Welcome    to    PMAP    CALABARZON!

Mr. Schubert Caesar C. Austero
2010 PMAP President

A book that stands out from my childhood is “Hope for the Flowers,” an illustrated story about two caterpillars on their journey into becoming butterflies. It’s a story about hope; but more importantly, about the immense power of hope that is grounded on strong faith.

The story of Stripe and Yellow came to mind recently because of the number of news stories that pointed out that most Filipinos were very hopeful and optimistic about their chances in 2011. The stories quoted the results of a number of surveys conducted just as 2010 was drawing to a close. Although being hopeful is generally expected during the season when people greet each other “peace on earth and goodwill to men,” the results of the surveys indicated an unusually high surge in hopefulness and optimism this time around.

The phenomenon is attributed to many factors, foremost of which is the continued trust on the leadership of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. Clearly, the importance of leadership in enabling and ennobling people cannot be underestimated. But there were other factors that need to be considered: The economy did not do so badly, there were no earthshaking events in the league of the global financial crisis of 2008, there was relative peace and order in the country. Most importantly, there were less of the fractious political conflicts that projected the impression that our leaders were bent on annihilating each other and that we couldn’t get our acts together as a nation. 

Of course the cynics in this country continued to point out that poverty is still a major concern, that corruption is still deeply entrenched in government, that our military and police authorities are abusive, that unemployment and underemployment continue to hound us. In short, the list of our woes remains long; very long.

We have major, major problems as a country and as a people. Our biggest stumbling block is that many of among us believe misery and hopelessness is our birthright. Many among us cannot see beyond the difficulties not just because they are blinded by tears but simply because they have lost what really matters most: Hope.

Perhaps this is the reason why local media went to town with the results of the surveys. For the first time in a long, long while, most actually allowed themselves to hope for better things this year. And hope, lest we forget, is that thing that makes the impossible possible; hope is that tiny spark of light that makes the darkest of nights bearable.

We can choose to see the New Year in the context of the difficult conditions that we have to contend with, or join the rest of the country in recognizing the opportunities that continue to present themselves for us. We can be the bearers of bad news or we can choose to inspire others.

There are a lot of things to be thankful for and even more to be hopeful about in 2011.

I join the incoming board of directors in wishing all PMAPers and people managers a truly blessed 2011! Happy New Year, everyone!