A Piece of Paper

He never complains and talks even lesser. He’s industrious to a T and is quite well off in life by ordinary people’s standards. Yet, he’s not the type to wallow in the extemporaneous showmanship of one’s material accomplishments. Forever humble, he goes on through the motions in life as if he is on a divine mission — to an end, only very few people could see.

It is very rare you will encounter such person but I had, again, and I plan to hang around and learn more from him. In this world full of braggadocios and trying-hard hangers-on, it is a like finding a gem that will last you a lifetime.

I had my fair share of friends in the almost five decades of existence. They had come and gone. Some had died along the way and some had simply disappeared in the course of time – the consequences of aging, the sign of the times or, simply, the call of destiny.

True friendships are rare because they are matches made in heaven –a total ‘synching’ of two people’s mindsets and spirits. But to discover them requires a bit of patience. They are not mere acquaintances that we had come to like in a short period of time. They are good starts, though, and could lead to one of those people that we had tried so hard to look for in this complex jungle called life.

Over the course of one’s lifetime, I’m quite sure that one’s list of friends will have gone down from a volume to a single sheet of paper. Keep it and fold it close to your heart.

The memories you had shared with these people are more than enough to keep you aglow and lift your spirits as you amble along in the twilight times of your life.

I Remember June (And the Glorious Years of the PNB)

Philippine National Bank
Philippine National Bank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the May festivities, it’s time to put things into their proper perspectives once more. For the students, the summer parties are over and time to troop into the classrooms again. For the fresh grads, it’s time to push those resumes into the fax machines or, attached into emails and hope for the best. The Philippine economy may not be rosy but it can only get better from here (we really, really hope so). The only difference between Manila and the rest of the third-world countries, is the penchant of the former to be in this kind of situation more often.

June will also be remembered as the month when, in 1989, the Philippine National Bank’s (PNB) shares were first listed at the then dual exchanges of Makati and Manila. It was made possible because of the leadership of Edgardo Espiritu — whose moral integrity and high ethical standard should be the example of our current crop of government officials. He quit as the Finance Minister during the Estrada administration and pursued his interest running private corporations. The reason was obvious.

Over at the PSE, investors are digging their trenches and are preparing to be in for the long haul. The trend had been established and no clear signs of relief are being offered by the administration. Short-term rallies will offer a “quick fix” for those who jumped the latest in this pain bringing, if not, perplexing stock market. But many ‘long-termers’ who were blindsided by the sudden reversal of fortune in the early going of the forgettable Estrada administration – and which had remained in the doldrums during the equally anemic Arroyo transition period/administration – could either bottom-fish or average down at their own comfort levels.

The month of June will see a lot of these prominent and honorable businessmen-politicians-stock investors in churches and other religious edifices attending weddings and shelling out huge amounts either out of: necessity, the love for social gatherings, conceit or simply, to perpetuate the Filipinos bent for the ‘padrino system’.

We can only guess what litanies will be heard during the ceremonies. We could also wish that in their prayers, they would be fervently asking for the country’s economic salvation and not simply to recover – and then some – their political investments or, the country may ultimately well be the most rotten one among the banana republics.

May the June wedding bells toll for the country’s economic recovery. Hang tough, Philippines!



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