Coming off my recent stint hosting the TELUS Healthy Living Sportsfest finals, I suddenly found myself in the spotlight again.

Two weeks ago, I was invited to take part in a branding commercial for the company, which would later be shown on company-based networks and quite possibly on nationwide TV networks as well. In the commercial, I shared my experiences as an agent within the company and the fun with working at TELUS. Despite not having put on the performer’s cap in some time, I managed to complete my scenes in relatively few takes and had a blast reliving the thrill of performing in front of the camera.

And just the past weekend, I was invited to serve as the host for the TELUS Day of Service, which was to be featured on Career Jam on a local channel the following week. The show, which takes a look at the various career paths available in today’s society, would run a feature on the company’s outreach programs for the less fortunate. Despite the rainy weather, thousands of my fellow employees came out in droves to take part in the various programs scattered in sites all over Metro Manila. I had just ended my shift and despite serious concerns that I would not have much rest in-between the outreach event and the following shift, I put on my game face and hosted with my usual energy and enthusiasm.

I found myself at the Gawad Kalinga Village in Batasan Hills, Quezon City where 18 homes were completed and several more were being built. There was a short program wherein the bigwigs of TELUS as well as their guests expressed their commitment and pleasure in the continued progress of the project, followed by the presentation of the keys of the new units to each of their new tenants. Many activities followed, such as arts and crafts projects for the children and free medical services for those who needed it.

I arrived back at Araneta Center late in the afternoon and after having my sister pick me up, we set off to get a costume for the quarterly recognition event to be held once more at Seventh High at Bonifacio Global City the following night. After I had selected a costume and realized I had no time to get any sleep, I hopped on a taxicab back to work and I soon found myself battling terrible drowsiness the rest of my shift. It had been such a long time since I had worked in “zombie” mode and I hated it. I could only answer emails at a snail’s pace and I ended up dozing off more than once in between responses. I used every available break to get some sleep at the nearby sleeping quarters (known affectionately as the “snoozebox”) to get by during one of my roughest shifts in recent memory. I made it a point to get home as soon as possible after I ended my shift and I finally got my much-needed rest for the recognition event ahead.

My peers, superiors and I posed for a group picture after we won the group dancing competition earlier that night.

I made it to the venue early and after meeting my teammates who were there, we settled in to what was to be a night of revelry and festivities. I garnered raves from many for my 70s costume, and it helped me and my teammates win top honors in the group dance competition. I enjoyed myself with food, drinks and lots of dancing in between, which more than made up for the struggles I went through the previous day. Kudos as usual to the organizers within Zynga for making the event yet another rousing success.

With my sudden increased visibility in the company, does this mean that bigger things are in store for me? Modesty aside, I cannot say for sure. But I will enjoy the ride as much as I can, wherever it may take me.

*****

The recent hub-bub on the final resting place of the late former president Ferdinand Marcos has been discussed ad nauseam since the death of the late strongman in September 1989, after being driven from power via the bloodless People Power Revolution of February 1986.

During her term as President of the Republic of the Philippines, the late Corazon “Cory” Aquino (widow of assassinated opposition leader Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and mother of current president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino) repeatedly refused requests by the strongman’s widow Imelda Marcos and her children to have Marcos’ body brought home for burial. Although Marcos’ remains are now in a refrigerated crypt in his home province of Ilocos Norte, his family has now been petitioning for his body to be laid to rest at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (literally translated as Cemetery of the Heroes, where national heroes, martyrs and soldiers are also buried) owing to his time as the head of state. Although initially open to the suggestion, P-Noy has now flatly refused any possibility of a burial at the hallowed grounds of Fort Bonifacio under his administration, despite a referendum held by Vice-President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay indicating two-thirds of all respondents favoring a burial at the said place. Considering that his father was one of the first and most prominent victims of the martial law regime when it was implemented back in 1972, the reaction was of little surprise.

In a broadcast editorial piece by journalist and former politician Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr. (whose father Teodoro “Teddy” Locsin Sr. was among many imprisoned during the martial law years of Marcos), he criticized the President for not refusing outright at the opportunity (appearing to have made a decision in bad taste) and the Marcoses for bringing up the subject yet again in public (gaining further criticism and humiliation in the process). He also added that the President could even have mentioned himself as being the last person to ask in this matter, considering the divisive wounds between their families.

But perhaps most surprisingly, despite his father suffering terrible injustice under martial law, he actually admitted that as a former head of state, Ferdinand Marcos did have the right to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. After all, former presidents Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado P. Macapagal were buried there too as a similar honor.

Somehow, you hit the nail square on the head, Teddy Boy.

Former First Lady Imelda Marcos looks on at her late husband Ferdinand Marcos' body displayed at a crypt in Ilocos Norte, his home province. The issue of burying his remains at the Libingan ng mga Bayani remains a controversial topic 22 years after his passing.

While it is clear that Marcos was guilty of criminal behavior during his two decades in power, it can also be argued that he did much good as well in his own right and that many laws and executive orders passed under his watch stay in effect to this day. And if anything at all, we have bigger issues to worry about than where a former leader should go six feet under.

Are you listening, Quezon City Councilor Winston “Winnie” Castelo? Surely there are more important things to worry about than an “anti-planking” law.

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