opinion

Liberating Force Against Poverty & Social Injustice | PERA MPC Exemplifies Passion & Oneness

March 9, 2021

To quote an Oxfam Study, “In a world so enamored in profit-motive that has already captured the mindset of all governments, all institutions and all universities, competition for wealth, power and fame has become the order of the times as competition for wealth and power is based on the perception that they are meaningless fragments in an alien universe, unconnected to each other.”  In cooperativism whose essence is one of members-owned (no one shall be left behind), value-based, philosophy driven and sustainable, such perception does not exist, as the cooperatives firmly believe in the  oneness and inter-connectedness of all of God’s creation. Indeed, we are not separate fragments in an alien universe and that inter-connectedness should be passionately shown through compassion, service and love.       Bounded with passion and purpose, that spirit of oneness, service and love is being exemplified by PERA Multipurpose Cooperative (PERA MPC) which was organized in 1998 known then as the Philnabank Employees Resources of Agusan Multipurpose Cooperative.  Trail-blazed by 29 determined cooperators who worked at Philippine National Bank, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur with an initial capital of P72,500 PERA MPC has scaled the heights drawing those in the margins into the mainstream of development processes.  Showing how the cooperative became the countervailing force against poverty, gross inequity and social injustice, some 15,335 members joined the cooperative in just the last five years and in 2018, became the first billionaire cooperative in Caraga Region.       While it may have amazingly reached the billion-peso mark, but such concretely manifested how the cooperative is successfully making life better to every poor member as the cooperative is members-owned.  More amazing is how the cooperative pursues its vision to be the leading cooperative providing services and how it values its community involvement geared towards improving the lives of the people and regaining back the lost ecological integrity in collaboration with government and non-government organizations. One of which is the Adopt an Indigenous People (IP) Family Program in partnership with the Cooperative Development Authority Caraga Regional Office that aims to protect the heritage of the IPs. The location of these recipients is classified as geographically isolated disadvantaged areas at Tumalog, Zillovia Talacogon, Agusan del Sur, PERA MPC adopted seven (7) families. PERA MPC is committed to extend assistance to our IP friends who are willing to organize themselves into a cooperative for them to have a sustainable livelihood and promote their products in a competitive avenue.       PERA MPC also supported the Department of Education thru its Alternative Learning System that enables the adults and out-of-school youths to acquire basic occupation skills, knowledge and information, values and attitudes essential for obtaining initial gainful employment.  Aside from its support to the Department of Education, the PERA MPC created Scholarship Program, a continuing program of the cooperative in the formal education (high school). The beneficiaries are the relatives of its members who are persistently patronizing the products and services of PERA MPC. Currently, the coop has sixteen (16) scholars.  They were given gadgets such as Tablet, Flash Drive., WIFI modem and monthly load allowance which are of great help in this new normal education set-up.       In August 2018, PERA MPC launched the “KOOP KAPATID PROGRAM” intended for small and micro cooperatives which promotes cooperation and capacitation of cooperatives within its area of operation to enhance and improve their operation thereby increase income and productivity. To help the cooperatives of the IPs, PERA MPC committed to donate P600,000 recently to finance the projects of the IPs’ cooperatives on food security and ecological integrity by countering climate change.       While PERA MPC is now scaling the heights of success not only in the Caraga Region but now operating nationwide under the amazing leadership of the Board of Directors oozing with charisma and management adroitness headed by Chairperson Gil C. Gilot and Mr. Jonathan Bañas, President and CEO, but its accomplishments manifested the truism that a society will be judged not on its monetary growth, fame or power but on how it has served the least of its brethren. PERA MPC has concretely shown love and compassion when without hesitation, it provided food and assistance to thousands of hungry IP families who were inside the quagmire of poverty and oppression.      For the past four years, thousands of families of the Indigenous Peoples who have been ousted from their ancestral domain in Barangay Butong, Quezon, Bukidnon have been living beside the highway seeking refuge in shattered tents. Their children’s legs have to be tied up while sleeping as some have already been hit by passing cars upon waking up when they cross the highway without the parents’ knowledge. They are just eating “kamote” once a day or more often, eating nothing at all, having lost their farms and their livelihood. Their children are just drinking from a nearby river where they take a bath, the reason why all the children are either malnourished or sickly.      It was so shocking to know no one did care for them, no help, no food, no love, no concern, no iota of assistance. Well, am not surprised! Indeed, in a world that is so enamored in the profit motive that has already captured the mind of all governments, all institutions, all universities and even of religious groups, serving the least of our brethren seems to be not within their parameters of engagement.      But amidst the darkness of so much trivialities and externalities, suddenly a bright light loomed recently providing love, concern, assistance and care. That light is the PERA MPC.  It was so amazing to see a thousand IP families receiving the much needed assistance.  There could be no greater joy than to see hungry children jumping joyfully and the spiritual radiance shining from the innermost being out of love.  For being a TRANSFORMATIVE COOPERATIVE FOR PEOPLE, PLANET, PROSPERITY AND PEACE, our firm salute to PERA MPC especially to the amazing Board of Directors and Officers: Chair Gil . Gilot, Vice-Chair Ciriaco C. Ariño, Jr., Dir. Rosalinda T. Moreno, Dir. Brian O. diamante, Dir. Philip P. Ahmee and to President and CEO, Jonathan A. Bañas.

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CARELESS WORDS THAT HURT

January 17, 2021

Matthew 12:34 says, "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks". Indeed, the place to begin with our words is inside in our thoughts about others and us. If we accompany that with a commitment to stop speaking hurtful words. We have begun a dramatic mid-course correction in life, a religion writer, Dave McCasland said a long time ago.   The power of words, written as well as spoken out, is a weapon, which can hurt or even kill. Writing with a wicked pen or talking with a sharp tongue doesn't mean that all of us should walk disrespectfully through other's lives.   Careless words can really inflict wounds that last for a lifetime. On the other hand, kind words can bring healing and encouragement. Yes, everything we say has the power to hurt or to heal.   The religious and philosophical writer Tulushkin stressed: "If you can't go for 24 hours without saying unkind words about others, you have lost control of your tongue. Joseph Telushkin lectured on the awesome power of words and our sometimes "dirty tongues".   He suggested taking a revealing "tongue test" to see where we stand. "Monitor your conversation for two days", he said. "Note every time you say something negative about someone, who is not personally present. Also record, when others do so, as well as your reactions when it happened. Do you try to silence the speaker, or do you ask for more details?" And then, Telushkin concluded: "Most of us who take this test are unpleasantly surprised!" And now, my dear readers you can guess, why ... .   I found another good description in Proverbs 6:16-19, relate to the causes and effects of hurting and damaging words: "Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers".   I really had to think of one of the other details  from the past few days reaching us from the global newsrooms... .   +++   Email: doringklaus@gmail or follow me on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com

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Bad news and personal mental disorder

November 4, 2020

IN digital society, we find the unlimited members. It is the world members. We have incidental connections every day. We are gradually getting friends day by day. Some are good. Others may be on the contrary. But, the most important thing is how to let our emotions control our intelligence. This is expected to avoid us from having personal mid disorder. In social media, we have tweeter, Instagram, Facebook, WhattsApp (WA), and many others. All these social media accounts needs very specific management. Political supporters build their social media accounts. They may create even more than one account. The trickiest is the accounts without clear identities. No real names, no real pictures, no other information related to personal details. In the case above, we cannot see every single motive. But, when political affairs enter this digital society, all words posted can lead to chaos. The links of the news, professional videos, and amateur recorded videos emerge into one consumption for the world public. For a country in ASEAN can also consume the news of political affairs in western countries. It can also on the other way around. For knowledge building, this technological equipment can also help people around the world find new knowledge. However, it can endanger children, teenagers, and the grown-ups to be in bad mood. For the big 6 social media accounts, we have the number of the users. In 1919, the number of Facebook users is 2,414 billion, YouTube, 2 billion, WhattsApp, 1.6 billion, messenger, 1.3 billion, We Chat, 1, 33 billion, Instagram 1 billion (bradbroadsearch.com). Among the members above, Facebook is the most popular, followed by YouTube, WhattsApp, Messenger, We Chat, and Instagram.   There are many types of news:  private, work‐related, war/terrorism, disasters/accidents, sports, economics, politics, and others. All these are selected but it can be at random. But, the contents can be either bad or good ones. A research by Natascha de Hoog and Peter Verboon (2019) provides us exciting evidence. The type of news being exposed to the respondents can be categorized as follows: private 4.3%, work‐related 2.7%, war/terrorism 7.2%, disasters/accidents 5.1%, sports 4.9%, economics 4.9%, politics 12%, other 9%, and no news 54.8% of the time. When comparing the types of news, politics is 12%, followed by war/ terrorism 7.2 %, disasters and accidents 5.1%. Then, followed by sports and economics: each 4.9%, private news 4.3%, work-related 2.7%, other 9%, and no news 54.8% of the time. We can see, war/terrorism are so high. All these can damage our generations’ mind when, we cannot control all these types of news and the impacts on the children.   The languages spoken e.g., through videos on YouTube are full of heterogeneous vocabularies. The “speech acts” that might be consumed by adults may also be consumed by even children. Psychologically, this lead to jeopardy for the children’s mind. More tensely, when adults are confronting the same adults, it will also coloring the digital society characteristics. People shouting and posting the written languages angrily.  Emotions control their intelligence. When this happens every minutes, the world public can be similar to animals in the jungle. No ethics and social values are expressed on that social communications. People tend to let their emotion overpower their intelligence.  If “educated people” are trapped into this condition, there will be soon a crises of the role models. Children and young people need the role model in the digital society. Therefore, the grownups and more importantly the educated should try hard to control their mind not to overpower their intelligence. As Hoog and Verboon (2019) found in their research, daily exposure to everyday news facts makes people feel bad. They will feel so, especially when they consider the news to be personally relevant. It can be implied that people need to look more carefully at the way (negative) news is presented on social on the media. Besides that, people are suggested to minimize the frequency of exposure to the news. By doing the above measures, it is expected that we can prevent the digital society’s members from being negatively affected by all the bad news. This article is obligatory to invite the educated people. It is advisable that we should not let our emotion to overpower our intelligence (quote of the day by driven resilielnce.com). Otherwise, the digital society can make us have personal mental disorder. Dr. Djuwari is an Associate Professor and the Director of Language Laboratory at STIE Perbanas Surabaya, the editor of some research journals in the Philippines and Indonesia. He is also a journalist in some newspapers in Indonesia; the President of International Association of Scholarly Publishers, Editors, and Reviewers (IASPER).

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LEAVE ME ALONE!

October 10, 2020

LEAVE me alone! Give me a break! I can be a reluctant socialiser. Or should I better say I could. Nowadays, with Covid-19,  everything becomes different. In the past,  sometimes I was secretly pleased when social plans were called off. I got restless a few hours into a hangout. Maybe, I would not be invited any more. Or not such often... . I even once went on a free 10-day silent meditation retreat – not for the meditation, but for the silence. No matter if staying in the Philippines, in Germany or somewhere else.     So I can relate to author Anneli Rufus, who recounted in Party of One: The Loners’ Manifesto: “When parents on TV shows punished their kids by ordering them to go to their rooms, I was confused. I loved my room. Being there behind a locked door was a treat. To me a punishment was being ordered to play Yahtzee with my cousin Louis.” Being a little boy, "my room" was really my castle.     Several years ago in one of my write-ups, I wrote about loneliness or in other words: splendid isolation. My last week's write-up at this corner was entitled "The Only Lonely".     Wanting to be alone: social tendencies like these are often far from ideal. Abundant research shows the harms of social isolation, considered a serious public health problem in countries that have rapidly ageing populations (though talk of a ‘loneliness epidemic’ may be overblown). In the UK, the Royal College of General Practitioners says that loneliness has the same risk level for premature death as diabetes. Strong social connections are important for cognitive functioning, motor function and a smoothly running immune system.     This is especially clear from cases of extreme social isolation. Examples of people kept in captivity, children kept isolated in abusive orphanages, and prisoners kept in solitary confinement all show how prolonged solitude can lead to hallucinations and other forms of mental instability.     But these are severe and involuntary cases of aloneness. For those of us who just prefer plenty of alone time, emerging research suggests some good news: there are upsides to being reclusive – for both our work lives and our emotional well-being.     Social anxiety (please check out my previous columns here!) is the single most common psychological problem according to innumerable survey results worldwide. The magnificent, gorgeous and excellent isolation, resulting from being nervous when meeting people is really the opposite. The state of being isolated reminds me of being in a hospital with an infectious disease. Easy to say nowadays ... .     A recent vindication of these ideas came from University at Buffalo psychologist Julie Bowker, who researches social withdrawal. Social withdrawal usually is categorised into three types: shyness caused by fear or anxiety; avoidance, from a dislike of socialising; and unsociability, from a preference for solitude.     There is gender and cultural variation, of course. For instance, some research suggests that unsociable children in China have more interpersonal and academic problems than unsociable kids in the West. Bowker says that these differences are narrowing as the world becomes more globalized.     Still, it turns out that solitude is important for more than creativity. Since ancient times, meanwhile, people have been aware of a link between isolation and mental focus. After all, cultures with traditions of religious hermits believe that solitude is important for enlightenment.     Recent research has given us a better understanding of why. One benefit of unsociability is the brain’s state of active mental rest, which goes hand-in-hand with the stillness of being alone. When another person is present, your brain can’t help but pay some attention. This can be a positive distraction. But it’s still a distraction.     Daydreaming in the absence of such distractions activates the brain’s default-mode network. Among other functions, this network helps to consolidate memory and understand others’ emotions. Giving free rein to a wandering mind not only helps with focus in the long term but strengthens your sense of both yourself and others. Paradoxically, therefore, periods of solitude actually help when it comes time to socialise once more. And the occasional absence of focus ultimately helps concentration in the long run.     I learned, if your personality tends toward un-sociability, you shouldn’t feel the need to change. Of course, that comes with caveats. But as long as you have regular social contact, you are choosing solitude rather than being forced into it, you have at least a few good friends and your solitude is good for your well-being or productivity, there’s no point agonizing over how to fit a square personality into a round hole.     So feel free to de-clutter your social calendar. Even in times of Covid-19. It’s psychologist-approved.     +++     Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or wwww.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .  

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Be global minded and humanistic

October 7, 2020

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus (Martin Luther King Jr.: 1929-1968) THE quote above was stated by Martin Luther King Jr. He was assassinated after he struggled for civil human rights through nonviolence. In that story of his life, it implies that world peace based on human rights is very expensive “to pay.” Therefore, we can now struggle for the same purpose but with another mode. An intellectual is part of this effort. So, don’t be too egoistic, just for searching of your own best achievement. Contemplate something beyond that endeavor, my dear friends: the world intellectuals! Please build a mutual collaboration among us! Don’t think only one purpose: just to get an accredited status of a university faculty. Truly, humbly, and honestly, that purpose is a tiny thing of the world nations’ wisdom. Being global-minded is required today. It is entirely true for—very specifically—the intellectuals. The Silicon Valley Project Management in Japan, for example, defines a person being global-minded. A global minded person is someone who behaves as if they are a citizen of the world as well as a citizen of their home country. Based on that definition, being a global-minded person has several benefits. When they are intellectuals they will become broad-minded. They don’t think that they are the smartest. They won’t think that they are the best. Having recognized the world view, they become humble. It is being humble not only in their own position but also their way to react to other people. Why do we have to enhance our nation to be global-minded? Even we can start fostering global-mindedness from the children. By building the nation to be global-minded, we can lead them into more activities. Children, youths, and even adults can collaborate. They can compete. But, above all, they can contribute to the nations’ collective future. One of the examples of doing things globally is collaborating. My college, for example, STIE Perbanas Surabaya, has collaborated with the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC), Bontoc, the Philippines. We have student exchange and faculty exchange. The first one was held on April 4-12, 2019. In the program of student exchange, we had sent our students to MPSPC Bontoc, the Philippines. We had seen the students exchanging their ideas. They discussed the topics not only about sciences but also about cultures. They learned a lot each other about their own and others’ cultures. By doing this, they could build warm relationship. Now, they are still having a good relationship, chatting by the social media. Besides collaboration, students can also compete in research dissemination. We held a seminar session with them. They presented their results of research and discussed all the topics. They were evaluated to get the winners. This is really a good opportunity. We teach them to compete in a positive way: enhancing the exchange of ideas on science they learn. The broader impact of collaboration is building the collective future of the nation. So far, the students have still communicated each other after the post collaboration. Therefore, besides wisdom, we can instill humanistic attitude. Building a networking among the world nations like that is one of the examples. It is good for making the collective future of the nations. The utmost goal of this is for the world peace. Dr. Djuwari is an Associate Professor and the Director of Language Laboratory at STIE Perbanas Surabaya, the editor of some research journals in the Philippines and Indonesia. He is also a journalist in some newspapers in Indonesia; the President of International Association of Scholarly Publishers, Editors, and Reviewers (IASPER).

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THE 'ONLY LONELY'

October 3, 2020

IT'S five o'clock on a Friday afternoon. Maybe you have an ordinary office job. Your office mates are gone for the weekend already earlier. You haven't had a date for years, on family is waiting at home for you. Your best friend has an out-of-town meeting. Are you lonely? You betcha. That's one kind of loneliness. The temporary kind that makes you feel a bit uneasy but not totally down. But, there's another kind of loneliness that lurks especially in the lives of today's generation. And it's far more threatening than this Friday afternoon five o'clock one-timer. It's the painful loneliness that sets in when broken relationships cut you off from people you actually value very much. When you know the former warm spot in your heart will remain cold. It happens many times, when life goes on while death, separation, breakup, or alienation cuts you off from these people who could eliminate your loneliness. Yes, a variety of things could happen when this kind of loneliness turns a world into an island. We are on the way to isolationism, figuring that if we can't find someone significant to share life with, we might as well wrap ourselves up in pity. Or how about this? We can turn to God. His presence can take away the loneliness. His care can neutralize our concerns. His love can warm that cold spot in your heart. What do you think? You're the 'only lonely' on this globe? Talk to God! Listen to Him! Read Psalm 23 ('The Lord is my shepherd') and realize that He is talking to you. Let Him take away your loneliness. +++ Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com.

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