WHY ILOILO IS DUBBED AS “WAKANDA OF THE PHILIPPINES”



(photos credit to: Ram Silva & JP Penol)

While the rest of the country is in an uproar because of the delays in medical equipment, testing kits & relief goods to combat the COVID-19 crisis, Ilonggos step up their battle plan by protecting and helping one another.

Even before the national government implemented flight suspension on international carriers, Gov. Toto Defensor and Mayor Jerry Trenas sent a letter to the management of Cebu Pacific to halt direct flights from Hong Kong and Singapore. The preemptive measure was beneficial in controlling the transmission of the virus from overseas, given the high volume of Ilonggo OFWs from these Covid-hit countries.

The Province of Iloilo and Iloilo City government did not wait for the aid coming from Imperial Manila. They immediately mobilized their local funds and distributed relief goods to respective barangays. Community kitchens were opened so that not a single Ilonggo goes to sleep hungry. People from Iloilo felt secured. I haven’t seen a single complaint in social media about their local leaders, but rather all praises and support.

When people feel secure, they’re not afraid, they don’t panic, they begin to feel the need to look after each other. This is probably the reason why many ordinary Ilonggos have taken the challenge to do their part in helping the community. OFWs from the United States and other countries despite being greatly affected by the crisis never failed to send their help. On top of that, millions of donations coming from Ilonggo businessmen poured out like heavy rain; from testing kits, masks, PPEs, food supplies, services, and among others. A group of young designers responded with a heart to serve by making special PPEs for hospital frontliners that come in different relevant themes; such as the Money Heist inspired PPE on the photo, which made the gesture even more personal.

Iloilo today is dubbed by many as the “Wakanda of the Philippines” for being a stronghold in this war against COVID-19. Some netizens call it “another country outside the Philippines”. At times like this, it is inspiring to see how one community has united to fight a common invisible, dreadful enemy. Just as people from Iloilo fondly cry: “Bato Iloilo!”.

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BREAK FREE is a foundational guide for anyone who wants to live a meaningful & prosperous life but doesn’t know where to start. It’s not just an idea or a principle, it’s a decade of valuable learnings of the author that he gained through trials, failures, and success.

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When you finally take the first step out of your comfort zone, you will encounter LIFE STRUGGLES. They could be failures, discouragement, disappointments and breaking circumstances. Once you overcome your struggles, you will develop the GRIT, your strength of character, which is the bedrock foundation of true and lasting success.

Now that you have found your strength and developed your GRIT by overcoming your life struggles, you are already prepared to challenge the STATUS QUO. These are real issues that will confront you. Your status quo could be doing something you don’t love but you do it to survive or going against the “what-should-be”.

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DON’T LOOK FOR A SUCCESSFUL PARTNER. MARRY THE RIGHT ONE AND BE SUCCESSFUL TOGETHER.

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Chin and I share a common struggle give years go. She used to depend on a corned beef value pack worth Php7.00 as an employee earning minimum wage while I had survive with instant noodles as unemployed. I tried selling siomai, pizza roll, hotdog bun on the sidewalk for a living while finding a decent job. People were laughing but we didn’t really care. We started as a team and we made it through life’s battles as a team. Some think we’re lucky to be living the life we have now but the truth is, before we were able to enjoy the finer things that we have today, we’ve had to go through the worst.

We were not successful when we met back in 2012. In fact, we’re two struggling souls who were going through our own personal battles. I was an unemployed who was struggling to pay off a Php2 Million debt from a business venture that collapsed, trying to make both ends meet. Chin on the other hand was a hotel employee who was earning minimum salary.

We were kicked out of the home office that we rented because of missed rental payments. All we had left were a few clothes when we transferred to a boarding house. For six months, we lived in a small room without a window and a common bathroom for twenty people. We slept on the floor. We could hardly eat three times a day. We had to survive week after week with instant noodles and canned goods.



Life was so difficult back then that Chin had every reason to leave. But she chose to stay. She crawled when I was crawling. She cried when I was crying. She went through all the troubles of being with a failure like me. I thank God for my wife. If not for her support & encouragement, I won’t be where I am today.

If you’re going through struggles in your relationship today, choose to support each other no matter what happens.

There are times when you will see the worst in each other but no matter how ugly life can look like, choose to stay. Remember that the battle can only be won when you work together as a team. And most Importantly, put God at the center of your relationship. Only God can help us see the best in each other during the worst times and still believe in faith that life will get better.

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DEAR MEN, ONE WOMAN IS ENOUGH.

One woman

 

I met my wife 6 years ago when I was at my worst. I was unemployed and bankrupt with more than Php2 million in debt. I had no car, no money, no job.

Despite my breaking circumstances, she stayed with me and helped me pick myself up and try again. We were two struggling souls who met and figured out our way to succeed together as a team.

We got engaged in 2013 and took us 3 years to finally get married. Our journey wasn’t a bed of roses. No marriage is perfect. We discovered the worst in each other but we still chose to stay together despite our ugliness and Imperfections.

 

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If there’s one very important realization I’ve had over the years, it’s the standing truth in relationships that ONE WOMAN IS MORE THAN ENOUGH.

Today, It seems an ordinary affair to see husbands or wives getting into a relationship with another partner. Maybe because they think it’s okay coz everyone’s doing it anyway. Maybe because they see that in movies and television programs. Maybe because they felt that their marriage isn’t working so it’s okay to find another. I don’t know how that works for them but it takes fidelity in marriage for it to flourish.

Our marriage may not be perfect but it has continually grown and reached milestone time after time. I attribute my success to my wife, who is there with me side by side as the leader of our family and our business. I have gained God’s favour and provisions no matter how difficult life has been. We have always made it through our hardest struggles because we have stayed together all these years.

george and chin

When you become successful, never let success go to your head. Money has always been an issue in relationships. Now, I’m a company CEO and all our Income goes to my wife. She handles our bank accounts, she takes care of our finances and she’s doing it very well. Never treat your wife as inferior and never feel superior over your wife. You are co-equal partners in marriage and much more in your finances.

Just like a healthy business, it takes checks and balances in our relationships in order for us to work on some aspects. They say your phone is your personal property and you have the right privacy under the constitution. Maybe when you were single. When you get married, you can’t keep your phone’s password to yourself and impose your right to privacy. If you’re not doing anything wrong, I don’t see a reason why we should withhold our password to our spouse. Transparency breeds honesty, honesty breeds fidelity.

george chin

We’ve been married for almost 3 years and I never looked at any other woman. Nobody can ever sit in my car’s front seat except for my wife. Whether a close friend or a business partner, it’s always a no-no for any woman to occupy my wife’s throne. Like the game of chess, there’s only one queen.

 

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I don’t know what you’re going through in your relationship right now. You may be struggling or having the time of your life as a couple, whether you’re a newlywed or were married for a couple of years. I maintain the ONE WOMAN IS ENOUGH RULE. When you love and honor your wife, God will open the floodgates of blessings and provisions to your family. You will be successful in what you do and you will live happier, and longer. And all the husbands say a big, big, AMEN! Let’s spread ONE WOMAN IS ENOUGH! #OneWOMANisENOUGH