Pen Strokes

January 1, 2011

Raju Mandhyan’s “The Power of Desire, Selflessness & True Belief”

Raju Mandhyan giving a speech at the BEST Workshop

I got one of my best Christmas gifts early this year and it came in the form of an article by my friend, Raju Mandhyan; and yes, the article was about me (and my public workshop, B.E.S.T.). So, I asked Raju if I could recopy his article for this blog.

You guys might be thinking that I’m just doing this because Raju wrote about me, right? Well… yes; however, there’s another reason. The lessons he points out in this article are truly valuable. Besides, I found it gratifying that I could actually impact others the way I had apparently impacted Raju. And, since I hold Raju in very high regard, that gratification I felt was indeed boundless!

Okay! Enough talk for me. Enjoy the article… (more…)

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May 7, 2010

Jay Gatchalian’s “The REAL Dick Gordon”

Last May 1, I read a commentary in the Philippine Daily Inquirer entitled, “People call me Dick” by Patricia Evangelista. In her commentary, Patricia said the she “won’t vote for Richard Gordon because he is Richard Gordon.”  Frankly, I find this statement – along with her entire article – more subjective than objective.

I wanted to write a response to Patricia’s commentary, but I couldn’t find the time. Then, just a few hours ago, I came across a “note” on Facebook from a certain Jay Gatchalian responding to Patricia Evangelista’s commentary.

At first, I thought that it would just be a bitter response by a Gordon supporter to the commentary; but as I read through the “Facebook note,” I actually found it very inspiring. So, I asked permission from Mr. Gatchalian if I could re-publish his note in this blog, and he agreed. This is a “must read” folks!

Jay, thanks for letting me re-publish your message…

The REAL Dick Gordon – A response to Patricia Evangelista’s “People call me Dick” – by Jay Gatchalian

Richard "Dick" Gordon

Patricia Evangelista spoke her mind and revealed her personal dislike for Dick Gordon. She’s entitled to voice her opinion. Dick Gordon is not her cup of tea. That’s fine, it’s a free universe. I’m sure there are people who share her disdain for the Man Who Would be President. You are entitled to your thoughts.

Now let me share mine. First, for the sake of public disclosure, let me say that I was a former volunteer and assistant to Senator Gordon during his days at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). I first met him as a college student at a presentation at the George Washington University in Washington DC back in 1997. I was curious to see what he and his team created in Subic and Olongapo. He asked me if I wanted to help my country and I said yes. Good! he said, come out to Subic, volunteer and we’ll get to work. That being said let me share my thoughts and impressions of my former boss and his persona/temperament to lead a country of millions of Filipinos. (more…)

June 1, 2009

Losing it, Learning from it, Loving it!

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Me, giving my contest speech

My views of the 2009 District 75 Annual Convention

I left for Davao with high hopes of winning the International Speech Competition; but I came back empty-handed… I lost… and had a great time losing! That’s right; I didn’t even “place” in the International Speech Contest, but I had a blast! So how could I have had a great time?

Well, before I give you my thoughts on the contest, I’d, first, like to tip my hat to the DISCON organizers for a job well done! Not only did they come up with a fantastic event, they also helped arrange tours for us to enjoy the wonders of Davao. This was very considerate of them. One of the reasons we hold events in different places is for us to discover the beauty of that place; and our organizers were gracious enough to realize this. Not only that; all the contests were spectacular! They lived up to the hype and much more! The Youth contest, Table Topics, Humorous and the International Speech contest were amazing! This was the best series of speech contests I have ever witnessed. (more…)

November 7, 2008

Through My Father’s Eyes

My Mom and Dad with my youngest daughter.

My Mom and Dad with my youngest daughter.

I think that I was just 9 years old when I first saw it… A handwritten sign taped to the upper right-hand side of my Dad’s medicine cabinet mirror. I remember just two words from that sign… “Discipline” and “Dream”…

I didn’t really pay that much attention to that sign since, at age 9, you don’t really pay much attention to those stuff. But, for some reason, the words, “Discipline” and “Dream”, stuck to me. It wouldn’t be until I was much older that those words would have a clear meaning to me and help me to understand the man behind the legend… that was my Father…

He was born Nunilon M. San Agustin in the shanties of Ilo-ilo City (Southern Philippines). But his Father, my Grandfather, gave him the name “Nene”, which meant “little girl”, because, as a toddler, he would often cry for even the flimsiest of reasons.

My Dad was also smaller than most boys his age.  The fact that he was small and that he was named “Nene” made all the other boys in his neighborhood pick on him… That would be the biggest mistake of their young lives.  For, you see, though my Dad was viewed as a “little runt”, he was one TOUGH LITTLE RUNT! (more…)

Why I became a Fan of Geneva Cruz…

This will shock most of you…

Those who know me, know that I’ve never been a fan of Actors or Actresses, Foreign or Local.  But recently, I came across a note on Facebook that gave me a different perspective of a certain Singer-Actress. Her name? Geneva Cruz-Miller! The perspective? A very human and humble perspective! It takes a strong yet humble person to write this note. Maybe you should read the note and and judge for yourself (By the way, I got permission from Geneva to post it here)…

Geneva and Family... and don't tell me you don't know her husband!

Geneva and Family... and don't tell me you don't recognize KC!

A letter to my fellow Filipinos

Facebook Note – Friday, October 3, 2008 at 6:53am
by: Geneva Cruz-Miller

“I WANNA LEARN TO BEAR THE ACCIDENTS OF LIFE WITH DIGNITY AND GRACE, MAKING THE BEST OF MY CIRCUMSTANCES, LIKE A SKILLFUL SOLDIER WHO HAS GONE TO WAR AND BACK IN THE ARMS OF HIS LOVED ONES.”

I must admit that I’ve made some wrong choices in life. I’ve forgotten who I really was for a long time- I was confused, distracted by the trials and changes in my personal life, but most importantly, I have forgotten to take good care of my voice.

I would like to apologize for my mistakes, my wrong doings- the foolish words that I might have said on T.V. and radio in the past and how I acted in public at times when I was at my most vulnerable phase in life, and for being confused and for temporarily forgetting who I really was.

I would also like to thank my followers as well as my critics for opening my eyes to what was really going on with me as an artist, the problems were staring right at my face but I was too blind to see. I truly am sorry. (more…)

November 4, 2008

Preparing a Powerhouse Speech…

8c44As Toastmasters, giving speeches is inevitable; which means that learning to prepare your speech is a crucial skill to have. However, I believe that PREPARING SPEECHES is not just a Toastmasters’ skill… it is a Life-skill. It helps us hone other skills like… for instance… WRITING… which is a handy skill to have in everyday life. It also encourages us to READ… especially if our speech is technical in nature or requires research. And… a well prepared speech builds our SELF-CONFIDENCE… and isn’t self-confidence the main ingredient in LEADERSHIP?

In my case, I not only prepare speeches for Toastmasters’ meetings or contests; I also prepare speeches for a living. Allow me to share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned when preparing speeches. I certainly hope that what I share will help you in Life… and also in Toastmasters! (more…)

November 2, 2008

What I LEARNED as a Contestant in District 75’s MidCon 2008…

Maayong Aga sa inyong tanan!

Let me dive straight into it…

The District 75 Mid-Year Conference was a blast! Sure there were some hiccups (like any event, there will always be hiccups); but, generally, the entire event was a rousing success! It was well prepared and the pomp and pageantry was simply awesome! Congratulations to Division D for an outstanding job!

I’m really glad I got to attend this occasion. Actually, I almost wasn’t able to make it to Bacolod had it not been for your (Toasties) support and the support of the Division B Officers and Area Governors. For this I present my most heart-felt “Thank You”!

Sad to say, however, that the only trophy I was able to take home was the 1st Runner-Up Trophy for the Singing Contest (By the way, the trophies are beautiful). Initially, I was disappointed with this… and because I am a proud person, I would blame the judges for what I viewed as their “incompetence” in judging… but truth be told… I probably won only in my own mind! I forgot the cardinal rule before giving a speech (or a performance)… CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE (or in this case, consider who your judges will be) so that you may be able to prepare the appropriate speech for the event!

(more…)

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