Every Filipino can certainly learn from Jose Rizal for showing the world that we are certainly capable of brilliance and service at the same time. Yet, heroes don't just have to exist in the past. They can be every bit as alive and successful today leading extraordinary inspirational lives. Thankfully, I get to know and work for one up close.
Lord knows there wasn't so much I wanted to do except take care of Zaki the moment her rare health condition was confirmed. Never had much passion to do anything else, certainly not think about work. But a news story here and a chance encounter there led me to this once in a lifetime opportunity. Knew him a bit back then while attending college. Somehow, appearances aside, there wasn't that much of a change. Until you dig a little further to find some stuff of silicon inside.
There are so many things I can say to describe Winston Damarillo.
Cool young entrepreneur, self-made in Silicon Valley, proudly-Pinoy (and LaSallian), passionately driven by the possibilities of marrying IT with almost anything plus a loving and equally brilliant, wife and kid. Oh and jet-setter, Filipino, WEF-named Young Global Leader and patriotic innovation advocate, too.
Let it also be said that here's a guy who's got plenty of ideas in his head, all going at full speed at the same time yet pragmatically-focused on a successful end result.
He's not just my boss.
Not just my friend.
Come to think of it, maybe he is one of those sort of modern-day Rizals in our midst.
Only this time battling oppression of a worse kind - that which keeps our collective national innovation spirit divided and in inertia while the rest of Asia grows forward.
And for the little things that I can do to help him succeed, those are something too valuable to pass up.
And I know Zaki and wife will understand.