Order your own copy of the Barefooted Soul
First and foremost this book was written as a testament to the greatness of God, our Creator.  It is also for all my angels who have touched my life in a profound way.
Writing these stories in forty nights was a journey I took on with passion and commitment
take a journey with me as I take a big leap of faith, and unveil my barefooted soul.
“God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings.”
On the night of October 20, 2005, I started writing again to heed this humbling call.
My childhood days were quite different from the life my children and I now live.
Welcome to my new paradise!

“God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others
God’s many kinds of blessings.”
- 1 Peter 4:10 (LB)

Turning the BIG-FIVE-O on October 3, 2005, was a big deal for me as I reflected upon how many years I have been in America and how much my life has changed since I migrated here over 21 years ago. My personal and professional life has been turned in the exact opposite direction from where I began in 1984. It seems as though it was only yesterday that my children Alberto and Andrea arrived in 1987 to join me. Today, both of them have grown up to become responsible adults with their own professional careers shaping their own life’s journey.

At 50, I am ready for a new beginning and a more meaningful life! Joyful about exciting projects I plan to embark on in preparation for my retirement in five years (or more), I thought I had it all figured out. Where I’ll be and what I’ll do when I retire. I was in control of my career and where it would lead me. After all, my highly successful career in Washington, DC, the world’s most powerful city, had been shaped simply because I visualized where I would be, focused, and acted with unwavering commitment and passion.

However, there was something inside of me that money, knowledge, success, or time would not heal. I call it my barefooted soul. For many years, it sat within the deepest part of inner being, and its silence was slowly eating away at my soul. I was in denial, and I projected my own pain onto others.

I felt it through the stories I heard daily as I listened to people on the train waiting and counting their years to retirement with tales of woe about their bosses, their work and their unfulfilled lives. These strangers made me realize how much energy people waste doing things they don’t want to do. Their stories pierced my hollow heart as I began to absorb and compare their stories with mine.

Sometimes I tried not to listen or I would go to what is called the “Quiet Car.” Sometimes, I’d dream or sleep to pass the time inside the MARC train each day on my commute to and from Union Station. What a fitting name to describe the location where millions converge in this busy Washington, D.C. station each day to unite in oneness enroute to their place of employment. You can see the stress on many faces as they mindlessly walked hurriedly to reach their final destination. At the end of the day, as my train passed by the river dividing Montgomery County and Frederick County, Maryland, where I now live, the sound of the signal would instantly wake me from my slumber and remind me of a haunting question that permeated my being -- another day was over, and where had I been? As the train conductor announced, “Point of Rocks” – it made me think of a sedentary rock that symbolized the barrier to my once creative soul.

It had been years that my heart had been nagging me to do something to nourish my inner being. Tons of excuses plagued me and kept me sedentary. How did I have time for other big projects and the ability to execute with sharp precision and a targeted schedule? I never made any excuse on these big projects even if it meant working evenings or Sundays.

Through the encouragement of my dear love Jeff Snively and my long time friend Susan Vidal who lives back home in the Philippines, I made a gigantic leap of faith and renewed my passion for what I loved to do as a child – write! After all, the executive profile of the year written by Johnny Pecayo, which appeared in The Manila-U.S. Times, had sparked some emails that made me realize how far I had come in my life. In two weekends in early May of 2005, I finished four stories and a couple of poems for this book. I was very proud of my accomplishments.

However, for the next five months the book sat quietly, and my pen never moved to the next chapter. Susan never stopped encouraging me to continue writing. She threatened to charge me $100 every week if I didn’t finish a few pages a week.

“Just one page a day while you are on the train,” she told me. “You have an extraordinary story to tell, and it will inspire many people just as you have inspired me.”

“But the next chapter is so emotionally difficult. It makes me cry just as soon as I start writing. It’s a difficult chapter,” I confessed to Susan and Jeff.

But deep down in my gut even though I knew I’d used this same excuse for more than twenty years, I found myself using it again. A few days after my fiftieth birthday, I sent a letter to my children and Jeff about my “new” plans.

I prayed each day to God for guidance, but I selfishly wanted my own way. Can you believe I even asked God to make me win the biggest Power Ball lottery playing that week? I reasoned with Him that I would be a good steward of my winnings, retire, and use the money for a good cause. Jeff and I even went to Las Vegas to celebrate my birthday at the Eiffel Tower Paris Casino with the silly thought that one of the slot machines would bring big fortune. Ha! Ha! My material wishes were not granted of course, and instead we ended up donating our hard-earned money to the casino owner’s pockets and not a spiritual cause. But I understood why God did not listen to me, and I knew in my heart He had a better plan for me.

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The spiritual flash that overwhelmed my being to use my abilities to help others and my desire to use this book to say thank you to those who have helped me a long the way have been my epiphany at 50. The strong desire to do something purposeful in this new decade of my life along with the encouragement from my friends and especially my children are the reasons why you are reading this book today. I knew I had permission from my children, my friends and loved ones, whose lives are wrapped around mine to tell you not only my story – but also our story.

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