By Cris Capacio, BCBP Calamba West Chapter
Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”
I am the type of person whom you would consider a “good boy.” As a student, I never cut classes, never drank alcohol, didn’t go to disco, and didn’t have girlfriends. The reason for my being “good” was my family. I was blessed to have the best parents and siblings I could ever wish for. My father was a farmer and my mother was a full-time housewife. They didn’t have material wealth to give us, but they had time and wisdom to impart to us. Everyday was family day for us. We didn’t have much. I remember having coffee as our “ulam” for rice. But no one complained. As a child, I found it to be fun.
Once upon a time, I dreamed of becoming a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer. Yet at a very young age, I was already aware that my older siblings worked to be able to study. Our eldest went abroad to help our parents and the rest of us in our financial needs. My third brother also went abroad, but this time, he whispered to me, “Go on, I would help you achieve your dreams. I would also send you a new pair of rubber shoes that you could use for basketball.” I have that skill of playing basketball. I was 20 years old back then.
January 1998, after a year of working in South Korea, my third brother had cardiac arrest. It was a very painful experience for me and my family, and it was then that I realized that, just like my siblings, I no longer have somebody to make my dream come true for me.
I took up Computer Programming in AMA Computer Learning Center in Biñan, Laguna as a working student and a varsity player. I worked as a xerox machine operator in the morning, student in the afternoon, and a varsity player in the evening. Basketball gave me a 50-percent discount on tuition fees. I was later on selected as campus tutor for short courses like Lotus123, MS Word, etc. So my routine for the entire two years was Xerox operator, tutor, basketball, study. I had no girlfriend! I worked harder each day and focused on my goal to finish my study.
My only dream was to graduate. But I graduated as class valedictorian and most outstanding AMA student nationwide. I was even named Most Valuable Player for that year!
My life growing up may have been hard, but it was good. In fact, before joining the BCBP, I told myself that I have no need for a spiritual community because I am already a good person. I had remained the “good boy” of my childhood days.
One example I could think of was when I went on a business trip in China with a supplier. The supplier offered a dinner and a post-dinner gimmick with Chinese ladies. We went to karaoke place and a group of ladies came in. We had to choose the lady we wanted from the group. Forced by “kahihiyan” and “pakikisama,” I selected one lady to go to a room with me. But believe it or not, I already made my game plan not to touch her. When we were inside the room, I acted like I was feeling dizzy, gave the lady some money, went out of the room, and waited for my colleagues at the lobby. When they were all finished, they asked me, “Ok ba?” I replied, “Ok na ok na, Pare.”
Here’s another story, as a supply chain assistant manager I helped one Korean company to be included in our accredited supplier list. One day I was invited to meet the boss of this Korean company and this boss handed me an envelope full of money. I politely rejected the offer because in my mind, I only did my job.
But before you think of me as a saint, let me tell you a tightly-guarded secret. When I was still dreaming of putting up my own business, I was still an employee. And I started going on my own using company time, using resources such as the company vehicle, copying machine, Internet, gas, and toll fees. I was not really the good boy I thought I was, after all. I was technically stealing from the company I was working in.
Because of greed, I lacked the concentration I needed to be a good employee. Because of this, I lost a purchase order worth P3.5 million due to poor service and poor quality!
Here’s another story, when I already became a full-time entrepreneur, I cheated on my taxes. I only paid the least amount, without me knowing that the money I gacve to the BIR examiner already amounted to the taxes I was supposed to pay. Was I a good person here? No! See? I justified my wrongdoing by convincing myself that I should save for my future. I idolized myself and believed in myself too much!
This is where my conversion started. What I have shared with you earlier brought me stress and anxiety. I called upon the Lord and I told Him I am deeply sorry for what I have done. I lacked faith. I am a sinner. Therefore, my Brothers, I surrendered my life to our Lord Jesus Christ and this is how BCBP led me to be transformed as a better Christian. In Psalms chapter 23, I could confidently say, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.”
I am still a work in progress. But with BCBP’s powerful and inspirational formation talks on business dealings, family, relationships, financial stewardship and my personal interaction with BCBP members with different experiences of their journey with the Lord, I have grown in my personal faith to become not only a better person but also a better entrepreneur — all through God’s amazing grace!
I could have joined BCBP as early as 2008. Nakita ko ang tarpaulin ng BCBP in Paseo de Sta. Rosa inviting everybody to a CLP. Pero hindi ako sumali dahil ang alam ko nga is mabuti naman akong tao. Ngayon, ang BCBP ang nagiging gabay ko. When I say BCBP It’s you — the entire membership of this community. The formation talks are superb; but the Spirit that resides in every BCBP member truly sets me on fire!
Led by the Holy Spirit, my wife Janette and I decided to deal with our taxes correctly. This is how the Spirit works. He uses instruments to enlighten us. On my taxes, a BCBP member once told me, “Bro subukan mo lang, iba ang balik sa iyo.” He was able to say this because he is already a transformed taxpayer. Now, I have created a new company to start all over again on taxes. Yes, paying the right taxes!
When I submitted myself to Jesus, I felt I have a better clarity in dealing with different circumstances in life. I have a better transparency with my people, and growth in my personal honesty in every area of my life.
Let me share with you a victory in the marketplace. There were these two businessmen who wanted to partner with me. They were credible entrepreneurs but with so many vices. In fact, they brought two prostitutes to sit beside me and the intention was very obvious. I politely turned away from temptation. If this would be the only reason that would prevent me from having a partnership with these gentlemen, so be it. But God is always perfect and He merciful to those who are trying to be righteous. I gained the respect of those two gentlemen who gave me good business and never tried to tempt me again.
In closing, let me share with you the struggle I and my family are going through right now. My mother is fighting against Stage 4 lymphoma cancer. It is hard. But as I said, God uses instruments to help us better understand whatever He wants you to understand. God has sent our BCBP Brothers and Sisters to listen to us, to give us practical advice, and so much more!
As said in Romans 5:1-5, “Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval, and His approval creates hope.”
You may be just like me, thinking that your life is already “good.” Believe me, your “good” is no match to God’s best, and God wants you to have His best. That’s what I’ve seen in my life in the BCBP. We just need to trust completely in Him because He loves us so much and only wants the best for us.