No, this is not about next year's election, although the coming 2010 polls is generating a lot of buzz here not because of its historical value--it's the first automated elections for the country--but due to the various issues (the counting machines, for instance, haven't been delivered yet) and the gruesome election-related massacre that rippled across the globe recently.
What I'm actually referring to are the recent victories of three Filipinos via online polls that have somehow lifted the spirits of a nation battered relentlessly by natural and man-made calamities.
The first guy, whom I briefly mentioned in my last blog post, is Efren Penaflorida, who was recently proclaimed as CNN Hero of Year. Penaflorida, a young man in his late 20s, was feted by the news firm in Los Angeles for initiating a mobile classroom through the use of a pushcart.
He won over a tough field of equally deserving candidates in an online voting conducted at the CNN Web site. Needless to say, Filipinos from all over the world rallied behind Penaflorida, who then donated the bulk of his US$100,000 prize to his group Dynamic Teen Company.
The next two guys who also won in a separate online contest is the tag team of Paul Darwynn Garilao and Alfonso Orioste Jr., both of whom are now in Copenhagen, Denmark to take part in the UN Climate Change Conference.
Garilao and Orioste earned the trip after their six-minute video, titled "Raise Your Voice" by Filipino environmental advocates, was voted as one of the top two entries in the CNN/YouTube Debates online competition held in time for the UN confab.
In his blog site, Garilao said, "This is an opportunity for us to report Copenhagen according to the Filipino perspective. Our travel will definitely focus on how the environmental city serves as a benchmark when it comes to alternative energies."
Despite all the disastrous things that occurred this year, developments like these give us a reason to smile, even just for a while.
The local IT sector appears headed for a major realignment next year with top executives bowing out of the scene while a few are making a comeback. Ramon Arteficio, country manager of Canon Philippines, will formally retire this year on high note after a successful stint as the first Filipino GM of the local office of the Japan-based tech firm. His successor hasn’t been announced yet. Jenny Sotto-Siquioco, country manager for imaging and printing group (IPG) of HP Philippines, is also leaving for Canada with her family. Her replacement will be named this month, the company said. Teddy Sumulong, former channels manager of EMC Philippines, is back in the country from Singapore after short stint with EMC's regional office. He is now the GM of Orionelec, a PC distribution firm that is part of the Technopaq group. On the regional front, Yahoo Southeast Asia communications manager Jeremy Seow has left the company to take up a job at Singapore-based PR firm Text100.