ARE you proud of the Philippines?

Did the question require a few seconds of thought?

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

What is your answer?

Many foreigners admire the natural beauty of our country, especially our beaches!

Have you realized that many Australians have been operating several of the beach resorts in La Union?

Australians seem to love the Philippines.

Usually they are the older ones and more senior in age. Some have married Filipinas and have called the Philippines their home!

Why do they love the Philippines? The sites and sights of the Philippines! The hospitable people! The affordable amenities! The lower cost of living!

For a fraction of what they need to spend "back home, Down Under" they can use their savings or retirement income to live like "kings" over here.

You see them basking in the sun, enjoying our beer and our fresh coconuts. You see them swimming in our beaches, enjoying the expertise of our body masseurs, and admiring our beautiful sunsets.

During my last three visits to my favorite resort in Bauang, La Union since January this year, I have been seeing the same two guys in their wheelchairs, several couples, and a number of male Australians at the same resort.

As my wife, Angie, and I enjoyed watching the beautiful sunsets, they would be there, too. It seemed like a daily ritual for them. They were not taking the beauty of nature, and the Philippines, for granted.

They were enjoying the Philippines!

I am sure the same scene happens in other resort areas of our country. Many foreigners are blessed to be enjoying our Philippines.

Shouldn't we be savoring all these, too?

My dearest co-inhabitants of this world,

The Philippines is blessed with so much beauty and an abundance of natural resources. A lot of our pristine forests, mountains, waterfalls, and beaches have remained unseen by many, and are still inaccessible for many of us.

Thank God for cheaper air travel fares that have made many destinations more affordable for locals like us!

Many of the good ones that have been "discovered" and developed have unfortunately been "overexposed, randomly developed, and sucked for all the money it can produce quickly." Sadly, many beautiful spots are milked for quick money, without much care and foresight for preserving their beauty and wonder for future generations.

The truth is, if preserved and cared for properly, the natural wonders will produce a continuous stream of income for everyone, for much longer and for much more than an instant "bonanza" that goes with short-sightedness. All it takes is careful planning, discipline, less greed, and most of all, acceptance of the concept of stewardship.

What is stewardship?

It simply means that LIFE IS A TRUST; that we are but stewards or caretakers of all that is lent to us!

For how long? A few years, and some extra decades, if we are blessed with a long life!

Here are some bible phrases to ponder upon:

Psalm 24:1, "The world and all that is in it belongs to the Lord. The earth and all who live in it are

His!"

1 Cor. 4:7, "What do you have that God hasn't given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?”

Yes! Let us achieve and fulfill our purposes, by our efforts, by His grace, by His power, and for His glory!