Why the People are the Best Asset of a Community

Why the People Are the Best Asset of a Community

By Apolinario Villalobos


Communities with natural endowments such as waterfalls, mountains, caves, beaches, etc. are fortunate. But life therein may not be pleasant if the people are not cordial to each other, especially, to visitors.


A community may not have natural endowments as it may be located in a flat land, without even a small parcel of forest. But if its people have a strong spirit of cooperation and brotherhood, they can unite and improve their place. They can build parks and inland resorts, plant clusters of trees to simulate a forest, dig artificial ponds and lakes that migratory birds can visit, or be filled with tamed animals that used to spend their life in the wild.


If the people are cooperative, they will never ever attempt to block any plan that could lead their community towards progress. They will be appreciative of ideas about inviting investors to build schools, business establishments, etc. They will delight in long-ranged plans such as building of an effective series of open canals or underground drainage system and laying of pipes for the water that would flow to homes and business establishments that they foresee to mushroom. They will also encourage their leaders to widen the roads that will never be viewed as unnecessary expenses, but for the bright future of their children.


Thinking and unselfish people just do not live for the day, but always ponder about the days to come….the future. They always think and act for the sake of their friends and families….not for themselves alone. They are aware that their acts should be in synchrony with each other as a single misstep could affect their community as a whole and may even result to a disaster with a  with long-ranged effect.


Once busy mining communities have become “ghost towns” when settlers left after the mines no longer yield what they are digging for. On the other hand, settlers can tame wild ranges and from grassy plains or swamps mold progressive communities. That is how cities have evolved from towns that used to be remote villages.


To sum up all of the above…people improves life that God gave.

The Stereotyping of People based on “First Impression”



By Apolinario Villalobos


People have varied attitude and character, with the negative ones most often surfacing when they react to harrowing experience in the hands of others. Some people are just not patient enough to stand the ordeal of being ridiculed and downtrodden….as they have no saintly character. When they show unsavory reaction such as flaring up and to a point, cuss, they are marked as “bad”.  What is forgotten is the word, “provocation”. Simply put, had these hyper and “Type A” people, been not provoked, the flaring up or cussing, may have been avoided.


People who know about their being a “Type A”, take extra care not to be provoked as even their physician gives them such order. But for how long can their patience hold their senses together in a situation where they are confronted with inconsiderate people that make their blood pressure dangerously zoom up if they will not release the tension in the form of anger? There are also people who become momentarily blinded with anger resulting to a violent act on their part, or worst, their death due to heart attack! The “take it easy” from compassionate friends is easier said than done.


Some people try their best to generate a good “first impression” from others by showing their good side and many of them are expert in this farce. Some of them are the “saintly” church-going regulars who assume their true character upon reaching home. And, some still, who can act out this travesty in the best hypocritical way are the “kind” politicians who do all possible to land a post in the government as they go around kissing sweaty checks, embracing tobacco-reeking old folks, and shaking grimy hands when they campaign prior to election…but show their true color as they assume their office. In this regard, people would not just believe when allegations about their involvement in drug cases and ghost projects are exposed!


Why I Write About People

Why I Write About People

By Apolinario Villalobos

Long before I got hooked to blogging, I was already an ardent people-watcher. Most often, I am surprised by the flow of my thought that would touch on people as I begin to write. They become important element of my blogs about corruption as victims of exploitation. The same is true when I write about destinations in which they become one of the reasons why a certain place should not be missed by travelers. People who do benevolent acts should be cited and exposed to the world so that others will emulate their acts. On the other hand, people who exploit others must also be exposed so that others will be warned, and the guilty must be stopped from doing more harm.

It is not easy to write about people and their act, as appropriate words must be used so that the situations are clearly “painted” in the mind of the reader. I don’t use “bribe” in the form of material help or promises so that I can get their photos. In the first place, I do not take photos of people to whom I extend random charity. That is my case as a “small time street friend” who uses personal fund and donation from trusted friends. For honest and big foundations, however, that use donations from NGOs and individual philanthropists, they need “action photos” to support their projects, to show that the huge donations in their care, indeed, were received by deserving people and communities.

Materials for my people-blogs come randomly, from unexpected places, time, and situation. I am guided by the values in developing materials about them. These values are actually within all of us waiting for the right and timely motivation or “tickle” to be activated. But the people with negative attitude seem to be already bent on doing what is the opposite of the righteous. I do not find it hard to determine which is which because of the universal standard, that see-saw between the good and the bad. My best gauge is the “Golden Rule”.

What’s nice about people-blogging is that most viewers can relate to them. Conclusions can be derived and be made as basis in realizing a bad act, thereby, changing their bad habits for the better, or getting confirmation that they are doing just the right thing.

Christlike People Around Us

Christlike People Around Us

by Apolinario Villalobos

Without their knowing it, some people around us are Christlike – they who act like Christ but do not belong to the Christian fold. Some do not even belong to any religion. The Christlike way is my own gauge in measuring the extent of kindness one extends to others, while being Christian is belonging to the group that is supposed to advocate the teachings of Christ. Unfortunately, some or most members are only Christian in name but not in action.

When the typhoon Yolanda devastated Leyte and its neighboring Visayan provinces, some Aeta tribes in Zambales went down with bunches of bananas and sweet potatoes in answer to the call for donations. A girl donated her month’s savings that amounted to a little more than a hundred pesos. Two cigarette vendors I met in Sta. Cruz, Manila, donated the money each of them saved. While one vendor’s savings was supposed to be for his wife who was to give birth within the month, the other one’s savings was supposed to be for the purchase of tarpaulin for the pushcart which he considered as his family’s home.

In our neighborhood, “Ester”, a housewife who operates a beauty parlor sponsors free haircut at least once a month in depressed areas. A retired couple in a nearby neighborhood, “Gene” and “Maggie”, crams their old van with goodies for deserving street children who they would encounter every time they hit the road, aside from doing weekend visit to depressed areas with a small group. Still, a couple in another neighborhood, “Sam” and “Ness”, regularly visit on weekends a shelter for elderlies where they spend their whole day as volunteers. A retired couple in their 80’s, “Lando” and “Cora” are foster parents to a former child prostitute who will graduate from high school next year.

Even distance does not hinder others to act like Christ. “Perla” who lives in the United States regularly calls friends, schools, and stores for books to be discarded, even tarpaulins and emergency home tools which she patiently packs to be sent to the Philippines for street children. “Doring”, brought out her carefully saved money, an extra amount during her last visit to the Philippines, and which she sent to be spent for a needy person and street children.

There are more of these Christlike people around us, who do not even know that they are manifesting the image of Christ through their acts. Some do not even know how to pray the Rosary and Novena. Some do not kneel in front of the altar and implore God for blessings. Some have not tried joining a religious procession. Some do not say repetitive prayers akin to pagan chanting. Some do not offer flowers and candles to the images of saints. But these Christlike people, do what are supposed to be done right away for others, acts which are along what Christ said: “what you do to others, you do to me”, and “love they neighbor”…which could mean, who they may be.

Touching Lives

Touching Lives

By Apolinario Villalobos


It is amazing how others can unpredictably touch your life in times of its downturn. Text messages would come in, calls are received and even a simple “hi!” from those who are just around. The touch has a magical effect that instantaneously melts whatever bit of sadness is beginning to be felt.  As conversation ensues, your mind is diverted from whatever depressing thoughts are beginning to fill it. Before you know it, you are laughing to your heart’s content about recalled incidents in the past, or just anything to kill time.


It happened to me – several times, yet. One touch came as a call from a colleague in a former job who told me that somebody told her about a medical attention that I was getting. Her concern went as far as referring me to her personal physician whom she avowed to be a seasoned one, being in the field for more than a decade. Her effort made me think that there is no reason for me to worry about anything as I was assured of the physician’s expertise. Other touches came as messages via internet – for me to be extra careful…not to exert so much effort…to take it easy. The last touch came as another call from a classmate who, in his own right, is a spiritual crusader, too. Worried about messages of concern that he noticed in the web about me, he told me outright what to do, practically, telling me where I have gone wrong which centered on my work habit, as he knew that I am a workaholic. I listened to him with open mind. The long phone conversation via his prepaid call buoyed me up which somehow revitalized me for the rest of the day.


Without our knowing it, small things that we do for others are touches that somehow, can remove the gloom that is beginning to envelop them, just as what my friends did to me. I am beginning to think that humanity in its totality is interconnected by invisible links through which flow energy and all that these links need is a touch, a reaching out to activate them. Voracious readers admit that most often they come across items about mental telepathy. Others claim being healed by telepathic cure, others by actual touching done with praying over.


A personal observation is how the posted serious and funny photos on facebook can immediately make one smile. That is what I mean by “touch”. Those bloggers who posted funny scenes of their daily life, helpful tips on food, herbal cures and the like, have touched the lives of viewers via the internet, thanks to high technology. The framed messages of saints and unknown writers shared by bloggers to be viewed by friends mean a lot. The new pope, himself, realized this modern method of touching lives, so he did it himself, sending messages through the different social media, even going to the extent of subjecting himself to selfies.


In this process, what is important is for the recipient to open his “channel”. He should have an open mind and ready to accept what are being transmitted. The effort of the giver is useless if the receiver refuses to have his link activated. A simple case is how the priests and evangelists of other religions exert much effort in touching the lives of other people by sharing with them the good and righteous news. If those people just listen through one ear and let the messages exit through the other ear, without even a slight effort of absorption, the effort is futile, useless.


Jesus, during his time, tried reaching out to the people through his preaches, but just like today, during his time, there were non-believers. He was even taunted by the Pharisees. His last effort was to send his message by sacrificing his life on the cross, an effort that indeed, made a greater impact. He effectively touched the lives of non-believers by his act – dying on the cross.


The small acts that we do are just grains of sand compared to what Jesus did, and such should remind us that whatever we do to our fellowmen by touching them, we are in effect returning the favor to Jesus, though, in our small way…remember what he said, “whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me”.


 If all grains of sand can be collected, mixed with cement and water, a strong foundation can be made, which means that if only the whole humanity can unite, there will be a strong foundation for just anything that we need to live our lives in peace.



Be What Others Are for their Goodness

Be What Others Are for Their Goodness

By Apolinario Villalobos


Sometimes imitating others cannot be avoided. It happens when we get obsessed by the traits of people whom we idolize, driving us to imitate them. Some even go beyond boundaries by imitating the way their idols speak, walk or even part their hair. Impersonating is a different thing which is done to make fun of somebody or done for the sake of money as in the case of professional impersonators.


Imitating our idols may be good for us if we simulate only the good traits.  In this case, the best figures for emulation are the spiritual icons and prophets, foremost of them is Jesus Christ, whom Christians faithfully believed to be the Son of God. There are others worthy of imitation such as Gautama, Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammad, Confucius, and Lao Tzu.  Lately, the canonization of modern day saints, by the Vatican, added names to the already long list of those worthy of imitation.


For children, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, ready answers bring out names of super heroes. Obviously, the physical strength of these storybook heroes is what has been ingrained in their mind. Popular among the list are superman, batman, spiderman, to name a few, although, there are a lot more that have impressed them.  The unsullied mind of the children is such that, the first impression usually is difficult to alter, because of their innocence and sincere ignorance.


But it is a different thing, when it comes to the adult mind which has been seasoned with many exposures, and calloused by different intentions all of which point to political or financial gain. During political campaigns, politicians emulate the behavior of charismatic political figures, but slide back to their former selves after assuming their positions. Wise guys as struggling evangelists, profess to be another Jesus to accumulate followers, hence, more members could mean more tithes that could mean more money, and finally, more material comfort in life.


Finally, emulating others may not last long. It may serve its purpose but will not be impressed deeply in the person who does the act. Science has proven that no two persons are the same even if they are twins. Meanwhile, what is best is to be what others are for their being good. If that is the intention, surely, the one who does the act will not fail.



Want a Serene Life? Try These…

Want a Serene Life? Try These…

                                      By: Apolinario B. Villalobos



The following are suggestions. I practice them myself and I am living a peaceful life, perhaps, you may find them helpful, too.

Do not accumulate worldly materials beyond your need. Most people adhere to the notion that the more worldly materials they have in life the more they become secure. And for them, these accumulated materials manifest success in life, too. It is the reason why these people become compulsive buyers and collectors  of things that take their fancy – things that they can show off. Unknowingly, by doing so, they are developing some kind of fear of not having things that they want which further develops into insecurity, and worse, attachment to these worldly things making them reluctant to accept death knowing that they are leaving their accumulated wealth behind.

Do not play “God” to others. Some people try their best “to guide” others todo good. Unfortunately, they themselves are doing things the wrong way. It islike telling friends: follow what I say, but do not follow what I do.

Do not depend on someone or something for happiness. Some people attribute their happiness to their success in job, kind of family, friends, wealth, etc. As a result, when they lose their job, it is as if life has ended for them, or when their marriage has failed, for them the only way to end the misery is to commit suicide, or when close friends have left them, they felt there is nobody to run to when problems crop up, or when their savings have dwindled, they felt as if they have suddenly become poor. Just take things in stride.

Do not “mark” people. Do not ask others what province they came from, orwhat their jobs are, or where they live. Accept people as what they are.Purportedly, we ask people about their background so that we will know how to “adjust”  to their kind of personality. Unconsciously, however, the one reason why we do that is to make sure that we are better than them. It is when we have known their background that we begin to blame these for their faults.

Do not think that you can never do any good. Believe in what you can do. As you wake up in the morning, do not ever think that you are too tired to do things for the day or that you are not just in the mood to do some things for the day. If you develop the habit about negating your capabilities, such will stick to your personality, which can later on drag you down.

Do not attach your emotions to any worldly materials. Learn how to part with your “valuables” so that you will not be depressed when you share them with others. Console yourself with the thought that you have made a sacrifice to make others happy.

Do not be impressed by external beauty – the made up faces on magazine covers. Most importantly, do not compare how you look with these images. Each one of us is unique. Beauty emanates from inside of us and the impression depends on how we manifest them through our speech, actions, etc. Beauty can be equated with gracefulness and tactfulness. If one feels blessed or enlightened, tranquility is shown on his or her face and that is when beauty is manifested and impressed on others.

Talk to yourself. At least once a day, especially, before arising from bed, try to contemplate on what you have done the day before and evaluate them whether they were good or  bad. Did you hurt somebody’s feelings? Did you exploit somebody to your own advantage? Etc. As an exercise, face yourself in the mirror and talk to yourself. Scold yourself if you found that you have done something wrong. The best measure for this is the “Golden Rule”  which simply put, is your not wanting bad done to you, hence, you should not do something bad to others, too. If indeed you have wronged others, make amendsLet go…! Let go of whatever bad thoughts you have about others. Try replacing  these thoughts with the goodness that these “others” have done, not necessarily to you, but to others. You may go to the extent of presuming that they have done something good to others. It can’t hurt you.

Be contented… with the kind of friends you have. You may extend a helping hand in such a subtle way as to imply that they need to change their ways. Do not impose yourself on them for they will surely be turned off.

 Listen to your conscience. Man was created by God as an intelligent being, hence, with the ability to know what is good or bad. And, as our integral part, we have our conscience – our inner self that always tells us what is good for us. Unfortunately, our physical self always plays the villain. That is why, there exists the so-called “mind vs. body” struggle. With a simple vice as smoking for instance, our conscience tells us that it is bad but our physical craving tells us to go ahead. It is therefore, worthwhile to listen once in a while to what our conscience says, and discipline in this regard will determine, how far we can go.

Visualize. You can be what you want to be. As earlier mentioned, the impression that you give depends on what is going on in your mind. Visualize yourself as a “cool” person and you will surely have that smile in your face . Visualize yourself as a patient person and you can be one without much effort. Choose your kind of behavior.

Think of yourself as a positive person – a happy person, as if you are a kind of light from which emanates a radiance that floods your surrounding with happiness. Think of yourself as a radiance that touches others to give them warmth

 Share. We have been used to sharing material things – food, money, etc. which are tangible. But have you ever unselfishly shared ideas that in one way or another can help others? But remember not to impose when you share. In doing this, it should be on a “take it or leave it” basis

To be honest about it, I had second thoughts before deciding to put these “personal” guiding principles into writing to be shared with others.. with you. Take them or forget about them, anyway. At least I tried…