[Before Paradise] If I Were Selling a Jeepney, It Would Be Sold Already!

The anxiety of moving to paradise can be taxing. Anyone who has ever made the move to their chosen Philippines paradise can attest to the frustrations involved in the planning, packing and waiting….waiting…. and waiting some more before that departure day finally comes.

We have made some good strides in preparing to move, but this little piece of real estate on which we reside continues to hold us captive here in the U.S., Still on the market!  I could sell a Jeepney in the U.S. faster than selling a home. As a practicing real estate broker for the last 12 years, I am very familiar with all the methods available to market and sell real estate. Even in today’s tough marketplace, effective marketing includes everything from selective newspaper print advertising to electronic mass media. For many years I excelled as a local leader in applied digital marketing applications and systems used to sell homes. Readying and presenting a home for sale to the market can include many things including remodeling, updating & upgrading, repairs and the ever continuing curb appeal maintenance just to keep the attraction going on.  Taking all that a step further and you have de-cluttering, home staging, pre-inspections, photo shoots, virtual tours, video tours…all in preparation of  the digital marketing side and internet syndication.

Okay, with all the preparation and exposure, you would think selling a home (assuming it is priced in the market) would be a piece of cake! Hmmm. Not really. While there may be buyers who wish to buy homes, banks and lenders have made it difficult to obtain a mortgage these days without seemingly giving up your next unborn child.

Patron Saint of Many Peoples
Patron Saint of Many Peoples

So now what? The one plan of action I have not implemented….call in the heavy hitter -religion! Now I don’t want anyone to jump to any conclusions here so to avoid portraying myself as an _________ (insert any adjective that you feel applies here), I’ll try to explain with this short synopsis. I was raised a Catholic and attended parochial school until I reached 5th grade. From  Baptism through Confirmation, and performing alter boy services for a couple years, I am no stranger to Catholicism.  However, I am not an overt Christian by most standards. While my own devotion to a “faith” is somewhat undermined by my lean towards agnosticism, I do believe there is a reason the universe exists – and even overseen by a cosmic engineer if you will.

All that aside, people will always turn to their chosen “faith” when the going gets tough, whether it be a serious illness or a bad accident to a loved one, and even in the event of death, prayer is used to comfort, heal and grieve. Prayer provides both a spiritual and emotional benefit in being part of a community of faith. In many folk magic systems, especially magico-religious systems, beliefs can be borrowed from the larger mainstream religions and mixed and mingled with superstitions, leading to folklore. In most mainstream religions though, it is believed that one must have a true and genuine faith to be a beneficiary of ones own salvation. I’m sure many people practice their belief in accordance with the old idion “it is better to error on the side of caution” as fear of the unknown can be the greatest of all motivators.

Okay, my intent is not to preach, bore, incite, or piss anybody off here, and by now I’ve probably got anyone who is still reading at this point wondering what does selling real estate have to do with religion. So stay with me and here goes. While I admit my own convictions have suffered over the years because of way too many unanswered questions, and like many closet Christians who may simply practice faith risk management, I have been known to say a prayer from time to time, as I can’t discount the idea that it doesn’t hurt anything to pray.

But today, I’m upping the game so to speak. In Catholicism, the veneration of saints dates back to the beginnings of Christianity. Saints are spiritual guides and companions to many on life’s journey and today there are even Patron Saints for modern day challenges. It wasn’t until I’d begun working in real estate that my mother told me that there was a Saint for such things, the Patron Saint of Real Estate, St. Joseph. At no time during my Catholic upbringing did anyone ever point out that Patron Saints had expanded collateral duties of sort. According to some online sources, the practice of burying a plastic St. Joseph to help speed the sale of a home dates back to around 1979 in the U.S.A. In 1990 it seemingly became all the rage, with Realtors buying plastic saints’ statues by the gross.  The standard practice calls for the statuette to be buried upside down, near or under the for sale sign, and once the property has been sold, it is to be dug up and placed on the grateful seller’s mantel or in another place of honor. There also seems to be a myriad of methods, procedures, tactics, accompanying prayers, after the sale scenarios, etc. that have been injected into this recent widespread adopted custom.

The Commercialized St. Joseph
Made in China no less!

So as we are waiting for the luck wagon to show up with the lucky buyer, and as we continue with the decluttering and packing process, St. Joeseph shows up. The other day I was cleaning out a filing cabinet and low and behold what do I find? A commercially boxed version of St. Joseph, the Patron Saint of Real Estate, complete with prayer card and instructions, given to me by a past client years ago. Made in China no less!

Now I figure since my faith in the end will be supposedly “tested by fire” (as some believe), why not practice some advanced risk management and just bury that statue in the yard? I mean it really isn’t doing the job it was intended for by sitting in the dark recesses of a closet somewhere, is it! And while I don’t intend to offend or insult anyone’s belief system through belittlement or by practicing silly superstitions in contradiction to Christianity, it is I that will be the one judged in the long run for my own actions (or inactions).

The complete kit.
The complete kit.

So, in accordance with the direction on the box, I bury the “Protector of home sellers and buyers, carpenters, families, fathers, expectant mothers, travellers, immigrants, craftsmen and working people”.  And I decided since I was going to abide by the burial instructions, I might as well complete the ritual and incite the simple prayer: “Most holy St. Joseph, I beseech thee to intercede on my behalf to help me find a worthy buyer for my home, preferably one who will pay full price and waive inspection. Amen. ”

With all kidding and seriousness aside, I just want this house to sell so I can get on with my retirement and the higher-consciousness thought of what has been intended for me….with my life – with further hopes that this recognized Christian statue would have no lesser effects as a result of being made in China by a practicing Buddist.

8 thoughts on “[Before Paradise] If I Were Selling a Jeepney, It Would Be Sold Already!

  1. I agree. What the heck, just it a try. Only thing is, is there a timetable for this? I mean eventually your home ‘will’ sell and will you attribute that to the statue? Would the buyer have shown up even if you didn’t bury it? Hopefully you can not answer right away because you are doing the closing paperwork on the house and you still need to dig up the statue to place it on a ‘place of honor’. I’m sure you’ll let us all know if it works though.

  2. Actually I’m thinking if a buyer shows up in 72 hours, I will give credit to St. Joseph. If over a month and longer, I’ll ship it back to China. 😀

  3. Good day sir, I accidentally went to your site (samar related :)) and find your santo blog funny and spot on, as a filipino we have a lot of santo for every scenario you can possibly think of, heck we even have a saint for Overseas Filipino Worker (St. Pedro Caungsod) LOL! I also have story on santo, I just got recently married and my mother-in-law gave me 2 santo, 1 for our bedroom and 1 on our living room and it creeps me out, it’s like the santo is watching my every move, and when i did something like surf a not-parent approved site or something, the santo will tell (communicate in some form, maybe jedi mind tricks lol!) that his son in law is misbehaving to my nanay (mother in law). Anyway i love my mother in law and she’s living with us. This is a nice read for my afternoon office break. I’ll bookmark this page..

  4. Hi Michael, Thank goodness for accidents! lol. Being a raised Catholic, I’m no stranger to all the many Saints and their purposes. The santo in the BR would also creep me out – not that it was looking at me, but because it would remind me of the mother-in-law at times when I SHOULD be mis-behaving! (if you know what I mean.) 😉 Personally, I think I would move the BR santo elsewhere. I hope my St Joeseph takes no offense by being buried and upside down, but if he gets the job done and sells this house, he will be reserved a spot on my mantel forever. I promise!

  5. As an update to St. Joseph – Since placing St Joe in his recommended location, we have had two showings (one serious looker) and another showing upcoming. But until I have a contract in hand, I’m gonna reserve any credit that’s to be given. It is a bit ironic though. 😉

  6. Wow Randy you’re starting to get a following now. I’m not the only person commenting on this site by far now.
    I hope that your St. Joseph does well for you. It is kind of weird that all of a sudden you are getting these showings, but, as you say, until the deal is complete, it’s just a superstition. Not your exact words, but same difference.
    Hope you get here soon, I’m getting thirsty and you said you’d buy me a beer.

  7. Yup me too born and raised a catholic, yeah i told my wife about the santo on the BR, now the santo is facing the door lol! so he could not see us on our little r and r. Its just funny that now i have grown up and starting a family, those catholic/pinoy traditions still play stuff on our modern life, and most of them we just laugh it off but we never say it in her face that would be disrespectful, my mother in law is very traditional, i think she’s the right hand of the blessed virgin mary lol!!

  8. While those traditions may seem silly to us all when we are young, they will become more significant as you grow older and begin raising your family. Traditions and customs are culturally significant to you and your countrymen and it would be a shame to realize it only when they have disappeared! Protect them, they are more important than you know. If they weren’t important, you wouldn’t see all the many foreigners seeking the same. I’m glad you turned the Santo around at least! 😉

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