Thursday, August 16, 2007

Scene 2 - More Straws as the Plot Thickens

Feb 6, 2007 (note the dates, as they are important in the plot)

A certain Sandra Sotto wrote a letter to the editor of Philippine Daily Inquirer in reaction to a Gawad Kalinga article:

Meloto not founder of Gawad Kalinga

First posted 00:24:10 (Mla time) February 06, 2007


Gawad Kalinga is the social arm of the Couples for Christ.

IN THE Inquirer editorial of Jan. 31, titled “Solidarity,” Tony Meloto was referred to as the founder of Gawad Kalinga. This simply is untrue. Meloto is the executive director and not the founder of Gawad Kalinga.

Nowhere did the Inquirer mention the Couples for Christ in the editorial. It is unfair to the millions of members of the Couples for Christ, both in the Philippines and in the diaspora, that their hard work is credited to only one man and not to them. Gawad Kalinga is the fruit of their “bayanihan” [community collaboration] spirit, and all honor and glory belongs to God alone.

A correction is long overdue.

SANDRA SOTTO, New York City (via e-mail)

Some accounts say that this published email is actually a watered down version, and was edited by The Inquirer. One would wonder what the original actually says.

What is the significance of this letter? The sender.

Ms. Sotto is the sister of Gerry Padilla, wife of Frank Padilla.

The camel's back broke soon after...


akongano said...


Irrespective of who made the comment on the inquirer. It still reflects that to give recongition to only one person regarding the success of GK defeats the essence of communal service or volunteerism.

It is fair to say that through the leadership of Tony Meloto Gk made huge inroad of what Bayanihan is all about. That I would affrm and accept that thorugh his humble ways he was able to entice millions
to come and join help the marginalize few or rather in the Philippines the millions of under privilege.

It is those who put more emphasis to honours and ego tripping that had led to Tony Meloto's name to disrepute. To find a face and a name so that Gk should stand out they opted to make Tony receive the accolades meant for all.

I guess it would have been appropriate and had give more weight to Tony's integrity if Tony outright refuses to accept any acknowledgment from any
award serving entity unless CFC and the countless people who raise their hands to be part of GK were given first priority in their acknowledgment.

May the rewards of heaven be boundless to those that does not seek recognition but rather just to be there in the thick of it incognito.

Yours in Christ,
Akongano (Vic DG)

concerned4truth said...

As an observer, I've always had occasion to see how Tony Meloto has done and continues to give credit to others. When receiving recognition, he was typically the first to proclaim that the award really belongs to the many volunteers who do the work, not just to him.

We always used to think of Gawad Kalinga as the name for our acts of loving our neighbor. When GK was honored, it was the work of we CFC on the ground that was honored, through the brand we created.

We appointed some to serve as architects, some as managers etc - they looked after those tasks while we continued the groundwork of loving our neighbor.

Then people began to tell us that Tony alone was getting all the credit. Though he pointed to the volunteers on the ground, that wasn't enough.

Some began to try to talk of the two - CFC and GK - as different things, that we should be jealous that GK attracted attention.

How did we allow such jealousy to sneak in? Sayang.

The words of Frank Padilla paralleled this -

"I still see Tony as the face of Gawad Kalinga", Feb email to the International Council, regarding the upcoming resignations...

...followed later by his attacks on GK for allowing Tony to be a public face of GK.

Perhaps jealousy got the better of us, but in reality the awards have always belonged to all, though they may have needed a public figure to receive them. We should stop and reflect on what it means that we have started to envy the recognition of those who we appointed to staff the GK national office, to be part of the brand name representing our love of neighbor.

May the Kingdom advance, built on our selfless love for neighbor. May we not allow ourselves to be told that GK and CFC have to compete for attention - as Frank Padilla used to say (in the past), when GK is honored, it's CFC's love of neighbor that is truly honored.