Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Friends in distress," a sequel

Whew! I didn't realize "my friend" is such a persistent person. After I emailed him in mixed Tagalog and English and asked if it was for real, he had the gall to email me back. Thankfully, I already found out that the real Benjie is just in town and so I didn't fall for the "friend" in distress.

Read my "friend's" email below. If I didn't get to contact Benjie's wife, I would have believed the email sender.


Thanks for the mail, I am very happy to read from you now, I am very happy that you are willing to help me out and I promise to pay you back. Please find the hotel manager information you need to send the money through western union below. I will really appreciate any amount you send me.I need this help so much and in time because I am in a terrible and tight situation.

Name: Joshua Reed
Address: Le meridian Hotel, Room 6 Victoria Island
City: Lagos
Zip Code: 23401
Country: Nigeria
Test Question: To who
Test Answer: Raymond

After you have send the money, I need you to send me the western union details such as the Mtcn and Sender's name, May the Good Lord bless you for helping me and I promise to pay you back your money as soon as I return home

Looking forward to read from you.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Warning! Beware of emails from "friends in distress"

I got an SOS email from "my friend" Benjie early this afternoon asking for help because he's stranded in Africa while attending a leadership program on youth, HIV/AIDS, etc. He left his lil bag in the taxi and lost important personal belongings including his wallet and passport. And so he needed to borrow at least $2,000 or else he'd be booted out of his hotel room.

At first glance, I found it strange because knowing Benjie, he would not send such a panicky email. A person of great faith, I know he has more faith in his God than in his friends. Yet, what if it really came from Benjie and as mentioned in the email, he would be turned over to the Hotel Management probably to be locked up somewhere?

Immediately, I replied and asked him to text me if indeed it came from him. I surmised that Benjie would definitely be on roaming because he'd be busy monitoring the preparations for their upcoming seminar. I tried calling him on his mobile just to make sure and if indeed it was true, I could quickly mobilize other friends to help him. When he didn't answer his phone, I thought he'd probably be in Africa after all. To be sure, I called our common friend Ammi and asked if she was aware Benjie left the country.

She said no and suggested I try calling Benjie's wife Hazel. I called their land line but it was on answering machine mode. I left a message. After a few minutes, I called again. Thankfully, Hazel answered the line. By this time, she had already read my email to Benjie. She was also concerned about it. What if their friends who got the same email fell for it? It was not unlikely considering that Benjie and Hazel are doing ministry work and they do have supporters.

Moral lesson #1: Talk to your friend first before sending help. Surely, you know your friend's voice.

Moral lesson #2: Always look-out for telltale signs. Somehow, you know your friend's personality, writing style, and maybe, even activities.

Moral lesson #3. Verify with others. Always check with common friends, relatives or people who know your friend in distress. They may give you a clue on your friend's whereabouts.

Moral lesson #4. Be wary if "your friend" asks you to send money to another person with the excuse that he can't withdraw from his bank account in the country where he's standed.

In this day and age, even scammers can be techie.

Bearers of good news

Fellowship of Christians in Media. (L-R) Kata Inocencio (CBN Asia), Allen Macasaet (Abante), moi, Pastor Ferdie Cabiling (VCF Galleria Senior Pastor), Alex Tinsay (GMA 7), John Consulta (GMA 7), Nona (IFP), Gerry Lirio (Inquirer), Baby Lynn Cacho (FEBC), Carlo Lorenzo (GMA 7) Dody Lacuna (RPN 9), Pastor Rey (VCF Missionary) and Al Pedroche (Ang Pilipino Star Ngayon).

What is the role of Christians in the media? With all the negative things going on in our country, where should the Christian journalist/broadcaster place him or herself? Do you report a bad news even if it comes in conflict with what you believe in? Or do you report a "good" news even if you know it doesn't have editorial value anymore? (like, there's nothing really new being said.) Do you accept that "love gift" even if the intention of the giver is not really "out of love"?

Being in the media can be difficult. Yet, it can be fulfilling. A privilege, to some extent. It can be an opportunity to be a tool for change for the greater good. Standing tall at all times can be a feat that is too good to be true. Like in any other job, there are ups and there are downs.

But being with like-minded people can definitely make the load much lighter. When you share each others burdens, bear with each other, pray for each other and of course, cry and laugh with each other, challenges become easier to hurdle. You become stronger to stand up for what is right at all times because you know you are not alone.

With this in mind, we have started an informal gathering of Christians in media. No religious stuff. Just followers of Jesus (born again, Catholics, protestants) who want to banner righteousness not necessarily by quoting verses from the Bible but really, by walking the talk.

Media plays a very crucial role in our society. We know how powerful media is. But as SpiderMan says (thanks to John Consulta for the reminder) -- With great power comes great responsibility.

And so let this blog be a trumpet call to all media practitioners out there -- if you are looking for like-minded people, feel free to join us every Saturday 8am to 12nn. Place of "fellowship" may vary so please PM me.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Another sad for the Philippines

(Photo grabbed from GMANews.TV)

By now I'm sure everyone knows about the bombing in Glorietta. Today had been such a toxic day and if not for the text from my hubby, I would have been sitting in my computer all afternoon clueless of the goings on. Soon after I got the text, I switched the channel from Cartoon Network (where Ben & Star where hooked since lunch) to ANC. True enough, there it was in the news.

Immediately, Ben, Star and I huddled together to pray for sobriety and God's order to take control in our nation.

Sad day indeed. According to the news, 8 people already died and over 70 other wounded, some of them critically. It's so difficult to explain to the children what is happening in our country. Why is it that everytime a controversy hounds some "big house" out there, something like this happens.

Suddenly, I remember the Rizal Day bombing in 2000 when former President Estrada was in the midst of being impeached, "terrorists" bombed the LRT. How convenient for some people to ruthlessly kill innocent civilians by planting bombs in public areas.

I am still shocked. I pray that God's justice will flow like a river and may He judge those behind the murders.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Let's support this 'boy' from Bicol

Hi friends, church mates, and relatives...pass this to everyone. But read it first.

I was amazed when a young man asked Genesis to represent him last year. He was a huge soap opera star and film actor. Why on earth did he need an independent manager like us? He said that he wanted to go back to his first I was shocked when he presented an album be produced with 14 songs that he wrote himself in an album entitled LOOSE FIT...with the help of some members of a band he called JEANS. I was more shocked when he presented a couple of videos he directed himself and financed as well!

Then.....I was even more amazed when I found out that he used to be very poor before...selling fish in the market with the goods coming from Lucena, riding jeeps, taking trips to Smokey Mountain with friends to look for goodies and even going way back...walking two kilometers to school in Bicol from his home and back. Then he said...but he had to walk 4 more kilometers more when he had no two pesos (P2) for his lunch. He would walk home 2 kilometers more for lunch and walk another two to go back to school. He also said he walked so many kilometers in the rain when he auditioned for a declamation contest. And because of the rain, he lost his slippers and ended up walking It reminded me of another icon we represent..Jojo Lastimosa, who never had shoes as a child and also used to make his own toys in Cagayan De Oro..... but ended up endorsing FILA shoes.....and what about Gary who only had 5 shirts and 2 pairs of pants and 3 pairs of shoes when I met him because his house burned...and now he has 20 closets of clothes!!!! And maybe 200 pairs of shoes!

Meantime, this Bicolano went to Manila and started selling fish in Marikina. (A friend told me his sister is so proud to say she bought fish from this celebrity many years ago because he had a stall there and she could not forget his handsome face!) A talent scout encouraged him to join a contest in Eat Bulaga 10 years ago and he became...”Mr. Pogi!!!!!”

This man is Jericho Rosales.

Or simply Echo to those who love him in the entertainment industry. A true artist. And who we..the Valenciano and GENESIS family a musical genius. (I will never forget the stunned faces of Gary and our son Gabriel when they found out he wrote all the songs in album we were listening to on the way to the beach. Gab said, “WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!! He wrote those songs?????”)

Meantime, many in the media lambasted him, made fun of him and said he was stupid. They criticized him. They laughed at him and insulted his decision, called him “laos” and a “has-been.” And they did not lift a finger to encourage him. So he walked a lonely road...less traveled...and performed in music bars and joints to develop his craft for ten months..turning down 7 soap opera offers worth millions of pesos. A man, a breadwinner... who could earn P150,000 for three songs in what others call “rackets” and earn 7-figure amounts for his endorsements....would work for two hours for P3,000-P15,000. Because he loved music.

My husband Gary and I believe that Echo has what it takes to make it as a huge multi-media star including becoming a major musical performer. We laughed with him, prayed, and cried with him. It was an unbelievable journey. But then we recognized that he was ready.

So we decided to help him with his 10th anniversary and nudged him to accept the musical soap opera, “PANGARAP NA BITUIN,” his comeback on primetime and....his first major concert entitled “Raw Energy” at the Music Museum this week on October 18 and 19 for the benefit of the BICOL Scholarship Fund of the Shining Light Foundation. He and a man he calls “Chief,” Gary...are both Bicolanos who have decided to put together this concert to raise funds for their fellow Bicolanos and celebrate 10 years of blessings for Echo. Our son Gabriel agreed to support the project. Donita Rose said she’s in. His fellow Hunk Carlos Agassi or “Amir” likewise said he would love to do it. Gary agreed to co-direct it and has even composed the opening musical bed for the videos. Director Paul Soriano agreed to produce the videos needed for the concert. Jun Antolin will do lighting while Soundcheck with Rards Corpuz and Boyet Toquero will man the sound system.

Silvermoon and GV Productions Inc in cooperation with Manila Genesis Entertainment and Management, Inc. ABS-CBN, his ASAP family, MYX, Manila Bulletin, Penshoppe, Gold’s Gym, the BELO Medical Group, Goldilock’s, Walker, Pepsi, Traffic, DECs Plaza, Yupangco Music Corporation, our Radio Partners...the Quest Group, WRR, DZMM, Wrock, RX93, EMI Music, and many more are joining hands to support this wonderful project.

Would you like to be part of musical history as we witness the emergence of an exciting new concert performer, an under-rated musical genius who just happens to have also received two BEST ACTOR awards this year for his portrayal of the Champ...Pacquiao.?!

Whether it be in purchasing tickets, sponsoring or promoting the event. Or just simply whispering a prayer for us....take part in a great musical experience.

Let me know if you want to help and be a part of something very, very special.

I saw it in Gary on January 23,1983 when I watched him for the first time. So raw. But so energetic. I couldn’t sleep that night. I have waited long ...for someone to excite the concert scene. We believe we have found someone. Yes....still a bit raw...but his talent, his passion, his courage, his heart and soul and love for his craft will see him through. And guess what...he loves Jesus with all his heart...which is really the most important thing.

Be part of music history. Join us this week. :)

God is good. To Him be all glory.

Much love,

Angeli Pangilinan-Valenciano

P.S. Call 7214406 if you want to support this project....Buy tickets! P1500, P1200, P1000, P800, P600

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A man after God's own heart leads the judiciary

Despite the rains last Sunday, multitudes of believers (estimated between 200,000-300,000) filled Luneta Park last Sunday for JILs 29th anniversary celebration.

As a loyal volunteer of Bangon Pilipinas since 2004, I'm always present in major JIL activities to help out. Though I missed Sunday service in our church, I was so blessed to witness personally a historic event in our nation.

Two major things happened last Sunday. One, for the first time in Philippine church's recent history, the Catholic Church (with no less than CBCP president Archbishop Angel Lagdameo) declared unity with evangelicals in the quest for national transformation. I can almost hear the angels in heaven singing glory to the King. I explained to some reporters that it was a milestone because Christians have always been fragmented. Evangelicals don't call Catholics Christians. And Catholics seem to be allergic to "Christians" even though all of those who believe in and follow Jesus are suppose to be Christians. I'm sure God was pleased with the declaration of unity between the leaders of our Church.

The second major event last Sunday was the prayer of Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno for and in behalf of the judiciary. It was virtually a prayer of repentance for the judiciary, and at the same time, dedication of our nation's judicial system to the One True Judge. Wow! God is truly working in our nation. (Check out this link: Chief Justice makes humbling mea culpa for judiciary's "failures")

God make all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. This is true even for our nation's affairs. Sometimes, we get so tired with all the scandals implicating no less than the president's husband. But come to think of it, isn't it that it's also God who exposes what's done in secret?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Check this out -- 1st Pediatric Eye Clinic in a mall opens at TriNoma

Now busy moms like me won't have any reason to delay the kids' trip to the ophthalmologist/optometrist. Renowned ophthalmologist/optometrist couple Jade and Cynthia del Mundo has opened a new clinic at TriNoma, conveniently located at the second floor MRT entrance. So, you can now have consultations with the country's best ophtha/optometrist in between mall time with the family.

Incidentally, Del Mundo Pediatric & Adult Eye Clinic is the country's first Orthoptic Center. Orthoptics is a relatively new and specific field in eye care that is concerned with the diagnosis and management of double vision, misaligned eyes and the visual problems that result from them. In medical parlance "Orth" means to straighten. So that, Orthoptics is to the eye as Orthopedics is to the bones. In layman's terms, therefore, Orthoptics is the field that specializes in straightening of the eyes. (Read: cross-eyed, etc.)

All our three kids are patients of the Del Mundo Eye Clinic in St. Lukes. We're so glad that we can now bring them to Del Mundo anytime of the week, and even in between malling. At least we don't have to wait for the MWFS sched at the St. Lukes clinic.

The Del Mundos are two of my most-admired specialists. Aside from being godly, they are tops in relating with patients. While most doctors breeze through consultations (as in, parang dinaanan ka lang ng hangin), at Del Mundo they take time explaining to patients their conditions. It's specially good for children because they get 'processed'.

I'm so happy with the development of my kids. All three of them started wearing eye glasses at very young ages (5 to 7 yrs old). Doc Cynthia said eye problems can also be hereditary. Meaning, if you or your husband have eye problems, most likely your kids will also have. Both me and my hubby started wearing eyeglasses at young age (me, grade school). Ergo, all three of our kids inherited the problem.

Interestingly, they have different cases. Ben had astigmatism. Sofia has "accommodation" problem (which means, her eyes can't focus images beyond certain a distance. I'll blog more about this in the future.) Star, on the other hand, has eyes like that of old people. Weird. She's far-sighted and has a grade much higher than mine. Thankfully, Ben and Sofia are now off the eyeglasses although Sofie has to wear "flippers" to address her focus problem.

I learned all these eye chuva from Doc Cynthia. She's so nice to accommodate all my questions. Check out Del Mundo Pediatric Eye Clinic at the 2nd floor of TriNoma. They have free refraction for the first 100 patients. They're also giving big discounts on eye wears.