Sunday, February 22, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Of all the things I love doing, traveling is my number one favorite. And I have quite visited a lot of places in my country. Each of them gave me a distinct experience and learning. I loved my every travels and I’ve collected wonderful memories and a bunch of photos. I want to share with you the places in my country which I think is the best :) Here are my top 10 but excluding my own place
Laoag, Ilocos Norte
Laoag feels different also. I always have a different feeling when I visit places and it’s the most homey and tranquil place I have ever visited. It was like a soul connection no kidding! Hehe I fell in love with
Vigan, Ilocos Sur
This place gives you the feel of being in Spanish time. The whole
Of course our neighbor city Samal won’t be left out. There’s so much to explore and do in this place that I can’t get enough that’s why I go back for more.
I love the manificent landscape of this province. The weather is very cool too. Lots of mountain springs.
Meet the beautiful Taal Volcano which can be viewed above in the main attractions in Tagaytay. Perfect for a nice vacation.
This is a silent place where it hasn’t really bud into its fullest. But it has a unique beauty too and great history. You’ll meet Daddy Douglas Mc Arthur in Palo,
Albay is a silent and quite sad place but what I like about it is the majestic and perfectly shaped Mayon Volcano standing magnificently in vast fields.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
One of the things I couldn't forget about the book is the myth on "signs". Not that I'm fan of signs but Bo presented it so candidly and very entertaining :) As to his example, a lady says "Lord, if I get white roses from him tomorrow, he's the one" And it turned out that he really gave her white roses. So, she ask for another sign if she should be married to this man and this time from a bible. She randomly opened it and found a verse on weddings. And so to finalized everything she asked for the last sign to seal it and the sign was also given to her. But she did not look at the real signs. Her boyfriend is handsome and intelligent but can't hold a job for 3 months and has a very hot temper. She never investigated on how he treats his family where this will be the kind of treatment that she will get in the future. She married the guy and ended up a battered wife. Signs maybe good but it needs to be really discerned and backed by strong facts. He says, we do not need supernatural signs but real signs. Check his relationship with God. If he fears and love God then it's a good sign that he can love you also and take good care of you. Check out his maturity and his ability to take on responsibilities. Know his family and observe the kind of family environment he has coz he will most likely bring that kind of culture in your own family, it's called a homing instinct. Check out his friends, don't underestimate the saying "birds of the same feather flock together" because it's very true. Go out on a date that's interactive where it involves activities. In here, you will experience on how he reacts on different situations and that's raw reaction nothing can be hidden from that. These signs are real and very visible, you don't have to pray so hard and even fast just to get a supernatural sign ;)
Another thing he said I couldn't forget is the very myth that "there's a specific one person God has prepared for each of us" it couldn't be true. What if the one he created for me, went to the seminary? Oh no! :) God has created all these guys for us to choose girls. That's why we have free will because we can choose.
The 3rd myth is to pray and wait for him to come. This can't also be true. If you just pray and never exert the effort to present yourself to the market then you cannot be sold just as a product without proper marketing can't be sold on a market. So what if you have marketed yourself greatly, it's just that no enough guys who happen to possess all of your "essentials in a partner"? Well that's my problem too hahaha Well seriously, if this happens, continue to be beautiful inside and out. Make friends but do not consider him a prospect. Meet new people everyday. If you think you've met all the guys in your area and there's no possibility of finding your one true love in there then go away and find your adventure abroad maybe you will find him in your journey ;)
That's all I could share about the book. If I'll write it all here, it will also end up Bo's book rewritten by me.
Monday, February 9, 2009
You look at me, you see my depths
I feel your soul entwined with mine
So overwhelming yet divine
How do I find thee?
I searched my world
And raked the road
Followed my thoughts
And found more faults
How do I find thee?
I live on reason
And defied my soul
A power like that is not for all
But the spirit inside starts to call
For it knows you since
He planted my heart
A faint memory that has never depart
And so I see I need my core
To lead me to my twin soul
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Big financial institutions are hiring financial professionals to work in the country. This may be great for the professionals for our neighbors in Singapore and Hong Kong but also great for the locals who may benefit of the expanding business and greater opportunities. As Filipinos have done good in call center industry there would be no reason that they can't do it in the financial industry. Many Filipino talents are already at par with the rest of the world in the financial industry. The Philippine financial market may not be that complex in bigger and richer countries but given the same set of brains and hard work there can be no reason that Filipinos can't do well in Wall Street.
As for our neighbors whose considering our country, welcome! :) We also have a lot to offer. Salary may be lower in here but luxuries are cheaper and very cheap to live an average life. Philippines is still a work in progress. And with business activity growing and relocating of giant companies in here will surely help to improve Philippines.
Thousands of jobs have been lost since the start of the financial crisis. You can read it anywhere. And I've read some articles that some of these "lost jobs" in the west are flying to the east. And they're eyeing for the Philippines. In order to cut cost, giants are going to operate in the Philippines where talents and business operation is cheap. Business activities would soon fuel the economy. Entrepreneurs will have new vision for opportunities. Seems like there is really a bubble story happening right now. Somehow, the crisis have brought blessings to the small players in this big world. Maybe its time for us to take this chance to help ourselves.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
> Dating (finding the one costs much as you will spend for self maintenance and improvements, activities to meet people and the dates itself)
> Starting out, there's money involved. The wedding itself costs much. And thus you use each other's savings.
> The house --> where should we live honey? (Pooling of resources and of the house mortgage)
> Ulities and groceries (savings because you share)
> Deciding to get credit (you are now jointly liable)
> Salary (pooled into one and assigned to a household treasurer which is usually the wife)
> Decisions (done by both)
> Credit score (may be combined or use the higher credit score of either husband or wife)
> Credit card debts (part of the package. If wife or husband has high debts, marriage finance will be affected as money from both of you will be allocated to pay for such debts.)
> Family car (joint liability)
> Children's education (family's investment)
> Savings (everybody's business inside the household)
> Realization (love is not the only element for happy ever after ;) we marry everything even credit)
Dream of many unrealistic dreams (for you to make extraordinary effort because you know your dreams are too idealistic. Just 2 things will happen, you can either reach your unrealistic dream or just the half of it *wink*)
Think like an entrepreneur (no way to survive the loss of jobs)
Count your resources and consider it in your plans (we have lots of resources like time, relationships, talents and skills, etc not just money)
Be resourceful (tough times really need this *wink*)
Please add another, I'm too sleepy to think ;)
Friday, February 6, 2009
Well it only tells us one thing... Money doesn't solve money problems it just give us more power to spend.
This is what happens to almost all of us:
1. Graduate from college
2. Get a job
3. Enjoy independence
4. Get married
5. Increase income with 2 incomes combined - bliss!
6. Buy home and car
7. Children start to come
8. Promotion - higher income
9. Send children to school
10. Go back to school for masteral then phd for higher income
12. Get a part-time job
13. Spend more
14. Try to save for retirement
But still... money is not enough. Why?
Capacity to earn and spend
I've observed that most Filipinos after graduating and getting a job and having the capacity to earn for the first time, they tend to invest a lot on improving themselves. They buy nice clothes, gadgets, car, expensive vacations, socializing and just getting by until the next pay day come. And there's the typical "help little sis or bro to graduate". This cycle goes on and on until one realizes that it is a rat race.
Debts are increasing
With increasing income, things become more desirable too. We tend to get bigger and nicer homes, chic cars, gadgets, expensive vacations, etc. but still have the basic bills to pay plus the children to send to school if you are married.
When you are promoted, get a higher post in your company or in your community, you have to maintain the glamour that goes with it. You gain friends of the same status with a higher type of lifestyle. Since you belong there, you just can't let yourself behind your friends. So to keep yourself in pace with your community, you adopt to their lifestyle. Even if the things you use and the activities you do aren't really on your priority.
Saving and investing becomes difficult
With so much to maintain in our own life like our lifestyle, sending the kids to good schools if married, and paying bills. Saving and investing went down the list of our priorities because we are just earning to get by.
Thus, more money doesn't really solve money problems. It is on how we spend. To reach financial freedom and save a hefty retirement requires a lot of sacrifice and focus. We need to establish first a set of strong income streams so we can enjoy the good things in life and to avoid incurring more debts.
All these come to our realization in a hard way. Good thing I've realized it when I'm still single and in my twenties coz there is still a lot of time to catch up. After all, i didn't regret everything I've done to experience life. Everything is worth it though. Now, it's time to focus on achieving my financial goal for the length of my life :)
And so I went on finding what kind of business I'm going to undertake. I've raked all through my possible sources of capital and heck I just got more frustrated. I only earn a fixed salary just enough for needs and some wants, no friends and family who can lend me money for business and it's hard to borrow from a bank. What this tells me is that, I only have my time, my talent and skills as my resources. So I started thinking hard from there.
Searching and observing around we found a type of business that is in line with our skills. My sis and I and some of our friends have developed a skill on events organizing. All we have to invest is a small amount to set up our office and we're good to go. We we're able to run that business and have really organized big events and gained lots of friends. Though that was a failed business venture because of poor marketing but I learned that it doesn't really take money to start a business. Just a good idea ;)
This one is really nice where you will build your business on the things that you like. As for me, I really love touring and traveling as well as my sis. So together with a friend we are now starting to operate on our tour guiding services in the Island Garden City of Samal. Well, this doesn't cost us much. It only cost us our experience in touring the island and some favor from a friend who build our website for us (www.samaladventuretour.com) and in return give him commission if we ever get a customer. That's just it, not much of a pressure to begin our business :)
This one doesn't also cost much. All you have to do is to invite some friends with the same profession, set up an office and acquire business permit then you're good to go. Just be sure you have enough connections who trust you either to hire you or for referrals.
Time and Intellect
Some business ideas just require plenty of time, some knowledge and a very minimal money investment. One of these is becoming an infopreneur where you build your site which only cost you hosting and domain name which is really not much. And maybe some help in building your website. With correct efforts on internet marketing, passive income will soon arrive.
This one are just for the gifted (sorry hehe) though may be done by the average but it's harder to compete. This is where writers, artists, inventors and scientists who have put in their extraordinary talents to create a masterpiece that will bring them royalties even after they die. This is the kind of income that is really very desirable. Puts you in peace with your retirement safe as money will flow even if you don't work at all.
Friends and mentors
Friends can help especially if they're also in business. Network is very important. Though finding a mentor to guide you all the way is very difficult because they are really busy people and their time is very expensive you can hardly find a way to their precious time. But I've realized that having a mentor is very important so I got to find one for me :)
This is the king of all. Financial savvy will truly bring you far in business and investments. This is because, sophisticated entrepreneurs and investors have manage to start businesses with less or no money investments. They have great understanding of how money works. They understand about money, timing, interest, risk, laws, etc. But this will take so much time and experience and a great mentor to increase financial intelligence.
All in all, I've discovered, that it isn't how much money you can put in a business venture but it is your financial intelligence and strategy that will bring it to start and to succeed.
Wake up early
Oh no! I really hate this. Aside from hating it, I really can’t wake up early, it’s too hard to do unless I’m excited going somewhere else hehe But there’s a lot of advantages in waking up early. And so I went to discipline myself and found out it wasn’t really that hard. Maybe wondering why there’s no so much violent reaction on my part ;) Well waking up early has become easy for me because I was truly willing to wake up early. I tried it first for a week. And when I don’t like the outcome, I would just go back to my normal wake up time 7:00 am. For 1 week, I really tried to wake up when my alarm clock goes off at 5:00 am and I did it everyday until I noticed, I don’t have to force myself to wake up early. My body clock got used to it. And I realized, it only takes 1 week to command your body clock :) With this, I was able to do my prayer and journal time during morning instead of my usual before bed time. I got healthier and a more alert mind having been able to prepare well and eat breakfast because I have enough time. And I get to clean my room before I go having it ready when I come back to rest or to do other stuff freeing more time at night. Guess what it did to me? I was able to learn a little of HTML and Microsoft SQL thru reading tutorials in my extra time at night. Amazing! :)
Get rid of your TV
This one’s not an issue for me coz I’ve long since stopped watching TV. It’s just that, it never appealed to me anymore. I’d rather do something else with my time than waste it on TV.
Read good books, internet articles, and other sources of information, learn from them and then implement, IMMEDIATELY!
I got this increasing love for reading. I can’t really get enough of it. I buy books, surf the net for information I need. But I got one problem… I don’t implement immediately what I’ve learned from them. So I got overloaded with information and forgot some of the things I’ve learned before. So, to increase productivity, I try to implement first the things I got from a particular book or article I read before going for another.
Sleep only when you’re really sleepy
Most of us go to bed on a certain time to be able to wake up exactly on the time we plan to wake up. But I’ve realized, I am sometimes wasting my time when I try to sleep at a certain time to be able to wake up at a target time only to stay awake in bed waiting for sleep to come. That’s really frustrating. But when you lie in bed when you’re really very sleepy, you can’t read a line in a book, now it’s time to snooze :D In that way, I won’t be wasting any of my time waiting for sleep to come ;)
One of the things I’ve learned is… I can’t do everything. So I have to make my 24 hours more than 24 by using other people’s time :) Last year, I lived with my sis in a house having all the responsibilities of running it under my nose. Gosh! I found out it was really hard to run a household with all the cleaning, laundry, grocery, bills to pay, etc. if you want to live normally. So I went off hiring a house help to do the job for me. I’ve realized, my per hour pay is more expensive than paying a house help to do all those stuffs that usually eat my time. With that, I was able to use my time on more important things and earn more as I can use my time on making money ;) This time, I made it easier for me by moving out and I transferred to an apartment with utilities included in the monthly payment plus free cleaning and ready home-cooked food to buy at half the price I pay for the house and all its expenses. All I have to do is to pay and nothing else. Now, that’s really cool :)
Well this is old school and I know everybody knows this. I just thought it’s worth mentioning :)
There are a lot of ways to increase productivity. We all have our own ways of catching up with time depends on what we are willing to bargain ;)
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Now, why do I love credit cards?
Credit card and time are two great friends. The banks allow you to use their money for a while and return it to them when the bill comes at no extra cost. Just be sure of the amount you permit yourself to spend, that is, the amount you can pay when you’re using cash. I was able to take advantage of credit leverage when we set up our mini store. Start up capital for that was used in setting up the store and there’s little left for the inventory. So with half the stock paid in cash and the other half thru credit cards, the mini store is ready to sell. And by the end of the month before the bill goes out, there’s enough money to pay for the credit card charges without extra cost. Now, who made an investment to our store without an ROI? And besides, the bank offered longer credit time compared to the usual 10 to 15 days term when you buy on credit especially for grocery items. Now that’s really advantageous ;)
Bonus points or miles
Not only just it introduce you to time leverage, it will also reward you for taking advantage of it :) When you charge, you get extra points or air miles that when accumulated you get valuable items or free tickets to fly at zero cost when you of course pay off your debt in full and on time. When all you have ever done is give your money to them instead of giving it to the store cashier. Now, that’s really cool :D
This is what I truly love with credit cards; this gives me so much convenience. And your capacity to spend reach far and across the globe with just a few clicks. And mode of payment are convenient too with their online banking facilities. What else can I ask for :)
Inexpensive loan can be possible
You may ask how can a credit card provide for a loan when it is solely for goods and services and cash advances. Well you’re right, but you can transform it into a loan. I have tried that myself :D I’m currently maintaining 3 credit cards but I only pay one annual fee because the other 2 cards have conditions where you can apply for a waive in annual fee. I got one mastercard from HSBC and 2 visas from HSBC and Citibank my highest credit limit. They have different cut-off dates to be able to play with my friend cash flow. And so I made the best combination for me to do my little game. Say for example I need P50,000 immediately and if I apply for a loan, it will take long and interest would surely be high. So, I opted for a credit card cash advance. Every withdrawal will cost P300 or 3% of the amount withdrawn whichever is higher and a cumulative 3.5% percent interest per month. Now that’s really very high. But I’ve found a way to make it cheaper. I’m going to apply for a balance transfer on my other cards. And HSBC is the lowest so far in balance transfers. A typical loan cost you at least 1.5% and above per month but with balance transfer at HSBC, it will only cost me .70% per month. Now, that’s more than 50% off! :D And since I have good credit standing, there is a great possibility that my application will be approved. Let’s make a comparison then:
Typical loan P50,000 loan at 1.5% per mo., 2 years
Interest = 1.5% x 24 months
Loan Payable = Principal + interest
= 50,000 x 1.36
Plus a P1,500 to P2,000 processing fee
And another for insurance at about P1,000
How much does it cost just to get 50,000 now?
Cost = Interest + Processing Fee + Insurance
= 18,000 + 1,500 + 1,000
HSBC Balance Transfer P50,000 loan at .70% per mo., 2 years
Interest = .70% x 24 months
Loan Payable = Principal + interest
= 50,000 x 1.168
Plus 300 for every 10,000 withdrawal
(10,000 is the amount where 300 and 3%
of the withdrawal amount is equal)
And that is P300 x 5 withdrawal = P1,500 Plus a minimal processing fee of P150
How much does it cost just to get 50,000 now?
Cost = Interest + Processing Fee
= 8,400 + 1,500 + 150
How much do we save here?
P20,500 - 10,050 = P10,450 that's more than 50% off savings ;)
Now, this one’s really nice. I came across a credit card which offers a life insurance as long as you keep on using it. It doesn’t hurt to have multiple insurances ;) After all, this one is for free :)
There may be some other ways to take advantage of credit cards depends on your way of playing with time value of money, cash flow, the bank promos and your own needs. These are just some of what I’ve tried ;)
Monday, February 2, 2009
Philippines being a cheap place to live is certainly an advantage for us Filipinos but with a catch like "low purchasing power" puts the advantage at par with the disadvantage (sad to say).
But are we going to be just sad on that news? No, not necessarily because it is something that we have full control. A news like "Philippines is an expensive place to live" will really give us trouble because this situation is peg on the entire economy on which we have no control whatsoever being a nobody isn't it? Good thing "low purchasing power" is in our hands :) Do you know what this news means? This is an opportunity for people who are smart enough to recognize our now borderless world.
We are now on the 21st century and things have really changed since 2000. One of the best gifts this period has given us is the world wide web. And with the ongoing global financial crisis there's a big possibility that more and more companies overseas will resort to outsourcing talents to save on cost thus, keeping their businesses alive. Companies are getting smarter to look for cheaper labor to do the same work quality they need. What does it have to do with our purchasing power?
With the internet, you can choose to earn dollars or euros and spend in pesos without having to leave Philippines. That would be a huge surplus with the existing dollar exchange rate. This is like having a forex business without you being aware of it ;) Sounds perfect? Yes, you can earn dollars too. And the good news is, this opportunity is open to everybody as long as you have a computer and easy access on the internet. We can find a lot of freelance work in the internet that are paying in dollars. (elance.com, getafreelancer.com, forums.digitalpoint.com, allfreelance.com, authenticjobs.com, jobs.freelanceswitch.com, rentacoder.com, associatedcontent.com, jobs.problogger.net, jobs.copyblogger.com, copywritersboard.com, 99designs.com).But of course you have to know something in order for you to find a freelance job in the internet. And the best thing is, you can even work without having to use your brain as long as you know how to click. Try bux.to it pays you when you view advertisements in 30 seconds :) But this is not recommended as a main source of income though. Just for extra money in the pocket ;)
As for entrepreneurs at heart. Business is getting easier with the advent of the internet. You can even be in a business without a product. Amazing eh? Yes, you can by being an infopreneur where you sell your knowledge and expertise thru blog. When you have something to say that is of value, you can market it in the net and find readers that will appreciate your work and build your traffic. This requires a lot of link building efforts. And when you have traffic and regular readers, monetization can follow. Though this one requires a lot of work but it can really be done if you're determined. The best part is, you can earn passive income from this as long as you keep on updating your work and always have first hand information on the trend. Remain observant and updated and you won't get lost. You can even use other people's time and expertise in your freelance job. Once you have established your name and have regular clients, it's time to expand it into outsourcing business. Cool isn't it? :)
With these things available today, it is becoming more easy to earn money as you can find a way to monetize your talent and skills not just in your place but around the world. All you have to do is to keep on learning. And if you love travelling and lazying in an island, you can now imagine what this means ;) The world is getting better in that aspect. It is less restrictive and more accepting but very fast and you can always anticipate and hope for the best.
In our time today, information is king. And when you have the ability to make use of that information, you will always be at an advantage as you will be able to make yourself in pace with the changing time.