Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I've been to several Financial Planning and Financial Literacy seminars in my hot pursuit to financial freedom – up until now, but this guy has something to say at the corner – Mr. Henry Ong of Business Sense, Inc.

How and what is it really to be wealthy?

A quick mental reflex will tell you that wealth is all about lots of money, dude! Like Manny Pacquiao, isn’t it? Like lots of Volks, Astons, hot big wheel hummers? House and lots spawning everywhere in the archipelago? Maids at your beck and call? Fine clothe lines? Latest gadgetries? Jewelries? Lots of savings in the bank?

Yeah, why not?!

They might be an obvious objective evidence of your hard work or frugality. But that is just half-slice of the pie. Because according to Mr. Henry Ong, a Registered Financial Planner, as he may suggest cutting cost and expenses out of your income might cause you to miss a lot out of your life – he said a “quality life.” Perhaps, quality foods, amenities, time and even health to yourself. This is where the philosophy of Aristotle strikes the bell, “the mean of virtue.” Anything that goes in excess or in extreme end is a vice or not in line of manly virtue. Same is true with over frugality and stinginess. You are foregoing a lot of things quality to you and your loved ones because of your imminent fear of the coming rainy season.

You might be excused to think of the coming rain, but Mr. Henry Ong seems to suggest that being wealthy is not actually motivated by fear. I toss to this idea that a financially wealthy individual is also a psychologically, spiritually, physically and emotionally healthy individual. I logically believe that being healthy on the other aspect of one’s personality speaks a lot about how financially free a person is and will be.

Being financially affluent and spiritually broke is not wealth either. Being financially rich and physically sick is not wealth either. Being financially flushed but relationally broke is not wealth either. Being financially loaded but having delinquent children is not wealth either. Being financially heavy but having your social security at stake is not wealth either.

We are so familiar with so many individuals who are so obsessed with their work, trying somehow to please and impress their officemates or a big boss, pressing their nose against their work at a solid 8-hour and consecutive 8 hours overtime. Ok, they earn no doubt including the murky grin of their boss – only to end up pressing their butt against hospital beds, signing bills and scrapping all earnings for the medical dues incurred.

If you have to realize you seem to work for nothing but for a doctors fee or for anything else. We have to remember that before anything else goes to the sink sewer, what profits above all is yourself – before anything and anybody else.

Mr. Ong believed that it’s ok to have fancy cars, houses, dines or any expensive properties as long as you have the means to maintain them. They are not wealth at all if at the back of the same coin are accumulation of liabilities caused by them.

Being wealthy for him is not (just) all about those things, as obvious, I have my lots of elaborations above. Together with him I believe that being (real, and really) wealthy is all about being:

• Financially Independent – that is, you are free from worries or work pressures. In other words you are not obliges to work eight hours a day and yet able to earn and pay bills and other obligatory miscellaneous life expenses.

• Able to manage money well – a (financially) wealthy individual is able to manage his incomes to wherever it is to go.

• Able to multiply incomes – it is basic in every financial education I’ve learned that a financially wealthy person is the one who is able to multiply his income – sorry but not much on saver buffs!

• Able to secure his profit from any loss – one of the best way to test a person’s financial acumen is not just to multiply his income but to secure them too. Because no matter how genius you are in multiplying your income you have to learn to guard it from loss. Say a Nicolas Cage effect, he is one of a highly paid actors in Hollywood and yet cripples down his finances.

• Able to give more – I believe that a financially free individual is the one who is able to give more. It is a basic principle that you cannot give what you do not have and so a financial freeman is able to manifest it through giving as an outlet of his being financially overflowing.

• Able to do what his heart’s desire – a pampered vacation to Boracay, El Nido or a fancied 80 days around the world, you name it but it’s one of the manifestations of a financially free individual. Again, being able to do what you want without the pressure of a burning obligation of work life (except perhaps if you enjoy what you are doing, well they say it ceases to be work). It includes the renaissance of your abandoned hobbies. Being able to work generously but enjoys the pamper of your bed at whatever time you like to wake up.

Well, that’s a lot of talking and there are lots more to mention.

You’d ask how am I gonna do that? Mr. Henry Ong suggests you really have to plan your way to it. It means like looking for a knowledgeable person to help you - such as Registered Financial Planners.

Secondly, is to develop, imbibe or imitate wealthy minded individuals (who are actually wealthy by now).

Third, is one of the crowned values of a wealthy person, no other than discipline. Mr. Ong suggest you save and invest without sacrificing the quality of your life.

And lastly, find ways to increase your income streams. We are not advising to increasing your job, as what I have been thinking those days but ultimately to say – that you’ve got to be an entrepreneur to do that!

That's a sure bet to wealth.

Common sentiments tells us that nobody made it by just working on a desk or having jobs till time is through with them. Except, if you exceptionally belong to “the lucky sperm club” as what Warren Buffett said. Or else you are a company's bigwig or a prime holder, that’s it!


Sunday, October 24, 2010


It is wrong to think that saints do not sin, in fact saints are sinners too like us. Some of them are even worse than most of us casual people do. What is notable about them is their fortitude, exemplary struggle and persistence, to become closer to God, and show that sin has no power over God's mercy.

Leonardo Foley of the Order of the Franciscan Monks in his book Saint of the Day. Saints become who they are because of their total surrender to the will of God without exceptions – the extent that they are called heroes and heroines worth of emulation.

Saints are recalled as individuals with exceptional zeal towards their faith – spiritually centered and materially tamed individuals. They are considered as one of the most important elements of faith and religion, more in particular the Christian faith. In fact sainthood or “saint” generally attributed to Christians or close to it who is in heaven.

The Catholic Church holds the melting pot of all saints, if sainthood or saint is to be the central concern of the dialogue. The (Catholic) Church does not actually make saints as we might usually know from the term “beatification” and “canonization” done by the pope. The church rather, recognizes saints – it is God who 'makes' saints.

Why do we have saints? What do they do to us living and struggling in the mantle of the valley to tears? Simple, as clearly mentioned above, saints are worthy of praise and imitation. They are role models of faith – it is in them that God rejoices – it is in them that Jesus is magnified! As for us Christians, their lives remind us of how we should imitate a Christian spirituality, values, character, morals and so on.

We do not worship the saints, contrary to what other religious denominations think. We only ask their assistance on our prayers. If it's good to pray alone, isn't it better or best if somebody prays with you or helps with you in your prayers? We have to remember that the saints are also called masters of prayers; and that prayer to them is actually the lifeblood of their soul. Prayer has been their sword and shield on their spiritual struggle here on earth.

To clarify things there are three “worships” that we attribute to God, Mary and Saints if worship would mean its perennial meaning, “to honor” or to “give respect.” For the sake of clarity, we have to use the term devotion.

Latria, Hyperdulia and Dulia are devotions we attribute to God, Mary and the Saints. These terminologies are Greeks for terms such as honor, reverence, adoration and worship to God and the saints or any act that we raise our hearts and minds to God and them.

Latria is the highest of them all and in sacrificial in nature. Hyperdulia is attributed to Virgin Mary. This special adoration is given her because of that exceptional role and fiat to the Plan of Salvation. Dulia is given to the saints because of the exemplary faith and obedience to the Savior. The last two are actually salutes in recognition to a great works of faith they've done – like a military official who have shown indomitable bravery on the field.

In other words, a saint can be summed up but not limited to being an exemplary model, extraordinary teacher, wonder worker or source of benevolent power, intercessor, selfless, ascetic behavior and possessor of a special and revelatory relation to the holy – according to John A. Coleman, graduate of theological studies at Berkely.


According to the Catholic church census there are about 10, 000 saints recognized by Christianity not counting perhaps those unlisted and imminent to sainthood. Nevertheless there are few of them here I've handpicked for your emulation.

(Patron of Love, Young People, Happy Marriages)
Feast day: February 14

(Patron of Missions)
Feast day: October 1

(Patron of Physicians and Surgeons)
Feast day: October 18

(Patroness of the environment and ecology)
Feast day: July 14

(Patron of Librarians)
Feast day: September 30

(Patroness of Latin America and America)
Feast day: August 30

(Patron of Pregnant Women, Doctor of the Church)
Feast day: June 13

(Patroness of Bodily Illness)
Feast day: April 16

(Patroness of Handicapped People)
Feast day: January 27

(Patron of Hospitallers)
Feast day: June 24

(Patron Saint of Bankers)
Feast day: September 21

catholic.org for the photo credits