Monday, August 29, 2011

Curious Marketing Definitions

Marketing Definitions
My friend, Vic Floresca, sent me a list of marketing definitions which made an analogy of the marketing process to that of the adventures of a libidinous cocktail party goer looking to score with the pretty lady guests. I was in marketing and I thought that I could contribute a few definitions of my own. I’m pretty sure that the younger marketing guys could add on a few more culled from the present state of marketing, media, sales, promotions and market research. Vic suggested that it should be introduced into the curriculum as  Marketing 101.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her
and say, "I am very rich. Marry me!"
That's Direct Marketing.

You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a
gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and
pointing at you says, "He's very rich. Marry him."
That's Advertising.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her
and get her telephone number. The next day you call
and say, "Hi, I'm very rich. Marry me."
That's Telemarketing.

You're at a party and see a gorgeous girl. You get up
and straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour
her a drink. You open the door for her, pick up her
bag after she drops it, offer her a ride, and then say,
"By the way, I'm very rich .Will you marry me?"
That's Public Relations.

You're at a party and see a gorgeous girl. She walks
up to you and says, "You are very rich.."
That's Brand Recognition.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her
and say, "I'm rich. Marry me" She gives you a nice hard
slap on your face.
That's Customer Feedback.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her
and say, "I am very rich. Marry me!" And she introduces
you to her husband
That's Demand and supply gap.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her
and before you say, "I am very rich. Marry me!" she
turns her face towards you ------------ she is your
wife !
That's competition eating into your market share

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say...
I’ll give you this mink coat if you marry me. That’s premium

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say...
I’m very rich, marry me. She turns her back on you.
That’s a failed product launch.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say...
My name is Victor Rockefeller marry me.
That’s called brand extension.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say...
I have a brother named Eduardo Rockefeller you will like him.
That’s called variant marketing.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say...
You rebuffed me once, well, I’m now rich and handsome,
marry me. That’s a brand restage.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say...
May I visit you tomorrow at your house? That’s called Avon

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say...
Would you like to go on a one month cruise with me at the Med?
That’s called a test market.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say...
My brother and I would like to have a date with you. Who
would you prefer? That’s product preference testing.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party.
You go up to her and whisper in her ear...she slaps you.
That’s called proposition testing
You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You invite her to your
big birthday bash. That’s called events marketing.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You beat a hasty retreat
after recognizing that she is an old flame you ditched.
That’s called a brand pullout.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You sidle up to her and
say I’m tall, dark, handsome and richly endowed.
That’s a transgression of the truth in advertising law.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say
Marry me and you get a grand house and a good provider.
That’s called a banded pack promotion.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Statistical Doublespeak

It is a wonder why so many distinguished personalities in history have sceptical views of statistics. Benjamin Disraeli once remarked “...there are three kinds of lies; lies, damned lies and statistics”, the ebullient Winston Churchill chided an assistant that when he asked for statistics they should be favourable to his watch in Parliament, from Mark Twain Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.” -  “Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.)” And from Evan Esar “Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions.
It is an unfair view of statistics. The science of statistics is on solid ground as its theories and practices are based on logical frameworks and borrows from numerical arguments. Statistics is the touchstone of progress as it seeks the betterment of things through trials, comparisons, observations. Statistics, whether applied to marketing or scientific endeavours that better the human condition is a vital and noble occupation. Advancements in most of the things that people now enjoy have been, in one way or the other, helped out by the use of statistics. It is a very powerful tool in the pursuit of new knowledge and the improvement of existing wisdom. What gives statistics a bad name is in how it is abused by those who use it to bolster weak arguments, by those who interpret the numbers to suit their purposes, the selective exposition of results, by those who try to make meaningful insignificant figures, the manufacture of numbers to prove a point and in so many other ruses statistics are made pliable and contorted to support untruths.
When you are invited to sit in on a presentation of the results of a research project you should be on the alert to the phraseology being used by the presenter in order to make out what is really being said and to separate what is factual from the speculated, what is deduction from conjecture, a significant find from a tendential outcome. You know that the presenter has trapped himself in a corner when he starts spouting a lot intelligible technical of terms making it appear that these are accepted facts by all in marketing. Anyone who would seem clueless to what is being explained would be made to look like a marketing troglodyte. These verbal cues are more effective when it comes with articulate body language such as squirms, twists, head scratches, looking out of the window and random twitches.
Here are some samples picked up from internet sources and some from my own exaggerations of true incidents during my years in market research.
"In an earlier study done twenty years ago..."
I didn't look up the original reference.

"A definite trend is evident in the sub group..."
The data is practically useless.

"While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to the questions..."
An unsuccessful experiment, but still the design is considered an elegant one by...

"Three of the samples were chosen for detailed study..."
The other results didn't make any sense.

"Typical results are shown..."
This is the prettiest graph.

"These results will be in a subsequent report..."
I might get around to this sometime, if pushed/funded.

"The most reliable results are obtained by xxxxx..."
Xxxxx was my graduate student; his grade depended on this.

"In my experience..."

"In case after case..."

"In a series of cases..."

"It is believed that..."
I think.

"It is generally believed that..."
A couple of other guys think so too.

"Correct within an order of magnitude..."

"According to the statistical analysis..."
Rumor has it.

"A statistically oriented projection of the significance of these findings..."
A wild guess.

"A careful analysis of obtainable data..."
Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a glass of beer.

"It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding of this phenomena occurs..."

I don't understand it.

"After additional study by my colleagues..."
They don't understand it either.

"Thanks are due to Mr. Smith for assistance with the experiment and Miss Jones for valuable discussions..."
Harry Smith did the experiment and Mary Jones explained to me what it meant.

"A highly significant area for exploratory study..."
A totally useless topic selected by my committee.

"It is hoped that this study will stimulate further investigation in this field..."
I quit.

“It is slightly below the action standard, about 9 percent, only a single digit differential on target...”
Hey stop moving the goal post!!!

“Wilcoxon test may not be appropriate, now let’s try Kruskal-Wallis, then the Friedman test...”
If you torture the data enough it will begin to confess and yield favourable results.

 “I need 20 more additional readings before I can arrive at any conclusive findings.”
By the time we complete the research they would have completely lost interest or I will be 10,000 miles away from here.

“Let’s do more Varimax rotations on the factors”
I’m dead meat if I don’t get a new factor pattern that would help explain my interpretation.

“Research shows that our competitor has more buyers than us but we have a subgroup whose willingness to buy scores are above threshold.”
A sample taken in the Calamian Group expressed willingness to buy if our product is made available to them.

“The respondents showed a dislike for the test products.”
We should have known better than to test our pork loaf product in Maguindanao.

“Secondary data from industry sources have shown a negligible market potential for our new brand”
Who was the moron who insisted on this expensive market study?

“The Simulated Test market predicted a 25% market share on the first year.”
Yeah, but it assumed that competitors will just stand by and watch.

“Casting research has shown that Rossana Roces has got a big following and would be an effective endorser.”
But we are selling tickets for the World Youth Day.

“A survey conducted in September of 2010 have shown dismal performance ratings for P’noy.”
The sample was taken from 4 towns in Lubao, Pampanga.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Nadouble Jeopardy Na Ba Tayo Ni General Garcia...and Some Such Questions

It has been joked about that cases against erring government officials are like the lyrics of the song “Mona Lisa” because cases have been brought to justice’s doorstep but “they just lie there and they die there”. Our lawyers are very adept at prolonging the judicial processes of cases that seem patently indefensible and desperately irredeemable. The situation works out well for both client and lawyer as the freedom of the client is temporarily enjoyed prior to judgment of the case (which goes on for long indefinite periods) and the lawyer’s fees continue for as long as the case is still unresolved. If we were to take seriously the aphorism “justice delayed is justice denied” then the situation in our judicial system could be deemed chronic if not criminal. A new addition to the rogues’ gallery is the medical practitioners who certify illnesses of their clients to avoid having to appear in investigations and litigations. These doctors also help their clients enjoy hospital arrest and detention privileges. A lot of money is needed for such recourses but the costs are measly compared to the available and mostly ill gotten resources. These delays of justice are not only seen in graft and corruption cases, it is so much in play even in criminal cases and corporate cases. It seems that justice favours only those who have the wherewithal to put together a battery of super lawyers to forestall progress of cases or even quash them by legal legerdemain. The instances where swift justice is achieved, though unjust, are through the quick disposal of cases that have been assigned to free legal assistance coming from assigned lawyers whose practice have not gone much beyond stamping dry seals on documents for notarization. To the courts it is not so much the dutiful meting out of justice but more a relief to be rid of a “tiresomeness” from the burgeoning stacks of cases awaiting their attention. How many prisoners have wasted their lives in incarceration because of the ineptness of the legal assistance provided for them? In contrast how many fat cats have evaded prison sentences due to delays in the judicial process, or worse, going scot free because of a technicality arising from the bungling of the prosecution panel or through a collusion between them and the defence lawyers? Our justice system has a chequered track record and is cursed by anyone who would have the unfortunate experience of dealing with it.

There is so much distrust on the Justice System from the public. We have a Supreme Court that has been held suspect by virtue of political appointments made worst by the midnight appointments made by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo which include no other than the Chief Justice. It may well be that this assortment is made up capable and  honourable men and women but have had their reputations tarnished by the mere fact that they were appointees of a president whose motives seemed obvious and that is to evade graft charges upon her stepping down from power. Some may feel that they owe Madam Gloria a debt of gratitude for their appointment but being beholden for a favour done has its limits and should not be at the expense of dignity and integrity expected of the posts they now occupy. They should realize that the material gain they derived from their appointment is just a pittance compared to what has been stashed away by the Madam Gloria and her family; crumbs for dogs who grovel underneath the banquet tables of the Arroyos. They should not feel obligated to defend the corruption of their benefactress. A pact with the devil is void ab initio since it is based on bad faith. If only our justices would have an iota of feel and empathy for what Pnoy is trying to achieve during his term of office then it should pique them to do what is right and honourable and help for the sake of people and country to stop our slide to utter degradation and ignominy as the good Reverend James Reuter cautioned. 

Pnoy’s efforts towards the eradication of corruption are being stymied by these delays in the justice system. Our people have been aching to see successful prosecutions of the big and small perpetrators of the looting of the country’s coffers. What we are seeing are the piling up of unresolved cases pending resolutions at various stages of the prosecutorial process. For how long would the awareness of these high profile pillage stay as top of mind with us? Filipinos are notoriously known to have short attention spans and soon, through passage of time and other distractions, their indignation and interest on these cases dissipates. Is General Carlos Garcia off the hook following the double jeopardy principle, and what about the collusion at the Ombudsman office that precipitated it? What about the case of General and Mrs. Ligot? Is the money supposedly illegally amassed by Angelo Reyes stays with the family? Are the going away presents of outgoing Chiefs of Staff true? What happens to the Bubby Dacer case now that the principal accused is in a catbird seat? The ZTE scandal, the Amari deal, the case of the vanished Bentain, the Raven helicopters, the Maguindanao Incident, the anomalies in the Ombudsman’s office, the possible collusion of the Sandiganbayan judges, the coffee stains in PAGCOR and easily a hundred more unresolved cases that the public would want to know the status of.

For as long as these cases stay in limbo we will never get the support of the people no matter how inspiring the objectives are of Pnoy’s administration. The eradication of corruption mission of the present administration will just be farcical and la la land fantasy. Our children will continue to admire the wiliness of the wrongdoers in their midst as the corrupt continue to enjoy the fruits of their evil enterprise and flaunting their being above the law. The morass that we are in grows deeper and slimier; an insidious legacy that we pass on to the next generation. The evil that caused it continue to flourish in a slow and faithless justice system.

It is true that the problem is not easily unravelled in a democratic society such as ours. There are due processes observed and political exigencies involved. Other factors such as cultural conventions and socio-religious views that sometimes are counter- productive but, nevertheless, have to be respected and given deference. We find ourselves, as in numerous times in the past, confronted by seemingly insurmountable difficulties and are paralyzed into inaction. How easy it is to just ignore a perennial problem with a fatalistic shrug and wish for divine succour as we sit defeated at the galley of a sinking ship. Our present problems do not kill us but neither do they make us stronger. Having lived through them all these years have made us inured and indifferent. We give little thought that all these will lead our society to a devastated state, an inheritance of desolation for our children and our children’s children.

There are no silver bullets for the awesome problems confronting us. A solution has to be eked out earning little gains at a time as in building blocks towards the putting up of a stable edifice that would represent positive change. Our people may not have the patience for the slow grind of change because they easily forget and with it the loss of indignation and interest. We need something to remind them of the score of all these high profile cases and be appraised of their status on an almost daily basis. As an example they may want to know what is happening to the case of General and Mrs Ligot; is it still being heard?, is it for final judgment?, is it being appealed for elevation? And the most important is to place dates at each event the case is at; status as of what date (indictment, conviction, sentencing, mistrial, exoneration etc), next steps by DOJ. Giving timelines to the public ensures that these cases are always top of mind and that they would have expectations as to the progress of cases. It also tells the justice department that people are avidly following the proceedings and expect things to happen per a time table committed to. The downside is that it opens itself to heckling media magpies should things fall short of the schedule. But then again media will always heckle with or without cause.

Somebody or some group should design a format for the scoreboard that is easily conveyed in print, television, radio, internet and other media. This may just be one small step but it is doable and it helps ensure that people are in the know at all times about the status of the high profile cases. People will now stop saying “ningas cogon lang yan” and that they will know that the government is pursuing doggedly all the cases and not a single one of them will be lost by the wayside because of the slow grind of our justice system.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nunez, Pnoy's Torquemada?

The Pnoy administration may be giving the wrong signals by zealously pursuing a probe that may not even be worth anyone's time. It is okay to go after wrongdoers in the previous administration but the effort should be more judicious lest it begins to smell of being a witch hunt. Nunez and the new DBP board are too eager in pursuing any semblance of anomalous deals by the previous DBP board. The DBP was handed over to them in the best of shape, earning P1.3 billion from the Bobby Ongpin deal which contributed to P6 billion in total profits. What GOCC can boast of that kind of earnings? Other GOCCs turn out losses year after year and have been a drain to the country's coffers. 

Past DBP management, Rey David in particular, had displayed a keen financial management savvy and skirted the DBP charter limits in pursuit of profitable deals that they took on with a masterful scouting of an opportunity for the bank’s benefit. It could have been a case of shrewd dealing, deftly traipsing at the edges of what is allowed by the rules to gain profits for the bank. Far cry from the typical GOCC heads who either stole or just sat out their tenures on their plump asses eating off the fat of the land. That Rey David benefited personally from the deal is mere speculation. What is fact is he did well as fiduciary leading to pecuniary gains for the government.

The new management of DBP should ease off. Perhaps they are trying too hard to ingratiate themselves to Pnoy by ordering show causes against the employees of the past board to have a show case to present to the boss. This has shades of quota completion of arrests that is typical at lower levels of law enforcement. It is causing much discomfort among DBP employees and may lead to more anxieties due to the oppressive probe tactics applied these modern day Torquemadas. The family of Atty. Benjamin Pinpin suggests that harsh pressure on the lawyer have been applied by the inquisitors enough to drive him to commit suicide. A statement from the dying is difficult to ignore and holds much weight in legal considerations.

No matter how hard Nunez tries to discredit the former management of DBP their accomplishments will always be the bench mark by which the new management’s efforts will be judged and it's a tough act to follow. Perhaps the new DBP board anticipates that they won't be able to match such an excellent performance by the past board. They felt a need to demolish the standard that has been set by ascribing misdeeds no matter how ludicrous.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Senior Workers In the Vineyard

Fr. Mike Sandalo of the Barnabite Fathers in Tagaytay asked for a small write up regarding our feelings of our being awarded as couple affiliate to the Barnabites which he intends to publish in their newsletter. We both wrote separate notes regarding this unexpected appreciation of our contribution to the service of our community in Barangay San Jose in Tagaytay City.
I wrote:
First of all let me just say that my wife Alma and I are truly grateful for your having bestowed upon us the honour of being the first couple affiliate of the Barnabites in the Philippines. It was granted on a day when we had a maddening schedule and almost missed the Barnabites Presbyteral Ordination.  God really worked his magic and saw to it that the things we had to do for that day fell into an orderly sequence and allowed us to attend this special occasion which granted deaconates and ordinations to priesthood to some of our friends in the seminary.
As we sat through the rites we didn’t have the least notion that we will be the recipients of a great blessing. When the grant of the affiliation was announced I was not quick to realize the grandness of the event. I had the feeling that my wife was as bemused as I was. The feeling was more of being astounded and bewildered for we knew not that an award was to be given and, also, wondered what made us deserving of such an accolade. We rose from the pews a bit slowly as we were ushered towards the altar to be awarded the certificate of affiliation, the portrait of Our Mother of Divine Providence and a commemorative medallion of San Antonio Maria Zaccaria jointly presented by Father Joselito Ortega, Head of Barnabites Scholasticate, Philippines and Fr. Francisco Silva, Assistant Superior General Clerics Regular of Saint Paul; Barnabite Fathers.  
My wife and I are pushing seventy, so to speak, and have experienced a wide gamut of human experiences...good times, bad times; times of joy and grief; risen up from occasional failures; went through deprivation and times of plenty. By His grace we survived them all and are now happily into retirement or should I say in the pre departure area wishing flight cancellations, as it were, from day to day. It may well have been this way but the Lord in His infinite kindness presented us with a gift, the opportunity to be of service to others.
It was our great fortune to have chosen Tagaytay as our retirement place.
Barangay San Jose provided us with the rare privilege of being in the community of the religious and with the local folks whose families have been here for generations. Having neighbours such as these make for a wonderful sense of community where a generous exchange of talents and privilege flow naturally with the aid of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul had referred to this aggrupation as the Body of Christ, the Christian community. The Holy Spirit has given the members of the community special gifts which are used in the service of the Lord.  Truly we are in “God’s little acre” to borrow a title from a renowned American author.
 We found ourselves in an environment that is conducive to be of service to others. The feeding programs of the Merciful Sisters, the Tahanang Mapagaruga preschool for their supply needs, the help extended to a few scholars were done with the help of friends and relatives whom we have enjoined from time to time to assist in the service of our community.  The invitation to do the refresher course in oral and written English for some of the seminarians were really God sent as it helped scrape the accumulated rust in our brains which could lead to Alzheimer’s disease. These, together with a few more little good deeds came effortlessly and given with cheerful hearts.
All of these came at the Lord’s bidding. It has been our great fortune that we were chosen to serve in His vineyard. Faith alone does not assure salvation. Without good works it is dead. Our lives and the little that is left of them have been made brighter and more meaningful, otherwise, they would have just been spent in sombre and morbid anticipation of the fading of the light. Praise God!

Alma wrote:
The most felt emotion was one of surprise when we realized that we were being given recognition for the assistance in the good works initiated by the nuns and the priests in our neighbourhood. I didn’t think that what we had done was that exceptional to merit praise. There was also a bit of embarrassment because we felt that we should have done more to deserve the recognition and that the degree of difficulty of the effort we exerted should have been higher.
What now comes to my mind is how much more help is needed, what other things can we do. Perhaps you can tell us about what you expect of your affiliates so that we can better serve.  Are there conventions that we must follow as Barnabite affiliates? A code of conduct? A set of things that we must achieve?
At the end of the day what we now feel is one of humble gratitude for being given the gift of service to our Lord.  We have shared this opportunity with our friends and relatives who have been more than generous with their contributions. The Lord made it so easy. We are truly blessed.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Power of Prayer

Fr. Reuter, in his wisdom, borne by long experience in servitude to the Lord, is so right when he said that the Philippines is on a fixed course towards destruction (his article  *Let no one make us afraid... for in the end, only God remains is reprinted here).
There had been no lack of effort among well meaning men and women, from the sectarian and religious groups, to reverse the tide towards what the good Father projected as utter degradation of society, morality and the economy. There have been notable events such as the People Power revolutions which were joint achievements of the Church and civil society. They were relegated to be just historical “flashes in the pan” which, true to the form of the Filipino, fizzled out after the euphoria settled down, and we even became worst off, thanks to PGMA. Our downward spiral is validated by the Failed State Index (FSI) which categorized us among the fifty lowest countries and steadily slipping from the rankings since the (FSI) Index’s inception.
According to Fr Reuter, “It is time to move the battle to the spiritual realm. It’s time to claim God’s promise of healing of the land for His people. It’s time to gather God’s people on its knees to pray for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation.” He added the question “Is prayer really the answer?” In answer, he cited the Reformation, the early American struggle, the Korean recovery and revival through the largest Christian church were all fuelled by the getting together of the people of these nations intently praying and seeking Divine assistance. The power of a nation united in prayer is unarguably a potent force leading towards a new reformation which could steer us towards the “matuwid na daan” that Pnoy has pointed to, as the road not taken by previous society and past political and moral leaders. I think our prayer should be towards the unification of both civilian leaders and those of the clergy, a prayer which will make the factions realize that they are both from the forces of good and are seeking the same goals for God and country. Could they not, for the moment, suspend the rigidness of their stances and choose to lay aside the strong convictions on issues causing the divisiveness. Satan is the master of intrigue and would probably be the author of the divide and conquer strategy which has been employed by tyrants and evil men throughout the history of mankind. Just as during the Reformation, the church had to react through the Counter Reformation to stem the loss of legions of the faithful to the numerous rampant Protestant groups. They reacted with a few reforms within and perhaps the Council of Trent, though a bit late in coming, was the more serious response in the Counter Reformation.
We will never eradicate corruption if Pnoy and the CBCP will continue to be at loggerheads with irresolvable issues. If these issues continue to inhibit their coming together then we would have missed the rare opportunity of defeating corruption and making the Filipino level up to its birth right...a decent, moral, prosperous and progressive race.

The Council of Trent upheld salvation appropriated by grace through faith and works of that faith (not just by faith, as the Protestants insisted) because "faith without works is dead",
Let us then pray that Pnoy and Catholic Church set aside their differences and  work together as a team belonging to the forces good in a concerted fight against the forces of the evil lords of corruption, at the same time beseech our father to strengthen our faith that He will not forsake his people in these times of need.

*Let no one make us afraid... for in the end, only God remains

 My Beloved Philippines   By Father James Reuter, S.J.

BY HER own admission, GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) rightfully assessed that over the last decades, our republic has become one of the weakest, steadily left behind by its more progressive neighbors. Forty years ago, we were second only to Japan in economic stature, and way ahead of Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand.. Today, at our present growth rate, it will take us 30 years to get to where Thailand is.
1. A population of 160 million;
2. Of those, 70 to 90 million (equivalent to our current population) will live below the poverty line;
3. Our national debt is estimated to be at US$200B (compared to US$28B when Marcos fled, and US$53B today);
4. We will be competing, not against Thailand or even Vietnam, but against Bangladesh;
5. We will be the most corrupt nation in Asia, if not in the world (we’re already ranked 11th most corrupt nation by Transparency International)...
THE SIGNS are clear. Our nation is headed towards an irreversible path of economic decline and moral decadence. It is not for lack of effort. We’ve seen many men and women of integrity in and out of government, NGOs, church groups and people’s organization devote themselves to the task of nation-building, often times against insurmountable odds. But not even two people’s revolutions, bloodless as they may be, have made a dent in reversing this trend. At best, we have moved one step forward, but three steps backward. We need a force far greater than our collective efforts, as a people, can ever hope to muster. It is time to move the battle to the spiritual realm. It’s time to claim God’s promise of healing of the land for His people. It’s time to gather God’s people on its knees to pray for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation. Is prayer really the answer? Before you dismiss this as just another rambling of a religious fanatic, I’d like you to consider some lessons we can glean from history. England’s ascendancy to world power was preceded by the Reformation, a spiritual revival fueled by intense prayers. The early American settlers built the foundation that would make it the most powerful nation today -- a strong faith in God and a disciplined prayerful life. Throughout its history, and especially at its major turning points, waves of revival and prayer movements swept across the land. In recent times, we see Korea as a nation experiencing revival and in the process producing the largest Christian church in the world today, led by Rev. Paul Yongi Cho. No wonder it has emerged as a strong nation when other economies around it are faltering. Even from a purely secular viewpoint, it makes a lot of sense. For here there is genuine humbling and seeking of God through prayer, moral reformation necessarily follows. And this, in turn, will lead to general prosperity. Yes, we believe prayer can make a difference. It’s our only hope. TODAY, we launch this email brigade, to inform Filipinos from all over the world to pray, as a people, for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation. We do not ask for much. We only ask for five minutes of your time in a day, to forward this email to your close friends and relatives. This is the kind of unity that can make a big difference. Of course, if you feel strongly, as I do, about the power of prayer, you can be more involved by starting your own prayer group or prayer center. We have tried people power twice; in both cases, it fell short. Maybe it’s time to try prayer power. God never fails. Is there hope? Yes! We can rely on God’s promise, but we have to do our part. If we humble ourselves and pray as a people, God will heal our land.. By God’s grace, we may yet see a better future for our children. “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14). If you care for your children and grandchildren, PLEASE pass this on.... Let’s not just abandon the Philippines.

Monday, August 01, 2011

SWS Public Satisfaction Survey - June 2011

The most recent SWS polling on public satisfaction reveals that Pnoy’s administration is the best liked of all administrations from the time of the poll’s inception in 1989. This is an unexpected positive result as it refers to the administration team and not to the individual that is Pnoy. His team has been the favourite whipping boys of opinion leaders, the opposition, and the media and have been criticized as being inept and intellectual lightweights, at times unjustly and in some instances deserving of the criticism.
One wonders whether the general population really had a full grasp of everything that is happening around them politically and are really satisfied with the way Team Pnoy has been performing in the period immediately prior to the survey. I can’t think of anything spectacular that was done by the administration in the period covered by the survey which would help explain the high ratings garnered by the administration. What could help explain these good marks is the consistent significant positive results on the question of fighting corruption of which PGMA had dismal showings in the last three years that the question had been asked. It seems that the fight against corruption is the one single variable that has a strong pulling power to bring up all the other variables in the equation in favour of the overall positive impression. As in advertising, Pnoy’s anti corruption positioning has hit the right chord; a promise or a proposition that is meaningful and resonant in the minds of the people. Team Pnoy will continue to win hearts and minds after the SONA which highlighted more of the same theme and the current hype on the running after PGMA on the alleged electoral fraud, the PCSO scandal, the Chinese sub rosa deals and other corruption issues. All these current events feed the conviction of the people that Pnoy is in earnest in his efforts to eradicate corruption. These will go on for a while with the ensuing House investigations, the pressing of charges, the court proceedings and with the help of a rambunctious media it will be kept alive; a definite gain for Pnoy. Hopefully, all these positives will make government projects and efforts so much easier to initiate and implement successfully. The prosecution of the wrongdoers would have achieved more than just the meting out of punishments but should help lessen in a big way the endemic corruption in the bureaucratic agencies of government.
The positive aura around Pnoy’s government will hold on for some time and optimistically up until such time his governance would reap concrete results in instituting change towards a less corrupt government and in ameliorating Filipino lives. Fly high Pnoy!