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Words of wisdom ? ? ?


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12/25/2018 6:49:05 AM

Fast-forward to Rappler in the Philippines: when we came under attack early this year, I understood that some folks (we have about 100 people) would be afraid to keep going with us. So we held a general assembly and laid out the worst case scenarios we could think of and how we would prepare for them. We knew not everyone could deal with the greater risk: everyone has their own level of risk tolerance, right? I told our team that if anyone wanted out, we would completely understand. We would give them great recommendations and help place them in different jobs. I asked them to come talk to me privately.

Happy to report that few took that offer (less than the fingers of one hand), and the courage and stamina of our team is the very core of my hope for the future.
Faith conquers Anger. In many ways, the last two and a half years have been an intensive course in anger management, and I don’t always win. Going back to DC for the ICFJ Knight International Journalism Award and to NY for the CPJ Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award were mini-reunions of the many fine journalists I’ve worked with in the last three decades. They knew a far calmer, more measured me: my version of Mr. Spock.
Coming home to the Philippines in 2005, I learned to balance Mr. Spock with Captain Kirk (yes, I’m a Trekkie). Gabby Lopez would tell me, “you have to understand emotions, Maria, because Filipinos are very emotional.” So that’s partly where the mood meter came in, launched with Rappler in 2012, the same year Gallup said the Philippines is the most emotional country in the world.

2018 was probably my most emotional year, but it was important to control my anger. I learned that getting angry doesn’t really accomplish anything except a self-indulgent release of frustration (and normally not even at the cause of the anger). Better to go to the gym.

I can’t say I was always successful, but over time, I conquered my anger at the injustice we’re living through with faith. It’s a faith that comes from my colleagues, my family and friends, from the strangers who stop me to say they’re behind Rappler, from those who helped make our crowdfunding effort the largest the Philippines has ever had, and from all the awards and accolades for Rappler this year.

More than anything, today, that faith comes from Christmas.

What does 2019 look like? Stay tuned next week.

Happy Holidays, my friends!



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