Monthly Archives: December 2014


A Merry Christmas to All !!!


From Guido Joy Joelo Alexys Miggy and Frits

…..Once again the Christmas Season is upon us…

2014 just went by so fast and already we are now breathing in the air of a new dawn, a New Year!

2014 started romantically – our dear friends’ daughter got engaged, and another wonderful friend remarried in the early days of January. It was a great start for our family and our extended families.

On the business side, our geothermal project in Mindoro started picking up steam in February as we began to earnestly work on all our licenses and permits, and mobilising all required preliminary scientific studies. The other projects too, started to all fall into place. Today we are drilling, and ever hopeful that the earth will yield the steam that can help steer the island of Mindoro to long years of clean, stable and inexpensive source of power.

On the personal side, April saw the family travelling to Switzerland and faraway Greece, a place that Joy had always wanted to visit even as a child. Steeped in ancient history and culture, we made sure that our 10-day visit included Athens, Olympia, Delphi, Corinth, Napflio, and Santorini. While there were many highlights of that visit, including finding new friends, Santorini was probably the most memorable one as this was where my family and I celebrated my birthday.


Joelo, now 28 and  single, is currently helping us out with our wine business. He is running the day-to-day affairs of Bodegas Hidalgo de Filipinas. Alexys, our only girl, now dabbles in entrepreneurship with her partners – a lingerie shop in Shangri Mall, a brand marketing company, and until recently, a small food stall in one of Manila’s mall. Miguel, is a third year  medical student, and bent on focusing on neurosurgery as his specialty . Frits, our youngest, has found solace and fulfilment in teaching. He is now a teacher in Northfield School for Boys, his alma mater.


These days, Joy and I often find ourselves alone at home. We hardly go out anymore because of Manila’s progress – traffic jams! As the kids are often out, we retreat to our small bar which Joy built this year, and enjoy a bottle of wine with our favourite music in the background. Oh yes, our home is still one of the few bars in the world where you can play any recorded music. Come visit us in 2015, and together we can while the time away…


To you, our friends, our relations, thank you very much for being a part of our lives; for  teaching us and giving us the opportunity to live out the Christian values. Truly this world is a much better place to live in because your presence has added whiffs of love and friendship, which in today’s polarized world has become a rare gem to come by.

From us to you, Merry Christmas and Peaceful and Prosperous New Year!

Things that Bother Me (Part 1)

There are very few things that I find difficult living with and I will be a hypocrite if I say that I can live with anything. I do have my pet peeves, after all! Here are some of them:

1. Waiting in line to pay

I work hard to earn a living. I work hard to make my clients feel that they mean a lot to me.
When I was working as an employee, I made sure that neither my boss nor my customers will have any reason to feel that my service to them was not commensurate to my pay. It was, and still is, my principle that we all need to delight our customers; meeting their expectations is not enough. We must exceed all expectations!

It is for this reason that I expect the service to be at the same level that I give to my own clients when it is my turn to spend my hard-earned money on services or things I need (like medical services) or wants (like restaurants).

It should then be no surprise to people who know me that I am absolutely flabbergasted when I have to fall in line to pay. It is not the falling in line that I find objectionable. It is the fact that there is a line!

If every entrepreneur or company would only think about its payment system thoroughly and then, it is definitely possible to implement a system where the processing will be quick to eliminate the need to fall in line.

Delays in processing are simply not acceptable anymore, especially in today’s digital environment. Even with Apple Pay still to come, there are hundreds of payment systems that abound today that can reduce that line to zero.

I find it unacceptable that the customer whose money is being taken away should be made to suffer by waiting and going through complicated and very often unnecessary procedures.

One should never be made to feel that paying the right fees for the services rendered or for goods obtained is a favor that has to be rendered by the payor. If I want your goods or services I will be willing to pay even in advance. Never make me wait to pay and especially never make me fall in line; a line that should have never been there in the first place!

This kind of customer care for the clients can be made possible even in the most monopolistic market in the world — the electricity market.

For example, a local Philippine company, XESI ( launched a pre-paid meter system so that electricity consumers can pay using their mobile phones. Already approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the consumers can now buy “tingi” or retail electricity for their homes. Customers based in Bohol, as well as those in Batangas and other areas will soon enjoy this service.

There is no need for them to line up in banks, utility offices, or worse, take a hike combined with a tricycle ride to get to town just to pay their electricity bills.

2. Opening gadgets wrapped in hard plastic

Be warned; they can be deadly! I am talking about the hard plastic that is used to wrap gadgets (or most gadgets) and even the soft plastic of CDs!

I am sure that many of you with great frustration and pain, ended up with nicked bloody fingers after trying to open these gadgets and CDs. I do not know why these producers of such goods have not thought of placing a convenient strip where the consumer can just lift with ease and “unstrip” the whole package.

The safest and quickest way to address this problem is to either use a scissor or box cutter. A simpler and safer way is to have the attendants of the store selling the product unpack the gadget, hitting a second bird with one stone – have these attendants check the gadget, too!
(to be continued)