Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Extending Help to Typhoon Victims

Its been days that I have been hearing and watching disheartening news about the calamity that hit Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and other parts of Mindanao.   The scene reminds me of the Ondoy disaster that hit Metro Manila in 2009.  It was on the night of December 16, 2011 when typhoon Sendong (with international name Washi) affected the areas with heavy rainfall causing massive floods.  As of this writing, the death toll has reached more than 700 and several hundred more were missing.  Based on the report from Philippine Red Cross, drowning was the main cause of death.  Raging floodwater cascaded from mountains that inundated rivers and ravaged the homes of the residents.  News evidently showed illegal logging activities as one of the culprit in this flash floods as dead bodies were pulled underneath mud and piles of logs.  We have been taught how important trees are, that without enough trees to hold the water from the mountains, there is really a very high risk of flash floods.   An unusually heavy rainfall was also recorded which could be attributed to the effects of climate change.  It is so sad that we have to go through another calamity like this one, another lesson we have to learn the hard way.  I wonder if we really learn from it all or if we really take the lesson by heart.

The damage has already been done and worthless deaths have already been included in the statistics, all we could do for now is to help those who are affected by this disaster.  While thinking of the best way to help them,  I  received an advisory from my mobile network on how Globe subscribers can extend their help.   Globe subscribers can give donation to the victims of typhoon Sendong via Red  Cross.  Just text RED amount  to 2899. The amount can be in 5, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 and 1000.  Smart subscribers can also donate, text RED amount and send to  4143.  The amount can be in 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 and 1000 pesos.   

If you are not a Globe or Smart subscriber, you can send your donations to Philippine Red Cross' through online means via Paypal, Greenpeso, Bancnet and GCash.  There are also bank accounts where you can deposit your donations. You can refer to the Philippine Red Cross website for more information on how you can donate for the victims of typhoon Sendong, visit http://www.redcross.org.ph/donatenow.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Marvelous Trip to Underground River

Time check: 2:35 AM…the frap kept me awake until this time.  Instead of counting sheep, I settled on blogging my way to sleep.  I surf first about the result of the New Seven Wonders to see if our very own Puerto Princesa Underground River made it to the list.  The result was announced last November 11, 2011 (11/11/11)  Wow! How great it is to know that it was included in the “provisional list” (one vote from me \(*_*)/).  The provisional list was arranged alphabetically so it means there was no significant order.  The final ranking has not been revealed yet as it will be announced in the first part of 2012. 

That news brought me back to my Underground River experience with one of my best buddies Cecil way back in 2008.  That time, the voting for the elimination round for the New7Wonders was ongoing and the Underground River already made it to the semifinals.  When we went to Puerto Princesa, a tour to Underground River was not in our itinerary but through the advice and goodness of great people we met there who offered to provide us a free tour to the site as they said that it was a very rare and precious chance to visit one of the would-be seven wonders, it was an opportunity we could not resist. We were told that the road trip would be more than 50km from the city proper to Sabang pier thus we need to leave early at 6AM the following day to be ahead of the throng of other tourists.  They already made a prearranged tour for us so as to avoid the hassles of waiting for many hours (they did not want us to waste much time waiting for a boat ride since we also have other places to visit in Puerto Princesa and we need to leave early the next morning).

On the day of our trip, there was typhoon in Puerto Princesa but our adventurous attitude was more profound than our fear of being stranded in the midst of the storm.

It was great that the road was paved that made our three-hour road trip more bearable. Halfway through, while traversing the mountainous road and our vehicle beaten with gusty wind of 150 kph, Ces and I were praying for better weather and were being optimistic.  Our companion told us that if there would be no motor banca available to take us to the site due to the bad weather, we would be traversing what they call as the “monkey trail”.  It is an alternative route to get to the Underground River but one has to walk about 1-2 hours to get there.  It sounded more exciting but we didn’t think we could take the chance to push our luck further at a stormy weather.

It was an answered prayer that when we arrived at Sabang pier, the weather was clearer and there were motorized outrigger boat to take us to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park. 

What was more unbelievable was that the sea was calm despite the typhoon. The boat ride was one superb experience as we get to see the picturesque beauty of Palawan.  It took us about twenty minutes to get to the park’s entrance.

Then we walked the wooden trail

until we arrived at the site where other tourists were waiting for their turn to get inside the cave.  As it would be another boat ride, we were told to put on appropriate clothing gears first, a hard hat and a life vest which were mandatory to be worn by every passenger.

We had an orientation while waiting for our turn and took pictures of almost every spot.  The guides told us about what to do and not what to do inside the cave. 

So off we went inside the world-famous Underground River…

it was too dark inside the cave and the only light we had were those on our hard hats.  We were greeted with “Good Evening” by American tourists on another boat we met along the way.
I just can’t explain the feeling I had while inside the cave.  It was more like I was taken inside an unknown dimension.  Our boatman explained every detail of the rock formations we encountered, the stalactites and stalagmites, and even scientific details on acidity factors affecting the formations of those rocks.  Whew…I was amazed of all the knowledge he imparted to us that reminded me of geology in high school.
water dripping...one reason we need something to protect our heads
glossy rocks
my cam caught a bird creature..obviously not a bat which is aplenty inside. But this one, I can't tell what exactly it was
just one of those astounding rock formations
Refuted to be the longest navigable underground river in the world, the overall trip took us almost an hour.   

Cecil and I were too thankful that we were given the opportunity to visit one of the seven wonders.  An amazing design of nature that every Filipino should truly be proud of.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Nuffnang Story

My first encounter with Nuffnang:
It was in December 2009 when my husband and I thought of a family vacation abroad.  The first country we had in mind was Singapore since we heard a lot of interesting places there that our kids would enjoy.  I told my husband that I would research first over the internet all about Singapore before we decide on our planned trip.  I googled “Singapore experience” that returned me “Indulge in the Uniquely Singapore Experience” from +flaircandy website to be the first on the list.  I clicked on that link, too excited to see what it was all about.  I read each post from that website that pertains to Singapore until I was taken to a post with pictures of beautiful young ladies in their formal attire.  In the picture was the title “Nuffnang Blog Awards 2009”; that was my very first encounter with +Nuffnang.  Curiosity landed me on the pages of Nuffnang just to see more about the blog awards.  Although I have been blogging since the time, I guess, when the word “blog” has not been widely used yet, I only do it all for the love of writing.  After I saw that post from Hannah, I learned that there were more exciting things in blogging than just expressing one’s thought.  Still with Singapore in my mind, I researched more and it took me to Adaphobic and  Micamyx pages.
Merely looking at the photographs from their websites, one could tell that they were all together in that blog awards night.  Wow!!! These pretty young women surely have something in common that took them to what appeared to be a prestigious awarding ceremony.  Well, aside from being active and talented bloggers, they all ran Nuffnang ads on their websites.

Getting to know more about Nuffnang:

So while reading about Singapore, I also got interested about “Nuffnang”.  The name definitely sounded so foreign and I didn’t have the slightest idea what was the meaning of it.   I came back to its site at www.nuffnang.com.ph and there I learned that it’s a “real cool” advertising community for bloggers.   As more and more exciting facts about Nuffnang unveiled right before my eyes, I became eager to be a part of that progressive community. I officially became a member of Nuffnang in February 2010 and from then on, my once dull blog life has never been the same.  Nuffnang changed me and my site in more ways than one.

What I gained from Nuffnang:
First, Nuffnang made me realize that I am not a lousy writer after all.  As a matter of fact, I was selected as finalist in the very first blogging contest I participated in.  I learned of the contest through Nuffnang that was the Pantene-sponsored “I Commit to Change” program.  Although I did not win the grand prize, simply being selected as finalist was a rewarding experience, indeed! 

Second, Nuffnang let me share some pieces of the good life with family and friends.  I had the chance to win a free ticket to a movie screening that I shared with a very close friend.  I was also invited to special events but sadly, I regret that I failed to attend those as I got a very demanding 8-5 job.  Sometimes I have this thought of bidding farewell to my regular job and decide to become a full-time blogger and be in the loop of every events in the metro.  That could be an exciting experience, I guess.  Then I also received free products, a dozen Johnson's baby bedtime soap bars
which I shared with my cousins and my in-laws. 
Receiving that package was too memorable and surprising that I even stored its LBC pack as souvenir.

Third, Nuffnang expanded my horizon because it introduced me to new friends and nice people here in the country and even in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.  Although I only meet these people online, their presence made me a better person as I get to learn more about their culture through their blogs. I was too thankful for meeting them that I even dedicated one of my poems to these people that goes like this;

         To all those people I only know by name
             With whom I swapped letters roughly each day
             Each common task we accomplished together
             Brought relief or achievement, if ever

              Thanks for the friendship that developed out of it
             Genuine support and respect was a gift
             Will we see each other? I never know.
             Still I hope good relations will grow.

(You can read the whole poem here)
Fourth, Nuffnang taught me perseverance.  I always remind myself of that in every contest that Nuffnang opens for its members. Just imagine to be more than 70th in the list with only 70 members to be selected for the win. (*_*)

Even if everyone has an equal opportunity for the prize, with their contests, you can only be steadfast or be left out.  And it helped that I also learned the virtue of accepting defeat.  This is where I have proven to be true the infamous line “try and try until you succeed”.  Like I said, I also got the chance to win prizes sometimes. 

Fifth, Nuffnang opened a chance for me to be paid for my hard work. Although I haven’t taken this too seriously yet, (as I wasn’t as active as Hannah, Ada or Mica) but learning from other Nuffnangers who already received a huge paycheck, it was truly a career milestone.  Well, well, well…that I still have to see so I resolve to be more active in blogging and start receiving that hefty figure paycheck.

What I look forward to as a Nuffnanger:

Come 16 December 2011, 500 bloggers from around the Asia-Pacific region will flock to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2011 in Putrajaya Marriott. The Award aims to not only honour the region's best bloggers, but also to bring together blogger communities from across Asia-Pacific. The Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards is made possible by Volkswagen Malaysia and Putrajaya Marriott.
I admit that I was enticed to become a member of Nuffnang honestly because of the great opportunity it offers.  Aside from the freebies and the opportunity to earn, I also aspire to spend memorable moments with bloggers whom I admire.  This event is an extraordinary chance to talk and dine with those blogger friends I meet online and a rare opportunity to meet the finest and the best people in the blogosphere.  

Like those bloggers Hannah, Ada and Mica who introduced me to Nuffnang, I also dream of sharing my own story of an enriching and memorable experience, if I would be lucky to attend the big event at a five-star Marriott Hotel.  I also wish to take my readers to fascinating places in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia through my blog, to also help them find factual and interesting information about its people, culture and its community.  If that happens, only then can I say that I am a certified "Nuffnanger".   

Know more about the Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards 2011 here.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lingering Thoughts About Homecoming

“Please come to the meeting…., it would be for just some hours.  Spare a little of your time for our homecoming”, thus said my friend Djhoanna when I chanced upon her on my way to work.  Incidentally, it’s been over four months now since I received an event invitation from Facebook for our high school batch’s homecoming.   Mheng started it all when she called for people among our batch who were willing to organize the event.  Arc, Armie, William, Rajah, Bootz, Roy, Roselle and the others were up to the very demanding tasks of organizing a big event such as this.  I had mixed reaction of excitement and hesitation…. I admit that the feeling of indecision was more profound than my excitement to be a part of this social gathering.   I might sound reclusive but that was no match for Djhoanna’s prod.  That made me decide to take part in the 4th monthly meeting but still with second thoughts inside my head.   

The night before our meeting, I was still contemplating whether I should attend or not.  Maybe just like the others, I was too preoccupied with things I consider more important.  Or maybe, there were feelings of discomfort that I might fail to recognize friends from twenty years ago or the awkward sense of being out of place or maybe...reopening closed chapters of our lives.  As I was reading Paulo Coelho’s Like a Flowing River, it seemed to dissolve my uncertainty and I would like to quote a line from that book “…they put things off, and fail to notice important moments….”  

Logically, ignoring Mheng’s invitation is much like putting things off thus we miss on rare chances such as gaining new friends and meeting old ones.  High school friends… we spent four years of our exciting teenage lives with them.  We even spent more of our waking hours with them or knew more of us than our parents or brothers and sisters during those times.  We laughed and cried with them, planned our life together with them and even made naughty and immature decisions with them.   In essence, we had grown with them together and separately.  

When I get to the part of that book about working and retiring and about the difference of passing and living through life, I thought not only of my long-lost friends but of our mentors.  Those very special people, who in one way or the other, had been part of who we are today.  With that reflection was the attempt to connect the present from the past and a lingering question of their existence.  That awakened the eagerness to see those who still survive through times.  To once again build new memories with them and thank them because we might not have that moment if we put off this chance.

After twenty long years....more important than awkwardness, hesitation and issues from our past is the value of friendship, of sharing our blessings with others and of mending our differences because we are, after all, mature and grown up people now.   

~ to be continued... 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Book Review: Tropical Gardens of the Philippines

Just got an email from McDonalds thru Nuffnang and part of it says..."A blank page…or for your case, a blank post is probably one of the most daunting things to face." Ha Ha, right....
More than a month without any post in this blog… it’s funny that it took me an hour before I could even think of my starting words. Skills have waned without practice, I guess. Anyway, I really missed blogging so I am back!

My writing habit seems to be in remission the past months. It wasn’t because I have nothing to share or I totally lost interest in writing. There were just other important matters that I needed to focus on. Actually, it was not just blogging that I missed, I also couldn’t find enough time for my emerald beauties in my small garden. Before, I used to spend my weekends trimming and pruning my plants, inspecting every pot with so much TLC. You could be wondering…where have all my time gone? Actually I was not happily singing to the tune of Bruno Mars’ “Lazy Song”. Even if I sometimes don’t feel like doing anything and I want to lounge in my bed all day long, mommies need to be up and going. Also, we have been visiting our family doctor more frequently these past months that she became more of a family member and the hospital more of a home. We have been rough sailing through June and July but we are thankful we overcame that part and our boat was kept afloat.

The Bohol Bee Farm, also has beautiful garden, you can even eat the flowers. ;-)
Last week, my interest in gardening was once again awakened by one of my great mentors. Ms. Tita excitedly showed me a book she found on sale at National Bookstore (NBS) as she knows that we share the same passion for gardening. 

It is titled Tropical Gardens of the Philippines by Lily Gamboa O’Boyle and Elizabeth V. Reyes. Actually, merely looking at the photographs by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni in every pages of the book instantly convinced me that I also wanted one. And it was not just gardening that I became reacquainted but also my love for photography. But too bad that my cam was damaged and looks like it is asking for replacement. So photography is set aside for now until the time I save enough money to buy a new one. So going back to the book, Ms. Tita gladly lent the book for me to show it to my mom. My mom liked it also that we found ourselves in NBS buying our own copy. We also got it at 20% discounted price of 1560. It was a reasonable price for all the great gardening ideas and inspiring photographs that we could get from it.  By the way, National Bookstore is offering up to 75% price cut on selected books until August 21, 2011.

The book features different kinds of gardens in privately-owned homes in the Philippines. I especially loved Flor’s Healing Garden on page 205 and the Adam’s Herb Garden on page 211 where it shows, what else, but a garden of medicinal plants and edible herbs. There are 40 other types of gardens that had me dreaming, or if ever luck allows me, of owning one like it. You can see there a koi pond garden, or one that is of earth and stone or a pine forest garden.  It will also show you a rooftop garden, one with waterfall, a mountain garden, a palm lovers' garden, a bamboo farm and even a bonsai garden. So while my spectacular garden is still far away from conception and I am still thinking on the kind of garden i want for myself, maybe I could just lend a helping hand to my dad in landscaping his yard borrowing ideas from this book.

The 224 pages book left me admiring those people who have that amazing fondness for gardening with the likes of Patis Tesoro, Tessa Prieto Valdes, the Lhuillier, Aboitiz and Cojuangco and the less famous people who have made this earth looks more like a very happy place.                              

Friday, June 3, 2011

What Fish Kill Could Mean To Us

Rainy season is here again and yet the hot and humid weather still lingers on.  Temperature rising at 34-37 degrees centigrade, too hot, indeed!  The hot air somewhat gives us a weird feeling like we are running out of fresh air.  Last week, fish kill happened in Batangas province costing millions of pesos.  Based on investigation aside from the changing climate, it was also because fish pens were filled to capacity thus resulting to oxygen-deficient water.  

Sometimes I just can't help to feel uneasy when it crosses my mind if humankind would suffer the same fate.  Just imagine billions of people on this planet struggling for oxygen.  There are more people exhaling carbon dioxide and less than enough trees giving off oxygen for all inhabitants of this earth, so what more could we expect?  For this country, I guess it is just high time that our officials think more seriously of the RH Bill, improve it to come up with a better way to address the problem on population explosion.  And not only that, the government should be proactive enough to implement the International Year of the Forest campaign by the United Nations.   This is “to raise awareness and strengthen the sustainable forest management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generation”.

“According to the World Bank, deforestation accounts for up to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming,…  Forests provide habitats about two-thirds of all species on earth, and that deforestation of closed tropical rainforest could account for biodiversity loss of as many as 100 species a day”.

Biodiversity loss… if we fail to avert it, how long could we last?    

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book Review: Little Women

Little Women (Illustrated Junior Library)
Today, the girls and I went to the bookstore after their Saturday class.  I resolved to have a visit there to buy books to entice them into reading.   I was told by their teacher that it is a good practice to accompany the kids in the store and have them look for books themselves.  Armed with a reading list which is a directory of suggested books for each grade level given to us by Ma’am Malou, off we went to Book Sale.  

Book Sale is a store for second-hand books. You can also buy back issues of magazines at discounted price.  The only problem is you cannot be sure to find the book that you are looking for since the books were not arranged as how you wished them to be.  It was quite a challenge since searching here was like hunting for hidden treasure.  So even if we have a reading list, we were not able to find the ones that we were looking for.  We ended up buying other quality books instead. 

We bought three books, “All About Aircraft and Flight”, “The Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian” and one of the timeless classics by Louisa May Alcott “Little Women”.  The three books only cost P270 (about $6) which, if we bought them new would cost us around $22, so it was a great buy, indeed!   

Just knowing that Little Women was one of the bestselling novels more than one hundred years ago made me interested to leaf through the pages.  I was caught by the story that I found myself reading it from cover to cover.  While reading this novel, it was like traveling through time in the 19th century. The story revolves around the conflicts in the family,  life and love of the four sisters and how they were able to face the challenges of their growing up years.   I especially liked Chapter 7 titled summer and dreams on how the author illustrated leisure time during those days.  A heartbreaking part at Chapter 23 in “all alone” was the dark days for Jo and I wanted to quote one of those lines that was trapped in my mind  “I didn’t value him half enough when I had him”.  Sort of reminding me to value the person who gives me importance.  And yes, I really should be doing that and be thankful that I have with me today the person I especially love.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Get the Kids Into Summer Workshop at Museo Pambata

As I said, I am already planning for the kids' summer activity so this early I started searching for summer workshop where my kids can participate so I can already schedule the family's budget and our time.  I might consider this one from Museo Pambata since my daughter likes the art but of course I still need to seek her opinion as I don't want to play like "tiger mother" to her. Museo Pambata is an interactive museum for children located in Roxas Boulevard in Manila.  Glad to share them and promote this very worthwhile fun activity for the kids and the kids at heart.  

Classes for this year are as follows:

4-7 years old
April 5, 7, 12, 14, 16, 19, 26 & 28
(8 sessions)
9:00 am -11:30 am
Fee: P 4,000 *

8-14 years old
April 5, 7, 12, 14, 16, 19, 26 & 28
(8 sessions)
9:00 am -11:30 am
Fee: P4,500*

4-12 years old
April 5, 7, 12, 14, 16, 19, 20, 26, 27,28, 29
2:00-5:00 PM
(12 sessions)
Fee: P4,500

8-12 years old
April 8, 15, 29 & May 6
(4 sessions)
9:00-11:00 AM
Fee: P 3,500

May 20
8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Fee: P1,200

For children aged 3 to 7 years old and their parents
May 7, 14, 21, 28
10:00-11:30 AM
Fee: P4,500

Remembering Pizza-Making Workshop at Greenwich

It’s halfway past February and my kids were all busy reviewing for their final exams.  Some weeks more and it would be the end of another school year and the start of their summer vacation.  This early, we are already planning on summer activities that the kids can join in to make their vacation extra memorable.

Some summers ago, they enjoyed a pizza-making workshop by Greenwich in 2006.  They really had great fun although it was only for one day. We paid about P150 inclusive of all the materials and a free lunch for the participant.
all ready for their pizza making lesson
The activity started with the speaker giving the kids an orientation on what is in-store for them that day then they introduced themselves one by one.  They had games and prizes just like in a birthday party but of course, the main highlight of the program was pizza-making.  While the ingredients and other materials were being distributed, the speaker gave the kids the pointers on making great pizza.  Then the kids were guided through the kitchen when it was time to cook their pizza in the oven.  After that, the speaker announced that the kid’s works will be judged and the three who made great pizza will each win a prize.  My son won first prize for that!     

seriously taking the lesson by heart

guided by the staff

While I was browsing through their photos taken from that workshop, my daughter saw it also and asked me to have her join in same activity come school break.  That means I don’t need to persuade one of them to take summer workshop.  It’s about time to set aside a budget for that, have the cam ready and to search for worthwhile fun activities.  It would be great if Greenwich will have the same workshop for this year.            

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Financial Strategies for the New Year

Howdy everyone!   This is my first post for the year 2011, November was the last post I made last year which is more than a month of absence from the blogosphere.  Not planning on permanent absence though, it was only because I had to rearrange my priorities.  Felt I needed to unload and take some time off from doing and spending on things that I love.  There are really times when we have to stop a while so we can reflect sincerely on things that we should give more consideration to be able to move on.

Middle of last year when my house helper left…it was really too hard to let go an efficient maid, but there was nothing I could do to keep her since she was destined to face another chapter in her life.  We had difficulty finding a replacement with the same qualification as her but luckily the kids could at least get by on their own without a nanny so my husband and I had to agree on some terms about household chores.  In September, we were faced with more challenges when family members were down with illness one after the other. My son and daughters were sick and were confined at the hospital.  We were thankful that my son survived the deadly dengue and my daughter got well but inescapably that unpleasant event left us with unforeseen financial burden.  It was another realization for us that although we felt we were saving enough for emergencies and seem to come prepared for it, life would still turn out differently when you are already at it.   With that my husband and I needed to study well our financial position and learn more techniques in budgeting and financial forecasting.  So taking budget planning seriously we both agreed on the following strategies to recoup our losses:

1.    Cut down on expenses – virtue has it that one should live only within one’s means so if we do not have the money to spend for something, we must not be lured by those zero interest or pay later schemes that shops usually offer.  Or even if we do have the money but the purchase is not very essential, we must drop the idea at once.  We also agreed to downgrade our subscription with our telephone, internet as well as journal providers to free up some monthly bills.  We haven’t totally given them up though but only took advantage of the prepaid option which is a cheaper alternative.  That was also the reason why I very seldom went online as aside from the fact that we only use the internet when the kids need it for school (have to set an example of course), we also need to limit electricity consumption.  But since we have school children, we cannot totally give up those journal subscriptions, we only replaced them with equally informative but low-priced magazines instead.  

2.    Pay off interest-bearing loans - as those really pull our resources to the drain, what with more than a thousand in interest every month which could already be used for groceries or other essential things for the home.  Also, leaving those credit ballooned in amount could drown us in compound interest that will make it harder to rebound from debt. Essentially, paying off loans means hiatus from more borrowings.  Sounds too good to be true but nonetheless, we need to be firm about it lest we find ourselves with nothing but more bills to pay. But if borrowings would be impossible, we might as well consider refinancing of loans, we would just ensure that we do not loan with higher interest than our existing ones.

3.    Save now, spend later – So even if we are going to cut down on expenses and pay off loans, of course it doesn’t mean that we will take savings for granted.  We still need to set aside a portion of our income no matter how small it could be, that is putting into heart what I learned from Mr. Francisco Colayco’s book to pay ourselves first for all of our hard work and to still follow his equation to deduct first the savings from the income to payoff expenses and not the usual way of deducting expenses first from income and whatever left is the savings.  Very practical advice indeed but would require a lot of discipline.  As how my best friend puts it “another year, need to start to save again so there will be money to spend later”.  We need to follow her advice to keep ourselves from more financial worries.

I am optimistic that we would pass through the hurdle effectively and our life will still be happy just the same, after all, money is not everything.

If you have financial strategy that you have proven effective, we will be very pleased and grateful if you could share them with us.  You can just leave your message on the comment page.