Monday, August 25, 2014

The Art of Letting Go



Bo Sanchez's talk at The Feast last Sunday at PICC struck my heart so deep that I started crying without any tissue or handkerchief at hand. I was caught unguarded because I don't wanna cry especially when there are thousands of people in front of me. (Lucky for  me because I was at the back seat so I'm the one who saw a lot of people wiping their eyes.)

The Love Ribbon



First, they had a re-enactment of a father and daughter's love. The father is holding a ribbon that he tied to his daughter representing his love for her. He love his daughter so much that he don't want to let go of that ribbon so he can protect and guide his daughter. But as she aged, there are lots of pitholes along the path and the father is still holding that love ribbon. But time has come that he realized he needed to let go of that love ribbon so her daughter can do more and explore life. It breaks his heart but it is for his daughter's sake that he needed to let go. So he gave the ribbon to his daughter and let her go on with life.

The daughter said that she honors his father and mother so much and thanked them for the love that they gave her and her siblings. There's no need for that ribbon now because their love for her is instilled in her heart. She is who she is because of her parent's love. A grown up young lady who is ready to explore life. There is no need for that ribbon now because she knows that that love will guide her through life. And God will always be there for her. 



It was a great father and daughter's story. We felt their love for each other. I saw a lot of The Feast attendees wiping tears from their eyes. We didn't see that coming. 



A Million Love

Bo gave us another scenario about lending money.

You have a 10,000 pesos in your savings account. It's your only money for your daily expenses, for food, for your kids, for your rent and for others. Now a friend who has an emergency asks you to lend him 10,000 pesos. Will you give your only savings to him? Of course not! We can't afford to let our kids starve, right? 

Or be kicked out of our house if we didn't pay the rent.

Now let's change the scenario. You have a million in your savings account then a friend comes to you asking to lend lend him 10,000 pesos because he have an emergency. Will you give that 10,000? Yes, of course! It feels good to help right?



The moral of the story is that it is hard to let go of something if it's all you have.



It is that same scenario for your loved ones. When you focus all your life to that person and its time to let go. It feels like it's that end of the world... the end of your world. It's hard to let go when you know it will take away all your happiness. It's like having only that 10,000 that its so hard to let go.

Now if you focus your love to God its like having more than a million that its ok to let go of that 10,000. It's ok to let go of that loved ones because you have God!



Let go.. so you can have more.

From personal experience, It's so hard to let go. I know my baby Andrea do not have a long life span. 

I know when the right time comes I have to let go. I only pray to God that He'd make me stronger to bear that day... that He'd help me be ready for that day. When that time comes, no more tears to shed but happiness will fill my heart. Happy to know that she's where she have to be. Knowing that God alone can fill that emptiness and sadness. He will embrace me with His greatest love.

When that time comes, I will be ready to let go.

Me & Andrea

Monday, July 7, 2014

How to Apply for PWD Id in Paranaque City

Andrea's PWD Id has long been expired. We got her first id in Taguig in 2009 and it's valid only for three years. Since we already moved in Better Living Subd, Paranaque, I decided to get her new id here.

I searched the internet and saw derdo's blog post which is very informative. I was able to secure all the necessary requirements beforehand but I still called the DSWD office in Paranaque City Hall at (02) 829-3324 to verify the requirements. They said that I also need to provide a whole body picture.

I went to Barangay Don Bosco in BLS Section 2 to secure a barangay clearance with Andrea's name on it. They gave me a form to be signed by the president of our homeowner's association. Then I brought it back to them for processing. Fee is Php30.

After securing a barangay clearance, I went to Paranaque City Hall's DSWD Office at the second floor. It was already lunch break but they still processed my application! Yay!

Here are the requirements:
1. Medical Certificate / Clinical Abstract
2. Barangay Certificate (Purpose: Residency)
3. Three(3) pcs 1x1 ID Pictures
4. One(1) pc Passport size picture
5. Duly accomplished form

Be sure to bring the original and the photocopy but they will only get the photocopy. No need for birth certificate and school id.

And voila!

They gave me Andrea's PWD Id, purchase booklet for basic commodity and the medicine purchase booklet. Yay!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Decor Shopping at Dapitan Arcade

I've watched several episodes of Kris TV when they shop around some places in Manila and scout for pocket-friendly items and goodies. They have featured the Dapitan Arcade whose famous for affordable Christmas decors.

I usually buy decors from the malls and bookstores during Christmas seasons (you know! some last minute shopping...) so I know how pricey they are. When I learned about Dapitan Arcade, I'm really got curious and excited, I wanted to checkout the place and experience it myself.
  
Along with my hubby and sister (and her two kids), we went to Dapitan around the second week of  November. There are already quite a number of shoppers but you can still walk around the area. Most stores have a fixed price range and you won't be able to haggle for discounts. I'm not sure if the prices are much cheaper when you buy during off peak season. But I can say that it's much cheaper that time compared to buying the same item in malls.

Here are the items that I bought:

Belen. I really love to have a Belen to remind us the true spirit of Christmas. Christmas is Jesus' birthday anyway. This is compose of 9 figurines and the tallest is 6 inches. So you have baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, 3 kings, and 3 animals. This cost me only a thousand pesos.

Christmas Tree Skirt. So the gift are not scattered on the floor. It costs 400 pesos. 

Santa Candy Container. A 4-inch santa with a big gift sack for the candies.

Christmas Wreath. A plain wreath only costs 150 and a fully designed one costs around 500. I bought the plain one and will design it myself. 

Christmas Light. Different kind of lights cost only 200 and they all have ICC stickers so they are safe to use.

Christmas Tree Decors:
    Ponseitta Large. Costs 350 per dozen. Much cheaper than those in malls which cost around 40 each.
    Ponseitta Small. Costs 180 per dozen. 
    Snow Dangle. 20 each
    Doll Dangle. 3 for 100
    Pine Fruit. 10 each.

I also bought an 18-inch Christmas parol for only 1,200 which costs around 2,000 in malls.

There are lots of other items but I can't buy them all, although I am tempted. 

Maybe next year... after I replenish my budget. ^_^


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Journey to Financial Freedom

In 2007, I decided to be financially free!

We tried to live on our 70% and saved the 30%. I started to write down our budget plan to track where we spend most of our hard-earned money. Saving money was difficult since we have huge debts to pay. We want to be debt-free as soon as possible so I listed down all our credit card and loan balances, sorted them out, started paying off those with the smaller amount dues to free up some of the bank's interests. Those that are not zeroed out, we tried to pay higher than the minimum amount. I paid the bills on time so that we won't be charged of the late dues. As much as possible, we pay in cash instead of using our credit cards. We tried to live within our means. It was a long journey but we were able to get out of debt three years after.

Looking at the interest earned from our savings account minus the taxes, I realized that maybe I should try the time deposit which offers a much higher interest rate. So I put our savings in a time deposit for 3 months. But before the three-months-holding-period expires, we had an emergency. I have to pull my investment out and forced to pay for the penalty. Maybe it's not a good idea, anyway. So I sticked on putting our money to our savings account afterwards.

Around 2008, I have read the Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki and learnt that we can have a passive income and an active income. I have also learnt that there are four types of people, The Employee, The Self-Employed, The Businessman and the Investor. We can be two or three of these types. For me, I don't wanna give up my job so I'd still be "The Employee". I also wanna have a passive income but I cannot run a business so I'd like to be "The Investor".


Wow! I'm excited to be "The Investor" while being "The Employee".

I started researching about the whats and hows of investment. I've read about the treasury bonds, UITF, Mutual funds, stock market, and real estates. I am a conservative type of investor so only mutual funds fit into my current financial status. I've learned a lot from the pinoy money talk forums and blogs. I also have read Francisco Colayco's book Wealth within your Reach: Pera mo, Palaguin mo where he discussed how to grow your money in the Philippines. He talked about mutual funds. By the way, I have also read that you should only invest your "extra" money which you won't be needing to pull out for a long period of time.

Mutual Funds. This funds are managed by a professional fund manager who invests the money in stocks, bonds, money market instruments, and/or other securities.

Oh Ok. Since I don't know about stock market, which I thought was very complicated, and government bonds require big sum of money, I'll stick with mutual funds and have these fund managers manage my investments. Ok. Then I chose the balanced fund because I am a conservative type of investor. Fund managers will invest my money in bonds and stocks whichever have the most potential income.

For somebody, like me, who doesn't know how mutual funds really works, taking one step forward was really breathtaking. So I took a deep breath and opened my first mutual fund account with Sun Life FinancialAs of the midst of 2008, Sun Life was one of the top performing mutual fund companies. The minimum initial subscription then was only 10,000 pesos. The NAVPS, Net Asset Value Per Share, was only 2.0230.

As per wikipedia, the worst financial crisis happened in 2008 also known as the Global Financial Crisis. It resulted in the threat of total collapse of large financial institutions, the bailout of banks by national governments, and downturns in stock markets around the world. In short, the financial market is down. As per many financial advisers, that's the best time to invest. The idea is to buy low and sell high. You invest when the market is low and and sell your investments when the market high. Good timing, right?

In early 2009, I opened another mutual fund account with ATR Kimeng's The Mutual Fund Company of the Philippines, Inc. The minimum initial subscription then was only 5,000 pesos (As of this writing, it is now 10,000 pesos). It is also one of the top performing mutual fund companies. I have also opened a balanced fund account with Optima fund because my Auntie is an agent and offered it to us. After those investments, I stopped putting in money and settled with their minimum subscriptions and watched how much our money can grow.

In 2011, I checked my accounts and I was surprised that the market value of my investments already doubled. I have increased my investment with ATR Kimeng as soon as I had an extra money.

In the second quarter of 2012, when we started attending The Feast in PICC being Bo Sanchez as the speaker and preacher, he shared how he grows his money so he'd be able to help the poor. He talked about how ordinary people can invest in the stock market. Wow! "Stock Market". Big word! He mentioned about his book My Maid Invests in the Stock Market... And Why You Should, Too! This book talks about how a small portion of your income can be invested in the stock market thru Citiseconline(COL).

Citiseconline(COL) have this Easy Investment Program (EIP) where in you can start with only 5,000 pesos. COL EIP gives investors a simple and more convenient way of investing in the stock market regardless of age, income, or experience.

As per this book, there are four rules to follow:
Rule #1: Invest small amounts
Rule #2: Invest even when there's a crisis
Rule #3: Invest only in giants
Rule #4: Invest in many giants

I opened an EIP account and regularly added an investment. At first, I strictly follow these rules. Through time, I've learn more about the technical terms and timing in the stock market with my husband, my sister and my friends who also got involved in the stock market because of me. At least I'm not alone on taking this path. As of this writing, I don't follow these rules anymore. I know the risks. I take responsibility of my actions. I tried to diversify my investments. I tried day trading. As of mid 2013, I have already realized my earnings when the market was high and started buying shares again when the market was low.

I'm still a work in progress. As I take this journey to financial freedom, I am learning new things along the way. Sometimes, it's worth taking some risk. If you stumble, then learn from the experience.

I hope to inspire you with my journey so that when I become rich someday, you'd also be rich too. Let us help the world prosper especially the Philippines, contribute in the world market, use our God-given talent and be a blessing to others.

Cheers!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Road to Financial Literacy

When I was a child, I always tell God that I don't want to be rich someday. I don't want a big house. I don't want to win a lottery even if my parents sometimes bet on a 6/49 draw hoping that we'd be a millionaire someday. Because when I was a kid I have this impression that when you have all these money and big houses there's always something at stake... maybe a broken family or one of my family's life. I love them so much that I'd rather be poor than lose one of them.

I grew up as a happy child. My parents are hard working. My Papa was an OFW and a Seaman. My Mama was (and still) a businesswoman. We were one of the marginalized families who worked hard so that we can eat and go to school. Even when I already enter the workforce and have my own family, I still have that belief in life. I don't want to be rich and I don't want big houses and I don't want lots of cars. Because you can only serve one master and that is not money, but God.

A simple life is all I want.

As my life went through some challenges, my daughter had undergone series of operations, we were really financially down. We were forced to loan from different banks and establishments to pay for the hospital bills, medicines and credit cards and to cope with our everyday expenses. For 8 years of working hard, all we did was to pay for those debts. But I know God was always there to provide for us. He never went on vacation even for a single moment. He guided us how to get by.

At one point, I had this urge that I wanted to help my parents, financially. I have a good job and a good pay. They're getting old. So I wanted them to stop working, relax and enjoy life. I was saddened by the fact that I really can't do that because I have my own financial struggle. I have my kid who needed a medical maintenance. That's the time I realized that I needed to do something about it. But I don't know where to start.

God shed light on me one day and while searching the Internet on how to get out of debt, I stumbled upon a topic that I have to be financially literate so I can be financially free. I realized that I wanted a life free of debts. I wanted a good cash flow so I can help others, my parents, my siblings and other people who needed help, financially.

I came across this good book of Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad (2000). After reading the book, that's the time I realized that I don't want to get old being poor like his poor dad and that I can be financially free and wealthy like his rich dad.

I also came across this book of Bo Sanchez, 8 Secrets Of The Truly Rich: What the Rich Know That the Poor Don’t Know (2007), and realized that it is ok to be rich so that I can help others and that God wanted me to be wealthy so He can use me to help His church spread the Good News and be a blessing to others.

Wow! This changes my life and beliefs. Yeah, maybe I can be rich and still live a life according to God's will. From then on, I started reading about the things that teachers don't teach us in school, financial literacy. So I educated myself by reading forums, articles, blogs and books. There are lots of resources available, we just have to be aware of it.

Let us all be financially literate so we can be financially free. :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sleepwalker

I'm a sleepwalker when I was a kid but it never occurred again until February last year (2012).

Here's how it happened.

It was one weekend after a stressful weekdays at work. Our helper woke me up so I could join them at breakfast. She went inside our room and saw me got up and sat beside the bed. My eyes were open but I was just staring at her. She thought I was joking around or not in the mood to talk so she left. After, like, two minutes they heard a big blag sound in the room. Then they saw me about five steps from our bed and lying on the floor. They asked me of what happened and I was gaining a little consciousness at that time. I'm still clueless of what's happening but my head hurts. I was holding my head and they helped me get up then I checked my hand and I saw blood! Gosh! I hit my head on our computer table. Good thing there's no have sharp edges. So after breakfast, we decided to go to the hospital to have it checked. I had a 1cm cut and they just applied a skin glue. The doctors asked me to have a ct scan to check if there are blood clots but I refused to have one coz I feel fine. So they send me home with a signed waiver that I refused to do further check ups. I was under observation for weeks. They said that I have to go back to the hospital when I experienced symptoms like a sudden mood change, blurred eyesight, headaches and things like that.

It's been more than a year now and I still feel fine so I guess I'm okie eh? :-)

Going back when I was a kid, I remembered what my sisters said about my sleepwalking incidents. There are times that I was getting off our double-decker bed without using the ladder. There are also times that I was talking to them but they couldn't grasp what I'm saying. My husband also told me there are times when they tried to wake me up, I just open my eyes, looking blank, answer back and go back to sleep. I've read that there are lots of incidents related to sleepwalking. I don't wanna wake up in the middle of a highway driving. Scary, right?

Sleepwalking symptoms: having blank look on face, disoriented, sitting up and appearing awake, walking during sleep, talking nonsense. Read more about sleepwalking.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Revamping My Journal

Wew! It's been a while since the last time I posted on my Journal. I've been quite busy with other area's of my life. I missed blogging. I missed writing about my life's journal. I missed writing about how blessed I am. There have been more ups and downs for the past year but I'll try to make it up and share those that most impacted my life. ^_^

Friday, February 3, 2012

Spine Surgery for Andrea


After having a sensible conversation with an orthopedic doctor yesterday, we realized that Andrea really needs a spine surgery the soonest possible time. This is to keep her lungs and heart from being compromised and to prevent further complications as she grows. However, the doctor explained to us that this is a very high risk procedure and anything can happen. We need to be ready physically, financially, emotionally and spiritually. Andrea needs to be assessed if she can endure the whole procedure. For us, we need raise more than half a million for the operation and be strong for her. I know God loves us so much. Everything is according to His plan. I know He will provide. We need all the support we can get from our family and friends. Please please please … Prayers are still the best. Please pray for us.

Mama Mary, Please continue to embrace us with your love and graces.

Lord God, Papa Jesus, Holy Spirit, Let Your will be done. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Being Happy Beyond Imperfections

"Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections." 

I sometimes consider my life as being perfect especially when I'm happy. But in reality, everything stays the same. For me, a perfect world is just a state of mind. It is just how you see things and how you deal with them. It is a life decision. Being happy is believing that God is always in control and that everything is well planned and everything have its special purpose.

Stay happy everyone! :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Heartbreaking Truth


When we thought life is too perfect for us, something will occur. Then we will realize that nothing's perfect, that life is full of tribulations. And we start asking questions like why? Sometimes, we know the answer but we just can't accept the fact that it is really happening. Yeah, reality bites. And it can break you into pieces. But God is always there to help us pick up those pieces.

One mistake doesn't make everything wrong, right? Forgiveness can heal an anguished heart though it would take some time.

I pray to God that He mend those broken hearts and ask for His guidance. May He embrace us with unconditional love.