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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Watching her grow up





There is a connection that God designed between daddy's and their daughters that is so deep and powerful it is hard to put into words.


As I watch my daughter grow up I realize day by day we are closer than I ever imagined. Her need to have me as her pillar of stability and protector and my need to have her sweet innocent love is an amazingly deep relationship. Her life of only 3 years and 7 months impacts mine deeply.

I find myself appreciating the moments I have with her more and more. The more time I spend with her the more I learn about myself and what is truly important to me.

It seems like only yesterday I was holding her in my arms in the hospital and those perfect new eyes just starring at me. Or the first time she reached out her hand and touched my face. The first squeeze of my finger by hers. All those incredible sounds she made as she tried to utter words for the first time. It really seems like it was only yesterday. How time goes by so fast.

As she grows I realize that EVERYTHING I do has an impact on her. Her life is most influenced by mine. That is quite a responsibility when you think of it! I want to be the best for her and pray that I can.

Even today she is so active and even has her own opinion about things. I find myself challenged by her many questions about everything. She loves to play and create with her hands. She loves to cuddle and be held tightly. She loves to get my attention on whatever she does. These things are what are most important to her now. Deep inside I ask myself how am I doing at it? Am I a good father to her? Do I give her enough attention? Am I meeting her deepest needs?



Yes, she is the beat of my heart. Literally she is! There is no closer connection I have to any other on this earth than I have with her. I guess this was the original design, for daddy's to be real life hero's and model princes for their daughters. And daughters to be the charming princesses that gives daddy's the power to always fight for love, to excel to higher heights in life for their sakes. What a grand design!

Lord,

My prayer this day is you would help me to be the best father for her. To be there for her in the times that are most important to her. Please give me the means to always provide her with the best life and protect her always. She is your gift to me and I could not ask for more than her.

Thank you for her precious life!  Her life reminds me of your great love.

From the heart,

Daddy






Could there be anyone more beautiful on the face of this earth?





Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Today is my wife's Birthday


It's 4am here as I write this post. Today is my wife's Birthday. Deep inside I wish to give her a present that would make her happy today as she deserves the best. I struggle with the thought that those days of carefree shopping are long gone. We are in a new reality now just trying to make it, to survive our trials and come out of this alive. 

I must tell all of you she is the best. Truly God's gift to me and to all of our family. I can see her across the room as I type this, she is in bed with our two children. My new born son gently suckling as she gives him the life sustenance that is custom made from her body. It is truly a beautiful sight to see them all together. It is really all I could ever want in this world.

I am reaching deep inside my heart on this day and searching for answers, searching for a way that I might do something special for her on her Birthday. I am dealing with anger and frustration feeling paralyzed by the unjust circumstances we are living in now. It is hard to cope with it.

Knowing a little more than two years ago my wife had every convenience imaginable. She had her own place she could call home. She had a car, she had her friends and church family. Now she has none of that. I wish I could return all that to her today. Somehow to make the evil go away and restore her to that life she once had. It really makes me angry to think about it. She does not deserve her circumstances on this Birthday.


I am amazed to see how gracefully she accepts her humble means now. She does not complain or beat me up in her frustration She focuses on what is important, what is eternal in all of this. Like our children's lives and making sure they grow up in the fear of the Lord. That they are educated and given the best with the means we have. Same for me, she cares for my regardless of what material blessings she has lost. No bad attitude, no lashing out in anger. Just a selfless love and unbreakable commitment.

Today on her Birthday I am leaning a lot about myself. Because of our lack materially I find my self asking what can I give her today? The cash cow is gone, the house full of amenities, the car, the property and even her country. So what is left I ask my self? Those words on our wedding day come to mind. "for better or worse".  I ask my self what is left when we are experiencing the "worse" part?

What an awesome revelation I am getting out of this. Our happiness is not defined by what we have or don't have material wise. The true deep happiness comes from our hearts that radiate through action in our lives. When all is stripped away that is all that remains. This is the present I can give to my wife today. A newly committed stronger me. A heart so full of love and appreciation for her that she will be engulfed by my love for her. That's all that is left friends. And that is exactly what I am going to give my wife on her Birthday today. She deserves it, all of me and a new and improved version!

Father God, Please bless my wife today with every blessing from heaven. 
May her freedom come soon.      

Happy Happy Birthday my dear sweetheart!



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Being married to a Filipina is great - Part 3

I have to admit this subject is one of the most viewed on this blog. I guess people love romance!

I decided to do a part three as I took another few months to observe my wife closely and marvel at whom the Lord has given me in my life. The song "IKAW" applies so much in our relationship. The first line goes " Ikaw ang bigay ng may kapal"  Translated it means " You are God's gift to me".

There are certain cultural things involved that are so deep they are hard to explain in words when it comes to describing the love and dedication a Filipina has for her husband. Here are a few more reasons why being married to a Filipina is great.

What "I love you" means to a Filipina ( when she says it to you )


When my wife tells me she loves me I know she means it. Not because of the tone of her voice or the twinkle in her eye. She says it not only in words but in action. All day everyday. The more time that goes by I realize more and more I mean the world to her. No one had ever made me feel so important as she does. I have a hard time to catch up loving myself as much as she loves me. I think most men married to Filipina's know what I mean when I say that. The intensity of the love coming from her is not quantifiable.

For those of you who have read this blog through and through you know we are going through some serious hardship now. I mean on a level that would break apart most marriages. It's insane to tell the truth. But my wife's love not only remains, it gets stronger the harder life gets.

Filipina's are very deep when it comes to love. This stems from the way they were brought up combined with their spiritual beliefs. They love deeply and passionately. Their love is sacrificial and they need it to be that way to feel good about themselves. The more they sacrifice for their man and family the better they feel about themselves. Did we not win the lottery guys!  I have seen these attributes shining from various Filipina's we've met on this journey. They not only love, they live to love!

Next time your Filipina says " I love you " take a deep look at her whole being. Surely those words will reflect from the deepest part of her heart. What a wonderful culture the Filipina has concerning love and family. Again guys, have we not won the lottery? Indeed we have!

Unsurpassed Dedication

Filipina's are some of the most dedicated women in the world. First of all, they come from a culture where there is no divorce. So that easy out option is not there should differences arise or a major crises. Family comes before self every time. This is what makes her feel complete.

The Filipina does not have to try to be dedicated to her man. That is who she is. There is no learning involved in it. It is culturally instinctive for her to stay with her man through thick and thin. This is one of the things she lives for. It is her pride and joy to show her man that he is the only one in the world in her heart.

Look at our situation, because of an injustice that happened to us in 2010 we have lost basically everything material wise. My wife had one of the most beautiful homes in the Philippines and she had to live through being forced from it into a life of living like a nomad outside the Philippines. She has not skipped a beat in her dedication to me. Surely, she has only got stronger! No blame, no outbursts of anger because of the hardship. 100% dedication to me and our children. Oh, what part of heaven did she come from? I don't want to trash western women or say they don't know how to love or be dedicated, but honestly I don't think there are many woman who could survive this situation we have been through and still remain as dedicated as my wife has.

The more I see her dedication and learn the depth of it I pray to the Lord to help me be the same for her. To show her in a reciprocal way I am dedicated to her the same. That in itself is a challenge as each day I see a deeper level of dedication in my wife. I wish I was a better writer so as to explain it better. In good ole colloquial English I would say my wife's dedication "blows my mind!" I think you get my point!

  


 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pics of our beautiful pools in the Philippines.

It is getting really hot and muggy now where we are. We are literally dreaming of the pools we had in the Philippines. I took personal pride in keeping them as pristine as possible. Enjoy the pics friends.

This is our 35 meter lap pool. Awesome exercise pool

We had decorative plants all around with bahay kubo's to relax in

The main mansion house terrace had an incredible view overlooking the pool

There were Hawaiian palms surrounding the pool
Our guest house had it's own private pool

It was very private and an quaint
It was a real treat to let guests use this pool. They loved it. 


That was then and this is now ...

God knows!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gorgeous pictures from our property in the Philippines

The most beautiful of our property is of course my wife Chona. She is saying WELCOME EVERYONE!





One morning while walking in the back of our farm I took this pic of our horses 


A pic of our butterfly bridge across the blue lagoon



















Our gazebo over the koi pond in the Japanese garden. The gym is in the background























An aerial shot of the developed portion from the Cesna I rented in Dec. 2007




Truly breathtaking moments out there every day. Our horses in front of the butterfly bridge



















Born with a heart shaped mark on his nose. Our baby colt strolling on the property

A pic of our swing near the blue lagoon. We used to love to sit together on it



















Bogonvalglia in the glorious morning light in the Japanese garden

The bridge leading into the Japanese garden in morning light



















The reflection of our temple style gym on the koi pond

The bahay kubo near the big swimming pool. We loved to sit in there.


















Dear Readers, 

I have to stop here as the emotional pain of missing this beauty is overtaking me now. The place we lived was so incredibly gorgeous. We worked hard to develop it and truly enjoyed it while we were there. We are trying to pick up the pieces now in our lives and find meaning in what happened to us there in the Philippines. God knows ...

I will post more at another time. 

Thanks for visiting. 


Our new reality makes us appreciate even more what we had. God knows ...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Whoever you are in Syria

My daughter woke up screaming again this morning at 2am. after another nightmare. I could  not go back to sleep so once we got her settled I decided to turn on the computer and check the blog.  I spend a lot of time monitoring the blog as I am very interested to see where all the people come from who are viewing my posts.  There is a "stats" page that lets me see the individual countries where the hits are coming from.

As I scanned the list one country in particular struck me deeply...


Philippines
United States
Canada
Sweden
United Kingdom
Syria
Romania
United Arab Emirates
Mozambique
Qatar
Spain
Italy
Germany 
 
As I consider my last blog post that speaks about some of the misery my family is going through having been victimized by extortionists, I was taken back by the views from someone in this one country of Syria. Daily I turn on the T.V. and see Syria in the news, a country that is by all rights already in a civil war.  Images of terrible violence all over and human suffering on a scale that is hard to understand. 

Whoever you are in Syria, my prayers are with you. And thank you for reminding me that our situation is not all that bad. We care.  I try to imagine who you are. An OFW perhaps? A nurse? Or an Govt. employee?  I guess the only thing that really matters is that this connection is made.
The next time I feel sorry for my self and my family I will remember you and pray for you.

There are others too whom view our blog from precarious circumstances. Like Simonette in Bulgaria who has been in the worst snowstorm in a century there. All I can say is we appreciate you following us even in your own hardship.

And to all of you around the world who visit this blog, thank you for your silent support.

Most Sincerely,

David & Chona Graham

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The East West Birthday Dilemma

Today being my Birthday I thought I would write about a funny experience I had in the past. 

A few years ago I was in Cebu for my 40th Birthday and had  been staying with a friend at that time. I remember being excited for my birthday. I had told my friends about my Birthday and let them know I was looking forward to a great celebration.  That was my hint to them that I was expecting them to throw me a huge party. 

The morning of my Birthday arrived and my friend reminded me it was my birthday. But there was no talk of any plan for a party of anything. My friend seemed really upbeat and in a festive mood but I had not noticed any trips to the store to get supplies or any preparation for the party I was expecting. Still my friend was giving every hint in the world a celebration was coming.


The day went on and by the afternoon my friend had started to get a sour face. I was wondering what was going on? Why were they not getting ready to give me the best party of my life?  I too started to get sour and my attitude started to get bad.  I could not believe on my birthday that they would do nothing for me. In America when someone has a birthday, especially a 40th Birthday your friends would get together and throw you a wild bash. I was getting really confused wondering why in the Philippines no one appreciated another persons Birthday??

The night arrived and by that time my friend had started to downright treat me badly. We were not even talking to each other. I could not believe the coldness of my friends not throwing a party for me on my very special 40th Birthday. But they were looking at me as if they were angry to me. What? This kind of treatment was unheard of where I came from on a Birthday!  Bed time rolled around and the attitude of my friend was cold as Ice.  I was down right depressed as I closed my eyes realizing my 40th Birthday came and went without any party or celebration. Likewise my friend seemed to be downright depressed too. It perplexed me, I could not understand it at all?

It wasn't until years later I learned why my 40th Birthday was a disaster. I found out that in the Philippines the Birthday Celebrant is expected to be the one to throw the party for all of his friends.  Completely opposite of that in America where the Birthday Celebrant expects all his friends to throw the party. So that 40th Birthday ended in a disaster for both my friends and I. A total culture misunderstanding!  

Today I laugh about my past experience of the "nightmare 40th Birthday in Cebu" as I understand Filipino culture much better. I think many foreigners have experienced this for their first Birthday's in the Philippines and I imagine many Filipino's in America have appeared exceedingly generous on their own Birthday's offering to pay for everything! 


Isn't life great with a little bit of understanding. Got to love it!! 


By they way, for my Birthday today I was able to "escape" the responsibility to throw a party as our family changed countries again today.  I had everything I could ever ask for today and that is my loving family with me. That makes it a wonderful Birthday no matter what the circumstances.  


I did get a cake though last night. Some friends of ours who are very poor showed up at our hotel room with a cake and some homemade sticky rice! It was so touching. The love and sincerity was so beautiful. They really sacrificed to buy that cake. That would have been three days wages they used to buy it. I am a blessed man when I really think about it. Thank you Lord! You are so good to me! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Being married to a Filipina is great - Part 2

A pic of us on our honeymoon going to the underground river
Working hard together for our future
Greeting my mom when she arrived in the Philippines

On the road in remote Southern Palawan
A family fishing trip in a tropical paradise
This is part two of "Being married to a Filipina is Great".  I was quite surprised at the warm response we got from the first post on this. It quickly moved to be one of the most popular blog posts we have. I guess many of us are just "helpless romantics" lol

Is it really great?

Being married to a Filipina is truly great. I mean that. I am not promoting some ebook making a profit from that statement or running a FilAm dating site. I am just being honest that in my experience of getting to know the women culture of the Philippines I have found amazing ingredients that make them some of the most beautiful, well balanced and lovable women in the world. Here are a few things I discovered.

The culture of industriousness and productivity (Masipag)

These women are incredibly productive if you really look at them well. When many western husbands marry a Filipina they will wonder why in the world is she up sweeping the house with one arm behind her back at very early hours of the morning. What is all this for? And why does it have to be in the morning? This is instinctive to the Filipina's industrious nature. In the Philippines they call it "masipag". This means "productive" or "industrious". It is not just in sweeping but in everything she does. She does it with zest and power.

My wife is amazing how many balls she can juggle at one time. She can be cooking, cleaning, taking care of me and our children all at the same time. And with no frown, no complaints. It is her cultural instinct to be masipag. A wonderful trait that most Filipina's have. Even at this moment she is at the kitchen sink in front of me, but a second ago she was nursing our son and folding clothes. It takes all my power just to focus on typing this blog, heaven forbid if I had to do two things at once!

This masipag nature of the Filipina is a result of how they are raised. Their mothers in particular teach them how to work hard and be productive. This is second nature to the Filipina. And they love it. It gives them meaning to be able to be busy. What a wonderful trait to have in a partner.

Focus on the family

There is nothing more important to a Filipina than her family.  This is the center of her heart and cultural universe. If I was going to list my wife's priorities as I see them they would be.
God, family, family, family, family and family! This is not joke. I have been totally blown away by the love and commitment I see in my wife for our family. Every word or deed she does seems to support our family unit. I love my family in the states so much, but I had never known the depth of love that one could have for their family until I saw it in action with my wife. How many OFW's (overseas Filipino workers) have I met who give their entire paychecks to support their families to the fourth generation. Incredible for a westerner to see!

The way I see her teach our daughter to love and respect me as her father and how I see her guide her about how important nannie and grandpa are. This is a new level of family appreciation for me. She is prepping them to have the mindset to take care of us when we are older. And they will do the same to their children. This is wonderful, truly truly wonderful. I never knew about it.  

This close bond and affection is not limited to our immediate family but to her brothers, cousins, nieces and nephews. They all have priority and importance in her life. Now a Filipino reading this will say "of course for it is as natural as the blood in our veins to do this". But for a westerner who is new at it, it can actually be a bit overwhelming. Who me, get close to my cousin? No way! Or who me, work hard to support my parents?  No way! lol

Hindi mapapantayan ng anumang ginto at salapi ang pagbubuklod-buklod at pagmamahalan ng pamilya, PAMILYA parin ang mahalaga.  
Basically this says that nothing comes before the love for family. This is a great trait of the Filipina.

God is in everything and I mean EVERYTHING! 

When I first met my wife who was working as a sales lady in a store, I never realized how important her faith was to her until I observed her for several months. The first hint I got was that in every single text I received from her, I mean 100% of them, she had a quote of God's word in it. Then when I found out she was also texting God's word to nearly 200 people a day, including the current President, then I knew how important her faith was. Good thing I took her to a Don Moen concert on our first date. lol

This is a trait I have seen in the majority of Filipina's and one to be understood by the western man who may not have been exposed to that much faith. God is not some abstract character or a once a year Easter visit but He is a daily importance to the Filipina. If you glance at any Filipina dating site or "I'm looking for a husband" publication the number one and first thing they list of what they are looking for in a man is "God fearing".   For those of you new to this word, it does not mean she is looking for a man running around scared of God. She is basically saying she desires a man who is of good moral character, kind, loving and one who together with her will believe in God.

We can thank the Malay's, Chinese, American's and Spaniards for the Filipina

These cultures contributed the most to the cultural "cocktail" that makes up today's Filipina. If we look at it closely we can see very distinct traits that come from each of these cultures. And through many generations of influence this mix has made one of the most loving, industrious and socially adaptable women on the planet. Of course I am referring to my wife!

Next week will be our wedding anniversary and I have a lot of reason to be happy about it. My wife continues to amaze me as I get to know her more each year. We are currently going through what most would describe as "hell" but the incredible thing is we are growing closer and not farther apart because of it.  I am discovering more each day that passes by and I can truly say...

Being married to a Filipina is great!


Our most recent pic taken on Christmas Day 2011


 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How can I tell dad my mom got shot in Cebu!

When I think of the many experiences for me and my family in the Philippines I have to chuckle when I read the new tourism campaign slogan
"It's more fun in the Philippines".   In my Mom's case back in December of 2004 when she visited me in Cebu she had more fun being close to a crime scene!  lol Thank God for his protection!

My mom had just arrived on a connecting flight from Manila and I had picked her up at the Mactan Airport in Lapu Lapu. We checked her into a hotel near the Rain Tree mall at Fuente Osmena' and then headed to Rain Tree mall where I showed her around. This is a small two story strip mall with a huge tree in the center. A nice shady place. At that time I had a bodyguard who was my right hand man in Cebu and he was with us that day.  After a BBQ lunch at the mall we headed up stairs to the office where I showed my mom around the various units I was interested in renting. I had a meeting so we decided to send my mom and bodyguard down stairs to go to the Robinson Mall across the street.



It was only moments after my mom and bodyguard left that I heard a distinct loud popping sound outside. One bang and a serious of other "bang" "bang" "bang". At first I was oblivious to what was happening because I was in shock. I had hit the floor and crawled under a desk instinctively and then I realized it was gun fire just out side the door.  I thought to my self "Oh my God, my mom just left seconds earlier!". I crawled on the floor over to the curtains where I closed them so no one could see in the office. Then I dialed desperately my bodyguards number. The thoughts kept racing as I analyzed the situation. I thought carefully what kind of "bang" did I hear. It was too deep to be like my bodyguard's handgun. I thought to my self it must have been a  357 magnum or AK47.  Whatever it was, it was loud and strong. It echoed in the hallways and shook the windows. I keep trying to call my bodyguard over and over and still no answer. I was getting panicked. I had no firearm yet my mother could be just outside wounded. All kinds of thoughts raced through my mind including "how can I tell dad mom got shot in Cebu!" I kept peaking through the window and about 5 minutes had passed since the shooting. I could see other security guards walking around. I determined if they were walking around the bad guys were either neutralized or ran away. So I went out the door to look for my mom. I was so worried. "she is 76 years old"  I thought to myself.  I prayed so hard at that moment for mom's safety. I pleaded with the Lord for her life.

I had great confidence in my bodyguard's ability to fire back if he had the chance and I know he would take a bullet for my  mom. He was like that. A great person. But the thoughts kept racing what if they were ambushed and he had no time to fire back? I kept trying his phone. After about 15 minutes he answered it and was oblivious to what occurred. Apparently they had entered the mall across the street at the exact same time the shooting occurred at my location. And he told me because of the crowds in the mall he could not hear my desperate calls.

When I explained to him what happened he left my mom at the mall where she was safe and came over to investigate the situation. Apparently a group of bandits held up a money changer downstairs and had an exchange of fire with a security guard. Something like 9 shots were fired. No one got injured or killed. Apparently the bad guys got away with a load of money.


My mom is amazing. She took it all with a grain of salt. She never appeared shaken or wanting to leave. She walked around with us examining the bullet holes in the cement walls and columns. It was kind of adventurous to her. So I guess there is some truth to ...

"It's more fun in the Philippines".
  What a way to welcome my mom to Cebu!

  A PERSONAL NOTE FOR THE SAKE OF TOURISM


Obviously what happened during my mom's visit to Cebu was a rare instance. I had spent off and on over 10 years in the Philippines and that was the only time to experience such an incident. The Philippines like any place can be dangerous if you are not well informed. But generally it is safe for tourists and visitors who want to go there and enjoy a country of warm and friendly people. I guess my mom has such luck. Even when she went to Israel in the late 60's a war started during her trip! On a trip to Nepal a revolution started too. LOL  I wonder if PNOY will blacklist her so she can't come back and bring bad luck! LOL


Here is a news article on the incident.

CEBU CITY Six robbers, including a woman, hit a foreign-exchange shop at busy Raintree Mall in Fuente Osmena here yesterday morning, divesting the establishment of more than P200,000 in cash.
It was the second time that a moneychanger was robbed near the Fuente police station in less than one week.
The robbers, armed with high-powered firearms, disarmed three of the four security guards manning the mall area, while the female robber, with a male companion, announced the robbery in the Ace Investment office at past 9 a.m. yesterday.
The other robber acted as lookouts.
Fuente police station Chief Noel Gillamac said the robbery took place in less than five minutes as the other robbers waited outside with their getaway motorcycles.
The robbers destroyed the wires of the shops alarm system before they fled.
One security guard, however, managed to fire at the fleeing robbers using his service shotgun, but the robbers quickly fired back at him, prompting the guard to immediately seek cover.
No one was hurt in the exchange of gunfires but stray bullets hit two parked vehicles.
A policeman detailed at the Regional Intelligence Office also responded to the commotion when he heard a burst of gunfires as while was inside a shoe-repair shop.
"I tried to block the road and identified myself as a policeman but the robbers immediately fired at me so I shot back," said the policeman, who did not want to be identified. He was not hurt though.
Another policeman fired at the fleeing robbers, but the robbers fired back, prompting him to take cover.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Philanthropy is awesome in the Philippines!

Tim Tebow is a great example for us all
I wanted to make a story about my experiences of donating to the Philippines. Not so much to bring attention or credit to my self but to try and communicate the incredible joy one can experience in helping others. It is one of the most empowering things a human can do.  

First of all, it never matters really how much you give. What matters is your heart in giving (widow's mite). Some people give huge amounts to charity like the several billion dollars donated by Bill Gates through his foundation and others give in small ways that will never be known by anyone. But one thing in common the two have and that is they both contribute positively to improving the world we live in.

My first experience with charity was when I was sent to the Philippines for military training back in 1983. I spend a couple of weeks at Clark Air Base. On my very first day there I had befriended a local family who's smiles and hospitality captivated me. In other words I immediately fell in love with the people and culture of the Philippines.  Something that has not left me even after 25 years +.  This family did not have a car and the father had to walk about 5 miles to his job on the base everyday.  So my first donation in the Philippines was my bicycle I had brought with me from my base in Japan. The father used it for many years to get back and forth to work.  I was so happy to have seen that same bicycle back in 2006. They never sold it, rusty as it was they kept it as a way to remember me.

My friends lives were devastated by the eruption
That family and I had written each other over the years and through the terrible Mt.Pinatubo tragedy. They lost most everything since their business was dependent on the military people and after the eruption the base was closed down. This was hard for me because I really cared for them. I tried my best to send them what I could out of my modest military salary.

Over 10 years had passed as life took me out of the military and back to America and to other places. Still my love for the Philippines remained. I never forgot the people or culture. During that period I had come up with a business idea that was promising to be a big hit. The first two years I really didn't make any money and then in 1997 things started to turn around. As I realized the huge blessing that befell me and I wanted to do something to bring meaning to my success. I decided to return to the Philippines in 1998 and give my entire first bonus to the same family I had met 15 years earlier. I really felt bad for them and a little guilty that I had not been able to help them during the Pinitubo eruption.
That was the start of a journey of giving that has brought
me incredible joy and adventure to my life.

This joy of giving helped me to reach higher heights in business giving me energy for my efforts to help the poor in the Philippines. With every business trip and transaction I thought of ways I could help people. It was my passion and purpose.  I believe God blessed me for that because my business really grew by leaps and bounds during that time of my life. The more I helped the poor the more my business grew. 

Getting ready for another day on QVC live TV shopping channel
I remember one time standing on a live T.V. set at the QVC Home Shopping Channel back in 2004. It was just seconds before my live sale of my product would be reaching 90 millions homes via cable. I remember distinctly my thought at that time. I was thinking how many people I could help if I was successful that day. There was a lot on my shoulders. I had to borrow significant sums to afford the inventory for the sale of over 1 million of my space saving storage bags in one day. Failure would have meant going out of business and success would have meant being able to help many Filipino's.

Thank God he saw my heart that day and the sales ended up in a huge success. So many of my bags were sold that day.  Not only did we sell out, we had to take back orders for the additional demand.  The total was something like 1,012,000 bags sold in 24 hours. I had not special schooling or training to learn how to do that. It was so far beyond my ability yet it turned out incredibly! Again, I equate the success to a higher purpose for my life which was fulfilled through giving in the Philippines.

June was a special time of the year for my company because that was the end of our fiscal year and that meant bonus time. I literally lived to give my bonus away in the Philippines each year. Not just give it to some foundation. But physically take it over and do things to help. This led me to many places where I could meet and donate to so many wonderful people. The life lessons learned in donating were priceless, something I could never learn in any school, church or youtube video. Deep spiritual lessons of what it means to love unconditionally.

Tim Tebow knows the joy of giving in the Philippines
Anyone can give from their hearts. It doesn't need to be  $3 million dollars or even $100 dollars. All you need is a willing heart and a dream. The rest will fall into place as life unfolds. I have met many others who are doing the same for the Philippines. People who are quietly contributing to a better future through donations big and small. And every one of them are experiencing a joy and energy that can only come through unconditional giving. A modern day hero of mine is doing exactly that right now. Tim Tebow the Quarterback of the Denver Bronco's is using his heart for the Philippines to empower him to greater success in Football.
Go Tim Go!

You never lose when you help others from your heart. Just don't expect anything back so there is no heart to be broken. When you give of your time or your money just let it go in good faith that like seeds it will one day produce  fruits for a better world. Take joy as you watch lives that you touched improve and in turn they touch others lives. There is no better feeling than to know you were there for someone when they needed you most being an instrument of God's love for the world.

A journey in photos



































































Some of the best years of my life were the times that I was able to help others in the Philippines.
May no credit or praise go to myself for these things. I did not plan myself to be born. I did not put my own heart in me which resulted in these things. I simply obeyed my calling. God used me as an instrument to help specific people in the Philippines at a perfect time in history according to His will.  I pray that others will receive their calling and help alleviate poverty in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world. It is awesome. I don't plan on stopping. 

If you were touched by this story. Thank HIM. HE is the reason for all of it.