Sunday, December 27, 2015

Book Review: The Big Ideas of Lee Kuan Yew

As I have said in my previous post that our family’s vacation in Singapore was not enough to understand Singapore’s way of life so I took home an essential book titled “The Big Ideas of Lee Kuan Yew” of the Straits Times Press edited by Shashi Jayakumar and Rahul Sagar.  The book has five parts where:

Part 1 is about the “Personal Reminiscences” of SR Nathan, a two-term President of Singapore and Heng Swee Keat who served as Principal Private Secretary to Lee Kuan Yew.  Both shared their personal unique experiences working with the Singapore’s great leader;

Part 2 explains about “Law and Politics” and the different views as regards the “Rule of Law”.  It provided explanation on Lee Kuan Yew’s basic approach to law, order and security, race and religion as well as international relations;

In Part 3 it tackles about Mr. Lee’s style of governance, his political will, about his pragmatic approach that made a big difference for Singapore that changed it from a third world to first world country.   It also explained how Singapore’s public service was transformed, how its public servants adopted a culture of excellence;

Part 4 contains Mr. Lee’s ideas on “Society and Economics” where it explained Singapore’s bilingual and multi-racial concepts.  It provided an insight on how language played an important role in governance and in transmitting values;

Part 5 is about “Foreign Affairs’ and his big ideas on small state survival.  It explained Mr. Lee’s thoughts and approach on how Singapore became relevant to the world.

The book not only provided an account of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s way of governance but also shared the experiences of those people who worked closely with this great leader.  As I read through the pages of this book, I was amazed of the details I uncovered specifically how Mr. Lee built Singapore the way it is now.  This made me admired more the people who put enormous effort in building one of the best countries to live in.  I cannot help but highlight Mr. Lee’s characteristics as described by the people who worked with him. Aside from being a very intelligent man, he is confident and consistent in whatever he wanted to achieve.  He is well known as a tough leader but one of his outstanding qualities that was revealed in this book is his being a “deeply thoughtful man”, his caring nature that in my own opinion not only moved those people close to him but his country as a whole.

So while I was reading this book, I cannot help but compare the qualities of our presidential aspirants to those qualities of Mr. Lee.  I was thinking if anyone of them has the making of a great leader that will put the Philippines at par with the best in the world or would we be electing somebody that will put our country in the shame/worst list for the longest time?  Kishore Mahbubani in the book’s introduction described five of his qualities as (1)”he is a deeply thoughtful man” (2) he is “a man of action” (3) “he is pragmatic” (4) he is “guided by some deeply held values” and  (5) he has courage.  These five qualities of Mr. Lee were explained in detail in the book.  I wish that all candidates for the coming Philippine general election will have the time to read this book and get inspiration and might as well learn and apply Mr. Lee’s big ideas.

I wish to quote Lee Kuan Yew as written in page 96 of the book about people and leadership “My experience of development in Asia has led me to conclude that we need good men to have good government. However good the system of government, bad leaders will bring harm to their people.”

In the same chapter on page 97, it provided a plain example with huge impact on how he governed his people as he was quoted saying after discovering that light switches in a government structure did not work  “…And I say it does you no harm whatsoever just to make sure that the thing works.  And don’t be too kind.  If you want to be kind to your people then you have got to be firm. And at times, stern to those who have a duty to perform to see that the duty is performed.

Those words reminded me of incidents in my country which could have been prevented if only the people who are in-charge have the political will to ensure that things work out the way they must be. All too common are non-working escalators/elevators and even trains in our own MRT/LRTs, filthy pathways/walkways/waterways, crime news everyday except during Manny Pacquiao's fight and many other perpetual problems that made me wonder if there is really someone governing us or are we living to each his own.

The Philippines and its people have so much to learn from Singapore and we have lots of work to do to correct all the wrong actions and perceptions of our leaders and would-be leaders.   As how the book puts it, “Learning from Others, Learning from the Best”.  And the Philippines definitely need to learn from the best.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bringing Home Essential Lessons from Singapore

My husband and I took advantage of the week-long declared holiday during the APEC summit in Manila last November 16 to 20 that we decided to have a family bonding in Singapore (again, last was in 2010). It was a great time to take a break from stress brought by demanding work, monstrous Manila traffic, and rising crime statistics that send fears in every corners of my mind . At last! After more than five years, I get to set foot again in one of my favorite places. This place is where I experience all the best things I only hope that the Philippines could have, efficient transport system, clean surroundings, secure place to wander around, magnificent structures, gender-sensitive places/people and the list goes on.

But this post is not about the places that we visited in Singapore, this is all about my wishful thinking... a look at the Philippines on a different perspective, maybe a shallow comparative analysis of these two countries. Shallow in the sense that I only touch on topics that I see only the basic differences but could have huge impact in the Philippines' struggle to be among the best in the world in terms of governance.

 To understand better how Singapore became one of the cleanest, safest, best countries in the world, one really has to have a first hand experience and immerse himself in its day to day activities. But our almost two weeks of stay could not be enough so I bought a book that will somehow give me an idea on how this little red dot became one of the best countries in the world.

Before I share with you my book review and the insight I got about Singapore and the Philippines, let me share with you this relevant video from Word of the Lourd...




~ to be continued

Friday, December 4, 2015

Experience Online Shopping with a 15% Zalora Discount Coupon

Shopping is one of those fun activities during the "ber" months (September, October, November and December) that most people usually do in preparation for the holiday season.    We wait for mall-wide sales as early as September to get huge discounts on our purchases (that frugal mommies do, of course ;-) )  I bet you experienced any one of these things when you hit the mall during sale season:

1. Someone else got the item that you wanted the moment you put it down for just a second
2. You finally found the perfect pair of shoes or a nice dress or a shirt only to be told that there was no stock for the size that you needed.
3. Say you got all the items you wanted and ready to pay for it but you almost passed out before you even reach the cashier because of the verrrryyy lloooooonnggg lines.
4. You were stuck in traffic for very long hours after shopping that when you got home you did not bother to check your purchases only to find out the next day that you left or forgotten some of your shopping bags :(

Admit it or not, those things happen and most likely gave us that very high stress level.  Isn't it great news that there are now online stores in the Philippines that offer us the same exciting shopping experience minus all the hassles?  If you have not tried online shopping yet, here is your chance to get that sale shopping experience without the traffic, long lines and lost items.

One of the online shopping sites that I tried is the Zalora Marketplace.  Asia's online market site and a one stop shop for the latest brands and styles.  They offer 30 days free return, free shipping on orders amounting above 995.00 and they accept online payments thru debit or credit cards.  If you do not have cards to use, you can opt for a cash on delivery mode of payment.

To get you started on your online shopping journey, here is a welcome gift for you of 15% discount on qualified purchases.  Just use the promo code ZBAPQWW1 upon checkout.  


So far, I have a very pleasant shopping experience with Zalora.  All items I ordered which mostly were clothes and shoes were delivered as I expected and got the items in good condition.  :-) Take your shopping spree to the next level and be a savvy online shopper. 



Friday, October 23, 2015

#ALDubEBTamangPanahon The Right Time Has Come

October 24, 2015 is the big, big day for the AlDub fans that Lola Nidora declared as the "tamang panahon", the right and perfect time.  Aldub has been trending worldwide in Twitter world for quite some months now.  If you happen to be not one of the followers of this phenomenal Filipino love team, you might wonder what is all the buzz about.  

The love team started from the Philippines' longest running television variety show Eat Bulaga in one of its segments titled "Kalye-serye" only last July 2015.  It is a combination of a reality TV and game show series (serye) that is set on the street (Kalye) in Metro Manila and nearby provinces everyday (except Sunday).  The kalyeserye was born from an original Eat Bulaga segment "Juan for All" that gives out big prize money to selected individual.  The main characters of this kalyeserye are Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza aka Yaya Dub.  Alden is a rising Filipino actor while Maine is an internet sensation with her YouTube dubsmash antics.  The other interesting characters of this series are the three "Lola" (grandmothers) named Nidora, Tidora and  Tinidora played by the show's versatile hosts Wally Bayola, Paolo Ballesteros and Jose Manalo. You read that right, these three are male actors portraying the role of old women, they are so good at their disguise that you will surely separate their real character from the roles they are playing.  What is prominent in this kalyeserye are the lessons and values which are reflective of Filipino culture in olden times.  Lessons and values which revolve on building relationships, proper way of courting a lady and so much more including waiting for that perfect moment thus the byline "tamang panahon".   

Although we have seen a lot of reality tv shows here and abroad, what makes this segment unique is its street-scene role playing seasoned with a comedy-like Cinderella-type plot.  This is what makes the 'Aldub Nation' (yes, they earned that title for being such hardcore followers of AlDub) all glued to their tv screens to find out if there will be a happy ever after or the way they describe it a 'forever' love or friendship (?) between the two not only in a split screen romance but also in real life. Something that remains to be seen and all the more sends everyone into romantic euphoria. :-)  


Saturday, October 17, 2015

#givingback Unsullied Perspective Donation Pledge to Philippine Red Cross

In our post about our 12 months of Fun Treat Closing, we had given our winners until September 30, 2015 to notify us through email about claiming their prizes. A week after the deadline, we moved on to our next undertaking.   Just as we promised, we donated the equal money value of all unclaimed prizes! We picked the Philippine Red Cross as our recipient of our Fun Treat donation because this institution symbolizes the true value of giving and volunteerism.


I personally experienced first hand Red Cross' commitment of helping those in need when it became instrumental in saving my son's life. With that, our team knows that through Red Cross, they can make the most out of our little donation. That means more sons and daughters being saved.

Last October 7, Unsullied Perspective sent the money pledge online. It is a convenient way of sending donation directly through Philippine Red Cross' bank account. We opted for a bank to bank transfer, but there were also other options available like mobile payments and through other channels. After sending money, we were notified through email about the successful remittance of our donation.


There goes our Fun Treat! Watch out for more of Unsullied Perspective's gift giving pledge. Let us continue to be a blessing to others.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Monthly Fun Treat Closing and 15th Anniversary Announcement

We are happy that we reached our blog's fifteenth year milestone from our very humble beginning in 2005. Last September 2014, Unsullied Perspective started the Monthly Fun Treat that intends to give something to our readers as a token of appreciation.

Today, we are officially closing our Monthly Fun Treat.  But this does not mean that we will stop our endeavor of sharing our blessings.  Fifteen years is such a feat, and we feel that we will not tire of writing and sharing with you our collection of positive views and life's learnings.

To mark our 15th Anniversary, I am happy and excited to announce that we will be releasing our very first book, hopefully this year, so please watch out for that! 

Anyways, here are our winners of our monthly Fun Treat.

Fun Treat # 9 for May 2015 - Roxanne Alvior
Fun Treat # 10 for June 2015-Shaira Joy Caranguian
Fun Treat # 11 for July 2015 - Bianca Monacillo
Fun Treat # 12 for August 2015- Marielyn Flores


Congratulations to our lucky blog readers/commenters!  Each of you won free cellphone load worth 200.00 pesos of any Globe, Smart, Sun, Talk and Text.Send us a private message at unsulliedperspective@gmail.com with your nominated cellphone number where we will send the free load. Again, congratulations to all our winners.  You can check the list of winners below to see if you won.  To those who have not yet claimed their prize, you have until the end of September (30 September 2015) to send an email and inform us of your intention to get your prize.  After that period, we shall forfeit your prize and donate the equivalent money value to charity. 

WINNERS LIST RECAP:
Fun Treat 1 September 2014 - (forfeited if unclaimed in 7 days)
1. Martha Guiao - (Starbucks card-claimed)
2. Starbucks card (unclaimed - raffled off for FT2)

Fun Treat 2 October 2014 - forfeited if unclaimed in 30 days
3. 500 SM gift card (unclaimed - raffled off for FT3)
4. Shalimar Uy - Starbucks card-claimed)
Fun Treat 3 November 2014 (forfeited if unclaimed in 30 days)
5. Binoy Metoy Valmocina - 500 SM gift card-claimed)
6. 500 SM gift card - (unclaimed to be raffled off for FT8)
Fun Treat 4 December 2014 (can be claimed within the promo period)
100 cellphone load 
1. Rosevic Moreno
2. Mary Grace Bernardo
3. Rezzia Janelle Verroya(claimed)
4. Jenefa Laraya
5. Yhie Nocasa(claimed)
Fun Treat 5 January 2015(can be claimed within the promo period)
Baby pants from Families Fashion
1. Mary Doll Sillacay 
2. Madho Dioso-Boquiron
3. Janet Magtarayo
4. Rhiza Cruz
5. Princess Grace Apduhan Lacanaria
Fun Treat 6 February 2015 (can be claimed within the promo period)
Baby pants from Families Fashion
1. Sandra Reyes
2. Rem Henson
3. Rhiza Cruz
Fun Treat 7 March 2015 (can be claimed within the promo period)
100 cellphone load
1.Katreena Aban
2.Dheng Ruiz
3.Katherine Atienza
4.Rizia Elyna Orduna
5.Van Agustin

Fun Treat 8 April 2015 (can be claimed within the promo period)
1. 500 SM gift card - Lira Joy David
2. 100 cellphone load - Ghie Ramilo
3. 100 cellphone load - Liezel Vergara

Two Miles, Two Hours, Traffic

Throwback post from September 3, 2010....It is now 2015, five years after but the same problem persists in Metro Manila.  :-(

I sensed that my son was annoyed when I got home Friday evening when he told me “Mommy, you always get home late!” Oh-oh, I know my son has every bit of reason to feel that way since all our schedules had been affected. I told him about the traffic dilemma that I had to go through just to get home, that made him shift his mood.

This is the fourth day since the end of August that I experienced being stuck in a traffic jam ‘(~_~)’. My usual twenty minutes travel time from the office to my house had been prolonged to almost two hours. Imagine the 600% increase in my travel time! If only the 600% could add up to my daily wage to buy time for my kids who were waiting for me at home. Ahh… I really can feel that time is not just gold, it is more than gold! What an agonizing hour being stuck in the middle of the road while thinking of another missed dinner with my family.  There is no doubt my sleepy kids were anxiously waiting for me. Nothing much I can do but to bear each tangled homeward-bound episode of my life and ponder on things that I observed such as ….

It is rainy season here in the Philippines, the heavy downpour brings on heavier traffic either because of flooding where cars could be stalled or because drivers are just understandably cautious and drive at slower pace as the road tend to be much slippery or flooded.

The “ber” months (September-December) is the season for mall-wide sales thus more shopaholic people converge in one place and that is where heavier traffic can be noted. Choke points are usually at those places where there are malls and night markets where public utility buses and jeeps carelessly park to pick up passengers. Whether the traffic light is red or green, nobody seems to care. The driver only cares to get more passengers and people only cares to get home after a tiring shopping day.

Since Christmastime is just around the corner, business is likely to be booming and one indicator is again, heavy traffic. If you happen to passed through roads nearby the air or sea ports, you might notice a queue of twenty or forty foot container vans or delivery trucks that almost occupied the whole stretch of road. How you would wish to have a flying car if you happen to tail behind a long truck as it would be impossible to overtake in a bumper to bumper traffic. Booming business is good but heavy traffic is no good at all with all those hours that had been wasted and spent unproductively and all those carbon emission that cars left behind.

So while I was stuck there, my thoughts brought me into analyzing things further; what a hard life it is for those who are earning from driving and caught in a traffic mess. I can’t help but be disappointed at their predicament. A public utility jeep (PUJ) driver who travels on an eight kilometer return trip usually takes only twenty minutes for each round that should give him ideally at least three trips an hour. If he would be caught in a traffic jam for an hour on his one way trip that would make his return trip up to 70 minutes and that translates to only about eight trips for say a ten hour trip schedule. A jeep usually transports a maximum of sixteen people for seven pesos fare per person on a one way trip that should give him PHP 224.00 on his return trip. Ideally they could be earning as much as PHP 1792 in a day even if they would be caught in heavy traffic. But sadly, that seems to be just a wishful thinking because (1) most drivers do not own the vehicle, they usually rent it from jeep operators amounting to six hundred to maybe more than a thousand pesos depending on the number of hours they would be using the vehicle (2) Since there are too many jeep plying the same route, aside from traffic, they would also be spending some minutes in terminal queues waiting for passengers thus their trip schedule might not be maximized (3) there is no guarantee that the jeep would be fully packed with passengers for its entire trip, the usual peak time are during rush hours when students and office workers go to work and when they return home, and even if it would be full, there is no assurance that all passengers will pay the PHP 7.00 fare. (4) If the situation gets really bad such as their route is badly affected with flood, they have no choice but to cancel their trip and that means nothing to bring home to their family.

With that notion, there could be different scenario by which their story carried on, and I hate to think how a bad situation could bring out the worst in somebody’s persona. Too hard life for some and only compassion and understanding can drive us through traffic and a bad-tempered driver.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

How to Update your Comelec Registration to be Biometrics-Ready


I received a letter from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) informing me to update my registration details particularly my biometrics information.  I am an active voter since I first  registered when I reached legal age (don't ask...that was decades ago ha ha). But,  I did not bother to update my details when biometrics capturing was implemented at the time of electronic voting in 2010 since it was not required that time.  But Comelec is now updating its voters registration records and it includes biometrics information.  Also, you will not be able to vote in the 2016 election if your record is not biometrics ready according to Comelec.  Here is the announcement posted in the Comelec's website that I reposted here for information.


"Mandatory Biometric Capture

Now, by virtue of Republic Act No. 10367, all voter registration records are mandated to have biometrics information. All new applications already require the mandatory capture of the applicants' biometrics using the COMELEC's Voter Registration Machine (VRM), which utilizes a digital camera, a fingerprint scanner and a signature pad.

Due to this new law, which was signed by Pres. Benigno Aquino III last 15 February 2013,  all previously registered voters without biometrics are required to subject themselves to biometrics capture through the validation procedure. Failure to do so before 31 October 2015 would cause COMELEC to deactivate the concerned registration records resulting to the non-allowing to vote in May 2016 of the affected voters."
I was hesitant to visit the Comelec's satellite office thinking that it would be a long and difficult process.  Had it not been one of my child's school entrance requirements where enrollees are required to submit the parent's certification of voting records, I guess I would still postpone my visit at a later date.

Anyway, I was surprised that it only took me less than an hour to do my transactions in Comelec.  When I get to my assigned registration office, I was asked by their staff of my purpose and told them about the letter I received and my request for a copy of certification.

First I was invited to get in the office and I was asked about my personal details so the staff could search for my records thru their computer terminal.  After that my photo was taken and then my left and right thumbprint were captured thru a fingerscanner.  I was also asked to sign on a signature pad to complete my biometrics info.  Voila! Everything was done in less than ten minutes.  Now I am assured that I will not be denied of my right to vote since I already had my records biometrics-ready.

Next I was instructed to wait outside for my name to be called while my request for certification was being processed.  After only about five minutes, I was told to photocopy a page from the Book of Voters of the last election bearing my name and signature that served as proof that I voted.  After that, I returned the voter's list with the photocopy.  I waited around a minute and when I was called,  paid P75.00 for the release of the Certification of Voting Record. It was that fast and simple.


Friday, August 7, 2015

How to File Online for an SSS Salary Loan Application

SSS provides loan facility to its qualified members and one of these loan offers is the salary loan.  As an added service to SSS online users, a member can file their salary loan application thru the SSS website.  To be able to use this service, you need to log in to your SSS account, if you are not yet registered as an online member, go to SSS website and fill out the Online User ID Registration.  Click here to learn how to register online.

The good thing with the online salary application form is it is more simplified than filling out the paper-based SSS application for salary loan form.  You also save time in going to the SSS branch just to submit your documents.  Also, by using the online application you will be informed right away if you are entitled to this benefit based on your monthly contribution.  Read on to know the four simple steps to do in applying for SSS salary loan.

1. After successfully logging in to your account, navigate to the E-SERVICES menu then click the APPLY FOR SALARY  LOAN link. 
2. You need to fill out an online form that requests for required information such as loanable amount which you can select from the drop-down box (that is system-generated/computed amount), mailing address and postal code and tick the I agree to the terms and conditions. 

3. After you filled out the required fields, the site will require you to confirm your submission, just press the OK button to continue and just wait for the email confirmation from SSS.



4. So after you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email message of  your Salary Loan Confirmation  informing you of your successful submission with transaction number.   

5. After two to three days, you can check online as regards the status of your application.  Navigate to the E-SERVICES - INQUIRY menu then  select LOANS - LOAN STATUS/LOAN INFO menu.  The "Check Generated" status will appear under the Loan Information Details which means that your check  or a registered mail is about to be delivered to you. 

Recently when I tried this online loan application, the check was not delivered to my address.  Instead, I received a registered mail to claim my check at the post office after around three weeks of waiting.  Anyways, so long as I have the check, the wait is just worth it. 



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Protect Your Money: Things to Consider Before You Invest

A while ago, I just learned that a friend was one of the many others who was victimized by an investment scam in Batangas.  The scammers got away with his hard-earned money and the savings he was setting aside for his four children amounting to more than half a million pesos.  I remember posting this only last February so I decided to repost this just to warn the others who are being recruited for some dubious investment scheme.  Please take the time to read and share this post to warn the others.

With the widespread use of e-commerce also comes rampant investment and insurance scams.  More often than not, we are lured into investing our hard-earned money in business that promises us high returns.  Who would not want high percentage return of investment? Truth is, there is no such thing as an overnight success in business and it takes careful planning, study and analysis for one's investment to grow.  It takes more than trust, confidence and gut feeling to make sound financial move.  I bore witness to friends, acquaintances and even relatives who put their hard-earned cash and even their whole retirement incentive into too-good-to-be-true investments only to find out later that they were scammed.  Years ago, I was also lured into investing my bonus and salary in networking business trusting that a friend who recruited me into it was only doing me a great favor by sharing her own financial success.  We enjoyed the benefits in the first few months of our membership.  Eventually and  unfortunately, we both suffered the bane of networking business when we came out almost empty handed.  The last time we check, the perpetrators were "enjoying" their retirement in jail with all their assets frozen.  I was thankful that I was still young at that time and I was able to work and recover from my losses. 


Today, I again see the proliferation of such scam but this time, it is more technologically advanced using social media platform. Although there are many other legitimate business on the internet, be careful where to put that hard earned cash.  This is just to remind you dear readers, before you even make that deposit or fund transfer in the business venture that you wish to participate in, think a hundred times and consider these...



1. Inquire/check or research from the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) or Insurance Commission (IC) if
      A.  The company has the necessary licenses or there are no issues/cases against such company
      B.  The products being offered are registered and legitimate
      C.  The salespersonnel/agent are authorized to act in behalf of the company

2.  Remember to 
       A. research about the company and its product before you invest
       B. ask a copy and keep the documents/receipts of your transactions
       C.  Be wary of promises about high-yield ROI as these are proven high risk investments
       D. Never just rely on your friends or relatives' testimonies to lure you into investing, make your own study and be adequately informed. 

*The posters are public service announcement from SEC and BSP

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Repost: On Earthquakes and Disaster Preparedness

Recently, news reports on the possible earthquake that could be triggered by the Philippine west valley fault line was the headline.  The Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (PhilVols) even provided us a downloadable Valley Fault System Atlas for the Greater Manila Area to give us vital information that will help us plan for an earthquake.  We would never know when it is going to happen but it helps to be prepared.  With that in mind, I dug up an old blog post from March 27, 2010 to share with you again...

I was in the middle of a meeting last Thursday when I suddenly felt dizzy. “Oh my, not another bout of headache…” I thought to myself but then some seconds later, each of us seem to be feeling the same asking each other if they felt it too. It was an earthquake which we later found out to be intensity 6.1 with epicenter at the sea west of Manila which is some kilometers away from our office.

This is another earthquake to hit the country on the same month with no less than 6.0 magnitude, the other one happened at the time when President Gloria Arroyo was delivering her speech in Tuguegarao City last March 2 with a magnitude 6.1. We are just lucky and thankful that the earthquake’s intensity never gets greater and the shaking did not take longer than what our structures could hold.

Just weeks ago, I attended a seminar, although it was not about earthquake, the instructor shared with us a vital piece of information about the ripple effect of the Haiti, Turkey and Chile earthquake which all happened this 2010. He even asked us if we already “tied” our houses tightly (“tinali nyo na ba ang bahay nyo?” that is a jargon in Filipino when you want to emphasize to disaster-proof a house in preparation for a calamity). He went on to say that he was not joking when he asked us that because he said that there were already patterns being studied regarding how the earthquake from one country affects another stating that earthquakes cause the earth’s plates to move thus creating different fault systems. He was also referring to the re-issued warning by the United Nations about a probable earthquake with a magnitude of about 7 to 8 that could strike the nation's capital region.


In news report regarding the February 27 earthquake in Chile with a magnitude of 8.8 and lasted 90 seconds, it stated that according to seismologist the incident may have shortened the length of the day by 1.26 microseconds and moved the Earth's figure axis by 8 cm. I wonder if there is a correlation between the change in the earth’s figure axis and the slight change in the sun’s position because I noticed that the angle of the sun’s ray inside my room seem to have changed slightly or is the sun’s angle really changing depending on the time of the year? Take a moment to study the attached picture which I took on two different dates but the same location and almost the same time.


I am really clueless because we were only taught that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, PERIOD. Maybe in some other highly technical and scientific courses dealing with the study of heavenly bodies they were taught about that. Anyway, at least it is still rising in the east no matter what angle it is and I still see the light of day each morning I wake up. I remember I had an odd dream about this last February that the sun was no longer rising in the east but somewhere in the north and it looked like it was turning red, it’s golden glow was slowly fading. I was awakened by that dream and when I opened my eyes, I looked out the window and boy, was I thankful that I saw the golden light above? DEFINITELY!

Also in February, I attended another seminar about disaster readiness and we also had a fire drill in our office which is in preparation for the fire-prevention month but since the country is predisposed to different catastrophe such as typhoon, flash flood, volcanic eruption (just imagine living within the ring of fire), earthquake and tsunami these were also included in the discussion. These are just some of those things I learned from that seminar which I would like to share with you
  1. In whatever circumstance, it is best to stay calm and have a presence of mind as panicking may only trigger more accidents.
  2. It is not advisable to use the elevator especially during fire or earthquake as one may get trapped inside so the best is to use the nearest stairway exit.
  3. As much as possible steer clear from glass windows or glass doors as common sense dictates that it is extremely dangerous since you might get injured when such glass break down.
  4. At the onset of an earthquake, it is best to keep all entry and exit ways open thus one must take the initiative to ensure that doors or windows be opened the best way possible but during fire, a closed door should not be opened haphazardly. It is wise to touch test the door handle or the door itself before opening it to ensure that it is safe to access because a room on fire behind a closed door will most likely trigger a deadly backdraft once you open its door.
  5. We were also taught that since our office is nearby the harbor, earthquake may trigger a tsunami thus people’s evacuation movement should be up towards the highest floor in the building, the same is true during flashflood whereas during fire it should be a downward movement whenever possible so that fire rescuers will not a have a difficult time reaching you.
  6. Though you may find it useless for now, but a whistle and a flashlight is a very necessary tool when calamities strike thus it helps when you have one stored in your drawer and remember to take it with you at the onset of disaster. That will surely be needed when you are trapped in the middle of nowhere as these may be used to lead rescuers to where you are. Just remember Rose in the movie Titanic where she was rescued in the middle of the ocean alongside a pool of dead bodies with the help of a handy dandy whistle.
So there, wish you get something useful to share with others too. I hope company owners will take the initiative to engage in disaster readiness to make them prepared and to prevent possible loss of lives and further property damage. May we all be safe.




Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How I Spent My Very First Nuffnang Cash Out

Here’s another of my Nuffnang story worth sharing. In one of my posts I wrote that there were two things which I have not experienced yet, attending a Nuffnang Blog Award and receiving that Nuffnang paycheck. 
Then sometime in March, I gladly reported that I have reached another blog milestone when I had the chance to cash out my very first Nuffnang earnings.  I also told you how excited I was to receiving that memorable paycheck that I will gladly write about on how I will save or spend the money. 

I am thankful and too happy to receive my earnings through a direct deposit on my nominated account last May.  It was a hassle-free payout process that is why I am too thankful to Nuffnang that they made it easier for bloggers that made the waiting time so worth it.  Bloggers have options to get their paycheck by picking it up at the Nuffnang office or have it deposited at the blogger’s account.  Since it was more convenient for me, I requested for a direct deposit option.  They sent an email informing me of the deposit they made to the account. 

The total amount deposited was net of the 15% tax deducted from my cash out.  At least I don’t need to worry about paying the taxes due as it was already withheld by Nuffnang.  So where did my Nuffnang cash out went?  Here is the breakdown…
15% was paid to the BIR (government tax)
25% treat for the family
15% paid to myself which I can freely spend for whatever I want (a nice haircut maybe)
10% for donation
20% invested to grow a part of my earnings
15% allotted for my blog’s monthly fun treat (giving back to my readers)
100%


Now I am more motivated to earn from blogging and who knows, I could be marching to the Nuffnang Blog Awards sometime soon.  **fingers crossed**

Saturday, May 30, 2015

July to December 2015 Financial Calendar Planner

Hi everyone, as promised, here is our July to December Financial Calendar Planner.  You can download this free printable 2015 Financial Calendar Planner and put it wherever most convenient for you.  You can get it here in this link for free.

This 2015 Financial Calendar Planner includes tracking of your savings and expenses such as contributions for SSS (Social Security System), PAGIBIG  (or Home Development Mutual Fund - HDMF) and PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance).  If you are an employed member, these are mandatory deductions from your salary so it is easier to track.

However, if you are a voluntary/individually paying/self-employed member, you need to tick the appropriate space to indicate that you have already paid for your contribution so you can track your monthly premium payments.  We also included recording of you weekly money challenge.  The weekly money challenge is much like the 52 week money challenge but with some deviations.  You can keep track of the schedule when you should have already deposited your savings in the bank as provided in the calendar.  Simply highlight or check the date on the provided boxes if you have done so.  At the end of the month, you have the option to record your total monthly savings in the space provided.
There is also a calendar and the non-working holiday schedule so you can keep account of the  correct dates when you should make your transactions in the bank or government offices.
You can put down notes in the Other Reminders part should you wish to put the dates of other important transactions that you need to track such as the following:
1. Renewal of your business permit (mayor's permit,  BIR annual registration)
2. Renewal of licenses (LTO registration/driver's license)
3. Payment for insurance (home, car, etc)
4. Tax (real estate tax, income tax, etc) and other things that have direct impact on your finances.

We have also included tracking payments for your electricity and water bill since non-payment of those utilities usually add up to your expenses if not paid on time.  You simply tick the space provided to indicate payment for the particular month. 

I hope that this helps you keep track of your finances in a simple and easy to use financial calendar planner.  Download the free file here >> Happy planning and budgeting.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Q & A on SSS Maternity Benefit Part 3

Howdy everyone!  As promised that we will try our best to provide answers to your questions regarding SSS maternity benefit so we cannot just abandon those who wished for clarification.  We would like to highlight however that the replies provided are based on our own knowledge of the SSS law.  We encourage our readers to inquire directly with SSS through the different modes available such as phone hotline, email and SSS branches to ensure that your concerns are addressed.

Q. March 24, 2015 at 10:37 PM  regine minerva said...Hi..just wanted to ask ..Im a voluntary member na and ill give birth by May 2015..I was employed last year and the last contribution was Sept 2014..I also paid the Jan-Feb 2015 contribution..How much will be my benefit?please answer asap..Thanks po 
A. Hi regine, you did not say how much is your monthly salary credit.  Refer to our post on how to compute the sss maternity benefit so you will have an idea. 

Q. March 29, 2015 at 5:32 AM    Anonymous said...Mam, panu po pag naraspa ng march 2015, contributions nya plng pu ai dec. 2014-feb. 2015 tapos d rest 2013 n. Eligible pu b to claim maternity benefIt?, tenk u! Hope u reply 
A. You should have at least 3 months contribution from October 2013 to September 2014 to qualify. 
 
Q. April 9, 2015 at 5:55 AM   Anonymous said..san po ba nkbase ung makukuha sa sss maternity benifets!!! 

A. Based on your monthly salary credit within the twelve month period prior to your semester of contingency and some prequalifying conditions like submission of MAT1 and contribution requirements.
Q. April 14, 2015 at 5:32 AM  anonymous said...nghulog po aq august2013-dec2013 ntgl po nbuntis aq by april 20140 ngvoluntary aq sss oct2014-dec2014 umanak aq jan2015 my makukuha po b aq benftsA. You have paid at least 3 months ng Oct to Dec 2013 so ok yun contribution requirement mo, the question is nakapagpasa ka ba ng MAT1 otherwise di ka mabibigyan ng claim.
Q.April 14, 2015 at 5:37 AM   Lirajoy David said...Hi madam good day! I went to sss yesterday. Tinanong ko po kse kung qualified ako mka avail ng maternity leave. My hulog po ko nung aug2013 to feb2014 tinignan po yung last digit ng ss number ko 4 sbi po niya tapalan ko lng daw po yung month of jan,feb, and march 2015 para mka avail po ako. Nahulugan ko na po yung 3 months. 550 po monthly yung hinulog ko. Kso ang inaalala ko po nsabi na employed po ako dati. Ngayon po hnd. Ok lng po ba yun kht hnd ako nkapag palit ng status na voluntary? And qualified na po ba ko to avail maternity? July po ang duedate ko. Salamat po and god bless you..A. Dapat may hulog ka ng September 2013 to October 2014 to qualify. If naghulog ka as voluntary with corresponding payment receipt indicating your membership as voluntary, sss will change your status.
Q. April 14, 2015 at 4:57 PM  Ghie Ramilo said...3mos.buntis po ako nanlate po ako ng march at ngayon april ng contribution ko pwede pa po bang bayaran kahit late na? Makaka avail po ba ako ng maternity benefits 2014 february po ako nag start mag hulog hangang ngayon po 330 po hinuhulog ko voluntary.. magkano po kaya makukuha koA. If October ka manganak, you need to have contribution from July 2014 to June 2015 na at least 3 hulog within that period. Please refer to our post on computation of maternity benefit.
Q.April 16, 2015 at 11:33 PM   francine jewel said...good am ms.arlene ....due date ko is may 2015...salary credit ko is 10k...nakapaghulog ako ng oct-dec 2014..at jan.-may2015...magkano po makukuha kong mat benefit...thank you...A. The payment that will be considered ay yun Oct-Dec lang since excluded na ang semester of contingency mo na January to June 2015. (10kx3 months)/180 x 30 around 10k ang mat benefit mo.
Q. April 17, 2015 at 8:02 PM   Anonymous said...Gud pm po carla po here.ask ko lang po kung qualified po ako sa maternity benefit.?aUgust 2015 po ung expected na mAnganganak ako.april 2014 po ako nag file ng mat 1.may 2013-june 2014 wla po akong hulog.then july 2014-dec 2014 may hulog po ako.qualified po ba ako.?A. Yes qualified ka since may six months hulog ka ng July to December 2014 during the 12 month required period mo. 
Q. April 19, 2015 at 6:55 PM  Jackie Cejes said...hello po to all readers and to ms.arlene i have a question since im pregnant for 5 months. and my last day of work was feb 16 2015, so i and my bf planning to continue my cntribution in sss to avail maternity benefits. well my question is how to submit sss mat 1 through online?.. so that no more hassles..and what are those supporting documents will be attached in mat 1?A. Just follow the instruction in our posts on how to register in My.SSS and how to submit your maternity notification online.
April 25, 2015 at 1:16 AM  Liezel Vergara said...Hi. Hope active pa tong thread...just want to ask if given my scenario: Nakapag submit po ako Maternity Notification last November 2014. Due nxt month na po ako (May 2015) via CS delivery
Nakapagbayad din ako ng contributions from October-December 2014 (Php 1650/month) After that di na po ako nakapaghulog ulit 1. Tama po ba itong rough estimate ko? Kung 1650 ang hulog ko, around 15,000 ang monthly salary credit ko. So 15,000×3months = 45,000. 45,000/180 days = 250. 250×78 days = 19,500 (amount na mare-receive ko as benefit) 2. Pwede pa bang maghulog ng for January-March 2015 kahit April na tayo ngayon para umabot sa 6 months yung contributions? Your response is highly appreciated po. Thanks in advance!A. Your rough estimate is more or less around that amount. For #2, SSS does not accept retroactive payment kundi yun previous month or quarter lang prior to scheduled cutoff.
Q. April 25, 2015 at 2:58 AM   Jah said...Hello po Ms Arlene, ako po si Jah. Pahelp naman po. Due ko po sa July 2015. Am I still qualified for the mat benefit? Here are my contributions..July 2014 - 935, Jan 2015 - 495, April 2015 - 605, May 2015 - 605 Thank you po..A. Dapat may contribution ka at least 3 buwan within april 2014 to march 2015 to qualify at nakapagpasa ka ng mat1 mo.
Q. April 26, 2015 at 2:59 AM   Anonymous said...hi! just good day to all, just wanna ask , cs po ako last jan 29 and pinapasahod nmn po ako ng employer ko while im on my meternity leave.. may makukuha p din b ko sa sss maternity benefit ko? and mga how much po kaya un. thanks.A. It is better to clarify that with your employer.  The SSS benefit is usually given in advance to employees to help her in maternity related expenses.  It is given since ang assumption is that employees on maternity leave are without pay during her period of absence at work. 
Q. April 26, 2015 at 11:33 PM  Anonymous said...hi.gd pm.ask qlang po qng anu po mga req pg nagprocess po ng mat2 at panu po qng asawa qpo ung pupunta anu po ung kelangan nyang dalhn.pls advice thanxA. You should have filed your mat1 prior to mat2. You will attach the duly stamped received mat1 in your Mat2 form together with the birth certificate of your child, your sss ID and hospital/medical records. Your husband can file your claim on your behalf. Just ensure to get the claim stub or have all your docs photocopied so you will have your proof when you need to followup your claim.
Q. April 29, 2015 at 8:07 PM   bernadette cariƱo said...hi po. 6 months na akong preganant ang due ko po 1st week ng august according to my ultrasound. employed po ako ngayon pero PROBI palang po kya mag voluntary palang ako, tanong ko lang po kung makaka avail ba ako ng benefit kapag naghulog po ako ng APRIL TO JUNE 2015? thanks po. sana masagot agad 

A. Dapat may at least 3 months posted payments ka ng July 2014 to June 2015. Kung makabayad ka ng april to june 2015 at maipasa mo ang iyong Mat1, posibleng magqualify ka for the benefit.
Q. May 3, 2015 at 10:38 PM   Anonymous said...Gudday ms arlene.phelp nmn po ask ko lng po qng qualified pa ko makakuha ng maternity aug18,2014 ako nanganak e april may june lng ang may hulog ako feom my employer pwede bng ivoluntary ko ung january feb march pra mcomplete.ko ung 6mnths at pra mavail ko ungmaternity.pwede pi b un?pls reply tnx poA. SSS does not accept retroactive payment. With your 3 months posted contribution ng April to May, you pass the required contribution. Submit your Mat1 ASAP.
Q. May 3, 2015 at 11:49 PM   Anonymous said...Hello po Im Happy to see this site May question lang din po ako, I am 2 months pregnant now and my due date in on Nov. 2015 gusto ko po sana taasan ang contribution ko sa sss effective this May 2015 possible po ba ma base din sa computation ang mas mataas na contribution ko kahit ngayon ko lang po na increase and contribution? Salamat.A. Yes po, the higher the contribution, the higher the benefit you will receive since highest salary credit ang basis ng computation.