Archive | March 2013

Where to go this Summer?: Hagonoy Island

Hagonoy Island is one of my city’s tourist attractions (along with Tinuy-an Falls and Enchanted River). It is a very small island – you can actually walk from end to end within 15 minutes. It was my beach paradise ever since I was young because I always get to spend my birthday on it with my family and friends.

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Hagonoy Island

I have always loved its white sand and clear blue waters. We also like getting some fresh seafood like seashells, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers during low tide. When I was 9 years old, my cousins and I used to pick beautiful sea shells at the shores so we could use it for our “sungka” 🙂 DSC06801

Starfish at Hagonoy

Starfish at Hagonoy

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With my brothers

My brothers Gringo and Jong

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How to create a Beautiful WordPress (or any Blog) Header

I wanted to have a new blog header for the loooongest time but haven’t had the time to design and create one. Luckily, I stumbled upon this awesome tutorial. It’s really helpful! If you want to create your own header too, go and visit the link.

I used the free tool from cooltext.com to create beautiful logos and downloaded some free header templates at smashingmagazine. I then used Adobe Photoshop to edit, layout and combine all the elements together and voila! I have a new WordPress header! Yey! 🙂

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Financial Freedom: 7 Jar System

Two weeks ago at the Ortigas Feast, the  series entitled “Happy Healthy Holy Money” was concluded. Bro. Joel together with Mrs. Irma Lasquety, CPA, discussed about the 7 Jar System and ways to invest.

7 Jar System:

Jar 7- Emancipation Fund (20% or more)

This is also called the retirement fund. All of us have to set aside money for our retirement because it is the biggest expense of our lives. Yes, we no longer have to work during this time, but we won’t also have our monthly salary!

I personally wish that our Filipino culture regarding retirement would change. Because right now, a lot of retirees  rely solely on their pension, which is only how much? 3,000? 5,000? And, I am saddened by the fact that a number of pensioners are in debt! Their ATM cards are with lending institutions because they have used it as a “pawn” so they could borrow money. Worse, others don’t even have a pension. They rely entirely on their children for their basic necessities – food, shelter, and health care.

I dream of a time when Filipino retirees would just travel abroad, dine out, treat their grandchildren at Jollibee, get the best healthcare and just enjoy the remaining days of their lives!

Retirement is something that we should all prepare for. This is when most of us get weak or sick and we need people to take care of us. Health care would become very expensive, even if we would get Senior Citizen discounts.

So HOW would you fund for your retirement?

There are many ways..

  1. Get a life insurance. There are  a lot of good insurance companies out there. But I have chosen Sunlife. Nowadays, insurance is already customizable – it can come with health care, mutual funds/stocks, accident benefit, critical illness benefit, and more. If you want to know more about insurance, I have a lot of friends in the industry. I can refer you to them.
  2. Invest in stocks. Like insurance, there are also a lot of good stock brokers out there. My personal choice is Citiseconline. I have written a number of posts regarding that so you can find them here.
  3. Invest in real estate. You can invest in condos, boarding house, agricultural land, or whatever real estate you please.
  4. Build your business. Develop your core skills or your talents. Network. Find an opportunity.

I spend about 52% in this jar.

Jar 6 – Emergency Fund (can be 10% per month until it reaches 300% or thrice your monthly salary)

They say that you should have at least 3 times of your monthly salary in your emergency fund. This would be used when you suddenly lose your job or if there is an emergency in the family. You should put this in an instrument that can easily be withdrawn from.

I like BPI because they have this BPI Direct Saving-Up feature wherein you can set up your payroll account to automatically transfer funds to your save-up account monthly. So you never forget to set aside for your emergency fund.

Jar  5 – Everyday Fund (70% or less)

Because I am frugal, my everyday fund is only around 23%. That already includes condo rent, food, transportation, internet/call/text load, and laundry.

Jar 4 – Empower Fund (5% to 10%)

This is supposed to be spent to empower yourself like investing in good clothing, going to the spa, having your hair or nails done at the salon but usually I spend this for my family/friends (gifts).

Jar 3 – Enjoyment Fund (up to 5%)

This can be used for hanging out with your friends, eating out, watching movies, travelling, or buying new gadgets

Jar 2 – Educational Fund (5%)

We should never stop learning. Pursue your hobbies. Enroll in trainings.

I usually spend this in books and attending seminars/talks/workshops/retreats. I also use this fund to buy painting materials.

Jar 1 – Eternity Fund (10%)

Last but definitely not the least is our Eternity Fund. I have been giving to the church regularly but it has never reached 10%. This February, I prayed that I would give 10% to the Lord and challenge him to take care of my needs and bless my dreams. As if on cue, my mother texted me asking for a donation for the chapel that will be built in our community. And I would need to give 10% of my salary for 2 months.. Hehe. Well, as Sister Rissa said in her talk, make tithing a habit. In the first few months, it would be difficult. But once you get used to it, it won’t hurt your pocket anymore. And God will let His blessings overflow – that is His promise. 🙂

God, our Father, loves us so much and He wants us to enjoy our money. God bless! 🙂

Fabulous February

Feb just passed by in a flash. I had lots of activities packed last month that I was not able to blog on a more regular basis.

And now it’s already the 10th day of the month – and exactly one month before my birthday! Oh my oh my… I’m excited! 🙂 Hmm.. I have some wish lists for my birthday. But I’ll share that in a little while. What have I been up to this Feb?

Work

  • Attended numerous trainings (Application Analysis, Application Component Detailed Design, Jquery)
  • Took on a Job Jar

Relationships

  • Spent time with my housemates – and ex housemates (Callie’s christening, Carlo’s visit)
  • Met new friends at the iLoveLife retreat

Spiritual/Service

  • Continued attending Call Center Feast
  • Continued serving at the Ortigas Feast (Usher and Awesome Kids Ministries)

This month’s pics

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This March, I’m looking forward to

  • Attend Worship Workshop
  • Attend JEWELS
  • Visit relatives at Rizal
  • Shop! 🙂
  • Basic Communications Skills Workshop
  • Yoga! Woohoo!
  • Sharepoint project
  • Travel to a nearby beautiful spot
  • Lenten reflection
  • 3rd birthday celebration of my niece Nycah
  • Grand Easter Feast!

My Wishlist: (Some of you might like to get me some of these..hehe)

  • spend my birthday with the babies at Grace to be born
  • lose 20 lbs by April
  • yoga and run
  • new backpack
  • books!
  • Super food grocer items
  • pretty AND comfortable shoes/sandals
  • new working clothes
  • Ardent Spring perfume
  • laser hair treatment for my underarms and legs

 

Jewels: Session 1

JEWELS- The brainchild of Sis Ditas (wife of our Ortigas feast builder), was created and offered for free to empower the women of our community.

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Maan and I were late but we were both so blessed to be given the 2 front seats. And guess who the speaker was – none other than Rissa Singson-Kawpeng! Amazing! I’ve read 2 of her books (Confessions of an Impatient Bride and Oh my God, I’m still single!). Her column in Kerygma is also one of my favorites.

She shared to us what the word woman means. W for word of God, O for obedience to God’s will, M for mission-living for a purpose, A for attractive, not only on the outside but also on the inside, and N for nurture, because she nurtures not only her family but also the people in the community. 🙂

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