This website adopts the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) as the accessibility standard for all its related web development and services. WCAG 2.0 is also an international standard, ISO 40500. This certifies it as a stable and referenceable technical standard.

WCAG 2.0 contains 12 guidelines organized under 4 principles: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust (POUR for short). There are testable success criteria for each guideline. Compliance to these criteria is measured in three levels: A, AA, or AAA. A guide to understanding and implementing Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 is available at: https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/

Accessibility Features

Shortcut Keys Combination Activation Combination keys used for each browser.

  • Chrome for Linux press (Alt+Shift+shortcut_key)
  • Chrome for Windows press (Alt+shortcut_key)
  • For Firefox press (Alt+Shift+shortcut_key)
  • For Internet Explorer press (Alt+Shift+shortcut_key) then press (enter)
  • On Mac OS press (Ctrl+Opt+shortcut_key)
  • Accessibility Statement (Combination + 0): Statement page that will show the available accessibility keys.
  • Home Page (Combination + H): Accessibility key for redirecting to homepage.
  • Main Content (Combination + R): Shortcut for viewing the content section of the current page.
  • FAQ (Combination + Q): Shortcut for FAQ page.
  • Contact (Combination + C): Shortcut for contact page or form inquiries.
  • Feedback (Combination + K): Shortcut for feedback page.
  • Site Map (Combination + M): Shortcut for site map (footer agency) section of the page.
  • Search (Combination + S): Shortcut for search page.
  • Click anywhere outside the dialog box to close this dialog box.

    Message at the Washington Sycip 12th National Education Summit

    Philippine International Convention Center, Manila

    Thank you. Thank you very much. Kindly take your seats.

    Dr. Nene Guevarra, President and CEO of Synergeia Foundation; Dr. Antonio Torralba, Vice Chairperson of Synergeia; of course, Mr. Michael Klecheski, our Chargé de Affairs of the US Embassy here in Manila; members of the board of trustees; our local chief executives who are present today; [Department of Education] officials and staff; members of the academe; donors, partners, and education advocates; honored guests; ladies and gentlemen: Magandang hapon sa inyong lahat. [Audience: Magandang hapon!]

    You know, I arrived about an hour early because I was coming from another event. I had a formal speech prepared but Ma’am Nene told me while I was about to take my lunch that I should do away with the formal speech and instead, make my talk anecdotal. Sabi niya, “Magkuwento ka na lang.” I was with her a few days ago when Synergeia sponsored a book launch of Jesse’s biography, which is now out in the market. And sabi niya, “Gaya na lang noong speech mo sa book launch.” So nagmadali akong palitan iyong aking sasabihin. I do not know—where’s Ma’am Nene—I do not know if—[Audience: She’s hiding; laughter] Ah, she’s hiding. Ah, si Ma’am Nene, hirap na kasi ang dami nang Synergeia ngayon, Ma’am Nene. Congratulations. [applause] You know, I was telling myself that it is always a joy to, every time I attend a Synergeia event. But standing in front of you here today is quite overwhelming. Ang dami niyo na. The thought that comes to mind is: ano kaya kung si Jesse iyong nandito ngayon? When he was still with us, kaunting-kaunti pa lang kayo. I think we could not even yet fill a small room with people. Pero here you are, Michael was saying earlier, 600—about 600 of you here—so I know, Jesse must be smiling up there. [applause]

    I didn’t know if somebody from… Willy Prilles perhaps or somebody from the city government of Naga already talked before you—pero what I will… because Ma’am Nene requested that this be anecdotal, I was telling myself kahit anecdotal, dapat education-related pa rin ‘di ba. You know, when—kahit noon hanggang ngayon—when we just buried my husband and the children will be overcome by grief parati nilang sinasabi, “Why has not Jesse been given more years with us?” Ang parati kong sinasabi, “Masuwerte nga tayo we had first row seats, not only to the kind of public servant that he was but to the kind of person that he was to all of us.” So iyong iku-kuwento ko ngayon, parang just sharing the privilege with you of having been in one of those front row seats and observing what kind of a leader that he was, what kind of, you know, a mayor he was, and what kind of an education advocate he was. So I’m sure many of you have heard most of his programs already. Pero siguro, iyong iku-kuwento ko na lang, the motivations and the thought process, and the difficulties na pinagdaanan niya in order to be able to implement those programs.

    Jesse was first elected mayor when he was still 29 years old and that was in 1988 just after the People Power Revolution. Alam naman natin… parang ang babata na kasi ng mga nandito pero siguro if you will recall—iyong mga mas matatanda sa amin—if you will recall, parang the situation in the civil service was so different before. At least, sa Naga ganoon. When Jesse was first elected Mayor, he had to contend with a lot of unprofessionalism. Iyong kapag sa opisina, maraming papasok kung anong oras nila gustong pumasok at lalabas kung anong oras nila gustong lumabas. So he had to introduce a lot of reforms as far as professionalism was concerned. Iyong pinaka-una niyang ginawa, nagpalagay siya ng Bundy clock. Ngayon, Bundy clock is so normal already ‘di ba. It’s expected of so many public and private offices but in 1998, that was not so common yet. So when he installed a Bundy clock at the lobby of city hall and required all employees to punch in and out using that Bundy clock, maraming nagprotesta. Maraming sabi nila, “Bakit? Wala kang tiwala sa amin?” So that was one of the first difficulties.

    Another difficulty was he, you know, he asked all employees to go through, or to take diagnostic exams. Eh ano iyon e, parang hindi uso iyong diagnostic exams. Ang sabi ng iba, there was so much distrust that the employees were saying that they were doubting their motivations on why my husband was asking them to take a diagnostic exam. Sabi nila, baka naghahanap lang ng paraan para tanggalin tayo. But my husband… the reason for that was my husband really wanted to start, you know, start making aptitude, competence, to be a basis for—not just a basis for hiring but a basis for promotions, a basis for giving them their assignments, placing employees where they are most suited. Pero, iyon ‘yon. Maraming kahirapan.

    Sunod niya… one other thing he had to contend with was, you know, he was a minority mayor. He won only 24 percent of the votes because there were six of them running against each other. Nanalo siya by only 900 votes. His vice mayor won. But only three of the seats in the Sangguniang Panglungsod iyong kakampi niya. The seven belonged to the other camp. So lahat ng gusto niyang gawin, kinokontra ng Sanggunian So iyon ‘yong mga’ kahirapan and he was only 29 so he was looked down upon: “Ano naman alam nito?” ‘Di ba iyon iyong pagtingin ng mga tao. But you know, with the benefit of hindsight, parati pong sinasabi ng asawa ko later on in his public service career: it was those difficulties that forced him to be innovative and to be creative. Ang tagal niyang nasa oposisyon. Wala siyang natatanggap na tulong galing sa national government. So forced to good. Talagang kailangang kailangang maghanap ng paraan.

    Iyong naalala kong unang pinaka-gusto niyang gawin, just after he was elected. He was saying… I don’t know how many of you have been to Naga pero if some of you have been to Naga and if you’re familiar with the old central business district, tignan niyo iyong sa may plaza. Iyong several streets surrounding the plaza. Iyon lang iyong pinaka-sentro ng Naga dati. And si Jesse was always saying, “Hindi aasenso iyong Naga kapag hindi ito lumaki. Kung dito lang tayo iikot-ikot, hindi aasenso iyong Naga.” So the one thing that he felt that Naga needed was to have a bigger central business district. Iyong ginawa niya, nilabas niya iyong mga terminal—bus saka jeepney terminals. Ang daming kaso na finile laban sa kaniya. If I remember right, sa Ombudsman lang, 76 cases. Ang nag-file nito mga terminal operators, terminal owners, tapos hindi lang iyon, galit sa kaniya iyong riding public kasi magdo-double ride pa sila papunta sa terminal kasi nilabas iyong mga terminal. Kahit mga kamag-anak namin nagsara iyong mga negosyo kasi they were dependent on the business operations within the terminal. Ang daming nagsasabi, “Hindi na iyan makaka-reelect.” But my husband felt it was the right thing to do so sabi niya, “Bahala na.” And then, you know, he was correct. Because a year after ginawa niya iyon, people started experiencing benefits of moving the terminal out of the city center. Lumaki nga. Those who are familiar with Naga now, malaki na nga iyong business—iyong business district. So hindi lang sa na-reelect siya but when he was reelected in 20—no, in 1992—naubos sila. Zero na iyong kalaban. Siya iyong panalo by a landslide, vice mayor niya by a landslide, 10-0 iyong Sangguniang Panglungsod and you know, from 1992 until the latest elections in 2016, iyong ticket niya iyong nananalo – landslide, zero iyong kalaban. Ano iyon, wala pang nasingit since 1992. Parating 10-0. So ang lesson doon, talagang kapag iyong tao tumiwala sa iyo at hindi mo naman sinira iyong tiwala, iyon na iyong pinakamagandang kampanya. So iyon ‘yong unang lesson.

    Pero iyong asawa ko may ugali din na parang he was so fixated on symbols. Halimbawa, I think sina Ma’am Nene narinig na nito iyong asawa ko. He keeps on repeating—he kept on repeating before that I cannot ask anyone to do something I cannot myself. So iyong una niyang ininstill iyong professionalism in the city hall – dapat lahat on time dumadating pero iyong symbolic for him was kung dine-demand niya from others to come on time, dapat he is to be the first one to arrive in the city hall. So he was in the office at 7 o’clock each and every day. He was the one person who logged in more hours than anyone else. Sabi niya it gives him the moral authority to demand from employees—iyong talagang bumabad, kasi siya mismo nagpakita noon.

    Pangalawa, you know, we were married in 1987, mayor na siya ng 1988, so iyong first term niya, newly-weds kami. Pero ang hinihingi niya sa akin every night after dinner was iikutin namin—ako iyong driver niya parati e—iikutin namin iyong buong city kasi nag-i-inspect siya ng street lights. Ang pakiramdam niya kapag may isang streetlight lang na hindi… kapag may isang streetlight lang na hindi umaandar, that is symbolic of the inefficiency of the city. So kapag may nakita siyang hindi umaandar, galit na galit na siya tapos tatawagan niya iyong streetlights team. Each and every night, iyon ‘yong aming ginagawa—nag-i-inspect ng streetlights, kasama na doon iyong basura. Kaya kapag may nakita siyang basura na nakalabas na hindi pa pick-up time, galit na siya. Parating may demerit na iyong kung sinumang naka-assign doon.

    So he was obsessive-compulsive about so many things that were work-related.

    Kapag may bagyo—ayan, mga Bicolano nandito sa harap—madalas kaming daanan ng mga bagyo 1980—late 1980s—grabe iyong bagyo sa amin. My husband believed that he should be the last man on the street every time that there is a typhoon. Puwede lang siyang umuwi kapag wala nang taong nasa labas. And he believed that after every typhoon, siya dapat iyong first man on the street. Paminsan ‘di ba humihina iyong hangin, ala-una, alas-dos ng umaga, ‘di ba, Mayor, sa atin? Kapag huminto na iyong hangin, at humina na iyong hangin ng mga ala-una, alas-dos ng umaga, lalabas na siya at maglilinis. Magtatawag na siya. But sometimes, when the typhoons are really very strong, iyong mga tutulong sa kaniya ay victims din. And he didn’t care. “Kung hindi sila puwede, eh ‘di ako ang maglilinis,” kasi he felt na kapag gumising iyong aking mga kababayan, wala nang dumi, wala ng vestiges of the typhoon. Kaya iyon ‘yong paniniwala niya—symbols. Parati siyang concerned na… ano iyong message na na-e-evoke ng mga nakikita. So siya, very, very careful about that.

    Binibiro ko iyong staff ko kanina. Sabi ko, “Hanapin niyo ako sa picture.” That picture, I don’t know where they found it. I just saw it earlier today but that picture was taken when we celebrated his first birthday in city hall as Mayor, so that was May 27 of 1988. Hindi ko sa inyo ituturo kasi nakakahiya iyong itsura ko, [laughter] Kasi iyong staff ko, noong tinuro ko iyong sarili ko, tinawanan niya ako ng tinawanan. [laughter] But anyway, I don’t know… I actually don’t know why that picture was included in the slides. Pero as the years went by, parang naging defined na. Parang naging defined na kung ano iyong mahalagang mga prinsipyo sa governance para sa asawa ko.

    Next slide please, at ito iyong mga prinsipyo niya: accountability, participation, predictability, transparency, and empowerment. Ito iyong lahat na programa na ginawa ng asawa ko. Kailangan nandoon ito lahat. So ito iyong segue ko actually for the education reform programs na inumpisahan niya. I don’t have all the information. Pagdating kasi sa bahay, iyong asawa ko, asawa at tatay na. Kung ano iyong nalalaman ko, nalalaman ko from other people.

    And again, because of the benefit of having front row seats to the kind of mayor that he was then, iyong pinaka-naaalala kong isa sa mga pinaka-unang notable na projects noon on education, iyong EduCare. Iyong EduCare, ‘di ba may daycare tayo? May daycare tayo. Iyong daycare, three to five [years old]. Pero napansin ng asawa ko na nasasayang siya na parang iyong daycare hindi masyadong seryoso. Para sa kaniya, it should have been an opportunity to prepare three to five years old to primary school. So iyong dati, iwanan siya. Nagtuturo naman iyong mga teachers pero hindi—ang feeling niya—hindi masyadong nama-maximize. So pinag-aralan nila hanggang kinonvert nila iyong daycare, nag-infuse sila ng Montessori-style na pagturo. So tinignan ko sa records, iyong initial funding nito was only 898,000 pesos. Kinuha nila sa general fund at sa local development fund. Pero dahil ang dami pa nilang gustong gawin, nag-partner sila – una, with the Camarines Sur Polytechnic College, para iyong mga daycare teachers and volunteers, makapag-aral, matapos iyong kanilang BS in Elementary Education na libre. So gumawa iyong Camarines Sur Polytechnic College—ito ‘yong SUC sa amin—gumawa sila ng programa specifically for daycare teachers na Saturday, Sunday nag-aaral. So iyong mga teachers, natapos nila for free. Free iyong education. ay partnership lang with the city government. So natapos nila iyong kanilang BS in Elementary Education, iyong iba tumuloy pa sa Masters. Ang laking bagay na. Ang laking bagay na in providing education in the daycare centers.

    Susunod, naging interesado silang tignan iyong Montessori-style of teaching. Nakipag-partner sila sa Casa Montessori International. Hindi ko alam kung sinong nakakakilala kay Mrs. Nebron pero siya iyong may-ari nito. Iyong Montessori nila nasa Forbes Park. Ginawa nilang outreach iyong pag-turo ng mga daycare centers sa Naga. And they have been with us from the start until now. Every summer iyong mga teachers, nagte-train pa rin sa kaniya. Nagbabad talaga sila sa amin. Mayroong accreditation process na ring dinadaanan ngayon and even after the term of office of my husband, Mayor Bongat—Mayor John—still improved on the program. Halimbawa, noong panahon ng asawa ko, naging Galing Pook awardee ito. Naging… I’m not too sure this was launched in 1993? I think this was a Galing Pook awardee a few years after. Pero in 2003, this received a continuing excellency award from Galing Pook. In 2007, the program received another—in 2011, I mean, another award under Mayor Bongat already. And under Mayor Bongat, nag-create na siya in 2011 ng Early Childhood Care and Development Division in the city—in the city government. Tapos, iyon nga, nagkaroon ng accreditation process and Mayor Bongat issued an executive order mandating all barangays to allocate three percent of their budget to EduCare. Iyong three percent na iyon, ginagamit sa pagbayad ng mga daycare teachers saka maintenance ng mga daycare centers. Ito iyong mga teacher’s honorarium. Doon na kinukuha sa mga barangay. After nag-mandate by virtue of an executive order, iyong mga barangays naman nag-pasa sila ng mga barangay ordinances allocating the three percent to EduCare. EduCare started with less than 30 centers. Now, it’s more than a hundred in the city. All barangays have more than one EduCare. So iyon iyong pinaka-unang naalala kong until now, na-institutionalize na ito talaga.

    Iyong pangalawa, iyong Sanggawadan. Iyong Sanggawadan was instituted 2000—in the year 2000. Iyong Sanggawadan is a Bikol term for, parang “to extend a helping hand.” This was a program which was implemented by the city government with AUSAID (Australian Aid Agency) in 2000. Inimplement ito ng city government with AUSAID because there was one study na sinasabi na ang daming working children in Naga. Parang Naga had an alarming number of children who are working to augment family income. So they had to craft a program to discourage parents from allowing their children to work. Para itong 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) na basta ipa-aral mo iyong mga anak mo, mayroon kang libreng bigas at libre iyong mga school supplies. So it was the come on as long as you don’t keep your children out of school. When they are in school, you have a regular allocation of rice and free school supplies. So it went on for so long. Iyong AUSAID program yata was only for two years. Pero kinontinue iyon ng city until now. So walapa, wala pa sa consciousness natin iyong 4Ps pero nag-umpisa na—although wala itong health component. Ang dinagdag na component dito, nutrition component kasi marami din nga na malnourished children when it started. And later on—much later—aside from free rice rationing and free school supplies, nagdagdag na din ng free hospitalization, death and burial assistance, housing assistance, saka livelihood loans for the parents of the Sanggawadan kids. Grabe na iyong success stories ng Sanggawadan. Ang dami ring nag-graduate dito na very, very successful already. Mayroon itong mga graduates na nag-Magna Cum Laude in college, mayroong mga graduates na mga valedictorians, salutatorians, etcetera. So nakakatuwa siya.

    Later on—mali pala iyong arrangement ko. Iku-kuwento ko na sana kung paano nila in-expand pero hindi muna kasi mamaya pa iyong slide. After that, ito iyong pag-introduce noong—alam na siguro ninyo ito—iyong reinventing the Local School Board. Parati na sa inyo itong nadi-discuss, ‘di ba? Iyong nadi-discuss sa inyo na hindi sumunod iyong asawa ko sa composition noong school board under the Local Government Code. He felt that what was not prevented was allowed. So he expanded the Local School Board dahil he felt na masyadong makitid iyong pagtingin noong dating composition sa mga progamang puwedeng gawin ng Local School Board. Again, with the benefit of hindsight, he was correct, because when he expanded the membership of the Local School Board, mas naging revolutionary na iyong mga programs na ginawa ng Local School Board because more voices are being heard, ‘di ba? It was a… it was an empowerment tool, actually, to include other sectors of the society who really has a stake in the education of the children. So I will not dwell so much on that anymore.

    Iyong susunod was QUEEN. Ang QUEEN stands for Quality Universal Education Empowerment Program. Iyong QUEEN, actually, para din siyang Sanggawadan. Pero ayaw lang nilang mawala iyong pangalan ng Sanggawadan because that was where it all started. So when they expanded the program, they called it by a different name. So it’s called QUEEN already. Iyong QUEEN naman, same. It was a tool to incentivize parents to keep their children in school. Pero ito, naisipan ito to expand Sanggawadan, because despite Sanggawadan, hindi pa din inabot iyong MDG (Millennium Development Goals) targets ng city. So they felt it was time to expand. So noong iyong Sanggawadan naging QUEEN na… iyong Sanggawadan, naging QUEEN na, aside from the rice subsidies, aside from free school supplies, free school fees na rin. So lahat ng school fees ng bata, city government na iyong nag-a-assume. Kapag sinabi mong school fees, iyong mga PTA fees, iyong Red Cross, iyong mga publications, so ito, dinagdagan lang. And mas organized iyong parents sa QUEEN. There are more meetings that they have to attend, there are more commitments that they have to sign. Ito, very empowered na. Even parents are being trained to be leaders of the community because of QUEEN. As I’ve said, QUEEN was an expansion of Sanggawadan. Pero again, nakulangan pa rin sila. A few years after, iyong QUEEN, naging QUEEN Plus. Hulaan niyo kung ano iyong plus? Hindi na lang siya elementary education. Pati high school na rin. So naging high school na rin siya. Iyong by 2014 kasi iyong QUEEN, wala akong recent data. Sorry kasi biglaan lang. Iyong by 2014 kasi, iyong QUEEN, 24,276 students were already enrolled in the program and the figure represents 61 percent of the 40,000 total student population in the elementary schools. This was before QUEEN Plus. And then, when QUEEN Plus happened, I do not have the figures now but it already included high school students who were vulnerable to dropouts. So iyong QUEEN, mayroon na rin. Mayroon nang tatlong programa—Sanggawadan, QUEEN, at QUEEN Plus. And we saw the results because the parents were much more empowered already and they demanded more from the schools. Sakit sa ulo ng mga teachers din kasi talagang masyado nang demanding iyong mga parents but overall, mas mabuti nga.

    And then, hindi ito—according to the timeline because this started rather early in 2004—ayan, the city also introduced Nutri Dunong. Iyong Nutri Dunong was still under the educational program of the city. Iyong Nutri Dunong naman, they just wanted to make sure that children were properly nourished while in schools. Pero habang nasa schools, mayroon silang Nutri Dunong. Kapag sinabing schools dito, nagsa-start sa daycare. So from the daycare centers, Grades 1 to 5, mayroong—ay, Grades 1 to 6—mayroong nutritious feeding while in schools. But still, the city felt na kulang pa. Noong kulang pa, nagdagdag siya ng Nutri Ataman saka Nutri Nanay. Iyong Nutri Nanay, habang buntis pa lang iyong mga parents, inaalagan na ng city. Kapag pinanganak na, wala pang programa ang gobyerno, kapag pinanganak na until they enter daycare, iyon iyong Nutri Ataman. Ang “ataman” in Bikol is “caring for.” So Nutri Nanay, Nutri Ataman, then Nutri Dunong. Ito, when Jesse first became Mayor, malnutrition rate was less than 30 percent. Mataas talaga. Pero when this was… when the program was implemented, malnuntrition rate was already at 6.7 percent. That was in 2003. Pero hindi pa kuntento. Hindi pa kuntento iyong asawa ko. Just to demonstrate with you… of the Bicol cities… dati kasi tatlo iyong cities sa Bicol, of all the Bicol cities, ang baba na lang ng malnutrition rate ng Naga pero hindi pa rin sila kuntento. So they implemented Nutri Dunong, Nutri Nanay, Nutri Ataman with the goal that by 2015, malnutrition rate is down to 3.5 [percent], I think.

    So, it was very successful they were able to hit the target. The baseline was 6.7 percent. After one year, it became 5.6 [percent] and then in 2015, it became 3 [percent]—3.35 [percent], I meant. But this year, the target is zero. Hindi ko lang alam if they were able to achieve it. Actually, na-achieve na daw sana kaya lang ang daming migration. So iyon ‘yong dahilan kung bakit mayroon pa ring natitira and that’s the target. Okay.

    So, ito, why am I telling you this? Not for you to replicate because I’m sure many of you have better programs even. Pero I was telling you that my desire really to give you anecdotes of how Jesse went through the programs, how he implemented them, was really how he looked at all the processes as important as the results. He was one person who never got contented with anything, especially if it’s about, you know, meeting targets. Siguro, iyon din iyong dahilan kung bakit kasama iyong Naga sa lahat ng contests.

    Naalala ko before, this was in the early 90s… early 90s I think, iyong Galing Pook, parating iyong mga kinikilalang mga cities Cebu, Naga, and Marikina. So itong tatlo, at that time, ngayon mas marami nang mahuhusay, pero at that time, sila iyong mga nagko-compete with each other. Kapag lahat silang tatlo nakapasok, ang sunod na tanong ng asawa ko, “Ilan ang nakapasok sa kanilang programa?” Kasi sampu iyong pipiliin ‘di ba? “Ilan ang nakapasok?” Gusto niya parating mas marami iyong sa Naga. Pero I think it helps. It helps that the chief executive—that the local chief executive—is competitive, ‘di ba? Kasi you’re always pushing—not just yourself but your people as well—you’re pushing your limits all the time and kapag ganito naman, ang makikinabang iyong mga constituency. So ito, these all happened from 1988 until 2010. But all through those years, Jesse would always tell his staff, the department heads, kahit kami, parati niyang sinasabi, “Tayo, dadaan lang. Tayo, dadaan lang. Pero iyong lungsod, parting andiyan. So paghusayan na natin. Dahil kung anong mga… kung ano iyong mga nadiskubre natin na will work for the city, let’s institutionalize them already. Para kapag wala na tayo, nandoon pa din iyong programa.” And that’s exactly what happened in Naga. All the good programs have been institutionalized already so that kapag nagpapalit ng administration, wala iyong palitan ng lahat — pero in place na iyong mga programa. And even after Jesse was out of city hall already, Naga continued to excel.

    Parating sinasabi ni Jesse, “Iyong Naga mahusay not because of me, pero dahil sa mga taong katrabaho ko na mas mahuhusay pa sa akin,” and I think that’s the essence of leadership—recognizing your limitations, recognizing the capabilities of the people around you, recognizing that even the ordinary citizen can contribute much to what you are doing, because in that recognition, you give them space to participate; in that recognition, you create an atmosphere where everyone is inspired to help; and I think, that is his greatest legacy. It’s not the programs by themselves but it’s really the legacy of believing in the goodness and capabilities of our constituents and inspiring them to become better than themselves.

    Naalala ko, each and every term, kasi nagkaroon siya ng six terms ‘di ba? Each and every term, mayroon siyang, ano ito… mayroon siyang—anong tawag doon? Parang battlecry? Parang mayroong theme for the entire term. Tapos naubos na niya ata. Naubos na niya iyong kaniyang mga terms… ay, iyong mga battlecry. Iyong battlecry niya sa last term niya, “Making the best better.” So it’s not being contented with what we have already but it’s in believing that there are many other better things that you can do. And now that he is gone, his programs continue; the belief of the people in themselves have been well-established already. Every citizen of Naga is proud that he or she is from Naga. Even the local government officials, ganoon na din iyong ugali. Lahat mahuhusay, lahat pinagiigihan iyong trabaho.

    So siguro, in closing, ano lang, these are difficult times. Ang iba, sinasalungat tayo kapag sinasabi nating these are difficult times. Pero siguro, it’s a matter of perspective. Pero because we feel that these are difficult times, these times really call for leaders, ‘di ba, who exude integrity, who exude capacity. Kasi kapag pinakita mo ito, ito iyong leaders that inspire. Kapag hindi ka kasi nagpakita ng integrity, papaano ka makaka-inspire sa iba?

    You cannot rule out of fear all the time kasi iyon, panandalian lang iyon e. Iyong leadership na nagko-command ng respect, iyong leadership na nagke-create ng sustainable results, iyon ‘yong leader na pinapaniwala iyong mga tao na mahuhusay sila. Hindi iyong leader na, “Kapag wala na ako, wala na rin kayo.” Pero ito iyong leader na, “Wala na ako pero dahil naniniwala ako sa kakayahan ninyo na mas mahusay pa kayo sa akin, mas lalo niyo pang pagbubutihin kapag wala na ako.” So siguro, I close with that. Maraming salamat. [applause]

    Posted in Speeches on Sep 06, 2018