CNN Hero Efren Continues to Inspire!

I’ve just finished watching a local Philippine TV show featuring a segment on CNN Hero Efren Peñaflorida and the Dynamic Teen Company.

It was truly inspiring! I was specially touched by the story of Cris Valdez, at only 10 years old the youngest volunteer for K4. This ten-year-old regularly saves money from his daily allowance so that he can give away slippers to children who are more needy than him on his birthday!

As a volunteer, he also helps in giving baths to the smaller children from the depressed areas and administering medical aid such as cleaning wounds and applying band-aids. When the episode was taped for TV, the DTC team was serving children of homeless families living in a cemetery, and Cris was very actively helping out.

Here’s a video of Cris showing how he was when he first came under the care of DTC:


(Note: I think the DTC people initially named the child “Kesz” when he first came under their care because that was how he pronounced his name at that time. But by the time he was interviewed for the TV program, he could talk very well indeed :).)

..

What a HUGE difference Efren and his team have made in the life of this child! Thanks be to God!

Efren and DTC are very effectively instilling godly values in their volunteers and child beneficiaries. They are spreading not just education but solid character formation!

Kudos, blessings, and power to them. They make me so proud to be Filipino!

Go, Efren! Go, DTC! May God continue to richly bless and empower you. And as more and more people see your good works, may they also give glory to your Father in heaven Who is using you mightily to bless others.

..

Related post:
..
Filipino Slum Kid is One of the CNN Heroes for 2009
..
..

BlinkAdd to Blinkslist del.icio.usadd to del.icio.us digg.itDigg it StumbleUponStumble It! Redd.itredd.it Vineseed the vine
..

..

Filipino Slum Kid is One of the CNN Heroes for 2009

Efren Peñaflorida rose from the slums of Cavite, Philippines to help other slum kids. Now his work is being recognized and supported by people all over the world, and he has been recognized as one of the CNN Heroes for 2009. His story is a very inspiring example of how one man can make a change, even with very limited resources.

The CNN print article on him is here, and the CNN video feature is here.

His story is also featured here: CNN honors Peñaflorida as modern day hero,

and at a TV Patrol episode:

..

..

You can visit their group’s website at Dynamic Teen Company—Making a Difference.

He’s also part of the Facebook group “We Are The Change”—of which I am also a member :-).

We can do it, people. We CAN make the world a better place—even if just one starfish at a time :-). Efren is doing it. Let us all support him and others like him—and also do our part in making the world a better place wherever God has placed us.

May God’s rich blessings be upon all of you!

..

(Acknowledgment:
I first became aware of Efren Peñaflorida, his work, and the CNN Heroes program through a post at Rico Hizon’s Facebook “wall”. Mr. Hizon is a Business News Anchor with BBC World News. He’s the first-ever Filipino broadcast journalist to work for two of the world’s most prestigious television news networks, CNBC and BBC World News. His Facebook page is full of good news and inspiring stories about the Philippines, aiming to unite and inspire nationalism among his Filipino FB friends. Kudos to you, Mr. Hizon!)
..

Related post:
..
CNN Hero Efren Continues to Inspire!
..
..

BlinkAdd to Blinkslist del.icio.usadd to del.icio.us digg.itDigg it StumbleUponStumble It! Redd.itredd.it Vineseed the vine
..

..

Tinikling—Wonderful Filipino Folk Dance

Check this out! It’s an excellent modern version of the tinikling, a Filipino folk dance (modern in the sense that it’s more athletic and there are much, much more combinations).

Watch it and applaud!
..

..

Charice and Celine

This beautiful performance happened more than a month ago, but I still want to post it here anyway.

The extremely talented Charice Pempengco is given a star turn at Celine Dion’s concert at the Madison Square Garden.

Ms. Dion displays a very generous and humble heart in letting Charice take center stage while she stayed in the background during the high points of the song. God bless her!

A beautiful rendition of “Because You Loved Me“:

..

The New York Post’s Dan Aquilante gave this very favorable review:

The Charice segment was the night’s brightest moment. The teen was able to blast notes with Celine-like power, but she was also able to get in touch with the song’s emotions.

..

And Jon Caramanica of The New York Times had this to say:

They performed “Because You Loved Me,” though Ms. Dion mostly stayed out of the way as Ms. Pempengco explored the song’s heretofore unheard rougher edges, with ample gesticulations and melisma. As Ms. Pempengco brought the crowd to its feet, Ms. Dion struck poses behind her: awestruck wonder, heartfelt empathy, ambient triumph.

..

 

Related posts:

16-year-old Charice Sings with Andrea Bocelli

Super Filipina Kid

..

BlinkAdd to Blinkslistdel.icio.usadd to del.icio.us digg.itDigg it StumbleUponStumble It! Redd.itredd.it Vineseed the vine
..

16-year-old Charice Sings with Andrea Bocelli

Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m late again 😦 .

But I’m still happy that Charice Pempengco got to sing with Andrea Bocelli. I’m sure that thousands of other Filipinos have already seen her videos on YouTube. So? I still want to post links to her videos in this blog. Hey, I’m a fan 🙂 .

In the Wikipedia article on Bocelli, the tenor is quoted as saying that he was actually looking forward to promoting Charice, whom he called a “force of nature” 🙂 . Here’s what he said, according to the Wikipedia article:

In an interview, Andrea Bocelli said that “In realtà il mondo è pieno di grandi voci e ho avuto la fortuna di cantare con tanti artisti, da Christina Aguilera a Bono. Ma, se proprio dovessi trovare una nuova interprete, punterei su Charice, una ragazza delle Filippine che a soli 15 anni è una versa forza della natura. Ne sentiremo parlare.” or “In reality, the world is full of great voices and I had the opportunity to sing with so many artists, from Christina Aguilera to Bono. But, if I would like to look for a new voice, I would push for Charice, a girl from the Philippines that only at 15 yrs old is a flush force of nature. That we shall be hearing.”

..
So here they are, Charice and Bocelli, singing “The Prayer” (the video is a bit shaky, since it was just taken by an audience member, but their voices were sure and steady 🙂 ):


..

For more news on this wonder kid, click here. There are also more and higher-quality videos of her various performances with different artists in other countries at this site (including her performance at the Paul O’Grady Show in England).
..

The following news clip on Charice features a snippet of her fantastic performance at the tribute concert to David Foster, held last May at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. The news is in Tagalog, but the praises heaped on her by the 14-time Grammy Award winner Foster and by Josh Groban (!) are, of course, in English. She received standing ovations for her renditions of “I Will Always Love You“, “I Have Nothing“, and “And I am Telling You“.

,,
And here’s an interview on a Philippine entertainment show:

 

Hats off to you, Charice! Man, if you’re this good at 16, who can tell where you’ll be, even just 5 years from now? I do hope you stay humble, and that you never ever forget the Creator who gave you your gifts. God bless you!

..

Related posts:

Charice and Celine

Super Filipina Kid

..

BlinkAdd to Blinkslist del.icio.usadd to del.icio.us digg.itDigg it StumbleUponStumble It! Redd.itredd.it Vineseed the vine
..

Back from Davao; For My Classmates: Don Carson Links

I’m back from Davao where I taught a two-week summer class on the Old Testament prophets, at Koinonia Theological Seminary.

Davao is at the lower right corner of this map, while Manila is at the top half of the map. It’s about 961 km (597 miles) from Manila, 1hr 40mins by plane.

I promised my students I’d give them the links to a pages containing links to Dr. Donald Carson’s audio lectures and sermons. So, classmates, here they are:

D. A. Carson Audio sermons and lectures – Free from around the Web; and

D. A. Carson MP3s.

Dr. Carson is one of my favorite Christian scholars, and I highly recommend his books, commentaries, and audio lectures and sermons. Widely read, sharp intellect, and an able defender and promoter of the faith.

He has also preached at All Souls Church in London, which used to be headed by the Rev. Dr. John Stott. His sermons are excellent examples of solid exegesis and application. His messages at All Souls can be downloaded from their site. Just search for sermons by preacher, “Don Carson”.

..
..

Reaching Out To Children

Bad blogger. BAD, bad blogger. Haven’t visited his own blog for two weeks. Shame!

So very sorry. Been busy. Aside from the evangelism and discipleship program for microentrepreneurs which my wife and I are mainly involved in right now, I’ve also been preparing for a possible short-term teaching stint in Davao City, in the southern Philippines. I’ve been asked to teach a summer module on the Old Testament prophets (listed as Isaiah-Malachi in modern Protestant and Catholic Bibles). Lord willing, if everything goes well, that will happen this coming Apr 21-30.

And, this weekend, I accompanied my wife as she checked out some communities where the ministry she’s involved in will give gifts to children from economically disadvantaged families. These gifts are solicited by Samaritan’s Purse from children of more economically advantaged families as part of their Operation Christmas Child program. Through this program, Christian families, particularly the children, are given opportunities for hands-on giving to financially disadvantaged families from other countries, especially to other children from all over the world. This teaches them that Christianity is about loving God AND loving other people (cf. Mark 12:28-34), including those from other countries.

The Philippine partner of Samaritan’s Purse, Sowers of the Word Ministries, has scheduled gift-giving operations in Zambales and the Mountain Province from April 7-9. As part of preparations for those activities, scouts have been sent to “prepare the way”. My wife was the scout for the Zambales area. I accompanied her as her regular “go-fer” and bodyguard 🙂 .

We went to the municipality of Botolan, about 200 kms NW of Manila. Because of traffic conditions, the 200-km trip was a five-hour bus ride. Our bus left the station at 8am Saturday, and we arrived at Agora, Botolan, at 1pm.

Most of the beneficiaries of the Apr 7 gift-giving will be Aeta children. The Aetas are an indigenous tribe, many of whom were forced to evacuate their lands and were resettled by the government in the wake of the cataclysmic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 (said to be 8-10 times greater than the eruption of Mt. St. Helens). The volcano is located at the borders of the provinces of Zambales, Pampanga, and Tarlac. The eruption totally destroyed the United States’ Clark Air Base in Pampanga, and severely damaged the U.S. Naval Base in Subic, Zambales, at that time said to be the largest U.S. Navy installation in the Pacific.

Below are some pictures from our “scouting trip” 🙂 :

Perry and Mel on a carabao taxi

Me and Perry on a carabao “taxi”

(The locals jokingly refer to this carabao-drawn bamboo platform mounted on two wheels  as their version of the taxi. The driver and the passengers have to sit on the sides and balance each other, or else the whole thing will collapse 😦 ).

..

Perry on her way to the venue for the gift-giving

Perry (with backpack) on her way to the venue for the gift-giving

..

Perry with some of the children

Perry with some of the children

..

Going on up…

Going on up…

..

Aeta children

Aeta children

..

Aeta Child

Aeta child

..

Aeta child with older sister

Aeta child with older sister

..

Some more children

Some more children

..

..