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Showing posts from September, 2013

a brief trip to (smelly) Manila Zoo

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Manila Zoo.

There was a time a long time ago when the mere mention of Manila Zoo made me feel giddy with excitement. I have committed to memory a childhood picture where I was happily posing in front of a peacock pheasant. Simple joy!




I hail from the province and a trip to Manila used to be so special. What I didn't realize until I had children is that I was lucky to have grown up a probinsyana - to have the fields, vast expanse of free space and hills as my playground. To have flowers to pluck, leaves to gather, dragonflies to catch, trees to climb, free fresh fruits to eat. My kids aren't as lucky. That's why a trip close to nature is a treat for our children.




We brought the kids to Manila Zoo yesterday, as reward to our pre-schooler for winning the Interbranch science quiz bee in school. He loves animals and was happy to see the elephant, the birds, the tigers and the crocodiles. He was indifferent to the smell and the dilapidated look of the zoo.



I don't know if Ma…

personal milestone: i got published!

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I was required to write an article for the Taxwise or Otherwise column in Business World and got published this week.

Here's a link to my article entitled No Trespassing Please which tackles the Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) 65-2012 issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue nearly a year ago, “Clarifying the Taxability of Association Dues, Membership Fees, and Other Assessments/Charges Collected by Condominium Corporations".

Here are husband's posts which I would like to save here for posterity. :)






Hopefully, by the time we move in to our condo, the VAT on association dues will already be lifted for good. ;)





- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

proud mom to our quiz bee champion!

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Loooong Saturday but I am not complaining. ;)

I woke up from an evening nap and am now watching the Ms. World Pageant on TV. As a kid, I have fond memories of my family staying up to watch beauty contests. So somehow, this night gives me some feeling of excitement (we already know that Philippines won, of course). Although I'm alone and unless I give birth to a baby girl, the 'tradition' will mostly likely not live on with me.




Today, our pre-schooler won the Interbranch Science quiz bee in school! He bested 14 other contestants and I am so proud for his efforts. We were afraid he would throw tantrums and won't be able to join the contest. But our prayers and bribes paid off.




TL#1 has history of not wanting to join school presentations and contests. Although lately, he has also won Best in National Costume during Linggo ng Wika. Here's to hoping he gets over the phase totally.

The day his teachers gave out his reviewers, he voraciously consumed them with no promptin…

bedtime goatime

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The kids are playing in the room before bedtime...

Me: Look at Tobey's feet. It's so small.



TL#1: Why?

Me: Because he is still a baby.

TL#1: How about me?

Me: Yours are bigger.

TL#1: Why?

Me: Because you're already a kid.

TL#1: Huh? The young of a goat is a kid then you call me a kid. That must be silly!

Me: Meee-meeee!

He is currently reviewing for the upcoming science quiz bee in school and one of the topics is the young of animals. Smart kid!





- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

bedtime joketime: we're going to London someday

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TL#1 was playing with a London mini snowball.

Me: Bring that down to daddy. You might break it. Who knows someday we will go to London together.

TL#1: Someday? What kind of day is Someday? Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday????

Me: Huh?

TL#1: What do you think? Mommy, what do you think? When is that someday? Is it on Monday? Tuesday? Wednesday? Thursday? Friday?

Me: (speechless. LOL with matching whopping cough).

Both kids are now nursing a fever. Grabe, ang lala ng virus ko! That's 4 down, out of 6 in our household. We'll be fine as long as our ever-reliable head of the family does not get down with the flu, too.

The kids though does not seem to care much about their fever. They're playing hide and seek and won't go to sleep. I can't sing them a lullaby. Apart from the fact that I can't sing, I don't get to finish a word without coughing.





A-B-ubo-ubo-ubo-C-ubo-D-E-ubo-ubo-ubo-ubo-ubo-Y & Z.

TL#2 does not like it at all. He ke…

status update (and complaints) on our compliance with Kasambahay Law

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We have successfully registered as household employers in all government agencies - SSS, Philhealth and HDMF or Pag-ibig, our household helpers now have their SSS, Philhealth and HDMF numbers and we have paid our contributions for the months of July and August.

We are just lucky that the husband had time to line up in SSS and Philhealth and I asked a favor from someone who was going to HDMF. The husband told me the queue in HDMF was the worst. Someone said it was because payment of contributions are also coursed through the HDMF office and not through banks or other payment centers.

The government imposed an additional burden on us who employ household helpers. The least they can do is to make compliance less burdensome for us working class who don't have the luxury to take weekdays off. I think I have earned the right to complain. We hire helpers because we don't have the luxury of time. Every precious minute counts. It is the hard truth for parents like us whose days are fille…

bout with flu not yet over

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I woke up today with a splitting headache, aching muscles and whopping cough. Definitely not better than yesterday.

I'm envious of how our TL#1 bounced back to his usual active self after his bout with high fever last night. I wish I was still young.

He keeps saying, Mommy why are you not feeling better? Me, i'm okay now! And he's off playing ball with his daddy.

I kept having bad and weird dreams last night. I dreamt I was being wheeled into the operating room and I was protesting loudly because I just had surgery the past week and the week before that and the week before that. The doctor was arguing with me and I was pleading and crying with all my might.

Today, my cough takes a turn for the worst. The rain won't stop pouring. But nothing worst comes after worst, right? :)




A blessed Sunday to everyone. Please pray for us sickly ones, including all my colleagues who were afflicted with the same virus. Kailangan mahanap at masingil natin kung sino ang salarin. Charge n…

am I weird or what?

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I cannot sleep. I have a very stuffy nose, I couldn't breathe properly. And each time I try to close my eyes, my brain keeps conjuring up different images. And since I'm still awake to think about them, the sissy in me tries to shake away the images lest they suddenly turn into scary things like ghosts or monsters.

This is the reason why I shun away from horror movies. I think my subconscious has photographic memory. That or I have been born with a wild imagination. Or it may be because of the medications I have been on since Thursday.



I have not had proper sleep since I got sick. Thursday night was a torture. I kept waking up feeling physically sick and also mentally exhausted because I kept having the same dream of counting down until the pain is gone.

Friday night was better. There was lesser pain. But I had a fitful sleep because of the comfort room breaks from the water therapy.

Tonight, the clogged nose attacks even though the fever is gone. I hope to feel better tomorro…

question: how to raise an emotionally intelligent kid?

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It's weird that after I was asked to write an article for work, I suddenly found myself unenthusiastic about writing. I probably did not like the pressure. I am still struggling to get back my writing momentum. Not to mention that I have been nursing fever and flu since Thursday.

One night two weeks ago, I got home at around 9 in the evening, a bit earlier than the usual. TL#1 was so happy to see me and wanted to hoard my time. He wouldn't let me brush my teeth, wash my face and read the Revenue Memorandum Circulars and Court Decision for the article I was pressed to write. He wanted me to sit beside him and watch Bloopers on AXN. I'm not sure if he should even be watching the show. I made peace by dutifully sitting beside him, laughing when he prompts me to while trying hard to understand what i'm reading.

Then I got an urgent call from upstairs. Apparently, TL#2 stirred from his sleep and was crying for mommy. TL#1 reluctantly let me go with this: "Don't tak…

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financial freedom: let's aim for the moon!

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"If you cannot control your emotions, you cannot control your money." - Warren Buffet
The Problem


I am dangerous when i'm stressed or having issues with my self-esteem. I swipe my card and I slash my savings.

Good things those moments come few and far between.

But the main culprit that hinders me from attaining financial freedom is the 'upgrade' in lifestyle and that need (or more aptly - want) to 'reward' myself for a day's hard work in the form of food.

Kapag na-stress - kain tayo sa masarap! Kailangan masarap. Bawal magutom, marami pa akong gagawin.

I can't believe I have been spending more than 10% of my net pay on food! But my growing waistline is enough proof.


I feel the need to be up-to-date when it comes to gadgets which explains the recent impulsive purchase of Samsung Galaxy S4 even though I still have an iPhone 4s that works just fine. Ewan ko ba. Then the news of iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s came out. I wanted to trade-in my S4! And I still h…

When You Retire...

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When you retire, how much money do you need to have saved? If there is a million dollar question, or a $4 million, or $10 million, I guess this would be it.In my personal finance class, a student asked how much money you will need to retire.We started going through the time value of money equations -present value and future values of lump sums and annuities to calculate how much one would need; which started me thinking long and hard about this questions.I told my students it was keeping me up at night and this is why it is such a hard question to answer: 1. It depends on when you want to retire.I asked my class and it ranged from age 45 to never retiring.The person who retires at age 45 will need a lot more money saved in retirement than the person who never wants to quit working.I’ve always said, “If you can turn your passions into profit, you never have to work a day in your life.”I also believe that meaningful work provides you with self worth and increased happiness. So if you love…

Wonderful Life Presentations

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Wonderful Life Presentations - Setting Personal and Financial Goals!
If you and your students have been working on my "Wonderful Life" assignment right about now you are probably putting the finishing touches on the assignment.

A few things I like to do before presentations include...

I ask my students to edit and practice their presentations so they go smoothly.
I give them the option of self-editing or editing with a friend.
Right before presentations I talk about how hard it can be to get up in front of a class and present - just because we don't do it a lot.
I remind them to support each other, and we talk about how they can do that.

I ask students to print 2 copies of presentation handouts - 4 slides on a page.
As each student goes before the class to present they give me a copy of their handouts and keep a copy for themselves.
I use my copy for grading purposes, and they use their handouts as they give their presentation.
I also mention how important it is to speak loudly …

personal finance: the state of my financial health

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I am in a bad mood. I am sad, close to depressed. Drama queen is reporting for duty.

Eh kasi naman, I accounted for my assets, liabilities, income and expenses last night to put all those preaching about personal finance into action. And I was not happy with the result. 

It did not help that we went to the RL Space exhibit today and learned how much like this and like this and like this will cost. The pressure to cut down on expenses is on. 










I need to be more prudent in my spending. I should avoid going to the mall (I almost bought a camera today despite of the current state of my financial health). 
I should also cut down on my food costs. Kain kasi ng kain ng kain ng kain. Walang katapusan. :)



I should continue to pray for good health for myself and my family. We have had financial setbacks from the previous years due to sickness in the family - from my laparascopic surgery to TL#1's bout with the kawasaki disease. I also gave birth to two kids in a span of 4 years. Major expenses. 

I…

vision board: off to Paris!

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This weekend, the husband was looking at his vision board and pointed to a picture of the Eiffel Tower.

Husband (with much conviction): I am going here!




TL#1: Oh, you're going to Paris, France. Mommy has been there.

Husband: Yes, I am.

Then the husband went downstairs.

While in the room, TL#1 and I read a story about teamwork from the 7 Habits of Happy Kids book. After we finished the story, we decided to go down...


TL#1 (very puzzled when he saw the husband): Daddy, you're here?!

Husband (looking up nonchalantly from his iPad): Yes.

TL#1: Huh, I thought you went to Paris. Why are you here?!?

Harharhar!


Speaking of vision board, I would want to make my own, too. It has been a while since I set goals for myself. Through our example, we hope that our son will learn to practice the value of goal-setting at an early age.

If you want to make your own vision board, Martha Beck has guidelines here.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

self-knowledge: the first step

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This week, I made another slightly major purchase of a 'want'. I feel giddy and guilty.



So I'm sitting here on top of my uncomfortable high chair, in front of a borrowed laptop (my husband's), willing myself to start on my financial plan.

To be fair to myself, I am not starting with nothing. I have some savings. But to be realistic, I am an employee, part of the (hard) working middle class. I have two kids, one of school age (4 years old). The husband and I are bracing ourselves for a major borrowing commitment (his part of the commitment) and a major unavoidable expenditure (my commitment) in the next 3 to 4 months.

Now if I could just win the lotto. Not that thought again. :)

If you are like me, let's not despair. I have just read this article on www.brighterlife.com.ph on How an Employee Can Prepare for Retirement.

The article says if we, ordinary Juans (and Juanas), can save 20% of our net pay consistently from this day forward, there is hope that we can have saving…

daily boost: what is it that you live for?

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This is the 2nd post in my daily boost series as inspired by the book 88 Super Practical Boosters To Get What You Want in Life



What is the thing that you live for, enabling you to endure all that happens in your life?
It took me a while to answer this because I am not exactly Mrs. Endurance.

I stuck it out for five years in my first job not necessarily because I was in love with it but because I did not know what I really wanted in my life and I was scared to get out of my comfort zone. Yes, I am a sissy but I am slowly finding my courage with age and experience.

I am an impulsive person and I make decisions based on my emotions. I've been taking 'leaps of faith' but I took one too many that they didn't feel like a leap anymore, more of a skip and maybe an escape.




I think there is wisdom in having a purpose, a why, a reason. It gives you an anchor and the strength to be resilient and enduring.

I used to work abroad but I had no concrete goals for going there. Should I ha…

daily boost: get what you want in life

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Why drive, when the husband can drive and you can blog? ;)



Do you find it hard to get out of bed every working day? Are you stuck in a rut and couldn't seem to get out? Are you looking for a motivation?

Well, I can not give you a solution. But I have this book 88 Super Practical Boosters To Get What You Want In Life by Yonit Werber sitting neglected in my Kindle App.




It's supposed to be a daily motivation snack so why don't I share the boosters one day (or night) at a time and we give it a try? It might just work.

Get what you want in Life

Remember: If you do not ask, you will not get it
"What is it that you want for yourself today?"

In your unbelievably hectic life, stop and take a moment to write what you want. They say there is power in writing down thoughts and goals. Own your goals. Believe that the powers of the universe will conspire to give you what you want.



Do not edit your thoughts, be specific and write down all the things that seem to catch your fancy. …

ang traffic parang instant noodles, just add water!

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Ang traffic sa Pinas parang instant noodles, just add water!




I heard that joke some time ago from my husband and tonight (like any other rainy night), it proved to be true. When it rains, it pours and when it pours, brace yourself for traffic and long commute home.

I am on Kuripot Mode and it was difficult to hail a taxicab so I walked from Paseo de Roxas to SM Makati in my heels. I covered approximately 2 kms. in about 15 minutes.



Good thing I was wearing my relatively new Naturalizer sandals from Egandeula's Sari-Sari. I got it for P2,500 only. Best buy! :) Check out the authentic imported merchandise on the facebook account.




May patalastas pa :)














Anyway, my walk tonight reminded me of the long cold walks I used to take 5 years ago in gloomy Dublin. (I lived in Dublin, Ireland as an auditor for less than a year). I used to cover around 3.5 kms. on most days going to and from the office.



It was soooo expensive to ride a taxi so most people opt to walk. The Irish advocate walking as a…

kuripot day Monday and BPI treat

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Fresh from the Personal Finance Session we attended last weekend, I tried to be thrifty today by spending not more than P200 on meals. Believe me, that's an accomplishment if you work in the Makati Central Business District!

With P168, I had a satisfying lunch at Wee Nam Kee. We used to avoid going inside the restaurant because it looked expensive. It turns out, they offer yummy dish at a reasonable price!


Check out their menu and prices here.

But the better part of the day is that our dinner of pizza, pasta and ice cream were free! Thanks to Bank of Philippine Islands' (BPI) SHOP ANYWHERE and get Pizza, Tacos and Ice Cream – FREE ! Promo



Promo period is from May 15 to July 31, 2013.
Redemption is until September 29, 2013.
To qualify, cardholder should use his BPI Express Credit Classic or BPI Express Credit MasterCard within the promo period for a minimum single purchase transaction of P2,000, P6,000, or P12,000 at any merchant. (Transaction should be approved through a Point-of-Sa…

anxiety therapy: my personal to do list for the week

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I am obsessing!

It's already 8 in the evening! Saan na napunta ang weekend ko? Ang dami ko pang kailangang gawin!

And I find the need to write them down here before I go insane.

Believe me I love my sons, but our eldest won't give me peace of mind. Laging nakabuntot at laging gusto kasama ako sa lahat ng gagawin nya. It is endearing and annoying at the same time!




Ewan ko ba, hinde ko rin alam bakit bigla na lang ang dami kong gustong gawin sa buhay ko. Tumatanda na kasi?!? Thank God for our kasambahays! I am really grateful to have them at home. They take a big load off me.

I know the next three hours (before I go to sleep won't be enough) for all the things that I want to accomplish today so I will just make a list as my guide for next weekend. I won't probably be able to do much other done concentrate on work these weekdays. I have to eat some serious frog* and I anticipate some stress coming in, realistically speaking.

*eat a frog - accomplish a not-so-desirable tas…

it's time for a brighter life!

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The husband and I joined the Brighter Life session on Personal Finance last Saturday, September 7, at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL) at Net Lima in Bonifacio Global City.

I blogged about my takeaways from the session here.

Since I found the session insightful, I am sharing with you the upcoming sessions in the Personal Financial Planning series being rolled out by Sun Life Financial Plan.

September 12 - Money & Career
7 pm - 9 pm, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Burgos Circle

September 21 - Money Matter for Mommies
10 am - 12 nn, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Net Lima

September 28 - Marriage & Money
10 am - 12 nn, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Net Lima

All sessions are held in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

You can register thru brighterlife.eventbrite.com. I think the registration opens on the week of the event.

The session itself is free and you will also be treated to a light breakfast and free coffee (in my case, hot chocolate).








Aside from the insights, we also took home a Sun Life …