08 November 2006

A Mastercard moment of a different sort

ONE OF the hidden perks of standing in for one's principal is the opportunity to experience what I call a Mastercard moment -- because it is so priceless -- in rubbing elbows with royalty of a different sort.

This afternoon is one such day: I just met Aruna Roy, the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Community Leadership and International Understanding. She is one of India's representatives to the international Dialogue of Civil Society Engagement in Public Accountability, which closed a few moments ago at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City.

Ms. Roy gave the partipants' impression on the two-day event being jointly sponsored by the Eastern Regional Organization for Public Administration (EROPA), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the International Budget Project (IBP).

What struck me was her message of hope: the quest for social justice, especially
social audit which is the event's real topic, is a very taxing and formidable undertaking. But the opportunity to learn from positively uplifting experiences all over the world energizes the weary soul and affirms that something good eventually comes out of it.