Insights From Francis J. Kong

August 31 - September 6

Oscar Obligacion 
Francis J. Kong 
The Aladdin Factor

Oscar Obligacion is a big star in the post-War vaudeville era. I got this from Romy Protacio's Balik Tanaw: The Filipino Movie Stars of Yesteryears while looking for Lou Salvador Jr. I get stirrings from old photographs and bygone times. 

Oscar and the great soprano Sylvia La Torre are the stars of Oras Ng Ligaya (The Hour of Happiness), a popular radio show in 1960 aired in DZRH, where I would write radio scripts half a century later in 2012. In 1961, Oscar and Sylvia got their own TV show, Tuloy Ang Ligaya (Happiness Goes On), with Chichay, Vic Pacia and Chris De Vera. 

I remember Sylvia La Torre in one of my favorite sitcoms when I was a kid in the 80s: Joey & Son, with Joey De Leon and Ian Veneracion, . 

Oscar's first movie is Tacio, directed by Bert Avellana, with Perla Bautista as the leading lady. Tacio is also part of my childhood memories: the big-toothed barber from a People's Journal comic strip, but I'm not sure if it's the same guy. 

Oscar is part of the successful Apat film series, like Apat Na Takas (Four Fugitives) and Apat Na Kabalyero (Four Horsemen), with Pepe Pimentel, Pablo Virtuoso and Dencio Padilla. Always there to support there movies are their friends Aruray, Hector Reyes, Teroy de Guzman and Lito Anzures. 

"Thanks for the memories, Oscar," writes Protacio. "You will always be in the hearts of many Filipinos who were blessed to receive the gift of laughter that you so generously gave."

Francis J. Kong, the top motivation guru in the Philippines, is my favorite columnist. 

Honestly though, I seldom buy newspapers. But when I get a copy of The Philippine Star, I go straight to his "Business Matters." 

I always find ideas that I can use for my own empowerment. He's not one of those social climbers with their prostituted PR crap. 

I'd get to tune in from time to time to his podcasts on a high-end FM station when I was in Metro Manila last year; I forgot if it was Crossover or Master's Touch. I'm glad I chanced upon him again on 98.7 FR around May 2013 here in Cebu. 

Words have power, I heard him say. So if you can communicate effectively, in speaking and in writing, think of "how much you will accomplish." 

We take life too seriously, so "Lighten up" because, so far, no one has yet "gotten out alive."

Success is the profit of your investments of time and effort to have a better life. I got that from his inspirational volume Being The Best You Can Ever Be, published in 2001 by Success Options Inc. 

"How about?" he asks. "Are you learning? Are you mastering new skills that can transform your own life? Are you reinventing yourself?" 

No matter what happens, he affirms, "It's never too late to have a brand new beginning."

Social media is about connecting, about building communities. Amusingly, there are those who make a big fuss about "over-sharing," where "netizens" would share details about whatever.

That's an issue?

How mosquito-minded we are, buzzing on their ears?

I think the question should not be "Why do people share too much?" Instead, it should be "Why do others get affected by trivialities?" 

Our Facebook friends would update the entire galaxy, in real time. We all do it, like playing nooky. So what if they tweet their lunch? So what if they're plastered? And so what if they got hemorroids? There's no social value, there's no practical application, there is nothing whatsoever to be gained from meddling in other people's private affairs. It only shows how empty one's life is

The Genie appears, summoned from the magic lamp. "I desire only to be recognized for who I truly am," says Aladdin. "I appear to be a poor beggar, yet what I know to be true is that I am a prince." 

Aladdin's wish is the Genie's command. "Sit at my feet, child, while I weave a tale of wonder and success about learning how to ask for what you want in life," says the Genie, thus beginning the stories in The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. 

Jack's epiphany changed him. "All I had to do was ask? It was that simple? Why had I never thought of it?" he realizes. 

Before he learned how to ask, he trudged a "life of settling for less than what I wanted, less than I deserved, less than the best and less than what was possible."

The Genie showed Aladdin the five barriers that stops you from asking and getting what you what you want. We limit ourselves by our beliefs. Your success will not deprive someone else because there is enough abundance to go around. The world is a responsive place, even if your fortune cookie says "Your request for MSG was ignored." 

We are afraid to ask, and "Fear always springs from ignorance," says Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

We don't ask because we don't know what it is we really want or even what is possible, say Jack Canfield. "If our parents didn't teach us, if we didn't learn it in school and we never saw it modeled by anyone else in our lives, how were we supposed to know?"

"During your travels through this adventure, you have gained much wisdom, my son," the Genie beamed. 

"Thank you, Genie," says Aladdin. "I have so much to thank you for, I don't really know where to begin." 

"That is an important principle, Aladdin," says the Genie. "When you are grateful to the people in your life, the circumstances surrounding your achievements and the world at large, it completes the circle. You then live in a state of blessed reality." 

"What is your fondest wish, oh my Genie?" asks the boy. 

"I wish only for one thing," the Genie sighs. "I wish for my freedom." 

Without hesitating, Aladdin says, "I grant you your freedom!" 

The Genie vanished. 

Aladdin begins to cry. They have gone through a lot of together. Now Aladdin's friend, mentor and teacher is gone. Then he heard the familiar voice.

"Aladdin, I'm here!" 

But Aladdin was alone. "Where are you!" he asks, looking everywhere.

"Here, Aladdin," the Genie's voice says. "Look again. Look into the deepest part of your heart, into your innermost being. For I am here within you, your teacher and your friend. You will never be alone, for I am with you always. I am here inside of you." 

Here, the Genie tell Aladdin, is "where I have always been."

See Jack Canfield and some of the world's greatest motivational gurus in our Playshop Page

Friend Like Me
(From the movie "Aladdin")

Jonathan Aquino's Journal 

June 23, 2013 
10:39 p.m., Sunday 
Lahug City, Cebu 

Life is about action. It is the wisdom of the ages. 

Solitude uplifts my spirit, but I know now that retreat from the world is not the answer. I tend to stay away from "civilization" because I've seen how vicious some people can be. 

I yearn, with all my heart and soul, to attain detachment. 

I learned this from Krishna, in his guise as the charioteer, as he gave strength to Arjuna in the midst of battle. 

I care, but I now realize that my greatest folly is that I care too much. I face the world as me, but that is only who I am in my present lifetime. The real me transcends my physical identity, and I have lived for more than a thousand years. I came from the Source of All That Is. My agonies came from thinking that I'm who I am now. 

I learned this from Bagger Vance, whose true nature is never given justice by the film version unlike in Steven Pressfield's novel, which changed my life.

"I have learned to lead a life apart from all the rest..." I can't think of a better way to describe me. This is from Aubrey by Bread, the favorite song of my best friend and childhood buddy, Noel Belarmino De Los Angeles, where he got the name of his daughter, Aubrey. 

I still hurt when I remember July 7, 2007, the day he was murdered. I went on with my life, even if nothing was ever the same again. I need to achieve detachment, but I don't ever want to forget. 

I will see you again, my friend, when I return to where we all came from, where I can find my own Authentic Swing

"For a love 
that wouldn't bloom,
for the hearts 
that never played in tune;
like a lovely melody 
that everyone can sing,
take away the words that rhyme, 
it doesn't mean a thing..."

Photos Courtesy of:,,,,,,,,


“Should even one's enemy arrive at the doorstep, he should be attended upon with respect. A tree does not withdraw its cooling shade even from the one who has come to cut it.”

~Mahabharata 12.146.5
"You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen."

~Paulo Coelho
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.”

~Paulo Coelho
"The Alchemist"
"People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest."

~Hermann Hesse
"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."

~Robert Louis Stevenson
"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."

-Helen Keller
"That one is dear to me who runs not after the pleasant or away from the painful, grieves not, lusts not, but lets things come and go as they happen." ~ Krishna, Bhagavad Gita
Huggybear said…

I remember the soprano actress Sylvia La Torre when I was a kid, and I'm still a kid at heart. My inner child is enjoying his life more than ever.