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Are you a doctor? …. Umm, a what? A lawyer?… Or an engineer?… How about… A priest? Wow! 

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But… 

But… What if you’re not?… Hehe…. I mean no title at all? 😉 

How would you like be regarded to? How should you like other people treat you? How would you like them to call you? 

One day a little man was boarding a jeepney going to a town to attend a wedding. He was just on a usual t-shirt with a bag. It so happened that the mother of the bride was on the jeepney too, with her groceries. This lady was talking to her friend- seatmates about the occasion. Since the man did not know the place, he asked the lady about the location of the church. The lady politely answered the man.  

The jeepney has then reached its destination. But since the lady needed somebody to help her take her groceries, she asked the man to carry some of the “baggage” from the terminal to her house. Well, perhaps there were few meters away. And in the province by that time, tricycle and other transport services were not that typical yet. People in the vicinity had to walk from end to end and if there were heavy belongings, they carried them on their shoulder…. Ehem… I do not know how the man carried the groceries of the lady. It was not specified if the groceries I am referring to are groceries that we have from the supermarket. You know, some 5 plastic bags would do… They can be hand-carried anyway… What if she has with her, a sack of rice, a pile of canned goods, a sack of sugar, and any other else? Knowing that people had to travel from one town to the other to purchase their groceries that would be sufficient for days! And thinking that she too was the host of the wedding!… Hehe… 

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To cut the story short, everyone was all ready for the wedding mass. The bride, the groom, the families of the couple, the priest, visitors, everybody!…. And suddenly, before the mass started, the mother of the bride, nearly fainted!  

I like you to guess why!… Perhaps, you may say, “maybe because her daughter would already be taken away from her after the wedding”… Or maybe “it was hot inside the church?!”

Hmmm… Nope!…. You know what?… The priest was the man whom he asked to carry her goods!… Hehe… 

(I am not sure if this was the experience of Fr. Elmer based in our diocese. Or is it another priest? I am sorry, I cannot remember.) 

How do we label each person? Do we regard him according to his degree? According to his status? According to his achievement? According to his wealth? To his dress?… 😉 

Ok, what if you are that man? 

Many times, we treat people this way. Glenn, a former officemate, laughed to the bone when I shared my own story. And this was not a typical occurrence, but I really did it to catch people’s reaction. He calls this act of mine as “fishing.” Hehe…  

There are times when I am in the mood of fishing, I go to church in an unironed aged faded clothe, jeans, and slippers. I intentionally sit beside some well vested church-goers. I mean some richy rich. Of course they feel yucky of their seatmate… And they feel so uneasy! You know… Hehe 

It was in Guadalupe Shrine, Makati. Preparation of the gifts came – time when we also contribute our blessings. This lady in her dangling goldy earrings, bracelet, and signature bag, with beautifully painted face, stared at me from head to foot! Then back, upwards! Hehe… Why?… She saw me hand a bill 5 times the value of hers! O well, seemed ironic… Can you imagine a yucky man offered such?… Hehe… 

I once did the same in another church. (Please allow me not to disclose what church… hehe) But this was a different incident. After the mass, I approached a priest whom I know for years. Long had we no longer had acquaintance. I anticipated, he would utter, “oh Paul, kumusta?!” (how are you, Paul?!)… But it was not, as expected. He rather asked “why are you here?” And viewed me head to toe also!… Hehe… Why?… I was in a stained clothe, jeans, and slippers! With an uncombed hair!… ;-)…  

A text message from my paternal grandfather priest, Fr. Lolito, reminds us:

There is a nobler ambition in life than merely to stand tall in the crowd, and that is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher.

God sees us as a person. No matter what shirt we wear. No matter what title we earn. Regardless of our color, belonging, and designation. Everyone has equal dignity before His eyes.

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All I want this Christmas


Christo Rei (Christ the King) culminates the Ordinary Time in the Liturgical Calendar Year of the church. The church has just celebrated its feast last Sunday, November 26, 2006. Sunday following it, starts Advent Season. Advent is the season in preparation for Christmas. Advent means “coming.” It is regarded as the beginning of the Christian ecclesiastical year. 

It is again Christmas! Are you also preparing for Christmas? … Preparing for what? … For yourself?  

Or, preparing a list to buy for presents? For God-children, kins, friends…Or, things you like to buy for yourself?  

What do you want in Christmas?  

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Me? Simple… I like new MP3, cellphone, and digicam!…  

But wait, with all the calamities that swept the town, will I procure all these?!….Hehe just kidding.  

All I want is… just… new wears. You know, a clothe, a pair of pants, a pair of socks, and undies…

But wait again!… I would like somebody to give me these as gift. I may no longer have enough budget for myself. My niece and cousin will spend their Christmas with me, and like last year, I will shop for them. Including my mom, other kins, God-children, friends, and other people (less fortunate). Plus, I will also treat these two around. 

So?! Do you think something would be left for me? Nada!… Hehe… 

I remember when I was still a kid (till college), my happiness was just very simple. My mom would just give me a new shirt to be used on the Christmas Eve mass… and sometimes with a new pair of socks and undies…And wallah! That made the whole Christmas Season so joyous! 

Christmas for kids are so meaningful. A little present makes them so glad. Regardless of the price, of the tags… as long as it’s a gift, they are already so proud of it. Especially if the gift is somehow wrapped…much beautifully?! Presentably!  

Yes, it may not be about the wrapper, but it would mean that the recipient is special the fact that the gift is diligently wrapped in a special way!  

Afterall… it’s not really the gift that makes us happy… but the feeling that we are treasured! We are important…How that person loves us. How he or she cares.  

Sometimes, we ignore this sense of happiness. As we grow, we are already focused on the price, on the tags… on the brand… Not on its value as a gift. Not on the thought why the person gives us a gift. We think we are less valuable because the gift is not that costly. Kids never think of it. They care less. 

All I want this Christmas… is… to be a little child again… I would love to have a new clothe, pants, socks, and undies… Like when I was a child, I would sniff their factory-fresh scent. Hmmm… being proud that I have new wears!… Hehe… 

But why not the new gadgets that I mentioned when I can also reserve some bucks for them? Well, personally, I do not feel satisfied of its thought. Especially if I can see street children asking for money in order to buy a meal to suffice the whole day!  

Ahh… my cellphone is still doing best. I can still send text… call my kins… and call a friend…  

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And I only listen to music when I am not in the mood. So buying an MP3 may not be that necessary. It is only seldom that I feel not in the mood. Hehe… 

My digicam still serves me quality pictures! So, I can still feed this site with beautiful captures. Right?! 

Besides, my cell and digicam are all gifts from brod (younger to me). They are not new ones! But they are second hands! Mind you!… ;-)… 

Perhaps, Christmas is celebrated having the “Christ” as the new born, so that we can emulate the sense of joy of a little child. Joy that is innocent. Pure.  

So that we can appreciate God’s love to us in the purest of our hearts… The love that is manifested through the little things that we have… through our families… friends… and every person…  

Hope, the more that we give. Blessings are not for us alone. We are just channels of these blessings to others. It is when we stop relaying these blessings that the source of blessing itself would eventually stop from pouring in.  Simple… there is no more outlet of the flow.  

Ummm… I would wish… a new shirt… a new pair of pants… a new pair of socks… and new undies… Hehe… For sure, I will wear them on Christmas Eve mass! … and have myself pictured with the new wears! (excluding undergarment ha! Heh!) 

Merry Christmas! And God bless all!

Start on your first $1 million at age 16 (same applies to Philippine peso)


Eversince, I have been addicted to reading articles about investments. If the article seems good and applicable in the present situation of our country, I cut it and follow the tips. So far, I am doing each, bit by bit, day by day. I can somehow see some good results. I never lose anything. Everyday is a happy day, because I also see my future with security. Not myself alone, but my family as well.

Below, is an easy-to-follow tip in making one’s purse big. Not immediately, but bit by bit. We always bear in my mind: success is not a destiny, it is a journey. Much, fiancial success. We just change the $ into pesos, right? Same rules apply to those who are aspiring for that success. We make it now.  

(I cannot recall if I got this from Yahoo or MSN.)

Start on your first $1 million at age 16

By Scott Burns 

It’s easier than you think to become a millionaire. The magic combo? Getting an early start saving and having the discipline not to raid the piggy bank.  

Here’s a simple recipe to become a millionaire:

Work four summers, starting at age 16 

Save the income in a Roth IRA account 

Invest it in a simple, low-cost equity portfolio 

Simmer slowly for 47 years 

Serve ungarnished (and untaxed) at age 67 

This is the first recipe in my new Small Change Millionaire Cookbook, an occasional series of columns with a single purpose — demonstrating different ways small amounts of money can be turned into a large amount of money. Just as a mere 10 calories a day of additional food can pack on a pound a year, small change can become large amounts of money.  

The good news is that money grows faster than fat. Calories don’t have the benefit of compound annual growth. 

Many people fail to diet because the end goal seems so far away. So it is with saving and investing:

Most people fail because it is nearly inconceivable that a few dollars a day or a well-timed gift can be turned into that magical sum. Start investing with $100.Explore ournew ETF center.   

Fast-food millionairesA million dollars. It has such a nice sound. 

So let me show you how four summer jobs can become your first million. 

Let’s suppose that you are 16 years old, in high school, and willing to work. Let’s also suppose that you can clear about $2,000 over the course of a summer, if only because a doting grandparent puts money in the Roth while you take your earnings to school. If you invest in a Roth IRA, it will grow, tax-free, for as long as you have the account. All withdrawals from the account after age 59 1/2 will be tax-free. 

If your money is invested in common stocks and you achieve the average compound annual rate on large-capitalization U.S. stocks, 10.7%, your account will grow to $9,378 at the end of the fourth year. You will be 20 years old. Invested in the same way, with no additional savings, the account will grow to:

$25,917 by the time you are 30 

$71,625 by the time you are 40 

$197,943 by the time you are 50 

$547,037 by the time you are 60 

And $1,114,423 by the time you are 67

And you will have started and finished all of your saving before turning age 21. 

Worth the risk

Note that this plan does not require investment brilliance. It does depend on two things, an early start and tenacity. If you invested in small company stocks, whose long-term annual return clocks in at 12.5 percent annually, you could have much more money. (Try $2.4 million.) Similarly, you could diversify to reduce your risk and make your 47-year ride more comfortable. But you would do it at the expense of a somewhat lower return. 

The “Yes, but” crew will be happy to tell you that $1 million isn’t what it used to be. I can remember people telling me this in the ’60s. It is as true now as it was then. Millionaires are, well, just dreadfully common. 

Even so, the number of millionaires is relatively small. And being a millionaire is a better choice than being a pauper. 

The same crew will be happy to tell you that the future won’t repeat the past, that SARS, terrorism or some other misfortune will cripple the future, or that we will be crushed by a rising China. Similarly, an actuary might tell you that you have a substantial chance of being dead by 67. 

Perhaps. 

But so what? 

All you’ve got to risk is four summers.