Apec 2015 more than ‘apec’ on the cheek | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Your mantra for the week: “For everything in my life, I give thanks.”


I am often asked why we meet many people in our lives that seem accidental and have no purpose. But they do have a purpose, no matter how brief the encounter is. Each person who crosses our path is there as a potential channel of our good, by giving us the opportunity to pass on an act of kindness and trusting that the recipient will pass it on to someone else—creating a ripple effect of kindness.


I have made a list of 10 points to consider in passing on an act of kindness:


1) Giving a sincere apology, when we realize that we had hurt someone, wittingly or unwittingly. Many people refuse to apologize by having an excuse that they did not mean to be unkind. However, the kind thing to do is still to apologize and explain why the unpleasant incident occurred.


2) A heartfelt forgiveness, which is not only an act of kindness for someone else but also for the one giving it, because it frees one from the possibility of harboring a resentment which, ultimately, results in some form of illness. Remember that is why Jesus said, “We must forgive seventy times seven.” He was fully aware how difficult it is to forgive. But, forgive we must, if we are to live healthy and happy lives.


3) Unqualified praising of one’s self and others. You may be asking why include one’s self, and the answer is, we have been so down on ourselves with regards to our worthiness by believing we are sinners or evil— when sinning only means we have “missed the mark.” Thus, it has become absolutely necessary to praise ourselves in order to raise our consciousness to the level where we can love and accept ourselves the way we are— so we can really love others. Then we will find it much easier to praise, encourage and uplift others.


4) Sharing a blessing like the good news, a sumptuous meal, a gift for no occasion, an empowering message, letter of sympathy, a bouquet of flowers, etc. All these contribute to our building a generous heart, which attracts riches in all forms.


5) Earnest gratitude for the small and great blessings in our lives. (On Nov. 26, it is Thanksgiving Day in many parts of the world.) From thanking your toilet, your bed, your car, to the most important things in your life like your perfectly healthy body, your harmonious, fulfilled relationships, your ever-increasing wealth and material possessions, and your many successes in your profession or your business. Everything that has blessed you, you must bless back, including the so-called challenges that you may face because it is simply “bad” karma paid. That’s why the biblical reminder which has inspired our mantra for the week is, “In every thing, give thanks.”


Next week I will share with you five other acts of kindness.


Thanksgiving serenade


And speaking of thanksgiving, the Makati Garden Club is celebrating the occasion by serving a special lunch and dinner menu designed by chef Robert Lilja. In addition, the evening festivities will feature tenor Miguel Castro —dubbed the king of modern kundiman—who will serenade guests not only with Tagalog classics but also “People,” “Smile,” among others.


He will be accompanied by the Sarazas on the violin and keyboards.


Contact 5527051; limited seating only.


Investment grade


From the original 12 members of Apec in 1989 to the first time the Philippines hosted it in 1996 with 18 countries in attendance, it is now an organization of 21 countries.


In 1996, during Fidel V. Ramos’ presidency, the designated place for the Apec summit was Subic Bay, Zambales, presumably for security purposes.


We were, at that time, still recovering from 15 years of martial rule which bankrupted the country despite the Marcos regime’s so-called achievements of having built the greatest number of infrastructures.


Naturally, that administration never bothered to mention the astronomical costs of the projects due to the unprecedented graft and corruption that was going on through cronyism.


Today, the Philippines has been elevated to investment grade by the Big 3 credit rating agencies—thanks to P-Noy’s administration for making his father Ninoy’s dream come true.


Unwittingly, it was Ninoy’s martyrdom that would trigger the change he sought upon his return from exile.


Like a family reunion


This year’s Apec summit could be likened to a family reunion where one is exposed face-to-face with every member of the family—and a handshake, a heartwarming greeting of welcome and even “apec” on the cheek can be so powerful it can reverse strained relations and iron out misunderstandings and go as far as building strong alliances for the good of all concerned.


China President Xi Jinping’s attendance alone is an act of goodwill that could pave the way for a harmonious agreement or settlement of the West Philippine Sea territorial dispute.


On a hilarious Apec note, Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes sounded disappointed when he said, “I was looking forward to come to the Philippines and experience the reputedly worst traffic in the world. But where did it go?”


E-mail the columnist: [email protected]; visit georgesison.com