Your Journey to Wealth

Dear son,

It’s been months since we last saw each other. I’m glad that your plan has materialized — and you are now beginning your new job. This is a new chapter in your life, a new journey. Congratulations! I wish you success.

I just finished reading a classic book. And I can’t wait to share it with you. But I wish, we were face-to-face when we talk about this — just like the hundreds or maybe thousands of personal conversations we had since you were young.

The book I’m talking about is, “The Richest Man in Babylon.” It’s a very old book. Can you guess when it was originally published? In 1926. Yes 94 years ago. It’s already  year 2020 now. Six years more, the book will be on it’s hundredth years. And what I learned from the book is still applicable today.

Okay, I’m not going to make a full review of the book. Neither will I enumerate all the pointers presented by the author. I will not even retell the stories in the book. I will just share to you some lessons that resonate in me. So don’t worry, this won’t be exhausting.

There are several parables in the book. But all of them basically teach the same principles about how to handle our financial life. This is great for you especially now that you are just starting your new job. These practices may excite you to learn more about how to become a good steward of what God has given you. Here are some:

1. SAVE AT LEAST 10% OF YOUR INCOME. Well, this is flexible. Of course you can save 15% or 30% or even more. Just make sure ten percent is the minimum. I know you are already disciplined at saving money. So this won’t be difficult for you.

2. SPEND LESS THAN YOU EARN. This is another good habit. Can you imagine if you earn P10,000 a month and you spend P15,000 a month? How long will it take before you become buried in your own debt? No matter how much you earn, if you always spend more than your earning, you will always be wanting. It’s not about the amount of money being spent, it’s about the mentality of spending. I know people who earn more than P500k a month, but spend almost the same amount of their earning. When suddenly they get sick, or their child gets sick, they don’t have money for the hospital.

If you are going to compare the number of times you save money and the number of times you spend money, you will clearly see that spending is far far more frequent than saving. Usually, you will save money right after you received your salary. That means you do that only every two weeks, or twice a month. But you spend money almost everyday. That’s why spending money becomes a habit. An action that is frequently done becomes a habit. And if you spend your money without care, it will become a bad habit. And remember how difficult it is to change a bad habit. So keep in mind: always spend less than you earn.

3. INVEST YOUR SAVINGS. Okay, now that you already started saving money, what is your plan? What are you going to do with your savings? That’s when investing comes in. You will have to wait until your savings are enough to buy an investment. But while you are waiting, you better begin scouting and doing some research on where to invest your saved money. This book has good advice about it: Invest only on areas you are knowledgeable. Why? Because if you invest on something you are not even familiar with, there’s a big chance that you will just lose your investment. 

Wait! Let’s go back to the beginning. What is investing in the first place? In simple words, investing is making money work for you.

Normally, we work to earn money—and we do that by trading our precious time and our skills or talent in exchange of salary. On the other hand, when we invest, we don’t work for money, instead, we make money work for us. It happens when we buy an asset that we hope will give us a return higher than the amount we bought it.

One example is when we buy mutual fund from Philam Life for the amount of P30K, and after 5 years, our P30K worth mutual fund has increased its value to P50K. When we withdraw that mutual fund, we get P20K worth of interest in just 5 years. That is not possible when we just deposit the P30k in a bank as a savings account.

4. PROTECT YOUR MONEY. Now that you have saved and invested your hard-earned money, you need to protect those from fatal loss. Otherwise, your effort of saving will just be useless.

I’m not sure if I got this right. But this is how I understand this lesson from the book. You can protect your savings by putting it in a bank instead of hiding it under your bed or inside your locker.

How about your investment, how do you protect those? Okay, bear with me because it’s a little bit tricky to explain. You can protect your investment before you invest them. By choosing carefully where to invest, you are protecting your money. If you are not careful in choosing, you might become a victim of scam. Many people lost their savings and big amount of money from scam.

There’s a third way to protect your money: INSURANCE. Now this is even trickier to explain (by me, at least). So let’s have a scenario.

Imagine a father who has a P20K savings in a bank. At least, that money is protected. Now, imagine that the father’s son got sick and needed to be confined in a hospital few towns away from their home. After few days in the hospital, before they can go home, the father needs to pay P50K.

What will happen? Because the father has only a few cash in his wallet, he is forced to withdraw the amount of money from his bank, which is only P20K—that is all his savings. Now he is still in need of additional P30K to complete the total amount of hospitalization which is P50K. So his next move is to borrow money from a trusted friend or to apply for a loan. That loan will become a monthly spending—because from the next month onward, the father will start paying the loan for a few months so he can be free from debt again.

Because of emergency, the father lost his hard-earned money that he saved for months in just a few days of hospitalization. Not only that, he is also in debt now — in debt by P30K. All because of health emergency. Painful, isn’t it? What will happen if in another few months, his son is back in the hospital? Yes, you got it right, the father will borrow money again. And soon he will find himself buried in debt.

Here’s how insurance comes in. This is protecting your money indirectly. If the father bought a health insurance for him and or for his son, he won’t lose his money the way he did in the scenario above. If he has insurance, that insurance will cover most of the hospitalization cost. If he has insurance, he won’t need to withdraw his savings from the bank (at least his money is protected from being spent), he won’t need to borrow money from friends or to apply for a loan. At least he is free from debt, and free from financial worries.

5. KEEP LEARNING. This last lesson will seal your fate in an upward cycle of continually becoming better. It’s not about academic learning, it’s about improving yourself in the way you practice the first four steps above. It’s about..

  • improving your ability to make income;
  • strengthening your discipline to always spend less than your earning;
  • increasing your knowledge in investing;
  • being wiser in protecting your money.


Now it’s time to confess a not so secret truth. Son, you are blessed to know this now that you are still very young and has just started your career and your being a father. I didn’t know these lessons when you were young. All I knew then was to save money. But for what? I saved money because I wanted to buy a new Mac, or a DSLR, or an iPhone, or an iPad, or a motorcycle. But I never saved money to invest. I never bought an insurance. So if you can still remember, the story above is our story. I wish I had read the book a long time ago. But I know it’s not too late for me.

As for you, my dear son, practice these 5 lessons. It won’t hurt you. In fact, it may even improve your financial life. I wish for you to become financially independent early so you don’t have to leave your family just to earn money from a company you depend on. I hope these lessons will become your habits.

God bless you always!

I love you!






You can read the book if you like. There are plenty of free copies in the internet. You can also view some book animated review in Youtube, or listen to it’s audiobook version also in Youtube. There are plenty of sources out there. They are just a few finger clicks aways.

Getting Old Or Growing Old?

Dear son,

Happy birthday!

God has added another year in your life — what a wonderful blessing!

I always remember when you were just a few months old. I was carrying you in my arms, and you were looking at me. Your eyes were fixed at my eyes, as if you were telling me something serious, your eyebrows were crossed, perhaps wondering who was that skinny young man who was carrying you. There were no words to describe that positive emotion that I felt that moment.

Now, look at you, you’ve grown so much. You are now carrying your own son in your arms. I wish, you will become a great father to him, far greater than I was a father to you. I know you will also love him more than I have loved you.

All people get old everyday, every month, every year. We celebrate it yearly — on our birthdays. We all get old. But only some of us — a significantly fewer of us — really grow old. What’s the difference? You may ask. Getting old is about aging; growing old is about getting better in all dimensions of our personhood.

Getting old is physically automatic. You don’t have to do anything. In fact, even if you deliberately don’t do anything, you still get old, just much faster. Without effort, you are aging, you are consuming time, you are adding years to your life.

But growing old is never automatic. It needs effort. You have to be intentional. You need to act. You need to do something.

To grow means to become better. That means, to become stronger in our character, deeper in our faith, having healthier body, sharper mind, more loving heart. To constantly grow, means to constantly improve.

I’ve seen people who have gotten old but never did grow. Their skin became wrinkled, got poorer eyesight, weaker bones, and bald head. But they remain childish, immature, selfish, arrogant, and remained closed eyes. I’m sure, you have seen plenty of those people too.

I know you are not like them. And you won’t be like them. I taught you the importance of growing. I guided you in the slow process of growing. Now it’s your turn to teach your son to grow. Make him attracted to the process of growing. Train him to never stop discovering life, to always be excited to learn new things, and to improve the things he has already learned. “Train him up in the way he should go. And when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Did you know that your effectiveness as a parent is based primarily in your ability to grow as a person? And did you know that, that is the most common misconceptions among many parents — they thought that parenting is about them facilitating their children’s growth, and that’s it. I’ve known a lot of parents who thought that their role as parents is to teach; and that their children’s role is to learn from them.

But no, that’s not complete.

Parenting is about both the parents and their child growing together in sweet harmony.

When I became a father, I didn’t stop growing. Instead, I became more interested growing myself. Observe how different I am now, compared to when you were still in elementary school. Even some of my beliefs in parenting have changed through the years. I even learned a lot of things from you.

Many parents I know, think that it’s them teaching their children to learn. And their children doing everything they can to learn from their parents. But actually, parents can learn a lot of things from their children too. As a father, I remember how I learned from you that if I listened carefully to what you were saying, I would discover an amazing point of view — something that’s different from mine, but is equally reasonable and acceptable.

Now that you are a father too, double your effort to grow. Grow together with your son, and with your wife. Grow as a family. Observe your son carefully. Learn from him. Discover life through his innocent little eyes. Listen to humanity through his tiny voice. Allow him to grow your heart bigger, stronger, and more enduring.

As your little one grows, he will teach you how to love unconditionally. He will teach you to be more patient, to listen empathically, to be more aware of your own emotion. Allow him. Open your mind wider. Be ready. I promise you, if you are intentional in your personal growth, it will be much easier to learn; and if you’re intentional in your parenting, you will learn as much as your little one will. And the more you grow as a father, the more you will be able to carry your responsibility as a parent.

Again, happy happy birthday son!

God bless you and your family!



Officially A Father

Dear Jonathan,

I congratulate you for having a first born of your own!

You are now a father. And that’s official. Your journey has taken a new chapter — one that will be more exciting than any other chapter you will ever have in your life. Son, this chapter will never end. But it’s up to you if you will make this wonderful or miserable. So from now on, you need to be very careful with your decisions. For whatever you decide will always have an effect on your son, and your family.

For now, enjoy this moment. There is no feeling of joy greater than seeing your first baby on his frist day. His cry becomes music in your ears. His first breath will take yours away. Cherish this my son. And don’t forget to thank God for giving you your little one. David is your greatest blessing!

I’m so happy for you son… you and Hannah! Thank you for giving me my first grandson! This is a new chapter in my life too. And I am very excited!

I love you always!



Undying Loyalty

Dear son,

It’s been five weeks since I last wrote you a letter. I’m sorry! I know I have no excuse. The world is spinning too fast, and a lot of things have already happened in the past month — both to you and to me. I like to congratulate you for finding a new job that is exactly aligned with your talents, hobby, and passion. That’s great! That job will never bore you.

In the mean time, I want you to cry. No, not that I really want you to cry. Actually, what I want is for you to watch the 2009 movie, “Hachiko — A Dog’s Tale.” For surely you will cry. I did when I watched it. Hachiko is a remarkable story of undying loyalty — one that is extremely rare to find among humans.

Dogs are incredibly loyal creatures. Once you create a bond with them, they will never break it. And if you do break that bond, they will remain your friend and keep their loyalty intact. Their body dies first before their loyalty. I learned it when I was five years old.

Forty Years Ago

We had a big dog named Boojie. It was my father’s personal pet, companion, protector, and friend when he was still in the army. We were in an area where rebels constantly battled with the army. So my father trained Boojie to protect not only him but also us: me, my mom, and my little sister, because he was always away — in the battle front line.

Boojie was an intelligent guard dog. I remember how amazed I was to see it following commands from my dad. When my dad tapped a table twice, Boojie would jump over that table. It would sit when my dad said so. And when my dad made a gesture to attack someone, Boogie would surely attack that someone.

One common experience among soldiers in the 70’s, was the reassignment of duties. One day, my dad surprised us that he was just reassigned back to the country’s main island, more than one thousand three hundred kilometers away from where we were at that time. And we had to move immediately. Since the only two options to travel was by plane or by ship, and dogs have their own fare, not to mention the clearances required to process to transport them, my father’s initial decision was to leave the dog. So we left Boojie alone.

pexels-photo-248273.jpegBut Boojie didn’t agree with the decision. He followed us as we travelled to the city from that remote mountainous area. My dad was tough. And I knew, he was trying to be tough that time as he was driving the old rugged car looking at the side and rear mirrors from time to time to check whether Boojie had given up following us.

Boojie steadfastly followed us for more than two hours, running in full speed in that very long and very rough road going to the city proper. It was my father who gave up. His toughness was no match to Boojie’s persistence; his strong heart was weaker than his dog’s loyalty.

He stopped the car and let Boojie come in. When I noticed its tongue to be unusually longer, I asked mom why. “Boojies has been running for two hours and he never stopped even though he’s very tired. He wants to come with us.” she answered me. My short 5-year-old arms weren’t enough as I embraced Boojie until we reached the dock.

In short, Boojie traveled with us in the ship back to the country’s capital.

Upon arrival, we went straight to my mom’s parents house and settled there for a couple of days. Then we traveled to my dad’s home to another province just to visit them. When we came back to my mom’s home four days later, Boojie was dead. My grandma told us that, “He won’t eat anything. I think he was so lonely. No matter what we did, he just kept on ignoring us. Maybe he thought you left him here. He just died yesterday.”

Almost forty years have passed, and I still remember the emotion that succumbed us all that moment. My mom cried. I did too.

The Why

Remember the first time I took you from your mom, to live with me? You were still in your fifth grade. When we arrived in your would be “new home,” I embraced you and said, “I missed you son!”

Then unexpectedly, you asked me a very innocent question, “What is ‘miss’ papa?” Apparently your young mind was not yet familiar with the concept of “missing a person.” I thought maybe because you haven’t experienced yet to have a bond with someone. I was  physically away from you, your mom was physically present but wasn’t caring enough for you. Maybe you didn’t know how it felt to be endeared by someone.

So I began a series of projects. First I bonded with you by being a friend more than a father at the time. Then I gradually gave you home duties that are solely yours so you would learn how to be responsible to what was expected of you. Years later, I taught you to grow plants and take care of them. Then finally, I inspired you to grow animals. First, the hamster, then the pigeons, then finally the dogs.

Before you went back to your mother, I noticed you have already learned how to bond with your beautiful dogs and cats. That’s a great thing son. That’s wonderful!

All those years, what I really taught you was the power of friendship. Because true friendship will always breed loyalty — the one thing that is so rare in our modern time, the one Hachiko demonstrated in the movie, the one Boojie taught me forty years ago.

Loyalty is so rare now, perhaps because people have forgotten how to become a good friend, a true friend, a trustworthy friend. They forgot that loyalty grows from true friendship alone.

My son, you are now becoming a father. It is no joke. You are not just growing a plant or a dog or a cat anymore. You will be growing another human being — another person just like you and me, with own body, heart, mind, and spirit. You will be growing someone who will be your legacy, and yet free to choose his own path. The one great way to do that is by being his dad — a father and friend rolled into one.

Now go, take a rest, and watch the movie. Learn as much as you can. Enjoy it!

I love you always son!

God bless you!


Approaching The Right People

Hello Sharon!

As promised, I am now reblogging this post of yours…

But first, let me say something. I chose this particular post of yours because I love the concept you are sharing here. Especially the H.O.T.S. people that surround us:

By process of elimination, I am sure, I am NOT a squirrel — for I’m very poor in details. On the contrary, I love the big picture!

Second, I am definitely NOT a hare, for I love to follow through, and I don’t easily get bored. Patience is one of my strengths.

I’m thinking if I am a bit of a turtle because I love “slow-but-sure” approach to life. But absolutely, I am not a naysayer — for I truly hate a naysaying attitude. Now that leaves me just one choice left.

Maybe, just maybe… I am an owl (although I have squinty eyes), because deep inside I know how much I love strategic planning, and I believe in the power of people-working-together-as-team.

So, to answer your question, I think, not all people are mean. Sometimes, we just go to the wrong person.

What I have learned years ago is that, if I’m going to embark in a very important journey in my life, I have to be very careful in choosing who will be going along with me in my journey. I have accepted the fact that not all people will be joining me. That discovery (and acceptance) somehow taught me how to choose the “right” people who will journey with me. When they do, I also do everything to make their choice (of joining me) worthwhile.

Thanks for your story!

Here’s your post…

Dear Diary,

I had a dream today…I was running through a field of money. I woke up to a burning laptop charger. I guess the energy emitted in my dream was manifested real life. I thought up a business idea today: wrote a business plan to top it all and submitted it to the two most important male figures in my life. Didnt quite go as planned. […]

via Are all people this mean?? — DIARY OF A MONEY MAKING ADDICT


3-Day Quote Challenge: Day 3

Day Three

Finally, the last day in my 3-day quote challenge has come! But certainly NOT my last “thanks!” to Kranti who dragged me into this — first time — wonderful experience! I just love this!


  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  • Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  • Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

My Third Quote:

Sometimes it takes the worst to bring out the best in you.

The Best in You

When bad things happen to us, we tend to forget the good ones.

This quote reminds me that the worst is not the end of life, sometimes, it is the gateway to something great. Remember after the storm, comes the warmth of the sun. At the end of the tunnel, lies the light.

If we are a learner, no matter what happens to us, we always learn from it. And normally, the worse the scenario, the greater the learning. Now, imagine the worst. Sure enough, if we learn from it, the result would be our greatest learning. It is that learning that brings the best in us.

Now, let me summarize by connecting the three quotes:

  • Quote 1 is about the strong belief that no one can really crumple us without our permission. It’s our initial protection from the worst.
  • Quote 2 is about accepting the reality that the worst will come; making our heart ready when it happens; actually knowing what to do during the trial; and finally, holding on with the hope that miracle is coming.
  • Quote 3 is about the reward if we keep our part intact.

With that, I again give my thanks to Kranti for taking me to this wonderful 3-day journey!

My last set of nominees:


3-Day Quote Challenge: Day 2

Day Two

Again, I give my thanks to Kranti for this opportunity to participated in a 3-day challenge.


  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  • Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  • Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

My Second Quote:

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

KnotI love the sense of hope this quote gives me.

It was during my high school years when I visited my auntie in her church that I first encountered this quote. I saw a big photo frame on a wall of the lobby of the parsonage. There was a hand holding at the end of a rope. It gave me a mental image that because the rope had a knot on its end, the hand that was holding it wasn’t sliding downward. It just kept on hanging for as long as the fingers were locked. At least that was the imagination triggered in me by that photo at the wall.

There are four things that I’m reminded whenever I read this quote:

  • WHEN — the quote begins with the word “when” and NOT with the word “if.” In this context, If indicates, a possibility; when indicates inevitability. For me, it means, that difficult times will surely come to us. It’s just a matter of time — a matter of when. Therefore, this quote reminds me that I should not be surprised, but instead be ready when it happens, because it will happen.
  • TIE — this is what I shoud be ready to do. It means a little effort on my part. If I fell because I didn’t tie a knot, I am the only one to be blamed. This is about responsibility.
  • KNOT — this is something — a person, a thing, a dream, my faith, sense of purpose — or anything that I can focus my mind on in times of difficulty in order for me to not to give up.
  • HANG ON — this is the part when I have done everything else, but still refuse to give up. It means hope. Just wait a little longer. Have faith.

They said that men can survive 40 days without food; 4 days without water; 4 minutes without oxygen; but only 4 seconds without hope. That’s how important hope is.

Difficulty is part of life. There are times when we feel that everything else fails and that We’ve done everything we could, every solution possible. Yet still, nothing seems to work anymore. We feel tired, frustrated, and hopeless. But let’s not give up. Not yet. Let’s just make a little more effort of picking up on something dear to us, something we can hold on to — like a knot at the end of a rope — and hope for a miracle.

My Second set of nominees: