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Friday, 22 October 2010 06:35




By Jesus “ Jess” Dureza


(Editor’s note: Beginning this week, private citizen Jess will run his regular  “Advocacy MindaNOW” column sharing  views and insights  honed from his long years as a journalist and as a high government official.)


BACK IN PRIVATE SECTOR ---  After 23  years of being in government service (starting 1987 in Congress with some short break during the Erap administration), being back in the private sector gives me  quiet relief.   I changed my phone numbers  and suddenly it’s a new day.. Truly sorry to my regular callers and texters.   Not having to rush and get the first newsbreaks on TV, radio or in print  has also  some liberating  effect. It’s a good feeling!

I had a quiet dinner with fellow  Mindanao worker Inday Santiago before she flew out to India  days ago. I recall her saying: “Isn’t it just great that you can now do the things you want to do? Or meet   only those you want to talk to? ” . Indeed!

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“APOSTOLIC” WORK --But the most enjoyable part is now doing what I call as “apostolic” work – which means doing  a lot of religious readings and of course spending time with the “apos”. .   One early morning, journalist Carol Arguillas caught me with 3 of my “apos” in the GSIS subdivision on board a golf cart. “What are you doing?,” she hollered.  I shouted back: “Doing apostolic work!” I confess  I have a lot of catching up to do on these.

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FARMING – Quiz:  Do you know what is the best fertilizer for any  farm? Answer: Footsteps of the owner.

Our farm in Davao del Sur  had long been on  what I call as “survival farming”. Meaning just leaving  those animals,  trees and plants  to take care of themselves just to survive with minimal attention.  Not anymore. My footsteps now are all over the place.

The  day’s hours  in the farm seem longer than  in the city. Time flies so fast in the hubbub of  the  city.  Oftentimes, it’s late in the night  that   you  realize the long tiresome  day is over.  But a day’s work in the farm is  so refreshing and simple that we  savor every minute of it until sundown. And the day starts before daybreak.

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ADVOCACY --- I’m back doing work  with  Advocacy MindaNOW Foundation, Inc. which I left 9 years ago when the Arroyo government beckoned. It’s the same Mindanao work except that this is in private sector. As I had been saying all along, there is a lot yet to do for our  island region and work here never ends.

So, you’ll be hearing from me through this column from time to time. I’m   back with  my first love – writing. Thanks to the  publisher and the editor of this paper for giving me a  regular corner.  You can email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Last Updated on Monday, 06 December 2010 09:26
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