Double Posts: Give Me That Half A Billion Pesos! – Plus My Lamentation As An Online Lottery Merchant

marilyn monroeMy needs and wants are not many. I’ve always thought I have not really been financially ambitious. Ok, that may not be an absolute certainty. But I irrefutably wouldn’t choose to do dealings business-wise relating to any form of gambling. I even rarely bet on a game of chance myself. Then how did I get to become a middleman for the Philippine Charity Lottery Office? A more critical question: Why am I still holding a franchise to operate this type of retail after all those tough years? How could I have let it box me in for too long?

Long story from a long time ago.

The first, original stall for its operation was originally set-up by my ex-husband – through the assistance of my elder sister who had connections inside the government agency. He decided to go for it despite the fact any connection to gambling matters is forbidden by his religion. He badly wanted to invest the money he had saved from working as an Overseas Contract Worker on a sure business that would give him a return on his capital. So he, or rather we, ended up as among the pioneers of online lottery-ticket generators of this nation some 13 years ago. Then something happened along the way. We were held up helplessly at gun point just barely outside our booth during a closing time one night. We lost the entire day’s sales which had to be remitted to PCSO (government agency). The misfortune discouraged him severely. As a consequence, he came to the conclusion I might do a better job of managing everything – due to my commerce background and more structured conceptions – thereby passing on to me his minuscule business; with all the responsibilities holding such a franchise entails. It turned out, as time went on, I could manage things more effectively than him. Until resentments ensued and ramifications of changes that occurred started playing a part in the dissolution of our relationship and – in the end – our marriage. The earnings coming from the business had proved insufficient, too, to support the three of us – him, my son, and me. He finally proceeded in converting all the franchise documents to my name so he’d completely be free from all legal commitments to the main office. A few months later, he left us and never came back.

The course of maintaining and operating such a franchise are far from uncomplicated. I am seriously thinking of giving it up – now that my son has already completed college. The red tape, daily remittance, prompt submission of reports which take too much work weigh heavily against the minimal income the franchise is currently generating. The low return has been compounded by the numerous other outlets the Main Office had approved to sprout within the vicinity of my lottery booth. I often ruminate these days on how operating it isn’t worth the troubles anymore. The feeling of being stuck with the system, with all those accompanying demands, has added to my growing indifference, too. For now, I’m in the dark as to how all this will end.

Funny how lottery mimics some major parts of our lives. Anything can happen. There are no guarantees. Life can be a game of chance.


In this country, winning that much amount of a jackpot prize means you have been stamped “DEAD” on your forehead or scheduled for extinction very very soon.

If you think keenly about it – given the circumstance of our cash-strapped society – who can you trust aside from your immediate family while in possession of that much amount of dough?

Scary, isn’t it? Yet I bet nobody can stop you from falling in long line to grab even the slimmest chance of winning the sum above.

You should know: The chance of getting struck by lightning thrice (yep, that’s 3X, baby) is higher than getting all the numbers right in any of the 6/45, 6/49, or 6/55 lotto game. It is that hard to hit a fortune through lottery. But my countrymen are incessantly fond of indulging in inexpensive games of chance. Proof of which are the millions of filipinos who visit lottery stores to purchase those tiny tickets everyday of their lives, hoping to get lucky and strike it rich. We most often feel it’s our only hope – in spite of the fact we’re simply buying the dream; allowing us a (rather quixotic?) differential mode of optimism. For the longest time, frolicking in Wishland where life is easier and cash-abundant has long been a national pastime in our country.  It’s free to dream anyway (except when procuring a lottery ticket), isn’t it?

When the pot prize gets to rise to half a billion pesos, there’s no doubt I’ll fall in line, as well, no matter how long it is – joining my fellow citizens here – in buying the dream.

Who knows?   

But first, I’d better make sure lightning doesn’t strike me first.


A few days ago, a younger blogger pal mentioned he was listening to songs of the Eagles and I went, “Why, I adore the Eagles!” Yes, the band remains to be my all-time favourite so I got busy looking for two of my most favourites from them: “One of These Nights” and “New Kid in Town” from You Tube. Lovely lyrics; rich and exquisite melodies. And I thought Don Henley and Glen Frey have the coolest voices ever.

Lady from Manila is a bona fide fan of the Eagles for infinity.

The full moon is calling

The fever is high and the wicked wind whispers and moans

You got your demons, you got desires

Well I got a few of my own.

Someone to be kind to in between the dark and the light

Loneliness will find you in between the wrong and the right.

I’ve been searching for the daughter of the devil himself

I’ve been searching for an angel in white

I’ve been waiting for a woman who’s a little of both

And I can feel her but she’s nowhere in sight.


You look in her eyes the music begins to play…


I’ve neglected this blog for a couple of weeks due to reasons I can’t exactly reveal here. My point is, I got tied up at work and my hands were full (with work, of course). But I missed rambling in here so I’m just delighted to be back.

Actually, I got preoccupied with something trivial to my mundane existence but nevertheless crucial to my imaginary world. You see, here in my country, the lottery pot prize has gone up to more than 600 million pesos and it’s like everybody is going gaga over winning it. I know I know, I’ve better chances of getting struck by lightning thrice than getting all the numbers right in this 6/55 lotto game. But I’m a dreamer.. just like the millions of other filipinos who fall in line to buy their lottery tickets everyday of their lives. We’re all buying the dream. Frolicking in dreamland where life is so much easier is a national pastime in our land because it’s totally free (except for the lottery ticket). Not to mention our only hope.

Sometimes it got me thinking, I’m not really a materialistic person (indeed!), so how would I spend all that money if I ever won it? Hmm.. Of course, the first thing that comes to my mind is buy myself a nice, medium-sized house to shelter me and my son and my cat. Wow, I would like that. Because that would mean my son will finally have his own room to put all his stuff in, and my cat “snowy” can stay outside of the house where she can have her own space to roam and some exclusive space to pee and poo. And she’d probably also stop following me around begging for attention and food (not necessarily in that order). I’d really like that.

What would I do with the rest of the money? Well, if I will stay alive to enjoy it (as you know, having that much money in this country could cost you your life like what happened to a few jackpot winners here), I’m gonna buy myself umm, oh yeah, (drumroll please), I’m gonna buy myself some LOVE.

Oh please, stop giving me that look. And why not?  If rich famous women could get themselves a boytoy, I’d be more than happy to join them. But this time I’m gonna raise the bar much higher in choosing my uhm, boytoy. I’d want him tall, with good built, quite handsome, very very attractive, and so articulate in english. Oh, and he should be good at “many other things” as well..he he he..

Did I say I’m gonna buy myself love, or something else really? Now that got me confused..

Anyway, I don’t mind getting my hands on that half a billion pesos. It’s probably my only chance to rent Bavid Beckham or James Yap or Dingdong Dantes for a couple of nights.

But I better make sure lightning doesn’t strike me first.