Revolution, death, transitions and talks


Last weekend, a few artists including Mae Paner (of Juana Change fame) Sockie Fernandez, Leah Navarro, Rody Vera, Raymond Lee and myself called on the artists’ sector to a meeting at Lasalle, Greenhills. We gathered about 50 of them and challenged them to be the catalysts to break the hold of apathy, cynicism and hopelessness that seems so entrenched in our country today. With major challenges like the 2010 elections on the horizon and a host of other big problems that grip us in fear, no one seems to be in the mood to dream, to move to action except the trapos who are lusting to seize power and control for their own ends.

It was quite encouraging to discover that so much concern and love for the Philippines resides among the artists who showed up. We dangled before them the exciting concept of a movement for hope and change that we wish to infect every sector with. If we want major changes to come, we must be able to get beyond just electing a new and better leader. Whoever the new leader will be, he/she can only institute changes amidst a climate of change everywhere.

We called the meeting the “Artists Revolution'” and we intend to have more of these to reach more people. Meanwhile, the attendees vowed to contribute time and output to help in espousing the inspiration of hope and change in their respective fields. As I write this, short films, songs, ringtones, concerts, iconic figures are being made and hopefully will get people to move out of apathy and create a climate conducive and supportive of change.

If you are interested in this, do write and send us your contact numbers and email so we can invite you to future meetings. Write to Note that emailjimp is one word.

* * *

So sad to hear about the death of Francis M. When my daughter told me about it, I immediately sent Kiko a text asking how he was. Before I could get an answer, a friend of mine had texted the bad news. The Philippines lost an intelligent, talented, good-hearted person and a great father.


I was lucky to have had a talk with him almost a year ago. We were in a GMA 7 dressing room waiting to be called for a show. Kiko, together with his wife Pia and a daughter were chatting with us about this and that. He was so excited about a lot of things. He even suggested that we could collaborate on some music and photography projects. It was one of those projects that we liked but shelved along with others for some future somedays and never got around to doing. And now it’s too late and I regret that.

I still remember his rap classic Mga Kabababayn Ko and how it got me so excited the first time I listened to it. It sounded so cutting-edge and really rocked. It was that rare song which had both form and substance in it.

It is sad that people like Kiko who have their heart, mind and spirit in the right place should go so soon. You will be missed greatly, Kiko.

* * *

In a few days, I will be back in Aus. I have been in Manila for more than two months now. When I return to Sydney, in many ways, I will return to the opposite of what Manila is. Sydney is quiet, orderly, clean, cool and cold at times, and rather laid back.

I find that the transition from both places as I travel is less and less disturbing to my equilibrium. No longer do I get angry when upon arriving, I see the filth and chaos of Manila (compared to Sydney), or get lonely in the social exile that Aus life to a Filipino can sometimes feel like. I am getting quite adept at crossing both worlds and I am glad about that. There is something to love and not like about both places. One just needs to be present wherever one is to avoid comparisons that can end up making one depressed.

* * *

Last week, I gave three talks in three different place. One was about the personal changes that I went though in life and how it shaped me. I gave that to a group of creatives from Bates 141, an ad agency. Another talk was a 15 minuter which I gave to the outgoing and incoming officers of the different organizations at the Ateneo where I expounded on leadership and passion. The last one I gave was before the artist meeting which I mentioned above.


More and more, I am enjoying these public speaking engagements since I am forced to ruminate on the topic before I go up the stage and share anything. It forces me to think and reflect about many aspects of my life and how these topics played in it.

To everyone who listened, thank you for the opportunity to share the little that I know.

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11 years ago

we lost a true-blooded filipino in Kiko.

11 years ago

just thinking of the 2010 elections is stressful.
i hope the project will be successful sir jim.
francis m would have been for it. 🙁
safe trip to Australia!

11 years ago

hope and change won in the US. can we think of something different?

11 years ago

thank you also for sharing your thoughts. there are still a lot of filipinos who love the Philippines

Macky Mina
11 years ago

Hello Sir Jim!

Macky Mina here, one of the listeners from Bates141. Your talk was truly one of the highlights of my almost 4-year stay in the agency. It felt like a revival.

I was really enlightened by your mantra of “surprise and delight.” It’s simple. Makes sense. Easy to remember. lol. Suddenly…clarity!

I am beyond grateful 🙂