Saturday, July 27, 2013

Albert Einstein: A Man Apart

July 27 to August 2 

Shay Cullen
David Ogilvy
Albert Einstein
Norman Vincent Peale

Every once in a while, we come across a person with that undefinable aura of greatness. I have had the honor of meeting the Irish-born 3-time Nobel Peace nominated Fr. Shay Cullen at the Preda center in Olongapo just this February.

He has done (and suffered) more for the Philippines than most Filipinos. It was awesome just to be in his presence, basking in the radiance of his sincerity and selfishness.

My story, "Shay Cullen: Making This World A Safer Place, One Child At A Time," is meant to be a timeless tribute to his sacrifices and triumphs in the name of children's rights.

(This is the cover story of my story, "Shay Cullen: Making This World A Safer Place, One Child At A Time," which appeared in Philippine Panorama magazine of The Manila Bulletin but I forgot the date but around late 2012)

Advertisers are some of the most fascinating career people in the workplace – they get paid top money and their work is seen everywhere. Aiming for their constantly innovating and highly creative community.

This special feature, "Do You Want A Career In Advertising?," is meant to inspire ad professionals to further glories.

(This is the cover story of my story on David Ogilvy which appears in the May 2013 issue of City Career Guide, a Cebu-based yuppie lifestyle magazine circulated throughout the Visayas. On the cover is model Navigail Bleinagel.

It was originally published in 2009 on The Philippine Star.)

Why did Deepak Chopra, Rick Warren, Mitch Albom and Max Lucado became best-selling authors? I believe it is because people from all walks of life need to be inspired, to find some guidelines to help them cope with the uncertainties of everyday life.

Of all the motivation gurus, it is Norman Vincent Peale that had the biggest influence on me. My life has been greatly enriched by his insights. The following feature, "True Faith: Timeless Insights from Norman Vincent Peale," is a distillation of his book The Art of Real Happiness, and I wrote it in such a way that it might become useful and rewarding to all the readers. We all need to find inspiration wherever we can, and I hope this will be a good place to start.

(This is the cover story of my story on Norman Vincent Peale which appeared in the 2006 My Favorite Book Contest, Lifestyle Section, The Philippine Star, May 14, 2006)

Albert Einstein's rightful place in history is deeply embedded like Mount Everest. His towering intellect has revolutionized modern science and broadened and deepened our understanding of the mysterious laws of the universe. This newly-revised, unpublished story, "Albert Einstein: A Man Apart," is a timeless tribute to the grandfatherly figure who has become the embodiment of superior intelligence, a well-crafted story accessible to anyone from casual readers to theoretical physicists.

(This is the cover story of my story on Albert Einstein which  appeared March 18, 2013 in Philippine Panorama magazine of The Manila Bulletin)

Jonathan Aquino's Journal

July 24, 2013 
1:27 p.m., Wednesday 
I.T. Park, Cebu 

The biggest irony in my life so far is that I found some of my best friends in the absolute worst call center company I've been into. Leadership and common sense are alien concepts to the culture of Qualfon, a small Cebu-based BPO company in I.T. Park. It's culture is paranoid bureaucracy with a rigid punitive mentality: it's all about rules and sanctions. Qualfon treats employees as expendable statistics. The security guards are out of control, even confiscating one of my colleagues' phone, claiming that there's a new memo where phones are not allowed near the door to the training room.

The worst person there is an abusive and obnoxious so-called mentor named Benjamin. This power-tripping low-breed is obviously uneducated and was never taught good manners, scolding people in public as if he had a right to do it. This disgusting bully sexually harassed one of my female classmates. That son of a bitch will pay for that.

I applied in Qualfon because I'm stranded in Cebu and because of an HR screw-up in XLibris. As I write this, I'm about to get my first full salary tomorrow. I'm still here because of my new-found friends, the best batch so far. I like Cebu but I've had a lot of negative experiences with the natives. My new buddies are actually re-building my shattered faith with the locals. 

I won't be here for long. But I need a litte more time. I'm still in the process of healing from my encounter with Doomsday (my code word for a recent personal experience that drained me physically, emotionally, mentally and financially). 

And since I enjoy the sincerity and warmth of my buddies, I have one more reason to stay, like a pilgrim sharing tales of knights and dragons beside the hearth of a roadside tavern

Granted, nothing is perfect. I can overlook the fact that all the officers, from the interviewers to the trainers, are always late, and we're always forced to wait while squeezed on the narrow corridor. But we spent a whole day during the unpaid orientation being insulted with an endless litany of rules and punishments. There was absolutely nothing about developing people and making them feel welcome. There was nothing but threats.

Here's my July 22 diary entry: 

Our shift ends 3 o'clock. We were told of the mandatory overtime until 7 at the last minute. In one of my calls, I needed to transfer a caller's airtime minutes to his replacement phone because the original phone was damaged. The ticket needs approval from a floor supervisor. They're supposed to come to our station but they don't. So I had to get up to find one. A supervisor named Janine was shockingly sarcastic and unprofessional. Instead of going to my station like she's supposed to, she demanded information that she can get if she would just do her job. But I persisted. So I forced her to come to my station, and she closed the software tool I'm using, erasing all the information, telling me to pull up a new one. All the while, the caller is on hold. Then she walked away. I forced her again, and she told me we can't transfer the minutes because the phone's been stolen yet it's clear shows it wasn't. 

That supervisor who doesn't deserve to be in a position of authority is one of the most disgusting creatures I ever met

July 25, 2013 
7:04 a.m., Thursday 

The victim is from another province. She came to Cebu to find work to support her family. Last night, she said goodbye to us, unable to bear the humiliation. Qualfon has lost a decent employee, but the subhuman specie who had traumatized her is still there. I completely understand her fear. But if she had spoken out, I would have gone straight to the human rights party-list group Gabriela and the local papers. As it stands, the only thing I can do now is to watch how the karmic law of the universe would unfold. Pain has been inflicted, and it will boomerang to the one who caused it. That is the absolute law that governs all of creation. 

I learned from a highly evolved entity the true meaning of the Biblical "eye for an eye." It's not about revenge - it's about karma. As sure as God made yellow apples, that low-breed supervisor will face the consequences of his actions

Jonathan Aquino's Photos

I first put these photos on my "Pipol" album in Facebook. I'm now posting them here on my blog where they belong.

They were taken from the End of the World December 2012 to February 2013 in Remedios in Manila; Northgate in Alabang; Moonwalk in Las Piñas; BF Homes and Baclaran in Parañaque; Libertad in Pasay; and Talisay and Lahug in Cebu


"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you haved lived. That is to have succeeded."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Chuck Swindoll: My Radio Pastor

July 20-26 Edition

Choa Kok Sui 
Pranic Psychotherapy 
Chuck Swindoll 
Ricky Lee's Trip To Quiapo 

A slim volume of quotes from pranic healing pioneer Choa Kok Sui galvanized my entire being. The most valuable lessons I learned is that I have to clean my thoughts, beliefs and intentions so I can materialize what I want. I've known that for some time but it's only now that I will really focus on the fundamentals. I need to mentally strengthen my Will power so I will write down specifically what I want.

I felt hope in one of the passages: "Good Karma supercedes Bad Feng Shui." It resonates with me because I read that while I was living in a place that I don't want to be in anymore. I also saw the ideal of proactively doing good things in a new light. A tithe is just one form of "karmic investment." 

I laughed at the passage "If you don't like somebody, lend him money and he will stay away." That's so wise and so true. It reminded me of the people who screwed me for money. I've learned to let go. Forgiveness brings good karma too. We will all reap what we sow

Master Choa Kuk Sui just saved my life. I've been trying to activate my chakras for the past weeks but I was using dark colors, which turns out to do the opposite. I think the cause of my severe depression lately is my use of deep red energy at the chakra at the base of my spine, aggravated by negative chi in the place I'm wanting to leave. I should have used bright pastel colors. I got this from his book Pranic Psychotherapy, published by the Institute For Inner Studies in 1989, on June 11, 2013 at the Cebu public library. The base chakra is the seat of survival and action, and mine was dangerously depleted.

"Pranic healing is based on two basic principles: cleansing and energizing," he says. "Disintegrate the accumulated negative thoughts and feelings, in the form of negative thought entities, by simply erasing them with electric violet pranic energy. The intention and the act of disintegrating the negative thought entities are symbolized by the act of erasing."

Breathe deeply. Relax. "By regulating the breathing rhythm or by doing slowly deep abdominal breathing, the movement of the solar plexus chakra is regulated and harmonized, thereby producing calmness, peace and serenity. In other words, you can control your emotion and your mind by controlling your breathing rhythm." Inhale slowly, expanding your abdomen. Hold your breath for about two seconds. Then slowly exhale, contracting your abdomen.

Always invoke divine blessing before you begin healing. Always state your intention to heal and remove all negative elements. You receive healing energy from your Higher Self through your crown chakra and you project this through the palm of your hand to heal as a brilliant white light surrounded by light violet. Focus on the chakras on your crown and palm simulatanenously. You use this to "seal protective webs" in the chakras and "to disintegrate elementals and accumulated thoughts and feelings."

You must "be calm and detached in order to release the projected pranic energy." Activate your lower chakras with light-red pranic energy. Activate your higher chakras with electric violet energy. Focus "on the base of your spine and your hand chakra. Then visualize white light projecting from your hand chakra. Combine light red to the white light so that it becomes light whitish red. Will the affected chakra to become bigger." 

You can control violent people by inhibiting their overactivated chakras. You do this by getting pranic energy through your throat chakra. Then "visualize white light projecting from your hand chakra. Add blue to the white light. Visualize and project light blue. Will the affected chakras to become smaller." 

Seal your chakral shields by cleansing and energizing them with electric violet pranic energy that forms into a ball of light. "You are shielded from all psychic intrusions, all psychic contamination and all psychic attacks." And "This chakral shield is internally permeable. This will allow all negative thoughts and negative emotions of the patient to come out of this shield. As I will it, so be it." 

You create an auric shield around you or your patients by enclosing the aura in a ball of electric violet pranic energy. Decree that the auric shield you create is a protection against "all psychic intrusions, all psychic attacks and all psychic contamination," and it is "internally permeable" to "allow all negative thoughts, all negative emotions and all used-up energy to come out of the shield. So be it."

I always find comfort just listening to Chuck Swindoll, and he always uplift my spirit. I remember always tuning in to his syndicated radio show Insights For Living on the AM station DZAS when I was in Manila. I'm in Cebu as I write this, counting the days. Imagine my joy when I heard him again on 98.7 FR.FM, the "Life Changing Radio" on week nights. He shares a lot of inspiring stories. An athlete was being embarassed by the coach in front of his team mates. Then one of other coaches stood between them and declared: "Coach him up, not down!" The athlete will forever remember that brave act of kindness.

Loving your fellowmen is as easy as ABC, says Chuck in another episode, and I find it obvious that he hasn't met my neighbors. A is Acceptance; B is Believing you are a valuable soul inside your skin which is eternal; C is "I care that you hurt;" D is "I desire what's best for you." He adds an E for "I erase all past offenses."

Life is short, just "a mere vapor," says Chuck. Do you want to spend the rest of your days making lists of your grievances? he asks. 

Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was asked about a man who had wronged her. "I distinctly remember," she replied, "of having forgotten that." 

(See my other story on Chuck Swindoll. See also stories on Greg Laurie and Chuck Colson only here on 2Rivers)

Three boys, Tito, Vic and Joey, set off from Intramuros in Manila to downtown in Quiapo.

The first took a direct jeepney ride and arrived there before he could even send a text message.

The second found himself in Recto at the university belt, then took the LRT 2 train to Santolan, then a jeep to Antipolo and another jeep to Tanay up in the Rizal mountains. Then he he got on a bus to Siniloan and circled the entire Laguna province. He ended up in Alabang. So took a Lawton bus then walked the bridge across the Pasig River from the Post Office to Quiapo.

He got lost but had a lot more adventures, making him a better writer.

The third went the opposite direction: to Pasay. Then he got aboard a roll-on, roll-off (RORO) inter-island bus bound for Leyte, passing Bicol, Samar and the San Juanico Bridge. Then he took a ferry to Cebu.

That third person never even got to Quiapo - but he made them believe he did.

He's the best writer of the three.

Jonathan Aquino's Facebook Post

April 20, 2013

With every chapter in our lives comes a new beginning. There is a sense of the sacred in celebrating the Moment because, though our stories never end, we may never pass this way again

This week in my Saturday night blog 2Rivers, I bid farewell to my beloved characters in my 2012 Palanca Awards story, "Fisherboy: Imaginarily Directed By Ishmael Bernal." I dedicate this story to the memory of some of the special people in my life who appear here as Prudy, Orlando, Dolfo, Temyong, and, of course, Jay

In a world where relationships can be as fragile as the gossamer wings of a butterfly, memories are perhaps the only things that we can truly call our own.

We have been blessed with friends who think of us with fondness and goodwill.

There is a sense of magic when our lives are touched by others along the way as we journey in this pilgrimage called life.

"To understand everything is to forgive everything.”

~Gautama Buddha

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Richard Feynman: Maverick Super-Genius

July 13-19 Edition

Ask Your Angels 
Raffy Tulfo 
Philippine Prose and Poetry
Richard Feynman 

The way to the angels is through GRACE: Grounding, Releasing, Aligning, Communicating and Enjoying. You are grounding yourself "to collect and stabilize your energy" to "allow you to be fully present, alert but relaxed, and receptive," it says in Ask Your Angels by Alma Daniel, Timothy Wylie and Andrew Ramer (Ballantine, NY). Relax your whole body, "focus awareness on each part," and visualize yourself "surrounded by light."

You are now grounding. You are focusing on your deep breathing. You are connecting down to the center of the earth. As you inhale, you are receiving the healing and nourishing energy of the earth. As you exhale, you are releasing all remaining tension and toxins from your body and bringing them down into the earth where they are recycled. Now you are connecting to the entire universe through the top of your head. The energies of heaven and earth is gathering at the base of your spine and rising up and activating all your chakras. You are connected to the entire universe. You are now receiving this universal energy and letting it fill your glowing chakras and your entire body and down to the earth. Now the energies of heaven and earth are flowing through each of your chakras all at once, linking your body to the earth and the entire universe. "You are now grounded" and "anchored, connected, safe and secure."

"Feel this energy gather at the base of your spine." This energy is now rising like a fountain, awakening all your chakras. Your root chakra is pulsating with a bright red light that's filling your entire being. This is "the seat of your security and stability." Now that "it is open and flowing, you are in tune with your deepest sense of belonging, of safety, of being at home in the world and in your body."

Feel the energy rising. Your sex chakra is now pulsating with a bright orange light. You are "feeling joy in your body" and "you are open to your creativity and sexuality." You are "radiant and alive." Feel the energy rising again. Your solar plexus chakra is pulsating with a bright yellow light. "Know that you are strong and whole and able to do all that you came in this life to do" in a "sacred and spirited way."

Feel the energy rising to you heart. Your heart chakra is pulsating with a bright green light. "Connect now with your loving nature" and "Know that you are a being of love, born into this world to feel love, to give and receive it." Feel the energy rising and awakening your thymus chakra, which is pulsating with a bright aquamarine light. "Feel your connection to family and friends, to all of humanity." Always remember "that you are not alone, that you are a unique and integral part of All That Is."

The energy is now rising and activating you throat chakra, which is pulsating with a bright blue light. "You are now opening to communicate, heightening your ability to listen and to speak."

"Next, draw the energy up into the middle of your forehead," and your Third Eye chakra is pulsating with a bright indigo light. You "awaken your extrasensory perceptions when you are connectdd to this chakra, to see, hear, feel into other worlds." The energy is now at your crown chakra which is pulsating a bright violet light. You are in a permanently clear contact "to your God Consciousness, to your Higher Self." You will "Allow the energy to build intensity." Clearly "Sense each of your chakras all at once." You "Feel yourself as a rainbow of living light, connected to the universe and to the Creator, connected to the earth and grounded."

Now breath in a healing pink-colored energy and let it fill your body. Now imagine a bright glowing sphere above you. It is pouring a copper-healing energy through your crown chakra and into your entire body. Now, feel the bright sphere showering you with a silver-colored healing energy. Feel it fill your entire body. Now the bright sphere is pouring into you a golden-colored healing energy. Feel it in every part of your body. "Be with the golden light," says the angel book. "Let it dance in you, through you."

I admire and respect Raffy Tulfo gutsy advocacy. I was tuned in to his public service radio-TV show on May 29, 2013 on Cebu's 101.9 Radyo Singko. A group of jeepney drivers were at the studio. They were complaining about how Pasig city hall enforcers would regularly and arbitrarily entrap them, and force them to go a specific emission testing center, EnviroTest. It's the only testing center approved by the mayor, and apparently the enforcers get commissions for every victim. Raffy was on the phone with a city hall official named Raquel. She was so obssesed with rules, repeating policy over and over again. Raffy said the point is why can't other testing centers get accedited. All he got was rigid-minded stonewalling. He asked who owns it, and why are they being exclusively favored by the mayor, Eusebio. The rigid-minded bureaucratic official slammed down the phone. I can't bring myself to respect people with bureaucratic mentality, even with all my willpower. I can't even have kind tho

My father's Philippine Prose and Poetry books, which were required reading when he was in high school, are part of my childhood memories. More important, these books are the earliest sparks that ignited my life-long love affair with the written word. I was filled with mellow sweet remembrances as I leafed through the copies I found at Cebu public library on June 2013.

The anthology that began in 1927 was meant to "inspire students and arouse in them a desire for emulation, and thus aid in the development of latent ability," writes Cecilio Putong, the then director of Public Schools, in his preface to Volume 3 which appeared in 1960. "If this volume contributes in a small way toward the development of new authors and toward the encouragement of others to do better work, it will have fulfilled its purpose."

Nobel Prizewinning physicist Richard Feynman is one of the most colorful characters from the scientific community, and one of the greatest minds of the twentieth-century. "Know your place in the world and evaluate yourself fairly, not in terms of the naive ideals of your own youth, nor in terms of what you erroneously imagine your teacher's ideals are, he says."

My story, "Life Lessons From Richard Feynman," is a collection of timeless wisdom from a first-rate beautiful mind, is inspired by Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From The Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman I've sent it for publication last June 11

"I can live with doubt and uncertainty," he writes in another letter. "I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing, than tn have answers which might be wrong."

"In physics the truth is rarely perfectly clear, and that is certainly universally the case in human affairs," teaches Richard Feynman. "Hence, what is not surrounded by uncertainty cannot be the truth."

Journal of Jonathan Aquino

November 4, 2012, Sunday
Northgate, Alabang

I went out to get prepaid mobile phone load and midnight snack past 10 so when I got back home, I only caught the last few minutes of Kasindak-Sindak. There was a story about an old woman in a remote village in Infanta town in Quezon province who can foretell the exact date and time of a person's death. Everybody in the village is afraid of her. Her relatives say that it isn't a innate gift (or curse, depending on who you ask) but something she learned from a "black book" containing rituals only she knows. The spookiest thing is: she has never been wrong in her warnings. They all died exactly on time, just as she said they would

The Beatles
"Across The Universe" 

(Full video / HD)

Photos courtesy of:

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Arturo B. Rotor: My Favorite Filipino Author

July 6-12 Edition

Arturo B. Rotor
Dahong Palay
The Superbeings
Danny Boyle's Trance

One of the writers who has a special place in my heart is Arturo B. Rotor, who wrote my favorite essay ("Convict's Twilight") and my favorite short story ("Dahong Palay") written by a Filipino in English. I asked Ateneo Prof. Danton Remoto to tell me more about him, through a text to Remoto Control, his weeknight culture and education radio show on 92.3 NewsFM (101.9 here in Cebu) on June 5, 2013.

Without notes or any preparation, he gave an admirably spontaneous answer. Some of Rotor's books are The Wound and The Scar and Men Who Play God, about doctors. Rotor was himself a medical doctor, with the gift of vividly unforgettable writing. Arturo B. Rotor was a winner in the Commonwealth Literary Contests, the young nation's most prestigious honor for writers before the war

"Rotor has produced but few stories, but they are of such merit that he is generally regarded as one of our best short story writers," goes the biographical sketch in Volume 3 of the Philippine Prose and Poetry, published in 1960 by the Manila Bureau of Printing. Arturo B. Rotor, born June 7, 1907 in Sampaloc, Manila, was a writer, musician and doctor. He graduated from both the U.P. Conservatory of Music and the College of Medicine. "His stories are turned out at such rare intervals that the appearance of a new story of his becomes something of a literary event."

Rotor tells his stories with the "fifth-act" techniques, which was also used by the American author Wilbur Daniel Steele. "He opens the narrative in the midst of the action and then subtly suggests all antecedent material that is necessary for full understanding."

My favorite Filipino short story in English is Arturo B. Rotor's "Dahong Palay." Sebio, a young man whom everybody dismissed as a weakling, vindicates himself spectacularly in the end. An act of superhuman courage will make him a legend in his village for generations. 

"The big axe sang its way through a large arc and then came crashing down on the block of wood with a mighty crash." He wishes fervently "he could summon such strength in those foolish games of strength and skill," with the others.

But "somehow his courage always ran out before a noisy bantering crowd."

The story opens as Sebio is chopping firewood in their backyard, reveling in the magnificent strength in his sinewy muscles. But nobody knows it. People call him "Sebiong Pasmado," a weakling. It was the end of harvest, and the young people are the house of his aunt Binay to help pound the grains. Sebio excitedly goes there so he could see his crush, Merci.
Sebio arrives at his aunt Binay's place, and "he saw that the evening's work had already begun. All about the moonlit clearing that stood at a distance from the house were grouped men and women whose gay laughter and voices carried far into the distance. In the center was a square of concrete where the golden grains of palay had been laid to dry. On one side were five big wooden mortars, around each of which three persons, two men and a girl, stood pounding grain. Each individual brought down his pestle in definite rhythm and succession. One first and then, just as he had lifted his pestle, the next would bring his down, and so on. Every now and then the gifted voice of someone in the group would break the song, and the notes of a haunting kundiman would be wafted into the breeze to add sweetness to the silence of the countryside."

"Sebiong Pasmado!" somebody calls out, and "there was a hilarious outburst from the group and, with blazing eyes, Sebio turned to the cruel joker. But he saw only what seemed to him a surging sea of sneering faces. His face smarted as if from a slap."

He went into the farthest corner, ashamed. Merci came over and gave him some rice cakes. "Oh, for a crown and a kingdom and a universe to lay at the feet of Merci!" he thought. Inspired and smiling, "he was again his likeable self."

Soon it was his turn to pound the rice, and he's overjoyed that he's paired with Merci. But the third person is Pacio, the town bully.

Pacio plays to the crowd, doing tricks with his pestle without losing rhythm, taunting Sebio all the time. He embarrasses Sebio further by challenging him to straighten a metal horseshoe.

Sebio couldn't stand it any longer. He grabs it amidst derisive laughter. "He could feel the heat mounting on his cheeks as he gripped the two ends and strained and strained," writes Rotor. "His lips clamped together, his face went pale, his eyes bulged. He held his breath during the effort. An eternity -it seemed - passed. He thought he felt thd iron give away, and he opened his eyes. He saw that it bent only a little." Sebio's humiliation is complete. They say he has to "eat more," that he has "no strength" and "no fighting heart."

One of my favorite passages is when Sebio is passing the rice field, fresh from the harvest. This is first-rate writing at his lyrical best: "A few weeks before, the grain had lain mellow and golden in the all-enveloping light of the full moon. Now only short, thick stubble, wisps of straw and traces of the delicate, elusive fragrance of the ripe palay remained to remind one of the hectares of slender, heavy-laden stalks of grain that had once rippled in graceful undulation with each breath of the harvest wind."

You are an immortal spirit who is One with God. That is your true Self. You are a co-creator of the universe. You are God, and God is you. "This Presence within you, this God-Self of you, wants you to be radiantly happy, because perfection is the true nature of it's expression."

John Randolf Price, through his 1981 book The Superbeings (Fawcett Crest, NY), takes down the words of a highly evolved soul named Jason and many other Avatars and reveals them to the world:

"It wants you to be prosperous, because abundance is the nature of its manifestation. It wants you to be happy, at perfect peace, loving and loved, wise, successful, confident, enthusiastic, joyful, strong and free - because it is through these patterns of itself that it expresses Its true nature of wholeness, completeness and harmony. You have the power within you at this very moment to realize the fulfillment of every desire. Through the love, wisdom and power of your indwelling spirit, you have the ability to bring about any necessary change in your body or affairs."

This power is working for you because it is working through you. "You are a center of consciousness through which the power of God flows," Jason continues. "It sees total fulfillment for you, as you, and this Perfect pattern of fulfillment is manifest now as true nature. You are the Self-expression of the Infinite. God has fulfilled Himself as you." This slim book, which I serendipitiously found in a garage sale in downtown Cebu last February, teaches that the fundamental element is forgiveness. You are cleaning up your mind "by giving up all grudges and negative feelings towards others. All others. Everyone. Without exception!"

 You are clearing up the channel through which the Creative Force of God is bringing to you all your needs and desires.

"Your true nature has within it the Wisdom of the ages" and "it is conscious of substance as the spiritual essense, the creative energy, behind all visible manifestations." You are receiving prosperity because "this consciousness of abundance is already within you, and by contemplating the creative substance that is continually flowing from this creative mind. Know that substance is wealth, substance is prosperity, substance is abundance. Recognize that the idea of overflowing supply, lavish abundance, is a part of your true nature. Remember that you are God in expression."

This is how a man named Daniel E., who grew up in poverty, became a successful businessman. "You impress substance by choosing clearly what you want, affirming that your desire is already fulfilled in spirit, visualizing the fulfillment, releasing the substance to do its perfect work, and acting on any ideas that come to you. With these steps followed faithfully and gratefully, substance must manifest accordingly. The mental pictures of your heart's desires will be objectified."

"You help the world when you help yourself," reminds Jason. "We are all one, all waves in the same ocean, and one man's consciousness of abundance and well-being with its outer manifestation releases more light into the race consciousness for the benefit of all." That means you are choosing "total freedom of lavish abundance" and you recognize divine substance as the source," so your are "rich and free," as you are created to be.

"When a man comes to himself and comprehends the fact that he is son of God, and knows that in himself lies all the powers of God, he is a master mind and all the elements will hear his voice and gladly do his will," according to The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus The Christ. When "Fear and "Unbelief" are "caught and turned aside, the will of man will know no bounds; then man has but to speak and it is done."

The key to mastery is Faith. "You already possess the Gift of Faith, because it is one of the attributes of God individualized within you, as you," says Price. You are calling "this spiritual faculty into expression, into purposeful action in your life." Believe that "Literally, you can do all things through faith because faith is the connecting link between heaven and earth, between cause and effect." And "The incredibly awesome force of this power will penetrate into the depths of consciousness."

Faith "is the foundation upon which the realization of truth must be built. Remember that your Superconsciousness is whole and complete." So "When you call the Power of Faith into expression, it attracts universal energy and substance to become a powerful inner force. When it reaches spiritual maturity it begins work to restore the subconscious mind to its original state of spiritual consciousness, to be in harmony with your superconsciousness." Then "you can speak the word" and "all your desires will be automatically fulfilled, and your service to mankind shall not be limited."

John Randolf Price has successfully used the powers of the mind to achieve his dreams. Then, imperceptibly at first, everything he had gained came crashing down. Bad luck seemed to haunt him. What went wrong?

He asked a highly evolved person, a true Superbeing, who told him: "A rubber check is an unkept promise. Had you been conscious of other unkept promises- either promises made to you and by you - either in your personal or business affairs? Or perhaps unkept promises that you personally or businesswise at all, but which aroused in you some sense of injustice or irritation? And might there be in your subconscious a negative conviction that 'Divine Supply is somehow distorted and diverted by human folly' - in effect saying that human folly controls Divine Wisdom?"

The counsel was: "You might find it useful and enlightening to get into a meditative state and in imagination go as Daniel into the Lion's Den." Face those fearsome creatures and "Command them to be still and to comfort you and reinforce your soul's true mission." To become One with the Power, the Superbeing told him, "I would rest in the abiding place in which it is an unshakable certainty that now every thought and everything needed is being given."

John Randolf " realized how important this man was in moving me back to the Path." A listening attitude is a critical element. The core is "Claim your good. Imagine your good. Speak the word for your good. Then care not if your good ever comes to pass."

The sounds weird. Of course you would care! "But the caring, which is another word for worry and concern, was actually diverting the power flow," he says. "I was told to choose what I wanted, see it as an actuality, call it forth into visible form and experience - then not be concerned about the outcome, regardless of how desperate the need."

He has seen the Power at work, but I "had only scratched the surface," he says, "relying on mental work, rather than hooking up with the Dynamo within."

Gibbon, in the Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, had seen this Power at work as early as the first century. Rising into this new consciousness is "what the saints, the mystics, the masters and the Superbeings have done," says Price. "Glance at a bookshelf," he continues, "and chances are you'll see -- in addition to the Bible -- books by such authors as Ernest Holmes, Charles Fillmore, Joel Goldsmith, J. Sig Paulson, Emmet Fox, Tom Johnson, Catherine Ponder, Robert A. Russell, Ralph Waldo Trine, Ernest Wilson, Marcus Bach, Ervin Seale, James Dillet Freeman, Jack H. Holland, Joseph Murphy, Eric Butterworth, Emilie Cady, and many other spiritual leaders who are doing their part to lead us all back to the High Road of Truth."

"The development of the cosmic, or spiritual, phase of the mind," declared Dr. Richard M. Burke, author of Cosmic Consciousness, in an 1894 address to the British Medical Association, "would one day lift the whole of human life to a higher plane."

Price, founder of the Quartus Foundation think tank, cites the work of Phineas Park Quimby and quotes the Bible, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Plotinus, St. Augustine and Henry David Thoreau: 

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected at common hours. He will put something behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him, or the old laws will be expanded and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense; and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings."

Simon (James McAvoy) is a security specialist in a London auction house. Sometimes, he presides over a bidding but his real job is to keep the items safe, sort of an auction house Secret Service agent. Then, in the middle of the bidding for Rembrandt's Witches Flying In The Air, a group of commando-style thieves broke in. Springing to action, Simon ran off with the painting, put it in a bag and, with the other security personnel, went to the basement to drop the bag into the chute which connects to a vault. But the leader, Frank (Vincent Cassell) was there, waiting for them - with a gun. In the scuffle, Simon was hit in the head and fell unconscious.

Later, he wanders down the street, dazed, blood still on his clothes. He was hit again, this time by a car. The concussion had triggered a new set of fragmented memories. He was beginning to remember flashes of betrayal. "Why did you leave me?" Simon screamed to the young woman driving the car, a complete stranger, his hands on her throat, unable to control the evil rising to the surface.

Frank has vanished with the painting. When he got to their hideout, he zipped the bag open. Inside was an empty frame. The painting was gone. Then comes a new revelation and a new twist. Frank kidnaps Simon. They had executed the inside job flawlessly except for one detail.

"Where's the painting?" demands Frank.

"I can't remember!" pleads Simon.

They torture him, pulling off his fingernails. Finally, they realized that Simon was telling the truth. The only one who knows where the painting is has amnesia. Frank got nowhere with the doctors, amnesia not being responsive to any drugs.

Then he had an inspiration: a hypnotic regression. Simon chose a hypnotherapist in the area at random. He went, wearing a wire so Frank and the others in the van outside would hear everything, with a cover story that he was trying to remember where he put his car keys.

The hynotherapist, Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson), plumbed the labyrinthine depths of Simon's mind. There was fear, that most formidable of all obstruction. Simon was afraid that they would kill him once they where it was, and so he was subconsciously resisting. Elizabeth got him past that. Then came another totally unexpected turn of events: he was falling in love with Elizabeth.

Frank accused her of manipulating them. She countered that there's another, even more bizaare, development. This time Simon was resisting, says Elizabeth, because he's jealous of Frank.

Inevitably, Simon eventually remembered. But there were also new revelations. Elizabeth, realized Frank, had known since the first session where the painting was. Simon's new-found memories, meanwhile, had also summoned disturbing images from his past. Elizabeth was forced to confess the truth as she, Simon and Frank drove to the underground garage where the painting lay hidden in the car of the murmured young woman.

Simon had been in love with a woman, Elizabeth began. It was his therapist whom he was seeing to help him get rid of his addiction to gambling. It had taken hold of him so deeply that he got into trouble. It was then he realized he can solve all his financial problems with a single painting. That's when he met Frank, and that's when they planned the heist.

Trouble was brewing on another level. Simon had gotten close to his therapist. "Too close." They fell in love. It was beautiful.

Then, he began to be possessive, dominating, irrational. One day, it all came crashing down. In one of his bouts of jealous frenzy, he hit her. Simon apologized relentless, wearing her down. She let him in, and he almost strangled her. She began fearing for her life.

Strangely, Simon was still continuing with the therapy. So she put him in a deep hynotic state and embedded a mental command.

"You will forget me," Elizabeth had told him. "You will forget about us

Rembrandt's Witches Flying In The Air

Jonathan Aquino's Journal

June 12, 2013
12:28 a.m., Wednesday
Lahug City, Cebu

I just had an epiphany. I think that human misery is when we get too personally involved with what happens to us. We live in a world with vast numbers of people living "in quiet desperation," to quote Thoreu, because I think they focus on themselves too much. I know this, because I've been through hell this past month, and I've been too engrossed in my own suffering. It never occured to me, not until just now, to detach myself and see it from outside my subjective view

From now on, I'll focus on developing that sense of calm detachment like Bagger Vance. I just started reading the novel by Steven Pressfield, and I'm awed by how deeply it has already touch my soul

I have decided to leave Cebu. I need time for solitude and emotional healing. Some of the most transformative events in my life happened here, yet also some of the most painful. I've been under too much trauma, and I viscerally feel that it has changed me, and what I think of humanity, forever. I feel that sense of endlessness, knowing that nothing will be the same again. The wounds in my soul will heal, and the pain shall pass, as all the things pass. But the scars will be my constant companions

I'll be donating some of the books I bought here to the public library, including Herbert Burkholz's The Sensitives, a page turner which I just got yesterday. I just had to read it even it's out of my budget - because it's about telepaths. Of course I'll be writing stories about them.

I love the library: no stupid rules. I feel more at home there than anywhere else in Cebu, except the sea. I think it's only right that I leave them the books I bought from this city. But not everything.

Some of them will stay with me forever

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Reynaldo Carcillar and Antonio Lalik

Special Midweek Edition

I learned the news about Reynaldo Carcillar late night of July 1, 2013, Monday, and I was really driven to write this story right then.

Then an hour later, past midnight and already July 2 early morning Tuesday, I found myself monitoring the live broadcast of the shameless and obviously intoxicated Antonio Lalik.

I never felt so cynical about the Philippines at that moment. I find it amusingly pathetic that the government wanted to change the country's name to "Filipinas" as if that will change anything. Then again, why do you expect from bureaucrats expect stupid ideas, like selling the historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum?

I'm really affected by the news about Reynaldo Carcillar, the old man who died of a heart attack in front of La Salle University in Manila. He was a pedicab driver, meaning: he was poor and therefore unworthy in the eyes of most people in society. At the same time, I wasn't suprised that the security guards at the gates and the Pasay police in their mobile both ignored him.

The police are so territorial, always a sign of primitive minds, refusing to acknowledge anything that's out of their jurisdiction except for their extortion. I know how the police in the Philippines works, which I wrote about in our Jan. 12 edition. I really have no respect for the police in this country

As for the security guards, my experiences showed me they're mostly power-tripping enforcers of stupid rules from paranoid management, like public hospitals in Manila and call centers in Cebu especially Qualfon. Then when it's really needed, they consistently prove they are useless, like during those series of mall robberies in Metro Manila last year; I wrote about the Martilyo Gang in our Feb. 2 edition

The rigid bureaucratic mentality of this country's police and security guards are shown most vividly during the SM Pampanga tragedy, which I wrote about in our November 30, 2011 edition 

One of life's sweetest temptation is to declare what you will do in a situation that hasn't happened yet, and it's usually hypocritical bull when it finally does. We Filipinos think in terms of an ideal but act in terms of convenient rationalizations. It's part of our culture. That's the greatest tragedy

Antonio Lalik is the Barangay (village) captain of Barangay Barangay 848 in Pandacan in  Manila. There was a taping of the TV5 soap opera Cassandra: Warrior Angel on the next block and the cast and crew were parked in front of the Barangay Hall. Actress Jopay Paguia saw her car has been damaged. Witnesses told the victims that it was Lalik, who was driving drunk.

Actor Epi Quizon, as a gesture of friendship and moral support, went to the Barangay Hall because Lalik refuses to go out - as he is obligated by law to do. Lalik was abusive, demanding to see the witnesses. If there are no witnesses, then "bakit ko aaminin? (why would I admit it?)" he said defensively.

"Putang ina mo (You're mother's a ehore)!" he cursed Epi 

When Epi went out the office, Lalik appeared at the window. "Tarantado ka (You asshole)!" he cursed further, giving Epi the finger. 

He finally got out to harass Joel Gorospe, the reporter. What the son of a bitch didn't know is that everything was caught live on camera. It's low-breeds like Lalik that makes me ashamed to be still stuck in this country

Photos courtesy of and