Ombion: Fundamentals is a matter of life and death


IT IS to our survival, and more important, to our dynamic adaptability and sustainability, whether we are in public service or in private works.

In this era of rapid changes, the rise of digital technologies, the new modes of information and communication, the spread of fast food and fast lanes, the breakdown of territorial borders and barriers, and worse, the blurring of our most valued social, economic, legal and moral concepts and values by those in possession of power, knowledge and technologies -- those who cannot or refuse to see the bigger picture, easily resigned to isolation and oblivion.

What we see and experience today in our country and neighboring countries are not just mechanical changes; these are with cataclysmic impact in our individuality, humanity and society.

The only way to survive in this turbulent times is to establish our timeless fundamentals -- philosophy and core values.

They form our identity, character and social DNA, that is, who we are, what we are made of, our reason for being, regardless of time and space. These are what will make us stand the tests of times, even the worst of times.

For individuals, the clarity and firmness of their hold to their philosophy and core values will ensure their adaptability to changing conditions. It's like our rope or a log we can hold on to in crossing a turbulent river or open field under fierce storm.

This also applies to societies.

Iloilo is one classic example of a society which able to withstand the shocks of urbanization and foreign culture and values. The Hiligaynon despite certain segments have largely abled to keep their strong sense of community, humility, sense of respect, thriftiness, simplicity, and harmony with nature despite the offensive of highly commercialized life and values brought by urbanization and destructive development. Even the old structures, traditions and practices remain highly visible even with the rise of modern structures.

Bacolod, and maybe Negros in general, is also endowed with a strong sense of community spirit and will to struggle towards a better and dignified life from the present conundrum of modern slavery and powerlessness brought by the semi-feudal and semi-colonial system imposed and perpetuated by the landed and greedy elites.

Bohol stands to be counted for the same. The Dagohoy identity remains strong among the Boholanons, that of resilience, reliance and dependence on their own local strength and resources before seeking outside help. Tagbilaran City's refusal to the entry of big supermalls have demonstrated the Boholanon's spirit of self-reliance and self-preservation. Of course, there's much to do in Bohol in terms of democratization of resources and wealth and achieving agricultural modernization and industrialization, but the great potentials of Boholanon spirit is ready to be harnessed and guided.

The same fundamentals is also true to businesses. The businesses that last are those which have not changed their philosophy and core values, but have been doing a lot in re-engineering, innovating, enriching, expanding their products and services, and even their ways of doing business.

I know of a national company with branches in the Visayas and Mindanao which have lasted for more than two decades now despite changes in the company's owners, structures, rules and set up; its president's resilience and persistence to constantly match its vision and mission, re-invent its products and services with the evolving needs of its market, have made the company shows no signs of closing shop.

Business operations change and evolve through times. But with right and well established fundamentals, a business company can last for generations.

There are dozens of them who have stood the tests of times. These are led by people who have not only defined their reason for being, but have also invested so much in their work force have learned the philosophy that matters and the principles that work in operations.

So to change or not, to be or not to be, are questions that become unnecessary, if we know the fundamentals, the treasures that we have, who we are, and what we want to be.

An old adage says, if we don't have fundamentals, anything will do, and will bring us to nowhere.

So the same for this wisdom that, if we don't have a reason for living and being, we would never find a cause to die for.


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