The Blessings of the Year Gone By: 2011

The year 2011 has been an especially blessed year for me, although I was kept busy with reviewing for the Real Estate Consultancy exam last Nov. 27-28 in Manila    (my apologies for not updating this blog for several months).

Thus, there are many pending questions from readers in the comments section which I will now try my best to answer one by one: to help fellow real estate service practitioners!

With God’s grace, I had passed the Real Estate Appraisers Exam last July 31, followed by the Real Estate Consultant exam barely six months after on Nov. 27-28. 2011 – wherein I placed second over-all.

For those in the know, the latter is considered the pinnacle of the real estate profession. It will take a broker 1o years of practicing his profession to qualify. An appraiser needs to secure at least 5 years practice under his belt before qualifying to apply for the exam.

Of course, the two days exam itself is not easy : a one day written exam, followed by an oral defense (or revalida) before the Professional Board for Real Estate Service – of a Feasibility Study (FS) we prepared and submitted earlier. As if the making of the FS for several sleepless months is not hard enough, but to defend it before the acknowledged pillars of the real estate industry is again something else!

With an abundance of talents and verve in our close knit group of reviewees, we have also decided to put up a review center and consultancy corporation in Cagayan De Oro City named : CREEKS, or the Center for Real Estate Excellence Knowledge and Skills which will serve principally the Mindanao area – but also perfectly capable anywhere else, of course. This is logical as Mindanao is poised to grow in leaps and bounds, and also since among the seven of us are an urban planner, engineers, lawyer, brokers, appraiser, consultant, environmentalist, entrepreneurs, real estate developers, agricultural engineer, CPA, mathematician – and a registered nurse to boot! But more on this later!

For me however, the greatest blessing for the year 2011 are not even those mentioned above!

It was hands down the reunion last Dec 28th with my classmates from kindergarten and elementary and high school. The mutual feeling of fondness, joy, and longing for not having seen each other after almost 40 years (?) is overwhelming. Yes it is true that many of us are now slightly overweight (?), old and with grey hairs, with love handles and bulges in the wrong places- but who cares?I am unabashedly a romantic at heart, and prefers to look at the friends of my youth with a rose-colored glasses. What I saw in my classmates are still those innocent and lovable kids of long ago.

We visited our old schools, meet our old teachers, reminisce, exchange jokes, and planted some trees. We also looked at the extant -albeit badly damaged – sidewalks we paved over 30 years ago! The names of some of our classmates are still clearly visible in the concrete!

Many expended a lot of money and effort and cancelled some plans just to come home. From the United States, some from the U.K., or Africa, or all over the country – having found a new home in other places, and has built their family and career over there – but we came home to the old and rustic  hometown of our youth.

In my speech, I shared to them a haunting song from the Brothers Four entitled “Greenfields”.

The lyrics goes these way.

” Once there were green fields, kissed by the sun
Once there were valleys where rivers used to run
Green fields are gone now, parched by the sun
Gone from the valleys, where rivers used to run
Gone with the cold wind, that swept into my heart
Gone with the lovers, who let their dreams depart
Where are the green fields that we used to roam ?

You can’t be happy while your heart’s on the roam.

You can’t be happy until you bring it home.

Home to the green fields and me once again.” 

Truly it struck a chord – I would imagine! For one may roam the entire world, but he has to come back soon to the place of his youth, and somehow relive the days gone by, get his bearings, and plant his foot firmly on the ground once again.

It was very nice to meet my childhood friends, and a sweet way to end 2011 for me.

Happy new year to everyone!


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