Category Archives: Social Media Posts

The Monster Named Envy

Reflection Posted on Facebook on July 1, 2018

Sunday Reflection: When I inspire and push young people, my mentees, to achieve as much as their capacity and determination can allow them to achieve – I always fail to mention the sad caveats. Today, I will share based on experience (sad and tear-jerking ones) one warning. In this world, there are people who allow a monster so dangerous to control their minds, and often serve as a basis of their opinion of others – the name is ENVY. A sin. No one is free from this monster. But some just feed it so much, it grows and it destroys people around them. I grew up fighting this monster because it pushes me to despair, seeing how other kids have more than I have. I grew up conditioning myself that there are things I have more than others and I should be thankful for these things. I also conditioned myself to be happy for others, even when oftentimes I feel pained and jealous. I wired my brain to rejoice when people achieve things especially based on merit, and hard-work, and persistence. Sadly, and this I have to share to all my young mentees – when you work hard for something and receive the incidental fruits of your labor, like credentials, honours and positive impressions, there will be those who won’t be comfortable with that. They will always find faults in what you do. Along the way, you will hear your friends telling you – to slow down, don’t be ambitious, don’t do this, don’t do that. There will be those who will tell you – be normal, just be like everyone else, do not assume so much responsibility, do not assert your ideas, maybe short of just shut up. To my mentees, you will face these kind of people – who want you to stop dreaming. And stop achieving. In this world, we always love the underdog – without realising how the achievers feel. Some of us will always be faulted for being headstrong, when others are not. They will always accuse us of being opinionated, boastful, bossy and many words, at times we cannot swallow. I wonder if instead of ideas, guidance, instruction, or advise, we give away money, maybe they will call us philanthropists. In organisations, our ideas are oftentimes quelled because it comes out “strong” – so even if the ideas are good, it’s not good. Sadly, the worst for envy is one which is used as a tool for others who think they can leap ahead by pulling people down. Leaders who think that when they pull down other leaders – they achieve more. To my mentees, there is nothing wrong with being proud about your achievements for as long as you deserve it and work hard for it – own it. And when others pull you down, believing they can speed ahead of you, don’t mind them – you are not trying your best for these people. We only have one life – stay away from people and organisations that are obsessed in trying destroy your accomplishments as a means to accomplish what they need to accomplish. Instead find those who wants to work with you, likes to share their ideas with you as you share ideas with them, honestly want to see you grow and achieve. It’s hard to find these people. But you do not need many in this lifetime.

Generation X

Reflection Posted on Facebook on January 7, 2019

Reflection about Leadership based on generations.

When I was younger, I always enjoy listening to people older than me. I would spend more time in conversations, and well, arguments with elders than my contemporaries.

But opposite this habit, I always loved working with people younger than me. You may say, probably because it is harder to ask an older person to follow my instructions but it is mostly because – young people will always have a counterpart idea, they would always share what’s in their minds to create a collective whole.

These past several years, I have been peculiarly interested in understanding the MILLENIAL MIND. I have constantly conversed with this generation – somehow enough to draw out some observations –

They are very sensitive and intuitive, but they want to see problems in a more positive way or not see it at all.

Their sense of individualism is never eroded by their propensity to share and eventually lose their ideas in the table to create a common concept. This is what I like about the young people. Their sense of ownership is quite advanced. That is why they are able to create tons of original content and material.

Planning and discussion are nothing to them if the concept is not turned to reality. Proof of concept (POC). They are excited to create POCS than spend all their time in the drawing board. They usually start small, iterate through the mistakes, pivot to another strategy – to ultimately produce a POC.

Given these unique qualities of Millenials – I think the future will be a lot better.

This piece is part 1 of my study – if most cities in the Philippines, Bacolod for example, have been run by leaders belonging to the Baby Boomers Generation for decades, how will it transition to eventually being run by Millenials in the future.

And in the forumula: WHERE IS GENERATION X?

I proudly claim ours is the Powerful Digital Migrants generation. We moved from analog to digital, from beepers to mobile phones, from typewriters to computers. It is my proposition that my generation – The GEN-X will be the best generation to cause a successful transition between two widely different generations. And effectively usher old cities to a new future.

Are we LOST generation? Should we let the opportunity for leading our cities pass us by?

#Reflections #Bacolod2019 #WhereIsGenerationX

The Vista of A Leader

Reflection Posted on Facebook on September 28, 2017

Reflection in transit: The Vista of A Leader. A leader’s lenses must be like that of a high-powered camera. One that can clearly see both the micro and macro view of issues and concerns. He must have a very wide vista – vertically to understand the long-term repercussions of his every action, and horizontally to see how these actions affect a wide group or cluster of people, professions, industry and sectors and not just a few, as well as the image and branding of the whole nation or city. He must have the ability to zoom in on the micro as well. How every action will affect every individual citizen or his personal and family safety, his education and self-actualization. Some will see the impact of a leader’s action to the whole community while some will only see how it will impact on their dining table.
A good leader must create a balance between these two views – to avoid sacrificing the good of a few for many and vice versa. Or to weigh the consequences with a full conscience – in times when there is a need to sacrifice. We see leaders today whose lenses are set to panorama only – they see the bigger picture and cannot seem to understand and are without empathy towards individual citizens aspirations. These leaders are wrapped in their own big ideas, without realizing that these ideas do not impact or are not relevant to small communities. They talk in jargon that only they can understand. They treat individual life stories as nothing more but figures to quote. We have many leaders in bureaucracy who are like this – they move from one national program to another – without really looking at building from what has already yielded results for many individuals. They do not care about specific examples and only focus on general data.

On one hand, some leaders only see the micro-view, these are those whose brand of service is dole out. Giving rice to every family instead of ensuring food sufficiency. Reacting to issues on an impulsive level and not putting in place long term solutions. These are those who believe change us possible with only them at the helm. Sadly, if they only have a micro view of everything – their plans has the tendency to be myopic, fleeting, almost self-serving.

The leader with a wide vista sees both the macro and the micro. He is able to carefully analyze how his every step affect the country and one individual or group of individuals. He can lay all the premises and consequences on the table using both views and is able to weigh which action is best to take. He is one who may think a situation that derails his administration of the city or the country or his organization as something orchestrated and designed to derail his efforts, but in taking the macro view – he is able to think passed these suppositions and draw strategies to resolve the problem on a more realistic and long-term level.
Some are born with the vista of a leader but they need to harness it with experience. Any skill when not put to use may wane. Some develop the skill through a long and wide range of experience.

Torta and Laswa

Reflection Posted on Facebook on April 20, 2019

Black Saturday Reflection. Today, I am happy to have shared “laswa” and “torta” with volunteer youth leaders. I took it as an opportunity to again send the message – let not anyone corrupt your young minds and focus on the goal of doing things to improve yourselves and help others. These days, I need to continously debrief young people especially with what is happening around.

It is sad to see the things that are happening. Everyday, friends message me to replace the posters in their houses because someone took it. Supporters message me their spaces are threatened to be closed by people in authority if they do not take down my posters. Even in front of owners of private properties, opponents take down my posters. Using power and threats.

Really, is this what we want to teach our young people – slash posters, destroy opponents using blogs, venerate wrong doings, spread lies, really?

The character assasination is unending. Everyday a troll, a blog, paid, and promoted – destroys my reputation, my character – portraying me as the vilest of all in this city.

The opponent destroy people around me, they destroy private lives. They create stories – obviously new stories that never were heard before. They dig every detail they can weave stories around to bring me down to the gutter with them. Using their ways. Their means. This is the kind politics that kill this city. My dream is to end this kind of politics. In the process, I may get “killed” but that it is the mission I have set out to do.

Everyday, my teams, no matter how small – we find a way to reach as many people – to tell them that we can choose our leaders based on the right metrics – that we can decide base on what we hope our city to become – not out of our fears, political pressure and the welding of power that can create the most beautiful picture out of an ailing city, that wants a fresh start. That yearns to cleanse itself from the old ways that continue to prevail despite obsolesence.

A city not run by its leaders but by private political spinners, welding power even when they have no elective mandate. A city reeling in black propaganda of political operators who do not really care what happens to our citizens after elections. A city filled with paid political experts – who have no vision except to earn – mercenaries waiting for the kill.

Yes, every one plays a role. I do not care what your roles are. My role is to run for mayor and be the new leader of this city. I carry with me the dreams for new politics. New governance. Plain and simple. If my motives are otherwise – believe me there are better avenues than being in this arena – where your name is murdered everyday.

Do your very best to stop me based on your own motives. Or not do anything to help me while I am doing it, also based on your own motives. Life is short. History will always judge us in the end.

I know my motive. I know why I am trying to wake up and walk for miles every day. It is for a city named Bacolod.

Fight for Your Dreams

Reflection posted on Facebook on January 21, 2019

Reflection on a Rainy Monday.

In every stage of our life, there will always be people who will tell us:

It cannot be done.
You cannot do it.
It won’t work.

As a kid, I always had many dreams, to finish school and to help my siblings finish school. But I hear people say – budlay na. Wala sila gane kalan-on. Wala na iloy. Ahay kalouy man.

When I was in college, I had so many dreams, graduate, to pass the bar, to become a lawyer. So I worked to send my self to school. Still I hear naysayers.

When I run as an independent candidate for councilor, I had many dreams, to help thousands of people, to make difference, to create jobs and opportunities, still I hear people say, how can you win without money and machinery.

When the only committees given to me were women and communications, I had a dream to make a big difference in these committees, still I hear people say it cannot be done because these are minor committees. I set a vision to bring ICT jobs to Bacolod, and put Bacolod in the list of Next Wave Cities, still there are naysayers saying it won’t work, it cannot be done.

I am sharing this reflection to inspire others – to PERSEVERE and fight for your DREAMS. With God’s perfect timing – no matter what others say – I declare – IT WILL WORK, IT CAN BE DONE, YOU CAN DO IT.

Disruptive Leadership

Reflection Posted on Facebook on July 11, 2019 10:25 AM

Breakfast Reflection. As more next generation leaders step up to disrupt things, the cavemen of Hobbes inside majority of Filipinos that feared their own shadows as seen against the light from outside of the cave is starting to think.

The era of disruptive leadership dawns.

We will extricate themselves from the thinking that chained us inside the cave – it will never work because it has never been done before.” The fear of the unknown. Of change. Now we see that new ideas are not new, newfound courage makes all the difference.

For decades, we’ve wallowed under leaders that think for us, unfortunately many are shortsighted, worse, dim-witted. But today, I see disruptive minds setting the pace, in all spheres. Minds that are not bound by a “one-size fits all mentality”. Minds that transcend simple “carrot or stick” approach by looking at all sides – converting beneficiaries to become genuine stakeholders.

Disruptive leadership is about active listening and presencing. Understanding more than seeing. Listening more than hearing. A leader that is there – at the present moment, drawing insights from all sides to develop intuitive and responsive strategies.

Disruptive leadership is bold, willing to experiment, with a clear set of alternatives should results be different, but willing to leave the shores to venture to uncharted courses. Open to adapting new solutions to achieve new results.

Disruptive leadership is about maximizing resources – spending every cent with a clear measure of its social impact. It does not do the convenient, but only the necessary. It prepares a thorough and comprehensive plan before jumping to decisions. But it is never debilitated by philosophies and dogmas that oftentimes keep us inside the cave.

Disruptive leadership is fully aware that the power they weld comes from the people and this so-called people are not cavemen, not brutes but thinking human beings. They harness the potential of every member of their community to contribute to growth, (or not to hamper growth by being part of social ills, thus take care of them)

Disruptive leadership embraces innovation. The imperative of understanding technology not for technology sake but to address real life problems, design solutions to actual pain points that hinder development.

We’ve accepted the vicious cycles as norms. Politics is all business – whatever fills the pocket of politicians becomes the project. The dangerous conditioning that when citizens verbalise their aspirations they are against development. The notion that position necessarily comes with intelligence, empathy and vision. We have long comfortably settled inside the caves of our beliefs that nothing can change.

But the Age of Disruption has long began. Soon whether we wish to stay inside the caves or not, the caves will be destroyed. How we will look as cities, as a country, once exposed into the light, will determine our future. The leaders among us will play a key role in leading us into the light.

This is a challenge to new leaders. Do not be afraid of disruption, be the disruption.

#DisruptiveLeadership #DesignTheFuture

A Young Leader’s Letter

A young man’s letter was among the many things that brought me that quiet but heartwarming feeling of accomplishing a difficult mission. The letter captured the messages of other young people during the whole journey. What inspires me the most is the thought that the next generation of leaders are growing steadily – and many of them, most of who I am acquainted carry the perspective of hope. I am sharing this letter with the writer’s permission in the hope of inspiring the next generation of leaders to carry on with the fight. My generation may have fell short of setting a strong and clear direction for our communities but through our small acts and examples – we hope to continue guide and encourage those who are next in line. I pray we find enlightenment in this letter.

May 18, 2019

“It doesn’t take a hundred years to do this, it takes political courage…” – Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (The courage to change)

Mayor Jocelle!

A well fought electoral campaign! Going beyond the result of the election, One Bacolod is an achievement not only in terms of the bravery in engaging an elitist and traditional election but also for opening up the space for a campaign that is volunteer and advocacy driven. If ever we are serious in pushing for governance that is accountable, participatory and transparent, we need to do away with money politics/campaign.

When you decided to run and face a giant, you actually did us a favor by giving us the option for an alternative candidate. I have taken part in your campaign not out of personal interest/advantage or even to make money but out of an advocacy for good governance and I believe that you are the better alternative candidate.

Defeat is never ours but rather an accumulative experience and strength which is a prerequisite for our eventual victory for a politics and governance that the people deserves.

Your bravery and leadership is an inspiration. Never will I forget the time when you had a consultation meeting with the fisherfolk leaders from different barangays here in Bacolod, I was amazed on how you authentically listened to their concerns and laid out a 10 point agenda for them. It was specific, sustainable, and comprehensive and also the first time I heard from a local candidate to have that much potential of a program for the sector. If only you were given the chance to have it implemented.

This is not the end but only the beginning of a much longer struggle for a governance that is people-centered. Ako mangin padayon nga kabahin sa ini nga adbokasiya.

Padayon kita Mayor Jocelle!

Griderick Alila Brgy. Kagawad Brgy. 29

Griderick Alila’s handwritten letter which I received five days after the May 13 elections. This is intentionally blurred to keep the privacy of his signature and penmanship.

I requested from and was given permission by Griderick to feature his letter in this site. He is a young kagawad in one of our barangays in Bacolod. During the campaign, I have received many messages coming from citizens of Bacolod, mostly young people. The messages were as inspiring as Griderick’s letter.

Indeed, the series of consultations I have with various fisherfolks community in the 13 coastal barangays out of 61 barangays in Bacolod yielded a much clearer picture in my mind about the concerns of the sector. I am proud of the 10-Point Agenda which I was able to cull out from the conversations and given the unique opportunity to validate these policiy directions and programs I wanted to implement. I will share the agenda in due time but at the moment, I really wish to put the spotlight on Griderick’s message.

I am posting this to remind me always that there are young leaders who understand what needs to be done and are continously doing these things despite all the difficulties. Patronage and money politics will be difficult to eradicate in this country, but the mission continues. I am grateful and inspired by young leaders like Griderick who appear unassuming but firm in their convictions. I am also inspired by the clarity and purity of his thoughts. If our young leaders today in the barangays understand the pathways to good governance, this country will rise once more in full transformation.

The Voices from The Hill

If no one is listening, then we should raise our voices higher.

If no one seems to care, then we should care a little further.

If no one is standing, then we should stand for others.

We are born proud of our breed. We are not called people on the hill for nothing. We know who we are and what we are capable of.

And although many of us have slept on our rights for several decades, we are now awake.

Our young people are awake. Their fathers and mothers are awake. Our working brothers and sisters are awake.

They are tired of believeing in colorful promises that leave us empty-handed. Tired of listening to a litany of achievements that does not resonate with reality. Tired of momentary festivities that does not secure a sustainable future for our families. Tired of the same old lines and the same old ideas that are repeatedly use to insult our judgment.

The city on the hill yearns for a leadership achored on vision where every one can be part of. A change they can believe in. A change they can work for.

The voices of change are growing louder in the city on the hill. The enemies will do everything in thier power to quell these voices. But we will persevere. We will endure for our mission.

We have no billions nor material resources. So we rely on the power of our voices. We rely on our individual commitment to restore our city and on those who cannot be bought by money or swayed by fear or favor.

We have no well-oiled cavalry. So we rely on the army of decent people from different ages and all walks of life who will fight for their dreams and will face the challenges to turn their dreams to reality.

We have no powerful strings to pull. We rely on enlightened people who have the power to change things to join us in our mission.

We have no control of the process. We rely strongly on our faith that there is now a chance for a new beginning for the city.

We are a people of the city on a hill – we are strong just like hill we stand on. We will not crumble in the face of challenges because we are on a mission.

The city on a hill and its people belong to no one except to its citizens.

It is time to step forward.

Jocelle Batapa-Sigue (January 1, 2019)

Celebrating the Life of A Leader Who Inspire Leaders

Governor Alfredo Galicia Maranon, Jr. was born in Sagay City, Negros Occidental on December 21, 1935. Today, he is one of the most distinguished, respected and recognized leaders of Negros Occidental. I worked with the good governor some 8 years ago and saw for myself why he is so.

Last week, on my birthday – December 14, 2018 – out of the blue, he decided to raise my hand as his choice for mayor of Bacolod. I considered it as his birthday gift to me. Today, on his birthday, I have nothing to give that would mean a lot to him. He has everything. And has lived a full life. All I have are these pictures – which show how much he has done for both Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.

These images are all I have as a present to a man who is very dear to me because he gave me a chance to be part of his journey as a leader.

Presenting my TOWNS (The Outstanding Women in Nation Service ) Award to the Governor
Newspaper Greetings from Governor Maranon for being the Philippine ICT Individual Contributor of the Year 2014
The Governor receiving the Certificate of Registration of the Negros First CyberCentre from PEZA former Director General Lilia De Lima
The Governor with current PEZA Director General Charito Plaza duing her visit to Bacolod
The Governor signing the Lease Agreement with Ubiquity Global Services
At the Opening of Ubiquity
The Governor welcoming the IT Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) Talent Development Group
The Governor welcoming welcome former Senator Ed Angara to the CyberCentre
Opening of the Negros Island Game Development Conference
Signing of incubation agreement of startups at the CyberCentre
With EMC Academic Alliance from India
Presenting the Center of Excellence Award of Bacolod
Opening of Bacolod Healthcare Information Management (HIM) Summit
Welcoming 51Talk Philippines to Bacolod
Discussing with Regus and JLL on ICT infrastructure
Opening of Negros HR ICT Summit

I can go on with more pictures of the Governor to show all the things he has supported but let me show the posters of the projects which the governor supported and funded for ICT.

At the end of the day, these images will show how a man has dedicated his life in helping the province and Bacolod. I will always look up to him as my mentor and my example. I thank the Lord for allowing our paths to cross. Happy Birthday Governor!!!

With ICTO-DOST official Bettina Quimson

The Speakable Me

It is difficult to be weak. To not have a voice even when you need to speak. To have no power to help even yourself. I have seen so much weakness in the faces of many. In the eyes of an abused child, or woman, in the face of a poor farmer who is falsely accused or a young person who wish he can go to school but needed to work. Or of a whole family sharing a few bananas for lunch. Some of us shout in the streets for them, some of us help them directly. Some of us try to be strong and lend them our strength. When we aspire to be strong – to seek power so one can speak for others, we run the risk of being misunderstood. Of being judged as ambitious.

Since elementary, I tried to be strong for others. I fought against kids who look down on other kids. I used my voice to defend other kids. In high school, I would always speak up for my classmates. I would always volunteer to lead in the class. In college, I run for president of the student government and stepped on several people’s toes to stand for other students. Many called me ambitious when in truth I was just filling up a post because no one wanted to step forward. I was oblivious since elementary that all these standing up for others indirectly affected my academics. Oftentimes, I was perceived as too outspoken, too argumentative. At times, too opinionated. I did not care about academic honors, although I still ended up getting some honors.

Fortunately, I was able to make the most out of my skills. I was best debater in college and always loved argumentation and debate subjects. Eventually, I became opinion editor of our school paper. It worked out well for me. I found myself in the right places.

While it was satisfying to have the opportunity to speak your mind, it was also painful to keep on pretending you are as strong as you appear to be.

When abused children and women cry in front of me, I feel my heart bursting inside but still I try to collect my thoughts and expresss them in a voice that will inspire them to be brave. 

Half of the tears I have cried in my life were not for myself but for others who are rendered weak by the circumstances. Until today, I refuse to accept that I am an empath. I am just an ordinary person trying my best to stand up for others.

Do I think myself a hero? If heroes are foolish people who would go and rescue a trafficked victim without the help of any law enforcer, then yes. If a hero means acting like a moron and running for public office without resources and a political party just to fulfill a dream of being the representative of my generation to government (as if my generation really cares), then yes, I am a hero.  If being a hero means unreasonably spending all my time away from my own family to go to places just to share what I think would help these places generate jobs, then yes I am a hero. 

Quite frankly, if these were the definition of hero – I would not look up to anyone like that. So instead of twisting its meaning, let me just call myself – an overly zealous dreamer whose goal in life is to be the mouthpiece of others. My outspoken nature is both a gift and a burden. It is a gift when I am able to succesfully speak for others. It is a burden when I had to point out a flaw to make things better.

Today, I stepped forward for my city. Just like when I was in college when no one wanted to lead – I needed to stand and offer myself. Again, I am judged as ambitious. Sadly, being mayor is not even an ambition for me – the position in fact is not something I want to covet for my own sake. Given the chance, my ambition is to write books that will outlive me, visit places in my bucketlist and age gracefully. But this – this is a mission. Another mission, just like when I was small – to speak for others who have no voice. To stand up for the weak. To use my God-given skills in the service of others. 

Do I regret being outspoken? There are times I regret saying things I should not say – but I never regret being outspoken. 

I do not need my critics to believe me. There are people out there whose biases, dogmas, doctrines, beliefs and prejudices in life do not afford them the luxury of understanding others except what they wish to understand.

There are people out there who has an opinion of everything under the sun. And sadly, only opinions.

There are people out there who do not like what I say, how I say it, or what I said – but never care about who I say it for and why I say it. I cannot sacrifice my present mission for these people  – they are too unworthy even for a minute of my time compared to those I need to lend my voice to.

I do not have even a minute to tarry. I am on my way again to speak for others. I have stumbled and fell so many times in the past but I need to stand up and keep going. I know in my heart, somebody needs me to speak and stand for him or her. 

Hence, I carry this gift and burden gladly and gratefully. 

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