Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nine C's of Leadership

"Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? ... We've got a gang of bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, ... the President is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, ...we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind ....But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course.' .. ... Stay the course? You've got to be kidding... This is a country, not the damned Titanic" - Lee Iacoca

Lee Iacoca's book "Where have all the leaders gone" was written for the Americans in 2007 challenging them to choose their leaders wisely in the 2008 US elections. But the book is very much relevant to the Philippines especially now that we are going to elect our new leaders in May 2010. As a matter of fact by just replacing the names/words like "George Bush" to "Gloria Arroyo", "USA" to "Philippines, etc. it would appear that Iacoca wrote this book for the Filipinos.

One of the highlights of the book is Iacoca's nine C's of leadership. He shares his ideas being a successful CEO about leadership and listed nine points or qualities that every true leader should have. Here is a slide presentation of his nine C's:

Iacoca concludes that the ninc C's are ideals, and there are very few people - even leaders- who have all of them. But if you look back in history, you'll notice that different times require a different emphasis. Examples : Jimmy Carter was elected because people care more about CHARACTER than Charisma. With Ronald Reagan and Barrack Obama, it was all about CHARISMA and COMMUNICATION. In the Philippines, Cory Aquino was elected because of her CHARACTER and CONVICTION, Erap, on the otherhand, had CHARISMA but he got ousted because he has poor character. Unfortunately, Gloria was elected using COMMUNICATION inappropriately (remember, Hello Garci!).

In the May 2010 Philippine elections, I believe the three most important C's to consider are CHARACTER (he knows what's right and wrong), COMPETENCE (he has a good team) and COURAGE (he takes a position even if it will lose votes or friends).

I just hope that our voters will not select our leaders because of another C which means CUTE! I noticed students during the Presidential forum at DLSU-Manila recently who were so "kilig" upon seeing the young and "cute" presidential candidate [who can not even answer a straight yes or no :-( ].

What about you, what C's would you consider in choosing our next president?

Note: I bought Iacoca's Where have all the leaders gone? at FullyBooked (Trinoma) at 80% OFF. What a bargain!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fishballs atbp at UP

Fishballs, banana cue, karioka (sweet and chewy rice balls), sugar donuts, flavored corn - these are our favorite street foods at UP. Every Sunday, after hearing mass at the UP Chapel, we make it a point to buy one of these simple street foods at the UP Shopping Center.

Apple's favorite is the karioka. My favorites are the fish balls and the squid balls dipped in spicy sauce. The fish ball is a popular snack at UP since my college days here 30 years ago. The kolehiyas in UP used to say then: "Let's make tusok-tusok the fishballs." The kids love the sugar donuts, the corn with cheese flavor and the banana cue. Oh, I remember the banana cue - it has been our staple snack for two years during our Citizen's Military Training sessions at UP.
Street foods have gone a long way. Before, they used to be the food of the poor masses. Now, you will find street food carts inside air-conditioned malls with fancy brand names. The rich and famous are now eating fishballs, betamax(grilled chicken intestines), quek-quek (quail eggs), etc. But when can the poor eat the expensive caviar? :-(

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sundays at UP Diliman: "Best afternoon ever!"

I think it's clear that our family enjoys what we call "cheap thrills." In fact, that's what this blog site is all about - to discover fun and enjoyable things without having to spend a fortune.
One thing that we as a family really enjoy is spending lazy afternoons at the UP (University of the Philippines-Diliman) Oval. Every Sunday, the UP-Oval is closed to traffic. Here, you will see joggers, bikers and children playing. At the grassy area surrounding the oval, you will find families on picnic, sleeping on mats, playing frisbee, and during summer, flying kites (I still remember our picnic and kite flying with the families of Renan, Joseph, Ronnie and Jun more than 2 years ago). If you happen to take a stroll, maybe you'll spot us there - with Geof flying his toy airplanes, Julia playing with her remote-controlled car, and Andy and I either sleeping or reading a nice book.

As Geof likes to say -"this is the best afternoon ever!"

Friday, January 1, 2010

Our Top Blog Posts in 2009

"Living the Good Life for Less" started with a blog post on "Delicious Ampalaya (Appetizers)" in December 11, 2008 and it has been more than one year that our family has been blogging about our adventures in food, shopping, traveling, books and movies. Here is a summary of our blog (up to Jan 7, 2010):

> Flag Counter: Readers from 76 different countries visited our blog with 56.1% from the Philippines, 22.8% from the USA and the rest from other countries.

> Sitemeter: There were about 5,472 total visits (upto Jan 7 - 9:50 AM) with an average of 13 visits per day and about 1.3 minutes visit length.

> Our Top Blog Posts (based on Sitemeter from the most recent 100 visits) were:

1. Our Favorites at Lola Idang: Lola Idang's at Visayas Ave., QC serves "lutong bahay" dishes like kare-kare, crispy hito and pancit.

2. Japanese Goma (Salad) Dressing: I like my salad (simple chopped cabbage) with the Japanese Goma. Apple brought more bottles from Tokyo and Daisy gave us a bottle as a Christmas pasalubong.

3. Anthony Bourdain eats Pampanga's Sisig: Oh, I miss the sisig! Do you know that original sisig from Pampanga is not served in a hot plate?

4. Pinoy Takoyaki: I am still on a Takoyaki hunt. I just tasted takoyaki at Robinson's Manila. Read my comments at my blog.

5. Takoyaki Balls, Upended- Bakudan!: Apple's blog post about takoyaki look-alike balls but bigger which she tried while looking for bargain shops at Okachimachi, Tokyo.

6. Suzhou Dimsum in Malate: A small but interesting Chinese restaurant that serves authentic Chinese delicacies. It has been one year since our last visit here.

7. A Garden Restaurant at UP Diliman: We just had our lunch here at Chateau Verde last Sunday (Jan 3). Still my favorite and now Geof's favorite is the Poached Fish Fillet.