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Address given to the Chicago Midwest Chapter
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adedios
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:11 pm    Post subject: Address given to the Chicago Midwest Chapter Reply with quote

Address to the Midwest Chapter

Good evening. Belated birthday greetings to Mr. Luis Vitor. I thank you all for inviting me to speak with you on this occasion. I bring you greetings from the Paetenians in the Washington DC area. It has been quite a while since I visited Chicago and indeed it is a pleasure to see you all.

The problems that our country, the Philippines, is facing are indeed serious. Yet here we are, feeling helpless as we see that our resources are likewise limited. Philippines president Arroyo said during her visit at Georgetown in 2001 that we need to pay attention to poverty, for poverty provides a spawning ground for terrorism. Do we really lose our sense of good and evil when we are destitute? By the way, the hijackers of September 11 were from the educated middle class. Some would blame needs for the problems society faces. Some says it is the economy. Do we really lose our values when we are needy?

Is there really a difference between being poor and being rich? Do poverty and wealth really lead us to a variation in perception of what we should cherish or value? Yes, a poor family may be concerned with the question of where to get their next meal while a rich family may be preoccupied with their investments. At this level, it is true that there may be a difference in worries. Still, I maintain that there is no difference between the rich and the poor in terms of attaining values that are true. It all depends on what we choose to value, whether these are true or fake.

Our values are independent of where we stand in society. Our concerns may be shaped by our current economic conditions but what we cherish could be an entirely different story. What are true values then? I was showing my wife the pictures I took during my recent visit to Paete and she noticed how different Mayor Emmanuel Cadayona looks compared to when he visited us in DC years ago. She then asked, “Is Paete worth the sacrifice?” What in this world is worth one’s life? And we will hear that question once more if we are planning to attend service or mass tomorrow. And if we are not thoughtful, we may receive the same response Peter got; “Get behind me, Satan!” Do Christ and Satan really differ in their values, and if so, where and how do they differ?

What are values? I am sure most of us would like to deny the value we place in material possessions since such behavior and thinking are supposedly so unchristian. Interestingly, some of us may point out that what we value is good health. Some of us may even feel righteous that we so choose health as our value. Perhaps, we may not be succeeding all the time, but we cannot deny that some of us have started to watch closely our diet. Some are drinking four glasses of water every morning. Some of us may have even joined a gym to keep ourselves in good shape. Good health is a value. Is it? Well, Christ did not make a distinction between those who value health and those who cherish material possessions. Christ equally berated those who are obsessed with good health and those who are tied to their riches. There is also pro-life. Could life be a value? Still, there is that paradox that says those who seek life will lose it, while those who give up their lives will gain life. Education could likewise be a value. The story of Solomon tells us of a king who wished for nothing except for wisdom so that he may serve God’s people in a just manner. Yet, we are likewise warned of knowledge that could lead to haughtiness.

On one very rare occasion, my father treated me to a real good lunch in a restaurant in Quiapo called Wapac during one of his birthdays. He bought a whole fried chicken. I remembered trying not to eat too much, thinking that we may have to bring home some. You see, it was really rare for our family then to have our tongues taste that kind of food. But my father told me to go ahead and feast. My father was not eating that much, yet I could see in his eyes his satisfaction as he watches me eat. Those feasting occasions were uncommon, but I remember them vividly especially the generosity being poured over me at that specific moment. As a family, we did not own a piece of land or house. Matchsticks were in fact better since they have a box they could call their own. Yet, my father left me with great wealth in his examples of sacrifice, selflessness and generosity.

I first came to Chicago in 1987. I was fortunate to be adopted by a family who treated me as one of their own. To Plutarco Cagandahan, his loving wife, Virgie, and to her daughters, Carina, Cerilda and Cetania, I would always be grateful for your kindness and love. With your family, life in this strange town called Chicago became a lot easier. Yours was the family I had during my graduate studies and I remember that yours was the family I had during my final defense. And when I transferred to Urbana-Champaign, Plutarco even loaned me a car so that I could drive every weekend to Chicago to see my wife Mary. Both Mary and I are indebted to your kindness.

Several years ago, the “Alay Computer” project could not start without the formal registration of the PAETEch Foundation. The Chicago Chapter of Paetenians International came forward to help, without question and without any hesitation. “Batang Paete” indeed owes a lot to this chapter. And I am very glad to have this opportunity to thank all of you in person. On behalf of the PAETEch Foundation, thank you very much. The work of this chapter in helping the poor of Paete share in the joys of Christmas is equally commendable. Your leadership in reaching out to the less fortunate of Paete is a great example. And though your chapter works hard for Paete while maintaining a very low profile, the results still reach us loud and strong. Someone asked me recently why I remember Paete when I did not grow up in Paete. I was not even born in Paete. Why is it then that at this middle age, I am involved in Paete? The reason is this chapter. Your chapter has given me a glimpse of what values really are. And our young chapter back in DC could only hope that we would become like yours in the future.

Health, wealth, life, education. Are these values? Yes, they could be, but only if we wish them for others. They only become values when we offer them. So we should be careful when we talk about “family values”. A family that is drawn to itself is of no value on its own. Only when a family reaches out to the community can we find value in a family. All of these things only become important if they are offered. This is the key. That is why the word “alay” exists in the project’s name, “Alay Computer”. This project is so much more than just computers, so much more than education. Allowing the children of Paete to come close and touch a personal computer is something of great worth on its own. While teaching computer skills and introducing the internet to students, parents and teachers is a great achievement, helping a child realize his or her special place in this world is priceless. A child realizing that people overseas care for him or her is priceless. For it is only when we offer these things that we create values in them. And it does not matter whether we are rich or poor. We are all capable of reaching out. We, both poor and rich, should be able to see values, as they ought to be.

During my recent visit to Paete, I was asked why I have not bought a piece of land there and built my own house. That was certainly a good idea. With my own house and lot in Paete, I would not have to worry where I would stay when I visit. But even without a house to call my own during my most recent visit, I enjoyed the shelter that was provided by the Afurong family. Living in their house in fact gave me an opportunity to live with a family. I was then sure to have company anytime of the day and I truly got to share several days with Paetenians.

For three weeks, I went to the schools of Paete. I saw the teachers of Paete everyday. And there is indeed a precious stone in each smile that greeted me. These smiles came from faces of teachers who are overworked and underpaid. Despite their difficult living, they could still afford to give me a smile. Indeed, I saw these true values during my recent visit to Paete. Last Thursday evening, my wife and I had the opportunity to see Quinale principal Lili Valdellon and her two teachers, Arlene and Anne. And they were all smiling. Later that night when I was still chatting with Arlene, she told me that she was actually sad since one of her grandparents just passed away. It must have been difficult for her to smile during our webcam session. Yet, she did smile. Is Paete worth the sacrifice? The mayor, Ka Noel Cadayona thinks it is so and I agree. During my recent visit to Paete, I saw precious diamonds in the smiles of the children in Paete, Ibaba and Quinale Elementary schools. I know that not all of those smiles are for me…. To my loving wife, Mary, thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for being so generous.

These are the values I would always cherish.

Let me end with a prayer written by St. Ignatius of Loyola (This is a translation by Tim Ofrasio, S.J.)

“Panginoon, turuan Mo akong maging bukas-palad
Turuan Mo akong maglingkod sa Iyo
Na magbigay nang ayon sa nararapat
Na walang hinihintay mula sa 'Yo

Nang makibakang di inaalintana
Mga hirap na dinaranas
Sa tuwina'y magsumikap na hindi humahanap
Ng kapalit na kaginhawaan
Na 'di naghihintay kundi ang aking mabatid
Na ang loob Mo'y siyang sinusundan

Panginoon, turuan Mo kaming maging bukas-palad
Turuan Mo kaming maglingkod sa Iyo
Na magbigay nang ayon sa nararapat
Na walang hinihintay mula sa 'Yo”


Last edited by adedios on Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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adedios
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:14 pm    Post subject: Many thanks to the Chicago Chapter Reply with quote

It was really nice to see old friends and relatives. Thank you very much, Luis, for inviting me to attend and speak during this occasion - It is an honor to be invited by the Chapter that led me back to Paete. More power to you and your fellow officers and I hope I was able to inspire all of you to continue your very good work for the poor of Paete. Please extend mu sincerest gratitude to all.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a nice speech my brother! For sure, Tatay is proud of you wherever he's right now. Truly, we owe to our late father what we have now. I really miss him so much.

We, your immediate family, happy for you and support you all the way. Just keep our prayers always inisde your heart wherever you go and whatver you do. Keep it up!

May God hold you always in the palm of His holy hand.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
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adedios
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are grateful to our parents, but our debt is to the future generations. His example shows us that we should do the same - continue what he has started and help other people - that is the only way we could really show our gratutude.

In the prayer of St. Ignatius - we ask that we learn how to give back according not to what people deserve, but according to what the Lord deserve from us. And he deserves nothing less than everything - as members of one family under God, we could not neglect the less fortunate among us.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:42 am    Post subject: Re: Address given to the Chicago Midwest Chapter Reply with quote

dear Angel,
enjoyed your ChicagoChap address; not only filled with droplets of wisdom, i can tell that every word was coming from your kind and sincere heart and brilliant mind; we are indeed blest with your company here and everywhere, as a Paetenian. i particularly like your prayer in Tagalog.
God bless and keep you and yours always!
tlee

adedios wrote:
Address to the Midwest Chapter

Good evening. Belated birthday greetings to Mr. Luis Vitor. I thank you all for inviting me to speak with you on this occasion. I bring you greetings from the Paetenians in the Washington DC area. It has been quite a while since I visited Chicago and indeed it is a pleasure to see you all.


.....text snipped....
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:53 am    Post subject: your ChicagoChapter guest-speaker's address Reply with quote

Very Happy Cool

dear Angel,
enjoyed reading your speech! filled with droplets of wisdom and i felt every word coming from your kind and sincere heart and brilliant mind. luv your ending prayer in Tagalog! my kind of prayer.
tlee Smile
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tcdedios



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adedios wrote:
We are grateful to our parents, but our debt is to the future generations. His example shows us that we should do the same - continue what he has started and help other people - that is the only way we could really show our gratutude.

In the prayer of St. Ignatius - we ask that we learn how to give back according not to what people deserve, but according to what the Lord deserve from us. And he deserves nothing less than everything - as members of one family under God, we could not neglect the less fortunate among us.


"Magis" [pronounced "màh-gis"] It is a Latin word for "more," and is taken from the motto of the Jesuits, "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam" which is translated, "For the Greater Glory of God."

As the guiding principle for decision-making for all trained in Ignatian spirituality, one decides in favor of a course of action that is a "more" generous response to God's call, and thus for His greater glory.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 9:55 pm    Post subject: Thank you for sharing your speech Reply with quote

Angel,

Thank you for sharing with us your very thought-provoking speech. We can learn a lot from what you said, including the expression of gratitude to your father and others who helped you along the way. I also read the same speech you posted at Usap Paete (Batang Paete) because I wanted to see the red-lettered words that you considered important.

I said it before, and I will say it again: You really deserve that award for "Mga Natatanging Buhay na Anak ng Paete" given last December, 2004. Though you were not born in Paete, you have given much already to Paete than many of us full-bloodied Paetenians.

FredMC
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amork



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:26 pm    Post subject: splendid Reply with quote

dear prof angel,

thanks for this splendid speech. it tugs my heart. wish i could have even a fraction of your wisdom and generosity. truly, you have passed on the wisdom and other values your father taught you in life. and you're not stopping ... you keep on passing the legacy coupled by your selfless love. at this very moment, i could only ask our Lord to bless you and mary always.

mam amor
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 12:48 am    Post subject: ur always an angel Reply with quote

your always an angel with a good heart, your speech always touch not only my heart but everybody's heart, you always give your full time dedication here in Paete, hope and wish na sana eh ikaw naman ang mabiyayaan ng mga kahilingan mo.

nenett
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tcdedios



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 1:45 am    Post subject: Re: Thank you for sharing your speech Reply with quote

fredmc wrote:
Angel,

Thank you for sharing with us your very thought-provoking speech. We can learn a lot from what you said, including the expression of gratitude to your father and others who helped you along the way. I also read the same speech you posted at Usap Paete (Batang Paete) because I wanted to see the red-lettered words that you considered important.

I said it before, and I will say it again: You really deserve that award for "Mga Natatanging Buhay na Anak ng Paete" given last December, 2004. Though you were not born in Paete, you have given much already to Paete than many of us full-bloodied Paetenians.

FredMC


Tito Fred,

Yeah. You're right. We are only 50% Paetenian blood. All ancestors in our mother's side clearly rooted in Paete (Dada Tinang Bagabaldo-Valdivia, Dada Dado Cainto-Cagandahan) unlike our father's side (we can't trace our roots). Sad

We, the Cagandahan-de Dios clan are very proud of having him. Oh well, we always pray that they have siblings in the future. That's I know all of you are praying also for our dear professor. Smile

Best regards,
Thom


Last edited by tcdedios on Tue Aug 30, 2005 1:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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tcdedios



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 1:48 am    Post subject: Re: ur always an angel Reply with quote

net_feldmann wrote:
.... wish na sana eh ikaw naman ang mabiyayaan ng mga kahilingan mo.

nenett


Isa na doon ang madugtungan ang lahi ni professor. Very Happy
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adedios
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone wrote:
Quote:
I salute you just as I salute Ka Noel. Do you know that when he gives his speeches particulary during election period, he would be teary eyed, with his hands cold and sweating. I could feel his passion to help Paete, but still "many cannot see". I hope you have opened the eyes of other Paetenians not only here abroad but also in the Philippines.


I do hope that the speech I delivered and shared here in this forum opens the eyes of people as it opened mine. The town of Paete could achieve a lot if we focus only on all the good things that we could do. The mayor has indeed dedicated his life to the town and the least we could do is to support him. Ka Noel is a different kind of politician. He may be the poorest among all mayors in the Philippines, but he is the richest in terms of his love for his people. Ka Noel does recognize the values I described. And may God continue to bless him and the members of the Sangguniang Bayan as they try to serve the town of Paete.


Last edited by adedios on Tue Aug 30, 2005 9:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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adedios
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In case you could stand my voice and my guitar playing, here is a recording of the prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola:

http://141.161.23.43/angel3.wav
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adedios
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here is a poor attempt to capture an image I learned from a Jesuit:

http://141.161.23.43/paintings/bukaspalad.htm
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odettefadulsunga
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Address given to the Chicago Midwest Chapter Reply with quote

prof. angel,

your speech was indeed touching, inspiring and enlightening. it really hit me. i couldn't help myself from shedding tears. i believe you've made a lot of paeteños cry during that dinner-dance occasion in chicago and even here in usap paete.

reading your speech is so timely. right now, i'm bothered with the way things are going on here in Paete, especially the political climate. i'm in a dilemma on whether i could overcome the political intrigues that we are encountering in our little hometown. sometimes i would feel like i'm on the verge of giving up politics and public service.

but your speech on values and sharing and the "panalangin upang maging bukas-palad" has really given me the sign to go on and serve our less fortunate kababayans and share whatever little "time, talent and treasure" i could.

i thank GOD for sending you to us to spread the Good News and for being like St. Francis of Assissi...you're indeed one of God's instruments and
channels of PEACE!



adedios wrote:
Address to the Midwest Chapter

Good evening. Belated birthday greetings to Mr. Luis Vitor. I thank you all for inviting me to speak with you on this occasion. I bring you greetings from the Paetenians in the Washington DC area. It has been quite a while since I visited Chicago and indeed it is a pleasure to see you all....

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adedios
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Councilor Sunga:

To you and your fellow members of the Sangguniang Bayan, hold steadfast and have faith. Do not allow the noisy and irresponsible few to cloud your vision. You all have my prayers and respect. Yours is a very difficult job and I admire the dedication and sacrifice you all give. Focus on the positive and keep in mind how many depend on your wisdom. All of us are not perfect. What is important is that we try our best and that we remain dedicated to the people of Paete. God bless.

Jose Rizal said:

Quote:
“The glory of saving a country is not for him who has contributed to its ruin.... Redemption presupposes virtue, virtue sacrifice, and sacrifice love!’’
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vermad



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Address given to the Chicago Midwest Chapter Reply with quote

adedios wrote:
For three weeks, I went to the schools of Paete. I saw the teachers of Paete everyday. And there is indeed a precious stone in each smile that greeted me. These smiles came from faces of teachers who are overworked and underpaid. [color=red] Despite their difficult living, they could still afford to give me a smile.


Angel: Great speech and dissertation on values. This gives me an idea for Paskuhan 2005 and theme for Summit 2007.

(1) How about giving all our collection for Paskuhan 2005 to all the teachers of our elementary schools in Paete in cash.

(2) Let us bring 3 teachers [one from each school: PES, QES, IES] to Summit 2007. Let there be a voluntary contribution to finance their trip.

Realizing the tremendous educative value of travel from personal experience, I pledge my contribution.
_________________
Virgil G. Madrinan
Quot capita tot sententiae
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adedios
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The spirit behind Paskuhan is to share the joys of Christmas with the poor of Paete. This is a noble mission and in my opinion, should continue. Changing it will essentially transfer our resources from one to another. And Paskuhan (among all the proposed projects I have heard from Paetenians) should not be the one sacrificed so that we could attend to the needs of the teachers.

We need to examine the return on investment of "summits" if we are looking at it from the point of view of raising funds for Paete or sharing such occasion with those from Paete. The schools are also in session during the summit so taking one teacher from each school will hurt the loads of the teachers left behind. Secondly, I have no way of figuring out a scheme on how to choose three among all the hardworking teachers in Paete.

I have asked in the mailing list financial support for Ibaba. This is the school that lacks a teacher that can be fully assigned to the computer classroom. I will repeat that request here - it involves an annual pledge of US$2000 (at $200 per month not counting the summer break).
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Arbin M. Sarmiento
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:24 pm    Post subject: superb message Reply with quote

Dear Prof. Angel,

You have a SUPERB MESSAGE. You are so selfless and very generous,
Thanks for your very uplifting messages.

Arbin
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admin
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arbin;

Kumusta na. Balita naman mula sa Central. Pakikumusta na lamang ako sa lahat ng mga guro at siyempre kay Apple Martinez Smile
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Arbin M. Sarmiento
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Prof,

We're ok here, medyo maluha luha si Ma'am sa message mo, lam mo naman yun mababa ang luha.

OK naman kami lahat dito, medyo busy nga lang ng konti.

Arbin
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adedios
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arbin;

Oops, nakalogin pala ako as "admin". Si Arkangel lang ang admin Smile

Ang mga guro ng Paete ang isa sa mga inspirasyon ng aking sinulat.

Magiging "busy" na rin ako dahil pasukan na namin bukas sa Georgetown.

O sige, take care and God bless.
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mam lili
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 1:25 am    Post subject: address to mid-west chicago by Prof angel Reply with quote

A person who knows and has personal relationship with the Lord is great in side and outside. A prayer of thanksgiving was uttered after reading your message. Teaching is a ministry, like our Lord Jesus, He is a teacher himself. No wonder why teachers can offered themselves with sacrifices. Overloaded with work yet underpaid. In His own way, satisfaction is felt always from His wonderful blessings. Like in my school, everybody is sacrificing to overload themselves just to give way for the two computer teachers'load. The values which I always integrate and planted in their hearts is in Proverbs: "The character of our children tomorrow depends on what we put in their hearts today" No more, no less - that's it! Teachers are models, we should teach children because we are created in His own image. Transparency among us created the inspiring atmosphere. I believe in "Happy teachers, are happy workers!" Salamat po sa mga "special offer."Sapat na po ito sa amin na mapansin po ninyo ang aming mga pagpapagal. "Mababaw" po naman ang kaligayahan ng mga guro. ( Pakiramdam po nila ay natanggap na ito at nakarating na sila sa lugar ninyo). Lalo pong tumamis ang mga smiles nila prof! Salamat po uli. Regards to everybody.
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adedios
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I told the mayor;

Quote:
The things that the teachers in Paete taught me, the things that they showed in their day-to-day living are the arrow and song that Longfellow described in his poem. They will always hold a special place in my heart.


Ma'm Lili, your school is truly a model for everyone to follow. Your leadership and the great community of teachers you have in Quinale command respect and admiration. Your school is one reason why "alay computer" may actually change our town of Paete. May God continue to guide each and everyone of you in Quinale. With teachers like the ones in Quinale, we are constantly reminded that God is indeed good.

P.S. By the way, the Philipiine American Academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE) is currently discussing ways of how we could help the Philippines. They have been visiting this forum and ideas are now being floated around. It would be great to have more of us do something about the Philippines - These are people with so much talent - and our project is demonstrating that something could be done. I sincerely hope that Paetenians overseas likewise see our example and learn to prioritize and share the same values we have.
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