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Friday, October 24, 2014

Filipino Friday #2: Hello, Writer!



Yes! It's Friday and I'm finally writing a Filipino Friday post on the right day. Haha!

So, here's this week's prompt: As a reader, have you ever thought about writing a book? What kind of books/stories do you want to write? Or are you now a published author, and what compelled you to go fulfil this dream? How was your journey from reader to writer? How did you go about getting your book out there?

Here's my answer: Shameless promotion time. Haha!

Yes! Writing has always been a part of my life, just as much as reading. I started really early (grade school). I'm the type who keeps a journal. I started my first journal in Grade 2, as part of my school work. After that, I kept at it. I remember filling notebooks and notebooks with stories, poems, character banks, and even advertisements (yes, advertisements. I may have had an alternative career in copywriting)! Read about my favorite stories and my first attempt at writing a fantasy novel here (last year's Filipino Friday prompt).

Words make up my days. I say this elsewhere but I'll say it here again: your life is made up of what you remember. That's why I attempt to write whenever I can: it's life captured (and shared, when published).

I started writing poetry quite early too. I feel, up to now, that poetry is a concentrated kind of literature where I best express myself. But it's also one of the least profitable types of literature as well. Frankly, I don't care. I still write it.



My poetry has been published before. I'm really happy that I have a couple of poems published in two editions of U.P.'s Likhaan series. I also have one poem in A Habit of Shores, edited by one of my idols, Gemino "Jimmy" Abad. The poem title is rather long: "A Filipino Writer of English Poems to a Filipino Writer of Spanish Poems." It was written for a Rizal Centennial poetry contest in Ateneo de Manila (which I won...a long time ago). I have another one in One Hundred Love Poems, edited by Sir Jimmy and another of my literary idols, Alfred "Krip" Yuson. This latter poem is probably what you'd call my most mainstream and memorable poem. It's called "Seven Years Later, Driving Home." In other words: marami sigurong sawi sa Pilipinas. Haha!

I won't forget, though, the first time I got two poems published in a magazine. It was before I submitted my poem to the Rizal contest. I submitted it through my friend, Tats Locsin. Seeing my words printed on paper in a national publication was very thrilling. But my hope was: let it touch lives. The title of one of the poems was: "Lost Afternoon," about how even love is subject to time, a favorite theme of mine. I was going through a phase then.

I submitted another two poems to Panorama and they got published too. But that was it. Nothing published for a very long time.

A couple of years ago, I attended a seminar on producing results with velocity and I thought to myself: why don't I publish my books? I had a rejected manuscript for a chick lit story (too dragging, too serious...hahaha!) and I had a lot of poems that were unpublished, just languishing on this blog. So I published them on Lulu.com (a self-publishing platform in the U.S.) and I even got a couple of printed proofs in the mail which made me almost faint with excitement. My friend, Maisa dela Torre, illustrated my book of poetry.



My book of poetry is Gift: Poems. And my love story is Artemis Lets Go. I even did a little book launch in Fully Booked, BGC. The books were self-published so I couldn't use Fully Booked's distribution system and cashier. They needed a publisher or a company to sign the contract. I just printed a few copies and sold them to friends and family who showed up at the launch. My aunt, all the way in Virginia, also ordered several copies of my poetry book to give away as Christmas gifts. Yay!

Last year, I also collaborated with two other writers, Buding Aquino-Dee and Jenny Ong, to come up with a children's book that highlights how breastfeeding is part of family bonding. It's called Snuggle Wuggle Wee. It was such a joy to write! Sales of the book will fund more breastfeeding activities by the the non-profit organization, L.A.T.C.H. (Lactation, Attachment, Training, Counseling, and Help). A Filipino version, translated by a poet who happens to be my favorite Philosophy teacher, Bong Oris, is on the way.



I still won't make money out of writing. Not yet. But I don't mind. It's not why I write. And I'm learning! It also won't stop me from continuing to write. I found a way to DIY and I still got my books to some people. That's what counts. "Wildly popular" isn't really my end goal. As I've read in Stephen King's book On Writing: write for yourself. And here I am, still writing. I've submitted a couple of short stories to two anthologies for publication next year. I'm looking forward to the launches of those.

Also, NaNoWriMo is coming up. Maybe it's time to shake off the dust from a languishing manuscript and put it out there, in the world. There are a lot more choices available to writers nowadays, especially with the advent of digital distribution systems.

My conclusion: a reader may not always become a writer. But a writer...a writer will always start out as a reader. And a writer will always need to continue reading because of an incurable love for words and stories.

Disclosure: I work with a digital distribution system for the Pinoy market, buqo. But you'll see from my story, above, why I'm so passionate about books and getting authors to their audiences.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Here Comes The Sun: Beach Stories to Brighten Your Day, A Review of Sola Musica

Sola MusicaSola Musica by Mina V. Esguerra
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Disclosure: I am friends with the authors.

I pre-ordered Sola Musica last August but only got the chance to read it recently. I really loved it. It's set in a fictional beach music festival in Anilao, Batangas. Each author contributes a story to the setting. The first story is Spectators by Chinggay Labrador, the second is Georgia Lost and Found by Mina V. Esguerra, followed by A Captured Dream by Ines Bautista-Yao, and the last story is Break by Marla Miniano. But feel free to read in any order, depending on what strikes your fancy.

Four very different perspectives but all so inspiring. I loved how little details from one story would randomly show up in another story.  Also, don't miss the playlists in the appendix of the book. They replace the regular "about the author" and give a new perspective to each author. Each story features songs and the bands, adding texture to your reading experience.  With Spectators I listened to Coldplay right when the band was mentioned in the story (Song: Amsterdam). It's well-researched. I loved all the little details about bands setting up! Mina's average-Georgia has a surprise waiting for her in the story. It's so relatable (ex. Awkward silence in a car with a guy that you’re not sure likes you back. Familiar situation. At least, for me). Plus there's this giant balloon. Memorable metaphor. Watch for it. Ines' A Captured Dream is all about girl power, but with a twist! What can I say? It's about literally taking one's power back. Now, who wouldn't want that? Marla's Break was so charming. I loved the unconventional-modern-family of Nat. Also, it's full of insights on teenage angst and finding out who you really are.

So, all in all, it was a gift of stories and music to me. And since we're on the topic of music, if I could pick a song to describe the book, it would be "Here Comes The Sun," the Nina Simone cover.

All in all, I treasured my reading time with this book of short stories. It made me want to look for tickets to the festival. Haha!


View all my reviews

Monday, October 20, 2014

Filipino Friday #1: Surprise, Reader!



It's not Friday anymore but it's better late than never. 

Really excited for this year's ReaderCon which is now part of the NBDB's (National Book Development Board) Philippine International Literary Festival (PILF) happening from Nov. 12-14. Right after that, Komikon on the 15th. All happening at the Bayanihan Center along Pioneer St., Mandaluyong City. 



Here's the prompt:

Surprise, Reader! Hello, it’s the first week of Filipino Fridays 2014! Whether it’s your first time to participate or not, tell us a bit about yourself. More specifically, tell us about your favorite book discoveries for this year. Any author you started reading this year that you can’t get enough of? A book you didn’t think you’d like, but you ended up liking/loving? Any book series that you just have to get your hands on? Have you discovered anything new from Filipino authors this year?

About myself:
I'm a delinquent book blogger and a reading addict. I just happen to work in the book sphere through buqo, a Filipino digital bookstore app. :-) This is the second time I'm participating in Filipino Fridays. 

Author I started reading that I can't get enough of: Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan working in tandem for The Strain trilogy. I couldn't put the books down.

A book I didn't think I'd like but ended up liking/ loving: The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith. I expected to hate it because I've chosen to be vegetarian several times in my life. I was only curious when I got the book. I found that it was written with a lot of compassion for vegetarians and the motivations of a vegetarian. And it got me even more interested in agriculture (especially here in the Philippines) and how else to be more conscious of my impact on the environment. 

A book series that I'd like to get my hands on: Um, please, George R.R. Martin, please release your next Game of Thrones book already. I've been patiently waiting. 

Discovered something new from a Filipino author this year: 
  • A lot, actually. First off, I discovered Coming To Terms edited by Lorna Kalaw-Tirol. It's an old book. But not old to me. I loved reading the book and seeing how another generation faced mid-life. 
  • Next, I discovered Taming Romeo by Clare Ayala. It's a steamy read set in the West Coast with a wonderfully colorful immigrant Filipino family. I'm glad Clare is releasing the second book in the series, Claiming Carlos, this time focusing on the sister of Evie (Taming Romeo's protagonist), Choco. 
  • I also fell in love with the books by Candy Gourlay. Tall Story was such a wonderful read. My husband finished the book ahead of me. That's a feat because my husband doesn't usually read fiction! And I'm in the middle of Shine, her second YA book. Loving it so far!
So, that's it. Looking forward to the next Filipino Friday!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

What I Learned From "How To Change The World" (A Course Offered by Wesleyan University via Coursera.org)

Poster for Creek Clean Up by author


I thought the course, How To Change The World*, had an audacious ring to it. That was why I took it. I wanted to find out if it was possible for me to make a difference, wherever I happened to be in my life. I’m so glad I took the course, despite some hesitation (and distractions) at the start, because I ended the class with an actual project that will make a difference in my immediate community.

It directed my focus on action

The course was divided into six weeks, with the fourth week serving as “rest” week so students could catch up with the readings (which were voluminous!). These were the topics, in order, that covered the first, second, third, fifth, and sixth weeks:
  • social goods and the commons (resources belonging to a whole community, or even the whole world),
  • poverty and development,
  • climate change and sustainability,
  • disease and global health care and,
  • women, education and social change.
It was a broad coverage but it pretty much captured the biggest issues we face as human beings. I liked how the whole course started with the premise that we human beings share a commons, whether it is our biology, our planet, or our systems. It was a good springboard and context for tackling everything else. With every topic, the main questions that we were asked as students were:

What do I know?
Why should I care?
What can I do?

The course was not theoretical though it did not lack in theory. We were challenged to read the facts (I confess that I was really not able to finish all the PDFs and papers that were presented in the syllabus) but beyond that, we were challenged to take action. This, I believe, is where knowledge matters most: when it is put into practice. All the knowledge in the world will not be able to make positive changes. After learning new insights, new methods, new approaches, it makes sense to apply it immediately to one’s life. This was the value I saw in taking up the course. It was designed for application. At one point, I realized that I made a mistake in submitting a multimedia presentation for peer review. It meant that I would not get extra credit. I complained on the forum and one TA (teaching assistant) reminded me that doing the work counted more than the grade. What a wake-up call. Because I’m such a nerd, I wanted that “with distinction” certificate. But the certificate won’t matter if my participation won’t create any actual change in my community. I drew the line and, from then on, I focused on the quality of my work, whether or not I got a good grade.

I looked around with new lenses

All the topics were very relevant to me, coming from a developing country that seems to face all of the issues presented in the syllabus. While the course directed me where to look, what became clear to me were immediate opportunities in my own neighborhood. In the first week (when the commons was the topic), I was able to zero in on a polluted creek across the condominium where I live. I started contacting people I never thought to contact before: a foundation that helps rehabilitate rivers and creeks, the kagawad (local officials) in my barangay (smallest local government unit in the Philippines), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

I was pleasantly surprised by the reaction from my local government. They were very willing to work with me to organize a clean up. This initiative snowballed with the DPWH volunteering a crew, despite the fact that they work on a national and not on a local level, and a small business offering to donate effective microorganism (EM) solution to be applied to the creek. I was amazed at what actually could be done in my own neighborhood. Citizen action didn’t seem like such an overwhelming task anymore. My barangay eventually got in touch with a company that does corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, Li & Fung Ltd., a multinational supply chain management supplier, and, all of a sudden, we got 20 more volunteers for the creek clean up plus food donations. All in all, the project that will be implemented on August 16, 2014 will have 55 volunteers coming from both government and private sectors.

I appreciated the beauty and necessity of the grassroots and “the small”

In the course of taking up How To Change The World, a friend of mine (who also happens to be one of the volunteers for the creek clean up) introduced me to a book, Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered by E.F. Schumacher. I immediately felt an affinity with the book. Schumacher believes that using economics as a measure for development or progress is a mistake. There must be better ways for measuring wellbeing. Also, these measures must take sustainability into account. This book was published in 1973 but I find that it is very relevant today. It pointed me to the answer to “how to change the world.” The answer is: one village/ neighborhood at a time. While sweeping movements do make a difference, touching hearts is very essential in creating lasting change for the better. This can only be done at close quarters. Modern technology favors the “mega,” the “big,” and “scale” but going back to the “small,” the intimate, the community-based is actually what will make the difference in creating a sustainable structure that favors actual people and our environment.

I now see that it’s time to change our measures

It made sense that the last topic that we took up in the course focused on gender equality. Empowering women and girls not only improves the lives of everyone but it gives women the opportunity to contribute from positions of leadership (either in private business or in government). They call attention to things like child care and the environment. From this topic, I discovered the work of Marilyn Waring, New Zealand feminist, politician and author of If Women Counted, a feminist analysis of modern economics. She advocates changing our measures for progress.

In business parlance, there is a saying that “what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done.” Even in matters of development, I believe the same thing also applies. However, our tools for measurement reflect the kind of societies we want to build. If we measure for economic factors only, we will not take into account such things as wellbeing and sustainability. I believe it’s time for human societies to change their measures. And once again, we do this one community at a time, until it becomes the model that we use for larger structures like countries and regions.  And so, to close, if you ask me: how do you change the world? My answer is: one community, one village at a time. It takes focus, it takes really seeing and observing what will make a difference to people in my immediate neighborhood, and it takes work at the grassroots. It takes you and me doing something about the things that matter to us most. When it comes to changes we want to see in the world, it will not be about GDP (gross domestic product) but about our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our kids, our planet.

Go take the next course and see how *you* can change the world. 


*Note: I took up a course boldly called How To Change The World offered for free by Wesleyan University (via Coursera.org) from June 21 to August 14, 2014.  The course was taught by Michael S. Roth, Wesleyan University President. It tackled major issues facing humanity and it was based on discussions brought up during the 2013 Social Good Summit in New York. There will be a 2015 version of the course based on the upcoming 2014 Social Good Summit.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

How To Change The World #2.2 Three Questions To Ask in Addressing Extreme Poverty

Question: Imagine that you have been put in charge of allocating a considerable amount of resources to address extreme poverty in one region of the world. Describe the three most important questions you would want to ask to determine how to use these materials most effectively.

Answer: Extreme poverty, while it seems so vast and sometimes hopeless, can actually be broken down into several key problems and, in turn, these problems can actually be worked on if we do it one step at a time.

If I were in charge of a considerable amount of resources to address extreme poverty, the first question I would ask is linked to what Joy Anderson (Founder of Criterion, Visiting Professor at Wesleyan University) said in video lecture 5.3 (Education & Risk Taking): What do people affected by extreme poverty need the most? In Joy’s example, a social entrepreneur decided that what Indian women in a certain depressed area needed were sanitary napkins because not having any was hindering women from participation in social and economic activities of the village. It was a good thing that she went around the village interviewing the women. It turned out that what they wanted was a blender / food processor because cutting vegetables ate up too much of their time. Good things come out of listening to people who need the aid. Many times, where aid goes is determined by the giver or by the organization that is organizing the aid without listening to the beneficiary.

Banerjee & Duflo book. Image from makewealthhistory.og

My second question is linked to methodology or what the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) is doing (randomized evaluations as cited in the paper by Jessica Cohen and William Easterly, Thinking Big versus Thinking Small): What is the most effective and measurable way to deliver the solution? There are many ways to increase school attendance but which one is the best way, the most effective way? In the account by Esther Duflo of JPAL in her TED talk, Social Experiments to Fight Poverty, traditional ways of increasing school attendance were providing extra teachers, providing school meals or providing scholarships. However, when JPAL did a test that included other interventions like providing iron supplements and deworming to the mix, it turned out that deworming had the highest impact to prolonging school attendance. And now, this experiment has already guided policy for education.

My third question is related to sustainability and Jeffrey Sachs’ Common Wealth, Economics for a Crowded Planet: How can we put structures in place so that extreme poverty no longer becomes an issue in the future? Short-term interventions can only go so far. Long-term sustainability is required so that gains on extreme poverty will remain. This has to do, now, with the way a society is structured, how its government is structured, and how equal citizens are within that society. In Sachs’ example, Nordic countries where citizens have a high degree of equality and where social safety nets are in place, overall wellbeing for these countries are high. I believe, if we change the way we measure “progress,” across the globe, from GDP to human wellbeing, we will make great strides in not just alleviating extreme poverty but also in protecting and nurturing our environment.

To address extreme poverty, three questions to ask are: 1) What do people affected by extreme poverty need the most?, 2) What is is the most effective and measurable way we can deliver the solution?, and 3) How can we put structures in place so that extreme poverty no longer becomes an issue in the future?

Note: I am currently taking up a course boldly called How To Change The World offered by Wesleyan University (offered for free through Coursera.org) and taught by Wesleyan University President, Michael S. Roth. It tackles major issues facing humanity and it is based on discussions brought up during the 2013 Social Good Summit in NY. I am putting up all my assignments on my blog as well.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

How To Change The World #5.1 The Fight for the RH Bill: Gender Equality and Reproductive Health Care in the Philippines

Illustrate (using video, slideshow, visual art, song, text, documentation of a direct action, or anything else) an issue of gender inequality either in your neighborhood or in your life. Think about how yours or someone else's assigned gender identity has either opened up or closed opportunities for them, or think about ways in which an institution is structured to favor certain gender expressions.



I am currently taking up a course boldly called How To Change The World offered by Wesleyan University (offered for free through Coursera.org) and taught by Wesleyan University President, Michael S. Roth. It tackles major issues facing humanity and it is based on discussions brought up during the 2013 Social Good Summit in NY. I am putting up all my assignments on my blog as well.

How To Change The World # 5: Empowered Girls and Women Improve Overall Wellbeing of their Families, Their Villages, and Their Countries

Image of young girl from petition site, www.care2.com

Q: Describe at least two examples from different parts of the world in which building capacity for women and girls has turned out to be an effective strategy of enhancing health and well-being for a society more generally.

A: According to Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, head of U.N. Women and former deputy president of South Africa in Guardian.com video on women's economic empowerment, a change that empowers women (such as education, where historically culture and religion made it unavailable for women, or providing her with small loans to start a busin
ess) leads to women (1) finding their voice, (2) gaining independence,  and (3) ascending to leadership roles, both in civil society and in government. Mlambo-Ngcuka stressed that these, and especially the third point, gives women the power to make changes on the ground, resulting in benefits that affect both men and women: the eradication of hunger and poverty.

I saw two particular examples of this. One example is presented by Jasmine Shah, in his article on Tehelka.com: Policy Can Bridge Gender Gap (March 23, 2013). Professor Robert Jensen of the MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab conducted a randomized control test to see if seeding a community with job opportunities, particularly for women (business process outsourcing or BPO job, specifically) would result in better outcomes for girls. The study worked. Young qualified women were more likely to employed by the BPO (by 5 percentage points). School enrollment for girls increased significantly (closing out 60% of the boy-girl gap in education). The study also resulted in better nutrition and health for girls. The study also resulted in young women showing a desire to work for pay outside of their homes (by 12 percentage points) which resulted in these women not marrying or giving birth within the three-year period of the intervention. This phenomenon will most likely lead to better economic prospects for the entire village (more income going into families because both men and women are getting jobs) and better well-being for the family with both boys and girls getting health care and nutrition.

Another example is the phenomenon of how women influenced the economic growth of Brazil, leading to better health and well-being for all its citizens. This was not in our assigned readings but I was very much interested in what happened in Brazil as I was researching about the RH (Reproductive Health) Bill in the Philippines. In the article by Cynthia Gorney in National Geographic (September 2011), she traces how a mix of female empowerment and steamy soap operas led to lower fertility rates and created the foundation for a new vibrant economy. Women, even though they were mostly Catholic, flouted their own religion and started getting tubal ligations or other kinds of contraception. “Everyone was doing it,” said one interviewee. This led to smaller families and better health and nutrition among the fewer children that these women were raising. According to the article, within two generations, Brazil’s fertility dropped from 6 children per family in the 60s to 2.36 in 2000 and to only 1.9 per family in 2010. Smaller family size has been credited for boosting the economies rapidly developing countries such as Brazil.

I’m not even talking about Scandinavian countries where women form roughly half of the legislative bodies of their governments. These countries (like Sweden and Norway) have high social security nets and they have some of the highest rates of wellbeing across the globe. It is clear from these examples that when women are empowered, they improve not only the health and nutrition of their populations but they improve the overall wellbeing of their families, their villages, their communities, and their countries.

Note: I am currently taking up a course boldly called How To Change The World offered by Wesleyan University (offered for free through Coursera.org) and taught by Wesleyan University President, Michael S. Roth. It tackles major issues facing humanity and it is based on discussions brought up during the 2013 Social Good Summit in NY. I am putting up all my assignments on my blog as well.



Sunday, July 27, 2014

How To Change The World #4.1: Barangay San Antonio Health Interventions, Seeing Positive Action in an LGU



Illustrate (using video, slideshow, visual art, song, text, documentation of a direct action, or anything else) an issue of public health in your neighborhood. In accordance with this week's readings, think about the intersections between economic inequality and different availabilities of healthcare. Consider visiting a community institution (a hospital, a nursing home, a recreation center, a restaurant) to illustrate either a positive response or a contribution to inequality in public health.

Note: I am currently taking up a course boldly called How To Change The World offered by Wesleyan University (offered for free through Coursera.org) and taught by Wesleyan University President, Michael S. Roth. It tackles major issues facing humanity and it is based on discussions brought up during the 2013 Social Good Summit in NY. I am putting up all my assignments on my blog as well.

How To Change The World #4: Acting on Global Disease and Health Needs A Combination of Effective Delivery and Moral Responsibility

Topic 1

Q: Jim Kim, president of the World Bank Group, ascribed much of the success of the fight against HIV/AIDs to a political movement that pushed powerful groups to deal with this health crisis. Describe at least two other examples in which political or social mobilization has had an important impact on fighting disease. How can you become a part of such a movement today?

A: In video lecture 4.4 of Global Disease and Health, I was very inspired to see a congressman (Gregory W. Meeks), a socially-oriented businessman (Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen) and an action-oriented young girl (Naomi Kodama) talk about what they were all doing about malaria, the third biggest cause of death among developing countries (200M suffered from malaria in 2010 and 650K people died of malaria just a few years ago, particularly young children under five, source: video lecture 4.4). This was an example of both political and social mobilization having an impact on fighting disease. Vestergaard Frandsen brought in the technology, Meeks raises awareness for the disease as part of the Malaria Caucus and Naomi Kodama (together with her father) is behind the grassroots campaign, NothingButNets.net which encourages funding for insecticide-treated bed nets being distributed in sub-Saharan Africa.

In video lecture 4.6 of Global Diseas and Health, I also saw how Dr. Neeraj Mistry, managing director of Global Network, David Harris, executive creative director of Draftfcb, and Peter Koechly, co-founder of Upworthy talked about how a U.S.-based institute collaborated with an ad agency and a website for viral content to promote action against something called neglected tropical diseases like worm infections (hook worm, whip worm and round worm), elephantiasis, river blindness, trachoma, and snail fever. These neglected tropical diseases affect 1 billion people in developing countries, mostly in rural and hard-to-reach areas. That scale is really staggering. However, the awareness campaign has really brought in a lot of awareness, which in turn brought in supporters and funding.

This work of fighting global disease truly needs a combination of effective delivery: this includes gathering support and putting the solutions in the hands of those who most need it (Jessica Cohen, Asst. Professor of Global Health, Harvard University, video lecture 4.4 and 4.5) and ethical/ moral responsibility, the continuing reason for people to care and create pressure (Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Earth Institute, Columbia University, video lectures 4.6 and 4.7). The immediate step I took after the lectures was to donate to both NothingButNets.net and GlobalNetwork.org. However, as mentioned in lectures 4.6 and 4.7, it’s not enough to “throw money” at an initiative. It starts with creating a social consensus, provoking care, marshaling resources, and designing patterns of intervention.

From Rappler.com

Closer to home, in the Philippines, I am also closely following and supporting the #HungerProject which is a collaboration among a news media website, Rappler, the Philippines’ DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), and U.N.’s World Food Programme. Its aim is to fight malnutrition among our poorest. This is also one effort where my personal action can make a difference. First step: creating social consensus.

Note: I am currently taking up a course boldly called How To Change The World offered by Wesleyan University (offered for free through Coursera.org) and taught by Wesleyan University President, Michael S. Roth. It tackles major issues facing humanity and it is based on discussions brought up during the 2013 Social Good Summit in NY. I am putting up all my assignments on my blog as well.

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