Yesterday, I had to wake up early as I had to accompany my eldest son to the hospital who was due for an operation. He developed an epidermal cyst on his right thigh which alarmed me and my wife. Thank God that it looked harmless to the doctor although she said it has to be removed just the same. We will know for sure as soon as the result of the biopsy comes out.
So, with nothing to do, I bought a newspaper, tried doing the sudoku and the crossword puzzles, when both cannot be finished (had to redo the sudoku on another paper at home as I used ballpen which cannot be erased) I read the paper which as usual contained news on the MILF and the GSIS vs. Meralco. What struck me was that it also contained a story on the 15 richest monarchs in the world as covered by Forbes Magazine. It turns out that the king of Thailand is the richest with a net worth of $35 billion and the king of Swaziland as number 15 with $200 million. The list is as follows:
1. King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Thailand - 80 yrs. old) $35 billion
2. Sheikh Kalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan - (UAE, 60 yrs old) $23 billion
3. King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz (Saudi Arabia, 84 yrs old) $21 billion
4. Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (Brunei, 62 yrs. old) $20 billion
5. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid (Al Maktoum Dubai - 58 yrs. old) $18 billion
6. Prince Hans-Adam von und zu Liechtenstein (Liechtenstein, 63 yrs. old)$5 billion
7. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (Qatar, 56 yrs. old) $2 billion
8. King Mohammed VI (Morocco, 46 yrs. old) $1.5 billion
9. Prince Albert II (Monaco, 50 yrs. old) $1.4 billion
10. Sultan Qaboos bin Said (Oman, 67 yrs. old) $1.1 billion
11. Prince Karim Al Hussein (Aga Khan, 71 yrs. old) $1 billion
12. Queen Elizabeth II (UK, 82 yrs. old) $650 million
13. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (Kuwait, 79 yrs. old) $500 million
14. Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard (Netherlands, 70 yrs. old) $300 million
15. King Maswati III (Swaziland, 40 yrs. old) $200 million
Looking at the list, my wife, exasperated just looking at the list said, "samantalang tayo, utang yan" (we may have that much although in the form of debt). Come to think about it. How much does the country owe now? Maybe we can get these guys to donate a billion, each?
What piqued my interest is that it seems that these guys really had it good in life. What did they do to deserve this vast wealth? Why are they so special? I am sure they also eat for sustenance, go to the toilet to relieve themselves, cater to the same human needs. My only consolation is that knowing that they are human beings like me, they also have their own problems. Maybe even more. Kings have been assassinated even by their own blood, solely because of the power and the money they have. Maybe the real monarch who thinks about the common man, works just as hard to keep his nation afloat, and that is not an easy job. Who knows? All I know is that I am contented with my family, a small house on a small piece of land I call my own (well as soon as I have paid the mortgage completely, hehe) afford a few luxuries in life. And that is all I prayed for. So I will always work hard and stay poor.