2016 Week 12 Recap: Holy Week Break

March 21-27, 2016

I hope you all had a meaningful Holy Week.

Work

I had two days of work last week since I took the day off on March 23. We are struggling with debugging some reports because we have restricted access to the vendor’s server and we are highly dependent on our US counterpart. I feel helpless and frustrated until now especially every time I receive replies to my emails saying that they can’t quite get what I mean by so and so. Hay. But work is work and so we have to continue finding a way to work best even with a lot of restrictions.

Birthday

I had a great birthday and I am thankful for another year. I was able to accomplish all that I’ve planned for that day. More details here.

Holy Week Break

After a birthday dinner on Wednesday, I went home to my brother’s place because it was more accessible and safer especially at night. I also spent most of Thursday at my brother’s place. My sister-in-law’s cousin was generous enough and let us to use their car so my brother and his family accompanied me home. Thankful for that because it was easier to run errands (aka buy paint and groceries) and we were able to avoid the downtown traffic hehe. Thanks, kuya. Plus, my nephew had the chance to light candles for his lolo and lola.

On Good Friday, my younger brother and I worked on the gates and railing. We painted it with primer just to control the rust. Just a temporary solution in the meantime that I’m still undecided what color use for the exterior of the house, plus of course the budget is still elusive hehehe.

As there was still daylight, I gathered the weeds that I removed from the backyard last December and placed them all together in one area. I’ll wait for these to decompose and use it for my flower pots.

On Saturday, my tita, tito, brother + kid, cousin +kid visited three sick relatives, two of which are my mother’s brothers and the other one is my mother’s first cousin (our tita) whom she was close to when she was still alive. Two out of three were thinking maybe it was already their time to go hehehe. I suspected that of my uncle, since he’s now the same age when my mom died and he’s next to my mom by birth order. Hay gusto kong batukan mga matatanda. No, they should not be thinking of those things even if they go there eventually. Kanya-kanyang timeline naman yan. Besides, I am not yet ready to face another death in the family. Our tita looks older now as compared to the last time I saw her but still talkative. She said she’ll wait for my wedding and volunteered to walk me down the aisle since she’s not that optimistic anymore to do that for her own daughter because it looks like my cousin does not have the plans of tying the knot soon. Nakaka-pressure naman. Wala pa nga yun sa radar namin (or baka ako lang pala hehehe). Anyway, we’ll see. Pwede bang magfocus na lang po kayo sa pagpapagaling muna?

After the visits, my tita, tito and I attended the Easter vigil mass.

On Sunday, I requested the family to go on a picnic at Burnham. I invited my tita’s family and my cousins’ kids, whoever would like to come. I just want the kids to bond and play and just be kids. It is important for me that they grow up knowing each other so that when they grow old, I hope that they will also be each other’s support system. It’s also my birthday treat to them. Nothing fancy. Rice was cooked at home, and we just bought 2 viands from Good Taste (one of the famous and more affordable restaurants in Baguio), and ice cream. Panulak? Tubig lang hahaha. Tipid mode eh :p.

HolyWeek2016

It was bye Baguio in the evening and back in your arms, Manila at around 2 AM of March 28.

I hope you all had a great week. Cheers to another great week ahead.

It’s my birthday, it’s my birthday 😀🎤🎼🎸

StrawberryShortcake

Strawberry shortcake!

Happy birthday to me!!! 37 years! Thank Lord for the gift of life. I am amazed by Your unconditional love, outpouring blessings and project management style. The best! There is nothing more to say than thank you. I am forever grateful.

So I was allowed to take a leave so uwi na agad! Got here around 6:30 AM. Only 4 hours for the whole trip. Saya-saya. First order of the day was to buy return ticket on Easter Sunday. After that, went to Baguio Cathedral for mass. I am now having breakfast at Vizco’s (yes, writing this here). Corned beef meal plus of course I bought myself a slice of strawberry shortcake hehe. Yum!

I’ll drop by a tailoring shop for alterations of some pants and then drop by MOFAMCO (Mothers and Family Multi-Purpose Cooperative) to apply for membership. I hope that would be quick because sleep is knocking again hehe.

Will go home after that errand to catch some sleep and play with nephew. I’m hoping for dinner with the BF tonight to at least celebrate our birthdays together (his will be tomorrow) but let’s see about that. Keeping it as low key as possible since it’s the Holy Week.

Ok, time to dig in to the cake!

Have a blessed and meaningful Holy Week, everyone.

Update: The last in my itinerary pushed through as well. Bitin pero salamat pa rin at natuloy! 🙂 Happy birthay, indeed! Salamat sa Diyos.

2016 Week 11 Recap: Eating Galore

March 14-20, 2016

Work

So, while we were busy closing all the issues on a major project so that we can move on to the next stage, a teammate accidentally discovered that our system is running out of employee numbers in the 6 series. End result if we don’t fix this? Some will not be paid. While there is always the option to go manual, it’s complicated and will have more room for human errors when you’re in a BPO where operations is 24 hours. Given this, we need to implement the fix in one month or less…or else….hahaha. Kaya ‘to. Join forces lang at kulit kulit lang sa mga testers para bilisan nila.

On another note, the March birthday celebrants and those newly hired (for their first blood) treated the team to buffet dinner at Don Day. Busog lusog for everyone hehehe.

Living Quarters

Unfortunately, the pechay I planted did not survive sniff sniff sniff :(. Maybe it’s the weather and my limited location. My aunt said it would have been better if they get the morning sunshine. Mine gets the afternoon sunshine eh. The soil may be another factor. Not too fertile. I’ll make some compost first this summer so that it gets fertilized. I’ll try to plant again during the rainy season when the heat is more forgiving.

Weekend

We were supposed to visit Pinto Museum but had to postpone for some other time. My friend is going through a rough time and does not feel like going out. So, instead, I just treated her to a buffet dinner at Seven Corners at Crown Plaza Manila Galleria. Lamon pa more hehehe. Plus, there’s a 50% off on your birth month if you pay using your BDO credit card. But I think that’s just if there are 2 of you eating. It’s a different discount (I think) if there’s 3 or more. The information is in BDO’s site.

It’s Palm Sunday today, the official start of the Holy Week. Just attended the mass this morning.

PalmSunday

NatioalFoodFairDropped by SM Megamall for some errands. Also checked out the National Food Fair at the Mega Trade Hall. All regions in the entire country are represented. Most stalls have free taste hehehe. It’s always good to see entrepreneurs showcase their products. I’m amazed at their entrepreneurial skills for them to be able to come up with a unique product that can be showcased in events such as this. I always wonder where my entrepreneurial sense is every time I see events such as this hehe. Hopefully, the DTI do these types of things more frequently. Or maybe they do, I’m just not updated.

I also wanted to buy some of the products but I had to control myself because I’ll be out most days of next week so I’ll be turning off my ref.

That’s it pansit! I’m excited to go home this Holy Week. Time to bond again with the nieces. No outing. Maybe just a picnic at Burnham on Easter Sunday but we’ll see. I’ll just stay home for the rest of the break.

Got to go for now. I’m watching he PiliPinas Debates 2016 via live streaming. It’s entertaining but I also cringe sometimes at some of the answers.

I hope you all had a great week. Cheers to another great week ahead.

Dear Daddy #2

Happy birthday in heaven, Daddy! If you were still here, it would have been your 78th. Parang ang weird din na binabati pa rin kita ng happy birthday, no? Hehe. Pero weird or not, babatihin pa rin kita. Ikinain na rin kita ng Japanese cheesecake kanina. At kagabi rin, kumain din kami ni Glo para i-celebrate ang birthdays natin. Since wala ka na, ako na lang kakain para sa ‘yo hahaha! Lamon pa more.

If you are still here, party party sana sa bahay, malamang sa Easter Sunday no? Pero pwede rin namang kami-kami lang hehe. Kayo kasi eh, nang-iwan agad. Pero malaman pa hehe.

Happy birthday uli! I miss you and Mama. Hi na lang sa kanya. Ibagam ah ta baka umapos manen hehe.

Personal Finance: Financial Seminar by BDO

BDOFinancialWellnessSeminarI’ve shared about BDO’s seminar previously. Lucky that a friend and I got seats so off we went last Saturday to attend.

The speaker was Sir Efren Ll. Cruz, a registered financial planner, personal finance coach, and a bestselling author. I have read his book entitled “Pwede Na! The Complete Pinoy Guide to Personal Finance”. I loved his book because it was very easy to read and understand so somehow, his name was kept somewhere in my memory. I have also heard of him from a colleague when she shared that she and her husband availed of his service as a financial planner. My friend’s friend and his husband also got him as their financial planner.

The seminar’s title was “How to Break The Rules of Thumb in Personal Finance”. Here are some of the things I was able to take note of.

100 minus age Rule

According to this rule, the difference when you subtract your age from 100 should be the percentage of your portfolio that is invested in the stock market. However, it is still case to case. For people who just started saving for their retirement few years before they retire, they should be more aggressive in their investments.

Diversification Rule

As a rule of thumb, we must diversify but we also need to ensure that we don’t over-diversify because in doing so, we may lose our chances of higher gains. According to Sir Efren, stock performance is 92% based on the market performance, 5% by the fund manager, 2% timing and 1% sheer luck.

Buy Low, Sell High

This is a little bit tricky because we only know when it is the lowest price or the highest price after the fact. The brain needs something to compare it to before it can conclude that it’s the lowest or the highest.

His recommendation is to set a target and look for stocks that can return your target then sell when your target is met. Looking for stocks entails a lot of studying and analysis, he says.

20:20 Retirement Rule

The rule states that if you will retire for 20 years, you should start preparing for your retirement 20 years prior your target retirement age.

On the contrary, we should start planning for our retirement as early as we can so that we can take advantage of time and also the years that we don’t have much responsibilities and bills to pay yet. At 20 years prior target retirement age, you may already have started a family so there are more expenses to pay and saving for retirement may become the least priority. So it’s better to start as early as you can.

Buy Your Own Home Instead of Renting

While there are more affordable properties in the market now, you should really assess first if you are ready to transition to home ownership. You should consider all additional costs that it entails. If you think you are ready, then go ahead. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with renting while you are saving up for the budget needed for home ownership.

After presenting the above rules, his next question was, “Are you all S.E.T?” where SET was used as an acronym for:

S – size of fund
E – expertise in investing
T – time available in investing

For us to be successful direct investors, we need to have a sizable fund, we need to be experts in investing and to be an experts, it is a full time job, and we should have the time to learn the ropes, do a lot of research, and come up with our own investing strategies.

However, most of us are not really S.E.T. So his recommendation was to hire professionals to do the investing for us. In doing so, we take advantage of the skills of the fund managers for a minimal fee. If we go this route, we can choose from Mutual Funds (MFs, offered by Mutual Fund companies), Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITFs, offered by the Trust arm of banks), or VULs (offered by insurance companies). I won’t elaborate on each of the options as there are a lot of resources available online for the differences of the 3 and which companies offer what.

His parting lines were:

  • Focus on the life events you want to achieve, not the money.
  • Strongest currency is FAITH.

A speaker from BDO was next and he presented the available UITF options that their bank offers.

Personal note:
Others may or may not agree and that’s fine. After all, personal finance is still really just that…PERSONAL. As for me, I am thankful for opportunities such as this. Nothing beats learning for free. With J.Co donuts and coffee for snacks pa. San ka pa. Thanks, BDO! 🙂

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