By Simeon G. Silverio, Jr.
Publisher & Editor
Asian Journal San Diego
The Original and First Asian Journal in America
Last in a series of articles
San Diego, California
May 20, 2011
We were at the house of my good friend Ernie Delfin the day after the Pacquiao-Moseley fight. We were having a barbeque with close friends, and I had a chance to speak with Alex Lacson, who became a Filipino icon after writing the best-selling book, 12 Little Things Global Filipinos Can Do to Help Our Philippines. Alex was on a speaking tour in the U.S. after attending a grand Gawad Kalinga event in Las Vegas.
They smell good, I told Ernie as he brought in a huge container of marinated meat skewered on sticks. He had prepared chicken, pork, beef and even vegetables for the feast, not to mention the desserts and other items his daughter had brought.
Wait till they are cooked, Ernie smiled.
We helped him remove the husks of the sweet corns on the cob as we put them on top of the grill. The sweet smell of the smoke wafted in the air.
Wala bang IUD (Is there an IUD)? I asked.
Alex and Ernie laughed. Chicken intestines skewered on sticks are barbecued and sold by street vendors in the Philippines. They look like the Inter Uterine Devices, hence the name for the delicacy.
My wife is still preparing them, Ernie joined in my joke.
Munching on the newly broiled sweet corn, Alex took out a copy of his book, wrote a dedication, and gave it to me.
The book enumerated the 12 little things global Filipinos can do to help our Philippines with simple explanations and tips on how they can be implemented. It is an inspiring read, which motivates an ordinary person to do exactly what the books wanted: help the Philippines.
The first little thing: Help your family or relatives back home. (Continue on page 9)
I like the quote Alex put at the start of this section: Unlike our friends, we did not choose our family. Our Creator chose them for us.
In it, Alex suggested that instead of merely handing dole outs to our relatives, we should: a) help build values in them; b) encourage them to pay it forward by adopting their own scholar in the future once they become a success; c) encourage the love of work by letting ones scholar relative to be a working student; d) encourage civic consciousness by letting the relative scholar join Gawad Kalinga and other similar groups; d) encourage personal responsibility by prodding the scholar relative to save and invest; f) and encourage entrepreneurship by teaching ones relative to go into business.
The second little thing is to help create a means to live for at least one Filipino. In this section, Alex quoted the Eastern Philosopher Kahlil Gilbran: You give but little when you give your material possession. It is when you give yourself that you truly give.
To this quote, Alex added his own: If you have been blessed, you have the moral obligation to be a blessing to others.
Alex identified the various livelihood programs a Filipino could support with detailed explanations.
The 3rd little thing: Help build a home for a Filipino family. According to Alex, building a home for a homeless family will help not only the homeless but will also help the builder, for the act will feed his soul.
The 4th Little Thing: Adopt at least one Filipino Scholar. In this chapter, Alex quoted Luke 12:48: To whom much has been given, much will be expected. Then he added a Danish Proverb: Your life is Gods gift to you. What you do with your life is your gift to God. Alex cited and explained several ways how this little thing can be effectively done.
The 5th Little Thing: Help build classrooms, public libraries and toilets. Alex explained how this can help the country and listed organizations that do so in the rural areas.
The 6th Little Thing: Help us have the government we deserve. This is a good read as Alex cited examples of the miracles occurring in the Philippines that would hopefully help avoid a government run like hell by the Filipinos. Again, Alex identified organizations promoting good governance.
The 7th Little Thing: Environment Wherever you are, you are part of the world. Here, Alex encouraged his readers to help save the environment. He quoted N. Duhaylungsod: Yes, we are alive today. But what about the next generation? According to Alex, in a poem found in the pocket of Abraham Lincoln when he was assassinated, the following quote was written: I shall walk through this world but once. Therefore, if there is any good thing that I need to do, let me do it now. For I shall not walk this way again.
The 8th Little Thing: Spend your vacation in our Philippines. Here, Alex explained why this will help our country.
The 9th Little Thing: Be an ambassador of the Filipino. Build the faith in the Filipino among your children. According to Alex, We are the ambassadors of our beauty. We are the builders of our own greatness as a people.
The 10th Little Thing: Buy Filipino. Support our peoples talents and products. Alex believes that we can create prosperity for the Filipino if we learn to love and support one another as a people.
The 11th Little Thing: Invest in the Philippines. Wherever you are in the world, or in our archipelago, Alex wrote, you are part of the whole, you are part of the Filipino family. Every Filipino is a part of the Answer, of the Solution. Each one of us is part of the Hope we seek for our Motherland. He encourages everyone to help create prosperity in our Motherland.
Finally, the 12th little thing global Filipinos can do to help our Philippines is to help unite the global Filipinos. Here, he quoted Mahatma Gandhi: Be the change you want to see in the world.
I merely enumerated the twelve things Filipinos across the globe can do to help our Philippines here. To really appreciate them, one must read the book himself, then share it with his fellow Filipinos. If only every Filipino will follow these tips, great things will happen to our beloved country. AJ
(To reach Alex Lacson or order copies of his book, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.kabayanihan.org or www.alexlacson.net ).