Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Calidad humana and what's important in life

Beautiful artworks by Madame Paulina Mayorga of Chile

Today was a very special day in my never-ending Travelife.

It began pretty ordinarily with a morning at the office, working ahead on Travelife Magazine’s February-March 2013 issue. Then just before noon, I headed out to Forbes Park to meet the Ambassador of Chile, H.E. Roberto Mayorga, and his lovely wife, Madame Paulina Mayorga, for lunch.

It’s the Christmas season and naturally it’s one of the most hectic times of the year; but when Ambassador Mayorga invited me to lunch sometime back, I was happy to clear my schedule for some quality time, discussing things that matter in life.

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Ordinarily I don’t identify the ambassadors I meet or much of what they have said in this blog. In general, I observe a strict privacy issue about people I meet unless I'm writing about a very public event or I have their consent in some form.

But my story today is tied into the unique humanity of the good Ambassador of Chile and his wife, so I will write just a few details.


Anyway, I just arrived at the Ambassador’s house and I was still standing in his driveway, when the Ambassador’s car arrived. I was ahead of him by about two minutes.

Ambassador Mayorga came out of the passenger side of his limousine holding a plastic bag of lemons.

“I just bought some lemons for pisco sour,” he said with a smile. That’s the kind of gentleman he is, without any artifice about life in general but with all the gallantry of the old school.


Beautiful artworks by Madame Paulina Mayorga of Chile.
This was one of my favorites --
a stylized rendition of a typical Philippine scene.

Then we entered his residence, which is truly beautiful; you can see it’s full of warmth and character so reflective of himself and Madame Mayorga.

Madame Mayorga, by the way, is an extremely accomplished painter, and with her permission, I’m including in this entry some of her paintings that adorn her living room, foyer and dining room. They’re all unique artworks done either in Chile or in Manila.

Beautiful artworks by Madame Paulina Mayorga of Chile

Over simply delicious pisco sours (so delicious, in fact, that I actually had two) and lunch, we discussed the Ambassador’s pet project, which is a campaign to promote the idea of calidad humanaa sense of humanity – in the Philippines in a long-term and sustainable way; and then to promote the calidad humana of the Filipinos around the world.

What a wonderful, simple and universal project, I thought to myself, after the Ambassador had explained it further to me. And it has taken a distinguished gentleman from Chile to think it up, after having been very impressed with the humaneness of the Filipinos, that he has witnessed and experienced for himself here.

Beautiful artworks by Madame Paulina Mayorga of Chile


“The Philippines is truly special,” Ambassador Mayorga said. “Filipinos have a great sense of humanity. I hope they never lose this, because this is something that’s really unique and increasingly disappearing in the world.”

For now, the cornerstone of this project is a photo and caption contest that will be open to everyone – you will need to capture this sense of calidad humana in a photograph and then explain your idea via the caption.

The grand prize winners will receive a trip to Brazil and Chile, as this has now become a project of both the Ambassador of Chile and the Ambassador of Brazil.

Beautiful artworks by Madame Paulina Mayorga of Chile

However, the original vision for this project is really from Ambassador Mayorga of Chile -- a kind gentleman who himself embodies the best of being a decent human being and of being interested in the humanity of people.


Personally, this served as a very nice reminder that even in this incredibly busy and fast-paced world -- and, yes, even in this never-endingly eventful Travelife -- it is most important that we never lose track of our sense of humanity, and of the importance of real and significant human interactions.

It was a happy coincidence that I'd actually been thinking along these lines this Christmas season as well. If you've been reading this blog, you'll remember perhaps that I'd made a conscious effort this year to avoid large parties and events in general, in favor of meeting up quietly with friends and family.

I'd also chosen to go to just one event an evening and to give this my full attention, instead of hopping from place to place -- and here, too, another ambassador was the inspiration: the good Ambassador of Israel.

Today, too, I was reminded of how some people have relegated friendships to emails and text messages just because it's so convenient to do so -- or perhaps this is what they're used to by now. I know it's not personal as it's probably a by-product of circumstances that most of our relationships are now text-based or email-based, but it still saddens me no end to think of lost opportunities for the real thing.

It really says something about our values and what or who we hold important, when we take time out to spend quality time with other people.


The three of us talked much about this sense of humanity over lunch, as well as about the upcoming contest.

Travelife Magazine is proud to become an event partner for this, and we will shortly be releasing more details about this contest on this blog.

When we parted earlier today, I said to the Ambassador: "Thank you, Ambassador, and not just for lunch. Thank you for reminding me about what's really important in life."

Otherwise, it was just another day in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

DEC 2012 - JAN 2013 ISSUE 


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