Bearers of Hope

“2020 was a tough year but I am still grateful for its gifts. 2021 will be a better year.“ In my Saturday column, I quoted Pope Francis saying that thanksgiving was a hallmark of an authentic Christian life: “Above all, let us not forget to thank: If we are bearers of gratitude, the world itself …

A Pandemic Year

“We need to inoculate ourselves with a generous dose of hope in humanity and faith in the Creator.” Throughout human history, there have been many calamitous events that have seen a multitude of deaths and widespread destruction. These may be caused by a variety of causes such as cataclysmic natural phenomena, armed conflict, or some …

Christmas 1942 and 2020

This is the promise of Christmas. War ends. Injustice is not forever. Love wins. Our experience with today’s pandemic can best be compared to the experience of our parents and/or our grandparents when World War 2 came to our islands in December 1942. That was when the Japanese invaded our islands. Fr Roque Ferriols SJ, in …

Heroic Acts, Then and Now

Yesterday, being Bonifacio Day in the Philippines, I reflected on what it means to be a hero in the past and in our times. Philosophers from the early Greek thinkers to modern philosophers like Hegel and existentialists like Camus certainly had different views on what acts and what qualities make people heroes. Kenda Cherry, in her article The Characteristics of …

An Exciting Time for Social Entrepreneurs

In my previous article, I talked about Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, a global organization that has built the first and largest network of social entrepreneurs and innovators tackling complex problems and changing broken systems. Through its Fellowship, it has recognized and supported close to 4,000 of these social entrepreneurs and innovators in over 90 …

Welcoming the new Ashoka Fellows

Co-authored with Jose Luis Pablo. The following is Part 2 of a two-part series. You can read Part 1 here. In Part 1 of this article, we introduced the Ashoka Fellowship and the 9 previously inducted Fellows in the Philippines who are transforming systems in society to solve complex problems.  But what does it take to …

We Need Changemakers More Than Ever

Co-Authored with Jose Luis Pablo. The following is Part 1 of a two-part series. You can read Part 2 here. In human history, inequality has created borders between marginalized people and basic human rights, opportunities, and agency over their own lives. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has amplified these existing inequalities while putting up new barriers. Community …

Ayala Foundation and the Pandemic

Co-Authored with Jayvy Gamboa. ‘Institutions, may they be public or private, for profit or non-profit, last not merely because of their funding sources or effective management, but because of their advocacies’ relevance and their ability to withstand tests of fate’ This is Part 2 of a two-part series. You can read Part 1 here. The coronavirus …

Corporate Social Responsibility in a Pandemic

Co-Authored with Jayvy Gamboa This is Part 1 of a two-part series. You can read Part 2 here. With this two-part article on the Ayala Foundation, we start a series on how Philippine business, and in particular the philanthropic foundations established by companies, are helping society to adapt and address the impacts of the pandemic. Oftentimes, …

Ninety Years of a Mindanao Life

My mother Lourdes Maestrado La Viña, Inday to all her friends, lived for ninety years and two hundred eighteen days. On October 4, 2020, on the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, she passed to eternal life.  She succumbed to complications from pneumonia even as she tested negative for COVID-19. Mom’s life was rooted in …