Friday, February 11, 2005

Q&A: Why did you join government?

People come up to me with interesting questions all the time. Each Friday, I'll pick a question to answer. This week's question comes from Joey Alarilla of

"Why did you decide to join the government after 20 years in the private sector?"

First of all, it was a chance to work for a fantastic boss. (Hi sir, I hope you're reading this ;-)

Second, I felt it was time to focus my talents on helping the country. I felt tired of working for my own goals. I was looking for a challenge - a chance to contribute to the country. I prayed together with my wife and family, and we made a joint decision that the timing was right. There was an opening on the CICT, and my talents and work experience seemed an excellent fit for the position.

Third, I asked my colleagues in the private sector whether they would support me if I ever accepted the job. Industry support came from the ITFP (IT Foundation of the Philippines), ITAP (IT Association of the Philippines), PCS (Philippine Computer Soceity), and BPAP (Business Processing Association of the Phillippines).

Finally, public service is a family tradition. My sister Mardi Mapa-Suplido is one of our country's chief peace negotiators. My brother Cidni Mapa is a councilor in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental.

My maternal grandfather, Dr. Cesar Ongpin, was assigned to the Department of Health's army hospital in Bataan at the time of its surrender. Thank God, he survived the 1942 Death March. He traded his silver coin collection with a Japanese guard for a chance to escape. Others were not so lucky.

My father, Domingo Mapa, worked briefly for the Philippine International Trading Corporation. My mother, Lirio Ongpin-Mapa, worked for some time with DTI's Bureau of Domestic Trade.

My other relatives who served in our government: Victorino Mapa (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1920-1921), Placido Mapa Sr. (Agriculture and Natural Resources Secretary, 1949-1953), Placido Mapa Jr. (Economic Planning Minister, 1981-1983), Roberto Ongpin (Trade and Industry Minister, 1979-1986), and Jaime Ongpin (Finance Secretary, 1986-1987).

So you could say it's in the blood.

Keep those questions coming! Or I'll have nothing to post on Fridays ...


At Fri Feb 11, 09:32:00 PM, Blogger Sambalenyo said...

You're right, now its time for all good Filipinos to come to the aid of their country.

At Mon Feb 14, 01:24:00 PM, Blogger Maan said...

small world dondi! I knew your grandpa! He is a close friend of my dad and we used to visit him when I was a kid.

Why do u limit posting on fridays only? :)

At Mon Feb 21, 07:59:00 AM, Blogger Dennis Valdes said...

On the Ongpin side, you now need to add Eric Ongpin Recto, who has been with Dept of Finance for over 2 years. You both are the new generation of Ongpins in government.

At Mon Mar 07, 05:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dondi!

I followed the link to your blog from the Mapalad mailing list.

How does one get to work in government? Like you, I would like to contribute to our nation. My heart goes out for the Philippines, believe it or not.

I may not be the most competent person for government service but I am willing to help. We both have something in common-- we both are willing to serve in government while the rest shun the thought.

Where does one start? I also join volunteer organizations :)

Would love to hear from an older fellow like you.

Dave (


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