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Sep 28th
Home Columns Tremendous Trifles A Parable of What (Filipino) Life Is All About . . .
A Parable of What (Filipino) Life Is All About . . . PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Tremendous Trifles
Tuesday, 05 February 2008 11:05

A boat docked in a tiny village in the Island of Palawan (South Philippines). An American tourist complimented the Palawan fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.


"Not very long," answered the Palaweño. 

"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.   

The Palaweño explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.  

The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"   

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."   

The American interrupted, "I have a BA from Notre Dame and MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."

"And after that?" asked the Palaweño.   

"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Puerto Princesa, Cebu, or even Manila! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."   

"How long would that take?" asked the Palaweño.

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.   

"And after that?"   

"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the Palaweño.   

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the sea, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying the company of your friends."   

The moral of the story? Know where you're going in life . . . you may already be there.

Editor’s Notes: Governor Sanchez can be reached at He welcomes readers' feedbacks as hearing from readers interest him a lot.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2008 02:27
Comments (1)
Dear Manay Mila and Friends:

What Ahmad Peradilla posted is very similar to an article, The Fisherman, in the Parables Column of our website, the Our webmaster, Allan Albert, posted it on May 25, 2007.

Its URL:

One of our columnists, former Board of Investments Gov. Ben Sanchez, also posted on Feb. 5, 2008, his version of the parable but his setting was in the Island of Palawan. To read Governor Sanchez's account, please click on this link,
A Parable of What (Filipino) Life Is All About . . .


It is an ancient parable that has been going around. Latinos use a Mexican fishing village as a setting while others use a Filipino fishing barrio. The lesson of and in the story is the same, which Governor Sanchez summed up at the end of his parable: "The moral of the story? Know where you're going in life . . . you may already be there."



Lolo Bobby M. Reyes

From: Mila Marzo
To: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Sent: Fri, 30 July, 2010 10:01:10
Subject: Fw: Mexican fishing village

--- On Mon, 7/26/10, Ahmad Peradilla wrote:

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican fishing village.

A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and asked how long it took him to catch them. (Snipped)

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