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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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.”

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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 🙂 ):


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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).
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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“.

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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!

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Related posts:

Charice and Celine

Super Filipina Kid

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