Tuesday, August 26, 2003


I got a call last night informing me that I had won Robinbon's Galleria's raffle. My prize was 7d/6n in Australia, Thailand or Indonesia. Or I could avail of 3d/2n in Davao or Cebu.

All I had to do to claim my prize, said the man, was to attend a 90-minute presentation at a building nearby.

For an evening, I laughed at the perversity of things. I never won these things and then... I imagined stealing time away from the business to go to the Gold Coast with Nikki.

Then the next day as I told my partner Marc about it, he cautioned me that perhaps it was one of those sneaky time-shares things.

Later, a client told me that the same thing, pointing out that her father had been victimized.

It was harmless but a waste of time.

"Besides," said my client, "they do not guarantee the prize. After the loooong spiel, you get to draw from a fishbowl."


I called up the man and gave him a piece of my mind, threatening to report him to the Department of Trade and Industry.

"Did you even tell the DTI that you will force your so-called 'winners' to sit through your presentation?"

"Yes, sir," the voice replied suavely. "It's in section 3 of our permit. Shall I read it to you?'

"Er, okay," I mumbled meekly.

Despite the fact that they had indeed informed the DTI, Nikki and I decided to skip their silly presentation, forfeit the prize, buy stuff to read, have savory crepes (salmon for me, shrimp, spinach and gruyere for her) for dinner and spend the evening with our lovely daughter instead.

It's nice to win but when strings are attached, it isn't so pleasant anymore.

With just a snap, you can go back to moment before you won - and dream of a more realistic vacation.


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