Category: Social Change

Jesus said, you must be born again in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”  By this, he meant  that you had to be born once to the world, and once again to the knowledge of God through Him.  I have come to believe that we must be born three times — once to the world, once to God, and once to ourselves.  Because only when we can see who we are and what we stand for — what we want to be about in the world — does every action we take suddenly seem significant.  That is the point at which we have realized a vision for ourselves and our path through this world — a path that defines success. – Laurie Beth Jones

This quote clearly defines where I am now.

It’s been a while since I have been having a question in my mind of why I feel happy and content despite the more pressures at work, difficulties of doing my field work with my expanding belly, swelling feet, and sleepless nights.  I thought of many things like the blessing of having our baby at the perfect timing, my supportive bosses now after a series of.. shall I say.. crappy politics and emotional stress from my previous job, lots of opportunities coming my way, supportive team at work.   All these I’m thankful for.  But really, when I thought about it really hard, I wouldn’t be this happy if I didn’t know my purpose in life. I was truly born again when God showed himself to me and even became more intune with myself when my creator revealed to me what my life is for.  Now truly, as laurie says it, everything I do becomes much more significant and thus, I am content.

Content that doesn’t sit lazily but content thinking that I am where God wants me to be.  When everything that’s happening makes sense.  🙂

We have closed recently a project that is close to my heart: The DSWD‘s NHTS project.  It’s a multimillion project that will impact how our government provides to the 9 Million poor households in the Philippines where 5 Million are considered poorest of the poor and will become beneficiaries of the government’s 4Ps project.  Take note that’s 5 Million HOUSEHOLDS! Multiply it to an average of 5 people per family, that is 25Million people! I am happy that through my job I am helping impact the lives of these people.  There are so many projects in line still which I am very excited about like the project we have with PAG-ASA and DENR about climate change, and the potential solutions we can provide Department of Education and Department of Energy.  They say handling the government in the Philippines is very hard and most sales people will shy away from it.  But as for me, I am excited to cover it because the solutions are exciting and I know I’ll be making a difference in the lives of my fellowmen especially the poor and my country’s environmental state.  I know it will not be easy but I am more hopeful now with the new government.  🙂 and I’m much more purposeful because not only am I following God’s leading in my life but I am creating a better future for my baby Solara.  I’m excited to tell her all the things we can do to help the poor and the environment.  With her name connoting the Sun, I am excited to see how God will use her to brighten people’s lives. 🙂 Can’t wait to see you my little darling.


TED Talks Jacqueline Novogratz tells a moving story of an encounter in a Nairobi slum with Jane, a former prostitute, whose dreams of escaping poverty, of becoming a doctor and of getting married were fulfilled in an unexpected way.

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I needed this to be inspired again.  This is a great reminder of how empowering the poor through Aid or Loans will help them get out of poverty.  I truly admire all the Jacquelines of this world.

Impressive presentation.  This is how advocacies should be made.


I think everyone should watch the inconvenient truth. I should have watched this 5 years ago. The predictions are happening now and the 2050 prediction is so grim that I fear for the future generations. We owe it to our children to improve the way we live now.

The internet has revolutionized the way we learn and do things nowadays. When we don’t understand something, we no longer look for a hardbound encyclopedia or dictionary. We simply connect to the internet and google. There’s a vast information available in the internet, one just has to discern which ones are trash and which ones are helpful or even life-changing.

As I traverse this new path that I’m exploring now, I’m doing so many research that sometimes I feel like I’m seeing the world in a whole new perspective. I felt that the corporate world has limited my learning to become more of “performance-based” rather than becoming an innovator or sharpening the skill I inherently have or pursuing the passion that was always burning in me.

With this new found time out from the corporate world, I feel my brain is working more than ever. With all the time I have, I reliazed that the best resource for entreprenuers is TED GLOBAL. Since I discovered it, it became my daily source of inspiration and ideas. It’s like my classroom and the speakers are my teachers, who more often than not share the same vision I have. Changing the world one day at a time. 🙂

I got too inspired today. I think I spent the whole day watching TED videos. It’s so easy to lose track of time with the way they talk about their passion, their vision and how they successful implemented it and their ideas..whew.. are revolutionary,.. these people are just amazingly smart. I hope to learn from them and become like them.
I was especially inspired by Chris Anderson and Shaffi Mather.

Below are their talks:

TED Talks TED’s Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation — a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. But to tap into its power, organizations will need to embrace radical openness. And for TED, it means the dawn of a whole new chapter …

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TED Talks Shaffi Mather explains why he left his first career to become a social entrepreneur, providing life-saving transportation with his company 1298 for Ambulance. Now, he has a new idea and plans to begin a company to fight the booming business of corruption in public service, eliminating it one bribe at a time.

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Freed Suu Kyi goes back to work

Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi went back to work Monday at her National League for Democracy (NLD) party after being freed over the weekend from seven years under house arrest.

On Sunday, thousands of supporters massed outside the NLD headquarters in Yangon to hear Suu Kyi’s first public speech since her arrest in May 2003, in which she vowed to continue struggling for democracy, reconciliation and human rights.

The 65-year-old Nobel Peace laureate spent 15 of the past 20 years under house arrest.

Her first task will be to make the NLD opposition party a legal entity again, party sources said.

It ceased to exist as a political party in May after refusing to register for the Nov 7 general election, the first held in more than 20 years.

The NLD won the 1990 polls by a landslide, but was blocked from assuming power by the military.

The party leadership decided to boycott the polls to protest the election laws that would have required it to drop Suu Kyi as a member if the NLD sought to contest the polls.

Registration rules prohibited parties from including members who were serving prison terms. Suu Kyi was freed a week after the polls.

“On Thursday we are going to lodge a case to reinstate the NLD as a legal party,” spokesman Nyan Win said.

NLD security guards stopped local journalists from approaching Suu Kyi Monday morning.

Another task Suu Kyi is expected to tackle will be to assess the outcome of the Nov 7 polls, which many Western critics dismissed as a sham.

The Union Solidarity and Development Party, a junta proxy, won an estimated 80 percent of the 1,159 contested seats in the three chambers of parliament.

The party has been accused of tampering with advance ballots, and bribing or intimidating voters.

Suu Kyi said she would wait to read a report on the election compiled by the NLD before commenting on the outcome.

Another junta-friendly party, the National Unity Party, won 63 seats. The pro-democracy National Democratic Force, a breakaway from the NLD, won only 16 seats.

Two parties representing ethnic minorities did reasonably well in their states. The Shan Nationalities Democratic Party secured 57 seats, while the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party won 35.
© Copyright 2010 Hindustan Times

Ching Jorge, vice president of the Bato Balani Foundation: “Youth development and civic awareness are major advocacies I want people to be passionate about.”

Ching Jorge, vice president of the Bato Balani Foundation: “Youth development and civic awareness are major advocacies I want people to be passionate about.”
At 34, Ching Jorge is a re-spected advocate of better education in the Philippines. The outreach programs she attended during her grade-school days in De La Salle Zobel gave Ching early exposure to the state of education in our country. When our bachelorette realized just how far behind public school students are in reading, writing and arithmetic, Ching had to take action. First, she studied and conducted research on the conditions of our educational system, our public libraries and global competitiveness. Then she realized that she had to tweak the social consciousness of businessmen. Knowing that their participation is critical to the success of her endeavors, Ching got a job managing the Center for Corporate Responsibility at the Asian Institute of Management.

That stint gave her the determination to concentrate on her passion, education. Today, Natalie Christine Jorge, a.k.a. Ching, is vice president of the Bato Balani Foundation. She is also the director of the foundation’s programs and research. Ching helps to implement the foundation’s focus on teacher training and nationwide book donation programs. Meeting with members of the Philippine Business for Education provides the thrill that this young lady needs while helping out in feeding programs even when she is on her trips abroad.

Ching with the Asia Society’s 10 young leaders: As part of her volunteer work, Ching organized Young Public Servants to engage young leaders in promoting good govern-ance and democratic citizenship among Filipino youth.

What helps me to conquer fear is to be ready to accept and face any challenge that comes my way. Faith also plays a big role and my belief that things that happen are all part of a bigger plan. To me there is no such thing as problems, only solutions. But of course, I pray every moment I get for the safety of my family.

I believe that life is what you make it. Only you have the capacity to make your dreams and goals a reality. Once you start doing things the right way, everything else follows. Kindness and generosity should always be a priority.

Ching with the Asia Society’s 10 young leaders: As part of her volunteer work, Ching organized Young Public Servants to engage young leaders in promoting good govern-ance and democratic citizenship among Filipino youth.
The last music I bought was Astrud Gilberto. She is my favorite artist and so far I think I have all of her albums.

A memorable place I visited this year was Shanghai, China. I was able to meet with a diverse group of individuals, from Shanghai’s city-planning engineers — who are responsible for transforming Shanghai into the dynamic and vibrant city that it is today — to leaders from Hands On Shanghai who work with migrant children to make sure that they get their right to quality education. I also had a chance to visit the World Expo. One of the major attractions is a giant globe, which shows the impact of population and climate change on the earth.

The souvenirs I choose to bring home are books. No matter how heavy, I still end up buying too much of these. I also like bringing home unique snacks we can’t find back home.

A holiday I remember fondly was a trip to Amanpulo with then CNN Style’s Elsa Klensch. It has almost been 10 years since good friends Richard Tann and Inno Sotto asked if I could free up some time to accompany Elsa Klensch for a vacation to Amanpulo. I, of course, said yes and I had a blast. At that time Style with Elsa Klensch was about to end its 20-year run with CNN.

In my fridge (and bag and drawers) you’ll always find chocolates.

My style icon is my mom, Lulu Virata Jorge. She is the ultimate fashionista and can wear anything with style. Through her I learned that it is critical to develop your own style while keeping an eye out for what is best.

If I wasn’t doing what I do, I’d still find a way to do it. I have always wanted to do non-profit work. I feel that it allows you to reach more people and make a more significant contribution to the community, society and the world.

The grooming basics I am never without are heirloom jewelry, which I need when planning outfits for trips or meetings. Especially when I have to attend programs where I have to represent the country, I always have to look my best.

In school, I learned about the importance of knowledge and service for the common good.

After being in business, I realized that youth development and civic awareness are major advocacies that I want people to be passionate about.

The books I am reading now are Predictably Irrational, Why Our Decisions Don’t Matter, Descartes’ Error and Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning.

By Aurora Diaz-Wilson (The Philippine Star) Updated November 15, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (0)
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One of the few people I admire. 🙂

I admire what these young men are doing. It made me wonder how will I fair if I was doing the same experiment.  They say experience is the best teacher.  And these boys are immersing themselves in the lives of the poor to gain awareness of their living conditions and to see if microfinance is really sustainable.  This is something I’d like to answer myself.

I have been impressed by the idea of Muhammad Yunus on microfinance and have since believed in his advocacy. But it has always intrigued me of what a few of his critics claim that the poor are getting into further debt trap in this kind of system. I can’t help but wonder if those really have a basis or its just a phase that the micro-entrepreneurs will have to go through at first but will eventually grow out from through hardwork.  There might be some truth to this but compare this to the number of people who were helped by this system..  I found more success stories than the negative feedback.  So, I still believe more that empowering poor people who lack access to capital will help them get out of poverty or at least idleness.  As the saying goes “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Giving this people capital to empower them to start a small business, rather than donate them goods, will make them capable of sustaining themselves.  It will give them a sense of purpose and power that THEY CAN lift themselves out of their poverty.   This claim can be further strengthened by experiments like this and can either prove or disprove negative claims.

I have a curious personality.  I always want to try stuff even if other people warned me against it.  I want to know for myself so I try it anyway.  😀 I have all the time now to do this.. now that I have decided to devote my life to helping the poor, the society in any little way i can.. I probably just need 2 or 3 more people. Hmm… and that’s hard, who would want to try to live one dollar a day.  I don’t even know if I can do this.  But what the heck, I want to try it just for the sake of curiosity and adventure. =D This will definitely be in my Bucket list.

TED Talks Jacqueline Novogratz shares stories of how “patient capital” can bring sustainable jobs, goods, services — and dignity — to the world’s poorest.

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TED Talks What do you think of people in poverty? Maybe what Jessica Jackley once did: “they” need “our” help, in the form of a few coins in a jar. The co-founder of talks about how her attitude changed — and how her work with microloans has brought new power to people who live on a few dollars a day.

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