Every (wo)man should plant a tree, have a child, and write a book – attributed to the Talmud (Jewish oral law) and Jose Martí (Cuban revolutionary and poet). These three items are said to be lasting legacies for any individual.
I remembered this quote after witnessing last August 2 when more than 25 various nationalities turned over their books they co-authored or wrote alone and their magazines they published to the Mohamed bin Rashid Library (MRBL) in Dubai.
That event was the second edition of the “AKLAT “ Gift of Knowledge Day which is an initiative of the Philippines Partnership Circle (PhilPaC) in collaboration with the MBRL. PhilPaC is under the patronage of the Philippines Embassy in the UAE.
According to PhilPaC President Marlene Murphy, it was a meaningful book signing activity and cultural celebration honored by the presence of Dr. Mohamed Salem Al Mazroei, CEO of MBRL, David Hirsch, Advisor of MBRL, and Fatma Fikree and the MBRL Management Team. “I celebrate with all the book authors and editors of the 1st Group and the 2nd Group for a well-deserved appreciation of their hard work and recognition of their talent,” she added.
The seven Filipinos of the second batch were Rachel Salinel, Roxane Negrillo and Wafa Qasimieh who co-authored the ‘Dis-Rupt 3.0 Filipina Women: Rising’ book published by the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN); and individual authors Wandalyn Tan Calupig (3 Simple & Proven Exercises to find Happiness Within), Carlette Redondo-Utanes (Finances: Faith, Hope & Love), Ester Vargas Castillio (Biriterang Makata |Filipino Poetry), and Enrico Cardoniga (The 12 Habits of Highly Successful OFW).
“Our book ‘Dis-Rupt 3.0 Filipina Women: Rising’ is the third book on Filipino Women Leadership by the US-based Filipina Women’s Network which is to inspire, encourage and empower readers to be effective woman leaders. We are grateful for this opportunity,” Rachel expressed during the event. She is a veteran broadcast journalist and multi-awarded woman leader who happens to be my wife. We have a 24-year old son.
Rachel has completed the three legacies in her life. She said that during her childhood years at the Binga Hydroelectric Power Plant in Itogon, Benguet they have been planting trees in the area. It makes sense as planting trees along river banks or any body of water provide environmental benefits such as preventing soil erosion.
Carlette said she has tried planting in her lifetime but never had a chance to see the trees grow. “I hope to be able to plant a tree someday. That would really be nice. It’s amazing and a joy to see when they start to spurt. A life coming out of a seed,” she shared.
The mother of two – 17- and 14-year olds – wrote her book in May 2020 during the height of pandemic when she was infected with Covid-19. Carlette told me she I wrote it in less than three months. It is about Finances: Faith, Hope and Love – Experiencing God’s Peace during Financial Struggles for OFWs.
I also asked Dr. Rommel Pilapil Sergio if he has planted a tree since he already has a 9-year old and belonged to the first batch of authors who donated their books last June 21. He said that in 2018 each educator were asked to plant five trees as part of their university’s CSR project.
Dr. Rommel added that he started to write his book in April 2020 and had it published in February 2022. His book ‘Management Cases: Thriving Organizations in the New Normal’ is a best-seller on Amazon. The book provides management cases that deal with the organization’s implicit challenges and, at the same time, the best practices that have positively affected the growth of the business or organizational enterprise during the pandemic.
As for me I just need to write a book as I had planted a tree, too, during high school at our school compound. I’m not just sure if it really bloomed when I graduated. It would be nice to plant a tree again as our company, Tristar Group, always encourages overseas locations to initiate tree planting activities during the annual World Environment Day on June 5.
My plan is to compile some of my Filipino Excellence columns here in The Global Filipino Magazine and the others published by Kabayan Weekly newspaper from mid-2016 to early 2019.
So far I have chosen timeless columns which discuss more on concepts rather than events, with these subjects: We are all storytellers, Failure is part of the entrepreneurial journey, What is your compelling story, Looking up to mentors to become excellent, Publicize your business story, Be Proud and Call Yourselves Global Filipinos in the UAE, Filipinos in mainstream media and social media bond together, What is/are your most memorable experience/s in the UAE, and Aspiring to be a Public Servant (Part 2),among others.
I will publish my Filipino Excellence book once I have finalized 21 columns representing the number of years I have been living and working here in the UAE.
Image Credit: Jung Francisco
Note: Art ‘Popoy’ Los Banos is a 21-year Dubai resident with his wife, broadcast journalist Rachel Salinel. He is currently the Senior Manager for Corporate Communications of the fully integrated energy logistics service provider Tristar Group, where he is the only Filipino in the senior management team. He was the former 2008 Philippine Independence Day (PID) organizing committee chairman in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Art ‘Popoy’ and Rachel were named as one of the Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf for four years, starting in 2015. In December 2019, he received the Philippine Pride Awards in Public Relations from the Philippine Business Council-Abu Dhabi chapter for his ‘exemplary leadership and tireless efforts to continuously support, boost and campaign for excellence to uplift the Filipino image.’ Recently in June this year, Art ‘Popoy’ was named as one of the Philippines’ Top 30 Leaders on LinkedIn.