Caveat emptor! Do not be deceived by whatever version of the intriguingly-sensationalised news passing from mouth-to-mouth within our immediate community these days.
The essential truth, the so-called tissue behind the issue, or just precisely what’s the matrix underpinning the bannner news which paints APCO seemingly in disarray -- is not at all contained in the simple almost implausible case of ASSSAULT lodged by its first elected President who has been unabashedly pandering as Founding President to everone’s chagrin and disagreement.
In truth, all those who joined the historical break-away from PCC in 2011 and formed APCO are “founding” members. It s not as if APCO was a germane idea of one but many disgruntled PCC former affiliates now disgruntled anew over the “gross and unprofessional conduct of some community leaders” which accordingly, “is a shame to us all.” Furthermore, “also ignoring the organizations Constitution is a disgrace to the members.”)
The accused happens to be the current Vice President Senior, who when all is said and done, is rightfully the President- elect and not she who was but unceremoniously if unconstitutionally appointed by Her Highness.
In the final analysis, it was one’s overweening pride/bloated ego, as it appears from a compendium or conflation of words, manners, and means -- that was truly brushed aside, belittled, and hurt, ergo totally assaulted.
After the name-calling and pointing of accusing fingers, it boils down to the basic DNA of it all - a question of leadership.
Who’s who is the real commander of the ship ? Is he/she the one who by sheer force of circumstances or say historicity was, from day one, endowed with some kind of a carte blanche, a free reign to rule and lord it over so to speak, as the steering hand of the organization, even when her term has been served and that those who followed Her Highness were but mere executors of her pervasive will, power and control -- directly or indirectly, wittingly or unwittingly.
It is almost a cliche for us Filipino-Australians who have all experienced how its is to be under a tyrannical, despotic, dictator such Filipino maxim that beholds: “Sinumang nagha-“Hari”-harian, ay palaging may mapait na katapusan,” (He who pretends to be King, always succumbs to a bitter ending.)
We all reach critical points in our lives, where our mental toughness is tried and tested. That’s when we all cry foul, enough is enough! It may happen between you and a toxic friend or colleague, exist in a dead-end job, or persist within a struggling relationship. In worst case scenario, it may just unexpectedly explode out-of-the-blue, between and amongst long-time friendly, cooperative, undoubtedly selfless, committed members of an organization whereupon the collectively conclusive decision as to who do we really rally behind in the end becomes the big ask.
Such is APCO’s concern these days.
A relevant, parallel story has been told that “when Thomas Edison’s factory burned to the ground in 1914, destroying one-of-a-kind prototypes and causing $23 million in damage, Edison’s response was simple: Thank goodness all our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start fresh again.” True indeed, Edison’s reaction makes for that defining moment, a splendid epitome of mental toughness—in this case, seeing and seizing the opportunity and taking definitive action when things look weak, meek, and bleak.
At long last, all the muffled little questions here and there, now and again appearing and disappearing in thin air will all be put to light, correcting but not necessarily “burning” the mistakes as in our case in point.
Whatever may be the challenges that confront APCO’s current Board of Directors and general membership, they have to break away from the age-old often proving to be counterproductive “utang na loob” (debt of gratitude) and “pakikisama” (tending to border on blind obedience) attitudes. It’s not all that easy to break friendships that had seen better days but mental toughness makes one strong in moments of indecision. The strength and courage of your conviction makes you even stronger to look beyond impenetrable barriers.
What is more, the ability to listen and discern what the mob is beginning to complain about gives rise to an informed consensus of opinions. If called for, people must demand an open accounting of funding grants. Here lies the rub! It is most likely that people get stuck especially where personal reputation is pitted against general standing of the organization they all hold dear.
From our end, the ability to break the mould and take bold, gritty, daring stances is what we can safely offer our APCO comrades. Whatever the challenges and stakes are, stay calm, cool, collected and strong, realising deeper perspectives but generally seeing things with objective lenses. Finally, take your decisive actions collectively if you have to weave through it all successfully. That’s how APCO shall set themselves apart and make their mark in history. Amen! (Mars Cavestany/All Rights Reserved)