Sharing is the watchword

I have been inspired by caring people, helpful people, thoughtful people.

It was May 16, 2017. We interviewed our 4H YES scholars (batch 2), 19 out of 24 who are determined to proceed in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. One of the few questions I asked was "how did you manage your allowance?" The answers were heartwarming. I was touched that the money goes beyond meeting their own needs. They have to share it with their siblings who are also having hard times schooling. Some invested in agri-projects so the sharing could go far. I was happy that others had the discipline to save although little so they could lighten the load of their parents.

Theirs was a nourishing and refreshing life which didn't happen with a magic wand. It grows with careful cultivation. The hardships they went through soften their hearts to help, to share, to be a blessing. By sharing, they take the grind out of life. Sharing their blessings shows that while they love the gift, they love the Giver more by sharing the gift.

When we retreated for our "Grace Under Pressure: Taming Our Stress" human resource development program, we ponder on uncluttering our lives to eliminate stress. One uncluttering task is devoting regular time weekly to sorting one's junk - discarding unnecessary items, holding a garage sale or donating to charity. The latter would surely make you and others happy. After all, having much doesn't make us rich.

It's June 14, 2017. Ms. Anna Lea M. Layola and Ms. Shiela Mae T. Sarco, Productibong 4H YES scholars of ATI-RTC 8 graduated with honors in Certificate in Agricultural Science during the Commencement Excercises of the Visayas State University. Each also received a medal and cash incentive during the awarding of exemplary graduates.

Don't fly solo

Like the rest of the RTCs, we aren't spared from numbers this year. We have to conduct nth times training and other extension activities. There are things to do in preparation for the ISO 9001:2015. We will be implementing a program for the 22 provinces with high incidence of poverty, and in our region, it's the province of Leyte and the three provinces in Samar Island. We have on-going rehabilitation of our facility. These make our hands full and overflowing.

I like "full and overflowing". It suggests abundance and blessing. It reminds me of sharing, of taking part and of support network. It also reminds me of our dependence on others and much more on God which enables me to handle the pressure over the long haul, over the year and the years to come.

Extension work is never done. Our services are always called for. That's why the need for a team who will share carry the load, enabling us to travel light. A team who will help you bounce back when you get discouraged and frustrated. A team who will help you discover what really matters.

The team spirit was flamed anew in IS limitless.

Limitless. It goes beyond boundaries, beyond what we have now, beyond what we are now. That is ATI. That is IS, nothing less. Talk about creative ideas, innovative activities, excellent information exchange, team that works, contagious laughter and many more. These happened in the 1st KM 2017. I was there soaring high with the teams regardless of colors.

It's the difference that makes the difference

What makes the lotus different? It remains beautiful even in the filthy water of the pond. How about the eagle? It avoids the rain by flying above the clouds. The difference spells the difference between quality and poor services.

We make difference by doing service right the first time every time. We delight customer - we anticipate, meet and exceed customer requirement. We bring the best in others, count our blessings rather than our problems, thank for what we have because someone else has less, blame no one... the list goes on.

At ATI-RTC 8, making a difference is still a work in progress. We instituted the Wall of Innovation and strengthened our human resource development program. There were seminars on frontline services, social graces, social etiquette, facilitation and module delivery. Noteworthy is our Value Restoration Program.

In October 2016, we sent two of our staff to the Value Restoration Program on Organic Value Restoration Officer (VRO) Trainers Excellence Workshop. The two become our VRO who lead us in our weekly value focus. We started with taming the tongue then thankfulness and gratitude. These were followed by transparency, trust, unity, value of work, wisdom, word of honor, accountability, charity, commitment and dedication, concern, concern for the environment, concern for the family, conviction and fear of God...the list continues. Staff picked for his/her assigned value focus, one where he/she excels or comfortable to discuss not where he/she is perfect.

I find the activity refreshing. It starts our week right (we do it every Monday after the flag ceremony). It's not that there would be no 'bumps' during the week but the insights are encouraging and contagious.  Indeed, attitude makes the difference if we are to be different. We need to cultivate in us attitudes that attract. Our quest for excellent character should not be sidelined. It must be our core. That is one thing that we become different.

In our value restoration program, the sharing always ends with a declaration and a prayer. A declaration that we can be the person we are to be and a prayer for God's mercy and grace to be the kind of persons He wants us to be.


We remember the story of a man who rode on a horse-drawn cart, settled and closed his eyes to nap for a while. He assumed that the hotel had informed the driver of his destination so he only said, "Hurry and drive fast!" Later he realized they were heading the other way. So, he asked, "Do you know where we're going?" Still driving fast, the driver yelled, "No Sir, but I'm driving very fast!"

Fly! Why not?

How busy we can become and how empty. How easy to fall prey to meaningless and mindless activities that were not meant to be.

It's mid 2015 and our hands are still full. If we are not careful, the monotony of things will seep in, sweeping away our creativity. Let us not loosen our guard. It is when we lose the mark of surprise, when we become predictable that we start to rut. We have to create surprises. Why not?

Lead-off hitter

Who's first?

It's year ending and it's reckoning time. With KM we always recognized the innovativeness and creativeness of each RTC in enhancing access to AFE knowledge products and services. The recognition was no flare, just text sent to all congratulating those in the lead for the most news, first to upload or for a new block. Sometimes it's just like "I appreciate the blog of __ or the innovations of __" and everyone is high because we are a class. Remember: "class is already up and need not strive to look better by making others look worse".

Selling point

Entice. Mr Webster defines it as to draw on artfully. Its synonyms are lure, charm, attract and persuade. To do it, one must have a unique selling point. This is what many of our Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) do. They innovate to attract and influence.

Memories of e

Positive results evoke happy memories.

I was with Meitats when she presented her dissertation on "Learners' Intention to Continue Using ATI's e-learning Program". Why I was there?

Stick-to-e-tiveness. Meitats belongs to the e class. I am immersed in the e program and I cannot miss knowing how we fare in our e efforts. Here's what she presented.

BLOG to blogs

It's a sure-fire tip for blogging. Take it from Jim Paredes. You can't go wrong with him when blogging (jimparedes.com or jimparedes.tumblr.com).

B - be sure you write and consistently write. You must have the passion to write. It's the passion that makes you write well.

L - link your blog with top blogs of your topic. Borrow credibility and do not forget to credit information source. This is also a way of expanding your reach.

Weed and wild

"Go back and find yourself", Mr Dionisio "Dion" Pullan was told after the loss of someone dear to him.

He came back to the Philippines and to the place where he used to go as a child. The place is Bangkong Kahoy Valley in Dolores, Quezon, which is 7 kilometers from the town proper. It is a block of titled land in a protected area, nesling between two mountains, the Mt Banahaw and Mt Cristobal. His great grandfather firmly told them not to sell the place, "though you bite the rock".

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