Trip Back To Paco

Paco, Manila.

This is where I grew up.  Going back to this place almost took me on a course back to the past.

This was were, as a boy, I could remember walking the streets with flip flops to my father’s hardware store bringing him Mandaring cod (Lapu-lapu) on misua (a fookien rice noodle) soup, or maybe some squeezed oranges.

I could remember the house that I was living before in Kansas St with my feet hanging down on the windows enclosed with decorative steel weaves that are so typical of Manila’s 60s.  I could remember walking the streets of Herran (now Pedro Gil) and getting bullied by some kid who I think is trying hard to be cool as a jerk, eventually getting ‘saved’ by a classmate, Bernie, and became ‘untouchable’ afterwards.

The once popular Sterling bookstore was gone, and the vocational school were I learned to type at an early age during summer was long gone as well.  The local movie house, Bellevue, where featured double films were shown is now a store.  The Iglesia ni Kristo church is still majestic in proportion to most buildings surrounding it.  I think it is one of the structure in Paco that still holding up to Paco’s fabric of life aside from the market.

I wish I could go to some other places like my elementary school, Paco Chinese School.  Part of my character was formed from the teachers that taught me good study habits, encouraged me to study, and offered lasting impressions of how small gestures of faith on one’s strength could be a platform for a person’s success to the future.

Dart St (now Angel Linao) has also been transformed.  I remebered an alley to a neighborhood where my mom used to have her clothes made by Aling Loleng.  I don’t know why but subconsciously I could still remember the cat poof.  I used to take this alley as a short cut when I walk around the block from Singalong St (no, it’s not sing-along as CJ say it).

The corner building facing on the entrance to the market is still intact.  It’s an social icon of Paco Market.  There used to be a portrait studio on that building before and it’s also the place where I had my teeth taken out by some dentist.  Restorative dentistry was not the game before.  It’s easier to take it out than to fix it.  I should have know better.

These places have shaped up the life that we have, sculpted the persona that we have with  friends and peers.  There’s a lot of changes that have happened on this city.  And some structures has remained the same and is in dire disrepair.

Like our lives, a lot of change has happened and there are areas that needs change.  The only thing that remain constant with change is time.  Everyone has the same amount of time each day.  Might not have the same length of life, but same unit of time that we’ve been given.

I have been self reliant most of my life that I failed to see the dynamics of how tapping on to other people’s strength can help me use what God has given me to shape up something for His purpose.  If there’s anything that has become evident in my life in recent weeks is my opening up to other people the door that allow them to become part of my life.

I have now tread on to a new phase of my life.  Not trying to achieve success to impart to other people how to achieve success, but to become part of other people’s success to become a success for God’s purpose for my life.


Back Home

Monterey Park, east of LA has been home for me for the past 20 yrs.  This time I returned home to my roots, Manila.

Last 23th, we departed from LAX for Manila on a much needed vacation and family time together away from the usual daily grind.  It’s been almost 10 years for me since I went back home and visited my mom and dad.

We came on a rainy morning.  There was a typhoon and like most tropical countries, Philippines in June kicks off the monsoon or typhoon season.  The last time I was in Manila was when I was picking up my two kids, Sasha and CJ, after an extended vacation stay 10 years ago.

We were welcomed by my brother in law, Angel and Jasmine, his lovely wife.  Aside from the storm, news on the radio were covering H1N1 hysteria.  There has been quite a number of people that was believed to have some infection of the flu.

Coming from LA, the first adjustment we have to make aside from the jet lag was the humid weather.  It was raining and being accustomed to some not-so-often rains in Los Angeles, I got use to expecting a little bit cool weather.  Growing up in Manila should made me accustomed to this kind of weather but I was just spoiled rotten with California weather.

Anyway, it’s nice to see familiar places and some new not so familiar ones.  Of course, in Manila, a slight chance of rain welcomes the usual occurrence of flood.  But to aggravate it, the splash by moving vehicles on to some people waiting for a ride to work, or passengers on pedi-cabs, makes me feel bad for those people getting wet.

Melita, my wife, was already happily chatting with Ate Ruby, my sister in law, on the cell phone, who happened to be not feeling well and could be having some flu.  So as a precaution, we went ahead to my brother-in-law’s house and had breakfast.  My wife has been very concerned because two of our luggages were forced open somehow.  I think some of the vitamins that were on the suitcased must have created some suspicion at the LAX TSA inspection.

She was worried that something was stolen on the suitcase.  As usual, if she gets bothered, everyone gets bothered.  She was worried that the camera that she and Ed (my other bro in law in Canada) bought for Ate Ruby as a birthday gift was stolen.  Anyway, she found it and it was just a usual precautionary.  I feel bad for her because we had purchased one of those TSA approved locks that the TSA people could open without forcing the suitcases.

After breakfast, (again), we all had shower (thank goodness), I had a good chance to having some quality time with Lei and Kobie (Angel and Jazmine’s children), and Gelai.  I think you could say it something like ‘bonding at first sight’.  Lei and I had some good quality time getting to know each other.  She did Bimbo rock, and then did some jumps with Kobie and Gelai.

Interestingly, I found out the Kobie and Lei are lefties.  My two kids are lefties too, so I kind of have some experience on certain lefties behavior.  And those lefties out there, don’t tell me you don’t have any.  I had a good time playing with them on the notebook computer when I was checking my emails, and had them typing out their names on Wordpad.

Then, kaboom.  Reality and body adjustment kicked in and I could not help it.  Sleep has taken over.


Happy Chinese New Year

Kung Hei Fat Choy!  Happy Chinese New Year!  I know, it’s late now (Jan 26).  Time sure moves fast.  I did not realize that my lost post has been more than a month.  Actually, we’re now looking on Valentine’s Day.

Anyway, we’re had a fair share of rain in LA this past couple of days.  It’s making my son hopeful that the snow would stay until March.  We’re planning to go to Big Bear Mountains and he’s looking forward to a snowy time for a good snowboarding.  Continue reading


Looking Forward

Happy New Year to everyone.  It’s been quite a year. 

I have not been writing for the last month or so.  It has been quite a journey last year.  The last 6 weeks has been quite a blessed, challenging and rewarding time for me. 

Last November, I mention about a visit to my brother in law’s father in law (what a term).  He passed away last 5th of December.  I had mixed reactions because the last time I saw him, I was still hopeful that he could at least get through the Christmas season.  I am thankful to God for the time that I was able to minister to him.  It gave me the courage and confidence to be able to share my life with this man for such a short time.  Even though he is in his dying stages, the experience that I gained helped me more to focus on discovering a strength which I thought was a weakness on my part.  Continue reading


Life Is A Miracle, A Celebration

Since the weekend, it has been a roller coaster ride for me.  But nevertheless it was one of those moments in one’s life that you experience something very revealing, profound.  I experience a spiritual awakening.

I went to a Mannatech regional meeting/conference at the Los Angeles Hilton Hotel (LAX) last Saturday.  Before the event, I just felt that I needed a break from all of the ‘noise’ that’s going on in my life.  I touched base with my wife’s senior associate and listen to all the speakers on the event.  To make the long story short, what were presented on the meeting was in alignment with the goals that I want to achieve.  From the CEO, the Marketing Team, and Product Dev Team, I could actually see myself in the position of adding value to this orgranization from what I’ve learned this last 2 years. Continue reading


The Money Is Not On Your List

Internet marketers hear this a lot of time from online marketing guru.  The Money is on the List.

When I started a couple of years ago, I could not understand what this means.  It took a while to sink in.  However, what I found out is that it’s not much as the numbers that you have on your list, but the customers on your list.  If you have a list of 100,000 but you only have 1 buyer, did it prove that the money is on the list?  Exactly my point.

People working their online marketing should understand that the ‘list’ that most guru tells you is nothing but what traditional salespeople call their ‘prospect’ list.  Nothing happens until you make those people on the list become your customer. Continue reading


Point of Reference

Have you ever been in a situation where you look at the same picture with someone, and end up with both of you having two different conclusion?  Or you read and perform a written instruction, only to find out that it’s not what the result should be?

I had a situation where I posted on a discussion and thought the person was looking for advice.  I entered into the discussion, offered more than 2 cents of advice only to find out that I misread the essence of the discussion.  What went wrong?  Maybe too much sugar or the Lakers doing good nowadays?  I misunderstood the other person’s baseline – their point of reference. Continue reading


Election Day Hype

Today is election day here in the US.  I’ve been reading the papers and it seems that this is a worldwide affair.  A couple of countries are checking out who’s going to be our next president.

Whoever win this election, the next president is going to have his hands full in leading this country.  A 47 year old newbie vs. a 72 year old war veteran.  If Obama wins, I can assure you that he’ll encounter the same change that Clinton had.  In less than a year, I predict he’ll have gray hair.  If McCain wins, we better get ready training Sarah Palin right away as the next president.  For what I’ve read, people have been misjudging this lady.  If she don’t make it this time, I won’t be surprised if she run for President in the near future.  Let’s hope it’s like Hilary Clinton vs Sarah Palin. Continue reading



November 1st is All Saints Day and November 2nd is All Souls Day.

We’re now on our post Halloween here in the USA, and shops are loaded with special sales on Halloween themed candies.  I wish we could save it for next year’s Halloween.

Growing up in Manila, I recall with fond memories my childhood times going to the cemetery on All Saints Day.  In the Philippines, people visits the memorial sites of their loved ones.  Being half Chinese, I go to La Loma Cemetery – the Chinese Cemetery.  I remember going to my Papa’s friend’s site where we go year after year and prepping up the sites before November 1st, cleaning it up and making sure everything is in order.  My father’s friend is his business partner.  I recall riding at the back of the pickup truck going to the cemetery on All Saints Day.  For the life of me, I could not figure how they can remember how to go the tomb’s place amongst all the others.  I don’t see any street signs yet it seems that they just know where it is. Continue reading


Welcome To

Finally, my own blog site!

After deliberating for a long time, I decided to host my own blog.  Not that I don’t know how.  I’ve been whipping up WordPress sites for some time now but I decided that I need to express my own voice that people would recognize.

I have a network that I have planned that will make up what the future information group that I am building.  For the most part, it will be focused on internet marketing, ministry, and MLM.  Yup, MLM. Continue reading