Archive for the BE HONEST! BE A TRUE FILIPINO! Category

Romeo and Nita- a journey of honesty

Posted in BE HONEST! BE A TRUE FILIPINO! with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2009 by zuchxenon
Romeo pelaez,PGMA and Nita ramos

Romeo pelaez,PGMA and Nita ramos

TWO MAINTENANCE workers at the country’s premier airports are receiving praises for doing what, to them, was the normal thing to do: Be honest.

The two, a janitor at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and a janitress at the Manila Domestic Airport, returned valuables that could have made them a few hundred thousand pesos richer.

On Tuesday, airline janitor Romeo Pelaez was on duty cleaning an aircraft of Japan Airlines (JAL) when he found a bag which turned out to contain 3 million yen, or P1.5 million, a cellular phone and documents.

The bag was owned by a Japanese national and his Filipino wife who were passengers of JAL flight JL 745 from Narita, which arrived at about 10:40 p.m. on March 29.

The couple had inadvertently left the bag in their seat in the business class section of the aircraft.

Pelaez, “Mang Romy” at the airport, immediately turned over the bag with its valuables to the JAL Passenger Service Section.

The couple, who JAL officers declined to identify for their protection, went to the airline’s office at the Naia on Wednesday to inquire if the money had been found.

It was handed over to them intact.

Faith in the Filipino

At the JAL office yesterday, Pelaez, 46, told reporters that returning the money was the right thing to do.

“(He) exemplifies a rare breed among men—providing a proud moment that restores our faith in the Filipino,” JAL said in a statement.

Cris Zenarosa, JAL deputy station manager, said that the airline would definitely reward Pelaez for his honesty.

Pelaez earns the daily minimum wage. He is employed by DIARS Co., a contractor which provides the airline with maintenance people.

Pelaez has been working as a janitor and messenger since 1982.

23 pieces of jewelry

In another case of honesty, 44-year-old Nita Ramos, a janitress of PRC Management System, turned over pieces of jewelry she had found at the Manila Domestic Airport yesterday noon.

The jewelry cost an estimated P150,000 to P200,000, according to Nemencio Bawalan of the Investigation and Intelligence Division of the Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa).

Ramos found a red jewelry box containing 23 pieces of jewelry such as gold and silver rings, in the pre-departure ladies room of the domestic airport at around 12:30 p.m.

Bawalan said airport officials would turn over the jewelry to its owners once they come forward and present proof of ownership.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo celebrated today her 58th birthday by awarding cash gifts to two honest employes of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“Thank you for the good example that you’ve shown to our countrymen,” the President told Nita Gallebo Ramos, 44, janitress, and Romeo Pelaez, 46, messanger/janitor for Japan Airlines, both workers at the NAIA.

The President invited Ramos and Pelaez to Malacañang to personally meet and thank them.

“Kayo ang regalo para sa akin, kasi mababait kayo. At natutuwa ako kasi meron tayong mamamayan na may magandang asal ( I am very happy for having honest people like you. You are my birthday gift because you are good people)”, the President said.

The Chief Executive told Ramos and Pelaez that the P50,000 cash gift is an expression of thanks for the good example they have shown to the Filipino people.

The President also treated to lunch the two employes and their families after their short meeting at Malacanang’s Study Room.

MIAA general manager Alfonso Cusi was present during the awards.

On March 30, Pelaez, an employe of DIARS company, while cleaning flight JL745 from Narita International Airport, found a bag left behind in a business class seat. Without hesitation, he endorsed the item to the Japan Air Lines passenger service section, which turned over the bag to the owner, a Japanese. The bag contained major credit cards, a cellular phone, some personal documents and three million Yen or about P1.5 million.

On the other hand, on March 31, Ramos found a red box containing jewelry worth around P150,000 inside one of the cubicles at the pre-departure area of the old NAIA terminal at 12:30 in the morning. She immediately reported the incident to her supervisor who brought the jewelry box to the MIAA Intelligence and Investigation Division (IID).

To date, no rightful owner has come to claim the item so the lost and found section of the MIAA-IID will temporarily take custody of the items recovered by Ramos.

Earlier, the President conferred the Golden Heart Award with the rank of Grand Cross on Carol Bellamy, executive director of the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), for her valuable contribution to the improvement of the lives of children and women worldwide.



Memory of Nestor Sulpico

Posted in BE HONEST! BE A TRUE FILIPINO! with tags , , , , , , , on May 24, 2009 by zuchxenon


This post is originally posted and created by:Nestor Burgos Jr.

AN ILONGGO who worked as taxi driver in New York and was recognized four years ago for returning $70,000 worth of black pearls left in his cab died here on Thursday from stomach cancer.

Nestor Sulpico, who was called “New York’s most honest taxi driver,” died at 51 years of age without fulfilling all his dreams. But to his family and those who knew him, Sulpico was a hero.

Sulpico drew international praise four years ago after he returned $70,000 worth of black pearls that a passenger left in the cab he was driving in New York City.

His mother Elena said Sulpico, who died at his home in Jaro District, Iloilo City was diagnosed with stomach cancer shortly after he returned home from New York in December last year.

“He was complaining of continuous stomach pains,” Elena told a telephone interview.

His 20-year-old daughter Angel by his estranged wife found him dead in their room Thursday morning.

Sulpico’s mother said Sulpico was preparing to return to New York to finish a nursing course.

“He had two subjects left and he had wanted to be a nurse so that he could bring Angel with him to the US,” said Elena.

Sulpico came to the US in 1990. He drove a taxi up to 16 hours daily to earn a living in New York.

But his fate changed on July 15, 2004, after he found the pearls inside a backpack left by hedge-fund manager Lawrence Policastro.

In an interview shortly after he found the pearls, Sulpico had said that, at first, he imagined how the jewels, worth nearly P4 million then, could change his life.

“I thought of the days when I was just roaming New York, shivering in the snow, desperately looking for a job.”

But Sulpico said that returning the jewels was one of the easiest decisions he ever made in his life. “I believe that honesty is the most important virtue which serves as a foundation of all other virtues.”

He called Policastro through the mobile phone he found in the backpack and told the businessman that he had the jewels.

The deed earned him praises from New Yorkers, who called him “New York’s most honest taxi driver” because taxi drivers in there were notorious for being discourteous and for over-charging their passengers, especially tourists.

Policastro had offered him a $500 reward, which Sulpico was reluctant to accept. The businessman also raised at least $5,000 for an educational fund to help the Filipino driver finish nursing studies at the Bronx Community College.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg also gave him an “integrity award” and a symbolic key to the city.

Sulpico returned to a hero’s welcome in Iloilo.

The Senate passed a resolution commending his honesty and he received a citation and P100,000 in cash from President Macapagal-Arroyo.

Elena said his son did not have any regrets.

“He lived and died with the virtues that I taught them since they were children. Nothing changed him even after he became famous,” said the 88-year-old Elena.

In an interview four years ago, Sulpico said his feat fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming a hero.

“I could not ask for more and even if I die, I feel that I have become a role model for the younger generations,” he said.


Cristina “Tinay” Bugayong

Posted in BE HONEST! BE A TRUE FILIPINO! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2009 by zuchxenon


Tinay Bugayong is just 12 years old. She is the 6th of 8 children, in a family that could definitely use more money. She is a public school student who helps out in a cafeteria to earn extra funds. I heard her story on 24 Oras last night. A messenger riding a motorcycle on T. Gener St. in Kamuning, dropped a total of P300 thousand in cash and checks. Tinay saw the envelope, checked it out and found the cash and checks. Her instinct was to return it to the rightful owner. “Hindi naman sa akin yun e” (It’s not mine.) This is not the first time that Tinay has returned a substantial amount.

Department of Education (DepEd) OIC Secretary Fe Hidalgo today led the education bureaucracy in honoring Tinay during her school’s regular flag ceremony at Tomas Morato Elementary School in Quezon City.

“What our country needs today are role models like Tinay. Even as she was coaxed to keep the money, she still chose to return the money. That act alone says a lot about her. And up to this day, she has been receiving many blessings, far more than the value of the amount she returned,” said OIC Secretary Hidalgo.

I hope there will be more people like Tinay. Showing honesty even if others are not, even if others will not and even if others cannot.Let us make difference, also make this country the best place for every human being to live in. Like what the piece says, be honest! be a true Filipino!


Be Honest! Be a true Filipino!

Posted in BE HONEST! BE A TRUE FILIPINO! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2009 by zuchxenon
This is the logo of the contest's organizer

This is the logo of the contest's organizer

There are so many dishonest things that are happening in our country and in our world. Dr. Jose P. Rizal perceived that the youth is the future’s beholder. That’s why I decided to post a sample of an Oratorical Piece encouraging the youth to be honest and truthful to his/herself and to the people around them.


              January 2005, a man in a speeding motorcycle accidentally dropped budles of cash and checks amounting to P300,000. A twelve year old student from a public school raised in a poor family witnessed that incident. It was a moment that will test one’s conviction, a moment to decide for what is right. If you were in that situation, what will you do? Youre family is financially in need, and here’s the money that could change your life for the better. Now, what is right for you? For Christina “Tinay” Bugayong, she did what is right- to return the money to the rightful owner through the help of a radio station despite the odds and after numerous sweet talks from neigbors to keep the money, and split it among themselves. Tinay, a Filipino youth and student  whose deed is worthy of emulation and recognition- making us proud of our race. She is an epitome of incalculable honesty, by being honest even if others are not, even if others will not and even if others cannot.

              What I shared is just one of the many faces of honesty.From the moment we stepped the portals of our Alma Mater, we are made aware that honesty is the best policy.As a filipino youth and student, are we that properly oriented on what we considered a cliche now? Do we really know what honesty means for us? Honesty, a clear concsiense before myself and before my fellow human beings, being aware of what is right and appropriate in one’s role, one’s behavior and one’s relationship. Being honest means no hipocrisy or artificiality, which creates confusion and mistrust in the minds and lives of others. Honesty makes a life of integrity because the inner and outer selves are but a mirror image. It is telling the truth, it is straightforward conduct.

              Filipinos are naturally born to be honest and raised by our parents with virtue of honesty as our guiding principle in life. Others may question this and say otherwise… but WE should prove them WRONG!

              Aside from Tinay, there are still many Filipinos who were shaped and lived up with virtue of honesty. Nestor Sulpico, a taxi driver, Romeo Pelaez, a janitor, Nita Ramos, a utility worker and Melitza Ann Chan, an OFW nurse- individuals from different walks of life who faced different situations which challenged their honesty. Their stories inspire us, Filipino youth and students to reflect honesty as we go on with our lives. Each day we grow with honesty. We all want to be honest in our own way. Yes, my fellow students, being honest is not just returning money and lost valuables. It’s more than that.

              How do you perceive honesty as a Filipino youth and student? Do you steal money or nick some bills from your parents wallet to play computer games? Do you cheat during examinations to get high scores? Do you ever lie in any kind for your own gain and your friend’s sake? Do you tolerate any illegalities and forms of graft and corruption in the community to cover up an individual or because of fear? These questions remind us one thing- being honest is a challenge that will test our resistance to temptations- temptations that seem to be a part of our everyday life.

              As a Filipino youth and student how can I live with honesty? No other treasure chest could induce me to steal, for I believe that I have my own large treasure chest which God gave me. I am contented and confident that whatever I have now is enough to leave simple and happy life. I have enough. I could not ask for more.

              I have a home where honesty abounds. It is where I first learned about this virtue. My parents taught me that my every word should speak with honesty and that my every action should reflect integrity. Proverbs chapter 20; verse 7 states that “the righteouss is walking in his integrity.” Therefore, an honest person is a person of integrity.

              I have a school which serves as the foundation of our country’s greatest hope. It is where my mentors taught me to be honest in dealing with my classmates, peers and teachers. It is where a student like Tinay and like us are nurtured and shaped.

              I have a church where it’s people are God-fearing. It is where I learned to accept God and to live with his words. It is where I was molded to be a faithful servant. An honest whom God wants me to be.

              I have a community where it’s citizens are vigilant and responsible for their actions, where the youth practice leadership, good and honest governance.

              In this life full of temptations and in this world where honesty is not an easy virtue, every Filipino youth and student whom Jose Rizal perceived as the viewer of the past and the beholder of the future should have the will and the courage to do what is right- at home… in school… in church, in community. Just like Tinay… just like others- our life can also be a source of inspiration- a life in which every simple act of honesty matters- a life that mirrors human dignity. Yes, let us live an extraordinary life by being honest even if others are not, even if others will not and even if others cannot. Hand in hand let us make the difference… let us make this country a better place to live in. BE HONEST! BE A TRUE FILIPINO!

-Alvin F. Apolinar,Palawan National School

A contestant from the BCBP Oratorical Competition,UP Diliman.