Your mantra for the week: “God is expressing through me now in whatever concerns me.”
In the last two weeks, I have been discussing the practice of improving the capacity to love ourselves. This week is about expanding our potential to love others more:
1) Patience expands the ability to look beyond appearances, thus, opening the door for greater understanding.
2) Understanding leads to a greater willingness to forgive, which eliminates strong negative emotions like anger and resentment.
3) Enrich others with your experiences without preaching.
4) Allow others to express their opinions without judgment.
5) Optimism has beneficial effects on relationships.
6) Create happy relationships through attention, appreciation and assumptions. Attention is a component of caring and concern. Appreciation is probably the best way to enhance relationships. Assumptions are usually negative and have led to broken relationships. The vernacular, “Akala ko kasi,” says it all.
7) Recognize that honesty is the best approach to any loving relationship—an open heart is a happy heart.
Tito Chef cooks for Mel Meer
Last Sept. 10, Mel Meer of Bergamo hosted 10 close friends in his luxuriously decorated home at Dasmariñas Village with a splendid birthday menu prepared by New York-trained chef Jose Gimenez—aka Tito Chef, also the name of his restaurant in Sucat, Parañaque.
Meer is busy these days preparing for a fashion show in October, and decorating another of his “acquired” (leased to rent out) condo at Pacific Plaza in Makati, aside from another on H.V. dela Costa Street and heaven knows where else.
Tito Chef prepared a seven-course dinner which included Lobster Bisque, a choice of Roasted Lamb Chop Provencale or Pan-Roasted Chilean Seabass and Lemon Tart Sabayon.
Meer’s table was nothing short of spectacular, with orchids, fruits, plants, driftwood and whatever else you can imagine without getting in the way of the lovely and congenial dinner conversation.
Everyone was looking forward to living as long as the late Sen. John McCain’s mother, Roberta McCain, who is 106 years old.
But Meer said, “I will settle for 95.”
Our own 9/11 tragedy
Today is the midway between the dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ birthday (Sept. 11) and his declaration of martial law (Sept. 21)—one of the darkest days in Philippine history because the enemy was not a foreign power but an ambitious, greedy and kleptocratic Filipino who almost ran the country to the ground.
Like I said, if America has its 9/11 that resulted in 2,996 lives lost, nothing can compare to the tragedy of our own 9/11—the birth of Marcos.
His 14-year martial law rule was marked by 3,257 known extrajudicial killings, 35,000 documented tortures, 77 disappearances and 70,000 incarcerations.
My last week’s column moved a former executive staff of the Philippine National Bank (PNB) to write me: “Hi, George, what you wrote about the Marcoses was so true! Everybody in the various financial institutions knew how the Marcoses used PNB as their foreign currency piggy bank.
“The bank had to write off several floats effected by their foreign correspondent banks that were an offshoot of Marcos’ issuance of demand drafts by PNB. In short, these were paid from taxes of the Filipino people.
“How I wish that there would be an everyday column describing the various tactics used by the Marcoses in looting the country, so that others will know what really happened…”
Not an oligarch family
Another reader, Mr. Leonzo, asked: “What happened in the years when the nation was under martial rule? You were arrested, too. Good thing you did not go up the mountains. You said you got paid by the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board. I hope others got paid, too. And now you are a contributing writer for a newspaper owned by an oligarch family… This is a whirlpool of a twirl…”
Mr. Leonzo, first I wish I had gone to the mountains when martial law was imposed, because the gilid-gilid “toilets” there would have been more sanitary than those at Crame.
Second, yes, I was among 11,103 out of 75,749 human rights victims of martial law who have been paid.
Third, I will explain the beginnings of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Its first issue was on Dec. 9, 1985. But then I believe it really began on Aug. 21, 1983, when Ninoy Aquino was assassinated.
Eugenia “Eggie” Apostol was Inquirer founding chair. But at the time of Aquino’s death, she was publisher of Mr. & Ms magazine, which came out with a 16-page special report on Aquino’s funeral.
On Sept. 2, 1983, Apostol launched Mr. & Ms Special Edition with Letty Jimenez Magsanoc as editor. The public response was a circulation that reached half a million, a phenomenon at the time.
As for the “oligarch family” you are referring to, don’t believe what the “dictator” claims. Success in business does not make an “oligarch family.”
E-mail the author at [email protected]; catch him live in his lectures on IAMISM every Sunday, 7 p.m., on his Facebook page