When the shipping vessel, Princess of the Stars sank at sea, claiming hundreds of lives, the members of INA (Inang Naulila sa Anak Foundation) led by Manay Gina, were among the firsts who offered moral support to the bereaved family members of the victims.
"Since I lost my dearest daughter KC in a fire, it has become my personal mission to offer solace to the other mothers whose loved ones also perished in a tragedy, for in giving comfort, I am also fortified in return," she said.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Meet Manay Gina, the blogger.
Georgina de Venecia, popularly known as Manay Gina, wife of former House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., has launched her own blog (www.manayginadevenecia.blogspot.com) primarily to tell inspirational stories.
In an interview with The PUNCH, she said people need “fairytale stories”, especially nowadays when there is so much negative news on media.
In her blogspot, she shares how she has coped with emotional crisis, including the loss of a teenage daughter in a fire that gutted their house.
“It was not easy. The pain will never go away,” she said adding that her sharings on her blogspot is also still part of her healing process.
Manay Gina stressed that her blog will not cover politics, particularly the ouster of her husband from the congressional speakership post earlier this year.
She said with the inspirational stories she shares in her blog, she hopes to help people realize that there is always life after a storm.
The blogspot, entitled "The Quintessential Filipina" also includes people Manay Gina admires, her friends, her life as an entertainment personality, and her projects such as the Ina Foundation Inc.#
originally posted in: http://sundaypunch.prepys.com/archives/2008/08/18/gina-de-v-shares-thoughts-in-her-own-blogspot/
Manay Gina and husband, Rep. Joe de Venecia were in Pangasinan's 4th District recently to distribute roof sheets and good lumber to the residents whose houses were damaged by typhoon Frank.
In her speech, Manay Gina, thanked the miraculous Lady of Manaoag for sparing the district of human casualty, when the devastating typhoon hit the area.
GABRIELA – U.P. - Diliman
July 25, 2008
Ang sabi ni Rizal, ‘nasa kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan.’ Ito ay nakikita kong totoo, sa katauhan ng mga kabataang narito ngayon. Kayat lubos ang aking pagbati sa mga responsableng ‘iskolar ng bayan’, na laging mulat at handang manindigan para sa katarungan.
Isang malaking karangalan po para sa akin ang makapiling kayo ngayong hapon.
Bilang ina, ang mga sektor ng kabataan at kababaihan ang pinakamalapit sa aking puso. Kaya nang magkaroon ako ng pagkakataong maglingkod, agad kong inasikaso ang kaawa-awang sektor ng ating lipunan—ang mga abused women at mga streetchildren.
Hindi n’yo naitatanong, noon pa mang Pangulo ako ng Congressional Spouses Foundation (mula 1992-1998, 2001-2007 at July, 2007to Feb, 2008), na binubuo ng mga maybahay ng mga kongresman, hinikayat ko ang lahat ng partidong politikal na magsama-sama--- kanan man ito, gitna o kaliwa, upang maisulong ang mga programa para sa pinakamahinang sektor ng ating lipunan --- ang mga abused women at mga streetchildren.
Dahil dito, naitayo po namin ang 16-building complex sa Ayala-Alabang na The Haven for Children, at ang 15 Regional Centers for Women sa lahat ng rehiyon ng ating bansa para sa rehabilitation ng mga kababaihang biktima ng pang-aapi, rape, prostitusyon, illegal recruitment at pambubugbog.
Ang pagtalikod sa ‘divisive politics’ ang siya ring formula kaya namin naitayo ang The Haven for Children sa Alabang, isang institusyon na binubuo ng siyam na gusali ---- may dormitoryo, klinika at paaralan, para sagipin ang mga batang-lansangan sa Metro Manila.
Nakapagtayo din po kami ng tatlong Regional Centers for Children sa Tarlac City, Dagupan City at Solana, Cagayan.
Salamat na lang at akin ding nasimulan at napondohan na ng aking asawa na si JDV bago siya inalis na Speaker, ang ikatlong proyekto ng CSFI -------- ang 20-building complex na The Haven for the Elderly para naman sa mga inabandonang senior citizens. Ang pasilidad na ito ay may kakayahang mag-alaga ng 600 senior citizens at a given time, sa maaliwalas na kapaligiran ng Tanay, Rizal.
Bago ako nagpaalam bilang chairman ng congressional spouses, nagawa kong matapos ang dalawang gusali nito, at ang pagtatapos ng proyekto ay ibinilin ko na lamang sa DSWD.
Upang makagawa ng tunay na kabutihan, mahalaga na ang isang lider ay may mababang loob, at uunahin ang kapakanan ng bayan.
Nakakalungkot na ang mga katangiang ito ay hindi makikita kay GMA.
Kaya hindi nakapagtataka kung bakit, makalipas ang walong taon sa posisyon, ang tanging legacy ni GMA ay ang paglalagay sa Pilipinas sa mapa bilang isa sa pinaka-corrupt na gobyerno ayon sa report ng World Bank at ADB, na siyang sanhi ng pagiging pinaka-unpopular niyang presidente ng ating bansa, mula nang maibalik ang demokrasya.
Marahil, hindi kaila sa inyo, ang dinanas na kabiguan ng aming pamilya mula nang magdesisyon kami at ang anak naming si Joey, na manindigan para sa katotohanan, upang hindi mabaon sa utang ang masang Pilipino dahil sa ZTE deal.
Nagsimula po ito nang ipagtapat ni Joey sa amin ang tungkol sa labinglimang bilyong piso na magiging utang ng ating bansa, kung natuloy ang ZTE deal ni GMA.
Si Joey po ay isa sa mga nagnais na gumawa ng Broadband project sa pamamagitan ng Build- Operate- Transfer, kung saan walang gastos ang pamahalaan kahit singko.
Noong una, pabor si GMA sa B-O-T, pero sa isang iglap, nagbago po ang kanyang desisyon at pinaboran ang ZTE na gagawin ang proyekto sa halagang labinglimang bilyong piso.
Ang akin lamang pong tanong. Ano ang biglang nagpabago sa isip ni GMA para ilubog ang bansa sa labing-limang bilyong pisong utang? At bakit, tila napakahalaga ng deal na ito dahil nagawa niyang saksihan ang pirmahan ng loan agreement doon sa bansang Tsina noong April 21, 2007, habang ang kanyang mister ay halos agaw-buhay sa ospital?
Ang katotohanan, ang tunay na halaga ng proyekto ay 130 million dollars, pero ito ay naging 330 million dollars dahil sa napakalaking tong-pats ng mag-asawang Arroyo at mga kasabwat.
Ito po ang pilit na itinatago ni GMA kaya nilito niya ang taong-bayan sa pamamagitan ng kung ano-anong panunuhol at pagtatakip. At hanggang ngayon, ang orihinal na kontrata ay ayaw ilantad at sinabing nawawala.
Ako ay saksi, sa pagiging sunod-sunuran ni GMA sa kanyang ‘midnight cabinet’ na binubuo ng kanyang asawa at ng mga kapitalistang oligarchs na nagpopondo upang masigurong mananatili siya sa kapangyarihan.
Sino ang nasa likod ng smuggling sa langis, mga auto at pangarerang kabayo?
Ano ang dahilan at umasa si GMA sa importasyon ng bigas kahit na ang ating bansa ang siyang balon ng kayamanan pagdating sa bigas at rice research production?
Bakit ginagawa niyang pulubi ang ating mga kababayan at pinapipila para manglimos ng 500 pesos para tumanaw ng utang na loob sa kanya, gayong ang perang ito ay nagmula din sa pawis ng taong-bayan?
Bakit nananatili siyang manhid at ayaw tanggalin ang VAT sa langis kahit dumaraing sa gutom ang mga drivers at mahihirap?
Yan ay mga tanong na naghahanap ng kasagutan mula sa Pangulo, na ang istilo ng pamamahala ay nagpalawig sa kultura ng suhulan, pagtatago sa katotohanan at short-term solutions sa ating mga problema.
Ang buong katotohanan, ang ZTE deal ay isa lamang sa maraming transaksiyon na pinagkakuwartahan ng mag-asawang Arroyo. Ang kanilang kasakiman ang dahilan kaya maging ang mga alagad ng simbahan ay nanindigan laban sa kanila.
Ito rin ang dahilan kaya nagkaisa ang aming pamilya na pumanig sa katotohanan, kahit ang kapalit nito ay ang pagsira sa aming dangal sa pamamagitan ng paggamit sa buong puwersa ng Malakanyang.
Kung tutuusin, mas tahimik at napaka-ginhawa po marahil ng aming buhay kung nanatili kaming bulag sa panloloko ni GMA.
Pero nang mawala ang pinakamamahal naming bunsong anak na si KC, naunawaan kong sadyang maikli lamang ang buhay kaya mahalagang gawin natin kung ano lamang ang tama, para sa kaligtasan ng ating kaluluwa.
Sa gitna ng mga sakripisyo, nagpapasalamat po kami dahil naging instrumento ang aming pamilya upang mailigtas ang sambayanang Pilipino sa isang napakalaking utang.
Hindi po namin alam kung ano ang hahantungan ng pagsubok na ito sa kasaysayan ng aming pamilya at ng ating bansa. Pero sa bawat umaga, we draw inspiration from our faith and look to God to guide us through the most difficult times.
Ngayong hapon, nais ko po na muling magpasalamat sa bawat isa sa inyo dahil sa patuloy n’yong pakikibaka para sa katarungan.
Ang pakiusap ko lamang po, huwag po nating hayaang maisantabi sa dahon ng kasaysayan ang mga kasalanan ni GMA sa taong-bayan----mula sa Hello Garci, sa fertilizer scam, sa ZTE, ang iba pang mga anomalous transactions na involved ang Arroyo family, at sa ginawa niyang pagpapahirap sa ating bayan. Lahat ng ito ay dapat niyang pagbayaran. Higit sa lahat, dapat nating siguruhin, na matapos na ang kanyang kasamaan.
Marami pong salamat sa inyong lahat. Mabuhay ang masang Pilipino!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
PEOPLE By Joanne Rae M. Ramirez
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The De Venecia home in
But the house is still filled with friends of the De Venecia couple, cheerful butterfly-themed paintings and figurines (including Hermes plates with a butterfly motif) and the laughter of its most frequent visitor -— 10-month-old Isabella “Belle” Cruz Evangelista, Manay Gina’s first apo.
“Belle” means the world to her Mamita Gina, and the baby reminds Gina of what truly matters in life.
“I have suffered the unbearable loss of a child,” Gina tells me one rainy July morning when I paid her a visit. She lost her youngest child KC when a fire gutted down their
Not her husband’s loss of the Speakership, not the seeming betrayal of those she once thought were her best friends. Certainly not perks that flew out of the window when her husband lost his Speakership.
Does she miss being on the presidential plane and being in the presidential entourage during state visits?
“No. Nagsawa na ako diyan. I could fly to the
They say proximity to power is power itself, and having one’s high heels sink on Malacañang’s carpeted halls brings with it a certain high.
Does Gina miss her access to the Palace?
“Hindi. Kasi nga my father taught me how to eat with paupers and walk with kings. So it doesn’t matter if I don’t walk with kings now. Passing nga ang lahat, eh. That’s what KC’s death made me realize. For all you know, tomorrow I’ll be gone. So what I’m working at now is to save my soul. Di ba, what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his soul?” she adds.
* * *
Gina believes it was her gift of discernment and her sixth sense (“I’m a witch!” she quips) that made her support her stepson Joey de Venecia’s allegations on the ZTE corruption scandal. Joey’s testimony rocked the Arroyo presidency.
“Nakita ko Joey was telling the truth. He said, ‘Tita, what am I going to do?’ Sabi ko, ‘Joey, this will cost us the speakership of your dad and maybe even our lives.’ But my decision is, you go ahead. Sabi ko, we have to try and save this money for the taxpayers. And you’re doing what’s right for 90 million Filipinos.”
“Si Joey, hindi kami close. I didn’t talk to him since KC died. Hindi kami nag-uusap because may tampo ako sa mga anak ni Joe from his first marriage. I felt they never loved KC. But my decision to support him helped heal my relationship with him. After I listened to Joey, I believed he was telling the truth.”
It crossed the minds of some that Gina supported her stepson’s expose because she was sourgraping.
“Sourgraping over what? It’s not as if I was part of the deal. I supported Joey because it was the right thing to do. I felt na sobra na ang corruption. Ang dami na kasing nagsusumbong. Again, I am not close to Joey. Lahat ng negosyo niya, siya lang ‘yan. Hindi ako nakikialam d’yan.”
But once she made her decision, Gina was at peace. “I know when people are lying,” she points out.
* * *
These days, Gina may be out of Malacañang’s inner circle, but she’s certainly not down. “Power is fleeting,” she stresses, having experienced painful political losses twice (the first was Joe’s defeat during the presidential polls in 1998).
What isn’t fleeting, she says, is the effect of the good you do for others.
“Yung pagka-genuine ng tao hindi ‘yan lilipas kasi love is never wasted. Yung pagmamahal mo sa kapwa tao, it’ll always come back to you. I remember yung father ko, he would always tell me, ‘Hija, lagi n’yong isipin na gumawa kayo ng tama because kung hindi sa iyo babalik, sa mga anak mo.’ Many of those who are kind to me, who gave me their grace, my father was good to them.”
She tells me the story of her grandfather Jose Leonardo Perez, who was once the provincial treasurer of Tarlac. The provincial assessor was the father of P.O. Domingo, who became PNB president. Gina’s grandfather would give Domingo a ride whenever he could. When Gina’s father was starting out in the movie industry, P.O. Domingo would give him easy access to loans (“Kahit ayaw niyang mangutang”) till Sampaguita Pictures became the big movie production studio that it was.
Gina says that in their clan, loyal housemaids are buried in the family mausoleum. That’s how they were raised — to value the kindness and devotion of others.
Gina was one of the first to comfort the women who lost their children during the sinking of the Princess of the Stars. Sans fanfare, she and her fellow members of the INA (Inang Naulila sa Anak) Foundation were among the first to set up counseling desks at the Sulpicio Lines terminal in Port Area. Her work with bereaved mothers and disadvantaged women and children (Her Haven for Women has helped some 15,000 or 20,000 clients) goes beyond politics.
Gina herself says she may not be able to show her appreciation to all those who have showed her genuine kindness. “But kindness is never wasted. Later on, it will continue, yung mga mababait sa akin, my children will never forget.”
Our conversation draws to a close. It has stopped raining and the sun is shining again — outdoors and in Gina de Venecia’s life.
* * *
(You may e-mail me at email@example.com)
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
MANAY GINA DE VENECIA LAUNCHES ADVISORY BLOG, INSPIRES NETIZENS TO COPE WITH LIFE'S CHALLENGES
Manay Gina De Venecia, life counselor, radio drama producer, and wife of former speaker Jose Devencia Jr., walks on the mild side by launching her blog, www.manayginadevenecia.blogspot.com.
The blog focuses on issues pertaining to women, family, love and life. She describes herself as a "Quintessential Filipina", and gives advice on a range of issues considered essential in the course of a woman's life.
She also showcases her advocacies and activities, especially the Haven for Women, Haven for Children, and the Ina Foundation.
In her daily blog work, she posts quotable quotes she finds on the internet which appeals to her sensitivities. These include quotes for mothers, children, prayers on peace and understanding, and faith.
Comments and quotes have been pouring in, mostly about musings of everyday struggle of people, says Eero Brillantes, who developed the creative and technical content for the blog of Manay Gina.
If you would read the comments on the blog, you can see the potential for a powerful outlet to propagate hope. Tagos sa puso ang mga naka post. So much emotion is involved. All of us try so hard to find our patch of good earth.
Of particular interest to a lot of her blog visitors is the post on the "Miracle of the Shoes" which talks about the loss of a loved one. The De Venecias lost a daughter to a fire accident at their home.
A blog post from a certain Maria Isabelle had this to say:
Losing a loved one is never easy. My Mom once told me that there is nothing more heartbreaking than losing a child. She said it with tears in her eyes. My Mom, like you, is a strong woman. She lost twins about two decades ago..And like you, she turned to the Lord and prayed for her two prayed for her two boys…I cried with you and your family. KC and I are of the same age and I felt you pain when I saw the footage on TV. Looking back, I see that you have come a long way from the shocked parent I saw. What I see now is a strong woman who believes that her beloved daughter is at peace with the Lord. Pairs of shoes are amazing. In your case, it is more than amazing. It is miraculous. Keep praying.
Another post comes for a certain Ann Margaret and tells of her own life and death experiences as her comment:
As I read Manay Gina's blog on "Miracle of Shoes," I felt the void inside my heart like her because I also lost my grandmother. It was so hard to accept that she's gone because I don't have enough courage and strength to endure the pain of losing her. Her death was so sudden. But it would still take a life time for me to say "I'm ok". Her blog really touched my heart; it is very sentimental. I burst into tears while reading it. Losing someone we love is never simple; it would crash our hearts into million pieces, feeling as if the world is on your back. Though we cry so hard, it would never bring them back to life. Yes, I also believe that prayers are the best way to ease the hurt, because through prayers we can talk to them solemnly and in peace. Prayers are the best channel to communicate with God and to the soul of our departed ones. It would also help their soul to find their way to heaven. Let's face the fact that they left us because they are now in the arms of God. Just be strong and have faith. Because everything happens for a reason.
Manay Gina also writes on life learnings from her interaction with Former President Corazon Aquino, who she fondly calls "Tita Cory". She says that
To the world, she (Cory) will always be the symbol of a bloodless revolution. To me, she will always be my Tita Cory -- a role model in integrity, the glow of reason in times of darkness, and someone who finds strength and perseverance in prayer. I believe the Lord has blessed Tita Cory with the gift of His peace — an inner tranquility that calms the heart and soothes the soul.
The blog also features her own showbiz activities and in the process incites comments on the importance of her work in the field. "Nagmamahal, Manay Gina" has so far garnered two Catholic Mass Media Awards. Says Enzo Emmanuel,
Showbusiness has become a tool of influence and change in society. because information is given at the same time as entertainment, the messages can easily get across. Manay Gina has used this to promote her advocacy which made a difference and lots of troubled women were given help.xxx
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Photo taken from: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/
Only a few pinoys know that we have Nobel Peace Prize winners.
In 2007, '"for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change", the Nobel Peace Prize went to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Six Filipinos were part of the IPCC, a collaborative body composed of governments, scientists and peoples whose main objective is to provide the best scientific information to policy-makers on the events and issues of climate change. Rex Victor Cruz, Rodel Lasco (University of the Philippines Los Banos), Juan Pulhin (UP) and Rosa Perez (PAGASA) are contributors to the IPCC's 4th Assessment Report on "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability". Felino Lansigan (UPLB) and Lourdes Tibig (PAGASA) served as reviewers in this winning document. You may access the Nobel Peace Prize winner document at this site.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Rice is the staple food of Filipinos and probably the most important crop in the country. 90% 0f rice is produced in Asia, and nourishes nearly half of the world's population. Rice fields cover 11% of the Earth's entire arable land 1. Unfortunately, we are in the midst of rice crisis. The poor, especially the children and women suffer most.
This site, http://www.freerice.com/ site encourages people to learn english vocabulary while providing rice for they hungry. It is basically a game where internet-users can learn english and donate rice for every correct answer.
Every now and then, this blog will give references that can help us understand the nature of rice and the crisis we are facing now.
1Mclean JL, Dawe DC, Hardy B, Hettel GP, eds. 2002. Rice almanac. Los Baños (Philippines): International Rice Research Institute, Bouake (Cote d'Ivoire): West Africa Rice Development Association, Cali (Colombia): International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Rome (Italy): Food and Agricultural Organization. 253 p.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I found this prayer online - it is a prayer for peace written in more than 40 languages, and invites everyone to pray this everyday. Every mother, every woman and every Filipino hopes to achieve peace in our hearts, homes, communities and country.
You may visit the site Prayer for peace.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
I am very proud of our Filipino Olympians in this year's Olympics in Beijing, China. I am sure they will do great!
Let us all pray for our athletes and hope that we can hit that first gold.
According to yahoo.com, we have 13 athletes on seven games. Go team Philippines!
Ryan Paolo Arabejo
Track and field
Rexel Ryan Fabriga
Sheila Mae Perez
Friday, August 8, 2008
Save the Children has worked for underserved children in the Philippines for 26 years. From its initial program in West Visayas, which began in 1982, the Philippines Country Office has expanded and now implements child-focused education, health and emergency preparedness and response programs in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the archipelago’s three major island groups. Save the Children has a special focus of helping children made vulnerable by endemic poverty, natural disasters or by armed conflict. Programs are marked by the active involvement of families and communities, so that progress made for children can be sustained.
Challenges for Children
Access to and quality of basic services in education and health are major challenges for children in the Philippines. With eight of 10 children unable to access early childhood services, many Filipino first-graders enter school without the skills they need to learn. In Metro Manila, overcrowded schools result in teachers holding classes in two or three shifts a day. In contrast, rural schools have fewer students but suffer from a lack of basic resources, such as books, teaching supplies, or even teachers. The public education system’s inability to catch up with rapid growth in the student population has led to a serious decline in the quality of instruction and student achievement. An alarming number of very young children in the Philippines have iron deficiency anemia. Among older children, this is compounded by soil-transmitted parasitic worms that cause malnutrition and diseases – a result of poor sanitation and hygiene. In Mindanao, children and their families are vulnerable to the effects of sporadic conflict between various armed groups and the Philippine military.