Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Fish for Life Project, Taguig-Laguna Lake

Our Rotary Club of Taguig Fort Bonifacio, RI District 3830, had a wonderful partnership with another club from Germany, the Rotary Club of Koln-Ville in Cologne. The latter's Club President, Stephan Zilkens, wrote to our Club President, Meann de Leon, asking how they can help some fishermen in Laguna Lake which they saw and read, were badly affected by a strong typhoon last year. Our club President replied to him, and the partnership was established.

 Club Secretary Patty Mangundatu-Michener was a great partner to President Meann in identifying the project location, beneficiaries and local (barangay and city) officials who can make the project implemented quick.

 It is a two-phase project. First the distribution of fish nets to affected fisherfolks, and Second, a knife fish processing, for the spouses of fishermen.

The good news is that knife fish is edible. It doesn't have to be thrown away, it can be processed into fish products like fish balls, fish patties, fish dumplings, fish nuggets, fish longanisa, fish hotdog and some other fish meals that one can think of which can be sold in the market.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Joint Club Meeting with Jules Maaten as Speaker

It was a very educational lecture in philosophy and politics given by Jules Maaten Tuesday night last week at our Rotary Club of Taguig Fort Bonifacio, along with RC Makati Pio del Pilar.

 Not many people were able to come though although they really wanted to hear Jules' talk. Like at least three from the Initiatives for Filipino Liberty (IFL) group, at least three from our club, and so on. So this blog post is for those who were not able to come and regular readers of this blog.

At the onset, Jules defined Liberalism as:

* It is the philosophy of liberty
* It is a philosophy of empowerment
* Origin in protecting the individual against institutions of power.

This quote from JS Mill, among the classical thinkers of liberal philosophy, is clear and direct.

Then Jules specified how the  philosophy is applied, Liberalism in Politics:

* Protection of individual rights
* Equality of all human beings under the law
* Balance and separation of powers
* Belief in liberal representative democracy
* Balance between majority rule and the rights of the minority
* Weary of (state) authority, but state is rights guarantor
* Limitation and decentralisation of government powers
* Separation of church and state

I like this quote from my favorite economist and philosopher, F. Hayek. Yes, allow people to decide things for themselves, to make mistakes, to excel.

Then he discussed what is Liberalism in Economics:

* Belief in free enterprise and free markets with many players
* Protection of private property
* Support for free trade
* Privatisation of services better provided by the private sector
* Competition, no private monopolies
* Role for state where market does not function (education, environment, culture, social policies)
* Don’t leave debts to future generations.

The last item is important. As Germany and many European and rich economies go deeper and deeper in public debt, with huge interest payment annually, the economic freedom and well being of the future generation is heavily compromised.

John Locke is among the classical thinkers advocating individual freedom and limiting the role and intervention power of government.

Jules discussed the broader application of Liberalism in Society:

* Protection and expansion of civil rights and liberties
* Free speech, religious freedom and freedom of association
* A free, strong and active civil society
* Personal freedom, social inclusion and tolerance
* Equal rights for everybody
* Protection of our environment and that of our children.

Thus, Liberalism is a Way of Life:

* Trust and confidence in people
* Responsibility
* Tolerance and respect
* Question authority
* Unconvinced by violence and extremism
* Conviction and argument
* Optimism

Then he introduced the work of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) in the Philippines. Including their work in sponsoring "Freedom Run" in several cities in the country, from Metro Manila down to the Visayas and Mindanao.

Next subject he tackled was German Politics. He said that the Merkel era (2005 to present) is a "Beacon of stability" and how the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the German political party where the FNF is affiliated, was able to partner with the Merkel government over the past few years. The 2009 election was the biggest achievement of the FDP as it got nearly 15 percent of the total votes.

In the 2013 elections though, FDP lost, it failed to get the minimum 5 percent of total votes to have seats in the Parliament, a first since WW2. FDP is now in extra-parliamentarian opposition.

Jules broadened the discussion to include European Politics. Germany is at the centre of the most successful international project ever, the creation of the European Union: Economic, Monetary and Political union.

But recently, there have been dissociation from Europeans. Like moves in some countries to get out of the Euro, get out of the monetary union and the ECB, and re-establish their own national currencies. There will be a European Elections this coming May 22-25 2014.

Jules was a former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 2001-2009.

Another quote from his presentation:

"The challenge is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible."
(Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1969)

The discussion during the open forum was lively and diverse. From philosophy to Europe to Philippine politics and the PNoy Aquino government.

Awarding of Certificate of Appreciation by First Class President (FCP) Maryann de Leon of RCTFB and FCP Dess Madsen of RCMPP, to the left of Jules respectively. Jules' pretty wife Eva Maaten, to his right, and our District Cluster Assistant Governor Chary Mesa (in red dress) joined.

A cake as additional recognition for his thoughts that night, from FCP Dess.

Thanks again for that very educational evening Jules.

Jules also enjoyed the night. While he has spoken at the European Parliament, in various fora in Europe and Asia, it was his first time to speak before rotary clubs.

The full presentation plus photos is available here in slideshare.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Club Talk on Liberalism, German Politics and the FNF

This coming Tuesday, May 06, our club and the RC of Makati Pio del Pilar will have a joint meeting with a distinguished speaker, the Country Director of the FNF, and a former Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Jules Maaten.

There is good feedback about this "interesting topic" and hence, we hope many people, rotarians and non-rotarians, will come and listen to Jules.

As usual, no registration fee, people will just pay for their own meals and drinks. Hope to see you there, Manila-based readers. Thanks.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Governor Robert Kuan's Visit, Part 2

* This is the continuation of the earlier Governor Robert Kuan's Visit

First Class Governor Robert Kuan of RI District 3830 visited the three clubs of Taguig-Pateros last September 02, 2013, the RC Taguig Fort Bonifacio, RC Taguig West, and RC Metropolitan Pateros. Venue was the RC Makati Foundation building in Makati.

There could be about 70+ people in the room, including District officials. The event was very modest, no special entertainment, just food, fellowships and listening to the inspiring words and exhortations of our hard-working Governor.

Our club was seated at the back of the function room.

One of two dining tables we occupied.

Certificate of Appreciation given by the three Club Presidents to our District Secretary.

And the Presidents' appreciation to the Governor.

Each club has a group photo session with Gov. Robert, including Assistant Gov. Chary Misa. Our turn.

Thanks for the inspiring night, Gov. Robert and President Meann de Leon.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Governor Robert Kuan's Visit

Last September 2, 2013, RI District 3830 First Class Governor Robert Kuan visited our club, along with two other clubs, RC Taguig West and RC Metropolitan Pateros. It was held at RC Makati Foundation building. Venue was free, we just paid for the food.

First Class President Meann de Leon of our club gave a presentation about the club and major activities and club meetings the past year and this rotary year. Then the line up of activities in the coming months.

Gov. Robert Kuan is a very successful businessman, sharp minded and yet humble. He got out of family business, the Ling Nam and related restaurants and put up his own, Chowking, made it very popular with many branches nationwide. He sold Chowking to his business buddy Tan CakTiong of Jollibee, then he went to head the St. Lukes Medical Foundation.

His experience in the private sector he is bringing to Rotary. It was in his incoming term that a multi-district, well all 10 Districts in the Philippines, held their common President Elect Training Seminar (PETS) in Cebu City last February -- a first time in the history of Philippine rotary. This coming March, the 10 Districts will hold its first ever multi-District Conference (DisCon) 2014. He promised lots of exciting and big name speakers, from Rotary International in the main headquarter in Illinois, most likely.

Gov. Robert pointed out that our club has among the biggest potential for membership expansion because of our location, within the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) where offices and businesses are expanding fast, and yet we remain small. He encouraged us to do more, to target not just to attain the minimum of 25 members, but to aim for 40, 80 or more members.

His advice is practical. Unlike in Makati that is saturated with so many rotary clubs already, Fort Bonifacio Global City has only about three clubs based there, our Rotary Club of Taguig Fort Bonifacio, RC Bonifacio Global City, and RC Makati Bonifacio. Thus, the potential for expansion is rather big because of the big number of businessmen and professionals in the business district.

President-Elect (PE) Daryl Cabato is very resourceful in bringing in new faces and potential members to the club. That night, he invited three new faces, all working in BGC, with an assurance of more potential members to bring in the coming weeks.

The group photo before dinner. Gov. Robert was accompanied by our cluster Assistant Gov. Chary Misa and District Secretary.

See also:
Moments 1: Rose Antonio, June 26, 2013
Popularizing Rotary's Projects and Events, August 01, 2013

Medical Mission at Philippine Cerebral Palsy Inc., September 05, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Club Talk by Wan Saiful Wan Jan

Last Monday, our guest speaker was the CEO of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) in Malaysia, Mr. Wan Saiful Wan Jan. Wan is my friend way back in 2008 when I met him Atlanta, USA during the Atlas Liberty Forum. I would meet hin almost yearly since then, in various regional meetings and conferences among free market leaders and advocates in our continent.

I posted in my political blog the full presentation of Wan with some notes and comments on it, here.

Our Club President, First Class President Meann de Leon gave a short report during her President's time, then gave the floor to me to introduce the guest Speaker. My introduction was short, focusing on Wan leaving his 17 years career in London and go back to Kuala Lumpur along with his wife and 3 kids, all born in London, to start a free market think tank there.

Several clubmates were not able to come last Monday, but some friends of mine in the free market group here in Manila came. And they asked lots of questions to Wan.

President Meann giving the Certificate of Recognition to Wan.

The usual group photo after the talk.

Another group photo, for the boys :-)

Thanks Wan for imparting lots of useful information and observations about Malaysian economy and government, and their lessons for us here in the Philippines.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Medical Mission at Philippine Cerebral Palsy Inc.

Last August 29, our club, the Rotary Club of Taguig Fort Bonifacio, partnered with two other clubs in our District 3830, for a medical and dental mission to patients of the Philippine Cerebral Palsy, Inc. (PCPI) in Makati City.

A corridor of the Center, with some arriving patients.

One of the newly arriving patients...

At the waiting area, patients were either waiting for their turn to see Rehabilitation physicians and aides, dentists, or done seeing them, waiting for the giving of take home freebies.

New clubmate, Era Eguia, chose this among her favorite photos in her profile. The boy should be a case of more severe case of palsy...

Btway, photo credits, by IPP Rose Antonio and Era. Those with Rotary logo are from Era's camera, the rest are from IPP Rose's camera.
A dental clean up, done by members of the Kalookan chapter of the Philippine Dental Society.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

MDGs, Tuloy sa Don Bosco, A2A, by John Alexander Kerr

Last Monday, August 12, we have another American guest speaker, a friend of our clubmates Mike Michener and Patty Mangundatu, fellow Rotarian, John Alexander Kerr, of RC Alabang. He is seated 2nd from right, between First Class President Meann de Leon and Assistant Governor Chary Misa. Venue was Metro Club, Rockwell, Makati.

John talked about the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), Tuloy sa Don Bosco Foundation, and his company, A2A Management Services Corp., where he is the CEO. John is also a Board Director and Trustee of Tuloy Foundation.

The portion that I like most in his talk was the Aquaponics project of Tuloy. It is aquaculture + hydroponics farming. The water where the fish swim contains fish manure and other organic wastes. The water is siphoned to a tank and is used in the hydroponics farm for various vegetables. The plants used the organic waste from the fish, plus other minerals added to the water for specific needs by specific vegetables. The water is then siphoned to another tank, filtered, and is used back to the aquaculture tank. Really cool.

The awarding of Certificate of Appreciation, by President Meann de Leon. They were joined by IPP Rose Antonio (leftmost) and AG Chary Misa (rightmost).

The usual group picture, before the formal adjournment of the meeting.

AG Chary reiterated an earlier announcement she made a few weeks ago, that the Governor's visit to our club plus two other clubs in the Taguig-Pateros cluster, will be on September 2, Monday, 6pm down. It will be held at RC Makati Foundation building, just at the back of Metro Club.

When John and his assistant, Hazel, left, fellowships began. Another round of picture taking.

Mike brought a booze, don't know what it was, with milk cream on top, just one shot for each of us...

Cheers! Kampai! Prost!

(Photo Credits: IPP Rose Antonio and Era Eguia)

See also:
Tuloy sa Don Bosco, January 24, 2010
My Classification Talk, on Mining Taxation, July 19, 2013 
John Walker on Strengthening Corporate Security, July 24, 2013

Fellowship, After Four Club Talks, August 03, 2013