Friday, June 27, 2008

Daughter Inspiring Dad!

My daughter Wayannie (Nannie), shares an inspiring statement to me that she likes very much.  It reads:

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don't and believe that everything happens for a reason.  If you get a chance, take it.  If it changes your life, let it.  Nobody said that it will be easy, they just promised you it would be worth it.

You could live by these very words, and you will be happy.  I've taken my chances and struggled the difficulties and yes it was all worth it!

See what Eye See?

Imagine the POSSIBILITIES...

The CNMI economy has had its ups and downs and currently facing severe changes with federalization and more. However, the industry that was once the sole money maker is in a slump, Tourism. The garment industry hanging on by a thread is at the verge of total closure, only a few remain. What is there for us to look at? being in this remote Pacific island paradise we call home, what is there for our future, our children, and their childrens future?
I played my part as I worked at the MVA for many years, contributed my personal time to ensuring our marketing programs are carried to its fullest where we can see the return on investment. Today, I am still very much involved with tourism but in another capacity, education-tourism. Many know it for a niche market, but seriously, "imagine the possibilities".
Education is a very sustainable industry. In Asia, there are less new born children and therefore, limiting to one or two children per couple, this ultimately works best. Young couples focus on providing proper care and education to their children. This is why education is and will be at a strong position if done right for the islands given our proximity.
Setbacks do follow emerging trends. Currently the CNMI allows almost anyone to be a guardian of children from abroad. Many of these guradians take advantage of opportunities given to resident and local children such as free education in the Public School System. Basically cheating by charging families abroad extremely high fees and paying nothing to the CNMI educational system. Student visa's by immigration are well tracked, but at some cases, there are being abused by these "fly-by night" businessmen/woman.
But again, if done right the CNMI could really develop itself as an education destination. Currently behind the Philippines in this industry, we are forced to follow the trends they set to date, but we can overcome this for several reasons; 1. our destination is clean safe and peaceful 2. we are US soil and US curriculum and standards are applied 3. destination is built for family travelers 4. easy to get around and communicate 5. Friendly people
Our attributes are simply better than the Philippines, but we need to ensure that our laws are protecting the very nature of what it is we want to accomplish with this emerging educational-tourism trend.
Leave your thoughts on this matter....

Making Faces...Expressions for the day!

Heeeeeeyyyyy! Whooooooooh! Mmmmmmmaaaaahhh! at least that's how I see the facial expressions make if they were a sound to it. LOL.

Making faces to stir up a lonely evening, we all miss Boni and Tony Jr. Nannie, Peyton, and myself are passing the time trying to make the silliest faces possible, I am not sure if we can win an oscar on these faces, but surely does look as if we may scare off some pesty rodents that lurk in the sakati here in Papago.

My Little Princesses

Here are my two little princesses, aren't they gorgeous!  Of course this is only two of the eight being raised, a true brady bunch.  

Raising a family with eight children is a wonderful feeling.  From oldest to youngest they are in this order; Tony, Donovan, Hope, Jayvier, Nannie, Peyton, Sommer and Wade.  Gotta love em' all, all have different personalities that can make any rainy day pure enjoyment.  

There are occasions when as parents we feel overwhelmed, but that is natural, all we can do is remain patient and let our parenting take it's course.  Both Boni and I cherish our children, share our love to them equally, express our happiness, joy and at times the discipline when needed.  Of course, Boni tells me we have to stand firm on our decisions together, for the sake of providing the right moral support as well proper behavior and etiquette our children need.  Life is good knowing we have a full house, sure the noise does not subside until the day is done and our angels are asleep, but then you look at their innocence and see they are all at peace, your content.

Blue teeth is shown on Nannie, Peyton of course will not show the blue after the candy they enjoyed.  Should I have taken some to show unity in Blue? LOL!  

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Revolution - Power to the PEOPLE!

I have to admit I am extremely pleased to see Ed Propst and several others conjure up people power in the CNMI for looking at ways to make change on the very livelihood of necessities on the islands. I do not discourage the movement that is created, I actually applaud the actions for now the PEOPLE's Voice is being heard.

I am sure our elected leaders see and feel the hardship and difficulties in our islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota. I am sure they are looking at alternative means to lessen the burden placed upon the people such as the CUC ordeal, high market pricing on food and fuel and much more.

The task is now overbearing to be an elected official, but as we placed them in their seats, we must also provide the necessary time they need to make adequate and timely decisions to turn around the CNMI's economic condition.

Aside from all the blistering caused by CUC, fuel and increasing commodity pricing, businesses are suffering another battle. The wage hike. As this continues to take its place by law over the years, there is still a major problem, employers will still be fully responsible for alien workforce health benefits. Our local hirees do not get the same privileges and must fend for themselves on health and dental benefits offered by the companies or simply acquiring a personal health plan which on these islands, the prices are extremely HIGH.

I think that all personnel should be primarily responsible for their health plans and placed on equal status between the local and alien workforce. Currently, the alien laborers are receiving better benefits as compared to our local minimum wage earners. I know I read something in the papers about this issue, but nothing concrete is mentioned. How long shall employers wait?

I do not wish to express negative comments on the government and its duties to protect guest laborers, but we have to also ensure we protect our local wokforce. I guess, I am just venting as an employer myself...Hey Ed, can this be something brought up by the group next time around?

I hope so.

Kumho Asiana Bid for the QC

The presentation was wonderful, opened up many opportunities that the CNMI can definitley capitalize on. Catherine Anderson did a great job in conveying the impact and business forecast Kumho Asiana projects over the the next 40 years invested in the CNMI.

Private sector leaders as well government shared comments on how they view this paramount investment the CNMI has not seen in over 12 years. Its finally time for one company, a conglomerate company, to open up more doors for our islands, especially when over time, the total investment is over 200 million. I truly believe more opportunities will spur up from this movement.

The Commonwealth Development Authority (CDA) has heard the business community in support of the Qualifying Certificate (QC) application for Kumho Asiana. I too believe that they should be awarded this despite the negative comment stated at the hearing. Overall, Kumho Asiana, as a company, through its people, offer so much support to the business community and will eventually engage themeselves even stronger with the public offering a variety of benefits and opportuntieis to schools, events and programs, donations, and more.

On behalf of myself as I represent a business, a school, Ladera International School of Saipan (LISS), this transaction to approving the QC for Kumho Asiana is the right approach given the current circumstances of our islands economic woes.

CDA Board, APPROVE the QC!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Past, Present and Now My Future!

It was very recent that my life took a turn at what I thought would have been an enormous undertaking.  My personal life of which I was very much accustomed to, diminished in a blink of an eye.  From a past of stabilization and independence, to the heeding of desperation, the dependancy on others, truly a challenge I did not want to endure.

My past revolved around a life I built with a woman who at one point, I believed to be the very best of me.   I found out she wasn't.. Damn! did I find out.  However,I have no regrets as now I am extremely in a happy position where I know I have been blessed.  I share with you my past in a nutshell, an article I had published in the paper only to convey my truest feelings of the woman I once adored, cherished, and called my wife for many years with pride.

Today, I know  I am a lucky man!  Yes, I found someone.  A woman with a huge heart, intelligent and amazing in every aspect that I can think off.  Sharing many things in common and of course the enjoyment and laughter we share when together.  I am a lucky man, I have Boni Reyes.

My article published in the Marianas Variety on March 4, 2008 reads: 

When Love is Compromised!

I often wonder, what is the value of love, is this measurable by any means, how does one use the word love and ensure it really is?  The bible holds and endearing definition of what love is, but how does one get to that state of mind of when to say I love you?  Has it become too common and that it is not words of great value, but again, what value does this hold? The events of life that take you on a ride on all that is good and beautiful, but what do you do when your love is compromised?

I speak of love in any man and woman relationship as my own opinion to the matter.  The world today is so liberal that love is as common as now going to the movies.  Partners interchange frequently even after expressing love for one another and don't realize the implications caused when doing this to themselves or others.  But in a relationship, love is earned and not just given.  It takes time to build, takes time to share, and surely it takes time to express itself to its full extent.  It is not something that can be picked out at a shopping store.

I've heard the variety of reasons such as I fell out of love, we've grown apart, and I don't love you no more.  While dating, this is always applied when ending the relationship, but when married and through church, from my standpoint and belief, there is more at stake.  Whether children are involved or not,  I believe marriage in church is the value you could place on love.  I bring the religious aspect in this picture for reference of faith and hope, but regardless of religion, you still could hold your faith and hope in other things. Faith as well is not given, but practiced, followed, and ultimately expressed.  When living by the covenant promise of marriage, you often overlook the flaws, differences, and phases of growth only to strengthen the covenant between both man and woman accepted in church under god.  There are some people I have met felt that i is not as valuable and when compared to marriage in court, they are similar, but I, in my opinion, think otherwise.

What happens when your love is compromised, what do you do?  For our lifestyle in the islands, the best thing to turn to is our faith.  Hope can work wonders.  It is sad to see so many people get married and divorced in a year or two.  I have known a person who has been married for 9 years and has been with his wife for almost 18 years.  They grew up together, they learned from a variety of mistakes, learned to trust, learned to love deeply and with no regret.  It is a wonderful feeling seeing this happen before you as you will know there is hope, but when you loose that, your world crumbles, your life is at a stall and any movement becomes increasingly difficult.  You are in a confused state of mind.

What does this person do when his/her love was compromised?  First thing is to accept and then in my opinion, I would say find peace, solace and tranquility with yourself.  Build on faith and hope in that life will only improve for the better.  The friends and family that I have seen go through difficulty times with their marriages or their relationships due to unforeseen circumstances such as falling out of love, cheating, finding reason for blame, constant arguments go through major emotional distress placed on the heart and mind, and this alone could be an overbearing experience.

In our world today, too many people marry and then divorce as if it is a fad, a style, a trendy setting.  I believe the value of matrimony has ben lost and seen ridiculed by the general population who stand for simply marriage being the "it" thing to do.  From looking around me, marriage is a community, a feat, and event for welcoming and when divorce comes around, it affects the community and people directly involved such as family and close friends, all is lost, things would not be the same even when they say we will remain friends.  For building on love, just so you all know, be faithful, be kind, express yourself openly, and participate on bonding activities.  These are only a few things I could say that has worked for me over my time and experiences.


Of course this was written at a time of despair when trying to reach out to her. I am not sure how it was perceived by her, but I do know it brought people in question about their relationship second chances to rekindle and strengthen what they almost lost.  I had several calls that day from strangers expressing gratitude for the article as it opened their eyes, I was definitely pleased with its outcome.

About Me

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Just a simple man who loves and cares for his family. Personal views with life in general, business and challenges in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Sharing what we have through publications BISON Relations push out for everyone to keep abreast of what's happening in our beloved island home, Saipan.