“OUR readers might find some of our ideas too radical and conclusions controversial. We respect their opinions. As long as the book is educational and will send “shock waves” to trigger reforms, our effort will be worthwhile. Rest assured that we have all the best intentions in publishing this book. We aim to properly convince, reprimand and encourage, as our Lord Jesus did, to bring God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. This is our collective dream. Love of God and neighbors is our motivation. Hopefully, this book will blow the “wind on our sail” for genuine social change. With our collaborative efforts and God’s help, mercy and grace, real Social Transformation to heal our “cancerous” Philippine Society can be achievable. The earlier this happens, the better for all of us. Let’s expect the worst, but hope for the best. Let’s leave a legacy of peace and prosperity, not infamy” (Chito R. Gavino III, “Heal Our Sick Society, 2021).
The Die is cast!” so to speak.
Our book titled “Heal Our Sick Society” published by the Monfort Publishing House of Davao City, was successfully launched on May 7, 2021. No doubt, the book is very relevant today, with the COVID-19 pandemic still uncontained.
Allow me also to reprint here the Publisher’s and the Editor for Publication’s brief notes on the book, hoping that you will be encouraged to read it and support its overall message in pursuing Real Social Transformation.
Norma I. Montfort
2011 Disney Conservation Hero Awardee
2010 Guinness World Records
The 1st Mindanao Governance and
Leadership Excellence Awardee
“The healing of our sick Philippine Society leading to authentic freedom of our people and nation has been my long-time vision.
In publishing this book, “Heal Our Sick Society”, I am taking a stand by coming out of the cave to voice out the truth, boldly and courageously calling on all well-meaning Filipinos with social consciousness to join in the healing of our country.
In solidarity, we will be an indomitable force to move the unmovable strength that obstructs genuine reform in our nation. To rediscover solidarity are the six guiding principles of the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence which I have been espousing since the turn of the century. It is also what the Monfort Bat Sanctuary is all about.
The time is now. It is urgent because many of our people are in miserable condition in an oligarchic state so this is way I have mastered the courage and fortitude to come out alone if you will, to awaken the Filipino souls for the coming good and greater glory of God.”
Editor for Publication’s Note:
Dr. Cheryl “Cheng” Vilog – Magdaherin
Editor for Publication
Magdaherin – Vilog Research
And Training Consultancy
“The Magdahelm – Vilog Research and Training Consultancy is grateful to be part of this project. As Mr. Gavino’s former Associate Editor in Asia’s longest-running Catholic newspaper, Davao Catholic Herald, this columnist never fails to excavate my imagination and critical thinking.
This book, “Heal our sick society” is about seeing the present reality as a yardstick to community participation and guidepost to achieve real transformation. The tips of the author are simplified complex ideas stirring the consciousness even of the ordinary people and teaching them to respond quickly toward sensible change.
Indeed, this is a timely, relevant and no holds famed set of articles honestly written by a spiritually gifted man, the “Gavinodamus” of his generation at its best!”
Parts of the book’s “Forewords” are presented below:
“Crisis is an opportunity for greatness, “ they say. The pandemic COVID-19 outbreak that continues to rampage the world even up to this writing has also its positive side. The long days of house quarantine gave this senior plenty of time to reminisce, analyze current events, think of the future and write essays. This book is the result of our family’s humble undertaking for the enlightenment of other families. Clearly, disruptive happenings or trying times have definitive conditions. This is a good lesson to learn.
“This book is a compilation of the several articles I wrote from March to May 2020. I hope and pray that this will have an impact on self-renewal, institutional reform and real societal change. This book aims to awaken us from our slumber, throw a great deal of light upon the peculiar condition of our society, reject the status quo and move us to change for the betterment of our people and nation. Its title “Healing Our Sick Society” is more relevant today with this pandemic Covid-19 compounding the illness of our socio-economic and political lives. No doubt, this requires a more radical “political surgery” that involves disruptions and risks. Fear not, for as they say “no risks, no gains”. We just have to calculate the risks and do what is necessary to intervene in the course of events. Reliance on the status quo, as we have seen, has worsened our crisis and will further worsen if allowed to continue.
“The truth is that constant appropriate changes will lead to our true liberation, redemption, and ultimately to holiness. Double liberation of our people and nation is our mission in pursuit of real Social Change. We want to be part of this challenging and noble process. There are certain sentences and paragraphs repeatedly mentioned in our different articles in this book. We are conscious of this. This was done for emphasis and clarity. Our leaders might find some of our ideas too radical and conclusions controversial. We respect their opinions. As long as this book is educational and will send “shock waves” to trigger reforms, our effort will be worthwhile. Rest assured that we have all the best intentions in publishing this book. We aim to properly convince, reprimand and encourage, as our Lord Jesus did, to bring God’s Kingdom, “on earth as it is in heaven”. This is our collective dream. Love of God and neighbors is our motivation.”
To summarize, this book was written in the early part of 2020 when a lockdown was imposed by our government due to the Pandemic COVID-19. It attempts to explain why God permits such a gruesome event to happen to humankind and how we, the people of God, should appropriately respond to such a crisis. It then shifts to the social analysis of our terribly sick Philippines society, prescribing adopting and undertaking Real Social Transformation not only to heal our sick society but also pursue double liberation of our people and nation. Furthermore, this book points out that the transformation process consists of 1) Systems or Structural Reform and 2) People Reform. It stresses that these Reforms should be properly guided by Shared Vision and Mission to achieve our people’s ideals and aspirations.
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