Jun Asis wrote me a bunch of fantastic questions and I thought of making it my blog for today. Jun is the very insightful writer of mabutingbalita.com, a weekly email service I recommend. (Details on how to get his email service below.)
Jun: Being a Kerygma Ambassador, I’ve been imagining what it would be like to get to have dinner with you. I have not checked how many subscriptions I’ve solicited, but I know it is just a matter of time before it happens. What would I ask you, knowing that your time is very valuable? You’ve practically laid your life before our eyes, what else should I ask? How do you write?
Bo: I usually write about my personal experiences. It’s much easier as I’m the great authority and unquestionable expert of my life. My wife is the only human being in this world who knows me more than I do. (“Love, you won’t like that cake. It’s too sweet for you. Akin na lang.”) I also feel more “real” whenever I speak from my experience. So yes, I do speak and write from the heart. If I haven’t yet experienced it, then I don’t write or speak about it. Many times, I simply turn down speaking engagements whenever they ask me to speak on a topic that I’ve not yet experienced in my life. (Example: Lust, Pride, and Greed.) Oh, I love writing with humor. I want people to have fun when they read serious stuff. And laughter breaks down the protective shell of many people and they receive God’s Word with more openness.
Jun: Is there a particular “formula” you follow when making an article or book?
Bo: I write as a liberal and edit as a conservative. That means I write with wild abandon and then later edit very carefully.
Jun: Who are your influences?
Bo: The Philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, the Metaphysics of Immanuel Kant, and the Theology of Edward Schillebeeckx. Just kidding. I don’t even know if I spelled their names correctly. When I was 8 years old, I liked reading joke books, memorize those jokes, and pester everyone around by asking, “Do you want to hear a joke?” So my influences are the sublime thoughts of “Laughter is The Best Medicine” from Readers Digest.
Jun: Whose style do you like most?
Bo: Italian fashion seems my fit. Trendy but subdued. But I also like Christian Dior because he must be Christian. And Victoria Secret because of its soft touch on the skin. Oh, you mean literary styles? Did I say I read Joke books?
Jun: What do you think of when you are on stage giving a teaching or talk?
Bo: Is my zipper open? After I casually check that it’s not, I think of loving my audience. I’m there to serve them. I’m there to help people gain practical wisdom on how to live lives of holiness, happiness, and success. I’m also there to give people hope. Because once they have no hope, they have no life.
Jun: Have you ever made/said a doctrinal mistake during your talk and just realized it later? What did you do after that?
Bo: Oh yes, I have. I usually realize it 30 years later, which is good, because people would have forgotten what I said. The important thing is to remain humble. If someone points out to me that I’ve made a mistake, and I find out that I did, I apologize, correct my mistake, and move on. Like one time, I proclaimed that I was the fourth member of the Holy Trinity. But too bad no one believed in me.
Jun: What is in your library, aside from spiritual books? Do you read fiction?
Bo: I live in a library with a little house attached to it. On the Catholic side, I like reading the lives of the saints. (Why reinvent the wheel?). I also read self-help books by Stephen Covey, Anthony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, Brian Tracy, John Gray, Philip Mcgraw, Jack Canfield, and Mark Vincent Hanson and many more. Obviously, I don’t agree with all their ideas but some are pretty good. I read finance books by Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, Robert Allen. I read marketing books by Al Ries, Jack Trout, Dan Kennedy and slew of other experts. On stocks, it’s David Novak. I read real estate books, sales books, health books, and yep, joke books. I’d love to read fiction except that I have no time. Perhaps if I take a whole year off like some priests do–a real sabbatical–wow, that’ll be the day. I’d go off to a remote island, stay there for a year, and read novels while sipping fresh orange juice in a tall glass with a tiny umbrella on top. Perhaps in the year 2089.
Jun: Have you ever thought of quitting and just leaving the ministry?
Bo: When I was going through intense relationship conflicts with those I was working with. I could handle money problems, work problems, and expansion problems in my siesta. But people problems give me ulcers. But I survived. God kept me sane. I also wanted to quit when my dream of putting up my own religion fizzled out. I wanted to call it simply “Bo’s Organization”. Ganda diba? B.O. for short. I don’t know why but people said it sounded smelly.
Jun: What are your greatest dreams that are yet to come true, or start?
Bo: Most of my dreams have started in some small form or another, which is the secret to fulfilling your dreams. Start small, dream big. Here they are: 100,000 members in the KerygmaFamily.com; 24-hour Catholic Filipino TV programming broadcasting through the internet and cable TV; Weekly FEASTS franchised in thousands of parishes all over the Philippines and the world; Organize 24-hour counselling services; Build 10 Anawim branches; Write international bestsellers; And take a one-year sabbatical on a remote island without running back to my work after three days from extreme boredom.
Jun: How would you like to hear some ideas I have for you and your ministry?
Jun: Is there anything I can do for you? In what way do you think I can help you?
Bo: You’re doing it already. You’re distributing our messages, magazines, books. When we finally set-up our affiliate program, your website will definitely be a big one.
Jun: Can you mentor me?
Bo: We’ll learn from each other.
Jun: Do you remember the email I sent you on how you can get 20,000 Kerygma subscribers last year? Though you got the numbers you aimed for but not through the manner I proposed (affiliates), I still feel that it is a path you should study and pursue.
Bo: Thanks for the encouragement. Will really get to work on that affiliate program.
Jun: Lastly, I’ve been meaning to ask you a favor. May I tell you about one of my goals for 2006? I would like to get 5000 subscribers by December 30, 2006 for my personal ministry, the MabutingBalita.net ezine (the one you receive weekly). May I ask that you include a line or two about it in your email blasts? Just ask them to send a blank email to email@example.com and they will be included in the list and will receive weekly emails containing the Good News and good news.? And you know, when I received your email, the smile on my face was like a child opening a Christmas present. My heart was pounding and my eyes were wide, hands a bit shaky. When I read it, I felt like melted butter. A compliment from Bo Sanchez! I was affirmed by someone I look up to and someone whose writing style has greatly influenced me and I unashamedly admit, try to emulate. Thank you very much. God really works through you. I am hoping we could meet pretty soon. ?God bless you, Marowe, Bene and Francis.
Bo: I’ll do more than include a line or two. I’ve just put your entire letter in my blog.
Get Jun Asis’ MabutingBalita.net Ezine by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org You’ll learn a lot from his down-to-earth, practical articles!
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