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Dianne Que on Nicanor Perlas: “At last – a candidate I can believe in”

August 25, 2009 1 comment

It’s 2:38am and I just read incredible news via facebook that Nicanor Perlas has announced his intention to run for President of the Philippines in 2010. At last – a candidate I can believe in. While his name is little known to most Filipinos, Nicanor or “Nick” Perlas has steadily and quietly championed environmental justice & sustainable development, societal threefolding, holistic education, self- and cultural transformation, and largely as an environmental activist he has been achieving the impossible for over thirty years. In this time, he has built a high-caliber following of thinkers, community organizers, educators, activists, agriculturalists, leaders, business people, and down-home folks who have long urged him to take on a government post. A private person who generally shies away from the limelight, Perlas has (to the cheers of his supporters) finally made the decision that the time is now. Affronted by a Philippine government mired in “guns, gold, and goons,” Perlas – a 2003 recipient of Sweden’s Alternative Nobel Prize along with several other global accolades – is ready to change the game.

Can he win? In the same vein as our own popular President – I’ll go ahead and say it – Yes He Can. He has been lauded by global leaders as one of the great thinkers of our time, he has mobilized communities in successful movements under impossible conditions (See Bataan Nuclear Power Plant), and with a plan to mobilize over a million volunteers during his campaign, he hopes to edge out the wealthier, more popular candidates with the notion that money “cannot buy hearts and minds that dream of something better.”

I know. Sounds like a long shot. Too idealistic – especially in a grossly impoverished nation where money and mainstream media control votes. But let us be reminded how few thought that a young, Black Jr. Senator from the south side of Chicago with a hope for change could actually steal away an established white institution. So we all know that when enough people yearn for change and BELIEVE that a broken system can be challenged in viable ways, magic happens.

Perlas has set up a website http://www.nicanorperlas.com specifically surrounding his 2010 bid for the presidency. Here, you will find everything you need to know about him – his biography, qualifications, writings from 1976-present, his talks from 2001-present, newsclips, his strategies and theories for winnability, etc. You will be astounded by this one man’s pursuits not only for a better Philippines, but for a better Asia and Global condition.

I will definitely be following Perlas’ campaign and if I figure out things we can do stateside to get him elected, I will surely let you all know.

It is now an ungodly hour but now that I’ve blogged away my excitement, I hope I can rest better. (this is what i get for skimming my facebook news feed ‘just one last time’ before bed…)

Paula Zayco Aberasturi on Nicanor Perlas, “…because of Nicanor Perlas that I find myself inspired and moved”

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment

I have my mind and heart set on Nicanor Perlas. Who is Nicanor Perlas? You can check http://nicanorperlas.com but let me tell you why, because of Nicanor Perlas, my apathetic self will vote anew after 15 sorry years.

The last time I voted was when I was 18. From then on, I lost hope. And yet, for the first time, I have FAITH. Faith that my one lone vote can transcend, transform, and heal. It is because of Nicanor Perlas that I find myself inspired and moved to do work for the nation. I have learned an abundance from this man but I let me share with you three life-changing lessons:

1. You can live a life of authenticity. I have finally met a man whose entire life has resonated with his values. You see through people. Nicky’s integrity is without question. He lives and breathes it, conscious about each thought, word, feeling and act, and its power in the world. Nicky walks his talk. As someone has aptly stated: “If there is anyone who can go into a system full of temptation in every shape and form and maintain his integrity and values AND clean up the mess, it is him.”

2. We can chart our own course. We have been living in a world created for us, donning identities that are not truly ours. Nicky has challenged me to take the reins in place of the clutches of apathy or hopelessness. We can no longer blame sullied politics or the stark economy. We are part of this society, of this country we call home. In fact, we live in it. Why not be in control, do our bit in the way it is shaped? Each Filipino must realize this, his/her great power to create change and transform the nation. It is not just in one, it is in all.

3. True change ensues from the inside out. The way you live your life has an extraordinary bearing on the your world outside. Change has to be permeate your each thought, feeling and action. It begins with you, with us, and then the nation. I was once discouraged by the thought of little: my little steps; my little deed; and my little handiwork on the big world. I behold all these monumental ideas changing the world, people larger than life, making their giant imprints on history. And my trifling endeavor is seemingly, a tiny drop of water falling to obscurity on the lake. And yet, it was Nicky who taught me about ripples. My tiny drop can create ripples, and the lake is never the same again. Butterflies too. I first heard it from him, “The Butterfly Effect.” One insignificant flap of a tiny (and faraway) butterfly’s wing creates changes in the air that could ultimately change the course of weather forever.

I feel not just compelled but empowered to do my work in shaping the country. And I know this is the same for everyone. We are all urgently searching for meaning in our lives. I not only see or hear it, I can feel, even smell and taste it. The time is ripe and we want to chart our own new future. As a friend said: “You can’t save the world in one day. But, you can do it, a little at a time.”

Panjee Tapales on Nick Perlas “I Stand Tall and Ready”

August 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Panjee is a mother, writer, Steiner/Waldorf Education advocate, PAGASA co-founder. I say yes to organic/biodynamic agriculture and yes to living sustainably and with maximum respect for the earth and everyone in it.I believe in truth-telling and truth-living as a way of healing and transforming our country and the world.

Who is Nicky Perlas? I was tasked to introduce him during the press announcement of his intention to run as president of the Philippines last June 17.  I didn’t think twice about leaving out the qualifications because you only need to google him or go to his website (www.nicanorperlas.com) to get all that. I figured, the best way to get a picture of him is to talk about his “pagkatao”.  It is easy to study in “universities that matter” or even find yourself in positions of power, but the “pagkatao” is what will dictate how you will fare wherever you are, how will you behave in any situation.   I believe the best way to introduce him is to share the lessons I’ve learned in the decade or so I have known Nicky.

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I learned many things from him and one of the most important lessons was this: the fastest way to heal is to engage in the world. I learned from him that what is most personal is also universal and that your personal life is intricately linked to the world outside. Since then, everything I’ve done, I’ve done not just for myself or my children but for the greater reality that includes country and necessarily includes everyone in it. It is amazing how your life changes when you begin to live in full awareness that everyday, you are contributing to the state of your country—whether you choose to give a cop a P100 because you took an illegal shortcut and he caught you, you lie in front of your child, or took a bribe no matter what the reason.  The way you live your life impacts the state of the nation. It is so empowering to know that everyday, we have the chance to shape our nation. From the day I met him, Nicky has been doing this in his own life.  Everyday, in everything he does, he continues to shape our nation positively, whether we are aware of it or not.  He has been living this since he was seventeen.

I learned from him what unity really means because I’ve seen him listen so intently to groups and groups of people from different backgrounds and bring them all to a place of mutual and respectful understanding of differences.  He is always able to bring everyone—no matter what religious, political or spiritual persuasion—to that space where we find what is truly common, without dismissing or marginalizing anyone.  To him, the united whole contains all the parts in all their vibrant individuality and creativity. Indeed, to him, diversity is a potent force and gift.

His integrity is unquestionable. If there is anyone who can go into a system full of  temptation in every shape and form and maintain his integrity and values AND clean up the mess, it is him. He simply cannot be bought because his love for country is authentic. He has lived his life out of this love and all those who know him see it everyday. I believe this is because he has a fully integrated spirituality. He is not one to hear mass on a Sunday and then on Wednesday lie, cheat or steal. His life is a living expression of his spirituality.

His understanding of systems and how they interact is simply amazing—deep, coherent, whole. Through him I saw that the main problem of this country is not JUST politics, not just economics but culture. What an interesting and accurate diagnosis.  He can diagnose systems and patterns, connecting the dots and helping you connect the dots so that you can see the whole. How can one lead if one’s diagnosis of the current state of the nation is wrong or incomplete? How can one lead if he only knows how to address one or two aspects of the issues and not the whole?

His understanding of CHANGE is unparalleled. We all talk about change but everyone talks about it in broad strokes. It was only through Nicky that I realized that change happens in your heart, in your thinking, your mindset…before it can happen outside. He is the only one who helped me see exactly where and how true and positive change begins. There is a science behind change and he is well versed in it.

His qualifications are unmatched and you can just google his name and find out, or simply visit his website. It’s all there. But what I’ve shared with you are my own personal experiences of this man—a true leader, if I ever saw one. Because of him, I went to the Comelec office in Silang Cavite, and became a registered and sure-to-vote citizen at the age of 42. He makes me believe that I can see this country rise to its full height and glory again so that not just my children-but every Filipino child rich or poor– can be everything they are meant to be, right here in their own country. Because of him I know that there is true hope that no mother should ever leave her family again in order to make ends meet.

Before you shake your head and call him foolish or unwinnable, get to know him. It is with a full heart and the highest hopes for our country that I introduce him to you.  Nicanor Perlas is a true Filipino leader with a clear and living vision of the emerging Philippines.  If you have been longing for true change get to know him, put your money where your mouth is, and help be part of the change that is waiting to be born.  The Philippines of integrity is ours if we choose to co-create it.  Nicanor Perlas is the man who can make it happen, but change doesn’t rest on one man alone.  Everyone has to stand up at last and be part of it.

I stand tall and ready.

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