoted by the Inquirer as saying: "Since that was public money and it belonged to the people, I decided to take it and use it in a beneficial way. I couldn't be blind to the needs of my constituents. That's public money anyway. What will matter is how I would use it and I intend to use it to answer the people's needs."

He has turned the money over to the provincial administrator for safekeeping. "My conscience tells me that whatever resources came my way, as long as these came from public taxes and honest means, I will utilize these for the people….."

I hope his conscience will also tell Fr. Ed that, yes, these P500,000 came from public taxes, but they are being used as private funds by unscrupulous individuals in power to promote their private agendas, such as immunizing themselves from impeachment, and staying in power indefinitely, contrary to all the moral scruples that Fr. Ed. has come to symbolize.

With the hundreds of millions of pesos that his honest governance stands to earn in the next 12 months from quarrying fees alone, Fr. Ed does not need the sordid half a million pesos from Malacanang, which will use his acceptance of it to clothe its bribes to everyone else with some veneer of respectability.

But we do not know if Fr. Ed will become another co-opted Romulo Neri, or will choose to be the heroic moral leader whom Filipinos have been longing for for so long..*****

Reactions to
acabaya@zpdee. net or tonyabaya@gmail. com . Other articles in and in tonyabaya.blogspot. com.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bishop Ef Tendero- Diplomat, Public Servant, Huge Church Leader

Bishop Efraim M. Tendero serves as national director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC)—the largest group of born-again Christians in the Philippines composed of 20,000 evangelical churches, denominations, parachurch organizations, and mission groups. He is also the pulpit minister of Kamuning Bible Christian Fellowship (KBCF) which he helped establish together with a pioneering team when he was still a seminary student.
Besides providing leadership to PCEC, Bishop Tendero is the chair of the board of the following organizations: Asian Theological Seminary, Back to the Bible Broadcast, Evangelism Explosion (EE) 3 Philippines, Philippine Association of Christian Education and Philippine Missions Association, Philippine Bible Society, and the Youth Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of Asia. He is also a member of the Youth Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance. He was chair of the General Committee of the Metro Manila Franklin Graham Festival that spearheaded the festival of Franklin Graham in the Philippines in February 2006.
As national coordinator for the DAWN (Discipling A Whole Nation) 2000, he provided leadership for the mobilization of churches in the Philippines that made possible the accomplishment of the movement’s vision of seeing 50,000 local churches planted nationwide by 2000. At present, he directs the various strategies to achieve the goal of DAWN 2010 to see the Philippine churches become healthy, holistic, and harvesting.
Owing to his dynamic preaching, excellent leadership and rich ministry experience, he has become among the country’s favorite speakers on leadership, church growth and missions, and has been invited numerous times to speak not only locally but in 18 other countries. Furthermore, he functions as executive editor of Evangelicals Today—the longest-running Christian magazine in the Philippines.
He also served as one of the spiritual advisers of former President Fidel V. Ramos in his capacity as chair of the National Ecumenical Consultative Committee (NECCOM). He continues to be a part of NECCOM and is a member of the newly created Presidential Council for Values Formation. Bishop Tendero was also appointed by President GMA as one of the members of the 50-man Citizen’s Consultative Commission or Concom that went around the country to consult and gather input from various sectors and stakeholders of the nation so as to review and craft possible amendments to the present Constitution, for which he was awarded a Presidential Medal of Merit.Bishop Tendero earned his B. A. Theology degree from FEBIAS College of Bible in 1978, cum laude and was the recipient of that year’s Most Outstanding Student Award. He also went to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois for his M. Div. (Pastoral Counseling) degree, graduating cum laude. He is listed in the 1989 “Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.” Just recently, the Febias College of Bible and the International School of Theology-Asia separately conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree on him.
In recognition of his exemplary leadership in the body of Christ as he fosters unity and advocacy for national transformation, he was given the Distinguished Evangelical Leadership Award, making him the fifth person to receive this prestigious award in the 35 years of PCEC then.
Born in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro Bishop Ef is married to the former Sierry Soriano. The couple are blessed with four children, namely: Elizabeth Esther, Efraim Elijah, Ezra Emmanuel, and Elah Eunice.

New York/New Jersey Leaders for Knowledge Channel

Circle of Champions in New York/New Jersey: (seated from left) Benpres Rosan Cruz, Knowledge Channel president Rina Lopez-Bautista, Philippine DepEd Secretary Jeslie Lapus, New York Consul General Cecilia Rebong, Fiesta Philippines Mila Mendez, Robert Perez de Tagle, Chamber of Commerce president Butch Meily, Philippine Fiesta president Nanding Mendez, Moneyfast Remittance Lee Quimbo, NaFFAA-NY Joe Ramos Philippine Independence Day Council president Gani PuertollaƱo, and Metrobank NY's general manager and first vice president Alfred Madrid.

The Filipino-American community in New York pledged its support for Knowledge Channel Foundation, Inc. (KCFI), through the establishment of the Knowledge Channel Circle of Champions – NY Chapter (KC3, NY), a group that will actively advocate for the improvement of the quality of Philippine public school instruction through the Knowledge Channel, a curriculum-based all-educational channel available by cable and satellite in the Philippines.
At the organizational meeting of KC3, NY, the KCFI founder and president Rina Lopez-Bautista appealed to community and business leaders to champion the future of the Philippines by helping more schools gain access to Knowledge Channel. Out of the 42,000 public schools throughout the country, only 1,709 schools have been covered so far.
Lopez-Bautista pointed out that the Knowledge Channel has proven to improve retention and comprehension levels of students and has increased National Achievement Test (NAT) scores in schools. "The schools' use of the Knowledge Channel has resulted in improvement of the children's test scores. A school in Batanes increased its NAT scores by 107%. Knowledge Channel has improved the learning curve of Filipino youth," she said.
She added, "Especially in the more remote areas, KCh in the school is more than just a learning tool. It has become a source of hope to the principals, the teachers, the students and the community. It is a catalyst to galvanize the community in supporting the school and their children's education even more. And when parents, teachers and the community work together, magic happens."
Department of Education Sec. Jesli Lapus attended the event and stressed that government alone cannot solve resource gaps in schools and that it is crucial to "reverse the deteriorating trend as soon as possible." He also said that this year he relaunched the Adopt-A-School program, which includes Knowledge Channel as one of the programs to be supported.
Philippine Consul General in New York, Cecilia Rebong also attended the meeting and rallied attendees and the organizations to take up education as a cause, with Knowledge Channel as one of the main interventions that could create a big impact in Philippine education.
Attendees were Metrobank general manager and first vice president, Alfred Madrid, Fil-Am Chamber of Commerce president Butch Meily, Philippine Independence Day Council president Gani PuertollaƱo, Philippine Fiesta Nanding and Mila Mendez, Joe Ramos of National Federation of Filipino-American Associations, NY Chapter (NaFFAA-NY), Lee Quimbo of Moneyfast Remittance Services and Robert Perez de Tagle.
View the Knowledge Channel website at or email Donors may contact them through telephone at 1-800-527-2820 or 650-508-6118 or use our online form and click on Pay Pal.