Global Warming

October 8th, 2007 · No Comments

The 5th Global Filipino Network Convention held last month was a success! It surprised and exceeded the expectations of the organizers themselves. Judging by the comments from the speakers, delegates and dignitaries, it was a coup and everyone is happy.  Despite the inevitable hiccups, all went well – with a bank balance in the black to boot.

As one delegate put it, “Considering that it was run by volunteers, it was excellent.”  Ms. Loida Nicolas-Lewis acclaimed some of the work that had been done as “having raised the bar.”  But of course, there was much more that could have been done given the time-frame and resources available and if only there were less gas emissions from the charlatans.  Mr. Diaz was even unsure whether to classify himself as one of the organizers. First he denied having had anything to do with the program but when reminded that his photo was in the souvenir program, he quickly retorted  “linagay lang nila” (they only put my photo in).

Three letters changed the course of the event – G_M_A!!  The confirmation of a special audience with the President Arroyo at Four Seasons Hotel pulled in attendees at the last minute and bus riders who went for the ride.

The convention kicked off in high gear with the Business Matching, dipped at the official opening, then gathered momentum throughout the day, reaching a climax at the Gala evening but closed with a whimper with the all too familiar, song and dance routines.  The key note speakers got rave reviews: Mr. Macabenta’s session on “The Impossible Dream” was most sought after and uplifting; Ambassador Chua and Mr. Murillo’s session was ‘cashingly’ engaging; Atty. Argel’s was informative; Ms. Lewis was enlightening; Dr. Dans was entertaining and energizing; Dr. Juanta’s was sensibly wise; Gen. Aglipay’s was comforting; and the youth session was an eye-opener.

Mr. Jethro Rumbayong, the  delegate from the United Arab Emirates will be remembered not only for having the longest name but for his poignant speech on the plight of Filipinos in the Middle East which grated in the very soul of every Filipino present.  Temperatures rose, nerves were frayed. Some saw red – some wore red – we all saw the red herring parade – and the conniption fits that left others red-faced and wondering. I specifically wanted to burst into a “Go San Beda fight!” cheer every time a red-one swished past me.  And let’s not forget, the trying ballerina who piqued with a larger than life attitude.  Some got stuck in the “O-zone” layer and by that I mean – zero, zilch, nada, nil!  They took the committee “chair” to literally mean exactly that – a chair to sit on – so they simply sat and watched in their catatonic state, absolutely clueless.  Others appeared at just the right time for those crucial kodak-moments.

For clarification, the performance of Angela Chua, a disabled, at the gala dinner was not part of the program.  It was hijacked! Prior to the event, father, Mr. Manolo Chua and spokesperson for the group, Mr. Pablo Ulmedo requested that Angela be allowed to sing at the gala dinner.  Despite the fact that the answer was an irrevocably “NO”, they proceeded to Sydney as a delegation. They arrived, manipulated their way, swapped tables and sneakily got into the program.  Who knows which part of “NO” they did not understand!  Some may think that denying the girl a slot in the show was simply cold and heartless.

However, the unplanned performance was most disconcerting and it simply was not the time and place for it.  We would have placed on a full show for her if needed however the group’s real intentions were blurred and to date, the dots still don’t connect.  Interestingly, Mr. Ulmedo took a spot in the business matching session to promote his business of microphones.

I was hoping to obtain an interview with Mr. Chua but only got to speak with Mr. Ulmedo who seemed to be the spokesperson of the entourage. He advised that Mr. Chua would return my call but that call never came.

Oh well, so be it.  After all there were others who were dis-abled, dis-engaged and dis-functional!
We can only hope that we’ve learned some lessons.  One, we really must drop the “puwede na” attitude.  Two,  we really must stop thinking in terms of “friendly favours” especially when it jeopardizes the quality and integrity of a project. You’re my friend” – so you’re in.  You’re in or you’re out! You commit or you don’t!  No mercy for those who simply want to ride on.  And I guess the silent overall sponsor was ….. “Guess”.  Guess, where we’re going next?  Guess, who is working?  Guess, what I’m thinking?

And…oops, before I forget, yes, Ms. Farmer and Ms. Chun were sighted hugging each other.  Ahhh….that’s climate change!!

Tags: Grey Matter