Been a while since I last made a speech in front of many people, even if it’s just a stupid commentary. Just sharing. Sayang ang shining moment. Hahahahaha.
Theme for the First Quarter: ORDER
Theme for the Month: In One’s Life
Theme for the Second Week: The first fight we have to win each day is with the clock, when it rings to wake us up. Let’s win it everyday and see how our time multiplies. Then we will go far because we will be able to do more in the service of others.
I, for one, praise and celebrate the person whose ingenious mind invented the snooze button. Let’s admit it; at one point in our lives, that button provided the last five minutes that made all the difference in the world. And I have devised a way to make those five minutes last longer. I live in Las Piñas and not having trains or enough cabs meant competing with every resident of the city for a spot in that bus, so I always have to wake up early. I set my alarm at 4:30… but I don’t get up till 5:30.
It might be funny at first, hitting the snooze button FIVE times, but imagine what I could have accomplished in that hour. I’ve been dying to lose weight, so maybe I could’ve gone for a 30‐minute jog. My father is always in charge of breakfast; I could’ve let him off the hook and cooked breakfast myself. I could’ve used the time to organize my bag, instead of stuffing my things at the last minute. I could’ve picked up used clothes from the floor, made coffee to wake everyone in the house or started to heat the water for my mother. I could’ve used the time.
Long weekends are worse. Monday is more than manic, it’s a death sentence. After spending three days and two nights at the local beach, bathing in the sea, sun and sand, you face a rude awakening: that paperwork is waiting, that you have approximately 29 emails to reply to, that you have to clean your inbox because you’re almost over the limit, organize clutter, get to appointments, finish reports…the list continues.
In fencing, alarm is a challenge made by a step or a stamp on the ground with the advancing foot. It signals the competition to be on their toes, because no one knows where the attacker will strike his foil next.
In kindergarten, we always sing this simple jingle to celebrate coming early in the morning. I’m alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic! No one in this room can claim that they have never sung this song because it has been used quite possibly in every icebreaker or workshop ever held, especially the ones that start in the morning. I’m alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic! Funny how those three words seem to naturally come together.
The word alarm is defined as “a warning sound”, “a signal for attention”. It jerks us awake and brings us back to the reality that our time to ourselves is over (at least for now), and our time for others have begun. That is not an unusual situation, because in the years we’ve worked for this institution, it is impossible for us not to take away that one lesson defining DBP’s existence: for the development of the Filipino people. Improving the Filipino quality of life. Making the Filipino productive and competitive so that the people’s basic needs are adequately met. Not just the person. The people.
So today, I congratulate everyone for winning over the snooze button, for arriving at the office on time and for taking the time to join our weekly tradition. And yes, I did jog, I did cook breakfast, and I did not have to physically injure any other commuter on my way here. I am alive, alert, awake and enthusiastic, and I know you are too. Ito ang araw para sa pagpapaunlad ng Pilipinas. Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat.
A good friend of mine told me that he saw the Filipino translation of our bank’s name and it read: Bangko para sa pagpapaunlad ng Pilipinas. Now if we translate it back to English, it would read “Bank for the Development of the Philippines.” Can you believe how a simple play of words has added so much prestige and meaning to your getting here at 8 in the morning? I can.