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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Puso Day 2017



Dan: Surprise! (handing me flowers)
Me: Wow! Thank you Daddy! Sabi ko naman sayo huwag ka nang mag- abala. Sayang ng pera mo.
Dan: Kilala kita. Ilang Valentines mo na yan sinabi. Tapos paghindi kita binigyan, magtatampo ka.
Me: lol
Dan: Huwag kang mag-alala, ibabawas ko yan sa remittance ko. Lol


We stayed at home on Valentine’s Day. We didn’t go out because first, it was a weekday and our energy had been sucked  by our more than eight hour stay in the office. Second, I didn’t want to spend for a fancy dinner. And third, I felt that we already  celebrated Valentine’s  Day.  On February 11-12, we went out of town (Laguna) to attend the birthday party of our friend’s daughter.   Actually, the date of the party was  on the 12th but we opted to go to Laguna in advance because we wanted to have a “family time” outside of our abode.  My husband and I resolved to stop holing up in our home and start going outdoors. It’s not for us but for Baby C. She’s already 2.5 yo, and she’s becoming more curious every day. We feel the need to expose her to the “outside world.”  

Since there is no hotel near the venue of the birthday party, I booked a condo unit through Airbnb.  It was my first Airbnb experience.  At first, I had qualms.  But after researching and reading reviews, I convinced myself to give it a shot.   Good thing about Airbnb is that you can contact the host before booking the unit.  You can ask as many questions as you want.  I guess I was lucky because our host was very prompt in answering my queries. 

We arrived at the condo  at around 4pm, 2 hours late from the agreed time of check-in. My bad.    The caretaker was nice enough to wait for us. I was not able to take photos of the condo unit.  It was a 25-sqm studio unit. It looked cramped perhaps because of the arrangement of the furniture.  Nonetheless, it was clean.    There was no TV and no internet connection which was ok with me because as I’ve said we went there to spend time with each other.   Basta, everything was basic, from furniture to beddings.  I kinda expected it already because hello I just paid P2700 for four persons, way cheaper  than booking a hotel room.   It had AC and it was clean, solb na ako dun. 




What I like about the condominium is its location and its vibe. The ambiance was peaceful. It's away from the hustle and bustle of the highway.  It made me feel close to nature.      There's a playground and a swimming pool. However,  I didn’t  take a dip because it was too cold. It was Dan who accompanied  Baby C.   

After we checked out, we went directly to the venue of Baby Celin's  party. It's only a trike ride away from the condo.  


Baby C enjoyed our short vacation. Actually, we all enjoyed it. I am looking forward to more ganap with my family.  





 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Kwentong Pag-Ibig (Not a Valentine's Day Post)




The second tranche of our salary increase was  released this month.  The net amount of the increase is not that much, but still, I am very thankful.   Just right after I received my payslip, I sent a note to our HR authorizing them to deduct an additional P400/month for Pag-ibig.  I increase my Pag-Ibig Contribution every time my salary increases.    Why did I choose to augment my Pag-ibig contribution? Firstly, the dividend is higher than bank interest.  Secondly, I am certain that it won’t declare bankruptcy since it’s a government owned and controlled corporation.  Thirdly, increasing Pag-ibig savings also  increases my maximum loanable amount since the latter is based  on the Total Accumulated Value (TAV).    And lastly, just like  “PAG-IBIG”, hindi ko siya ramdam bes! Of course I’m kidding, I am so loved by my husband. Feel ko bes!  Going back, hindi ko siya ramdam because it’s automatically deducted from my salary.  

Why didn’t I put my savings in PAG-IBIG II since its dividend rate is higher? Because I am lazy.  I already asked the HR staff in charge with Pag-ibig contributions and other concerns about it .  I even submitted the accomplished PAG-IBIG II form. However, when he submitted it to PAG-IBIG office, he was told that my personal appearance is necessary. And I am lazy to go there.  Don’t be like me!   
Why didn’t I just put my money in UITF and Mutual Funds?  I’m currently investing in UITF and mutual funds.  I started investing in equity-laced UITF in 2014, and last year, after my promotion,  I put some cash in Mutual Funds (Balanced and Equity).  I invest a certain amount on my accounts every month or every time I have extra cash.    The UITF is for my retirement. The Mutual Fund-Equity is for my husband’s retirement and the Balanced Mutual Fund is for my daughter’s education.  I know that these are medium to high risk investments.  That’s why I think putting  money in a very low risk investment is a way for me to diversify my investments.

This year, I am planning to increase my paper assets. For the past three  years, almost all of our savings went to real estate . We purchased  our condo unit just right after we got married.  If I could just  bring back time, I would have saved more, and purchase a house and lot instead.  I don’t know if it’s just me pero iba pa din  ang lupa at bahay.  Talk about restrictions.     In 2015, we hastily purchased a townhouse in Naga City through Pag-Ibig Financing.   Honestly,  at first we thought that  it was a very bad financial decision.  The monthly amortization plus the cost of furnishing it caused a dent in our finances   until we had the apartment rented last year.   At least now, the property is self-liquidating.       

Reviewing our current net worth, most of our assets are tilted towards real estate.  Only 8.25%  goes to savings and paper assets (I didn’t include my Pag-Ibig savings because I don’t know the exact figure). So, yeah, 2017 is about saving and being liquid.  Good luck to me!

Oh, by the way, if you want to know more about Pag-ibig savings, just check their website.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

ON BEING A KAWANI NG GOBYERNO


Seven months ago, I was assigned as the head of a particular unit.  And until now, I still can’t say that I am fully attuned with my responsibility.     No matter how much I convince myself that everything is “trabaho lang, walang personalan”, there are still times that I go home exasperated or drained.  True enough, listening to other people’s frustration is both emotionally and mentally exhausting.   Just yesterday, a very toxic client called up.  I almost lost my cool. I was trembling with anger already but reminded myself that I am being paid to be patient.  After the woman on the other line ended our conversation, I consoled myself by devouring a slice of Estrels caramel cake. Thanks Estrels,  you completely erased the negative vibe. Kaya tumataba ako eh.

But, you know what? Being able to assist and help the public is also very rewarding.  This morning, I had a conversation with a walk-in client.

Client: You are very accommodating.  Dahil ba kay President Duterte? Change is coming.

Me: Hindi po. Kahit po noon, ganito napo kami. Lol

Her comment  really makes me happy that I’ve decided to blog about it. Haha. Ang yabang ko lang. 

I advocate (I’ve been hearing this word at Miss Universe, might as well use it. Lol) quality public service, because the public  deserve it…we deserve it.   It’s a good thing that President Duterte has devised 8888. It empowers the public to air  their frustrations. So, guys, instead of posting on facebook and shaming the employee being complained of, I  encourage you to just dial the hotline.  Let us be fair.  Give the other party the chance to explain  his side at the RIGHT VENUE.  And to my co-kawani ng gobyerno,  let us  do a good job, treat the public with respect, and perform our functions with honesty and fairness.   I thank you. Lol.