Calidad Humana
DIPLOMATIC POUCH - Roberto L. Mayorga (The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2013 - 12:00am

The Embassy of Chile celebrated the 203rd year of its independence on September 18 in a very special way: paying homage to the Filipino people, by means of the “Calidad Humana Project.”

 Calidad Humana, loosely translated in English, means Human Compassion, Humaneness, Human Tone. It is clearly a characteristic of the majority of the Filipinos.

Surely, there are exceptions; we are after all on Earth and not in paradise. But there is no doubt that Filipinos are one of the most friendly, hospitable and resilient people in the world.

An important clarification: Calidad Humana does not mean necessarily happiness. It is more an attitude, a human, positive, constructive attitude that people can have in happy moment but also in moment of sadness or difficulties.

The “Calidad Humana Project” aims to preserve this positive characteristic, avoiding the risk of its loss.

Nevertheless, its goals go beyond the boundaries of the Philippines, with the hope that, through concerted effort, the rest of the world would likewise be filled with humaneness and the joy of living.

Taking into account that a primary way with which Filipinos express their Calidad Humana is by means of smiles (as we all know and note), we organized a photo contest called “Smiles for the World,” which consisted in the submission of photos of Filipinos smiling, and carrying messages inviting and inspiring towards a more humane and amiable world.

We received countless entries with outstanding photos and moving messages, showcasing the Filipino spirit, culture, and lifestyle.

A board of judges, with D. Oscar Lopez as chairman, and composed of the honorable Secretary of Tourism D. Ramon Jimenez; Dean Raul Sunico, president of the CCP; Reverend Herminio Dagohoy, rector of the University of Santo Tomas; Dr. Jose Mariano, president of the University of Asia & the Pacific; Dr. AlfredoPascual, president of the University of the Philipines; Father Jose Ramon Villarin, president of Ateneo de Manila University; Brother Ricky Laguda, president of De La Salle University; Don Jorge Araneta, president of the Araneta Group; Ms. Ana Marie Pamintuan, editor in chief of The Philippine STAR; and Mr. Guillermo Aponte, president of Coca-Cola Philippines, selected the winners of this contest.

Together with the awarding, we presented a video with the photos and messages that the Department of Foreign Affairs will distribute around the world in its abridged version through their diplomatic missions.

Many were surprised that Chile has joined Filipino entities to form part of this endeavor. The answer is in the new concept of cultural diplomacy, that aims to identify the best elements of foreign culture, projecting and spreading them to the realities of peoples in other latitudes. This has been the inspiration of my embassy in pursuing this project.

We hope that this endeavor continues on a long-term basis. For this reason, we are developing ample and diversified interventions – for example, seminars, events, a street football project, the publication of a Calidad Humana Decalogue, and other competitions such as painting, that likewise capture the Filipino smile, for dissemination to other parts of the world.

This has been a collective endeavor of the entities already mentioned and also of McDonald’s Philippines, Smart Communications, Energy Development Corporation, Diamond Hotel, Expat Magazine, Travelife Magazine, Bravo Filipino Magazine and La Isla Magazine, all partners in the project.

But this is a project open to all those who want to partake of this crucial challenge. All it requires is commitment, devotion, and faith that it is possible to generate a more humane world.

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(Roberto L. Mayorga is the Ambassador of Chile)


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