As we celebrate the Chinese New Year tomorrow, let us reflect on why Filipinos remain so shamefully and pitifully poor and why we need to emulate the work ethics of our very own Filipino-Chinese brethren … Kung Hei Fat Choi!!! – Armand Dean Nocum
Hong Kongers Line Up for P150,000++ Prada Bags; Pinoys for P16.00 Sardines
By Armand Dean Nocum, Kris Peace Library Founder
Hong Kongers and tourists visiting this former British colony are crazy about Hermes, Gucci, Prada, Coach and other signature bags and accessories that they have to be made to line up just to take a peek inside these branded outlets in Sogo shopping mall in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.
Rope barricades have to be placed to keep people from making a stampede for these branded accessories on sale in time for the Chinese New Year. Lines are heavy at the Prada and Coach bag boutiques where items cost from P30,000 to about P200,000. Lines are not as heavy in Hermes and Gucci outlets where bags can cost over a million pesos each.
While on a business trip there last week, I can’t help but see the irony about how at that precise moment victims of Typhoon Sendong were lining up for P16.00 sardines and other basic necessities in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in the Philippines.
Well, we have to admit that the Chinese in Hong Kong and elsewhere in the world deserve all their wealth because they have a high sense of discipline, work ethics and toil 10 times harder than the average Pinoy. Janitors in Hong Kong never rest until every tiny speck of dust in the glass is cleaned; on the contrary, the Pinoy service providers are more preoccupied in watching the movements of their supervisors because only then would they start to work.
I know a very poor person living not far from our place in Quezon City who is so lazy that he mostly lies down on the cot in front of his rented house. It never ceases to amuse me that the lying-down position I see him taking in the morning as I leave the house for work is exactly the same position I see him in as I return home from work in the evening.
Although highly-skilled in doing deep-well system and plumbing works, he rarely looks for a job but fathers so many children. Always running to us for help, he eventually got me to be the godfather of one of his children. One time while on family vacation in the US, I got a call in the middle of the night from our house help who told us that my kumpare’s son needed to be brought to the hospital and they had no money. Although I assisted him financially, the son eventually died in the hospital because it turned out he was already very sick before they decided to take him to a doctor.
This is one of the reasons why I am convinced that education and not dole-outs will eventually help Filipinos get the quality lives they deserve. Well, they may not get to be like the high-rolling Hong Kongers, but at least they will have enough education, pride and discipline to work hard to earn and save money for emergencies and not face the humiliation of lining up for P16.00 sardines in times of calamities.
I have a high admiration for the work ethics of the Chinese people and always impart this Chinese proverb to the scholars and users of our five Kristiyano-Islam (KRIS) Peace Libraries nationwide: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Thus, it is for this reason that the Kris Peace Library, a literacy and peace advocacy, in cooperation with the Kapatirang Claretiano Inc. (KCI) – a group of former Claretian priests and seminarians — has decided to spend the P51,000 donated by kind-hearted sponsors from New Zealand in helping some of the 123,000 students affected by Typhoon Sendong regain their normal schooling. KCI and Kris will be spending the money in buying textbooks and school supplies for kids who lost all their school materials to the floods (please read http://www.krislibrary.com/1/post/2012/01/new-zealanders-raise-p51000-to-help-kci-kris-library-relief-mission-for-typhoon-sendong-victims.html ).
In December, KCI and Kris also raised P13,000 to buy medicines, sardines and other basic stuff for flood victims in Iligan and Cagayan (please also read http://www.krislibrary.com/1/post/2011/12/ex-priests-and-seminarians-join-typhoon-sendong-relief-effort.html ).
But as we engage in the difficult task of helping Filipinos get good education and become self-reliant and disciplined workers like the Hong Kong and Filipino-Chinese, we continue to ask for help from everyone to donate books, clothing, old computers or even financial assistance to help us in the task of teaching the Filipino youth how to fish.
Please check out the Kris Library website at http://www.krislibrary.com/donate.html to see how you can make the donations.
As we celebrate the start of the Year of the Water Dragon tomorrow, let us all do our part to bridge the gap between those of us who have more blessings in life and those who have almost nothing in life, more so the Typhoon Sendong victims. What windfall of blessing we’ll have in 2012 if we’ll start it by giving and sharing.
Kung Hei Fat Choy (Happy Chinese New Year)!!!
“Armand Dean Nocum is a self made man,” Armand says of himself in an interview. The multi-awarded journalist of The Philippine Daily Inquirer retired in 2007 after 14 years, reinvented himself many times through self learning: reading. His insatiable appetite for reading paved the way to opportunities he so enjoys today such as the CEO of Dean and Kings, a Legal PR firm; his used car business; his restaurant. Above all these, he is the brains behind KRIS or Kristiyano-Islam (Kris) Peace Library in Manicahan, Zamboanga City.- http://bayanihanleadership.blogspot.com/2011_07_01_archive.html
- Happy Chinese New Year! (jimbocyberdoc.wordpress.com)
- Fourth-Qtr Revenue Off 11 At Hong Kong Billionaire Family’s Shipper OOCL (forbes.com)
- 10 places to celebrate Chinese New Year (gadling.com)
- January 23, 2012 A Special Non-Working Holiday (newsalert2009.wordpress.com)