Archive for January, 2005

Nature’s Touch

January 1st, 2005 No comments
In the past days, Singapore just experienced the heaviest rain in 75 years and caused flooding in low-lying areas according to news reports. Many were caught unprepared and suffered business losses. Malaysia and Indonesia are now also sharing the same fate. Last month, Naga City just experienced one of the most destructive typhoons in history and same typhoon actually hit southern part of Vietnam, a place where typhoons seldom hit. What’s the cause of this extreme weather? Flooding in the Africa, Typhoons in Asia, drought in Australia, Ice Storm in Europe, Heat wave in US and the latest prediction is that artic ice may melt in the summer months of 2040.

Recent earthquake in Taiwan also caused damage to underwater telecommunication cables and affected the telephone and internet service here in Singapore and other part of Asia. “Dec. 27, 2006 will go down to history as the day the digital world was stopped by a natural disaster�—Today. Hmmm… There’s really no way technology can stop nature, huh?

Climate changes, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, (plus famines and wars) etc. etc. are here to stay. These are only previews. Yes, there are more to come. These and a lot of worst things were already prophesied some thousand of years ago. But, no, the world is not going to end, at least a thousand more…

Categories: Blogs, General, Personal Tags:

Journey into 2007

January 1st, 2005 No comments
Last year, 2006, was the year I describe as my “wilderness journey�--in comparison with the Israelites' 40-year journey after the exodus from Egypt. Crossing from 2006 to 2007 is like the moment when the Israelites were about to cross the Jordan River to the promise land as told in Joshua chapter 3. The people were given the instruction: Let the Ark (symbolizes the presence of God) cross first and follow it because the path is unfamiliar to them (verse 3-7). That’s why today as I cross into 2007, I will keep God be first in my life. The "Jordan River" could be hardships, problems, trials or any other hindrances I am facing everyday. Sometimes I always have “bright ideas� and I do not allow God to lead me and I focus more on what my earthly eyes can see—my job, my business or other earthly securities. But the Bible says to “fix our eyes upon the Lord� and “wait in hope upon the Lord�. We should not go ahead of God but allow Him to lead our lives for He directs the way to the best possessions (the Promise Land—a land flowing with milk and honey). I will allow God to lead me to this "unfamiliar path" (verse 7)--I dont know what is in 2007 but God does.

I used to have the same “wilderness� mentality like the Israelites, always complaining, always murmuring, always questioning God and other bad attitudes. This is why an 11-day journey took Israelites 40 years to attain. I guess God thought, okay, one complain, additional one year round trip in the desert. No, I don’t want that this time! I want to possess the promise land the soonest possible time... now!

This year I will consider all problems and challenges to be an opportunity for God to do miracles.
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This On-going Journey and Development Communication

January 1st, 2005 No comments

Almost two years have already passed since I graduated from Ateneo de Naga University with a Development Communication degree. Until now, I still look back at how I got into the course some years ago with fondness and intentness. I started out in college as an accounting student, with the dreams of passing the board, becoming a topnotch CPA; and then eventually proceeding to take up law to become a hotshot lawyer. But as fate would have it, I ended up traveling to Manila to begin a rather premature career in Network Marketing, Business Development, Sales, and Training in one of the tall buildings along Ayala Avenue (Rufino Towers); going around the jungle that is Manila and some other places outside of it; returning here from that adventure or misadventure(?); transferring from my old Alma Mater to my new one; and shifting course from Accountancy to Development Communication to start my life here anew.

I am not going into the details about what transpired from the time when I temporarily dropped out of school to accept an offer to work in Manila to the time when I decided to go back here in Naga. I would not also talk about the reasons why I changed courses and took up Development Communication, nor would I talk about just what in the world was I thinking during that time when I accepted that offer in exchange of my studies, my editorial duties (as Managing Editor of our college publication) and my outside job(s) that time (I was an independent guy as early as I turned my back from those good ol' but callow high school days). All of these deserved separate posts.

What I would like to throw out this morning is that, firstly, it dawned on me that the journey I am into right now which has been dependent on and sustained by faith, hope and vision has been one exhilarating ride - a roller coaster haste, a life-changing cruise, an eye-opening campaign.

It has not been easy, but it has been worthwhile. I still feel that the place I long dreamt about, or the place promised to me by my dreams if I may put it this way, is still somewhere over that skyline and it could still be a long way to go. But for me, it's okay.

As long as I don't stand still, as long as I become a better person along the way, as long as there are still some little sparks of hope that I could always hold on on some darkened days and nights, as long as I could still breathe and live, as long as my reasons are still intact and right, as long as the vision of a good ending still looms on the horizon ahead, I only got three words for the 'gods of fate' - BRING IT ON!

Secondly, in my opinion, Development Communication, combined with my past experiences with the jobs I had and the further studies that I have taken since I graduated, has been a perfect fit to what I do now and what I intend to do in the future.

This leads me to think of some things - and if you may, I am sharing them to everyone who might be interested.

We all are at the threshold of defining changes that could take the world by storm in a matter of seconds, or a push of a button, and having been educated on, and inspired by how we could harness the boundless power of human communication to usher in a better world (or the opposite of it) for everyone brings me mixed feelings of great confidence, excitement, and fear.

Nowadays, many forms of communication media have once again been shaping and reshaping the way people live their lives - and the way they live their dreams. Phenomenal changes have been occurring inside and outside of us that are being brought to us by these revitalized and new breed of communication tools (i.e. art films, digital animation, digital photography, edgy advertisements, a more creative and bolder public relations, more sophisticated mobile phones, blog, virtual chat, 3D chat, on-line gaming, social media and video, interactive tv, and others) and who knows what is going to happen next.

At the end of the day, I believe that the ever-powerful media would be as noble or as evil as the one who use it. A great sense of responsibility, selflessness, oneness-with-the-world, and conscience is therefore more needed now than ever as the power of communication media and processes becomes more advanced and in a lot of ways, efficient, thus, for me, mightier; and as the world becomes smaller because of this , thus, for me, more vulnerable or reachable depending on which side you are at. That is where the principles and mission of Development Communication would be most critical.

People, especially communication specialists and media practitioners, should learn how to strategically harness the vast power of communication media and measures to bring about social and economic improvements, especially in developing countries like ours. Having said that, the same should not allow other people to utilize the same power to bring about the opposite for all the wrong reasons.

These people in whose hands this power has been 'entrusted', including myself, a DevCom grad, believer and practitioner, a community worker, and a Marketing Communication officer, and those who will, in one way or another, be engaged in some forms of media or communication works in the future, should take their journey up to a whole new level - with a vision not only for themselves but for others.

Sabi nga nila, kung hindi pwede ang BAYAN MUNA, pwede bang kahit papaano'y BAYAN DIN?

So what differs Development Communication from other communication-based perspectives or courses? For me, simply put, it's communication with a vision, with a heart, with a purpose, with a greater sense of responsibility. In business, it could be likened to doing business with a social conscience or pursuing business while espousing and championing the Corporate Social Responsibility and 'profit with honor or dignity' concepts.

Development should be the goal. Development of the human spirit and potential. Development of economic and human conditions. Development of the arts and culture. Development of local and international understanding. Development of vision and value-based leadership. Development of the other intricacies of life vital for the betterment of the human society.

I just hope Development Communication would someday enjoy the attention and the respect that, I believe, it truly deserves in this fast-paced, technologically-advanced, highly-wired, greatly-connected, yet oftentimes impatient, indifferent, troubled, and angry world.

(Note: This is a re-posted entry from my other blog.)

Categories: General Tags:

December 19

January 1st, 2005 No comments
Something really really BIG's gonna happen on this date at Avenue Square, Bicol's Premier Lifestyle Center, Magsaysay Avenue Naga City...that will surely KNOCK Naga City OUT of its normal life!

With this, we also hope to KNOCK OUT despair, sadness, and some, if not all, of the sufferings of those hardly hit by Supertyphoon Reming.

Bangon Naga! Bangon Bicolandia!

Stay tuned!
Categories: General Tags:

Another storm has developed just outside the Philippine area of responsibility!

January 1st, 2005 No comments

According to our ever-reliable, Naga-based weatherman, Michael Padua, through his website, another storm is about to enter the Philippine area of responsibility tomorrow (Dec. 8), if not tonight. This tropical disturbance has already passed the South of Guam and has since then become active. It may hit Surigao, Samar & Bicol Region either Sunday or Monday (Dec 10 or 11) unless, perhaps, changes occur with the said system.
(See this satellite photo from the same website: Tropical Disturbance pointed by the yellow arrow)

According to another renown stormchaser, this potential typhoon was formed in the same place where Reming (International codename:Durian) did -- with the same conditions that paved the way for Reming to become a supertyphoon still there existing!

'Wag naman sana!

With the entire region still suffering from the destruction brought about by Reming, a monster storm considered by many to be the strongest typhoon to hit Bicol and the country in living memory, another typhoon would surely make matters worse for all of us here.

God help and protect us!

(Posted today: 7 December 2006)
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A Gathering for Solidarity and Prayer for the Victims of the Supertyphoon Reming: An Open Invitation

January 1st, 2005 No comments

Here's the email I made especially for my Ateneo communities including Xavier Honor Dormitory and Gabay Scholars Organization, my organizations when I was in college (Above is the soft copy of our invitation) in connection with the 'Prayer and Solidarity Gathering' that we have organized for the victims of Supertyphoon Reming. Please feel free to make what I like to call "posts of support" for this project, for our less fortunate brothers and sisters greatly afflicted by this tragedy and even for all those who have volunteered their service in aid of the victims. However, expressed concern, empathy, and commiseration through a prayer of your own from whenever you are right now would help a lot --- doesn't matter if you are an Atenean or not. Iisang banka tayo dito. And for those who would like to help through donations and cash aid you may want to check my previous posts regarding this topic. Dios Mabalos po!

To my dearest Ateneo and Xavier Dorm community,

Greetings in Christ!

With the blessings of His Grace, Most Rev. Leonardo Z. Legaspi, Archbishop of Caceres, and the full support of the Church especially our clergy and brothers at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary through Rev. Fr. Peter Berina, the 'artistic community' led by Mrs. Amelita Zaens, and the local government unit led by our city mayor, Hon. Jesse Robredo, we at Avenue Square pushed through with our plan of coming up with a prayer-filled gathering that aims at benefiting, uplifting and drawing all of us who were affected by the onslaught of Supertyphoon Reming more closely together. It shall also dedicate special moments to remember our less fortunate brothers and sisters who were afflicted the hardest and together as one community, be inspired and be of help to them in any we can.

Now with only a few things to make final, I am happy that such plan -- which was prompted by the all too moving sights and sounds of pains and sufferings, big and small, that we all have to endure in the aftermath of the storm -- is now about to be materialized. During these crucial moments, like when the monster storm was battering our place and its full strength was upon us and all seemed hopeless already, we, in the organizing committee, believe that our real hope and comfort rest in Him and His great love, mercy and benevolence and on our being one with Him and our ever-loving "Ina" through our heartfelt prayers and solidarity.

These having been said, I wish to invite all of you, on behalf of the men and women of Avenue Square and G7Holdings and all our partners on this project, to join us in this solemn gathering of people representing all sectors who are humbled by the calamity but emboldened and united by faith and concern for others other than ourselves.

This prayerful gathering will be on Saturday, 9 December 2006, 8:00 PM at Avenue Square ground, Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City with our beloved city mayor and archbishop to give their special messages for us. It shall be a very special night of heartfelt prayers, moving images, gentle moments of solidarity, and uplifting music.

Please see attached invitation.

Thank you very much. I also hope you could pass it to other 'Ateneo communities' especially in cyberspace/on-line.

I have the greatest hope that we shall be together again and come in full force with our prayers, our love, and that great Atenean Spirit to once again brighten up this battered and darkened home of ours.

Premum Regnum Dei!


Donald "Ducks" Bercasio
Marketing Communications Officer
G7Holdings/Avenue Square
ADNU Alumnus, Development Communication 2005
Xavier Dormer (Alumnus)
GABAY alumnus and former president

For more convenient viewing and "posts of support" to this project, please visit my blog. Dios po an magbalos!=)
Categories: General Tags:

A Call for Help

January 1st, 2005 No comments


Allow me first to take you out of your comfort zones and together let's journey through what is left of Bicol, particularly Albay, Legazpi City, Camarines Sur, and Naga City after Supertyphoon Reming ravaged our place.

The country has been declared to be under a State of National Calamity. This is practically due to the destruction brought by Super Typhoon Reming in most parts of our country, especially in the Bicol region which turned out to be the most devastated. As of December 4, 2006, more than a hundred dead bodies were buried in a mass grave in Legazpi City. The Philippine National Red Cross believes that death toll may reach more than a thousand. Records of the Office of Civil Defense show that 201,927 families of 832,549 individuals were affected. Of this figure, about 16,710 individuals are currently sheltered in evacuation centers. A big part of the region suffers blackout and is most likely to spend Christmas in total darkness.

Photo above shows a young survivor in tears. She lost her relatives to the mudflow that was triggered by the supertyphoon. More photos are uploaded here.

The Ayala Young Leaders Alliance (AYLA) has begun to collaborate with Ayala Foundation, Ateneo's Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, Ayala companies, schools, organizations and institutions in launching a relief campaign to aid the victims of the super typhoon. We are one to encourage you to take part in this relief operation and be a channel to urge as many people to help.

Below are options to send in donations:

1. Thru Ayala Foundation's G-Cash:

Type DONATE_amount_mpin_AYALAFOUNDATION and send t0 2882.

Example: DONATE_50_1234_AYALAFOUNDATION and send to 2882.

2. Thru Direct Deposit Payment:

Deposit your cash donations to Ayala Foundation - Social Development, BPI account number 0011-1490-22.

Please fax us a copy of your deposit slip at (02) 813-4487, Attention: Operation Reming.

3. In Kind:

Donations in kind such as: Rice, noodles, canned goods, coffee, sugar, medicines (vitamins, paracetamol, mefenamic acid); bath and laundry needs (hygienic materials and detergent bars).

For Metro Metro Manila schools/companies, please advise the Ayala Young Leaders Secretariat of preferred dates for pick-up schedules. Manila Water Company's Sagip Buhay Team has once again expressed their willingness provide vehicles to pick-up donations.

Relief drive until December 15,

"Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under a tree."
~ Charlotte Carpenter

Thank you very much in advance. Dios po an magbalos!


Ayala Young Leaders Bicol-Uragon (AYLAB-U)

thru yours truly, Donald Bercasio, Regional Coordinator


Ayala Young Leaders Alliance (AYLA)

thru Ralph Reuben C. Morales, Alumni Relations Coordinator

Categories: General Tags:

ID System anyone?

January 1st, 2005 No comments
Ah, another project for Naga City Government... ID system! Beneficiary Service Tracking included. This would be the First Web-based system we will be developing that would include remote offices like CSWD, CHO, PESO, CaGO and NCH. Luanching Date: January 2, 2006
Categories: Blogs, Personal Tags:

Different Faces of Christianity: A Study

January 1st, 2005 No comments

Evangelism, to make every opportunity to share God’s word… This has become the weakness of my Christian Life. For the past years, I’ve been looking for different Christians and attempt to examine how these Christians react and ultimately win an unbeliever. Ah, I got to think of a disguise, a perfect disguise. I got to be bad, real bad. But how would I be able to achieve this without putting my true character in jeopardy was a big question for me. Internet! Yes, the place where you can find different people, impersonators and lawlessness.

Finally, everything is set. I have created a fictitious account under three websites and ready to find my prey. Now, I got to be bad. You got to know that this was really a very hard task. I have put lying into a fine art in order to achieve my goal.

There were four cases I handled and unfortunately only one out of four who stood to its faith. 25%. Is that really the proportion? I Hope not.

Christian 1 and 3: Both of these Christians did not take the opportunity to share and try to win a sinner instead ignored what might have been a great advantage to share God’s word since the sinner was drawn to them. Maybe they were just trying to distance themselves from any trouble they might get in to. Some Christians believe that if you don’t want to sin, don’t go where the sin is. That could be it. But you see, Paul said, “To the Jews, I became a Jew. And to the Gentiles, I became a gentile.� The question now is, How can you witness for Christ is you keep locking up yourself in a closet?

Christian 2: Ah, Why is there anyone like it? Christian should… Go against the flow.. Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world… I think you know my point. It’s a shame to know, you don’t witness and you stay secular. “No one can serve two masters at the same time�, right? I guess these are the fake Christians… Christians who did not really know what they are dealing with.

Christian 3: I finally found one after a year and a half! This one is exactly the opposite of the three! The final stages of testing finally ended last Wednesday, December 22, 2005. This Christian endured to the end. This is what God is looking for in every Christian!

  • Stage 1: Christian befriends a sinner by accepting whoever the person was.
  • Stage 2: Christian accepts the true identity of the sinner, after confession was made, did not withdraw friendship instead adjusted to the situation and understood the whole situation.
  • Stage 3: Christian wins the sinner by inviting to attend a local church!

How exciting that was! Sometimes to share God’s word is that easy but the devil try to put in fear, fear that would take away One of the purposes of God to us, that is to evangelize. In someway, I must reveal to this Christian who I really was… someday… and hopefully be forgiven.

Duration: 2 years and 3 months

Categories: Blogs, Personal Tags:

December once again

January 1st, 2005 No comments

Christmas rarely falls on a Sunday. I hope no one will excuse himself and not attend a Sunday service because of the tradition of celebrating a Noche Buena.

I had a very exciting December this year. It was always raining and it was very cold, at least now we really feel it is really December! What have I been doing, What are the events? Well, lets see... A friend from UK arrived two weeks ago. Our church sponsored a Christmas Party for the 120 Children of our outreach in Pili last December 17. We had the first gift-giving activity of Metro Naga Community Fund which benefits 100 children from upper-barangay Carolina last Sunday afternoon (December 18). And after that late in the afternoon at 6PM. I drived to Manila with my family to fetch my sister-in-law from the airport the next day (She's a missionary based in Thailand). Drived back to Naga but wait! we had a stop-over at Lucena City! (Hey, Tita Letty, you have a very fine house! Thanks for the accommodation!). What else, ah yes! My research is done (December 21)! And today is the second day (of 3 days) of our Early Morning Prayer. We still have one tomorrow. On Satuday, we will be leaving for Albay to visit our old folks and on Sunday, thats when we celebrate our Church Christmas Party! Oh, well, Another friend in UK asked me to create an account at friendster. I have created one but still hanging tight.

More to come.. huh, maybe that will be another post..

Categories: Blogs, Personal Tags:

Life, when will it end?

January 1st, 2005 No comments

You will never know when the end will come. I remember one time, there was a topic in Naga Forum about being prepared for life after death. Forum members were arguing about the assurance of salvation. When will you ever prepare for this? When you die? We were made to believe that there was a purgatory (that was when I was still a catholic) so that when you die, people who are still living can do something, that is to offer a mass for the dead so they can go up to heaven. No… This was not the case for the rich man in the story found in Luke 16:19-31. It was the rich man who was praying for the living (verse 27)! So when do we get ready? Do you know where you are going after you die? Now is the time for the assurance of salvation.

And what do we Christian do?

In memory of Vic Villaflor, 47, a photographer, a funny man, a friend.
Died December 18, 2005
He was supposed to take photograph for the MNCF gift-giving activity but never showed up.
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Acometidas De la Víspera De Navidad

January 1st, 2005 No comments

This morning we visited our Aunt's house in Albay and came back around 4PM. We have to buy some things and hurry to church to practice for tomorrow's Sunday Worship.

Three hours from now and its Christmas. Many are busy with their Noche Buena. Christmas Eve rush that is. Everybody is going to celebrate Christmas tonight... Everybody... But sometimes the celebrant is left outside the house. Instead a big, fat guy in red suit is trying to steal the attention. Every table is set with delicious food but when the feasting started, no one ever invited the celebrant to come inside and eat. Gift-giving is next. Everybody receive something but the celebrant, everybody is hugging one another but did the celebrant ever got one? No! How many of us never understood the real meaning and reason for the season? My mother-in-law had a wonderful dealing from God today. She said she will not prepare anything for the family instead prepare food for carolers and eventually share the gospel, make them understand why we have Christmas and that is exactly what I saw tonight.

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I keep on learning…

January 1st, 2005 No comments

Again, I have to go back to my previous post about evangelism. Last Wednesday Early Morning Prayer Walk (Dec. 28), the last one of the year, we happened to pass by an old hotel along the busy streets of Naga. Our pastor was supposed to be on the frontline and I happened to be the last person on the line. But as I pass by the hotel I saw our pastor talking to a lady. It didn’t matter until we arrived back to the church to have some testimony about God’s dealing. One by one we shared our experiences. At last it was our pastor’s turn. Then he started talking about the lady that she met near the old hotel. I thought how would our pastor ever stop walking and praying to talk to a lady? Alas! It was because the lady ask our pastor if he wanted to have a “chicks� (Sir, chick?--a bugaw!) Ah! Isn’t that God’s way to save a soul? Yes, it was! Our pastor told the lady that he is a pastor and started ministering to her and prayed over… That is how it works! I remember I had the same experience (twice actually). One was inside Harrison Plaza (Yes, they are inside the mall) and another one after I crossed Aurora Boulevard from Gateway Mall to Kabayan Hotel. I should have ministered to them and not just walked away… that is.. making the most of every opportunity to preach the gospel, because the days are evil….

Categories: Blogs, Personal Tags:

Feliz Año Nuevo!

January 1st, 2005 No comments
Talking about a busy year-starter! When can I ever take a leave of absence during this time of the year? :)

It is a good thing that the launching of the ID..or.. Previledge Card (what ever!) system was posponed till March. Now, all we need to focus on is the One-stop shop Business Registration. Yeah, So far so good, though minor problem was incountered (Like Searching the whole city hall for a spare PC and Printer!--hey, thats not a BIG problem isn't it?)

Maybe after this rush, I can take a leave! haha! Just in time.. I will be travelling to Makati to bring back home some of my brother's staff (including his car!--so i will be driving a Honda City! ..hehehe.. replacing my Nissan Sentra--which I think is starting to get rusty! waahhh!!), he will be leaving for US (and pledges that he and his wife will never return!--HA! I bet I better start practicing getting myself fit inside a luggage, hehehe) by the end of January, just in time when my brother-in-law will be returning from Singapore.

Now, what about me? Am I suppose to migrate to Canada? Hmm.. I better find myself time to take the IELTS... how much am I supposed to be spending for this?

By the way, people! Our website just won Best LGU website for the second straight year! Congrats to Me, Ansel and Jessie! (oh, now you think we're hot?)
Categories: Blogs, Personal Tags:

What a day! Stress Part II

January 1st, 2005 No comments

I have the day planned already, i should be going to the shop and stay the whole day until 5PM for our regular Saturday Praise and Worship Practice.

8:30AM: I received a text message that there is an error with the Business License Program so I have to rush to the Office to fix anything that might have cause the error, to my surprise 4 of the main table of the database was currupted and no longer have any record! ah! again.. AHHH! What???? HOW? to cut the story short. its unfixable. Solution? restore the back-up.. What? The friday backup has the erroneous data? Does that mean we have to restore the Thursday backup? Yes, Oh my... thats almost 200 transaction lost! Again to cut the story Short, Jess has to work at home via dial-up to restore Thursday backup.

Lesson? Hmm.. Better have a 12:30PM, 5:30PM and a 9:00PM backup daily. Thats the beauty of technology or should I say the other way around?

Hey, any suggestions? Im open for as many as you can provide. Thanks!
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