Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Special Tribute on Mother's Day with Lyrics to 'Lòng Mẹ' or Mother's Love

Almost every Vietnamese knows the melodic "Lòng Mẹ" or Mother's Love.

For Vietnamese worldwide, it's a song of a mother's love "boundless like the overflowing Pacific Ocean," cresting wherever her children are.

Just like Americans celebrating Mother's Day, I hold my mother -- Anh-Nguyet Nguyen -- in high esteem. It's not just because her bravery 35 years ago in 1975 was responsible for us escaping war-torn Vietnam for a better life in America.

And it's not because she sacrificed everything after my father died in 1986 so all three of her children could be college-educated.

And it's not because she taught her children the value of hard work, persistence and treating others with respect and kindness.

It's simply because she is my mother.

So to all the wonderful moms out there, Happy Mother's Day! And to my own Mom: "Con thuong ma" or I love you, Mom.

My favorite rendition of the song is from Dalena Morton, a woman from Florida who isn't Vietnamese and doesn't even speak Vietnamese. I've also included the English lyrics of the famous song by the prolific composer Y Van.

English version of Mother's Love 

Mother's love is boundless like the overflowing Pacific Ocean.
Mother's love is ceaseless like a gentle and sweet stream.
Mother's words is soft as an whispering rice field.
The lullaby (outside veranda), the declining-moon's shades, mother.

Mother's love for me is like the autumn moon.
Mother's love is like a breath of air playing on lake's surface.
Her vague lullaby is soft as a cadenced kite's flute,
rain and shine, all day long, playing with kids' singing.

Loving us, she spent many restless nights,
we had tight sleep, how happy our mum was.
Loving us, many days and many nights,
taking pains and troubles, she nursed us til grown-up age.

Through ups and downs, our thin mother doesn't mind.
All life's hardships make her sad head hoary.
All days and nights, she's glad for us wholeheartly.

Her sweet lullabies echo through years, interminably.


Mother's love overflows villages everywhere.
Mother's love rises high, moon and mountains listen silently.
Her lullabies agitate mountains, streams, bamboo rows.
Pacific waves are quiescent when hearing her lullabies.
With all her heart, mum comforted us through childhood.
A great affection is soft as music and singing.
All day long, she admonishes us with ardent words,
engraved on our hearts through thousand of miles away.

Loving us, mum sang pleasant words.
To lull us to sleep, she didn't mind to have wakeful nights.
Many years, her tears flowed down like streams,
flowing in our hearts, her hair was already gray.

Whoever is on the road to somewhere far away,
despite all hardships through the whirligig of time,
though sunlights go dim but love will never fade,
always expect to be back under mother's shade.

Friday, May 7, 2010

It's 'Follow Friday' on Twitter


Users on Twitter started a weekly tradition that continues to gain strength -- "Follow Friday" where people recommend other Twitterers to their followers.

I visited former Cypress Mayor Tim Keenan or @tjkeenan on Twitter and Linda Keenan of Creative Media Recording for my first Follow Friday AudioBoo. The Keenans are one of my favorite people -- simply hands-down high-quality people.

I joined OCTA as its media relations manager in 2002 and Tim was the chairman of the board of directors. We worked on several high-profile news events and navigated through some sensitive issues that helped cement the organization's positive reputation.

Before sitting down for my official audio interview in a professional sound studio, I turned the tables on Tim and activated my AudioBoo app for my iPhone and interviewed Tim and Linda.


I want to share my heart-felt thanks to Tim and Linda for their constant support and infectious bright outlook on life.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Journalism Day at Cal State Long Beach

A recent graduate of Cal State Long Beach and a current student talk about how social media has altered the journalism and public relations landscape.

May 5 -- Cal State Long Beach's Journalism Department hosted the 2010 Journalism Day: "What Friends Are For: How Social Media Are Revolutionizing News and Public Relations."

I shared my insights on the dynamic changes to both journalism and public relations and how students should optimize opportunities in social media.

Other panelists included representatives from major print, broadcast, online and public relations organizations, local, national and international. For more information about the event, click here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chapman University PR Students Help Orange County Count in U.S. Census

Everyone counts. It's not a cliche for the U.S. Census Bureau because it's worth $400 billion in federal funding for local communities. Two student teams from Chapman University's public relations program were part of the nationwide effort to boost participation in the once-in-a-decade national count.

Under the counsel of their professor Joan Gladstone, a veteran crisis communications and issues management expert from Laguna Beach, both teams at Chapman won the highly coveted national mention honors.

The five-member teams worked on the Census case study that involved the four cornerstones of effective public relations -- research, plan, implementation and evaluation -- in the rigorous two-month Bateman campaign.

I was the professional adviser to the team that helped steer a PR campaign to increase participation in the Census among their peers at Chapman, Santa Ana City College students, Santa Ana residents and transit riders with a focus on the Latino community.

The other group, advised by former OCTA intern and community relations specialist Danielle Alvarez, a Chapman graduate who now works for Boost Mobile, honed in on Chapman students, the Vietnamese-American community and the homeless population.

As we listened to both teams' presentations Tuesday night (May 4), Danielle and I were struck by how polished and professional the students were and how brilliant they were in executing a highly strategic and creative campaign.

We agreed the competition brought out the best in all of us, but more importantly, it made a difference in the students' own lives and in the lives of the people they touched.

Ted Nguyen’s team:

Stephanie Baum

Candice DeForest

Janelle Maluenda

Jessica Pauletto

Courtney Shepard

Danielle Alvarez’ team:

Travis Culver

Maria Delano

Alyssa Mihm

Philia Pak

Amanda Vo

Click here for an iPhone interview with adviser Danielle Alvarez and PR student Janelle Maluenda.

Hear this iPhone Audioboo of one of the team's award-winning U.S. Census program.

Read more about the award from the Public Relations Society of America.