Are Filipinos still worth fighting for?

Published August 8, 2021, 12:58 PM

by Deedee Siytangco


Loyalty to country, always! Loyalty to government, when it deserves it. —Mark Twain

Events during the past days have shown that yes, despite our many failings and weaknesses, as a people, we Filipinos are still worth fighting for!

The gold medal of Hidilyn Diaz, the silver medals of Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, and bronze for Eumir Marcial! What a windfall of blessings! We must be doing something good, like getting ready to ditch the traditional trapos in 2021!

The PNoy memorial stamp is now on sale  (and selling like hot cakes!) at the central office of the Philippine Postal Office in Manila for those who want to remember a decent, hard-working, intelligent, compassionate leader who contributed a lot to this country can get their stash.

The late President Benigno S, Aquino lll was honored in simple rites at the central post office with Pnoy’s first cousin, Malabon Mayor LenLen Oreta, accepting the stamps for the Aquino family. PCOO secretary Martin Andanar , an honored guest, gave a touching tribute to PNoy  too.

Congratulations to Mr. Post Man, Norman Fulgencio, and his hard working staff! Already, his team is preparing a commemorative stamp for our only gold medal winner, Hidilyn Diaz!

Another beautiful tribute is the video produced by a public affairs group, Message, Movements, Media, Inc . (MMMi). It was released on Aug. 2 in time for the 12th death anniversary of the late President Cory Aquino and the 40th day of her son PNoy.

The members of MMMi are all veteran professionals in the public service field. The video challenges every Filipino to be worthy heroes of his country. They seek to address special needs by building a multi-sectoral ecosystem for nation building. It leads volunteers who are committed to uphold and defend the legacies of Cory and PNoy leadership.

Entitled “Ituloy ang Laban” (Continue the Fight), the short video urges Pilipinos not to waste the gains we have achieved and to “continue to fight for our freedom and democracy.” As PNoy said, “What is ours is ours, and when you step on the Recto bank, it’s as if you are stepping on Recto Avenue.”

A reminder from PNoy, we are worth fighting for!

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In this lockdown (again), try and get hold of a book of essays, Mira, by Ignacio “Toting” Bunye, my fellow Bulletin columnist and former sportsman, writer, Muntinglupa mayor, congressman, corporate executive, press secretary (of PGMA), banker, member of International Monetary Board, etc. It’s easy reading, very interesting and informative, and you will love essays on people who figure in the news, people you might know or want to know about, and a very personal account of his family life and marriage to the love of his life, Dr. Mira Oca Bunye.

We asked Toting what “former” self did he enjoy most? It’s difficult to pinpoint, he replied, since he enjoyed all his jobs. “Truth to tell, I enjoyed all,” he said. “Which is probably why I did well in all of them,” he said. Reminds me of what my mother used to tell me. “If you don’t enjoy your job, it becomes a chore. If you do, it becomes a vocation.”

The essays in Mira often sound like love letter to Toting’s wife. “The first time I met Mira, I knew immediately that she would be the love of my life,” he said. “And I was not mistaken. She proved to be a very loving and supportive wife and a caring mother. She is beautiful inside and out. I never forget to thank God for giving her to me as my life partner!”

Toting has a personal mantra. “Believe in God. Believe in yourself. Pray hard. Work hard,” he said. “Believe me. It works. Note: The ‘Believe in yourself’ part, I imbibed from Buddy Gomez, my very first boss when I joined the Ayala group. I can never forget his words: ‘Toting, dapat bilib ka sa sarili mo. Dahil kung hindi ka bilib sa sarili mo, e sino ang bibilib sa iyo?’”

Mira is Toting’s third book after Central Banking for Every Juan and Maria and Leyte to Besang Pass.  Coming up next, another book maybe on bank scandals and who knows a novella? Go Toting!