Why did the student eat the exam paper?
Because the teacher said “ It’s a piece of cake!”
What do you give a sick lemon?
A lemon aid.
Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon?
Yes. Great food, but no atmosphere.
Why is the Math book so sad?
Because it has so many problems!
Wife: Honey, I burned 5000 calories today.
Husband: Great! How did you do it?
Wife: Well, I left the cake too long in the oven.
My boss told me to start my PowerPoint presentation with a joke.
So, I put a copy of my pay slip on the first slide.
Why are the parallel lines so sad?
Because they will never meet.
Which bird has the worst manners?
I’m emotionally constipated.
I don’t give a shit about anything.
What do you call a dog that doesn’t bark?
A hush puppy.
What if singing “Let it go” becomes illegal?
Violators’ bank accounts will be FROZEN.
He who laughs last…didn’t get the joke.
( Note: OFW- Overseas Filipino Worker)
I was in dire straits in 2009. Some personal decisions and events led me and my family to financial difficulties. Teaching in two different schools, I was always exhausted. Yet, the money was never enough. Then, in early July, I got a text message from a friend, telling me that employers from Libya were coming over to Manila to recruit teachers. Was this the opportunity I was waiting for? I decided to apply.
Passing the interview was the easiest part. The next part of process almost drove me to physical and mental breakdown: raising the money.
When you start applying for an overseas job, money starts to pour out like water from a broken bottle. Firstly, I had to be repeatedly absent from work because of the long list of requirements I had to comply with. Absence from job means less salary. No work, no pay, right ? For every trip from Bataan to Manila, I had to have at least a thousand pesos for transportation and food alone. Add to that the fees for authentication of documents, and other things that punched too many holes in my wallet. And of course, at the same time, I had to worry about the everyday expenses of the family: food , utilities, tuition fees, school allowance and endless school projects.
The placement fee was staggering: Php 250,000. Yes, 250 K. The recruitment agency was as greedy as f*ck. The placement fee was supposed to be equivalent to a month’s salary. Our salary was less than that, but they overcharged. Take it or leave it. Where in the world would I get 250 thousand? I considered backing out, but I was also determined to change my life. With blind faith, I decided to “ take ” it. Soon, I was scrambling for money.
I had to do what I dreaded most: swallowing my pride and trying to borrow money from people, even from those I was not really close to. This was the most difficult part, but it was a lesson in humility and human nature. Some rich people I approached did not lend me anything. I fully understood their decision. I was asking for a risky favor so I was not surprised when they said no. But as for personal ill feelings, honestly —none. No grudge here. They had no obligation to help me. I had to look for other sources.
What surprised me —pleasantly, that is — was the generosity and trusting nature of people who didn’t have much in life. Some friends lent me five thousand, others three. A few hundreds here and there. Some of them lent me money in secret, without telling their spouses. Other friends—as broke as me —even borrowed money for me. My sister and two brothers also helped a lot.
I and the other applicants were in constant communication. We lifted each other’s spirits : “ Kaya natin ‘to ! ” ( We can do this!) We were exchanging tips as to how we were raising money. Others mortgaged their farms. Some sold their jewelry and vehicles. What other things we had to sell and to whom, only the devil knows. We were all desperate.
The money I had collected was far from enough to cover the placement fee. I had to hop from one lending company to another, trying to find one that would lend me the amount. This was totally exhausting and I was at my wit’s end. Remember, I was commuting round-trip almost daily between Bataan and Metro Manila. Every commute meant less money for me. Then, once in Metro Manila, I would knock on offices of lending companies, and beg for a loan. One company turned me down because of the bad record of OFW teachers who never paid back their loans. Others asked for a collateral. I had none. Another lending company rejected me because I am from Bataan. They said they only gave loans to residents of Metro Manila, Cavite and Bulacan.
I found myself at a dead-end, but it was too late to back out. By September, I had resigned from my jobs and the pile of debts was getting higher by the day. With the envelope of documents tucked under my sweaty underarm, I continued my frantic, grueling search around Metro Manila. This went on for three weeks. Finally, I found one lending company with attainable requirements. I was approved for a loan that covered more than half of the placement fee. However, because it was a non-collateral loan, the interest was very high. To complete the money, I also got loans from SSS and PAG-IBIG.
By the time I left in November that year, I had accumulated more than Php 700,000 in debt. That included debts I incurred even before I applied, new debts and all the interests, the allowance I had to bring abroad, and the allowance I had to leave my family. Before I left the country, I bought a small notebook where I wrote down the name of every person and every company to whom I owed money. Opposite their names, I wrote down the monthly payment as well as the date when I had to pay them. It was a very long list that ran through several pages.
Every time I was able to give a partial payment, I took out my notebook and covered the name, amount and the date with green Stabilo highlighter pen. At the beginning, it seemed endless. But after two years, all those pages had turned green. In two years’ time, I was able to pay all those loans— while at the same time providing my family with a comfortable life. I am proud of this fact. You know why? Because I know that there are many OFWs who never paid back the people who helped them. Many of them are still being hunted by lending companies. And the harsh truth is, despite the opportunities given to them, hundreds of thousands of OFWs never recover from debt and poverty.
I have to give credit to my husband to whom I remitted the money. It was he who deposited all the payments, or personally gave the money to the creditors. He did a good job handling the remittance.
Simple lifestyle. Strict financial discipline. Self-control. These are my weapons in getting out and staying out of debt. Every time I am tempted to buy something at the mall, I slap myself and ask : “ Do I really need this ? ”. In most cases, the answer is NO. Often, I walk rather than ride to save money. I acquired my very first credit card when I no longer needed a loan. I simply use it for safety and convenience. Up to now, I still buy my clothes at ukay-ukay ( second-hand clothes shop) And I am not ashamed of that.
After three years in Libya, I moved to Oman where I am still continuing my journey as an expat teacher. Things are much better now compared to where I was at the beginning.
To all the people who helped me in those trying months of 2009, you have my eternal gratitude. Thank you so much. Maraming salamat! ( MARILYSASOTAGAYETA)
How do priests make holy water?
They boil the hell out of it.
Did you hear about the new restaurant called Karma?
There’s no menu. You get what you deserve.
What’s the difference between a tennis ball and the prince of Wales?
One is heir to the throne and the other is thrown to the air.
How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh?
What do you get from a pampered cow?
What do you call a fake noodle?
Doctor: Does your daughter always stutter like that?
Mother: No, only when she speaks.
What’s the one thing that snipers can’t tell their wives?
“ I missed you this morning.”
A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The driver says:“Ugh – that’s the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen!” The woman angrily walks to the back of the bus and sits down. She says to the man next to her: “The driver just insulted me!”
The man says: “You go up there and tell him off. Go on. I’ll hold your monkey for you.”
A dyslexic man walks into a bra…
Dentist: This will hurt…
Patient: No worries. I can handle it. Go ahead.
Dentist: I slept with your wife last night.
Patient: Doctor, I still have a pain in my eye whenever I drink coffee
Doctor: Did you remember to take the spoon out of the mug before you drink?
Why can’t you eat a clock?
Because it’s time-consuming.
What did one ocean say to the other ocean?
Nothing, they just waved!
I am an introvert. Certified. Hardcore.
This COVID-19, though I hate and dread it as much as everyone else, has somehow saved me. You see, I spend a considerable part of my life dodging invitations to birthday parties, weddings, company team-building activities, Tupperware demos and pot lucks. In many Filipino parties, there are “parlor games” that everyone loves, but I totally hate. Being at a party is punishment enough for me, but being forced to participate in “fun” games—that is torture. “ Fun” games where you are forced to dance, to sing, to contort your body, to do a dare, and other acts that seem enjoyable to everyone else, but not to me.
Socialization and small talks exhaust me. Of course, I manage to engage in some meaningful catching up— and I do so sincerely. But I’m not hardwired to enjoy being with people. After a few minutes, I would squirm and feel so uncomfortable. The need to be alone is just so strong.
Then, came COVID-19—sweeping humans into quarantine. Isolation has become a common thing for everyone, not just for introverts like me. No parties. No get-togethers. No high school reunions. I am relieved somehow. With the pandemic, no invitations are coming my way. I no longer have to rack my brains to come up with an excuse why I can’t be there. And I am not put in a situation where I feel guilty for depriving truly kind people of my company. There are nice people out there who want to spend time with me, or who want to know me better. But because of my greater desire for privacy, I avoid them. Now, with the pandemic—people are already avoiding each other. There is relief in the sense that I don’t have to do the “avoiding”. There is no need to sneak out of a crowd because there is no crowd. The pandemic has eliminated the need for me to explain my silence and my distance.
That’s how this pandemic has saved introverts like me. But of course, I want this pandemic gone. I wish I would wake up tomorrow morning with everything back to normal. I would gladly go back to dodging invitations and inventing excuses in exchange for a healthier world. I would like to see concert halls filled with sweaty head bangers. I would like to see people partying again. I would like to see throngs sunbathing at the beach. With me watching from a distance. ( Marily Sasota Gayeta)
Really rich or just acting rich?
Here are some valuable insights from the works of Thomas Stanley, an author and a financial expert. Some of his books are The Millionaire Next Door ( 1996 ), which he co-authored with William Danko , The Millionaire Mind ( 2000 ) and Stop Acting Rich (2009 ). In the course of writing these books, Stanley closely studied the lives of hundreds of millionaires.
Let us distinguish between “real millionaires ” and “acting like millionaires ”. Real millionaires have high incomes but spend much less. Instead of splurging, they build assets like bank deposits, profitable properties and investments. This is in contrast with those who are just “acting like millionaires”. These are people who may also have high incomes — but spend the same amount or much more. So, they actually have little or no assets. These people are just one misfortune ( like a serious medical problem) away from financial downfall.
Stanley was able to identify several factors that led to the millionaire’s wealth — like a knack for business .( I will leave the “business aspect” to the pros.) However, Stanley discovered two other things that we can all relate to: most real millionaires live simple and frugal lives. That’s surprising, isn’t it? Unfortunately, these are not easy traits to acquire. Simplicity and frugality require an overhaul of the way we think , feel and act . They require wisdom and will power.
The millionaires that we usually see on TV — those donning Armani suits, sipping champagne in their private jets and yachts, and driving around in the latest Lamborghini —-are not representative of the millionaire population. Most of them are anonymous. Many of them use ordinary and inexpensive brands. Many of them buy late-model cars instead of new -model cars . “ The pride of owning a brand new car wasn’t worth the $US 20,000. price difference.”, says one . A study in the US reveals that 86% of buyers of high-end vehicles are “ acting like millionaires” — not the real ones. Most millionaires buy Ford or Toyota, not Mercedes-Benz .
Stanley also found out that many millionaires do not wear luxury clothes and expensive watches .They know that the people they have to deal with do not make business decisions based on the price of their car, clothes or watch. ( How often do you see Mark Zuckerberg wearing a suit ? He wears a t-shirt most of the time ! ) Another study shows that 75% percent of the members of elite country clubs are, yes —you guessed it — “ just acting like millionaires”. Most of the real millionaires do not even care about these clubs. Here’s another thing: most of the millionaires’ wives are strict with their household budget. These things may be unbelievable for ordinary people like us — but those are words from the horse’s mouth .
Now, about houses. This is what Stanley says : “ My research has found that most people who live in million-dollar houses are NOT millionaires.” He also discovered that most millionaires in the USA live in homes worth only US$300,000. or lower. Moreover, they avoid buying homes in high status neighborhoods because that would force them to buy expensive furniture and cars to blend in. In contrast, a lot of ordinary people earning less want pricy houses and top-of-the-line tables and chairs.
Ninety-five percent of the millionaires profiled by Stanley said that self-discipline is an important component of economic success. Can we do what they do? It won’t be easy. Materialism, vanity, instant gratification and social pressures can easily get in the way. It will take a lot of wisdom, humility and iron-clad will power to reach what these extraordinary people have reached. But nothing is impossible. Shall we start the journey to become real millionaires?
Can Asians dislike brown skin and be genuinely sympathetic to Black Lives Matter?
Make no mistake about it. Skin color is a big issue in Asia. The billion-dollar skin whitening industry is a testament to this. Millions of Asian women spend a fortune on kojic soap, papaya lotion, and glutathione IV procedures to reduce melanin on their skin. Every day— on TV, radio, internet, bill boards— Asians are bombarded by advertisements telling them that dark skin is inferior, and brainwashing them about a product that will solve this inferiority.
The superiority of white skin is a widely-held belief in many Asian societies, though not openly admitted by individuals. But again, robust sales of whitening products speak volumes. White skin is beautiful and clean. Dark skin is unattractive and dirty. As the saying goes: one whiteness covers seven ugliness. (or is it 10 or more? )
Asians can be as racist and discriminatory as the White Americans and Europeans they criticize. In schools, children with the darkest skin are often bullied and the target of cruel jokes. In school programs and parties, they are forced into playing “funny” —i.e., embarrassing— roles to entertain everyone. Even in offices and work places where people are supposed to behave professionally, dark-skinned people are unfortunate receivers of taunts, micro-aggressions and power-tripping. Every now and then, somebody calls them demeaning names. Every day, Asians offend other Asians whose skin tone is darker.
But then, when they look at the news and see the injustice committed against Black Americans and other people of color, they post messages of sympathy and solidarity. But how genuine are these messages?
Can you dislike brown skin and be sincerely concerned about the ordeals of Black people in other parts of the world?
It is so easy to be a keyboard defender, but what they actually do in real life betrays their true beliefs and character.
They are just a bunch of hypocrites.
They post #BLACKISBEAUTIFUL, and then slather their skin with whitening lotion.
They post #ICANTBREATHE and then, suffocate others with their indifference, taunts and cruel jokes.
They post #JUSTICEFORGEORGEFLOYD, and then treat dark-skinned classmates, colleagues and neighbors with suspicion and contempt.
You cannot defend what you cannot accept.
You cannot fight for a black person in the US, and then disrespect a dark-skinned person in your own country or continent.
Telling entertainment artists to just sing, dance and act — and just shut up about social-political issues, is one of the most condescending, and yet, one of the most uneducated, things to say.
You laugh at them because they don’t have the linguistic sophistication and coherence to express their thoughts. But this limitation can be observed among people in all professions — even among teachers and communication experts!
When you tell artists to shut up…
It’s like telling doctors to shut up and just treat patients in their clinics— and just ignore legislation that cuts health care budget.
It’s like telling nurses to just tend to a man shot or strangled by the police — and ignore arbitrary rules that allow such harm.
It’s like telling health workers to just intubate people, and just accept lousy and even dangerous decisions from unqualified bosses who got their jobs by licking asses.
It’s like telling teachers to shut up and just teach kids —because they have the mental level of kindergarten pupils. It’s also like telling History teachers to keep silent when falsehoods are being peddled by politicians. It’s like telling Math teachers to just teach Algebra and ignore the hocus-focus on the country’s national budget.
It’s like telling a chef to shut up and just cook — and give a free pass to politicians who steal meals from the poor.
It’s like telling a tailor to shut up and just make clothes, and ignore the naked poor who can’t afford better clothes because goods are over-taxed.
It’s like telling a basketball player to shut up and just dribble and shoot — and ignore the exclusion of the poor from sports programs, and the dirty politicking inside sports organizations.
The real reason why you want entertainment artists to shut up is that they are on the other side of politics. Otherwise, you would have fully accepted and understood their lack of verbal flair.
Is it their lack of intelligence or your lack of tolerance?
Next time, before you tell artists to shut up— try to recall the number of times you ventured to talk about something outside of your supposed expertise, if you have one.
And next time, before you laugh at showbiz people who fumble at words and lose their train of thought—think of the many, many times you have said a stupid thing and embarrassed yourself in front of other people. ( MARILY SASOTA GAYETA )