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Signs of our times


The top news of the week was the re-election of US  President Barack Obama in the  Tuesday, Nov. 6th elections, (Wednesday, November 7th in the Philippines). Results were  announced on TV  soon after lunch in the Philippines.

In this, our own pre-election year, there is a lesson there to be learned. With the  wonders of modern technology,  election results were known shortly after closing of  polling places in the four  time zones in the States. And soon after that, that Mitt Romney graciously conceded to President Obama, congratulating him, wishing him well, and pledging cooperation with his government. Then, with his family, Romney thanked all of his supporters in what turned out to be one of the most closely contested elections, considering the narrow margin  in votes between him and Obama.

Then, consider that this should happen despite the heavily populated and politically significant north eastern American states having just undergone destruction and death with the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy, from which they are still recovering.

In tis connection, Cebu Daily News fellow columnist and lawyer Gloria Estenzo Ramos opened her column last Monday with the question: “Will tranquillity ever claim its space in this world where Mother Nature is heartlessly exploited, abused, debased and trashed for ‘progress’ to be attained?” Like her, I was also reminded of Al Gore’s book and film, “An Inconvenient Truth” in these current times of ours, which I had also written about years ago in my Bystander column.

Not to forget  that other parts of the United States have also been shaken by a series of strong earthquakes.

We here in the Philippines have also had our share of frequent earthquakes, being within the Pacific Ring of Fire. The series of recent tremors occurred in Northern Luzon in Manila and the Ilocos, and in Mindanao in Surigao (at intensity 6.1) and in Davao. Considering recent disasters in the Philippines, we thank the Santo Niño and San Pedro Calungsod for sparing us in Central Visayas, particularly  Cebu, from these “earth shakers” and the recent Typhoon Ofel.

Regarding earthquakes, I remember Msgr. Achilles Dakay, in a homily some years ago at Sto. Rosario Church during our Fiesta Señor, showing an image of Sr. Santo Niño holding in one of His hands a globe representing the world, which every now and then He would shake to remind us not to be too complacent with our spiritual lives.

With so much  happening during the past weeks, let me turn back to the last week of October, Thursday the 25th, with the opening of our Cebu Girl Scouts’ Regular Encampment at Camp Marina. Despite the heavy downpour that “inaugurated” the opening, the encampment proceeded with the scheduled activities. Actually this event was preceded earlier on Oct. 20th by the Senior and Cadet Girl Scouts’ Jamboree-on-the-Air.

The week after that, the search was held for the Cebu City Model Girl Scout 2012, conducted among the Star, Junior, Senior and Cadet Girl Scouts. The awarding will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17th, at the Sinulog Hall of the Rizal Library at Osmeña Boulevard.

Among a number of administrative matters taken up, Cebu GSP Executive Jo Ann Jayme reported the following Triennial Awards for 2009 to 2012  that our council garnered at the regional committee meeting Sept. 15th in Boracay Island, Aklan: Highest in membership, number of troop leaders and community women trained, and the production of two  certified trainers. Financially, we were the highest in NES (uniforms and equipment) sales, consistently achieving highest percentage in NES per capita sales, being the highest remitting council for having achieved our goals in the Thinking Day Fund, and collections for three consecutive years, and being the highest remitting council to the Josefa Llanes Escoda Fund. Our council has also ranked in percentage of badgework, in the number of patrol leaders who have earned the PL camp permit certificate. Our council has also consistently produced 15 chief Girl Scout medalists, organized the junior journalist guild with newsletter for three consecutive years, conducted regular council board and executive committee meetings for three consecutive years, and submitted annually during the triennium our annual audited financial Report. Congratulations, all!

Yesterday, I attended a meeting of chairpersons and members of various Girl Scout committees, as chair of the public relations committee. Let me tell you about that next week.

Our Cebu Girl Scout Council of the Philippines has certainly had a busy and productive triennium for the development and achievement of our Filipina girls. But we also remembered two Girl Scout Council and Board Members who have passed away:  Guadaupe Montecillo at age 95 last August when I was out of the country, and our former Council Board Member and Finance Officer, Ada Martinez.

I also learned that earlier last Oct. 21st, Elena Ouano Diola,  widow of the late Enrique “Eking” Diola, passed away at the age of 79. She was formerly the regional director of the Department of Science and Technology, a 1997 Gawad Awardee, and a key supporter of the anti-corruption movement Dilaab Foundation led by Fr. Carmelo Diola.

Do remember them all in your prayers.

Till next week, then, as always, may God continue to bless us, one and all!

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