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 :).)

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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.

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

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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!

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(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!)
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Related post:
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CNN Hero Efren Continues to Inspire!
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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!
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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“:

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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.

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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.

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Related posts:

16-year-old Charice Sings with Andrea Bocelli

Super Filipina Kid

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Woody Allen Interviews Billy Graham

While reading about the movie Billy: The Early Years of Billy Graham which was just released over the weekend, I came across a reference to this interview done by Woody Allen on his show back in the 60’s.

It’s fascinating how folks back then could be so civil and witty even as they make clear from the very start that they’re on opposite sides of the fence. That’s the way conversations should go.

Part 1 of the interview is here:


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and Part 2 is here:


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Good exchange between two people who respect each other.

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Animoto.com—Create Your Videos Online

I received an email from Web Evangelism, where they featured this neat Web app at http://animoto.com.

Animoto will create videos for you from your own pics and choice of soundtrack music. You can choose soundtracks from their library or from your own music collection. They promise that no two videos will be the same. You can use the same collection of pics and same music, but they will remix it to come up with different videos every time.

Free videos will last only 30 seconds. You’ll have to pay for longer ones.

Just to see how good they are, I tried them out with some pics from when Perry and I were in Italy. Here’s what they came up with, in less than seven minutes:

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[clearspring_widget title=”Animoto.com” wid=”46928cc51133af17″ pid=”48bcb0ef4452744b” width=”432″ height=”260″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]

You can then post the videos in your blog (as I did with this sample), in WordPress, MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, Multiply, etc. You can invite your friends to view them, or upload them to YouTube.

Great tool for 30-second promotional messages for your services, organization, church, etc.

Pretty cool for a free service, huh?

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Related posts:

Kudos To My Beautiful Wife (Perry)

Anyone Out There Need 50GB of FREE Online Storage? (Another excellent and FREE online app)

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American Idols Shout to the Lord

I don’t really watch American Idol, so I missed the two episodes last week where, it turned out, the remaining contestants sang Darlene Zschech’s beautiful song Shout to the Lord.

I was just alerted to this through my favorite blog Parchment and Pen, which asked: What’s up with American Idol and Jesus? and posted a link to this YouTube video:

Maybe the program is just pandering to the strong conservative Christian market base, but that’s OK. Thanks be to God that praises to Jesus Christ are sung on US TV primetime.

(Seems that something happened behind the scenes, though, because the name “Jesus” was replaced by “Shepherd” in the first night’s performance, during the actual Idol Gives Back telecast. But the same song was sung again the following night, with the name “Jesus” placed back!)

Canadian Idol, on the other hand, seems to be already open to Christian songs. Their 2004 winner, the very talented Kalan Porter, performed this awesome number on that show, a moving rendition of MercyMe’s I Can Only Imagine:


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(Bonus clip 🙂 : Porter also sang this powerful song, for which a fan made a video montage on YouTube:)

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(Note: Wikipedia has a note about the performance of Shout to the Lord in last week’s Idol Gives Back show where the name “Jesus” was replaced by “Shepherd”, but was placed back in the following night’s repeat performance of the song. The Parchment and Pen post from which I got the original heads-up has interesting views on this from various commenters.)
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