web analytics

Dr. Emiliano Hudtohan

Educator, Business Writer, Industry Expert and Entrepreneur

Antifragility as a Theoretical Lens in Reviewing Corporate Social Responsibility

Written By: SuperAdmin - Jun.15,2017

Dr. Emiliano T. Hudtohan

 Journal of Business, Education and Law (BEL), 20(1). SY 2015-2018  ISSN 0117-6455

Jose Rizal University, Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila

 

 

Introduction

This paper makes use of Taleb’s antifragility concept as a theoretical lens in viewing corporate social responsibility (CSR). In business, philanthropic CSR falls as a fragile execution of social responsibility; corporations sharing their core values with the community may be considered a robust practice of CSR, and corporations initiating community-based projects can be classified as antifragile CSR from the point of view of the project beneficiaries.

 

Objectives

This commentary primarily aims to provide academicians who are steeped in linear statistics an additional perspective on randomness based on chaos theory. This is a chance to understand Taleb’s  antifragility. Secondly, it offers business management practitioners an insight into change that creates problems in the normal course of an enterprise that has stabilized and has achieved equilibrium in its operations. Thirdly, Taleb’s triad, composed of fragility, robustness and antifragility, is used as theoretical lens on a CSR triad, consisting of philanthropic CSR, corporate shared values (CSV) and corporate social initiatives (CSI). Fourthly, it presents Taleb’s concept and visual of concavity and convexity in viewing corporate social responsibility.

 

Methodology

Taleb’s narrative style tin explaining what is fragile, robust, and antifragile. The arguments in his book, Antifragility, are mini cases he presents based on his experience as an investment trader, which is heuristic in approach (Moustakas, 1985; Pillans, 2014).

As such, I follow his methodology of narrating my personal observations by telling my own story by using his antifragility concepts on the various aspects of corporate social responsibility as practiced by the business sector today. My narration and storytelling provide reflections on antifragility, chaos theory, and CSR practices.  From these reflections, this commentary also provides opportunity for further action through research.  Recommendations for further studies are cited at the end of the commentary.

 

 Fragility and Antifragility

Fragile vs. Antifragile

Merriam-Webster defines fragile as “easily broken or destroyed” and “constitutionally delicate and lacking in vigor.”Dictionary.com defines it as “easily broken, shattered, or damaged, delicate, brittle; frail, vulnerably delicate, lacking in substance or force, and flimsy.”

Robust is defined in Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “strong and healthy, strongly formed or built, successful or impressive and not likely to fail or weaken.   Dictionary.com says it is “strongly or stoutly built: suited to or requiring bodily strength or endurance; rich and full-bodied; and strong and effective in all or most situations and conditions”

Taleb does not define the opposite of fragile as robust; he creates an oxymoron by presenting a non-existing word in the dictionary: antifragile.  To prove his point, he lists 58 examples of “fragile-robust-antifragile” triads that we normally experience in our daily life.  His triads are presentations of heuristic, experiential data and he admitted he was not into creating a theory or generalization.  But the insights he makes are certainly mind-boggling and one is led to nod his head and agree to many of these triads.  I recognized 16 triads as an axiologist, ethicist and values formateur.  I somehow got a feel on what antifragile is.

For Taleb the opposite of fragility is beyond being robust and resilient; the opposite is antifragility. He looks at antifragility as a property of systems that increase in capability, resilience, or robustness as a result of stressors, shocks, volatility, noise, mistakes, faults, attacks, or failures. Simply, antifragility is defined as a convex response to a stressor or source of harm, which leads to a positive sensitivity to increase in volatility in term of variability, stress, dispersion of outcomes, or uncertainty. He grouped factors under the designation “disorder cluster”.  He defines fragility as a concave sensitivity to stressors, leading a negative sensitivity to increase in volatility. According to him the relationship between fragility, convexity, and sensitivity to concavity and disorder is mathematical, obtained by theorem, not derived from empirical data mining or some historical narrative. (Taleb, 2012).

On the other hand, the Eastern approach to resiliency is to discipline the mind to calm, non-combative attitudes in all conditions.  At the spiritual core, “Everything is already inside” for Tamura believes that you are the answer.  He says, “To be who we are, to have all that is within us and to fully express our divine heritage – that is our purpose for living and the destination of our journey..”(Tamura, 2007, p.5). Seale (2003) remarks, “The more you know who you are and the more you live that true identity, the stronger and clearer are your perceptions and sense of reality, and the less you are swayed by forces that go against your nature.  You have the power to make your own choice and to create your life as you want it to be.”(Seale, 2003, p.5).  Tamura and Seale affirm need to be resilient and therefore one comes out robust, but not antifragile in Taleb’s terms.

Taleb (2012, p.3) introduces antifragility as “some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”

cupcake

 

Figure 1. Taleb’s visual of concave: frown and convex: smile (www.emaze.com)

 

Taleb (2012, p. 271-272) discusses convexity and concavity. He cleverly uses the smile button illustrating what is convex and frown button as concave.  His visuals are easily recalled when compared to a geometric and mathematical representation of convex and concave in Figure 2.

concave

 

Figure 2.  Geometric visual of convex and concave images (www.mathsisfun.com)

 

Visually, it appears that concave fragility assumes that the impact of a stressor is inwardly absorbed and the individual needs to fortify himself by being robust.  It is a defensive reaction against stress by being able to arrest the negative impact.  The self is protected from further collapse by being robust.

(more…)

Social Entrepreneurship Versus Entrepreneurship – Unraveling the Differences

Written By: SuperAdmin - Apr.17,2017

Social Entrepreneurship Versus Entrepreneurship – Unraveling the Differences

Management Entrepreneurship Halu Oleo Univercity IndonesiaClick the photo title to start slideshow

 

Moral Beauty: Prospect for Business Ethics

Written By: SuperAdmin - Apr.17,2017

Moral Beauty: Prospect for Business Ethics  
Dr. Emiliano T. Hudtohan, AB, BSE, MA, EdD
Paper delivered at the International Conference on Management, Social Entrepreneurship, and Education at STIKES Tri Mandiri Sakti,  Bengkulu, Indonesia on March 22, 2017
For Publication: Journal of Business Research and Development
San Beda College Graduate School of Business
2017

Abstract

The paper makes a case out of moral beauty as a perspective on business ethics in the 21st century.  In retrospect, it explores the origins and development of beauty from the Western Gaian tradition and from the Asian pre-Spanish image of the Babaylan. It reviews the classical ethical frameworks based on utilitarianism, rights, justice and virtue ethics, and the post-modern ethics of care. It presents the moral beauty as a standard of ethical behavior. The relevance of moral beauty in business ethics is highlighted by a leadershift that recognizes the crucial role of feminine energy in the 21st century. Moral beauty is positioned as prospect in business and the academe in response to the global business environment described as vulnerable, uncertain, chaotic and ambiguous (VUCA).

Key words: moral beauty, ethics, business ethics, antifragile Gaia, Babaylan, Maganda, and
kagandahang loob.

Introduction
As an axiologist, ethics and aesthetics are my key interest. Axiology studies mainly two kinds of values: ethics and aesthetics. Ethics investigates the concepts of “right” and “good” in individual and social conduct; aesthetics studies the concepts of “beauty” and “harmony.” Given a gnomic dictum that says ethics and aesthetics are one (Tilhgman, 1991; Collinson, 1985), then moral beauty is not a strange ethical proposition, after all.
Moral beauty in the 21st Century is being put forward amidst current shifts that are currently happening. Bennett and Lemoine (2014) describe the business environment as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA). Taleb (2012) prescribes being antifragile in response to the global economic, political, social and spiritual crises today. Laszlo (2006), Page (2008) and Braden (2012) warn us that we are in the midst of a great period of change which started 1987 and ends in 2023.

To avert the impending global disaster ot our planet, for example, business, government, and civil society need to address this sustainability issues related to both human and planetary survival. It is no coincidence that 1987 in the Organization of Economic cooperation and Development (OECD) advocated sustainability of the triple bottom of profit, people and planet tallied with start of the great period of change cited by Page and Braden.

When the drummers were women (Redmond, 1997) they took good care of the Earth and the people of the Earth.  Today, men use the drums to forment violence, conflict, and destruction. Women of old used the drums for healing, celebration, and sacralization of the Earth.  They were governed moral beauty rooted in Gaia whom we call today as Mother Earth and Galactic Mother whose ethos is nurturing and caring, and made things beautiful.

Page (2017) observed that “[W]omen are more powerful together…When stressed, oxytocin (bonding hormone) reacts positively with estrogen to cause women to meet, share feelings and offer compassionate support; creating strength. Testosterone inhibits oxytocin during stress, causing men to be more likely to act independently through fight or flight. When women compete, we’re acting like men: let’s move towards authentic sharing and caring.” (facebook.com/permalink. php?story_fbid =399780190360423&id =10000 9853369349)

Objectives of Moral Beauty
The purpose Moral Beauty: Prospect for Business Ethics is to add a new dimension to an academic  discourse on business ethics.  For more than a decade now, I notice that the ethical principles are basically mainstream of Western origin. From Gilligan’s ethics of care, I am presenting a discourse on the feminist side of ethics with the inclusion of Moral Beauty.
Moral Beauty is traced from a Western tradition of Gaia and by design I present the Asian Philippine tradition of Babaylan and Maganda myth. Moral Beauty as standard of behavior in the 21st century can be a new moral standard in addition to Truth and Goodness the drives social decorum.
The 21st Century is a century of Feminine Energy, because so much Force from the Masculine Energy has dominated the world for more than 2000 years. Academic disciplines especially in business management may explore Gaian qualities of caring, nurturing, and nourishing Life as foundational link to ethical behavior in business and responsible social conduct.

I underscore the fact that Filipinos are a Beautiful people and our DNA made manifest through our language says so: Magandang Umaga; Kagandahang Loob. Mount Mayon is Magayon: beautful. Our Moral Beauty must arise now to bring harmony to this Earth and the Galaxy. The paper challenges not only business ethics professor and students in the academe but also those in corporate practice to make manifest the Maganda Filipino culture that is truly Asian.

Part I:  Gaian Beauty
The discussion on moral beauty is set in the context of Gaia in Greek mythology that has inspired current writers who are articulating new moral and ethical perspectives in the 21st century.  In ethics, Gaian myth serves a mystical function because she enlightens our experience as a mystery; it has a cosmological function because she helps us understand not only the material world but also the metaphysical dimensions of life that are invisible; it has a sociological function because she supports and validates our experience of the social order and it has a pedagogical function because she teaches us how to live a human lifetime in all circumstances (Campbell, 1991; Houston, 1998 Walsh, 2007).

Gaia in Retrospect
Historically, the eternal female was materialized through the female goddess, a Divine Mother.  Richmond (1997) tells us that “In Egypt the goddess was known as Hathor, Isis, Sekhmer; in Sumerian, Syro-Palestinian, and Cypriot cultures she was called Inna, Ishtar, Astarte, Astoreth, Anat, Aphrodite. In Anatolia, Asia Minor, Crete, Greece and Rome she was Cybele, Rhea, Demter, Artiemis, Anadine, Persephone.  All these historical goddesses sprang from an archetype Great Goddess of the Paleolithic Age, when cultures throughout the European and western Asian world worshipped forms of Divine Mother.” (Richmond, 1997, p.121-122). When the Greeks colonized Asia Minor, they reintroduced the ancient Greek Mother of Minoan-Mycenaean tradition.  The Greeks Rhea or Gaia was the Mother of the Gods.

Gaia was the Greek goddess of the earth; she was both mother and wife to Uranus, or Heaven, as well as mother of Cronus, a Titan.  According to Greek poet Hesiod, she was the mother of all 12 Titans, as well as of the Furies and the Cyclopes.  The Greek spelling is Gaea but modern feminist revivalists use Gaia. She is identified with Eros (Cupid, Amor), god of sexual love, who both came out of Chaos (New York Times, 2004).

Eros possesses a deeper mystical significance as the primordial power of creation itself. The Pythagorean and Orphic mystery schools invoked him as Eletherious, the Liberators and Protogonos, the luminous and genderless, who arose out of the empty void Chaos to create harmonious order and beauty of the Cosmos. EnlightenNext Magazine (2009) reinterprets Eros in the light of Darwinian philosophers who saw Eros as “the creative force that drives the evolutionary process.”  Cohen (2009) asserts that when one consciously identifies with the evolutionary impulse, at the highest level, we are “not separate from the energy and intelligence that originally inspired the creative process” which is Eros.

The Greeks believed that mathematically, beauty and truth are related and the ingredients of beauty are: symmetry, proportion, and harmony. Beauty was an object of love and something that was to be imitated and reproduced in their lives, architecture, education, and politics. They judged life by this beauty mentality. Aristotle says that when the good person chooses to act virtuously, he does it for the sake of the “kalon” meaning “beautiful,” “noble,” or “fine.”  Aristotle sees in ethical activity an attraction that is comparable to the beauty of well-crafted artifacts, including such artifacts as poetry, music, and drama (Aristotle. 450 BCE).

Gaian Prospect
Ethical and moral scholars relate Gaia to the ancient tradition of shamanism.  The shamans [recently Pope Francis welcomed a shaman in the Vatican] understood the harmony and beauty of the mind, body, and spirit in relation with others, the earth and the cosmos. Shamans have a sacred space where they find meaning and power.  In that space one “intentionally changes the environment to be one of harmony, peace and beauty” (Samuels & Lane, 2003, p.53).  They see light and beauty and let others see that vision. They see themselves as beautiful; they are within beauty. Thus, the healing action of the shamans is powered by beauty.

Gaia in organizations. Wheatley (1999) believes tht Gaia is the created universe, the mother of all like, the great partner of chaos and creativity. In modern science, she is planet Earth, a living being who creates for herself the conditions that nourish and sustain life.  And in this millennial era, Gaia is us.  She is the feminine energy that compels us to care about the future of the Earth.

According to Wheatley (1999), Gaian voices today answer questions with a new story that differs from the old cosmology. The women of the 21st century must lead with authority to create a new cosmic Gaian story of feminine care and power.  Page (2008) expands the Gaian story as the Great Mother who leads us to the Galactic Center. She asserts that “We are uniquely positioned here on earth to travel; travel this road metaphysically and enter the black hole at the center of the galaxy. Here we will experience the fullness of our potentiality, the unlimited realm of possibilities, and come to know the true meaning of immortality.” (Page, 2008, p. 3)

Wheatley reinvents a new story of the primal trinity of Gaia, Chaos and Eros.  She says, “Once the machine glass has been set aside, we can see life’s ebullient creativity and life’s great need for other life.  We see a world whose two great organizing energies are the need to create and the need for relationship.  We are a world where there is no such thing as an independent individuals and no need for aader to take on as much responsibility as we’ve demanded in the past.” (Wheatley, 1998, p. 87).

Gaia teaches us that “When we join together we are capable of giving birth to the form of the organization, to the plan, to the values, to the vision…The Gaian organizational process principle is:  Life seeks organization, but it uses messes to get there…And it involves creating relationships around shared sense of purpose…In Gaian story, this situation is influenced by the force of Chaos where creativity and freedom abound and by the force of Eros, where we are impelled to create through attraction (Wheatley, 1998). The women of the 21st century need to narrate their own story, having experienced daily the failure of the old story.  They need to break their silence and share the Gaian vision they have come to know.

Gaia and contemporary spirituality. Gaia as a Divine Feminine energy is theologically explained by James Ray (2006). He argues, “What we know about energy is this: You go to a quantum physicist and your say, “What creates the world?’ And he or she will say, ‘Energy.’  Well, describe energy. ‘ OK, it can never be created or destroyed, it always was, always has been, everything that ever existed always exists, its moving into form, through form and out of form.’ You go to a theologian and ask the question, ‘what created the Universe?’ And he or she will say, ‘God.’  Okay, describe God. ‘Always was and always has been, never can be created or destroyed, all that ever was, always will be, always moving into form, through form and out of form.’  You see, it’s the same description, just different terminology,” (Ray, 2006, p.158-159).

Some advocates of progressive spirituality in the 21st century describe as a process of “the divine spirit…seeking to sustain and guide the ongoing development of the cosmos…in terms of working with the spirit of Gaia” (Lynch, 2007, p.45-46).  Thus, the study and inspiration of Gaia is very much alive and Gaia in mythology yesterday is science (Drummond, n.d.) and spirituality today (Lynch, 2007).

Gaia and climate change. Bonewits and Bonewits (2007) trace the Gaia thesis to Oberon Zell-Ravenheart in 1970 which viewed Mother Earth as a living being composed of the whole biosphere (Lovelock, 1972; Margulis, 1998). Grauds and Childers (2005) argue that while plants, animals, and humans have their own conscious life and experience, they both partake of, and are transcended by Gaia’s consciousness.

In Gaian theory “the biosphere, atmosphere,  lithosphere, and hydrosphere  maintain a homeostatic condition and the Earth is seen as a single living super being. The workings of Gaia can be viewed as a study of the physiology of the Earth, where the atmosphere is the Earth’s lungs and circulatory system,  the oceans and rivers are the Earth’s blood, the land and the rocks are the Earth’s bones, and the living organisms like the plants and fungi are the Earth’s skin and  sensory system. All these are tied up to an infinitely complex network of feedback systems to maintain homeostasis. (Bonewits, 2003; Chamberlain, n.d.). Edwards (1995) links the Gaian hypothesis with shamanic wisdom that sees nature as a living organism.  Shamans believe that “everything is alive.  Rocks and crystals are conscious beings” (Edwards, 1995, p.206).

Redmond (1997) argues that our civilization made a mistake by choosing a tradition that followed a male dominant worldview.  Climate change is happening because we are “divorcing ourselves from the natural world, we are doing violence to ourselves and to the planet.  The tradition that we inherited from warrior nomads who viewed the natural world as an infinite source of new pastures to exploit and abandon have led to rampant materialism. Even now when ecological crises have forced us to reassess our relations to the environment, politicians take steps to ‘protect’ our resources solely so that we may continue to exploit them….our culture persists in behaving as if nature exists to serve the desires of one species that values itself above all other” (Redmond, 1997, p.187).  Crowley (2001) redirects us to that Gaian spirit by suggesting that we try to sense the divine presence in the natural world beneath the concrete of the streets, implying that the sacred natural order is primarily the non-human natural order resident in Mother Earth.

Myss (2016) asserts that the 21st century needs the Sacred Feminine, who is the balancing force to Sacred Masculine and its intellectual energies of reason and logic. The Sacred Feminine and its subtle and magnificent force penetrates into every expression of life, bringing us into awareness of the crisis within the Mother Nature and awakening our mystical senses and mystical history.  That Sacred Feminine is the modern Gaia, re-emerging today a Moral Beauty to rule the conduct of society that has gone awry and in chaos.

Maganda in Retrospect8b4403d8b52fec6930c9c130a491c800
The link of Western Moral Beauty with the Eastern Filipino culture is the Maganda tradition in the Philippines.  Our creation myth honors the Maganda and our Filipino Malay-based language orally made Maganda survive over time by our use of Maganda to describe what is Good, as in Magandang Umaga.  The  Maganda is resident in our metaphysical construct of the loob and linguistically expressed in our day to day existence.

Filipno Loob.  The Filipino discourses framed loob within the Western psycho-social and philo-theological frameworks but for more than four decades loob was considered a static structure and not a driving force that drives moral behavior. Related literature on loob include discourses from  philosophers (Mercado 1972, 1994; de Mesa 1986), psychologists (Alejo 1990; de Guia 2005; Enriquez 1992), historians (Salazar 1977, 1985; Ileto 1979; Rafael 1993), poet (Lacaba 1974) and a theologian (Miranda 1989).

They presented various definitions for loób as an “inner self,” “inner being,” “what is inside the self,” “holistic self,” “core of oneself,” and “core of one’s personality.” Francisco (2001) opined that the Tagalog concept of loob subverted the medieval classical body and soul construct in 15th century Doctrina Christiana. Loob was literally translated in Spanish as inside, when it was in fact an intermediary between body and soul.   Thus, the Filipino persona is understood in a triadic nexus of body, soul, and loob (Francisco, 2001). The Catechism for Filipino Catholics (2002), 500 years later, speaks of kalooban as a deep, positive spiritual value in accepting suffering, patience and long-suffering. Loob is continues to be a token element of the Filipino persona and is never even linked to beauty.

As an inner core,  Mahtani (n.d.) sees kagandahang loob in the context of ‘pagmamahal sa dakila’ using 1 Peter 4: 9-11.  Here, kagandahang loob is considered a quality of the Christian soul, capable of malasakit and doing good for others, even if they are not one’s household or friend.  Kagandahang loob is linked to cardinal virtue of charity. Pe-Pua and Protacio-Marcelino (2000) annotated kagandahang loob as ‘shared humanity’ and linked it as a socio-personal value. Rungduin and Rungduin (2007) see forgiveness as an expression of kagandahan ng loob that brings about gaan ng loob and kababaang loob.

Wilber’s (2007) inside-outside and individual-collective dimensions of consciousness gives us a hint on the power of the loob.  His quadrants as dimensions of being-in-the world are most summarized as self (I), culture (we) and nature (it) and all which have the inside-outside realities. He translates these three elements as art, morals, and science or the beautiful, the good and the true. The self, culture and nature are liberated together or else there is no liberation at all (Wilber, 2004).

Kagandahang Loob and Beauty.  Reyes (2015) associates kagandahang-loób with beauty by  literally translating it as “beauty-of-will.” He is a pioneer in introducing beauty with the loob concept in relation with kapwa.  In Thomistic theology,  Reyes identifies the loób as a “holistic and relational will” and as a “power of the soul.” But according to Kintanar (1996), who considers loob as an emotional state,  Reyes regards kagandahang loob  a value that is good, rather than a value that is beautiful.
Further, Francisco’s (2001) loob is more than a relational will or an emotional state; he reads loob, from a Catholic theological viewpoint, as an intermediary between Aristotelian-Thomistic-Scholastic body and soul construct.  In understanding the human person, the loob is considered part and parcel of body and soul human configuration.  Using relational will as the wellspring of beautiful behavior could have elevated the smooth interpersonal relationship (SIR) of Bulatao the positive Filipino moral behavior.

While Reyes (2015) argues that Filipino virtue ethics is rooted in loob and kapwa, he subsumes it under the “Southeast Asian tribal and animist tradition mixed with a Spanish Catholic tradition.”  But multistream Western relocators of animistic tradition would described ethnic Filipino culture as pan(en)theism and not animistic pantheism (Lynch, 2007). Then the beauty of nature evoking awe and wonders of the Creator is recognized.

The classical Aristotelian and Thomistic perspectives were used in viewing loob and kagandahang loob towards kapwa by various Filipino authors. Thus, kagandahang loob is conveniently translated in English as good will and beautiful will.  These literal translations, somehow does not ring the right note for the Filipino ear.  The French beau geste appears to be attractive alternative because beau is literally translate in Pilipino as maganda.  Beau gest is a gracious gesture  but “meaningless in substance.  The Pilipino kagandahang loob as the wellsprings of our cultural heritage remains a “mystery present” in our DNA that drives us to be beautiful, to be good, and to be true.
The Maganda Prospect

The living testimonial to our maganda culture is found in our natural resources.  Mount Mayon is Magayon (beautiful in Bicolano), Maria Makiling personifies beauty who protects the trees and vegetation and provides water for her sister, Laguna de Bae.  The mythical diwata, like Maria Makiling  guards the forest of Calamba, the [Bab]ae in Laguna looks after the ecosystem of the lake and the beautiful Lady of Mt. Mayon keeps fertile the Bicol natural environ.  The Bicol Daraga (Young Lady) town and the  Magayon volcano, the Maria Makiling of Laguna and the [Ba]Bae of the Lake naturally represent the Gaian presence in our culture. Maganda as dalaga is mentioned by Nadera (2000) in narrating the person of Catalonan.

Saka sa pag-akyat ko sa Maca
Nakasalubong ko si Maganda
Di man magsalita ang dalaga,
Aking dama sa hangin ang dusa.

Gaia in pre-Spanish Philippine culture is embodied in the persona of the diwata and babaylan and associated with the names give to our natural resources, reminding us of the beauty of nature protected by the diwatas and babaylans.

Babaylan as Gaian icon.  While there are conflicting opinions on whether the babaylan is a shaman, (Belita, 2015; Licauco, 2004; Mercardo, 1988; Demetrio, 1975) it is my view that the babaylan can be considered an icon of Gaia.  She is a Gaian icon because she babaylan cares for her people as healer and channel to the Bathhala, the source of life that gave birth to Maganda and Malakas.

Miclat-Cacayan (2005) narrated her encounters with babaylans of Mindanao and their sacred tradition of worship and spirituality through dance. She concluded that the spirituality of the babaylan is wholeness. Velando. (2005) in New York City that the babaylans have the consciousness of connectivity through Filipino pakikipagkapwa. Villariba (2006) believes that the babaylans are still relevant in the 21st century as priestess, healer, sage and seer as expressed  in Mangurug, Ibanag creed and Da-diw Iablo chants: “I Dios egga nittam nganun”  [God is in all of us].

Christianized babaylan .  Feminine leadership during the Sri Vidjaya and Madjapahit eras proves the presence of Gaia in the East.  Vim Nadera (2000) in Mujer Indigena cites the various regional names of the babaylan in the Philippines.  Gaia is Babaylan, Catalonan, Baglan. Baliana, Manganito, Mangaalisig, Almono, Mabalian , Doranakit, Anitera, Madre, Diaconesa, and Suprema.  Nadera’s historic narration of Filipino Gaia begins with ethnic babaylan image but with the onset of Christianity, the Filipino Gaia became a Catholic nun [Madre], Catholic deaconess [diaconesa] and finally the image of the Blessed Virgin [Suprema].

Vergara (2011) argued that in suppressing the babaylans during the Spanish era, biblical references were used to demonize them.  Later on, the Spanish hierarchy instituted the beaterio as a convent haven for the Yndias to replace the babaylans. (Veneracion, 1998; Cruz, 2002) so that the converted babaylans became part of the colonial society assisting the Catholic priests in their ministry. (Salazar, 1999)

Thus, the Christianized babaylan became a beata and they performed corporal and spiritual work of mercy.  Finally, as a Catholic nun, completely stripped of her ethnic babaylanic DNA, she pronounced the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to give herself completely to the service of the Church (Hudtohan, 2003).

Metro Gwapo. Attempts were made to make Maganda a behavioral norm among Filipinos.  Fernando Bayani as Metro Mania Development Authority Chairman declared Manila as Metro Gwapo.  And he used pink urinals to keep the city sidewalks from offensive stink.  Very few understood his gwapo campaign because they failed to understand beauty as a behavioral attitude to maintain order and discipline; they failed to comprehend the meaning of beauty as cleanliness and harmonious conduct of pedestrians and motorists.

In the 70s, Imelda Marcos who created the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) launched Manila as the City of Man. She pioneered in building architectural edifice like the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Coconut Palace, Folk Arts Theater, and Manila Film Center among others as iconic symbols of Philippine art and culture.  But St. Augustine’s City of God in Hippo was written to repudiate the excesses of the Roman culture, the City of Pigs of Socrates and the Fevered City of Glaucon. In retrospect, Imelda’s City of Man was closer to  Glaucon’s proposed a Fevered City where “great ambitions, great architecture, literature and even philosophy…[where there is] a distinction of noble and base, rich and poor, the superior and the inferior.”

The New Society of Marcos was an excellent platform for Imelda’s vision of Metro Manila as a beautiful City of Man.  Had the culture of beauty been pursued as a standard of moral behavior under Martial Law, Metro Manila  could have been an exemplar metropolis of beauty the Grecian tradition. And as the morning sun shines on City of Man, the city can truly greet the day with: Magandang Umaga. (Hudtohan, 2013).

Our historical review of moral beauty in Philippine context reveals that the Babaylanic tradition of feminine leadership (a manifestation of Western Gaian spirit) has been disrupted and culturally erased by 400 years of Hispanic Catholicism.  The Maganda (Gaian personification) and the Kagandahang Loob (ethic Malayan inner persona core) valu has been  reframed within the context of Western valuation devoid of its Maharlikan roots.

Part II: Moral Beauty and Business Ethics

Ethics in Retrospect

A Commentary on Taleb’s Antifragility and Duterte’s Presidency

Written By: SuperAdmin - Sep.07,2016

Dr. Emiliano T. Hudtohan, AB, BSE, MA, EdD
Jose Rizal University, Quezon City
De La Salle Araneta University, Malabon City
De La Salle College of St. Benilde, Manila
San Beda College Graduate School, Mendila
A copy of this was handed to the staff of President Duterte
At his residence in Davao City
August 26, 2016

Introduction
In 2012, my DBA student handed me Nassim Nicolas Taleb’s book, Antifragile. I can only surmise why he gave it. Was it because my approach to teaching Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility was basically behavioral and qualitative?  Could it be that he was not comfortable with Taleb’s concept of randomness and fragility that presented a myriad of non-linear events that cannot be managed or predicted through financial regression analyses?  The academic term ended; I never got any answer.

I did start to read itbut failed to finish it cover to cover.  The fine print of the paperback and the voluminous, rambling examples of fragility and antifragility in the field of economics, politics, medicine, and physical science taxed my failing senior eyesight. Then, on April 26, 2016 Intellicare invited me to a management workshop on Scaling up Organizational and Leadership Capabilities. Vice President Rommel Ancheta mentioned a Q&A on Antifragility, so I gothold of Taleb’s book again.

In that forum, President and Founder Mario Silos challenged his corporate leaders to make Intellicare an ‘antifragile’ organization. I advanced the notion that scalability of quantum growth and organizational antifragility share the umbrella of chaos where there is constant disequilibrium in this Age of Upheaval.  Quantum growth, to my mind, requires a shift from a Cartesian-Newtonian outlook to a leadership driven by the new science of metaphysics. Leadership, in the new science, views randomness as a spike of an unusual event that creates havoc on operations that have achieved equilibrium and stability. Taleb suggests to be antifragile, persons and organizations need to  survive and grow in the face of  random disastrous incidents

Objectives
This review primarily aims to provide book lovers and management practitioners selected highlights of Taleb’s new, non-dictionary word: antifragile, the opposite of ‘fragile.’ Secondarily, as an axiologist, I present two additional triads patterned after Taleb’s example of 58 fragile-robust-antifragile triads. My two triads were culled from my lectures in local and international fora, which were published in academic journals and newspaper columns.  Thirdly, I add a worldview triad because multistream-post-Lewinian approach to organization development is emerging; it is focused in changing mindsets instead of the conventional mainstream practice of changing behavior.  This prepares the reader to have a multi-faceted framework in looking at the presidency of Rodolfo Duterte. Fourthly, I pick Taleb’s concept of randomness as it mirrors a new political development in the Philippines with President Duterte as a leader. Here, hisleadershipis seen not only from a political and socio-economic perspective but also, and most importantly, from a metaphysical and spiritual viewpoint. Lastly, the CSR triad is presented so that the philanthropic CSR is upgraded to corporate shared values (CSV) and hopefully corporate social initiatives (CSI) will eventually make CSR beneficiaries antifragile.

Methodology
The review follows Taleb’s narrative style to explain what is fragile, robust, and antifragile. As such, his book containing seven chapters is a heuristic research (Moustakas, 1985; Pillans, 2014).  His arguments are mostly mini cases that are presented as evidence clustered under seven conventional chapters, but he prefers to classify them as books on antifragility.  His many stories based on his personal experience primarily as an investment trader, resulted to an antifragile opus of 519 pages.  It contains stories ending with Aristotelian climax and presents mind-twisting conclusions and leaves his readers a taste of an iconoclastic message.  His sardonic and illusive wit is comparable to that of Pilosopong Mang Tacio,

As such, I follow his methodology of narrating my personal observations and telling stories about my experiences to mirror some selected concepts on antifragility. Narration and storytelling provide a retrospect and prospect dimensions of human experience (Hudtohan, 2005; Gonzalez &Luz, 1985; El Savvy; 1983).

“Narratives,“ according to Boje (2008), “shape our past events into experience using coherence to achieve believability. Stories are more about dispersion of events in the present or anticipated to be achievable in the future.  These narrative-coherence and story-dispersion processes interact so that meanings change among people, as their events, identities, and strategies get re-sorted in each meeting, publication, and drama.” (Boje, 2008, p.4).

Storytelling, on the other hand, provides meaning and sense of coherence to complex events to reduce equivocality and unpredictability (Brown & Kreps, 1993. The plot of a story provides a historical background of an event that brings about the current state of affairs for sense-making (Czarniawska, 1998; McIntyre, 1981). Storytelling does not only support sense-making but it is also part of sense-giving processes (Gioia &Thomas, 1996).
Chris Chandler, a professional storyteller, thinks “that the power of a story to shift and show itself to us anew is part of what attracts people to it…No matter where we are in life,the best stories offer us something to consider; to feel, and to think on.” (Auxier & Seng, 2008.P.vii-viii).
Storytelling “has recently become mainstream. It is an undeniably important and useful tool, with the potential to enhance communication across organizations at all levels.” (Pillans, 2014, p.36). Brown (2012, p.252) insists that “storytelling is my DNA, and I couldn’t resist the idea of research as storytelling.  Stories are data with a soul and no methodology honors that more than grounded theory…based on people’s lived experiences.” Storytelling gets our personal message across and helps the reader’s “internal perspective and in cases where choices are unconscious, it can provide a new viewpoint that is more conscious” (Simmons, 2001). Samuels and Lane (2003) assert that “Re-storying reality is…changing a person’s belief system and instilling hope and spirit.”
This review is about Taleb’s many, many narratives and stories interpreted by the reviewer.  In return, the reviewer mirrors his lived experiences against the backdrop of antifragile events and circumstances.  The readers are encouraged to mirror their respective experience in reading my review because subjectivity creates multi-reality and the individual must narrate his/her own discourse on sense-making and meaning-making.(Dawson & Andriopoulos, 2014). (more…)

The two generals

Written By: SuperAdmin - Jul.04,2016

Green LightLa Salle Brothers - Two Generals
Manila Standard Today
Dr. Emiliano T. Hudtohan
September 29, 2014

Today, I write about the two generals of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.  The first is a Superior General who leads globally the largest lay religious educators in the world.  The second is a Councilor General who is responsible for the operations of the Brothers the Asia Pacific region.

Global leadership

At the Lasallian Charism lecture series of Br. Michael Broughton, FSC at De La Salle University, Manila, he flashed the image of Br. Robert Schieler, FSC, the newly elected Superior

General of the Brothers at the 45th General Chapter in Rome on May 20, 2014. He became the 27th successor of St. John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Institute.
Previously, Br. Bob served as General Councilor for the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) in Washington, D.C. Before this, he was the Director of Education for the Brothers’ United States-Toronto Region, directing the national educational formation programs for teachers and Brothers in the 104 Lasallian schools. He was Executive Secretary of the Regional Education Board and the Lasallian Association of College and University Presidents.
Br. Robert also served for seven years as Auxiliary Visitor and Director of Education for the Baltimore District.

A native of Philadelphia, he served in the Philippines for 13 years in a variety of administrative positions, from Assistant Principal to Superintendent of Schools.
Resilient character

Before I left the Institute in 1978, I was privileged to be Br. Bob’s confrere at La Salle Academy, Iligan City where he taught catechism and history subjects. And he was very popular and well-loved because he was a brother to them inside and outside the classroom. The Lasallian concept of education then was developing personal relationship with the students through sports and co-curricular activities, aside from regular classroom engagement.

His physical endurance clearly showed his character under difficult and trying circumstances.    He had an on and off bout with amoebiasis. Thus, he chose to sleep on a reclined rattan folding sofa to jump-start his position and race for the comfort room. Our tap water in those days came from an underground stream.  Br. Bernie Oca, FSC, Br. Emilio Villarosa, FSC and I appeared to have developed a natural immunity against waterborne amoeba.  But for Br. Bob, it was a different story.  And so, he lived a life of physical discomfort.

That early, as a missionary with temporary vows, he already showed signs of physical resiliency.  This resiliency is a hallmark of his character as a supervisor of De La Salle schools in the Philippines, a scholar of European history, a doctor of education, Auxiliary Visitor of the District of Baltimore, Director of Education of USA-Toronto Region, Visitor of his district and General Councilor for the Lasallian Region of RELAN of USA and Canada.

Regional leadership

Br. Ricardo Laguda, FSC was elected Councilor General the 45th General Chapter in Rome.  Part of his portfolio is to manage the De La Salle Brothers of Pacific Asia Regional Conference (PARC).

Previous to this, he was appointed the 4th University Chancellor in 2010 and officially installed as the 22nd President of De La Salle University in 2012.
In 2006, he was assigned to De La Salle Canlubang to serve as Interim President. In 2007, he concurrently served as the President of the Jaime Hilario Integrated School-La Salle in Bagac, Bataan and De La Salle Araneta University in Malabon.

As a young novice Brother, his guru was Br. Armin Luistro, FSC. Later, he became a novice master himself.  Br. Ricky has a Master’s degree in religious education and a PhD in educational leadership and management. He studied at Harvard University to prepare him for his executive position at various De La Salle universities and his leadership as President of De La Salle Philippines.

According to the 2401 Newsletter, Br. Ricky’s presidency was marked by rapid growth and he left a legacy of Lasallian excellence and service: 23 percent of DLSU students on scholarship as of Term AY 2013-2914, 12 undergraduate programs with Level 4 accreditation, 9 CHED centers of excellence as of 2014, 5 major infrastructure projects launched in 2014, 2 UAAP general championship titles and 1 PAASCU institutional accreditation.

Lasallian family partnership

When Br. Armin Luistro, FSC became the Brother Provincial, meaning he was in charge of the De La Salle Philippine District, he made a historic move to insure a sustainable pursuit of the educational mission of St. John Baptist de la Salle in the Philippines.  In 1999, he called for a District Synod to establish partnership with the Brothers’ lay educators.

This event is essential in understanding of the message of Superior General Br. Bob Schieler who said, “I know that anything that can be accomplished will be done only because of the great Lasallian family that we are all.”  This statement is most significant in the history of the Brothers of the Christian Schools because it was predicted by Br. Gabriel Moran, FSC that religious life is “dead”.  As this unfolds lay men and women are called upon to carry out the educational and evangelical mission of the Church.

The Lasallian family Br. Bob refers to is a partnership of the Brothers with the lay educators.  In 1999, Br. Armin Luistro, FSC, then Brother Provincial, convened the First Philippine Lasallian District Synod. That synod was unique because the Brothers stayed at the background and their lay partners were given the upper hand to fashion the direction of the District in the Philippines.  A Lasallian Partners Council of Convenors was formed to “partake in the decision-making and implementation of the propositions proposed by the Philippine Lasallian Convocation Commission.

A new vision

My logical formula then was: John Baptist de la Salle, a priest, founded a lay religious order with vows of poverty, obedience, chastity, teaching the poor gratuitously, and living in association with each other.  Today, the Brothers, who are not priest but with vows, are creating a new ‘order’ of lay men and women who have no religious vows at all.  The age of lay apostolate in the 21at century as announced by the Second Vatican Council is now.

The call for the most ordinary Christian is to truly share in the mission of the Church, which was once relegated to the priests, nuns, and the brothers.  Thus, the fate and future of the Church is now entrusted in the hands of the lay apostles.

The Generals are leading the way.