Friday, October 22, 2010

Forever Big Brother

Kuya with his grandkids Raffy and Uriel

Happy birthday, Kuya!

Kuya Tony turns 73 before the end of this month. He’s the eldest among eight siblings, with me at the bottom of that ladder.

So you can imagine that when I was yet a whiny toddler (my siblings always chorused I was the ultimate cry-baby), Kuya was probably busy chasing after his crush and getting quite serious with “where-do-I-go-from-here?” thoughts.

He was, I’m told by his contemporaries, the “crush ng bayan.” I don’t doubt that at all because his old photos show a striking resemblance to current heartthrob, actor Jericho Rosales. “Pero hindi lang gwapo,” a high school classmate said, “magaling pa!” He was always on top of his class.

As expected, even while working to finish his engineering course, he excelled in college, then pursued a career which brought him to executive level in one of the country’s biggest corporations. We both retired from San Miguel Corporation in 1998.

Kuya is not so well nowadays, and he and Ate Cora, his wife, have bravely coped with the challenge. We make it a point to visit him once in a while for a tete-a-tete and to discuss some family business. Funny it’s only now that I’m seeing my brother in three-D. Coming from a big family and with six siblings in between, we hardly spent time together in our younger days.

Nowadays, he regales my brother Dan, our sister Mita and myself (our other siblings live abroad) with stories of his youth and we’d always end up laughing our heartiest laughs, hanggang maiyak sa katatawa.

Then we’d once more reminisce nung unang panahon incidents which would draw even more teary laughter. When our cousin Kuya Ador (Kuya’s contemporary) joins us in these visits, our conversations turn more hilarious.

Kuya Tony recently talked about his first pair of leather shoes, bought after religiously saving money to afford his dream brand. “Besa shoes!” This new yuppie sat on the bus one day, excited about his prized acquisition and imagining everyone admiring it when he got off in our hometown (Sampaloc, Quezon). He sat like someone on cloud nine, extended his foot a bit too far, then felt a scrape. Besa's been scratched! “Mayabang kasi!” He now laughs it off.

But really, Kuya had never been a show-off. I remember him as a hard-worker and passionate about life, even music—he was my Pavarotti! But never boastful.

After his recent hospital stay, Kuya lost considerable weight. Well, we all grow old and lose weight and never look like our former selves. That’s life.

But my image of Kuya will never changekind, funny, considerate, self-controlled, patient, intelligent and wise, lover of life, a good son, father, husband and provider to his family.

Kuya Tony will forever be my big brother!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Yuppie Map

(With Butch Jimenez and cover artist designer Nixon Na)

“You’re trying to make your mark in the corporate world. The workplace will test your character and your faith. You either go with the flow – you compromise. Or you go away – you resign. But there’s another way. You go up – you submit to God and trust Him to mold you as you do your job in the best way you can.

”In Going Up? the author, Yay Padua-Olmedo, shares with you lessons she learned from 30 years of navigating through the pitfalls and highpoints of the corporate world. Going Up? is filled with nuggets of practical wisdom you can apply in your everyday work situations.”

This blurb basically describes my second book, launched recently by OMF at the Manila International Book Fair.

If you’re a yuppie, I pray you’d go and get the book, now available in OMF Literature and other Christian bookstores. Penned in those pages may be something you can relate with, for a sort aha! moment you may need re your current work situation.

That of course is the Holy Spirit’s work. Mine was just to dig up the experience. His is to flavor your reading with wisdom.

I hope this excerpt from Butch Jimenez’s (currently senior vice president and head of Human Resources and Corporate Transformation, PLDT) foreword helps:

“Yay’s book is a balance of everything. While she drives home principles, theories and more importantly values that will help a person navigate through the corporate maze, she draws these principles not from textbooks but from actual experience, as she herself rose from the ranks in some of the country’s biggest companies.

“In many respects, this book is like a map. It helps guide you. A map can’t take you to the place you want to go. You have to ride in a car or start walking to get there. But a map does guide you where to turn right or left, or what to do when faced with a fork in the road. If you want a ‘heads up’ on what you may experience in your corporate journey, this book will give you the insights.

“Finally, a distinctive of this book is that it is written with a lot of wisdom. A lot of business books are filled with tech­nical knowledge. But in truth, it is wisdom that will help you make the right decisions and take the right path. God once asked a young man what he would want most in the world. The man asked for wisdom. And he went on to become the most powerful man of his time.

“For those starting on the journey into the wild and crazy corporate world—here’s a map to guide you along the way.”

(With loved ones, the OMF family, friends and book lovers)