Saturday, November 24, 2007


The months prior to our European tour for the promotion of my book "Be Your Own Boss! The Puka King Story" was filled with much preparation and prayers for its success.

On September 2, 2007, my son Howard and I embarked on a 43-day European journey that took us to 11 countries and 18 cities aimed with a positive purpose and mission; which was to inspire our OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) and their dependents, especially the youth with my own true to life story of hard work.

With the kind help and assistance of many of our Philippine Ambassadors, Consul Generals, OWWA Officers, Labor Attaches in London, Rome, Geneva, Milan, Madrid and Barcelona, we were able to talk directly to the community leaders and the OFW groups themselves. Even the managers of Bank of Philippine Islands in Rome and Milan facilitated our meeting with several OFW groups in their respective areas, for which I sincerely acknowledge with thanks.

Likewise, my sincerest thanks to H.E. Ambassador Edgardo Espiritu who kindly arranged my meetings and conferences with leaders of the Filipino Community in London and the Batangas Association in England.

In most of my discussions with our countrymen, I emphasized the importance of sustaining traditional Filipino values like courage, determination, good character, discipline, hard work, ambition, persistence, honesty, frugality, and unwavering faith in God. Combined with proper budgeting and prudent savings from their incomes, their sacrifices and long struggles will eventually bear fruit and not be wasted.

These are self-help traits I culminated from my own valuable experiences; that is to start by adopting the can-do attitude of helping one to help ourselves, strengthened by faith and the firm decision to just do it.

Along the way in Zurich, we visited our family friend, Mr. and Mrs. Reto and Rachel Braun. Mr. Reto Braun is the Chairman and CEO of Earth Council Geneva Switzerland with a global presence in more than 70 countries promoting and teaching people to preserve and protect the environment while actively supporting the education of the youth.

Apart from the inspirational purpose of promoting positive working values, our trip was likewise a resounding spiritual success. I'm almost certain that the Sacred Heart of Jesus was always present to spiritually guide us to wherever He wanted us to go.

Our hectic schedule in France didn't allow us time and an opportunity to visit Paray-le-Monial, the Holy Site where the Visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus were revealed to St. Mary Alacoque.

Instead, we met with our dear friend, the internationally famous Filipino Healer priest, Father Fernando Suarez
in Milan and Rome. On October 6, Fr. Suarez graciously celebrated a special Mass at St. Peter's Basilica inside the Vatican for me, my son Howard, Norma Macalindong, a Filipino councilor in Rome and 3 other Filipino couples from California.

He likewise accommodated us with a guided Royal Tour inside the splendidly huge Vatican Church. It was here, where I saw the beautiful and moving portrait of the Visions of the Sacred Heart to St. Mary Alacoque.

After that, we had a breakfast meeting with our amiable and kind Ambassador H.E. Philippe Lhuillier at his residence where we and Fr. Suarez discussed lengthily the many problems besetting our OFW particularly, the effects of culture shock, psychological depression, and family-separation related issues and how they can be addressed soonest.

I feel very fortunate and thank the Sacred Heart of Jesus for that special opportunity of having obtained a special blessing from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on the last day of his vacation on September 30, directly from the balcony of his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo.

Definitely, our journey to the International Temple of the Sacred Heart (Sacro Cuore) was the most memorable and spiritually fulfilling part of our European trip. This is one special place I'll never forget for the rest of my life.

Never in my wildest dream did I ever imagine that when I started to sell statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to sustain myself when I was a student, I would on this very day set foot on this most beautiful and majestic Sacro Cuore Temple built by St. Giovanni John Bosco to personally honor and thank His Most Sacred Heart.

Upon entering, I was deeply moved at the sight of a life size image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which seemed to smile and look upon me as I prayed before Him. The Sacred Heart knew what was in my heart as I joyfully give thanks and praise for all the many blessings He continuously provide for my family.

There is also a special Altar for the Blessed Mother, Mary Help of Christians. It is but a fitting tribute to the humility and great love our Blessed Mother has for us Her Children in union with Her Son Jesus.

I now understood what my Filipino guides were telling me that Sacro Cuore is a special place of worship and fellowship for Filipino workers stationed in Rome. This Church is so special that it even holds a Mass in Philippine language once daily for Filipino devotees. It was in this special Church, where we attended several Masses including the First Friday Mass of 5th October.

Truly, I can say that if you consecrate your life, give your love and total devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart will be fulfilled in your life as it was fulfilled in my own. The true secret of my success in life is none other than the Sacred Heart of Jesus. If you prioritize Him in all your endeavors, He will bless all your undertakings and assure you of His immense blessings.

My inspirational visit to Sacro Cuore Temple has all the more strengthened my resolve to continue in our collective efforts to erect a suitably imposing image of the Sacred Heart set on top of the highest point in Batangas City, Philippines.

Through the kind assistance of His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, and with the full cooperation of Fr. Fernando Suarez, an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is planned to be installed within the proposed Montemaria Shrine project in Batangas City.

By Divine Providence and with your continued prayers, these projects will be accomplished in His time in accordance with God's Will just as the construction of Sacro Cuore was fully completed in 7 difficult but fruitful years by St. John Bosco.

Whatever difficult trials and unbearable hardships one may encounter in life, the final destination of our journey is to be united with God. Let the Sacred Heart of Jesus be your guide into your spiritual journey to God.


Chairman and CEO
The Providence-Vitas Foundation, Inc.