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Nov 26th
Home Columns Parables Parable of the Retired Rector’s Cup o’ Kapeng Barako
Parable of the Retired Rector’s Cup o’ Kapeng Barako PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Parables
Saturday, 11 August 2007 10:08


A group of Filipino-American alumni organized a reunion in the homeland, so that they could visit the alma mater, a Catholic college. The alumni were success stories in the United States. They got together with their former rector, now retired, the day before the reunion. The alumni were surprised that the rector was still active at age 90. They asked him for his secret to a long-and-productive life. The former rector said, "Several cups of Kapeng Barako every day and Rosario keep me fit and strong." The more they wanted to hear the rector’s formula to a stress-free existence. They said that life in the United States was a big rat race with all the inherent problems and stress factors that come with success. 

Editor’s Note: This parable is the sum total of several anecdotes, the authors of which are unknown. This writer combined them into one tall tale.

One of the students said, "You mean, Father Rector, you say the rosary every day."

"Yes, I recite the rosary each day but it is the maid, Rosario, who serves me my Kapeng Barako." Then the retired rector called Ms. Rosario to serve coffee to his former students.

Ms. Rosario, who is just in her early 40s, is beautiful and sexy. She came out of the kitchen. She carried a large pot of Kapeng Barako and an assortment of cups -- porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite. She told them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the alumni had a cup of coffee in hand, the rector said: "If you noticed, all the nice-looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress in the United States."

The rector said further: "The cup itself adds no additional quality or even aroma to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what people drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups . . . And then you began eyeing each other's cups."

T he retired rector added, "Life is like the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us. God, through Rosario, brews the coffee, not the cups. So, enjoy your Kapeng Barako!"

"The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything they have," the rector said. "Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God."

One of the former students asked if there was any more secret that the rector could tell them.

"Yes," the rector said. "Aside from the Kapeng Barako, the rosary and Rosario, be sure to always have Grace with you." Then he called on his cook, Grace, to prepare the dinner for his former students.

Grace was younger, sexier and more beautiful that Rosario. And that concludes our story about the rector’s four formulae for his version of the Fountain of Youth: Kapeng Barako, the rosary, Rosario and Grace. And not necessarily in that order. # # #

Editor’s Note: Perhaps after reading this instant parable, readers may like to browse another article written by Jesse Jose that carries several lessons about life and in particular, about coffee, A Friend Named Gerry, a Church Choir, a Carrot, an Egg, and a Cup of Coffee

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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 August 2010 15:00

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