Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Gentle Bear

Rob Martin Murphy.

A former collegue. A friend. A gentleman.

He Flew all the way from Sydney, Australia to be my guest and speaker at the Boomerang Awards 2007. The 1st Internet and Mobile marketing awards in the Philippines. An event organized by IMMAP or the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines. An industry association which i take pride in co-founding this together with 15 other professionals.

A landmark of sorts as the 2 day event marked high powered attendees from almost all major players in the industry - mobile operators, media agencies, internet companies, content providers including foreign delegates and speakers from USA, Australia, Singapore and Japan.

With all the high powered speeches, breakthrough attendance and profile of delegates, media mileage generated by the event, it is that of Rob's time that i value the most.

For not only Rob's talk was the most simple and provocative of them all, it is his participation in the event that symbolizes the very essence of why the association was formed - - to become advocates of digital and interactive media.

Rob accepted my invitation not because of monetary gains nor the business exposure that may benefit the ad agency he is currently working for.

As a matter of fact, neither applies in his case.

He came to our shores as an advocate of creativity in the world of new technology.

And despite of the organizational hassles that he experienced and the option of attending a highly acclaimed awards night for the creative works he has done in Sydney, Rob chose to come to the Philippines.

His visit was his commitment in my advocacy of helping Filipinos excel in the global arena.

His short trip was about touching the lives of people. The hope of inspiring new creative heights among us.

He once said that night, " Even if i have to present to only one person. i don't mind at all."

There is more to Rob that my collegues in the association and the industry need to know in order to appreciate the kind of a man he is.

It is not his world class credentials that make Rob stand tall.

Nor is it the creative awards that he has won.

His best friend, Jaime, once told me, "Rob is a gentle bear".

Indeed, it is Rob's sincerity at heart that characterizes the man and the kind of creative guru that he is.

A trait that is rare in today's world and one that the younger, future generation should embrace.

I brought my son, Chito to attend the awards night and for him hear his Tito Rob talk.

In the hope that he too, whose aspirations seem to be in the creative field, will learn from the gentle bear.

Only time can tell if the tree of new creativity that the gentle bear has help plant in our country will grow.

However, one thing that i know for sure.

That the gentle bear has touched lives of people that matters most to me.

I can tell.

My son since then, gauging by how he is sharing his thoughts on the advertising he sees and his discoveries in the internet, was clearly inspired by the gentle bear.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Two Rachels And A Father

Its been months since my last blog posting.

Many things have happened since then.

As i write this blog, like camera flashes, the events that have
transpired since April, come rushing in my thoughts.

And one that seem to gain top most in my mind is how my two seemingly like-Rachels in my life have gone
their separate ways - -

The first Rachel in my life is my eldest daughter.

"Twinkle Toes" as i would call her, in many ways, has left as she chose to take a different path in her life.

I will always remember the time when she was just a toddler. Clinging to me with a vise-like grip. She often would yell a cry, if i leave her even just for a moment.

She would sleep on top my wide-belly, cuddling her milk-bottle. I would stoop down and stare at her angel-like face for hours and hours until i too, would fall asleep.

I still recall that everytime i go home, she would run to me in a tip-toe like manner and with open arms, give me a tight hug that meant "Papa I miss you very much".

I thought i will always be ready when the time to finally let her go as she goes through that path
of being an adult and independent of her father.

Recently, i have come to terms to this fact.

And no matter how ready i thought i was, the pain and sadness was just too much for me to bear.

It was a roller-coaster emotional ride for me.

Wanting to let her be while at the same time, wanting to be the protective father i've always been.

And at the end, it was a change that must eventually happen.

My daughter has transformed to become an independent woman with her own set of rules and beliefs.

Different from that of her father. LIke opposing parties in a government. Like warring countries.

Despite all that tension-filled drama that both me and my daughter went through, my feelings seem to point of being proud of my "twinkle-toes".

For I may disagree on how she should live her life, her solid stance and firm conviction of her beliefs, wrongly it may seem, are the kind, if shaped and molded positively by time , are traits of how leaders are made of.

My journey of seeing my daughter's life unfolding from a distance has begun. Her little, tiny, tip-toe steps
are now characterized into big leaps of faith.

The other "Rachel" in my life, is "Rachelle", who i consider not only my protege but almost like my adopted daughter.

Rachelle has gone and left to Indonesia for a regional job stint. I fondly remember the first time this trailblazing and maverick lady stepped into my office - - sometime 6 years ago - - her eyes show her passion to be mentored and her line of thinking, though rough at that time, were clearly diamond-like waiting to be sharpened.

"kid", the nickname i chose for her, has now blossomed to become one helluva of a strategic media planner. Inspite of her accomplishments that deserved her a regional post, "kid" remain the "kid" i used to know - - bratish yet kind, tough yet gentle and still with that unique giggle-like laughter that never fail to send chills of fun in me.

She wrote me a note recently. Thanking me for all that i have done to mentor her. Her note, though in many ways made me smile and sent cheerlike bubble in my heart, i felt sad.

Because like most fathers in this world, it was clearly the time for me to accept that my "kid" has grown up and is on her way to discover new challenges in her life.

An anonymous poet once wrote "the only permanent thing in life is change".

To a large extent, change is the only thing constant in life.

However, i believe that, though the surrounding circumstances in life is changing, there are still crucial things in life that remain the same.

Like a parent's love for their children. A parent love will always remain unconditional. No matter the test of time and
the challenges in life. A father will continue to love his daughter with the same love and protective embrace.

Like a mentor's pride of having "sharpened the talents and skills of his protege". Even if, the protege may have moved
ahead, the mentor will always look back with same sense of "positive pride" about his protege. Always proud. Always looking back the way it was.

For if life is all about changes, what is there left in life worth living for?