Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Whistling Uncle

One day, over a cup of coffee, my friend told me about his “Whistling Uncle”.

He clearly was very proud of him.

“My uncle was one of the happiest people on earth,” my friend said. “I call him my Whistling Uncle. Because wherever he went, he was whistling.”

“What did he do for a living?” I asked.

“My uncle was a public school teacher. But he was a gardener at heart. After his classes, he taught his students how to garden. For free.” 


“Uncle lived a simple life, riding his bicycle every morning to Mass, whistling a tune. He also biked to his small barrio schools, always humming. He lived a very healthy life too—eating mostly the vegetables he harvested. He also was very generous, going around, giving his crops to friends and neighbors.”

I said, “Didn’t he have any problems?”

My friend chuckled. “He did. His big problem was his wife!”

I laughed. “Hey, don’t say that about your Auntie.”

“Oh, it’s true. This is an open secret in our family. You see, my aunt came from an affluent family. She was a complicated person. And she was always irritable.”


“At early dawn, neighbors would hear her shout at her husband. But he’d respond by smiling and putting his arm around her shoulder, saying, “Are you through? Let’s make up now.”

“What a guy! Is your Uncle for real?” I chuckled.

“You bet. By the way, his ‘problem’ didn’t last very long. My Aunt died of a heart attack before the age of fifty.”

“Well, if she was irritable all the time, I guess her heart couldn’t carry the burden of her anger anymore. And may I ask how long did your Whistling Uncle live?” I asked.

“My Uncle died at one hundred years old.”

“Gosh, I need to whistle more!”

Do You Want To Be The Whistling Uncle
Or The Irritable Auntie?

The choice is really yours.

You can be the Whistling Uncle. Or the Irritable Auntie.

The Bible says, Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time (Proverbs 17:22).

Make a decision today to live a happy life!

What’s The Best Prayer You Can Pray?

I meet a lot of spouses who pray, “Lord, please change my terrible husband” or “Please change my nagging wife.”

“That’s wrong! You need to pray, ‘Lord, please help me change myself.’”

Yes, I agree that’s a better prayer.

But I’ve now come to realize that there’s even a better prayer to pray. Here is what I believe you need to pray: “Lord, please help me accept myself.”

I can hear you now. You’re saying, “Huh?”

You see, I’ve met a lot of Irritable Aunties in the past.

Root cause of their negative disposition: They don’t accept themselves. 

They hate everyone because deep within them, they really haven’t accepted their own imperfections. Irritation, most of the time, is a self-projection. Thus, they can’t accept the imperfections of the people around them.

Unlike The Whistling Uncle.

He’s happy with himself.

He’s accepted, embraced, and loved himself.

To him, life is wonderful.

And every human being around him is wonderful too. Yes, even the irritable ones.

The Whistling Uncle is happy with life because he’s happy with himself.

Dear friend, learn from the Whistling Uncle.

Source: Bo Sanchez

Friday, June 30, 2017

COL Financial New Bank Fees

COL Financial have successfully negotiated with BDO and BPI to waive certain deposit charges when funding your COL account.

The new bank fees for the use of the deposit facilities of BDO and BPI effective July 1, 2017 are summarized below:

For us OFWs, this is good news for us because we normally do our banking transactions online. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Shell Files for Largest IPO in Philippines

Company Information
Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemicals companies with around 93,000 employees in more than 70 countries and territories. Its headquarters is in The Hague, the Netherlands. The parent company of the Shell group is Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which is incorporated in England and Wales.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC) refines, blends, transports and sells a wide range of high quality fuels, lubricants, bitumen and other specialty oil-based products. It operates a refinery with a rated capacity of approximately 110,000 bpd and over 960 retail stations nationwide. 

Pilipinas Shell commenced operations of its first crude distiller in Tabangao, Batangas in 1962 (now an oil refinery since 1994). Shell also opened a refrigerated LPG terminal in 1983, the first of its kind in Asia operated by Shell Gas Eastern, Inc. with trading handled in the region by Shell Gas Trading Asia Pacific.

It's headquarters is in Makati City and employs more than 3,000 employees nationwide.

Republic Act No. 8479 (An Act Deregulating The Downstream Oil Industry And For Other Purposes)
According to RA No. 8479, Chapter 7, Section 22,.an oil refinery company shall offer at least 10% of its shares to the public.

Below is the full text of Section 22.

Sec. 22.     Initial Public Offering. – In compliance with the constitutional mandate to encourage private enterprises to broaden their base of ownership and in recognition of the vital role of oil in the national economy, any person or entity engaged in the oil refinery business shall make a public offering through the stock exchange of at least ten percent (10%) of its common stock within a period of three (3) years from the effectivity of this Act or the commencement of its refinery operations: Provided, That no single person or entity shall be allowed to own more than five percent (5%) of the stock offering: Provided, further, That any crude oil refining company and any stockholder thereof shall not acquire, directly or indirectly, any share of stock offered by any other crude oil refining company pursuant to his Section: Provided, finally, That any such company which made the requisite public offering before the effectivity of this Act shall be exempted from the requirement.

Delayed Listing
The law was enacted last February 1998 and according to the law, oil refinery companies must make a public offering within three years from the effectivity of the law. Supposedly last February 2001, Pilipinas Shell should be listed in stock exchange but it never happened due to unfavourable market conditions and the need for refinery upgrades. Instead, Shell filed for IPO only this year. 

Caltex should follow suit soon with the current market conditions.

Largest IPO Ever
If the company would go for the maximum amount of shares at the maximum price, it would be the biggest stock market debut in the Philippine Stock Exchange at P29.7 billion worth of shares.  It can potentially exceed the sizes of the largest IPOs so far seen in the country.

Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc.  raised P28.11 in 2013.
SM Investments Corp.  raised P26.25 billion in 2005.
Cemex Holdings Philippines Inc. raised P25.1B in 2016.
Cebu Pacific’s IPO raised P23.3 billion in 2010.

LTG Group Inc. raised P37.72 billion in 2013. Technically, LTG’s exercise was a re-IPO or a follow-on offering after the group infused key businesses in what used to be a purely liquor company, Tanduay Holdings.

IPO Offerings Details
Price: P90 per share

Global coordinator and international book runner: JP Morgan
Domestic lead underwriter and domestic bookrunner: BPI Capital Corp.
Financial adviser: Rothschild

IPO Shares Composition: 
69% for offshore institutional investors
30% for local trading participants and small investors
1% for its employees.

Secondary shares: 270 million 
Primary shares: 30 million
Over allotment shares: 30 million shares

18.6% of post IPO shares

Use of Proceeds: fund capital expenditure, working capital and general corporate expenses

Financial Statements
Once the financial statements are available, we will post them accordingly. It's too early to tell whether the IPO is fairly priced or priced with a hefty premium. It should not go far beyond the valuation of Petron and its regional peers.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Time...A Gift to Our Children

A couple of hours ago, after coming home from work, I gently opened the door and peeked to see if someone is waiting for me. There she was, six foot away from the door, with her eyes wide open, her arms outstretched and her face beaming ear to ear. She looked at me and rushed towards my direction. I put down my bag and took her on my arms. I gave her a hug and asked, “How was your day my beautiful and smart daughter?” She said “Taaataaay, Tataaaay”.

A few months ago, every time I browse my Facebook feed, I would see some of my friends’ statuses stating that they are currently watching this movie Miracle in Cell No. 7” and that they cried a lot while watching it.

Sitting at the living room together with my wife and friend, I asked them, “What’s that movie all about?” “Well, you should watch it” my friend replied. I told him “I do not watch drama movies”. “You should watch it because you can relate a lot and I’m sure you will cry also”. What?!! Are you sure? Then my wife chimed in and said, “I didn’t yet watch that movie also.”  I shrugged my shoulders and said “Okay, Why don’t you put it on TV. We will watch it now”. After half an hour of watching the movie, my wife is already sniffing. I looked at her and I was like, all I can see here is a regular father and daughter bonding. A few minutes later, I heard my wife again crying. As the movie went on, my wife kept wiping her tears but I am also starting to breakdown. I am holding my tears, and I said to myself, “Don’t cry Randy. Don’t cry. Its more than halfway already and you can hold your tears!”

At the last part of the movie, finally, I could not hold it anymore and I let my tears fall. My tears just kept running down my cheeks because the sequence was the man is being led to the death chamber and his innocent daughter tried to do their favorite bonding moment for one last time, “one, two, three, bulaga!” but her father did not turn around to respond. That moment killed me because every morning, whenever I go to work, my wife and daughter would accompany me up to the bus stop, and upon crossing the street, I will turn around to wave, send flying kisses and say I love you. Inside the bus, I then reminisce the daily dates I have with my daughter.

Every time I come home from work, my daughter would be there waiting for me. I will play with her for a few minutes and then will grab the towel and heads to the bathroom.
After cleaning myself, my daughter will hastily pull my hand and drags me towards the door. She knows it’s her time. We’ll go downstairs and walk towards the park who is just a stone throw away form our apartment.

Yesterday, I put her down on the grass and she started running here and there. She pulled me near the plants as I watched her touched the plants and flowers randomly. “What is the color of that?” as I pointed to a flower. “Elow”, came the reply. All of a sudden a cat emerges from the bushes. “Caaaat”. She tried to mimic the cries of the cat , “Meow, meow”.

After almost an hour of playing at the park, we proceeded to our favorite restaurant, the Caesar’s restaurant. As I opened the restaurant door, the waiters smiled at us. We are one of their regular customers every single day. In fact, they already know what bread we are going to order.  “Two Kiri buns?” asked the waiter. “Yes, please”. We then sat at our preferred corner of the restaurant and enjoy our meal.

Friends, most of us missed out on life’s big prizes. Oscar’s Award, Emmy’s Award, Athlete of the Year Award, Nobel Peace Prize Award, Ten Outstanding Young Men Award, most of them, we missed them. But we are entitled to life’s small pleasures. A warm conversation with your friends. A cold beer. A glorious sunset. A hug from your spouse and a walk at the park with your family.

Time flies so fast. Before you knew it, the kids are grown-ups already. That is why I spend so much time as I can with them and enjoy the process of being a father. Robin Sharma said: Past is water under the bridge. Future is a distant sun on the horizon of your imagination. …We’ve got to live in the moment After all; time is like a grain of sand slipping on our fingers never to come back again. Time is our most precious commodity. Time is one of the best gifts I can give to my children...

Monday, May 5, 2014

85% of the Investors Lose Money

Recently, I was browsing the website of an investment related company and come across an article penned by an investment advisor. He is advising investors to be cautious about the recent stock market rally. Another click, another advisor advices the public to be optimistic on the current rally.

The noise are everywhere…

Do you know that 85% of the professionals in the stock market lose their money by the end of the bull bear market cycle? Only 15% are able to get out of it with their heads intact. So, if 85% of professional were losing money in the stock market, how would a beginner or someone with zero knowledge would fare against the masters? The logical answer would be the beginner may lose more money than these 85% losers.

Consider an amateur basketball player playing against a professional basketball player. Lebron James or Kobe Bryant are basketball professional players. Anthony Davis is the top amateur basketball player in the USA and he was the number one draft pick in the 2012-2013 season. Now, if Anthony Davis will go up against LeBron James or Kobe Bryant in the NBA, what would be the result? It will be a mismatch and Anthony Davis will be “schooled” by either Lebron or Kobe. Why? LeBron and Kobe have been in the league for at least seven years. They are veterans of professional basketball already. They know the rules very well, they are quite familiar with their opponents, and they know when to attack and when to defend basketball. They know when to give up a foul or a layup and they know what it takes to win a championship. Anthony Davis? Oh he’ll get his due later on but meantime, it will be a Lebron or Kobe show.

Now, imagine an ordinary man or woman plunging in the intricate world of stock market where learned and educated men abound. Surely, he will be gobbled up by these sharks that make their living in the stock market. A professional versus amateur, the result is a mismatch.

If 85% of these professionals lose their money in the stock market, then how come it is still advisable to invest in the stock market?

The Lucky 15% Investors

Most of the 15% investors who earn a profit in the stock market are not active traders. Majority of the 15% smart investors are people who don’t care whether the market is up or down. They rarely buy and sell within a month. They do not care what is the daily price of the stock. What is most important to them is that the company is doing very well, it is an established enterprise, has a real growth, has massive potential to increase in value, and will last in your lifetime. I am not saying that professionals do not make money at all. In fact the 85% investors who lose money consist of every kind of investors. You have the investors who have limited knowledge, investors with good knowledge and investors with extensive knowledge in the stock market. Yes, all kind of investors can be included in the 85% losers and in the same way, all kind of investors can be included in the 15% investors.

One of the strategies of the 15% fortunate investors is buy great companies every month and ignore its daily fluctuations. They research, investigate, and make enquiries about the companies. They are investing time and effort in order to find great companies worth investing. In short, they do peso cost averaging.

Peso cost averaging is buying stocks on a regular schedule whether the price is high or low. Normally, the interval is monthly. For example, you have P5,000 disposable income every month and you decide to invest it in the stock market. Ayala Land is a great company and you think it will grow in the next few years and will last in your lifetime. You bought Ayala Land shares last March whose price is P29/share with your P5,000 and it netted you 172 shares. Then last April, Ayala Land share price is 30/share and you bought the stock with your P5,000 giving you 166 shares. This May, Ayala Land share price is 31/share and your P5,000 gave you 161 shares.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Mt. Pinatubo and Me...

I just delivered my 1st speech at Toastmasters. Oh boy, it was nerve wracking! 

I practiced a lot at our kitchen and bedroom. My wife is my audience. She's such a supportive and wonderful wife. 

On the actual speech delivery at Toastmasters, I missed some of the sentences and phrases below. 

Anyway, my goal is to break the ice and speak in front of an audience and let it start from there.

It helps that the club have a supportive and encouraging environment. Most if not all members have a roseate outlook in life. 

Enjoy it guys...

I would like to quote what TM Bert has always been saying in this club. "Your past doesn't define your future".
File:Pinatubo91eruption clark air base.jpg

Fellow toastmasters and guests, good evening! 

I was born at a small village, in the province of Pampanga, where the magnificent and marvelous Mt. Pinatubo used to captivate us every single day.

My father is a farmer and my mother is a housewife. I have two sisters and three brothers. 

My parents sent us to a private school and my uncles and aunties who are working abroad helped them in paying the tuition fees.

One day, during my grade 5 schooling, my playmates and I were playing basketball; all of a sudden our neighbors came rushing towards the road. We followed suit and we were stunned at we saw. A giant cauliflower is forming up in the sky. Mt. Pinatubo has erupted. Days later, ashes and sand began to fall. Most of the days, we just stayed inside the house because of the toxic smell of sulfur.

We have a river in our area and due to heavy rains and lava coming from the volcano, it keeps growing. One day, it overflows. It wreaks havoc on our village and nearby communities! Our village was completely devastated! Not a single house was spared, our small house included. It destroyed everything! It flattened every structure! Today, what you can see is an ocean of sand. The houses, crops, and trees and my childhood dreams are all buried deep down.

We evacuated to an unused factory building in our town and we stayed there until the bunkhouses provided by the government are built. 

Meanwhile, my father lost his farm, lost his income and so I was transferred to the nearest public school and despite of the devastation, I managed to graduate as the class valedictorian.

As the top student of my class, I got a scholarship in high school.

I took an active role in the school's activities and run for Student Council's president but eventually lost. 

When I was in 4th year high school, my father suffered a stroke! He was able to recover but he was never the same again.

I ranked 8th during high school graduation and this time I am not entitled to any scholarships going into college. My father and I went to various government departments to secure a scholarship but couldn't get one. 

A group of generous individuals living in California USA who were alumni of my school wants to sponsor two graduating students in our school. Fortunately, I was chosen. I studied Accountancy and passed the CPA examination.

 After three years of working in Manila, I decided to go abroad.  My salary is not enough to support my family's expenses as well as the tuition fees of my younger siblings. My parents are in debts.

After two months of applying with different agencies, I'm about to give up until I finally received an unidentified call. 

It was Sunday evening at 10 pm, my phone rang, and the other line is a guy from Dubai. At first I doubted it but nevertheless I push through with it and in seven days since that fateful call, I'm off to the airport.

Friends, with my job in Dubai, I was able to pay my parents loans, and send my siblings to school who by the way has already graduated in college.  
I met my wife here. We were blessed with a daughter, and another one is coming in June.

Fellow Toastmasters, I grew up with nothing but dreams in my heart. The Mt. Pinatubo eruption somehow shattered my life and my future. It gave me painful memories. The sands and lava buried our house and farms, but not my dreams. I am standing here in front of you because my dreams are my guide into what I do today.

I would like to quote Nelson Mandela before I end my speech,

Chocolate Hills
After climbing a great hill,
one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
I have taken a moment here to rest,
to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me,
to look back at the distance I have come.
But I can only rest for a moment for with freedom comes responsibilities,
and I dare not linger,
for my long walk is not yet ended."

Ladies and gentlemen, I thought the Mt. Pinatubo eruption ended my dreams, I thought it defined my future; I thought it ended my journey. No, it did not! In fact I’m just getting started.

Over to you, TM.

Unkind Words Are Weapons

Post image for COMMENTARY 868.2: Unkind Words Are WeaponsI just received below e-mail from the blog of Michael Josephson.

Yes, sometimes out of frustration, we utter words that we regret later. We wished that we hadn't say harmful words. Harmful words spoken are damaging. 
In any interaction that we do, whether at workplace, in the house, at clubs, or parties, we should be aware of what we speak and be conscious of the repercussions of every words.
Enjoy the story... 
With four teenage daughters, I frequently find myself correcting, disciplining, or simply protesting unnecessary and unkind comments certain to anger or wound a sister and evoke counterattacks that fill the air with nastiness.
Hoping to get them to think before they speak in the future, I often ask, “What did you expect to accomplish by that remark?” and “Did it make things better or worse?” It rarely makes a difference.
It’s as if their instinct to express anger or utter sarcasm, accusations, and complaints is too strong to allow for wise strategies like “Think before you speak” to operate.
It disappoints and frustrates me that my children are often unkind to one another and so quick to make foolish comments that have no constructive purpose. Yet it’s even more troublesome when adults engage in the same senseless and destructive behavior.
It may be a husband’s unfiltered remark about his wife’s smothering style, a wife’s dig about her husband’s lack of energy, a parents’ comment, “That’s why you have no friends” or ‘Why can’t you be more like your brother?” or an aunt’s unwanted advice, “If you want to get married, lose weight.”
Often the content of a remark is objectively objectionable and they never should have been uttered, but tone, timing, or setting can make even seemingly harmless observations hurtful.
We have to remember that words are weapons, sometimes weapons of mass destruction.
Verbal assaulters may defend their unguided missiles with claimed innocence: “I didn’t mean it that way” when the real question is “How was the remark likely to be received?”
Another lame excuse is “I was just telling the truth,” without considering whether that truth needed to be said. Honesty does not preclude tact. It’s not a sin to have an unexpressed thought.
We may not always be able to shield ourselves from the darts and arrows of inconsiderate or mean-spirited folks, but we can resolve to be more thoughtful in our own communications.
We can be more kind more consistently. We can follow the Golden Rule and a few other age-old wisdoms like: “Think before you speak” and “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”