Friday, December 30, 2011

A Family Tradition

Families are dear to our hearts. We were taught and we saw it from our parents, specially from mom and dad Valencia, that we can always have a reason to spend time together as a family.

This tradition we continue to uphold.

Last Wednesday, we invited the Geronimo and San Diego family for lunch at the Max's in Roces Avenue.

We specially welcome Edwina, Allan's mom, who resides in Los Angeles. She's here for a Christmas vacation and to be with Allan and Monica and hold in her arms for the first time, Xander, her precious grandson.

We enjoyed each others company. The food was, of course, delicious and filling.

Thanks to the Geronimo family for the opportunity to host them for lunch. Hopefully, it is not the last but the start of many more time together.

Going forward and unstoppable,

P.S. Blessings to Edwina as she goes back to LA next week. May the Lord, who has healed you, continue to give you the grace to go on and the strength to overcome any challenges.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Hi there. I wish you a Merry Christmas today. You know what? It's really a merry, merry day because we remember and celebrate the birth of a Saviour, Jesus, who came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.

This wonderful "life" was stolen from us in the garden but God, our Creator, has a plan so perfect that one day He will redeem us from our sinful life to become the person He created us to be. His only plan was to send His one and only begotten Son, Jesus, who became like one of us to redeem us.

In behalf of my family, we greet you well and may you have a meaningful and precious Merry Christmas.

Your unstoppable friend,

P.S. I received a gift from my daughters + son-in-law today. A pair of "Sanuk" Shoes. One that I have been dreaming of using one day. God knows our needs indeed! Thanks Rache, Steph and Nica+Allan.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Work-At-Home Scams To Avoid

Having an extra cash is something we always want. More so if you're already retired. People in this category usually look for ways to earn. Normally it is by working at home. If you scan the web, there are plenty of these jobs being peddled. Some are true, many are not. 
How do one know which is real? The offer is so good, one can't help but take the bait. This is what happened to Pat Colucci (see article below). 
I too, have considered working-at-home. Earning passive income by blogging was a real option I considered. The question was: How? 
A friend of mine introduced me to Bo Sanchez, a Catholic lay preacher, who has about 12 income streams mostly internet-based like Truly Rich Club. Bo talks a lot about Jomar Hilario, his online marketing mentor. That's when I got involved with Jomar. 
Knowing who your mentor helps a lot in achieving your goal. There is no short-cut to earning extra cash and being financially stable. It requires a lot of work. I started blogging in December of 2010. Jomar is my mentor. I am learning a lot from our Online Mentoring Club, of which I am a member.
So, I don't need to depend on those too-good-to-be-true offers being peddled in the web. 
This article will highlight some of those too-good-to-be-true offers and scams. I hope we can all learn from this. Remember, there's no short-cut to creating wealth. I've learned my lesson before, I won't make that mistake again.
Here it is:
Pat Colucci got an exhilarating phone call in the summer of 2009. The 75-year-old retired salesman of metal fillings, X-ray film and other dental equipment needed some extra cash, and a company called BankCard Empire in Phoenix, Ariz. offered a way: Colucci could run his own credit card processing business from the comfort of his modest home in Plainfield, NJ.
BankCard promised to provide Colucci with credit card swiping machines for sale or lease; the company would also register and build Colucci’s website to market the machines. From that point, Colucci would snare a small cut of each transaction processed. Once he sold a decent number of machines, he could kick back and watch the commissions pour in.
All he needed to get started: a one-time fee of $32,450. The trap was set.
Colucci (who says he doesn’t know how BankCard got his name and phone number) covered the bill with two credit cards---one from Chase Bank, the other from Bank of America. Weeks went by, no word from BankCard. Colucci peppered the company with calls. Crickets. After two months, Colucci knew he had been robbed. Chase Bank initially refunded Colucci’s $9,250, but later rescinded; Bank of America refused to reimburse the $23,200 Colucci had put on its card.
In January 2010 Colucci sued BankCard Empire (for negligence and fraud), as well as Chase Bank and Bank of America (for violating the Truth in Lending Act) in federal district court in New Jersey. Three months later the United States Postal Inspector, assisted by the Tempe, Ariz. police, shut down BankCard. Colucci hasn’t seen a dime. All charges, save for the one citing negligence, have been thrown out; the suit is still pending. As for the fraud-protection policies offered by the banks, they tend only to protect card holders from unauthorized use of their cards---not from transactions willingly performed with a crook disguised as a legitimate operation. “I feel that the banks ripped me off as much as the scammer did,” says Colucci, who lives on Social Security and is now looking for a job. A Chase representative declined to comment; Bank of America did not respond to multiple calls for comment.
Colucci has plenty of unsuspecting company in this tight economy. In 2010 the Federal Trade Commission received 8,192 complaints involving work-at-home-business opportunities, flat with the previous year. The FTC estimates that only one in every 55 of these gigs is legitimate.
Whether it involves stuffing envelopes, processing medical insurance claims or assembling toys, most victims never get paid for their work or ever recoup their startup fees. As for Colucci, not only is he out his thirty-two grand, he also has legal bills to pay. “There is no ability to recover enhanced damages or attorney’s fees in a claim against a credit card company when [you] are defrauded on a work-at-home scam,” says Billy Pinilis, Colucci’s attorney. “This usually makes it impossible for a victim to even get counsel because it makes hiring a lawyer economically infeasible. People are entering into transactions believing that they are protected from fraud, when they are not.”
You might think the chance to make easy money in pajamas would get anyone's hackles up. So how do these schemes endure? Most victims---typically senior citizens, stay-at-home mothers and people with low incomes---are too embarrassed to file a complaint; others get so frustrated they just walk away altogether.
Smell a scam? Vet the offer with your local Better Business Bureau, which maintains a directory of local businesses. Beware: Just because the company's name is listed in the directory doesn't mean it’s a legitimate operation. These businesses change names all the time, masking their dirty track records.
Victims should contact their local or state consumer affairs agency, their state attorney general's office, the advertising manager of the publication that ran the business's employment ads and, if they received anything from the business by mail, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
To learn more about work-at-home schemes, also check out the Federal Trade Commission'sbusiness-opportunities website and the National Fraud Information Center, run by the National Consumers League.
In the meantime, here are a few nasty work-at-home schemes we’ve identified over the last few years.
E-Commerce Con
Making a few extra bucks doesn’t sound any easier than this: Simply pay an up-front, one-time fee (a few thousand dollars, perhaps) to have someone build and host a functioning website featuring various household goods for sale, from toothpaste to toilet paper; each time someone buys an item, you collect a slice of the transaction. All you need to do is encourage people to shop there—the rest (stocking inventory, shipping the product) is handled for you. Or, more likely, nothing is handled, and the thief offering you the opportunity is long gone with your earnest money before you’ve hocked one tube of Crest.
Letter From Nigeria
Also called the 419 scam (referring to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud), this bait-and-switch has recently gained a lot of attention. The ruse takes many forms. One common flavor: An email arrives from a man claiming to be a senior civil servant of Nigeria (or another African country), who writes that he is looking for a reputable foreigner with whom he can deposit up to $60 million for safe-keeping while he deals with some dangerous political strife. In return for providing safe haven in your bank account, the thief promises to give you 30% of the money once—as one email put it—“documentations are concluded over here.” The emails may even come with a (forged) seal of the Nigerian government, just for good measure. Of course, you will be required to cough up a deposit so that you have a stake in the business venture. When your Nigerian friend later claims something has gone awry, he will ask for additional funds to tide him over---never mind that he supposedly has millions of dollars to start with. (Another non-work-at-home twist: The email may claim that you are eligible to receive a hefty inheritance from a wealthy and recently deceased diplomat or businessman. Yet another: You might be promised a handsome fee for distributing a giant stash among various charities. Yes, confirms the Federal Trade Commission: People do fall for this.
Lonely hearts aren’t the only fans of 1-900 numbers. Scammers use them to push bogus work-at-home gigs: Just call the 1-900 number for “more information.” While you wait on hold, you’ll rack up usurious charges, which the crook splits with the unwitting phone company. Foil the scam and, like a game of Whack-a-Mole, the bad guy simply pops up under a different name, with a different number.
Driver Wanted
This scam, recently advertised on Craigslist, has many variations. In one case, a man asks you to chauffer his wife, who is visiting your area. Easy enough, though the payment terms are a tad convoluted. You are told that you will receive a check (or “money gram”) for, say, $2,500 in the mail. You will deposit the check, then immediately pull out the cash--- $700 to cover your fee and any ancillary expenses, and the rest to be mailed back to the scammer. Your bank probably won’t know for a day or two that you have deposited a fake check.
Check Cashing
Also called "money-mule" schemes. The gist: Scammers recruit U.S. agents--dubbed "financial managers" or "sales managers"--to cash counterfeit checks (or deposit stolen funds), for a small commission, and then wire that money abroad, often to the scammers themselves. By the time the bank realizes the checks are bogus (two to five days later), the money's been sent and the unsuspecting intermediary is left holding the bag.
Medical Billing
Most of these work-from-home schemes promise up to thousands of dollars per week for processing insurance claims for doctors who are too busy to deal with the paperwork themselves. You'll receive startup marketing materials, software, a training session and a "lead" list of local doctors--all for a fee, of course. Too bad that software costs a lot less at Best Buy, your training sessions are postponed indefinitely, your leads are vapor and no one wants your service.
Mystery Shopping
In this scam, an official-sounding entity, such as the Mystery Shopping Club of America, promises assignments to aspiring marketing researchers. How to get paid? Just make anonymous purchases at various stores and evaluate your experience--right after you pay a "registration fee" to look or apply for assignments in its database. Legitimate offers won't require a fee or "certification" to search for companies requesting mystery shoppers. Typical prey: college students.
Pre-Screened List of Jobs
This might be the most heartless one of all. Consumers pay a fee to register with the business to access a pre-screened list of "legitimate" work-at-home job listings. The scammer's ads pop up in the course of a "scam free jobs at home" online search, and they promise a refund to those who fail to land a job. After sending in payment, victims are summarily locked out of their accounts and never see a single job opportunity.
What more can I say.
You and me will never stop learning. We're unstoppable!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I am posting this article from one of my favorite author/speaker, Francis Kong. The only reason why I am doing this is because I am challenged by the story of the soldier, who was rejected by the father. Many times I reject people simply because they are annoying to me or they bother me. I feel sad about this. If I truly have the love of God in my heart, I must change.
I must love others unconditionally like Jesus loved me. I know it will be easier said than done but I must love the way Jesus loved.

I pray that you too will be inspired when you read this as I have been. 
Here's the blog by Francis Kong:

Here is an old story. I have used this in my radio program and I would like to share this with you.
A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco.
"Mom and dad, I’m coming home, but I’ve a favor to ask. I have a friend I’d like to bring home with me."
"Sure," they replied. "We’d love to meet him."
"There’s something you should know," the son continued. "He was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mine and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us."
"I’m sorry to hear that son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live."
"No, mom and dad, I want him to live with us."
"Son," said the father, "you don't know what you're asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden to us. We have our own lives to live, and we can't let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He'll find a way to live on his own."
At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide.
The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn't know - their son had only one arm and one leg.[1]

The parents in this story are not unlike many of us. We find it easy to accept those who are good-looking or fun to have around, but we don't like people who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable. We would rather stay away from people who are not as healthy, beautiful or as smart as we are.
Take a look around you. In every office or every work place there are those who are hurting and are crying for help. But the thing that makes all this difficult is that there is an unwritten law that every one is to keep it inside, they do not want to look weak. It is important to project an image of strength and stability. But deep inside the heart lurkes discomfort and pain.

Remember this: People who are hurting will always hurt other people.
You find them irritable, offensive, you don't like the way they speak, they act and they way the treat you but maybe deep inside them, they feel they are not accepted.
To get beneath the facade and know the hurts and pains in the heart of this oppressive person. Reach out and be a friend. Respond to their cries for help and be willing to accept them as a friend.

Thankfully, God loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes us into His Presence no matter who we are or how handicapped we are in life. We've made a mess of our lives but He still loves us so much He gave His life for us. And the love and the forgiveness we now receive from Him should also be share with those who need it don't you think so?

If you feel you're hurting in life and that you can't cope anymore, there is One who will never reject you and He is more than willing to accept you into His loving arms. His name is Jesus. Call on Him with your whole heart and He will certainly respond.

Source: Hot Illustrations For Yourth Talks

I will not choose only the lovable but will find time to love the unlovable from here on. 

May your life be a blessing to others,

Photo credit:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Face of tyranny

Face of tyranny

I appreciate this article so much. It presents what is really behind our President P-Noy's reason why he is lambasting the Arroyo appointed Justices of the Supreme Court. What they decide on affects all our lives, none exempted.

I like what the author said: "When government issues a patently unjust decree, the people may challenge it and bring the case to court. When the Supreme Court makes a patently unjust ruling, what can anyone do about it? What can the flight attendants do after the Supreme Court decided to reopen a case it had ruled upon with finality three times in their favor because of a letter from Estelito Mendoza importuning it to do so? Legally at least, the flight attendants know that the resolution of their case—if it ever comes to that—rests on the same Court that has been screwing them."

This is indeed tyranny to the highest level. Who can challenge the Supreme Court? It's a good thing we have a president that does.

I hope and pray that these Arroyo appointed justices will bring back the credibility of the last recourse of the people, the Supreme Court.

May God have mercy on us.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Pictures Paint A Thousand Words

Pictures speak a thousand words. Whenever we go on tour, cameras will always be part of it, an important part of the tour. Today’s technology makes it easy to record events and actions on digital cameras.

Here are some pictures I took about our staff at Uno Overseas. These are unique and they deliver a message. Whenever I take pictures, I always look for a theme and there is a story behind it.

So let me share my story with you. 
This is my favorite. All three ladies in their best form, promise.

Berna is the professional one, the favorite photographer of the group.

Dez is the chronicler of the group. I think she took pictures of all the things we did.

Joy is the only one who was using a video to record every movement the group makes.

Looks like she is having a hard time focusing.

Tony knows how to make himself seen.

El Jay is surely taking photo of his darling, bet you.

Mercy is not to be left behind.

Take it easy Candy.

Tony is really trying his best, don't you think so?
I am sure you'll appreciate these wonderful folks who have only one desire, that is, to bless others by being their photographer.

I am blessed,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grateful for the Tour

It was just an idea. The prospect of travel for the staff of Uno Overseas was just an idea. Sometime in August this year, the company also gave us a treat. We went to Boracay for a week of vacation. But this time, we thought of traveling  to Hongkong. Why not?
At the Hong Kong Airport on our arrival

So it was just an idea that became reality when out of the blue, our lawyer, Atty. Lucy Labad, told us of her tour to Hongkong. That was the clincher. So, we booked ourselves, on this tour that will take us to Hongkong, Macau and to Shenzen, China.
Maritess posing with the lady from mainland China in her native dress
As I am writing this in our hotel here in Shenzen, I can’t help but thank God for the blessing. My wife and I are grateful for the chance to travel together with the wonderful staff of Uno. We had fun together traveling on MTR (Metro trains) in Hongkong, shopping at Mongkok,  and ending our exciting time in Disneyland. The last leg was traveling by train to Shenzen, China. Going in and out of the immigration of HongKong, Macau and Shenzhen were in itself an adventure.
Savoring the chinese duck menu

Today we had breakfast at the hotel. To tell the truth, I was expecting  a very sumptuous morning breakfast. But to our surprise, it was different. The food were not laid out well like I was used to whenever I eat breakfast in the Toyoko Inn Hotels in Japan.
My breakfast in Shenzhen, love it!

But then, this is China. Their ways are different than others. This is their breakfast menu: Congee of rice only, noodles, siopao, bread, Chinese style Kimchi and flavored boiled eggs. These were placed in large plastic containers! It was different, it was chinese.
Maritess and I at the Venetian in Macau
All in all, Maritess and I are grateful to be part of this tour. It was indeed a blessing. For after all, who would ever thought we will visit Shenzen, Canton, China, the land where my father was born!

Grateful for the blessing,

P.S. My friend, Ador Ordonez, is a sought after tour organizer in the Philippines. He has been in so many countries and had put together tours which we very exotic and adventurous in nature. I highly recommend their blog Travel the World. To see is to believe.