Monday, October 20, 2014


"Ownership of mind." In Marketing or Advertising, this refers to consumers preferring a particular brand for a specific need, e.g., Coca-Cola for thirst, or McDonald's for one's burger craving. 

I've always taught my Marketing students that companies always strive for ownership of mind which is key to a brand's long-term love affair with its consumers; hence, the need to advertise; and to make sure the product works according to its promises.

Everyday, many thoughts vie for our attention. Our mind, they say, is the devil's workshop, if we allow carnal thoughts to take up residence there. It's easy for important matters to get lost as we focus on our gotta-have-them goods or nitty-gritty needs or desires.

Just this morning, as you got out of bed, was your mind preoccupied with what you needed to do or buy? The list is long: Write project proposal. Don't forget to greet someone "happy birthday." Buy dress for party on Saturday. Purchase groceries for almost empty pantry. Meet amigas  for lunch in mall.
All these can take precedence over our times with God. He should be the Brand that occupies our thoughts the whole day. If we believe Jesus is the best answer to all of our needs   --- be they the need for wisdom at work or about our relationships, or the need to spend wisely --- then our minds and hearts should always be plugged into His.

So why not seek Him as soon as you wake up? His Word is your best defense against all other voices and brands wanting to dominate your everyday. He promised to "destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ," (2 Cor 10:5).

Going for your favorite dependable brands is good. But even the best products fail, right? Make sure your total trust is on the Brand Who fails not. 

Monday, October 6, 2014


It's very tempting — this urge to criticize and complain.

But may I beg your indulgence, just this once; then I'll forever zip it. 

And you guessed right. I will add noise to the cacophony of words directed at those in authority.

Traffic, for instance. All of us who drive or commute see the obvious — day in and day out: 

Pasaway drivers counterflowing or crossing the red light or weaving in and out of their lanes without regard for rules or common courtesy. Jeepneys waiting for passengers in the middle of the road. 

Violations are rampart because traffic officers don't enforce traffic rules. Instead, many wait in shady corners waiting for their coffee-or-lunch-break allowance — meaning lagay from drivers who are just in a hurry (they may not have violated any rules) so they succomb to the pressure. As far as real violations? They look the other way; or deadma.

And please! Has the MMDA not seen it yet? They may be called that, but our traffic officers don't know how to traffic! I don't think it's their fault. But have the authorities even bothered to train them? Or have they consulted some hotshot traffic expert to put some rhyme and reason to our bewildering (nakakaloka talaga!) road conditions. 

A common comment: Pag may nag-t-traffic, lalong may traffic. Why? Because the one who conducts traffic does not even care about vehicular build-up on that part of the road that is on "stop" — while he allows all vehicles to pass, hanggang sa maubos sila (pero hindi naman nauubos) in the lane that's on "go."

Haven't they heard of "time and motion study?" There's a science for managing traffic as well as there is a science involved in washing dishes or clothes. Maybe they should ask a housewife to help them. 

At the rate traffic is being managed, one can surmise the high incidence of high blood pressure, lung cancer, and heart and kidney problems among residents in these parts. Oh Jesus, cover us all with your blood! 

Experts have of course warned that business productivity is at stake. With shipped goods stranded at our ports because of this unresolved traffic crisis, how can our companies afford to be competitive? 

This chain of inefficiency and bad management ought to be broken. 

Traffic is just the tip of the iceberg! It's the obvious part. 

Need it be said, for the centillionth time, that if only each one in government — be they bosses or subordinates — performed their tasks faithfully (as if doing it for God and not men), this mess need not even occur? 

But I'll stop here, because I might go on ad nauseam about how we're getting a raw deal as tax payers and law-abiding citizens. 

"We must do what we need to do, the right that must be done, in our own area of influence and reach." That's what we always remind each other in our bible study group when confronted with, "How can we effect change?" 

Jesus taught us not only to be hearers but also doers of the Word (James 1:22). But it's hard to obey if we're not accountable to the Lord of all.

If we say we are a Christian nation, then let us be. Obey the law. Don't bribe. Have no part in what they peddle as "if everyone does it, why can't we do it too," mentality. 

This is what it means to suffer as a Christian —by doing what pleases Him, not our pockets or our convenience. 

What more can we do? He urges us to pray. 1 Tim 2:2 — Pray for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity (NASB). 

We know that prayer can move mountains. Matthew 17:20 — "... Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

O Lord we cast all cares about our nation into your hands. Yet, enable us to obey.