Sunday, October 14, 2007


“ Your Online Banking is Blocked !
Because of unusual number of invalid login attempts on you account, we had to believe that, their might be some security problem on you account. So we have decided to put an extra verification process to ensure your identity and your account security. Please click on sign in to Online Banking to continue to the verification process and ensure your account security. It is all about your security.
Thank you. and visit the customer service section. “

I opened my email and discovered this disturbing official notification from one of the largest banks in the United States . For Expatiates living here, a block on their bank account could mean a personal financial disaster. How would you pay your rent? How would you buy food? How would they re-new their passport?

Many people would have clicked on the link and immediately tried to resolve the problem. Unfortunately what would probably happen is that they would have every dollar in their bank account stolen!

My first clue that this was a possible hoax is the fact; I have no account with this famous international bank. Now, it is possible that someone has stolen my identity and opened a new account; but then why would they contact me instead of the person who stole my identity? In addition to this anomaly, I have placed a special alert with all credit bureaus. The credit bureau is directed to report to me, immediately, all “new” accounts. I have received no such notification. A check with them shows no such account has been opened.

So what is going on here? Look at the notice. This notice is purportedly from one of the largest banks in the world. This notice has at least sixteen grammatical, punctuation and syntax errors. One error is possible, but sixteen is ridiculous for a bank of this stature. Obviously the people who composed this message, not only do not work for the bank, but it would appear English is their second language.

If you click on this link you open your computer to these criminals. They can place a “key-stoke” virus on your machine and steal your identity. If you complete the form you will give the crooks direct access to your personal bank account. They then can steal all the money you have in your account.

Anytime you receive a notice supposedly from a legitimate business (EBay, Bank of America etc.) instead of using the link provided, contact the business through a different route. Ask the business directly if the notice is legitimate. My experience is that these notices never are legal. Responsible businesses never give you a link and demand passwords or account numbers. They always just ask you to contact them as soon as possible.

I suggest you contact the three largest credit bureaus and have them place your account on “alert”. Request they contact you in the event any new accounts are added to your record. Also request a copy of your account and clean it up. There are procedures for removing obsolete or inaccurate information. The first step in preventing identity theft is prevention.

Finally, be VERY cautious about what you send over the internet. Never send passwords and account numbers through links even to what may appear to be a legitimate web site. On the rare occasion you need to transmit this data, go directly to the companies’ web site and access them through a secured system. I access my bank through two levels of security. In addition I constantly scan my computer for “key-stroke” viruses. Once your identity is stolen you can never get it back. Be an Everyday Hero, protect yourself and educate your friends.


He came busting through the front door of the Smart business office like a wounded pregnant carabao. His face was contorted in anger. He snapped and snarled at the security guard, then took his number and waited his turn. At the counter his mood had not improved. He spoke to everyone as if they were idiots. His choice of words was not fit for a whore house much less a place of public business. He obviously thought the louder his voice the quicker his problem would be resolved.

I will never understand why people do stupid things like this. First, he is abusing the wrong people. These people are not personally responsible for his problem; why does he feel compelled to hurt and insult them. Second, how can hurting and making angry the very people you need to help you, make those people more inclined to give that help. I do not know about them; but I would be less inclined to help.

Never underestimate the power of a smile and a sense of humor. I had a similar problem with Globe. I went into the service center with a smile and tried to make the situation as painless as possible. It took awhile, but the problem was fixed. The Globe service people worked extra hard to help the “nice” man.

The huge mango tree needs insects and animals to stay alive and propagate. The insects pollenate it's flowers so fruit will grow and animals eat the sweet mangoes distributing the fruit pits and making new trees grow. The tree does not shout at the insects and demand they pollinate it. The tree provides beautiful flowers and sweet necture to encourage the insects to do their job. The tree does not beat it's limbs together and demand birds and humans eat it's fruit and plant it's seeds. It makes its fruit sweet and juicy to encourage our help. These are the lessons of life that God has wisely provided all around us. Things work better His way.

Calling people "stupid" does not make those people smart nor does it resolve your problems quicker. Be an Everyday Hero. Do not abuse people. Learn the art of patience and living in harmony.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Most people are familiar with the symbol but many do not understand the concept. The “Unity of Opposites” is a Chinese philosophical concept that recognizes a world filled with contrasts. Good is contrasted by evil. Wet is the opposite of dry. Slow is relative to fast. Each of these conditions or objects needs the other to define itself. The concept of hard means little unless you compare it to soft. Often these opposites combined to form something even more special. If you take a dark velvet night and combine it with a bright silvery moon it becomes a night to remember.

Many of us believe there is someone special in this world who is our other half; someone who is the Yin to our Yang. I have searched all of my life for the other half of my heart. I had finally given up the hunt and resigned myself to living out my remaining years in solitude. I was here in “the land of beautiful women” a year before I even thought about dating anyone. I had made peace with my lonely fate.

Suddenly there was Cora. Interestingly, I was attracted by her inner beauty long before I even noticed her outer beauty. She routinely sublimated her Pinoy pride in an open quest for self improvement. Her determination, dedication coupled with an unusually high intellect was inspiring. She showed an uncommon empathy and compassion. Her quick wit and sense of humor made her a stimulating companion.

Shakespeare once wrote, “The course of true love never did run smooth” and that was certainly true of Cora and I. Our love has had a long and rough trip. She even admits, when we first met, she did not love me; in fact she was a little afraid of me. But I had a simple plan. I would keep her in my life long enough for her to forget the “wrinkled old man” and fall in love with my “young heart”.

Love is not a word; love is a lifestyle. Saying “I love you” is easy but living that love is difficult. Everything she did told me she did not love me. Several times over the past three years we came terribly close to separating. Finally about eight months ago things began to slowly change. I could see and feel her love growing. We were becoming a true couple, a “team”. Finally I asked her to be my wife.

Last Wednesday we pledged our love and were married. I traveled halfway around the world and finally found the other half of my heart.