Monday, November 29, 2010

The Old Man Is Finally Home!

lolo cadio with grandchildrenYes, the old man is happily home at last!

With a big sigh of relief,upon his arrival at Zamboanga airport to board a plane that will take him to Manila,...this old man, with arms raised, muttered with extreme joy, "Yes, I am finally on the way to a new and long journey."

Everyone accompanying the old man didn't exactly understand what he meant! But each one of them clearly sensed his extreme happiness and childish joy!- - - The same kind of joyful anticipation that an incarcerated prisoner feels when he is finally released from prison!

It is now more than seven years since his loving wife Choleng passed away unexpectedly. After his wife's untimely demise, he went to live with one of his daughters who had built a house in a home lot (in Lumbayao) which the old man inherited from his own parents!

lolo cadio at the mallEveryone thought the old man was finally back home since Lumbayao was where he was born, lived, and grew up with his own brothers and sisters. His surviving sister and youngest brother also lived nearby! Besides, in Lumbayao, the old man commands the respect of practically all of their neighbors! It was supposed to be the best place and the best set up for one who had been living with his in-laws for most of his married life.

He had no choice then, his wife Choleng was the caretaker of their ancestral home and the personal nurse of an ailing mother! They could not live in a separate abode because of Choleng's self-imposed duty to take care of her own mother. Instead, they chose to raise their own family while at the same time taking care of her ailing mother in the ancestral home of Choleng's family -  which their own children learned to embrace as their own. Even after the death of Choleng's mother, both the old man and his wife discarded their plans to set out on their own altogether. Nobody realized even up to today, that it would be the old man who would suffer the consequences of that decision to live most of their married life under the shadows of his wife's relatives!

After Choleng's death, the old man had nowhere to go. He can only live with anyone of his daughters who are all, by then, married and have families of their own, and are all more than willing to take him in. During their mother's wake, the second eldest daughter announced to all and sundry that she would take the old man in and care for his needs, reserving a special room for him in her new house built on the old man's home lot in Lumbayao.

lolo cadio restingIt was a beautiful arrangement the start! The old man's younger sister who just live in an adjacent lot would pay him a visit almost everyday. Together with their nephews and nieces, they would ocassionaly gather around a bamboo table under the coconut trees and partake of whatever food they can bring together. Unfortunately, such gatherings became infrequent and scarce after a while.

The old man's sister and other relatives hardly drop by for some time now! For some reason, people who used to pay the old man a visit stopped visiting altogether! Things were turning out gloomy for the old man.

lolo cadio restingMeanwhile, the old man's eye sight, unknown to everyone around him started failing. His cataract was spreading fast. Everyone thought the old man has just grown extremely senile. Stories even fly around saying the old man could no longer recognize even her own daughters! Not surprisingly, everyone was passing off the news as a normal occurrence for a man in the '80's! They all were inclined to dismiss his senility as regular and ordinarily accompanies old age. Some of them are even amused to know that at times  the old man would not be able to recognize his own two older daughters. Interestingly, however, he is always able to recognize their husbands.

Little did they know, that by this time, the old man's eyesight has turned for the worst. By now, he can only see blurred images of people around him. Little did they know that everything around him is a blur!...That he had to rely on a failing memory to discern the things in front of him...That he has grown totally dependent on the voices of people around him before he could recognize them...That he could only easily recognize people whose familiar voices he hears quite often!

The fact is, he had to stare and wait for that blur in front of him to speak before he'd be able to recognize the person! The fact is his vision is so impaired that he had to often ask what those flashes of light are in front of him or what that blurred object is that he is able to hardly visualize.  Sadly, and with little understanding of what the old man is going through, people would immediately dismiss his actions as being senile! And because hardly anyone understands him, he had grown irritable and impatient!

The old man had lived a full life under the love and care of his wife Choleng! Everyone who knows Choleng will understand what I mean when I say the old man has been 'babied'!

lolo cadio crossing the streetCholeng was a very understanding, caring, and loving person. As a wife, she practically 'babied' the old man, taking care of all his everyday needs, never arguing with him, taking care of his medications sometimes forgetting her own. In short, throughout their married life, specially after his retirement, the old man has grown totally dependent on having Choleng around! He need not ask for anything because whatever it is he needs, when he needs it, it will be there because Choleng had prepared it ahead of time.Choleng would also regularly cut his nails..a chore he later had to passed on to her daughters because her own eyesight was failing. Choleng would often insist that the old man bring along their youngest daughter to his drinking spree with his friends and students as his personal 'mini guard 'so that there is always someone who'd remind him if he had already drunk more than what  he should! Choleng had showered the old man with dedicated love and undivided attention. Her untimely demise had created a vacuum in the old man's life! He definitely looks for and misses the kind of attention and care that Choleng showered him throughout his lifetime!

It would not be enough that we leave a cup of coffee and ' pan-de-sal '  on the table for him every morning! He looks forward to sitting down with loved ones and engage them in conversations during meals - the way they used to do it when Choleng was alive.  It would not be enough to just set aside food for him to eat. He is used to having Choleng break up the food into bite sizes for him to eat. He is used to having Choleng prepare his towel, clothes, and underwear prior to taking a bath. He is used to having Choleng at bedside before he goes to sleep! He is used to having Choleng bring him snacks during merienda time without asking for it! He is so used to all this love and respect and affection showered on him in the past and definitely longs for them.

lolo cadio shoppingDuring his stint as a music teacher in the two universities of Zamboanga City, he had been used to being accorded with respect befitting his profession. Today, at the twilight of his life, he still longs for that kind of respect...and surely, he doesn't deserve the ridicule he now get every time he accidentally dropped bits and pieces of food while eating! He doesn't deserve to be chastised for being melodramatic every time other people shower him with affection and attention...these are the very thing he misses and he deserves to bask a little longer during those rare instances! Surely, it would also not be proper for anyone to play silly jokes and make life miserable for a retired professor who was and still is well respected by prominent names in the city!

The old man longs for the old life.

When he declared he was on to 'a new and long journey' at the Zamboanga airport prior to his departure for Manila, it only meant he was looking forward to having a new life that would approximate his old life when Choleng was still around! Astonishingly, and contrary to the expectation of some, on his arrival at the Manila International Airport, he immediately recognized Pong and Winchell,  two of his grand children, and Sue, his youngest daughter. The old man knew, deep in his heart that he was finally home! He was finally at a place where he can expect to get the love, respect, care, and attention that may not equal those bestowed on him by his beloved Choleng, but one which would definitely approximate them.

The old man is Arcadio Perez, retired music professor of Ateneo de Zamboanga University and Mindanao State University, musician extraordinaire, my father-in-law.

Welcome home, daddy!
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Covered Calls" - Smart Investing Strategy When Markets Hit The Doldrums

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Born To Sell. All opinions are 100% mine.

Umbrella covered call
There are times when the stock market hits the doldrums. Trading volume declines and share prices go sideways. These are times when investors become extremely edgy and impatient and start looking for other ways to beef up the earning potential of their investment portfolio. These are times when they are tempted to discard their buy-and-hold strategy! Times when they may even prematurely divest themselves of their under-performing stock holdings despite maintaining a neutral to moderately bullish outlook of the stock market. There is, however, a way of maximizing returns on investments when the market hits the doldrums! Known as 'covered calls', this option trading strategy allows investors to generate  additional income from their buy-and-hold portfolio during those times when the market goes sideways!
Covered call writing refers to either:
  • The simultaneous purchase of stock and the sale of a call option (also known as buy-write);
  • or, the sale of a call option against a stock currently held by an investor (also known as overwrite).

How It Works
This may seem a little complicated to many, but the strategy is really simple and straightforward!
At the same time that the investor buys or holds on to a particular stock, he writes a call option or an offer to sell these stocks at a price pre-determined price ( known as the 'strike price' which is usually above the current market price) with an expiration date set at sometime in the near future. Under this arrangement, the option seller will be obligated to sell his stocks to the option buyer when the current market price is above this strike price level. On the other hand, the option buyer agrees to pay the option seller a premium equivalent to the difference between the strike price and the market price of the stock when the call option was made. The option buyer, however, may or may not exercise his right to buy the shares of stocks when the market price is above the strike price. He (option buyer) is obligated to pay the option seller the premium during the duration of the call.
In short, the investor is paid to agree to sell his stock at the strike price. He retains all benefits of underlying stock ownership, such as dividends and voting rights until such time when he is assigned an exercise notice on the written call and is obligated to sell his shares. Should the market continue to move sideways until expiry, there will be no exercise notice written on the call and the investor may offer a new call option. What this means is that if the investor had used the covered call strategy repeatedly over time, he'd have earned a lot more income in addition to the dividends you got along the way.
Covered call is a conservative income-oriented stock investment strategy which you should seriously consider specially when the market stalls and moves sideways. It offers you an opportunity to earn more than what banks and bonds have to offer. Why settle for 1 to 3% APR as offered by traditional banking instruments when you can earn at least 1% per month on covered calls.
Learn how to do it now. Because it is also not without some downside risks, you must learn from the experts on covered calls. Visit Born To Sell Covered Calls  now and start earning extra from the stocks you already own! They offer a free covered call newsletter, free covered call tutorial, and free covered call blog.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

High Yield Investment Opportunities You May Not Know About

 People invest for either of these two reasons:
  • To preserve their wealth or retain the buying power of their hard earned savings;
  • To accumulate wealth or grow their assets.
Whatever their reasons may be, they naturally are always in the look out for high yielding investments. By 
high yielding investments, we mean those that give a higher  percentage of return on their principal than what the banks' certificate of deposits or US treasuries can provide ... those that will more than offset the rate of inflation on their money.

Many of these investors understand that with higher yields come great amount of risks too (the fundamental principle of investment : the higher the risk, the greater the potential for gain)!

Richard Alcantara, Basic AuthorIncluded in this category of high yielding investments are stocks, forex, and commodity futures. These are investments where you may achieve a substantial appreciation in the value of your initial capital over a short period of time. The bad side here is, you may also lose most, if not all of  your money over the same short period of time! This is the reason why seasoned traders would limit their placements on these high yield-high risk instruments to no more than 15% of  their total portfolio value.

With uncertainties continuing to becloud our economy, we are once more seeing an exodus of investors out of the stock markets and into the safest money investments they can find to shelter what’s left of their lifetime savings until the economy stabilizes. These are the investors who want to know the answer to one common question -  
Is there a legitimate high yield investment with low risk for my money?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae And The Need To Control Population Growth

With the earth's population growing by 95 million a year, the world is trudging towards overpopulation and may result into the rapid depletion of the planet's resources. This in turn may lead to widespread famine, global warming, acid rain, and other major ecological problems. 

(Global warming, acid rain, depletion of the ozone layer, vulnerability to epidemics, and exhaustion of soils and ground-water are all, as have been proven by numerous scientific studies, related to population size).
We have today, arrived at the crossroads of survival for a livable life over the entire world. One road leads to the continued depletion of resources, pollution and reduction of the ability to meet basic human needs. The other leads to an improved way of life where population sizes are in balance with the sustainable supply of resources. We need to realize and accept the fact that we have reached the point where our population is rapidly increasing while our basic natural resources are declining essentially because many of our renewable resources are being used faster than they can restore themselves. 

The concept of sustainable development subscribes to the principle of living within the carrying capacity of the environment. Unfortunately, as in the case of all less developed countries, sustainability is hardly possible since the birth rates in these countries far exceeds their GDP growth. There is therefore an urgency to implement population control programs specially in these less developed countries!

Artificial birth control, or the use of contraceptives, is the easiest way to address the population problem. Unfortunately, efforts to implement  any population control program that promotes the use of contraceptives is being met with stern disapproval from the catholic church. (In the Philippines, the newly installed president who is a staunch advocate of population control, was even threatened with ex-communication by some  catholic bishops for supporting the Reproductive Health Bill now pending in the Philippine Congress!)

At the center of the catholic church's unwavering stance against artificial birth control is the
Humanae Vitae (Latin for "Of Human Life")  - an encyclical written by Pope Paul VI and promulgated on July 25, 1968. Subtitled "On the Regulation of Birth", it re-affirms the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church regarding abortion, contraception, and other issues pertaining to human life. The encyclical totally banned all forms of contraceptives!

Although Pope Paul VI,  when he wrote this encyclical, did not invoke the doctrine of "Papal Infallibility" (the dogma in Roman Catholic theology that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error when he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation.), it was none-the-less embraced by the catholic bishops worldwide as if it was gospel truth believing the pope was preaching "ex-cathedra".  Thus, the encyclical was the subject of debates and controversies from then on up to the present!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Everywhere you go today, you see plastic litter spoiling the scenery, choking drains. In some countries like the Philippines where waste materials are burned first to reduce the volume for the land fill. This results in serious air pollution and emission of toxic gasses.
It has been more than half a century now since plastic was invented and became very much a part of our daily existence. But, amazingly, it is only now that we are realizing the devastating residual effect of our dependence on plastic products - THE PROBLEM RELATED TO THE DISPOSAL OF WASTE PLASTIC PRODUCTS!
Plastic is a relatively cheap, durable, and versatile material. Resistant to moisture, chemicals, and decay, it has found many uses and have replaced many materials in existing products! Almost 100 million metric tonnes of plastic are produced each year and more than 1/3 of these (40%) are used for packaging and wrapping.
Unfortunately, plastic is non-biodegradable and poses a serious threat to waste management. It should not be allowed to go into landfills. Burning plastic wastes will bring more disastrous effects to the environment and is definitely out of the question! Recycling plastic has remained to be the most practical solution to get rid of plastic wastes, but this too is turning out to be more of a myth!
Richard Alcantara, Basic AuthorRecyclers falsely claim that curb side (kerbside) collected plastic wastes are actually reprocessed into new plastic bags and containers. Truth is only virgin plastics (or virgin polymers) are actually used in the manufacture of new plastic bags and containers while the curb side collected plastic wastes are turned into other end products such as traffic signs and road warning devices, fleece clothing, playground equipment, and other building materials. (The contamination level of recycled plastic is simply too high for the recyclate to be used again for food grade packaging purposes.) Recycling will not solve our plastic waste problem and we will really see no end to the onslaught of plastic materials into our environment as long as manufacturers continue unabated in producing more plastic bags and containers daily.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Investing online is a matter of choice ...and, of course, of convenience too!

Richard Alcantara, Basic Author
The lure of trying one's hands on investing is simply irresistible! This is why we see a lot of first time investors trying it incognito via online brokers. Newbies who had always wanted to test their skills at handling their own investments are often the ones easily attracted
to online investing. Most of whom are individuals who have suddenly acquired some excess capital from a booming start-up business undertaking, or a blooming professional career. These people find online investing to be a "perfect fit" for their "dreamed fantasy". Well, why not? Not only does online investing allow them to manage their own investments in the comforts and confidentiality of their own abodes, it is also quick and easy (so it seems) to learn! With their first click on the mouse, newbies immediately experience an exhilarating transformation into their fancied and fantasized role of becoming a real stock or forex traders in that instant; executing orders at will while experiencing the thrill of pitting their own raw trading skills against seasoned money/stock traders online. With hundreds of sites offering free tutorial services, seminars, and e-books, plus a free live demo account to boot, online forex/stock trading is really catching fire with this lot of trader-wanna-bees! But, alas, these "George Soros Wannabees" should not fool themselves into believing that online investing (especially forex with its sometimes wild and wide price fluctuations) will be like "picking apples" all the time.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hedging- A Necessary Tool For Developing CountriesTo Stabilize Oil Prices

Developing countries like the Philippines have been hit hard by surging oil prices since the 70's and have hardly recovered from the successive oil price shocks since then. The most recent steep rise of crude oil prices forebodes of another similar scenario comparable to the 70's and the 80's.The Business Monitor International in its report entitled 'Philippine Oil and Gas Report Q4 2010' predicted a 2010 OPEC basket oil price level of US$83.00/bbl. It currently stands at US$73.00/bbl! If nothing is done to cushion the effect of the expected future oil price surges, this will definitely bring down the developing countries to their knees!
Richard Alcantara, Basic Author
So, what can done to avert such risks? These countries are so dependent on imported oil to keep their economies going. Through various ways and means, the governments of these developing countries tried to cushion the effects of the crude oil price surges in the past by legislating measures and/or imposing new taxes - in the end, ultimately passing the buck to their citizens. But, how much of these price increases can they take before they rise up in revolt!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Demystifying the Candlestick Myth

For forex traders, stock traders, commodity futures traders, bond traders!

Since Steve Nison came up with his first book "Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques" in 1991, forex traders stock traders, commodity futures traders all over the world have been awed and mystified by this centuries old charting tool! The ensuing interest for, and the widespread popularity of this trading tool was simply magical. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry dealing with any form of trading was scrambling for whatever available Candlestick tutorials, books, and lessons there are! Practically everyone in the investment industry was mesmerized by the simplicity and the seemingly promising trading results Candlestick will bring to its users!

Richard Alcantara, Basic AuthorIt is a well accepted fact that the Japanese are regarded as one of the most efficient money managers and smartest trading partners in the world. The introduction/revelation of their purportedly 'secret' trading tools to the rest of the world would naturally lend an air of mysticism to the event!

But everyone wonders if the Japanese Candlestick Charting Technique is really a well-kept secret intentionally hidden from the rest of the world for centuries!?....Until, Steve Nison accidentally discovered it in the '90's!?

My answer is a categorical no! No, the Japanese Candlestick Chart was not a well-kept secret! Let us start uncovering the truth behind the mysteries and mysticism that shrouds Candlesticks by looking back at Japan's history.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Hat 's Off To You, Mr. Hickey! Your Disclaimer Is Much Appreciated!

Mr. Jimmy Hickey, who was the subject of my tirade in my previous post finally took down the video of his trip to the Philippines which carried a title which was rather insulting to the Filipino people! He edited his video and  and even made an apology! All's well that ends well!

I just wish to clarify that Jimmy and his team mates really did nothing wrong - I understand that they were just trying to enjoy themselves as young men would when they visit a new place. Explore the place to the hilt is what they wanted to do, and did. Unfortunately, and unescorted at that, they must have ended up in the wrong places populated by scrupulous individuals and opportunistic women!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Welcome to the "Lap Dunce" Hall Of Fame, Mr. Hickey!

Jimmy Hickey aka p8check45
Jimmy Hickey is a 19 year old American paintball enthusiast and a budding photographer who wants to be known for his photographic works in the future! He goes under the name of p8check45 in the PbNation website.

He came to the Philippines together with several other young American team mates to represent Team USA  in the Philippine leg of the Paintball Asia League international paintball competition held last August 19, 2010 at Clark Field, Pampanga. The team won the trophy for the division they entered! However, several days later, they caught the ire of the local organizers.

What made the organizers of the competition and other local paintball enthusiasts fuming mad was the video footage of their trip to the Philippines which this guy uploaded on You Tube. The moron  entitled it "The land of swindlers: Team USA by Pbracks trip to the Philippines".

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Keep That Ego On Check – Else You'll Lose Your Shirt On Forex Trading

“E” is For Ego – The Biggest Stumbling Block of Most Forex Traders

Making money on online Forex Trading is actually easy! It is only the forex traders themselves who makes it rather difficult and complicated to win trades.

Consider this!

To make money trading the foreign exchange market, there are only 5 basic and simple rules to follow!  All of which are quite easy to understand.

One needs only to:
  • 1. Buy low, sell high.
    2. Let profits run, cut losses quickly.
    3. Add to a winning position, never to a losing one.
    4. Go with the trend. (Don’t buck it!)
Richard Alcantara, Basic AuthorHowever, simple though, the above rules may seem to many, most forex traders I’ve known still continue to lose money on forex!

Instead of buying low and selling high, many forex traders find themselves buying high and selling low instead! In fact, a lot of them jump into the market for the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My August Top EC Droppers

Yes, not ten....not twenty, - but thirty fantastic Entrecard Reciprocal Droppers who visited my site every single day without fail for the month of August! My utmost gratitude to all of them for their continued support. As a token of my appreciation, I shall send each one with 500 EC's and display their blog icons in my side bar as backlinks! CHEERS!

Visit these sites, post a comment or two...better still, include them in your daily drop list! I am sure they will reciprocate every gesture of friendship you may lend to these sites! Happy blogging everyone.

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