This is the day of the Lord’s resurrection. Rejoice and be glad, happy Easter!
Easter is the greatest day in Christian history, for it is the day Jesus Christ, the beloved son of the Father, rose from the dead and brought the gift of forgiveness and eternal life to all who would like to receive it.
It is interesting to think of Christ’s victory over sin and death in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Easter reminds us that there will be rebirth. We just have to have faith, and do our share by keeping safe and staying home. And of course, for those at the front lines, to continue to help in the best way they can.
With lots of extra time while on community quarantine, I have been able to check all my photos of past events. Looking at photos from April 2019, it was wonderful to reminisce about our trip to Balesin with close friends, and my memorable trip to Fiji as the “plus one” of my soul sister Vina Francisco, Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) principal HR specialist.
The Philippines is ADB’s host country, which makes Vina a member of the ADB “family.” That sense of family is felt in how ADB is innovating and working fast to deliver bridging assistance to the country. After the first grant of $3 million for medical equipment and healthcare services, ADB committed an additional $5 million for the Bayan Bayanihan emergency food program led by Ramesh Subramanian, director general for Southeast Asia, and his team. The ADB does not usually work on food aid, but it started to in the Philippines.
On March 31 and April 4, with the help of private sector resources and the Philippine Army, ADB distributed rice, canned goods and other supplies to 6,600 households in Metro Manila. About 140,000 of the most vulnerable households in the city and nearby provinces will benefit from this ongoing initiative. ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa himself assisted in the food distribution in the Pinagsama neighborhood in Taguig.
ADB staff and staff networks are also working together to raise additional funds for the Bayan Bayanihan project. Asakawa assumed the ADB leadership only three months ago, yet he is already making a difference by leading the battle against new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Asia Pacific region. I haven’t met him yet, but he seems like a kind and brave soul to me!
LCC’s 75th anniversary
Last February, I attended the thanksgiving gala dinner for the 75th anniversary of the LCC Group of Companies.
Established in 1945 by businessman Tan Chu Lim and his wife Tan Sy Sa, LCC started as a small store called Liberty Bazaar in Tabaco City, Albay. From its roots, LCC has now grown to over 90 stores, establishing its retail leadership through its operations of department stores, supermarkets, food outlets and malls. The group provides employment and business opportunities in the communities it serves across 50 cities and municipalities in the Bicol region.
Today, as LCC celebrates its diamond year, the company has been providing relief goods and support to Bicolanos during this pandemic, and will continue the group’s promise of “Our Best For You!” when all returns to normal.
‘Dominic Rubio Mondial’
Last March, Filipino artist Dominic Rubio held a one-man art exhibit marking his 25 years in the field. Held at the Rigodon Ballroom of The Peninsula Manila, “Dominic Rubio Mondial” underscored his life-long love for the arts. Jack Teotico, Galerie Joaquin’s managing director, gave the opening remarks. Rubio’s famous Filipiniana aesthetic was the backdrop of the event. Maya Rubio, the artist’s daughter, showcased two Filipiniana designs inspired by her father’s paintings.
Galerie Joaquin, the exhibition organizer, played a key role in launching Rubio’s career. Through the years, the gallery has been a supporter of his neo-genre visual art. One of their collaborative highlights was a soldout opening exhibition in Singapore in December 2006. Rubio continues to be a favorite among major collectors in Asia, United States and Canada.
Three themes were dominant in the artist’s “Mondial” exhibition: old Manila, depicting the architecture of old churches and plazas, and traditional garments like the terno and camisa recognizable from this period; Filipino-Chinese ancestry showcasing the Chinoy culture that shaped the Filipinos’ customs and traditions; and Plantation Life reflecting the local folks’ core values of hard work and perseverance. All of the themes explore the principles of family relationships, filial piety and establishing connections.
The exhibit was the last time I saw our dear friends Bob Miller and Ito Curata, life partners who both passed away from COVID-19. Our condolences to their family. Condolences, too, to our Assumption family for the loss of our former AAA head Baby Herrera. Life is indeed so short and precious. Make every day count!
This Easter weekend marks the second month of our first grandson, Louie Malachi Crespo Prieto. Louie is our Easter blessing and we are ever so grateful for the family time we can enjoy during quarantine.
May the true joy of Easter shine on your life as we pray for our healing world! As Pope Francis said at his Palm Sunday Mass at the Vatican, “Life is measured by love. A love that is helpful and kind to others.” Get well soon, human race!