Don’t try. Do.


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Let’s start with the good news with this email from FENOr member Will Abay.
We are happy to inform all FENor organic agriculture advocates that both the GMO FREE PROVINCE ORDINANCE and the ORGANIC AGRICULTURE ORDINANCE OF NEGROS ORIENTAL 2010 were approved for third and final reading today, June 19, 2010. Another environment friendly ordinance approved for the third and final reading was the Smoking Prohibition Ordinance of Negros Oriental.

Reading Will’s email, I jumped off my seat and did a jig that would put to shame the antics of the FIFA football spectators watching the games being played in South Africa. What especially made me extremely happy was the information that the ordinance to transform Negros Oriental into a smoke-free province–the first to do so, is approved for final reading. Bernie Maniego, health director of Framework Convention Alliance on Tobacco Free Philippines, said Negros Oriental is the first province to create a local ordinance promoting a smoke-free province. I hope that Acting Governor Petit Baldado will get to sign this ordinance, authored by Provincial Board Member Marcelo Adanza (Mabuhay ka Honorable Adanza!), before June 30.
What makes the smoke-free ordinance timely is the news I saw on TV recently featuring members of the LTFRB and DOH Secretary Ezperanza Cabral posting “NOSI” (No Sigarilyo) stickers on public transport vehicles. This move of the LTFRB and DOH is in consonance with RA 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of the Philippines.

Another noteworthy development in the implementation of RA9211 is a two-year experiment initiated by the Metro Manila Development Authority to make Metro Manila (composed of 17 cities and municipalities) a smoke free region by 2012, starting July 1, 2010 to June 20, 2012. The project, entitled “Enforcement of a 100% Smoke Free Environment Policy in Metro Manila” is financed through a P9.5-million grant from New York-based Bloomberg Philantrophies, endorsed by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, a non-profit scientific organization promoting lung health based in France. Bloomberg is an umbrella charity organization managed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (Mayor Chiquiting Sagarbarria should perhaps get in touch with his counterpart in NYC and apply for a similar grant).

The two-year program is in accordance with the Memorandum Circular No. 17, Series of 2009 issued by the Civil Service Commission that prohibits smoking in government premises. Under the memorandum, those caught will be given a stern warning on first offense; faces suspension and dismissal from service for the second and third offences.

Negros Oriental will soon be the first province to be smoke-free. “Basta NEGOR, DO MORE.” Para laging may HONOR.


Yesterday, I facilitated a planning workshop for the physical education faculty, coaches and staff of the FU Institute of Youth Sports for Peace (IYSPeace). I would like to share with others our planning guidelines.

The theme: “Don’t Try. Do.” We chose this theme to denote our commitment to achieve our goal. There is no such thing as “try.” You either do it, or you don’t. The other guidelines are:

_. We compete. To survive. To excel.
_. Limit your objectives to three. More than three objectives is no objective.
_. In pursuing your objectives, keep in mind that you work with people; they are human beings. Keep your humanity and preserve theirs.
_. You can’t teach or lead without self-confidence. If you don’t have this, don’t waste your time and ours. Resign immediately.
_. Always be humble. Know the differences among humility, timidity and cowardice.
_. Be punctual. Meet deadlines. Defaulting time is 15 minutes.
_. Don’t say “I tried my best” as an excuse for failure. No one tries his worst.
_. Respect the hierarchy of authority. There’s a God in Heaven and presidents on Earth. A Dr. Mira D. Sinco…and you.

We, at Foundation University, mourn the passing of Governor Dr. Emilio C. Macias II. We displayed a tarpaulin at the Capitol grounds showing him participating in our various activities, with the caption: “Thank you Governor Dodo Macias for sharing yourself with us.”

One thing I remember about him is he listens to you when you talk, he doesn’t interrupt you when you are talking, and he was always gracious, never pompous. I wanted him so much to host the Palarong Pampansa and hoped that he would in 2013 when the school games will be staged in the Visayas. Perhaps, come that year, the Palaro will be held here and we will celebrate the games in his honor.

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