I can’t help but think of Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve. “Being Scrooge” is a process we all go through as Christmas day approaches; from verbalizing “Bah Humbug’s” aimed at modern commercial Christmas crassness to a softening toward acceptance of the good cheer that inevitably comes from spending time with people close to you and finally a small sense of generosity and charity toward the poor and less fortunate.
More and more I believe life’s successes have as much to do with being fortunate as opposed to working hard or being smart. Where we are born and to what families we are born into certainly have a lot more to do with our success as compared to how many hours we put in a day at the office. I just read a set of instruction from a large investment firm to new financial brokers that quotes only 3% of investments come from new wealth. The rest come from existing wealth of old families and established companies. So the advice goes on to say “don’t waste your time on the up and coming – find the old money and find ways to offer new investments to them.”
Being fortunate is never so evident as when you are travelling around the poor section of a big city; from Vancouver and Detroit to Manila – the down-and-out and homeless are there for us to see everyday living out their lives on the street.
But there, in the heart of the cities, is also the rest of us living out our lives in a parallel existence praying that the two will never converge. These images are an essay on a Christmas Eve Tour of Manila in the Philippines where good and evil fought it out during World War Two allowing us all to live a life of hope and opportunity.
San Agustin Church, the first church built in Luzon, was founded in 1571. The original church was made of wood and palm and was later replaced by stone led by the Augustine friars. It is recognized as the Philippines’ oldest stone church after it was completed in 1607.
Bamboo Bicycles outside the Church
Girls in Red
General MacArthur the Savior of the Philippines
John G. English – one of the thousands who sacrificed their lives so we can live ours in freedom.
American Military Cemetery in the Philippines
To the Filipinos the Americans and their Jeeps were a Gift of God.
Merry Christmas to All From Manila