Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hijaking of Christmas

Yes it's true, Christmas is hijacked by the mall and thrown in the sea of consumerism.
Christmas is not anymore praying together but eating and drinking together until we dropped dead.
Christmas is not anymore simbang gabi but disco sa kalye.
Christmas is not anymore christmas wreath but alcoholic drinks.
Christmas is not anymore 12 days of celebrating Christ but 12 days of celebrating Mammon.
Christmas is not Silent Night but Karaoke Night.
Christmas is not anymore caroling but shopping.
Christmas is not anymore Bethlehem manger but debt counting.
Christmas is not anymore celebration of faith but celebration of family fights.
Christmas is not anymore rejoicing but dwelling on pain and loneliness.
We hijacked the true meaning of Christmas and people asking themselves why they are not joyful this Christmas season.
How will you be joyful:
1. celebrate reconciliation this Christmas.
2. Celebrate reconnection this Christmas.
3. Celebrate the spirit of generosity.
Celebrate simply and if possible with little expenses.
Have a blessed Christmas.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Consumer Country

Mario (not his real name) is an MBA classmate and officemate of mine when we were working then in Ayala. We have a lot of qualities in common that’s why we were at ease with each other for at most 10 years. One thing that differ him from me is that he is a spendthrift. Every payday I save money to invest in my house and college education of my children. Mario is different, he spend as if there is no tomorrow. Branded clothes, shoes, neckties, handkerchiefs and regular dining in fine restaurants are his usual “investments”. He is known in the office for being maporma. Me? I am just a regular guy.
When we reached 30 years old, Mario and I decided to have a small drink at the Greenbelt. After we downed 2 bottles, Mario got under the influence. He began to tell stories to me that he is heavily indebted. More than hundred thousand because of the plastic (credit card!!!). He can not pay anymore the loan because he has other loans with lots of people. He is about to be kick out from his apartment if he will not pay the rent which is due for 3 months. His girlfriend leaved him when she learned that he is bankrupt. Mario is totally devastated. Victim of zero savings habit and 100% consumptions propelled by his eveready credit card.
My life was reversed of him. I am not rich but I have a house and lot , college plan for my two children are paid in full and I have investment in mutual funds all before I reached 30. Not bad for a regular guy.
Mario and I parted ways when we both leaved PILTEL in 2001. I never heard any news about him. But I see a lot of Mario’s in our country. Children of OFWs, government or private workers and sabungeros. Only few people I know who has the propensity to save and invest.
Our country is a consumer country. With the exception of the Tsinoys and some enlightened brownmen the norm in our blood is to spend and consume. Postponing pleasure today in order to have a pleasant future is somewhat a blasphemy in our culture. To exorcise this spendthrift demon, some like Mario need to suffer first before expelling it while others kill it even before it step on their door mat.
The roads are difficult for the latter but sure as the sun shines it brings reward.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Mang Kulas

I met a family man called in my neighborhood as Mang Kulas. He is a father of three children and his wife is not working because of lack of education. Mang Kulas is a carpenter and a skilled one. He earns P300 per day and his earnings are erratic. Sometimes he earns P6000 a month especially during summer and there are times he earns nothing. Everytime we meet in the neighborhood he always flashes his toothless smile and at first glance strangers may say he has no problem at all.
One day I saw him in the mall and as I watched him he keep on glancing on the people eating at Chowking. I notice his daughter, about the age of 5, pleading that they eat also at Chowking. He never answers his daughter. As he walked away I called him and say kumusta and he answer ok lang sir pauwi na. As he talked to me I noticed that his body is shaking. His daughter innocently told me that they have not yet any meal since yesterday. I bought them food from Jollibee and accompany them in their home.
As I glance around the house of Mang Kulas, there is no appliance at all. A long chair made of bamboo, the flooring is not concrete but loam soil, a roof made of old g.i. sheet which are full of holes and a small table maybe use for eating, studying or even sitting.
When I leaved the house of Mang Kulas, I kept on asking myself how he managed to survived the onslaught of high prices of all commodioties and utilities. As a mathematician in me I compute it in my head:
Monthly Earning of Mang Kulas...............P6,000
Food Fish P140 kilo/day x 30 days........... 4,200
Jeepney fare P7.50 x 2 x 4 persons x 30..... 1,800
Electricity.................................. 150
Balance (negative).......................... -280
Imagine if Mang Kulas has no carpentry job. Where will he get the money to feed his family?.
This is new cancer that attacks our poor countrymen. The cancer that brings hopelessness, that brings crime and even death.
Everytime I see artistas showing off their new cars, new houses and even new nose I really get angry.When politicians distribute or receive corrupt money my blood hits in the boiling point. They are insensitive to the plight of the poor. The Pinoy Big brother is a big joke because his house is made of illusion. The real life and the real house we can find it in Mang Kulas. But the TV network will not even try to house celebrities in Mang Kulas house because they know they will not earn any money from it. The jokes are on us and damn it we laugh on it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Yusuf Islam

Last night I watched a concert of Yusuf Islam. The DVD is aptly titled Yusuf's cafe Sessions and was captured live in the Porchester Hall in London. Songs such as Father and Son and Peace Train touched my soul that every lyrics haunted my inner being.
Yusuf Islam is Cat Stevens. Those who are familiar with Cat Stevens, he is a famous singer during the tumultous late '6os and the fiery early '70s. His hit songs such as Moonshadows, Peace Train and Father and Son were the national anthem of the youth of '70s. He abandoned his career in 1978 and converted to islam.
In our present times wherein Islam is portrayed as nest of terrosrist, Yusuf is the answer on the correct meaning of Islam. Moderate, peace loving and family oriented.
Hear his songs or better buy his DVD "Yusuf Cafe Session" and experience the true meaning that songs should be intended to love one another and praise God.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Amazing Grace

I am a person who is not afraid of taking risk even at the expense of being hurt badly. This recklessness of mine caused me and my loved ones a lot of heartaches. From the failures that I experienced those who gave the most deepest pain were the one who made me stronger. The tears gave me the decisiveness to say goodbye to the past, thank the present and hope for the future.
During my college days it is very common that I go to the university with money enough only to pay the jeepney fare. Merienda was as rare as ligthning. The person who saved from the agony was my girlfriend who lovingly pay for my jeepney fare, provide lunch and dinner when I have none. The challenge for me then was to graduate and lift myself and my family out of poverty. It was an amazing grace that I graduated and found a job right after graduation.
I have been working for the past 20 years and it is clear to me that in order for us to have a food in the table and a regular job we need to be a blessing to everyone we meet. I have been lucky to meet persons who gave me graces that up to now I still thank them in my prayers. Yes..... it is an amazing grace.
Everytime that I hear the song of John Newton, it touches me because it said a lot about me. The lyrics are :

Amazing Grace Lyrics

John Newton (1725-1807)

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Marianette Amper

Sa bayan ng Maa, Davao may isang batang gumawa ng isang bagay na nagpaiyak sa akin. Si Marianette, anak ng isang karpintero, ay nagpakamatay dahil sa lubhang kahirapan.
Sa kanyang mga sulat hiningi nya sa Diyos na tulungan siya at kanyang pamilya na maiahon sila sa kahirapan. Sinabi din niya na hindi siya makapasok dahil wala silang laging pera para pambili ng pagkain at pamasahe.

Simple lang ang hiling niya, sapatos, damit, bag at bisikleta para makapasok sa eskwelahan.

Sa pangyayaring ito, si Marianette ay nagbigay sa atin ng isang matinding pahayag: ang matinding gutom at kahirapan ay nasa ating bansa. Anumang pagtatakip na gawin ng pamahalaan sa pagsasabing bumababa na ang bilang ng mga mahihirap ay kabaligtaran ang nagyayari sa tunay na buhay.

Kapag ang gobyerno ay walang kahihiyan sa pagsangayon sa pamimigay ng pera sa mga congressman habang maraming pamilyang Pilipino ang walang makain. Panahon na para dumalangin tayo na bigyan tayo ng sapat na lakas ng loob upang harapin ang dilim ng pangaapi.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Survival Thinking

Today more than 50 million Filipinos considered themselves as poor. We can see countless countrymen of ours living under bridge, in the stinking estero, in the cariton and even in cold pavements. Truly the government for the past 20 years failed to deliver their promise to uplift the economy and provide decent life to Filipinos.
Since we can not rely entirely to the inept government of ours, it is time to chart our own course. How can we then change? Let us start by aiming for survival thinking. Yes, before our poor thinks of buying anything they need to be enlightened on how to survive.
First is food. The member of the family should ensure that there will be food in the table. Food that will nourish them and make them work productively. How can this be possible when many poor people are without job?. That is the challenge. We have to act as a nation to provide cheap food for everybody. There are many ways to do it. For example, let us plant vegetables in the garden so that we can give or sell in a lower price for the poor. There are many creative ways we can do. Our failure to provide food for our family means our children can not go to school, can be sickly and unproductive and the country will produce mendicants rather than producers.
Second is water . We should ensure that the water we drink is safe and the source protected. Imagine if Lucena will not have water for one week and we will experience chaos. For a nation and a family to survive, water should be readily available. We should do everything to protect the source of water in Lucban, practice wise use of water and support the effort of the water district to improve their facilities.
Third is energy . A nation and a family will remain poor if there is no available energy to fuel the businesses and the homes. A nation that can not even provide electricity to a city harnessed unemployment. A nation that utilizes energy is a powerful nation. Just look at Russia. Our country is blessed with enough energy and we should try everything to protect it.
Fourth is stability in population . We should accept the fact that high population means more consumption of food,water and energy. In a typical family those who belong to a big family need more money in order to survive. The same thing in a country, those who are more populous are poorer than those who are not. We need to have a stable population.
How many politicians you meet discussing survival thinking? In Lucena have you experienced somebody advocating the need of the family and the country to survive? If none we have to act now. We only have one country and all of us will sink if we will not swim.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Letter to the People of Burma(Myanmar)

Dear Brothers:
Your country is experiencing a decade long repression that as a people you are not only given scarce but misleading information. You can not communicate outside of your country whether mobile or internet because the junta cut it off. Do not be intimidated my dear brothers. What is happening to your beautiful country , we experienced 20 years ago when the Philippines was under a dictatorship.
Hold on to your belief. We know that the junta raided your sacred monasteries, beat up monks and shooting unarmed students. These acts are desperate attempt to salvage their decaying regime. Remember my dear brothers that everytime they hurt you, their morale were attacked in return.
We are praying for your country. May you find consolation in our EDSA revolution 20 years ago when we marched unafraid. We were students who at that time were not thinking to oust a regime but to express our outrage to the assasination of Ninoy Aquino. But our outrage was rewarded by ending a 20 year dictatorship.
The Burmese people will also be rewarded and the Junta knows it. That is the reason my brothers why they are using violence. They inflict fear but deep inside their heart they are the one afraid.
I pray for you courageous Burma and may the faith continue to guide you. One day when the darkness is defeated (because it will surely come), I am the first Filipino to salute you.Even though we are ocean apart my heart is with you. Because once I stood up with more than a million Filipinos in 1986 against a regime quite similar as yours.
At the end you will be triumphant just like us. Just hold on!.

Arnel L. Cadeliña

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hot Dog Hazard

It was mentioned to me by a friend a long time ago that eating hotdogs are hazardous to one's health. I did not believe her until Dr. David C. Paik of Columbia University issued these findings Eating cured meats such as hot dogs, smoked fish, bacon or salami may double your risk of lung disease. People who ate cured meats more than 14 times a month were almost twice as likely to have pulomonary disorders, chronic bronchitis and emphysema than those who don't. The hot dogs got nitrite (SEE THEIR LABELS!!!!) which causes our lungs to age.
Eaters beware!

The Zagorsky Truth

A professor of mine was so brutal that he once said in our Finance class that intelligence and wealth are not linked. He convinced each one of us who claimed that we excel academically that we should rethink our position. He ended up saying that high intelligence is not a complete advantage. Just look at the car of bright professors, he said, they are old low value vehicles. The lesson is simple as the Zagorsky truth "Your IQ has really no relationship to your wealth. And being very smart does not protect you from getting into financial difficulty,”
Zagorsky is the famous Jay Zagorsky, Ph.D. of Ohio State University who is one of the top researcher in America.
He confirmed that when it came to total wealth and the likelihood of financial difficulties, people of below average and average intelligence did just fine when compared with the super-intelligent.How come because, Zagorsky found out that high-IQ people are not saving as much as others.
So for those below average and average students don't be despair you too have a chance to be wealthy just like the high-IQ people provided you know when to save and when to splurge.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thank you Mother Teresa

A new book " Mother teresa: Come be my Light" was launched last month. It consist primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors for a period of 66 years. It was dark indeed because the book reveals her doubt about God's existence. That she did not find Jesus in her heart or in the eucharist.
Why I am thanking the saint?. It's because all people experienced some doubt about his or her faith, about Jesus and about God. Especially when we are bombarded with problems that we felt the absence of God. It is only natural for us to experience this "dark night" and we need the help of other people to regain our spiritual equilibrium. Mother Teresa had one by the help of Rev. Joseph Neuner who counseled her resulting to tremendous sense of release.
This is what we need when we are confronted with a spiritual vacuum somebody who can tell us that there is no human remedy for doubt; that to have a proof that Jesus is present by having a craving to His graces and that experiencing doubt happens to everybody.
Now we know that as fellow travellers of this world it is not shameful to doubt our faith but rather see it as a tool to help the needy even we believe less.


Parable of the Pigeon

In the pigeon kingdom the King called for a meeting. There is trouble in the wersel forest and we need somebody to take care of it, said the King. So the pigeons started debating to one another and before sunset arrives they voted for the gray pigeon to head the wersel forest. Obedient as he is, the gray pigeon began transforming the troubled wersel forest. He wake up early and sleep late. For 24 months he never tires flying with the pigeons of wersel forests. He even teached them some tricks of flying. The gray pigeon made the wersel forest pigeons believe in themselves. The gray pigeon love it because he feels that they look at him as a pigeon who can fly wherever he like.
Then one day the gray pigeon was called by the King and entrusted a new job. He tried to reason out to the king that he still need to attend the wersel forest. He said that there is trouble in yako forest and he need my expertise. How can you say no to an insisting King?. So the gray pigeon work in the yako forest without explaining to the pigeons of worsel. While the gray pigeon is flying in the dark forest he met a sickly old hawk. She's begging for food but the gray pigeon said that the food is owned by the wersel pigeons and he need to give it to them. The plea of the sickly hawk melted the heart of the gray pigeon and gave her the food without realizing the consequences of it.
So the gray pigeon returned to wersel forests and brought no food. The wersel pigeons began to feel betrayed that after a long time of absence he brought them nothing. Many of them refused to fly with the gray pigeon. Some of them even gave an angry look.
After several days, the gray pigeon made stories that the food fell to the ground while flying. Who would believe anyway that the food for pigeons were given to a hawk? They would not even understand why a hawk and not a pigeon.
So for several sunset and sunrise the gray pigeon was disturbed. Sleep refuses to visit him. For him there was no reason staying at the worsel forest because no one accompany him to fly.
So one night the gray pigeon bravely apologized and told the truth to the wersel pigeons. There was complete silence, question and hesitation.Who can blame them? The gray pigeon flew in the dark forest without informing them. As tears fell from the cheek of the gray pigeon he realized their disappointment, his failure and ask for their forgiveness.
Is the gray pigeon forgiven? Will the gray pigeon be the same again? Will he sit on the same branch or look for a different nest? As the gray pigeon look in the sunset he can not find the answer. Maybe tomorrow it will come.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Paretto Principle

One of the best learning I got from the Ateneo was learning the Paretto Principle. Our Operation Management professor shared the Paretto Principle or the 80-20 rule very simple but with a lot of passion that after the class we were became believers.
What is this Paretto Principle?
The Pareto principle is also known as the 80-20 rule. Is the law of the vital few and the principle of factor sparsity which states that, for many events, 80% of the effects comes from 20% of the causes. Simple?.
Business management thinker Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Paretto, who observed that 80% of income in Italy went to 20% of the population.
It is a common rule of thumb in business that "80% of your sales comes from 20% of your clients.
How do experience this principle in our lives:
1. we wear our 20% most favoured clothes about 80% of the time.
2. we spend 80% of the time with 20% of our acquaintances.
3. 80% of a country's wealth was owned by 20% of the population.
4. Relationship: 20% of the people you know (friends, colleagues, family) provide
you with 80 percent of nurturing support and satisfaction.
5. Business: Twenty percent of customers will account for 80 percent of profit.
6. Productivity: Twenty percent of your activities will account for 80 percent
of your success.

How can we put the 80-20 principle to good use?
The Pareto principle is great to increase focus. Don't try to do more. Just do more of the right things. For example, out of our many maladaptive behaviors, twenty percent of it will contribute to 80 percent of all our hardship and misery. So working on just these 20 percent can greatly contribute to our personal growth. Time management is another area where the rule can be very effective. If you have a lot of work to do, break it down to specific activities and figure out what twenty percent of the tasks listed contributes to eighty percent of the results you seek. Second, give your maximum concentration to those 20 percent tasks.
Thanks to Joseph M. Juran, you created followers beyond your dreams!.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Best with Friends

There's no doubt about it, the ingredients for happiness includes good relationships. If I am with my TRUE (italics mine) friend I am happy, alert, cheerful and motivated.
When I interact with them my attention is to them and not to me. I fought depression by talking to them and their conversation stimulates me.
It is very hard to look for a good friend nowadays. From my experience you can say you have real friends if:
1. We have mutual benefits.. I endorse you to the next job and you invite me to a birthday party.
2. Relationship without exploitation . I am truthful to you and you are truthful to me. We never take advantage of each other.
3. Are not static . Meaning you are a friend all the way and not only when you have an influence, money or even power. If you are invited by a friend to attend an event even though you are far away the relationship is not static.
4. Provide emotional and intellectual stimulation . Meaning I can cry, laugh and frown without feeling embarrassed. We can talk a lot of things and love our differences. Silence to us is a mortal sin.

I remember a Chinese proverb that says:

If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a month, get married.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Latin Mass

The Catholics around the world were not surprised when the Pope took the steps last July 7 to revive the ancient tradition of the Latin Tridentine Mass in Catholic churches worldwide. For one he is a conservative priest from the beginning who savor the sweet tradition of the faith.

Pope Benedict XVI signed a universal indult — or permission — for priests to celebrate again the Mass used throughout the Church for nearly 1,500 years.

The Vatican said the New Mass remained the "normal" form of Mass while the Tridentine version was an "extraordinary" one that would probably only be sought by a few Catholics.

When the pope said few he means group of Catholics who only like to hear mass in Latin.

My generation has zero experience of hearing a latin mass and it may bring excitement for others to attend one.

If this move can bring back strayed Catholics backed to the fold, so be it.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Time to Save

The time to save in order to buy stock mutual fund or stocks in the future is our answer to the last Friday, July 29, 2007 stock market sharp fall after a massive selloff in Wall Street.
For those who eat business news you are very much aware that the PSEi plummeted 140.92 points its steepest single day fall since August 28, 1997. The PSEi closed the week sharply lower and dropped 5.87% to 3,518.76 points from 3,738.28 points last week, as investors reacted with alarm to a massive overnight sell-off on Wall Street driven by US housing and credit market concerns. On July 27, the PSEi shed 140.92 points following the second largest single-day decline of the Dow Jones this year at 311.50 points.
There is also the Fitch ratings who expressed doubts on the ability of the government to limit its fiscal deficit within P63 billion this year. It pointed out that with economic growth expected at 6.5% in the first half of the year, the 3.4% increase in tax receipts was rather poor. Add to the announcement of GMA that she issued a memorandum to all government owned firms to remit more tha the minimum 50% of their income to help cover the big tax collection shortfall.
We need this noise to filter down, wait for the market to reach the bottom, hold on to our cash and then when the right time comes buy stocks mutual fund and other equities. The Chinese are right, in every problem there are opportunities!.

Monday, July 23, 2007

State of the Family

Our President delivered her State of the Nation address yesterday. The ordinary folks didn't even bother to listened. Her messages were applauded not by the common people but of the elite who circled around her for the photo-ops yesterday. They always ask why Gloria has a negative ratings. Let me provide the answer by sharing to you the State of the Family.

1. The typical Filipino family is paying the most expensive electricity in Asia. A family who consumed an average 82 Kwh is now paying around P680 per month. For the elite it's a small amount but for those who earn a basic daily wage of P300 it's an agony.Who needs a super-region when a family is paying a super expensive electricity?

2. The Filipino family is forced to send one of its members to go abroad due to lack of opportunity. The unemployment and underemployment in the country continue rising with college graduates comprising the biggest chunk. Divorced and broken homes are the result of this malady.

3. The Filipino Family continue to have lesser spiritual guidance from their churches. Whatever denominations you belong the spiritual leaders of this country are not Christ-like in terms of serving. There is no Mother Teresa or Martin Luther King among them.

4. The Filipino family are under attack by the government whose weapons are taxes to plugged their deficit. Whenever a family eats outside, buy groceries, medicines, house materials & others the 12% VAT will be slapped to them. Now the VAT income will be allocated to the war in Mindanao.

5. The Filipino family continuosly experiencing the low quality of education on all levels throughout the country. This is the areas the government should focus into. Everything can crumbles in the country, the senate and the congress can be abolished but providing affordable quality education to all will give a fair chance to the masses to uplift themselves.

6. The Filipino family are brainwashed by the media that they are learning distorted values. The soap operas, the news and the gossips shows are one way or another contributed to the decline in the belief of true values. With the TV network focused on the profit, the values are thrown in the window.

7. The Filipino Family are earning less while prices continue rising. Their solution is to provide instant noodles in order for their budget to be stretched.

This is the state of the family. For them the state of the nation is nothing because daily they are under attack. Stop wondering why the rating is negative.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Most Lucrative College Degrees

As a parent I am always on guard on what are the job trends for the future. I have a daughter who will be in college three years from now and I am guiding her on what course she should take. She may have in mind a different course and it may differ on what I proposed. The important thing though is that I fulfilled my role as a father, that is informing her on what will be in demand in the future. For my friends reading my blog this may guide you also. But take note that this survey was done in the US of A where statistics is a passion. If you believe that the trend in the US is also the trend in the world , read on:

Summer 2007 Survey

1. Chemical Engineering
2. Computer Engineering
3. Electrical Engineering
4. Mechanical Engineering
5. Computer Science
6. Civil Engineering
7. Economics
8. Management of Information Systems
9. Finance
10. Accounting
11. Business Admin/Mgmt
12. Marketing
13. Political Science/Government
14. History
15. English
16. Sociology
17. Psychology

Source:National Association of Colleges and Employers
If you notice the top ten most lucrative degrees have roots in mathematics. We need to guide our children to master their numbers and as the survey pays to be a nerd.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Quezon Del Sur?

This month congress will open and will endorse for signing of the President anytime this month a bill aiming to divide Quezon into 2. The bill proposed by then Senator Wigberto Tañada and then congressman Rafael Nantes aim to divide the 862,676 hectares prvince of Quezon into a Quezon del Norte and Quezon Del Sur. If the president signs the bill it will be put into a plebiscite coinciding with the presidential election in 2010.
According to the bill Quezon del Norte will be composed of Lucena, Burdeos, Nakar, Infanta, Jomalig, Lukban, Mauban, Pagbilao, Patnanungan, Polillo, Real, Tayabas, Candelaria, Polillo, San Antonio, Sariaya and Tiaong. The Quezon del Sur will consists of Agdangan, Bunevista, Catanuan, Gen Luna, Macalelon, Mulanay, padre Burgos, Patnanongan, San Antonio, San Francisco, San narciso, Unisan, Alabat, Atimonan, Guinyanagan, Gumaca, Lopez, Plaridel Quezon, Tagkawayan.
For Quezon Del Sur the capital will be Gumaca and for the Quezon del Norte will be Lucena.
The primary aim of the bill is to propel economic growth. The question though can this realistically possible?.
Let us analyze:
1. Dividing the province into 2 will create a new batch of politicians that will rule Quezon Del Sur from the Governor down to the Board members. This means that the taxpayers will shoulder their salaries, their honorariums and other expenses.
2. Judging from the history of dividing provinces like Surigao del Norte, Surigao del sur; Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur; Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental;These provinces are among the poorest in the country. Therefore there is no assurance that dividing the province will ensure growth.
3. There is no consultation on every sectors in the Province if this is really a need.
This is a country where politicians passion is to to rename streets, dividing provinces and approving their own pork barrels. When will this curse end?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Rains of July

July is a contradiction. The rains are fierce and the sun sometimes fought it by shining fiercer. The Roman Senate named it 'Julius', in honor of Caesar who was assassinated in a plot hatched by a group of 60 senators, including Gaius Cassius and Marcus Junius Brutus. As Caesar entered the Senate, he was stabbed 23 times. After Ceasar was assassinated, Rome experienced another 13 years of civil war.

Why is July so synonymous with conflict and revolution?. Is it because July is usually the hottest month of the year in the Northern Hemisphere while its winter months in the Southern Hemisphere? Or is it because the climate is mild in most of the Southern Hemisphere, while its cold and rainy in South America?

There are lot of wars that happened in July. Battle of the Somme that resulted in the start of World War I on July 1, 1916. The Japanese and Chinese troops clashed, beginning the struggle that became World War II, July 7, 1937. Second Battle of the Marne in World War I began, July 15, 1918.Scientists set off the first atomic bomb, Alamogordo, N. Mex., July 16, 1945.

What will you bring us July this time for our beloved Philippines? The newly elected politicians will again occupy their offices and start spitting one another. They will again feast on their pork barrel and commissions while millions of Filipinos are starving. Will you July visit the halls of congress and Malacañang and remind them that your rain are poisonous and deathly. Will you please July sing a song for them:

Just after the death of the Filipinos,
And before they are buried in their poverty,
There comes a July season
When politicians,pork barrels and commissions all aglow.
They may feast right now
But judgment day will be ours.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Need to Grow

Everybody needs to grow. The universe keeps on expanding, the trees keeps on growing, the ozone layer continues to thinned out and our nails keep on growing even though we cut it every week. It is nature for a person to examine himself and ask if everything grows or stagnates. Indeed a life examined is a life worth living. But what avenue of life we need to examined?
1. Our Relationship . Everything in this planet will change even the persons around us. The challenge then is to grow our relationship with one another by strengthening and solidifying it daily. Positive relationship coming from mutual trust and respect are basic to achieve this. ASK: Am I contributing in making our relationship to grow positively?.
2. Our Dreams . Mark Twain is right. Let us sail our boats away from the ports and discover. Every tree around us have a dream of growing big even though they can not speak we can see it. Humans should be more of a dreamer than the tree because we are equipped with brain. Let us dream and dream big!
3. Our influence . This is two-sides of a coin. There are alcoholics who can influence their children to drink alcohol early. We focus on the other side. We influence for good. Kindness to friends and strangers, love of the poor and helpless, we have 24 hours to influence one another. Only our effort is needed. My father used to say that he wants to die that even the undertaker will say sorry. I did NOT understand it first. Now that I am old enough and having my own children I analyzed that dying is easy but people remembering you for a legacy is very hard to forget. I will also meet my undertaker in the future and am also wish him to say .....sorry to my children.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fathers Day

To be a father is difficult. You will have a responsibility to feed, clothed, give shelter, provide education and guide your children. The minor things such as telling bed time stories, eat out at the mall I tell you may reached hundred times but you do it in order to make your presence felt.
Those father who take it easy I admire but I am also guessing if their children remember them as a good one. My late father was a government employee doing blue collar works such as welding. From him I learn the value of persistence and sticking to what I believe in. When he died, I was only fresh out of college and as the eldest I took over his position including sending my brothers to school.
Today I have a two children of my own whom I try to mould as a good, patriotic and independent minded Filipinos. They say that good fruits came from good roots. I hope I am on the right path.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


There is an economic boom among Catholics in the US of A. According to Lisa Keister, a sociologist of Duke, Catholics have watched their personal wealth shoot upwards and they have erased the gap that used to separate them from mainline Protestant.

How can Filipino Catholics imitate their American brothers and sisters in faith?

1. We should begin to converge our Catholic values with Protestant values such as work ethic, ingenuity, diligence, entrepreneurship and respect for markets.
2. We should strengthen our marriage, make our family highly stable and never waiver on the opposition to abortion and divorce.
3. We should be more future oriented and less bound by neighborhood and extended family.
4. We should strive for better and quality education by enrolling our children to schools known to provide excellent education.

Add the research of Margarita Mooney, a Princeton Sociologist, who demonstrated that Catholics who attend religious service regularly are more successful than those who don’t.

Everytime you attend the Holy Mass remember that you belong to a faith that provide opportunity to be prosperous.

Aren’t you glad you are a Catholic?.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


It's deja vu. Way back in 1985 a friend by the name of Abet Enriquez was abducted by armed men right after his speech denouncing the conjugal dictatorship. If my memory served me right it was August 21, 1985, the anniversary of Ninoy Aquino assasination. Abet and I were invited but only Abet was the speaker since he was more militant and eloquent. When we parted ways, he rode in a tricycle going home but according to several witnesses, armed men stopped the tricycle around 6:00PM and Abet was forcibly taken. Since then he was never found. After 22 years Abet remains desparecido.
Weeks ago armed men abducted Jonas Burgos and a UCCP pastor. The two remains missing as of this writing. We are a country where perceived enemy of the state are targetted as potential desparecido. We have a legal system wherein the right thing to do is to bring the accused to court and let the justice system rolls. Sadly this legal system was bypassed to kill, maimed, torture or make people disappear.
Peru, Columbia and other countries who practiced illegal methods created a divided country. Gen. Pinochet was hailed a savior for persecuting his enemies but at the same time hailed as a butcher. His country remains poor compared to other Latin American country. Are we heading in the same direction?.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's Election Time

If you lived in the Philippines for a long time you will find the election period a source of amusement. Every part of a city, barrio or barangay whether its a gate or a trashcan you can find posters bearing faces of politicians. It's only in the Philippines where complete disregard of COMELEC designated area is a norm. How this damn politicians get away with it? I voted several time since Marcos and never a single candidate was disqualified for violating rule on putting posters in non-designated COMELEC area. Mr. Abalos is a complete personification of a lameduck.

The excessive expenses of candidates in their TV, radio and print ads only shows that ours is a farce democracy where "showbistockracy" rule. A candidate knows that Filipinos vote based on popularity and name recall. That is why senatoriables are spending millions in advertisement. Where can they get their money back? Of course from the P200M/year pork barrel allocated to them. This pork barrel came from our taxes and the senators don't give a damn to the poor once they are elected.
Among the candidates who seen in the TV almost every night with their irritating jingles and slogans there are none who present their programs for the poor. Only the "Kapatiran" party presented a sensible program but sadly they can not win the election.
I was convince by my wife to vote on Monday but I believed we are in the crossroad. The middle class are already pushed in the wall. If they can not find a decent job in the country and foreign jobs become scarce, a revolution of the middle class will begin. The middle class who did not believe in the leftist ideology and oppressed by the current elite democracy have no other recourse but to make the Philippines a better one in a method never seen before.I maybe wrong on this but I am sure it will happen in my lifetime.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Graduation Ceremony

I was asked by my sister-in-law to attend the grade 6 graduation ceremony in a public school in Lucban, Quezon. Since the child is my godchild and his father in Australia, I agreed to accompany the boy. The graduation ceremony is supposed to start 1:00 PM and as an eternal early bird me, we where there before 1 PM.
We sit beside the covered court and my godchild was ordered by her teacher to get 2 plastic at the back. Upon checking, it's a sandwich and a juice for merienda. The graduating students were not required to walk formally toward their seats. To my horror, the principal announced that the graduation program is not yet available and it will be a magic if it will arrive by 4:00PM. The program was started by an opening prayer where nobody cares and followed by the awarding of honors. Then the mayor, vice mayor and their entire party arrived of which the program was stopped by the principal to announce the arrival of the local politicians. Then the vice-mayor suddenly delivered his remarks in the masquerade of advising the students but in reality a campaign speech. The program was continued but after 20 minutes, the candidate for congressman and board members showed up totally disrupting the graduation ceremony. To make the entrance of the congressman impressive, he brought with him a fiberglass basketball frame complete with his name. I shook my head when I saw this blatant disregard of the sanctity of a graduation ceremony. The board member and the congressman ate 1 hour speaking in front of the hapless audience. I almost choked when the principal announced that the Mayor will also speak afterwards.
This is the mirror of how this politicians treat all of us. They have no respect of our time and of our feelings. The teachers,pity them, they are willing pawns of these leeches.
The graduation ceremony stretches to 8 hours. The longest grade 6 graduation ceremony I attended. My frat brother Tim said that I should trust the system. But Tim, the system of election needs to be overhauled or change first. If election caters only the moneyed and the dynasty it is a complete failure. We need to cleanse the system, but how that's the problem this country faced since its inception.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Brother, France etc.

My youngest brother Ricky decided to settle with finality to France. His Cathay flight will bring him to the massive Charles De Gaulle airport on April 4. My mother, the usual crybaby, keep on worrying that her bunso will be forever away. I can not blame her, she might not see him anymore since she's already 68.
Temporarily I will be the surrogate father of my brother's 2 children. This is the sad reality of the Filipino diaspora. The rate of family break-up caused by immigration and/or overseas employment keeps on rising. How can I convince my brother to stay?. He got a dream that the Philippines can not provide.
The campaign advertisement of a senator claiming "pangarap kong tuparin ang mga pangarap mo" smacks of deception and unethical cum misleading statement. Only a fool will fall on this nonsense.
My brother's dream is to provide a good future for his family and no amount of political gimmicry can assure him that the solution is at hand.
The pain of separation in exchange of the mighty euro is not easy for my brother to decide on. To soften the impact of his absence, I assure him that I will take care of his children.
Yeah, it's painful to see him go but I am also thankful on the opportunity he will be having.
Yeah, I am a brother's keeper.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Of local elections and other nonsense

For the past one month, we are bombarded by TV , radio and print ads of local and national candidates. In Lucena City and Quezon Province, the mood is like a big fiesta whenever a candidate arrives in a barangay. Who cares about platform? Who cares about graft and corruption? Who cares if a candidate is a jueteng lord or an ex-convict?. What is important to the poor people of Lucena is that they can have free lunch and a chance to rub shoulders with the mighty. To receive money from them later after a campaign is a given. This is a sad reality in my city of Lucena. Nobody from the local candidates talk about the following:
1. The rampant illegal gambling that destroys the fabric of the family.
2. The existence of government sponsored short-term lottery which pervades the
culture of gambling.
3. The bastardization of Perez Park wherein the pea-brained politicians replaced
the monuments with disneyland castles. It is not a sunken garden anymore.
Maybe the old Perez is grumbling in heaven!.
4. The lack of long-term plan to generate employment.
5. The lack of long-term plan to improve infrastructure.
6. The lack of long-term plan to improve the quality of education.
The local candidates are running to PROTECT THEIR OWN INTEREST. They are promising a lot of hot air but without substance. They will give to the people what they will get from the people. Cry my Lucena! Can you blame me for not voting this coming May?.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

To the 2007 Graduating Class

For the past two years as your Chairperson I could proudly say that I did everything to make you the best Computer Science graduate you could be. Your transformation from being passive to assertive software programmers shows that we did not fail in our mission.
Now that you are leaving the portal of Sacred Heart College, allow me to give you some fatherly advice.
You will enter the workforce in an economy that is booming and a lot of job openings related to your course are beginning to gain momentum. Seize this opportunity because this rarely happens in the boom and bust cycle of our economy. You might find that the jobs are concentrated in Manila and rarely in Lucena. Please accept the fact that ours is a country where Manila is a magnet for companies to make money. In order for you to make money you temporarily condition your mind to work in places outside Lucena. Why is it that I strongly recommend Manila?. It is because the blue chips companies are there. These blue chips are the big companies which can help propel your career in the upward trajectory. Working in these companies will provide you free trainings, extensive exposures and numerous mentors. Then when you jump job in the next company there will be also a jump in your salary. While working in Manila, utilized your proximity to schools like Ateneo, DLSU, MIT and UP and enroll for your masteral degree. They offer classes for professionals in the evening and Saturdays. The teachers that you will meet and the knowledge that they will impart will not only impress you but influence you for life.
When you choose a company please make sure that you find the right fit. A company that will utilize your strength, set your passions on fire and provide you a culture that fit in naturally to you, go for it. You will enjoy your job and at the same time earning a living. But be prepared for some annoyance for those people who will not like you. You should accept the fact that this is not a perfect world and there is no perfect person. There will be always three kinds of employees you will meet whatever company you work for: the disciples, the fence sitters and the saboteurs. Be the disciple, work as if God is watching you and be loyal to the vision of the company. Avoid like a plague the fence sitters and the saboteurs, they can not help you in achieving your personal goals.
Remember always your Computer Science teachers who stay late at night preparing for lessons so that you can learn. Their sacrifice is truly a sacrifice befitting as a whole year Lenten season. Remember Sacred Heart College who honed you holistically.
At the end of the day it is not the money that is important but your contribution to this world.
When you come back ten years from now, I will ask you how many poor people did you help. I will leave the asking to your future wife/husband and children how much you earn.
Good Luck to you!.

 Arnel L. Cadeliña

To the Batch 2007 Phians

For the past several months you witnessed the resurgence of our HSLKP. The yahoogroups and the launch of the website are not only 50th anniversary projects but the result of yearning to be part of the bond that keeps us together. If you read the yahoo messages you will notice that the brothers are scattered all over the Philippines and to several places abroad. Many signified their intention to come to our anniversary because they feel that they will miss something big in not attending. The 354 Phians listed in the roster are your brothers who walked in the same initiation path as you experienced. The first kick, second kick, hell night, baptismal and acceptance we all gone thru. That made us different to other fraternities. We have a tradition that still standing after 50 years. It is this tradition that you should not disregard because this is the connections that unite us together. If you notice a young brother and an old one arguing just remember that during their active Phian days they are trained not to accept everything as acceptable. If you hear no debate and argument it is not HSLKP. Do not be intimated by the past accomplishments of the past Grand Council because your environment is different from ours. During our time, we ruled the academics, the school paper and the politics in the University because we were passionate as a Phian. Our masters were demanding us to excel in the field where we are into and they raised the bar as the initiation went thru. We recited the poem “If” in all parts of the campus whenever the master wishes, we dressed like beggars and we wore barong courting our future Phianette. If your batch can equal the accomplishment of my fellow Phians during my time, you are good. If not, forcing you to do it will result in a negative way to you psychologically. The best thing that your Grand Council can do is to attract future Phians that can contribute. But attracting them requires a good role model. As an active Phian you should at least be good academically. How can you attract a valedictorian as an initiate if the active members are rascals?. You should accept the reality that we need new blood to make HSLKP relevant. Just remember that the elder Phians are always behind you because you carry our name. Anything that disgraces HSLKP disgraces us all so be careful on all things that you do in all your activities that carry our fraternity name.
When you attend the 55th anniversary five years from now and you see the Phians that you trained excelling in their craft you can truly say that you are a true Phian.
Marrying your Phiannete, just like what I did, is a bonus though!.

Good Luck to your Grand Council!.

Arnel “Arcade” Cadeliña
Batch 1985

Monday, February 19, 2007


I supposed to post this article on February 14, Valentines Day. But due to numerous tasks it was only last night that I have the time to complete it.
My first year students are asking me to write about courtship and love. I keep telling them that I am not an expert on this one, that I fell in love only with the same woman several times. This woman I'm talking about is now my wife. Still they keep on begging me. Finally I gave in, wrote this article in the wee hours of the morning.
For those who are looking for the right partner here are my grain of salt.
If you are courting or being courted ,avoid this man or woman:

1. Argumentative. If your boy or girl keeps on arguing everything under the sun the best thing that you will do If you marry this type of person, your house is hell on earth. Imagine arguing everyday with her about money and the toothbrush you left in the kitchen. That's pure hell.
2. masculine or feminine aggressive. When you say aggressive he/she is egoistic, self-centered and demanding. Wake up! Can you love a person who love herself more than you?
3. Possessive, jealous and tendency to be gay. This type of person may require a shrink. He/She don't want you to be out of his/her eyes. Your every movement is monitored, every person you talk with is competitor. If you add the tendency to love the same sex, you better be looking for somebody else.
4. Alcoholic. This is addiction and every addiction is dangerous to you. The tendency you might be beaten is 90% and the likeliness that your wealth be squandered is 100%. You want a future wife/husband not a mental patient.
5. drug-users. same as number 4 but on a higher degree.
6. Family-slaves. Yes, there are Mama's boy and Papa's girl. They can not decide, they always cling to their parents everytime they have problems. How can you marry someone who is asking his mother what color of toothbrush he should buy every month?
7. Does not believe in God.. The tendency to do evil is great for non-believers. Will you marry a guy who want to bring your son to the church or to someone whose church is a cockpit or a beerhouse.
Can you now decide whom to fall in love with?
Good luck!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Microsoft Vista

Last week Microsoft Philippines launched the Microsoft Vista at SM Mall of Asia. Many students, professionals and even corporations are asking themselves if now is the right time to upgrade their OS. My answer is it depends. If your OS is still Windows 95, 98 and 2000 you may opt to buy it but if yours is windows XP you still have at least 5 years before Vista emerges as default OS for PC’s. So stay with your XP’s at least for the moment.
As I tried Vista it boasts of speed, security, baked-in Search, Aero, sidebars, MCE and Tablet OS functionality. But judging from the crowd at SM Mall of Asia, Microsoft Vista will not be a huge success in 2007 and 2008 in the Philippines. Relatively only a handful Philippine Corporation will be using it this year.
But since 90% of the PC purchases (either desktop or laptop) in the Philippines are Windows-based machines we are at the mercy of Microsoft Corporation to migrate to Vista sooner or later. It is because we know that Microsoft will not support XP indefinitely just what they did to Windows 95 and 98.
In what year before Vista lords the PC’s in the Philippines?. My estimate: 2012.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

This Time They Are Relevant

For so many years I was frustrated on what’s happening politically in our country. The people keep on electing unqualified politicians in the local and national elections. Their reliance on popularity and name recall resulted to electing congressmen and senators who have no ability to write laws. If there are pea-brain-monkey in the Senate and slow-poke-turtles in the house it’s the fault of the electorate. Truly there is a need to educate our voters.
The constant useless bickering of the house and senate shows the quality of our politicians. When you listen to them you sometimes feel the need to strangled their neck and erase them in the face of the earth.
So for several years, I was one of the million Filipinos who are not only frustrated but also angry.
But yesterday it’s a different thing. The senate approved in the final reading the PERA ACT or the Personal Equity and Retirement Account Act. This PERA Act, authored by Angara, will allow us to contribute as much as P50,000/year for our own private retirement account. The scheme will require us to deposit our contributions in banks which will then be managed by an entity under the Department of Finance. This entity will invest our funds in government securities, bonds, foreign currency and non-speculative stocks.
Our PERA savings will be available to us when we reach 55 years old either as a lump sum or lifetime pension.
The contribution will be tax exempt.
This time the politicians specifically the Senate are relevant because this PERA Act bill answers a need of the people.
Can you imagine the domino effect if politicians forget their self-interests and make laws that are relevant to us?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

You see, it is a number game!

I am a veteran of job hunting. Immediately after graduation from college, I applied to not less than 100 companies. It may sound crazy but I got the last laugh. Out of that 100 companies around 20 responded. You see, it is a number game. The more resume you send the higher the chance of being employed. Of the 20 that responded, 5 landed me to an interview. Now, I've been to three companies, mingled with a lot of people, hardened by good and bad experience. My toughness is a direct results from being bloodied in the arena of work. Now I will share to you what companies are looking for an applicant which were collated from my journal:
Top Qualities Sought by Companies
1. Communication skills. You better polish your English. Whatever type of work, the skill in written and oral communication will not let you down.
2. honesty/integrity. Your grades will be your ticket to be hired but having an integrity will keep you promoted. Whom will you trust? A summa cum laude grad who steal time and money or an average guy who finish work with quality (thinking that his name is his only possession).
3. interpersonal skills. A worker who can relate well with other people is priceless. We are suckers for those who care.
4. motivation/initiative. A person who do his job even without asking. Is that you?
5. strong work ethic. Only one key be Christcentric and this ethic will follow.
6. teamwork skills. There is no place for loner in a work setting. If you want to do it alone be a hermit.
7. analytical skills. You can not escape the Math thing. Everything involve numbers.
8.flexibility/adaptability. When I mean flexible, I mean adopt to every situation.
9. computer skills. It's 2007, it's a requirement!
10. detail-oriented. You should practice it everyday. Utilize your skills in time-management.
Remember it's a number game. The higher your qualities, the more chance of you earning money.
Good luck!


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

My Birthday Wishes

It's my birthday on January 9. I am nearing mid-life. According to some this is the right time to assess a life, when you are in the middle. To check if you are a blessing or a curse to others. Even Confucius told bluntly eons ago that those people who reach mid-life and are despised will find it difficult to reverse the contempt of others. This will serve as a caution. There are lot of people in their 60's that regretted the things that they didn't do when they are in their middle age. But they can not turn back the hands of time. This I don't want to happen to me.
The real challenge now is to make my life a real gift to others. To avoid the curse of turning into a tiny speck which when blown away by the wind nobody notices anymore, because of being non-contributive.
Here's my wishes:
1. Health for me and my family. I am very much aware that physical and mental weaknesses are ambition killers. They destroy the will to win. I have to make sure that my family is healthy.
2. Enough money when I retire. I am an optimist by upbringing but to rely only on SSS pension is to invite poverty on my retirement years. Worse, SSS may not be there in the year when I retire.
3. My past, present and future students to have a job or create their own job. I am always praying for them and do everything possible to make them employable. To see them earn money and help their family is for me a real accomplishment.
4. My COMSCI faculty to always think that teaching is a gift. To teach less deeply is a mortal sin on our profession. In the corporate world, you work what's define in your job description and that's it. In the academe it's much more than that. How many students you have a semester? 200? 300? That's the number of souls and brain you need to shape. That's the gift that is not available in other profession.
5. Sacred Heart College as an academic institution to survive for the next hundred years. This is a college that serve the poor and will continue to serve it as long as we keep the vision and mission burning.
6. Philippines to have a political, religious and economic leader who love the country more than themselves.
7. For the highly skilled Filipinos to have the opportunity to work with a decent wage so that they will not work anymore outside the country.
These are my birthday wishes.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Year 2027

For my colleagues, my brothers and all my blog readers around the world, may the lesson of this story bother you


It's the Year 2027 and the retirees of Lucena City, the capital of Quezon Province Philippines, were suffering from little or no money at all in their age when they need money most. The retirees were facing extreme poverty, yet no help was in sight. So the head of SSS and GSIS Lucena announced that they will meet all retirees in Lucena City Hall and it will be devoted in discussion on ways to increase the pension money. The SSS and GSIS head's srong beliefs became infectious, and the retirees from all barangays in Lucena City grew excited as they happily anticipated the money that they believe will surely follow the meeting. Word quickly spread, and that meeting, retirees from all over Quezon Province packed the town hall.

The SSS and GSIS head looked upon the retirees, whose faces were full of eagerness. Their clothes were neatly pressed, their gray hair done, their shoes shined. They believed in the SSS and GSIS 's ability to make money, and they had faith that their prayers for additonal pension will be answered.

But the SSS and GSIS head never started the meeting. Instead they told the retirees to go home. "You do not truly believe that you will have more money", the two heads said to the astonished gathering.

"Why do you say that?" an old woman asked.

"Because," the head of SSS replied, " if you did not believe in financial planning 20 years ago, you will not believe what we will say today".

Feeling dejected and oppressed, the retirees trekked in their respective homes and weeped.

They pound their chest and say "If I only..... spend less and invest more.....