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Showing posts from November, 2012

“Forewarned is forearmed.”

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Simply put, knowledge is not just power but also protection.

Thus, in light of recent pyramiding scams, I find it interesting that 3 out of the 10 bestselling-books at Church Strengthening Ministry are all about money matters: “Till Debt Do Us Part: Practical Steps to Financial Freedom” (#5), “How I Made My 1st Million in Direct Selling and How You Can Too!” (#7), and “For Richer, For Poorer: Why the Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Poorer” (#10).



(My friend, wealth and life coach Chinkee Tan, wrote all these three smash hits. He even graciously gave me signed copies. I read through “Till Debt Do Us Part” in one sitting. It’s really a page-turner!)



To keep ourselves from falling into the trap of those “double-your-money” scams, I believe we need to read (and heed) what Chinkee’s books are teaching.

For example, Chinkee cautioned, “Never invest in something you do not understand, no matter how profitable it may be.” (“How I Made My 1st Million,” p. 29) Had the victims of those get-r…

Cashing In On Relationships (Part 1)

It appears greed did not even spare religious groups in the Aman Futures pyramiding scam.

Just the other day, a joint-team by the NBI and the PNP raided the house of a certain Pastor Rolando Lilio in T’Boli, South Cotabato who allegedly worked as an agent of Aman. “Witnesses say people who wanted to invest in Aman used to line up outside Lilio's home.”(Source: ABS-CBN News) However, Lilio claimed that he is also a victim, “saying he has a son in Pagadian City who encouraged all of them to invest with the company.” (Ibid) 

Then, according to another report, “The [double-your-money] scheme was so attractive that even a religious group pooled in its members’ money. Pastor Hipolito Paner of the Christ the Lord of Glory group said at least 1,000 of their members managed to raise P800 million and put it in Aman.” (Inquirer.Net)

LATEST NEWS: Pagadian church threatened by scam victims


I’m afraid that such acts of individuals have tarnished not only their testimony but other churches’ as wel…

Out of the Box

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I have been blogging for more than seven years already. Somehow, it came to a point that I felt it’s getting nowhere.

I was getting nowhere.

Yes, my blog is syndicated as an inspirational column in Northern Times, a provincial newspaper in Pangasinan. (The newspaper publisher even offered to compile it in a book.) People told me how much they appreciate what I wrote.


However, for a year now, I have been erratic in blogging. If you would look at my archives, there’s a chasm between October 2011 and March 2012. Then, there’s another gap between April 2012 and August 2012. I usually write on major social and political events when it happens as it happens. But I just could not write. (It's a good thing my publisher had the patience to sift through my blog archives to keep my column going.)To put things in context, my family and I went through major transitions (read: challenges) during those times. That and other factors drained my writing juice. I felt I had nothing to give anymore. It’…

Greed is NEVER Good

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In the 1987 film “Wall Street,” its antihero Gordon Gekko declared that “greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.”



This chutzpah of a movie line came to my mind while monitoring the news about the latest “double-your-money-pyramid-scam,” Aman Futures Group Phils. Inc. It offered clients the chance to earn a 30-40-percent return on investment in eight days, or a much higher (and even more improbable) 50-80-percent ROI in 18 to 20 days [2] Predictably, Aman crashed… and it collapsed with a loud noise.


Sadly, before its fall, other than the frenzied word of mouth from initially satisfied investors, Pagadian Mayor Samuel Co invested (and allegedly lost) P2-million in Aman. “I learned that my political enemies had also invested. I was planning to use the m…